Game 12 2017-18: Devils at Oilers

by Lowetide

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored goal No. 100 in his NHL career this week, moving into the Oilers’ all-time Top 20 in the category. For a franchise with such a short history, the career categories are breathtaking.

GOALS, EDMONTON OILERS, CAREER

  1. Wayne Gretzky 583
  2. Jari Kurri 474
  3. Glenn Anderson 417
  4. Mark Messier 392
  5. Ryan Smyth 296
  6. Paul Coffey 209
  7. Craig Simpson 185
  8. Esa Tikkanen 178
  9. Jordan Eberle 165
  10. Shawn Horcoff 162
  11. Doug Weight 157
  12. Craig MacTavish 155
  13. Ales Hemsky 142
  14. Todd Marchant 136
  15. Taylor Hall 132
  16. Dave Hunter 119
  17. Petr Klima 119
  18. Ethan Moreau 112
  19. Sam Gagner 101
  20. Jason Arnott 100
  21. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 100

That’s a helluva list, if Nuge can hang around another seven years he’ll be the ninth man to score 200 in an Oilers uniform.

PIKES PEAK, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers in November 2015: 1-0-0, goal differential +2
  • Oilers in November 2016: 0-0-1, goal differential -1
  • Oilers in November 2017: 0-1-0, goal differential -1

AFTER 11, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers 15-16: 4-7-0, goal differential -6
  • Oilers 16-17: 7-3-1, goal differential +7
  • Oilers 17-18: 3-7-1, goal differential -12

Game 12 in 2015-16 was a 5-4 loss to the Calgary Flames (goal with nine seconds left by Michael Frolik). Game 12 last season was a 4-3 shootout win over the New York Islanders in Brooklyn.  It’s interesting to see the theme for these seasons had already been established, with G12 results adding further evidence to die cast.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM NOVEMBER

  • At home to: Pittsburgh, New Jersey, Detroit (Expected: 2-1-0) (Actual 0-1-0)
  • On the road to: NYI, New Jersey, NYR, Washington (Expected: 1-2-1) (Actual: 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Vegas, St. Louis (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual: 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Dallas, St. Louis, Detroit, Buffalo, Boston (Expected 2-2-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Arizona, Toronto (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 7-7-2, 16 points in 16 games 
  • Current results: 0-1-0, zero points in one game

I have tonight as a win for the home team, although Rogers Place seems to like road warriors based on what we’ve seen so far this year. The Oilers scoring (GF-GA) by discipline: 5×5 (17-19), even-strength (19-22), power play (5-1) and penalty kill (0-13). Overall scoring: 24-36. Culprit? I’ll go special teams. (Source)

JESSE

  • Elliotte Friedman: One other thing about Puljujarvi: He might also be Chiarelli’s most enticing trade chip. That’s a big, big decision and, unless the Oilers are absolutely convinced it won’t work for Puljujarvi in Edmonton, you’ve got to think the player gets another NHL shot first. Source

In Friedman’s 31 Thoughts, his main point about JP  involved callup, but this wrinkle is interesting. The selection of Jesse Puljujarvi came at a point where Edmonton was discussing trade with Montreal, and that deal would probably have come to fruition if Columbus had chosen Puljujarvi. I have suggested, and believe, Chiarelli made the Hall-Larsson deal partly because Puljujarvi was available. The organization, and most hockey scouts, felt the big Finn was going to be a bona fide scorer. He is one of the reasons the Taylor Hall was dealt, Edmonton probably feeling they had a player who could quickly advance to 15-20 goals per season. These months later, we remain in wait mode. Jesse Puljujarvi picked up an assist last night in Bakersfield, now 9gp, 1-4-5 (NHLE: 24). I remember hearing stories about the Oilers being enamored with Mikhael Sergachev at that time, and that may be Chiarelli’s biggest regret from the 2016 draft.

CHIARELLI CHATTER

Overwhelming support for firing Peter Chiarelli across the universe based on my twitter timeline and this blog’s comments. I don’t see it happening. Edmonton posted a 103-point season in 2016-17, that’s going to give the general manager a lot of rope. Pressure arrives next fall (2018), giving the general manager the rest of this season and next summer to find solutions. What’s the low marker for this season? 82 points? Let’s say it’s 82 points. I don’t think 82 points this season gets Chiarelli fired. Seriously. Todd McLellan is a little more vulnerable and the assistant coaches are really vulnerable, especially if the special teams don’t recover. This is my opinion.

As for the verbal tirades in the comments section, I believe free exchange of ideas is the reason this blog has had success. If a poster has vitriol to deliver about the general manager, then it will stand. We do not tolerate abusive behavior and I will be more mindful of that in the coming days, as it seems browbeating is once again raising its ugly head in pursuit of a goal. Rest assured, if you want to comment on the GM, and can avoid being abusive, your post will stand. If you become abusive, your post will be deleted and you’ll spend some time in purgatory. No exceptions.

As for you, dear reader, where you get your information and who you pay attention to is completely your decision. This blog has always tried to pursue a balanced view and will continue to do so in these times of issue framing. We will acknowledge the poor trades made by Peter Chiarelli, and they have had tremendous impact on the team—now and long into the future. We’ll also acknowledge the good acquisitions, including Cam Talbot, Andrej Sekera,Patrick Maroon, Zack Kassian and Matt Benning. It is up to you to decide what information you hold as valuable, what source of information suits you best. I encourage you to find a balanced view on these things and to draw your own conclusions. Only the addled blindly follow, and that applies to all sides of the discussion.

