One of the strangest things about this season is the ongoing debate about Leon Draisaitl. Seems the new contract has expectations high as a kite, and Draisaitl’s numbers (they are good) simply don’t rhyme. This brings us to the question: Are people crazy?
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- New Corey Pronman: Mid-Season draft rankings
- New Lowetide: Can you trust Peter Chiarelli? (will link)
- New Lowetide: Which way you going, Brandon Davidson?
- Pierre Lebrun: A chat with Peter Chiarelli
- Lowetide: Putting together optimal lines after the deadline
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers planning for summer.
- Lowetide: Central Scouting and where the Oilers shop for talent
Pronman’s list and verbal never disappoints and this year’s mid-season ranking is no exception. His reasoning is sound, his knowledge is excellent and his writing descriptive.
DRAISAITL YEAR OVER YEAR
I keep reading about Leon Draisaitl’s disappointing season but the 5×5 offense shines like a diamond. Leon’s in some lesser shooting luck but even with that malady is delivering a handsome 2.36/60 5×5 performance. He’s also playing away from Connor McDavid about 50 percent of the time this season (he spent about 25 percent of his season without 97 in 2016-17).
Why are people down on Leon? I have $8.5 million reasons why, but that’s not fair to Leon. It’s the old Shawn Horcoff conversation all over again. People enter into an agreement in good faith, that’s the deal. We can discuss Leon as a trade asset if you wish but it’s important to acknowledge his progress at 5×5 this season. The power play is also off but that’s across the entirety of the team. All numbers today via NaturalStatTrick.
One of the questions Oilers management needs to find an answer to surrounds the top two lines. Do they have six legit forwards for deployment? If so, Edmonton would be searching for just one player (to replace Patrick Maroon) over the summer. Obviously need to address the third and fourth lines but there are seven men (Khaira included) who are 1.80/60 or better at 5×5. Folly to expect Khaira to post these numbers again (you’d need three years of 1.88/60 5×5 to consider him established) but how many more are needed?
What about blue? One righty who can help on the power play and hold his own on the second pairing 5×5? Plus penalty killers on the depth lines. Is that it? Sniper LW, second-pairing RHD nd two penalty-killing forwards?
If this is it, thank you Jaromir Jagr. I remember when he emerged as an NHL player, he was so skilled and had so much hair it was impossible to ignore him. He was pure power and splendid, so impressive he could not be overlooked even on a famous team. I have thoroughly enjoyed the NHL career of Jaromir Jagr and can tell you we will be saying goodbye to one of the very best who ever played the game. A giant walked among us, with child-like innocence married to an attitude in the same general range as Mariah Carey. I am going to miss you so much, Jaromir Jagr.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A busy fun show, heading out of the All-Star break and into the official second half and Super Bowl week. Scheduled to appear, TSN1260 beginning at 10:
- Pierre Lebrun, TSN and The Athletic. The conversation with Peter Chiarelli and big stories coming out of the All-Star break.
- John Horn, Around the Horn. Roger Federer, man. Man.
- Jason Gregor, TSN1260. Super Bowl, what can the Oilers get from the second half?
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!