For What It’s Worth

by Lowetide

The Edmonton Oilers are 7-2-1 under Ken Hitchcock and playing a most disciplined style. Last night at Rogers, the club ignored the agitating Calgary Flames, who were less skilled than they could have been due to injury, suspension and curious personnel decisions. Instead of slashing and punching, the Oilers worked hard and smart (mostly), winning the game and passing an important test. I wrote yesterday that if the home side won last night, we could move from describing them an “upstart” to calling them a real pain in the ass for the Pacific Division. Ass, meet pain. 

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: I have seen the future of Edmonton’s power play, and its quarterback is Evan Bouchard. Or Joel Persson. Or both! 
  • Lowetide: Oilers No. 6 Prospect winter 2018: Cooper Marody
  • Jonathan Willis: Ken Hitchcock’s turnaround of the Oilers takes another positive step as they climb back to a playoff pace. 
  • Lowetide: Oilers No. 5 Prospect winter 2018: Ethan Bear.
  • 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 30

  • Oilers in 201513-15-2, 28 points; goal differential -8
  • Oilers in 2016: 14-11-5, 33 points; goal differential +5
  • Oilers in 2017: 12-16-2, 26 points; goal differential -11
  • Oilers in 2018: 16-12-2, 34 points; goal differential 0

Edmonton is 7-2-1 with Hitch, after starting the year 9-10-1 under Todd McLellan. The personnel changes have been mostly minor, so you have to give the coach a lot of credit for this turnaround. Plenty of work to do but this is pretty damned fine. The Oilers are on pace to finish 44-33-5, 93 points. That’s almost paradise. 

OILERS IN DECEMBER

  • Oilers in December 2015: 5-0-0, 10 points; goal differential +6
  • Oilers in December 2016: 2-1-2, six points; goal differential +1
  • Oilers in December 2017: 3-2-0, six points; goal differential +8
  • Oilers in December 2018: 4-1-0, eight points; goal differential +5

I think this organization should put “Long December” on an endless loop and pretend it’s always almost Christmas. My goodness the McDavids enjoy the twelfth month, going 14-4-2 in his four seasons. Exceptional. 

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM 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 2-0-0)
  • 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: 4-1-0, eight points in five games

Edmonton is now well clear of my expectations for the month (I had them 2-3-0 at this point) and last night was a clear indication Hitchcock’s magic words are having an impact. What in hell is going on here?

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Gravel-Benning went 11-4 in 7:51, 4-1 shots no goals and 3-1 HDSC. Terrific evening for this pair, I find myself wondering why they aren’t playing more 5-on-5. Went 8-3 in 4:49 against Neal-Jankowski-Mangiapane line, effective night from third pair. Gravel got drilled in the second period sending the puck deep. 
  • Nurse-Russell were 15-13 in 14:34, 10-4 shots, 1-0 goals and 0-3 HDSC. What a weird night. Nurse defended a two-on-one in the second brilliantly (no idea where Russell was) and then got walked by Sam Bennett on what was the only good play the forward made (to my eye) all damned night. Went 6-9 against Tkachuk-Ryan-Bennett, the trio had three 10-bell chances to none for Edmonton when they deployed Nurse-Russell. I’m certain Hitchcock is seeing this, somewhat flummoxed he isn’t addressing it. 
  • Klefbom-Larsson went 10-15 in 15:34, 4-9 shots, 1-0 goals and 2-1 HDSC. The high dangers came with the Brodziak line, this duo did too much defending (and it’s rare). Larsson was in his element, ran over Gaudreau in one of the more pleasing events for the home crowd. Oscar’s shooting a lot on the power play but I don’t know that he’s the issue. Teams are crowding McDavid and no one is moving his feet. That isn’t on 77. Went 7-15 in 11:18 against Monahan-Lindholm-Gaudreau, that’s a tough assignment. 
  • Mikko Koskinen stopped all 24 shots, he has a save percentage of .929, trailing only Rinne and Halak among regulars. Good gosh almighty. 
  • NaturalStatTrick and NHL.com

