Shoot the Gap

by Lowetide

Josh Currie signed a two-year NHL contract yesterday, it’s easily one of my favourite stories of summer. Edmonton will rely on him to play at his established level for the Condors, and Currie pushes a growing career forward in a significant way. Will he play in the NHL? Mark Arcobello was in just this spot in about 2012 and he played 139 NHL games. Currie is pushing, and fans are cheering him. Great story.

THE ATHLETIC!

Give The Athletic as a gift or get it yourself and join the fun! Offer is here, less than $4 a month! I find myself reading both the hockey (Willis, Dellow, Pronman, et cetera) and the baseball coverage a lot, it’s a pure pleasure to visit. We’ll sell you the whole seat, but you’ll only need the edge.

50-MAN LIST

  • We’re still nowhere close to full, the Oilers are (at the outer marker) 47 contracts deep, assuming both Evan Bouchard and Ostap Safin turn pro.
  • Josh Currie may not play in the NHL this coming season, or ever. The fact he landed an NHL contract is a big damned deal. Mark Arcobello got one, Charles Linglet had his contract purchased for a five-game run in April 2010. I do not recall another AHL contract getting an NHL deal this century. If you remember one, please let me know.
  • Darnell Nurse is the last outstanding contract.
  • This is not meant as a pure depth chart or an attempt to post lines and pairings. I am aware that Tobias Rieder can (and may well) play right wing and that Pontus Aberg is unlikely to have first lash at No. 2 right wing.

NHLE FOR SIGNED CONDORS FORWARDS

  • This is Eric Rodgers terrific work I published the other day, Currie has the best EV goal differential and a solid NHLE. He’s a righty center and I think he might be the most skilled pivot ticketed for Bakersfield. He was JP’s center, maybe Currie will also fill the same role for Kailer Yamamoto.

VOLLMAN SLEDGEHAMMER FORWARDS 2017-18

Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl faced tough opposition through the season (Rattie joined 97 and Nuge late, and as you can see the possession results had some wobble), with a large group of forwards placing a combination of second and third line opposition (most Oilers forwards in blue or heading that way). Zack Kassian faced the tough zone starts and the easier opposition, Jujhar Khaira between third and fourth line. Jesse Puljujarvi didn’t get a zone-start push, interesting.

The only downbeat colors are Kassian (drastic zone start), Iiro Pakarinen (fringe NHLer) and Drake Caggiula (he was a drag on his linemates). Ryan Strome was in a very sweet spot, you’d like to see more offense from the soft parade.

VOLLMAN SLEDGEHAMMER BLUE 2017-18

Vollman has Adam Larsson in the toughest quadrant available, with Darnell Nurse not far away (and Oscar Klefbom an hour’s drive). This graph really shows how far Andrej Sekera fell in terms of usage. That’s a continent. Kris Russell’s bubble color is the same as Caggiula’s, I’d like to see Matt Benning trade places with the veteran this coming season.

CONGRATS, ORIGINAL POUZAR!

I’m not a bragging type, or at least try not to be. I am proud of the fine group of people who have visited this site, developed opinions and refined defense of same, and then moved on to write about the things that are important to all of us. From the base reaction of “someone is wrong on the internet!” to some brilliant analytics work and lovely prose, I can review this blog’s back pages and see many fabulous beginnings. I take pride in that, not in the work because that’s from the authors, but in creating an environment (not the only one, but one that welcomes weary travelers) that helps the river run out to the sea. Congratulations to Original Pouzar!

144 comments
0

You may also like

0 0 vote
Article Rating
144 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Andy Dufresne

Bruce McCurdy,

Not you personally Bruce……but why are we as a group manipulating the data…..According to the chart, Lucic is the better player at the same price……..if you value “sledgehammer”?

maudite

I’m still waiting for the day when some coach sets up a roster always with 7D. One of those being a swing man who can also play 4th line wing/pk type duties.

A utility player who is taking a regular shift even when the top 6 D are healthy makes a world of sense to me.

sumaclab

The dog days of summer.And even the dogs are sick of the 30 degree weather. Bring on fall and let the competion begin.
You know what I like about the Oilers summer so far? Chiarelli ahs done nothing stupid and that might have alot of value come December. His 3 FA signings were safe bets. If he does nothing at all the rest of the summer Ill be pleased.,Powder dry. And keep it that way.

russ99

digger50:
I also like the suggestion of putting Nuge back to center with Lucic and a speedy defensive responsible winger (?) and run him against toughs as much as possable.

Of course we can’t hide Connor so he will still see high Quality or completion, but it may open the door for Drai to face third line competition and clean up.

Do we have enough wingers to make it work??

Lucic / Nuge / ?
Rieder / Connor / Strome
Khaira / Leon / Jessie
Drake / Brodziak / Kassian

Could Yamamoto fill in here for Khaira, bumping Khaira up to the defensive responsible winger for Nuge?

We are a little thin yet to make it work, however I like it as a complete tactical switch.

Lucic – Nuge is like oil and water. Let’s not go back to that, it’s detrimental to both players.

Also regarding LT’s Benning push, shot metrics don’t quantify how Russell is vastly a better option than Benning in our zone without the puck, and you could say behind the center line without the puck too, since Benning being caught out of position or in mismatches is a bigger sin than Russell’s lack of zone entry prevention.

