G77 2015-16: OILERS AT SHARKS

by Lowetide

The Oilers have a ridiculous schedule through Monday (SJS, LAK, ANA) and then three games before June. In what is surely the drunkest schedule ever created, the Edmonton Oilers get to work on their power play next week. Starting April 1. Perfect. Just perfect.

DAYS, 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: 6-6-0
  • Oilers after 76 in 2014-15: 23-40-13, 59 points (-68 GD)
  • Oilers after 76 in 2015-16: 29-40-7, 65 points (-40 GD)

Oilers should be able to win some of those end of the year games (two Van, one Calgary) but winning against these California teams is actual Everest. This is the real stuff, coming right up. Oilers lost 5-1 in G77 a year ago.

DEFENSE, 2015-16

OILERS DEFENSE OVER SEASON

  • This is just the healthy guys.
  • Among these seven, how many would you absolutely include for next season’s team? I would keep Andrej Sekera, Mark Fayne and send Darnell Nurse, Jordan Oesterle and Griffin Reinhart to the farm. They will be back when the first bone breaks.
  • Nikita Nikitin and Adam Clendening are likely gone. Fair? I think so.
  • Darnell Nurse will be on the opening night roster, but are his numbers better than Reinhart’s?

OILERS DEFENSE OVER SEASON

  • This is all the hurt guys.
  • Among these six, how many would you absolutely include for next season’s team? I choose Brandon Davidson and Oscar Klefbom, with the rest moving on—Eric Gryba is a player I do think Edmonton may sign.
  • One thing we are going to have to discuss in the coming weeks is the injury worry for Oscar Klefbom and Brandon Davidson. If they can’t go in the fall—and the Oilers haven’t given any indication one way or another—the list of incoming would be even greater. Four new blue? Could be, depending on the health of those two men.

BAKERSFIELD BLUE

BAKERSFIELD D

  • This is the Bakersfield guys. I sorted them by points-per-game, evens.
  • No one on this list should be considered a strong candidate for the opening night roster, fall 2016.
  • Jordan Oesterle and David Musil have been building a resume, and have some NHL experience.  I think Oesterle could be an early callup and Musil likely gets dealt this summer.
  • Dillon Simpson remains a curio, wrote about him over at ON recently. He isn’t trending or anything, but he has some nice things. Despite being considered a mediocre puck mover, he isn’t far from Hunt and Oesterle at even-strength points-per-game. Like I said, nothing to bring out the descriptive words for here—yet worth checking on as next season rolls.

If we’re honest, Edmonton has more of the Condors defense surrounded than the Edmonton edition. Andrej Sekera and Mark Fayne are the veterans, and two injury worries follow (Klefbom, Davidson) plus Nurse, likely to get a push again this fall. Did I say they needed two more defensemen? If Chiarelli has intel on those injuries, and one of them is bad, we may be looking at three additions to the defense this summer, and that is easily justified. Are you sure you want to flush Mark Fayne?

CENTERS, 2015-16

OILERS CENTERS OVER SEASON1

  • These are the centers, they are all currently active.
  • Ideally, Edmonton returns in the fall with all of Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. That is insane center depth, best since the Stanleys. If they keep the Nuge, it gives Todd McLellan a versatile group.
  • Mark Letestu and Anton Lander are signed and one will be back, I will guess it is Letestu in the 4C role. Lander should have a market, he is not expensive and can help in specific areas.
  • Connor McDavid is going to cover a lot of sins next season and beyond. If he can stay healthy, the difference will be incredible. He should win the Calder Trophy, I am convinced of it now.