If I may linger a moment longer, I sincerely hope you enjoy your experience. I think there are those who find joy in building up rage in others, although to what end is beyond me. You do not have to endure things that make you uncomfortable or put you in a bad place after reading. If the comments section of this blog does that to you, I would encourage you to refrain from reading until this current losing streak subsides. We’re all human, and a 15-minute wade into the negative can sometimes put us in a bad place for hours afterward, impacting those humans around us who depend on our reasoned thinking. Let’s remember this is supposed to be fun, ladies and men. Thanks.

WHO’S UNDER THE MICROSCOPE?

  • Things can change, but based on usage, verbal and the obvious, I think Anton Slepyshev is in his last chance Texaco period.
  • Drake Caggiula’s a player whose employment has never been in doubt but he’s going to need to deliver at least some offense to stay.
  • Kailer Yamamoto has an enormous future with this team. Tonight might be his last NHL game of the season, but he’s going to be a starter very soon—likely opening night 2018-19.
  • Jussi Jokinen’s status is as extra man but that could change. It’s a long season and the veteran is very useful. He might be an answer on special teams.
  • Milan Lucic is having the puck die on his stick too much, and not putting the puck in good places. When he’s at his best the big man is physical, adept at passing and a good player in the offensive zone. He’s been inconsistent since he got here, could be headed for 3L soon.
  • Kris Russell is playing three fewer minutes a night year over year. Either he’s playing hurt—haven’t read a thing—or Todd McLellan is finding better alternatives. If your $4 million free agent is playing 18 minutes a night when the team is scrambling for defense, that’s a mighty poor arrow.

TY RATTIE

Ty Rattie delivered a hat-trick for the Bakersfield Condors last night, putting himself in the conversation for recall. I think Brad Malone or Jesse Puljujarvi are more likely but you never know.

1984-85 OILERS

News story about the Oilers honoring the 1984-85 Oilers (here) and it reminds me about something we should have been talking about earlier. Are you surprised this team was chosen? Which of the 1980’s Oilers teams do you consider the best? I am pleased with the choice because it includes Paul Coffey, who was certainly one of the best players on planet earth in the 1980s. I’m not sure it would be my choice for best Oilers team ever, but the people have spoken. What is your opinion?

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

We are drunk with great guests, first Friday of winter (based on weather conditions and forecast). 10 this morning, TSN1260, scheduled to appear:

  • Steve Lansky, BigMouthSports. Is the 1984-85 Oilers team the best ever? Should we lower expectations for this year’s team based on early performance?
  • Paul Sir, The Basketball Show. Raptors playing well, 76ers 4-4!
  • Matt Iwanyk, TSN1260. Eskimos big weekend, Hall at Ford Hall.
  • Paul Almeida, SSE. Oilers need a win. Will it come tonight?

10-1260 text, @Lowetide twitter. See you on the radio!

 

 

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meanashell11

Adam Oates for PP coach and put a tad of pressure on TM.

OriginalPouzar

It’s going to be a great night to be an Oiler fan – they will give the Devils their first road loss.

Strome will get on he scoresheet and lead the secondary scoring to a multi-goal victory.

Hall, with 10 points in his last 5 games, will get an Apple but that’s ok.

frjohnk

Those 20 names above RNH all got traded as an Oiler.

Nuge does not join that group until he gets traded.

Pouzar

Ty Rattie had one explosive period but was invisible for the first 2 periods and most of the games before that. The talent is there obviously but he hasn’t earned a call up yet imo.

Kinger_Oil.redux

– Great post LT! Great observations: Have fun!

– The opportunity for the team to pull out of this together, and have another good year is significant: it will provide the foundation for so much trust and good-will within

– One of many tests they will have before winning some Cups…

GIVE’ER!!!!

OriginalPouzar

From accounts, Rattie was invisible for 2 periods but then took over the game in the third period.

Clay

I’ll go out on a limb and say I don’t blame Chiarelli. He was given the gift of inheriting a team with Driasaitl and the 1st overall pick in the McDavid draft, but also the curse of having to sign them both in one summer. The cost uncertainty he had on July 1 left him with little options for anything more than band-aids for the holes left on the team. And as Lowetide has said, he bet a lot on value players.

And recency bias is a bitch, because we can all now say he made a huge mistake this summer for not doing more. But after last season, who didn’t think Slepyshev looked like a reasonable bet for middle-6 duty? Who didn’t think Benning was the find of the decade for 2RD? Who didn’t think Kassian looked like huge value?

I think Chiarelli made reasonable decisions given the information at the time. Poo Poo the Eberle trade all you want, but I was on this blog and elsewhere during the playoffs, and EVERYONE was saying he needed to go. Can’t have it both ways.

thehop

meanashell11:
Adam Oates for PP coach and put a tad of pressure on TM.

I don’t see the team’s performance as a coaching issue. The chances to cash are there.. game in and game out but this group cannot cash.

IF, Tmac and the boy wonder had a full deck of cards and the results were what they are, I would agree with you ?%.

I will say that I think the coaching staff did very little to adjust their game plan and systems from last year which is a mistake. If that is their MO going forward with the current group we could be in big trouble.

Oilin4

Given how much I hate Chiarelli’s trades (and asset management and cap management and really just his ability to think about hockey), there’s deep dark part of me hopes to see Hall and Eberle get something like 6-4-10 in the next three games we play against their teams. I’d love to see it by Hall skating past Lucic like he’s standing still, then (figuratively) breaking Larsson’s (or Russel’s) ankles and roofing one on the first shift.

