Fear of Music

Every training camp offers its share of surprises good and bad, for the Oilers there’s a giant list of things that have to go right. The KHL backup goalie needs to deliver saves on demand, the second-pairing RH defenseman needs to be in-house and effective, plus a four-pack of productive right wingers need to arrive in Sweden early October.

THE ATHLETIC!

The Athletic made some big additions yesterday, including Daniel Nugent-Bowman joining the Edmonton staff. Daniel, Jonathan Willis, Minnia Feng, Pat McLean and me will deliver prose all winter long and there will be tons via the national desk from Tyler Dellow, Corey Pronman and Dom Luszczysyn. Special offer is here, less than $4 a month! Also, don’t forget to join us later this month (September 24, The Rec Room) for a get together and general merriment. I’m thrilled to be part of this group, hope you join us.

What do we know for sure, as this team enters training camp? The Oilers are a very strong team with Connor McDavid on the ice, and are not close to a playoff team off the ice. The preseason predictions have the team either well outside the playoffs or fighting for that last spot in the Western Conference (and that last spot might be third place in the Pacific Division).

RE 18-19 PROJECTED GAMES PLAYED

The NHL roster equivalent of “too much month at the end of the money” is before you as September 2018 settles in. I said all spring and summer the best route was keeping their powder dry. Peter Chiarelli had already traded too many quality pieces, the idea of dealing Oscar Klefbom, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jesse Puljujarvi or even the No. 10 overall made no sense at all.

The path is not clear and the future fraught with danger. There are no guarantees for the general manager, the head coach, even young talents like Puljujarvi have to step up this winter or risk being on the outside in the spring.

The pressure on Connor McDavid is going to be enormous, but in all honesty that’s probably the least worrisome item on the worry list this fall. Can Leon Draisaitl outscore quality opposition with wingers who are likely to produce less than NHL average output? Can Ryan Strome deliver more in year two, on what should be a productive line facing soft opposition?

I think this team will finish between 90 and 94 points unless injuries or goaltending flushes their season again. What you want, if you’re an Oilers fan, is to arrive in April with more horses for the future. By that I mean more players, beyond 97, 29, 93 up front and the reliable defenders, more players who establish themselves as quality players for the future.

We’ve been arguing all summer about the best option on RW, or who can step up and finish that defense, but in reality the specific names are less important than actual success in addressing those roster needs.

PERSONAL OPINION

I rarely do this, mostly because the idea of the blog is to chronicle the events surrounding the team as opposed to offering an (often emotional) opinion. I do have some thoughts about this team moving forward, mostly on the 5-on-5:

  • I think the Oilers would do well to deploy Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Tobias Rieder on separate (top) lines as the defensive conscience on their respective units. Nuge-McDavid and Rieder-Draisaitl fits as an example, but you could switch wingers to see if there’s chem.
  • It’s time for Jesse Puljujarvi to get a push and I’d run the hell out of him on one of the top two lines. The sense I get in watching McDavid-Puljujarvi is that JP’s eagerness gets him in the way a little, so perhaps that duo will have to wait a little. Still, Draisaitl-Puljujarvi could be a solid set and it will give the Finn more chances at net to play with such a skilled center.
  • I would run Pontus Aberg ahead of Milan Lucic on one of the skill lines. I can hear howls of derision already but for me Aberg is faster, more dynamic, and has enough offensive ability to play higher up the depth chart.
  • Ideally we see Nuge-McDavid-Puljujarvi and Aberg-Draisaitl-Rieder, that would be my recommendation to start the preseason.
  • Lucic on a line with Ryan Strome and one of several options (Ty Rattie, Jujhar Khaira who could play center, Drake Caggiula, even Kailer Yamamoto) is the best landing spot for the big man. If he can impact the game offensively, moving him up is an easy thing to do. This isn’t a Lucic hit job by the way, I’m a fan of his over many years. However, if the club forces him on to a skill line and then demotes him, the options are none and you’re at the crossroads maybe early November.
  • The fourth line could very well be Scottie Upshall-Kyle Brodziak-Zack Kassian, although Jujhar Khaira might squeeze in there somewhere.
  • Oscar Klefbom with Adam Larsson is my choice for top pair, I’d run the living hell out of them early and often.
  • Darnell Nurse needs a reliable veteran for the second pair but for me Matt Benning would get the first shot at the job.
  • Kris Russell and Jakub Jerabek are the best option for third pairing in my opinion, we’ll have to see how well youngsters like Ethan Bear, Evan Bouchard and William Lagesson play.
  • Cam Talbot needs to play 55-60 games this season, that means Mikko Koskinen gets a start every three games (or so). If the goaltending struggles in October, Peter Chiarelli should go find help.

I’ll be running my (modified) RE series beginning next week at The Athletic, will publish the final GF-GA by player here just before the start of the season.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

Friday! A fun show to kick off the weekend, promise I won’t mention the Philadelphia Eagles even once! Scheduled to appear, beginning at 10 on TSN1260:

  • Steve Lansky, Big Mouth Sports. Gearing up for the NHL preseason, Auston Matthews as captain in Toronto and the Blake Wheeler contract.
  • Matt Iwanyk, TSN1260. Eskimos big game at Commonwealth this weekend, NFL kickoff weekend.
  • Nick Dika, bass player for The Arkells. The brilliant bassman for the fabulous Arkells is also a wildly successful and brilliant writer of prose about baseball for Baseball Prospectus. The man, the myth, the machine, he’ll join us at 11:20.

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

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92 Responses to "Fear of Music"

  1. SwedishPoster says:

    As a paper unit I like the idea of a FinGer line with Rieder-Drai-Pulju as second string. Got a bit of everything. I do however worry that we are all remembering pre injury Rieder, his skating did look worse afterwards and knee injuries can slow a player down permanently. Let’s hope he’s fully up to speed. Pun intended. Rieder will certainly get a proper shot with Drai which is likely to be the opportunity of his career so he should come in motivated as hell.

  2. SwedishPoster says:

    I don’t have much hope for Åberg. Don’t think he has the smarts to play with the top centers for a longer stretch and don’t see him as an efficient bottom liner. With that said, if he can find a clearly defined role in the top 6 he has enough hands, finish and crestivity to catch lightning in a bottle and score in bunches. I just wouldn’t bet on it. Much like Rieder he has the opportunity of his career, catch on with the top dogs or play in europe within 2-3 seasons.

  3. SwedishPoster says:

    Heh, rolling like OriginalPouzar with the first two posts…

    Edit: three

  4. oilersjo says:

    I love Training camp. Players are judged on what they can do. Regular season they are judged by what they make.

  5. OriginalPouzar says:

    I think you are likely right with Rieder being a winger in the top 6, however, I would much prefer to find a way to keep him on the third line. Sure, he’s got some top 6 speed and maybe top 6 skill but he’s established as a middle 6 winger in the NHL and not a true top 6 winger. I’d rather have him placed in a position where he is likely to succeed rather than place him higher in the batting order than he deserves to be.

