Game 31 2018-19: Oilers at Avalanche

by Lowetide

The Edmonton Oilers hit the road in Denver tonight, the club leaving the city after a splendid weekend and two home victories. It occurs to me that now, today, this instant, might be the best moment the team and fans see this season. The wins have been terrific and the climb in the standings a lot of fun, but the coach is running the daylights out of the top players and the one-goal margins of victory surely turns (or at least evens out) at some point. It’s a blast, this is fun, but are the Oilers in for a correction?

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: Contemplating Oilers roster changes as injured players prepare to return. 
  • New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Oilers are bending, but not breaking, in one-goal games under Ken Hitchcock. 
  • New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Kim Boutin: Amid threats, she took the short track to Canadians’ hearts. 
  • 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 31

  • Oilers in 201514-15-2, 30 points; goal differential -7
  • Oilers in 2016: 15-11-5, 35 points; goal differential +6
  • Oilers in 2017: 13-16-2, 28 points; goal differential -6
  • Oilers in 2018: 16-12-2, 34 points; goal differential 0

Edmonton is playing a superior team tonight (+20 GD and a home record of 6-2-3) and will be in a foul mood after getting thrashed by Tampa Bay in its most recent outing. If the Oilers win tonight, they would be on a trajectory to finish 45-32-5, 95 points. 

OILERS IN DECEMBER

  • Oilers in December 2015: 6-0-0, 12 points; goal differential +7
  • Oilers in December 2016: 2-1-3, seven points; goal differential +1
  • Oilers in December 2017: 3-3-0, six points; goal differential +4
  • Oilers in December 2018: 4-1-0, eight points; goal differential +5

There isn’t much to say here, December begins well for the McDavid Oilers. The collective GD is +17 and the cumulative record is 15-5-3. That’s a lot of victory. 

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 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

I picked the Oilers to lose tonight’s game, the Avalanche had a record of 15-6-5 at the time (Jets were 14-8-2, Oilers were 12-11-2). I don’t think Edmonton wins this one. Note: I predicted they would be 2-4-0 after tonight, so even with a loss the team would be two games clear of predicted. Month No. 3 and I have yet to get a handle on this team. 

NUGE IS GOING NOWHERE

How many players have more value to the Oilers than Ryan Nugent-Hopkins? McDavid, Draisaitl, Klefbom and now I’m out of names. The article suggests (I think) something around Torey Krug and Jake DeBrusk for No.93. That’s a lot of talent (I’m not suggesting that is the deal, just picking up the conversation from the Globe) but it still leaves Edmonton vulnerable. Here’s the suggested lineup:

  • Jake DeBrusk—McDavid—Chiasson
  • Rieder—Draisaitl—Puljujarvi
  • Khaira—Spooner—Caggiula
  • Lucic—Brodziak—Kassian
  • Zykov—Rattie
  • Klefbom—Larsson
  • Krug—Russell
  • Nurse—Benning
  • Gravel
  • Koskinen—Talbot

I’m a fan of both DeBrusk and Krug and would love to see them in Edmonton. The cost is too dear, in my opinion. DeBrusk is on pace for 29 goals, Krug is a power-play demon, I don’t believe Edmonton is better after the trade. The top line loses Draisaitl, the second line asks the big center to play a more defensive role. Nuge buys the opportunity to pair 97 with 29, that’s one of the best combinations in the entire league. 

NEVERTHELESS

This is the exact trade type Edmonton needs to at least ponder, as increasing offense while doing no harm to the defense and goaltending is the clear goal. How do they do it? My thinking is the first-round pick in 2019, not sure Edmonton is going to be better off dealing one of its best players. That said, dealing Nuge to Boston makes complete sense from Boston’s point of view and the team has lots of young forwards they can trade. 

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A strong group of guests help get us ready for a big night in the wide world of sports. Scheduled to appear, beginning at 10 this morning on TSN1260:

  • Jonathan Willis, The Athletic. Hitchcock for emperor, Oilers as a buyer at the deadline.
  • Micah Adams, Managing editor for Global Editions of NBA dot com/DAZN. Raptors and NBA.
  • Marc Moser, Avs play-by-play. What’s it like calling games that feature the world’s most offensive line?

