Wilton Felder’s I Want You Back

The first time I saw Michael Jackson, he was on the Ed Sullivan Show with his brothers, singing “I Want You Back.” We don’t think of Michael Jackson in the same way now, but back in 1969 we only knew that he could sing like Diana Ross, and was not yet a teenager. The song became something of a staple for me as I grew older (I loved the Jackson 5) but didn’t find out about Wilton Felder’s work on the recorded track until I was in my 50’s. Oh my, what a bass track, three minutes of brilliance.

In yesterday’s game, Connor McDavid had a moment I’ll remember a long time, and it wasn’t the brilliant front-man stuff he does that everyone notices. Oilers fans are a bright bunch, so you probably already know what I’m talking about here. The game in doubt, McDavid went screaming through the neutral zone crowd and drove like a torpedo to his own net. He arrived just in time to intercept a Mika Zibanejad goalmouth pass meant for the streaking Jesper Fast. Crisis averted! Beautiful music!

In a long season it becomes cliche to pick out specific moments as being important in real time. We don’t know what tomorrow brings. That said, the Oilers badly needed to win, and if 97 doesn’t go runaway train on the play, we might be having a different conversation today. Yesterday in Manhattan, the captain went full Wilton Felder to give the Oilers deliverance. I’ll remember that play for a long time.

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: College and AHL prospect update.
  • New Lowetide: Panic storm on the horizon as Oilers remain a one-man show
  • New Justin Bourne: How hockey has changed for the better and allowed its young stars to shine.
  • Lowetide: Joel Persson’s early season performance in the SHL.
  • Lowetide: Practice lines in Boston, anger in Edmonton and Kailer Yamamoto remains on the No. 2 line.
  • Jonathan Willis: At 34, is Kyle Brodziak just too old to help the Oilers?
  • Jonathan Willis: Why Todd McLellan’s name keeps showing up on those ‘first coach fired in 2018-19’ lists
  • James Mirtle: Sizing up the NHL 2018-19 by age, height and age (Oilers content)
  • Black Dog: Edmonton’s future is bright, but there are all kinds of questions in the present.
  • Lowetide: Evan Bouchard survives first game.
  • 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.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Klefbom-Larsson were 13-6 in 13:07, 4-3 shots and 0-2 in HDSC. I thought Klefbom was the calm one in this game, slowing the pace and re-setting as required. Brennan Klak and I were on the air during the game, and Klak wondered about Larsson’s pinches (he seems to be more aggressive). A big reason this pairing had issues, although there were no GA with the pair on the ice (the two blue on the Zibanejad goal were Larsson and Nurse). Klef-Larsson went 6-3 in 5:24 against Kreider-Zibanejad-Fast. I like this pairing. Klefbom rescued the puck from the blue line just before Edmonton got the winner. Oscar missed the net a lot, seemed to be an ongoing issue for the entire blue. Is shooting wide in the vague hope of a cool MSG bounce the new normal? Seems a poor bet, if true.
  • Garrison-Bouchard were 11-8 in 8:42, shots 6-5. Bouchard has some real nice offensive acumen, he was exposed defensively more than once. Rookies gonna rookie. Garrison helped when calamity hit, but they were 1-5 HDSC (!!!). I’m not sure how long either man spends in Edmonton this year. They were 0-1 in 1:21 against Kreider-Zibanejad-Fast, two games in a row we’ve seen pairing matching lines. Bouchard is +7.94 in Rel, early days but the puck is headed in a good direction when he’s on the ice.
  • Nurse-Russell were 10-21 in 16:07, this duo were the workhorse pairing for the team, that appears to be Nurse’s role (I think Larsson’s back is a worry). Went 6-13 in 8:57 against the Zibanejad line (1-1 for Nurse), it was the matchup both coaching staffs settled on. I thought Russell was far more effective than Benning has been so far, not sure where that puts the group.
  • Cam Talbot stopped 23 of 24, .958. He now owns a .932 even-strength save percentage for the season. Early days, good numbers.
  • NaturalStatTrick and NHL.com.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

  • Caggiula-Strome-Puljujarvi were a dream in possession, this line is a recent compilation and I’d like to see more. They had two HDSC’s, and that’s exactly what the Strome line has been lacking. Went 12-3 in possession (8:57), 8-0 in shots, no goals but drew a penalty (Caggiula on the chance, via a JP pass). Encouraging, although we have to consider qual comp. Went 7-0 in 4:18 against Claesson-Shattenkirk, I think you have to give them credit for delivering solid performances when on the ice. A goal would have been nice, but this line performed well.
  • Nuge-McDavid-Rattie were 13-14 in 14:04, 9-7 shots, 1-0 goals, 3-0 in HDSC. McDavid belongs in a higher league, the words we have at our disposal can’t really describe his impact. I did think both wingers played well, Nuge grabbed the points but Rattie made some good plays to keep the play moving. Went 12-8 against Skjei-mostly McQuaid, 3-7 against Marc Staal, 7-9 Brendan Smith (I can’t figure out the pairings for these events) against 97.
  • Khaira-Brodziak-Rieder were 6-7 in 8:18, 2-2 in shots. I liked the line overall, for me JJ and Rieder are going to be the Pisani’s for the group this coming season. Notice how close the fourth line (8:18) is to the third line (8:57) in 5-on-5 icetime together. McLellan is rolling rolling rolling rawhide. Went 5-1 against Claesson-Shattenkirk in 3:24.
  • Lucic-Draisaitl-Yamamoto are a headache. Went 6-14 (Lucic) in 10:39 (6-9 Yamamoto), 1-8 shots, 0-1 goals, 3-11 scoring chances, 0-7 HDSC. This is insane. Seriously. Yamamoto grabbed two penalties through working hard and keeping his feet moving, Lucic and Draisaitl were noticeable on the power play. Todd McLellan should run Rieder-Draisaitl-Puljujarvi until they fire him, but he won’t do it. The second line is a mess, Leon is apparently going to score all of his points while spending time with 97. Lucic, too.

