THE LAST SPIKE

by Lowetide

In his last eight games, Jordan Eberle is 3-4-7. Like a fabulous mystery, he appears to have waited until the final possible moment to deliver the key plot twist. Jordan Eberle, Mr. Consistent, is back from the abyss just in time to save Gotham. Well, Edmonton.

THE SECOND LINE, LAST 10 GAMES

  • Jordan Eberle 3-4-7, 23 shots (all points at evens)
  • Milan Lucic 3-3-6, 19 shots (2-2-4 at evens)
  • RNH 2-4-6, 16 shots (2-3-5 at evens)
  • Eight goals for the line in 10 games, averaging about 6 shots a game, most points at even strength.

FRIENDS DON’T LET FRIENDS TYPE DRUNK

Back in the summer, I ran REs for all of these fellows based on their own past. Each one of them is off by a significant amount and it is getting late.

  • Jordan Eberle RE (75, 27-34-61 .813) versus actual (65, 14-25-39 .600)
  • Milan Lucic RE (80, 22-39-61 .763) versus actual (65, 14-22-36 .554)
  • RNH RE (75, 20-31-51 .680) versus actual (65, 13-19-32 .492)

I was off by a lot on Eberle (14 points), Lucic (14 points) and Nuge (12 points), but there is still time to close the gap a little. All three of these men should be at 50 points without a throw, but with a strong finish maybe they get close. The strange thing? I am going to be pretty close on my RE GF projection from the summer.

  • Goals For: RE (226, 2.76 per game) versus actual (183 in 65, 2.82 per game)
  • Goals Against: RE (226, 2.76 per game) versus actual (166 in 65, 2.55 per game)

The GA number is going to require some discussion if it ends up being as low as it appears to be heading. The fun number I am most looking forward to at the end of this season? Final goal differential compared to one year ago.

  • 2015-16: 199-242, -43 goal differential
  • 2016-17: 183-166, +17 goal differential (so far)
  • Projected 2016-17: 231-209 (+22)
  • Projected RE 16-17: 226-226 (0)

The Oilers are on pace to improve by 65 goals season over season. That improvement is trending toward breaking down like this: +32 in goals for, -33  in goals against. Huh. That is amazing. Hope it ends up  that way.

CENTERS WITHOUT LEON

The first game of the Desharnais era has all of us discussing the idea of signing him (well, I am talking about it) and then possibly keeping Leon Draisaitl on RW until Jesse Puljujarvi pushes him back to center. I like the idea, and the group sure looked good on Saturday, but one day does not a dynasty make. We also have to factor in the idea of Jordan Eberle possibly being a cap victim in the next 18 months.

PROJECTED OPENING NIGHT LINEUP 2017-18

  • Maroon-McDavid-Draisaitl
  • Lucic-Nuge-Eberle
  • Pouliot-Desharnais-Puljujarvi
  • Khaira-Letestu-Kassian

One suspects we see an expensive forward out for a less expensive version of the same player (Guerin for Carter) and that may come at the draft. I also remain undecided on which of Khaira, Slepyshev or Caggiula would get a push based on what we know. Caggiula in the lineup over Slepyshev Saturday night may a blue’s clue.

  • Jesse Puljujarvi 22, 9-11-20 .909; 64 shots, 2.91 per game
  • David Pastrnak 25, 11-17-28 1.12; 76 shots, 3.04 per game
  • Mikko Rantanen 52, 24-36-60 1.15; 140 shots, 2.69 per game

There are definitely similarities between the three men and this is a nice part of town. Pastrnak’s most common center appears to have been Alexander Khokhlachev, who was a solid AHL player at the time but well below Anton Lander. I am pleased with Mr. P’s progress (NHLE: 82gp, 18-22-40) and watching the game yesterday it was clear the young man is an impact player at that level. That said, we can be sure Lander is zooming the boxcars like a demon, so probably best to temper our expectations in the comparisons to Pastrnak.