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

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v4ance

Been turning around a grain of a thought for a while now. Finally think I’ve turned it into a small pearl…

A GM in the NHL is equal parts high stakes gambler and mutual fund manager. The assets you acquire and deploy are engaged in a zero sum game with only one winner in the end (Stanley Cup). The risk reward equation that you have to navigate is constrained by a league wide salary cap. When you sign contracts, you are trying to maximize your reward (goal scoring or defensive ability) whilst minimizing your risk (cap dollars).

As a GM, Peter Chiarelli needed to see the future. Or at least forecast it and plan for it. A big part of his failure was not seeing how he needed to manage the salary cap when he first entered the job.

On his first day, he knew he was being gifted the best new asset in a generation in Connor McDavid. During his ELC, McDavid would be the most high reward, lowest risk player available. Going into his second contract, the obvious play was to sign McDavid to the cheapest (yet still hefty) extension for the longest time which was achieved. Knowing he wouldn’t come cheap, a plan should have be outlined to fill the roster in with the most efficient use of the rest of the remaining cap resources.

I have to give props to Chiarelli for his work this year. Under extreme cap pressure (a self-inflicted wound), he managed to make a number of great value bets with the likes of Rattie, Aberg, Chaisson, Gravel and Reider.

The point I want to stress is that THIS IS EXACTLY HOW HE SHOULD HAVE BEHAVED SINCE DAY ONE on the job! Cap space is an asset! CAP SPACE IS AN ASSET! He should drummed this into his mind after his departure from the Bruins. CAP SPACE IS AN ASSET!

He walked into the job with about $20 million in cap room, two lines worth of all star offensive players and a bucketful of draft picks and fritted it all away on overpriced, underperforming, and immovable assets. He’s now down to one line of good/great offesive players and almost no maneuvering room with the cap or roster. A number of fans speculated how wonderful it would be to get a few “McDavid” discounts and instead of using that leverage, this GM absolutely shit the bed. It’s nice that he’s had his come to Jesus moment of financial prudence but its several years late and several million dollars short.

The overarching budgetary principle should have been, sign as few free agents as possible, for as little as possible and save the cap dollars for raises for your young players entering their prime productive years. The Toronto Maple Leafs will run into this conundrum in this next year because of misplaced deals for Marleau and Tavares. I think they’ll have a two year window starting this year to go for the cup before they price themselves out of the market for their own RFAs and UFAs. A cap system means you can’t collect all the shiniest toys but have to pick and chose only a few.

***

I read Andrew Ference’s comments yesterday and couldn’t help but think of sour grapes. His words showed exactly why he was the worst choice for Captain at that time. Instead of having someone who could command the room with respect and trust, he was petty and divisive. If your message isn’t getting through, you’re just beating your own head against a wall if you try to bash it in even more.

Ference needed to modulate his message and try find another way to convince the younger stars to buy in. We saw that team struggle because they were a collection of individuals all pulling in different directions. Even now you can hear the bitterness in the text as he continues to be the mouthpiece of the former coach railing against the injustice of it all.

dessert1111

With imminent returns of Rieder and Caguilla, and Sekera not far off, I’d be remiss to add a big piece at this point.

Something like Patrick Maroon for a 4th round pick seems like it could be realistic and offer some cover in case of more injuries.

Nuge leaves too big of a hole short and long term. He’s too important to this team to trade.

GP Oiler Fan

Interesting trade talk on Boston/ Edmonton. This could be something to ponder. I know that loosing Nuge is not ideal, but you have to pay to add that kind of depth. Very interesting to say the least.

Jethro Tull

That opening paragraph though. Wow. Repent ye sinners.

The high point of the season is a 1-0 win over Calgary? Look deep LT. Do you really believe that?

I’d be inclined to agree, had we PDO’d and lucked our way to the wins. But we’ve been playing stingy defensive hockey and winning the HDSC battles. Even if they get blown out tonight, they’re still ok.

I was, and in some small part still, sceptical of the Hitch hiring. He seems changed. Because you look at some of his previous pressers for his previous teams and it ain’t all Jolly Old Saint Hitch.

