I Threw a Brick Through a Window

The Edmonton Oilers are a young team and they are not close to being balanced. Because of it, errors of youth, inexperience and lack of depth in some important areas cost them points during the season. Last night was such an example.

The special teams were poor a night ago, but the young club was beaten by a veteran group who played a disciplined game, allowed very little open ice and were demons on retrieval. If this Edmonton team is allowed to wheel, as will be the case against Chicago on Thursday, it allows them to dictate the pace and exchange chances. That’s a good place for this team to be, but it’s important the Oilers learn to win more than one way. Discipline, attention to detail and letting the puck do the work are lessons Minnesota taught last night.

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 $3.50 a month!

  • New Lowetide: Zack Kassian market value.
  • Lowetide: Everything’s coming up Oilers as young AHL hopefuls in Bakersfield hammer Flames’ farmhands.
  • Lowetide: Jesse Puljujarvi gets scratched, so what’s next for Edmonton’s lottery winger?
  • Jonathan Willis: Connor McDavid finds another gear, but Oilers still lack scoring on the wing.
  • Lowetide: Todd McLellan finds a suitable spot in the order for Milan Lucic.
  • Jonathan Willis: Four reasons why the Oilers should return Evan Bouchard to junior.
  • Lowetide: Drake Caggiula might be hearing footsteps as the Oilers look for offence to replace injured Ty Rattie.
  • Lowetide: Peter Chiarelli’s race against time.
  • Daniel Nugent-HopkinsAsking McDavid to take on Bergeron line at home shows what Oilers are missing.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Klefbom-Larsson had an enormously successful night (playing 15:52 together) in possession. Were 24-9 Corsi for 5-on-5, 11-5 shots and 1-0 goals. Were 6-5 in HDSC and spent 7:34 (14-4) with McDavid, meaning the pair was 10-5 without him. That’s very good. Were 6-2 against Parise-Koivu-Granlund in 5:22. I’m really enjoying this duo.
  • Nurse-Russell were 15-18 in 16:22, once again they played a lot and defended too much. They were 7-5 shots, no goals, 6-4 in HDSC. Russell’s passing is better than a year ago, Nurse is seeing a green light too often and this pairing needs to clean that up. Both men need to hit the net with their shots. I also think they’re playing too much and that brings us to the third pairing. Went 5-4 in 5:45 against Greenway-Staal-Coyle, 6-5 in 5:31 against Parise-Koivu-Granlund.
  • Garrison-Benning were 7-10 in 8:46, 4-8 shots, 1-0 goals and 1-2 HDSC. I actually don’t mind the pairing but Garrison’s foot speed is an issue and it costs his partner time. They have to get Gravel back and we could see that sooner than later.
  • Cam Talbot stopped 24 of 28, .857. At 5-on-5, he stopped 20 of 21, .952. The penalty kill cost the Oilers last night, Talbot is part of that group.
  • NaturalStatTrick and NHL.com.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

  • Nuge-McDavid-Yamamoto went 20-7 in 11:55 (Nuge), 15-5 in 7:55 (Yamamoto) and 3-5 in 4:13 (Caggiula). It was 8-3 HDSC with Nuge and Yamamoto’s numbers with the other two were miles better than Caggiula’s time. I am not one to call out the coach for in-game decisions (he has a limited spice rack) but the flip on right-wing in the third period looked bad from the start and got worse when Caggiula took the penalty that set up the winning goal. The coach has to own that after the switch out. McDavid went 19-6 against Brodin-Spurgeon and made Suter look like Moose Vasko chasing Yvan Cournoyer in 1969.
  • Rieder-Draisaitl-Chiasson were 16-9 in 10:40, 8-2 shots and 1-0 goals, 6-1 in HDSC. Folks, that’s a fabulous set of numbers for a No. 2 line. This trio scored two of the three goals for the team, although Leon’s goal came right after the end of a power play. Went 14-12 in 8:40 against Suter-Dumba, I’d be critical about McLellan being satisfied with this matchup but the line did well.
  • Khaira-Brodziak-Kassian were 7-6 in 10:01, 1-2 shots and 0-1 HDSC. They were mostly low event (good) but you would have liked more offense from the group (just one scoring chance for the line). Went 5-4 against Suter-Dumba/Seeler. Brodziak’s last shift came midway through the third period so, yeah.
  • Lucic-Strome-Caggiula went 8-11 in 9:01, 2-9 shots (!!) 0-1 goals and 1-3 in HDSC. This line simply has to help out offensively. Went 6-9 against Seeler-Pateryn, 4-2 against Suter-Dumba. Yamamoto went 2-1 (1-1 shots) with Strome after he was moved down to this line, not enough to make any sweeping statements but thought you’d like to know.

