Game 29 2018-19: Wild at Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers return from a quick two-game road trip (1-1-0) facing a difficult weekend against the Minnesota Wild and Calgary Flames. The team is 5-2-1 under Ken Hitchcock and looking to improve its record against the Western Conference and Pacific Division. 

Cooper Marody has been recalled from Bakersfield, with Patrick Russell going to California with an aching in his heart. Drake Caggiula has an injury that could involve significant time away from the active roster, but Valentin Zykov will play tonight. 

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 29 GAMES

  • Oilers in 201512-15-2, 26 points; goal differential -10
  • Oilers in 2016: 14-11-4, 32 points; goal differential +5
  • Oilers in 2017: 12-15-2, 26 points; goal differential -10
  • Oilers in 2018: 14-12-2, 30 points; goal differential -6

You want to believe this year’s team will nudge closer to the 2016 playoff McDavids but there are of course those small details best described as “McDavid Off” for your Edmonton Oilers. Ken Hitchcock is something close to a Godsend, but his string of miracles must continue. I can’t give you colors today, WordPress has made some changes and God knows when I’ll find the Crayola section. 

OILERS IN DECEMBER

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

It’s go time for this year’s team, badly need to rebound from the disappointment of November. Interesting to see the previous clubs post impressive goal differentials compared to their season total to this point in the campaign. One of the things I’d like to see from December is a positive overall goal differential. 

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

I expected a 2-2-0 week for the Oilers, the toughest road coming this weekend. Minnesota played last night, I projected Edmonton to take advantage. 

YOU MAKE THE CALL

I sense the fanbase is both curious about how this year’s novel is going to turn out (my guess: a dozen people stab the villain and Poirot decides he can’t charge anyone with murder) while also looking forward to seeing how Scoobs is going to get out of this jam come summer. 

So, let’s talk about it. If you were given the opportunity to run the Edmonton Oilers, what would you do? How would you find your way out of the darkness? 

I think the first thing to identify is the inner circle of the cluster, led by Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Oscar Klefbom. Next, identify the players who are untradeable and likely here until the lockout in 2020: Milan Lucic. 

Next there’s a group who are likely to be retained, but don’t quite reach that inner circle: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Adam Larsson, Darnell Nurse and Jesse Puljujarvi. Added to that is the group who have some relief from no movement and could be dealt in the summer: Andrej Sekera, Kris Russell. 

Next we have a group of veterans who are NHL players but are signed to contracts that exceed actual value: Ryan Spooner, Zack Kassian, Kyle Brodziak. 

That’s followed by role players who fill spots on the roster and sometimes play elevated roles: Jujhar Khaira, Matt Benning, Ty Rattie, Valentin Zykov.

After that, it’s free agents who you may or may not want to sign: Alex Chiasson, Cam Talbot, Mikko Koskinen, Chris Wideman, Jason Garrison, Kevin Gravel. 

At the end of the line, there are hopefuls in the minors and in junior. Names like Evan Bouchard, Kailer Yamamoto, Tyler Benson, Ryan McLeod, Ethan Bear and others who are either NHL-ready or matriculating in that direction. 

What does your 2019-20 Oilers lineup look like? If you post yours in the comments section I’ll grab one or two for discussion in the Saturday post. Here’s mine:

  • Jakob Silfverberg—McDavid—Kailer Yamamoto
  • Khaira—Nugent-Hopkins—Jesse Puljujarvi
  • Rieder—Draisaitl—Chiasson
  • Caggiula—Spooner—Kassian
  • Lucic, Brodziak

This unicorn center lineup uses the Dave Keon (young wingers), Norm Ullman (veteran wingers) theory in order to increase scoring. Nuge as Keon. Lucic and Brodziak are listed as extra forwards but as you know those players get a lot of games, too. 

DRAISAITL AS THE MODERN MAHOVLICH

I keep reading about Leon Draisaitl as being lazy or slow—or both, and I have to say it’s baffling to me. There are worthy criticisms of the player, his coverage and defensive reads have me thinking he may well play his career on the wing. He also fades later in shifts and his shift lengths are 55 seconds and maybe they should be shorter (Barkov and Kopitar, also big men, are 49 seconds). 

Lazy? I don’t think so. I’m reminded of Frank Mahovlich, who was often criticized for the same sins. Big Frank had a long stride and often looked like the wind blew him into scoring position, but he did in fact work hard at the game of hockey. As does Leon. 

We can agree the Oilers should have better depth and that Leon’s usage is beyond reasonable (as is the case with 97 and, increasingly, 77). I believe Leon Draisaitl is an outstanding NHL player, and the numbers (on pace for 88 points) confirm. 

