Keep on Choogling

To borrow the spirit of an old country song, if drinking don’t kill me, the Oilers will. The first period of last night’s game resembled the first five minutes of an episode of Law and Order. Assault? Murder? Whatever, it wasn’t looking good. The Oilers pushed back in the second and tied it up late on an Oscar missile that found the range. The power play drowned five times, but in the end Edmonton grabbed two points in the shadows of the Gateway Arch and are heading back home with the playoffs in reach.

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 No. 5 Prospect winter 2018: Ethan Bear.
  • New Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis: An early look at Edmonton’s readiness for the 2021 expansion draft.
  • New Jonathan Willis: An $83 million salary cap opens up possibilities for the Oilers.
  • Lowetide: Ken Hitchcock’s ‘to-do’ list of miracles a long one, involving 30 percent of the Oilers roster.
  • Jonathan Willis: Leon Draisaitl needs his own line and other lessons from a McDavid-less Oilers loss
  • Lowetide: Oilers farm team in Bakersfield coming to a boil with quality prospects, most exciting farm team in decades.
  • Lowetide: Finding Ken Hitchcock’s Oilers more productive wingers: Hard target search.
  • Dom Luszczyszyn: 31 Stats (Oilers content).
  • 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.
  • 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 28 GAMES

  • Oilers in 201511-15-2, 24 points; goal differential -11
  • Oilers in 2016: 14-10-4, 32 points; goal differential +6
  • Oilers in 2017: 11-15-2, 24 points; goal differential -14
  • Oilers in 2018: 14-12-2, 30 points; goal differential -6

This year’s team has benefitted from the Hitchcock bounce (now 5-2-1) and is within reach of the 2016 playoff edition of the McDavid Oilers. They’re going to need more goals, but project to 82, 41-35-6, 88 points. It would represent a 10-point improvement year over year, still a little shy of the playoffs.

OILERS IN DECEMBER

  • Oilers in December 2015: 3-0-0, six points; goal differential +3
  • Oilers in December 2016: 2-0-1, five points; goal differential +3
  • Oilers in December 2017: 2-1-0, four points; goal differential +4
  • Oilers in December 2018: 2-1-0, four points; goal differential -1

December is working out well, as it has each year since McDavid arrived in town. No explanation, especially considering November has been such a downer every damned year. Maybe there’s some psychology or a curse some damned former Oiler placed on the team (Jimmy Carson?).

WHAT TO EXPECT IN DECEMBER

  • At home to: Vegas (Expected 0-1-0) Actual (1-0-0)
  • On the road to: Dallas, St. Louis (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 1-1-0)
  • 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: 2-1-0, four points in three games

The month is proceeding as predicted, thank goodness, it helps the aged with digestion and sleep patterns. Edmonton had a very uneven game overall but found a way. There have been many times in recent years when the club didn’t have that gear. Last night, things worked out.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Nurse-Russell were beyond ghastly in the first period but settled in as the game went on. Overall, they were 22-10 in 15:22, 13-8 shots, 1-2 goals and 3-6 HDSC. They were 6-4 with 97, 16-6 without. The first two goals against saw both men in bad spots, I wonder if they’re having a zone/man-to-man adjustment issue. I think Nurse would have checked down both times if they were zone, but he pursued his closest man on both occasions—it looked poor. Duo went 13-4 in 6:55 against Perron-Schenn-Kyrou.
  • Klefbom-Larsson went 14-9 in 16:19, 6-4 shots, no goals and 0-2 HDSC. The goal by Klefbom continues a trend where the young defenseman scores goals of massive importance. Larsson was solid as usual. Went 10-8 in 9:37 against Sanford-O’Reilly-Tarasenko, I thought this pairing was quality during the game. Klefbom received a lot of love online after the game, it’s good to see. For some reason, recognition of his impressive ability has been slow.
  • Gravel-Benning went 10-9 in 8:46, 5-4 shots, no goals and 3-3 HDSC. Went 6-6 in 4:57 against Maroon-Bozak-Thomas. I think this pairing is providing some calm minutes.
  • Cam Talbot stopped 28 of 30, .933. He played very well in my opinion, and at this point has earned another game. Sometime this weekend? He has a .917SP under Hitchcock, who was once again complimentary about his play postgame.
  • NaturalStatTrick and NHL.com.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

  • Lucic-Brodziak-Kassian went 14-3 in 11:33, a strong game from a line that was fading a little recently. Went 7-2 shots, 0-1 goals and 2-1 HDSC. I can’t identify the coverage issue on the second goal against, so won’t point at Brodziak as the culprit. He was in the right spot, a bit of bad luck on the rebound off the back wall. Were 9-3 against Bouwmeester-Butler. I liked the line’s effort, Lucic was skating well and Kassian had some fantastic chances. If they keep doing this, no one has a right to complain (dollars aside).
  • P. Russell-Spooner-Rattie were also effective, going 8-3 in 5:39, 5-3 shots, no goals and 2-1 HDSC on the night. You’d like to see this trio get more time, but Caggiula being out might have impacted usage. Went 6-0 against Bowmeester-Dunn.
  • Khaira-Nuge-Puljujarvi went 9-7 in 10:27, 5-3 shots, 1-0 goals and 1-2 HDSC. Nuge was brilliant to my eye, Khaira got the assist on the tying goal and was part of the first one. Puljujarvi’s efforts were less central to the game story but he’s surviving on a feature line and that has value. Sometimes, a young player will plod along at this level for a time and then start pushing. JP is getting used to the lay of the land, that has value.
  • Chiasson-McDavid-Draisaitl were 19-17 in 15:25, that’s a lot of 5-on-5 time. They were 9-11 shots, 0-1 goal, 2-6 HDSC (!!!) on the evening. The opening goal had a coverage gaffe, not sure if Nurse or McDavid was the culprit but it was an easy chance for St. Louis. Settled in afterward and McDavid impacted the game (assist on the tying goal, ridiculous shootout snipe). I wonder if we’re going to see a shuffle with 29 coming off the 97 line, they look stale 5-on-5 and power play right now. Both men are playing a ton and McDavid is back from illness.

SUGGESTED LINES

If there is another line shuffle by Ken Hitchcock, and I’m not sure that’s going to happen, I would like to see the coach try something like this:

  • Ryan Spooner—Connor McDavid—Alex Chiasson
  • Jujhar Khaira—Ryan Nugent-Hopkins—Jesse Puljujarvi
  • Drake Caggiula—Leon Draisaitl—Valentin Zykov
  • Milan Lucic—Kyle Brodziak—Zack Kassian

I know it won’t happen, but would like to see it. Edmonton should be able to get one of Nuge or Leon some clean air at home using this template. It would be asking McDavid to score without an elite linemate but would also allow the team to have three lines with scoring potential.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy Thursday and we’re bringing out the heavy artillery. At 10 this morning, TSN1260, scheduled to appear:

  • Jeff Krushell, Krush Performance. Jeff will be speaking at the MLB meetings in Vegas Saturday, we’ll get a preview.
  • Frank Seravalli, TSN. Seattle expansion, Oilers 5-2-1 under Hitchcock, Leafs full boat starting tonight.
  • Andy McNamara, TSN4Downs. The NFL weekend to come.

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

written by

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

156 Responses to "Keep on Choogling"

  1. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Oiler Goal Share after 28 games (14-12-2)

    Even strength (5v5, 4v4, 3v3):
    McDavid On Ice 25-19 (57%)
    McDavid Off Ice 24-36 (40%)
    EV=-6

    Special Teams (PP+SH For-PK+SH Against):
    21-22
    ST=-1

    Empty Net:
    3-8
    EN= -5

    SO
    1-0

    SO=+1

    Net Goal Differential -11

    Note: I added the SO section so the goal diff I post matches the NHL. Its a “mystery goal” that counts against the differential, but no one scored it.

  2. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    HITCHCOCK ERA:
    Oiler Goal Share after 8 games (5-2-1)

    Even strength (5v5, 4v4, 3v3):
    McDavid On Ice 5-5 (50%)
    McDavid Off Ice 6-8 (43%)
    Net EV -2

    Special Teams (PP+SH For – PK+SH Against):
    4-3
    Net ST +1

    Empty Net:
    1-3
    Net EN -2

    SO
    1-0
    SO=+1

    Net Goal Differential -2

    McDavid at 50% is a crime.

  3. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Western Conference Playoff Standings using points percentage expressed as “games over/under fake Bettman .500”

    Central
    NSH 11
    WPG 9
    COL 9

    Pacific
    CGY 8
    ANA 5
    SJS 4

    Wildcard
    MIN 5
    DAL 5
    ——————
    Out of playoffs
    ARI 2
    EDM 2
    VGK 2
    STL -4
    VAN -5
    CHI -6
    LAK -7

    ARI, EDM and VGK in this order due to games played.

    Both SJS and ANA won last night.

    EDM’s next two opponents will have played the night before (not that its helped in the last 18 months or so….)

    MIN plays in CGY tonight then here Friday.

    CGY plays NSH in CGY for the late game Saturday and then are here Sunday.

    Tonight’s Pacific games:

    MIN at CGY
    WSH at ARI
    NSH at VAN
    CHI at VGK
    NJD at LAK

    CHI lost to ANA in ANA last night so I’d bet fairly heavily on VGK and the over.

    Current line on that game is VGK -265. Yup.

  4. OriginalPouzar says:

    Sounds like Edmonton/Red Deer will be officially announced as co-hosts of the 2021 World Juniors today.

  5. Hemsky is a gangsta says:

    Khaira has been on the ice for the last 3 “non-McDavid” goals (Spooner vs VGK, his own vs DAL, and the RNH goal last night). He was also elevated to the 6on5 over Lucic, would McLellan have made that move?

  6. p3rsonman says:

    I would really like to see the following lines:

    Caggiula – McDavid – Rattie

    Chiasson – Nuge – Draisaitl

    Khaira – Spooner – Puljujarvi

    Lucic – Brodziak – Kassian

    I’m not sure unicorns are possible with this roster, but I think this gives you 2 dangerous lines, one checking line (Identity) and the junk drawer line which can hopefully contribute.

  7. Primetime says:

    Really believe going back to the 3Cs is the only way to go now. We are not generating enough offence with 2 of them playing together, spreading them out can’t produce worse than the 1 goal per game they are now (I suppose there is one worse possible result).

    Like your lines LT but to my eye, Rattie has been playing hard, and getting some chances since being re-inserted in lineup. He may be playing with the “I’ll show you Hitch” mentality, but if he can keep it up, at least he is a possibility to score. Had a real nice play with McD last night and he narrowly missed the far post.

    If Zykov can fit in and provide offence, then when Reider comes back, who sits? You could have competition between Zykov/Rattie/Caggs for a 2 spots every game.

    Better yet, would play all 3 and sit 2 of the grumpy old men (Lucic/Brodz).

    Chiasson – McD – Rattie
    Caggs – RNH – PJ
    Reider – Drai – Zykov
    Khaira- Spooner – Kass

  8. Pescador says:

    p3rsonman:
    I would really like to see the following lines:

    Caggiula – McDavid – Rattie

    Chiasson – Nuge – Draisaitl

    Khaira – Spooner – Puljujarvi

    Lucic – Brodziak – Kassian

    I’m not sure unicorns are possible with this roster, but I think this gives you 2 dangerous lines, one checking line (Identity) and the junk drawer line which can hopefully contribute.

