That’s Entertainment

by Lowetide

I’m not absolutely certain Darnell Nurse will enjoy another ‘three goals and four points in two games’ streak in his career but the first one is in the books and came in a timely fashion for the franchise. Just days away from the season’s death rattle, a four-point weekend for Edmonton has the gathered healthcare workers plugging the monitor back in and beginning the vigil anew.

 THE ATHLETIC

Great offer! Includes a free 7-day trial so you can try The Athletic on for size free and see if they enjoy the in-depth, ad-free coverage on the site. If you don’t feel it’s worth the $4.49/month, cancel anytime during trial before getting charged. Offer is here.

 RED RUM, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • January 2016: 3-2-2, goal differential -3 (8 points)
  • January 2017: 4-3-0, goal differential -3 (8 points)
  • January 2018: 3-4-0, goal differential -10 (6 points)

That was an exciting win in Vegas, in front of a home crowd no less. You know what this means, right? Annual road trip! Each January 13, the Oilers fan base must fly to the game destination to serenade 97 with a rousing version of ‘Happy Birthday’. It is written, so it must be done. Take back the empties.

AFTER 46, YEAR OVER

  • Oilers 15-16: 18-23-5, goal differential -26 (41 points)
  • Oilers 16-17: 24-15-7, goal differential +9 (55 points)
  • Oilers 17-18: 20-23-3, goal differential -21 (43 points)
When The Athletic asked me to write the Person of the Year (Edmonton) story about McDavid I was honored to do it. In that article, I wrote about the relationship this city has with its athletes, something that grows as the time goes. If you’re looking for a reason 6,000 Edmontonians traveled to Sin City to sing to their hockey icon, this is it:
  • The Athletic: There is a love of the Edmonton Oilers that borders on religion, and a genuine affection toward players who arrive from elsewhere and adopt Edmonton as “home.” It is the single biggest reason why Connor McDavid’s decision to sign an 8-year deal with the Oilers sealed his future in this northern outpost and is the de facto news story of the year in Edmonton. McDavid’s commitment means as much to its citizens as his incredible talent. It’s a bond similar to the one formed decades ago with the likes of Wayne Gretzky, Kevin Lowe and Craig MacTavish. It is a unique facet of this community.

 WHAT TO EXPECT FROM DECEMBER

  • At home to: Los Angeles, Anaheim (Expected 0-1-1) (Actual 1-1-0)
  • On the road to: Dallas, Chicago, Nashville, Arizona, Vegas (Expected 2-2-1) (Actual 2-3-0)
  • At home to: Vancouver, Buffalo, Calgary (Expected 2-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 4-4-2, 10 points in 10 games
  • Current results: 3-4-0, six points in seven games

What a strange month. The Oilers are actually fair close to being on track for my projections, but the way the team arrived at this point is highly unlikely. Why does the road hold such appeal? Should the team park themselves at the Red Deer Lodge for all home games? Weird. Real weird.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Klefbom-Benning were 9-10 in 10:49, 1-0 in GF, no HD’s but 7-3 in scoring chances. I don’t ordinarily list them, because scoring chances often coincide with 97 time-on-ice. Went 6-2 in 6:36 against the top LV line (Smith-Karlsson-Marchessault). Like this pairing, Oscar’s going to do good things after the AS break.
  • Nurse-Larsson are basking in the glow of the Nurse photonic  cannon. Four goals in two games for any player is impressive, Nurse went into the weekend with 10 career goals. Went 6-9 in 10:36 (McLellan rotated top two pairings equally), 1-0 GF and 3-0 in HD’s. Were 1-4 against Neal-Haula-Perron, a slippery line for sure. Nurse continues to show up in good places, to move the chains in terms of established levels. He still has some ways to go as a player, the mistakes of youth are still on display. That said, we are seeing him emerge on another level in real time, or at least we are seeing that possibility that has yet to be established. Exciting development.
  • Sekera-Russell were 5-18 in 8:48, it was a firing squad out there. Lordy. Pair were 0-2 in GF and 0-3 HDSC’s. I think Russell boxed himself out on the first goal, Sekera was a day late on the second goal. I mentioned they would have trouble if they stayed together, that’s not exactly science talking. Went 1-9 against Neal-Haula-Perron, 2-7 against Smith-Karlsson-Marchessault, it really was a giant marchessault. That pairing needs to split.
  • Cam Talbot stopped 34 of 36, .944.
  • NaturalStatTrick and NHL.com.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

  • Khaira-Letestu-Kassian went 4-4 (Kassian) and 1-4 (Khaira) as players moved around after the Nuge injury. Kassian isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but I thought he used his wheels very well, especially on the PK, and forechecked with abandon. Letestu had a takeaway, and a shot on goal, he’s in an area of the season where not much is happening for him.
  • Cammalleri-Strome-Kassian went 8-9 (Cammalleri) and 0-5 (Kassian) while Drake Caggiula (3-4) moved into a feature role. I like Cammalleri’s game, he’s a smart player who gives the team some genuine skill on the bottom 6F. I would not object to the club signing him for next season. Zack Kassian is a personal favorite, I’d bring him back, too. When he’s playing the hockey, he is effective.
  • Maroon-McDavid-Draisaitl went 8-15 (Maroon), 7-13 (Draisaitl) and 2-5 (Caggiula) formed a hodge-podge No. 1 line on the night, and the offense flowed. McDavid was fabulous, running out of adjectives to describe this man. He almost got walloped in the neutral zone, suicide pass put him in a tough spot. In a moment that offers us some insight into the player, 97 appeared to have eyes in the back of his head, a sixth sense that allowed him to completely avoid danger. Do we know about his eyesight, range of vision? Does he have some kind of ‘Michael Phelps has gills!’ panorama view of the world?
  • Lucic-Nuge-Puljujarvi went 0-6 (Lucic) and 1-8 (Puljujarvi) in the discouraging portion of the game. Nuge got hurt, Lucic got cut and Puljujarvi is lost in the supermarket. I am telling you, this is one of the most important bullet points on the season. JP is there, right there, but has been fading for some time and needs to play on another line to get jumpstarted. Will the coach break up the McDavid-Leon duo?

