BEFORE THEY MAKE ME RUN

by Lowetide

It was not a Rembrandt, but the Edmonton Oilers got both points last night, now December begins to look like a month of good overall arrows. There are 14 games on the December schedule, and the Oilers now have 11 points in the first nine contests on the calendar. This is not an easy road, but last night, despite the warts, should give some hope to Edmonton fans. That was one ugly win, but they all count in the standings.

START THE CAR! 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 -6
  • Oilers in November 2016: 5-8-2 goal differential -3
  • Oilers in December 2015: 7-6-1, goal differential -9
  • Oilers in December 2016: 4-2-3, goal differential E
  • Oilers after 33, 2015: 14-17-2, goal differential -15
  • Oilers after 33, 2016: 16-12-5, goal differential +7

Edmonton is now at 37 points, with several games to go before G41. These are fun steps along the way to success, and it also helps that a win like last night burns every Flames fan in existence as their team attempts to catch up.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Davidson—Benning went 11-12 together on the evening, I love watching both men play and hope we see them plenty in the future. Davidson had four shots and Benning got mugged. They went 8-2 in four minutes against Tyler Johnson, 5-8 in 4:09 against Point-Killorn. Maybe they will emerge as a modern Trammell—Whitaker. The best line for Tampa imo, the Filppula-Boyle-Drouin group, went 3-1 against this pairing.
  • Klefbom—Larsson went 8-13 in 15:40, Klefbom was brilliant with other partners in small time zones. Klefbom had four shots, Larsson four blocked shots. Went 1-3 in 7:19 (!!!) against Filppula line, that is a lot of skating without much Corsi business going on. They were 8-3 in about five minutes against Point-Killorn.
  • Sekera—Russell went 10-16 in 13:57, the bend but don’t break twins ended up -1 but Sekera grabbed a pair of apples. Two shots each, Russell blocked a shot, took a terrible hit from behind and the duo kept on humming. Went 2-2 in four minutes against the Filppula-Boyle, 3-8 in five minutes against Brayden Point, 3-7 in four minutes against Namestnikov. Rej made a terrible blind back pass on the PP midway through the first, Talbot bailed him out.
  • Cam Talbot was excellent last night.
  • NaturalStatTrick, NHL.com, HockeyStats.ca.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

  • Hendricks—Letestu—Kassian did well in possession, eight shots on goal, won 13 of 22 faceoffs (Hendricks eight of 10), skated half miles, Letestu picked up an assist on a dandy power-play goal. Went 5-1 against Boyle, 5-8 against Point, 6-7 against Namestnikov. Wildly unpopular trio online, I think they had a terrific night. Kassian sure gets a lot of breakaways for a guy who doesn’t get a lot of breakaways.
  • Lucic—McDavid—Eberle had some interesting events. Lucic scored on the power play, McDavid clinched it with a pretty shootout goal—and won 11 of 17 on the dot. The center had his usual jump, but the giant Boyle and the other giant Hedman were royal pains in the asses. Jordan Eberle had a quiet night overall, a lot of try but very little room.
  • McDavid may need more skill on his line. Early in the first, with the top line jumping, Eberle missed the net by a mile on a distant bell shot. I like 14 fine, but he needs to take care of that puck there. McDavid inside the offensive zone, with possession, is pretty much the entire game. After the miss, 97 got the puck, found a promising equation with a nifty back pass to Lucic in the high slot, but the big man cradled and then lost the puck. I get that the ice is bumbly, but the men playing with McDavid need to have the quick hands.
  • If you woke up this morning worried about McDavid’s recent lack of offense, you are being silly. You are free to worry about finding the right linemates though, don’t think we are there yet. I do think Eberle on RW is the best option (unless the plan is to move Leon to RW).
  • Boyle was 6-7 against McDavid, he was a royal pain. Give Cooper credit, he was masterful in getting matchups in a road game.
  • Victor Hedman was 5-0 against McDavid, in six minutes.
  • Maroon—Draisaitl—Caggiula were an absolute mess (3-9 in Caggiula time) so Todd McLellan tore it down to the block and started over. Leon scored and set up goals, both were quite lovely. He also ran 4-3 in 4:34 with the Nuge. Went 4-8 against Tyler Johnson, 3-7 against Killorn.
  • Beck—Nuge—Pitlick were not a line for long, less than five minutes. Nuge was 4-3 with Maroon and Leon, good lord he needs stronger linemates. This is tragic. Nuge went 6-4 against Tyler Johnson, and he had some reasonable looks—but was minus one, 25 percent on the dot and had nothing to show for five shots on goal at the end of the evening. If Edmonton cannot find him better help, make him a winger and have him help Leon.
  • Todd McLellan went Borg on two lines last night, suggesting to me that he didn’t have enough talent, and that he doesn’t trust a lot of roster players. That is not a good sign.
  • Beck, Caggiula and Pitlick played less than nine minutes at 5×5. If you are looking for men to come out of the lineup so Benoit Pouliot and Jesse Puljujarvi can return, this is a good place to start.

