All Shook Up

by Lowetide

Edmonton Oilers fans are borderline intoxicated today, as new head coach Ken Hitchcock keeps saying provocative hockey things to a breathless bunch who are all dressed up with no place to go. Hitchcock is from here, so knows his audience well. Every day he says more things that spark the imagination and inspire fabulous daydreams. Honestly, it’s bad. This town, man. Pace yourself! Settle down! Control yourself! You’ve got the vapors! Monorail salesmen are booking passage to Edmonton as we speak! At 66 years old, Ken Hitchcock is suddenly Elvis, and Edmonton is all shook up.

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 Lowetide: With not enough talent, and outside the playoffs, Todd McLellan’s Oilers career ends where it began.
  • Jonathan Willis: The Edmonton Oilers get their 2018-19 quarter pole report cards.
  • Black Dog Pat: It’s going to be a long winter.
  • Pierre Lebrun: The chance to coach his hometown Oilers was an offer Ken Hitchcock couldn’t refuse.
  • Jonathan Willis: Hiring Ken Hitchcock is Peter Chiarelli’s final chance to make his Oilers vision work.
  • Eric Duhatschek: Ken Hitchcock will be motivated by move to Oilers, now what can he get out of flawed roster?
  • Lowetide: Oilers No. 2 Prospect winter 2018: Kailer Yamamoto.
  • Jonathan Willis: A list of which Oilers are likely to be traded.
  • Tyler Dellow: Ryan Strome for Ryan Spooner looks like a change for change sake
  • Lowetide: Oilers No. 1 Prospect winter 2018: Evan Bouchard.

HITCH, STOP IT!

At the beginning of this century, the Edmonton Oilers deployed a brilliant No. 4 line. The feature player, Georges Laraque, was so big and strong that taking the puck from him took most or all of an entire shift. During his Oilers career, Laraque averaged seven goals per 82 games and no one would ever mistake him for an offensive force. That said, he was extremely effective in ‘extended zone time’, a phrase that dropped in my lap yesterday in conversation with Sean Shapiro of The Athletic in regard to what Ken Hitchcock values. What will Hitchcock do and who among the Oilers will he value most?

It looks like (to me) Hitchcock is more interested in keeping the puck 200 feet from his net, ala Laraque in the early 2000’s. He’s using a football ‘time of possession’ to slow progress and control the game by limiting possible exposure. I mean, that’s the name of the game but Shapiro’s description offers a unique viewpoint on what the new Oilers’ coach is thinking.

ALL HAT, NO CATTLE?

Hitchcock has shown himself to be a helluva coach, so if he turns around Lucic, Kassian and others then we’ll build him a statue guaranteed. I think a watchful approach is a good idea, and it would be good to recognize there are a whole range of results before “oh my God he solved everything and bam! Stanley Cup” along the road from here.

WHO WILL HE VALUE?

Well this is hockey, so he’s going to value the guys who make a difference. Hitchcock is instilling confidence and a sense of team, but there are certain home truths about this roster. If you’re asking me, he’s going ride the following heavily: McDavid, Draisaitl, Nuge among forwards; Klefbom, Larsson, Nurse and Russell among blue; the hot hand among Talbot and Koskinen.

I don’t think that list varies from McLellan’s, these are the men you’ll want to go to war with every night. You’d like another, hell two more, but the nine men listed here are going to be the big reasons for success or failure.

WHERE ARE THE RISKS?

The second pairing (Nurse-Russell) could spring a leak, one hopes the coach can get them to play level. I think his ‘grumpy old men’ line is a risk wrapped around bravado and if it doesn’t work out suspect we’ll see Chiasson or Khaira move up and help Brodziak (who is going to be the key).

WHO HAS THE BIG CHANCE?

Drake Caggiula. McLellan set him there and he scored a huge goal in Hitchcock’s first win. Caggiula has had injury issues and will need to deliver consistently but he is on pace for 30+ goals this season.

WHAT DOES HE WANT NOW, TODAY?

Hitchcock needs someone to help Nuge drive possession and score enough to make that line a concern. The double shifting of 97 might be good for a few goals a month but this team badly needs to improve the McDavid ON/OFF number. Chiarelli is hoping someone will emerge from the NHL or AHL roster, at this point it’s more likely a trade.

WHO IS IN TROUBLE?

