HEY 19, NO WE CAN’T DANCE TOGETHER

The Edmonton Oilers lost another game last night, this time 4-1 to the Ottawa Senators. Coach Todd McLellan did not enjoy the performance, and let fire with some righteous verbal in the post-game avail. If we made a list of coaches who lost their employment and part of their reputation while drawing a cheque from Edmonton since 2012, you would run out of fingers and need to start in on the toes.

FANNY BE TENDER, 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: 7-6-1
  • Oilers in January 2015: 5-7-1
  • Oilers in January 2016: 4-5-2
  • Oilers in February 2015: 5-6-1
  • Oilers in February 2016: 3-7-1
  • Oilers after 61 in 2014-15: 17-34-10, 44 points (-66 GD)
  • Oilers after 61 in 2015-16: 22-33-6, 50 points (-36 GD)

Todd McLellan was extremely frustrated (some quotes below, but the entire post-game is golden), but today I want to take a quick trip into the past—in order to inform the future. We are over 60 games into the NHL season and I think we can reach a major conclusion: Todd McLellan is going to play the style he prefers, and by next season we should see a team that represents his style. The Oilers, as they are currently compiled, are not an ideal McLellan team—and he hasn’t altered his ‘place and chase’ style—to suit this team’s skills—as much as we might have hoped in year one. I think this means an airlift of role players prepared to place and chase, forecheck, cover and battle—at the cost of skill.

What would that look like? Last summer, long before the season, I spoke to Derek from the fantastic blog Fear the Fin. He was very informative about style of play—and I think the quote is even more important now that we have seen McLellan as coach for 60 games:

  • On McLellan and his forwards/style: “He plays a bit of a conservative system in the neutral zone, there’s a lot of dump and chase hockey but it works unlike your average dump and chase team—because they play a very aggressive forecheck. It’s the two-on-two offensive forecheck the Kings and the Blues have had a lot of success with. The defenseman on the strong side will pinch to keep the puck in the zone and the extra forward (high forward) will cycle back to cover him on the point.”
  • Source

I think we (and McLellan) have reached the point where it is fairly obvious that some of his current players are unable to adapt. McLellan’s comments last night came out of frustration, but if he and Peter Chiarelli are on the same page, that frustration will find its way to the players soon, in the way of new addresses. I think we are going to see several players who fit the style described above added in the next several months. Along with the heavy comments from Chiarelli, the die is cast.

If I may pause a moment longer, a lot of McLellan’s frustration could have been predicted based on the quotes from last spring:

  • Peter Chiarelli on Justin Schultz: “He’s a player that I don’t have really strong knowledge of. Saw him in college. Saw him in the lockout in the American League. Saw him in bits and pieces with Edmonton, maybe a little more this past year, whether it’s video or otherwise. He’s got a lot of assets, like puck skills, passing, skating. He’s been labelled sometimes as a rover and that’s more negative than positive in my mind, but the fact that he’s up the ice with the forwards is a good thing. That’s something that we would preach here. It’s about defending, about being the proper position and if you’re not strong enough to defend, let’s talk about positional defending, stick defending. He has to get better at that.” Source

It’s been years we’ve been here. How many coaches will it take? How many GMs are going to sentence their head coach to this? If you are an NHL coach, and your GM is thinking about trading for Justin Schultz, what does that tell you about how your GM feels about you?

The line above that I have underlined should read like this: His skill set is normally associated with a lot of assets, like puck skills, passing, skating. Despite being a player who has skills similar to successful puck movers, his lack of attention to detail and incredible lack of urgency often mean inertia in the most important moments of a game.

The lingering memory of the Justin Schultz era—for me—is the list of successful coaches he brought to their knees. In a way, it is damned impressive. In another, it is galling to the highest power. They sent Jeff Petry away, you know, partly because of their belief in Justin Schultz. In life, there are hits, and there are misses. Several days travel after ‘misses’ comes the guy who decided to flush Petry and retain Schultz. The mind literally boggles.

This is the thinking of a coach about to go on the road, where he knows his 23 will be wearing their collective ass for a hat.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

oilers blue nov 30

  • Nurse—Fayne did well in possession, I thought Nurse showed both his mobility (took off several times and headed north) while also proving he needs to pass the puck more on those sorties, and allowing the puck to do the work. Fantastic talent, needs some time, and I do not believe he should be used on the penalty kill. Fayne needed to clear the puck away on the second goal (on the PK, it has to be cleared there), but he was solid overall.
  • Sekera—Schultz were not effective. Schultz was -3, but the play that pissed off all the grey hairs, blue hairs and other hairs, was the third goal. It was a typical 19 play, the puck required a little more effort to get, and the two-on-one could have been avoided if he had recognized the situation sooner. Sekera, for my money the best defenseman on the team, was unable to handle the volume forecheck with 19 as partner.
  • McLellan on Schultz: “He had a pretty disappointing night as an individual, and it affected the team.”
  • Davidson—Oesterle looked quite good to my eye. Davidson was splendid on the goal, all kinds of smarts on the Eberle tally, and he managed the puck very well overall. I noticed the two rookies talking a lot together, good to see communication. Oesterle had a tough break on the third goal, sent a pass that was just past Schultz and it ended up in the back of the net. Damnable goal, that one.

NHL: NHL Draft

  • TODD MCLELLAN: “We’ll see what happens over the next six or seven days. Maybe there are some guys waiting for that. It’s got to get better or we need to make huge, huge changes.”

The fans are booing Schultz now, his confidence is low. We are in full death rattle in regard to Schultz’s time as an Oiler, best to send him away—today. I hate watching home players get traded, and from Coffey to Poti to now, it is always the skilled defensemen. We love our offense in this city, but Oilers fans in my section (thanks to WG for the tickets, best seats in the damned house) were more impressed by Jason Smith last night. That’s Oilers fans in a nutshell, right there.

mcdavid eberle

INDIVIDUAL HIGH-DANGER SCORING CHANCES

  1. Three: Connor McDavid, Benoit Pouliot
  2. Two: Jordan Eberle
  3. One: Teddy Purcell, Andrej Sekera, Iiro Pakarinen, Nail Yakupov, Leon Draisaitl

CENTERS, LAST NIGHT

oil c nov 30

  • Connor McDavid and his trio had a good run to my eye, watching this young man skate is a pure joy. The puck was bouncing (ice is terrible, just ghastly) but he hammered opponents during the game. Unlucky to have just the one point in my opinion.
  • Mark Letestu has this play custom made for him on the power play, and it is a beauty. High slot, defenseman sends him a strong pass, and he tips it. Dangerous damn play, but he appears unable to cash it.
  • Leon Draisaitl is probably going back to the wing when Nuge gets back, the big man is having a tough time as the season wears down. He has not been himself since the road trip, suspect there are some slight injuries that have him down. That burst is gone, hope it returns in fall.
  • Matt Hendricks needs to go back to the wing. Oilers are making a lot of unforced errors, this is one. Anton Lander needs to draw back in.

WINGERS, LAST NIGHT

oilers f nov 30

  • Pouliot—Eberle had strong evenings to my eye, especially Pouliot who would have scored but the damn puck bounced (bad, bad ice) just as he was about to make his move. As it was, he got a dangerous chance on the play. Eberle scored the goal, was exposed in coverage but was dandy with the puck on his stick. That is Eberle the player in a sentence.
  • Hall—Purcell were not as effective as they were the other night, the line needs a makeover. I think the right play is to replace Leon, but the step down from the German to Letestu is a lulu.
  • Yakupov—Kassian tried mightily, but could not impact the game. I would love to see a Derek Roy airlift for the final 20 games, these two could be something if they had more skill at pivot.
  • Korpikoski—Pakarinen are all lost in the supermarket, they can no longer shop happily. Bring on the empty horses.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

In the short term, the Oilers pulling the chute (they did it on the road trip, but it came home to roost) is an annual item, with only Todd McLellan’s being new making this an issue. I am glad he spoke up, because the Peter Chiarelli avail earlier in the day seemed too calm for the season that was just lost. Among the quotes last night was a kid who was 19 saying it might be better to go on the road, and that is the main issue as far as I am concerned.

One of the major problems with this organization has been constant change. I do not think Todd McLellan has performed perfectly this season, but do believe he is vitally important to the process we can safely call crawling from the wreckage. I doubt we will agree on all of the names heading out, nor those heading in (lots of chatter that two defensemen are needed this summer, but the Oilers haven’t had four men on the blue you can count on opening night since 2006).

Heading out will be names like Justin Schultz, Teddy Purcell, maybe Matt Hendricks. Coming in? We wait, but the general idea is Hamonics and Boyles and Lucicis. If not those exact names, then similar in style and intent.

blood4

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A fluid show, beginning with Bruce McCurdy at the Cult of Hockey and Sean Bissell, Campus Director of Hockey Operations for Donnan Hockey. Hour two will have one guest to talk Oilers and one to talk Habs, waiting to confirm. Stay tuned! 10-1260 text, @Lowetide twitter.

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289 Responses to "HEY 19, NO WE CAN’T DANCE TOGETHER"

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  1. MenovOil says:

    This season was pretty much doomed from the get go since the new management crew had to evaluate what they had on hand (Although it didn’t stop them from wasting assets on a bottom pairing pylon like G. Reinhart when they could have drafted a wonderful d-prospect like Thomas Chabot but that’s neither here nor there).

    The best player on this team, and the only one who is unavailable for a trade is McJesus. Now we need to acquire the second best player on this team and he shold be a top flight d-man. EVERY single player not named McDavid should be made available to get that guy, whether he be OEL or Subban.

  2. leadfarmer says:

    I dont like Todd Mclellan hammering his style into this roster. It obviously doesnt fit and will not fit without significant change. So why not alter your style to the roster you have. He hammered his style into San Jose and look they are getting better results playing someone elses system. I got a feeling he will be sent packing before we make the playoffs

  3. OilClog says:

    Letestu should have only one sweet pp move.. clapping loudly from the bench.

    This wasn’t a good signing.

    Fayne’s ring around the boards with nothing but time.. Spells his end, that’s not top 4 material.

    I’d trade Hendricks to a contending team, he deserves it.

    Jultz will be a waiver claim

  4. Snowman says:

    That was about the most brutal coach’s presser I’ve ever watched.

    Things are going to change. And that’s a good thing. Staying this particular course has done zero good. Taylor Hall has never seen the playoffs. He’s never even been close. That’s a damn shame and for that reason things can’t stay the same.

    Bring on the deadline. Bring on the summer. Bring on the big move. There are some players I would be sad to see go but I cannot fathom watching another season like this one or the last one or the one before that again next season.

    Hold on to your butts fellas. Things are going to get crazy.

    On the Schultz item, if there is a trade to be made you have to make it. If there isn’t one you have to send him down to the farm. Having him play here the rest of the way with boos raining down from the stands is pointless and idiotic. He hasn’t been good but I don’t think he deserves that and I don’t think the rest of the team should have to watch their friend suffer through it. It would be a mistake to allow it. A bad one.

  5. RMGS says:

    “The Oilers, as they are currently compiled, are not an ideal McLellan team—and he hasn’t altered his ‘place and chase’ style—to suit this team’s skills—as much as we might have hoped in year one. I think this means an airlift of role players prepared to place and chase, forecheck, cover and battle—at the cost of skill.”

    I think it means an airlift of skilled players willing to place and chace, forecheck, go to the net and stay there, cover and battle – because that’s how goals are scored/prevented and games are won in the NHL.

    One-and-done perimeter skill play works in junior and in 3 on 3.

  6. Water Fire says:

    What would you do for a million dollar US paycheck?

    Me, I’d do what the coach asked as best I could.

  7. wheatnoil says:

    I feel like McLellan was thinking, “What the hell did I sign up for here?”

    It’s amazing how not complicated this is. Get more D. You don’t even have to get a PK Subban. Just legitimate Top 4 D. Stop giving them away.

    Klefbom, Sekera, and maybe Davidson.

    Now add 3 more.

  8. HugThePost says:

    It’s not just Shultz; the whole team has accepted that it is normal for the last half of the season to be a death March to the end.

    I was at a game recently, and it is not just 19 who the fans have turned on; it is all of the other precious baubles the team has collected outside of McD.

    Let’s face it, the Hall cluster has grown used to losing and failing and they don’t know who to listen to anymore. Can’t blame them. The team right now does not even play as a team–they skate around and do their fancy things and if they don’t work, the shoulders are shrugged and they shuffle off, stage right. It is like watching a football team that cannot defend, cannot run the ball or get first downs, all they do is try long bombs. When once in a blue moon it works, it is all exciting and everyone is happy, but the other 99% of the time one sits there and wonders what exactly they are trying to accomplish.

    Sorry for being so negative, but 10 years of this will do that to a fan. It is going to take something extraordinary to turn this team into a team with the right temperment and attitude to get wins. I would not bet that Chia and crew can do it—I do not doubt they will try, but I also do not underestimate the magnitude of the collossal shitshow they inherited from the BOTB.

  9. stevezie says:

    I mentioned it in the last thread, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard a coach say he was playing players to showcase them, and he couldn’t wait to bench these asshles if they’re here after the deadline.

    Those weren’t his exact words, but that’s what he said.

  10. Snowman says:

    leadfarmer:
    I dont like Todd Mclellan hammering his style into this roster.It obviously doesnt fit and will not fit without significant change.So why not alter your style to the roster you have.He hammered his style into San Jose and look they are getting better results playing someone elses system.I got a feeling he will be sent packing before we make the playoffs

    He was brought in here because of the style of game he plays and how successful it was. If you hire the coach and the GM and they like a certain style of play it doesn’t make sense to make the coach who you hired because of his success change his style to better suit the failed style of the players who are here.

    Changes to the complexion and style of player should have been expected and after exactly one lifetime of last place hockey I can’t see a single reason why people should be worried about it.

    What’s the worst that can happen? You finish last? Ha.

    Also I don’t believe for one second Chia and Maclellan are going to sacrifice skill. Both their former teams had plenty of skill. See no reason to think that their current team will result in different thinking.

  11. Mike Wazowski says:

    I’ve never been one to boo a player on the team I cheer for because it seems counter-productive. I want every member of the Oilers to succeed because I want the Oilers to succeed. That being said, Schultz has never put it together here and I wish him good luck on another team. I see a lot of comments similar to the one below:

    “They sent Jeff Petry away, you know, partly because of their belief in Justin Schultz. In life, there are hits, and there are misses. Several days travel after ‘misses’ comes the guy who decided to flush Petry and retain Schultz. The mind literally boggles.”

    The other part, that doesn’t get mentioned much, is Petry was also moved because of his contract demands. From what I understand he was looking for $6 million per. Ask Georges Laraque what he thinks of Petry’s performance this year.

  12. meanashell11 says:

    I look at the Oiler PP and think wtf, how can they not gain the zone. Then I look at Ott PP and watch that pass down the right side blue to blue from Karlsson to the forward in full flight…. that is how to gain the zone. We do not have that D man that can make that pass.

    We wait

  13. Melman says:

    Good morning and a quick shout out to the LTites on yesterday’s Stones/music chatter. Dusted off some oldies yesterday and this morning and have been enjoying the musical ride.

  14. SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo! says:

    The last week has been the toughest of the season. Just like the year before and the year before that. It’s that last gasp where after a good effort or two the will to fight slowly dies as the losses pile up. Last nights game finished the season off for this fan, I’ll still watch on occasion but it’s over now.

    Injuries have been a bugger but the list of self inflicted wounds from GM to coaches and to players is beyond gauling this year.

