Game 24 2018-19: Stars at Oilers

I’m enjoying the “Ken Hitchcock: Mall Walker Set Free” coaching return despite the 1-1-1 record, and can’t wait for episode four. There’s a lot of back story this evening, we might hear the coach mention some old timey Dallas players in the pre or post (“I think Jujhar Khaira could be Mike Keane”). I’m hopeful he’ll go humble verbal about the Stars in the morning, kick their asses to Texarkana during the game, frustrating Stars fans to the point of no sleep, and then go all Hitchcock of the walk postgame. Honestly, that would be sweet.

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. Outstanding offer is here.

  • New Lowetide: Oilers need a first-shot scoring winger and Ryan Spooner isn’t it. So, what’s next?
  • New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: What Oilers want to see from top prospects Puljujarvi and Yamamoto
  • Lowetide: Jesse Puljujarvi to the show, plus the sudden impact of Cam Hebig and Joel Persson.
  • Lowetide: Oilers No. 3 Prospect winter 2018: Tyler Benson.
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Third line suits the eye of new Oilers coach Ken Hitchcock.
  • Jonathan Willis: Can Ken Hitchcock save Milan Lucic’s Oilers career?
  • Lowetide: A shot in the dark: What are the Oilers getting in Chris Wideman?
  • Lowetide: Oilers No. 2 Prospect winter 2018: Kailer Yamamoto.
  • Lowetide: Oilers No. 1 Prospect winter 2018: Evan Bouchard.

OILERS AFTER 24

  • Oilers in 20158-14-2, 18 points; goal differential -13
  • Oilers in 2016: 12-10-2, 26 points; goal differential +7
  • Oilers in 2017: 9-13-2, 20 points; goal differential -14
  • Oilers in 2018: 10-11-2, 22 points; goal differential -12

Pending tonight’s results, the 2018 team has more in common with the wildly disappointing 2017 team than the 2016 playoff group. Lots of EN goals for sure, but this team has an unmistakable inconsistency we’ve come to expect from the modern Oilers.

OILERS IN NOVEMBER

  • Oilers in November 2015: 4-7-2, 10 points; goal differential -9
  • Oilers in November 2016: 5-6-2, 12 points; goal differential 0
  • Oilers in November 2017: 5-7-1, 11 points; goal differential -3
  • Oilers in November 2018: 4-7-1, nine points; goal differential -10

Two games left, we could see anywhere from nine to 13 points out of the month, both disappointing totals. At the end of this season, no matter what happens, November will be remembered for costing the coach his job and at least two trades in an effort to turn the rig around. That October surprise is a distant bell.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM 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 1-3-0)
  • At home to: Colorado, Montreal (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 1-1-0)
  • On the road to: Calgary (Expected 0-1-0) (Actual 0-1-0)
  • At home to: Vegas (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 0-1-0)
  • On the road to: San Jose, Anaheim, Los Angeles (Expected 2-1-0) (Actual 1-1-1)
  • 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: 4-7-1, 9 points in 12 games

No idea what tonight brings, the team is off the grid and at this point the only thing I’m prepared to state with authority is they won’t give up 10 goals, but Tyler Pitlick will score. Dallas is a better team (12-10-2, +2 GD) but have struggled recently (4-5-1 in the last 10).

OILERS FORWARDS AFTER 23 GAMES

This is even-strength points, not 5-on-5, I’m using this measure in 2018-19 because McDavid and Leon do so much work at 4-on-4 and it’s a big part of Edmonton’s offense. There are 93 first-line forwards (over 150 minutes) in the NHL, each team should have three. There are 93 second-line forwards (over 150 minutes) in the NHL, each team should have three more. So, using my giant math brain, Edmonton should have six men inside the top 186 forwards at even-strength points-per-60:

  • No. 30—Connor McDavid
  • No. 43—Leon Draisaitl
  • No. 76—Alex Chiasson
  • No. 131—Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
  • No. 161—Drake Caggiula
  • No. 224—Tobias Rieder

Edmonton has five of six, need another legit top-six forward. As I wrote in this morning’s item for The Athletic, that could come internally or externally, but Hitch is going to be pushing for a shooter. Edmonton is at 97.9 PDO, that implies a correction may come (shooting or saving) but it’s really all about McDavid, and we know he won’t be No. 30 at the end of the year. That’s the market correction we should be looking for, along with a few more calls by the stripes on interference against the best player on the planet.

