THE POWER AND STRENGTH OF CLARITY

by Lowetide

There are important things to observe even in a lost season. As fans, we can see that Laurent Brossoit is not ready, and it is important to separate his struggles from what was a solid game from the rest of the team.

WELL, THAT HAPPENED! 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: 4-4-0
  • Oilers after 72 in 2014-15: 20-39-13, 53 points (-73 GD)
  • Oilers after 72 in 2015-16: 27-38-7, 61 points (-41 GD)

The Oilers had some good moments last night, and some encouraging performances. Important to remember that losses are not the same as progress, and that some of the youngsters in the lineup are showing the team something. That has to be front and center for Peter Chiarelli and Todd McLellan. If you are a fan, and do not wish to go crazy, these small victories should be important too.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

oilers blue nov 30

  • Sekera—Fayne continue to perform well, although there was a lot of anger towards Sekera when he couldn’t get the puck through at the end of the game. For me, that is a Hail Mary play and it is wise to look over the entire game. Fayne got an assist, but he also got caught flat-footed on the first Neal goal and was barely ‘also in photo’. Sekera played over 25 minutes, including major time on both special teams.
  • Reinhart—Oesterle had a largely effective game, with some unusual moments thrown in. Reinhart showed his strength (drawing a penalty) and (correctly) dished the puck to Oesterle for transportation. I don’t think a healthy Oilers team employs either man this or next season. Although both were -2, for me that was a lot about the goalie. Reinhart got blamed online for screening Brossoit on the second goal, but for heaven’s sake that cannot go in.
  • Nikitin—Clendening had their difficulties because NN can’t skate and Clendening could fall over in a windstorm—that is not a promising duo. If Nikitin could skate at all, he might have some years left, because he can do some things. Clendening had a golden chance in the offensive zone from a pass by Hall, but it went over his stick. I feel this is the story of Clendening.
  • D who were on the ice against Josi at 5×5: Sekera 7:46; Oesterle 6:51; Nikitin 6:44; Reinhart 6:26; Fayne 6:12; Clendening 5:46.
  • Laurent Brossoit has not looked strong in his two recent outings, and a suitable backup for the NHL team next season is no doubt on the list. No sin here, Edmonton has another year before risking waivers. LB passed his minor league audition, things have not gone well in a small sample size up top. No reason for panic, but a strong reason to add some cover.

CENTERS, LAST NIGHT

oil c nov 30

WINGERS, LAST NIGHT

oilers f nov 30

  • Hall—Draisaitl—Pakarinen grabbed one of the two goals and six shots. Leon was 81 percent on the dot and overall I liked the line. All three men were involved in Pakarinen’s goal, although Leon got the only assist. The man is a passing demon. HDSC: 3
  • Hendricks—Letestu—Kassian had six shots and 10 hits, and even though I am not a big believer in that stat, it does speak to their involvement. At least one goalmouth incident and a fabulous chance by Kassian (with follow from Hendricks) proved very dangerous. That was one of the most effective 5×5 lines Letestu has played on this season—he had four shots, was 45 percent on the dot. Letestu also had his passing sights tuned in last night. Saw him good. HDSC: 2
  • Maroon—McDavid—Eberle lost the possession battle (Josi-Weber faced this trio the most) but scored a spectacular goal on the first shot of the game to get things rolling. I would run this bunch for the rest of the year—five shots on goal, McDavid 50 percent faceoffs. Maroon looks like an effective player from here. HDSC: 3.
  • Korpikoski—Nuge—Yakupov had moments great and small. Five shots on goal, Nuge was 25 percent in the FO circle, and this was the only line that ended up in the ditch 5×5 (minus one). I thought all three men worked hard, LK had his legs going and got in the way (in a good way) of the opposition. Nuge was a forechecking menace (as always) and battled hard, and Yakupov had one of those Tikkanen nights going. He was also effective without the puck until he wasn’t anymore. HDSC: 1.

INDIVIDUAL HIGH-DANGER SCORING CHANCES

  • Two: Jordan Eberle, Iiro Pakarinen
  • One: Taylor Hall, Zack Kassian, Mark Letestu, Patrick Maroon, Nail Yakupov

THINGS

  • Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on the PK together looks impressive, hopefully I will learn to watch it without insane fear running through me. That is a lot of injury risk to my eye.
  • UND’s Troy Stecher is a college free agent this spring. A RH defender who can run a power play (his NHLE is 23 points), Stecher would be a nice fit for Edmonton despite lack of size (he is 5.10, 190). Stecher is from Richmond, BC—not that far from Burnaby, the hit factory that produced both the Nuge and Joey Laleggia. The big difference between Stecher and Justin Schultz: the kid from UND anticipates well, causes turnovers (the good ones) and has great creativity and passing ability.
  • With names like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle likely in play this summer, the Oilers should be able to add substantial defensive help. If the club can save money on a deal (Eberle for Travis Hamonic would save over $2 million), that may allow them to sign a big name free agent to replace the outgoing forward.
  • Among players who might be available in free agency, the Oilers do have a story to tell. Steven Stamkos, Milan Lucic, Kyle Okposo, David Backes, Loui Eriksson, Brian Campbell, James Reimer, Frans Nielsen and James Reimer are interesting names available. Jason Demers remains a player of extreme interest, he is worth following leading up to free agency. Will he sign with the Stars before the free-agent window opens? Will the Oilers trade for his rights before that window opens? He appears to be a perfect fit for Edmonton.