    I’m committed to the abyss now, blow it up, send whoever out of town that you see fit gents. You won’t modify your system to the roster so mine as well take a meat cleaver to it. Theoretically things can’t get worse so why not give it a go. It’ll be sad to seem sme faces leave (Eberle mainly for me) but to anyone else especially those bubble types (the Yaks, Schultz’s and whoever else fits that mould) best of luck somewhere else but the train has left and everyone us been waiting too long for guys to turn the corner

  15. Snowman says:

    Mike Wazowski,

    Actually someone pretty credible reported not to long ago (might’ve been Stauffer actually) that they could have gotten Petry done around $5M.

    Also Laraque is not exactly a great hockey mind so not sure why you’d put much weight into that opinion.

  16. Water Fire says:

    I don’t buy into the losing culture thing. It’s about what McLellan said, uncoachable players.

    They do the same things wrong game in and out. The difference in players is between the ears, they are all ‘skiiled’ athletes to be playing at this level.

    Some guys have a certain inertia they can’t overcome. Youth is an excuse, but every mistake should be backed up by a sign of growth.

    There is the unkind phrase about a ten cent head. Half the roster might not add up to a dollar.

  17. OilClog says:

    leadfarmer:
    I dont like Todd Mclellan hammering his style into this roster.It obviously doesnt fit and will not fit without significant change.So why not alter your style to the roster you have.He hammered his style into San Jose and look they are getting better results playing someone elses system.I got a feeling he will be sent packing before we make the playoffs

    you should get your feelings checked, they’re sick and delusional.

    I don’t care who the players are anymore, I see a coach with a winning track record, and a roster full of shit.

    You can’t have systems when you have 1.5 defenders, when you need 6!

    You can’t set up systems when your defenders ring it around the board, play 3 rookies, a Jultz, and a Fayne.

    You can’t ask your players to trust the system when they don’t trust eachother, when they don’t play for eachother, when all they’re trying to do is not be involved in the incoming misplay.

    Todds Sharks were a top of a league team for nearly a decade, repeated game 7 loses will do what they do, but Todds Sharks would eat this years edition alive. He had Thornton make how many guys careers?

  18. DRFNsuperstar says:

    I like this line…a lot, “were more impressed by Jason Smith last night. That’s Oilers fans in a nutshell, right there.”

    Maybe we don’t deserve an “NHL Team” anymore. Maybe next year the Oilers are the Seattle Alternative Energies, maybe just maybe the fans here would prefer a rough and tumble team in the AHL pacific division the Edmonton Biofuels.

    But seriously if we just assembled the teams that got knocked out first round by Dallas every year and just added Mcdavid would we win some cups? I’d take Mcdavid and Mclellan with a new team of 24-29 year old proven NHL players next year

  19. russ99 says:

    Chiarelli and McLellan were brought in here to win. Both come from winning organizations with a winning track record.

    As much as I enjoy typical firewagon Oilers hockey, I enjoy winning more.

    I think many of our skill players can be successful in a Chiarelli/McLellan system, but we have to move away from those who don’t, and bring in players who may not seem suited to our usual ways of thinking to accomplish this.

    I also think we need to move away from MacT’s 80’s Oiler ideals such as three scoring lines and a defensemen corps of all puck movers to accomplish this.

    Way, way past time for many Oiler players to grow a pair, evolve or be gone.

  20. Mike Wazowski says:

    Snowman,

    Even $5 million seems pretty high for what Petry has brought the Habs this year. I put weight in Laraques comments because he has played in the NHL and watches the Habs on a regular basis.

  21. verite says:

    Time for real truth telling here.
    Way over due.
    As I have consistently said since last August this debacle , the debacle of 2015-16, is entirely attributable to Peter Chiarelli.
    Even his insulting press conference of yesterday belies a mindset more indifferent to this outcome and his own accountability for it.
    Now, he has on his hands a genuine meltdown. Some decent hockey players are going to be hurt perhaps forever for his willful indifference to actually caring about salvaging this season.

    But lets all recognize that what he has done his year with Justin Schultz is the greatest insult to OIler fanbase. ( Some want to rationalize that he inherited Ference and NIkitn, I don’t give him any pass for not dealing them last summer ) With Schultz, he had the chance to walk away from him last summer or trade him. But he obviously did not do the work himself to see what a non-defenseman he is. Literally, he could have improved this teams record entirely by deleting him from the roster before the season started. Any OIler fan who watched Schultz play for the past 4 seasons knew that he is a cancer on the team. Endless at bats even as the same mistakes are relentlessly and indifferently made. But worst of all to foist him over the last 3 months on the Oiler fan base in a year that was to be about improvement and credibility is simply too much to bear.

    The other great failure of Chiarelli was to have nothing , underscore nothing, during the year to try to salvage the season. MacDavid goes donw, no center brought in. Klefbom , the forever injured Klefbom, goes down , no effort to find a functional defenseman to stabilize the team. Night after forlorn night , putting Letestu, Schultz and Hendricks on the ice to show us thier failings as if this was ever going to fool any other team.

    What Chiarelli is presiding over is the worst possible circumstance. An organization cannot succeed at anything if their is no confidence in leadership. If he has the mandate he says he has then he should have used it 8 months ago, even 3 months ago.

    For him to selfishly play out the string til the last hours of the trading deadline as his team’s will to win dies in front of him should be enough to have him fired this morning.

    But the worst indictment was obviously his insistence that Schultz must play. There is no way a rational GM would have put him on the ice over the last 3 months. How do others on this team feel when wretched indifferent play is rewarded, night after night.

    Perhaps Chiarelli and Schultz are fellow travellers, Edmonton is place to endure, take the money and run. The joke is on the fans who pay real money , and I get paid regardless.

    At this point, I’m convinced Chiarelli will make things worse over the next weeks and months. The time to reconstruct this team by deconstructing it was last summer.
    He willfully lost that chance by taking the easy way out.

  22. verite says:

    Snowman,

    He deserves worse.
    Name one thing he has done for this team?
    Watch the games!

  23. sunnyways says:

    Very interesting and nuanced post, LT, given the vitriol and pent up anger among fans. I didn’t interpret the Chia presser as “too calm” — it was pretty clear to me that he had enough and big names are going out of town. I’m not sure if tone matters as much here, but so it goes for the lowly fan in need of consolation.

    Most curious is somehow the identification of Todd in the current mess. Perhaps this is a reach, but I saw a proud, smart hockey man yesterday, trying to peek up from the biggest shithole he has ever got into. I sense some genuine embarrassment as well. Tough.

    What is clear is that Chia is less likely to take the approach often advocated on this blog and preferred by prior GMs. That is, he’s less likely to take a rifle and pick off the problems and more likely to take a shotgun and make sure that the bads are rooted out.

  24. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    sunnyways,

    That third goal broke something in TMac. His reaction on the bench spoke volumes.

  25. Snowman says:

    verite:
    Snowman,

    He deserves worse.
    Name one thing he has done for this team?
    Watch the games!

    I don’t care what you think of the player.He’s been bad. I said so myself. I’m not in any way defending Justin Schultz the player.

    If you are a decent human being you would have a problem with subjecting a young man to that kind of abuse. What is the point? Does it help the team? No. Does it help the organization gain respect of free agents? No, I imagine the home crowd booing their own players for 20 games isn’t a good selling feature.

    There is no justification for keeping Schultz around anymore.

  26. Mike Wazowski says:

    verite,

    Seriously, do you copy and paste your comments?? Bringing your schtick here from ON has already gotten old. At least you stopped writing in all caps.

  27. verite says:

    Snowman,

    No one wants sadism.
    Your point only undescores the abject failure of Chiarelli.
    All this was known for past years about Schultz and yet he was kept , instead of being flushed out last summer.
    One can only hope that Chiarelli takes those boos as much for him as Schultz himself.
    No competent GM could have the delusions regarding Shcultz that MacTavish and Chiarelli have displayed.

  28. Durag says:

    It’s sad that the worst two players on that draft board are Yakupov and Reinhart 🙁

  29. Caramel Batman says:

    There are two scenarios I see here.

    Scenario 1:

    The team trades Hall, RNH, and Eberle for good but not great players who play the game the “right” way and then never wins even though they have the best player in 30 years.

    Scenario 2:

    They don’t trade Hall, RNH, and Eberle, and still don’t win because they can’t find good but not great players who play the game the “right” way.

    What’s scenario 3?

    The hopes of this team the past two years rested on Yakupov and Schultz becoming useful players. The opposite happened + they lost Petry for nothing. Window closed. Three wasted bullets.

    What are the bullets for the next window? Nurse, Reinhart, lottery pick? Those are crappy bullets. I’m not sure this window is even going to open.

    The other thing to realize is that Ottawa is not a playoff team. They also have better players than the Oilers up and down the lineup. The Oilers absolutely have a talent deficit compared to other teams.

    Three of the four best players on the ice last night were Oilers (Hall, McDavid, Eberle) but Karlson is the best player in the league. After that it’s all Senators.

    Look at their forward lines:

    Hoffman/Turris/Stone
    Ryan/Zibanajed/Scrub
    Pageau/Smith/Chiasson (look unicorns!)
    Lazar/Paul/Neil (look 1st round pick on a fourth line–it’s allowed)

    That’s a team with better forwards than the Oilers. Plus they have 2 D better than anyone on the Oilers, one of whom should be the MVP of the league. And they aren’t making the playoffs either.

    The Oilers don’t have enough talent at the bottom end of the roster.

  30. digger50 says:

    Snowman “On the Schultz item, if there is a trade to be made you have to make it. If there isn’t one you have to send him down to the farm. Having him play here the rest of the way with boos raining down from the stands is pointless and idiotic. He hasn’t been good but I don’t think he deserves that and I don’t think the rest of the team should have to watch their friend suffer through it. It would be a mistake to allow it. A bad one”

    I could not agree more. Regardless of thoughts on Schultz the circus around him now is affecting the whole team. This may have been a part of McDavids comments that things will be better on the road. You could hear any trade potential for Shultz go “poof”. Now if he continues to play big minutes, perhaps any minutes, the coach should be walking away embarrassed. The ball is in your court now Todd, what are you going to do?

  31. Snowman says:

    Mike Wazowski,

    He’s got great possession numbers 5×5, plays top competition (very close to Pk and Markov), has 16 points and plays all situations.

    Laraque is an idiot. I don’t care if he played in the NHL. He says things to get attention on a regular basis and most of them are stupid.

    Edit: I shouldn’t say Laraque is an idiot. He isn’t. I’ve met him and he’s actually a very nice, articulate man who by all accounts is pretty intelligent. His “hockey opinions” are idiotic in my opinion (and by all accounts I am an idiot according to most of my friends) so take that with a grain of salt.

  32. Water Fire says:

    verite:
    Time for real truth telling here.
    Way over due.
    As I have consistently said since last August this debacle , the debacle of 2015-16, is entirely attributable to Peter Chiarelli.
    Even his insulting press conference of yesterday belies a mindset more indifferent to this outcome and his own accountability for it.
    Now, he has on his hands a genuine meltdown. Some decent hockey players are going to be hurt perhaps forever for his willful indifference to actually caring about salvaging this season.

    But lets all recognize that what he has done his year with Justin Schultz is the greatest insult to OIler fanbase.( Some want to rationalize that he inherited Ference and NIkitn, I don’t give him any pass for not dealing them last summer )With Schultz, he had the chance to walk away from him last summer or trade him. But he obviously did not do the work himself to see what a non-defenseman he is. Literally, he could have improved this teams record entirely by deleting him from the roster before the season started.Any OIler fan who watched Schultz play for the past 4 seasons knew that he is a cancer on the team. Endless at bats even as the same mistakes are relentlessly and indifferently made.But worst of all to foist him over the last 3 months on the Oiler fan base in a year that was to be about improvement and credibility is simply too much to bear.

    The other great failure of Chiarelli was to have nothing , underscore nothing, during the year to try to salvage the season. MacDavid goes donw, no center brought in. Klefbom , the forever injured Klefbom, goes down , no effort to find a functional defenseman to stabilize the team. Night after forlorn night , putting Letestu, Schultz and Hendricks on the ice to show us thier failings as if this was ever going to fool any other team.

    What Chiarelli is presiding over is the worst possible circumstance. An organization cannot succeed at anything if their is no confidence in leadership.If he has the mandate he says he has then he should have used it 8 months ago, even 3 months ago.

    For him to selfishly play out the string til the last hours of the trading deadline as his team’s will to win dies in front of him should be enough to have him fired this morning.

    But the worst indictment was obviously his insistence that Schultz must play. There is no way a rational GM would have put him on the ice over the last 3 months. How do others on this team feel when wretchedindifferent play is rewarded, night after night.

    Perhaps Chiarelli and Schultz are fellow travellers, Edmonton is place to endure, take the money and run. The joke is on the fans who pay real money , and I get paid regardless.

    At this point, I’m convinced Chiarelli will make things worse over the next weeks and months. The time to reconstruct this team by deconstructing it was last summer.
    He willfully lost that chance by taking the easy way out.

    It isn’t reasonable to make ‘absolute’ judgements on things without full and absolute information.

    We don’t know what Chiarelli has tried to do other than the well connected Friedman says he is very busy behind the scenes.

    That is why it takes time to judge a GM. He isn’t looking for players out of 6 billion + options. All of the best established player that can play in the NHL are in the NHL, so he has around 800 to choose from, assuming his 29 other competitors ‘want’ to make a fair deal that won’t hurt the Oilers.

    Trades are hard to do these days. This season was never a Stanley Cup winning season, so every effort to do ground work in that direction is the right decision.

    This isn’t amateur sports. A team must try to win at all costs every day and that involves cutting losses and making decisions for success in the future if it isn’t reasonably possible now. Just like a smart general, if this battle can’t be won lay ground work for the next and win the war.

  33. Primetime says:

    Most here agree that Hamonic would be an ideal addition to this team…rumor has it that Snow wants a similar D-man back…say a mid 20’s, R handed minute muncher.

    You know who may have fit that bill? Jeff Petry, signed to a reasonable longterm contract in either 2012 or 2014. Instead, we were gifted Jultz.

    Argue if we would be better off with keeping Petry over Hamonic, or if it would have taken some extra pieces + Petry for Hamonic, However, trading Petry + pieces would not require us to send an Eberle/RNH for him. Instead we are now about to let Jultz walk for virtually no return and we will have NEITHER Petry or Hamonic.

    Thanks Tambo/MacT…the gift that keeps on giving.

  34. kinger_OIL says:

    – Great write-up LT!

    – The last time this team was run and coached by people with experience was Slats, and that was after learning on the job, and fortunate that he was able to learn on the job in the Golden Era

    – Since then, no GM hired by the OIL, had been a GM before (or after leaving!)

    – They have never had a coach post-Sather/Muckler with a current track record of being a good NHL head-coach (Renney probably the closest, Quinn was 10 years past his prime)

    – If you don’t believe that Chia/McL don’t have the relevant experience and ability to turn this around, then you need to stop following the OIL

    – They have three slots to make it happen: this deadline, this off-season and 2017 trade deadline

  35. Caramel Batman says:

    It also should be repeated that the Oilers outchanced the Senators at even strength.

    That said, it wasn’t a great game. And the reason is the same: D who play off the glass and out and don’t pinch enough or effectively enough.

    Those two things are almost the whole game at even strength. Control exits past the blue line and hard pinchs to keep the puck in. I kind of think the dump and chase stuff is overblown. Everyone dumps and chases most of the time and everyone picks their spots.

  36. commonfan14 says:

    The real shame of all this is that they didn’t let Tambellini finish executing his master plan.