If you want to give Corsi-positive defensemen a push due to offense, be sure they can cover the bet on the opposite end of the ice too.

OriginalPouzar

Its really interesting that, while the 23 man roster is set but for a couple of questions (i.e. Yamamoto or Rattie (or both) and, if Yamamoto is re-assigned if they go with 8D or use Malone as the 14th forward), there is absolutely no consensus on the lines – so much in flux there.

I guess, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter too too much as the lines will change early and often but the less change the better and it would be great if McLellan could at least find solid pairs and a couple solid trios to essentially keep together all year.

Revolved

You are correct that the Xs should really babe ?s, but between Aberg, Reider, Khaira, Yamamoto, Rattie and Caggiula,

I think there must be enough to fill them in. Connor’s wing has to face the toughest comp, so I can see why you’d go with Reider, though he would also be useful beside RNH. Avery has the speed to keep up with McDavid, though maybe someone else can comment on his play without the puck?

Draisaitl should get an offensive push, so a finisher like Rattie, Khaira (if last year was not a fluke) or even Kassian could fit well. IMO the most important thing for the ?s is competition, so that we are at least getting the best effort from whomever it is.

OriginalPouzar

I don’t mind that premise at all – as far as pairs go, Jesse has had success with McDavid and the Stome Drai pairing was great in almost 200 minutes last year (Strome was Drai’s best winger).

We don’t have the depth the fill in the blanks with ideal fixes (we will within a few years with prospect development and acquisitions due to cap space from expiring contracts/disposition of contracts).

I’d fill in the blanks as so:

Rieder – McDavid – Puljujarvi
Lucic – RNH – Aberg
Khaira – Draisaitl – Strome
Caggulia – Brodziak – Kassian

Another possibility would be:

Rieder – McDavid – Puljujarvi
Lucic – RNH – Aberg
Khaira – Draisaitl – Strome
Brodziak– XXXXXX – Kassian

Dress 7D (if Bouchard is on roster and in lineup, he could get limited/sheltered ES minutes and a PP push) and give McDavid/Drai extra ice. With Brodziak and Rieder added to the lineup, 97/29 should be able to PK less and take up extra ice at evens.

Revolved

I understand the desire to make a super line where McDavid has support from high end forwards like RNH or Draisaitl, but it seems clear that this team’s issues are deeper down the lineup regardless of who plays with Connor. Just give him actual NHL players, i.e. Not Rattie or Caggiula. Perhaps nothing will help this more than being rid of the rotting corpse of Letestu, though Brodziak may also fall off on short notice, and support down the lineup must be an area of focus.

It seems many people have forgotten how successful this team was in 16/17 by running RNH against (and sawing off) the tough assignments. It is a bonus that Lucic has also played this role successfully along side RNH the last two years and does not require him to get quicker.

If Draisaitl is going to drive a line to out score, having softer competition may be a prerequisite, so he sets up well as 3C. I understand Strome has played 3C fairly well, but his GF% was only 47% even when including his successful minutes on RW. So, perhaps the question is which you think is more likely to drive the third line to >50% GF?

X – McDavid – Puljujarvi
Lucic – RNH – X
X – Draisaitl – Strome
X – Brodziak – Kassian

Leon McMesstzky

Oilman99,

hahaha

VOR

Professor Q: It’s common in academia. University staff and students get training and support (though more is needed, and beyond just I.S., but support for having marginalized groups actually feel welcomed and stay in academia and research). I missed mine, though…

https://www.grad.ubc.ca/about-us/newsletter/feeling-fraud-imposter-syndrome-graduate-school

It’s complicated and can be a wide variety of things, and caused by a variety of things. The feeling of being inadequate, not feeling welcomed or belonging, not feeling that you have merit or perhaps feeling that you’ve not accomplished what you have due to said merit but had you’ve squeaked by or somehow got lucky and now will be exposed as the fraud you are (mind tricks, social pressures, etc.; not the reality in reality but the mirror and perceptions formed in your mind). You aren’t good enough, won’t make it like the others, are the outsider, drifting by. Not contributing significantly.

A tricky and complicated ordeal affecting many, especially marginalized groups (other factors at play there).

It is also incredibly common among elite athletes. Woman suffer from impostor syndrome more frequently than men. However, it is far from unknown in the ranks of male pro athletes.

I had a football player who is in the NFL Hall of Fame pay me a lot of money to make him a better athlete. This was after he retired. But he said he felt like he wasn’t a good enough athlete to be in the Hall of Fame and he knew with the rational part of his brain that his on field exploits would take him there. He just wanted to feel like a real jock.

But like I said it is worse for women. Or they are more honest about admitting it. I can remember sitting in the bar of a fancy hotel in Toronto. I was there coaching at the Colgate Women’s Games. The games had just ended. I was siting at a table with 7 young women. Each had won at least one medal at the games.

They started talking about how they felt like they didn’t belong there. None of them thought they belonged among the best female athletes in the world. That they weren’t good enough. I can remember thinking “what the hell are you talking about? The seven of you hold ten world records. You belong.” I thought their insecurity was absurd. Years of working with elite female athletes has taught me these feelings are basically universal.

