HE SHALL BE LEON

by Lowetide

It was not the most promising of starts. Already aware of Andrej Sekera’s absence from the defense, Oilers fans found out shortly before game time that Oscar Klefbom would also be unavailable to play in the game. Griffin Reinhart and Eric Gryba drew into the lineup, Reinhart to play his first NHL game (regular or playoff) all year. Pour me a whisky and keep them coming!

What came after the anthems could best be described as shock and awe. Holy Leon Draisaitl! I have written chapter and verse all year questioning Leon’s ability to push the river, wondering if he can do it. Excuse me while I delete 1,000 posts! What a memorable performance! In a series that can best be described as careening toward ecstasy and agony, last night was pure soup for the soul. The Oilers have chosen Orange Crush! as their rallying cry this spring, I think Holy Crap! might be more accurate.

THE STORY, LAST NIGHT

  • First 20: 5-0 EDM, 16-8 EDM shots, 21-13 EDM CF5x5
  • Second 20: 2-1 EDM, 13-10 ANA shots, 21- 19 ANA CF5x5.
  • Final 20: 0-0 tie, 14-9 ANA shots, 24-13 ANA CF 5×5.
  • Overall: 7-1 EDM, 35-35 tie in shots, 58-47 ANA CF5x5.

The first period put it all to rest, there are miles of score effects contained from the second period through end of game. I wonder if those older Ducks couldn’t get their legs moving in that first period. Absolutely dominant 20 minutes by Edmonton. Never saw it coming.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Nurse-Larsson went 20-17 in 16:19, the pairing looked good to my eye. Larsson passed the puck well and was solid in coverage. Nurse was effective, mobile and showed an ability to break off sorties for safety first. Pairing went 12-18 against Rakell-Getzlaf-Perry.
  • Reinhart-Gryba went 14-17 in 11:27 together, the duo was very physical and Anaheim paid a price. Gryba accidentally elbowed Cogliano and made a mess, while Reinhart irritated the hell out of Josh Manson and that counts double. Went 8-14 against Ritchie-Vermette-Wagner.
  • Russell-Benning went 12-20 in 14:15, I was impressed by them despite the Corsi’s (remember we are talking bunches and bunches of score effects). Went 7-6 against Cogliano-Kesler-Silfverberg, that’s no easy task. I like Russell more on LH side, and Benning’s passing and mobility showed in a big way.
  • Kris Russell was signed after the Oilers established Griffin Reinhart wasn’t ready. Since his arrival, Russell has been able to do what he did last night: Fill a vital role on a team that has been one (or two or three) defensemen short for a decade. His performance last night was reflective of his season with the team. I don’t think the Oilers have the money to sign him, but they may be willing to make room.
  • Cam Talbot stopped 32 of 33 shots, .970.
  • Numbers via NaturalStatTrick, NHL.com and HockeyStats.ca.

MCDAVID LINE

  • McDavid played less than 10 minutes at evens, that isn’t going to happen a lot during his career. I thought he could have had several points, just one of those nights.
  • Maroon had fast boots and made a fabulous pass on the Slepyshev goal. The big man has been inconsistent during the postseason but you can see his value.
  • Drake Caggiula rang the puck off the post and then had a sure goal when a McDavid pass jumped over his stick at the point of impact.
  • Line went 11-6 against the Kesler line and 5-8 against Hampus Lindholm.

DRAISAITL LINE

  • Leon Draisaitl can push the river! I’ve written many articles over the winter wondering about it, but man he was splendid last night. The sky rained hats after his third goal, it looked like the Teddy Bear toss. Peter Chiarelli and Todd McLellan don’t need me to tell them Leon is a center, but Leon is a center!!! It has been written!
  • Milan Lucic had jump last night too, and was effective in the offensive zone. He also brought a physical element to the game and made life miserable for the opposition. Effective.
  • Anton Slepyshev has been chipping in goals this spring and at this point is probably a lock for the fall roster.
  • Line went 9-20 against the Getzlaf line, much of that total coming long after the game had been decided.

NUGE LINE

  • The misfits can’t buy a thrill but man they are storming the wall these days. I liked their effort if not the results.
  • Nuge was skating well and checking like a demon, plus he had some looks (mostly on the power play).
  • Pouliot had another strong game, and he had another 10-bell chance (one a game now) in what is now the longest scoring slump of his career (basically all season long).
  • Eberle played well, lots of comments on his inability to play a physical game but if you don’t know him by now, you’ll never ever ever ever know him. He was fine.

LETESTU LINE

  • Mark Letestu is a steamroller baby, he’s gonna roll all over you. Shocking number of shot attempts and insane production from you No. 8 hitter.
  • David Desharnais took on giants without fear and played a lot in garbage time. I like him a lot, although I know he won’t stay.
  • Zack Kassian scored a ridiculous goal to send Gibson to the showers early. He then poked and prodded the Ducks with those mammoth Elvis sideburns. Kassian is going to look the villain anywhere he goes (even church. Seriously) and seems to have upped his agitating verbal for the postseason.

KLEFBOM!

The womenfolk at my house got the vapors something fierce just before game time, lighting candles and kicking up a helluva storm worrying about Oscar. I’m trying not to take this personally, but holy lord no one worries about me like that when I’m down for the count. Any road, Todd McLellan says he’ll be ready in California.

