G51 2017-18: Lightning at Oilers

by Lowetide

The Oilers are about to hit the highway and take it to the limit. Between tonight and April 7, Edmonton will play 32 games in 62 days (if my fingers and toes are telling the truth). That’s a lot of work with not much rest, and this Edmonton Oilers team doesn’t have much depth in a few very important places. On the other hand, maybe they find a rhythm and warm to the California sun.

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.

I LIKE YOU, LLOYD. I ALWAYS LIKED YOU, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • 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)
  • February 4, 2016: Edmonton 7, Ottawa 2 (Source)
  • February 3, 2017: Carolina 2, Edmonton 1 (Source)

Interesting start to February both years, the 2015-16 team had a nice little run going and the 2016-17 team was stumbling out of the gate. I thought the Oilers were inconsistent in the Colorado game but there were some good things, too. Tonight will be a big challenge.

AFTER 50, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • 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)
  • February 2, 2016: Edmonton 5, Columbus 1 (Source)
  • January 26, 2017: Edmonton 4, San Jose 1 (Source)

Edmonton has settled in now as a team that could finish with 75-85 points, in my opinion. There’s always a chance the Oilers go on a ridiculous run but it hasn’t been building or anything. This team is properly represented by their won-loss record.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM FEBRUARY

  • 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

The Pacific Division awaits with three monster road trips during this month, first one begins later this week. In the six games to come versus California, Edmonton would have to do massive damage in order to poke a hole in the standings. If there is a run to come, it will arrive much too late.

OSCAR KLEFBOM

He’s coming on now, at least to my eye. In Oscar’s last three games, he has 15 shots on goal, including seven in the Colorado contest. He had a terrific game with Matt Benning in possession and his Corsi Rel is heading north:

  1. Darnell Nurse 2.52
  2. Oscar Klefbom 0.12
  3. Brandon Davidson 0.12
  4. Matt Benning 0.06
  5. Andrej Sekera -0.96
  6. Adam Larsson -1.27
  7. Kris Russell -4.21
  8. (NaturalStatTrick)

Klefbom does a little better via Fenwick, as does Russell (of course). I’d be fine bringing back the whole damn bunch, but a 2RHD is badly needed.  Jeff Petry would be a fantastic addition, ladies and men.

Jesse Puljujarvi is a fine young winger and for me not giving him a strong center is poor form. If he kicks in some goals and ends this season with 15 (or so), we can safely project him as a regular. If he waltzes through the final 30 games with a meager total, then we cannot be certain of his success on a scoring line next season. Hell’s bells man, this is basic development of young players! I’m going to write on this subject over at The Athletic this week. It’s a big damned story.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy, fun show filled with singing and debauchery, just like any normal Eagles fan would have it. At 10 this morning, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Pierre Lebrun, The Athletic. Trade deadline is coming and there are tons of rumors.
  • Jason Gregor, TSN1260. Super Bowl! Plus Oilers play tonight!

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter.

Fletcher Cox is my favorite football player, I’m so happy for him. I’m also thrilled for all Eagles fans, whether they joined the group in 1940 or 1960 or 1975 and beyond. I am so damned happy, my teams haven’t won a lot since 1990 and this is fabulous. It’s difficult to put it all into words, but Tommy Lawlor at Iggles Blitz summed it up perfectly:

  • The 2017 Eagles won the Super Bowl. But that win was for all the Eagles…Harold, Jaws, Reggie, Westy, Dawk, Trent and even Big Red. Vermeil’s guys. Gang Green. The fun 1995 team. The 2002 Eagles, who won with 3 different starting QBs. The 2004 team. The 2008 team. The Michael Vick Experience of 2010. All of those players were like ghosts, sitting on the Eagles sideline and doing anything they could to help the Eagles pull that game out.
  • Source
312 comments
0

You may also like

0 0 votes
Article Rating
312 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
godot10

JimmyV1965:
This team is sooooooo close to greatness. Just need a couple wingers and a RHD. They have the Cs and then some, and some real nice pieces on defence. Those are the toughest pieces to acquire. They’re just missing a couple elements.

Something has to give with the transition game though. Even in such a good game last night, it was craptacular. I was hating on Benning earlier, but they were all bad. Maybe it’s coaching. I have no idea.

The San Jose Sharks were always so close to greatness.

