Peace Frog

Last night in Tampa Bay, the Edmonton Oilers played one of those games smart people call a schedule loss. Two games against top flight teams in two nights and zero points might have been anticipated, and was in fact predicted by this blog. Now, let’s get on with the rest of November, secure in the knowledge that humility and realistic expectations are once again part of the fan arsenal.

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. Best available offer is here!

  • New Jonathan Willis: Under the circumstances, playing in the AHL affords Jesse Puljujarvi the best chance at career redemption.
  • New Lowetide: new day dawning for Oilers prospects in Bakersfield as increased usage means greater success.
  • New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: In depth: Embattled Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli defends his record, remains bullish on the future.
  • Lowetide: Future Oilers bubbling under in Bakersfield may get a look sooner rather than later.
  • Lowetide: Oscar Klefbom takes a step forward for the Edmonton Oilers.
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Forty years later, remembering the forgotten trade that brought Wayne Gretzky to Edmonton.
  • Tyler Dellow: Isolating issues with the NHL’s slower paced power plays.
  • Lowetide: Oilers reach a pressure point on defence and right wing
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Does Caggiula’s recent performance warrant another chance alongside McDavid?
  • Jonathan Willis: Predicting the impact Ethan Bear and Edmonton’s other top AHL prospects will make at the NHL level.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Gravel-Benning were 5-4 Corsi for 5-on-5 in 5:46, 3-2 shots and no goals, 0-1 HDSC. Pairing went 1-1 with McDavid, 4-3 without. I think the Oilers badly need an upgrade but it’s hard to argue this pair lost the game. What is hurting the group is the major minutes being played by the other two pairings. Benning needs help here.
  • Klefbom-Larsson went 15-13 in 14:28, 8-6 shots, no goals, 2-3 in HDSC. I’m loving their work this season, they were 7-5 McDavid, 8-8 without. Impressive. Went 7-4 against Gourde-Point-Johnson, 0-1 in 4:49.
  • Nurse-Russell were 10-17 in 13:22, 6-12 in shots, 0-2 in goals and 1-4 in HDSC. This pairing is consistently the tipping point in games, that speaks to the importance of strengthening the third pairing as the season goes along. Went 6-5 in 7:01 against Gourde-Point-Johnson, 0-1 in goals.
  • Mikko Koskinen stopped 30 of 35, .857. He was not the reason Edmonton lost the game.
  • NaturalStatTrick and NHL.com.

I’m not an overly bloodthirsty sort but do understand the rage Oilers fans and players felt last night during the second straight evening of ghastly officiating. The “rookie” hacked and ran around unchecked last night, Lucic’s reaction to him may well have been the next logical step as far as the head coach was concerned.

The events surrounding last night’s violence suggest to me that this team is tighter than a year ago, and that Kris Russell is one of the most popular players on the team. If the NHL isn’t going to address the slashes to 97’s wrists, and look the other way when blatant penalties are committed, then releasing Milan Lucic like the hounds at old man Burns’ place is an option.

You may think it cruel, or may believe it’s better that than seeing Connor McDavid miss 40 games in the middle of winter, you may feel that would be the real crime. Is the Lucic play a true deterrent? History suggests it is not, so we are left to assume the policeman role played by the big winger was for the benefit of his teammates and coaches. I’m fine with it, as long as we can agree the McDavid slashes are going to continue unabated until the NHL realizes having its best players on IR is madness.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