MCLELLAN

Todd McLellan is having an excellent playoffs to my eye, and last night may have been his best performance. We all know how things turned out now, but let’s get real here. McLellan went to war with Darnell Nurse on the top pair, a rookie playing alongside Kris Russell on second pair, and Griffin Reinhart with Eric Gryba third pair. He made it work, partly (I think) but simplifying the game. I saw Nurse, Larsson, Russell, hell the whole damned bunch of them, pinch off driving into the offensive zone for safety purposes. I expect that was orders from headquarters and it improved Darnell’s game markedly to my eye. It helps to have a rocking chair blue like Larsson (rocking chair blue make everything look so easy, pucks moving out as they come in, like a rhythm or a dance). McLellan doesn’t get a lot of credit on this blog because that isn’t the focus (we spend more time on the general managing), but McLellan is pushing the right buttons and pulling the correct levers this spring.

CHIARELLI

It was a good night for Peter Chiarelli, although fans and observers did point out that Brandon Davidson may have come in handy last night. As it was, Griffin Reinhart stepped in and played well, as did Eric Gryba.

The job of general manager in Edmonton is somewhat unique in that there are perhaps one million fans thinking along with you. And not just any fans, people who are knowledgeable and spend countless hours (don’t we have jobs?) examining cap and farm teams and drafting record. We’re a blessing and a curse, pretty sure.

Peter Chiarelli, as a general manager, has the balls of a pirate. That’s good, because the Cam Talbot trade looks like pure thievery. Patrick Maroon, Zack Kassian, the Kris Russell signing too have helped this team.

However, fans remember the Reinhart trade and the Larsson trade and the trade deadline when he did not load up.

Peter Chiarelli had a great night last night. At 10 to 5, when we found out Klefbom was down, the fact Larsson was on the roster counted for a lot. Griffin Reinhart drew in from Laredo (in game No. 94 on the season, if you are playing your first game, the organization wanted to send a message) and performed well. Chiarelli’s free-agent signings (Mark Letestu, Andrej Sekera, Milan Lucic, Kris Russell, Matt Benning, Drake Caggiula) have had an impact on this season and spring.

It was a very good night for Peter Chiarelli.

LEON

Leon Draisaitl can push the river. Full stop. I began the season’s coverage last summer with the idea he would miss Taylor Hall enough to lose some of his 2015-16 offense. In the RE series, I wrote:

  • I think this could be a challenging year for Draisaitl, depending on where he lands. His last three seasons are marked by wild swings in performance and deployment, so the margin for error is vast. Source

I also suggested in that article that Peter Chiarelli may have been better off trading Leon (and Darnell Nurse) and keeping Taylor Hall. Even this spring, when I did the RE postseason, there was some hesitancy on my part with regard to Leon leading a successful scoring line:

  • Beginning this fall, Leon will probably make more than Hall does now. I agree having him under control for McDavid’s second contract is wise, but remain uncertain if Draisaitl can push the river. Edmonton is going to pay full price before knowing if the big man can drive a line all by his lonesome.  Source

My Dad always taught me that when you are wrong, you have to man up. Leon Draisaitl can drive a line, he can push the river clear to the ocean. Beginning now and through the 12 months, Leon Draisaitl should be given a full year at center with his own line. He was an impact center last night, away from McDavid. In watching that game, it was abundantly clear the Anaheim Ducks were in absolute peril. It was thrilling to watch an enemy NHL coach with furrowed brow. Randy Carlyle looked down the bench and had no answer. Music! Some of the most beautiful music I’ve ever heard. Shut down Connor McDavid, Leon steamrolls you. Shutdown Leon, your ass is grass.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Scott Burnside. The Oilers push the Ducks to G7, Nashville is through and we are about to find out in the Eastern Conference.
  • Chris O’Leary, CFL.ca. The CFL draft offered many surprises.
  • Jason Gregor, TSN1260. Can the Oilers win on Wednesday?
  • Sunil Agnihotri, Copper & Blue/The SuperFan. Leon as a fulltime center makes for interesting discussion.

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

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ashley

Diablo: Bullshit – what did Davey do for the Habs this spring – he barely played.
Desharnais scored a huge goal in OT, without which we might not be here discussing Game 7 in round 2. He’s also keep Hendricks in the press box, which by itself is a huge contribution.

This is outcome bias based on a narrow sample of outcomes. That Desharnais was on the right side of an OT goal and Davey’s role on the Habs does not change the trade. It was a useful, experienced 7D that we could badly use right now as a 4-5D coughed up for a 4C of which there are dozens available at any time throughout the year including from our own farm system.

It was a poor trade, and the timing was galling.

ashley

Woogie63: Brutal post, we trade our 7/8 defenseman, a 3/4 Center.

Nothing remarkable here.

Brutal post? Would you say that to my face if we were talking on the street corner?

who

Lowetide: Kassian is unsigned. Folks keep misunderstanding this issue. You HAVE to expose two players who qualify under the rules. You can expose Benoit Pouliot and Leon Draisaitl if you wish, but for me the last guy who qualifies is Letestu. It does NOTmean I don’t like him.

I have no problem with Letestu as a fourth line center but this is not a huge hole to fill. Take away his powerplay goals and the offense dries up. Slep or JP could probably put up similar numbers in that spot.

Ribs

Lewis Grant: 6. After this game, where so many calls went our way (Gryba could have easily had a double-minor on Cogliano), the refs surely believe that we can no longer complain about unfair reffing. That means we probably have to fight through bad calls again in Game 7.

That was a savage looking elbow from Mr. Gryba. If the refs don’t look the other way on that one, you have to wonder what the change of momentum in the game would have been.

Professor Q

commonfan14: I don’t think motivation will be an issue for Leon as long as McDavid is on the roster.

Ever since I saw them at the Golden Bears game in the old barn, I haven’t been able to shake the feeling that Leon has absolutely no interest in taking a back seat to anyone.

This could be the Competitive Bromance we’ve been waiting for.

Each year they will compete with each other to get the most points, GWG, Awards, and Conn Smythe. Pushing each other to be better, but not hating life if the other succeeds as well, or does better and you both get the win.

