REDONDO BEACH

by Lowetide

It is such a long road to Stanley and injuries and maladies play a big part in who wins the championship. I think we all know Connor McDavid is not himself, but is it the flu, ribs or something else? We didn’t see the big speed burst in last night’s game and that’s a worry. Fortunately for McDavid and Oilers fans the world over, the support group is real and spectacular. Adam Larsson roaring the down the ice, Leon Draisaitl playing the Beliveau role and Mark Letestu cashing on the power play. How high can they fly? They may never reach the ground! Music!

THE NUMBERS LAST NIGHT

  • First 20: 0-0, Ducks had the edge in shots 10-9, Corsi for 5×5 was tied at 13-13.
  • Second 20: 1-1, Edmonton had the edge in shots 11-10, Corsi for 5×5 favored ANA 17-16.
  • Third 20: 4-2 Edmonton, ANA had the edge in shots 16-12 and the Ducks dominated the 5×5 Corsi for 26-9! What an insane set of numbers!
  • Overall: 5-3 Edmonton, Anaheim won shots 36-32, ANA won the Corsi 5×5 battle 56-38.

The heroes in this game (Leon, Larsson, Letestu) were bold and beautiful. What in the hell was Adam Larsson doing? Holy hell, boys! Leon, you beautiful man! I don’t know if we are more or less certain about this series after game one, but that was fire on ice! Music!

Ilya Ostrovsky was born in Moscow, moved here when he was 9. He loved hockey as a boy in Russia and played it in Edmonton as a child. His favorite hockey teams were the town teams, Red Army Moscow and later the Edmonton Oilers. He is the only man I’ve ever met who has seen May Day through a Kremlin window. His love of the game and growing interest in business led a young Ostrovsky to form the EMHL in 2004. One year later, Ian McClung joined him and since then the EMHL has been a growing concern in the business of men’s and women’s rec hockey in our city.

EMHL is now registering for men’s and co-ed summer hockey, you can click on the ad (or here) and register if interested. If we get enough entrants, Ilya will enter a Lowetide team in one of the leagues, but you have to make tape-to-tape passes and backcheck like a demon. I’m going to tell you more of his story in the coming days. It is fascinating, and unique (I believe) to Edmonton.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Klefbom-Larsson went 14-17 in 14:55 together. That included 10-7 with the McDavid line and Adam Larsson posted his most amazing night as an Oiler. I was prepared to rave after the first goal, but the added GWG put the night over the top. I’m not sure how many days we’ll see Larsson overshadow Klefbom offensively, but he picked a damned good night to do it. Went 7-4 against Ritchie-Getzlaf-Eaves and were +2 on the night.
  • Larsson made a play last night in the defensive zone that shows his subtle value. The Ducks were running around and controlling play, Oilers unable to break the cycle. Larsson saw an inch of daylight and pounced. Holding off the big Duck with one arm and using his other to flick the puck to a teammate, Larsson showed the experience and man strength the Oilers have missed for so long in these years. Dynamite defensive play.
  • Nurse-Benning went 11-16 in 12:43, plenty of running around and that is to be expected. Each man had a giveaway and that’s the area they need to clean up. Went 7-3 with McDavid and 6-3 against Ritchie-Getzlaf-Eaves. I’ll take that every game of this series.
  • Sekera-Russell went 7-18 together in 14:22 together and it wasn’t good. The two veterans had a helluva time in spurts last night, 3-8 with the Letestu line. Went 2-8 against Cogliano-Kesler-Silfverberg, they have a tough row to hoe but need to be better. I did enjoy Sekera’s response to bully Getzlaf at game’s end. Russell was in no-man’s land on the first GA and was no help on a later GA by Eaves. It was a bang-bang play, but he needs to make it.
  • Cam Talbot was not strong on rebounds, but did stop 33 of 36, .917.
  • Numbers via NHL.com, HockeyStats.ca and NaturalStatTrick.

MCDAVID LINE

  • Connor McDavid has the flu, is my bet. He played fewer 5×5 minutes than Leon, that’s a tell. Still, 97 had an impact on the 5×4.
  • Leon Draisaitl has been Jean Beliveau for three straight games now, and that’s just about the highest compliment this blog can give. Physical, brilliant, effective and deployed in the important parts of the game, his passing is beyond reasonable now. Magic.
  • Patrick Maroon looked comfortable back on the top line and I give him credit, he drives to the net on instinct. I think he’ll stay there for a time.
  • This trio went 9-9 against Cogliano-Kesler-Silfverberg, Kesler had two assists (one at evens and one on the PP).

