Lets Hear it For the Boys

In the end, it was a good night for the boys. It could have ended poorly, there were certainly moments when things could have gone sideways. Ken Hitchcock loaded up the McDavid-Draisaitl train and that train is bound for glory. No matter what tomorrow brings, this was a big win for an organization that has endured 40 miles of bad road.

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 the Oilers can build a contender during Connor McDavid’s prime.
  • Lowetide: How the emergence of William Lagesson in Bakersfield complicates Edmonton’s 2019-20 depth chart.
  • Jonathan Willis: The Oilers aren’t good, but this group has more potential than teams from the decade of darkness
  • Lowetide: Bob Nicholson’s search continues for the Oilers new tomorrow, but at a leisurely pace.
  • Jonathan Willis: Potential GM candidates and why Edmonton needs to consider those with varied experiences.
  • Lowetide: Identifying Oilers roster needs reveals a familiar list
  • New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: How Leon Draisaitl has found ‘another level’ by matching offensive wizardry with sound positioning.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Lowetide: The Edmonton Oilers and the OHL.
  • Lowetide: Complete Oilers top 20 prospects, Winter 2018

OILERS AFTER 69 GAMES

  • Oilers in 2015: 26-36-7, 59 points; goal differential -33
  • Oilers in 2016: 36-24-9, 81 points; goal differential +16
  • Oilers in 2017: 30-35-4, 64 points; goal differential -36
  • Oilers in 2018: 31-31-7, 69 points; goal differential -20

This year’s Oilers are 16 goals better (EN goals taken out of the goal salad) and with a strong push this year’s team might be able to stretch the goal improvement past 20. There are 13 games left, can Edmonton go 8-4-1? That would put them 39-35-8, 86 points.

OILERS IN MARCH

  • Oilers in March 2016: 3-2-0, six points; goal differential 0
  • Oilers in March 2017: 2-2-1, five points; goal differential +4
  • Oilers in March 2018: 3-2-0, four points; goal differential 0
  • Oilers in March 2019: 4-1-0, eight points; goal differential +6

March McDavid has never looked better, the Oilers are ripping through the early portion of the final month of the year. Need Klefbom back though, he played Game No. 49 last night. He’s having a ‘Serge Savard GP’ early portion of his career.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM MARCH

  • On the road to: Columbus, Buffalo (Expected 0-1-1) (Actual 2-0-0)
  • At home to: Vancouver, Toronto, NY Rangers, NJD (Expected 2-1-1) (Actual 2-1-0)
  • 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: 4-1-0, eight points in five games

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Andrej Sekera went 11-4 in 10:06 with Adam Larsson, 7-2 in 6:10 with Matt Benning, 3-4 in 6:07 with Kris Russell. Sekera-Larsson were 6-1 HDSC’s together.
  • Matt Benning scored and took a head hit. He was 7-2 in 6:10 with Sekera, 6-6 in 3:31 with Darnell Nurse.
  • Adam Larsson went 11-4 in 10:06 with Adam Larsson, 9-4 with Darnell Nurse, 2-6 in 4:40 with Oscar.
  • Darnell Nurse went 16-14 in 14:21 with Kris Russell, 9-4 with Adam Larsson, 6-6 in 3:31 with Matt Benning,
  • Kris Russell went 16-14 in 14:21 with Darnell Nurse, 3-4 in 6:06 with Andrej Sekera.
  • The first goal against featured a terrible pass by Russell followed by a tip on a long shot by Russell (I believe) and the between period folks blaming the goalie. The second goal really came down to Tobias Rieder not being able to find the puck. Poor guy.
  • Hitch said he thought the defensemen did a great job, mentioning Larsson, Nurse and Russell.
  • Mikko Koskinen stopped 28 of 30, .933. He made some excellent saves.
  • NaturalStatTrick and NHL.com.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

  • Draisaitl-McDavid-Kassian were 13-15 in 17:28, 7-11 shots, 1-1 goals and 1-7 HDSC. The HD number is a fright, but 29 and 97 are so good together and had five points.
  • Khaira-Nuge-Gagner were 14-5 in 11:40, 6-3 shots no goals and 7-0 HDSC. I like this line.
  • Rieder-Cave-Chiasson went 13-9 in 9:46, 6-5 shots, 0-1 goals and 6-2 HDSC. Cave is a chance machine but can’t score for love nor money.
  • Malone-Brodziak-Currie were 4-3 in 5:03, 4-3 shots, no goals and 0-1 HDSC.

LEON DRAISAITL

  • Ken Hitchcock: “The thing that has helped his game is patience with the puck. He’s hung on to the puck and made good plays under pressure rather than force the play and have to skate back 200 feet. It’s allowed him to have more offensive zone time, more control of the hockey game. He’s a 200-foot player with the puck now, because he’s able to control the game, buy time, wait for help, it’s allowed him to keep the puck in the zone and it’s worn out people.”

OSCAR KLEFBOM

Ouch.

Apparently the Oilers are also making a major push. McKenzie tweeted he’s 23, right shot, 6 foot, 180-pound, senior forward who had 13 goals, 37 points in 31 games for Princeton. Senators putting on the full court press.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A fun day with much to discuss. Are the Oilers going to get within three points of the playoffs this week? Will NFL free agency actually blow your mind? At 10, TSN1260, scheduled to appear:

  • Jonathan Willis, The Athletic. We’ll talk Oilers playoffs, the GM search and some of the subjects that came up yesterday in our The Athletic-Edmonton QandA.
  • Keegan Matheson, Baseball Toronto. How do the Jays look? Guerrero ETA.

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

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164 Responses to "Lets Hear it For the Boys"

  1. OriginalPouzar says:

    Sekera up to 23 plus minutes last night with Klef leaving the game and he was very good.

    That was a good test last night for Reggie and, once again, he passed – showing that its looking pretty darn good that he’s essentially back to his pre-injury self. Not quite there yet but on the way.

    This is going to be huge for next year.

  2. OriginalPouzar says:

    7-2-2 since Sekera’s return (not 7-7-2).

  3. OriginalPouzar says:

    “Hitch said he thought the defensemen did a great job, mentioning Larsson, Nurse and Russell.”

    Ughhh, Russell had once of his worst games of the season last night – Larsson did have one of his best mind you.

  4. Darth Tu says:

    “Hitch said he thought the defensemen did a great job, mentioning Larsson, Nurse and Russell.”

    Pumping the confidence tires for Russell a little? He had a terrible game. Never mind the tipped goal, his passing was errant, and the Rangers had at least one (that I remember) HD chance due to Russell doing the snow angel and the passer waiting him out and walking around him.

    Sekera was good again, I really liked him when paired with Larsson.

  5. BONE207 says:

    “First appearance in the Nutcracker”

    The only thing missing is the Baryshnikov tights.

    As one who knows, there is a future without one of the “boys”

    Get well soon Dreamy

  6. nvan97 says:

    The record with Sekera in the lineup is a real double-edged sword. It shows, IMO, that this team with a full boat of decent quality d is pretty good because McDavid and Drai are otherworldly. It also shows that this team has no depth (help seems to be on the way) and patience is probably key to building a serious backlog of NHL ready defenders.

  7. flyfish1168 says:

    Waiting anxiously for news on how Oscar is doing.

  8. flyfish1168 says:

    BONE207:
    “First appearance in the Nutcracker”

    The only thing missing is the Baryshnikov tights.

    As one who knows, there is a future without one of the “boys”

    Get well soon Dreamy

    Painfully reminds me of Matt Hendricks

  9. Dicky94 says:

    So so game last night. Rangers played the trap all game limiting the Oil to get going. OT fixed that problem. A win tomorrow sets up a HUGE game on Saturday against the boring but good Coyotes. Here’s hoping they get mange

  10. Pescador says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Sekera up to 23 plus minutes last night with Klef leaving the game and he was very good.

    That was a good test last night for Reggie and, once again, he passed – showing that its looking pretty darn good that he’s essentially back to his pre-injury self. Not quite there yet but on the way.

    This is going to be huge for next year.

    Time for:
    Klefnuts – Larsson
    Nurse – Sekera
    Russell – Benning.
    But I can see why Hitch has kept it status quo
    They keep winning.

  11. dustrock says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    “Hitch said he thought the defensemen did a great job, mentioning Larsson, Nurse and Russell.”

    Ughhh, Russell had once of his worst games of the season last night – Larsson did have one of his best mind you.

    Sekera plays great, Benning, scores, but sure, let’s pump Russell’s tires.

  12. JimmyV1965 says:

    When Nurse starts making snow angels, it’s time to move Russell off that pairing.

  13. who says:

    I liked the top 3 lines last night. Think that is the optimal use of the present roster. Hitch can flip Nuge and Drai as required but he should leave the rest of it alone.
    Now if we could add 3 top 9 forwards, and push that 3rd line down to 4th, we might actually have something.

    A few thoughts on Kassian.
    He had the great playoff run and Chia gave him the 3 year deal. Tmac promptly stapled him to the 4th line for the next year and a half. And everyone bitched about his lack of production. Seemed like a classic case of stereotyping to me. He’s big, he’s physical and he’s abrasive. He must be a 4th liner. Tmac would have probably kept Tom Wilson on the 4th line in Washington.
    The thing is, Kassian can skate. He has good straight away speed and very good edges for a big man. Means that he can keep up with Drai and McDavid through the neutral zone. Maroon and Chiasson struggled with this.
    He also has a decent set of hands and can make and take a pass (looking at you Lucic). He sees the ice well when he has the puck and excels at maintaining possession on the cycle.
    HE IS NOT A FINISHER. Never has had great hands around the net but he is a nice complimentary piece to a couple of highly skilled forwards.
    Hats off to Hitch for giving him an extended look here. Finally!

  14. Pescador says:

    flyfish1168: Painfully reminds me of Matt Hendricks

    If Hendricks cup was broken then
    Klefboms cup was disintegrated

  15. Woodguy v2.0 says:

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

    Pacific
    SJS 23
    CGY 22
    VGK 11

    Central
    WPG 16
    NSH 13
    STL 11

    Wildcard
    DAL 7
    ARI 4

    Out of playoffs
    MIN 4
    COL 2
    CHI 0
    EDM 0
    VAN -4
    ANA -7
    LAK -11

    ARI has 1 less gp than MIN

    EDM and CHI have entered “Wildcard Relevant games” as they have passed my arbitrary line of being within 4 pts of the final wildcard spot.

    Wildcard Relevant games today:

    DAL at BUF (DAL -135)
    ARI at STL (STL -210)

  16. Woodguy v2.0 says:

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

    Atlantic
    TBY 40
    BOS 24
    TOR 20

    Metropolitan
    WSH 20
    NYI 18
    CAR 14

    Wildcard
    PIT 14
    CBJ 10

    Out of playoffs
    MTL 10
    PHI 7
    FLA 3
    BUF 1
    NYR 0
    NJD -10
    DET -11
    OTT -18

    CBJ has 3 more ROW than MTL with the same gp.

    PHI have entered “Wildcard Relevant games” as they have passed my arbitrary line of being within 4 pts of the final wildcard spot. They went from 5 points back to 3 in one night with their win and CBJ’s loss.

    Wildcard Relevant games tonight:

    WSH at PIT (PIT -130)
    BOS at CBJ (BOS -115)
    DET at MTL (MTL -265)

  17. LMHF#1 says:

    Used to look forward to things when I saw a rumor like this…now I’m just terrified at the ridiculous promises being offered:

    https://www.tsn.ca/oilers-sens-pushing-for-ncaa-fa-veronneau-1.1271973

    At least he’s right-handed.

    Go sign some KHLers instead. And add a Russian or two in management/coaching so it’s not wasted.

  18. barry.moore23 says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    WG,

    Can you make it down for Saturday’s game in Glendale ? I’ll give you Lorrie’s ticket 🙂

  19. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    NHL Standings using Points Percentage shown as points over/under fake Bettman .500

    TBY 40
    BOS 24
    SJS 23
    CGY 22
    TOR 20
    WSH 20
    NYI 18
    WPG 16
    PIT 14
    CAR 14
    NSH 13
    STL 11
    VGK 11
    CBJ 10
    MTL 10
    PHI 7
    DAL 7
    MIN 4
    ARI 4
    FLA 3
    COL 2
    BUF 1
    CHI 0
    NYR 0
    EDM 0
    VAN -4
    ANA -7
    NJD -10
    DET -11
    LAK -11
    OTT -18

    Its is simply unreal that TBY is 40pts over fake Bettman .500 while no other team is 30pts over…..or even 25pts over. Class of the league is an understatement. Wait until Karlsson signs there…

    Its funny that EDM and CHI are “in the running for the last wildcard spot” while currently being 23rd and 25th in the NHL.

    The Playoff System giveth and the Playoff System taketh away.