MARODY RECALLED

Cooper Marody earned another recall on Thursday, coming off a brilliant three-assist performance against the Manitoba Moose on Wednesday. He is skilled, right handed and along with Valentin Zykov could give the Oilers a very different look on the power play. 

CAGGIULA ON IR

In the late summer, I had a longer look at Drake Caggiula’s Oilers career and found something interesting. I looked for a 40-game period where he had a full stretch of games in a specific spot in the batting order. Never happened. Injuries, playing out of position and being yanked up and down the lineup meant getting a clear view of the player has been impossible. I’m not suggesting we are looking at an impact player here, but his injury this time comes during a period where he (in my opinion) was playing some of his best hockey as an Oiler. Sometimes it doesn’t work out, and for Caggiula injuries are eating up a substantial amount of his career.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy morning, all starts at 10 on TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Steve Lansky, Big Mouth Sports. We’ll chat Rockin’ pneumonia and the McDavid flu, what Dad wants for Christmas and the possibility of a Flames-Leafs final. 
  • Andrew Peard, Oil Kings PBP. It’s the Teddy Bear toss game tomorrow, we’ll find out when Fix-Wolansky will score. 
  • Matthew Iwanyk, TSN1260. Should the Oilers trade that 2019 first-round pick for a first-shot scorer?

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

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466 Responses to "Game 29 2018-19: Wild at Oilers"

« Older Comments
  1. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    That was a better played game by all Oiler skaters than any game in recent memory.

    Hitch is my Pope.

  2. Primetime says:

    Bank Shot: It’s funny that Toronto traded away Kessel for way less return, than what Chiarelli got for Hall and nobody cares anymore. It’s a non topic.
    ——————————————————————————————————————————————

    Agree with the concept you are presenting but not with the example. The trades are not comparable. Toronto was just trying to move on and get cap space for the start of a re-build. That was the main “asset” they got in the trade. They weren’t looking to get better.

    Chia actually thought he was getting equal value and a steal of a deal. THAT is why there is so much venom towards the trade

  3. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Woodguy v2.0: This thread has a giggly vibe.

    Giggly vibe = 5-2 EDM win with a EN goal

    *clapclap*

    Under-shot it a hair.

  4. Pescador says:

    Bulging Twine:
    Strome is still invisible out there.

    We should trade him

  5. Southern Oil says:

    Don’t know if everyone saw this but explains some of the differences the team is playing under Hitchcock. Short video but worth a look
    https://www.tsn.ca/video/statscentre-the-hitch-effect~1559227

  6. Reja says:

    Oilers playing way harder under Hitch even in the loss to Dallas they didn’t let up. The D is pinching way more often with Hitch then I’ve seen in many many years.

  7. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    The puck support below the dots in the dzone is like watching a new team.

    So much of their offense came from there too.

    3/4 lines broke out 3 abreast from the dzone and had no issue gaining the ozone.

    *clapclap*

  8. Jethro Tull says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Under-shot it a hair.

    Kent?

  9. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Southern Oil:
    Don’t know if everyone saw this but explains some of the differences the team is playing under Hitchcock.Short video but worth a look
    https://www.tsn.ca/video/statscentre-the-hitch-effect~1559227

    That’s a great video.

    Thanks for that.

  10. Jethro Tull says:

    Reja:
    Oilers playing way harder under Hitch even in the loss to Dallas they didn’t let up. The D is pinching way more often with Hitch then I’ve seen in many many years.

    I think the difference is that they cut bait on the pinch much sooner. I noticed the pinching defenseman isn’t staying to find out if it worked or not.. It’s pinch down the boards then back track fast into position.

  11. Southern Oil says:

    Woodguy v2.0: That’s a great video.

    Thanks for that.

    One less goal a game. That’s nuts in such a short time frame

  12. Pescador says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    That was a better played game by all Oiler skaters than any game in recent memory.

    Hitch is my Pope.

    Not surprised by the usual suspects
    Definitely pleasantly surprised by the team effort
    Really pleased with what I saw from Rattie
    And Gravel
    Fire Garrison and Ference Err I meant Wideman into the sun

  13. Pescador says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    The puck support below the dots in the dzone is like watching a new team.

    So much of their offense came from there too.

    3/4 lines broke out 3 abreast from the dzone and had no issue gaining the ozone.

