Blue Sunday

In Game 75 of 82, in a long season that will finish outside the playoffs, Darnell Nurse sent Alex Chiasson in alone with a cherry headman pass. Music! That’s the future of the Edmonton Oilers. Now. Who is going to be part of the new tomorrow?

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. INSANE NEW OFFER IS HERE!

  • New Lowetide: Colby Cave and Joe Gambardella build late-season resumes with Edmonton.
  • Lowetide: The Oilers made a rare move and shopped the QMJHL at the 2018 draft. It could happen again.
  • Eric Duhatschek: Sorting through the organizational problems in Ottawa and Edmonton.
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: After a year of despair, Oilers prospect Cameron Hebig grateful for latest chapter with the Condors
  • Jonathan Willis: Bob Nicholson’s misguided Tobias Rieder comments reveal deeper problems within Oilers management
  • Jonathan Willis: Ken Hitchcock knows why Edmonton has trouble exiting its zone, but lacks the players to fix it.
  • Lowetide: Trimming cap fat and adding speed and skill will shape Oilers’ offseason.
  • Jonathan Willis: Former Canucks architects Mike Gillis and Laurence Gilman should be considered for any vacant NHL GM job
  • Jonathan Willis: The Oilers need to drastically revamp their forward group.
  • Lowetide: Identifying the risk and the right price if the Oilers were to trade Adam Larsson (to Toronto?)
  • Lowetide: Oilers’ prospect Tyler Benson’s rookie AHL season a revelation.
  • Lowetide: The Edmonton Oilers draft early, the WHL is loaded and there’s a lot of history.
  • Jonathan Willis: Analyzing how much the Oilers should be willing to spend on pending free agent Alex Chiasson.
  • Jonathan Willis: Keith Gretzky is a legitimate Oilers GM candidate, but would be a hard sell in Edmonton
  • Lowetide: How the Oilers can build a contender during Connor McDavid’s prime.
  • 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.
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: How Leon Draisaitl has found ‘another level’ by matching offensive wizardry with sound positioning.
  • Lowetide: The Edmonton Oilers and the OHL.

OILERS AFTER 75

  • Oilers in 2015: 29-39-7, 65 points; goal differential -35
  • Oilers in 2016: 41-25-9, 91 points; goal differential +28
  • Oilers in 2017: 34-36-5, 73 points; goal differential -29
  • Oilers in 2018: 33-34-8, 74 points; goal differential -27

Oilers need five points in the final seven games to become the second best McDavid team among the four. No big deal but worth noting.

OILERS IN MARCH

  • Oilers in March 2016: 6-5-0, 12 points; goal differential -2
  • Oilers in March 2017: 7-3-1, 15 points; goal differential +15
  • Oilers in March 2018: 6-4-1, 13 points; goal differential +8
  • Oilers in March 2019: 6-4-1, 13 points; goal differential -2

WHAT TO EXPECT IN 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 2-2-0)
  • On the road to: Arizona, Vegas, St. Louis (Expected: 0-2-1) (Actual 1-2-0)
  • At home to: Columbus,Ottawa, Los Angeles, Dallas, Anaheim (Expected: 3-1-1) (Actual 1-0-1)
  • Overall expected result: 5-5-4, 14 points in 14 games
  • Current results: 6-4-1, 13 points in 11 games

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Sekera-Benning went 15-11 in 13:07, 4-7 shots, no goals but 5-3 HDSC. Impressive numbers from the third pairing, they were 3-2 HDSC with the Nuge line.
  • Klefbom-Larsson were 13-13 in 16:13, 8-6 shots, 0-1 goals and 2-3 HDSC. The GA is on the forwards, Klefbom was down low (and Larsson was at midway) and no one covered.
  • Nurse-Russell went 14-23 in 16:53, 9-4 shots, 2-0 goals and 5-2 HDSC, including 3-0 HDSC with the Cave line. That Nurse pass to Chiasson was golden. If he can do that 50 times a year the Oilers cap is screwed.
  • Mikko Koskinen stopped 31 of 35, .886. I don’t blame him on the OT goal, that was a breakaway by the time it was through.
  • NaturalStatTrick and NHL.com.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

  • Draisaitl-McDavid-Kassian went 19-14 in 15:28, 8-8 shots, 1-1 goals and 5-3 HDSC. I thought all three played well, although there were five giveaways between 97 and 29. The goal was fantastic, all three men key to the play.
  • Lucic-Nuge-Chiasson were 9-13 in 10:34, 4-8 shots, 1-0 goals and 4-2 HDSC. Although it was a good night for the Nuge line, it’s pretty obvious a better set of wingers (including one who can push the river) is key to a second outscoring line.
  • Rieder-Cave-Gagner were 10-4 in 6:48, 4-2 shots, no goals and 3-1 HDSC. This line is getting good things done.
  • Gambardella-Brodziak-Currie went 1-8 in 5:01, 1-4 shots, no goals and 0-1 HDSC.

