WHISPERING PINES, RISING OF THE TIDE

One day, out of the blue, peace came to the valley. The long, hard days gave way to sunshine and good times, and smiles and caring. At first, people could not quite trust it, afraid the heavy clouds they knew too well would come visiting again, dashing hopes. Slowly but surely, even those who had completely given up hope allowed that this might be just a little better. And so began the healing, and the return of real hope in the valley.

GET OUT OF DENVER, 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, goal differential -2
  • Oilers in November 2016: 5-6-1 goal differential +1
  • Oilers after 21, 2015: 7-13-1, goal differential -9
  • Oilers after 21, 2016: 12-8-1, goal differential +11

Holy Mike Shabaga, this team has game! Are they for real? Well, we have passed the 20-game mark and good things continue to happen, so at some point we are going to have to come in from the rain. I know you have grown attached to certain aspects of losing—and none of us likes change—but it may be time to smile.

We agreed that November should run at a point per game for Edmonton (15 games, 15 points). Right now, Edmonton has played 12 games and there are 11 points in the bank. A win on Friday against Arizona gets the team to 13 points, and then a split in the final two games against Scottsdale and Don Mills gets them there. That would be an impressive wrap to November.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

defense-no-23

  • Nurse—Benning were both great in possession and as you can see it was Christmas day in the HDSCs. Nurse made a terrible decision on the first GA—that is going to cost Edmonton against good teams—and he has to clean that up. Matt Benning made a strong, clean and probably famous hit on Nathan MacKinnon in one of the big points in the game. Pairing was 13-6 with the Nuge, 5-2 with Leon.
  • Sekera—Russell had their second straight game of good possession numbers, and even had a fine evening on the HDSC. They were 8-7 with McDavid and 7-0 with the Nuge on a night that was very physical and ultimately satisfying for the third pairing. They were 6-1 against the Duchene line, Duchene is one of my favorite players. My goodness what a player.
  • Klefbom—Larsson played the heavies, in the case of the righty that included machete work and some big hits. Lordy. Larsson also picked up an assist on the night. Went 7-6 in 7:04 with McDavid, 7-4 against the MacKinnon line. MacKinnon comes out of a rocket launcher, that guy is frightening. Oscar is coming into his own now, the best compliment I can give him is that is this were 1975, he would be a Hab. The young man has the range.
  • Natural Stat Trick
  • NHL.com
  • HockeyStats.ca

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

forwards-no-23

  • Lucic—McDavid—Puljujarvi combined for two goals and seven points, none of them by the kid and not for lack of trying. Connor McDavid is a gift from the Gods, that third period was pure adrenaline. The Avs blue were caught with the reality that defending what cannot be defended is no fun at all in real time. He is now 21gp, 8-19-27 and leads the NHL in scoring.
  • Milan Lucic, who just 24 hours ago was being shopped to glue factories by the faithful, had six shots, went 1-3-4 and is now 21gp, 6-8-14 on the season.
  • Maroon—Nuge—Eberle had a strong night, combining for 3-1-4 and 13 shots (!!!) on goal. I don’t recall Nuge looking as good all season, Eberle had a dandy goal (the first one) and Maroon did a nice job on the line, too.
  • Kassian—Draisaitl—Slepyshev got left behind a little as a line, but Leon went 1-1-2 and is now riding a good wave. The line went 3-10 in Corsi against Iginla (Comeau, Mitchell) and if there is a trio from the top three lines that might get Caggiula, this line would be my guess.
  • Hendricks—Caggiula—Pitlick looked better in possession last night, but the line doesn’t seem to have a purpose (beyond getting the rookie settled in). I think we might see Slepyshev come out of the lineup, Caggiula moving to Leon’s line, and Letestu drawing in at some point in the next few games.

MILAN LUCIC

I am a fan of Milan Lucic. He was a major factor in Boston’s strong run earlier in this decade, and a bona fide enforcer with skill on a Stanley winner. The names of players in the game’s history who have played a prominent role on winning teams as policeman and offensive contributor is not massive. John Ferguson filled that role with the Habs in the 1960s, Lucic provided the same cover with skill for the Bruins when he was there. Lucic’s major skills included passing the puck well, finding seams to get the puck to good places, and excellent corner work (Wayne Cashman dug the puck out, Lucic just parked his ass and foraged). We have not seen that player much and then only over a brief period of time. I remain a fan, but hope he can find a comfortable spot in the lineup, and perhaps last night is the beginning of that process.

THROUGH THE STORM WE REACH THE SHORE

One of the fun things to do this season is viewing Oilers defensemen without Connor McDavid. Since the young man tilts the ice in such a massive way, the WOWY allows us to see what is happening in the other 40 minutes a game.

  • Oscar Klefbom 51.4 in 244 minutes
  • Adam Larsson 51.0 in 252 minutes
  • Matt Benning 50.0 in 116 minutes
  • Eric Gryba 49.0 in 143 minutes
  • Darnell Nurse 48.7 in 229 minutes
  • Andrej Sekera 48.1 in 207 minutes
  • Kris Russell 46.5 in 149 minutes

Interesting list, the first thing I see is that most of this group is doing at least okay without 97. The Oilers are sending the puck in a good direction a lot of this season at 5×5—there have been many recent years when Russell had plenty of company.

WHAT TO DO WITH POULIOT?

I’m a stubborn kind of fellow, so if you are going to talk me out of Benoit Pouliot as a good player, you better pack a lunch because it is going to take you all day. I do not understand why Todd McLellan has BP on the sidelines, but if I were coach Marc Pouliot would be 4C (until he got used to the speed of the game, then I would move him up!) so there you go. Todd McLellan is the coach, he has the right to fill out the lineup as he sees fit, and we have the right to agree or disagree. McLellan has made plenty of decisions I do not agree with and they have worked out, and I am reasonably sure he knows a few things about coaching that have not occurred to me.

I will say this: Some NHL team would do well to offload a ghastly contract on the Oilers in exchange for Pouliot. I believe they would be getting a productive player who may have worn out his welcome. It happens you know, I am a pretty good employee and have spent too long at the fair from time to time. Suspect Pouliot is ready, McLellan appears to be as well. Make it so, Peter Chiarelli! Just don’t get Phaneuf.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

This morning at 10, TSN1260.

  • Darcy McLeod, Because Oilers. The numbers and the record look good, but there are some issues like the price of gas and what to get each other for Christmas.
  • Derek Taylor, TSN. Grey Cup Week! Are we cheering for Henry? Really?
  • Jeff Hauser, Radio Hauser. Are you ready for some football???? We will check in on turkey day with our American friends.
  • Frank Seravalli, TSN. Oilers firing on all pistons, expansion draft discussion and Canada’s playoff hopes.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!

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155 Responses to "WHISPERING PINES, RISING OF THE TIDE"

  1. npanciroli says:

    Benning has been incredible so far this year IMO. What a fantastic pickup.

    Pouliot is a great player who this year was awful to watch. I still have time for him as 3rd or 4th line LW.

    I would totally strip his minutes though, he was drowning RNH.

  2. Aitch says:

    I have to question the HD SC count if Nurse went 8-0. After all, as you pointed out, he was to blame for the first 2-on-1 that saw McKinnon rip one over Talbot’s shoulder. If that wasn’t a HD SC, I honestly don’t know what is.

  3. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    npanciroli:
    Benning has been incredible so far this year IMO. What a fantastic pickup.

    Pouliot is a great player who this year was awful to watch. I still have time for him as 3rd or 4th line LW.

    I would totally strip his minutes though, he was drowning RNH.

    Benning and Caggiula in one off season sure helps to undue the damage of several years of poor second and third round draft picks. Season with a taste of Pitlick emerging from the fog and BAM! Stanley Cup.

    I’ll say this: I like the D as is. It’s not perfect, but it’s the best I’ve seen in a lot of years. It’s competent.

    Factor in also that the next 3 guys we can play are Davidson, Fayne, and Gryba. Perfect? No. But that’s 3 NHL hockey players, even with a few warts.

  4. DBO says:

    Those top 2 lines can be set for st least a 10 game stretch if this continues. Stability is huge and both lines bring balance and enough two way play to not need sheltering.

    Bottom 6 need tweaking. I like The Drake, but would rather have his speed on wing. The PK has suffered without Lander and Letestu,p and Pouliot, so hope to see a shuffle. I’d like to see

    Pouliot-Draisatl-The drake
    Hendricks-Letestu-Pitlick

    We have depth for first time since forever. Haven’t been impressed with Kassian lately and I think if you rotate some guys through the press box it can help health wise and allow for options. Slepyshev could use a break as well and id like Pouliot and Letestu back in soon. We can’t think whole team is rolling. Top 2 Lines plus Draisatl on the PP are rolling. The rest of bottom 6 are average at best right now and can be swapped out and should be if only to keep fresh and motivate.

  5. jonrmcleod says:

    ***SPAM ALERT***

    In the latest installment of my Stat of the Week series, I do a Q&A with Brian King, who (in case you didn’t know) is the “inventor” of PDO. Does the “Father of PDO” think the Oilers have been lucky so far? Mr. King also tells the story of how PDO came to be.

    http://www.theoilersrig.com/2016/11/stat-week-whats-pdo-qa-brian-king-father-pdo/

  6. npanciroli says:

    Maybe I’m crazy but let’s go full skill.

    Lucic McDavid JP
    Maroon RNH Eberle
    Kassian Draisaitl Slepyshev
    Pouliot Cagguila Pitlick

  7. SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo! says:

    Repost from Last Thread

    Couple of Thoughts
    1) Connor McDavid… Seriously Connor Mc-Freakin-David. Crosby is still the better player but in a month or so I think we”ll be able to say Connor “takes over a game” more quickly than Crosby, my goodness what an amazing player this kid is squeeeeeeeeee!

    2) 3rd game in a row where the 3rd period was locked down tighter than San Quentin, the zone coverage is noticeable in a good way. Now score effects are in play but if you look at G’s site and see the scripts this strategy of pushing everything to the outside is starting to pay off big time, especially against teams that are smaller. As we watch Klef, Nurse, Benning and to an extent Larsson mature and settle in this defense will become stifling. Still need so reminders to keep their heads on a swivel but very very good arrows late in games.

    3) I know CmD is the greatest but last night the Nuge-Eberle-Maroon line speed bagged the Avalanche, and Eberle had at three Captain Connor level passes but alas both Nuge and Maroon were snakebit. That being said this line is really starting to kick out the jams now and Maroon will be the next one that gets the monkey off his back (and its a big sucker too you can see and hear it everytime Maroon misses a chance or doesn’t score). Too me this is the single most important development of the entire season. Connor is Connor, and the expectation is that Drai is Drai. What we are forgetting is how consistent and good Nuge-Eberle have been for the last 5 seasons and are now finally rounding into their prime years. If this line can get to a 60-60-40 total point clip the Oilers will be steamrolling other teams (maybe not the best of the best but definitely everything less).

