Game 54 2018-19: Oilers at Wild

The Edmonton Oilers remain three points out of a playoff spot, tied with 15 other teams for No. 11 in the Western Conference. Oilers fans are basically prepared for anything—10 goals against in the third period, malaria, love in the time of cholera, plus all the awful things mentioned in Leviticus. A regulation win? Now that would be surprising.

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 Daniel Nugent-Bowman: What Connor McDavid’s evolving leadership qualities mean to the Oilers.
  • New Lowetide: It’s time for Oilers owner Daryl Katz to stand and deliver a winning organization.
  • Lowetide: Setting the Oilers’ expected keeper list for the next GM
  • Lowetide: Entry deal AHL forwards give the Oilers an excellent trade pool.
  • Lowetide: If fast is the new big, how do the Edmonton Oilers get there in a hurry?
  • Jonathan Willis: Analyzing how well Peter Chiarelli and Keith Gretzky restocked the Oilers with their draft work
  • Lowetide: Finding a path to the playoffs may involve reckless use of future assets by the Oilers
  • 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 54

  • Oilers in 2015: 21-28-5, 47 points; goal differential -28
  • Oilers in 2016: 28-18-8, 64 points; goal differential +11
  • Oilers in 2017: 23-27-4, 50 points; goal differential -29
  • Oilers in 2018: 23-25-5, 51 points; goal differential -19

The 2018-19 Oilers are the second best McDavid Oilers, and my goodness they are still a wild ride. If you look at this year’s Oilers, and compare them to other clubs in this race for the final playoff spot, there is an incredible looseness on and off the ice. Oilers can give up five in a period tonight and find themselves in a cap crunch before midnight Tuesday. Does anyone know how to drive this thing?

OILERS IN FEBRUARY

  • Oilers in February 2016: 1-3-0, two points; goal differential -15
  • Oilers in February 2017: 1-3-0, two points; goal differential -7
  • Oilers in February 2018: 1-2-1, three points; goal differential +1
  • Oilers in February 2019: 0-1-2, two points; goal differential -6
  • The 2016 club was off the rails after four games, the playoff team struggling too. We’ll see about this bunch, seems there’s a lot of soap opera around the team currently.

WHAT TO EXPECT IN FEBRUARY

  • On the road to: Philadelphia, Montreal (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 0-0-2)
  • At home to: Chicago (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 0-1-0)
  • 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: 0-1-2, two points in three games

Ottawa will want a first-round pick in the 2019 draft, Edmonton could be shopping for any number of pieces. I’ll name Ryan Dzingel, Cody Ceci, Craig Anderson but it could be Zack Smith.

I have no way of best available but my goodness there are a lot of candidates. Bill Zito of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Laurence Gilman of the Toronto Maple Leafs get mentioned, but they come from the agent/numbers side. Edmonton is looking for a talent evaluator based on early names (the Hunters, Kelly McCrimmon). Mike Futa of the Los Angeles Kings might be a solid candidate.

Cam Talbot is No. 11, starting tonight and that probably means more showcase games. Jesse Puljujarvi is No. 35, seems his chances of staying have increased (music!) and Tobias Rieder is No. 46.

CONDORS STATS

Eric Rodgers has been delivering quality AHL stats since the Oklahoma City days, and he continues to do it several times a season for the Bakersfield Condors. It’s a unique look inside the team and gives us a strong idea about who is pushing results (scoring and outscoring) in the AHL. Here’s the latest:

Eric has been doing this for a long time and the estimates ring true. Anything over 2.50 is ‘in the range’ of NHL calibre, meaning Puljujarvi, Marody, Gambardella and Benson quality. Yamamoto? Not there yet. I’ll have the defense for you tomorrow.

Benson’s season at 20 shines like a diamond compared to other Oilers prospects who played in the AHL at the same age in recent seasons. Here’s a look at the 2014-15 campaign:

Also fascinating in looking back? The two NHL players from this roster (Pitlick and Khaira) are well down the list. The lessons? Twofold. First, scoring stars don’t play in the AHL much, and there’s plenty of room to grow when you’re in the AHL at age 20.

What does this say about Yamamoto? Well he is posting strong numbers at 20 but it’s also true skill forwards don’t spend much time in the minors. A very important finish to the season for the youngster.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A fun morning with lots shaking, we get started at 10, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Sarah McLellan, Star Tribune Sports. Wild have a six-point cushion over the Oilers but tonight is a big game. Also, Mikko Koivu’s injury.
  • Frank Seravalli, TSN. The trade board needs updating every hour on the hour!

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!

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276 Responses to "Game 54 2018-19: Oilers at Wild"

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  1. ArmchairGM says:

    Scungilli Slushy: “a freakin 2RD until they get pushed down or off, but even if Bouchard or Persson make the team they will not be that for at least a year. Neither has shown enough defensive acumen that says they have enough of that for the NHL level yet.”

    I agree with your general sentiment, but I think you’re ignoring the defensive improvement that Bouchard has shown in the OHL this year. Here are his 5v5 GF/60 and GA/60:

    2017-18: 3.25 – 2.78
    2018-19: 4.50 – 1.98

    His 69.39 GF% is best in the league for defensemen.

  2. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Western Conference Playoff Standings using Points Percentage shown as points over/under fake Bettman .500

    Pacific
    CGY 20
    SJS 15
    VGK 9

    Central
    WPG 18
    NSH 13
    DAL 7

    Wildcard
    MIN 4
    STL 2

    Out of playoffs
    COL 0
    VAN 0
    ARI -2
    EDM -2
    CHI -3
    ANA -3
    LAK -5

    Relevant games tonight:

    COL at WSH (WSH -160)
    ANA at OTT (OTT -115)
    STL at TBY (TBY -180)
    DAL at NSH (NSH -180)
    VAN at CHI (CHI -135)
    CBJ at ANA (CBJ -135)
    EDM at MIN (MIN -185)

    If ARI, CHI and ANA win while EDM loses, EDM would be in 14th place in the WC.

    Lordy.

    Also,

    Interesting day about Hitch yesterday.

    Gregor calls for him to be relieved of his duties.

    Stauffer (!!) mentioned he needs to be less negative.

    Craig Simpson (on Stauffer’s show) says there is no way Hitch is back next year.

    Hitch watches practice from the stands with KG and Howson.

    Hmmmmmmmmmm.

    Also,

    I have a weird feeling that Talbot stands on his head and EDM wins 3-2 or 4-2 with a EN.

    GOILERS!!!

    *clapclap*

  3. OriginalPouzar says:

    Off to Disneyland later today and I think I might be more disappointed to miss the Condors’ games Friday and Sat than the Oilers’ games tonight and tomorrow – in particular with Reggie playing this weekend.

    Will be on a plane for most of tonight’s game – maybe the wifi will be strong enough to stream GameCenter – most likely Jack and Bob.

    I wonder if Godot gets his wish with McDavid’s perfect winger on his left side, Tobias Rieder – he may have just been a placeholder for Rattie who missed practice yesterday.

    3 points out – this is a pretty darn big game!

  4. OriginalPouzar says:

    Dylan Strome, a former 3rd overall pick, solidifying himself as an NHL player at 21 year’d sold (turning 22 soon) and putting up top 6 numbers is a perfect example of why Jesse Puljujarvi should not be on the trade board.

    Sometimes it take a few years, even for the top picks.

    His current trade value almost undoubtedly dwarfs his potential which remains high.

  5. Jethro Tull says:

    Rieder being showcased:

    “And here’s how much he sucks next to the world’s best player and an NHL top 10 player on the other wing.”

    I think going away from the Connor/Drai/Nuge ceneterd lines is a mistake. Looked good for 2 and 2/3rds games. But I called it. A blip and it’s back to being crushed 5×5, the portion of the game you play the most.

  6. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    – I have heard he’s a little like Phil Mickleson: aka “FIGJAM”. A public persona that is nothing like actual persona. Team played better because less injuries, and they be like “f$ck we got Coach fired” IMO

    – It really seems like they are going status quo: MacT doing some advance scouting in Ottawa, Howson perched up above, telling Hitch with Gretz what’s going wrong: All’s we need a better GM who can evaluate better, and we are good to go. they are on in, solving the mess they inherited

  7. Scungilli Slushy says:

    ArmchairGM:
    Scungilli Slushy: “a freakin 2RD until they get pushed down or off, but even if Bouchard or Persson make the team they will not be that for at least a year. Neither has shown enough defensive acumen that says they have enough of that for the NHL level yet.”

    I agree with your general sentiment, but I think you’re ignoring the defensive improvement that Bouchard has shown in the OHL this year. Here are his 5v5 GF/60 and GA/60:

    2017-18: 3.25 – 2.78
    2018-19: 4.50 – 1.98

    His 69.39 GF% is best in the league for defensemen.

    I’m not one of the doubters about Bouchard. Still, while his numbers show a dominant player at that level, his areas that need work are directly related to what will cause him issues at the NHL level.

    Pace of play has been mentioned, learning reads, learning to be effective physically – I don’t want anyone telling on the team telling him he has to be a hitter, but getting the puck off forwards is job #1. His skating while I think good has yet to be proven in the NHL.

    He may have to improve areas in his skating that he is weaker in, maybe he does that this summer, but it seems that rarely happens with this team’s ability to improve it’s players. Drai to me is a prime example, he is still very ‘heavy’ in his first few steps and struggles with tempo throughout a whole game, I think in part because he skates like he has a 50 lb back pack on or weighs as much as Lucic.

    There are very few D that can walk straight into the NHL and play a rounded game at a top 4 level. Bouchard may have top 4 offense next year and I think will be on the team too early unless a miracle happens, but will need sheltering defensively almost certainly.

    To leave Russell in that 2 RD spot will mean more of the same. They need someone who can defend the neutral zone and the blueline to keep the puck out first, and be able to recover the puck and make a pass to get out of the D zone cleanly more often.

  8. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    – Disneyland in Aneheim? YOu could catch a NHL game there.

    – It’s actually a very good place for adults now as well: Disney has done a remarkable job of engineering an experience that facilitates easy rapid large transfers of money from patron to Corp. For sure not a MickeyMouse organization

  9. Scungilli Slushy says:

    I was in Vancouver for a few days and listening to sports talk on 1040. They had Luke Schenn on as a guest who is in Utica now, trying to get back into the NHL.

    Interesting to me was his take on the game now, how D needed to be big and heavy and tough, now they have to be able to make plays, pass, skate, and move up. He mentioned how there are far fewer 6’3 220 lb D now.

    Also, he mentioned how there are only 10-15 or something D in the league that can play like the elite do, able to skate the puck out and up the ice. do what Karlsson and the like do, and that the key is being able to make 5 -10 foot passes to advance play. It’s absolutely key.

    I’m thinking the Oiler D are trying to make 15-25 foot passes. Hmmm.

  10. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Scungilli Slushy,

    – If Bouchard could play with Sek circa 2016: that’s reasonable bet for 2nd pairing next year:

    Klef-Larsson
    Sek-Bouchard
    Nurse-Benning

    -That Sek isn’t likely. They will be tempted/forced to slot Bouchard too high, without a way better D mentoring him. Like Jones he will do fine for awhile but won’t be ready, being asked to do too much

  11. geowal says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    Scungilli Slushy,

    – If Bouchard could play with Sek circa 2016: that’s reasonable bet for 2nd pairing next year:

    Klef-Larsson
    Sek-Bouchard
    Nurse-Benning

    -That Sek isn’t likely. They will be tempted/forced to slot Bouchard too high, without a way better D mentoring him. Like Jones he will do fine for awhile but won’t be ready, being asked to do too much

    Didn’t you hear? They’re going to develop with patience now! Bobby Nic said so!

