Game 42 2018-19: Oilers at Ducks

Ken Hitchcock said “The start? We had one player show up to play, Darnell Nurse. Was our best player by a mile. He was one of the most competitive players on the ice, and that’s all we had. We didn’t compete. Their best players were their best players. We didn’t compete. This is on everybody. Everybody. When you have one player competing at a high level in a game like this, it can’t be accepted. There’s been too much of this go on in the first 41 games. We win one, and then we take our foot off the gas and that’s exactly what we did, but when one guy is at that level, and everyone else is struggling even to compete for a puck, come on. It’s what happens when you don’t show up.”

Ken Hitchcock then said “We’re a situation motivated team. The situation motivates us. It has to come from within the locker room. So, you or I or anyone else can bark or bitch or scream and yell all we want, but it has to come from inside the locker room. The situation is motivating us, I’ve only been here 20 games, and I see the situation motivates. We lose, we get embarrassed, we get motivated. It isn’t a playoff attitude and we have to change. This can’t be acceptable, when you have one player that’s that far ahead of everyone else, that can’t be acceptable.”

“I don’t know what it is, we’ll figure it out. I’ve said enough, I’ll get myself in even further trouble, this isn’t acceptable.”

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: Oilers No. 10 prospect Winter 2018: Dylan Wells.
  • New Jonathan Willis: The Oilers have a shoddy roster and when they’re bad, they’re really bad.
  • New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: From 2 to 98, Oilers share the stories behind their jersey numbers.
  • New Jonathan Willis: Edmonton’s collection of prospect defencemen gives the team options now, in the future and in trade talks
  • New Jonathan Willis: With Mikko Koskinen and Cam Talbot bound for free agency, what is the Oilers goaltending plan?
  • New Lowetide: What could the Oilers acquire in a Jesse Puljujarvi trade?
  • New Jonathan Willis: The Edmonton Oilers are one good summer away from being competitive.
  • Lowetide: Oilers No. 9 prospect Winter 2018: Joel Persson.
  • 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 42

  • Oilers in 2015: 17-22-3, 37 points; goal differential -22
  • Oilers in 2016: 21-14-7, 49 points; goal differential +5
  • Oilers in 2017: 18-21-3, 39 points; goal differential -21
  • Oilers in 2018: 19-19-3, 41 points; goal differential -10

Ken Hitchcock is 10-9-2 as Oilers coach, but 8-2-1 before Klefbom’s injury and 2-7-1 with the Swedish defenseman out. That’s a major story this season, along with Koskinen’s outstanding first half and the McDavid/Draisaitl/Nuge performances up front. Another major story? How this team reacts after the dressing down Hitchcock gave them. I think that might have been the last good bullet he had in the chamber. If the Oilers fall flat against Ducks fall flat tonight, a lot of people are going to lose their jobs over the next six months.

OILERS IN JANUARY

  • Oilers in January 2016: 2-1-0, four points; goal differential 0
  • Oilers in January 2017: 2-1-0, four points; goal differential 0
  • Oilers in January 2018: 1-2-0, two points; goal differential -8
  • Oilers in January 2019: 1-1-0, two points; goal differential -3

WHAT TO EXPECT IN JANUARY

  • On the road to: Arizona, Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Jose (Expected 2-2-0) (Actual 1-1-0)
  • 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: 1-1-0, two points in two games

There is still, incredibly, time. However, I do think the bigger problem is that the Oilers are trying to make a connection that isn’t there. Whenever I write “don’t trade picks and prospects trying for eighth place” there’s at least one person who responds “the Oilers are going to waste another year of McDavid!” and my answer is this: Do you want to waste one more, or four more?