    4) I think Pouliot will draw in next game. I didn’t see Hendricks too good and thought Sleppy was a tad off. I also think the coach needs to bolster that 3rd line a bit more. Kassian is sooooo close to potting one but I think you need a better offensive option on Drai’s LW. There’s a number of ways TMac could swing these guys back in but Sleppy down to 4th line, Hendricks out, Poo in seems like the most obvious (I could also see Cagguila heading down and Letestu drawing in but that seems less likely). The Oilers have had trouble getting up for games against Arizona if Poo is mentally there (and I have no reason to think he isn’t) I think giving him a chance to reestablish himself against the Yotes is a good idea especially now that Drai is starting to feel in offensively.

    5) So it seems that all of the Oilers read this blog. Seriously every guy we’ve been slagging/doubting the last few days lit it up tonight (including Russell who was a beauty by the fancies tonight).

    6) Special teams are a revolving door right now. Other than that top PP line it seems like everyone will get a crack at the can. This is a very good thing in my mind as long as guys aren’t playing too high up the batting order. It allows you to keep everyone in the game if you get stuck in penalty trouble. I don’t think this will be the case against every team but against some I really like the idea.

    7) American Thanksgiving and the Oilers are 1st in the Pacific and Connor McDavid is going supernova lighting the hockey world on fire. I know exactly what I’m thankful for these days 😀

  8. sliderule says:

    The first Avs goal looked like a HD Sc against but Nuse and Benning didn’t get a minus one.

    it must have been just outside the box.

    Fancy stats sometimes look like plus/minus

  9. dustrock says:

    sliderule:
    The first Avs goal looked like a HD Sc against but Nuse and Benning didn’t get a minus one.

    it must have been just outside the box.

    Fancy stats sometimes look like plus/minus

    Yeah, exactly. Not sure how missing your check like that wouldn’t be considered giving up a HDSC.

    One thing I like to see from Lucic and Drai the last couple of games – going to the net. Drai is a good player, pretty good 2-way, and one of our better FO men, but when he plays a perimeter game, he’s not scoring much.

    He’s either going to get his goals in transition, or by going to the net. Last game he had the great deflection, and last night he got his own rebound off another deflection.

  10. Diablo says:

    I think Pouliot lost the trust of the coach in those early games with his O-zone penalties, and the total lack of production or anything resembling competency in the O-zone gave coach a excuse to exile him to the PB. I don’t think we’ll see BP draw back in until there are injuries. Have to believe Chia is shopping him hard.

  11. kinger_OIL says:

    – Great post LT!. Re: Lucic. Many posters here (you too LT), have a hard time with Lucic because Hall is gone. There has been lots of piling on him (even though he had as many points as Hall before he got injured similar possession #’s). Suspect there won’t be much fawning today…

    – Maybe one way to think about Hall vs Lucic, is that Lucic only has to be 70% of Hall going forward (the $1.8MM banked from Larsson on the $6MM that was paid for Lucic or Hall)

    – Clearly this year we won the trade big time in terms of who has more impact (assuming Lucic plays his usual 80 games and Hall is back by Christmas)
    *ducks, sees sparks fly*

  12. Oilin4 says:

    Everyone’s talking about Pouliot, but I think we’re getting away with a little larceny not having a RH C. Eventually in a close game not having Letestu for a faceoff may cost us a point or more, and that may be enough to keep us out of playoffs, or position us to play Chicago rather than Anaheim, or start on the road rather than at home.

    I can’t tell you how happy writing that last sentence makes the Oiler fan in me.

  13. JJS says:

    Pouliot-Draisatl-The drake
    Hendricks-Letestu-Pitlick

    I like this a lot.

    I appreciate coaches that reward good play and keep lineups intact when time are good.

    But it would be foolishness to leave elements of dysfunction in place when other options exist.

    Our PK hasn’t looked as crisp without Lets and Pou.

    Drais is getting points on the PP but 5×5 the line is struggling.

    Also, having Pou in the lineup allows Maroon/Lucic to play up or down depending on how the game is going. Ironically, Lucic would have been dropped yesterday prior to the third!!

  14. frjohnk says:

    The McKinnon goal was shot just above the hash marks
    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/livetracker/game/1646914
    High Danger Chances are lableled from the location.
    High danger area ends at the hash marks.

  15. Clay says:

    I don’t like that actual goals don’t count as high-danger scoring chances. It makes the metric cartoonish.

    I understand that not all goals are a result of a high-danger chance, but the play that resulted from Nurse’s pinch would’ve surely been counted as a HDSC had it not gone in, no? So a stat used to evaluate individual play is improved when the other team actually scores?

  16. Clay says:

    frjohnk:
    The McKinnon goal was shot just above the hash marks
    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/livetracker/game/1646914
    High Danger Chances are lableled from the location.
    High danger area ends at the hash marks.

    Haha, Padre answers my question before I ask it…

    Still, it’s a fault in that metric.

  17. nafnikufesin says:

    Pouliot is a good NHL player. It feels so different to have the luxury to be able to put good NHL players in the press box instead of guys that never should have been on the big club to begin with.

  18. PhrankLee says:

    I’ve liked Letestube too but he has 11 shots this year.

    When playing for a coach that values shot volume, 11 is not going to do it.

    Pouliot is a good NHL LW with skill, some size and the ability to hound the puck on the forcheck.

    Talk of ridding the team of him and Eberle are confusing.

    JP plays a little too deep on the rush skating by the net several times while the puck bounced around the crease and slot. He needs to time his arrival just a little later. He will cash. But he is no replacement for our proven 1st RW scorer. Who suggests this nonsense?

    I notice out team is not cheating for as much as I am used to seeing. It’s refreshing to watch a defensive hockey effort resulting in wins.

    Looch is not being dragged around by McD.

  19. NF Oiler says:

    I’ll say this:I like the D as is.It’s not perfect, but it’s the best I’ve seen in a lot of years.It’s competent.

    I agree, depth is nice for a change! They still need a powerplay dman, once they get that the d is set…Larsson and Klefbom are steals at 4 million per year…I understand the comparisons of Larsson to Jason Smith, but he reminds more of Eric Brewer when he was an Oiler…would be nice if sekera would wave his no trade and he could be packaged for that offensive dman..no disrespect to sekera, he’s a nice player but someone has to go to bring in an offensive blue liner…

  20. frjohnk says:

    Lucic got 4 points last night.

    -1st point was a primary assist on the PP when EBERLE slammed in the rebound after a Lucic shot
    -2nd point ( goal) was when McDavid make a heck of a play to gain entry into the Av zone and got a shot on net, Lucic put in the rebound.
    -3rd point was a primary assist as he received a drop pass from McDavid, shot the puck and then McDavid made a smart play to bank the puck off the goaltender into the net.
    -4th point, Lucic had the puck bounce of his skate right to Draisaitl into the slot and Draisaitl potted home a PP goal.

    He got 4 points but he I didnt think he played well as he was never really driving the play, it was McDavid. Lucic lost more board battles than youd think he would, he was late getting to make plays, some errand passes.

    Even though Maroon does not have as many points, Id say that Maroon has been our best left winger this year.

    Im a huge Lucic fan so hopefully this game is a turning point in his season.

  21. PhrankLee says:

    I’d like to be a buyer this deadline and pull a guy capable of pushing Oscar down the depth chart one slot to where I think he belongs.

    I see Oscar as a phenomenal 2nd pairing guy and as a slightly shaky 1st pairing guy.

    If Leon keep up his scoring he will make Kelly Hrudey (spits) right!! Nuge is moving better these last few games but it’s been a tough 20 games for 93.

  22. Frank the dog says:

    Oilin4:
    Everyone’s talking about Pouliot, but I think we’re getting away with a little larceny not having a RH C. Eventually in a close game not having Letestu for a faceoff may cost us a point or more, and that may be enough to keep us out of playoffs, or position us to play Chicago rather than Anaheim, or start on the road rather than at home.

    I can’t tell you how happy writing that last sentence makes the Oiler fan in me.

    Hall’s moved on. So should we.

  23. Dustylegnd says:

    Aitch,

    I was thinking the exact same thing, horrible pinch 5×5, 2 on 1 results the other way, McKinnon with the ridiculous release over the shoulder of Talbot, 1-0 Colorado….. Nurse HD SC F-A 5×5 8-0? Anyone Beuler, Beuler, Beuler?????

  24. Snowman says:

    npanciroli:
    Maybe I’m crazy but let’s go full skill.

    Lucic McDavid JP
    Maroon RNH Eberle
    Kassian Draisaitl Slepyshev
    Pouliot Cagguila Pitlick

    Yes. Please this.

  25. Primetime says:

    I think Pou/Letestu are getting into the next game for sure. He mentioned before the game they seriously thought about tinkering with the lineup but couldn’t justify based on the fact that they gave up almost nothing defensively the previous 2 games and scored 10 goals. Yesterdays game was ideal for him to justify a switch, a little loose in some areas, but still got the win.

    I would keep the top 6 the same and run:

    Drake – Leon – Slepy
    Pou – Letestu – Pitlick

    You could shelter Leon’s line as much as possible and have no worries throwing the 4th line out against anyone defensively…Pou and Pitlick forechecking with speed will give lots of effective minutes. It also gets Caggiula off the PK hopefully, but lets him stay on PP2 where he has created some chances.

    Going forward there are 2 battle groups: LW (Pou/Drake/Hendy) and RW (Slepy/Pitlick/Kassian). Only 2 out of 3 play from each group per game, so you better bring your A game EVERY NIGHT. Creates competition and keeps them sharp to move up the lineup if needed for slump/injury.

    Depth!

  26. Scungilli says:

    npanciroli:
    Maybe I’m crazy but let’s go full skill.

    Lucic McDavid JP
    Maroon RNH Eberle
    Kassian Draisaitl Slepyshev
    Pouliot Cagguila Pitlick

    I’m in. i like Lowetide’s idea of Pouliot at centre if we are playing a left wing there who isn’t used to it, give Caggiula a chance to ease in. Find a solid second right defence and off to the races. Not that Russell hasn’t been good but a right hander with a shot.

  27. "Steve Smith" says:

    jonrmcleod:
    ***SPAM ALERT***

    In the latest installment of my Stat of the Week series, I do a Q&A with Brian King, who (in case you didn’t know) is the “inventor” of PDO. Does the “Father of PDO” think the Oilers have been lucky so far? Mr. King also tells the story of how PDO came to be.

    http://www.theoilersrig.com/2016/11/stat-week-whats-pdo-qa-brian-king-father-pdo/

    “Irrelevant Oil Fans”? Have I been getting it wrong all these years, or was it actually “Irreverant Oil Fans”?

    Great interview, in any case.

  28. jonrmcleod says:

    npanciroli:
    Maybe I’m crazy but let’s go full skill.