Bank Shot

Letestu is going to be 33 next season. He’s just OK at even strength. He’s having a great playoffs and I’m rooting for him, but you take Kassian over him anyday.

I think Chiarelli can find another right hand shot if Vegas feels they have to have Letestu. It’d be damn near best case scenario for the Oilers if that happens.

The UFA market for right wingers is pretty good this year compared to any other position. Lots of guys that had strong years last year.

You’d think there would be more than a few guys interested in the chance to be McDavid’s Letestu on the PP next season.

commonfan29

Lewis Grant: 1. The only thing that (possibly) concerns me about Draisaitl is that he clearly plays well when he is being asked to prove something (i.e. when he has something on the line). Right now, every goal he scores probably adds $400K over the life of his next contract.
Can he keep up the motivation over 8 years? I sure hope so.

I don’t think motivation will be an issue for Leon as long as McDavid is on the roster.

Ever since I saw them at the Golden Bears game in the old barn, I haven’t been able to shake the feeling that Leon has absolutely no interest in taking a back seat to anyone.

CrazyCoach

I always wondered about Sam Bennet after he failed to do one single pullup at the combine. IN a day and age where you have to combine a strong lower and upper body to an incredible core, I was baffled that a kid his age couldn’t do a pullup.

It’s not that Drai tore the cover off the ball during the 2014 combine either, but I’m willing to bet that hurt Bennet’s chance.

It really sucked watching Bennet tear it up while Drai got sent to Kelowna, but alas here we are now and drafting Drai is looking pretty good.

Wow, what a performance by the whole team.

I said it on Twitter and I’ll repeat it here. Watching Zack Kassian’s transformation on and off the ice, makes me feel like a very proud parent. Chia deserves full measure for giving him a chance.

Professor Q

Diablo: Ah good point. I think Chia will probably do a bit of wheeling and dealing to get another forward who qualifies. That seems to be an issue with a number of teams it seems – for instance Carolina needs another D or they would be forced to expose Faulk.

LOL, everyone thinks you hate him like Smid – thanks for the clarification.

But Faulk is a D, so adding another D wouldn’t change that fact, right? Unless you mean they wish to load up on the left side and rosk losing one of them and use that spot to protect Faulk.

Diablo

Or perhaps you just sign Kassian before the expansion draft – let him know that he’s going to be exposed but that you think its unlikely that he’s taken, given his medical history.

Diablo

Lowetide: Kassian is unsigned. Folks keep misunderstanding this issue. You HAVE to expose two players who qualify under the rules. You can expose Benoit Pouliot and Leon Draisaitl if you wish, but for me the last guy who qualifies is Letestu. It does NOTmean I don’t like him.

Ah good point. I think Chia will probably do a bit of wheeling and dealing to get another forward who qualifies. That seems to be an issue with a number of teams it seems – for instance Carolina needs another D or they would be forced to expose Faulk.

LOL, everyone thinks you hate him like Smid – thanks for the clarification.

rickithebear

Bag of Pucks: True, but I’m not as pessimistic on the Oil’s RW depth as some. Btw Caggiula, Pitlick and Puli, that’s some nice 200ft skill bubbling under. And Kassian should be a lock for a slot next year as well. Jordan’s going to be given some real competition next training camp. The Oil may be actually dealing from a position of strength on most of these lineup decisions for a change.

RNH is a C that can’t win FOs and Eberle is a W that can’t win board battles. Which is the greater stumbling block? Based on the system TMac wants his team to play, I think you can better shelter RNH from his weakness than you can Eberle from his.

You are correct sir!

you shelter nug by playing him on RW!

Bag of Pucks

hunter1909: Maroon can fly if he thinks he’s ready for his big payday on a 2001-2015 Oilers style loser franchise.

Otherwise, he can sign for a reasonable rate, like the other foot soldiers.

A star Maroon is not.

Kassian, Maroon, Letestu, Shleppy, Caggula etc are interchangeable parts, much like the MacT’s during the dynasty days were replaceable parts.

The secret of managing a 2017 dynasty will be to sign the stars to decent term deals, while ruthlessly purging the role players to keep the cap manageable. It takes a GM with a hard heart, lol.

Funny how Slats took that to extremes and he wasn’t even competing in a cap system back then.

Playing hardball with Coffey and Gretz ffs!

Lewis Grant

1. The only thing that (possibly) concerns me about Draisaitl is that he clearly plays well when he is being asked to prove something (i.e. when he has something on the line). Right now, every goal he scores probably adds $400K over the life of his next contract.

Can he keep up the motivation over 8 years? I sure hope so.

But what a pleasure to watch him now! Two years ago, I thought all the Kopitar/Getzlaf comparisons were outlandish…but those wild-eyes optimists just might have been right. (On draft day I was worried about his skating, but his improvement in Year 2 was truly remarkable.)

2. Lucic has really helped to change the identity of this hockey team. If we can somehow get rid of him for relatively cheap after 4 years, it will be a good contract.

3. Agreed on keeping guys like Gryba around. That is <$1M well spent. Do it again next year. Defencemen get injured a lot – you need solid #7-8 guys.

4. Glad to see the team respond after a gut-wrenching loss. I must admit they surprised me. But…

5. I really hope this victory does not breed overconfidence. Gibson/Bernier let in four weak goals and the game was over. Ducks are a very good team and have probably been the better team this series.

6. After this game, where so many calls went our way (Gryba could have easily had a double-minor on Cogliano), the refs surely believe that we can no longer complain about unfair reffing. That means we probably have to fight through bad calls again in Game 7.

But I'm still going to enjoy this moment. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

russ99

knighttown:
A few notes:

Did Nuge sizzle two shots off the knob of Bernier’s stick?I know there was one but thought I saw another.I feel he needs a) about 5mph more on his fastball and b) to be able to win 50% of his faceoffs and he’ll be worth every penny.