THE CLUSTER

Peter Chiarelli and Todd McLellan continue to add pieces to the heart of the order, and this year we are seeing the additions of some very interesting players. Rookies tend to cost goals and games (especially defenders) but this Oilers club may have found a real gem in young Matt Benning. Added to the big Finn, and the young college star, and the Russian winger with size and speed, this is shaping up to be a very strong year for freshmen.

  1. R Jesse Puljujarvi 23gp, 1-7-8, and anyone who watched last night’s game knows damn well he has more skill than a bunch of those guys. Play the man!
  2. F Drake Caggiula 15gp, 1-4-5, he clearly has NHL ability and that bodes well for the depth of this team. I think his presence makes it more difficult for JP to establish himself and vice versa, suspect the Finn (who is much younger) will head down to California.
  3. L Anton Slepyshev 15gp, 2-2-4, he is in the AHL now but impressed with his size, speed and skill. I have no idea if he is going to be an NHL player, but there is enough evidence to give him another turn at some point in time.
  4. RD Matt Benning 24gp, 0-4-4, this guy is a revelation—the second year in a row the Oilers have uncovered a solution from an unlikely source (Brandon Davidson). This is an actual NHL defenseman out of the box, a perfect-fit righty for the roster. Music!
  5. LD Dillon Simpson 3gp, 0-0-0, he showed well and offers the team move depth on the blue line.

This is a surprisingly strong group considering the outstanding crop of one year ago. I believe in clusters, probably because of the 1979-81 rookie group the glory Oilers produced and their impact on the game. If we consider Puljujarvi, Caggiula and Benning as strong rookies who have  a good chance of productive careers, this would rank as a top drawer crop. That said, consider the past two seasons:

  • 2015-16—Connor McDavid, Brandon Davidson, Darnell Nurse, Iiro Pakarinen.
  • 2014-15—Leon Draisaitl, Oscar Klefbom, Tyler Pitlick

Folks, that is a cluster. If you are adding two impact rookies a season, it doesn’t take long to see a change in the weather. Draisaitl, Klefbom, McDavid, Davidson, Puljujarvi, Benning and Caggiula (potentially) represent a terrific talent re-boot in Northern Alberta.

Can the Oilers do it again next year? I think it will be very difficult. The first round pick (if the draft picks were doled out today) would see the Oilers select No. 19 overall—that is unlikely to be a plug-and-play option.

Should Peter Chiarelli trade the pick for immediate help? Dangerous plan, ladies. There are still holes to fill and the draft is going to be a major part of any success we see rolling out over the rest of this decade and into the next one. Procurement: It’s the real thing.

TOP 20 PROSPECTS

We are counting down (thanks, Casey Casem!) to the end of the Top 20 and I will run 21-30 at 5pm today (unless the Oilers make some kind of roster move). A couple of updates:

  • Tyler Benson is on fire of late, scoring 2-6-8 in his last three games.
  • Filip Berglund is 25gp, 0-4-4 in the SHL. That tells us one thing, he is playing in a good pro league before his 20th birthday in May. Also, his NHLE is 10 points—and he is averaging 8:42 per game.
  • Caleb Jones is projected to play a major role for Team USA at the World Juniors.
  • It looks like Aapeli Rasanen will be a big player for Finland as well.

 

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Scungilli Slushy

OmJo: I just think having Lander on this team will help in a few ways. 1) It gives TMac two good faceoff options for the PK. 2) Nuge should then get more PP time than PK time. Which should help his production 3) It gives Letestu less of a workload at C. 4) Lander can play wing, too. The option of reuniting Lander-Letestu-Pitlick as 4Line is a good thing. Those three did good things together.

I think he’s clearly too good for the AHL at this point in his career. Does that mean he’s good enough to be in the NHL? Well.. I think so. Not as a feature player who’s going to put up 40pts a season but as a cheap 4C who can play any F position in the bottom six if needed. Somebody who can win important faceoffs and you feel confident putting out to hold a lead with 2 minutes left in a game.