  • Nuge-McDavid-Rattie were 16-10 in 12:01, 12-5 shots, 0-1 goals and 1-3 HDSC. McDavid was a little shy on the second night of a back-to-back, the only way to make things (somewhat) equal. I deliberately watched the away pbp last night and they were stunned by McDavid’s offensive brilliance. If not for McDonagh and Vaseleviskiy, he would have had several points. Next time, Tampa. McDavid went 14-10, 0-2 goals against McDonagh-Stralman, Lightning got lucky that the Capitals faced the superhero 24 hours previously.
  • Rieder-Draisaitl-Caggiula were 11-11 in 10:12, 4-5 shots, 0-1 goals and 2-0 HDSC. I saw many tweets blaming Todd McLellan for Alex Chiasson’s absence, which is of course silly. Chiasson missed the game because he was banged up. Leon was a blast, loving his game these days. Went 10-4 against Coburn-Sergachev.
  • Lucic-Strome-Yamamoto scored a goal! Strome scored it, and my goodness it was overdue. Went 7-8 in 9:27, 3-5 shots, no goals at 5-on-5, 0-3 in HDSC. Strome’s goal was a relief, glad he scored it. Puljujarvi is more effective on this line, suspect he or Yamamoto will be in California by the weekend. Were 5-3 in 5:16 against Coburn-Sergachev. Lucic’s offensive touch, both passing and shooting, have now gone missing for over a year (9-23-32) now. This will need to be addressed if the organization plans to make the playoffs.
  • Khaira-Brodziak-Kassian were 2-8 in 7:31, 1-5 shots and 0-2 in HDSC. I would like to see Khaira at center for a few games.

OILERS AFTER 15

  • Oilers in October 2015: 5-10-0, 10 points; goal differential -8
  • Oilers in October 2016: 9-5-1, 19 points; goal differential +6
  • Oilers in October 2017: 6-8-1, 13 points; goal differential -11
  • Oilers in October 2018: 8-6-1, 17 points; goal differential -2

We now reach a small area of danger for the 2018 team. The road losses were expected, I projected the Washington and Tampa Bay results. The key now, in order to avoid falling back to 2015 or 2017 levels, is a road victory in Sunrise before heading home. Last night and Washington’s result were the cost of doing business in the NHL, but it’s important to recover.

THE OILERS IN NOVEMBER

  • Oilers in November 2015: 2-2-0, four points; goal differential 0
  • Oilers in November 2016: 2-1-1, five points; goal differential -2
  • Oilers in November 2017: 2-2-0, four points; goal differential -1
  • Oilers in November 2018: 2-2-0, four points; goal differential 0

The 2018 Oilers are now basically even with all three of the previous incarnations of the Chiarelli-McLellan Oilers.

WHAT TO EXPECT IN NOVEMBER

  • At home to: Chicago (Expected 1-0-0) Actual (1-0-0)
  • On the road to: Detroit, Washington, Tampa Bay, Florida  (Expected 2-2-0) (Actual 1-2-0)
  • At home to: Colorado, Montreal (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Calgary (Expected 0-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Vegas (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: San Jose, Anaheim, Los Angeles (Expected 2-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Dallas, Los Angeles  (Expected 1-0-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 8-5-1, 17 points in 14 games 
  • Current results: 2-2-0, 4 points in 4 games

The month is going exactly as projected above, with a win next up against the Panthers. We are quickly entering the most difficult area to project (Colorado, Montreal, Calgary, Vegas) and I do believe the month turns on the next five games.

ALL HAIL WOODCROFT!

I wrote this yesterday, Jay Woodcroft is playing the kids. It will become even more important when Kailer Yamamoto and or Jesse Puljujarvi are sent down. I spoke to a couple of people with knowledge of the past dating back several years, and based on early results, I think Woodcroft is the first AHL Oilers coach to give kids a push as rookie pros since Claude Julien. Seriously.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy morning, so much sports are happening! At 10 this morning, TSN1260, scheduled to appear:

  • Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal. We’ll review last night’s game and talk about Lucic plus the third pairing.
  • Jon Campbell, Oddshark. We’ll look at college basketball, college football, the Cowboys-Eagles, Stanley Cup odds.

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

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231 Responses to "Peace Frog"

« Older Comments
  1. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    CrazyCoach,

    – Thanks for the response coach!

    -I get the looch “response”. You distinguish well the difference between NHL and what as a parent coach we face

    – I’m sure your right about the minority. I’m coaching in a part of Toronto where the parents hope their kids become captains of industry doctors lawyers professionals engineers etc (just like they are). So it’s a minority take for sure: not the heartland of hockey.

    – I’m not passing judgment. My reflections were just of a parent who loves hockey and coaches kids that can’t reconcile the disparity between what we teach and the “code” that exists which perpetuates violence in sport. It’s a fascinating subject for me.

  2. drglen says:

    So, Rattie looked pretty good, had trouble handling pucks at first, (nasty hard to handle pucks but he can usually do that stuff) but settled in. I like him on the line, more good things can happen than without him.