    Lucic McDavid JP
    Maroon RNH Eberle
    Kassian Draisaitl Slepyshev
    Pouliot Cagguila Pitlick

    Four scoring lines?!

  29. Confused says:

    Time for ChiaPet to start getting creative for the expansion draft. For example,

    If the Wings miss the play-offs would they trade Mike Green — 6M until 2018 — at the draft deadline.

    Perhaps for 1st + 3rd + Fayne. Perhaps add something else….

    To counter-balance the lack of drafts, we move Russell (not required after the Green), Hendo, Pak, lander, letestu ….for picks.

    Now if we still protect Davey, but tell LV we are offering them Green — a genuine first line defender, but now aging — but only they send back a young lesser RHD with a good contract. Would it fly?

    Would seem to solve mountains of problems, and I am confident that ChiaPets giving it near 24/7 on this.

    Lets hope to comes up with a beauty.

    Go oil — still first — what else needs to be said!!!

  30. jonrmcleod says:

    “Steve Smith”,

    Ha! Thanks for noticing that!

  31. JimmyV1965 says:

    kinger_OIL:
    – Great post LT!.Re: Lucic.Many posters here (you too LT), have a hard time with Lucic because Hall is gone.There has been lots of piling on him (even though he had as many points as Hall before he got injured similar possession #’s).Suspect there won’t be much fawning today…

    – Maybe one way to think about Hall vs Lucic, is that Lucic only has to be 70% of Hall going forward (the $1.8MM banked from Larsson on the $6MM that was paid for Lucic or Hall)

    – Clearly this year we won the trade big time in terms of who has more impact (assuming Lucic plays his usual 80 games and Hall is back by Christmas)
    *ducks, sees sparks fly*

    I will never understand the logic that somehow Hall was traded for Lucic. Hall was traded for Larsson. Period. Any other suggestion is simply a distortion of reality.

  32. "Steve Smith" says:

    jonrmcleod,

    You actually made me question my memory – as humans, we have an amazing capacity to bend our perception to conform with our preconceived notions, so it’s very possible that if I misread it once, I just decided to keep misreading it that way forever more.

    Or maybe it was “Irreverant Oil Fans” in a parallel universe, but I’ve somehow shifted over to one where it’s “Irrelevant”, à la The Berenstein Bears Theory.

  33. Primetime says:

    NF Oiler:
    …would be nice if sekera would wave his no trade and he could be packaged for that offensive dman..no disrespect to sekera, he’s a nice player but someone has to go to bring in an offensive blue liner…

    There was some talk of the Expansion draft rules stating that you have to expose a D man that has played a certain amount of games in the preceding year. I wondered if there plan was Fayne but that is now out the window. Unless they first resign Russel or Gryba (and he gets back in the lineup to increase GP) they really don’t have anyone to expose.

    I wonder if Chia is patient about the second pairing RHD bomber this year. He tries his best to convince Sekera to waive his no move clause for the expansion draft. If he doesn’t get picked, then they don’t resign Russell (who will ask for $$/term) and go after the 2nd pair PP guy instead. If he does get taken then resigns Russel to Sekera’s money (maybe) move him to LHD and find the RHD. Either way keeps a veteran LHD presence in the top 4, but with ability to move Nurse up when he’s ready.

    Not sure how you convince Sekera (or anyone) to get off the McDavid Train though….

  34. jonrmcleod says:

    “Steve Smith”,

    It was actually Brian who typed it that way. He’d know better than I would, but I’m assuming it was a typo.

  35. Bos8 says:

    My tinker would be, move Benning in with Sekera and so forth. Give each of the kids a mentor.

    Still a glow from the Benning hi-lite. Good evening Mr McKinnon, my name is Matt. Let’s see, listed at 6′ and 220. That’s a block on skates, alright. Sympathetic wince.

    Shades of Kaspar the Ghost

  36. Primetime says:

    Confused,

    Like this idea of using Green for expansion bait. Would have been more likely had Detroit been able to get Trouba from the Jets though…at his current price point, I think the Jets hang on to him for 2-4 years until his free agency….

  37. khildahl says:

    “Steve Smith”,

    Stop confabulating me.

  38. Diablo says:

    Pouliot at centre sounds like something MacT would do – like using Smyth or Pisani at centre. Why? There is no need to do this. BP has always been a winger at the NHL level. I’d rather have Letestu playing his natural position. If BP wants back in the lineup he can start on the 4th line at LW and work his way back up.

  39. kinger_OIL says:

    JimmyV1965: I will never understand the logic that somehow Hall was traded for Lucic.Hall was traded for Larsson. Period. Any other suggestion is simply a distortion of reality.

    – I don’t think anyone thinks Hall was traded for Lucic. The last part of my conclusion used the wrong terminology.

    – Assuming Larsson doesn’t get injured there is no doubt he will have a much more positive impact for the Oil than Hall will have for NJ this year. And when they are both 29, I’m fairly confident Larsson will be more important to the Oil than Hall to NJ, and we’d rather have Larsson than Hall. Hall won’t age well.

    – Lucic wasn’t traded for Hall, but the $1.8MM in savings was allocated to his acquisition.

    – Injury prone wingers that miss 12/games/yr+ trade at discount

  40. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Stick Pouliot with Leon or 67 where Maroon is and stick Maroon with Leon. Kassian/Slepy belong on a 4th line.

  41. CrazyCoach says:

    PhrankLee: I’d like to be a buyer this deadline and pull a guy capable of pushing Oscar down the depth chart one slot to where I think he belongs.
    I see Oscar as a phenomenal 2nd pairing guy and as a slightly shaky 1st pairing guy.

    Are we watching the same player?

    Oscar is doing just fine as a first pairing guy.

  42. godot10 says:

    Folks….Sekera is a legit #3D >> Russell, who is a #4.5. It isn’t close. The OIlers have three good defensemen at the moment plus third pairing D in Russell, Fayne, and Gryba plus developing D like Nurse, Davidson, Benning etc.

    It is nuts to think about trading or not protecting Sekera. IMHO. Russell is a good short term solution, and better than Fayne.

    Sekera is a critical for the OIlers to win in the short and medium term. Russell can NEVER replace Sekera. Nurse is probably 100 games away at the earliest of being able to replace Sekera.

  43. Lois Lowe says:

    I’ve been saying for the last two weeks that Nuge and Ebs need to play together. They’re both better with each other. I am a Pouliot fan, and I think he’s the best fit for their left side.

  44. Dustylegnd says:

    frjohnk,

    I had a similar observations, after the 1st 2 periods I was thinking man Lucic looks slow and disinterested, I wonder if he is hurt?

    I missed the 3rd period (coaching a 9:45 pm midget practice), checked my phone post practice and saw Lucic had 4 points, hallelujah!

    On the McDavid goal at least Lucic was in the perfect position in the attack triangle, fired the puck without hesitation and good things happened, give him credit and maybe just maybe that battleship is making a turn in the right direction.

  45. Aron_S says:

    LT,

    I thought you were posting Seravelli’s mock expansion draft today? I haven’t seen it online (only Button’s that he wrote the article on/you posted yesterday).

    Also, can you ask Frank if Fleury is actually expansion draft eligible as far as he knows? I’ve seen some lists say he has to be protected and others that he say he can be exposed.

  46. McSorley33 says:

    frjohnk,

    He got 4 points but he I didnt think he played well as he was never really driving the play, it was McDavid. Lucic lost more board battles than youd think he would, he was late getting to make plays, some errand passes.
    Even though Maroon does not have as many points, Id say that Maroon has been our best left winger this year.
    ***********************************************************
    Truth x 1, 000, 000,

    My feeling is this is what Lucic is…..

    I console myself with the fact the playoffs are a different game and every inch of ice is fought for and this is where Looch’s game will shine.

    Don’t get me wrong I value his net presence a ton. And realize the space created.

    Heck even the Colorado TV guys were talking about how menacing Looch is just on the bench.

    But if we are honest with ourselves – Looch sometimes is an actual hindrance on transition plays.

    Speed of the game is a big issue for Looch.

    Again, to be clear, I get he pays *large* dividends in front of the net.

  47. OilClog says:

    67.. They really should of moved him out when they decided to trade him last deadline.

    He’s not a Chia player and now his value is at a all time low. perfect

    Oilers are on a 3 game winning streak, they just killed the ghosts of a 5 game losing streak. Highly highly highly unlikely Tmac goes and changes the lines up, doesn’t make much sense to mess with what’s working. Beat Dallas in Dallas, hammered 1st place Hawks, came back on the Rockies who absolutely love playing the Oilers in years past. This season is the year of slaying the Demons.

    Unless we’re talking about getting Lander back in, Slepy is good but Lander is just that guy that does all the lil things no one else will, the other team always hates his guts. He’s outplayed Pouliot, he was making Letestu tolerable, him and Pitlick share twinkles in their eyes when they high five their hard work.

    Lucic/McD/Partytime
    Maroon/Nuge/Ebs
    Drake/Leon/Zack
    Hendo/Lander/Pitlick

  48. monsterbater says:

    I was reviewing the Oilers 2011-2012 record at the same point of the year. The Oilers were 12-8-2 at that time, so essentially on par. They also had an extended losing streak that impacted that record.

    They then went on to win 4 of their next 21 games on the road to finishing 32-40-10.

    Do not let this happen again Oilers, you are better than this…. i think.

  49. CrazyCoach says:

    monsterbater: They then went on to win 4 of their next 21 games on the road to finishing 32-40-10.
    Do not let this happen again Oilers, you are better than this…. i think.

    Yes, the season of Eric Belanger and Cam Barker.

    Need I say more?

    Things are very different now.

    McDavid!

  50. sliderule says:

    I think Lucic is playing just fine.

    You can forget about him driving the play as he can’t carry the puck and make plays .

    What he can do is intimidate the defence on the forecheck.If you haven’t seen quite a few bailouts by the opposition defence just watch more closely and you will see it.

    He is also great on the cycle and because he is strong able to make decent passes under pressure.

    In front of the net he is a bull with good hands who can go to any spot he wants.

    He is doing the job that most everyone wanted it’s just not artistry like what Connoe does.

  51. leadfarmer says:

    Nurse was directly responsible for two goals against but the fancies show him as a perfect game. Every fast break odd man scoring chance needs to be counted as high danger. Him not marking the player on the second goal also should be high danger as a pass across the goal mouth should really be a high danger chance if it lands on the stick as the goalie has to move a long way side to side and a good chunk of the net is open

  52. NF Oiler says:

    godot10,

    I agree with you I think Sekera is a quality #3, a lot better then Russell..however they are missing a top 4 right shot pp dman and he would be a good asset to obtain that type of dman because of the surplus of leftys and his high salary….

