by Lowetide

After  a long audition, Laurent Brossoit is finally in a position to play an entire season in the NHL. The Oilers hired a veteran last year, which blocked Brossoit initially but the young goalie eventually pushed Jonas Gustavsson out of the league and established himself in the backup role. The window of opportunity for Brossoit may not be a big one, but it definitely starts now. (In the Clear).

LAURENT BROSSOIT 16-17: 8GP, 1.99 .928

LAURENT BROSSOIT 17-18: 16GP, 2.94 .907

  1. Do you think he keeps the job? That’s my guess, yes. The numbers I’m projecting aren’t overwhelming but the organization is going to give him a full shot.
  2. Do those numbers represent a good season? I’m projecting a couple of tough games, but that’s probably to be expected for a young goalie. The save percentage and GAA can go sideways in a hurry but I think he’ll recover. He did last season in Bakersfield after a tough run around Christmas.
  3. I think those numbers will get him replaced. Maybe, but my take is that management believes in him. Brossoit is going to get lit up a little during the season and I don’t think last year’s NHL numbers are indicative of his abilities.
  4. You should re-think these numbers. Perhaps a reminder about Edmonton’s recent backups. In 2015-16, while Cam Talbot posted a .917 save percentage, primary backup Anders Nilsson posted a .901SP. Last season, while Cam Talbot posted a .919 save percentage, primary backup Jonas Gustavsson posted a .878SP.
  5. Huh. Edmonton’s backups have been a drag on this team since Peter Chiarelli arrived, one of the main reasons why the starter has been in 79 percent of the team’s games.
  6. Why don’t they fix it? Nilsson was solid, Gustavsson was not, Brossoit has earned a chance. If LB can fill the role at an inexpensive price that’s one more problem solved. If he can’t, say hello to my new friend Nick Ellis.
  7. What about the trade deadline? Maybe, but Talbot is the starter and you’re going to run with your No. 1 goalie in the playoffs.
  8. Among the goalies currently in the organization or drafted who do you like the most? Bah, beyond Talbot? I don’t know. Goalies are difficult to project. Nick Ellis has been quality for a few consecutive seasons, I’ll go with him.
  9. Which junior goalie do you prefer? You’re asking the wrong guy. Stuart Skinner has been more consistent, so I’ll choose him. Wells had a fantastic year in 2016-17 though, so we’re just going to have to wait and see.
  10. What do you look for in a goalie? I am a devotee of save percentage and given a choice I’ll pick a goaltender who wins a lot of games and has a superior save percentage to the other goalies on his team.
  11. Cam Talbot is a free agent in 2019 summer. Who should the Oilers have in mind for No. 1 goalie 2019-20? Cam Talbot. There is no clear replacement yet, although that may change in the next two seasons. I’m of a mind you run your starter until he falters or someone takes over. There’s time, but my guess is Peter Chiarelli will be signing Talbot to an extension.
  12. What is Laurent Brossoit’s potential? Great question. He is a capable AHL starter and has a career NHL save percentage of .910. That’s shy for a modern starter but he could hang around for years in a backup role.
  13. Do we have enough of an NHL sample size? No, not at all. LB has played in only 14 NHL games, we need more evidence. I don’t think he is trending as a future NHL starter and at 24 has just secured a spot in the NHL as a backup.
  14. Does Peter Chiarelli like him? If he didn’t there would be a strong option for the backup job. I think the general manager recognizes that Brossoit is a significant option and the most proven available at this time. I don’t think there’s a shadow of a doubt he would replace him if LB struggles early in the season.
  15. Is this the final RE? No sir. We have one more goalie and a defender.
  16. You’ve milked this a long damned time. I always say ride that nag until it drops. Basically six weeks since I began the process with Connor McDavid.
  17. How many RE post? At least 48 by the time you see the summary on Monday. It’s a lot of fun to do.
  18. Why this song? Brossoit worked a hockey lifetime to get here and really it’s only beginning. He will need some luck but could be playing in the NHL for a long time. If he plays well in the backup role this season, maybe he gets a full chance at the starting job here or elsewhere. He is young enough to have a significant career if he performs well and things break right for him.

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The Eskimos are +5 with a record of 7-2 after nine games while the Lions are +2 and 5-4 and the Riders are +48 with a record of 4-4. One of these things is not like the others and I don’t understand why anybody can be surprised that the Esks have lost a couple. They were never dominant enough to justify their 7-0 start imo and that is catching up to them. Injuries are a part of the story, of course, but really they are a good team – not a great team.


Kevin was right. There are two tiers of Oiler fan.Those who also cheer for the Riders, and the second tier.

Tell it to your sisterwife.


Kevin was right. There are two tiers of Oiler fan. Those who also cheer for the Riders, and the second tier.


Bag of Pucks,

At least, and this is just a matter of public record, 20 of the 31 NHL teams do extensive psychological testing of prospects. Nearly every team has extended interviews with all the top prospects where they ask a lot of questions of the sort in which you seem interested. Then scouts spend a lot of their work lives trying to gather exactly the data you are seeking.

There is this classic story about this great scout in the Canadiens system. Ric Taylor supposedly spotted Luc Robataille as a first round talent but couldn’t get the Canadiens to draft him. That made him a bit of a legend in the business. However, we don’t know precisely how he spotted Robataille. It is the following story that I think most perfectly explains what good scouts do and probably tells us exactly how Taylor identified Robataille.

There is this kid that everybody thinks is a high first rounder. He is a CHL Player of the year, had something like 140 points as a 17 year old. Dynamic offensive player who while he could score was more of a passer.

