GRINDHOUSE

by Lowetide

It was a difficult, strange week for the Edmonton Oilers, but the final game got the team two important points and their first win of February. Well played? In spurts, and by some. The ice seemed chippy, as did the play, and the Oilers could have scored a couple with better luck and aim. No matter. We are on to holidays.

THE FRENCH SONG, 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 in January 2016: 4-5-2, goal differential -5
  • Oilers in January 2017: 9-4-1, goal differential +8
  • Oilers in February 2016: 3-8-2, goal differential -18
  • Oilers in February 2017: 1-2-0, goal differential -3
  • Oilers after 55, 2015-16: 21-29-5, goal differential -30
  • Oilers after 55, 2016-17: 29-18-8, goal differential +15

Edmonton reaches the week off in a damned good spot, and that’s for sure. This should be the last hurdle for the Oilers on the way to the postseason, and winning yesterday in Montreal was a big step to their goal. I understand it wasn’t a Rembrandt, but two points is all that matters from now through the moment Edmonton clinches a playoff spot.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM FEBRUARY

  • On the road to: Nashville, Carolina, Montreal (Expected: 1-1-1) (Actual 1-2-0)
  • At home to: Chicago, Arizona, Philadelphia (Expected: 1-1-1)
  • On the road to: Chicago, Tampa Bay, Florida, Washington, Nashville, St. Louis (2-3-1)
  • Overall expected result: 4-5-3, 11 points in 12 games

I had the club getting three points on the road, they fell shy. No big item, avoiding a losing streak is the key and if they go 2-1-0 next week it will be back to do (re-mi). Cam Talbot had an amazing road trip, going 1-2-0 despite a .947 save percentage.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Davidson—Gryba went 16-7 in 12:25 together, 9-4 against Pacioretty—Danault—Radulov line. The pairing was positive in possession with all lines but Nuge (4-6) and were smooth sailing except for Gryba’s suicide short passes. Needs to stop doing that, poor Letestu is going to get killed.
  • Sekera—Oesterle went 14-11 in 13:39 together. Went 4-6 against Lehkonen—Plekanec—Shaw. I think Oesterle’s speed helped Sekera, who makes really good decisions when he has time and space. As a one-off, Oesterle helped himself in terms of recall.
  • Klefbom—Larsson had the lowest possession number of the pairings, but I thought Larsson was Edmonton’s best defender on the team. He rides forwards out of the play, closes gaps and takes good angles, uses all the time available—but no more. Dozens of little things to like about him. Went 15-14 in 17:13 together, they were just 5-10 with 97 alongside, though. Went 4-5 against Pacioretty—Danault—Radulov line.
  • Talbot stopped 25 of 25. His overall SP is .921 (ranks No. 8), his EV SP is .926 (ranks No. 11), PP .898 (ranks No. 4). That is a fantastic season.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

  • Lander—Letestu—Kassian went 6-2 together, Lander adds to the line and helps the PK. I think the Oilers want Jujhar Khaira there eventually, but Lander is a handy player to have around—and he is a better NHL player today than Matt Hendricks. Events went 3-2 against the Pacioretty—Danault—Radulov line.
  • Maroon—McDavid—Draisaitl line did what they always do, provide the offense (although it came in the shootout) that makes the difference. Shameful Shaw slew foot against McDavid was the nadir of the contest, the Habs have been on my shyte list since I was a kid and that didn’t help. Eight shots for the line, how they didn’t score is a mystery to me (although the referees authored something). Went 8-5 against Lehkonen—Plekanec—Shaw.
  • Lucic—Nuge—Eberle went 11-12 together, and 5-3 against Byron—Desharnais—Galchenyuk. The line had nine shots on goal, but they simply are not a factor in games. Eberle is in real danger of having a Bob Sebra season.
  • Pouliot—Caggiula—Slepyshev worked hard and had some good moments, mostly getting the puck through the neutral zone and into the opposition end. That is the role of the fourth line, and they have had more effective nights. Didn’t give up a goal, that is a good thing.
  • Stats via NHL.com, Natural Stat Trick and HockeyStats.ca.

Tyler Johnson would be a dandy fit, although the price would be substantial (he is RFA after this year, according to CapFriendly).

TYLER JOHNSON IN A BOX (2016-17)

  • 5×5 points per 60: 1.50
  • 5×4 points per 60: 5.03
  • Corsi For 5×5 %: 48.8 (last among regular forwards)
  • Corsi Rel: -3.7 percent (last among regular forwards)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 100/16.0
  • Boxcars: 53gp, 16-17-33

Johnson has taken almost 900 faceoffs and is 52.1 percent in the dot—meaning, he could help out there, too. Johnson is not a volume shooter but he is an effective right shot on the power play (5-9-14 this year with the man advantage). What would it take? A good NHL defenseman under control, I imagine.

CURRENT STANDINGS

I was reminded yesterday about how difficult it is to catch anyone in the Bettman era. Entering play yesterday, Calgary had three wins in a row, Edmonton three losses. The Flames had pulled within seven points of their Alberta rival, and could be five back by midnight. Instead, the Oilers grab two points from a game they didn’t score during regular time, and Calgary’s wobble pairing coughs up a game where points were available. Back to nine points behind in a heartbeat. Damned frustrating.