But I’d much rather see a 4 game winning streak and get back on our collision course for a Ducks rematch.

Maybe both can happen: Hall and Eberle have monster games, but Connor and Leon go crazy, and show the world that this team can win in spite of Chiarelli, rather than because of him. Fans then dream about the dynasty that would have been built had Chiarelli found a job as Assistant GM in charge of overseas scouting for Moscow Dynamo.

JimmyV1965

I think the next five games will go a long way towards determining this team’s playoff hopes. They have the Devils twice, the Red Wings, Islanders and Rangers. All five are winnable games. If they even go 2-3 their playoff hopes are likely sunk.

Woodguy v2.0

At the beginning of the year you looked at a game vs NJD and penciled in a win.

Today NJD are 1st in the NHL with a points percentage of .818

EDM are 30th in the NHL with a points percentage of .318

NJD is out performing their shot metrics (45.2% CF tied – 62.5% GF tied)

EDM is under performing theirs (54.3% CF tied – 47.1% GF tied)

NJD is not this good and EDM is not this bad, but the games are in the books and here we stand.

NJD’s all situation PDO is 1041, buoyed by a good .9182 SV% and a hot 12.23 SH%.

EDM’s all situation PDO is 952. .8941 SV% (4v5 is killing them) and a very cold 5.80 SH%.

Both will regress, but how much and how soon is only known by GMoney’s crystal ball.

Also,

There are 4 main reasons for NJD hot run:

1) Schneider is Schneider again.

Despite many Oiler fans proclaiming that the loss of Adam Larsson was the reason his season last year didn’t match his 8 year career he’s still Schneider.

Maybe it was his off season knee surgery and not the loss of Larsson that was the wobble last year?

Here’s his career:
2010-11 Vancouver Canucks 0.929
2011-12 Vancouver Canucks 0.936
2012-13 Vancouver Canucks 0.927
2013-14 New Jersey Devils 0.921
2014-15 New Jersey Devils 0.925
2015-16 New Jersey Devils 0.924
2016-17 New Jersey Devils 0.908
2017-18 New Jersey Devils 0.921

I never understood how people could look at 16/17 in the context of that career and declare one Dman changed him that much.

2) Andy Greene is Andy Greene again vs the toughs.

Andy Green is getting 45% (!!) of his TOI vs Elites and putting up a 52% (!!) DFF.

The reports that Greene had found the cliff were apparently incorrect. I was among those reporting it. I was wrong. He’s becoming Chara’s heir as the Methusela of tough minute Dmen at 35 years of age.

He’s split time evenly with 22 year old rookie Santini (45th overall in 2011) and Severson on the right side.

Santini’s DFF% vs Elites is 46.%% and Severson’s is 41.5%.

They’ve moved Santini up and Severson to 2nd pair which has made a decent 2nd pair with Moore. Together their 48.5%CF, Moore apart is 42.8%

They need better LHD and those fall off trees so they might be able to upgrade Moore soon too.

Reclamation project Mirco Mueller has been ok, but has been scratched for Lovejoy lately on the 3rd pair with Rookie Sensation Butcher.

Hynes has done a great job sheltering Butcher too with only 20% of his TOI spent vs Elite forwards.

3) Hall playing 36% of his TOI vs Elite forwards with rookie Hishier and the reanimated corpse of Drew Stafford and putting up a cool 49.5% DFF and 60% GF.

Hishier is a really good rookie, but a teenaged rookie nonetheless.

When Hynes said recently about Hall – “..he dragged his team to compete and win” and then I look at who he’s playing with I don’t doubt him at all.

4) Every thin bet paying off.

Shero is the opposite Chiarelli in this regard.

I wonder if some of this had to do with his analytics team?

I’m not being a dink, I’m honestly asking that question. NJD hired Sunny Mehta years ago and he’s still there working. I was a fan of Sunny’s poker books back when a portion of my income was derived from poker. Razor sharp dude.

Here are some of the thin bets they made:

a) Undersized (5’8″ 175lbs) career AHLer (turns 30 this year, never drafted) 3LW Brian Gibbons – 7pts in 11 games and 52.7%DFF vs Elite forwards
b) 22 year old 4 LW Miles Wood (100th overall in 2013) 62% (!!!)DFF vs Elites
c) 25 year old 4C Blake Coleman (75th overall 2011) 51.1% DFF vs Elites
d) 19 year old rookie Jesper Bratt (162(!!) overall in 2016) 10pts in 11 games
e) 22 year old free agent Dman Butcher 11pts in 11games.

Shero is having a similar year to Chiarelli last year. Every bet paying off.

Funny thing about most of Shero’s adds this year?

They’re mostly 5’10” 185lbs and fast skaters.

Smurf hockey is taking over!! Someone get me Schremp’s agent on the phone! Wait…..he can’t skate at NHL level.

Damn.

Get me the rights to Omark!!!

Should be a fun game to watch.

I hope the Oilers win.

GOILERS!!
(*clap,clap*)

texmex

So this is what it has come to, hoping a career minor leaguer can come up and save our season? Rattie is not the answer no more than a 145lb 19 year old kid is the answer. The solution, if there is one, is in the dressing room.

We do not have the depth on the wings to run Mcd, Drai and RNH down the middle. IMO, if you run those three down the middle our offense is more diluted and likely to score even less, if possible. So rather than have 3 offensive lines, why not have two? Three is not possible.

