MANKATO MAVERICK

by Lowetide

Lots of opinions about last night’s loss to the Dallas Stars, suspect we can argue all day and boil it down to opportunities lost. The team got secondary scoring, lots of shots, maybe didn’t get that big save and shot the daylights out of Mr. Corsi. It was one game. Remember our line in the sand? We agreed 15 points in 15 games was the goal. This morning, the Oilers trail the line, and a win Sunday against the Rangers gets them back to even. If you want to worry, perhaps the lack of scoring from the Nuge line is a good place to start.

CLENCH, UNCLENCH, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers in October 2015: 4-8-0, goal differential -7
  • Oilers in October 2016: 7-2-0, goal differential +10
  • Oilers in November 2015: 4-7-2
  • Oilers in November 2016: 2-3-1 goal differential -4
  • Oilers after 15, 2015: 5-10-0, goal differential -8
  • Oilers after 15, 2016: 9-5-1, goal differential +6

The Oilers could spiral downward for some time and not get close to last season, but one hopes we don’t witness it. I do think the lack of balance is an issue, on right wing, on defense (injuries have impacted both) and perhaps we will see Peter Chiarelli step in and shore up these positions.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

defense-nov-11

  • Sekera—Benning are occupying the Klefbom—Schultz position from the past, getting a nice push and hopefully doing some good at the other end. Both men were +2 on the evening, they were 7-1 in 4:52 with Connor McDavid and 4-2 in 3:43 with the Nuge. This pairing played just 3:04 (2-2) against Tyler Seguin but spent most of the evening against Gemel Smith and Justin Dowling. Sekera can play higher on the depth chart, but this pairing needs a more experienced hand to play with him.
  • Nurse—Gryba had a strong night across the board, and I thought it was possibly the best game of the year by Nurse. He has wheels and I think we might see him blossom a little offensively later in this year. They were 10-5 in 7:21 with McDavid and 11-6 against Jamie Benn. This is a good line for the pairing, and they continue to be a big part of the PK.
  • Klefbom—Larsson got caved in HDSC and did just okay (6-4) in 4:58 with 97, 6-2 in 3:45 with the Nuge and 4-6 in 6:51 with Leon. They were 4-9 in 7:28 against Seguin and 8-3 against Devin Shore—didn’t see Benn much. Larsson gave out a monstrous hit the crowd didn’t notice.
  • The defense did not post any points, and that makes sense. The headman pass did not have much to do in this game. That has to change.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

forwards-no-11

  • Pouliot—Nuge—Puljujarvi are hitting line drives now, JP is getting closer to scoring a bunch and the Nuge and Poo had good looks. The line won the Corgis, even on the HDSC and 13 shots (seven from the center). Played 5:10 against Justin Dowling/Gemel Smith and didn’t score, despite going 6-1 against them. I think there was a goal in that matchup tonight but it didn’t come.
  • Maroon—McDavid—Eberle did score, points all around for the line. They had 13 shots on goal and McDavid was 60 percent on the dot. They went 14-5 against the Benn line, but they also had some wobble and of course Jordan Eberle was in chase mode on the GWG, with Maroon also looked off what would have been his man.
  • Lucic—Draisaitl—Pitlick got a goal, terrific individual play by Tyler Pitlick. Other than that, quieter than the other scoring lines (six shots) but they seemed to keep the pucks deep and didn’t get run over. They went 2-6 against Seguin, the Nuge line would have been the choice save for the young Puljujarvi on that line. Coach a little boxed in there methinks.
  • Lander—Letestu—Slepyshev didn’t play much, although Slepyshev got two guitar solos and a chance to sing harmony on two of the hits. Slepyshev was 2-0 in 1:07 with Connor McDavid, 4-1 with Nuge. Interesting ad lib by the coach. The Russian got a good look courtesy a nifty pass from Letestu, but the Dallas goaler made a fine save.
  • HDSC: 13-15
  • Natural Stat Trick
  • HockeyStats.ca
  • Summary

TIME TO PANIC?