It’s too strong a word (trouble) but I would say there are players who may be too vanilla for a coach with strong opinions about what he wants to see. Ryan Spooner is fast but he isn’t big, he (like Caggiula) will have to forecheck effectively in order to make an impression. His road might be harder than Chiasson’s as an example.

Cooper Marody and Ty Rattie are in a tough spot, as the coach may want to make room for players he trusts (and are available), and the general manager may want to bring Jesse Puljujarvi back to the show.

Finally, Matt Benning. I’m a fan of this player, but Hitchcock is a stickler for execution and there’s some inconsistency in his game. He’s the one I worry about, from my list of players who imo can help this team get into the playoffs.

ANY CONDORS?

Puljujarvi’s size and speed make him a candidate, I’ll talk to Daniel Nugent-Bowman about his progress this morning on the Lowdown. After that, Brad Malone, Joe Gambardella and Caleb Jones might get a shot, with Ethan Bear trailing the group due to injury maladies. Tyler Benson is a player I could see getting a call but it’s so early in his pro career. If Patrick Russell doesn’t get into the lineup soon, he may get sent down.

STANDINGS AT U.S. THANKSGIVING

Elliotte Friedman did a story a few years back on teams in a playoff spot at U.S. Thanksgiving. It’s like 78 percent of those teams make the final playoff group, so that’s an important tell. Edmonton is on the outside, but how bad is it? As there are teams who have played more or less games, I’m going to list the Pacific in winning percentage via hockey-reference. I’m listing Pacific Division because it looks like both wild cards will go to the Central (as many expected). There is a three-way tie for the third and final spot, I am using RPT percentage (points percentage counting no points for an OT loss, and any shootout game as a tie):

  • No. 1: Calgary 22, 13-8-1 (27 points) (.614 winning percentage) (.614 RPT%)
  • No. 2: San Jose 22, 11-7-4 (26) (.591) (.545 RPT)
  • No. 3: Edmonton 21, 10-10-1 (21) (.500) (.476 RPT)
  • No. 3: Arizona 20, 9-9-2 (20) (.500) (.425 RPT) 
  • No. 3: Anaheim 23, 9-9-5 (23) (.500) (.391 RPT)
  • No. 6: Vancouver 24, 10-12-2 (22) (.458) (.438 RPT)
  • No. 7: Vegas 23, 10-12-1 (21) (.457) (.435 RPT)
  • No. 8: Los Angeles 21, 7-13-1 (15) (.357) (.310 RPT)

Nothing is decided beyond the Kings are out of the playoff race. Calgary is absolutely hammering opponents and you have to allow for the possibility that they are the class of the group. San Jose should have enough firepower to run with the Flames. After that? Wide open. Edmonton is in it, don’t let anyone tell you different.

OILERS YEAR OVER YEAR STATS

The Oilers are an interesting team with a fascinating story to tell through 21 games. Here are some numbers, their NHL rank and in brackets the number at the same time one year ago (via naturalstattrick):

  • Record: 10-10-1 (7-12-2) 
  • Corsi for 5-on-5: 50.3 (54.50)
  • Fenwick for 5-on-5: 51.18 (54.32)
  • Shots for 5-on-5: 50.93 (53.03)
  • Goals for 5-on-5: 46.15 (42.50)
  • Shooting percentage 5-on-5: 6.91 (5.89)
  • Save percentage 5-on-5: .9163 (.910)
  • PDO: 985 (969)

Hitchcock will like the Corsi (even though he has a different metric) and will recognize some elements of luck and lack of skill in the shooting percentage. The save percentage needs to be better, PDO has actually improved year over year. The two areas 5-on-5 I do think Hitchcock will improve? Save percentage and goals percentage. Not a guarantee, but that’s on his resume.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Hitchcock is a fine coach. He’s going to remind us of MacT I expect, line matching and making life difficult for opponents (grind, wearing them down, et cetera). If this team is going to get anywhere, they need to add a scorer, maybe a defenseman too. And the goalies have to be more consistent. Fascinating bet by Chiarelli, the Oilers are a more interesting team today. The question you need to ask: Are they any better?

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN1260, I’ll be live from the Shaw Conference Centre for Grey Cup 2018. We’ll have a great atmosphere, if you’re in the area please stop in. Scheduled to appear:

  • Darrin Bauming, TSN1290 Winnipeg. Grey Cup preview, what the Stampeders can do on offense and defense against Ottawa.
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman, The Athletic. Daniel is in Bakersfield, so we’ll chat about Jesse Puljujarvi and other possible callups, plus get his view on the Hitchcock hiring.
  • Frank Seravalli, TSN. What Hitchcock brings to the Oilers and last chance Texaco for Peter Chiarelli.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter.