OILERS DEFENSE AFTER 23 GAMES

None of the cool kids does Corsi Rel anymore but old man Lowetide still loves looking at the league via Rel to see how the locals shine. There are 62 top pairing blue, 124 men who are safely inside the top-four defensemen definition. How many do the Oilers have?

  • No. 24—Adam Larsson
  • No. 25—Oscar Klefbom
  • No. 57—Chris Wideman (including both Ottawa and Edmonton)
  • No. 146—Darnell Nurse
  • No. 149—Kris Russell
  • No. 153—Matt Benning

The top pair (Klefbom and Larsson) look good here, as they are in fact inside the top 62 and play against the other team’s best. Nurse,, Russell and Benning aren’t inside the top-four, reflecting the difficulties we’ve seen on that second pairing. Wideman is included mostly because I was surprised at where he landed.

What does that mean? Well, the top metric for me is Dangerous Fenwick, and last season was a difficult one for the team but the club had some good performances:

This season has been more of a challenge for that second pair, but I’d be careful about casting away Matt Benning. A position can be a weak spot for the team while also being the best fix available. Terry Harper was despised by Montreal Canadiens fans, but he could defend and was miserable to play against back in the day. I hope the organization retains him. I think the organization probably lines up like this next fall:

  • Oscar Klefbom—Adam Larsson
  • Darnell Nurse—Matt Benning
  • Andrej Sekera—Evan Bouchard

The Oilers will continue to have growing pains on defense, but there’s going to be a point, maybe next season, where these young Condors will begin pushing out veteran blue. It’s a shame Bear’s injury/performance means it won’t happen this year.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

We’re heavy on Oilers hockey this morning, beginning at 10 on TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Jonathan Willis, The Athletic. Hitchcock’s first week, are there more trades to come?
  • Scott Cullen, The Athletic. We’ll drill down on both Strome deals.
  • Taylor Baird, Defending Big D. We’ll chat about the Stars, and Hitchcock’s return.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

written by

The author didn‘t add any Information to his profile yet.
Related Posts

442 Responses to "Game 24 2018-19: Stars at Oilers"

« Older Comments
  1. Rebillled says:

    Pretty blown away by the back-up considering the preseason.

    I mean starter. He’s undefeated at home.

    Great game goalie.

    SEE YOU NEXT GAME

  2. drglen says:

    Paddy Morans Jockstrap:
    So where are all the experts who looked at a few KHL stats and proclaimed Kos a horrible signing, over-pay, etc etc. Might want to watch a guy play for a bit before offering opinions based on zero viewings and hating the GM.

    ya, we all gotta buy chia breakfast. This was a great signing.. Looked terrible in preseason. But we are all jack ass fans that’s the problem. ( .. note, so long as no low blows and personal attacks its basically OK to be a predudiced critical fan) I want to run Chia out of town for this pop gun lineup, but then, ya… this Koskinen find. Outstanding at like 1/2 to 1/3 the price of other comparable goalies if he continues like this. We’ve got to give Peter Chiarelli credit here. In fact, Koskinens working out so well, he might deserve to keep his job. am I right, or is that going too far?

  3. Reja says:

    drglen:
    I saw Connor tossing some elbows out there. Good!he’s gonna get 2 minutes here and there, but he’s a big strong lad and oppoenents have to no that if you take liberties youre going to get a backsided elbow to the teeth. He has to do this to get respect and to prolong his carreer if h’es just going to get hacked.

    Pisses me off the weaker players draw the penalties but Connor doesn’t dive he’s a battler. It’s a disgrace the best player in the league isn’t even close to drawing the most calls.

