Game 26 2018-19: Golden Knights at Oilers

The Oilers cliffhanger season enters its third chapter tonight as the team hosts Vegas. An October surprise (6-4-1) gave way to a devastating (for many, including the head coach) November (6-7-1). We’re on to a long December, with reason to believe that maybe this year will be better than the last.

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: Finding Ken Hitchcock’s Oilers more productive wingers: Hard target search.
  • New Dom Luszczyszyn: 31 Stats (Oilers content).
  • New Jonathan Willis: Edmonton’s waiver gamble on Valentin Zykov is one with the possibility of a surprisingly high-end payoff.
  • Lowetide: Oilers No. 4 Prospect winter 2018: Ryan McLeod.
  • Jonathan Willis: Like Rome in its war with Hannibal, Edmonton needs a Scipio Africanus.
  • Daniel Nugent Bowman: Lessons learned at Sherwood Park help guide Ken Hitchock’s attempt to turn the Oilers around.
  • Lowetide: Oilers need a first-shot scoring winger and Ryan Spooner isn’t it. So, what’s next?
  • 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.
  • Lowetide: Oilers No. 2 Prospect winter 2018: Kailer Yamamoto.
  • Lowetide: Oilers No. 1 Prospect winter 2018: Evan Bouchard.

OILERS AFTER 26

  • Oilers in 2015: 9-15-2, 20 points; goal differential -14
  • Oilers in 2016: 14-10-2, 30 points; goal differential +8
  • Oilers in 2017: 10-14-2, 22 points; goal differential -14
  • Oilers in 2018: 12-11-2, 26 points; goal differential -5

This is a big month for Edmonton, who begin December in the No. 5 spot in the Pacific—with an explanation. The Oilers are three points behind Vegas, with two games in hand. A win tonight in regulation and the team would be a single point behind while maintaining the two games in hand. That would be a good spot.

OILERS IN DECEMBER

  • Oilers in December 2015: 1-0-0, two points; goal differential 0
  • Oilers in December 2016: 1-0-0, two points; goal differential +3
  • Oilers in December 2017: 1-0-0, two points; goal differential +2
  • Oilers in December 2018: 0-0-0, 0 points; goal differential nil 

A fine start all around for the McDavid Decembers, Vegas is coming in with five wins in a row and a lot of things straightened out. The Oilers have things to recommend them as well, but set your expectations proportionate to the challenge.

WHAT TO EXPECT IN DECEMBER

  • At home to: Vegas (Expected 0-1-0) Actual (0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Dallas, St. Louis (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Minnesota, Calgary (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Colorado, Winnipeg (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Philadelphia (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Vancouver (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Vancouver, San Jose, Winnipeg (Expected 2-2-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 7-6-1, 15 points in 14 games 
  • Current results: 0-0-0

I was too shy in October, too aggressive in November, hopefully this time around I’ll have it right. The schedule, as I see it, is more difficult than October but easier than last month, but we all know how that turned out.

THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT

Oilers prospects in junior had a strong night in the OHL Friday, with Evan Bouchard picking up two assists (now 10, 4-10-14 with 48 shots), three goals for Kirill Maksimov (now 23, 16-14-30 with 107 shots), Dmitri Samorukov had an assist (25, 0-10-10) and 1-1-2 for Ryan McLeod (23, 7-19-26). In the Q, Olivier Rodrigue stopped 18 of 21 for Drummondville Voltigeurs and now has a .907 save percentage and a 15-5 record on the season.

THAT CRAZY TRADE MUST HAVE RICOCHETED

The trade that would not die has another chapter left (at least!) after Edmonton claimed Valentin Zykov on waivers Friday. I’m not going to spend a lot of time on this, because we have much to discuss, but I had fun following progress over the last five years. The original trade(s):

  • First trade: Edmonton trades 37th overall (Valentin Zykov) to Los Angeles for 57th overall (William Carrier), 88th overall (Anton Slephyshev) and 96th overall (Kyle Platzer).
  • Second trade: Oilers trade 57th overall (William Carrier) to St. Louis for 83rd overall (Bogdan Yakimov), 94th overall (Jackson Houck) and 113th overall (Aidan Muir).

And now the NHL games played and boxcars:

  1. William Carrier 105, 11-6-17
  2. Anton Slepyshev 102, 10-13-23
  3. Valentin Zykov 25, 4-7-11
  4. Bogdan Yakimov 1, 0-0-0

It became obvious early on that these four men would be the most interesting and now we’re down to Carrier and Zykov in North America. I think Edmonton made an astute bet yesterday, it was a surprise only because the team had passed on other, similar options previously. I think this fellow has a chance, maybe not at the same level as Pontus Aberg, but a chance.

