Game 66 2018-19: Oilers at Sabres

Bob Nicholson and Keith Gretzky are in Boca Raton, Florida today for NHL meetings. One imagines we are getting closer to finding out the name, face and direction of the team. Opinions are like bums, we all have one. What would you do with the current Edmonton Oilers roster? Personal opinion time for 2019-20.

THE ATHLETIC!

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

  • New Lowetide: How many future NHL goal scorers are playing for the Bakersfield Condors this season?
  • Lowetide: The career destination for Oilers phenom Jesse Puljujarvi remains unknown.
  • Jonathan Willis: Learning from a flawed argument I made about Leon Draisaitl in 2016.
  • Black Dog Pat: How the Oilers can emerge from the Bob Pulford-like era they’re stuck in.
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Oilers given harsh lesson by Leafs as playoff hopes on life support.
  • Lowetide: The Oilers’ deadline decisions inform what may come in spring and summer
  • Jonathan Willis: From Mikko Koskinen to Bakersfield, the next two months will reveal a lot about the Oilers
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: After bringing in Sam Gagner and shipping out Cam Talbot, Oilers stand pat on deadline day.
  • Jonathan Willis: Jesse Puljujarvi needs a fresh start, but there’s no reason it can’t be in Edmonton
  • Lowetide: The Edmonton Oilers and the OHL.
  • Lowetide: Are the 2018-19 Bakersfield Condors the best Edmonton Oilers affiliate ever?
  • Lowetide: How can the Oilers successfully sell the new regime to a fan base that is openly angry?
  • Jonathan Willis: Edmonton’s trade for Sam Gagner is a gamble well worth making.
  • Jonathan Willis: Inside the success of the Bakersfield Condors, and what it means for Edmonton
  • Lowetide: The Oilers sure have a lot of problems, but there is a simple solution.
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Q&A: Keith Gretzky on the Oilers trade deadline plan, Andrej Sekera’s return and Jesse Puljujarvi’s season
  • Lowetide: Oilers’ potential roster upheaval might set a record for summer activity
  • Lowetide: It’s time for Oilers owner Daryl Katz to stand and deliver a winning organization.
  • Jonathan Willis: An Oilers blueprint for the 2019 NHL free agency period
  • Lowetide: Edmonton’s 2019 entry draft plans may change with new GM but needs are clear
  • Lowetide: Complete Oilers top 20 prospects, Winter 2018

OILERS AFTER 66

  • Oilers in 2015: 25-34-7, 57 points; goal differential -28
  • Oilers in 2016: 35-23-8, 78 points; goal differential +11
  • Oilers in 2017: 28-34-4, 60 points; goal differential -37
  • Oilers in 2018: 28-30-7, 63 points; goal differential -22

OILERS IN MARCH

  • Oilers in March 2016: 2-0-0, four points; goal differential +5
  • Oilers in March 2017: 1-1-0, two points; goal differential -1
  • Oilers in March 2018: 0-2-0, zero points; goal differential -3
  • Oilers in March 2019: 1-0-0, two points; goal differential +4

WHAT TO EXPECT IN MARCH

  • On the road to: Columbus, Buffalo (Expected 0-1-1) (Actual 1-0-0)
  • At home to: Vancouver, Toronto, NY Rangers, Minnesota (Expected 2-1-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Arizona, Vegas, St. Louis (Expected: 0-2-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Columbus, Ottawa, Los Angeles, Dallas, Anaheim (Expected: 3-1-1) (Actual)
  • Overall expected result: 5-5-4, 14 points in 14 games
  • Current results: 1-0-0, two points in one game

POSSIBLE OPENING NIGHT ROSTER 2019-20

  • I traded way too much, it’s true, but honestly this is going to require a ‘machete summer’ to make anything work in the fall.
  • I traded most of the future but did retain Bouchard, Joel Persson, William Lagesson and Dmitri Samorukov on defense, and Benson, Kailer Yamamoto and Cooper Marody among the forwards. The first-round pick was part of the Hall compensation, along with JP and Jones. You can scream “that’s not close to enough” and I’ll understand, would only suggest to you the trade would be for one year of Hall and should be considered damned dangerous.
  • Matt Benning is best suited to third pairing, so the club could move Sekera to RH side to play him with Nurse. That would make the third pairing Gravel-Benning/Bouchard, but I really like Sekera with Bouchard. I chose Benning to move up because I like him best among the available options. Hopefully Sekera-Bouchard move past the second pairing by mid-season. Either way, I’m sincere in suggesting Benning will be an upgrade on Russell in that spot.
  • I would prefer to keep Jesse Puljujarvi but suspect the die is cast. Let JP be the last first-round pick the Oilers handle this way, please and thanks.
  • I like this team. A lot. My additions (Brian Elliott, J-G Pageau, Taylor Hall, Tyler Ennis) may not be yours and that’s cool. Please drop your roster ideas in the comments section, I’m looking forward to reading.