  12. Primetime says:

    I don’t think they are showcasing anybody…I think Bobby Nicks is true to his word and believes this team as is, can make the playoffs. Any scouting by MacT or otherwise is for additions, not off loading. Any reload will happen after a new GM comes in. After yet another failed season, it will be easier to let him cut whatever he wants to with little argument.

    On the same token, I’m not sure they are sold on selling Talbot. Is it considered “showcasing” a goalie to put him behind this gong-show defense, get shelled and then get pulled? That increases his value? If you were selling, you find a deal and execute it. Not continually put him out there in the middle of a playoff race…if he started to win and get his confidence back, and the team’s with it, you are then going to sell? Spector’s article quoted Talbot saying that he is absolutely wanting to comeback to Edmonton, he loves the organization and the city. I think he believes (or they told him) that the Koskinen deal was all Chia, and there is every chance the new GM would prefer Talbot if he starts to regain form, and would try to trade Koski in the off season.

    This would be especially true if the new GM (aka MacT) has already told him so.

  13. JimmyV1965 says:

    From the last thread OP, if we trade Lucic in a three-way deal and retain $3 mill, the team that actually receives Lucic is on the hook for $1.5 mill over four years. I think lots of teams would be willing to do that. The asset cost for the Oilers would be the price to pay another team to take on $1.5 mill in cap space for four years for nothing. I have no idea what that would be. If the team that acquired Lucic gave up a second rounder and we gave up a second rounder, is that enough to convince a third team to take on $1.5 mill in cap space for four years.

  14. ArmchairGM says:

    Scungilli Slushy: I’m not one of the doubters about Bouchard. Still, while his numbers show a dominant player at that level, his areas that need work are directly related to what will cause him issues at the NHL level.

    Pace of play has been mentioned, learning reads, learning to be effective physically – I don’t want anyone telling on the team telling him he has to be a hitter, but getting the puck off forwards is job #1. His skating while I think good has yet to be proven in the NHL.

    He may have to improve areas in his skating that he is weaker in, maybe he does that this summer, but it seems that rarely happens with this team’s ability to improve it’s players. Drai to me is a prime example, he is still very ‘heavy’ in his first few steps and struggles with tempo throughout a whole game, I think in part because he skates like he has a 50 lb back pack on or weighs as much as Lucic.

    There are very few D that can walk straight into the NHL and play a rounded game at a top 4 level. Bouchard may have top 4 offense next year and I think will be on the team too early unless a miracle happens, but will need sheltering defensively almost certainly.

    To leave Russell in that 2 RD spot will mean more of the same. They need someone who can defend the neutral zone and the blueline to keep the puck out first, and be able to recover the puck and make a pass to get out of the D zone cleanly more often.

    I agree with everything that you wrote here. I just didn’t want to lose sight of the fact that Bouchard IS developing nicely. IMO he should have a season in Bakersfield prior to coming to the bigs – he could be ready to step into a top-4 role in 2020-21.

  15. Glass says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    I think Sekera/Bouchard is a nice pairing, but on the 3rd pair. Sekera would make a fantastic mentor, Bouchard would get to be sheltered, and we’d finally have that RHD that can run a PP.

  16. Dr. Taboggan says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Wow. Did Gregor really call for Hitch to be relieved? That is surprising. If there was ever an organization that would fire two coaches in one season it would be the Oilers.

    I doubt they relieve Hitch this season though. They will wait to hire a new GM and let the new GM hire their own coach (hopefully).

  17. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    Scungilli Slushy,

    – If Bouchard could play with Sek circa 2016: that’s reasonable bet for 2nd pairing next year:

    Klef-Larsson
    Sek-Bouchard
    Nurse-Benning

    -That Sek isn’t likely. They will be tempted/forced to slot Bouchard too high, without a way better D mentoring him. Like Jones he will do fine for awhile but won’t be ready, being asked to do too much

    Asking a rookie Dman who isn’t a plus skater to take on top 4 competition isn’t a good idea imo.

  18. Coiler says:

    Bouchard is a gem of a player. Though I think he needs to some seasoning in Bakersfield. He won’t regress there and he’ll only benefit from playing half a season to a full season there. Would anyone here put him at the same level as Aaron Ekblad? To me at least, he was one of the last D-Men who was ready to play immediately after being drafted. If the answer is no then Bouchard should go to the minors.

    Otherwise, if they continue the great Oiler tradition of rushing players in, I would plop him on the 3rd of 4th pairing and shelter the living hell out of him like Tampa did with Sergachev last year.

    As far as Hitch goes, if these players can’t stand him after 30 games or so then they should go pound salt. If their play was good and they were putting up wins all the time then maybe they’d have a case. Right now, too many fringe players are dictating the tempo of this club and he’s calling them out on it. Geez, heaven forbid a coach holds a player accountable. Is this what the NHL has become? Or is it just the water these players are drinking in Edmonton that has made them that way. Unbelievable. The rot has set into these players as well. I think McDavid needs to sit down with management and basically tell them to drop X, Y, Z players because their not helping the club.

  19. Dicky94 says:

    Primetime,

    I’m hoping they sign Talbot to a one year deal. I’m not sure there is much interest in him at the deadline. I could be wrong. But give him one more year to win the staring job back and go from there.

  20. jp says:

    Jethro Tull: No, no, it’s pretty much all there. Rattie has played a lot less NHL games, but is trending to be better than Rieder. Not by much, but better. Rieder was never the player some thought he was.We had him figured out at the time of the signing – a career bottom 6er that may play the odd shift on the 2nd line. At the moment, Rieder is doing his best Ryan Spooner impression. Which, if you go by cherry-picked stats, is a much better player than Rieder.

    *Edited post, but something weird is happening with this site this morning.

    From the last thread.

    This is just not a reasonable assessment IMO.

    These guys were born within a month of each other. Where is this trend to Rattie being the better player? The heater at the end of last year?

    Rattie hasn’t been able to establish himself as a full time NHLer at age 26 across 4 organizations. McLellan and Hitch have both HSed him this season. Rieder has clearly established himself as an NHLer at minimum.

    In the small sample size Rattie is approaching Rieder in Pts/Game, but still a bit behind.

    Rattie’s raw CF and FF numbers are a shade better, but worse than Rieder’s relative to team.

    Rieder kills penalties.

    Rieder has been below 50% ozone starts for his career while Rattie is at almost 60%.

    Rieder was asked to take on tough comp for years in Arizona.

    Absolutely Rieder is struggling in Edm and has been a disappointment, but it’s going to take a lot more to convince me that Rattie is an equal, never mind a superior, player.

    Edit: huh, I didn’t realize that Rieder had gotten Lady Byng and Selke votes across multiple years.

  21. Material Elvis says:

    Dr. Taboggan:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    Wow. Did Gregor really call for Hitch to be relieved? That is surprising. If there was ever an organization that would fire two coaches in one season it would be the Oilers.

    I doubt they relieve Hitch this season though. They will wait to hire a new GM and let the new GM hire their own coach (hopefully).

    He’s not alone. Craig Simpson mentioned it yesterday on Oilers Now. He said that if they are interested in making the playoffs, then they should fire Hitch right now and replace him with someone that the players are willing to listen to — perhaps Glen Gulutzan.

  22. McSorley33 says:

    How can we NOT be optimistic Mac T is on the job pro scouting!

  23. Material Elvis says:

    McSorley33:
    How can we NOT be optimistic Mac T is on the job pro scouting!

    He’s ready to close up his briefcase the moment he sees a player make a strong play.

  24. godot10 says:

    OriginalPouzar:

    I wonder if Godot gets his wish with McDavid’s perfect winger on his left side, Tobias Rieder – he may have just been a placeholder for Rattie who missed practice yesterday.

    Hard to get excited for Rieder when he is only getting the shot to be showcased for a trade.

    Trading Rieder solves the Sekera cap problem.

  25. HugThePost says:

    Material Elvis: He’s not alone.Craig Simpson mentioned it yesterday on Oilers Now.He said that if they are interested in making the playoffs, then they should fire Hitch right now and replace him with someone that the players are willing to listen to — perhaps Glen Gulutzan.

    Holy moly.
    So when/ if they relieve Hitch of his head coaching duties, they will basically be admitting (again) that they didn’t get things right.

    This is all the manifestation of an org that is not run professionally. No signs of stability at all levels. What is a prospective coach/ GM supposed to think if the Oilers come calling for them?

    What a shitshow.

  26. Primetime says:

    Material Elvis: He’s not alone.Craig Simpson mentioned it yesterday on Oilers Now.He said that if they are interested in making the playoffs, then they should fire Hitch right now and replace him with someone that the players are willing to listen to — perhaps Glen Gulutzan.

    Even though that might be the right move, it would look awful on the organization. Firing 2 coaches in one season, the second being a local boy makes good story who was just named to the order of Canada. I know we feel that nothing can make the Oilers look like more of a clownshow to the rest of league, but that move could actually do it.

    I think we see a similar pattern to yesterday’s practice for the rest of the year. Hitch is told to cool his jets and hang back a bit. Gulutzan runs most of the practices. Someone noted on the radio that Viveros has been on the bench all game now (vs. coming down in the 3rd) and speculated it was to bring some positivity to the bench. At the end of the year, Hitch quietly re-retires. If the Oil turn around and make the playoffs, then Gulutzan is first in line for new head coach. If not, FIRE THE MALL!!!

  27. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Glass,

    Sek-Bouchard
    Nurse-Benning

    – Whether they are 2nd or 3rd depends on match-ups, whose struggling, etc.

    – Of course, it was simply an observation, as the likelihood of Sek returning to that form is not prudent risk management

    – If by the end of 2020 season, Jones and Bouchard have played +/- 60 games total in NHL with the right slotting and mentor (so another 15-20 games each for next year), its the basis of some good development 2 season outs IMO

    – Or between a healthy Sek, Klef, Larsson, Nurse, Benning, Russell (6 bona-fide D): you could probably finesse developing both more next year with stretches one at a time in the NHL with the right partner, match-up, deployment, etc

  28. Dustylegnd says:

    Woodguy v2.0:

    Also,

    Interesting day about Hitch yesterday.

    Gregor calls for him to be relieved of his duties.

    Stauffer (!!) mentioned he needs to be less negative.

    Craig Simpson (on Stauffer’s show) says there is no way Hitch is back next year.

    Hitch watches practice from the stands with KG and Howson.

    Hmmmmmmmmmm.

    Also,

    I have a weird feeling that Talbot stands on his head and EDM wins 3-2 or 4-2 with a EN.

    GOILERS!!!

    *clapclap*

    Every team he has ever coached….the Players Hate HIM with all their heart

    Fact

  29. YKOil says:

    jp: From the last thread.
    This is just not a reasonable assessment IMO.

    These guys were born within a month of each other. Where is this trend to Rattie being the better player? The heater at the end of last year?

    Rattie hasn’t been able to establish himself as a full time NHLer at age 26 across 4 organizations. McLellan and Hitch have both HSed him this season. Rieder has clearly established himself as an NHLer at minimum.

    In the small sample size Rattie is approaching Rieder in Pts/Game, but still a bit behind.

    Rattie’s raw CF and FF numbers are a shade better, but worse than Rieder’s relative to team.

    Rieder kills penalties.

    Rieder has been below 50% ozone starts for his career while Rattie is at almost 60%.

    Rieder was asked to take on tough comp for years in Arizona.

    Absolutely Rieder is struggling in Edm and has been a disappointment, but it’s going to take a lot more to convince me that Rattie is an equal, never mind a superior, player.

    Edit: huh, I didn’t realize that Rieder had gotten Lady Byng and Selke votes across multiple years.

