HIGHWAY STAR

by Lowetide

When the fourth Oilers goal went in last night, I was reminded of that Casey Stengel thought about game results that are preordained yay or nay. Stengel said (in the 154-game MLB) there are 50 games you are going to win no matter what, and 50 you are going to lose the same way. Winning the pennant depends on what you do in those 54 games remaining. The math of hockey is halved, but the song remains the same. Last night, the hockey Gods brought gifts galore. And it was good.

ROLLING TRUCK STONES THING, 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: 3-6-1 goal differential -8
  • Oilers after 19, 2015: 6-12-1, goal differential -12
  • Oilers after 19, 2016: 10-8-1, goal differential +2

Edmonton now has 10 wins on the season, just ahead of G20. In the last six seasons (excluding the lockout), the Oilers won 27, 25, 32, 29, 24 and 31 games.  The last time they won 40 games, it was 2007-08, a season that now shines like a beacon compared to what has come since. Craig MacTavish could coach him some 5×5. This Oilers team needs to let the horses run, especially the captain. Connor McDavid is so good it hurts.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

defense-no-19

  • I was worried about the third pairing, but Todd McLellan did a pretty nice job of protecting them while also getting a large amount of ice time. The Nurse—Benning pair played more as the gap in score widened, which makes sense to me and may not to you. That might make for some interesting conversation this morning.
  • Nurse—Benning were 5-2 with McDavid in just two minutes, that must be a fun set of shifts. The pairing seem to have played a little with and against all lines (both coaches rolling rolling rolling, rawhide). Benning picked up an assist.
  • Klefbom—Larsson played mostly with Leon’s line (5-6 in 4:55) but were 3-1 in 2:46 with McDavid and 0-4 in one minute with the Caggiula Congregation. The pairing faced Benn-Seguin for 3:43 and  went 2-4. I felt this pairing was more effective, seemed to be fresher and Larsson was hammering like Dick Pound out there. Klefbom got a goal, he is now one of three defenders with five points on the season.
  • Sekera—Russell had their usual Bermuda Triangle battle with math, getting caved in the Corsi but looking visually capable. The pairing did go 2-1 in HDSC on the night. They went 5-3 with Nuge and 3-3 with McDavid, both in about three minutes. They went 4-5 against the Faksa-Sharp-Roussel line, a trio that can best be described as a royal pain in the ass.
  • HockeyStats.ca
  • NHL.com
  • NaturalStatTrick.
  • Oilers defensemen have now scored seven goals on the year, compared to 24 in 2015-16. There has been improvement but you would like to see Edmonton post a strong number from this group. Nurse is stepping up consistently, nice to see Klefbom scoring more frequently and Sekera is always chipping in here and there.
  • Cam Talbot was stellar, actually we was better than that. Interstellar.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

forwards-no-19

  • Lucic—McDavid—Puljujarvi had a strong night, with McDavid scoring thrice and the rookie posting two points. Lucic continues to be snake bitten, but he did get to raise his hands in the air like he just didn’t care. Went 5-2 against the Seguin line and Klingberg pairing, the Stars didn’t go heavy early on 97 and he made them pay. The McDavid line went 0-3 against the Faksa line, which also features world-class titmouse Antoine Roussel—I was surprised we didn’t see that match more. Lucic made himself useful as well as ornamental on McDavid’s second goal, creating havoc in front of the net, as Puljujarvi flicked the puck to 97.
  • Jesse Puljujarvi is a wonderful player. He does so many good things as a teenage rookie it is a marvel. One minute he is separating player from puck in the offensive zone and the next he is behind his own net covering for the defender. Important to be patient and watch this play out, but he plays a mature game for such a raw player. I cannot quite figure him out, but will tell you that the hockey acumen of this player appears to be substantial.
  • Maroon—Nuge—Eberle did well in possession but did not post crooked numbers. The line was quiet compared to the others, seven total shots and none from the shooter. It was a weird evening for them, but I do like the chem between Nuge and 14. They went 5-4 against the Faksa line, I hope they stick together for a time—Edmonton needs this trio to score a lot. Nuge was on the PK for 5:38—yeoman’s work. The timing for the trio in the offensive zone seemed just a little off. An example would be in the first period, Nuge slid the puck down to Maroon and the big winger sent a touch pass to the slot—but Eberle was crowded by a shock of Stars and didn’t have the zip to get to the chance.
  • Kassian—Draisaitl—Slepyshev is a strange line (they have a Ranchero feel) but two of the men on the line had some impact offensively. Leon picked up an assist on the Klefbom goal with a nifty little play in the neutral zone (but mama, that’s where the fun is!). Slepyshev made a nice pass to Klefbom on the same goal, and an astute touch pass to McDavid on his third marker. Faced Spezza’s line and went 4-2, I think that should be considered a good night. Zack Kassian sat a long time after his double minor, but that will probably be punishment enough if previous incidents are to be trusted.
  • Hendricks—Caggiula—Pitlick all got points (what in hell is happening with the fourth line offense this year?) last night. I am thankful McLellan placed Pitlick back on a support line, the time may come for the youngster to move up the ranks, but making sure he has his feet on the ground first is a grand idea. No space truckin’ until he is established. That said, Pitlick has been able to stay healthy and does seem to have some pop in that bat—we may be looking at a modern Lowell MacDonald (without the 30-goal seasons, and certainly without the 40-goal seasons).
  • The Pitlick goal was fun, that Caggiula kid sent a Dougie Weight to the winger in maybe his third NHL shift. I ranked Caggiula No. 2 and Benning No. 4 in the Top 20, both estimates based on what we read and in a very narrow viewing. Caggiula has a chance, folks.