Taylor not only gets to know the kid really well he gets to know the kid’s coaches, the kid’s teammates, the kid’s family, even the kid’s friends. He knows the prospect inside out. He knows how the prospect thinks. This is when he goes to Canadiens management and says the kid’s offense won’t come with him to the NHL. The prospect doesn’t have the confidence in his own scoring necessary to be a big time scorer in the NHL.

“So what your saying is don’t draft him in the first round?” Serge Savard asked him.

“No I am saying draft him but for what he is now and will be in the NHL,” Taylor supposedly said.

“If he isn’t a scorer what is he?” Savard asked.

“A pro. The kid works out like a pro, trains on the ice like a pro, he is incredibly coach-able, dresses in a suit and tie, treats all the staff with respect, handles the press beautifully, and the kid cares, he really cares on and off the ice. This guy sweats the details. And he inspires his teammates to do the same. He is a truly great teammate.

“And if that is all there was I’d say so what, but all that obsession, it shows up on the ice in games. He wears you down. He fore checks like a demon, he back checks like no player I have ever seen at the junior level. And guys who play against him say he is tough as nails. He wears them down and then he scores big goals. This kid is going to be one of the greatest two way players hockey has ever seen, he will play well over 1000 games, and then one day he will coach in the NHL.”

Remember Taylor is talking about a a kid who hadn’t turned 18 yet and at the time was a CHL superstar. The reason this story is famous among scouts is of course because if it is true (and I have heard it from a lot of scouts) then it is one of the most dazzlingly accurate scouting reports in NHL history. Taylor is right the kid’s offense didn’t come with him to the NHL but it didn’t matter because on incredible hard work, tremendous fitness, dominant fore checking and amazing back checking Martin Gelinas built an NHL career that lasted well over a thousand games. And of course today he coaches in the NHL.

And Ric Taylor could see it all coming by combining the kinds of things you are talking about with his understanding of Gelinas’ on ice strengths and weaknesses.

The weakness in your theory of how to improve scouting is that teams have been doing all of that and more since the 1980s at least. There is also a huge database of research on psychological and demographic predictors of success in sport some of it is obviously applicable to hockey. However, there is an entire subset of this research done on and in hockey. This is what the psychologists use to create the tests that most teams use on prospects.

That isn’t to say there aren’t new discoveries in the pipeline. Just as an example, in the last couple of years there have been attempts to use psychological testing to predict whether a prospect might be injury prone, the risk of a player busting totally, and how good a fit a prospect might be with existing teammates. There was tremendous buzz around this stuff at Ottawa Hockey Analytics this year. But talking to NHL executives at Carelton multiple teams have already begun using these ideas in an attempt to have first mover advantage which you don’t get when everybody has the same idea.

So just to summarize, I don’t disagree with you, nor do NHL teams, which is why they have been doing all of the things you talk about (a handful of teams built predictive algos from their scouting reports, interviews, and psychological tests) and a lot more for years. Which is why there is no great advantage to be gained from it.


Lowetide: Hold on, let’s let him make the decision. I can be quite a lot of fun, and know many card games and such.

It seems the conversation has taken an interesting, and potentially awkward, turn.

It’s the “and such” I think we’re all curious about haha


It seems the conversation has taken an interesting, and potentially awkward, turn.


Lowetide: If the Eskimos don’t start doing something, I’ll join you.

I doubt he wants you to join him and his wife.


What? Nobody wants to talk about the Oilers back-up goalie in August?

Sigh – I guess I’ll go hang out with the wife.

Bag of Pucks

Bag of Pucks: I agree and would compare it to the 4 minute mile. Considered impossible until Bannister figured it out, then immediately a bunch of folks started doing it.

This was not the case. The record at the time was already down to 4:01 and the assault on breaking 4 minutes had started 20 years prior to Bannister (and put somewhat on hold by the world war years). Everybody knew the 4 minute mile was going to be broken. The questions were, by whom and at what event?

Bag of Pucks


RE: Your statement in the previous thread that, ‘There has to be a way to draft better’ to give a team a substantial advantage in procurement.

I agree and would compare it to the 4 minute mile. Considered impossible until Bannister figured it out, then immediately a bunch of folks started doing it.

Currently, tons of focus on size, boxcars, and physical talent. Not nearly enough emphasis imo on dedication level, personal discipline and mental approach. I believe one or more teams will start to measure these attributes more thoroughly (ie not unlike the NE Patriots in the NFL) and they’ll outpace the competition and ultimately change the paradigm.

I’ve heard it argued that everyone capable of being drafted has a superior work ethic and thinks the game at a high level, but A) I don’t believe that – hence outright busts & B) there’s a huge development step from amateur to professional. Some athletes have the discipline, focus and mental aptitude to take it to the higher level. Some do not.

Scouts will analyze a kid’s skating six ways to Sunday, but what does he do in his off time, what are his priorities, what’s the family situation, how does he respond to advertisity, is he entitled? All these factors have to be considered.

If I’m an NHL scouting department, I’m building a bulletproof behavioural model test for pro calibre athletic achievement and running my shortlist prospects through it pre draft. And I mean comprehensive (girls, vices, video games, greed, sleep patterns, capacity for self sacrifice, etc.) I’m putting these kids through the wringer! lol


Is this the final RE? No sir. We have one more goalie and a defender.

Ellis and Stanton?


By the time Chiarelli made the move to send Gus down and bring up LB, the standings were so tight and the games were so important that it was tough for McLellan to find games to give the LB the next.

From my eye test over the last few years, when given the opportunity, LB has performed just fine if not quite good and generally gives the chance to win – isn’t that all we should really ask of our back-up?

The only thing LB has not had is opportunity and he should get the opportunity this year to be a real back-up – to play 15-20 games.

Here is hoping he can continue to give the team a chance to win and even steal the odd game.

If not, Nicky Ellis is waiting for the opportunity to make his debut.