  37. Mike Wazowski says:

    Snowman,

    I’m glad to see that you edited your comment.

    I get the value of stats but also like to back those up with visuals as well. When someone (ie Laraque) watches the Habs and Petry on a regular basis and states that he hasn’t been good, doesn’t cover well and doesn’t hit it is telling. 19 points this far into the season isn’t a great number. It’s OK but not great.

    Same went for Gilbert. I watched him too often look unwilling to make the difficult defensive play to take his stats on face value. I hated watching him wave his stick at passes hoping he’d knock them down instead of laying out to block the pass or make it much more difficult to make a play around him.

  38. KSC10032 says:

    IMO — last night’s utilization of Schultz WAS NOT showcasing him.

    I believe that McLellan actual intention– instead — was to hang him out there to dry, essentially underlining just how little improvement #19 has show over four NHL seasons. Essentially, a punishment detail in a game McLellan knew the Oilers would lose, in the same way they’ve lost so many in recent years.

    Its entirely understandable. The level of frustration arising from the sheer “uncoachability” of some of this group of players has to be especially grating on a veteran coach who has operated in successful environments throughout his career.

    Schultz is certainly not the only offender, merely the poster boy

  39. stush18 says:

    Please for the sake of everyone’s sanity.

    No one engage verdud.

    He refuses to actually engage in conversation

    Let’s not derail the threads please

  40. Mike Wazowski says:

    Primetime,

    I know that the Isles say that they want equal value back ie “a mid 20’s, R handed minute muncher”. I don’t think they’re going to get it. His trading partners are extremely limited and I can’t picture many GMs who would trade someone they’re happy with to help out a rival GM move a player who doesn’t want to be on the island any longer.

    Wishful thinking would be Trouba from WPG and Hamonic being added to the Oil over the next several months. However, Trouba is still on the young side of what I’d like added to this team… namely d-men in the 25-27 y/o range.

  41. Water Fire says:

    Place and chase is about repeatability. It can’t be stopped. In the playoffs teams can make changes to disrupt systems because of playing the same team over a series.

    Playoff hockey the further it gets comes down to who will work the hardest and make the fewest mistakes. The refs put the whistles away, so teams clog the neutral zone and stack the blueline.

    Dump, chase, cycle. It’s what McLellan and Chia want and the Oilers suck at.

  42. Mike Wazowski says:

    stush18,

    Good point.

  43. verite says:

    Water Fire,

    10 years of that rationalization is unbearable.

    Other teams made changes to improve themselves. The Oilers have done nothing.
    Utterly nothing but get worse.

    That is undeniable since Chiarelli acquired Sekera. Not one move that has made this team materially better.

  44. WillyMayhem says:

    “Is his face red because he is angry or because he’s embarrassed” . My 11 year old son as we watched to post game with TMac. Here come the Oilers??

  45. verite says:

    kinger_OIL,

    I believe in the OIlers, just not Chiarelli.
    But being right for the last 8 months is no solace.
    Katz needs another intervention.

  46. Mattaklap says:

    Caramel Batman:
    It also should be repeated that the Oilers outchanced the Senators at even strength.

    That said, it wasn’t a great game.And the reason is the same:D who play off the glass and out and don’t pinch enough or effectively enough.

    Those two things are almost the whole game at even strength.Control exits past the blue line and hard pinchs to keep the puck in.I kind of think the dump and chase stuff is overblown.Everyone dumps and chases most of the time and everyone picks their spots.

    I hear you man. Having Karlsson breezing through those items on the other side as a foil for Oilers’ defense was perfect. I may watch more Senators’ games in the future just to watch the Swede perform.

  47. flyfish1168 says:

    Lets remember PC has a very difficult job. I believe there is only one player that can get full value on this team in any trade as long as he doesn’t ask to be traded. When you are losing like we have been no one is going to pay you much for any player.

    We all know our forwards are worth more than any GM are willing to give. Our forwards would be much better on any team with a competent D corp.

    When this team turns around some of the best trades will be the ones that wasn’t made. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

  48. Woodguy says:

    I think this means an airlift of role players prepared to place and chase, forecheck, cover and battle—at the cost of skill.

    I’m not entirely sure that will be true.

    Three reasons:

    1) Chiarelli from his presser:

    “I like our skill”.

    I don’t think he’s dumb and he recognizes who can play the way he wants and who can’t. He is not going to flush someone simply based on size (which is why I think RNH stays and it would take a very, very good player coming back to move him)

    2) He won a Cup with these forwards who scored over 1.50pts/60 5v5:

    KREJCI, DAVID 2.53
    HORTON, NATHAN 2.35
    LUCIC, MILAN 2.3
    BERGERON, PATRICE 2.17
    MARCHAND, BRAD 2.00
    PAILLE, DANIEL 1.69
    RECCHI, MARK 1.65
    RYDER, MICHAEL 1.64

    There is certainly size in that line up, but not exclusively size.

    Among the size that is there is some pretty considerable skill, esp. w/ Horton and Lucic.

    Here’s Horton & Lucic’s career 5v5 pts/60:

    Horton:
    2007-2008 Season 2.15
    2008-2009 Season 1.79
    2009-2010 Season 2.58
    2010-2011 Season 2.48
    2011-2012 Season 2.40
    2012-2013 Season 1.95
    2013-2014 Season 1.81

    Lucic:
    2007-2008 Season 1.70
    2008-2009 Season 2.21
    2009-2010 Season 1.68
    2010-2011 Season 2.64
    2011-2012 Season 2.56
    2012-2013 Season 2.22
    2013-2014 Season 2.35
    2014-2015 Season 1.81
    2015-2016 Season 2.09

    For comparison sake:

    Eberle:
    JORDANEBERLE 1.79
    JORDANEBERLE 3.08
    JORDANEBERLE 2.31
    JORDANEBERLE 2.03
    JORDANEBERLE 1.97
    JORDANEBERLE 1.58

    I think Chiarelli is astute enough to know he needs to add size that can score, his history shows that.

    3) Probably most importantly he said this yesterday:

    “We’re a fast team. With the PROPER MOVES ON DEFENCE we become faster…..just the ability to move a puck or transport a puck in certain areas make you faster” (emphasis mine)

    He sees what we see.

    He knows that the key to more offense is puck movement from the back end.

    He knows that this is the most crucial deficit on the team.

    He’s not going to send out an Eberle and bring in Coke Machine, its just not what he has done in the past.

    SIze? Yes, but if you look at his history his SIZE players in the top 6 score well.

    I was more comforted by yesterday’s presser than anything else Chia has said all year.

    He gets it and I hope like hell that he’s also evaluated the men giving him advice too.

  49. digger50 says:

    I also want to comment on coach McLellan. Not trying to diminish him, just observations.

    #1 When coming from a winning team and winning history it is much easier to say “just dig in, pull up your socks, change this losing culture” Now TMac does look busted and defeated – welcome to the Oilers. If he can times those feelings by 6 he may now be able to walk a mile in some players shoes and truly understand what they have been living. This will also be a character test for Todd.

    #2 Todd has a winning record but it is true he has been stubborn with his systems this year. Adaptability needs to be in his toolbox as well. Ego (I’ll fix these Oilers) can be an enemy. We draft players for their strengths, then ask them to play their weaknesses. Issue here is the team building (no balance) but also in deployment.
    We have witnessed more than a few players have excellent games when they first joined the Oilers, then be coached back into a restraining system. They were better when you let them run. Kassian goes back to the hash marks and will go no further! He stops and waives his stick, terrified to go further. Its bizarre. Yak is the same, terrified to point of ineffectiveness. So busy trying to be in the right spot all instinct is gone and he ends up lost. Letestu is not a good player yet he flourishes.

    Why no power play? Set plays? Other teams can do it, matter of fact make it look easy. Penalty kill is sooooo passive. If you let the other team control the puck, set up, have time, they will find a way to score. Again other teams that force the man, create pressure are more effective. If a dumb ass like me can see this, surely coaching can as well. Makes me scratch my head

    I still like McLellan. I still like the skill. I do not like the 30M in support players.

  50. Snowman says:

    Mike Wazowski,

    Gilbert has been bad. Petry has not. I watch a lot of Habs because I like watching PK play.

    I disagree with Laraque’s assessment of Petry but I’ve already said that. The stats back up how I see Petry when I watch. So we’ll just have to agree to disagree on this one.

  51. admiralmark says:

    This is incredibly disheartening and I’ll tell you why. The ability of this team to assess D men has been appalling. Be It MacT, Howson, Lowe, Pro Scouts.. you name it. Nikitin/Ference/Petry… Failure.

    Now with Chiarelli coming on board the handling of Schultz has been equally craptastic. How a group of so called professionals with Pro experience continue to push Schultz time and time again with Primo ice time is completely baffling. I have had the book on Schultz completely covered for 2 years now. And could of advised better then this bunch of idiots. IF you assume the conclusion is he is not capable of handling the tough assignments and you wish to pump him for an asset back… then you DO NOT play him top pairing min’s.

    Please someone help me understand how sending Schultz to the AHL and giving him top pair min’s down there wouldnt of achieved better results? Chiarelli failed completely in giving this team a more capable D. And has bungled the gameplan with an ineffective Schultz. I’m not writing Chia off… But damn I was hoping we’d see better decisions in regards to D with Chiarelli entering the picture. So far so bad.

  52. verite says:

    stush18,

    What have I said that ins’t true.
    Some have faith still in Chiarelli, despite no eviidence to support it based on how this season has unfolded.
    Truth.

  53. Dr. Taboggan says:

    I do not think it is fair to say that Tmac’s system is not a fit for the Oilers roster. I think the primary problem is that half the roster, per usual, are not NHL players and therefore not capable of playing any system at the NHL level.

    Caramel always mentions it but the Oilers, especially the D, are awful at passing. How can Tmac reasonably be expected to adapt his system when his D are incapable of making simple 10ft. passes.

  54. sliderule says:

    I don’t see Tmac coaching a system much different than rest of NHL.

    The oilers play better when they get up and other team presses and gives up two on ones .

    Unfortunately they don’t get up to often so hey face a wall at blue line and they can’t carry through it.

    They try to shoot it in but they are often to weak to retrieve.

    Bad drafting has given us the first overalls but our mix is poor .

  55. Ducey says:

    Not sure how people think the Oilers are supposed to be winning with two rookie C’s, a LW at C, and three rookies on D.

    Think about it.

    I don’t post much anymore as I generally disagree with the themes repeated around here. One of them is the MOAR BIGGAR b.s. Despite many years of the Oilers being out competed, people still believe the Oilers can be built around just speed and skill. The problem is that speed and skill don’t work very well when you don’t have the puck. The easiest way to stop someone is to drill them. Watching my first game of the season last night at Rexall reminded me of how soft the Oilers play. The opposition has no fear of anyone coming up the middle or going hard into the corners and knocking them silly. Other teams regularly go into areas that should result in some sort of physicality (say down the boards in the neutral zone) and just get a few waves of the stick from some Oiler. Occasionally the Oilers break out a shove or bear hug. Most of the time the Oiler checker is in the general vicinity, rather than in someone’s grill.

    The Oilers have no ability to grind another team down. They sometimes get a cycle going but it usually gets shut down when the other team gets physical. They can’t hold a lead, because they can’t check.

    They need to get stronger, tougher (not fighting but physical play) and more aggressive. If you can’t see this you don’t know what you are talking about. It doesn’t have to come at the cost of Hall, Leon, Eberle, Connor, Pouliot, Nuge. It likely will result in the replacement of Purcell, Lander, Korpse, Schultz and maybe Yak.

    I say maybe Yak as he has been better of late. He is getting his shots, but brother, he cannot pick ’em the way Eberle can.

    I liked Oesterle’s game last night too.

    Hopefully they send down Nurse, and bring up Reinhart or Musil.

    Tryouts for next year have started.

  56. Centre of attention says:

    The “maybe we get rid of some players” quote struck me as rock bottom for Todd.

    When was the last time a coach actually said those words? I’ve seen a lot of coaches come threw and none have been as blunt as Todd.

  57. G Money says:

    wheatnoil: It’s amazing how not complicated this is. Get more D. You don’t even have to get a PK Subban. Just legitimate Top 4 D. Stop giving them away.

    OilClog: You can’t have systems when you have 1.5 defenders, when you need 6!
    You can’t set up systems when your defenders ring it around the board, play 3 rookies, a Jultz, and a Fayne.

    Worrying about the rest – TMc’s systems, perimeter forwards, Chia’s mustache, etc. – is succumbing to noise.

    Engine is missing 4 of 6 cylinders, and one of the remaining two cylinders is broken. Doesn’t help much to be worrying about whether the tires are the right brand, or whether the drivers ‘style’ matches the car.

    Fix the goddamn engine.

  58. vinotintazo says:

    Water Fire: Dump, chase, cycle. It’s what McLellan and Chia want and the Oilers suck at.

    yeah, this roster is not working for McLellan’s system.

  59. G Money says:

    Dr. Taboggan: I do not think it is fair to say that Tmac’s system is not a fit for the Oilers roster. I think the primary problem is that half the roster, per usual, are not NHL players and therefore not capable of playing any system at the NHL level.

    sliderule: I don’t see Tmac coaching a system much different than rest of NHL.

    Yup.

  60. Water Fire says:

    verite:
    Water Fire,

    10 years of that rationalization is unbearable.

    Other teams made changes to improve themselves.The Oilers have done nothing.
    Utterly nothing but get worse.

    That is undeniable since Chiarelli acquired Sekera. Not one move that has made this team materially better.

    You’re right about ten years, but you can’t pin them all on Chiarelli, he wasn’t there. It’s why Katz hired Nicholson. They kept changing coaches and every change bought grace time, like Chia has now because there hasn’t been enough time to judge what he’s done.

    However changing the boss means the musical chairs game is over. If in three years they suck Chiarelli and McLellan will be gone. In the real world that’s as fast as it gets if you’re acting reasonably.

    Chia can’t just ‘get’ the players he wants. He tried hard for Hamilton, didn’t happen. He has to find deals with willing partners, he can’t coerce them. He has a history of being able to make deals which is good, and different than MacT who made deals in his head while blabbing his strategy to the media and ensuring no good deal could actually happen.

  61. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    Some players are coach killers. It must be a true challenge to logic, character, wisdom and empathy for fellow players playing their guts out to have to suit up 19 for potential trade. Asset management and the biz of hockey….sometimes I don’t know about the pureness of sport anymore. I think I can surmise that Mclellan’s comments affirm a buyers market (not a sellers market) for 19.

  62. linkfromhyrule says:

    stush18:
    Please for the sake of everyone’s sanity.

    No one engage verdud.

    He refuses to actually engage in conversation

    Let’s not derail the threads please

    +1

  63. Jeremy says:

    I am going to Oilers vs Sabres on Mar 1, I really hope that 19 is not in the line up. Not to pile on the guy but I have seen enough and will have to gouge out my eyeballs out with a rusty corkscrew if I have to sit through a game against another bottom feeding team that he gift wraps a victory for…

  64. Caribbeerman says:

    While I understand that injuries have affected the team badly as well as the coach and GM wanting to see a healthy roster play together before making changes to the roster, I am very disappointed that Oiler Management would take so long to evaluate the roster and basically accept the status quo. I think most competent management types (and the average fan) could have predicted the ultimate failure of the team given the lack of quality defensemen. This in turn puts more pressure on the forwards as well as it makes the goalie look bad. Bottom line is that more should and could have been done to address this from Peter Chiarelli.