One of the reasons we create lines in the sand is for moments like this one. I can see in the comments already that the usual arguments are returning, the sky is falling and this team will never be right after the Hall trade. If you believed this team was a lock for the playoffs, last night must have been tough. If you believed this team had learned not to get caught looking in the first minute of the game, last night must have been frustrating.

I didn’t think this was a playoff team, don’t believe it to be true now. That said, they are closer to being one than I projected them to be at the end of training camp and that deserves a mention. Back when we talked about the lack of balance on the roster, I suggested there were three areas of need for this team to reach that goal:

  • A quality backup goalie (Jonas Gustavsson has certainly filled that role in the early days).
  • A RHD who can play well at evens and help the PP (Matt Benning is in the role currently).
  • A Pisani (Tyler Pitlick is having real success in this area, we will see)

I have to admit that so far the solutions have been good to excellent, and PC did in fact attempt to shore up that RHD slot before the season began (Kris Russell). Benning is actually having a little success on the power play, although I wonder if this is viewed as the ideal solution. We will see, I suspect the club is at least considering a move at the Benning spot (depending on how close Brandon Davidson and others are to returning).

TODD MCLELLAN

  • “Give Dallas credit. Now flip it over, [we were] a sleepy team. We weren’t ready to go right off the bat. I thought we did a lot of watching and then reacting instead of anticipating. Finally got it later in the game, but they checked well, and their goaltender gave them a chance to win.” Source

I don’t think the Oilers were especially smart with the puck and the defensive coverage issues were obvious (how many Stars were all alone in front of the net to receive a pass last night? Six? I bet it was six) to anyone watching. Some of this is luck, and some of this is injury, but generally speaking I think it is fair this morning to suggest we are looking at a market correction. The Oilers sit this morning at 9-5-1, and that is probably a little generous based on the actual quality of this team. I do think Todd McLellan has to figure out if Jesse Puljujarvi is the right man for the Nuge line and that may be next step.

BECK

Oilers sent Taylor Beck down after the game last night, that probably means Zack Kassian draws in against the Rangers. The obvious odd man out is Slepyshev, who looked good to my eye last night. The Oilers do have better depth this season and that is a good thing.

  • Brad Treliving on Nakladal when the Flames signed him: “He’s a good-sized, right shot defender. He can move a puck, he’s got a big shot, but his game is a defending type of game with the ability to make simple plays, simple outlet plays. I don’t want to confuse him with a guy who’s going to take the puck from one end to the other, but he’s a solid, stable defender.” Source

Nakladal is on waivers this morning and for me this is a player the Oilers should have interest in, while it is also obvious that Edmonton still needs a power-play option. Beck being sent out means there is room. I would pick him up on waivers. Would you?

TYLER PITLICK

I always cheer for the underdog, goes back to Larry Mavety and before. Who is Larry Mavety? He is the ultimate outsider, a man who never played an NHL game despite being a capable player. I have always believed there were men in the minors who could flourish as NHL role players given a chance, and since that means a lot of luck those players hold special interest for me.

Mavety would always be in the fall guides and magazines; he’d get maybe one sentence that went “Doug Barrie, Ray McKay and Larry Mavety are also in the mix.” The mix. Man, the mix didn’t treat Larry Mavety very well. The mix laughed at Larry Mavety. Passed on him every time, and then caused coaching staffs to forget his name all year long.

The mix had a chuckle or two about Tyler Pitlick too, but it looks like the young man may have the last laugh.

  • Todd McLellan: “I like the way he plays. I like his tenacity, I like his speed, his ability to finish checks, he drives the puck to the post, has a heavy, hard release. There’s a lot of real positives for him.” Source

Tyler Pitlick has five goals in the season’s first 15 games. That is a terrific early story, and I sincerely hope it continues. Well done, Tyler Pitlick.

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JimmyV1965

Ryan:
McSorley33,

It’s crazy, but no one saw this dip in RNH’s offensive production coming this season.

Oh wait. Me. :/ *pats self on back.*

There is an awful lot of season left. I would hold off on that back patting. RNH is on fire right now. I suspect the offence will follow soon enough.

