Long Promised Road

by Lowetide

The Edmonton Oilers rolled through the Capital last night, with the Nuge-McDavid-Rattie line posting nine points and Pontus Aberg finding his way on a new roster. Ethan Bear played a lot, Drake Caggiula cashed and the team ended a successful road trip on a strong note. Back at home, Pacific Heights awaits.

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. Offer is here.

SURF’S UP, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • March 2016: 6-5-0, goal differential -1 (12 points)
  • March 2017: 8-2-1, goal differential +19 (17 points)
  • March 2018: 6-4-1, goal differential +6 (13 points)

The Oilers were quality on this road trip and have a good record in March, plus the goal differential is heading in a good direction. Important not to get fooled by any of the positive, Ottawa and Edmonton are running out the string now. Still, better to win these games and it’s certain the coach remains hungry for victories. Why? My guess is the organization (as Bob Nicholson stated) is wary of change, believing continuity is a key element for long-term success. A strong run to the end of the season (say 4-2-2) would make the final record 37-38-7, 81 points. It’s easier to defend an 81-point season, that’s about 14 points shy of the playoffs, than it is a 70-point season. These games matter to someone, just look at the lines and pairings.

AFTER 74, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers 15-16: 29-38-7, goal differential -45 (65 points)
  • Oilers 16-17: 40-25-9, goal differential +34 (89 points)
  • Oilers 17-18: 33-36-5, goal differential -25 (71 points)

Unforgivable to miss the playoffs with so damn much talent, but you can’t change the results they are in the history books. You can change the approach and we’re two precious weeks from finding out the plan. There’s a difference between what they should do and will do, suspect we’ll be talking about pawns as opposed to Kings.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM MARCH

  • At home to: Nashville, NY Rangers, Arizona, NY Islanders, Minnesota (Expected 2-3-0) (Actual 3-2-0)
  • On the road to: Calgary (Expected 0-1-0) (Actual 0-1-0)
  • At home to: San Jose (Expected 0-0-1) (Actual 0-0-1)
  • On the road to: Florida, Tampa Bay, Carolina, Ottawa (Expected 1-2-1) (Actual 3-1-0)
  • At home to: Los Angeles, Anaheim, Columbus (Expected 2-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Vancouver, Calgary (Expected 1-0-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 6-7-3, 15 points in 16 games
  • Current results: 6-4-1, 13 points in 10 games

March is tracking far better than my projection, with two winnable games at the end of the month. This homestand will be interesting, three teams playing and points matter for them. Will the Oilers get swept?

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Nurse-Larsson were 24-17 in 18:16, 4-1 in goals. Just three offensive zone starts, nine neutral and seven defensive zone draws. Pairing was 14-8 (4-0) with McDavid line, 13-6 in seven minutes against Hoffman-Duchene-Dzingel. A strong night.
  • Russell-Bear went 11-13 in 14:04, 5-6 in scoring chances and 2-1 in high danger scoring chances. Ottawa has some injuries and took a period to get going but even with that this pairing held its own. Were 4-5 in five minutes against Hoffman-Duchene-Dzingel. Ethan Bear is smart. Full stop.
  • Auvitu-Benning were 9-15 in 12:01, they were dominant in the first period. I keep wondering why the gap between Bear and Benning exists but it’s real. Bear played almost seven more minutes last night than Benning. Were 1-9 against Burrows-Smith-McCormick.
  • Cam Talbot stopped 33 of 35, .943. He’s a big part of this late-season surge.
  • NHL.com and NaturalStatTrick.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

  • Nuge-McDavid-Rattie are tearing up the blacktop, this might be something. The key is Leon being able to score on a separate line, and we should still discuss 93-29 as an option for next season. 93-97-8 went 17-11, 4-0 goals. The line was up against the pairing of Chabot-Ceci and the trio of Pyatt-Smith-Paajarvi and went 16-10 and 12-6, respectively. Rattie has now scored three goals in 16 shots over six games. Hot. Is he earning a job for next season? History suggests no, but this team needs value contracts so you never know.
  • Slepyshev-Khaira-Pakarinen were 7-8 in nine minutes, 0-2 in HDSC. They didn’t score but the job is making sure the other guy doesn’t either.
  • Caggiula-Draisaitl-Aberg were 11-12 overall, went 7-5 against Hoffman-Duchene-Dzingel. Leon had a bunch of chances but his timing was off a little. Line could have had at least one more goal by my estimate.
  • Lucic-Strome-Puljujarvi were 7-10 in 9:13, 0-1 GF. Lucic got the only point for the line, a power-play assist on Caggiula’s second goal. Strome had a couple of brilliant chances, JP was a little out of the mix on the second Ottawa goal. Otherwise I thought he played well and was heavily involved in the play. I like this line.