MIKKO KOSKINEN

One area we should give lots of attention this spring is goaltending. I believe that starts with Mikko Koskinen and his place on the roster. Is he a bona fide No. 1 starter, with the idea of bringing in an Elliott as backup? That’s my guess today, Elliott can start (and thrive) for periods of a season. Here are the Pacific Division goalies (25 or more games) with even-strength save percentages:

  1. David Rittich (Calgary) 36 games, .925
  2. Jacob Markstrom (Vancouver) 50 games, .921
  3. John Gibson (Anaheim) 48 games, .920
  4. Mikko Koskinen (Edmonton) 40 games, .918
  5. Darcy Kuemper (Arizona) 39 games, .917
  6. Marc-Andre Fleury (Vegas) 56 games, .916
  7. Jonathan Quick (Los Angeles) 35 games, .905
  8. Martin Jones (San Jose) 50 games, .895

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN1260, a busy morning and a fun week ahead. Scheduled to appear:

  • Andy McNamara, TSN4Downs. Andy watched hundreds of hours of NFL combine video and knows all!
  • Bill Hoppe, Times Herald. We’ll chat Sabres, deadline and playoff chances.
  • Jason Gregor, TSN1260. Oilers and the playoff race.

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

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458 Responses to "Game 66 2018-19: Oilers at Sabres"

« Older Comments
  1. texmex says:

    #Oilers have won five of their last seven games.

    They had six wins in their previous 27 games.

    Imagine they simply played .400 hockey during that 27 game stretch, they’d have 75 points.

  2. Andy Dufresne says:

    Rebillled: The captain almost pulls a Stepan, but Skinner and Jack couldn’t Hemsky.

    lol awesome…

    I think tonight proves Skinner and Pommenville secretly want to be Oilers. Jack is no Connor

  3. OriginalPouzar says:

    OmJo: Do the injuries to Puljujarvi and Khaira not make Malone and Currie emergency recalls?

    No, they were sent down prior to the deadline to ensure they are eligible for the AHL for the rest of the year and the playoffs (must be on the AHL roster at the NHL trade deadline – applies to those with NHL contracts) and then recalled after the deadline.

    2 of the 4 recalls used.

  4. JOFA says:

    Whatever GM that comes in better clean house, or they hold no credibility whatsoever!

  5. Professor Q says:

    JOFA:
    Connor and his agent need to tell them he is going to walk if they don’t get their shit together.

    I’ve heard that going for walks can be quite relaxing and invigorating, actually. It should be encouraged.

  6. OriginalPouzar says:

    leadfarmer: I’m wondering how many of those shots you expect a goalie to save.
    Being a Chia hire is going to be an insurmountable hill to climb for some.
    He’s not going to win a Vezina but he is a capable goalie

    He is stil proving that he is a capable starting goalie. A capable starting goalie doesn’t have 20 “not good enough” games in a row which is what he did from mid-December through mid-February.

    He has done two things over the last 7-8 games that is providing me optimism that he is finding a consistent game as oppossed to this just being a heater before he gets ice cold again:

    1) bouncing right back with a good game (now 3) after a shit performance against the Leafs – he didn’t do that once this year prior to then – he followed up bad performances with more of the same – ice cold

    2) he let in a number of goals early as the team went down and lost sagged but then absolutely shut the door giving his team a chance to come back – for the most part, until tonight, any time he got lit up early, his fault or not, it would not end well for the team and usually a pull for Mikko.

    These are big big things in my opinion.

    Keep it up Mikko.

  7. Reja says:

    Andy Dufresne: And Colorado……..with $9.3 million in goalies and Francouz in the AHL

    Nicely done.

  8. JOFA says:

    Professor Q: I’ve heard that going for walks can be quite relaxing and invigorating, actually. It should be encouraged.

    Hahaha +1. Off to walk the dog. Do me a favor and remember my posts. It will come in handy when the announcement is made😄

  9. Johnny skid says:

    leadfarmer: What did he do?
    Ok here is the game plan guys.We’re going to play horrible defense and give up 3 goals to get them into a false sense of security.Then we will have Mcdavid and Drai do their thing.Then we will have Koskinen stand on his head and let the puck hit the post to make it seem like they may score but then have this funny double tap that you couldn’t repeat if you tried.
    Ok Break

    i’m sure you know what you meant to say, but i don’t.

  10. theDjdj says:

    Lowetide:
    Larsson had his stick knocked out of his hands, by the time he picked it up game over.

