180 by Summer

by Lowetide

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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drglen

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.

russ99

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.

Wilde

–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.

treevojo

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.

Professor Q

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

Richard Roma

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

GMB3

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

JimmyV1965

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?

GMB3

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.

€√¥£€^$

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

Scungilli Slushy

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.

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..

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

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?

kgo

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.

Pescador

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

Richard S.S.

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.

kgo

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.

workaroundaccount

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.

OriginalPouzar

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.

€√¥£€^$

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

Ryan Rishaug

Verified account

@TSNRyanRishaug33s33 seconds ago
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Rattie now on top PP unit. Playing right point.McDavid set up on left side. RNH net front.
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Good to see at least some kind of change on the PP.

Richard S.S.

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

barry.moore23

Bling,

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

€√¥£€^$

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.

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.

Dominoiler

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?..

OriginalPouzar

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?

Richard Roma

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.

Richard Roma

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.

SVR

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.

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.

OriginalPouzar

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).

pts2pndr

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!

Bling

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.

workaroundaccount

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?

Richard Roma

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.

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.

Richard Roma

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…

jtblack

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

jtblack

The 5R just struck in Smashville !

Richard Roma

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.

pts2pndr

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.

Ryan

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

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

Ryan

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.

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.

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

OriginalPouzar

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.

barry.moore23

I don’t think TMac likes Jesse. Damn.

pts2pndr

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!

--hudson--

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.