180 by Summer

Expectations of this season for Oilers fans and observers varies wildly. Some believe the team will fall flat, finishing with fewer than 75 points. Others believe 85 is an outer marker, I’ve suggested 90 to 94 points is reasonable and some think a complete turnaround is coming, they believe this team pushes past 100 points.

The big item for me, the top priority from here, is the team arrives in April with at least some problems solved. The bets are obvious (Rattie at 1RW, Yamamoto at 2RW, Puljujarvi at 3RW, Rieder as Pisani, Benning at 2RHD, Bouchard at 3RHD, Koskinen as 2G) but we don’t know the winners yet. If Edmonton finishes with 92 points, misses the playoffs, but Yamamoto, Puljujarvi, Rieder and Benning are true, then that’s a lot from one season. That shopping list needs to be solved, at least partly, by next summer. Plus you have to sign the goalie.

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: Oilers should make a waiver claim on Marko Dano.
  • 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.

HOW ARE THINGS GOING SO FAR?

  1. Ty Rattie as No. 1 right wing. I have been impressed with him over the first three games. Offense at 5-on-5 is shy (1.37 per 60) but we’re talking about 44 minutes of action. I like him on the McDavid line because he doesn’t let the play die on his stick and is looking for good ice in the offensive zone. Currently has four individual HDSC’s at 5-on-5, leading the team.
  2. Kailer Yamamoto as No. 2 right wing. He’s drawing penalties but the line isn’t humming at all. He has one HDSC, and hasn’t put together a complete 60 minutes yet. His 5-on-5 Corsi is 49 percent, his shot differential 39 percent. It isn’t all on him but he’s the most likely man on the line to be replaced. I think he might benefit from being sent to Bakersfield and coming back when the team has figured itself out.
  3. Jesse Puljujarvi as No. 3 right wing. He has good possession and goal differential numbers (both over 54 percent), but no points and just three shots on goal. He looked better in the New York game, still plenty of track left. A power-play opportunity wouldn’t go amiss.
  4. Tobias Rieder as Fernando Pisani. I have liked his checking, he needs to cash his opportunities offensively. He is also a part of the penalty kill, Oilers badly need that group to post strong numbers on the 4-on-5. It isn’t happening in the first three games.
  5. Matt Benning as 2RHD. It has been a decidedly rocky start but I still think Benning is the best option on the roster. It was two games. That said, we’re looking for answers and so far this bet isn’t trending well.
  6. Evan Bouchard as 3RHD. It’s actually working very well in terms of possession (53.45 Corsi for 5-on-5) and goal differential (50 percent). He makes rookie mistakes but you can see him improving seemingly with each shift. He is going to be a very good NHL player.
  7. Mikko Koskinen as 2G. Too soon to know.

The article drills down on the current roster and suggests names Dano could replace plus the roster movements that allow the team to grab him today. Edmonton isn’t first in line for claim so may not get the chance. However, if they pass on Dano, it’s my belief it will be an opportunity missed.

NEW LINES AND PAIRINGS

The second line and second pairing isn’t working. Marko Dano might get plucked off waivers today. Those things understood, here’s my suggestion.

  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins—Connor McDavid—Ty Rattie
  • Marko Dano—Leon Draisaitl—Jesse Puljujarvi
  • Milan Lucic—Ryan Strome—Tobias Rieder
  • Jujhar Khaira—Kyle Brodziak—Zack Kassian
  • Drake Caggiula, Alex Chiasson
  • Oscar Klefbom—Adam Larsson
  • Darnell Nurse—Matt Benning
  • Kris Russell—Evan Bouchard
  • Cam Talbot (Mikko Koskinen)

I placed Dano with Leon and JP, but the truth is you could run Rieder and Khaira. I would like to see two weeks of Leon without Milan Lucic. It isn’t because I dislike ML, as you may know I’m a fan of this player. It’s because Draisaitl is too important a player to have him fail, and right now his numbers are alarming. Here are the metrics year over year in some important areas (this year in brackets):

  • 5-on-5 points per 60: 2.29 (1.42)
  • 5-on-5 shots per 60: 6.98 (4.25)
  • 5-on-5 individual HDSC: 3.09 (1.42)
  • 5-on-5 individual takeaways: 3.41 (1.42)
  • 5-on-5 Corsi for percentage: 52.26 (43.08)
  • 5-on-5 shots for percentage: 53.38 (37.50)
  • 5-on-5 goals for percentage: 49.17 (25.00)

It’s early, too early to make this a big issue (just 42 minutes) but by math and by eye, the Draisaitl line isn’t working well. It is a growing concern.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN1260, we hit the ground running. Either Marko Dano is chosen on waivers or the Oilers passed on him, either one is a story worth discussing. Scheduled to appear:

  • Murat Ates, The Athletic Winnipeg. We’ll chat about Dano, Laurent Brossoit’s incredible game for the Jets last night and the Oilers-Jets clash on Tuesday.
  • Cameron DaSilva, Rams Wire. The Los Angeles Rams are 6-0! Is this their year?
  • Jason Gregor, TSN1260. A big weekend for Edmonton fans, as both the Oilers and Eskimos won important games. We’ll chat about the week to come for both clubs.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!

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149 Responses to "180 by Summer"

  1. OriginalPouzar says:

    I also think that Rattie has looked better than his boxcars suggest. He has been a part of the offence and not just a passenger. He looks to get McDavid the puck in the neutral zone with speed (which isn’t easy as its a clear focus of the opposition to take that away) and I think his skating has looked much improved as he’s getting the puck quicker and doing alright in battles. I haven’t noticed any major defensive issues. Of course, 1 point every 3 games won’t cut it on McDavid’s wing but he could cash 3 points tomorrow and be PPG.

  2. OriginalPouzar says:

    A Dano claim would/should lead to the following, in my opinion:

    – Yamamoto to Bakersfield (he’ll be back)

    – Jesse to 2RW

    – Dano to 3RW

    – Playoffs

  3. OriginalPouzar says:

    Bouchard has improved game over game and the possession numbers look good but lets not forget that the coach (McLellan/Yawney) has/have done a great job of sheltering that 3rd pairing.

    We’ve got 6 more games of rope – my thought that he would be spot started in the early going is clearly not happening (all road games and he’s played them all) which is disappointing as I thought the organization could stretch out the 9 games over a period of time to allow Bear some extra AHL development time.

    There will be outrage when Bouchard gets sent down as he’s “not the worst D man on the roster”, however, at the same time, is he pushing the needle enough to warrant burning a year of that ELC and, more importantly, to risk him not being exempt from the expansion draft? The organization is clearly not slow-playing these 9 games so we won’t know the updated verbal on potential timing of expansion by the time the decision needs to be made (I believe the next big meeting is December 7).

  4. texmex says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Marko Dano = playoffs? With our current defense?

    Until 2RD (and 1LD for that matter) is sorted out, the Oilers will continue to be an average to below average team IMO. It doesn’t matter who is up front if the D cannot get them the puck.

  5. OriginalPouzar says:

    Its awesome that Drai’s numbers are “alarming” yet he is on pace for 82 points.

    Yes, I know, that line is getting caved in possession and goal share and looks terrible in the defensive zone.

  6. Professor Q says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    A Dano claim would/should lead to the following, in my opinion:

    – Yamamoto to Bakersfield (he’ll be back)

    – Jesse to 2RW

    – Dano to 3RW

    – Playoffs

    Benson-Marody-Yamamoto?

  7. Jaxon says:

    What happened to Dano? Who did he play with during his 20-yr-old rookie season? During that season, he scored at a 50 point pace. Then his production fell off the end of the earth. Where did it go? Was there an injury? Were his teammates and opportunities in his rookie season that much better than the rest of his career so far? A 50 point pace is a pretty good 20-yr-old rookie season.

  8. Professor Q says:

    Jaxon:
    What happened to Dano? Who did he play with during his 20-yr-old rookie season? During that season, he scored at a 50 point pace. Then his production fell off the end of the earth. Where did it go? Was there an injury? Were his teammates and opportunities in his rookie season that much better than the rest of his career so far? A 50 point pace is a pretty good 20-yr-old rookie season.

    Looks like he played on The Kid Line of Alexander Wennberg and Scott Hartnell (Hartnell was considered the Father of those two in the line). Traded for Brandon Saad.

