G23 2016-17: COYOTES AT OILERS

by Lowetide

I have reached the conclusion that this Oilers season must be viewed as a cliff hanger—every game. Oilers fans, this season, demand that every game reach G7 SCF fever pitch. As a group, we are likely to be a grease spot in the Rexall parking lot (because the team has moved on, but we have not) by March, but the heart wants what it wants. My own personal view of this season is a little more relaxed, to be honest. There is clearly progress, but there are also jobs being won and lost—and some of the men emerging right now could be here for a decade or more. We are watching the foundation being built, right here, right now.

NICK OF TIME, 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 -5
  • Oilers in November 2016: 5-6-2 goal differential +1
  • Oilers after 22, 2015: 7-14-1, goal differential -12
  • Oilers after 22, 2016: 12-8-2, goal differential +11

G23 a year ago saw the Oilers saw the Oilers lose on the road to the Detroit Red Wings in OT. An unassisted goal by Iiro Pakarinen got Edmonton the point—it was Pakarinen’s second of the game. This afternoon, the Oilers have a chance to get back to even for November, and keep the 15 points in 15 games hope alive. It will not be easy, the Coyotes have special powers, causing the Oilers and their fans to get sleepy shortly after the face off. Arizona has copped a point in 24 straight games against Edmonton, a stat that Oilers fans are tired of hearing about. Does it end today?

DEFENSE, 2016-17

oilers-blue-no-26

  • This is high danger scoring chances via Stats.HockeyAnalysis.com.
  • The third pairing has the best HDs, makes sense based on the qual comp they are facing. Also interesting both Darnell Nurse and Matt Benning are involved in the 5×5 offense. Nine goals from this group—10 if you all in all states—that translates to 37 for an entire season and would be a healthy increase over last season’s 24 goals from the back line.
  • Oscar Klefbom has nice numbers across the board, I think he is clearly Edmonton’s best defenseman at this time. The game is slowing down for him and the Swede is gaining confidence. OK is on pace for 11-19-30 boxcars this season.
  • Eric Gryba performs well in his role, defensive defenseman. I can’t see he and Mark Fayne on this team for an extended period so something has to give. One expects Fayne may get waived and spend some time in Bakersfield again this season.
  • Adam Larsson is lagging just a little behind Klefbom in the HDs, but the offense is coming around a little and he is a good defender. His projected boxcars come in at 7-12-19 and that is in the range with expectations.
  • Andrej Sekera and Kris Russell are struggling with the HDs but have posted some strong 5×5 crooked numbers through the quarter pole. Sekera has taken on the second pairing role and been effective, I still think Mark Fayne would be an excellent partner for him. What is that called? Depth. Edmonton may want to carry 8D when Fayne gets back. Seriously.

FORWARDS, 2016-17

oilers-forwards-no-26

  • HDSC numbers via NaturalStatTrick.
  • Connor McDavid, good gracious. He ranks No. 1 in scoring, No. 1 in 5×5 points per 60, and the ice is tilted when he is on the ice. McDavid plays 21 minutes a night, meaning the Oilers have one period of every game they can count on being the better club. The goaltending buys them some help in the other two periods of the game, but what we need to examine now through season’s end is the other men at work and if they are doing enough when 97 is at rest. So far, no sir.
  • Patrick Maroon has been a fabulous acquisition, the only criticism we can possibly make is that the big man is a bit streaky offensively. Welcome to the club. Anaheim is a pretty smart organization but they missed badly sending Maroon away.
  • Jordan Eberle is right on track with his usual performance and he has been more engaged and aware of late with or without the puck. He has no one-timer left, and his goals come strictly now in close. I think we have reached the point where 25-goal seasons will not be enough, I am not one of those fans. I had a text to SSE yesterday saying more should be expected from Eberle because he is playing with McDavid. I pointed out this was not the case, but it does speak to the view of Oilers fans about this player currently.
  • Jesse Puljujarvi is my kind of player. I still don’t know about the offense (he is leaving a lot on the table playing with McDavid) but the big lug is a supreme talent already in some very important areas. He also has a contagious joy about him, I have seen him get hit, knocked down and he comes up smiling. Howie Meeker used to talk about Frank Mahovlich exactly that way. Big Jesse is a thrilling rookie to follow and is on pace for 30 points, that is in the range with reasonable.
  • Milan Lucic, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Leon Draisaitl and Benoit Pouliot have to haul ass here at the 5×5, Edmonton doesn’t make the playoffs without strong numbers from each of them. Leon is on pace for 60 points overall, but at even strength is facing the soft parade. He needs to hammer it senseless.