RYAN SPOONER VERSUS VALENTIN ZYKOV

Peter Chiarelli is so unpopular among Oilers fans the good things (this season: Mikko Koskinen, Alex Chiasson, Kevin Gravel, Tobias Rieder) get overrun by the stunning misuse of assets. A fine example is the table above. Edmonton gave up a low-event center in Ryan Strome for Ryan Spooner, whose season in 2018-19 has the look of ‘buyout/signs in Minsk’ next step. The waiver claim of Zykov has a chance to be quality, making the previous Strome trade unnecessary, except of course that trade happened, and landed another possible buyout deal on the roster. It’s like watching an episode of Hogan’s Heroes.

This year’s Oilers are so interesting because, taken as a whole (above) there’s a positive story to tell. However, the major issue for this team, now four years running, is McDavid on versus McDavid off. Here’s some facts worth pondering:

  • Corsi for 5-on-5: 50.67 (No. 12 overall)
  • Corsi for 5-on-5 with McDavid: 54.29
  • Corsi for 5-on-5 w/o McDavid: 48.30

That’s a better number than it has been at times in the past, and the bet is Hitchcock will find a way to get that thing to 50 percent with 97 at rest. That’s the Katz bet, the desperation of the organization having reached a fever pitch. Let’s look at goals:

  • Goal differential 5-on-5: (38-45) 45.78 (No. 24 overall)
  • Goal differential 5-on-5 with McDavid: (19-14) 57.58
  • Goal differential 5-on-5 w/o McDavid: (19-31) 38.00

Part of this is luck, part is ability but the bottom line is the team’s 5-on-5 shooting percentage is No. 28 overall (6.08, all of these numbers via NaturalStatTrick). Part of the problem is some of the wrong players (blue) are shooting a lot (Klefbom, McDavid, Nurse and Nuge are the only men above 50 shots 5-on-5). One area that has been correcting nicely? 5-on-5 save percentage, now 92.39 and Edmonton ranks No. 13.

Shots against per 60 are now 29.48, that’s No. 8 league-wide. Since Hitchcock took over, that number is 25.62 and the team ranks No. 5. Goals against per 60 under Hitchcock at 5-on-5? No. 3, at 1.42/60. The goals for (1.18/60) are the issue, thus the reason for acquiring Spooner, Zykov and possibly recalling Yamamoto and or making a trade for an established scorer.

DANGER ZONE

I want to take a moment this morning to talk about the dangers ahead for this organization. My item for The Athletic this morning talks some home truths about the roster and the realities of having a coach like Ken Hitchcock at the helm. It’s good, because he’s pushing to find ways to win hockey games even when he’s sleeping. It’s bad, because Hitchcock isn’t terribly concerned with what tomorrow brings, and that’s where he and Peter Chiarelli may have to spend hours talking about balance between winning teams and building teams.

If we were talking about Toronto, this issue is easy. If the Maple Leafs decide (and they may) a righty blue who can move the puck is necessary, we’re going to see “Toronto trades Kasperi Kapanen to Minnesota for Jared Spurgeon” and the Maple Leafs can afford that trade (note: I’m not suggesting it, just using it as an example, the deal wouldn’t work unless Toronto included Nathan Horton and that isn’t happening).

Edmonton can’t afford to make that move, for two reasons. First, no young and expendable player has performed close to Kapanen’s output this season. Second, the Oilers need all of these young players to blossom in-house, to become part of the solution here.

I believe this to be true: The Edmonton Oilers need to keep their powder dry. Ken Hitchcock? He wants to win. We are here.

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504 Responses to "Game 26 2018-19: Golden Knights at Oilers"

« Older Comments
  1. OriginalPouzar says:

    Shane Starrett with his first AHL shutout.

  2. Munny says:

    Drai has had a couple of other real stinkers but this game was one of his worst. He usually responds well though, so we shall see.

  3. Ice Sage says:

    Ok Lowetidians of ‘a certain age’ prepare to feel good but look older in the mirror. This is hockey

  4. Sierra says:

    Glad the Oil won, but boy they have trouble getting out of their zone.

  5. JimmyV1965 says:

    RNH was absolutely amazing tonight. Just amazing. He’s brought his game to another level. If they can somehow find him just one good goal-scoring winger this team will have two really effective scoring lines.

  6. hags9k says:

    Mikko has now eaten Cam’s pb&j, apple, and juice box.

    When Cam gets the net back he should be real hungry.

  7. Caller Zen says:

    Munny:
    Whatafuckingame.Fascinating battle to watch.Yards of tape could be spliced from this baby which was an early playoff-style affair.Koskinen with another stellar outing.

