RE 16-17 TODD MCLELLAN: EVERYTHING IN ITS RIGHT PLACE

by Lowetide

103 points. No matter what your fuss, no matter what your bother, progress is here. After such a long time, the turn north was dramatic and beautiful. Todd McLellan is a more traditional coach than some would like, but the results he delivered in San Jose have also moved north. You can point to the arrival of Connor McDavid and the acquisition of Cam Talbot and you would be right. The bottom line is this: A coach is responsible for the team’s record, and in that way Todd McLellan has been successful in Edmonton. Full stop (Everything in its Place).

  • 2015-16: 31-43-8, 70 pts (199-242) (GD: -43)
  • 2016-17: 47-26-9, 103 pts (243-207) (GD: +36)
  1. Not bad. Helluva year. I think the Oilers improved two seasons in one, probably due to the McDavid injury in 2015-16.
  2. Are you surprised they improved more on offense than defense? No, I think there are still defensive issues that need to be cleaned up. Quick transitions by defensemen is job one, and of course there is more work to do up front.
  3. How are McLellan’s Oilers at even strength? All of these numbers are via Stats.HockeyAnalysis.com. Edmonton finished No. 8 in 5×5 goals (165) and No. 9 in goals against (139). In 5×5 goal differential, the Oilers finished No. 6 with a 54.3 goals-for percentage.
  4. That’s good! Yes. This is a good NHL team. A lot of it is Connor McDavid so let’s not get ahead of ourselves, this team is not yet balanced. That said, you can’t deny the numbers.
  5. What about power play? Their 52 goals ranked them fourth.
  6. Penalty kill? They allowed 38 goals, ninth place.
  7. These are good totals! Yes. The Oilers improved in a lot of areas this season. I’m never sure how much credit to give the coaching staffs, but since they get crapped on when things go sideways, we should probably credit a job well done.
  8. What are the PP and PK percentages? Power play was 22.9 and that was good for No. 5 overall. PK was 80.7, good for No. 17 overall. PK needs work. Via NHL.com.
  9. What’s your take on all of this? The Oilers had a season that reflects a club who won 47 games and finished with 103 points. There are good numbers everywhere.
  10. How many times have the Oilers won 47 or more games in a season? Won 48 in 1982, 47 in 1983, 57 in 1984, 49 in 1985, 56 in 1986 and 50 win 1987. Different era because of overtime wins, but I think we can reasonably argue that 2016-17 was the best regular season since 2006, and likely beyond that for some time.
  11. Let’s talk about the roster. Sure.
  12. Why does he like Kris Russell so much? Good things happen when he’s on the ice. McLellan wants to win hockey games and Kris Russell was doing things in games that the coach values. The question for you is this: Are the Oilers valuing the right things? I value Corsi and Corsi rel, the Oilers (I believe) value Shots-against per 60. Maybe there’s another metric, like the Woodmoney, we can all agree on someday.
  13. How many rookies did he help this year? A few, I think. McLellan guided Matt Benning along well, backing him off sometimes and pushing him others. He slow played Anton Slepsyhev when the big winger wasn’t getting scoring chances and rewarded him when AS pushed the envelope with the puck on his stick.
  14. Is he good with rookies? I would say he is typical of veteran coaches. By that I mean a young player has to be patient because opportunities are rare and veterans are preferred. This was McLellan’s best year in recent memory for it though, although the quality of rookie was very good.
  15. He didn’t handle Puljujarvi well. I’m not sure who to blame there, but agree it was mishandled.
  16. What would have been a better plan? Puljujarvi is a special case because he looked good in many areas of the game.
  17. Until he didn’t. Yes. Exactly. Sending him down was the right call, but they probably should have started there. When sent out, most of us felt he would get recalled, and then the team played well and pushed to the top of the division. JP couldn’t get back and others stepped in.
  18. He didn’t play McDavid enough! 97 played the third most minutes per game among centers across the league (via NHL.com). I said the same thing at times, but he rode the young man pretty hard (with amazing results).
  19. What did he do well? I think he managed the roster well. I would have tried Pouliot with McDavid (it had worked the previous season) but so many media folks said ‘he didn’t deserve to play with 97’ one imagines that may also have been the opinion of the coach. That said, I like that he recognized Benning was Benning early, and that he had a good feel for the roster in areas like Leon moving from wing to center.
  20. What does McLellan need? Dan Boyle in his prime, or even Dan Boyle slightly past his prime.
  21. Is the defense getting better? His first opening night defense was Sekera—Fayne, Klefbom—Schultz, Reinhart—Gryba. Yes, I think it is a better blue now.
  22. They need a point shot from the power play. Have one in Klefbom, and Benning might be a dandy 5×4 option as he matures.
  23. What was the best thing about McLellan’s season? For me, he recognized that bringing along the youths (Nurse, Benning) slowly was a big part of roster maturation. He didn’t have a chance in year one, when Nurse moved up, but this year he stubbornly stuck by his guns. Good health aided him, but still.
  24. What was the worst thing about McLellan’s season? I feel he could have given the roster more depth if he trusted some guys more. Anton Lander, Benoit Pouliot, Mark Fayne, I would mention all of those names who should probably have played more.
  25. Why this song? I think it’s about order and every coach is in search of order. I think McLellan had a good season, was blessed with roster health, rode his goalie too much and deployed the eighth wonder of the world at will. Everything in its right place.
  26. What do you think he told Peter Chiarelli he needed? A mirror man for Leon, a shooter, a young Dan Boyle and a few players moving on.
  27. Eberle, Pouliot? I’m not going to try to pretend to read minds.
  28. So yes? Yes.
  29. Can Todd McLellan win the Stanley Cup with this roster? Yes. He needs a puck mover and the kid Puljujarvi would do this franchise an enormous favor by emerging whole.
  30. Is there one defenseman out there who can thrust this team into another galaxy? Yes. Erik Karlsson.