Anton Lander, IMO, has Marcus Kruger-like potential. Which isn’t a bad thing. Wasn’t there a rumour we were going to trade Yakupov for him this summer? Well we probably have one right here.

100% agree. I often think we covet players we already have but don’t use in the same way

Scungilli Slushy

Fog of Warts,

My favourite of yours ever. So clear and so much in it.

kinger_OIL

Pescador: Define frequent

visit (a place) often or habitually.
“bars frequented by soldiers”

Centre of attention

Iggy scored on a slap shot from the blue line today for the Avs.

He can still shoot the puck, that’s for sure.

Woodguy

trencan,

I personally see Jesse as more offensive version of Jere Lehtinen. Sorry for my english…

Your english is better than many native english speakers/writers.

I’d be thrilled with a more offensive version of Lehtinen.

He and Langenbrunner drove me crazy.

You could never score when they were on the ice and they got the goals that needed getting (memory narrative)

He was around 059pts/gm for his career and 0.70at his peak (very steady for many years)

If JP can be .70pts/gm in today’s NHL and be a killer without the puck that’s a very, very valuable player.

GMB3

We need to find McDavids Chris Kunitz. Someone who will bury what he is selling

JimmyV1965

Avs lose again today 4-1. Now is the perfect time to make a trade with them. Would love to get Barrie. He’s having a horrible year and we know he will turn it around. It might take a change of scenery though. Hello Chia. Lookin at you! They’re like a worse version of the Oil right now. As bad as their defence is, they just can’t score. The sum is way less than the total of all their parts. Not sure what it would take to get him. They really need defence, but scoring too. And like us, I don’t think they have a lot on the farm.

JD_Wry

Chachi,

If you like live music (I’m crazy for it), and don’t mind pop music, it’s a great show. The band is first rate, the production is excellent, and the interview clips between songs are really great too. The joke at the end of the Kenny Loggins episode had me in stitches.

I don’t care who you are, if ‘You Make My Dreams’ doesn’t set your toes a tapping, you have no soul.

Chachi

JDï™: That would have actually been more entertaining. Maybe it was the ‘morgue like’ atmosphere in the rink, but I couldn’t watch more than about 4 minutes.

I recommend this for some quality Sunday afternoon time, while wearing your cleanest dirty shirt:

http://www.livefromdarylshouse.com/

Awesome, thanks for the link.

JD_Wry

Chachi: falling on it until the whistle blows.

That would have actually been more entertaining. Maybe it was the ‘morgue like’ atmosphere in the rink, but I couldn’t watch more than about 4 minutes.

I recommend this for some quality Sunday afternoon time, while wearing your cleanest dirty shirt:

http://www.livefromdarylshouse.com/

jm363561

OmJo:
Lucic-McDavid-Draisaitl
Pouliot-Nuge-Eberle – you can fight it for only so long TMac, but it will happen eventually dammit!
Maroon-Letestu-Kassian
Slepyshev-LANDER-Pitlick

This is the lineup I think I go with if I’m TMac. Send Puljujarvi and Cag to the AHL.

Yep, love it for the Drai-on-wing option.

Drai-at-centre option has a big hole at RW1.

Woodguy

Gordies Elbow,

I’d say it’s due to the sample size.

Using goals is a bad idea at this point in the season, even if a player has played all the games.

CF% would be much better, but its Sunday.

Its CF’s day off.

trencan

I watched previous season very often some highlights of SM Liiga because of these two Finnish wonderkinds on the draft. I was looking for some info about Jesse and found an older but interesting article. Maybe it helps a little bit to understand to Oilers fans what do we have in Jesse and what to expect in the future…
http://canucksarmy.com/2016/4/14/a-tale-of-two-finns-patrik-laine-vs-jesse-puljujarvi
I personally see Jesse as more offensive version of Jere Lehtinen. Sorry for my english…

Woodguy

SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!,

Thanks for that info.

Its possible they catch LAK for 3rd in the division if things break right.

I think SJS and ANA will be 1/2

CGY is the wild card, but their hole is still not easy to get out of.

Woodguy

So, using goal metrics, which Peter and Todd love, the optimal lines are:

19-97-98
67-93-14
27-29-44
51-55-15

The optimal pairs are:

2-83
77-6
88-4

Give em a run make the computer boys happy!

