Letting the Days Go By (Let the Water Hold Me Down)

by Lowetide

The Oilers were gunned down 4-0 at even strength in the first period last night, allowing fans to free their minds and think about the bigger picture, about the good things emerging in real time. Among the positives: Caleb Jones is taking more icetime and handling it well; the power play seems to have some impressive new wrinkles and the team had tremendous push back after the game was out of reach. You’d rather have the two points, but there were some positives.

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: Peter Chiarelli’s free-agent success in 2018 may dictate Oilers big money moves in the summer of 2019.
  • Lowetide: Total recall—Who should be next on the Bakersfield-to-Edmonton shuttle?
  • 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.

OILERS AFTER 37

  • Oilers in 2015: 15-19-3, 33 points; goal differential -18
  • Oilers in 2016: 19-12-6, 44 points; goal differential +6
  • Oilers in 2017: 17-18-2, 36 points; goal differential -6
  • Oilers in 2018: 18-16-3, 39 points; goal differential -3

It was a disappointing night, the game got out of hand late in the first period and Mikko Koskinen is now struggling. I’ve been arguing the Oilers should keep their powder dry, suspect that’s an easier argument to win this morning. And yet…..these are the Oilers.

If the team continues on this route, it would finish the season 40-36-6, 86 points. It would be an 8-point improvement year-over-year, while still qualifying as a disappointment.

OILERS IN DECEMBER

  • Oilers in December 2015: 6-4-2, 14 points; goal differential -7
  • Oilers in December 2016: 6-2-4, 16 points; goal differential +1
  • Oilers in December 2017: 7-4-1, 15 points; goal differential +8
  • Oilers in December 2018: 6-5-1, 13 points; goal differential +2

The Oilers have given much of it back now, the Hitchcock era that started so well now 9-6-2. Thing is, the coach is still making sense and the defense will get healthy. As I’ve been saying for some time now, this team won’t be good enough to chase down contenders from behind. They don’t have the horses. These four losses in a row over Christmas will cost them. The only question is how much? Stay tuned.

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 1-0-1)
  • At home to: Philadelphia (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 1-0-0)
  • On the road to: Vancouver (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 0-1-0)
  • At home to: St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Vancouver, San Jose, Winnipeg (Expected 2-2-1) (Actual 0-3-0)
  • Overall expected result: 7-6-1, 15 points in 14 games
  • Current results: 6-5-1, 13 points in 12 games

There isn’t much left to say. Are they trying their best? Yes. Slow start and some wobbly defense and goaltending (make no mistake, the Oilers were awful at times in the first period) meant no reward. They need better health, better players, more good forwards, so they can win this game next December.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Jones-Benning were strong, going 17-4 in 14:13, 9-1 shots and no goals, 2-1 HDSC. Jones has speed, but it’s more than that, he has adjusted quickly to the pressure of the NHL. He and Benning were very good, going 10-1 in 5:33 against Goldobin-Pettersson-Boeser. They were even 2-0 in HDSC against them! (McDavid helped).
  • Gravel-Wideman were 9-7 in 8:40, 3-6 shots, 0-1 goals and 0-2 HDSC. Imagine this team with a full boat and this pairing wouldn’t play, although that’s unfair to Gravel who has been a good soldier. Went 6-2 in 5:18 against Eriksson-Horvat-Virtanen.
  • Nurse-Larsson went 19-20 in 21:58, 11-9 shots, 0-2 goals and 3-4 HDSC. Some bad luck and wobbly goaltending behind them, but both men were ineffective on available pucks and loose on coverage. This team misses Oscar Klefbom in a gigantic way. Went 6-7 in five minutes against Goldobin-Pettersson-Boeser, 0-2 goals. This pairing is getting too much share in terms of 5-on-5 minutes.
  • Mikko Koskinen struggled, stopping two of six (.333), while Cam Talbot was solid in relief, stopping all 14 shots (including four HDSC).
  • NaturalStatTrick and NHL.com.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