    Sorry Connor, I know your carrying a lot & your back is tired
    but here is 2 more bags.
    Thankx
    Young Yessa is finding his way, and he needs to stay where he is atm.
    Nugey – Draisaitl – Puljujarvi
    i bet you they score

  9. leadfarmer says:

    While I like the idea of the 3 guy carrying their own line. You’d have to double shift Leon on someone’s wing to get them all 20 min a night and still play a 4th line

  10. OriginalPouzar says:

    Klefbom is on pace for 43 points this season – his previous career high is 38.

    While not an “elite offensive producer”, 43 points is a solid total.

  11. p3rsonman says:

    Pescador,

    I think both Caggiula and Rattie have had success with McDavid, so I wouldn’t consider them to be baggage.

    If you threw Lucic and Kassian on his line I could see your point.

  12. JohnnyOilfan says:

    I can’t identify the coverage issue on the second goal against, so won’t point at Brodziak as the culprit. He was in the right spot, a bit of bad luck on the rebound off the back wall.

    LT, that second goal against was combination of bad luck with the bounce of the wall and Kris Russel losing his man off the half wall and puck watching. 4/25 weren’t very good together last night and the previous game. Although they had been playing solid the few games prior to the last two. Hopefully they start trending in a good way. Perhaps Yawney will instill some “less is more” with the two and just focus on dzone and moving the puck up quick to the forwards.

  13. OriginalPouzar says:

    First time in, what, 4 games, that Kassian didn’t take an unnecessary penalty?

    Very good game from Zach last night, very good – issue is he doesn’t bring that game consistently.

  14. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – So the CFO of Huawei got arrested in Vancouver: someone asked me what I thought it means, I slowly took off my shades and replied: “She’s going Huawei for a long time” OEWWWWWW!

  15. OriginalPouzar says:

    Ryan Spooner—Connor McDavid—Alex Chiasson
    Jujhar Khaira—Ryan Nugent-Hopkins—Jesse Puljujarvi
    Drake Caggiula—Leon Draisaitl—Valentin Zykov
    Milan Lucic—Kyle Brodziak—Zack Kassian

    ———————————

    I am all for splitting up Drai and McDavid. They generally go on a heater when re-united, as they did this time, but they have cooled off and haven’t produced 5 on 5 for a number of games now. If they aren’t producing together, then the “wealth” should be spread.

    With that said, lets not forget that the duo cooling off also coincidences with Hitch placing Chiasson on that line – a move that never made sense. The reason given was that Chiasson was hot so he needed more minutes. If a player is hot away from McDavid, I believe everything possible needs to be done to keep that going – putting that player with McDavid makes little sense to me.

    On that note, I think, more than anything, Chiasson should be moved away from McDavid as it doesn’t seem to work. I’d switch him with Jesse in the above or even give Zykov a shot there (don’t imagine it happens).

    I think Zykov, while shooting right, generally plays left wing. Not sure if he has played much right side?

    I’m just fine going with the “three center” set or even with a Drai/Nuge combo.

  16. Paulie says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Klefbom is on pace for 43 points this season – his previous career high is 38.

    While not an “elite offensive producer”, 43 points is a solid total.

    His defensive positioning and physical play have been much better (not perfect) this year compared to last year. Good health helps a lot.

  17. Professor Q says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    – So the CFO of Huawei got arrested in Vancouver: someone asked me what I thought it means, I slowly took off my shades and replied: “She’s going Huawei for a long time”OEWWWWWW!

    I like it. I used it. Be proud that you’re spreading now.

  18. Wilde says:

    Let’s imagine Nurse is in the right when he goes behind the net.

    He still didn’t seem to fully grasp how critical it was to not let that puck get past him cleanly.

    Even if McDavid’s tying up the guy it gets too, it still could go off skates, or a swipe could be taken at it, etc.

    Kris Russell at least understands the times where it’s critical the puck not get past him. He does drop down a tad too much, or too early, but he knows the pass which cannot be made.

    The game against Minnesota will be Darnell’s 229th in the NHL. We’re in year 4. This is it.

    I’ve banged on this drum before and I’ve talked about banging on this drum before. This is a 4/5 who’ll cost you 5 goals a year on penalty differential. He’s cheap and a number of organisations in the league would love to have him.

  19. russ99 says:

    Hitchcock isn’t a unicorn-style coach.

    When everyone’s healthy:

    Caggiula – McDavid – Draisaitl
    Rieder – RNH – Chiasson
    Lucic – Brodziak – Zykov (if he gets the chances Kassian got last night he’d have scored a couple)
    Khaira – Spooner – Kassian

    Jesse back to AHL, he’s not pushing the needle. Hitch should have kept him on the 4th line until he proved he was ready for the top 6, but I suspect that order came from Chiarelli.

  20. Ryan says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    First time in, what, 4 games, that Kassian didn’t take an unnecessary penalty?

    Very good game from Zach last night, very good – issue is he doesn’t bring that game consistently.

    Too bad Zach has one point in 25 games this season. That production is deplorable. He’s on pace for three goals and zero assists per 82 games. That is so far below the Mendoza line for an NHL player.

  21. russ99 says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Draisaitl hasn’t played LW before. That’s why.

    It’s time to give Chiasson back to Nuge to help that line with scoring.

  22. Side says:

    russ99:
    Hitchcock isn’t a unicorn-style coach.

    When everyone’s healthy:

    Caggiula – McDavid – Draisaitl
    Rieter – RNH – Chiasson
    Lucic – Brodziak – Zykov
    Khaira– Spooner – Kassian

    Jesse back to AHL, he’s not pushing the needle. Hitch should have kept him on the 4th line until he proved he was ready for the top 6, but I suspect that order came from Chiarelli.

    Why would that order come from Chiarelli?

    JP was played on the bottom lines with Todd and Chiarelli sent JP down how many times already?

    Hitchcock said he wanted Chiarelli to recall him. I imagine it’s Hitchcock choosing where to play JP.

    Very much doubt Chiarelli is suddenly trying to force coaches to play JP in the top 6…

  23. jake70 says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    – So the CFO of Huawei got arrested in Vancouver: someone asked me what I thought it means, I slowly took off my shades and replied: “She’s going Huawei for a long time”OEWWWWWW!

    Isn’t that the company who sponsors HNIC?, see the logo every week.

  24. Dicky94 says:

    russ99,

    If you play Zykov with those two right out of the gate he’ll be back on waivers after two games. Put him with skill and see what he can do.

  25. Wilde says:

    Rattie’s been impressive two nights in a row in non-feature roles. I agree they should have gotten more time.

    Patrick Russell should also either a) get more time or b) go back to Bakersfield.

    Russell is Bakersfield’s leader in 5v5 primary points per 60 (estimated) by a fair margin.

    He’s also one of their better primary shot generators (shot+shot assists per estimated 60) and their leader in Rel GF% 5v5.

    I really want to see Bakersfield make the playoffs and if the difference between having Russell and having anyone else playing 6 minutes isn’t substantial (it isn’t) I’d like to see their most efficient two-way forward returned to them.

  26. Darth Tu says:

    Primetime,

    Why sit two of the grumpy old men? That line has been solid so far, they’re good to turn to when possession needs to be kept and do a great job of hemming in the opposition, banging them up a little. Some more goals would be nice, but I think right now they have material value to the team together.

  27. russ99 says:

    Dicky94:
    russ99,

    If you play Zykov with those two right out of the gate he’ll be back on waivers after two games. Put him with skill and see what he can do.

    Have you read any scouting on him? Tough on the wall, keeps possession, good on the cycle, goes to the net and scores.

    Zykov is perfect for that line. Do we want that third line to ever score or is it a philosophical thing where rush players have to succeed and cycle players have to fail?

  28. russ99 says:

    Side,
    It’s clear that Todd didn’t want Jesse on a scoring line and Chia did.

    I do believe that Hitch differs with Todd in this, but this is one thing the GM wants more than the coach, and Hitch is all about results.

    My post said when everyone is healthy. in a few weeks (say Christmas break) when Reider is back, and if Jesse still hasn’t moved the needle, then it will be time for a change. That’s still 8 more games Jesse has to make an impression to stick.

    Gifting Puljujarvi the rest of the season on the Oilers second line if he’s not performing when he could develop with skill in Bakersfield seems like a massive waste to prove a dumb point.

  29. Side says:

    russ99:
    Side,

    It’s clear that Todd didn’t want Jesse on a scoring line and Chia did.

    I do believe that Hitch differs with Todd in this, but this is one thing the GM wants more than the coach.

    How is it clear that Chia did want JP on a scoring line? Given all of his verbal about them taking their time with JP?

  30. Jaxon says:

    p3rsonman: Caggiula – McDavid – Rattie

    I think Rattie and Caggiula might be the only two players to drastically reduce McDavid’s CF% and GF%. While I think spreading out the talent away from McDavid is a good idea, I don’t think we need to saddle him with two players that drag him down.

  31. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – Between Rattie, Reider, Chiasson, Zykov, Caggs, Lucic, Kass, Pool, Spponer, Jar: surely with the big 3 C and some coaching and match-ups, double-shifting, etc Hitch can come up with 3 lines?

  32. russ99 says:

    Side: How is it clear that Chia did want JP on a scoring line? Given all of his verbal about them taking their time with JP?

    Wasn’t a key part of Chia’s presser hiring Hitch is how Puljujarvi and Yamamoto would be handled differently?

  33. Jaxon says:

    Spooner/Zykov – McDavid – Puljujarvi
    Khaira – Draisaitl – Chiasson/Rieder
    Lucic – Nugent-Hopkins – Rieder/Rattie/Yamamoto
    Caggiula/Spooner/Zykov/Benson – Brodziak/Marody – Rieder/Kassian/Hebig

  34. Bag of Pucks says:

    I would imagine Hitchcock wants to keep the lines fairly stable while he’s implementing his system changes.

    Once the team is playing with structure consistently, and as the Nurse/McDavid gaffe reveals they’re not quite there yet, then i think he’ll be more comfortable to go juggling in search of chemistry.

    At the end of the day, they just need two consistent pairs. A winger that meshes with Connor and one that works with Drai – game in and game out. Gretz needs his Kurri. Messier needs his Anderson.

  35. Jaxon says:

    Expansion Draft Question.

    Both Nugent-Hopkins and Larsson contracts expire at the end of June, 2021. Will they really need to be protected? Will they be picked if their contract is expiring? And, can the Oilers come to a verbal agreement to sign them on June 30th after the expansion draft? I don’t recall what happened in that situation with Vegas.

    The risk being that Seattle will have a pre-draft window to negotiate with unsigned/exposed players. Would Nugent-Hopkins and Larsson sign with them if they offered enough money? Maybe, but maybe not.

    Trade Lucic on June 20th with half salary retained. $3M cap savings.
    Trade Russell and Sekera sometime before the draft. $9.5M cap savings.
    Talbot may be gone by then or Koskinen.
    Trade Kassian/Spooner.

    Protect:
    McDavid, Draisaitl, Puljujarvi, Yamamoto, Khaira, Benson, Marody
    Klefbom, Nurse, Bear or Jones

    Re-sign Larsson and Nugent-Hopkins after the draft.

    I think one snag is that I think the Oilers must expose 25% of the salary cap (but I can’t find this rule anywhere). So then you need to expose $20M worth of eligible players. Maybe that is an argument for signing a couple big names in the next couple seasons as long as you don’t give them NMCs. So they can be exposed to meet the 25% requirement. A few older veterans that they would be okay with losing who are signed until the summer of ’22.

    Is this possible?

  36. McSorley33 says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    Well played……

  37. McSorley33 says:

    I like Rattie’s game. Truly feel there is a player there that could cash some chances.

    Would love to see Rattie get some McDavid time.

    Not a fan of having Drai with McDavid.

    As a lot of us have been suggesting… can we try to load up line 2 just for a bit?