    Eerily prescient, LT

  11. leadfarmer says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    You need to average the good games and the bad. You can’t just focus on the bad and compare them to others avg. most goalies go through good spells and bad. It’s a long season.
    I’m content with a average goalie on a team with shitty d. That means he’s probably not average

  12. leadfarmer says:

    Johnny skid: i’m sure you know what you meant to say, but i don’t.

    I don’t get which part of the game you give the coach credit for? Game was won by Draisatl and Mcdavids skill level and Koskinen settling into the game

  13. giddy says:

    Where is this team in the standings right now if Sekera was healthy all season? Or even if he returned 10 or 15 games earlier? That’d seriously put us up 2-3 wins more, minimum, and just like that we’d be right in the wildcard fight.

    Six points back with 16 games remaining isn’t insurmountable, but there’s no question everything has to go right for this team. They pretty much have to go at least 11-5-0 to make it, and seeing a team squeak into the WC spot with 87 points paints one helluva sad picture for the Western Conference.

  14. striatic says:

    leadfarmer:
    OriginalPouzar,

    You need to average the good games and the bad.You can’t just focus on the bad and compare them to others avg.most goalies go through good spells and bad.It’s a long season.
    I’m content with a average goalie on a team with shitty d.That means he’s probably not average

    If you look at goalies who have played 40 or more games, Koskinen is 9th of 20 by SV%. Middle of the pack.

    I’m guessing lots of other goalies on that list have had bad D playing in front of them, but the point is that overall the team’s record isn’t Koskinen’s fault. He’s been fine.

  15. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Okay that makes sense. Thanks.

    How do non-NHL players like Samorukov, Bouchard or Persson, as examples, figure in to being eligible for playoffs in BAK? Are they exempt by not being on the AHL roster due to not being previously assigned, or are they okay to join the squad in the Bake when their current club team seasons are finished for a playoff push??

  16. Lucic n Chong says:

    So I guess that was one of the games we didn’t deserve to win but got back via the hockey gods.

    Koskinen made some very big saves, especially at key times when we needed one. For all my Russell bashing (and I still don’t like him as a player at 2RD), he made a huge keep in at the line to McDavid for the Kassian 3-wood golf goal and then blocked a key shot towards the end.

    Leon elevates his game away from McDavid lately. Meanwhile, Nuge was quiet with either. I think playing center slows them the free range they need to make plays with and without the puck. RNH in particular can’t be locked into a lane.

    Pominville double tap or McDavid’s Patrick Stephan impression for the mystery of the game?

    An away win is a win is a win…is a win. We might be even be up to 2% chance tomorrow boys! Go on and get some.

  17. JimmyV1965 says:

    Alpine: He’s not hard to move at 1.5 mil retained. There’s incentive to take him if the Oilers take back some money that expires in a year or two and add in a few draft picks. Phaneuf didn’t cost Toronto OR Ottawa any picks or prospects to move. Toronto didn’t even retain salary.

    Lucic is famous and has toughness that some teams value and if you get him above 10% shooting again (not unlikely), then he’s near 30 point territory and he’s not much of an overpayment at a 4-4.5 mil cap hit. His relative possession numbers are positive for the third year in a row.

    We should consider that the Oilers are the only team that has to have Lucic at a $6 million cap hit. Any other team should be getting him with retained salary. The Oilers should be flexible but not overly so in retaining salary because a buyout does not work at all. They can take salary back but it must expire within two years.

    I find it hard to believe any team in the NHL would pay Lucic $3 mill, yet alone $4-$4.5 mill. He has 5 goals and 16 pts, he’s slow and he can’t handle the puck. He’s a fourth liner at best.

  18. Johnny skid says:

    leadfarmer: I don’t get which part of the game you give the coach credit for?Game was won by Draisatl and Mcdavids skill level and Koskinen settling into the game

    so in your opinion three players won that game alone?

  19. who says:

    Andy Dufresne: lolawesome…

    I think tonight proves Skinner and Pommenville secretly want to be Oilers. Jack is no Connor

    Nobody is Connor, but that Eichel is a hell of a player. He would be scary to play against.

  20. OriginalPouzar says:

    leadfarmer:
    OriginalPouzar,

    You need to average the good games and the bad.You can’t just focus on the bad and compare them to others avg.most goalies go through good spells and bad.It’s a long season.
    I’m content with a average goalie on a team with shitty d.That means he’s probably not average

    Not when the bad spell runs for over 2 months and encompasses over half of the player’s NHL games in the last 7 years. Sorry, but up and till this recent 7 game stretch (and we still aren’t sure if its a heater or a goalie finding his game and consistency) all we had from this guy was (a) an awful camp and pre-season, (b) a 10 game really hot stretch and (c) a 20 game really cold stretch.

    That’s it – that’s all we had and, in my opinion, even though the ultimate numbers were OK (yes, just OK), that is not acceptable starting tending.

