HIS JUDGEMENT COMETH

The Edmonton Oilers lost a frustrating game last night, I thought they played their ‘woe-is-me’ style after falling behind early. The team didn’t play horribly, but they found a way to lose and they also found themselves being manhandled with very little in the way of push back for long stretches—until late in the game. With the third period counting down in a lost game, young Darnell Nurse took matters into his own hands and committed an act that may get him suspended. I do not believe in fighting and in no way condone that kind of behavior. I would be a liar if I said it was difficult to watch, in fact I enjoyed the absolute hell out of it. In my mid-50s, maturity still remains slightly out of reach.

MAKE IT STOP, 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: 4-8-2
  • Oilers in March 2015: 5-6-3
  • Oilers in March 2016: 3-2-0
  • Oilers after 69 in 2014-15: 18-39-12, 48 points (-77 GD)
  • Oilers after 69 in 2015-16: 26-36-7, 59 points (-37 GD)

Oilers gave up a goal early and to me they didn’t look overly sharp until later on. It was not a horrible effort, but it was a game that I watched with the detachment of a fan who has seen enough of these to know who isn’t coming back to make it close. Oilers need to be better, doesn’t matter if they are all 5.11 or 6.11—and that is a fact.

DEFENSEMEN, LAST NIGHT

oilers blue nov 30Score effects had a tale to tell here, but the Oilers (to my eye) were never in danger of being blown out, they just weren’t sharp in the skills and SJS were good (and lucky) in the closing zones.

  • Adam Clendening had a raucous night on an evening when the Oilers did not score. He was splendid, this was his best game, and I will count him as one of several players unlucky to post a point during the contest. Keep it up, young man!
  • Darnell Nurse posted good numbers and got even for the Bryan Marchment knee on knee against Doug Weight. If I could afford it, I would pay his fine personally. He looked good overall to my eye, and it is becoming a trend: The more physical the game, the more Nurse is involved. Griffin Reinhart would do well to copy that trend in his own game.
  • Andrej Sekera got cross checked at the end of the second period (no call) and is not helping on the power play. That aside, he had a reasonable evening, passing and transporting the puck with aplomb. He was on the ice for the first GA, I am going to put that one on the goalie.
  • Mark Fayne was playing LH side a lot to my eye, his passes seemed more crisp and successful during those moments. Does he see the ice better from LH side? It would be so Oilers for their one veteran righty to be better on his offside. Le Lordy.
  • Adam Pardy plays a lot and seems to have some calmness to his game. I am starting to see how he has been in the NHL for over 300 games without having any dominant skill (size is not a skill). He has had better games since arrival, I will give him credit for playing with rookie Reinhart (probably met earlier in the day), but that duo did not face the toughs and you would like to see better possession numbers from those minutes.
  • Griffin Reinhart has to be more decisive and physical. I saw him chasing a lot, and even though he did battle along the wall, didn’t successfully break any cycle I can recall. If his name was Arnie Brown, would we be talking about him less?

HIGH-DANGER SCORING CHANCES (INDIVIDUAL)

  • Two: Connor McDavid, Lauri Korpikoski, Jordan Eberle, Patrick Maroon, Mark Letestu
  • One: Taylor Hall, Matt Hendricks, Zack Kassian, Leon Draisaitl, Adam Pardy

mclellan capture 170915

  • Todd McLellan: “We didn’t put two passes together, we had 3-on-1s and were falling down, the first goal on Cam usually he handles that well. To a man, we weren’t real polished. You can create as many chances if you want but if you don’t have that sharpness and that acute awareness of what’s going on around you then you’re probably not going to put it in the net. Then it usually comes back to bite you on the other end and it did at both ends tonight.” Source

lander capture 33

CENTERS, LAST NIGHT

oil c nov 30

  • Anton Lander and his line had the puck heading in a good direction, he had the post on a long distance phone call and the line had their moments. You could run that as a 4line without too much worry and two of the three can PK.
  • Connor McDavid is either injured or his linemates are dummies. Time and again, the young center would speed up and give his wingman a passing target—only to see the winger (usually Eberle) skate into danger and lose possession, or try to shoot it in. I would change up the line, giving McDavid two wingers who have the sense God gave them.
  • Leon Draisaitl had another fine game, he is starting to get the feeling back. Got hammered repeatedly by Vlasic and drew a penalty, made some deft passes and even had a nice chance on his own. One of the better Oilers.
  • Mark Letestu and his line have no chemistry at all. Based on performances in recent games, I wonder if he is banged up—there is no spark in his game that I can see.

WINGERS, LAST NIGHT

oilers f nov 30

  • Adam Cracknell had another reasonable night, no reason he can’t play 4line next season (at low dollars).
  • Lauri Korpikoski had a fine possession night, but the play died on his stick with extreme prejudice. He isn’t good enough to play with McDavid, no sin in that, but he also doesn’t help much on the 3line. He puts the Oilers in a pickle for next year.
  • Nail Yakupov was on the Lost Highway line and it had the usual impact. He has areas of the ice where he does the strangest damn stuff, including one or two feet before his own blue line. Honestly, sometimes he looks like he is doing an air guitar solo, but whatever it is, he needs to cut it out.
  • Jordan Eberle looks like a guy so enchanted with McDavid’s game—and how easy he makes it look—he decided to get in there and try it himself. I love Eberle, but his major skill is puck on stick, in tight. Pass it to the center, young man, he will make you filthy rich.
  • Taylor Hall had a difficult night, he was clearly a half bubble off plumb with his passes and the way he thought the game, and then he got into that ‘black heart’ mode that usually means someone is going to be writhing in pain. I love Hall, love his temper and watching him play that style, but if he cannot manage his game when he is in that mode, then he needs to dial it back.
  • Matt Hendricks did his usual job, hard work and honest effort. On a night where the chances for Edmonton actually came often, thought his chance was pretty dangerous. Roman Polak knocked him off balance and he went ass over tea kettle on a dangerous looking play.
  • Patrick Maroon had a good not great game, you can see his value while also noting the limitations. I don’t know how much RW he has played but he looks comfortable there.
  • Zack Kassian has been very quiet in games recently, did get some clean air once and missed the net on a backhand.

nurse capture

One of the major events of the evening was the Nurse-Polak exchange. I mentioned after the second period that it was disappointing the Oilers weren’t pushing back more:

  • Sharks look good tonight, and they have had a few lucky bounces (that late period scramble in front of Reimer should have cashed). Two things: 1. The defense isnt very good, so we kind of have to make allowances for ability; 2. I was at the Ottawa home game and had the same feeling that night. This Oilers team looks for all the world like it is the next guy’s turn to dig the team out from the hole. I do NOT agree with those who say break up the kids, but would give a lot to see an Oilers team that stood up to the bully once in awhile.

Darnell Nurse did exactly that in the third period, and I am not going to bury him for it. It is true that I am against fighting, but it is also true that intimidation is part of the game. For so, so long, the Edmonton Oilers have been a welcome mat for visiting NHL teams. Too many instances where Robyn Regehr would end Ales Hemsky’s effectiveness for an entire season on a play that went uncalled by the referees. Look, the Oilers youth clearly has a reputation for being entitled brats, you see that every game. The refs look the other way on all kinds of calls—and honestly, I am not that upset about it. The team is young and does chirp way too much, need to channel that (I agree with Todd McLellan in this area).

That said, just as a 100 mph fastball under the chin after giving up two long home runs can send a message to the next hitter (don’t dig in too much, Moises!), so too Darnell Nurse mashing Polak’s face sends a new message to the other towns: We are dangerous, a little crazy, and there will be blood. A few years ago, the Tampa Bay Lightning were offended by a freaking Linus Omark shootout goal. What a pissy thing to get upset about. I have no quarrel with Darnell Nurse stepping up and taking care of business. If that makes me a bad person, bring it on. I am goddamned tired of watching Oilers players get run with no call, nor pushback. I hope Roman Polak is okay this morning, and I hope the same for Matt Hendricks. I have nothing but respect for Darnell Nurse this morning, hope his teammates feel the same way. If I hear an Eric Belanger ‘we will have to talk to him’ out of a veteran, I will lose it. Seriously. We have been waiting all century for someone to man up, and he is here. Let the word go forth: We are not the old, limp Oilers. Buckle up.

hennesseyj

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN 1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey. We will talk about Brandon Davidson, Darnell Nurse and the Oilers defense for next season.
  • Jeff Krushell, Krush Sports. MLB spring training underway, how many arms have fallen off?
  • Scott Cullen, TSN. NHL playoffs, NFL free agency and how many good young players will be available due to cap concerns this year?

