Layer Cake

The Edmonton Oilers are in a playoff spot today, but have a small problem: Half of its starting defense is disabled. If the team can find a way to get to Oscar while holding the playoff spot, I think they make it. That’s a tall order.

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: Total recall—Who should be next on the Bakersfield-to-Edmonton shuttle?
  • New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Oilers’ Rattie still figuring out how to play for new-old coach Ken Hitchcock.
  • Lowetide: No. 8 prospect Winter 2018: Kirill Maksimov.
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Condors coach Jay Woodcroft has a lifetime of hockey knowledge to share and the notebooks to prove it.
  • Jonathan Willis: The Ryan Spooner for Ryan Strome trade has yet to pay dividends for the Edmonton Oilers.
  • Lowetide: Ken Hitchcock, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and finding that elusive perfect fit on the Oilers No. 2 line.
  • Jonathan Willis: Milan Lucic should not be an everyday player for the Edmonton Oilers.
  • Lowetide: Oilers No. 7 prospect Winter 2018: Caleb Jones
  • Lowetide: Oilers No. 6 Prospect winter 2018: Cooper Marody
  • 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.

2018-19 LINES

I wanted to have a look at the lines being used by McLellan-Hitchcock in 2018-19, and will start with the most recent trios used in the Oilers last game.

  1. Nuge-McDavid-Puljujarvi 16 mins; 56.67 Corsi 5-on-5; 2-2 goals
  2. Rieder-Draisaitl-Chiasson 100 mins; 48.95 Corsi 5-on-5; 5-1 goals
  3. Lucic-Brodziak-Kassian 135 mins; 48.59 Corsi 5-on-5; 1-3 goals
  4. Caggiula-Spooner-Zykov 5 mins; 41.67 Corsi 5-on-5; 0-1 goals

The McDavid line has been high event, and the possession number is strong (surprisingly, not the case on all 97 lines this year). I’d like to see it again. The Draisaitl trio has been placed together a few times and with impressive goal results (a little shy in possession). No problem with that line.

The Brodziak line was low event but has sprung a leak in recent times, Kassian moving up at times. The Spooner line played the most recent game and there’s not much to recommend it. Spooner buyout: $1.33 million times two.

MORE 2018-19 LINES

  1. Chiasson-McDavid-Draisaitl 150 mins; 45.17 Corsi 5-on-5; 9-5 goals
  2. Lucic-Brodziak-Kassian 135 mins; 48.59 Corsi 5-on-5; 1-3 goals
  3. Khaira-Brodziak-Kassian 123 mins; 52.61 Corsi 5-on-5; 5-6 goals
  4. Rieder-Draisaitl-Chiasson 100 mins; 48.95 Corsi 5-on-5; 5-1 goals
  5. Nuge-McDavid-Rattie 84 mins; 51.39 Corsi 5-on-5; 3-2 goals
  6. Caggiula-McDavid-Draisaitl 77 mins; 58.33 Corsi 5-on-5; 6-4 goals
  7. Nuge-McDavid-Yamamoto 63 mins; 51.75 Corsi 5-on-5; 1-1 goals
  8. Khaira-Nuge-Puljujarvi 56 mins; 48.24 Corsi 5-on-5; 4-3 goals
  9. Nuge-McDavid-Draisaitl 28 mins; 51.67 Corsi 5-on-5; 2-0 goals
  10. Zykov-Spooner-Rattie 17 mins; 65.38 Corsi 5-on-5; 0-0 goals
  • All of these numbers are via Corsica.hockey and give us a nice overview of the season through Christmas.
  • The top line is scoring well but the possession number is a concern.
  • If the Oilers had the depth, running Khaira on the Brodziak line might be a fine idea.
  • If Yamamoto does get recalled, and I think it likely, I wonder if we see him placed alongside McDavid.
  • The Ryan Spooner acquisition remains a mystery wrapped in a riddle.
  • We’re at about the spot where Todd McLellan would put Drake Caggiula in a prominent position in the lineup. Will Hitchcock do the same?