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Ribs

Fascinating stuff, VOR! Many thanks to you and your wife for relaying your activities!

Halfwise

Glovjuice: What about the Glovjuice?

Every time I see you I think of you.

Sierra

Wilde:
Another:

“We always exit through the middle of the ice. We don’t bang it off the boards. We don’t want wingers banging pucks off the boards. We don’t care- we turn it over, and it ends up in our net sometimes? Big deal. Nine times out of ten, that’s a good play.”

Praise be.

So tired of watching the puck get ground into dust going up the wall and playing ping-pong with their point guy and having your guy in the middle be way too high because he’s got to catch that puck once it finally gets through.

Amen

Pescador

drglen:
Lets see what happens tonight.Would be nice to get something from the second line

Is break even something?
cause that would nice

€√¥£€^$

frjohnk: I think I read when he was available, the Oilers had their coach.
When the Oilers were looking for a coach, he was not available as he was coaching somewhere else.

I distinctly remember him being available at one point and thinking “why didn’t they get him”, but reviewing the timeline I see that you are correct.

€√¥£€^$

drglen:
Lets see what happens tonight.Would be nice to get something from the second line

This afternoon.

2 pm puck drop

Pescador

Glovjuice: What about the Glovjuice?

Gross

frjohnk

€√¥£€^$: it always struck me as very strange that he was never seemingly on E-town’s radar.

I think I read when he was available, the Oilers had their coach.
When the Oilers were looking for a coach, he was not available as he was coaching somewhere else.

€√¥£€^$

hunter1909:
Re Hitchcock:

I get the feeling the Oilers have found their Scotty Bowman. How this dude wasn’t considered seriously before I know nothing about, since I know so little about hockey.

One thing I’ve really noticed is that when he’s been brought in to a new team, he seems to have an immediate positive impact on the results. I am sure this didn’t happen in all cases, but him famously being a Claire Drake protoge, it always struck me as very strange that he was never seemingly on E-town’s radar.

drglen

Lets see what happens tonight. Would be nice to get something from the second line

Glovjuice

Halfwise:
VOR,

VOR you are one of the few posters here (in addition to our kind host) whose words invite and reward rumination.

My interest in your disciplines is now officially sparked. Thank you.

What about the Glovjuice?

Halfwise

VOR,

VOR you are one of the few posters here (in addition to our kind host) whose words invite and reward rumination.

My interest in your disciplines is now officially sparked. Thank you.

godot10

Wilde: I think if a D goes in the top-10 it’ll be a huge risk in this draft

Broberg will probably go top 10.

hunter1909

OriginalPouzar: Bouchard was on the ice for 7 of the first 8 goals scored – both ways.

As I said, due to chaos on a transaction I was at the office and couldn’t watch so I can’t tell you about his culpability on the goals against but it seems he is still high event both ways, even in junior.

AHL would be great but it seems there is still plenty for him to work on away from the puck at the CHL level.

Although I don’t imagine this organization will let it happen, there is a very good chance he SHOULD be in the AHL to start next season – we know he won’t be though….

As long as he stays healthy, it’s going to be okay.

OriginalPouzar

Glovjuice: Very solid. Bouchard should be in the A.Bummer.

Bouchard was on the ice for 7 of the first 8 goals scored – both ways.

As I said, due to chaos on a transaction I was at the office and couldn’t watch so I can’t tell you about his culpability on the goals against but it seems he is still high event both ways, even in junior.

AHL would be great but it seems there is still plenty for him to work on away from the puck at the CHL level.

Although I don’t imagine this organization will let it happen, there is a very good chance he SHOULD be in the AHL to start next season – we know he won’t be though….

Wilde

Another:

“We always exit through the middle of the ice. We don’t bang it off the boards. We don’t want wingers banging pucks off the boards. We don’t care- we turn it over, and it ends up in our net sometimes? Big deal. Nine times out of ten, that’s a good play.”

Praise be.

So tired of watching the puck get ground into dust going up the wall and playing ping-pong with their point guy and having your guy in the middle be way too high because he’s got to catch that puck once it finally gets through.