We marvelled for years at teams like the Preds and the Peg before their development systems started bearing fruit would play tight well coached games without much high end talent. Why not us?

Jethro Tull

Nuge for Krug may well be the last thing Chia ever does as GM.

The problem isn’t lacking a PP QB and shot from the point. It’s the fact it’s rarely used. We’ll trade for Krug and still watch them pass around the perimeter without a threat of a point shot to draw the D box out and it will have been a waste of a trade.

bendelson

Trade RNH and still have Russell playing 2RD?
Hard pass.

Woodguy v2.0

Western Conference Playoff Standings using Points Percentage expressed as games over/under fake Bettman .500

Central Division
WPG 9
NSH 9
COL 9

Pacific Division
CGY 9
SJS 5
ANA 5

Wildcard
DAL 5
EDM 4
————-
Out of playoffs
MIN 3
VGK 3
ARI 0
VAN -3
STL -4
CHI -8
LAK -8

Pacific & MIN/DAL games tonight:
ARI at BOS
LAK at BUF
VAN at CBJ
MTL at MIN
EDM at COL

COL is a team that kinda remsembles EDM in that they have a superstar driving the convoy and the rest of the team tries to break even.

This year COL’s 5v5 GF% is:

MacKinnon On 62.8%
MacKinnon Off 47.0%

EDM aspires to that and Hitchcock has them moving in the right direction “McDavid Off” wise

COL has been hot all year but cooled off recently.

PIT hung 6 on them a week ago and TBY scored 7 on Saturday (COL’s last game)

They can be had and they can give up goals.

Varmalov stared and finished the PIT game, while he started the TBY game and was pulled after 1 period (3 goals)

No word on who starts tonight for COL yet.

*clapclap*

Woodguy v2.0

Oiler Goal Share after 30 games (16-12-2)

Even strength (5v5, 4v4, 3v3):
McDavid On Ice 30-19 (61%)
McDavid Off Ice 27-38 (42%)
EV=0

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 -5

Woodguy v2.0

HITCHCOCK ERA:
Oiler Goal Share after 10 games (7-2-1)

Even strength (5v5, 4v4, 3v3):
McDavid On Ice 10-5 (67%)
McDavid Off Ice 9-10 (47%)
Net EV +4

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 +4

Kinger_Oil.redux

– Hey LT, I hope you don’t mind if I disagree with you and point out some inconsistencies.

– First you’ve defended many times when questioned that your view is to “keep powder dry”, then you say “This is the exact trade type Edmonton needs to at least ponder, as increasing offense while doing no harm to the defense”

– Second, your suggesting this is Peak Oil, and we should brace ourselves for a slide

– If Hitch is the guy, and we continue on this pace, we are a very good team (and don’t need trade)

– And if the team isn’t so good, and you think Chia should be fired, why would you advocate a big trade (when you’ve taken the time to clarify this a few times)?

– I don’t get it…

jtblack

“and I have yet to get a handle on this team. ”

You and every other Oilers expert!

IMO They are hard toget a gandle in becuase PC still hasn’t delivered balance to the roster. this leads to unpredictable results.

Edm plays well in COL. So I will call for a big win. 5-3 with an empty netter.

Craig Zonit

Jethro Tull:

I was, and in some small part still, sceptical of the Hitch hiring. He seems changed. Because you look at some of his previous pressers for his previous teams and it ain’t all Jolly Old Saint Hitch.

Sporting a 7-2-1 record since you took over will do that. And the combined goalie save percentages. Although I still think Hitch was elated to take over this previously oddly deployed group of players, the Edmonton McDavids.

v4ance

I love how Hitchcock has translated advanced stats in layman’s terms.

He loves to talk about controlling zone time which we measure using corsi%. One of the aims of many of the analytics is to find players who increase corsi for %. More zone time = more shots which should lead to more chances for and more goals for.

He talked about “controlling the play between the dots”. That’s basically shorthand for HDSC%. The more you control the danger area on the defensive side or penetrate the dangerous areas on the offensive side, the more you generate or deny high danger scoring chances.