mcdavid capture1

  • Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun has an article up on the NHL discussing a change in draft rules—another Oilers rule designed to block the team from getting another No. 1 overall selection. In one of the great moments in recent NHL history, the large foreheads of the game are going to legislate against a team that has already added myriad assets. When the NHL changed the lottery odds, they effectively made finishing No. 29 and No. 28 more valuable—and the new system further muddies the waters. Edmonton could finish No. 29 and win the lottery, or No. 28 and win it, or they could finish No. 30 and lose the thing. This fact remains: without a lottery, Edmonton’s trips to the top of the table would have been far less damaging to the ulcers of hockey men. In the words of the great movie The Hunt for Red October: You idiot, you killed us!
  • As with most things in life, clarity and a good lawyer or agent probably saves the NHL from itself. Young Auston Matthews seems like a pretty bright fellow, and I am sure there are no flies on his agent. If I am the Matthews camp, the interview with the Oilers leading up to the draft would have a decidedly chilly tone. If I am Matthews, the idea of coming to Edmonton and losing for six years (as has Taylor Hall) has no appeal, and Connor McDavid’s presence (although he has been injured for half the season) hasn’t made enough of a difference. Why then, Mr. Oilers, would I want to be part of that? Draft me at your own peril. I would tell my son to do that, if he were in that position, because frankly the Oilers have ruined a lot of futures with their ridiculous decisions. Why would I wish that on Auston Matthews? That is the embarrassment for Daryl Katz and the Oilers: They turn what should be the greatest day of someone’s life into a prison sentence. Congratulations, Steve! Now, it is off to Shawshank! It may not be Matthews this season, but sooner or later someone is going to stand up and say no sir, not my son, not that situation.

chiarelli capture draft

I have not met Peter Chiarelli, and won’t during his time as the Oilers GM (The Oilers don’t gift the Lowdown with interviews, as is their right). If I could talk to him, most of the verbal from my side of the table would be ‘the call is coming from inside the house’ and the advice would be for him to find people he trusts to fill the important hockey ops jobs. No matter what titles are given to men like Craig MacTavish and Scott Howson, and no matter how good they are as people, much of the mess that is the 2015-16 lands at their doorstep. Each day that passes without competent assistants advising the GM is a day lost to the competition. Peter Chiarelli owes it to himself, his family and to Oilers fans when it comes to turning around this franchise. I will tell you that it is my belief this summer is going to see major changes in this team. The Oilers are going to deal (I would guess) Jordan Eberle, the first-round selection (down, but not out of the first round), Nail Yakupov, Mark Fayne and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins could be gone (I would guess only one of Eberle and Nuge would be going this summer).

On the weekend, Edmonton signed a player who is a depth winger in the KHL. This in and of itself isn’t a major deal, except that it does feel like another Lennart Petrell bet. I have to say that if Peter Chiarelli is thinking about trading Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, then it is a concern for me. I am concerned about who is advising him, about how much the GM is using a small sample size to make sweeping judgements, and about where this team is going. In spite of the terrible record, there is much that is good about this team. Changing out Jeff Petry for picks was a terrible decision, but dealing the Nuge or Eberle for smaller pieces (a one-for-three) could be a disaster. Are you shopping in Columbus, Mr. Chiarelli? The sphincter tightens.

ahepburn

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10, on the Lowdown, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Jonathan Willis, Cult of Hockey. Oilers lose last night, but the time to look at the bigger picture is now. We will talk about what the summer and who might be on the way out.
  • Mark Randall, Vimy Baseball Director. Baseball in Alberta (and Canada) is producing outstanding talent, we will talk about the game in our province and about development.
  • Russell Baxter, Bleacher Report. NFL free agency is into the period where the good contracts arrive, so teams like the Ravens and Patriots are about to spend money wisely.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter.

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raventalon40

Lowetide:
Are you shopping in Columbus, Mr. Chiarelli? The sphincter tightens.

Speaking of Columbus, with Jones coming in as a pending RFA and having the shiny new contract for Savard, I wonder if a Dalton Prout (pending RFA) or discounted Jack Johnson might shake loose. Then we can trade other assets for a Shattenkirk-type.

raventalon40

Lowetide: I would be interested in Savard or Jones, no interest in the other names you have mentioned.