WINGERS, 2015-16

OILERS LW OVER SEASON

OILERS RW OVER SEASON

  • These are the currently active wingers.
  • Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Patrick Maroon all do well in possession and are solid even-strength scorers. Maroon has a small sample size, so counting on him would be unwise, but as a 3L (behind Hall and Pouliot) he appears to be above average.
  • After that, who would you keep? For me, it is Zack Kassian, Nail Yakupov and Matt Hendricks.
  • Iiro Pakarinen doesn’t have enough going in the scoring chances area, and his possession number is not strong. Lauri Korpikoski is scoring more than I thought he would, but he is the worst possession forward on the team. If the Oilers simply didn’t play him, they would be better off. That is my opinion. He will be back.
  • I am onside with Yakupov, don’t believe the Oilers will bring him back.

forwards injured and ahl

  • This is the injured and Condors group.
  • Benoit Pouliot is a valuable NHL hockey player, great numbers across the board.
  • Jujhar Khaira and Anton Slepyshev are interesting prospects who should be in the NHL sometime next season. No idea if they make it, always best to bet low on prospects.

The forward group remains the strength of the team (although Cam Talbot should be counted in the keeper group). If we have zero regard for favorites, and we assume the injury issues (Klefbom and Davidson) will linger, Edmonton is in real trouble. Right now.

CONDORS FORWARDS

  • These are the Condors prospect forwards.
  • Josh Winquist and Jujhar Khaira show pretty well here, I think that BCJHL kid might just work out. Oilers haven’t signed Winquist, suspect another team might grab him.
  • Tyler Pitlick should be dominating I would think, but he couldn’t stay healthy again. I wonder if they bring him back for one more throw.
  • Bogdan Yakimov and Anton Slepyshev are ruining my Russian posts! Nail and the crew represent a new pipeline for an organization that thought the Iron curtain was in the living room. Blast! Come on boys, score a little. You know you want to!

THE FANCIES

Interesting look at the Oilers via the brilliant datarink, we see Edmonton approaching mid-table in the discipline. Are they progressing? Well, year over year, 5×5, the improvement has been in the goaling.

(all stats 5×5, this year and then last in brackets)

  • Corsi for 5×5 percentage 48.8 (48.1)
  • Goals for differential 5×5: 43.9 (39.9)
  • Shots for differential 5×5: 48.3 (47.9)
  • Save percentage 5×5: .9165 (.9019)
  • Shooting percentage 5×5: 6.99 (7.10)
  • PDO 5×5: 98.6 (97.3)

The big improvement remains in goal (people are saying ‘it’s always been the defense’, but the Oilers in net have gotten a few coaches fired, no doubt in my mind). I am not a math guy, so am unsure if the Corsi improvement is random or shows some growth, but it does seem to be a little more promising at this point. Small upticks in everything but shooting percentage.

I am unsure of a lot of things about this year, mostly because of injury. It is ridiculous to argue that the injuries had no impact, but how do we measure Edmonton’s MASH unit versus everyone else? I would say it was more severe, in games-lost and in quality of player lost, but how much would those numbers spike with 82 games from McDavid, Klefbom, Pouliot, Eberle, Nuge, Davidson, Yakupov, et cetera? I am reading a lot of down about Todd McLellan, but this team had no real depth up the middle—again—and it cost them one more time.

Balance. Depth. These are words wise teams use when planning their summer activities. I hope to see the Oilers procure two right-handed defensemen this summer. If the injury issues for Oscar Klefbom and Brandon Davidson are severe enough to keep them out for some of next year, or impact their ceiling, then more than two may be required.

If Peter Chiarelli cannot fix this defense, he may become famous for wasting Connor McDavid’s entry-level contract. That’s a helluva deal, it really is.

shawshank

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

Final show of the week, and we have lots to talk about. TSN1260, 10am, scheduled to appear:

  • Rob Soria, The Hockey Writers and Vavel USA. Rob is my go-to for tennis, but he is also a fine observer of the Oilers and the baseball. Today we will talk about the Oilers and what they need over the summer, plus I am going to ask him some baseball questions (I have chosen the BoSox and the Cardinals to cheer for this year) including an Expos question.
  • Corey Graham, Oil Kings PBP. They did it! I don’t know if they are going to be happy about it but they did it! Oil Kings v. Brandon tonight! We will preview the game and talk about Edmonton’s chances of winning a game in Brandon.
  • Matt Iwanyk, TSN1260. Our third edition of Point-Couter Point is on the theme of Chiarelli’s summer. How much does he have to do, and how should he do it?
  • Frank Seravalli, TSN. Frank has an article up about each Canadian team and when their season turned. His choice for Edmonton is spot on, and we will talk about what might have been for the Oilers.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter.