  4. Glovjuice says:

    Ryan: The Oilers are not a savvy organization.

    Decent right shot 3rd line C for a 13th forward. Holy fak. This GM IS TOTALLY incompetent. The better drafting (alltough Benson, Yamo, and Bouchard were all unnecessary picks from a risk perspective) is NOT offsetting the horrendous talent bleed and opportunity cost lost via awful trades and brutal signings. It’s like he is actually being paid to fuck it all up. Lowe, MacT , and Tambo were nowhere near this bad. Shit, at least Lowe orchestrated the most entertaining run in 1.5 generations and almost got us a cup. None if those guys systematically dismantled a platter of sure success. We can’t even use the Talbot trade as a plus on his ledger anymore. We have what, the fucking Maroon trade left. Holy crap.

  5. drglen says:

    Reja: Pisses me off the weaker players draw the penalties but Connor doesn’t dive he’s a battler. It’s a disgrace the best player in the league isn’t even close to drawing the most calls.

    You’ve got a point there. The refs kind of see the slash but also see if it actually brings connor down. If it kind of bounces off him and he fights through it, they say, Ok no penalty I guess. I totally agree it’s his drive, roughness, balance, strength, and resilience that makes the ref not make the call.

    The closest example I can think of is the ‘play advantage’ call/non call in soccer. if you hack a guy, but, it doesn’t actually take him down and he’s now got some running room or a breakaway, they will ‘play advantage’… acknowledging that its a better scoring chance to keep the break going than to let everybody reset on the penalty kick.

    it’s something like that… but not that. I don’t actually think they are not calling it to the extent we think. They just let the play flow ahead to see if connor is hurt or noticeably disadvantaged on the play.

  6. bendelson says:

    Ryan: I’d work for free.
    Woodguy’s my agent.

    If Woodguy is your agent… no, you wouldn’t.

  7. Reja says:

    Paddy Morans Jockstrap:
    So where are all the experts who looked at a few KHL stats and proclaimed Kos a horrible signing, over-pay, etc etc. Might want to watch a guy play for a bit before offering opinions based on zero viewings and hating the GM.

    He’s in the zone right now keep riding him until he has a couple of shaky starts. He sure made some nice saves tonight especially against Benn that man has a sneaky damm good shot.

  8. JimmyV1965 says:

    Glovjuice: Decent right shot 3rd line C for a 13th forward. Holy fak. This GM IS TOTALLY incompetent. The better drafting (alltough Benson, Yamo, and Bouchard were all unnecessary picks from a risk perspective) is NOT offsetting the horrendous talent bleed and opportunity cost lost via awful trades and brutal signings. It’s like he is actually being paid to fuck it all up. Lowe, MacT , and Tambo were nowhere near this bad. Shit, at least Lowe orchestrated the most entertaining run in 1.5 generations and almost got us a cup.None if those guys systematically dismantled a platter of sure success. We can’t even use the Talbot trade as a plus on his ledger anymore. We have what, the fucking Maroon trade left. Holy crap.

    I think you have a really short memory if you think anyone on the OBC did anything well at all. Lowe caught lightning in a bottle with the Pronger trade, but MacT and Tambi were beyond awful. I’m not a big Chia fan, but he will leave his successor with infinitely more pieces than he received when he became GM. And that ain’t saying much. MacT and Tambi did nothing but sewer this team for a decade.

  9. GMB3 says:

    Jethro Tull: Welcome to Hitchcock Hockey. But we’re not allowed to criticize him.

    Hey at least Chia didn’t keep his powder dry and downgraded the roster one more time before his tenure as Oilers GM comes to a necessary end (if were gonna play ‘Jump to Conclusions’, I’m game).

    God forbid the Oilers fans be happy with the hiring of a new member of the organization. It’s much more preferable for everyone to angry all the time every time.