LANDER IN CALIFORNIA

lander ferguson

Photo by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved

It took Anton Lander some time to get to Bakersfield, but he posted 1-1-2 in his first game as a Condor last night. Bakersfield badly needs the offense, and AL stepped in on a line with Taylor Beck and Ryan Hamilton to make a difference. Jujhar Khaira is now odd man out, it will be interesting to see if the coaching staff can cobble together a second scoring line with JJ as the pivot. Even with the college men down there, real talent is in short supply among the forwards.

CAM TALBOT

Talbot is the second most important player on this team currently, and his performances have been impressive. He ranks No. 11 among goalies in save percentage (.921), No. 14 in even strength (.920) and No. 3 in PP SP (.932). Connor McDavid is going to win team MVP, but Talbot will deserve some votes, too.

DAVID MUSIL

A funny thing is happening in Bakersfield. David Musil is posting crooked numbers. Now, I cannot tell you this is a new gear, because Musil’s style does not lend itself to the offensive game. Still, numbers be numbers and here they are (even strength).

  • 2013-14: 61gp, 2-8-10 .164
  • 2014-15: 65gp, 2-9-11 .169
  • 2015-16: 67gp, 3-9-12 .179
  • 2016-17: 13gp, 1-4-5 .385

An impressive leap by Musil and we will monitor. In prospect terms, it would be better news if Griffin Reinhart, Jordan Oesterle or Joey Laleggia were experiencing a sharp spike in even-strength points, but we are here and Musil is showing a pulse. Expansion years are a good time to take a step forward, maybe Musil ends up in the LV organization.

BRANDON DAVIDSON

We haven’t heard much lately, suspect that is a bad sign. Davidson would be inside my top 4D if healthy, but the gathering wind of injury is having some major impact. Is it enough to keep him out most of this year? Will that impact Edmonton’s and (and LV’s) expansion decisions? Probably.

ABOUT TODAY

Look, the Oilers should win today, but they could lose too. I encourage you to take a wider view of this season now, to sweat less about individual games and look at things week to week or even month to month. If Edmonton were to lose to Arizona today and Toronto on Tuesday, I can only imagine what comments sections on blogs would look like.

It doesn’t have to be this way. The Oilers are 12-8-2 and have already had a 5-game losing streak. I sometimes wonder if people are worried about another one or hoping for it. It is a very weird season for this old man to observe a fan base that seems to have fractured along some truly bizarre lines. You all take care of yourself. Please.

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who

Bruce McCurdy: Nurse “had his man”? He, the left defenceman, abandoned the net front to chase the opposing left winger all the way into the right defensive corner and — this is important — utterly failed to either take the man or prevent the pass out. Just took himself right out of the play. Not sure what the hell he was doing, but it wasn’t good.

Lots of mistakes on that play, & Eberle made one of them, but Nurse’s happy feet kicked off the sequence of pain in my opinion. You gonna chase, you better make the play, or at least, A play.

I think someone pointed out that Nurse chould have angled his guy out to blueline instead of letting him cut back down low, and yes, it would have been nice if he pineed him to the boards or blocked the pass.
However, it’s pretty clear to me that NHL defensive systems have evolved way past the one d in the corner and 1 in front of the net standard that we learned in Pee Wee. Maybe the Oil should go back to that system but I doubt it happens.
Again I don’t hate Eberle and I am not demanding we trade him but I don’t see the need to make excuses for him either.

Bruce McCurdy

who: How was nurse out of position. He had his man. It’s up to the low forward to find the extra man down low. Eberle got caught cheating up ice when it was obvious the Arizona player was going to get to the puck on the boards first. Then he couldn’t find his man in the slot quick enough.

I am not an Eberle basher but that one was on him.

Nurse “had his man”? He, the left defenceman, abandoned the net front to chase the opposing left winger all the way into the right defensive corner and — this is important — utterly failed to either take the man or prevent the pass out. Just took himself right out of the play. Not sure what the hell he was doing, but it wasn’t good.