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Nurse-Larsson went 11-7 in 15:22, 4-5 shots, 0-1 goals and 1-2 HDSC. They were the best pairing on the night, but also spent 10 minutes with McDavid and that’s a helluva foot on the scale. Were 10-3 in 7:09 against Kovalchuk-Kopitar-Brown, but did give up the goal to that unit in garbage time. Both men made mistakes we’ve seen too many times this year: Larsson stood up in the neutral zone but allowed to many horses behind him and became a spectator. Nurse recognized his man too late and represented nothing more than window dressing on the goal.
  • Jones-Gravel went 6-4 in 12:36, 4-3 shots, no goals and 1-0 HDSC. I generally liked the pairing, Jones got walked on the first goal but you’re fine with it because the young man has played so well. It was striking to witness because he has been so mistake free. Went 1-5 in 7:28 against Leipsic-Carter-Iafollo.
  • Manning-Petrovic were 6-4 in 6:54, 0-3 shots, 0-2 goals, 0-1 HDSC. Manning’s pinch was epic, but not the good epic, while Petrovic wasn’t much use on the Toffoli goal. I don’t think we’ll see this pairing tonight. Slow, slower, slowest.
  • Mikko Koskinen stopped five of eight shots, Cam Talbot 14 of 15.
  • NaturalStatTrick and NHL.com.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

  • Spooner-Brodziak-Rattie were 5-2 in 5:10 and 2-1 shots, 0-1 goals. I thought Rattie moved the puck well and had some moments, but this trio didn’t move the needle.
  • Lucic-Khaira-Puljujarvi went 6-2 in 6:42 (Lucic) and 3-3 in 7:25 (Puljujarvi, also 0-2 goals). The line was also in photo twice as a group, the most memorable moment Puljujarvi drawing a penalty by moving his legs.
  • Draisaitl-McDavid-Kassian went 10-8 in 15:36 (Draisaitl, 0-1 goals), 4-4 in 9:19 (Kassian) and 4-1 in 5:07 (Chiasson). I thought McDavid and Draisaitl were the actual best players, but Hitch didn’t mention them in his chat.
  • Rieder-Nuge-Chiasson were 6-6 in 7:46, Rattie had a dandy chance but not much else shaking. Both Rattie and Pulju saw time with 93, perhaps one will be alongside tonight.

COMMENTS

I’m writing this at 8:26, just before publishing. The great thing about Hitch’s comments is also the bad thing about Hitch’s comments: There isn’t much else to say. Even if you believe this roster is horribly flawed (it is), even if you believe the McDavid On-Off number hasn’t improved one iota (it has not), you have every right to expect the Oilers to work hard and smart every night.

There are men who played last night who may not be in the NHL next season. I wonder what those men are thinking this morning as they wake up to another day.

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440 Responses to "Game 42 2018-19: Oilers at Ducks"

« Older Comments
  1. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Kassian:

    “Yeah it’s no secret, we kinda shit the bed, ha, there in LA. This was a gutsy win from us today, obviously they had some good looks, but Talbs was our best player, hands down. But we stuck with it, we burried on our chances and that was a good bounce back game for us.”

    Love it.

  2. Bling says:

    That hit by Lucic on Montour was every bit as violent as the ending of There Will be Blood.

    Lucic as Daniel Day Lewis. Tremendous!

    Loved Drai giving Lucic props after the goal.

  3. Glovjuice says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Watching on tape delay so not up to live but that was a much better first period.

    Goes to show how important goaltending is – Talbot was great in the first 5 minutes, well, the entire period, however, if he lets one in during the first 5 minutes, we likely have a MUCH different hockey game.

    Go Oilers!

    Stinkie pinkie night for our OP. So cute.

  4. OriginalPouzar says:

    One main difference – Talbot made the saves early that Koskinen didn’t make last night.

    Another main difference – Kris Russell in and Brandon Manning out which also allowed Gravel/Petrovic to play 3rd pairing minutes.

  5. OriginalPouzar says:

    Also, even without his 2 assists, Caleb Jones was sublime this evening.

  6. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Another main difference = Lucic > invisible.

  7. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Hitch:

    – Talbot was outstanding
    – Russell returning a plus
    – see why we missed Klef recently
    – 3 garbage goals
    – Yuge win
    – could turn a good trip into a great trip in a few days

  8. OilClog says:

    So in San Jose who’s going to still be motivated by embarrassment?

    I want more comments from Hitch that end with “before I get in anymore trouble” he knows management is a circus act and I believe he’s doing his best to right this club on all levels.

    Whenever Looch gets moved, Nurse will fight him within 6 shifts of their first encounter.

  9. Scungilli Slushy says:

    LMHF#1: Watch the game again OP. You’ll see it.

    My thought as well. Lost all respect for that oaf.

    Very good looking game, nice to get a solid one on those guys.