Line 1 -Maroon-Mcd-Caggs

Worked in the playoffs. The wingers just need to go to the net with their stick on the ice. Mcd will get them the puck.

Line 2 – Drai – RNH – Slep

RNH has proven he play with solid wingers and gets the puck off relatively quickly. Slepy can shoot and drai can find him.

Line 3 – Looch – Strome – Kass

Heavy, crashing, cycle line

Line 4 – JJ – Tube – Pak

Who cares, its a fourth line and should only play 7 minutes. Load it up with PK if needed, assuming we have any.

Extend Russell

Good ole purgatory.
I just have one suggestion to make.
Start benching the people that are slumping.
It’s archaic and is rarely done unless u have a poster child like Yak or Pou to sit .

Bench Lucic the next sub prime game he plays
Sit Russel if he’s hurt.
Call up some hot hands with the farm and let things work themselves out.

Oilin4

Clay:
I’ll go out on a limb and say I don’t blame Chiarelli.He was given the gift of inheriting a team with Driasaitl and the 1st overall pick in the McDavid draft, but also the curse of having to sign them both in one summer.The cost uncertainty he had on July 1 left him with little options for anything more than band-aids for the holes left on the team.And as Lowetide has said, he bet a lot on value players.

And recency bias is a bitch, because we can all now say he made a huge mistake this summer for not doing more.But after last season, who didn’t think Slepyshev looked like a reasonable bet for middle-6 duty?Who didn’t think Benning was the find of the decade for 2RD?Who didn’t think Kassian looked like huge value?

I think Chiarelli made reasonable decisions given the information at the time.Poo Poo the Eberle trade all you want, but I was on this blog and elsewhere during the playoffs, and EVERYONE was saying he needed to go.Can’t have it both ways.

He was in a tough spot for adding players, I’ll grant that. But this isn’t recency bias. Go back and read this comments section in the summer (or just take my word for it), many, many people were pointing out these brutal mistakes in the summer.

meanashell11

thehop: I don’t see the team’s performance as a coaching issue. The chances to cash are there.. game in and game out but this group cannot cash.

IF, Tmac and the boy wonder had a full deck of cards and the results were what they are, I would agree with you %.

I will say that I think the coaching staff did very little to adjust their game plan and systems from last year which is a mistake. If that is their MO going forward with the current group we could be in big trouble.

Has anyone else noticed that they went away from the set up with the drop pass in the neutral zone on the power play and just brought it back last game. They were trying a different entry and it did not work. They were not getting enough time in the O zone when on the PP.

Extend Russell

Clay,

Well said

dustrock

Really tried of honoring the 80s teams, to be honest. Overall franchise anniversaries or something, sure, but doing some awards ceremony for every single 80s team is just overkill and I feel like things like retiring jersey numbers and celebrations is just overdone these days.

Why didn’t we have a 6-month anniversary for our series win over the Sharks?

Bruce McCurdy

frjohnk:
Those 20 names above RNH all got traded as an Oiler.

Nuge does not join that group until he gets traded.

Technically, Ethan Moreau got waived, not traded. (Gotcha!)

Ryan Smyth is a special category who both got traded from the Oilers and retired as an Oiler. Same applies to Kevin Lowe, though of course he didn’t score 100 goals (74 as an Oiler, 84 overall).

Woodguy v2.0

FYI:

Steve Lansky, Because Oilers. Is the 1984-85 Oilers team the best ever? Should we lower expectations for this year’s team based on early performance?

I have not hired Steve Lansky to write on my blog.

Woodguy v2.0

Clay,

And recency bias is a bitch, because we can all now say he made a huge mistake this summer for not doing more. But after last season, who didn’t think Slepyshev looked like a reasonable bet for middle-6 duty? Who didn’t think Benning was the find of the decade for 2RD? Who didn’t think Kassian looked like huge value?

The entire theme of the posts and comments section this summer were:

-RW is really thin
-2RD is thin too

No recency bias.

Its all there from the summer.

dustrock

Found it interesting that Woodguy and some others were pointing to coaching as being much of the problem this season so far, aside from the Sekera injury which forces his hand on D to an extent.

Benning was struggling – he sait for a game and has been noticeably better, by eye and by math, since.

The bottom 6 cannot score. Lucic and Strome cannot score.

Klefbom and Larsson, who were generally outstanding in the playoffs last year, somehow have regressed. Talbot hasn’t looked as sharp as last year.

Draisaitl got hurt. Caggiula got hurt. Sleppy missed training camp.

Chia gives McLellan the option of having to play either or both of Yamamoto or Puljujarvi in the top 2 RW positions.

Other than special teams, which is a very obvious problem that hasn’t been rectified, I’m not sure how people start laying the blame at the feet of McLellan.

People talk about the value of veterans and their experience. I guess that’s only in the good times. In the bad times, it’s the coach’s fault, not the veteran players, who can and should play harder and better.

As I’ve said previously, it has been very refreshing and eye-opening to see the screws turn a bit on Babcock, when the Toronto media was fawning over his every move a year ago.

VOR

Clay:
I’ll go out on a limb and say I don’t blame Chiarelli.He was given the gift of inheriting a team with Driasaitl and the 1st overall pick in the McDavid draft, but also the curse of having to sign them both in one summer.The cost uncertainty he had on July 1 left him with little options for anything more than band-aids for the holes left on the team.And as Lowetide has said, he bet a lot on value players.

And recency bias is a bitch, because we can all now say he made a huge mistake this summer for not doing more.But after last season, who didn’t think Slepyshev looked like a reasonable bet for middle-6 duty?Who didn’t think Benning was the find of the decade for 2RD?Who didn’t think Kassian looked like huge value?