OILERS 5X5 NUMBERS

  • Goals For: 101 (rank No. 9)
  • Goals Against: 93 (rank No. 14)
  • Goals For Percentage: 52.1 (rank No. 10)
  • Shots For Per 60: 29.8 (rank No. 10)
  • Shots Against Per 60: 28.7 (rank No. 10)
  • Fenwick: 50.9 (rank No. 10)
  • Corsi: 50.5 (rank No. 15)
  • Shooting Percentage: 7.63 (rank No. 17)
  • Save Percentage: 92.71 (rank No. 8)
  • PDO: 100.3 (rank No. 13)
  • Source

Those are terrific numbers considering where this team was a year or two ago. The comments I get here and what I read online (less on twitter these, my goodness people hate the Oilers) suggest a real impatience with where the club needs to go, and I understand that for sure. Still, it takes time to build something worthwhile and if we use a five-year window, Peter Chiarelli is less than halfway through. There has been progress, these numbers confirm.

MY COMPLIMENTS TO YOU

I have been waiting for the post here at Lowetide, the DM, or the email, and it never came. I would like to thank you, because it would have been an unnecessary conversation. The communication I expected was something like this: It must pain you greatly to see the Oilers turn north in the season after Hall was traded and Tyler Dellow moved along.

I genuinely expected that to arrive at my inbox long ago. One of the things we have always tried to do here is think beyond to first retort, to go past the I was right, you were wrong verbal that plagues so much of the Al Gore. I believe the Oilers would have been better with Hall and Dellow, some believe other things. Part of the issue, when we tackle these issues and ideas, is keeping an open mind.

I thank you for it, sincerely. If we constantly remind each other of how smart we are, that leaves less time for the actual conversation that leads to a greater knowledge. Did Tyler Dellow help the Oilers find Andrej Sekera? I cannot say for sure, but do know he would have been available, making himself useful, and that some of the success of this Oilers team is probably his doing. Same with Hall, as we see the continued development of Leon Draisaitl this season.

A nuanced conversation. That’s all we can offer each other, but it is quite a lot. Thanks for being you, it makes this place fun when all users bring their best and are open to ideas that do not march in lock step with their own. In this day, in these days, it is a fairly rare forum.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy morning, lots of hockey and Super Bowl talk. Scheduled to appear, TSN 1260, beginning at 10:

  • Scott Burnside, ESPN. Boston Bruins in peril, Oilers in a secure spot.
  • Simon Boisvert, Hockey Insider. Update on Oilers prospect progress, and Simon was involved in the recent California Golden Seals documentary, so we will chat about it.
  • Jason Gregor, TSN1260. Tom Brady, Oilers at their break.
  • Andy McNamara, TSN4Downs. What a special Super Bowl. Best ever?

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

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Rocknrolla

commonfan14:
The one monkey wrench pick with Vegas is the third goalie. They have to take three, so will have to trade or waive one.

And since there’s not likely to be that big a trade market for the third best goalie of the ones that get left exposed, there’s a pretty significant chance they end up having to just waive the guy.

Brossoit getting claimed really is the best-case scenario. It’s entirely possible we’d just end up getting him back for free off waivers.

Does there not seem like they will have an opportunity to assign some of these prospects to the ahl before the season starts, technically avoiding waivers? I can see if they bring up then they are fair game but I bet there is a rule in there where those 7 are protected.

geowal

classict:
commonfan14,

Is it decided anywhere that the players they send down will actually have to pass through waivers? I imagine they’ll get a window after the expansion draft to set up the team

I can’t imagine the NHLPA tolerating otherwise. The whole point of waivers is firstly to prevent established players from being sent to the hinterlands without a chance to play elsewhere. Parity being the other.

leadfarmer

Woodguy v2.0,

Thanks for providing requested info and then defending my opinion for me. The question with Slavin isn’t how good is he, he’s pretty damn good, but how good he will end up. If he was on a Canadian team everyone would talk about how amazing this kid is.

prairieschooner

Should the Oilers go hell for leather to go as deep as possible in the play off ?
Should we try for the cup this year?

How much of your “currency” would you spend this year?
What about the expansion draft and next season?

commonfan29

The one monkey wrench pick with Vegas is the third goalie. They have to take three, so will have to trade or waive one.

And since there’s not likely to be that big a trade market for the third best goalie of the ones that get left exposed, there’s a pretty significant chance they end up having to just waive the guy.

Brossoit getting claimed really is the best-case scenario. It’s entirely possible we’d just end up getting him back for free off waivers.

jm363561

russ99:
For me the real comparison is RNH at the World Cup and RNH after, and McLellan was the coach of both. Seems like a totally different player.

I don’t think it’s physical, more like it’s mental.
=======

Good morning from Manila. I totally agree with this point. The team is better because of McD, Talbot (both of whom are being over worked) and a more resilient D corps, little or none of which is down to TMac. He has a good roster but too many players are underperforming. I am delighted with the results if not the performances, bored by many of the games, still hoping that Nuge, Ebs, Pou and the power play can ignite – if they can we might do some damage.

Jethro Tull

I’m Hearing the #Oilers & #TBLighting are working on a deal. Sounds like Brandon Davidson for Brain Boyle could be the moving parts… #NHL

— Joshua Marshall (@JMarshyBosco93) February 6, 2017

No idea who this guy is. Looking back through his previous tweets, a la David Jones and Dennis Wideman to the Oilers, could be a smart troll.