    Not a word out of place ….but curious to see the fancys on the Lucic line. Someone needs to score eventually!

  8. Reja says:

    Huge win Great goaltending at both ends Spooner’s line was excellent gotta love it.

  9. BONE207 says:

    Ice Sage: As long as you don’t snipe like Mandalya Bay… (can’t be too soon?!?!)

    Well maybe but in reality, that jackass wasn’t sniping. Just spraying

  10. hunter1909 says:

    Hitch probably sees it like this:

    he’s got the McDavid line which he can play against any line in hockey and come out even

    he’s now made the Identity Line, that tonight hammered Vegas into the ice and out of the game. Oilers Number 2 line right now

    He’s got a red hot goalie.

    And a 4-1-1 record since taking over from what’s his name.

  11. Gerta Rauss says:

    Munny:
    Drai has had a couple of other real stinkers but this was one of his worst.He usually responds well though, so we shall see.

    I think it was Leadfarmer mentioned about an hour ago perhaps moving Drai to the Nuge line

    I wonder if you move Rattie up to McDavids line again and cobble something together with those 4 bodies

  12. Sierra says:

    Did Hrudy just say RNH is a “third line centre or what”???

  13. hunter1909 says:

    Sierra:
    Glad the Oil won, but boy they have trouble getting out of their zone.

    No fooling.

    Nurse had a good rush. Nothing ever happens when he rushes the puck ever, but Nurse had a good rush.

  14. Dicky94 says:

    Hrudey still don’t think RNH is a top player and Kipper is a genius.

  15. Todd Macallan says:

    (Nuge) will never be a top player. He’s a 3rd line center, sometimes 2nd. – Kelly Hrudey, just now.

    One more time with feeling, fuck you Kelly.

  16. Caller Zen says:

    Hrudey with another RNH 3rd line center dig and backhand compliment, hahah, Kelly is sucha tool.

  17. Kraz says:

    RNH is a safe player and good pro that you can put in the 2 or 3 hole- Kypreos and Hrudey

    I can’t stand hearing this. Give RNH some damn credit the guy is nearly a Point Per Game this season and is only getting better

  18. BONE207 says:

    hunter1909: No fooling.

    Nurse had a good rush. Nothing ever happens when he rushes the puck ever, but Nurse had a good rush.

    One more whiskey neat & I’ll have a great rush….woohooo

  19. Sierra says:

    When was the last time RNH was the 3rd line centre?

  20. hags9k says:

    I hope it’s Nuge who scores the cup winning goal. What a player.

  21. BONE207 says:

    Sierra:
    When was the last time RNH was the 3rd line centre?

    World Cup

  22. €√¥£€^$ says:

    Caller Zen: Maybe, but I think Rattie with Spooner is a really good fit …not “4th line” – but definitely potential for offence.

    That’s why I’d like to see:

    23-97-8

    As far as Drai goes, as was pointed out, his recovery isn’t like McDavid’s. Give him PK, PP & 12-14 minutes 5v5 and give him Zykov and Chaison as his wingers. And Khaira will be next man up.

    How does Hitch roll? Does he keep things as is, as long as he is winning, or does he ever change “successful” line-ups?

    The team is winning, but Koskinen is the main reason, not the flawed line-up.

  23. HugThePost says:

    Hrudey just cannot suppress his eternal axe he grinds for the Oil for all those years of getting lit up by them

  24. Dicky94 says:

    Kraz,

    That would only happen if he played in Toronto.

  25. Johnny skid says:

    Caller Zen:
    Hrudey with another RNH 3rd line center dig and backhand compliment, hahah, Kelly is sucha tool.

    he really does like to make that point.

  26. Reja says:

    How can you not like spooner soft spoken young man with half his teeth missing.No way they split up that line next game.

  27. BeerMe says:

    anyone miss McLellan?

  28. Bling says:

    Only caught the third period.

    RNH was a fucking killer. I swear he got a stick on like 5 pucks leading up to and following the penalty call to negate that Vegas PK. Also a beauty backhand sauce (Drai quality) to Caggiula for a chance. He was totally doing that “hiding the stick” thing that Hitch was talking about in the pre-game presser.

    The Khaira/Spooner/Rattie line looked good and had a goal. What a forecheck by Rattie, and a great, great pass by Khaira. Spooner looked like the Most Relieved Man In the World after that finish.

    Khaira hasn’t scored yet, but man he is a good playmaker. He was at 1.17 EVP/60; with that assist, that is not a bad number at all from a 4th liner. Now score some goals, young man! 🙂

    McDavid was superlative. There are no words.