I think Chiarelli made reasonable decisions given the information at the time.Poo Poo the Eberle trade all you want, but I was on this blog and elsewhere during the playoffs, and EVERYONE was saying he needed to go.Can’t have it both ways.

I won’t debate the first two paragraphs with you. I think you are probably right in the first paragraph that at least to some extent Peter Chiarelli had limited options. And in the case of the second paragraph, I was, and am one of those people who thought some of the younger players would seize jobs higher up the batting order and that the result would be glorious.

I am even a supporter of the Eberle trade based on the value the Oilers received in return. That said, during last year’s playoffs I relentlessly argued that Jordan Eberle was a far better player than people were giving him credit for and playing in bad luck. So NOT EVERYONE was saying he needed to go!

Bag of Pucks

One of the things I think fanbases are definitely guilty of is gifting management and coaches with the ‘sins of the father.’

Did Chiarelli overpay for Larsson? Definitely.
Was there a gaping roster hole at 1D when Chiarelli took the job? Most definitely.
Was there massive pressure on Chiarelli to fix this concurrent with the opening of the new building? I’m guessing ‘yes.’
Was the previous management team guilty of leaving Chiarelli this hole? Abso-fucking-tively.

I was absolutely livid when the team traded Hall, and almost 100% of my ire was directed at Steve Tambellini who failed to draft Larsson when he had the chance thus escalating the need and the eventual acquisition cost. The first rebuild failed because A) you have to draft the D first & B) you have to build down the middle with your blue chips.

The meme has always been ‘draft BPA’ and trade them if you need to address roster deficiencies at other positions. It’s a nice thought but as the failed rebuild showed fairly graphically, it doesn’t work when the rest of the league can clearly see your gaping need, your urgency to it address it, and can govern themselves accordingly,

It’s no coincidence that the costs of roof repairs spike after a hurricane. This is the market conditions that Chiarelli found himself in when trying to acquire a viable 1D or 2D on a reasonable contract.

Both the Reinhart and Hall trades suffer from the ‘sins of the father.’ I try to keep this in mind when assessing Chiarelli’s work. And I think there’s way too much verbal on trades as a manager’s core deficiency. For me, Chiarelli’s main issue is his contract negotiations and that is something he owns completely,

OriginalPouzar

Just win the darn game tonight Oilers and let there be peace and happiness until Sunday afternoon.

SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo!

dustrock,

I’d also point to the number of one goal losses/wins as a reason not to blame coaching per say.

In one goal games individual mistakes are magnified.

Doesn’t help that seemingly every one of those mistakes end up the back of the net.

Eastern conference seems to be this teams death knell over the last three years.

The next 10 days offer less than “elite” Eastern teams to play against and those games are every two days.

Here’s hoping they find a groove and start rolling

Bruce McCurdy

dustrock:
Really tried of honoring the 80s teams, to be honest.Overall franchise anniversaries or something, sure, but doing some awards ceremony for every single 80s team is just overkill and I feel like things like retiring jersey numbers and celebrations is just overdone these days.

Why didn’t we have a 6-month anniversary for our series win over the Sharks?

The 1984-85 Edmonton Oilers were officially named the greatest team in the NHL’s first century. That’s not your garden variety honour.

Should be a source of pride for Oilers fans. It sure is for this one.

Bag of Pucks

You know what GM appreciated the reality that you have to draft your blue chip D early in the process, because of their longer development timeline?

Glen Sather

His 79 draft first round pick – Kevin Lowe
His 80 draft first round pick – Paul Coffey

This frickin’ organization already knew the template to properly build a roster and had used it to great success. Of all people, how could Kevin Lowe have ignored this and got onboard instead with drafting wingers with 2 of their 3 initial 1OVs? Quite unbelievable when you think about it. He WAS the team’s first draft pick ffs!

dustrock

Bruce McCurdy: The 1984-85 Edmonton Oilers were officially named the greatest team in the NHL’s first century. That’s not your garden variety honour.

Should be a source of pride for Oilers fans. It sure is for this one.

Bruce. It is an outstanding team, and cause for celebration.

But it feels like every year for the last 10 years we’ve been celebrating the 80s Oilers.

Feels like that to me, at least. Might be a lone wolf crying in the wilderness. Wouldn’t be the first time this week.

Mr. D.

Klefbom has been a fricken train wreck. They guy is weak in the corners and blows coverage regularly. 2 assist.-6
He should be sat to wake his ass up!
People who are looking at Russell have no clue. He’s playing OK. The coach playing Benning more than Russell is the issue.
Nurse, Larson and Russell are the only ones that play adequate defense.
Fire the fn D coach!

Jaxon

Frustrating to see the last 5 games of Pouliot, Eberle and Hall.
Hall 2G, 8A, +2, 14shots
Eberle 2G, 3A, 0, 10shots
Pouliot 4G, 1A, +3, 13shots
Total 8G, 12A, +5, 37shots

We sure could use some of that firepower right about now.

Not to mention Schultz (Injured at the moment but coming off a great year) and Dubnyk (not having a great start but still at .913 on the season), Pitlick is playing okay for a 3rd/4th liner (2G, 1A in last 7). Yakupov still hasn’t put it together, Gagner isn’t as hot as last season, Reider is a useful utility player. Anyone I’m missing?

notarealdoctor

’87 team gets my vote. Coffey still there; addition of Kent Nilsson and Reijo Routsaleinan. Most exciting offensive team ever put together.