  • Lucic-Nuge-Puljujarvi went 4-2 in 5:04 (Lucic), 9-3 in 9:58 (Puljujarvi), 10-3 in 5:19 (Spooner), 2-2 in 4:04 (Rieder), 9-2 in 3:28 (Zykov). Nuge: 3-1 shots, 0-1 goals (with Rieder and Puljujarvi) and 1-1 HDSC. The only point for the line came from the center on the power play. Line went 14-3 in 9:40 against Hutton-Gudbranson, the puck heading in a good direction. GA for this line was the the Pettersson goal. Hitchcock mentioned in the postgame he thought things got better when Lucic joined Nuge and Pulju, suspect we may see that trio on Saturday. I was hoping to see Khaira alongside Nuge and JP.
  • Zykov-Spooner-Rattie went 1-1 in 2:19, they didn’t play as a unit for long, owing to the Chiasson injury. Valentin-Spooner were 11-3 in 5:49, seemed to have some life (especially when playing with Nuge for 3:28, had 3-0 HDSC).
  • Chiasson-McDavid-Draisaitl went 18-13 in 18:07 (Draisaitl), 12-10 in 12:31 (Rattie), 8-2 in 3:18 (Pulju) and 3-1 in 3:43 (Chiasson). Went 8-10 shots, 0-1 goals and 2-6 HDSC. Line did most of their damage at 5-on-4. Went 9-8 in 12:03 against Edler-Tanev. McDavid had a tough time with Roussel, and went 0-1 in goals against him, 2-2 shots. McDavid isn’t getting the calls and physically challenging these agitators isn’t working, time for a brand new plan. The 5-on-4 success is a nice start. I thought Jesse played well with 97.
  • Lucic-Brodziak-Kassian went 14-11 in 12:49, 10-6 shots, 0-2 goals and 2-3 HDSC. Kassian is too good for this line, when he plays like he did last night. I think we’ve seen the last of this trio for a time, Hitch seemed to indicate same in the postgame.

THIS TIME ISN’T LIKE THE OTHER TIME

The four-game losing streak may have some believing this winter is similar to the last one, but I’m here to tell you it is not—at least not yet. Last year, the team twice lost 5-0 (December 31 to the Jets, January 2 to the Kings) and then topped it off with a mind-numbing loss to the Sabres on January 23. I wrote the following, next day:

  • The Edmonton Oilers can’t possibly be this bad. What a ghastly performance last night. There were times in the past, when this team, outgunned from man 1 through man 21, would at least work their collective nuts off for 60 minutes. Whatever happened to this team, enough. This team is unwatchable, incomprehensible and, incredibly, incapable, despite having the best player on the planet.

Last night, this edition of the Oilers set their collective jaws and went about doing the work of getting back into the game. I give them credit, the final two periods showed some real effort. You’d like to see the losing streak end on Saturday, suspect we might be looking at some time in January for the next win. Perhaps they’ll surprise us.

HOW SAUSAGE GETS MADE

It takes forever and there are false positives all over hell’s half acre. That’s what happens when you’re looking for a decade solution to a current problem. Here are the scoring totals for Edmonton’s young wingers October-December 1995:

  1. Todd Marchant 39, 7-6-13
  2. Miro Satan 26, 5-6-11
  3. Marius Czerkawski 29, 3-5-8
  4. Kirk Maltby 39, 2-6-8
  5. Dean McAmmond 11, 3-2-5
  6. Ryan Smyth 23, 1-2-3
  7. Jason Bonsignore 20, 0-2-2
  8. Tyler Wright 20, 1-0-1
  9. Dennis Bonvie 8, 0-0-0

That’s a lot of talent trying to find its way into regular duty in the NHL, I count eight men who enjoyed NHL careers plus a helluva go-cart driver. Not bad. It didn’t look so promising on December 31, 1995.

HOW SAUSAGE GETS MADE, 2018

  1. Jujhar Khaira 33, 2-11-13
  2. Drake Caggiula 28, 7-3-10
  3. Jesse Puljujarvi 26, 3-2-5
  4. Ty Rattie 21, 2-2-4
  5. Kailer Yamamoto 12, 1-1-2
  6. Cooper Marody 6, 0-0-0
  7. Patrick Russell 6, 0-0-0
  8. Valentin Zykov 5, 0-0-0

It’s easy to watch a game like last night and come away thinking Jesse Puljujarvi should be traded today. It’s folly. He may not work out, he may emerge with holes in his game (I still don’t know how many goals per 82 games he’ll score, the current number is 11) or he may be a modern power forward for 15 years. You can’t Satan him now, it’s too damned dangerous. I encourage you to look at some of the numbers from 1995, some of those players had been knocking on the door for 2+ seasons, and then revisit the current names. There’s a reason ‘how sausage is made‘ doesn’t get a lot of views, but it’s still damned important.

