G78 2015-16: OILERS AT KINGS

by Lowetide

Connor McDavid is averaging about two insane plays a game these days, we are still in awe of him because there is no historical reference for his speed—ask NHL defensemen. Some day, maybe next year, we will come to expect that burst and the defensive fracture that follows. For now, it’s Saturday in hockey country and our hero is the fastest man in the west.

TABERNAC SATURDAY, 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: 7-6-0
  • Oilers after 77 in 2014-15: 23-41-13, 59 points (-72 GD)
  • Oilers after 77 in 2015-16: 30-40-7, 67 points (-37 GD)

Oilers grabbed one in San Jose and are now 1-1-0 for the week. You would be wise to assume an L this evening, just as Edmonton did a year ago in G78 (an 8-2 loss to the Kings). Anton Lander had five shots, Matt Fraser four on Golden Seals night in California.

DEFENSE, 2015-16

OILERS DEFENSE OVER SEASON

  • Late season things to watch include Andrej Sekera and Mark Fayne getting closer to 50 percent in possession; Jordan Oesterle thriving on 21 minutes a night; Darnell Nurse & Griffin Reinhart in a race for best stats between the two (I think Reinhart may win this); will we see a Nikita ‘is it cold ?’ Nikitin appearance for old times sake? I still don’t blame the guy, and bet he has been good for Nail. Any who, it ain’t much to look forward to, ladies.
  • If the Oilers win the possession battle tonight, I will plant potatoes in my living room.
  • How many of these defensemen, healthy or injured, could we project onto a Stanley Cup contender? As part of a top 6D, I would suggest Sekera in a second pairing role and a healthy Oscar Klefbom on the third pair. Is that fair? I think those two are the foundation for this defense, but there is much work to do.
  • How many Oilers defensemen—when healthy—would play ahead of Calgary’s top six D?
  • Seeing a lot of ‘trade Klefbom’ chatter but it makes no sense. If his injury is going to alter his career, then the trade value has been dashed. If he is healthy, then it is absolutely certain he is the best and most developed of the young blue. Seems ludicrous to do anything but wait until fall and see how things are at that time. Lighting a candle is a far more reasonable approach.
  • I was looking at possible additions and checked out Zdeno Chara. His possession number has fallen from 53 to 48 percent season over season. A lot of that is the quality of partner, but this is not the time to be trading for the big man.
  • Jason Demers should be a target for the Oilers. Plays over 21 minutes a night, over 50 percent in possession, and Todd McLellan used him more on the power play in San Jose.
  • If the season starts Klefbom—Hamonic, Sekera—Demers, Nurse—Davidson, I would consider that a playoff defense—if the Oilers don’t stay stubborn on Nurse. He is 46 percent in possession this year—that is No. 179 among 204 defensemen who have played over 400 minutes in the NHL this season. People are ripping Darnell, but it was a mistake keeping him up after he began to struggle. If he had been sent back after (about) game 20, he might be back with more confidence and authority. I think that is what we are seeing with Griffin Reinhart at this time.

 

CENTERS, 2015-16

OILERS CENTERS OVER SEASON1

  • Todd McLellan on the Nuge: “If Nuge could have played against San Jose, I’d have had him at centre with Leon again, just like what we did in Arizona. I thought it was a pretty effective line for the first 30 minutes there until he got hurt. I don’t know if we’ll get to see that option again.” Source
  • I have come to grips with trading the Nuge, but will be somewhat exasperated with Peter Chiarelli if he moves the center. Why can’t he see his Krecji? Does McDavid’s presence make a Krecji unecessary? I don’t believe that, nor do I believe Leon’s emergence makes RNH superfluous. What is it?
  • My only answer is that PC has someone in mind. A center who can play 2C or 3C with equal aplomb, and brings something Nuge does not. What would that be? Nuge makes $6M, is not 6.04, 225 and (this season) ranks No. 187 (among 322 forwards with 500 or more minutes) in 5×5 scoring. I am online with much of the GMs thinking (Talbot, Sekera, others) but this has me scratching my head. I am genuinely at a loss for why Nugent-Hopkins is in play.