 

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Pete

Lowetide: I have enough Radiohead for the summer RE (17-18), I am considering continuing with it.

Noooo!

Purely being selfish here. Radiohead is a band that I certainly respect – they’re one of the most creative and intelligent rock bands still operating – but I just don’t like them very well for whatever reason. They don’t click for me. Maybe it’ll kick in someday (happened suddenly with Pink Floyd after years of disliking them) but I dunno.

What about the Replacements? Huh, huh? Know you like them. And they have so many great song titles – “I Bought A Headache”, “Color Me Impressed”, “Treatment Bound”. So much great material there.

“I Bought a Headache” would have been a great one for a lot of players over the last decade. Nikitin springs to mind.

BONE207

Scungilli Slushy:
I sure hope Oiler orange isn’t the peach that shows in that Twit pic. It would be truly historically awful. And ugly.

Here are the reasons for the Peach jersey…

https://www.stanleycupofchowder.com/2017/6/16/15678188/lets-remake-nhl-jerseys-before-adidas-new-sweaters-boston-carolina-la-anaheim-minnesota-cbj-dallas

The Edmonton Oilers! Keeping Cornea repair surgeons in work since 1972!

Rondo

Darren Dreger‏
@DarrenDreger
Follow
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Spencer Foo isn’t expected to make decision on an NHL home until Monday/Tuesday. As reported, Edmonton, Calgary, VGK and Philly all in mix.

JJS

JDI: And excellent timing of this news. It’s like announcing that you can’t figure out where $2.3T of taxpayer money went on Sept 10th, 2001.

So good

And is there gold in the bowels of Roger’s Place?

Pouzar

JDI: And excellent timing of this news. It’s like announcing that you can’t figure out where $2.3T of taxpayer money went on Sept 10th, 2001.

*braces self*

JD_Wry

Pouzar: Hossa to LTIR

And excellent timing of this news. It’s like announcing that you can’t figure out where $2.3T of taxpayer money went on Sept 10th, 2001.

JD_Wry

Pouzar: About $6M under the cap.

Good for them. I was worried about how they’d get out of this.

Pouzar

Mark Lazerus
(@MarkLazerus)

Assuming Hossa to LTIR and Kruger and TvR to Vegas, that’s about $9 million in cap relief for the #Blackhawks. About $6M under the cap.

LMHF#1

I watched every single home game of the 05-06 season live in person. Pre, regular and post season.

After the deadline especially, that was an outstanding hockey team.

Pouzar

godot10:
So Chicago has is going to use LTIR to escape cap recapture on the last few years of Hossa’s contract.How convenient!

Yup. Zero chance he retires.

JD_Wry

godot10:
So Chicago has is going to use LTIR to escape cap recapture on the last few years of Hossa’s contract.How convenient!

Pretty convenient that this progressive skin disorder is now too much to play hockey with, as his salary drops to $1M while his cap hit is still $5.25M.

I hope all the best for the player, but this smells bad.

Coffeys_Messy_eh

Did you see New Jersey’s new jerseys? I like the new New Jersey jerseys.