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

  • Zykov-Spooner-Rattie were 10-3 in 5:25, 2-0 shots, no goals and no HDSC. The best player on the line to my eye was Zykov, who won a lot of battles and got things headed in a good direction. Line didn’t play a lot maybe they couldn’t get untracked. Were 7-1 in 2:49 against Prout, who took a late penalty for trying to maim Ty Rattie. 
  • Lucic-Brodziak-Kassian had a fine evening, going 15-10 in 12:45, 6-3 shots and 5-3 HDSC. This line is becoming epic, winning all kinds of battles and earning goals that never come. Hitchcock’s preachings are in this line, they’re miles from danger most every shift. Went 9-7 against Prout-Kylington in 6:54. If Lucic ever scores at home, there’s going to be an earthquake. He drilled Hamonic. 
  • Chiasson-McDavid-Draisaitl got the goal, while going 10-15 in 14:31, 6-6 shots, 0-2 HDSC. Leon damn near scored on a breakaway, Chiasson made a great pass and McDavid was dangerous all night. The 5-on-4 needs to be better, if Calgary had tied it late I was going to write 10,000 words on it, but other than that this line shines. There are 43 goals on this line. Lordy. 
  • Khaira-Nuge-Puljujarvi went 3-6 in 8:49, 3-3 shots, 0-1 HDSC. Nuge had a brilliant breakaway chance, Puljujarvi was moving all night and drew a penalty, Khaira impressed on the PK. Went 0-5 against Hanifin-Hamonic. 

PACIFIC DIVISION BY POINTS PERCENTAGE

  1. Calgary 31, 19-10-2, 40 points (.645)
  2. Anaheim 32, 16-11-5, 37 points (.578)
  3. Edmonton 30, 16-12-2, 34 points (.567)
  4. San Jose 31, 15-11-5, 35 points (.565)
  5. Vegas 32, 17-14-1, 35 points (.547)
  6. Arizona 28, 13-13-2, 28 points (.500)
  7. Vancouver 32, 13-16-3, 29 points (.453)
  8. Los Angeles 30, 11-18-1, 23 points (.383)

Edmonton’s games in hand are reflected in this look at the Pacific, they are a playoff team based on points-per-game percentage. The 9-4-1 record at home is manna from heaven. 

DON SWEENEY, LIVE AT ROGERS

Bob placed Don Sweeney at Rogers last night, and I’ve seen comments suggesting Milan Lucic, Ryan Spooner and Jesse Puljujarvi might be the targets. Based on the Bruins injury list, I’d say defense may also be in play, although not sure the Oilers have a square to spare. 

If it’s Lucic, then David Backes is probably the return, contract for contract. Torey Krug is also possible, but both men have NMC’s. I don’t think it’s Lucic. 

Spooner is interesting due to his Bruins back story, but I’m not sure he moves the needle enough offensively. 

Matt Benning makes the most sense to me, although as mentioned not sure the Oilers have enough depth there to pull the trigger. If there’s something up, I think Edmonton would be looking for a scoring forward. 

My opinion? Sweeney was watching the Flames. 

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

We’re back baby, and rolling at 10 this morning on TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Kristen Anderson, Post Media Flames reporter. We’ll chat about the first place Flames and what has been a fantastic first 30 games. 
  • Jason Gregor, TSN1260. Hitchcock for emperor, Oilers pushing playoffs, why was Sweeney at Rogers?

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

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Bank Shot

Wilde: This is just so far from reasonable in my view that I don’t think we’ll ever be close to agreeing. Especially the Blackhawks example you made earlier.

Hossa, Hall, Sharp, Eberle, Nuge, Versteeg, Ladd, Brouwer, Bickell. Byfuglien, Hjalmarsson, Petry, Schultz, Campbell. [/quote]

Not Hossa. Eberle replaces him. I could see that team as a playoff contender, but not a cup contender. Toews lifted a damn heavy load at center. No way could RNH step into that void. Eberle is so inferior to Hossa it’s not even funny. Hall and Kane are close.

If the Oilers on there are in their prime, based on performances we’ve seen they’d contend.

[quote]
Dunno who’s saying that. There’s space between ‘the team losing and having a losing culture was not all on them’ and ‘they’re on a pedestal beyond all criticism’. I don’t think many people, if anyone, have intimated that they were entirely beyond criticism and if that’s what you’re reading that’s want you want to read.

I would say the number of times anything critical about Hall or RNH would be met with “He’s not the problem.” really shuts down any kind of discussion.

godot10

Bank Shot: They didn’t make their AHL team into a juggernaut though.

