Last of the Steam Powered Trains

by Lowetide

The boys are back in town. Ken Hitchcock said this about Oscar Klefbom: “We liked what we saw, we’ve got another practice to go through tomorrow. We’ll see how he feels in the morning, this is the first time he’s gotten knocked around a little bit” and that’s your lead story right there.

THE ATHLETIC!

The Athletic Edmonton brought it yesterday, there’s a fabulous cluster of stories (some linked below, some on the site). Great perspective from a ridiculous group of writers and analysts. Proud to be part of the group. Outstanding offer is here.

  • New Lowetide: If fast is the new big, how do the Edmonton Oilers get there in a hurry?
  • New Jonathan Willis: Analyzing how well Peter Chiarelli and Keith Gretzky restocked the Oilers with their draft work
  • New Lowetide: Finding a path to the playoffs may involve reckless use of future assets by the Oilers
  • New Jonathan Willis: An Oilers blueprint for the 2019 NHL free agency period
  • Tyler Dellow: A deeper look at Connor McDavid and the Oilers’ 5-on-5 offensive changes under Ken Hitchcock
  • Corey Pronman: 2019 NHL Draft midseason rankings
  • Jonathan Willis: An Oilers blueprint for the 2019 NHL trade deadline.
  • Lowetide: Edmonton’s 2019 entry draft plans may change with new GM but needs are clear
  • Lowetide: Caleb Jones has impressive first showing in the NHL with Oilers.
  • Tyler Dellow: Four questions that the Oilers should be asking candidates for the GM job
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: New Oilers caretaker Keith Gretzky caught between earning playoff berth and keeping future assets
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Goalless Tobias Rieder hopes to follow Zack Kassian and Milan Lucic and end his offensive funk.
  • Lowetide: Complete Oilers top 20 prospects, Winter 2018

OILERS AFTER 51

  • Oilers in 2015: 20-26-5, 45 points; goal differential -22
  • Oilers in 2016: 28-15-8, 64 points; goal differential +17
  • Oilers in 2017: 23-24-4, 50 points; goal differential -26
  • Oilers in 2018: 23-24-3, 49 points; goal differential -13

Oilers are a little unlucky to have this record based on goal differential, but it’s also true the team has been so streaky it’s impossible to build a reasonable defense of this group. Edmonton is 14-14-2 under Hitchcock.

OILERS IN FEBRUARY

  • Oilers in February 2016: 1-0-0, two points; goal differential +1
  • Oilers in February 2017: 0-1-0, 0 points; goal differential -2
  • Oilers in February 2018: 0-1-1, one point; goal differential -1
  • Oilers in February 2019: 0-0-0, 0 points; goal differential —

WHAT TO EXPECT IN FEBRUARY

  • On the road to: Philadelphia, Montreal (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Chicago (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Minnesota (Expected 0-0-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: San Jose (Expected 0-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Pittsburgh, Carolina, NY Islanders (Expected 2-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Arizona, NY Islanders, Anaheim (Expected 2-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Nashville, Toronto, Ottawa (Expected 1-2-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 7-6-1, 15 points in 14 games
  • Current results: 0-0-0, 0 points in 14 games

I have the Oilers ending February 64, 30-30-4, 64 points. They’re going to finish with 84-87 points by my estimate.

Flyers and Boston is an interesting game to scout, although it’s really just a pre-scout for the Saturday game. Among the players Edmonton might have noticed if available:

  • RD Radko Gudas, $3.35 million for one more season. I know few of you value Corsi anymore but this guy shines like a diamond. I think he’s terrific.
  • R Wayne Simmonds, $3.975 million and he’s UFA. Simmonds last three seasons 5-on-5 scoring per 60 (1.14, 1.29, 1.18) is in the same range as Milan Lucic in the same seasons (1.21, 1.30, 0.84). Not a wise investment.
  • LD Ivan Provorov, $894,167 and an RFA this summer. Although he’s a fantastic young player, Provorov has struggled this season (info here). I would take the bet.
  • L Jake DeBrusk, $863,333 and an RFA next summer. He isn’t going anywhere but I included him because DeBrusk would be a great get for Edmonton right now. He’s struggling mightily.

As impressive as it was live, the printed version might be more powerful. I think Oilers fans are at a point where everything (Penner’s recent comments, MacT’s scouting) becomes the hill to die on, which has the overall impact of making all things white noise. Woodguy’s verbal is stunning clarity, and in that moment he uncovers the truth. The call is coming from inside the house.

I offer this list not as a guide to Oilers offer sheets, but as a ‘before’ photo about the changing financial landscape of cap room for several Canadian teams. The McDavid-Draisaitl $21 million is going to get some competition as an outer marker in the coming days. I’ll be interested to see how much south of $21 million Kyle Dubas can bring Matthews-Marner contracts.

