Beggar’s Banquet

by Lowetide

I want to take you all the way back to yesterday. We talked about the 2017-18 season, and the difference between Connor McDavid on the ice at 5-on-5 (+20 goal differential) and McDavid off the ice at 5-on-5 (-33 goal differential). Yesterday, at 5-on-5, the Oilers were +1 with McDavid on the ice, -3 with him at rest. This season isn’t really about one game, it’s about improving the areas (McDavid on/off, special teams, No. 2 line, No. 2 RHD, goaltending) that kept the team out of the playoffs one year ago. Yesterday’s game did nothing beyond reminding everyone about the work that needs to be done. Progress? Didn’t see it yesterday. Anywhere.

THE ATHLETIC!

The Athletic Edmonton is going to bring it all season long. Proud to be part of a lineup that is ready to cover the coming year. Outstanding coverage from a large group, including Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis, Lowetide, Minnia Feng and Pat McLean. If you haven’t subscribed yet, now’s your chance. Special offer is here, less than $3 a month!

  • New Lowetide: Ryan McLeod takes demotion in stride, while a Condo of Condors impress on opening weekend.
  • Jonathan Willis: On AHL opening night, Caleb Jones and friends make it clear they want NHL jobs.
  • Lowetide: Orange, white and blue October: In 1979, the Oilers rocked the NHL.
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: After the death of his father, Sweden trip holds special significance for Adam Larsson, and one of his opponents.
  • Scott Wheeler: How the eye test fails to properly evaluate Evan Bouchard.
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Why the Nuge-McDavid-Rattie line has been so successful.
  • Lowetide: The 2018-19 Oilers are in a period of transition.
  • Jonathan Willis: How worried should the Oilers be about the preseason struggles of Milan Lucic and Leon Draisaitl?

OILERS IN OCTOBER (one game)

  • Oilers in October 20150-1-0, goal differential -2
  • Oilers in October 2016: 1-0-0, goal differential +3
  • Oilers in October 2017: 1-0-0, goal differential +3
  • Oilers in October 2018: 0-1-0, goal differential -3

The 2015-16 team were 4-8-0 at the end of the month, and last year’s club (2017-18) were 3-6-1 at the end of October. The only playoff team (2016-17) went 7-2-0 in the first month of the season. Edmonton’s schedule this October suggests to me we are looking at something less than a winning record.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM OCTOBER

  • On the road to: Sweden to play NJD (Expected: 0-0-1) (Actual: 0-1-0)
  • On the road to: Boston, NYR, Winnipeg (Expected 1-2-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Boston, Nashville, Pittsburgh, Washington (Expected 1-3-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Nashville, Chicago (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Minnesota (Expected 0-0-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 3-6-2, 8 points in 11 games 
  • Current results: 0-1-0, 0 points after one game

Edmonton needs to find a way to get close to 11 points in October, as the strength of schedule eases come November. I considered yesterday’s game one of very few spots on the schedule where a point was more than less likely. The next time we should consider the Oilers a favorite to earn a point is Saturday against the Rangers. One area of hope: Some of these strong teams (Bruins, Penguins) appear to be experiencing wild swings in performance. If Edmonton can catch a couple of teams on a bad night, it would help the early won-loss enormously.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Klefbom-Larsson went 9-10 Corsi for 5-on-5 in 13:27, 5-6 in shots and 1-2 in high dangers. Pairing spent over eight minutes with 97, and played against Hall-Hischier-Palmieri most (6:51) and were successful (7-4 Corsi, no goals). It was an effective pairing on a difficult night, but were not deployed heavily—perhaps as a result of Larsson’s back issues.
  • Russell-Bouchard were 6-4 in 9:31, 4-2 in shots and 1-1 in goals. I thought Russell should have stayed out of the way on the Palmeiri power-play goal, give the goalie that view and my guess is he stops the shot. Bouchard looked deer in the headlights in the first, but settled down later on and played well enough to earn another game (in my opinion). I like his passing, and on a night when the Oilers badly needed it, Bouchard was finding the range by the end of the night. Encouraging debut.
  • Nurse-Benning were 9-19 in 15:36, 5-11 in shots and 0-2 in goals. They were 7-7 in eight minutes against the Hischier line, but got fed badly by Johansson-Zacha-Noesen (3-12). I am absolutely open to discussion on this, but for me Benning had a poor game while Nurse was perhaps guilty of not making strong decisions as opposed to making the mistakes that cost goals. That was my take, flame away. I also wonder why the coach ran this pairing so heavily, even over the Swedish duo. Protecting the third pair was understandable, don’t agree with the division of minutes.
  • Cam Talbot stopped 22 of 25 (.880) at 5-on-5, 22 of 26 (.846) overall. I think he was quality at times in this game, the final score could have reached seven goals if he had been a lesser man. That said, his muff behind the net is exactly the kind of thing he needs to avoid, can’t have those lapses, and he’ll need to be better as the season rolls along. I am not worried about the starting goalie.
  • Natural Stat Trick and NHL.com.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

