Union City Blue

by Lowetide

The Edmonton Oilers had 14 high-danger scoring chances at 5×5 last night, and cashed on a play I would judge to be low danger (assuming a normal human being had the chance). Natural Stat Trick tells us Edmonton ranks No. 3 overall in HDSC’s, with 9.7 at 5×5 per game. As upset as one might be about last night’s game, and it was the 44th loss so you should be used to it by now, this club had their chances.

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.

DID SHE MENTION MY NAME, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • March 2016: 7-8-0, goal differential -3 (14 points)
  • March 2017: 10-2-1, goal differential +21 (21 points)
  • March 2018: 7-6-2, goal differential +2 (16 points)

One game left in the month and it’s still going to represent a healthy chapter compared to the others this year. The Oilers have so many bad habits it’s difficult to pick a favorite. Last night, I noticed many people focusing on coverage, I spent the evening amazed by all of the terrible passes. Vase, vase. It’ll need to be fixed by fall.

AFTER 78, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers 15-16: 30-41-7, goal differential -47 (67 points)
  • Oilers 16-17: 44-25-9, goal differential +40 (97 points)
  • Oilers 17-18: 34-38-6, goal differential -30 (74 points)

Well, they aren’t going to catch Calgary. However, the Oilers may yet draft inside the top 10 overall. This is a pitiful record if you look at it after a Connor McDavid shift, but full value if you’re peering at the standings during a shift by anyone else. Edmonton cannot handle pressure on its defense, they crumble like, well, crumb cake.

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 1-1-1)
  • On the road to: Vancouver, Calgary (Expected 1-0-1) (Actual 0-1-0)
  • Overall expected result: 6-7-3, 15 points in 16 games
  • Current results: 7-6-2, 16 points in 15 games

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Auvitu-Benning were 13-11 in 12:01, 0-1 GF. I think the goal against was a collective outreach cluster bleep, Leon was slow to awaken, Talbot went walkabout and both defenders left an ocean down the slot. Went 6-5 against Goldobin-Horvat-Jokinen (good grief) and that was the line that was on the ice for the GWG. Curiously, the pairing had four offensive and five defensive zone starts.
  • Nurse-Larsson went 19-17 in 19:22 (they are playing too much) and 0-1 GF. I think it was icing and that set up the entire play. You may feel differently. Were 12-6 against Sedin-Sedin-Gagner. Again with the weird zone starts, seven in the offensive zone and five in the defensive.
  • Sekera-Russell were 9-10 in 14:55, 0-0 GF. This was an astute move by the coaching staff, placing the two veterans together in an effort to shore up the second pair. Went 2-4 against the low event police of Motte-Sutter-Archibald. Sekera had his best game (imo) since his return, Russell was effective save for the outlet passing.
  • Cam Talbot stopped 28 of 30, .933. Misstep on the GWG, solid otherwise.
  • NaturalStatTrick and NHL.com.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

  • Lucic-Strome-Puljujarvi went 13-5 in 11:52. I thought the trio was splendid, with Strome leading the way. If he could hit the damnable net once in awhile he would score 20. Puljujarvi was mostly quiet and Lucic was unlucky and slow, but criticizing these three men for last night is a strange way. Went 6-3 against the Sedins.
  • Nuge-McDavid-Rattie were 15-9 in 14:46, 0-0 GF and 9-5 in SF. They were 3-3 in HDSC, seems to be a higher event line than need be. Went 11-7 against Motte-Sutter-Archibald. I’m going to guess McDavid-Draisaitl ends up being a better possession driver as a line.
  • Pakarinen-Khaira-Kassian were 9-8 in 7:18, 0-1 GF (it was offside). The line went 6-6 in scoring chances but 1-4 in HDSC’s, that’s an interesting line. Were 5-5 against Boucher-Gaunce-Gaudette. Kassian is in a funk of games where he doesn’t really do anything, especially at 5×5. I thought he showed flashes of coming out of it last night.
  • Caggiula-Draisaitl-Aberg were 12-14 in 11:51, 0-1 GF. Leon needs a Pisani in the worst way. Were outshot 7-12 and lost the SC battle 5-6 but were 3-3 in HD. I think Draisaitl should be run with Khaira or Puljujarvi for awhile. Warts and all, there’s more promise with those two men.