The ubiquitousness of the problem forced me to figure out how to coach around it. My own life experience has taught me that I’m not that different. I have taught, lectured, spoken, facilitated seminars, and run workshops for more than 40 years. I am still terrified each time, thinking they are fools to be paying me to speak, that I will get up there and spew gibberish.

It is a truly pervasive and pernicious problem. At 75, enshrined in the NFL Hall of Fame, with the college award for top receiver named after him, Freddie Biletnikoff still feels like a fraud (when he isn’t bitching about how he gets no respect). My 7 drinking buddies from that Toronto bar have won 19 Olympic medals in the years since that night. Each has won at least 1 Gold Medal. But they would each tell you they aren’t anything special, that they were never good enough, that they never belonged

What is worse is each woman, and very famously Freddie, has tried to fuck up their real world success by trying to make their daily life’s match their internal view of themselves. Freddie chain smoked like Guy Lafleur, dieted like Dustin Penner, and worked out like Theo Peckham. He has introduced himself as Freddie Too Slow Biletnikoff so many times his friends call him Too Slow not Freddie.

That probably sounds funny but some night when you want to cry a river I will tell you the story of all the ways my seven friends found to prove they didn’t belong.

jp

OriginalPouzar: Great post (I would be apt to switch Jesee and Tobias, as we know, but I want to keep Jesse away from Lucic).

As an aside, I don’t know what Drai has said but I do know that Rieder has totally discounting playing with Drai as a material reason for signing with the Oil.Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure he’d be just fin be playing with Leon but he’s not expecting it just because of their international history.

Thanks.

And Lucic seems to be a key part of both our alignments. I think he’ll be 2L (with a much longer leash than Rattie at 1R). And hopefully he rebounds, it’s completely plausible. But that leads to Puljujarvi at 3R, with the domino likely being Rieder at 2R.

That setup would also keep Khaira down the lineup a bit. He’s looked really good, but there’s very little scoring history there. I’m not convinced he can handle a top 6 role.

Re: Rieder-Draisaitl, Rieder was clear he didn’t sign just to play with Draisaitl. But Draisaitl has said he’s looking forward to having another German to talk to on the bench or in the room. All that aside, a responsible 2-way winger with some skill, who also has a history playing with Draisaitl seems like a reasonable choice.

jp

BONE207: So pretty much what everyone feels when challenging Woodguy on most topics…8)

Haha, that was my thought when reading it too (not the Woodguy part, but that this is what everyone feels when challenged or faced with new/difficult situations).

I think the addition of Syndrome though indicates a much more than reasonable fear of failure and inadequacy. In hindsight I’m pretty certain a colleague of mine left our field due to IS (though I had not heard of the term before tonight). It’s a damn shame because she was fairly amazing but didn’t know it.

BONE207

Professor Q: …

https://www.grad.ubc.ca/about-us/newsletter/feeling-fraud-imposter-syndrome-graduate-school

The feeling of being inadequate, not feeling welcomed or belonging, not feeling that you have merit or perhaps feeling that you’ve not accomplished what you have due to said merit but had you’ve squeaked by or somehow got lucky and now will be exposed as the fraud you are. You aren’t good enough, won’t make it like the others, are the outsider, drifting by. Not contributing significantly.

So pretty much what everyone feels when challenging Woodguy on most topics…8)

Crazy Pedestrian

Now i was just random brainstorming (or uber crazy thinking), but i wonder how the oilers would do with this set up:

JP – McDavid – Yamamoto
Nuge – Drai – Reider
Lucic – Strome – Kassian
Aberg/Khaira – Brodziak – Caggiula

Klefbom – Larsson
Nurse – Benning
Sekera – Bear/Bouchard
Russell

That 1st line could be explosive!!! And there is plenty of skill/speed throughout the lineup with the obvious exception of lucic, who i think may do better with a right shot center (strome) in a possession/cycling type game.

I know people will harp on this saying “why would you gift JP or Yamamoto the first line with McDavid” and “their’s too much rookie on that line”. but you know what, those two players looked like the most compatible players playing with McDavid when they got the chance and the advanced numbers agree!

Thoughts?

OriginalPouzar

jp: It would be spectacular if the Oilers are able to keep Rieder at 3R. I understand your premise, but I guess I’m not convinced Rattie will hold the 1R job for long.

Rieder with Draisaitl does have a lot of appeal – I’m sure both players would like to get a chance together (and for that matter, Drai could use some help with the 2-way work). Agreed that Puljujarvi has the pedigree/potential and should pass Rieder before long, but he’s also still finding his way and appears prone to lapses in confidence. I’m more than fine with him at 3R with Strome for now (that also wouldn’t hurt to keep his next contract reasonable, as a bonus).

I haven’t gotten attached to exact line projections. There’s a lot of viable options, and a ton of unknowns (this is totally aside from McLellan’s constant line juggling). I kinda feel like Yamamoto will grab that 1R job real soon though, maybe even right out of camp. He was magic by every metric I’ve seen except for actual goals.

My tentative lines are:
Nuge-McDavid-Yamamoto
Lucic-Draisaitl-Rieder
Khaira-Strome-Puljujarvi
Caggiula/Aberg-Brodziak-Kassian
Caggiula/Aberg—–Rattie
(Bonus: no Brad Malone)

It’s fluid though. Maybe Rattie can hold 1R (the man is skilled). Maybe Nuge-McDavid was (partly) smoke and mirrors. Maybe Aberg is something. Maybe Strome moves up. Maybe Rieder shows another gear with more skilled Cs (he’s ideal as the Pisani, but he’s still younger than Pisani was when he played his first game).