JESSE PULJUJARVI

  • Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. -Max Ehrmann

I’m not going to quote the rigmarole out there, you’ve no doubt seen and heard much of it. Bottom line: Sometimes a situation is perceived as being a test for one (Jesse Puljujarvi) when in reality it is a test for another (Edmonton Oilers).

I’ve mentioned this many times, but the Oilers view young talent as an endlessly renewable resource. It’s the thing that allows the organization to preach patience even during Connor McDavid’s entry level deal. If you view Jesse Puljujarvi as vital to the future, you are moving heaven and earth to find a productive path for this young man. If you view Puljujarvi as the latest flame, easily replaced after another season of failure, then none of this really matters.

Jesse Puljujarvi is a child of the universe, and this is unfolding as it should. If you are pointing at Jesse Puljujarvi, perhaps a quick browse through Oilers history will benefit you. Blaming teenagers is an ugly look.

I’d move the first-round pick in a deal for Dougie Hamilton, if the selection landed between No. 6 and No. 10 overall. Not a chance in hell Calgary does it, but it is a lovely dream. I wanted to touch base on a theory of mine and it goes like this: Both Alberta teams are in a very dangerous spot. It’s possible we see Hamilton or Johnny Gaudreau or Ryan Nugent-Hopkins or Oscar Klefbom sent away this summer, with management in both cities experiencing panic at the disco. I think the team that focuses on what they have, and builds on that, will come out of this as the winner. If either team enters summer with the idea that the “mix” or the “leadership” or the “chemistry” needs a fix, then they’re bloody doomed. The California teams and Vegas merely have to keep on keeping on, while the Alberta teams chase the intangible. It’s pretty incredible.

I had Frank on the Lowdown yesterday, we covered his story as it hit the web. It’s a very good summary of the season, and in my opinion the “layered” nature of the problem and the fact so much went wrong will offer cover to Peter Chiarelli in his role as general manager. I’m less certain about Todd McLellan, the possibility exists that he will have at least one new assistant coach and perhaps he balks at that idea and announces he has been too long at the fair. My guess is an assistant coach from the NHL team and a shuffle in Bakersfield is what we’ll see first week of April. That’s not the same as saying I believe it to be the right move, but it’s the one we’re most likely to see based on evidence (Nicholson interview on HNIC, brazen trade this week with risk involved the absolute personification of a Chiarelli trade).

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A fun, busy show this morning on TSN1260 beginning at 10. Scheduled to appear:

  • Steve Lansky, BigMouthSports. The Flames are out, meaning Winnipeg or Toronto. Which team goes deeper into the postseason? Also, can McDavid win the Hart on a team that misses the playoffs?
  • Warren Currie, The Easy Rider. Warren has been snowboarding for decades and running Easy Rider for 20+ years, and plans to celebrate over the long weekend. We’ll chat about the industry’s growth and what’s to come.
  • Matt Iwanyk, TSN1260. Point counter Point will discuss Jesse Puljujarvi and his handling, March Madness and why Canada can’t support Toronto.
  • Paul Almeida, SSE. Do the auditions of Ty Rattie and Pontus Aberg have any long-term meaning?

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

 

208 comments
0

You may also like

0 0 vote
Article Rating
208 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Bruce McCurdy

speeds:
Andy Dufresne,

the definition they list says less than 80 games.

https://www.capfriendly.com/faq#ufa6

I cant speak for Bruce, perhaps he was assuming/thinking that Rattie would be an RFA?

Yes I was. My bad he is a Group VI. I still think a 1-way deal at or below the AHL burial rate gets it done. He has to recognize this as his best opportunity.