OH MY GENTLE LORD

In the words of the great philosopher Blondie “Oh Hoe, Oh Hoe, what are we gonna do?” That was a nothing play. Nothing. Zippo. Nada. Wow.

In my piece for The Athletic today, there are lots of interesting tidbits on the entire roster. Joe Gambardella’s season is the most interesting in my opinion, drilling down on his numbers gives one hope for this young man’s future.

RYAN STROME AND NEXT YEAR

I’ve come around on Strome as a No. 3 center and would bring him back next season. In fact, despite appearances, I’m on board with most of the roster returning:

  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins—Connor McDavid—????
  • ????—Leon Draisaitl—Jesse Puljujarvi
  • Milan Lucic—Ryan Strome—Kailer Yamamoto
  • Pontus Aberg—Jujhar Khaira—Zack Kassian
  • ???—Iiro Pakarinen
  • Oscar Klefbom—Adam Larsson
  • Darnell Nurse—?????
  • Andrej Sekera—Kris Russell
  • Matt Benning
  • Cam Talbot (???)

I have just five replacements listed, the problem being the organization must upgrade a gigantic amount and cannot borrow from the current roster. Next stop: Draft lottery.

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Wilde

JimmyV1965: 1.25m, 300k

And that’s too much. They need to shed 100% of the fat on this team, including bridging Nurse to keep everyone and add help and that should be the goal.

JimmyV1965

Wilde:
€√¥£€^$,

Yeah, the thing with that UND line is it had Boeser and N. Schmaltz on it, who are both just splendid forwards more than capable of zooming the shit out of a guy at that level.

Caggiula is actually pretty good at getting to high danger areas on time offensively, well above league average, but he’s just so far below replacement level at the same thing defensively that he gives the other team a great chance to outchance and outscore him.

I’d like to see if he could play well defensively under another coach, but I don’t think he’s worth the money to find out.

He’s also completely fine on the fourth line by underlying metrics, but we’ve got too many of those guys. Need to move Kassian and have the 4th line cost under 2.5M (combined) next year.

I’m not sure what you mean when you say he’s not worth the money. He’ll get maybe 1.25 mill in a new deal. If you send him to the minors, his cap hit is 300k.

Wilde

€√¥£€^$,

Yeah, the thing with that UND line is it had Boeser and N. Schmaltz on it, who are both just splendid forwards more than capable of zooming the shit out of a guy at that level.

Caggiula is actually pretty good at getting to high danger areas on time offensively, well above league average, but he’s just so far below replacement level at the same thing defensively that he gives the other team a great chance to outchance and outscore him.

I’d like to see if he could play well defensively under another coach, but I don’t think he’s worth the money to find out.

He’s also completely fine on the fourth line by underlying metrics, but we’ve got too many of those guys. Need to move Kassian and have the 4th line cost under 2.5M (combined) next year.

€√¥£€^$

Looking at the missed net stat, Auvitu the invisible (my favourite player after 97) shines like a diamond. He has 67 shots on net, but only 13 misses. The other comparables are Khaira, Slepyshev & Aberg who have 68, 64 & 67 SOG respectively and 39, 31 & 30 misses….Pretty good for a Dman who often plays close to half the minutes of the 1st & 2nd pairings and has only dressed in 31 games (424 minutes).

LT identified him as a player of interest to acquire in the offseason, I sure wish the coach had been interested in playing him more often and also using him on the PP. Sekera has played in 34 games (553 minutes total & 56 seconds per game on the PP) and has 33 shots and 14 misses. OV2 has played on the PP in really only 4 games (an avg of 20 seconds per game). Its nuts to me….

In digging into the Connor for Hart debate, I was looking for other aspects. What really stood out was that every MVP candidate (except Hall) has an at least 50 point Dman on their team. Hall has rookie surprise Will Butcher who has 40, as well as Vatanen with 31, who missed about a dozen games and Severson, who has 9 goals. Connor has Nurse who has 25 pts, Russell with 21 & injured Klef with 21. Deployed properly I think Auvitu could’ve scored 10 goals & 40 pts this season. Nurse & Klefbom have some of the highest shot generation rates in the NHL, and I dare say OV2 would be right there with them, with more points, if given similar opportunity. This exercise.really drove home.to me the need for an offensive driver on the blueline (but we knew that already, someone needed to drive that point home to Chia when he took over dammit).