    Drai- RNH – Chiasson – with injuries lots of weaker 2nd pairings to be found around the NHL.

    Personally, I think Drai and Chia have chemistry.

  38. Wilde says:

    In December last year, the Oilers got back into the playoff picture with the following:

    1) A Strome-Khaira pairing that played with Draisaitl or with each other and another winger and controlled play. Went 5-3 in goals in 11 games together. Draisaitl went 8-6 either with these two or other assorted options.

    2) Draisaitl, McDavid, Nugent-Hopkins all playing on separate lines and the Oilers getting the better of the shot share in 9 of the 13 games.

    3) McDavid and Puljujarvi played together 12 1/2 of the games, outscoring opposition 9-3 5v5 and going +19 in HDCF (45-26, going 31-15 in the first 8 games) despite playing with Lucic and against the toughs.

    4) Nugent-Hopkins played most of his games alongside Maroon and rotating RWs, going 6-5 in goals

    5) Letestu and Kassian went 3-6 in goals together.

    6) The team in total went 28-24 in goals 5v5. They scored 6 powerplay goals in about 60 minutes of PP time. They scored 5 shorthanded goals. Gave up 11 pp goals for a dead even special teams goal share.

    I don’t think that’s impossible to replicate.

    The special teams should be fine and most of the important even-strength guys are still here.

    Strome isn’t, but counter to what (appears to be) the popular narrative I think Spooner’s just a straight up better hockey player than him.

    It’s a dog’s breakfast on the wings if you spread out the centres now, but it was then too.

    McDavid’s due for a heater and he hasn’t gotten it even with Draisaitl on his wing.

    They demolish the other team every shift they’re put back together at first, and then it slowly becomes what we saw last night.

    The solution to that appears to be what it’s always been: Split em up and keep their chemistry in your back pocket as a secret weapon to be used scarcely because that’s when they’re most effective.

    Nugent-Hopkins – Draisaitl – Puljujarvi

    Zykov – McDavid – Rattie

    Caggiula – Spooner – Chiasson

    Lucic – Brodziak – Kassian

  39. Bill says:

    Who will get punted(traded/waivers) or demoted to the steets of Bakersfield when Reider & Sekera are healthy?

  40. Pescador says:

    McSorley33:
    I like Rattie’s game. Truly feel there is a player there that could cash some chances.

    Would love to see Rattie get some McDavid time.

    Not a fan of having Drai with McDavid.

    As a lot of us have been suggesting… can we try to load up line 2 just for a bit?

    Drai- RNH – Chiasson – with injuries lots of weaker 2nd pairings to be found around the NHL.

    Personally, I think Drai and Chia have chemistry.

    Absolutely,I love getting loaded
    I would prefer 93 – 29 – 98
    Nuge plays LW
    Drai plays center
    Chiasson sure why not, but I would prefer to play Yessa there & see if those other 2 can get him going.
    It’s a bet the Oilers have to make

  41. Leroy Draisdale says:

    I had a few thoughts while watching that game last night.

    1) Drai’s decision making has really off last night. Not sure how many turnovers he had but made a ton of bad passes and looked like Lucic handling the puck at times
    2) We had a decent amount of shots but man was I yelling hit the f*%&ing net a lot last night
    3) McDavid seemed a little off(maybe still feeling the flu) still fantastic but bobbling the puck a bit
    4) our power play is atrocious, seems like there is no urgency

  42. godot10 says:

    p3rsonman:
    Pescador,

    I think both Caggiula and Rattie have had success with McDavid, so I wouldn’t consider them to be baggage.

    Who exactly would check? How would the Oilers get the puck out of their own zone? Who would forecheck?

  43. DasBavaria says:

    leadfarmer,

    That’s a good idea. Double-shift Leon on Connor’s line every once in a while.

    Now, we need to find Hitch and pitch this idea to him.

  44. 106 and 106 says:

    Jaxon,

    You’d lose Nuge in the expansion draft?

    We lost Griffin Reinhart in the last one.

    Nuge is a HUGE loss. But I guess, seeing as he’s never hit 50 points…. maybe they wouldn’t.

  45. godot10 says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    – So the CFO of Huawei got arrested in Vancouver: someone asked me what I thought it means, I slowly took off my shades and replied: “She’s going Huawei for a long time”OEWWWWWW!

    It means World War three is warming up on deck, and the US Deep State is getting desperate.

  46. ashley says:

    I was watching the third period last night with McDavid clearly labouring with the flu and it really sunk in how unskilled this team is.

    For the first time in years, I’m not sitting there wondering why they are doing the things they are doing. The structure is excellent. They are in the right places for breakout. They are defending better for the most part. They are setting up properly on the power play. Hitchcock is getting maximum value out of this roster.

    So with that low-hanging fruit harvested (maybe not so low-hanging as so many coaches seemed to struggle to get this team to execute basic tactics), it clears the path for me to look at where the team is having success and where it is failing.

    So it registered last night – there is a striking lack of basic skill on this team relative to other teams. There is also a lot of poor decision making which is also a skill that takes time to learn much like stick handling, skating, and shooting.

    It’s worrisome, especially when I watch a Flames game and see the depth of skill, creativity, and high level decision making to create excellent scoring chances. I hate the idea of the Flames being better than the OIlers, especially when we have McDavid who is worth three impact players all by himself. It’s embarrassing, frankly.

    Basic skill and decision making isn’t something that can be coached into players through a season. It takes years of practice and attention to detail/film review. Maybe some of these guys could get closer over the next few years if they dedicate a lot of ice time to basic drills and sitting in the film room, but not all of them will have that level of discipline in their early to mid 20s.

    So while I am delighted with the success realized by HItch since taking over, it is somewhat depressing to look at a cap team that appears to be at it’s ceiling in ability, and that ceiling is a bubble team which will not be good enough to make it very far in the post season, if they make it at all.

    Shame on you Chiarelli. You were gifted something special here, and you turned it into something mediocre.

  47. who says:

    russ99:
    Side,
    It’s clear that Todd didn’t want Jesse on a scoring line and Chia did.

    I do believe that Hitch differs with Todd in this, but this is one thing the GM wants more than the coach, and Hitch is all about results.

    My post said when everyone is healthy. in a few weeks (say Christmas break) when Reider is back, and if Jesse still hasn’t moved the needle, then it will be time for a change. That’s still 8 more games Jesse has to make an impression to stick.

    Gifting Puljujarvi the rest of the season on the Oilers second line if he’s not performing when he could develop with skill in Bakersfield seems like a massive waste to prove a dumb point.

    I didn’t like JPs call up. To me it made no sense to send him down for 4 games.
    Now that he is here I think Hitchcock has to commit to playing him with one of the 3 centers for the rest of the year. No more 4th line/pressbox shuffle. They’ve got a lot invested in this player. They have to stick with him.
    I would also like to see him on the penalty kill. Would get him more minutes and I think he has the tools and the brain to do it.

  48. godot10 says:

    jake70: Isn’t that the company who sponsors HNIC?, see the logo every week.

    Huawei pays for most of the 5G research at Canadian universities.

  49. McNuge93 says:

    Jaxon:
    Expansion Draft Question.

    Both Nugent-Hopkins and Larsson contracts expire at the end of June, 2021. Will they really need to be protected? Will they be picked if their contract is expiring? And, can the Oilers come to a verbal agreement to sign them on June 30th after the expansion draft? I don’t recall what happened in that situation with Vegas.

    The risk being that Seattle will have a pre-draft window to negotiate with unsigned/exposed players. Would Nugent-Hopkins and Larsson sign with them if they offered enough money? Maybe, but maybe not.

    Trade Lucic on June 20th with half salary retained. $3M cap savings.
    Trade Russell and Sekera sometime before the draft. $9.5M cap savings.
    Talbot may be gone by then or Koskinen.
    Trade Kassian/Spooner.

    Protect:
    McDavid, Draisaitl, Puljujarvi, Yamamoto, Khaira, Benson, Marody
    Klefbom, Nurse, Bear or Jones

    Re-sign Larsson and Nugent-Hopkins after the draft.

    I think one snag is that I think the Oilers must expose 25% of the salary cap (but I can’t find this rule anywhere). So then you need to expose $20M worth of eligible players. Maybe that is an argument for signing a couple big names in the next couple seasons as long as you don’t give them NMCs. So they can be exposed to meet the 25% requirement. A few older veterans that they would be okay with losing who are signed until the summer of ’22.

    Is this possible?

    It is too risky to let Nuge and Larsson’s contracts expire. This exposes them to anybody to sign them. I think both Sekera and Russel, who’s contracts would be expiring anyway, do not need to be protected as their no move clauses are not restrictive enough at that time. we could buyout Looch at that time as well.

    If we lost Marody, Khaira, Benson it wouldn’t be the end of the world. Or trade them a pick to select Yam since he is from Washington State.

  50. Side says:

    russ99: Wasn’t a key part of Chia’s presser hiring Hitch is how Puljujarvi and Yamamoto would be handled differently?

    Yeah so I know Chiarelli has said in the offseason they want to be patient with JP and set him up to succeed and they know there is a player there.

    I’ve seen him being utilized by Todd, and Todd seems to have stuck him on the bottom line despite having success with McDavid.

    I’ve seen JP getting sent down after not performing well on the bottom lines.

    I’ve seen Hitchcock come in saying HE wants JP to be called back up because he can work with him.

    I guess I don’t see this “clear link” to Chiarelli being the sole driver to JP being recalled and forced to play in the top 6.

  51. russ99 says:

    Pescador,

    I’m not a fan of breaking up the team structure to get one player going, and you’re asking for chaos in the room if you’re propping up one player undeservingly over others that are doing what the coach wants them to do.

    Besides, if anyone needs the push it’s McDavid. I think it’s not a given that he can produce with two lesser wingers, where Nuge has.

    Hitch has done one important thing with our top two lines: loaded up the first line and positioned the second line as a two way line. Nuge at center is vital, he’s kept us in games with astute plays, and he’s still scoring regularly in a two-way center role, it’s just that his wingers haven’t.

  52. dustrock says:

    This might sound terrible because I am a huge Larsson fan but given the struggles with his back, I’m not convinced we should re-up long-term with him and if it’s expiring, then perhaps might be time to sail on.

    At that point, I would hope we would have at least 1 if not 2 of Bouchard, Bear and Persson able to pay full-time in the NHL.

  53. Jaxon says:

    106 and 106:
    Jaxon,

    You’d lose Nuge in the expansion draft?

    We lost Griffin Reinhart in the last one.

    Nuge is a HUGE loss. But I guess, seeing as he’s never hit 50 points…. maybe they wouldn’t.

    What I’m saying is that you likely wouldn’t lose them if they still want to re-sign in Edmonton. And also, they can be signed again after the expansion draft but before free agency opens on July 1st. Vegas can negotiate, but Nuge and Larsson don’t have to agree to a contract. Simple as that.

  54. Jaxon says:

    McNuge93: It is too risky to let Nuge and Larsson’s contracts expire. This exposes them to anybody to sign them. I think both Sekera and Russel, who’s contracts would be expiring anyway, do not need to be protected as their no move clauses are not restrictive enough at that time. we could buyout Looch at that time as well.

    If we lost Marody, Khaira, Benson it wouldn’t be the end of the world. Or trade them a pick to select Yam since he is from Washington State.

    You’re not letting them expire. There will be a window after the draft to sign them before July 1st. What I’m saying is that you likely wouldn’t lose them if they still want to re-sign in Edmonton. Chiarelli and their agents can come to a gentleman’s/verbal agreement on a $ amount prior to the draft protection lists are published. After the draft, they simply sign on the dotted line. Vegas has a window to negotiate with them, but Nuge and Larsson don’t have to agree to a contract. Simple as that.