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Happy Easter to some and Happy Long Weekend to others!

Woodguy

Lowetide: I took that McDavid and Draisaitl are not involved because they are entry-level. For me, his frustration was with all of the forwards and the entry-level deal fellows are the only ones safe because they have more years under control.

That’s a reasonable take for a fan who understands ELCs and the minutiae of the cap.

I do not think the average fan would read that and think “only the young C’s on ELCs are safe due to their contract status”

raventalon40

B S: I’m pretty sure it’s the jersey. they need to start wearing the other teams jerseys each game.
Only 80% kidding though. Refs haven’t liked the Oil since the MacTavish coaching years, though I think that might have been ‘deserved’. MacT wasn’t afraid to voice discontent with ref decisions and that team was very “blue collar”, read dirty. Personally I think the problem started when we switched coaches and the refs still treated the team as though it was the same old crap. Refs give new Oilers shit calls, new players give refs shit, cycle repeats forever.

I actually think a large part of it is that the oilers aren’t expected to compete. Every season the Oilers are too far back to push for the playoffs (traditionally accepted by December), the number of calls against the Oil go up. I actually tracked it for the Renney years and the penalty differential basically dropped steadily from mid December onwards. Just eyeballing based on this season it’s still happening. I think it’s because the refs aren’t afraid to call penalties on Edmonton because they can’t jeopardize their season anymore (or never had a chance anyway earlier in the season). Also the refs call retaliations not the initiations. Oilers don’t usually start the physical game because they haven’t had the beef for it.

If you’re a youngster in the league and your name wasn’t Connor McDavid or Sidney Crosby when you got there, most likely you had to earn the respect twice before you got it once. This is the same in any industry, and whether or not it is fair is not my point. It just seems to happen.

Lackadaisical

Centre of attention:
Todd post-game

http://downloads.oilers.nhl.com/2015-16/20160324_post_mclellan.mp3

Great interview. Mentioned how they did well with Unicorn lines, and insight into what’s maybe going on in the locker room.

It was nice to see Hall-Drai-Yak together tonight, that forecheck was deadly.

SwedishPoster,

Agreed. He hacked the puck off Marleau’s stick and Hall intercepted. Should be an assist.

SwedishPoster

Neither of them might like it very much but fact is Hall and Yak has some weird kind of on ice chemistry. They’re like two wasps buzzing all over the place and must be a nightmare if you’re a D. If they could ever get enough games in a row together to get some structure in the buzzing I think they could be fantastic. There’s a dynamic between them worth exploring imo.

Nail has looked good defensively the last few. He’s clearly very focused tracking his man in the D zone. Had two defensive plays leading to goals, one in the D zone and one on the forecheck. How did he not get an assist on the Hall goal?The Hossa talk the other night, when comparing his scouting report to the player he is now should work as a reminder that defensive play can evolve a lot as a player get older. Peter Forsberg is another guy who was a liability defensively at 21. Datsyuk has mentioned he was a bad defensive player in his early twenties.

Gerta Rauss

NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

Agreed

I went back and watched the interview as well. I didn’t think it was that big of a deal.

Just watched the Couture interview. Honestly don’t see what was so bad. Maybe he just isn’t likeable but nothing he said was egregious or insulting, in my opinion.

In the end he was a -3 and they lost anyway, but it wasn’t bad at all. He wasn’t laughing at the Oilers like Henrik Lundqvist did.