AUGUST 15, 2019

Hayden Hawkey, JD Dudek and Vincent Desharnais all need to be signed by August 15 or become free agents. Here are the numbers:

  • Hayden Hawkey: 38, 1.89 .919.
  • JD Dudek: 39, 7-5-12
  • Vincent Desharnais: 39, 5-7-12

Providence is going to the dance, selection show is late this afternoon. Hawkey is the key player here, Oilers gave up a fifth rounder for him. Desharnais, also a Providence player, is less likely imo to sign with Peter Chiarelli gone. Based on rumor and hearsay, that may also apply with John Marino, who is eligible for another year of college hockey.

YOUNG GOALIES

If Hawkey is signed, he’ll no doubt be a part of a four man minor league prospect group that includes Shane Starrett (36, 2.27 .921 in Bakersfield), Dylan Wells (22, 3.04 .912 in Wichita and 9, 3.01 .902 in the AHL) and Stuart Skinner (33, 3.32 .900 in Wichita and 6, 2.99 .879 in the AHL).

Starrett as a No. 3 goalie (starter in the AHL and first recall) makes sense to me, wonder if the new general manager will feel the same way. My guess for NHL-AHL depth chart next season:

  1. Mikko Koskinen 1A
  2. Anders Nilsson or Brian Elliott 1B
  3. Shane Starrett
  4. Dylan Wells
  5. Stuart Skinner
  6. Hayden Hawkey

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217 Responses to "Blue Sunday"

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  1. Glass says:

    Hey does anyone know where Lowetide gets his data from? I’m talking about the corsi/shots/gf stuff the morning after a game. I have an idea for a school project using that data – close to graduating from a coding program.

  2. Reja says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Reja,

    He’s our Goalie for the next 3 years Talbot checked out 2 month into the season

    A free agent didn’t give a shit about his performance and next contract?

    Both parties new he wasn’t coming back they tried pumping his tires for him and his trade value. He played well in few games but the vast majority he had zero confidence first shot goal got in his head like the yipps in golf. He was playing every shot not to go in instead of just making the saves and playing loose After the previous year performance .he new he had to get off to good start it’s to bad he couldn’t regain his form like the playoff year.

  3. Reja says:

    Glovjuice: LOL, hug hug for Koskinen. He’s terrible. Glovhand is ECHL level. One of the worst signings in Oilers history.

    Pick a save percentage you think he will Finnish at next year. I have no idea what a ECHL payroll for a team is per year but I’m willing to say it’s under 4.5 mil

  4. LMHF#1 says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Re-read Bruce.

    Essentially every 07-08 home game live.

    And I wrote about them and broke them down on HF.

    I’m pretty sure you know this.

  5. JimmyV1965 says:

    OriginalPouzar: Preaching to the choir – I have been opining that 2RD is the #1 priority for years.

    Show me some Stralman – 2 X $4.25M.

    No offence OP, but you have mentioned this numerous times. We simply aren’t getting Stralman for 2 x $4.5. Maybe a cup contender does. But not us. If we get Stralman, it will have to be a massive overpay. We are not fixing this problem with UFAs.

  6. Professor Q says:

    Glass:
    Hey does anyone know where Lowetide gets his data from? I’m talking about the corsi/shots/gf stuff the morning after a game. I have an idea for a school project using that data – close to graduating from a coding program.

    NaturalStatTrick, NHL.com, Behind The Net, Vollman/Hockey Abstract and others for NHLE and those circle charts he used to do, etc.

    He always (usually…) lists where the data and calculations are from.

  7. Bruce McCurdy says:

    LMHF#1:
    Bruce McCurdy,

    Re-read Bruce.

    Essentially every 07-08 home game live.

    And I wrote about them and broke them down on HF.

    I’m pretty sure you know this.

    Never got into HF Boards at any point for more than a driveby. Always preferred this place & mc79.

    Doesn’t change the general point that the 2007-08 Oilers were a 47.8% SF% & 47.1% GF% team that went on a ridiculous heater in 3 point games. They were 22-35-25 in regulation & 19-6 in gimmick time.