OILERS IN OCTOBER

  • Oilers in October 2015: 4-7-0, eight points; goal differential -6
  • Oilers in October 2016: 7-3-1, 15 points; goal differential +7
  • Oilers in October 2017: 3-7-1, seven points; goal differential -12
  • Oilers in October 2018: 6-4-1, 13 points; goal differential -2

It’s difficult to be anything but pleased with this October effort, despite last night’s game. One thing we need to be honest about: October might be the best month of the year. It’s possible. Considering the tremendous difficulty of the schedule (Minnesota is a good team, but just one of many Edmonton faced during the month) the 6-4-1 record is a fantastic result. If this record held true over an entire season, the Oilers would finish something like 82, 45-30-7, 97 points. That’s a quality season for this roster.

WHAT TO EXPECT IN OCTOBER

  • On the road to: Sweden to play NJD (Expected: 0-0-1) (Actual: 0-1-0)
  • On the road to: Boston, NYR, Winnipeg (Expected 1-2-0) (Actual 2-1-0)
  • At home to: Boston, Nashville, Pittsburgh, Washington (Expected 1-3-0) (Actual 2-1-1)
  • On the road to: Nashville, Chicago (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 2-0-0)
  • At home to: Minnesota (Expected 0-0-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 3-6-2, 8 points in 11 games 
  • Current results: 6-4-1, 13 points after 11 games

In terms of predicting the Oilers in October, this is an epic failure. I thought at the outer marker 11 points might be possible if the team got lucky or one of the kid wingers went off (well he did, but Alex Chiasson is no kid). Nothing like this. No sir. My Dad always told me you have to man up and admit when you’re wrong and this is an error. A big one.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN1260. Scheduled  to appear:

  • Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey. We’ll talk about last night’s game and the flip of Caggiula/Yamamoto.
  • Jon Campbell, Oddshark. We’ll look at the big college games, the Oilers chances of making the playoffs after the first month, and what the NFL trade deadline did to the Super Bowl odds.
  • Lorna Schultz Nicholson, author of Grit and Glory. An impressive new book for Oilers fans, just in time for Christmas.

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

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244 Responses to "I Threw a Brick Through a Window"

« Older Comments
  1. pts2pndr says:

    Glovjuice: I agree, McLeod is our turn at the second round steal that should have stayed up. No chance he wouldn’t out perform Khaira so far.

    And this opinion is based on what?

  2. jtblack says:

    Woodguy v2.0: He’s one of their few decent younger players.

    I have no clue what they’ll do.

    They were ok until they added Frankenphaneuf

    Isn’t Toffoli Mr.Negative RELCF%? Carried by Anze or Jeff. Slow Boots.

  3. pts2pndr says:

    tileguy: Exactly, and when Rattie is back there will be intelligent options for the coach, not wing and a prayer moves.

    There was an intelligent option benched. Garrison on D was a gross mismanagement of resources. Do not blame lack of horses when the man in charge leaves them in the barn!

  4. Richard Roma says:

    jtblack: Isn’t Toffoli Mr.Negative RELCF%? Carried by Anze or Jeff. Slow Boots.