  29. BONE207 says:

    HugThePost:
    Hrudey just cannot suppress his eternal axe he grinds for the Oil for all those years of getting lit up by them

    I knew his cousin. She hates him

  30. HugThePost says:

    Coff looks good

  31. commonfan29 says:

    This interview does not inspire confidence…

  32. Todd Macallan says:

    Buddy behind Scott Oake with a Steve MacIntyre jersey on After Hours.

  33. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    For everyone saying Mikko is the only reason we won – the game’s called goalie.

  34. Ice Sage says:

    MFB

  35. franksterra says:

    HugThePost,

    Wait, Coffey’s the interview on Afterhours?

  36. HugThePost says:

    Be cool to see 7 vs 97 in a skate race

  37. Reja says:

    HugThePost:
    Hrudey just cannot suppress his eternal axe he grinds for the Oil for all those years of getting lit up by them

    Yea he’s a traitor to the Elmwood community all he does is suck on the flames and gives little cheap shots at the oilers.

  38. Suntory Hanzo says:

    commonfan29:
    What is with these constant phantom ping noises during games these days?

    I kept thinking someone was hitting the post.

  39. hunter1909 says:

    HugThePost:
    Be cool to see 7 vs 97 in a skate race

    From a standing start = McDavid

    From the Blue line out = Coffey

    No one has ever skated as fast as I once saw Paul Coffey in 1984, skating around the entire perimeter of the attacking zone in what seemed like 1.5 seconds.

    A lot have forgotten how Coffey was compared to Gretzky back in those days when Kevin Lowe led the Oiler’s 2nd defence pairing. Coffey was crazy good. Arguably more valuable than anyone but Gretzky and even got a few 1st place votes from the experts, ha ha.

  40. npanciroli says:

    That was a strong win against a really hot team.

  41. YourboyAllan says:

    Suntory Hanzo,

    Its Koskinen, as soon as the opposing team enters the zone.

  42. Sierra says:

    €√¥£€^$: That’s why I’d like to see:

    23-97-8

    As far as Drai goes, as was pointed out, his recovery isn’t like McDavid’s.Give him PK, PP & 12-14 minutes 5v5 and give him Zykov and Chaison as his wingers.And Khaira will be next man up.

    How does Hitch roll?Does he keep things as is, as long as he is winning, or does he ever change “successful” line-ups?

    The team is winning, but Koskinen is the main reason, not the flawed line-up.

    And what are you doing with RNH? 4th line?

  43. HugThePost says:

    Reja: Yea he’s a traitor to the Elmwood community all he does is suck on the flames and gives little cheap shots at the oilers.

    I think deep inside he wishes he played here

  44. Oz says:

    OriginalPouzar: I’ve got no problem with Chiasson on PP1 but his skill-set doesn’t really work on the first line at evens – I’d even rather see Drake there – yes, I said it – and Chiasson on the 2nd line.

    The new tank may have something to say about those spots, eventually.

    OP I would swap Rattie for Chaisson and leave Chiasson on PP1 as you suggested. Rattie is a better puck handler on the boards and not prone to flybys. Caggs has done well with solid body checks but that is not getting us points.
    Lots of criticism of LD tonight, but who knows what caused tonight’s effort, could be many things, I doubt the coach will move him off the top line any time soon, at least I hope not

  45. HugThePost says:

    hunter1909: From a standing start = McDavid

    From the Blue line out = Coffey

    No one has ever skated as fast as I once saw Paul Coffey in 1984, skating around the entire perimeter of the attacking zone in what seemed like 1.5 seconds.

    A lot have forgotten how Coffey was compared to Gretzky back in those days when Kevin Lowe led the Oiler’s 2nd defence pairing.

    Yeah 97 seems to accelerate in a flash but 7 seemed to maintain top speed forever….he glided faster than most could skate

  46. Caller Zen says:

    HugThePost:
    Coff looks good

    Coffey won his last Norris at the age of 33/34. Impressive

  47. Richard S.S. says:

    As McDavid goes for the offense, Larsson must go for the defense.
    In other words, McDavid is the O but Larsson is the D.

  48. hunter1909 says:

    npanciroli:
    That was a strong win against a really hot team.

    Once McDavid scored, The Identity Line started pounding Vegas out, to the point they stopped playing with the same joyful abandon as they had started the game.

  49. npanciroli says:

    I’d be very tempted to play Rattie on that top line again.

  50. HugThePost says:

    If only Darnell had the offensive instincts 7 posesses in his pinkie finger….

  51. HugThePost says:

    Caller Zen: Coffey won his last Norris at the age of 33/34. Impressive

    I bet 7 is the DD for the Red Wine Summits…..