WINGERS, 2015-16

OILERS LW OVER SEASON

OILERS RW OVER SEASON

  • I am also surprised at the number of people who want to see the forwards shuffled. I understand the idea of trading someone to help on defense, but if you can solve the blue without buggering up the Fs, why not keep them?
  • I count Taylor Hall, Benoit Pouliot, Patrick Maroon, Connor McDavid, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Leon Draisaitl, Jordan Eberle and Nail Yakupov among my keepers. That’s eight men. Craig MacTavish went to war with half this talent when he was coaching, and that’s a fact. The difference? More veterans. MORE veterans.

slepy williams

CONDORS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR, 2015-16

I wrote a piece over at ON last night, looking for input on the Condors ROY. Also interesting? Of the kids who have been rookies over the last two years, who had the best rookie year? It is interesting to line them up by position.

AHL ROOKIE GOALIES

  1. Laurent Brossoit 49GP, 2.65 .916 (14-15)
  2. Eetu Laurikainen 13GP, 3.32 .904 (15-16)

Little doubt who is the superior rookie here, although Laurikainen didn’t play as much and that can impact things. I don’t think anyone thinks the Oilers regard the Finn as highly as Brossoit, and of course we should acknowledge that both of them could easily end up outside the NHL.

AHL ROOKIE DEFENSEMEN

  1. D-F Joey Laleggia 53gp, 7-17-24 .453 (15-16)
  2. D Jordan Oesterle, 61GP, 7-16-23 .377 (14-15)
  3. D Dillon Simpson, 66GP, 2-14-16 .242 (14-15)

Laleggia ends up being a superior overall offensive player, but we have to factor in the fact that he played forward as well. At even strength, Laleggia (.321) is ahead of the Oesterle of one a year ago (.277)—but that time at forward skews the numbers. We should allow for the possibility that Laleggia might be a more substantial offensive player, though.

AHL ROOKIE FORWARDS

  1. R Iiro Pakarinen 39GP, 17-11-28 .718 (14-15)
  2. C Bogdan Yakimov, 57GP, 12-16-28 .491 (14-15)
  3. L Joshua Winquist, 41GP, 8-10-18 .439 (14-15)
  4. W Anton Slepyshev 39gp, 10-7-17 .436 (15-16)
  5. C Kyle Platzer 40gp, 5-10-15 .375 (15-16)
  6. C Marco Roy, 34gp, 6-5-11 .324 (15-16)
  7. L Kellen Jones, 44GP, 5-9-14 .318 (14-15)
  8. C-R Josh Currie 45gp, 6-8-14 .311 (15-16)
  9. C Connor Jones 36GP, 4-4-8 .222 (14-15)
  10. C Jujhar Khaira 51GP, 4-6-10 .196 (14-15)
  11. L Braden Christoffer 30GP, 1-3-4 .133 (15-16)
  12. L Mitch Moroz 61GP, 5-3-8 .131 (14-15)

Remember, the forwards produced in the AHL are not the impact scorers, they are the Cleary’s, the Chimera’s and the Pisani’s. Pisani as an AHL rookie posted .481 points-per-game at age 23—and he played in the minors for over 170 games. There is still time for all of the forwards here, but as our annual look at the AHL shows, you better spike like Khaira in year two if you plan on having an NHL career.

https://twitter.com/JonathanWillis/status/713539557199847424

The trade Taylor Hall rumors have died down for now, Jon’s numbers should put those to bed for the rest of 2016. Here’s the thing: There are players you would trade Taylor Hall for, but they, like Hall, are largely unavailable. Look, the Oilers dealt for Chris Pronger a decade ago (three-for-one!) and I would love to see it again. Problem is, you need a partner, and NHL teams hold on to their impact defensemen for dear life. Why? Fear of becoming the Edmonton Oilers.

Who would I trade Hall for? Well, Erik Karlsson for sure, and most of the guys playing over 26 minutes a night on this list. Guess what? They aren’t available. If Hall is available, and PC is talking about a Tyler Seguin style reverse three-for-one, then we are talking about the enemy within. Again.

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square_wheels

stephen sheps,

My point exactly – but remember I’m being an asshole, I don’t really want those lovely ladies subjected to Fox style objectification and sexual exploitation to convey opinion (vs the traditional role of news anchors that provide statement of fact).

stephen sheps

square_wheels,

I’m not sure ‘fox news’ means what you think it means

😉

But in a sense I agree. While all three of those women you mentioned are easy on the eyes, at least two of them happen to also be pretty good sports journalists, and that’s ultimately what matters.

square_wheels

stephen sheps,

I wish SN would just hurry up and become the Fox News of sports broadcasts. Lineup Ivanka, Carly Shoulders, Andy Petrello etc..