OmJo

Georges,

Good post.

Not sure how he was in San Jose but wow can he be really arrogant and stubborn sometimes. And watching him blend lines almost every game is so frustrating… let these guys build chemistry. A single mistake by one player isn’t enough of a reason to bench him for the remainder of the game and mess up the other three lines in the process.

How do you think he would have handled the Laine situation from the other night? Do you think Laine would have been back out there to try and redeem himself or stapled to the bench?

Woodguy

Gordies Elbow: I’d say it’s due to the sample size.

SLEPYSHEV, ANTON: 5GF, 1GA, (5/6=83.3) in 165 minutes.
PULJUJARVI, JESSE: 11GF, 5GA, (11/16=68.75) in 246 minutes.
LANDER, ANTON: 5GF, 3GA, (5/8=62.5) in 122 minutes.

Those three also lead the team in PDO with 105.12, 104.34, and 103.43 respectively.

One guy the fancy stats loves (and is finally getting to the point in minutes played where sample size is less of an issue with greater than 350 minutes) is Matt Benning. His GF% is 60. (18GF, 12GA) He looks like a stellar signing at this point.

Yeah, I’m using GF because of Peter and Todd’s stated preference for those metrics.

Every metric, fancy and non-fancy love Benning.

Kids has arrived like he’s been shot out of a cannon.

Chachi

Columbus and Vancouver just finished a period of hockey that consisted of 9 total shots (3 for the Dys) 0 goals and 0 penalties. I did not watch the period but I assume it involved players getting the puck, skating to the nearest corner and falling on it until the whistle blows.

JD_Wry

Gordies Elbow: I’d say it’s due to the sample size.

But why not keep him and see if the stats sort themselves out or not? I think that’s the point here.

Great stats in small sample = ride the bus?

SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo!

Woodguy,

This is great. I haven’t felt as bad for any Oiler in the last few years more than I do for Zach Kassian right now. By eye and by numbers he’s been playing good to great lately for his line mates and skill set but has had 3 goals called back, two of the somewhat dodgy variety. Hope he pots a couple over the next few games it could do him a world of good.

With Hendricks I think its as simple as trying to get a decent pick for him and nothing else. Guy missed a lot of games to start the year and came back into a situation that saw zero practice time and a butt load of travel. Not trying to say he’d all of a sudden be performing at Pitlick’s level or anything but its a tough spot.

Woodguy

JimmyV1965: Although I remember the Drake saying specifically in an interview that he was okay with being sent down. I remember because I thought it was very refreshing.

Good.

They should soon as long as Peter keeps his agreement on gp.

Important to do what you say to keep the college FAs flowing.

If you don’t word gets around in a hurry

Woodguy

Woogie63:
Best Left Wings. 1. Lucic, 2. Maroon 3. Pouilot 4. Slepyshev 5. Lander 6. Hendricks
Best Centers; 1. McDavid 2. Driasaitl 3. Hopkins 4. Letestu 5. Caggulia
Best Right Wingers 1. Eberle 2. Pitlick 3. Kassian 4. Puliarjarvi 5. Beck
Best Defense 1. Sekera 2. Larson 3. Klefblom 4. Nurse 5. Benning 6. Russell 7. Davidson 8. Gyrba
Best Goalie 1. Talbot 2. Monster

Play the 1-3 more on 5×5 and the PP
Play the 3-6 more in dzone face-offs and PK

We have a great line up that can and should dictate the play more than we are seeing

More in that vein…..

Here is every center’s GF/60 with their wingers over the past 2 years (min 75 minutes together)

(Should actually do this with CF/60 at this point, but Peter and Todd like goal metrics so……)

McDavid
Player GF60
MCDAVID, CONNOR 3.24

PULJUJARVI, JESSE 6.13
MAROON, PATRICK 4.22
POULIOT, BENOIT 3.61
KASSIAN, ZACK 3.20
EBERLE, JORDAN 3.20
LUCIC, MILAN 2.95
DRAISAITL, LEON 2.05

So you could run 98/44 as RW and 67/19 as LW. No need to give him the high priced help.

He so good with everyone it could be that how the wingers play with the other C’s should dictate who he gets as long as one of em is good without the puck. (98 is good without the puck)

RNH
Player GF60
NUGENT-HOPKINS, RYAN 2.07

KHAIRA, JUJHAR 5.04 (left him there for a reason)
DRAISAITL, LEON 3.79 (mostly w/Hall on RW)
HENDRICKS, MATT 3.16 (all with Hall)
EBERLE, JORDAN 2.03
POULIOT, BENOIT 1.90
KASSIAN, ZACK 1.88
MAROON, PATRICK 1.66

Bring up JJ!!! Put Eberle and Pou there.