I’m not concerned about Nuge at all.Ebs is a different story.I’m not sure where the offense will come from going forward.He simply doesn’t have the speed to get wide on defensemen and his too-oft used delay play doesn’t work well because his speed doesn’t push anyone back.So he’s not going to be deadly off the rush anymore.

Other mid-range scoring wingers like Rackell and Silfverberg can rifle a puck but Ebs still hasn’t developed a decent one-timer.And we know playing off the cycle is completely out of his range.

I actually think the move to smaller and quicker defensemen has hurt him as guys like Ryan Ellis can skate better than Ebs AND are stronger.

A second note…

Remember, Chia designed this roster to handle the rigours of the Pacific.They dominated the head-to-heads all year.What we don’t know (or where I think we’re lacking) is against the speedy teams from the East to which Nashville seems to fit.

You couldn’t ask for a better opponent for a Gryba/Reinhart series entry than Anaheim.They are big, mean and slow but Gryba in particular is bigger, meaner and well, slower.The drop from Sekera to him in THIS series may not be as much as you’d think.

If we get through to Nashville, he’d be exposed in a big way.I’d rather see Oesterle against those little burners.I’ve seen the numbers in this thread for Ebs and Nuge’s scoring versus Nashville but I think those guys will have a huge impact if we’re successful in that series.

I really think Nuge and Eberle have had real adjustment problems since they’re been playing tons of minutes playing an easy game here since they were drafted.

If we want to win a cup with either, they need to be equally astute in the cycle as well as the rush.

IMO, Eberle has been better than Nuge at this in the playoffs, since I can’t count how many times the cycle dies on either Nuge’s stick or where he should be.

Eberle’s historic goal totals and better game during the playoffs (at least in the offensive zone) leads me to believe he should be the keeper and Nuge’s lack of faceoff competency and his defensive play doesn’t compare to a player like Hanzal.

This isn’t a popular opinion, but if Eberle was sheltered, or on a different line (with McDavid wasn’t as bad as some think) he could be salvagable.

I just don’t see Nuge becoming a Keon, he’d have that physical/faceoff/shooting skillset by now, and he’s getting to the age where players don’t suddenly develop that game.

Also, Nuge’s contract runs two more years than Eberle’s so it may make sense to move him looking at us up against the cap after Connor and Leon get paid.

hunter1909

Bag of Pucks: I think they’d like to keep Maroon but it will boil down to Patty’s salary demands

Maroon can fly if he thinks he’s ready for his big payday on a 2001-2015 Oilers style loser franchise.

Otherwise, he can sign for a reasonable rate, like the other foot soldiers.

A star Maroon is not.

Kassian, Maroon, Letestu, Shleppy, Caggula etc are interchangeable parts, much like the MacT’s during the dynasty days were replaceable parts.

The secret of managing a 2017 dynasty will be to sign the stars to decent term deals, while ruthlessly purging the role players to keep the cap manageable. It takes a GM with a hard heart, lol.

Bag of Pucks

who: I think Cags is McDavids shooting winger next season. And I like Kassian on the right side until JP is ready. I just don’t think Maroon has the speed to keep up and I don’t see the Oilers re signing him. This team can get along fine without Eberle next year.

I think they’d like to keep Maroon but it will boil down to Patty’s salary demands and if they can dump salary in other areas with Fayne and Pouliot taking immediate priority over Eberle and RNH.

I think Chia really likes what Maroon brings both on the ice and in the room. Seems the kind of guy that would keep a dressing room loose.

Diablo

Lowetide: You could get more for Nuge, though.

I’ve wondered about that as well – would the Habs move Galchenyuk (a guy who is definitely not a centre) for Nuge? Galchenyuk would probably be cheaper and might be dynamite on the wing with McDavid.

But then I look at who our coach is – TMac is pretty stubborn about rolling 4 lines – I mean that in a good way – it keeps your guys fresh over the course of a game, a long season and a brutal playoff series. Being able to roll out McDavid, Draisaitl, RNH and Letestu one after the other has become a major strength for this team.

All signs point to Eberle being the guy who will go first – probably for a solid 3rd line centre because …. you can never have too many.

Its also why I absolutely disagree with you that Letestu will be exposed in expansion (no offence LT) – Letestu has just been so damn good this year filling so many roles, that it would be very difficult to replace him next season. Why not just expose Kassian? – McPhee strikes me as an intelligent man, who will not pick a player with prior substance abuse issues to play for a team based in Sin City.

Its not a slight on Kassian at all … but a GM needs to take advantage of location … who ever thought we’d say that!

RexLibris

Lowetide: You could get more for Nuge, though.

Yes, but how much and leaving open what kind of roster hole?

I wonder about them moving Nugent-Hopkins for Sergachyev or some such prospect and then pushing for Hanzal in free0-agency.

Alternatively, they need to bolster the RD and I keep coming back to Hamonic or Gudas as possible targets.

who

Bag of Pucks: True, but I’m not as pessimistic on the Oil’s RW depth as some. Btw Caggiula, Pitlick and Puli, that’s some nice 200ft skill bubbling under. And Kassian should be a lock for a slot next year as well. Jordan’s going to be given some real competition next training camp. The Oil may be actually dealing from a position of strength on most of these lineup decisions for a change.

RNH is a C that can’t win FOs and Eberle is a W that can’t win board battles. Which is the greater stumbling block? Based on the system TMac wants his team to play, I think you can better shelter RNH from his weakness than you can Eberle from his.

