BLUE BURNS ORANGE

by Lowetide

The Bakersfield Condors are in action tonight, playing just Game No. 6 on a slow, slow minor league schedule. It is difficult to track prospects who play once or twice a week, but we should get a good look at the crew this week—as they play three games between now and Monday.

At this blog, we don’t concern ourselves so much with wins, more about development. Among Condors who have played five or more games in the minors and are productive NHL players for Edmonton:

  1. C Leon Draisaitl 10gp, 2-4-6 (spent six games in Bakersfield at the beginning of 2015-16)
  2. R Tyler Pitlick 10gp, 3-1-4 (AHL regular since 2011 fall, may finally make it)
  3. LD Darnell Nurse 10gp, 2-2-4 (spent nine games in Bakersfield at the beginning of 2015-16)
  4. W Anton Slepyshev 3gp, 1-0-1 (spent 49 games in Bakersfield in 2015-16)

It is anyone’s guess how much Gerry Fleming impacted these men, but the job of Condors coaching is to help develop NHL players—and these four men have been productive by any measure. In the summer, I asked a series of questions about Fleming, and want to revisit them today.

sallinen-williams

  1. What is the best thing you can say about Fleming? Many of the players sent to the minors for real seasoning since 2015 fall—Jujhar Khaira, Laurent Brossoit, Dillon Simpson, Jordan Oesterle—seem to be making progress.
  2. Which prospect improved most in Fleming’s first season? I would list Jujhar Khaira, who emerged as a legit NHL prospect this past season. The young man is adding offense early in 2016-17, and should become a bona fide NHL player later this season.
  3. Which prospect disappointed most in Fleming’s first season? Anton Slepyshev. He looked good in TC fall 2015 and won an NHL job. During his AHL time, the goals and success did not come. This fall? Same thing. I do not have an answer, and maybe this is an example of a player with limited offense who fits in a specific area, but the 13 goals in 49 games one year ago was a disappointment.
  4. How many legit NHL prospects are in Bakersfield this fall? I will list Jujhar Khaira, Matt Benning, Griffin Reinhart, Laurent Brossoit, Nick Ellis, Jordan Oesterle, David Musil, Dillon Simpson, Kyle Platzer and Jere Sallinen. That is 10.
  5. How many of those will make it? That number is always less than hoped for, bet the under. Fleming was an assistant coach for the 2008-09 Springfield Falcons. That team featured prospects Devan Dubnyk, Rob Schremp, Ryan Potulny, Ryan Stone, Slava Trukhno, J-F Jacques, Gilbert Brule, Colin McDonald, Taylor Chorney, Theo Peckham, Ryan O’Marra, Liam Reddox. That is 12, only Devan Dubnyk is an NHL regular.
  6. How many of those men played 100 NHL games? Nine. Only Dubnyk had a significant career, though.
  7. Are there any of the current 10 who are locks for 100 games? Griffin Reinhart I bet, I will also say Khaira and Benning. Goalies are tough to project, 100 games is a lot.
  8. Is there anything about the Condors’ deployment that is good or bad? I suspect but cannot prove that the Oilers minor league teams do not play their 20-year olds enough. We have discussed this at length. I also think this year’s college invasion (Ellis, Benning, Benik, Russell, Caggiula) is both a Godsend and a giant condemnation of some of the drafted kids out of the CHL. Peter Chiarelli is moving on from the past, this fall has shown that, even in the first five games.
  9. Does Fleming have a preference in terms of player? Seems to like the rugged types, fond of David Musil. Then again, he said Dillon Simpson was the team’s best overall defender last year, so we should probably not read too much into these things.
  10. Is there anything you would change? I think Bob Green is uncovering some reasonable talent here on AHL-only types, might be an idea to invest an NHL contract on one or two. As fans, we probably get too excited about Joey Benik scoring two early goals, but at some point one of these AHL-only deals is going to make an NHL dent ala Mark Arcobello. I hope the Oilers sign that guy.
  11. Are you generally satisfied with the progress of Edmonton’s prospects? Yes. Gerry Fleming shouldn’t be judged by wins and losses, but rather on how many Jujhar Khaira’s develop under his watch. Fleming was head coach for a portion of Brandon Davidson’s development, and that is exactly the kind of player we should be seeing rising from the crowd. I think Khaira might be this year’s model, and without projecting this point too far, a successful NHL Khaira means Fleming is doing his job. Full stop.
  12. What about Reinhart? General managers rarely give up on players they have acquired, so I think we will see Reinhart in an Oilers uniform again—but it may not be this season. The comments from the end of training camp were very specific and improvement in those areas is going to take more than five games—and Reinhart is currently injured (and not in tonight’s lineup).