    What we are seeing over the last few week is indeed acceptable starting tending and, as I’ve pointed out, there are signs that its more than just a heater – finding out is a massive storyline over the next few weeks.

  21. Reja says:

    leadfarmer: I don’t get which part of the game you give the coach credit for?Game was won by Draisatl and Mcdavids skill level and Koskinen settling into the game

    No love for Kass he cued the comeback.

  22. OriginalPouzar says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    OriginalPouzar,

    Okay that makes sense.Thanks.

    How do non-NHL players like Samorukov, Bouchard or Persson, as examples, figure in to being eligible for playoffs in BAK?Are they exempt by not being on the AHL roster due to not being previously assigned, or are they okay to join the squad in the Bake when their current club team seasons are finished for a playoff push??

    Samorukov and Bouchard are find because their contracts are sliding – they can join when their club seasons are done (like Samorukov did last season.).

    Persson I’m not 100% sure on as he’s on loan to another professional team and his NHL contract is running. I will do some digging – he may need to clear waivers which is a non-starter.

  23. Glovjuice says:

    OriginalPouzar: He certainly does, however, I will say, the last 5 games or so, he seems to have “learned” how to play a bit with McDavid – getting to the right spots, timing his arrivals better, smarter dumps of the puck to soft areas, etc.

    I am starting to wonder if he can continue that type of smart play…… he has had some consistency issues in his career (understatement) but this is quite a sample on the top line.

    He can’t.

  24. giddy says:

    who: Nobody is Connor, but that Eichel is a hell of a player. He would be scary to play against.

    Agreed. Doesn’t get nearly enough credit and I sort of feel bad for him. Pretty elite offensive talent who gets ignored all because the media drummed up a huge debate of him verses a generational talent.

    Also, don’t look now but Draisaitl is now on pace for 103 points…

  25. Reja says:

    JOFA:
    Connor and his agent need to tell them he is going to walk if they don’t get their shit together.

    Nobody tells Gretzky what to do not even Bobby Orr.

  26. JimmyV1965 says:

    pts2pndr: Not saying this is not possible. What I am saying is that we have sewered two seasons with this thinking. A good deal of the moving Drasaitl up to Conners wing is an attempt to outscore mistakes. It has not worked to this point. Why should we believe next season will be different. I believe with a true top four we will have enough scoring to make the playoffs. I believe this can be done without gambling the future! We have torn the management apart for doing exactly what many are now suggesting! This thinking has not been successful why rinse and repeat?

    I’m not sure which team you are watching, but the Oilers aren’t even close to icing two lines that can score. We have three top six forwards and nine fourth liners. No one is outscoring mistakes with this kind of lineup.

  27. Lucic n Chong says:

    Ennis with a hattrick on Rittich. That last one smelled of mustard gas and buttered popcorn. Yuck
    Hrudey still can’t say anything bad about his darlings though.

    Please Gord, don’t make this a Stanley cup preview.

  28. leadfarmer says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Once again. It is a huge deal and change coming over from the KHL to becoming a starting goalie. I listed 2 KHL star goalies above that have 2 NHL games between them. Koskinen having a bad camp and slow start should have been an expected transition period and not an fault in his player
    Koskinen has an all purpose GSAA that is positive

  29. Dicky94 says:

    Lucic n Chong,

    Calgary won’t make it past the first round.

  30. Reja says:

    Lucic n Chong:
    Ennis with a hattrick on Rittich. That last one smelled of mustard gas and buttered popcorn. Yuck
    Hrudey still can’t say anything bad about his darlings though.

    Please Gord, don’t make this a Stanley cup preview.

    Hrudey would suck six golf balls through a garden hose for his dear flames. Turncoat edmontonian.

  31. oilersfan says:

    The oilers were 6-14-2 with Klefbom out of the lineup

    Take out the games he didn’t play and the oilers are 23-16-5

    That’s a 95 point pace. I don’t think the oilers should trade either sekera or Klefbom given their injury history. Will be nice to have some depth.

    This team does not need to be blown up this summer

    5-1-2 with Klefbom and Sekera

  32. flyfish1168 says:

    Phlegms getting beat like a rented mule
    Oilers win. Good night all around

  33. Offside says:

    How long before Eichel demands a trade out of Buffalo?

  34. OriginalPouzar says:

    leadfarmer:
    OriginalPouzar,

    Once again.It is a huge deal and change coming over from the KHL to becoming a starting goalie. I listed 2 KHL star goalies above that have 2 NHL games between them.Koskinen having a bad camp and slow start should have been an expected transition period and not an fault in his player
    Koskinen has an all purpose GSAA that is positive

    That’s all great that its a big transition from the KHL but until he can prove that he can consistently give the team a chance to win night in and night out (generally, there will be the odd stinker), then he hasn’t proven to be an adequate starter.

