Game 40 2018-19: Oilers at Coyotes

Robert Nilsson began the 2009-10 NHL season as an offensive option for Pat Quinn’s first Edmonton Oilers team. On opening night, he had played in 192 NHL games, posting an average of 39 points per 82 games. By the spring, he found himself being bought out by the Oilers. He had played his last game in the NHL.

That 2009-10 Oilers season delivered a mortal (or near) blow to the NHL careers of Patrick O’Sullivan, Denis Grebeshkov, Marc Pouliot, Ethan Moreau, Sheldon Souray, Zack Stortini and Jeff Deslauriers while shortening many others. Some of those names found other NHL teams, but on the fringe of NHL rosters, as curios. Playing on a bad NHL team is a must to avoid, it can be a career killer. Fear is a great motivator. There’s half a season to go.

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 Pierre Lebrun: LeBrun Notebook: Chiarelli under pressure to deliver in Edmonton.
  • New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Peter Chiarelli’s reasoning for acquiring Brandon Manning doesn’t add up
  • New Lowetide: Oilers No. 9 prospect Winter 2018: Joel Persson.
  • New Lowetide: Oilers acquire Brandon Manning in a Sunday shocker, and this ought to be interesting.
  • New Lowetide: Oilers acquire Alexander Petrovic from Panthers, flushing Chris Wideman and a 2019 third-round pick in the trade.
  • New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Struggling Oilers counting on Kris Russell to revitalize depleted defence.
  • New Minnia Feng: The head-scratching scenarios, cringe-worthy lines and questionable graphics in commercials featuring NHL players.
  • Lowetide: In a ‘Hail Mary’ roster shuffle, Oilers recall Kailer Yamamoto, waive Valentin Zykov and place Alex Chiasson on IR.
  • Lowetide: Oilers No. 8 prospect Winter 2018: Kirill Maksimov.
  • 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 40

  • Oilers in 2015: 16-21-3, 35 points; goal differential -22
  • Oilers in 2016: 20-13-7, 47 points; goal differential +5
  • Oilers in 2017: 17-20-3, 37 points; goal differential -17
  • Oilers in 2018: 18-18-3, 39 points; goal differential -7

It’s easier to surround this year’s team when looking at the three previous seasons. Clearly better than the two also-rans, while also being some distance from the playoff group. We’re at the midway point of the season now (basically) and the Oilers are nowhere near 45 points, let alone 50. The season is sliding away.

OILERS IN JANUARY

  • Oilers in January 2016: 1-0-0, two points; goal differential 0
  • Oilers in January 2017: 0-1-0, no points; goal differential -2
  • Oilers in January 2018: 0-1-0, no points; goal differential -5
  • Oilers in January 2019: 0-0-0, no points; goal differential nil

A win in 2016’s January opener followed by two losses in the following years. At this point, the Oilers just want to stop the bleeding. The club has a three-point lead on tonight’s opponent, and both teams have struggled in their most recent 10-game segments.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM JANUARY

  • On the road to: Arizona, Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Jose (Expected 2-2-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Florida, Arizona, Buffalo (Expected 1-1-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Vancouver (Expected 0-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Calgary, Carolina, Detroit (Expected 1-1-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 4-5-2, 10 points in 11 games
  • Current results: nil

ETHAN BEAR

At some point in the next two months, the Oilers will be either trading picks and prospects for immediate help or recalling Condors to have a look. I published Eric Rodgers forwards numbers here and the team has already recalled most of the top men (Jesse Puljujarvi, Cooper Marody, Kailer Yamamoto, Joe Gambardella) in the season’s first half.

Among the blue, Caleb Jones and Kevin Gravel are in the NHL now, Jones is looking like he’s going to be there for the next 15 years. I would guess Ethan Bear and William Lagesson are next to be recalled, but it’s also possible those names (and the ones above) could be used in a trade to shore things up. For instance, when Pierre Lebrun writes about Jake Muzzin of the Los Angeles Kings as a trade target (he has a year left after this one, $4 million AAV), does some combination of the second-round pick, Jesse Puljujarvi, Ethan Bear, Kailer Yamamoto get it done? Or are we talking about the first-round selection? Here are the forwards.

CALEB JONES

  • Ken Hitchcock on Caleb Jones: “There’s something uncoachable and that’s calmness under fire. You’ve either got that or you don’t & he’s got it.”