GMB3

Man Ostap Safin has some ridiculous skill. Maksimov and him are great bets where they were drafted. Looking forward to the rest of his time in Bakersfield

Munny

treevojo: Good question.

My brother suggested this blog.

My love for the Oilers was the reason.

I have been reading daily for over ten years.

Today thisis what I value about this blog in order.

1.Humour

2.Banter

3. Potent potables

4.Recipes

5.Ol time stories

6.Music

7.Finances

8. Hockey

Honestly the order of this list can change daily but we are seriously lacking in number one.

This place is hurting for some Chachi.

Joansin’ for it.

Munny

OmJo: Larsson is a 2RD

Larsson is a 2D. A better Seabrook, Gator, whatever.

He’s no Huddy. But he has some Steve Smith in him. Manson. For the modern day.

Rough J-Bouw.

Trees. They fall off trees. YMMV.

kgo

Y’all might have noticed I haven’t posted since the first month of this dastardly season….LT is probably happy to see my account sit dormant….prepare for some rambling.

Here are my thoughts that have been fermenting and marinating for months.

This roster needs elite Right handed players on D and on the Wing.

Picture MCD charging through the neutral zone, or any zone…he needs Rightys playing the right side to pass him the puck at speed…the milliseconds it costs for a lefty to make that pass, or the milliseconds it costs for MCD to take the pass on his backhand are magnified and immeasurable.

In terms of RHD, I think Benning belongs in the AHL or on the third pariing at best ( I realize the fancies disagree) , I’d move Larsson to the 2nd pairing RHD and try to upgrade 1RHD….perhaps trade JP or Klef for a cost controlled, borderline elite RHD assuming at least 90cents on the dollar. (I’d bring Bear along in the AHL, with callups at every opportunity when a RHD goes down). Don’t get me wrong on Adam Larsson, I think him and MCD should play 30 mins a night each reciprocally.

In terms of RH FWDs:

Strome should be qualified on a 1yr deal.
Pakarinen should be shot into the sun, to rest next to Mr. Pettrel
Sleppy should be brought back only on a league minimum deal
Yamamoto shouldn’t see the NHL for another 2 years (his ridiculous deployment by a desperate TMAC is partly to blame for our slow start)
JP should be stapled to CMD for the entire next season…If he scores a ton and costs us money that’s a great problem to have.

I think Talbot shitting the bed this season is, in hindsight, somewhat predictable. Everyone thought the birth of his twins would wreck him last season….but any man with kids should have known that the first 6-8 months are a savage burden on the mother, but the father’s burden appears later in the equation..

As far as coaching and mgmt:

Tmac is a conundrum…on one hand he’s clearly an amazing sports psychologist…which might be the most important part of his job…but his loyalty to Woodcroft and vets such as Lucic, Letestu, and even Pakarinen (perhaps via Chiarelli) have cost the Oil immensely…I’d fire everyone but TMac and install some strong experienced voices whilst stripping TMac of some strategic authority.

Seeing Lucic on the PP all season in almost inexcusable….the PK format equally so

Chia has to go….I was one of his most ardent supporters until now. His NMC with Russel, knowing an expansion was on the horizon, in inexcusable…I’m praying he has the personal clout to get Lucic, Russel and or Sek to waive there respective NMCs or the next expansion draft is going to be extremely painful. My nightmare scenario is that Bear emerges and promptly disappears to the Seattle Totems….but it could be worse than that.

My Schadenfreud has been strong as the season closes, Seeing the flames die a miserable death has been enjoyable…seeing the islanders flounder has been fun (although I feel for Duggy W)
If the Panthers can knock out THall and the Devils I might even be able to rest easy until October.

OmJo

Bobcaygeon: Honestly, with all the talk on Nurse for Trouba….RW IMHO is right up there with NEEDS to get this fixed talk….

I would take a run at Stone, forget the Hoffman or Trouba talk, this is the guy I target from Ottawa…
RFA and a real need, the plus is….. I’m not sure Ottawa has a real taste for the salary demand Stone is going to be asking.

The thing with RW vs RD, I mean right now you could argue we need a RW moreso than a RD (and vice versa) but in terms of the reinforcements coming within the system, I think the glaring issue is RD.

For RW we have Puljujarvi, Yamamoto, Maksimov, Saphin. We also have Connor McDavid, a C who can make any RW he plays with better.