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. I may have another NFL guest if free agency takes off.

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127 Responses to "HIS JUDGEMENT COMETH"

  1. Truth says:

    Great take on Nurse. If you hear someone say that Nurse’s actions did nothing for his team and teammates you know that person has never played a competitive game of hockey in their life. The team is closer today than yesterday.

  2. npanciroli says:

    Dead on re:Nurse. Fans and bloggers go on and on about the Oilers not defending their teammates, then this happens and everyone turns on Nurse? Outrageous.

  3. Woodguy says:

    If Nurse was running on the information that “Polak cheaped Hendy 4ft from the boards and risked his career” then absolutely you go over there and don’t ask for a fight, just start.

    I also think that Nurse should have got an instigator and should be suspended for a game.

    Do the crime and you do the time.

  4. OilClog says:

    Nothing wrong with what Nurse did, nothing wrong at all.

    Polak should send Hendricks a gift basket of forgiveness.

    I say the kids need to chirp even more so, they now have the meat and potatoes behind them to stand Alil taller.

    If Nurse and company can establish that there will be blood, glory is on the horizon.

    Seriously fuck that Logan guy.

    Yakupov has chemistry with McDavid, end story.

  5. Fortinbras says:

    It looks like the same rut in the ice that claimed Mcdavid’s collarbone was responsible for taking down Hendricks. Not Polak.

    But fight on Nurse, fight on.

  6. PhrankLee says:

    With his first fight with Lucic Nurse announced his own personal arrival to the league.

    With last night he caused the entire league to tighten their chinstraps when playing the Oilers from this point forward.

    I am proud of him but wish Polak had at least gotten his gloves off.

  7. hunter1909 says:

    OilClog: Seriously fuck that Logan guy.

    Great player. Wish he was an Oiler. Kind of like Cory Perry. Oiler killer. The type who wins the big game.

    OilClog: Yakupov has chemistry with McDavid, end story.

    He’s safe for the next 10 games.

  8. gregsaint says:

    Looks almost like Polak went to Nurse before the fight? Was he just going for a change? Did he chirp Nurse while trying to skate through him to the bench? Nurse certainly didn’t have to skate after him to start the fight, so I can understand the lack of an instigator. Maybe the refs (the linesman standing right there in particular) have more info about what was said as the fight started?

  9. Oilspill says:

    Except He Assaulted A Guy Who Did Nothing.

    Truth:
    Great take on Nurse. If you hear someone say that Nurse’s actions did nothing for his team and teammates you know that person has never played a competitive game of hockey in their life.The team is closer today than yesterday.

  10. JJ says:

    I continue to be shocked at how a “skilled team” is unable to move the puck quickly.
    I specifically recall the defense taking an extra second to get it to the winger, and the winger taking an extra second to get it to the centre.

    That extra second allows the other team get into position and take away time and space. Often, that extra second means the play dies right there. The Oilers seriously need to work on this.

    The Sharks first power play featured a pass to the slot area from the wing, and it was immediately one-touched (without stopping the puck) back to the point to create time and space.

    I saw two games live last year (not in Edmonton), the Rangers and the Hawks. I was struck at how fast the moved the puck until they had time and space and had the other team chasing the puck.

    My prediction is that until the Oilers learn to move the puck quickly and with better support in their own end, they will not contend for the championship. They must be taught this and practise this at high speed.

    Last night’s game was tough to watch.

  11. stevezie says:

    The criticism of Nurse is not wrong, but it also kind of misses the point.

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/not-to-be-messed-with-hockeys-best-fighters/

    That’s an article from Steve Dangle which (among other things) talks about how now that enforcers are (thankfully) on their way out, we’re back to what fights originally were- “angry fights”. Nurse’s scrap last night made sense.

    “The code” made fights nicer but completely illogical. It didn’t make sense that you could get out of a fight by declining- then how do enforcers stop rats? It doesn’t make sense for fights to be contests of manners- the goal is not to show how honourable you are , it’s to punish the other guy. Fights aren’t supposed to be nice.

    Now, this doesn’t mean Nurse doesn’t deserve a call from the league, It doesn’t even mean this sort of thing should be in the game. But I’ll give Nurse this: it made sense. It reminded me of Chris Pronger talking about “investment suspensions”.

    Sometimes it’s worth a penalty to let the other team know who you are.

    *Quoted from the very end of last thread

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

    Now I’ve been very vocal in my defense of Eberle lately but over the last few games the amount of dumpins from the wingers on CmD’s line has really started to piss me off. I don’t know if it’s the players, the coaches or a combination of both with a dash of hubris but we saw the same thing with Hall-Drais line a few months back as well.

    If an offensive system involves clipping McDavid’s speed through the neutral zone everyone and I mean everyone needs to step back and think for a moment. You have a 19 year old who is faster than damn near everyone in the league and probably also has the best set of hands this side of Patrick Kane. Hell Quenville lets Kane do whatever he wants because he knows that a certain level of skill will beat defense just a because it is so unpredictable.

    Again no idea who is behind this bizarre slide of dump and chase for the Chosen One but it should have stopped yesterday.

    One little item that has been bothering me a lot lately and I can’t tell if it’s just the good ole eye bias but does anyone else think that for a veteran defender owning a $6.5 million deal this year that Sekera uses the old Feremce technique of high off the glass and out a bit too often? I counted a shift last night where Sekera and a Sharks defense basically played catch as CMD circled back and forth in the neutral zone waiting for a pass before slamming his stick and heading off.

    That’s one example from lass game but I’m convinced that once someone is with his panic range that is the default play regardless of the forwards that are on the ice. Thoughts from the crowd?

  13. Water Fire says:

    I wish the league would protect it’s talent and we could watch more good hockey with occasional big hits etc.

    But if not then 4-5 guys with Nurse’s attitude is a good response even for morale’s sake.

  14. stevezie says:

    gregsaint,

    Polak was going for a change, stopped for a chirp. Didn’t expect the fight, clearly, and that’s why “the code” doesn’t make any sense. The whole point of using violence as a tool for deterrence is “if you push us, we’re going to push you back hard and fast”. The greatest lesson Batman ever taught us is “there’s no such thing as a fair fight.” The point of a fight is to win. If you hurt us, we’re going to hurt you and we’re not going to wait until you’re ready for it.

    I have no problem with the argument that it should be out of the game, but it made a lot of sense.

    Oilspill,

    Yep. Kind of a jerk move. As was Pronger.

    Still makes sense to trade him, but I hope they find another way.

  15. Caramel Batman says:

    If the team is dumping and chasing it is because that’s what the coach wants.

    The Sharks pbp analyst was on the radio yesterday and he mentioned that the difference between Deboer and McClellan is two things.

    1) More freedom for D to jump into the play, especially down low–result more offense from Vlasic and Burns
    2) Less dump and chase–result better 5×5 play.

    This seems to fit with how the Oilers play (i.e. the opposite of that).

    I’m starting to sour on the coach.

  16. Younger Oil says:

    Personally, going forward I’d like to see:

    Hall-Drai-Yak
    Maroon-McDavid-Eberle
    Khaira/Pakarainen-Lander-Kassian
    Hendricks-Letestu-Cracknell/Korpse

    Functional size/forechecking with skill on the top two lines, a third line with lots of energy with some defensive responsibility in Lander, and a defensively sound veteran 4th line.

    Then, Nuge and Pouliot can move into the third line spots when healthy and in theory we’ll have 3 well balanced scoring lines.

  17. Bar_Qu says:

    Oilspill:
    Except He Assaulted A Guy Who Did Nothing.

    This is true. And I feel like league discipline should come to bear. But it is also true we spend a lot of time complaining about the ref non-calls on plays and wish there was a way for the Oil not to get the short end of the stick all the time. Stuff like this is condoned by the league and until the Oil show other teams they can’t push without retaliation they will continue to be picked on.

    I don’t want the team to be thugs but I do want them to get beyond being pushed around.