  65. John Chambers says:

    Centre of attention:
    The “maybe we get rid of some players” quote struck me as rock bottom for Todd.

    When was the last time a coach actually said those words? I’ve seen a lot of coaches come threw and none have been as blunt as Todd.

    Fact is, they haven’t gotten rid of those players!

    Maybe Eakins would still be here if they made the right call on Petry vs Schultz two years ago at this time.

    Todd has some job security which affords him the ability to call it as he sees it. Undoubtedly his boss Peter feels the exact same way.

  66. Really? says:

    Until the Oilers get stronger physically any dreams of playing well in the playoffs is a pipe dream. This team, as currently built, would be chewed up and spit out by virtually every playoff contender.

    I fully support the comments made by both Chiarelli and the Toddler yesterday.

  67. delooper says:

    Why do they keep on playing Schultz? If you have to put him on the roster, why not keep him at 3 minutes a game?

    I don’t understand why McLellan plays a player he knows to be ineffective **so much**. Bring up some other bodies from the farm team. If the GM won’t waive Schultz, why not minimize him? Healthy scratch him. But why let him do so much damage?

    All the talk about Schultz made sense in the lockout season when he was in the AHL. Since then it’s been pretty confusing.

  68. digger50 says:

    G Money:
    Worrying about the rest – TMc’s systems, perimeter forwards, Chia’s mustache, etc. – is succumbing to noise.

    Engine is missing 4 of 6 cylinders, and one of the remaining two cylinders is broken.Doesn’t help much to be worrying about whether the tires are the right brand, or whether the drivers ‘style’ matches the car.

    Fix the goddamn engine.

    To be fair, Chia’s mustache should be addressed as well.

  69. admiralmark says:

    Woodguy:

    He gets it and I hope like hell that he’s also evaluated the men giving him advice too.

    Honestly WG this is the most concerning here. I don’t see signs that he is not listening and heeding the advice given to him so far this season. I also fear the quality of advice that’s about to be given to him via pros scouts as well. No reason whatsoever from my vantage point to trust this lot.

  70. sunnyways says:

    To all those pointing to Todd’s system as part of the problem. Stop. Please. It’s proven to be successful, which is more than anything else this oilers team has going for it. It’s not an avenue worth going down in terms of laying blame. Give him what he wants, and take some of these players away.

  71. John Chambers says:

    flyfish1168:
    Lets remember PC has a very difficult job. I believe there is only one player that can get full value on this team in any trade as long as he doesn’t ask to be traded. When you are losing like we have been no one is going to pay you much for any player.

    We all know our forwards are worth more than any GM are willing to give. Our forwards would be much better on any team with a competent D corp.

    When this team turns around some of the best trades will be the ones that wasn’t made. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

    Yes. 100%.

    I’m excited to see things shaken up and a new energy brought to the team. But you’re right – a lot of our future success will be determined by who stays, far more than by who goes.

  72. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    vinotintazo: yeah, this roster is not working for McLellan’s system.

    Don’t take this as an attack on you personally, I’ve seen lots of discussion of the system.

    We have no evidence that this roster works for any system. We have lots of evidence to suggest it doesn’t work under multiple systems. I think if we were a good not great team we’d be OK talking about the system.

    We’re in dead last, and it’s not close. Buffalo, who was historically bad last year, who has a terrible lineup, who have lost lots of man games to injury from important players, are a much better team than we are. And no one should blame it on being in the West, the gap isn’t that wide.

  73. John Chambers says:

    delooper:
    Why do they keep on playing Schultz?If you have to put him on the roster, why not keep him at 3 minutes a game?

    I don’t understand why McLellan plays a player he knows to be ineffective **so much**.Bring up some other bodies from the farm team.If the GM won’t waive Schultz, why not minimize him?Healthy scratch him.But why let him do so much damage?

    All the talk about Schultz made sense in the lockout season when he was in the AHL.Since then it’s been pretty confusing.

    Agree with you here. Schultz was always best served as a guy who can play 15 mins / night alongside a strong, reliable defender.

    That he makes $4M / season and that the defensive depth in front of him is poor has caused coaches to attempt to play him higher up in the lineup. This is where management has failed Justin Schultz, but my guess is that there’s an entitlement / attitude problem from #19 which isn’t helping.

  74. G Money says:

    Most of you will be too young to remember this, but the biggest difference between the cup-losing 80s Oilers and the cup-winning 80s Oilers is that the latter swallowed their pride (easier to do after being swept in the Cup Final) and learned to play the dump and chase effectively.

    The idea that you need to be a particular player type to play place and chase is garbage.

    You better know (or learn) how to place and chase if you want to be an NHL player.

  75. vinotintazo says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!: Don’t take this as an attack on you personally, I’ve seen lots of discussion of the system.

    We have no evidence that this roster works for any system.We have lots of evidence to suggest it doesn’t work under multiple systems. I think if we were a good not great team we’d be OK talking about the system.

    We’re in dead last, and it’s not close.Buffalo, who was historically bad last year, who has a terrible lineup, who have lost lots of man games to injury from important players, are a much better team than we are.And no one should blame it on being in the West, the gap isn’t that wide.

    Agree, to me it seems we can only score on the rush, and our PP is not great, so McLellan’s Teams were good at everything, PP, PK, Cycle, Rush.

    Its easy to beat the Oil, just dont let them get speed and they are done.

    the other thing I’ve noticed, specially lately, any team can cycle against us, we just cannot stop it, its painfull.

  76. Fog of Warts says:

    This is precisely why I renamed myself Fog of Warts. We still haven’t seen the current team on the ice at the same time.

    Apart from Jultz, whose status here couldn’t be more clear if he was Wile E. Coyote holding a match to a fuse, we’re sitting here trying to judge a roster where our 1A and 1B centers have less than two whole professional seasons between them, playing in front of a defense that resembles a Coyote-clan Appalachian castle chalet family reunion where the less Wile members of the loyal tan-and-brown clan have programmed a three-day snake handling no-sleep-allowed bad-luck exorcism. [*][**]

    ———

    [*] Running out of hyperbole.

    [**] Also running out of small signs.

  77. mustang says:

    leadfarmer:
    I dont like Todd Mclellan hammering his style into this roster.It obviously doesnt fit and will not fit without significant change.So why not alter your style to the roster you have.He hammered his style into San Jose and look they are getting better results playing someone elses system.I got a feeling he will be sent packing before we make the playoffs

    Here’s the problem, it’s not TMac’s style of coaching, there is no system that works with this group of players, there just isn’t. This has been proven over and over again coach after coach.They don’t know how to play NHL hockey and they seem to refuse to learn or just don’t have the desire to compete at the level they need to compete at. Some can’t learn and are not good enough and some just don’t have the balls to compete hard enough. Some do know and do get it but don’t bring it all the time. It’s sad when AHL call ups or first year players tend to be your best.

  78. russ99 says:

    Wow, the revisionist history has really gone off course here.

    1) There was never any decision between keeping Petry and keeping Schultz. Petry didn’t want to re-sign to a long term deal two years ago because of management and Eakins. Due to MacT’s indecisiveness, he gave him a 1 year deal and he waited until the last minute to minimize the return of a player we weren’t going to keep. Schultz had three RFA years at that point and MacT characteristically kicked the decision down the road and caved when he had leverage in contract talks, just like he did with Gagner.

    2) How come everyone was OK with giving Schultz another chance with a new coach and a new system and now retroactively, we decide he should have been dumped before? He didn’t work out, its time to move on, but there’s no reason to be indignant about giving him that chance to fail in a year when playoffs were a pipe dream, especially considering the amount of reshifting we had to do due to injury.

  79. G Money says:

    Woodguy,

    I hope your interpretation is true.

    What worries me is the ‘we need to get bigger’ mantra, which was kind of the closing statement. That’s part of the history of why the team is as shitty as it is, passing over skill for coke machines. Hopefully that does mean “… with no significant decline in skill.”

    Easier said than done, though.

    Give the Oilers Tyler Spurgeon and Erik Karlsson and this team is smaller … and VASTLY better.

  80. Klima's_Bucket says:

    The most frustrating part of the McLellan post game is still the fact that the guys asking Todd the questions don’t have a mic.

    Sure the Oilers on ice product has been pure shit for almost a decade but the lack of a microphone problem goes back to the glory years.

    This organization can fuck up anything.

  81. Alpine says:

    i can’t say I have an issue w/ McLellan’s system, as the players that actually have the talent to succeed are doing so. The failures (Korpikoski, Schultz, Etc) are doing so because for the most part we expected them to.This isn’t like Eakins first year where guys like Hall were around 44 CF%. Guys like Davidson are blossoming in this system.

    Did people expect our bottom six to be much more than it is, taking d-zone starts and losing the battle by expected amounts? The worst offenders are around 44-45CF% (Score-adj), with Korpse at 41%(!). Replace Hendricks (old), and Korpse (bad), and replace them with Khaira and someone moderately competent and those numbers probably go up. The top two lines are at around 50 or above, with the exception of Yak (bottom 6 effect) and RNH (illness?). Even Yak has improved from previous years!

    Most if not all our good players are right around their career averages offense-wise and possession-wise. Its the bottom of the roster failures mostly killing this team. This also unfortunately includes a certain rookie defensemen who should be in the AHL at this point.

    Add a D or two, re-jig the 4th line a bit, try three scoring lines, and next year should be noticeably better.

  82. leadfarmer says:

    OilClog: you should get your feelings checked, they’re sick and delusional.

    I don’t care who the players are anymore, I see a coach with a winning track record, and a roster full of shit.

    You can’t have systems when you have 1.5 defenders, when you need 6!

    You can’t set up systems when your defenders ring it around the board, play 3 rookies, a Jultz, and a Fayne.

    You can’t ask your players to trust the system when they don’t trust eachother, when they don’t play for eachother, when all they’re trying to do is not be involved in the incoming misplay.

    Todds Sharks were a top of a league team for nearly a decade, repeated game 7 loses will do what they do, but Todds Sharks would eat this years edition alive. He had Thornton make how many guys careers?

    You know you can disagree with someone without being an absolute dink about it. Knowing this team well name one thing they don’t do well and havent for 10 years. Dump and chase !!! The are not good at the boards, sealing the boards, or doing anything near the boards. So why play a system that is centered around your weaknesses.

  83. verite says:

    russ99,

    Some of us wanted him flushed out last summer.
    That was a big an error that Chiarelli has made as any.
    There was nothing in his play from last year that should have justified his being retatined.
    But this why GMs are paid money, To evaluate players and deal with them to maximize the interests of the team.

  84. frjohnk says:

    Pouzar,

    and you thought people went off the deep end yesterday!

    Might want to stay in your Jets themed bunker a little while longer.

  85. Centre of attention says:

    Sportsnet Stats ‏@SNstats · 1m1 minute ago

    #Flames have now lost 5 of their last 6 games, going 1-5-0 and getting outscored 24-16.

    Yeah but they have no chance of catching the Oilers.

  86. russ99 says:

    For me the whole dump/cycle vs. creative play idea doesn’t have to be an either or.

    The Blackhawks are what the Oilers should strive towards.

    They play creative hockey in the offensive zone, but yet all 5 players play well as a unit in all three zones and they can play a conservative game and even drop to mucking it up on the wall all day and wait for a mistake if they need to.

    They also excel at bringing in young players and finding roles they can handle.

    Can’t see any reason why the Oilers can’t do this too…

  87. frjohnk says:

    Alpine: Add a D or two, re-jig the 4th line a bit, try three scoring lines, and next year should be noticeably better.

    29th here we come.

    Fucking North Bitches.

    Rebuild Over

  88. mustang says:

    G Money:
    Yup.

    110% correct

  89. RMGS says:

    Woodguy: 2) He won a Cup with these forwards who scored over 1.50pts/60 5v5:
    KREJCI, DAVID 2.53
    HORTON, NATHAN 2.35
    LUCIC, MILAN 2.3
    BERGERON, PATRICE 2.17
    MARCHAND, BRAD 2.00
    PAILLE, DANIEL 1.69
    RECCHI, MARK 1.65
    RYDER, MICHAEL 1.64
    There is certainly size in that line up, but not exclusively size.

    Save for Michael Ryder (a good perimeter goal scorer), I see a group of skilled forwards more than willing to pay the price to go to the scoring areas, to battle, to cover, to play goddamn NHL hockey.

  90. mustang says:

    vinotintazo: yeah, this roster is not working for McLellan’s system.

    This roster doesn’t work for any system used in the NHL. Junior they would be great

  91. G Money says:

    HugThePost: It’s not just Shultz; the whole team has accepted that it is normal for the last half of the season to be a death March to the end.
    I was at a game recently, and it is not just 19 who the fans have turned on; it is all of the other precious baubles the team has collected outside of McD.
    Let’s face it, the Hall cluster has grown used to losing and failing and they don’t know who to listen to anymore. Can’t blame them.

    I wanted to quote this too, because there is both truth and also IMO a HUGE disservice to the players on the ice.

    Have you ever been on a project team where you knew that half your team just didn’t have the skills needed to deliver?

    But you went balls to the wall anyway, hoping against hope that sheer effort and force of would make up for it? But eventually, reality sinks in, and the death march begins.

    Ever tried to give 100% when you knew it was a death march? You go in every day planning on giving 100%, but every day by lunch time, reality has slapped you upside the head half a dozen times, and … hey, at least I can catch up on Lowetide.

    I just described every one of Taylor Hall’s seasons as an Oiler.

    For fucks sake, if you blame Taylor Hall for the problems on this team, you are an imbecile. Really. Just delete your internet accounts and stay home.

    You think those MemCup champions were a fluke? You think that gold medal is a random happenstance? You think “Mr. Clutch” Eberle is suddenly just a floater who doesn’t care enough to try to win?

    Fucking moronic.

    If you think Hall can continue to put this team on his back every night and carry the sadly deficient roster to the playoffs, as he did try to (and at times, succeeded) through the first half of the season, then you are expecting something out of him that no human being can be expected to do.

    He knows – far better than you or I – how hopelessly deficient the D is. He knows that a soft play, turnover, goal is just around the corner every time Schultz is on the ice. He knows. TMc knows.

    But they’re professionals, and Hall is now mature, and they say the right things and try to do the right things.

    But until the roster, and by that I mean the D and the bottom 6, NOT the top 6, is fixed, they’re pissing into a hurricane, and they know it.

    The biggest fear we should have is that
    a. the roster continues this hopeless structure until Hall finally cracks and demands a trade, and takes the rest of the skill players with him, or
    b. in a fit of all-too-common imbecility, Chia decides Hall really is the problem and trades him for cents on the dollar.

  92. DocFan says:

    As frustrated as I am, there has been progress. Last year, I felt dejected and didn’t want to watch hockey anymore in November. This year, almost March.
    That’s improvement in a very sad sort of way.

    I’d say the first 50 games of the year – I felt this team actually was competing. The issue was skill, not try. The last 10 games or so I see the same team as all of last year – they’ve lost any real desire to win (IMO).

    So yeah, this year sucks. Again. And Chiarelli promises to fix it and improve it. I hope and we wait.

  93. John Chambers says:

    russ99:
    Wow, the revisionist history has really gone off course here.

    1) There was never any decision between keeping Petry and keeping Schultz. Petry didn’t want to re-sign to a long term dealtwo years ago because of management and Eakins. Due to MacT’s indecisiveness, he gave him a 1 year deal and he waited until the last minute to minimize the return of a player we weren’t going to keep. Schultz had three RFA years at that point and MacT characteristically kicked the decision down the road and caved when he had leverage in contract talks, just like he did with Gagner.