  20. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    barry.moore23:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    WG,

    Can you make it down for Saturday’s game in Glendale ? I’ll give you Lorrie’s ticket

    Can’t get there this weekend Barry.

    Thanks for thinking of me though!

  21. Scungilli Slushy says:

    “Hitch said he thought the defensemen did a great job, mentioning Larsson, Nurse and Russell.”

    I don’t know if hitch is pumping tires to build them up, or if he has lost the ability to see what’s happening in front of him.

    If he thinks Russell is good, at least for the Oilers, time to do something else.

    Yesterday’s comments got me on the Gilman bandwagon. He sounds exactly like what the team needs, a confident cap savvy negotiator that is progressive in his view of the game.

    Get a POHO to take care of the big picture that actually likes the customers and players and will mandate that every competitive advantage available will be used, a modern positive firm coach, and Bob’s your uncle instead of a burger.

  22. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Its is simply unreal that TBY is 40pts over fake Bettman .500 while no other team is 30pts over…..or even 25pts over. Class of the league is an understatement. Wait until Karlsson signs there…

    How da fook is Stamkos a -3 on the year on that team?

  23. Pescador says:

    flyfish1168:
    Waiting anxiously for news on how Oscar is doing.

    Forget Oscar, what about that Gorgeous hog?

  24. John Chambers says:

    Losing to LA, Florida, and Detroit around the AS break is really hurting us now.

    It’s too bad that the Oilers wanted to showcase Talbot because we probably left 4-6 points on the table by not running Koskinen.

  25. Scungilli Slushy says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Sekera up to 23 plus minutes last night with Klef leaving the game and he was very good.

    That was a good test last night for Reggie and, once again, he passed – showing that its looking pretty darn good that he’s essentially back to his pre-injury self. Not quite there yet but on the way.

    This is going to be huge for next year.

    Reg is such a smooth, subtle player. I hope Nurse is paying attention to the little things that Reg does that make him so effective. The little moves to gain space from a forechecker, little angle changes that open up the passing lane, the timing that puts it all together.

    If Nurse can learn those traits that all effective D have, it’ll change get him up to where he wants to be. With his skating it should be easy for him. He has still to move beyond just using his athleticism which was a huge advantage in junior, not so much in the NHL.

  26. Ryan says:

    Nice link from Godot in the previous thread.

    godot10:
    The New England Patriots and analytics…

    http://www.espn.com/blog/new-england-patriots/post/_/id/4817050/patriots-take-pride-in-their-use-of-analytics-to-help-scouting

    Somebody send that like to Katz and Nicholson.

  27. Coiler says:

    Poor Oscar. Talk about taking one for the team.

    It’s good to see the team’s confidence slowly start to come back. A bit late but at least the core of the team is seeing what can be accomplished by playing a team game. Amazing that Sekera’s absence really was that much of a game changer for the club.

  28. Andy Dufresne says:

    I worry for Matt Benning. How do we account for all the physical abuse this poor kid takes?

    Im certain that if you asked him he’d say “What abuse”…because he’s as tough as nails.

    Problem is, he is as tough as nails, similar to and probably more-so than Kris Russell. But Russell injuries come as a result of a) blocking shots b) taking hits along the boards c) random incidents

    Benning (who is larger of the two by a significant amount ( 6’1″ 203 vs 5’10” 170 ), appears to take more violent hits in general and more hits to the head. He also dishes out more violent hits himself (which cant be helping his brain any).

    Its as though, as a smaller player, Russell learned tactics to protect himself through awareness and not leaving himself completely vulnerable to the big hit. (although he occasionally takes one and is clearly a candidate for CTE as well)

    Whereas, it appears to me that Benning may, in a sense, be putting himself in harms way as a result of two things a) tough as nails mentality b) playing above his actual skill level.

    What I mean by that is, if you watch Benning he seems to be in one of two modes on any given day:

    Mode A: He’s in protection mode, avoiding hits, turning away from the hit, reversing direction, playing the puck of the glass etc. This mode keeps him a little more safe and protected but it leads to turn-overs, gaffs, and ineffective zone exits.

    Mode B: In this mode, Benning is fearless, moves the puck a little quicker, makes more outlet passes and could be generally described as “less noticable” which Im sure the coaches reinforce with positive feedback. Less noticable is good. Less time with the puck on your stick etc. But in order to operate in this fashion, Benning is forced to play a style/speed( which takes him out of his comfort zone) that makes him seemingly less aware of potential dangers and so more vulnerable to the big hit.

    I cant say any of this is fact…..But you dont see this happen with Larrson, Nurse, Sekera, or even injury prone Klefbom….you dont even see it with part timers like Gravel or even with Rookies like Jones.

    Its starting to remind me of the old boxers who used to “stand in there” and take abuse that would leave you shaking your head….”can’t knock this guy out”…..”he’s got an iron jaw”……only later to find
    Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) across the board with these althletes.

    CTE includes not just symptomatic concussions but also asymptomatic subconcussive hits to the head that do not cause symptoms.

    I hope I’m wrong. I guess professional sports at this level comes with a significant degree of risk.

  29. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Andy Dufresne:
    I worry for Matt Benning. How do we account for all the physical abuse this poor kid takes?

    Im certain that if you asked him he’d say “What abuse”…because he’s as tough as nails.

    Problem is, he is as tough as nails, similar to and probably more-so than Kris Russell. But Russell injuries come as a result of a) blocking shots b) taking hits along the boards c) random incidents

    Benning (who is larger of the two by a significant amount (6’1″ 203 vs 5’10” 170 ), appears to take more violent hits in general and more hits to the head. He also dishes out more violent hits himself (which cantbe helping his brain any).

    Its as though, as a smaller player, Russell learned tactics to protect himself through awareness and not leaving himself completely vulnerable to the big hit. (although he occasionally takes one and is clearly a candidate for CTE as well)

    Whereas, it appears to me that Benning may, in a sense, be putting himself in harms way as a result of two thingsa) tough as nails mentalityb) playing above his actual skill level.

    What I mean by that is, if you watch Benning he seems to be in one of two modes on any given day:

    Mode A: He’s in protection mode, avoiding hits, turning away from the hit, reversing direction, playing the puck of the glass etc. This mode keeps him a little more safe and protected but it leads to turn-overs, gaffs, and ineffective zone exits.

    Mode B: In this mode, Benning is fearless, moves the puck a little quicker, makes more outlet passes and could be generally described as “less noticable” which Im sure the coaches reinforce with positive feedback. Less noticable is good. Less time with the puck on your stick etc. But in order to operate in this fashion, Benning is forced to play a style/speed( which takes him out of his comfort zone) that makes him seemingly less aware of potential dangers and so more vulnerable to the big hit.

    I cant say any of this is fact…..But you dont see this happen with Larrson, Nurse, Sekera, or even injury prone Klefbom….you dont even see it with part timers like Gravel or even with Rookies like Jones.

    Its starting to remind me of the old boxers who used to “stand in there” and take abuse that would leave you shaking your head….”can’t knock this guy out”…..”he’s got an iron jaw”……only later to find
    Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) across the board with these althletes.

    CTE includes not just symptomatic concussions but also asymptomatic subconcussive hits to the head that do not cause symptoms.

    I hope I’m wrong. I guess professional sports at this level comes with a significant degree of risk.

    One of the main skills for players that stay in the league for a long time is staying healthy, while also remaining effective. It’s a skill almost every HOF player has. Not everyone can do it. IT doesn’t help Benning being on the Oilers who still value hitting too much, and seem to think players are like the ones in Fortnite.

  30. Andy Dufresne says:

    Pouzar: How da fook is Stamkos a -3 on the year on that team?

    One dimensional player?

  31. John Chambers says:

    Scungilli Slushy: One of the main skills for players that stay in the league for a long time is staying healthy.

    With nearly three seasons gone to compare the Hall-Larssson swap, Larsson has been the healthier player in two of those seasons. Despite not being the more dynamic player, Larsson will have missed 22 games to Hall’s 65.

  32. godot10 says:

    Pescador: Time for:
    Klefnuts – Larsson
    Nurse – Sekera
    Russell– Benning.
    But I can see why Hitch has kept it status quo
    They keep winning.

    It might be better to keep Sekera on the left side and put Nurse on the right side. Keep Sekera on his stronger passing side. Nurse is going to skate it out of trouble whether he is on the left or on the right.

  33. dustrock says:

    John Chambers: With nearly three seasons gone to compare the Hall-Larssson swap, Larsson has been the healthier player in two of those seasons. Despite not being the more dynamic player, Larsson will have missed 22 games to Hall’s 65.

    I am pretty curious to see how much Hall gets and for how long.

  34. hunter1909 says:

    LMHF#1:
    Used to look forward to things when I saw a rumor like this…now I’m just terrified at the ridiculous promises being offered:

    https://www.tsn.ca/oilers-sens-pushing-for-ncaa-fa-veronneau-1.1271973

    At least he’s right-handed.

    Go sign some KHLers instead. And add a Russian or two in management/coaching so it’s not wasted.

    What reason does a young sought after free agent go to the Oilers for? To have his career destroyed?

    Truth is, Lowe+MacT are poison and everyone knows but Katz-o which leaves the team floundering.

  35. Reja says:

    Andy Dufresne:
    I worry for Matt Benning. How do we account for all the physical abuse this poor kid takes?

    Im certain that if you asked him he’d say “What abuse”…because he’s as tough as nails.

    Problem is, he is as tough as nails, similar to and probably more-so than Kris Russell. But Russell injuries come as a result of a) blocking shots b) taking hits along the boards c) random incidents

    Benning (who is larger of the two by a significant amount (6’1″ 203 vs 5’10” 170 ), appears to take more violent hits in general and more hits to the head. He also dishes out more violent hits himself (which cantbe helping his brain any).

    Its as though, as a smaller player, Russell learned tactics to protect himself through awareness and not leaving himself completely vulnerable to the big hit. (although he occasionally takes one and is clearly a candidate for CTE as well)

    Whereas, it appears to me that Benning may, in a sense, be putting himself in harms way as a result of two thingsa) tough as nails mentalityb) playing above his actual skill level.

    What I mean by that is, if you watch Benning he seems to be in one of two modes on any given day:

    Mode A: He’s in protection mode, avoiding hits, turning away from the hit, reversing direction, playing the puck of the glass etc. This mode keeps him a little more safe and protected but it leads to turn-overs, gaffs, and ineffective zone exits.

    Mode B: In this mode, Benning is fearless, moves the puck a little quicker, makes more outlet passes and could be generally described as “less noticable” which Im sure the coaches reinforce with positive feedback. Less noticable is good. Less time with the puck on your stick etc. But in order to operate in this fashion, Benning is forced to play a style/speed( which takes him out of his comfort zone) that makes him seemingly less aware of potential dangers and so more vulnerable to the big hit.

    I cant say any of this is fact…..But you dont see this happen with Larrson, Nurse, Sekera, or even injury prone Klefbom….you dont even see it with part timers like Gravel or even with Rookies like Jones.

    Its starting to remind me of the old boxers who used to “stand in there” and take abuse that would leave you shaking your head….”can’t knock this guy out”…..”he’s got an iron jaw”……only later to find
    Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) across the board with these althletes.

    CTE includes not just symptomatic concussions but also asymptomatic subconcussive hits to the head that do not cause symptoms.

    I hope I’m wrong. I guess professional sports at this level comes with a significant degree of risk.

    I agree he probably has been playing this style since pee-wee hockey and it’s worked for him all the way to a nice NHL careeer. You know Benning’s a gamer and he loves it he also know’s there’s a very short window to make as much and he knows it outrageous money as possible for his family. Will he pay for it later in life maybe.

  36. BONE207 says:

    JimmyV1965:
    When Nurse starts making snow angels, it’s time to move Russell off that pairing.

    So you mean 2 weeks ago…right.
    Hitch is Zonit

  37. giddy says:

    Andy Dufresne:
    I worry for Matt Benning. How do we account for all the physical abuse this poor kid takes?

    Im certain that if you asked him he’d say “What abuse”…because he’s as tough as nails.

    Problem is, he is as tough as nails, similar to and probably more-so than Kris Russell. But Russell injuries come as a result of a) blocking shots b) taking hits along the boards c) random incidents

    Benning (who is larger of the two by a significant amount (6’1″ 203 vs 5’10” 170 ), appears to take more violent hits in general and more hits to the head. He also dishes out more violent hits himself (which cantbe helping his brain any).

    Its as though, as a smaller player, Russell learned tactics to protect himself through awareness and not leaving himself completely vulnerable to the big hit. (although he occasionally takes one and is clearly a candidate for CTE as well)

    Whereas, it appears to me that Benning may, in a sense, be putting himself in harms way as a result of two thingsa) tough as nails mentalityb) playing above his actual skill level.