TONIGHT’S LINEUP (PROJECTED)

  • Hamilton—Khaira—Beck
  • Allen—Newbury—Russell
  • Sallinen—Platzer—Benik
  • Moroz—Currie—Christoffer
  • Oesterle—Musil
  • Betker—Laleggia
  • Fraser—Simpson
  • Brossoit—Ellis

Shots for and against this season are 158-170, GF-GA is 13-15. Bakersfield has been on the power play 23 times, scoring twice, and shorthanded 25 times, allowing five goals against. The scoring isn’t there for this group to contend in the Pacific, I think the defense is probably a little above average and the goalies should give the team a slight advantage over the long term (I like Ellis quite a bit, and do think Brossoit will have a career). Updates in the comments section as they happen. All photos by Mark Williams.

CONDORS ROOKIES 2016-17

  1. R Patrick Russell 5gp, 0-3-3 and eight shots
  2. L Joey Benik 4gp, 2-0-2 and six shots
  3. RD Matt Benning 2gp, 1-1-2 and eight shots*
  4. R Jaeden Descheneau 4gp, 0-1-1 one shot
  5. G Nick Ellis 3gp, 2.62 and .928

*Made NHL debut Nov. 1, 2016.

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Centre of attention

Ca$h-McMoney!,

Lowetide,

Maybe it comes on late, but bottom 6 is still definitely his ceiling IMO. 3rd line is best case scenario. I wasn’t suggesting putting him with Nuge or something again haha.

Ca$h-McMoney!

Lowetide: I think 4line, but he had a very strange progression through his post-draft career so maybe he has another gear.

4th line is probably right, but he’s had such an odd development path it wouldn’t shock me to see his offense come on late. Not drafted to the WHL because he was too small, grows a ton and tears the BCHL a new one, 1 year at a non-major NCAA hockey program, WHL under the worlds most defensively oriented coach, etc. etc.

His scouting report read very very well. Here’s hoping he’s starting to become what we thought he might be.

Nailer Yakumoto

In the Cubs dressing room, Bill Murray to random media guy –

“Do you recycle?”

“Yes”

“Good, recycle this for me.”

Hands him an empty champagne bottle and walks away.

Professor Q

Yak Efron:
The woman working dispatch for Chicago PD deserves a medal of some kind for her work tonight.

http://www.chicagoscanner.com/

Insanity abounds.

BONE207

Lowetide: Sure, Musil from Moroz. Next thing you’ll be telling me the Cubs won the World Series.

Son of a Gun, You!! You predicted that as well. You are a SMRT man, LT.
Now if you can advise TMac on how to run his lines in NYC, we can get back to Rainbow Rising (which is one of the few albums I have in vinyl.)

Nailer Yakumoto

The woman working dispatch for Chicago PD deserves a medal of some kind for her work tonight.

http://www.chicagoscanner.com/

Centre of attention

Lowetide: Reinhart got hurt in a fight a little while ago.

Does Khaira have enough to be a 3rd liner in the NHL or is he strictly 4th line in your opinion?

I’d give him a shot.

russ99

Kind of weird that the Condors were making up for that last in the AHL goal scoring all in one night.

LadiesloveSmid

Reinhart not playing tonight in Bako?

Big night for LB, him and Ellis with some strong numbers now.

Khaira racking up points every game, does Drake deserve a shot at 3C more than him?

Nailer Yakumoto

Getting a little crazy outside Wrigley.

OF17

I’m not a huge baseball fan, but that was the best game I’ve ever seen. It had it all.

Ice Sage

Congrats to the Chicago Cubs.
Heck of a game.

If they can do it…

Spengler

Condors trying to outscore the Cubs and the Indians…

Centre of attention

Bennick. 7-0 Bako.

hags9k

Rondo:
Music

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4xN7Z9z5cM

That >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Corey Feldman.

OmJo

Pescador: Maybe you’ll be 1st for once LT!
there will be no further scoring

Heh. 😛

Pescador
Woodguy

Pescador: Xmas or Murder?
I sleep with one of each under my pillow.

I can’t say

Pescador

Pouzar: Leaving for the bro-inlaws now to watch the last couple innings.

Yer closin this one out!