pitlick capture

I have written on Tyler Pitlick so much since 2010, going back and looking at past posts kind of feels like returning to the scene of the crime. Picture the most meandering road you have ever experienced, and that begins to describe his pro career. Even before he turned pro, Pitlick jumped from college to junior so we had the damndest time figuring out progress. For what it’s worth, Pitlick’s surge this season is beginning to resemble a blast from the past.

  • Fernando Pisani 2002-03: 35gp, 8-5-13, 32shots, 25 percent shooter, 10:43 TOI.
  • Tyler Pitlick 2016-17: 19gp, 6-1-7, 32 shots, 18 percent shooter, 9:44 TOI.

Pisani turned 26 on December 27 of his rookie year, Pitlick turned 25 November 1 of this season. Pisani sent Daniel Cleary down the depth chart with his fine play, Pitlick is sealing off several names (what in hell would Iiro Pakarinen have to do to get his job back) with this early season run. I have been asked dozens of times this fall if Pitlick is the new Pisani, and my answer is maybe. Why so vague? Well, the point of Pisani is that he becamse the Pisani—I don’t recall a giant rave about his two-way game before we saw him in Edmonton.

  • Pisani’s ice time in 2002-03: 9:39EV; 0:22PK; 0:41PP
  • Pitlick’s ice time in 2016-17: 9:28EV; 0:11PK; 0:05PP

By season two Pisani was edging toward a minute on both PP and PK and after the lockout he emerged as an all rounder and a mentor. This could be Pitlick’s future, but we cannot know for sure at this time.

NUGE’S TIME

Todd McLellan is riding McDavid and that makes sense to me. That said, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins handling by the coach appears to be heading in the opposite direction this year. Let’s compare year over year:

 

  • Nuge ice time in 2015-16: 15:29EV; 0:57PK; 2:36PP
  • Nuge ice time in 2016-17: 13:39EV; 1:54PK; 2:09PP

McLellan has Letestu, Lander and Nuge as his main PK men (Hendricks replaced Lander last night and will as time goes by) and for me that is excellent deployment. Nuge is a tremendous forechecker and can disrupt things very well—Dave Keon was also a brilliant PK man. There is a reduction in playing time, and I wonder if the coach worries about the Nuge wearing down this time of year. Either way, it is an interesting wrinkle in deployment this season.

CAM TALBOT

Travis Yost was on SSE a few weeks ago and was convincing in his argument that Edmonton could make the playoffs with McDavid being McDavid and Talbot playing as he did last night. It is not a good long term recipe, but the Oilers are in a good spot after 19 games because of it.

  • Save Percentage: .916 (No. 12 among starters)
  • Even Strength: .917 (No. 17 among starters)
  • Power Play: .918 (No. 3 among starters)

HUH?

I like to check opposition coaching decisions after the game in regard to who is facing McDavid. The numbers last night didn’t jive for me:

  • McDavid was 6-8 in 7:13 against Johnny Klingberg
  • McDavid was 6-3 in 5:06 against Johnny Oduya
  • McDavid was 4-9 in 5:04 against Jordie Benn
  • McDavid was 6-2 in 5:00 against Stephen Johns
  • McDavid was 4-0 in 2:55 against Patrick Nemeth
  • McDavid was 4-2 in 2:39 against Dan Hamhuis
  • Source

The interesting thing for me is that Ruff seems to have checked down from Oduya—Klingberg at some point, keeping Klingberg and Benn. Is that right? And if so, theories?

 

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GMB3

Sleppy seems to be getting himself in the right spot to make plays as the season has gone on which tends to be when guys start producing offense. Some guys make a habit out of being in the “right place at the right time”.

I think the guy has a cannon of a shot as well. Probably one of the best shooters on the team. I look forward to him gaining some confidence from the coaching staff after his last couple of games and hopefully getting some more ice time and a consistent opportunity to gel with one of the 3 centres.

Glass

Sleppy and Pitlick seem pretty close and considering that Pitlick is three years older… I think Slepyshev has a real chance.

Frank the dog

–hudson–:
The upcoming game against Toronto is going to be on NBC. Greggor mentioned its the first Oilers game to be broadcast in the USA in about 10 years built on the hype of McDavid versus Matthews.I am curious to see what happens if Kadri pulls the same antics on McDavid as he did in Toronto.I am guessing it will be a parade to the penalty box.