I think Cags is McDavids shooting winger next season. And I like Kassian on the right side until JP is ready. I just don’t think Maroon has the speed to keep up and I don’t see the Oilers re signing him. This team can get along fine without Eberle next year.

godot10

Yeti: Interesting idea, but why would they do that? Rather than expanding opportunities, wouldn’t that give them extra d-men to shelter?

Klefbom probably has bruised ribs/collarbone and will not likely be 100%, and the Ducks will likely test his “health”, since everybody knows where the shot hit. So one has to have the 7th D in the lineup just in case. It is much more important than 9 minutes from Desharnais.

Bag of Pucks

Lowetide: You could get more for Nuge, though.

True, but I’m not as pessimistic on the Oil’s RW depth as some. Btw Caggiula, Pitlick and Puli, that’s some nice 200ft skill bubbling under. And Kassian should be a lock for a slot next year as well. Jordan’s going to be given some real competition next training camp. The Oil may be actually dealing from a position of strength on most of these lineup decisions for a change.

RNH is a C that can’t win FOs and Eberle is a W that can’t win board battles. Which is the greater stumbling block? Based on the system TMac wants his team to play, I think you can better shelter RNH from his weakness than you can Eberle from his.

Admiral Ackbar

Benning and Cags are an absolute revelation this year. They’re currently filling minutes on the top line and the top 4. This is absolutely the story of the year for me. McDavid’s production wasn’t a large surprise. Drai’s production is unexpected but we saw similar effects of him playing with Hall.

The rookies have delivered a lot this year. That doesn’t even include the winning goal from series 1.

What a year to be an Oiler fan.

Bag of Pucks

LMHF#1: This is more of a stylistic difference than anything else.

Some here will only make these statements once they believe it is known and established. This is fine, but I would maintain it’s of less value.

Then there are those who try to be ahead of the curve and make the call earlier. I’m from this school because I believe it is more valuable. You’re of course going to be wrong more often than the other school – but if you’re a high percentage picker it certainly has advantages.

Spot on. It’s the difference between measurement and prognostication (i.e. predictive values). The first is undoubtedly more consistent, accurate and verifiable. But you can’t get true competitive advantage without the latter.

Where I find it becomes a bid muddled is when the measurement guys insist a consensus draft pick was still the best decision in hindsight even when other players have clearly outperformed the consensus since. To me, that speaks to placing too much stock in empirical measurement to the point of taking false comfort from the conclusions of the herd.

Bottom line, if your measurement process seems right but the result was wrong, you have to revisit the process. You can’t simply continue to insist a Yakupov was the ‘right pick’ based on all the information available at the time when the final results clearly prove otherwise. This is precisely why processes need to be iterative.

In Yakupov’s case, the measurement model was clearly lacking data that should’ve raised clear red flags over key developmental constraints. Most likely, a good chunk of that data was qualitative not quantitative. The inability of the process to properly assess those qualitative inputs is a current gap in NHL amateur talent evaluation imo.

Yeti

godot10: I think the Oilers dress 7D on Wednesday, and sit Desharnais.

Interesting idea, but why would they do that? Rather than expanding opportunities, wouldn’t that give them extra d-men to shelter?

Ice Sage

Diablo: Bullshit – what did Davey do for the Habs this spring – he barely played.
Desharnais scored a huge goal in OT, without which we might not be here discussing Game 7 in round 2. He’s also keep Hendricks in the press box, which by itself is a huge contribution.

Totally agree – Brandon Davidson was not good, even a liability, this spring. He’s got potential but for now, the trade is a good one for the Oilers.

digger50

Greg: This didn’t happen though. Klefbom got hit with a puck and Sekera went down on an innocent rub out along the boards.

Russel was ran and knocked silly. Benning as well. Sekera hit hard by Getzlaf. Nurse ran the game before. All these hits take thier toll and limit how far you can go. I’m sure there are undisclosed injuries and plenty of ice Bags to go around.

Professor Q

Greg: This didn’t happen though. Klefbom got hit with a puck and Sekera went down on an innocent rub out along the boards.

That definitely was no innocent rub out.

Professor Q

LMHF#1: This is more of a stylistic difference than anything else.

Some here will only make these statements once they believe it is known and established. This is fine, but I would maintain it’s of less value.

Then there are those who try to be ahead of the curve and make the call earlier. I’m from this school because I believe it is more valuable. You’re of course going to be wrong more often than the other school – but if you’re a high percentage picker it certainly has advantages.

I don’t know.

I saw the big German playing on a crappy WHL club and thought he’d be one of the best in that draft. I definitely wanted Edmonton to draft him after delving a bit more, and, I agree, for the perhaps irrational reason that he’s German.

And I definitely felt that he had huuuuge potential even before his WHL Playoffs and Memorial Cup heroics, and felt that Edmonton would regret trading him AND Nurse (also had a big WHL Playoffs, and yes I agree I was going on potential and style and family prowess) and Puljujärvi for Subban, as needy we are for a RHD.

digger50

leadfarmer:
Diablo,

But wait theres more!!!

Without Barkov, Demers GF% is 35%!!!!!!!!! and Corsi 48%.Without Demers Barkov is 52% GF and 55% Corsi.WIthout Huberdau Demers GF is 41%, 48% for Huberdau without Demers.

One of the worst WOWY’s in the league could have been ours, and theres people who are still wishing for it to be ours.Unbelievable

Who just can’t let it go?

Thorin

khildahl:
I don’t know if Kesler did something specific to set Lucic off in the last few minutes, or if was just accumulated douchebaggery, but I have no issue whatsoever with the result.

Ditto for whatever went on at the bench between Maroon and Perry (though the game summary indicates Manson got tossed and Perry got nothing — presumably this is high-quality NHL record keeping).

Seeing those jackasses booted made me pretty happy.

The play-by-play has been updated with the proper penalties now.