SumOil

rickithebear,

Why Barzal when Kyle Connor waw available

Gerta Rauss

JDï™:
RIP Garry Shandling. The Larry Sanders Show was/is one of the best shows of all time.

Who knows how to make a Salty Dog?

Henry: Add a bunch of vodka then twice as much grapefruit juice

JDï™: Yeesh. I might just honor the passing of Mr. Shandling with a beer instead.

Drink it you pussy. Now let’s go to the Smokehouse and get a steak.

I once killed a man like you in Korea

Loved that show. Loved it.

MrEd

Oddspell,

Amen. Goalies are gold.

Ice Sage

Halfwise:
Nice work boys. 6 goals on the road in California? Wow.

That’s normal.
(For 3 games)

AsiaOil

Quinlan,

He looks smaller and less cut now than he did in that video which is more than 3 years old. Honestly didn’t even recognize him the first 15 seconds or so. Look I don’t want to get put in the position of throwing crap at at Ebs after a good game. He is what he is and you take the bad with the good.

Centre of attention

Sharks cast caught referencing an interview with Calgary Flame D Brodie and Giordano. They were asked by the Sharks crew who was the toughest player to defend against both responded McDavid.

This kid is still coming into view, gentlemen. Do we really know how good he really is yet? Imagine McDavid at 25 with another 15lbs of “man strength” and close to 500 games under his belt.

LMHF#1

I don’t get why people can’t see the reason Yakupov goes offside so much is that he’s expert at hitting the offensive blue line with speed and no one reacts quickly enough (save for McDavid).

He’s been excellent at this since showing up. You have to take advantage, not bemoan the fact that a guy is doing what he’s supposed to do and his teammates can’t pass or move quickly enough.

Should he occasionally drift sideways instead? Yes. But as an attacking winger your job is to hit that spot with speed. Hemsky did it well too and kept getting put offside as well. Guys like Visnovsky, Pitkanen and Pronger could hit him with passes in this area and it made all the difference.

Quinlan

I used to think guys like Eberle just needed to hit the gym more.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxYAxQambe0

His mentality needs more work than his body.

Attack, attack, attack. Smaller guys especially need to have that mindset.

To me, that’s the biggest difference between Eberle and say, Tyler Johnson or Max Domi.

Zelepukin

This was the first whole game I’ve been able to watch ( or should I say force myself to watch) in some time. Thoughts:

Hall: Lots of fight as usual. Finally gets rewarded for all the hard work he never gets the praise for. Non-stop shifts of relentlessly keeping his feet moving on hounding forechecks, is incredibly difficult and always overlooked by anyone not called coach.

Drai: Showed great patience down low this game. You could tell he was feeding off of Hall’s tenacity.

Yaks: Excellent game. Continues to impress on smart board work on both sides of centre. Call it a result of short lungs, but Yaks makes incredibly unselfish line changes in the offensive zone. His worst fear has to be pissing off the coaches (his propensity for off-sides probably says otherwise though). If his weird positioning decisions with Hall can be overcome then his duality of forecheck tenacity with Taylor is a deadly combination.

McD: This is why you watch full games. Again, he makes amazing plays every shift, granted we have other players on the ice that can get him the puck. Maroon is smart enough to realise this. McD would have 60 points if these other knuckleheads could bury grade A chances *cough* Osty *cough*.

Ebs: Strong game. Good to see him show a will to drive the net and create scoring opportunities. A bad Ebs game is when he sits not the perimeter the whole night and cycles the puck instead of showing any push back.

Maroon: Trade of the season. Found money. That intermission interview shows his character. Sounds like he is a very likeable guy, but can actually make smart decisions with the puck, stick-handle, pass and shoot, unlike some of these bums like Gazdic. He is smart enough to know that he has to bust his ass to keep up with McD and if doesn’t, then he is wasting both of their time on the ice.