JimmyV1965,

Sure. I am not saying he won’t be top 5 C. Just that that is a tall ask and no shame in being outide that and being top 10-15.

A lot depends on what you value.

2-way play
Barkov will eventually replace Bergeron as the perennial Selke candidate.

I rate McDavid and Eichel both above Drai in raw skill

Matthews and Seguin above in goal scoring.

Drai might be one of the top couple of playmakers though.

JimmyV1965

NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker): Top 5C?
McDavid, Crosby, Malkin, Eichel, Mackinnon, Barkov, Matthews, Seguin, Bergeron, Matthews…
gonna be tough to be Top 5 and that’s no slight to Leon.

In two years he could be as good as any of those guys sans McDavid. The vets you have on that list will be older and I don’t think Iany of the younger guys have proven themselves better then Drai. The best Cs in two years will be McDavid, Mathews and Eichel. The rest will be a crapshoot

OriginalPouzar: After the first three, he could definitely be lumped in to the 2nd group with all those other players – some of them are still developing, so is Leon.

Yeah, and if you read what I wrote, I said he will be in tough to beat out 4 guys other than Connor from that list, not that he couldn’t do it. But it’s no sure thing.

OriginalPouzar:
NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker),

I continue to posit that its a fantastic number given the talent and established level of the wingers he’s played with.

And i continue to disagree with you. No slight to Leon. I still think he has another gear or two in him and he is still putting up solid even strength box cars. We’ve seen him be better (and I don’t just mean his playoffs last year). He had a very good game yesterday

frjohnk: Those Matthews brothers………

Ok, so it’s 1AM here and I am tired and I repeated myself. So what. I am soooo sorry. Point stands.

OriginalPouzar

NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker),

I continue to posit that its a fantastic number given the talent and established level of the wingers he’s played with.

frjohnk

NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker): McDavid, Crosby, Malkin, Eichel, Mackinnon, Barkov, Matthews, Seguin, Bergeron, Matthews

Those Matthews brothers………

OriginalPouzar

NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker): Top 5C?
McDavid, Crosby, Malkin, Eichel, Mackinnon, Barkov, Matthews, Seguin, Bergeron, Matthews…
gonna be tough to be Top 5 and that’s no slight to Leon.

After the first three, he could definitely be lumped in to the 2nd group with all those other players – some of them are still developing, so is Leon.

OriginalPouzar: 2.04 P/60 and, when he’s played center, he’s been playing with the likes of a struggling Ryan Strome, Drake Caggulia, Jussi Jokinen, etc.

That is a fantastic number given who he’s carried around during his time at center.

It’s a good number. Wouldn’t go so far as to say “fantastic.” Credit to Leon he hasn’t been a beast for much of this year and his play has been inconsistent, yet he is still at a PPG. Then again, far more players this year are at a PPG so that number is less impressive.

When he is on his horse and moving his feet he is a handful.

He has a very good chance to cover the bet on the later years of his contract. He is a great player with room to grow. That in and of itself does not mean that he was not overpaid in his early RFA years (ie right now). No RFA before he and McDavid ever made this much under the new CBA.

JimmyV1965: No one complaining about that contract now. Wait in two years. He’ll be a top 5 centre in this league. He’s going to be a beast in a completely different way than McDavid.

Top 5C?
McDavid, Crosby, Malkin, Eichel, Mackinnon, Barkov, Matthews, Seguin, Bergeron, Matthews…
gonna be tough to be Top 5 and that’s no slight to Leon.

OriginalPouzar

ArmchairGM: I’m not detracting from Leon’s ability in any way here, but your first paragraph is a misrepresentation – you need to show the splits. Draisaitl with McDavid is scoring at 3.17/60 (5×5), without is at 2.04/60. That number puts him at about 40th in the league for centers, hardly an “elite” numbers. For reference, he’s producing at about the same rate as Nick Schmaltz, Dylan Larkin, Radek Faksa, Derek Grant and Lars Eller.

2.04 P/60 and, when he’s played center, he’s been playing with the likes of a struggling Ryan Strome, Drake Caggulia, Jussi Jokinen, etc.

That is a fantastic number given who he’s carried around during his time at center.

ArmchairGM

OriginalPouzar:
Leon Draisaitl now has 45 points in 47 games and is plus 13 on a team that is a huge negative in goal differential (although much of that is special teams) .