OILERS IN OCTOBER

  • Oilers in October 2015: 0-3-0, goal differential -6
  • Oilers in October 2016: 2-1-0, goal differential +1
  • Oilers in October 2017: 1-2-0, goal differential -1
  • Oilers in October 2018: 1-2-0, goal differential -5

The Oilers are in league with the 2015 and 2017 teams, goal differential has 2 EN goals and three on the PP so there’s a story to tell. I don’t think this year’s team is a more (or less) promising playoff contender but the 5-on-5 goaltending is better in the early days.

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 1-1-0)
  • 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: 1-2-0, 2 points after three games

Huge win for the team, they haven’t won a lot in Manhattan in recent seasons. The Winnipeg game will be interesting, we’ll discuss their chances of getting a point tomorrow. This Oilers team, as currently constructed, is more about building for the future than winning a playoff spot now.

MCLELLAN AND PULJUJARVI

  • McLellan post-game: Jesse’s had some moments where he’s played very well, and he’s still learning in some other moments where he’s got caught doing things that affect the team at the other end, or maybe the teammates coming on to the ice. We’ve talked and talked and talked to him about it, and he’ll have to just keep working at it.” Source

I’m parsing words here, but it seems to me that quote, compared to previous ones on the same subject, expresses frustration in a more pronounced way. Perhaps I’m missing this completely, but the coach said ‘talked and talked and talked’ and there’s an edge in the way he said it. Where I come from (same place as McLellan), the end of the sentence is usually “and dammit I’m done talking” but the coach measured his words carefully. There does seem to be a little more freedom in his words there, not exactly MacT discussing Dustin Penner but it caught me when listening.

By the way: There are only two reasons for a coach to be more open than previous avails about a specific player.

KATZ

  • Elliotte Friedman:Yesterday Daryl Katz was at Oilers practice, today he was at the game, he spends a lot of time in New York City. It just ratcheted up the intensity and the nerves in Edmonton. It’s three games into the season, you hate to call it a must-win, I think in a lot of ways that was for Edmonton. I think Katz let it be known how frustrated he was with the way things were going, and the Oilers needed this win today, badly.” Source

The win helps, the pressure remains. I am convinced keeping the young talent is the right thing to do, but there are a lot of “Catch-22” bullet points on this roster currently.

Jesse Puljujarvi is a central figure in an internal organizational battle right now. He has talent, they believe in him, but JP is banished to the bottom-six forwards. Is that a coaching decision? Do the centers on the skill lines have trouble playing with the young Finn?

Sometimes there’s a breaking point (Glen Sather used to browbeat the young Oilers until Mark Messier stood up to him, and in that instant the world changed for team and player) and sometimes there’s a breakthrough on the ice for the player.

I’d stay the course, damn the torpedoes, keep those coaches teaching and keep pushing for wins even if things get more difficult. Daryl Katz may have a different approach. This feels like something has to give, perhaps it will.

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262 Responses to "Wilton Felder’s I Want You Back"

« Older Comments
  1. BONE207 says:

    Dustylegnd:
    Did anyone else see the piece about the Oilers practicing at Chelsea Piers? The NYU club hockey team had a member at the practice who called all his buddies to come down and watch…..great story right

    I was soon feeling greatly disturbed when I realized not only was Gretzky hanging around practice watching, but also K Lowe…..then I read above that Katz was also in NYC….and things are tense as shit around the team….Katz isn’t happy with the teams start….Gretz and K Lowe are on the road with the team….then I start connecting dots and I started to feel sick

    What kind of fucked up management structure does this organization have in place? Regardless of what any of us think about Chia, and I have not been kind to him, how can he expected to think and act rationally amongst what I can only assume is complete organizational disfunction?

    It seems to me there is much hrumphing, hand wringing, second guessing and much ass hattery being carried out by the fools who already ran this once proud franchise into the dirt. If Katz is going to run Chia off and reinstall the OBC….just do it already…..am I mis reading this….inquiring minds want to know.

    Dusty…shhhhhh.
    Keep this shit under your hat. If Hunter gets wind of this we’ll never hear the end of it. We know how grumpy he gets about the Red Wine Summit. Word of this could push him over the top & I will never win his Death March.

