SALE ON SAIL ON SAILOR

by Lowetide

The Oilers ran their record to 5-2-0 last night with a solid victory over a (mostly) NHL squad. Whatever lies ahead, we can say this team is a stronger exhibition troupe than the Dubnyk Disasters of 2013 fall. Those Oilers were so poor in a Texas exhibition that season you could feel the impending doom all the way from Lubbock.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

defense-last-night

  • Reinhart—Gryba had the best possession numbers but I did not see them good. Against an NHL crew, both men struggled with mobility and at times appeared plodding. Gryba can defend, and Reinhart did good work on the PK (4:09 there), but this was the weakest pairing by a wide margin. I think Gryba gets a contract, and Reinhart leaves on a jet plane for California.
  • Sekera—Benning were really good in my opinion. Both men made impressive outlet passes (Benning made a fantastic headman pass to send McDavid away on a sortie that was genuinely breathtaking) and played solid blue for the most part. Some wobbly moments, but I like this pairing better than Sekera—Fayne and you know I like that duo. Matt Benning can make this team, ladies and men.
  • Klefbom—Larsson were absolute music. Klefbom skating is a symphony for Oilers fans, he is just so good at closing a gap or taking the puck anywhere. Larsson is a strong addition to this team, also skating miles, defending well and passing the puck effectively. I bet they play 22+ minutes a night, and there will be nights Todd McLellan asks for more from this tandem.
  • Sekara had an assist, two shots on goal; Adam Larsson and Oscar Klefbom played 6:11 on the PK; Eric Gryba had three shots and four hits; Oscar had four blocked shots.
  • Jonas Gustavsson had a strong game last night, left some rebounds but grabbed most of them. Easily his best game as an Oiler goalie this fall.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

forwards-last-night

  • Milan Lucic is still not at normal levels, he seems a step slow and unable to make plays. I am sure it will come, but you would like to see him have more of an impact by this point in the pre-season. Two shots, two hits, but the passing I know has not yet appeared.
  • Connor McDavid is incredible. It is amazing to see NHL defenders go from ‘under control’ to ‘all is lost, the day is ruined’ in a split second. He has gears to his game that shock the eye and delight the brain and watching him in real time is a special thing to see. Incredible. Two assists, three shots and 2:44 PK—he is going to get time on the 4×5 and may play 22+ minutes some nights this year.
  • Jordan Eberle had some good looks, but he stands out as a guy who doesn’t win many battles on his line. Picked up an assist and three shots, but if he were stronger on the puck this line would be more effective.
  • Jesse Puljujarvi showed well last night to my eye, had a few shots at net, a takeway and marked his man well. There are things he needs to improve, but the issue with Eberle (winning battles) may be solved eventually on the Mcdavid line by this guy. He works to make himself useful as well as ornamental.
  • Benoit Pouliot brought his usual brilliant game, two assists, blocked shots, takeaways and his normal effectiveness in curtailing opposition breakouts. Sortie interruptions/60 isn’t a thing, but it should be, and this guy is all world in that category.
  • Leon Draisaitl got a really good look in the first period and unleashed an excellent shot. After that, it was a somewhat quiet game from him but he did some good things all the same. He needs linemates who are more than complementary types—at least at this point in his career.
  • Nail Yakupov had an assist, two shots and made some plays. He can pass well and his shot is good enough to score goals, but his wonky sight on the barrel is going to cost him millions. Yak also fails to contribute enough in board battles, there was a sequence last night where Maroon was working like a bugger and needed just a little help from Nail. The young Russian didn’t react at all on the play, and the puck turned over and bam! Instant 200 feet trip and an opportunity wasted. He can make those plays, but has to do it more often imo. This is not the same as saying he cannot do it.
  • Drake Caggiula looked good again—including PK—until his injury. It happened on the breakaway chance that got him a PS. I saw him adjusting his (I think right) leg in preparation for the PS, seemed like a tweak or a nag. We shall see, he has been strong strong this camp. Effective on PK, anticipates well and is quick, two things that work on the 4×5.
  • Mark Letestu is a good NHL player. Honest. There are people who will tell you different, do not trust them. Scored a goal, grabbed an assist, 64 percent in the dot, two blocked shots, takeaway, over four PK minutes.
  • Patrick Maroon appears to be trolling Milan Lucic by doing what Lucic normally does. My goodness his goal was a nice one, showing good, quick hands and some real skill. What in hell was Anaheim thinking?
  • Tyler Pitlick is putting the finishing touches on his best training camp, something that we have been waiting about six years to see. No matter, he is still young and can have a career. A goal, two shots, two hits, two blocked shots. What I have noticed from him this year is that he is inside more plays and rarely on the periphery. Aggressive player at this point in his career, the man is locked and loaded and I hope he is successful. He is playing now—in Edmonton—the way his AHL coach told us he was playing last season in Bakersfield. Gerry Fleming: When ‘Pitter’ is at his best, he’s on loose pucks, he’s moving his feet, he’s protecting the puck, he’s going to the net. The biggest part of his game is his physicality. He hits like a train, and when he’s hitting and starting and stopping on pucks, he’s an effective player. I think he’s starting to grasp the concept of the way he has to play in order to be effective and that’s using his speed on the outside, protecting the puck, and bringing it to the net. It comes back to his physicality. When he’s finishing his checks, being physical in front of the net, and winning battles in the corners, he can help the team and be an asset.” Source
  • Zack Kassian had a shot, three hits, and kept the puck going in a good direction most of the night. He also penalty killed effectively. I think he is a good addition to this team.