  18. OilClog says:

    hunter1909: Great player. Wish he was an Oiler. Kind of like Cory Perry. Oiler killer. The type who wins the big game.

    He’s safe for the next 10 games.

    Logan is a asshat, the Sharks don’t win big games, that’s why we have their old coach now lol

    Yak is safe for the next 10 games watching Lauri take wing beside McDavid making Fayne look like the master of break out passes. Watching Eberle tag along and not really add anything.. Wtf happened to Eberle? Concussion? Or did Eakins just kill off all creativity, never to return forever lost in Narnia

    TMac needs to burn his Lauri love book, it’s a sin to tie such a ugly anchor to such a beautiful vessel.

  19. Aitch says:

    LT, how do you calculate the HD Scoring Chances? Cause I remember Nurse whizzing a rebound by the post from the 15-20 feet out in the slot. That certainly seemed like one of the best chances of the evening, yet, he gets no credit.

  20. kgo says:

    Oilspill:
    Except He Assaulted A Guy Who Did Nothing.

    If you remove Polak’s stick from the equation, Hendricks doesn’t crumple into the boards. I’ll post a regression model as proof this afternoon.

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

    Caramel Batman,

    That’s very interesting and while I don’t want to sour on the staff I really hope they take a good look at this in the offseason.

    Someone put up a quote yesterday that had I think Maroon saying that the way the Ducks were told to play the Oilers was to limit their transition game and neutralize their speed. Now dump and chase (actually place and chase) can be effectively utilized by guys with speed and tenacity but that doesn’t mean you have to enforce such a system equally across your lineup. I see almost no benefit of having Connor McDavid chase down a puck and beat Brent Burns in a board battle as opposed to him carrying it in and having his wingers get open. You can always dump and place if things don’t work out on the rush and he’s got the skill to do that but it should never be your go to move.

    The more I watch how Toronto is playing under Babcock, how Detroit plays now and if it’s to be true how the Oilers are going to play in the future my respect for Joel Quenville grows. He gave an interview a couple of years back when HBO had the series leading up to the Winter Classic and someone asked him about his strategy for coaching and he said something along the lines of “my only strategy is winning, I fucking love winning hockey games and my guys love to win fucking hockey games. I coach to win.” Now take away from that what you will but I think there is a subtle difference between coaching a system and coaching to win.

    I don’t know for sure but from what I’ve been told Quenville isn’t hated in the Hawks locker room unlike guys like Sutter, Babcock and to a lesser extent Hitchcock. Maybe there is a reason why the Hawks are a dynasty and other teams are just trying to keep up…

  22. jake70 says:

    “Zack Kassian has been very quiet in games recently.. ”

    Wonder if he is thinking that the last thing he will do is get himself hurt for a 29th place team when he is not assured work next year.

  23. jake70 says:

    I posted something similar last season but I think all evaluations of players using whatever stats they use should only include games against the Western Conf. The team “comes up for air” against the east but then right back down under vs the west it seems.

  24. kgo says:

    jake70:
    “Zack Kassian has been very quiet in games recently.. ”

    Wonder if he is thinking that the last thing he will do is get himself hurt for a 29th place team when he is not assured work next year.

    I doubt Kassian is thinking much on the ice. He’s either seeing red or he’s not. That’s why we need him, and that’s why we’ll sign him.

  25. bcoil says:

    stevezie,
    Oh So you where on the Bench and know what had been going on between the two for the last period????
    You obviously have never worn skates

  26. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    jake70:
    “Zack Kassian has been very quiet in games recently.. ”

    Wonder if he is thinking that the last thing he will do is get himself hurt for a 29th place team when he is not assured work next year.

    That 29th place team represents his best opportunity for continued employment in the National Hockey League.

    He’s sitting at 2 strikes here. Mailing it in to end this season won’t encourage other teams to take a chance on him.

  27. Younger Oil says:

    On Nurse:

    Again, we don’t have all of the information of what happened on the ice, but I think the backlash against Nurse was partly because he didn’t get the instigator penalty, which was no fault of his own. My guess is Polak didn’t really fight back because he wanted to draw that instigator penalty after seeing what happened with Domi, and also he didn’t think he did anything to Hendricks, so didn’t expect revenge from Nurse. However, it did not look good, and I expect Nurse will get a fine or suspension.

    On McLellan:

    Maroon said in his post game interview without much prompting that the coaching was very good, but the desire of the players just wasn’t there, especially after the early goal.

    They were piss poor in the neutral zone, for the first two periods at least, so they were never really in a position to carry the puck in.

    The main problem I have with McLellan is deployment and line combinations, especially on the PP, and especially pertaining to Lander and Yakupov.

    When the season is lost it is the best time to find out what you have in younger players, but he is giving showcase spots on skill lines to veterans who are already known quantities.

    Lander was a phenomenal player, especially on the PP last year, when he got the opportunity to play with skill. He was Sweden’s best player in the WHC. He was dynamite in the preseason. And then he’s only had 4th line pluggers to play with ever since, and Letestu is getting preferential treatment over him, while Letestu has proven to drag skilled players down. I refuse to believe that there isn’t a player in Lander, he has shown that he can play with skill in the NHL, AHL, and Internationally, but McLellan just hasn’t given him a chance this year, and it’s a damn shame.

    Sorry, got a bit carried away there.

  28. Aitch says:

    On another note, McLellan will certainly never say it out loud, but you know he had to be thinking that the hockey gods owed the Sharks that one last night after the performances put up by Scrivens two seasons ago and Brossoit last season where the goalies stood on their heads. Last night, the puck luck was extreme in their favour with the lost puck leading to one scramble goal and the other two going in off of tough deflections.

    If I were to criticize Nurse for anything last night, it’s not for the pounding he gave to Polak. No, it’s for giving Couture a ramp to shoot the puck up. Putting your stick out in front of you at such an angle is not helpful in terms of blocking shots. You’re not likely to change the direction of the puck, all you’re going to do is slightly change the angle of the puck as it ramps up the stick. That’s a great deflection at the other end of the ice, but in your own end, you need a flat stick. That way, if you do deflect the puck, it’s going to be more direct.

  29. dustrock says:

    Watched the game live last night, ironically left before the Nurse takedown of Polak. Polak was yapping all night so I’m not shocked something happened.

    My thoughts:

    – Reinhart – LT, think you’re being hard on him – actually thought, considering it was the Sharks, that he made generally considered decisions with the puck, pinched a couple of times on offence, and his gap control was quite good. He isn’t being as physical as he should, I agree with that, but I thought he was chasing much less than in his previous call-up.

    – Clendenning – best game, easily. Even his skating seemed better. Can’t see him as any kind of long-term solution.

    Fayne – it’s hard to pile on this guy. He is mostly competent, but I don’t find him a difference maker in any way. It’s not that he’s ever bad, just always “meh”. I know for LT that means he’s doing his job.

    McDavid – pardon my language, but what the fricking fuck is this team doing with CM97? This is either McLellan telling them to dump it in, or else his wingers, Kannibal Korsi Korpse and Jordan “Tee Time” Eberle, thinking a dump-in is a better option. What was there, 1 time in the game McDavid attacked with speed? And someone almost potted the rebound off his drive.

    Eberle – horrific game. Get the puck in a dangerous spot? Great, try to deke out the defender from a standstill. There were at least 2 occasions where that happened. See McDavid cruising with speed through the neutral zone? Great, dump it in champ! He was much better with Draisaitl and Maroon in the 3rd.

    Hall – trying hard as usual, fighting the puck, fighting the shitty Rexall ice, couldn’t make a pass.

    Draisaitl – he’s looked much better the last couple of games and he, Maroon and Eberle put on a fantastic shift early in the 3rd that got the best round of applause from the crowd the entire night. I’d say probably our best forward. Made some real good decisions and looked like a young Joe Thornton out there.

    Bottom 6 – basically invisible. Nobody really stood out. Maybe Hendricks for a few grit plays. Cracknell? Invisible? Lander? Looks like a 4C. Who else is there? Letestu? Invisible. Kassian? Bad game for him.

    Talbot – was very obviously fighting it early, but ironically I thought he was pretty sharp after the first 5 minutes. Got over well on a 2-on-1 in the 2nd and had a nice glove save as well. Not his best game, but he wasn’t the problem overall.