He’s spent about half his time away from McDavid as a center (and, generally when playing center, with wingers that are not established in the top 6 in the NHL, some not even established in the NHL) and with like 5 points on the PP (i.e. almost all at evens).

Leon Draisaitl is a line driver and verging on an elite power forward in the NHL.He is dominant at evens.

So happy to have him locked up for 7 more years.

I’m not detracting from Leon’s ability in any way here, but your first paragraph is a misrepresentation – you need to show the splits. Draisaitl with McDavid is scoring at 3.17/60 (5×5), without is at 2.04/60. That number puts him at about 40th in the league for centers, hardly an “elite” numbers. For reference, he’s producing at about the same rate as Nick Schmaltz, Dylan Larkin, Radek Faksa, Derek Grant and Lars Eller.

Also, you state that he’s “plus 13 on a team that is a huge negative in goal differential (although much of that is special teams)” . His GF% without McDavid is 46.67% which is about average on the team. He is not keeping his head is above water at 5×5 like your stats seem to show.

Interestingly, McDavid’s GF% with Draisaitl is 69.44 % and without is 51.35%, which makes it look like McLellan’s decision to keep them together is the right one, as Draisaitl compliments McDavid very well. They’re dynamite together, but apart McDavid is average and Draisaitl below average.

I suppose if Leon had the correct wingers this may be different, but he isn’t beating the comp with the current roster construct.

Professor Q

hunter1909:
…As loosely as it can be described I always gravitated toward the left side of whatever and ended up playing L Defence with a L side shot. If I had any talent I might have been good.

Is playing L defence, with a L handed shot considered to be normal? I was actually a pretty incredible goal suck playing L wing lol; always prepared to lay on the lumber, until they started hitting me back : p

I was weird, lol. Or am, I guess.

I am a Right Shot and Right Handed (Left Glove) in mostly anything (bat, golf, football etc.) and am Goofy. I think generally (statistically) Canadians are Right Handed but shoot left, catch right or left, but bat left.

I did try kicking balls and throwing left to try to train up my ambidextrous side. Wrote with my left for 2 years in High School but I’ve lost that now.

Would prefer RW but Left Defence, oddly enough. Backhand better than my wrister, though.

JimmyV1965

This team is sooooooo close to greatness. Just need a couple wingers and a RHD. They have the Cs and then some, and some real nice pieces on defence. Those are the toughest pieces to acquire. They’re just missing a couple elements.

Something has to give with the transition game though. Even in such a good game last night, it was craptacular. I was hating on Benning earlier, but they were all bad. Maybe it’s coaching. I have no idea.

hunter1909

…As loosely as it can be described I always gravitated toward the left side of whatever and ended up playing L Defence with a L side shot. If I had any talent I might have been good.

Is playing L defence, with a L handed shot considered to be normal? I was actually a pretty incredible goal suck playing L wing lol; always prepared to lay on the lumber, until they started hitting me back : p

JimmyV1965

OriginalPouzar:
Leon Draisaitl now has 45 points in 47 games and is plus 13 on a team that is a huge negative in goal differential (although much of that is special teams).

He’s spent about half his time away from McDavid as a center (and, generally when playing center, with wingers that are not established in the top 6 in the NHL, some not even established in the NHL) and with like 5 points on the PP (i.e. almost all at evens).

Leon Draisaitl is a line driver and verging on an elite power forward in the NHL.He is dominant at evens.

So happy to have him locked up for 7 more years.

No one complaining about that contract now. Wait in two years. He’ll be a top 5 centre in this league. He’s going to be a beast in a completely different way than McDavid.

meanashell11

OriginalPouzar:
Leon Draisaitl now has 45 points in 47 games and is plus 13 on a team that is a huge negative in goal differential (although much of that is special teams).

He’s spent about half his time away from McDavid as a center (and, generally when playing center, with wingers that are not established in the top 6 in the NHL, some not even established in the NHL) and with like 5 points on the PP (i.e. almost all at evens).

Leon Draisaitl is a line driver and verging on an elite power forward in the NHL.He is dominant at evens.

So happy to have him locked up for 7 more years.

Sssshhhhhhhh…..

Did you not get the memo? He is overpaid and could not fetch a 4th rounder unless we retain salary!