https://twitter.com/NicholsOnHockey/status/784394629814755328

TRADING YAK

I like Nail Yakupov, he is an easy player to cheer for and most stories surrounding him as a human are positive. I also blame the Oilers organization for much of what got us here. However, it is undeniable that progress has not been made in some important areas—consistency, responsible play—and the Edmonton Oilers owe coach Todd McLellan 23 men who he feels comfortable with for the coming season.

It is time to turn north. Can it be done with Nail? I think McLellan is the man to answer that question, and the rumors suggest we already have our answer. There’s no bad guy here, anyone blaming Nail needs to review his handling from draft day to this one. Sometimes in life things don’t work out. Nail turned 23 yesterday and the truth is both sides made mistakes and had things to learn. Edmonton ignored Russia forever and perhaps a more informed organization would have known there is a cultural difference from Moscow to Minsk to Neftekhimik.

I think it is time to let go. Allow this young man to sail on down the line and find his place in life. Surely it is not here. I don’t think there is any joy in knowing that, or in this story. None.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

10 this morning, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Steve Lansky, Big Mouth Sports. Jays with a massive win yesterday, McDavid as captain.
  • Guy Flaming, Pipeline Show. Oil Kings update and college hockey kicks off this weekend.
  • Matt Iwanyk, TSN1260. Point/Counter Point talking Jays, McDavid and trading Nail.
  • Paul Almeida, SSE. Paul will chime in on the Jays and Oilers roster decisions.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Friday!

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Pouzar

Jason Gregor ‏@JasonGregor 7m7 minutes ago
Heraing Yakupov to St.Louis for young prospect blueliner.. #Oilers

RexLibris

Woodguy: You’re on notice.

It took THIS for you to notice me?

Yeah, that”s how I’m going to read that.

Frank the dog

digger50:
I find it hard to believe thier is no interest in Yakupov around the league. He is an actual NHL player and has a readymade excuse for his deficiencies. (He plays for Edmonton) Many egos would find this intriguing to save him from Edmonton and turn the player around.

I believe the team that does take a chance will be looked upon as very shrewd, turning a low value player into an asset for cheap. A year from now they will be saying “what was Edmonton thinking?”

Maybe they watched the same games we did.

JD_Wry

checks for new blog

Woodguy

JDï™:
Did it just get uncomfortable in here?

*removes pants*

Nope.

Woodguy

Yeti: No-one would dare question the size and quality of your wood.

I hear that about me.

Woodguy

RexLibris: Shhhh! He’s going to blame autocorrect if you let him.

You’re on notice.

JD_Wry

Did it just get uncomfortable in here?