  2. maudite says:

    Either load up behind Mcjesus

    Khaira/Reider – McD – Rattie/Yamato
    Nuge – Drai – Pu
    Lucic – Strome – Rattie/Yam
    xxx – Brodziak – Cag/Kas (how much in salary is this…)

    Or overkill first and put swiss army knife (nuge) to figure out how to compliment Pu

    Jujar (i think he could do what big rig did) – McD – Drai
    Reider – Nuge – Pu
    fill in blanks the rest

    As for PP 1:

    Jujar – Nuge – Pu/Rattie (Mcdavid LD, Bouchard RD)

    PP2

    Strome, Drai maybe double shift McD or PU/Rattie (klef LD, benning RD)

    Give Mcdavid some different looks. I think he could be lethal from point. Greater ability to be in motion and driving and I bet he would put great pucks through on net or pull coverage hard and give bouchard the space to really get comfortable. Nuge on the half wall is better spot and they can work on PU just being ready in the money spot (or replace him with rattie).

    There are enough pieces here up front to do some damage. What’s happening right now is decisions outside of icing best lineup available are likely throwing away a season.

  3. Richard S.S. says:

    Teenagers from a sheltered life always take longer to adjust to sports, work, life, becoming human. That’s normal. It could take a few extra weeks, or, a few extra months, or. a few extra years. That’s normal. Sometimes they need any where from a tiny bit to a major amount of help adjusting. That’s normal. Even non-sheltered teenagers sometimes need that.

    Jesse Puljujarvi, teenager, comes from a small town. That’s sheltered. He’s thrown without help, headfirst into a hockey-mad big city. Zero help adjusting. He doesn’t speak the language very well. That’s sheltered. Oilers don’t understand why he doesn’t understand them. Zero help adjusting. He’s just turned 20 and he’s never played a game in junior, in Canada or the US. He’s not good with positioning and other basics while on the ice. Zero help adjusting. He’s not the problem.

  4. Wilde says:

    Patrik Laine has miles of range but the shittiest stick details.

    I wonder why Maurice gives him so much opportunity when he’s bad defensively?

  5. Wilde says:

    He also has an abrasive personality. I wonder if his teammates like being on his line?

  6. Professor Q says:

    godot10: And then in the cultural Marxist new films The Force Awakens and particularly in The Last Jedi, we find out that in reality it was the Jedi that were the worst.

    Well, we already knew this. The Prequels, Clone Wars series, Rebels, and New Canon novels and comics all showed the faults of various sides and perspectives.

    Nothing to do with the conspiracy theory catch-all of “Cultural Marxism”.

  7. godot10 says:

    Professor Q: Well, we already knew this. The Prequels, Clone Wars series, Rebels, and New Canon novels and comics all showed the faults of various sides and perspectives.

    Nothing to do with the conspiracy theory catch-all of “Cultural Marxism”.

    Yeah, but this is all a post-modern deconstruction of Joseph Campbell’s myths into the nihilism of cultural Marxism.

    And they totally de-fanged Han Solo in the Solo movie. What a pathetic origin narrative.

  8. JimmyV1965 says:

    leadfarmer:
    I don’t get how we want JP to drive his own line turned into no one wants to play with JP.
    This wasn’t an issue in preseason and all of a sudden he has a few hard games and no one wants to play with him?
    Only thing we heard was Mcdavid didn’t want to keep switching linemates and he was happy with stability he had with Rattie.
    Or how about I just start a rumor myself.Drai didn’t want to play with JP so TMac is saddling him with Lucic to teach him a lesson.
    “Oh Drai you don’t like JP well let’s see how much you don’t like him after Lucic turns the puck over with each time he touches it”. In a few games he’ll be begging for JP

    Stauffer mentioned on his show months ago that some centres were not comfortable playing with JP. It may mean shit, but it’s not a new narrative. Personally I think most of it is crap because the players would never tell him that. But the narrative is not new.

  9. workaroundaccount says:

    Professor Q: Well, we already knew this. The Prequels, Clone Wars series, Rebels, and New Canon novels and comics all showed the faults of various sides and perspectives.

    Nothing to do with the conspiracy theory catch-all of “Cultural Marxism”.

    I agree, it’s biggest failing was being a poorly written movie. Basically everything about it was dumb. I thought 7 actually brought in some interesting new characters, and set up some good potential storylines, but 8 ruined everything in such a targetted way. Snoke is nobody, Rey’s parents are nobody, Rey gets no training, Finn was in a coma for like an hour. Then, not satisfied with trashing the trilogy JJ set up, Rian turned to ruining the entire universe by ruining Luke Skywalker, Hyperspace,etc. Plus all the terrible dialougue and dumb storylines. And can someone explain how they are celebrating at the end of the movie? Basically everyone is dead, including Luke, who was the last hope for the resistance and somehow the remaining twelve resistance fighters are celebrating like at the end of Return. But I guess there is no reason to worry, when Rey is all powerful with no character development whatsoever.

    Only thing that makes my blood boil more than the Oilers. Well, not actually, but close.

  10. workaroundaccount says:

    godot10: Yeah, but this is all a post-modern deconstruction of Joseph Campbell’s myths into the nihilism of cultural Marxism.

    And they totally de-fanged Han Solo in the Solo movie.What a pathetic origin narrative.

    Didn’t realize anyone watched Solo.

  11. Wilde says:

    Red Wine Summits, Millennials and Postmodernism.

    That’s a bingo.

  12. JimmyV1965 says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    The episode with Scum of the Earth was my favourite-other than the turkeys of course

    Another classic is the episode where Johnny and Venus are doing shots on-air to show the affects of drinking and driving. Johnny gets sharper and sharper the more he drinks. Love it.