2018-19 PAIRS

  1. Nurse-Larsson 135 mins; 42.08 Corsi 5-on-5; 6-8 goals
  2. Garrison-Benning 125 mins; 45.00 Corsi 5-on-5; 5-4 goals
  3. Gravel-Jones 53 mins; 54.70 Corsi 5-on-5; 2-2 goals

The current problems are reflected in these numbers, with the most experienced pairings underwater in possession. The third pair played more than the second pair in Edmonton’s last game before Christmas and that may continue. The Oilers need help, pdq.

MORE 2018-19 PAIRS

  1. Klefbom-Larsson 510 mins; 52.75 Corsi 5-on-5; 15-17 goals
  2. Nurse-Russell 410 mins; 47.66 Corsi 5-on-5; 11-12 goals
  3. Gravel-Benning 120 mins; 52.04 Corsi 5-on-5; 4-4 goals
  4. Nurse-Benning 98 mins; 48.13 Corsi 5-on-5; 8-5 goals
  5. Gravel-Russell 38 mins; 51.85 Corsi 5-on-5; 3-1 goals
  6. Klefbom-Russell 32 mins; 36.17 Corsi 5-on-5; 2-0 goals
  7. Gravel-Larsson 25 mins; 56.76 Corsi 5-on-5; 2-2 goals
  8. Nurse-Bouchard 15 mins; 61.64 Corsi 5-on-5; 0-2 goals

Klefbom-Larsson together are one of the keys for Edmonton, we’re going to see them together in a game for many weeks. Nurse-Russell and Gravel-Benning are probably the optimum combinations behind the Swedes, when all are healthy. Garrison and Wideman do not show up in a good way.

Problems

I have stated all year that the Oilers should keep their powder dry. The firing of Todd McLellan and the hiring of Ken Hitchcock suggests Daryl Katz is going to be more aggressive.

We’re weeks from Klefbom, but Andrej Sekera and Kris Russell should be back in January. Kailer Yamamoto is heating up in Bakersfield. I believe staying the course is the right thing to do.

Do the three losses leading up to Christmas force the team to address need immediately? What would it look like? Is there any hope for unicorns? More tomorrow.

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46 Responses to "Layer Cake"

  1. DBO says:

    Unicorns! The Balance photo tease again…..

    Merry Christmas everyone.

    And for Christmas, a RH 2nd pair dman, and one young winger to finally rise up and claim a spot in the top 6.

  2. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    I may be more patient that most, as I’d see if the boys can hold it together until the IR starts to thin out.

    Unless there’s a hockey trade to be made without sending away a core player, we don’t have much flexibility due to cap crunch and lack of assets.

    That said, I wouldn’t say no to Caggiula or Kassian for TVR or Pysyk or similar.

  3. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Also, hat tip to Woodguy for the recent Irish Whiskey recommendations.
    https://lowetide.ca/2018/10/22/when-two-worlds-collide/#comment-773234

    The missus was at Sherbrooke Liquor yesterday looking for Writer’s Tears (while holding a bottle of Tullamore Dew) when a real Irish woman mentioned her family drinks Redbreast. Must say, Redbreast is a fine dram. Easily my favourite of the year, and possibly in my top 3.

  4. drglen says:

    Remember thats a latte with cinammon

    Need a win

    No trades. Steady as she goes. Hitch needs to channel his inner tony larusa and manufacture some wins with this roster and every trick he knows

  5. OmJo says:

    Do the three losses leading up to Christmas force the team to address need immediately? What would it look like? Is there any hope for unicorns? More tomorrow.

    The cap situation (unforced error) makes a significant trade much harder. Chiarelli either call a GM while they’re going HAM during a Christmas party and offers them one of the bad contracts for their 2RD, or Chiarelli gets taken behind the shed and deals one of the 3 bonafide top 6 Fs on the team (nothing against Chiasson) for a 2RD, filling one hole while creating another in typical Chiarelli fashion.

  6. Ryan says:

    drglen:
    Remember thats a latte with cinammon

    Need a win

    No trades. Steady as she goes.Hitch needs to channel his inner tony larusa and manufacture some wins with this roster and every trick he knows

    The Oilers will have a bunch of dmen if/when everyone is healthy.

    I know Corsi isn’t cool anymore, but Gravel Jones is the best real cor pairing we have.

    Klefbom – Larsson
    Nurse – Russell
    Reggie – Benning
    Gravel – Jones

    When you look at that blue line, what stands out is the hole at 2RD obviously.