Kass, Paks, Lets: Decent showing from these 3. Sure some bad penalties, but at least we’ve got some guys who put in the hard work, drive the net and stir some shit.

Korpse: Holy fucking hell is he terrible. Literally every shift I’m yelling at the TV. His stick is more like a scythe. Killing plays with it. Stupid decisions after stupid decisions. Death by a thousand paper cuts. Korpse does things that any coaching staff will pull their hair out over. Things like, rather than doing soft dumps off the boards, will ice it. He won’t Jultz a play by giving away the puck right in the slot but will do things that drive teammates crazy. Simple passes he’ll fuck up, simple coverage plays he’ll put himself on the completely wrong side of the player.

Clens: His stats looked great tonight but he still makes a lot of questionable decisions. All I can say is, at least he can get the puck to the net because otherwise he makes a lot of Jultz moves. I highly doubt he is here next season.

Nurse: Man, he needs to better with the puck. It feels like he needs to watch a lot of tape. Often too soft on the puck with passes or not quick enough in making decisions to either move his feet or mark the open man.

Centre of attention
G Money

Also this was game #1111 of the NHL schedule.

AsiaOil

BONVIE:
Couture with his smirk, trashtalking interview, and his minus 3.

He’s always doing that – hope he enjoys another first round exit and he’ll be getting fed L’s regularly by the McDavid led Oilers soon enough.

Mattaklap

BONVIE:
Couture with his smirk, trashtalking interview, and his minus 3.

He was just playing the heel. All part of the show!

G Money

Post game

https://oilersnerdalert.wordpress.com/2016/03/24/g77-2016-03-24-oilers-make-san-hosers-of-us-all/

(sorry I missed out on the jocularity – I was one of the delinquents that knowingly broke the rules and LT rightly so put in the penalty box).

Good stuff to see: McDavid line and the ReinOes absolutely KILLED IT on the fancies tonight. A lot of that was McDavid, but then again, they were facing Jumbo Joe & Co. the most. That’s incredible.

NurseClen were also solid solid solid. Encouraging.

The Hall line, especially Drai, graded weirdly poorly. It wasn’t even competition – they just seemed (like their on ice culprits, Seksy Fayne) to struggle with the puck, but at least were opportunistic.

BONVIE

Couture with his smirk, trashtalking interview, and his minus 3.

AsiaOil

rickithebear,

Look Boxcars!

For crying out loud there is more to the game than that and you know it. Wayne F’ing Gretzky scored 130 point in 1993-94 and was -25 (how does that happen? did he even visit the defensive end?) and LA missed the playoffs. Look boxcars! It was a bad season and a failure as an individual player.

I want Jordan Eberle to use his scoring skills and at least look like he gives a shit about backchecking. If he managed to wander into a neighborhood with a gym over the summer that would be nice. Might mean that bigger guys don’t turn him into bug juice and defencemen might do something more than snicker when he bears down on them on the forecheck. But that said – Ebs was solid again tonight – along with the entire line. Having Maroon on that line makes a big difference – yes that’s right – some effective size and grit is important and makes a difference.

rickithebear

Магия 10: As long as you don’t like him more than barzal.

yeah that whole EVG scoring is most critical to pocession usage and playoff success.

14-15 AGE NHLE 11 EVG 33 EVA 44 EVP
15-16 age NHLE 12 EVG 21 EVA 33 EVP
kind of Sam Gagner like!

Centre of attention

Магия 10: As long as you don’t like him more than barzal.

To be honest, Barzal looks more like a complementary 2nd line RW. I’ve been watching him a bit scouting Bear. Barzal doesn’t score lots of goals, always pulls up and looks for a pass. Ales Hemsky lite if you will.

*runs for cover*

rickithebear

There are currently 16 players with 25G an 60 P

N64

unca miltie:
Is it OK if we like Reinhart

As long as you don’t like him more than barzal.