The two veterans on the blueline that season, Teubert and Plante decided to s#$% the bed. They were awful. The remaining D were all professional hockey rookies. The extras on D were ECHL types.

season not played

Is someone who makes fun of other players for working too hard at practice someone you want as a leader on your team or no?

Asking for a friend.

Wilde

Bank Shot:
Even with a good squad of support players, those Oilers never would have had a chance to be contenders with those four as the core.

This is just so far from reasonable in my view that I don’t think we’ll ever be close to agreeing. Especially the Blackhawks example you made earlier.

Hossa, Hall, Sharp, Eberle, Nuge, Versteeg, Ladd, Brouwer, Bickell. Byfuglien, Hjalmarsson, Petry, Schultz, Campbell.

If the Oilers on there are in their prime, based on performances we’ve seen they’d contend.

Bank Shot:
I mean they were obviously the best the team had, but I don’t think that means you place them on a pedestal beyond criticism.

Dunno who’s saying that. There’s space between ‘the team losing and having a losing culture was not all on them’ and ‘they’re on a pedestal beyond all criticism’. I don’t think many people, if anyone, have intimated that they were entirely beyond criticism and if that’s what you’re reading that’s want you want to read.

Leroy Draisdale

Got a bet at work, where does a fella find out the GF%. Lunch is riding on Taylor Hall being over 50%.

russ99

Kinger_Oil.redux,

Posted that on Twitter last week too. Just doesn’t work.

Even if we kept Hall at the time, some money had to go out, not to mention the defense being a tire fire rendering any goalie a fraction of his highest level game.

OriginalPouzar

Kinger_Oil.redux: – I havent read it yet, but assume that with Caggs and Redier (who were both playing in top-6), where do they play.I’d go for the 3 C lines option:

Drake-McD-Rattie
Redier-Drai-Chiasson
Jar-Nuge-Pool
Lucic-Brodziak-Kassian

I assume, given the team is winning, not scoring but winning with the current lines playing the structure, Rieder and Caggiula slot in for two of the 4th liners – likely Spooner and Rattie at this point.

Maybe Spooner needs to stay in the lineup to play center.

Marody gets re-assigned, obviously.

Likely Garrison on the waiver wire and re-assigned for the other roster spot.

Kinger_Oil.redux

Bank Shot: Well despite those guys scoring a billion points in the AHL during the lockout, the team was mediocre with them on it.

Even with a good squad of support players, those Oilers never would have had a chance to be contenders with those four as the core.

I mean they were obviously the best the team had, but I don’t think that means you place them on a pedestal beyond criticism.

– I’ve posted this before, and I know a new link is up, but I think the “dream” for many was keep all the Steve Austins, and be like the 80’s Oilers:

Hall-McD-Eberle
Perron-Drai-Pou
Magnus-RNH-Yak
Pak-Lander-Goodguy

Klef-Jultz
Nurse-Marincin
Davidson-Osterle

– Math doesn’t work, you’ve got $40MM tied up on the Austins and Drai and McD, your D is garbage, no balance.

– So while many are really really mad at losing Hall and Eberle, and the returns on them, It wasn’t an easy situation. You couldn’t keep the Steve Austins, and Drai and CmD.

Bank Shot

Wilde: What do you consider to be raising all boats?

Well despite those guys scoring a billion points in the AHL during the lockout, the team was mediocre with them on it.

Even with a good squad of support players, those Oilers never would have had a chance to be contenders with those four as the core.

I mean they were obviously the best the team had, but I don’t think that means you place them on a pedestal beyond criticism.

Kinger_Oil.redux

Lowetide:
For The Athletic: Contemplating Oilers roster changes as injured players prepare to return

https://theathletic.com/705847/2018/12/11/lowetide-contemplating-oilers-roster-changes-as-injured-players-prepare-to-return/

– I havent read it yet, but assume that with Caggs and Redier (who were both playing in top-6), where do they play. I’d go for the 3 C lines option:

Drake-McD-Rattie
Redier-Drai-Chiasson
Jar-Nuge-Pool
Lucic-Brodziak-Kassian

Pescador

Wilde:
The fact that this is the case, for me, means ‘the trade’ is one of these three options:

1) Trading the first plus a young Dman for a difference maker.

2) Trading up at the draft with later picks and a young Dman to pursue the outer edges of the difference makers group.

