Angel from Montgomery

by Lowetide

My melancholy song is “Angel from Montgomery” and I’ve talked about it before but never about why it comes to my mind from time to time. I didn’t discover the song until the 1970’s but the mental connection was formed in the 1960’s when I was a child.

My Grandfather, who I loved and he me, had an awful temper. He used to yell so loud and long I hid behind my Uncle’s bed until it stopped. I was in my 20’s before realizing I could no longer remember the sound of Grandpa’s voice when he yelled like that, but it was many years later before I let go of the feeling. My Grandpa gave me two great things from those yelling episodes: First, the overwhelming desire to get the hell away from anyone who is abusive, and second the realization of what a great man I had in my Dad.

There’s a line in “Angel from Montgomery” that talks about living with someone who could leave in the morning, work all day, come back home and still not make an effort to connect, to communicate. One of the reasons I love country music so much is that it can make a connection between something from your past that is painful to remember, and find the words to make you feel you’re not alone. There are times when I read the comments section of this blog that “Angel from Montgomery”comes to mind. Important to remember it’s just a game, with sticks and pucks, and your reality, your real life, is connected only to the point you allow it. Be well, friend.

THE ATHLETIC

The special Lowetide offer is here. Today’s story is about Peter Chiarelli’s avail in which he doubled down on not taking advantage of Connor McDavid’s final entry deal.

DIRTY WATER, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers in November 2015: 4-7-2, goal differential -9 (10 points in 13 games)
  • Oilers in November 2016: 5-9-1, goal differential -3 (11 points in 15 games)
  • Oilers in November 2017: 7-7-1, goal differential -3

Well the Oilers are going to get at least 15 points out of the month and that’s more than the previous two seasons. Even if you consider games played, this has been the most productive November since Todd McLellan arrived.

AFTER 25, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers 15-16: 8-15-2, goal differential -16
  • Oilers 16-17: 13-10-2, goal differential +10
  • Oilers 17-18: 10-13-2, goal differential -13

This month has been a lot about bewilderment, anger, confusion, rage, and for much of last night, melancholy. There was a camera shot of Todd McLellan late in the third period with the score 2-1 Arizona, and the SN producer held it a long time, too long—except that it was perfect drama. I cannot imagine the pressure Edmonton’s coaching staff is under, I was pleased things went their way.

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 2-3-0)
  • At home to: Arizona, Toronto (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 1-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 7-7-2, 16 points in 16 games 
  • Current results: 7-7-1, 15 points in 15 games

Huh. Allow me a ‘puffy shirt moment’ as my original prediction for the month is going to be pretty damned close to the actual November record. I tried patting myself on the back and now have at least one thing in a sling, but am still pleased.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Nurse-Larsson were 23-16 in 18:40 together, 0-1 GF 5×5. Darnell didn’t get over in time for the last point-blank chance to go in, but the pairing spent much of the evening on the good side of the puck. Went 11-6 against Perlini-Stepan-Rieder. That’s a good line, they were scoreless. Nurse transporting really helps this team, still needs to get the puck transitioned to a forward a-sap.
  • Klefbom-Benning went 15-10 in 13:49 together, Benning had a weird night away from Oscar. Went 1-5 with Russell and scored, went 4-2 and the team scored. Benning  went 4-10 against Domi-Dvorak-Fischer, 7-2 against the Keller line. Oscar is starting to build it back now, some good games in a row.
  • Russell-Auvitu were an adventure, it’s like the opponents have a super ball or a fire hose. Holy lord. Went 11-21, 2-8 in HDSC’s and 8-13 against Keller-Richardson-Strome. Auvitu is a rover.
  • Cam Talbot stopped 29 of 31, .935.
  • NaturalStatTrick and NHL.com.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