We don’t have that kind of solution at RD. We have Bear coming up, and Berglund a few seasons away. Larsson is a 2RD, I think we can agree on that. A very good 2RD, mind you, this isn’t an insult to him. Benning can be a 3RD, I still have faith in him. We don’t have a LD who can do to a RD what McDavid can do with his wingers. Sekera was that LD (Fayne, Russell, maybe Benning) but who knows if he still can be after his injury.

I think RW can be fixed, at least temporarily, through free agency. Give time for the young RWs to grow and develop in the AHL and hopefully turn into useful NHL players – scratch that, useful Oilers.

That being said, I would go Stone over Hoffman as well. I’m not sold on Hoffman.

Ottawa might be the place to go this summer for deals. Sad time for the franchise… This is not the way you put butts in the seats..

OmJo

Wilde: I have to go and can’t give you a full write up on this, but if you have a subscription to the Athletic this is a good piece on the specific subject of Trouba’s on ice play and his value in contract negotiations

https://theathletic.com/278453/2018/03/18/everyone-knows-jacob-trouba-is-extremely-valuable-to-the-winnipeg-jets/

Thanks, I’ll give it a read tomorrow morning. If you do have time tomorrow, I would like to hear why you think he’s significantly better than Nurse still. If not, no worries.

OmJo

Andy Dufresne: Technically speaking I beleive Trouba could be fit in under the cap.

I think there is an above average probability that the plan is to sign Darnell to a bridge contract that keeps him happy until Sekera and Russell are moved.

I think that would be the best case scenario, yeah. Unfortunately probably not as realistic as we’d like it to be though, if Nurses agent has anything to say…

treevojo

Réal Goudenyéu: I’m curious what you define as value?

Good question.

My brother suggested this blog.

My love for the Oilers was the reason.

I have been reading daily for over ten years.

Today this is what I value about this blog in order.

1. Humour

2. Banter

3. Potent potables

4. Recipes

5. Ol time stories

6. Music

7. Finances

8. Hockey

Honestly the order of this list can change daily but we are seriously lacking in number one.

This place is hurting for some Chachi.

Bos8

Now 3-1 Bakersfield Yip!

Scungilli Slushy

OmJo:
On the Lowdown earlier today, Steve Lansky made a case for cheering for the Maple Leafs, comparing it to if you break up with your girlfriend and your buddy goes out with her, it shouldn’t be a big deal.

I get that.

But the Leafs winning the cup would be like your girlfriend and best friend dating, and then constantly throwing it in your face for the next decade.

I have no problem cheering for the Leafs organization, per se. But their fanbase, and the media who worships the ground the team walks on, will make being a hockey fan in this country unbearable for at least a year if they win the cup. And that just isn’t worth it to me.

That said, go Jets go!

I’ve had several buddies date exes, I thought it was creepy. Certainly awkward. Not enough fish in the sea? At least one married the girl.

I’m with Connor. If it’s not the Oilers it’s no one. I can lend support to a certain team winning over another because of dislikes and I’ll lean Canadian whenever possible but probably only for the Jets Sens or Habs.

Réal Goudenyéu

treevojo:
God this comment section misses CHACHI.

I can’t remember the last time I actually laughed out loud.

It’s too bad he brought no value.

I’m curious what you define as value?

JimmyV1965

I remember last year the mantra for Tmac on the PP was get a shot off in the first seven seconds. What happened with that? Why is that not taking place? Have the coaches simply moved away from this. Are the players ignoring it? Either way. Not good.

treevojo

Woodguy v2.0: Wait…… Isn’t Andy Dufrense the same person as Chachi?

Not even close

Pouzar

OriginalPouzar: I anticipate they sign Marody shortly after Michigan is eliminated.

Hope you are right!

Wilde

Wild ending to the Penguins-Devils game, wow.

hunter1909

Ribs: Probably the same as Advisor Messier….

Look. Anything that devalues the “star power” of Lowe+MacT in Katz’s eyes is a good thing.

Gretzky, Coffey, Messier are like Henry Fonda and his brothers riding into Tombstone in the John Ford movie “My Darling Clementine”.