    Would open up the door for a Deutsch Line avec Draisaitl and Rieder.

  9. Dicky94 says:

    I watch a lot of Jets games and Dano would be a nice addition. Can’t see the Oil getting a chance at him.

  10. tileguy says:

    What are the cap implications claiming Dano, both short and long term? Are we just eating into the Sekera ltir? Isn’t that a bad thing if he is healthy in 4 months?

  11. Dicky94 says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    I think he is here to stay. He seems to be getting more comfortable every game. I’d like to see him on the 1st pp unit.

  12. Litke 94 says:

    Only change I make from your suggested lineup is replacing Kassian with Caggiula. I was hoping for a strong rebound year for Kassian, but haven’t seen any signs of that yet.

  13. Wilde says:

    Jaxon:
    What happened to Dano? Who did he play with during his 20-yr-old rookie season?

    NHL coaches and Alex Wenneberg, respectively.

  14. jtblack says:

    LT: RIDDLE ME THIS

    “Mikko Koskinen as 2G. Too soon to know.”

    When do we see the Backup? The way the schedule is, Todd could wait until B2B at the end of October??

  15. Wilde says:

    Litke 94:
    Only change I make from your suggested lineup is replacing Kassian with Caggiula. I was hoping for a strong rebound year for Kassian, but haven’t seen any signs of that yet.

    Same. Caggiula’s outplayed him and with their contracts it should be one or the other.

    Here’s my suggestion:

    Nuge – McDavid – Rattie

    Puljujarvi – Drai – Strome

    Lucic – Khaira – Rieder

    Caggiula – Brodziak – Chiasson

    Even if they do claim Dano, he’ll be flushed by McLellan. No skill game is to be played by role players, and the competitors are good pros. We’ve seen this movie before.

    If you’re Chiarelli, though, the play could be to claim him and use your waivers-ineligible players to maneuver the lineup and keep Dano on until McLellan is dismissed.

  16. OriginalPouzar says:

    texmex:
    OriginalPouzar,

    Marko Dano = playoffs? With our current defense?

    Until 2RD (and 1LD for that matter) is sorted out, the Oilers will continue to be an average to below average team IMO. It doesn’t matter who is up front if the D cannot get them the puck.

    There may have been a bit of a facetious tone intended in that statement.

  17. texmex says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    My apologies. I get irritated just thinking about how the D is STILL a mess 13 years after Pronger.

  18. Lowetide says:

    jtblack:
    LT: RIDDLE ME THIS

    “Mikko Koskinen as 2G. Too soon to know.”

    When do we see the Backup?The way the schedule is, Todd could wait until B2B at the end of October??

    They have to play him but they have to win more and McLellan is the coach. I’ll guess March.

  19. godot10 says:

    Lowetide: They have to play him but they have to win more and McLellan is the coach. I’ll guess March.

    Doubt Koskinen plays till the Florida road trip in November and will face Washington or Tampa which are back-to-back games. McLellan is gonna mclellan with his backup goaltender.

  20. Kaptain Vikarious says:

    Book ’em Dano.

  21. dustrock says:

    The funny thing about Puljujarvi’s possession stats as being decent is because I think that’s exactly what you get from playing with Strome.

    By eye, Strome generally gets from blueline to blueline with decent (over 50%) regularity. But I see a real lack of elite skill and finish, both for himself and setting up his teammates.

    Strome is a capable possession player but he’s not a HDSC center.

    And that’s going to affect Puljujarvi’s stats as well.

  22. flea says:

    You see a lot of other teams getting their backup a game early in the season. Good example was Winnipeg last night with LB.

    Oilers should play Koskinen on this homestand. I think Saturday night vs Nashville or Tuesday vs. Pittsburg are good options. Gives Koskinen a chance to steal a game, and if they lose, kind of expected so also insulates Talbot from a good team.

  23. leadfarmer says:

    flea:
    You see a lot of other teams getting their backup a game early in the season. Good example was Winnipeg last night with LB.

    Oilers should play Koskinen on this homestand. I think Saturday night vs Nashville or Tuesday vs. Pittsburg are good options. Gives Koskinen a chance to steal a game, and if they lose, kind of expected so also insulates Talbot from a good team.

    Teams are realizing that you should play your backup. And Ideally every third game.

  24. jtblack says:

    godot10: Doubt Koskinen plays till the Florida road trip in November and will face Washington or Tampa which are back-to-back games.McLellan is gonna mclellan with his backup goaltender.

    As a former Goalie, I can tell you this. Coaches like TMac are very hard to play for as a backup.

    He never plays his Backup, but then expects great results when he does put them in?

    if you play a Backup every 3rd or 4th game, he can get into a rythym and you can fairly evaluate him. Other than that you are setting up the Backup to Fail ..maybe another reason we haven’t had a successful one here for a while.

    I do TMac plays Koski in one of the first two home games back.

  25. dustrock says:

    Dano claimed by Colorado

  26. leadfarmer says:

    leadfarmer,

    Only teams that have only played one goalie so far are Tampa (3games) NJD (3 games and Schneider injured), Min (4 games) Edmonton (3 games) Chicago (5 games but Crawford out) and Arizona (Raanta 4 games.

    So 5 teams and 3 of them have the weird schedule thingy to start the year and 2/5 have their starter or costarter out (Schneider hasnt been good of late and is coming of surgery).
    Ideally I want my starter to play 50-55 games my backup ~25 and high prospect a couple of games

  27. OriginalPouzar says:

    Avs claim Dano which means the Oilers passed as the waiver order mirrors last year’s final standings (inverse order) for the first month.

  28. leadfarmer says:

    jtblack,

    Letting Talbot decide if he wanted to face his old team and is a nice gesture but now play Koskinen on Tuesday and every third game routinely. If he is costing you games you dont have far to point about geting you a dud backup but you cant keep feeding Talbot to the wolves every night

  29. McSorley33 says:

    Given our LW situation – I am not sure what would have been the harm in taking a look at
    Marko Dano.

  30. Oilman99 says:

    Lowetide: They have to play him but they have to win more and McLellan is the coach. I’ll guess March.

    Wins are more important than worrying about the backup at this stage. If he is a competent backup, he should be ready when called upon. Talbot is just getting comfortable after two games in two weeks to start the season, he has proved he plays better with regular work.

  31. Jaxon says:

    Wilde: NHL coaches and Alex Wenneberg, respectively.

    Professor Q: Looks like he played on The Kid Line of Alexander Wennberg and Scott Hartnell (Hartnell was considered the Father of those two in the line). Traded for Brandon Saad.

    Would open up the door for a Deutsch Line avec Draisaitl and Rieder.

    That doesn’t quite explain it.

    He only played 25% of his time with Hartnell and Wennberg (he played 23% of his time) wasn’t Wennberg, yet. Dano outscored Wennberg that year. 16% with Prout and Tyutin. He spent 10% with Anisimov but also outscored him that year. 6% Letestu, 4% Calvert, 3% Karlsson (who also wasn’t yet the star he is today), and 3% Chaput. He spent 3% with Johansen as well. The only forwards that he spent any time with and outscored him on the season were Hartnell (25%), Foligno (7%), and Johansen (3%). All numbers at 5-on-5. He had a really good season with not great linemates for most of it. When he played with Hartnell and Wennberg, they did dominate with a HDCF% of 73.47 over 154 minutes together. in 140 minutes without Dano, Hartnell and Wennberg went 50.91HDCF%. in his 164 minutes without them he went 57.14 HDCF%.

  32. Wilde says:

    Jaxon: That doesn’t quite explain it.

    Explain what?

    I think he’s got scoring talent so he scores

  33. McSorley33 says:

    Oiler Forward Trivia:

    High Danger Scoring Chances Against / per 60:

    Willing to bet – the name – pops into your head immediately.

    *Ruthlessly ripped off Woodguy’s Twitter

  34. Oilman99 says:

    dustrock:
    The funny thing about Puljujarvi’s possession stats as being decent is because I think that’s exactly what you get from playing with Strome.

    By eye, Strome generally gets from blueline to blueline with decent (over 50%) regularity.But I see a real lack of elite skill and finish, both for himself and setting up his teammates.

    Strome is a capable possession player but he’s not a HDSC center.

    And that’s going to affect Puljujarvi’s stats as well.