3) Keeping the pick and selecting a player who might go later than their production for various reasons and turn into a difference maker. (Mikko Kokkonen, Cole Caufield, Arthur Kaliyev, Jacob Pelletier, Connor McMichael)

1. How else do you fill the “Russell” hole? Are Jones or Bear projecting to be anything more than 3rd pairing Dmen? I don’t think so
Now, Russell has been better of late & Nurse is not exactly soaring atm.
Also, I really like K.R. as a 3rd pairing LD but he is paid to much

2. This would be dynamite considering how well I believe the scouting dept has performed recently.
But I trust P.C. very little when it comes to assets paid.

3.Least favorite, but most likely scenario

CallighenMan

Side: The 80s Oilers partied like animals, from what I understand.But they were all talented so they won.

DoD Oilers had young players who were really good, and apparently liked to party. The rest of the team, while sober, were not as good as the young players.That is the issue, imo.Not the young talented players needing to “try harder”, but for the rest of the team needing to actually be better.

The talent when on the ice was winning games.But once the talented players stepped off the ice, the game was lost.

The difference is the 80’s team played hard (partied) and worked harder. A couple of the Austin’s (we all know who) only mastered the first part and that is a big reason why they are gone.

Wilde

The fact that this is the case, for me, means ‘the trade’ is one of these three options:

1) Trading the first plus a young Dman for a difference maker in-season.

2) Trading up at the draft with later picks and a young Dman to pursue the outer edges of the difference makers group.

3) Keeping the pick and selecting a player who might go later than their production for various reasons and turn into a difference maker. (Mikko Kokkonen, Cole Caufield, Arthur Kaliyev, Jacob Pelletier, Connor McMichael)

I still like making the draft selection. It’s tough, if the pick’s in the back half of the first, obviously it’s not as bad to trade it, but I feel like the player the team needs is in the upper-echelon category like on of the Blues or Senators main pieces who are higher salary. If the draft pick doesn’t bust, they’re probably going to be better than whatever player we get in two years flat. It’s that fast now. Imagine if this team had Henri Jokiharju.

There’s a couple mid-range guys I guess. Tyler Toffoli, Ryan Dzingel, Brandon Saad at retained salary, not sure how Nino Niederreiter’s valued by Fenton.

I’d rather just absolutely blow my brains out on Duchene, Stone, Tarasenko, Krieder, Nyquist, Schwartz or somebody like that.

Wilde

ArmchairGM: What are you adjusting for? TOI?

League.

ArmchairGM

Wilde:
Also, an update on the 2019 draft, there’s some downticks in the forwards to the point where there’s not as much of a surplus of elite producers.

Kaapo Kakko has improved, though, and I’d think about taking him #1.

As a comparison, he’s at 0.33 adj. pts/GP and Elias Pettersson was at 0.28 in his draft year.

0.20 is my rough ‘high end’ cutoff and 0.25 is elite.

(Rasmus Dahlin was at 0.31…)

What are you adjusting for? TOI?

ArmchairGM

Woodguy v2.0: I think that the quickness that… fans jump and attack their own guys is horrible.

We see it on this very thread.

Wilde

Also, an update on the 2019 draft, there’s some downticks in the forwards to the point where there’s not as much of a surplus of elite producers.

Kaapo Kakko has improved, though, and I’d think about taking him #1.

As a comparison, he’s at 0.33 adj. pts/GP and Elias Pettersson was at 0.28 in his draft year, he was the 2017 leader.

0.20 is my rough ‘high end’ cutoff and 0.25 is elite.

(Rasmus Dahlin was at 0.31…)

Wilde

Bank Shot: hey weren’t actually raising all boats either

What do you consider to be raising all boats?

Kinger_Oil.redux

GMB3:
We can still be friends.

Sorry to the guy who said we could use his barn, im sure it would have made a great venue.

– This bit remined me of the end of any of the great Calvin and Hobbes story arches, if you familiar with that cartoon: as they walk home after getting into some trouble somewhere…

– Well done: this is such an awesome place!

frjohnk

GMB3: Just saw this now. It’s all good. My original commenting about you “being salty” was not meant to be truly offensive, we were both defending different demographics from offensive generalities. I’ve also been a bit of a shit disturber in my own right both in my personal life and on this blog. I honestly just made the comment about where I lived to see how far I could escalate things, and I didn’t think you were serious.