    It is going to be very different Tuesday, the Ducks weren’t pushing that hard toward the end, made it look more like a dominating win than it was, I hope we see this and more against the Sharts. Umm Sharks.

  10. Richard S.S. says:

    Everyone forgets the Oilers are in the Postseason if they can survive Klefbom’s injury. Hitchcock got the Oilers into a Playoff position before losing Oscar. Since then they are 3-7-1 going for a.500 or better record. That’s the only numbers that matter.

  11. Suntory Hanzo says:

    Bling:
    That hit by Lucic on Montour was every bit as violent as the ending of There Will be Blood.

    Lucic as Daniel Day Lewis. Tremendous!

    Loved Drai giving Lucic props after the goal.

    Lucic: I’m Finished!!

  12. John Chambers says:

    Richard S.S.:
    Everyone forgets the Oilers are in the Postseason if they can survive Klefbom’s injury. Hitchcock got the Oilers into a Playoff position before losing Oscar.Since then they are 3-7-1 going for a.500 or better record. That’s the only numbers that matter.

    I’m hoping so, but every team is basically missing one or two good players to injury.

    Ducks didn’t have Rackell, their best scorer, or Corey Perry, their best asshole (or second-best anyway).

    You still have to win in spite of players on the IR.

  13. €√¥£€^$ says:

    Nice result, but goes to show how luck plays a big part in results. Anaheim owned the Oilers for big chunks of this game, luckily Dadbot slammed the door.

    No matter the verbal from Hitchcock, without secondary scoring this team will not make the play-offs. Lucic showed up at times, but he only came unglued after HE was hit. He needs to also have his teammates’ backs.

    I am happy for Jesse for scoring, but does any other winger have as much trouble as he does exiting the zone?

    I think Jesse would be best served on the farm, same with Gambardells. Bring up Patrick Russell and let the young players have success together. Keep the youngins on the farm and if Sekera looks good, Caleb needs to go back as well so he plays and doesn’t sit.

    Spooner – McDavid – Rattie
    Khaira – Draisaitl – Chiasson
    Reider – Nuge – Kassian
    Lucic – Brodziak – Russell

    Klefbom – Larsson
    Nurse – Petrovich
    Sekera – Russell
    Gravel – Benning
    Manning

    And don’t dress Manning AGAIN there are probably 3 or 4 Condors better than him.

  14. drglen says:

    On the radio at least, JP sounded dangerous

  15. godot10 says:

    OilClog:
    So in San Jose who’s going to still be motivated by embarrassment?

    I want more comments from Hitch that end with “before I get in anymore trouble” he knows management is a circus act and I believe he’s doing his best to right this club on all levels.

    Whenever Looch gets moved, Nurse will fight him within 6 shifts of their first encounter.

    San Jose humiliated the OIlers in Edmonton two weeks ago.

  16. JimmyV1965 says:

    €√¥£€^$:
    Nice result, but goes to show how luck plays a big part in results.Anaheim owned the Oilers for big chunks of this game, luckily Dadbot slammed the door.

    No matter the verbal from Hitchcock, without secondary scoring this team will not make the play-offs.Lucic showed up at times, but he only came unglued after HE was hit.He needs to also have his teammates’ backs.

    I am happy for Jesse for scoring, but does any other winger have as much trouble as he does exiting the zone?

    I think Jesse would be best served on the farm, same with Gambardells.Bring up Patrick Russell and let the young players have success together.Keep the youngins on the farm and if Sekera looks good, Caleb needs to go back as well so he plays and doesn’t sit.

    Spooner – McDavid – Rattie
    Khaira – Draisaitl – Chiasson
    Reider – Nuge – Kassian
    Lucic – Brodziak – Russell

    Klefbom – Larsson
    Nurse – Petrovich
    Sekera – Russell
    Gravel – Benning
    Manning

    And don’t dress Manning AGAIN there are probably 3 or 4 Condors better than him.

    I hate to be a Debbie Downer as well, but I’m not feeling great about this win either. They certainly played better, but they were awful to start and the team has a hard time handling the cycle. It looks to me like the dmen are getting very little support from their forwards.

    I have the same concerns about JP. He has flashes of brilliance and he’s willing to take a beating in front of the net, but he looks lost in the dzone. It still seems like he doesn’t know where to go. Someone has to talk to this kid about checking. He has to stop waving his stick at the puck and actually separate the player from the puck. I’m not sure if I can ever remember him doing this.