    This is why JP needs to be playing with a centre that drives the line, too often he is the guy entering the zone with the puck, and nobody with him to pass to. He ends up having to take a low percentage shot.

  35. tileguy says:

    Guess we don’t need the cap implications of claiming Dano, probably didn’t have the room.

  36. OriginalPouzar says:

    Professor Q: Benson-Marody-Yamamoto?

    I get excited to watch the games now and that would lead to even more excitement – We’ve seen some Tyler Vessel on that line.

    Benson/Marody off to good starts but their production has been predominately on the PP – I’d like to see that line get going at evens (they have looked good with zone time, just not cashing).

  37. OriginalPouzar says:

    tileguy:
    What are the cap implications claiming Dano, both short and long term? Are we just eating into the Sekera ltir? Isn’t that a bad thing if he is healthy in 4 months?

    Cap implications would have been none – Dano is at $800K but he’d be in replacement of a player being removed from the roster (and their cap hit gone, or a portion of of it if its a player with a cap hit of more than $1,050,000). In fact, depending on who they would have re-assigned, it could have actually reduced the daily cap hit.

  38. OriginalPouzar says:

    Dicky94:
    OriginalPouzar,

    I think he is here to stay. He seems to be getting more comfortable every game. I’d like to see him on the 1st pp unit.

    Bouchard?

    Maybe, but that’s egregious to my mind unless he starts to actually move the needle.

    At this point, we is treading water in sheltered minutes and that’s not good enough in this era to burn a year of the ELC and, in particular, to risk losing the expansion draft exemption.

  39. OriginalPouzar says:

    dustrock:
    The funny thing about Puljujarvi’s possession stats as being decent is because I think that’s exactly what you get from playing with Strome.

    By eye, Strome generally gets from blueline to blueline with decent (over 50%) regularity.But I see a real lack of elite skill and finish, both for himself and setting up his teammates.

    Strome is a capable possession player but he’s not a HDSC center.

    And that’s going to affect Puljujarvi’s stats as well.

    This is a valid point and I would say, at the same time, that is just fine for a 3C at his cost that also penalty kills. Sure, I’d like “more” but he’s doing the job he’s been given (and I do think he can provide more offence himself if moved to 1/2RW).

  40. OriginalPouzar says:

    tileguy:
    Guess we don’t need the cap implications of claiming Dano, probably didn’t have the room.

    There would have been none and it could have actually decreased our daily cap hit.

  41. John Chambers says:

    How long until Ethan Bear is ready to replace Benning?

    It’s possible that by game 40 Bouchard is ready-ish for 2nd pair leaving the 3rd pair spot open for Bear.

  42. matt says:

    Rattie looks really good.

    I don’t fully understand the collective change in performance between Yamamoto, Puljujarvi and Benning since the pre-season.

  43. leadfarmer says:

    matt:
    Rattie looks really good.

    I don’t fully understand the collective change in performance between Yamamoto, Puljujarvi and Benning since the pre-season.

    Vets give a shit. Easier competition is in lower leagues

  44. leadfarmer says:

    John Chambers:
    How long until Ethan Bear is ready to replace Benning?

    It’s possible that by game 40 Bouchard is ready-ish for 2nd pair leaving the 3rd pair spot open for Bear.

    Its really rare for 18 year old D to be able to stick on a team let alone be able to handle 2nd pairing.

  45. leadfarmer says:

    Strome is exactly the reason Corsi or Fenwick or whatever you choose to use needs a corsi to goal conversion metric attach to it. Cause Storme does a lot of the corsi but not a lot of the puck in the net. So his net Corsi rating needs to have a modifier weighting

  46. flea says:

    leadfarmer,

    Yeah not saying they should’ve played a backup in any of the first three games, or even in the next two but after that they really need to play him. This tough stretch is a good opportunity. While it’s better putting your backup in against a supposed “worse” team, playing them against a superior team isn’t a bad plan for the first start.

  47. OriginalPouzar says:

    John Chambers:
    How long until Ethan Bear is ready to replace Benning?

    It’s possible that by game 40 Bouchard is ready-ish for 2nd pair leaving the 3rd pair spot open for Bear.

    After 3 games, Bouchard isn’t really showing to be ready for true 3rd pairing minutes. He’s been heavily sheltered and really just treading water.

    Don’t get me wrong, he’s “calm” and makes some nice plays but he’s not moving the needle even in addition to being sheltered.

  48. Jaxon says:

    Wilde: Explain what?

    I think he’s got scoring talent so he scores

    Why he hasn’t really scored as well since 2014-2015.

  49. Yeti says:

    “I think he might benefit from being sent to Bakersfield and coming back when the team has figured itself out.”
    So he should be looking to buy property in Bakersfield?

  50. OriginalPouzar says:

    Oilers fans rejoice and then bitch that its Rattie and not Jesse:

    Ryan Rishaug

    Verified account

    @TSNRyanRishaug
    33s33 seconds ago
    More
    Rattie now on top PP unit. Playing right point. McDavid set up on left side. RNH net front.
    0 replies 0 retweets 1 like
    Reply

  51. OriginalPouzar says:

    No change in the lines and pairings today:

    Lines at Oilers practice:

    RNH-McDavid-Rattie
    Lucic-Draisaitl-Yamamoto
    Caggiula-Strome-Puljujarvi
    Khaira-Brodziak-Rieder
    Chiasson-Kassian

    Klefbom-Larsson
    Nurse-Russell
    Garrison-Bouchard
    Benning

  52. Ryan says:

    OriginalPouzar: Bouchard?

    Maybe, but that’s egregious to my mind unless he starts to actually move the needle.

    At this point, we is treading water in sheltered minutes and that’s not good enough in this era to burn a year of the ELC and, in particular, to risk losing the expansion draft exemption.

    +1000

  53. Woodguy v2.0 says:


    Ryan Rishaug
    ‏Verified account @TSNRyanRishaug
    17m17 minutes ago

    Rattie now on top PP unit. Playing right point. McDavid set up on left side. RNH net front.

    Don’t know who came off the 1st unit.

  54. Oilin4 says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Ryan Rishaug
    ‏Verified account @TSNRyanRishaug
    17m17 minutes ago

    Rattie now on top PP unit. Playing right point.McDavid set up on left side. RNH net front.

    Don’t know who came off the 1st unit.

    If RNH is net front, seems pretty clear who came off….

  55. Oilin4 says:

    Ryan: +1000

    +10,000

  56. Oilin4 says:

    John Chambers:
    How long until Ethan Bear is ready to replace Benning?

    It’s possible that by game 40 Bouchard is ready-ish for 2nd pair leaving the 3rd pair spot open for Bear.

    This would be an other-worldly speed of development for any player, nevertheless a D, nevertheless an 18-yo D. Victor MFing Hedman didn’t handle second pairing minutes until late in his second season.

  57. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Oilin4: If RNH is net front, seems pretty clear who came off….

    That’s the assumption, but I’d rather see confirmation of it.

  58. Oilin4 says:

    Woodguy v2.0: That’s the assumption, but I’d rather see confirmation of it.

    Fair enough. I could see (though not agree with) TMac using PP-minutes to send a message to Draisaitl.

  59. dustrock says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    No change in the lines and pairings today:

    Lines at Oilers practice:

    RNH-McDavid-Rattie
    Lucic-Draisaitl-Yamamoto
    Caggiula-Strome-Puljujarvi
    Khaira-Brodziak-Rieder
    Chiasson-Kassian

    Klefbom-Larsson
    Nurse-Russell
    Garrison-Bouchard
    Benning

    McLellan will never, ever change a lineup that won its last game.

    Even though that lineup struggled to create any sort of 5v5 or 5v4 offence against the ostensibly rebuilding Rangers.

  60. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Oilin4: Fair enough. I could see (though not agree with) TMac using PP-minutes to send a message to Draisaitl.

    You mean the Draisaitl who set up the game-winner on the powerplay last game? That Draisaitl?

  61. Alpine says:

    Rattie’s fine on PP1. They needed any right shot there.

  62. jtblack says:

    flea:
    leadfarmer,

    Yeah not saying they should’ve played a backup inany of the first three games, or even in the next two but after that they really need to play him. This tough stretch is a good opportunity. While it’s better putting your backup in against a supposed “worse” team, playing them against a superior team isn’t a bad plan for the first start.