LAST NIGHT

The formula one year ago was McDavid rains down blows and Talbot stops everything. Last night we saw it, and something more. Two pairings found a way to move the puck up the ice, the third one stood out in a bad way (and that’s a good thing, obviously needs a fix). The club needs to score goals when 97 isn’t on the ice and that remains a problem. Drake Caggiula stepped up and had a nice second half of the game, that’s what this team needs and requires from a second line beyond McDavid’s trio.

THIS WEEK

I’ll be writing about the team meetings and the draft this week, plus procurement, Darnell Nurse and his role moving forward, and the goalies across the Oilers universe.

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New Improved Darkness

Cassandra: Spector has neither intelligence nor integrity.

Somehow Specter is a dab hand at wrong-footing every second story in the first paragraph. He then tries to skate himself out of it, every so often almost succeeding.

He’s never been my favourite, but I didn’t consign him to purgatory until he wrong-footed a couple of stories over the line. Too often he strays too close to lines where there’s little forgiveness.

He seems to think that every story is better if it begins with a spoonful of Darcy Tucker. Specter is the kind of guy who would take a penalty shot with his laces dangling free on one skate—having noticed that against many mesmerized goaltenders, the technique actually works (though not for a good reason …)

Milan Lucic wakes from slumber to further Bruinization of Oilers — 21 January 2017

There was a time, not so long ago, when the Edmonton Oilers simply couldn’t handle a game like this one. And they knew it.

If a visiting team arrived in ill humour, threw a few hits and put some gloves in some faces, the home team simply packed ‘er in. Slinked off in search of ice, they did, so the other team’s post-game celebration beers would be properly chilled.

There are no secrets in the National Hockey League. Everyone inside the game knew it. The Oilers were too small and not brave enough. A bunch of sweethearts, with little belief in each other, a poor sense of team, and outside a slugger on the fourth line, absolutely zero team toughness.

One can only learn to write this way on a playground, and not a nice playground, at that.

godot10

Georges:
Here’s a look at how many seasons SCF head coaches have been with their teams before getting the team to the Finals:

05-06 Laviolette (2), MacTavish (5)
06-07 Carlyle (2), Murray (2)
07-08 Babcock (3), Therrien (3)
08-09 Bylsma (1), Babcock (4)
09-10 Quenneville (2), Laviolette (1)
10-11 Julien (4), Vigneault (5)
11-12 Sutter (1), DeBoer (1)
12-13 Quenneville (5), Julien (6)
13-14 Sutter (3), Vigneault (1)
14-15 Quenneville (7), Cooper (3)
15-16 Sullivan (1), DeBoer (1)
16-17 Sullivan (2), Laviolette (3)

If you’re going to get your team to the Finals, you’re likely going to do it in the first 3 years of your tenure. If you do it after 3 years, it’s an even bet that you’ve already taken them there.

MacTavish (5), Julien (4), and Vigneault (5) got their teams to the Finals for the first time more than 3 years into their tenure.

Here’s MacTavish’s track record with his team leading up to the Finals appearance.
Season, Pts
00-01, 93
01-02, 92
02-03, 92
03-04, 89
05-06, 95 (Finals)

Julien
Season, Pts
07-08, 94
08-09, 116
09-10, 91
10-11, 103 (Finals)

Vigneault
Season, Pts
06-07, 105
07-08, 88
08-09, 100
09-10, 103
10-11, 117 (Finals)

McLellan with the Oilers:
Season, Pts
15-16, 70
16-17, 103
17-18, 77 (on pace)

In his first season, McLellan couldn’t right the ship. We blamed the ship.

In his second season, he couldn’t sail it home. We blamed the weather.

In his third season, he decided to sail it back where it started and hit an iceberg along the way.

We blamed the shipbuilder.

Maybe PC thought he had what he had with Julien in BOS. But PC didn’t hire Julien until his second year. In his first year as GM with BOS, PC fired Mike Sullivan (of all people) and hired Dave Lewis. He fired Lewis after Lewis managed 76 points in 06-07. Then he hired Julien and stuck with him to the Cup.

Odds are very much against us winning anything with TMac, a coach who’s never made the finals and is on track to produce 77 points in his 3rd season with the team as he continues to work on the team’s belief system.

The scenario imagined by some posters in which PC is fired and TMac is retained is so gross, it’s best not to mention it in polite company. PC built a winning program in BOS. He built one in EDM last season. But TMac gonna TMac and PC, instead of taking a good long look at his coach, probably decided to listen to him and undertook a series of awful off-season decisions. Listening to the HC is understandable when you’re the GM who hired him and gave him a 5 year contract. But PC also hired Lewis and signed him to a 4-year contract in BOS… and fired him after year 1 after the team went from 74 to 76 points. Oh well. It’s just messy now.

Talking about how bad PC is at his job is a really enjoyable thing I guess. And TMac gives good media. But the truth is, the HC has had a very bad run of head coaching with this team, a run that really undermines one of his reputations while also confirming another. Based on historical results, he’s not likely to get us to the Cup or close to the Cup. The question for PC is who can, given the roster decisions he’s made to support TMac.

(The talk of growth team is so so gross. How dumb do they think the fans are? …That’s a rhetorical question. I know I’m being hard on TMac. But coaches make an impact early in their tenure. We’ve seen the impact. So I think it’s a more accurate reading of the CMD era than PC is… what are Cassandra’s words again…? Chachi, can you please post the Cassandra bit? We’ll both feel better.)

It’s beginning to get a little crowded in here! -).

I’m going to need a bigger phone booth.

hunter1909

AsiaOil: Seemed like he had a plan the first two years and then just put it on cruise control this summer while wasting the first 20 games of the season playing a midget junior players and doing nothing with the young pros.

Yamamoto’s playing during the appalling opening part of the season should mean at least 1 high level job opening after someone is sacked, but no, it’s the OBC.

frjohnk

Georges:
Here’s a look at how many seasons SCF head coaches have been with their teams before getting the team to the Finals:

05-06 Laviolette (2), MacTavish (5)
06-07 Carlyle (2), Murray (2)
07-08 Babcock (3), Therrien (3)
08-09 Bylsma (1), Babcock (4)
09-10 Quenneville (2), Laviolette (1)
10-11 Julien (4), Vigneault (5)
11-12 Sutter (1), DeBoer (1)
12-13 Quenneville (5), Julien (6)
13-14 Sutter (3), Vigneault (1)
14-15 Quenneville (7), Cooper (3)
15-16 Sullivan (1), DeBoer (1)
16-17 Sullivan (2), Laviolette (3)

If you’re going to get your team to the Finals, you’re likely going to do it in the first 3 years of your tenure. If you do it after 3 years, it’s an even bet that you’ve already taken them there.