NUGE LINE

  • The line went 4-5 against Ritchie-Getzlaf-Eaves, that’s going to be a fun matchup all series long.
  • Nuge finally got his first playoff point, well earned. I was flummoxed earlier when his fantastic chance on the power play didn’t cash. This young man (Nuge is only 24) is snakebit, I hope the Oilers keep dancing until the damn breaks. It would be nice to see him have success offensively.
  • Lucic had a good night, perhaps a little quiet but he was physical, passed the puck well and supported things defensively. A nice assist on the empty-netter.
  • Jordan Eberle’s skills do not match the style of this series, he is going to have to reinvent himself a little in order to have an impact.

LETESTU LINE

  • Mark Letestu is a Godsend for this team, his utility ideal for the work available. I know the club doesn’t have enough qualified men for the expansion draft, so may need to leave him exposed. I hope they figure it out before expansion day.
  • Caggiula and Kassian didn’t get a lot done, but did have 7 shot attempts between them. The line’s possession numbers were acceptable and we can’t expect a 5×5 goal every night. A reasonable road game for a support line.
  • Trio went 3-10 against Rakell-Thompson-Perry, that’s a bad matchup for the Oilers but Carlyle got it (and Sekera’s pairing) for over 7 minutes last night. The Ducks are a diabolical team because of this third  line.

DESHARNAIS LINE

  • Desharnais’ line didn’t get overwhelmed and played a lot. That’s a good result for the 4line.
  • Went 7-7 against Wagner-Vermette-Shaw, that’s good business for this line.
  • Benoit Pouliot had a good game by my eye, he was in good spots and made progress difficult.
  • Anton Slepyshev is driving the offense on this line, he had a couple of promising sorties. One of them results in a silly goalie interference call, Mr. Fuhr is spot on in his assessment.

NOTES

  • The refs were terrible and the Oilers got the short end. It’s going to happen, folks, I don’t make it a theme because it becomes the only theme once released into the wild. It is there, it is a factor, but Anaheim’s issues (defense, PK coverage) seem to be a bigger story this morning.
  • I think maybe Anaheim doesn’t have enough forwards who can play at pace. Lots of chatter about Cogliano, but that’s one guy. The Ducks theme song at times last night was Slow Train Coming and that’s not going to get it done.
  • The Ducks defense had some issues, although Lindholm-Manson was sublime. Montour has chaos and Bieksa has slow boots, meaning RH side is the soft underbelly of their blue currently. I expect we see Vatanen tomorrow night.
  • Anaheim faces an early ‘must win’ tomorrow. Sounds ridiculous, but down 2-0 heading on the road is basically getting gutshot on the streets of Laredo.
  • Leon Draisaitl is only the second Oilers in team history to score four playoff points in a game before his 22nd birthday. Wayne Gretzky did it four times. (Source: NHL.com).

TODD MCLELLAN

Todd McLellan is up for coach of the year, and I think the nod is well earned. I’ve been especially pleased with his postseason work (I had a post ready to go ripping him for Hendricks playoff deployment, but it never came) and his media avails have been informative and encouraging. I’m especially pleased McLellan has seen Nuge long enough to recognize his considerable ability. As for winning, I think all the awards (Art Ross aside) end up going out east this year, but the Jack Adams is basically the kiss of death for coaches.

SPENCER FOO

  • Foo: “Ultimately my plan is still the same; I’m waiting until the summer time, until I’m back home. I’m just taking my time with it, there’s really no point in me signing right now. What’s that going to do for me? I’m not going to hop into any NHL or AHL playoffs games right now, so we just decided it was best for me to wait until the summer and finish this last term of school. Then, we’ll see how some pieces fall into place over this summer with different teams and just find the best opportunity.” Source

I’m a Dad, and as such am watching this Foo signing story closely. I respect this young man and his handlers/parents/advisors a lot. Take your time, project yourself into each situation, live with the idea for a time. Perhaps, if he waits long enough, roster shuffling will occur and Foo will see a clear path to his dream.

JESSE PULJUJARVI

Recently, Christian Pagnani over at NHL Numbers had a lash at projecting Jesse Puljujarvi. We don’t have enough track to get a true measure of this young man, but Pagnani tackles the subject and comes away with some interesting conclusions.

