We’re about two months away from exit meetings and possibly ownership following through on changes. It might impact the front office, coaching staff, scouting staff, it will absolutely impact the roster. What is the state of the organization? My suspicion is that one or two plans are sitting on the owner’s desk, or maybe rattling around in his mind. Todd McLellan and Peter Chiarelli may or may not arrive at training camp in the fall in their current roles, but in my opinion a lot of their story depends on the next 30 games. An 82-85 point season is easier to defend than something around 75. These games matter to the Edmonton Oilers. Including tonight.
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- New Lowetide: Now is the time to play Khaira and Puljujarvi
- New Minnia Feng: Broken hearted Oilers fan Survival Guide.
- New Jonathan Willis: Maroon’s re-signing examined
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: Oilers and the WHL.
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers burning a year of development time in Bakersfield.
- Lowetide: What would Sam Pollock do?
- Lowetide: Oilers Keeper List
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: Oilers and the WHL.
- Lowetide: Oilers draft history and the OHL
- Lowetide: Oilers draft and college returns
- Lowetide: Central Scouting and where the Oilers shop for talent
GOOD VIBRATIONS, YEAR OVER YEAR
- February 2016: 2-1-0, goal differential +5 (4 points)
- February 2017: 1-2-0, goal differential -3 (2 points)
- February 2018: 1-1-1, goal differential 0 (3 points)
- February 7, 2016: NYI 8, Edmonton 1 (Source)
- February 11, 2017: Chicago 5, Edmonton 1 (Source)
This year’s Oilers are not running out of step with either of the two previous McLellan teams, no strong start to any month for Edmonton in recent years. Does Talbot go tonight and Montoya tomorrow, or vice versa?
AFTER 52, YEAR OVER YEAR
- Oilers 15-16: 21-26-5, goal differential -21 (47 points)
- Oilers 16-17: 28-16-8, goal differential +18 (64 points)
- Oilers 17-18: 23-25-4, goal differential -23 (50 points)
- February 6, 2016: Montreal 5, Edmonton 1 (Source)
- February 2, 2017: Nashville 2, Edmonton 0 (Source)
Although we don’t necessarily want to acknowledge it, the 2015-16 Oilers have shown us a lot about this season, even in recent weeks when some separation has occurred. That item above, the one about a 70-point team not being defensible, while an 82-85 point team would be a little different animal? I believe that to be the case, which makes the deadline interesting. Maybe we see the general manager adding at the deadline. It could happen just this way, maybe taking on the form of a Patrick Maroon extension.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM FEBRUARY?
- At home to: Colorado, Tampa Bay (Expected 0-1-1) (Actual 1-0-1)
- On the road to: Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Jose (Expected 1-1-1) (Actual 0-1-0)
- 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: 1-1-1, three points in three games
Edmonton’s two games in California this weekend offer the team an opportunity to get back to ‘fake .500’ in the Bettman NHL. If the team goes 15-13-2 from this point to the end of the season, the final record will be 38-38-6, 82 points. In 15-16, the club would go 10-17-3 to finish 31-43-8, 70 points. If this team matches that record, the final scroll will read 33-42-7, 73 points. That would likely get people fired, although it might happen anyway.
LOWETIDE DRAFT LIST, 2008
For some of you, my back story lists are interesting curios. I posted my 2011 list yesterday in the comments section, will pass along the rest in the coming days. We begin with 2008, I’ve left the original comments and the actual draft number is in brackets. Here is the original post.
-  Steve Stamkos- Terrific talent but just average for 1st overall.
-  Zach Bogosian- He might end up being the best NHL player in this draft.
-  Mikael Boedker- Someone’s getting a ridiculous talent.
-  Drew Doughty- One dimensional, but what a dimension.
-  Joshua Bailey- Has wide range of skills.
-  Luke Schenn- A unqiue talent in this draft.
-  Colin Wilson- Calling card is his ability to take/make a pass.
-  Zach Boychuk- One dimensional talent has terrific skill.
-  Nikita Filatov- May be the equal of Stamkos.
