RAGE IN THE CAGE

by Lowetide

The great thing, and the terrible thing, about playing a 7-game series against one team, is that it exposes strengths and weaknesses in a big way. This morning, you are going to read a lot about bad luck and poor officials and there is merit to discussing them. There are also reasons beyond, we would do well to acknowledge those moments. Last night, I suspect fates were sealed for some long-time Oilers. Time will tell, but this young team paid a terrible price for truly bewildering moments from a couple of their feature players.

TALE OF THE TAPE

  • First Period: 2-0 EDM, Shots 16-10 EDM, Corsi for 5×5 19-14 EDM.
  • Second Period: 3-0 ANA, Shots 18-5 ANA, Corsi for 5×5 25-12 ANA.
  • Third Period: 1-0 EDM, Shots 11-10 EDM, Corsi for 5×5 16-15 EDM.
  • Overtime: 1-0 ANA, Shots 1-0 ANA, Corsifor 5×5 1-1.
  • Overall: 4-3 ANA, Shots 39-32 ANA, Corsi for 5×5 55-48 ANA.

It was a helluva first period, but the Oilers lost the script in the second period and struggled for most of the third. Young Drake Caggiula gave the club a chance to get the game to overtime, but it was not to be for the upstart Oilers on this night.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Nurse-Benning went 11-7 together in 9:58, including 3-2 with McDavid and 3-5 with Nuge. The duo went 3-4 against Rakell-Getzlaf-Perry and 5-3 against Shaw-Thompson-Wagner. These two young defenders are finding their way as third pair and may play more substantial roles in the future. This is a very good experience for both men.
  • Sekera-Russell went 19-21 in 18:10, that’s a lot of 5×5 time. Went 9-13 with McDavid and 6-2 with the Nuge line. Went 12-4 against Rakell-Getzlaf-Perry, an outstanding number, especially considering that line was 12-4 against the other duos. Sekera’s calm feet returned a bit to my eye, he has been inconsistent in the last coupe of games.
  • Klefbom-Larsson were the “also in photo” pair for most of the night, Larsson getting the golden sombrero (-4). Their coverage gaps looked bad all night, although to my eye the puck movement from the pair was very good. That’s hockey though, single events can conspire against you even when you are doing most things right. Went 16-21 in 14:31 together, including 9-9 with CMD and 3-10 with the Nuge. Went 6-10 against Rakell-Getzlaf-Perry.
  • Cam Talbot stopped 35 of 39, .897.
  • Numbers via NHL.com, NaturalStatTrick and HockeyStats.ca.

MCDAVID LINE

  • Lots of good things from this line, especially in the first period. The trio was on fire, scoring two goals and having enough chances for me to say that three goals were earned in that opening frame.
  • Went 10-16 against Cogliano-Kesler-Sifverberg on the night, and 4-12 against Lindholm. Todd McLellan deployed 97 for 6:42 against Lindholm, that’s about 36 percent of his 5×5 time. That is not a hard match, this is not the Vlasic series.
  • The combined 17:41 played by Kesler and Getzlaf against McDavid is beyond a hard match. Kesler is effective, and Getzlaf rivals the hardest screw that ever walked a turn at Shawshank State Prison. Devastating 1-2 combination, Edmonton needs a prick center macht schnell.
  • When we look back on all of this season, McDavid’s wingers inability to cash these gorgeous gifts will be the only bitter pill I own from spring 2017.

NUGE LINE

  • The line went 7-8 against Rakell-Getzlaf-Perry and that’s a good number. If you break it down by player on this line against Getzlaf: Nuge (5-8); Lucic (7-9); Slepyshev (5-2); Eberle (4-9).
  • Lucic scored his goal on the power play, as we begin discussion of next season, his 5×5 scoring is going to be a major subject. I thought he had a good game, although the early penalty was not a good moment.
  • Slepyshev looked good on this line, we may see more of him here.
  • Jordan Eberle is in a spot of bother right now, and I might be writing posts with titles like “Crossroads” and “Reckoner.”
  • Eberle’s shift from hell was so bad a cannot defend it. He cannot possibly be that bad and yet there it was. That said, I don’t think it is wise to trade a player when his value is low, and the Oilers do not have a replacement in waiting. I think he is gone this summer.
  • Nuge is my favorite player (non-McDavid division) on the team, but his heartbeat pause net front had a major impact on the game. Disappointing to have perhaps the number one person you’d want in that situation perform in that way. Single moments blah blah blah, that play was a sock to the jaw.

DESHARNAIS LINE

  • Line went 7-3 against Wagner-Thompson-Shaw. Woodguy mentioned on the Lowdown yesterday that this line should be playing more and I agree with him.
  • Pouliot had an early chance in the game, got a great look and a dangerous shot on net. He could still impact this spring, hope he does.

LETESTU LINE

  • Went 3-1 against the Ritchie-Vermette-Kase line, Letestu helped in a big penalty call against Vermette.
  • Caggiula’s goal has been a long time coming and is one of many terrific moments for a young team finding its way.

GAME FIVE

I’m not going to lie to you, the Oilers are in a tough spot now. Here are the Corsi 5×5 totals in the first four games of this series:

  • Game 1: Anaheim 56-38, 59.6 percent.
  • Game 2: Anaheim 63-34, 64.9 percent.
  • Game 3: Edmonton 47-34, 58.0 percent.
  • Game 4: Anaheim 55-48, 53.4 percent.
  • Overall: Anaheim 208, Edmonton 167. Anaheim holds the edge, 55.4

The Ducks are merely tied in this series, but if you’ve watched every frame there is a concerning trend going on. The Oilers won the two road games and can certainly do it again, but will need another Bernie Parent evening from Cam Talbot and badly need McDavid’s wingers to cash.