I am a big Savard fan, but doubt he will be shipped. They will already have big enough problems this year with trying to lose the Tyutin contract!

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.

wheatnoil

Reinhart showed his strength (drawing a penalty) and (correctly) dished the puck to Oesterle for transportation.

This was true of the Arizona game, but surprisingly not true of the game last night.

Reinhart had 6 controlled zone exits (1 carry, 5 passes) to Oesterle’s 3 (1 carry, 2 passes). Reinhart only had 1 uncontrolled zone exits (a missed pass) to Oesterle’s two (1 dump, 1 missed pass).

Reinhart also had 3 primary passes leading to a controlled zone exit to Osterle’s 1.

Important to note, though, the pairing of Reinhart – Oesterle was better at moving the puck out of the zone than the Nikitin – Clendening pairing and more efficient at doing so than the Sekera – Fayne pairing (though I suspect competition plays into this and Sekera had a lot of missed passes in the first but was stronger through 2nd & 3rd).

wheatnoil

Zone Exits (Controlled / Uncontrolled):
Sek – 6/4
Fayne – 2/1
Reinhart – 6/1
Oesterle – 3/1
Nikitin – 3/2
Clen – 3/3
— WheatNOil () March 15, 2016

Zone Entries Denied / Controlled Against:
Sek – 3/7
Fayne – 2/2
Rein – 3/7
Oest – 2/5
Niki – 1/7
Clen – 2/4
— WheatNOil () March 15, 2016

sliderule

The oilers screwed themselves by poor drafting.

You can even make a case that other than Connor the first picks were not the right ones.

They may or may not have fixed that by showing Stu the door.

The oilers need. a tiop D and the only way you can get that is by drafting..

Chychrun will be there for them if they pick in top three.I very much doubt he will be there at four no matter what mock drafts say.

Bruce McCurdy

The issue of using skill on the penalty kill is a thorny one. to this fan of the ’80s Oilers that ripped up the league with shorties it has a lot of appeal. Nobody ever seemed to get hurt either.

The injury risk is a thing, though, especially with the Oilers of the 2000s who are an ongoing target of the relentless hockey gords. Both McDavid & Nuge got hurt in PK situations, one on attack, one in defence but both 4v5. The 2 have contributed a combined **72 minutes** to the penalty kill — neither is in the top 12 on the club for either gross or per-game SHTOI, yet both suffered catastrophic injuries that cost them a combined 60 games.

It almost seems beyond comprehension how this shit keeps happening to this team. I am starting to conclude there are no correct answers &’that whatever they try will immediately be struck by lightning & fried to a crisp.

raventalon40

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.

Haha that Nelson, I def saw him good

barry.moore23

Love the ‘call is coming from inside the house’ and similar that I’ve learned here. My wife knows i’m not smart enough to think those up myself – she’s figures it’s my nutty Lowetide friends !!! I remind her those people are of superior intelligence.

raventalon40

sliderule:
The oilers screwed themselves by poor drafting.

You can even make a case that other than Connor the first picks were not the right ones.

They may or may not have fixed that by showing Stu the door.

The oilers need. a tiop D and the only way you can get that is by drafting..

Chychrun will be there for them if they pick in top three.I very much doubt he will be there at four no matter what mock drafts say.

I would rather draft BPA, or trade the pick for an established top pair D man (if available). The D man you draft, unless he is some freak like Ekblad, won’t be able to fill in as your top pair for 5 years or so.

who

Liked most parts of the Oilers game last night. Clearly a goaltender loss. Looks like Chia will have to add a second NHL goalie to his shopping list this summer. Did not like the Maroon MacDavid Eberle line. If I were coaching (isn’t this a fun game to play) it would be Drai between these two wingers. Maroon simply can’t keep up to MacDavid. It was quite noticeable last night. This is a player who creates offfense off the cycle and Drai is the center best suited to this. Anyone who plays with MacDavid needs to be able to score off the rush or at least be in the play. I know that a Maroon Drai Eberle line might struggle on the backcheck but I would like to see what they could do offensively for an extended period of time. On the same subject are we gonna see the lines in a blender for every game. Don’t see how you can give up on some combos after 2 or 3 periods. Reinhart is growing on me. Probably still concedes the blue line a little too easily but looks to be gaining in confidence and that shows in quicker decision making.

raventalon40

who:
Liked most parts of the Oilers game last night. Clearly a goaltender loss. Looks like Chia will have to add a second NHL goalie to his shopping list this summer. Did not like the Maroon MacDavid Eberle line. If I were coaching (isn’t this a fun game to play) it would be Drai between these two wingers. Maroon simply can’t keep up to MacDavid. It was quite noticeable last night. This is a player who creates offfense off the cycle and Drai is the center best suited to this. Anyone who plays with MacDavid needs to be able to score off the rush or at least be in the play. I know that a Maroon Drai Eberle line might struggle on the backcheck but I would like to see what they could do offensively for an extended period of time. On the same subject are we gonna see the lines in a blender for every game. Don’t see how you can give up on some combos after 2 or 3 periods. Reinhart is growing on me. Probably still concedes the blue line a little too easily but looks to be gaining in confidence and that shows in quicker decision making.