    What I mean by that is, if you watch Benning he seems to be in one of two modes on any given day:

    Mode A: He’s in protection mode, avoiding hits, turning away from the hit, reversing direction, playing the puck of the glass etc. This mode keeps him a little more safe and protected but it leads to turn-overs, gaffs, and ineffective zone exits.

    Mode B: In this mode, Benning is fearless, moves the puck a little quicker, makes more outlet passes and could be generally described as “less noticable” which Im sure the coaches reinforce with positive feedback. Less noticable is good. Less time with the puck on your stick etc. But in order to operate in this fashion, Benning is forced to play a style/speed( which takes him out of his comfort zone) that makes him seemingly less aware of potential dangers and so more vulnerable to the big hit.

    I cant say any of this is fact…..But you dont see this happen with Larrson, Nurse, Sekera, or even injury prone Klefbom….you dont even see it with part timers like Gravel or even with Rookies like Jones.

    Its starting to remind me of the old boxers who used to “stand in there” and take abuse that would leave you shaking your head….”can’t knock this guy out”…..”he’s got an iron jaw”……only later to find
    Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) across the board with these althletes.

    CTE includes not just symptomatic concussions but also asymptomatic subconcussive hits to the head that do not cause symptoms.

    I hope I’m wrong. I guess professional sports at this level comes with a significant degree of risk.

    My mom is good friends with Benning’s mom, going back to before they moved out to St Albert. Matt had a few concussions before even making it to the NHL and there was worry about his head injuries all the way back then.

    I’m a lot less critical of Benning and view him as a good 3rd pairing guy, but I almost hope just for his own sake he saves himself and gets away from hockey after this season. He made it from a 6th round pick to 200 games in the show, scored a few goals, played in some playoff games, assisted on a few of one of the greatest to ever touch the ice–got nothing left to prove out there. Don’t fuck the rest of your life up… CTE is horrifying.

  38. Drew says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Sekera up to 23 plus minutes last night with Klef leaving the game and he was very good.

    That was a good test last night for Reggie and, once again, he passed – showing that its looking pretty darn good that he’s essentially back to his pre-injury self. Not quite there yet but on the way.

    This is going to be huge for next year.

    I believe that with his smarts he could dodge the age cliff and be effective for a year or two still.

    Fire Russell into the sun please

  39. OriginalPouzar says:

    No Klefbom on the ice – not a good sign, not at all.

  40. Reja says:

    John Chambers:
    Losing to LA, Florida, and Detroit around the AS break is really hurting us now.

    It’s too bad that the Oilers wanted to showcase Talbot because we probably left 4-6 points on the table by not running Koskinen.

    Todd and Hitch have been riding Leon and Connor like rented mules since the first game can’t say I blame them. I really think that has cost us points as well we have no surge in the last 10 minutes and especially with the Goalie pulled. Also hard for the rest of the team to get into sync with such scarce minutes.

  41. DBO says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    No Klefbom on the ice – not a good sign, not at all.

    misquote. He may not be on the ice, but he is in an ice bath!

    no need for him to practice today. Let the boys rest.

  42. Reja says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    No Klefbom on the ice – not a good sign, not at all.

    Hopefully for him they’re just sore. If he ruptured one or both that’s life altering.

  43. OriginalPouzar says:

    As per Reid Wilkins:

    Draisaitl-McDavid-Kassian
    Lucic/Nuge/Gagner
    Rieder-Cave-Chiasson
    Malone-Brodziak-Rattie/Currie

    Khaira is not on the ice.

  44. jtblack says:

    NHL SCORING RACE:

    3rd) MCDAVID
    4th) DRAISATL .

    WOW!

  45. Jordan says:

    In the interest of honesty and integrity, I have an admission to make to the community.

    I did not go to the Oilers game last night with Bank Shot’s generous 2 tickets.

    After I’d gotten the tickets, when I spoke with my wife about going to the game, and hearing how difficult our two daughters had been and were being yesterday… I couldn’t leave her with them for the evening and night. My eldest daughter is getting very clingy for “mommy time” these days and while my youngest is not sleeping well due in part to a growth spurt and in part to teething pains.

    So, I gifted the tickets to one of my co-workers who’s a big Oilers fan but doesn’t get out to the games very much. He took his daughter who’s never been to a game before. They had a blast.

    Many thanks to Bank Shot for the tickets – even though I wasn’t able to use them, I did make sure they created some special memories.

  46. DBO says:

    jtblack:
    NHL SCORING RACE:

    3rd)MCDAVID
    4th)DRAISATL .

    WOW!

    the real WOW is that we suck so bad even with 2 of the top 5 scorers in the NHL.

  47. dustrock says:

    Jordan,

    Sounds like some pretty good adulting by you. Well done.

  48. Reja says:

    giddy: My mom is good friends with Benning’s mom, going back to before they moved out to St Albert. Matt had a few concussions before even making it to the NHL and there was worry about his head injuries all the way back then.

    I’m a lot less critical of Benning and view him as a good 3rd pairing guy, but I almost hope just for his own sake he saves himself and gets away from hockey after this season. He made it from a 6th round pick to 200 games in the show, scored a few goals, played in some playoff games, assisted on a few of one of the greatest to ever touch the ice–got nothing left to prove out there. Don’t fuck the rest of your life up… CTE is horrifying.

    I think it’s and anybody please correct me if I’m wrong 400 games played in the NHL to collect full pension. Matt still has a ways to go to reach that mark.

  49. doritogrande says:

    Can someone provide a non-euphemistic approach to what happened to Klefbom last night? Did he take a puck to the nuts or something?

    Because if so, no-one’s done it better than Former Oiler Patrick Thoresen.

  50. lynn says:

    Lowetide:
    How the Oilers can build a contender during Connor McDavid’s prime

    https://theathletic.com/852051/2019/03/12/lowetide-how-the-oilers-can-build-a-contender-during-connor-mcdavids-prime/

    Excellent article, LT.

  51. OriginalPouzar says:

    Jason Gregor

    Verified account

    @JasonGregor
    5m5 minutes ago
    More
    Klefbom and Khaira are feeling better, but did not skate today. Hitchcock said they will be re-evaluated in morning tomorrow. Same with Lucic, who did skate. #Oilers

    ——————————

    Jack Michaels

    Verified account

    @EdmontonJack
    4m4 minutes ago
    More
    Maintenance days for Klefbom & Khaira. Lucic practiced & almost certainly will play tomorrow.

    —————————————

    Reid Wilkins

    Verified account

    @ReidWilkins
    10m10 minutes ago
    More
    Hitch says “We’ll see” when it comes to Klefbom and Khaira playing tomorrow. #Oilers

  52. Cassandra says:

    DBO: the real WOW is that we suck so bad even with 2 of the top 5 scorers in the NHL.

    Plus RNH is having his best year.

    When so many things go right and you still suck . . .

  53. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    nvan97:
    The record with Sekera in the lineup is a real double-edged sword. It shows, IMO, that this team with a full boat of decent quality d is pretty good because McDavid and Drai are otherworldly. It also shows that this team has no depth (help seems to be on the way) and patience is probably key to building a serious backlog of NHL ready defenders.

    -King Chia The III “ A Sek, a Sek, my GM-dom For a Sekera”

  54. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Reja: I think it’s and anybody please correct me if I’m wrong 400 games played in the NHL to collect full pension. Matt still has a ways to go to reach that mark.

    – The formula for NHL pension is quite generous. Simply playing in 1 game in a season counts for “season accrued”.

    – now that’s a base amount and calculated on your salary in a convoluted way but basically each season accrued is worth a min of 25k a year at “retirement “ which you can elect to get earlier (for less payout)

    – Organizations that call up players for a game at the end of year or career etc it’s a really classy move for the career minor leaguer. It’s also why you see some guys playa few games a year for a few years if they are good soldiers for the team.

    – Anyway that’s how it’s been explained to me by current and former NHLers: I haven’t seen the actual pension documents

  55. Drew says:

    dustrock: I am pretty curious to see how much Hall gets and for how long.

    Lucic is even more durable

  56. OriginalPouzar says:

    Not sure about tomorrow but, at the very least, it doesn’t sound like its serious with Klef (no rupture or anything like that) so shouldn’t be long term.

    That’s good news.

  57. Ryan says:

    Scungilli Slushy:
    “Hitch said he thought the defensemen did a great job, mentioning Larsson, Nurse and Russell.”

    I don’t know if hitch is pumping tires to build them up, or if he has lost the ability to see what’s happening in front of him.

    If he thinks Russell is good, at least for the Oilers, time to do something else.

    Yesterday’s comments got me on the Gilman bandwagon. He sounds exactly like what the team needs, a confident cap savvy negotiator that is progressive in his view of the game.

    Get a POHO to take care of the big picture that actually likes the customers and players and will mandate that every competitive advantage available will be used, a modern positive firm coach, and Bob’s your uncle instead of a burger.

    Make sure you take a look at the link Godot shared too.

    Pretty funny quote in the Gilman article about teams used to try to hire the best scouts as GM’s.

    I have the sense that’s still what Bob is trying to look for.

    Who needs an analytics department or player database when you have the type of pro scouts we have along with our illustrious trade record?

    I’m on the Gilman bandwagon too

  58. bendelson says:

    doritogrande:
    Can someone provide a non-euphemistic approach to what happened to Klefbom last night? Did he take a puck to the nuts or something?

    Because if so, no-one’s done it better than Former Oiler Patrick Thoresen.

    Former Oiler Nick Fotiu says hello!

  59. jtblack says:

    Jordan:
    In the interest of honesty and integrity, I have an admission to make to the community.

    I did not go to the Oilers game last night with Bank Shot’s generous 2 tickets.

    After I’d gotten the tickets, when I spoke with my wife about going to the game, and hearing how difficult our two daughters had been and were being yesterday… I couldn’t leave her with them for the evening and night.My eldest daughter is getting very clingy for “mommy time” these days and while my youngest is not sleeping well due in part to a growth spurt and in part to teething pains.

    So, I gifted the tickets to one of my co-workers who’s a big Oilers fan but doesn’t get out to the games very much.He took his daughter who’s never been to a game before.They had a blast.

    Many thanks to Bank Shot for the tickets – even though I wasn’t able to use them, I did make sure they created some special memories.

    +1

  60. giddy says:

    Reja: I think it’s and anybody please correct me if I’m wrong 400 games played in the NHL to collect full pension. Matt still has a ways to go to reach that mark.

    I’m not dead sure on it either (I had a prof explain it to me once, completely forget it now) but if nothing else, he’s only 24, did go to college (albeit not sure if he graduated as he played 3 seasons), his family operates the Edmonton Interstate Batteries franchise, and has to have earned some cash after playing majority of both ELC years and now most of his $1.8m year, regardless of escrow, taxes, etc (got to figure he’s made at least $1m CAD after US conversion). He’ll be fine financially–yeah maybe he doesn’t go live in a 8,000 sq ft mansion while driving around Ferraris, but he sure has a huge leg up on any other 24 year old.

  61. theWaxCollector says:

    A couple days ago LT posed the question about what we’d do to make the team more competitive moving forward. Been a little busy so I’m answering now.

    I think it would be the best bet to trade a LHD (either Nurse and a 3rd or Russell and the 1st and 2nd) for a winger for the second line. With Lagesson and Jones showing well in Bake and the hope for one of Bear, Bouchard, or Persson to emerge I think we take that chance. Coupled with the success of the Sekera-Benning pairing I think we could keep our heads above water defensively. Something like this, your idea of a winger will vary:

    Nuge – McDavid – Kassian
    DeBrusk/Huberdeau – Draisaitl – Gagner
    Khaira – Cave – Puljujarvi
    Lucic – Brodziak – Rieder/Currie

    Klefbom- Larsson
    Sekera – Benning
    Nurse/Russell – Persson/Bear/Bouchard

    Koskinen/Stolarz

  62. Leroy Draisdale says:

    bendelson,

    That’s who I was trying to think of. Thanks! Was driving me nuts…..

  63. Reja says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Sekera up to 23 plus minutes last night with Klef leaving the game and he was very good.

    That was a good test last night for Reggie and, once again, he passed – showing that its looking pretty darn good that he’s essentially back to his pre-injury self. Not quite there yet but on the way.

    This is going to be huge for next year.

    Andrej birth certificate might say he’s 32 but he’s really only 30 since he hasn’t played much the last two years. Andrej has gotten married in that time and I think he’s coming in refreshed and will more than adequately cover his contract.

  64. jtblack says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – now that’s a base amount and calculated on your salary in a convoluted way but basically each season accrued is worth a min of 25k a year at “retirement “

    “– now that’s a base amount and calculated on your salary in a convoluted way but basically each season accrued is worth a min of 25k a year at “retirement “ ”

    do you mean to say that if you played 10 seasons, the pension would be $250,000/yr?

    I would like to see an NHL pension. Have always wondered about that

  65. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Ryan: Make sure you take a look at the link Godot shared too.