I don’t think the NHL refs lack integrity but they do employ ‘conflict management’.They make something that could be cut and dry into something subjective and if you do a quick google there are lots of examples.
http://www.stratfordbeaconherald.com/2010/01/29/maclean-a-ref-at-heart

Here’s a link to the guidance from Hockey Canada:
https://www.hockeycanada.ca/en-ca/Hockey-Programs/Officiating/Essentials/Downloads.aspx

I prefer the way the international games are called, similar to the NHL preseason or early season, where the games don’t feel managed.

I don’t think the refs are themselves necessarily dishonest. But we first of all should find a way to objectify the calls vs. non calls, just as we have objectified the eye vs. stats in performance.
Unless we get an objective set of statistics, say % of infractions called by game, splitting out the calls for the Oil and the opposing team, and then categorizing the games as home vs. away, American or Cdn team, big market or small market, and then see if we can map any trends. Who knows, it might be random, simply attributable to an innate fear of being hauled over the coals over a big American team getting a bad call, vs. a small market Cdn team, producing the bias, or the bias might just be our eyes. But we wont even know for sure whether there is a bias in the calls until we get those stats. What we need, is someone with the time, equipment, knowledge and inclination to get those stats from a video to a stat sheet.
At least that would represent us doing something concrete about the problem.

New Improved Darkness

shock of Stars

Ah, I can now see how this all came about. It helps that we finally watched The Seventh Seal last night.

———

Here’s how it went.

There’s this wandering squire, you see, and to pass the long hours on his slow donkey he begins to sing to himself “I’ve been working at my venery, all the live long day”.

Unfortunately, he doesn’t realize that he’s wandered off the beaten path into a territory that has recently come under the grip of some dour, persecuted sect, suffering a diet of gourds and bad grain (one had to be careful back in the 14th century where one wandered, Massachusetts had yet to siphon all the dry kindling out of the Euroswamp).

As he sings out that line in his rather lame bawdy song, an alarmingly wiry man by the side of the road springs back his black cowl, revealing the most eloquent sunken eyes a man could hope not to see.

“‘Venery’, you say? Off to the stocks with yee then,” he croons softly, while raising a loud, craggy finger.

“Er—” the errant squire begins, halting his ditty in mid stanza.

Guards! Guards! the man of the black cowl bellows with such splintering force that even the church bell’s dead-hung clapper retracts slightly.

In an instant, an unlikely crowd assembles.

“Er—” the errant squire begins again. “It’s not like that.”

“Venery?” calls out a callow brute with shockingly broad shoulders, apparently hopeful to have it more fully defined, elucidated, and—ideally—indexed, as his thumbs make light work of a very fat tome.

“Venery!” cries out an old woman. “Witchcraft! She-devil dementor! Lucifer Lancelot!” she continues in her shrillest pro forma shriek. “Annuit cœptis!,” she sneaks in, being quite a bit more worldly and open-minded than any one present even begins to suspect of an old woman with eight semi-circular crooks for fingers, whose overextended forefinger is now so arthritic and unable to stretch out that she must instead menace not with the conventional side grip, but a mostly upright pistol grip, wrist cocked slightly outward and down so as to point mainly with her thumb, two giant, hairy warts on her thumb knuckle almost forming a perfect V-slit gun sight (though this was long before gun sights and waaay before gangsta).

“Plague!” yells everyone else in unison, so as to think less about the old woman’s strangely portentous hand.

“Er—” the errant squire stammers again, with his stomach now gaining steam at breakneck speed in response to the sudden gravity of the situation. ”

It’s NOT like that.”

“Seen one— / —seen ’em all— / —soon he’ll fall,” rebuts the like-minded crowd, in perfect tricorne round, causing a gaunt Catharist priest late to the back ranks to break into a beaming smile. “And they said that a refreshing Row, Row, Row Your Boat after a soggy consolamentum has no pedagogic purpose!”

“Seriously,” gasps a burly baker nearby, ignoring a flurry of busy elbows, “this emergent mob motet was planned?”

The priest, whose arms are quite mashed up against his body, nevertheless manages to respond with a smug, thrice-tapped finger-tent at larynx level.

“Hey … get your … own … dozen,” says someone among the busy-elbows yells at the baker. “Yeah! … get … your … own … dozen,” echoes another man, evidently enjoying more success getting his jabs through.

The baker, however—long familiar with his lot in life as the unwelcome 13th man in every public huddle—hasn’t hastily filled his capacious pockets with coarse-ground marzipan before stepping into the fray for no reason—the trick to perfect marzipan is to circulate slowly amid the clump, keeping the all the kindly donated elbows uniform and fresh.

