G72 2015-16: PREDATORS AT OILERS

by Lowetide

The Edmonton Oilers went 2-2-0 last week, but the two losses were shutouts and fans endured another Saturday night disaster. Errant passes, constant bouts of ‘Jimmy Legs’ and ‘that’s your man—no it’s not’ against the Coyotes gave fans an overwhelming sense of doom. Thankfully, there are only two points available for each game, and if you ignore the Mack Truck schedule (Nashville, St. Louis, Vancouver, Colorado) this week there’s a chance we see the sun shine.

FUNNY HOW TIMES SLIPS AWAY, 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: 4-3-0
  • Oilers after 71 in 2014-15: 19-39-13, 51 points (-74 GD)
  • Oilers after 71 in 2015-16: 27-37-7, 61 points (-40 GD)

Last year’s G72 saw Nelson riddle the troops (sorry) to a 5-4 win over the Flyers. This year’s group has been tracking ahead of last year by around 10 points (mostly), it will be interesting to see if the modern lovers can close like last year’s group. An improved power play would help, just in case you are saying a prayer this morning.

DEFENSE, 2015-16

OILERS DEFENSE OVER SEASON

  • Andrej Sekera, Oscar Klefbom, Darnell Nurse, Brandon Davidson. If we assume the Oilers bring those four men back, is there anyone else above who stays? Mark Fayne unless they can trade him, Eric Gryba if Fayne is punted. Fair? I think it is.
  • Adam Clendening has reasonable numbers, except there is nothing doing on the power play. I imagine that is his reason for being on the roster, so the experiment needs a push. I have no ideas about how to fix the power play, but it needs fixing.
  • Jordan Oesterle is a guy I cheer for, but his being a lefty makes the future difficult to see from here, at least as an Oiler. No doubt in my mind he will get more chances with those wheels.
  • Darcy McLeod did an outstanding job of looking at the RH defensemen market (here), and that is a handsome photo of Darcy alongside. I recommend it highly, there is a lot of work there and some fascinating results. My list had Travis Hamonic, Jason Demers, Jacob Trouba, Sami Vatanen and Dougie Hamilton. Woodguy’s (possibly) available list includes Josh Manson, Chris Tanev, Jason Demers, Justin Braun and Jared Spurgeon. It is going to take some time for me to suss out his work (I am especially interested in his way of drilling down on QC and his seven metrics). I will have WG on the Lowdown Thursday morning to chat about it, but head over when you can. Outstanding work, and a nice bookend to his Talbot mountain of work last spring and summer. Next year? The power play.

CENTERS, 2015-16

OILERS CENTERS OVER SEASON1

  • Connor McDavid gets 5.07/60 at 5×4 on this team. Send him to the HHOF—stat. Whatever they are doing with the man advantage, it is not working. Go opposite George! Everything else has failed, why not go ‘Hi I’m George, I am unemployed and live with my parents!’????
  • Leon Draisaitl was the subject of a few back and forth emails yesterday. Basically, I was called on the carpet by a few of you over my Sail On item, specially in regard to dealing Jordan Eberle. One of the emails was entitled ‘THINK!’ which is such a friendly opening. It isn’t quite ‘sorry’ but the new generation has so many friend-getters the mind boggles. Anyway, I replied back that Leon Draisaitl would be a dandy RW, especially or the Hall-Nuge line. Did we forget so soon?
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is back, hammering the iron and not proving anything to Peter Chiarelli. Is the Nuge going to be PC’s Seguin? It could happen. My hope is the GM gets himself a monster draft chip and parlays that into a massive deal that makes McGriff-Fernandez for Carter-Alomar look like small potatoes. We wait, a little bit uneasy. Watch some old vids, Peter!!
  • My favorite stat for forwards is 5×5/60. Connor and Leon are music, sweet sweet music. It is a mortal sin to have wasted those seasons.

LEFT WINGERS, 2015-16

OILERS LW OVER SEASON

  • Huzzah! The Oilers have two LWs with more than 2.00/60 at 5×5. That is four forwards who are delivering exceptional numbers at even strength. There is a substantial group of quality Fs here, just need to unlock them with tape-to-tape passes from the blue and a PP formula that adds up.
  • Taylor Hall, Benoit Pouliot, Patrick Maroon, Matt Hendricks, white face, black shirt, white socks, black shoes, black hair, white strat, bled white, died black, sweet Gene Vincent, let the blue cats roll tonight. This should be good.