  13. Psyche says:

    I wish the Oilers had as capable of a back up as the guy in net for Winnipeg tonight. Stopped 42 of 43 against one other NHL’s hottest teams. Wow! No way his contract is under $2.5 million.

  14. fishman says:

    Psyche,

    Yea LB looked really good! Did we expect anything less? Oilers eat their young.

  15. Gerta Rauss says:

    JimmyV1965: Another classic is the episode where Johnny and Venus are doing shots on-air to show the affects of drinking and driving. Johnny gets sharper and sharper the more he drinks. Love it.

    Ahhh….yes…and the cop doing the testing got angrier as Johnny got faster response times…lol

    thanks for the lid, Art.!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFRAGmx3BWk

  16. Paddy Morans Jockstrap says:

    RNH CMD Rattie
    JP Strome Drai
    Lucic Khaira Rieder
    Cags Brodziak Kass

  17. OriginalPouzar says:

    Paddy Morans Jockstrap:
    RNH CMD Rattie
    JP Strome Drai
    Lucic Khaira Rieder
    Cags Brodziak Kass

    I would love to see Strome on the wing in the top 6.

  18. godot10 says:

    OriginalPouzar: I would love to see Strome on the wing in the top 6.

    Strome is impossible to see anywhere. He is the invisible player.

  19. Rebillled says:

    Psyche,

    Good for LB. He was absolutely terrifying to watch during that Flames game last year though.

  20. Pescador says:

    Woodguy v2.0: I think Katz is Mother Carlson (just wants profit)

    Arthur Carlson is Bob Nicholson (over his head, trying to please Mother)

    Lowe is Les Nessman. (Very proud of his awards from a previous life)

    MacTavish is Herb Tarlek (convinced he’s right about everything and everything has an easy solution)

    Chiarelli is Andy Travis (trying to balance everyone’s input and is probably over his head skill-wise)

    Keith Gretzky is Jennifer Marlow (every thinks he’s in the org because of who he is, but he’s actually the best at his job in the org)

    Todd McLellan is Doctor Johnny Fever (popular in a previous time, but probably past bis best before date)

    Sadly, there is no Venus Flytrap (saavy and knows what’s going on today) or Bailey Quarters (unreal attractive and very smart)in the org but I don’t know about everyone.

    Andy Travis flow was epic, I wonder why Chia doesn’t wear his wig?
    Tom Gazzola is Bailey Quarters.
    genius post

  21. Pescador says:

    Wilde:
    Patrik Laine has miles of range but the shittiest stick details.

    I wonder why Maurice gives him so much opportunity when he’s bad defensively?

    He produces more then he gives up.
    I get what your saying but closest Oilers players to Laine were Hall & Eberle,
    I don’t recall previous or current coaches banishing either to the bottom 6 for extended periods.
    please correct me if I have it backwards.
    thx Wilde

  22. OriginalPouzar says:

    godot10: Strome is impossible to see anywhere.He is the invisible player.

    Whatever your interpret what your eyes see, both McDavid and Drai helped create more possession and a higher percentage of goals scored when they were with Strome than without him.

  23. €√¥£€^$ says:

    workaroundaccount,

    What? Luke died? Man, I guess I won’t have to watch that movie, now.

    😀

  24. Lowetide says:

    Gerta Rauss: Ahhh….yes…and the cop doing the testing got angrier as Johnny got faster response times…lol

    thanks for the lid, Art.!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFRAGmx3BWk

    I loved that show.

  25. GMB3 says:

    Pescador: He produces more then he gives up.
    I get what your saying but closest Oilers players to Laine were Hall & Eberle,
    I don’t recall previous or current coaches banishing either to the bottom 6 for extended periods.
    please correct me if I have it backwards.thx Wilde

    Are you talking about JP or Laine? Hasn’t Laine been on a line with Ehlers and Little so far this season?

  26. €√¥£€^$ says:

    Psyche:
    I wish the Oilers had as capable of a back up as the guy in net for Winnipeg tonight. Stopped 42 of 43 against one other NHL’s hottest teams. Wow! No way his contract is under $2.5 million.

    I wish LB all the best, and had hoped he would be brought back even as an AHL depth ‘tender. But no one can blame Chia for not bringing him back based on last years’ results.

    I am more upset with them letting Svoboda walk (I have been thinking that Wells is a worse bet, even with his decent season last year).

  27. €√¥£€^$ says:

    Lowetide:
    Question: Did the Oilers waive Chiasson after signing him? I don’t think they did.

    No, he was not waived.

  28. Bank Shot says:

    I think Katz is Mother Carlson (just wants profit)

    If Katz was just after profit, he wouldn’t have 32 ex-Oilers doing nothing still on the payroll.

  29. workaroundaccount says:

    €√¥£€^$:
    workaroundaccount,

    What?Luke died?Man, I guess I won’t have to watch that movie, now.

    Luke wasn’t even in the movie as far as I’m concerned.

  30. Lowetide says:

    Item here on Oilers prospects, college and AHL if you missed it

    https://theathletic.com/586795/2018/10/14/edmonton-oilers-prospect-update-thats-hawkey/

  31. jp says:

    €√¥£€^$: I wish LB all the best, and had hoped he would be brought back even as an AHL depth ‘tender.But no one can blame Chia for not bringing him back based on last years’ results.