I apologize for being a shit head, I’ve been known to come home the morning of Christmas Eve with the occasional black eye/broken hand/stitches because of it. I’ve always respected your posts and intellect, even if we don’t always agree. I didn’t take it personally, and to be cliche “shit happens”, I appreciate and respect the apology.

We can still be friends.

Sorry to the guy who said we could use his barn, im sure it would have made a great venue.

+1

JimmyV1965

Bank Shot: They didn’t make their AHL team into a juggernaut though.

How many cups do you think the blackhawks would have in the last ten years if you swapped out Kane, Toews, Hossa, Keith and Seabrook for Hall, Eberle, RNH, Schultz, and Petry?

There has to be a bit more nuance than Hall good. Team bad.

That Hall core couldn’t even push the Oilers into 23rd place.

That’s the thing. Our defence was wretched. There may have been AHL teams with better dmen than we had. Now imagine how bad our defence was in the AHL. If we simply swapped Keith and Seabrook for Petry and Schultz, I’m pretty sure the Hawks don’t even get a sniff at the cup. And they still had Hjarmelsson, Oduya and Leddy!!! That’s my point. Those teams during the Ference days were beyond awful. Hell, you could probably add Toews and Kane to our team, with the same defence, and we still might not make the playoffs. Maybe that’s a bit extreme. LOL. As bad as our forwards were, our defence was historically awful.

Bank Shot

JimmyV1965: Good players can’t will a bad team into the playoffs. If you have a bunch of bad players, or a bad goalie, or a bad coach, you won’t be a good team. Hell, we have the best player in the world and the team missed the playoffs last year. And his supporting cast was much better than days when Ference was captain, and that ain’t saying much.This isn’t the NBA. One or two or three good players doesn’t move the needle.

They didn’t make their AHL team into a juggernaut though.

How many cups do you think the blackhawks would have in the last ten years if you swapped out Kane, Toews, Hossa, Keith and Seabrook for Hall, Eberle, RNH, Schultz, and Petry?

There has to be a bit more nuance than Hall good. Team bad.

That Hall core couldn’t even push the Oilers into 23rd place.

JimmyV1965

Bank Shot: Its true that the young players didn’t have a lot of talent around them, but they weren’t actually raising all boats either. They mostly just playing to get their points.

You can see when Hall, Eberle, RNH, and Schultz were in the AHL during the short lockout that they were scoring at will.

The team however was about .500 while those guys were on it and actually improved when they left.

Four players of that calibre surely should have been able to carry an AHL squad to victory, but they really weren’t.

I’m not saying they are to blame for the Oilers losing ways but I think they shouldn’t be absolved of all blame either.

Good players can’t will a bad team into the playoffs. If you have a bunch of bad players, or a bad goalie, or a bad coach, you won’t be a good team. Hell, we have the best player in the world and the team missed the playoffs last year. And his supporting cast was much better than days when Ference was captain, and that ain’t saying much. This isn’t the NBA. One or two or three good players doesn’t move the needle.

Bank Shot

oilersfan:
I am surprised the terrible season Eberle is having is not getting more attention.

Less points than Chiasson for $5 million more, and -10 to boot!

He excelled under Weight’s “Do whatever the hell you want” system.

Eberle is a great fit for pond hockey.

tileguy

GMB3: Just saw this now. It’s all good. My original commenting about you “being salty” was not meant to be truly offensive, we were both defending different demographics from offensive generalities. I’ve also been a bit of a shit disturber in my own right both in my personal life and on this blog. I honestly just made the comment about where I lived to see how far I could escalate things, and I didn’t think you were serious.

I apologize for being a shit head, I’ve been known to come home the morning of Christmas Eve with the occasional black eye/broken hand/stitches because of it. I’ve always respected your posts and intellect, even if we don’t always agree. I didn’t take it personally, and to be cliche “shit happens”, I appreciate and respect the apology.

We can still be friends.

Sorry to the guy who said we could use his barn, im sure it would have made a great venue.

Had a good chuckle at the salty remark, just wished it ended there.
PS, Bob Cole really should retire or at least stick to doing maple leaves games.

Bag of Pucks

GMB3: Just saw this now. It’s all good. My original commenting about you “being salty” was not meant to be truly offensive, we were both defending different demographics from offensive generalities. I’ve also been a bit of a shit disturber in my own right both in my personal life and on this blog. I honestly just made the comment about where I lived to see how far I could escalate things, and I didn’t think you were serious.