  • Pagnani: His AHL scoring is in mark with recent 18-year olds, and suggests he should be able to provide a scoring role in Edmonton sooner rather than later. The Oilers can look to one of their former draft picks in Leon Draisaitl and hope for similar success in the coming years for Jesse Puljujarvi. Source

It’s an interesting take on a difficult subject. The AHL numbers were good for a player of his age, and I do believe JP will be here in the fall. Does he get the 97 line? If not, I am curious to see the offensive results.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN1260. A full boat and a lot of cool subjects to discuss:

  • Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey. The Edmonton Oilers are ahead in their second round series against Anaheim. What the hell is going on?
  • Sean Woodley, Raptors HQ. An update on the Raptors and their playoff run.
  • Andy McNamara, TSN4Downs. NFL draft, Mayock has the Eagles taking a WR and the Browns getting both their men. Can that happen?
  • Frank Seravalli, TSN. This is a wild playoff spring, McDavid’s malady and Leon fire.

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

 

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HT Joe

season not played: motivation

Thanks for clearing up your motivation for bringing up Taylor Hall the day after a playoff win, which singlehandedly derailed what could have been a nice thread. Real nice.

Scungilli Slushy

I’m not a fan of the term shutdown defender. I think it leads to compartmentalized thinking. Hockey is fluid and at evens all skaters participate in all zones. The difference in players is in hockey skills ( skating, IQ, puck skills and commitment) and what they are being asked to do for the team.

Larson is a five tool player that ‘could’ be more offensive. He had very highly considered skills on draft day and ended up on a team averse to offense and they ground him into a defense first type. If he was faster he would be better at offense for sure.

But under McLellan he has not only nailed taking on the yoemans workload for the team, but he has been adding in joining the offense and would have had 5 or 6 more goals if not for some puck luck and iron.

Sure there are players who score more, but how many are stone cold D zone killers like Larsson? Not many, and those guys are the elite. So maybe Larsson isn’t elite, but he’s up there. Those that only defend you could call shut down or ‘defensive defensemen, but really they lack hockey skills so play one dimensionally, like ‘offensive’ forwards.

I’m happy that Chiarelli seems to like full game players, the Oilers D has currently 6 guys that do it all, different levels of ability and experience.

Thorin

Diablo: Yeah, Lucic made a few mistakes in the game but his positioning in the D-zone was absolutely perfect on that shift – with the puck against the wall and 2 Oilers there already, he did not abandon his position to join in the scrum. It would have been easy too in the anxiety of the moment, but his attention to that small detail paid off handsomely with the EN goal.

Yup, he held his position. But I was actually talking more about how they were clearly thinking, while they had the puck on their stick, about making sure not to cause that rush up-ice to turn into a 5 on 3 going the other way. Maybe “defensive responsibility” wasn’t the right words, maybe “minimization of possible negative outcome” was what I should have said. In years past, Oilers forwards would have tried to score that goal from inside their own blueline, a much riskier play to make than what Lucic and Draisaitl did.

dustrock

Other thing is Larsson went through coaches a bunch too.

Maybe better quality coaches overall, but he was bounced around NJ as well.

OF17

Vlasic is Larsson’s outer marker IMO. That’s what he becomes if everything goes right and he takes steps forward every year. He’s entirely capable of that with his combination of skating, passing, physicality, and generally intelligent play. If he doesn’t, I won’t be upset, since I’m pretty damn happy with what we already have. Of course Larsson will only be 24 when training camp starts next season, so some improvement is likely, but his high value isn’t contingent upon getting better. He’s already very valuable.

He’s one of the few members of that group of shutdown D that can nonetheless play a nuanced transition game. Vlasic is of course one, along with Tanev and Hamonic. McDonaugh was and may still be. Niklas Hjalmarsson is. There aren’t many, and every team that has one is happy for the privilege. These playoffs have been a great illustration why.

Soup Fascist

Diesel:
I would play for an all-Lowetide team

Could you please include Corsi rel on your application? As well, please note line combinations will be posted pre game on the dressing room door in the preferred C-L-R format.

Soup Fascist

Open Letter to Dana White:

If you could possibly set up a Zack Kassian vs Ryan Kesler prelim at UFC 2016, I would pay $5000 for a seat (does not have to be ringside).

That is all.