    To this point, he has not proven that consistency.

    As I keep saying, I’m cautiously optimistic that he’s in the process of proving it now but he simply hasn’t done so yet.

  35. Lucic n Chong says:

    Reja,

    The broadcast when he said RNH is a 3rd line C sealed it for me. Well, that and his unwavering biased commentary against the Oilers ever since.

    Well at least RNH finally hit 50pts this year , amirite Hrudey?

  36. Reja says:

    Lucic n Chong:
    Reja,

    The broadcast when he said RNH is a 3rd line C sealed it for me. Well, that and his unwavering biased commentary against the Oilers ever since.

    Well at least RNH finally hit 50pts this year , amirite Hrudey?

    Hrudey still pouting after the Oilers lit him up on numerous occasions and the teasing he recieved when he visited his home town.

  37. Lucic n Chong says:

    OP,

    I hate the Mikko contract as much as you, but if you take out the Leafs game he’s been an above average starter no? Do you look at overall save percentage or only even strength? The PK sharted on itself several times in a row. We need this player to succeed. I’m never for advocating someone to be out of their paycheck, but Dustin Schwartz doesn’t exactly have a sparkling track record (was reminded of this the other day when Brossoit beat Nashville).
    Are you happy with Koskinen’s progress now, or is there a goalie coach who has some expertise transitioning goaltenders from the euro big ice? Merely spitballing here.

  38. Jethro Tull says:

    JimmyV1965: I’m not sure which team you are watching, but the Oilers aren’t even close to icing two lines that can score. We have three top six forwards and nine fourth liners. No one is outscoring mistakes with this kind of lineup.

    Well, ya say that….. Connor and a hot goalie got us there in ’16.

  39. pts2pndr says:

    JimmyV1965: I’m not sure which team you are watching, but the Oilers aren’t even close to icing two lines that can score. We have three top six forwards and nine fourth liners. No one is outscoring mistakes with this kind of lineup.

    With. A true top four you are not having to outscore mistakes as you do now. Good offense is generated by good defense which is NOT spending the amount of time in the D zone which has been the case fo better part of two years!

  40. JimmyV1965 says:

    pts2pndr: With. A true top four you are not having to outscore mistakes as you do now. Good offense is generated by good defense which is NOT spending the amount of time in the D zone which has been the case fo better part of two years!

    But you still have to score. And it doesn’t matter what dmen we have, there’s only three players on this team capable of scoring 20 goals. That’s simply not good enough. And there’s no one in the system capable of doing that, at least in the next couple years. On the other hand, we have a pile of dmen who will be ready to play in the NHL in the near future. Our dmen prospects are much further ahead than our forwards.

  41. Alpine says:

    JimmyV1965: I find it hard to believe any team in the NHL would pay Lucic $3 mill, yet alone $4-$4.5 mill.He has 5 goals and 16 pts, he’s slow and he can’t handle the puck. He’s a fourth liner at best.

    Go look around the league and there’s 4th liners making 3 mil. You and others are acting like there aren’t any other stupid teams.

    Vancouver is paying Jay Beagle 3 million a year for four years lol. The Isles gave Clutterbuck 3.5 x 5 a couple years back when Snow was GM. Lou went and signed Leo Komarov who had 19 pts in 76 games to the same contract as Beagle. All those guys have been bottom six guys their whole careers and never been top six.

    I’m supposed to believe Lucic with 4 years left at 4-4.5 mil plus acquiring some draft picks from the Oilers plus the Oilers taking some salary is something no team can do? When they’re just gonna blow that cap space on an overpaid bottom six guy anyways?

    That’s a way better deal for a team despite the extra 1 mil AAV than going and signing Jay Beagle for 4 x 3. At least Lucic might turn the back the clock at some point. Beagle’s career high water mark is 30 points. There’s nothing for to turn back the clock to.

    Has Dale Tallon really smartened up from his expansion draft disaster or when he thought Bolland was worthy of a five year deal?

  42. JimmyV1965 says:

    Alpine: Go look around the league and there’s 4th liners making 3 mil. You and others are acting like there aren’t any other stupid teams.

    Vancouver is paying Jay Beagle 3 million a year for four years lol. The Isles gave Clutterbuck 3.5 x 5 a couple years back when Snow was GM. Lou went and signed Leo Komarov who had 19 pts in 76 games to the same contract as Beagle. All those guys have been bottom six guys their whole careers and never been top six.

    I’m supposed to believe Lucic with 4 years left at 4-4.5 mil plus acquiring some draft picks from the Oilers plus the Oilers taking some salary is something no team can do? When they’re just gonna blow that cap space on an overpaid bottom six guy anyways?

    That’s a way better deal for a team despite the extra 1 mil AAV than going and signing Jay Beagle for 4 x 3. At least Lucic might turn the back the clock at some point. Beagle’s career high water mark is 30 points. There’s nothing for to turn back the clock to.