CAM TALBOT

“I thought that was pretty obvious. (Perry) ran into my bIocker/pad. I play with integrity and don’t flop … but maybe I have to.” Source

I don’t have a comforting answer for you on this one. That was goalie interference and the referees got it wrong. You hope that these things even out, and one always hopes for time left on the clock (and there was). Edmonton played a different game after the goal, and that’s a fact.

Nothing to disagree with here, Eberle already had issues with the coach/fans and that play got his ass stapled to the bench. I thought he recovered a little (made a nice play on the tying Caggiula goal) but my guess is the die is cast. Peter Chiarelli teams eat that puck and suffer the consequences, and Eberle’s giveaway(s) and lack of coverage in that sequence are going to linger in Peter Chiarelli’s mind.

Now. It is unwise to trade Eberle without a suitable replacement. Edmonton has none at this time. Jesse Puljujarvi was to play a feature role for Finland at the WHC’s and has been demoted to the point where he may not play in the opening game (my google translate is not strong, but that is my read). Edmonton’s depth chart for 2017-18 without Eberle would probably be Leon Draisaitl, Puljujarvi, Zack Kassian and Anton Slepyshev. Which is fine, if JP can play there. We haven’t seen his game in months, and I have growing concerns about him. Why isn’t he playing for Team Finland? Interesting days.

MY OPINION

I think the Oilers need a miracle, a big fly, a Hail Mary, and they need it right damned now. One of two things must happen in Anaheim. Either Connor McDavid finds clean air while his wingers also find their hands, or Cam Talbot doesn’t allow another goal in this series.

Edmonton’s series against the Ducks is finally showing us what we knew back in August. The balance photo is not yet earned. Will the Oilers be done playing hockey by Sunday night? We wait.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A full boat this morning, much fun and I hope you can tune in. Scheduled to appear, TSN1260 beginning at 10:

  • Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey. Bruce will take a swing at last night’s game, maybe a ref or two as well.
  • Grant McCagg, Recrutes.ca. We will drill down on the 2017 draft, trying to find some idea about how the top five will go this summer.
  • Frank Seravalli, TSN. Oilers aren’t behind in this series, it only feels like it.
  • Brayden Sullivan, Draft Geek. WHL Bantam Draft goes this morning, Brayden will tell us what is happening and who the early winners are today.

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

180 comments
0

You may also like

0 0 vote
Article Rating
180 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Chachi

Woodguy v2.0: Sure.

That doesn’t make the MSM any better.

Appealing to the fact that a group that doesn’t get much right until it’s registered with the league didn’t have this rumour is paper thin.

I happen to be acquainted with source of this rumour.

He is in the hockey business on the East Coast. Not in the NHL, but the hockey community is small.

I don’t think I believe him.

I know I don’t want to.

Sure, the MSM doesn’t get anything teams don’t want to feed to them, which is not much. All these “rumours” are basically people throwing crap at the wall. Chiarelli seems like a “snitches get stitches” kind of guy. That East Coast hockey guy is either making shit up or is straight up trolling Oilers fans. You are right, the hockey world is small and if you get a rep as a guy who makes shit up it could be a career limiting move and you might even find yourself having to work for a scumbag like “Colie” Campbell if you’re not careful. I can’t believe someone who actually knew the details of potential trades would be willing to take the risk to divulge that information just for shits and giggles knowing that the leak could eventually get traced back to them.

Pouzar

Woodguy v2.0: It’s amazing how the bad calls in the game dominated every sports show today.

Even “Collie” Campbell was on Bob McCown’s show today explaining the calls. (poorly)

I expect ANA to get called for everything Friday.

I can take the penalties but man this is new kind of incompetence.

I am staying away and chillin the hell out.

I hope you are right about ANA getting the calls against them.

Woodguy v2.0

Pouzar: Has to be MORE. Waaaaaaaaaaay more.
I’ve calmed down since the debacle but there is no way I watching anymore of this series.

It’s amazing how the bad calls in the game dominated every sports show today.

Even “Collie” Campbell was on Bob McCown’s show today explaining the calls. (poorly)

I expect ANA to get called for everything Friday.

Woodguy v2.0

Chachi: Random person on internet calling trades before they happen is around 0%. There’s a reason for that. Good GMs don’t allow leaks to anyone including the media, the team accountant, your cousin’s best friend’s hair dresser or whatever other good “source” people think they have.

Sure.

That doesn’t make the MSM any better.

Appealing to the fact that a group that doesn’t get much right until it’s registered with the league didn’t have this rumour is paper thin.

I happen to be acquainted with source of this rumour.

He is in the hockey business on the East Coast. Not in the NHL, but the hockey community is small.

I don’t think I believe him.

I know I don’t want to.

Pouzar

Woodguy v2.0: Drink more.

Or less.

I’m not sure.

Has to be MORE. Waaaaaaaaaaay more.
I’ve calmed down since the debacle but there is no way I watching anymore of this series.

Admiral Ackbar

Scungilli Slushy: I don’t see why Pouliot and Eberle wouldn’t be bad with DD or Tube against easier QoC. Line3 and 4 played about the same minutes. Spread talent, experience and speed out and exert more pressure down their line up. I also liked speed on Connor’s right to complement Maroon’s size and net presence.