I apologize for being a shit head, I’ve been known to come home the morning of Christmas Eve with the occasional black eye/broken hand/stitches because of it. I’ve always respected your posts and intellect, even if we don’t always agree. I didn’t take it personally, and to be cliche “shit happens”, I appreciate and respect the apology.

We can still be friends.

Sorry to the guy who said we could use his barn, im sure it would have made a great venue.

Very cool.

HT Joe

I don’t know if this came up earlier, but according to the internet, Andrew Ference is employed by the NHL in the role of Director of Social Impact, Growth & Fan Development.

https://www.nhl.com/news/andrew-ference-joins-nhl-as-director-of-social-impact/c-296901528

So he’s officially an employee of the league, tasked with reaching out and growing the game, and he spends time in the media to trash former teammates (of whom he was a supposed captain) – former teammates who are currently still playing in the league.

As an employee of the league, and in that role, Ference should have had the decency to bite his tongue. In this light, his interview comes off as very unprofessional. Way to build the game Andrew.

2nd worst Oiler Captain of all time.

smellyglove

Shit, you guys are hard on Ference. Drafted damn year dead last in the previous century, he cobbled near 1000 games and a Stanley Cup. Solid community person. Local guy. And you locals are ready to tie him to a stake.

The management is rotten. Capped out team with a decade of high picks including four #1 overalls, one sniff at the playoffs. Best player in the world and one post season under their belts.

Gretzky and Messier couldn’t move the needle on this tire fire.

JimmyV1965

Ference did get one thing right IMO. Oil fans seem to have this need for a whipping boy and it always seems to be a skill player who doesn’t quite live up to expectations. There’s been Schultz, Eberle and Hall, to name a few. Hall was a great player, but like every player in the league not named McDavid or Crosby etc., he has flaws in his game or he was inconsistent early in his career. I think fans expect these guys to be on top of their game every night and that’s simply not a realistic expectation. Unfortunately, I see the same thing happening with Drai. Here we have this immensely talented player who routinely gets ripped by fans. He might not bring it every night, but very few players do. In the end though, he’s one of the better players in the league. I just hope we don’t run him out of town.

Pescador

godot10: Hell no.

Draisaitl is younger and signed for two additional seasons and still has upside potential

+1

Munny

But then Hall gives away the puck on the powerplay, picks up no one on the backcheck and the Sharks score as the Devs powerplay expires.

Pescador

oilersfan:
I am surprised the terrible season Eberle is having is not getting more attention.

Less points than Chiasson for $5 million more, and -10 to boot!

I hate that he isn’t succeeding, I’m still a big fan of J.E.

Reja

oilersfan:
I am surprised the terrible season Eberle is having is not getting more attention.

Less points than Chiasson for $5 million more, and -10 to boot!

He’s the highest payed player on the team and he’s ufa next year.Yikes for Eberle.

Pescador

I just realized we’re out of produce, I mean everything
Um, I’ll be right back…

Munny

Munny,

Well, that worked. They scored against the flow of the play and now have a powerplay.

That Sharks PK though is evil good.

Pescador

Melvis: Lol,while waiting in vain for an attractive older woman fondling the bananas. Wishful thinking.

Haha
Especially if she does that cherry stem trick while making eye contact and simultaneously checking the firmness of said bananas.

Munny

oilersfan,

Don’t bring up Barzal either, lol.

oilersfan

I am surprised the terrible season Eberle is having is not getting more attention.

Less points than Chiasson for $5 million more, and -10 to boot!

Munny

I don’t think the Devils will be doing the Oil any favours tonight.

v4ance

TO VOR or any biomechanics specialists wandering thru:

***

Just out for Thai takeout and a stray thought popped into my mind… I was observing a man walking past me with his feet splayed outwards in a pigeon toed manner. As a medium and long distance runner from my youth, I remembered very few runners who ran pigeon toed.

I was wondering, is having a pigeon toed stride a major handicap to being a good runner or skater?

Is it natural selection or natural progression to run with your feet directly in line with your direction of travel? I was thinking that as you become more pigeon toed, the less efficient your stride, as you experience wind resistance on the sides of your feet.

SO is it a person’s natural gait that determines if they’re a good runner or is it a learned behaviour where, as you run more, your stride becomes more efficient over time with experience? And if so, is this directly transferrable to skating skills as well?

****

So when we as fans complain about Lucic’s skating, is there very little hope for improvement, even now late in his career?

