The promise of youth is intoxicating but soon gives way to building a life and pushing toward a new tomorrow. For the Edmonton Oilers, who drafted Darnell Nurse, Leon Draisaitl, Connor McDavid, Jesse Puljujarvi and Kailer Yamamoto in consecutive drafts, the future looks bright. The problem right now? Right now.
We went a little crazy with the content yesterday and last night, there was so much to write about we simply couldn’t stop! The special Lowetide offer is here. Check it out!
- New Lowetide: Nadir’s Raiders
- New Lowetide: Sail on, Ziyat Paigin
- Lowetide: Analyzing the Mike Cammalleri trade.
- Lowetide: Plenty to be gained from a losing season, but it takes some balls.
- Lowetide: Oilers No. 1 Prospect Winter 2017: Kailer Yamamoto
- Lowetide: Oilers No. 2 Prospect Winter 2017: Jesse Puljujarvi
- Lowetide: Oilers No. 3 Prospect Winter 2017: Ethan Bear
- Lowetide: Oilers No. 4 Prospect Winter 2017: Caleb Jones
- Lowetide: Oilers No. 5 Prospect Winter 2017: Tyler Benson
- Lowetide: Oilers No. 6 Prospect Winter 2017: Kirill Maksimov
- Lowetide: Oilers No. 7 Prospect Winter 2017: Ostap Safin
- Lowetide: Peter Chiarelli’s trades.
- Special Offer
SNOWBLIND FRIEND,YEAR OVER YEAR
- Oilers in November 2015: 3-6-2, goal differential -6
- Oilers in November 2016: 4-6-1, goal differential -3
- Oilers in November 2017: 4-6-1, goal differential -8
Edmonton beat Pittsburgh 3-2 in a shootout November 28, 2015 and were 6-3 winners over Colorado one year later. I swear this team was on track for a reasonable November on Friday morning. This is a helluva flu.
AFTER 21, YEAR OVER YEAR
- Oilers 15-16: 7-13-1, goal differential -9
- Oilers 16-17: 12-8-1, goal differential +10
- Oilers 17-18: 7-12-2, goal differential -18
It was a 4-1 loss to Carolina in 2015, a 3-2 shootout loss to Arizona one year ago. There isn’t much to say, beyond the fact that on this trajectory, the Oilers will reach garbage bag day with a final record of 27-47-8. A lot of NHL careers are going to end if this holds. The 2009-10 ended the NHL careers of Robert Nilsson, Marc Pouliot, Ryan Stone, Jeff Deslauriers. Playing on a bad team costs a player his reputation, can’t imagine what playing on a team that goes from 103 points to 62 points does for some of these fringe players.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM NOVEMBER
- At home to:
Pittsburgh, New Jersey, Detroit (Expected: 2-1-0) (Actual 1-2-0)
- On the road to:
NYI, New Jersey, NYR, Washington(Expected: 1-2-1) (Actual: 2-1-1)
- At home to:
Vegas, St. Louis(Expected 1-1-0) (Actual: 1-1-0)
- On the road to:
Dallas, St. Louis, Detroit, Buffalo, Boston (Expected 2-2-1) (Actual 0-2-0)
- 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: 4-6-1, nine points in 11 games
I see two very winnable (Buffalo, Arizona) games here, but if the Oilers play like they did last night we might not see a win until December. Very disappointing performance.
DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT
- Nurse-Larsson went 16-19 together and 1-2 5×5 GF. Larsson is a consistent and intelligent defender, he was the culprit on two. Larsson was very poor. Nurse scored a nice goal long after the result was known, slow to cover numerous times.
- Klefbom-Benning went 4-9 together, Oscar-Larsson went 3-6 together and 0-2 in GF. I told you Larsson had a bad night! Benning was in a fight, that explains some of his low TOI, don’t know what else happened. Oscar is not at his confident best and so is left betwixt and between a lot.