  • Pakarinen-Letestu-Kassian went 5-5 and got the Oilers on the score sheet. Kassian on a breakaway looks like a man shot out of a cannon. That was a big goal. If Boston-Arizona ends up being a turning point in the season, remember the two regulation goals along with the Nuge event.
  • Caggiula-Draisaitl-Strome went 16-11 and 3-2 in HDSC’s. Went 9-5 against Perlini-Stepan-Rieder and 6-3 against OEL. I like this line, LD-Strome have chem. Leon seemed to be laboring at times.
  • Maroon-Nuge-Slepyshev went 10-16 and 1-1 GF. Got caved in HDSC’s (0-4 at 5×5) and were 4-10 against Domi-Dvorak-Fischer. Nuge’s goal was absolute fire, I loved it! Music! Maroon’s early game pass to his own slot on an opponent’s stick surprised everyone but Cam Talbot who saved him.
  • Lucic-McDavid-Cammalleri went 10-12 together and 2-4 in the dangers. No way McDavid should be playing with wingers who produce 2-4. No chancey, Mr. Whalen. Went 2-8 against OEL (man he is good) and 4-9 against Keller-Richardson-Strome. Four giveaways by 97, he gave at least two gifts to 27 who couldn’t cash. I know you want unicorns, I want McDavid setting up the best available.

TRADES

  • Pierre Lebrun: “He’s been working the phones like crazy. I talked to a GM today who said no one is busier and as active as Peter Chiarelli.” Source

Based on PC’s bringing up the name Cam Talbot (unsolicited!) yesterday, I’d say the team is in the market for a goalie. For me, Talbot should correct and I’d aggressively pursue a RHD who can skate plus move the puck, along with a scoring winger for 97.

Benson is now 14gp, 9-12-21 for the season (NHLE: 35.7) and what’s more important he’s playing a lot and we haven’t heard about any injury issues. With his past issues, important to remember the GP total is the most important stat.

Oilers prospect goalies were in a collective slump for some time this season, but they’re coming on now and Skinner is joining the party. I’ll have my 11-20 Winter Prospect list up at The Athletic in the next day or so, Nick Ellis (No. 10) is the only goalie listed so far.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A fabulous show because of great guests on the way today, TSN1260 beginning at 10. Scheduled to appear:

  • Darcy McLeod, Because Oilers. Last night, PC’s presser, who should they target?
  • Jon Abbott, TSN Vancouver. The Canucks are good!
  • Corey Pronman, The Athletic. Corey’s recent review of the 2015 draft is compelling and we’ll talk about the crop this year.
  • Josh Lewenberg, TSN Toronto. Raptors update!

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

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OriginalPouzar

That was not a great game last night and a every uneven performance from team, however, at the end of the day, they got two points.

Yup, they got a bit lucky with posts and such but how many times this year have the Oilers hit a couple of posts in a close game?

Talbot played decently but didn’t steal the win and McDavid got no points and they still won.

Last time they won without McDavid getting any points was last February (a 1-0 OT victory).

Some poor performances from the likes of Drai and Maroon but some nice performances from the likes of Kassian and the 2nd pairing.

Can’t wait until Thursday.

vinotintazo

Any of you remember Nurse’s Back check near the end of the game where he blew past everyone?
I’m impressed by this kid this season. Wowzers

frjohnk

Strome looks better as a winger with Drai than as a center. He reminds me of Ganger as a center when placed down the middle

meanashell11

No chancey, Mr. Whelan!

Been a long time since I heard that. My kids hear me say it all the time but they have no context!

Speaking of context, great song. Absolutely loved it.

I thought the game last night was very choppy. Oilers could not get any flow going as Ari were like pinballs. I can now see why Ari are so bad. But the Oil survived and Nuge saved the day. Good enough for me.

Jethro Tull

And you stay well, LT.

SHILL83

19-97-91
27-29-58
18-93-98
16-55-44
McD needs some faster wingers. Was boring to watch him out there with 13 and 27. And with McD on the ice it should never be boring.

25-6
77-83
4-81

PP1
98-29-27
77-97
Let McD try and get the pass through the seem and feed JP with the one timer.
Have Lucic park his ass in front of the net and just screen the goalie!
Teams have to focus on 29 and 97 with there passing and with that try and work the Capitals style PP and let JP just hammer that puck.

PP2
18-93-19
83-58
Let Nuge try and feed the pass across to Strome for a one timer.
Have Maroon screen the goalie.
Also can look at setting up Slepy for the shot also.