  • Khaira-Strome-Puljujarvi went 5-6 (9:25 Khaira), 9-6 (9:22 Puljujarvi) 4-0 (1:39 Yamamoto) in what was an on-again, off-again trio. I think they can use these four in some combination and be successful, but the coach has a shorter rope for this group than others. Yamamoto is best on this line, but so are Puljujarvi and Khaira. Not sure of the answer, but there’s a good line here somewhere.
  • Nuge-McDavid-Rattie were 13-10 in 17:19, 6-7 shots and 1-4 high dangers. McDavid’s even strength point came with Leon and Lucic and I wonder if we see that line more in the days to come. McDavid won the head-to-head against the Hall line, both coaches seemed fine with the idea (McDavid v. Hall: 11-6 Corsi 5-on-5 in 9:43, 1-0 goals).
  • Lucic-Draisaitl-Yamamoto went 6-13 (13:04 Lucic, goals 1-1), 3-9 (10:28 Yamamoto 0-1 goals) and 1-3 (2:13 McDavid, 1-0 goals). To my eye, Draisaitl was out of position on the first goal, although many blame Lucic on that play. I thought the line looked slow overall and LD was ineffective without 97 at 5-on-5. He needs to be a big contributor this season at 5-on-5, if he can’t do it McLellan may be forced to move Nuge back to No. 2 center. Again.
  • Rieder-Brodziak-Kassian went 2-12 in 6:55, oh my goodness the  numbers are ugly, including 0-2 goals. Were dominated (0-10) by Wood-Quenneville-Dea and two of the goals scored by NJD came against this trio. The second line and this line bled all over.

WHAT TO DO?

Stay the course. Peter Chiarelli has a team with young and unproven types in several areas, but one game isn’t enough blacktop to prove (or disprove) one damn thing. Reading twitter and the comments, seems as though we’re slipping into the gallows humor a little too quickly. I also notice the folks who want to watch the world burn on high alert, and that makes me chuckle because Edmonton has been the gift that keeps on giving for so many years.

Cam Talbot made some great stops but also had enough poor moments to put the game in doubt. That’s the position and sometimes the goalie doesn’t help you enough to win. I’ll bet on him having a better game next time out and a rebound season. If he doesn’t, nothing else matters.

Matt Benning struggled badly, but the Oilers asked him to play a lot of minutes. Perhaps the second pairing is better suited to second pairing minutes. I’d like to see Nurse-Benning play two fewer 5-on-5 minutes than Klefbom-Larsson, see how they shine.

Leon Draisaitl was poor. He didn’t get close to coverage on the first goal and his line had a terrible time getting to the offensive end under control. LD has to find a way to be effective. It is reaching a point where Todd McLellan may have to move his $8.5 million center to McDavid’s right wing in order to save his $8.5 million center. That’s wack, as the kids say. I checked the spelling, wack is correct. Whack is to strike something, or to kill someone. If you’re watching a mob movie, guys get whacked in those films. Wack. I’m using it correctly.

Bouchard settled in after a time, I would absolutely run him again in the next game and would also run Nurse-Benning and Cam Talbot in goal. I do think the team needs to find a No. 2 line that has Leon Draisaitl at center and wingers who can make a difference. Related: Leon and Jesse spent 34 seconds together 5-on-5, had two shots on goal and nothing going the other way. Lucic was the winger for that half a minute. Maybe that’s something worth trying.