MacTavish (5), Julien (4), and Vigneault (5) got their teams to the Finals for the first time more than 3 years into their tenure.

Here’s MacTavish’s track record with his team leading up to the Finals appearance.
Season, Pts
00-01, 93
01-02, 92
02-03, 92
03-04, 89
05-06, 95 (Finals)

Julien
Season, Pts
07-08, 94
08-09, 116
09-10, 91
10-11, 103 (Finals)

Vigneault
Season, Pts
06-07, 105
07-08, 88
08-09, 100
09-10, 103
10-11, 117 (Finals)

McLellan with the Oilers:
Season, Pts
15-16, 70
16-17, 103
17-18, 77 (on pace)

In his first season, McLellan couldn’t right the ship. We blamed the ship.

In his second season, he couldn’t sail it home. We blamed the weather.

In his third season, he decided to sail it back where it started and hit an iceberg along the way.

We blamed the shipbuilder.

Maybe PC thought he had what he had with Julien in BOS. But PC didn’t hire Julien until his second year. In his first year as GM with BOS, PC fired Mike Sullivan (of all people) and hired Dave Lewis. He fired Lewis after Lewis managed 76 points in 06-07. Then he hired Julien and stuck with him to the Cup.

Odds are very much against us winning anything with TMac, a coach who’s never made the finals and is on track to produce 77 points in his 3rd season with the team as he continues to work on the team’s belief system.

The scenario imagined by some posters in which PC is fired and TMac is retained is so gross, it’s best not to mention it in polite company. PC built a winning program in BOS. He built one in EDM last season. But TMac gonna TMac and PC, instead of taking a good long look at his coach, probably decided to listen to him and undertook a series of awful off-season decisions. Listening to the HC is understandable when you’re the GM who hired him and gave him a 5 year contract. But PC also hired Lewis and signed him to a 4-year contract in BOS… and fired him after year 1 after the team went from 74 to 76 points. Oh well. It’s just messy now.

Talking about how bad PC is at his job is a really enjoyable thing I guess. And TMac gives good media. But the truth is, the HC has had a very bad run of head coaching with this team, a run that really undermines one of his reputations while also confirming another. Based on historical results, he’s not likely to get us to the Cup or close to the Cup. The question for PC is who can, given the roster decisions he’s made to support TMac.

(The talk of growth team is so so gross. How dumb do they think the fans are? …That’s a rhetorical question. I know I’m being hard on TMac. But coaches make an impact early in their tenure. We’ve seen the impact. So I think it’s a more accurate reading of the CMD era than PC is… what are Cassandra’s words again…? Chachi, can you please post the Cassandra bit? We’ll both feel better.)

Drinking at Godots last night?

Everybody has mentioned and knows that Chia has knee capped the ceiling on this team.
You bring some good points to the table that its not all Chia but TMac and I cant disagree.

Good post.

OriginalPouzar

Non-Oilers Notes;

1) Too bad that Cogs’ iron man streak will be halted due to a suspension. The 2 games is deserved though. Great run Cogs.

2) Maybe Gio can get suspended twice from yesterday’s game – head shot (major and game misconduct) plus knee on knee with Aho.

OriginalPouzar

I read something about wishing the flames make the playoffs and get swept.

On the assumption that they do make the playoffs getting swept once again is the only really good opinion – it shall be so.

With that said, the hope is that they miss the playoffs by a point or two and then magically win the 2nd lottery. I don’t really want the NYI to get that 2nd overall pick but my goodness I can’t imagine a better scenario than the flames winning the 2nd lottery (after we win the first) after having traded the pick.

AsiaOil

Got to agree that the person with arguably the worst performance of the year (TMac) is getting off pretty much scot free with the fans. But the poor decision-making and systems, stubbornness, favoritism and inflexibility has been there for all to see if they bother. Seemed like he had a plan the first two years and then just put it on cruise control this summer while wasting the first 20 games of the season playing a midget junior players and doing nothing with the young pros. If anyone gets let go this summer I’d put TMac at the top of the list.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

Georges:
Here’s a look at how many seasons SCF head coaches have been with their teams before getting the team to the Finals:

05-06 Laviolette (2), MacTavish (5)
06-07 Carlyle (2), Murray (2)
07-08 Babcock (3), Therrien (3)
08-09 Bylsma (1), Babcock (4)
09-10 Quenneville (2), Laviolette (1)
10-11 Julien (4), Vigneault (5)
11-12 Sutter (1), DeBoer (1)
12-13 Quenneville (5), Julien (6)
13-14 Sutter (3), Vigneault (1)
14-15 Quenneville (7), Cooper (3)
15-16 Sullivan (1), DeBoer (1)
16-17 Sullivan (2), Laviolette (3)

If you’re going to get your team to the Finals, you’re likely going to do it in the first 3 years of your tenure. If you do it after 3 years, it’s an even bet that you’ve already taken them there.

MacTavish (5), Julien (4), and Vigneault (5) got their teams to the Finals for the first time more than 3 years into their tenure.

Here’s MacTavish’s track record with his team leading up to the Finals appearance.
Season, Pts
00-01, 93
01-02, 92
02-03, 92
03-04, 89
05-06, 95 (Finals)

Julien
Season, Pts
07-08, 94
08-09, 116
09-10, 91
10-11, 103 (Finals)

Vigneault
Season, Pts
06-07, 105
07-08, 88
08-09, 100
09-10, 103
10-11, 117 (Finals)

McLellan with the Oilers:
Season, Pts
15-16, 70
16-17, 103
17-18, 77 (on pace)

In his first season, McLellan couldn’t right the ship. We blamed the ship.

In his second season, he couldn’t sail it home. We blamed the weather.

In his third season, he decided to sail it back where it started and hit an iceberg along the way.

We blamed the shipbuilder.

Maybe PC thought he had what he had with Julien in BOS. But PC didn’t hire Julien until his second year. In his first year as GM with BOS, PC fired Mike Sullivan (of all people) and hired Dave Lewis. He fired Lewis after Lewis managed 76 points in 06-07. Then he hired Julien and stuck with him to the Cup.