Now, some might characterized this Catharist sect as a band of pacifistic sodomites, but this is the 14th century, and sects of this vintage rarely run but one level deep. This particular Catharist sect budded off from orthodox pacifistic Catharism not for its marzipan sacraments, but for its decidedly Fight Club undercurrents.

Indeed, our donkey-mounted squire, with considerable marbled midsection to contribute to the communal soap works is really up against it now—cleanliness is next to godliness among these good people, more than most. Fortunately, having lived to his present age, our plump squire is not without his own resources.

Roughly tourniqueting Eeyore’s nape until Eeyore lets out such a bray from both ends as to cause everyone assembled to at once rush two hands to plug three places. Many stumble with the elementary hand-ear-nose algebra, managing to plug no place at all with satisfaction. A few stuff their ears with bent thumbs, leaving ring fingers free to choke off both nostrils. One wag missing two fingers—who will certainly pay for his clever display later—deftly crosses his forearms so as to plug his nostrils with straight thumbs, freeing up his long, spindly (and best of all) both still-attached index fingers to jam into his ear canals. (It’s true that a man with the puffy pectorals of a proficient axe-man wouldn’t be able to pull this off, but then, he wouldn’t need to).

This momentary algebraic spectacle allows Squire Winston Igor the Third, for that is his name—”Win-y not wine-y he is prone to insist—all the moment he needs to deftly kick back his his green and red slippered feet and leap upon his discomfited donkey’s back, from which odoriferous podium he urgently begins to address the thickening crowd.

“Er,” he begins for the final time. “It’s NOT like that. Venery is, er, where I come from, er—not what you think—it’s, er, a hunting term.”

“What kind of hunting term would that be?” inquires an avid hunter, eager for news from afar, who doesn’t much truck with soap, anyway.

“Well, I’m sure you’ve all heard of a pack of wolves,” says Winston, fetching top of mind with just enough lingering composure to discard “rabid”.

“Well, so what?” demands the baker’s assistant, whose arms are constantly covered with molasses, pumpkin, and dirt, and would happily bathe more often.

“Have you not all heard of Lord Venari? What do all of you suppose that great name Venari actually means?”

By this gambit, Winston now commands the crowd’s attention a great deal more than Eeyore’s diversionary double-ended stinknicker.

Some in the crowd now rush to cover but a single opening with both hands—that ever-dangerous loose-lipped cake hole—laced shut with cross-fingered double hand cover for good measure. Besides, what possibly needs to be said? “Venari, veneri, Venici.” And we’ve all heard what goes on among the Venici.

“I know what you’re all thinking, but ‘venery’ comes from the Latin word vēnor, to hunt. It’s pronounced Veeenor,” whiny Winnie adds out of habit.

“I asked you once already, what kind of hunting term would that be?” inquires the avid hunter, who would far rather be hunting than idly drumming his six stinky fingers. Come to think of it, his fingernails really have become quite caked-over with a mixture of gore and muck and ruptured entrails, enough so as to represent a serious set-back of self-defense if ambushed by a small bobcat leaping out from a tree—even such a lowly substance as soap ultimately has its uses, after all.

Winston is not sure why, but catching sight of the avid hunter making a disgusted survey of his disgusting fingernails does not inspire further delay.

“It’s like this,” says Winston, now pressing forward unabated. “In veeeenery, as practiced where I come from, it’s not just a ‘pack’ of wolves or a ‘flock’ of birds or a ‘swarm’ of bees, but also, er, an ‘army’ of frogs.”

This was not the time for the parable of the boiled frog to cross-breed with “angry army of cathartic apothecaries”, but one has to prime the pump somewhere.

“An army of frogs!” someone repeats, pronouncing the word “frog” so as to bring the house down. “That will be the day,” concurs someone else.

“—not to mention a ‘cackle’ of hyenas,” resumes Winston, hastily summoning his more piercing voice in a mad scramble to regain control, “and a ‘kettle’ of hawks,”—dammit all, out, out, boiling frogs—”and … and … and … a ‘pride’ of lions—”

“Who ever heard of kettle hawks?” mocks a pair of twelve-year-old twin boys, born 700 years too soon for Ritalin.

“Hyenas do cackle,” says the old, arthritic woman. “I’ve heard them myself.”

“You have not!” says a man, who would have—in ordinarily circumstances—crossed to the other side of the street from a hundred yards to as not to be associated together in public, before turning beet red, that precise tint of beet least easily missed.

“May Mother Mary and the good lord have mercy on my soul, just look at you” observes a woman within earshot, with just enough volume to extend earshot, beginning a rapid sequence of wise-cracking laterals as to make some New Zealand All Black of the distant future beam with pride.

“And lions do have pride, all the stories say so,” says a young girl, proud owner of a genuine 12th century Persian picture book bequeathed to her by her late grandmother, the existence of which she’s never shared with another living soul. “Such a pretty book, shame someone had to deface it with all that scribbly graffiti.” Even so, she loves her Persian book above all else.