    And what was the overall problem: one team has something to play for. One team does not. That was very noticeable last night. What does McLellan say at the intermissions? I barely want to watch these games, I’m not surprised the players are having a hard time getting motivated.

  30. stevezie says:

    bcoil,

    What did I say that offended you?

  31. Dicky94 says:

    I agree with you LT 100% about Nurse! It is about time someone else is bleeding besides an Oiler when leaving Rexall. What Nurse did is fine in my books. Chris Pronger and Dave Manson used to snap from time to time and it scared the hell out of the opposition not knowing what they would do next. So keep it up Darnell!! I also think today will be the end of any silly talk of trading Nurse.

  32. dustrock says:

    Younger Oil,

    On Lander, my brother and I were talking at the game and thought maybe he could start playing with Draisaitl and Yakupov again, or hell, even McDavid and Hall.

    Put him with skill and see if he responds.

    We’re playing for nothing now, so really it’s time to see if you can salvage the careers of Lander and Yakupov, and to see if Kassian and Maroon can play top 6 wingers. Otherwise I’m not really sure what McLellan is coaching for.

  33. LoDog says:

    I have not watched multiple replays but Polak tried to throw off his gloves no? Just too slow?

    Did Avery get suspended for popping Smid when took to long to lose the gloves?

  34. Racki says:

    Applause from me for Nurse beating up Polak. There was no invitation here.. just go over and tune him in. If Gazdic had done that from time to time, he might actually still be here (although that isn’t such a great thing). At least Nurse will be on the ice a lot though to take care of business when needed.

    I’m still not sure that Polak did anything to make Hendricks go down. However, it’s Polak, so immediately I don’t feel too bad for him. Also, there might have been some contact.. hard to really tell. I am too elated with seeing a teammate stand up for another teammate with an exclamation point, no less.

    Yes, he should have gotten an instigator, and therefore a misconduct/1-game suspension. I think the refs gave him/the Oilers a bit of a reach-around there.

    This team is getting tough. Still some obvious holes in their game, but there’s also some significant injuries right now, and some obvious holes in the line up still (looking at you, Mark Fayne). The team needs a good offensive d-man and shutdown d-man, and the top six still needs a little bit of work too. A lot closer to an NHL team with everyone healthy though.

  35. dustrock says:

    Let’s try not to draw too many conclusions with McLellan as well as we play out another craptastic season.

  36. Genjutsu says:

    As much sense as I might make to trade Nurse for Hammonic it isn’t going to happen.

    I think we should all get used to the idea that Nurse will be spending the next 7-12 years patrolling the blue line in Oilers silks.

  37. leadfarmer says:

    An interesting read for anyone wanting to kill 10 minutes at work.

    http://www.theplayerstribune.com/doug-gilmour-nhl-letter-to-my-younger-self/

  38. Racki says:

    Nurse has a hearing with the league tomorrow. Wouldn’t be surprised if he gets 1 game.

  39. Truth says:

    Oilspill:
    Except He Assaulted A Guy Who Did Nothing.

    Everyone in the building (including the referees) thought otherwise. I’m sure Nurse realized this after the game by watching the highlights. The funny thing about it is if it was anyone on the ice that went down other than Hendricks, and Hendricks was on the ice, then the retribution would have came from Hendricks immediately. Not a couple shifts later when Polak was out of the penalty box.

    Nurse absolutely deserved the instigator, but it’s well worth it.

  40. Norman Greenbaum says:

    Racki:
    Nursehas a hearing with the league tomorrow. Wouldn’t be surprised if he gets 1 game.

    Zinda! His face black. His eyes red—

    Nurse is our Beast of Tanagra!

    Don’t want to de-rail the thread, but I know a few of you enjoyed this episode and have quoted from it. Here’s something you may find interesting, or not, but may go someway into explaining how things can become misinterpreted, like in yesterday’s thread.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2014/06/star-trek-tng-and-the-limits-of-language-shaka-when-the-walls-fell/372107/

  41. DRFNsuperstar says:

    Eberle is on a scary track towards Schiltz territory with the media.

    Oilspill:
    Except He Assaulted A Guy Who Did Nothing.

    Google Roman Polak hit, they are almost always dirty hits and he always has that dumb “what did I do” look on his face. If you play that way sometimes you’re going to get punched in the face. Getting jumped and punched a few times is a lot less risky that slew foots and high hits so I’d rather more guys do what Nurse did.

  42. Really? says:

    Is Nurse now on the Pronger development path? It seems that Pronger created an aura that said “you never know what I am going to do so tread softly”. After having scrapped with Lucic and now disciplining Polak maybe some players around the league will start to wonder. That may not be a bad thing.

  43. russ99 says:

    JJ:
    I continue to be shocked at how a “skilled team” is unable to move the puck quickly.
    I specifically recall the defense taking an extra second to get it to the winger, and the winger taking an extra second to get it to the centre.

    That extra second allows the other team get into position and take away time and space. Often, that extra second means the play dies right there. The Oilers seriously need to work on this.

    The Sharks first power play featured a pass to the slot area from the wing, and it was immediately one-touched (without stopping the puck) back to the point to create time and space.

    I saw two games live last year (not in Edmonton), the Rangers and the Hawks.I was struck at how fast the moved the puck until they had time and space and had the other team chasing the puck.

    My prediction is that until the Oilers learn to move the puck quickly and with better support in their own end, they will not contend for the championship. They must be taught this and practise this at high speed.

    Last night’s game was tough to watch.

    It’s pretty obvious why this is happening.

    Up against a big checking team, and we can’t carry it and have to throw it in anyway so at some point the guys get dejected since nothing is really working and we’re getting physically beat after dumping.

    I get why McLellan is reinforcing this, and it will make a difference when we get the horses and when (if) he takes the reins off certain lines at certain times.

    But still it’s hard for our current group to slog through it at times.

    The one thing he could change to give the guys some hope and add a little low-risk offense is change the composition of the power play. With a crease presence like Maroon on the team, remove the cyclers at the wing and let skilled players create more on the half-wall, and let the defensemen move the puck at times instead of being static point-shot robots.

    Your other points are spot on.

    The Oilers really need to stop letting the opposition set up on defense before doing anything on offense. Case in point, McDavid is so successful since he doesn’t do this and has the wheels/puck skills to cash in.

    Also we need either better support by forwards in the D-zone or acquire better 2-way players and move out some cherry-pickers.

  44. LoDog says:

    DRFNsuperstar,

    Yes, people should do that. Fuck Polak.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSCYTzOhNto

    Notice his dumb what did I do look. Seem familiar?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mckfQ8jBzZA

    Innocent here as well

    Google yourself if you are not familiar with the player. Tons of slew foots, boardings and checks from behind. Usually followed by his big stupid look.

    Oh and one more where he takes exception to a hit and does exactly what Nurse did.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQpeR9SBQtY&ebc=ANyPxKr94-NpnwoFDf5EyB8A9oFojzAfuMolE6cBx8w_AyYLhYIh4w_BqEpr-C_2FDdRlw4c7nFT8hc_RGsvsXggkfKKZ0lyDg

  45. McSorley33 says:

    Caramel Batman,

    I am as well.

    I get his resume.

    There is not a sentient being on the planet that can defend Korpse on our 2nd line.

    ANY other coach that would try that move would be lambasted in here.

    Letestu on PP.

    Why is it always our team that is being laughed at?

    Justin Schultz not playing 24 min/night….great.

    Hey Korpi, you have EARNED the promotion to play on the 2nd line withe the next great player of a generation.

    Meanwhile, Kassian and Yak, relegated to Mark Letestu’s line.

    We have less talent than most for sure . But deployment is an issue.

    Todd has given us more structure, no question.

  46. DBO says:

    For years we have been punching bags for the league. We have been soft, small, an easy game. Sorry, but I will not apologize for adding some crazy into this lineup. It is far gone time to make opponents hesitate before they take liberties. Kassian, Maroon, Hendricks, Nurse is a great start. McClellan talks about functional team toughness. We will still have smurfs due to our current makeup, but man its nice to see strength and size finally be part of this team.

    Embrace the nasty! Embrace the crazy! Cause the other way hasn’t worked.