Odds are very much against us winning anything with TMac, a coach who’s never made the finals and is on track to produce 77 points in his 3rd season with the team as he continues to work on the team’s belief system.

The scenario imagined by some posters in which PC is fired and TMac is retained is so gross, it’s best not to mention it in polite company. PC built a winning program in BOS. He built one in EDM last season. But TMac gonna TMac and PC, instead of taking a good long look at his coach, probably decided to listen to him and undertook a series of awful off-season decisions. Listening to the HC is understandable when you’re the GM who hired him and gave him a 5 year contract. But PC also hired Lewis and signed him to a 4-year contract in BOS… and fired him after year 1 after the team went from 74 to 76 points. Oh well. It’s just messy now.

Talking about how bad PC is at his job is a really enjoyable thing I guess. And TMac gives good media. But the truth is, the HC has had a very bad run of head coaching with this team, a run that really undermines one of his reputations while also confirming another. Based on historical results, he’s not likely to get us to the Cup or close to the Cup. The question for PC is who can, given the roster decisions he’s made to support TMac.

(The talk of growth team is so so gross. How dumb do they think the fans are? …That’s a rhetorical question. I know I’m being hard on TMac. But coaches make an impact early in their tenure. We’ve seen the impact. So I think it’s a more accurate reading of the CMD era than PC is… what are Cassandra’s words again…? Chachi, can you please post the Cassandra bit? We’ll both feel better.)

Gee Georges, this is fantastic work. Really thought provoking. You wouldn’t happen to have Peter’s e-mail address, would you? Maybe you could forward this? Ha ha.

Anyway, I just wanted to add that this was posted pretty late so some people might have missed it. I almost did. I was wondering if you could re-post this tomorrow? Should make for some interesting discussion. Thanks.

Wilde

Georges: Yeah. This player is good and this player is bad is a lot tougher when you have questions about the HC. See 2-time Cup winner Justin Schultz.

My personal favourite is how one of his pets(Letestu) currently has a 5v5 GF/GA spread bad enough to negate how good 97’s is. They’ve played 14 minutes together for 1GF 0GA.

The rest of the season:

97 :
39GF
31GA
+8

55:
9GF
21GA
-12

Here’s the real spooky part. PC goes out and gets a better 4C and PKer. How long does this go on before acquired player ‘earns it’ and replaces 55 full time?

hunter1909

Hunter1909 Emergency Death March™ Update for new/returning players:

Oilers miserable start to the season makes for Emergency Death March; a Contest within a Contest! To original 2017-18 Death march Players don’t worry! Your game is safe! Emergency Death March™ is a brand new game!

Here’s how You play: simply go to http://www.oilersdeathmarch.com and click ENTER NEW CONTEST

It’s Easy! Free to enter!

More prizes for Emergency Death March™ winners…Contest Book will remain open until mid February…until puck drop for games either the Yotes on the 15th or the Bruins on the 20th.

Crazy Pedestrian

JimmyV1965: Makes me so frickin jealous. Spit.

I hope the fLames make the playoffs, then proceed to get swept in 4 again. But this time, they also get shutout in all four games…

Georges

Bruce McCurdy:
Georges,

A well-researched & provocative comment, Georges. Well done.

Ah, hey, thanks Bruce!

Georges

Wilde:
Georges,

Todd’s worst deployment strategy yet is what he’s got right now too.

Indefensible by the numbers and inexplicable in the context of a dead season.

Yeah. This player is good and this player is bad is a lot tougher when you have questions about the HC. See 2-time Cup winner Justin Schultz. The PP is worse than it’s been for the past 7 years. But no point in trying a young right-hander in the Letestu spot. Letestu’s performance last season entitles him to a lifetime membership on PP1. Anyway… this is just small ball.

Wilde

Bruce McCurdy: Not trying to “get” anything but the facts. I 100% agree that things like 5v5 GD, EV GD, or 5v5 GF% are superior in most ways to traditional +/-, which has the single attraction of being readily accessible.

That said, when I see -40 I am always going to say “holy moly”, esp. in half a season. It’s enough to give one pause, maybe long enough to ask secondary questions like “wtf is going on with this guy?!” The outliers are always interesting.

As for Duchene AFAIC the Sens badly overpaid for him in the hope that he could recover his form after a shitty season with a shitty team of his own last year.So far so not good, he’s still struggling & all of a sudden the Sens are themselves a shitty team. Careful what you wish for.

Yeah, we’d be the Ottawa player of the Duchene deal. Overpay for the upgrade from Klefbom to OEL(Turris to Duchene).

But if Toronto or anyone else could be the Nashville of the Duchene deal, they’ll win. Only way OEL’s worth the rumoured price is if the first is 22-30.

Price gets lower than Drai+Klef and I’m all over it though.

Georges

Bruce McCurdy: Not trying to “get” anything but the facts. I 100% agree that things like 5v5 GD, EV GD, or 5v5 GF% are superior in most ways to traditional +/-, which has the single attraction of being readily accessible.

That said, when I see -40 I am always going to say “holy moly”, esp. in half a season. It’s enough to give one pause, maybe long enough to ask secondary questions like “wtf is going on with this guy?!” The outliers are always interesting.

As for Duchene AFAIC the Sens badly overpaid for him in the hope that he could recover his form after a shitty season with a shitty team of his own last year.So far so not good, he’s still struggling & all of a sudden the Sens are themselves a shitty team. Careful what you wish for.

The Duchene comparison is excellent. Both have the reputation of difference makers. The numbers are less definitive. In those situations, you should set the price appropriately, not whatever we have to do to get that guy.

Bruce McCurdy

Georges,

A well-researched & provocative comment, Georges. Well done.

Bruce McCurdy

Wilde: Yeah, you got me. I remember specifically noting in my mind I was pulling 5×5 numbers, brain didn’t hit the keyboard with it though.

As for not trading for OEL? We’rein agreement there. Not at Arizona’s price.

Just thought I’d defend his value. If Toronto can get him for around Duchene’s price, never turn on your television again.

Not trying to “get” anything but the facts. I 100% agree that things like 5v5 GD, EV GD, or 5v5 GF% are superior in most ways to traditional +/-, which has the single attraction of being readily accessible.

That said, when I see -40 I am always going to say “holy moly”, esp. in half a season. It’s enough to give one pause, maybe long enough to ask secondary questions like “wtf is going on with this guy?!” The outliers are always interesting.