Its the right thing to do and the number back it up although ~2GF/60 is pretty meh.

Draisaitl (more wonky as a lot of last season was on the wing)

Player GF60
DRAISAITL, LEON 2.53
NUGENT-HOPKINS, RYAN 3.79 (Drai on wing)
SLEPYSHEV, ANTON 3.71
LUCIC, MILAN 2.73
KASSIAN, ZACK 2.71
POULIOT, BENOIT 2.59
MAROON, PATRICK 2.31
PITLICK, TYLER 2.31
PULJUJARVI, JESSE 1.71
EBERLE, JORDAN 0.82

Lots of almost equal options here. Sleppy come back!!

Lucic and Kassian look to be ones given who is better with the other C’s.

Letestu
Player GF60
LETESTU, MARK 1.40

PITLICK, TYLER 3.71
MAROON, PATRICK 3.36 (its 2.40 this year, some of that is last year with Hall)
LANDER, ANTON 2.18 (Anton!!!)
KASSIAN, ZACK 1.44
HENDRICKS, MATT 1.15
SLEPYSHEV, ANTON 1.09
POULIOT, BENOIT 0.85

I think its clear 15, 19, 51 have scored the most.

So:

19-97-98
67-93-14
27-29-44
51-55-15

42, JJ/36

Might be the optimal (as far as goals for go….) line for the Oilers.

This makes me laugh because TSN 1260 had a sound bite playing all week with Pierre Macguire going ballistic that the “computer boys” in FLA were suggesting line combos to the coach.

Yeah, who the hell would want any extra information when making important decisions?

The nerve.

SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo!

Woodguy,

In March San Jose has a stretch that sees them play 8 games in 12 nights that ends with a back to back in Dallas and Minnesota. Their schedule resumes four days later on Friday the 24 with a game in Dallas only to head to Nashville for a game on Saturday and then back to San Jose for a home game against the Rangers on Monday the 27. Thats a lot of travel in four days for an older team.

Also have 4 sets of back to backs, three of which are on the road.

Calgary has a pretty heavy January they play every 2nd day from the 3-26 (a couple of back to backs tip the scales) but not a lot of travel. Come March they play every second night from the 9 until the end of the season. Also from March until the end of the season they only play 4 games against non-playoff teams and have a doozie stretch that sees them play Pittsburgh, Boston, Dallas, LA, Washington, Nashville and St Louis in 12 days. They are relying on Johnson big time right now and can that hold over the entire year? Interesting to watch the Ben bishop saga unfold with all this happening.

LA is on the road until December 29th and have a back to back against Nashville and Dallas to close out before Xmas. They start 2017 with a back to back in against Vancouver and Edmonton on the 28-29 and have pretty heavy stretch against western playoff teams to start 2017. They don’t get Quick back until February, I think the Kings are facing an uphill battle over the next 4 to 6 weeks. If the Oilers outperform December I think it sets them up very well, particularly if the GM and coach cull the heard at forward, make a pickup and/or sending a few guys away (Hendricks and maybe Pouliot but I can’t imagine they want to move him at this low of a price) in the new year.

I’m really curious to see how Chia plays this as we move into the trade deadline. If the Oilers are competitive (and by that I mean holding a playoff spot) does he try and accelerate things? It’s really tough to measure the converse of that (how do you measure “accelerate”?) but I think its something we should explore should the team stay in the hunt.

I just can’t say enough good things about Matt Benning. If he keeps on this course (and that’s a lot to ask from a rookie that’s played more than 50 games in exactly one season of his hockey career) and Davidson returns to form we could be cooking with gas on the backend for once. And that’s before one factors Nurse into the equation. Its still a young group but there’s a lot of potential here, scoring threat would help though.

Gordies Elbow

Woodguy:
This list begs for commentary:

Player GF%

SLEPYSHEV, ANTON83.3 – To the AHL with you!
PULJUJARVI, JESSE68.8 – Scrachted often
LANDER, ANTON62.5 – Another AHL bound

I’d say it’s due to the sample size.

SLEPYSHEV, ANTON: 5GF, 1GA, (5/6=83.3) in 165 minutes.
PULJUJARVI, JESSE: 11GF, 5GA, (11/16=68.75) in 246 minutes.
LANDER, ANTON: 5GF, 3GA, (5/8=62.5) in 122 minutes.