Lots of mistakes on that play, & Eberle made one of them, but Nurse’s happy feet kicked off the sequence of pain in my opinion. You gonna chase, you better make the play, or at least, A play.

Jethro Tull

NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”: Okay, I only mentioned it twice. Sorry if I ruffled your feathers. People are touchy around these parts these days!

Ain’t that the…….truth!?

Woodguy:
NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

90% of the posters knew who wrote that without looking at the sn.

You don’t have to keep pointing it out.

Okay, I only mentioned it twice. Sorry if I ruffled your feathers. People are touchy around these parts these days!

Scungilli Slushy

sliderule:
I haven’t read anywhere what sort of system oilers play.

As in last few games I have seen opposition forwards getting puck in front of net with no one near them I think the system is chaos.

Pens have been playing a total overload or swarm but they have fast forwards who all get back in zone and no one like Lucic or Maroon who just can’t or won’t do that.

If the oilers were playing a standard strong side overload Nurse would never have chased the puck into corner.Eberle who was the strong side winger would have supported the play in corner till Nuge arrived.Then Theweak side forward Maroon who was coasting back into zone and who would be responsible for slot could have moved his legs to help Nurse with McGinn.

If they way the oilers handled that play is their system then Lord help us from here on.

I’ve wondered since the world cup if the Oilers might try a system like they used there. A fast break game, except the fast and break part has rough edges with the Oilers.

If they can get it together a tempo based system would be fun to watch, not so much yet.

Ryan

sliderule,

Yes. I’d love input on that play from someone here with a nuanced view of hockey systems. That Kevin? guy or Gordie’s elbow maybe.

Nuge was covering the strong side point.
Eberle was sort of net front.
Nurse chasing the puck into the corner.

I’d love someone to walk me thru this.

sliderule

I haven’t read anywhere what sort of system oilers play.

As in last few games I have seen opposition forwards getting puck in front of net with no one near them I think the system is chaos.

Pens have been playing a total overload or swarm but they have fast forwards who all get back in zone and no one like Lucic or Maroon who just can’t or won’t do that.

If the oilers were playing a standard strong side overload Nurse would never have chased the puck into corner.Eberle who was the strong side winger would have supported the play in corner till Nuge arrived.Then The weak side forward Maroon who was coasting back into zone and who would be responsible for slot could have moved his legs to help Nurse with McGinn.

If they way the oilers handled that play is their system then Lord help us from here on.

Lucinius

Looks like Gallant was fired because of analytics. Essentially, he was an old school coach with a team whole-heartedly embracing analytics and there had been tension for a long time (Gallant himself having said he doubted he’d be there for the duration of his contract). It’s.. an interesting move. Coach was finding success, popular with the players.. and fired. It’ll be very interesting to see how that works out long term, and who they bring in to replace him.

JD_Wry

Jethro Tull,

It’s funny because it’s true.

Jethro Tull

JDï™: Smells like meddling owner to me. Isn’t his name something like Vinnie Viola?

And now Gallant sleeps with the fishes.

We’ve narrowed the informer down to two people. It’s either Johnny Tightlips or Frankie the Squealer.

thelongdark

kinger_OIL:
– Hey its just hockey: “Arizona is 21-0-4 against Edmonton in the last 25 meetings.The last time the Oilers defeated the Coyotes in regulation time was on Jan. 25, 2011”

And people wonder why the fan base is pissed at this loss.

JD_Wry

OmJo: He was 85-54-24 with the Panthers.

Smells like meddling owner to me. Isn’t his name something like Vinnie Viola?

And now Gallant sleeps with the fishes.

JimmyV1965

cc: Remenda never really adds anything to the conversation, comes up with obvious little insignificant nothings but says it convincingly.

For the rest of you bashing Ebs, consider yourselves in the Remenda category.

I won’t join the Remenda hate train, but I actually yelled at the TV when he said the Oilers weren’t motivated enuf on one of their PPs, I forget which one. How he hell could he possibly know that? And why would you say that about a team that spent almost the entire game in the ozone.

