G39 2016-17: OILERS AT BLUE JACKETS

by Lowetide

The Edmonton Oilers are appointment viewing now, we are all-in come what may. The gang that couldn’t shoot straight can finally swing on a star. We can dream of playoffs and scoring championships and awards shows with Oilers content, don’t recall doing any of that last January.

In starting the January schedule safely inside the playoffs, these Edmonton Oilers have established that they are different from the teams of yesteryear. There is a push to reach the second season, the bright new day, and this is serious stuff. Do they have enough to get this vehicle motorvating over that next hill? Strap it on, folks, this is going to be a wild ride. You can call it new balance, I call it no balance, doesn’t matter now. Kick out the jams!

HELLO! HURRAY! 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: 7-2-5, goal differential +3
  • Oilers after 38, 2015: 15-20-3, goal differential -23
  • Oilers after 38, 2016: 19-12-7, goal differential +10

G39 one year ago was a helluva tilt, a 1-0 loss to the Anaheim Ducks. Cam Talbot stopped 34 of 35 on New Year’s Eve at Rexall, and that team tried I know they did, but it was not enough. Again. Edmonton can win No. 20 this evening, about three fortnights before their usual claim on the position.

MCDAVID’S OFFENSE

Over the holidays, I received several comments via email and dm in regard to Connor McDavid and his slump. Whenever a player goes through a downturn, we ask ourselves a series of questions: Is he hurt? Is he 40? Did his shooting percentage go down?

A-ha! That last one is at least part of the problem.

  • October 2016: five goals on 22 shots, 22.7%
  • November 2016: six goals on 43 shots, 14.0%
  • December 2016: three goals on 46 shots, 6.5%
  • Overall: 14 goals on 111 shots, 12.6%
  • Source

McDavid is shooting more as the season rolls along (good!) and his shooting percentage normalized from unrealistic October totals. Now, there is some uncertainty about McDavid, because we don’t really know what his career shooting percentage is going to be due to small sample size. I always like three years of evidence, and since we don’t have OHL shots on goal we have 83 NHL games of evidence. So far in his NHL career, McDavid has a 13.9 percent shooting percentage, and that seems like as reasonable a guess as any. So, with 111 shots this year, and with a 13.9 percent line in the sand, we should expect 15.4 goals—and we have 14. All good, save for December’s regression. He is not hurt, he is not 40, and we await the next hot streak. Cool?

WHAT ABOUT THE ASSISTS?

He leads the league in assists. Seriously.

TONIGHT TONIGHT TONIGHT OH HOH

You know, something happened during December that used to happen all of the time. I had actually forgotten the feeling. Calm on the day of a game. Now, there are times (1987 G7, 2006 G7) when you can pretend you are calm, but no one is fooled because all of your sphincters are tights as a drum. In the last 10 years, sweet misery was the order of the game day, so I had little chance to feel calm. Halfway between contentment and devil may care, I find myself there most game days now. If the Oilers win tonight, music! If they don’t? Well, maybe that motivates PC to plug a hole or two by the deadline. It had been so long since I had that feeling, that when it arrived last month it was like seeing an old friend after many years away. If I start stopping off to buy a 2-4 on a game night, my wife is going to think I am Benjamin Button.

SAM GAGNER

I always liked Sam Gagner, felt in his first training camp they should have sent him out. My friend Louise argued the counter, and turned out she was right. Samwise was a smart, talented guy, and I think he would have thrived here (in a soft minutes role) if not for Pat Quinn and all of the other coaching changes. No matter, he found his way to Columbus, where 4Cs can also be key power-play pieces. I do not think it will be wise to sign him in free agency, but am very happy for Mr. Gagner in his new role. If the Oilers don’t want him to score on them, easy. Don’t take a penalty!

HIGH DANGER SCORING CHANCES, DEFENSE

I haven’t posted much on HDSCs lately, trying to get my head around the accuracy of these totals. I am using NST but am open to other sources. There are a few points I would like to make here.