Eberle getting air might actually be more productive if we are worried about trade value. Or at least a break physically and mentally. Lots of coaches spread things out for balance .

Agreed 100%. DD, Pou + Ebs would likely eat up those softie minutes, especially with Perry on the top line with Eaves out.

Now, if they can figure out their 2nd line, that’d be pleasing. Nuge got son’d yesterday by Getzlaf. It was painful to watch. Obviously it’ll teach him and he’ll bounce back.

Ebs learning curve however seems a lot steeper. He’s quickly learning in this series that one has to be big or fast. He, being small and slow (more often than not) is not a recipe for success. He also needs to learn that if he can’t control the play, he absolutely can’t make mistakes. Those that are at best neutral-impacting players have to be low-event players = no mistakes.

Admiral Ackbar

NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”: Checks clock. 8:35am Japan Standard Time.
Checks bottle of whisky.
It’s 5 o’clock somewhere, right?
Whisky, it’s what’s for breakfast.

I tip my hat to your ambition, sir.

Admiral Ackbar: Definitely more. And make sure it’s whisky.

Checks clock. 8:35am Japan Standard Time.
Checks bottle of whisky.
It’s 5 o’clock somewhere, right?
Whisky, it’s what’s for breakfast.

Chachi

godot10: The coach has to know what the media is up too with when the question was being asked, and the hockey market he is working in.

Belichek would has skewered the reporter instead of skewering his player.

I would rather use a microplane grater on my genitals than read another word from you on Bill Belichek, Todd McLellan or any other coach in any other league in any other sport.

Chachi

Woodguy v2.0: MSM’s record on calling trades before they happen is below 5% and that’s probably generous.

Random person on internet calling trades before they happen is around 0%. There’s a reason for that. Good GMs don’t allow leaks to anyone including the media, the team accountant, your cousin’s best friend’s hair dresser or whatever other good “source” people think they have.

Scungilli Slushy

Admiral Ackbar: He actually looked great in the softie minutes in the second half of the game. Anaheim’s top 6 is as good as any in the league – I’m not going to condemn him for not measuring up. He has to take that hit to make a play though.

I don’t see why Pouliot and Eberle wouldn’t be bad with DD or Tube against easier QoC. Line 3 and 4 played about the same minutes. Spread talent, experience and speed out and exert more pressure down their line up. I also liked speed on Connor’s right to complement Maroon’s size and net presence.

Eberle getting air might actually be more productive if we are worried about trade value. Or at least a break physically and mentally. Lots of coaches spread things out for balance .

Woodguy v2.0

Chachi: Sure, the MSM who sniff around the head office garbage cans for information and offer to carry the team’s water in exchange for access don’t have any of this information, but these “sources” are always being mentioned online by people with absolutely no connection with the team.

MSM’s record on calling trades before they happen is below 5% and that’s probably generous.

Admiral Ackbar

Woodguy v2.0: Drink more.

Or less.

I’m not sure.

Definitely more. And make sure it’s whisky.

Scungilli Slushy

VOR:
scungilli slushy,

I think you are right. I did leave, unintentionally, the impression I was saying that Eberle’s coach and teammates were inadequate. I merely meant to suggest that the head coach Todd McLellan spoke without thinking and he doesn’t have much cover given he is a veteran of the Stanley Cup playoffs. However, just as I believe we have to allow players to make mistakes and learn from them the same is true of coaches. Overall McLellan has been great in this year’s playoffs and did (my opinion) a well above average job in the regular season. I am, however, increasingly convinced he is not the right coach for Jordan Eberle.

I didn’t, however, hate on McLellan. Did I assassinate his character, question his work ethic, call him a coward, or otherwise demean or degrade either McLellan or any other member of the Oilers? That is what the haters do. There is a perfectly legitimate place for criticism in any human endeavor. it is very easy, however, to step over that line into being a hater rather than a critic. It is also, sadly easy to give the haters ammunition and opportunity.

As for Eberle’s teammates you wouldn’t necessary expect to find the combination of players on the Oilers that could lift Eberle out of his funk. There is this strange chemistry that develops between some linemates that is very special. Mahovlich, Howe, and Delvecchio had it.

Howe was the perfect guy to shelter a fragile Frank Mahovlich. Howe, and I got this from listening to multiple interviews with Ted Lindsay, was obsessed with the believe that he wasn’t good enough to play in the NHL and that he was going to be cut from the team in training camp. This persisted long after Howe was clearly the best player in the league. He showed up to training camp every year a basket case, an incredibly fit, impossibly motivated basket case.

Mahovlich was fighting very similar demons. He also didn’t think he was good enough to play in the NHL. He had what we would now call impostor syndrome. Fats Delvecchio was the guy who took the pressure off Howe, took the cork out of the bottle is the way Lindsay put it and he turned out to be able to do much the same for Mahovlich. Delvecchio is one of those guys who really doesn’t get as much credit as he deserves.

I don’t know what demons Eberle is fighting but I think there is mounting evidence that the pressure cooker that is playing NHL hockey in a hockey mad place like Edmonton is beginning to exact a toll. It isn’t a knock on his teammates to say they may not have the right combination of understanding, support skills, and ass kicking to help him get back on track. A different hockey culture and community may be a big part of the solution if Eberle is ever going to get back to being a 1st line star.

I appreciate your thoughtful posts, I don’t mean to pile on. We don’t agree on this on some levels and we don’t have to. My comment you responded to at first has to do with how reasonable commenters who don’t agree with popular views (quite often from those with an interest inthe stats side of things, which I also share, and I’m not singling anyone out in particular) get treated at times.