That’s a good point, I think a Maroon-Draisaitl-Pakarinen line would be very effective at the cycle, but don’t want to take Draisaitl off that Hall line.

Bruce McCurdy

wheatnoil:
Zone Exits (Controlled / Uncontrolled):Sek – 6/4Fayne – 2/1Reinhart – 6/1Oesterle – 3/1Nikitin – 3/2Clen – 3/3— WheatNOil () March 15, 2016

Zone Entries Denied / Controlled Against:Sek – 3/7Fayne – 2/2Rein – 3/7Oest – 2/5Niki – 1/7Clen – 2/4— WheatNOil () March 15, 2016

This is good stuff, but can I trouble you for definitions of what you are looking at in the second pair of numbers Entries Denied/Controlled Against. I think I’ve got it but want to know exactly what you are looking for. & where in all this do uncontrolled entries against fit?

linkfromhyrule

Honestly, with that defense we iced last night, we should be happy with the result. 5/6 players spent time in the minors this year. Most of them spent almost the entire year in the minors. We played a very good NSH team right to the end.

The reffing was atrocious in many cases. That’s nothing new though.

James Neal is a goalscorer, it’s what he is paid to do. Brossoit will hopefully learn something from last night, and it sounds like he realizes he needs to be more aggressive. I think we are underestimating how good of a shooter Neal is.

I think they are all ready for the off-season at this point, especially McLellan. He and Chia need to take some time to evaluate. Please don’t do any stupid s**t.

99266in87

My friends, ( I don’t really have any on this fine blog ) sometimes it pains me to see you good people argue and slam each other on opinions. Since they are opinions, and I have some of my own and feel like jumping in many times, when it looks quarrelsome, I hold back. So, without further ado, I can certainly say that even though the frustration level is still there when I watch the team, I lasted and am lasting this long. Not like Dementers years and I gave up end of November. Less of the wtf is going on on the ice. TMac has brought a lot of stability to the program. We may criticize and have different input in many ways, but the hand he is dealt with is what all he can work with. As a former coach in minor hockey ( approx 1000 games ) I can feel that he is going with what works best to stay in the games. I feel his pains when the roof caves in, and know what he’s going through when the blender comes out. I can’t criticize him too much as I would never be privy to the top/down operations of the oiler organization, but I understand that he appears to never give up, and keeps it going for the team and the guys. I wish a lot of things from him as do others, but he is an NHL coach, we are not. Chia, was dealt a shit hand of bad contracts, possible bad advice, but, to my eye, needs time to ride out the contracts to free space. I think we all know that. Also, the mix is wrong, and he knew that before we all commented on here. In a subtle way, I know he’s ahead of the curve in directing this team. I can’t say “that I know” but, IMO. Seeing good things, changes will be good, injuries were horrendous, but I watched with great interest 4 months longer than the previous years. Thank you all for your time.

Jethro Tull

“As with most things in life, clarity and a good lawyer or agent probably saves the NHL from itself. Young Auston Matthews seems like a pretty bright fellow, and I am sure there are no flies on his agent. If I am the Matthews camp, the interview with the Oilers leading up to the draft would have a decidedly chilly tone. If I am Matthews, the idea of coming to Edmonton and losing for six years (as has Taylor Hall) has no appeal, and Connor McDavid’s presence (although he has been injured for half the season) hasn’t made enough of a difference. Why then, Mr. Oilers, would I want to be part of that? Draft me at your own peril. I would tell my son to do that, if he were in that position, because frankly the Oilers have ruined a lot of futures with their ridiculous decisions. Why would I wish that on Auston Matthews? That is the embarrassment for Daryl Katz and the Oilers: They turn what should be the greatest day of someone’s life into a prison sentence. Congratulations, Steve! Now, it is off to Shawshank! It may not be Matthews this season, but sooner or later someone is going to stand up and say no sir, not my son, not that situation.”

This has already been done. It won’t ever happen again. The NHL absolutely has the smarts to cut it’s nose off to spite it’s face. It’s an extremely slippery slope. If the league allows one player to do this, then there’s precedent. You’ll have teams courting high-end prospects and tempting them to ‘refuse to report’. It’ll all be nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Better it never happens.

The NHL did a one-off with Lindros, then vowed never to let it happen again. The prospect who does will be fired into the sun. How’s it working out for Drouin so far? High end prospect, has the league stepped in and said “the fans need to see Drouin, trade him or play him”?

The GMs and the league are strange fellows; at each others throats one minute, solidarity brother the next. They tend to stick together over things like this.

frjohnk

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.

Have you broken down injuries?