    Has Dale Tallon really smartened up from his expansion draft disaster or when he thought Bolland was worthy of a five year deal?

    I’m not saying Lucic can’t be moved. In fact, I think he can be moved. But I don’t think it’s reasonable to think anyone would be willing to assume $4-4.5 mill of his salary. The league is riddled with bad contracts. But that doesn’t mean someone will make a mistake with Lucic. You also have to consider others factors. Beagle was a bad signing. Full stop. But he also led the team in penalty kill minutes before getting hurt. Lucic now has 17 points, he’s scored at forth line rates for 18 months and he can’t play special teams. I’m sure some team that gets the snot kicked out of them in the playoffs will take a hard look at Lucic, but not for $4 mill. I don’t think anyone in this league thinks he will return to top 6 scoring rates.

  43. OmJo says:

    OriginalPouzar: OmJo

    Thanks OP!

  44. Maoriduvpoojt says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Fantastic shorthanded outlet pass by Nurse to spring the two on one – McDavid to Leon for the shortie – #41!

    Um well he hit McDavid in the skates, but that’s all that is actually required.

    Any other player and it’s a line change…

  45. Maoriduvpoojt says:

    Ben:
    Never seen anything like that Pomminville play. Legend of Buffalo sports grows.

    The Hockey Gods are smiling on this team….hopefully it’s not Loki trolling us

  46. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lucic n Chong:
    OP,

    I hate the Mikko contract as much as you, but if you take out the Leafs game he’s been an above average starter no? Do you look at overall save percentage or only even strength?The PK sharted on itself several times in a row. We need this player to succeed. I’m never for advocating someone to be out of their paycheck, but Dustin Schwartz doesn’t exactly have a sparkling track record (was reminded of this the other day when Brossoit beat Nashville).
    Are you happy with Koskinen’s progress now, or is there a goalie coach who has some expertise transitioning goaltenders from the euro big ice? Merely spitballing here.

    In the most recent 7 games, yes, he’s looking like a solid starter, however, as I’ve said numerous times, to this point, he hasn’t shown the ability to provide consistent solid tending over a lengthy stretch of time – i.e. giving the team a chance to win each night (with the odd stinker thrown in).

    He’s gone through stretches of being hot and being cold – he was hot for 10 games (or so) and then ice cold for 20 games (or so).

    Even though that leads to decent numbers on the whole, it is not starting tending a team can rely on.

    It remains to be seen if the current stretch is another heater which will be followed by a stretch of cold or if he is indeed finding his game and some consistency in the NHL. As I’ve posted, there are a couple of reasons why I’m cautiously optimistic its the latter.

  47. OriginalPouzar says:

    Jethro Tull: Well, ya say that….. Connor and a hot goalie got us there in ’16.

    and a 2nd line that had Drai and no Connor – recall they were split for the 2nd round and McDavid was largely held in check for large portions of the playoffs. Over the course of the 2 rounds, Drai was the better player.

  48. OriginalPouzar says:

    JimmyV1965: But you still have to score. And it doesn’t matter what dmen we have, there’s only three players on this team capable of scoring 20 goals. That’s simply not good enough. And there’s no one in the system capable of doing that, at least in the next couple years. On the other hand, we have a pile of dmen who will be ready to play in the NHL in the near future. Our dmen prospects are much further ahead than our forwards.

    If the team is constantly in its own zone chasing, giving the puck back when they do get it, giving up high danger scoring chances consistently, etc. they will also not score and that is what is happening often with the 2nd pairing. A legit 2RD that can help chase less and move the puck out of the zone with possession will have a material plus on the offence as well.

    Yes, we have depth at defensive position and there are no less than 4 prospects that have legit shots to prove they are NHL ready next year – the issue it, none of them look to be able to handle top 4 minutes next year and there is a decent chance that it will be 2 full years or so until one of them is (Bouchard or Jones the most likely – Samorukov even farther behind time line wise).

    2RD is also, in my opinion, tougher to fill with a legit player than finding a player to inject in to the top 6. Yes, the likes of Puljujarvi, Rattie, Yamamoto have not been able to fill that role, however, looking across the league, its much easier to find cheap wingers who can be zoomed by top linemates and provide value in the top 6. A real legit 2RD is needed but a guy like Gagner may be able to produce 45 points in the top 6 (he may have chemistry with Drai) or a guy like Brandon Pirri.

    I would think a guy like Benson has just as good a chance at producing with talent than a guy like Bear or Jones have of being able to handle 2RD next year – neither is a good bet.