Woodguy v2.0

Woodguy v2.0,

Games tonight that mean something to the WC standings:
STL @ PHI
SJS @ BUF
ANA @ NYR
CGY @ PIT
DAL @ TOR
LAK @ TBY
VAN @ NSH
Wow, most of the WC is on a road trip in the EC.
Pulling for the home teams tonight except I’d prefer VAN to win over NSH.
WC games that don’t mean too much:
MIN @ WPG
MTL @ COL
GO EC!!
*clap,clap*

These are actually tomorrow’s game.

Doh!

Only WC playing tonight is STL in PHI.

Woodguy v2.0

John Chambers:
Woodguy v2.0,

Yeah I can see why you’re bullish but that these talented young players “could be” rather than “are” bona fide represents a wide chasm.

Last year Dallas was going to produce a number of studly young Dmen like Klingberg, Nemeth, and Johns and now the shine-o is off that ball-o. Arizona has Stone, Connor Murphy, and DeAngelo / Chkryn alongside OEL and have been terrible, while FLA has Ekblad, Matheson, and Pterovic to go alongside their vets and have been pedestrian.

Car also plays in the league’s toughest div.

Their young D may be preventing them from being awful, but I don’t see a pot of gold emerging out of the rain.

My only quibble with “could be” is that Slavin and Pesce are playing the toughest comp today and thriving.

That’s the toughest thing for Dmen to do,and they are doing it today.

Also,

Subban went to “another level”, but Doughty not so much in terms of 5v5 pts/60 and 5v5 P1/60

Last 3 years (including this one)

5v5 Pts/60
Player P60
DREW.DOUGHTY 14/15 0.94
P.K..SUBBAN 14/15 1.23

DREW.DOUGHTY 15/16 0.65
P.K..SUBBAN 15/16 1.25

P.K..SUBBAN 16/17 0.92
JACCOB.SLAVIN 16/17 0.87
DREW.DOUGHTY 16/17 0.79
BRETT.PESCE 16/17 0.68

5v5 P1/60
DREW.DOUGHTY 14/15 0.62
P.K..SUBBAN 14/15 0.68

DREW.DOUGHTY 15/16 0.32
P.K..SUBBAN 15/16 0.80

P.K..SUBBAN 16/17 0.74
BRETT.PESCE 16/17 0.48
JACCOB.SLAVIN 16/17 0.47
DREW.DOUGHTY 16/17 0.45

Now, they have to repeat these performances and improve, but what they are doing today is pretty special given how much TOI% vs the NHL’s best forwards they see.

LadiesloveSmid

I do like the idea of RNH on 97’s wing to jump start him. Maybe even him AND Eberle.

McDavid and Drai should be on separate lines, they are towing the boat up front.

Ducey

LadiesloveSmid:
Gostisbehere healthy scratched for the 3rd straight game. If only he were a righty

Don’t count your Bennings until they’ve hatched.

John Chambers

Woodguy v2.0,

Yeah I can see why you’re bullish but that these talented young players “could be” rather than “are” bona fide represents a wide chasm.

Last year Dallas was going to produce a number of studly young Dmen like Klingberg, Nemeth, and Johns and now the shine-o is off that ball-o. Arizona has Stone, Connor Murphy, and DeAngelo / Chkryn alongside OEL and have been terrible, while FLA has Ekblad, Matheson, and Pterovic to go alongside their vets and have been pedestrian.

Car also plays in the league’s toughest div.

Their young D may be preventing them from being awful, but I don’t see a pot of gold emerging out of the rain.

ASkoreyko

NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
ASkoreyko,

The Oilers won McDavid ona bounce of the lottery balls. They did not tank for McDavid. There is no logical way therefore to credit MacT for McDavid unlike crediting Tim Murrary for guaranteeing a minimum of Jack Eichel. There is a difference between the two situations.

I know K-Lowe was quoted soon after as saying this was all “going to plan,” but that is revisionist , self-serving commentary on his part and simply not true. You can’t plan for lottery luck.

Oh I agree completely, I am not giving any of the previous management any actual credit for McDavid. Rather I am looking at it from the lens that these bumbling idiots at least managed to land us McDavid despite their best efforts to actually ice a competitive hockey team. This was recognized within the organization I think with the swift changes that happened in management afterwards.

What I am trying to say, is that if MacT didn’t waste Petry, we probably would of picked up a few more points and those lottery balls would not of clicked in our favor.

Similar to how Patrick Thoresen cost the Oilers Patrick Kane with that meaningless win at the end of the season.

MacT was awful and had every intention of winning that season and just couldn’t, that will always sit on him. However without his ineptitude we wouldn’t be watching the McDavid.

Woodguy v2.0

John Chambers,

IMO as a group they likely emerge into a top-15 foursome in the league, but there isn’t a Doughty, Karlsson, Subban, etc among the bunch. Also, Carolina’s forwards are one of the league’s weakest – how they acquire one or two offensive drivers to compete with the Pens, Caps, or CBJ seems like a tall order.

Here’s some info you might find interesting.

Slavin and Pesce both turn 22 this year.