JimmyV1965

I think it is a huge mistake to play JP for 10 minutes a game. That is how bad teams develop players. He either gets a full shift with time on the power play, which I think is a mistake, or he’s sent down to the minors.

Bruce McCurdy

CrazyCoach: I know we discussed this on Twitter to a great extent, and having watched that play about 20 times at various angles, there is no way anyone in their reasonable mind could say Eberle is lazy, entitled, or showed a lack of effort.He was put into a Catch-22 as he was clearly covering for Klef and Maroon, but not wanting to leave the point wide open.If one were to assign blame there, I would say Klef 45%, Maroon 50% and Ebs 5%.

I think where people get carried away is watching Eberle that shift for the 10 seconds before the goal.He makes a hit on Seguin and separates him from the puck, but does not receive a support person to retrieve the puck, he then needs to read the play and adjust,77 & 19 get caught in no-mans land, Eberle adjusts in trying to catch Roussel, which is a moot point.Now, guys like m e can sit there and analyse the play with the convenience of replay, pause, etc.

What people forget is that the decisions made on ice have to be completed in milliseconds and at a high rate.Hockey is tough in that there really are no set pre-determined paths, except on faceoffs.Guys coming down that midlane can came at various speeds and paths and all of sudden change speed and path in the blink of an eye.That’s what makes teaching/coaching the game tough sometimes.I’ve seen it countless times where I’ve gone over defensive zone coverage and stood in one spot, and guess what happens during drills and games?Players hit that same spot exactly.I can’t be too upset about that.Coaching requires patience and repetition.PR

Thanks for this, Ben.

CrazyCoach

Bruce McCurdy: Maroon was the first forward back into the zone (F1). On a 3-on-4 rush the job of F2 is usually to look for the trailer, & the job of a winger generally is to guard the points not the net front. But after Eberle released his man Maroon floated into no man’s land, &’Eberle was unable to make up the lost ground. A misread? yes. A mistake? Probably. Lazy entitled lack of effort? I didnt see it that way. But that’s the narrative surrounding Jordan Eberle this year.

I know we discussed this on Twitter to a great extent, and having watched that play about 20 times at various angles, there is no way anyone in their reasonable mind could say Eberle is lazy, entitled, or showed a lack of effort. He was put into a Catch-22 as he was clearly covering for Klef and Maroon, but not wanting to leave the point wide open. If one were to assign blame there, I would say Klef 45%, Maroon 50% and Ebs 5%.

I think where people get carried away is watching Eberle that shift for the 10 seconds before the goal. He makes a hit on Seguin and separates him from the puck, but does not receive a support person to retrieve the puck, he then needs to read the play and adjust, 77 & 19 get caught in no-mans land, Eberle adjusts in trying to catch Roussel, which is a moot point. Now, guys like m e can sit there and analyse the play with the convenience of replay, pause, etc.

What people forget is that the decisions made on ice have to be completed in milliseconds and at a high rate. Hockey is tough in that there really are no set pre-determined paths, except on faceoffs. Guys coming down that midlane can came at various speeds and paths and all of sudden change speed and path in the blink of an eye. That’s what makes teaching/coaching the game tough sometimes. I’ve seen it countless times where I’ve gone over defensive zone coverage and stood in one spot, and guess what happens during drills and games? Players hit that same spot exactly. I can’t be too upset about that. Coaching requires patience and repetition. PR

MrEd

MrEd,

I think I’m Russian.

GMB3

We have enough skill for two offensive lines IMO. Some combination of Drai RNH Lucic McD ebs and Maroon/Poo. We have two 2.5 lines instead of a true second line. At least the way they are playing at the moment.

GMB3

McSorley33:
Man, I sure appreciate RNH/Poo line out shooting Dowling/Smith…but at some point they have to score goals.

A few years ago, I posted a line from then WFP columnist Gary Lawless saying Mark Scheifle was the best centre in the 2011 draft.

I ripped Gary.

Scheifle: 16gp – 10goals + 10 assists = 20 points
RNH :15 gp. – 2 goals + 5 assists = 7 points

One of these players is facing 1st pairing Dmen and one them is not.