“I smell a rat!” roars the man with the sunken eyes and the springy black cowl. “A likely story,” concurs the man next to him, clearly born to the trade.

“Yeah right. So in this venery of yours, what’s your fancy frog name for a scramble of rats?” comes a second Cockneyed voice with all the practiced charm of a career under-capo, and questionable cooking skills.

“I hate rats,” says Winston, nearly toppling off his donkey. “Besides, no-one hunts rats”.

“Sure I does,” says a mysterious man with a wooden pipe.

“A ransom of children,” calls out a haggard woman from the back row, somehow getting into the game despite a tear in her eyes.

There’s collective silence for a moment as no-one here assembled has before heard this woman speak, she just showed up out of the blue several days ago, and hasn’t moved her lips since. What this has to do with rats no one can discern, but it’s a start, at least, that she finally said something.

So it goes mostly like that, with this new “venery” parlor game gaining popularity among the townsfolk faster than the first crusade.

Winston is forced to improvise any number of terms he’ll wince to remember tomorrow—and remember them he had better be able to do. “A ‘rasp’ of guineafowl! Whatever possessed me!” But then, he hadn’t quite expected to be vexed with “guineafowl”, either.

In general terms, the entire ruse has gone down swimmingly—except for a couple of brown notes, mostly contributed by a certain piper, a pesky piper he’d dearly love to send packing, worst of the bunch being a ‘murder’ of magpies—now there’s one he’ll never forget or forgive, and that’s for damn straight.

———

Only it didn’t work out that way.

A few days later, after all the commotion has mostly passed, Winston chances upon the Piper, alone, in a back alley.

“A gaggle of guppies,” pips the Piper.

Momentarily caught of guard, Winston hesitates, without the least bit veiling the daggers welling up in his eyes.

“Well played, old chap” says the piper, breaking into a broad grin.

“Hey, drink with me, I’ll spot you a pint or three. Fetched twenty bars yesterday for a shockingly fat boy named Hansel whom I ‘rescued’—in a manner of speaking—from the clutches of the nastiest old woman you’d ever care to meet. You should have seen the mushroom cloud when she noticed Hansel was gone. Go ahead, sniff, you can’t miss it.”

Winston sniffs the breeze cautiously.

“Smells like … gingerbread.”

“To you, maybe. To me, it smells like … victory.”

Winston and the Piper link arms, beginning their march to the pub.

“Say, what’s on tap?” inquires Winston.

“Pumpkin molasses stout,” says the Piper.

“Lordy,” says Winston.

“Right you are,” says the Piper, but unfortunately, ’tis the season in this neck of the woods.

‘Tis always the season.

OilClog

They’re not trading any big contracts for other big contracts, they’ll be selling off higher priced assets to make room for that Burns fellow and their own ELC’s coming to an end.

Eberle will be sold for a 2nd and 3rd.

prairieschooner

Hard to believe the Oilers are on a list somewhere to get the wrong end of refereeing calls.
Could it be that we get the same reffing as other teams and over the course of the season it balances out ?
What do you think coach?
“Good teams control their own destiny”

lynn

lynn: Only a guess on my part. With so many players on the bottom six level, and just returning from injury, Jujhar seems like a distant bell.

I think there are a few teams that would like Jujhar Khaira in a trade–either at the minor league level or as part of a major trade.

lynn

stush18: Really? I can’t see them giving up on him. And I really don’t think any teams value our younger players

Only a guess on my part. With so many players on the bottom six level, and just returning from injury, Jujhar seems like a distant bell.

JD_Wry

Lowetide: He lost 30 pounds? I had not read that.

He was listed at 217 upon arrival to NA, and is now 187. Probably an accounting error along the way – I was just being snarky.

--hudson--

The upcoming game against Toronto is going to be on NBC. Greggor mentioned its the first Oilers game to be broadcast in the USA in about 10 years built on the hype of McDavid versus Matthews. I am curious to see what happens if Kadri pulls the same antics on McDavid as he did in Toronto. I am guessing it will be a parade to the penalty box.

I don’t think the NHL refs lack integrity but they do employ ‘conflict management’. They make something that could be cut and dry into something subjective and if you do a quick google there are lots of examples.
http://www.stratfordbeaconherald.com/2010/01/29/maclean-a-ref-at-heart

Here’s a link to the guidance from Hockey Canada:
https://www.hockeycanada.ca/en-ca/Hockey-Programs/Officiating/Essentials/Downloads.aspx

I prefer the way the international games are called, similar to the NHL preseason or early season, where the games don’t feel managed.

Wolfie: I mentioned this previously and I’ve discussed it with my Dad(most our conversations gravitate to hockey the Oilers and the Jets).

If things continue as they have I would like to see McDavid absolutely embarrass an official on national TV.Take the 10 min misconduct…Timing is crucial (maybe a lost cause game).Gretzky used to do it once in awhile.Bring attention to it.McDavid might get a few calls against but once you shine the light on it the Oilers should benefit in the long run.Especially if refs know that the Golden Child is willing to let one of them have it.The refs want to get picked for playoffs and SC Finals…If they come up in a negative light too often that will hurt their chances.