If we look at 5v5 pts/60 and 5v5 P1/60 (Primary points, only goals and 1st assists, which is a superior metric to predict future scoring) for Doughty and Subban at 22 we see:

Age 22
Pts/60
Slavin 0.87
Doughty 0.86
Subban 0.81
Pesce 0.68

Primary pts/60
Doughty 0.63
Pesce 0.48
Slavin 0.47
Subban 0.45

Looks like they are on track in regards to Subban’s 5v5 offence.

Something interesting about Doughty though. He was worse in his 23 year old season:

Pts/60 0.52
P1/60 0.32

I wouldn’t be so sure these guys “aren’t those guys” at this stage.

Especially when the forwards corps they pass too today are not that great.

I would have included Karlsson, but he only played 17 games in the NHL in his 22 year old year.

Karlsson is on a different planet though. He’s Paul Coffey.

Not being Erik Karlsson is something that every other Dman in the NHL is guilty of though, even 1st pairing guys.

MacT's Neglected Helmet

LOWETIDE has the gumption to THANK me??
Thank me?! NO. Thank YOU Lowetide.
I love this little blog. Enjoy your radio show too (I listen most days in podcast form).

Appreciate your open mind, your humour, and the reasonable and constructive discussion you both provide and encourage. It makes being an Oilers fan extra fun.

--hudson--

Going back to yesterdays thread and Bob Cole… I understand he’s not the same as he used to be, maybe he never was a great play by play guy. But when I hear his call it takes me back to important moments in Oiler history and I will miss him when he’s gone.

Here are two of his calls that I could listen to over and over again.

“It’s been said in the past about these Edmonton Oilers that they haven’t won anything yet! Well they look like a happy group down there now, they’ve won something now. Folks there’s a new bunch on the block in the National Hockey League, the Edmonton Oilers by name. The Oilers have won the Stanley Cup!” 1984
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cqHcTZfGGs

1987 SCF game 7 insurance goal
https://youtu.be/z5kwOlFeCPA?t=5m11s

He’s also the voice of Todd Marchant in 1997 or Fernando Pisani in 2006. He’s part of the memory for me and I feel the need to defend him.

(I feel similar when someone will criticize a Rod Phillips call. Yeah technically he’s not painting a perfect picture of the action, maybe his timing is off, but there is en emotion and nostalgia that few others bring.)

Scungilli Slushy

commonfan14: They are indeed required to select 1 player per team, but it’s possible they might decide to select a few Landeresque pros once they have a full roster of firmly established NHL players.

Lander could clear waivers and help their farm team. If they pick 30 firmly-established NHL players, they’ve got to make moves or will lose 7 of them for nothing.

Even non-established players who are still solid prospects like Griff and Brossoit would get claimed.

Try drafting a team on Capfriendy, it’s hard man! They will draft an NHL team and the rest will be prospects I think.

prefonmich

Woodguy v2.0,

I was interested to compare other teams who Oilers are competing against for playoff spots. I started this below:
Anaheim has 9 Home vs Playoff, 6 Home vs NonPlayoff, 8 Away vs Playoff and 5 Away vs Non-playoff so perhaps a tougher sched than Oilers.

SanJose has a very even schedule, 7 Home vs playoff, 7 Home vs Non-playoff, 8 Away vs Non-playoff.
so perhaps a little easier than the Oilers.

I then was interested to try to calculate what this will mean points wise so I went through the Oilers games played and calculate their ‘points percentage’ of games played so far- this is inaccurate because I calculated based on 2 pts available per game which of course is not always the case in the Bettman era.
In home vs playoff they gathered 54% of 26 available points so far
In home vs non-playoff, they have gathered 63%
Away vs playoff 47%
Away vs non-playoff, a staggering 86% of the available points!!

If I multiply these percentages by the games in each of the categories, it comes to roughly 32.18 expected points for the Oilers the rest of the way which would leave them at 98.18 points – hopefully playoffs.

I have no interest in doing this exercise for the other teams though!

commonfan29

geowal: I thought they were required to select 1 player per team. The nuance is that some will be minor league prospects for a future farm team but vie for a job in training camp. Hence the occasional consideration of Reinhardt or Brossoit being selected around here.

They are indeed required to select 1 player per team, but it’s possible they might decide to select a few Landeresque pros once they have a full roster of firmly established NHL players.

Lander could clear waivers and help their farm team. If they pick 30 firmly-established NHL players, they’ve got to make moves or will lose 7 of them for nothing.

Even non-established players who are still solid prospects like Griff and Brossoit would get claimed.

John Chambers

commonfan14:
If Vegas decides to actually select 30 NHL players in the expansion draft, I assume that the 7 they’d have to send down to get to a 23 player roster limit would be subject to waivers, right?

If so, it’s an interesting switch-up where it quickly becomes Vegas that has to start trading players to avoid losing them for nothing.

Should be some intriguing deals on both sides of the actual draft.

LV will at least be in the enviable position of having a number of players who they will be immediately able to cash for draft picks.

For example, Colorado could send a couple of 2nd round picks to LV for Davidson and, I dunno, Jason Zucker.

I think George McPhee will have tendency to take players like Rick Nash and Pouliot off the hands of fellow GM’s in exchange for a mountain of 2nd and 3rd round picks, ultimately fielding an expensive and mediocre lineup in the early going, but owning a disproportionately large number of draft assets in 2017 through 2020.

Needless to say I doubt he’ll worry much about losing valuable players on waivers.