I like the English language.

(I also don’t see the fuss about the Oilers’ redesign. It’s fine and I won’t notice them by about November.)

DBO

LeBrun saying that Vegas has around 10 picks over 3 years plus a few three way trades. That’s is interesting as I wonder if Edmonton is in on those.

russ99

rickithebear:
Russ:
Do you know the Goal dif mean for thoseplayers Comp, Team, ZS%’s.
I know you do not!
Cause you would not have stated such drivel.

I do.

McLellan expected Nugent-Hopkins to play a similar role as in the World Cup that he was less effective and his offense suffered. Maybe his constant play behind the circles was cheating to get back, but I don’t buy it. Of all the second scoring line (other than Lucic) only Pouliot is effective at cycling, and he got in the coach’s doghouse.

It may be a slight on McLellan that he only let the Connor line roam free on the rush but based on his press comments in preseason, the season, playoffs and the end of season avail, he gave Eberle, RNH and Pouliot specific instruction on what he expected from them and he didn’t get it, save the last week or two of the season.

If anything divides this front office from the previous one, not delivering what the coaches expect won’t be tolerated. Pouliot and Eberle are one foot out the door and if Nuge doesn’t take McLellan’s post season comments to heart, he’ll soon follow.

godot10

So Chicago has is going to use LTIR to escape cap recapture on the last few years of Hossa’s contract. How convenient!

Bruce McCurdy

1) The 2005-06 Oilers led the league in shots against & had the third best shot differential in the NHL. They had shitty netminding but the team was excellent.

2) Am hoping there’s finally enough contrast on the new unis to read the damn numbers.

Hockeyman 99

Scungilli Slushy,

That’s how they should be!

Hockeyman 99

gotta say the stripes on the New Jersey don’t look right. Pretty disappointed:(

JD_Wry

I knew that picking this avatar would pay off eventually:

James Mirtle‏Verified account @mirtle 16m16 minutes ago

Vegas could have side deals with nearly half the other 30 NHL teams I’m told. That’s crazy.

theDjdj

Brantford Boy:
Lowetide,

If that’s the case, I concur with THEDJDJ that ‘In Rainbows’ is a very good album, in fact its the only thing I’ve been listening to for the past week (the 2 CD version)… cheers!

It’s definitely their most accessible album. I feel like they successfully merged their use of abstract sounds with more straight forward rock sensibilities. Reined in Yorke a bit . Not a single weak moment on that album.

rickithebear

Lowetide: If you put Roloson on that team to start the season, 2005-06 Oilers pass 100 points easily in my opinion. That team didn’t have McDavid, but had nice depth and a killer defenseman. Underrated club across the hockey world.

Oilers had 3 top 12 HD Dmen
In order of best ranked
Spacek
Pronger
Staios
MAB
Smith
The were all top 35.

The only D deeper was LAK first cup win.
6 Top 30 HD Dmen.

JD_Wry

Scungilli Slushy: Still peach.

Agreed. Not sure why they’re backing away from such a BOLD color.

rickithebear

Russ:
Do you know the Goal dif mean for thoseplayers Comp, Team, ZS%’s.
I know you do not!
Cause you would not have stated such drivel.

Scungilli Slushy

JDI:
Someone found a way to dramatically improve the new threads:

comment image

Still peach.

George Carlin ” the San Francisco 69’ers, flesh tone and ultra violet”.

dustrock

JDI:
Someone found a way to dramatically improve the new threads:

comment image

So much better. Don’t like the stripes, the navy may as well be black, and don’t like the white names.

Surprised Vegas kit is better than I expected.

Who would have thought the Wild would have one of the best jerseys?

Diablo

JDI:
Someone found a way to dramatically improve the new threads:

comment image

That looks a million times better.
I’m really not a fan of the new home unis. Are the road jerseys going to change as well – if so have they revealed them yet?

rickithebear

Godot:
Burns has allways been a forward.
His EVGA was a fucking disgrace before Martin showed up.
Martin the Dman trained to cover for defensive jokes like Burns.

Chachi

Kevin Lowe: 100% the writing is on the wall for Lucic, NugentHopkins, Eberle and Pouliot because they can’t play the way the coach wants them to and they all had bad years.

Yeah, Lucic is so out of here in 6 years.

JD_Wry

Someone found a way to dramatically improve the new threads:

comment image

Scungilli Slushy

Kevin Lowe: 100% the writing is on the wall for Lucic, NugentHopkins, Eberle and Pouliot because they can’t play the way the coach wants them to and they all had bad years.