I would never advocate doing this in a minor hockey environment but this is business.The time for being polite and respectful about the treatment of your star player has passed.

stush18

lynn: I think Jujhar will be part of a trade forthcoming.

Really? I can’t see them giving up on him. And I really don’t think any teams value our younger players

stush18

Lowetide: He lost 30 pounds? I had not read that.

Ya I thought he had gained a bunch of weight? I’d say it must be muscle too because I really don’t think he’s any slower than years before

lynn

Bank Shot:
I think Slepyshev has the tools to make it. More so than a Jujhar I think. Hopefully Sleppy makes the most of those tools.

The most encouraging stat for the Oilers this season is shots on net.

8th in shots for: 31
16th in shots against: 30.2

Teams that get the most shots are generally good teams. The Oilers haven’t finished the season with a positive shot differential since 05/06. Hopefully this sticks around.

I think Jujhar will be part of a trade forthcoming.

Confused

Is it time for those expansion trades to start?

Teams going 7+3+1 send us your 4th d -man, as long as it is a RHD

Yes, it is Sunday afternonn

Bank Shot

I think Slepyshev has the tools to make it. More so than a Jujhar I think. Hopefully Sleppy makes the most of those tools.

The most encouraging stat for the Oilers this season is shots on net.

8th in shots for: 31
16th in shots against: 30.2

Teams that get the most shots are generally good teams. The Oilers haven’t finished the season with a positive shot differential since 05/06. Hopefully this sticks around.

Centre of attention

Lowetide: Slepyshev was fantastic last night to my eye, he mentioned when he came over he needed to adjust, and I think we are seeing that now. He is an impressive player with or without the puck right now—and he is starting to contribute to goals. That is a very good thing, as his Russian numbers suggested that might be the case but we did not see it in NA one year ago.

If he can be that 3rd liner who can skate & scores 30 points while not being a defensive liability I’ll be just fine with that.

JD_Wry

Lowetide: he mentioned when he came over he needed to adjust,

Losing 30 lbs seems to have done it 😉

Wolfie

Bruce McCurdy: That hooking penalty McDavid was charged with last night was the icing on the cake. It was about the 15,397th worst infraction involving 97 on the road trip, but the other 15,396 were committed by the other team so got ignored. Refs are testing him.

I mentioned this previously and I’ve discussed it with my Dad(most our conversations gravitate to hockey the Oilers and the Jets).

If things continue as they have I would like to see McDavid absolutely embarrass an official on national TV. Take the 10 min misconduct… Timing is crucial (maybe a lost cause game). Gretzky used to do it once in awhile. Bring attention to it. McDavid might get a few calls against but once you shine the light on it the Oilers should benefit in the long run. Especially if refs know that the Golden Child is willing to let one of them have it. The refs want to get picked for playoffs and SC Finals… If they come up in a negative light too often that will hurt their chances.

I would never advocate doing this in a minor hockey environment but this is business. The time for being polite and respectful about the treatment of your star player has passed.

SwedishPoster

I’ve seen Puljujärvi compared to Hossa stylewise, but in the last few games Slepy has kinda looked like a pauper’s Hossa imo. Anyone else seen the similarities?
Was an odd game last night, not a great game from the Oil, McDavid scoring one of the least flashy hattricks of all time and the line that felt like it had the most ideas offensively was the only one that didn’t notch a goal.

The PP is still a joke and the PK without Letestu and Lander didn’t look good. Need to get the special teams going.

flyfish1168

sliderule: Watch Julien and Quenneville and even Babcock when they feel they are getting jobbed by the refs.

They are yelling for them to come over and slowing the game down to make their point.

Referees are human and don’t like constant conflict.

They may push back that game but next time they will want to avoid it.

That’s just my opinionof human nature.

Today CHL refs missed a couple of obvious holding that lead to td for the read/blacks. Unfortunately I swear they didn’t want to see an all west Grey cup.

sliderule

Professor Q: To be fair, he did just recently give up and call out the officials. He usually doesn’t and says the team has to play through it, but on Friday he was like, “yeah, they definitely missed a lot of calls on us.”

Albeit he did backtrack and say they missed calls they should have called on Edmonton too, but still, he finally said something other than it’s McDavid’s battle to deal with.

He’s also argued with the refs a lot on the bench, but it never produces fruit. Maybe that’s why they’re extra hard on Edmonton?

Watch Julien and Quenneville and even Babcock when they feel they are getting jobbed by the refs.

They are yelling for them to come over and slowing the game down to make their point.

Referees are human and don’t like constant conflict.

They may push back that game but next time they will want to avoid it.

That’s just my opinion of human nature.

Professor Q

Klima’s_Bucket,

I didn’t mean us complaining, as that is what fans do, fruitlessly.