Bruce McCurdy

News story about the Oilers honoring the 1984-85 Oilers (here) and it reminds me about something we should have been talking about earlier. Are you surprised this team was chosen? Which of the 1980’s Oilers teams do you consider the best? I am pleased with the choice because it includes Paul Coffey, who was certainly one of the best players on planet earth in the 1980s. I’m not sure it would be my choice for best Oilers team ever, but the people have spoken. What is your opinion?

I wrote this post at CoH about this when the honour was announced in June. It was a great team for sure, the core of which won the Canada Cup to open the season, then the Stanley Cup to close it. Both at Northlands Coliseum. 🙂

In that post mention was made of the 1987 Oilers that added Kent Nilsson, Reijo Ruotsalainen and a returning Jaroslav Pouzar at the deadline, and may have been the most skill Oilers team. But my own vote for the best Oilers team of all time defaults to the 1983-84 squad that finished first overall by 15 points, set still-extant and currently untouchable NHL records for goals (446) and shorthanded goals (36), and featured Gretzky’s 51-game scoring streak, then blazed to a 15-4 run through the playoffs that ended with the Oil smoking the 4-time champion Islanders in 5 games.

The ’84-85 team peaked in the playoffs but didn’t have the regular season dominance to be considered The Greatest in my opinion. Scored “just” 401 goals, and finished second overall after a late-season slide.

And personal biases aside, greatest NHL team I ever saw was the 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens.

VOR

Bag of Pucks:
You know what GM appreciated the reality that you have to draft your blue chip D early in the process, because of their longer development timeline?

Glen Sather,

His 79 draft first round pick – Kevin Lowe
His 80 draft first round pick – Paul Coffey

This frickin’ organization already knew the template to properly build a roster and had used it to great success. Of all people, how could Kevin Lowe have ignored this and got onboard instead with drafting wingers with 2 of their 3 initial 1OVs? Quite unbelievable when you think about it. He WAS the team’s first draft pick ffs!

Erik Gudbranson, Dylan McIlrath, Cam Fowler, Brandon Gormley, Derek Forbort, Jared Tinordi, Mark Pysyk, Alex Petrovic, Justin Faulk, Jon Merill, Patrick Nemeth, Martin Marincin, Mark Alt, Justin Holl, Stephen Johns, Radko Gudas, Julian Melchiori, Peter Graubey, Morgan Ellis, John Klingberg, Tim Heed, Kevin Gravel, Dalton Prout, Brandon Davidson, Anthony Bitetto, Zach Trotman.

Those are the defencemen that were drafted in 2010 and ever played in the NHL. Which one is it you think the Oilers should have drafted to be the cornerstone of their rebuild? This is why you take the best player available.

Bruce McCurdy

dustrock: Bruce.It is an outstanding team, and cause for celebration.

But it feels like every year for the last 10 years we’ve been celebrating the 80s Oilers.

Feels like that to me, at least.Might be a lone wolf crying in the wilderness.Wouldn’t be the first time this week.

Well it’s not every year the NHL celebrates a Centennial. I choose to celebrate it too. Your mileage obviously varies.

Cassandra

Jaxon:
Frustrating to see the last 5 games of Pouliot, Eberle and Hall.
Hall 2G, 8A, +2, 14shots
Eberle 2G, 3A, 0, 10shots
Pouliot 4G, 1A, +3, 13shots
Total 8G, 12A, +5, 37shots

We sure could use some of that firepower right about now.

Stop with the revisionism. Chiarelli had no option but to get rid of those guys. His hands were tied. No option, I say. None. No alternatives whatsoever.

The way people will bend over backwards to defend Chiarelli astonishes me. Balance is not necessarily an intellectual virtue.

That said, it is amusing that apparently fans have turned on him so fast, having loved him without restraint last year. This summer was just normal mediocrity, his great sins are from two and three years ago, and yet he was immune to criticism then, even though it was obvious at the time how awful those moves were.

geowal

My grand plan:
If Ty Rattie has showed signs beyond this hatrick of coming on (don’t watch their games), I’m up to the following:
-Send Yamamoto to Spokane after tonight, call up Rattie to try to get some RW offense
-Send a message to Lucic: One game in the pressbox, used to get Jokinen in on some special teams. It’s not like you get any slower going from Lucic to Jokinen
-Give Slepyshev some of Lucic’s minutes
-Keep Nurse with Larsson one more game.
-If a well-regarded special teams coach is out there, consider hiring and then firing of the relevant Oilers special teams coach.

This is me being drastic…without being too drastic.

Bag of Pucks

VOR: Erik Gudbranson, Dylan McIlrath, Cam Fowler, Brandon Gormley, Derek Forbort, Jared Tinordi, Mark Pysyk, Alex Petrovic, Justin Faulk, Jon Merill, Patrick Nemeth, Martin Marincin, Mark Alt, Justin Holl, Stephen Johns, Radko Gudas, Julian Melchiori, Peter Graubey, Morgan Ellis, John Klingberg, Tim Heed, Kevin Gravel, Dalton Prout, Brandon Davidson, Anthony Bitetto, Zach Trotman.

Those are the defencemen that were drafted in 2010 and ever played in the NHL. Which one is it you think the Oilers should have drafted to be the cornerstone of their rebuild? This is why you take the best player available.

Well. unlike Slats, Tambellini wasn’t holding a 1C ace up his sleeve when he started his build. So I think the right play was Seguin in 2010 and Larsson in 2011.