    After that, holy mackerel do we have a lot of left shot defensemen.

    Jones is looking good enough early to make things interesting for a possible trade that won’t happen.

  7. Brantford Boy says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:

    The missus was at Sherbrooke Liquor yesterday looking for Writer’s Tears (while holding a bottle of Tullamore Dew) when a real Irish woman mentioned her family drinks Redbreast.Must say, Redbreast is a fine dram.Easily my favourite of the year, and possibly in my top 3.

    That looks delicious online… turkey is at 171 degrees, but doubtful I’ll find a place that’s open for Christmas… probably just back to Spicebox and eggnog… cheers!

    I sure hope management doesn’t do anything stupid that hurts us in future drafts, like LT says, keep the powder dry and get that damn defense healthy again…

    Again, Merry Christmas all… enjoy your day!

  8. Ryan says:

    Is it just me or is Jones following the path of guys like Petry and Benning (initially) who play good right out of the box? Great to see.

    From our surplus of left shot dmen, the older guys have contracts that are tough to move.

    No way we can move Klefbom. Jones is exactly the player you keep…

    If we had a GM with a better history at making trades, Nurse would be a guy to consider moving since he has trade value.

    Peter usually deals from the top of the deck, so if he’s trading a d, it would be Klefbom unfortunately.

    Curious to see how our blue line evolves.

  9. drglen says:

    Yes. Jones does look good. Corsi shmorsi what i see is a pattern where the team cant establish a rhythm because of the zone breakout fail. (Or maybe that is corsi) weve got exacyly one guy (jones) who can do that. And we need exactly one more. At the risk of being bombed with snowballs. That guy is Bear.

    The only trade i thought possible. Was talbot to philly. Anybody else not in desperate need will. Again. Take pete to the shed for a beat down.

    I know bear will get “caved” but were already caved as a team. There will come a tipping point and bear comes up. Trade for 2d not happening

  10. Ryan says:

    drglen:
    Yes. Jones does look good.Corsi shmorsi what i see is a pattern where the team cant establish a rhythm because of the zone breakout fail.(Or maybe that is corsi) weve got exacyly one guy (jones) who can do that. And we need exactly one more. At the risk of being bombed with snowballs. That guy is Bear.

    The only trade i thought possible.Was talbot to philly.Anybody else not in desperate need will.Again. Take pete to the shed for a beat down.

    I know bear will get “caved” but were already caved as a team. There will come a tipping point and bear comes up.Trade for 2d not happening

    Indeed there’s a lot of guys pushing for not many vacancies.

    Jones, Bear, Bouchard, Persson…

    This puts pressure to identify the best guys and deal some of the surplus for the best possible return.

    You hope not to see another Gustafson scenario.

    The Oilers draft their 22 minutes a game top pairing dman who puts up 1.3 points per sixty at evens in the fourth round…

    Then lose him and get nothing in return.

  11. Buddy says:

    Merry Christmas LT and Merry Christmas to all Lowetidians!

  12. drglen says:

    or…..

    We start the game where McDavid, Caggula, and Spooner, all put on black facial warpaint ( aka football guys) .. then the opposition can’t actually tell them apart, they get confused, tricked, .. Pavelski thinks he’s dogging McDavid, but surprise, it’s actually spooner and McDavid draws 4th line opposition, … Goal! easy peazy.

    Alright a little Christmas Cheer.

  13. Oilbridge403 says:

    LT, Merry Christmas to you and your family! And to all of Oil Country too! Maybe it’s time to run 7D and 11 fwds until 77 & 2 are healty. Dress one less winter and allows 97/29/93 to he double shifted. With the 7D, have either Garrison or Wideman be the power play dman on the point. And have some the odd shifts on the 3rd pairing. By doing this, allows 25 to focus his min on 5×5 and PK. Garrison and Wideman are both right handed shots too!

  14. slopitch says:

    Merry Christmas LT and all!

    I think the oilers need to wait till the full team is healthy for 10 games before doing anything. I was hoping the last 10 games would proove they are ready but they have too many injuries now. Worse off we dont know anything because of thr injuries. Lets hope they can stay in the race.