    2) How come everyone was OK with giving Schultz another chance with a new coach and a new system and now retroactively, we decide he should have been dumped before? He didn’t work out, its time to move on, but there’s no reason to be indignant about giving him that chance to fail in a year when playoffs were a pipe dream, especially considering the amount of reshifting we had to do due to injury.

    Respectfully it’s not as simple as you describe it.

    1) Petry had just come off a 2-year bridge contract in the summer of 2014. This means an extension was possible from summer 2013 onward. Nobody in Oilers management touted Petry’s obvious skills or honoured him with a lucrative long-term extension offer (he could’ve been signed for well under $5M / season at that point), instead “challenging” him to play more physically and assertively with a 1-year contract. MacT was obviously lukewarm on his skills, wanting to mold the player into something he wasn’t as opposed to embracing the defensive acumen he did bring.

    The blogosphere, Tyler Dellow, and probably his own teammates recognized his value. Assholes like Spector as well as Lowe and MacT did not. They gave money to Andrew Ference, to Nikita Nikitin, and to Justin Schultz, when the priority should’ve been to lock up their best asset on defense in Jeff Petry.

    2) I thought giving Schultz another shot was a reasonable one, given his obvious offensive abilities demonstrated during the 12-13 lockout season. The optimal strategy (for those who have been painfully following this team) was to give him a lighter workload defensively and a defensively solid partner.

    Schultz took the opportunity and shit the bed. Again.

    With Purcell, Nikitin, Ference, etc coming off the books at the end of this season, and rookies and sophomores throughout the lineup needing major-league experience, this season was always going to be about development. Trying to elevate Schultz’s game was a reasonable way to solve a major problem (a right-shooting, quick-skating defenseman in his mid-20’s!), and if I had it my way he would’ve been paired with Klefbom or Sekara.

    Ultimately lack of depth has forced players to play above their skill level for, well, a decade. Schultz is an obvious casualty of this awful management practice, but he also demonstrated that he was more Del Zotto than he is Dan Boyle, and so he and his salary and (likely) his giant ego must head on down the road.

  94. StixMalone says:

    Ahh Steely Dan. The one line that comes to mind and helps me out with Oiler “depressionitis” is….. The Cuervo gold , the fine Colombian make tonight a wonderful thing ! I think I will go to the local medicenter and see if I can get a legal prescription for my “depressionitis” …….

  95. Professor Q says:

    The Farewell Recall Place series on now, especially with all the Dynasty Oilers talking about how they constantly learned from their mistakes and improved which allowed them to become said Dynasty, is really a bittersweet gutpunch during this current denouement of the contemporary Oilers.

  96. frjohnk says:

    G Money: b. in a fit of all-too-common imbecility, Chia decides Hall really is the problem and trades him for cents on the dollar.

    something like Hall for Patrick Maroon and a 2nd?

    if that happens, I’ll start the petition to bring back MacT.

  97. GCW_69 says:

    Alpine: Add a D or two, re-jig the 4th line a bit, try three scoring lines, and next year should be noticeably better.

    If you assume the fourth line is Korpse – Letestu – Hendricks, the cost is a little over $6M. A fourth line should cost about $4M, and ideally closer to $3M. That’s two thirds or three quarters or more of the cost of a quality third line player wasted on the fourth line. Oh, and the third line completely sucks and needs to be rebuilt, especially if the view is to have Nuge play with Leon and Hall on the top line.

    That’s on top of not only finding two defenders, but two top four defenders.

    Chiarelli had his work cut out for him and he made it a lot harder by not being more aggressive last summer and being smarter about how he used the picks to used to acquire Reinhart.

  98. blainer says:

    verite:
    kinger_OIL,

    I believe in the OIlers, just not Chiarelli.
    But being right for the last 8 months is no solace.
    Katz needs another intervention.

    Curious.. We all know your opinion On Chia but you never single out Nicholson and or 6 rings.

    I believe they are behind the scenes screwing this thing up too don’t you ?

    I think Katz has to be in there messing with this. It’s the only explanation for me why Jultz Yak and Korpi are still here.

    I haven’t been happy with Tmc’s deployment of his players at all either.

    We do need to be careful when we do make the big trade.. we have to get it right..

    What would you do to fix it.. just curious..

  99. OilClog says:

    Talk of trading Hall is appalling.

    As Oilers fans Hall was a first.

    It was super weird and humbling to be a fan of a team so bad they’re picking 1st overall.

    We went from the 80’s, to those few dark years which compared to this were utter glory, to the weight era which was all effort and a few dollars short, to our Cinderella run, then the crash.

    Hall was our gift for the crash, he’s the bringer of a new day, I find all trade talk around Hall beyond maddening. We’re trading our current best player to get better?? You’re trying to sell me that trading away the beacon for a brighter day makes the Oilers better?

    Hall is a cancer? Hall can’t pass? What in the world do those that say these things watch?

    Hall is on my untouchable list for his play, for his drive, for his character, for his symbol of what he represents. Having to watch him on another team knowing what it’s been like to be a Oilers fan is some sick fucking shit.

  100. Dominoiler says:

    I thought the comment from TMc about needing ‘ten guys w pride to pull the rest of them through this’ would have been mentioned.. Makes me think of Toews.. imo, Hendricks is that kind of player so I think he stays (but agreed, get lander back in at C).. I think TMc said this right before talking about the the makeup of the team and I think this speaks to bigger moves (core) in the summer..

    Lastly, LT, it seems like you’re playing both sides of the Schultz fiasco.. You thought Fayne, a poor man’s Jason Smith, had a decent night so hell ya oiler fans are done with Schultz.. There is too much damning evidence to simply cry ‘Poti’.. and I think you’d agree..

  101. Water Fire says:

    G Money,

    “You think “Mr. Clutch” Eberle is suddenly just a floater who doesn’t care enough to try to win.”

    Everything you said but this. Except for one game where his coach complimented him, the Eberle I watch looks to be set up by better players than him and is piss poor positionally, and absolutely weak on his stick especially in his own end.

    Yak is a more rounded player, but can’t finish as a finisher or get his shit together, so he’s toast as well.

  102. vinotintazo says:

    keep
    McD
    Nuge
    Drai

    decide if you keep both or one of
    Ebs
    Hall

    LD looks ok
    kbom
    Sekera
    Davidson

    keep Gryba as the 7D.

    Trade for/Sign 2 Top 4 (RD preferably)

    use assets 2016 1st round, next years, Khaira,Sleppy etc to find missing pieces.

    Chia will be busy.

  103. Woodguy says:

    russ99,

    I also think we need to move away from MacT’s 80’s Oiler ideals such as three scoring lines and a defensemen corps of all puck movers to accomplish this.

    The Oilers haven’t had more than 2 puck moving Dmen on the roster since 2009.

    That’s a big part of the problem.

    Chiarelli sees this and we know that when he says:

    “We’re a fast team. With the PROPER MOVES ON DEFENCE we become faster…..just the ability to move a puck or transport a puck in certain areas make you faster” (emphasis mine)”

  104. McSorley33 says:

    delooper,

    If you believe rumours some current and former Oilers don’t understand this either. Tmac almost said as much last night.

    He is killing the spirit of the team, but leads in TO I with 21:19.

    E. Karlsson had 21:19 TO I

    Further, Mark Letestu’s parents don’t think he should be on our PP. Nobody does.

    Tmac is a good coach but he can’t Blow and Suck at the SAME time.

    There has to be a story behind Jultz and his TOI with our team

  105. The Boo Bird says:

    I’m not sure why but seeing the Oilers twitter account saying the first seat in Rodgers is being installed made me laugh….maybe the word “Milestone”

  106. CalVag says:

    A couple thoughts:

    – There was a poster a couple weeks ago that suggested maybe 19 has a sort of anxiety disorder (or something to that effect). It really got me thinking. I don’t know him so I just don’t know, but I think it’s entirely possible. My girlfriend, whom I love to death and would do absolutely anything for, has serious social anxiety. And when “it hits her” there is very little that can be done to “reach her,” other than just “be calm” for her. Which is tough for me, and a lot of other people I’m sure, because social anxiety is just not something I can relate to. Not at all. So when we are at a party together and all of a sudden she needs to leave, it takes every ounce of will power I have to not ask “why what’s wrong?” Instead I know to just say “ok lets get outta here.” Feel free to guess what would happen if I said “suck it up.” It’s not pretty LOL!

    Reason I bring this up is because if 19 does suffer from anything similar, booing him or trashing him would make it exponentially worse. I know it’s his job to be a hockey player, and to be the best he can be. And to always improve. And he’s paid well. I know all of that. But he’s still a person. Imagine how you would feel if 17,000 people were yelling “you suck.”

    – On a lighter note, I have a desk job. I sit at a computer and work in spreadsheets most of my day. When I was watching a game a few days ago, I was getting so pissed off at how the Oilers were never finishing their checks. Never backchecking. Never forechecking. Etc. etc. And so I went on a rant about how I do what I get paid to do, and so the Oilers should do what they get paid to do. I yelled at the TV “I spreadsheet, they check! I SPREADSHEET, THEY CHECK!”

    Except to my girlfriend it sounds liked “I spread cheeks, they check. I SPREAD CHEEKS, THEY CHECK.”

  107. Undisclosed_Personal_Reasons says:

    “I think this means an airlift of role players prepared to place and chase, forecheck, cover and battle—at the cost of skill.”

    I hope so.

    Sounds like a step towards balance.

    Does not mean we won’t have a skilled team.

  108. Woodguy says:

    Ducey,

    Tryouts for next year have started.

    I think tryouts for next year start the day after the deadline.

    After that we’ll *know* that McLellan ‘s player usage has no “showcase” or “political” motivation.

    He’ll just want to know who wants to win.

  109. G Money says:

    Manny Elk’s corsica.hockey site is taking a pretty good run at being the next war-on-ice.

    He’s also got DTM’s expected goals implemented, which is awesome (those who’ve read my walls of text know I like danger weighted shot metrics like xG and DFF better than truncated danger metrics like HDSC).

    He *also* has line combos available … but not defense pairings for some reason.

  110. Truth says:

    McSorley33:
    delooper,

    Tmac is a good coach but he can’t Blow and Suck at the SAME time.

    There has to be a story behind Jultz and his TOI with our team

    I think it is as simple as the rink is packed with scouts trying to see if there is ANY reason to invest in Schultz. The Oilers are just hoping he turns up for one game. Hasn’t happened yet.

  111. frjohnk says:

    G Money:
    Manny Elk’s corsica.hockey site is taking a pretty good run at being the next war-on-ice.

    He’s also got DTM’s expected goals implemented, which is awesome (those who’ve read my walls of text know I like danger weighted shot metrics like xG and DFF better than truncated danger metrics like HDSC).

    He *also* has line combos available … but not defense pairings for some reason.

    good stuff. I’m going to miss war on ice

  112. Woodguy says:

    Centre of attention:
    The “maybe we get rid of some players” quote struck me as rock bottom for Todd.

    When was the last time a coach actually said those words? I’ve seen a lot of coaches come threw and none have been as blunt as Todd.

    They are the words of coach who:

    1) Knows his job is very safe
    2) Is about to have the “we got to trade this guy” shackles taken off his player deployment

    Fun times!

  113. stephen sheps says:

    Chia says heavy hockey, harder on the puck.

    From LT via fear the fin, Todd prefers an aggressive place and chase with a similarly aggressive 2+2 forecheck similar to LAK and STL.

    This was the message all year for what they wanted. The players have either been unwilling or unable to do this and now that the season is lost we should expect a fire sale, and the reality is, the players deserve the thrashing from their coaches (maybe not the booing at the rink, but that’s a different situation altogether).

    Someone earlier, Ducey I think, mentioned the teams that used to play the Stars in the 1st round and be one & done. Let’s think about those teams.

    What did we call them? The little team that could.

    What made them great? How hard they all worked – they bought into the systems and the team concept, knowing they were underdogs, lacking the top end talent give or take a Dougie or a Cujo.

    What else made them great? They were heavy on the puck, didn’t cheat for offense and seemed to understand that grinding it out would lead to wins.

    Chia and TMac want to build that kind of team. They aren’t saying MOAR BIGGER, they’re saying more hard work, dedication and heavier play, harder to play against. The oilers are not hard to play against and haven’t been for years. They both know how to make skilled players work well with heavier systems. Say what you will about Patrice Bergeron – he’s not big, but he’s tremendously skilled, tenacious and really hard to play against. I hope Nuge grows up to become that type of player, and I hope it happens in Oilers colours.

    Yes the team has been short handed much of the year, the roster was unbalanced and several players were asked to do more than they should have, but very seldom did they seem to actually buy into the idea of playing heavier, being harder to play against. At some point the players have to stop and take some accountability for how they’re performing. But instead of being qualified again in the offseason, this time they’ll be gone.

    Same as it ever was.

  114. Dominoiler says:

    Speaking of revisionist history..

    russ99:
    Wow, the revisionist history has really gone off course here.

    1) There was never any decision between keeping Petry and keeping Schultz.

    2) How come ‘everyone was OK with giving Schultz another chance’ with a new coach and a new system.

    Both points are totally fallacious.. WRT Schultz, I think quite a few people, including myself, were resigned to his return, because there was nothing we could do about it, and were briefly heartened by that one hit he through in preseason and a slap shoot I think I saw one time after that.. (truth be told, his top corner snipe ~15/20 games ago had me starting to believe in hope again, but..) Since then it’s been regression.. Same as it ever was..

    Because oilers..

  115. stephen sheps says:

    Chia says heavy hockey, harder on the puck.

    From LT via fear the fin, Todd prefers an aggressive place and chase with a similarly aggressive 2+2 forecheck similar to LAK and STL.

    This was the message all year for what they wanted. The players have either been unwilling or unable to do this and now that the season is lost we should expect a fire sale, and the reality is, the players deserve the thrashing from their coaches (maybe not the booing at the rink, but that’s a different situation altogether).

    Someone earlier, Ducey I think, mentioned the teams that used to play the Stars in the 1st round and be one & done. Let’s think about those teams.

    What did we call them? The little team that could.

    What made them great? How hard they all worked – they bought into the systems and the team concept, knowing they were underdogs, lacking the top end talent give or take a Dougie or a Cujo.

    What else made them great? They were heavy on the puck, didn’t cheat for offense and seemed to understand that grinding it out would lead to wins.

    Chia and TMac want to build that kind of team. They aren’t saying MOAR BIGGER, they’re saying more hard work, dedication and heavier play, harder to play against. The oilers are not hard to play against and haven’t been for years. They both know how to make skilled players work well with heavier systems. Say what you will about Patrice Bergeron – he’s not big, but he’s tremendously skilled, tenacious and really hard to play against. I hope Nuge grows up to become that type of player, and I hope it happens in Oilers colours.

    Yes the team has been short handed much of the year, the roster was unbalanced and several players were asked to do more than they should have, but very seldom did they seem to actually buy into the idea of playing heavier, being harder to play against. At some point the players have to stop and take some accountability for how they’re performing. But instead of being qualified again in the offseason, this time they’ll be gone.

  116. MenovOil says:

    OilClog:
    Talk of trading Hall is appalling.

    Hall was our gift for the crash, he’s the bringer of a new day, I find all trade talk around Hall beyond maddening. We’re trading our current best player to get better?? You’re trying to sell me that trading away the beacon for a brighter day makes the Oilers better?

    If it brings you a legitimate #1 D, yes, it absolutely makes the Oilers better. And besides, the best player on this team is McDavid.