John Chambers

Woodguy v2.0:
John Chambers,

3-4 defensemen

Its that “they have 3 to 4 good Dmen”

or

“Their Dmen are 3/4 on a good roster”

Curious.

I can certainly appreciate that the WoodMoney stats demonstrate solid possession numbers for their emerging defensemen – Pesce and Slavin, but amongst their D corps it’s hard to say any one guy is a legit top-pair player (Faulk comes closest, but Staples has convinced me he’s a mediocre defender).

Aside from Faulk none of their rearguards have posted 20 points.

So from there I can say that Faulk, Pesce, Slavin, are all decent defenders, but none who are bona fide top-pair guys. Perhaps they have one of those guys or Hanifin develop into an all-minutes killer, but none of those guys are there yet. Cracking the league’s top-60 blueliners (hence top-pair for 30 teams) is indeed the hardest button to button – I don’t think we can say they’re there yet and I’m not of the opinion that they all get there.

IMO as a group they likely emerge into a top-15 foursome in the league, but there isn’t a Doughty, Karlsson, Subban, etc among the bunch. Also, Carolina’s forwards are one of the league’s weakest – how they acquire one or two offensive drivers to compete with the Pens, Caps, or CBJ seems like a tall order.

Cassandra

JimmyV1965:
I think everyone who loves the NHL should be scared that we won a game without scoring a goal and that half the teams playing yesterday didn’t score a goal. Very troubling to say the least.

This.

And what I have learned from how happy Oiler fans are this season, despite the abject mediocrity of the team, is that Bettman is right. Fans are more interested in cheering for the home team than they are in excellence, and cheering for the home team is aided and abetted by low scoring games.

We get the NHL we deserve.

fifthcartel

What might help the Oilers is 8/27 of the games remaining have the Oilers facing a team on the second night of a back to back.

Chicago
Arizona
Flyers
Nashville- Away
Detroit
Boston
Los Angeles
Canucks – but Oilers on second of a B2B too

Oilers only play B2B 3 times.

geowal

commonfan14: If Vegas decides to actually select 30 NHL players in the expansion draft, I assume that the 7 they’d have to send down to get to a 23 player roster limit would be subject to waivers, right?

I thought they were required to select 1 player per team. The nuance is that some will be minor league prospects for a future farm team but vie for a job in training camp. Hence the occasional consideration of Reinhardt or Brossoit being selected around here.

geowal

One of the things we have always tried to do here is think beyond to first retort, to go past the I was right, you were wrong verbal that plagues so much of the Al Gore.

I honestly think I would have substantially quit the internet altogether by now if not for this place, so thanks for keeping me connected….I think.

LadiesloveSmid

Gostisbehere healthy scratched for the 3rd straight game. If only he were a righty

spoiler

New Improved Darkness,

Kundalini kraftwerk and kettle drums… just divine, fine Sir. I have puzzled long over the Second Coming and feel your scrying into the Past is most accurate with one black rider of qualification (or lack thereof).

MacT should have fallen into the deep well of Moria… the Gords thus appeased…

Woodguy v2.0

My take on the rest of the Oilers schedule:

4 categories of games:

Home vs Playoff team (as of today) – 8
Home vs Non-playoff team – 8

Away vs Playoff team – 7
Away vs Non-playoff team – 4

So they play 15 vs playoff teams and 12 vs non. That’s not easy.

7 Away vs Playoff compared to 4 Away vs Non-playoff isn’t great either.

4 of the Non playoff games are vs teams that aren’t “easy outs” in FLA (away), NYI (home), DAL (home), and BOS (home)

I’d say its “not easy” and probably “tough”

commonfan29

If Vegas decides to actually select 30 NHL players in the expansion draft, I assume that the 7 they’d have to send down to get to a 23 player roster limit would be subject to waivers, right?

If so, it’s an interesting switch-up where it quickly becomes Vegas that has to start trading players to avoid losing them for nothing.

Should be some intriguing deals on both sides of the actual draft.

Ducey

Woodguy v2.0,

I don’t know why I said CAR and NYI were out. They are not.

I looked at BUF and TB and note they likely have a better chance of getting top 3 in the Atlantic than getting a wildcard. They are 6 pts back with games in hand on BOS. Of course they have to climb over TOR and FLA, but those GMs are not likely to give up yet.

Just proves my point that very few teams are in sell mode right now. The chances of Chia getting a trade done this week are very low, unless he goes dumpster diving.

Woodguy v2.0

NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker":
John Chambers,

I think that was true before, but their drafting has improved in recent years, under the guidance of Ron Francis.I think you are dismissing them based on past history. They have the second longest playoff drought after Edmonton, but they are headed in the right direction.

That D is a lot better than a collection of 3/4 defensemen. That is what you are missing in the equation, in my opinion.

P.S. They did draft Hanifin, whom if you will remember about half the posters thought we were going to get (and love) before the lottery balls bounced and came up 97s. They also drafted Elias Lindholm who has underperformed his draft class but has potential. They made up for it by drafting Sebastian Aho in subsequent years.

They have the 3rd best CF% in the league with the 30th payroll in the league.

Their $57MM payroll is $6MM below 29th place FLA and $7MM below 28th place NJD.

They have a real shot at a playoff spot as well.

If they get bought by someone with money they have ~16MM to add some scoring to an already very good and young Dcorps.