STANDINGS THIS MORNING

Edmonton leads the division in goals, that is a surprise. You know what saved me RE? Goals from the defense. We will review after the season but it is an impressive leap for the blue, who have real home run power this season. Lots of chatter about facing Calgary in the first round, ideally Edmonton finishes second and hosts Anaheim. That said, getting in the playoffs is the first priority and there may not be time to pick your poison. I will say this: It would be nice to see the Oilers play their first playoff game since 2006 in a city not named Calgary. It is going to be a fun month! A quick note: I use team GF-GA totals from hockey-reference, I find it cleaner.

 WHAT TO EXPECT FROM MARCH

  • At home to: Detroit, NY Islanders, Pittsburgh, Montreal (Expected: 2-2-0) (Actual 1-0-0)
  • At home to: Dallas, Boston, Vancouver, Los Angeles (Expected: 3-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Anaheim, Colorado (Expected: 1-1-0) (Actual: 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Colorado, Los Angeles, San Jose (Expected 1-1-1) (Actual: 0-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 7-5-1, 15 points in 13 games
  • Overall current results: 1-0-0, 2 points in one game 

I think the Oilers should be able to secure second place in the division. The best team in the division is San Jose, and then after that we are dealing (imo) in shades of grey. That said, Calgary’s strong run is impressive and they appear to have scoring and defensive depth to go along with fine goaltending. They will have a story to tell, but the Oilers do as well. Could Edmonton get more than 15 points out of this month? It might take close to 20 if the Flames continue their hot as Hades run. That said, if a BOA series this spring is the beginning of another decade of raw nerve rivalry with the reds, then bring it on.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, we kickstart the week with a varied menu of the sports. Scheduled to appear:

  • Scott Burnside, ESPN. Who won the trade deadline? Are we headed for a battle of Alberta? The Blackhawks appear to be peaking right on time.
  • Andy McNamara, TSN4Downs. NFL combine went this weekend, what will Cleveland do? Also, the wideout I wanted for the Eagles at No. 14 blew up the speedometer.
  • Sunil Agnihotri, Copper & Blue plus The SuperFan. Can the Oilers hold off the Flames and finish ahead of them? Desharnais and his role, plus the week to come.
  • Jared Book, Habs Eyes on the Prize and Bluebird Banter. More on Desharnais, plus the Jays are coming together at spring training.

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

 

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Dennis King

Scungilli,

I think the idea that that 98 Does like to carry the puck is why him and 97 Should work ie teams line up their plan so McDavid can seldom carry through the N zone and 29 works so well with him bcos he can also be a transporter. So, 98 could fill that role next year.

The thing I am looking for is where he can shoot from on the ice and how quick he gets off his shot. A guy like Paajarvi, he seldom shot from the middle of the ice and once I saw that for a few games, I was worried

OilHub

Hey LT, love the community! Thanks so much.
In this blog you say “That said, we can be sure Lander is zooming the boxcars like a demon, so probably best to temper our expectations in the comparisons to Pastrnak.”
If we think Lander zooms PJ’s stats in the AHL wouldn’t it be safe to see similar stats if he is on 97’s wing?
Thanks

jm363561

Calgary in the play offs is the kind of series you live for as a hockey fan. Absolutely devastating if you lose of course, but if you win ……………… Bring it on baby.

McSorley33

Woodguy v2.0,

So given that he slipped this year you cannot say Hellebuyck “solved” WPG’s goalie situation, but he has shown he might be capable.
I’d grab a high end back up for him if I ran WPG for next year, but they seem to like to move in small increments and half measures.
Their results aren’t much better now than when they were Atlanta really.
They’ve been there since the 2011/12 season, so in 6 seasons they made the playoffs once and got swept.
In the previous 6 seasons as ATL they made the playoffs once and were swept.
Somehow Chevy has a job still.
**************************************************************************
Great post….fans are boiling.

The local media has done a tremendous job supporting Chevy. Literally.

However, the worm is turning on that front as well.

Mr. Lawless: ” I have stopped drinking management’s Kool Aid.”

Barring a miracle run – it likely stops with San Jose and Pit. – Chevy’s seat will get warm this summer.

However, there is always the possibility Chevy unloads Mr. Trouba for a King’s ransom this summer.
( That contract was signed for one reason only )

Rest assured, next October and November will be a critical time for Chevy.

spoiler

“Steve Smith”,

Speaking of “Cups”. I think maybe when we add one, it will not longer be too soon.