    Forget the stats for one minute.

    Where on our depth chart would Tyler Toffoli play?

    If it’s not 1RW, your thinking is flawed.

  5. OriginalPouzar says:

    Wow, this view for the Condors game is terrible – its so far away, I can’t even make out the numbers.

    Blah!

  6. OriginalPouzar says:

    Shots are 6-0 Condors so far – pretty much the same as every other game with the baby flames.

  7. OriginalPouzar says:

    To the surprise of noone, Ryan Holt doesn’t respond to any simple twitter questions – so frustrating.

    Still waiting to confirm but I don’t think Bear is in given I see Jake Kulevich out there.

  8. OriginalPouzar says:

    Logan Day manning the point on the second unit without Bear.

  9. OriginalPouzar says:

    I am not on board with an opinion that Ryan McLeod would be outperforming any Oiler forward.

    I really like the Ryan McLeod pick but I think expectations of many are already becoming unreasonable. He will turn pro next year and may play the entire year in the AHL.

  10. jtblack says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Logan Day manning the point on the second unit without Bear.

    Is this in Balersfield?

  11. jtblack says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    I am not on board with an opinion that Ryan McLeod would be outperforming any Oiler forward.

    +1. Ryan McLeod who has 2 goals in 12 OHL games this year. Not sure exact conversion factors, but lets say he would have 0 in the NHL

  12. OriginalPouzar says:

    Jones gives the Condors a lead with a shot from the point at the end of a long 4-min PP.

    Russell may have tipped it.

    Brad Malone was filling in for Marody on the “kid unit” – got to say he looked good out there – some plus cross-ice passes that got through.

  13. OriginalPouzar says:

    jtblack: Isn’t Toffoli Mr.Negative RELCF%? Carried by Anze or Jeff. Slow Boots.

    Currently a positive 5.48.

    Last year was positive as well, just under 1.

  14. OriginalPouzar says:

    pts2pndr: There was an intelligent option benched. Garrison on D was a gross mismanagement of resources. Do not blame lack of horses when the man in charge leaves them in the barn!

    Gravel is not an available resource – he is not on the roster – roster decisions are from management.

  15. OriginalPouzar says:

    jtblack: Is this in Balersfield?

    Stockton.

  16. OriginalPouzar says:

    First period ends with the Condors up 1-0.

    The 13-4 shot total doesn’t do the dominance justice – that was ALL Condors.

  17. OriginalPouzar says:

    As per Matt M:

    Gambardella – Malone – Russell
    Benson – Currie – Hebig
    Christoffer – Vesel – Gust
    Vesey – Esposito – Callahan

    Lowe – Day
    Gravel – Jones
    Kulevich – Stanton

    Skinner

  18. OriginalPouzar says:

    Hebig with an assist on the Jones goal keeps his PPG pace – I think all of his points may be PP points (all four goals are, not sure about all his apples though).

  19. OriginalPouzar says:

    A quick 2 on 1 off a Logan Day pinch where he fell and Rychel puts one past Skinner.

  20. OriginalPouzar says:

    Currie takes the league right back with a shot off the faceoff from the top of the circles.

    I think it was Benson with the pass back to Currie – should get an assist added.

    Hebig gets an assist off faceoff win – that was a 5 on 5 point.

  21. Wilde says:

    I actually kind of like this angle.

  22. Wilde says:

    Camera man’s drunk as hell, though.

  23. Suntory Hanzo says:

    cant find a link through my usual sources. Any leads?

  24. Bos8 says:

    After two 3-2 Stocton on a PP and a SH after a Condors shot off the crossbar, went to a Heat player.

  25. Georgexs says:

    Here’s what the HC had to say in the closing days of his 71 point season, his first with his new club.

    https://twitter.com/EdmontonOilers/status/716497599490973697

    It’s in my favorites. Whenever I get to what? what?? what??! I click that and then it’s… oh… right.