Personally, after over a decade of seeing how the Putz Brothers operate, this trio can literally do no wrong.

Richard S.S.

If anyone is capable of an objective analysis of Cooper Marody from the game, I would apprieciate an evaluation. Thank You.

OriginalPouzar

Pouzar:
Saturday Mar 24:
No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 3 Northeastern | 4:30 p.m. | ESPNews | DCU Center in Worcester, Mass. (Northeast regional)

http://onhockey.tv/is your friend.

It will be on TSNGO as well.

Looking forward to watching.

I anticipate they sign Marody shortly after Michigan is eliminated.

Ribs

Woogie63:
What is coach Coffey upto these days?

Probably the same as Advisor Messier….

frjohnk

NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker):
I am not in the “Chia is an idiot” camp.

I do have a question, though.

If Chia > Treliving because he did not give up the assets for Hamonic…BUT

Arthur Staple says outright that Garth Snow turned down Taylor Hall for Travis Hamonic

What does it all mean?

Chia > Treliving < SnowTreliving < Snow < Chia

Then you add the Reinhart trade back in and it’s all so confusing. Treliving is at the bottom, though. We can all agree on that. Suck it, Flames!

All 3 of these GMs are on shaky ground.

I could care less on what happens to the Islanders but a dream scenario would be the Flames pick and Oilers pick to win 2 of the lotteries.

So when any Flames fan complains about the Oilers and getting top picks, we can just say “what are you guys complaining about, you guys won a lottery too”

And when they say “yeah, but…”
Ill start laughing at that point.

pts2pndr

Andy Dufresne,

Tnx Andy
Motivation has to come from the individual. Each individual has a somewhat different currency. It is incumbent on the coaching staff to know what their individual players currency is! The coaching staff then finds a system that best fits the talent they have available and assigns each player a role so that the team is able to play his system effectively! It is imperative in this day and age for the coach to be able to adjust his system to take advantage of his opponents weaknesses. If the game plans are successful the buy in by the players is reasonably easy to come by. If the coaches systems obviously do not work the players in short order will revert to individual play!
Coaching is a very difficult job. Any coach that thinks they can win by playing their system exclusively without adjustments to what their opponents are doing is domed to failure! Todays successful coach is one who can determine what changes are required and make them quickly!
This can only be done if the belief system of the players in their coach is strong.

Woogie63

What is coach Coffey upto these days?

Scungilli Slushy

I’ve long thought the Oilers should have a go at Trouba if they are looking at doing anything. Although I think the Oilers management is so cynical that Bob’s speeches are placating. They are very likely to do little with the roster.

Because of the expansion. The easiest play is condense the roster and keep picks, it’s better in the long run. Trade all NMCs you can before and protect the future.

Back to Trouba, his latest bell ringing, and injury history make me think give him a swerve. So much potential for a problem, and his contract will be a problem.

I think they can make the playoffs and compete well just shoring up the team overall. Sure a deadly sniper and strong D would be ideal, but at what cost?

The biggest issue outside those is role players not playing strong two way games or needing shelter, instead of supporting the skill.

No NMCs, add Grabner at 3M and a player like Winnik who plays good D and can get some points. Yes Winnik again, but he is versatile, PKs and can play any forward position and apparently can skate.

I’d move Kassian for cap because he is unreliable defensively, and possibly Cags as he’s finishing hot but gets caved. Rattie on an AHL friendly one way because while you this might be his emergence, I don’t want to watch Connor grinding so some guy can float around waiting for the set up. Not fair to. Connor and a waste. I think Grabner brings more.

More help around the edges that can do the hard things is what is needed to get the bogeyman down, the GA.

Once Russell and Sekera can be moved options open, and in a better UFA year. Keep picks, keep talent and get cheaper UFA help that can be moved and can still keep up.

** it fits under the cap with a little bonus risk with Winnik at 2.5 which should entice. I also trade Inifo and sign Khudobin for 1.5

Munny

Woodguy v2.0: Wait…… Isn’t Andy Dufrense the same person as Chachi?

Pretty obviously not.

Pouzar

Saturday Mar 24:
No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 3 Northeastern | 4:30 p.m. | ESPNews | DCU Center in Worcester, Mass. (Northeast regional)

http://onhockey.tv/ is your friend.