    Question for some, how exactly are we supposed to improve this team and get the talent that we need on D if we’re not willing to give up anyone? Are we to believe that packaging Yak and Schultz might get us OEL? Hell some here stil think that giving up our 1st this year or Yak is too much!

    So what is the plan? Picking in the top 3 until we build a balanced team this way? UFA’s?

  117. leadfarmer says:

    I think most of us knew that Chia was going to do a serious roster turnover when he got hired, it was just a question of when. Given his hands were tied by the cap and unfamiliarity with the roster I assumed it was going to be this offseason. A good chunk of these guys need to start looking for a real estate agent.

  118. Mike Wazowski says:

    Knowing that Schultz is struggling/sucking and is playing a role that is over his ability/nature/etc, I’m asking a serious question in regards to the roster we currently have. Who would you play in his place on the first pairing? *ANYONE* is not a valid answer.

  119. digger50 says:

    G Money: I wanted to quote this too, because there is both truth and also IMO a HUGE disservice to the players on the ice.

    Have you ever been on a project team where you knew that half your team just didn’t have the skills needed to deliver?

    But you went balls to the wall anyway, hoping against hope that sheer effort and force of will make up for it?Eventually, reality sinks in, and the death march begins.Ever tried to give 100% when you knew it was a death march?You go in every day planning on giving 100%, but every day by lunch time, reality has slapped you upside the head half a dozen times, and … hey, at least I can catch up on Lowetide.

    I just described every one of Taylor Hall’s seasons as an Oiler.

    For fucks sake, if you blame Taylor Hall for the problems on this team, you are an imbecile.Really. Just delete your internet account and stay home.

    You think those MemCup champions were a fluke? You think that gold medal is a random happenstance? You think “Mr. Clutch” Eberle is suddenly just a floater who doesn’t care enough to try to win.

    Fucking moronic.

    If you think Hall can continue to put this team on his back every night and carry the sadly deficient roster to the playoffs, as he did tried (and at times, succeeded) through the first half of the season, then you are expecting something out of him that no human being can be expected to do.

    He knows – far better than you or I – how hopelessly deficient the D is.He knows that a soft play, turnover, goal is just around the corner every time Schultz is on the ice.He knows.TMc knows.

    But they’re professionals, and Hall is now mature, and they say the right things and try to do the right things.

    But until the roster, and by that I mean the D and the bottom 6, NOT the top 6, is fixed, they’re pissing into a hurricane, and they know it.

    The biggest fear we should have is that
    a. the roster continues this hopeless structure until Hall finally cracks and demands a trade, and takes the rest of the skill players with him, or
    b. in a fit of all-too-common imbecility, Chia decides Hall really is the problem and trades him for cents on the dollar.

    Amen

    What fools thought 21 year old kids should become the core of an NHL hockey team? This was doomed – and still doomed if you now think todays 21 year old kids should now form a core.

    NHL teams have always needed a core of veteran players. Kids join the vets and learn from them. Your developing kids should be kept out – and away from the team until a veteran core can be established. A positive environment, not poisonous.

    But here we are and can only look forward. I support Hall. He is what he is. He should be held accountable for his game performance but not the overall lack of team leadership.

  120. VanIsleOil says:

    Maybe the Oilers need to hire more doctors, what with Jultz’s anxiety disorder and Yak’s ADD. ?

  121. Woodguy says:

    John Chambers: Fact is, they haven’t gotten rid of those players!

    Maybe Eakins would still be here if they made the right call on Petry vs Schultz two years ago at this time.

    Todd has some job security which affords him the ability to call it as he sees it. Undoubtedly his boss Peter feels the exact same way.

    Not to mention that the problem players were often the favorites of Eakin’s GM.

  122. Water Fire says:

    stephen sheps:
    Chia says heavy hockey, harder on the puck.

    From LT via fear the fin, Todd prefers an aggressive place and chase with a similarly aggressive 2+2 forecheck similar to LAK and STL.

    This was the message all year for what they wanted. The players have either been unwilling or unable to do this and now that the season is lost we should expect a fire sale, and the reality is, the players deserve the thrashing from their coaches (maybe not the booing at the rink, but that’s a different situation altogether).

    Someone earlier, Ducey I think, mentioned the teams that used to play the Stars in the 1st round and be one & done. Let’s think about those teams.

    What did we call them? The little team that could.

    What made them great? How hard they all worked – they bought into the systems and the team concept, knowing they were underdogs, lacking the top end talent give or take a Dougie or a Cujo.

    What else made them great? They were heavy on the puck, didn’t cheat for offense and seemed to understand that grinding it out would lead to wins.

    Chia and TMac want to build that kind of team. They aren’t saying MOAR BIGGER, they’re saying more hard work, dedication and heavier play, harder to play against. The oilers are not hard to play against and haven’t been for years. They both know how to make skilled players work well with heavier systems. Say what you will about Patrice Bergeron – he’s not big, but he’s tremendously skilled, tenacious and really hard to play against. I hope Nuge grows up to become that type of player, and I hope it happens in Oilers colours.

    Yes the team has been short handed much of the year, the roster was unbalanced and several players were asked to do more than they should have, but very seldom did they seem to actually buy into the idea of playing heavier, being harder to play against. At some point the players have to stop and take some accountability for how they’re performing. But instead of being qualified again in the offseason, this time they’ll be gone.

    Same as it ever was.

    Good post. Missing players does not equal poor, mistake riddled play. It means trying hard and losing perhaps because of lesser skill.

  123. Mattaklap says:

    VanIsleOil,

    Don’t forget Hall’s emotional immaturity. I know some out of work psychologists…

  124. verite says:

    blainer,

    Hall for OEL
    Hall plus for OEL

  125. Caramel Batman says:

    MenovOil: If it brings you a legitimate #1 D, yes, it absolutely makes the Oilers better. And besides, the best player on this team is McDavid.

    Question for some, how exactly are we supposed to improve this team and get the talent that we needon D if we’re not willing to give up anyone? Are we to believe that packaging Yak and Schultz might get us OEL? Hell some here stil think that giving up our 1st this year or Yak is too much!

    So what is the plan? Picking in the top 3 until we build a balanced team this way? UFA’s?

    Names. I want names. Who would you trade Hall for?

    I bet the list is shorter than you think.

  126. Dr. Taboggan says:

    I guess I understand what a lot of people are saying, it is Taylor Hall’s fault that 98% of Oilers D since 2010 cannot make a simple outlet pass. That makes sense. Wait what?!?!

    Of the Oilers current D who would be good enough to play on playoff team? Not even in the top-4 but just make the team. Klef, Sekera, and Davidson?

  127. blainer says:

    I actually like Hall ..

    He gives it hard every shift and if he is showing attitude on the ice it is because he is SICK of losing.

    I have been on losing teams and believe me everybody points fingers at each other.

    Hall is not the problem here but I will say this .. He will bring back the best return save for CMD.

    I would hate to see him leave but if we are trading him it better be for that number 1 D.

    It could happen if Chia signs Lucic for the 1st line left wing.

  128. digger50 says:

    leadfarmer: You know you can disagree with someone without being an absolute dink about it.Knowing this team well name one thing they don’t do well and havent for 10 years.Dump and chase !!!The are not good at the boards, sealing the boards, or doing anything near the boards.So why play a system that is centered around your weaknesses.

    This is not popular at the moment as it comes across as TMac bashing – but there is something here.
    The wingers are horrible at getting the puck off the boards and out. Fact. TMac said he had 6 breakout patterns in the fall – perhaps utilize a different one when needed. The forwards are horrible at puck retrieval once the puck is dumped in. Whether its the system or the players, this is the team in front of you today. Your job is to find a way. Tomorrow you can seek players who better match your system of play, but this what you have today!! Our chances are coming off the rush – not the cycle. So push the rush, keep possession. Play your strengths.       I don’t see this as the essence of the problem, but just sayin.

  129. blainer says:

    verite:
    blainer,

    Hall for OEL
    Hall plus for OEL

    LOL.. I have been trying to get OEL out of you..

    It’s been sooo long since you said it.

    I agree but doubt they trade him.

    If however we get Matthews we might be able to package a deal around The 1st over all with Nurse/Klef + in order to get Maloney thinking..

  130. Amadeus says:

    I bet Howson recommended Letestu.. Strike two. The first strike being Nikitin.
    Howson should not be allowed a third strike. And MacT should not be allowed anything.

  131. Halfwise says:

    This team will begin to win when its weakest links are less weak, and when the players follow the system better.

    1) Replace the weakest links. Play all surviving players in roles where they fit best.
    2) Follow the system, so that when there’s a pattern of failure it’s clear whether it’s due to the system or someone failing to follow it.

    Right now, there’s so much chaos that even we *cough* experts here on LT can’t agree whether it’s the system or the players that are causing the losing.

    Don’t trade the valuable chips until you’ve fixed the weakest links. Maybe the good ones will be even better than you see today. It’s got to get old, busting your ass as a player only to have Jultz or Korps give it all away before your shift is over.

    3) Ignore any repetitive poster whose chosen handle claims ‘truth’ in some romance language but whose prose is tedious beyond mortal endurance.

  132. Caramel Batman says:

    I’ll start. I would trade Hall for:

    Karlsson
    OEL
    Doughty

    That’s pretty much it. Subban costs a lot more, Weber et al are too old,

    So yeah, if Hall gets you one of those guys you should do it. But you can’t trade him for Hamonic or Shattenkirk or Lindholm or Brodie, or anyone else, really.

  133. Adam Wu says:

    People seem to forget that early in the season, up until he injured his back, Schultz was looking better, and seemed to be buying in to McLellan’s system.

    So the idea to hold on to him for this season to see if McLellan could unlock him was not an unreasonable one, and was a plurality, if not majority, opinion, around here, as far as I remember, prior to the start of the season.

    And maybe things might have turned out differently if Klefbom didn’t also get injured, but if the outcome of the developmental path of a player who is no higher than 4 on your D’s depth chart is a critical part of the success or failure of your season, then that is not on that player, but is merely a symptom of the overarching problem of lack of defensive depth.

    Either way, with regards to Schultz, it doesn’t matter anymore. We’re done with him and we’re moving on.

    But remember that Schultz was found money. He cost no assets to obtain other than Katz’ cash, and if we get anything at all for him at the deadline, the team still ends up on the plus side in terms of asset acquisition.

  134. Mattaklap says:

    Dr. Taboggan,

    Gryba? Maybe. Fayne? Maybe, limited minutes as with Gryba.

    Wow, we have a lot of (No.7) defensemen! A plethora! No, maybe a miasma.
    We have a miasma of defensemen.

  135. Caramel Batman says:

    digger50: This is not popular at the moment as it comes across as TMac bashing – but there is something here.
    The wingers are horrible at getting the puck off the boards and out. Fact. TMac said he had 6 breakout patterns in the fall – perhaps utilize a different one when needed.The forwards are horrible at puck retrieval once the puck is dumped in. Whetherits the system or the players, this is the team in front of you today. Your job is to find a way. Tomorrow you can seek players who better match your system of play, but this what you have today!! Our chances are coming off the rush – not the cycle. So push the rush, keep possession. Play your strengths. I don’t see this as the essence of the problem, but just sayin.

    Hall isn’t horrible at getting the puck out. Eberle isn’t horrible at getting the puck out. If they were they wouldn’t dominate shot metrics so much.

    This is the problem with generalizations. You end up blaming the best players for the failings of the worst players.

    The problem isn’t the good players, it’s everyone else. As it ever was. Trading a great player for a different great player won’t make a difference. Trading a great player for a merely good player will make the team worse.

  136. mustang says:

    I totally understand #4 emotional outbursts, he cares a lot, he’s trying hard and is trying to do things the right way. His game has matured immensely under TMac. It really must be tough with year after year of the same frustration of piss poor team play.

  137. Woodguy says:

    digger50: To be fair, Chia’s mustache should be addressed as well.

    I’m more concerned about his soul patch.

  138. Mike Wazowski says:

    Amadeus,

    Define him as being a strike. Letestu is playing a good, 4th line centers game. Gets some points, is good on the draw and decent defensively. The problem is that he’s been playing 3rd line minutes. If Landers progression curve didn’t take a cannonball off a cliff no one would be complaining about Letestu.

  139. Mattaklap says:

    Woodguy,

    Hopefully he grows some sideburns to match Landers’.

  140. Dominoiler says:

    Caramel Batman: Names.I want names.Who would you trade Hall for?

    I bet the list is shorter than you think.

    Ok, I’ll bite.. But also admit that I don’t blame hall for the roster, management, or the losing.. hall alone isn’t the problem, he is a top end talent, but don’t neglect everything the guy said..

    Teams playing together, with an effective system, beat teams of individuals.. Would you agree or disagree w that?!..

    K.. On the oilers, Drai, McD and I’d like to say nuge but that would be a tough argument to win..
    Seguin, Benn, sedins, getzlaf, I hate Perry, kopitar.. Ok, I’m tried of this.. Point is, top talents on their teams..

  141. Adam Wu says:

    The team’s problem is there is not enough total skill. The high end skill is very high, but there are not enough of them to balance out the lack of skill elsewhere.

    Trading your best (or second best- we can quibble about the exact point where McDavid passes Hall as the best player on the team) player for less skill does nothing but make your fundamental problem worse.

    Trading your best player for an equally skilled player is a lateral move that doesn’t move the needle in a significant fashion. You may contemplate it for positional reasons. A winger for a D of equal skill plugs your biggest hole, but what you are really doing is making a calculated risk that the NEW hole at wing will be easier to fill, and as with any calculated risk, you could be wrong. You haven’t fixed the big picture with such a move until you find a replacement for Hall, of equal skill to Hall. (And if you fill that hole with a winger with less skill than Hall, then once more you have made your fundamental problem of lack of total skill worse. Your team may be more balanced, and may, as a result, do slightly better in the standings, but ultimately, the team is weaker than it was, and you cannot win championships like that) And how many wingers are out there that are actually close to Hall in skill?

    Trading Hall for a D that is even more skilled than he is will improve the total skill of the team and of course you’d do that. But how many D like that are actually out there, and how many of those would actually be available for trade at any price?

  142. Sevenseven says:

    “I have 2 NHL centres and then some mud”
    “It’s like the Oilers have lost all there money, it takes time to get it back, 5 years”
    Dallas Eakins

    Unfortunately he was on point about a lot of things.

  143. leadfarmer says:

    Well hopefully this will make Chia realize why he can’t trade the Nuge. Sure it would be nice if he could post more points but having a player that can post 50 points while playing the best opposition is a very valuable player and a lot more valuable when you have rookies or near rookies or offensively inept players as replacements

  144. Water Fire says:

    I’d prefer Chiarelli with a neck beard (you know, no facial hair just neck) because it would distract the other GM’s and make the players afraid of him. Although his neck might be too short for that.

  145. Woodguy says:

    RMGS: Save for Michael Ryder (a good perimeter goal scorer), I see a group of skilled forwards more than willing to pay the price to go to the scoring areas, to battle, to cover, to play goddamn NHL hockey.

    Amen.

  146. Amadeus says:

    Mike Wazowski:
    Amadeus,

    Define him as being a strike.Letestu is playing a good, 4th line centers game.Gets some points, is good on the draw and decent defensively.The problem is that he’s been playing 3rd line minutes.If Landers progression curve didn’t take a cannonball off a cliff no one would be complaining about Letestu.

    I would say strike because we are paying a 4th line center $1.8M.
    The other issue I have is McLennan playing him so much and also on the PP. How many times has Letestu whiffed on an open shot. He has hands of stone. He is the new Belanger Triangle. The Letestu triangle. Devoid of offense. Korpikoski is also a waste of space. He’s a strike for whoever recommended him.