RNH needs to produce offence.

Well Scheifle also plays with significantly better linemates then POO and JP. He’s broken 50 points once in his career. Not sure I agree.

For real though Lucic has more offensive touch/skill than Poo and IMO I’d like to see Lucic with RNH. Poo is struggling right now.

Pouzar

Woodguy: I wonder about flipping Pitlick up to 97’s line and moving 14 with 93 to give it some scoring touch.

Yes please.

Pouzar

“Pouliot—Nuge—Puljujarvi are hitting line drives now,”

DAMN THE BABIP GORDS!!!! DAMN THEM ALL TO HELL!!!!

MrEd

SwedishPoster,

I’m not sure why McLellen is being stubborn with not giving JP a shot with McDavid. JP does seem to have a knack for the defensive side of he puck and surely he’d get a few more opportunities in good shooting positions. Unlock the Finn!!
I’d even give them D-zone starts with Nurce-Gryba as long as McDavid keeps improving on draws.

Pouliot-RNH-Ebs with the Swedes.

Lucic-Leon-Pitlick. O-zone starts with Benning and Sek.

Lackadaisical
Bruce McCurdy

Pescador:
Bruce McCurdy,

Good points all Mr Bruce,
For the record I’m not down on Eberle, I have read the thrust of your argument here, many times before & I agree with it. In loo of that, Pitlick is fine where he is. I was thinking more about 2nd line scoring then promotions & demotions.
Also, I come from a long line of flip floppers

As do I. Indeed, as a much younger fellow I was a goalie.

SwedishPoster

Bruce McCurdy: I attended the Oil Kings opener, the Oilers preseason opener, and the Oilers regular season opener, and from various distances I kept drawing the same conclusion: the ice is not good. Pains me to say it. I remain hopeful that the ice-making system simply needs to be broken in, as do the people in charge of making it work. Things like that tend to be a combination of science and black art, and I would imagine every rink has its own foibles. I hope they figure it out soon.

New arenas are too warm. They sacrifice ice quality for audience comfort. Which is silly because most people I know wants it to be a bit chilly when watching hockey, it’s part of the experience. Well not the -20 degrees (celsius) we had in my home barn growing up ofcourse, though the ice was amazing.

SwedishPoster

I didn’t hate last nights game tbh. They looked like a good team on an off night and not a bad team on yet another crappy night. There’s still some line tweaking left to do but they still look like a team with a lot going for them imo. And it’s not like we’ve seen a lot of individual players perform near their top level. It’s Talbot and the 4th liners playing above what you can expect. I think this team is for real.

On line tweaking and the always infected Ebs debate. Him and McD makes sense since Eberle is the most skilled winger on the roster and until Puljujärvi fully figure out the NHL it’s not really close. The question is if McDavid desperately needs to play with the most skilled player on the team to be optimized or if he needs a player with a different set of skills.

You could argue that there’s enough to question with the combo to at least try something different. Especially since Nuge isn’t really scoring and him and Ebs have a good track record together. How much less would McDavid score with another, lesser, winger. And would that possible, or probable, decrease in scoring from McDavid’s line still mean a net gain in 5v5 scoring if RNH can make music with Eberle?

And that’s just offense. For all his magic McDavid is still not quite up to par defensively yet and might benefit from a more defensively strong winger to avoid losing time mocking about in the D zone instead of making D-men look foolish. And on the other hand Eberle might benefit from a more positionally strong center in RNH. Again, there’s enough questions to at least try something different.

While on the subject of linemates one of the weirdest stats this season, and this is honestly not an attempt to discredit Eberle, Eberle is a -5 so far this season while McDavid is +4 according to NHL.com. How does that even happen? I know McDavid has been double shifted at times but still. It’s not like Eberle spent a lot of time with any other center.

Professor Q

McSorley33:
Man, I sure appreciate RNH/Poo line out shooting Dowling/Smith…but at some point they have to score goals.

A few years ago, I posted a line from then WFP columnist Gary Lawless saying Mark Scheifle was the best centre in the 2011 draft.

I ripped Gary.