I was a Nordique fan due to the Stastnys when I was a kid. Even went so far as to make Nordique “jerseys” for my table hockey game to cover the TOR jerserys that were printed on the players.

Oiler fan first of course, but for some reason I latched on to The Nords too.

If Quebecor buys CAR, I’m adopting them as my second team again.

stephen sheps

npanciroli:
stephen sheps,

Easy donation. Would be much harder going to work everyday without LT’s blog at 8:30. Something to look forward to every morning.

I’m much the same – my mornings wouldn’t be the same without it – though I can’t take credit. The wager was actually meanashell11‘s idea. I’m glad it was suggested.

Woodguy v2.0

John Chambers,

3-4 defensemen

Its that “they have 3 to 4 good Dmen”

or

“Their Dmen are 3/4 on a good roster”

Curious.

Woodguy v2.0

JDï™: From their new locker room:

FAST. HARD. SUPPORTIVE.

Seriously – who comes up with these slogans? It’s better than ‘Chop Wood’ (sorry Woodguy), but not by much.

Its ok.

One should usually saw wood, not chop.

Woodguy v2.0

Ducey,

In the east, only NJ, CAR, and NYI are out of it. In the west, just COL and ARI. All those GM’s are going to hold out hope that someone gets desperate and pays too much. No GM usually ever does.

CAR and NYI are not out.

I’m surprised you didn’t mention TBY and BUF.

Here’s the EC standings using the same format I do for WC. The straight points standings are very mis-directing as the variability of Games Played is large.

WSH 19
CLB 14
PIT 14
NYR 9 – 1st wildcard spot
MTL 8
OTT 4
TOR 1
PHI 0
———————
NYI -2
CAR -2
FLA -2
BOS -3
DET -5
BUF -5
NJD -5
TBY -8

Its not a stretch to say that one of NYI and CAR can make it.

That last wildcard spot might not get locked down until the last day with so many teams fighting for it.

Also, DET, BUF, and NJD are only one more game back from the last wildcard spot in the EC than WPG and DAL are in the WC.

I’d stick a fork in all 4 of those teams given how many teams are fighting for that last wildcard spot, but its not a for sure.

JimmyV1965

NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
ASkoreyko,

The Oilers won McDavid ona bounce of the lottery balls. They did not tank for McDavid. There is no logical way therefore to credit MacT for McDavid unlike crediting Tim Murrary for guaranteeing a minimum of Jack Eichel. There is a difference between the two situations.

I know K-Lowe was quoted soon after as saying this was all “going to plan,” but that is revisionist , self-serving commentary on his part and simply not true. You can’t plan for lottery luck.

I think he was referring to MacTs incompetence putting us in a position to win the lottery. Everyone here knows the Oilers didn’t tank on purpose.

JD_Wry

THIS SNOW CAN F RIGHT OFF!

vinotintazo

russ99: And we lose in the first round of the playoffs since we have a weak defender on each pairing.

It may not be as certain if out forwards play defense as a team with our defensemen, but that’s not happening unless we change out a significant number of them.

Also, there’s a slim possibility Talbot steals a playoff round, but not two.

Defense, goaltending and forechecking win in the playoffs, not speed and scoring, and there’s no Bettman points or 3×3.

You can always sign a vet 4/5 Guy for cheap in the off season. they are always available.
ie: Holden, Russell, Lovejoy. etc this year. That’s not counting Fayne who I think can play 3rd pair at least.

I think Nurse is the closest comparable to Russell in terms of how they play. Of course Russell has the experience.

I still hope they find a RHD in the deadline or next season who can Play the PP and is at least a #4D.

One can dream.

npanciroli

russ99,

I really like my L-R D balance. I like Benning more at 2RD than Russell. I see a fit for Russell on the third pair but then I like Klefbom, Sekera, Nurse more than him. Good for depth D though.

russ99

vinotintazo:
We have Nurse, Davidson, Oesterle, Reinhart. I think any of them can replace Russell next year.

2017-2018 Oilers D.

Klefbom-Larsson
Sekera-Nurse
(Reinhart/Davidson//Oesterle)-Benning

I think Las Vegas takes one of Davidson/Reinhart.

And we lose in the first round of the playoffs since we have a weak defender on each pairing.

It may not be as certain if out forwards play defense as a team with our defensemen, but that’s not happening unless we change out a significant number of them.

Also, there’s a slim possibility Talbot steals a playoff round, but not two.

Defense, goaltending and forechecking win in the playoffs, not speed and scoring, and there’s no Bettman points or 3×3.

Woogie63

We are going to the play-off for the first time in 10 years, I don’t see the Oilers trading Davidson to protect and asset in a June expansion draft. He is our 6th or 7th best dman, and we need 8-9 dman if we go on a run.

If we lose our 6th or 7th best dman in an expansion draft, is there gnashing of teeth?

npanciroli

stephen sheps,

Easy donation. Would be much harder going to work everyday without LT’s blog at 8:30. Something to look forward to every morning.

Pouzar

JimmyV1965:
I think everyone who loves the NHL should be scared that we won a game without scoring a goal and that half the teams playing yesterday didn’t score a goal. Very troubling to say the least.