  49. Lucic n Chong says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Appreciate the well thought out reply

  50. JimmyV1965 says:

    OriginalPouzar: If the team is constantly in its own zone chasing, giving the puck back when they do get it, giving up high danger scoring chances consistently, etc. they will also not score and that is what is happening often with the 2nd pairing. A legit 2RD that can help chase less and move the puck out of the zone with possession will have a material plus on the offence as well.

    Yes, we have depth at defensive position and there are no less than 4 prospects that have legit shots to prove they are NHL ready next year – the issue it, none of them look to be able to handle top 4 minutes next year and there is a decent chance that it will be 2 full years or so until one of them is (Bouchard or Jones the most likely – Samorukov even farther behind time line wise).

    2RD is also, in my opinion, tougher to fill with a legit player than finding a player to inject in to the top 6.Yes, the likes of Puljujarvi, Rattie, Yamamoto have not been able to fill that role, however, looking across the league, its much easier to find cheap wingers who can be zoomed by top linemates and provide value in the top 6.A real legit 2RD is needed but a guy like Gagner may be able to produce 45 points in the top 6 (he may have chemistry with Drai) or a guy like Brandon Pirri.

    I would think a guy like Benson has just as good a chance at producing with talent than a guy like Bear or Jones have of being able to handle 2RD next year – neither is a good bet.

    It doesn’t matter who we have on defence. The bottom line is we have three 20 goal scorers. That is simply not good enough. No dman is changing that unless they score 20 themselves. Getting someone like Brandon Pirri is like getting another version of Toby Rieder. You’re wishing and hoping for something that will very likely fail. I have more faith that Nurse and Sekera can be a good enough second pairing than Gagner scoring 45 points on the second line. And as you say, the cost of getting a legit top six winger will be less than the cost of getting a legit 2RD. And I think we might also agree that we are more likely to fill the 2RD hole internally than filling the top six winger hole internally. I look at our forward depth and see zero realistic options. I look at our defence depth and see options. They may not be the greatest options, but there are at least realistic options.

  51. OriginalPouzar says:

    I disagree vehemently that it doesn’t matter who we have on defence.

    I stated express reasons in my post above.

    A better defence, leading to having the puck more, leading to a better transition game, will lead to improved offensive opportunities.

    A legit 2RD is a tougher player to find than a top 6 winger, in my opinion.

  52. jp says:

    Jethro Tull: Well, ya say that….. Connor and a hot goalie got us there in ’16.

    That’s true to an extent, but that team also came close to sawing off with McDavid off the ice (48-49 GF% IIRC). This team is very far from that (as every other non-16 Oilers team in tgse past 10+ yrs). It’s really not fair to say that team was just Connor and a hot goalie.

  53. ArmchairGM says:

    JimmyV1965: It doesn’t matter who we have on defence. The bottom line is we have three 20 goal scorers. That is simply not good enough. No dman is changing that unless they score 20 themselves.

    I disagree. And you’re forgetting that Chiasson is on pace to score 23.

  54. GMB3 says:

    ArmchairGM: I disagree. And you’re forgetting that Chiasson is on pace to score 23.

    How’s that pace looked recently ? (Not well)

  55. Andy Dufresne says:

    OriginalPouzar: He is stil proving that he is a capable starting goalie. A capable starting goalie doesn’t have 20 “not good enough” games in a row which is what he did from mid-December through mid-February.

    He has done two things over the last 7-8 games that is providing me optimism that he is finding a consistent game as oppossed to this just being a heater before he gets ice cold again:

    1) bouncing right back with a good game (now 3) after a shit performance against the Leafs – he didn’t do that once this year prior to then – he followed up bad performances with more of the same – ice cold

    2) he let in a number of goals early as the team went down and lost sagged but then absolutely shut the door giving his team a chance to come back – for the most part, until tonight, any time he got lit up early, his fault or not, it would not end well for the team and usually a pull for Mikko.

    These are big big things in my opinion.

    Keep it up Mikko.

    You’re persistent Ill give you that. 🙂 Its one of the things we love about you.

    But persistence in the face of facts is, shall we say less than helpful

    Here are the facts:

    From FrJohnK, LT and Woodguy.

    Here are a few sample sizes when looking at Koskinen. Save% All situations.
    .927 till Dec 11th Klefbom injury 15 games
    .855 during klefboms injury 14 games
    .918 since Klefbom is back 11 games
    .913 with McClellan 8 games
    .902 with Hitch till Talbot trade 25 games
    .934 since Talbot trade 7 games

    The Pacific Division this Year:
    David Rittich (Calgary) 36 games, .925
    Jacob Markstrom (Vancouver) 50 games, .921
    John Gibson (Anaheim) 48 games, .920
    Mikko Koskinen (Edmonton) 40 games, .918
    Darcy Kuemper (Arizona) 39 games, .917
    Marc-Andre Fleury (Vegas) 56 games, .916
    Jonathan Quick (Los Angeles) 35 games, .905
    Martin Jones (San Jose) 50 games, .895

    Those are some pretty good goalies.