Those three also lead the team in PDO with 105.12, 104.34, and 103.43 respectively.

One guy the fancy stats loves (and is finally getting to the point in minutes played where sample size is less of an issue with greater than 350 minutes) is Matt Benning. His GF% is 60. (18GF, 12GA) He looks like a stellar signing at this point.

Georges

Lowetide: Agreed. That said, the coach needs to anticipate what might happen if Beck falters. It looked to me as though he benched Beck, Caggiula and Pitlick, preferring to run Nuge with Leon and the fourth line as the third line. None of which is on Hendricks, which was my point.

I am basically just being a policeman here. A little sensitive after the Horcoff wars. For those who don’t recall, posters pummeled Horcoff for his performance as No. 1 center, something he performed to the best of his ability (and was still ignited over).

I have no quarrel with sitting Hendricks, but he had a pretty good game last night. We should absolutely make the distinction, as WG did in his first post above.

I respect that LT. You’re right, it’s easy to take a position and have a one-sided view. Also, not a good habit to run down any of our players. I didn’t watch the game last night. I like Matt Hendricks as a person but the evidence of Hendricks as a player is stark. Particularly in comparison with Pouliot. Building up Pouliot was a more important objective for me today than tearing down Hendricks.

OmJo

Woodguy,

Thanks for that. Still think it would be worth another look. RE last season, how much do you think injuries affected their play together? All three missed significant amount of games last season.

But if Chia and TMac don’t care much about shot metrics (maybe why they see Russell as being so good?) then I guess I will have to keep dreaming about the trio being put together.

Georges

Lowetide:
Interesting that Hendricks is the target, despite the fact Taylor Beck played in Pouliot’s spot on the Nuge line. Just want to place a little item here: Hendricks had a good night on the checking line. The issue was Beck. That is certainly on McLellan, but I am unsure why Hendricks is taking a beating in this comments section. I must have missed something.

Hendricks falls into that category of veteran the Oilers have seen a lot of: good character, bad results. Jason Strudwick, Steve Staios, Andrew Ference, Marty Reasoner. Throw them onto the ice and by the time they come back, you’re a little worse off. Other teams are questioning assumptions and trying to ice lineups that don’t include these type of players. We should too.

Centre of attention

Woodguy:
This list begs for commentary:

Player GF%

SLEPYSHEV, ANTON83.3 – To the AHL with you!
PULJUJARVI, JESSE68.8 – Scrachted often
LANDER, ANTON62.5 – Another AHL bound

The top 3 at least show McLellan can shelter correctly, but all 3 not playing is not good imo.

MCDAVID, CONNOR58.7 – Our laird
MAROON, PATRICK54.8 – Great trade – slotted correctly
KASSIAN, ZACK53.8 – Great trade – might actually be a target to move up
POULIOT, BENOIT52.4 – Oh Pou, I wish they loved you
LUCIC, MILAN51.3 – Their love for you will never die
PITLICK, TYLER50 – Pitty!! Finally!! Woot! Good for you!
LETESTU, MARK47.6 – The improvement over the last 6 weeks is excellent
DRAISAITL, LEON47.2 – Another one digging out of a hole, most offence is 5v4
EBERLE, JORDAN45.7 – C’mon man.Not at $6MM
CAGGIULA, DRAKE36.4 – This young man needs to sit and never misses a shift.
NUGENT-HOPKINS, RYAN34.5 (!!!!) -Nuuuuge!! What happened man????
HENDRICKS, MATT20 – Old Warrior.Well earned rest, but rest ye must.

And I thought Peter liked goal-based metrics better than CF?!

What in the actual hell is going on around here?

JD_Wry

Woodguy: Player GF%
SLEPYSHEV, ANTON 83.3

I thought it was just my eyes that loved Slepy.

The lines seemed so balanced with Slepy, Pitlick and Pou in. There was enough speed and grit to spread it throughout the lines, and the threat to score was consistent.

But coach had to change a winning lineup, and now he probably won’t change a winning lineup after that bad game that was masked by a (Bettman) win.

Centre of attention

LadiesloveSmid: I thought Hendricks had a good night last night but was poor in his last several outings. I’m on team Slepyshev and Pulju. I’d play both every night.

Pouliot-McD-Pulju
Lucic-Drai-Slepy
Maroon-RNH-Eberle
Kassian-Letestu-Pitlick

On second thought I like those lines better!