Every shot is a bet. You can generate more favorable odds of winning the bet by going into to the high danger zones. Even if you can’t win every bet, you can try to make as many bets as possible and win by converting more bets than the other team. With a good defensive structure, you can minimize the number of bets the other team gets or decrease the number of dangerous high value bets that they can convert.

I also love that he’s trusting Pulijujarvi enough to learn how to be a PKer. I swear he sees the second coming of Jere Lehtonen in Jesse. If he succeeds in turning Jesse into an all situations two way player, we’ll be one step closer to being a great team.

Litke 94

I took some time to look over Bruins’ Twitter in response to the article mentioned above. It was quite interesting to note that the vast majority of Bruins’ fans were NOT in favour of trading Krug for Nuge straight up. Add a Bruins’ forward to the mix, and I could only imagine the response.

I guess that goes to show how under-appreciated Nuge is around the league. He is going to be an absolute demon for the next decade, at least. If I were the GM of any other team in the league, he would be near the top of my wish list.

v4ance

One last thought out of my sleep deprived mind before I head to bed.

It can’t be a coincidence that both our goalies are on Save% benders is it? It’s gotta be Hitch’s systems play that’s improved the defensive shield around the goalies, right?

Litke 94

Also wanted to note that there has to be considerable credit given to Hitch when it comes to the boost in goaltender performance. This boost happens in almost every city he goes to and it is easy to see why. Opposing teams are forced to dump it in and have one hell of a time retrieving it. It is much rarer, over the past 10 games, to see the opposition enter our zone with control, time, space, and options. Even if they do enter with control, they are shuttled to the side, pressured immediately, and left with little options to move the puck. Sometimes the boys get a little sloppy and they miss their checks, but that is to be expected.

That stingy structure and proper execution is helping the goalies in a big way. How many of the “first shot first goal”s from last year came from the opposition getting way too much time and space on their first zone entry of the game? Too many.

russ99

GP Oiler Fan:
Interesting trade talk on Boston/ Edmonton. This could be something to ponder.I know that loosing Nuge is not ideal, but you have to pay to add that kind of depth.Very interesting to say the least.

I’d expect more value and/or less cap coming back than that if we trade Nuge.

He’s our one trade chip that we can maximize value on, not to mention without trade protections.

IMO it would be best if we wait a year, since RNH has three years left on his contract including this one; he’s holding the fort at center at both ends of the ice without a replacement on the roster; the more he plays like Kesler at center the higher his trade value gets; and a Lucic buyout with a Russell or Sekera trade can loosen the cap enough to get us some help next summer.

oilersfan

My eye shows the hdsca to be much better than the non improvement that natural hat trick
Is showing.

Bruce if you see this could you tell us the scoring chances as tabulated by the cult of hockey from before and after Hitch?

jtblack

bendelson:
Trade RNH and still have Russell playing 2RD?
Hard pass.

PC tried to fix the RHD in 2015. He moved out a boat load of assets for a LHD to do it

So I wouldn’t be surprised if he added to the Leftorium ….. Nothing would surprise me.

jtblack

IF PC moves the 2019 – 1st rounder … I boycott …. for real

russ99

jtblack:
IFPC moves the 2019 – 1st rounder … I boycott ….for real

I think the second rounder or one of our two thirds with Benning and Caggila could get us back something decent.

Jethro Tull

bendelson:
Trade RNH and still have Russell playing 2RD?
Hard pass.

Perfectly put.

jtblack

KRUG – UFA in 18 mths.
DEBRUSK – RFA in 18 mths

Both prob get in the $5 – $8 Million. Meaning edm prob couldnt sign both. No need to move Nuge for a short term boost.

Victoria Oil

While I hope that this isn’t the high point of the season, I don’t expect us to continue at a 7-2-1 pace going forward. We’ve been getting by with great goaltending and 1-goal wins. We’re still not scoring enough, especially with the bottom 6.

Don’t get me wrong, I am very happy with the structure and attitude that Hitch has brought, but I see LT’s point that expectations should be tempered.

Never get too low when things are going poorly and never get too high when things are going well.