  10. Reja says:

    drglen: You’ve got a point there.The refs kind of see the slash but also see if it actually brings connor down.If it kind of bounces off him and he fights through it, they say, Ok no penalty I guess.I totally agree it’s his drive, roughness, balance, strength, and resilience that makes the ref not make the call.

    The closest example I can think of is the ‘play advantage’ call/non call in soccer. if you hack a guy, but, it doesn’t actually take him down and he’s now got some running room or a breakaway, they will ‘play advantage’… acknowledging that its a better scoring chance to keep the break going than to let everybody reset on the penalty kick.

    it’s something like that… but not that. I don’t actually think they are not calling it to the extent we think. They just let the play flow ahead to see if connor is hurt or noticeably disadvantaged on the play.

    I like the football (soccer) analogy its bang on.Connor could dive or embellish and embarrass the ref into calling a penalty but he doesn’t and that’s why I love the way he plays. Look how many calls Jenny hockey gets or even our Yamo draw. No doubt about the skill but there rewarded for being weak.

  11. smellyglove says:

    Didn’t watch the game.

    Don’t look now, but Koskinen is tied for 10th in the NHL for save percentage for goalies with 10 or more games.

    Talbot, in the absolute sewer. I wonder if he even fetches a pick at the deadline?

  12. LMHF#1 says:

    Rebillled:
    Pretty blown away by the back-up considering the preseason.

    I mean starter. He’s undefeated at home.

    Great game goalie.

    SEE YOU NEXT GAME

    A different goalie…in both result and style.

    I really wonder whether he is just the type that mentally needs the preseason to get done with and only focused when things got real…there are players like that…

  13. JimmyV1965 says:

    smellyglove:
    Didn’t watch the game.

    Don’t look now, but Koskinen is tied for 10th in the NHL for save percentage for goalies with 10 or more games.

    Talbot, in the absolute sewer. I wonder if he even fetches a pick at the deadline?

    I really don’t think there will be a market for a goalie at the trade deadline. The teams that need one now can’t afford to wait until the deadline because any playoff hopes they have will be dead by then. If you trade Talbot, it has to be sooner rather than later.

  14. Ribs says:

    Got back from hockey (we won) to see the headline “Klefbom scores his first of the season in OT” or something similar to that. I had to think to myself… Is that true? He has no goals 23 games into the season? Our top offensive defenceman? The one that leads the team in shots???

    Unfortunately, it’s true. Klefbom is on pace for three goals this season. He scored 12 in 2016-17.

    Maybe our other top pairing defencemen is getting all of the goals… ah crap, Larsson on pace for zero goals so far. I am less surprised by this, but still…

    No goal?? Are you kidding me???

    Who the hell is this Miro Heiskanen kid (played over 25 minutes tonight, a bunch of it against McDavid)? I swear I have no recollection of this guy who supposedly went 3rd overall in 2017. lol

  15. Bulging Twine says:

    That was really something. Hitchcock beating his old team by having his new team play Hitchcock hockey.

    One thing I love that he is doing is trying to instill confidence in the team. And protecting and defending his players. Tonight someone asked about Spooner, saying that he wasn’t very noticeable. Hitchcock took the blame on himself. Essentially saying that he didn’t deploy him properly. I love that. That is good leadership. He’s creating a safe place for the players.
    A guy like Lucic, feeling the heavy weight that expectations mixed with a lack of scoring can bring, all of a sudden, Hitchcock takes the pressure away and gives him pride in being a third line player, an identity and clearly defined role. Hitchcock is instilling confidence in that third line to do something specific and he’s communicating to them and all of us how important they are. A few weeks ago, Lucic probably didn’t feel too great about being a 3rd line player, now, maybe he sees that he is a valuable piece that contributes to wins. Master class.

  16. Side says:

    Paddy Morans Jockstrap:
    So where are all the experts who looked at a few KHL stats and proclaimed Kos a horrible signing, over-pay, etc etc. Might want to watch a guy play for a bit before offering opinions based on zero viewings and hating the GM.