Wilde

Watching a video of Hitchcock explaining his system when he was with the Blues, here’s a part where I thought about Puljujarvi:

“All five players on one half of the ice; all five players in the picture – and we don’t dictate ‘lock this guy, pick up that guy,’ we just say that if you come back hard, it’ll sort itself out. Our defensemen make the 1-on-1 and take the speed, and the forwards come back inside, so they don’t have any guessing or gliding.”

The issue with Puljujarvi has never been whether or not he puts in the effort to come back hard, so this is going to be real simple and easy for him. Combine that on defense with, on offense, the ‘you have the puck, that’s you’ allowance for creativity in the OZ and Jesse’s going to figure things out just on time for us, I’d wager.

Bruce McCurdy

Melvis: Well, yeah. Since there’s way too much hockey talk on this hockey blog.

I’m just curious. Have you been taking detailed game notes since knee high to Roy “Shrimp” Worters?

Haha just playing a little Word Association Football** in response to your comment that mentioned both talking heads & food, took me right to the Talking Heads album of that title from 1978. Best known for its quirky version of the Al Green classic “Take Me to the River”.

(**Monty Python reference)

Alas, I don’t remember Roy Worters but I do know who he was. Have long been an NHL history buff & have been following in real time for well over half of that history. As for detailed notes, they’re a relatively recent development, I relied on my memory for decades until it started showing some signs of wear & tear. But now in my blogging years, game notes are a must.

Wilde

Though, for D-men who are exceptional skaters, I’m looking for points or else it’s a bit of a red flag.

If the player has the requisite hockey IQ to understand seams & gaps, they should be able to create in junior hockey. If not, they’re missing that or the requisite puck skill to hit teammates’ tape in motion & under pressure.

Either way, that’s not functional speed.

The potential NHL puck-movers will score against their peers. I don’t care about their production once reaching the NHL (there’s no third or fourth assist) but nobody learns to pass well in the NHL.

Wilde

jtblack: Good response. agree woth your assessment.. I really like Byram due to bias He played Bantam in my home town.Flat out Exceptional All Around Player.but yes, the offense will be a question.
Currently on pace for 20 Goals, 55 points as a D man.Has same coach in Van that he did for 2 years in Bantam (Mike Dyck).Dyck plays a VERY defensive system.And has won at every level (BANTAM, MIDGET, now WHL)

Yeah I’ll admit that just like at the NHL level, D-men are harder to figure out esp when I’m using just macro data or data + bad video (like highlights).

I don’t make any concrete decisions on bluelinersuntil I watch some full games or shift-by-shifts but what I said above holds true in terms of percentages.

It’s why I wasn’t too torn up about Evan Bouchard despite having concerns about his game (skating, reads, lack of mobility-based outplays) and his advanced age – the scoring was just too much.

drglen

kelowna oiler,

Tim and sid did tbe score si ce tbe 90s. Thats whete elliot friedman came from as well. As a father up all night with grumpy babies in those days. I always appreciated tbe score

Reja

drglen:
I still say the Wideman move is anticipating a trade,

Ding.Ding.Ding.

drglen

Congrats to bo levi well deserved mop. Go stamps

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

JimmyV1965: bet

Actually Kos is proven as he has been playing like this for years – just not in the nhl. Only thing I worry about is shooters going high glove as he seems to play a bit tight to blocker side post. Small adjustment I hope he makes.

Glovjuice

OriginalPouzar:
McLeod adds a PP goal of his own and, from accounts, it was a fantastic goal.

i had planned to watch this entire game but work blew up on me and I haven’t been able to leave the office yet, nor for a few more hours – looking forward to seeing the highlights though.

Sounds like both Bouchard and McLeod were exceptional!

Very solid. Bouchard should be in the A. Bummer.

Glovjuice

bendelson: You’re most welcome.

… Rosanna, yeah…

Went on a massive Rossana and Africa kick this passed “spring” during all that snow shovelling- glorious songs/ gawd was Jeff procaro ever perfect.

drglen

JimmyV1965,

So true. Gotta stop the pucks.

But guys seem yo be saying that hitchs systems. If team can adapt. Actually reduce high danger shots and goslies tend to do really well.

LoDog

ArmchairGM:
Would you trade:

Nurse
Puljujarvi
2019 1st

– for –

Tarasenko

… at the deadline with two big assumptions: (1) that Sekera is back and playing like his 2016-17 self and (2) that we could make the cap work somehow.

Would you make that trade? Why or why not?

At the deadline maybe with all those caveats.

However I would like Hitch to get his hands on PJ first . Tarasenko turned out pretty good under the same coach.