Litke 94

russ99,

I like this idea. Probably makes sense to try and run him w/ #97 again, pump his numbers, and trade him at max value with a pick for a more valuable piece, preferably on the backend.

jtblack

russ99: I think the second rounder or one of our two thirds with Benning and Caggila could get us back something decent.

I am OK with other picks being used as trade bait. But not the 1st.

2019 is a Strong draft year. Any pick in the Top 25 could net a game changer. (see 2015 draft)

Kinger_Oil.redux

russ99,

– Nuge is a little like Pool: high draft pick that hasn’t really shown elite offense (except that one year on the PP for Nuge. I think Hitch is onto something with the two of them together: a 3rd line that can defend and also score

– From the last thread: I think you go for the 3 C’s, and I know OP replied:

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

– Spare parts: Spooner, Zylov.

– You’ve got scoring on each line like this. Team doesn’t win a cup untill there are wingers who can play with the 3C’s IMO…

* where is VOR? I know he got into some dust-ups and I thought some were unfair to him: I hope he keeps posting…

Sierra

bendelson:
Trade RNH and still have Russell playing 2RD?
Hard pass.

Agreed, that type of trade only makes sense if a 2RD is coming to Edmonton.

giddy

Krug had 59 points last year as a dman, and is on pace for 63 this year. That’s unreal. Nuge has never had more than 56 points in his career (albeit since we’re prorating, he’s on pace for 71 this year).

I don’t know. In a perfect vacuum, Krug holds more value to me. Especially at his modest $5.25m cap hit. Add in DeBrusk and I think the Oilers would be robbing the Bruins blind on that trade. DeBrusk looked like a fantastic talent last year, and while this year things aren’t going so well, the Bruins outside of their nasty first line is Oilers-esq, and so well all know, unless your name is Crosby or McDavid, playing with plumbers is going to drag points totals down significantly.

Of course, like you mentioned LT, Nuge is a key piece to the puzzle when it comes to Edmonton’s forward core during this new Hitch era and losing him complicates things significantly. In the McLellan days, the Krug/DeBrusk for Nuge would be stellar for the McD line 1 Drai line 2 combo.

jtblack

Who is running our PP? still seems to be missing something IMO

jp

DeBrusk was Spooner’s most common linemate last year with very good results (together with Krejci). Pretty much every metric well over 50% (GF% was 68.0%).

Individually DeBrusk went:
70 16 27 43 +13 19 (2.38 5×5/60)

and Spooner in Boston:
39 9 16 25 +10 2 (2.49/60)
and overall:
59 13 28 41 +6 4 (~2.5/60). That’s a 57 Pts per 82 games pace.

They both outscored Krejci at 5×5/60 (2.03 on the year).

Interesting trade rumor for sure, and it could potentially help wake Spooner up. I think there’s still a very good chance we win the Spooner/Strome trade, despite the vocal crowd proclaiming it terrible based on early returns.

JimmyV1965

If the Oil make a deal, it has to involve draft picks, prospects and Talbot. We cannot afford to give up one of our three best forwards. It simply doesn’t move the needle forward enough.

Wolfpack

I do not want to trade RNH, I think his versatility is invaluable on this roster. However, I suspect that this is exactly the type of trade we would see if it were to happen. The fact that most Edmonton fans don’t like it and neither do Boston fans – that tells me it might be close.

Listening to Gregor and Strudwick discuss the Ference interview yesterday and the main question I have was, who was steering the ship? If the youngsters were out partying all night, the captain, the coach or the GM needed to intervene. To blame the kids years later seems kind of foolish when none of the “leadership” stepped up at the time to put a stop to it. I just couldn’t see something like that happening under Jason Smith’s watch, he would have been tucking those players into bed at 9pm on those road trips.

jp

jtblack:
KRUG –UFA in 18 mths.
DEBRUSK – RFA in 18 mths

Both prob get in the $5 – $8 Million. Meaning edm prob couldnt sign both.No need to move Nuge for a short term boost.

RNH is UFA one year later.

Re-signing Krug will definitely be tough, but DeBrusk’s next 18 months are going to have to be a lot better than the last to get himself 5M+

npanciroli

If you have a GM in desperate need of a center and asking for Nuge you bend them over and win the trade. None of this it could work ok type stuff.

jtblack

jp: RNH is UFA one year later.