Pouzar

PunjabiOil:
Bob Stauffer ‏@Bob_Stauffer 43m43 minutes ago

Get the sense after Reinhart didn’t grab it and the indifferent play of one of the vets that the Oilers still exploring options to upgrade D

_____________

Pretty clear he’s talking about Fayne.

Oh please gawd no Russell

Yeti

Woodguy: Like a poor carpenter who blames his tools……

No-one would dare question the size and quality of your wood.

Woodguy

Lowetide: I think you mean your PHONE was looking for CHLers.

Like a poor carpenter who blames his tools……

RexLibris

JDï™: More importantly, is it even possible to hold a trial on the set of Jerry Springer?

haha-….wait….

JD_Wry

Yeti: But wasn’t it a technicality to do with insurance?

Yeah, I just found a statement on a Swiss hockey site that said Versteeg failed the club’s medical exam.

http://www.swisshockeynews.ch/index.php/news/11-news/swiss-ice-hockey/nla/7055-due-to-his-physical-condition-sc-bern-confirms-kris-versteeg-s-departure

Either they have some very strict standards in their testing, or they’re slinging mud for some reason. It was Dreger that initially reported the insurance angle, but he would have probably been in direct contact with Versteeg’s camp on that report.

RexLibris

Lowetide: I think you mean your PHONE was looking for CHLers.

Shhhh! He’s going to blame autocorrect if you let him.

Yeti

SwedishPoster: for some reason that obviously has nothing to do with his hockey playing qualities.

But wasn’t it a technicality to do with insurance?
In any case, fact that he was due to play in the Swiss league reinforces your main point. He shouldn’t be counted on. Anything he provides is a bonus.

SwedishPoster

JDï™: I read that he was turned away on a technicality, because he didn’t declare a ‘pre-existing condition’ and was automatically turned away. It had nothing to do with his physical condition at the time.

The story is different depending on which side is telling it, the truth who knows? Certainly not me. What we do know is that the swiss turned down a player with a far superior cv compared to most guys who decide to play there for some reason that obviously has nothing to do with his hockey playing qualities. Maybe they realized that they couldn’t afford him and got out on a technicality but the swiss league isn’t like the KHL where teams have dodgy finances, at least not in general. So my guess is there is some question marks but that’s ofc just speculation on my part. My main point still stands. I have a hard time seeing him as a more than a depth option at this point.

PunjabiOil

Bob Stauffer ‏@Bob_Stauffer 43m43 minutes ago

Get the sense after Reinhart didn’t grab it and the indifferent play of one of the vets that the Oilers still exploring options to upgrade D

_____________

Pretty clear he’s talking about Fayne.

T0ML

JDï™,

Oh im here. Got some gnarly wind and rain but alls good down here in Orlando … I even have crown left!

Also please dont trade yak to Calgary … Im a yak fan (not one of the ones that will die on the hill … he needs a new start IMO, just NOT in cgy)

JD_Wry

RexLibris: before a jury of my peers?

More importantly, is it even possible to hold a trial on the set of Jerry Springer?

Younger Oil

godot10: He had ONLY one NHL left D when he made the trade.Oscar Klefbom, and he had only one year’s experience.

He also had Marincin, who had proven and has continued to prove that he is a capable NHL defender. I know you say he was out the door anyways, but there is no proof to this claim. The most likely scenario was that management thought that getting Reinhart made Marincin replaceable, and they were bailed out by Davidson continuing his development.

Furthermore, after the trade, Reinhart did not add to the list of NHL left D in the Oilers organization. He was an Under-23 LHD prospect, which was the greatest depth and strength in the entire Oilers organization. The trade, as evidenced by the play of Reinhart in the past year, did not fill a need.

PunjabiOil

RexLibris: Why do you have to ruin my Thanksgiving weekend like this?

To be honest if it’s for 2.5M or less, and he plays only on the bottom pairing and special teams, I’m not completely opposed to it.