    Agreed 100%. I am a huge fan of players like Rieder. As long as he hasn’t lost his speed I would be happy to offer him $1.45 a year for three years and see if he takes it.

    He gets 3 years guaranteed cash to rehab his rep from this year (which, granted, he may want to do with a different org) and we get a guy who can move up and down the wing, provide solid d-play and pk.

    I am firm believer in these types of players.

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

    Primetime,

    There’s also the optics of another washed up has been from the Glory Years stepping out and being the one to call for his firing mere months after saying:

    “And Hitch is perfect. He’s exactly what this group needs right now, Bob. How many weeks in a row have I talked to you about the lack of defensive battle and responsibility and bad sticks and poor reads bad sticks and getting outworked for the puck? So in that regard Hitch is actually the perfect short term solution to try and change that.”

    https://edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/nhl/cult-of-hockey/three-wise-men-of-hockey-on-ken-hitchcock-hiring-its-pretty-easy-to-build-the-case-that-theyre-a-playoff-team

  31. BONE207 says:

    One day in the not too distant future…

    Darryl Cats: C’mon Hairy. Time to go on our holiday!

    Hairy Cats: Awe Dad, I’m tired of these draft holidays.

    Darryl Cats: But we need you for the pictures.

    Hairy Cats: I’d rather be on the ice celebrating a Cup win. This standing on a stage in some arena with some dude from Melville Saskatchewan is getting old.

    Darryl Cats: Now Hairy…you know this is our tradition. We want to introduce these fellas into our culture.

    Hairy Cats: Fuck that Dad. I’d rather be shooting off fireworks with some hot LA babes on the July long weekend.

    Darryl Cats: I’m going let Uncle Craig talk some sense into you…

  32. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Asking a rookie Dman who isn’t a plus skater to take on top 4 competition isn’t a good idea imo.

    – Sek 2016 was that good IMO: it would be a fabulous puck moving paring IMO, better than the Sek-Russel on a PDO heater, and a LHD/RHD

  33. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Gulutzan was on the ice yesterday with the task of having a tantrum and tossing his stick into the upper deck like he did last year before the fLames went on a 9 game winning streak.
    Gulutzan didn’t deliver yesterday.
    We wait.

  34. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    Klima’s_Bucket:
    Gulutzan was on the ice yesterday with the task of having a tantrum and tossing his stick into the upper deck like he did last year before the fLames went on a 9 game winning streak.
    Gulutzan didn’t deliver yesterday.
    We wait.

    The flames lost 9-1 in October, had a players only meeting, and have been lights out ever since.

    Have the oilers had a players only meeting this year?

  35. Dustylegnd says:

    Coiler:

    As far as Hitch goes, if these players can’t stand him after 30 games or so then they should go pound salt. If their play was good and they were putting up wins all the time then maybe they’d have a case. Right now, too many fringe players are dictating the tempo of this club and he’s calling them out on it. Geez, heaven forbid a coach holds a player accountable. Is this what the NHL has become? Or is it just the water these players are drinking in Edmonton that has made them that way. Unbelievable. The rot has set into these players as well. I think McDavid needs to sit down with management and basically tell them to drop X, Y, Z players because their not helping the club.

    Why even have management then?….now Connor is in charge of on ice strategy, and Personnel…may was well have him book the Hotels too

  36. YKOil says:

    To other points in the thread:

    1. Keep Bouchard in the AHL. If they are going to give him the standard Oilers ‘9-games bonus package’ then do so in the middle of the season, injury call-up, when the games are actually HARD, and not at the start of the season when teams are still figuring out what they look like post-training camp cuts.

    2. Lucic, with $3 million retained salary, is a player teams will be interested in. Not all teams, but some, and more than we think here in our echo chamber. I think that, at that salary, he would deliver a b-level prospect and a couple of 3rd rounders in return but we would have to take back a 1 or 2 year salary in the $1 to 2.0 million range. Not a great return but something – and far better than a buy-out.

  37. northof51 says:

    Gloom and doom in the Oilogosphere. I don’t care if we don’t win another game the rest of the year as long as, and in this particular order:
    1. We aren’t “buyers” at the deadline (ideally we find a way to create cap room for next season)
    2. McDavid wins the Art Ross
    3. Drai hits 100 pts

  38. godot10 says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    Scungilli Slushy,

    – If Bouchard could play with Sek circa 2016: that’s reasonable bet for 2nd pairing next year:

    Klef-Larsson
    Sek-Bouchard
    Nurse-Benning

    -That Sek isn’t likely. They will be tempted/forced to slot Bouchard too high, without a way better D mentoring him. Like Jones he will do fine for awhile but won’t be ready, being asked to do too much

    Nope. Bouchard needs a year in the AHL to work on his defensive game. Even if he were paired with a mid-career Chris Pronger, top 4 would be iffy next year.

    2016 Sekera and Bouchard might be a competent 3rd pairing, but why would put Bouchard in a role with such limited minutes, when he can be playing in all situations for 20 minutes per game in the AHL for the 40 games he needs to be NHL ready.

  39. Dee Dee says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: For sure not a MickeyMouse organization

    They are not “a” Mickey Mouse Organization they are “the” Mickey Mouse Organization. Don’t mess with the Mouse cause the Mouse owns everything.

  40. oilersfan says:

    funny for those of you who say every player who ever had Hitch hates him…Rob Brown and Jason Strudwick had him in Kamloops and rave about him. This is when he was younger and more negative.

    They had Richard Matvichuk on Gregor’s show the day after Hitch got hired and he told a few negative stories about Hitch but then went on to say their team outperformed their skill level many times in Dallas and it was because of Hitch, and that him and his fellow teammates all say Hitch was the best coach they ever had

  41. Dustylegnd says:

    oilersfan:
    funny for those of you who say every player who ever had Hitch hates him…Rob Brown and Jason Strudwick had him in Kamloops and rave about him. This is when he was younger and more negative.

    They had Richard Matvichuk on Gregor’s show the day after Hitch got hired and he told a few negative stories about Hitch but then went on to say their team outperformed their skill level many times in Dallas and it was because of Hitch, and that him and his fellow teammates all say Hitch was the best coach they ever had

    Dallas won a cup and went to a 2nd final with HItch. Is it so unbelievable that you can hate the best coach you ever had…he has a shelf life…..it keeps getting shorter

    I would love to hear what Brett Hull has to say about him

  42. OriginalPouzar says:

    Rattie skated today and says he’s good to go for tonight. He missed practice due to being banged up.

    Also:

    Jack Michaels

    Verified account

    @EdmontonJack
    1m1 minute ago
    More
    Looks like Brodziak out at Minny, with Malone sliding over to centre & Cave on the wing. Manning in for Gravel on defence. Talbot vs Dubnyk in net.

  43. OriginalPouzar says:

    While Bouchard should be in the conversation to compete for an NHL job next season, coming in to camp he should be penciled in to an AHL job unless he absolutely forces his way on to the NHL lineup.

    Even if he has a fantastic camp and pre-season, he likely should head to Bakersfield in any even as we have all seen proof that the NHL preseason means almost nothing with respect to NHL readiness of young higher end prospects.

  44. HugThePost says:

    Dustylegnd: Dallas won a cup and went to a 2nd final with HItch. Is it so unbelievable that you can hate the best coach you ever had…he has a shelf life…..it keeps getting shorter

    I would love to hear what Brett Hull has to say about him

    Strudwick parses his words pretty carefully when it comes to Hitch. He has said right from the day Hitch was hired that Hitch is very hard on players and it will be ‘tough love’ in the room. I have also never heard him say stuff like ‘players love playing for him’ or anything close to that when it comes to Hitch. He is what he is…….I don’t think anyone can say they are shocked at how things have evolved in his time here, maybe a bit surprised at the time frame.

    I’ve heard Brett Hull tell some funny stories about how he and Hitch butted heads. There is the one about how Hitch gave the team a lecture about how goals are not important in hockey before practice and then Hull goes out in practice that day and every puck he shot he shot into the corner and not the net, just to piss Hitch off.

  45. dustrock says:

    So McLellan was too tough and stubborn on players and was too harsh in his post-games.

    Now we’re hearing the same thing about Hitchcock.

    Have they considered looking at a more positive option? There’s a reason a coach like Keenan isn’t around anymore.

    Different era. Taskmasters get annoying real quick, especially if things aren’t going well.

  46. PinkSocks says:

    HugThePost,

    Dustylegnd,

    Here is Brett Hull on Hitch from Brenden Morrow’s (excellent) Player’s Tribune article he wrote after his retirement:

    “And the entire time, Hitch is just getting more and more pissed. But I can’t make eye contact because Brett’s huge melon is in the way.

    And Brett turns to me and says, “You tell that motherfucker to fuck off!”
    Oh man, what a teammate.”

    Hitch was and is not well liked; however, that and being a good coach are not mutually exclusive. Hitch has an excellent track record and his teams outperform their abilities. The problem is that if this current roster outperforms its abilities, it still is a playoff bubble team. Maybe if Talbot or Koskinen goes on a Hamburgler type of stretch the team squeaks in, but it’s unlikely.

    I believe Hitch should absolutely not be fired, but I also believe he should not be back next season. The next HC of this organization should be of the ilk of Todd Nelson or Rocky Thompson. Both of these coaches have familiarity with the organization and I would be thrilled with either of these gentlemen along with a creative GM who can unload some dead weight in the offseason.

  47. HugThePost says:

    dustrock:
    So McLellan was too tough and stubborn on players and was too harsh in his post-games.

    Now we’re hearing the same thing about Hitchcock.

    Have they considered looking at a more positive option? There’s a reason a coach like Keenan isn’t around anymore.

    Different era. Taskmasters get annoying real quick, especially if things aren’t going well.

    It can be looked at as another sign the Oilers as an org are still living in the past. They still believe the psycho taskmaster coach is best as much as they have clung on to this belief of ‘heavy hockey’.

    The last 2 coaches we had who were positive guys who showed they were strong communicators with the players were not the Oilers’ cup of tea (Krueger, Nelson).

  48. Wilde says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Rattie skated today and says he’s good to go for tonight. He missed practice due to being banged up.

    Also:

    Jack Michaels

    Verified account

    @EdmontonJack1m1 minute ago
    More
    Looks like Brodziak out at Minny, with Malone sliding over to centre & Cave on the wing. Manning in for Gravel on defence. Talbot vs Dubnyk in net.

    Uh, doesn’t that make the line Cave – Malone – Puljujärvi?

  49. PinkSocks says:

    HugThePost: It can be looked at as another sign the Oilers as an org are still living in the past.They still believe the psycho taskmaster coach is best as much as they have clung on to this belief of ‘heavy hockey’.

    The last 2 coaches we had who were positive guys who showed they were strong communicators with the players were not the Oilers’ cup of tea (Krueger, Nelson).

    Interesting that the two best coaches the organization has employed over the past decade didn’t fit into the Oilers culture. I think Burger Bob needs to provide the definition of the required culture.

  50. PinkSocks says:

    Wilde: Uh, doesn’t that make the line Cave – Malone – Puljujärvi?

    What could go wrong?

  51. Dustylegnd says:

    PinkSocks:
    HugThePost,

    Dustylegnd,

    Here is Brett Hull on Hitch from Brenden Morrow’s (excellent) Player’s Tribune article he wrote after his retirement:

    “And the entire time, Hitch is just getting more and more pissed. But I can’t make eye contact because Brett’s huge melon is in the way.

    And Brett turns to me and says, “You tell that motherfucker to fuck off!”
    Oh man, what a teammate.”