Because he started his rebuild with a Winger, he was essentially forced to draft RNH in 2011 cos he hadn’t addressed either the 1C or 1D building blocks.

Then the idiocy continues with the Yakupov selection.

Amazing to me that people still have the stones to argue for BPA when the Oilers did that to the letter and we’ve all experienced the results firsthand. There’s something to be said for learning from your mistakes.

The most flawed aspect of BPA? It assumes you can actually identify that player with 100% certainty. This is ‘smartest man in the room’ thinking personified.

GriffCity

I can’t wait for the Oilers to knock the snot out of the Devils tonight. I wanna see that pathetic pout on Hall’s face at the end of the game.

Game day prediction: Yamamoto with his 1st, + an assist. Making the choice to send him back very difficult. 4-1 Oilers

geowal

Cassandra: Stop with the revisionism.Chiarelli had no option but to get rid of those guys. His hands were tied.No option, I say.None.No alternatives whatsoever.

The way people will bend over backwards to defend Chiarelli astonishes me.Balance is not necessarily an intellectual virtue.

That said, it is amusing that apparently fans have turned on him so fast, having loved him without restraint last year. This summer was just normal mediocrity, his great sins are from two and three years ago, and yet he was immune to criticism then, even though it was obvious at the time how awful those moves were.

I don’t know what blog you were reading last year, but there was anything but “love without restraint” last year for him in this space. The complaints reduced to a murmur form a roar to be sure but certainly none of the above.

That said I agree some of this is revisionist. I don’t know how anyone can recall Justin Schultz’s time here and conclude there was a snowball’s chance he would find success in an Oiler’s uniform. He was broken, as was Dubnyk. Happy for the player; no chance he found success here.

zatch

*whispers* The 2002 Detroit Redwings were a better, deeper team

Bruce McCurdy

Bag of Pucks: Because he started his rebuild with a Winger, he was essentially forced to draft RNH in 2011 cos he hadn’t addressed either the 1C or 1D building blocks.

Arguably addressed both by drafting RNH & Klefbom in the first round.

Bag of Pucks: Then the idiocy continues with the Yakupov selection.

This was the year that 8 of the top 10 selections were d-men. That said, the first two rearguards chosen were Ryan Murray (scouts’ choice) and Griffin Reinhart (been there done that). Do you see either of them being game-changers here?

flea

dustrock,

I’m sick of it too dustrock. Seems like there is some sort of milestone every year which is reason enough to bring out the Boys on the Bus and parade them around. I know this isn’t a popular opinion, and I simply choose not to follow it, not going to say too much more about it.

I was born in ’82 so I am also not sentimental about those teams. When I was In grade 2, the Oilers won their last cup, and I decided at the celebration party I would be an Oilers fan.

The team has been pretty bad every since then, aside from a few glimmers of hope in the late 90s and mid 2000s.

Breath of fresh air last year and I hope the team this year can turn it around, starting tonight.

Bag of Pucks

Bruce McCurdy:
News story about the Oilers honoring the 1984-85 Oilers (here) and it reminds me about something we should have been talking about earlier. Are you surprised this team was chosen? Which of the 1980’s Oilers teams do you consider the best? I am pleased with the choice because it includes Paul Coffey, who was certainly one of the best players on planet earth in the 1980s. I’m not sure it would be my choice for best Oilers team ever, but the people have spoken. What is your opinion?

I wrote this post at CoH about this when the honour was announced in June. It was a great team for sure, the core of which won the Canada Cup to open the season, then the Stanley Cup to close it. Both at Northlands Coliseum.

In that post mention was made of the 1987 Oilers that added Kent Nilsson, Reijo Ruotsalainen and a returning Jaroslav Pouzar at the deadline, and may have been the most skill Oilers team. But my own vote for the best Oilers team of all time defaults to the 1983-84 squad that finished first overall by 15 points, set still-extant and currently untouchable NHL records for goals (446) and shorthanded goals (36), and featured Gretzky’s 51-game scoring streak, then blazed to a 15-4 run through the playoffs that ended with the Oil smoking the 4-time champion Islanders in 5 games.

The ’84-85 team peaked in the playoffs but didn’t have the regular season dominance to be considered The Greatest in my opinion. Scored “just” 401 goals, and finished second overall after a late-season slide.

And personal biases aside, greatest NHL team I ever saw was the 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens.

Bruce, we’re completely simpatico on this. I too feel that 83-84 team was the best of those dynasty squads. And if we’re talking ‘team’ in the classic sense of the term, you can’t argue with that Habs squad that won 60 games. Every player on that team had a defined role and played it perfectly. No, they didn’t have the sublime talent at the top end like the Oil dynasty, but they were absolutely bulletproof from top to bottom and played Bowman’s system to perfection. God I hated them! lol

Bag of Pucks

Bruce McCurdy: Arguably addressed both by drafting RNH & Klefbom in the first round.

This was the year that 8 of the top 10 selections were d-men. That said, the first two rearguards chosen were Ryan Murray (scouts’ choice) and Griffin Reinhart (been there done that). Do you see either of them being game-changers here?

A smart GM likely appraises the weakness of that draft and trades away the 1OV for a legitimate player off another team’s roster.

OmJo

Overwhelming support for firing Peter Chiarelli across the universe based on my twitter timeline and this blog’s comments. I don’t see it happening. Edmonton posted a 103-point season in 2016-17, that’s going to give the general manager a lot of rope.