  47. Norman Greenbaum says:

    DBO: Embrace the nasy!

    Yes, all must bow down to the mighty nasy!

  48. DBO says:

    Norman Greenbaum: Yes, all must bow down to the mighty nasy!

    yep, fast typing. Darn smartphones. Now if we can just get a guy named Nasy, then it all works!

  49. Norman Greenbaum says:

    DBO: yep, fast typing. Darn smartphones. Now if we can just get a guy named Nasy, then it all works!

    I often find the spelling mistakes work better than the original word. I have a very under-developed sense of humour.

  50. vinotintazo says:

    lines @ practice.

    Hall-McD-Kass
    Marron-Drai-Ebs
    Korpse-Letestu-Yak
    Cracknell-Lander-Pakarinen

  51. leadfarmer says:

    Really?:
    Is Nurse now on the Pronger development path? It seems that Pronger created an aura that said “you never know what I am going to do so tread softly”. After having scrapped with Lucic and now disciplining Polak maybe some players around the league will start to wonder. That may not be a bad thing.

    I think he is more of on a Phaneuf development plan. I know that is a hated name around here, but I think he develops into a number 3 with a mean streak with good physical attributes but a little lacking on the hockey sense.

  52. frjohnk says:

    I’m really on the fence here.

    I love Nurse. Love his attitude and I’m one of the few who does not want to trade him for Hamonic/or already top 4 D man. I have patience for Nurse to turn into a top pairing Dman.

    Probably my 2nd favorite Oiler.

    I loved it but was kinda scared for him when he took on Lucic. That proved to me that this kid/monster is something special. He is the guy I want on my team.

    Loved it when he destroyed that Senator.

    But people are confusing what Nurse did last night, justification for all the Hemsky/Regher, Gagner/Kassian et al incidents that have happened to the Oilers, over the years.

    I love the fact that Nurse is sending the message that the Oilers are not to be fucked with. But I just didn’t like the fact that Nurse jumped an unwilling combatant who really had no chance to fight back and could only try to absorb punches with his arms and nose.

    If Nurse would have challenged him, I’m 100% behind the whole situation.

    But he didn’t and for me that’s the issue. if an opposing player would ever grab an Oiler and start feeding him punches without the Oiler player having much of a chance id be absolutely irate.

  53. DRFNsuperstar says:

    LoDog,

    Thank you for all the perfect examples!

  54. stush18 says:

    The whole point of the dump and chase with mcdavid and hall is to push the defense back. Eventually they start widening there gaps anticipating a dump and board battle, and that opens up space to enter the zone freely.

    Also hall and mcdavid rarely dump it themselves, and if they do it’s more a “place” where they can fly and get it.

    You all heard maroon. Teams are told to stay close and try to neutralize speed against the oilers. Best way to beat that is to put it behind them and beat them in a race to it.

    I have no issue with Tmacs systems, rather his players he deploys.

  55. kooler says:

    Sure didn’t see any Shark team mates come to Polaks rescue last night or help him off the ground….is he in the same category as Avery and Cooke?

  56. LoDog says:

    frjohnk,

    Check the last link I posted above (well check them all but this one is to your point).

    He didn’t give Stalberg a chance to drop his gloves just laid into him. Polak deserves no sympathy.

  57. Chachi says:

    kooler,

    Yes he is in the same scumbag category.

  58. stush18 says:

    Also heard mention on the broadcast last night that the Sharks were playing their 3rd in 4 nights.

    If that’s the case, even more reason to dump and chase and hammer them senseless until their legs and brains start to give out.

    I actually think the oilers were playing well until that first goal.

  59. russ99 says:

    McSorley33:
    Caramel Batman,

    I am as well.

    I get his resume.

    There is not a sentient being on the planet that can defend Korpse on our 2nd line.

    ANY other coach that would try that move would be lambasted in here.

    Letestu on PP.

    Why is it always our team that is being laughed at?

    Justin Schultz not playing 24 min/night….great.

    Hey Korpi, you have EARNED the promotion to play on the 2nd line withe the next great player of a generation.

    Meanwhile, Kassian and Yak, relegated to Mark Letestu’s line.

    We have less talent than most for sure . But deployment is an issue.

    Todd has given us more structure, no question.

    Seems that McLellan’s number one rule is have someone on the ice that can continue the cycle at all times.

    Not a fan.

  60. Undisclosed_Personal_Reasons says:

    LoDog,
    great links.

    His Judgment Cometh!

  61. PhrankLee says:

    At first we were like

    http://i.imgur.com/T3iM1Ob.gifv

    And then we were like

    https://streamable.com/jzei

    Thanks Obama.

    Ha ha. It’s ugly. Darnell may feel the sting later in his early career with referee stink eyes.

    But it’s done and like Lt mentioned last night it’s good to push back on the bully that is the Pacific division.

  62. jzed says:

    Gretzky had Semenko, Brown, McSorley, etc. . McDavid will have a bulked up, nasty Nurse setting the tone, and everybody better start keeping their heads up when they play the Oil, bout bloody time!

  63. Halfwise says:

    frjohnk:
    I’m really on the fence here.

    I love Nurse. Love his attitude and I’m one of the few who does not want to trade him for Hamonic/or already top 4 D man. I have patience for Nurse to turn into a top pairing Dman.

    Probably my 2nd favorite Oiler.

    I loved it but was kinda scared for him when he took on Lucic. That proved to me that this kid/monster is something special. He is the guy I want on my team.

    Loved it when he destroyed that Senator.

    But people are confusing what Nurse did last night, justification for all the Hemsky/Regher, Gagner/Kassian et al incidents that have happened to the Oilers, over the years.

    I love the fact that Nurse is sending the message that the Oilers are not to be fucked with. But I just didn’t like the fact that Nurse jumped an unwilling combatant who really had no chance to fight back and could only try to absorb punches with his arms and nose.

    If Nurse would have challenged him, I’m 100% behind the whole situation.

    But he didn’t and for me that’s the issue. if an opposing player would ever grab an Oiler and start feeding him punches without the Oiler player having much of a chance id be absolutely irate.

    I’m not on the fence at all in this situation.

    Polak does this shit all the time. Maybe his surprise isn’t an act because he usually gets away with it, or maybe it’s an act. LoDog’s excellent links are just examples of the dangerous BS he pulls.

    The NHL’s officials could call this stuff but they choose not to. Why? Why do they call penalties on piss-ant little things but turn a blind eye to dangerous acts near the boards?

    The NHL won’t stop Polak but Nurse just did. The lesson will be remembered and word will get around.

    I’m tired of this team losing, and I’m tired of this team getting beaten up, and I’m tired of all the injuries to our star players. But I’m also tired of the NHL’s hypocrisy and double standards.

    Question: does the injury toll on the Oilers, year after year after year, reflect just bad luck? Or is part of it down to the roster makeup, style of play and nature of the officiating?

    Teams full of veterans get away with more. I’m sure of it. Matt Greene probably agrees.
    Teams full of whiny youth that have never earned the respect of the rest of the league also haven’t earned the respect of the officials. Of that I am sure as well.

  64. kinger_OIL says:

    – i wish there were more posters or perspective from people who have played elite-level sport to provide insight into the dynamics of what we are watching

    – I wasn’t super-elite in sports, but played enough at a high level in a few sports to understand what’s going on with this team when LT observes: “it was a game that I watched with the detachment of a fan who has seen enough of these ”

    – This is a team that knows that the end is coming. The band is being broken up, and there are going to be a bunch of changes. Its hard to play a team sport when you have nothing to play for, and you know a lot of teammates aren’t going to be there next year. A bunch of new guys have come in that you don’t have a bond with as well. Coach is in a tough spot to motivate

    – Now I know most would say: “hey for millions of dollars, I’d be trying my heart out”. There is a dynamic of team sport and culture that is manifesting itself here. If they go hot early, they will want to continue because its fun, but this group is broken, they all know its broken. Score early on them, they know they are done: what’s the point?

    – Nurse being a goon, he’s just a manifestation of the hurt this team is in.

  65. JDï™ says:

    This is the line you don’t want your young players crossing:


    Sean Leahy
    ‏@Sean_Leahy

    NHL announces Jarred Tinordi suspended 20 games for violating the terms of
    the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program.