I think Fayne is done for sure. Just a matter of when.

sliderule

I was listening to lowetides show today and he was relating how Maroon was battling for puck and Yak was standing near and not engaging ,just standing and seemingly not sure what to do.
I did not watch the game but I have seen him do this so many times that it almost brought tears to my eyes.What Lowetide related is precisely why Yak will be gone shortly.His complete and utter lack of hockey sense which is on display most nights will force the oilers to dump him for nothing.

Woodguy

godot10: Girardi (and the others) have been a top 4 NHL defensemen.People decline at the end of their careers.

And you are now moving the goalposts…what does it matter if one is from the CHL, Europe, or US College…there are examples of all three types.

My list isn’t comprehensive.I was just going off the top of my head.

I know it looks like I’m moving the goal posts and I’ll own that, but I was just looking at CHLers

JD_Wry

SwedishPoster: the swiss didn’t trust his physique to hold up enough to sign him

I read that he was turned away on a technicality, because he didn’t declare a ‘pre-existing condition’ and was automatically turned away. It had nothing to do with his physical condition at the time.

RexLibris

PunjabiOil:
Someone in the know has told me:

1.Russell on or before Monday
2.Fayne may be waived.

We wait.

Why do you have to ruin my Thanksgiving weekend like this?

What did I ever do to you that you can prove in a court of law before a jury of my peers?

HugThePost

Lowetide: Well, we are all hooped!

Well then, we mind as well have some fun then.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Should be an exciting weekend as far as roster finalization!

Younger Oil

Sorry, but people need to stop grasping at straws when it comes to Reinhart.

It is very, VERY clear and apparent that his development is behind what a typical projected Top 4 defender would be.

Pointing out under-scouted Euros, late bloomers/growers who would have been picked in the first round if people knew who they would become, and prospects who were set back by cancer who are exceptions to the rule is not a compelling argument.

Reinhart was an early grower, and as a result was physically dominant in the WHL against boys, which inflated his draft ranking. It was clear at the time of the trade that his development was already stalling, and he was being passed on the depth chart by players drafted after him (Pulock). The warning signs were already there a year ago, and arguably he is no better this year than he was last year.

I pointed out at the time of the trade that Reinhart was no better than Marincin at any time during their development, and they produced very similar results at the same age when playing against men. People called me stupid, and that Reinhart was drafted 4th Overall automatically makes him a better player.

The trade value wise was awful the moment it was made, and even worse when you consider the leftorium they already had, that they already had a very similar player in Marincin, and the fact that management thought he was ready to play Top 4 minutes at the time of the trade.

You think it’s not a warning sign that the blue line of Canada’s 2016 WHC had FIVE 2012 draft picks that were drafted after Reinhart? How close do you think Reinhart was to getting on that team?

Even Cam Barker, who people consider one of the worst top 5 picks in the past decade, got 40 points in 68 games in his Draft +5 year.

There is not a single compelling argument that can be made for Reinhart tracking to be a Top 4 defender. When you’re drafted in the Top 5, you’re not drafted to be a “Late Bloomer”. Scouts assumed that Reinhart’s WHL game would be able to translate to pro hockey, and it clearly hasn’t turned out that way.

godot10

RexLibris:
Re: Reinhart

I’ve seen people wanting Chiarelli fired immediately for the trade.

This seems…reactionary.

It was a bad deal, no denying that. I doubt he’d do it again.

But what always struck me was that it appeared as though he was operating on intel from his staff, most of whom were from the previous management.

So Chiarelli pulled the trigger on a trade for a defensive prospect who looked good on paper, had the recommendation of the people who had scouted him most closely given their affiliation with his junior club, and whose opinions probably coincided with his own familiarity (to what extent we don’t know) as a result of his tenure in Boston and likely being familiar with the prospect pools of other EC teams.

Everyone knew it was an overpay, but the fault likes on multiple levels and – putting aside what one thinks of the Hall/Larsson deal for a moment – one that it does not appear he is anxious to repeat.

Reinhart’s likely ceiling at this point is as a 4th defender – ie: 2nd pairing with a stellar partner. He’s almost assuredly going to be exposed in the expansion draft or traded this season.

He had ONLY one NHL left D when he made the trade. Oscar Klefbom, and he had only one year’s experience.