It’s vital that we understand that every offensive opportunity Jesse Puljujarvi experiences, every sortie Caleb Jones defends, is getting each man closer to his destination. It’s easy to be critical, hell the year Ryan Smyth scored two goals no one could have predicted he would pop 39 the following year. Kids will surprise you. Take it from a parent.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A short week ends with a terrific group of guests, it’ll be wildly entertaining if the host doesn’t screw it up. At 10, TSN1260, scheduled to appear:

  • Steve Lansky, Big Mouth Sports. World Juniors, Oilers, Lansky’s rocking new year!
  • Kris Abbott, OddsShark.com NFL and College bowl games.
  • Matt Iwanyk, TSN1260. Is it coaching or personnel when it comes to the Edmonton Oilers?

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

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Glovjuice

OriginalPouzar:
Oil Country appears to be in a state of disarray – good time for this fan to be away.

Off the boat and at the Shangri-La in Colombo for a few day – contemplating waking at 2:30am to tune in to the big game today (12.5 hour time difference).

The wife will NOT be happy if that happens, however, truth be told that is the exact time I wake up each and every day, 7 days a week, when at home to be at the gym for 3 and, for the last 6 days have slept in until 6am on the boat.

Go Oilers.

If anyone cares about the the travels:

https://twitter.com/coopsie39/status/1078489817460154368

https://twitter.com/coopsie39/status/1078831873789431809

Shirtless person levity is the required antidote for this blog’s deathmarch blues.

frjohnk

OriginalPouzar:
Oil Country appears to be in a state of disarray – good time for this fan to be away.

Off the boat and at the Shangri-La in Colombo for a few day – contemplating waking at 2:30am to tune in to the big game today (12.5 hour time difference).

The wife will NOT be happy if that happens, however, truth be told that is the exact time I wake up each and every day, 7 days a week, when at home to be at the gym for 3 and, for the last 6 days have slept in until 6am on the boat.

Go Oilers.

If anyone cares about the the travels:

https://twitter.com/coopsie39/status/1078489817460154368

https://twitter.com/coopsie39/status/1078831873789431809

Cool stuff OP.

safe travels.

OriginalPouzar

Oil Country appears to be in a state of disarray – good time for this fan to be away.

Off the boat and at the Shangri-La in Colombo for a few day – contemplating waking at 2:30am to tune in to the big game today (12.5 hour time difference).

The wife will NOT be happy if that happens, however, truth be told that is the exact time I wake up each and every day, 7 days a week, when at home to be at the gym for 3 and, for the last 6 days have slept in until 6am on the boat.

Go Oilers.

If anyone cares about the the travels:

https://twitter.com/coopsie39/status/1078489817460154368

https://twitter.com/coopsie39/status/1078831873789431809

gwdsfo

Maybe some framing for tomorrow’s Saturday Sports Extra Show? Possible trade conjecture could focus around what ifs on Stars Players:
1. Dallas: Oilers:
Seguin _______
Klingberg _______
2. Benn _______
3. Behn _______
Klingberg _______

Wilde

YKOil: Would not trade for Nolan Patrick.

Yeah, it would depend on a few things.

He definitely scares me as an asset though, for two reasons:

1) Injuries

2) I can’t tell how much his numbers were goosed in those D-minus-one and two years where he played on 48 and 53 win Wheat Kings squads with two 19+ year olds at 5v5 and a Provorov/Pilon powerplay.

His 5v5 P1/60 went down significantly from 2015-16 to 2016-17, uniformly with his team and linemate strength.

Like, that’s understandable but it does tell you it’s more prudent to judge him as the guy who went 0.61 5v5 P/GP and 2.22 P/60 as a 17 year old than the guiy who went 0.72 and 3.01 by those metrics as a 16 year old.

Especially when there was other guys driving the bus on his line both years.

There’s a bit of a dark cloud over his 5v5 scoring, but I imagine he’s entirely carriable and could hit 60+ pts if you have a strong enough winger(s).