    Was JP hurt or just pulled? I thought he was starting to find a rhythm so I’m surprised he was not out there. Yamo better score soon or he’s going down.

    I kind of wish we had a Tomas Hertl type of player, still hoping Khaira can be that guy.

  3. Lowetide says:

    OriginalPouzar: Pretty sure Persson is a right shot.

    Hehe. Woodguy can cipher anything! Here’s a recent video he released:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AW_xDXDtDmc

  4. Glovjuice says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” and, “Adversity build character,” said no helicopter parent ever.

    I must admit. I am a helicopter parent. No surprise to you I’m sure.

  5. Genjutsu says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    – A stack of high-society for Lucic to take away from his pot

    – I’ve certainly changed over time, and becoming a parent even more so.My last condemnation for a bad hit, comments about “nannie state” followed

    – I think it’s a joke that Lucic basically hunted down the rookie, slashed him and layed a predatory hit:“It’s part of the game”, whatever.

    – I’m sure the team got fired up, and Lucic followed the Code.I just think it’s bush.I get why he did it, and I get all the accolades.

    – My test though is “how do I explain that to my 9 year old son”?:I can’t….I’d love to hear an explanation that does.

    – “Well Son, Hockey isn’t real life.Yes he was mad at him, and tried to hurt him, but Hockey is different.I don’t want you to do that to someone, but it’s ok to cheer it in Hockey, becasue Lucic is on our team, and he did to help our team”?Doesn’t pass

    How about when you’re big a strong and you see a bully picking on those that are weaker than you are sometimes you have to intervene.

  6. Leroy Draisdale says:

    Glovjuice: It IS NOT a gross exaggeration. It’s accurate. He was changing, switched direction and then attacked. It’s so weird for us all (most of us) to be defending the importance of what Lucic did and then giggle at the prospect of seeing the team without him due to suspension.

    https://youtu.be/iN-aXzpQUdw

  7. CrazyCoach says:

    OriginalPouzar: If they would take a 3rd rounder, I’d take a flyer on Sprong – our cap would go down by adding his $750K and deducting JP’s or Yamamoto’s cap.

    I’d do that trade. Isn’t Sprong the Dutch kid who came to Canada?

  8. Pescador says:

    Lowetide: Hehe. Woodguy can cipher anything! Here’s a recent video he released:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AW_xDXDtDmc

    Sweet,
    he’s more ripped then I imagined he would be

  9. CrazyCoach says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: I’m not passing judgment. My reflections were just of a parent who loves hockey and coaches kids that can’t reconcile the disparity between what we teach and the “code” that exists which perpetuates violence in sport. It’s a fascinating subject for me.

    It’s sort of a study in deviance when you look at the “code”. It’s what you would call adherence to the “Sports ethic” and why athletes are generally hyper conformers. One follows that ethic too much and they over conform, which leads to things like playing with pain, overtraining, use of PED’s, etc. Underconformity may be one who rejects that ethic or code.

    Ironically though, we’ll punish underconformity extremely harsh, while we sometimes turn a blind eye to overconformity.

  10. Bag of Pucks says:

    Glovjuice: I must admit. I am a helicopter parent. No surprise to you I’m sure.

    The hardest part of parenting is knowing that if you’re doing your job properly, eventually it will no longer be required.

  11. Scungilli Slushy says:

    dustrock:
    Didn’t want to say anything last night when I wasn’t sober, but fuck this bush league and its terrible reffing.

    That’s 2 games in a row.

    Noticed this pair of refs had the LIghtning 9-0 last year, guess that 100% streak is continuing.

    Sick of the same bullshit every year, sick of the NHL letting these gritensity talentless hacks have a huge consequence on the game by injuring or going after star players.

    People were whining about Lucic on twitter last night but holy hell, was there no talk about 2 hits from behind that weren’t called by the refs?

    Lucic was 100% right to go after Joseph, and frankly he could have ended his life.Young Looch just might have done that, but Old Man Lucic hit him hard and gave him a facewash.

    Every sport I’ve watched or played, when the refs let crap like that go, the game is going to get out of control.