StixMalone

Bobcaygeon: I’m not sure Ottawa has a real taste for the salary demand Stone is going to be asking.

Not sure we would like or afford his salary either…..

Woodguy v2.0

Munny: I’ll second that emotion.

Wait…… Isn’t Andy Dufrense the same person as Chachi?

I am not in the “Chia is an idiot” camp.

I do have a question, though.

If Chia > Treliving because he did not give up the assets for Hamonic…BUT

Arthur Staple says outright that Garth Snow turned down Taylor Hall for Travis Hamonic

What does it all mean?

Chia > Treliving < Snow Treliving < Snow < Chia

Then you add the Reinhart trade back in and it's all so confusing. Treliving is at the bottom, though. We can all agree on that. Suck it, Flames!

Munny

treevojo:
God this comment section misses CHACHI.

I can’t remember the last time I actually laughed out loud.

It’s too bad he brought no value.

I’ll second that emotion.

Pouzar

OmJo:
Pouzar,

Would you say Nurse has a higher ceiling?

Yes.

Pouzar

Wilde: It’s not just a premium for handedness, Trouba is a much, much better player.

Would love to know why you think that.

JimmyV1965

I’d sign Nurse to eight year deal at 4.17 mill. Same as Klef and Larsson. There’s no reason to pay him more, other than cap increase, and he will likely be just as good.

Biggus Dickus

commonfan29:
Wayne Kenov,

All-in on getting rid of offsides.

We’ve all been conditioned since childhood to just accept that 20 or so offensive rushes a game will get killed by whistles and that it’s fine.

I don’t think it has to be that way.

Cool, I’m not on an island. I think the blueline removal would be awesome, as it would essentially kill the dump and chase game. I do think you need the blueline coming out of the zone though, otherwise you get the problem of teams being passive on the breakout. So I think the rule would work something like this:

Should a puck cross over the red line, thhen there is no blueline. Once the puck enters the offensive zone, the blueline reappears, and any puck cleared puts all players in the offensive zone offside. If the puck crosses the red line upon clearing (not carried back by the offensive team), then the blueline becomes non existent again (whether players clear the zone or not).

It’s that last sentence that I’m fussing over. I want to punish the defensive team for chipping it off the glass, which forces a complete reset of the offense, but I don’t want to hem them in indefinitely. I think the way I set it up punishes the offensive team for not holding the line, and allows for the defensive team to be aggressive on the breakout, but discourages the chip play. There should still be time to chip it off the glass and change a player or two, but fear of a quick transition would limit the complete line changes.

The more I think about it, the more I think that this is the solution rather than bigger ice surfaces. Mostly because only one is unachievable.

Bobcaygeon

OmJo:
With our RW depth I don’t see why you wouldn’t sign Rattie to a one-year contract if this play keeps up.

He can be a cheap stopgap at 1RW until one of the prospects are ready, and then be moved down the lineup and easily replaced (or even traded) a year or two from now.

He can’t be very expensive. $1M? He’s making $700K now.

And signing him (cheap) wouldn’t mean you can’t still look for another winger to play the left side on line 2. Somebody a bit more seasoned for Draisaitl and JP. Grabner? He’s not doing so hot in New Jersey but that should help get him at a reduced price. You don’t score 25+ goals back to back by fluke, do you?

Nuge-McDavid-Rattie
Grabner-Draisaitl-Puljujarvi
Lucic-Strome-Aberg (or JP)
_____-Khaira-Kassian

_____ can be a penalty killer. Have Nuge and Grabner on PK1, Khaira and _____ on PK2.

Honestly, with all the talk on Nurse for Trouba….RW IMHO is right up there with NEEDS to get this fixed talk….

I would take a run at Stone, forget the Hoffman or Trouba talk, this is the guy I target from Ottawa…
RFA and a real need, the plus is….. I’m not sure Ottawa has a real taste for the salary demand Stone is going to be asking.

StixMalone

digger50:
I noticed Ian Herbers behind the bench for a few games. Are they showcasing him for a firing?

Kidding

But curious how Ian fit into the coaching strategy the last few years, and what suddenly put him back on the bench.

I didn’t notice him there but having him there that’s a good thing. Play has improved has it not?