Scheifle: 16gp – 10goals + 10 assists = 20 points
RNH :15 gp. – 2 goals + 5 assists = 7 points

One of these players is facing 1st pairing Dmen and one them is not.

RNH needs to produce offence.

Yes, Nuge is the one facing top opposition. He also has been limiting their production. That’s worth a lot.

Pescador

Bruce McCurdy,

Good points all Mr Bruce,
For the record I’m not down on Eberle, I have read the thrust of your argument here, many times before & I agree with it. In loo of that, Pitlick is fine where he is. I was thinking more about 2nd line scoring then promotions & demotions.
Also, I come from a long line of flip floppers

Ryan

McSorley33,

It’s crazy, but no one saw this dip in RNH’s offensive production coming this season.

Oh wait. Me. :/ *pats self on back.*

Lackadaisical

McDavid has a proven ability to bring lesser players to a higher level. Why not create an overloaded second line, so defences and coaches panic?

Is Eberle so far above his historic numbers, that putting him with Nuge to get that line going, will cripple our top line and overall scoring?

lynn

McSorley33:
Man, I sure appreciate RNH/Poo line out shooting Dowling/Smith…but at some point they have to score goals.

A few years ago, I posted a line from then WFP columnist Gary Lawless saying Mark Scheifle was the best centre in the 2011 draft.

I ripped Gary.

Scheifle: 16gp – 10goals + 10 assists = 20 points
RNH :15 gp. – 2 goals + 5 assists = 7 points

One of these players is facing 1st pairing Dmen and one them is not.

RNH needs to produce offence.

I love having RNH on the Oilers: great skater, pursues the puck well, gives his best each game, but he is a third-line centre on a good team. RNH will never be a juggernaut point producer. I’m glad he made his millions before the truth was known.

Bruce McCurdy

Professor Q:
In the Summer and in PreSeason every team was saying Rogers Place had the best ice (even if they did have ice guru who does all the outdoors games anymore, who when he left Rexall Place, took its good ice with him).

Now apparently that’s no longer the case? How could only a few weeks change that? The poor management?

I attended the Oil Kings opener, the Oilers preseason opener, and the Oilers regular season opener, and from various distances I kept drawing the same conclusion: the ice is not good. Pains me to say it. I remain hopeful that the ice-making system simply needs to be broken in, as do the people in charge of making it work. Things like that tend to be a combination of science and black art, and I would imagine every rink has its own foibles. I hope they figure it out soon.

McSorley33

Man, I sure appreciate RNH/Poo line out shooting Dowling/Smith…but at some point they have to score goals.

A few years ago, I posted a line from then WFP columnist Gary Lawless saying Mark Scheifle was the best centre in the 2011 draft.

I ripped Gary.

Scheifle: 16gp – 10goals + 10 assists = 20 points
RNH : 15 gp. – 2 goals + 5 assists = 7 points

One of these players is facing 1st pairing Dmen and one them is not.

RNH needs to produce offence.

Professor Q

In the Summer and in PreSeason every team was saying Rogers Place had the best ice (even if they did have ice guru who does all the outdoors games anymore, who when he left Rexall Place, took its good ice with him).

Now apparently that’s no longer the case? How could only a few weeks change that? The poor management?

Bruce McCurdy

haters: Yea let’s stick a 4th line fringe AHL player on the first line so he can get crushed against the NHL’s best. That will be great for his confidence.
I would suggest moving him to the middle comp for a bit to see if he can handle it. But slotting him against the best players on the opposing team when they don’t even trust him to penalty kill yet seems a tad silly sorry.

Stick to your spread sheets nerd

That last comment is completely unnecessary. I do however agree with your main point and was going to take it up with Pescador anyway, so will here. Pitlick started the season as a (surprise) fourth liner who played single digit minutes for the first 10 games before making it all the way to 10:02 in Game 11. In Game 12 two RWs went down in the first period and he got promoted into the middle six, where he has played 14, 15, 12 and 14 minutes. The 15:11 he played vs. Detroit was the second-most of his now 42-game NHL career.