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russ99

GCW_69:
Makes you wonder if the Oilers had traded Draisaitl for Larsson instead of Hall, would they be better off?

Would they be running:
Lucic – McDavid – Rattie
Hall – Nuge – KY
Khaira – Strome – JP
Reider – Brodziak – Kass

Would Eberle still be here given how well he and Hall played together?

Single moments certainly shape the destiny of a team

Draisaitl is going to be 23 later this month. Not a finished product.

Also:
Age 21 season – 8th in scoring
Age 22 season – 36th in scoring

He’ll be better than Hall. You guys are too in love with that carry in, drive down the left and go to the net move, and Leon has had poor linemates centering his own line last season.

GCW_69

Makes you wonder if the Oilers had traded Draisaitl for Larsson instead of Hall, would they be better off?

Would they be running:
Lucic – McDavid – Rattie
Hall – Nuge – KY
Khaira – Strome – JP
Reider – Brodziak – Kass

Would Eberle still be here given how well he and Hall played together?

Single moments certainly shape the destiny of a team

OriginalPouzar

Looking forward to hearing about an Aberg claim today.

Don’t get me wrong, I no longer see him ever being a true piece of the top 6, however, he can help on Bakersfield (while his cap hit is fully buryable) and he is another body with NHL accumen betwenvthe NHl and the likes of Brad Malone or Patrick Russell and additional shelter to help not force an early call up of a rookie pro like Benson and Morody – develop, develop, develop.

Woodguy v2.0

Bruce McCurdy: Hmmm, last year Oilers had all of Larsson, Benning & Gryba on the roster and started all three at RD on a number of occasions right off the hop.

Perhaps your memory of Gryba doesn’t include handedness because he would have played the same way with or without a stick.

You’re right Bruce.

Last year opening roster was

77-6
4-83
25-62

Woodguy v2.0

leadfarmer: Yeah I think the pendulum swung way too far the wrong way on the point shot.Some teams overused the point shot and they became a one trick pony and skewed the results to the point that people are wrongly assuming that shots from the point on pp are bad.
I bet if someone did another analysis of teams that had guys that had point shots they could use but also distributed the puck well fared much better

Its interesting that you brought up NSH.

They ran 3F2D forever and their results were meh, even with all the talent they had.

Then last year they were pretty decent ranking 10th in 5v4 GF/60.

What changed?

Their set up is the 1-3-1 now that most teams use 4F1D to populate, whereas before their set up was more of 3-2.

Subban is on the blue line and Josi has moved down to the “opposite Ovi spot” just at the top of right circle.

They also changed out Neal for Smith, who is RH.

So by using NSH as an example you help prove my point.

Thank you.

Woodguy v2.0

Bank Shot,

Well I’m not sure how accurate those heat maps are in the first place. Sometimes when I want to compare a starter to a backup they have drastically different looking heat maps despite playing for the same team!

Its almost like they played in totally separate games.

Professor Q

Greenberg:
The 2015-16 team were 4-8-0 at the end of the month, and last year’s club (2017-18) were 3-6-1 at the end of October. The only playoff team (2016-17) went 7-2-0 in the first month of the season. Edmonton’s schedule this October suggests to me we are looking at something less than a winning record.

Sorry to report that “team” is a singular noun.

11 points in October? You better go heavy on your rosary. Hope doesn’t cut it.

The bad news: McDavid probably doesn’t win the scoring championship. It belongs to someone on the Toronto scoring machine.

Team can be both singular and plural.

I think Toews is making a comeback actually in the points department, and there are many other players to watch out for than Matthews and Tavares. Plus, McDavid has only played 1 game as opposed to 3-5.

I still have hope for him alone, let alone him and Nuge et al.

Professor Q

Lowetide: Islanders grabbed Boychuk and Leddy on a Saturday just before the season.

Although technically that occurred in Autumn, not Summer. ?

frjohnk

Bruce McCurdy: Hmmm, last year Oilers had all of Larsson, Benning & Gryba on the roster and started all three at RD on a number of occasions right off the hop.

Perhaps your memory of Gryba doesn’t include handedness because he would have played the same way with or without a stick.

Woodguy has always had trouble figuring out who shoots left or right.

Because Phone.

Bruce McCurdy

Woodguy v2.0:
On March 2nd 2015 the Edmonton Oilers traded Jeff Petry to the Montreal Canadians.