- Russell-Gryba went 6-11 and 2-1 in GF together. Russell made a fantastic pass to Leon for his goal. I know it was after the game was over, but that was nice. Russell would be my pick for top defender.
- Cam Talbot made one save on three shots (.333) and Laurent Brossoit stopped 31 of 37, .838. Lordy. I believe in Cam Talbot.
- Natural Stat Trick and NHL.com.
- Khaira-Nuge-Draisaitl looked as good as anyone, going 5-4 together (0-1 GF). Nuge-Leon 12-14, 2-2 GF. The goals for came after the west was won, so let’s not give out any gold stars.
- Cammalleri-Letestu-Kassian went 4-8 together, 0-1 GF. They were not the reason for this loss but for three veterans this group were in the wrong spot frequently. Cammalleri was 1-6 early with Strome-Puljujuarvi so got moved down the lineup.
- Maroon-Strome-Puljujarvi went 5-8 together, 0-1 GF. Maroon-Puljujarvi were 7-6 together, it took me some time to find a positive (and it ain’t much).
- Lucic-McDavid-Caggiula went 6-15 (Caggiula, 1-3 GF) and 7-11 (Lucic 1-2 GF). Fabulous goal, but 4-10 against Schenn-Schwartz-Tarasenko (Blues top line went 3-1 GF against McDavid line). McDavid played less than Ryan Strome, suggesting the coach pulled the chute early and that 97 is still not 100 percent.
WHAT IS POSITIVE?
The possession numbers remain a positive, and if you believe in those numbers (I do) regression should involve more goals, more stops, more wins.
- Corsi for 5×5: 54.48 (No. 2 in NHL)
- Fenwick for 5×5: 54.29 (No. 2 in NHL)
- Shots for 5×5: 52.98 (No. 6 in NHL)
- Goals for 5×5: 42.50 (No. 27 in NHL)
- Scoring chances for 5×5: 54.31 (No. 2 in NHL)
- HD Scoring chances for 5×5: 53.46 (No. 6)
- Natural Stat Trick
I believe in those numbers, that’s a fact. Having said that, we have seen teams with strong shot metrics miss the playoffs in past seasons (LAK) and the Oilers are on the way to doing it again. Tyler Dellow on twitter was riffing on the idea of Darnell Nurse ‘gaming the Corsi’ as a theory (Note: he did not say it was so) and maybe that’s part of it.
I wrote at The Athletic last night about keeping the powder dry and for me it makes a lot of sense. I know you want to fire Peter Chiarelli but we’re 21 games into the season. I know you want Todd McLellan ousted, but we’re 25 percent through the piece and the won-loss doesn’t rhyme with the possession numbers.
Feel free to tell me I’m crazy or a fraud, but until we figure out what’s going on with these possession numbers I’m not going to budge. On the day he was fired, Dallas Eakins’ Edmonton Oilers had a 5×5 Corsi for % of 50.9. History teaches us that, over time, good possession teams win more than they lose. There are always (famous) outliers but that’s a fact. History also tells us that once you fire the general manager, he’s going to rebuild and reload and make the team in his own image. Time’s a wastin’.
My question for you, dear reader, is this: Is the won-loss record of the Edmonton Oilers obscuring a pretty good hockey team? If so, why are you in such an all fire hurry to fire Peter Chiarelli and or Todd McLellan? Wouldn’t you rather wait until the offseason and proceed with an organized plan that gives you the largest pool of talent from which to choose?
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10 this morning, TSN 1260. We have a bunch going on and we’re in a quick hurry to get there. Scheduled to appear:
- Darcy McLeod, Because Oilers. Last night’s game, defensive pairings, trades, what the hell is going on out here?
- Simon Boisvert, Prospect Insider. Thoughts on Jesse Puljujarvi six games into his NHL season, plus is there anyone in Bakersfield who can help?
- Ansar Khan, MLive.com. The Detroit Red Wings are the Oilers opposition tonight, how are things in Motown?
- Bob Nightingale, USA Today. It’s a bad day for the Atlanta Braves.
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!