Which isn’t exactly a precise match for the Oilers unless you see Leon as a wing.

Would cost you more than 98 though I think.

jtblack

YKOil:
Would trade Pulju in the right deal.Would not trade for Nolan Patrick.

Honest Question. Why Not?

YKOil

Would trade Pulju in the right deal. Would not trade for Nolan Patrick.

jtblack

Pescador,

“We have the best hockey player of a generation.” – Cagguila

Grateful !!!

drglen

Wilde:

I would call up Gambardella, play him with Brodziak and Kassian and sit Milan.

That’s also a good idea. Woodcroft is high on Gambardella.. it seems when he’s interviewed.. Gambardella is the guy he says is going well. I think they like Russell ahead of him, but, there’s a guy who really has earned it and that line you describe might just work!

I hope he does get called.

Pescador

Genjutsu:
I understand people are passionate about this team and frustration and piling losses are hard at any time of year. Christmas can add a lot more to this negativity and displaced aggression is a thing that rears its ugly head sometimes.

Let’s all try and temper our anger and be grateful for the things we are blessed with.

We have the best hockey player of a generation. Again.

And we have the best hockey blog and the best host with the best posters.

Thanks LT for everything.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays and New Year to all.

Well said

Pescador

Gerta Rauss: She sang the chorus in Games without Frontiers as well

Yes, she was so popular

Glovjuice

Gerta Rauss: It’s very, very good

Hounds of Love is better imo

Hounds is good but not better IMO. Both awesome though.

drglen

Gerta Rauss: She sang the chorus in Games without Frontiers as well

Yes, I forgot about that. Very interesting song and mix,

Gerta Rauss

drglen: Don’t give up, with Peter Gabriel… huh? huh?

She sang the chorus in Games without Frontiers as well

drglen

Don’t give up, with Peter Gabriel… huh? huh?

Ok .then, .. I think that’ another latte for me. Such a beautiful haunting song, and strangely appropriate.. for this moment. … lol

Glass half full brothers and sisters, let’s rock n roll.

Gerta Rauss

Glovjuice:
My Gawd. Is The Kick Inside by Kate Bush ever perfect. What a genius.

It’s very, very good

Hounds of Love is better imo

drglen

Hail Mary indeed, earlier than I thought, but Hitch is pretty good reading tea leaves. Tomorrow will be a very interesting day, can’t wait to hear what he has to say.

rope-a-dope

It’s as if building a strong contender is some sort of impossible puzzle for the Oilers org to solve. Even with the personnel they have now, this season looks certain to be another on the bubble. Incredibly frustrating because by and large, the teams with the best forwards contend in the NHL.

Management / decision making / strategy remains the absolute achilles heel of this team. Poor quality player assessment across trade and free agent channels has led to an overall stagnation in the quality of the player group which has been apparent in this last run of games with no depth for covering injuries and no secondary scoring.

How do you fix it though? The cronyism of the first (failed) rebuild is mostly gone however I wonder if the by committee decision making is still there and leading to sub optimal outcomes where no true accountability is assigned. Would love to know how the hockey decisions are truly made.

Dicky94

When does the trade freeze end?

Genjutsu

I understand people are passionate about this team and frustration and piling losses are hard at any time of year. Christmas can add a lot more to this negativity and displaced aggression is a thing that rears its ugly head sometimes.

Let’s all try and temper our anger and be grateful for the things we are blessed with.

We have the best hockey player of a generation. Again.

And we have the best hockey blog and the best host with the best posters.

Thanks LT for everything.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays and New Year to all.

drglen

Wilde:
He’s (Yamamoto) has been called up.

I think it’s premature; if it’s about scoring they should consider that Yamamoto has not established himself as a strong 5v5 option in that area yet in the AHL.

I would call up Gambardella, play him with Brodziak and Kassian and sit Milan.

Something like…

Spooner – McDavid – Puljujarvi

Rieder – Nuge – Draisaitl

Gambardella – Brodziak – Kassian

Caggiula – Khaira – Rattie

Khaira and Spooner should be flipped but the HC doesn’t trust Spooner between the dots.

Yamo called up hey… ? Well i’m just going to go get myself a cinammon latte for no particular reason, right now…. !