At the time Edmonton’s RHD were:

Petry
Schultz
Fayne

That is the last time Edmonton had 3 RHD on the roster until yesterday when they sent out:

Larsson
Benning
Bouchard

I would argue that the 2nd group is slotted above their current NHL ability more than the first group.

1285 days from then to now and its worse than it was.

Because Oilers

Hmmm, last year Oilers had all of Larsson, Benning & Gryba on the roster and started all three at RD on a number of occasions right off the hop.

Perhaps your memory of Gryba doesn’t include handedness because he would have played the same way with or without a stick. 😉

Woodguy v2.0

Bank Shot,

I’m not saying you are wrong about what you are saying. I guess I just think a small adjustment like you are talking about doesn’t make the difference between a top ten power play and dead last.

The adjustments they made were pretty massive, not small.

Wilde

The Hurricanes are such a cleanly built team right now.

https://www.capfriendly.com/teams/hurricanes

Has any other team in cap history added two pieces like De Haan and Hamilton to their blueline in one summer?

They’ve also got tons of room to sign Aho and Teravainen to long term deals and three ELC years of Necas and Svechnikov lined up perfectly with their all but one of their tricky contracts off the books by then (Darling, Faulk, Semin).

All of their depth forwards are signed to Khaira contracts instead of Kassian ones.

They should have kept Skinner, but they’ve got a great cluster with very little of the self-inflicted wounds some other building teams have.

digger50

The number one guy who should be ON the ice when Connor is OFF the ice just may be Nugent-Hopkins.

Me thinks we may have misunderstood results when Nuge was playing the toughs in 16/17 and not putting up points.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

At least the Oilers have 5 days off now, they usually excel after having extended breaks….

OriginalPouzar

Oilman99: I didn’t think there was a big enough body of work to warrant 29’s $8.5mil for 8years. Unless he shows more hustle in a big hurry, it’s going to look like a huge overpay, he doesn’t appear to play with enough emotion. Does rumour nothave it that they were backed into a corner due to the threat of an offer sheet?

Chiarelli cites having the add room to fend off a potential offer sheet as a big reason why he pulled the trigger on the Eberle trade when he did.

Bank Shot

The thing that concerns me is the way the Oilers played and not the result. A playoff team in the NHL can probably only afford to have 10 or so games like the Oilers played in Sweden.

If the competitiveness doesn’t ramp up greatly and remain high over the next five games, it’s going to be looking pretty bleak.

They should be much better over the next few games. We will see.

hunter1909

Greenberg: The bad news: McDavid probably doesn’t win the scoring championship. It belongs to someone on the Toronto scoring machine.

This makes no sense at all.

Tesla's Hair

The Magic! Stat

Qualitatively/Right Brain: The philosophy is to take the verbal pressure OFF the first 3 lines and transfer the hard-rain barrage on the 4th line. Either they measure up or they become the 5th line (and we bring up some AHL boyz for 4th line hazing). Lets see if this becomes an art, not a science!

Qualitatively/Left Brain: Analyzed the 4th line using the “Magic!” stat. This stat is an algorithm based on Lowetide’s numbers mixed with Edmonton Journal grades. (cause those are my personal fav stats). In my opinion if the 4th lines try to compete against McDavid line they will be bitter, if they compare themselves to themselves as a the 4th line base they will become better. Lets see if this becomes an science, not a art!

Rieder -0.50 = Level 5th Line = Best of the Worst (move up or 5th line)
Kassian -0.56 = Level 5th Line = Middle of the Worst (5th line candidate)
Brodziak -0.63 = Level 5th Line = Worst of the Worst (move to 5th line, bench-AHL-waivers)

Any stat below 0 means they are below basic. Do not measure up to a 4th line and after 3x in a row should be demoted to the 5th line. Demotion could mean moving them up to 1st, 2nd, 3rd lines and out of the line of fire. Or could mean bench. Or AHL 1st line. Or claimed on waivers by a playoff bound team which should never happen because they have been rated 5th line by this stat and are not Magic!

If you are time rich and love watching AHL games then please keep us informed of who to bring up to the 4th line. Once they are up I will be crunching their stats for the hell of it.