Point being, he already JUST got promoted. He’s taking his chance in the middle-6 and making a go of it — a tough game in Pittsburgh, but good ones vs. the Wings and Stars. That is a huge assignment for him, the toughest of his career. And now we want to promote him again, to the top line? I just don’t see it.

Jordan EBERLE meanwhile is a seven-year veteran who has played Top 6 minutes his entire career and top line minutes for most of it. He’s an established 18-minutes a night player, not to mention 25-goal, 60 point scorer.

He’s had a glitchy start to the current season, but check out his boxcars by 5-game blocks:

1st 5 GP: 3-3-6
2nd 5 GP: 0-0-0
3rd 5 GP: 2-4-6

Hot and cold, obviously, but over 15 GP he is 5-7-12 and on pace for 27-38-66*. Average ice time 18:28. Pretty typical for him, in other words.

One would hope for more of a McDavid bump than that, but I am fervently hoping that those first and third segments will become the normal production rates and that second one will prove to be the anomaly.

As for defensive play let’s just say I am glad EBERLE is a winger and not a centre. But he is an ace in the transition game, both with breakout passes and controlled zone entries, doesn’t get enough credit for either IMO. Also very good in the cycle, not so much in “grinder” mode as a clever handler and distributor of the puck. Used to be known as “possession” before the term was usurped (by, ahem, spread sheet nerds 🙂 ). Some of those skills are a fine complement to McDavid.

Due respect to Tyler Pitlick, who I love like a son, but I do not see him in that sort of role any time soon. And I am very, very happy to see him exactly where he is just now. Great progress being made, but under appropriate shelter.

meanashell11

Pescador:
frjohnk,

Draft & develop, trade/sign inexpensive but effective “complimentary” players.
Sign your core stars or if your lucky superstar (hehe)
The Chicago blueprint is the only way to build & sustain a competitive salary cap team in the NHL.
These things I believe.
Go ahead boys, tear me apart.
I’m an easy target.

Speaking of Chicago, they drafted a kid I know well, he played for many years with my son. He will captain the Yale team this season and graduate. Let’s see if he signs. He does have some connections to Chicago’s owners but we have a good record of signing Yale players! His name is John Hayden.

Pescador

frjohnk,

Draft & develop, trade/sign inexpensive but effective “complimentary” players.
Sign your core stars or if your lucky superstar (hehe)
The Chicago blueprint is the only way to build & sustain a competitive salary cap team in the NHL.
These things I believe.
Go ahead boys, tear me apart.
I’m an easy target.

JD_Wry
Nailer Yakumoto

JDï™,

This I believe.

JD_Wry

Yak Efron: Was it not built primarily for hockey??

It was built to make money.

Nailer Yakumoto

Was it not built primarily for hockey?? And that the old rinks ice factory no longer being satisfactory was one of the justifications for building a new barn? Thought that was the verbal for a few years.

bendelson

nelson88:
Late to last night’s thread and the comments on bad ice so will ask a question here.

Can an Ice guru; and I have little doubt we will have one or 100 on this blog, explain to me how a brand new purpose built arena located in a spot with 7 (8?) months of cold temps and low humidity have bad ice?!

While I’m no ice guru…

It’s not that they don’t know how to make great ice – they do. Visiting players have mentioned the community rink (that they practiced on) next door was the best sheet of ice they had seen (hard and fast). It’s building usage that creates the problem. Roger’s Place is a multi-use facility so the ice is always being covered/removed/not developed for other events before the rush is back on to prepare the ice for hockey the next day…

That is my take – just an educated guess…

This of course would mean this a likeky a problem that won’t be solved by some expert flying into town and waving a magic wand.

Want better ice? Convince OEG to use the building less for non-hockey events… and good luck with that.

stush18

I think the problem people have with eberle is we all see him turn on the jets when there is an offensive opportunity. He blows past defenders and fights to score.

Where is the effort when he is on defense?

The reason he lost his man last night is because there was a lost puck at the blue line. He hesitated for a second turning his body slightly. He was ready to bust up the ice. By the time he realized it, his man was wide open.