    I am more upset with them letting Svoboda walk (I have been thinking that Wells is a worse bet, even with his decent season last year).

    FWIW Nashville assigned Svoboda to Atlanta of the ECHL. Nice first game down there, but he’s 23 and apparently wasn’t good enough for their AHL team.

    Agree that Wells doesn’t inspire confidence either, but Svoboda’s trajectory isn’t aiming very high.

  32. jp says:

    maudite:
    Either load up behind Mcjesus

    Khaira/Reider –McD –Rattie/Yamato
    Nuge – Drai –Pu
    Lucic –Strome – Rattie/Yam
    xxx – Brodziak – Cag/Kas (how much in salary is this…)

    Oroverkill first and put swiss army knife (nuge) to figure out how to compliment Pu

    Jujar (i think he could do what big rig did) – McD – Drai
    Reider – Nuge – Pu
    fill in blanks the rest

    As for PP 1:

    Jujar – Nuge – Pu/Rattie (Mcdavid LD, Bouchard RD)

    PP2

    Strome, Drai maybe double shift McD or PU/Rattie (klef LD, benning RD)

    Give Mcdavid some different looks.I think he could be lethal from point.Greater ability to be in motion and driving and I bet he would put great pucks through on net or pull coverage hard and give bouchard the space to really get comfortable.Nuge on the half wall is better spot and they can work on PU just being ready in the money spot (or replace him with rattie).

    There are enough pieces here up front to do some damage.What’s happening right now is decisions outside of icing best lineup available are likely throwing away a season.

    I like Khaira as much as the next guy (I guess that isn’t actually true).

    Anyway, despite him looking competent he has no history of scoring. I’m glad he’s on the team, but projecting him on the 1st line and PP1 isn’t helping anyone. The man has 12 goals in 95 NHL games, and had 22 in 133 career AHL games.

    Maroon he is not. That guy scored more than 22 goals in 4 different AHL seasons.

    I like Khaira. I just don’t think it’s reasonable to expect him to score more than 10 goals a year.

    I do think McDavid on the point could be interesting though.

  33. Pescador says:

    GMB3: Are you talking about JP or Laine? Hasn’t Laine been on a line with Ehlers and Little so far this season?

    Laine,
    Wilde,who I quoted, sarcastically asked why Maurice played him in the top 6 in spite of his defensive failings.
    Which is the opposite of the way JP is treated.
    Then I pointed out that JP hasn’t produced enough offense (yet) to warrant the Laine treatment.

  34. maudite says:

    Psyche:
    I wish the Oilers had as capable of a back up as the guy in net for Winnipeg tonight. Stopped 42 of 43 against one other NHL’s hottest teams. Wow! No way his contract is under $2.5 million.

    I am super pumped and hope he goes on to dubnyk these pricks.

  35. FinnOil says:

    I would keep that 3rd line together. They were playing well and generated some good scoring chances. It also seems that SCF% stats are supporting that. Of course they haven’t scored but if they can keep up the good play I’m sure they will. And 3rd line is getting bit easier minutes which should be nice for them.

    As everyone knows the 2nd line has been the biggest problem this far. I would like to keep Draisaitl as 2C and because I don’t think they’ll put Lucic any lower than 2nd line for now, then something needs to be tried on right wing. Personally I would like to see Rieder there replacing Yamamoto. I don’t know if it helps at all but somehow in my mind I see Rieder more suitable to that place than Yamamoto. And Rieder was having a good game at NY.

    And if Yamamoto wouldn’t be in the 2nd line anymore then he could be used in the 1st line instead of Rattie if needed. I still would give Rattie some time there but last year Yamamoto was playing quite well with McDavid, wasn’t he. Or then Yamamoto could go to Condors.

    So I would try something like this:
    RNH-McD-Rattie/Yamamoto
    Lucic-Drai-Rieder
    Caggiula-Strome-Pulju
    Khaira-Brodziak-Kassian/Chiasson

  36. kgo says:

    Hey Guys!

    I figured out why Leon isn’t producing!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQ6_YoGw6gM

  37. Paddy Morans Jockstrap says:

    OriginalPouzar: I would love to see Strome on the wing in the top 6.

    Both Drai and JP on off-wings since this takes advantage of JPs shot and Drai’s backhand. Put some space between Drai and JP on the rush since both like the right side. Strome at center gives Drai a bit less responsibility and stability for JP. Keep this as PP2 since Drai/JP are both set up for one-timers on opposite sides. Gets Lucic out of the way. But coach is a problem (took almost 3 years to play RNH with McDavid) so it won’t happen.

  38. kgo says:

    If I was hired as GM tomorrow:

    My first order of business would be to offer bridge contracts to JP and Khaira, perhaps 4 x$3M and 3x$1.8M respectively. Once they’re cost controlled, I relegate Lucic to the 4th line and promote Khaira to 2nd Line, and start feeding JP cherry PP minutes and a few shifts in Rattie’s spot on McDiety’s wing. (note that betting on younger players with these type of contracts is less risky, as buyouts are calculated differently for player under age 24/25?….1/3 of salary instead of 2/3 applied to cap hit.)