    It would allow Edmonton to go hunting for a 1RD or 2RD as well as a sniper and protect them.

    Protect:
    Klefbom, Nurse, 1/2RD (Erik Karlsson?), Larsson (exposed but not really at risk of being picked then re-signed post-expansion)

    McDavid, Draisaitl, Puljujarvi, Sniper (Skinner, Duchene, Saad?), and 3 of Yamamoto, Benson, Khaira, Marody, Hebig. Nuge (exposed but not really at risk of being picked then re-signed post-expansion).

    They could also sign or trade for fast, older (relatively) snipers like Hoffman, Hagelin, and Grabner just to expose them in the draft. Or D like Edler, Polak, and McQuaid just to expose them in the draft. Just make sure they don’t have NMCs.

    I think if either Bear or Yamamoto are exposed they’ll be pretty attractive picks for Seattle as Yamamoto is from there and Bear’s WHL career was spent in Seattle. Depending on how they’re playing by then you may want to protect them and expose Marody and Hebig. Benson and Khaira also spent time on the west coast.

    But if you have a late 20s, early 30s player on your roster you may want to expose them as bait to protect other players.

    But back to my original point, leaving Nugent-Hopkins and Larsson exposed but not re-signed until the last week of June may allow Edmonton to -in essence- protect 8 forwards and 4 D.

  55. Oilman99 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Ryan Spooner—Connor McDavid—Alex Chiasson
    Jujhar Khaira—Ryan Nugent-Hopkins—Jesse Puljujarvi
    Drake Caggiula—Leon Draisaitl—Valentin Zykov
    Milan Lucic—Kyle Brodziak—Zack Kassian

    ———————————

    I am all for splitting up Drai and McDavid.They generally go on a heater when re-united, as they did this time, but they have cooled off and haven’t produced 5 on 5 for a number of games now.If they aren’t producing together, then the “wealth” should be spread.

    With that said, lets not forget that the duo cooling off also coincidences with Hitch placing Chiasson on that line – a move that never made sense.The reason given was that Chiasson was hot so he needed more minutes. If a player is hot away from McDavid, I believe everything possible needs to be done to keep that going – putting that player with McDavid makes little sense to me.

    On that note, I think, more than anything, Chiasson should be moved away from McDavid as it doesn’t seem to work.I’d switch him with Jesse in the above or even give Zykov a shot there (don’t imagine it happens).

    I think Zykov, while shooting right, generally plays left wing. Not sure if he has played much right side?

    I’m just fine going with the “three center” set or even with a Drai/Nuge combo.

    JJ and Rattie with McD seems like a good fit. Rattie has had chemistry with him, and he heeds JJ’s heavy board work to maintain puck possession in the O-zone. The Drai pairing is producing a one shot and done scenario too often.

  56. OriginalPouzar says:

    Caggiula is having an MRI tomorrow – there is some concern his hand injury is not short term.

    Zykov is cleared to play in Canada so he may be in the lineup on Friday.

  57. Pescador says:

    McNuge93: It is too risky to let Nuge and Larsson’s contracts expire. This exposes them to anybody to sign them. I think both Sekera and Russel, who’s contracts would be expiring anyway, do not need to be protected as their no move clauses are not restrictive enough at that time. we could buyout Looch at that time as well.

    If we lost Marody, Khaira, Benson it wouldn’t be the end of the world. Or trade them a pick to select Yam since he is from Washington State.

    Doubt heavily that we would need to add a pick to have Seattle take Moto from us.
    More like they give so that we don’t protect him.
    We will see in 2 years

  58. hunter1909 says:

    Does last night feel like a loss?

    Despite posting a 5-2-1 record so far, is Hitch already starting to ring alarm bells?

    Some talk about waiting another freaking 2-3 years, from now, after a decade of darkness that’s going to spell NHL infamy for Lowe+MacT’s shaky reign.

    How Chiarelli’s still employed is a miracle. Lowe+MacT think he deflects historical proof of their, for lack of a better word, guilt.

  59. Jaxon says:

    Oilman99: JJ and Rattie with McD seems like a good fit. Rattie has had chemistry with him, and he heeds JJ’s heavy board work to maintain puck possession in the O-zone. The Drai pairing is producing a one shot and done scenario too often.

    Rattie put up some numbers while with McDavid but the line as a whole, did worse in both CF% and GF%, so Rattie was a drag even though he was scoring. Puljujarvi was the exact opposite. The line improved with him on it even though he didn’t score a lot.

    JJ improved Draisaitl’s numbers the most so I’d try him with Draisaitl.

    Nuge and Lucic actually have decent numbers together as well.

    I know this looks odd to most people but I see the solid pairs as:
    ? – McDavid – Puljujarvi
    Khaira – Draisaitl – ?
    Lucic – Nugent-Hopkins – ?

    That is based on at least 175 minutes together where the winger improved the C’s CF% and GF%.

  60. Pescador says:

    russ99:
    Pescador,

    I’m not a fan of breaking up the team structure to get one player going, and you’re asking for chaos in the room if you’re propping up one player undeservingly over others that are doing what the coach wants them to do.

    Besides, if anyone needs the push it’s McDavid. I think it’s not a given that he can produce with two lesser wingers, where Nuge has.

    Hitch has done one important thing with our top two lines: loaded up the first line and positioned the second line as a two way line. Nuge at center is vital, he’s kept us in games with astute plays, and he’s still scoring regularly in a two-way center role, it’s just that his wingers haven’t.

    Honestly I think it would help Leon as well.
    He looked tired last night, after all those mins in Dallas, I don’t blame him
    Not that he needs it but the team needs him to score more at 5v5.
    Oilers top6 winger depth is non-existant.
    We are past who deserves and who doesn’t
    need goals bad
    Also, Nurse needs someone to shelter him

  61. Oilman99 says:

    Wilde:
    Rattie’s been impressive two nights in a row in non-feature roles. I agree they should have gotten more time.

    Patrick Russell should also either a) get more time or b) go back to Bakersfield.

    Russell is Bakersfield’s leader in 5v5 primary points per 60 (estimated)by a fair margin.

    He’s also one of their better primary shot generators (shot+shot assists per estimated 60) and their leader in Rel GF% 5v5.

    I really want to see Bakersfield make the playoffs and if the difference between having Russell and having anyone else playing 6 minutes isn’t substantial (it isn’t) I’d like to see their most efficient two-way forward returned to them.

    Rattie has never got a chance with the top centres since he came back from injury. He showed that he was a fit with McD .

  62. Jaxon says:

    What’s the fastest team (with skill) you could build:

    My first try:
    Saad -McDavid -Crosby
    Hall -Larkin -Kane
    Seguin -Eichel -Kessel
    Duchene -MacKinnon -Stamkos

    Nurse -Karlsson
    Matheson -Letang
    Leddy -Byfuglien

    Should Marner, Keller, Barzal, Matthews be on there? In place of who?

    I’m sure the D can be improved.

  63. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    godot10: Huawei pays for most of the 5G research at Canadian universities.

    – Imagine the CFO of Apple arrested in Hong Kong and extradited to Bejiing, and the CFO was Steve Jobs daughter. How would America react?

  64. dustrock says:

    Has there been an update on Rieder at all?

  65. Professor Q says:

    dustrock:
    Has there been an update on Rieder at all?

    I haven’t seen anything, but he was projected to miss a month when he was injured so likely another 1-2 weeks.

    He was doing quite well, so it really is unfortunate.

  66. Ribs says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – Imagine the CFO of Apple arrested in Hong Kong and extradited to Bejiing, and the CFO was Steve Jobs daughter.How would America react?

    It’s truly embarrassing that Canada played any part in this arrest.

  67. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Ribs: It’s truly embarrassing that Canada played any part in this arrest.

    – So after I said that she going huawei for a long time, Russia called to understand the implications:

    – I again slowly removed my shades and said “Mr. Ambassador, He’s Putin on the Ritz” oewwwwww

  68. Wilde says:

    [The cap going up to 83M is a strong incentive to buy out the Lucic contract]

  69. Bag of Pucks says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – Imagine the CFO of Apple arrested in Hong Kong and extradited to Bejiing, and the CFO was Steve Jobs daughter.How would America react?

    If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.

  70. dustrock says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – So after I said that she going huawei for a long time, Russia called to understand the implications:

    – I again slowly removed my shades and said “Mr. Ambassador, He’s Putin on the Ritz” oewwwwww

    “No cell is secure from us” owwwwwwwwwwwwww

  71. Bag of Pucks says:

    Ribs: It’s truly embarrassing that Canada played any part in this arrest.

    The US bullies Canada into extraditions all the time. Typically it’s American criminals so I’m ok with the message that sends, but in this case it’s putting us a little too high on China’s shitlist.

    The reality is we’re living next door to Nero era Rome and when their resource depletion hits a tipping point in this next century, their nuclear arsenal will no longer be a shield. It will become the tip of the spear they’ll leverage for our fresh water, arable land and energy assets.

  72. Darth Tu says:

    I’m hoping that we kept McDavid away from Nuge during the sickness… We all know how Nuge loves to get the flu every season…

  73. Bruce McCurdy says:

    LT: Since Connor McDavid arrived in 2015 fall, how many actual NHLers have made their debut with the Oilers? Darnell Nurse, Brandon Davidson, Drake Caggiula, Matt Benning, Jujhar Khaira and we’ll see about the rest.

    A day late and many, many dollars short, but catching up today and feeling obliged to check in in No Fun Fact Checker mode.

    Darnell Nurse made his debut under Dallas Eakins in The Jeff Petry Healthy Scratch Game a.k.a. Bogdan Yakimov’s Only Game, although its the former distinction that affected Nurse directly. A game at L.A. against the defending Cup champs & Eakins saw fit to bench his best d-man to make room for the raw rookie Nurse as well as Brad Hunt and the rock-solid top four of Ference, Fayne, Nikitin, & Schultz. Joining Petry in the pressbox was Oscar Klefbom. Oilers got skunked 6-1 with only a meaningless “consolation goal” in the last 30 seconds by Matt Hendricks averting a well-deserved shutout.

    Brandon Davidson also made his debut under Eakins in 2014. It wasn’t quite his NHL debut but I saw him play live in The Henrik Lundqvist ‘Signature Save’ Game, a.k.a. The ‘Nobody Laughs At The Boys In The Bus So I Guess We Have To Fire Dallas Eakins’ Game. (Amazing how many of the Dallas Eakins games can be remembered by a snarky moniker, but this was the last one!) Oilers lost 2-0 in one of the most singularly boring games it’s ever been my displeasure to watch. Lundqvist faced 16 shots as I recall including exactly zero of type Dangerous.

    My guess is by “debut” you mean “as a full time NHLer” which would be the same reason you have excluded Puljujarvi, Yamamoto, Marody, & others due to not yet being fully established.

  74. SwedishPoster says:

    Filip Berglund with 18:53 of toi, 3rd amongst D om his team, 3 sog a bunch more that were blocked, no points, was even when his team lost in ot 2-3 against Lagesson’s former club. He was solid as usual, not quite the great play from the first games of the year but has had a good stretch of games lately.
    He also took a faceoff. That he won! So 100%on the dot for the season…

    Joel Persson played a quieter than usual game when his team won 2-1. Not even 17 minutes of ice time, 3 sog, no points. He was still good from what I’ve gathered though more of a walk through performance.

  75. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Note: I added the SO section so the goal diff I post matches the NHL. Its a “mystery goal” that counts against the differential, but no one scored it.