I’m trying to calculate how many points the Oilers would have if they had league average injuries. Very rough calculations so far but different scenarios have the Oilers losing 4, 7 and 9 points with what I have.
But its a work in progress.

frjohnk

99266in87:
My friends, ( I don’t really have any on this fine blog ) sometimes it pains me to see you good people argue and slam each other on opinions. Since they are opinions, and I have some of my own and feel like jumping in many times, when it looks quarrelsome, I hold back. So, without further ado, I can certainly say that even though the frustration level is still there when I watch the team, I lasted and am lasting this long. Not like Dementers years and I gave up end of November. Less of the wtf is going on on the ice. TMac has brought a lot of stability to the program. We may criticize and have different input in many ways, but the hand he is dealt with is what all he can work with. As a former coach in minor hockey ( approx 1000 games ) I can feel that he is going with what works best to stay in the games. I feel his pains when the roof caves in, and know what he’s going through when the blender comes out. I can’t criticize him too much as I would never be privy to the top/down operations of the oiler organization, but I understand that he appears to never give up, and keeps it going for the team and the guys. I wish a lot of things from him as do others, but he is an NHL coach, we are not. Chia, was dealt a shit hand of bad contracts, possible bad advice, but, to my eye, needs time to ride out the contracts to free space. I think we all know that. Also, the mix is wrong, and he knew that before we all commented on here. In a subtle way, I know he’s ahead of the curve in directing this team. I can’t say “that I know” but, IMO. Seeing good things, changes will be good, injuries were horrendous, but I watched with great interest 4 months longer than the previous years. Thank you all for your time.

Welcome.

Post more.

wheatnoil

Bruce McCurdy: This is good stuff, but can I trouble you for definitions of what you are looking at in the second pair of numbers Entries Denied/Controlled Against. I think I’ve got it but want to know exactly what you are looking for. & where in all this do uncontrolled entries against fit?

Good question. I’ve been trialling this out the last couple games and I’m still mulling over the question myself. The zone exits are a little more straight-forward, but the zone entries against are a little tougher and more of a judgement call, so I’m trying to sort it out in my head.

Last night I coded four categories for Zone Entries Against: Zone Entries Denied, Controlled Entries Against, Chip & Chase (Recovered / Unrecovered), Dump & Chase (Recovered / Unrecovered)

Zone Entries Denied: Opposing team has possession of the puck in the neutral zone, moving towards the offensive zone, and the defensemen prevents the opposing team from entering the zone through either a loss of possession or a re-group. (I arbitrarily decided that the denial of zone entry has to be on the Oilers’ side of the red line, splitting the ice in to two halves.)

Controlled Entries Against: Opposing team carries or passes the puck (maintaining possession) into the the zone. This is coded against the defenseman whose side is his responsibility.

I’m having more difficulty figuring out how to code dump ins. In the Arizona game I recorded dump-ins in the same way as Controlled Entries Against (based on the side of the ice they dump the puck in). I found problems with that as sometimes the other team would Chip & Chase against (say) Nikitin, placing the puck behind him and trying to beat him in a race for the puck in the O-zone. Other times they would attack Clendening’s side but dump the puck hard around the boards so again the battle for the puck was with Nikitin.

This game I tried coding based on who ended up trying to retrieve the puck after a Chip or a Dump but found that was also unsatisfactory to me. The line between a Chip and a Dump is sometimes pretty blurry and it failed to capture some nice plays, such as Reinhart standing up a forward at the blue line, causing him to chip the puck in, then leading Oesterle to recover.

Because I’m still trying to figure out the Dump-ins against, I didn’t tweet them out.

p3rsonman

Interesting. I though Hall had a good night by eye and now by numbers, yet he didn’t crack 16 mins 5×5 TOI (nor did Leon’s line in general).

D

Nothing would make me happier than a chilly interview by Auston Matthews. Maybe an embarrassment like that is what it would take to start turning this franchise around.

Woogie63

wheatnoil:
Zone Exits (Controlled / Uncontrolled):Sek – 6/4Fayne – 2/1Reinhart – 6/1Oesterle – 3/1Nikitin – 3/2Clen – 3/3— WheatNOil () March 15, 2016

Zone Entries Denied / Controlled Against:Sek – 3/7Fayne – 2/2Rein – 3/7Oest – 2/5Niki – 1/7Clen – 2/4— WheatNOil () March 15, 2016

I am glad you wrote this, I saw Reinhart pretty good last night. On the TV he also looked like a big body that could handle the cycle and make few punishing checks.

In the NYI game the Sportsnet TV guys pointed out poor gap coverage on Okposo goal (back to the minors…feel shame); last night great gap coverage and he “screening” the goalie. LT correctly points out that puck should have been stopped.

Woodguy

frjohnk: Welcome.

Post more.