I hope.

spoiler

JDï™,

I just Googley-eyed her. Definite possibility.

"Steve Smith"

treevojo,

Too soon.

It will forever be too soon.

JD_Wry

spoiler,

AA? Not a chance. More like DD.

spoiler

Woodguy v2.0: Andrée-Anne Barbeau‏
@AABarbeau

Any relation?

*crosses fingers*

Pouzar

Woodguy v2.0:
Andrée-Anne Barbeau‏
@AABarbeau


Les duos à l’entraînement des Canadiens:

Markov- Weber
Davidson- Petry
Beaulieu- Benn

Emelin- Nesterov (en trop)
#tvasports

Davey getting his chance at 2nd pair already.

I thought Julien would bring him along a bit slower.

Good for him.

GO DAVEY!!

I am a heartless bastard when it comes to former Oilers.
I will always cheer for this guy.

JD_Wry

Pouzar: can I get for that

Not enough?

But hey, at least the insulin is free!

JD_Wry

treevojo,

Let’s hope TMc doesn’t want to keep his third string goalie ‘fresh’, by rotating him in as backup.

Pouzar

Woodguy v2.0: If I had $300 to spend on liquor for my own personal consumption I would buy 3 bottle of Writer’s Tears and 2 bottles of Red Breast 12.

How many Lucky Lager can I get for that?

treevojo

Rondo:
With Talbot playing 90% of the gamesand a unproven backup goalie this seems like a recipe for disaster in the playoffs.No ?

Why?

It’s not like #1 goalies ever get hurt in the playoffs.

Scungilli Slushy

Ducey: Don’t start feeling sorry for Calgary. They would be happy to more the Legislature south on a flatbed and turn out the lights on Edmonton in a moments notice.

The Flames will never have bragging rights. Ever. The Oilers have had many of the best players in NHL history, a dynasty with 5 Cups, now the best player in the NHL, and logo and name that makessense. They even have synergy with their junior team in terms of branding.

The Flames have 1 Cup, Fing Lanny MacDonald, and maybe the lousiest branding in sport. I mean, the Flames is appropriate for Atlanta, but for goodness sake it has nothing to do with Calgary. Like Burkie and the ties he never learned how to tie, its just stupid.

Hilarious and true!

Calgary

Saddle Rashes
Ugly Sisters
Not the Capitals
Shadow Dwellers

I think I should stop now

Chachi

JDï™: A friend of mine came to Canada with his family when he was about seven. On his first day of school, his mom packed him a nice lunch with a small container of red wine, as was normal when they lived in France.

After one spirited meeting with the principal, it was a can of Coke from then on.

You can buy wine in juice boxes now in Europe. That would have solved the problem.

Rondo

With Talbot playing 90% of the games and a unproven backup goalie this seems like a recipe for disaster in the playoffs. No ?

leadfarmer

Woodguy v2.0: Problem is that I’d never pay for a glass of that at the bar.

I drink the cheap stuff out in public.

That’s ok. we will come over and drink at your house then. I’m guessing it’s the one with all our pitchforks still in the front yard.

Woodguy v2.0

stephen sheps: For me it would be a bottle of George T Stagg bourbon and 2 bottles of red breast 12… sadly the price has gone up like crazy in Onterrible.

Writer’s Tears is so underrated though. Man that’s good whisky.

All this talk has made me almost miss drinking. Despite chiming in on a couple whisky threads recently, I’ve been mostly off the stuff for 2017, save for a couple of beers and one messy night in early January. I’m trying to get back into shape again, even hired a personal trainer through my university, but the best way to shed the pounds (other than regular exercise) is to stay off the sauce.

I really wish I had something to contribute about the Oilers right now, but I’ve got nothing. Once the semester is finished I will actually be writing about hockey for a conference (and longer academic article), but for now, it’s just kinda nice to sit back and enjoy a playoff race without thinking too much about it.

All good to have you chime in.

Not having anything to contribute has never stopped me, it shouldn’t stop you.

Woodguy v2.0

kinger_OIL:
Woodguy v2.0,

– Over/under 3.5 goalies that LV picks up on expansion waiver.

– I pick the under (for clarity 3 or less goalers) for a paypal donation to LT.