    Left side: Right side:

    Klefbom – Larsson
    Russell – ???????
    Nurse – Benning
    Davidson – Gryba
    Reinhardt – Fayne

  53. commonfan14 says:

    Scungilli: i like Lowetide’s idea of Pouliot at centre if we are playing a left wing there who isn’t used to it

    The 4C thing wasn’t about Benoit – it was LT making an MA Pouliot joke.

    It was highly amusing.

  54. N64 says:

    Friedman on an older entry into pro, college and junior with exceptional status for early advancement.

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/30-thoughts-patrik-laine-finnish-league-theory/

    “…the more research I do, the more I’m impressed by Pat LaFontaine’s vision.

    The conversation involves the NHL, NHLPA, CHL, NCAA, Hockey Canada, USA Hockey and the USHL. (If I forgot anyone, it’s because my ability to keep a list ends at seven.)

    What he wants to create is a North American development model that has the best 16-year-olds in an elite midget league, 17-19 year-olds in Major Junior and 20-year-olds either in the NCAA or playing professionally. ”

    If the CHL eliminates overagers that might get to a world where USHL could join the Memorial cup and CHL grads could go college or AHL or NHL. No idea if there is the will do this, but this model should be a development improvement for the North American kids competing against the world for NHL jobs. Maybe only round 1 (or round 1 lottery teams) can draft a year early, and signed draftees go pro.

  55. Chachi says:

    http://www.630ched.com/2016/11/24/137393/

    McDavid likes Lucic. Good enough for me.

  56. CrazyCoach says:

    N64: The conversation involves the NHL, NHLPA, CHL, NCAA, Hockey Canada, USA Hockey and the USHL. (If I forgot anyone, it’s because my ability to keep a list ends at seven.)
    What he wants to create is a North American development model that has the best 16-year-olds in an elite midget league, 17-19 year-olds in Major Junior and 20-year-olds either in the NCAA or playing professionally. ”
    If the CHL eliminates overagers that might get to a world where USHL could join the Memorial cup and CHL grads could go college or AHL or NHL.

    I would like to see the NHL move to a 20 year old draft, but precedent was set long ago in regards to 18 year old being of the age of majority and having the right to work for whomever they please. Lafontaine makes a great case, but what he fails to realize is that his argument sounds suspiciously like a reserve clause for players over 18 and under 20.

    Those of you familiar with the history of the WHA know that the reserve clause in hockey was torn apart by judge Leon Higginbotham in November of 1973. Judge higginbothem tore that reserve clause apart and basically opened the gates for hockey players everywhere. Every hockey player to this day should look to that ruling and thank their lucky stars.

    Lafontaine and others like me may want to see a 20 year draft, but I wouldn’t bet on it, or changing the structure of the game to the point where it even smells a slight bit like collusion.

  57. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    On the Nurse Fancies Issue:

    We’ve acknowledged this with Corsi, but it’s true of virtually all fancies: Their value lies primarily in their predictive nature, based on large sample sizes. They are less effective as a tool for measuring individual performance in a given game. The “Nurse had no HDSC against despite X” argument is going to happen sometimes. Just like sometimes a player will give up 5 HDSC but they will all be just barely inside the line, and not really superb chances relative to other worse chances. In a larger sample it balances out.

    A player with good fancies PROBABLY had a good game. That said because the stats are full of arbitrary criteria and generalizations (the HDSCA line and MDSCA line is a difference of an inch) it’s possible that the fancies aren’t reflective of performance.

    If a player has good fancies for 20 consecutive games, it’s almost certain that they’ve been playing well. That or they are the most extreme form of outlier or they play the game in a way that is so different than their peers that the stats simply don’t work for them (maybe that’s what Russell is, but probably not).

    The eye test is almost the opposite. The individual can often watch a given game and give a reasonable approximation of a player’s overall quality of play for one game. The problems associated with memory and selective viewing are compounded over time.

  58. N64 says:

    CrazyCoach: Lafontaine makes a great case, but what he fails to realize is that his argument sounds suspiciously like a reserve clause for players over 18 and under 20.

    The NHL’s reserve clause blocked WHL teams that wanted to sign the player. So definitely no one can stop a new North American league from signing 18 years to pro contracts.

    But does that really stop Junior leagues from going all Amateur and the AHL and NHL limiting their under 20 draft? Somehow the AHL already does limit 18 years olds pro choices!!!

  59. Bos8 says:

    Ahem

    Using a macro scope for a microscopic situation.

  60. smellyglove says:

    I am putting my conspiracy theory hat on and am going to grind at something long lost in Oilers history.

    Did Justin Schultz have an ice time clause in his contract? Is this possible? This thought is triggered by the fact that Pittsburgh is using him in a sheltered role and he is posting positive possession numbers, with minimal ice time.

    Four Oilers coaches (three of them quality) played him in a top four role despite his glaring deficiencies.

    Ralph Krueger 2012–13 21:27
    Dallas Eakins 2013–14 23:21
    Dallas Eakins 2014–15 (Dec 15) 22:37
    Todd Nelson 2014–15 (Dec 15 to May 9) 22:37
    Todd McLellan 2015–16 20:08

    Why would they do such a thing? There were better options on the squad, even depth callups from the AHL could have been more suitable.

  61. CrazyCoach says:

    N64: But does that really stop Junior leagues from going all Amateur and the AHL and NHL limiting their under 20 draft? Somehow the AHL already does limit 18 years olds pro choices!!!

    There is no way that the CHL will go this route. Part of their appeal to players is the promise of an education after the hockey career is done. The USHL and Junior A may be about development on the surface (in private and away from the NCAA is a different matter), but the CHL is a business first.

    The AHL limits players because they have decided to stay away from signing players who for intents and purposes, are considered children in the eyes of the law. If you sign a 17 year old, then every person who is in contact with that player needs to undergo background checks and in Candada, will need to complete the Respect in Sport module. Too much hassle.

    And as far as the NHL is concerned, there are multitudes of Lindros-type parents out there who would sue the living daylights out of the NHL for preventing their child from earning a living at 18.

  62. Jaxon says:

    This would be my preferred lineup

    Pouliot / McDavid / Puljujarvi – fastest line. I’m a Pouliot fan.
    Maroon / Nugent-Hopkins / Eberle – skilled veteran line to go up against top 6. Maroon provides some good size and net presence for Nuge and Ebs.
    Lucic / Draisaitl / Kassian – big rigs with skill. Lucic seems to have some chem with Draisaitl.
    Slepyshev / Caggiula / Pitlick – skilled, fast 4th line

    I’d consider shuffling 2L,3L & 4L

  63. Jaxon says:

    This would be my preferred lineup

    Pouliot / McDavid / Puljujarvi – fastest line. I’m a Pouliot fan.
    Maroon / Nugent-Hopkins / Eberle – skilled veteran line to go up against top 6. Maroon provides some good size and net presence for Nuge and Ebs.
    Lucic / Draisaitl / Kassian – big rigs with skill. Lucic seems to have some chem with Draisaitl.
    Slepyshev / Caggiula / Pitlick – skilled, fast 4th line

    I’d consider shuffling 2L,3L & 4L

  64. Ryan says:

    smellyglove,

    I have often wondered the same, but as a counterpoint to some degree…

    He had 27 points in 48 games after the lockout when the patented Schultz wrister was working. The kids hit the ground running after the lockout (with the AHL advantage) under Krueger.

    He was a right hand shot and our only PP QB after Petry was traded.

    Eakins had a system where he would double down on Schultz when trailing. Eakins’ Oilers were frequently trailing.

    The Oilers didn’t have much roster competition during the Schultz years for the right side of the blue line.

    Maybe TMac’s use of him would be the most suspicious if we’re tinfoil hatting this. Schultz was flat out terrible in his last partial season as an Oiler and still got his 20 min a night. His offence was awol to boot.

  65. Dustylegnd says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!,

    I figured the issue must be a “Fancies” nuance, either way it was a good lesson for Nurse on decision making and the corresponding punishment vs reward, I love the kids skating and toughness and look forward to him rounding into a #3 or better at the 300 game mark

  66. JDï™ says:

    Bos8: listed at 6′ and 220

    I see him at 202 lbs on the Oilers’ site, and I don’t think they’ve ever been wrong about ht/wt.

  67. Bruce McCurdy says:

    leadfarmer:
    Nurse was directly responsible for two goals against but the fancies show him as a perfect game.Every fast break odd man scoring chance needs to be counted as high danger.Him not marking the player on the second goal also should be high danger as a pass across the goal mouth should really be a high danger chance if it lands on the stick as the goalie has to move a long way side to side and a good chunk of the net is open

    That is the trouble with auto-generated results, which use shot location without any context. First goal was scored from just outside the hashmarks, even as it was a proven sniper with the puck on his stick moving at high speed with a passing option. That would be “high danger” in most people’s books. Second was a back-door play that likely got scored as 5v6 rather than 5v5 due to the delayed penalty (Nurse’s first problem on the play).

    Thus you wind up with discrepancies between Natural Stat Trick (Nurse +8/-0 in HDC) and David Staples’ contributions to scoring chances (Nurse the primary culprit on two goals against). On this occasion I think David’s analysis provides more illumination on what really happened than the auto-generated method. I personally prefer having both at my disposal, neither is perfect to say the least but between the two of them we have the situation a little more surrounded.

  68. Bruce McCurdy says:

    frjohnk: He got 4 points but he I didnt think he played well as he was never really driving the play, it was McDavid. Lucic lost more board battles than youd think he would, he was late getting to make plays, some errand passes.

    McSorley33: But if we are honest with ourselves – Looch sometimes is an actual hindrance on transition plays.

    Man, you guys are hard markers if you think Lucic had a bad game last night. 4 freaking points, 2 from banging around the net front on the powerplay, the other 2 on transition plays. He made a lovely 2-foot touch pass to spring McDavid over the blueline on the 3-3 goal, then hustled his large ass to the net front to clean up the leavings. Then on the winner he joined the rush, took the open ice in McDavid’s jet stream to let fly a heavy shot that produced a rebound. Funny day to be talking about his transition game being a hindrance, maybe some other time?

  69. Dustylegnd says:

    I think we need to give the Oilers coaching staff some credit for being intelligent, organized and proactive….many critics are wringing their hands about who is in the lineup and who is out of the lineup, but I am very sure the coaches saw a few things they did not like in a couple performances last night.

    A good coach anticipates the future outcome when you have identified poor performances, pretty strong probability the line up gets shuffled for the Arizona game.

    Hungry pissed off spectators usually return as disciplined, motivated hard working achievers, and this is a perfect opportunity to inject motivation into what he coaching staff probably identifies as a trap game.

    The Oil rarely win in regulation in Arizona, expect the line up to be stacked.

  70. hags9k says:

    With all the talk of RWs lately, I’m surprised the Purcell trade doesn’t get mentioned. He would be a nice player to still have kicking around. He played fantastic last year with Leon and some other guy I can’t recall.