    Well, our ‘frickin’ HC made it through October! And in a playoff position to boot. With our #4OV in the press box. And with CMD scoring just 2.63 GF/60 at 5v5, 2.29 with RNH (1.7!! with KY).

    I don’t know how the HC would have survived your 3-6-2 prediction. (I also didn’t quite get how you had a team that started 3-6-2 finishing with 90 points. That doesn’t happen much.)

    Appreciate the “That’s a quality season for this roster.” bit you threw in there. Hey Pete, heads up…

    You know this roster has a bunch of players whose entire experience in the NHL is under the HC, right?

    What’s the coach’s responsibility again? Something like get the most out of the players on the roster. Something like that, yeah? Maybe you see the world the way the HC sees the world. But that doesn’t make sense. Because you just don’t come off that way in your non-hockey writing.

    Here’s what Bednar said in the closing days of his 48 point season, also his first with his club:

    “There’s lots to learn and you always have to keep learning as a coach,” Bednar said. “You can’t stop. The game’s ever-changing because there’s always people finding better ways to do things. As you go through the course of the season, you learn, you adjust a little bit here and there and try to get better at all the portions of our game.

    “For me, it’s been a humbling experience because this is a difficult year. We haven’t done well and I take that personally. Learning how to work through that and continue to strive to be the best even when things are going bad is important.”

    Your non-hockey writing reads like that. Perceptive, well-adjusted, humanistic, rich with experience put to good use.

    Bednar’s on a one year contract. I hope the hockey gods aren’t cruel. That just wouldn’t be fair.

  26. hunter1909 says:

    Here is where the innate superiority of Lowetides’ blog shines through.

    Oilers have survived the test of death, yet still face oblivion re Todd the coach’s decisions.

    lol

  27. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Georgexs:
    Here’s what the HC had to say in the closing days of his 71 point season, his first with his new club.

    https://twitter.com/EdmontonOilers/status/716497599490973697

    It’s in my favorites. Whenever I get to what? what?? what??! I click that and then it’s… oh… right.

    Well, our ‘frickin’ HC made it through October! And in a playoff position to boot. With our #4OV in the press box. And with CMD scoring just 2.63 GF/60 at 5v5, 2.29 with RNH (1.7!! with KY).

    I don’t know how the HC would have survived your 3-6-2 prediction. (I also didn’t quite get how you had a team that started 3-6-2 finishing with 90 points. That doesn’t happen much.)

    Appreciate the “That’s a quality season for this roster.” bit you threw in there. Hey Pete, heads up…

    You know this roster has a bunch of players whose entire experience in the NHL is under the HC, right?

    What’s the coach’s responsibility again? Something like get the most out of the players on the roster. Something like that, yeah? Maybe you see the world the way the HC sees the world. But that doesn’t make sense. Because you just don’t come off that way in your non-hockey writing.

    Here’s what Bednar said in the closing days of his 48 point season, also his first with his club:

    “There’s lots to learn and you always have to keep learning as a coach,” Bednar said. “You can’t stop. The game’s ever-changing because there’s always people finding better ways to do things. As you go through the course of the season, you learn, you adjust a little bit here and there and try to get better at all the portions of our game.

    “For me, it’s been a humbling experience because this is a difficult year. We haven’t done well and I take that personally. Learning how to work through that and continue to strive to be the best even when things are going bad is important.”

    Bednar’s on a one year contract. I hope the hockey gods aren’t cruel. That just wouldn’t be fair.

    When I hear people who’ve applied for or taken jobs at the pinnacle of their industry say ‘learning’, I immediately think they’re swimming to keep nose above water.

    What does experience mean if you are learning ‘very much’ on the job?

    It means you aren’t good, don’t have enough experience, or don’t have the right experience.

    Things don’t change that fast. Even with the ‘explosion’ in the tech industry, we’re still talking a period of 40 years. At least.