Clay

I’m happy for McLellan. This has to be one of the toughest years of his coaching career. A bit of a highlight at the end to go into his old barn and lay an unconverted touchdown on his old team.

N64

hunter1909:
Can Taylor Hall ever forecheck.

Centre of attention:
These kinds of games are why Oiler fans are BiPolar haha

If Hunter had used some punctuation we’d know if he’s up or down.

AsiaOil

NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

Dirty Russians with bees in the bonnet don’t get no love.

square_wheels:
pocession charge,

The conversation about him being rookie of the year is pointless, he’s been one of the best players in the game since he returned.

This. He isn’t going to win the Calder. Had e had 10 more games then he probably would. But honestly, who cares. McDavid will just use that as greater motivation next year when he becomes the first Oiler to score 100 points since #39.

Centre of attention

If you guys want a laugh check out Mirtl on twitter. The guy is completely delusional. He thinks the Leafs will finish with 85 pts next year with minimal changes. Playoff team by 17/18.

Spector is tearing him apart and I love it.

Leaf fans are in for a rude awakening if they think their team is going to flip a switch next season and get good.

Material Elvis

Yakupov was very effective. He appeared much calmer out there. If he can continue this less frantic style, he could really turn into something special. At $2.5M, I would keep him next year for sure.

StixMalone

Just a thought. WithTyler Myers done for a while in Winterpeg does this change the trade landscape with the Hamonic situation? Does Winterpeg ramp up to a trade?…..

JD_Wry

Suntory Hanzo: made a quick 97 tribute!

RE series vote for Elton John – Rocket Man!

LostBoy

Lowetide: They STILL have Nurse and Maroon getting assists on the Clendening goal.

It’s not clear McDavid touched it on the replay. Nurse sent it round the boards behind the net, McDavid waited to play it but it ricocheted off the boards a couple of feet in front of him, went between his legs, and up to Maroon on the half boards. Don’t think they’ll change it from Nurse.

JD_Wry

square_wheels: he’s been one of the best players in the game since he returned.

It takes the logic of a Kypreos or Shannon to vote against McDavid for the Calder. And don’t second guess the power of that.

Johnny skid

Acumen: Couture crams his foot directly through his annoying little smirk,

which made this win that much sweeter for me.

Suntory Hanzo

made a quick 97 tribute!

http://gph.is/1XRKguX?tc=1

square_wheels

pocession charge,

The conversation about him being rookie of the year is pointless, he’s been one of the best players in the game since he returned.

Material Elvis

square_wheels:
Motherfucking McDavid OMG

What a show. When he’s playing with that much intensity, it is awe-inspiring to watch.

Acumen

Well that was fun.

Yakupov shows McLellan and Chia his best side, Couture crams his foot directly through his annoying little smirk, we tune the Sharks by closing out with the perfect 3rd period.

And Connor McDavid. Words just don’t. He’s a top 10 player in the league. If he doesn’t get the Calder, I will shit out of my eardrums.

Zeabs93

Oilers score 6 goals the same game Yak gets bumped up to the top 6. Coincidence?

Hopefully he stays there for the rest of the season.

square_wheels

Oooohhhhhhh Yaaaaaaaaa Carli Agro showing off the shoulders !!!!

I love Oiler wins, usually couldn’t be bothered keeping the TV on SN. Love me some Carli !

JD_Wry

Henry: Add a bunch of vodka then twice as much grapefruit juice.

Yeesh. I might just honor the passing of Mr. Shandling with a beer instead.

Thanks!

Todd Macallan

Nurse with some unexpected and welcome composure on the blueline on that PP.

Don’t mind me

NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”: Ok, fair. Like I said, I didn’t hear it. Only one way to shut them up and for tonight so far, so good. If only they could do this more regularly. If only. If only. Ad nauseum.

I agree!

This game was very enjoyable and it’s nice to see the Oilers play for and support each other.

Lots of nice things tonight.