Speaking of penalties and reffing, I thought these refs and linesmen did a great job keeping the game fair and (relatively) safe for the players, and stopping it from getting out of hand. Plays that led to a competitive advantage or were unsafe were penalized (perhaps a major could’ve been handed out instead of a minor, but at least there was a penalty), and unsportsmanlike conduct was called out and penalized as well. With 3:10 left on the clock in the third period, when Lucic jumped to Larsson’s defense after Kesler ran into him from behind and was pretty clearly jawing at him, the refs handed out six misconducts. SIX! On one whistle. Lucic / Kesler, Caggiula / Manson, Perry / Maroon. I’m pretty sure the Perry / Maroon was actually pointed out by the linesman and the ref went over and told ’em stop or leave. And Perry didn’t stop, so they both left. I mean, if that’s not a clear signal from the refs that they’re not putting up with any crap and to just play the hockey, I dunno what is.

Now for the score. The Oilers came out guns blazing, but I have to say that a lot of their early success had to do with Gibson (and later Bernier) not doing the goalering very well. I’ve had three kids go through minor sports as goalies, I’ve sat and watched and participated in hundreds of hours of goalie-specific training, and I saw basic errors by the goalies on goals 1, 2, 3, and 4.

From a young age now, kids are taught butterfly technique. The whole point of it is to cover as much of the net as possible, and force shooters to try and shoot up (which is harder to do the closer you get to the net). There’s two basic butterfly stances once you’re on your knees – loose and tight. When you’re loose, you’re trying to spread your legs out as far as you can, your elbows go up, your arms move out to the side more, and your stickblade covers the fivehole. When you’re tight, your knees are close together, your arms are against your sides, your gloves are just touching the top of your pads, your stickblade is still covering the fivehole but it’s much more angled back now because of where your hands are, all so that there’s no holes for the puck to squeeze through when the shooter’s in close. And you should always be balanced, not leaning to one side or the other, because once you put weight on one leg only it’s much harder to get moving.

Goal #1: Draisaitl whiffs a bardownski and it goes under Gibson. If he had been in proper tight butterfly position, both pads sealed to the ice and stick in front, he’d have made that save. Instead he’s got one pad up and tries to swipe at the puck. I mean, he might have thought Draisaitl was going to try and raise it, but still, seal the pads to the ice.

Goal #2: Draisaitl gets a nice no-look backhand off in the low slot, and it goes under Gibson. Again, tight butterfly, both pads sealed to the ice and stick in front, that’s a save. He’s got his left pad up again, and his stick actually moved away from the fivehole to linger in front of his right pad; it doesn’t do any good there.

Goal #3: Kassian comes in with speed and just shoves it through the fivehole. I’m sure Gibson was worried about it going over his shoulders, but instead he spreads his legs and knees out wide, leans to one side, and puts his paddle down. But then he doesn’t keep the paddle in front of him, it slides over in front of his right pad again! Again, tight butterfly, knees closer together and blade covering the fivehole, he probably would’ve saved that, too.

Goal #4: Bernier makes the save in a good loose butterfly, stick out front, pads spread wide. Then he somehow loses track of it after it hits him. Goalies are supposed to track the puck at all times, and there aren’t too many goalies that wouldn’t see the puck bounce of their chest and drop to the ice. In fact, one of the drills goalies do is getting balls and other objects thrown at their face (with their helmet on and off – softer objects when there’s no helmet) so they learn not to reflexively blink or squuint or close their eyes when they’re about to get hit. I mean, good on Letestu for recognizing Bernier’s in lala land and jumping on the puck, and yeah it was a powerplay, but if Bernier was paying better attention that wouldn’t have been a goal either.

So what am I saying? The Oilers came out guns a-blazing and took advantage of two goalies that were just not doing their job. They kept the pedal to the metal for the rest of the game and did a fantastic job keeping up the pressure. If Gibson and/or Bernier had been doing the basics of their job properly, though, this would’ve been a one-goal or two-goal game. You can bet both Gibson and Bernier got sat down in video review and got told to do the damn basics on every save attempt. And it’s going to be a close game 7, there shouldn’t be any easy goals.

Wanna see a goalie who does the basics on every save attempt? Look at Cam Talbot. In position, pads are properly sealed to the ice, stick out front, follows the puck wherever it goes (does the head-trajectory thing where his head is the first thing to turn so that he’s never trying to see it out of the corner of his eyes where the mask could obscure his vision), and clearly looks at who’s coming at him and how open or closed their stick is to try and anticipate what kind of shot they’re going to take. Man, I’m glad Chiarelli got Talbot, he’s been fantastic.

frjohnk

rickithebear:
Forwards who have scored 20G (12G 12-13) 6 seasons in a row.
11-12 to 16-17
Ovechkin LW 257G .58GPG; .321 EVGPG
Pavelsky C 192G .42 GPG; .363 EVGPG
Pacioretty LW 189G; .43 GPG; .323 EVGPG
Tavares C 182G; .43 GPG; .305 EVGPG
P. Kane RW 182G; .43 GPG; .307 EVGPG
Benn LW/C 174G; .40 GPG; .272 EVGPG
Marchand LW 171G; .39 GPG; .291 EVGPG
Kessel RW 168G; .37 GPG; .271 EVGPG
Neal LW/RW 165G; .41 GPG; .289 EVGPG
Simmonds RW 163G; .360 GPG; .192 EVGPG
Carter C 158G; .38 GPG; .250 EVGPG
Toews C 157G; .38 GPG; .277 EVGPG
Eberle RW 147G; .34 GPG; .249 EVGPG
Ladd LW 141G; .32 GPG; .236 EVGPG
14 Forwards are consistent 20G scorers.