OriginalPouzar

Leon Draisaitl now has 45 points in 47 games and is plus 13 on a team that is a huge negative in goal differential (although much of that is special teams).

He’s spent about half his time away from McDavid as a center (and, generally when playing center, with wingers that are not established in the top 6 in the NHL, some not even established in the NHL) and with like 5 points on the PP (i.e. almost all at evens).

Leon Draisaitl is a line driver and verging on an elite power forward in the NHL. He is dominant at evens.

So happy to have him locked up for 7 more years.

Jethro Tull

Munny:
Jay and Dan led out with ConOil over the Leafs game.

Terence and Philip are national treasures.

OriginalPouzar

ArmchairGM: Fundamentally disagree. I shoot left and played RD for years and never had any issues moving the puck north.

I’m going to assume that there is a little less time and space and the game is a little faster where Russell is playing – no offence.

I’m not sure it can really be denied that its tougher to move the puck as a d-man if playing the offside unless, of course, the player is a better and quicker transitioner of the puck on the backhand which is never the case including with any of the Oiler d-men.

ArmchairGM

OriginalPouzar: That’s more of a personnel thing than a coaching thing.

Russell playing on the right side – that isn’t going to lead to a quick transitioning of the puck.

Fundamentally disagree. I shoot left and played RD for years and never had any issues moving the puck north.

Professor Q

NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker): 5 points behind, actually. It’s going to come down to Kucherov, McDavid and if Malkin is healthy, him, I think. Crosby had his huge run. McDavid is just starting his.

Malkin when healthy is just a machine as well.

Watch Kessel surprise us all.

OriginalPouzar

thehop: Strome is a “material” player.

Slepy is a tweener.

Over the last month, absolutely correct.

I like the chemistry that Strome seems to be finding with Caggulia – not sure if that will last but they are currently forming 2/3 of a nice third line. Even doing well on the cycle.

Slepy had a solid game last night – that fourth line with Pakarinan and Letestu have some very nice o-zone shifts.

OriginalPouzar

who: I don’t think Yakupov ever looked as good as Domi did in his first season.Don’t know what’s happened to Domi although I think he missed a lot of time last year with a broken hand. But 3 goals this year is pretty bad.

Yakupov’s rookie season was superior to Domi’s rookie season.

Munny

Jay and Dan led out with ConOil over the Leafs game.

JimmyV1965

Couldn’t watch the first two periods of the game so I did later tonight. Two things stood out in the first period.

JP played really really well. He was moving fast, laying out some hits and setting up linemates, who couldn’t covert.

My whipping boy of choice was at it again. Benning was a flat out turnover machine in the dzone. He rarely wins battles and if he manages to move the puck out of the dzone it’s simply a random event. Too often, he just dumps the puck without actually looking for a teammate.

Also, Stralman hit the Drake right in the numbers and sent him flying head first
into the boards during that last PP. He should have got a penalty. Guys get suspended with that kind of hit.

CrazyCoach

hunter1909: Kind of like the 180 degree opposite of MacT’s chokebag squads, carefully selected to weed out all forms of talent(Rob Schremp cough Jani Rita cough)

Don’t forget the “Best player outside of the NHL” Jiri Dopita.

I think we all found the reason for the “Outside of the NHL” part.

thehop

JimmyV1965: I said Schleppy and 3rd earlier. Msybe that’s not Enuf. Maybe Strome and 4 th. he’s relatively cheap and a C. They probably don’t trade him within the division though.

Strome is a “material” player.

Slepy is a tweener.

It’s got to take more than that me thinks.

Mute point though as Domi is reportedly not for sale.

Zelepukin

New Improved Darkness:

what kind of bees tho?

hunter1909

CrazyCoach:
Due to having to move more darn snow, I only got to see the end of the second and the third.

In site of all the adversity of this season, I will still say that I have and will enjoy every single minute McDavid plays for the Oilers.I was lucky to see Gretzky and I feel very fortunate to see a player like McDavid.

Simply amazing!

Particularly noteworthy is McD’s big game sense. He took the NHL’s number 1 ranked team and single handedly made mincemeat out of them.