  147. VanIsleOil says:

    Perhaps Chia should go with a little more of the “Grimsby” look. Get a rug and mutton chops and fleece the other managers with his new rugged look.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3460102/Sasha-Baron-Cohen-called-Essex-Grimsby-locals-complain-Borat-star-s-slanderous-new-film-filmed-Tilbury.html

  148. islandoilerfan says:

    stephen sheps:
    Chia says heavy hockey, harder on the puck.

    From LT via fear the fin, Todd prefers an aggressive place and chase with a similarly aggressive 2+2 forecheck similar to LAK and STL.

    This was the message all year for what they wanted. The players have either been unwilling or unable to do this and now that the season is lost we should expect a fire sale, and the reality is, the players deserve the thrashing from their coaches (maybe not the booing at the rink, but that’s a different situation altogether).

    Someone earlier, Ducey I think, mentioned the teams that used to play the Stars in the 1st round and be one & done. Let’s think about those teams.

    What did we call them? The little team that could.

    What made them great? How hard they all worked – they bought into the systems and the team concept, knowing they were underdogs, lacking the top end talent give or take a Dougie or a Cujo.

    What else made them great? They were heavy on the puck, didn’t cheat for offense and seemed to understand that grinding it out would lead to wins.

    Chia and TMac want to build that kind of team. They aren’t saying MOAR BIGGER, they’re saying more hard work, dedication and heavier play, harder to play against. The oilers are not hard to play against and haven’t been for years. They both know how to make skilled players work well with heavier systems. Say what you will about Patrice Bergeron – he’s not big, but he’s tremendously skilled, tenacious and really hard to play against. I hope Nuge grows up to become that type of player, and I hope it happens in Oilers colours.

    Yes the team has been short handed much of the year, the roster was unbalanced and several players were asked to do more than they should have, but very seldom did they seem to actually buy into the idea of playing heavier, being harder to play against. At some point the players have to stop and take some accountability for how they’re performing. But instead of being qualified again in the offseason, this time they’ll be gone.

    Same as it ever was.

    Agreed 100%, We didn’t have all the pieces in place to have a playoff team here this year but it definitely is not a 30th place roster. The work ethic is just not there in most cases. The AHL leafs out worked us the last time we played and that is not acceptable. The question is can any of the stars be saved, can an Eberle learn to put the effort in to make sure a puck gets out of his end when being pressured. Adding a couple defenceman will definitely improve the team but unless they are willing to out work the other team all over the ice there will be no success!

  149. G Money says:

    Water Fire:
    G Money,

    “You think “Mr. Clutch” Eberle is suddenly just a floater who doesn’t care enough to try to win.”

    Everything you said but this. Except for one game where his coach complimented him, the Eberle I watch looks to be set up by better players than him and is piss poor positionally,and absolutely weak on his stick especially in his own end.

    Yak is a more rounded player, but can’t finish as a finisher or get his shit together, so he’s toast as well.

    Eberle is a somewhat one-dimensional player, yes.

    The one dimension he has is scoring goals, which he’s better at than any other Oiler player in-tight.

    Scoring goals is the rarest skill in hockey.

    Thinking that the team is somehow worse off with Eberle than without is insane. In. Sane.

    If Eberle, or any of the wingers go out the door in exchange for a legit NHL defenseman, I have no problem with that. Gotta pay to play.

    But if anyone thinks sending out Eberle for a coke machine is somehow going to improve the team, then they didn’t learn one damn thing during the Tambellini era.

    And that era was a masterclass in “how not to GM”.

  150. TsuDhoNimh says:

    “I think we (and McLellan) have reached the point where it is fairly obvious that some of his current players are unable to adapt. McLellan’s comments last night came out of frustration, but if he and Peter Chiarelli are on the same page, that frustration will find its way to the players soon, in the way of new addresses. I think we are going to see several players who fit the style described above added in the next several months.”

    Watching this game those comments tell me that even guy like Hall should be available. As good as he is he is still making the same mistakes he made as a rookie. Ottawa’s first goal started with Hall trying to gain the Ottawa blue line 1 on 4. He lost the puck and Ottawa ended up scoring on that possession. At what point is he going to learn that he needs to dump it in in that situation? This isn’t meant as a dump on Hall, but really shouldn’t everyone not named Connor be available if the trade is right?

  151. G Money says:

    For those that feel the skilled youngsters should be held to account for the failings of this roster, then you should be screaming for McDavid’s head. Because the team, other than beating up a weakling a couple of times, is worse since he came back.

    Yes?

    #BlameMcDavid

  152. vinotintazo says:

    G Money: #BlameMcDavid

    that’s it, i’m booing him next game!

  153. G Money says:

    vinotintazo,

    That’ll learn him! It’s a powerful motivator I hear.

  154. Mike Wazowski says:

    Amadeus,

    Again though… how is the signing a strike? His dollar value may be the only argument I can agree with. Otherwise, he is being deployed in the only way they can. Who, in your mind, would fill the 3rd line center spot with this current roster?

  155. Chachi says:

    Tom GazzolaVerified account
    ‏@TomGazzola
    67-97-14. 4-29-44. 23-55-28/26. 10-51-16. 2-5. 82-88. 25-27/19 in Leduc this morning.

    Might be reading too much into this, but given that Purcell is on the way out and Lander’s days are numbered I would say that Yak practicing on that line is a signal he may be on the way out as well.

  156. Adam Wu says:

    TsuDhoNimh:
    “I think we (and McLellan) have reached the point where it is fairly obvious that some of his current players are unable to adapt. McLellan’s comments last night came out of frustration, but if he and Peter Chiarelli are on the same page, that frustration will find its way to the players soon, in the way of new addresses. I think we are going to see several players who fit the style described above added in the next several months.”

    Watching this game those comments tell me that even guy like Hall should be available. As good as he is he is still making the same mistakes he made as a rookie. Ottawa’s first goal started with Hall trying to gain the Ottawa blue line 1 on 4. He lost the puck and Ottawa ended up scoring on that possession. At what point is he going to learn that he needs to dump it in in that situation? This isn’t meant as a dump on Hall, but really shouldn’t everyone not named Connor be available if the trade is right?

    First of all, Hall is not a machine, so yes, he’ll make mistakes, and yes, sometimes those will be the “same” type of mistakes he made earlier in his career. And those mistakes will be more frequent when he’s tired, or overworked, or exhausted, like, say, late in a season after he’s tried to carry an entire inadequate team by himself for the whole first half, because those mistakes arise from his instincts as a player (those instincts are also what makes him as good as he is, by the way) and people are more likely to revert to instinct when they are exhausted.

    This is, again, because Hall is a human being, and not a freaking Terminator.

    What you need to be examining is not this individual isolated moments of mistakes, but also HOW MANY of them are occurring, and when they are occurring, and the circumstances around which they are occurring.

    Hall’s game has taken huge leaps in maturity this season, and indeed even before that. And not only has his rate of errors decreased, but his offensive game has ALSO improved year over year.

    We talk about whether players have bought into McLellan’s system, well Hall has bought in, perhaps moreso than any other player on this roster who had a history of playing differently, and the results are clear to the eye and in the stats. To the extent that he hasn’t become the PERFECT image of what (we think) McLellan wants from him (which NONE of the San Jose players ever managed to do either, by the way), well this is because, again, Taylor Hall is not a Terminator. And if he is to be contemplated in a trade, it should be as a part of the so-called Hockey trade that makes both teams better.

    But for that kind of trade, no one is except, not even McDavid. If you could trade McDavid and make the team better, you do it. Saying McDavid is “untradeable” merely means that the number of scenarios in which such a trade of McDavid that makes the team better are vanishingly rare. Well, the number of scenarios where a reasonably possible trade involving Hall would make the Oilers a better team is only slightly less vanishingly rare.

  157. LoDog says:

    Coach uses pretty much the same system as the Kings.

    But he should change it to fit the shitty players on the Oilers.

    Finally the players that won’t do their freakin job are going to be sent to the glue factory instead of the coach. About time.

  158. Adam Wu says:

    Amadeus: I would say strike because we are paying a 4th line center $1.8M.
    The other issue I have is McLennan playing him so much and also on the PP. How many times has Letestu whiffed on an open shot. He has hands of stone. He is the new Belanger Triangle. The Letestu triangle. Devoid of offense. Korpikoski is also a waste of space. He’s a strike for whoever recommended him.

    Korpikoski is all on Chia, and is really the only move that I think is valid at this point to criticize Chia for. He said it himself that he’d been keeping an eye on Korpikoski for a long time, even while he was with Boston, that he always liked the player, wanted to get him for Boston in the past, that he knew that statistically the player had been declining the last two seasons but that he was willing to take a calculated risk that he’d turn it around.

    The bet didn’t work out. He anteed up and the flop didn’t flop.

  159. Big Dan says:

    Why the pity for Schultz, Lowetide?

    He DOES deserve the booing. The Oilers invested a lot into this guy ad showed a lot of faith and patience for 4 years. They also paid him a lot of money.

    He has failed miserably, and cost the Oilers more 1-goal games than I can count. He is THE primary reason we’ve struggled. His signing destroyed our D. We would have found a puck mover that actually wants to play all facets of hockey, had he went somewhere else.

    It seemed like such a perfect partnership. And now we don’t have Petry. What a disaster. Schultz cost them three goals that night. He gets paid $4M per year. Part of that salary includes having to put up with boos when you shit the bed.

    The fact that this is the first time he’s been tarred and feathered shows that Oiler fans lightened up over the years. I remember attending a game where I thought the fans were going to lynch poor Cory Cross. Local boy looked like he was going to cry.

    Justin Schultz= Chris Joseph.

  160. Amadeus says:

    Mike Wazowski:
    Amadeus,

    Again though… how is the signing a strike?His dollar value may be the only argument I can agree with.Otherwise, he is being deployed in the only way they can.Who, in your mind, would fill the 3rd line center spot with this current roster?

    I would rather use Lander. Lander can play with skill. If they need faceoffs for the pp, let Lander win the faceoff and go to the front of the net, or win the faceoff and sub off.

  161. Adam Wu says:

    I suspect the reason McLellan did not try to adapt his system to the players this season was because that was the plan all along, to see which players could fit into the system, and which could not and so would have to be replaced.

    It is not about inability or stubbornness of blindness of the coach. It is a deliberate strategic choice made before this season began.

  162. Alpine says:

    GCW_69: If you assume the fourth line is Korpse – Letestu – Hendricks, the cost is a little over $6M.A fourth line should cost about $4M, and ideally closer to $3M.That’s two thirds or three quarters or more of the cost of a quality third line player wasted on the fourth line.Oh, and the third line completely sucks and needs to be rebuilt, especially if the view is to have Nuge play with Leon and Hall on the top line.

    That’s on top of not only finding two defenders, but two top four defenders.

    Chiarelli had his work cut out for him and he made it a lot harder by not being more aggressive last summer and being smarter about how he used the picks to used to acquire Reinhart.

    i was erring on the optimistic side that Korpse isn’t here next season and Hendricks is replaced with someone cheaper. And like I said in my post, try three scoring lines for a while and just use the 4th line as D zone line. But sure, if Nuge is moved up they should do something about the third line, but I don’t think that’s a tall ask. Letestu’s High Danger chances against is alright considering usage and Korpse effect, so I wouldn’t turf him just yet.

    I think the two top four D is possible without or just barely touching the core. Nurse + what will likely be a top 5 pick is kind of the sweet spot there. Getting both as RH might be tricky and might cost an RNH or Eberle, but freeing up money from moving Nuge might mean more money for a decent 3C to fix the problem. But really, a lot of the stink here is quite well fixable if Chiarelli is willing to get creative, which it sounds like he is. I’m reasonably confident in him landing a Hamonic and maybe someone in addition, based on the verbal from the likes of Friedman.

  163. LoDog says:

    Amadeus: I would rather use Lander. Lander can play with skill. If they need faceoffs for the pp, let Lander win the faceoff and go to the front of the net, or win the faceoff and sub off.

    Lander has shit the bed all year. Letestu is a fine 4C being asked to do too much right now because of lack of depth and a large portion of the team not willing to play like they should.

  164. Centre of attention says:

    Justin’s post-practice comments are painful.

    I legit feel sorry for the guy.

  165. Generational Poster says:

    Caramel Batman:
    I’ll start.I would trade Hall for:

    Karlsson
    OEL
    Doughty

    That’s pretty much it.Subban costs a lot more, Weber et al are too old,

    So yeah, if Hall gets you one of those guys you should do it.But you can’t trade him for Hamonic or Shattenkirk or Lindholm or Brodie, or anyone else, really.

    Point taken…but respectfully in terms of D-men I’d add to this off the top of my head:
    Ekblad
    Hedman
    Josi
    Burns (*assuming ext)
    J. Faulk
    Pietrangelo

    Only ones that would get any consideration at all from the other side IMO would *maybe* be BB and AP if the Sharks / Blues were looking to re-tool in the summer. Purely hypothetical anyway, I realize.

  166. Racki says:

    Centre of attention:
    Justin’s post-practice comments are painful.

    I legit feel sorry for the guy.

    Not to be handi, but got a link? Can’t seem to find video/audio of this.

    Never mind…. found it here: http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=45483

  167. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Big Dan:
    We would have found a puck mover that actually wants to play all facets of hockey, had he went somewhere else.

    This to me highlights the biggest problem with Schultz.

    He’s not a puck mover.

    He can’t make a pass. Last night’s 3rd goal against was because he failed to take a pass, at least to my view.

    He is a very good skater, with a very good wrist shot.

    He has 10 points this year, playing with elite forwards. Roman Polak has 13 (granted in a few more games) but playing with much worse players.

    Schultz isn’t good at getting the puck up the ice. He’s an offensive Dman, sure, but not a puck mover. He’s pretty good (still not great) when the puck is already in the Ozone and he’s allowed to pinch in deep (like a winger, because he’s a winger).

  168. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Mike Wazowski:
    Primetime,

    I know that the Isles say that they want equal value back ie “a mid 20’s, R handed minute muncher”.I don’t think they’re going to get it.His trading partners are extremely limited and I can’t picture many GMs who would trade someone they’re happy with to help out a rival GM move a player who doesn’t want to be on the island any longer.

    Wishful thinking would be Trouba from WPG and Hamonic being added to the Oil over the next several months.However, Trouba is still on the young side of what I’d like added to this team… namely d-men in the 25-27 y/o range.

    Schultz is 25, shoots right, & led his team in TOI just last night.

    Make it so.

  169. frjohnk says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Schultz is 25, shoots right, & led his team in TOI just last night.

    Make it so.

    We throw in Davidson for a sweetener.

  170. AsiaOil says:

    I agree with this completely……..but

    Eberle is the opposite or heavy or hard on the puck (he gets put on his ass regularly when trying to engage along the boards) and his commitment to backchecking is often lacking as we’ve seen over the past several games. He’s invisible in the defensive zone when the opposition is on the cycle. He will certainly get you goals but he’s bleeding far too many the other way. The numbers since the AS break bear this out. So it’s not about the offensive talent – that’s obvious – it’s about the rest of his game which is simply not good enough on a team as weak in these areas as the Oilers. You can’t hide him and doesn’t seem to have put the work in during the off-season to get stronger. He’s basically the same player he was 4 years ago – and if he doesn’t add some toughness to his game – he’ll never reach the full potential that his offensive skill allow. Swap Okposo & Hamonic for Eberle and Shultz and this is a dramatically different team. Still need another dman and some better bottom 6 forwards – but that’s where I’d start.