JimmyV1965

I think it might be wise to pump the brakes a bit on Hitch. Although I have no doubt he’s a better coach than Tmac, making the playoffs still hinges on our goaltending. And although Koskinen has played well so far, he’s still unproven. Hitch’s systems might make it easier for the goalies, but we all know they are voodoo.

drglen

Calgary riding hot goalie. Im high on the flames but i think they will fallback to earth

San jose will fade as well. Interesting to see what the ducks have

The team that worries me. Underestimated again at the moment. Is vegas. Vegas is going to climb and i think they win the division.

drglen

Btw. Wrong forum but. There is no way that the eskimos should have rehired jason maas. No way!!!

Oilers are missing reider hope we get him back

jtblack

Wilde: No true high-end guys in terms of scoring outside of Kokkonen, combined with the extra high-end forwards means basically you’d be trading a better bet (very high scoring forwards become good NHL players more often than any other player-identity) for a worse one.

High pick D-men miss a ton, especially when they aren’t super high-scoring guys. You could get Morrissey, but you also could get Nurse. Or Hayden Fleury.

Good response. agree woth your assessment.. I really like Byram due to bias He played Bantam in my home town. Flat out Exceptional All Around Player. but yes, the offense will be a question.
Currently on pace for 20 Goals, 55 points as a D man. Has same coach in Van that he did for 2 years in Bantam (Mike Dyck). Dyck plays a VERY defensive system. And has won at every level (BANTAM, MIDGET, now WHL)

workaroundaccount

Woodguy v2.0: Can you give me my phone back please?

Sure, there’s too much freaky stuff on it for me anyways.

Wilde

jtblack: Why do you say that?

No true high-end guys in terms of scoring outside of Kokkonen, combined with the extra high-end forwards means basically you’d be trading a better bet (very high scoring forwards become good NHL players more often than any other player-identity) for a worse one.

High pick D-men miss a ton, especially when they aren’t super high-scoring guys. You could get Morrissey, but you also could get Nurse. Or Hayden Fleury.

VOR

Bruce,

My wife says to thank you for the laugh. She tells me she laughed out loud for the first time in several days.

It is now past 4 AM here and I still can’t sleep. The humidity here is now 100%. Step outside as I did a few minutes ago and you are soaked to the skin and the fog is like paste. Cold paste.

And this explains why I am still awake at least in part. The apartment across the hall from me is filled with young mathematicians, including my Danish friends, all drunk as skunks, but being plied with crepes, ham, and eggs by my neighbor. I have been over there helping her.

Limon isn’t a mathematician, claims to be a sociologist here to study the mating rituals of nerds. I think she may also be inebriated. In any case they are in the process of passing out and falling asleep and it is slowly quieting down. Limon’s (I am betting that isn’t really her name) apartment looks like an old fashioned dorm, long lines of cots along each wall – apparently this happens often enough our hosts were prepared.

It has been years since I had this much fun at a conference. I am already planning to come back next year. And Melvis, if you are in Paris I strongly recommend you take a side trip to Orleans.

But on with the math. A Pakistani engineer friend of mine set up the meeting with the Danes. I outsource some of my data mining and analysis and computer programming to Ali.

He is in Calgary.

The Danes have stumbled on an entire new way of doing Big Data analysis. They literally show their AI pictures of the data. The machine takes it from there. It uses entire new algorithms which are self-learning. This would be a major breakthrough in biology and medicine if it works.

The reason Ali thought I might be interested is two fold. First, all these young women have worked at one time or another on skating bio-mechanics. Second, they offered to have their AI “look at” my longitudinal data for CF and GF vs age. Or rather Ali’s data. Mostly though he thought they might be interested in speaking to me about their dilemma.

They started this work while they were still in university so their universities own part of the IP and then they got recruited and now work in the private sector where their companies own part of the IP but they have done all the development work post grad school on their own time and dime. So now what do they do? This is why I am being just a little bit cautious about naming them.

The first step, of course, as in coaching is gaining trust. That is the answer to Half-wise’s question about how to convince people who think they know it all to change in order to improve. One person at a time gain their trust. Use that trust – without violating it – to figure out the levers that move them. Finally use their lever(s) to move them to wherever it is they really want to go but are afraid to or don’t believe they can.