Jaxon

Why does the fastest player in the NHL have the two slowest linemates (is Cammalleri faster than Strome?) on the team? I’d like to see McDavid with Slepyshev or Caggiula on the left, and Kassian or Puljujarvi on the right for a few games to give them a chance to find chemistry. I think Kassian has just as much skill as Maroon and Lucic, but because of his past (off ice problems) he’s probably never really had that opportunity. Don’t forget he was drafted 13th overall. I also think Slepyshev has been handled about as poorly as any prospect (EDIT: prior to joining the Oilers). He was once a phenom in Russia (KHL #1 overall) who has been been put in poor situations to thrive since he was 15 years old (already playing against 40 yr old profesisonals). I think he might be a late bloomer because of it and putting him with McDavid might boost his confidence with the puck and unlock his scoring potential. If MacLellan unlocked those two players as bonafide scorers it would be huge for the team’s depth and cap issues.

Kinger_Oil.redux

– Your yelling Grandpa story no doubt resonates with a lot of us who endured family members with volcanic tempers…

– Your RHD thing is interesting. Although Washington likely doesn’t need another scoring winger, a Maroon for Carlson type scenario would be ideal: expiring contracts on both sides, and not sure if they re-sign with their respective teams…

– Now RHD are worth waaaay more than scoring W, so don’t know what else you’d have to give up *Ducks*

LT,

Just going to leave this here for you. You rock that puffy shirt, good sir! Wear it with pride!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRER1Rbg9_o

frjohnk

Jaxon: Why does the fastest player in the NHL have the two slowest linemates (is Cammalleri faster than Strome?) on the team?

Oilers want to make it fair for the opposition?

Pouzar

Maroon-Nuge-Slepyshev fancies didn’t match the eye to me as I guess they need to better translate that cycle game to better chances but I like what they did. Slepy is a player and I’ll take that to my grave!

OriginalPouzar

I assume that Auvitu’s HDCs were similar to Russell’s?

OriginalPouzar

Letestu did have a decent game – I give credence to his low ES TOI.

We know (and he’s said) that he plays his best when his minutes aren’t too high.

OriginalPouzar

I really likes Strome’s offensive game by eye last night – he’s more confident with the puck and he’s making plays and is dangerous at times.

He is showing some skill now.

OriginalPouzar

I listened to Chiarelli speak quite a bit yesterday (missed him on Conan last night and Regis this morning though).

Yes, he did mention Talbot’s game quite a bit as one of the factors why we have had a tough start to the year. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that he was throwing him under the bus but a definite acknowledgement of under-performance this year vis-a-vis expectations.

I never got the vibe that it meant he was looking to acquire a tender. I mean, he isn’t going to acquire a starter replacement is he?

Are you thinking a more proven back-up?

OriginalPouzar

I’ve been following all our prospects in the CHL closely and both Wells and Skinner had struggled for 2-4 weeks. They both have bounced back over the last week which is great to see.

LT, what are your thoughts on Shane Starrett’s future with the organization?

OriginalPouzar

vinotintazo:
Any of you remember Nurse’s Back check near the end of the game where he blew past everyone?
I’m impressed by this kid this season.Wowzers

I do remember that actually – it looked like the Coyotes were going to have a 2 on 1 – I think it was Keller (or maybe Domi) with the puck and Nurse zoomed back to position with relative ease.

If we are thinking of the same play.

vinotintazo

OriginalPouzar: I do remember that actually – it looked like the Coyotes were going to have a 2 on 1 – I think it was Keller (or maybe Domi) with the puck and Nurse zoomed back to position with relative ease.

If we are thinking of the same play.

Yep thats the one.

OriginalPouzar

With respect to the lines for next game, I think there is an easy and obvious change that results in the following:

19-97-98
27-93-58
91-29-18
13-55-44

Given it was an uneven performance last night and Todd did blend it up a bit in the third period, I think an argument can be made for some tweaks to a winning lineup.

As per the third period, Cammy was demoted to the fourth line and I think he can stay there for the next game – Pak comes out of the lineup and JP is re-inserted in to Cammy’s former spot at 1RW.