RIGHT WINGERS, 2015-16

OILERS RW OVER SEASON

  • Jordan Eberle would have reached 2.00/60 if he had the time, but the track is running out on him. I still believe he can score 40 alongside McDavid every year, but he may not get a second season to prove it.
  • Zack Kassian sure looked good for awhile there, but one wonders if he cost himself some dollars as the numbers went south. This entire RW is a mess right now. Bring on Leon!
  • Nail Yakupov is melting. It is a damned shame.

NHL: NHL Draft

CHIARELLI’S SUMMER LIST

  1. Top-pairing D to partner with Klefbom (Travis Hamonic)
  2. Second-pairing D to partner with Sekera (Sami Vatanen or Jason Demers)
  3. Third-line C if they trade Nuge (Nuge)
  4. Scoring winger if they trade Eberle (Laine)
  5. Offload unwanted contracts (Fayne, Korpikoski)
  6. Backup goalie (could also be a G who slots below Brossoit but has NHL experience)
  7. Re-stock the system (major needs in goal, scoring forwards)

Is there anything else? The addition of Sallinen (we will chat about it in a minute) tells us PC is still trying to add rugged players who are ‘heavy on their sticks’ and the team is casting about in search of same. The Finn being added now is very curious, as he impacts next season’s 50-man list without having a clear path to the NHL.

jones capture

CHIARELLI AT THE DRAFT

I have a feeling the Oilers are going to be very active on the draft floor, and could blow our collective minds. Not in a ‘my goodness, that new spaghetti sauce has real bite’ kind of way but in a ‘Mom, a helicopter landed in the backyard and there are three men with a giant cheque running toward the house!’ kind of way. I believe the Oilers get their complete defenseman this summer, with the draft pick—especially if it houses a Finn—clearly in play. Would you be okay with that? Alex Pietrangelo? Brent Burns?

sallinen capture2

SALLINEN

I reached out to a few people who observe the KHL, and Sallinen appears to be a low risk addition who might be able to play on an NHL 4line. That is not the kind of addition one looks for at this time of year—Jeff Veillette has a really good article on Sallinen and his KHL season—and there is every chance we are looking at the new Lenny Petrell.

matthews capture

FIRST PROJECTED 2016-17 50-MAN LIST (37)

I have taken some liberties with the RFA and UFAs.

  1. G Cam Talbot. No. 1 next season.
  2. G Laurent Brossoit. Projects as NHL backup, signed a two-year deal.
  3. G Eetu Laurikainen, AHL backup, he is signed for next year.
  4. D Oscar Klefbom, likely top pairing, needs to stay healthy.
  5. D Andrej Sekera, top 4D, important part of the team.
  6. D Brandon Davidson, top 6D, maybe even top 4D if he continues on current track.
  7. D Mark Fayne, suspect he will be dealt if opportunity arises.
  8. D Darnell Nurse, probably top 6D next season.
  9. D Eric Gryba, may sign him for next season. Suspect he signs
  10. D Griffin Reinhart, may spend another year in the minors. Could be dealt.
  11. D Andrew Ference, they will buy him out (if able). LTIR is my guess.
  12. D Jordan Oesterle, AHL D, NHL time. RFA. Suspect he signs.
  13. D Joey Laleggia, AHL D matriculating.
  14. D Dillon Simpson, AHL D, matriculating.
  15. D Ben Betker, AHL D, matriculating.
  16. C Connor McDavid, Giant.
  17. C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, quality NHL center.
  18. C Leon Draisaitl, emerging NHL talent.
  19. C Mark Letestu, checking NHL C.
  20. C Anton Lander, they may find a buyer.
  21. C Jujhar Khaira, he is a good bet to make the roster in the fall.
  22. C Bogdan Yakimov, a chance he comes back. Has NHL tools, speed concern.
  23. C Kyle Platzer, AHL C matriculating.
  24. L Taylor Hall, impact NHL player.
  25. L Benoit Pouliot, underrated by many.
  26. L Patrick Maroon, big winger and complementary offensive player.
  27. L Lauri Korpikoski, Oilers may keep him until the end of his contract.
  28. L Matt Hendricks, checking NHL W.
  29. L Jere Sallinen, you can never have too many Finns.
  30. L Mitch Moroz, AHL winger/enforcer, matriculating.
  31. L Braden Christoffer, rugged winger, matriculating.
  32. R Jordan Eberle, scoring winger and a big part of the cluster.
  33. R Nail Yakupov, gone baby, gone.
  34. R Zack Kassian, probably part of the future in a top 9F role. RFA.
  35. R Iiro Pakarinen, suspect he will push for a spot next fall. RFA
  36. R Anton Slepyshev, talented winger should push for NHL time.
  37. R Greg Chase, minor league winger, matriculating.