    A spooner buyout seems like a no brainer. 1.3 gets you 3.1 in space? I doubt it but with NY taking the cap hit maybe that was the plan all along…

  15. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Top of the season to our gracious host & all who hang out here.

    Allan, my first reading of your morning post was aloud to my wife, she always enjoys your “special occasion” material. Got to the bit about the Oilers game on your first date, she said “he took her to an Oilers game?” & I go, “nope, pretty sure that one was in Chicago, a mid-week game, It was a ‘good tie’ in that we got the tying goal, Wayne with that patented 90-degree shift into the slot & quick shot against the grain, midway in the third. For some reason I remember Jim Robson calling that game.”

    (Of course you had spotted me the fact that 99 had scored the third Oilers goal, but not its placement within the game, but that mention of 99 was what triggered the memory.)

    S,o then I click on your link & of course much of it like the Robson part can’t be verified, but it was indeed in Chicago on a Wednesday night & it was indeed the Oilers who tied it on 99’s goal at 11:39 of the third. So i think I passed the test. 🙂

  16. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    For all the shit Benning gets chucked his way he’s the only Dman who is 50% GF or better on all 3 of his most common pairs.

    I agree with Ryan that if Jones progresses and Seksey is Seksey again then Nurse could be the one to trade to get the 2RD they’ve needed since they traded Gilbert.

    Bouchard will need time. Probably at least 2 years, maybe more before he can handle top 4 comp.

    Lots of PP time and On The Fly shifts with the top lines and you can feed him 18 min a night from 3RD.

    The 2RD needed to lock down the possession time and goal share of that 2nd pair is critical to the success of the team.

  17. slopitch says:

    I looked it up and strome has a cheaper buyout even with nyr absorbing 900k next year.

    Woodguy, im with you on nurse being possible. I was hoping Nurse for Parayko but who knows how much more STL would want. Sekera has some experience on RD too. He could be used as a bridge for bouchard if he returns in ok form.

  18. Lowetide says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    Top of the season to our gracious host & all who hang out here.

    Allan, my first reading of your morning post was aloud to my wife, she always enjoys your “special occasion” material. Got to the bit about the Oilers game on your first date, she said “he took her to an Oilers game?” & I go, “nope, pretty sure that one was in Chicago, a mid-week game, It was a ‘good tie’ in that we got the tying goal, Wayne with that patented 90-degree shift into the slot & quick shot against the grain, midway in the third. For some reason I remember Jim Robson calling that game.”

    (Of course you had spotted me the fact that 99 had scored the third Oilers goal, but not its placement within the game, but that mention of 99 was what triggered the memory.)

    S,o then I click on your link & of course much of it like the Robson part can’t be verified, but it was indeed in Chicago on a Wednesday night & it was indeed the Oilers who tied it on 99’s goal at 11:39 of the third. So i think I passed the test. 🙂

    Haha. I probably remember it because it meant I couldn’t watch it on ITV, PLUS I couldn’t just turn the radio on and listen to Rod. It was worth it, we’re spending our lives together, but it was still a risky bet. 🙂

  19. Reja says:

    Merry Christmas Oiler fans. All I want from Santa is a first round match up with the Flames.

  20. silasbengtsson says:

    What we need more than anything is some offensive depth. I’d be hitting up Detroit daily inquiring about a deal sending Spooner and a conditional 1st in 2020 (something around if Nyquist resigns) for Nyquist. An excellent mutli-dimensional producer that has a consistently high on-ice HD conversion rate and generates said chances at a top line level.

    Nuge- McDavid- Puljujarvi
    Zykov- Draisaitl- Nyquist
    Rieder- Khaira- Chiasson
    Lucic- Brodziak- Kassian

    I would love to put Khaira up with Drai, but we’d need him at C in this case. Ideally we could swap Caggiula out for a comparable player that’s a natural C (Jordan Weal, perhaps) to help secure our C depth a bit more and allow Marody the rest of the year in Bakersfield.

    I know it wouldn’t be exactly what we’d be looking for, but I’d pester Columbus to fill that 2RD spot. Nutivaara’s a left shot but seems to be playing a fair deal on the right side with Murray or Werenski and is posting some solid results last I checked. Considering his contract, I imagine he’d be tough to acquire but maybe the conversation can morph into Savard in the offseason to solve our short-term RD issue and their possible cap problem (resigning Panarin, Bobrovsky, Werenski, Murray or replacements for them).