  • Matt Benning is the No. 5 defender in terms of facing elite opposition according to WoodMoney (here), and ranks as third pair in TOI/game against the top opposition. That said, he is killing the opposition and (as you can see via the link) is in fact facing tougher opposition about four and a half minutes a night (before the Van game). Major story of the season.
  • Darnell Nurse and Oscar Klefbom are two more young defenders finding their way this season, with the numbers for both showing progress. Some miles to go, but good arrows both, and Oscar is playing the elites a lot.
  • Andrej Sekera has been the team’s best defenseman this year. Full stop.
  • Kris Russell has the lesser of the DFF, Corsi and Scoring chances, but we often mention those things without acknowledging the lefty-righty issue. It might have something to do with the difficulty in actually identifying the amount of alterations required to make things even, but we should be at least mentioning that issue every time we discuss Russell.
  • Adam Larsson is strong with Oscar Klefbom in HDSCs (95-95, 50 percent) and 26-43 without OK. I think that pairing has real value.

HIGH DANGER SCORING CHANCES, FORWARDS

  • Connor McDavid is lapping the field in everything 5×5 associated with this team. I read from time to time about how awful this team would be without him, but the point is 97 is an Oiler. Impossible to separate everything that has happened since his arrival with his arrival. My goodness that is an impressive HDSC total.
  • Patrick Maroon and Zack Kassian are also above 50 percent. Kassian has played just 19 minutes with McDavid, so his number is bona fide. Maroon has played more with 97 (135 minutes) and should probably be portside more. CM is 1-7-8 in those 135 5×5 minutes, giving him a 5×5/60 scoring total of 3.54 with Maroon. All day. ALL day.
  • Milan Lucic has spent 406 minutes with McDavid, Eberle 322 minutes.
  • Leon Draisaitl isn’t quite the Hall replacement some believe he already is, and his total in this discipline gives us some proof. That said, Peter Chiarelli’s bet that someone (it is Leon) would be able to step up worked to the point where Edmonton does have enough remnants to cobble together a second scoring line most nights. Leon’s wowy away from McDavid? 48.8 Corsi for 5×5 percentage, 1.92 5×5/60 scoring. He is not yet pushing the river, but LD is a strong option for Todd McLellan.
  • Anton Lander is back, glad for it. Suspect he will be most valuable in checking and PK. Ideally he runs on the 4line.

I like these lines plenty, gives Lucic and Leon a chance to develop more chem and gives McDavid a different look on left wing. Increasingly I am wondering about Jesse Puljujarvi and his handling. Why not throw him up there with McDavid? Either way, I am pleased to see the coach tweaking the top line, the trio were still getting chances to my eye but sometimes a change is as good as a rest.

OILERS 5×5 TEAM STATS (LAST YEAR)

  • GF/60: 2.24 (2.04)
  • GA/60: 2.14 (2.56)
  • GF Percentage: 51.1 (44.3)
  • Shots for 60: 30.6 (28.4)
  • Shots Against 60: 29.4 (30.2)
  • SF Percentage: 50.9 (48.5)
  • Fenwick: 51.3 (48.3)
  • Corsi: 51. 2 (48.8)
  • Shooting Percentage: 7.33 (7.17)
  • Save Percentage: .9273 (.9153)
  • PDO: 100.1 (98.7)

How much of that is McDavid? Plenty, don’t kid yourself. Does it matter? Not really. Once Connor McDavid was secured as part of the Oilers, he was always going to be a big part of whatever improvement the team could manage. Do the Oilers rely on 97 too much offensively? Oh yes, no doubt in my mind. However, in the last 10 games this team has been able to win without McDavid leading the charge offensively (Leon has, 10gp, 3-8-11 to McDavid’s 10, 3-4-7) and Cam Talbot (.934 in going 5-1-3) has been the team MVP. I am enjoying the hell out of this season, despite the worries and the lack of clear 60-minute wins. Those worries will be solved and regulation wins will come in due time. You have to learn to walk before you can run, and that’s a fact.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

We are back! I missed doing the show and today it is four hours! All starts at 10, TSN1260, scheduled to appear:

  • Scott Burnside, ESPN. Scott is in Nashville for the return of Shea Weber.
  • Jonathan Willis, Oilers Nation. Jon has predicted the Oilers to make the playoffs all season long, does he still feel the same? Plus line juggling at Leon.
  • Scott Cullen, TSN. Oilers in Columbus, plus Leafs-Red Wings outdoor game and Matthews comparables as a rookie.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

 

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jm363561

LadiesloveSmid:
If that’s how January’s gonna look, I gotta get into basketball. Next teams will be no breeze either (u like Calgary’s seemingly eternally easy schedule). Really unsatifsying loss. When are RNH, Eberle, Pouliot, Lucic gonna show up. Send Caggiula the hell down already.