Woodguy

marchmentsknee:
Woodguy,

He’s done it the last 5 years on a losing team. We expect a different role from Nuge than we have in the past. I think the coaches expect McD’s line to score and Nuge’s line to prevent goals. I know that’s a simple explanation of a nuanced subject but it’s hard to see otherwise for me.

Hall-RNH-Eberle weren’t the reason the team was bad.

frjohnk

JDï™:
Melman,

Hull, but the replay showed that his skate was in the crease.

But he had control of the puck.

And the hot dog vendors had no more wieners, so it was time to go home.

frjohnk

Maroon and Pitlick.

Those wingers were a year ago

1. a guy who came into camp out of shape and not very committed. Was cast off by a budget team who was willing to hold a quarter of his salary just to get rid of him at the trade deadline.

2. an injury prone player who after half a decade of being drafted seemed destined for a career in the minors.

Love that these guys have committed themselves, are healthy and showing that they can make an impact.

Not saying these guys are actual 1st line players because they are not, they are complimentary players; but I will say that Chia deserves credit for not only getting Maroon for a bag, but also resigning Pitllick.

These are the type of players we didnt have over the last 5 years and they are cheap.

JD_Wry

Dis gon b gud…

JD_Wry

Melman,

Hull, but the replay showed that his skate was in the crease.

Melman

Hi gang, I didn’t see the box score: was it Modano or Hull who got the GWG?

Pescador

Bruce McCurdy: Yeah, they put the two of them with Maroon and things have changed for the better. That line has been pumping in the goals of late. Change of chemistry was just what the doctor ordered.

McLellan appears convinced Eberle is the best choice on McDavid’s right flank and considering the alternatives at his disposal this observer is not inclined to disagree with him.

Don’t think it would hurt to try Pitlick up there as everyone has suggested, 5-6 games ago I wanted to see how Maroon would work with McDavid so far **Borat voice**
“Great success, very nice, I like”
I’m feeling the same way about Eberle with RNH.
The issue so far, this season with the forward core, the Oilers have Eberle & 4 bottom 6 RW’s
JP, Sleppy, Pit, Kass.
Of course JP will be a bonifide top 6 RW- probably as early as next year.
Just need a temporary place holder for this year.
Viola forward depth & balance,
Now about that righty D….

Confused

OmJo,

Thanks for the reply. The vets have known problems which will come to the fore from time to time. One bad goal does not make a season.

But blending a team takes time, we have very young people at most of the major points in the team, I regain confident they will improve.

At their season goes, so will the team while, on average, the vets remain more constant.

Bruce McCurdy

Bag of Pucks: Or we could try him with a different linemate instead of being stubborn about things?

Yeah, they put the two of them with Maroon and things have changed for the better. That line has been pumping in the goals of late. Change of chemistry was just what the doctor ordered.

McLellan appears convinced Eberle is the best choice on McDavid’s right flank and considering the alternatives at his disposal this observer is not inclined to disagree with him.

stush18

OmJo,

Agreed. Nurse getting outsmarted by Benn? Young player excuse.

Eberle and/or maroon missing there assignments? Not a young team excuse.

OmJo

Confused:
You can feel the frustration on the blog.

After years of nothing, finally something to believe in…. but then they start losing and defending the box disappears and ….

Alas we are very young, so lots of growing pains this year

1. AdamBom are having a hard time — but they are very young for this role. And Klef played limited hockey last year.They need time.

2. Benning is another project — super young — but we have that injury bug again.

3. Playing against the trap, here again inexperience seems to dominate, but they will figure it out hopefully by Christmas.

4. JP is another project — Christmas again?

5, …..

Basically, we are growing and learning and we should expect that we get better and better. But growing and learning does not happen in a straight line — many highs and lows will be the norm.

Still think we will make the playoffs and expect the second half of the year to outshine the first.

I am not singling you out for this, so please don’t take what I’m about to say as directed specifically to you.

But…

I am tired of the “young team” excuse this team still gets for making the same mistakes we always make. We have been a “young team” since 2007. It’s not even the young guys that are making most of the game-deciding mistakes lol. They’re actually playing very well, it’s the veterans who are underperforming at the moment – and it’s been underperforming veterans that have been one of the reasons we haven’t seen playoffs since 2006.