There will be a lot of naysayers out there, but OV2 has looked better than Sekera and Benning, definitely better than Russell on many nights as well and he has had more success at moving the puck out of the zone consistently than every other Oiler IMO. I’d like to see zone exit data for this team. I’d bet he’s right at the top. That means something in this league and would’ve helped this team out this year.

Most folks dismiss him as chaos incorporated, but he is better than most people think and he would’ve improved as the season went on if given more at bats. I just don’t see how a player progresses while sitting in the press box.

€√¥£€^$

JimmyV1965: I’m basically meh on the Drake. He has flashes offensively and if he could just bury his chances, he might be a keeper. He sucks defensively, more so than the others, but they all suck. Would hate to see him put it together on another team and you can sign him to a contract that can almost be completely buried in the AHL.

Cagguila is a lot of hustle, but he seems to lose a lot of battles, seems to be out of position a lot and seems to miss the next a lot. I expected a lot more of him hearing about his minor league career and watching his UND hilights.

He would have been served better starting off in the AHL, but it demonstrates how thin the roster is. He has been able.to cash in lately, but he has been gifted a ton of prime time minutes. If he was truly a skilled NHL player he’d hit the net, instead of missing it and would be pushing 30 goals. He’s almost at 14% in shooting percentage, which means he is shooting very well when on target, so that looks good. Apparently he’s missed the net only 27 times, so I’d wager he could have 10-12 more goals if he was on target, from what I recall….There are teams who would be interested in his services.

JimmyV1965

Scungilli Slushy: Maybe. It’s funny how we all see the game differently. To my eye Cags doesn’t do much. He has enough ability to get a few goals. But he doesn’t carry weight for his line. He’s busy but ineffective mostly. I could live with him if he didn’t get lit up I suppose.

I’m basically meh on the Drake. He has flashes offensively and if he could just bury his chances, he might be a keeper. He sucks defensively, more so than the others, but they all suck. Would hate to see him put it together on another team and you can sign him to a contract that can almost be completely buried in the AHL.

Scungilli Slushy

JimmyV1965: Maybe the Drake would be better defensively if we played zone defence, rather than man on man. I have no idea.

Maybe. It’s funny how we all see the game differently. To my eye Cags doesn’t do much. He has enough ability to get a few goals. But he doesn’t carry weight for his line. He’s busy but ineffective mostly. I could live with him if he didn’t get lit up I suppose.

JimmyV1965

Scungilli Slushy: Cags reminds me of a less skilled Gagner.

Maybe the Drake would be better defensively if we played zone defence, rather than man on man. I have no idea.

who

russ99:
If we can get a Dan Winnik to center the third line for $1.75-2.25M why spend $3M on Strome.

He’s shown value to the league, so we could flip him for something decent at the draft, maybe one of the needed wingers.

The rest of the RFAs but Nurse, we should dump for more picks, maybe use Benning as a throw in on a Nuge for Faulk deal to get another asset.

We can’t bring those players back at higher one-way salaries that we can’t stash in the AHL and expect better, that’s repeating Chia’s biggest summer mistake.

I’d stand pat with the prospects on their ELCs, but the RFAs have to go.

Nuge for Faulk is a bad idea.
Faulk looked brutal when we played the Canes.

Scungilli Slushy

90s fan:
90s fan,
90s fan,

I often wonder if JP was the right pick, over Tkachuk, cause we could use a half dozen of that player.

At the time he was. No question. He might still be a better player in the end.

90s fan

90s fan,
90s fan,

I often wonder if JP was the right pick, over Tkachuk, cause we could use a half dozen of that player.

rickithebear

Finishing is easier when
1. your players drive the HD area do not drop puck back for ld area shots
2. Do not have 4 players on perimeter on pp, have 2 in high % HD area. Forcing HD coverage low. allowing 3 vs 2 inside the HD lower% HD area.