Its almost a no-brainer to me.

dustrock

It is laughable that the best player in the world has Lucic and Cammalleri as his wingers.

Why do I continue to see these roster moves as McLellan trolling Chiarelli?

“He thinks there’s no problem with our team speed? I’ll show him!”

fishman

Getting 2 pts last night was awesome. So why was I left feeling this team is again wandering in the wilderness?? Hearing Peter was desperately looking to make a trade is downright scary. What will he give up and what will it bring back?(please not Nuge) Hopefully it was first game back after an eastern trip, heavy legs, flu hangover and that they come out flying against the Leafs (they better or it could be embarrassing).

We could really use a couple of young, fast skilled wingers as well as a couple of D that can move the puck. That is really too much to hope for at this point in the season. If nothing else get Connor better (faster) wingers!

OriginalPouzar

fishman:

We could really use a couple of young, fast skilled wingers as well as a couple of D that can move the puck. That is really too much to hope for at this point in the season. If nothing else get Connor better (faster) wingers!

How about:

1) Jesse Puljijarvi

2) Andrej Sekera

???

JimmyV1965

Is Khaira hurt? I don’t understand why he’s not in the lineup. He was playing well.

texmex

What would it take to get Jonathan Marchessault out of LV? He’s a UFA at the end of the year though. I think he’d look good on McDavid’s RW.

Maroon and a 2nd? Caggs and a 2nd?

It’s just a pipe dream I know.

fishman

OriginalPouzar:
With respect to the lines for next game, I think there is an easy and obvious change that results in the following:

19-97-98
27-93-58
91-29-18
13-55-44

Given it was an uneven performance last night and Todd did blend it up a bit in the third period, I think an argument can be made for some tweaks to a winning lineup.

As per the third period, Cammy was demoted to the fourth line and I think he can stay there for the next game – Pak comes out of the lineup and JP is re-inserted in to Cammy’s former spot at 1RW.

Its almost a no-brainer to me.

Given what we have I like that line up. Make the best of what you have. Hope Todd reads this blog!

Pouzar

texmex:
What would it take to get Jonathan Marchessault out of LV?

1st rd pick. Protected.

Bruce McCurdy

JimmyV1965,

Khaira has a lower body injury. Last week he had an upper body injury.

He joins Slepyshev & Caggiula in the Department of Injury Prone Young Wingers. It’s depressing

JimmyV1965

I really think JP should be dumped in the minors and forgotten about. Bring him up when he is dominating at that level or the team is playing well. He’s not going to solve any problems here and we shouldn’t expect him to. We keep doing the same thing with thes prospects and expecting different results.

speeds

What EDM does with Talbot is interesting to me, provided his play recovers and he can return real value. Whats an extension cost, how long would you want to sign him?

I dont know if moving him is necessarily a terrible idea if you prob dont want to re-sign him based on contract? Talbot is in year 2 of a 3 year extension at 4.17M AAV, UFA in summer 2019 at age 32 (turns 32 that summer). how many years would you want to commit to him at that age, for how much?

FWIW, I also wouldnt want to see EDM trade for Rask, for some similar, related but not identical reasons.

JimmyV1965

Bruce McCurdy:
JimmyV1965,

Khaira has a lower body injury. Last week he had an upper body injury.

He joins Slepyshev & Caggiula in the Department of Injury Prone Young Wingers. It’s depressing

Thanks BM. Of course he’s hurt.

JimmyV1965

speeds:
What EDM does with Talbot is interesting to me, provided his play recovers and he can return real value. Whats an extension cost, how long would you want to sign him?

I dont know if moving him is necessarily a terrible idea if you prob dont want to re-sign him based on contract? Talbot is in year 2 of a 3 year extension at 4.17M AAV, UFA in summer 2019 at age 32 (turns 32 that summer).how many years would you want to commit to him at that age, for how much?

FWIW, I also wouldnt want to see EDM trade for Rask, for some similar, related but not identical reasons.

Regardless of how Talbot plays in the next couple years, that contract has the potential to be very dangerous. 32 usually marks the beginning of the end for goalies.