  17. BeerLeagueHero says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Thanks for the high compliment Darcy. You’re a real gem yourself! Have I ever told you how much I envy you? Say how’s your website doing? Getting a lot of “clicks” I hope.

    Have a great day Wouldguy!

    Man, that roster is just eating it. 2 pts out of a playoff spot, what a joke. They should fire Chiarelli now.

  18. Pescador says:

    BeerLeagueHero:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    Thanks for the high compliment Darcy. You’re a real gem yourself! Have I ever told you how much I envy you? Say how’s your website doing? Getting a lot of “clicks” I hope.

    Have a great day Wouldguy!

    Man, that roster is just eating it. 2 pts out of a playoff spot, what a joke. They should fire Chiarelli now.

    I don’t like IPA’s
    Too bitter

  19. OmJo says:

    Richard S.S.:
    Everyone forgets the Oilers are in the Postseason if they can survive Klefbom’s injury. Hitchcock got the Oilers into a Playoff position before losing Oscar.Since then they are 3-7-1 going for a.500 or better record. That’s the only numbers that matter.

    To me, secondary scoring (or lack thereof) is a bigger issue than injuries on the backend. If the team could score goals, they wouldn’t be missing Klefbom and Sekera as much because they wouldn’t have to rely on winning one-goal games.

    Even with both back, I don’t see how the abysmal forward depth can get us into the playoffs. McDavid is already going supernova by his standards

  20. €√¥£€^$ says:

    BeerLeagueHero:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    Thanks for the high compliment Darcy. You’re a real gem yourself! Have I ever told you how much I envy you? Say how’s your website doing? Getting a lot of “clicks” I hope.

    Have a great day Wouldguy!

    Man, that roster is just eating it. 2 pts out of a playoff spot, what a joke. They should fire Chiarelli now.

    Hey BLH,

    I read your blog, WG was accurate in his assessment IMHO and your response is what I’d expect from someone with limited life experience or a limited number of friends.

    Your T-Shirts are neat, but your reaction is from A-Hole territory, so you’ve lost any respect from me & you’ll get no more “clicks” from me.

  21. Side says:

    BeerLeagueHero,

    Ouuu another reason for me not to go to your website.

  22. flea says:

    Bank Shot,

    Let’s go for broke – 1st period, 10 min in against SJ on Tuesday

  23. "Steve Smith" says:

    €√¥£€^$: Your T-Shirts are neat,

    The T-shirts are actually going to be a real nightmare, copyright-wise, if he ever attracts enough attention for anybody to care.

  24. Rube Foster says:

    Just finished watching the game on PVR.

    Thank you Talbot! Another sluggish start and we were badly outshout, but I’m not going to be overly critical of a 4-0 victory. That was a very big win and it was lovely to see our Oil kick a struggling Anaheim team when they’re down.

    I have been a harsh critic of Milan Lucic on this blog, I will give the big fella due credit for a solid game and contributing to the victory in a meaningful way. It was great to see. More please.

  25. OriginalPouzar says:

    Kris Russell re-inserted in to the lineup make a big difference as, not only does the straight up trade of Manning out and Russell in make the team better but, when Russell is able to play in the 2nd pairing, it bumps various others down the lineup and allows them more of an opportunity to succeed. Last game we had Manning, Gravel and Petrovic in the lineup – someone was playing in the top 4. Last night, with Russell solidifying the 2nd pairing, Gravel and Petrovic were allowed to play 3rd pairing minutes and not be moved up the lineup.

    Of course, Caleb Jones had a sublime game last night playing top minutes and than helps alot – gotta give Adam Larsson some credit here – like Klefbom, he really helps a mobile type d-man succeed.

    If I recall correctly, earlier in the year the Nurse/Russell pairing was kind of up and down – they had a very nice stretch of games but then also had a stretch of games when they struggled. I generally thought that it was Russell that was letting the pairing down (as he is better suited to the 3rd pair and starts to struggle on the 2nd pair after a stretch). A quick look at some high level numbers may show otherwise.

    In 430 minutes together, Nurse/Russell have sawed off goal share (12GF/12GA), however, without Russell, in 368 minutes, Nurse has gotten caved – high event and not good, a 40% goal shares and 17GF/26GA. On the other hand Russell without Nurse has 7GF/2GA in 130 minutes.