    Babcock is playing Garrett Sparks tonight … Maybe TMac can learn that even Babs is trying to keep current …

    Backups must play and must play consistently to play well … You can’t have a guy on the bench for 1 month and then say “Go Get ’em” .. especially someone who’s new to the League. I hope Koski goes against Boston Thursday.

  63. Oilin4 says:

    Bruce McCurdy: You mean the Draisaitl who set up the game-winner on the powerplay last game? That Draisaitl?

    That Draisaitl and the Draisaitl who has been far below acceptable on defense are in fact the same Draisaitl. It can be confusing because, right now 29 looks like a top-30 NHL player when close to other teams net, but like at best a gritensity player close to his own. And that ‘set up’ was a pass into the skates that McDavid did McDavidy things to to create a goal out of. But, like I said, I don’t agree with the decision, I can just see TMac doing it.

  64. OriginalPouzar says:

    Woodguy v2.0:

    Ryan Rishaug
    ‏Verified account @TSNRyanRishaug
    17m17 minutes ago


    Rattie now on top PP unit. Playing right point.McDavid set up on left side. RNH net front.

    Don’t know who came off the 1st unit.

    Nuge was net front so it sounds like Lucic.

  65. OriginalPouzar says:

    dustrock: McLellan will never, ever change a lineup that won its last game.

    Even though that lineup struggled to create any sort of 5v5 or 5v4 offence against the ostensibly rebuilding Rangers.

    He has done so as an Oiler and received extreme vitriol for it.

  66. Ryan says:

    jtblack: Babcock is playing Garrett Sparks tonight … Maybe TMac can learn that even Babs is trying to keep current …

    Backups must play and must play consistently to play well … You can’t have a guy on the bench for 1 month and then say “Go Get ’em” .. especially someone who’s new to the League. I hope Koski goes against Boston Thursday.

    The brutal schedule that the Oilers have for this month is not easily conducive to playing a backup like Koskinen who hasn’t played in the NHL since prior to the last lockout.

    With Mclellan riding his starter during the most auspicious of times, it’s hard to imagine him getting a start until maybe Chicago as TMac’s job is on the line.

    We live in interesting times. This month won’t be dull that’s for certain.

    We’ll either be treading water or out of the playoffs by the end of the month with a bad start.

  67. OriginalPouzar says:

    jtblack: Babcock is playing Garrett Sparks tonight … Maybe TMac can learn that even Babs is trying to keep current …

    Backups must play and must play consistently to play well … You can’t have a guy on the bench for 1 month and then say “Go Get ’em” .. especially someone who’s new to the League. I hope Koski goes against Boston Thursday.

    Toronto has played 6 games in 11 days and that game will be their 7th in 13 days.

    The game tomorrow will be the Oilers’ fourth game in 12 days – Talbot is a goalie that plays better with consistent work and struggles after breaks of longer than a few days. In my opinion, Talbot must play tomorrow.

  68. jtblack says:

    Ryan: The brutal schedule that the Oilers have for this month is not easily conducive to playing a backup like Koskinen who hasn’t played in the NHL since prior to the last lockout.

    With Mclellan riding his starter during the most auspicious of times, it’s hard to imagine him getting a start until maybe Chicago as TMac’s job is on the line.

    We live in interesting times. This month won’t be dull that’s for certain.

    We’ll either be treading water or out of the playoffs by the end of the month with a bad start.

    true dat. easy for me to say “PLAY THE BACK UP” ..But it’s not my job on the line …

    So you are predicting more 24 minute nights for McDavid and a steady dose of Talbot 🙂 #JobOnLine

  69. OriginalPouzar says:

    Jack Michaels

    Verified account

    @EdmontonJack
    2m2 minutes ago
    More
    Talbot starts at Winnipeg tomorrow. McLellan says Koskinen will get a start “soon.”

  70. who says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Avs claim Dano which means the Oilers passed as the waiver order mirrors last year’s final standings (inverse order) for the first month.

    That’s a shame.
    The Oilers may have missed the boat here. Pretty sure Dano would crack our top 12 forwards.

  71. texmex says:

    Ryan Rishaug

    Verified account

    @TSNRyanRishaug
    44s45 seconds ago
    More
    Clarification on earlier tweet. McLellan says they weren’t working on their own PP, they were simulating Winnipeg’s PP, and that’s why there was a different look with Rattie

    As you were- 5L

  72. OriginalPouzar says:

    Back on the ledge:

    Ryan Rishaug

    Verified account

    @TSNRyanRishaug
    33s34 seconds ago
    More
    Clarification on earlier tweet. McLellan says they weren’t working on their own PP, they were simulating Winnipeg’s PP, and that’s why there was a different look with Rattie

  73. Ryan says:

    I was thinking about the Oilers d to d passing in their zone yesterday. I spend a good five minutes reading about different forecheck systems (had mixed luck finding good free sources). Hopefully, Wilde or some others can fill in the gaps and let me know if I’m completely out to lunch. Well, it is lunch time at least.

    It strikes me that the reason for the d to d passing (that we complain about) is simple.

    May teams are using the 2 1 2 forecheck against us. With that forecheck, opposing teams have the option to stack (overload the puck retriever, D1) or spread (block the pass to the other Oilers, D2).

    In the case of the Oilers, all of our top two pairings have the same issue. i.e. only one player who can reliably either make an outlet pass or skate the puck out.

    With Kelfbomb and Larsson, Klefbomb is often the D1 and if you’re the opposing team, you don’t want to block the pass to Larsson who is neither a good skater or puck mover. As a consequence, the opposing team are stacking on the d1 forcing the pass to d2.

    With Nurse and Benning (I didn’t see the last game), Nurse is usually D1 since he’s a better skater. Benning is neither a great skater nor excellent at making the outlet pass. Like above, opposing teams would stack on Nurse forcing a pass to Benning.

    With Russell on a pairing depending on who he’s with, he usually goes d to d, resets, or off the glass and out.

    If you’re the opposing team and you can force a pass to Russell, Benning, or Larsson, that strikes me as a good strategy.

  74. Jethro Tull says:

    Woodguy v2.0:

    Ryan Rishaug
    ‏Verified account @TSNRyanRishaug
    17m17 minutes ago


    Rattie now on top PP unit. Playing right point.McDavid set up on left side. RNH net front.

    Don’t know who came off the 1st unit.

    Marko Dano.

  75. Ribs says:

    The power play is so good that they’ve started working on other team’s power plays!

  76. jtblack says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Back on the ledge:

    Ryan Rishaug

    Verified account

    @TSNRyanRishaug33s34 seconds ago
    More
    Clarification on earlier tweet.McLellan says they weren’t working on their own PP, they were simulating Winnipeg’s PP, and that’s why there was a different look with Rattie

    Can just see TMac now ….. “OK guys, we need to simulate a good Power Play … so take our regular #1 unit off …. Let’s try and put players in place like a WPG PP .. ”

    Anyway, WPG has the 4R 1L going .. they also have ridiculous skill going on their PP at all 5 positions ..

  77. flea says:

    Ryan,

    I still think they have to give Koskinen a start. No way they give him the home opener, but any of the rest of the games in that homestand would be appropriate.

    Can’t ice a backup for a month and expect them to play well. They need to give him 2-3 starts a month.

  78. jtblack says:

    2017-2018 TOP POWERPLAYS

    1 PITT 68 260 26.2%
    2 T.B. 66 276 23.9%
    3 COL 65 296 22.0%
    4 WPG 64 274 23.4%
    5 BOS 61 259 23.6%

    Regardless of “handedness” all of these PP’s have ridiculous skill … BUT

    PITT – KESSEL on RH halfwall
    T.B. – STAMKOS on RH halfwall
    COL – MacKINNON on RH halfwall
    WPG – LAINE on RH halfwall
    BOS – PASTRNAK on RH halfwall

    See a pattern??

  79. Ryan says:

    flea:
    Ryan,

    I still think they have to give Koskinen a start. No way they give him the home opener, but any of the rest of the games in that homestand would be appropriate.

    Can’t ice a backup for a month and expect them to play well. They need to give him 2-3 starts a month.

    Yeah, I agree that the Oilers need a backup whom they trust and can play more. I’m not sure that koskinen is the right goalie.

    I was just predicting what Mclellan will do. He has a long history of riding his starter. IIRC it was a complaint of his in San Jose.