But please use paragraphs.

frjohnk

linkfromhyrule: Honestly, with that defense we iced last night, we should be happy with the result. 5/6 players spent time in the minors this year. Most of them spent almost the entire year in the minors. We played a very good NSH team right to the end.

Probably only Sekera would make the Preds D core. But I thought our blue played relatively well.

Still waiting for Nikitin to give a tape to tape pass to the opposing team in our slot.

He is usually good for 1 every 2 games.

But he is disappointing me right now.

Bruce McCurdy

frjohnk: Welcome.

Post more.

Agreed. Good read, only suggestion is to break up the wall of text into smaller paragraphs. The enter key is our friend. But do keep those comments coming.

EDIT: Woodguy beat me to the punch again, didn’t mean to pile on.

leadfarmer

Hard to evaluate this roster when you have Sekera, a depth defenseman, and 4 Ahlers. Brossoit is not ready but I would give him a couple more of these meaningless games to work on a few things.
I’m surprised Hendricks isn’t on Nuges line. He’s better as a winger but he can help Nuge with the face off duties. And do not trade with the Blue Jackets as long as Howson is around. Actually any advice you get from Howson do the opposite.

frjohnk

Woodguy,

Bruce McCurdy,

You guys probably meant to reply to the new poster.

Unless my 3 words need to be in 3 paragraphs separated by 3 lines.

OK, I’m just being an ass!

wheatnoil

I think what I’m going to do in the future is the following:

Zone Entries Denied: D-man prevents a zone entry by causing the other team to lose possession or regroup. (Opposing team must have possession and be past the red line. I’m also including situations where the opposing team has clear possession, pass the puck to the winger past the red line, but the Oilers’ D-man intercepts the pass and sends it back the other way).

Controlled Entries Against: Opposing team carries or passes the puck in, maintaining possession through out. Coded against the D-man who was covering that side.

Uncontrolled Entries Against: Opposing team chips or dumps the puck in, losing possession with the intention of getting it back. Coded against the D-man who was covering the side where the dump in originated from.

Dump-in Recoveries vs Failed Recoveries: Whether the D-man successfully recovers a dump in and either gets it out of the zone or gets it to a teammate who maintains possession vs failure to do so (either because they are beat out to the puck, lose the battle, or give the puck away upon getting the puck due to forechecking pressure).

I have not been including dump ins with no attempt at actually regaining possession (examples include opposing team dumps or tips the puck in and goes for a line change; opposing team clears the puck out from their own end to relieve the pressure causing the puck to go in to the Oilers’ end).

Also, I haven’t been coding situations where the D-men regroup back in their own end as a zone entry against. (Example: Fayne has the puck in the neutral zone, regroups back just behind the Oilers blue line, passes it to Sekera who moves the puck out). In that situation, I also don’t code a zone exit, unless there’s some forechecking pressure. I’ve just been viewing those plays as extensions of neutral zone play.

Obviously, there’s some judgement thrown in here, so I’m open to suggestions. I’m trialling it out for the last few games and I’m hoping to establish clear definitions to track (with help) next season.

wheatnoil

Woogie63: In the NYI game the Sportsnet TV guys pointed out poor gap coverage on Okposo goal (back to the minors…feel shame); last night great gap coverage and he “screening” the goalie. LT correctly points out that puck should have been stopped.

In both the last couple games, I’ve seen Reinhart make some nice plays at the line, either denying a zone entry or making the other team resort to a dump after trying to carry it in.

That said, he did give Neil a little too much room and allowed him to carry the puck in. Other Oilers D-men were guilty of the same at times (with various opposing wingers) but Reinhart got burned. I agree, though, Brois needs to stop that and he acknowledged as much post-game.

frjohnk

wheatnoil,

Good stuff,

I just wanted to say with a dump and chase, it would seem that both D pair are more involved. Opposing forward dumps the puck in. Dman A usually runs a bit of interference while Dman B races back to get the puck. Dman A will go to an area of support. Dman B will chip/pass puck to Dman A. Dman A skates or passes the puck out.

In this case, both Dman A and Dman B played a large role in denying a controlled entry or possession after the dump in.

In the case these two Dmen do not gain the puck back, then they would both be docked.

Its not cut and dry, but something to consider

linkfromhyrule

frjohnk: Probably only Sekera would make the Preds D core. But I thought our blue played relatively well.
Still waiting for Nikitin to give a tape to tape pass to the opposing team in our slot.
He is usually good for 1 every 2 games.
But he is disappointing me right now.

Haha it’s exactly like LT said in the article, if Nikitin had faster feet he could be effective. He’s actually not horrible in the offensive zone either, although I could do without his unscreened wrist shots from 30′ out. Not beating Rinne with that!

Clendenning seemed like the weakest link imo. Maybe it’s inexperience, but he doesn’t seem to have the skill to keep up a lot of the time.

If we had Klef and Davidson, I think that was a winnable game for sure. There were many times where one of our D would have the puck, but not the skill to do something effective with it. If we had a more competent player in that spot, suddenly the chance becomes much more dangerous.