    #BettmanMath, Section 16

  76. Wilde says:

    Playing around with Capfriendly at lunchtime –

    Assuming 83M salary cap in 2019-20, if you…

    1) trade Zack Kassian for something near league min; I used a deal to NYI for Devon Toews (1yr, 700k AAV)

    2) buy out Milan Lucic

    3) sign Puljujarvi to 2x3M

    4) sign Koskinen to 2x4M

    5) sign Khaira, Rattie to 850k

    You end up with 9.4M cap space.

    That’s all pretty reasonable imo. Need to sign two extra forwards and a backup G.

    You lose 2M of capspace to the buyout the next year.

    But I think it allows you to look for someone, in a vulture-like way. Not a 28 year-old, but a 24-25-26 year-old

  77. pts2pndr says:

    russ99:
    Hitchcock isn’t a unicorn-style coach.

    When everyone’s healthy:

    Caggiula – McDavid – Draisaitl
    Rieder – RNH – Chiasson
    Lucic – Brodziak – Zykov (if he gets the chances Kassian got last night he’d have scored a couple)
    Khaira– Spooner – Kassian

    Jesse back to AHL, he’s not pushing the needle. Hitch should have kept him on the 4th line until he proved he was ready for the top 6, but I suspect that order came from Chiarelli.

    So let me get this straight after 8 games as head coach you know that Hitch isn’t a unicorns coach! Could it be that he is just trying to confirm what he has to work with! After 20 games we will all have a better idea of not only the coach but also the players.

  78. hunter1909 says:

    Bag of Pucks: The reality is we’re living next door to Nero era Rome and when their resource depletion hits a tipping point in this next century, their nuclear arsenal will no longer be a shield. It will become the tip of the spear they’ll leverage for our fresh water, arable land and energy assets.

    Yes but at least they’re going to smile a lot. Americans are proud of their plastic teeth.

  79. hunter1909 says:

    Pescador: Absolutely,I love getting loaded

    I’m not sure you mean what you’re saying.

  80. pts2pndr says:

    SwedishPoster:
    Filip Berglund with 18:53 of toi, 3rd amongst D om his team, 3 sog a bunch more that were blocked, no points, was even when his team lost in ot 2-3 against Lagesson’s former club. He was solid as usual, not quite the great play from the first games of the year but has had a good stretch of games lately.
    He also took a faceoff. That he won! So 100%on the dot for the season…

    Joel Persson played a quieter than usual game when his team won 2-1. Not even 17 minutes of ice time, 3 sog, no points. He was still good from what I’ve gathered though more of a walk through performance.
    In your opinion would Berglund be able to handle second pairing right D after say 20 games or so in the AHL next year?

  81. hunter1909 says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Darnell Nurse made his debut under Dallas Eakins

    Can we therefore blame Eakins on Nurse’s recent lack of development? Asking for a friend…

  82. Bruce McCurdy says:

    JohnnyOilfan:
    I can’t identify the coverage issue on the second goal against, so won’t point at Brodziak as the culprit. He was in the right spot, a bit of bad luck on the rebound off the back wall.

    LT, that second goal against was combination of bad luck with the bounce of the wall and Kris Russel losing his man off the half wall and puck watching.4/25 weren’t very good together last night and the previous game.Although they had been playing solid the few games prior to the last two.Hopefully they start trending in a good way.Perhaps Yawney will instill some “less is more” with the two and just focus on dzone and moving the puck up quick to the forwards.

    It was also a great shot by Brayden Schenn. Threaded the needle.

  83. hags9k says:

    I’d try:

    Caggiula 97 Rattie/JP
    Nuge Leon JP/Rattie
    Khaira Spooner Chiasson
    Grumpy Olds Guys

  84. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Wilde: Kris Russell at least understands the times where it’s critical the puck not get past him. He does drop down a tad too much, or too early, but he knows the pass which cannot be made.

    Great description of this player, Wilde, especially the bolded part. It’s an area which in my minority opinion (around here at least) is best understood by the Two Hundred Hockey Men. Which is different from saying that Russell never gets beat by said pass, but less often.

    As for Nurse, he has been lost at sea so often lately it is hard, not to mention frustrating, to watch. That play in Dallas where he shaded over to Wideman’s side covering neither opponents nor shooting nor passing lanes. Bam, easy goal. Last night: deserting the net front to follow a guy behind your own net while nowhere near enough to actually check the guy is the sort of thing we used to try to coach out of kids in Tier Five Pee Wee hockey. Bam, easy goal again.

    Maybe the new Defence Whisperer needs to stop whispering & raise his voice a few tens of dB’s.

  85. SwedishPoster says:

    pts2pndr:

    He’s established himself as a top 4 D in the SHL this season but I wouldn’t count on him being ready for the top 4 in the NHL as soon as next year. At this point in time I’d say he plays the full year in the AHL 19/20. But if he can take a step up in the second half of the season and play consistently at the level he had during last years playoffs I think he might challenge for an NHL spot as soon as next year. For him to handle 2 RD he’d have to take a pretty damn big step though. Seriously doubt it.

    Joel Persson is a better bet to step quickly into such a role, when he’s on his game he’s pretty much the top D in the SHL. If his skills translate, he can be more consistent and most importantly he can handle the defensive side of the NHL game he has the skillset to move up the batting order fast as a Tyson Barrie type player.

  86. OriginalPouzar says:

    Patrick Russell back to the Condors – bring on Zykov….

  87. Dicky94 says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Sweet! Looking forward to tomorrow’s game. Really excited to see this player for some reason.

  88. Bag of Pucks says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Which does beg the question what has Trent Yawney been teaching Nurse to date?

  89. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Wilde:
    [The cap going up to 83M is a strong incentive to buy out the Lucic contract]

    I’d wait for non cap buyouts around the expansion draft. One non scoring player doesn’t sink a team. Sort the rest out first. They can free up cap moving other players. Regular buyouts don’t seem to work out IMO if the player is able to contribute something. There also many young guys ready to push up that hopefully provide cheap offense in the interim to a buyout window.

  90. Reja says:

    Huge win last night especially for Pete his job is hanging by a thread. We badly need to go on a scoring heater and get back in the playoff race fuk Calgary. Is it me I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many shots and looks from the defence core. I can’t believe how many shots on net they missed from the backend.

  91. Bag of Pucks says:

    Nurse. Puljujarvi. Yakupov.

    Is it possible that part of the Oilers issues are simply down to the fact that they draft too many dumb players (ie lacking in hockey sense)?

    You watch these players continually error in positional, system and execution without significant progression in their decision making and it’s tempting to conclude that we’ve got some remedial learners.

  92. Wilde says:

    I’ve been thinking about the package that got the big players. What’s our equivalent?

    It’s usually roster players, prospects, picks.

    Ryan O’Reilly:

    Sobotka / / Berglund
    Tage Thompson
    Same year 1st / / Third year 2nd

    Stepan + Raanta:

    DeAngelo
    #7 Overall

    Braden Schenn:

    Jori Lehtera
    #27 Overall / / Next year 1st

    Jeff Skinner:

    Cliff Pu
    Same year 2nd / / Next year 3rd / / Next year 3rd

    Max Pacioretty:

    Tomas Tatar
    Nick Suzuki
    Same year 2nd

    Erik Karlsson:

    Dylan DeMelo / / Chris Tierney
    Josh Norris / / Rudolph Balcers
    Same year 2nd / / Next year 1st / / Next year 2nd

    Ryan Kesler:

    Nick Bonino / / Luca Sbisa
    Same year 1st

    TJ Oshie:

    Troy Brouwer
    Pheonix Copley
    Next year 3rd

    Phil Kessel:

    Kasperi Kapanen
    Next year 1st / / Next year 3rd

    (I simplified the Karlsson one to have the most realistic conditions: The Sharks don’t win the cup, don’t miss the playoffs, Karlsson doesn’t sign in the Eastern conference after this year’s over)

    (I canceled out same-round pick swaps and minor leaguer swaps)

    It looks like the rules are what I already mentioned, except if the pick is high (like Stepan+Raanta) you can get two players and/or only have to give up two assets. You can also get rid of a Lehtera if you add extra picks.

    Useful roster players in the vein of Sobotka, Berglund, Tierney, DeMelo, Brouwer, Sbisa, Bonino, Tatar on the Oilers are:

    Drake Caggiula, Matt Benning, Darnell Nurse, Ryan Spooner, Juhjar Khaira. (Alex Chiasson, Valentin Zykov, Ty Rattie could blossom into having value just like Paul Byron would have had if the Canadiens chose to trade instead of re-sign him, despite waiver origins)

    Recent high pick prospects in the vein of Norris, Kapanen, Suzuki, Thompson, DeAngelo on the Oilers are:

    Jesse Puljujarvi, Kailer Yamamoto, Ryan McLeod, Tyler Benson.

    Then, the Oilers have almost all of their picks still and have a number of up-arrow wielding prospects to pad packages.

    The packages would, for example, look something like these:

    Ryan Spooner
    Kailer Yamamoto / / Tyler Benson
    2019 3rd

    Kris Russell
    Ryan McLeod
    2019 1st / / 2020 2nd

    Darnell Nurse / / Drake Caggiula
    Kirill Maksimov
    2020 2nd

    Matt Benning
    Dmitri Samorukov
    2019 1st

    Completely blue-skying here because Chiarelli terrifies me but if I was the team and had pressure to swing something, I’d (modify any of these accordingly, and) get after Stone, Duchene, Hayes, Pesce, Niederreiter, Kreider etc.

  93. Alpine says:

    Looch and Jesse among others really have to shoot more or at least hit the target more. Both guys, and the likes of Kassian, Spooner, Khaira, Brodziak are all averaging about 1 SOG per game. Can’t hope to score more than five to ten goals if you aren’t close to 2 SOG.

  94. godot10 says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Bruce McCurdy,

    Which does beg the question what has Trent Yawney been teaching Nurse to date?

    The difference between this year and last year is that when Nurse played (well) with Larsson, the opposing team attacked Nurse most of the time.

    This year when Nurse is (allegedly) playing poorly with Russell, the opposing team is attacking Russell (or Wideman or Benning) most of the time.

    Nurse can defend, but is not capable of reacting properly to the breakdowns of his defensive partner.

  95. McSorley33 says:

    Wilde,

    Nugent-Hopkins – Draisaitl – Puljujarvi

    Zykov – McDavid – Rattie

    Caggiula – Spooner – Chiasson

    Lucic – Brodziak – Kassian
    **********************************************************************
    Love the Nug – Drai – Pul line…..

  96. Durag says:

    Edmonton Oilers

    Verified account

    @EdmontonOilers
    1m1 minute ago
    More
    The #Oilers have recalled Cooper Marody from the @Condors & activated Valentin Zykov. We’ve also placed Drake Caggiula on IR & assigned Patrick Russell to Bakersfield.

    Marody getting the serious yo-yo treatment

  97. pts2pndr says:

    OriginalPouzar: Oilers in 2015: 11-15-2, 24 points; goal differential -11
    Oilers in 2016: 14-10-4, 32 points; goal differential +6
    Oilers in 2017: 11-15-2, 24 points; goal differential -14
    Oilers in 2018: 14-12-2, 30 points; goal differential -6

    What do you define as necessary penalty! Kassian gets wistled for penalties that would not be called on other players because of his reputation. Zach will be a much more effective player with Hitch as coach! Yes he does come unglued at times. There are a few players that beak off and hide behind the ref! Some would call them smart but I would question if even their teammates have any respect for them! Previous coach could not or would not differentiate between bad penalty and bad call which negatively affected Zach’s effectiveness as a player! Hitch will differentiate and Zach will be an effective player for him.