    Pretty funny quote in the Gilman article about teams used to try to hire the best scouts as GM’s.

    I have the sense that’s still what Bob is trying to look for.

    Who needs an analytics department or player database when you have the type of pro scouts we have along with our illustrious trade record?

    I’m on the Gilman bandwagon too

    To me it seems from Bob’s verbal they are in an old school mentality.

    I don’t like that he has to talk to people to decide what to do. To me it’s confirmation that they think they’ve hired ‘good hockey people ‘ and ‘good guys’ and ‘guys with Cups’ and are perplexed why it isn’t working.

    Winning Cups has such a large puck component unless a team has a string of them, the Oilers still think it’s about desire, will and character. Every team and almost every player wants it.

    It’s not so hard. If you need direction emulate the best in your field. Find skill, understand the realm of stats available instead of cherry picking your own that obviously don’t tell the right story, and do everything possible to improve the players you have.

    GMs don’t scout amateur much today anyway, far too busy, far too many leagues scouted now.

  66. bendelson says:

    Leroy Draisdale:
    bendelson,

    That’s who I was trying to think of. Thanks! Was driving me nuts…..

    Compliments of a Charlie Huddy slapshot, I do believe…

  67. godot10 says:

    theWaxCollector:
    A couple days ago LT posed the question about what we’d do to makethe team more competitive moving forward. Been a little busy so I’m answering now.

    I think it would be the best bet to trade a LHD (either Nurse and a 3rd or Russell and the 1st and 2nd) for a winger for the second line. With Lagesson and Jones showing well in Bake and the hope for one of Bear, Bouchard, or Persson to emerge I think we take that chance. Coupled with the success of the Sekera-Benning pairing I think we could keep our heads above water defensively. Something like this, your idea of a winger will vary:

    Nuge – McDavid – Kassian
    DeBrusk/Huberdeau – Draisaitl – Gagner
    Khaira – Cave – Puljujarvi
    Lucic – Brodziak – Rieder/Currie

    Klefbom- Larsson
    Sekera – Benning
    Nurse/Russell – Persson/Bear/Bouchard

    Koskinen/Stolarz

    Trading away defensemen before their replacements are ready is what the Oilers have done for the last decade plu . It worked well! -).

    Trading away players in their mid-twenties, entering their prime is what the Oilers have done for the last decade plus. It worked well. -)

    Those who fail to learn from the past….

  68. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Ryan: Make sure you take a look at the link Godot shared too.

    Pretty funny quote in the Gilman article about teams used to try to hire the best scouts as GM’s.

    I have the sense that’s still what Bob is trying to look for.

    Who needs an analytics department or player database when you have the type of pro scouts we have along with our illustrious trade record?

    I’m on the Gilman bandwagon too

    Former player agents also seem to struggle as GMs now as well

  69. Jordan says:

    I’m consistently surprised by how few people seem to realize that a business manager who understands asset and resource management, bargaining and contract negotiations, and how to effectively assess the performance of the people in their roles would make an excellent general manager.

    I’m not saying any schlub with a business degree and some management experience would make a good GM, but it sure looks like you could fish in that pond, as many of the skills and aptitudes would be the same.

    JMO.

    FYI – I’m an analyst, so I’m biased

  70. Reja says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – The formula for NHL pension is quite generous. Simply playing in 1 game in a season counts for “season accrued”.

    – now that’s a base amount and calculated on your salary in a convoluted way but basically each season accrued is worth a min of 25k a year at “retirement “ which you can elect to get earlier (for less payout)

    – Organizations that call up players for a game at the end of year or career etc it’s a really classy move for thecareer minor leaguer.It’s also why you see some guys playa few games a year for a few years if they are good soldiers for the team.

    – Anyway that’s how it’s been explained to me by current and former NHLers: I haven’t seen the actual pension documents

    Yes that’s partial pension which is peanuts I think it’s 400 games for full pension and other benefits unless they modified it. Trust me it’s a big deal for these players to get to that number. I’m just flying off the seat of my pants but I’m pretty sure it’s 400 games played Goalies and backup Goalies are different games played.

  71. Chelios is a Dinosaur says:

    If I were Katz, and Nicholson told me he needed to go walk the earth to find out what makes a good GM, I would tell him that when he hits the ocean, keep walking.

    On the face of it, this seems silly. he was brought in four years ago to establish a new management structure, did that in x days, and then has been doing exactly what? Every year in my field I need to file a currency report that gives my employer an idea of the all the ways I remain up to speed on the field. And I’m not even important. It get’s called doing due diligence, but good god man, due diligence is just not being in the clouds otherwise.

    Also Go Oilers. Keep winning.

  72. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    jtblack: “– now that’s a base amount and calculated on your salary in a convoluted way but basically each season accrued is worth a min of 25k a year at “retirement “ ”

    do you mean to say that if you played 10 seasons,the pension would be $250,000/yr?

    I would like to see an NHL pension. Have always wondered about that

    – that’s how it’s explained to me by a few players over the years I’ve had a few conversations over the years about this. One such player is a family friend at cottage that is in exact boat – just fights for a callup every year rather than get paid more cash in Europe and no pension.

    – so not as relevant to the mcd and Crosby but for the madding crowd it’s material

    – but this is for this generation of players. Those who played 25 years ago don’t have nearly the same.

    – post eagleson who plundered the pensions this has been bargained. All the players believe in this big time. That explains the culture that ties these guys forever

    – and it starts at 55.

  73. theWaxCollector says:

    godot10,

    I agree with what you’re saying, but without a LHD going out the door I don’t see the required assets to shore up the wings. If we obtain a player like Huberdeau also entering his prime does that soften the blow?

  74. Reja says:

    godot10: Trading away defensemen before their replacements are ready is what the Oilers have done for the last decade plu .It worked well! -).

    Trading away players in their mid-twenties, entering their prime is what the Oilers have done for the last decade plus.It worked well. -)

    Those who fail to learn from the past….

    If Iam the new GM and I do my due diligence with my staff on both Nurse and kelfbom and what we project their ceiling’s to be and another GM thinks their potential with their great contracts is through the roof so to speak and I can pick up a crackerjack winger and a second rounder I do it. I dont think it’s that hard to find a stop gap for 1 or 2 years.

  75. dustrock says:

    Apropos of nothing, I was reading Blue Bullet (Brad)’s draft reports going back to 2015.

    He didn’t have too many misses and I generally agreed with his summaries of the players, the guys who he said could explode (e.g. Rantanen) he was right about. Had Barzal at #7, etc.

    Will be interesting as always to see what he comes up with for this draft.

  76. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Jordan:
    I’m consistently surprised by how few people seem to realize that a business manager who understands asset and resource management, bargaining and contract negotiations, and how to effectively assess the performance of the people in their roles would make an excellent general manager.

    I’m not saying any schlub with a business degree and some management experience would make a good GM, but it sure looks like you could fish in that pond, as many of the skills and aptitudes would be the same.

    JMO.

    FYI – I’m an analyst, so I’m biased

    I agree about the skill sets, but the kicker is it’s a closed community. A key element to the job is being accepted into the circle in order to be able to function.

    MacT shot his mouth off coming in hot about all of the bold moves, and I think got offered a bunch of anchors to help him swim. Contacts and relationships are necessary and are built from the ground up

  77. Reja says:

    Bouchard is close to being ready he needs half a year in the AHL to learn gap control,QB PP1 and playing amongst men. He’s physically mature he probably was at 13 lol. He is what he his if the oilers wanted a longer project with possibly a higher ceiling they would have drafted Dobson or Smith.

  78. OriginalPouzar says:

    John Chambers:
    Losing to LA, Florida, and Detroit around the AS break is really hurting us now.

    It’s too bad that the Oilers wanted to showcase Talbot because we probably left 4-6 points on the table by not running Koskinen.

    For the two month stretch up and till around the trade deadline, Koskinen was no better than Talbot, in fact, his stats from mid-December though mid-February were worse.

  79. OriginalPouzar says:

    godot10: It might be better to keep Sekera on the left side and put Nurse on the right side.Keep Sekera on his stronger passing side.Nurse is going to skate it out of trouble whether he is on the left or on the right.

    Hmmmm, this is an interesting point.

    I have wondered, when thinking of filling that 2RD spot internally for next year (as, come on, we know its not going to be filled externally), if Nurse or Klef could play their off-side.

    The fact that Nurse defaults to skating it out might mitigate the decrease in effectiveness in the off-side to a large degree.

    Of course, the coaching staff won’t try this – I’m fairly confident in that.

  80. Jordan says:

    Scungilli Slushy: I agree about the skill sets, but the kicker is it’s a closed community. A key element to the job is being accepted into the circle in order to be able to function.

    MacT shot his mouth off coming in hot about all of the bold moves, and I think got offered a bunch of anchors to help him swim. Contacts and relationships are necessary and are built from the ground up

    I agree that hubris can cause any person to fail when the role is significantly relationship-based.

    I also agree that an outsider may be at a disadvantage to start.

    That doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t be able to function or succeed – it would likely take time to accomplish. If you are separating the GM role from the POHO, and you have some AGM(s) that have some of those connections, it should not be a significant issue – as long as you don’t shit where you eat.

  81. OriginalPouzar says:

    Drew: I believe that with his smarts he could dodge the age cliff and be effective for a year or two still.

    Fire Russell into the sun please

    Sekera isn’t even that old – he’s like 32.

  82. OriginalPouzar says:

    Remember all the talk not that long ago about (a) buying out Sekera, (b) hoping Sekera would be on LTIR for the next 3 years and (c) including Sekera’s contract in the “boat anchor category”?

    Tsk, tsk…..

  83. Jethro Tull says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Remember all the talk not that long ago about (a) buying out Sekera, (b) hoping Sekera would be on LTIR for the next 3 years and (c) including Sekera’s contract in the “boat anchor category”?

    Tsk, tsk…..

    OP, like who? I remember people being leery at whether he could recover to the Seksy we all knew and loved, but you’ve put a quote up there. Who said that?

  84. Jethro Tull says:

    Scungilli Slushy: It’s not so hard. If you need direction emulate the best in your field. Find skill, understand the realm of stats available instead of cherry picking your own that obviously don’t tell the right story, and do everything possible to improve the players you have.

    By the time you emulate the best, the very best have already identified new criteria and changed and you’re left emulating something that’s not longer relevant. See Big Body hockey and the Edmonton Oilers. It’s better to make your own road.

  85. silasbengtsson says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Remember all the talk not that long ago about (a) buying out Sekera, (b) hoping Sekera would be on LTIR for the next 3 years and (c) including Sekera’s contract in the “boat anchor category”?

    Tsk, tsk…..

    Since when is discussing a reasonable possibility frowned upon? No matter how good Sekera was, no one knew in what state he’d return. Given the Oilers’ history with top-4 Dmen w/ ankle issues (Whitney) and after seeing how poorly he performed last year (sub-35% goal share iirc), there was cause to plan for the worst case scenario.

  86. OriginalPouzar says:

    Skinner and Wells swap AHL and ECHL spots.

    I assume this is about playing time as Starrett is the clear man in Bakersfield and I think Skinner has had one start in the better part of a month.

    They’ve done this swap a few times this year.

  87. OriginalPouzar says:

    Jethro Tull: OP, like who?I remember people being leery at whether he could recover to the Seksy we all knew and loved, but you’ve put a quote up there.Who said that?

    There were tons of suggestions regarding all three. Tons.

  88. OriginalPouzar says:

    silasbengtsson: Since when is discussing a reasonable possibility frowned upon? No matter how good Sekera was, no one knew in what state he’d return. Given the Oilers’ history with top-4 Dmen w/ ankle issues (Whitney) and after seeing how poorly he performed last year (sub-35% goal share iirc), there was cause to plan for the worst case scenario.

    I am not frowning upon the discussion (although it was all unreasonable to me but that last not the point or the intent of the statement).

    Given many’s predictions/hopes, the team has essentially added a solid top 4 dman for free.

  89. BONE207 says:

    Jordan:
    In the interest of honesty and integrity, I have an admission to make to the community.

    I did not go to the Oilers game last night with Bank Shot’s generous 2 tickets.

    After I’d gotten the tickets, when I spoke with my wife about going to the game, and hearing how difficult our two daughters had been and were being yesterday… I couldn’t leave her with them for the evening and night.My eldest daughter is getting very clingy for “mommy time” these days and while my youngest is not sleeping well due in part to a growth spurt and in part to teething pains.

    So, I gifted the tickets to one of my co-workers who’s a big Oilers fan but doesn’t get out to the games very much.He took his daughter who’s never been to a game before.They had a blast.

    Many thanks to Bank Shot for the tickets – even though I wasn’t able to use them, I did make sure they created some special memories.

    A real husband would have sent his wife along with a bottle of whiskey to escape the chaos while her husband suffered the perils of the terrible twos. That is just pathetic…😁👍
    ..