Matthews is the key. McDavid’s deal was 16 percent of the cap when he signed, Matthews will be less but the cap greater. Let’s say he signs shorter term (that has been discussed) at 12 percent of $83 million ($9.96 million). Let’s say Marner signs at 10 percent ($8.3 million), which would bring the two men in at $18.26 million. Even though it’s almost $3 million less than the Oilers duo, it’s shorter term and still a helluva total. It gets weird early when these second contracts go supernova.

This is the Talbot trade timeline, unless there’s no market. I think Matt Benning, Zack Kassian and Tobias Rieder might also be vulnerable, and do wonder about Kris Russell’s willingness to move.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

It’s a busy morning as we set up Super Bowl weekend and the return of the Edmonton Oilers. Starting at 10, TSN1260:

  • Steve Lansky, BigMouthSports. Super Bowl parties, Oilers at the deadline, pitchers and catchers.
  • Andy McNamara, TSN4Downs. Super Bowl preview.
  • Matt Iwanyk, TSN1260. Super Bowl, Oilers, CFL free agency.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Friday, people!

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OriginalPouzar

After their 9th straight win, the Condors in second place and 7 points up on 5th (top 4 make the playoffs) giving up a game in hand.

The are in Ontario tonight – trap game as the Reign are in last place and my guess is they give Stuart Skinner the start tonight.

A second game in a row that doesn’t conflict with the Oilers game and it starts an hour early at 7 so I should be able to watch in full.

Go Oilers!

Go Condors!

OriginalPouzar

oilersfan:
If Spooner plays five games in the ahl and gets 8-10 points I wonder if the oilers recall him and give him a chance with mcdavid

Wouldn’t it be funny if he played with mcdavid and rattie and they clicked on a heater showing how Mcsavior can resurrect players careers

I believe its an absolute no-brainer to give Spooner a long stretch of games in the top 6. Its something he has not had since the acquisition and he has not been put in a position to succeed.

Prior to this year, Sooner has essentially provided complementary secondary scoring for his entire NHL career – top 6 scoring rates. He has a history of providing exactly what the Oilers need but, yet, the current interim coach has not given the player a real chance to produce.

The Oilers very well could have an internal option for a big hole next year and it would make sense to give it a real shot this year to see if its a realistic option going in to next year.

OriginalPouzar

Didn’t see the 3rd period but nice to wake up and see the Condors hold on for a 4-2 win.

Slight shot advantage in the 3rd period and, after the Wild pull to within one with four minutes left – Gust puts one in the empty net from Lagesson.

Starret stops 24 of 26.

Rematch tonight!

Rebillled

Glovjuice,

Woodguys’ post was great.

So great that someone should fire up the Bat Signal.

Hopefully he doesn’t move us to Seatt…too late sucka!

#atlantaoilers

oilersfan

If Spooner plays five games in the ahl and gets 8-10 points I wonder if the oilers recall him and give him a chance with mcdavid

Wouldn’t it be funny if he played with mcdavid and rattie and they clicked on a heater showing how Mcsavior can resurrect players careers

oilersfan

I think Caleb Jones will be the Oilers version of TJ Brodie

Late draft pick turns out to be legit #2 Dman

Skates as well with similar offensive ability

leadfarmer

Scungilli Slushy: Good for him and his team. Who cares?

you must have missed the discussion last offseason

Glovjuice

godot10: Three regular strength points, but only plus 1,all with Kane and Toews on the ice.New Drake, same as the old Drake.High event “parasite” feasting on elite players.

One of the goals against he screened the goaltender and bailed on blocking the shot.

On the 2nd goal against, he was nowhere in the picture, floating somewhere in centre of the ice, like many seconds after Buffalo had possession in the Chicago end down low.

LOL

godot10

flyfish1168:
Drake with a breakout evening 1G & 2A. Happy for him

Three regular strength points, but only plus 1, all with Kane and Toews on the ice. New Drake, same as the old Drake. High event “parasite” feasting on elite players.

One of the goals against he screened the goaltender and bailed on blocking the shot.

On the 2nd goal against, he was nowhere in the picture, floating somewhere in centre of the ice, like many seconds after Buffalo had possession in the Chicago end down low.

Scungilli Slushy

leadfarmer:
TJ Brodie tonight 2 points. 27 min played
It’s too bad he’s not even a second pairing defenseman

Good for him and his team. Who cares?

OriginalPouzar

That was a hell of a period for the Condors – they came in waves – full credit for the 3-1 lead.

17 shots in the 2nd.

Spooner is too good for the AHL – he’s a top 6 NHL player

Yamamoto with a real plus 2nd period – started to create shift after shift.