Bruce McCurdy

Ben:
Drai. Crazy smart. I would’ve shit my pants five times while he was Pied Pipering five Ducks down to the goal line on the first Larsson goal.

I also applaud Spencer’s patience. Momma didn’t raise no…uh…

McDavid driving the centre lane was also a big part of that, as was a shitty Ducks line change. Opened a hole down the middle big enough for an 18-wheeler from Larsson Trucking to drive through. Wonderful goal.

treevojo

Truth:
Re Reffing: I think the refs came out with the intention of calling off-setting minors early in the game hoping it sets the tone for the series.Keslers trip was an easy call to appease everyone saying McDavid isn’t drawing the calls he should, and Draisaitl’s was simply fabricated to meet the ref’s initial intentions.They’ll do the same in game two, but hopefully both will be more legitimate.

Re McDavid: I don’t know if there is anything wrong with him at all.He’s smart enough to know the Duck’s (and everyone’s) gameplan is based around him.They expect the speed and the rush through the neutral zone, so he sits back and breaks out with the team, not way ahead of them.The Anaheim D has already abandoned their gap control in order to respect McDavid’s speed, so it’s an easy entry for the line.

Also, playing your two best players on the same line when the team focuses solely on one of them is a blessing.McDavid can draw defenders out of the play or where he wants them to open up the ice for Draisaitl. In Lacrosse, if a D decides to play a strict man defense the play is to give the ball to your best player and everyone else clear out of the way.Your best player has to beat his one man and he’s in the clear.Surprisingly, it works the first couple times you do it if the D is strict enough on their coverage. Even if you don’t score in your opportunities you end up relaxing the coverage as the D is forced to adapt or continue to get burned.

Re Hall / Larsson:Oilers lost the trade. Larsson is a very good player. Oilers are way better than they were last year due to a large number of factors, leave Hall out of it.

I agree with everything you wrote about mcdavid.

I think he is pulling their best defensive players out of position opening things up for the other stone cold killer.

Oilers in 5

wheatnoil

dustrock:
People comparing Larsson to Vlasic.

Vlasic is 30.Larsson is 6 years away from that.

And as a long-time Sharks fan, I can tell you it’s only been in the last 3-4 years that Vlasic has truly shown himself to be Ultimate Defensive Top Pairing Lad.

I don’t think comparing Larsson and Vlasic at age 24 is fruitless at all.And Vlasic got to play with much better players than Larsson (up until this year).

I’d have to look closer at Vlasic’s career arc. My initial view is that he was carrying a fairly heavy load awfully early in his career. I mean, he’s consistently played Top 4 minutes in the NHL since his 19 year old rookie season (draft+2) and spent no time in the minors.

That said, he didn’t get Norris votes until his 26 year old season, though getting Norris votes doesn’t mean he wasn’t an elite defender before then… that’s just when people started NOTICING he was an elite defender.

It would be an interesting question to look closer in to.

Vlasic did play with Boyle in his 24 year old season, so that’s pretty good quality of teammate. But Greene is no slouch… I’ve been quite high on him… and of course, Klefbom is Dreamy.

spoiler

speeds:
I don’t think the Oilers had a particularly great game, but winning without McDavid or Talbot having great games is also probably a good sign?

I didn’t think they did either. That bobble by Talbot has me wondering if he was also afflicted by the bug. That said, we don’t know how injured or sick the Ducks truly are. Was not a great hockey game, but I think the ice was a bit better than San Jokey’s.

******

I had to do the quiz last night (lol, lightning fast, done by start of 2nd period), but accordingly I read the comment thread after the game was over and it was somewhat amusing to read the vitriol here for the Oiler players prior to the first Letestu marker from fans of the team.

Hot-take hate seems to have become a thing in our socially-connected strive-for-attention world.

And then people backed off the players a bit when they heard about the flu and other things. People are strangely unforgiving while being in possession of very little info or context. We’re supposed to be supporters. Some benefit of the doubt is apropos.

And my impression of the Spector article was that it was more of a shot at advanced stats than it was the trade. We want to read everything after a win. I’ve hated Spector since his first Gateway article in 1984, and I still went there. But the only way to do him in is to ignore him.

Zelepukin

I believe we’re seeing the evolution of our very own Seabrook-Keith pairing. Those two were 25-26 when they won their first cup in 2010. All Larsson-Klef need is notoriety and experience built from playoffs and increased responsibilities. I believe they have the skills to reach that level.

