It makes no difference

You can see why Todd McLellan wants 97 and 29 to play together, but the rest of the batting order simply cannot handle big league pitching. A game that saw Edmonton get shredded on special teams and get their first good look at the new goalie, also saw another “L” against a team in search of one of eight spots in the Western Conference. It’s all over now, but it is incredible to see so many of the things that plagued this team early still hang ’em high in Game 50.


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  • February 2016: 1-0-0, goal differential +4 (2 points)
  • February 2017: 0-1-0, goal differential -2
  • February 2018: 0-0-1, goal differential -1 (1 point)

Edmonton played a superior team at home, grabbed a point on late-game brilliance by their best player. I think we can chalk this up to roster deficiencies, your mileage may vary.


  • Oilers 15-16: 19-26-5, goal differential -30 (43 points)
  • Oilers 16-17: 27-15-8, goal differential +18 (62 points)
  • Oilers 17-18: 22-24-4, goal differential -24 (48 points)

This version of the Oilers has settled in as clearly better than the first McLellan team and a poor knockoff compared to last year’s club. The special teams and goaltending has savaged the Oilers and there has been precious little done to improve it. A strange season.


  • At home to: Colorado, Tampa Bay (Expected 0-1-1) (Actual 0-0-1)
  • On the road to: Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Jose (Expected 1-1-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Florida (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Vegas, Arizona, Colorado (Expected 2-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Boston, Colorado (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Jose (Expected 0-2-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 5-6-3, 13 points in 14 games
  • Current results: 0-0-1, one point in one game

Edmonton will have played 63 games by the end of February, a reasonable goal for this team is 63 points. From this point that would mean the Oilers would have to go 7-5-1 (and would be 29-29-5 on the season). I have them a little shy, we’ll see.


  • Klefbom-Benning were 27-10 in 14:55, on-ice 2-0 GF. Man. Oscar is getting there, ladies and germs. 13-5 Scoring chances for, a 5-0 stone cold picnic with 97 on the ice. Lordy. Were 17-4 against Nieto-Soderberg-Comeau, 9-2 in 3:49 against Landeskog-Kerfoot-Rantanen.
  • Nurse-Davidson were 7-20 in 15:30, including 6-13 with McDavid. Right away you know they were playing against the Landeskog line a lot. Went 6-13 in 8:01 against the trio, and were crushed 1-5 by Bourque-Toninato-Yakupov. I’m going to give the pairing a passing grade even with the possession wobble.
  • Sekera-Russell went 4-15 in 12:43 and got themselves scored on at 5×5. I’ll suggest Zack Kassian was the culprit on the play, your mileage may vary. That kind of possession number is poor, but let’s see who they were facing. Went 2-12 against Jost-Compher-Wilson, I count that trio as the third line. You’re going to have to be patient with Sekera. Think October.
  • Al Montoya stopped 27 of 31, .871. I thought he could have frozen the puck in overtime and his pass to Klefbom was an errant item, but he’s getting used to his team and foul-ups occur. I think it’s important to give him plenty of work down the stretch.


  • Cammalleri-McDavid-Draisaitl went 17-13 and scored five points in total. It’s a good line, it could be better if they spent more time together. For the life of me I don’t know why they don’t try Puljujarvi with 97 more often. Hell, put him on LW with 97 and 29! Went 9-12 against the Landeskog line (that’s the tough one) and outscored them 1-0. As has been the case so many times, it was good day sunshine with McDavid and Leon keeping time together.
  • Maroon-Strome-Caggiula impressed me, the trio did some good things during the game. Went 14-10, 1-0 GF at 5×5, Maroon was the quietest of the group. The OT goal against is fresh and I get that, but for me this was a game Caggiula showed why the organization has been patient with him. He’s going to end up being a shy scorer but should still have a career as a two-way winger.
  • Lucic-Khaira-Puljujarvi went 15-13 together, Lucic had a great chance, but you would like this line to find the scoreboard if they’re going to stick. I would certainly give this line another go. Lucic was a hammer for much of the night, I think he’s maybe been trying too hard for the last 10 games.
  • Slepyshev-Letestu-Kassian went 2-5, 6:33 ice time and got scored on. Kassian was a little late on the play, he had a gorgeous chance to make up for it later on.
  • Natural Stat Trick and

It comes down to money and term. Maroon may want $4 million times four and could get something close in full free agency. Edmonton may want to sign him to $3.5 million times two, but why would a man sell himself short? It’s a helluva spot to be in, and once again reminds us of the Russell signing one year ago. Actions have consequences and here’s another example.


The first thing I want to know about a forward is his 5×5/60 scoring number. It isn’t perfect, we don’t know linemates, qual comp or usage, but it’s a gigantic tell re: Who is getting things done. Any number over 2.00/60 represents real quality and Edmonton’s two members of the club (McDavid 2.75; Draisaitl 2.50) are in the Top 25 forwards across the league.

My personal opinion is that anything 1.75/60 or over suggests a player who has value and is delivering on some or all of his expectations (depending on usage).