    If only the GM used this talent to acquire other good players to fill other positions.

    At the time of signing, Koskinen looked like yet another overpaid player who may not be able to perform for the price.

    If someone made 9 terrible bets, it’s not absurd to expect the 10th bet to also be terrible. And if the 10th is good, that doesn’t absolve them of the previous 9 terrible bets.

    Season is still young, but I hope Koskinen keeps this going.

  17. Wonder Llama says:

    Bulging Twine:
    That was really something.Hitchcock beating his old team by having his new team play Hitchcock hockey.

    One thing I love that he is doing is trying to instill confidence in the team.And protecting and defending his players.Tonight someone asked about Spooner, saying that he wasn’t very noticeable.Hitchcock took the blame on himself.Essentially saying that he didn’t deploy him properly.I love that.That is good leadership.He’s creating a safe place for the players.
    A guy like Lucic, feeling the heavy weight that expectations mixed with a lack of scoring can bring, all of a sudden, Hitchcock takes the pressure away and gives him pride in being a third line player, an identity and clearly defined role.Hitchcock is instilling confidence in that third line to do something specific and he’s communicating to them and all of us how important they are.A few weeks ago, Lucic probably didn’t feel too great about being a 3rd line player, now, maybe he sees that he is a valuable piece that contributes to wins.Master class.

    Careful, man. You’re going to make me start believing again. It’s too damn painful.

  18. SwedishPoster says:

    Told you Koskinen was good.

  19. godot10 says:

    Suntory Hanzo:
    To my eye, Nuge looks like the best player on the ice.And yes, I’m counting 97.almost seems like Drai is Caggulaing the line now.

    Nugent-Hopkins is the better option for McDavid’s wing 5 on 5 than Draisaitl, however the Oilers need better wingers for Draisaitl before they can move him back to centre….Rieder and Chaisson were working pretty well with Draisaitl before Rieder got hurt. 4×4 and 3×3 use Draisaitl.

    When Rieder gets healthy, I’d like to see them go back to Nugent-Hopkins and McDavid and Rieder, Draisaitl, Chaisson.

    Nugent-Hopkins, McDavid, Puljujariv/2nd option
    Rieder, Draisaitl, Chaisson
    Lucic, Brodziak, Kassian
    Khaira …..

    Hitchcock clearly likes Nugent-Hopkins at centre though.

  20. godot10 says:

    Pretendergast:
    is that taylor fedun?! good on him for sticking with it.

    When Dallas had all the D injuries (4 of their top 6, including Klingberg are out), it appears Nelson suggested Fedun to Nill, and they got him for a late draft pick from Buffalo a little over a week ago.

  21. godot10 says:

    Paulie:
    Lowetide,

    3+ years, 220 games into his career. This may be who he is. Fast, tough, great skater but questionable decision making and limited offensive creativity.

    Nurse finally has an actual good NHL coach for the first time in his NHL career. The other guy wasn’t helping Nurse develop.

  22. RonnieB says:

    I see that LA has activated Quick from the IR in time for Thursday’s game. Another 1-0 white knuckler to look forward to ?

  23. v4ance says:

    Paddy Morans Jockstrap:
    So where are all the experts who looked at a few KHL stats and proclaimed Kos a horrible signing, over-pay, etc etc. Might want to watch a guy play for a bit before offering opinions based on zero viewings and hating the GM.

    Just because you won on Double Zero on Roulette betting the entirety of your weekly paycheck on that one wager does not mean that it wasn’t a stupid or risky bet.

    Yeah it worked out so far but there were less risky AND less expensive options that could have also paid off.

    The guy on the other side of the ice, Anton Khudobin has the same $2.5 million contract and he didn’t even get an NMC!

  24. kgo says:

    v4ance: Just because you won on Double Zero on Roulette betting the entirety of your weekly paycheck on that one wager does not mean that it wasn’t a stupid or risky bet.

    Yeah it worked out so far but there were less risky AND less expensive options that could have also paid off.