Bank Shot

Side:
DoD Oilers had young players who were really good, and apparently liked to party. The rest of the team, while sober, were not as good as the young players.That is the issue, imo.Not the young talented players needing to “try harder”, but for the rest of the team needing to actually be better.

The talent when on the ice was winning games.But once the talented players stepped off the ice, the game was lost.

Its true that the young players didn’t have a lot of talent around them, but they weren’t actually raising all boats either. They mostly just playing to get their points.

You can see when Hall, Eberle, RNH, and Schultz were in the AHL during the short lockout that they were scoring at will.

The team however was about .500 while those guys were on it and actually improved when they left.

Four players of that calibre surely should have been able to carry an AHL squad to victory, but they really weren’t.

I’m not saying they are to blame for the Oilers losing ways but I think they shouldn’t be absolved of all blame either.

Reja

Side: The 80s Oilers partied like animals, from what I understand.But they were all talented so they won.

DoD Oilers had young players who were really good, and apparently liked to party. The rest of the team, while sober, were not as good as the young players.That is the issue, imo.Not the young talented players needing to “try harder”, but for the rest of the team needing to actually be better.

The talent when on the ice was winning games.But once the talented players stepped off the ice, the game was lost.

The bad teams also partied it was the culture back then. If they got a girl pregnant or got nabbed for a impaired which many of them did unless you really effed up it was all handled in-house by management. Unlike today with technology they can’t even go for a beer without it being on Twitter.

Melvis

Pescador:
Melvis,

“So I can hardly wait for the next eye roll while sniffing melons in the produce section.”

Always ask her permission first,
You’ll get in far less trouble that way

Lol, while waiting in vain for an attractive older woman fondling the bananas. Wishful thinking.

godot10

hunter1909: Monahan’s very good. Tell me, would you swap the 2 players, right now as is?

Hell no.

Draisaitl is younger and signed for two additional seasons and still has upside potential

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

Pescador:
Melvis,

“So I can hardly wait for the next eye roll while sniffing melons in the produce section.”

Always ask her permission first,
You’ll get in far less trouble that way

Agreed. And just because you get permission to sniff the first one doesn’t mean you automatically have permission to sniff the next one. You need to ask each time.

godot10

Side: I see what Ference is saying.

I also see why the young talent did what they did.

If you’re young and talented on an NHL team that is comprised of largely AHL talent and no veteran leadership, it doesn’t take a genius to see that no matter how much extra time you put into practice, your team won’t win.

If Taylor Hall or Eberle or whoever is in this “young” group, put “more focus on playing the game and getting to the playoffs” that’s great, but it isn’t going to make the Will Acton’s better players. Even if the Will Acton’s feel inspired by the leadership and commitment demonstrated by the ‘young’ group.

This would be an entirely different story if these “young” players were on a veteran team with a bunch of winners and veterans.

The Young Oilers were given shitty teammates, a shitty coach and were blamed for not being more committed to a shitty team and criticized for enjoying their money.This angle makes no sense to me.

We agree on something. +100

GMB3

Bag of Pucks:
Pescador,

Absolutely the apology is intended for GMB3 too. Him especially.

Just saw this now. It’s all good. My original commenting about you “being salty” was not meant to be truly offensive, we were both defending different demographics from offensive generalities. I’ve also been a bit of a shit disturber in my own right both in my personal life and on this blog. I honestly just made the comment about where I lived to see how far I could escalate things, and I didn’t think you were serious.

I apologize for being a shit head, I’ve been known to come home the morning of Christmas Eve with the occasional black eye/broken hand/stitches because of it. I’ve always respected your posts and intellect, even if we don’t always agree. I didn’t take it personally, and to be cliche “shit happens”, I appreciate and respect the apology.

We can still be friends.

Sorry to the guy who said we could use his barn, im sure it would have made a great venue.

godot10

Woogie63: I think you are missing Ference’s point.He did not say the dressing room was toxic, he said “It was to the point to where it was ridiculous where the lifestyle was way more important than actually playing the game and making the playoffs”

If the team is not winning and this type of activity is going on, it is reasonable for the manager to want to change the mix.

Ference was/is being delusional. Hall was/is being sane. Partying in a hopeless situation is an act of a self aware sane person. No point in pissing into the wind like Eakins and Ference, who are devoid of self awareness because of their inflated sense of self-importance.