Well. These things usually write themselves, but 2-0-0 isn’t easily found in the database, so I am going to have to work a little extra to find something called sunshine from my keyboard this morning. Hey, there are negatives and things to fret about, but two wins at the start of the season is borderline Hallelujah for Oilers fans.


  • Oilers in October 2015: 4-8-0
  • Oilers in October 2016: 2-0-0

Edmonton began last season 0-4-0 before getting things settled and finishing the month 4-4-0. Peter Chiarelli’s Bruins went from 76 points in his first season there to 94 points in year two. Chiarelli’s Oilers posted 70 points in year one, can this club hit 90 this season?



  • Adam Larsson saw the Monahan line most often, sawed them off (4-4) and did well in high danger scoring chances (5-2) overall. I think he stood tall on a night when the Oilers defensemen spent a lot of time trying to settle the waters in difficult rapids. Sometimes survival is success, and this was such a night. He hits effectively.
  • Darnell Nurse picked up another assist, played four minutes shorthanded and played a tough, physical game that saw increased discipline. He played against the Sam Bennett line (5-6) and went 1-1 in high danger scoring chances. Miles to go, but I thought he had a good game. A couple of monster hits, but he did not take the bait and did not cost his team with a poorly timed penalty seeking revenge. Had a takeaway and a blocked shot.
  • Oscar Klefbom played 21:59, had three blocked shots and played well in a defensive role. Less freewheeling than in Game 1, I like his ability to defend when necessary—he has a fairly complete skill set. Played 13:18 with Larsson and the pairing went 4-2 in HD scoring chances. Played mostly against Backlund-Frolik and had a 2-0 edge in HD scoring chances.
  • Andrej Sekera played over 20 minutes and performed in all three disciplines. Paired mostly with Kris Russell at evens, he was steady and effective to my eye. Faced Backlund most often (1-0 edge in HD scoring chances) but was pitted against all of the top forwards last night. I think he is on another level compared to last season—and I thought he was great then, too.
  • Kris Russell had an assist, three blocked shots and played on the PK—not the power play. His numbers are basically the same as Sekera’s, I think this tandem gives Todd McLellan some cover. He makes small, nifty plays with the puck. A little shy of Game 1, it was a different game and in my opinion he did enough good things to warrant a good arrow.
  • Eric Gryba played a ton on the PK as well as the items listed above. Played a bunch with Nurse and they faced the Bennett line—probably the preferred matchup by Calgary coaching.
  • Event Summary from NHL.com
  • Game results from Natural Stat Trick.



  • Score effects were in play again last night, but the truth is Calgary kicked ass early and later.
  • Milan Lucic had his best game, exhibition or regular. He had two assists, three shots, and plays with McDavid. Lucic faced the Brodie—Giordano pairing and went 15-4. The key to Corsi success is playing with McDavid! Huzzah! I loved his power-play work, the man can pass so very well and he makes intelligent decisions with the puck.
  • Jordan Eberle appeared more involved and got in the way more—not quite Pouliot-level but he made himself a better player by  doing it. Also scored a goal, added an assist, had four shots and nine directed at the net. The line went 4-5 head to head with Johnny Gaudreau 5×5 in 3:37.
  • Connor McDavid played 22:09 but it looked like 35 minutes—oh my, this man impacts a hockey game. A goal and two assists for the evening, he leads the NHL in points. I don’t have the words. Honestly, his shifts should be chronicled as art, or music. Breathtaking.
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins posted two shots, two takeaways and was 50 percent on the dot—while getting caved in possession. The first period was dire—DIRE! All the forwards not playing with McDavid were ineffective in possession, but Nuge has to be better. Played most often with Benoit Pouliot and Zack Kassian, and faced the Hamilton pairing (7-11) and Sam Bennett line (5-5) more than any other set. Played five fewer minutes than McDavid, power-play time was only 1:33. His 1-4 in HD SC was poor.
  • Mark Letestu scored a huge goal (SH) and had three shots. Skated miles on the PK, for me he is a good 4C on this team and frankly I do not understand why people don’t appreciate him. He went 4-5 with Lander and Pitlick at evens, went 3-2 against Ferland.
  • Benoit Pouliot had a bad game. He had two shots, took three penalties and did not deliver his normal effective forechecking game. Vital he and Nuge recover, suspect they will. Edmonton needs to find a suitable RW for this duo, which is not the same as saying Kris Versteeg was the ideal RW for this duo. He was 1-8 in 1:37 against Chiasson, no idea how that happened.
  • Anton Lander had a good game and I think there is a chance we see him again tomorrow. Effective on the PK, he had one shot and three blocked shots. He also has a bit of an edge that forces the opposition into reacting. Good to see him play last night.
  • Tyler Pitlick had a good game despite the possession number. He can be a royal pain in the ass, got away with a crosscheck on Wideman (it was nothing, but I have seen Edmonton get a penalty on that play many times). He was 2-5 against Stajan and played most often with Letestu and Lander.
  • Zack Kassian stepped up to the 2R spot last night, had one shot and three takeaways. He was 4-7 against Bennett line, probably a matchup both teams would have been satisfied with (Nuge line). He played over two minutes shorthanded, that is becoming a trend and he appears to be effective.
  • Jesse Puljujarvi had a quiet night, no surprise since he didn’t see the ice a lot. One shot on goal.
  • Patrick Maroon also had a night where the puck wasn’t on his stick a lot, but he did work hard along the boards and there was plenty of that kind of work. Played most often with Leon and Puljujarvi, the line got passed like a house on the side of the road quite a bit. He was 1-11 with Leon at evens.
  • Leon Draisaitl had two different evenings, one at evens and one on the power play. He went 2-1-3 and had five shots on goal. Good in the dot. Impressive evening in many ways, but a tire fire in possession. He went 1-4 against the Gaudreau line, Edmonton has to get the two and three lines settled in here at 5×5. Showed nice chem with Milan Lucic, perhaps we will see a left wing shuffle.