I can no longer be an innocent bystander of Oilers losing so it time to crunch the 4th line.

The 4th line are big boys, they are strong, they can take the pain so the other 3 lines can remain sane.

Greenberg

The 2015-16 team were 4-8-0 at the end of the month, and last year’s club (2017-18) were 3-6-1 at the end of October. The only playoff team (2016-17) went 7-2-0 in the first month of the season. Edmonton’s schedule this October suggests to me we are looking at something less than a winning record.

Sorry to report that “team” is a singular noun.

11 points in October? You better go heavy on your rosary. Hope doesn’t cut it.
The bad news: McDavid probably doesn’t win the scoring championship. It belongs to someone on the Toronto scoring machine.

Melvis

Melvis: Iow, Todd has outlived his welcome.

I meant overstayed. I don’t hate him, after all;-)

Melvis

hunter1909:
I dunno the way they played you’d think that McLellan’s coaching has lost the group behind.

The correlative scenario might be high school, in which the cool cabal, and even the high achievers among them have tuned out the home room teacher in year 3. And most have by the 12th grade.

The average tenure of an NHL coach is what? 2.4 years?

There are any number of reasons for a coach getting canned – GM changes a principle cause. Nor does doing so necessarily lead to positive improvements, within a season or the one following.

Nevertheless, I suspect there are a couple of players on this team that want to get a move on. They aren’t stupid and are likely fully aware that what passes for current structure on this team is old school and ineffectual.

Iow, Todd has outlived his welcome.

Bank Shot

Woodguy v2.0: I know the level of variance.

The facts that:

1) they change the structure and move Drai out the bumper (many botched about it at the time and for the rest of the season)

2) his individual shot map shows the dramatic reduction in slot shots where SH% is higher

3) the team maps show how dramatically their shot selections changed with the change in structure

Show that you can’t just chalk it up to variaince.

Well I’m not sure how accurate those heat maps are in the first place. Sometimes when I want to compare a starter to a backup they have drastically different looking heat maps despite playing for the same team!

How do you know that other coaches didn’t force them into changing it up by collapsing into the middle and giving the Oilers the point shot?

If I was an opposing coach I’d let the Oilers shoot from there all day.

I’m not saying you are wrong about what you are saying. I guess I just think a small adjustment like you are talking about doesn’t make the difference between a top ten power play and dead last.

Oilman99

OriginalPouzar: Honest question, were you saying this during the off-season prior to his signing or when he signed.

If I remember correctly, while the cap hit was obviously a discussion point, I don’t recall a single Oiler fan not being happy with the 8 year term on both 97’s and 29’s contracts.

I didn’t think there was a big enough body of work to warrant 29’s $8.5mil for 8years. Unless he shows more hustle in a big hurry, it’s going to look like a huge overpay, he doesn’t appear to play with enough emotion. Does rumour not have it that they were backed into a corner due to the threat of an offer sheet?

Oilman99

OriginalPouzar: That’s not true with Leon – he was well past the 10 game threshold to burn a year of his ELC but he wasn’t on the roster for 40 games to vest a year towards UFA status – was he?

They sent him back at the 38or39 game mark.

Oilman99

deardylan:
Feed the 4th line vegan turkey leftovers for the next week. Might give them good karma. Eat your peas Kassian!

Time to sit Kassian, and play Chiasson who out played him inTC.

Oilman99

Woodguy v2.0:
. We talked about the 2017-18 season, and the difference between Connor McDavid on the ice at 5-on-5 (+20 goal differential) and McDavid off the ice at 5-on-5 (-33 goal differential). Yesterday, at 5-on-5, the Oilers were +1 with McDavid on the ice, -3 with him at rest.

Yessir.

All data via Naturalstattrick.com

First 3 years:
GF%
15/16
McDavid On 50.7% (33-32)
Hall On 52.3% (58-53)
Neither Hall or McDaid On 33.9% (43-84)
Finished 29th

16/17
McDavid On 62.1% (77-47)
McDavid Off 48.9% (89-93)
Finished 8th

17/18
McDavid On 57% (81-61)
McDavid Off 41.6% (82-115)
Finished 23rd

To follow this along all year I’ll update the running 5v5 tallys after each game.

I’ll also include all the C’s GF% when McDavid is not on the ice.