  52. smellyglove says:

    MK Ultra moves up to 6th in Sv pct for goalies with 10+ gp.

    And Oilers move up to 8th in West by point percentage.

  53. Munny says:

    Gerta Rauss: I think it was Leadfarmer mentioned about an hour ago perhaps moving Drai to the Nuge line

    I wonder if you move Rattie up to McDavids line again and cobble something together with those 4 bodies

    Nuge likes to initiate the play in the Ozone… get control and get the play started, that is. And he likes to shoot. He needs a wheel man to work give-and-goes. Drai would work, but that would force the McDavid line to rely heavily on scoring off the rush. But it’s one way to balance the scoring.

    I’m really curious where Zykov is going to fit and have to wonder if someone is being shopped. Rieder will return soon enough too.

  54. Reja says:

    HugThePost: I think deep inside he wishes he played here

    You could be right.

  55. HugThePost says:

    I kind of wanted to hear Coffey talk about playing with 99 vs playing with 66

  56. Paddy Morans Jockstrap says:

    Visually better and it nice to see good coaching for a change. Gallant is top drawer and Hitch matched him. I’m becoming more convinced TMac was a Denver boot to this team once they became decent.

    Going to be interesting to watch Drai and Hitch. I’ve got a feeling that Hitch will make a monster out of him or he’s going to get a ticket out of town for play like this. Hopefully the former.

    …..and oh yeah. Kos is a goaler. A few people told ya so.

  57. HugThePost says:

    Reja: You could be right.

    But he also knows deep inside he never could have been our fuhr and that is where his spite comes from——it is self-loathing

  58. Reja says:

    Moog Fuhr, Ranford, Joseph, Roloson. It’s been a long time since I felt this good about our goaltending How can somebody that tall have such flexible legs. Pete might have struck lightning in a bottle with Mikko the Finns are a factory for producing top notch goalies the last twenty years.

  59. Reja says:

    HugThePost: But he also knows deep inside he never could have been our fuhr and that is where his spite comes from——it is self-loathing

    Yes but you would think he would be loyal to his home town at his age.

  60. JimmyV1965 says:

    Sierra:
    Did Hrudy just say RNH is a “third line centre or what”???

    I love that HNC panel. Three guys from the east and Kelly Flamer Hrudey. Nuge has an amazing night and nothing but backhand compliments. I’ll take RNH over Monahan every day.

  61. Bank Shot says:

    Reja:
    Moog Fuhr, Ranford, Joseph, Roloson. It’s been a long time since I felt this good about our goaltending How can somebody that tall have such flexible legs. Pete might have struck lightning in a bottle with Mikko the Finns are a factory for producing top notch goalies the last twenty years.

    You didn’t feel good about the goaltending in 16/17?

  62. €√¥£€^$ says:

    Sierra: And what are you doing with RNH? 4th line?

    What is he now?

    If your top 3 C’s have the right wingers, who cares who is 2nd or 3rd line. That’s for the HC to decide.

  63. Sierra says:

    €√¥£€^$: What is he now?

    If your top 3 C’s have the right wingers, who cares who is 2nd or 3rd line.That’s for the HC to decide.

    Good grief. Who are you playing RNH with given your suggested lines? And how much ice time are you envisioning if McDavid and Drai are centring two other lines?

  64. JimmyV1965 says:

    If RNH played for the Leafs we would be sick and tired of all the Selke talk. But he’s an Oiler so they’re happy to throw out the backhand compliments. He was the best player on either team tonight and McDavid was flying.

  65. Reja says:

    Bank Shot: You didn’t feel good about the goaltending in 16/17?

    No I thought he was fluky for that stretch when he let in three goals in the last five minutes against the Ducks in game 5 he lost me. He’s let in a lot of weak goals and doesn’t make big saves at the right time. I think the Oilers are shopping him right know and I would be shocked if he’s not traded by the dead line.

  66. Reja says:

    JimmyV1965:
    If RNH played for the Leafs we would be sick and tired of all the Selke talk. But he’s an Oiler so they’re happy to throw out the backhand compliments. He was the best player on either team tonight and McDavid was flying.

    The biggest thing I’ve noticed about RNH this year is his pick pocketing of the opposition it’s a art in itself and he’s getting better and better at it.

  67. hunter1909 says:

    IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT:

    Oilers are the new Dallas Stars!!

    Think about it: A handful of totally elite players punctuated by a relentless hitting game that wears the opposition down.

  68. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    hunter1909,

    I was barely a sandwich grabber through the glory years, but what stands out in my mind is one memory, and three players.