Truth

Re Reffing: I think the refs came out with the intention of calling off-setting minors early in the game hoping it sets the tone for the series. Keslers trip was an easy call to appease everyone saying McDavid isn’t drawing the calls he should, and Draisaitl’s was simply fabricated to meet the ref’s initial intentions. They’ll do the same in game two, but hopefully both will be more legitimate.

Re McDavid: I don’t know if there is anything wrong with him at all. He’s smart enough to know the Duck’s (and everyone’s) gameplan is based around him. They expect the speed and the rush through the neutral zone, so he sits back and breaks out with the team, not way ahead of them. The Anaheim D has already abandoned their gap control in order to respect McDavid’s speed, so it’s an easy entry for the line.

Also, playing your two best players on the same line when the team focuses solely on one of them is a blessing. McDavid can draw defenders out of the play or where he wants them to open up the ice for Draisaitl. In Lacrosse, if a D decides to play a strict man defense the play is to give the ball to your best player and everyone else clear out of the way. Your best player has to beat his one man and he’s in the clear. Surprisingly, it works the first couple times you do it if the D is strict enough on their coverage. Even if you don’t score in your opportunities you end up relaxing the coverage as the D is forced to adapt or continue to get burned.

Re Hall / Larsson: Oilers lost the trade. Larsson is a very good player. Oilers are way better than they were last year due to a large number of factors, leave Hall out of it.

jzed

Getsalaugh will get his punishment in good time, ignore his after whistle bullshit and play him hard. Lucic can revisit their game 1 conversation later during the game we eliminate his team from the playoffs. Screw the Dicks! Go Oilers!

dustrock

People comparing Larsson to Vlasic.

Vlasic is 30. Larsson is 6 years away from that.

And as a long-time Sharks fan, I can tell you it’s only been in the last 3-4 years that Vlasic has truly shown himself to be Ultimate Defensive Top Pairing Lad.

I don’t think comparing Larsson and Vlasic at age 24 is fruitless at all. And Vlasic got to play with much better players than Larsson (up until this year).

Diesel

I would play for an all-Lowetide team 🙂

TheRage

Stelio Kontos:
I think Connor has the flu, as it seems that was what Klef had. Is it just me, or does it seem like NHL players get the flu way more often than the general public?

We likely just not notice it more, but it’s possible being in close confines, sweating and sharing water, increases the likelihood of infectious spread.

treevojo

TheRage:
Ducey,

I doubt there’s a huge demand for Eakins articles. And if there is, it’s worth discussing,

I enjoy reading Eakins articles.

I guess I am odd.

delooper

Diablo: Lol like the in the 5th Element.

Provided ticket prices are significantly lower I imagine it would catch on. But if the ticket prices are comparable, people would be thinking more about movies like Alien. . .

TheRage

Ducey,

Ducey: He is a journalist who gets paid by the story. If he wants to keep getting paid, he needs web hits on his stories. Controversy invites hits.

Its not that complicated.

If you don’t want him around, stop reading his stuff.

I doubt there’s a huge demand for Eakins articles. And if there is, it’s worth discussing,

Caller Zen

frjohnk:
Rewatched the last 8 seconds of the game. http://nhl.nbcsports.com/2017/04/27/video-getzlaf-perry-kesler-lose-cool-in-scuffle-with-kassian-oilers/

By the end of this series I can see Kesler getting a beat down by someone on the Oilers. The guy is not nearly as tough as he puts on. This year he fought Jeff Carter, 37 year old Vern Fiddler and was TKO’d by little Max Domi. My bet is Kassian will gladly go toe to toe with his ex-Canuck teammate. In the meantime, I’ll just watch this clip on repeat – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fjy4fCnJf6c

Chachi

treevojo: I find the similarities between the Hall/Larsson and Subban/Weber trades quite funny.

I would say it was an easy majority critical of both Edmonton and Montreal with regards to trades.

For most of the season the smaller contingent of Weber supporting media were out in full force rubbing it in critics faces. One great playoff game by Subban and the original critics of Weber are lashing back with their stories.

For those of us who take a wait and see approach the whole thing is hilarious.

Egos are a funny thing.