Test trst

Woodguy

russ99,

We don’t play as a five man unit in any zone, except on our best nights in the offensive zone.
And it’s more the players than coaching, each player seems to take it on themselves to do too much, we need to play more in the team construct. Even McDavid can improve by doing this.

As far as the dzone goes, they seem to play man coverage with an overload to the puck side.

That’s why you see the Dmen chase the puck carrier to the point so often.

Colieo87

I never got the game cause i left edmonton around 930 this morning and now sitting in camp 85 miles north on the alaskan highway, still shell shocked from this carbon tax.

russ99

Mr. D.:
Remenda gives credit and critique where it’s due. I like his call. I can see the the obsessed Homers not appreciating it.

I don’t think anyone wants homerism. But it seems like we’re listening to a opponent broadcast team at times.

A home team broadcaster gets to know the team day to day and praises or critiques based on that knowledge, Seems all we get from Remenda is critique.

The kowtowing to the horrific refereeing we’ve seen this year is the worst sin,

russ99

NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
The best comment I heard about CBJ tonight came from a Flames fan.

“They are like a flock of starlings during a murmuration. All moving in unison and rapidly. 5 guys are on the TV screen together it seems at all times. No one is leaving early to try for the stretch pass. It is incredible.”

I wonder if THIS was what the Swarm was supposed to look like.

This. This is what the Penguins did and the Hawks before them.

We don’t play as a five man unit in any zone, except on our best nights in the offensive zone.

And it’s more the players than coaching, each player seems to take it on themselves to do too much, we need to play more in the team construct. Even McDavid can improve by doing this.

Seems really odd, all last year was sacrificed to get the Oilers to play as a unit in stringent systems, and when they get the puck on their stick this year, it seems to go out the window for much of the team.

Mr. D.

Remenda gives credit and critique where it’s due. I like his call. I can see the the obsessed Homers not appreciating it.

Gret99zky:
Nobody loves an Oiler loss more than Remenda.

Woodguy

stush18:
NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

I typically don’t read GDT during the game. I usually wait till after. Twitter is nuts. Should stay away from there too.

I follow quite a few posters from here on Twitter though, and there were a few that were criticizing the oilers for having big players.

I prefer posting here, because you can do a better job of explaining, although I rarely do lol

I wasn’t critiquing Peter for adding bigger players.

I was having fun with the fact that teams that play like the best ones do in the EC eat big slow teams for lunch.

The best WC teams vs EC are CHI , MIN ands SJS.

Only SJS is referred to as “big” and even then it’s their puck control which is their biggest weapon.

Woodguy

SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!,

CBJ was 8th in Expected Goal Share last year with spotty goaltending.

Werenski winning a job and moving up to the first pair pushed Murray down which helped the Dcorp a ton.

Other mature rookies come in and win jobs and push other vets down the roster.

It’s cool to watch.

Zelepukin

Georges: I agree. Present winning doesn’t equal future winning. You’re always playing the odds so it’s good to know them. I would check every historical forward (going back to the cancelled season maybe) who has an offensive trajectory like Atkinson’s so far and see how they do once they get paid in their late 20’s. Then I’d place my bet.

I also don’t discount the potential of a TSN Turning Point in a player’s career by way of learning how to play the game under a system that maximises their potential or a deep playoff run that flips the switch on them understanding what it takes to win and what they personally need to improve on.

This is something that we’ve been sorely lacking the past 10 years. Not only playoff experience for our younger players but a coaching staff that has shown any evidence in truly improving their skill set in a timely manner. If anything, our AHL development under Nelson did a better job. We’ve been left with an Oilers meme of young players becoming better once they left our system.