Things are much friendlier in that regard than years ago when it could be quite vitriolic in the Oilogosphere, and thanks to our host for being a big part of that change. Part of my nature repels at politically correct types who can’t tolerate different views and are rigid in their thinking and can get quite nasty about it. That used to be a big part of the stats debate, and when I sense it I want to comment/

It also irks me that after taking their quips and it turns out they’re wrong you don’t hear a peep and they’re on to their next infallible position to start it all over. I’m not saying that is what you are doing or have, but that is why I called for a response about Eberle getting benched.

As I said I certainly hope he finds a groove and the team as well. I hope this was clear enough to understand, rambling a bit. Go Oilers!!

Woodguy v2.0

Pouzar:
I am not watching another second of this shit show series.
No goalie interference? Offsides? No Icing?

I don’t give 2 flyin F***s about “deserved…”….the team with the most frickin goals WIN and
they were gifted 2 and arguably 3 of em. I am too old to get this worked up over a hockey game
so I will dutifully follow this fine blog and twitter for my fix.

Drink more.

Or less.

I’m not sure.

Admiral Ackbar

Professor Q: Can Puljujärvi be that?

Sigh.

Not anytime soon…. considering his demotion on the Finish WHC team. He’s at least a few years out. We’ve been spoiled by the development’ of Drai – PoolParty ain’t going to be that.

Professor Q

NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

I’d be perfectly fine if he matched up well with Draisaitl. Just, I do hope for at least a top-2 line player eventually (crossing my fingers and hoping).

Just recent concerns due to recent narratives and events with the WHC/Finnish National Team is all.

Although that would still leave spots to fill aside McDavid.

The search continues. We wait.

Professor Q: Can Puljujärvi be that?

Sigh.

I fear we are pinning a lot of hopes on those two being a long-term fit.

I still see Jere Lehtinen in Jesse but whether he can score enough at the NHL level remains to be seen.

Maybe he slots in at 2RW for the long haul and becomes a 25-30 type player while being defensively responsible.

Yet somehow with where expectations are it will seem like he is a disappointment because he isn’t 40-40 with McDavid.

vishcosity

Bag of Pucks: It’s entirely possible. I’m not one to leap to conspiracy theories as the most obvious explanation, but you’re absolutely right in identifying that any league has an inherent conflict of interest on this stuff.

Personally, I can’t go there because if I honestly believe the league is directly rigging results, I can’t watch or accept this product anymore.

Sure you can, and in fact, you may like it way better. Way.

I’m learning this, slowly. My wife can “view” sports without the emotional investment that I still clearly struggle to escape. She, a hockey fan since the 1980 Olympics, cares little who wins, but still watches when it’s around with the “Justin Williams is still playing?” commentary.

To her it’s just bank logo 1 vs. bank logo 2. Of the Oilers, there is nothing particularly Edmontonian, or Canadian for that matter, except some corporate lease. They are not us, I am not them. There is no “we”, it is only them. Not long after the Six Ring Presser, we cancelled cable and haven’t given the team a single dime since.

I think the burden of proof is on the “it’s not fixed” camp. Given what we’ve learned about government, what would make you think it’s not fixed? That seems almost ludicrous, given the opportunity and the amount of money associated.

I do like watching McDavid score the goals tho.

Professor Q

Admiral Ackbar: Exactly. We aren’t looking for a Kurri, we’re looking for a Kevin Stevens.

Kurri + Gretzky + Messier + Coffee + Fuhr could never have existed in the cap era. It’s money puck now!

Can Puljujärvi be that?

Sigh.

digger50

VOR:
Digger50

Fair enough, one on one battles all over the ice it is.

But what exactly should we be looking for? How many battles they engage in, how many they win, how they lose them, how they win them, subsequent outcomes, what exactly are you measuring? And does compete level matter as much to one on one battles as say size, skill, how long each player has been on the ice. Are there enough one on one battles to offer us a fair sample size? I mean at the playoff level every shift is a battle but often there are multiple players involved and the play isn’t manno a manno. I grew up watching an Oilers team that had guys who would win puck battles outnumbered as much as three to one. Were they competing harder than their teammates or did Tikannen, Anderson, Messier, and the rest of the Murder’s Row that was the dynasty Oilers (God, Kenny Linesman – there was a guy that could take on multiple opponents in a battle and make them not just look silly but fear for their safety) just have a particular skill for going in the corners and coming out with the puck?

I am not trying to be difficult. I have spent a decade trying to come up with a way to measure compete and pushback and other intangibles and like you I started out thinking one on one battles would be a good proxy for some, maybe most intangibles. I am no longer so sure. If you have ideas for resolving some of the above issues, if anyone does, I’d love to hear them.

Nope, I do not have the metric for this. However I am happy that you see where I’m going.

Many coaches would say win your one on one battles, win the shift, the period and the game. How then are those coaches measuring this compete level? I think if you are on the bench or in the room you just know.

But to my original comment, as a fan I just watch the game. I apreciate stats and add some narrative for color, but ultimately my eye tells me if I am enjoying the game. So if I see a guy going and doing the best he can on a given night in a given circumstance with all that god gave him, that’s all you can ask.

Bag of Pucks

MacLellan coached Eberle to make a soft chip up the wall to avoid a hit?

You’re right. That is using him poorly.

Side

godot10:
1) For a good hockey team, every playoff game is an isolated event uncorrelated to previous and future games.