All that said there are a lot of options (and most are actual NHL player, upside yet to be determined). That combined with likely improvement from the D and G has me pretty optimistic.

Great post (I would be apt to switch Jesee and Tobias, as we know, but I want to keep Jesse away from Lucic).

As an aside, I don’t know what Drai has said but I do know that Rieder has totally discounting playing with Drai as a material reason for signing with the Oil. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure he’d be just fin be playing with Leon but he’s not expecting it just because of their international history.

OriginalPouzar

digger50:
I also like the suggestion of putting Nuge back to center with Lucic and a speedy defensive responsible winger (?) and run him against toughs as much as possable.

Of course we can’t hide Connor so he will still see high Quality or completion, but it may open the door for Drai to face third line competition and clean up.

Do we have enough wingers to make it work??

Lucic / Nuge / ?
Rieder / Connor / Strome
Khaira / Leon / Jessie
Drake / Brodziak / Kassian

Could Yamamoto fill in here for Khaira, bumping Khaira up to the defensive responsible winger for Nuge?

We are a little thin yet to make it work, however I like it as a complete tactical switch.

You could put Rieder with Nuge and Aberg with Connor?

digger50

OriginalPouzar: Our head coach is a proud guy and I’m sure he is embarrassed by last season’s results – personally, I think he does hold himself accountable (he has expressed directly that he needs to be better) – I am hopeful that he makes some changes to his approach and improves – line deployment is included in this.Perhaps his assistants can help with this.

With the emergence of Stome and Khaira as legit PKers and the addition of Brodziak and Rieder (and only losing Pak from the PK I believe), I am hopefull we can give McDavid (and Drai) less PK time which should allow for some additional even strength minutes. I wouldn’t mind seeing our coach go outside the box and think about dressing 11 forwards and 8D (especially if Bouchard is in the lineup).I think each of McDavid and Drai (and even Nuge) taken some shifts as that 3C could have value.

True that the coach is proud and competent and yet also true he can be stubborn and slow to adapt.

If he was to deploy this strategy you suggest I would be thrilled. Not necessarily because I loved it, but because it was a strategy and he tried it. I would not criticize the strategy, only if it failed and he did not adjust. See penalty kill 2017-2018.

We all have Nuge as 1LW. Yet most agree Connor will win his goal share regardless of wingers and it’s is critical that the second line must now also win its goal share. Based on that it should be Nuge and Leon paired up .

Whatever the strategy, I woul like it If was well thought out, logical and well executed. I will have a hard time again this year if we see stubborn, poorly executed systems and seemingly random based roster deployment. All this my opinion of course.

jp

GMB3: Perhaps they didn’t give Strome much time with McDavid to keep his contract number down this year? (I don’t actually think it’s the coaches job to really worry about this, their W-L record is their meal ticket).

I do wonder about that. Perhaps the GM gave suggestions to keep Strome at C for the most part. Tough to know though.

jp

OriginalPouzar:
You make a point and I can’t argue with the facts.

I think, on the assumption that Rattie is going to start the year as 1RW, I’ve been of the opinion (and remain of the opinion) that it should be Puljujarvi that gets the 2RW opportunity and Rieder penciled in as 3RW (of course, subject to performance).

The premise is that Jesse is simply the higher pedigree and the more dymanic/higher potential offensive player and I think he will take a decent step forward (as many higher end European comparables do in their draft plus 3 year).Given Rieder’s more mature 2-way game, I see him as a fantastic third line player.

Essentially, as between the two, I think Jesse is the better fit higher in the lineup.

With respect to the potential lines above that do not have Rattie locked in to the top line, I guess I convinced myself the Rieder should be a third liner on this team and never really considered moving him up as I was thinking about structuring the new lines.

Absolutely, he’s a viable option in the top 6, however, my preference would be to have him generally on a very solid third line and to move up as required – of course, given our lack of offensive wingers overall, we likely do not have that luxury.

It would be spectacular if the Oilers are able to keep Rieder at 3R. I understand your premise, but I guess I’m not convinced Rattie will hold the 1R job for long.

Rieder with Draisaitl does have a lot of appeal – I’m sure both players would like to get a chance together (and for that matter, Drai could use some help with the 2-way work). Agreed that Puljujarvi has the pedigree/potential and should pass Rieder before long, but he’s also still finding his way and appears prone to lapses in confidence. I’m more than fine with him at 3R with Strome for now (that also wouldn’t hurt to keep his next contract reasonable, as a bonus).

I haven’t gotten attached to exact line projections. There’s a lot of viable options, and a ton of unknowns (this is totally aside from McLellan’s constant line juggling). I kinda feel like Yamamoto will grab that 1R job real soon though, maybe even right out of camp. He was magic by every metric I’ve seen except for actual goals.

My tentative lines are:
Nuge-McDavid-Yamamoto
Lucic-Draisaitl-Rieder
Khaira-Strome-Puljujarvi
Caggiula/Aberg-Brodziak-Kassian
Caggiula/Aberg—–Rattie
(Bonus: no Brad Malone)

It’s fluid though. Maybe Rattie can hold 1R (the man is skilled). Maybe Nuge-McDavid was (partly) smoke and mirrors. Maybe Aberg is something. Maybe Strome moves up. Maybe Rieder shows another gear with more skilled Cs (he’s ideal as the Pisani, but he’s still younger than Pisani was when he played his first game).