Material Elvis

stush18</

PKs are hard to evaluate. I really feel you need to watch the entire kill. I don’t trust any metrics enough to agree with their results too much. Often a lot of times there is nothing anyone can do. Hard to judge a player that way.

I agree. Goalie SV% also has a huge effect on those GA stats.

Zelepukin

stush18: Interesting. Seems the hate for Hendricks on the PK is misplaced?

PKs are hard to evaluate. I really feel you need to watch the entire kill. I don’t trust any metrics enough to agree with their results too much. Often a lot of times there is nothing anyone can do. Hard to judge a player that way.

This is true. You do almost need a mix of PKers who are tailored for different types of PPs. Hendricks might be one of your best options to block shots from a PP that relies heavily on a shot from the point, where as McD might be your best option against a PP that does a lot of side wall movement with a quick forward, that requires your forward to really close the gap quickly.

stush18

Georges,

The oilers run this play effectively with drai in the middle. He and letestu have scored a couple of intentional tip plays from the high slot.

Perhaps ebs would succeed in this area. You would need to convince him he couldn’t handle the puck too long though, which would be the issue for a goal scorer with the puck in the a lot imo

stush18

Georges: 2015-16 to 2016-17 from corsica

Player Rank on 4v5 GA60 out of 327 players

BRANDON.DAVIDSON 13
ERIC.GRYBA 14
OSCAR.KLEFBOM 23
MATT.HENDRICKS 58
MARK.LETESTU 123
ANTON.LANDER 244
DARNELL.NURSE 245
ANDREJ.SEKERA 273
RYAN.NUGENT-HOPKINS 289
MARK.FAYNE 327

(and players who’ve played for teams other than EDM as well as EDM)

KRIS.RUSSELL 93
ADAM.LARSSON 101
LAURI.KORPIKOSKI 189

*edit: players have played at least 100 minutes of 4v5 over that period

Interesting. Seems the hate for Hendricks on the PK is misplaced?

PKs are hard to evaluate. I really feel you need to watch the entire kill. I don’t trust any metrics enough to agree with their results too much. Often a lot of times there is nothing anyone can do. Hard to judge a player that way.

Material Elvis

godot10:
McLellan’s systems are NOT fast.

The Oilers’ D, even Russell, should be able to play fast, but the Oilers forwards will have to take another step in coming back harder, as back pressure is really the key to playing fast.

As for Pouliot’s giveaway, when was the last time he practiced at right wing, the last time he practiced a breakout along the wall on RW. McLellan put him in a position to fail with his hyperactive line juggling, playing some players where they have not practiced.

I’m not sure if it’s a systems issue or not, but they definitely don’t back pressure hard enough (consistently enough). Too bad we don’t know if the coach’s message is incorrect or if the players just aren’t executing properly. To that point, Pou is a veteran winger who made a really bad play. That’s on him, not the coach.

stush18

NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

I typically don’t read GDT during the game. I usually wait till after. Twitter is nuts. Should stay away from there too.

I follow quite a few posters from here on Twitter though, and there were a few that were criticizing the oilers for having big players.

I prefer posting here, because you can do a better job of explaining, although I rarely do lol

Holy crap. Just saw a replay of Auston Matthews’ assist tonight on Komarov’s goal. Fuuuuuu the Leafs have a great one at last.

godot10

McLellan’s systems are NOT fast.

The Oilers’ D, even Russell, should be able to play fast, but the Oilers forwards will have to take another step in coming back harder, as back pressure is really the key to playing fast.

As for Pouliot’s giveaway, when was the last time he practiced at right wing, the last time he practiced a breakout along the wall on RW. McLellan put him in a position to fail with his hyperactive line juggling, playing some players where they have not practiced.

stush18,

Ah, I don’t follow any Twitter debates on hockey. You posted here so I thought that you were addressing some comments here.

I agree on the D. I mentioned that more than a few times (looking at Werenski and Jones with envy).

Zelepukin

Georges: Good news. We can have Cam Atkinson in 2018-19 when he turns UFA.

Under his previous 2-year contract, Atkinson was a 0.5 PPG player (0.3 GPG).