Woodguy

This list begs for commentary:

Player GF%

SLEPYSHEV, ANTON 83.3 – To the AHL with you!
PULJUJARVI, JESSE 68.8 – Scrachted often
LANDER, ANTON 62.5 – Another AHL bound

The top 3 at least show McLellan can shelter correctly, but all 3 not playing is not good imo.

MCDAVID, CONNOR 58.7 – Our laird
MAROON, PATRICK 54.8 – Great trade – slotted correctly
KASSIAN, ZACK 53.8 – Great trade – might actually be a target to move up
POULIOT, BENOIT 52.4 – Oh Pou, I wish they loved you
LUCIC, MILAN 51.3 – Their love for you will never die
PITLICK, TYLER 50 – Pitty!! Finally!! Woot! Good for you!
LETESTU, MARK 47.6 – The improvement over the last 6 weeks is excellent
DRAISAITL, LEON 47.2 – Another one digging out of a hole, most offence is 5v4
EBERLE, JORDAN 45.7 – C’mon man. Not at $6MM
CAGGIULA, DRAKE 36.4 – This young man needs to sit and never misses a shift.
NUGENT-HOPKINS, RYAN 34.5 (!!!!) -Nuuuuge!! What happened man????
HENDRICKS, MATT 20 – Old Warrior. Well earned rest, but rest ye must.

LadiesloveSmid

as for the D, I really just wish Russell wasn’t on the team and Fayne/Gryba would stay healthy

Sekera-Benning
Davidson-Larsson
Klefbom-Gryba/Fayne

not sure how I’d split those minutes/comp but I like the pairs

Woogie63

Lowetide: I would put Pouliot with McDavid. Mentioned a few days ago, BP is the one winger who actually increases scoring by 97 while with 97. I understand he is having a subpar season, but there is no real reason to keep him away (Lucic isn’t killing it).

If BP put some good games back to back to back he has the potential to be 1LW on this team. Passing Maroon and Lucic is not an impossible task in my mind.

LadiesloveSmid

Lowetide:
Interesting that Hendricks is the target, despite the fact Taylor Beck played in Pouliot’s spot on the Nuge line. Just want to place a little item here: Hendricks had a good night on the checking line. The issue was Beck. That is certainly on McLellan, but I am unsure why Hendricks is taking a beating in this comments section. I must have missed something.

I thought Hendricks had a good night last night but was poor in his last several outings. I’m on team Slepyshev and Pulju. I’d play both every night.

Pouliot-McD-Pulju
Lucic-Drai-Slepy
Maroon-RNH-Eberle
Kassian-Letestu-Pitlick

Centre of attention

Lowetide,

Poo-McDavid-Eberle
Lucic-Nuge-Drai
Maroon-Cagguila-Kassian
Lander-Letestu-Pitlick

That work? I wonder about trying Jesse as 3C. It sounds crazy but its not like Cagguila has knocked it out of the park.

Woodguy

Lowetide:
Interesting that Hendricks is the target, despite the fact Taylor Beck played in Pouliot’s spot on the Nuge line. Just want to place a little item here: Hendricks had a good night on the checking line. The issue was Beck. That is certainly on McLellan, but I am unsure why Hendricks is taking a beating in this comments section. I must have missed something.

This is why:

Player GF%
SLEPYSHEV, ANTON 83.3
PULJUJARVI, JESSE 68.8
LANDER, ANTON 62.5
MCDAVID, CONNOR 58.7
MAROON, PATRICK 54.8
KASSIAN, ZACK 53.8
POULIOT, BENOIT 52.4
LUCIC, MILAN 51.3
PITLICK, TYLER 50
LETESTU, MARK 47.6
DRAISAITL, LEON 47.2
EBERLE, JORDAN 45.7
CAGGIULA, DRAKE 36.4
NUGENT-HOPKINS, RYAN 34.5 (!!!!)
HENDRICKS, MATT 20

Coach decides he doesn’t trust Sleppy (#1 on this list btw…..) enough to play him so he and Peter decided to send him down and bring up Beck as he’s earned it.

Good on Beck, they’re going to play him a least one game.

So McLellan decides he’s playing vs Tampa and pulls 67 out and leaves in 23.

That’s why its directed at 23. (its actually directed at the coach, 23 is who he is)

The decision by the coach to pull 67 over 23 is the issue.