    LT showed us his evidence in chart form yesterday that Kosiknen is TOP 10 in GS Ax ( Goals Saved Above Expectation ) for goalies that have played 1900 minutes or more. It measures how a goalie is performing relative to the shot quality they face. Mikko is sandwiched between Rinne and Fluery.

    Woodguy followed up by showing us Koskinen is above average with a positive GSAA*. ( there are 30 goalies in the league who are below average in GSAA)

    Briz said to ask you..”OP, Why you hef to be so stub born? Dont be Med. Just admeet it, you like him, YOU REALLY LIKE HIM!” 🙂

    Mikko is an above average Goalie when playing in front of a VERY AVERAGE but healthy defense AND when the team doesnt let him down with thier inconsistent play.

    And all of this after transitioning his LIFE to a new continent! Pretty amazing actually.

    * ( “GSAA” – Goals Saved Above Average. You take the league’s average save percentage and apply it to the amount of shots a particular goalie has faced. You get a number of goals that the average goalie in that league would have surrendered if they faced the same number of shots as the goaltender in question. That number gets compared to the number of goals surrendered by that goaltender, and a plus/minus is created. If a goalie is in the positive, that is how many goals they have saved compared to a league-average goalie.)

  56. Andy Dufresne says:

    OriginalPouzar: Not when the bad spell runs for over 2 months and encompasses over half of the player’s NHL games in the last 7 years. Sorry, but up and till this recent 7 game stretch (and we still aren’t sure if its a heater or a goalie finding his game and consistency) all we had from this guy was (a) an awful camp and pre-season, (b) a 10 game really hot stretch and (c) a 20 game really cold stretch.

    That’s it – that’s all we had and, in my opinion, even though the ultimate numbers were OK (yes, just OK), that is not acceptable starting tending.

    What we are seeing over the last few week is indeed acceptable starting tending and, as I’ve pointed out, there are signs that its more than just a heater – finding out is a massive storyline over the next few weeks.

    You’re persistent Ill give you that. 🙂 Its one of the things we love about you.

    But persistence in the face of facts is, shall we say less than helpful

    Here are the facts:

    From FrJohnK, LT and Woodguy.

    Here are a few sample sizes when looking at Koskinen. Save% All situations.
    .927 till Dec 11th Klefbom injury 15 games
    .855 during klefboms injury 14 games
    .918 since Klefbom is back 11 games
    .913 with McClellan 8 games
    .902 with Hitch till Talbot trade 25 games
    .934 since Talbot trade 7 games

    The Pacific Division this Year:
    David Rittich (Calgary) 36 games, .925
    Jacob Markstrom (Vancouver) 50 games, .921
    John Gibson (Anaheim) 48 games, .920
    Mikko Koskinen (Edmonton) 40 games, .918
    Darcy Kuemper (Arizona) 39 games, .917
    Marc-Andre Fleury (Vegas) 56 games, .916
    Jonathan Quick (Los Angeles) 35 games, .905
    Martin Jones (San Jose) 50 games, .895

    Those are some pretty good goalies.

    LT showed us his evidence in chart form yesterday that Kosiknen is TOP 10 in GS Ax ( Goals Saved Above Expectation ) for goalies that have played 1900 minutes or more. It measures how a goalie is performing relative to the shot quality they face. Mikko is sandwiched between Rinne and Fluery.

    Woodguy followed up by showing us Koskinen is above average with a positive GSAA*. ( there are 30 goalies in the league who are below average in GSAA)

    Briz said to ask you..”OP, Why you hef to be so stub born? Dont be Med. Just admeet it, you like him, YOU REALLY LIKE HIM!” 🙂

    Mikko is an above average Goalie when playing in front of a VERY AVERAGE but healthy defense AND when the team doesnt let him down with thier inconsistent play.

    And all of this after transitioning his LIFE to a new continent! Pretty amazing actually.

    * ( “GSAA” – Goals Saved Above Average. You take the league’s average save percentage and apply it to the amount of shots a particular goalie has faced. You get a number of goals that the average goalie in that league would have surrendered if they faced the same number of shots as the goaltender in question. That number gets compared to the number of goals surrendered by that goaltender, and a plus/minus is created. If a goalie is in the positive, that is how many goals they have saved compared to a league-average goalie.)

  57. CallighenMan says:

    OriginalPouzar: Which Koskinen will show up??

    The good Koskinen that provides solid goaltending through the entire games, does not let in any terrible goals and comes up with important saves

    OR

    The terrible Koskinen that leaks bad goals, in particular at bad times, and can’t come up with a save when the team needs it

    I think you spelled “Talbot” incorrectly 🙂

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