OriginalPouzar

Spooner with a wonderful pass off a rush – great vision – to set up Patty Russell and the Condors almost had another – nice save.

OriginalPouzar

Gust given the 2nd assist – I guess after Jones and Spooner played give and go for a bit it went over to Gust prior to Jones.\

Either way, Spooner looked very good on the half boards running the PP.

Oh, yes, that’s right, Spooner made a quick touch cross-ice pass to Gust before it going back to Jones for the shot. Nice play.

OriginalPouzar

Joe G. tips a Jones PP shot and its 3-1 Condors.

Play set up off the half boards by Spooner who has been, by far, the best player on the ice.

Spooner not given an assist right away but he should definitely get one for his third point of the night.

Glovjuice

OriginalPouzar:
Yamamoto starting to create scoring chances for himself, shift after shift now.

Please, captain OP. Make it so.

OriginalPouzar

Hebig drives the net hard on a 2 on 1 with Esposito and draws a PP.

Condors are dominating the 2nd period.

OriginalPouzar

Yamamoto starting to create scoring chances for himself, shift after shift now.

OriginalPouzar

leadfarmer:
TJ Brodie tonight 2 points. 27 min played
It’s too bad he’s not even a second pairing defenseman

Brodie is a fine d-man, definitely a legit top 4 and he’d be right at or near the top of the Oilers depth chart. At the same time, I don’t think the Gio factor can be over-stated.

OriginalPouzar

Yamamoto with a quick break chance and the Condors almost score 3 in a minute – nice save.

OriginalPouzar

Condors score another second later – Joe G. on a rebound (his 20th) – Logan Day and Ryan Spooner with the assists.

Glovjuice

Rebillled:
¡TSN article up:

ARE the Oilers a team in the National Hockey League?

The Edmonton Oilers place Ty Rattie on waivers.

Ty Rattie on the top line tomorrow.

Reminds me of some relationships I’ve had.

The toxic ones.

I retract my previous post. THIS post here is even more scathing than Woodguys rant.

OriginalPouzar

Russell with a real nice pass off the rush pass to Spooner in front who scores his second in two games.

flyfish1168

Drake with a breakout evening 1G & 2A. Happy for him

Biggus Dickus

Penner interview wa hard to listen to (Do hockey players realize how stupid they sound?), but definitely worth a listen. Basically confirmed Lowe was still active when he was there, and has same thoughts on the OBC we do.

Ryan

godot10: MacT wasn’t with the Oilers organization when they drafted Klefbom.If you are thinking about the famous Klefbom comments, it was after the first time he ever saw him play after he became GM.

My bad. Yes, I was thinking of that famous quote.

Good catch. No quite as good of catch as the OP conditioning stint, but good nevertheless.

leadfarmer

TJ Brodie tonight 2 points. 27 min played
It’s too bad he’s not even a second pairing defenseman

Glovjuice

jtblack:
Peter made some BAD trades. Some real bad ones.But with Ottawa sitting dead last in the NHL, let’s revisit this Beauty.

Matt Duchene trade:

COL:
Samuel Girard – NHL
Vladislav Kamenev – NHL (23 games)
Andrew Hammond –
Shane Bowers – NCAA
NSH second-rounder (2018) – A good prospect
,OTT first-rounder (2019) – Could be Top 3 Franchise type
OTT third-rounder (2019) – wildcard

OTT: Matt Duchene – Duchene has been good but might not re sign, meaning all the assets out were for nothing (sound familiar Pete?)

NSH: Kyle Turris – Turris has 6 Goals and will turn 30 this summer.

HATS OFF TO SUPER JOE ON THIS DEAL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If it’s #1 looks like one of the worst trades of all time.

Pescador

OriginalPouzar:
Iowa open the scoring late in the first – a quick break off the boards and a guy left open in front.

Sekera would’ve had that guy

OriginalPouzar

Down 1-0 after one – Iowa kind of took over a bit in the last 7-8 minutes or so.

OriginalPouzar

Iowa open the scoring late in the first – a quick break off the boards and a guy left open in front.

OriginalPouzar

Dallas beat Minny in regulation – a fine result.

OriginalPouzar

Yamamoto killing penalties and showing a nice stick (as we’ve seen – mostly in exhibition mind you).

Glovjuice

godot10: Dubnyk, Broissoit.It is the Oilers, not the goaltender.

Another one. Beautiful.

Glovjuice

godot10:
Lucic with McDavid.The pump-and-hopefully-dump to the trade deadline.Connor looks left.A boat anchor.He looks right.An AHL winger.What a way to go to war.