I can accept the young player excuse when Pitlick, JP, Slepy, Nurse, or Benning make mistakes. But when you have established NHLers making mistakes…. the “young team” excuse doesn’t seem reasonable.

IMO at least.

/rant

Woodguy

spoiler:
They play half way smart and get a bounce at the net and they win last night going away laughing. Last night was not about which players were in the line-up where.It was about how smart and how consistent they played, and the lack of random variance.There were plenty of bonehead plays that didn’t end up in the net, but they’re not marked.It was a stupid young game with no help from Lady Luck despite the offense generated.

Get that level headed thinking out of the thread!!

jp

fifthcartel:
jp,

Probably not at this rate, but 20-30 points *might* be possible. I think he has enough speed and smarts to be fine with McD, and maybe those 20-30 points become ~40 with the McDavid boost?

Obviously a downgrade from Eberle’s 50-60+, but he still likely gets that with RNH adding more balance to the lineup.

I have no problem with those as outer markers (in fact, I think 20-30 pts is a completely reasonable expectation from a 3rd/4th liner with some skill). I just think those expecting to keep up anything close to what he’s done so far this season are in for some disappointment. Like the player, just don’t see him as anything other than a secondary or tertiary scoring option.

jp

SkatinginSand:
Bruce McCurdy,

Roussel was completely uncovered. yet Eberle did not take one stride from the offensive blue line until the puck was in the net.

Yeah, I don’t know who’s responsibility Roussel should have been, but I do know the above is not a factual statement.

kinger_OIL

nelson88:
Late to last night’s thread and the comments on bad ice so will ask a question here.

Can an Ice guru; and I have little doubt we will have one or 100 on this blog, explain to me how a brand new purpose built arena located in a spot with 7 (8?) months of cold temps and low humidity have bad ice?!

– It’s a great question. It amazes me they could build a billion dollar arena with a 2 cent ice rink. I alluded to it being a real problem, that no one is happy with.

– It’s too bad they don’t ask the players about it in interviews. The one’s I talk to say its a joke

Derek

marchmentsknee:
Woodguy,

He’s done it the last 5 years on a losing team. We expect a different role from Nuge than we have in the past. I think the coaches expect McD’s line to score and Nuge’s line to prevent goals. I know that’s a simple explanation of a nuanced subject but it’s hard to see otherwise for me.

Yea I don’t believe Eberle is the winger for RNH in his current role. Eberle competed against the best on the hall line in the past but IIRC they were doing so in a primarily offensive role, heavy offensive zone starts. Nuge is typically slogging uphill against the other teams best. I realize own zone draws aren’t correlated as heavily to poor possession numbers as we thought earlier but what do they have to say about SC and HDSCs against? Nuge needs another Pouliot and a couple lucky bounces IMHO.

Edit to add – This is where they need Leons line to pick up the slack as LT has been mentioning. Conner takes the top defensive pair and checking line on and needs to score. Nuge battles the other teams offensive heavyweights and hopefully Leon slips in the soft middle area and puts the team ahead.

Confused

You can feel the frustration on the blog.

After years of nothing, finally something to believe in…. but then they start losing and defending the box disappears and ….

Alas we are very young, so lots of growing pains this year

1. AdamBom are having a hard time — but they are very young for this role. And Klef played limited hockey last year. They need time.

2. Benning is another project — super young — but we have that injury bug again.

3. Playing against the trap, here again inexperience seems to dominate, but they will figure it out hopefully by Christmas.

4. JP is another project — Christmas again?

5, …..

Basically, we are growing and learning and we should expect that we get better and better. But growing and learning does not happen in a straight line — many highs and lows will be the norm.

Still think we will make the playoffs and expect the second half of the year to outshine the first.

nelson88

Late to last night’s thread and the comments on bad ice so will ask a question here.

Can an Ice guru; and I have little doubt we will have one or 100 on this blog, explain to me how a brand new purpose built arena located in a spot with 7 (8?) months of cold temps and low humidity have bad ice?!