Last year, he signed his 3-year deal for $3.5M per.

He was a 0.6 PPG player last year (0.3 GPG).

This year, he’s a 1.1 PPG player (0.5 GPG).

Eberle was a 0.8 PPG player the previous 2 years and a 0.7 PPG player last year. (between 0.3 and 0.4 GPG)

This year, he’s a 0.7 PPG player (0.2 GPG).

Atkinson is having Eberle’s second year in the league. What do you think he’ll go for in 2018-19? I’m guessing you want to replace Eberle with the next Atkinson because the current one is going to cost a lot too. So who’s the next Atkinson?

Atkinson’s success is also being driven by the team’s success. The same way Gagner’s is. Gifting either of these guy’s a new inflated contract in hopes for them to produce at the same level but within a different team and a different team system, is risky business. It’s like the Stanley effect. Guys who have an amazing post-season, then cash it in with a great contract based off of what potentially was just a perfect storm of circumstances.

stush18

Georges: Good news. We can have Cam Atkinson in 2018-19 when he turns UFA.

Under his previous 2-year contract, Atkinson was a 0.5 PPG player (0.3 GPG).

Last year, he signed his 3-year deal for $3.5M per.

He was a 0.6 PPG player last year (0.3 GPG).

This year, he’s a 1.1 PPG player (0.5 GPG).

Eberle was a 0.8 PPG player the previous 2 years and a 0.7 PPG player last year. (between 0.3 and 0.4 GPG)

This year, he’s a 0.7 PPG player (0.2 GPG).

Atkinson is having Eberle’s second year in the league. What do you think he’ll go for in 2018-19? I’m guessing you want to replace Eberle with the next Atkinson because the current one is going to cost a lot too. So who’s the next Atkinson?

Connor brown.

stush18

NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

I’ve seen multiple people on Twitter mention the oilers are slow because hall has been traded. Also the chia is building wrong because he’s choosing size. I understand what “fast teams” are, I’m hoping we can stem the bleeding from the chia is an idiot group of people. Every team wants to play that way. Not all can.

That might be one of the most underrated dcorps in the league. You want to look for there success, look to that as a starter.

As LT says, balance. Yin and yang. Just because Pitt won the cup last year with that “speed” doesn’t mean that’s the best way.

It will be interesting to see when CBJ falls back to earth. When teams shut down their PP?

Chachi

Lowetide,

Amen.

Lowetide,

Even Nintendo got that idea back in 1988! 😉

stush18

Georges,

Nuge is my fave, and I seen a lot of heat directed at pouliot over that one, but nuge needs to collapse with more authority and purpose.

To be fair, pouliot needs to take that pass and then move towards the shooting lane. But ya. Interesting stat on nuge. Is it low because of the oilers PK percentage since he joined the league? Any other oilers low on the list besides fayne?

leadfarmer

Woodguy: That’s the post I wanted to write.

Notice that the best EC teams don’t employ checkers on their 4th line.

CBJ ran Gagner and Hartnell on their 4th line while kids play up the roster on merit.

Meanwhile McLellan is busy smacking wet noses will rolled up newspapers to make sure every mistake gets punished and no one is playing loose.

Sleppy slops hogs on the farm while Lowe and MacTavish worry about culture for the 15th season in a row because one day it will matter because they forgot how the 80’s team actually won and have conflated personalities with talent.

So now do you believe me that speed is the new size. This team is built for the 2010 playoffs not the 2017. While you guys weee busy playing with Corsis I was screaming your missing the forest for the trees. Unfortunately new additions do not address this issue

JD_Wry

stush18,

The CBJs are fast because they move the puck quickly and accurately, something that no player can keep up with. They have some fast players, but you’re right in saying they are not a fast team overall.

Every time the Oilers tried to rush the puck with speed, the play was easily broken up by their solid positional play. Three quick passes later, they were buzzing in around Talbot.

stush18,

Did anyone actually say that? Because I did not notice anyone make that last comment about Hall.

I think Woodguy explained it, but it’s not that fast players = fast team. It’s a fast play-style that makes for a fast team. So you don’t need everyone to be a barn-burner but you move the puck quickly, you transition quickly, and all move up the ice with urgency together that makes a fast team.