    Alot of Nurse’s issues have been his struggles in 200 minutes with Larsson (most of his non-Russell minutes) which is really odd as that pairing was fantastic last year.

    Nurse/Russell does indeed need to be a thing.

  26. OriginalPouzar says:

    €√¥£€^$:
    Nice result, but goes to show how luck plays a big part in results.Anaheim owned the Oilers for big chunks of this game, luckily Dadbot slammed the door.

    I would posit a change to your position to read as follows:

    “Nice result, but goes to show how GOALTENDING plays a big part in results.”

    I don’ think Talbot made an 5-bell saves in the first 5 minutes but he was very solid and stopped a barrage. Even one of those goals goes in and we likely have a very different game.

    In LA – Koskinen does not make the saves early – Oilers get down and never got going

    In ANA – Talbot makes the early saves – Oilers get a goal and proceed to get going.

    The goalie is part of the team and I will NEVER apologize for a goalie being a big part of a win – in particular against ANA who absolutely rode Gibson during the first half of the season and Gibson is really the only reason they are anywhere near the playoffs.

  27. Bank Shot says:

    digger50: Sounds fun

    I will guess Sharks second period 14:21

    Assist to Draisait

    They play the sharks three more times. I assume you mean the next game?

  28. Bank Shot says:

    flea:
    Bank Shot,

    Let’s go for broke – 1st period, 10 min in against SJ on Tuesday

    Got you.

  29. OriginalPouzar says:

    drglen:
    On the radio at least, JP sounded dangerous

    He had a good game, once again.

    Lucic played well and Nuge was Nuge – that line had a very solid game – great 3rd line last night.

  30. OriginalPouzar says:

    I’m not sure if I should as everyone makes their own choices, but I have empathy for those that choose not to watch and miss out on entertaining Oiler experiences.

    Those that choose not to watch miss out on:

    – seeing how much, despite his warts, the team and Darnell Nurse missed Kris Russell over the last 10 games

    – seeing Jesse Puljuarvi, despite not “driving offence like a 4th overall” continue to develop

    – seeing that Lucic can be a plus contributor, at least for a game here or there

  31. €√¥£€^$ says:

    OriginalPouzar: I would posit a change to your position to read as follows:

    “Nice result, but goes to show how GOALTENDING plays a big part in results.”

    I don’ think Talbot made an 5-bell saves in the first 5 minutes but he was very solid and stopped a barrage. Even one of those goals goes in and we likely have a very different game.

    Not disagreeing and as Woodguy says hockey should change it’s name to goalie. But I also think luck plays a huge part in the results of a hockey game. Luck, not skill.

    When it comes to skill, the players in the middle and bottom of the roster are very close in skill, same with Goalies. Coaching strategies can nullify top-end skill if executed perfectly, which is often where bottom-end players who work hard and follow the coaches plan can have a huge impacts.

    The most obvious recent example would be the Canada vs Finland Jr game; broken stick on an empty net – no goal, shot off a leg from behind the net & Canada’s tournament is over. That’s why I refer to luck as a major factor in the sport, and I think way moreso at higher levels.

    In a 4-0 game with no empty net goals, you could say luck had a small part to play, but I think garbage goals have a lot of luck attached to them. I also think hockey is not only goalie, but literally a game of inches.

    I could go on and I also have an idea that could potentially revolutionize the game (it would minimize luck and increase the impact of skill as a major factor in every single NHL game result IMO), but I’ll save it for another day, if I ever share it at all.

    I am convinced the NHL is run by actual Neanderthals, so why even try. It would most likely brankrupt me and probably only gain traction in 100 yrs…..

  32. frjohnk says:

    OriginalPouzar: I’m not sure if I should as everyone makes their own choices, but I have empathy for those that choose not to watch and miss out on entertaining Oiler experiences.

    The gift that is Connor McDavid is what keeps me watching.

    One day he wont be an Oiler ( not sure when that is, but it will be quite a few years from now) and odds are the Oilers never have an impact player such as he in my lifetime. ( Im 39)

    And in my case,I figure I stayed as a fan during the DOD, I can handle a team that is now better than the DOD, but even if they are wildly inconsistent.