I find the whole “they’re wrong and being mean so I can be mean back to them even though I spent a year whining about them being mean” bemusing.

treevojo

Chachi:
The Hall bashing is stupid, although in Spector’s case that article is actually pretty tame coming from him. What is also stupid is the Larsson bashing that has gone on all year. We’ve heard that he’s a #4 d-man, he can’t make a pass, he’s a “passenger” etc. It’s all bullshit and it’s all a waste of time, but it isn’t taking away my enjoyment of the Oilers’ run in these playoffs which I hope will continue for quite a while longer. Fuck the Ducks! Goilers!

I find the similarities between the Hall/Larsson and Subban/Weber trades quite funny.

I would say it was an easy majority critical of both Edmonton and Montreal with regards to trades.

For most of the season the smaller contingent of Weber supporting media were out in full force rubbing it in critics faces. One great playoff game by Subban and the original critics of Weber are lashing back with their stories.

For those of us who take a wait and see approach the whole thing is hilarious.

Egos are a funny thing.

Diablo

delooper:
I’ve wondered if airlines shouldn’t go for a different model.Put people to sleep in tubes, each sealed and with its own air supply.So you’re asleep for your commute.You pose no threat to the airplanes.You don’t catch a cold or have to deal with the stupidity of airport security.The airlines can stack people like firewood and get far more people into a plane.It’s win-win, in a sense. . .

Lol like the in the 5th Element.
And if they overbooked the flight, then it would be much easier to drag a person off the plane!

Spengler

Jethro Tull,

Rugby Union referees are awesome. I made this exact point in a long conversation with Android during game 2 or 3. Finest referees in the world. And they explain what they’re seeing, give warnings, and follow up.

delooper

I’ve wondered if airlines shouldn’t go for a different model. Put people to sleep in tubes, each sealed and with its own air supply. So you’re asleep for your commute. You pose no threat to the airplanes. You don’t catch a cold or have to deal with the stupidity of airport security. The airlines can stack people like firewood and get far more people into a plane. It’s win-win, in a sense. . .

delooper

About 10 years ago I travelled about a third as much as NHL players and I was catching quite a lot of colds. Airports, airplanes and restaurants are all bad news for colds.

Bulging Twine

Getzlaf the bully

I find that if you bully the bully, the bully backs down.

That is what Chicago found with Backes. Backes would bully, but if Toews and others bullied Backes first, Backes wouldn’t bully.

Chachi

Kinger_Oil.redux: Allan Eagleson?The first member of a sports hall of fame to resign.Jail time…

He was awful, but he did piss off the Russians in ’72! Also not involved in hockey now.

Side

Stelio Kontos:
or does it seem like NHL players get the flu way more often than the general public?

For sure.

NHL players are exposed to germs far more than the general public. NHL players are travelling to 30 different cities throughout the year, some cities more frequently than others which means players are constantly going through airports, constantly staying in different hotels, constantly going out to restaurants, sharing training facilities with multiple people and the players travel in a large, tight group. So if one person gets the flu, there’s a good chance that everyone else will get it as well.

Compared to the general public who typically wakes up in their own home, goes to work, sits at their own desk, goes home, makes dinner in their own home, goes to sleep, rinse repeat.

Obviously, athletes have stronger immune systems and have people around that help them avoid contact with germs but, still, they are exposed to a lot of crap.

Kinger_Oil.redux

Chachi: He sure as hell should not be involved in hockey in any way now, but point taken.

Allan Eagleson? The first member of a sports hall of fame to resign. Jail time…

Diablo

Melvis:

I’m not suggesting the officials are bent. I am suggesting a long slide into the murk of lower standards. Entropic, but seemingly preferable to calling every infraction to the letter. I suspect that would also fuck the game up as it’s currently played for the foreseeable future. Those damn scales. Always unbalanced.

I remember after the last lockout, the NHL, its players and the refs decided to adhere to calling the rules by the book – there was a slew of penalties during the early regular season, and scoring went up. Players adjusted and there were less infractions occurring and being called by late season. My memory is fuzzy regarding this, but IIRC the refs started to “let them play” in the playoffs and by the next season we were back to same old crap.

For a brief shining moment in time, penalties were actually called by the letter of the rule book – by my estimation that means the referees will call the game any way the NHL wants them to. But somewhere along the way the NHL, its players and referees decided that the brand of hockey that came out of that was not to their liking. Obviously the teams with less skill caved and demanded a return to the old ways – bad and mediocre teams outnumber the good teams, and the majority won.