But how many avg PvP for this time?
Pavelski (33) 2@6M; C 192G .42 GPG; .363 EVGPG
Benn (28) 8@9.5M; LW/C 174G; .40 GPG; .272 EVGPG
Marchand (29) 8@6.125M; LW 171G; .39 GPG; .291 EVGPG
Carter (32) 5@5.273M; C 158G; .38 GPG; .250 EVGPG
Toews (29) 6@10.5M; C 157G; .38 GPG; .277 EVGPG
Eberle (27) 2@6M; RW 147G; .34 GPG; .249 EVGPG
Ladd (32) 6@5.5M; LW 141G; .32 GPG; .236 EVGPG
Friedman a Maple leaf employee tampering with Oilers players.

If EBERLE even showed a sliver of goal scoring in the playoffs then those numbers might have some relevance.

But he hasn’t.

Maybe he does rebound to be a scorer and actually score in the playoffs.

But it won’t be as an Oiler.

rocket

Anybody know the ‘confirmed’ time for game 7 on Wednesday? thx

Greg

digger50:
I’m glad I could watch Gryba in a game. He makes a difference.

I had mentioned he should be in the lineup game 3to help turn the physical battle , before we lose a defenceman. Put him in early and then pull him and get the puck movers back in for the next game.

As it played out the Ducks ran our D until injuries occurred, then our hand is forced.

This didn’t happen though. Klefbom got hit with a puck and Sekera went down on an innocent rub out along the boards.

knighttown

A few notes:

Did Nuge sizzle two shots off the knob of Bernier’s stick? I know there was one but thought I saw another. I feel he needs a) about 5mph more on his fastball and b) to be able to win 50% of his faceoffs and he’ll be worth every penny.

I’m not concerned about Nuge at all. Ebs is a different story. I’m not sure where the offense will come from going forward. He simply doesn’t have the speed to get wide on defensemen and his too-oft used delay play doesn’t work well because his speed doesn’t push anyone back. So he’s not going to be deadly off the rush anymore.

Other mid-range scoring wingers like Rackell and Silfverberg can rifle a puck but Ebs still hasn’t developed a decent one-timer. And we know playing off the cycle is completely out of his range.

I actually think the move to smaller and quicker defensemen has hurt him as guys like Ryan Ellis can skate better than Ebs AND are stronger.

A second note…

Remember, Chia designed this roster to handle the rigours of the Pacific. They dominated the head-to-heads all year. What we don’t know (or where I think we’re lacking) is against the speedy teams from the East to which Nashville seems to fit.

You couldn’t ask for a better opponent for a Gryba/Reinhart series entry than Anaheim. They are big, mean and slow but Gryba in particular is bigger, meaner and well, slower. The drop from Sekera to him in THIS series may not be as much as you’d think.

If we get through to Nashville, he’d be exposed in a big way. I’d rather see Oesterle against those little burners. I’ve seen the numbers in this thread for Ebs and Nuge’s scoring versus Nashville but I think those guys will have a huge impact if we’re successful in that series.

LMHF#1

rickithebear,

Hey Ricki, your man Fistric was in the building last night. Thought you might be trying to smuggle him into the lineup.

LMHF#1

who:
It amazes me that it has taken some posters this long to decide Drai is the real deal.

This is more of a stylistic difference than anything else.

Some here will only make these statements once they believe it is known and established. This is fine, but I would maintain it’s of less value.

Then there are those who try to be ahead of the curve and make the call earlier. I’m from this school because I believe it is more valuable. You’re of course going to be wrong more often than the other school – but if you’re a high percentage picker it certainly has advantages.

rickithebear

Forwards who have scored 20G (12G 12-13) 6 seasons in a row.
11-12 to 16-17
Ovechkin LW 257G .58GPG; .321 EVGPG
Pavelsky C 192G .42 GPG; .363 EVGPG
Pacioretty LW 189G; .43 GPG; .323 EVGPG
Tavares C 182G; .43 GPG; .305 EVGPG
P. Kane RW 182G; .43 GPG; .307 EVGPG
Benn LW/C 174G; .40 GPG; .272 EVGPG
Marchand LW 171G; .39 GPG; .291 EVGPG
Kessel RW 168G; .37 GPG; .271 EVGPG
Neal LW/RW 165G; .41 GPG; .289 EVGPG
Simmonds RW 163G; .360 GPG; .192 EVGPG
Carter C 158G; .38 GPG; .250 EVGPG
Toews C 157G; .38 GPG; .277 EVGPG
Eberle RW 147G; .34 GPG; .249 EVGPG
Ladd LW 141G; .32 GPG; .236 EVGPG
14 Forwards are consistent 20G scorers.

But how many avg PvP for this time?
Pavelski (33) 2@ 6M; C 192G .42 GPG; .363 EVGPG
Benn (28) 8@ 9.5M; LW/C 174G; .40 GPG; .272 EVGPG
Marchand (29) 8@ 6.125M; LW 171G; .39 GPG; .291 EVGPG
Carter (32) 5@ 5.273M; C 158G; .38 GPG; .250 EVGPG
Toews (29) 6@ 10.5M; C 157G; .38 GPG; .277 EVGPG
Eberle (27) 2@ 6M; RW 147G; .34 GPG; .249 EVGPG
Ladd (32) 6@ 5.5M; LW 141G; .32 GPG; .236 EVGPG
Friedman a Maple leaf employee tampering with Oilers players.

LMHF#1

Diablo: Around December-January, I think most of us would have said bridge deal. But Leon has stepped up his play to elite levels since then. I think the Oiler’s do right by Leon and start negotiations at 6 million per season. But since he’s only had one season of elite production, I don’t think the Oilers go past 7 million per season. It’ll will be a quick negotiation without much drama, done sometimes after free agency opens up, after the Oilers have made some moves to show Leon (and Conner) how serious they are about building a perennial contender here.