– If they pick up 4+: I donate, 3 or less you donate.Everyone wins.. I get to be right.. again!

I don’t think McPhee picks 4.

I stated what I would do.

JD_Wry

Pajamah,

Well that might be a little too drastic for most folks to even consider.

It should be noted that his parents would add some sugar to the wine, although not nearly as much as a can of soda contains.

Woodguy v2.0

Oiler GF% from Feb 1 – today

I know this is a very small sample and randomness reins but we know they look at this:

Player GF%
JUJHAR.KHAIRA NA
MATT.HENDRICKS 78.7
IIRO.PAKARINEN 73.4
CONNOR.MCDAVID 62.6
JORDAN.EBERLE 56.5
PATRICK.MAROON 52.9
MILAN.LUCIC 50.5
DRAKE.CAGGIULA 50.1
ZACK.KASSIAN 49.3
MARK.LETESTU 49.3
LEON.DRAISAITL 47.8
RYAN.NUGENT-HOPKINS 42.2
ANTON.SLEPYSHEV 31.5

OSCAR.KLEFBOM 66.7
ADAM.LARSSON 64.5
ERIC.GRYBA 62.3
KRIS.RUSSELL 62.2
BRANDON.DAVIDSON 42.8
MATT.BENNING 39.5
ANDREJ.SEKERA 20.1

Woodguy v2.0

Oiler CF% from Feb 1 to today: (minimum 5 games played)

Player CF%
JUJHAR.KHAIRA 55.8
CONNOR.MCDAVID 55.5
PATRICK.MAROON 54.9
JORDAN.EBERLE 54.2
LEON.DRAISAITL 51.8
MATT.HENDRICKS 49.1
MILAN.LUCIC 49.1
ZACK.KASSIAN 48.6
MARK.LETESTU 47.8
RYAN.NUGENT-HOPKINS 46.9
DRAKE.CAGGIULA 44.6
ANTON.SLEPYSHEV 41.8
IIRO.PAKARINEN 40.9

ERIC.GRYBA 51.8
ADAM.LARSSON 51.5
OSCAR.KLEFBOM 51.4
BRANDON.DAVIDSON 49.0
MATT.BENNING 48.8
ANDREJ.SEKERA 48.1
KRIS.RUSSELL 47.7

OF17

barry.moore23:
Off topic alert.

I was at the game in Tampa a couple of weeks ago. Pre game skate down against the glass standing next to a young girl that was holding up a sign “I’ve waited 583 days to see Connor McDavid”. Wearing her Oilers T shirt, of course. Anyway, before it was over Connor comes over and tosses a puck over the glass right into her hands. Tears fill her eyes and stream down her cheeks as he skates away. Priceless.

Very nice to hear. I saw something similar happen in Nashville. Was watching the game behind the Oilers’ bench, and there was a young family in the seats in front of me (Oilers fans). Returned from an intermission bathroom break to the boy, maybe 6, with a huge smile on his face. “Can you BELIEVE that PATRICK MAROON gave me a puck???” He spent the rest of the game trying to get as close to the bench as possible while waving at Maroon and showing him the puck again. Really nice to see, and I’m glad that kind of thing seems to be a trend with this team.

stephen sheps

Woodguy v2.0: If I had $300 to spend on liquor for my own personal consumption I would buy 3 bottle of Writer’s Tears and 2 bottles of Red Breast 12.

For me it would be a bottle of George T Stagg bourbon and 2 bottles of red breast 12… sadly the price has gone up like crazy in Onterrible.

Writer’s Tears is so underrated though. Man that’s good whisky.

All this talk has made me almost miss drinking. Despite chiming in on a couple whisky threads recently, I’ve been mostly off the stuff for 2017, save for a couple of beers and one messy night in early January. I’m trying to get back into shape again, even hired a personal trainer through my university, but the best way to shed the pounds (other than regular exercise) is to stay off the sauce.

I really wish I had something to contribute about the Oilers right now, but I’ve got nothing. Once the semester is finished I will actually be writing about hockey for a conference (and longer academic article), but for now, it’s just kinda nice to sit back and enjoy a playoff race without thinking too much about it.

striker

Thanks for the suggestions everyone! Very helpful information. Cheers

Mr. D.