    What a beauty…we should bring Hully in to clean the Oilers house….imagine those conversations…or better yet Gordon Ramsey

  52. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    – Only bad teams allow regular season rosters to be determined by pre-season performance

    – The only caveat is on the very margin: i.e. a PTO vet vs. 13th winger, etc

    – So I guess if it’s say Manning vs Bouchard for the 7th D sure

    – training camps for good teams are about organization prepardeness, development milestones, systems, philosophy

    – We aren’t a good team, so yes, if Bouchard looks “good”, they will keep him, rather than have a plan for his development. Actually they will likely have traded Benning away, and gift him the spot

  53. Katz_kat says:

    YKOil,

    YKOil: Agreed 100%.I am a huge fan of players like Rieder.As long as he hasn’t lost his speed I would be happy to offer him $1.45 a year for three years and see if he takes it.

    He gets 3 years guaranteed cash to rehab his rep from this year (which, granted, he may want to do with a different org) and we get a guy who can move up and down the wing, provide solid d-play and pk.

    I am firm believer in these types of players.

    Sorry, explain to me what he has done to earn a contract, let alone one with a raise? This is the classic mismanagement of the salary cap that gets us into cap hell. Even small raises of .5 million for players who have not earns it adds up. People are asking for Kassian to be gone (who has at least scored some goals) because is 1.9 million is .9 too much. You can’t seriously think Rieder at his bottom is worth nearly as much as Kassian was at his height?

  54. HugThePost says:

    I think the Oilers will try save a little face and not fire Hitch but we’ll see Hitch step back from running practices, etc and then after the season is done, he’ll just fade to black.

    Would be interesting to be able to hear what Hitch, KG and Howson are saying as they watch the team practice.

    Excuse my ignorance, but can someone tell me how Howson is part of the Teflon Gang on 104th? Where did he get on the bus with TBOTB?

  55. Material Elvis says:

    dustrock:
    So McLellan was too tough and stubborn on players and was too harsh in his post-games.

    Now we’re hearing the same thing about Hitchcock.

    Have they considered looking at a more positive option? There’s a reason a coach like Keenan isn’t around anymore.

    Different era. Taskmasters get annoying real quick, especially if things aren’t going well.

    Kris Knoblauch and Manny Viveiros for the win!

  56. Ice Sage says:

    I just might tune in after 2 periods and watch if the Oilers have a 6 goal lead.

    The near-literary absurdity of this franchise. Man.
    Becket couldn’t write this sh!t – Eakins! Lupul! Khabi! Yak… all the improbable characters along the way, doing barely anything but dusting up a lot of chatter. Mikhnov! Spooner! Quinn!
    (LT is chronicling it for an epic saga to be issued in 2030 – “Glory, Optional”)

  57. Dee Dee says:

    Too depressed to think about tonight’s game so I started dreaming about an experiment.

    I think the current system of long term high priced contracts where you are continually trying to forecast the future performance and injuries balanced with paying players too little versus too much is frankly not working.

    So I propose a new performance-based system.

    Sign 40 players to League minimum contracts. Players get paid $700,000 for playing in the NHL and say $100,000 to play in the AHL.

    This would cost $16 Million dollars.

    Take the remaining $74 Million or so and pay it out as performance bonuses using some formula.

    Teams would typically score about 700-1000 points. So pay the players $20,000 per point scored.

    Pay a bonus based on goals against on some sort of scale to give an incentive to defend.

    Pay a bonus to win.

    Bottom line is always in danger to get relegated. You’d have 20 minor league players chomping at the bit to play in the bigs.

    You perform you get paid, you win you get paid more.

    If you get hurt Insurance pays out at your Average game pay for the last X games, or even the entire year average.

    The top stars in the game probably wouldn’t like it but it would be interesting to see how that would turn out.

  58. godot10 says:

    Ice Sage:

    Becket couldn’t write this sh!t– Eakins! Lupul! Khabi! Yak… all the improbable characters along the way, doing barely anything but dusting up a lot of chatter. Mikhnov! Spooner! Quinn!
    (LT is chronicling it for an epic saga to be issued in 2030 – “Glory, Optional”)

    And LT’s blog comes with something Beckett doesn’t offer.

    #AGodotYouDontHaveToWaitFor

  59. Coiler says:

    Dustylegnd,

    I understand what you mean but this is HIS team. If the current personnel aren’t meshing with his work ethic, vision, blah, blah…then it behooves management to get him the players who will or who won’t cause waves in the dressing room by their lack of determination. When the captain of your team is openly stating in an interview (I’m paraphrasing) that ‘those who don’t care about playing hard for the team should just leave’ then you need to listen. It was his subtle way of telling certain players to man up or f– off. If a player’s ego can’t hack then then he should be requesting a trade ASAP because he’ll only turn into a cancer within the dressing room. And let’s not kid ourselves, there seems to be A LOT of ego in that room.

    McLennan and Hitch are both being described as hard task masters. Sure. It’s as if they didn’t have a track record to prove their worth or something. I wonder if they brought in Scotty Bowman if the results would be the same. Or how about Mike Babcock if you would prefer someone current. This argument of them needing someone ultra positive is fools gold in my opinion. Light and fairy with a dash of unicorns is not what a club demonstrating their play need. The sooner some of these entitled buffoons realized that then the better they would be. And by buffoons I mean the players.

    When Hitch came on they went on a 9-2 run. How? Why did that happen? Did they all of a sudden find their balls and outplay their skill level? Possibly. And what the hell is wrong with that?

    Everyone seems to be wanting to point fingers and play the blame game. First with McLennan, concurrently with Chiarelli (rightly so), and how Hitchcock. This team is just not good enough as it is currently constituted. Sooner we all accept that the better off we’ll be.

  60. Wilde says:

    HugThePost: It can be looked at as another sign the Oilers as an org are still living in the past.They still believe the psycho taskmaster coach is best as much as they have clung on to this belief of ‘heavy hockey’.

    The last 2 coaches we had who were positive guys who showed they were strong communicators with the players were not the Oilers’ cup of tea (Krueger, Nelson).

    I think it’s even more than just living in the past. I think they have an actual personal dislike of certain talented players, at least on some level, much like fanbases slice up talented players like Nino Niederreiter in his last Minnesota days, Jordan Eberle here, Tyler Seguin in Boston, Phil Kessel in Toronto, Jeff Skinner in Carolina, PK Subban in Montreal.

    The ease at which you can credibly link anti-champions in organisations to anti-hockey player personnel decisions is stunning, league-wide.

    It’s always thrown out that the Oilers culture issues start at the top, which is correct of course, but rarely dug into, it’s more of just a motto of the people against the Oilers establishment (of which I am a part) where it’s taken as obvious what the problem is.

    The results are indeed obvious, and the perps, but the how is interesting to me.

    I think the part that seeps from the top is the fan-ness.

    Daryl Katz is a fan of the 80’s Oilers and operates as such, and the 80’s Oilers operate as fans of the team they manage, and operate as such.

    This is why they get fooled by PDO heaters, sell low, buy high, have target acquisition syndrome, overvalue role players (fans love Zack Kassian and Cal Clutterbuck), feel betrayed when their best players aren’t their best players – a rancid saying – and so on and so on.

    Which is why I find it amusing when someone says that an average Oilers fan would manage the team better; I think we don’t even have to hypothesize at all what that would look like in a general sense. That is, if the average fan was also not allowed to hire in new people and delegate duties to more fluent individuals.

    That may come off as a defense of those in charge or an attack on the average fan, but it’s not, because no one in a highly paid, prestigious, and heavily gatekept position should be effectively swappable with tacky altered-jersey guy.

  61. Sierra says:

    Bouchard starting his pro career as 2RD for the Edmonton Oilers sounds very muchlike the Oilers thing to do.

  62. Dustylegnd says:

    Coiler:
    Dustylegnd,

    When Hitch came on they went on a 9-2 run. How? Why did that happen? Did they all of a sudden find their balls and outplay their skill level? Possibly. And what the hell is wrong with that?

    Everyone seems to be wanting to point fingers and play the blame game. First with McLennan, concurrently with Chiarelli (rightly so), and how Hitchcock. This team is just not good enough as it is currently constituted. Sooner we all accept that the better off we’ll be.

    It s fools gold to believe for 1 second this roster is good enough

    950 Sv% and a little luck caused the winning streak…sustaining above a 915% with our defense also hard to believe as possible

  63. OriginalPouzar says:

    Hitch didn’t pull any punches when asked about Brodz being scratched: “We need better. We need better from that position. We need better at 5 on 5 and better on the PK.”.

  64. McDavidMyMuse says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    …His current trade value almost undoubtedly dwarfs his potential which remains high.

    This sentence doesn’t mean what you meant.

  65. OriginalPouzar says:

    The team wants 10-12 quality minutes from Jesse.

    Coach finds his energy depletes with greater minutes. They tried to squeeze it but found his play drops off.

    They are looking for a good quality 10-12 and they’ve been getting it – happy with him.

    He’ll be on PP2 for a bit extra.

  66. YKOil says:

    Katz_kat:
    YKOil,
    Sorry, explain to me what he has done to earn a contract, let alone one with a raise? This is the classic mismanagement of the salary cap that gets us into cap hell. Even small raises of .5 million for players who have not earns it adds up. People are asking for Kassian to be gone (who has at least scored some goals) because is1.9 million is .9 too much. You can’t seriously think Rieder at his bottom is worth nearly as much as Kassian was at his height?

    Raise? Current contract is $2 million. I am looking at seeing if a player:

    – with established credentials,
    – on a cold streak, said cold streak augmented by a questionable defensive squad and shaky goaltending,
    – and still in his prime years

    is willing to take a $550k cut for some security

    I like Kassian, a lot, a $1.45 million or so. My only issue with the $1.95 was the three year term. On three years I thought $1.75 million was in the range of fair.

    He (Rieder) has the speed we are looking for, is defensively competent and is capable-to-good on the PK. There is a price for general levels of established ability.

    I read, a fair amount, how 3rd and 4th line players are easily replicated and prices on them are low. I generally think that line of thinking is full of crap.

    Good 3rd and 4th line players are NOT easily found and often the ones who are doing well and getting paid beans are doing so in heavily sheltered environments and/or are playing on good teams.

    Let me know when we have a good team.

  67. Alpine says:

    If we assume Hitch isn’t back, and there wasn’t a big chance of it happening until we got fire in December, who are the best options?

    Former NHL head coaches:
    Joel Quenneville
    Kirk Muller
    Davis Payne
    Michel Therrien
    Alan Vigneault
    Glen Gulutzan
    Lindy Ruff (probably done)
    Darryl Sutter (probably done)
    Jack Capuano (got NYI to the playoffs three times)

    All are names brought up when coaching vacancies come up. Could add to it but I haven’t heard Paul Maclean mentioned in a while. Would assume Tom Rowe, John Stevens and Doug Weight aren’t on too many radars. Ditto Mike Yeo. Godot wouldn’t love if it I listed Bylsma. Eakins won’t be back for sure.

    AHL head coaches:
    Todd Nelson (we know him)
    Clark Donatelli (Wilkes-Barre)
    Sheldon Keefe (Marlies)
    Rocky Thompson (also know him)
    Derek Laxdal (Texas, knew him as an Oil King)
    Benoit Groulx (Syracuse) -could be in the below category
    Troy Mann (Hershey)

    All have some short or long term success in the AHL, regular season and/or playoffs.