    Bouchard goes back to Juniors,

    Yamo goes to the AHL,

    Bear moves up to 3RD, and PP1,

    Benning goes on waivers or pressbox depending on injuries

    Russel moves to 2RD until a better option is acquired, at which point he or Nurse move to 3LD and push Garrison back to the pressbox.

    Eventually Strome gets moved with Kharia slotting into 3C, Yamo or Reider moving into 2LW.

    Kassian is traded or waived to clear up some cash. Chiasson replaces him.

    Talbot is extended for 2 years at $4.5 as soon as possible, if he has an average or stellar year then we have cost certainty for another 30 odd months..If he shits the bed we have an expensive backup for one year and perhaps buy his 2nd year out.

    Keep in mind with a lockout looming, many players will be willing to sign extensions heavily laden with signing bonuses that carry them through the potential lockout.

    Speaking of lockouts, fingers are crossed that we are awarded a compliance buyout for Lucic.

  39. Chelios is a Dinosaur says:

    kgo,

    Sounds like your actual first order of business is to replace the coach with yourself!

    I do think Lucic needs to be on the fourth line. I suspected he wouldn’t rebound over the summer and while we haven’t seen the glaring turnovers of last season yet, he remains too slow, too weak somehow.

  40. OriginalPouzar says:

    €√¥£€^$: I wish LB all the best, and had hoped he would be brought back even as an AHL depth ‘tender.But no one can blame Chia for not bringing him back based on last years’ results.

    I am more upset with them letting Svoboda walk (I have been thinking that Wells is a worse bet, even with his decent season last year).

    Tough to be upset with management with having absolutely zero insight in to the context around Svoboda “walking” – perhaps Svoboda had zero desire to sign with the Oilers and management has zero option?

  41. OriginalPouzar says:

    jp: FWIW Nashville assigned Svoboda to Atlanta of the ECHL. Nice first game down there, but he’s 23 and apparently wasn’t good enough for their AHL team.

    Agree that Wells doesn’t inspire confidence either, but Svoboda’s trajectory isn’t aiming very high.

    Wells is 20 and a month of pro hockey removed from junior.

    Svoboda is 23 years old and played numerous years of pro over-seas.

    They are in the same league.

    Well is currently the MUCH better prospect.

  42. €√¥£€^$ says:

    OriginalPouzar: Tough to be upset with management with having absolutely zero insight in to the context around Svoboda “walking” – perhaps Svoboda had zero desire to sign with the Oilers and management has zero option?

    Let me change “upset” to “disappointed”. Svoboda has put up superior numbers to Wells through-out their careers. Wells is kinda of like Joshua Ho-Sang in that he has all these tantalizing (attitude aside) skills and reeks of potential, but has hasn’t really put it all together.

    Of course he is a Chia pick and MS is a MacT pick, so of course Wells is going to get the opportunities. Perhaps, Svoboda made his own decision, but I doubt it. Chia had his guys, including Hayden Hawkey (who will be 24 when he turns pro), so I think it was more of a matter that he wasn’t a fit in Chia’s master plan. Of course it’s tough to truly know, but that’s what it looks like to me.

    Upon closer review, Nashville only has 2 other goalies “ahead” of Svoboda, and one is playing in Finland. The other is 29 and is the AHL starter. Based on results MS will probably be in the AHL before the end of the season. He could be pushing for NHL games next year or the following season…

    Anyway, I am cheering for him.

  43. Wilde says:

    Pescador: He produces more then he gives up.

    So does Puljujarvi, just lower event.

    There was also no breaking in period, Laine went straight to Scheifele/Little and Ehlers for 1k minutes in d+1.

    Same with the top unit powerplay.

    Nylander’s got in the doghouse before, and at one point in Marner and Matthews’ rookie year Nylander got banished to the checking line of Kadri and Komarov and made that unit demonstrably worse for about 400 minutes. They were worse off with him.

    The lineup shouldn’t be king of the hill, just play your players in the spots that they give you the most.

    I should note that Puljujarvi got a goal on the powerplay in his first NHL game, and so did Laine.

    Laine proceeded to get 2:33, 2:37, 3:55, 1:43, 4:19, 3:33, 7:52 and so on minutes on the powerplay – first unit of course – the following games.

    Puljujarvi… got scraps on 2PP if he had been a good boy.

    Laine was also a drag on shot shares with Scheifele and Ehlers, and was a 41.9% GF/GA player away from 55.

    Mikko Rantanen without MacKinnon got trashed, rookie and sophomore, kept together anyways.

    I bet I could find some giveaways and mispositioning by these players in these samples, too, given that they got caved so hard.

    Basically, these are things that no one else does and they’re done by the most wasteful organisation – in terms of premier talent – in the league, and they should be treated as such.

    Everything the Oilers do with their young, high draft picks should fall under intense scrutiny.

  44. Wilde says:

    In general, everything the Oilers do that’s different from winning organisations should fall under intense scrutiny.

  45. Wilde says:

    For example, what percentage of NHL PTO’s end up with a contract?

    Two PTO’s won /over/ contracted players, and it would have been three, and there’s a common thread between each of them.