All that said there are a lot of options (and most are actual NHL player, upside yet to be determined). That combined with likely improvement from the D and G has me pretty optimistic.

digger50

I also like the suggestion of putting Nuge back to center with Lucic and a speedy defensive responsible winger (?) and run him against toughs as much as possable.

Of course we can’t hide Connor so he will still see high Quality or completion, but it may open the door for Drai to face third line competition and clean up.

Do we have enough wingers to make it work??

Lucic / Nuge / ?
Rieder / Connor / Strome
Khaira / Leon / Jessie
Drake / Brodziak / Kassian

Could Yamamoto fill in here for Khaira, bumping Khaira up to the defensive responsible winger for Nuge?

We are a little thin yet to make it work, however I like it as a complete tactical switch.

OriginalPouzar

digger50:
I think this years team will miss Maroon.

I believe we previously discussed Nuge / Connor / Strome as potentially the dominant top line the Oil are looking for.

With Tmac, it’s so hard to know the Nuge will be there let alone see what Strome can do for five games. The tryout may consistof three shifts.

While Connor will do fine with or without help on his line it’s seems only fair to get him some great wingers. Next step of course is to pro vide Drai enough help to win goal share.

Rieder. / Leon / Jessieseem the most obvious choice

Does this leave enough strength for the bottom six?

It does allow for an above average fourth line, it is the third line that would be the weak link.

Our head coach is a proud guy and I’m sure he is embarrassed by last season’s results – personally, I think he does hold himself accountable (he has expressed directly that he needs to be better) – I am hopeful that he makes some changes to his approach and improves – line deployment is included in this. Perhaps his assistants can help with this.

With the emergence of Stome and Khaira as legit PKers and the addition of Brodziak and Rieder (and only losing Pak from the PK I believe), I am hopefull we can give McDavid (and Drai) less PK time which should allow for some additional even strength minutes. I wouldn’t mind seeing our coach go outside the box and think about dressing 11 forwards and 8D (especially if Bouchard is in the lineup). I think each of McDavid and Drai (and even Nuge) taken some shifts as that 3C could have value.

GMB3

jp: If you read OP’s article at Copper and Blue, or numerous of his posts here over the past months, Strome’s best performances have actually been at RW on a skill line (both in NY and with the Oilers).

He’s a solid 3C, and the Oilers likely need him there, but he may well be an exceptional complimentary if played with skill (as his Jr numbers, draft position and small samples in the NHL attest).

Perhaps they didn’t give Strome much time with McDavid to keep his contract number down this year? (I don’t actually think it’s the coaches job to really worry about this, their W-L record is their meal ticket).

Professor Q

BONE207: Maybe I’m late to the gathering but I’ll bite. What is imposter syndrome? Is this similar to identity theft?

It’s common in academia. University staff and students get training and support (though more is needed, and beyond just I.S., but support for having marginalized groups actually feel welcomed and stay in academia and research). I missed mine, though…

https://www.grad.ubc.ca/about-us/newsletter/feeling-fraud-imposter-syndrome-graduate-school

It’s complicated and can be a wide variety of things, and caused by a variety of things. The feeling of being inadequate, not feeling welcomed or belonging, not feeling that you have merit or perhaps feeling that you’ve not accomplished what you have due to said merit but had you’ve squeaked by or somehow got lucky and now will be exposed as the fraud you are (mind tricks, social pressures, etc.; not the reality in reality but the mirror and perceptions formed in your mind). You aren’t good enough, won’t make it like the others, are the outsider, drifting by. Not contributing significantly.

A tricky and complicated ordeal affecting many, especially marginalized groups (other factors at play there).

digger50

I think this years team will miss Maroon.

I believe we previously discussed Nuge / Connor / Strome as potentially the dominant top line the Oil are looking for.

With Tmac, it’s so hard to know the Nuge will be there let alone see what Strome can do for five games. The tryout may consist of three shifts.

While Connor will do fine with or without help on his line it’s seems only fair to get him some great wingers. Next step of course is to pro vide Drai enough help to win goal share.

Rieder. / Leon / Jessie seem the most obvious choice

Does this leave enough strength for the bottom six?

It does allow for an above average fourth line, it is the third line that would be the weak link.

BONE207

Wilde:
Has anyone here dealt with/known someone who’s dealt with imposter syndrome?

Maybe I’m late to the gathering but I’ll bite. What is imposter syndrome? Is this similar to identity theft?

OriginalPouzar

Oilman99: Isn’t that called trolling?

I have no idea what you are getting at but you seem to have some problem with me so i don’t think it makes sense to continue to engage with you.

OriginalPouzar

Oilman99: Strome has shown is NY and last year that he performs much better at centre than on the wing. Leave him where he is. Maksimov will never be 1lw as long as Nuge plays there.

1) I’m not so sure Stome has played his best at center. His best offensive season came mostly as a right winger. In small sample sizes (albeit almost 200 minutes with Leon) he has shown to help improve the goal share and possession numbers of both McDavid and Leon (moreso than any other Oiler forward). On the other hand, he has said he has been more comfortable at center but the team gets a higher percentage of goals when he plays wing in the top 6.