Finishing is harder when
1. Dmen and forwards press the attack to perimeter.
2. Dmen force shooting lanes creating blocks, causing high miss and hit goalie rates

Opposite of what Tmac is running.
Not the Coach!
Watch the system buddy!

Scungilli Slushy

OriginalPouzar: Benning, Caggulia, Slepyshev, Pakarinan can all be qualified at salaries that can be buried in the minors with essentially no cap hit.

Having a one-way vs. a two-way contract has zero to do with this and zero to with anything except the actual dollars a player will earn if assigned to the minors.

They may not sign for a nominal 5% raise over their current salaries but they won’t get much more (Pak and Slep shouldn’t get over $1M but Benning and Caggulia likely will – dislike Caggulia’s overall play but he has scored like 13 goals and that will get him $1.25M – $1.5M.

The Nuge for Faulk part of the post doesn’t even warrant a response – it just shows more of the extreme bias against a player.

Cags reminds me of a less skilled Gagner.

90s fan

Pretendergast:
russ99,

I’m not a coach, that’s why they’re getting paid. How does any coach make sure the players understand what it takes to win? I assume that’s what got them there in the first place, nobody hires losers.

If i knew what it was I’d get behind the bench tomorrow.

How did Ron Lowe get his guys to work so hard. Teams came in knowing they may win, but it won’t be fun. Is that a personel thing (chias issue) or a coach thing (McLellan s issue)?

OriginalPouzar

russ99:
If we can get a Dan Winnik to center the third line for $1.75-2.25M why spend $3M on Strome.

He’s shown value to the league, so we could flip him for something decent at the draft, maybe one of the needed wingers.

The rest of the RFAs but Nurse, we should dump for more picks, maybe use Benning as a throw in on a Nuge for Faulk deal to get another asset.

We can’t bring those players back at higher one-way salaries that we can’t stash in the AHL and expect better, that’s repeating Chia’s biggest summer mistake.

I’d stand pat with the prospects on their ELCs, but the RFAs have to go.

Benning, Caggulia, Slepyshev, Pakarinan can all be qualified at salaries that can be buried in the minors with essentially no cap hit.

Having a one-way vs. a two-way contract has zero to do with this and zero to with anything except the actual dollars a player will earn if assigned to the minors.

They may not sign for a nominal 5% raise over their current salaries but they won’t get much more (Pak and Slep shouldn’t get over $1M but Benning and Caggulia likely will – dislike Caggulia’s overall play but he has scored like 13 goals and that will get him $1.25M – $1.5M.

The Nuge for Faulk part of the post doesn’t even warrant a response – it just shows more of the extreme bias against a player.

Scungilli Slushy

Woodguy v2.0:
Our bottom 6 is actually pretty good, especially when they aren’t forcing them into vacant top 6 roles.

EDM this year with none of 97,93 or 29 on the ice 5v5:

1372 minutes
CF% 49.2
GF% 37.7
SH% 4.8%
SV% .926

So the shot metrics are ok, but they’re getting killed in goals to the tune of below NHL replacement level (~45%)

Its not the goalering that is letting them down either as the ONSV% is .926

Its the 4.8% SH%.

No scoring talent.

BOS is one of the better teams in the league:

BOS 5v5 with no Marchand, Bergeron or Krejci on the ice:

1797 minutes
CF% 51.8
GF% 49.6
SH% 6.3%
SV% .925

A little bit more talent in the bottom 6 can go a long ways.

I find getting to my once a year live Oilers game there is a lot I don’t see on tv. I suppose because you can see behind the play, changes etc, although it’s a lot to take in if you’re trying to keep track of certain players and the other team as well. And a few celebratory Wobblies.

I completely agree talent is the problem. McL is trying to be nice but continually mentions finishing. There are too many passengers – chasing the play not executing strategy- and guys that just don’t have NHL hands up front.

Backend too many struggle with execution of basic play as well. I don’t know how some coaches get decent play out of their deficient D corps. These guys can’t, is it players or coaches or both?

They definitely need to add better bottom 6 forwards and by the way McD plays a guy to dig pucks and be tight in the D zone.

Pretendergast

russ99,

I’m not a coach, that’s why they’re getting paid. How does any coach make sure the players understand what it takes to win? I assume that’s what got them there in the first place, nobody hires losers.