I am only a quarter wise so I am not sure how helpful I can be but I coach people who want to be great. They want it with their whole heart and soul. My job is to remove the barriers that stop them from getting there. Sometimes these are ones they have erected themselves or society has imposed but mostly they are caused by the way their brains or bodies or both function. It isn’t magic. It is slow plodding very hard work with endless repetitions and enormous amounts of reinforcement and emotional support.

I gained my Danish friends trust with V4ANCE’s out of the blue question about Karl Friston.

They all worship Friston. He is the giant whose shoulders they stand on. They think I will find that nearly every bio-mathematician of their generation is either inspired by him, influenced by him, trying to replace him, or trying to prove him wrong.

Despite which they think his free energy thinking is flawed. In summary:

-They think ‘free energy’ is just the ‘evidence lower bound’ that is optimized by a large portion of today’s machine learning algorithms (i.e. variational auto-encoders).

-‘Predictive coding’ which as they see it is the dominant paradigm in neuroscience is a form of free energy minimization. Minimally they think that free energy minimization (as predictive coding) approximates the back propagation algorithm, but in a biologically plausible fashion.

-Finally they pointed out that biologically plausible deep learning approaches all use some form of prediction error signal, and are therefore functionally akin to predictive coding.

-In other words the notion of free energy minimization is already well established in both neuroscience and machine learning.

As for Markov Blankets they think it is vital if you want good predictive outcomes from your models that you use all three machine learning approaches preferably in an integrated manner. They think Markov Blankets should be part of every predictive model but only part of a part.

I am not qualified to argue the point with them. Though it is worth noting in my own work I always try to use parametric and non-parametric tools and all three kinds of learning if I am forced to delegate to algorithms. I am personally inspired by Karl Friston’s story and what he accomplished.

The highlight of dinner was that they gave me the results of Ali’s data mining as “analyzed” by their AI.

The relationship between CF, GF, age and experience boils down to this; with experience players get better at generating GF% from whatever CF% they produce and that effect lasts into their thirties. Over any one year the effect is quite small but in any one game it can be large. Older more experienced players (up to about 32 years and 6 months) are more likely to dominate an individual game (outscoring by 2 or more goals) than they were at each earlier knot.

It just occurred to me that it might explain both why veteran teams win more and why younger teams get shafted by the refs. More later. Now I am finally ready to sleep. I have to remember to tell you about analytics in Aussie Rules Football.

kelowna oiler

drglen: Sid is a typical Toronto dick head.( I lived there)

but,

he knows his basketball.

Sid reminds me of kid who got picked on through his school days. He tries to act and funny, but is annoying. He and his side bald chump try to be like Jay and Dan from TSN, but don’t even come close.

So whatever Sid the dweeb said doesn’t really matter..he’s saying these things to get ratings.

jtblack

jtblack,

P.S. love Kaliyev

Bank Shot

One of Chris Wideman’s youtube highlights has him scoring on a rebound.

You don’t see that from Oilers d-men.

He’ll give them a different look for sure.

Maybe he’ll be able to add something on the PP.

It would be amazing if he was able to bring more to the PP than Klefbom. Klefbom is one of the worst performers out of D-men that play on the first unit.

He’s 28 though. This deal likely won’t amount to much. Fingers crossed as always.

jtblack

Wilde: I think if a D goes in the top-10 it’ll be a huge risk in this draft

Why do you say that?

Wilde

jtblack:
Byram will prob go top 6excellent all around D Man …

gonna be some gems between 10 – 25

I think if a D goes in the top-10 it’ll be a huge risk in this draft

drglen

Woodguy v2.0,

numbers don’t lie. !!

drglen

Scungilli Slushy,

I think they see Khaira as doing more than Strome. Khaira replaces strome. Strome had plenty of time, and didn’t show offense. I think Khaira can create more good, possibly goals as well, in Hitch’s or anyone elses system.

OriginalPouzar

McLeod adds a PP goal of his own and, from accounts, it was a fantastic goal.

i had planned to watch this entire game but work blew up on me and I haven’t been able to leave the office yet, nor for a few more hours – looking forward to seeing the highlights though.

Sounds like both Bouchard and McLeod were exceptional!

drglen

Pescador: The only upside of being Cap strung is that PC can’t trade away (substantial) futures for all the marginal NHL’ers he seems to like so much

I know.. but I’ve got this gnawing little worry that Nurse is for sale…

He’s hit the cap and cant do anything but try to pry the 7th defenseman and 14 forward from teams. That’s kind of sad actually. How did this happen?

Lucic too much money and term.