Agreed. Winning hockey is fun but damn these games are boring as F***

leadfarmer

Woodguy v2.0,

Thank you kindly. Slavin is the better of the two but Pesce is still a good d man. I had Slavin pegged as maybe the best young d man most people haven’t heard of, but these days everyone wants advanced stats and don’t trust my eyeball.

stephen sheps

npanciroli,

Super Bowl results. Loser donates $20 to LT, winner $10.
Just a friendly wager to support our local blog-father so that he can continue to provide us with this fine space and the community that comes along with it.

New Improved Darkness

To fully invest in a counterfactual fork in the road is an act of selective suicide. The further back one travels, the more one discards to the mooning knife. I began to demonstrate a clear talent for mathematics—for patterns, abstractions, and rule-based systems (also called a deck of cards)—at some point during my grade two school year. I wonder where I would be now if this talent were valued by society in the same way that hitting a small white ball into a small cup is valued, or skating a clean figure eight, or carrying a bright tune is valued. But no, the response around me was “oh, no, he’s going to leave the species altogether!” and then the usual poultice: confine him in small rooms with his age-appropriate peers, make sure he’s picked last for every team sport, provide no formal instruction in a mathematical art more complex than reducing fractions, isolate him from any adult roll models who might themselves have flirted with species change a young age.

So I sometimes wonder where I’d be now in a society that celebrated the other fork in the road.

Where I’d be is more different from my present self than I am from my brother (we have a nucleus of strong similarity). 80% of my life failures and triumphs that make me the person I am now would instead be the stories of a different man (my core sleep issue was going to take its pound of flesh no matter the road, but even there my response would have been more cats and dogs, rather than apples and oranges).

It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, living life in your imagination.

———

Imagine you’re in Moria. And you hear drums. Only the drums surprise you. These are not the drums of “dooom”, “dooom”, “dooom” echoing up from the deep.

———

Even Gandalf is puzzled. “That’s just wrong,” says Gandalf. “Those are the drums of … alternative prophecy.”

“Ooooh,” says Pippin, “I like the sound of that.”

“I think I’ve got it,” says Sam, whose ears are almost as keen as Legolas’s eyes (all the better for trimming the verge). “Pa rum pum pum pum, ra pum pum pum,” Sam briefly hums along, “and then it goes into an infernal loop”.

“Beastly,” says Gimli, who only barely succeeds in not saying “feastly”.

Frodo visibly starts.

“What was that?” asks Merry.

“Oh, nothing,” says Frodo; Moria is not the place to confess that you think you’ve just seen a leprechaun milling about in the shadows with a handful of sticks.

“From above!” cries Legolas, who spies a mote in the distance, riding the sunbeam.” Legolas leaps upon the illuminated sarcophagus and cocks his bow at the sun.

“What is it?” says Gandalf, so thoroughly thrown for a loop by the wrong drum roll as to completely discard his wizened pretext.

“It appears to be,” says Legolas, straining to believe, “some kind of swaddled headscarf”.

Actually, it’s a Turkish headscarf vigorously rubbed against a Turkish carpet, wrapped around a baby, then tossed into the air. Yes, the scarf contains a baby, and it’s using the inclined sunbeam as an ILS landing system.

Aragorn and Boromir draw their swords. Nuts! They’re both right-handed. Aragorn glowers at Boromir, who ignores his expression. Disgusted, Aragorn flips his blade to his left hand. Together, simulating air-traffic marshalling wands with their two swords, they guide the bundle down the shaft of light, top dead center onto the heavy lid of Balin’s tomb, almost on top of Legolas’s toes, who has taken the smallest and most graceful step backward.

“It’s a baby!” says Sam, who doesn’t know it yet, but will repeat this line many, many times in his most probable future timelines.

“Appears to be some kind of wizard child,” pronounces Gandalf.

“Can’t be,” says Pippin, “its cute little nose is all hook and no bulb”.

Gandalf scowls at Pippin from under eyebrows the size of small squirrels as if he’s about to say something quite rude, but restrains himself on account of the innocent newcomer.

“Just when you least expect it,” says Boromir. “Probably yet another king.” This catches Aragorn mid-toss as he’s preparing to resheath. He nearly bobbles the catch.

“Can’t be,” says Aragorn. “Requires lineage.”

“And the sons of Jehoiada, and Jehoshaphat the son of Jehoiada, and Jehoshaphat the son of Jehoiada, and Jehoshaphat the son of Joseph, and the sons of Jehoiadan the son of Jehoiada, and Jehoshaphat the son of Jehoiada, and the sons of Jehoiadan the son of Jehoiada, and Jehoshaphat the son of Jehoiadan the son of Joseph the son of Jehoiada, and Jehoshaphat the son of Jehoiada, and Jehoshaphat the son of Jehoiada” says Boromir (source).

“Have you lost your mind!?” says Gimli, who can’t entirely see what’s going on. “And we thought those drums were stuck in an infernal loop.”

“Well, he’s squirming around,” says Boromir.

“Pssssst—it’s an inscription, on the infant’s forehead, that brightens a bit when he cholics” whispers Legolas to Gimli.

“I don’t hear any cholic,” says Gimli, annoyed as ever by his low perch.

“That’s the strange thing,” says Legolas, “this infant is completely silent, but you can see it in his face—steam practically erupts from his tiny ears.”

As this moment, Gandalf suddenly whitens, halfway slumps to the floor, before staggering heroically to the nearest supportive wall.