  98. McSorley33 says:

    godot10,

    Huawei pays for most of the 5G research at Canadian universities.
    **************************************************************************************
    They recently passed Apple to be the 2nd biggest smartphone maker….

  99. Durag says:

    Oh, and while we’re all having fun making up forward lines:

    Nuge-McDavid-PJ
    Zykov-Draisaitl-Chiasson
    Spooner-Marody-Rattie
    Lucic-Brodziak-Kassian

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  100. pts2pndr says:

    SwedishPoster: He’s established himself as a top 4 D in the SHL this season but I wouldn’t count on him being ready for the top 4 in the NHL as soon as next year. At this point in time I’d say he plays the full year in the AHL 19/20. But if he can take a step up in the second half of the season and play consistently at the level he had during last years playoffs I think he might challenge for an NHL spot as soon as next year. For him to handle 2 RD he’d have to take a pretty damn big step though. Seriously doubt it.

    Joel Persson is a better bet to step quickly into such a role, when he’s on his game he’s pretty much the top D in the SHL. If his skills translate, he can be more consistent and most importantly he can handle the defensive side of the NHL game he has the skillset to move up the batting order fast as a Tyson Barrie type player.

    Thank you! I really enjoy your posts and appreciate you updates and insight!

  101. OriginalPouzar says:

    Clearly looking for more offence with the Russell for Marody swap (although I don’t anticipate Marody to provide material offence at the NHL level at this point).

    Hopefully they play Cooper on the wing – given his footspeed issues, I think he can be more effective on the wing.

    Marody had a fabulous game last night – three primary assists and could have had more.

  102. PennersPancakes says:

    godot10: The difference between this year and last year is that when Nurse played (well) with Larsson, the opposing team attacked Nurse most of the time.

    This year when Nurse is (allegedly) playing poorly with Russell, the opposing team is attacking Russell (or Wideman or Benning) most of the time.

    Nurse can defend, but is not capable of reacting properly to the breakdowns of his defensive partner.

    Is it in your opinion that Nurse could anchor a 2nd pairing with the right partner or at his current development does he still need to be carried by a greater talent (ie. Larsson)?

    Is it more a talent issue or a style issue with finding the right partner for Nurse? I know it may be above his pay grade but I wonder how a Nurse – Gravel pairing would work.

  103. Paddy Morans Jockstrap says:

    I’d go with Spooner giving Looch and Kass more offensive support on L3

    RNH – McDavid – Chiasson

    Khaira – Drai – Puljujarvi

    Lucic – Spooner – Kassian

    Zykov – Brodziak – Rattie

    Double-shift McDavid/Drai on L4 here and there.

  104. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Bruce McCurdy,

    Which does beg the question what has Trent Yawney been teaching Nurse to date?

    It also begs the question how do reach the NHL making mistakes of this kind repeatedly?

  105. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Wilde:
    Rattie’s been impressive two nights in a row in non-feature roles. I agree they should have gotten more time.

    Patrick Russell should also either a) get more time or b) go back to Bakersfield.

    Russell is Bakersfield’s leader in 5v5 primary points per 60 (estimated)by a fair margin.

    He’s also one of their better primary shot generators (shot+shot assists per estimated 60) and their leader in Rel GF% 5v5.

    I really want to see Bakersfield make the playoffs and if the difference between having Russell and having anyone else playing 6 minutes isn’t substantial (it isn’t) I’d like to see their most efficient two-way forward returned to them.

    Rattie took two shifts with 16-93 in the 3rd.

    Not what 98 did or didn’t do but his last shift was at 12:29 of the 3rd.

  106. Pescador says:

    hunter1909: I’m not sure you mean what you’re saying.

    Pescador: Absolutely,I love getting loaded
    I would prefer 93 – 29 – 98
    Nuge plays LW
    Drai plays center
    Chiasson sure why not, but I would prefer to play Yessa there & see if those other 2 can get him going.
    It’s a bet the Oilers have to make

    This might be the one and only time you have been wrong on this blog

  107. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    ashley:
    I was watching the third period last night with McDavid clearly labouring with the flu and it really sunk in how unskilled this team is.

    For the first time in years, I’m not sitting there wondering why they are doing the things they are doing.The structure is excellent.They are in the right places for breakout.They are defending better for the most part.They are setting up properly on the power play.Hitchcock is getting maximum value out of this roster.

    So with that low-hanging fruit harvested (maybe not so low-hanging as so many coaches seemed to struggle to get this team to execute basic tactics), it clears the path for me to look at where the team is having success and where it is failing.

    So it registered last night – there is a striking lack of basic skill on this team relative to other teams.There is also a lot of poor decision making which is also a skill that takes time to learn much like stick handling, skating, and shooting.

    It’s worrisome, especially when I watch a Flames game and see the depth of skill, creativity, and high level decision making to create excellent scoring chances.I hate the idea of the Flames being better than the OIlers, especially when we have McDavid who is worth three impact players all by himself.It’s embarrassing, frankly.

    Basic skill and decision making isn’t something that can be coached into players through a season.It takes years of practice and attention to detail/film review.Maybe some of these guys could get closer over the next few years if they dedicate a lot of ice time to basic drills and sitting in the film room, but not all of them will have that level of discipline in their early to mid 20s.

    So while I am delighted with the success realized by HItch since taking over, it is somewhat depressing to look at a cap team that appears to be at it’s ceiling in ability, and that ceiling is a bubble team which will not be good enough to make it very far in the post season, if they make it at all.

    Shame on you Chiarelli.You were gifted something special here, and you turned it into something mediocre.

    Great post.

    Imma gonna disagree on the PP structure but everything else was note perfect.

  108. Ryan says:

    Wilde:
    [The cap going up to 83M is a strong incentive to buy out the Lucic contract]

    Question for you.

    Not sure if it’s a system thing, but it always seems that breakdowns with no one in front of the Oilers’ net occur with the Nurse – Russell pairing.

    Is it because he’s always D1, but Nurse seems to almost invariably chase the opposing puck carrier all around the d-zone.

    I don’t notice as many instances as no one protecting the front on the Oilers net with other pairings.

    I know Tmac played a man on man d. I’ve heard that Hitch likes a hybrid zone / man d.

    Why is it that I always feel like Nurse chases the puck carrier everywhere and it looks like Timbits hockey to me?

    What am I missing here?

  109. Pescador says:

    Paddy Morans Jockstrap:
    I’d go with Spooner giving Looch and Kass more offensive support on L3

    RNH – McDavid – Chiasson

    Khaira – Drai – Puljujarvi

    Lucic – Spooner – Kassian

    Zykov – Brodziak – Rattie

    Double-shift McDavid/Drai on L4 here and there.

    Lucic is finally playing 4th line minutes (some posters are calling for him to be H.S)
    & not hurting the team defensively.
    I’m of the opinion that he not be playing ‘up’ on a 3rd line until he can effectively piss a drop offensively
    as the kids like to say

  110. Ryan says:

    Pescador: Lucic is finally playing 4th line minutes (some posters are calling for him to be H.S)
    & not hurting the team defensively.
    I’m of the opinion that he not be playing ‘up’ on a 3rd line until he can effectively piss a drop offensively
    as the kids like to say

    What is today’s Mendoza line for a hockey player? We can generally tell when a player is below it, but what’s the actual threshold? Is it PPG or P/60 at 5v5?

  111. Ryan says:

    Wilde:
    [The cap going up to 83M is a strong incentive to buy out the Lucic contract]

    From the Athletic there are strong intimations that there will be some type of amnesty buyout provisions in the next CBA, but can we wait that long?

  112. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    hunter1909: Can we therefore blame Eakins on Nurse’s recent lack of development? Asking for a friend…

    – Nurse has 2 seasons less under his belt than our best LHD

    – last year was his first full year. He stepped up played when Klefbom and Larsson and ark were out was truculent and made a difference.

    – Klefbom has 2 years on him, same org same coaches

    – Either nurse builds on last year or he retools or whatever but at this point it’s mostly on him

    – unless we get another Larsson for him. Larsson is really good and helps his partner a lot.

  113. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Nurse. Puljujarvi. Yakupov.

    Is it possible that part of the Oilers issues are simply down to the fact that they draft too many dumb players (ie lacking in hockey sense)?

    You watch these players continually error in positional, system and execution without significant progression in their decision making and it’s tempting to conclude that we’ve got some remedial learners.

    Imma gonna disagree on JP.

    I think his has a good hockey head, but his ability to change his instincts to be what the coaches want him to be is slow.

    He does too many hockey things well without the puck (both ozone and dzone) to have him in this category, but understand why you put him there.

    I think it boils down to players who excel at 17 because they are so much bigger, better or have a dominate trait (Yak’s shot) that have them near the top of their age group, but its traits that don’t translate well when everyone you play against is high end.

  114. Wilde says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Rattie took two shifts with 16-93 in the 3rd.

    Not what 98 did or didn’t do but his last shift was at 12:29 of the 3rd.

    Might have been fatigue, Hitch mentioned that when he first got 98.

    Don’t have enough track with this HC yet to just read his deployments plainly imo.

    I thought his description of Puljujarvi ‘being great when the play’s in motion but struggling when the puck is in place’ (paraphrased) combines with his description of Lucic’s problem with scoring as ‘going to support positions too soon’ to perfectly describe 98’s game last night.

    A few of the forwards are having trouble as the third guy in the OZ switching from supporting the puck (just approaching the battle along the boards) to being farther away and threatening to shoot, or give his Dmen a better opportunity to pinch.

    Jesse’s one of them. He keeps getting too close to the battle (into a support position) and having the puck fly off the boards past him. He’s got to get out further into the middle of the ice, and take an opposition player with him.

    Everywhere else he’s taking leaps and bounds. He’s an intelligent player and will figure it out, in the meantime if I had to put money down I’d chalk any missed shifts up to fatigue unless it becomes a regular thing or he loses that spot in the top-6. If Hitch doesn’t like what he sees, I think Yessa will just not be on the Nuge line to begin with to start games.

    McSorley33: Love the Nug – Drai – Pul line…..

    Best wingers on the team with the best non-97 centre on the team. I figure it’s worth finding out how good a line can get without featuring the captain.

    From 2015-16 to 2017-18, 29 and 93 have played about 250 minutes together at 5-on-5 and scored a little over 3.00 goals per hour.

    For reference, in that time there’s been 7500 minutes played by the Oilers at 5-on-5 without McDavid or Hall on the ice and they’ve averaged 1.70 goals per hour.

    Connor’s goal rate over that time is 3.69 with Drai, 3.31 without him or Nugent-Hopkins.

    It just makes sense to me.

    Ryan: Question for you.
    Not sure if it’s a system thing, but it always seems that breakdowns with no one in front of the Oilers’ net occur with the Nurse – Russell pairing.
    Is it because he’s always D1, but Nurse seems to almost invariably chase the opposing puck carrier all around the d-zone.
    I don’t notice as many instances as no one protecting the front on the Oilers net with other pairings.
    I know Tmac played a man on man d. I’ve heard that Hitch likes a hybrid zone / man d.
    Why is it that I always feel like Nurse chases the puck carrier everywhere and it looks like Timbits hockey to me?
    What am I missing here?

    In my view, it’s a combination of things:

    – Nurse plays like a guy who was always athletic and strong and competitive, and since he was small probably got pushed by every coach he had (including probably his dad) to play the body, engage physically and relentlessly. It’s a key part of his core, unchangeable player-identity to instinctually engage and attack the body.