  33. frjohnk says:

    I watched the game on PVR late last night, so I have not gone through the comments.

    But I would suspect much of the talk on the radio today will be on the dangerous hit to McDavid. NHL has to wake up before a major injury happens, whether its McDavid or a tweener. That kind of play should be no where allowed.

  34. Wilde says:

    JimmyV1965:
    I have the same concerns about JP. He has flashes of brilliance and he’s willing to take a beating in front of the net, but he looks lost in the dzone. It still seems like he doesn’t know where to go. Someone has to talk to this kid about checking. He has to stop waving his stick at the puck and actually separate the player from the puck. I’m not sure if I can ever remember him doing this.

    Are you talking about when an opposing player has the puck up high when you talk about someone waving their stick?

    That’s what you’re supposed to do. Put your stick in passing lanes, then close on the carrier. You have to do it in that order specifically, and be careful on approach because you’re vulnerable to give-and-go if you make the pass too easy, and you’re vulnerable to getting toe-dragged or spun on or shot through if you play the body too eagerly.

    Think about turnovers that are forced by a winger on a point man. They either get their shot or pass blocked by a stick check, then it’s a fast break the other way; the puck clears the zone for a 50/50 battle, or the puck bounces to a place the defending team has inside position on, depending on the bounce.

    Almost never do you close on the guy, take the body, separate the guy from the puck and your team recovers it. And in those instances, playing the body happens after approaching while ‘waving your stick’.

    Today’s skilled and mobile defensemen will punish you if you give them time & space by trying to play the body up high on a natural gap that opens after the play goes low-to-high.

    Think about it as if it’s in the neutral zone, and a defenceman pinches to throw a hit on the puck carrier without support. It’s okay if it works, but if they get around you it’s an odd-man situation.

    This is the same thing, except in a different area of the ice. Defencemen close and play the puck first and the body second. Force them to dump the puck in. That’s what wingers do to point-men.

  35. Wilde says:

    One area I’d like to see Puljujärvi improve in, and this could be a matter of time and unit stability, is offensive zone positioning and routes. Often, he either-

    A) Goes to the net /too/ eagerly or too soon, obviously this has been drilled into his head, but I feel like he goes in too close too early, or stays there too long. What I mean is that he could present a one-time option on the way in, but ignores presenting himself as a passing option until he’s in his spot.

    Then, he stays there too long and never separates. A great trait of net-front powerplay and even strength guys. guys who make their money in front of the net (this is where I believe 98 will score 80+% of his 5v5 goals) know when to sneak out. A famous example is here, by Hossa & Keith (sorry): https://youtu.be/K3eD9MKglZY?t=5

    The other half of this is that once he gets there – and this is more on his teammates than him and I’m sure it’ll change once Nuge and Khaira play with him for a couple dozen games (I pray this happens) – is that the play isn’t run through him enough there. You could do a lot worse than make a pass outside-in to your behemoth net-front guy who has already scored some goals (like last night!) by using his reach and his body to receive passes and shove them on net. If you’re gonna have him sit there, run the play through him instead of going low-to-high and hoping the screen is perfect.

    B) Will double up a space/role that his teammate is occupying. This is ten times more deadly in the defensive zone, but it’s one of my pet peeves in the OZ. He ends up running into guys routes pretty often.

    What this does, is it essentially removes an option from whoever’s carrying the puck, since there’s a pass option missing from where you should be, and one guy can be blocking two passing lanes at once because there’s two players there instead of one. It makes the opposition’s efficiency too easy, too free.

  36. OriginalPouzar says:

    SJS is home to LAK tonight so they are on back to backs for the game against the Oil tomorrow.

    Will be interesting to see who is in goal for them tonight….

  37. Jethro Tull says:

    €√¥£€^$,

    It’s the lack of total control that makes us fans. The chance, however slim, that a dump in goes in the net, a weird bounce here and there.

    If I wanted by the numbers, top trumps style sport, I’d watch baseball.

  38. Professor Q says:

    frjohnk:
    I watched the game on PVR late last night, so I have not gone through the comments.

    But I would suspect much of the talk on the radio today will be on the dangerous hit to McDavid.NHL has to wake up before a major injury happens, whether its McDavid or a tweener.That kind of play should be no where allowed.

    Especially as there was a Doughty hit to his head in the prior game. Of which Doughty laughed at.