We’d get more from the lady’s than these bozo’s.

stephen sheps

Bruce McCurdy: Except Hrudey is right.

Watch the reverse angle of that goal and watch Brossoit’s eyes. No goalie is going to move before he knows where the puck is, and if he finds it on Jeff Carter’s stick in shooting position he sure in the fuck isn’t going to try scrambling to his feet. You just try & fill as much net as you can and hope he hits your glove or the crossbar or something.

But Brossoit is a raw rookie so hasn’t earned the “respect” of the officials yet. Whatever the fuck that means.

Bruce, I completely agree that in this instance, Hrudey was right. LB had no chance and it was clearly interference. A goalie’s first instinct is to find the puck if for whatever reason the play isn’t blown dead due to goaler interference. It doesn’t mean that watching those two disagree isn’t a sort of tragicomedy.

OilSafety

G Money,

Impressive post game analysis. Very organized mountain of data. Well done good sir.

raventalon40

Centre of attention:
That no-look backhand saucer for Maroon’s second goal was unbelievable.

Connor McDavid ladies and gentlemen.

And the way he tipped it to himself before that was amazing too

Bruce McCurdy

stephen sheps: quoted for truth.

Kypreos: “you just get up”
Hrudey: “you try to find the puck.”
Kypreos: “you just get up.”

it’s like watching dumb and dumber but without the attempt at comedy.

Except Hrudey is right.

Watch the reverse angle of that goal and watch Brossoit’s eyes. No goalie is going to move before he knows where the puck is, and if he finds it on Jeff Carter’s stick in shooting position he sure in the fuck isn’t going to try scrambling to his feet. You just try & fill as much net as you can and hope he hits your glove or the crossbar or something.

But Brossoit is a raw rookie so hasn’t earned the “respect” of the officials yet. Whatever the fuck that means.

Bruce McCurdy

JDï™:
I fear for Bruce.

Haha, thanks for thinking of me. The air in my living room was so blue I had to open the windows. Total bullshit.

Bruce McCurdy

JDï™: In no particular order, Lewis, Brown, Pearson, Doughty and Brown.

Good list that DB is on it twice.

AsiaOil

If CMD gets 50 points (very likely) he wins the Calder. There are zero reasons to not give him the award with this type of performance at 19 in a season split up by a serious injury. If they don’t award it to CMD then you effectively make points scored the only criteria for the Calder. Plus you are dreaming in technicolor if you think they are giving it to a Russian before CMD. Ghost gets it before Panarin if they want to play stupid games – and the NHL is inclined to play stupid games.

Centre of attention

That no-look backhand saucer for Maroon’s second goal was unbelievable.

Connor McDavid ladies and gentlemen.

Suntory Hanzo

G Money,

This amount oh data is insane. Well done.

dangilitis

http://www.nhl.com/stats/player?reportType=season&report=skaterscoring&season=20152016&gameType=2&sort=pointsPer60Minutes&aggregate=0&status=r&filter=gamesPlayed,gte,30&pos=S

This shows how far away Eichel actually is from McDavid, as well as everyone else.

http://www.nhl.com/stats/player?reportType=season&report=skaterscoring&season=20152016&gameType=2&sort=pointsPer60Minutes&aggregate=0&filter=gamesPlayed,gte,30&pos=S

By this chart, McDavid #2 to Kane. Panarin a respectable 12th, although he apparently has scored 2 pts in the nearly 2 hrs away from Kane, for a ~1 P/60 min.
Fabbri #53, Domi #60, Eichel at #115

To me, it should be Panarin, McDavid, and Gostisbehere as finalists, and I have read similar results in informal polls.

If it’s a forward, I can’t see how you look at Panarin with all the asterisks attached to his production (Kane factor, age), while great, and excuse him of this. That is, for someone in a tizzy over the missed games by McDavid. They are either both eligible or neither are. Does anyone actually think he could not have produced at this rate for the entire season? He is only getting better as the season has progressed and after returning from an extended absence.

I would be happy for Gostisbehere, but selecting Panarin reinforces a fixed attachment to a comparison of numbers without context. This is not the rookie Art Ross.

Woodguy

JDï™:
http://oilers.nhl.com/club/podcastplayer.htm?pid=98&iid=54645

Todd being frank.

“As I rained down blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way”

Bank Shot: I guarantee if the Oilers landed Backes he would get more time at center than anyone not named McDavid next season.