Players have down years. A lot of players were low offensively compared to typical across the league.

Maybe they return to normal levels, maybe they don’t. Changes in systems affect players, but we can’t really argue it wasn’t worth it, can we?

The bigger issue is the cap. Those players are 6M 6M 6M 4M. So, not all can stay because there is McDavid and Draisaitl.

Kevin Lowe

russ99: No this is a group of players the coach trusted to buy into the program and lead by example and they spit the bit. Some players aren’t cut out for what this staff and front office demand for being on a cup contending roster and we need to move them out.

No room for floaters playing rebuild “Oilers Hockey”, only effort fits now, and when young players and rookies out effort some guys, the writing is on the wall.

100% the writing is on the wall for Lucic, NugentHopkins, Eberle and Pouliot because they can’t play the way the coach wants them to and they all had bad years.

N64

JDI: Should I cut my eyes off?

Now you can cut my eyes out.

russ99,

oh dear.
  what a frame!
    what a frame!
      what a frame!

Scungilli Slushy

I sure hope Oiler orange isn’t the peach that shows in that Twit pic. It would be truly historically awful. And ugly.

Gayfish

JDI: You mean the gear Oil drop?

First step is admitting it. Good for you.

Not as a primary jersey, but as a thrid jersey, I think it’s cool. I like alternate logos. Like have you seen the University of Alberta football logo with the bear claws?

russ99

Kevin Lowe:
Eberle Lucic Pouliot all had their worst even strength scoring years of their careers.
Nugent-Hopkins had the 3rd worst even strength scoring year of his career and two of his three worst years are with this coach and the other one is when he hurt his shoulder.
Maroon and Draisaitl had their best years
Maroon and Draisaitl played the most with McDavid.
That’s not a good coach.
That’s a coach who is lucky he has McDavid.

No this is a group of players the coach trusted to buy into the program and lead by example and they spit the bit. Some players aren’t cut out for what this staff and front office demand for being on a cup contending roster and we need to move them out.

No room for floaters playing rebuild “Oilers Hockey”, only effort fits now, and when young players and rookies out effort some guys, the writing is on the wall.

JD_Wry

Thinker: who liked the oil drop.

You mean the gear Oil drop?

First step is admitting it. Good for you.

Gayfish

Could be worse. Could have gotten the orange logos back. I’m not a huge fan of these ones, but I’m also probably the only person I’ve met who liked the oil drop.

LadiesloveSmid

Really love the blue home jerseys. Don’t know why they are going orange.

JD_Wry

N64: Picasso.

Should I cut my eyes off?

N64

Lowetide: Mr. Jones and me…..

Picasso.

Gret99zky

JDI: And the faded orange, the white collar, or the cut of it’s jib.

TBH, the jib’s the deal breaker. Will not buy.

As Jonathan Willis pointed out, looking forward to the inevitable redesign in a couple of years.

JD_Wry

godot10,

Grey and black and gold and red… designed by a focus group or possibly Homer Simpson. Maybe a focus group of Homer Simpsons.

godot10

Navy and copper…okay.
Blue and orange….okay.
Navy and orange…yuck.

JD_Wry

Nice guy Oilers – redesigning their great jersey so that the new guys feel better about their jersey:

comment image:large

Brantford Boy

Lowetide,

If that’s the case, I concur with THEDJDJ that ‘In Rainbows’ is a very good album, in fact its the only thing I’ve been listening to for the past week (the 2 CD version)… cheers!

digger50

Funny how expectations change. I along with many were okay with the playoff results, but reviewing the numbers, that was a heck of a season and if similar next season, everyone will have huge expectations. I think we already do.

But we need to move the puck up

And we need to win a face off

digger50

I think Peter grabs Davidson of Vegas as cover for Sekera.

Islanders deal brings a right hand d man back, or else Russel draws in.

If Vegas selects Reinhart, great news for Gryba.

Psyche

Based on my dusty memory I liked how McLellan coached the PK and I didn’t mind what he tried with the top 6 forwards. I also liked his impact on the top 4 D-men (especially Klefbom and Larsson). I recall many nights where I wondered (out loud to my wife) what was happening with the PP, the bottom 6 and the 3rd pairing D-men.

I felt he showed too much confidence in Gryba/Nurse/Caggiula, but not enough in Slepy/JJ/Pouliot. And poor Fayne – I believe the man could have helped. He definitely offered more than Gryba.