    Mix of NHL Assistants/Junior/AHL grab bag (less likely candidates):
    Kris Knoblauch (Philly/Erie)
    Kevin Dean (Boston/Providence)
    Pascal Vincent (Cape Breton/Jets/Moose)
    Mike Van Ryn (Kitchener/Tucson/St. Louis)
    Ulf Samuelsson (Phoenix/NYR/Charlotte)
    Ryan Huska (Med Hat/Stockton/Calgary)
    Mike Stothers (Owen Sound/Moose Jaw/Monarchs-Reign) -could be in the above category
    Rob Zettler (Leafs/Worcester/San Jose) -could be in the above category

    This category could go on forever. Most of these guys were AHL head coaches for a bit recently so to go through the NHL assistant catalogue, plus NCAA and juniors leagues would take a long time.

    Knoblauch is the only one with just CHL head coaching and NHL assistant experience. Would probably avoid him, seems pretty green and the CHL to NHL head coach transition isn’t usually easy.

    Derek Laxdal’s combined CHL and AHL record seems the most impressive out of the non-NHL retreads.

  68. Katz_kat says:

    YKOil,

    My bad! I didn’t realize he was being paid 2 million at the moment. I can agree to an extent that he should be kept, only because we have no other 3rd line players of quality and I don’t want the kids coming up and being gifted a spot next year. If they’re showcasing him though now, I doubt he’s back and the kids next year will be gifted a 3rd line role.

  69. Ribs says:

    Hitch gets my vote of confidence. Dude is going all-out trying to make something happen with this team. if you’re going to run with a bunch of lemons, you need a guy that is willing and able to squeeze every drop out of them.

    It’s not the coach.

  70. godot10 says:

    Coiler:
    Dustylegnd,

    I understand what you mean but this is HIS team. If the current personnel aren’t meshing with his work ethic, vision, blah, blah…then it behooves management to get him the players who will or who won’t cause waves in the dressing room by their lack of determination. When the captain of your team is openly stating in an interview (I’m paraphrasing) that ‘those who don’t care about playing hard for the team should just leave’ then you need to listen. It was his subtle way of telling certain players to man up or f– off. If a player’s ego can’t hack then then he should be requesting a trade ASAP because he’ll only turn into a cancer within the dressing room. And let’s not kid ourselves, there seems to be A LOT of ego in that room.

    McLennan and Hitch are both being described as hard task masters. Sure. It’s as if they didn’t have a track record to prove their worth or something. I wonder if they brought in Scotty Bowman if the results would be the same. Or how about Mike Babcock if you would prefer someone current. This argument of them needing someone ultra positive is fools gold in my opinion. Light and fairy with a dash of unicorns is not what a club demonstrating their play need. The sooner some of these entitled buffoons realized that then the better they would be. And by buffoons I mean the players.

    When Hitch came on they went on a 9-2 run. How? Why did that happen? Did they all of a sudden find their balls and outplay their skill level? Possibly. And what the hell is wrong with that?

    Everyone seems to be wanting to point fingers and play the blame game. First with McLennan, concurrently with Chiarelli (rightly so), and how Hitchcock. This team is just not good enough as it is currently constituted. Sooner we all accept that the better off we’ll be.

    Mike Babcock didn’t discard his versions of Justin Schultz (Rielly and Gardiner) like Todd McLellan did. He coached them up. Mike Babcock didn’t encourage the Toronto GM to ship out their versions of Hall and Eberle to “fix” the defense, like McLellan did.

    Mike Babcock didn’t misevaluate the bottom of the roster players, like Todd McLellan did.

  71. New Improved Darkness says:

    Material Elvis:
    He’s ready to close up his briefcase the moment he sees a player make a strong play.

    Good thing, too. That was the trip where we landed Dreamy. And it wasn’t one play. It was four plays. Which Dreamy rattled off on more or less a single shift.

    Like the way Federer often does in a single rally.

    The problem with MacT’s scouting calibration was where the signal remained murky after a dozen games. Like a man stranded on a desert island, slowly you begin to perceive need instead of value.

    I for one think that MacT’s 99/11 recognition circuit is A-OK.

    His diamond in the rough circuit didn’t let us down, either.

    So there’s 25% of your roster (and half your budget).

    Next stop: complementary mid-tier defensemen. Here rivets begin to groan, and entire panels break free of the aircraft.

    All it takes to be less than professional caliber at Texas hold’em is one serious leak—in any aspect of play.

    Such as constantly putting yourself on a life-or-death decision with A8 in the hole.

    The problem is not your evaluation of the A. Your problem is not your evaluation of the 8. The problem is your evaluation of how well and truly screwed in the stack you will find yourself that one time the 8 severely screws your A over.

    The A will help you win the medium pots. And the 8 will help your lose the large ones. The A stacks up the gold, and then the 8 topples it down.

    QJ suited helps you lose small pots and win large ones.

    ———

    2014–2015 Clarkson 58 10-5-15; rest of career 4
    2018–2019 Lucic___ 53 5-9-14; rest of career ???

    All you need to do is press “replay” on Lucic’s calendar year 2018, and this could actually become a legitimate rest-of-career turtle race.

    Now you’d think that some organizational memory might have _helped_ here. But no, we’re not into that. (How does that old proverb go? Once almost burned to a living crisp, twice a fleeting second thought?)

    In that instance, two GMs at the same time fell victim to the Sirens of need (whether beauty is an asset turns on whether the prince is an ass; god save the queen, we sure lucked into being the rejected bachelorette in the Clarkson sweepstakes).

    Unfortunately, where MacT failed to hang himself, Chia found a stouter rope.

    Clarkson wasn’t evaluated by MacT and his staff on the basis one shift. And that’s what was truly terrifying about his regime as Oiler GM. The longer he looked, the worse it became. With Tambi, the longer he looked, the more he sat on his hands. This lead MacT being handed the golden key to the “bold” business plan. And then when there were no cucumbers for ready money, bold turned into bald retread.

    Pretty soon we’re about to hand the golden key to a bold “we are not having insurgency with those Arabs” not-a-rebuild. Because Connor. Because window.

    ———

    Confucius says: Man with bold plan in bald market loses hair.

    Seriously, as rumored, Clarkson rejected something north of 37 bills to play here. God only knows how many other times MacT wagged his fat wad only to play the rejected bachelorette behind closed doors. Oh, to be a fly on the wall in the kiss and tell.

    Confucius says: Man with plump pipeline not in need of bold plan.

    Confucius says: Man with bald roster squeezes his pipeline raw.

    Contrary to accepted wisdom, the patience of a saint in this matter is not sufficient. Player agents don’t accept extended talent inversion while taking a real hit in their own pocketbooks. You can only keep a prospect down for a multi-year slow simmer on actual merit, relative to the NHL roster you typically dress.

    The one true bootstrap is scouting and draft-day procurement.

    From a fat pipeline, all other blessings flow.

    ———

    Confucius desired to return the authority of the state to the duke by dismantling the fortifications of the city—strongholds belonging to the three families. This way, he could establish a centralized government.

    However, Confucius relied solely on diplomacy as he had no military authority himself. …

    Eventually, after a year and a half, Confucius and his disciples succeeded in convincing the Shu family to raze the walls of Hou, the Ji family in razing the walls of Bi, and the Meng family in razing the walls of Cheng.

    A sinner sits reciting Dylan
    it’s now that I welcome the end.

    In a 1965 interview, Bob Dylan stated of the I Ching that the book is “the only thing that is amazingly true, period [and] besides being a great book to believe in, it’s also very fantastic poetry”.

    Last degree of separation, and falling fast: Confucius via Dylan via Mellencamp (no relation to band camp)

    EDIT: er, uh, via Def Leppard, as I discovered to my chagrin, after a quick lunch, when the lyrics went south in my head. Turns out the Mellencamp version is also sinner-centric:

    No good deed goes unpunished
    And I don’t mind being their whipping boy
    I’ve had that pleasure for years and years
    No, no I never was a sinner-tell me what else can I do

    And both of them are ×3 on falling walls. See, too good to be true, and it fools the sharpest eye, even when that’s exactly what you’re writing about, in real time.
    </edit>

    Confucius was fascinated by the I Ching and kept a copy in the form of a set of bamboo tablets fastened by a leather thong, which was consulted so often that the binding had to be replaced three times. Confucius said that if he had fifty years to spare, he would devote them to the I Ching.

    But let’s not dwell too much on Confucius’s oft-replaced leather thong, which might have elicited a bit of an eye roll, way back when, from those in the know.

  72. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Alpine,

    Todd Nelson is an assistant coach in Dallas this year, where he’s been tasked with the defense.

  73. Alpine says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    Alpine,

    Todd Nelson is an assistant coach in Dallas this year, where he’s been tasked with the defense.

    I guess I put him the AHL category because his assistant record isn’t that long vs. 7-8 years as an AHL HC. Thought of him an AHL coach first.

  74. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Hiring Hitch is a symptom of Oiler disease. The team isn’t performing, so the players are wussies and don’t try hard enough. Hire a coach who demands they try harder and can win!

    This is misidentifying the issue. They are trying hard. But they are a shallow team with a bled out talent base, and two key injuries in critical a critical position.

    Top it all off with a lot of losing and the players are down. Everyone and everything is affected. Lesser players can’t score, goalies that aren’t terrible can’t play consistently.

    Hitch goes on about his desire to ‘fix’ his hometown team. I see his service to this as proving that what Chiarelli did is the problem. He can’t make them win, and if the .org can avoid blaming the players for having no character, and realize it’s that they have too many weak one dimensional skaters, they have a clear shot to get it right.

    The constant mentioning of character is a collossal HR error. They are saying to the players that they lack character, but asking them to win at the same time. Outside of the top 4-5 guys, it has to be demotivating .

  75. BONE207 says:

    Dee Dee:
    Too depressed to think about tonight’s game so I started dreaming about an experiment.

    I think the current system of long term high priced contracts where you are continually trying to forecast the future performance and injuries balanced with paying players too little versus too much is frankly not working.

    So I propose a new performance-based system.

    Sign 40 players to League minimum contracts. Players get paid $700,000 for playing in the NHL and say $100,000 to play in the AHL.

    This would cost $16 Million dollars.

    Take the remaining $74 Million or so and pay it out as performance bonuses using some formula.

    Teams would typically score about 700-1000 points. So pay the players $20,000 per point scored.

    Pay a bonus based on goals against on some sort of scale to give an incentive to defend.

    Pay a bonus to win.

    Bottom line is always in danger to get relegated. You’d have 20 minor league players chomping at the bit to play in the bigs.

    You perform you get paid, you win you get paid more.

    If you get hurt Insurance pays out at your Average game pay for the last X games, or even the entire year average.

    The top stars in the game probably wouldn’t like it but it would be interesting to see how that would turn out.

    Yikes!!!

    Don’t let Trudeau know about this. We might all become minor leaguers.

  76. ArmchairGM says:

    Wilde: Uh, doesn’t that make the line Cave – Malone – Puljujärvi?

    Poor JP. Hitchcock expressly stated that he had Chiarelli recall him so that he could personally be responsible for his development, and yet he constantly plays him on an AHL-level line.

  77. Coiler says:

    godot10,

    Mike Babcock never needed to do those things because there was a GM in Detroit and Toronto who had the stamina and willpower to tell him to shut it. Lamorello(sp?) and Devellano would not be guys to cross swords with. When Babcock didn’t like a player, they didn’t see the light of day. It’s happened numerous times in both Toronto and Detroit, it just doesn’t make it out into the mainstream media. When Babcock left Detroit I do recall quite a few players saying they were relieved he wasn’t coming back.

    As far as Schultz goes, I may be wrong but he probably wanted to leave just as much as the organization wanted to ship him out. He was mishandled by the organization, not by one coach.

    My point is; Hitchcock is not the problem here. The players are.

  78. knighttown says:

    Sierra:
    Bouchard starting his pro career as 2RD for the Edmonton Oilers sounds very muchlike the Oilers thing to do.