  66. Caramel Batman says:

    Some year over year numbers on San Jose. Keep in mind that this is an aging team that should have declined year over year. Biggest off season change was the coaching staff.

    15-16 5×5 play

    GF/GA +15
    Score adjusted Corsi 51.4% (52.6 for Fenwick)
    PDO 100.2
    HDSC% 56.6
    SC% 53.3

    14-15
    GF/GA -16
    Corsi 51.5, Fenwick 51.2
    PDO 99
    HDSC% 52.1
    SC% 51.2%

    Conclusion: The Sharks are a better team, perhaps much better, under Deboer than McClellan.

    Worrisome.

  67. Hockey Buddha says:

    I’m not in favour of fighting, but I’d rather watch a guy give a guy a broken nose then watch a guy get a broken neck from a dangerous hit. Polak has bit of history of questionable/dangerous hits. Now he and Nurse have some history.

  68. Halfwise says:

    Caramel Batman: Conclusion: The Sharks are a better team, perhaps much better, under Deboer than McClellan.

    Worrisome.

    The Oilers are a better team, perhaps much better, under Todd McLellan. So win-win.

  69. Caramel Batman says:

    Halfwise: The Oilers are a better team, perhaps much better, under Todd McLellan.

    This is true. Unfortunately, the Oilers added McDavid this year.

  70. Spoils says:

    can we discuss how skilled a puncher Darnell is? the timing the accuracy? he really lands punches. remember when he punched through Hunter Smith’s visor?

    BEAST

  71. Ducey says:

    Caramel Batman:
    Some year over year numbers on San Jose.Keep in mind that this is an aging team that should have declined year over year.Biggest off season change was the coaching staff.

    15-16 5×5 play

    GF/GA +15
    Score adjusted Corsi 51.4% (52.6 for Fenwick)
    PDO 100.2
    HDSC% 56.6
    SC% 53.3

    14-15
    GF/GA -16
    Corsi 51.5, Fenwick 51.2
    PDO 99
    HDSC% 52.1
    SC% 51.2%

    Conclusion:The Sharks are a better team, perhaps much better, under Deboer than McClellan.

    Worrisome.

    Yeah, there’s the ticket. Its the coach!

    But for his shootins, this team would be right in the playoff mix.

    *shakes head in disbelief*

  72. Norman Greenbaum says:

    Ducey: Yeah, there’s the ticket.Its the coach!

    But for his shootins, this team would be right in the playoff mix.

    *shakes head in disbelief*

    He’s clearly playing for Corsi!

  73. Halfwise says:

    Caramel Batman: This is true.Unfortunately, the Oilers added McDavid this year.

    Ah, of course. McDeity. I’ve heard of that player. Did anything else change?

    Also, were you making a point or just stopping by to cheer us up?

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

    From the Oilers Twitter

    Hendricks absent from today’s practice in Leduc. RNH participating, could return to #Oilers as early as Saturday. https://t.co/BSLEFv0fDK

  75. Ducey says:

    Caramel Batman: This is true.Unfortunately, the Oilers added McDavid this year.

    On paper. Not so much on the ice.

  76. dustrock says:

    JDï™:
    This is the line you don’t want your young players crossing:


    Sean Leahy
    ‏@Sean_Leahy


    NHL announces Jarred Tinordi suspended 20 games for violating the terms of
    the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program.

    I’m sure there’s some members of the Edmonton Oilers, past, present, and future, who have and currently are violating the policy.

  77. GCW_69 says:

    Halfwise: The Oilers are a better team, perhaps much better, under Todd McLellan. So win-win.

    What is your evidence? I see improved goaltending and little else. Nelson’s team was better with the lead. Nelson’s ragtag roster also had about 31% of its corsi events with the lead to only 22% for TMac, indicating they not only played better with the lead, but had the lead considerably more often despite some of the worst goaltending of this century. TMac has had solid goaltending and this McDavid kid and does not appear to be able to do much with it.

    http://www.coppernblue.com/2016/3/8/11180970/comparing-todd-mclellan-todd-nelson-and-dallas-eakins-do-we-have-a

  78. Norman Greenbaum says:

    dustrock: I’m sure there’s some members of the Edmonton Oilers, past, present, and future, who have and currently are violating the policy.

    What on this good green Earth would possess you to post this? Please retract this garbage.

  79. rickithebear says:

    stush18: Also heard mention on the broadcast last night that the Sharks were playing their 3rd in 4 nights.

    SJS played there 2nd in 4 nights.

    The other night against Calgary
    M. jones played.
    SJS did not!

  80. ashley says:

    Darnell looks more and more like a Bruin every game, despite his fancy stats and other issues. At this rate, he’s never going to see the AHL again.

  81. prairieschooner says:

    “I wish he had got his gloves off”
    Not me !
    For one thing he could have got his gloves off He is a professional Hockey player very used to the rough stuff Yes he could have got his gloves.He was more likely hoping to see Nurse penalised.
    Secondly if you want to send the message to other teams in the league this was the way to do it with a soupcon of crazy added for good measure.
    The Oilers need more of this not less It is called changing the culture, the culture of how the Refs the Players and the other Teams have seen the Oilers for the past umpteen years.

  82. PunkInDrublic says:

    To me, this one incident puts Nurse on the ‘do not trade until you know EXACTLY what you have’ list.

    Even if Nurse’s ceiling is say, 4D, he’s got all the tools necessary to compete and dominate at that level, he just needs time to get there.

    I don’t think Nurse will ever reach even 80% of what Pronger contributed to his teams, but for his place in the line-up, it’s a perfect fit.

    The willingness to lead, the physical tools, the toughness/craziness, the accountability to teammates… All are essential to this team moving forward.

  83. npanciroli says:

    People seem to forget SJ had some dominant years under McLellan. They quit on him last year. The Pacific is brutal this year also, those years the Pacific was legit.

    The four best years.

    117 pts +52 GD
    113 pts +49 GD
    105 pts +35 GD
    111 pts +49 GD

    I don’t buy that this year’s Sharks are better than those years.

  84. Halfwise says:

    GCW_69: What is your evidence? I see improved goaltending and little else.

    Nice article, thanks for doing that work.

    You’ve defined success in terms of results and built your analysis out from there. Makes sense; at the end of the day we’re talking about winning not about style points.

    I think the journey to winning has to go through the creation of a culture that includes structure and discipline. Obviously roster makeup is also a factor. And nothing happens independent of what the other teams are up to, and how rules evolve, and some luck both good and bad.

    The on-ice product is only part of the picture; there’s a crowd with pitchforks and torches that’s been growing for a couple of years and so managing the image of this team is important. National media, UFA players and the general public need some reassurance that there’s a respectable plan and experienced leadership.

    Taking this bigger picture into account, I’m content that McLellan is a good choice for coach, and that previous incumbents after Tom Renney were not a great fit.

    But I appreciate your analysis of the on-ice numbers. The standard ultimately is about beating other teams; one unanswerable question is “which of the many Oiler coaches of the past decade had the best personal tools and temperament for building a team that could consistently do that?”

    So much noise, so little signal for dealing with that question.

  85. LoDog says:

    npanciroli,

    Yes and other than the 7 or 8 new players on the team the only thing that has changed is the coach.

    Sigh.

  86. LMHF#1 says:

    Didn’t watch last night but saw some alarming comments in the thread and now from LT today. Are they really avoiding passing to McDavid?

    If this is happening it needs to be nipped in the bud yesterday. If there are players on the team who have an issue with 97 being the star, ship them out. Period.

  87. npanciroli says:

    LoDog,

    Player personnel is much different I agree with you there. Would be neat if we could see what DeBoer would have done with McLellan’s teams. I think the Sharks should be much better this year than their stats are showing based on personnel.

  88. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Caramel Batman,

    how about the previous years? LA didn’t make the playoffs last year, 2015 Flames>2015 Kings

    I hate that argument, man

  89. LoDog says:

    npanciroli,

    BTW I was agreeing with you not sure if I made that clear. Was sighing about a post or two above that said basically only the coach changed so TMac sucks, 🙂

  90. npanciroli says:

    For curiosity sake. Here are leaders in ice time – D and top 6 Forwards (in order) from McLellan’s best year and this year.