After one game:
18/19
McDavid On 100% (1-0)
McDavid Off 0% (0-3)

Centers without McDavid
Draisaitl 0% (0-1)
Strome N/A (0-0)
Brodziak 0% (0-2)

I was disheartened to see Brodziak-Reider-Kassian get caved in shots and goals yesterday.

I think the 4th line keeping their head above water is important to overall team success and have high hopes that the two FA signings designed to help lower GA will actually help lower GA.

Drai looks lazy in every zone.

Hopefully they do better Thursday.

Drai needs to get the lead out of his ass and start driving the line, and become defensively responsible.

jtblack

stephenw24:
Marc bergevin seems like he is in a desperate situation in Montreal, taking criticism from serge savard on the pacorietty deal and past deals.If Carey Price gets hot and they have a positive 15 or 20 game run does anyone think they might take Lucic.Maybe they remember his history in that division.Do they have a less bad contract we could take back in return.

I just wanted to hear some opinions

Highly Doubtful

Tesla's Hair

PS. Hendricks was always one of my favs on 4th line. Both on and off ice. Which one of current 4th line is 1/10th the leader of H in Oilcountry? Hendricks was a beauty!

stephenw24

Marc bergevin seems like he is in a desperate situation in Montreal, taking criticism from serge savard on the pacorietty deal and past deals. If Carey Price gets hot and they have a positive 15 or 20 game run does anyone think they might take Lucic. Maybe they remember his history in that division. Do they have a less bad contract we could take back in return.

I just wanted to hear some opinions

jtblack

Lowetide:
What is a “shop map’?

Wives know them well.

Georgexs

Way back in the 16-17 season, I posted something along the lines how could NJD’s analytics department give up a 22 minutes a night defenseman (with no one in the lineup to take his place) for a sub 0.8 points per game winger. I was so sure about that too, that Hall had maxed out. Especially after his year 1 in NJD, during which he missed games and put up another sub 0.8 PPG.

Subsequent events have proven me, ahem, wrong on my assessment of the value that was exchanged in the trade. These events have also shown me that my understanding of the relative value of defensemen and forwards needs work.

Maybe it’s still a reasonable trade if Hall stayed sub 0.8 But the NJD org. somehow managed to get a 1.2 year out of Hall. That’s no longer reasonable.

His fans will say MVP Hall is plain old Hall. It’s a stretch. I’m impressed with the NJD version of Hall and what he and the org. have been able to do. I give credit to what the player and the org. achieved together. I know that, as Mehta said in that NYT article, it’s a mistake to underestimate the influence of randomness in hockey. But it seems, from the top down, NJD is getting the most out of what they have (as WG pointed out, 30th cap hit this year), and they’re working at getting even better at doing that. And that direction and commitment seems to have been set by ownership.

The team plays a nice style of hockey, making good use of movement and possession in both zones. It’s still an uphill battle because the EC is stacked full of teams that sort of look and play like they do just with more high end players. Confidence is a fleeting thing, but, right now, the NJD players seem to be confident that their style of hockey will tilt the ice in their favor.

I wonder what our guys think about the style of hockey they’re being asked to play. (I remember a quote from Trotz last season that the coaching staff spends the majority of their time trying to figure out how to generate… offence!)

Tesla's Hair

Feed the 4th line vegan turkey leftovers for the next week. Might give them good karma. Eat your peas Kassian!

Tesla's Hair

leadfarmer: Ahh the ole blame the 4th line players.That’s been the issue for the last decade. Hendricks is still playing and on a much deeper team.
This is not a development league.Send all the rookies down.How can you continue to break in this many rookies every year.

Hi Leadfarmer, as promised this year my focus is carrot stick rewards punishment to motivation 4.0 coaching of our fourth line cause i trust all the other 3 lines and D and G and coach and manager.

My buck starts and stops with 4th line. If I do my job well the 4th line will be plus 4 and in positive Magic! Coefficients by end of the season. What gets measured will get managed.

hunter1909

I dunno the way they played you’d think that McLellan’s coaching has lost the group behind.

stephenw24

Anyone think with all the line shuffling it might be best to focus on two man units who have chemistry. Then subbing in a third winger so there is some continuity when the coach is just trying random combinations .