    (not directed at you

    We’ve got to take off the Oilers glasses on this kid. Corey Pronman had him as the 45th ranked non-NHL player heading into this season clustered with defensemen like Erik Branstrom, Bode Wilde and Filip Hronek.

    Then in January he had him (after many players graduated) at 24th behind almost all 2018 drafted defensemen; Wilde, Dobson, Smith, Merkeley, Boquist and of course Quinn Hughes was at #1.

    I think Button had him outside the top-50.

    I’m not saying they are right but this is two guys that are “experts” in prospects that see some major issues.

    Unless you see Philippe Myers as the saviour in Philly you shouldn’t see Bouchard as the saviour in Edmonton as they are considered similar prospects.

  79. Alpine says:

    HugThePost:
    I think the Oilers will try save a little face and not fire Hitch but we’ll see Hitch step back from running practices, etc and then after the season is done, he’ll just fade to black.

    Would be interesting to be able to hear what Hitch, KG and Howson are saying as they watch the team practice.

    Excuse my ignorance, but can someone tell me how Howson is part of the Teflon Gang on 104th?Where did he get on the bus with TBOTB?

    Howson, like Burger Bob, is part of the prestigious and notorious Friends of Lowe syndicate. If you’re a friend of Lowe you have a job with the Oilers for as long as he decides.

    Despite what we hear about the OBC’s spectre, there’s only two actual 80s Oilers with a long term impact on hockey decisions. One of them now has the legacy of having non-Oilers as his hockey ops stand-ins. And MacT is arguably a Lowe underling.

    Kevin Lowe is a near equal to Katz in terms of his influence. Probably moreso since the CEO, senior VP hockey Ops and VP of player development are all among his close friends. Just an unrecord of continuing to hire the wrong people for very important jobs.

  80. Yeti says:

    Oilers showcasing players is like trying to sell cabin space on the Titanic.

  81. Dr. Taboggan says:

    Yeti:
    Oilers showcasing players is like trying to sell cabin space on the Titanic.

    Haha

  82. Material Elvis says:

    New Improved Darkness: Good thing, too. That was the trip where we landed Dreamy. And it wasn’t one play. It was four plays. Which Dreamy rattled off on more or less a single shift.

    I could have sworn that he was an Oilers draft pick already when MacT make that assessment. He was in Sweden with their Swedish scout to look at the dreaminess in person.

    Very fun post by the way!!

  83. Material Elvis says:

    I’ve got a fever. And the only prescription, is MORE CHARACTER!

  84. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Alpine: Howson, like Burger Bob, is part of the prestigious and notorious Friends of Lowe syndicate. If you’re a friend of Lowe you have a job with the Oilers for as long as he decides.

    Despite what we hear about the OBC’s spectre, there’s only two actual 80s Oilers with a long term impact on hockey decisions. One of them now has the legacy of having non-Oilers as his hockey ops stand-ins. And MacT is arguably a Lowe underling.

    Kevin Lowe is a near equal to Katz in terms of his influence. Probably moreso since the CEO, senior VP hockey Ops and VP of player development are all among his close friends. Just an unrecord of continuing to hire the wrong people for very important jobs.

    It occurred to me Bob while having a lot of experience had no NHL experience. So he learned on the job like MacT and also whiffed it. Oh well, 4 years down the spiral!

    I hope to see qualified but fresh faces, not recycled ones or obvious ones that I fear Hunter and McRimmon are, more cut from the same cloth hockey cohorts.

    Your comment makes me skeptical, the real root issues of Howson, MacT et al aren’t likely leaving, unless something like Daryl lights up Kevin, and Kev gets nervous about the gravy train ending and changes his mind on things.

    The org needs a multi decade leap forward, pretty hard to make with the same crew having to revolutionize how they think and act. In a few months.

  85. Alpine says:

    knighttown,

    24 isn’t that low on a list of prospects that includes Russians still the KHL, plus more developed 2017 first round picks and some 2016 late round steals. He had Bouchard 17th in the 2018 draft rankings and there’s 11 2018 prospects ahead of him in the mid season list, with 4 graduating.

    Pronman kind of underrates D as a rule though. He had Wahlstrom in his top 10 as well and he’s below Bouchard. Brannstrom is having a very nice rookie AHL season so it’s not bad to be ranked near him as well.

    Button can be pretty reactionary and will just see one thing he doesn’t like and trash a prospect.

  86. HugThePost says:

    Scungilli Slushy: It occurred to me Bob while having a lot of experience had no NHL experience. So he learned on the job like MacT and also whiffed it. Oh well, 4 years down the spiral!

    I hope to see qualified but fresh faces, not recycled ones or obvious ones that I fear Hunter and McRimmon are, more cut from the same cloth hockey cohorts.

    Your comment makes me skeptical, the real root issues of Howson, MacT et al aren’t likely leaving, unless something like Daryl lights up Kevin, and Kev gets nervous about the gravy train ending and changes his mind on things.

    The org needs a multi decade leap forward, pretty hard to make with the same crew having to revolutionize how they think and act. In a few months.

    My prediction: nobody will have enough character to make the leap forward from making decisions based on red wine to making decisions based on analytics, sound scouting and on merit

  87. OriginalPouzar says:

    godot10: Hard to get excited for Rieder when he is only getting the shot to be showcased for a trade.

    Trading Rieder solves the Sekera cap problem.

    It does but there isn’t really any Sekera cap problem as long as we don’t have to put another player on IR in the interim.

    Clearing $1.2m is easy – One d-man needs to go to start with to make room on the roster – Either Petrovic or Manning could be re-assigned (after clearing waivers) for a cap savings of $1,050,000.

    Unfortunately, a second move is needed for the last $150K (damn Gryba buyout) – send down Malone and run with a 22 man roster. Or, shit, if coach still is “mad” at Brodz, waive and send him down – he might actually get claimed.

    If Petrovic or Manning get claimed, problem solved as well (Petrovic could).

  88. Craig Zonit says:

    Anyone heard from VOR lately? Would love his insights on the Hitchcock situation.

  89. Wilde says:

    ArmchairGM:

    Poor JP. Hitchcock expressly stated that he had Chiarelli recall him so that he could personally be responsible for his development, and yet he constantly plays him on an AHL-level line.

    Hitchcock cited energy problems in his pre-game avail, saying he tries to keep him in the 10-12 minute range.

    I think that’s also the reason he hasn’t put him on the PK yet even though he’s put in work trying to get him there.

    Here’s the thing: With the three-centre model they’ve used since the break, Nuge has played 10:54, 11:16, and 13:07 at 5v5.

    Doesn’t make sense to me, but I’m completely exhausted on the subject. I don’t even really want to hit ‘post comment’ on this. I’d rather wait until after he goes to another city and scores at the rate that he did with Drai at nineteen or whatever but plays 1100 minutes and I have to respond to posts about how he never did that, was that, or was going to be that with the Oilers anyway.

  90. Professor Q says:

    Why do we always want to push players away, whether good or bad?

    Why can’t we just be happy here and have them?

    They are here. Not there. I’d rather keep it that way, sorry.

    Also, if Spector is intentionally trying to push off McDavid and push him out of town with his constant and idiotic questions, then he should be fired into the Sun.

  91. DasBavaria says:

    Professor Q,

    I would love to ask some of the ex-Oilers (and current Oilers) what they think of Spector.

    He comes across as an asshat to me.

  92. OriginalPouzar says:

    HugThePost: Holy moly.
    So when/ if they relieve Hitch of his head coaching duties, they will basically be admitting (again) that they didn’t get things right.

    This is all the manifestation of an org that is not run professionally.No signs of stability at all levels.What is a prospective coach/ GM supposed to think if the Oilers come calling for them?

    What a shitshow.

    Except the chances of Hitch being let go before the season are over are almost none – this is not the organization contemplating the move, its Gregor and other suggesting it.

  93. OriginalPouzar says:

    YKOil:
    To other points in the thread:

    1. Keep Bouchard in the AHL.If they are going to give him the standard Oilers ‘9-games bonus package’ then do so in the middle of the season, injury call-up, when the games are actually HARD, and not at the start of the season when teams are still figuring out what they look like post-training camp cuts.

    9 games will not be a relevant threshold for next year – the first year of Bouchard’s ELC will be in play and burn off regardless if he plays 10 NHL games or not.

  94. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Alpine,

    How did you forget Kelly Buchberger, Steve Smith or Charlie Huddy?

  95. Bruce McCurdy says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Dylan Strome, a former 3rd overall pick, solidifying himself as an NHL player at 21 year’d sold (turning 22 soon) and putting up top 6 numbers is a perfect example of why Jesse Puljujarvi should not be on the trade board.

    Sometimes it take a few years, even for the top picks.

    His current trade value almost undoubtedly dwarfs his potential which remains high.

    Interesting comp, given that Strome has become productive only after a change of scenery.

  96. --hudson-- says:

    DasBavaria:
    Professor Q,

    I would love to ask some of the ex-Oilers (and current Oilers) what they think of Spector.

    He comes across as an asshat to me.

    Does Spector have autism? It would explain a few things about him.

  97. dustrock says:

    From Daniel’s article on McDavid at The Athletic,

    McDavid ripped into the team after the Detroit loss, saying “anyone in this locker room who doesn’t want to be here needs to get out”.

    McDavid defends players when Hitchcock rips into them, similarly to how Modano used to defend them, except McDavid is much younger.

    We sure do ask a lot from our captain.

  98. dustrock says:

    In terms of “something in the water”, I do wonder about the team and chemistry and fragility and the pressure on the team after so many years of losing.

    I think about McLellan talking about last year’s terrible season when he said he and the coaching staff were worried that complacency was setting in and the team’s success in 2016 only meant that teams were going to come after them harder, and the players didn’t seem to understand that. The focus was there in that first game against the Flames but they lost it soon after and could never get it back.

    Oilers hire all new coaching staff besides McLellan. McLellan’s long-time assistant Woodcroft seems to be doing a good job in Bakersfield. McLellan says he told the new guys, let them form their own opinions. Generally most fans were excited about bringing in the new staff, particularly Vivieros and Yawney.

    Problems continue. Oilers are wildly inconsistent. Eventually McLellan is fired.

    Hitchcock comes in, and after the hot start and Koskinen PDO burner, team is having problems again.

    McDavid saying in the locker room “if you don’t want to be here, get out”, but then telling the media “it’s like the only people who believe in us are the guys in the locker room”.

    Hitchcock coming in after the break and saying he’s looking to people outside of the organization for answers on what’s wrong.

    Saying McDavid and Draisaitl have been giving some input into trying different things with the team.

    All the stuff with Chiarelli and the OBC and Katz.

    There’s some real interesting stuff going on behind the scenes here that we’re not privy to, and much of it might simply be just another losing season weighing on everybody, but hearing stuff like the above, especially from a veteran guy like Hitchcock, makes me wonder what really is in the water.

  99. Alpine says:

    Klima’s_Bucket,

    Lol, I was looking at people with actually good résumés. Though, I suppose Huddy’s is good but neither him or Smith have any HC experience.

  100. OmJo says:

    YKOil: 2. Lucic, with $3 million retained salary, is a player teams will be interested in.

    Sure if MacTavish is doing their pro-scouting.

    I like JimmyV1965‘s idea of a three-way trade, trimming his cap hit to $2-1.5M. Lucic is not the kind of player you want eating up $3M worth of cap space for the next few years.

  101. OmJo says:

    oilersfan:
    funny for those of you who say every player who ever had Hitch hates him…Rob Brown and Jason Strudwick had him in Kamloops and rave about him. This is when he was younger and more negative.