  21. drglen says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    For all the shit Benning gets chucked his way he’s the only Dman who is 50% GF or better on all 3 of his most common pairs.

    I agree with Ryan that if Jones progresses and Seksey is Seksey again then Nurse could be the one to trade to get the 2RD they’ve needed since they traded Gilbert.

    Bouchard will need time. Probably at least 2 years, maybe more before he can handle top 4 comp.

    Lots of PP time and On The Fly shifts with the top lines and you can feed him 18 min a night from 3RD.

    The 2RD needed to lock down the possession time and goal share of that 2nd pair is critical to the success of the team.

    Nurse wont be traded. He bleeds oil. Too much stock in sekera imo. Benning agree. Actually quietly solid. Nope. Ride out the storm. 2rd not in the breeze.

  22. Todd Macallan says:

    Merry Xmas to all who contribute, read and help to create this wonderful space that has taken a piece of each of my mornings for countless years now, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Cheers!

  23. Todd Macallan says:

    Good Oilers news this morning, Bouch given a well deserved A for team Canada.

  24. leadfarmer says:

    I would love to hear the story about the Strome trade right before the Hitch hire.

  25. Lowetide says:

    If the Oilers ever decide to trade Nurse, and I don’t think they’re going to in the next few years, Kyle Dubas was general manager in Sault Ste. Marie during Nurse’s time there. He was very strong in his praise of Nurse (often referencing analytics) when he played in the Sault. That might be a fit.

  26. Glovjuice says:

    drglen:
    Yes. Jones does look good.Corsi shmorsi what i see is a pattern where the team cant establish a rhythm because of the zone breakout fail.(Or maybe that is corsi) weve got exacyly one guy (jones) who can do that. And we need exactly one more. At the risk of being bombed with snowballs. That guy is Bear.

    The only trade i thought possible.Was talbot to philly.Anybody else not in desperate need will.Again. Take pete to the shed for a beat down.

    I know bear will get “caved” but were already caved as a team. There will come a tipping point and bear comes up.Trade for 2d not happening

    So many here are terrified of Chia simply making a trade and when I say he is a bad GM I’m met with “wtf are you taking about, don’t be so negative”. It’s nonsensical and very contractory.

  27. drglen says:

    Glovjuice: So many here are terrified of Chia simply making a trade and when I say he is a bad GM I’m met with “wtf are you taking about, don’t be so negative”. It’s nonsensical and very contractory.

    well, he’s got some wins .. (finding Kosk, Alex, .. Hitch ( though I think he was directed to do that personally) .. and some minor losses ( Spooner.. Zykov we’ll see, Wideman.. ) that aren’t too consequential. To be fair, I don’t think you can win as a GM via trade unless you gamble. It’s either big win or big loss. But if you are a buyer, .. seller dictates terms and that scares me. The only legitimate asset we have, that is possibly win-win and something we don’t need and somebody else needs, is Talbot. Pete should wait for the next big goaltender injury before making calls.. I’m actually kind of serious here.

    Cap wise, .. Ok Toronto looking so good and Tavares really wanted toronto. That’s a blue chip overpay big time but, we for sure don’t want to be acting that way. Tavares could go Taves ( although great comeback year).. I don’t think there’s anything out there that’s not way overpriced, and that’s where Pete loses.

  28. Ryan says:

    slopitch:
    I looked it up and strome has a cheaper buyout even with nyr absorbing 900k next year.

    Woodguy, im with you on nurse being possible. I was hoping Nurse for Parayko but who knows how much more STL would want. Sekera has some experience on RD too. He could be used as a bridge for bouchard if he returns in ok form.

    Yeah that’s a good point.

    Spooner’s buyout is just over a million cap hit compared to half that for Strome which makes the trade even more perplexing.

    Heck of a gamble by Chiarelli in searching for a top six winger.

    They tried Spooner with McDavid and Draisatl for 16 minutes. Went 0 – 1.

    He played 43 min with Nuge our shot badly and went 0 – 4.