-  Alex Pietrangelo- Mobile defender, raw compared to the group above him.
-  Cody Hodgson- Wide range of skills.
-  Joe Colborne- Playmaking center comes with size and risk.
-  Colby Robak- Size, speed and skill. Terrific package.
-  Kyle Beach- John Ferguson reincarnated.
-  Michael DelZotto- Good offense, needs work without the puck.
-  Jordan Eberle- Skill forward with big brain. Born Oiler.
-  Mattias Tedenby- Speed, skill and energy. Undersized.
-  Jake Gardiner- Sleeper. Terrific speed, smarts. 6-2, 170.
-  Greg Nemisz- Shooter with some size.
-  Luca Sbisa- Solid D prospect with wide range of skills.
-  Erik Karlsson- Intelligent puck mover is very small (5-11, 165).
-  Corey Trivino- Skilled playmaker, variety of skills. Undersized.
-  Tyler Myers- Huge defender who skates well. Not much offense.
-  Colton Teubert- Rock hard D with speed. A born Flame.
-  Tyler Cuma- Strong 2-way defender is undersized.
-  John Carlson- Bull in a china shop. Nice range of skills.
-  Tyler Ennis- Speed demon with skill. 43 goals in the dub.
-  Anton Gustafsson- Two way C with plus size and skill. Back a concern.
-  Zac Dalpe- Plus shot, has skill and a work ethic.
-  Luke Adam- Big scorer from the Q. Speed a concern.
Some hits, some misses, but it’s fun to look back on these items. I’m pleased that Eberle was such a great pick for Edmonton. In just 10 years, the slow defender has paid a heavy price. No way Luke Schenn goes this high in the modern game. Those Karlsson vitals look ridiculous even today, but what a player. The Ottawa Senators can draft like no one’s business, it’s the rest of the business that gets them in trouble.
WHO IS THE BEST OILERS BLUE?
My understanding is that Puck IQ and the brilliant ‘binning’ they employ will soon find its way to our shores. In the meantime, lots of discussion along the good ship Al Gore about who among the Oilers blue is the best. Although it is far past a lost cause, I will once again argue for my friend Corsi Rel as a very good line in the sand. Perfect? No. There is no single stat that gives us the entire photograph. However, Rel is a quick and easy glance into which player is getting the job done across many names. Here are the Oilers’ regulars and their Corsi Rel’s 5×5 via Natural Stat Trick.
- Darnell Nurse 2.51
- Brandon Davidson 2.11
- Andrej Sekera -0.26
- Matt Benning -0.29
- Oscar Klefbom -0.33
- Adam Larsson -1.27
- Kris Russell -4.16
As is always the case, Kris Russell doesn’t shine via this metric. In the interests of including Russell’s blocked shots prowess, here are the Fenwick numbers for the group:
- Darnell Nurse 3.74
- Brandon Davidson 0.85
- Oscar Klefbom 0.42
- Matt Benning -1.34
- Adam Larsson -1.97
- Kris Russell -2.33
- Andrej Sekera -4.80
All via NaturalStatTrick. The “Shots-against/60 5×5” number is Russell’s best metric that I follow, he is No. 4 (here). It’s okay that we disagree, but if you are touting Oscar Klefbom as a failure then I need to push back on it because that is wildly unfair to the player. Even in an injury season. Kris Russell can defend and that has value, but if Oscar does get dealt let it be known that this blog had his back from Day One until the trade was completed. Klefbom is the real thing.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10 this morning, TSN1260. A fun show ahead! Scheduled to appear:
- Steve Lansky, BigMouthSports. Steve has been to two Olympics, we’ll talk about his experience and early take on the 2018 edition.
- Nick Dika, bass player for the Arkells and Jays writer at Baseball Prospectus. We’ll talk rock and roll, plus baseball!
- Matt Iwanyk, TSN1260. NBA trade deadline incredible, plus Olympic games and the Oilers.
- Paul Almeida, SSE. Preview the Saturday show and talk NHL trade deadline.
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!