    They had Richard Matvichuk on Gregor’s show the day after Hitch got hired and he told a few negative stories about Hitch but then went on to say their team outperformed their skill level many times in Dallas and it was because of Hitch, and that him and his fellow teammates all say Hitch was the best coach they ever had

    Jason Chimera did the same too recently.

  102. London Jon says:

    Scungilli Slushy: It occurred to me Bob while having a lot of experience had no NHL experience. So he learned on the job like MacT and also whiffed it. Oh well, 4 years down the spiral!

    I hope to see qualified but fresh faces, not recycled ones or obvious ones that I fear Hunter and McRimmon are, more cut from the same cloth hockey cohorts.

    Your comment makes me skeptical, the real root issues of Howson, MacT et al aren’t likely leaving, unless something like Daryl lights up Kevin, and Kev gets nervous about the gravy train ending and changes his mind on things.

    The org needs a multi decade leap forward, pretty hard to make with the same crew having to revolutionize how they think and act. In a few months.

    I suspect Bob has never learned to make good assessments and good decisions. Not put in the hard yards and you don’t have a proper hiring process before you make a big hiring decision? No biggie, Hockey Canada wins no matter who you hire.

    But in a cap and parity world the GM is incredibly important. Contracts negotiations, trades and draft choices and every big mistake in the NHL drops you behind another 4 or 5 teams.

    I don’t think Nicholson (and/or Lowe and/or MacT) is the right man to choose the right GM. And I don’t think Katz is the right man to choose the new Nicholson. So…

  103. OmJo says:

    I don’t know why the team insists on Nurse-Russell.

    I’d almost rather see Nurse-Benning. That pairing isn’t even sinking anymore. They reached the bottom of the ocean and are now banging their heads against the bottom sediment trying to break through to the Earth’s core.

  104. OmJo says:

    I don’t know why the team insists on Nurse-Russell.

    I’d almost rather see Nurse-Benning. That pairing isn’t even sinking anymore. They reached the bottom of the ocean and are now banging their heads against the bottom sediment trying to break through to the Earth’s core.

    Also, is the blog having server issues? Getting a lot of errors lately. I’m using Chrome.

  105. London Jon says:

    dustrock:
    In terms of “something in the water”, I do wonder about the team and chemistry and fragility and the pressure on the team after so many years of losing.

    I think about McLellan talking about last year’s terrible season when he said he and the coaching staff were worried that complacency was setting in and the team’s success in 2016 only meant that teams were going to come after them harder, and the players didn’t seem to understand that.The focus was there in that first game against the Flames but they lost it soon after and could never get it back.

    Oilers hire all new coaching staff besides McLellan.McLellan’s long-time assistant Woodcroft seems to be doing a good job in Bakersfield.McLellan says he told the new guys, let them form their own opinions.Generally most fans were excited about bringing in the new staff, particularly Vivieros and Yawney.

    Problems continue.Oilers are wildly inconsistent.Eventually McLellan is fired.

    Hitchcock comes in, and after the hot start and Koskinen PDO burner, team is having problems again.

    McDavid saying in the locker room “if you don’t want to be here, get out”, but then telling the media “it’s like the only people who believe in us are the guys in the locker room”.

    Hitchcock coming in after the break and saying he’s looking to people outside of the organization for answers on what’s wrong.

    Saying McDavid and Draisaitl have been giving some input into trying different things with the team.

    All the stuff with Chiarelli and the OBC and Katz.

    There’s some real interesting stuff going on behind the scenes here that we’re not privy to, and much of it might simply be just another losing season weighing on everybody, but hearing stuff like the above, especially from a veteran guy like Hitchcock, makes me wonder what really is in the water.

    I was very pleasantly surprised by the quality of assistant coaches we got in the summer.

    I’m pretty sure the coaching staff isn’t the problem.

  106. npanciroli says:

    OmJo,

    Agree 100%. Weird seeing Hitch roll that pair out again and again. McLellan seems to do it also.

  107. OmJo says:

    Only the Oilers would hire and then fire a retired coach within months of each other.

  108. OmJo says:

    npanciroli:
    OmJo,

    Agree 100%. Weird seeing Hitch roll that pair out again and again. McLellan seems to do it also.

    “Something in the water”

  109. London Jon says:

    We could really use a solid third line center that can kill penalties…

  110. Rebillled says:

    Talbot really put himself in the spotlight for this game.

    Is there a Vegas line for a Kyle Brodziak own goal on the first shot?

    Not sure how the ex-Oiler ex-Wild re-Oiler stats are. Probably bad for the Oilers.

    Goilers!

    I guess when he takes a penalty and they score I’ll be surprised not at all.

  111. pts2pndr says:

    Coiler:
    Dustylegnd,

    I understand what you mean but this is HIS team. If the current personnel aren’t meshing with his work ethic, vision, blah, blah…then it behooves management to get him the players who will or who won’t cause waves in the dressing room by their lack of determination. When the captain of your team is openly stating in an interview (I’m paraphrasing) that ‘those who don’t care about playing hard for the team should just leave’ then you need to listen. It was his subtle way of telling certain players to man up or f– off. If a player’s ego can’t hack then then he should be requesting a trade ASAP because he’ll only turn into a cancer within the dressing room. And let’s not kid ourselves, there seems to be A LOT of ego in that room.

    McLennan and Hitch are both being described as hard task masters. Sure. It’s as if they didn’t have a track record to prove their worth or something. I wonder if they brought in Scotty Bowman if the results would be the same. Or how about Mike Babcock if you would prefer someone current. This argument of them needing someone ultra positive is fools gold in my opinion. Light and fairy with a dash of unicorns is not what a club demonstrating their play need. The sooner some of these entitled buffoons realized that then the better they would be. And by buffoons I mean the players.

    When Hitch came on they went on a 9-2 run. How? Why did that happen? Did they all of a sudden find their balls and outplay their skill level? Possibly. And what the hell is wrong with that?

    Everyone seems to be wanting to point fingers and play the blame game. First with McLennan, concurrently with Chiarelli (rightly so), and how Hitchcock. This team is just not good enough as it is currently constituted. Sooner we all accept that the better off we’ll be.

    What you have failed to take into account is lack of depth particularily on D. There has not been a top four right shot defenseman on this team aurguably in the last five years. The team went well for a short period of time with Russel playing over his head as the sevond pairing right D. This is like putting the tiny spare on your car and going on a long road trip. It will get you bye for a short period of time only. What we have is the same as having to play with only five defensement each game for an entire season. Using my tiny spare analogy it would be akin to using the tiny tire until it blows and then replacing it with another tiny tire. This team needs a bonafide second pairing right D and another scoring winger to be considerd to have a competitive NHL roster! That is not on the players!

  112. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Hitch didn’t pull any punches when asked about Brodz being scratched: “We need better.We need better from that position.We need better at 5 on 5 and better on the PK.”.

    Fair assessment in my opinion.
    Another bad contract.

  113. Dustylegnd says:

    godot10: Mike Babcock didn’t discard his versions of Justin Schultz (Rielly and Gardiner)like Todd McLellan did.He coached them up. Mike Babcock didn’t encourage the Toronto GM to ship out their versions of Hall and Eberle to “fix” the defense, like McLellan did.

    Mike Babcock didn’t misevaluate the bottom of the roster players, like Todd McLellan did.

    There is a reason Babcock didn’t join the Oilers

  114. Gerta Rauss says:

    OmJo: Also, is the blog having server issues? Getting a lot of errors lately. I’m using Chrome.

    Yeah, I’m Chrome as well and it’s been acting up the last 2 or 3 days

  115. Gerta Rauss says:

    Rebillled: Is there a Vegas line for a Kyle Brodziak own goal on the first shot?

    That would be something to see considering Brodziak will be in the pressbox tonight

  116. Ribs says:

    Craig Zonit:
    Anyone heard from VOR lately? Would love his insights on the Hitchcock situation.

    I’d love to hear from him as well!

  117. OmJo says:

    Gerta Rauss: Yeah, I’m Chrome as well and it’s been acting up the last 2 or 3 days

    Might not be a browser because even with Edge I was getting errors. Can’t remember which ones specifically but yeah.

  118. Lowetide says:

    Jack Michaels

    Verified account

    @EdmontonJack
    Follow Follow @EdmontonJack
    More
    Oilers at MN:

    Draisaitl-McDavid-Rattie
    Lucic-RNH-Chiasson
    Khaira-Malone-Kassian
    Rieder-Cave-Puljujarvi

    Klefbom-Larsson
    Nurse-Russell
    Manning-Benning

    5:36 PM – 7 Feb 2019

  119. OriginalPouzar says:

    About to take off – happiest place on earth here I come.

    Enjoy the game all:

    Oilers at MN:

    Draisaitl-McDavid-Rattie
    Lucic-RNH-Chiasson
    Khaira-Malone-Kassian
    Rieder-Cave-Puljujarvi

    Klefbom-Larsson
    Nurse-Russell
    Manning-Benning

  120. Lowetide says:

    Gerta Rauss: Yeah, I’m Chrome as well and it’s been acting up the last 2 or 3 days

    I have been having some issues too on the back end. Called Go Daddy, some fixes have worked. I also have a meeting next week with a person who may be able to help with these ongoing issues.

  121. Gerta Rauss says:

    Lowetide: I have been having some issues too on the back end. Called Go Daddy, some fixes have worked. I also have a meeting next week with a person who may be able to help with these ongoing issues.

    Is this person with GoDaddy, or an independent..?

  122. Bling says:

    Not sure I share your optimism regarding Puljujarvi, LT.

    What I’m seeing is that Hitch canvassed the team and people outside the organization for their opinions, returned from the break, and stapled JP to line 4.

    My take — thoroughly unsubstantiated — is that there are a few important guys on the team who don’t want to play with him.

    I think the only thing that saves him is a big finish.

  123. geowal says:

    Looks like Rieder will be busy tonight, both 3rd line LW and 4th line C (per lines on SN broadcast)

  124. treevojo says:

    Darrell

  125. Dr. Taboggan says:

    Trade Nurse!

  126. geowal says:

    I’ll get excited when they’re up by 3

  127. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Interesting comp, given that Strome has become productive only after a change of scenery.

    Will we also accept “Strome has become productive only after being played with good players”

    2 most common line mates in CHI: Kane and DeBrincat
    2 most common line mates in ARI: Cousins and Crouse

    Who you play with its critical.

    That’s why Pete pissing away value and talent was so egregious.

    Imagine JP playing 2RW with Hall and RNH.

  128. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    Is it “opposite Oilers” tonight??

  129. drglen says:

    ya we scored

  130. drglen says:

    Let’s go boys. Build a lead after two periods.. and FOR SURE, we can close this thing out, like real playoff team.

  131. Rebillled says:

    Dubnyk 1st shot.

    Classic Oiler.

  132. Biggus Dickus says:

    “Scoring stars don’t play in the AHL much”

    Bye Moto?

  133. Jethro Tull says:

    Lowetide: I have been having some issues too on the back end. Called Go Daddy, some fixes have worked. I also have a meeting next week with a person who may be able to help with these ongoing issues.

    I suggest a high fibre diet.

  134. Ice Sage says:

    godot10: And LT’s blog comes with something Beckett doesn’t offer.

    #AGodotYouDontHaveToWaitFor

    Arrrrrgggh… fell right into that one, thx for the chuckle!

  135. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Most players aren’t able to drive a line on their own. Very few.

    The play we see is because player assessment is wrong headed. Brodziak was productive in his role until Oilers. He was great as a young player for Edmonton but wouldn’t be a thug so they carved him up and sent him out. Rieder was helpful when young same MO and good until back in the grinder. Etc etc.

    The non elite player can’t succeed with a shitty D core, bully blender coaches and over taxed line mates.