I don’t recall anyone projecting Jones as having this kind of immediate impact (I ranked him beginning summer 2015: 17, 13, 7, 7, 4, 4, 8 (combined ranking at The Athletic) and then No. 7 this winter) but it’s clear he belongs.

That’s why you keep your powder dry and give your scouts a seat in each round of the draft. I believe this organization has improved at the draft table. Caleb Jones was chosen in 2015, two months after Chiarelli arrived. The scouting staff that hit the highway in the winter of 2014-15 uncovered him. I don’t think it’s wise to trade draft picks in a mad dash for the No. 8 playoff spot. Stay the course, make your solutions graduating AHL players who came through the system. Caleb Jones cap hit next year will be $815,000 a gigantic saving compared to Kris Russell or even Brandon Manning. Go back and look at the 2005-06 team the value deals (Hemsky, Horcoff, Pisani, Torres, Stoll, M-A Bergeron), mostly coming through the draft.

There is hope, you can see it in the numbers above (thanks Jay Woodcroft). What’s more, there is more talent coming next fall to Bakersfield. Here are the players I believe may be turning pro next year:

  • Goal: Hayden Hawkey
  • Left Defense: Dmitri Samorukov
  • Right Defense: Evan Bouchard, Joel Persson, Filip Berglund, Phil Kemp
  • Center: Ryan McLeod
  • Left Winger: Kirill Maksimov
  • Right Winger: Ostap Safin

The team might have to cash a defensive prospect for a forward who is turning pro, but the talent pushing up is substantial.

SITUATION CRITICAL

I believe the first round pick is in play, and that isn’t sound thinking. Why? It’s wrongheaded to devote valuable assets in order to make the final playoff position. This roster has major flaws, and further the team does need to invest playing time on youngsters to see how they shine.

Daryl Katz needs a playoff series, Peter Chiarelli needs to save his job. These aren’t good enough reasons to trade the first-round selection.

Let’s play a game of ‘what if?’ for a moment. What if the Oilers miss the playoffs and Peter Chiarelli loses his job? It will mean upheaval, a reset in many areas and could well mean the new GM trades Jesse Puljujarvi and other young assets in order to make the team his own. Common practice. The Oilers need specific things and they may not come available immediately, but the new general manager will be under less pressure to force things to happen (forcing a deal is a terrible negotiation strategy).

What if the Oilers miss the playoffs and Mr. Katz suffers losses in renewals? In one way, that’s a bitter pill. Oilers fans giving up their tickets won’t be doing it out of joy, but rather frustration. On the other hand, perhaps it will give Mr. Katz time to have quiet contemplation about his management team and why things continually work out this way.

WHAT TO DO ABOUT LUCIC?

My Grandpa had three fingers on his right hand, Pinky and the one next to it lost in a sawmill accident. Men from his generation had all kinds of ills we don’t have, my Dad had nerve damage from the war and terrible hearing also because of the war.

Grandpa handled it by never thinking of it. He just did what he had to, getting his grandkids to help when he couldn’t and using hooks to lift hay bales (I remember the woosh of that fracking hook flying by my skull when I helped him as a teenager).

Milan Lucic’s contract is set in stone, like those monuments at Yankee Stadium that used to be in play (seriously) 60 years ago. Each summer, the general manager needs to find the cap, subtract $6 million and then proceed with that number.

Suspect the new general manager will instruct his coach to play the 12 best forwards, and at that point Lucic won’t see the ice as often, possibly at all. Tyler Benson may take the job next fall, and become a value contract.

What Peter Chiarelli or his replacement can do is offload the excess. Buying out Ryan Spooner saves $2.667 million next season. Kris Russell has to give Edmonton a list of 10 teams he’ll agree to join via trade this summer. Andrej Sekera is injured, so trading him is more difficult but he needs to give the team a 15-team list this summer. Maybe he hits LTIR.

I’m not saying don’t worry about the Lucic deal, if a trade can be made then make it with extreme prejudice. Buying out his contract saves the club $2.375 million next season, less than Spooner’s buyout, and the payout reduces from there.