Well, … why not, but a case could be made.. for calling up that whole kid line.. ( is that Benson, Marody, and Yamo..? ) I see Marody as the more urgent call right now, .. but we may yet see the trio.

Alrighty then.. let’s get this party started. Yee Haw.. Let the kids play man. ..

( p.s. don’t forget to bring up BEAR..)

pts2pndr

BONE207: Well if you are including beer prices, you have to include inadequate bathrooms.
I’d include cheerleaders as well. Huh…

Lack of bathrooms necessitated the beer prices!?

106 and 106

Oz,

Totally folks. Hockeying should be fun.

If the Edmonton Oilers are causing you too much stress this 4 game losing streak, take a few days off and come back.

Wilde

He’s (Yamamoto) has been called up.

I think it’s premature; if it’s about scoring they should consider that Yamamoto has not established himself as a strong 5v5 option in that area yet in the AHL.

I would call up Gambardella, play him with Brodziak and Kassian and sit Milan.

Something like…

Spooner – McDavid – Puljujarvi

Rieder – Nuge – Draisaitl

Gambardella – Brodziak – Kassian

Caggiula – Khaira – Rattie

Khaira and Spooner should be flipped but the HC doesn’t trust Spooner between the dots.

Pescador

drglen:
Admiral Ackbar,

the cult of hockey video podcast from today’s journal. Staples eyes.. they be exasperated re Milan.

Hungry Eyes?

drglen

Admiral Ackbar,

the cult of hockey video podcast from today’s journal. Staples eyes.. they be exasperated re Milan.

drglen

actually called up? or we are considering he should be called up?

Pescador

Wilde:
Where are we on the Yamamoto call-up?

I think it’s bad.

Ha, it’s bad for 2 reasons
Yammo’s development,
Oilers forward prospect depth is not good

Glovjuice

drglen: No, he hired a stanley cup winner and the director of hockey canada.That’s hardly reckless or ‘not caring’.I’d like to see Chiarelli survive to see the fruits of the drafting and scouting, at which time we’ll praise Katz for putting the right people in place and letting them do their job.

but.. first they have to wina game.

We’ve seen the fruits of trading heart winners, two picks in the best draft ever etc. No more needed.

Numenius

Primetime,

knighttown,

Oh, I’m sorry, I see what was meant now. My bad. Thanks for the clarification!

Wilde

Where are we on the Yamamoto call-up?

I think it’s bad.

Glovjuice

Dicky94:
Rube Foster,

Peter should have been fired the same day as Todd.If Katz and the rest of the organization can’t see what Chia has done to this team then prepare yourself for more of the same. He should not be in control of this team anymore. I’m glad the MSM are finally starting to pile on him.He needs to go ASAP because this is going to take a couple of years to dig out of. Not sure if some fans or players can wait much longer.

Thank you, Dicky. Keep it coming.

Glovjuice

Bag of Pucks: I suspect you’ll get your wish precisely because of the bias I’ve cited. Chiarelli, and the fanbase, are more worried about the potential downside of selling Puljujarvi too soon than they are enticed by the potential upside of selling him before it’s too late.

Would you trade him to Philly for Patrick straight up?

</blockquot
Yikes

Glovjuice

Bag of Pucks:
I think one of the biggest cognitive biases GMs (and fans for that matter) propagate is overrating their own players and prospects. This issue is compounded by the fact that GMs are very fearful of giving up on prospects too soon as A) the optics are bad when you do and the players excels in his environment (ie Hall wins the Hart), & B) dumping a dormant stock early runs counter to the image of the prudent patient manager. It’s interesting how these fears are propagated as well as there was zero evidence that Hall was trending into Hart calibre territory and the player himself now admits he’d tuned out the coaches in Edmonton, but win the trophy he does and suddenly every GM grasps their own players just a little tighter for fear of losing the trade and the very public embarrassment that goes with same.

As a result, we see Reinhart two years removed from his draft and we quickly conclude the trend line indicates a prospect not worth acquiring. But when this disappointing trendline is applied to our own prospects, ala Puljujarvi, we foolishly counsel continued patience while the asset value continues to rapidly plummet. The amount of denial required to maintain this bias is pretty substantial especially as the likes of Laine, Dubois and Keller all matriculate.

What this bias inevitably creates is ‘powder dry’ inertia. Trades can never be ‘won’ because of this internal overvaluing of assets so you sit on your hands and do nothing.