As for Duchene AFAIC the Sens badly overpaid for him in the hope that he could recover his form after a shitty season with a shitty team of his own last year. So far so not good, he’s still struggling & all of a sudden the Sens are themselves a shitty team. Careful what you wish for.

Wilde

Georges,

Todd’s worst deployment strategy yet is what he’s got right now too.

Indefensible by the numbers and inexplicable in the context of a dead season.

Georges

Here’s a look at how many seasons SCF head coaches have been with their teams before getting the team to the Finals:

05-06 Laviolette (2), MacTavish (5)
06-07 Carlyle (2), Murray (2)
07-08 Babcock (3), Therrien (3)
08-09 Bylsma (1), Babcock (4)
09-10 Quenneville (2), Laviolette (1)
10-11 Julien (4), Vigneault (5)
11-12 Sutter (1), DeBoer (1)
12-13 Quenneville (5), Julien (6)
13-14 Sutter (3), Vigneault (1)
14-15 Quenneville (7), Cooper (3)
15-16 Sullivan (1), DeBoer (1)
16-17 Sullivan (2), Laviolette (3)

If you’re going to get your team to the Finals, you’re likely going to do it in the first 3 years of your tenure. If you do it after 3 years, it’s an even bet that you’ve already taken them there.

MacTavish (5), Julien (4), and Vigneault (5) got their teams to the Finals for the first time more than 3 years into their tenure.

Here’s MacTavish’s track record with his team leading up to the Finals appearance.
Season, Pts
00-01, 93
01-02, 92
02-03, 92
03-04, 89
05-06, 95 (Finals)

Julien
Season, Pts
07-08, 94
08-09, 116
09-10, 91
10-11, 103 (Finals)

Vigneault
Season, Pts
06-07, 105
07-08, 88
08-09, 100
09-10, 103
10-11, 117 (Finals)

McLellan with the Oilers:
Season, Pts
15-16, 70
16-17, 103
17-18, 77 (on pace)

In his first season, McLellan couldn’t right the ship. We blamed the ship.

In his second season, he couldn’t sail it home. We blamed the weather.

In his third season, he decided to sail it back where it started and hit an iceberg along the way.

We blamed the shipbuilder.

Maybe PC thought he had what he had with Julien in BOS. But PC didn’t hire Julien until his second year. In his first year as GM with BOS, PC fired Mike Sullivan (of all people) and hired Dave Lewis. He fired Lewis after Lewis managed 76 points in 06-07. Then he hired Julien and stuck with him to the Cup.

Odds are very much against us winning anything with TMac, a coach who’s never made the finals and is on track to produce 77 points in his 3rd season with the team as he continues to work on the team’s belief system.

The scenario imagined by some posters in which PC is fired and TMac is retained is so gross, it’s best not to mention it in polite company. PC built a winning program in BOS. He built one in EDM last season. But TMac gonna TMac and PC, instead of taking a good long look at his coach, probably decided to listen to him and undertook a series of awful off-season decisions. Listening to the HC is understandable when you’re the GM who hired him and gave him a 5 year contract. But PC also hired Lewis and signed him to a 4-year contract in BOS… and fired him after year 1 after the team went from 74 to 76 points. Oh well. It’s just messy now.

Talking about how bad PC is at his job is a really enjoyable thing I guess. And TMac gives good media. But the truth is, the HC has had a very bad run of head coaching with this team, a run that really undermines one of his reputations while also confirming another. Based on historical results, he’s not likely to get us to the Cup or close to the Cup. The question for PC is who can, given the roster decisions he’s made to support TMac.

(The talk of growth team is so so gross. How dumb do they think the fans are? …That’s a rhetorical question. I know I’m being hard on TMac. But coaches make an impact early in their tenure. We’ve seen the impact. So I think it’s a more accurate reading of the CMD era than PC is… what are Cassandra’s words again…? Chachi, can you please post the Cassandra bit? We’ll both feel better.)

Wilde

Bruce McCurdy: +23/-45 is actually 5v5, not EV where the numbers are a more grotesque +27/-64. Surely that includes empty net goals which are technically even strength situations, of which Arizona has scored 2 and allowed a ghastly 12. Presumably he was on the ice for nearly all of those goals. It would also include 4v4 & 3v3.

Clearly OEL is playing in bad luck, including the underlying state of supreme bad luck, a good player stuck on a shitty team as you say. I’m not saying he’s not worth trading for. I am saying that if he really was as good as his reputation is in some quarters, maybe his team wouldn’t suck quite as much as it does.

Yeah, you got me. I remember specifically noting in my mind I was pulling 5×5 numbers, brain didn’t hit the keyboard with it though.

As for not trading for OEL? We’re in agreement there. Not at Arizona’s price.

Just thought I’d defend his value. If Toronto can get him for around Duchene’s price, never turn on your television again.

Tesla's Hair

My experience with Oilers has been a rollercoaster especially over the past year and definitely never boring. Lots of experience!

What I do with the past in the present moment is either transform those memories into wisdom or wounds.

….What are are Oilers gonna do next using the wisdom (and some wounds) before the start of next season is going to be the fun part!

OriginalPouzar

Of course his shoulder is not healthy – we know he’s been playing with an injury since before the season started. At the same time, we know very little about the nature of the injury and any opinion regarding needing surgery and not being ready for camp or the start of next season is pure speculation. For such an statistical and evidence-based blog, one would think that such positing without any facts wouldn’t have much credibility.

If the nature of the injury will not require surgery and he can play with it without worsening it and a month’s rest will cure it then, by all means keep playing. People are paying alot of money to go to these hockey games and would like the organization to ice the best team possible.

Of course, if there is any chance of further injury or if playing now in any way puts the 100% healthy start of next season in jeopardy, shut him down. Again, we have no information in to that.

Jethro Tull

Bruce McCurdy: +23/-45 is actually 5v5, not EV where the numbers are a more grotesque +27/-64. Surely that includes empty net goals which are technically even strength situations, of which Arizona has scored 2 and allowed a ghastly 12. Presumably he was on the ice for nearly all of those goals. It would also include 4v4 & 3v3.

Clearly OEL is playing in bad luck, including the underlying state of supreme bad luck, a good player stuck on a shitty team as you say. I’m not saying he’s not worth trading for. I am saying that if he really was as good as his reputation is in some quarters, maybe his team wouldn’t suck quite as much as it does.