Roughneck

Lowetide: Years ago, I had a chance to spend some time with Al Ford. Al is a unique fellow, and he took a lot of heat for that play. Last time I talked to him, he was still claiming it wasn’t his man.

Out of curiosity… the only other guy in the jurisdiction may have been a ref…. so I am conflicted.

HE”S ALL ALONE!!!!!

--hudson--

hags9k:
Indeed, congrats to the Redblacks.That has to feel amazing for the old timey Ottawa football fans.

Crazy that they won in blizzard conditions one week ago and today looked liked ideal conditions for a final. Such a strange league.

JimmyV1965

verite:
This is the beginning of the end.
This Oiler team is as wretched as the other teams of the last decade.
The abomination of losing 2 games to talentless Arizona is too much to bear.
And of course, the idiots who run the Oilers could care less.

First, and foremost, Peter Chiarelli is an abject incompetent. Wake up every day and tell yourself this.
If should have been fired last year , but was not. He willfully wasted an entire season, for no good reason.And in this off season made the team actually worse, trading away talent for mediocrity and failing to rid the team of the gutless and heartless core Further, he adds a useless lummox like Lucic for money better spent on real players.

Second, Eberle should be shamed out of the line-up indefinitely. 6 years of heartless , gutleess, irresponsible efforts. And take the over-rated non-entity with him in RNH. Has he ever done anything to help the Oilers win a hockey game? Has either one ever won a board battle , wona face off or showed any real grit on a hockey rink. No.

Arizona is a team managed with competence and insight. Reider is better than any Oiler winger full stop. Hanzal nullified MacDavind, that should tell you something. Vrbata is an actual sniper not a lummox. OEL is the best player in hockey and the Oilers failed to trade for him when they has assets to get him.

And Arizona has a goalie that can make a save when it is needed , unlike the Oilers’ weak willed Talbot.

So expect collapse. And expect indifference.

Ask the other incompetent, MacLelland, why he played garbage like Hendricks , Pouliot and Letestu? Once they return to the line up the Oilers lose.Can anyone not see the logical connection?
MacLelland has been consistently out coached in every game this season amongst the home losses. Every game should have been won by the Oilers but was not due coaching and managerialincompetence.

But so many on this site ,who waste time on mindless statisttical inference instead of just watching the hockey games. The Oilers are heartless and gultess to the core. Epitomized by Eberle and RNH.
When they can beat Arizona then that characterization can change. But they can’t and it fits.
Chiarelli has made this team worse. MacLelland is clueless. And the others higher up are indifferent.

Sit RNH and Eberle indefinitely. Recall Lander.Fire MacLelland tomorrow morning. Put Letestu, Pouliot and Hendricks all on waivers.
And try to hire Dan Maloney asap. At least he knows what makes a hockey player.

Mark my words the end is nigh for this team.

Is this guy serious. Or did the joke just sail over my head like an errant Sekera slap shot?

Roughneck

the CFL should consider “piss test the command centre” as a sponsorship opportunity.

Congrats to Jeff Hunt and the Red Blacks, I am confident they will do a fantastic job hosting the championship next year and yes…. they will sell the building out …….Unlike the self proclaimed centre of the canadian sporting universe that fucked the pooch senseless this year.

On the game this afternoon. I love Dave Tippett but… I HATE DAVE TIPPETT. Its a sasky thing……..

--hudson--

Confused:
–hudson–,

Perhaps Try a takes over Fraser’s role in the AHL, otherwise the UFAs are gone.

Agreed! One reservation is Chia had the chance to do better than both Fraser and Gustavson last summer. Maybe however he didn’t get a crack at the players he really wanted and now the story he has to sell is more compelling to draw higher quality depth players should the Oilers qualify for the postseason.

Material Elvis

Jethro Tull:
Bit early for Bo-Levi to start chucking hail Mary’s?

He’s playing soft, they should trade him.

For OEL.

Material Elvis

verite,

Please pick a different team to ‘cheer’ for. We’ve had enough.

JimmyV1965

Jethro Tull:
Don’t turn this into night of the long knives, guys.

‘Yotes played a perfect road game against us.

I’m actually dreading coming on here should we make the playoffs and someone makes a mistake.

I would love to win every game like we did against Chicago. But maybe they’re actually an easier team for us to play.