Woodguy v2.0

Games back of Wild Card spot (held by CGY, CHI,DAL:

Wildcard 0
COL -1
MIN -2
VAN -2
ANA -3
EDM -6
ARI -14

Games back of 3rd place in Pacific (held by SJS)
SJS 0
CGY -2
COL -3
VAN -4
ANA -5
EDM -8
ARI -16

EDM went 35-16-7 after November last year.

If they have that identical points percentage again (assuming a loss tomorrow) that’s 96 points.

frjohnk

speeds:
What EDM does with Talbot is interesting to me, provided his play recovers and he can return real value. Whats an extension cost, how long would you want to sign him?

I dont know if moving him is necessarily a terrible idea if you prob dont want to re-sign him based on contract? Talbot is in year 2 of a 3 year extension at 4.17M AAV, UFA in summer 2019 at age 32 (turns 32 that summer).how many years would you want to commit to him at that age, for how much?

FWIW, I also wouldnt want to see EDM trade for Rask, for some similar, related but not identical reasons.

Moving forward the goalie issue is something to be concerned about
Edmonton is not a goalie factory but a goalie graveyard.
We have a couple of prospects but really nothing that would can count on becoming a number 1 goalie in the next couple of years.

Is Talbot the guy we run with? If its the Talbot of last year, Id say yes, but then the question as you are alluding to, is how far of a runway do we have with Talbot in the next contract? How much will Chia pay him and for how much term?

If its no, we are out of the playoffs this year and we have need spend some more currency (prospect and or picks) to get someone who can get the job done next fall. Get that bet wrong and…..

frjohnk

JimmyV1965: Regardless of how Talbot plays in the next couple years, that contract has the potential to be very dangerous. 32 usually marks the beginning of the end for goalies.

We have talked about cap hell in the future but that is with our 2 goalies making only about $5M between them. Imagine a cap hell with a Dallas Stars goalie sitiuation of last year.

I think Talbot is in the Craig Anderson tier of goalies.
Also he should have less wear and tear than many others due to his late blossoming as a starter. However the Oilers are running him into the ground because TMc does not trust Brossoit and Chia won’t get him a better backup.

On the whole I would probably go 3yrs x 5m on an extesion. No more.

OriginalPouzar

JimmyV1965:
Is Khaira hurt? I don’t understand why he’s not in the lineup. He was playing well.

Yes, he has a lower body injury (I believe a groin).

speeds

frjohnk:
Is Talbot the guy we run with?If its the Talbot of last year, Id say yes, but then the question as you are alluding to, is how far of a runway do we have with Talbot in the next contract?How much will Chia pay him and for how much term?

If its no, we are out of the playoffs this year and we have need spend some more currency (prospect and or picks) to get someone who can get the job done next fall.Get that bet wrong and…..

One can get that bet wrong by keeping Talbot or trading him. If EDM is looking like they’ll miss, but Talbot recovers, has value and will entertain a trade (given a scenario where he knows EDM wont re-sign him for what he is looking for but an acquiring team seems willing to look at an extension in te summer at terms more or less in his range, certainly might look at it) , it makes sense to at least consider it?

McSorley33

Pierre Lebrun: “He’s been working the phones like crazy. I talked to a GM today who said no one is busier and as active as Peter Chiarelli.” Source
***********************************************************************************************************

Garth Snow on line 1 Mr. Chiarelli….

Georges

Cammalleri on the first line. JP in the press box. Sigh.

Not sure if anyone noticed but Talbot had a fantastic game last night.

jtblack

**Pursue an offensive RHD and Scoring Winger **

Offensive RHD has been on the list since 2015 hire. This team does not win Stanley without one

Winger help coming but 1 or 2 yrs away Hope he doesnt pay too much to bring one in now.

Some say Edm has $12 Mil in cap space. But when Connors contract kicks in that means we only have about $3 Mil …. Is this correct?

Cassandra

I was at the game last night. Other than overtime it was awful all the way through for both teams. That was as bad a hockey game as I’ve ever seen. Neither team (especially the Oilers) could complete even simple passes.