I have never seen actual NHL defensemen sell out so early, absolutely desperate to stop the madness. McDavid shines like a diamond and every shift is shock and awe. He shocks the brain and delights the eye. We are blessed to be watching this man on our home team. Jesus, Mary and Joseph this is going to be a fun, wild ride. Do not blink! You might miss something.

Edmonton is winning some very important parts of the games:

  • Game One: 14-9 edge in scoring chances, 11-5 in high danger scoring chances. Source
  • Game Two: 17-12 edge in scoring chances, 9-7 in high-danger scoring chances. Source

You can say McDavid effect and that is fair, but my counter is that the team is built around 97 and is being deployed properly. If your point is that the Oilers are not a good team when McDavid sits, I agree. Work to do. If you are arguing this won’t work, I am going to need an explanation. Take as many pieces of foolscap as you need, front and back please, no need to cut down more trees.

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  1. wheatnoil says:

    frjohnk: The only downfall is if the Oilers get hemmed in their zone for McDavids shift its a wasted shift but that will only last for so long until he breaks free.Id like to see him win more draws though before Boyd Gordoning him

    It would interesting to see how chances for with McDavid are generated.Either of the rush, cycle, neutral zone turnover, offensive faceoff win etc.Id say most are off the rush, but wouldnt mind seeing the numbers.

    Other teams might like to see McDavid start in his own end, until 10 seconds later he is on a breakaway or 2 on 1.

    This might be a better question for G, but I wonder if you can isolate corsi and DFF on JUST D-zone start shifts?


  2. hunter1909 says:

    Draisraitl’s proving that McDavid’s going to help his fellow players emerge rapidly as stars in their own right;

    Since the opposition’s going to be spending 75% of their energy worrying about McDavid from now on.

    It’s only a matter of time before other players start rocketing up the scoring charts – players like current ppg defenceman Darnell Nurse lol

  3. Klima's_Bucket says:


    Another thing to consider is that if McDavid is starting in his own zone and the opposition coach is a fool, He may have the 3rd line or 3rd pairing D out there because they have an O-zone start. So if McDavid does break free it may be against weaker competition.

  4. hunter1909 says:

    Anyone else notice that Mark Giordano looks like Rowan Atkinson?

    No, but Flames fans at Calgary Puck are complaining that Dougie Hamilton is too soft.

    For the rest of the season, each team that plays the Oilers will have highlight reels showing their better players looking like fools.

  5. hunter1909 says:

    Klima’s_Bucket: So if McDavid does break free it may be against weaker competition.

    Technically, there’s no such thing as stronger competition when McDavid’s on the ice. McDavid turns the opposition into dog food.