  80. blainer says:

    I am expecting the Oilers to get hammered tomorrow night. This team and its special teams coupled with their deployment will be a mess against a big fast team like the Jets IMO.

    It could be the type of loss that gets the coach fired.. something like 7-0 or 8-1 unless Tabs pulls out a miracle game or Helly has a really bad game which I hope happens..

    They were very lucky to come out of the last game with a win thanks to some posts.. plus Garrison and Bouchard gave up a few passes right onto the stick of the rangers and were damn lucky they didn’t cash.

    The reffing also went our way for a change..

    The Jets are not the Rangers.. Could be ugly but I am hoping for the best !!

  81. pts2pndr says:

    leadfarmer: Vets give a shit.Easier competition is in lower leagues

    Just my opinion but this is an over simplification! Difficult for skill to come out when players are afraid to make mistakes! Rookies and younger unestablished players feel the heat the most!

  82. flea says:

    blainer,

    Yeah I watched a little of the Carolina Winnipeg game, very fast, defence was a little suspect from both sides. Winnipeg will likely want a lock down effort.

    Hopefully the Oilers are feeling more confident, they are going to need to bring it against the Jets.

    And watching the Winnipeg powerplay made me think how the Oilers need to incorporate more 1 touch passes. That really gets teams scrambling.

    Too much thinking going on the Oilers side right now. They need to play instinctively to be successful. Hopefully they are feeling more rested and confident. This season start kinda iced their team a bit, IMO. The rust should be off now.

  83. Richard S.S. says:

    Adam Larsson is the closest thing to a #1 RD the Oilers have right now. His Contract runs for three more years after which he needs a new one. Or someone better takes his place. Evan Bouchard is the only Oiler in the entire system who might be that good. As long as he’s progressing steadily let him play, he’s the Oilers’ 4th best D right now.

  84. blainer says:

    flea:
    blainer,

    Yeah I watched a little of the Carolina Winnipeg game, very fast, defence was a little suspect from both sides. Winnipeg will likely want a lock down effort.

    Hopefully the Oilers are feeling more confident, they are going to need to bring it against the Jets.

    And watching the Winnipeg powerplay made me think how the Oilers need to incorporate more 1 touch passes. That really gets teams scrambling.

    Too much thinking going on the Oilers side right now. They need to play instinctively to be successful. Hopefully they are feeling more rested and confident. This season start kinda iced their team a bit, IMO. The rust should be off now.

    Well said.. A Rt shot sure would be nice on that 1st PP..

  85. OriginalPouzar says:

    Question: “What can Jesse Puljujarvi do to get more ice time or move up in the lineup?”

    Coach: “Jesse is already pretty far up in the lineup. He’s doing some good things there so we’ll keep him there.”.

  86. Wilde says:

    The McLellan avail today got pretty spicy.

  87. OriginalPouzar says:

    Also, Coach seemed pretty darn annoyed when asked about the PP and Rattie on the 1st unit.

  88. McSorley33 says:

    Wilde,

    Explain..

  89. Pescador says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Back on the ledge:

    Ryan Rishaug

    Verified account

    @TSNRyanRishaug33s34 seconds ago
    More
    Clarification on earlier tweet.McLellan says they weren’t working on their own PP, they were simulating Winnipeg’s PP, and that’s why there was a different look with Rattie

    Ryan Rishaug

    unVerified account

    @TSNRyanRishaug33s34 seconds ago
    More
    Jets simulated PP scored twice in #Oilers 2 min practice drill,
    Oilers #5L PP shut out.
    #sucksmy
    #balls

  90. OriginalPouzar says:

    Richard S.S.:
    Adam Larsson is the closest thing to a #1 RD the Oilers have right now.His Contract runs for three more years after which he needs a new one.Or someone better takes his place.Evan Bouchard is the only Oiler in the entire system who might be that good.As long as he’s progressing steadily let him play, he’s the Oilers’ 4th best D right now.

    He isn’t “playing that well” in my opinion and there its very questionable that he’s the team’s 4th best D right now. He has received extremely sheltered minutes, almost impossible to shelter him more on the road and he’s treading water, not excelling, not moving the needle, etc.

    I very much like Bouchard but I believe plus play from his is being over-stated.

    Also managing a roster, in the cap world, in the expansion draft world, etc., is more complicated that “he’s the 4th best D right now” given that’s a highly arguable statement and more of a statement about the D itself than than his play.

    Having young high end players outperform their cap hits during their ELC is essential to success.

  91. jtblack says:

    another PP idea. On home ice if I am TMAC, I start PP2 consisting of Bouchard, JP, 2 randoms and McDavid …. Hopefully the road team has their top D guys out ….

    then after 30 – 50 seconds, I get the #1 unit on (and Keep Connor on) and try and capitalize on a tired #1PK or the #2 PK unit .. I know that’s not new thinking, but TMac never seems to do this …

  92. leadfarmer says:

    pts2pndr: Just my opinion but this is an over simplification! Difficult for skill to come out when players are afraid to make mistakes! Rookies and younger unestablished players feel the heat the most!

    History is full of players that destroyed the preseason and then disappeared when season started

  93. Jethro Tull says:

    Pescador: Ryan Rishaug

    unVerified account

    @TSNRyanRishaug33s34 seconds ago
    More
    Jets simulated PK scored twice in #Oilers 2 min practice drill,
    Oilers #5L PP shut out.
    #sucksmy
    #balls

    FIFY

  94. Jethro Tull says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Also, Coach seemed pretty darn annoyed when asked about the PP and Rattie on the 1st unit.

    If one doesn’t want to be asked “For why are you doing this crazy thing?”, then one mustn’t do said crazy thing.

  95. Wilde says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Just text doesn’t do this back and forth justice.

    After the question was asked – clearly spoken and concise – McLellan pauses, repeats the question with a curious inflection, as if he’d never thought about it before and provokes the asker to pointlessly restate a perfectly reasonable query.

    Then of course the dishonest answer. Todd McLellan plays a hard top-six and he knows it. I think I’ve literally heard him refer to the 3rd line as “lower in the lineup” before, in the interview where he admitted Ryan Strome was “brought in the fill the net”. Said something about playing Strome playing lower in the lineup/lesser role and penalty killing.

    The repeat-question move irks me, because I’ve known more than a few mean-spirited people managers to use it more than a few times – particularly male bosses to female employees.

  96. Wilde says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Also, Coach seemed pretty darn annoyed when asked about the PP and Rattie on the 1st unit.

    It was because he caught the asker with incorrect information, a gotcha. Green light to bare the fangs, so he did.

  97. Rube Foster says:

    I am growing resigned to the apparent fact that Mclellan is committed to Lucic being Leon’s left-winger.

    My preference is for Lucic to play on the third line and give Leon any combo of Pulju, Reider, Yammo or Strome. My belief is that we’ll see a better version of Lucic if he is playing against third line competition. Unfortunately, the coach is stubborn and barring a miracle or a 40 game goalless draught that’s not going to happen.

    Fact – Our stubborn coach has a well established habit of shortening the bench when we trail by two goals in the third period.

    What I am holding out hope for is that next time we’re down by two goals with 15 minutes left in the third period, rather than his current habit of loading up one line with McDavid, Nuge & Leon and following that up with a line full of… not much.

    I would like to see Todd shorten the bench to Nuge, McDavid, Rattie & then load up the second line to be Pulju, Leon and Strome. At the very least that might give us a chance to play some fast dynamic hockey and give us bit of a one, two punch, rather than the Connor or Nothing approach he seems to favour when he shortens the bench. Maybe then we can see how Leon performs as a center with some faster skilled wingers.

    #FreeLeon

  98. Richard S.S. says:

    OriginalPouzar: He isn’t “playing that well” in my opinion and there its very questionable that he’s the team’s 4th best D right now. He has received extremely sheltered minutes, almost impossible to shelter him more on the road and he’s treading water, not excelling, not moving the needle, etc.

    I very much like Bouchard but I believe plus play from his is being over-stated.

    Also managing a roster, in the cap world, in the expansion draft world, etc., is more complicated that “he’s the 4th best D right now” given that’s a highly arguable statement and more of a statement about the D itself than than his play.

    Having young high end players outperform their cap hits during their ELC is essential to success.