2) I said this a few days ago.The Ducks have either played the Oilers even, or dominated them in every game this season, modulo score effects.

3) Like the Sharks players, Getzlaf knows McLellan’s systems better than the Oilers players know them.

4) Corey Perry demonstrated his brilliance on the incidental contact just outside edge of the crease on the first goal.A referee that called it incidental contract live is not going to overtutn a call of incidental contact on video review.Most crease crashers would have created additional contact with Talbot after the skate contract, but Perry made his skate touch and then executed a brilliant pivot out and away.That was textbook borderline incidental contact.It is like he knew exactly how far he could go.

5) Eberle is the new Justin Schultz.Duchene’s boxcars are pretty horrid this year.Duchene >> Eberle.Eberle is a good player with flaws, whose coach is not utilizing him to accentuate his strengths and obscure his weaknesses.

6) Lander would help against the Ducks.Pouliot-Lander-Kassian could take a few of Nugent-Hopkins minutes against Getzlaf and ease Nuge’s burden.Lander has a bit of Swedish Kessler in him.He would agitate Getzlaf.

7) Carlyle and the Ducks are closer to playing the new fangled fast hockey, particularly with their D.Too bad Bieksa got hurt, Montour is an upgrade.McLellan and the Oilers play old school slow hockey.Slow wingers who can’t get in on the forecheck against the Ducks fast puck-moving mobile D.This will be a longer term issue for the Oilers.McLellan and his cloistered group of coaches are falling behind the new hockey that Pittsburgh, the Rangers, the Blue Jackets, the Predators, and the Ducks are playing.

8) The OIlers are too slow to forecheck against the Ducks, and McLellan’s breakout systems are too slow for the Oilers to successfully rush attack enough, except for when McDavid or Draisaitl have moments of brilliance.Nugent-Hopkins has his hands full with Getzlaf.

8) Talbot and McDavid can together or individually still steal this series, but the Ducks are the better team, but not so much that variance cannot happen.

Wait.. so now you’re blaming Todd because the players are slow?

Kinda hard to coach and play fast hockey when you have slow players.

Pretty sure the Ducks are coming out on top because they have a more complete team. Not because of Todd’s coaching.

Admiral Ackbar

NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:

Oilers need to find McDavid a Guentzel,not an Ovi.

Exactly. We aren’t looking for a Kurri, we’re looking for a Kevin Stevens.

Kurri + Gretzky + Messier + Coffee + Fuhr could never have existed in the cap era. It’s money puck now!

godot10

Chachi: If a coach can’t say something as innocuous as “not enough” without it being the litfuse that set off the bomb that chased a player out of town then the “media” has already won. Why would anyone coach or play in a market like that?

The coach has to know what the media is up too with when the question was being asked, and the hockey market he is working in.

Belichek would has skewered the reporter instead of skewering his player.

Admiral Ackbar

Georges:

Eberle had lots of jump and try at the end. The best version of Eberle’s game beats many, many players in this league.

He actually looked great in the softie minutes in the second half of the game. Anaheim’s top 6 is as good as any in the league – I’m not going to condemn him for not measuring up. He has to take that hit to make a play though.

Nuclear leak:
What does ovi look like with Mcdavid

Actual benefit < cost to acquire + huge contract.

Oilers need to find McDavid a Guentzel, not an Ovi.

The big bucks will be committed to McDavid, Lucic, Draisaitl up front.

Admiral Ackbar

Oilin4: If the NHL were run well, officials would be scrutinized like they are in other leagues. Check out this piece in SI about how thoroughly NFL officials are graded, and how much money is on the line for them. If the NHL did the same, with the intent of ensuring they follow the rule book rather than other ‘initiatives’, we could all enjoy this beautiful game more. Imagine a league where talent (rather than antics) wins championships. Where skill mattered more than size. Where McDavid was free to roam and Getzlaf’s and Kesler’s antics weren’t the difference in the series / the path to victory.

http://mmqb.si.com/2013/12/04/peter-king-spends-week-with-nfl-refs

Great Post. In that league, we’d see the difference between Getzlaf and Kesler. Getzlaf would still be an absolutely excellent hockey player, Kesler would never be shone in the same light as Patrice Bergeron nor Pavel Datsyuk (Selke winners).

Wake up NHL. You’re all D and no Cohones.

godot10

1) For a good hockey team, every playoff game is an isolated event uncorrelated to previous and future games.

2) I said this a few days ago. The Ducks have either played the Oilers even, or dominated them in every game this season, modulo score effects.

3) Like the Sharks players, Getzlaf knows McLellan’s systems better than the Oilers players know them.

4) Corey Perry demonstrated his brilliance on the incidental contact just outside edge of the crease on the first goal. A referee that called it incidental contract live is not going to overtutn a call of incidental contact on video review. Most crease crashers would have created additional contact with Talbot after the skate contract, but Perry made his skate touch and then executed a brilliant pivot out and away. That was textbook borderline incidental contact. It is like he knew exactly how far he could go.

5) Eberle is the new Justin Schultz. Duchene’s boxcars are pretty horrid this year. Duchene >> Eberle. Eberle is a good player with flaws, whose coach is not utilizing him to accentuate his strengths and obscure his weaknesses.

6) Lander would help against the Ducks. Pouliot-Lander-Kassian could take a few of Nugent-Hopkins minutes against Getzlaf and ease Nuge’s burden. Lander has a bit of Swedish Kessler in him. He would agitate Getzlaf.