    1. Wayne.
    2. Coffey’s skating.
    3. Tikkanen agitating.

    4. John Muckler picking his nose on Hockey Night in Canada, and eating it.

  69. LMHF#1 says:

    Reja:
    Moog Fuhr, Ranford, Joseph, Roloson. It’s been a long time since I felt this good about our goaltending How can somebody that tall have such flexible legs. Pete might have struck lightning in a bottle with Mikko the Finns are a factory for producing top notch goalies the last twenty years.

    Don’t sully that list by including Roloson…one of these things is not like the other.

  70. €√¥£€^$ says:

    Sierra: Good grief. Who are you playing RNH with given your suggested lines? And how much ice time are you envisioning if McDavid and Drai are centring two other lines?

    €√¥£€^$:
    Spooner – McDavid – Ho-Sang (Rattie trade)
    Zykov – Draisaitl – Chaisson
    The Drake – The Nuge – The Young Giant Finn
    Lucic – Brodziak – Kassian

    And of course we also have Rieder and Khaira.

  71. JimmyV1965 says:

    Reja: The biggest thing I’ve noticed about RNH this year is his pick pocketing of the opposition it’s a art in itself and he’s getting better and better at it.

    I think RNH has always been a smart player, but his hockey IQ is off the charts right now. His edgework is elite, but other than that, I don’t think he’s blessed with elite skills. He’s a great skater of course and has an underrated shot, but his brain is his biggest asset. I agree about his pick pocketing. He’s amazing with his stick and he’s getting better. I think he’s also way more aggressive on the forecheck. He’s doesn’t have great strength, but he’s very strong on the puck and wins more battles. We keep talking about wasting Mcdavid’s years, but if we don’t get him a legit goal scorer, we are wasting an immense talent here. If we can somehow get a Mark Stone type, this team could have two scary good lines. Frick. I can’t stop gushing about his game right now.

  72. Reja says:

    LMHF#1: Don’t sully that list by including Roloson…one of these things is not like the other.

    Him and Pronger dragged that 06 team within one game of glory. If he doesn’t get hurt no doubt in my mind they win. He played really well for a few years after loved his spirit.

  73. godot10 says:

    who: But that’s just it. You are guessing.
    I have seen nothing in Russells play that is really hampering Nurse. I’m sure if you paired Nurse with someone like Shea Weber he would have better results. But so would Russell.

    You are wrong. Compare Nurse’s historical results with Larsson, which are good, vs. Russell’s historical results with Larsson, which are bad.

    Russell hurts young D partners because he surrenders the blue line too easily which means anyone he plays with has to spend more time defending than they should if they played with someone who didn’t surrender the blue as easily as Russell does.

  74. Reja says:

    JimmyV1965: I think RNH has always been a smart player, but his hockey IQ is off the charts right now. His edgework is elite, but other than that, I don’t think he’s blessed with elite skills. He’s a great skater of course and has an underrated shot, but his brain is his biggest asset. I agree about his pick pocketing. He’s amazing with his stick and he’s getting better. I think he’s also way more aggressive on the forecheck. He’s doesn’t have great strength, but he’s very strong on the puck and wins more battles. We keep talking about wasting Mcdavid’s years, but if we don’t get him a legit goal scorer, we are wasting an immense talent here. If we can somehow get a Mark Stone type, this team could have two scary good lines. Frick. I can’t stop gushing about his game right now.

    I agree a hundred percent I think a GM will bite on a Talbot trade and Pete will get a value on somebody that knows how to find the twine his ass is on the line he’s going all in.

  75. Jaxon says:

    We should be watching what Toronto does on the waiver wire before their next game to fit in Nylander. Josh Leivo, Justin Holl, Martin Marincin, Tyler Ennis may be candidates. I would grab Justin Holl if he pops loose. I think he was the best RHD in the AHL last season and his game is built on speed, good passes and responsible D. He also added a lot of offence to his game last season. He’s big and fast.

  76. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Jaxon,

    If that happened, it would be known as “*pulling a Lowetide.”

    *note: may entail claiming Leivo.

  77. godot10 says:

    BONE207: World Cup

    Nuge was playing top six with MacKinnon. McDavid/Scheiffle and Nugent-Hopkins/MacKinnon and Courturier/Trocheck were the three pairs.

  78. Jaxon says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    Jaxon,

    If that happened, it would be known as “*pulling a Lowetide.”

    *note: may entail claiming Leivo.

    Definitely some great throughlines for Lowetide and his readers with Zykov and possibly Leivo.

  79. Jaxon says:

    I doubt they pick up anyone at this point unless they get rid of someone. They’re at 48 contacts right now. I do wish they would pick up Holl if he becomes available, though. I’d like to see him get a real chance and Wideman hasn’t impressed me so far. Gravel-Holl or Russell-Holl could be a decent 3rd pair.