Lucic and his contract are like my Grandpa and his accident: Sucks, but you have to find a workaround.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

We’re back and the schedule holds for a long time now, Lowdown hits the air at 10 this morning, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal. Bruce will introduce you to each weekend transaction. He’s going to be there awhile.
  • Kris Abbott, OddsShark.com. We’ll chat about Bowl game results and what we can learn, and the NFL weekend ahead. Plus, Oilers.
  • Jon Abbott, TSN1040 Vancouver. World Junior’s pbp man updates us on the state of the team.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter.

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452 Responses to "Game 40 2018-19: Oilers at Coyotes"

« Older Comments
  1. drglen says:

    HugThePost: He’s texting chia during the game reminding him of the shitty personnel he’s got

    lol.. .. but…. Petrovic looked good today. PC lives another day.

  2. Jethro Tull says:

    Bulging Twine:
    Arizona missing an offensive difference maker.

    Rhymes with Die Tomi.

  3. drglen says:

    Jethro Tull: Rhymes with Die Tomi.

    pretty funny. but.. yep.

  4. drglen says:

    so.. Zassian get’s to leave practice early tomorrow. ?

  5. Dicky94 says:

    Unbeaten in the New Year!!!

  6. Pescador says:

    drglen:
    so.. Zassian get’s to leave practice early tomorrow. ?

    Nope,
    Goal scores only,
    Must be a member of the ‘5’ club

  7. drglen says:

    Pescador: Nope,
    Goal scores only,
    Must be a member of the ‘5’ club

    lol.

  8. Glovjuice says:

    Jethro Tull:
    Glovjuice,

    Love is the drug I’m thinking of.

    Um, yup.

  9. OriginalPouzar says:

    Samorukov adds a second assist as he continues to be a big contributor to Team Russia.

  10. Admiral Ackbar says:

    Tuned in to only a few McDavid shifts. With him off the ice it’s always just, ‘meh’. What’d I miss??

  11. OriginalPouzar says:

    The team is running with a 22 man roster so, if both Russell and Chiasson are activated they only need to re-assign one player. One would think that re-assigning Joe G. would be the easy decision but I think that would leave them with zero extra forwards, wouldn’t it? I guess they are running with that now but I”m thinking that they might be thinking about sending Gravel down which, I assume most Oiler fans will NOT be in favor of vis-a-vis Brandon Manning.

  12. OriginalPouzar says:

    drglen:
    Petrovic clearly moving up the totem pole here…

    Petrovic has a history of plus level 3rd pairing defending with some ability to move up to the 2nd pairing.

    He has had a terrible year this year however its the outlier as compared to his career norms.

  13. tileguy says:

    ArmchairGM:
    Shall we re-start the Talbot trade talk again? In lieu of draft talk maybe?

    What do you think we could get for him, besides 4.1M in cap space?

  14. Chief Inspector says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Samorukov adds a second assist as he continues to be a big contributor to Team Russia.

    Good arrows.

  15. OriginalPouzar says:

    Condors lose 2-1 on late goal – Wells with another start – stopped 25 of 27.

    Gust with the lone goal from Day and Benson on the PP.

  16. HugThePost says:

    tileguy: What do you think we could get for him, besides 4.1M in cap space?

    2nd rounder at most?
    Only chia would give up a 1st rounder for cam

  17. Sierra says:

    Is Gravel injured?

  18. Professor Q says:

    What a sweet win.

    The only issue is that every other team in the Pacific also had sweet wins.

  19. Pescador says:

    Wow Hitch with what I would consider a direct address to the trade detractors

  20. Pescador says:

    tileguy: What do you think we could get for him, besides 4.1M in cap space?

    Backup goalies usually cost a 3rd.
    Talbot will have another 4-5 starts to prove he’s worth more.
    I have my doubts

  21. Sierra says:

    Pescador:
    Wow Hitch with what I would consider a direct address to the trade detractors

    Being what?

  22. Bling says:

    Sierra,

    He said something to the effect of, “Thank god Pete went out and got those two dmen, because they were a big help again.”

    Welllllll. Hitch is such a positive guy lol.

  23. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    Huh… all of a sudden McDavid only 4 points away from league lead in points…

    Edit: and Draisaitl now jumps to 8th in points

  24. Ryan says:

    Sierra: Being what?

    He said, “thank god Peter acquired those two defenseman because they already helped out immensely” or something along those lines.

  25. Pescador says:

    Crazy Pedestrian:
    Huh… all of a sudden McDavid only 4 points away from league lead in points…

    Edit: and Draisaitl now jumps to 8th in points

    If he wasn’t so lazy he would be 7th

  26. JimmyV1965 says:

    tileguy: What do you think we could get for him, besides 4.1M in cap space?