  71. gregsaint says:

    I don’t think you can put all the blame on Nurse for the first goal. He probably though RNH had him covered…as soon as 93 missed that floater across the middle, he should have been heading back fast, but decided to check the weak side of the same guy Nurse came and checked on the strong side. Thankfully, 93 made up for the mistake shortly after by putting that gift away.

    Also, on the second goal, 97 should have had his stick on the ice. What’s the point of being in a passing lane if your stick is at knee height?

  72. Bruce McCurdy says:

    re: the list at the top of the page. Note that it’s production through 21 games, and Gretzky’s lone season on the list (which starts in 1987-88) is 21 points better than #2. An entire point-per-game BETTER than the next best. Such was the case with Wayne Gretzky, who won 6 straight scoring titles by 65+ points. He wasn’t just at another level, but 3 levels above that.

  73. Dustylegnd says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Couldn’t agree more Bruce, perfect positioning as 3rd man high on the game winner, quick release, rebound produced, biscuit in the basket, beauty!

    I have busted Lucic’s balls all year but the 3rd period was pure music for Looch. Hope he helps dominate Arizona for the home and home!

  74. GMB3 says:

    I do not agree with Hendricks being on the ice over Sleppy at any point. Gritensity is a thing but I’ve seen Sleppy well all season. He plays a hard smart game, rarely hurts the team with his play. The NHL has passed Hendricks.

  75. Confused says:

    Would like to see the bench warmers on the ice against ARI.

    Need to keep them involved.

    82 games is a long road, hence giving the larger and older guys the odd break makes a lot of sense.

    Based on last might Kassian and slepy or Hendo could have a short break.

    Get poo on as 3LW and letestu as 4RW moving Pitters to 4LW

    I am assuming the the Drake as 4C is part of a long-term plan and hence untouchable unless disaster strikes. Letestu providing the Drake with back-up on defensive draws — I think this is currently Hendo role.

  76. khildahl says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    We’re a fickle fanbase that always has to hate our own players. Lucic and Eberle are this year’s prime examples, who are being decried as worthless bums despite being on pace for 50+ and 60+ point seasons respectively through arguably slow starts.

  77. SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo! says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Hehe its been my complaint since the 2nd week of the season, we seem to be harder on individual players now that we’re winning than when we were losing, tough crowd I tells ya.

    Also noticed that after last nights game Eberle is back on track for 60points this year, ditto with Drai and both seem to finally have their mojo going now.

    I hate to be too optimistic but I’m starting to see the world the way Blainer sees it. When you look at the good teams in the West I think we can say that we know what we’re getting with each of them. You know Kane will put up numbers, as will Carter and Thornton and Pavelski etc. But I feel that the Oilers are a bit of a different beast right now. Aside from Connor I don’t think I’d say that anyone is really performing consistently at their potential yet. Some have been very good but I don’t think we’ve seen ceiling level play for any of them. I think there’s another gear for this team and I really hope that they and the coaching staff are doing everything in their power to find that gear. They could be very good if they do.

  78. SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo! says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Somethings tells me they deliberately picked the 86-87 year to not skew things too badly for anyone not named Gretzky

  79. N64 says:

    CrazyCoach: There is no way that the CHL will go this route.Part of their appeal to players is the promise of an education after the hockey career is done.The USHL and Junior A may be about development on the surface (in private and away from the NCAA is a different matter), but the CHL is a business first.

    The AHL limits players because they have decided to stay away from signing players who for intents and purposes, are considered children in the eyes of the law.If you sign a 17 year old, then every person who is in contact with that player needs to undergo background checks and in Candada, will need to complete the Respect in Sport module.Too much hassle.

    And as far as the NHL is concerned, there are multitudes of Lindros-type parents out there who would sue the living daylights out of the NHL for preventing their child from earning a living at 18.

    Major Junior is losing players that want to keep their college options open. Mixed teams with signed players is the big blocker.

    Smaller changes might work. The CHL would have to stop playing signed players of any age.
    The NHL would have to stop signing 17 years (or have the some pro options other than the NHL for them). Eliminating or limiting the 17 year old draft would make this easier (e.g. 1st round or lottery picks only).

  80. CrazyCoach says:

    Bruce McCurdy: That is the trouble with auto-generated results, which use shot location without any context. First goal was scored from just outside the hashmarks, even as it was a proven sniper with the puck on his stick moving at high speed with a passing option. That would be “high danger” in most people’s books. Second was a back-door play that likely got scored as 5v6 rather than 5v5 due to the delayed penalty (Nurse’s first problem on the play).

    Yeah, some times the parameters don’t match up. Kind of like this shot chart I used to use for tracking shots. The shaded areas are high scoring areas, but how do you count for a shot by someone like Shea Weber, mid-ice from the point?

    http://www.inlinehockeydrills.com/2012/10/goalie-shot-chart.html

  81. N64 says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Funny day to be talking about his transition game being a hindrance, maybe some other time?

    That’s the life of an NHL fan. Scheduled wins. Scheduled losses. Scheduled goats.

  82. Lowetide says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    Man, you guys are hard markers if you think Lucic had a bad game last night. 4 freaking points, 2 from banging around the net front on the powerplay, the other 2 on transition plays. He made a lovely 2-foot touch pass to spring McDavid over the blueline on the 3-3 goal, then hustled his large ass to the net front to clean up the leavings. Then on the winner he joined the rush, took the open ice in McDavid’s jet stream to let fly a heavy shot that produced a rebound. Funny day to be talking about his transition game being a hindrance, maybe some other time?

    That little pass by Lucic is typical of him, and highly unusual in his player type (in my experience). For a big, aggressive guy to have that kind of soft touch on a pass has always impressed me.

  83. kinger_OIL says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    Man, you guys are hard markers if you think Lucic had a bad game last night. 4 freaking points, 2 from banging around the net front on the powerplay, the other 2 on transition plays. He made a lovely 2-foot touch pass to spring McDavid over the blueline on the 3-3 goal, then hustled his large ass to the net front to clean up the leavings. Then on the winner he joined the rush, took the open ice in McDavid’s jet stream to let fly a heavy shot that produced a rebound. Funny day to be talking about his transition game being a hindrance, maybe some other time?

    – Most of the hate for Lucic is just code for: “I want Hall back”….

  84. CrazyCoach says:

    N64: Major Junior is losing players that want to keep their college options open. Mixed teams with signed players is the big blocker.

    I don’t think major junior is losing players at any rate, and there will never be enough of a void that exists that doesn’t continually keep it the prime league for young players. The NCAA is often thought of as a viable route for some, but even that is tough as scholarships are not guaranteed and the rules are pretty clear; 18 full-time scholarships for hockey teams. If you have a roster of 25, that means someone is not going to get a full ride. NCAA schools also get parents to fill out declaration of income forms, so they can eliminate some kids.

    While Major Junior does not have the best education options, they do offer a program for players who want to go to school immediately after playing and forego the pro route.

  85. Frank the dog says:

    JimmyV1965: I will never understand the logic that somehow Hall was traded for Lucic.Hall was traded for Larsson. Period. Any other suggestion is simply a distortion of reality.

    Moving on…….

  86. smellyglove says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Bruce, I have always appreciated your sharp, crisp reasoning and your propensity to flow against the status-quo. Have you thought about a career in journalism?

  87. Frank the dog says:

    kinger_OIL: – Most of the hate for Lucic is just code for: “I want Hall back”….

    I want to move on.

  88. Bruce McCurdy says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!:
    Bruce McCurdy,

    Somethings tells me they deliberately picked the 86-87 year to not skew things too badly for anyone not named Gretzky

    Nope, all the game-log data at pretty much any site begins in 1987-88. I would dearly love that it stretched back a further decade.

  89. Bruce McCurdy says:

    CrazyCoach: Yeah, some times the parameters don’t match up.Kind of like this shot chart I used to use for tracking shots.The shaded areas are high scoring areas, but how do you count for a shot by someone like Shea Weber, mid-ice from the point?

    http://www.inlinehockeydrills.com/2012/10/goalie-shot-chart.html

    I have always had issue with home-plate type shooting areas with a straight line across the top, meaning a shot from the corners will be both be further out AND at a worse angle than a shot from along that line at dead centre. Should be an arc or a bubble or a diamond that extends out to centre point, as most heat maps demonstrate.

    As for who is taking the shot, my standard line on this — which nicely dates how long I’ve been saying it — is “which would you rather? Sheldon Souray letting fly from a foot outside home plate, or Ladi Smid from a foot INside?”

  90. frjohnk says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Man, you guys are hard markers

    Yeah, you are probably right.
    probably not giving Lucic enough credit for the 3rd period.

    I didnt “see” him good in the 1st 2 periods, though
    Most here and on twitter didnt either.

    EDIT:
    see= eye test

    eye test fails again.

    Best to stick to the spreadsheet.

    Lucic had a good spreadsheet. 🙂

  91. delooper says:

    frjohnk,

    That’s kind of like saying Ryan Smyth was an awful player because almost all of his goals were garbage goals. I think the team knew who they were getting when they acquired Lucic. He doesn’t drive the play into the zone like a lot of skill wingers try to do. But he’s great at keeping the play alive and he ensures a lot more chances near the net, resulting in far more points from “garbage” plays.

    It doesn’t look as pretty as a Spezza but that wasn’t what the Oilers needed when they hired him.

  92. Bruce McCurdy says:

    smellyglove:
    Bruce McCurdy,

    Bruce, I have always appreciated your sharp, crisp reasoning and your propensity to flow against the status-quo. Have you thought about a career in journalism?

    Thanks. I’m a contrarian by nature, if my groupthink detector goes off I will often take the other side just to balance the discussion a bit. Has gotten me in trouble at times (e.g. Zack Stortini, Ryan Jones), and sometimes on the wrong side of two different debates, one with each side of a polarised viewpoint. 🙂

    As a kid I thought of a career in journalism, but my life took a different direction. Nowadays as a blogger I nibble at the edges of it without being a real journalist, whatever DSF might have to say about it. Leaves me the freedom to be a fan while I write, which was and remains my entry point to all of this.

    Never went to journalism school, let’s put it that way. But I admire and respect journalists, at least the good ones.

  93. Zelepukin says:

    delooper:
    frjohnk,

    That’s kind of like saying Ryan Smyth was an awful player because almost all of his goals were garbage goals.I think the team knew who they were getting when they acquired Lucic.He doesn’t drive the play into the zone like a lot of skill wingers try to do.But he’s great at keeping the play alive and he ensures a lot more chances near the net, resulting in far more points from “garbage” plays.

    It doesn’t look as pretty as a Spezza but that wasn’t what the Oilers needed when they hired him.

    This. And what Bruce is saying.

    We micro-analyse the players probably more than any other fan base, so it’s natural for the commentary to be vocal on Lucic’s shortcomings. His strengths though, compliment what’s been effective for McD’s offensive strategy.