Weeeel, you know, there was this guy, let’s call him….
Haylor Tall……and you wouldn’t believe what they say about his reputation in at least 3 different quarters…..☺

Generally speaking (not aimed at anyone specifically) how we can convince ourselves of certain scenarios and outcomes. We have ‘the powder dry, go with better bang” crowd. Well, we’ve kept our powder drier than Noel Coward playing at an industrial dessicant convention. In the other corner, or at least lurking with intent, is the “well, how’s that dry powder taste? You know, good Copenhagen is better than bad cocaine, right” or better known as the “Trey D’Mall” faction. And traded one of the best LWs in the game. Huh.

Who is right? More importantly, who cares? Well, i guess we all do. We keep coming back and we’re not being paid. I think I’ve adequately addressed my arguments on why we should trade for OEL. Drai is overpaid, we need that minute muncher that can tell the difference in uniforms when giving a defensive outlet pass. Maybe it will be Darnell? I sure hope so. One thing I’ve learnt as an Oilers fan when counting chickens, though: Are you sure that’s a chicken?

Scungilli Slushy

OriginalPouzar: Scun

Taking steroid shots into a joint is not a sign of health. Something is causing inflammation in his shoulder. Rotator cuff? Congenital? I’m not a doctor but healthy players don’t get those.

This season is toast, prepare for the next one. Call it done and move ahead. Not doing that at some point is allowing them to descend into deeper mud, fantasies about playing like crap too many nights and not being ready to go at the start in a league that won’t allow you to snooze your way in, and recovering with a miracle run.

Come ready to play, every day, all the time. Or changes are made to get better.

VOR

smellyglove:
VOR,

Vor, how the heck are you measuring best players from a draft?

30% games played, 30% points, 30% Cullen scale, 10% relative ratings by position. Not that it matters. Different people come up with slightly different rankings but the differences tend to be smaller than you might expect. We might not agree on who was better Luc Robataille or Brett Hull. But we probably agree they are both better than Shayne Corson and probably Kirk Muller.

Bruce McCurdy

Wilde:
Re: OEL’s +/-

Plus minus has its pluses and minuses, but it’s at its absolute worst when you’re evaluating:

-a star player
-a player on a bad team
-a player in front of bad goaltending

OEL is the best player on a horrific team with exceptionally poor goaltending.

His EV goal differential: 23-45

His goal differential approximately f he had league average goaltending and oiS% (not saying he doesn’t impact these factors):

29-30.

+23/-45 is actually 5v5, not EV where the numbers are a more grotesque +27/-64. Surely that includes empty net goals which are technically even strength situations, of which Arizona has scored 2 and allowed a ghastly 12. Presumably he was on the ice for nearly all of those goals. It would also include 4v4 & 3v3.

Clearly OEL is playing in bad luck, including the underlying state of supreme bad luck, a good player stuck on a shitty team as you say. I’m not saying he’s not worth trading for. I am saying that if he really was as good as his reputation is in some quarters, maybe his team wouldn’t suck quite as much as it does.

OriginalPouzar

I already miss Oilers hockey – its going to be a long week off.

Tesla's Hair

Diablo,

Diablo:
Seems just like yesterday, Oiler fans were bemoaning the drafting of wingers in lieu of C and D. Lack of “strength down the middle” was the calling card of the day to explain why the Oilers were bad.

Diablo I enjoyed reading your Oilers analysis and plan for the rest of the season.

Look forward to hearing what others think of what to do next.

Are there Vegas-like scraps (hidden gems out there) to be had.

Who will we draft?

Pressed mock draft button today and Oilers selected this guy who scored this goal 9 years ago….

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_L-co088uLE

Oliver Wahlstrom RW
“He can elevate his game playing with high-end players. Uses a combination of good hands, creativity and vision to make things happen offensively.”

Georges

In 2000-01, the league expanded to 30 teams. We’ve had 32 Stanley Cup finalists since then and 32 SCF head coaching spots.

On 15 occasions, a finalist was coached by an HC who had coached in the finals before. So there were 17 first-timers.

Of these 17, just 5 made it after having their first HC opportunity at least 10 years prior:

– Bryan Murray, 26 years after his first coaching gig with WSH.

– Joel Quenneville, 14 years after STL

– Alain Vigneault, 14 years after MTL

– Mike Sullivan, 13 years after BOS

– Darryl Sutter, 12 years after CHI

Most of the coaches who made the Finals made it before 10 years. And, of the coaches I’ve listed above, 4 out of 5 of them made it to the Finals within the first two years of taking over their team.

This is TMac’s 10th year, his 3rd with the Oilers. Barring a miracle on top of a miracle on top of a miracle, Mr. McLellan and Mr. Georges will both be watching the Finals on a screen somewhere… like we both always do.

2015-16 was puzzling to me. We had injuries. But CMD played more than half the season and Hall played the entire season. And yet we finished a stone’s throw from the 62 points Nelson and Eakins managed in the season before. So I’m kinda wondering what exactly does a veteran head coach with a solid winning record do? How exactly does he affect the performance of his team?

Last season’s playoff result was also puzzling. The roster gets revamped. By the end of the season, the forward depth is second only to PIT, the defense is balanced, and Talbot is steady. Wow, it all seems to come together. We enter the playoffs on a high and we handle a banged up SJS. The talent on our team was way past the talent on ANA. Diggity! We’re up 2-0 headed home. It’s looking good. And then… what exactly was that? Was that the sound of inevitability?

This season’s not as puzzling. The GM said Plan A and the HC said grmpqftzl and here we are.

It’s better we find out this way than having CMD spend the prime of his years toiling in futility like that wonderful Joe Thornton.

Now let’s get back to complaining about Russell. It’s as good a way to spend this in between time as anything else.

(Oh yeah, OEL isn’t worth Drai. And he’s not worth Nuge and Klef.)

smellyglove

VOR,

Vor, how the heck are you measuring best players from a draft?

JimmyV1965

Woodguy v2.0:
Calgary’s won 7 in a row.

There’s getting good goaltending from Smith (dammit!), but its the goals for that are driving the bus.

They’ve always had two good lines with Monahan-Gaudreau scoring and Backlund centering the best checking line in hockey without Bergeron or Couturier on it.