    I will agree that Puljujarvi should have one of the top 6 right wing spots (he should get the opportunity/push and I believe he will run with it). If we can agree that Rattie is not a great option then, with my opinion that Rieder should be on the third line, there is a hole.

    Kailer Yamamoto is an option. Do we think he will not be able to put up as many points as Ty Rattie? Will he be any worse defensive or away from the puck or in battle? Will it stunt his development over a few months in the AHL?

    Another option is Ryan Strome – he showed to help both McDavid (very small sample) and Drai last year – both had increased metrics with Strome. Of course, the issue there is 3C cover. Brodziak did a fantastic job up the lineup last year with Berglund and Steen – great scoring metrics. I think we can agree that Brodziak at 3C, as opposed to 4C (with Khaira at 4C) is not ideal (more of a “shorten the bench” option) .

    Marody is the darkhorse for 4C/3C – he may get there this year but not likely in October.

    I think we can agree that, even if we do think Strome would be a good option in the top 6, the head coach will be playing him at 3C.

    Bottom line: the middle six player, Tobias Rieder, will be batting a bit above his established level subject to Rattie/Yamamoto.

  6. OriginalPouzar says:

    Aberg showed some offensive skill and overall game awareness to a greater extent than Drake Caggulia last year. Yes, his 1.99 P/60 as an Oiler was zoomed in a 3 game heater but, yes, I agree, I would like him to be given top 6 at bats to see if he can grab a spot – he’s got the game but does he have the consistency?

  7. OriginalPouzar says:

    Matt Benning being able to step-up to that 2RD spot is a key. We know the default if he fails is Kris Russell and we know that’s not good enough.

    Benning has been fantastic on the 3rd pairing as an Oiler but has struggled when asked to move up the lineup. He is now in to his 3rd year pro and further removed from that concussion – I’m rooting for you Matty!

  8. dustrock says:

    I like the Oilers roster until I have to start coming up with line combinations.

  9. HT Joe says:

    Nuge-McDavid-Puljujarvi
    Aberg-Draisaitl-Rieder
    Lucic-Strome-Khaira
    x-Brodziak-y

    I like your opinion Lowetide!

    What’s nice about starting Lucic on the 3rd line… it seems like he can play that role really well, and it would be better for his confidence to earn his way up to the 2nd line, vs. potentially starting on the 2nd line and being demoted down to the third line.

    This upcoming season, I find myself cheering like hell for Lucic the same way I used to cheer for Yakupov… put the man in a position for high probability of success.

  10. Paulie says:

    oilersjo:
    I love Training camp.Players are judged on what they can do.Regular season they are judged by what they make.

    Agreed. Also judged in reg season on how much grit they show (Caggs). Skill? Not so much for these players.

  11. tileguy says:

    What about the “chemistry” Rattie and 97 produced, why is that discounted so little on this blog? Is it because a mathematical formula cannot be prodced to show this. A couple of $6M men were given opportunity to develope chemistry and they could not, or else they would still ve on the team. Last year I saw a 25 year old join the team and look fairly productive on the top line, RNH looked real good there as well, why do we want to burn a quarter of the season looking for new chemistry? I have seen too much of this the last couple of years. Let me take a big gulp of koolaid before I say this, but Rattie could be a late bloomer and given the chance to succeed could well produce 45-50 points. That is a value contract! It also forces Puljujarvi to make it with Draisaitl, a combination many of us want to see happen. Let Yamo percolate in the AHL and force his way onto the team naxt year.

  12. godot10 says:

    I’d rather not mess with McDavid’s linemates this year.

    Nugent-Hopkins, McDavid, Rieder #McDavidIsTheShooter #McDavidIsTheStriker
    Khaira, Draisaitl, Puljujarvi
    Lucic, Strome, Yamamoto
    Upshall, Brodziak, Aberg
    Caggiula, Kassian

  13. godot10 says:

    tileguy:
    What about the “chemistry” Rattie and 97 produced, why is that discounred so little on this blog? Is it because a mathematical formula cannot be prodced to show this. A couple of $6M men were given opportunity to develope chemistry and they could not, or else they would still ve on the team. Last year I saw a 25 year old join the team and look fairly productive on the top line, RNH looked real good there as well, why do we want to burn a quarter of the season looking for new chemistry? I have seen too much of this the last couple of years. Let me take a big gulp of koolaid before I say this, but Rattie could be a late bloomer and given the chance to succeed could well produce 45-50 points. That is a value contract! It also forces Puljujarvi to make it with Draisaitl, a combination many of us want to see happen. Let Yamo percolate in the AHL and force his way onto the team naxt year.

    There was no chemistry between McDavid and Rattie. Nugent-Hopkins enabled McDavid to go into overdrive, and Rattie was just an AHL’er along for the ride.

  14. tileguy says:

    godot10,

    Your mileage may vary.

  15. flea says:

    godot10,

    Rattie was effective retrieving and grinding pucks in the offensive zone. McDavid needs that player type on his line to extend shifts and draw defense. Maroon was a similiar player and Lucic is too (but he’s too slow for McDavid)

    You can’t just throw whoever beside Nuge/McDavid and say they are “along for the ride”. Chemistry between all the players on the ice is important. McDavid needs a speedy puck retriever on his line.

    Maybe it’s Rattie, maybe not. That’s what TC is for.

  16. godot10 says:

    tileguy:
    godot10,

    Your mileage may vary.

    Two #1 OV’s, one generational, made a career one-dimensional AHL scorer (who is incompetent in his own end and defensively) look like a marginal NHL player.

    I will take a pass on the Rattie hype.

  17. Jordan says:

    This year’s edition of the Oilers seems to be a retread of last year’s.

    Can the wingers find chem and produce on lines 1-3?

    Can one of the good bets for 5-6 D step into the 4 spot with Darnell and stabilize the top 4?

    Can Talbot be an above average starter?

    Can the special teams be above average?

    Can the teams key players stay healthy?

    The Oilers last year seemed to be good enough with some better luck to be a 90+ point team. They are on the bubble. Again, unless 4+ of those questions are answered yes.

  18. LadiesloveSmid says:

    I liked Aberg in his 16 games. Much more time for him than Rattie IMO.

    With the organization’s RW depth right now, I can’t see why Puljujarvi & Yamamoto shouldn’t be 1RW & 2RW. Rattie should be the 14th F.

    RNH-McDavid-Yamamoto
    Rieder/Looch-Drai-Pulju
    Rieder/Looch-Strome-Aberg
    Khaira-Brodziak-Kassian
    Caggiula-Rattie

    Rieder and Looch are both better suited as 3LWs, but they’ll battle out for 2LW.

    Really hoped Benning would step into that 2RD slot last year and he struggled. So desperately need someone to compete with him there.