I wondered why there wasn’t an avenue for coaches or staff or owners to question officials, officiating, and league decisions properly, without bias, in a way that they aren’t punished for bringing forth concerns?

We already know it happens. The emails revealed a lot. But I think they should be able to pose questions and challenges without getting fined, but rather inspire inquiries.

JD_Wry

Frank the dog: what’s to stop someone counting called infractions as a % of uncalled infractions game by game?

I believe Rex is already doing this, but for the Flames.

😱

striker

Pretty sure “Remenda” is the sanskrit root word for “post-hoc”

Klima's_Bucket

Professor Q,

Ha, sorry bout that. Which one did I read incorrectly?

Frank the dog

Lowetide: Yes, I think the Oilers have been ripped off throughout this trip, and again last night. Edmonton has a losing rep, and it does seem the stripes have a bias. I don’t write about it because it is pointless to do so, unfortunately.

Hi LT, I actually think there is a lot we can do about it. If we have people on this blog who can detail hds , corsi rel, pdo, and a whole lot more, what’s to stop someone counting called infractions as a % of uncalled infractions game by game? If the % is pretty much equal both sides of the ice, or of the home side generally gets the advantage then we should all move on, but if some definitive stats show a clear bias, then the least os that Katz has something factual to present next time he has a cocktail with Bettman.

Professor Q

Klima's_Bucket,

I think you didn’t read my question correctly.

Klima's_Bucket

Professor Q: Question: why is the league like that, however? Why can’t coaching staff or ownership bring a grievance to the league about referees and refereeing, and have it seriously considered? Why are refs treated like faultless gods by the league who, if criticised, are protected by the complainants being punished?

We can bitch and moan all we want about the officiating.
But the officials are doing exactly what their employer is telling them to do.

Keep the game close. Parity is king in Bettman’s world.
Don’t blame the officials. Blame their boss.

Professor Q

sliderule:
I don’t usually comment on officiating but I went ballistic last night.

Tmac is just too casual and turn the other cheek towards the bad officiating mostly on the road but even at home some times.

He should be calling the referee over to discuss the calls ,delay changes and just generally be a pain in the ass until they pay attention..

I know he doesn’t want to take a bench minor but it’s a small price to pay for respect.

To be fair, he did just recently give up and call out the officials. He usually doesn’t and says the team has to play through it, but on Friday he was like, “yeah, they definitely missed a lot of calls on us.”

Albeit he did backtrack and say they missed calls they should have called on Edmonton too, but still, he finally said something other than it’s McDavid’s battle to deal with.

He’s also argued with the refs a lot on the bench, but it never produces fruit. Maybe that’s why they’re extra hard on Edmonton?

sliderule

I don’t usually comment on officiating but I went ballistic last night.

Tmac is just too casual and turn the other cheek towards the bad officiating mostly on the road but even at home some times.

He should be calling the referee over to discuss the calls ,delay changes and just generally be a pain in the ass until they pay attention..

I know he doesn’t want to take a bench minor but it’s a small price to pay for respect.

Diablo

Enjoyable game last night – they came out ready to play and got some puck luck for a change.

Some observations after rewatching the game …
– Russell transitions the puck quickly and confidently. Still backs up too much at the blue line but I’m OK with this because the Oilers have been good at getting back possession. With Gryba in the lineup, they couldn’t get the puck through the neutral zone, because the opposition would overload the side with Nurse on it, knowing that Gryba can’t make the headman pass. Russell appears to be our lucky charm lol. Playing under 20 minutes a game, the guy can be a positive contributor.
– McDavid Woooot!
– Glad to see Pouliot in the PB: he’s been noticeably slow and ineffective this year. Need to move his cap hit somehow.
– Agree with others about Hendricks; the guy is a quality veteran who plays a quiet effective game.
– People need to give credit to Chia for Caggiula and Benning: those were two solid signings. Both look like players who will contribute moving forwards.
– Puljujarvi still looks out of sync with the rest of his line in the offensive zone. I agree the kid plays a smart team game, and is defensively sound – he’s already a better player than Yakupov ever was. I still think he needs to go down to the AHL to work on his offence.
– Pitlick is here to stay.
– Larsson does not look fun to play against.
– They didn’t get a goal but RNH and Eberle look like they’re finding that old chemistry that they had before.
– Slepyshev plays a smart game, though there is no one dynamic element to his skill set.
– Nurse is going to be very good one day. We just need to be patient.

Going forward, I’d like to see Chia move out some of the dead weight on this team – see what they can get for Pouliot, Gryba, and Fayne. No more Gustavsson – bring one of Brossoit or Ellis up when Talbot needs a game off. No more Gryba – see what you have in Oesterle, and Simpson. I’m not against letting Pouliot back into the lineup, but I’d keep him on a short leash. I’d like to see what Taylor Beck can do.

geowal

This game has gotten interesting!