And who are Fayne and Pouliot going to without carrying 2/3 of their salary? Do you not think that every team knows they are overpaid underproducers?

russ99:
I don’t see a way for Pouliot back on the pro roster next year.

He’s a MacT player and has been in the Chiarelli/McLellan doghouse constantly, with word that they tried to move him this season with no takers.

If they can’t find a taker or find a buyout too onerous, he’ll be buried in the AHL.

Since we need to trim cap to afford Leon and Connor’s new contracts, Fayne and Pouliot will go for sure, and one of Ebs or RNHare also likely to be moved.

Pajamah

JDï™: A friend of mine came to Canada with his family when he was about seven. On his first day of school, his mom packed him a nice lunch with a small container of red wine, as was normal when they lived in France.

After one spirited meeting with the principal, it was a can of Coke from then on.

Knowing what we do now about dietary sugar, and type 2 diabetes, I’m thinking schools should start promoting wine as a healthier option for children.

JD_Wry

Chachi: I grew up on homemade wine.

A friend of mine came to Canada with his family when he was about seven. On his first day of school, his mom packed him a nice lunch with a small container of red wine, as was normal when they lived in France.

After one spirited meeting with the principal, it was a can of Coke from then on.

kinger_OIL

Woodguy v2.0,

– Over/under 3.5 goalies that LV picks up on expansion waiver.

– I pick the under (for clarity 3 or less goalers) for a paypal donation to LT.

– If they pick up 4+: I donate, 3 or less you donate. Everyone wins.. I get to be right.. again!

Chachi

Woodguy v2.0: Used to be $30/bottle and now its up to $70 in some spots.

Bastards!

Found it for $51 a few weeks ago at a Liquor Depot of all places. They only had one bottle, of course.

Woodguy v2.0

Andrée-Anne Barbeau‏
@AABarbeau

Les duos à l’entraînement des Canadiens:

Markov- Weber
Davidson- Petry
Beaulieu- Benn

Emelin- Nesterov (en trop)
#tvasports

Davey getting his chance at 2nd pair already.

I thought Julien would bring him along a bit slower.

Good for him.

GO DAVEY!!

Woodguy v2.0

Chachi: Writers Tears is incredibly good.

Used to be $30/bottle and now its up to $70 in some spots.

Bastards!

Woodguy v2.0

leadfarmer: I need to go drinking with you guys.

Problem is that I’d never pay for a glass of that at the bar.

I drink the cheap stuff out in public.

Chachi

JDï™: I’m feeling out of place for thinking 10 x $30 bottles.

I grew up on homemade wine. Paying for booze still causes me pain.

Woodguy v2.0

leadfarmer:
kinger_OIL,

Because if they put them on the waiver wire someone else can grab them and if Vegas takes let’s say Darling, Raanta, Reimer, Howard, someone else, they created a big void in the supply chain of goalies and those teams are going to be scrambling to fill that hole.Same thing with defensemen.

that’s a better way of explaining it than my post

Woodguy v2.0

kinger_OIL: – Great post LT!

– yeah: I don’t get this line of reasoning at all.If Vegas picks up more than 2 G, the rest of them are going back on the wire, because you aren’t going to have 5 of them on your roster.

– Why would teams makes trades for G’s that are going to be waived? You have 0 leverage

– No way they pick up more than 2 (ok maybe 3?): you guys have too much time on your hands!

NHL GMs, especially ones that finish low on the waiver priority list, won’t leave their backup goalie to “chance and the waiver wire in October”

They’ll pay a bit to put it to bed.

Can you imagine the questions at camp?

“Mr. GM who is going to be the back up this year?”

“Oh, we’ll wait for the week before the season starts and pick one off the wire”

Nope.

Don’t see that happening.

JD_Wry

Chachi: one $300 bottle of scotch or 3 $100 bottles?

I’m feeling out of place for thinking 10 x $30 bottles.

Woodguy v2.0

leadfarmer:
Woodguy v2.0,

Yeah I’m guessing they take a lot more g and d then they need and trade them for forwards and picks.

They’ll have more 2nd pairing Dmen than most teams.

They’ll also have serviceable goaltending.