    On the fast break (to say which McD breakout isn’t fast) the 2nd D has a real problem. The 1st D is instantly in an oh shit moment and has to deal with being beaten by McD’s speed. The 2nd D naturally tries to help out mainly because you can see a potential in-all-alone opportunity for McD forming. At the same time the 2D sees one of the biggest bulldozing forwards in the entire league driving the net as the 2nd forward. This is Lucic’s game. He needs to never not be 2-3 meters from the net. The moment he dicks around on the half boards or tries to get too fancy on cross ice passes, we’re yelling at the TV.

  94. Bruce McCurdy says:

    frjohnk: Yeah, you are probably right.
    probably not giving Lucic enough credit for the 3rd period.

    I didnt “see” him good in the 1st 2 periods, though
    Most here and on twitter didnt either.

    EDIT:
    see= eye test

    eye test fails again.

    Best to stick to the spreadsheet.

    Lucic had a good spreadsheet. 🙂

    Haha, yeah. He made a few too many bad passes for my liking, but a few beauties as well. I recall a devastating triangular attack last night where Lucic took McDavid’s feed and one-touched it over to Puljujarvi in prime shooting territory. The kid tried one extra pass back to 97 for what would have been a highlight reel goal that was thwarted by an emergency defensive play. He likely “should” have just let her rip. Either way, Lucic’s deft pass was a key part of the sequence, a highly skilled play by all 3 men. And if Lucic can keep up with THOSE Joneses at the skill level, even occasionally, it will be a good thing.

  95. Eastern Oil says:

    Lowetide,

    You made a comment in last night’s article as well about Lucic and his passing. We talk about how much Connor needs a good trigger man, but I wonder how much Looch would benefit from one as well. I agree his passing is understated in most of the conversations we have.

    I’m a big fan of Ebs, especially now with RNH. They just seem to gel. But I like the idea of more of a trigger happy guy on that top line.

    JP seems to be a bit of a volume shooter despite what we thought previously, so hopefully that works out.

    Just parsing thoughts here, carry on. Go Oilers! And craft beer!

  96. frjohnk says:

    RE:Lucic
    This is from last night ( I was not the only one to see him bad, well until the start of the 3rd)

    OmJo says:
    November 23, 2016 at 9:35 pm

    Pretendergast:
    Seeing Lucic awful tonight, wonder if anyone/numbers agree

    I’ve seen Lucic awful all season, aside from the St. Louis game.

    Diablo says:
    November 23, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    Agree Lucic has been particularly awful tonight.

    Lowetide says:
    November 23, 2016 at 9:38 pm

    Pretendergast:
    Seeing Lucic awful tonight, wonder if anyone/numbers agree

    He has been poor for sure this evening, most of the year truth to tell.

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo! says:
    November 23, 2016 at 9:42 pm
    Lucic is working his way up to a Pouliot treatment here. Rough game by any stretch

    Réal Goudenyéu says:
    November 23, 2016 at 9:43 pm

    Lowetide: He has been poor for sure this evening, most of the year truth to tell.

    In the immortal words of my peewee coach he’s “skating like he’s got a piano tied to his ass”.

    OmJo says:
    November 23, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    StixMalone: Yet he gets to play on the top line

    The only time he seems to give a crap is when he’s with McDavid. When he was taken off that line he was even more invisible.

    Centre of attention says:
    November 23, 2016 at 9:51 pm
    I would suggest benching Lucic but the coaching staff thinks I’m crazy.
    McSorley33 says:
    November 23, 2016 at 9:53 pm

    Yet another game where I actually question sometimes if Lucic can – consistently- take and make a pass.
    ASkoreyko says:
    November 23, 2016 at 9:54 pm
    He is certainly a better player overall than we are seeing right now I think.

    CrazyCoach says:
    November 23, 2016 at 9:56 pm
    It must be the jewel-encrusted one owned by Liberace, because he looks so slow.

    fuzzy muppet says:
    November 23, 2016 at 9:58 pm

    ASkoreyko,

    Hes gonna need to pull a maroon and drop 15 to be able to keep up.

    This contract will be clarkson 2.0 at this rate.

    THEN BAM! LUCIC SCORES A GOAL AND THEN GETS 2 MORE ASSISTS BY THE END OF THE 3RD!!!

    AND EVERYBODY EATS CROW

    ***********************************************************************************************

    Im not “hating” the guy. I loved that he signed here ( term is another story) but I dont feel he has played as well as he can in the 1st quarter of this season. And I know I am not alone.

    Probably my issue is that Im comparing him to Maroon. I “see” Maroon quicker, wins more board battles and isnt as late to plays as Lucic is. And as LT has mentioned, Lucic is good at passing, but he has made quite a few bad passes/plays this year that have put the Oilers in bad spots.

    But Lucic took 20 or so games to adjust in LA last year.
    Hopefully last night was a turning point for him.

  97. JDï™ says:


    The Oilers are on the ice for an optional practice in Glendale, Arizona.

    There are 13 players on the ice, including the injured Mark Fayne.

    Check back for more coverage.

    When ready, Fayne’s likely headed to the bus league for conditioning, and then what?

  98. Ducey says:

    delooper:
    frjohnk,

    That’s kind of like saying Ryan Smyth was an awful player because almost all of his goals were garbage goals.I think the team knew who they were getting when they acquired Lucic.He doesn’t drive the play into the zone like a lot of skill wingers try to do.But he’s great at keeping the play alive and he ensures a lot more chances near the net, resulting in far more points from “garbage” plays.

    It doesn’t look as pretty as a Spezza but that wasn’t what the Oilers needed when they hired him.

    Agreed, and agreed with respect to the comment about hating Lucic because of Hall.

    Lucic is on pace for 55 points this year. Hall will score more per game (he has 12 points in 14 games) but plays less games due to injury. They likely wind up with the same number of points.

    And the reality is that the Oilers needed guys who will got to the paint. They had lots of guys who looked great speeding through the neutral zone until they passed themselves into the corner. Now they have some finesse mixed with some smashmouth. Garbage goals don’t look pretty, but they get the job done.

  99. Lowetide says:

    Eastern Oil:
    Lowetide,

    You made a comment in last night’s article as well about Lucic and his passing.We talk about how much Connor needs a good trigger man, but I wonder how much Looch would benefit from one as well.I agree his passing is understated in most of the conversations we have.

    I’m a big fan of Ebs, especially now with RNH.They just seem to gel.But I like the idea of more of a trigger happy guy on that top line.

    JP seems to be a bit of a volume shooter despite what we thought previously, so hopefully that works out.

    Just parsing thoughts here, carry on.Go Oilers! And craft beer!

    yes, I am not certain what the mix will be, but do think JP has a real chance in the coming years. Lucic is not a shooter, but he can score, and the club clearly wants a policeman. It reminds me of the stories my Dad told me about Jean Beliveau and John Ferguson, an unlikely but deadly effective duo.

  100. Ducey says:

    JDï™:

    The Oilers are on the ice for an optional practice in Glendale, Arizona.


    There are 13 players on the ice, including the injured Mark Fayne.

    Check back for more coverage.

    When ready, Fayne’s likely headed to the bus league for conditioning, and then what?

    I would think they waive him, knowing that its unlikely he gets picked up due to his performance vs salary. I don’t think its the last he plays for the Oilers. There will be injuries, and Benning could turn into a pumpkin any time now.

  101. SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo! says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Wait wait wait. There aren’t game summaries pre-86 online? That’s weird.

  102. digger50 says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Haha, yeah. He made a few too many bad passes for my liking, but a few beauties as well. I recall a devastating triangular attack last night where Lucic took McDavid’s feed and one-touched it over to Puljujarvi in prime shooting territory. The kid tried one extra pass back to 97 for what would have been a highlight reel goal that was thwarted by an emergency defensive play. He likely “should” have just let her rip. Either way, Lucic’s deft pass was a key part of the sequence, a highly skilled play by all 3 men. And if Lucic can keep up with THOSE Joneses at the skill level, even occasionally, it will be a good thing.

    That was a heck of a play shaping up. Why no replay? I was dying to see the replay!

    And our host (Drew) was god awful again. Pick on him if anything. Again he thinks all Oiler penalties were ” rightly deserved” while penalties against opponents are all questionable. How about him trying to draw attention to Larson hacking? Lol. Unfortunately for Drew and the Avs was the tripping penalty resulting in the back breaking goal. It was no trip but hey, sometimes you’re the windshield.

    Also, last game Dew criticizes the coach for something he “may” have said between periods. This was about the coach reminding players that Chicago were capable of a comeback) anyway, it was just bizarre.!

    Thoughts on the game? Avs are very similar style to Oilers, makes for great viewing.
    Nuge line was the best through two periods, thought they were going to runaway with the game but still trouble cashing.

    Pitlick was flying.
    Kassian scares the bejesus out of d when they see him behind them going in to the corner.
    Selena is good on the rushj
    Avs were asking ” who the hell is Matt Benning?”

  103. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Lowetide: yes, I am not certain what the mix will be, but do think JP has a real chance in the coming years. Lucic is not a shooter, but he can score, and the club clearly wants a policeman. It reminds me of the stories my Dad told me about Jean Beliveau and John Ferguson, an unlikely but deadly effective duo.

    I don’t even have to ask my dad to tell me of the effectiveness of this duo, saw it with my own two eyes. Ferguson had about 5% of Beliveau’s talent, but brought a few “complementary” skills of his own. Fergy didn’t score many pretty goals, but he still scored quite a few goals.

  104. Bruce McCurdy says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!:
    Bruce McCurdy,

    Wait wait wait. There aren’t game summaries pre-86 online? That’s weird.

    There are — the Hockey Summary Project is a particularly useful resource. But nobody has reconciled the raw data into game logs for individual players prior to 1987.

    I would do it myself if i had 100,000 hours and nothing better to do, neither of which is true.

  105. JDï™ says:

    Ducey,

    I was thinking they would probably give him a few games, now that the team and the systems seemed to have settled into a groove.

  106. Bruce Wayne says:

    The problem with Lucic is that people double count his effectiveness.

    They give him credit for the points, and they give him credit for going to the tough areas (see above) but he only gets points because he goes to the tough areas. There is the sense in which Lucic’s contributions go above and beyond what he contributes to the scoresheet, and so he is always getting some kind of additional credit.

    By contrast with Hall there is this sense that his points come at a cost of defense, and hence for Hall the whole is less than what is on the scoresheet.

    I think this has it exactly backwards. Hall gives you more than the points, not only is he more responsible for the points that he does get (that is he is the cause of the points, i.e. a driver) but he does things that help you win beyond the points (i.e. keeps the puck away from his own net), so that with Hall the whole is greater than the parts. Conversely, Lucic is less than the points, (that is, he gets points as a result of the work of others) and these supposed intangibles are imaginary, and hence in the case of Lucic the whole is less than the sum of the parts.