But right now, Puljujarvi is Griffin Reinhart. He may pull out of it or he may not. But the key mantra in asset management is to maximize your wins and minimize your losses. Selling Yakupov low on Puljujarvi is not a mistake this team can afford to make. And based on his post draft seasons, he’s not looking a strong contender to hit his projected draft ceiling. The good ones typically find their way quickly and betting on the outlier is very very risky.

If Chiarelli can turn this prospect/suspect into an actual Top 6 contributor or Top 4 RHD, he should do so ASAP.

agreed.

Glovjuice

Pescador: Drafting Yak didn’t help, price paid for Rienhart,
Downgrading Hall to Larsson is a huge reason why the Oil can’t score.
Turning Eberle into Spooner is another.
How have the Leafs shot themselves in the foot since committing to the rebuild?

No moves as bad as ANY of these you make note of here. So, the answer is they haven’t.

Bag of Pucks

Lowetide: Why on earth would I want Chiarelli to do nothing to improve his job security? Seriously, Bag of Pucks, that’s a little outside normal in terms of issue framing.

Fair enough. Cast the final speculation aside then. Why is it then the right call to keep ‘the powder dry in light of the additional context’ I’ve added today?

The JP trendline aside, logic would seem to dictate that keeping your powder dry is the right call until it’s not. If the right opportunity presents itself, why should the GM cling to status quo?

Treliving made a hockey trade with CAR that thus far has improved his team’s fortunes. With the right dance partner, I’d like Chiarelli to at least entertain the possibility of doing the same.

Glovjuice

Woodguy v2.0:
Bag of Pucks,

Hall. Seguin. Lindholm. Sometimes these prospects benefit greatly from a change of venue. Added motivation perhaps?

Hall was as good in EDM as he’s been in NJD except for a 5v4 heater last year.

This is known.

Seguin’s 5v5 GF% in his last two years in BOS were:

11/12 62.8%
12/13 72.0%

He was the goods when Pete traded him too.

“Change of scenery” is just a trope used to make people feel better about terrible trades in many cases.

2 of the 5 worst trades in the last 10 years.

Bag of Pucks

Woodguy v2.0:
Bag of Pucks,

Burnt by drafting one too many smallish players, the Oil addressed an area of need to draft a C with size and in the process correctly identified the player with the better 5 tool package and thus higher ceiling.

EDM’s draft record forever was drafting size over skill.

Like ever year from 1998 to 2017

Jordan Eberle – 2008
RNH (not short but definitely skinny) – 2011
Nail Yakupov – 2012
Kailer Yamamoto- 2017

Glovjuice

OmJo: Kevin Lowe has been the best GM we’ve had since… Kevin Lowe.

*ducks*

I agree. That 06 run was/might be the golden age for many fans. Even ONE run like that creates a lifetime of memories. Underrated how an experience like that adds value to lives (well, for fans of a team, anyway).

BONE207

Bag of Pucks: So if we don’t have the same amount of intel that Chiarelli does, how can we counsel to keep his powder dry as being ‘the right call here?’ Given we’re not privy to the opportunities that cross his desk, it seems like hubris to limit the org in this way based on our own limited intel and clear bias towards the players for which we’re most familiar.

If Chiarelli has an opportunity to win a trade today and improve the club tomorrow, why is that not a right call?

I suspect the honest answer is something along the lines of A) I don’t trust this GM to make a trade, and B) I don’t want him doing anything that would improve his job security.

So you’re saying we shouldn’t be putting up the Jumbotron at Rogers? Oh oh…

Glovjuice

My Gawd. Is The Kick Inside by Kate Bush ever perfect. What a genius.

Admiral Ackbar

Glovjuice: Perfectly said. This ORG is lazy. Get better players, even a frickin little better players, and keep said fuckin players. Death by a thousand cuts is so accurate. Ironic who said it though, eh. Wow.

I think the “death by a thousand cuts” is how PC sees it and it’s a cute sounding cliche. They’d be able to endure those thousand cuts if they hadn’t dumped real assets for pennies on the dollar. PC left the team vulnerable to these insignificant cuts. And a a few more than expected have crushed this team for likely another season.