We surely remember the macblender, is there a similar term for McLellan. Maybe the Toddnado. Open to suggestions.

I haven’t followed the team closely for the last 2 to 3 years, so getting back into it and going to give them till February.

I wholeheartedly agree with many commenters assessment of the defence. They give up possession and immediately look to ring it around the boards. Maybe the coaches are just trying to simplify things because the forwards don’t support the defence very well. I think you need to trust the d to make more plays. I am hoping things will improve for the team as a whole over the course of the season but like most Oiler fans, I am frustrated by management.

RandyRanderson

ashley,

I agree with this.

If another team figures out how to put pressure on the OIlers in our defensive zone then we lose the game. Too many times the defense rims it around the boards towards a forward that is standing still. Any decent opponent knows this is what they are going to do from watching some video, then steps in and intercepts the puck and says “thanks! just keep doing that” and the Oilers oblige…. like fishing in a barrel.

The problem is the coach doesn’t have another gear. TMac just has one system and if he’s not getting results then he leans on the three or four players that have enough talent to make his system looks like it works. It’s so frustrating, because with some creativity this team has the players to be playoff bound.

I just can’t believe that we brought in two associate coaches and they seem to be unable to make any improvements. I was expecting that they would provide more, I don’t know if they are waiting for their opportunities.

Georgexs

I found this thing called shiftchart.com.

It was “co-authored” by Sai Okabayashi, a PhD in stats, who apparently used to work for the Devils under Lou and Shero.

The site is quite well done, lots to explore. I googled “sai okabayashi devils” and I found this article about Sunny Mehta helping the Devils start the “first full-time analytics department in the NHL” in 2014. Apparently because the Devils’ owners, Josh Harris and David Blitzer, wanted to do exactly that.

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/18/sports/devils-go-all-in-on-analytics-ex-poker-pro-helps.html

Then I found this 30 thoughts by Friedman from 2016

https://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/30-thoughts-suitors-will-ante-van-riemsdyk/

Two interesting quotes from Okabayashi:

– on his first important interaction with Lou (must have been in 2014):

“Very early on, the team was struggling. [Lou] pulled Sunny and I into his office and said, ‘What are we doing wrong?’ We said the defence was getting the puck off the glass and out. There was no transition…. He said we were 100-percent right.”

– and then this about Shero:

Shero’s hiring, and Lamoriello’s move to Toronto, led to “a massive change in approach in personnel both on-ice and in the front office. (Shero) is more proactive with empowering people to go approach and talk to each other. There was plenty of access to John Hynes (and his staff).”

Woodguy v2.0

Bank Shot: I would argue that sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t and that is hockey.

I know the level of variance.

The facts that:

1) they change the structure and move Drai out the bumper (many botched about it at the time and for the rest of the season)

2) his individual shot map shows the dramatic reduction in slot shots where SH% is higher

3) the team maps show how dramatically their shot selections changed with the change in structure

Show that you can’t just chalk it up to variaince.

maudite

Basically though:

If after 10 home games Todd has a losing record at home. You fire him. Plain and simple. If you can’t produce a winning record at home with Mcdavid on your team, it’s hard to argue that you are a good coach as miss matches and McJesus should be like stealing candy from a baby.

maudite

The sky isn’t falling IMO. In that hunter lotto I picked 90 points for a reason. I couldn’t see a way without “everything breaking right” that this is a playoff team.

That goal differenitial really does point to something though. I like RNH and Mcdavid but:

Pass Mcdavid the puck on breakout
Follow into zone
Find open ice in high danger scoring area
Keep stick on ice
Release puck if/when it finds you
Or still be somewhat in motion to crash net for potential reboiunds if he shoots

Doesn’t likely require a 6 million dollar winger. Definitely doesn’t require an 8.5 million dollar winger.

Khaira/Reider Mcdavid Rattie/Yamoto
RNH Drai Pu
Lucic Strome Yamoto/Rattie
Reider/Khaira Brodziak Kassian

Line 1 will outscore
Line 2 might outscore (leave it together let them mesh)
Bottom six blend away until you find something that seems alright (Todd needs something he can push blender button on…he doesn’t line match all to much and relies on blender to feel like coaching IMO so give him that).