2) Maksimov developing in to a 1st line winger is unlikely and, if it ever does happen (and it could with his shot), its years away. The point being, when this organization develops/acquires some actual top 6 wingers over the next few years, we can move Nuge back to center where he truly belongs. This team will win championships with McDavid/Leon/Nuge down the middle.

OriginalPouzar

Professor Q:
As a point, I think Rieder played LW (well, both?) with Draisaitl internationally. Couldn’t he play there, with Puljujärvi at RW?

It certainly will be an interesting time for line matchup and chemistry testing, and I do think Edmonton has some good potentials. If it remains reasonable and doesn’t keep changing from period to period.

I suppose he could, however, on the assumption that Yamamoto starts the year in Bakersfield (big assumption though), I think we may need him to play the right side more than the left as we have Nuge, Lucic, and Khaira all established on the left side (along with Drake). Moving Rieder to the left side risks Caggulia playing higher in the lineup on the right side than I think anyone wants.

There is a lot of flux given so many wingers that can play both sides and wild cards such as Aberg (who could play top 6 – he was at 2P/60 after the trade – albeit zoomed by the one 3 point game).

Oilman99

OriginalPouzar:
I did want to thank every one for their kind wishes and support and, of course, thank LT this platform – such a wonderful place to discuss all things Oiler.

I have no desire to frequent this place any less – when one only sleeps 4 hours/night, there is time!

Isn’t that called trolling?

jp

Oilman99: Strome has shown is NY and last year that he performs much better at centre than on the wing. Leave him where he is.

If you read OP’s article at Copper and Blue, or numerous of his posts here over the past months, Strome’s best performances have actually been at RW on a skill line (both in NY and with the Oilers).

He’s a solid 3C, and the Oilers likely need him there, but he may well be an exceptional complimentary if played with skill (as his Jr numbers, draft position and small samples in the NHL attest).

Oilman99

OriginalPouzar:
You make a point and I can’t argue with the facts.

I think, on the assumption that Rattie is going to start the year as 1RW, I’ve been of the opinion (and remain of the opinion) that it should be Puljujarvi that gets the 2RW opportunity and Rieder penciled in as 3RW (of course, subject to performance).

The premise is that Jesse is simply the higher pedigree and the more dymanic/higher potential offensive player and I think he will take a decent step forward (as many higher end European comparables do in their draft plus 3 year).Given Rieder’s more mature 2-way game, I see him as a fantastic third line player.

Essentially, as between the two, I think Jesse is the better fit higher in the lineup.

With respect to the potential lines above that do not have Rattie locked in to the top line, I guess I convinced myself the Rieder should be a third liner on this team and never really considered moving him up as I was thinking about structuring the new lines.

Absolutely, he’s a viable option in the top 6, however, my preference would be to have him generally on a very solid third line and to move up as required – of course, given our lack of offensive wingers overall, we likely do not have that luxury.

Past quotes show Drai wants Reider on his wing due to past experience with him. Puljy has to earn the top six spot, not be gifted it.

Oilman99

OriginalPouzar: I agree – I don’t think the coaching staff will actually explore this option even though I think it should be explored (if a suitable option for 3C arises).

It will be a more viable option when Maksimov graduates to our 1LW……..

Strome has shown is NY and last year that he performs much better at centre than on the wing. Leave him where he is. Maksimov will never be 1lw as long as Nuge plays there.

Professor Q

As a point, I think Rieder played LW (well, both?) with Draisaitl internationally. Couldn’t he play there, with Puljujärvi at RW?

It certainly will be an interesting time for line matchup and chemistry testing, and I do think Edmonton has some good potentials. If it remains reasonable and doesn’t keep changing from period to period.

OriginalPouzar

You make a point and I can’t argue with the facts.

I think, on the assumption that Rattie is going to start the year as 1RW, I’ve been of the opinion (and remain of the opinion) that it should be Puljujarvi that gets the 2RW opportunity and Rieder penciled in as 3RW (of course, subject to performance).

The premise is that Jesse is simply the higher pedigree and the more dymanic/higher potential offensive player and I think he will take a decent step forward (as many higher end European comparables do in their draft plus 3 year). Given Rieder’s more mature 2-way game, I see him as a fantastic third line player.

Essentially, as between the two, I think Jesse is the better fit higher in the lineup.

With respect to the potential lines above that do not have Rattie locked in to the top line, I guess I convinced myself the Rieder should be a third liner on this team and never really considered moving him up as I was thinking about structuring the new lines.

Absolutely, he’s a viable option in the top 6, however, my preference would be to have him generally on a very solid third line and to move up as required – of course, given our lack of offensive wingers overall, we likely do not have that luxury.

jp

OriginalPouzar: Yes, the issue with Strome in the top 6 is exactly that, the replacement 3C:

Aberg/McDavid/Puljujarvi
Khaira/Drai/Strome
Lucic/Nuge/Rieder
Caggulia/Brodziak/Kassian

OR

Nuge/McDavid/Puljujarvi
Aberg/Drai/Strome
Lucic/Khaira/Rieder
Caggulia/Broziack Kassian

OR

Nuge/McDavid/Puljujarvi
Aberg/Drai/Strome
Khaira/Brodziak/Rieder
Lucic/XXXXX Kassian
DRESS 8D and give extra ice to 29/97

None are ideal I don’t think.