The Oilers do not play a “fast” game style, even though they have fast players. The transitions are mostly slow and the breakouts still need work.

P.S. I agree with you that there are multiple paths and playing styles to winning and CBJ’s current style is not the only way to achieving good results.

Material Elvis

stush18:
“Now that’s how teams should play. Fast hockey!”

“CBJ players are fast. Much faster than the oilers”

“Stupid oilers traded hall. We’re a slow team now”

Gagner, hartnell, foligno, sedlack, Anderson, Dubinsky. These are not fast players, and I’m being generous with others on the team as well.

Can we drop the speed narrative? There is more than one way to win in the NHL. Plenty of teams run big strong teams. It’s about getting everyone to play the system, and to execute their jobs. This is a well coached team, that has above average goaltending, a PP that’s running above 30%, and a PDO that is tops in the league.

But sure, it’s our speed.

See WG’s post at 8:33pm. It sums up the speed discussion very nicely. It’s not about fast skaters.

stush18

“Now that’s how teams should play. Fast hockey!”

“CBJ players are fast. Much faster than the oilers”

“Stupid oilers traded hall. We’re a slow team now”

Gagner, hartnell, foligno, sedlack, Anderson, Dubinsky. These are not fast players, and I’m being generous with others on the team as well.

Can we drop the speed narrative? There is more than one way to win in the NHL. Plenty of teams run big strong teams. It’s about getting everyone to play the system, and to execute their jobs. This is a well coached team, that has above average goaltending, a PP that’s running above 30%, and a PDO that is tops in the league.

But sure, it’s our speed.

Georges,

Pittsburgh still my pick to come out of the East at this point, and yes the PDO is high for CBJ, but credit where it is due, you are always going to have some very good luck to win 16 games. These things can happen. Colorado making the playoffs for example. The regression did not come until the following year.

But yeah, on the whole I agree that (obviously) they aren’t as good as their current record and I don’t think they will get 132 points, but they are historically hot right now. No doubt about it, and they deserve some credit. Good to see a moribund franchise with one playoff appearance and no wins to show for in 16 years of existence do so well.

Material Elvis

Minister D-:
I keep hearing about Oilers and the flu. Don’t these guys get flu shots? If no, why on Earth not?

It’s not the flu. The symptoms are flu-like but it’s a virus.

Minister D-

I keep hearing about Oilers and the flu. Don’t these guys get flu shots? If no, why on Earth not?

Admiral Ackbar

Enough of the ‘Columbus is hot’ excuse. The Oilers were burned and outclassed by these Jackets last month and went into this game with the same garbage work ethic. They lost how many puck battles? How badly were they outshot? How dangerous was every Lumbus powerplay?

They were alarmingly outclassed tonight. I want my 2 hours back!

SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!,

Yeah, I hope people don’t rip the team too much tomorrow. I thought CBJ was a playoff team but not this kind of juggernaut. I don’t think anyone predicted that. But they had a rough year last year and on paper I thought had a much better team than the team that missed the playoffs last season.

I say that because I drafted Bob in my hockey pool last year and suffered with that team. I take Lundqvist this year, which was not terrible but wish I had Bob instead for sure.

So, would I have guessed a bounce back for CBJ? Yes. 16-game win streak? I would have given you some pretty amazing odds!

As for Torts’ coaching–yup, see my post partway up this page about his coaching vs. personnel. I think McLellan is a good coach–his style and this team’s personnel at the moment just seem to be a little out of sync. Not sure how to fix that in the near-term.

SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo!

NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

Or when you get too enamored with their style?

Honest question: how many folks on this blog had Columbus rattling off 16 straight wins at the start of the year? Follow up question, at the beginning of the year how many folks on this blog would have had Torts running an up tempo style game that revolved around a bunch of young guys being allowed to run free while vets brought up the rear?

Did anyone predict the impact of Zach Werenski? Sam Gagner? Alex Wernberg?

Again I don’t want to take anything away from Columbus on there historic run here but am I the only one that felt they were a bottom tier team coming into this year with maybe a Calgary/Oiler level upside if everything split just right?