Now they have a 3rd line that’s scoring and they key has been Jankowski

They’re riding the PDO pony right now but check out Bennet’s WOWY with Jankowski (all data this year)

Bennett without Jankowski
45.4%CF
0.80 GF/60

Bennett with Jankowski
50.9% CF
2.28 GF/60

That helps.

Ferland is having his “Maroon with McDavid” season now too.

Gaudrea-Monahan w/ Ferland: 3.35 GF/60

Hamonic seems to have settled in and he and Brodie are putting up around 50% CF now.

They were +1200 to win the WC today so I hit it.

Hit DAL too when they were still +1100.

Both teams have 3 lines that can score, but I like CGY’s Dcrops and G better.

Makes me so frickin jealous. Spit.

VOR

Thinking About the Draft – 7 Things we don’t know

4. Everybody knows intangibles matter.

Nobody can figure out how to integrate the currently unmeasurable qualities we call intangibles into a coherent draft strategy.

VOR

Thinking About the Draft – 7 Things we don’t know

3. This one really messes with scouts heads. In no draft in history have they ever got the top ten in order. That is because they have never got the top five right. How hard can it be to have the 1st player picked turn out to be the best player 15 years later? Harder than it looks. The same is true for 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 and 10.

What galls scouts is that they have no explanation for why they keep getting it wrong.

I am going to offer a theory when I finally get all mathy.

OmJo

Professor Q: And with absolutely no wingers or prospects, they’ll go nowhere.

Who needs wingers when you have a top pairing of OEL-Karlsson?

Wilde

Re: OEL’s +/-

Plus minus has its pluses and minuses, but it’s at its absolute worst when you’re evaluating:

-a star player
-a player on a bad team
-a player in front of bad goaltending

OEL is the best player on a horrific team with exceptionally poor goaltending.

His EV goal differential: 23-45

His goal differential approximately f he had league average goaltending and oiS% (not saying he doesn’t impact these factors):

29-30.

leadfarmer

Woodguy v2.0,

He would put together a great stretch in Arizona. Get injured. Follow it up with subpar play until he got back to 100%. Get injured. Come back. Playoffs would be out of reach. Then stop caring. Rinse and repeat. This season he’s been pretty healthy and playoffs are in reach.
It’s too bad he’s got the warm personality of Kessler and plays for the biggest bag of sucks who ever sucked, otherwise one might almost cheer for the guy

leadfarmer

Diablo

Talbot since coming back from injury has been pretty good. Can’t fault him for poor efforts by the team.

OEL is a very good player on a awful team. Your way of thinking is the reason teams wouldn’t pay much for any of our players. It’s a team sport. Having one great player is not enough to overcome an absolutely horrible roster.

Todd Macallan

Diablo,

Nary a word out of place.

Bruce McCurdy

VOR:
Thinking about the Draft 7– Things we don’t know

Then there are the secondary consequences of injury. This brings us to 1979 draft. The only draft without at least a near miss in the top 15 of the draft. In 1993 there are several near misses in the top 15 and number 16 is a true miss. But in 1979 the top 15 of the draft are all players. The closest to a bust is #10 Tom MaCarthy.

McCarthy is one of two players taken before Wayne Gretzky in the midget draft. He had a great junior career. He definitely deserves his#10 ranking. And MaCarthy turned out to be able to play NHL hockey when he was healthy.

MaCarthy may be the player with the longest list of injuries in NHL history. It includes a serious concussion cause by Tiger Williams punching him in the face.

True story: in my keeper league hockey pool (Est. 1979, still going strong after 39 years) we used to have an annual pseudo-award we called “The Tom McCarthy From Bell’s Palsy To Beri Beri Weird Injury Of the Year”.

OriginalPouzar

Rasanen hasn’t been in the BC lineup since returning from Buffalo – apparently he’s got a lower body injury and is expected back in their lineup on the 23rd.

I was really impressed by what I saw at the WJHC. Who knows if he’ll ever make it the NHL but I like his all-tools skill set, his 200 foot game, his ability to play in all situations and his nose for the net (he really likes to park himself in front of the net).

He as 3C written all over him if he can keep taking it to the next level.

Diablo

Seems just like yesterday, Oiler fans were bemoaning the drafting of wingers in lieu of C and D. Lack of “strength down the middle” was the calling card of the day to explain why the Oilers were bad.

So now our GM has flipped the script … we have three centres that rival any team in the league and our D is vastly better with the emergence of Nurse and Klefbom, acquisition of Sekera, and Larsson.

Yes, we’re a little thin on the wings, but you can’t have everything in a cap league.

I’d posit that the main reasons the Oilers are where they are in the standings are things that no GM could have done much about. In order of importance these are …
1) Bad goaltending – forget the play of our backup … Talbot has been bad since game 2
2) Poor special teams – no excuse for this, the coaches own this one
3) Injuries and a step back from many of our top players
– transplant Larsson, Benning and Klefbom from last season and things likely play out very differently this year
4) Inexperience by McDavid and Draisaitl
– McDavid’s offence is spectacular, but he often looks lost in his own zone
– Draisaitl still has brain farts with the puck
– both of them still defer shots on net in an effort to pass the puck in to the back of net

Would Barzal have helped … no doubt. Brutal trade the day it was made, that only looks worse today. Really no excuse for it … Chia made a panic deal.

Hall for Larsson … pure offence for pure defence. This one will be debated forever, but at last check there have not been any other top 4 RHD in their early 20’s with years of team control left traded since. Until this happens, we just won’t know what the true market value is. For those who want to hold up Sakic in esteem of what he got for Duchene, I’d argue all he got was a bunch of magic beans that looks suspiciously like what the Oilers got for Pronger.

Eberle for Strome is a wash – Eberle is dandy when someone gets him the puck in close on the goalie, but he needs to be carried everywhere else on the ice. Strome was a decent bet, though Chia should have targeted Barzal instead (and corrected his previous mistake).

That being said, there is plenty of talent on this team …. it just didn’t come together at the start of the year. Preparation game in and out was poor … that’s on the coaches and the players.