  19. OriginalPouzar says:

    Per Reid Wilkins

    Oilers rookie camp practice D pairings:

    Samorukov-Bear
    Jones-Bouchard
    Kulevich-Lagesson

    Oilers rookie camp practice lines:

    Gambardella-Marody-Yamamoto
    Benson-McLeod-Vesel
    Vesey-Esposito-Maksimov
    Polei-Gust-Larkin

    Wonder why Lagesson is on his off-side – I’d rather him play his natural position and have a “non-real prospect” like Kulevich play his off side.

    Would also like Maksimov and Vesel switched.

  20. LadiesloveSmid says:

    If Aberg or Pulju were from Airdrie they’d get Rattie’s push.

  21. SwedishPoster says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Probably familiarity with the position, as is the case with most swedish D, he’s done his fair share of off side duty.

    The forward lines are perhaps possible condors lines, with Currie instead of McLeod once in Bako.

  22. pts2pndr says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Per Reid Wilkins

    Oilers rookie camp practice D pairings:

    Samorukov-Bear
    Jones-Bouchard
    Kulevich-Lagesson

    Oilers rookie camp practice lines:

    Gambardella-Marody-Yamamoto
    Benson-McLeod-Vesel
    Vesey-Esposito-Maksimov
    Polei-Gust-Larkin

    Wonder why Lagesson is on his off-side – I’d rather him play his natural position and have a “non-real prospect” like Kulevich play his off side.

    Would also like Maksimov and Vesel switched.

    As I recall Lagesson played right side with Klefbom on the Swedish junior team as well and did not look out of place! It is not ideal but someone in the organization still holds on to the idea handed does not matter or at least it appears that way!

  23. digger50 says:

    Jordan:
    This year’s edition of the Oilers seems to be a retread of last year’s.

    Can the wingers find chem and produce on lines 1-3?

    Can one of the good bets for 5-6 D step into the 4 spot with Darnell and stabilize the top 4?

    Can Talbot be an above average starter?

    Can the special teams be above average?

    Can the teams key players stay healthy?

    The Oilers last year seemed to be good enough with some better luck to be a 90+ point team.They are on the bubble. Again, unless 4+ of those questions are answered yes.

    As a poster said last year “these questions are more fun when you ask them using a Rocky and Bullwinkle voice”

  24. JimmyV1965 says:

    IMO this blog loves guys who have been pushed down the order because of perceived mishandling by the coach. It was Schleppy last year and appears to be Aberg this year. Aberg played plenty with Drai last year and was all but invisible except for a short period after he was benched. I’m cheering for the guy because he has some valuable tools. It’s up to him to push through and make the coach pay attention. He needs to play with the same fire he had after being benched last year. The NHL isn’t fair. Coaches aren’t fair. Life isn’t fair. Aberg has the opportunity of a lifetime. He needs to make the most of it. Rattie made the most of his time with McDavid last year. Aberg needs to do the same.

  25. jtblack says:

    Looking at LT’s projected players (# of games) one thing stands out to me. This is no longer an inexperienced team.

    Every player has 2+ years of NHL experience except Koskinen & maybe Jerabek? JP had 28 games and then pretty much a full season last year …

    Most guys are entering year 4 – 8 or more …

    So inexperience won’t be a factor. Just a matter if these guys can execute up and down the lineup and IF the D can hold up …this roster will score

  26. jtblack says:

    LT: If Talbot only plays 53 games, I will eat my hat.

    One thing about TMac is he can’t help going to the well too often. Look at his track record.

    in 10 years as Head Coach his starting goalie has played less than 60 games once (2015 Talbot played 56 in a lost season).

  27. Professor Q says:

    jtblack:
    LT:If Talbot only plays 53 games, I will eat my hat.

    One thing about TMac is he can’t help going to the well too often.Look at his track record.

    in 10 years as Head Coach his starting goalie has played less than 60 games once (2015 Talbot played 56 in a lost season).

    He’ll play more than 53 games (including the playoffs, that is).

  28. digger50 says:

    flea:
    godot10,

    Rattie was effective retrieving and grinding pucks in the offensive zone. McDavid needs that player type on his line to extend shifts and draw defense. Maroon was a similiar player and Lucic is too (but he’s too slow for McDavid)

    You can’t just throw whoever beside Nuge/McDavid and say they are “along for the ride”. Chemistry between all the players on the ice is important. McDavid needs a speedy puck retriever on his line.

    Maybe it’s Rattie, maybe not. That’s what TC is for.

    I like your point here – though I disagree that Rattie was good st puck retrieval, he was adequate.
    To my eye he was taking a beating, particularly in front of the net.

    Thing is, Connor faces the best, and every player wants to take his time and space away. Yamamoto looked good with Connor as he was the give and go man with Lucic or Maroon on the other wing being the reteiver, the corner man, the net front guy. I believe Connor needs that player type to create some space, to move some bodies, to create some chaos.

    If you play Nuge and Connor together, I can’t see Yamamoto on the right side. If Nuge and Connor start as a pair I’d have Kassian on right wing to start the season.

    If Yamamoto forces himself onto the team I would go back to Lucic – Connor – Yamamoto (I miss Maroon already)

    It’s risky as is the entire line up but it sets up Nuge- Drai – Jessie second line which would be deadly.

    Lucic – Connor – Yamamoto
    Nuge – Drai – Jessie
    Pontus – Strome – Rieder
    Khaira – Brodziak – Kassian

    The benefit here of getting a huge second line going must be wieghed against the possable reduction of Connors output. As with every roster prediction with this team, too much depends on who emerges.

    I enjoy your opinion posts LT

  29. tileguy says:

    digger50: I like your point here – though I disagree that Rattie was good st puck retrieval, he was adequate.
    To my eye he was taking a beating, particularlyin front of the net.

    Thing is, Connor faces the best, and every player wants to take his time and space away. Yamamoto looked good with Connor as he was the give and go man with Lucic or Maroon on the other wing being the reteiver, the corner man, the net front guy. I believe Connor needs that player type to create some space, to move some bodies, to create some chaos.

    If you play Nuge and Connor together, I can’t see Yamamoto on the right side. If Nuge and Connor start as a pair I’d have Kassian on right wing to start the season.

    If Yamamoto forces himself onto the team I would go back to Lucic – Connor – Yamamoto (I miss Maroon already)

    It’s risky as is the entire line up but it sets up Nuge- Drai – Jessie second line which would be deadly.

    Lucic – Connor – Yamamoto
    Nuge – Drai – Jessie
    Pontus – Strome – Rieder
    Khaira – Brodziak – Kassian

    The benefit here of getting a huge second line going must be wieghed against the possable reduction of Connors output. As with every roster prediction with this team, too much depends on who emerges.

    I enjoy your opinion posts LT

    Not one line the same as last year, looks like we will be spending 20 or more games looking for chemistry (again).