A little off topic, but I’ve been a bit confused why you’re so opposed to slotting Rieder above the 3rd line, and seem to think he can’t handle a top 6 role.

He ranked 80th in points among wingers in 15-16 (120 wingers play top 6)
He ranked 86th in 16-17
And 125th in 17-18 (124 top 6 W with Vegas)

Even allowing that a bunch guys listed as Cs play wing his rank among all forwards was:
156th in 15-16 (180 top 6 Fs)
170th in 16-17
247th in 17-18 (186 top 6 Fs)

So in 15-16 and 16-17 he scored like a top 6 forward.

His most common Cs have been Hanazl (15-16 and 16-17), Stepan (17-18) and Carter after the trade to LA. None of these guys have played 3C. He’s been top 6 in TOI for Arizona in each of the past 3 yrs. He is and has been a 2nd line winger (albeit on a bad team).

It would be splendid if the Oilers can keep him on the 3rd line in the Pisani role, but pretty sure he’s capable of moving up if needed.

PS – Nice job with the new gig, and good to hear you’re not going to leave us! Agree entirely the only issue with trying Strome up the lineup is the hole it will leave at 3C.

Woodguy v2.0

Wilde,

I like Rakell and Kase a lot, but it will nice to see the Ducks fade over the next few years as Getzlaf fades if they keep pissing away their young talent.

Gibson is the goods too.

Assholes.

Melvis

Professor Q,

It isn’t a big deal. No need to apologize. This isn’t a knee on knee debate. Just a bit of mutual face washing. It’s a part of the game.

Wilde

Woodguy v2.0: Its amazing that ANA has gone from Dman factory to hoping that Montour can have a good sophomore season so they can ice a decent 2nd pair.

Woodguy v2.0:
Its amazing that ANA has gone from Dman factory to hoping that Montour can have a good sophomore season so they can ice a decent 2nd pair.

Bob Murray has been sneaky-bad for awhile now, it’s delicious. Probably the worst decision making history or any of the recently successful teams outside of Montreal.

The scouts are giving him so much and he’s not cashing them or keeping them properly.

They got utterly trashed this year with:

– Rakell at 3.8M

– Getzlaf still at elite 1C level

– Kase @ ELC

– Lindholm and Manson at 9M COMBINED

And their prime-age cluster of draft picks was this:

(between 2011 and 2014 – draft +4 to draft +7)

Etem
Smith-Pelley
Wagner
Rakell
W. Karlsson
Ritchie
Kase

Fowler
Manson
Lindholm
Theodore
Montour

Gibson
Andersen

That’s a top line forward, two second liners, two third liners and two fourth liners(rougly), an entire elite D corps, and two starting goalies.

(those are just quick ratings to illustrate the point)

All while getting Kesler for peanuts and having a couple elite forwards already existing on the team.

And getting away with a filthy, garbage way to play hockey.

I hope they enjoy their meaningless banners.

Melvis

Professor Q: I’m not sure if you’re mocking me or not…

But the hit by Torres against the Sharks really was a high hit.

I remember the hit on Jason Williams, too. He’s from my hometown, so it was a bit weirder.

Head-hunters have no place in the game, sorry. I know you might disagree due to them sometimes having good contributions.

The sad part is that Torres was a scorer in the CHL, and decided that he was pressured enough to need to develop that role to stay in the NHL. Eventually it caught up to him, which is sad on many fronts (and it’s the culture, the NHL, himself, and the systems to be blamed).

It’s sort of like Ovechkin (though he has many other benefits, so people love him regardless) and Tom Wilson these playoffs. So many cheap shots and dirty double teams that weren’t called or weren’t called severely enough, and bam. Stanley Cup.

Melvis:
Melvis,

I posted a generalization about Perry after Bruce mentioned him at 12:34. I didn’t point it at anyone specifically. Of course, you’re free to do the same thing, but you chose to stick it in my face.

Of course, I’m mocking you. Reread the first sentence. “Corey Perry is one of those Ducks you love to hate”. Is there something about that line that eludes you?

Among 750 players, there are always going to be a couple of run around clowns hell bent on hurting someone. I don’t support them anymore than I support drunk drivers that sometimes have “good contributions.”They have no place on the road.” Sorry, but dream on.

This isn’t the first time you’ve pointed a bit of condescension at me. Knock it off.

Man, I don’t know what I hate more – fumbling fingers, talking to myself, or all of this dumb ass, immature blog iteration.

Professor Q

Melvis,

Okay. Maybe I misread too much into things. To clarify what got me, when you post,

“I really hate that Raffi Torres for potting the clincher against the Ducks putting the Oilers in the finals in ’06.”

In the context of our discourse, it’s going to come off as facetious and a bit sarcastic and cheeky (as if you really don’t hate him for that, and think that I don’t either; but if you do, then fine).

I took it almost as implying that I was untruthful as to me not supporting goons if they’re on my team and contribute otherwise, so to speak.

I admit that I misread it as we already have developed a preconceived “disagreement relationship”. If I’ve added annoyance to your evening then I apologize.