  29. Ryan says:

    drglen: Nurse wont be traded. He bleeds oil. Too much stock in sekera imo.Benning agree. Actually quietly solid. Nope.Ride out the storm.2rd not in the breeze.

    Agreed guys, I don’t think he will get traded either. I would consider it depending on the market and what Nurse could fetch in return.

    Rishaug said that if Chiarelli called about Parayko, “Armstrong would want Nurse and that’s a non-starter.”

  30. Reja says:

    Glovjuice: So many here are terrified of Chia simply making a trade and when I say he is a bad GM I’m met with “wtf are you taking about, don’t be so negative”. It’s nonsensical and very contractory.

    It’s quite odvious you haven’t been following the Oilers for very long if you think trading a mid first and a early second for Reinhart is the worst trade in Oilers history. Instead of bashing 80% of the team all the time tell me Boss who do you trade, fire, sign via free agency?

  31. Pescador says:

    drglen: Nurse wont be traded. He bleeds oil. Too much stock in sekera imo.Benning agree. Actually quietly solid. Nope.Ride out the storm.2rd not in the breeze.

    Not in the cards either apparently.
    I agree, they don’t trade Nurse.
    Not after repeatedly publicly stating he is part of the core. Plus I guarantee they view him as a value contract right now.
    Merry Christmas y’all

  32. Rube Foster says:

    LT,
    To you and yours I wish you the Merriest of Christmas!
    Thank you for all that you do.
    To the rest of you good folks, I hope that this day finds you in the company of good friends and/or family.
    To my mind, my big Oiler wish for Christmas is that Koskinen really is the second coming of Kiprusoff. If that’s the case we may actually survive the death march until half of our starting Defense returns and the second season just may be in the cards.

  33. Pescador says:

    Lowetide wrote:
    “We’re at about the spot where Todd McLellan would put Drake Caggiula in a prominent position in the lineup. Will Hitchcock do the same?”

    As infuriating as Cagg makes me while I watch him “defend”,
    I don’t wish for him to be pressboxed, I like some of what he brings in the Ozone & frankly there are not 12 better forwards on the team.
    Hopefully that changes, soon.
    I believe Hitch can see what Caggulia is and that’s all I want right now. A head coach that can tell the difference.
    Time to carve the gravy, Yippee!

  34. OriginalPouzar says:

    Hope everyone is having a great holiday!

    Thanks Lt for the platform, your insights and the Lowetide. Thanks to beeyine for creating a community.

    https://twitter.com/coopsie39/status/1077012005167472640?s=12

  35. Decidedly Skeptical Fan says:

    Glovjuice: So many here are terrified of Chia simply making a trade and when I say he is a bad GM I’m met with “wtf are you taking about, don’t be so negative”. It’s nonsensical and very contractory.

    Merry Christmas Glovjuice and good cheer to all.

  36. Decidedly Skeptical Fan says:

    Rube Foster:
    LT,
    To you and yours I wish you the Merriest of Christmas!
    Thank you for all that you do.
    To the rest of you good folks, I hope that this day finds you in the company of good friends and/or family.
    To my mind, my big Oiler wish for Christmas is that Koskinen really is the second coming of Kiprusoff. If that’s the case we may actually survive the death march until half of our starting Defense returns and the second season just may be in the cards.

    Nicely done … my sentiments as well. Merry Christmas all.

  37. flyfish1168 says:

    Merry Christmas everyone.

    I’m in the camp Nurse will not be traded. His toughness combined with his physical play is not duplicated by any other oiler dman. His fighting ability is also a plus to keep him. Jmho

  38. Ryan says:

    flyfish1168:
    Merry Christmas everyone.

    I’m in the camp Nurse will not be traded. His toughness combined with his physical play is not duplicated by any other oiler dman. His fighting ability is also a plus to keep him. Jmho

    If everyone is healthy, there will be a surfeit of left shot defenseman.

    If Sekera is 80% of what he was pre ACL and Jones continues, I could see the Oilers trading a left shot defenseman.

    I doubt a trade of Russell or Sekera could happen in season.

    Trading Jones would make zero sense for a multitude of reasons… he’s got his entire career ahead of him and he doesn’t have enough draft pedigree or experience to bring much of a return.