  30. Richard S.S. says:

    Handedness means next to nothing in pre-pre-pre-Season practice.

  31. tileguy says:

    Ty Rattie stats

    2010-11 Portland Winterhawks WHL 67 28 51 79
    2011-12 Portland Winterhawks WHL 69 57 64 121
    2012-13 Portland Winterhawks WHL 62 48 62 110
    2013-14 Chicago Wolves AHL 72 31 17 48
    2013-14 St. Louis Blues NHL 2 0 0 0 0

    I think there is an offensive player here, whay are people so quick to dismiss his 50 point pace from last year? Perhaps this is the year a coach will utilize him in a role that he can succeed in.

  32. Professor Q says:

    Any word on Luke Messier? Some intriguing names for the Orientarion and Training Camp lists.

    Hopefully Nurse gets things together soon. Not participating in Training Camp, but participating in Pre-Training Camp. Very interesting indeed.

    Have to feel for Mantha. Hopefully the best occurs for him.

  33. 106 and 106 says:

    Mikko Koskinen goes lights out in 32 starts, 24-5-3, posting a GAA of 1.82 and SV% of .932.

    Sure, he could be bad. But he could also be the future 🙂

  34. Oilman99 says:

    tileguy:
    Ty Rattie stats

    2010-11Portland WinterhawksWHL67285179
    2011-12Portland WinterhawksWHL695764121
    2012-13Portland WinterhawksWHL624862110
    2013-14Chicago WolvesAHL72311748
    2013-14St. Louis BluesNHL20000

    I think there is an offensive player here, whay are people so quick to dismiss his 50 point pace from last year? Perhaps this is the year a coach will utilize him in a role that he can succeed in.

    Totally agree with you, there is offensive skill there, I would assume Rattie knows this is his last chance to shine, and will come to camp prepared to seize the moment.

  35. Richard S.S. says:

    The best winger Connor McDavid has had is Leon Draisaitl, but the Oilers need Leon much more at #2 C. The second option is another good Center, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who’s had good success on Connor’s wing. The third option is Milan Lucic, who’s also had some success on Connor’s wing. At some point in time, shouldn’t Connor McDavid get the best possible/available wingers, and the best possible Team. This is the line that controls/dominates the Oilers’ future. To be in the Postseason, start here.
    I’d prefer Connor and Ryan on Line 1, with Leon centering Line 2. That’s the other Line that should have the best possible/available wingers.

  36. --hudson-- says:

    Oilman99: Totally agree with you, there is offensive skill there, I would assume Rattie knows this is his last chance to shine, and will come to camp prepared to seize the moment.

    After discarding so many useful players, what a nice change it would mean for the Oilers to get a useful piece for free. Patrick Sharp emerged in his 25 year old season though there’s plenty of counter examples.

  37. Andy Dufresne says:

    tileguy:
    What about the “chemistry” Rattie and 97 produced, why is that discounted so little on this blog? Is it because a mathematical formula cannot be prodced to show this. A couple of $6M men were given opportunity to develope chemistry and they could not, or else they would still ve on the team. Last year I saw a 25 year old join the team and look fairly productive on the top line, RNH looked real good there as well, why do we want to burn a quarter of the season looking for new chemistry? I have seen too much of this the last couple of years. Let me take a big gulp of koolaid before I say this, but Rattie could be a late bloomer and given the chance to succeed could well produce 45-50 points. That is a value contract! It also forces Puljujarvi to make it with Draisaitl, a combination many of us want to see happen. Let Yamo percolate in the AHL and force his way onto the team naxt year.

    x2

  38. Andy Dufresne says:

    I get that yer all stating what you’d like to see which is cool.

    Just throwing out the idea that Caggs just signed a 2 yr $1.5AAV

    Hes going to be in the lineup somewhere. Where and Why?

  39. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    JimmyV1965,

    – Jimmy : I often agree with you. the list of players who were mishandled is staggering:

    Lander: 10 goals in 215 games
    Sleppy: 10 goals in 102 games
    Pakarenin: 10 goals in 134 games
    (I can’t beleive they all scored 10 each!)
    Marincin: 3 goals in 177 games, and easily moved off the puck
    Omark – 8 goals in 4 seasons
    MPS: Can’t stick with any team
    Petrell: 7 goals in 95 games

    – It’s tough for many to accept that players play. Wehn the player is liked, its the coaches fault. When they have side-burns it’s on the players

    – There is a litany of Oilers who were “promising” who played on the team for multiple years, didn’t play, and then got punted, and the 7 or so above, don’t even make a AHL all-star line

  40. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    tileguy:
    Ty Rattie stats

    2010-11Portland WinterhawksWHL67285179
    2011-12Portland WinterhawksWHL695764121
    2012-13Portland WinterhawksWHL624862110
    2013-14Chicago WolvesAHL72311748
    2013-14St. Louis BluesNHL20000

    I think there is an offensive player here, whay are people so quick to dismiss his 50 point pace from last year? Perhaps this is the year a coach will utilize him in a role that he can succeed in.

    – I believe Rattie chance’s to be part of the solution this year are better than most consider

    – Sure I don’t count on it, but it seems the possibility that he actually performs well is dismissed six ways to Sunday

    – Maroon: who was not nearly as good a scorer as Rattie, he showed chem with McD after is was mostly dismissed as a thing that wouldn’t work out (and he was done when he got here)

    – 2018 RNH-CMD-Rattie >>> 2016 Drai-CMD-Maroon

  41. TopShelf says:

    Here’s how I see the forward lines playing out to start the year;

    Nuge-Mcdavid-Rattie/Yamamoto

    Lucic/aberg-leon-puljujarvi

    Lucic/aberg-strome-reider

    khaira/caggiula-brodziak-kassian
    Caggiula/upshall

    I have rattie beating Yamamoto for 1 RW and Yamamoto starting the year in the AHL
    Lucic winning 2LW to start, Aberg 3Lw
    Khaira winning 4 Lw
    Caggiula 13 Fw and subbing in for Aberg or anyone else if they are struggling
    Upshall provides cover if there is an injury in which case Khaira,kassian or even Brodziak can play higher up the line up

    Anywhere I have 2 players listed I feel are the battles in camp….with Khaira potentially grabbing 3 Lw over Aberg in which case Aberg would be 4 lw

  42. Andy Dufresne says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    If you are referring to a large list of players who didnt pan out, I agree, and that of course lead one to wonder about how this organization developes its players.

    But,

    IMO….not a single player on that list was mis-handled

    its a very demanding league.

  43. Andy Dufresne says:

    TopShelf,

    Will be interesting to see if they signed Caggs to a two year deal to play 4th line minutes.

    I hope so…..but I highly doubt it.

  44. Andy Dufresne says:

    I expect to see the team hit the ground running.
    Conner has most of them in camp early.