    If you don’t accept the particular examples, you should accept the general phenomenon. If ever there was a player whose value exceeds their points it is Connor McDavid. Hall is McDavid in a minor key. Lucic, despite the media inspired popular opinion, does not make the players around him better.

  107. Bruce Wayne says:

    As for those who continue to believe in the eye test, and would compare it favourably as a descriptor of a single game, I would humbly suggest you listen to any play-by-play or colour commentator in the league. It is their job, their profession, to describe in words what the eye sees. And yet every single game, no matter who is doing the commentary, these people say things that do not correspond to what is happening. Not occasionally, but as a matter of routine. Their description of what the eyes see does not match what they eyes see.

    As always, they see what they expect to see. Every time.

  108. Suntory Hanzo says:

    One thing I have noticed that Lucic does very well is block out defenders on rebounds. It has led to a few goals where he uses the body to impede the defender in front from getting to a Oiler pouncing on a rebound.

  109. Chachi says:

    We can all agree that Connor McDavid knows the hockey, yes?

    “McDavid loves Lucic’s impact”

    http://www.630ched.com/2016/11/24/137393/

  110. frjohnk says:

    “THROUGH THE STORM WE REACH THE SHORE

    One of the fun things to do this season is viewing Oilers defensemen without Connor McDavid. Since the young man tilts the ice in such a massive way, the WOWY allows us to see what is happening in the other 40 minutes a game.

    Oscar Klefbom 51.4 in 244 minutes
    Adam Larsson 51.0 in 252 minutes
    Matt Benning 50.0 in 116 minutes
    Eric Gryba 49.0 in 143 minutes
    Darnell Nurse 48.7 in 229 minutes
    Andrej Sekera 48.1 in 207 minutes
    Kris Russell 46.5 in 149 minutes”

    I wanted to touch on this earlier. When we look at years prior with our Dmen not on the ice with our best players, the numbers are horriawful.

    For example Kris Russell’s number would be near the top of the list.

    Just goes to show us that the team has a roster full of actual NHL players.
    Couldnt say that in the years before.

    Another sign of us turning North.

  111. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Bruce Wayne,

    You are making an argument in favor of not watching the games and evaluating performance entirely by looking at the numbers.

    The common defense of the analytics crowd has been “of course I watch the game too, no one is advocating not to” so your stance here is a deviation from that.

    Is that what you are intending to do?

  112. Lowetide says:

    Bruce Wayne:
    As for those who continue to believe in the eye test, and would compare it favourably as a descriptor of a single game, I would humbly suggest you listen to any play-by-play or colour commentator in the league.It is their job, their profession, to describe in words what the eye sees.And yet every single game, no matter who is doing the commentary, these people say things that do not correspond to what is happening.Not occasionally, but as a matter of routine.Their description of what the eyes see does not match what they eyes see.

    As always, they see what they expect to see.Every time.

    Lol. I think people can watch the games, evaluate the math and carry on a quality life too. This is not a black and white issue, and honestly my hope is that we are open to ideas, math and visual.

  113. khildahl says:

    digger50,

    Remenda is infuriating, but I’ll give him a bit of credit where it’s due: he does sometimes call out egregious bad and missed calls against McDavid (see Hjalmarsson’s diving trip the other day). Just not the rest of the team.

  114. SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo! says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Ahhh yo comprendo yo comprendo.

  115. GMB3 says:

    Hello all, this may be a stupid question… but here it goes..

    Is there a website where I can see the Oilers corsi game by game? or at least broken up in 5 game segments? Just curious to see if there has been an improvement (to my eye there has, in terms of shot volume anyways)

  116. N64 says:

    CrazyCoach: I don’t think major junior is losing players at any rate, and there will never be enough of a void that exists that doesn’t continually keep it the prime league for young players. The NCAA is often thought of as a viable route for some, but even that is tough as scholarships are not guaranteed and the rules are pretty clear;18 full-time scholarships for hockey teams.If you have a roster of 25, that means someone is not going to get a full ride.NCAA schools also get parents to fill out declaration of income forms, so they can eliminate some kids.

    While Major Junior does not have the best education options, they do offer a program for players who want to go to school immediately after playing and forego the pro route.

    CHL and/or College gives more development paths and more Canucks into the NHL than CHL or College.

  117. season not played says:

    Bruce Wayne,

    What exactly is your point anyway. When you brought up Lucic as a negative value contact and he wouldn’t fetch a seventh round pick you pretty much closed the book on your credibility. Jason Demers is NOT Adam Larsson. Larsson controlled that game when he was on the ice last night.Not to mention Larsson will get better and his contract is beautiful. Say what you want about Hall but this team is sixth in the league in goals for. And McDavid likes having Lucic on the team. Makes him feel comfortable, and that is worth an infinite amount of Taylor Hall rushes resulting in a shot on the crest. And if you listen to the media types around the team they do think there are off ice benefits to having Lucic around. Yah, you didn’t like the trade. Too bad you’re wrong. Part of the reason the Oilers are better this year is Hall out Larsson Lucic in.

  118. Bruce McCurdy says:

    GMB3:
    Hello all, this may be a stupid question… but here it goes..

    Is there a website where I can see the Oilers corsi game by game? or at least broken up in 5 game segments? Just curious to see if there has been an improvement (to my eye there has, in terms of shotvolume anyways)

    Try this:
    http://naturalstattrick.com/games.php?season=20162017&stype=2&sit=5v5&team=EDM&rate=n

    The default is 5v5 but you can change the tab to “all strengths” if you want the bigger picture.

  119. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Bruce Wayne: The problem with Lucic is that people double count his effectiveness.
    They give him credit for the points, and they give him credit for going to the tough areas (see above) but he only gets points because he goes to the tough areas. There is the sense in which Lucic’s contributions go above and beyond what he contributes to the scoresheet, and so he is always getting some kind of additional credit.

    What about those plays where a goal is scored in part because Lucic went to the tough areas, but he isn’t credited with a point? Or is that somehow “double counting his effectiveness”?

  120. frjohnk says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Try this:
    http://naturalstattrick.com/games.php?season=20162017&stype=2&sit=5v5&team=EDM&rate=n

    The default is 5v5 but you can change the tab to “all strengths” if you want the bigger picture.

    Also Corsica hockey has a custom query for teams, skaters etc that allows for time periods.

    http://www.corsica.hockey/teams/

  121. N64 says:

    khildahl:
    digger50,

    Remenda is infuriating, but I’ll give him a bit of credit where it’s due:he does sometimes call out egregious bad and missed calls against McDavid (see Hjalmarsson’s diving trip the other day).Just not the rest of the team.

    ~ It’s weird. Some nights you’d almost think he blames McLellan for his non-renewal in 2014 ~

  122. bendelson says:

    Bruce Wayne:
    As for those who continue to believe in the eye test, and would compare it favourably as a descriptor of a single game, I would humbly suggest you listen to any play-by-play or colour commentator in the league.It is their job, their profession, to describe in words what the eye sees.And yet every single game, no matter who is doing the commentary, these people say things that do not correspond to what is happening.Not occasionally, but as a matter of routine.Their description of what the eyes see does not match what they eyes see.

    As always, they see what they expect to see.Every time.

    Not a problem for Jack Michaels. He is to busy wowing us with his vast hockey knowledge to bother calling the game at all.

    “He scores!!!”
    Yeah, that’s great Jack. Which fucking team? You haven’t mentioned the actual game for some time now.

    (Had to listen to the first period in the car last night… seriously thought about turning the game off).

  123. khildahl says:

    bendelson,

    Going from Rod to Jack pretty much sums up the fan experience of the last decade.

  124. Chachi says:

    bendelson: Not a problem for Jack Michaels.He is to busy wowing us with his vast hockey knowledge to bother calling the game at all.

    “He scores!!!”
    Yeah, that’s great Jack.Which fucking team?You haven’t mentioned the actual game for some time now.

    (Had to listen to the first period in the car last night… seriously thought about turning the game off).

    Had to listen to part of the game on the radio last night. I am guessing before he got the Oilers gig that Jack used to do the play by play and the colour all by himself and has not been able to break the habit. If he is not going to call the game he might as well be doing in-game ads for Tony Romas so he can at least make a little extra money.

  125. GMB3 says:

    frjohnk: Also Corsica hockey has a custom query for teams, skaters etc that allows for time periods.

    http://www.corsica.hockey/teams/

    Thanks to both of you.

  126. bendelson says:

    khildahl:
    bendelson,

    Going from Rod to Jack pretty much sums up the fan experience of the last decade.

    Jack Michaels & Drew Remenda.
    Both need to be replaced next season.
    Absolutely.

  127. Timeisnow says:

    bendelson,

    I agree, I like Jack but he needs to spend more time calling the play. Sideshow Bob can dazzle us with his vast hockey knowledge and tree planting stories:)

  128. classict says:

    Bruce McCurdy: What about those plays where a goal is scored in part because Lucic went to the tough areas, but he isn’t credited with a point? Or is that somehow “double counting his effectiveness”?

    I’d say it’s the same as saying X player is very fast or X player gains the zone very well. Those contribute to points or contribute to some aspect of the game. It’s a bit nitpicky but I’m not sure you can count the cause and effect if you’re counting a players pluses. It’s about what player gets the better result (effect) not the necessarily the how from an individual perspective.

    Goes to the corners, is a leader, is fast, only matters if it makes the team better in some way.

    That being said if you want balance on a team then you probably want a distribution of causes/ways to get those positive effects but that end result has to be there.

  129. Ducey says:

    bendelson: Jack Michaels & Drew Remenda.
    Both need to be replaced next season.
    Absolutely.

    Agreed. I often watch the games with the sound off thanks to Remenda. He is up there with Garrett and Hrudy in my book as “must mutes”.

    Unfortunately, I find Its harder listen to the radio with the sound off.

  130. N64 says:

    bendelson: Jack Michaels & Drew Remenda.
    Both need to be replaced next season.
    Absolutely.

    They could put them together. Radio or TV. Then we can turn on the other.

  131. sliderule says:

    Bruce Wayne:
    As for those who continue to believe in the eye test, and would compare it favourably as a descriptor of a single game, I would humbly suggest you listen to any play-by-play or colour commentator in the league.It is their job, their profession, to describe in words what the eye sees.And yet every single game, no matter who is doing the commentary, these people say things that do not correspond to what is happening.Not occasionally, but as a matter of routine.Their description of what the eyes see does not match what they eyes see.

    As always, they see what they expect to see.Every time.

    The eye test is is kind of what I enjoy about the game.

    It sounds like you would rather read the boxes and not watch as it might affect your understanding of what occurred.

  132. delooper says:

    Regarding double-counting Lucic’s effectiveness, that argument seems to miss how one counts a “rush winger”s effectiveness, as well. If you just go in and out of zones, you’re not in the o-zone very long. Also, if your rush winger is injured for 1/3 to 1/2 of the season you need to consider the player 1/2 to 1/3 as good as his PPG stats would indicate. A nice feature of Lucic is he almost never misses a game.