Draisaitl with Rieder and Chiasson is going to have to push the river.Drai has to channel the Drai-vs-Getzlaf of the Anaheim series.Time for Toby to get it going again.

Nugent-Hopkins looks to be starting in the D zone all the time (considering Connor’s wingers).

This is very funny. Every bit as good as Woodguys rant. More of a microcosmic view, of course, but just as scathing.

OriginalPouzar

Yamamoto playing with Vesel and Gust – a quick line from what I can see.

OriginalPouzar

Tight checking first 10 minutes.

Condors up 5-1 in shots.

Best chance on the PP was a nice Spooner set up of Yamamoto for a deflection that just went wide.

Russell and Spooner also in on a 2 on 1 at evens and Russell was stopped off the shot.

OriginalPouzar

No Bear tonight – I now remember that he did leave last game with an ankle issue and didn’t return.

Hopefully its not the vaunted “high ankle sprain”.

OriginalPouzar

Spooner, Yamamoto, Joe G., Jones, Stanton on the second unit and they had better chances than the first unit.

OriginalPouzar

Benson with a couple of unforced offensive zone turnovers on that PP – not a great start for Benson – maybe a bit rusty.

OriginalPouzar

Easy kill for the Condors – now on the PP (too many men):

Marody, Day, Callahan, Currie, Benson (left point).

OriginalPouzar

Spooner takes a reaching in penalty on the forecheck16 seconds in…

OriginalPouzar

I wonder what the Condors might do with the lines with Malone not available.

I wonder if they put someone like Vesel or Esposito between Russell and Joe G. and leave Hebig between Spooner and Yamamoto?

Starret gets the start tonight.

frjohnk

OriginalPouzar:
McLeod held off the scoresheet – he did take a misconduct after a slashing penalty.

Maksimov with a goal – I think he did with his head from the highlight I was able to find.

Samorukov held off the sheet but registered 6 shots on net.

Hayden Hawkey give stops 12 of 15 in a 3-1 loss – a rare off night it seems.

Dudek with an assist and Rasanen with a goal as B. College wins 5-3.

I love your optimism and love the prospect updates. Thanks

OriginalPouzar

McLeod held off the scoresheet – he did take a misconduct after a slashing penalty.

Maksimov with a goal – I think he did with his head from the highlight I was able to find.

Samorukov held off the sheet but registered 6 shots on net.

Hayden Hawkey give stops 12 of 15 in a 3-1 loss – a rare off night it seems.

Dudek with an assist and Rasanen with a goal as B. College wins 5-3.

jp

godot10:
Lucic with McDavid.The pump-and-hopefully-dump to the trade deadline.Connor looks left.A boat anchor.He looks right.An AHL winger.What a way to go to war.

Hopefully it works.

And as maligned as Lucic-McDavid have been they’ve actually had good results together (GF% of 58.5 over last 3 years). Ugly results in 40 min this year, but it worked before that.

OmJo

smellyglove:
silasbengtsson,

I know Chia has been canned, but when’s the last time you ever saw the Oilers do anything “innovative”? Three-way trades, salary circumvention-lite, etc.

Does talent circumvention count?

Scungilli Slushy

Kapanen seems like a great addition if they could manage it reasonably.

2.5 years in the AHL.

Maybe they have a RW Finn like that.

That’s 2 years younger.

And a centre ?

Biggus Dickus

OriginalPouzar:
Buddy,

The Perron trade out of Edmonton was 100% necessary.

Right before the trade, Perron publicly called out his teammates to the media regarding effort, etc.

The very next game he absolutely gave up on back-check and the winning goal against was scored.

Right after calling out his mates for laziness – that was it, he needed to go after that.

It was a pretty tame comment, and was entirely accurate. Words we along the lines of “We seem to keep learning the same lessons which is frustrating.” Contrast that to Drouin or Patrick Kane. Not complaining though, because they traded him for Barzal.

MushedPeas

silasbengtsson,

Oh. Yeah. God no. Burn The Mall before that.

Just pointing out one teeny little thing, and not attaching value to it even (I’d say the gamble broke even, cept that I want to award entertainment points).

OriginalPouzar

Dr. Taboggan:
OriginalPouzar,

That is still in the bottom third of the league… so the Oilers have the 3rd worst home record and a bottom 1/3 road record. Both are quite poor and not nearly good enough for a playoff team. The spin is still: the Oilers are clearly not a playoff team barring some McJesus miracle in the last 30 games.

I am in no way saying the Oilers are good. I have been pretty express for a month now that they are right in a giant tier of suck along with 6 or so other teams.

At the same time, I was responding to those posts because they were simply cherry picking stats to make the Oilers look as poor as possible. Yes, they are poor, quite poor it seems – there is no need to cherry pick stats to try and make them worse than they are.