Re-signing Krug will definitely be tough, but DeBrusk’s next 18 months are going to have to be a lot better than the last to get himself 5M+

Thats the catch 22.

If Debrusk plays well, he gets paid $5-$8. If he plays with McD, there is a good chance he scores lots = gets paid. If Debrusk struggles and becomes Ryan Strome 2.0, then we will lament it was a bad trade.

No way Edm can afford Krug. With the #’s you showed, Krug may het closer to $9 or $10 mil

giddy

v4ance:
One last thought out of my sleep deprived mind before I head to bed.

It can’t be a coincidence that both our goalies are on Save% benders is it?It’s gotta be Hitch’s systems play that’s improved the defensive shield around the goalies, right?

I’d say it’s a little column A , little column B.

Remember how good Elliot looked in St Louis, and then when he went to Calg, people called him a Hitch System’s Baby and they were correct as he crashed and burned, even behind one of the best d corps in the league? Jake Allen, Elliot’s replacement, posted his best numbers under Hitch and since has been extremely meh under Yeo. Lehtonen had averaged a .904 for three consecutive seasons and then posted a .912 under Hitch in Dallas.

I don’t doubt that both Talbot and Koskinen are on some sort of heater as I surely don’t expect either to keep up their respective SV% for the remainder of the year, but recent history has shown There’s Something About Hitch.

Victoria Oil

russ99: I’d expect more value and/or less cap coming back than that if we trade Nuge.

He’s our one trade chip that we can maximize value on, not to mention without trade protections.

IMO it would be best if we wait a year, since RNH has three years left on his contract including this one; he’s holding the fort at center at both ends of the ice without a replacement on the roster; the more he plays like Kesler at center the higher his trade value gets; and a Lucic buyout with a Russell or Sekera trade can loosen the cap enough to get us some help next summer.

Lucic buyout gives us minimal salary cap relief – not worth it. PC’s great negotiating skills made Lucic’s contract buyout proof.

With the recent Oilers-Bruins trade chatter, I think a Lucic-Backes trade might be more likely than a Nuge-Krug/Debrusk trade.

Backes is also making $6 million, but with shorter term. If we didn’t have to retain too much or throw in much of a sweetener, I’d be inclined to do it. If necessary, a Backes buyout would be much more palatable.

Wilde

If it’s DeBrusk that makes that deal very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very close for me.

jtblack

Woodguy v2.0:
HITCHCOCK ERA:
Oiler Goal Share after 10 games (7-2-1)

Even strength (5v5, 4v4, 3v3):
McDavid On Ice 10-5 (67%)
McDavid Off Ice 9-10 (47%)
Net EV +4

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 +4

Let’s see. What did Hitch see immediately; that TMac couldn’t.

1) Lucic out of Top 6 and off PP1
2) insert “Yesse” in a position he can succeed
3) Ride Koski as he was clearly playing better
4) ?
5) ?
6) ?

Not Rocket Science. Subtle, impressive moves that have made a difference

Henry

v4ance:
I love how Hitchcock has translated advanced stats in layman’s terms.

He loves to talk about controlling zone time which we measure using corsi%.One of the aims of many of the analytics is to find players who increase corsi for %.More zone time = more shots which should lead to more chances for and more goals for.

He talked about “controlling the play between the dots”.That’s basically shorthand for HDSC%.The more you control the danger area on the defensive side or penetrate the dangerous areas on the offensive side, the more you generate or deny high danger scoring chances.

Every shot is a bet.You can generate more favorable odds of winning the bet by going into to the high danger zones.Even if you can’t win every bet, you can try to make as many bets as possible and win by converting more bets than the other team.With a good defensive structure, you can minimize the number of bets the other team gets or decrease the number of dangerous high value bets that they can convert.

I also love that he’s trusting Pulijujarvi enough to learn how to be a PKer.I swear he sees the second coming of Jere Lehtonen in Jesse.If he succeeds in turning Jesse into an all situations two way player, we’ll be one step closer to being a great team.