Bettman is an idiot.

Chachi

wheatnoil: I think some of that is feeling it’s not very nice for large numbers of people to tweet at Taylor Hall & chirp him because Adam Larson scored the game winner. There’s enjoying hockey and there’s just not not being nice.

I agree, it is not nice. I also think Taylor Hall is a big boy and does not need a bunch of hypocrites attacking stupid people on the internet for him.

If I was Hall I would be somewhere that the NHL playoffs are unavailable to be easily viewed (so anywhere in the U.S.) knee deep in whatever sexual depravity floats the boat he can’t get a license to captain. I would give no shits about what Mark Spector and the goons who think like him write about me.

delooper

Jethro Tull:
Melvis,
By being above reproach, it kills all speculation of favouritism and such, because i went on some Ducks sites today, and they feel the refs were hugely biased towards us, that we’re whiners and we roughed Getzlaf and Kesler last night.Call the rules, refs, and call them consistently and without bias and 99% of criticism will float away.

It would be nice if the NHL would come clean and explain to the audience precisely when each penalty type should be called — and also be clear on what the repercussions are for blown calls, perhaps even providing stats on “false positives” and “missed” calls.

There are some calls that are very reliable in the NHL, like offsides, and icing.

But things like boarding, hooking, obstruction, delay of game, those penalty calls have a weird and ever-changing deviation from the rulebook. I shrug when they’re called, I shrug when they’re not called. There appears to be little reason (in my eyes) why some blatant penalties are missed, while other times there’s calls which seem pretty marginal.

Melvis

Jethro Tull,

I’ll buy that.

frjohnk

Rewatched the last 8 seconds of the game. http://nhl.nbcsports.com/2017/04/27/video-getzlaf-perry-kesler-lose-cool-in-scuffle-with-kassian-oilers/

Love Kassian, I will say that Kesler is lucky that Kassian did not get free reign by the linesmen.

Getzlaf started the sequence with Sekera. Props to Sekera for standing up for himself and giving it back to Getzlaf, but man, Sekera is lucky Getzlaf didnt lose his shit on him. Getzlaf would have destroyed him. But then one of the big boys would have went after Getzlaf the next game.

Not that I think Benning played a bad game but I wonder if Gryba gets into the next game.

Gayfish

wheatnoil: I think some of that is feeling it’s not very nice for large numbers of people to tweet at Taylor Hall & chirp him because Adam Larson scored the game winner. There’s enjoying hockey and there’s just not not being nice.

I’d love to have Taylor Hall on as a guest analyst.

Gayfish

I think Connor has the flu, as it seems that was what Klef had. Is it just me, or does it seem like NHL players get the flu way more often than the general public?

wheatnoil

Chachi: In the same vein a lot of these folks (smart men and women all) have spent the last 15 hours or so mocking many people for how they celebrated the Oilers’ win after spending much of the season complaining about how people have been trying to tell them how to enjoy hockey.

I think some of that is feeling it’s not very nice for large numbers of people to tweet at Taylor Hall & chirp him because Adam Larson scored the game winner. There’s enjoying hockey and there’s just not not being nice.

Jethro Tull

Melvis,

You know which sport has excellent referees? Rugby Union. If you ever catch a game, the respect the players have for them is unreal. By having the utmost professional standards, and adhering to the rules, they engender respect, even if they are not liked. A rake or gouge in one scrum will be called irrespective of experience of player or team. If the guy keeps ‘Kesler-ing’, the ref pulls the captain aside and (I’ve seen it countless times) says “tell number X that I’ve noticed what he’s doing and the next time he does it, he’s in the sin bin.” If player X does it again, the refs are true to their word. They rarely talk to the player unless it’s to tell them game business as in “play on” or to make a disciplinary call.

By being above reproach, it kills all speculation of favouritism and such, because i went on some Ducks sites today, and they feel the refs were hugely biased towards us, that we’re whiners and we roughed Getzlaf and Kesler last night. Call the rules, refs, and call them consistently and without bias and 99% of criticism will float away.

Dustylegnd

Bulging Twine,

As long as this series and the games played in the series remain close… he has nothing to worry about re payback….betting if the oilers lead big with 10 to go in the 3rd period you will see a rapid behaviour modification by Getzlaf….dudes been bald since 22 so thats nothing new….it is the new NHL….self policing is long gone.