He deserves no more reasonable doubt.

drglen

Glovjuice: What ? He’s hired a terrible management team. That’s what. Yikes.

No, he hired a stanley cup winner and the director of hockey canada. That’s hardly reckless or ‘not caring’. I’d like to see Chiarelli survive to see the fruits of the drafting and scouting, at which time we’ll praise Katz for putting the right people in place and letting them do their job.

but.. first they have to win a game.

Glovjuice

New Improved Darkness:
If I’ve learned one thing from Lowetide over ten years, it’s that “heads must roll” is the eternally popular bang-it-up-the-boards. No need to look for a creative outlet pass, job #1 is to advance the puck north.

After a decade of rolling, rolling, rolling there’s now only one head left that doesn’t smell like a fifth retread—look up, look way up—and it’s his totem pole.Good luck with that.

Boys go through a phase around the age of 12 where the world works exactly the way you think it ought to. Someone at my school had a deck of cards featuring all the most famous military aircraft ever produced, providing six statistics for each plane: top speed, top altitude, maximum payload, flight range, and surely also two numbers akin to girth and length of the k k k k k k canons.

I think both players started with half the deck face down. On each turn, you would both draw the top card from your own deck, and then the player with initiative would choose one of the six vital statistics, and then whoever had the best number for that statistic would win both planes (to be replaced at the bottom of you deck). The person with advantage won about 80% of the time. But sometimes you pulled up a ham sandwich with wings—some Russian calamity whose principle virtue was that a hundred hardy Russian peasant women could assemble one with spit and spinach while the actual factory itself was packed onto the back of a train, beating a hasty retreat to the hinterheartland—in the winter of Russia’s soul, even the emergency getaway freight train had a production quota en route.

All I remember is that if you had the SR-71 and the B-52 and a couple of Messerschmitts rotating through your deck, you opponent would find himself stiff legged pretty quick.

So anyway, the game wasn’t strategically nuanced (you did get a feeling for which killer planes were cycling back to the top, so sometimes you guessed the match-up rather than automatically whipping out your biggest dong). But you played it every recess and lunch break, anyway, because this was surely the way God intended to world to work.

It was no accident that your favourite sports teams also contained an SR-71 and several B-52s and a useful complement of Messerschmitts (though sometimes the Messerschmitts had more ä and fewer ü).

I don’t think the human male ever fully outgrows this view of the world. This silly card game was whist, whereas the adult version is bridge.

But the actual reality of becoming a GM is that your fist full of cards is not your primary concern. Your primary concern is navigating the narratives that get woven around how you choose to deploy those cards.

We weave those narratives ourselves on the forums all day long: heads must roll, pump and dump, stay the course, jettison the ballast, prospects positioned to succeed (beware that foreplay can last anywhere from minutes to years, and that the blue-chip blueball endurance of juvenile silverbacks—vertiginous rookies of the penthouse Thunderdome—is just more banging it up the boards; same basic play, now adorned with tighter ties and wingtipped shitkickers).

Every GM has a narrative deck. If your deck is small, don’t expect to find the Hitchmas narrative in your xmas stocking. But you might have an SR-71 in there that your opponent has yet to snag, and maybe an excess of B52s in an era where “payload” has now been crossed off the menu of the original-six vital statistics. As every up-to-date twelve-year-old knows to the core of his being, the B52 is so passé in controlled jukes per 60 that they’re barely worth stripping for parts. You’ve got a problem. Even if you manage to unload all the B52s (this would bring around the glorious SR-71 far more often) your deck is now so slender that your opponent has memorized your batting order.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking of this deck as containing actual planes. But it actually contains narratives, and the planes I’m talking about are merely metaphors for narratives. The SR-71 is not Connor McDavid, is the narrative of the speedy rebuild because world & dog is drooling to homer discount for a shot to play on McDavid’s wing: rebuild narrative Mach 3.

We’ve had two narratives of glory since forever. The first time, just as we peaked, we took one right in the Pronger. The second time, just as we lost our composure completely, we took a pair of rabbit kicks to alternate Seksy orbs.

What are the narrative optics for 30 other GMs in the league when contemplating a risky swap for Oiler cast-offs? (PJ’s draft pedigree would qualify him as a cast-off of the highest order.)