7) Carlyle and the Ducks are closer to playing the new fangled fast hockey, particularly with their D. Too bad Bieksa got hurt, Montour is an upgrade. McLellan and the Oilers play old school slow hockey. Slow wingers who can’t get in on the forecheck against the Ducks fast puck-moving mobile D. This will be a longer term issue for the Oilers. McLellan and his cloistered group of coaches are falling behind the new hockey that Pittsburgh, the Rangers, the Blue Jackets, the Predators, and the Ducks are playing.

8) The OIlers are too slow to forecheck against the Ducks, and McLellan’s breakout systems are too slow for the Oilers to successfully rush attack enough, except for when McDavid or Draisaitl have moments of brilliance. Nugent-Hopkins has his hands full with Getzlaf.

8) Talbot and McDavid can together or individually still steal this series, but the Ducks are the better team, but not so much that variance cannot happen.

OilClog

What does ovi look like with Mcdavid

digger50

Chachi: If a coach can’t say something as innocuous as “not enough” without it being the litfuse that set off the bomb that chased a player out of town then the “media” has already won. Why would anyone coach or play in a market like that?

The atmosphere that has been the Oilers in days gone by is the reason why we had to overpay. Overpay free agents and overpay regulars. I don’t begrudge Eberle his money now. I would rather begrudge all the wasted contract dollars to those who have been paid to leave, or play in the minors, or retire.

season not played

Go Oilers.

Last night was a hard lesson.

They can still win it.

Oilers mostly outplayed when the going has been tight. Call it veteran play from the Ducks, call it the officials, whatever you want, but key gaffes have been made by everyone from the goalie out. It’s part of learning playoff hockey.

Yet despite that the team is tied 2-2 against the best of the West. Calgary got run out of the rink.

I know it feels like pitchfork time, but in fact it is is pick-me-up time.

Go Oilers from Tokyo

digger50

Admiral Ackbar:
The game seemed like a good close game to the eye. I’ve only become enraged after seeing the replays 100 times each and listening to Ron McLean & Kerry Fraser (two former referees!) hang out their colleagues to dry.

Up until now the referees have been able to hide behind a veil of reasonable doubt in the ambiguity of “letting them play” and “playoff hockey”. Now, I fear that they’re utterly incompetent and vulnerable to manipulation (by veteran hockey players).

The league has an officiating system that makes it difficult for young players to win. The officiating makes it difficult for integrity to win. The league perpetuates the “if you don’t cheat you aren’t trying” mentality. This is a league where 3 of the 4 goals last night are seriously questionable according to the rule book. This is a league where Sidney Crosby gets crosschecked to the head, is out with a concussion (for the n’th time) and there’s no suspension.

I’m losing faith in this league.

Wasn’t Ron McLean refreshing? Pulls out the rule book, dares the rest of the panel to defend the call.

Georges

Chachi: Characterizing McLellan’s “not enough” as some kind of attack on Eberle’s character is ridiculous. Suggesting that McLellan saying “not enough” was sent Eberle into some kind of spiral that affected his performance last night is insulting to Eberle.

Attack the media who overreacted to the comment and carved him on print and on tv all you want. They are largely composed of hacks and blowhards who believe the only way for them to survive is to spread their hot takes like diarrhea all over the media toilet bowl.

I suspect Eberle has support from the coaches and from the team and has enough pride and professionalism to recover from a couple of rough games and find the best version of his game again. In fact, he bounced back quite nicely in the 3rd period of yesterday’s game and contributed to the tying goal – not the kind of play you would expect from someone who was mentally defeated. If he doesn’t have the support he needs from the team it is probably best for everyone if he and the team part ways.

Very nice last paragraph.

Eberle had lots of jump and try at the end. The best version of Eberle’s game beats many, many players in this league.

Oilin4

Admiral Ackbar:
The game seemed like a good close game to the eye. I’ve only become enraged after seeing the replays 100 times each and listening to Ron McLean & Kerry Fraser (two former referees!) hang out their colleagues to dry.

Up until now the referees have been able to hide behind a veil of reasonable doubt in the ambiguity of “letting them play” and “playoff hockey”. Now, I fear that they’re utterly incompetent and vulnerable to manipulation (by veteran hockey players).

The league has an officiating system that makes it difficult for young players to win. The officiating makes it difficult for integrity to win. The league perpetuates the “if you don’t cheat you aren’t trying” mentality. This is a league where 3 of the 4 goals last night are seriously questionable according to the rule book. This is a league where Sidney Crosby gets crosschecked to the head, is out with a concussion (for the n’th time) and there’s no suspension.

I’m losing faith in this league.

If the NHL were run well, officials would be scrutinized like they are in other leagues. Check out this piece in SI about how thoroughly NFL officials are graded, and how much money is on the line for them. If the NHL did the same, with the intent of ensuring they follow the rule book rather than other ‘initiatives’, we could all enjoy this beautiful game more. Imagine a league where talent (rather than antics) wins championships. Where skill mattered more than size. Where McDavid was free to roam and Getzlaf’s and Kesler’s antics weren’t the difference in the series / the path to victory.

http://mmqb.si.com/2013/12/04/peter-king-spends-week-with-nfl-refs

Chachi

VOR:
Chachi,

I didn’t say or even suggest that McLellan was attacking Eberle. Merely that he lit the fuse that set off the bomb of hate. I didn’t suggest he did it deliberately, merely that he should have known it was a risk.

Eberle did find his feet later in the game. I agree with you completely about that. However, I think you are going to find that we have in fact reached the point where Eberle needs, and will get, a chance with another team.