One thing that stands out live is the cause of score effects Arizona didn’t try and score in the third period. The puck was never in the Oilers zone, not because the Oilers were good, or they “woke up,” but because Arizona stopped trying to enter the zone.

It recalls the old saying about football. “The only thing the prevent defense does is prevent you from winning.”

Score effects are real, dramatic, and intentional.

SHILL83

Also if the oilers trade for another defenseman and he is a RHD.
77-6
2-83/??
4-??/83

I would love to see 25 get a chance to play winger with McD. The guy doesn’t have the best offensive instincts, but he can skate very well. He could help cover the defensive side to allow McD to play a bit more offensive too. Then all those rush and dumps that Nurse does he could actually skate the puck in and not instantly rush out of the zone to be back into his position. Would be interesting to see especially if another dman is acquired. TMc did play burns as a forward so he has done it in the past. It’s not nearly as hard to teach offensive mind then it is to teach defensive and nurse did put up a decent amount of points in jr hockey.

flea

Lasts nights game reminded me a lot of some of the hockey they played last year. It was pretty sloppy but they ground out the win. The third period was entertaining. The Coyotes play a brutal style of hockey, but it is effective, especially against a slower team like the Oilers.

Ideal scenario this week, Edmonton wakes up and beats Toronto on Thursday, a pissed off Arizona squad defeats Calgary on Thursday, and Edmonton rolls into Calgary Saturday night with a chance to get within 1 point with a regulation win.

Pouzar

I wonder if Sergei Zubov is contemplating a comeback?

OriginalPouzar

SHILL83:
Also if the oilers trade for another defenseman and he is a RHD.
77-6
2-83/??
4-??/83

I would love to see 25 get a chance to play winger with McD. The guy doesn’t have the best offensive instincts, but he can skate very well. He could help cover the defensive side to allow McD to play a bit more offensive too. Then all those rush and dumps that Nurse does he could actually skate the puck in and not instantly rush out of the zone to be back into his position. Would be interesting to see especially if another dman is acquired. TMc did play burns as a forward so he has done it in the past. It’s not nearly as hard to teach offensive mind then it is to teach defensive and nurse did put up a decent amount of points in jr hockey.

Wait a second, is the suggestion that Darnell Nurse play wing on the 1st line?

Woogie63

Dear Todd

When Rej is back to work can we see this line up for 5 games?

91-97-98
27-93-58
19-29-18
16-55-44

25-6
77-2
4-83

33
1

frjohnk

Georges: Not sure if anyone noticed but Talbot had a fantastic game last night.

yes he did

frjohnk

speeds: If EDM is looking like they’ll miss, but Talbot recovers, has value and will entertain a trade

But if Talbot recovers, the minute we trade him we are looking for his replacement. We dont have anybody ready to step up. By trading him for magic beans or a prospect we just end up creating another hole.

Cassandra

frjohnk: But if Talbot recovers, the minute we trade him we are looking for his replacement.We dont have anybody ready to step up.By trading him for magic beans or a prospect we just end up creating another hole.

The Talbot problem is worse than that. What do you do with his next contract?

If he rebounds, as you say, the Oilers need him. But if he rebounds, he is also going to command a significant salary, for a player that is not young and whose track record is not without blemishes.

So this team absolutely needs Talbot to play well, but can’t really afford him if he does.

I think they need to find the next Talbot and trade this one.

who

SHILL83:
Also if the oilers trade for another defenseman and he is a RHD.
77-6
2-83/??
4-??/83

I would love to see 25 get a chance to play winger with McD. The guy doesn’t have the best offensive instincts, but he can skate very well. He could help cover the defensive side to allow McD to play a bit more offensive too. Then all those rush and dumps that Nurse does he could actually skate the puck in and not instantly rush out of the zone to be back into his position. Would be interesting to see especially if another dman is acquired. TMc did play burns as a forward so he has done it in the past. It’s not nearly as hard to teach offensive mind then it is to teach defensive and nurse did put up a decent amount of points in jr hockey.

Seriously!
Shouldn’t even respond to this but it’s so bizarre I just have to.
That would be your big move? Nurse on Macdavids left wing? You would move our first pairing left dman to left wing?