If i knew what it was I’d get behind the bench tomorrow.

flyfish1168

Harpers Hair: The Sedins have been very clear they will end their careers in Vancouver. Should they decide they want one more season and the Canucks won’t agree, I would imagine they would want an big overpay on one year contracts to play somewhere else. $5m times 2.

We can dream of the possibilities like a lot of the post here.

russ99

Pretendergast:
From TSN:
-In trying to analyze what went wrong, McLellan keeps returning to the first game of the season.

“After that game I think we took our foot off the gas, not thinking it was going to be easy, but just thinking we could play at a lower level than what we needed to have success,” he said.

“That doesn’t happen in this league. Lesson learned, I hope.”

Are you freaking kidding me, you lost the team after game 1

The man has a point, even last season whenever the players got it in their head that things were going to be easy, the compete level slipped and we fell off.

Not saying this is the root cause of this season, but he has a point.

Sure you’re gonna rip McLellan, but how does the next coach improve on this?

BornInAGretzkyJersey

According to the twins, they intend to retire as Canucks and are more than happy to play the mentor role on a rebuilding team.

https://www.theplayerstribune.com/en-us/articles/daniel-and-henrik-sedin-dear-vancouver

russ99

If we can get a Dan Winnik to center the third line for $1.75-2.25M why spend $3M on Strome.

He’s shown value to the league, so we could flip him for something decent at the draft, maybe one of the needed wingers.

The rest of the RFAs but Nurse, we should dump for more picks, maybe use Benning as a throw in on a Nuge for Faulk deal to get another asset.

We can’t bring those players back at higher one-way salaries that we can’t stash in the AHL and expect better, that’s repeating Chia’s biggest summer mistake.

I’d stand pat with the prospects on their ELCs, but the RFAs have to go.

Harpers Hair

flyfish1168:
If the Sedins are willing to sign with us at the right price I would welcome them. They can still play 3rd line minutes and the occasional top six. They still have the skill to produce and fast enough not to be a pylon out there. Could also help the PP.

The Sedins have been very clear they will end their careers in Vancouver. Should they decide they want one more season and the Canucks won’t agree, I would imagine they would want an big overpay on one year contracts to play somewhere else. $5m times 2.

Pink Socks

BONE207:
I mean like this…

I am torn though. Would it be great for Dahlin to be an Oiler? Certainly, especially to watch the collective heads around the league explode. But I honestly think it would be more glorious to pick second, take Svechnikov and have Calgary win the lottery and watch Burke, Treliving, and every Flame fan sob into their beers as they watch Dahlin put on an Isles jersey.

BONE207

I mean like this…

Lowetide: No sir. I expect he’ll be gone by No. 6. Despite the large group of defensemen, I think there will be a run on forwards after No. 1 overall.

2. Buffalo-LD Rasmus Dahlen
3. Arizona- R Andrei Svechnikov
4. Ottawa- L Filip Zadina
5. Vancouver-LD Quinn Hughes
6. Montreal-R Oliver Wahlstrom
7. Detroit-L Brady Tkachuk
1. Edmonton-

Pretendergast

From TSN:
-In trying to analyze what went wrong, McLellan keeps returning to the first game of the season.

“After that game I think we took our foot off the gas, not thinking it was going to be easy, but just thinking we could play at a lower level than what we needed to have success,” he said.

“That doesn’t happen in this league. Lesson learned, I hope.”

Are you freaking kidding me, you lost the team after game 1

flyfish1168

If the Sedins are willing to sign with us at the right price I would welcome them. They can still play 3rd line minutes and the occasional top six. They still have the skill to produce and fast enough not to be a pylon out there. Could also help the PP.

jake70

90s fan:
Pescador,

Maybe i am naive, but i dont understand why filling in the roster is so hard. In the EIG era we seemed always have hard working fast teams with limited talent. Now we have the top end Talent, why cant we fill in the roster with the speedy hard working griers and marchants? We didn’t have money back then either!

Great question: a few ideas….

-Expansion
-Expansion
-Expansion
-Expansion
-Earlier free agency age
-NMCs
-Did I mention expansion?

😉

BONE207

Lowetide: You bet. I don’t think he’ll be available when Edmonton picks.