I also like the way the Oilers are collapsing to the net as a structured unit more under Hitch. The Nuge’s goal against Minn being an example. The puck went into a pile from the point and Kharia picked up the loose puck between the hashmarks and skated it out hard with Nuge, JP trailing. Sure Dubnyk flubbed the dump in, but the Minn defense had a fire on its hands with the skating of the second line and not just Connor. It started with the defensive shell.

Dicky94

Wilde,

I agree. I like Nuge a lot but if you can add those two guys I think you do it. DeBrusk on McDavid s wing would be sweet. Louie wouldn’t be able to conrtrol himself during the games.

JJ

LOWETIDE SAID
My personal opinion? I would not trade Nuge, now or ever, and wouldn’t trade the first-round selection.

————————————-

This all day long!
Hitch has the team pointed in the right direction. Playoffs are a real possibility.

Jesse is getting better every game. Yamo, Bouchard, Benson, Persson, MacLeod are in the pipeline. Let them develop.

If you feel the need to trade serviceable players like Strome, at least wait until the trade deadline and get a great prospect and/or draft picks instead of a broken player.

Believing in your plan and having patience is a thing. Now is the time to enjoy the ride.

If Chia trades Nuge, you guys build the hanging platform, and I will drive to town to pull the lever.

jp

jtblack: Thats the catch 22.

If Debrusk plays well, he gets paid $5-$8.If he plays with McD, there is a good chance he scores lots = gets paid.If Debrusk struggles and becomes Ryan Strome 2.0, then we will lament it was a bad trade.

No way Edm can afford Krug. With the #’s you showed, Krug may het closer to $9 or $10 mil

Yeah but this works both ways. If DeBrusk plays well and earns 5-8M on his next deal, than he alone would be close to value for Nuge. And he’s still RFA in 2020, so you can move his rights if need be.

I agree Krug will be extremely difficult to re-sign. But he improves the D now. And might help the forwards score more. And as I mentioned, RNH is only signed one year longer, it’s not like he has a lifetime deal. Likewise, if Nuge plays with McDavid he’ll most likely price himself out of Edmonton in 2021. There’s potential problems everywhere.

This deal could be a solid win for the Oilers IMO.

JimmyV1965

I think the proposed trade is fair, but you’re just shuffling the deck chairs. We need to add talent, but we can’t do it at the expense of taking away talent. A team like the Leafs has so much talent that it can afford to trade good players. We simply don’t have that. To improve our roster today, the only choice IMO is trading picks, prospects and Talbot.

Wilde

Dicky94:
Wilde,

I agree. I like Nuge a lot but if you can add those two guys I think you do it. DeBrusk on McDavid s wing would be sweet. Louie wouldn’t be able to conrtrol himself during the games.

I was thinking more of my idea with 93-29-98 of having the 2nd, 3rd and 4th best forwards on the team on line two and two complimentary guys with McDavid.

So DeBrusk-Draisaitl-Puljujarvi.

Woodguy v2.0

bendelson:
Trade RNH and still have Russell playing 2RD?
Hard pass.

No shit eh?

I think the people “throwing things on the wall to see if they stick” have no idea that Sekera is due back in a couple weeks.

Does Peter add Krug to a line up of:

Larsson
Klefbom
Sekera
Nurse
Russell
Benning
Gravel
Garrison

I doubt it.

That said, if they move a LHD in a separate deal for a winger or RHD maybe I can see it.

Wilde

JimmyV1965:

I think the proposed trade is fair, but you’re just shuffling the deck chairs. We need to add talent, but we can’t do it at the expense of taking away talent. A team like the Leafs has so much talent that it can afford to trade good players. We simply don’t have that. To improve our roster today, the only choice IMO is trading picks, prospects and Talbot.

This is true as a principle, but DeBrusk may straight up be a better forward than Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. I’m not trolling, he might be.

McSorley33

Tory Krug:

2017- 59 points
2016 – 51 points
2015 – 44 points

RNH:

2017- 48 points
2016- 43 points
2015- 34 points

Now if you add a winger like DeBrusk to boot – you have to think about this at least.

2019 C’s

McDavid
Drai
McLeod
JJ