The next step this team needs to take is to learn how to play against teams that aren’t interested in skill vs skill. We need to be able to play against the clutch and grab that seems to have reared its ugly head again. And on that topic, congrat-u-fucking-lations, NHL. Tonights game is exactly what parity in the league would look like.

Totally agree. We owned the Yotss tonight and they won the game. I wouldn’t over analyze it Shit happens. Players make mistakes every game and it’s no big deal when we win and its excruciating when we lose. The boys do need to shoot more. I’m also worried about the Drake. I think either he should go down or JP. should not have two raw rookies in the lineup underproducing. Benning though looks good.

unca miltie

Lt. Yes, I heard that story about Ford too. Kinda like Eberle today.
Boy, 40 years ago, I was a young man..how time flies

unca miltie

Lots of talk about 1976 grey cup. As a Saskatchewan fan. That was a sad day. We all said cover Gabriel in the stands.

OmJo

Lowetide: Credit to the Redblacks, they have been well run since the expansion draft. I remember they picked up Keith Shologan (nose tackle) from SK and ALSO his backup Zack Evans. CFL teams work for years to get a position with strong starter and capable backup, Redblacks got one done right off the hope. Traded for a C (Calgary, Gott? I think that was it), started building on day one.

I love watching a team go from not existing to champion. RedBlacks did it in a heartbeat.

A true underdog in every sense of the word.

Woodguy

Woodguy:
Afternoon game – check

Coyotes are opponent – check

Tippett is opponent’s Head Coach – check

Oilers are a heavy favorite (-220) – check

The only way this game can end is 4-2 for the Yotes.

My crystal ball had double vision, otherwise was good.

Bag of Pucks

Lowetide: Credit to the Redblacks, they have been well run since the expansion draft. I remember they picked up Keith Shologan (nose tackle) from SK and ALSO his backup Zack Evans. CFL teams work for years to get a position with strong starter and capable backup, Redblacks got one done right off the hope. Traded for a C (Calgary, Gott? I think that was it), started building on day one.

I love watching a team go from not existing to champion. RedBlacks did it in a heartbeat.

And an entertaining championship game as the Grey Cup usually is.

Clements to Gabriel was the 1st CFL game I ever watched with my Dad sorely disappointed that the Regina Riders lost that one, so this brings back some strong memories.

Congratulations Ottawa.

hags9k

Indeed, congrats to the Redblacks. That has to feel amazing for the old timey Ottawa football fans.

dsr29

Nurse goes to the wrong side of the man on that play. Wtf is he protecting? A pass to the point! Push duclair towards the point, don’t swing him back down low. Shitty play by Nurse. But I blame Eberle.

SwedishPoster: I don’t mind Nurse following the player but his fly by defensive play once closing in on his man is not good, he needs to just swallow him by the boards not go for the quick steal and breakout which it look like he’s going for, he forgets where the dangerous ice is, that’s a junior level mistake. Especially late in a 1-1 game.

OmJo

Henry Burris’ reaction to this is giving me goosebumps lol

Bag of Pucks

RE: The 104th Grey Cup

The right team lost : )

kinger_OIL

– Hey its just hockey: “Arizona is 21-0-4 against Edmonton in the last 25 meetings. The last time the Oilers defeated the Coyotes in regulation time was on Jan. 25, 2011”

OmJo

Going to OT

Confused

–hudson–,

Perhaps Try a takes over Fraser’s role in the AHL, otherwise the UFAs are gone.

who

Lowetide:
Just got back from the game. Observations:

1. Talbot had a helluva game. No one will talk about it because the guy at the other end stopped 400 shots, but for me Talbot was Edmonton’s top player.
2. Oilers pass too much from prime shooting zones.
3. I am not sure that Eberle was at fault on the second GA. Is the D supposed to cover the front if his partner is wandering?
4. Oscar is now Serge Savard before the injuries. Only a matter of time before he gets recognition for it.
5. Matt Hendricks took all of the LH side defensive zone draws I saw.
6. I liked Leon with McDavid.
7. I did not see Caggiula good.

The sun will come out tomorrow. Well, maybe not tomorrow, but really soon. Oilers won the HDs, should have won the game.