    *clapclap*

    Hitch has changed the team D structure,
    Saved Talbot
    Pulled the season from the brink,
    Has plans to unlock JP
    I hear he is also planning a city infrastructure project -overpass bridge, with a guarantee to deliver it on time & on budget
    I believe it Yo

  14. slopitch says:

    Primetime:
    Bank Shot: It’s funny that Toronto traded away Kessel for way less return, than what Chiarelli got for Hall and nobody cares anymore. It’s a non topic.
    ——————————————————————————————————————————————

    Agree with the concept you are presenting but not with the example.The trades are not comparable.Toronto was just trying to move on and get cap space for the start of a re-build.That was the main “asset” they got in the trade.They weren’t looking to get better.

    Chia actually thought he was getting equal value and a steal of a deal.THAT is why there is so much venom towards the trade

    Chai also got cap space and spent it on lucic 🙂

    Big win. Looking forward to sunday.

  15. Pescador says:

    Go Hurricanes

  16. Reja says:

    Jethro Tull: I think the difference is that they cut bait on the pinch much sooner. I noticed the pinching defenseman isn’t staying to find out if it worked or not.. It’s pinch down the boards then back track fast into position.

    I agree and that’s all on Hitch it’s interesting to see the difference in coaching philosophy between Hitch and his predecessor.

  17. frjohnk says:

    Great game all around.

    Im calling it now. Lucic scores on Sunday.

  18. hunter1909 says:

    Reja: I agree and that’s all on Hitch it’s interesting to see the difference in coaching philosophy between Hitch and his predecessor.

    TMac just sulked and petulantly used the players politically against anyone who dared oppose him, if that’s a philosophy.

  19. Reja says:

    frjohnk:
    Great game all around.

    Im calling it now. Lucic scores on Sunday.

    What’s the odds on a Gordie Howe hat-trick 500-1.

  20. Bulging Twine says:

    Pescador: We should trade him

    Wouldn’t make a difference either way.

  21. hunter1909 says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    That was a better played game by all Oiler skaters than any game in recent memory.

    Hitch is my Pope.

    Hitch is the best. Also he could have been the coach 10 years ago.

  22. hunter1909 says:

    Now 6-2-1 under Hitch Oilers will be Hell to encounter in the playoffs. McDavid guarantees white hot terror.

  23. Bulging Twine says:

    Pescador: Hitch has changed the team D structure,
    Saved Talbot
    Pulled the season from the brink,
    Has plans to unlock JP
    I hear he is also planning a city infrastructure project -overpass bridge, with a guarantee to deliver it on time & on budget
    I believe it Yo

    I heard he’s going to get pipelines built to Eastern Canada

  24. Material Elvis says:

    Just got home from the game. Very complete game from the team. So encouraging to watch. McDavid is worth the price of admission. He was on a mission tonight. Very impressed by the Nuge line and Kevin Gravel tonight.

  25. Bulging Twine says:

    frjohnk:
    Great game all around.

    Im calling it now. Lucic scores on Sunday.

    I’m feeling it too

  26. Pescador says:

    hunter1909:
    Oilers will be Hell to encounter in the playoffs. McDavid guarantees white hot terror.

    Also uncalled blatant interference
    Relentless slashingq, hooking, holding & down right Fuckery
    Fuck the reffs

  27. Reja says:

    hunter1909: TMac just sulked and petulantly used the players politically against anyone who dared oppose him, if that’s a philosophy.

    I think the players are enjoying playing on the same lines and trying to build some chemistry.

  28. Pescador says:

    Bulging Twine: I heard he’s going to get pipelines built to Eastern Canada

    Hitchcock doesn’t like to talk about it much, but he actually wrote the policy that saved the Canadian banking industry when the US housing bubble burst back in ’08

  29. Bulging Twine says:

    Pescador: Hitchcock doesn’t like to talk about it much, but he actually wrote the policy that saved the Canadian banking industry when the US housing bubble burst back in ’08

    It was actually Hitchcock who gave Steve Jobs the idea to make Apple Computers

  30. Pescador says:

    Bulging Twine: I heard he’s going to get pipelines built to Eastern Canada

    Ken H. told me he has been playing around with the concourse layout blue prints for Rogers place in his free time
    Expect the washroom issue to be resolved for the start of next season

  31. Reja says:

    Pescador: Also uncalled blatant interference
    Relentless slashingq, hooking, holding & down right Fuckery
    Fuck the reffs

    I would have liked to have seen a response to the slash on Drai by Dumba maybe next time they meet.