SwedishPoster

Why are so many counting on Versteeg to be anything else than another depth option? The guy didn’t have a good season last year, the swiss didn’t trust his physique to hold up enough to sign him and his body did in deed only hold up for a few preseason games before he got banged up. I don’t mind giving him a cheap contract but would argue that any useful minutes we get out of him is pure bonus, I won’t count on him in the top 9 and certainly not as a top 6 option as I’ve seen suggested.
I’m not saying he’s having major injury issues, I don’t have any knowledge on his medical records. He may very well stay healthy but based on his last few seasons I doubt he stays efficient all season, could have value as a vet option through tough spells but my guess is not much more. The risk with these guys are that they get more ice time than they deserve because they’ve “been there before”, “play the game the right way” or some other mumbo jumbo coaches say when trying to justify doubtful decisions.

godot10

Woodguy: I meant CHL drafted players, US College are different obv.

Also,

Brandon Davidson
Brian Rafalski
Tom Gilbert
Dan Boyle

Were not top 4 NHL Dmen last year and Giarardi isn’t one either, although he gets the minutes and Ericsson, Bieksa are closing in on the same status, although have been so in the past.

Girardi (and the others) have been a top 4 NHL defensemen. People decline at the end of their careers.

And you are now moving the goalposts…what does it matter if one is from the CHL, Europe, or US College…there are examples of all three types.

My list isn’t comprehensive. I was just going off the top of my head.

RexLibris

Re: Reinhart

I’ve seen people wanting Chiarelli fired immediately for the trade.

This seems…reactionary.

It was a bad deal, no denying that. I doubt he’d do it again.

But what always struck me was that it appeared as though he was operating on intel from his staff, most of whom were from the previous management.

So Chiarelli pulled the trigger on a trade for a defensive prospect who looked good on paper, had the recommendation of the people who had scouted him most closely given their affiliation with his junior club, and whose opinions probably coincided with his own familiarity (to what extent we don’t know) as a result of his tenure in Boston and likely being familiar with the prospect pools of other EC teams.

Everyone knew it was an overpay, but the fault likes on multiple levels and – putting aside what one thinks of the Hall/Larsson deal for a moment – one that it does not appear he is anxious to repeat.

Reinhart’s likely ceiling at this point is as a 4th defender – ie: 2nd pairing with a stellar partner. He’s almost assuredly going to be exposed in the expansion draft or traded this season.

Woogie63

Ducey: Looks to be from the Reinhart/ Musil tree? Can he skate?

I think he has that big shot from the point

Water Fire

godot10: Stamkos, Seguin, MacKinnon…hard to see how Eberle ever makes team Canada with those three available to play right wing.

Too true. I was trying not to sound anti Eberle. Maybe with Connor’s glow and his international rep…

I just want him to get his nose dirty

PunjabiOil

Someone in the know has told me:

1. Russell on or before Monday
2. Fayne may be waived.

We wait.

RexLibris

Lowetide: Well, we are all hooped!

Isn’t that why we’re here in the first place?

Ducey

Woogie63:
Scott Mayfair is on the waiver wire is that a better option thanGryba?

Looks to be from the Reinhart/ Musil tree? Can he skate?

Woodguy

leadfarmer:
Mark Streit, Dan Girardi .

Like I mentioned to Godot, I was referring to CHLers and I dispute Giardi’s classification of an Actual Top 4 Dman.

To everyone grabbing late to the NHL Euros or college guys – please stop.

Woogie63

Scott Mayfair is on the waiver wire is that a better option than Gryba?

HugThePost

ChiliChunk: Reid Wilkins ‏@ReidWilkins3h3 hours ago
Davidson says he did not suffer a concussion on the Pearson hit.Hopes to play tomorrow.

Ducey: By ominous silence, do you mean publishing on the interwebs he has been practicing for 2 days?

https://www.nhl.com/oilers/news/friday-practice-updates/c-282469252

Thanks!

I feel shame for my ignorance

Johnny skid

Ducey:
And here is a picture of Yak

https://www.nhl.com/oilers/news/storiesvideo-from-main-camp—day-16/c-282469798

Looks to me like he is already confused by the drill. He is tilting his head to the side and thinking “Huh?”