You don’t think he’ll be there when we get the first pick, huh?

Woodguy v2.0

EC standings today via points %, expressed at “games over .500”

Atlantic
BOS 31
TBY 29
TOR 22

Metropolitan
WSH 22
PIT 16
CBJ 15

Wildcards
PHI 14
NJD 12

Out of playoffs
FLA 10
CAR 2
NYR -2
NYI -3
DET -9
MTL -9
OTT -12
BUF -17

Hope NJD can hang on

WC

Central
NSH 34
WPG 27
MIN 19

Pacific
VGK 26
SJS 20
LAK 15

Wildcard
STL 15
ANA 14

Out of playoffs
COL 13
DAL 8
CGY 2
CHI -4
EDM -4
VAN -11
ARI -13

Go COL!!!! Fuck ANA *spits*

Current pre-lottery draft order:
1 BUF
2 ARI
3 OTT
4 VAN
5 DET
6 MTL
7 EDM
8 CHI
9 NYI
10 NYR

EDM’s draft pick probabilities based on their current position of 24th overall:

1st 6.0%
2nd 6.3%
3rd 6.7%

Total probability of picking top 3 is 19%

8th 36.8%
9th 36.0%
10th 7.8%
11th 0.4%

All probabilities via Micah Blake McCurdy: http://hockeyviz.com/txt/lotto5

Woodguy v2.0

Our bottom 6 is actually pretty good, especially when they aren’t forcing them into vacant top 6 roles.

EDM this year with none of 97,93 or 29 on the ice 5v5:

1372 minutes
CF% 49.2
GF% 37.7
SH% 4.8%
SV% .926

So the shot metrics are ok, but they’re getting killed in goals to the tune of below NHL replacement level (~45%)

Its not the goalering that is letting them down either as the ONSV% is .926

Its the 4.8% SH%.

No scoring talent.

BOS is one of the better teams in the league:

BOS 5v5 with no Marchand, Bergeron or Krejci on the ice:

1797 minutes
CF% 51.8
GF% 49.6
SH% 6.3%
SV% .925

A little bit more talent in the bottom 6 can go a long ways.

Bruce McCurdy

–hudson–: I loved those late 90s teams, you knew we were not going to win the cup, but we were making the playoffs.One major difference was we had Sather pulling the trigger on trades.It felt like he almost always won trades with a few exceptions.But he was a harsh contract negotiator, lots of holdouts, and a poor draft record in the later years.I don’t think we would be in great shape if he was still running hockey ops here.

The entire MGM Line came from trades. Three pretty big deals, with the key in each case being Sather’s ability to identify a young player who was actually going to develop and turn into something useful.

Interesting concept.

jtblack

Bank Shot:
What about the Oilers target Hagelin from the Pens for an option on the wing next year?

Pens need to clear space. Hagelin is overpaid but only for one year.

He’s like a Pouliot except good in a PK role.

I think you would have to dig deeper on his fancy stats and see if he’s actually a good player or not. He seems to be fading from my eye test. But he can certainly skate. Not sure if he is a good PK guy

Bruce McCurdy

godot10: McDavid is a suped-up Gilbert Perreault.

David Staples calls him “Bobby Orr playing centre” & it’s a good take.

Bank Shot

What about the Oilers target Hagelin from the Pens for an option on the wing next year?

Pens need to clear space. Hagelin is overpaid but only for one year.

He’s like a Pouliot except good in a PK role.

Bank Shot

90s fan:
Pescador,

Maybe i am naive, but i dont understand why filling in the roster is so hard. In the EIG era we seemed always have hard working fast teams with limited talent. Now we have the top end Talent, why cant we fill in the roster with the speedy hard working griers and marchants? We didn’t have money back then either!

A. Most of those guys were acquired by Sather who was smarter than any Oiler GM since. He was a better trader than most GMs.

B. The market for those guys was smaller.

You had your teams like the Rangers that would pay Holik $6 million to play on the third line. They didn’t give a shit about waiting for role players to develop. If they needed one, they bought one. Now all teams are holding on to these players because they usually provide cap effectiveness their first few years in the league.