You pull the trigger on this, and any other damn thing goes wrong—your #1 goalie suddenly clutches his groin—and who knows if you’ll ever again pull out of this smoking, narrative stall.

Of course, there will always be a Woodguy out there, measuring twice and cutting once. But, unfortunately, banging it up the boards generates a drum-like cone of silence concerning any other play: pitchforking toward the polestar, morning, noon, and night. Narratives of extenuating circumstances soon find themselves warming the bench—a very long bench, with the useful end nestled deep inside the Siberian hinterheartland.

Damn! You’ve captured my Alamo!

Heh heh heh chortles our inner twelve-year-old. Hand me your card.

Absolutely brilliant. Incendiary in the extreme. What a genius writer you are. #IQ

Bag of Pucks

Lowetide: As it is his full time job, I think a continually updated report on every player in the NHL would be required reading for the general manager. The Oilers certainly have the resources, and much of the math information is easily available and compiled. Combine that with a pro scouting update every few weeks and it’s reasonable to assume Chiarelli would have a far better idea about Patrick than any of us. I don’t think any of that qualifies as a tough gig, just due diligence.

So if we don’t have the same amount of intel that Chiarelli does, how can we counsel to keep his powder dry as being ‘the right call here?’ Given we’re not privy to the opportunities that cross his desk, it seems like hubris to limit the org in this way based on our own limited intel and clear bias towards the players for which we’re most familiar.

If Chiarelli has an opportunity to win a trade today and improve the club tomorrow, why is that not a right call?

I suspect the honest answer is something along the lines of A) I don’t trust this GM to make a trade, and B) I don’t want him doing anything that would improve his job security.

Glovjuice

drglen: interesting stat… but really what does Katz have to do with it.It’s not the 90s Red Wings… there is a Salary Cap .. we usually blame owners when we say they are unwilling to go out and get the best players, and pay them.That’s not the case. Do we feel he is influencing the hiring of decision makers? In the Tambolini days perhaps.They got Chiralli, a Stanely cup winner, and the toast of this city in 2016.Nicholson, probalby the most connect Junior talent guy in the country, the most ‘inside scoop’ guy you can find… nah I disagree. We (PC) just misjudged some trades badly.

What ? He’s hired a terrible management team. That’s what. Yikes.

Glovjuice

Wilde: I had no expectations. It’s not a question of whether or not he met expectations.

Rather, it’s that he may or may not contribute measurably more in the same roster spots that current occupants deliver replacement-level or below value (and have done so for beyond comfortably evaluative periods of time), and so long as there are options for upgrade in these areas, it behooves the team and organisation to explore them.

We went over this with Pontus Aberg.

Both players had samples of performance on record that pointed in the direction that they had a chance to provide upgrades on existing players, but instead of scratching the ticket the Oilers just threw it in the trash.

This is a weakness in process. The Aberg situation was a mistake regardless of whether or not he succeeded elsewhere.

In the year prior to both players arrival, they had 31 and 33 goals in the AHL.

PA had 0.55 G/GP in the AHL, through NHLe that’s 0.26, or 21 goals over 82 games.

VZ had 0.52 G/GP in the AHL, through NHLe that’s 0.25, or 20 goals over 82 games.

Aberg had 1.99 5v5 P/60 with us in the spring he arrived over 211 minutes, Zykov in his Carolina debut had 3.34 over 125 minutes.

There are maybe 6 forwards on the Oilers that have scored like that over their most productive 211 or 125 minutes this year.

If Milan Lucic scored all 4 of his 5v5 points this year over a 211 minute stretch, that would be 1.14 P/60. If Milan Lucic scored all 4 of his 5v5 points this year over a 125 minute stretch, that would be a 1.92 P/60 stretch.

Ty Rattie is at 0.82 5v5 P/60 in 218 minutes this year.

Zack Kassian is at 0.48 in 374.

Zykov should have gotten shots with the three forwards, and he should have gotten a shot on the powerplay.

There are a number of forwards on this team whose most productive stretches over the last two years are not close to the recent performances of players that have been sent away, and yet the Oilers have not even tried to figure out if they are improvements.

Incrementable improvements are still improvements.

Perfectly said. This ORG is lazy. Get better players, even a frickin little better players, and keep said fuckin players. Death by a thousand cuts is so accurate. Ironic who said it though, eh. Wow.