  90. silasbengtsson says:

    OriginalPouzar: I am not frowning upon the discussion (although it was all unreasonable to me but that last not the point or the intent of the statement).

    Given many’s predictions/hopes, the team has essentially added a solid top 4 dman for free.

    So you didn’t have significant doubts of Sekera’s ability to return from that injury after he looked awful and posted a 25% GF, 45% SCF, 40% HDCF and 30% HDGF in 36 games last year? I applaud your faith in the guy, but I can’t agree that fearing the worst for him in unreasonable. Agree to disagree, I guess.

    As for the latter part, I can agree. Compared to what I planned for, Sekera’s return is exactly like we’ve added an NHL Dman for nothing. Not sure I’m ready to be confident he’ll be a top-4 guy over a full season, but he’s at least an elite 3rd pairing guy!

  91. Jethro Tull says:

    OriginalPouzar: There were tons of suggestions regarding all three. Tons.

    Calling Male Moo Poop.

    And we didn’t add a top 4 D for essentially free. We paid. Whether in the standings or in the cap hit, we’ve paid.

  92. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Jordan:
    I’m consistently surprised by how few people seem to realize that a business manager who understands asset and resource management, bargaining and contract negotiations, and how to effectively assess the performance of the people in their roles would make an excellent general manager.

    I’m not saying any schlub with a business degree and some management experience would make a good GM, but it sure looks like you could fish in that pond, as many of the skills and aptitudes would be the same.

    JMO.

    FYI – I’m an analyst, so I’m biased

    MLB, NFL and NBA executives are from the professional manager ranks more from “grew up in the game” ranks.

    They get it.

    Find someone with those skills who is nuts about the sport.

  93. Reja says:

    Nurse and Kelfbom are the only two players on the team that another GM will pay full value or overpay on. We need scoring wingers for Leon and Connor. We don’t have one winger that anyone would bet their house on to score 20. Connor and Leon are peaking they need someone that can bury the puck like Leon did last night

  94. Lowetide says:

    lynn: Excellent article, LT.

    Thanks, Lynn!

  95. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Remember all the talk not that long ago about (a) buying out Sekera, (b) hoping Sekera would be on LTIR for the next 3 years and (c) including Sekera’s contract in the “boat anchor category”?

    Tsk, tsk…..

    This post is my official victory lap on predicting he’d be close to 16/17 Rej again.

    If he can show up to camp in fall 2019 in full health we’re cooking with fire.

  96. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Btw, every time I post (on phone android/chrome) I get a white screen with “this site cannot be reached”

    I hit the back button, then “post comment” again and it works.

    FYI

  97. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Scungilli Slushy: I agree about the skill sets, but the kicker is it’s a closed community. A key element to the job is being accepted into the circle in order to be able to function.

    MacT shot his mouth off coming in hot about all of the bold moves, and I think got offered a bunch of anchors to help him swim. Contacts and relationships are necessary and are built from the ground up

    The other (and much larger revenue) major leagues have opened up to professional managers.

    NHL is still back of the envelope/cocktail napkin league. (Outside a few teams)

  98. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Same issue here.

  99. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Its is simply unreal that TBY is 40pts over fake Bettman .500 while no other team is 30pts over…..or even 25pts over. Class of the league is an understatement. Wait until Karlsson signs there…

    How is Tampa able to be this dominant with Girardi and Coburn in the lineup?

  100. Nit64 says:

    Scungilli Slushy: I agree about the skill sets, but the kicker is it’s a closed community. A key element to the job is being accepted into the circle in order to be able to function.

    MacT shot his mouth off coming in hot about all of the bold moves, and I think got offered a bunch of anchors to help him swim. Contacts and relationships are necessary and are built from the ground up

    If this is really true, then you’d think some teams just might have such a GM out front and a POHO calling the real shots. Real execs don’t let their sales closers run the show.

    (or the other model the modern GM in control paired with an old guard POHO)

  101. Primetime says:

    Reja:
    Nurse and Kelfbom are the only twoplayers on the team that another GM will pay full value or overpay on. We need scoring wingers for Leon and Connor. We don’t have one winger that anyone would bet their house on to score 20. Connor and Leon are peaking they need someone that can bury the puck like Leon did last night

    What if the rest of the league is also seeing how well Sekera is playing? So instead of selling one of the young studs (Nurse/Klefbom) and depleting the lineup of mid 20 year old players, would trading Sekera get us the sniper you desire? Obviously wouldn’t bring back as big a haul as the other two, but a team could definitely consider Sekera to be a great addition for a few years and send us a serviceable winger. He would be easier to trade than Russell, mainly due to a) performance and b) not being tied to only wanting to play in Western Canada

    I would much rather move Russell, but this option keeps both Nurse and Klef while potentially getting a player back (eg. Sekera to Florida for Hoffman?)

  102. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    silasbengtsson: So you didn’t have significant doubts of Sekera’s ability to return from that injury after he looked awful and posted a 25% GF, 45% SCF, 40% HDCF and 30% HDGF in 36 games last year? I applaud your faith in the guy, but I can’t agree that fearing the worst for him in unreasonable. Agree to disagree, I guess.

    As for the latter part, I can agree. Compared to what I planned for, Sekera’s return is exactly like we’ve added an NHL Dman for nothing. Not sure I’m ready to be confident he’ll be a top-4 guy over a full season, but he’s at least an elite 3rd pairing guy!

    Sekera said skating with the brace was very tough and coming off a major ACL injury is very tough.

    He had the brace off and playes/skated much better at the World Championships.

    The Achilles injury is much different and NHL players come back from that well often.

    The biggest thing was if he knee really was 100% and he hadn’t skated at the NHL level for so long.

    It was never 100%, but I don’t think it was dire.

  103. Reja says:

    Klima’s_Bucket: How is Tampa able to be this dominant with Girardi and Coburn in the lineup?

    What did Coburn cost? Was it 2 second rounders at the draft.

  104. Sierra says:

    Reja: If Iam the new GM and I do my due diligence with my staff on both Nurse and kelfbom and what we project their ceiling’s to be and another GM thinks their potential with their great contracts is through the roof so to speak and I can pick up a crackerjack winger and a second rounder I do it. I dont think it’s that hard to find a stop gap for 1 or 2 years.

    If it’s not that hard to find a stop gap,for a couple of,years why has the Oiler blue line been such shit for so many years?

  105. Reja says:

    Primetime: What if the rest of the league is also seeing how well Sekera is playing?So instead of selling one of the young studs (Nurse/Klefbom) and depleting the lineup of mid 20 year old players, would trading Sekera get us the sniper you desire?Obviously wouldn’t bring back as big a haul as the other two, but a team could definitely consider Sekera to be a great addition for a few years and send us a serviceable winger.He would be easier to trade than Russell, mainly due to a) performance and b) not being tied to only wanting to play in Western Canada

    I would much rather move Russell, but this option keeps both Nurse and Klef while potentially getting a player back (eg. Sekera to Florida for Hoffman?)

    Chaise-19 Kass-12 Caggs-7 Lucic-5 Ratt-4 Jesse-4 Khaira-3 Gags-3 Currie-2 Spoon-2 Zykov-0 Rieder-0 another 6-pack not mentioned with-0 take out the PTO and Leon the Maschine has as many goals as the entire team up front this boggles my mind. Leon and Connor career’s at this pace will end before they’re 30 due to exhaustion.

  106. Reja says:

    Sierra: If it’s not that hard to find a stop gap,for a couple of,years why has the Oiler blue line been such shit for so many years?

    Because the last 20 trades were in Desperation.Its been like taking candy from a baby get a a GM that knows how to sell high buy low and knows the value of a dollar.

  107. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Reja: What did Coburn cost? Was it 2 second rounders at the draft.

    Same way Hall beat the NHL best for over 50% GF with Petry and Marincin behind him.

  108. Ryan says:

    Scungilli Slushy: To me it seems from Bob’s verbal they are in an old school mentality.

    I don’t like that he has to talk to people to decide what to do. To me it’s confirmation that they think they’ve hired ‘good hockey people ‘ and ‘good guys’ and ‘guys with Cups’ and are perplexed why it isn’t working.

    Winning Cups has such a large puck component unless a team has a string of them, the Oilers still think it’s about desire, will and character. Every team and almost every player wants it.

    It’s not so hard. If you need direction emulate the best in your field. Find skill, understand the realm of stats available instead of cherry picking your own that obviously don’t tell the right story, and do everything possible to improve the players you have.

    GMs don’t scout amateur much today anyway, far too busy, far too many leagues scouted now.

    From the verbal, it still sounds like “talent evaluator” which implies scouting background is the desired trait that Bob is looking for rather than someone with an established overarching record of managerial competence.

    Jordan:
    I’m consistently surprised by how few people seem to realize that a business manager who understands asset and resource management, bargaining and contract negotiations, and how to effectively assess the performance of the people in their roles would make an excellent general manager.

    I’m not saying any schlub with a business degree and some management experience would make a good GM, but it sure looks like you could fish in that pond, as many of the skills and aptitudes would be the same.

    JMO.

    FYI – I’m an analyst, so I’m biased

    The few people that you have to worry the most about are Daryl and Bob.

    Chiarelli spent assets like a drunken sailor while no one stopped him.

    The so-called short list from Bob suggests that he’s looking for a good hockey guy with ties to Hockey Canada, not someone with strong business management background or analytics.

  109. Georgexs says:

    OriginalPouzar: I am not frowning upon the discussion (although it was all unreasonable to me but that last not the point or the intent of the statement).

    Given many’s predictions/hopes, the team has essentially added a solid top 4 dman for free.

    This must be a watching him play thing.

    Here’s what I get from not watching him play.

    Sekera in 16-17 played 21:29 minutes per game. In 17-18, about 16:20. In 18-19, he plays 16:24. That ranks him 180th among D who’ve played 10 or more games this season. Last night, with 2 D out, was the first night since he got back from injury he crossed 20 minutes per game.

    A D who ranks 180th on TOI is a top-4 D in an alternate universe. In this universe, he’s been bottom pairing, along with Benning. Bottom pairs get sheltered. That’s often why their numbers look better than their roles.

    Sekera is going to be just 33 (not 32) at the end of the season. Yikes. He has a cap hit of $5.5 for two more seasons. Yikes. His cap hit of $5.5 in the past two seasons gave us 47 games played so far, 60 if he plays out the string. Yikes.

    15-16 Sekera played almost 22 minutes a night but he went 44-60 on 5v5 goals. 16-17 Sekera was an absolute top-4 D, playing over 21 minutes and going 50-37. Post 16-17 Sekera, let’s see. Blown up last season when he returned too soon (9-27). And playing bottom pairing minutes so far this season (7-4).

    Why don’t we wait and see? Let Sekera play 20+ minutes a night (of winning 5v5) for something more than half a season and he fills the “free” space he’s left in our salary cap. Because 60+ games is what most non-elite teams need from their top-4 D.

  110. OriginalPouzar says:

    silasbengtsson: So you didn’t have significant doubts of Sekera’s ability to return from that injury after he looked awful and posted a 25% GF, 45% SCF, 40% HDCF and 30% HDGF in 36 games last year? I applaud your faith in the guy, but I can’t agree that fearing the worst for him in unreasonable. Agree to disagree, I guess.

    Of course I wasn’t certain how he would recover, however, if there is a way to search the history, you will see that I posted, probably a dozen times, that his play coming back from major knee and ligament surgery last year was 100% expected and has zero bearing on coming back from an achilles tear (not rupture).

    Its fairly well established that NHL players can start playing games apx 8 months after the knee surgery but that it takes apx 12-18 months to truly get back to form – its a physical issue (strength, mobility/brace issues, etc.) along with a mental issue regarding trusting the knee).

    We all spoke at length prior to his return about him likely not being even close to his normal effectiveness and that it would take until the following season for him to be close to form. Of course, when that came to fruition, many/most seemed surprised, discouraged and catastrophic.

    Anyways, prior to hurting the achillies, he had an extra 6-8 month removed from the injury and a full summer of training – to me, the knee should no longer have been a material factor – based on history.

    Coming back from an achillies tear (not rupture) is not something that has historically required more time once the player is recovered.

    Given the foregoing, I was optimistic that he would be close to form – I had concern about the “back to back nature” and so much time off but zero concerns about his play last year having any bearing.

  111. Georgexs says:

    Woodguy v2.0: This post is my official victory lap on predicting he’d be close to 16/17 Rej again.

    If he can show up to camp in fall 2019 in full health we’re cooking with fire.

    Close to 16/17 Rej again, eh?

    I’m wagering OP laps you on your victory lap.

  112. OriginalPouzar says:

    Jethro Tull: Calling Male Moo Poop.

    And we didn’t add a top 4 D for essentially free.We paid.Whether in the standings or in the cap hit, we’ve paid.