Also teams like Florida that were operating on a survival budget can now compete for depth players with teams like the Oilers. Sure the Oilers were second tier in the old system, but there were teams a lot worse off than them.

commonfan29

Gretzky won his first Hart in 79-80 when the Oilers were 47 points back of first overall in the league.

He won it again the next year when the team ended up 36 back of first overall.

Going back further, Bobby Clarke won it in 72-73 when the Flyers finished 35 back of first overall.

Oilers are currently 37 points back of first.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

I really hope ChiaPete lets Yammamoto and Benson marinate in the AHL for an entire season next year, barring a late-season cup of coffee. Bear as well, for that matter.

Shouldn’t be a monumental task to find some veteran cover on short term deals that will fit under the cap.

--hudson--

Todd’s postgame. Discusses lack of finish but no mention on poor puck movement.

Source video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rgt_imKOeKg
————————————————–
Q: … into goals but did you like the sense of urgency late from your team and was this just one of those games where you needed that last bounce?
A: Well we needed to finish on some of the opportunities I thought early in the game as well, and when you fall behind against this team, they check well, they’re real good through the neutral zone, and I thought that Markstrom had an exceptional game. So not an awful game by us, but a game where the opportunities that presented themselves needed to be finished and they weren’t.

Q: Is there just not much Sam Gagner could have done on Connor McDavid’s goal? There’s just elite skill at a high speed.
A: Yeah he’s a fast guy, obviously he got in behind him, and it was a quick release. So it was a beautiful goal, typical Connor night.

Q: Did you get an explanation or one that you could kind of live with regarding the non-icing?
A: Well the play itself, everybody paused, and that’s on us we have to play until the whistle goes. You know there was certainly some question on whether or not the puck was touched, or whether or not Darnell Nurse lifted the stick of the Vancouver player, but, well in my opinion, it still happened on the other side of the red line. So either way it would have been icing, but you know it’s one of the breaks that gets built into the game, and we had our opportunities to overcome that with some glorious looks around the net, and we didn’t put it in.

Q: Did you like your power play later in the game a little better than early?
A: Well we only had two, the early one was average, the second one was dangerous. I think we hit the crossbar and the post, and you know it had some urgency in it which was good. Not every power play is going to be lethal, but eventually you got a score, and again we created chances… Leon’s was probably the best one that I think it hit the post, but those have to be put in.

Q: The goal that Pouliot scored, was that just one of those ones where the defenseman came in, and then Cam looked like he over committed, thought he had help?
A: We committed, we lost coverage is what we did. We got looking at the puck, and Pouliot made a good jump to the hole, and he also made a tremendous pump fake, and when you do that, the goalies coming out to commit, and you have to give him credit for having the poise to make the play.

Q: Bear sat out because he was due or ?
A: No, nobody’s ever due, but we thought he needed a little breather, and he needed to watch a game at this level, and you know he’s been very good offensively, he struggled a little bit defensively lately, and it never hurts for a player to go back up top and watch it when it’s moving a little bit slower, and there’s a lot of coaching done with him over the last couple days to try and help him. Let him absorb that and throw him back in on Saturday.

--hudson--

90s fan:
Pescador,

Maybe i am naive, but i dont understand why filling in the roster is so hard. In the EIG era we seemed always have hard working fast teams with limited talent. Now we have the top end Talent, why cant we fill in the roster with the speedy hard working griers and marchants? We didn’t have money back then either!

I loved those late 90s teams, you knew we were not going to win the cup, but we were making the playoffs. One major difference was we had Sather pulling the trigger on trades. It felt like he almost always won trades with a few exceptions. But he was a harsh contract negotiator, lots of holdouts, and a poor draft record in the later years. I don’t think we would be in great shape if he was still running hockey ops here.

Biggus Dickus

OmJo: “McDavid is Toby Petersen at 100% potential.” – Craig MacTavish

Spooky that someone else brought up Toby Peterson on the same day. This is strong evidence for a collective consciousness.

Biggus Dickus

90s fan:
Pescador,

Maybe i am naive, but i dont understand why filling in the roster is so hard. In the EIG era we seemed always have hard working fast teams with limited talent. Now we have the top end Talent, why cant we fill in the roster with the speedy hard working griers and marchants? We didn’t have money back then either!