I ask all of these questions because I can see exactly where tomorrow mornings thread is about to go and am trying to nip the hard core thrashing of TMac, Chia and Eberle that is surely to occur in the bud.

2-1 three minutes into the 3rd, two good first shifts and a could cycle by Drai, a brutal giveaway on the 4th shift by a ten year veteran and the game was out of reach, before that it was one bad bounce on BoBo away from being tied.

And if Torts can change his style mid-career I think that gives hope to even a #thoroughlymediocrecoach to do the same if need be doesn’t it?

The best comment I heard about CBJ tonight came from a Flames fan.

“They are like a flock of starlings during a murmuration. All moving in unison and rapidly. 5 guys are on the TV screen together it seems at all times. No one is leaving early to try for the stretch pass. It is incredible.”

I wonder if THIS was what the Swarm was supposed to look like.

kinger_OIL

NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

– it is true: we can’t know. That’s the one challenge we have. In real life I can make my trades in our portfolio and also back test models or run with or without positions. In hockey we can only speculate a different outcome. We only have “actuals”.

Zelepukin

Scungilli: The Oilers have the horses to do this. The thinking box has strong walls for them sadly.

You are correct, we are close. Nurse, Pitlick fit that mold and are out. Sleps should be up. Hendricks has the heart but he is the poster boy this season for the wrong way to build a team in the NHL now. Single-skilled role players are not worth the risk of wasting a roster spot on. Lander I think can get there but like Letestu, foot speed may need a boost.

This doesn’t mean we need to or any team for that matter, start replicating the Columbus mold but it does put the spotlight on effort, speed and efficiency. Making smarter plays, faster and more accurately.

Guys like Pou and Ebs, they need to care more. Perfect example, Ebs comments in the post-game on the PP and Todd focuses on tempo and effort.

Columbus has secured 44 points out of its last 48 possible points. Let that sink in for a second before you get too upset with this loss.

Scungilli Slushy

Woodguy: That’s the post I wanted to write.

Notice that the best EC teams don’t employ checkers on their 4th line.

CBJ ran Gagner and Hartnell on their 4th line while kids play up the roster on merit.

Meanwhile McLellan is busy smacking wet noses will rolled up newspapers to make sure every mistake gets punished and no one is playing loose.

Sleppy slops hogs on the farm while Lowe and MacTavish worry about culture for the 15th season in a row because one day it will matter because they forgot how the 80’s team actually won and have conflated personalities with talent.

The Oilers have the horses to do this. The thinking box has strong walls for them sadly.

Woodguy

pocession charge: All of this plus their puck movement is way quicker, too.They are bound to slump at some point and it will be interesting to see how they rebound.

Good catch.

That’s more important than anything I mentioned.

Material Elvis

Woodguy: That’s the post I wanted to write.

Notice that the best EC teams don’t employ checkers on their 4th line.

CBJ ran Gagner and Hartnell on their 4th line while kids play up the roster on merit.

Meanwhile McLellan is busy smacking wet noses will rolled up newspapers to make sure every mistake gets punished and no one is playing loose.

Sleppy slops hogs on the farm while Lowe and MacTavish worry about culture for the 15th season in a row because one day it will matter because they forgot how the 80’s team actually won and have conflated personalities with talent.

Well this post more than made up for it. Funny TMc metaphor. Funny in a sad but true kind of way.

Woodguy

Zelepukin: 100% and you know what sticks out for me? How every shift, literally every shift, when our D gains possession in our zone and a bit of space, we’re doing circles and 3 or 4 d-to-d passes before attempting moving the puck forward because we have no forward still in our zone. Our most common breakout strategy is firing it up the boards in hopes of not only a winger touching the puck but somehow chipping it to the centre for possession. Columbus does that never. Always breaks out with support from below the dots.

yeah, Todd’s break outs are broken.

Players do what the coach tells em to do.

Scungilli Slushy

Zelepukin: 100% and you know what sticks out for me? How every shift, literally every shift, when our D gains possession in our zone and a bit of space, we’re doing circles and 3 or 4 d-to-d passes before attempting moving the puck forward because we have no forward still in our zone. Our most common breakout strategy is firing it up the boards in hopes of not only a winger touching the puck but somehow chipping it to the centre for possession. Columbus does that never. Always breaks out with support from below the dots.