  6. fifthcartel says:


    This is an interesting point, and I share a similar worry about RNH’s value if he only puts up ~45 points getting less TOI at ES and PP.

    Part of me wants them to split up Lucic-McDavid-Eberle and either put Pouliot or Draisaitl with McDavid, but they seem down on Pouliot even though RNH needs more support.

    I have a feeling RNH is the next bullet in the chamber to be used on a RHD, and his money goes to Draisaitl, and they desperately need a good season from him if that’s the plan.

  7. Evilas says:

    G Money,

    G Honey Pie Sugar Bunch,

    Good to see you back, er G-Homie!

  8. --hudson-- says:

    From the way Chiarelli was defending the Russell signing, talking about puck retrievals and zone entries, it really sounds like they are a client of Sportlogiq. Basically using software to observe game footage and record metrics like:
    – Gaining possession (faceoff win % / loose puck retrieval)
    – Transporting puck to offensive zone (possession, zone entry, preventing entry)
    – Generating shots (shot attempts, shot suppression)
    – Shots (shooting/save %, shot types)

    It seems the source of differing conclusions on a player like Russell is not the way the stats are interpreted but fans don’t even have access to the data. Chia seems more than aware that the ‘advance stats’ don’t shed Russell in a positive light, however he points out abilities that cannot be derived from the game event stats. (source https://omny.fm/shows/oilers-now-with-bob-stauffer/oct-11-oilers-now-seg-3-oilers-gm-peter-chiarelli?t=12m00s )

    It would be really interesting/exciting to see what would happen if the Sportlogiq data was turned loose on the blogosphere (similar to what happened here with game event stats). Assuming it is acrrurate, past history may have no bearing on future performance. It would definitely advance the movement though.

    I read some of Willis’s comments on Russel’s game last night and couldn’t disagree more with him and it got me thinking about advanced stats in hockey and in sports in general.

    Fancy stats or analytics in baseball are fantastic, they can be used to make a judgment or decisions on certain players/teams etc. But there is a huge flaw in analytics in hockey and this is because hockey is a forever flowing, moving game with unpredictable plays and scenarios.

    Analytics can carefully measure stats from a fixed and certain “input”.From that “input” there are only a number of certain plays or scenarios that can occur (“output”).Baseball is like a machine or a car lets say. You put your foot on the gas and from there we can measure whats suppose to happen to whats actually happening and from that make an educated decision.

    Hockey isn’t a “machine” like sport.Its more like a jogger running in an earthquake.He could be the best jogger or worst jogger but everything around him is moving unpredictably.We can measure those results that the jogger runs while running in a straight line but will never have the full picture of whats happening and influencing those results from whats around him.

    I think fancy stats in hockey expose great information about certain teams and players but it needs to be more advanced and more defined before it can be really used like baseball.

    That’s just my two cents on the hot button topic.But let’s all just enjoy Mcdavid and the Oil in this moment of 2-0-0 without bickering.

  9. bendelson says:

    “Steve Smith”: Can I tell you a secret? I don’t even remember the origin of the ‘”Steve Smith” hates Bendelson’ thing. I just keep it up because it feels so right…

    Well, if it feels so right, there MUST be a good reason for it.

    If you’d like, we can meet up for a gluten-free, raw food vegan lunch and discuss further…
    I’m certain we can come up with something without difficulty.

  10. rickithebear says:

    flames fans are talking about blowing up the team already after 2 games haha,Giordano is on the trade block for the armchair GM’S. Good week to be an Oilers fan.

    Gio is one of the 15 worst hsca d.

    I had the flames fans at work convinced he was shite 3 years ago.
    Modt were pissed nakladal was not on team.

  11. OilClog says:

    Pou is going to be the next bullet. Not a chance it’s Nuge unless the pay is dear.

    Nuge is playing good hockey, Those red bastards even though they we’re beaten to pulp for two games, they’re pretty good.

    Letestu is playing 4th line minutes with specials
    Drai is producing strong with minute management
    Mcdavid can’t play 45 a night

    Trading Nuge hurts this team dearly, leave the C depth alone, he’s a real good hockey player.

    Pou is the target, Chia has traded him once, tried to last spring, will attempt to again. The ducks have some things to work out, the Oilers have some pieces that still have value that are not up the middle to make it happen.