RFA

  1. G Niklas Lundstrom.
  2. D Adam Clendening.
  3. D David Musil.
  4. D Jordan Oesterle.
  5. L Luke Gazdic.
  6. L Kale Kessy.
  7. R Zack Kassian.
  8. R Iiro Pakarinen.
  9. R Tyler Pitlick.

UFA

  1. D Adam Pardy
  2. D Eric Gryba
  3. D Brad Hunt
  4. D Nikita Nikitin
  5. C Andrew Miller
  6. L Ryan Hamilton
  7. R Adam Cracknell
  8. R Rob Klinkhammer

I think we see an even bigger roster overhaul than we did last summer. Chiarelli and Todd McLellan will have made their decisions (Schultz, others are gone already) and the additions to the roster this summer are likely to be plentiful and (in some cases) expensive.

When_Harry_Met_Sally_155

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy morning, this time change is kicking my ass so there may be some unintended hilarity. TSN1260, 10 this morning. Scheduled to appear:

  • Scott Burnside, ESPN. Lack of playoff races, Malkin injury, Wideman fiasco.
  • Lee Versage, TSN1200 Ottawa. The Brier was incredible, we will break it down.
  • Sunil Agnihotri, The SuperFan and Copper & Blue. Saturday night, what Chiarelli and McLellan can get out of the last 11 games, fixing the blue, and the week ahead.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. I will be mangling words in 90 minutes!

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godot10

GCW_69:
If we set the bar for improvement as outplaying Nelson’s Oilers, rather than last years Oilers, here’s how it breaks down as of now:

TMac – 73 point pace

Nelson – 72 point pace (0.466 points less than TMac)

Eakins – 50 point pace.

Nelson went at a 77 point pace. You are attributing MacT’s games to Nelson.

rickithebear

frjohnk:
Geez, a few blow outs tonight

LA spanked the Hawks 5-0
Ducks leading Devils 7-1 with 4 minutes left in the 3rd.
Jets had their with the Canucks.

If somebody said earlier today that there would be 3 teams blown out. I’d guess Oilers as 1 team as Nashville is a good team.
Oilers may have lost but they kept it close with the Preds.

Nashville had 25 shots.
20 shots – 80% were in the kill zone.

We need Klefbom and Davidson back. Badly!

frjohnk

Woodguy: Last 4 years:

When Hall is on the ice, the Oilers get 51.76% of the goals.

When Hall is not in the ice the Oilers get 38.62% of the goals.

The winner of a hockey game is determined by who gets the most goals.

If you think that Hall is a problem, you do not understand hockey.

You forgot
*drops mic*

Woodguy

Bills to Pay:
Centre of attention,

Hall also has an attitude problem which he puts on display regularly. Furthermore, he is not a stallion, he is a mule. He just doesn’t seem to get it. Will he ever? It is called team play.

Last 4 years:

When Hall is on the ice, the Oilers get 51.76% of the goals.

When Hall is not in the ice the Oilers get 38.62% of the goals.

The winner of a hockey game is determined by who gets the most goals.

If you think that Hall is a problem, you do not understand hockey.

GCW_69

If we set the bar for improvement as outplaying Nelson’s Oilers, rather than last years Oilers, here’s how it breaks down as of now:

TMac – 73 point pace

Nelson – 72 point pace (0.466 points less than TMac)

Eakins – 50 point pace.

frjohnk

AsiaOil:
Could only watch the highlights but two of those goals were well below the Mendoza line. I’m happy enough to give LB one start a week for the rest of the season – but I’m not sure why we were in such a rush to give him a one way contract. I believe he had a year of waiver exempt status left. Have to say he looked nowhere near ready the last two starts.