Bitter much?

Frank the dog

soup:
I have come to like Yak – the person. I love how he has embraced the city, how he has worked so hard to learn the language, and that he has been a terrific citizen for the team. I maintain that the team made a mistake on this selection, and that he remains a flawed hockey player. The organization should be embarrassed for how this person has been managed. The development of the player (or the lack thereof) is one thing – the team and Yak share that load – but the person has been treated poorly in my view, and that is solely on the team.

I think it is addition by subtraction at this point. Team has sailed on him, and he has sailed on the team. Give TMac something he feels he can count on, and give Yak a chance to prove us doubters wrong.

I suggest that Yak is a different type of player than this team is looking for. They want wings who can play center and centers who can play wings. They want high scoring players who can defend, and defensive players who can score. The person who overruled the scouts who were for some reason better aware of the team’s needs, clearly did not realize that Yak is a 1 trick pony from such a different culture that many people on this blog still think he is Russian. He isn’t. He speaks Russian but he is a different ethnicity and a different religion to the Russians. Go to Wikipedia for goodness sake and read about the Tatars. Listen to Yak himself when he said he isn’t Russian, and in other interviews when he said he has a lot of friends in Turkey.
I don’t think Yak has hockey sense. He has a willing attitude, dedication, a measure of aggression, he is stocky, strong, quite fast and had a terrific shot before he lost his self confidence at the hands of the dementor.
But give Yak enough time with a Center for them to get used to each other, preferably one that speaks his language if not shares his ethnicity, one that understands how Yak thinks, and you will once again see a productive, one dimensional Right Wing who shoots left. Clearly that wont happen on this team, so yes, regardless of whose fault it is, the die is cast, it’s best to move on.

Woodguy

godot10: I’ll take your Jake Muzzin, and raise you

Brandon Davidson
Brian Rafalski
Jeff Petry
Tom Gilbert
Brian Campbell
Kevin Bieksa
Jonathon Ericsson
Anton Stralman
Dan Giradi
Jason Garrison
Mattia Ekholm
Mark Giordano
Tom Gilbert

And that is just brainstorming guys off the top of my head.

I meant CHL drafted players, US College are different obv.

Also,

Brandon Davidson
Brian Rafalski
Tom Gilbert
Dan Boyle

Were not top 4 NHL Dmen last year and Giarardi isn’t one either, although he gets the minutes and Ericsson, Bieksa are closing in on the same status, although have been so in the past.

Ducey

And here is a picture of Yak

https://www.nhl.com/oilers/news/storiesvideo-from-main-camp—day-16/c-282469798

Looks to me like he is already confused by the drill. He is tilting his head to the side and thinking “Huh?” 🙂

Woodguy

stephen sheps,

Once Davidson is established as a top 4 Dman, he’d also be one for sure, but he’s not there yet.

Ducey

Yak Efron:
Bruce McCurdy,

Couln’t even pass it forward, what a bum.

He was too weak and soft to carry it any further, so just left it for Connor to deal with

Ducey

HugThePost:
speaking of Davidson, is it just me, or has an ominous silence fallen as far as updates regarding what I presume to be a concussion?

Kind of like the silence that fell last year when Klef developed his staph infection

By ominous silence, do you mean publishing on the interwebs he has been practicing for 2 days?

https://www.nhl.com/oilers/news/friday-practice-updates/c-282469252

Frank the dog

jm363561:
Great start for Captain McFantastic, both individually and the team. We will never know who would have been captain had Taylor Hall stayed. It would have been an interesting decision.

Taylor Hall supported having Connor as Captain. He said as much.

ChiliChunk

HugThePost:
speaking of Davidson, is it just me, or has an ominous silence fallen as far as updates regarding what I presume to be a concussion?

Kind of like the silence that fell last year when Klef developed his staph infection

Reid Wilkins ‏@ReidWilkins 3h3 hours ago
Davidson says he did not suffer a concussion on the Pearson hit. Hopes to play tomorrow.