    RHN Conner Rattie
    Lucic Leon Reider
    Caggs Strome JP
    JJ Brodziak Kassian
    Aberg

  45. TopShelf says:

    Yes I agree …..this is what I would like to see though..and unfortunately Todd will have a difficult time keeping him out of the line up

  46. cowboy bill says:

    This is the best line up I can come up with .

    Nuge-McDavid-Rattie
    Lucic-Leon-Reider
    khaira-Strome-JP
    Upshall-Brodziak-Kassian
    Aberg & Caggiula

    Klefbom-Larsson
    Nurse-Benning
    Russell-Jarabek
    Gravel

    Talbot & Koskinen

    Upshall will be there & Jarabek .will surprise , a better option than Russell on the right side on the third pair . Bear , Bouchard & Yamamoto can chill .

  47. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Andy Dufresne:
    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    If you are referring to a large list of players who didnt pan out, I agree, and that of course lead one to wonder about how this organization developes its players.

    But,

    IMO….not a single player on that list was mis-handled

    its a very demanding league.

    – I’m kind of mixed on this.

    – Players play. And if on that list they didn’t succeed: sure you can blame the coach, the system, the team, being rushed, where they had to play in the batting order (i.e. too high).

    – It’s not fair but for instance CmD: he was awesome right away.

    – Omark, MPS, Sleppy, Yak, Marincin, etc: yeah maybe on a better team with a better development, coaches, etc, they might have had different outcomes

    – But they had a lot of at bats, and none succeed elsehwere

    – It’s a hard league. But if those guys were better, they would be in the league elsewhere doing well

    – It’s rare to hear a commentator suggest that maybe the player wasn’t just good enough full stop

  48. jtblack says:

    Mr. Woodguy et al. The Blackhawks had 76 points last year. They were .500 when Crawford went down. After that point they were 16 W – 23 L.

    Their D looks terrible to me. Crawford prob won’t be healthy enough to play the bulk of the games.

    Question: Will the Blackhawks full implode this year and be a sub 70 point team?

    KEITH – SEABROOK
    RUTTA – MURPHY
    GUSTAFSSON – MANNING

    CRAWFORD (Vertigo still?)

  49. Pandaup says:

    digger50,

    Z vwfz Zz@
    hi am mmmmmm

    MxdzzZ

  50. jtblack says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – I’m kind of mixed on this.

    – Players play.And if on that list they didn’t succeed: sure you can blame the coach, the system, the team, being rushed, where they had to play in the batting order (i.e. too high).

    – It’s not fair but for instance CmD: he was awesome right away.

    – Omark, MPS, Sleppy, Yak, Marincin, etc: yeah maybe on a better team with a better development, coaches, etc, they might have had different outcomes

    – But they had a lot of at bats, and none succeed elsehwere

    – It’s a hard league.But if those guys were better, they would be in the league elsewhere doing well

    – It’s rare to hear a commentator suggest that maybe the player wasn’t just good enough full stop

    You really can go through every team in the League and you will see a bunch of “mis-handled” players. The best statement is that the League is demanding. You always have your top 50% who are long term NHL players, that get 4 – 8 year contracts. But below that you have a constant rotation of replacement level players. Some of them end up making it and some don’t.

    We know ALL of our draft picks and prospects because we follow the team so close, so it’s easy to say that these 20 guys were mis handled. But again, if you dig through every organization you will find similar players that didn’t make it.

    I think Mac T had a good line one year when he said “The best al lot of these players can hope to be, is 5th liners.”

  51. PinkSocks says:

    tileguy:
    Ty Rattie stats

    2010-11Portland WinterhawksWHL 67 28 51 79
    2011-12Portland WinterhawksWHL 69 57 64 121
    2012-13Portland WinterhawksWHL 62 48 62 110
    2013-14Chicago WolvesAHL 72 31 17 48
    2013-14St. Louis BluesNHL 2 0 0 0 0

    I think there is an offensive player here, whay are people so quick to dismiss his 50 point pace from last year? Perhaps this is the year a coach will utilize him in a role that he can succeed in.

    A few more stats though:

    2003-04London Knights OHL 60-28-41-69
    2004-05London Knights OHL 62-41-49-90
    2005-06London Knights OHL 57-57-88-145
    2006-07Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins AHL 69-17-36-53
    2006-07Edmonton Oilers NHL 1-0-0-0

    Also a player with incredible offensive ability but severely lacking in defensive awareness and foot speed. Last year he put up a good season in the Austrian league.

    Point is, where there is offensive ability there also needs to be a more well rounded player. Ty Rattie was able to ride on 97 and 93’s coattails. I simply can not perceive any situation where Yamamoto/Reider/JP/Kassian/Aberg aren’t better options for McDavid’s wings.

    10 points for guessing the player above.

  52. PinkSocks says:

    And I’d tweak the lines a bit.

    RNH-McDavid-Kassian
    Reider-Draisaitl-JP
    Lucic-Strome-Yamamoto
    Khaira-Brodziak-Caggliula
    Aberg-Rattie

    Although I would love this, just to read OP’s posts the day after:

    RNH-McDavid-Malone

    the rest doesn’t matter 😉

  53. jtblack says:

    PinkSocks: A few more stats though:

    2003-04London Knights OHL 60-28-41-69
    2004-05London Knights OHL 62-41-49-90
    2005-06London Knights OHL 57-57-88-145
    2006-07Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins AHL 69-17-36-53
    2006-07Edmonton Oilers NHL 1-0-0-0

    Also a player with incredible offensive ability but severely lacking in defensive awareness and foot speed.Last year he put up a good season in the Austrian league.

    Point is, where there is offensive ability there also needs to be a more well rounded player.Ty Rattie was able to ride on 97 and 93’s coattails.I simply can not perceive any situation where Yamamoto/Reider/JP/Kassian/Aberg aren’t better options for McDavid’s wings.

    10 points for guessing the player above.

    rOBBIEsCHREMP

  54. jtblack says:

    jtblack,

    I see FLEA had answered a good 40 minutes earlier 🙂

  55. jtblack says:

    MISMANAGED:

    Look at the 2009 1st round. Aftter the Top 7 picks, it is miss after miss. Did half the teams “mis-manage” those picks? or were the players simply not good enough to make an impact at the NHL Level?

    1. John Tavares, N.Y. Islanders, c, London (OHL)

    2. Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay, d, Modo (Sweden)

    3. Matt Duchene, Colorado, c, Brampton (OHL)

    4. Evander Kane, Atlanta, c, Vancouver (WHL)

    5. Brayden Schenn, Los Angeles, c, Brandon (WHL).

    6. Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Phoenix, d, Leksand (Sweden)

    7. Nazem Kadri, Toronto, c, London (OHL)

    8. Scott Glennie, Dallas, rw, Brandon (WHL)

    9. Jared Cowan, Ottawa, d, Spokane (WHL)

    10. Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson, Edmonton, lw, Timra (Sweden).