    Wayne Simmonds. Almost an identical contract and he’s having a poor year as well.

  27. Mattaklap says:

    Loverly game if you love point shots and zone exits off the glass.

    I want to nestle in Connor’s beard, it is a safe place.

  28. Decidedly Skeptical Fan says:

    Leon with a great night on the dot. Still trying to figure out how a lazy guy does that.

  29. Decidedly Skeptical Fan says:

    Pescador: Why would anyone else need to call it out?
    You serve up that same street taco 2-3 times a day

    To be fair, the Juice does serve up Chinese take-out (music) occasionally. Not really a fan of Mexican food but I do very much like the Chinese.

  30. Decidedly Skeptical Fan says:

    Mattaklap:
    Loverly game if you love point shots and zone exits off the glass.

    I want to nestle in Connor’s beard, it is a safe place.

    Lovely game if you really, really, really NEED a win. Hopefully the atmosphere in here will be a little more upbeat tomorrow.

  31. Pescador says:

    Decidedly Skeptical Fan: To be fair, the Juice does serve up Chinese take-out (music) occasionally. Not really a fan of Mexican food but I do very much like the Chinese.

    No issue with this Glove or Juice, I enjoy a sniff whenever I can get it. I like making music as much as the next guy
    Anyone who posts the same tired drivel over & over & over again is my issue.

  32. Mattaklap says:

    Decidedly Skeptical Fan: Lovely game if you really, really, really NEED a win. Hopefully the atmosphere in here will be a little more upbeat tomorrow.

    Well put. Personally I might dry heave a bit when I see the fancies LT posts tomorrow, but until then…

  33. --hudson-- says:

    Some interesting tidbits from Hitch on data they gather from players during practice in the pregame
    https://youtu.be/JTeml7YUXKg

  34. Pescador says:

    Decidedly Skeptical Fan: To be fair, the Juice does serve up Chinese take-out (music) occasionally. Not really a fan of Mexican food but I do very much like the Chinese.

    I enjoy both, variety is the spice of life

  35. drglen says:

    Hot goalie, McDrei on their games and score, D defend hard and conscientous forward defending, limit 5 bell chances… we might be a 60% team. There’s still a chance. Good teams still take us to school probably. Keep same line up. If Russell good, .. rest him one more day.

  36. drglen says:

    –hudson–:
    Some interesting tidbits from Hitch on data they gather from players during practice in the pregame
    https://youtu.be/JTeml7YUXKg

    That is very interesting indeed.

  37. OriginalPouzar says:

    Sierra:
    Is Gravel injured?

    Nope – Manning is playing over him at this point.

  38. OriginalPouzar says:

    Hopefully we see Russell and Chiasson in for Manning and Gambradella on Saturday – that will make this a better hockey team.

  39. Wilde says:

    Spooner’s unpopular here, but I think the team should pour a least half much into getting him going as they did Milan Lucic.

    (Because that’s entirely more likely to bear fruit)

    He’s 26 and he has 308 games played; he’s delivered offense every other season but this one. This isn’t a buyout candidate for me.

    3 forwards under 30 on this team have a better scoring history than him, and his only year of under-delivery there is this one, on a horrific NYR team and the bottom-end of a top-heavy EDM team. I like his boots and his puck skill more than most of this roster.

    Though 2016-17 and 2017-18, he was –

    67th percentile shot contributor (shots and shot assists)

    81st percentile shot assister

    31st percentile volume shooter

    78th percentile in entries with possession

    84th percentile in possession entry %

    72nd percentile in exits with possession

    89th percentile in possession exit %

    He delivers 2.07, 2.01, 1.29, 2.49, 2.52 5v5 points per hour during his full seasons until this year, turns 26 and he suddenly isn’t an NHLer anymore?

    Is he a complementary player that doesn’t drive possession and doesn’t penalty kill?

    Yes.

    Is there room for that on a roster with 6 forwards scoring less than him 5v5 during his Edmonton (minimum 100 minutes) tenure, during his worst season?

    Also yes.

    Particularly if you want to run the three skill centres separately.

  40. Wilde says:

    Basically, he’s a player that needs to be carried to produce offense on a team filled with players who won’t produce offense even if they are carried.