Moving forward …
1) do not trade Klefbom for OEL – we can’t afford OELs next contract, nor the asset acquisition cost. Klef will rebound, so will Larsson. Draft Boqvist with our 1st this year and sit tight.
2) OEL is -40 !!!! Its not even that cold in Winnipeg right now. I know +/- is a poor stat, but -40 is just bad. This is not a one year trend either – he gets scored on an awful lot when he’s on the ice. I’m dubious of these claims of him being a franchise altering D-man.
3) I’d prefer we get Rieder from Arizona – get Leon someone who he can centre
4) Move Maroon to STL – they have next to no cap space but Maroon is a guy they can actually afford. He’s likely signing there next season anyways. They have a ton of great prospects – Kostin, Kyrou, Thomas, Thompson. I’ve loved the Big Rig’s time in the Oildrop but he’s unlikely to live up to his next contract. Power forwards age poorly.

As an aside that Kevin Stevens story on SN is a great read.

5) Speaking of power forwards – its time to move Lucic along to a contender. His point total are still in line with his previous numbers but he’s not a great fit with any of these centers. He’ll waive the NMC if the destination is to his liking. Get whatever prospects/picks you can in return – he’ll fetch a lot more than a 7th rounder, due to still putting up good numbers and his reputation.
6) Move Caggs+ for Hoffman – potentially a much better fit for McDavid
7) Russell – I’m guessing there are family reasons why he doesn’t want to leave Alberta … not sure he can be convinced to leave
8) Which brings us to Sekera – I don’t want to move him, but something has to give. Nurse is going to get paid, so someone has to go. Sekera is another vet (like Lucic) who might waive the NMC if the destination is attractive. Philadelphia? They have lots of young D + Carter Hart. A playoff team in the Eastern conference with their far better travel schedule could work for Rej.
9) Letestu – RHC always has value at the deadline. Time to move him along too
10) Play the kids and let them make mistakes and learn from them – this includes Jesse, Strome, Slepy and Khaira.
11) Take a flyer on guys who have fallen out a favour elsewhere – Leivo, Dano, Logan Shaw (on waivers) etc

Looking forward to the trade deadline … Chia likely needs to hit it out of the park to keep his job. Should be fun!

Wilde

Jethro Tull: Weren’t you concerned about 4th line center? How does he carry the bottom six? And you’d be surprised. I think this is an unfair question. I think you are giving too much importance to so called role players that don’t play enough to really matter over a whole season. They’re only job is not not get caved while McDavid is off the ice. Everything else is gravy. You’re worrying about the Ryan Jones’ when we should be worried about…..well OELs.

That’s exactly why I’m asking. We win the McDavid minutes. We lose the non McDavid minutes. The problem with this team is how do we win the non McDavid minutes. Their job is to not get caved and they’re failing.

So that’s why the question is, can our other impact player (OEL) carry the non McDavid minutes. Those are the players that will be on the ice.

Bruce McCurdy

Wilde: Can OEL carry a bottom 6 of Strome, Khaira, Kassian, Letestu, Cammaleri, Caggiula to above 50% goals for?

Note that playing largely with bottom-6 quality forwards in Arizona OEL is crushing it with a plus/minus of dash-40. A milestone never “accomplished” in a full season league wide during the salary cap era, yet here is OEL after just 45 GP. Second worst in the NHL is -21.

It’s not getting better, in hs last 6 GP he is -14 with four separate games of -3 and two of -1.

I know I know all about plus/minus, it’s got its flaws but holy moly, the man is just getting killed out there. A PDO of .915 (!!!) is obviously a huge part of it, but I do have questions about his play behind his own blue line.

I have zero doubt he would perform way better on a way better team, but it’s not like he’s Taylor Hall where his team is breaking even while he’s on the ice and getting crushed while he’s on the bench, now is it?

A strange case, but it’s a bit of a red flag in my books.

(for the record the last NHLer to achieve such depths was Rico Fata who went -46 with the ’03-04 Penguins)

Woodguy v2.0

leadfarmer:
Woodguy v2.0,

I told you Smith is a pretty decent goalie when healthy

You did.

This is his best GSAA/60 season in his career.

Good for him.

Woodguy v2.0

Jethro Tull:
Woodguy v2.0,

Is +1200 12 to 1 odds?

Yessir

leadfarmer

Woodguy v2.0,

I told you Smith is a pretty decent goalie when healthy

Jethro Tull

Wilde: Can OEL carry a bottom 6 of Strome, Khaira, Kassian, Letestu, Cammaleri, Caggiula to above 50% goals for?

Weren’t you concerned about 4th line center? How does he carry the bottom six? And you’d be surprised. I think this is an unfair question. I think you are giving too much importance to so called role players that don’t play enough to really matter over a whole season. They’re only job is not not get caved while McDavid is off the ice. Everything else is gravy. You’re worrying about the Ryan Jones’ when we should be worried about…..well OELs.

Jethro Tull

OriginalPouzar: He’s signed through next year so there will be no deal involving negotiation rights until spring 2019.

That’s the problem – a team can’t pay full value when there is a risk they player leaves after a full year (or requires an insane contract) and an extension can’t be signed until July 1.

I can’t seem OEL being traded prior to then.

Chia could pull the trigger, OEL could walk after a year and it still wouldn’t be the worst trade he’s made! House money!

JD_Wry

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No concussion concerns for RNH, sounds like some bruising that should resolve itself by the end of the bye week.

NUUUUUUUUUGE!!!

AsiaOil

A few thoughts……

If OEL is available, then the cost is going to include a serious RHD since ARZ has nobody but Demers. That takes us out of the running as the only guy who fits the bill is Lars and all that trade would accomplish is creating a massive hole while filling divot. Hey if they take Klef plus I’m all over it but doubt that works for them. WPG could do Trouba plus for example. ARZ doesn’t need to do anything but move to Seattle and wait for their kids to develop IMHO – but OEL may be fed up – who knows.

Too bad RNH got hurt but you could see it coming the last few games. All credit to him though for really trying to play a harder game this year and doing well. He’s done all you could ask really. My concern is that he might not be able to play a harder game without injuring himself and that would not help us in the playoffs. If the injury really is something that can’t hold up when the going gets tough, then you have to deal him. I would want to keep him if he could survive playing a more physical game but I’m not sure that’s possible.

For the love of Pete – Chia has to trade Letestu who is a denver boot on the bottom 6 and PK. Sure he’s a solid guy and has a shot – but he never gets it off, is slow as mud, and kills every line he’s on. Anyone know where you can find W/WO numbers for Letestu? Eyes tell me he’s making everyone worse but the eyes can deceive and I’d like to confirm.