    11. Ryan Ellis, Nashville, D, Windsor (OHL)

    12. Calvin de Haan, N.Y. Islanders (from Minnesota), D, Oshawa (OHL)

    13. Zack Kassian, Buffalo, RW, Peterborough (OHL)

    14. Dmitri Kulikov, Florida, D, Drummondville (QMJHL)

    15. Peter Holland, Anaheim, C, Guelph (OHL).

    16. Nick Leddy, Minnesota (from Columbus via N.Y. Islanders), D, Eden Prairie (USHS)

    17. David Rundblad, St. Louis, D, Skelleftea (Sweden)

    18. Louis Leblanc, Montreal, C, Omaha (USHL)

    19. Chris Kreider, N.Y. Rangers, C, Andover (USHS)

    20. Jacob Josefson, New Jersey (from Calgary), C, Djurgarden (Sweden).

    21. John Moore, Columbus (from Philadelphia via Anaheim), D, Chicago (USHL)

    22. Jordan Schroeder, Vancouver, C, U. of Minnesota (U.S. College)

    23. Tim Erixon, Calgary (from New Jersey), D, Skelleftea (Sweden)

    24. Marcus Johansson, Washington, C, Farjestad (Sweden)

    25. Jordan Caron, Boston, RW, Rimouski (QMJHL)

    26. Kyle Palmieri, Anaheim (from San Jose via Tampa Bay, Ottawa, N.Y. Islanders and Columbus), RW/C, U.S. U-18

    27. Philippe Paradis, Carolina, C, Shawinigan (QMJHL)

    28. Dylan Olsen, Chicago, D, Camrose (Alta. Jr. A)

    29. Carter Ashton, Tampa Bay (from Detroit), RW, Lethbridge (WHL)

    30. Simon Despres, Pittsburgh, D, Saint John (QMJHL).

  56. hunter1909 says:

    PinkSocks: 2006-07Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins AHL 69-17-36-53

    PinkSocks: 10 points for guessing the player above.

    “Here Robbie, go over and play for a team that has ZERO interest in you for a year; we’re sure it’s the best thing for you honestly we won a lot of cups didn’t we Robbie?” Lowe+MacT

  57. PinkSocks says:

    jtblack,

    lol

  58. PinkSocks says:

    jtblack:
    MISMANAGED:

    Look at the 2009 1st round.Aftter the Top 7 picks, it is miss after miss.Did half the teams “mis-manage” those picks?or were the players simply not good enough to make an impact at the NHL Level?

    11. Ryan Ellis, Nashville, D, Windsor (OHL)

    19. Chris Kreider, N.Y. Rangers, C, Andover (USHS)

    I didn’t remember what a black hole that first round was. Literall two picks after the top 7 you could call a success.

  59. OriginalPouzar says:

    tileguy:
    What about the “chemistry” Rattie and 97 produced, why is that discounted so little on this blog? Is it because a mathematical formula cannot be prodced to show this. A couple of $6M men were given opportunity to develope chemistry and they could not, or else they would still ve on the team. Last year I saw a 25 year old join the team and look fairly productive on the top line, RNH looked real good there as well, why do we want to burn a quarter of the season looking for new chemistry? I have seen too much of this the last couple of years. Let me take a big gulp of koolaid before I say this, but Rattie could be a late bloomer and given the chance to succeed could well produce 45-50 points. That is a value contract! It also forces Puljujarvi to make it with Draisaitl, a combination many of us want to see happen. Let Yamo percolate in the AHL and force his way onto the team naxt year.

    I personally didn’t really see the chemistry between McDavid and Rattie. What I did see was Rattie being a player that is smart offensively – knows where to go in the offensive zone to be found by McDavid and knew how to give McDavid space and the puck.

    At the same time, I also saw a player that struggles when not in the offensive zone and saw a pair that only scored one more goal than they gave up and lost the possession battle.

    Not to mention, in 30 minutes without Nuge, Rattie and McDavid scored zero goals and gave up 5 and the possession metrics were almost as bad.

    I have little doubt that Rattie and McDavid will produce goals when they are on the ice together but the concern is how many they give up.

  60. tileguy says:

    PinkSocks,

    Point is, where there is offensive ability there also needs to be a more well rounded player. Ty Rattie was able to ride on 97 and 93’s coattails. I simply can not perceive any situation where Yamamoto/Reider/JP/Kassian/Aberg aren’t better options for McDavid’s
    How did Hall and Eberle do on that line? How many points does a player have to get to be considered a good fit? Rattie was on pace for 50 points and only cost a million dollars. You don’t want to see if he can continue that pace and perhaps give Drai some wingers with potential talent? Fine, lets start the season with new unproven lines.

  61. OriginalPouzar says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    I liked Aberg in his 16 games. Much more time for him than Rattie IMO.

    I agree, however, I am concerned about his commitment level.

    All these guys in Edmonton, skating together informally – almost the entire team.

    Every day on IG, multiple times a day, I see videos of Aberg’s daughter in Sweden.

    For a guy making the league minimum (actually less than the current league min) and a job that is far from secure, I would have thought he’d be in Edmonton a while ago.

    I understand loving your daughter and all but….

  62. OriginalPouzar says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    I liked Aberg in his 16 games. Much more time for him than Rattie IMO.

    With the organization’s RW depth right now, I can’t see why Puljujarvi & Yamamoto shouldn’t be 1RW & 2RW. Rattie should be the 14th F.

    RNH-McDavid-Yamamoto
    Rieder/Looch-Drai-Pulju
    Rieder/Looch-Strome-Aberg
    Khaira-Brodziak-Kassian
    Caggiula-Rattie

    Rieder and Looch are both better suited as 3LWs, but they’ll battle out for 2LW.

    Really hoped Benning would step into that 2RD slot last year and he struggled. So desperately need someone to compete with him there.

    1) Jesse I agree with – although he still needs to grab the opportunity (earn it), I’m fully confident he’ll be a top 6 winger this year.

    2) Yamamoto needs to “earn” that shot and job – he very well may but he hasn’t yet. With that said, I have little doubt he can produce as much as Rattie up there and can’t imagine he hurts the team in the other zones as much as Rattie. With that said, is the NHL the best place for his development? Maybe.

    3) Agree with Rieder – in a perfect world he’s not in the top 6.

    4) Agree with Benning – his ability to step up to the 2nd pairing (which he has struggled with in the past) is massive. Jarabek has played 2RD in the NHL.

  63. digger50 says:

    Pandaup:
    digger50,

    Z vwfz Zz@
    hi am mmmmmm

    MxdzzZ

    Ummm,

    I have no idea

  64. LadiesloveSmid says:

    OriginalPouzar: I agree, however, I am concerned about his commitment level.

    All these guys in Edmonton, skating together informally – almost the entire team.

    Every day on IG, multiple times a day, I see videos of Aberg’s daughter in Sweden.