    People that don’t evolve get left behind, but the process is not actually rapid outside of a few instances, probably. I can’t think of any.

    Our fine coach has been through evolution in his career and been a part of a progressive club in Detroit. He was innovative in the handling of all star teams.

    He doesn’t have to be stubborn. Who knows why he seems so?

    We can’t know given the club, until someone writes a believable tell all.

  28. Glovjuice says:

    pts2pndr: And this opinion is based on what?

    The rare player who’s skill set translates better at NHL level.

  29. OriginalPouzar says:

    Patrick Kane isn’t playing tonight due to illness – perhaps it lasts through tomorrow…..

    Crawford is in net tonight.

  30. Decidedly Skeptical Fan says:

    Scungilli Slushy: When I hear people who’ve applied for or taken jobs at the pinnacle of their industry say ‘learning’, I immediately think they’re swimming to keep nose above water.

    What does experience mean if you are learning ‘very much’ on the job?

    It means you aren’t good, don’t have enough experience, or don’t have the right experience.

    Things don’t change that fast. Even with the ‘explosion’ in the tech industry, we’re still talking a period of 40 years. At least.

    People that don’t evolve get left behind, but the process is not actually rapid outside of a few instances, probably. I can’t think of any.

    Our fine coach has been through evolution in his career and been a part of a progressive club in Detroit. He was innovative in the handling of all star teams.

    He doesn’t have to be stubborn. Who knows why he seems so?

    We can’t know given the club, until someone writes a believable tell all.

    In my professional experience, R&D/engineering, the first five statements you make are so completely wrong that I am left speechless, and believe me, that is a rarity… just ask my wife. Let me leave you with this. There is this thing called innovation. Many people never experience it. If you do you will find that it can occur very rapidly, in a matter of minutes, hours or perhaps days. The people that are truly “at the pinnacle” of their chosen profession are the ones that are “learning very much on the job” just about every day.

  31. pts2pndr says:

    OriginalPouzar: Gravel is not an available resource – he is not on the roster – roster decisions are from management.

    He would be available if the coach wanted him. It is obvious that the coach made a decision that he wanted Garrison instead of Gravel. The coach also has the option of sending Yamamoto or JP and or Marody down. He did have options!

  32. pts2pndr says:

    Decidedly Skeptical Fan: In my professional experience, R&D/engineering, the first five statements you make are so completely wrong that I am left speechless, and believe me, that is a rarity… just ask my wife. Let me leave you with this. There is this thing called innovation. Many people never experience it. If you do you will find that it can occur very rapidly, in a matter of minutes, hours or perhaps days. The people that are truly “at the pinnacle” of their chosen profession are the ones that are “learning very much on the job” just about every day.

    The day you stop learning is the day you should have the courtesy to fall over because you are already dead but just my opinion! My experience is the more you learn the greater you understand how much there is left to learn!

  33. VOR says:

    I am going to quote Jimmy Carnes who most of you will never have heard of I am sure.

    But he is one of the immortals of track and field coaching. He literally wrote the book on coaching high school and college coaching. His book “Teaching High School and College Track and Field Athletics” was the bible of track coaching for nearly thirty years.

    His claim to fame though lies in the coaches he taught. They have innovated in every major sport and a lot of obscure ones and won at every level.

    Jimmy was working as a sports administrator by the time I met him, but my experience was typical of Jimmy.

    This strange guy and strange looking stood around for several hours one crisp fall day watching me coach high jumpers at the UofA. He waits until practice is over and then catches me on my way back to my office. Jimmy introduces himself in this deep fried southern accent

    He was there to offer me a job coaching track in Florida. Well to convince me to take it. But in the middle of convincing me Jimmy delivers the most withering critique of my coaching I have ever received. “you’d get better results if you didn’t always start your feedback with what they did wrong but instead told them what they did right first. You get there eventually but by then they are distracted by all your negative comments. You should also spend way more time listening to them, asking them how they are experiencing their jumping. Make it a conversation not a soliloquy.”