Could very well be unlikely, but lets not forget the situation with Gallant. Took the Panthers to a 103pt season – their first ever +100pt season – following a 91pt season, and was fired after going 11-10-1 last season. To be fair he was the coach, not the GM. And there was probably some behind-the-scenes drama that resulted in his firing, but it could definitely happen. Maybe it’s a more reasonable comparison for TMac rather than Chiarelli. Though if Chiarelli does fire TMac this season I still don’t see him coming out this season coming out of it unscathed, unless TMac’s replacement (who?) turns the ship around and we finish off like last season.

New Improved Darkness

Everyone says the curse of cyberspace is the lack of the regulatory emotional backchannel. It’s true that many insults are launched in pixels that would never be spoken face to face.

But lately I’ve started to think that there’s a second smoking gun: the curse of brevity.

Yesterday I was a bit sharp with Rex. I’m trying to write shorter. Of course I succeed, but also—as I quickly noticed—my pen gets sharper.

Noticing this got me thinking. My ideal post would be a post where every reader laughs, but no reader is confident that anyone else laughed for the same reason. Mere puns are not enough to achieve this effect. I know that you know that I know is fairly straightforward in two dimensions.

However, this confident tower of shared meaning collapses quickly enough if the author can manage to smuggle into the text a third spin. Hand any two men an IKEA BBQ console assembly guide, and see if they both hold it up the same direction, without the use of reading glasses (subtype: transparent bottle caps).

Turns out, the triple jump is damn hard to achieve from a standing start. Sometimes I’m ready by the end of the first lap. Sometimes the track coach frantically waves me around again.

So yesterday I started to mull about humour as groupthink, anti-collective humour, and jotted a few notes in my files under the title of “groupthink petard”.

Why do we like brevity? Because brevity smells like agreement. Except when it’s not. Surrounded by beautiful women with bad eyesight, brevity is levity. Lacking the same—in a dry male kiln—brevity splinters—and usually by the ass load.

In physics, there’s a contentious debate over fine-tuning.

In theoretical physics, fine-tuning is the process in which parameters of a model must be adjusted very precisely in order to agree with certain observations.

Theories requiring fine-tuning are regarded as problematic in the absence of a known mechanism to explain why the parameters happen to have precisely the observed values that they return.

The heuristic rule that parameters in a fundamental physical theory should not be too fine-tuned is called naturalness.

Explanations often invoked to resolve fine-tuning problems include natural mechanisms by which the values of the parameters may be constrained to their observed values, and the anthropic principle.

For my money, the misanthropic principle would strike closer to the mark.

In the physics of naturalness, one supposes, you would have this big fat dial associated with each fundamental physical parameter. There would perhaps be twenty or thirty such dials—like that IKEA console BBQ had you managed to finish assembly before the beer turned to bitch water.

What makes these dials “natural”, one supposes, is that you can nudge one of these dials just a bit, and the periodic table correspondingly changes just a bit. The half-life of U238 changes by a digit in the third column.

Nudge the dial a bit more, and lead becomes less stable, while uranium becomes more stable, so they kind of trade places. Gracefully. Like two glow flies passing in the night.

Nudge it even more, and the total number of stable elements goes up and down like scoring rates in the NHL. This is naturally, I suppose, what one would expect of a natural physics.

Nudge it a bit more, and the stable electron shells dance a little jig. Carbon no longer has valence four. Water’s hydrogen bond develops a limp wrist. Life as we know it has ever so gradually left the building by the giant drain in the floor. The dial itself, however, continues to exist, like some kind of grinning, parametric Cheshire cat.

Nudge it even more—using whatever Cheshire telepathy you can now manage to summon in this strange new universe—and the dial itself dissolves into rainbow farting unicorns, from whence it originally sprung. Dream over.

I wonder, has any physicist advocating naturalness ever tried to tangibly imagine such a physics?

So yesterday, Rex posits a group of people who disagreed with Chia over the summer. The converse of this is the dog who didn’t bark in the night: that no group of people disagreed with Chia over the summer. Does this pass even the barest imagination smell test?

Obviously this isn’t what he meant to imply. But brevity. It was just a little—mostly harmless—rhetorical short cut. Among friends, no harm, no foul.

But it annoyed me, so brevity returned fire. Because it was inching toward the hanging judge, and we’ve all seen this movie before.

With enough brevity, you must convict.

Here’s the thing, though. Brevity never fits during the absence of beautiful women with bad vision (bad inner vision in the case of Nicole Brown).

What you get instead is brevity warfare, conducted at ever greater lengths and quantity.

Bruce McCurdy

zatch:
*whispers* The 2002 Detroit Redwings were a better, deeper team

Good pick. I’d argue that at minimum they were the best team of the current century (so far), with the 2008 Red Wings also in picture.

jtblack

87-88 Oilers. They were worried about Calgary heading into the Playoffs, which I think brought the best out of the team. The oilers were 16 – 2 that spring. That year the Oilers had Dynamic Offense paired with Rock solid Defense.

Top 2 Lines were All WORLD.

TIKK – GRETZ – KURRI
ANDERSON – MESS – SIMPSON

How do you stop that? You don’t and Nobody could.
depth through and through

OmJo

Bruce McCurdy,

Also let’s not forget the rest of the hockey world aside from a handful of analysts and scouts listed Yakupov as the unanimous #1 pick. Had Galchenyuk not been hurt that might have been different.

Were any Oilers fans complaining about the Yakupov pick at the end of 2012-13 when he lead the team and league (rookies) in goals? And finished only -4. Ralph Krueger was a miracle worker!