Jordan Eberle scored a goal today – please continue – trade value must be maintained.

He still has one more year of waiver exemption so he can still play in the minors. I like that they are test driving him. This is a perfect time to let him get some reps in. He needed to get a taste of NHL shots at some time

One way contract is fine, he just gets paid the same money if he is in the AHL or the NHL.

I would imagine Chia looks for another goalie this next year to play the backup role and this lets LB get a bunch of starts in the AHL

wintoon

Caramel Batman,

Strange that you resort to name calling and a personal attack because you don’t like a comment I make. Who should go back to oilersnation?

wintoon

Centre of attention,

You were right. Despite your best efforts you did not dignify my previous post with a proper response. Out of curiousity, are you still playing Bantam?

jp

Bills to Pay:
Centre of attention,

Hall also has an attitude problem which he puts on display regularly. Furthermore, he is not a stallion, he is a mule. He just doesn’t seem to get it. Will he ever?

Maybe he’s accepted he’s a mule.

AsiaOil

Could only watch the highlights but two of those goals were well below the Mendoza line. I’m happy enough to give LB one start a week for the rest of the season – but I’m not sure why we were in such a rush to give him a one way contract. I believe he had a year of waiver exempt status left. Have to say he looked nowhere near ready the last two starts.

Jordan Eberle scored a goal today – please continue – trade value must be maintained.

SwedishPoster

When Oilers started to revert to dump and chase too much they lost grip of the game. Can’t do that against the Preds with Rinne and that group of D-men. If you dump it you have to do it with an actual plan in place or the puck will just start going the other way right away.

We actually had that one decent PP when they didn’t throw away the puck right off the bat and we actually saw one or to quick passes followed by a shot but man the PP is just a mess. Will the reporters at the media avail ever ask the question about when the PP struggling becomes about the coaching staff and not the players. Because whatever they are selling clearly isn’t working. Too many meaningless shots, too easily losing possession, never finding a way to set the PP up.
It’s obviously a Euro vs NA thing but I’ve never understood the idea that you need to shoot as much and early as possible on the PP to get going. Obviously if there is a shot there shoot. But I was always coached that on the PP you shouldn’t just throw the puck away but instead use the extra space and time to find quality chances. The ideal were either the one timer or the shot where you actually aimed for the stick of the guy in front of the net(usually me btw).. We got an earful if we just tossed a shot at the net without a proper lane or purpose. And if we casually fired the puck into someones shin pads we were pretty much off the PP. The Oilers, and Sekera in particular, didn’t get that memo.

Cassandra

Bills to Pay:
Centre of attention,

Hall also has an attitude problem which he puts on display regularly. Furthermore, he is not a stallion, he is a mule. He just doesn’t seem to get it. Will he ever? It is called team play.

Honestly, this is the kind of shit that has to go. Go back to oilersnation with the other morons. You are a waste of oxygen.

wheatnoil

Greg:
It appears our coach has adapted to our defense. The new breakout is literally go behind our net and take the hardest slap shot around the boards you can. Maybe someone will tip it and it won’t be icing. Maybe.

Nikitin and Clendenning both did that… Can’t remember if other guys did too. In total about 3 zone exits that way. Strangely it led to a controlled zone exit at least twice. Surprised me that it worked actually, though I don’t remember it leading to any substantial zone entry going the other way.

Centre of attention

–hudson–: Haha almost sounds like Arnott that time he just wasn’t into it.

No, not really. Not at all like Arnott.

frjohnk

Geez, a few blow outs tonight

LA spanked the Hawks 5-0
Ducks leading Devils 7-1 with 4 minutes left in the 3rd.
Jets had their with the Canucks.

If somebody said earlier today that there would be 3 teams blown out. I’d guess Oilers as 1 team as Nashville is a good team.
Oilers may have lost but they kept it close with the Preds.

--hudson--

Centre of attention:
“I was too casual on some of my reads, especially the second goal by Neal. I needed to come out and challenge him more.” Brossoit.

that was the game.

Haha almost sounds like Arnott that time he just wasn’t into it.

JD_Wry

Centre of attention: Where are guys like you when Hall scores and the Oilers win?

Truth!

Centre of attention

“I was too casual on some of my reads, especially the second goal by Neal. I needed to come out and challenge him more.” Brossoit.

that was the game.

hunter1909

fifthcartel: Oh well, not like their power play is any ogod.