    Besides, the Oilers have little need of rush wingers at this point. They have plenty of players that like to play that style. They’re reasonably balanced now, with players that rush well, and players that can keep the play alive in the o-zone. Ideally you want those two sets of players to have as much overlap as possible but that’s difficult in today’s NHL.

  133. cc says:

    Great post LT:

    I noticed two things last night.

    1. Having Puljujarvi on Mc Davids line is allowing him to grow into a solid #1 RW without all the attention a #1 winger would generally receive. In a sense he is being hidden on the #1 line, who knew.

    2. Having Ebs back with Nuge is paying off huge. They were the #1 line last season (less Maroon) for the most part and currently can rival any other teams #1 line. I believe we’ll begin seeing the pts on this line climb steadily.

    In essence, we now have two #1 lines which makes it a major decision, who -to – cover -who moving forward.

    Thoughts…

  134. CrazyCoach says:

    N64: CHL and/or College gives more development paths and more Canucks into the NHL than CHL or College.

    I don’t think we’re on the same page as far as CHL. The Canadian Hockey League (CHL) to me, is the governing body that oversees the Western Hockey League (WHL) Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), also known as Major Junior.

    the Canadian Junior Hockey League, is the governing body for Junior A teams

  135. cc says:

    npanciroli,

    Just switch out Kass for Pou

  136. GMB3 says:

    cc:
    Great post LT:

    I noticed two things last night.

    1. Having Puljujarvi on Mc Davids line is allowing him to grow into a solid #1 RW without all the attention a #1 winger would generally receive.In a sense he is being hidden on the #1 line, who knew.

    2. Having Ebs back with Nuge is paying off huge.They were the #1 line last season (less Maroon) for the most part and currently can rival any other teams #1 line.I believe we’ll begin seeing the pts on this line climb steadily.

    In essence, we now have two #1 lines which makes it a major decision, who -to – cover -who moving forward.

    Thoughts…

    I think you might be jumping the gun a bit there. I’m not sure I’d say both lines are as good as any other teams first line. We did have a horrible 5 game run there. If they keep putting up 4-5 goals a game, then maybe.

    I do agree with your assessment of JP though. McDavid draws so much attention himself and creates so much space for his linemates. It’s amazing to watch. Very thankful he is ours.

  137. Professor Q says:

    Bos8:
    My tinker would be, move Benning in with Sekera and so forth.Give each of the kids a mentor.

    Still a glow from the Benning hi-lite.Good evening Mr McKinnon, my name is Matt.Let’s see, listed at 6′ and 220.That’s a block on skates, alright.Sympathetic wince.

    Shades of Kaspar the Ghost

    It was an awkward hit. Benning was lucky he didn’t break his own arm with the way he had it positioned (chicken wing, and hit McKinnon with the middle of his humerus. If he hadn’t hit his jaw he might have!

  138. Chachi says:

    Professor Q: It was an awkward hit. Benning was lucky he didn’t break his own arm with the way he had it positioned (chicken wing, and hit McKinnon with the middle of his humerus. If he hadn’t hit his jaw he might have!

    “chicken wing” doesn’t mean what you think it means. There was nothing wrong with that hit at all.

  139. Zelepukin says:

    Professor Q: It was an awkward hit. Benning was lucky he didn’t break his own arm with the way he had it positioned (chicken wing, and hit McKinnon with the middle of his humerus. If he hadn’t hit his jaw he might have!

    Benning is such an unexpected physical player. Even more so than Larsson. Granted, you don’t know Larsson is super physical unless you watch him game in and game out.

    But Benning has a very narrow frame and doesn’t skate heavy either so I think it catches a lot of guys off guard, similar to Larsson. Larsson on the other hand seems to hit dudes that are deep. In their bones.

    Between him and Nurse, I imagine forwards are starting to really detest playing the Oilers. Just real asshole defensemen. We haven’t had that for many years.

  140. russ99 says:

    The top two lines seem to be pretty solid, let’s keep them, and avoid the blender that has thrown off a number of players,

    Bottom 6 is tricky, Both lines are getting caught in the d-zone too much, and Draisaitl seems to be getting his best scoring looks on the powerplay.

    I’d make Draisaitl’s line the bigger two-way line to alleviate this:

    Pouliot – Driasaitl – Kassian
    Caggiula/Hendricks – Letestu – Pitlick

  141. N64 says:

    CrazyCoach: I don’t think we’re on the same page as far as CHL. The Canadian Hockey League (CHL) to me, is the governing body that oversees the Western Hockey League (WHL) Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), also known as Major Junior.

    the Canadian Junior Hockey League, is the governing body for Junior A teams

    If I understand correctly CJHL kids still have all options. CHL kids give up the NCAA option. The latter is the either or to eliminate if we want more nhl quotes for our kids

  142. prairieschooner says:

    All teams are in expansion Hell to some extent some more than us

  143. Professor Q says:

    Chachi: “chicken wing” doesn’t mean what you think it means. There was nothing wrong with that hit at all.

    He had his arm in a stopping/breaking bicycle position. That’s not a proper technique at all.

    Not only was it directed at MacKinnon’s head and thus dangerous for him, but it was also dangerous for Benning. Try to run into a post or wall with your arm positioned like that and come tell me it feels better than doing it with your shoulder against your side instead.

  144. Professor Q says:

    N64,

    Can’t CHL players head off to NCAA post-CHL career as long as they weren’t drafted yet nor played NCAA before? I’m fairly certain they get % of tuition paid and can get special scholarships beyond that, as well.

  145. GMB3 says:

    Professor Q:
    N64,

    Can’t CHL players head off to NCAA post-CHL career as long as they weren’t drafted yet nor played NCAA before? I’m fairly certain they get % of tuition paid and can get special scholarships beyond that, as well.

    No. They can play CIS hockey.

  146. GMB3 says:

    Professor Q: He had his arm in a stopping/breaking bicycle position. That’s not a proper technique at all.

    Not only was it directed at MacKinnon’s head and thus dangerous for him, but it was also dangerous for Benning. Try to run into a post or wall with your arm positioned like that and come tell me it feels better than doing it with your shoulder against your side instead.

    I disagree. His arm is out because he is cutting hard into him to lay the hit. That was about as clean of an open ice hit as you can get. Arm may not be in an optimal position but hockey is a fast game.

  147. Professor Q says:

    We’ll agree to disagree then (even though my point was more about the awkwardness and how he had his arm in the stopping signal position, which had the potential of hurting Benning more than it did MacKinnon – luckily it didn’t). Though as you seem to want to get into it, it definitely was not the “cleanest hit you could ever get” – such descriptions, and they are used frequently, are lazy and without nuance.

    And when a hit like that happens to an Oilers player I’ll enjoy seeing you cry about it hypocritically. 🙂

    Here comes the denial. 😉

  148. N64 says:

    Professor Q:
    N64,

    Can’t CHL players head off to NCAA post-CHL career as long as they weren’t drafted yet nor played NCAA before? I’m fairly certain they get % of tuition paid and can get special scholarships beyond that, as well.

    No. If you were eligible even one game with Dylan Stroke in Erie and bang you are not.

    There are smaller issues to resolve around structuring stipends but mixed teams is the deal breaker.

  149. N64 says:

    Professor Q:
    N64,

    Can’t CHL players head off to NCAA post-CHL career as long as they weren’t drafted yet nor played NCAA before? I’m fairly certain they get % of tuition paid and can get special scholarships beyond that, as well.

    No. If you were eligible even one game with Dylan Strome in Erie and bang you are not.

    There are smaller issues to resolve around structuring stipends but mixed teams is the deal breaker.

  150. GMB3 says:

    Professor Q:
    We’ll agree to disagree then (even though my point was more about the awkwardness and how he had his arm in the stopping signal position, which had the potential of hurting Benning more than it did MacKinnon – luckily it didn’t). Though as you seem to want to get into it, it definitely was not the “cleanest hit you could ever get” – such descriptions, and they are used frequently, are lazy and without nuance.

    And when a hit like that happens to an Oilers player I’ll enjoy seeing you cry about it hypocritically.

    Here comes the denial.

    So much for your initial comment about agreeing to disagree.

    I’m not sure what else you want me to say about it then, but I haven’t really heard anything about the hit being dirty from anyone. Head wasn’t targetted. I’m not sure what source you want me to reference to validate my claims…

    Skating with your head down in the neutral zone is dangerous. (Source: I played)

    But hey if you think there shouldn’t be open ice hitting in hockey.. then I’m sure you think it’s a dirty hit. Fortunately for Benning and the Oilers no one with the department of safety thinks its worthy of a suspension.

    Different strokes for different folks.

  151. CrazyCoach says:

    N64: If I understand correctly CJHL kids still have all options. CHL kids give up the NCAA option.

    Very true. If you play in even one CHL game, you forfeit the NCAA.

    CJHL leaves all options open, even Canadian university (CIS) which is where a lot of CHL players end up when they use their CHL education money.

    While CJHL keeps it open, it is not as skilled. You’ll tend to get smaller players with lots of skill. Think Paul Kariya.

  152. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    The third period of yesterday’s game was rock solid. So was the third period against Chicago. This team is slowly learning what needs to be done to close games out.

    Pouliot needs to draw back in. The PNE line is an effective line. It has a history of working. I like Puljujarvi’s size and speed with McDavid better than Eberle’s cerebral offensive play. McDavid has Lucic slow but protecting him while having some skill and he just needs someone else with some speed to keep up.

    Lucic -McDavid – Puljujarvi
    Pouliot-Nuge-Eberle
    Maroon-Draisaitl-Slepyshev
    Caggiula-Letestu-Kassian

    P.S. I still hold out a bit of hope that winning and McDavid changes a few minds in free agency this summer.

    How good would a D group of
    Klefbom -Larsson
    Sekera-Shattenkirk
    Nurse-Davidson
    Benning/Fayne be with this group of forwards? Need that right handed puck moving PP Qb to complete the balance on this team.

  153. Chachi says:

    Professor Q: He had his arm in a stopping/breaking bicycle position. That’s not a proper technique at all.

    Not only was it directed at MacKinnon’s head and thus dangerous for him, but it was also dangerous for Benning. Try to run into a post or wall with your arm positioned like that and come tell me it feels better than doing it with your shoulder against your side instead.

    Watch it again. He gets his arm down and hits MacKinnon in the chest.

  154. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    Klefbom -Larsson
    Sekera-Shattenkirk
    Nurse-Davidson

    I don’t think we can afford it. Shattenkirk will cost in the range of $6m/year and Nurse will probably be in the range of $4m next contract. That would be 5 dmen at $4 or more, plus Fayne in the pressbox. We will need money to re-up Draisaitl and McDavid (and maybe Maroon).

    I think we need to hold out hope that Benning or off-handed Davidson/Nurse/Sekera play competently in the top 4.

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