Beck was/is going to play at least one game, who comes out so he can is the can of worms.

It also doesn’t matter a whole that 23 wasn’t bad last night (although being on the wrong side of his check in the dzone and taking a penalty isn’t good) because its about process, process, process and not immediate results.

Zelepukin

Lowetide:
Interesting that Hendricks is the target, despite the fact Taylor Beck played in Pouliot’s spot on the Nuge line. Just want to place a little item here: Hendricks had a good night on the checking line. The issue was Beck. That is certainly on McLellan, but I am unsure why Hendricks is taking a beating in this comments section. I must have missed something.

Was there any verbal on why Beck was brought up? I don’t think Pou has an injury that would have kept him out, so my guess is that they see Beck as a showcase job given his scoring success.

Georges

OmJo,

I agree with you. We have a lot of players in our lineup who can play. I don’t see how our lineup is so much more flawed than other teams.

Start the game with 4 lines:

McDavid-Lucic-JP
Nuge-Pouliot-Ebs
Drai-Maroon-Kass
Letestu-Caggiula-Pitlick

Finish the game with 3 lines, Drai moved up to first, Letestu moved up to 3rd between Maroon and Kass.

Some of TMac’s decision making and calling out of players does make me wonder how steady the hand guiding the ship is. Why is he so easily agitated? Goals go in against every coach, all the time. TMac’s reactions to goals against are worrying. It’s like he needs to show everybody he’s coaching and he’s the one who really cares and these damn players keep letting him down. When coaches have no other answers to goals against than it’s the players, coaches have no answers. If your players have less success than you expect with your process, question your process not just your players.

Don’t mind me

Georges: Maybe Hendricks is a good process, bad outcomes guy and Pouliot is a bad process, good outcomes guy. I don’t know what they know, but, in my book, playing Hendricks and sitting Pouliot is a legitimate reason to question and worry about Oilers coaching and management.

Looks to me like Pouliot is not doing what Coach wants so he is sitting him.

What that is I have no idea.

Woogie63

Best Left Wings. 1. Lucic, 2. Maroon 3. Pouilot 4. Slepyshev 5. Lander 6. Hendricks
Best Centers; 1. McDavid 2. Driasaitl 3. Hopkins 4. Letestu 5. Caggulia
Best Right Wingers 1. Eberle 2. Pitlick 3. Kassian 4. Puliarjarvi 5. Beck
Best Defense 1. Sekera 2. Larson 3. Klefblom 4. Nurse 5. Benning 6. Russell 7. Davidson 8. Gyrba
Best Goalie 1. Talbot 2. Monster

Play the 1-3 more on 5×5 and the PP
Play the 3-6 more in dzone face-offs and PK

We have a great line up that can and should dictate the play more than we are seeing

JD_Wry

Lowetide:
Bruins shutout Kings. That is a nice item.

Great effort from Rask: https://streamable.com/o42z6

JimmyV1965

Woodguy: What we need to remember about 36 is that college FA’s often negotiate NHL gp when signing.

I don’t know how much Peter guaranteed him, but its a real thing and everyone does it so there is no point in deriding Peter about it, it just is.

I wonder how many gp Peter guaranteed for 36?I wonder if its actual gp or just games on the roster (so they can collect a NHL paycheck)I’d bet its games on roster.

That said, 23 and Beck should sit before 36 imo.

67 should be in everyday.

The last spot should be a fight between 23 and 98 as long as 98 is on the big club.

Although I remember the Drake saying specifically in an interview that he was okay with being sent down. I remember because I thought it was very refreshing.

Woodguy

Professor Q:
Wait. So now we’re on the “Play Puljujärvi in the NHL” Train, instead of “Develop Him In the AHL” Train?

If he’s here, play him and shelter him.

If you’re not playing him, send him down so he can play

Woodguy

OmJo,

I really don’t understand why TMac hasn’t given the Pouliot-Nuge-Eberle a single look this season.

He did.

Their results in a very small sample may tell us why he hasn’t gone back.

via puckalytics super wowy:

43:50 together
43.5% CF
33.3% GF (981 PDO)

Last year’s result for the trio:

214:37 together
53.2% CF
43.8% GF (986 PDO)

So while they have been 52.5% CF together since McLellan got here, they only have 42.1% GF as a trio in that time.

We *know* that Peter values goal metrics more than shot metrics as he has stated as much, so its fair to assume the coach looks at goal metrics and Scoring Chance metrics and discards shot metrics (he has said as much too)