    I’m talking about “free” vis-a-vis thinking that player was going to be a buyout candidate or a boat anchor contract due to performance. The cap hit was already there and, for those positing that Sekera was not going to be a good player, all of a sudden its a legit (maybe back to elite) 2nd pairing guy.

    It would be like Lucic all of sudden becoming his former 2nd line power forward self.

  113. OriginalPouzar says:

    Reja:
    Nurse and Kelfbom are the only twoplayers on the team that another GM will pay full value or overpay on. We need scoring wingers for Leon and Connor. We don’t have one winger that anyone would bet their house on to score 20. Connor and Leon are peaking they need someone that can bury the puck like Leon did last night

    I would posit that neither player is peaking yet – their offence will start to peak in the next year or two but their overall games will develop in to their late 20s.

  114. frjohnk says:

    OriginalPouzar: There were tons of suggestions regarding all three. Tons.

    *puts hand up*

    I was one of those who had sugggested that LTIR was an option the Oilers would look at IF Sekera was not able to perform after those injuries.

    It’s fantastic that we are not looking at that option and Sekera is playing well.

  115. OriginalPouzar says:

    Woodguy v2.0: This post is my official victory lap on predicting he’d be close to 16/17 Rej again.

    If he can show up to camp in fall 2019 in full health we’re cooking with fire.

    We were two of the few that were even cautiously optimistic.

  116. OriginalPouzar says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Btw, every time I post (on phone android/chrome) I get a white screen with “this site cannot be reached”

    I hit the back button, then “post comment” again and it works.

    FYI

    Its not just your phone – its been on my iphone and laptop – all day and every post.

  117. frjohnk says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Btw, every time I post (on phone android/chrome) I get a white screen with “this site cannot be reached”

    I hit the back button, then “post comment” again and it works.

    FYI

    Same here.

    I’m on iphone

  118. Glovjuice says:

    Andy Dufresne:
    I worry for Matt Benning. How do we account for all the physical abuse this poor kid takes?

    Im certain that if you asked him he’d say “What abuse”…because he’s as tough as nails.

    Problem is, he is as tough as nails, similar to and probably more-so than Kris Russell. But Russell injuries come as a result of a) blocking shots b) taking hits along the boards c) random incidents

    Benning (who is larger of the two by a significant amount (6’1″ 203 vs 5’10” 170 ), appears to take more violent hits in general and more hits to the head. He also dishes out more violent hits himself (which cantbe helping his brain any).

    Its as though, as a smaller player, Russell learned tactics to protect himself through awareness and not leaving himself completely vulnerable to the big hit. (although he occasionally takes one and is clearly a candidate for CTE as well)

    Whereas, it appears to me that Benning may, in a sense, be putting himself in harms way as a result of two thingsa) tough as nails mentalityb) playing above his actual skill level.

    What I mean by that is, if you watch Benning he seems to be in one of two modes on any given day:

    Mode A: He’s in protection mode, avoiding hits, turning away from the hit, reversing direction, playing the puck of the glass etc. This mode keeps him a little more safe and protected but it leads to turn-overs, gaffs, and ineffective zone exits.

    Mode B: In this mode, Benning is fearless, moves the puck a little quicker, makes more outlet passes and could be generally described as “less noticable” which Im sure the coaches reinforce with positive feedback. Less noticable is good. Less time with the puck on your stick etc. But in order to operate in this fashion, Benning is forced to play a style/speed( which takes him out of his comfort zone) that makes him seemingly less aware of potential dangers and so more vulnerable to the big hit.

    I cant say any of this is fact…..But you dont see this happen with Larrson, Nurse, Sekera, or even injury prone Klefbom….you dont even see it with part timers like Gravel or even with Rookies like Jones.

    Its starting to remind me of the old boxers who used to “stand in there” and take abuse that would leave you shaking your head….”can’t knock this guy out”…..”he’s got an iron jaw”……only later to find
    Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) across the board with these althletes.

    CTE includes not just symptomatic concussions but also asymptomatic subconcussive hits to the head that do not cause symptoms.

    I hope I’m wrong. I guess professional sports at this level comes with a significant degree of risk.

    Simple. Benning is a poor skater. That’s the route cause. Turns way too slow.

    Andy Dufresne:
    I worry for Matt Benning. How do we account for all the physical abuse this poor kid takes?

    Im certain that if you asked him he’d say “What abuse”…because he’s as tough as nails.

    Problem is, he is as tough as nails, similar to and probably more-so than Kris Russell. But Russell injuries come as a result of a) blocking shots b) taking hits along the boards c) random incidents

    Benning (who is larger of the two by a significant amount (6’1″ 203 vs 5’10” 170 ), appears to take more violent hits in general and more hits to the head. He also dishes out more violent hits himself (which cantbe helping his brain any).

    Its as though, as a smaller player, Russell learned tactics to protect himself through awareness and not leaving himself completely vulnerable to the big hit. (although he occasionally takes one and is clearly a candidate for CTE as well)

    Whereas, it appears to me that Benning may, in a sense, be putting himself in harms way as a result of two thingsa) tough as nails mentalityb) playing above his actual skill level.

    What I mean by that is, if you watch Benning he seems to be in one of two modes on any given day:

    Mode A: He’s in protection mode, avoiding hits, turning away from the hit, reversing direction, playing the puck of the glass etc. This mode keeps him a little more safe and protected but it leads to turn-overs, gaffs, and ineffective zone exits.

    Mode B: In this mode, Benning is fearless, moves the puck a little quicker, makes more outlet passes and could be generally described as “less noticable” which Im sure the coaches reinforce with positive feedback. Less noticable is good. Less time with the puck on your stick etc. But in order to operate in this fashion, Benning is forced to play a style/speed( which takes him out of his comfort zone) that makes him seemingly less aware of potential dangers and so more vulnerable to the big hit.

    I cant say any of this is fact…..But you dont see this happen with Larrson, Nurse, Sekera, or even injury prone Klefbom….you dont even see it with part timers like Gravel or even with Rookies like Jones.

    Its starting to remind me of the old boxers who used to “stand in there” and take abuse that would leave you shaking your head….”can’t knock this guy out”…..”he’s got an iron jaw”……only later to find
    Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) across the board with these althletes.

    CTE includes not just symptomatic concussions but also asymptomatic subconcussive hits to the head that do not cause symptoms.

    I hope I’m wrong. I guess professional sports at this level comes with a significant degree of risk.

    It’s as simple as one can skate well and one skates poor for the NHL. Route cause uncovered.

  119. OriginalPouzar says:

    Georgexs: This must be a watching him play thing.

    Here’s what I get from not watching him play.

    Sekera in 16-17 played 21:29 minutes per game. In 17-18, about 16:20. In 18-19, he plays 16:24. That ranks him 180th among D who’ve played 10 or more games this season. Last night, with 2 D out, was the first night since he got back from injury he crossed 20 minutes per game.

    A D who ranks 180th on TOI is a top-4 D in an alternate universe. In this universe, he’s been bottom pairing, along with Benning. Bottom pairs get sheltered. That’s often why their numbers look better than their roles.

    Sekera is going to be just 33 (not 32) at the end of the season. Yikes. He has a cap hit of $5.5 for two more seasons. Yikes. His cap hit of $5.5 in the past two seasons gave us 47 games played so far, 60 if he plays out the string. Yikes.

    15-16 Sekera played almost 22 minutes a night but he went 44-60 on 5v5 goals. 16-17 Sekera was an absolute top-4 D, playing over 21 minutes and going 50-37. Post 16-17 Sekera, let’s see. Blown up last season when he returned too soon (9-27). And playing bottom pairing minutes so far this season (7-4).

    Why don’t we wait and see? Let Sekera play 20+ minutes a night (of winning 5v5) for something more than half a season and he fills the “free” space he’s left in our salary cap. Because 60+ games is what most non-elite teams need from their top-4 D.

    I would suggest you watch him play.

    Yes, I (and the rest) have acknowledged that he’s been playing only third pairing minutes (plus PK) and noone has said they are certain he will perform the same way with second pairing minutes.

    At the same time, he has passed every single game test he has been given since his first AHL game this year and, he isn’t just playing well in those 3rd pairing minutes, he’s killing it and “shinning/polishing” Matt Benning.

    Further, the game he is playing looks pretty much the same to the game he was playing in 2016/17 – he looks like the same D-man.

    He’s had one opportunity for bigger ES minutes and, well, he killed those last night.

    Of course, he still has a bunch of hurdles to jump to prove that “he’s back” but all signs are pointing there.

    I respect the numbers and I use them in my analysis but we all know that all of them have flaws and need to be taken in context.

    I don’t believe its a good use of my time to have discourse with those that don’t watch at all and base opinions solely on numbers. Sorry, no disrespect but, in my opinion, not watching the games and basing opinions solely on numbers does not lead to valued opinions.

  120. OriginalPouzar says:

    Woodguy v2.0: chrome

    FYI, I just used Firefox and my first post of the day where I didn’t have the issue. Seems like it might be an issue with Chrome.

  121. Reja says:

    OriginalPouzar: I would posit that neither player is peaking yet – their offence will start to peak in the next year or two but their overall games will develop in to their late 20s.

    Let’s say you get one or a couple of Coburn types on the cheap you don’t have to trade Nurse or Kelbom but you quietly put them on the market before the draft a GM will pay thick for either one because he think’s they haven’t peaked. The way nurse is putting up the points and the salary cap going up his next contract might start at 7 but probably 6 does he cover that bet if your the GM.

  122. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Btw, every time I post (on phone android/chrome) I get a white screen with “this site cannot be reached”

    I hit the back button, then “post comment” again and it works.

    FYI

    Yeah, I’m getting that too. Will have a look under the hood.

  123. JimmyV1965 says:

    Chelios is a Dinosaur:
    If I were Katz, and Nicholson told me he needed to go walk the earth to find out what makes a good GM, I would tell him that when he hits the ocean, keep walking.

    On the face of it, this seems silly. he was brought in four years ago to establish a new management structure, did that in x days, and then has been doing exactly what? Every year in my field I need to file a currency report that gives my employer an idea of the all the ways I remain up to speed on the field. And I’m not even important. It get’s called doing due diligence, but good god man, due diligence is just not being in the clouds otherwise.

    Also Go Oilers. Keep winning.

    This is what I don’t get. Let’s say your boss gives you a special assignment critical to the future of your business. Do you simply charge ahead and assume you know everything that is needed to make the project successful? Or do you complete as much preliminary work and studying as possible, even though you have extensive experience and knowledge about what’s needed? I certainly know what employee I want heading up the project. Just because someone is being careful about his due diligence doesn’t imply he knows nothing about the job at hand.

  124. Lowetide says:

    Okay, I tried something, let me know if you see black smoke.

  125. Lowetide says:

    test.

  126. LMHF#1 says:

    Lowetide:
    test.

    You are here.

  127. Jethro Tull says:

    OriginalPouzar: I would suggest you watch him play.

    Yes, I (and the rest) have acknowledged that he’s been playing only third pairing minutes (plus PK) and noone has said they are certain he will perform the same way with second pairing minutes.

    At the same time, he has passed every single game test he has been given since his first AHL game this year and, he isn’t just playing well in those 3rd pairing minutes, he’s killing it and “shinning/polishing” Matt Benning.

    Further, the game he is playing looks pretty much the same to the game he was playing in 2016/17 – he looks like the same D-man.

    He’s had one opportunity for bigger ES minutes and, well, he killed those last night.

    Of course, he still has a bunch of hurdles to jump to prove that “he’s back” but all signs are pointing there.

    I respect the numbers and I use them in my analysis but we all know that all of them have flaws and need to be taken in context.

    I don’t believe its a good use of my time to have discourse with those that don’t watch at all and base opinions solely on numbers. Sorry, no disrespect but, in my opinion, not watching the games and basing opinions solely on numbers does not lead to valued opinions.

    Would you sign Taylor Hall?

  128. JimmyV1965 says:

    Reja:
    Nurse and Kelfbom are the only twoplayers on the team that another GM will pay full value or overpay on. We need scoring wingers for Leon and Connor. We don’t have one winger that anyone would bet their house on to score 20. Connor and Leon are peaking they need someone that can bury the puck like Leon did last night

    Why in the world would you do this? It makes infinitely more sense to move other assets. Trade the first round pick. Your hoping that player becomes Nurse or Klef in five years anyway. It is very much possible to acquire good wingers without trading the handful of good players already on the roster.

  129. who says:

    Georgexs: This must be a watching him play thing.

    Here’s what I get from not watching him play.

    Sekera in 16-17 played 21:29 minutes per game. In 17-18, about 16:20. In 18-19, he plays 16:24. That ranks him 180th among D who’ve played 10 or more games this season. Last night, with 2 D out, was the first night since he got back from injury he crossed 20 minutes per game.