    Really, we’d be down to Nurse and Klefbom because they both have tremendous value.

    Last year, there were rumors that Klefbom was available if the Oilers could acquire a high end winger. Obviously the optics of this trade would be a disaster sine they’re not likely to get a better winger back than Hall. Though Ehlers would be interesting…

    https://www.thefourthperiod.com/feb-2018/oilers-willing-to-listen-on-klefbom/

    I’d hate to see the Oilers trade Klefbom.

    Not sure what the Oilers will do with Wideman or why Chiarelli traded for him. You wonder if he’s ever on the same page as his coach.

    Garrison would probably get placed on waivers.

    Maybe they just send Jones back to the Condors.

    With a healthy blue line, Chiarelli has some walking around money.

    Maybe he scratches that itch for a top six winger who can shoot or maybe he keeps his powder dry and fixes the logjam in the offseason.

    Klefbom – Larsson
    Sekera – Parayko
    Jones – Benning

    Or next year

    Klefbom – Larsson
    Sekera – Jones
    Russell/ Gravel – Bouchard / Bear / Persson

    3 pairs that all have at least one puck mover.

    With

    Ehlers – McDavid – grilled chees sandwich

  39. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Ryan,

    I love me a grilled chees sandwich

    Best with a pickle and 50:50 ketchup:sriracha.

  40. Wilde says:

    Here’s a double-feature for fellow psychopathic night-owls and later, regular regulars checking in tomorrow morning.

    In lineup projections, present or future, roster discussion and just the general ambience of narrative-building, I often hear and read people talking about our No. 98 as being a work in progress in the sense that not only will the player be better in the future than he is now, but that as deployed currently (with Nuge; McDavid or both) there’s a sacrifice being made that affects the team’s performance in exchange for the development of the player.

    I have an elephant’s skeleton of bones to pick with the traditional hockey media, two specifically come up here:

    1) There’s an always-applied (but often-false) hard dichotomy between playing younger players who are developing and playing veterans who are done developing, where playing the younger players will hurt your chances of winning for a payoff later.

    This isn’t a theory that never plays out in reality, but it seems to be applied to literally every single lineup and roster construction decision that features an age gap between deployment options, up to and well past the point of absurdity.

    With this roster and many others, playing the younger players /is/ playing the best players. It’s not either or. And because players develop with playing time, you can often deploy an optimal lineup for winning hockey games while featuring players that are currently developing. You often do not have to choose between development and winning, this is the case for the Oilers due to both the general talent level of their veteran players, and the shallowness of the pool of NHL-level veteran players.

    There is the factor that younger players are less consistent and don’t develop along stable trajectories (wink) but the average of their zig-zag performance level game-to-game can steer well clear (in the good way) of a veteran’s lesser but consistent contributions.

    Who is a better natural, right-shot RW on this team than Jesse Puljujärvi?

    By what measure is this the case?

    With that question, we come to…

    2) Are points meaningful or are they not?

    I hear two separate answers from the same, single sources depending on the conversation.

    When discussing the contributions of a defensively-conscious role-forward, or a forechecker, or simply any kind of complimentary player on a skill line, fans and media will lunge to the defence of guys who clearly contribute in ways that don’t reach the scoresheet.

    A player who disrupts an opposition cycle, or defuses a scoring chance, or generates a clean zone entry, or recovers a dump-in has generated value to the team. These traits are celebrated and cited as uniquely important factors when evaluating certain players, then thrown out when evaluating others.

    Yessa chips in to a ton of areas that don’t result in points, and yet some observers trash their own mantras in favour of pointing to points as the measuring stick of good hockey players.

    If we’re going to get empirical, consider the following:

    (metric – 97 with 98 / / without; 2016-2018; 378 minutes with & 2882 without; all 5v5)

    FF/60 – 53.04 / / 47.79

    GF/60 – 3.64 / / 3.46

    The line has been better with (mostly teenage) Puljujärvi on it.

    The sample size gets a bit smaller without Lucic on it, but they’re at a 4.15 GF/60 clip in those minutes.

    Either points are the ultimate metric or they’re not. I think they’re not, and I think if you’re interested in objectivity and pure results, you need to look further than points and with more than the eye-test.