    For a guy making the league minimum (actually less than the current league min) and a job that is far from secure, I would have thought he’d be in Edmonton a while ago.

    I understand loving your daughter and all but….

    Klefbom only just arrived today/yesterday. Larsson may be on his way now.

  65. 106 and 106 says:

    jtblack,

    “Ryan Ellis” is a miss after miss?

  66. Lowetide says:

    106 and 106:
    jtblack,

    “Ryan Ellis” is a miss after miss?

    Ellis was a direct hit for sure, but by No. 10 the picks were less successful. This is actually typical of a normal draft.

  67. Scungilli Slushy says:

    PinkSocks: A few more stats though:

    2003-04London Knights OHL 60-28-41-69
    2004-05London Knights OHL 62-41-49-90
    2005-06London Knights OHL 57-57-88-145
    2006-07Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins AHL 69-17-36-53
    2006-07Edmonton Oilers NHL 1-0-0-0

    Also a player with incredible offensive ability but severely lacking in defensive awareness and foot speed.Last year he put up a good season in the Austrian league.

    Point is, where there is offensive ability there also needs to be a more well rounded player.Ty Rattie was able to ride on 97 and 93’s coattails.I simply can not perceive any situation where Yamamoto/Reider/JP/Kassian/Aberg aren’t better options for McDavid’s wings.

    10 points for guessing the player above.

    My angle is that if you are a one way winger, 50 points with the world’s best player isn’t good. It has to be Kucherov Panarin type offense to justify.

    For most players a reasonable two way game is a must. Only playing offense for skilled players isn’t hard. It’s producing while being responsible that is.

    Points are great, but what you give up is the key. Nowadays it’s rare to outscore sloppy play in the end. Things are too tight. Pittsburgh managed cups but the cap stops teams from stacking up for long. They also have two top 5 vet centres.

  68. OriginalPouzar says:

    LadiesloveSmid: Klefbom only just arrived today/yesterday. Larsson may be on his way now.

    Yup – Klef is here. Aberg is still not and, given he’s still in Europe, won’t be on the ice with the boys yet tomorrow either.

    Clearly I’m being unfair to Pontus here but Klef and Larsson are a tiny bit more established and their jobs secure. I would have though Pontus would be doing everything he can to give himself a better chance of being on this team and playing significant minutes.

  69. commonfan29 says:

    Is there already a stat that’s GF% divided by PDO?

    If not, I think there should be.

    GDO or some such.

  70. leadfarmer says:

    106 and 106:
    jtblack,

    “Ryan Ellis” is a miss after miss?

    And De Haan walks on water

  71. commonfan29 says:

    commonfan29,

    Although you’d have to base PDO on 1 instead of 100, which it probably should be anyway.

  72. Craig Zonit says:

    cowboy bill:

    khaira-Strome-JP

    I love the look of this 3 line in theory. Ridiculously toolsy. Any one of them can skate the puck into the zone, passing ability, and Jesse as trigger man. Actually the whole line can shoot, if last year was more than luck for Khaira and he can continue to chip in a couple from middle distance.

    This setup really relies on Lucic-Leon-Rieder being a reliable line. A big if.

  73. Munny says:

    Lowetide: Ellis was a direct hit for sure, but by No. 10 the picks were less successful. This is actually typical of a normal draft.

    Yup. It’s actually a pretty solid second set of 10.

    Only two picks with less than 200 games, all the rest having careers. Two with over 500 games. Seven with over 300.

    And two guys at 20 and 21 with over 300 games.

    Not sure what people want from 11 to 20? This isn’t the home-run heart of the batting order, and yet there’s still a Leddy and an Ellis and a Kreider.

  74. OriginalPouzar says:

    Craig Zonit: I love the look of this 3 line in theory. Ridiculously toolsy. Any one of them can skate the puck into the zone, passing ability, and Jesse as trigger man. Actually the whole line can shoot, if last year was more than luck for Khaira and he can continue to chip in a couple from middle distance.

    This setup really relies on Lucic-Leon-Rieder being a reliable line. A big if.

    Wouldn’t we want to switch Jesse and Tobias?

    I mean, we all believe that Jesse is a top 6 winger type of player and its seems to me that Rieder is a middle 6 winger and the top 6 is batting a bit above where he should be.

    How about we put them in positions that suit their game and their potential, Jesse on the 2nd line and Rieder on the 3rd line?

  75. Lowetide says:

    OriginalPouzar: Wouldn’t we want to switch Jesse and Tobias?

    I mean, we all believe that Jesse is a top 6 winger type of player and its seems to me that Rieder is a middle 6 winger and the top 6 is batting a bit above where he should be.

    How about we put them in positions that suit their game and their potential, Jesse on the 2nd line and Rieder on the 3rd line?

    Rieder can be a defensive conscience while also helping some offensively. That has value

  76. OriginalPouzar says:

    Yes, I understand that premise LT but Jesse has the potential to be a true top 6 forward which also has value. He’s not a Justin Faulk tire-fire defensively either. I’m a fan of putting players in a position to succeed which would be the top 6 player potential player in the top 6 and the middle 6 player in the middle 6.

  77. Decidedly Skeptical Fan says:

    tileguy:
    Ty Rattie stats

    2010-11Portland WinterhawksWHL67285179
    2011-12Portland WinterhawksWHL695764121
    2012-13Portland WinterhawksWHL624862110
    2013-14Chicago WolvesAHL72311748
    2013-14St. Louis BluesNHL20000

    I think there is an offensive player here, whay are people so quick to dismiss his 50 point pace from last year? Perhaps this is the year a coach will utilize him in a role that he can succeed in.

    I’m confused here … did TMac get fired? If so, who is the new coach that you are referring to?

  78. OriginalPouzar says:

    Hey – Aberg posted an InstaStory about him being on his way to Edmonton.

  79. Decidedly Skeptical Fan says:

    jtblack:

    I think Mac T had a good line one year when he said “The best al lot of these players can hope to be, is 5th liners.”

    That pretty much sums up TMac for me … the glass is always “half empty” kind of coach. Always seeing the faults in his players and never considering how he might use their strengths to best advantage. Pretty sure that Galant uses that line all the time too. I think he had it painted on the wall in the Knights locker room. NOT (in case the sarcasm isn’t coming across).

  80. frjohnk says:

    Sean Tierney
    ‏ @ChartingHockey

    After successful crowdfunding, you purchased the NHL’s new team in Seattle. You’re forced to choose from a shortlist of four GMs. You decide to choose:

    28%Dorion
    18%Chiarelli
    11%Bergevin
    43%Benning
    2,379 votes•18 hours left

    Surprised that Benning had the most votes.

    I picked Chia, not because I think he is a good GM, but out of this group I think he is the best.

  81. matt says:

    Your Lucic point (initial placement on the third line) is a massive one.