    The guy on the other side of the ice, Anton Khudobin has the same $2.5 million contract and he didn’t even get an NMC!

    I love analogies! But this roulette analogy is flawed…Roulette is actually the worst possible reference because it is quite possibly the only form of gambling where you know precisely what your odds are on every single play! That’s the beauty of roulette!

  25. hunter1909 says:

    godot10: Nurse finally has an actual good NHL coach for the first time in his NHL career. The other guy wasn’t helping Nurse develop.

    Yet Nurse via his agent and the MSM talk up like he’s already reaching Doughty levels at the same age.

    The truth is, Nurse isn’t developing at all. McLellan was obviously an overrated coach who was a great assistant in Detroit and took a stacked Sharks team nowhere. Just compare this to Hitchcock, who talks about the players like he likes them instead of mountie-son Mclellan’s defensive baloney.

    Whether Nurse develops or not is now something to consider. He’s probably been playing above his ability in the lineup, like Khaira and so many other wretches, lol.

  26. v4ance says:

    kgo,

    Okay how about this:

    You can make a bet and spend $2.5 million dollars starting a Yak farm in Saskatchewan buying up the best breeding yak in Russia. If somehow the pet Yak market suddenly heats up, you’re a winner but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a risky or stupid bet.

    You could have spent that $2.5 million on a nice established cattle ranch with a much better knowledge base and much lower risk profile.

    In the meantime, ride that yak as hard as you can, for as long as you can. Ride it!

  27. Yeti says:

    v4ance: In the meantime, ride that yak as hard as you can, for as long as you can. Ride it!

    I prefer to eat them….

  28. €√¥£€^$ says:

    LMHF#1: A different goalie…in both result and style.

    I really wonder whether he is just the type that mentally needs the preseason to get done with and only focused when things got real…there are players like that…

    What does pre-season mean anyway?

    If we look back, the majority saw the RW depth-chart as having 3 very solid point-producers, they were what we hoped/expected that they would become and we had no worries about the 1st to 3rd line RW positions now and into the future. Chiasson was likely going to be the 13th forward and Kassian & Aberg were not NHL players.

    And of course Koskinen was slow and awkward and was an overpaid bust.

  29. Ryan says:

    Glovjuice: Decent right shot 3rd line C for a 13th forward. Holy fak. This GM IS TOTALLY incompetent. The better drafting (alltough Benson, Yamo, and Bouchard were all unnecessary picks from a risk perspective) is NOT offsetting the horrendous talent bleed and opportunity cost lost via awful trades and brutal signings. It’s like he is actually being paid to fuck it all up. Lowe, MacT , and Tambo were nowhere near this bad. Shit, at least Lowe orchestrated the most entertaining run in 1.5 generations and almost got us a cup.None if those guys systematically dismantled a platter of sure success. We can’t even use the Talbot trade as a plus on his ledger anymore. We have what, the fucking Maroon trade left. Holy crap.

    13th forward? That’s being generous. Spooner looks like a buyout candidate.

    GP: 22. 1-1-2. -11.

  30. Adam Wu says:

    re: McDavid not diving to draw penalties

    There is an opportunity cost to diving. You may or may not draw a penalty, but you are almost certainly going to take yourself out of the play. If a penalty is not called you may even end up out of position defensively.

    Which is more dangerous to the opposition in the long run, McDavid active on the ice, or a uncertain chance at a powerplay?

  31. Yeti says:

    Ryan: 13th forward? That’s being generous. Spooner looks like a buyout candidate.

    GP: 22. 1-1-2. -11.

    And the greater insult is that Hitch would likely have valued what Strome brings far more than Spooner.

  32. Professor Q says:

    Also, how did McDavid not get an assist on the Klefbom goal? He passed it to Drai, who passed it to Klef, who scored. No second assist in OT?

    Maybe I’m just super ticked that the NHL ruined his point streak, and that Rantanen is in quit the Rant right now, and McDavid has quite a lot of ground to pick up.