    A D who ranks 180th on TOI is a top-4 D in an alternate universe. In this universe, he’s been bottom pairing, along with Benning. Bottom pairs get sheltered. That’s often why their numbers look better than their roles.

    Sekera is going to be just 33 (not 32) at the end of the season. Yikes. He has a cap hit of $5.5 for two more seasons. Yikes. His cap hit of $5.5 in the past two seasons gave us 47 games played so far, 60 if he plays out the string. Yikes.

    15-16 Sekera played almost 22 minutes a night but he went 44-60 on 5v5 goals. 16-17 Sekera was an absolute top-4 D, playing over 21 minutes and going 50-37. Post 16-17 Sekera, let’s see. Blown up last season when he returned too soon (9-27). And playing bottom pairing minutes so far this season (7-4).

    Why don’t we wait and see? Let Sekera play 20+ minutes a night (of winning 5v5) for something more than half a season and he fills the “free” space he’s left in our salary cap. Because 60+ games is what most non-elite teams need from their top-4 D.

    I think you should watch him play.
    You sound misinformed.

  130. JimmyV1965 says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Btw, every time I post (on phone android/chrome) I get a white screen with “this site cannot be reached”

    I hit the back button, then “post comment” again and it works.

    FYI

    That’s happening on my IPhone as well. Is very new. Not that it’s a big deal.

  131. PaperBagDiscarded says:

    John Chambers,

    I don’t comment here much…but wanted to share that after those 3 losses, I threw up my hands and walked away from this season (for not the first, or as it turns out, last time). If we got even 3 points out of those games, we’d have ACTUAL hope of a wildcard instead of, well, whatever we have right now. I want them to make it, I really do, but it is not in the cards. I fear we are chasing shadows here at the cost of draft position. But I confess it does feel better than tanking.

  132. OriginalPouzar says:

    Jethro Tull: Would you sign Taylor Hall?

    I’m not sure what that has to do with the quotes post on Sekera? Is it an injury history thing?

    Firstly, he’s signed for one more year but, sure, in isolation, I would love to have Taylor Hall on this hockey team, however, the contract that it would take would not be value for its term so, no, I would probably not sign Taylor Hall unless he’s willing to sign a 3-4 year deal and there is a reasonable way to find the cap space (which there likely isn’t). I’m about paying players for their 20s, not their 30s.

    I want Taylor Hall on his RFA contract for his 20s, not his UFA contract for his late 20s and 30s – his offensive peak is likely only a couple more years.

  133. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Jethro Tull: By the time you emulate the best, the very best have already identified new criteria and changed and you’re left emulating something that’s not longer relevant.See Big Body hockey and the Edmonton Oilers. It’s better to make your own road.

    I was thinking of emulating currently successfull teams, our Oilers picked teams not currently winning because they wanted to be really tough amd kick ass as priority #1. They achieved it, I read players consider them the league’s toughest team now. Losing hasn’t changed.

    I agree it’s better to strive for excellence and in that way take the path that leads you there, which makes it your own way.

    But if you can’t at least let Tampa and whoever is also currently dominant provide a template. I keep saying it isn’t that complicated- the best teams from any era were highly skilled and had good goaltending- I don’t mean to dismiss assessment and trades are hard to do, but the path has always been pretty clear for teams that think the process properly.

    Not our team sadly, at least not yet

  134. OriginalPouzar says:

    Ryan McLeod with a goal tonight in a 6-2 in. His lone shot, he was plus 3

  135. Scungilli Slushy says:

    silasbengtsson: So you didn’t have significant doubts of Sekera’s ability to return from that injury after he looked awful and posted a 25% GF, 45% SCF, 40% HDCF and 30% HDGF in 36 games last year? I applaud your faith in the guy, but I can’t agree that fearing the worst for him in unreasonable. Agree to disagree, I guess.

    As for the latter part, I can agree. Compared to what I planned for, Sekera’s return is exactly like we’ve added an NHL Dman for nothing. Not sure I’m ready to be confident he’ll be a top-4 guy over a full season, but he’s at least an elite 3rd pairing guy!

    Many of those believing in a successful return for Sekera based the thought on the nature of the injury.

    The first was serious, he came back too early and the brace messed him up. He didn’t use the brace after and played well.

    The second injury was not serious. I believe Leadfarmer piped in that a skate actually helps that injury providing support.

    Reg’s serious injury actually had a longer than normal time to heal because of the second. That he is playing well now is actually a reasonable expectation factoring everything in, and may extend his career longer than might be expected after the first injury.

    Nobody has a crystal ball, but as long as Reg hasn’t become fragile and injury prone, he has the ability to play well for longer than normal because his game is based on his brain, not his body, and his body has a very long break from the rigours of the game.

    I’d still trade him after next season. Because cap and the prospects pushing.

  136. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Woodguy v2.0: The other (and much larger revenue) major leagues have opened up to professional managers.

    NHL is still back of the envelope/cocktail napkin league. (Outside a few teams)

    Exactly

  137. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Nit64: If this is really true, then you’d think some teams just might have such a GM out front and a POHO calling the real shots. Real execs don’t let their sales closers run the show.

    (or the other model the modern GM in control paired with an old guard POHO)

    But it’s not selling, it’s horse trading and buying colts. Those who learn to spot talent win the first aspect, those that also don’t lose quality in deals win overall.

    Buying colts (draft) and making necessary deals to speed the process when needed to stay at the top of the game.

    Relationships, staying current and deal making.

  138. Reja says:

    JimmyV1965: Why in the world would you do this? It makes infinitely more sense to move other assets. Trade the first round pick. Your hoping that player becomes Nurse or Klef in five years anyway. It is very much possible to acquire good wingers without trading the handful of good players already on the roster.

    I’m talking about acquiring a Mark Stone before he got paid a Huberdeau on a friendly contract maybe someone out Culumbus. What will the jets get for Ehlers remains to be seen. These players aren’t cheap i would be really Leary of trading my first round pick before the season starts what happens if we know who and who get injured and you don’t make the playoffs and you win the lottery you’ll no longer Be employed.

  139. texmex says:

    Arizona up 2-0 on STL in the third.

    Oilers will likely be 6pts out in the morning.

    How the f**k is Arizona doing this?

  140. McNuge93 says:

    OriginalPouzar: I would suggest you watch him play.

    Yes, I (and the rest) have acknowledged that he’s been playing only third pairing minutes (plus PK) and noone has said they are certain he will perform the same way with second pairing minutes.

    At the same time, he has passed every single game test he has been given since his first AHL game this year and, he isn’t just playing well in those 3rd pairing minutes, he’s killing it and “shinning/polishing” Matt Benning.

    Further, the game he is playing looks pretty much the same to the game he was playing in 2016/17 – he looks like the same D-man.

    He’s had one opportunity for bigger ES minutes and, well, he killed those last night.

    Of course, he still has a bunch of hurdles to jump to prove that “he’s back” but all signs are pointing there.

    I respect the numbers and I use them in my analysis but we all know that all of them have flaws and need to be taken in context.

    I don’t believe its a good use of my time to have discourse with those that don’t watch at all and base opinions solely on numbers. Sorry, no disrespect but, in my opinion, not watching the games and basing opinions solely on numbers does not lead to valued opinions.

    And we don’t need 2016 Sek back. If we get him 85 or 90% of his former that’s good enough. If he can play18 minutes a night at that level it really solidifies our defence. Both Klef and Nurse are playing more and are better than their 2016 selves. I find it crazy when people are suggesting we trade Klef, or Nurse or Sek for a winger. It was only a short time ago we were missing one and even for a period two of those guys and it sunk our season. We are close to having the best depth on defence that we have had for years. Let’s not take a step back.

  141. Professor Q says:

    Andy McNamara should be a joy to hear the next time he’s on the Lowetide.

    What a great offseason thus far for the Browns!

  142. Georgexs says:

    OriginalPouzar: I would suggest you watch him play.

    Yes, I (and the rest) have acknowledged that he’s been playing only third pairing minutes (plus PK) and noone has said they are certain he will perform the same way with second pairing minutes.

    At the same time, he has passed every single game test he has been given since his first AHL game this year and, he isn’t just playing well in those 3rd pairing minutes, he’s killing it and “shinning/polishing” Matt Benning.

    Further, the game he is playing looks pretty much the same to the game he was playing in 2016/17 – he looks like the same D-man.

    He’s had one opportunity for bigger ES minutes and, well, he killed those last night.

    Of course, he still has a bunch of hurdles to jump to prove that “he’s back” but all signs are pointing there.

    I respect the numbers and I use them in my analysis but we all know that all of them have flaws and need to be taken in context.

    I don’t believe its a good use of my time to have discourse with those that don’t watch at all and base opinions solely on numbers. Sorry, no disrespect but, in my opinion, not watching the games and basing opinions solely on numbers does not lead to valued opinions.

    I see.

    In my defense, “Of course, he still has a bunch of hurdles to jump to prove that “he’s back” but all signs are pointing there.” is a little different from “Tsk, tsk, tsk…” and “Given many’s predictions/hopes, the team has essentially added a solid top 4 dman for free.”

    I took you up on your suggestion by going to the game last night. Thanks for that. I’m feeling waaay more knowledgeable about hockey.

    Here’s what I noticed.

    I noticed Russell with the giveaway and the puck ended up in our net.

    I noticed Sekera chase a guy below the goal line when they were already 2 Oilers there. The pass naturally came to the unmarked man out front. Koski made the save and the puck didn’t end up in our net.

    I noticed Nurse skate la-di-da backwards into empty space taking himself out of the play when Benning sort of fumbled the puck. Rieder couldn’t find it and the puck ended up in our net.

    I noticed Nurse decide to snow-angel on a 2-on-1, miss his guy, miss the pass across to the trailer, and take himself out of the play. Russell took the 2-on-1 guy into Koskinen. Somehow Nurse’s guy got the puck back while standing all alone and missed the wide-open net. Puck came to some other guy who backhanded it at the mostly open net with Koski too far to one side. But Russell got his stick on that one so the puck didn’t end up in our net.

    (I sorta got the details from the condensed game on YouTube. It’s just 9 minutes of your life instead of the 5 hours it takes to watch and travel to and from a game in person. I’d go more but I don’t want my dying thought to be “Man, glad I watched all that hockey.”)

    It was a lot to keep track of. I don’t know how you do it. But I use numbers.

    The stuff I’m putting up is mild. If the context you think they need is the skill you have at watching a lot of hockey games, I can understand.

    You picked up on something I said about not watching to another poster. it was a line in a dialogue I was having with him. Because you picked it up, it became a line in the dialogue I’m having with you.

    And, by the way, Matt Benning is a miracle man on this team, positive in GF-GA all 3 seasons he’s been here. At this stage, it’s OK to explore the idea that he might be the one doing the shinning/polishing.

  143. Reja says:

    McNuge93: And we don’t need 2016 Sek back. If we get him 85 or 90% of his former that’s good enough. If he can play18 minutes a night at that level it really solidifies our defence. Both Klef and Nurse are playing more and are better than their 2016 selves. I find it crazy when people are suggesting we trade Klef, or Nurse or Sek for a winger. It was only a short time ago we were missing one and even for a period two of those guys and it sunk our season. We are close to having the best depth on defence that we have had for years. Let’s not take a step back.

    Have you seen our pipeline a stop Gap for 1-2 years is all that is needed.The last time a good defenseman that I really liked was traded for a Crackerjack winger shall remain untalked about by myself. We need wingers that have hands and can score this is the most valuable commodity in hockey. Leon and Connor’s backs are getting sore.

  144. OriginalPouzar says:

    https://www.naturalstattrick.com/playerreport.php?fromseason=20182019&thruseason=20182019&stype=2&sit=5v5&stdoi=oi&rate=n&v=t&playerid=8476988

    Every single possession and goal share stat:

    – Benning gets a boost when with Sekera

    – Sekera gets gets a books when removed from Benning (small sample size there).

  145. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Scungilli Slushy: One of the main skills for players that stay in the league for a long time is staying healthy, while also remaining effective. It’s a skill almost every HOF player has. Not everyone can do it. IT doesn’t help Benning being on the Oilers who still value hitting too much, and seem to think players are like the ones in Fortnite.

    Funny you should mention Oilers valuing hitting after a game they won despite being out-hit 49-21. It was so one-sided that of the ten players who recorded 3+ hits last night, ALL TEN played for Rangers. It;s not like they had a home scorer advantage or anything either. Not sure I’ve ever seen the like (not that I study the hits column That closely, but I do track the Event Summary every single game & have for years).

  146. Bruce McCurdy says:

    bendelson: Former Oiler Nick Fotiu says hello!

    So does former Oiler Denis Grebeshkov.