    Combine that with all of the background org antics and you get what we see. It’s been the same thing for years no matter who the players and who the coaches. Only the elite players rise above and produce.

    The people driving the culture are forgetting how they got to their glory. Most of the OBC were buttheads as young players, made constant mistakes.

    Their success came from a strict innovative but not bullying coach who let them play and helped them grow. Sather chased them around Edmonton like a parent looking for naughty kids.

    Internally they need to remember this, and play the same role in a fashion that suits the era. Like their coach did for them. Sather played for old school coaches who could be mean and very stuck in their ways .

    Which is why he kicked the league’s butt so well. Stand on the shoulders of those before boys, learn from your own past.

  136. OriginalPouzar says:

    Bling:
    Not sure I share your optimism regarding Puljujarvi, LT.

    What I’m seeing is that Hitch canvassed the team and people outside the organization for their opinions, returned from the break, and stapled JP to line 4.

    My take — thoroughly unsubstantiated — is that there are a few important guys on the team who don’t want to play with him.

    I think the only thing that saves him is a big finish.

    From his verbal today it’s a minute thing.

    He says Jesse loses energy when playing more than 10-12 min per game. They tried to squeeze him but he’s not ready for more minutes and for now they need a good 10-12 and he’s been getting what he wants from Jesse.

  137. Ice Sage says:

    GordieHoweHatTrick:
    Is it “opposite Oilers” tonight??

    We want 3! We want 3!

  138. Ben says:

    It’s kinda silly in this day and age that when the Oilers announce a player signing they don’t immediately release the terms of the deal’s buyout.

  139. drglen says:

    third year, basically a season under his belt here, JP should be arriving now and there should be no excuses.

  140. GMB3 says:

    drglen:
    third year, basically a season under his belt here, JP should be arriving now and there should be no excuses.

    He’s 20 years old??

  141. OriginalPouzar says:

    drglen:
    third year, basically a season under his belt here, JP should be arriving now and there should be no excuses.

    There is no “should” – players develop at differing rates.

    Look at Dylan Strome – at Jesse’s age he was toiling in the AHL after middling NHL performances. At 21 (verging on 22), boom, top 6 production. A high pedigree and high drafted player that took some time.

    Oilers fans preach development and patience but then show no patience.

  142. Scungilli Slushy says:

    I hope somebody took a number of whoever’s gave Connor a face shot in the scrum at the net.

    That cannot be tolerated. I don’t want him roughing it up too much as in trying to fight.

    He might have to Crosby someone to get them to back off if nobody else finds a way to create disincentive. Without doing something obviously dumb.

  143. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Jesse with a shot to the face on the FO. I hope he does kick somebody’s ass. Time for Lucic to earn some money here. Kassian too but that frightens me.

  144. Scungilli Slushy says:

    To me it’s obvious the old book is out again, rough the oilers up and they’ll cave. The time to fight it is right away but I’m sure they’re afraid because of recent issues

  145. GMB3 says:

    OriginalPouzar: From his verbal today it’s a minute thing.

    He says Jesse loses energy when playing more than 10-12 min per game.They tried to squeeze him but he’s not ready for more minutes and for now they need a good 10-12 and he’s been getting what he wants from Jesse.

    Hitch the sports scientist hey.

    He’s pandering to the media once again. More time on ice = more time to get exposed.

  146. Ice Sage says:

    Scungilli Slushy:
    To me it’s obvious the old book is out again, rough the oilers up and they’ll cave. The time to fight it is right away but I’m sure they’re afraid because of recent issues

    Ah yes, but these Oilers are too smart for that, they already have a cave tonite!

  147. GMB3 says:

    Scungilli Slushy:
    To me it’s obvious the old book is out again, rough the oilers up and they’ll cave. The time to fight it is right away but I’m sure they’re afraid because of recent issues

    Lol what?

  148. Lowetide says:

    After One:

    1-0 Edmonton
    8-6 Edmonton shots
    20-11 Minnesota Corsi 5-on-5

    Edmonton’s inability to outlet pass is the biggest issue for them in this game.

  149. GMB3 says:

    JP is Nail Yakupov levels of frustrating to watch at times.

  150. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Ice Sage: Ah yes, but these Oilers are too smart for that, they already have a cave tonite!

    Zinggg!

  151. Dicky94 says:

    Watching the Minnesota feed and just seen a woman in the stands pick something out of her ear and put it in her mouth. Anyone else see that? If not.. LETS GO OILERS!!

  152. GMB3 says:

    Lowetide:
    After One:

    1-0 Edmonton
    8-6 Edmonton shots
    20-11 Minnesota Corsi 5-on-5

    Edmonton’s inability to outlet pass is the biggest issue for them in this game.

    Inability to create in the offensive zone is an issue as well.

    I’m not sure if Minny is that much more offensively talented than us or we are that much worse in our own end, but it seems like they break down our defensive coverage with ease. Edmonton gets the puck down low, then it’s some awkward and ugly cycling of the puck and most of the time it ends up with a corsi from the point.

  153. Scungilli Slushy says:

    GMB3: Lol what?

    To me if your star gets a jab in the face (should be a penalty but not in the nhl) amd then the young guy taking a face off teams are using the old strategy of roughing up the oilers because they used to disengage.

    That is why Lucic Kassian, amd the big bodies are on the team.

    If we have to have lost skill for that , they could at least do what is their purpose on the team. Push back hard without being a bozo. Let the skill play without that to deal with.

  154. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Will we also accept “Strome has become productive only after being played with good players”

    2 most common line mates in CHI: Kane and DeBrincat
    2 most common line mates in ARI: Cousins and Crouse

    Who you play with its critical.

    That’s why Pete pissing away value and talent was so egregious.

    Imagine JP playing 2RW with Hall and RNH.

    Totally fair & valid pont.

  155. tileguy says:

    Dicky94:
    Watching the Minnesota feed and just seen a woman in the stands pick something out of her ear and put it in her mouth. Anyone else see that?If not.. LETS GO OILERS!!

    What do you think it was?

  156. Gerta Rauss says:

    tileguy: What do you think it was?

    It was a Bobby Nick burger of course

    *edit-with yam fries and a small Fresca

  157. Lowetide says:

    Nice work there, Rattie scores.

  158. Ice Sage says:

    Rats!
    (credit where due – nice play by Lucic)

  159. Gerta Rauss says:

    atta boy Rattie..!

    more Nuge points

  160. treevojo says:

    The ratler

  161. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    And Nuge finally scores 50 in a season lol

  162. ArmchairGM says:

    Lowetide:
    Nice work there, Rattie scores.

    I’d like to see Rieder do that. Huh.

  163. vinotintazo says:

    Nuge finally breacks 50 pts…

  164. Dr. Taboggan says:

    I predict 6-2 Minny

  165. ArmchairGM says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    And Nuge finally scores 50 in a season lol

    It finally happened!

  166. Munny says:

    KBomb is looking a little silkier tonight sfter last game.

  167. Professor Q says:

    So, I mean I know I’ve been here forever, but what is the meme about Nuge and 50 points?

  168. ArmchairGM says:

    Don’t look now, but McDavid is just 2 points behind Kucherov for league lead.

  169. Dicky94 says:

    Need to kill this.

  170. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Dicky94,

    Reminds me of my first vivid hockey memory:

    Watching John Muckler pick his nose and eat it on CBC’s HNIC.

  171. Munny says:

    Two great pk battles won.

  172. ArmchairGM says:

    Love Larsson’s board battles.

  173. jp says:

    Gotta say, that was an impressive PK shift by Klefbom-Larsson (and Nuge) out there for 90 sec of hard slogging.

  174. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    ArmchairGM,

    Can’t believe our own Lil’ Baby Nuge is growing up before our very eyes. *weeps

  175. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Professor Q,

    Funny you ask, because I know of it but still don’t know why.

    Would love to hear the back story, because it’s hilarious.

  176. Munny says:

    I do like the way Manning breaks up plays in front of the centre line. Or about a 100 feet before it would enter Rusty’s mind.

  177. Munny says:

    Professor Q:
    So, I mean I know I’ve been here forever, but what is the meme about Nuge and 50 points?

    You’re going to have to ask Kelly Hrudey that question, lol.

  178. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Munny,

    But… 50 points from a 3C — at best — is good production, no?

  179. Lowetide says:

    Professor Q:
    So, I mean I know I’ve been here forever, but what is the meme about Nuge and 50 points?

    Midway through his third season, Nuge hit 50 points for the second time. Someone popped by and said “Nuge finally hits 50 points!” and we hammered him like Dick Pound at a cheater’s convention.

  180. Jethro Tull says:

    Just waiting for “better than Rattie by every measure” Rieder to rip off his hat trick in the third.

  181. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Lowetide: Midway through his third season, Nuge hit 50 points for the second time. Someone popped by and said “Nuge finally hits 50 points!” and we hammered him like Dick Pound at a cheater’s convention.

    Quoted because that’s money.

    I love this place.

  182. ArmchairGM says:

    Lots of low percentage shots by MN

  183. Ice Sage says:

    When leading after 2…

  184. Gerta Rauss says:

    Rattie with a nice chance after 2 sweet passes from Connor and Leon….just of the heel of his stick

    We’re up 2-0 after 2

    I’m scared

  185. Rebillled says:

    Big 2nd intermission for the OIlers.

    Last one had to be bad.

  186. drglen says:

    alright 2 0 lead. there is NO WAY that minn is coming back. This lead is SAFE… book it… it’s 2 points!

  187. Lowetide says:

    After two:

    2-0 Edmonton (1-0 2nd)
    21-13 Minnesota shots (15-5 Minnesota 2nd)
    43-21 Minnestoa Corsi 5-on-5 (23-9 Minnesota 2nd)

    Checking well, caved in possession, Talbot fabulous. Hmmm, sounds familiar.

  188. Jethro Tull says:

    I haven’t bothered watching the 3rd periods of the last three games, or checking the results. I assume we won all three games and are firmly entrenched in a wildcard spot? Now to check my crypto-currency.

  189. digger50 says:

    dustrock:
    From Daniel’s article on McDavid at The Athletic,

    McDavid ripped into the team after the Detroit loss, saying “anyone in this locker room who doesn’t want to be here needs to get out”.

    McDavid defends players when Hitchcock rips into them, similarly to how Modano used to defend them, except McDavid is much younger.

    We sure do ask a lot from our captain.

    A lot of nonsense today

  190. Munny says:

    Gerta Rauss: We’re up 2-0 after 2
    I’m scared

    Me too.

  191. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    While there is no shortage of reasons for poor results with this team, losing a satisfactory 3C for nothing has hurt this team materially. Having nuge play out of the top six is borderline criminal But they do not have a lot of solid options the rest of this year for 3C either. If they had the right wingers he and Leon as two Cs would be a killer 2a and 2b line combo that could be tailored with complementary skill sets to play against certain lines in their division.

    I like the idea of giving JP some centre experience somehow and see how he does without being too deep over his head with comps to start….he could make a decent centre. He plays a full game and seems to have a good head for D. Can maybe push some water. I know others here have posited on this idea. It is a bit of a stretch but tempting in my mind nonetheless. How old was Messier when he switched?

  192. Munny says:

    It begins…

  193. Lowetide says:

    Nurse-Russell too casual there.

  194. Ice Sage says:

    Right on cue

  195. Lowetide says:

    Leon scored, that’s a big goal.

  196. Munny says:

    Canada Drai.

  197. flyfish1168 says:

    That is how you get revenge. use the PP

  198. treevojo says:

    The DR

  199. Gerta Rauss says:

    Leon

    more Nuge points

  200. Munny says:

    That was very helpful.

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