SudburyOil

If the Oilers trade Eberle (or anyone, for that matter) to acquire Hamonic, it’ll be the frosting on MacT’s cake of infamy. As Woodguy’s recent assessment of right-handed D shows, Petry’s essentially the equivalent of Hamonic. Trading significant assets to recover what the Oilers recently had–and more or less gave away–is unbelievably frustrating. I hope PC is able to address the D through UFA signings rather than trading Eberle or RNH.

wheatnoil

frjohnk:
wheatnoil,

Good stuff,

I just wanted to say with a dump and chase, it would seem that both D pair are more involved. Opposing forward dumps the puck in. Dman A usually runs a bit of interference while Dman B races back to get the puck.Dman A will go to an area of support.Dman B will chip/pass puck to Dman A.Dman A skates or passes the puck out.

In this case, both Dman A and Dman B played a large role in denying a controlled entry or possession after the dump in.

In the case these two Dmen do not gain the puck back, then they would both be docked.

Its not cut and dry, but something to consider

Yeah that’s quite true. It’s part of the reason why I struggle with the dump & chase categorizing.

I suppose, in your scenario, coding goes like this:

D-man A gets an uncontrolled entry against (better than a controlled entry, not as good as denying the entry outright).

D-man B gets a Dump-In Recovery.

D-man A gets a Controlled Zone Exit.

frjohnk

linkfromhyrule: If we had Klef and Davidson, I think that was a winnable game for sure

Those two also happen to have the best slapshot from the blue line and would make a difference on the PP.

.

Centre of attention

I think the interview between McDavid’s agent and Lowe/MacT was what brought in Peter Chiarelli and Todd McLellan.

I’m sure that interview was quite chilly.

bobinyvr

‘the call is coming from inside the house’ … you got that right, Lowetide

MacTavish and Howson have to go. This years Oilers were doomed from the start with NIkitin, Ference and to a lesser degree Fayne.

A few random thoughts:

The Griffin Reinhart trade has been panned for the asset cost, but consider too the context. Chia had just fired his scouting staff (those offering up names to select at 16 and 33) and likely Bob Green sang the praises of Reinhart. A bet on a closer to ready D may have been a good one, but when Green said he hadn’t seen him in the AHL it was unsettling. Good organizations don’t do this.

I seriously don’t see the rationale of putting Drai on the wing with Nuge unless Drai takes all the draws.

To my eye, Hall has improved greatly in the defensive zone this year, much better than Ebs.

Let’s not rush to judgement on Brossoit, look at the D in last night’s game – it’s possible only 1 of the 6 are here next year.

Ebs has been my favourite player since I re-engaged with the rebuild, but I am coming around to the idea of trading him. But it saddens me greatly that neither Hall or Ebs ever had the D to clear the zone, make a pass, shoot from the point or centers who could win a draw.

This organization desperately needs a player to come to the organization and flourish. Too many have come here and see their careers crater. I’m talking more free agents here than picks.
Seems to me that only David Perron came to Edmonton and had a career year. I have to believe players and their agents talk and this is an untenable situation.

Maybe Maroon or Kassian or Talbot can be those guys.

frjohnk

wheatnoil: Yeah that’s quite true. It’s part of the reason why I struggle with the dump & chase categorizing.

I suppose, in your scenario, coding goes like this:

D-man A gets an uncontrolled entry against (better than a controlled entry, not as good as denying the entry outright).

D-man B gets a Dump-In Recovery.

D-man A gets a Controlled Zone Exit.

Yeah, looks about right.

Good work, looking forward to the stats.

Snowman

bobinyvr,

A lot of pretty rational thoughts in here.

Regarding the Reinhart trade and Bob Green, I agree that was quite disappointing to hear that quote. However, Chia said he watched Reinhart and liked his game so take that for what its worth. Doesn’t change much but should be noted.

Drai has 7 points in his last 20 games. Still making good plays but he’s struggling a bit. Nuge offers cover to Drai if he plays on that line. I think being a full time #1 is starting to wear down Leon and Nuge might offer him some relief. Even Nuge in a down year can help Leon. Mentoring isn’t a bad thing. Faceoffs are an issue for Nuge right now but I stand by my belief that he’ll improve over time. He has improved his draws since he came in the league and I expect him to continue that trend in the future.

Regarding Brossoit, an NHL calibre goalie should have the second and third goals. Neal has an elite shot but those were from deep. He’s got to have one of the two at least. I’m not sure he’s ready for backup duties, think he might be better served playing another season of heavy starting load on the farm.

Jethro Tull

Centre of attention:
I think the interview between McDavid’s agent and Lowe/MacT was what brought in Peter Chiarelli and Todd McLellan.

I’m sure that interview was quite chilly.

Nope, they wouldn’t fire themselves. The interview with Uncle Darryl and Uncky Bob, though….and maybe a call from Gary.