  41. OriginalPouzar says:

    Absolutely Spooner is overpaid for his current level of production, however, his cap hit of $3.1M is value for his historical level of production.

    Sometimes players have off years, it happens. Given current roster construction and lack of scoring on the wing and secondary scoring in general, I see absolutely no reason to even contemplate buying this player out but hope that he regains his historical norm scoring level which would put him in the top 6 oh this team.

  42. Jethro Tull says:

    Glovjuice: Um, yup.

    Huge Roxy Music fan that doesn’t know the lyrics to arguably their best song? Um, yup.

  43. Glovjuice says:

    Jethro Tull: Huge Roxy Music fan that doesn’t know the lyrics to arguably their best song? Um, yup.

    Mother of Pearl is their best song. Anyway. I am a very big fan of Roxy Music and, correct, I know very few of their lyrics. Same as for a band like Radiohead where I have heard their albums hundreds of times and still don’t know all the song titles; let alone lyrics. I listen to the vocals like an instrument. Counter to many, I agree. I love Dylan but don’t know his lyrics almost at all – his phrasing and delivery is stunning, and I focus on that. I have about 3000 CDs and records and about 2000 downloaded albums as well and am a drummer (a bad one) so listen to music a lot but simply don’t focus on lyrics. I’ve heard Tom Sawyer a thousand times and STILL don’t know the lyrics. So, yes, I don’t know all the lyrics to Roxy Music and am still a massive fan. Wow, man.

  44. Glovjuice says:

    Oh, and I own a $30,000 stereo that plays vocals very clearly and I STILL know very few from most songs I’ve heard hundreds of times.

  45. SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo! says:

    knighttown,

    Ok I probably wasn’t clear in my postings so I’ll try and wrap this up more coherently.

    To start with I want to clarify what I originally discussed in my post – the effect of losing multiple defensemen to injury on a team still building and how that would impact the rest of the team.

    1) I wanted to talk about the impact of a team losing the players that occupy the #1D and #4D roles on their team that is why I opened my first post with the wording I did. Below is what I wrote and I honestly don’t think I deviated far from it

    SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo!:
    So leading up to the Klefbom/Russell Injuries the narrative was:

    1) Horses aren’t elite BUT with the right coach playoffs are attainable

    Klefbom/Rusell get hurt the narrative is:

    2) Everybody (except CmD, Drai, Nuge) and everything sucks.

    The answer is probably – holy shit when you remove 2 of the 6 dmen a team has it shows up really really quick.

    Thought experiment alert, with the provisio of “I am not saying all players are equal only that they occupy similar roles on the teams in question,”

    Toronto – remove Reilly and Hainsey and what happens?

    Calgary – remove Giordano and Brodie and what happens?

    Vancouver – remove Edler and Gubranson and what happens?

    Colorado – remove Barrie and Johnson and what happens?

    Buffalo – remove Ristolainen and Scandella and what happens?

    Add into that some Mike Smith/Cam Talbot circa Jan-March 2018 level goaltending (likely impacted by the d-injuries but ugly nonetheless,) and a slide is all but guaranteed for any of the teams above.

    Point – very very very few young up and coming teams could withstand losing two of their top 6 dmen and that includes a couple of the standout young teams.

    2) I don’t really care about the individual contracts or where these players would slot on another team. That is irrelevant to the fact that up until they were injured Klef played the #1D role and Russell played the #4D role for the Oilers.

    I went out of my way to say “I am not saying all players are equal only that they occupy similar roles on the teams in question.”

    Would it be nice to have Klingberg or Petro slotted in there? Ya sure, but the Oilers don’t they have Klefbom and Russell and those two kept even crappier options further down the depth chart. Just like the players I cited in my example above do for their respective teams who are also very thin on defense.

    3) Younger teams are usually thin at different positions, magnifying the effects of injury at said positions. I asked a thought experiment question of what happens when you look at select young teams and pull out the defensemen playing the #1D and #4D roles. I chose the ones I did because those teams, are young and building and are equal to or better than the Oilers. They would have similar issues in trying to cover injuries to their #1 and #4 Dmen, which shows that this is not a unique problem to the Oilers.