  46. Lowetide says:

    For The Athletic: The Edmonton Oilers should put in a waiver claim on Marko Dano at 10 this morning. Here’s why:

    https://theathletic.com/588958/2018/10/15/the-edmonton-oilers-should-put-in-a-waiver-claim-on-marko-dano/

  47. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar: Wells is 20 and a month of pro hockey removed from junior.

    Svoboda is 23 years old and played numerous years of pro over-seas.

    They are in the same league.

    Well is currently the MUCH better prospect.

    Fair. And neither is exactly grade A.

  48. Wilde says:

    Also, I don’t know how many Canes posts I’m going to make but here’s another: They’re so much fun. If you’re home early or whatever, and you hate the Leafs, Carolina’s the best television. They come in waves.

  49. Richard Roma says:

    Wilde:
    Patrik Laine has miles of range but the shittiest stick details.

    I wonder why Maurice gives him so much opportunity when he’s bad defensively?

    Have you seen Laine shoot the puck?

  50. Wilde says:

    Richard Roma: Have you seen Laine shoot the puck?

    no, is he good

  51. OriginalPouzar says:

    €√¥£€^$: Let me change “upset” to “disappointed”.Svoboda has put up superior numbers to Wells through-out their careers.Wells is kinda of like Joshua Ho-Sang in that he has all these tantalizing (attitude aside) skills and reeks of potential, but has hasn’t really put it all together.

    Of course he is a Chia pick and MS is a MacT pick, so of course Wells is going to get the opportunities.Perhaps, Svoboda made his own decision, but I doubt it.Chia had his guys, including Hayden Hawkey (who will be 24 when he turns pro), so I think it was more of a matter that he wasn’t a fit in Chia’s master plan.Of course it’s tough to truly know, but that’s what it looks like to me.

    Upon closer review, Nashville only has 2 other goalies “ahead” of Svoboda, and one is playing in Finland.The other is 29 and is the AHL starter.Based on results MS will probably be in the AHL before the end of the season.He could be pushing for NHL games next year or the following season…

    Anyway, I am cheering for him.

    Whoa, lets slow down a bit with the “superior numbers through-out their careers”.

    What do we know about the Czech, Czech2 and CzechQ leagues? I think the answer is absolutely nothing and the question the entire time he was Oilers property is what do his numbers mean in those leagues and the answer has always been that we have no idea. Some of those numbers are in, what, the 8th best league in Europe? The 6th? The 10th?

    What we do know is that both players are in their first year’s playing pro hockey in North America, both are in the 3rd tier professional league where many 20 year old goalies have started and gone on to NHL careers. I’m not sure many 23 year olds have started there and gone on to NHL careers.

  52. Richard Roma says:

    Wilde: no, is he good

    I thought your post was a rhetorical question, but then the caffeine hadn’t kicked in yet, so I wasn’t sure.

  53. Richard Roma says:

    Wilde:
    Also, I don’t know how many Canes posts I’m going to make but here’s another: They’re so much fun. If you’re home early or whatever, and you hate the Leafs, Carolina’s the best television. They come in waves.

    Do you think it’s driven by that blue line of theirs that’s just stacked?

  54. Wilde says:

    Richard Roma: Do you think it’s driven by that blue line of theirs that’s just stacked?

    Yes, in a way

    Basically, Slavin-Hamilton is (arguably) better than Giordano Hamilton, which as the top pairing for the Flames was the engine of that team and their greatest strength.

    The thing is, the acquisition bumped Pesce down who was “2nd best player on a top pairing” ability, at least, and then De Haan is first pairing calibre and able to cover for Faulk on a 2nd pairing easily, and they already had TvR doing that too.

    Basically, before they mostly had everyone playing at their established level of ability, and then /added to the top of the deck/.

    Which, in itself, means that everyone below Hamilton now plays BELOW their established level of ability. Only teams that are elite in that area of the lineup have this.

    That means they have a top-5 in the NHL top pairing playing top pairing, another mid-to-low level top pairing playing 2nd pairing, and a 2nd pairing playing third pairing.

    Adding to the top of the deck almost never happens except through the early first round of the draft, and in that case the team who adds at the top has a weak middle of the lineup, hence being in the lottery area of the league the year they acquired their lottery talent.

    So that’s the defense, and it does drive the team, but at forward they have another effect: well developed prospects hitting prime age cascading with elite ELC players.

    All of Zykov, Ferland, Wallmark, McGinn, Martinook and Foegele are ripe, well developed early-to-mid 20s players who are pushed into playing their estimated level of ability by an influx of top 6 talent like Necas and Schechnikov.

    Their forward group is basically like Winnipeg’s in 2016-17, with capable complementary players developed by the Moose surrounding their 18&20 year old high draft pick star players.

    Most teams add top-end players to the guts of a ~75 pt team, Carolina had added top-end players to the guts of an 85 pt team.

  55. €√¥£€^$ says:

    OriginalPouzar: Whoa, lets slow down a bit with the “superior numbers through-out their careers”.

    What do we know about the Czech, Czech2 and CzechQ leagues?I think the answer is absolutely nothing and the question the entire time he was Oilers property is what do his numbers mean in those leagues and the answer has always been that we have no idea. Some of those numbers are in, what, the 8th best league in Europe?The 6th?The 10th?

    What we do know is that both players are in their first year’s playing pro hockey in North America, both are in the 3rd tier professional league where many 20 year old goalies have started and gone on to NHL careers. I’m not sure many 23 year olds have started there and gone on to NHL careers.