I think it is a problem about blame. Our bottom 6 is actually pretty good, especially when they aren’t forcing them into vacant top 6 roles. The problem lies in the fact that we don’t have a single top line winger, and our only second line quality winger (Lucic) is done. We have 3 first line centers, so I’m not sure we need to be ridiculous, but we need to bring in some journeyman top six players like a Niklas Hagman type. Instead we have a kid who is one of the biggest enigmas I’ve ever seen (JP), and a bunch of Toby Petersons.

The one major problem I have with our bottom 6 is the lack of special teams players. Sort of the opposite of the Lennart Petrell problem.

jtblack

90s fan:
Pescador,

Maybe i am naive, but i dont understand why filling in the roster is so hard. In the EIG era we seemed always have hard working fast teams with limited talent. Now we have the top end Talent, why cant we fill in the roster with the speedy hard working griers and marchants? We didn’t have money back then either!

Hard Working Griers & Marchants are NOT easy to find. Edm is trying with Caggulia, Schleppy, Kass or JJ. That effective 2nd / 3rd Liner is a challenge to find IMO

jtblack

Alex Ovechkin has missed 29 Games over his 13 year career. An avg of 2 games per season. Some of which were suspension or disipline.
Courtesy NHL Network.

godot10

90s fan:
Pescador,

Maybe i am naive, but i dont understand why filling in the roster is so hard. In the EIG era we seemed always have hard working fast teams with limited talent. Now we have the top end Talent, why cant we fill in the roster with the speedy hard working griers and marchants? We didn’t have money back then either!

Money makes one dumber. Management stop working as hard when they had more resources.,,i,e. money. Money replaced doing some of the talent finding work they had no choice but do previously.

Instead of putting in the hard work to find the next Lucic or the next 3rd pairing D, they just used money to buy Lucic (who was no longer the Lucic they had inside their heads) and to pay Russell.

Aside: By money, I really mean unearned money. And other people’s money. Or money obtained by good fortune.

Kinger_Oil.redux

godot10: McDavid is a suped-up Gilbert Perreault.

– More like a Pavel Bure with more skill and smarts and complete, less hot-dog

– Pavel in those few years, he was so fast, so elusive, was a game changer

Pouzar

90s fan:
Pescador,

Maybe i am naive, but i dont understand why filling in the roster is so hard. In the EIG era we seemed always have hard working fast teams with limited talent. Now we have the top end Talent, why cant we fill in the roster with the speed hard working griers, marchants

Wonderful question.

90s fan

Pescador,

Maybe i am naive, but i dont understand why filling in the roster is so hard. In the EIG era we seemed always have hard working fast teams with limited talent. Now we have the top end Talent, why cant we fill in the roster with the speedy hard working griers and marchants? We didn’t have money back then either!

rickithebear

Just read Potvin s view.
See you posted it Real.
While reading it, it finally allowed me to articulate Dmen.

Afffect on avg save% .916
Forwards .004 below and .007 above .011/.033 = 33%; .007/.033 = 21%
Goalies .007 below and .007 above .014/.033 = 42.5%; .007/.033 = 21%
Dmen .017 below and .016 above .033/.033 = 100%; .016/.033 = 48.5%
Nurse and Klefbom are in the neg .017 – .014 range.

Clearly the most important goal scoring success affect is Dpairs HD def ability.
The standard structure in hockey play is 3 forwards – 2 dmen – 1 goalie
Offensive forwards press high when thier team has pocesdion. Creating a 4-1-1 structure.
They abandon the free path to Thier high danger area. In defensive zone they often fail to maintain defence of the high danger area.

The so called offensive dman is not a dman. HD area is not a priority.
Based on zonal play and structure.

At best they are a rover 3 fwd – 1 rover – 1 dman – 1 goalie.
Klefbom

Worst they are a forward 4 fwd – 1 dman – 1 goalie.
Nurse

In both cases the single dman is asked to often defend 2 players
She Russell, Larson ….

You need to define a players position based on OZ attack, NZ positioning, DZ HD def positioning.
3-2-1 2 dmen
3-1-1-1 1 dman
4-1-1-1 1 dman

Forward, rover, dman, goalie.