    2015-16 D Ice time
    Burns, Vlasic, Braun, Martin, Polak, Dillon
    F
    Pavelski, Marleau, Thornton, Ward, Couture, Hertl,
    G
    Jones

    2008-09 D Ice time
    Boyle, Vlasic, Blake, Ehrhoff, Murray, Lukowich
    F
    Marleau, Thornton, Pavelski, Michalek, Clowe, Setoguchi
    G
    Nabokov

  91. godot10 says:

    leadfarmer: I think he is more of on a Phaneuf development plan.I know that is a hated name around here, but I think he develops into a number 3 with a mean streak with good physical attributes buta little lacking on the hockey sense.

    Wash your mouth out with soap. Phaneuf doesn’t fight anybody his own size willingly. Phaneuf only picks on guys smaller than himself.

    Nurse has taken only tough guys his own size in Lucic, McCormick, and Polak, and two of the meanest SOB’s in the NHL in Lucic and Polak.

    I am for banning fighting, but as long as fighting is still legal, what Nurse did was perfectly fine to a known bully like Polak. He was picking on a bully, not preying on an innocent skill player.

    Polak touched Hendricks just enough to knock him off balance…yeah there was plausible deniability if one could see the replay, but Nurse didn’t see the replay.

  92. godot10 says:

    frjohnk:

    If Nurse would have challenged him, I’m 100% behind the whole situation.

    But he didn’t and for me that’s the issue. if an opposing player would ever grab an Oiler and start feeding him punches without the Oiler player having much of a chance id be absolutely irate.

    Polak is a bully. Bullies don’t fight guys their own size. If you are waiting for a bully to be “honourable”, you will be waiting for a long time.

  93. RexLibris says:

    For the record, I didn’t watch last night’s game until the final 9 minutes.

    Saw the score, saw my Twitter timeline and thought I’d get some other things done instead.

    Checked back in to see the atmosphere of the game in the waning minutes, so I missed the Hendricks collision but saw Nurse’s response.

    Sharks were absolutely dumbfounded at the incident and Polak looked like he was expecting to go to the Opera and walked in on a Stampede Wrestling Event in full swing. Just beside himself sitting on the ice.

    So while it is probably going to benefit the team to some extent to begin to be known around the league for the potential for “crazy”, two things need to happen now.

    1. Nurse needs to face at least a one-game suspension. If the tables were turned we’d be screaming bloody murder and regardless of the circumstances the league needs to enforce its own rules, even while it turns a blind eye to so many others, or risk more violence becoming the new norm.

    2. Nurse needs to continue to develop and grow as an actual NHL defender. Being the toughest, angriest man on the ice won’t be worth a damn if he can’t play in your top four, ideally your top two.
    If he can become a 1st pairing defenseman while still keeping that CrazyEyes dimension to his game then he becomes an extremely valuable player to the team.

    I’m very interested to see how the storylines on this team develop between now and the final Calgary game April 2nd. That game could decide draft order, but more specifically it could carry a lot of emotion for two teams frustrated at the end of trying seasons and both rosters now have a few pot-stirring types.

  94. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Remember when Emery raced down the ice and thumped an unwilling Holtby in a 7-0 game.
    Emery did not receive a call from the league.

    What Nurse did was not near as bad, but unfortunately for him (and Polak’s face) he did it with less time on the clock.

  95. Racki says:

    JDï™:
    This is the line you don’t want your young players crossing:


    Sean Leahy
    ‏@Sean_Leahy


    NHL announces Jarred Tinordi suspended 20 games for violating the terms of
    the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program.

    Actually, this digs up a very interesting eyebrow raiser Bergevin said after Tinordi was traded to the Coyotes:

    “I have some reason (for trading Tinordi). I can’t really tell you why, but if I could, you would understand.”

    EDIT: Actually, apparently Arizona knew about the PEDs before the trade.

  96. Ribs says:

    vinotintazo:
    lines @ practice.

    Hall-McD-Kass
    Marron-Drai-Ebs
    Korpse-Letestu-Yak
    Cracknell-Lander-Pakarinen

    Nope, the lemonade still tastes like crap, coach!

    Marincin to play top minutes now for the Leafs. What did we get for that guy? Brad Ross (speaking of banned substances…) and a 4th? Right on. At least they turned the 4th into Gryba.

  97. DBO says:

    Ribs: Nope, the lemonade still tastes like crap, coach!

    Marincin to play top minutes now for the Leafs. What did we get for that guy? Brad Ross (speaking of banned substances…) and a 4th? Right on. At least they turned the 4th into Gryba.

    RIbs. The leafs are icing an AHL team right now. Top pairing doesn’t mean a real top 2 dman. For many years Justin Schultz played top 2 minutes. Does that make him a top 2 dman? Hey, I played top 2 minutes on my beer league team, and i’m a terrible skater. No one wanted to play defense, so they were stuck with me. Doesn’ t make me a top 2 dman in ability.

  98. kgo says:

    I can’t believe Marincin still has supporters on this blog. Maybe y’all should take a break from the spreadsheets and watch a few of his games, balance your perspective a bit.

  99. Racki says:

    kgo:
    I can’t believe Marincin still has supporters on this blog.Maybe y’all should take a break from the spreadsheets and watch a few of his games, balance your perspective a bit.

    Agreed

  100. commonfan14 says:

    McSorley33: There is not a sentient being on the planet that can defend Korpse on our 2nd line.

    I was initially pretty angry about this too, but really it makes a ton of sense for the team.

    What’s the best way to find a buyer this summer for Korpi and his terrible contract? Play him with McDavid and hope he pots a few.

    I hate that it hinders McDavid’s Calder chances, but it’s actually a fairly smart thing to do at this point.

  101. Racki says:

    DBO: RIbs. The leafs are icing an AHL team right now. Top pairing doesn’t mean a real top 2 dman. For many years Justin Schultz played top 2 minutes. Does that make him a top 2 dman? Hey, I played top 2 minutes on my beer league team, and i’m a terrible skater. No one wanted to play defense, so they were stuck with me. Doesn’ t make me a top 2 dman in ability.

    Marincin as top pair… reading that as Leafs working hard to increase their chances of a lotto win.

  102. JDï™ says:

    kgo: Maybe y’all should take a break from the spreadsheets and watch a few of his games

    Not sure how many times I’ve read this exact comment on this blog, but I can say that it never gets more tired that it was the first time.

  103. RexLibris says:

    commonfan14: I hate that it hinders McDavid’s Calder chances, but it’s actually a fairly smart thing to do at this point.

    Korpikoski is less of a hindrance to McDavid winning the Calder than the jersey he dons every game in the eyes of many in the media.

    I’d love for him to win, but if he doesn’t you can be sure I’ll wear that like a badge of honour for the next dozen years.

  104. LoDog says:

    JDï™,

    Equalling tiring as the constant pining for a mediocre at best dman. Before the laffs started icing a full AHL roster instead of half one he was the 7D. Soft minutes and no PK or PP. 7D left hander on the laffs. Think about that.

  105. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    kgo:
    I can’t believe Marincin still has supporters on this blog.Maybe y’all should take a break from the spreadsheets and watch a few of his games, balance your perspective a bit.

    I can’t believe anyone that reads this blog is somehow still immune to information.

  106. kinger_OIL says:

    commonfan14,

    Common says: “What’s the best way to find a buyer this summer for Korpi -Play him with McDavid and hope he pots a few.”

    Yup – Chia: “Hey we’ve got this big guy Korpse, great pedigree, he potted a dozen goals for us, close to 30 points. We like him a lot, he’s just blocked with all our skill”

    – I’d also like to see Brossoit start a half-dozen games down the stretch to see where he is, but giving games to Talobt for his own development is probably more important to team

  107. frjohnk says:

    godot10: Polak is a bully.Bullies don’t fight guys their own size.If you are waiting for a bully to be “honourable”, you will be waiting for a long time.

    And we are to think Nurse’s actions last night are any different? Jumping a guy before he knows what is going is a “bully act”.

    Many are justifying Nurses actions because many fans feel the Oilers have been on the receiving end too many times and/or also because said player in question ( Polak) is a douche.

    Really?
    Oilers need to commit suspendable acts to prove how tough we are/ or to send a message to the league we are not to be screwed with anymore?

    I don’t believe so.