  33. jp says:

    SwedishPoster:
    Told you Koskinen was good.

    You did. 🙂

    Really enjoy your scouting reports.

  34. Glovjuice says:

    Ryan: 13th forward? That’s being generous. Spooner looks like a buyout candidate.

    GP: 22. 1-1-2. -11.

    Totally. $4 million salary. Wow

  35. Ryan says:

    Glovjuice: Totally. $4 million salary. Wow

    I wonder what the thought process was like here.

    Hmm. Looch is no longer an NHL player. Let’s give Strome 20 games with Looch, so he has no trade value, then we’ll trade him for a guy who really can’t play hockey.

    Strome and Looch. 134 min, gf: 25%. Cf: 53%
    Strome without Looch. 65 min, gf: 67% cf: 57%
    Looch without Strome. 141 min. Gf: 29%. Cf: 53%

    ‘Hey guys look at these numbers, we gotta get rid of Strome.’

  36. russ99 says:

    godot10: Nugent-Hopkins is the better option for McDavid’s wing 5 on 5 than Draisaitl, however the Oilers need better wingers for Draisaitl before they can move him back to centre….Rieder and Chaisson were working pretty well with Draisaitl before Rieder got hurt.4×4 and 3×3 use Draisaitl.

    When Rieder gets healthy, I’d like to see them go back to Nugent-Hopkins and McDavid andRieder, Draisaitl, Chaisson.

    Nugent-Hopkins, McDavid, Puljujariv/2nd option
    Rieder, Draisaitl, Chaisson
    Lucic, Brodziak, Kassian
    Khaira …..

    Hitchcock clearly likes Nugent-Hopkins at centre though.

    Team defense. It’s Hitchcock’s M.O.

    We’re better defensively with Nuge as a center, something McLellan should have seen last year, instead of determining one player’s stats being more important than the team.

    I’m not thrilled with Leon at LW, and Chiasson would balance Nuge’s line much more than loading up the first line, not to mention how they’re jerking Puljujarvi around is crazy, a different line and role every day. Keep hm on the 4th line and give him time to learn what Hitch is teaching. This organization has zero patience. We can telegraph what happens next, he’s moved down the lineup and gets dejected. The top 6 is the carrot, not the stick.

    IMO Caggiula has shown some skill playing with Leon and Connor, that would be my first choice. The key for the first line for me is to find someone complementary, and don’t take away scoring from the other lines. Connor and Leon can score plenty.

    I’m OK with games like last night, since we do have the youngest roster in the league and it’s more important for the group to learn to play as a team than to chase goals individually. They learn Hitch’s lessons this season, they’ll be way more effective overall next season with hopefully more talent.

  37. Jethro Tull says:

    Glovjuice: Totally. $4 million salary. Wow

    Yeah, gotta wonder why the Rags bit our hand off and retained the difference in salary.

  38. Jethro Tull says:

    Glovjuice,

    You sound like you’re from Grimshaw Ab.

  39. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    russ99,

    – I still say the optimal line involves McD, Drai, and RNH on 3 lines as C:

    Caggs-McD-Pool
    Reider-Drai-Chiasson
    Lucic-RNH-Kassian
    Kharia-Brodziak-Rattie, etc

    – You really need Pool and Kailer to be scoring goals with skill, to optimize the 3 C approach

  40. Side says:

    godot10: Nurse finally has an actual good NHL coach for the first time in his NHL career. The other guy wasn’t helping Nurse develop.

    Your posts are hilarious.

  41. RonnieB says:

    Professor Q:
    Also, how did McDavid not get an assist on the Klefbom goal? He passed it to Drai, who passed it to Klef, who scored. No second assist in OT?

    Maybe I’m just super ticked that the NHL ruined his point streak, and that Rantanen is in quit the Rant right now, and McDavid has quite a lot of ground to pick up.

    Actually, Klefbom passed it to Draisaitl. McDavid didn’t touch the puck on that goal.

« Older Comments

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!
© Copyright - Lowetide.ca