Kind of like the 180 degree opposite of MacT’s chokebag squads, carefully selected to weed out all forms of talent(Rob Schremp cough Jani Rita cough)

JimmyV1965

thehop: Caggulia. Jones. Draft picks
It won’t come cheap

I said Schleppy and 3rd earlier. Msybe that’s not Enuf. Maybe Strome and 4 th. he’s relatively cheap and a C. They probably don’t trade him within the division though.

CrazyCoach

Due to having to move more darn snow, I only got to see the end of the second and the third.

In site of all the adversity of this season, I will still say that I have and will enjoy every single minute McDavid plays for the Oilers. I was lucky to see Gretzky and I feel very fortunate to see a player like McDavid.

Simply amazing!

Foege Foegele Torpe

New Improved Darkness,

Haha,
Honey futures were low at the time,

Boil-in-the-Oil

Man, where has THAT team been all year!? In general, played really well up & down the line-up. Connor was of course, exceptional…he was truly “feeling it”. They’re a fun bunch to watch when they play like they did tonite. Nice.

BTW, as far as I know, Sobeys wouldn’t pay a dime more than the annual cost of an insurance policy. If someone does happen to win the million, the insurance company pays out.

Dream on dreamers . . . Go Oilers!

who

Crazy Pedestrian: Yakupov only got a 3rd and he was first overall and had better seasons.

I don’t think Yakupov ever looked as good as Domi did in his first season. Don’t know what’s happened to Domi although I think he missed a lot of time last year with a broken hand. But 3 goals this year is pretty bad.

thehop

NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker): Caleb Jones?

Caggulia. Jones. Draft picks
It won’t come cheap

New Improved Darkness

Crazy Pedestrian
:
Yakupov and a swarm of bees only got a 3rd and he was first overall and had better seasons.

Crazy Pedestrian

JimmyV1965: Let’s try to figure out what Domi is worth. He was drafted 12th overall.He’s had seasons of 18, 9 and now 3 goals. So what’s the value for this? I’m not giving up a first rounder for Domi. So now you’re looking at a second rounder. What does it take for the Oilers to get Domi?

Yakupov only got a 3rd and he was first overall and had better seasons.

JimmyV1965: Let’s try to figure out what Domi is worth. He was drafted 12th overall.He’s had seasons of 18, 9 and now 3 goals. So what’s the value for this? I’m not giving up a first rounder for Domi. So now you’re looking at a second rounder. What does it take for the Oilers to get Domi?

Caleb Jones?

JimmyV1965

GMB3: Seems to be a better player than Strome despite being the younger player on a very poor team. I have no idea how posters here think sleppy and a pick gets it done for a 22 year old top 15 pick who scored at reasonable levels his first two seasons

Let’s try to figure out what Domi is worth. He was drafted 12th overall. He’s had seasons of 18, 9 and now 3 goals. So what’s the value for this? I’m not giving up a first rounder for Domi. So now you’re looking at a second rounder. What does it take for the Oilers to get Domi?

OriginalPouzar: 6 points behind Kucherov.

5 points behind, actually. It’s going to come down to Kucherov, McDavid and if Malkin is healthy, him, I think. Crosby had his huge run. McDavid is just starting his.

Malkin when healthy is just a machine as well.

Scungilli Slushy

JD_Wry: I get a laugh every time they say pugilistiking.

R R childrens learning?

Surly

5-1-1 in their last 7. Hooray.
Sadly..Jan 11th…the day before this 7 game stretch…we were 12 points out of the playoffs. As of tonight, 11 points out. Just so damn hard to make up distance.
California road trip beckons.

CrazyCoach

striatic:
Did Safeway pay off McClellan to bench McDavid in the final 2 minutes?

They pay TMac $250K to bench any player that has 4 goals.

Kind of like Eddie Shore in his coaching days when he’d bench guys who were one goal away from a bonus.

striatic

OriginalPouzar: 6 points behind Kucherov.

With two fewer games played I think. Though MacKinnon has even fewer games played with the same number of points.

OriginalPouzar

striatic:
Where does this game leave McDavid in the scoring race?

Oh, Stauffer just said 3rd.

6 points behind Kucherov.

Drai and Cammy wind up with assists on the 4th McDavid goal? Home town scorekeeper.

striatic

Where does this game leave McDavid in the scoring race?

Oh, Stauffer just said 3rd.

striatic

OriginalPouzar:
Nah – rolling 4 lines, as he should.

I know, I know, just joking around : ]