    Im not against fighting and as I have said before Nurse is my 2nd favorite player, and even though many would, I would not trade him. My issue is that Im troubled that Nurse has stooped to the level that many feel Polak is at.

    Maybe many Oiler fans wouldn’t be that upset if an Oiler was jumped ( bully or not) and couldn’t get their gloves off while an opposing player pounded on them. But I know I would be.

    I know Im in the minority here and if Im in the minority Im probably wrong, but that’s OK. That’s what makes LT’s blog so great. We can all agree to disagree, but be civil and then move on.

  108. stevezie says:

    frjohnk,

    Fuck yourself

  109. vinotintazo says:

    woah

  110. Centre of attention says:

    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers · 5m5 minutes ago

    #Oilers recall Jordan Oesterle from @Condors. The d-man has one assist in four NHL games plus 23 points in 42 AHL games this season.

  111. Halfwise says:

    You’ve earned respect here, Padre.

    That’s what Nurse is doing.

    The rules for earning respect aren’t all written down, and the ones that ARE written down aren’t always the ones that matter.

  112. Halfwise says:

    stevezie:
    frjohnk,

    Fuck yourself

    I hope you meant to leave off the irony mark.

  113. JDï™ says:

    LoDog: Equalling tiring as the constant pining for a mediocre at best dman.

    It’s not tiring to try and find some evidence of a player being useful, but deriding someone for doing so is idiotic and narrow minded.

    Your eyes are the least reliable means of judging 1/23rd of a team, and when you include all the biases it’s really laughable to tell someone to stop trying to discover a better method.

    Don’t like reading about it? Then don’t. There’s a haven for fans like this, and it’s called ON.

  114. kgo says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I’m not denying that Marincin has value and great underlying numbers, I’m suggesting too much weight is being placed on nascent, imperfect, evolving metrics. I’m not saying the metrics are wrong, just that they don’t paint the whole picture. Marincin is unique in that he represents maybe the largest divergence of opinions on this blog anongst d-men.

    Further, how could broadening one’s perspective (in any respect) be misguided?

  115. Ribs says:

    DBO: RIbs. The leafs are icing an AHL team right now. Top pairing doesn’t mean a real top 2 dman. For many years Justin Schultz played top 2 minutes. Does that make him a top 2 dman? Hey, I played top 2 minutes on my beer league team, and i’m a terrible skater. No one wanted to play defense, so they were stuck with me. Doesn’ t make me a top 2 dman in ability.

    I’m not suggesting that Marincin is or ever will be a top two d-man. I do believe that they should have waited a while to trade him. A $6.25M/yr coach is playing him in his top two right now, and I think that says something to what his true value might be (scorched earth or not).

  116. frjohnk says:

    stevezie:
    frjohnk,

    Fuck yourself

    Man. At least let me get a chance to get my gloves off.

  117. stevezie says:

    frjohnk,

    Sorry friar, I’m sending a message!

  118. Магия 10 says:

    Centre of attention:
    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers· 5m5 minutes ago

    #Oilers recall Jordan Oesterle from @Condors. The d-man has one assist in four NHL games plus 23 points in 42 AHL games this season.

    So the 4 non-emergency recalls are LB and the 3 D (Nurse, Reinhart, Oesterle)

    Are they expecting more than a game for 25?

  119. Caramel Batman says:

    kgo:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I’m not denying that Marincin has value and great underlying numbers, I’msuggesting too much weight is being placed on nascent, imperfect, evolving metrics. I’m not saying the metrics are wrong, just that they don’t paint the whole picture.Marincin is unique in that he represents maybe the largest divergence of opinions on this blog anongst d-men.

    Further, how could broadening one’s perspective (in any respect) be misguided?

    You suggested far more than that.

    And I love the idea that “advanced” statistics are somehow mystical, uncertain, things. It’s just counting.

    For instance when I say that Marincin has a 56% scoring chance percentage there is nothing arcane about that. It is simply the counting of scoring chances by some objective criteria and the dividing of the for by the against.

    So if you want to say that Marincin is not a good NHL player the basic fact you have to contend with is how it is possible that a bad team out chances the other team when a bad player is on the ice.

    In so doing, I’d appreciate you not refer to to concepts like “toughness” or “hard in front of the net” or other such terms. Not because they don’t matter but rather, to the extent that they do, they should matter directly in relation to scoring chances. That is, they’ve already been counted, and I don’t see why they should be counted twice.

    I’ll give you a hint. It starts with Marincin’s pt/60 number, which is very low.

  120. Caramel Batman says:

    And for reference, for those doubting the veracity of scoring chance metrics the two best by high danger scoring chances (amongst those who have played a significant number of games)

    Davidson and Klefbom

    The worst:

    Reinhart and Nurse

    The actual worst (small sample size)

    Hunt and Ference

    That sure seems to pass the smell test.

    Oh yeah, and Korpikoski is a goddamn black hole of suck.

  121. frjohnk says:

    stevezie:
    frjohnk,

    Sorry friar, I’m sending a message!

    Can you send an ice pack as well ?

  122. godot10 says:

    frjohnk: And we are to think Nurse’s actions last night are any different?Jumping a guy before he knows what is going is a “bully act”.

    Nurse didn’t go looking for Polak. Polak skated into Darnell’s space (going from the penalty box to the bench). If you don’t want to get the bull horns, stay out of his pen. Take a detour to the bench.

    It was the same way with Pronger and Potvin. Skate into their space at your own peril.

  123. Mr DeBakey says:

    Caramel Batman: That sure seems to pass the smell test.
    Oh yeah, and Korpikoski is a goddamn black hole of suck.

    Korpikoski does the sort of things out there that coaches love.
    They’re called “the little things”, I believe.

  124. Professor Q says:

    Ah, I think I figured out my query from the other night.

    Pavelski was allowed to jump onto the ice due to his captaincy and ability to discuss things with the refs.

    I was confused as I thought any player who joined the ice from the bench during the events of a fight would be punished. Yet I think a captain is allowed.

  125. AsiaOil says:

    Yeah it’s a death march but it’s also a tell on which guys have an appropriately high “give a shit” number. Darnell Nurse has a very high “give a shit” number. There will be a bunch of changes, some of the the special children will be among those, and I don’t feel sorry for them.

    Taylor Hall needs to visit a weight room occasionally in the off-season. He’s been n the league 6 years and I’m sure he’s under 200 lbs by quite a bit. Looks way more Anderson than Messier and he still gets pushed around and knocked down way too much and way too easily. No reason for him to be playing under 205. Great player but the commitment level (which improved this year) needs to go up another two notches. If he doesn’t want to do it then trade him.

    RNH needs to do the same – quit being a boy and do the work in the off-season to be strong enough to compete. He’s got the skill and the smarts – but he’s not an elite offensive player and never will be – so he needs to be able to stand up for himself and contribute to “team toughness”. If he doesn’t want to do it then trade him.

    Eberle is gone and there is no two ways about it. Only 2 goals in his last 13 games playing with the best we have and only 4 assists in the last 8 playing with CMD. Defensive effort is mediocre as always and he easily pushed around and neutralized by bigger teams. Got a chuckle from LT yesterday saying that Ebs is our best RW who can play up or down the lineup. When has Eberle EVER played down the lineup? Answer = never. If ANA gives us Vatanen for Ebs straight up I do it without hesitation.

    This is McDavid’s team next year. The Hall cluster has failed – and while a lot of the fault was mgmt – they didn’t help themselves by basically stagnating as NHL players. They are not much bigger, better or smarter then they were 3 years ago (Hall being a partial exception this year). Facts are facts. The idea that these young men would somehow miraculously turn into savvy, tough vets just through the passage of time without any substantial commitment on their part is a fantasy. Looking forward to the summer when we can finish this rebuild – but in the mean time – we watch and see who cares and who doesn’t.

  126. hunter1909 says:

    AsiaOil: Taylor Hall

    Is excellent.

    AsiaOil: RNH

    Is another good one. They cannot afford to lose him.

    AsiaOil: Eberle

    I like very much as a player but the salary cap means he has to go, asap. Some lucky GM is going to be getting a steal here.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up a Calgary Flame.

    AsiaOil: This is McDavid’s team next year.

    Agreed. Now, what does everyone think should be done about Lowe+MacT and Howson stinking up Rexall Place?

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