It was very good under Kreuger… Eakins/MacT/Nelson/McLellan ago.

frjohnk

Nashville is a good team.

Best defense core in the league.

Neal, Forsberg and Johanssen up front are good.

That is a balanced team.

Centre of attention

Bills to Pay,

I won’t even dignify that with a proper response.

Actually, hold on. Where are guys like you when Hall scores and the Oilers win?

Little Poteet

If losing wasn’t bad enough, sportsnet showed highlights of game 7 2006

wintoon

Centre of attention,

Hall also has an attitude problem which he puts on display regularly. Furthermore, he is not a stallion, he is a mule. He just doesn’t seem to get it. Will he ever? It is called team play.

hunter1909

Hunter1909’s Official Oilers 2016 Super Tuesday Death March Update for 15.3.16
Oilers on pace for a 69 point finish.

KnightTown has predicted a 69 point finish.

KnightTown leads Death March 2016.

fifthcartel

I know complaining about the refs is lame but the fact that’s not an immediate penalty on Weber is ridiculous.

I don’t think any other professional sports leagues calls teams based on how young they are.

Oh well, not like their power play is any ogod.

godot10

The OIlers basically had no net front presence with the goalie pulled and control in the o-zone. #JayBoyWonderCroft makes it easy on the defense.

Ice Sage

Ho hum.
When this team gets some integrated defensemen (beyond Sekera who is getting really good), they’ll be something

square_wheels

My keepers for next year are down to McD and Drai.

This team is rotten.

Professor Q

Woah. What the hell, Weber? Dirty and dangerous.

Professor Q

Sigh. Same ol’ same ol’.

EDIT: I turned away and missed the goal being called back?

Johnny skid

Greg:
It appears our coach has adapted to our defense. The new breakout is literally go behind our net and take the hardest slap shot around the boards you can. Maybe someone will tip it and it won’t be icing. Maybe.

could the ‘swarm’ be next?

godot10

#ThoroughlyMediocreCoach apparently has Alzheimer’s. Can’t remember how good Hall and Draisaitl were with Nuge between them.

Greg

It appears our coach has adapted to our defense. The new breakout is literally go behind our net and take the hardest slap shot around the boards you can. Maybe someone will tip it and it won’t be icing. Maybe.

sliderule

Now that is team defence

frjohnk

Centre of attention:
Hall-Leon-Yak
Nuge-McDavid-Eberle

new lines

I’ve wanted to see Yak and Drai for sometime.

I think they could be a good duo for next year.

Professor Q

What does the Wibbly-Wobbly-Worm arms mean when the ref signals such?

Centre of attention

Hall-Leon-Yak
Nuge-McDavid-Eberle

new lines

Johnny skid

Klima’s_Bucket: I thought playing Korpikoski with McDavid was desperate.
Perhaps that was just stupid.

you were correct on both counts.

Centre of attention

McDavid and Nuge out there trying to block Weber point shots.

This coach has completely lost his marbles.

Klima's_Bucket

Centre of attention: The Coach is getting desperate.

I thought playing Korpikoski with McDavid was desperate.
Perhaps that was just stupid.

Centre of attention

RNH-McDavid-Eberle

The Coach is getting desperate.

frjohnk

Nuge , McDavid and EBERLE

Loading up the lines

Professor Q

Klima’s_Bucket:
Lowetide,

Neal is a punk with a dirty edge.
Perhaps he should be the target to upgrade Pouliot and not Lucic.

Neal, before Zod?

Professor Q

I think Jackman was about to spit his mouthguard at Kassian…what the heck?

sliderule

Preds are laughing at oilers

square_wheels

Weird. I decided the end of the second was enough Oilers for the night.

Predictably I made the correct call.

vinotintazo

Ladies and gentlemen… your Nealville predators…

Klima's_Bucket

Lowetide,

Neal is a punk with a dirty edge.
Perhaps he should be the target to upgrade Pouliot and not Lucic.

frjohnk

Lowetide:
James Neal appears to have Brossoit’s number. I have to say that is two the goalie should have had. jmo.

Neal has one helluva shot but I agree LB should have two of them.
But I doubt LB faces shots like those in the AHL

Ice Sage

Good job Oilers! Now the Preds can’t tie it up