  32. Pescador says:

    Bulging Twine: It was actually Hitchcock who gave Steve Jobs the idea to make Apple Computers

    Steve Jobs actually stole that black turtle neck look from Hitch
    Among other things

  33. Pescador says:

    Reja,

    Me too,
    Dumba is a piece of shit

  34. Bulging Twine says:

    Pescador: Steve Jobs actually stole that black turtle neck look from Hitch
    Among other things

    It was Hitchcock who stood in front of the tanks at Tianenamen Square

  35. godot10 says:

    Crazy Pedestrian:
    Anyone notice how nonchalant Draisaitl looks after he scores a goal? Almost looks like he doesn’t care…maybe he’s just to lazy to smile.

    look like you have done it before, and are likely to do it again soon, and not like you were surprised that you scored

  36. maudite says:

    Who knew changing from man to man to zone defense could make such a difference. The inability to change strategy and go no further than blendering only a select group of forwards around…if old Todd doesn’t go back to school he’s done as a Nhl coaching option.

    It’s likely no coach will get everyone around a corner but hitch already looks to be getting jujar around one.

  37. Pescador says:

    Bulging Twine: It was Hitchcock who stood in front of the tanks at Tianenamen Square

    Was that before or after he single handedly built United Sport & Cycle by hand, brick by brick?
    I almost forgot that Hitch actually wrote the speech that President Regan delivered to Gorbachev about the Belin wall,

  38. Wolfpack says:

    December 1951 Baby Hitch entered the world in Edmonton. It took three months for the hockey gods to recharge their powers, because in March they reached down to Ponoka and graced the earth with the birth of none other than…. you guessed it, Stanley Brian Weir.

    Yes, I went there.

  39. Bulging Twine says:

    Pescador: Was that before or after he single handedly built United Sport & Cycle by hand, brick by brick?
    I almost forgot that Hitch actually wrote the speach that President Regan delivered to Gorbachev about the Belin wall,

    After.

    He also prevented the world from ending on January 1, 2000

  40. Pescador says:

    Wolfpack:
    December 1951 Baby Hitch entered the world in Edmonton. It took three months for the hockey gods to recharge their powers, because in March they reached down to Ponoka and graced the earth with the birth of none other than…. you guessed it, Stanley Brian Weir.

    Yes, I went there.

    Hitch once saved 9 Elderly patients from an electrical fire at the local hospital, it was totally coincidental luck as he was actually there to deliver fresh baked cookies to sick kids

  41. smellyglove says:

    I heard that Hitch coined the phrase, “priming the pump,” to describe the action taken to stimulate an economy, usually during a recessionary period, through government spending and interest rate and tax reductions.

  42. Pescador says:

    Bulging Twine: After.

    He also prevented the world from ending on January 1, 2000

    Whoa, we certainly owe him a debt of gratitude,
    Just like those 32 Chilean miners

  43. flea says:

    Pescador,

    Oilers get away with it too. It’s just the way the game is called. Maybe more infuriating for an Oilers fan watching McDavid have to fight through it.

    Hitchcock has the Oilers playing downright nasty in the d zone.

  44. Pescador says:

    smellyglove:
    I heard that Hitch coined the phrase, “priming the pump,” to describe the action taken to stimulate an economy, usually during a recessionary period, through government spending and interest rate and tax reductions.

    Germany’s intervention in the Greek debt crisis had his finger prints all over it

  45. Munny says:

    Southern Oil:
    Don’t know if everyone saw this but explains some of the differences the team is playing under Hitchcock.Short video but worth a look
    https://www.tsn.ca/video/statscentre-the-hitch-effect~1559227

    Yeah, I posted those stats earlier in the thread from the original broadcast. I thought they were pretty eye-opening.

  46. npanciroli says:

    I really enjoyed that.

  47. Pescador says:

    flea:
    Pescador,

    Oilers get away with it too. It’s just the way the game is called. Maybe more infuriating for an Oilers fan watching McDavid have to fight through it.

    Hitchcock has the Oilers playing downright nasty in the d zone.

    Yep, his contributions here and abroad are making a difference

  48. Reja says:

    Wolfpack:
    December 1951 Baby Hitch entered the world in Edmonton. It took three months for the hockey gods to recharge their powers, because in March they reached down to Ponoka and graced the earth with the birth of none other than…. you guessed it, Stanley Brian Weir.

    Yes, I went there.

    When Stan Weir was in Junior High, his English teacher assigned an essay: “what is courage? He received an A+ for turning in a blank page with only his name on top.