And that’s fine. I made the point of saying the blender is interchangeable

Bank Shot

NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:

And I hear the “You’re going to pay Backes 6m to play 3Rd line RW?” chorus but the top 9 should be blendable in the McBlender.

I guarantee if the Oilers landed Backes he would get more time at center than anyone not named McDavid next season.

Kaptain Vikarious

I’m not too sure LB’s skills and style will fare well with the new equipment.
See what next year holds, I guess. He’s young.
I wish him the best.

Gerta Rauss

Frank McLellan on LB

-You know what, I still think he needs to be better, he’s got things to learn just like the rest of our team

-I think there was some longer shots with rebounds that he can control,and yet he made some really good saves

G Money:
böök¡je,

It was the usual gong show ‘Kings get away with anything’ bullshit, but the three things that enraged me the most were the non-goalie interference on Lucic that allowed a bullshit goal to stand, and two uncalled takedowns on Yak (one a judo throw behind the net midway, and one vicious cross check to the neck/back late).

The goalie interference thing needs to be reviewed by Toronto, not the refs
Asking them to embarrass themselves and admit to a mistake is never going to happen.

G Money

böök¡je,

It was the usual gong show ‘Kings get away with anything’ bullshit, but the three things that enraged me the most were the non-goalie interference on Lucic that allowed a bullshit goal to stand, and two uncalled takedowns on Yak (one a judo throw behind the net midway, and one vicious cross check to the neck/back late).

http://thechronicleherald.ca/sports/1352014-former-canadian-rugby-standout-norman-hadley-dies-at-age-51

RIP Norm. He was an industry colleague in Tokyo. Larger than life man. Too soon. Sorry to read this news.

JD_Wry
fifthcartel

That goalie interference non-call might be the worst one this season. Part of me thought “Hmm, I am watching the Oilers,” but then I didn’t think they could mess up something so blatantly obvious.

I’m still amazed they let them review their own calls. I don’t think any other professional sports league has officiating as bad as the NHL. How many other leagues base calls on how veteran a team is, or a good vs bad team, or if they have a ‘good relationship with the ref’. Unreal.

JD_Wry

böök¡je: He should just be himself, not Frank.Is he that embarrassed?

Frankly, I’m glad he said what he said.

böök¡je

If anyone has a link of why GMoney is very angry at the refs, I’d like to see that. I would have watched the game, but I was too busy not caring in the least because I am tired of a last place team.

böök¡je

JDï™:
http://oilers.nhl.com/club/podcastplayer.htm?pid=98&iid=54645

Todd being frank.

He should just be himself, not Frank. Is he that embarrassed?

böök¡je

NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
böök¡je,

And maybe one of these days we will even spell his name correctly.

Sorry – Conner MacDavid

While there’s cause for optimism with Maroon’s play, Kassian started hot and cooled off a bit, too. Not sure we can bank on either one to provide top 6 worthy production next year.

If Kassian is our 4th line RW and Maroon our 3rd line LW in terms of how Chiarelli plans for next year, I am fine with that.

The refs don’t like Kassian and it’s clear he is always on the edge of getting game misconducts or suspensions, fairly or, more likely unfairly.

I’d still be looking to add a right-handed, physical top 9 forward.
Hall-Draisaitl-Yakupov
Pouliot-McDavid-Eberle
Maroon-Nuge-backes
Hendricks-better 4C-kassian

And I hear the “You’re going to pay Backes 6m to play 3Rd line RW?” chorus but the top 9 should be blendable in the McBlender.

JD_Wry
AsiaOil

Couldn’t watch the 3rd but good for the boys to make them sweat. Man I hate the Kings – my late Christmas present would be for someone to knock them out in the first round.

LB is much too passive for the NHL and needs at least another year in the AHL. Said it at the end of TC, mid-season, and now. Not sure what the rush to give him a one way contract was all about.

We added Maroon, Kass, GR and are getting closer to being able to physically compete in the WC. Still need the RHD, a bigger RW with wheels, skill and defense for the top 6, and the 3rd line is complete junk – plus of course a veteran backup goalie to challenge in TC. But we are getting there.

JD_Wry

Kyper siding with Doan. Yepyepyepyepyepyepyepyepeypeypeyep.

JD_Wry

square_wheels: Toffoli is an impressive goal scorer and what I hate about LA

His release is top-shelf, and you usually hear iron as it goes in. Fuck that guy

square_wheels

Zelepukin,

It’s a team built for the coach, not a team the coach has to figure out, coax and scream at between periods.