    I used Toronto as an example because I think the comparison is very apt but I also went too far so let me clarify. Toronto can cover for Matthews and Nylander – they are deep up front nobody denies that. Toronto would have a much tougher time covering for the type of injury that hit the Oilers – losing #1 (Reilly) and #4 (say Hainsey) Dmen and the loss of those two would likely have a significant impact on the rest of the team because the Leafs are incredibly thin on Defense and already rely on Andersen to bail them out. The same thought experiment applies to the other teams I cited, despite have good/great players at other positions, I think it would be a giant impact on the teams performance to lose the guys playing #1 and #4 defense.

    #1 – #3 is the thrust of my original post. Take out the #1 and #4 dmen on younger comparable teams and they would struggle. I think where we lost the thread is when I responded to your giant injury list in your first post so lets look at that and I will try and be clearer.

    4) I agree that all teams have to deal with injuries. I said right away that older teams in the 25-32 age bracket will be better able to weather injuries because of the experience in the roster. I gave a list of teams that can and have weathered those sorts of injuries and it is quoted below.

    SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo!:
    knighttown,

    Teams I should have added to my 25-32 bracket that can withstand injuries list – Boston, Winnipeg

    In the post I specifically mentioned that teams like Tampa/Nashville/Washington/Pittsburgh can in fact weather that sort of storm because of the age/experience of their core.

    5) In response to you tossing out a giant list of injuries on every team, I simply checked the points totals they currently have and compared them with the Oilers. That is not an exact science because those injuries occurred at different points in the season. However, because a big section of those teams are so close to the Oilers in the overall standings as of yesterday it appears that yes those injuries impacted the teams performance. That appears to lend strength to my point that younger teams aren’t the best at covering significant injuries. However, there are teams on that list (Dallas, Chicago, Minny, St Louis, LA) that aren’t exactly young but are having trouble covering for those injuries you cited nonetheless.

    6) #4 and #5 are largely irrelevant though because that isn’t what I was discussing in the first place. I wanted to discuss the loss of a teams #1 and #4 defensemen and how that would impact a younger teams performance. Some teams have better depth at certain positions, Calgary and Toronto have good forward depth so they can weather injuries to Backlund and Matthews/Nylander, despite those players being very good at what they do.

    My argument was that if those same teams suffered the same injuries the Oilers did with Klef and Russell they would also be in some trouble. Would Calgary be able to handle it better given their roster? Ya maybe, but maybe not. Would Toronto? No almost certainly not, they don’t have the depth at D to cover for that and neither do Colorado, Buffalo or Vancouver.

    And that is the point, when you are in a building phase, as opposed to locked and loaded for contention, most teams are in fact weak/thin at certain positions. I made a list of teams who I think are good comparisons for the Oilers and asked folks to consider what would happen if those teams lost their #1 and #4 Dmen to injury in the same game while remembering another very important D cog who is signed and costs real money that you can’t waive away has been injured for two years.

    Chia has made some really really bad moves and some players have yet to grow into the roles expected of them. But the injuries to Sekera, Klef and Russell are very impactful in their own right because all of those guys are vital to the Oilers blueline. My point here is that despite our constant navel gazing and muttering very few teams in a similar position to the Oilers at this stage could weather those three injuries and come out smelling like roses. Its a very tough hand to play for a team who’s entire core is still outside the 25-32 age bracket.

    Sorry to everyone for the repeated walls of text on this thread 🙂

  46. OriginalPouzar says:

    Coach’s post-game last night made it sound like Chiasson is almost for sure back for Saturday (talked about it giving him options for the first line). Not sure about Russell.

    It was interesting to note that, while most of the the fans, bloggers, etc. on social media haven’t really like Petrovic’s or Manning’s first couple games (morose Manning than Petrovic), coach used the phrase “thank god” management got those two d-men.

    Personally, I think its more lip service than anything from the coach but I am happy that we acquired Petrovic (while thinking that Gravel should be playing over Manning).

  47. Lowetide says:

    For The Athletic: What could the Oilers acquire in a Jesse Puljujarvi trade?

    https://theathletic.com/745790/2019/01/03/lowetide-what-could-the-oilers-acquire-in-a-jesse-puljujarvi-trade/

  48. Admiral Ackbar says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!,

    I see what you’re doing here, in a Sam Harris-sequel fashion. Let’s paraphrase your thesis to be even more clear because calling the Oilers ‘young’ and and equating this to a stage of growth is a bit misleading. They’ve been ‘young’ for some time. I think calling it a team that consistently plays it’s dmen higher in the order than they would on a properly managed team with depth. Combine that with the identical illness at forward. Add in big questions at G.