  82. Craig Zonit says:

    Lowetide: Rieder can be a defensive conscience while also helping some offensively. That has value

    OP raises a good point, but I go with LT on this one. Relying on Jesse to play defence against tougher comp on the 2 line with Looch and Drai… You know that he will play up the lineup too, but I think I’d like to see him deployed against softer opposition and excel to build some confidence. Khaira-Strome is a strong pair to join. If Caggiula gets a sniff on that line we’re cooked.

  83. Munny says:

    OriginalPouzar: I’m a fan of putting players in a position to succeed which would be the top 6 player potential player in the top 6 and the middle 6 player in the middle 6.

    Putting players in a position to succeed can also mean giving them cover till they can handle the job. Your aphorism, and logic, also mean that a Number One overall like Hall should have been on the first line from the get-go, because he has first line potential. Not necessarily the right plan. And of course, timing is everything (from time-to-time).

    There are further alternatives from a team aspect that are not allowed by strictly following this logic, like spreading scoring over three lines (etc).

    Not to say that what you’ve presented isn’t a valid option. But there are other equally-as-valid-from-where-we-sit options.

  84. Ribs says:

    It’s March 2018 and the Oilers are dead in the water. The opposing coach prepares a line to go head to head against Lord McDavid and Double Oh Agent Hopkins. The players tasked with this burdensome deed talk it over among themselves for a minute before sheepishly piping up “And what shall we do about this ‘Rattie’ feller?”.

    A moment of grinning silence sets in for the group of them…

    “BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHA!!!!!”

    —-

    I mean, kudos to the guy for making his moment count, but I don’t think there’s many that watched those games that think he’s destined to play 60 games on the top line this season.

  85. OriginalPouzar says:

    Craig Zonit: OP raises a good point, but I go with LT on this one. Relying on Jesse to play defence against tougher comp on the 2 line with Looch and Drai… You know that he will play up the lineup too, but I think I’d like to see him deployed against softer opposition and excel to build some confidence. Khaira-Strome is a strong pair to join. If Caggiula gets a sniff on that line we’re cooked.

    Munny: Putting players in a position to succeed can also mean giving them cover till they can handle the job.Your aphorism, and logic, also mean that a Number One overall like Hall should have been on the first line from the get-go, because he has first line potential.Not necessarily the right plan.And of course, timing is everything (from time-to-time).

    There are further alternatives from a team aspect that are not allowed by strictly following this logic, like spreading scoring over three lines (etc).

    Not to say that what you’ve presented isn’t a valid option. But there are other equally-as-valid-from-where-we-sit options.

    Yes, there are other options and I’m not trying to post as if my opinion is the “right” option or the only valid option, its just my personal opinion. This has as much to do with Rieder as Jesse – I like Tobias but he’s not a top 6 player, well, at least he hasn’t been one to this point in his career and he’s coming off a 12G/25P season. To ask him to produce in the top 6 is asking him to play above his established levels of ability.

    Nope, Jesse has also not proven to be a top 6 player, however, his skillset is exactly that and I think the likelihood of him succeeding to produce is greater than that of Tobias.

    Yes, absolutely valid point on the shelter and not having JP go up against the top defenders, however, at the same time, although he is still “only 20”, he is 20, not 18 and not a rookie and its his third year in the NHL and 5th year playing against men. Not to mention, its not like he’d be facing the top defenders in this scenario given we aren’t putting him with McDavid.

    Of course, it would be up to Jesse to grab the opportunity and run with it.

  86. frjohnk says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Yes, there are other options and I’m not trying to post as if my opinion is the “right” option or the only valid option, its just my personal opinion.This has as much to do with Rieder as Jesse – I like Tobias but he’s not a top 6 player, well, at least he hasn’t been one to this point in his career and he’s coming off a 12G/25P season. To ask him to produce in the top 6 is asking him to play above his established levels of ability.

    Nope, Jesse has also not proven to be a top 6 player, however, his skillset is exactly that and I think the likelihood of him succeeding to produce is greater than that of Tobias.

    Yes, absolutely valid point on the shelter and not having JP go up against the top defenders, however, at the same time, although he is still “only 20”, he is 20, not 18 and not a rookie and its his third year in the NHL and 5th year playing against men. Not to mention, its not like he’d be facing the top defenders in this scenario given we aren’t putting him with McDavid.

    Of course, it would be up to Jesse to grab the opportunity and run with it.

    Nobody who is auditioning for the two top 6 right wings spots have shown anything in the past that they are top 6 players.

    -Rattie has shown only to be a AHL/NHL tweener except for getting 9 points in 14 games on McDavids wing last year

    -Reider has scored at a 3rd line rate for his career.

    -JP has done well with skill, but those were in limited minutes. His overall box cars have not shown anything near being a top 6 player.

    -Yamamoto has scored well in junior, can he make the next step?

    These guys are young cheap,have skill and the bar is very low, so they will get a shot at making it in the top 6. Coaches will experiment with different lines in the first while and unless somebody runs away with the job, I would not be surprised to see a bit of rotation throughout the year in the top 6 rw spots for most of the year

  87. frjohnk says:

    frjohnk: I would not be surprised to see a bit of rotation throughout the year in the top 6 rw spots for most of the year

    I should add to this.

    When Drai went to center, the Oilers did not have anybody who could score consistently on the right side, ( except Strome, but they want him as a 3rd line center) so the coaches were forced to mix up the right wingers to try and catch lightning in a bottle. It usually does not work, but when you have no other options, it is the only thing you can do.

  88. ArmchairGM says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    I liked Aberg in his 16 games. Much more time for him than Rattie IMO.

    With the organization’s RW depth right now, I can’t see why Puljujarvi & Yamamoto shouldn’t be 1RW & 2RW. Rattie should be the 14th F.

    RNH-McDavid-Yamamoto
    Rieder/Looch-Drai-Pulju
    Rieder/Looch-Strome-Aberg
    Khaira-Brodziak-Kassian
    Caggiula-Rattie

    Rieder and Looch are both better suited as 3LWs, but they’ll battle out for 2LW.

    Really hoped Benning would step into that 2RD slot last year and he struggled. So desperately need someone to compete with him there.

    Absolutely agree with your lines, but personally I would let TC decide the 2, 3 and 4 LW spots. Khaira is well able to play 2C alongside Draisaitl.

  89. Craig Zonit says:

    frjohnk: Nobody who is auditioning for the two top 6 right wings spots have shown anything in the past that they are top 6 players.

    These guys are young cheap,have skill and the bar is very low, so they will get a shot at making it in the top 6.Coaches will experiment with different lines in the first while and unless somebody runs away with the job, I would not be surprised to see a bit of rotation throughout the year in the top 6 rw spots for most of the year

    Well said. There will be slumps, there will be hot runs and God willing the coach finds some patience with his lines (or the assistants are a moderating influence).

  90. RedArmy says:

    McDavid is so good that Rattie will be on the next Olympic team.

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