    At some point I really wish McLellan or Chiarelli would rip into the league but if there is a hidden vendetta against the Oilers already, then complaining is only going to make things worse.

    +1

  12. Genjutsu says:

    UnjustEnrichment:
    UnjustEnrichment,

    And since pennies do not exist any more, except in old forgotten piggy banks, your comment was essentially valueless.

    Pennies are still legal tender in Canada. Many pennies in forgotten piggie banks in fact do hold significant value.

  13. Bag of Pucks says:

    Genjutsu: Pennies are still legal tender in Canada. Many pennies in forgotten piggie banks in fact do hold significant value.

    If you give someone your two cents in response to them saying, ‘Penny for your thoughts?’ Do they owe you change?

  14. Ryan says:

    Pescador: Sweet,he’s more ripped then I imagined he would be

    I’ll never forget Struds’ description of Jordan Eberle as being “cut like a couch.” Lol.

  15. Jethro Tull says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” and, “Adversity builds character,” said no helicopter parent ever.

    That’s pretty Nietzsche.

  16. hunter1909 says:

    Genjutsu: How about when you’re big and strong and you see a bully picking on those that are weaker than you are sometimes you have to intervene.

    Sometimes it’s better to mind your business. I’m not big and strong, so if I encounter your bully picking on others to be honest I have no idea what I’ll do. I just don’t want to get arrested by the police. Today’s police you can’t trust because they’re more or less instructed to arrest everyone in sight.

    Once I was in a hospital and was waiting to be seen by Emergency so I end up walking around the hospital at 2-3Am. I think what’s going to happen if I get attacked by a lunatic(a regular occurrence at this hospital) with security cameras everywhere even in the fire escape so I’m thinking out WWE Heel moves to show the cameras that I’m not the instigator, in case I encounter Mr. Crazy. I’m in hospital, worrying about not only getting attacked but the cameras making me look bad in case I defend myself.

  17. Ribs says:

    hunter1909: Sometimes it’s better to mind your business. I’m not big and strong, so if I encounter your bully picking on others to be honest I have no idea what I’ll do. I just don’t want to get arrested by the police. Today’s police you can’t trust because they’re more or less instructed to arrest everyone in sight.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPnK0NCn_MQ

  18. treevojo says:

    Turned 41 today.

    Am so glad I was born when I was.

    People are getting as soft as butter on a hot cob of corn.

    I liked Odog and Noodles response.

    They couldn’t believe Lucic even got a 10 thousand dollar fine for scaring a kid.

  19. Keith says:

    treevojo,

    Happy Birthday! Also agreed. Looch let his presence be known. It’s to our credit that it was a GIFable moment. Looch could have destroyed that kid. He didn’t. He’s a father himself. I expect the league called to congratulate him on his excellent restraint. I believe George Parros is still the head of that particular department? I think it was a good play and what the NHL wants. This unchecked aggression will not stand, man…

  20. Genjutsu says:

    hunter1909: Sometimes it’s better to mind your business. I’m not big and strong, so if I encounter your bully picking on others to be honest I have no idea what I’ll do. I just don’t want to get arrested by the police. Today’s police you can’t trust because they’re more or less instructed to arrest everyone in sight.

    Once I was in a hospital and was waiting to be seen by Emergency so I end up walking around the hospital at 2-3Am. I think what’s going to happen if I get attacked by a lunatic(a regular occurrence at this hospital) with security cameras everywhere even in the fire escape so I’m thinking out WWE Heel moves to show the cameras that I’m not the instigator, in case I encounter Mr. Crazy. I’m in hospital, worrying about not only getting attacked but the cameras making me look bad in case I defend myself.

    I was thinking more in a school yard context with 9 year old kids. I hope adults can find a resolution using words.

    Maybe that’s the optimist in me.

  21. hunter1909 says:

    Genjutsu: I was thinking more in a school yard context with 9 year old kids. I hope adults can find a resolution using words.

    Maybe that’s the optimist in me.

    You’ve never encountered a 6 foot tall schizophrenic on the street before, have you?

  22. Lowetide says:

    treevojo:
    Turned 41 today.

    Am so glad I was born when I was.

    People are getting as soft as butter on a hot cob of corn.