    I have little doubt that he will have great numbers in the ECHL, the question is how will he fair in the A. If he is who I think he is, we will know by January IMO.

    Also, progression is all Svoboda has shown; Wells doesn’t check that box based on numbers.

  56. godot10 says:

    Wilde: Yes, in a way

    Basically, Slavin-Hamilton is (arguably) better than Giordano Hamilton, which as the top pairing for the Flames was the engine of that team and their greatest strength.

    The thing is, the acquisition bumped Pesce down who was “2nd best player on a top pairing” ability, at least, and then De Haan is first pairing calibre and able to cover for Faulk on a 2nd pairing easily, and they already had TvR doing that too.

    Basically, before they mostly had everyone playing at their established level of ability, and then /added to the top of the deck/.

    Which, in itself, means that everyone below Hamilton now plays BELOW their established level of ability. Only teams that are elite inthat area of the lineup have this.

    That means they have a top-5 in the NHL top pairing playing top pairing, another mid-to-low level top pairing playing 2nd pairing, and a 2nd pairing playing third pairing.

    Adding to the top of the deck almost never happens except through the early first round of the draft, and in that case the team who adds at the top has a weak middle of the lineup, hence being in the lottery area of the league the year they acquired their lottery talent.

    So that’s the defense, and it does drive the team, but at forward they have another effect: well developed prospects hitting prime age cascading with elite ELC players.

    All of Zykov, Ferland, Wallmark, McGinn, Martinook and Foegele are ripe, well developed early-to-mid 20s players who are pushed into playing their estimated level of ability by an influx of top 6 talent like Necas and Schechnikov.

    Their forward group is basically like Winnipeg’s in 2016-17, with capable complementary players developed by the Moose surrounding their 18&20 year old high draft pick star players.

    Most teams add top-end players to the guts of a ~75 pt team, Carolina had added top-end players to the guts of an 85 pt team.

    Pesce is a rock defensively, which means young D can be broken in with him on a lower pairing. Sort of like the James Patrick finishing school for defensemen that was run in Buffalo for about a decade.

  57. OriginalPouzar says:

    €√¥£€^$: I have little doubt that he will have great numbers in the ECHL, the question is how will he fair in the A.If he is who I think he is, we will know by January IMO.

    Also, progression is all Svoboda has shown; Wells doesn’t check that box based on numbers.

    Sure, Svoboda has shown progression in the last few years – Wells hasn’t had a chance yet given he’s only 20.

    I encourage you to take a look at Svoboda’s numbers at 20 years old – middling in the Czech U20 league.

    https://www.eliteprospects.com/player/101860/miroslav-svoboda

    I think its really tough to compare a 23 year old goalie with a 20 year old goal, in particular when one has been playing Canadian Major Junior while the other in obscure Czech leagues that we know very little about.

    I was following Svoboda when he was an Oiler prospect and was also disappointed when he didn’t sign, however, at the same time, I hesitate to state that he’s a better prospect that Wells.

    I would hope that, at 23, Svoboda would have a solid AHL season. I hope Wells has that next year, at 21.

  58. bassguy says:

    Hi Lowetide!, well I had to respond to this column, What with my handle etc…haha….wonderful praise heaped on an unlikely hero The great Wilton Felder.. I actually thought that line was James Jamerson?…but apparently Wilton started getting more and more calls as Jamerson was falling out of favor with the Motown people…so thank you for correcting that for me as I have played that very challenging line time and again….I first came to know Wilton fielders playing as the saxophonist in the great 70’s band “the crusaders”… A great smooth soul funk as they really used the blend of trombone and tenor sax with Larry Carlton of course and Stix Hooper..so to me he was a saxophonist first but little did I know..there is a hash tag #wiltonfelderforpresident you might check out as he played on some really great albums on bass…jimmy smith..also interesting lowetide, and you might not know this, he plays the bass on Joni Mitchell’s “raised on robbery”and one of my very favorite bass ltracks, “people’s parties” from Court and Spark..thanks for the great writing as always!,…bassguy

  59. bassguy says:

    Not raised on robbery but “free man in Paris”…

  60. Lowetide says:

    Bassguy: That is awesome. I knew the Crusaders stuff but nothing about Joni Mitchell, who as you know I’m a fan of her music. Court and Spark is such a great album I’m going to listen to it again.

  61. bassguy says:

    Lowetide,

    Hi again mr lowetide!, interesting Joni basically utilized many “improvising” musicians …through her first collaborations with the likes of Tom Scott and the la express then to the crusaders all the way, and of course including the great players like Jaco Pastorious, Wayne shorter, pat methany etc…

  62. russ99 says:

    Seeing real parallels between Jesse and Yakupov.

    Both rushed, both wasting critical development time with the NHL club, both not given the slightest thought to how hard an adjustment it is coming over from Europe as an 18 year old.

    I have to wonder what is the reason fans are clamoring for Puljujarvi to play with Leon or McDavid? He didn’t look very good at it last season, and if you’re assuming those “part the red sea” moves in preseason carry over, look at the talent level. I don’t see it vs. NHL defensemen and NHL defensive systems that have a book on the Oilers as the surest way to cut down on goals scored is to deny them the middle of the ice.

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