OriginalPouzar

I wouldn’t get too enthralled with Brodziak’s faceoff prowess – his 52% last year was a career high and his first time over 50% in years.

He generally come in somewhere between 48-50%.

It will be nice to have a better right shot option than Strome.

Munny

Kudos, OP! Have fun with it!

Melvis

Melvis,

I posted a generalization about Perry after Bruce mentioned him at 12:34. I didn’t point it at anyone specifically. Of course, you’re free to do the same thing, but you chose to stick it in my face.

Of course, I’m mocking you. Reread the first sentence. “Corey Perry is one of those Ducks you love to hate”. Is there something about that line that eludes you?

Among 750 players, there are always going to be a couple of run around clowns hell bent on hurting someone. I don’t support them anymore than I support drunk drivers that sometimes have “good contributions.” They have no place on the road. Sorry, but dream on.

This isn’t the first time you’ve pointed a bit of condescension at me. Knock it off.

Woodguy v2.0

Wilde,

There isn’t a lot of places where this Oilers roster is above a playoff team, outside of top two forwards.

One of them though, is possibly 3LD.

This is a really good point.

NSH had to play their top 4 a ton to avoid playing their 3rd as well and fatigue can be a huge thing in the playoffs.

I’m actually in the process of going through the Dcorps of each team in preparation to make my usual slew of over/under bets on season totals as well as find some nice long odds on Conference Champions.

One thing that I do (and is works quite well for rating Dcrops imo) is counting the number of “Actual NHL Top 4 Dmen” on the team. I give half points for players who are a decent 5/6 (can be the second best player on a second pair and not get killed)

I’ve done the Pacific and I have this:

5.0 EDM (2, 6, 25, 77 full points, 83 & 4 get half points – assumes 2 health)
4.5 ARI
4.0 VGK
3.5 ANA
3.5 CGY
3.5 LAK
3.5 SJS
2.5 VAN

Dman depth come into play when a top 4 Dman goes down and the player taking the spot isn’t a massive drag. EDM has that in spades this year with 83 & 4 (I think they play 4 at 2RD with 25, but I digress…..) That’s important.

Its amazing that ANA has gone from Dman factory to hoping that Montour can have a good sophomore season so they can ice a decent 2nd pair.

I *almost* gave CGY a 3 as Brodie hasn’t carried a 2nd pair for 2 years now but word is he’ll play with Gio and Gio can carry them, but not to the tune of Gio&Dougie who were a top 5 pair in the league.

VAN should probably be a 3 as Stecher is the goods imo, but I’m hedging against Edler’s slight decline and Tanev’s health.

If I could trust Goligoski to be the Goligoski of the the 4 years previous to last year I would have given ARI a 5.

ARI has the best starting goalie in the Pacific too. Hit the over.

Wilde

Nix:
Congrats OP!!!
Has LT quietly enabled a world-class croudsourced analytics thinktank pro-style blogger factory? Powerful if true..

unironically and sincerely, yes.

Nix

Congrats OP!!!
Has LT quietly enabled a world-class croudsourced analytics thinktank pro-style blogger factory? Powerful if true..

Woodguy v2.0

Bruce McCurdy: Brodziak moved up the line-up after Stastny got dealt to Winnipeg, & performed very very well with Steen & Berglund. A case can be made that he got the push & benefited from it; that said a case can also be made that when given the opportunity to hit above his weight class, he did so very successfully. A 4C who can move up in a pinch is a very useful thing to have.

Brodziak also played with Berglund lower in the order during the year from the TOI that I looked at.

Berglund and Steen only played 47 minutes together away from Brodziak (207 minutes as a trio) so its not like they were playing together with Statsny before he left.

STL has been trying to dump Berglund’s contract for 2 years now as he was a very expensive 3rd liner on their team.

Woodguy v2.0

Bank Shot:
Woodguy v2.0,

I like Brodziak as well, but it’s important to note that his most common linemates away from Thorburn were Berglund and Steen. He played second line for a stretch due to injuries.

We are probably getting the 15 point Brodziak, not the 33 point guy, and that is fine as long as they saw off the play.

Hopefully he meshes well with whoever we have on the 4th line.

Berglund was playing lower in the order, but you’re right on the TOI with Steen.

Agreed that quiet competence at the NHL level, RH draw +50% and PK effectively is a pretty big upgrade on Letestu who only could match the RH draw +50% part last year.

Bank Shot

Bruce McCurdy: Brodziak moved up the line-up after Stastny got dealt to Winnipeg, & performed very very well with Steen & Berglund. A case can be made that he got the push & benefited from it; that said a case can also be made that when given the opportunity to hit above his weight class, he did so very successfully. A 4C who can move up in a pinch is a very useful thing to have.

I agree. I’m just trying to temper expectations on Brodziak a bit. He has always been good when playing with talent. That Brodziak-Glencross 4th line was crazy for about 2-3 months.

Woodguy v2.0

LadiesloveSmid:
Woodguy v2.0,

Benning only play 480 mins 5v5 when Letestu was on the team?

Oops, that’s Letestu’s TOI for the 54 games he played with Benning.

Letestu played 60 games, Benning 73.

Benning missed 3 games after the trade deadline so they played 54 games together.

That’s just under 9 min a game for Letestu.

Benning’s is this:

155min 18.2% GF
718min 57.8% GF