  12. Chris says:

    I think criticizing Nuge for not having sucess with any line that didn’t include Hall or Eberle over the past several years ignores who else was on the roster. Firstly, it would have made absolutely no sense to play him with McDavid last year. Further name me a combination of first line players that would have made sense over the past several years that would not have included one of Hall or Eberle. This kind of context free analysis basically ignores the fact the only times he would have played with neither of them would have been when the team was riddled with injury and getting their heads caved in. Even McDavid would not look that good if he was lining up with Hendrick’s and Kassian as his wingers.

  13. rickithebear says:

    Rnh non hall/ebs over 35 evtoi.

    Harti +3.01 GD
    Smyth + 1.64 GD
    Hemsky +.39 GD
    Gagner Even
    Jones -.52 GD
    Petrell – 1.59 GD

    MP +3.10 GD
    Hemsky +1.12 GD
    Smyth Even
    Yak – 4.05 GD

    Jones +4.49 Gd
    Perron Even
    Smyth Even
    gagner – 1.03 GD
    Lander – 1.12 GD
    Hemsky – 1.51 GD
    Yakupov – 2.37 GD

    Pitlick + 2.31 GD
    Hendricks +1.87 GD
    Perron Even
    Pouliot -.32 GD
    Purcell – 1.86 GD
    Yakupov – 3.83 GD

    Khaira + 2.02 GD
    Drai +1.80 GD
    Hendricks + 1.14 GD
    Pak – .76 GD
    Pouliot – .92 GD
    Yakupov – 1.46 GD
    Korpikoski – 1.72 GD
    Purcell – 2.66

    RNH who faces PVP is successful with forwards who have proven they can play PvP

  14. Woodguy says:

    G Money:

    Date squares!

  15. rickithebear says:

    G Bunch

    Enjoy the games. I will!

    Except Tkachuk @&$#%=+€£¥:

  16. jm363561 says:

    Nice to see that in a very small sample of 2 games, my prediction of the Oilers D contributing more points simply by moving the puck to McDavid in transition is spot onlol

    I will wait ten games before figuring if we have turned North, but this is a point that has been rather overlooked – see post game comment below from Drai.

    “It’s definitely a sign, we have a lot of fire power up front,” said Draisaitl. “And we have D who can transport the puck, get it in our hands.”

  17. jm363561 says:


    Fancy stats or analytics in baseball are fantastic, they can be used to make a judgment or decisions on certain players/teams etc. But there is a huge flaw in analytics in hockey and this is because hockey is a forever flowing, moving game with unpredictable plays and scenarios.

    Analytics can carefully measure stats from a fixed and certain “input”.From that “input” there are only a number of certain plays or scenarios that can occur (“output”).Baseball is like a machine or a car lets say. You put your foot on the gas and from there we can measure whats suppose to happen to whats actually happening and from that make an educated decision.

    I think fancy stats in hockey expose great information about certain teams and players but it needs to be more advanced and more defined before it can be really used like baseball.


    Good Sunday morning from Manila. Wife at church, sitting in Starbucks with my bagel. Oil 2-0-0. All is right with the world. Regarding the above, does any local bylaw still allow burning at the stake for sacrilege? Just watched last night’s game – surprised no comments on Sekera’s quietly excellent game – he is a terrific second line D.

  18. Glass says:

    I would love to see:


    It may lower our top line scoring a little, raise our 2nd line scoring a lot, and we have a 3rd line that has skill and plays hard.

    Send Puljujarvi to the AHL after 9 games, I think Pitlick earned a spot.

  19. CrazyCoach says:

    haters: Anyone know what Nuge is getting 6 million a year for ?
    Thought he was gonna be better this year.
    At this rate I’d be fine with replacing him with Leon for a bit just to see if it wakes him up …
    It’s early, but the boy isn’t showing well and hasn’t for a while now.

    Way late here, but are you sure you watched the same player?

    I thought Nuge played pretty well on the defensive side of the puck. His job is not score the big goals. His job is to go out and eat minutes and keep the other team at bay.

  20. CrazyCoach says:

    For those who are now raising hockey players – don’t you just love 6:30am practices?

    All the years I coached, those 6AM practices in cold rinks have to be the worst. I always wondered how the kids could learn at that hour.

    Worst ice time ever? My first year coaching, when we had 1/2 ice, 45 minute practices, at 4:30AM!!!

    I don’t miss those days.

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