  80. GMB3 says:

    hunter1909: No fooling.

    Nurse had a good rush. Nothing ever happens when he rushes the puck ever, but Nurse had a good rush.

    He gains the opposing teams corner with authority that’s for sure. Not much else happens after that

  81. 106 and 106 says:

    Munny,

    CoH gave him a 7.

  82. 106 and 106 says:

    Sierra,

    Line 1: Plays 25 minutes a game.
    Line 2: Plays 18 minutes a game.

    That leaves 17 minutes for Lines 3 and 4.

    Identity Line: Plays 10 minutes a game.
    Line 4: Plays 7 minutes a game.

    That’s 42 minutes of winning or saw-off hockey if RNH is going as he’s going now.

    Also option of double shifting McDavid on those Line 4 minutes if no special teams.

    Both Lines 1 score 1 tonight.
    Oilers win the 4th line battle: 1-0
    Game Over: 2-1

  83. Bulging Twine says:

    The Coyotes have 6 former Blackhawks playing for them.

  84. OriginalPouzar says:

    Time to keep it rolling on the road.

    Big game in Dallas on Monday!

  85. OriginalPouzar says:

    Reja: Him and Pronger dragged that 06 team within one game of glory. If he doesn’t get hurt no doubt in my mind they win. He played really well for a few years after loved his spirit.

    I can’t agree with this.

    Yes, Roloson got hot as hell and was a big part of the playoff run but, overall, he was not a good starting goaltender. He consistently let in bad goals at bad times. Don’t get me wrong, full credit to him for getting hot for a few rounds, however, in my mind, his play was already starting to come back down to historical norms when the incident occurred. I’m not so sure having Roloson for the rest of the finals guarantees the Oilers the cup.

    He was awful as a starting tender the next few years.

  86. OriginalPouzar says:

    The Nurse/Russell pairing had a great game last night – the top pairing last night.

    Man that pairing, and each individual, is inconsistent right now but they are throwing some great performances out there, with some erratic performances mixed in.

  87. OriginalPouzar says:

    Jaxon:
    I doubt they pick up anyone at this point unless they get rid of someone. They’re at 48 contacts right now. I do wish they would pick up Holl if he becomes available, though. I’d like to see him get a real chance and Wideman hasn’t impressed me so far. Gravel-Holl or Russell-Holl could be a decent 3rd pair.

    To be fair, Wideman has played 1 game.

  88. Bulging Twine says:

    Maroon one goal in 19 GP. -12

  89. Bulging Twine says:

    STL 3 days off before we play them on Wednesday

  90. Bulging Twine says:

    Reflecting on MacLellan’s last post game comments, where he listed off the many things that needed to be fixed. If you are GM and you hear that, from a coach a few years in with the team, and no offered solutions, it probably would make you lean towards a change.

    Interesting Mike Yeo’s last post game comments were very similar. He listed all the things that the team needed to fix or were doing wrong. That night he was let go.

    It’s one thing to diagnose the problem, it’s a whole ‘nother thing to provide the solution.

  91. itsaleaf says:

    106 and 106,

    I think Leavins was watching a different game than I was.

    If that’s a seven performance by 29 then the scale must have moved to 20.

  92. LMHF#1 says:

    Reja: Him and Pronger dragged that 06 team within one game of glory. If he doesn’t get hurt no doubt in my mind they win. He played really well for a few years after loved his spirit.

    Pronger, Pisani and a bunch of others. That was a damn fine hockey team that doesn’t get the credit it deserves. Also – he was not very good after that run.

    On the rare occasion when OP and I agree…that’s usually the way to go.

  93. Stazy5 says:

    GMB3,

    Nurse’s goal against the Jets has been forgotten already?!

  94. Admiral Ackbar says:

    LMHF#1,

    Didn’t he take the Bolts to 1 game from the finals? I remember that series against a Bs team that eventually won the cup – he was great. Why no Rollie love?

    To those discounting his value in that final series against the Canes, have you completely forgotten getting lit up 5-0 in game 2? That doesn’t happen with Rollie.

  95. godot10 says:

    Bulging Twine:
    Reflecting on MacLellan’s last post game comments, where he listed off the many things that needed to be fixed.If you are GM and you hear that, from a coach a few years in with the team, and no offered solutions, it probably would make you lean towards a change.

    Interesting Mike Yeo’s last post game comments were very similar.He listed all the things that the team needed to fix or were doing wrong.That night he was let go.

    It’s one thing to diagnose the problem, it’s a whole ‘nother thing to provide the solution.