Bulging Twine

I wonder if Getlzlaf started a course of steroids in March or is on some type of drug.
He seems to have a sense of grandiose superiority.
grabbing and scolding Sekera,
Slashing Lucic’s leg and highly confidently beaking him off.
Lecturing authority (ref’s).
showing increased signs of aggression- smearing RNH head into boards,
Lack of fear- slashing big man Lucic,
beard growth, hair loss

(half joking)

It is clear Getzlaf is very highly confident right now in his strength. He seems to feel like the strongest guy out there, unafraid of any payback to his aggressive actions.

Melvis

Where are the lawyers when you need them?

I pissed away half the morning going through every clause in the 2010/2014 NHL/NHLOA CBA. I didn’t bother looking for the current five year deal. Suffice it to say, things aren’t as simple as they look, and given a broad brush and some tar – everything is open to interpretation.

Imo, the NHLOA enjoys a considerable amount of power, not unlike any public sector service union. Of course the NHL can fire or suspend for just cause. ‘Just cause’, however, has very little or nothing to do with calling the rule book, which is pretty much open to on-ice whimsy by the stripes.

And the repercussions for repeated expressions of zebra whimsey amount to little more than small fines for repeated failures. By small, I mean about $350 to a ref pulling in $250k/year plus.

We’re all familiar with the historic trope concerning power and corruption. And there’s very little one can do about that from the armchair. Braying at the moon over real or perceived bias accomplishes nothing. I’ve decided on tai chi for the playoffs. That, and the possibility of a future blog designed to shame and embarrass them at every turn, regardless of team through the regular season.

The owners can certainly make their thoughts known. They can also get ignored by the NHLOA – as far as that goes.

Here’s the thing and another small anecdote. It’s the first lesson learned as a road manager in the bigs. I had to carry a road bank in cash. It was real and it was spectacular and used daily for unforeseen, emergencies, gratuities, etc. In fact, it’s primary function had me peeling off benjamins for the IATSE and Teamster straw bosses in every major town in North America. Those crews were well paid, but it was either that or the worst flouting of work to rule anyone’s ever seen. You’re up against a tight schedule, they know it and out comes the hand. A prime example of the efficacy of carrot over stick.

I’m not suggesting the officials are bent. I am suggesting a long slide into the murk of lower standards. Entropic, but seemingly preferable to calling every infraction to the letter. I suspect that would also fuck the game up as it’s currently played for the foreseeable future. Those damn scales. Always unbalanced.

Chachi

Pouzar: A MILLION TIMES THIS. And one in particular who has been shitting on Larsson all year.

In the same vein a lot of these folks (smart men and women all) have spent the last 15 hours or so mocking many people for how they celebrated the Oilers’ win after spending much of the season complaining about how people have been trying to tell them how to enjoy hockey.

Chachi

Bag of Pucks: Personally, I would give the title of ‘worst person in hockey’ to Graham James for the rest of recorded history.

He sure as hell should not be involved in hockey in any way now, but point taken.

khildahl

Mark Spector squeezes the middle of the toothpaste tube.

Diablo

TheRage:
Diablo,

Why does Spec take shots at Eakins and Hall, and not Mact T and Lowe? Even if you accept the worst view of the former two, the latter two have been far more responsible for the putrid overall performance of the team (including, of course, employing Eakins and drafting Hall).He’s a bully and a coward.

Yep – I’ve long stopped read his articles – saw the headline and figured it was another hatchet job. He’s probably saving his critique of MacT and/or Lowe for the day they exit the organization.

Ducey

TheRage:
Diablo,

Why does Spec take shots at Eakins and Hall, and not Mact T and Lowe? Even if you accept the worst view of the former two, the latter two have been far more responsible for the putrid overall performance of the team (including, of course, employing Eakins and drafting Hall).He’s a bully and a coward.

He is a journalist who gets paid by the story. If he wants to keep getting paid, he needs web hits on his stories. Controversy invites hits.

Its not that complicated.

If you don’t want him around, stop reading his stuff.

Ducey

Bank Shot:

I think he could have a Pouliot-like career.

Ah, come on, be nice.

TheRage

Diablo,

Why does Spec take shots at Eakins and Hall, and not Mact T and Lowe? Even if you accept the worst view of the former two, the latter two have been far more responsible for the putrid overall performance of the team (including, of course, employing Eakins and drafting Hall). He’s a bully and a coward.