  49. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Southern Oil,

    I watched this one just before reading the one you posted… they both seem to point out the same tendencies and defensive improvements.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSt0ke4mS-I

  50. Buddy says:

    Just watched the game on tape. My son had a game tonight (Midget), scored his first goal of the season (he’s a defenceman). I’m not saying it was Hitchcock, but, it was Hitchcock.

  51. Gerta Rauss says:

    Buddy,

    lol

  52. giddy says:

    A great game. Things went right against a tired team. Excited for Calgary but lets not discount what is one helluva hot team a few hunnert K south. Onward and en route.

  53. Bank Shot says:

    I wonder if the Oilers controlled offensive zone entries have gone down under Hitch?

    To my eye it seems as if they are dumping the puck more rather than less, especially the identity line and generally anyone else not on the Mcdavid line.

    It seems like they are recovering more of those dump ins as well maybe in part to the fact that all the players are on the same page in terms of the decision making in that area.

    Forwards aren’t forced to slow down in case of a deke at the blueline. They are just torpedoes entering the ozone ready and willing to cause havoc.

    Tonight was the first night in a long while that the Oilers were generating a tonne from the low cycle into the slot instead of defaulting always back to the D. Will be interesting to see if this new development holds up going forward.

  54. OriginalPouzar says:

    Phil Kemp with a goal for Yale last night – should help his chances to make the US World Junior team.

  55. OriginalPouzar says:

    On the assumption that the Oilers lineup isn’t going to change for Sunday, I hope management sends Marody back down to play tomorrow night.

  56. Todd Macallan says:

    To Bill Brasky…. I mean Ken Hitchcock!

  57. OriginalPouzar says:

    Primetime:
    Bank Shot: It’s funny that Toronto traded away Kessel for way less return, than what Chiarelli got for Hall and nobody cares anymore. It’s a non topic.
    ——————————————————————————————————————————————

    Agree with the concept you are presenting but not with the example.The trades are not comparable.Toronto was just trying to move on and get cap space for the start of a re-build.That was the main “asset” they got in the trade.They weren’t looking to get better.

    Chia actually thought he was getting equal value and a steal of a deal.THAT is why there is so much venom towards the trade

    While I agree that the trade returns can’t really be comparable as Hall was signed to a very nice contract (a value contract even) whereas Kessel’s contract, $8M x 8 with a $64M cap was seen as an issue, however, with respect to your post above, I have never seen any indication that Chiarelli thought he was getting a “steal of a deal” – that isn’t really true, now is it?

  58. Pescador says:

    Looks like I don’t have to take my son to 6:45 hockey practice,
    A certain someone just texted me to say he is on his way over to pick him up
    Now I get to go back to sleep

  59. Jaxon says:

    maudite: It’s likely no coach will get everyone around a corner but hitch already looks to be getting jujar around one.

    I think Khaira was already playing well. TMac just didn’t recognize it. JJ’s positive influence on CF% and GF% with skilled centers was already there in small sample sizes. See my posts calling for JJ to be put on a line with either McDavid or Draisaitl before TMac was fired.

  60. hunter1909 says:

    To my eye it appeared Oilers dominated the game from start to finish. Was listening to the Wild feed and they seem to think it was even from the 2nd period on, which reminded me of the way Oilers used to have to console themselves after the Hitchcock coached Dallas Stars beat them up and humiliated them – again and again.

    The Wild got whipped last night.

  61. hunter1909 says:

    Jaxon: I think Khaira was already playing well. TMac just didn’t recognize it.

    To be fair, TMac actually played him more than enough for his position in the lineup.

  62. Jethro Tull says:

    hunter1909: TMac just sulked and petulantly used the players politically against anyone who dared oppose him, if that’s a philosophy.

    You’re thinking of Josef Stalin again. Easy to confuse the two, they’re both from Saskatchewan.

  63. Jethro Tull says:

    Pescador:
    Looks like I don’t have to take my son to 6:45 hockey practice,
    A certain someone just texted me to say he is on his way over to pick him up
    Now I get to go back to sleep

    Hitch? Tell him my bathroom needs regrouting as well.

  64. maudite says:

    Jaxon: I think Khaira was already playing well. TMac just didn’t recognize it. JJ’s positive influence on CF% and GF% with skilled centers was already there in small sample sizes. See my posts calling for JJ to be put on a line with either McDavid or Draisaitl before TMac was fired.

    I was in the same boat and i agree. But mclellan only seemed to rotate like 1/3 of the chairs on the deck and just kept rotating those same chairs around in different ways.

  65. Old Timer says:

    The Oilers under Hitch are playing to win whereas under TMac they were playing not to lose. The difference to the players psyche is immense and is very obvious to even a casual observer.

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