I could easily be wrong about this last point. He may be that rare sort of individual that can overcome the character assasination and rebound. Or the Oilers locker room may be the sort of place where he will find the support he needs to overcome. I am just doubtful. I have seen the haters win way too many times to be optomistic.

By the way, it isn’t just Eberle’s head the haters are trying to get into, it is Todd McLellan and Peter Chiarelli’s as well. That is how running a player out of town happens. That is the goal here, make no mistake.

I am betting we will see Eberle gone soon and not for fair value. The haters will rejoice in their power. The last GM I saw buck the trend was Slats back in the day. He didn’t give a flying fridge what the press or the fan base thought. is that an attack of McLellan or Chiarelli. Not even slightly, it is just me acknowledging one of the constants of being an Oiler’s fan, the media’s ongoing desire to play GM.

If a coach can’t say something as innocuous as “not enough” without it being the lit fuse that set off the bomb that chased a player out of town then the “media” has already won. Why would anyone coach or play in a market like that?

Admiral Ackbar

All this concern over Lucic or Eberle is certainly seen through the tint of blame in our glasses.

Without these refereeing gaffs, we sure wouldn’t be so irate. The costs of these mistakes were big but neither should have resulted in a goal against.

digger50

VOR:
Chachi,

I didn’t say or even suggest that McLellan was attacking Eberle. Merely that he lit the fuse that set off the bomb of hate. I didn’t suggest he did it deliberately, merely that he should have known it was a risk.

Eberle did find his feet later in the game. I agree with you completely about that. However, I think you are going to find that we have in fact reached the point where Eberle needs, and will get, a chance with another team.

I could easily be wrong about this last point. He may be that rare sort of individual that can overcome the character assasination and rebound. Or the Oilers locker room may be the sort of place where he will find the support he needs to overcome. I am just doubtful. I have seen the haters win way too many times to be optomistic.

By the way, it isn’t just Eberle’s head the haters are trying to get into, it is Todd McLellan and Peter Chiarelli’s as well. That is how running a player out of town happens. That is the goal here, make no mistake.

I am betting we will see Eberle gone soon and not for fair value. The haters will rejoice in their power. The last GM I saw buck the trend was Slats back in the day. He didn’t give a flying fridge what the press or the fan base thought. is that an attack of McLellan or Chiarelli. Not even slightly, it is just me acknowledging one of the constants of being an Oiler’s fan, the media’s ongoing desire to play GM.

Good reasonable opinion thanks.

I have not loved Ebs game for some time, but if he’s on the team he deserves support. And I have time for building a well rounded team and that sometimes means one player has an over abundance of one skill and needs compensated by a teammate on another slill and vice versa.

But if you look for fault you will find fault always. We tend to see what we are looking for.

Georges

Bruce Wayne:
Doug McLachlan,

You don’t have to get Eberle away from Nuge, you have to get Lucic away from both. Replace Lucic with Pouliot and that line is immediately better.

Now the coach will never do this because he trusts RNH and he doesn’t trust Pouliot and Eberle. I get why he would have doubts about Pouliot and Eberle right now, but tell me what in the world Lucic has done to have the trust of his coach. Lucic is the one covering nothing but air as much as anyone.

In fairness, Lucic’s mistake in OT was more costly than Eberle’s mistake in the 2nd period. Larsson looks over his shoulder, sees Lucic along the boards, looks down and backhands the puck. In between those two actions, Getzlaf has slipped in front of Lucic , who is backing out of the zone. Getzlaf gets the puck. Lucic is too far back to lift his stick. Bang. Bang. Done.

Somebody’s always going to look bad when you put a goal against under the microscope.

I agree with you on one thing. Don’t play Lucic with Eberle. My reasons are different from yours, though. I think they’re both good players who have no (or not enough) offensive chemistry with each other. As godot has pointed out, their games don’t mix.

Let’s keep it orderly. The Oilers are winning this series.

digger50

Bag of Pucks: He’s trolling for clicks cos that’s essentially the only way former print journalists can maintain a viable career now. If you really take offense, the best recourse is not to punch him in the face, but simply stop clicking on the troll bait.

But dammit I can’t stop my finger from clicking!!!

VOR

Chachi,

I didn’t say or even suggest that McLellan was attacking Eberle. Merely that he lit the fuse that set off the bomb of hate. I didn’t suggest he did it deliberately, merely that he should have known it was a risk.

Eberle did find his feet later in the game. I agree with you completely about that. However, I think you are going to find that we have in fact reached the point where Eberle needs, and will get, a chance with another team.

I could easily be wrong about this last point. He may be that rare sort of individual that can overcome the character assasination and rebound. Or the Oilers locker room may be the sort of place where he will find the support he needs to overcome. I am just doubtful. I have seen the haters win way too many times to be optomistic.

By the way, it isn’t just Eberle’s head the haters are trying to get into, it is Todd McLellan and Peter Chiarelli’s as well. That is how running a player out of town happens. That is the goal here, make no mistake.

I am betting we will see Eberle gone soon and not for fair value. The haters will rejoice in their power. The last GM I saw buck the trend was Slats back in the day. He didn’t give a flying fridge what the press or the fan base thought. is that an attack of McLellan or Chiarelli. Not even slightly, it is just me acknowledging one of the constants of being an Oiler’s fan, the media’s ongoing desire to play GM.

Admiral Ackbar

The game seemed like a good close game to the eye. I’ve only become enraged after seeing the replays 100 times each and listening to Ron McLean & Kerry Fraser (two former referees!) hang out their colleagues to dry.