    There is a difference between treading water and getting caved. I think he’s getting better.
    Lowetide said, “6 Evan Bouchard as 3 RHD. It’s actually working very well in terms of possession (53.45 Corsi for 5-on-5) and goal differential (50 percent). He makes rookie mistakes but you can see him improving seemingly with each shift. He is going to be a very good NHL player.”
    I think he possibly agrees.

    Winning is everything and the Expansion Draft is at least two years away, possibly three. Many things could happen between now and then. Trying to protect everyone possible might and probably will cost wins. Not winning enough gets Players traded and People fired.

  99. --hudson-- says:

    Wilde:
    OriginalPouzar,

    Just text doesn’t do this back and forth justice.

    After the question was asked – clearly spoken and concise – McLellan pauses, repeats the question with a curious inflection, as if he’d never thought about it before and provokes the asker to pointlessly restate a perfectly reasonable query.

    Then of course the dishonest answer. Todd McLellan plays a hard top-six and he knows it. I think I’ve literally heard him refer to the 3rd line as “lower in the lineup” before, in the interview where he admitted Ryan Strome was “brought in the fill the net”. Said something about playing Strome playing lower in the lineup/lesser role and penalty killing.

    The repeat-question move irks me, because I’ve known more than a few mean-spirited people managers to use it more than a few times – particularly male bosses to female employees.

    Wow Todd normally doesn’t lose his composure and to see it twice is odd. Pressure is on.

    Here’s the Jesse question: https://youtu.be/C19frWmdmTA?t=339
    The Rattie/powerplay one is at 7:46 for those who don’t have time to listen to the whole thing.

  100. pts2pndr says:

    leadfarmer: History is full of players that destroyed the preseason and then disappeared when season started

    History also has a long list of mediocre coaches!

  101. barry.moore23 says:

    I don’t think TMac likes Jesse. Damn.

  102. OriginalPouzar says:

    Richard S.S.: There is a difference between treading water and getting caved.I think he’s getting better.
    Lowetide said, “6 Evan Bouchard as 3 RHD. It’s actually working very well in terms of possession (53.45 Corsi for 5-on-5) and goal differential (50 percent). He makes rookie mistakes but you can see him improving seemingly with each shift. He is going to be a very good NHL player.”
    I think he possiblyagrees.

    Winning is everything and the Expansion Draft is at least two years away, possibly three.Many things could happen between now and then. Trying to protect everyone possible might and probably will cost wins.Not winning enough gets Players traded and People fired.

    Of course there is a difference between “treading water” and “getting caved”, which is why I said treading water. Those advance numbers are not all that impressive given the very sheltered minutes he’s received.

    I just went and checked and saw that his three most common forwards are our 2nd line – I can’t prove cause and effect but I’m wondering if their high ice time with our 3rd pairing and Bouchard is a material reason why they’ve been stuck in their own end so much.

    Anyways, that’s besides the point. You are right, the goal is winning, very much the primary goal, however, I’m not so sure that Bouchard is really helping this team win over the next option right now which is Matt Benning – he’s definitely not improving the chance to win in a material manner. Further, there is a player with a similar skillset to Bouchard that is more polished defensively and had a better camp – Ethan Bear. If its truly only about winning and nothing else matters, Bear should be in the lineup over Bouchard.

    Also, while I agree that its “about winning”, I would go farther and say its about “winning cups” and that includes looking past the very next game and often a year or two or even three or four away. Winning cups generally requires the team to have value contracts, often ELCs where the young high end players are outperforming their cap hit. Given the Oilers cap structure, there will be imperative. Bouchard is not providing a big value contract right now but he definitely has the ability to do so throughout his ELC – burning a year of that ELC giving his current effect on winning would be egregious in my opinion.

    Lastly, 100% management needs to be thinking about the expansion draft. The Oilers are going to lose a MUCH better player this time – currently someone like Puljujuravi or Yamamto would be exposes. Given the potential for expansion to be delayed a year, given his current level of play, it would be a fireable offence to have Bouchard vest a year of pro and lose his exempt status.

  103. Munny says:

    LT,

    I really like this section, the HOW ARE THINGS GOING SO FAR?.

    I think you nailed the seasonal issues, and I’m guessing from your set-up that you are planning to run it every couple of weeks or every month?

    If not, please do, and maybe include the answers from the previous review to update/examine progress, if that’s possible.

    Terrific idea and breakdown, LT, very nice work. *tips hat*

  104. Lowetide says:

    Munny:
    LT,

    I really like this section, the HOW ARE THINGS GOING SO FAR?.

    I think you nailed the seasonal issues, and I’m guessing from your set-up that you are planning to run it every couple of weeks or every month?

    If not, please do, and maybe include the answers from the previous review to update/examine progress, if that’s possible.

    That’s the plan, but I might forget so keep reminding me! 🙂

  105. Ryan says:

    Rube Foster,

    Many of us would like to see Lucic moved to the 3rd line.

    However, there’s some evidence that WG mentioned indicating that Mclellan has a mandate to play Lucic in a position that’s conducive to trading him at some point in the near future. I.e. 2nd line / 1st PP.

  106. Ryan says:

    pts2pndr: History also has a long list of mediocre coaches!

    Yes, but how many of those mediocre coaches are thoroughly mediocre?

  107. pts2pndr says:

    flea:
    Ryan,

    I still think they have to give Koskinen a start. No way they give him the home opener, but any of the rest of the games in that homestand would be appropriate.

    Can’t ice a backup for a month and expect them to play well. They need to give him 2-3 starts a month.

    The right play might be to send hom down to the ahl for a game or two and then bring him back up.

  108. Richard Roma says:

    Richard S.S.: There is a difference between treading water and getting caved.I think he’s getting better.
    Lowetide said, “6 Evan Bouchard as 3 RHD. It’s actually working very well in terms of possession (53.45 Corsi for 5-on-5) and goal differential (50 percent). He makes rookie mistakes but you can see him improving seemingly with each shift. He is going to be a very good NHL player.”
    I think he possiblyagrees.

    Winning is everything and the Expansion Draft is at least two years away, possibly three.Many things could happen between now and then. Trying to protect everyone possible might and probably will cost wins.Not winning enough gets Players traded and People fired.

    I think being conscientious of a players contract status and the looming expansion draft is just good business.

    If the Oilers started the season like a house on fire and Bouchard was a scoring chance machine, there’d be an argument to make…

    However, to say that this squad does not look poised for greatness this up coming season would be an understatement.

    I do like Bouchard, but rushing a defenseman to the NHL is not a good idea.

    Bouchard is currently last on the team for both SCF/60 and SCF% by stat trick. His calling card is generating offense. We’re not seeing it yet.

    The other thing you see is these really young guys getting blown up or injured playing at this age.

  109. jtblack says:

    The 5R just struck in Smashville !

  110. jtblack says:

    someone on here (no names) said Detroit would be junk this year with no Zetty. So far so good.

  111. Richard Roma says:

    pts2pndr: The right play might be to send hom down to the ahl for a game or two and then bring him back up.

    That’s not a bad idea if he’d agree to it. Only problem is that if you bring Montoya up again, you could lose him on waivers when Koskinen’s ready if they’re worried about that…

  112. workaroundaccount says:

    The problem with Jess is that for whatever reason he falls into the category od Oiler player that has to play with dregs after 1 mistake, and gets absolutely no leash when successful. I don’t know what criteria leads to the org putting people in this category, but it is death every time. Paajarvi, Yakupov, Lander,etc.

  113. Richard Roma says:

    workaroundaccount:
    The problem with Jess is that for whatever reason he falls into the category od Oiler player that has to play with dregs after 1 mistake, and gets absolutely no leash when successful. I don’t know what criteria leads to the org putting people in this category, but it is death every time. Paajarvi, Yakupov, Lander,etc.

    What was the workaround for?

    That wasn’t Landers problem he was played for a full season on the fourth line learning how not to create offense.

  114. workaroundaccount says:

    Wilde:
    OriginalPouzar,

    Just text doesn’t do this back and forth justice.

    After the question was asked – clearly spoken and concise – McLellan pauses, repeats the question with a curious inflection, as if he’d never thought about it before and provokes the asker to pointlessly restate a perfectly reasonable query.

    Then of course the dishonest answer. Todd McLellan plays a hard top-six and he knows it. I think I’ve literally heard him refer to the 3rd line as “lower in the lineup” before, in the interview where he admitted Ryan Strome was “brought in the fill the net”. Said something about playing Strome playing lower in the lineup/lesser role and penalty killing.