Maybe you’ll be 1st for once LT!
there will be no further scoring

Pescador

Woodguy: You’re on the list

Xmas or Murder?
I sleep with one of each under my pillow.

Pouzar

Lowetide:
Dammit Pouzar!

Leaving for the bro-inlaws now to watch the last couple innings.

Yer closin this one out!

Pouzar

Woodguy: High end skating is everything for today’s NHL Dman.

Size and skill to go with it too.

2nd highest IPP for a 16 year old Dman since Doughty.

He’ll be something else if he can stay healthy.

Has a good coach too.

He led draft eligible d-men in shots by a decent margin too.

Pouzar

Bakersfield Condors ‏@Condors 48s48 seconds ago
CONDORS GOAL!!!! @joshcurrie19 from @bigBsauce3 & Moroz. 2-0 with 5 min. left. #Condorstown

Woodguy

Pouzar: Believe Supernova and/or Wheat were high on him as well.

High end skating is everything for today’s NHL Dman.

Size and skill to go with it too.

2nd highest IPP for a 16 year old Dman since Doughty.

He’ll be something else if he can stay healthy.

Has a good coach too.

Woodguy

frjohnk:
Woodguy,

Pouzar,

I dont remember it all, but Im pretty sure you both said he would be good because of Hatcher.

Woodguy tweeted something along the lines ” Hatcher was fine player, an even better coach, Chychryn will do well because of him.”

You’re on the list

Pouzar

Lowetide: Sure, Musil from Moroz. Next thing you’ll be telling me the Cubs won the World Series.

hmmmmmm

Pouzar

Bakersfield Condors ‏@Condors 33s33 seconds ago
CORRECTION: @bigBsauce3 on the deflection from @Dmusil6 & Moroz. Still 1-0 Condors with 6 min. to go. #Condorstown

Woodguy

Centre of attention:
Woodguy,

My bad, I was trying to bring my opinion of what others have said to your attention, in an effort to get your opinion on what I view as double standards by others.

I tried to specifically say I am not accusing you of this, again I was soliciting your opinion on the idea itself. I don’t mean to lump you in with others. I am sorry for making it seem that way. It was poorly worded to say the least.

You nailed it with the “Its just data, people interpret it differently” and that is the exact opinion I was trying to ask for. I also agree with that completely which is why I find it funny when people try and game both sides of an argument. (you are definitely not one of them)

all good

i get asked to defend “fancy stat” opinion that aren’t mine on twitter often and its a bit of a sore spot for me

Woodguy

Lowetide: As far as I know, I stand alone as the Corsi man here, so when dangerous chances are going down that would be a time when most of the people who post here get nervous. Corsi is not very popular these days, save for the incredibly stubborn host.

i actually defended corsi here the other day:

https://lowetide.ca/2016/10/29/rainbow-rising/#comment-578396

Pouzar

Bakersfield Condors ‏@Condors 22s23 seconds ago
CONDORS GOAL!!!!! @Dmusil6 from the point off a drop pass from Moroz. It’s 1-0 with 9 min. left in the 1st. #Condorstown

theres oil in virginia

frjohnk:
Woodguy,

Pouzar,

I dont remember it all, but Im pretty sure you both said he would be good because of Hatcher.

Woodguy tweeted something along the lines ” Hatcher was fine player, an even better coach, Chychryn will do well because of him.”

That’s exactly how I remember it, too. I barfed when I saw it and screamed aloud, “This time you’ve gone too far!!!” My wife said, “No more Lowetide for a week! And clean up that mess.”

sliderule

Woodguy:
Chris Nichols ‏@NicholsOnHockey3m3 minutes ago
McKenzie: “Jakob Chychrun – he’ll be staying in Arizona. He’s played so well.” #Coyotes

I’ll never stop telling everyone I pimped him all the way to the end and thought he should have gone in the top 7-8.

Me to

Bos8

sidney crosby puck protection. On Google

Came across this via the Dangle radio thingy. Still totally in awe.

Point of interest

Pouzar

frjohnk:
Woodguy,

Pouzar,

I dont remember it all, but Im pretty sure you both said he would be good because of Hatcher.

Woodguy tweeted something along the lines ” Hatcher was fine player, an even better coach, Chychryn will do well because of him.”

Believe Supernova and/or Wheat were high on him as well.

Bag of Pucks

Lowetide:
Eberle is apparently under the weather, that would be part of the explanation.

Will the damned ‘inflammation of the pubis’ never leave this cursed hockey club alone?