3. I think most nhl teams play man on man in their zone, particularly down low. They do this so they can pressure the puck as quickly as possible. This isn’t pee wee hockey anymore where the dman stands in front of the net if his partner is in the corner. Basically the closest player to the puck carrier applies pressure as quickly as he can. For this to work the low forward, regardless of where he lines up for face offs, has to cover the extra forward in his zone. Eberle did not. I think you know all this but are tired of Eberle getting shit on.
6.Hate Leon with Connor, don’t think there are enough pucks on the ice for both of them. Thought JP was meshing with Connor better than any other winger to date this year. Seems to excel at getting the puck to Connor quickly with time and space in front of him. Eberle could learn from this. He also has the high end hockey IQ and physical tools to play with Connor.
Thought this was one of Drais poorer games this year. Maybe they bumped him up to try and give him a boost, but I have never seen him good with Connor

OmJo

JDï™,

I think so. He was 85-54-24 with the Panthers. Considering they were 29th at the end of 2013-14 that’s a pretty incredible. 91pts in his first season, 103pts last season with a division title. The man can obviously coach, and coach pretty well.

JD_Wry

Bob Stauffer ‏@Bob_Stauffer 4h4 hours ago

The Oilers drop to 5-5 at home.
0-4 on Sunday’s including losses vs. Ottawa, NY Rangers, and Arizona where Oilers have a combined 118 SOG

So the league does the Oilers a solid by keeping them off of HNIC, and they adapt.

Adapt And Overcome. That’s better than Chop Wood Carry Water.

OmJo

Burris playing on the Redblacks and the Redblacks looking like the Stamps has me confused as fuck in this game.

Jethro Tull

JDï™: If I recall, the owner gave the team a mandate of winning a Cup within three (?) years, during the off-season.

Well it worked for the Pens last year.

JD_Wry

OmJo: they’re 7-6-0 this month. Strange move.

With Huberdeau and Bjugstad injured.

I don’t know much about the Panthers or Gallant, aside from watching part of one tire fire of a game, but Gallant has to be one of the better coaches on the market for McPhee, no?

cc

jake70:
Frustrating loss. Eberle did not see the ice during the empty net attack, could be wrong.

Should have been Nurse on the bench. Besides McD, Ebs is the best sniper the Oil have, and he’s sitting on the bench….

Hey, I’m going to diminish our chances of tying the score by benching you because Nurse made the wrong decision…. great approach coach???

JD_Wry

Jethro Tull: Apparently 11-10-1 gets you fired.

If I recall, the owner gave the team a mandate of winning a Cup within three (?) years, during the off-season.

OmJo

JDï™:
At least Todd won’t be the first coach fired this season:


Nick Kypreos Verified account
‏@RealKyper


Coaching change in @NHL with the@FlaPanthers. @Sportsnet has learned Gerard Gallant has been relieved of his duties.

Panthers are 2pts out of a Wildcard spot, and they’re 7-6-0 this month. Strange move.

Woodguy

NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

90% of the posters knew who wrote that without looking at the sn.

You don’t have to keep pointing it out.

OmJo

gregsaint:
OmJo,
I’m sitting on flat Earth right now. Aren’t you?

The earth’s surface is totally flat…its also wrapped around a sphere.

A flat sphere. Ah-ha!

Jethro Tull

JDï™: RealKyper

Apparently 11-10-1 gets you fired.

Maybe Verite is calling the shots down there?

--hudson--

Lowetide: B. Balance. And experience, there were a lot of kids on the ice today.

Will be interesting to see what Chiarelli has in mind!

Upcoming UFA’s are Hendricks, Russell, Gryba, Gustavsson, Ference, and Mark Fraser. It will be next to impossible not to upgrade on all of those players except Russell.

RFAs are Kassian, Draisatl, Pakarinen, Pitlick, Lander and a bunch of minor leaguers.

There should be ample cap room and roster space whatever Chia plans on.

gregsaint

OmJo,
I’m sitting on flat Earth right now. Aren’t you?

The earth’s surface is totally flat…its also wrapped around a sphere.

cc

Wolfie: Equal blame.Eberle needs to read the play better or be the one on the boards with the puck battle.He got caught in the middle watching others do the work.

Nurse probably shouldn’t have left the net front but at least the effort is there.

…..at leased the efforts there….. Little insignificant nothings