    McLellan provided the wrong analysis. He blamed the other guy. Instead of himself and doing his job. Which as we see, isn’t that hard to do. Hitchcock walked off the street and boom, 1-0 and 2-1 victories, something McLellan said that the Oilers couldn’t do.

    Anaheim and Dallas have rosters decimated by injury, and they are right with the Oilers and would have been running away from McLellan’s Oilers in the standings.

  96. godot10 says:

    Admiral Ackbar:
    LMHF#1,

    Didn’t he take the Bolts to 1 game from the finals?I remember that series against a Bs team that eventually won the cup – he was great. Why no Rollie love?

    To those discounting his value in that final series against the Canes, have you completely forgotten getting lit up 5-0 in game 2? That doesn’t happen with Rollie.

    Roloson was always very good in the playoffs. He was for Minnesota, the Oilers, and Tampa.

  97. razor says:

    €√¥£€^$: That’s why I’d like to see:

    23-97-8

    As far as Drai goes, as was pointed out, his recovery isn’t like McDavid’s.Give him PK, PP & 12-14 minutes 5v5 and give him Zykov and Chaison as his wingers.And Khaira will be next man up.

    How does Hitch roll?Does he keep things as is, as long as he is winning, or does he ever change “successful” line-ups?

    The team is winning, but Koskinen is the main reason, not the flawed line-up.

    I’d like to see this lineup.
    23 97 8
    Zykov 29 39
    91 93 98
    27 28 44

  98. Bling says:

    Good win, but I still worry about where the goals are going to come from.

    You have three guys in your bottom six (Brodz, Kass, Lucic) for whom the best possible outcome is not allowing the opposition to score. That “identity line” is maintaining possession, but they spend a lot of that time on the perimeter in the offensive zone. I don’t see a lot of willingness to go to the hard areas (the side boards don’t count, IMO).

    You have three guys who are at PPG or above (McDavid, Drai, Nuge). This is problematic because one of them has to centre a line of nobodies, and that’s a big ask. Chiasson and Caggiula are off to fine starts, but neither guy has a track record of being a 40-50 point player.

    This could still end quite badly.

  99. Reja says:

    LMHF#1: Pronger, Pisani and a bunch of others. That was a damn fine hockey team that doesn’t get the credit it deserves. Also – he was not very good after that run.

    On the rare occasion when OP and I agree…that’s usually the way to go.

    Yes but those players don’t get a chance to gel and go on a Cinderella run without Roloson absolutely standing on his head against the unbeatable Red Wings.

  100. €√¥£€^$ says:

    razor: I’d like to see this lineup.
    23 97 8
    Zykov 29 39
    91 93 98
    27 28 44

    We are speaking the same language 😀

  101. LMHF#1 says:

    Reja: Yes but those players don’t get a chance to gel and go on a Cinderella run without Roloson absolutely standing on his head against the unbeatable Red Wings.

    I do not agree with the narrative that it was a “cinderella run” or that the Wings were in any way unbeatable. They were done as soon as Legace made his comments about pressure and how scared he was.

    I went to every single home game that year – preseason, regular and post. I saw that squad better than all but very few – they were a damn fine hockey team that underachieved and when they had it all together + the deadline additions, were the best team in the league in the playoffs.

    They should have beaten the Hurricanes in 5 with or without Roloson the way they were going. It was on the team that what happened happened. Game 1, game 4, and game 7. Specifically guys like Ryan Smyth who did not produce at the end.

  102. Munny says:

    106 and 106:
    Munny,

    CoH gave him a 7.

    I think that tells us all we need to know about subjective rankings.

  103. Admiral Ackbar says:

    LMHF#1,

    I’ve legit never heard anyone say anything close to this aboutbthe 2006 playoff.

    1. That Wings team finished the reg season with 124 pts, 6 pts off the record 132
    2. Pisani, Peca, et al never produced anywhere near their playoff numbers ever again.
    3. If you want to understate Roli, you’ll need to overstate elsewhere and Pronger is the only one you could rely on to do that, no one else on that team, besides Hemmer, amounted to a significant top line talent after that playoff.

    It may not have been a Cinderella run for you, but they sure didn’t have the horses to amount to much after that run. Chalk it all up to Pronger or consider a playoff of collective over-performance. I think it’s a more of the latter than the former.

  104. LMHF#1 says:

    Admiral Ackbar,

    I said that they were the best in those playoffs with a purpose. They were never the same individually again…this is true. They were also never that unit again. The way they were playing hockey was something else…but it wasn’t bounces and flukes and pluck…it was well executed hockey by a deep roster peaking at the right time.

    Why people didn’t see them better during that regular season I don’t know…that was an excellent hockey team.

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