  147. JimmyV1965 says:

    Scungilli Slushy: I was thinking of emulating currently successfull teams, our Oilers picked teams not currently winning because they wanted to be really tough amd kick ass as priority #1. They achieved it, I read players consider them the league’s toughest team now. Losing hasn’t changed.

    I agree it’s better to strive for excellence and in that way take the path that leads you there, which makes it your own way.

    But if you can’t at least let Tampa and whoever is also currently dominant provide a template. I keep saying it isn’t that complicated- the best teams from any era were highly skilled and had good goaltending- I don’t mean to dismiss assessment and trades are hard to do, but the path has always been pretty clear for teams that think the process properly.

    Not our team sadly, at least not yet

    I agree. You emulate teams that have success. After time, you will enjoy your own success and develop your own methods, innovations and best practices. This will lead to even greater success. But the starting point IMO is to find out how others achieved their success and copy that.

  148. Reja says:

    Bruce McCurdy: So does former Oiler Denis Grebeshkov.

    I’m unsure but I thick it’s better than what happened to Mark Howe.

  149. JimmyV1965 says:

    Reja: I’m talking about acquiring a Mark Stone before he got paid a Huberdeau on a friendly contract maybe someone out Culumbus. What will the jets get for Ehlers remains to be seen. These players aren’t cheap i would be really Leary of trading my first round pick before the season starts what happens if we know who and who get injured and you don’t make the playoffs and you win the lottery you’ll no longer Be employed.

    First off, I’d like to say I respect your opinion and for making the case for what you believe in. We all have different approaches. I’ve repeatedly said we need to trade the first round pick and many people think I’m an idiot for beating that drum. I wouldn’t pull the trigger on such a deal, of course, until the lottery balls drop and we know what position we are in.

    However, I think your suggestion of trading Nurse or Klefbom is about the worst approach we can take this offseason. It’s also an approach that has crippled us in the past. We traded Petry when he was 25 years old and he wasn’t nearly as good as Klef and Nurse are now. Montreal has reaped the rewards of all the work and effort we put into his development. Madness!!! Nurse and Klef will be much better players in two years so we can’t possibly be trading them at peak value.

    Trading draft picks and prospects has inherent risks of course, but we are virtually bereft of assets and we need to add talent somehow. I just can’t envision a reasonable scenario where we end up better off trading one of the six good players we have on the team today.

  150. Georgexs says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    https://www.naturalstattrick.com/playerreport.php?fromseason=20182019&thruseason=20182019&stype=2&sit=5v5&stdoi=oi&rate=n&v=t&playerid=8476988

    Every single possession and goal share stat:

    – Benning gets a boost when with Sekera

    – Sekera gets gets a books when removed from Benning (small sample size there).

    I appreciate your approach here. No /s at all.

    The small sample size disclaimer is very important.

    I’m not saying Sek and Benning haven’t worked well. They have. I’m not down on Sekera. I like him and I want him to be the guy you’re hoping he’ll be.

    I’m just giving props to Benning.

    Benning had positive goal share even before Sekera got back and the team went 7-2-2. Which means he was 5v5 positive when the team was 5 games under .500. That’s cool.

    Benning’s GF-GA numbers over the past 3 seasons really stand out among the 6.

    It has a lot to do with playing lower in the lineup. But he’s handled that spot really well.

    We know how important CMD is to this team and how we’ve struggled to compete with him off the ice.

    Here’s how our 6 have done in the past 3 seasons on 5v5 GF% when they’ve played away from CMD.

    Player, TOI away from CMD, GF%

    Larsson, 2401, 44.31

    Sekera, 1297, 38.56

    Nurse, 2250, 43.98

    Klefbom, 2105, 40.85

    Russell, 2306, 44.06

    Benning, 1892, 51.91

    That’s really something, isn’t it?

    Also, if you were GM, would you look at these numbers and say I really, really have to do something about my D (heh), or about Russell?

  151. godot10 says:

    Professor Q:
    Andy McNamara should be a joy to hear the next time he’s on the Lowetide.

    What a great offseason thus far for the Browns!

    Can the Patriots coach up their draft picks and bargain basement free agents faster than the Browns can spend their cap space?

    The Patriots are being challenged by the fast rising cap. They’ve lost a couple of guys both last year and this that they probably would have liked to keep. But they have been collecting compensatory draft picks for the losses.

    Ex-Pat coaches in Detroit, Tennessee, and Miami are also shopping in the same free agent bins.

    Dorsey is right to push. The Pats, Steelers, and Ravens have more rebuilding work to do than usual.

  152. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Funny you should mention Oilers valuing hitting after a game they won despite being out-hit 49-21. It was so one-sided that of the ten players who recorded 3+ hits last night, ALL TEN played for Rangers. It;s not like they had a home scorer advantage or anything either. Not sure I’ve ever seen the like (not that I study the hits column That closely, but I do track the Event Summary every single game & have for years).

    I think you know that they value it, a lot, given you’re job.

    Like shot blocking ‘ I’ve never coached a team that doesn’t use shot blockers – warriors’.

    They got out hit one game, but I’d hazard that because they blew the lead and could have lost it probably caused some red ears in the room, getting out hit, not that hitting had much to do with the game outcome.

    Other than that they didn’t cave like they used to. You have a better insight into this given your connections.

  153. BONE207 says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Btw, every time I post (on phone android/chrome) I get a white screen with “this site cannot be reached”

    I hit the back button, then “post comment” again and it works.

    FYI

    I was also getting this all day. On a laptop & also on my android using Samsung’s browser. Go Daddy is going to be Gone Daddy if this keeps up.

  154. Reja says:

    JimmyV1965: First off, I’d like to say I respect your opinion and for making the case for what you believe in. We all have different approaches. I’ve repeatedly said we need to trade the first round pick and many people think I’m an idiot for beating that drum. I wouldn’t pull the trigger on such a deal, of course, until the lottery balls drop and we know what position we are in.

    However, I think your suggestion of trading Nurse or Klefbom is about the worst approach we can take this offseason. It’s also an approach that has crippled us in the past. We traded Petry when he was 25 years old and he wasn’t nearly as good as Klef and Nurse are now. Montreal has reaped the rewards of all the work and effort we put into his development. Madness!!! Nurse and Klef will be much better players in two years so we can’t possibly be trading them at peak value.

    Trading draft picks and prospects has inherent risks of course, but we are virtually bereft of assets and we need to add talent somehow. I just can’t envision a reasonable scenario where we end up better off trading one of the six good players we have on the team today.

    We’re not trading Nurse or Kelbom for pennies on the dollar like Petry up there in the dumb dumb trades by the Oilers in the last 20 years. We’re getting a 40 goal scorer back.Leon and Connor by nature are pass first players they both have adapted their game to shoot more even when they know passing is the best option. I believe you think Nurse is a core player are you willing to pay him like a core player say 7 mil for 8 years remember he bridged which means extra dollars on the next contract he has most of the bargaining power I smell ugly holdout.

  155. hunter1909 says:

    Reja: We need wingers that have hands and can score this is the most valuable commodity in hockey.

    So that’s why they traded away Hall, Eberle, and have managed to completely fuck up the development of Yakupov+JP!??

    This team is so fucked.

  156. CallighenMan says:

    Georgexs: This must be a watching him play thing.

    Here’s what I get from not watching him play.

    Sekera in 16-17 played 21:29 minutes per game. In 17-18, about 16:20. In 18-19, he plays 16:24. That ranks him 180th among D who’ve played 10 or more games this season. Last night, with 2 D out, was the first night since he got back from injury he crossed 20 minutes per game.

    A D who ranks 180th on TOI is a top-4 D in an alternate universe. In this universe, he’s been bottom pairing, along with Benning. Bottom pairs get sheltered. That’s often why their numbers look better than their roles.

    Sekera is going to be just 33 (not 32) at the end of the season. Yikes. He has a cap hit of $5.5 for two more seasons. Yikes. His cap hit of $5.5 in the past two seasons gave us 47 games played so far, 60 if he plays out the string. Yikes.

    15-16 Sekera played almost 22 minutes a night but he went 44-60 on 5v5 goals. 16-17 Sekera was an absolute top-4 D, playing over 21 minutes and going 50-37. Post 16-17 Sekera, let’s see. Blown up last season when he returned too soon (9-27). And playing bottom pairing minutes so far this seahson (7-4).

    Why don’t we wait and see? Let Sekera play 20+ minutes a night (of winning 5v5) for somethingkq more than half a season and he fills the “free” space he’s left in our salary cap. Because 60+ games is what most non-elite teams need from their top-4 D.

    No, it’s a watching hockey and knowing what the F you are looking at thing. Something OP knows about … except when it comes to Koskinen and Malone of course 😉

  157. BONE207 says:

    hunter1909: So that’s why they traded away Hall, Eberle, and have managed to completely fuck up the development of Yakupov+JP!??

    This team is so fucked.

    After so many weeks of incredible cold weather, spring seems to be in the air. Reading Hunters posts only confirms in my mind that he is OP’s doppelganger.

  158. who says:

    Georgexs: I appreciate your approach here. No /s at all.

    The small sample size disclaimer is very important.

    I’m not saying Sek and Benning haven’t worked well. They have. I’m not down on Sekera. I like him and I want him to be the guy you’re hoping he’ll be.

    I’m just giving props to Benning.

    Benning had positive goal share even before Sekera got back and the team went 7-2-2. Which means he was 5v5 positive when the team was 5 games under .500. That’s cool.

    Benning’s GF-GA numbers over the past 3 seasons really stand out among the 6.

    It has a lot to do with playing lower in the lineup. But he’s handled that spot really well.

    We know how important CMD is to this team and how we’ve struggled to compete with him off the ice.

    Here’s how our 6 have done in the past 3 seasons on 5v5 GF% when they’ve played away from CMD.

    Player, TOI away from CMD, GF%

    Larsson, 2401, 44.31

    Sekera, 1297, 38.56

    Nurse, 2250, 43.98

    Klefbom, 2105, 40.85

    Russell, 2306, 44.06

    Benning, 1892, 51.91

    That’s really something, isn’t it?

    Also, if you were GM, would you look at these numbers and say I really, really have to do something about my D (heh), or about Russell?

    So what are you saying? Benning is our best dman?

  159. OriginalPouzar says:

    JimmyV1965: First off, I’d like to say I respect your opinion and for making the case for what you believe in. We all have different approaches. I’ve repeatedly said we need to trade the first round pick and many people think I’m an idiot for beating that drum. I wouldn’t pull the trigger on such a deal, of course, until the lottery balls drop and we know what position we are in.

    However, I think your suggestion of trading Nurse or Klefbom is about the worst approach we can take this offseason. It’s also an approach that has crippled us in the past. We traded Petry when he was 25 years old and he wasn’t nearly as good as Klef and Nurse are now. Montreal has reaped the rewards of all the work and effort we put into his development. Madness!!! Nurse and Klef will be much better players in two years so we can’t possibly be trading them at peak value.

    Trading draft picks and prospects has inherent risks of course, but we are virtually bereft of assets and we need to add talent somehow. I just can’t envision a reasonable scenario where we end up better off trading one of the six good players we have on the team today.

    I am one that challenges your proposed way forward and trading the 1st round pick – I sure hope you don’t equate challenge, opposing opinions and discourse with thinking your are an idiot – I surely don’t.

    Yes, this team doesn’t have alot of asset currency to improve the team and high-value, non-roster players (like the 1st rounder) are currency to do so. At the same time, given the cap situation, the team also requires value contracts going forward and the 1st round pick, while a magic bean, is likely to turn in to a high skill player that will provide a value contract within the next few years. I don’t think the team is currently in a position to trade that type of asset in exchange for an older and expensive assets, a “UFA-aged” player that is on a UFA contract or will need to be re-signed soon.

  160. OriginalPouzar says:

    Georgexs,

    I’ve got zero problem with Matt Benning and definitely like him more than most on this blog – and profess that he is a high end 3rd pairing d-man. I was merely responding to your direct statement suggesting that Benning is doing the polishing over the last 11 games and its not the case.

    Yes, I believe that Russell at 2RD is a problem on this team notwithstanding his great 44% goal share away from McDavid – I come to this conclusion by watching him give up the blue line (among the worst in the league), his unnatural defensive zone defending (causing chaos with his partner), his inability to transition the puck with efficiency, etc.

    All one has to do is watch the game against the Rangers – yes, Sekera and the other d-men made mistakes but the mistakes that Russell made, such as the egregious turnover in the neutral zone leading to goal 1 against, are a function of playing in a place in the lineup he is not suited for and they are repetitive and causing a negative effect on his partner and on the team.

  161. Georgexs says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    This is the Internet. We can all believe what we want.

  162. Johnny skid says:

    Georgexs:
    OriginalPouzar,

    This is the Internet. We can all believe what we want.

    Yep

  163. OriginalPouzar says:

    Yes, and this forum/community here is to discuss those beliefs, no?

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