I distinctly remember watching the OBC grinning like everything was coming up Milhouse. I had a vision flash in my mind, I instantly thought, after watching MacT, “I don’t know what you’re laughing at Chuckles, it’s not as if you’re going to be calling his (McDavid) name out.”

Me? I’m calling for the new Skype Sub-Zero(TM) app, motto: GET OVER HERE! to be used on the interview.

bobinyvr

“MacTavish and Howson have to go. This years Oilers were doomed from the start with NIkitin, Ference and to a lesser degree Fayne.”

OMG, just re-read my previous comment and realized a most glaring omission. To wit.

This years Oilers were doomed from the start with Schultz, NIkitin, Ference and to a lesser degree Fayne.

Adam Wu

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.

Given the comparative injury situations, if the team had not improved, TMac should be doing worse. That the team is at least equal or better demonstrates that some improvements have been made.

dustrock

wheatnoil,

I like the zone entries stats, thanks.

2 quick points in general:

(1) What about putting Draisaitl and McDavid together? RNH, Lander, Le Test Tube on the others.

(2) LT – when you’re talking Chilly Matthews towards the Oilers, there is a parallel in the NBA. The Philadelphia 76’ers have even out-tanked the Oilers, trading for injured players, drafting guys with potential who had major injuries around draft time, etc. Players were not happy. Other teams were not happy. There was some talk about the league stepping in.

Kristaps Porzingis, the Latvian rookie sensation drafted by the Knicks, could have been drafted at #3 by the 76ers. His camp refused to meet with the team for pre-draft interviews and workouts. They literally said we are not going to come to your team, so don’t waste your draft pick on us. I don’t think they were as sold on him as the Knicks, but they wanted to do their due diligence. Porzingis wanted the Knicks bad, and they were not shy about telling Philly that.

This is what tanking gets you. Really think they need to introduce relegation into the NBA and NHL.

hags9k

99266in87,

My first post was a huge wall of text bashing Hemsky for being butter soft. Reeeeeeally didn’t go over too well, so you are doing great.

leadfarmer

SudburyOil:
If the Oilers trade Eberle (or anyone, for that matter) to acquire Hamonic, it’ll be the frosting on MacT’s cake of infamy. As Woodguy’s recent assessment of right-handed D shows, Petry’s essentially the equivalent of Hamonic. Trading significant assets to recover what the Oilers recently had–and more or less gave away–is unbelievably frustrating. I hope PC is able to address the D through UFA signings rather than trading Eberle or RNH.

You are not just trading eberle for Hamonic. You are trading Eberle for a pretty good defensemen signed on for a very good contract, cap space and a roster spot. I’m guessing Eberle is being moved to the highest bidder and a truck full of money is going to end up at Lucic’s house.

hunter1909

Bruce McCurdy: The issue of using skill on the penalty kill is a thorny one. to this fan of the ’80s Oilers that ripped up the league with shorties it has a lot of appeal. Nobody ever seemed to get hurt either.

Donald Trump would call these Lowe+MacT Oilers: “Little Babies”. The fact they’re easily intimidated and fun to slap around isn’t exactly a secret throughout the NHL either.

Adam Wu

There really is no need for a chilly Austin Matthews interview. Should the Oilers win that first overall pick again, it is in their best interest to trade it for D help anyways.

And if they should draft Matthews, the salary cap means that in order to keep both Matthews and McDavid, and have enough money to pay for players playing other positions, they’d have to flush at least 2 of Hall/RNH/Yak (and Eberle) eventually – ie they have to “release” a significant chunk of their accumulated 1OVs back to the rest of the league.

Gayfish

dustrock:
wheatnoil,

This is what tanking gets you.Really think they need to introduce relegation into the NBA and NHL.

Ok, so then nobody wants to come to Edmonton, because it’s cold, barren, and AHL hockey… It is not a logical position.

Then the NHL loses one of it’s biggest markets, probably more. Montreal and Toronto would probably be relegated as well.

Adam Wu

leadfarmer: You are not just trading eberle for Hamonic.You are trading Eberle for a pretty good defensemen signed on for a very good contract, cap space and a roster spot.I’m guessing Eberle is being moved to the highest bidder and a truck full of money is going to end up at Lucic’s house.

Yes, Hamonic’s contract is much better for the team than what Petry eventually got from Montreal.

And if McT had signed Petry to a contract like Hamonics? He’d still be GM….

hags9k

leadfarmer,

I’m hoping come the offseason Snow is feeling more pressure to accommodate Hamonic and he comes cheap, or at least cheaper than Eberle.

After reading Woodguy’s work on RHD (good stuff, I noticed it while leaving the yard) I’m less enamoured with Hamonic, but I suppose the contract is very good. His name kept coming up alongside Petry’s, like some sort of cruel joke.

Demers looks like he would be an even better get.