It would have been nice to get draisaitl for 1 million less, though I don’t begrudge the deal, as every team in the league would give their left testicle for that guy.

RNH is making a bit too much as well…. but lots of guys make a lot more and play much worse for the team.

Kassian is a bit of an overpay.

Russell is an overpay.

I guess today’s NHL really is about bottom end players exceeding their potential for cheap.

that itchy feeling… he might be trying to peddle RNH … I woudnlt do it, but it’s not unthinkable either. Short of Pavelski there arent’ too many guys like RNH, on the other hand, their are probably guys that might give you more.. IF… you want that guy to be a second line center. I’d actually be willing to part with RNH, a great player and the good soldier who bleeds orange and blue, but he’s tradeable.

jtblack

Byram will prob go top 6 excellent all around D Man …

gonna be some gems between 10 – 25

Scungilli Slushy

Pescador: The only upside of being Cap strung is that PC can’t trade away (substantial) futures for all the marginal NHL’ers he seems to like so much

I find it odd he traded Strome just before he hired a coach that would seem to like him.

The verbal is whatever last games caused the decision but of course with the money and stakes involved the writing was on the wall, and we knew that going on to the season by reading the tea leaves.

I also imagine Hitch had been contacted well before the hire. PC must have wanted a speed upgrade big time. And thought Brodziak or Khaira could do what Strome did at zero offense.

jtblack

ArmchairGM: I agree. Here is the current top-31 (as per Sportsnet) and their NHLE so far:

1. Jack Hughes LC 45.39 ***
2. Kaapo Kakko RW 21.46
3. Kirby DachRC 41.99 ***
4. Dylan Cozens RC 28.30
5. Vasily Podkolzin RW 17.79
6. Alex TurcotteLC 14.76
7. Raphael Lavoie RC/RW 25.51
8. Alex NewhookLC 27.75
9. Matthew Boldy LW 26.57
10. Ryan SuzukiLC 38.40 ***
11. Trevor ZegrasLC 38.45 ***
12. Bowen ByramD 16.88
13. Philip BrobergD 11.91
14. Peyton KrebsLC 29.07
15. Cole CaufieldRW 25.46
16. Arthur KaliyevRW 39.73 ***
17. Matthew RobertsonD 15.13
18. Yaroslav LikhachevRW 8.73
19. Victor SoderstromD 11.71
20. Matvey Guskov LW 17.66
21. Anttoni HonkaD 9.88
22. Cam YorkD 17.71
23. Thomas Harley LD 21.67 ***
24. Nolan FooteLW 23.58
25. John BeecherLW 15.15
26. Jakob Pelletier LW 35.44 ***
27. Lassi Thomson D 17.23
28. Alex VlasicD 12.18
29. Samuel PoulinLW 18.23
30. Kaedan Korczak D 15.07
31. Moritz SeiderD 2.19

*** These are the guys to watch. Interestingly (if I’ve done this right) Hughes has about the same NHLE as Marner did in his draft year – well below McDavid and Eichel. Lots of track left, of course, so we’ll see.

Looks like picking at 10 again (God forbid) will net an excellent prospect. Even picking in the playoff bracket (16+) could result in a great future player. I’ve highlighted 3 exceptional prospects in this range above, their scouting reports are as follows:

16. Arthur Kaliyev, RW, Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL) 6-foot-1, 190 pounds: The goal scoring has always been there. He has shown other parts of his game that make you think the sky’s the limit. Finding consistency in those other areas will cement him inside the top-15.

23. Thomas Harley, LD, Mississauga Steelheads (OHL) 6-foot-3, 188 pounds: Starting to come out of his shell. A smooth skater with excellent passing abilities. Has good reach to help him defensively.

26. Jakob Pelletier, LW, Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL), 5-foot-9, 161 pounds: The hockey IQ is way too high to ignore. He makes those around him better and competes like a champ.

https://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/juniors/sportsnets-2019-nhl-draft-prospect-rankings-november/

was working. Thanks !!

great info. excellent draft

Pescador

drglen:
I still say the Wideman move is anticipating a trade,

The only upside of being Cap strung is that PC can’t trade away (substantial) futures for all the marginal NHL’ers he seems to like so much

Pescador

drglen:
Any relation to Dennis Wideman.( good D)

Chris Wideman is also MMA…

Much Maligned Ahl’er

Victoria Oil

Btw, Chris Wideman is co-leading the team (with Nurse) in defensive goals scored this season.