    I liked Odog and Noodles response.

    They couldn’t believe Lucic even got a 10 thousand dollar fine for scaring a kid.

    Happy birthday!

  23. treevojo says:

    Keith,

    Lowetide,

    Thanks!

    On the downhill slope now.

    Already feel it in my joints. Lol.

  24. frjohnk says:

    treevojo:
    Turned 41 today.

    Am so glad I was born when I was.

    People are getting as soft as butter on a hot cob of corn.

    I liked Odog and Noodles response.

    They couldn’t believe Lucic even got a 10 thousand dollar fine for scaring a kid.

    Happy birthday.

    I have 5 kids. 4 girls, 1 boy. Told them if ever, anybody makes you feel uncomfortable, tell them to stop, if they continue, warn them they will get punched, they push it somemore, punch them.

    I told them I will back them everytime even if they get in trouble at school.

    But if they are the one being the idiot, there will be hell to pay.

    My 3rd oldest daughter, ( very fiesty, doesnt take crap) now almost 7 but at the time was 5, was being hit by the 5 yearold boy across the street ( he is a good kid, just got carried away) with play swords. He had his ninja costume on and was running around hitting all the kids in the cul de sac. She told him to stop, he didnt, so she gave him a couple of rabbit punches to the head.

    He stopped.

  25. Genjutsu says:

    hunter1909: You’ve never encountered a 6 foot tall schizophrenic on the street before, have you?

    Well yes I live in a dumping ground for addicts and the mentally ill. basically cases other communities don’t want to deal with. I also used to work in the mental health field.

    Certainly in the real world things are less black and white than in sports or a school yard.

  26. Admiral Ackbar says:

    hunter1909: You’ve never encountered a 6 foot tall schizophrenic on the street before, have you?

    That’s a lot of catastrophizing. Obviously one must assess the situation and not ‘get into it’ with someone that appears unstable – which could be a high percentage of possible cases given time of day and location. Still, overstating the large, violent, unstable deviant isn’t the way to frame the bullying conversation. What you’re proposing isn’t all that realistic and quite contrary from the general narrative of this conversation.

  27. pts2pndr says:

    Bag of Pucks: The hardest part of parenting is knowing that if you’re doing your job properly, eventually it will no longer be required.

    The reality is as a parent you do the best you can with the knowlege you have and by the time you can see the results there is little you can do to effect change! As parents we take credit for much that is not of our making and accept the blame for much that is not our fault!

  28. Lowetide says:

    New for The Athletic: Are there trade winds blowing? What happens to the Oilers when Alex Chiasson’s hot streak ends?

    https://theathletic.com/637999/2018/11/08/lowetide-what-happens-to-the-oilers-when-alex-chiassons-hot-streak-ends/

  29. PennersPancakes says:

    Glovjuice: It IS NOT a gross exaggeration. It’s accurate. He was changing, switched direction and then attacked.

    I dont understand how people can not distinguish between the two hits. If this is honestly how you feel theres probably nothing I can do to convince you otherwise but here I am still trying. One was a malicious gross violent attack that clearly was intent to injure and the other was a double minor.

    The response to this hit suggests to me that the majority of the posters up in arms have never stepped on the ice in their life. Interference (but shoulder into chest/straight ahead/not a blindside or headshot) and one light gloved punch that happens in every scrum. The mount while incredibility unusual didnt result in anything as their were no punches thrown or any extra physicality really.

  30. godot10 says:

    Bag of Pucks:

    If you don’t like a violent tv show, you have the right to change the channel. And given that hockey is entertainment, you can do the same damn thing if you go in expecting Downtown Abbey and some Sopranos starts up in the good old hockey game.

    I take it that you have never watched Downton Abbey. Plenty of actual violence and implied violence and displays of the consequence of violence.

    And Mary Crawley, an ice b#%@ to die for! -).

  31. Mike Wazowski says:

    One thing I always intended to ask Kerry Fraser while he was writing at TSN, was to ask about cross checks. A cross check is illegal as it is written in the rule book but it is (and has been) used as a defensive tool in front of the net and behind it by almost every player to play the game and is rarely penalized unless it is egregious.. Why is that?

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