    Puljujärvi is an NHL player, one of the better forwards on the roster as-is, and it’s completely fair to put him with 97 at this point in time if you’re interested in winning.

    I went to a pre-tournament WJC game between Slovakia and Canada in Victoria, here’s my non-conclusive findings –

    – Comtois was a man out there, and he made (Slovakian) people mad.

    – I can see why scouts like Barrett Hayton. Still convinced it was a reach.

    – Alexis LaFreniere is an utterly unique player and anyone trying to sell you an NHL comparable is misguided.

    – Evan Bouchard’s puck-moving is even more mystifying in person (esp. when near ice-level)

    – I went in thinking it would just be a throwaway game, but it was actually pretty informative because of the effort level of the Canadians before the game was out of reach.

    – I can see why scouts have issues with Owen Tippett, but I’d still have drafted him high. Best player on the ice until the game was (metaphorically) over, mailed it in afterwards, suspect he’ll be huge for the team in the real games

    – That new rule that people are afraid of didn’t come into play at all

  41. v4ance says:

    Russia Hockey @russiahockey_en

    It’s been confirmed that Klim Kostin will captain the under 20 Russian national team at the 2019 World Junior Championship, while Vitaly Kravtsov and Dmitry Samorukov wear the “A” on their jerseys https://t.co/GtY2H2erOY

    Another Oiler prospect gets a leadership position. Nice!

  42. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    flyfish1168:
    Merry Christmas everyone.

    I’m in the camp Nurse will not be traded. His toughness combined with his physical play is not duplicated by any other oiler dman. His fighting ability is also a plus to keep him. Jmho

    Larsson is much tougher on opposition forwards than Nurse.

    Larsson is Jason Smith levels of mean spirited work to get the puck back.

    Nurse is a better fighter.

    Here’s the 5v5 hits by Oiler Dmen this year:

    Adam Larsson 109
    Matt Benning 60
    Darnell Nurse 53
    Kris Russell 30
    Oscar Klefbom 17
    Kevin Gravel 14
    Jason Garrison 13
    Evan Bouchard 6
    Chris Wideman 4
    Caleb Jones 1

    Here it is again expressed as hits/game:
    Adam Larsson 3.03
    Matt Benning 1.94
    Darnell Nurse 1.47
    Chris Wideman 1.33
    Kris Russell 0.97
    Evan Bouchard 0.86
    Jason Garrison 0.76
    Kevin Gravel 0.67
    Oscar Klefbom 0.55
    Caleb Jones 0.25

  43. Glovjuice says:

    Reja: It’s quite odvious you haven’t been following the Oilers for very long if you think trading a mid first and a early second for Reinhart is the worst trade in Oilers history. Instead of bashing 80% of the team all the time tell me Boss who do you trade, fire, sign via free agency?

    Fire Chia now but maintain the drafting and AHL programs he built. Fire Nicholson. Trade Talbot to the blues for one of those 3 or so good young forwards like Thomas, that guy from the world juniors. Trad Nurse now while value is high. I would make a Drai version of the puppet Dougie (lol) Hamilton trade as well as we would get two guys coming back that would be GOOD top four top / top six guys.

  44. Glovjuice says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Hope everyone is having a great holiday!

    Thanks Lt for the platform, your insights and the Lowetide. Thanks to beeyine for creating a community.

    https://twitter.com/coopsie39/status/1077012005167472640?s=12

    Weird seeing the OP in the flesh. Sorta don’t like it actually.

  45. drglen says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    I like this hits per game stat.

    D men taking penalties these days for hits. Karlsson.

  46. pts2pndr says:

    Glovjuice: So many here are terrified of Chia simply making a trade and when I say he is a bad GM I’m met with “wtf are you taking about, don’t be so negative”. It’s nonsensical and very contractory.

    That may be the case but many of the same people have put forth possible trade ideas that are far worse. Everyone looks at two primarily two deals the Hall trade and the draft choices for a young D that is not an NHL player. What many are forgetting is that, since Chiarelli has been around the team longer his deals have been pretty decent. The problem early was the brain trust he was given to work with! Some of which had a history (negative with Hall) and or who had wanted to draft the never was defenseman first overall! Granted Chiarelli was responsible but there were influential people at the upper levels that effected his decisions!

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