If McPhee doesn’t shit the bed he could have an *almost* competitive team out of the gate if he wants.

I don’t think he should try to be competitive out of the gate, but sell a lot of what he gets in the Ex-Draft for futures and prospects (esp. prospects) if he wants to build a long term winner, but he has different pressures than I do sitting here.

Chachi

Woodguy v2.0: If I had $300 to spend on liquor for my own personal consumption I would buy 3 bottle of Writer’s Tears and 2 bottles of Red Breast 12.

Writers Tears is incredibly good.

Woodguy v2.0

Chachi: If you had to choose would you rather have one $300 bottle of scotch or 3 $100 bottles?

If I had $300 to spend on liquor for my own personal consumption I would buy 3 bottle of Writer’s Tears and 2 bottles of Red Breast 12.

Bag of Pucks

Btw, am I the only one who thinks ‘Last Spike’ is the perfect title for an Eberle post?

We have been nailing him to the cross all season long.

Bag of Pucks

Ducey: Don’t start feeling sorry for Calgary. They would be happy to more the Legislature south on a flatbed and turn out the lights on Edmonton in a moments notice.

The Flames will never have bragging rights. Ever. The Oilers have had many of the best players in NHL history, a dynasty with 5 Cups, now the best player in the NHL, and logo and name that makessense. They even have synergy with their junior team in terms of branding.

The Flames have 1 Cup, Fing Lanny MacDonald, and maybe the lousiest branding in sport. I mean, the Flames is appropriate for Atlanta, but for goodness sake it has nothing to do with Calgary. Like Burkie and the ties he never learned how to tie, its just stupid.

I always feel sorry for Calgary, cos it’s full of Calgarians. Rim shot.

At the game Saturday night, there was actually a Flames fan in our section, wearing his horrendous jersey, chirping anyone who would listen, etc. At an Oilers vs Red Wings game….wtf?

I think my buddy was one beer shy of firing up the lawn mower on him, so when he caught our eye, I gave him the 5>1 gesture. That seemed to simmer him down for a spell.

Still, like Ali vs Foreman. I’d rather play them in the playoffs than not. Measuring stick.

Doug McLachlan

Melman,

Fair enough.

They would need to feel that he provides more than Kassian (whom I left off my list I realize) but that simply pushes Kassian down to the 4th line.

I don’t know if that is getting to Unicorn territory but it isn’t bad.

Chachi

Ducey: Don’t start feeling sorry for Calgary. They would be happy to more the Legislature south on a flatbed and turn out the lights on Edmonton in a moments notice.

The Flames will never have bragging rights. Ever. The Oilers have had many of the best players in NHL history, a dynasty with 5 Cups, now the best player in the NHL, and logo and name that makessense. They even have synergy with their junior team in terms of branding.

The Flames have 1 Cup, Fing Lanny MacDonald, and maybe the lousiest branding in sport. I mean, the Flames is appropriate for Atlanta, but for goodness sake it has nothing to do with Calgary. Like Burkie and the ties he never learned how to tie, its just stupid.

Slow clap. Well said.

Todd Macallan

In terms of local selection, Chateau Louis is actually fantastic for scotch, despite its outward appearance. Oban Distiller’s Edition can be found there for just under $200, amazing scotch for the price.

N64

Lowetide: If teams are talking with them, there is a chance a couple of goalies are heading out right away. Two for LV and two for trade seems reasonable, one for the dealer makes five.

The have to take 14F 9D and 3G which leaves 4 to flex. You figure they take 14F and then use the 4 extras on G and D for their trade value. And still pocket some picks for G and D not touched. And some more picks for high cap F taken as part of the don’t pick deals. Somewhere Sammy is spinning in his grave.

leadfarmer

Woodguy v2.0: Bunnahabhain 25 year old.

$334 at Liquor Depot.

I’ve seen it for over $400 at specialty liquor stores.

It tastes like angel tears.

I need to go drinking with you guys.

leadfarmer

kinger_OIL,

Because if they put them on the waiver wire someone else can grab them and if Vegas takes let’s say Darling, Raanta, Reimer, Howard, someone else, they created a big void in the supply chain of goalies and those teams are going to be scrambling to fill that hole. Same thing with defensemen.