    That was Jimmy in a nutshell. Always be teaching.

    So Jimmy Carnes on the coach as learner, teacher, and innovator:

    “For years I went fishing every Sunday Afternoon. There was a lovely stream just outside Macon. In the middle of that stream was a huge boulder and the river split in two to go around it.

    “You knew the boulder was winning the battle today but that someday the water would wear right through the boulder. You want to be a good coach some days you have to be the boulder, a stable force, unchangeable, your athletes can count on. It is what you know and are certain of that makes you a boulder worth standing on.

    “You want to be a good coach some days you need to be the water. You need to be learning and adapting. You need to carry your athletes along on the stream. The more you learn and the faster the further and the quicker you can carry your athletes to their goals, way down river.

    “But if you want to be a great coach you need to be the rain. Innovation is the torrential downpour that washes the boulder down to the sea and takes you and your athletes with it.”

    I see nothing wrong with Todd McLellan being the boulder, stubborn, certain, and unchanging. This is a very young team and they may need his certainty. But I see precious few signs he is the water, learning and adapting. And none at all he is the rain, pouring down innovation.

  34. v4ance says:

    VOR,

    Amazing story VOR. Thank you.

    It actually made me realize that I was the same as you. I am a team leader trying to guide less experienced techs in my field and I’m a bit too eager to tell them their drawbacks first.

    I’ll try reinforce their positives first before moving to areas where I think they can improve.

  35. RedNed says:

    The classic approach is the ‘critical sandwich’. Positive comment, constructive critique, positive observations. Good frames bad. Leaves the coached feeling good, and probably the coach as well. Too easy to concentrate on the negative to the detriment of all parties.

  36. OriginalPouzar says:

    Hebig ends up with three assists last night in a 4-3 loss.

    All at evens I think.

  37. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    VOR,

    – Why didn’t you tke the job? Was it to work with Jimmy?

    – Our high-school cross-counrty team in the 80’s had a coach that built his program based on Jimmy Carnes principals. Our coach was a former football coach: he built a massive programme, we run and produced a number of ellite runners, NCAA champions, scholarships, Olympians, etc

    – As a parent now of kids who are in different sports. I wish I could reach out to him, becasue he was an awesome figure, and a great coach. My son’s cross-country meet (the first one I’ve been to in 30 years), really was an eye-openor, and reminder of that coach

    – Do you think about how your life would have beend different VOR is you took that job, and moved to Florida?

  38. Gret99zky says:

    Anyone notice the slashes to the hands and wrists McDavid is receiving lately?

    I don’t like where this is headed.

  39. Professor Q says:

    Gret99zky:
    Anyone notice the slashes to the hands and wrists McDavid is receiving lately?

    I don’t like where this is headed.

    Yes I have. And they aren’t being called. Draisaitl is also receiving them.

    For a league that said it was cracking down, they haven’t cracked down at all.

  40. danny says:

    VOR:
    Jimmy delivers the most withering critique of my coaching I have ever received. “you’d get better results if you didn’t always start your feedback with what they did wrong but instead told them what they did right first. You get there eventually but by then they are distracted by all your negative comments. You should also spend way more time listening to them, asking them how they are experiencing their jumping. Make it a conversation not a soliloquy.”

    That was Jimmy in a nutshell. Always be teaching.

    Did Jimmy compliment your coaching first tho?

  41. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    danny,

    – I see what you did there! Are you criticizing him first?

  42. Andy Dufresne says:

    Need your help

    Im not going to be able to watch the game live tonight

    Anyone have any idea how quickly Oilers TV, or YouTube, or any other free source posts these games for post game viewing?

    Can only find limited re-runs of condensed games (8 min etc)

    Any other free streaming services show games post facto?

  43. Andy Dufresne says:

    Lowetide,

    Trade JP for a right winger and Bear + a 2nd for a 2 RHD…..what pressure? 🙂

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