Professor Q

Crazy Pedestrian: I’m definately not a Football fan, but a fan of the the Eskimos because “Edmontonian”, but most of the guys at my work had pegged an Alberta Grey Cup final was in the bag before the playoffs started..
I was the ONLY guy that said that I just have a gut feeling that Ottawa would win the Grey Cup. (They all thought I was crazy, name pun not intended)

Back in the magical run of 2005-2006, before the playoffs I had picked the Hurricanes to win the cup…
Man that’s the one time I wish I was wrong…

Neat non-story: I was really wanting to put $500 down on the Giants beating the undefeated Patriots in the Superbowl that one year, with my boss. The Giants beat New England during the last game of that regular season, but got copped out by the refs so the Patriots could have the record.

Boss backed out at the last minute so we never put the money down. Would have won like $100,000.

I did win a case of beer from my uncle, but I think we went even on that because he’s a Steelers fan and i bet him a case of beer that Seattle would win (should have) and Cardinals too (again, should have).

Steelers are favoured by the refs.

geowal

Lowetide:
Yeah. Orr.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ku2752x_Lac

Man those goalies look like they’ve given up before he even shoots

Professor Q

Lowetide: Yes, I think the Oilers have been ripped off throughout this trip, and again last night. Edmonton has a losing rep, and it does seem the stripes have a bias. I don’t write about it because it is pointless to do so, unfortunately.

Question: why is the league like that, however? Why can’t coaching staff or ownership bring a grievance to the league about referees and refereeing, and have it seriously considered? Why are refs treated like faultless gods by the league who, if criticised, are protected by the complainants being punished?

go_oil

Russell appears to be a small defensive-defenseman. Blocks shots and is physical. I appreciate his quickness and skating in retrieving pucks, and he appears to place or pass the puck inside the defensive zone quite nicely. He has also bailed out partners in breaking up odd man rushes… I think he’s great for that 4-6 slot on the backend. Once Davidson and Fayne come back there’s some nice competition with the emergence of Benning.

Reading about Rob Brown’s ideas for a PP set-up… have they run a 1-3-1 with McDavid/Nugent-Hopkins on the half wall and a RH shot set-up? I’d love to see Puljujarvi/Slepyshev on the other side for one timers, Eberle/Pitlick in middle, Lucic/Maroon down low, and Larsson/Benning at the point (1 and 2 PP units).

Conversely, with all their left-hand talent, perhaps they could have Eberle on the half-wall and a LH shot set-up. Caggiula on the other side for the one timers, Draisaitl in the middle, Kassian down low, Klefbom/Sekera at the point (3 PP unit).

Thoughts?

Edit: Sounds like Ferraro wants McDavid where I would put Lucic/Maroon.

Crazy Pedestrian

JDï™: in the fixing mood

Yeah… if only I was at least a semi-betting man…

JD_Wry

Crazy Pedestrian: Man that’s the one time I wish I would have put $1k down on them to win…

in the fixing mood

Crazy Pedestrian

Professor Q:
Damn. Ottawa is on fire in the snow, and I thought Mike Reilly was injured for this game so I had the other Edmonton QB slotted in (many injuries were shown).

There goes my last CFL pool of the year…

I’m definately not a Football fan, but a fan of the the Eskimos because “Edmontonian”, but most of the guys at my work had pegged an Alberta Grey Cup final was in the bag before the playoffs started..
I was the ONLY guy that said that I just have a gut feeling that Ottawa would win the Grey Cup. (They all thought I was crazy, name pun not intended)

Back in the magical run of 2005-2006, before the playoffs I had picked the Hurricanes to win the cup…
Man that’s the one time I wish I was wrong…

ASkoreyko

Bruce McCurdy: Quoted for truth. I don’t want a John Garrett style cheerleader but Remenda goes way too far the other way. He’s virtually unlistenable when the Oilers play one of “his” California teams.

But hey! Let’s fire Mike Johnson! That’ll fix everything! #TenMoreYears

I miss Ray Ferraro so bad.

Remenda is just awful, it feels like he is supposed to be working color for the other team and walked into the wrong booth.

Also, I can’t stand his damning criticism and constant ‘advice’ to professional hockey players. Drew always seems to know exactly what everyone should be doing.

Can’t stand him.

Mustard Tiger

Pescador: Member in the summer he was all Russell this & Russell that, something something playoffs.
Excuse me while I post some Spam.

Oh yeah I member

Bruce McCurdy

Ryan: Funny trends with Remenda…

If there’s any question about a goal scored against the Oilers, he almost always seems to instantly decide it’s a good goal. Same with a penalty called against us.

On the other hand, it seems to be the opposite when there’s questions about a goal we score or if a penalty went uncalled against the other team.

Quoted for truth. I don’t want a John Garrett style cheerleader but Remenda goes way too far the other way. He’s virtually unlistenable when the Oilers play one of “his” California teams.

But hey! Let’s fire Mike Johnson! That’ll fix everything! #TenMoreYears

JD_Wry

Johnny skid: go green white yellows!!

ftfy