Double shift Mcdavid every so often on that 3rd line -> bump strome to RW give Kailer a seat (or sit strome and let rattie chew up lighter comp where his deficiencies on D won’t hurt as much…win the home games). Hopefully that helps bump Lucic’s numbers a bit, reduces Kailer’s minutes.

Key is though keep PU away from Lucic. I care less about propping up Lucic than I do about getting Pu comfortable and contributing in an important manner.

Bank Shot

Woodguy v2.0:
Guys close to the net get tap ins.

I would argue that sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t and that is hockey.

Bank Shot

Woodguy v2.0: The radical change in his shot locations show his position change and the structure change.

Yes they scored well as a group, but good PPs can produce those results.

I’m sure they ran a bit hot too, but good structure can produce goos results.

So what is the argument here?

If the Oilers just go back to how they set up their PP in 16/17, in particular with Draisaitl’s positioning they will have a good PP again?

Bag of Pucks

OriginalPouzar: Honest question, were you saying this during the off-season prior to his signing or when he signed.

If I remember correctly, while the cap hit was obviously a discussion point, I don’t recall a single Oiler fan not being happy with the 8 year term on both 97’s and 29’s contracts.

Other than generational talent, i’m typically not an advocate of longterm contracts for athletes. Given injuries, performance ebbs, etc. I think you get better value and negotiation power and leverage on the athlete’s performance keeping the terms shorter.

With Leon, I recall being happy with him signing as he’s my favourite Oiler but from a cap mgmt pov i thought a shorter ‘prove it’ contract served the team well.

Woodguy v2.0

Bank Shot,

If you watch Draisaitl’s PP goals from 16/17 you’ll see about 3-4 goals he gets as a result of a weird bounce giving him an empty net tap in. When most of the league’s top PP goal scorers score between 5-10 goals per year on the PP, a few bounces like that makes a big difference

Guys close to the net get tap ins.

He wasn’t positioned close enough to the net to tap in last year. In 16/17 he was.

ArmchairGM

leadfarmer:
Crazy Pedestrian,

Bear should be playing heavy pp minutes learning that side of the game. We don’t have much for puck distribution guys outside of our super high end forwards.Good heavy shot can pass the puck well.He’s like a little Dumba

A “little Dumba”? Bear is a whole inch shorter yet 15 lbs heavier; I would say their size isn’t what differentiates these players. Dumba is an elite skater, that’s the biggest difference I see.

Woodguy v2.0

leadfarmer:
Woodguy v2.0

I’m guessing not having a point shot last year allowed pkers to collapse down low causing the guys down low to move further to outside.
That’s the bigger importance of point shots.It’s not the goals you score.It’s the 4-3 mismatch down low you can cause.No point shot, no reason to challenge the point making a 4-4 or 3-4 down low if you keep 2 guys on the point

They were way above average in terms of point shot volume.

The best PPs get the shots from where they want and don’t need a point shot to do it.

Woodguy v2.0

Lowetide:
What is a “shop map’?

Shot.

On phone

Can’t see what I’m typing as I’m in the barber chair without my glasses.

I’m using a magnifying glass occasionally to check spelling.

True story.

Woodguy v2.0

Bank Shot: The graph tells me that Draisaitl played a different position on the PP in 17/18?

In 16/17 the Oilers had four guys (McDavid, Lucic, Draisaitl, Letestu) in the top 25 forwards league wide in on-ice shooting % that played 100+ minutes on the PP.

That seems high. I wouldn’t expect all four forwards to be in the top 25 of shooting percentage on a team from year to year.

3 of those guys had major career years in PP goal scoring. Draisatil might get back there again.

Those three guys all scored 10+ goals. In 17/18, Pittsburgh was the only team to have 3 players score 10+ goals on the PP.

Looks an awful lot like guys running hot to me.

If you watch Draisaitl’s PP goals from 16/17 you’ll see about 3-4 goals he gets as a result of a weird bounce giving him an empty net tap in. When most of the league’s top PP goal scorers score between 5-10 goals per year on the PP, a few bounces like that makes a big difference.

The radical change in his shot locations show his position change and the structure change.

Yes they scored well as a group, but good PPs can produce those results.

I’m sure they ran a bit hot too, but good structure can produce goos results.

The