    What are the officials waiting for?

  39. New Improved Darkness says:

    €√¥£€^$:
    I could go on and I also have an idea that could potentially revolutionize the game (it would minimize luck and increase the impact of skill as a major factor in every single NHL game result IMO), but I’ll save it for another day, if I ever share it at all.

    You can’t minimize luck without losing half your audience at the end of the first period whenever a good team plays a bad team (90% chance you’ve already seen the last lead change, and there are so many other channels where the outcome remains up in the air).

    Skill testing question.

    The billionaire owners care more about:
    A) purity of sport
    B) purity of the bottom line

    Of course, it takes two to tango, so next up, you have to inquire into fan psychology.

    Skill testing question.

    The average fan cares more about:
    A) purity of the sport
    B) maximizing entertainment value

    Ask yourself this: do you sit around and obediently consume the advertising with full emotional arousal (important to make advertising actually stick) when Tampa is leading the Kings 3–0 at the end of the first period in a league where the rules are tilted toward rewarding skill rather than luck?

    If not, you’ve chosen door B.

    And if the fans choose B, the owners will also choose B.

    Guaranteed in this and all future worlds.

    Modern sport is 90% entertainment (for a lame value of entertainment compatible with the Bettman point system) and 10% flashes of the sublime. (Despite our horrible team construction, we still get at least our fair share of the 10%.)

    This won’t ever change, because it’s not broken by the standards of any game-theoretic matrix I’ve ever managed to write down.

    So you invent the best fruit juice blend that’s ever been blended and you think “man, we should bottle this!” and then the bottling plant informs you “yeah, your fresh product tastes fantastic, but you’re going to have to ultrasonically homogenize this so it doesn’t ferment inside the bottle and explode on the shelves spraying showers of sharp glass into the eyes of young children” and soon you have a bottled beverage not so different from any other bottled beverage. Luck has nothing to do with it: the bottle always wins.

    Once upon a time, the NHL was wild and woolly, the brew was potent, and the bottling was extremely sloppy. But what the modern NHL sells is largely nostalgia. It’s modern packaging has become extremely slick.

    I’m pretty sure it was David Byrne who explained in his book that he was touring and he got some sage advice on staging (can’t recall the name of the sage, if it was even revealed).

    And here was the advice: you have so many musicians on stage, and they take turns doing amazing things, but half the dunderheads in the audience fail to notice how amazing your musicians actually are, so what you have to do is teach of the musicians how to make some kind of signalling move that something amazing is about to happen, so the dunderheads are looking in the right direction when it actually does. A surprisingly subtle thing can be reliably noticed by everyone, so it wasn’t entirely obvious that he had complied, but he had, as confessed in his own words.

    Think about that.

    Gone is the organic moment. Inbound: the rehearsed, watch-me-now gesture. Not even David Byrne’s legendary authenticity survived a pointed memo from the bottling plant.

    No Neanderthal hypothesis required. It’s simply how the world turns.

    You can have your cake and eat it too. Find something wild and thrilling and unpredictable which displays immense flair and skill that thrills you to your core; love the hell out of it while the bottling remains immature; then abruptly kick it to the curb when the fizz is gone; lather/rinse/repeat.

    Problem: this does not satisfy our tribal natures.

    It’s just like marriage. One part hankers for the tried and true, another part pines for exhilarating novelty. (There is such a thing as a fountain of youth: it’s called trading in the old model. Your existing spouse is probably not on board with this. Your existing billionaire franchise owners are probably not on board with the grand plans of fandom to have it both ways, either.)

    Sometimes life is a tease, and it’s not just a random side dish, but the actual bottom line.

  40. €√¥£€^$ says:

    New Improved Darkness,

    & Jethro,

    I hear you, but NHL coaching & tactics choke the life out of the skill game. I presented the numbers last year regarding the predictability of game outcomes based on the win percentages of team scoring first in the game, in a period, etc.

    90+%* of the time an NHL team trailing after 2 periods will NOT win the game. This does not make for exciitement or entertainment in my experience as a frustrated fan of a perennial cellar-dwelling NHL team. Your responses just feed into my “why bother even trying or discussing frustration”, especially when the on-ice product can clearly be improved.

    *I will look into this in the next couple of weeks, unless someone beats me to it.

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