This is true but there is more than one plan to break out. The issue is the Oilers do exactly none of them.

Zelepukin

Woodguy:
That’s what a fast hockey team looks like.

First to loose pucks, first to corners, first to open ice, first to position for a turn over and in your face the second the opposition has the puck.

People who confuse 2010-2015 Oilers with a “fast” team shouldn’t now.

They shouldn’t after watching PIT last year in the playoffs but many Oiler fans aren’t hockey fns and didn’t watch, but they should know now.

West is going to be the second division much like the East was for the last 6 years or so.

CHI, MIN and maybe SJS can play against that.

100% and you know what sticks out for me? How every shift, literally every shift, when our D gains possession in our zone and a bit of space, we’re doing circles and 3 or 4 d-to-d passes before attempting moving the puck forward because we have no forward still in our zone. Our most common breakout strategy is firing it up the boards in hopes of not only a winger touching the puck but somehow chipping it to the centre for possession. Columbus does that never. Always breaks out with support from below the dots.

Woodguy

Zelepukin: What is great about watching Columbus is that it highlights the change in style/make-up of the best team in today’s NHL and they are dominating. This isn’t a case of them riding the greatest goaltending ever or a goal scoring phenom. Just as we were saying during the ANA/LA West Conf, big heavy team domination of years prior, the game has now evolved to where you need consistent skills across all your players in all positions. Smarts, speed, endurance, defensive acumen, passing and grit.

Sure they would have lost several games in their past 16 if it weren’t for some amazing saves and an amazing PP but you also don’t beat teams like Montreal 10-1 or Pitt 7-1 because of one or two guys.

That’s the post I wanted to write.

Notice that the best EC teams don’t employ checkers on their 4th line.

CBJ ran Gagner and Hartnell on their 4th line while kids play up the roster on merit.

Meanwhile McLellan is busy smacking wet noses will rolled up newspapers to make sure every mistake gets punished and no one is playing loose.

Sleppy slops hogs on the farm while Lowe and MacTavish worry about culture for the 15th season in a row because one day it will matter because they forgot how the 80’s team actually won and have conflated personalities with talent.

Material Elvis

Woodguy:
That’s what a fast hockey team looks like.

First to loose pucks, first to corners, first to open ice, first to position for a turn over and in your face the second the opposition has the puck.

People who confuse 2010-2015 Oilers with a “fast” team shouldn’t now.

They shouldn’t after watching PIT last year in the playoffs but many Oiler fans aren’t hockey fns and didn’t watch, but they should know now.

West is going to be the second division much like the East was for the last 6 years or so.

CHI, MIN and maybe SJS can play against that.

All of this plus their puck movement is way quicker, too. They are bound to slump at some point and it will be interesting to see how they rebound.

kinger_OIL,

Yeah, I hear you. I am not saying I am right and you are wrong, or anything of that sort. I tried to say that the team might be better but it still hurt. I feel like that is not a right or wrong thing, you know?

And if you feel like you like the future better now I am also not saying you are wrong. I may disagree but that does not make you wrong or me right. And that was only one aspect of my post.

Playing Hindsight 20/20 watching that stud Seth Jones tonight how would we feel if instead of Hall for Larsson the Nuge for Jones trade had gone down?

At this stage it would look like a big win for the Oilers, but who knows how it will look in a couple of years.

But Jones, Werenski, Murray…CBJ has some nice studs on the blue line that are capable of playing an uptempo style.

Woodguy

That’s what a fast hockey team looks like.

First to loose pucks, first to corners, first to open ice, first to position for a turn over and in your face the second the opposition has the puck.

People who confuse 2010-2015 Oilers with a “fast” team shouldn’t now.

They shouldn’t after watching PIT last year in the playoffs but many Oiler fans aren’t hockey fns and didn’t watch, but they should know now.

West is going to be the second division much like the East was for the last 6 years or so.

CHI, MIN and maybe SJS can play against that.