    What other teams experience these ails?

    Toronto? Not at F.
    Dallas? Maybe, if Bishop is out too.
    Min? Deep at F and D with good G.
    Chi? Perhaps but not a ‘young’ team. Apples to oranges.
    LA? Need Quick out and they have depth at F (albeit slow depth).

    I’d paraphrase your thesis to: a team losing its #1 & #4 dmen that lack depth all over the lineup and consistently play most positions higher in the order than they should while having immense questions at G. I think this removes questions and confirms itself rather easily. A team ‘like ‘ the Oilers crashes and burns under this criteria. They key caveat is that there are not many teams in this league like the Oilers. Simple case & point: Oilers by far in dead last in GF when ignoring the top 5 goal scorers.

    Remember the game against Dallas, their best comparable, when Klefbom & Russell we’re there but McD was out with illness? If I remember it correctly, they played a tight D and the score flattered them.

  49. Jethro Tull says:

    Glovjuice: Mother of Pearl is their best song. Anyway. I am a very big fan of Roxy Music and, correct, I know very few of their lyrics. Same as for a band like Radiohead where I have heard their albums hundreds of times and still don’t know all the song titles; let alone lyrics. I listen to the vocals like an instrument. Counter to many, I agree. I love Dylan but don’t know his lyrics almost at all – his phrasing and delivery is stunning, and I focus on that. I have about 3000 CDs and records and about 2000 downloaded albums as well and am a drummer (a bad one) so listen to music a lot but simply don’t focus on lyrics. I’ve heard Tom Sawyer a thousand times and STILL don’t know the lyrics. So, yes, I don’t know all the lyrics to Roxy Music and am still a massive fan. Wow, man.

    I think we’re approaching the same point from two completely different directions. I, like so many others here, am a big music fan.

    I get your concept of listening to the artist’s voice like an instrument, but like anything abstract such as art and music, it sometimes is beneficial to question what you know. Indeed this is very much what lots of artists strive for and why I think many of us here are music fans. But the message in the lyrics is often important.

    I grew up on a thorough grounding of 50s, 60s and 70s music during the 80s from, ahem, Jethro Tull through to ABBA. My coming of age was through the early 90s Madchester scene. And lots of Beastie Boys. I then married a music mad tree planter from Peace River(longer story) and we combined our collections, from Clutch, through to Ween.

    My personal preferences? Anything I like at the time! Can’t agree on Dylan, though. Love his songs…..sung by other people. Oh, there’s no such thing as a bad drummer, just everyone else out of time. 😉

  50. Richard S.S. says:

    People incapable of enjoying an Oiler win must be Flames fan. So get the eff on this site until you learn better etiquettes/sense of preservation.

  51. workaroundaccount says:

    Wilde:
    Spooner’s unpopular here, but I think the team should pour a least half much into getting him going as they did Milan Lucic.

    (Because that’s entirely more likely to bear fruit)

    He’s 26 and he has 308 games played; he’s delivered offense every other season but this one. This isn’t a buyout candidate for me.

    3 forwards under 30 on this team have a better scoring history than him, and his only year of under-delivery there is this one, on a horrific NYR team and the bottom-end of a top-heavy EDM team. I like his boots and his puck skill more than most of this roster.

    Though 2016-17 and 2017-18, he was –

    67th percentile shot contributor (shots and shot assists)

    81st percentile shot assister

    31st percentile volume shooter

    78th percentile in entries with possession

    84th percentile in possession entry %

    72nd percentile in exits with possession

    89th percentile in possession exit %

    He delivers 2.07, 2.01, 1.29, 2.49, 2.52 5v5 points per hour during his full seasons until this year, turns 26 and he suddenly isn’t an NHLer anymore?

    Is he a complementary player that doesn’t drive possession and doesn’t penalty kill?

    Yes.

    Is there room for that on a roster with 6 forwards scoring less than him 5v5 during his Edmonton (minimum 100 minutes) tenure, during his worst season?

    Also yes.

    Particularly if you want to run the three skill centres separately.

    I don’t know if I agree to this extent, but I also don’t see the logic in buying out Spooner. This team isn’t competing next year and they have to fill the roster somehow.. I think Zykov and spooner were both worth legitimate looks.

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