    (This is like my theory on Kris Russell and shot-blocking. When you’re a young, junior player (and person) you’re always fighting for your coaches and teammates approval and Russell blocking shots set up a feedback loop in his brain telling him to do it instinctually no matter what. This is why it looks like he plays without the puck in a very particular way, it seems like it’s just a flowchart leading to him blocking a shot in every situation)

    – This means that no matter what system he’s playing, when the mental part of the game shrinks down to pure instinct he’s always going to be drawn to making a check on someone the same exact way

    – On Hitch, the two things he likes to implement (I’m not sure which stage we’re at, but there’s various ones for integrating this stuff on the fly, as the new HC has alluded to) is for the defenceman to chase up to the top of the wall and then curl inside and the F1 comes back out, and if the puck gets played low-to-high it immediately turns to man on man.

    (Neither of these things are uncommon. The second is one of the reasons you see way less clean slap-pass plays and less offense being driven from plain point distributions in general but that’s besides the point)

    – This means that yeah, it’s pretty unique to their pairing. Most of the jailbreaks given up by this team right now are in the OZ/NZ with the pinches being further to the middle the backcheck being a lil different

    – I think it’s not a coincidence that Nurse’s best defensive season was in last season’s structure. When he has a longer leash to stay on the man it’s good because that’s what he instinctually wants to do.

    – That being said, he still gave up high danger passes last year and he’ll continue to do it this year at a probably higher rate. Like I mentioned, this is not complicated stuff in terms of structure when the opposition has established, long possession in your zone.

    I rambled, but I hope that makes sense. It’s a combination of a slight tweak in structure and his core instinctual decision making. It’s something extremely exploitable in a playoff series when the same high-end forwards will see him for long enough to figure out that they can just draw him out and then pass the puck through him.

  115. Wilde says:

    Huh. I’m spamming hella hard today

  116. godot10 says:

    Ryan: Question for you.

    Not sure if it’s a system thing, but it always seems that breakdowns with no one in front of the Oilers’ net occur with the Nurse – Russell pairing.

    Is it because he’s always D1, but Nurse seems to almost invariably chase the opposing puck carrier all around the d-zone.

    I don’t notice as many instances as no one protecting the front on the Oilers net with other pairings.

    I know Tmac played a man on man d. I’ve heard that Hitch likes a hybrid zone / man d.

    Why is it that I always feel like Nurse chases the puck carrier everywhere and it looks like Timbits hockey to me?

    What am I missing here?

    Russell not being good. The zone entry and the breakdowns are always on Russell’s side of the ice and are of responsibility. Russell part of the structure breaks, and the building falls down. Russell is the breaks failing. Toonces Nurse then drives the car over the cliff, and everyone blames Nurse.

  117. pts2pndr says:

    russ99: Wasn’t a key part of Chia’s presser hiring Hitch is how Puljujarvi and Yamamoto would be handled differently?

    Correct. In other words as far as JP is concerned not in the press box for two games,fourth line off side for a game and then 3 games with stone hand players on the third line rinse repeat! System designed by idiots are us and or designed talent destruction inc!

  118. silasbengtsson says:

    godot10,

    Yet Nurse is like that regardless of partner, even with Larsson last year.

  119. OriginalPouzar says:

    Maksimov with two PP assists in the first period.

    Rodrigue stopped 26 of 28 last night.

  120. Glovjuice says:

    Wilde:
    In December last year, the Oilers got back into the playoff picture with the following:

    1) A Strome-Khaira pairing that played with Draisaitl or with each other and another winger and controlled play. Went 5-3 in goals in 11 games together. Draisaitl went 8-6 either with these two or other assorted options.

    2) Draisaitl, McDavid, Nugent-Hopkins all playing on separate lines and the Oilers getting the better of the shot share in 9 of the 13 games.

    3) McDavid and Puljujarvi played together 12 1/2 of the games, outscoring opposition 9-3 5v5 and going +19 in HDCF (45-26, going 31-15 in the first 8 games) despite playing with Lucic and against the toughs.

    4) Nugent-Hopkins played most of his games alongside Maroon and rotating RWs, going 6-5 in goals

    5) Letestu and Kassian went 3-6 in goals together.

    6) The team in total went 28-24 in goals 5v5. They scored 6 powerplay goals in about 60 minutes of PP time. They scored 5 shorthanded goals. Gave up 11 pp goals for a dead even special teams goal share.

    I don’t think that’s impossible to replicate.

    The special teams should be fine and most of the important even-strength guys are still here.

    Strome isn’t, but counter to what (appears to be) the popular narrative I think Spooner’s just a straight up better hockey player than him.

    It’s a dog’s breakfast on the wings if you spread out the centres now, but it was then too.

    McDavid’s due for a heater and he hasn’t gotten it even with Draisaitl on his wing.

    They demolish the other team every shift they’re put back together at first, and then it slowly becomes what we saw last night.

    The solution to that appears to be what it’s always been: Split em up and keep their chemistry in your back pocket as a secret weapon to be used scarcely because that’s when they’re most effective.

    Nugent-Hopkins – Draisaitl – Puljujarvi

    Zykov – McDavid – Rattie

    Caggiula – Spooner – Chiasson

    Lucic – Brodziak – Kassian

    Finally, something that is correct regarding the lines.

  121. Glovjuice says:

    Leroy Draisdale:
    I had a few thoughts while watching that game last night.

    1) Drai’s decision making has really off last night. Not sure how many turnovers he had but made a ton of bad passes and looked like Lucic handling the puck at times
    2) We had a decent amount of shots but man was I yelling hit the f*%&ing net a lot last night
    3) McDavid seemed a little off(maybe still feeling the flu) still fantastic but bobbling the puck a bit
    4) our power play is atrocious, seems like there is no urgency

    Drai is lazy and plays arrogant – how many times do I have to explain this.

  122. JimmyV1965 says:

    Wilde:
    I’ve been thinking about the package that got the big players. What’s our equivalent?

    It’s usually roster players, prospects, picks.

    Ryan O’Reilly:

    Sobotka / / Berglund
    Tage Thompson
    Same year 1st / / Third year 2nd

    Stepan + Raanta:

    DeAngelo
    #7 Overall

    Braden Schenn:

    Jori Lehtera
    #27 Overall / / Next year 1st

    Jeff Skinner:

    Cliff Pu
    Same year 2nd / / Next year 3rd / / Next year 3rd

    Max Pacioretty:

    Tomas Tatar
    Nick Suzuki
    Same year 2nd

    Erik Karlsson:

    Dylan DeMelo / / Chris Tierney
    Josh Norris / / Rudolph Balcers
    Same year 2nd / / Next year 1st / / Next year 2nd

    Ryan Kesler:

    Nick Bonino / / Luca Sbisa
    Same year 1st

    TJ Oshie:

    Troy Brouwer
    Pheonix Copley
    Next year 3rd

    Phil Kessel:

    Kasperi Kapanen
    Next year 1st / / Next year 3rd

    (I simplified the Karlsson one to have the most realistic conditions: The Sharks don’t win the cup, don’t miss the playoffs, Karlsson doesn’t sign in the Eastern conference after this year’s over)

    (I canceled out same-round pick swaps and minor leaguer swaps)

    It looks like the rules are what I already mentioned, except if the pick is high(like Stepan+Raanta) you can get two players and/or only have to give up two assets. You can also get rid of a Lehtera if you add extra picks.

    Useful roster players in the vein of Sobotka, Berglund, Tierney, DeMelo, Brouwer, Sbisa, Bonino, Tatar on the Oilers are:

    Drake Caggiula, Matt Benning, Darnell Nurse, Ryan Spooner, Juhjar Khaira. (Alex Chiasson, Valentin Zykov, Ty Rattie could blossom into having value just like Paul Byron would have had if the Canadiens chose to trade instead of re-sign him, despite waiver origins)

    Recent high pick prospects in the vein of Norris, Kapanen, Suzuki, Thompson, DeAngelo on the Oilers are:

    Jesse Puljujarvi, Kailer Yamamoto, Ryan McLeod, Tyler Benson.

    Then, the Oilers have almost all of their picks still and have a number of up-arrow wielding prospects to pad packages.

    The packages would, for example, look something like these:

    Ryan Spooner
    Kailer Yamamoto / / Tyler Benson
    2019 3rd

    Kris Russell
    Ryan McLeod
    2019 1st / / 2020 2nd

    Darnell Nurse / / Drake Caggiula
    Kirill Maksimov
    2020 2nd

    Matt Benning
    Dmitri Samorukov
    2019 1st

    Completely blue-skying here because Chiarelli terrifies me but if I was the team and had pressure to swing something, I’d (modify any of these accordingly, and) get after Stone, Duchene, Hayes, Pesce, Niederreiter, Kreider etc.

    If we’re going to target a trade, I would go for Tarasenko. He’s got four more years at 7.5. That looks like a bargain compared to what the UFAs will get this year.

  123. Wilde says:

    Breaking news!

    Via prospect-stats estimated TOI…

    Evan Bouchard is at 2.55 primary pts/60 5v5.

    The next highest OHL defenceman is 20-year-old Jordan Sambrook.

    He’s at 1.62.

    Bouchard’s getting 10.83 shots on goal per hour, which also leads the league, turning into 1.27 goals per hour, next highest is 0.76.

    Unfortunately he’s not getting very many secondary assists, so he doesn’t lap the field in terms of total points per hour 5v5.

    He’s also top-pairing on London in terms of quality of competition (from accounts, and from prospect-stats) and has been on the ice for 18 GF, 4 GA, for 81.82 GF%.

    That GF% is third in the league, and his GF% relative to team is +20.53%.

    Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but D-men who face the toughest comp and own a positive relative goal-share are immensely valuable to their team.

    Running his GA total through his eTOI gives me 0.97 GA/60.

    That’s pretty good defensive results.

    Definitely some up-arrows here from a pick that I wasn’t completely on board with.

  124. Andy Dufresne says:

    Wilde:
    Playing around with Capfriendly at lunchtime –

    Assuming 83M salary cap in 2019-20, if you…

    1) trade Zack Kassian for something near league min; I used a deal to NYI for Devon Toews (1yr, 700k AAV)

    2) buy out Milan Lucic

    3) sign Puljujarvi to 2x3M

    4) sign Koskinen to 2x4M

    5) sign Khaira, Rattie to 850k

    You end up with 9.4M cap space.

    That’s all pretty reasonable imo. Need to sign two extra forwards and a backup G.

    You lose 2M of capspace to the buyout the next year.

    But I think it allows you to look for someone, in a vulture-like way. Not a 28 year-old, but a 24-25-26 year-old

    In this scenario why trade Kassian…..just give him away for a pick ( 2nd? 3rd?) it creates more cap room. We have plenty of bottom 6 replacement level players in the organization.

    Same is true for Spooner and others….No?

  125. Andy Dufresne says:

    Wilde:
    Breaking news!

    Via prospect-stats estimated TOI…

    Evan Bouchard is at 2.55 primary pts/60 5v5.

    The next highest OHL defenceman is 20-year-old Jordan Sambrook.

    He’s at 1.62.

    Bouchard’s getting 10.83 shots on goal per hour, which also leads the league, turning into 1.27 goals per hour, next highest is 0.76.

    Unfortunately he’s not getting very many secondary assists, so he doesn’t lap the field in terms of total points per hour 5v5.

    He’s also top-pairing on London in terms of quality of competition (from accounts, and from prospect-stats) and has been on the ice for 18 GF, 4 GA, for 81.82 GF%.

    That GF% is third in the league, and his GF% relative to team is +20.53%.

    Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but D-men who face the toughest comp and own a positive relative goal-share are immensely valuable to their team.

    Running his GA total through his eTOI gives me 0.97 GA/60.

    That’s pretty good defensive results.

    Definitely some up-arrows here from a pick that I wasn’t completely on board with.