    The repeat-question move irks me, because I’ve known more than a few mean-spirited people managers to use it more than a few times – particularly male bosses to female employees.

    Like Cam Newton?

  115. Bling says:

    barry.moore23:
    I don’t think TMac likes Jesse. Damn.

    I watched the video, but I didn’t get that impression.

    Todd can be pretty blunt sometimes, but the truth is that he’s technically correct. Third line RW is not the worst place to be as a 20 year old. The problem is depth. Strome doesn’t seem to have much of a clue in the offensive zone any more and Caggs/Khaira are tweeners.

    I read that comment as Todd being more pissed about the forward depth than he is with Puljujarvi.

  116. pts2pndr says:

    Richard Roma: That’s not a bad idea if he’d agree to it. Only problem is that if you bring Montoya up again, you could lose him on waivers when Koskinen’s ready if they’re worried about that…

    I was thinking Starrett with Montoya brought up only in the event of an injury to Talbot. It would only be for the weekend and with no time zone change should work out quite well. Seems to make more sense than playing him in a nhl game with a long layoff. Goes with puting your players in a position to succeed!

  117. OriginalPouzar says:

    Richard Roma: That’s not a bad idea if he’d agree to it. Only problem is that if you bring Montoya up again, you could lose him on waivers when Koskinen’s ready if they’re worried about that…

    Montoya would only need to clear waivers again if he’s spent 30 days on the NHL roster (cumulative).

  118. OriginalPouzar says:

    I read posts day in and day out about Jesse’s ice time being cut and his being relegated to “play with slugs” on the fourth line after making any mistake but that has not been the case at all this year.

  119. Lowetide says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    I read posts day in and day out about Jesse’s ice time being cut and his being relegated to “play with slugs” on the fourth line after making any mistake but that has not been the case at all this year.

    I haven’t seen anyone mention fourth line on here. Might have missed it.

  120. SVR says:

    OriginalPouzar: Montoya would only need to clear waivers again if he’s spent 30 days on the NHL roster (cumulative).

    I like the idea. Montoya has been fairly solid in Bakersfield so could work out well to get Koskinen some game action while Montoya could step in if something happens to Talbot. I bet they don’t do it. Because Oilers.

  121. Richard Roma says:

    OriginalPouzar: Montoya would only need to clear waivers again if he’s spent 30 days on the NHL roster (cumulative).

    Thanks. Well then all we need is Koskinen to agree to it. Not sure he would unless he plays a few bad games at the NHL level.

  122. Richard Roma says:

    Lowetide: I haven’t seen anyone mention fourth line on here. Might have missed it.

    Workaround just used the verbiage, “dregs” which would sort of imply fourth line.

  123. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lowetide: I haven’t seen anyone mention fourth line on here. Might have missed it.

    He’s been starting each game on the 3rd line so wouldn’t relegating to playing with slugs after making a mistake imply the fourth line?

  124. Dominoiler says:

    Terrific article, thanks LT.. i think you did a great job of focusing on the big bets and potential holes in the roster.. agreed, that whole right side is still (Still!) littered w question marks, Benning as a 2RD is a big ask of him, only insurance is Russell.. Yamamoto doesn’t seem ready, caught in the same lucic vortex as drai.. that whole second line just isn’t working, there isn’t any coverage for Rattie or Yamamoto unless they finally play pulju up the line up.. the oilers still have issues on the wings.. and drai plays against tougher competition, where is his support?.. a rookie and a boat anchor, jeez..

    I’m being fairly negative, esp w lucic, but I’ve got some hope for lucic, Drai, pulju.. saw them good last year, very big line, wore the comp down when cycling in the o zone.. not sure what their fancys were, tho.. and yeah, LT, keep saying it into the mic, hopefully TMac hears, put Pulju on the GD #1 Powerplay already, does he have a quick enough shot to score from the schieffle spot?..

  125. Scungilli Slushy says:

    If Katz is turning up the heat, he needs to have a look in the mirror.

    The team is again so tight players can’t play IMO. Babcock is a grumpy glarer on the bench, but somehow he gets his teams to play well, as much as they can.

    Here in Oilerland we see stubborness in lines, grumpiness and the same results as always. Two great assistants hired and a ‘buddy’. Still they do exactly what they did, and players don’t play to their strengths or their best. Zero creativity in combinations, Lucic excepted. But not really, they should be trying to get him a C that he can score with, and Drai is not that.

    I have no idea the politics above the ice, but it seems messed up as always. Is it possible Stevie Y has reclused himself for the Oilers? Likely not.

    It ‘feels’ like a whole bunch of fingers need to be pulled out of the pie. Straight forward decisions and accountability. And likely a more motivational HC.

    Babcock is a one off, old school coaches and winning are a thing of the past, as old school players are. Babs also has immense off ice skills that I get the impression aren’t easily replicated. I base this opinion on an article and other reading on how he handled Datsyuk, who while a fantastic player needed a lot of one on one, and Babcock made it work.

    Perhaps McLellan doesn’t have that team building aspect while being a seeming curmudgeon. I don’t know. Bowman made it work, others haven’t for long like Keenan.

    What I do know is the Oilers play uptight with no flow and players outside of those (him) that do everything they can despite circumstance don’t play to their potential for long.

    This roster isn’t as bad as the team play is.

  126. €√¥£€^$ says:

    Wilde: Explain what?

    I think he’s got scoring talent so he scores

    Oilers acquiring/signing players like Rattie and Dano are the kind of small bets I am expecting this team to be consistently making for the next decade. Due of course to the team having to deal with salary cap constraints. It sure would be nice for not-yet fully formed pros like Yamamoto to be playing in Bakersfield right now.

  127. barry.moore23 says:

    Bling,

    Yeah, you make a good point. Ugh, it’s all so confusing. 😊

  128. Richard S.S. says:

    The Hockey News has a nice article on Ryan McLeod for those interested and signed into google on their favorite device.

  129. €√¥£€^$ says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Oilers fans rejoice and then bitch that its Rattie and not Jesse:

    Ryan Rishaug

    Verified account

    @TSNRyanRishaug33s33 seconds ago
    More
    Rattie now on top PP unit. Playing right point.McDavid set up on left side. RNH net front.
    0 replies 0 retweets 1 like
    Reply

    Good to see at least some kind of change on the PP.

  130. OriginalPouzar says:

    I read that earlier – we (I) knew most of it – lots of ice, offensive leader, taking a ton of faceoffs and doing well, however, what I didn’t appreciate prior to reading it is that he’s been doing this while being hard-matched against the opposition top lines.

  131. workaroundaccount says:

    Richard Roma: Workaround just used the verbiage, “dregs” which would sort of imply fourth line.

    The Oilers have 3 top 6 fwds and JP is playing with none of them. Everyone else on this roster is a plug. Third vs. Fourth line is a pretty moot point, but don’t jump to conclusions. If I say I live in a craphole, that is different than saying I live in Calgary.

  132. kgo says:

    What if the transatlantic flights, and visiting Germany in Oktober, has had some effect on the boys physically….I haven’t seen any evidence yet, but if the legs get a bit lighter and passes start to click as they settle into the schedule..

    We all know the best teacher is to face the best competition, perhaps the trial by fire that is the next 6 games will help forge this team into the playoff contender we’re all praying for….optimistic I know.

  133. Richard S.S. says:

    I think the Oilers like Jesse Puljujarvi’s game a lot more than they like the line he skates on. I also think this is a test of him, but especially of that line. I think there a lot more going on with a lot of Player than we understand. I expect there will be a point late in the home stand when decisions get made on who plays where. I can’t see it running longer than that.

  134. Pescador says:

    kgo:

    We all know the best teacher is to face the best competition.

    We do?
    That is very much up for debate,
    Sometime the NHL’s best competition will shut down the hottest of prospects,
    Lack of success is a confidence killer

  135. kgo says:

    Pescador,

    We do, not just in the NHL, not just in hockey, but in all aspects of competition, nothing will teach you faster then competing against the best…I guess the caveat, as you say, would be that your confidence hasn’t been shattered in the process.

  136. Decidedly Skeptical Fan says:

    OriginalPouzar: He’s been starting each game on the 3rd line so wouldn’t relegating to playing with slugs after making a mistake imply the fourth line?