Anyone else think these final 5 games are critical to a few players ? Tmac may change his mind or is it too late ?

square_wheels

Duncan Keith played 27mins in a 4-1 win…….just saving him for the playoffs eh ?

Zelepukin

square_wheels:
Toffoli is an impressive goal scorer and what I hate about LA.

They keep plugging talent into this lineup, it’s hard to argue their scouting staff has been money for a while.

They are an extremely smart possession team. Every forward plays with possession as their first priority. Every D plays with possession as the first option. The decision to shoot/pass the puck to forward for the sake of deflecting it in as a dump-in, is NOT an option. That’s a loss of possession. And rightfully so. Making that play is essentially saying, I’m too slow and horrible of a Dman to instead move my feet and either carry it in, or make a tape-to-tape pass.

square_wheels

Frank the dog,

Oh no, I beg to differ. It’s the lineup, first and foremost. You can’t play in the west with the leagues worst D.

Depth is what good teams must have, not aspire to obtain through years of ineptitude.

Good news is Chia is flushing shit out and replacing them with actual NHL depth.

Kmart99

böök¡je,

He is already one of the five most dangerous players in the league. Had he played the full 82 he may have, with increased comfort, reached 100pts just as Sid and Ovie did.

He’s just a monster.

böök¡je,

And maybe one of these days we will even spell his name correctly. 😉 I kid, I kid. And after his slow start he has been even more impressive. Closer to a 100 point pace.

The challenge will be next year when teams have had time to review the tape and figure out ways to stop him. But I am certainly not betting against him. Man, is he ever good.

I’m still replaying in my mind how he made Burns look like a fool the other night when he set up Maroon.

square_wheels

Re watching the Giroux hit from behind, was he attempting a full front flip ? That was a little,over the top reaction to being bumped from behind.

square_wheels

Toffoli is an impressive goal scorer and what I hate about LA.

They keep plugging talent into this lineup, it’s hard to argue their scouting staff has been money for a while.

böök¡je

If Conner McDavid had played 82 games at his current pace of scoring, he would end up with 90 points.

In the last 3 seasons, that would have had him somewhere between 1st and 4th in scoring.

Last to achieve similar performance was Ovechkin and Crosby in 05/06 with just over 100 points each and a top 6 finish.

The future is bright.

Frank the dog

B S:
FUCK THE REFS!, how was that not a penalty on the hit on Yakupov? Could have broken his neck.

Therein lies our problem. While our full roster has holes, those holes are not as big as they look right now were our injured players healthy.
It’s the reffing, and the schedule. Moreso than the management, coaching, or roster.

Johnny skid

Zelepukin: Korpse: Oh god please no more.

he plays on the power-play! seriously.

square_wheels

Klima’s_Bucket,

Got tangled up with Gudas going into corner, he slid into the boards and Gudas followed him in and checked his head into boards.

It was dirty, but karma has a way of finding guys.

square_wheels

JDï™,

Seriously, fuck him. Every game I watch him slew foot guys, hit them late or vulnerable, hack, slash and cross check everyone his slow ass can’t keep with.

He’s one of few guys I won’t miss when they retire. Go ride you’re fucking horses Shane.

El Duderino

Centre of attention:
There was a big delay between the hit and the goal…

That is the only reason. Brossoit could of stood up.

LB could not of stood up, and moreover he could not have stood up. I disagree both with your opinion and your continued grammatical error. You know you’re wrong. It’s a simple fix.

Klima's_Bucket

square_wheels,

What happened to Doan?

böök¡je

Missed the game, but see McDavid got two points. My only goal at this point of the season is for McDavid to finish second in rookie scoring.

Next year everything will be better. It’s gonna be awesome!

Zelepukin

By eye…

Korpse: Oh god please no more.

Clens: Jultz 2.0

Oster: Fasten your seatbelt, welcome to the Western Conference. Manhandled.

Drai: Had a tough game. Tried to use his booty but the Kings are experts in booty hockey and establishing space.

Hall: Lots of effort, not much to show for it besides internet commentors who notice the little things.

Ebs: Strong game, many dishes served by McD.

McD: Dominance in so many ways. Even down low he is amazing in pushing off a very good veteran d-core of the Kings. It took guys like Hallsy a couple years before he could do things like this.

Maroon: New fav Oiler by far. Rarely makes a bad mistake, shows character, passion and knows how to play with McD. Give him an offseason of getting his legs into McD shape and we’ve got our Lucic.