  • No. 97 forward: Milan Lucic 1.88
  • No. 109 forward: Patrick Maroon 1.82
  • No. 109 forward: Jesse Puljujarvi 1.82
  • No. 117 forward: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 1.80

I used 400 5×5 minutes, meaning Jujhar Khaira (1.81) narrowly missed qualifying. The two newcomers (Puljujarvi, Khaira) are welcome arrivals but Edmonton needs to acquire more who are in this range. Of course, the special teams also need to be fixed.


At 10 this morning, TSN1260. A mammoth day for the host, I get to interview a legend. Scheduled to appear:

  • Steve Lansky, BigMouthSports. Maroon sign or trade, plus, is the rest of Canada ready for a Toronto Stanley Cup?
  • Scott Mitchell, TSN. How are the Blue Jays looking for 2018?
  • Matt Iwanyk, TSN1260. Super Bowl, Lebron’s real estate future.
  • Vic Rauter, TSN. The man, the legend.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter.


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213 Responses to "It makes no difference"

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  1. Gret99zky says:

    Instead of paying Maroon $3M-$4M, can’t Chia find the “next Maroon”? A player who will score some goals on McD’s wing in the $1.5M-$2M range.

    These overpays are getting tiresome.

  2. OriginalPouzar says:


    I’m not soured on Sekera AT ALL. Knee injuries always take a full year. It has more to do with having value in any deal. Sekera has real value and Russell has negative value as far as I’m concerned. Who knows, there’s always one GM who comes along and takes the contract nobody thinks can be moved. If you’re chasing scorer up front, Sekera will have value to someone. Anyone taking Russell from you is going to be doing you a favor.

    Agree 100% on Nurse numbers. All the off-season maneuvers are going to depend on where that number falls. In that sense, I hope it get’s done quickly and doesn’t tie things up like the Draisaitl negotiations did.

    Yes, of course, the trade return between the two players would be materially different. I would personally prefer to keep Sekera and trade Russell for, essentially, no return and use that $4M for either the 1/2RD spot or that top 6 winger spot.

  3. OriginalPouzar says:

    Moose: Agree, get McDavid his shooter and cobble together a bottom six with cheap vets, and hope Benson and Yamamoto can contribute soon.

    The depressing thing about this exercise is realizing how there has been absolutely nothing at the minor league and prospect level for years in this organization. No young, value contracts contributing and pushing up. It’s shocking. Khaira is basically the entirety of the development system from the last 5 years.

    and Davidson

  4. hags9k says:

    Maroon’s contract situation puts Chia’s other signings into the spotlight, such as of course Lucic and Russell. But it also points out why many of us were disappointed with what he gave 97 and 29.

    But it takes two to tango and I am also disappointed in 29 and yes even 97 (gasp!) seemingly taking every single dollar possible. When they get frustrated and look around for “organizational support” and wonder why there are no talented wingers to play with, they need only look in the mirror, at their agent and at their own wallets.

    I know we must not ever speak ill about Connor, and I think he seems to be a wonderful kid and is the best hockey player I have ever seen in my life. But once his 12.5M per year cap hit kicks in, the club and we as fans have every right to expect 12.5M results.

    When Maroon sails on down the line and we look to fill another leaky roster hole, we should send Connor and Leon with Chia to go buy the duct tape.

  5. Gret99zky says:

    If Todd McLellan is staying he should staple Connor with Jesse and Leon with Milan for the remainder of the season so that next year they hit the ground running.

    Get some chemistry and some familiarity going.


  6. hags9k says:

    How would a Katz buyout of Russell affect the cap?

    Asking for a friend.

  7. OriginalPouzar says:

    How would a Katz buyout of Russell affect the cap?

    Asking for a friend.

    The Russell buyout is really werid but in a good way.

    I believe, if we bought him out this spring, the cap him for next year would be around $650K and it would be around $1.1M in all of the other 5 years except for one year where it would be a massive $3.6M – that year happens to be the potential lockout year.

  8. hags9k says:


    Interesting, not a slam dunk of an idea in other words.

    Thanks OP!

  9. Moose says:

    To one point in the earlier post – Yamamoto’s bonuses are a non-issue – I believe he signed a contract commensurate for a 22nd overall pick and the performance bonuses are in the $200K/season range.

    Correct, $230k according to CapFriendly.

  10. GMB3 says:

    OriginalPouzar: I have been beating this drum for a while now although I don’t think it comes to fruition.Just going off memory, I don’t think the trade and then re-sign happens very often but I sure hope they raise the idea with Maroon and even maybe settle on parameters of a new deal.

    I’d be OK if we re-signed him now if the deal came in at $3.5M or less but, ultimately, I want the futures that we will acquire and then attempt to re-sign him in the off-season (if we can’t spend the money/cap better another way).

    I’m not sure if you’re a baseball fan, but the Cubs gave up their #1 prospect + for Adolfo’s chapman and he resigned with the Yankees in the offseason. I know it’s a different sport but that would make Chia look like a much more competent gm.

    Before all the goobers jump in I realize Maroon does not equal Chapman so I don’t expect that kind of return

  11. GMB3 says:

    As per Benning contract talks, I think he’s the type of guy you challenge with a one year show me contract. H

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