    As for Hall – he’s got his warts but he’s come a long way this year. I think Hall-RNH_Drai has the potential to be a balanced and very effective line. Need a RW for CMD though with some, talent, snarl and ability to work the tough areas of the rink in both ends.

    G Money: Eberle is a somewhat one-dimensional player, yes.

    The one dimension he has is scoring goals, which he’s better at than any other Oiler player in-tight.

    Scoring goals is the rarest skill in hockey.

    Thinking that the team is somehow worse off with Eberle than without is insane.In. Sane.

    If Eberle, or any of the wingers go out the door in exchange for a legit NHL defenseman, I have no problem with that.Gotta pay to play.

    But if anyone thinks sending out Eberle for a coke machine is somehow going to improve the team, then they didn’t learn one damn thing during the Tambellini era.

    And that era was a masterclass in “how not to GM”.

  171. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    frjohnk,

    Would you rather trade Davidson or Nurse? Honest question because I’m not 100% sure I know how I feel.

  172. speeds says:

    Adam Wu: Korpikoski is all on Chia, and is really the only move that I think is valid at this point to criticize Chia for. He said it himself that he’d been keeping an eye on Korpikoski for a long time, even while he was with Boston, that he always liked the player, wanted to get him for Boston in the past, that he knew that statistically the player had been declining the last two seasons but that he was willing to take a calculated risk that he’d turn it around.

    The bet didn’t work out. He anteed up and the flop didn’t flop.

    Is it unreasonable to say that “He anteed up and the flop didn’t flop” would have been keeping Gordon and signing Semin to a 1 year deal that didn’t work out, not turning Gordon into Korpikoski and getting a player with an extra year?

  173. Магия 10 says:

    Current rookie point projections based on games remaining and ppg.

    76 Panarin
    56 Eichel, Domi
    53 McDavid, Gostisbehere, Larkin

    2nd spot in the scoring race is still in range.

  174. speeds says:

    Adam Wu: Korpikoski is all on Chia, and is really the only move that I think is valid at this point to criticize Chia for.

    Marincin trade?
    Reinhart trade?
    Schultz QO?
    Letestu signing?

  175. godot10 says:

    G Money:
    Most of you will be too young to remember this, but the biggest difference between the cup-losing 80s Oilers and the cup-winning 80s Oilers is that the latter swallowed their pride (easier to do after being swept in the Cup Final) and learned to play the dump and chase effectively.

    The idea that you need to be a particular player type to play place and chase is garbage.

    You better know (or learn) how to place and chase if you want to be an NHL player.

    I disagree with this. The Oilers always played a strong possession offense. They were never a dump and chase team. They always forechecked hard because they wanted to score and regain the puck when they lost it mostly carrying it in.

    The commitment to back check and back pressure was the lesson they had to learn to be champions. When the forwards brought the intensity with which they played offense and forechecked to back checking is the lesson they had to learn to beat the Islanders.

  176. Lowetide says:

    We have some new folks, and this is a good time to pass along a couple of rules. We don’t talk about players as assholes or dumbfucks and we don’t approach our fellow posters as a large group of knuckleheads. Thanks.

  177. Water Fire says:

    G Money: Eberle is a somewhat one-dimensional player, yes.

    The one dimension he has is scoring goals, which he’s better at than any other Oiler player in-tight.

    Scoring goals is the rarest skill in hockey.

    Thinking that the team is somehow worse off with Eberle than without is insane.In. Sane.

    If Eberle, or any of the wingers go out the door in exchange for a legit NHL defenseman, I have no problem with that.Gotta pay to play.

    But if anyone thinks sending out Eberle for a coke machine is somehow going to improve the team, then they didn’t learn one damn thing during the Tambellini era.

    And that era was a masterclass in “how not to GM”.

    Eberle is skilled and a stunning 61 st in p/60 over 500 minutes.

    Chia isn’t dense and will not downgrade, but I remained convinced that one way offense is a detriment to a team unless that offense is elite, and Eberle’s isn’t. He is below Pouliot who does a heck of a lot more.

    I can tolerate players like Patrick Kane because he can drive a line and is a supreme threat every time he’s on the ice. Or Ovi, Crosby, Malkin, McDavid (until he’s strong two ways).

    Everyone else needs to carry weight. JMO but I’m pretty sure that’s what separates teams. What coach was it the other day that said what everybody misses with Chicago is how hard they check.

  178. Bad Seed says:

    Gollum,

    It’s been established that he’s actually 12.

  179. RexLibris says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Schultz is 25, shoots right, & led his team in TOI just last night.

    Make it so.

    Well in that case, forget Snow and call directly to Mr. Wang. He of the DiPietro-lifetime-contract can certainly be talked into anything.

  180. Caramel Batman says:

    Big Dan: Justin Schultz= Chris Joseph.

    I don’t know much about Chris Joseph’s hockey career. But I have met him, and he is an extremely nice guy and he’s great with kids, so I think this comparison is a little unfair.

  181. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: our fellow posters as a large group of knuckleheads

    Even when it has been legally established that we indeed are.

    In fact, especially so.

  182. frjohnk says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!:
    frjohnk,

    Would you rather trade Davidson or Nurse?Honest question because I’m not 100% sure I know how I feel.

    Those two would be my 3rd pairing next year.

    Nurse would return more.

    But in two years is probably the better player.

    Davidson could also be a very good value contract over the next few years.

    I’m a EBERLE fan but I trade EBERLE before I trade any of these two.

    Id trade Davidson before I trade nurse but I don’t see the value that Davidson provides for the oilers (play wise and cap hit) could be returned in a trade.

    Not that Davidson is untouchable but I don’t see a situation where he is traded. Just wouldn’t make sense to add him as a sweetener. Even though I was busting Bruce.

    Nurse is my Draisaitl tier which is below McDavid. It better be a whopper of a deal if trading nurse.

  183. RexLibris says:

    Mr. Lowetide, you’ve previously said that Schultz’s value likely sits somewhere near a 3rd round pick.

    I’d argue that that value needs to be adjusted and we could see him returning something south of a 4th round pick, maybe as low as a 6th at this stage.

    As was mentioned on your show today, Schultz has already contributed to killing several coaching careers and how many teams want to take on the worst players from teams that are terrible?

    They’ll take on bad players from mediocre teams, or teams that appear to be struggling, such as Weber, Murray and, allegedly, Russell, but Schultz has become thoroughly infected with the Oilers’ miasma of failure that I just can’t imagine Chiarelli is going to be able to salvage much draft value from him.

    The only possible alternative to get value might be if he finds a partner who needs to move out a contract to take Schultz, in which case he could perhaps pickpocket a good prospect flying under the radar.

  184. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    frjohnk,

    Agreed.

    Nurse will probably be better (not today) and his trade value is certainly higher. Also brings a level of nasty that I still believe this team needs.

    I’m not 100% against trading Davidson, I just don’t think anyone would value him enough to justify doing it. He’s worth more to us than he is to anyone else.

    We’re going to need some value contracts if we keep Sekera/Hall/Nuge/McDavid/Drai long term. Davidson represents an opportunity to lock someone up for a great price.

    We can’t ignore that.

  185. Bad Seed says:

    Wonder what Davidson will want on his next contract? He sees the Oilers paying an extremely soft and useless player 4M a year and must figure he’s in for a big payday too. I know circumstances are different but that Schultz payday must have the salary structure in disarray.

  186. ashley says:

    While I certainly don’t agree with the characterization of Hall as a cancer, a Hall trade has got to be something Chia is considering, I suspect. Not because he’s bad or can’t help us. He’s an impact player hitting his prime with more ceiling yet to come, but that might be the type of currency he decides to use to make a really big trade.

    I’m not saying Hall is expendable either. We would miss his production, his passion, and his skill immensely. But at some point, we need to balance the roster. Would we rather see him sell low on Yak for peanuts, RNH for a middle range Dman like Hamonic, or Hall for a truly ground breaking package? This might be the best step forward for the team.

    It would be awful to see him with another jersey on, but sometimes difficult decisions have to be made. This team’s ineptitude is getting a little bit ridiculous, or perhaps even better characterized as a complete joke, even to the most casual and marginal hockey fans.

  187. stephen sheps says:

    I mentioned accountability in my earlier rant – but I want to clarify what I meant seeing as how I put myself in a time-out for a week for a failure to clearly articulate my position among several other factors nobody cares about but me, (and perhaps G Money, who I speak to on occasion offline).

    When I said the players need to be more accountable, I was attempting to discuss a sense of collective, team driven accountability rather than trying to single out young players. G’s post earlier about Hall carrying the team on his back and emerging as an actual, honest to goodness leader on a team lacking those qualities was pretty much spot on. The reality is that Hall, McDavid and a handful of others (like Hendricks, who serves a very different function on the team) can’t do it alone and are killing themselves (figuratively, not literally) trying to carry the team on their backs. The trouble is they don’t have a strong enough support system in place to pick up the load. There appears to be either an unwillingness or an inability to try, and when TMac said in his presser last night that the spirit of the team was broken, that shows me at least that there isn’t an accountability process in place on a collective level.

    That’s why I brought up those great teams of the mid-late 90s. They weren’t ever ‘great’ the way the Blackhawks are now. They were a team that would work as a team and held each other to a higher standard. They knew what they were, but perhaps more importantly they knew what they weren’t.

    Personnel changes are coming, that much is certain. But once those changes are made, it’s still on the players (as a team) to figure out where to go from here.

  188. Woodguy says:

    G Money:
    Woodguy,

    I hope your interpretation is true.

    What worries me is the ‘we need to get bigger’ mantra, which was kind of the closing statement. That’s part of the history of why the team is as shitty as it is, passing over skill for coke machines.Hopefully that does mean “… with no significant decline in skill.”

    Easier said than done, though.

    Give the Oilers Tyler Spurgeon and Erik Karlsson and this team is smaller … and VASTLY better.

    I hope I’m right too.

    The alternative just makes me weep so I’m going with it.

    I feel good about it.

    Speaking of feeling good, I posted about buying Canadian gold miners and a couple EFTs a couple weeks ago.

    That portfolio is already up 14% for me in 2 weeks and the road is long, flat and the cops don’t drive there.

  189. Snowman says:

    RexLibris: Even when it has been legally established that we indeed are.

    In fact, especially so.

    I agree. If we’re not knuckleheads I’m not sure what we are.

    And if this place isn’t for knuckleheading I’m not sure what we’re all doing here.

  190. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    We have some new folks, and this is a good time to pass along a couple of rules. We don’t talk about players as assholes or dumbfucks and we don’t approach our fellow posters as a large group of knuckleheads. Thanks.

    They may though, if I deserve it, call me a dink.

  191. frjohnk says:

    Woodguy: They may though, if I deserve it, call me a dink.

    If?

    That’s a stretch!

  192. SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo! says:

    AsiaOil,

    Eberle has played two years and 100 games less than Okposo and has scored 7 more goals in his career. Okposo has scored more than 20 goal in a season twice, Eberle has scored less than 20 goals once (his rookie year). And while it may be a flawed stat Okposo is -11 this year and Eberle is -12.

    19 of Okposo’s 46 points come from the PP (he plays top unit with Tavares) 5goals and 14 assists

    9 of Eberle’s 36 points have come on the power play, 6 goals and 3 assists

    Ederle plays top parking right wing, Okposo plays second RW. There is also that NHL defence that the Islanders procured that most definitely helps Okposo but we won’t get into that.

    He’s definitely a lot bigger no doubt but it would appear that there is a gulf in offence between the two.

  193. vinotintazo says:

    Bad Seed: Wonder what Davidson will want on his next contract? He sees the Oilers paying an extremely soft and useless player 4M a year and must figure he’s in for a big payday too. I know circumstances are different but that Schultz payday must have the salary structure in disarray.

    eventhough Schultz was an RFA, he was brought in as a FA. as an Offensive Dman (those get payed a lot).

    Schultz a 2nd Round pick who was sought after by many NHL teams, he was going to get paid.

    That’s why he was making so much.

    Davidson is a 6th rounder, stay at home, shut down Dman (those dont get payed a lot). was drafted by the oil, thus having control of him for way longer.

    I think Gregor wrote an article of how much he will command.

    I think it was something between 1.25M to 1.5M AAV for two years, more if more years are included.

  194. GCW_69 says:

    Generational Poster: Point taken…but respectfully in terms of D-men I’d add to this off the top of my head:
    Ekblad
    Hedman
    Josi
    Burns (*assuming ext)
    J. Faulk
    Pietrangelo

    Only ones that would get any consideration at all from the other side IMO would *maybe* be BB and AP if the Sharks / Blues were looking to re-tool in the summer.Purely hypothetical anyway, I realize.

    Lindholm should be in that list as well. You might want a top up from the Ducks, but if they can get Lindholm and the price is Hall, they should do it.

  195. Adam Wu says:

    speeds: Marincin trade?
    Reinhart trade?
    Schultz QO?
    Letestu signing?

    Given how Marincin has been performing since, the Marincin trade in the context of the Gryba signing is a clear win.

    It is far far too early to call any sort reasonable judgment on the Reinhart trade.

    Schultz QO was reasonable at the time, and many agreed with it then. Just because a reasonable bet does not work out does not mean it was a bad decision at the time it was made.

    Absolutely nothing wrong with the Letestu signing. He has performed exactly to expectations as a 4C. He has been unsuccessful when used above those expectations, but that has nothing to do with the signing itself.

  196. SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo! says:

    GCW_69: Lindholm should be in that list as well. You might want a top up from the Ducks, but if they can get Lindholm and the price is Hall, they should do it.

    You want to trade Taylor Hall to the Ducks for Lindholm? I think this is the definition of cutting off your nose to spite your face

  197. Adam Wu says:

    speeds: Is it unreasonable to say that “He anteed up and the flop didn’t flop” would have been keeping Gordon and signing Semin to a 1 year deal that didn’t work out, not turning Gordon into Korpikoski and getting a player with an extra year?

    I’d say both scenarios can equally be described so. The difference would be in the hole cards.

  198. Adam Wu says:

    Amadeus: http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=45483

    For the first half of this season Lander and Letetsu were basically in competition for the same job, and Letetsu beat Lander straight up.

    We may like Lander because of the flashes of potential he had shown before (while Letetsu is someone new we hadn’t seen much of prior to this year) but when it came to on-ice performance this year, Letetsu earned the spot and Lander did not.

    You want to talk about accountability for on-ice performance? Well this is one example.

  199. Caramel Batman says:

    Adam Wu: Given how Marincin has been performing since, the Marincin trade in the context of the Gryba signing is a clear win.

    It is far far too early to call any sort reasonable judgment on the Reinhart trade.

    Schultz QO was reasonable at the time, and many agreed with it then. Just because a reasonable bet does not work out does not mean it was a bad decision at the time it was made.

    Absolutely nothing wrong with the Letestu signing. He has performed exactly to expectations as a 4C. He has been unsuccessful when used above those expectations, but that has nothing to do with the signing itself.

    I know everyone thinks that Marincin is still not a good player. I would point out that he has positive shot metrics (again) and is an even player on a bad team.

    The only evidence that Marincin isn’t a good player is that NHL types don’t seem to like him too much. But that reasoning is tautological. Otherwise there would be no point in doing any independent analysis and yet the whole premise of independent analysis is that the people making decisions aren’t always right.

    There is no evidence, so far, that Reinhart is a better player than Marincin. He did cost a lot more, so he has that in his favour.

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