“Gandalf!” cries Frodo. “Are you okay?”

Clearly Gandalf is stirred but not shaken, his healthy off-white colour immediately returning to his off-white cheeks.”

“I felt a great disturbance in the legends of Middle Earth, as if an entire cluster cried out in terror, and were yardsaled for frozen horse pucks.”

“No!” says Merry.

“Yes!” says Pippin.

“What’s with you,” says Sam to Pippin.

“Don’t you remember the frost of ’14?” says Pippin. “It was a blast!”

“A blast of cold air that knocked back the verge until late summer,” says Sam. “The frost of ’14 was no welcome blast to this gardener.”

“Well, we had a blast,” says Pippin.

“Doing what?” asks Frodo.

Merry rolls his eyes. “We went outside that morning to blow beautiful smoke rings in the frozen air. Then with his pointy walking stick—I swear he sharpens it deliberately—Pippin one-handed a frozen puck right into my lap. So I got a cracked a bigger stick off the nearest tree, and smacked it right back. Then he got a bigger stick, and the game was on.”

“What a waste of good tobacco,” says Gimli.

“What kind of puck?” says Frodo.

“A pony puck,” says Sam.

“What pony pucks? We keep the streets of Hobbiton cleaner than the Big Smoke.”

“It came from a garden by the side of the road,” says Pippin.

“Whose garden?” says Frodo, alarmed to think of Hobbiton harbouring such a miscreant.

“Probably my garden”, says Sam.

“So that’s why you were almost tearful when we loosed Bill the Pony,” says Frodo.

“Me and him, we had plans,” says Sam.

“What’s done is done,” says Aragorn, finally interrupting the group hobbit reverie. Besides, Boromir was clearly this close to his first “coochie coochie cooo”. You could see it—his fingers were uncurling toward the infant’s neck, just so. “Tell us your vision, Gandalf. What did you see?”

“Trust no stairway! Test every step one by one by one. Keep one hand on the hand rail at all times. We should be able to escape these infernal mines with the original fellowship intact if we follow these simple rules.”

“Are we taking the baby?” inquires Pippin.

“Of course we are taking the baby. One does not simply abandon the white wizard.” No one was quite sure who had just spoken those words. It sounded a little bit like several of them speaking at the same time, compounded by the Great Hall of Moria.

“He doesn’t look like a wizard,” says Merry.

“Give him a week,” says Aragorn.

“What would you know about it?” says Boromir.

“Knowing that softie, Galadriel, she’ll dunk this mewling urchin into the very fountain of Eärendil,” says Legolas.

“You sound bitter,” says Gimli.

“Just a little healthy elf-realm rivalry,” says Legolas.

“Onward!” cries Gandalf. “Everyone, remember to mind your steps, and grab the handrails!”

“He fears the plunging depths of new jersey,” mutters Legolas. “But why?”

“Not so fast, we haven’t avenged Balin yet!”, says Gimli with hot, wet, piercing eyes.

“Against what?” asks Gandalf, who is equally perplexed and secretly more vexed by this unexpected “pa rum pum pum pum” than his original worst foreboding. “Many dark paths can be amended with a good smiting. But what to smite? Still, I’m essential to the tale of Middle Earth. Or am I? What I would do for quick peek into an off-season Palantir. Failing that, I must consult my player agent, Celeborn the wise, at the first opportunity.”

Doubt had now entered the wizard, and not for the first time.

npanciroli

stephen sheps:

Glad we did that though. Normally I never gamble, but the cause was right so I didn’t mind at all.

What was the gambling for? I’d like to chip in even though I wasn’t a part of it.

stephen sheps

meanashell11,

I don’t hate the patriots because they win, I hate the patriots because I’m a Dolphins fan and have been since the 80s when I was just a young Sheps… Division rivalries run deep.

Glad we did that though. Normally I never gamble, but the cause was right so I didn’t mind at all.

And now back to hockey…

Wait, the Oilers are on a break this week… maybe not. I guess this means I can get caught up on my grading pile?

Woot?

JimmyV1965

I think everyone who loves the NHL should be scared that we won a game without scoring a goal and that half the teams playing yesterday didn’t score a goal. Very troubling to say the least.

prefonmich

Question for all you number crunchers out there… I don’t have them time or know-how to figure this out but it seems to me that this year when the oilers have had a busy schedule, TMac is shortening his bench more and McDavid’s line is playing ridiculous minutes 20+ minutes, up to 25, which also results in not so much of a 4 line game. This has resulted in less goals in those games, not more. When the Oil have had a lighter schedule, like their 6 game homestand and games following in Pacific div, they have rolled 4 lines more and have had more success in both wins and goals scored. This is my observation although I haven’t had a chance to watch much of the past 4 games.
My question is do the numbers reflect this or am I dreaming? It seems counter-intuitive to me that when the team plays more games in less time that the top line gets relied on so heavily. I would think that a strategy to roll 4 lines more consistently would result in everyone being more involved and all being fresh, which should equal better play. This is a concern I have with TMac- he seems to single out players to bench as a result of perceived poor play and it affects the team as a whole. See for example, Pouliot (sent to 4th line despite better success than Lucic has ever had with RNH and Eberle). Let me know what you think- sorry if this is out of context of other conversations here- just something I am interested in discussing in light of recent games and results.