Wilde

Andy Dufresne,

Bag skates are very, very uncommon in the modern game, and those that refrain from them often have strong opinions about the practice being futile and immature.

Which paints a decent picture on what the reputation of negative-focused reinforcement has become.

OmJo: How do they compare? By which metrics? I don’t watch the Jets so I based that post just by points. I guess what I’m trying to say is is he $2M dollars better than Nurse.

What intrigues me about Nurse offensively is, yes he’s probably more inconsistent than you’d like, but in terms of production he’s a top 30 defenceman in Even Strength Points at only 23 years old. All of his points are even strength.

I think that’s significant. I personally can’t wait to see what level he reaches next season. Can we afford Trouba at $7M, assuming that’s the ask.

I have to go and can’t give you a full write up on this, but if you have a subscription to the Athletic this is a good piece on the specific subject of Trouba’s on ice play and his value in contract negotiations

https://theathletic.com/278453/2018/03/18/everyone-knows-jacob-trouba-is-extremely-valuable-to-the-winnipeg-jets/

Andy Dufresne

OmJo: How do they compare? By which metrics? I don’t watch the Jets so I based that post just by points. I guess what I’m trying to say is is he $2M dollars better than Nurse.

What intrigues me about Nurse offensively is, yes he’s probably more inconsistent than you’d like, but in terms of production he’s a top 30 defenceman in Even Strength Points at only 23 years old. All of his points are even strength.

I think that’s significant. I personally can’t wait to see what level he reaches next season. Can we afford Trouba at $7M, assuming that’s the ask.

Technically speaking I beleive Trouba could be fit in under the cap.

I think there is an above average probability that the plan is to sign Darnell to a bridge contract that keeps him happy until Sekera and Russell are moved.

digger50

I noticed Ian Herbers behind the bench for a few games. Are they showcasing him for a firing?

Kidding

But curious how Ian fit into the coaching strategy the last few years, and what suddenly put him back on the bench.

SwedishPoster

commonfan29:
I had a thought on NHL coaching the other day that might be completely wrong.

When we hear hockey people talk about some Assistant coaches being Xs and Os guys, what are they really talking about? In other sports, like football, that could be an Offensive Coordinator who is constantly working on devising new plays and ways to attack a defense, tailored to his personnel.

The best of these guys get a fair bit of attention during broadcasts and occasionally get referred to as geniuses who are “changing the game.”

It happens to a lesser extent in basketball as well, with references to coaches who are designing new plays or even whole new offensive schemes. These guys are more likely to be referred to a gurus than geniuses. Sometimes though, NBA coaches still manage to “change the game” – and that’s definitely something we’ve seen recently in the league with the style of the Nash-era Suns evolving into the current Warriors and Rockets. NBA basketball is played very differently now on offense than it was in the 90s.

Do we see that in hockey?

We’ve certainly seen it defensively with the trap and an emphasis on shot-blocking taking over the game. But have we seen anywhere near the same kind of major innovations offensively?

For the NHL coaches who should be driving those innovations, do they get those jobs because they’ve shown an ability to be creative or because they have a firm grasp of specific systems and a demonstrated ability to teach players how to execute those systems?

McDavid’s ability to skillfully control the puck at his level of top speed seems to be an entirely new weapon that no NHL team has had access to before. Shouldn’t we be seeing the Oilers deploying a totally new kind of offensive scheme to take specific advantage of that weapon?

Is that something the coaches are thinking about? Or are they just floored by how well he can execute their systems?

I’m personally a little tired of our coaching staff expressing bewilderment at McDavid’s play and abilities. Instead of saying that they’ve run out of words to describe what Connor can do, I’d prefer they talked about how they’re obsessed with trying to come up with new ways to take advantage of it.

My read on McClellan and his staff are that they do not think this way. They seems to be by-the-book NHL coaches, and I think a team with Connor McDavid needs something more.

I’m not sure where to find that, but increasingly I’m thinking that they need to bring in someone from completely outside the hockey world.

I’d argue that hockey is the least tactically creative of the bigger team sports. Very little innovation going on. It’s a really fast sport with very little space and time so there’s a level of difficulty to execute but I still think there’s room for more tactical diversity and certainly offensively.