    I dont think those are up arrows……didnt he have those same kinds of numbers last year?

  126. treevojo says:

    Glovjuice: Drai is lazy and plays arrogant – how many times do I have to explain this.

    Or maybe

    CALM AND CONFIDENT.

    you should keep on explaining.

    Drai is not the problem.

  127. godot10 says:

    JimmyV1965: If we’re going to target a trade, I would go for Tarasenko. He’s got four more years at 7.5. That looks like a bargain compared to what the UFAs will get this year.

    Tarasenko peaked 3 years ago. One really good year before and after. He is now in decline mode.

  128. Wilde says:

    Andy Dufresne: I dont think those are up arrows……didnt he have those same kinds of numbers last year?

    short answer:

    no

    long answer:

    He had 1.40 primary points per 60 (estimated) at 5v5 last year, which also lead the league still but is nowhere near 2.55

    And was at about 3.02 on-ice goals against per hour compared to this year’s 0.97 (obviously goaltending’s at play as it always is) and +4.95 GF%Rel compared to +20.53%

  129. OriginalPouzar says:

    Maksimov picks up a third assist on the game winner in the 3rd.

  130. OriginalPouzar says:

    Glovjuice: Finally, something that is correct regarding the lines.

    You sure? 2 less than plus skaters on one line in the top 6….

  131. OriginalPouzar says:

    Glovjuice: Drai is lazy and plays arrogant – how many times do I have to explain this.

    Does Drai play more arrogant than you post?

  132. treevojo says:

    Wilde:

    3) sign Puljujarvi to 2x3M

    I hope you are right with this number.

    That means Poo ripped the cover off the ball for the rest of this year and the oilers made the playoffs.

  133. Johnny skid says:

    OriginalPouzar: Does Drai play more arrogant than you post?

    no

  134. Melvis says:

    Wilde,

    Hella good reads, though

  135. Melvis says:

    I’m also getting the feeling Drai is playing a bit more smug (for lack of a better term), since he got paid. And perhaps a bit more “oppotuneistically”. Timely points are great – no doubt. But can one expect this -whatever it is – pushing a line or a river if McD is out?

  136. Ari says:

    Wilde,

    Awesome. Thanks for the Bouchard update, Wilde.

  137. Ryan says:

    Andy Dufresne: In this scenario why trade Kassian…..just give him away for a pick ( 2nd? 3rd?) it creates more cap room. We have plenty of bottom 6 replacement level players in the organization.

    Same is true for Spooner and others….No?

    Kassian has one point albeit a goal in 25 games this season.

    You’re not getting a second or third rounder for Kassian.

    If he doesn’t pick it up, he’s a buyout candidate and playing in Europe next year.

    Yup, same for Spooner.

    He has three points in 25 games. He’s another potential buyout candidate who could be playing next year in another league.

    What’s cool about a Spooner buyout next summer is that you hit the Rags with $300k in cap hit for two more years.

  138. OriginalPouzar says:

    Has any pre-prime player on pace for 38G and 88P in this era of hockey ever been this maligned?

    Only half his 5 X 5 time has been with McDavid and his next most common linemates:

    Chiasson
    Rieder
    Caggiula
    Lucic
    Yamamoto

  139. Glovjuice says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Nurse. Puljujarvi. Yakupov.

    Is it possible that part of the Oilers issues are simply down to the fact that they draft too many dumb players (ie lacking in hockey sense)?

    You watch these players continually error in positional, system and execution without significant progression in their decision making and it’s tempting to conclude that we’ve got some remedial learners.

    Bam. It’s called IQ. Language is certainly not their strong suit. That’s for sure.

  140. Glovjuice says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Nurse. Puljujarvi. Yakupov.

    Is it possible that part of the Oilers issues are simply down to the fact that they draft too many dumb players (ie lacking in hockey sense)?

    You watch these players continually error in positional, system and execution without significant progression in their decision making and it’s tempting to conclude that we’ve got some remedial learners.

    One year X 3 times gang they are.

  141. Glovjuice says:

    Paddy Morans Jockstrap:
    I’d go with Spooner giving Looch and Kass more offensive support on L3

    RNH – McDavid – Chiasson

    Khaira – Drai – Puljujarvi

    Lucic – Spooner – Kassian

    Zykov – Brodziak – Rattie

    Double-shift McDavid/Drai on L4 here and there.

    LOL – Spooner providing offensive support. That’s funny. He has what one point as an oiler.

  142. Glovjuice says:

    Melvis:
    I’m also getting the feeling Drai is playing a bit more smug (for lack of a better term), since he got paid. And perhaps a bit more “oppotuneistically”.Timely points are great – no doubt. But can one expect this -whatever it is – pushing a line or a river if McD is out?

    Thank you sir Melvis. I knew I wasn’t the only one who noticed this.

  143. Pescador says:

    Glovjuice: Drai is lazy and plays arrogant – how many times do I have to explain this.

    Zero,
    Matter of fact this blog would be a better place if you never posted again
    The over the top criticism of Draisaitl, Nurse, Yamamoto & the many others you target is just annoying rather then insightful.
    What qualifys you to be so critical about a pro athlete’s work ethic or skating ability?
    Do you have any analytical information or analysis to offer as a way of backing up your claims?
    No? Then you are nothing but a sad troll.

  144. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Melvis:
    I’m also getting the feeling Drai is playing a bit more smug (for lack of a better term), since he got paid. And perhaps a bit more “oppotuneistically”.Timely points are great – no doubt. But can one expect this -whatever it is – pushing a line or a river if McD is out?

    – yeah your probably right bit my recollection is that Gretzky coffee mess etc they coasted untill the saw a path to the cup

    – we should be more than sure that come playoffs and a path to a cup this 22 year old who will bank 70mm will step up. He’s a champion

  145. pts2pndr says:

    Glovjuice: LOL – Spooner providing offensive support. That’s funny. He has what one point as an oiler.

    If you put this in proper prospective he has played a limited role in eight games and a coaching change after changing teams. Give the guy 20 games and then you may have a valid point. Real players are not like nhl game plug and play. It took Brodziak Rieder and Chaisson time to adjust. Very few traded players perform up to their capabilities right away after changing teams. Time to adjust is the norm!

  146. pts2pndr says:

    JimmyV1965: If we’re going to target a trade, I would go for Tarasenko. He’s got four more years at 7.5. That looks like a bargain compared to what the UFAs will get this year.

    Of the players you mention I would take Pesce to solidify top four D. I think this would allow for movement of Russel and Sekera when able. This would also allow the young D in the pipeline to develope without being rushed. He is also on a value contract. I’m not very confident he would be avalilable without a massive overpay!

  147. Andy Dufresne says:

    Ryan: Kassian has one point albeit a goal in 25 games this season.

    You’re not getting a second or third rounder for Kassian.

    If he doesn’t pick it up, he’s a buyout candidate and playing in Europe next year.

    Yup, same for Spooner.

    He has three points in 25 games. He’s another potential buyout candidate who could be playing next year in another league.

    What’s cool about a Spooner buyout next summer is that you hit the Rags with $300k in cap hit for two more years.

    Fair enough. I guess my point is give them away for nothing…..a 7th round pick at the deadline …..just to clear cap space.

  148. Andy Dufresne says:

    Wilde: short answer:

    no

    long answer:

    He had 1.40 primary points per 60 (estimated) at 5v5 last year, which also lead the league still but is nowhere near 2.55

    And was at about 3.02 on-ice goals against per hour compared to this year’s 0.97 (obviously goaltending’s at play as it always is) and +4.95 GF%Rel compared to +20.53%

    Very cool. Thank you.

  149. Reja says:

    Glovjuice: LOL – Spooner providing offensive support. That’s funny. He has what one point as an oiler.

    Watching spooner is funny! What is this? Lowetide’s Comedy Central.

  150. Material Elvis says:

    Glovjuice: Drai is lazy and plays arrogant – how many times do I have to explain this.

    No more times, please.

  151. 106 and 106 says:

    They just don’t have the horses.

    You guys can keep switching out the lines however you see fit. It doesn’t change the players, try this with Leafs wingers instead:

    Marleau – McDavid – Marner
    Hyman – Drai – Nylander
    Johnsson – RNH – Kapanen
    Ennis – Brodziak – Brown

    Where would Rattie/Spooner/Khaira/Caggigula/Lucic/Kassian even fit on here?

    Answer: They wouldn’t.

    Folks, it’s a 90 point Oilers team this year. Sure, they go on a heater, make Round 1 of the playoffs. But depth is a thing.

    We’re swapping Marody for Russell. Lol. Wouldn’t even make practice 5th line on a great team.

  152. Yeti says:

    106 and 106: You guys can keep switching out the lines however you see fit. It doesn’t change the players, try this with Leafs wingers instead:
    Marleau – McDavid – Marner
    Hyman – Drai – Nylander
    Johnsson – RNH – Kapanen
    Ennis – Brodziak – Brown
    Where would Rattie/Spooner/Khaira/Caggigula/Lucic/Kassian even fit on here?

    Ouch. You may have a point.

  153. frjohnk says:

    106 and 106: They just don’t have the horses.

    You guys can keep switching out the lines however you see fit. It doesn’t change the players, try this with Leafs wingers instead:

    Marleau – McDavid – Marner
    Hyman – Drai – Nylander
    Johnsson – RNH – Kapanen
    Ennis – Brodziak – Brown

    Where would Rattie/Spooner/Khaira/Caggigula/Lucic/Kassian even fit on here?

    Answer: They wouldn’t.

    Folks, it’s a 90 point Oilers team this year. Sure, they go on a heater, make Round 1 of the playoffs. But depth is a thing.

    +1.

    And this is why those people who say Drai cant drive a line are not paying attention.

    Drai is not the problem. Its roster construction.

  154. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    106 and 106:
    They just don’t have the horses.

    You guys can keep switching out the lines however you see fit. It doesn’t change the players, try this with Leafs wingers instead:

    Marleau – McDavid – Marner
    Hyman – Drai – Nylander
    Johnsson – RNH – Kapanen
    Ennis – Brodziak – Brown

    Where would Rattie/Spooner/Khaira/Caggigula/Lucic/Kassian even fit on here?

    Answer: They wouldn’t.

    Folks, it’s a 90 point Oilers team this year. Sure, they go on a heater, make Round 1 of the playoffs. But depth is a thing.

    We’re swapping Marody for Russell. Lol. Wouldn’t even make practice 5th line on a great team.

    Things will change in a hurry after signing Matthews and Marner this summer… they also need to re-sign Kapanen and Gardiner. Won’t be able to keep them all, and I doubt it would be in their best interest to bridge any of those players. Next year is their cap-crunch year. Let’s all hope they bow out in round 1 again…

  155. tileguy says:

    106 and 106:
    They just don’t have the horses.

    You guys can keep switching out the lines however you see fit. It doesn’t change the players, try this with Leafs wingers instead:

    Marleau – McDavid – Marner
    Hyman – Drai – Nylander
    Johnsson – RNH – Kapanen
    Ennis – Brodziak – Brown

    Where would Rattie/Spooner/Khaira/Caggigula/Lucic/Kassian even fit on here?

    Answer: They wouldn’t.

    Folks, it’s a 90 point Oilers team this year. Sure, they go on a heater, make Round 1 of the playoffs. But depth is a thing.

    We’re swapping Marody for Russell. Lol. Wouldn’t even make practice 5th line on a great team.

    So much enlightenment in one well thought out post.

  156. tileguy says:

    Crazy Pedestrian,

    Perhaps instead of 3 A forwards and 6 D forwards the solution is 9 B forwards.

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

© Copyright - Lowetide.ca