    Insufficient information to draw a conclusion. What line would Lucic be playing on … 2nd or 4th?

  137. Dominoiler says:

    “We all know the best teacher is to face the best competition.”

    Growing into a role is assisted by mentorship and being placed in a position to succeed.. being fed to the wolves only works for those few that can survive it.. facing that toughest competition isn’t the best teacher if you’re getting destroyed and the coaching staff isn’t able to react optimally in teachable moments, so this above statement needs to be tempered to recognise that context plays a role..

    ……….

    Side digression, i wonder how underrated Glen Sather’s role was with the 80’s oilers.. the little I’ve read alluded to how much he expected of his players, while pushing them to be good people off the ice too.. not sure how accurate that is, I’d love to hear Bruce and LT discuss it sometime, but i wonder how critical his role was as a ‘teacher’ (leader) for those teams.. facing the toughest competition with a great teacher must be more advantageous than going it alone without one..

  138. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Dominoiler:
    “We all know the best teacher is to face the best competition.”

    Growing into a role is assisted by mentorship and being placed in a position to succeed.. being fed to the wolves only works for those few that can survive it.. facing that toughest competition isn’t the best teacher if you’re getting destroyed and the coaching staff isn’t able to react optimally in teachable moments, so this above statement needs to be tempered to recognise that context plays a role..

    ……….

    Side digression, i wonder how underrated Glen Sather’s role was with the 80’s oilers.. the little I’ve read alluded to how much he expected of his players, while pushing them to be good people off the ice too.. not sure how accurate that is, I’d love to hear Bruce and LT discuss it sometime, but i wonder how critical his role was as a ‘teacher’ (leader) for those teams.. facing the toughest competition with a great teacher must be more advantageous than going it alone without one..

    Gretzky
    Coffey

    In that order only two had exceptional abilities. The fact that the others became elite players IMO certainly had to do with Sather.

    The latent ability was there. As it is now with many teams, with these Oilers. The trick is in putting it all together and actualizing what players can do.

    If it was easy everyone would do it. What is an advantage is having players like Wayne and Connor. A massive head start.

  139. €√¥£€^$ says:

    Richard Roma: I think being conscientious of a players contract status and the looming expansion draft is just good business.

    If the Oilers started the season like a house on fire and Bouchard was a scoring chance machine, there’d be an argument to make…

    However, to say that this squad does not look poised for greatness this up coming season would be an understatement.

    I do like Bouchard, but rushing a defenseman to the NHL is not a good idea.

    Bouchard is currently last on the team for both SCF/60 and SCF% by stat trick. His calling card is generating offense. We’re not seeing it yet.

    The other thing you see is these really young guys getting blown up or injured playing at this age.

    +1000

  140. GMB3 says:

    leadfarmer:
    Strome is exactly the reason Corsi or Fenwick or whatever you choose to use needs a corsi to goal conversion metric attach to it.Cause Storme does a lot of the corsi but not a lot of the puck in the net.So his net Corsi rating needs to have a modifier weighting

    Or you just use more than one stream of information to generate an opinion about the player.

  141. JimmyV1965 says:

    Scungilli Slushy:
    If Katz is turning up the heat, he needs to have a look in the mirror.

    The team is again so tight players can’t play IMO. Babcock is a grumpy glarer on the bench, but somehow he gets his teams to play well, as much as they can.

    Here in Oilerland we see stubborness in lines, grumpiness and the same results as always. Two great assistants hired and a ‘buddy’. Still they do exactly what they did, and players don’t play to their strengths or their best. Zero creativity in combinations, Lucic excepted. But not really, they should be trying to get him a C that he can score with, and Drai is not that.

    I have no idea the politics above the ice, but it seems messed up as always. Is it possible Stevie Y has reclused himself for the Oilers? Likely not.

    It ‘feels’ like a whole bunch of fingers need to be pulled out of the pie. Straight forward decisions and accountability. And likely a more motivational HC.

    Babcock is a one off, old school coaches and winning are a thing of the past, as old school players are. Babs also has immense off ice skills that I get the impression aren’t easily replicated. I base this opinion on an article and other reading on how he handled Datsyuk, who while a fantastic player needed a lot of one on one, and Babcock made it work.

    Perhaps McLellan doesn’t have that team building aspect while being a seeming curmudgeon. I don’t know. Bowman made it work, others haven’t for long like Keenan.

    What I do know is the Oilers play uptight with no flow and players outside of those (him) that do everything they can despite circumstance don’t play to their potential for long.

    This roster isn’t as bad as the team play is.

    I agree. This roster isn’t as bad as they have played. The team is totally tight. They don’t seem to be having fun out there. Other than a few teams at the top of the league and a few teams at the bottom, with very good and very bad rosters, the vast majority of teams in this league are very equal in roster composition. So what’s the difference? Why are the Sens and Habs playing well and winning games? We complain about our defence, but is it any worse than Ottawa’s or Montreal’s?

  142. GMB3 says:

    russ99:
    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.

    Nail Yakupov didn’t come here as an 18 year old, he played in the OHL

  143. Richard Roma says:

    JimmyV1965: I agree. This roster isn’t as bad as they have played. The team is totally tight. They don’t seem to be having fun out there. Other than a few teams at the top of the league and a few teams at the bottom, with very good and very bad rosters, the vast majority of teams in this league are very equal in roster composition. So what’s the difference? Why are the Sens and Habs playing well and winning games? We complain about our defence, but is it any worse than Ottawa’s or Montreal’s?

    It didn’t take long, but the Oilers are already getting jibed.

    https://ca.sports.yahoo.com/news/31-takes-oilers-joke-comes-true-160116419.html

  144. Professor Q says:

    Richard Roma: It didn’t take long, but the Oilers are already getting jibed.

    https://ca.sports.yahoo.com/news/31-takes-oilers-joke-comes-true-160116419.html

    Oh, indeed. The league must have been laughing when they planned a 2.5 week road trip (only 4 games!) for Edmonton to start the season. Preseason also, even.

    https://www.nhl.com/oilers/news/blog-a-short-but-welcomed-homecoming/c-300970308

  145. treevojo says:

    jtblack:
    someone on here (no names) said Detroit would be junk this year with no Zetty.So far so good.

    That person really went out on a limb considering Detroit was going to be shite with Zetty.

  146. Wilde says:

    –hudson–: Wow Todd normally doesn’t lose his composure and to see it twice is odd.Pressure is on.

    Here’s the Jesse question: https://youtu.be/C19frWmdmTA?t=339
    The Rattie/powerplay one is at 7:46 for those who don’t have time to listen to the whole thing.

    Yeah.

    I should say, I don’t think McLellan actually /is/ one of those ineffectual people managers we’ve probably all encountered at some time.

    He’s likely a good man. People like him.

    But he definitely pulled from that playbook yesterday, and if I was a more experienced observer of these things I’d be more emphatic about saying we’re very close to the end, here.

    Which isn’t breaking news, but.

  147. russ99 says:

    The real problem with the plan to go with young unproven players (counting the ’94s too, players signed from college and rushed in all are underperforming) is realistically maybe two pan out on an average NHL team. We haven’t seen 6 players all blossom since the early days of the franchise, and you can’t assume that will ever happen again.

    And then the second half of that question: what happens if they don’t? We have an above average crop of prospects right now, and we’re in danger of sidetracking a number of players because we rush them to the bigs.

    With Woodcroft turning around the Condors, there should be no fear of sending a player for some AHL development time.

    Still don’t understand the Benning push. I have more faith in rookie Bouchard taking the 2RD spot than Benning.

  148. drglen says:

    I listened to the last game on radio, and you can tell over and over again that the play dies on Lucic’ stick. We have a flow team and don’t realize it. Yamamoto needs fast tick tack plays, JP needs a head of steam, and it all comes from the D. We’ve got two guys, Bouchard and Bear, who can make the flow happen with breakout passes. We need to keep Bouchard, get Bear up here, send Benning down. I’m really losing patience with this coach, who seems so ploddy and conservative in his thinking. The oilers could be an interesting team,… but I don’t think this is the right coach. I’m so tired of ‘trust the process’ and such. Let the boys plays with flow and instinct. He asks ‘who are you, what is your identity’? Well, the oilers are a flow team which is not allowed to actualize, always breaking down in the neutral zone, easily countered by the opposing coach, … it’s a deployment issue and that’s coaching.

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