Up until now the referees have been able to hide behind a veil of reasonable doubt in the ambiguity of “letting them play” and “playoff hockey”. Now, I fear that they’re utterly incompetent and vulnerable to manipulation (by veteran hockey players).

The league has an officiating system that makes it difficult for young players to win. The officiating makes it difficult for integrity to win. The league perpetuates the “if you don’t cheat you aren’t trying” mentality. This is a league where 3 of the 4 goals last night are seriously questionable according to the rule book. This is a league where Sidney Crosby gets crosschecked to the head, is out with a concussion (for the n’th time) and there’s no suspension.

I’m losing faith in this league.

VOR

scungilli slushy,

I think you are right. I did leave, unintentionally, the impression I was saying that Eberle’s coach and teammates were inadequate. I merely meant to suggest that the head coach Todd McLellan spoke without thinking and he doesn’t have much cover given he is a veteran of the Stanley Cup playoffs. However, just as I believe we have to allow players to make mistakes and learn from them the same is true of coaches. Overall McLellan has been great in this year’s playoffs and did (my opinion) a well above average job in the regular season. I am, however, increasingly convinced he is not the right coach for Jordan Eberle.

I didn’t, however, hate on McLellan. Did I assassinate his character, question his work ethic, call him a coward, or otherwise demean or degrade either McLellan or any other member of the Oilers? That is what the haters do. There is a perfectly legitimate place for criticism in any human endeavor. it is very easy, however, to step over that line into being a hater rather than a critic. It is also, sadly easy to give the haters ammunition and opportunity.

As for Eberle’s teammates you wouldn’t necessary expect to find the combination of players on the Oilers that could lift Eberle out of his funk. There is this strange chemistry that develops between some linemates that is very special. Mahovlich, Howe, and Delvecchio had it.

Howe was the perfect guy to shelter a fragile Frank Mahovlich. Howe, and I got this from listening to multiple interviews with Ted Lindsay, was obsessed with the believe that he wasn’t good enough to play in the NHL and that he was going to be cut from the team in training camp. This persisted long after Howe was clearly the best player in the league. He showed up to training camp every year a basket case, an incredibly fit, impossibly motivated basket case.

Mahovlich was fighting very similar demons. He also didn’t think he was good enough to play in the NHL. He had what we would now call impostor syndrome. Fats Delvecchio was the guy who took the pressure off Howe, took the cork out of the bottle is the way Lindsay put it and he turned out to be able to do much the same for Mahovlich. Delvecchio is one of those guys who really doesn’t get as much credit as he deserves.

I don’t know what demons Eberle is fighting but I think there is mounting evidence that the pressure cooker that is playing NHL hockey in a hockey mad place like Edmonton is beginning to exact a toll. It isn’t a knock on his teammates to say they may not have the right combination of understanding, support skills, and ass kicking to help him get back on track. A different hockey culture and community may be a big part of the solution if Eberle is ever going to get back to being a 1st line star.

who

Bruce Wayne:
This season there were 43 forwards who had cap hits between 5 and 6.5 million.

Eberle ranked right in the middle of that group for points, in a poor year with much reduced powerplay time.

Eberle is what you get for 6 million dollars.Worse than Eberle is what you get for 6 million dollars in the free agent market.

Rating the wingers on points is one way to rank them, I guess. I just tend to look at their play over a period of time.
For instance, ask yourself how many times this season has Eberle looked like a dangerous offensive player. How many scoring chances has he created for himself and his linemates. That is the measure of his value because he really doesn’t bring anything else to the table. He is not physical, he is not particularly fast, he is not strong on the boards or in front of the net, he doesn’t kill penalties and he is not a strong defensive player. His worth will always be measured by how much offense he provides. That is his skill set.
I view him as a nice complimentary player but not worth 6 mil a year. For the record I view Lucic the same way. Much different skill set but a complimentary player as well. I think Nuge is the guy who has been making that line go through these playoffs.
Another way of looking at Eberle is what kind of numbers would Kassian or Slepeshev or JP put up if they were given the same linemates, the same minutes and the same pp minutes. We have no way of knowing this but I suspect these guys might put up 40+ points in the same situation at a much cheaper price point.
I think Eberle was worth that contract when he signed it because he was an offensive driver on this team. He no longer seems like that player to me and he hasn’t for quite some time.

jake70

Wow, I finally saw an overhead clip of the OT winner. I was wondering where the two late forwards were on that play (Lucic and the 2 D were in D-zone). They were both off to the bench right from the O-zone for a change. Silfverbergl was having tea and toast waiting for Getzlafs pass to him…man. They obviously reacted to the linesman’s hand up???

treevojo

bendelson:
Scungilli Slushy,

Atta boy Slushy!

treevojo,

Always really enjoyed the Violent Femmes cover of that song…

Nobody does it better then George Stitzer.

McSorley33

There are also reasons beyond, we would do well to acknowledge those moments. Last night, I suspect fates were sealed for some long-time Oilers. Time will tell, but this young team paid a terrible price for truly bewildering moments from a couple of their feature players.
****************************************************************************
As always, LT’s writing is so good.

This beautifully captures what inarticulate people like me are thinking.

Make it so this summer, PC. Make it so.

bendelson

Scungilli Slushy,

Atta boy Slushy!

treevojo,

Always really enjoyed the Violent Femmes cover of that song…

treevojo

Bag of Pucks: Does your stereo play any other songs?

Pretty sure this is his jam.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vS-z93V0DgA