Part of the issue in the NHL is the constant recycling of coaches and managers, and the newcomers have often been mentored by one of the oldies or are former players hired due to connections, but also the limited time teams have to practice together due to a tight schedule, though that ofc goes for a lot of pro sports.

Andy Dufresne

commonfan29,

Excellent Point.

I have seen one or two small things…..like when we are on the PP and doing an up the ice zone entry and the typical play is to hit center ice with speed driving the defenders back and then drop passing to a rushing teammate.

So the coaching staff add a wrinkle with McDavid. They have him circle back at high speed and in essence perform a second drop pass within milliseconds of the first drop pass.

I know its a small thing but Ive never seen it before.

Anyway agreed that they havent even scratched the surface on Innovation utilizing his gift.

commonfan29

Wayne Kenov,

All-in on getting rid of offsides.

We’ve all been conditioned since childhood to just accept that 20 or so offensive rushes a game will get killed by whistles and that it’s fine.

I don’t think it has to be that way.

jm363561

Pouzar:
In 7 games together:

Nuge: 4g-5a, +10
McD: 5g-8a, +13

If this keeps up, is there comes a point where trading Connor’s stud LWer becomes untenable?
===========

It’s not just the numbers but the way they have played. Hat tip to the coach – only took him two and three-quarter seasons to give the pairing a shot. I was sure Nuge was gone, but with the cap increase maybe not.

OmJo

Pouzar,

Would you say Nurse has a higher ceiling?

OmJo

Pouzar: I don’t cheer for anyone but the Oilers.
Couldn’t care less about any other team. I just have teams I hate less.

Fair enough. Can I rephrase the question to what story are you most looking forward to this postseason? If any.

OmJo

Wilde: It’s not just a premium for handedness, Trouba is a much, much better player.

How do they compare? By which metrics? I don’t watch the Jets so I based that post just by points. I guess what I’m trying to say is is he $2M dollars better than Nurse.

What intrigues me about Nurse offensively is, yes he’s probably more inconsistent than you’d like, but in terms of production he’s a top 30 defenceman in Even Strength Points at only 23 years old. All of his points are even strength.

I think that’s significant. I personally can’t wait to see what level he reaches next season. Can we afford Trouba at $7M, assuming that’s the ask.

jm363561

“..brazen trade this week with risk involved the absolute personification of a Chiarelli trade.”

Nice line. You might also add the Lucic and Draisaitl contracts …. risk, risk, risk. (I was neutral on the Looch contract; now I hate it. Hated, and continue to hate, Drai’s deal – just too much risk). Having said that, on balance, I am still marginally ok with Chia. The coaching has to change.

Andy Dufresne

pts2pndr:
Andy Dufresne,

Andy if you truly believe fear is the best motivator please except my deepest sympathies foryou!
Fear is mentalyand emotionaly debilitating! It will cause individuals to emotionaly withdraw. Atheletes will freeze as they will defer to play not to lose rather than to win. I truly hope you were only fooling!

I guess I am incorrectly using fear as a generic catchall for negative reinforcement.

Do hockey players fear a bag skate? Probably not

Did Grant Fhur fear having to run up and down the steps in the Colesium? probably not

Does a 4th line grinder fear losing playing time when he does dumb things on the ice? probably not.

So Fear is probably the wrong word to use in terms of hockey “motivators”

What would you call these various forms of behavioral adjustment techniques? because they do exist. Would it be more accurate to call it negative reinforcement?

I can remember working extremley long and late hours on mutli-million dollar proposals. I honestly beleived that it was (at times) fear that was motivating me. Fear of Loosing, Fear of missing a deadline, etc……but perhaps that was an illusion…perhaps I was perceiving it the wrong way….perhaps it was just extreme competiveness…..but it felt like fear…..

But I am definitey open to your way of thinking…. I guess the point is that psychology definitely establishes fear as a prime human motivator for action. But as you say….not as motivator in sports…..

Wilde

OmJo: That still turns me off from the idea of trading Nurse for Trouba. Maybe I’m too cap cautious, idk. If it takes $7M to sign Trouba in Canada vs $5M to sign Nurse, is the $2M premium for Trouba holding the stick with his right hand worth it?

It’s not just a premium for handedness, Trouba is a much, much better player.