ChiaPete is not going to screw around with this stuff.

I’d hope the process involves both of them in the GMs office, talking through how to make sure their next decade is filled with winning and a hell of a supporting cast. These men can be more than just players if you on-board them properly.

I hope they go 8 years for both.

who

It amazes me that it has taken some posters this long to decide Drai is the real deal. You could see flashes of it in his first half season and it was on full display at times last year. Yet all we heard was he can’t do it without Hall and we should have traded him for Subban. Watch the games!
For the record, JP has shown me the same flashes of skill and vision in his first half season so I wish people would quit fretting about him. We don’t know about his desire or mental toughness but the tools and skills are all there.
Re last nights game. I understand the euphoria after last nights win but praising Reinharts play is a little over the top. I saw the same hesitation and indecisiveness in his play that has plagued him the last two falls. A lot of excuse me hits. He needs to take a page out of Gryba’s game and fully commit to his first instinct. He is a much better puck handler than Gryba and if he could match the physicality the Oilers might have another solid dman. Hope he figures it out but it sure is taking some time.
Also why does everything have to be about Mcdavid on every broadcast. He has had a good playoffs but hasn’t been the difference in a lot of games yet he seems to get credited with everything that goes right for Edmonton. I find it insulting as a hockey fan when I am told every game who the best player is. It is approaching Tiger Woods levels of hype. He is the reason I follow the oilers but I don’t like having him rammed down my throat every five minutes.

Chachi

The problem with evaluating teenagers on their draft day is they are teenagers and you just don’t know how they are going to turn out. Anyone who is certain about them is probably not using all their mental faculties to come to their conclusion.

Even after watching these teenagers play a few games these certain people might even come out with idiotic fuckery like, “Leon Draisaitl will top out to be Joe Colborne.” I mean, how do you even maintain any kind of presence on the internet when something as idiotically epic as that issues from your slack-jawed self? I would be so embarrassed that I would just quit watching hockey and would never share another moronic opinion again as long as my miserable waste of a life continued.

Anyways, other than a super rare one like Connor McDavid who shot out of his mother, deked the doctor and nurse in the delivery room, went top shelf and popped a bag of saline solution, we would all be better served practicing what LT has been preaching and give these kids some time to show what they are made of before jumping to conclusions.

Mr. D.

Corsi darlings are way over rated. When you punish guys on the boards and in front of the net corsica means dick. Quality of shots is way more important than total shots. No real measure of team toughness.

Soup Fascist: Someone else here mentioned that the Ducks are a good matchup for McGryber. I don’t disagree. He can deal with the bigger bodies fine. There are not a ton of burners up front for the Ducks. If it is a Nurse / Gryba pairing – assuming Klefbom is back – we could do worse. Although, if I remember that pairing was not a Corsi darling earlier in the year.

RexLibris

Lowetide: Could be last chance Texaco for Nuge and Eberle.

I went into the spring more or less resigned to the fact that I think we’ll see one or the other moved this summer.

Right now, if Draisaitl looks like a 2C, I think it evens things up between which gets moved.

If there’s any hesitation from Chiarelli that 29 can’t handle a full season in the middle, though, I think he moves Eberle first. That would be the more logical move for the Oilers’ best interests, I think.

RexLibris

Woodguy v2.0:
I haven’t had a chance to read the thread but wanted to note this:

Nurse-Larsson going north of 50% in a game full of score effects where it ended 60-40 ANA after a 60-40 first for EDM.

Quite frankly, that’s incredible.

I’d be tempted to go:

Nurse-Larsson
Klefbom-Benning
Russell-Gryba

next game.

I understand wanting to run 77-6 as they’ve been a pair all year, but I’m really tempted to start with 25-6.

Phenomenal result.

Played really simple and it worked well.

Larsson is a good safety-blanket for Nurse and that’s a lot of nasty-in-the-corners on one pairing.

Klefbom/Benning is a good pair because it means you are facing pass-out or skate-out on either side, can’t pick one and focus the forecheck on a single player like they have with Russell.

Either way, I think we’ll see 7D Wednesday.

Scungilli Slushy

Eberle is playing a lot more physically now, as much as many others not 215 pounds. The issue is blowing coverages and weak plays at both blue lines which a veteran should know to focus on. Kassasian did the same and slid down the lines. McLelllan seems to send a message and allow them to come back, not holding grudges which is the sign of a mature and thinking coach.

It’s true certain players will do better against certain teams as has been said. We’ll see what washes out should they succeed. At some point it becomes simply a cap decision.

With Bomber, he will certainly still be at least sore, so I would run him with Gryba to ease him back in and see if the pairs can keep the same level, they can revert to previous pairs if they need to.

I would definitely leave the forwards- balanced lines that worked well together. If they play another steady game and stick with the basics- which is always the way teams win against strong opponents and the goaler is all Goalie McGoalface I like their chances.

McNuge93

ashley:
I agree: That Davey trade was bad at the time and looks worse now.

MTL must be surprised at the value they get on trades with EDM.Petry for a 2nd and 4th.Davey for UFA Desharnais.Seasoned Dmen acquired at the deadline just in time for a playoff run when Dmen get buried with injuries.

Remarkable.

You call losing in the first round a playoff run. The fact is Davidson played only some of their games, wasn’t even a regular. And their defence isn’t great. I agree the DD maybe won’t be resigned but he has helped some up front, and, oh ya, scored the biggest goal in the first round.

RexLibris

Lowetide: Haha. I think you took my words the wrong way, but fill your hat.

*Looks despondently at hat filled to the brim with tear-salted duck meat*

Dang it! I knew I filled up too soon.