  8. OriginalPouzar says:

    Glass:
    Hey does anyone know where Lowetide gets his data from? I’m talking about the corsi/shots/gf stuff the morning after a game. I have an idea for a school project using that data – close to graduating from a coding program.

    Natural Stat update that for each game, essentially, in real time.

  9. ArmchairGM says:

    JimmyV1965: No offence OP, but you have mentioned this numerous times. We simply aren’t getting Stralman for 2 x $4.5. Maybe a cup contender does. But not us. If we get Stralman, it will have to be a massive overpay. We are not fixing this problem with UFAs.

    If you have a better idea I’d love to hear it.

    As an aside, I would overpay for the right 2RD in salary (as long as several of Chiarelli’s contracts are gone this summer), but not in term. If it took $5.5M x 2 to get Stralman to come (subject to approval from my pro scouts) I would do it.

  10. OriginalPouzar says:

    ArmchairGM: If you have a better idea I’d love to hear it.

    As an aside, I would overpay for the right 2RD in salary (as long as several of Chiarelli’s contracts are gone this summer), but not in term. If it took $5.5M x 2 to get Stralman to come (subject to approval from my pro scouts) I would do it.

    While I agree with Jimmy that Stralman realistically isn’t happening, I’m just giving my opinion as to the preferred off-season plan. I don’t even think that management is going to be targeting a Russell disposition and 2RD upgrade – although its tough to have that opinion without knowing who management will be.

    100%, I agree – I would overpay a 2RD acquisition in terms of cap hit for a shot term (2 years). Unfortunately, i don’t think they will have the luxury of an over pay vis-a-vis cap space. Maybe if we had a legit starting tender and could go with a $1M back up (or Starrett for less) but they need to have an established 2nd goalie that will cost extra cap.

  11. jp says:

    Scungilli Slushy: The thing with aggregate stats is they don’t show players who consistently make critical mistakes.

    Players like Gagner and Eberle who had good stats and scoring totals at times, but who crapped the bed on critical mistakes over time, are a problem. Because they can only be top 6 players and they aren’t good enough at the end of the day on a strong team, so they bounce. Eberle’s re-up will be interesting, and I don’t want him back – he doesn’t have what Connor and Leon need. Will Eberle get paid? I bet he takes a haircut big time.

    The Eberle haircut will mostly be because he’s has 32 points this year.

    “Crapped the be on critical mistakes over time”. Eberle bailed on that goal vs Anaheim. And didn’t score in the playoffs. Can you remind me of other examples? Time seems to have washed them out of my mind, if they were ever there.

  12. jp says:

    Pescador: I feel like I’m pounding on the “Upgrade KR for 2RD” drum as hard as anyone but I disagree with you.
    The Oilers 2ill make the playoffs next season with
    1. Koskinen 915 sv%
    2. Healthy d-core as is
    3. 25 goals on one side of RNH or Draisaitl
    4. 15 on the other.
    5. 3rd line that doesn’t give it all back.
    Essentially upgrade the bottom six& find a top 6 winger preferably 2

    Agreed.

  13. ArmchairGM says:

    OriginalPouzar: While I agree with Jimmy that Stralman realistically isn’t happening, I’m just giving my opinion as to the preferred off-season plan.I don’t even think that management is going to be targeting a Russell disposition and 2RD upgrade – although its tough to have that opinion without knowing who management will be.

    100%, I agree – I would overpay a 2RD acquisition in terms of cap hit for a shot term (2 years).Unfortunately, i don’t think they will have the luxury of an over pay vis-a-vis cap space.Maybe if we had a legit starting tender and could go with a $1M back up (or Starrett for less) but they need to have an established 2nd goalie that will cost extra cap.

    Yeah, the Oilers have $71.7M committed to 16 players next season, so that leaves about $11M to sign 7 guys. I’m thinking that the new GM comes in with a sharp knife though, and will create more space.

    Unfortunately a Sekera buyout us the lowest-hanging fruit ($3M is space next year) followed by a Gagner buyout ($2.133M). I’m not sure either is a great idea but the new GM will have no loyalty and will want the space to bring in his own guys

  14. Glovjuice says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Not really.

    Here’s a list of goalies this year who have played over 700 minutes (all situations)

    They are sorted by Goals Saved Above Average per 100 shots (all situations)

    As per corsica.hockey (which is back online….)

    PlayerGSAA/100
    LAURENT.BROSSOIT1.94
    THOMAS.GREISS1.93
    JAROSLAV.HALAK1.82
    BEN.BISHOP1.67
    JOHN.GIBSON1.52
    ROBIN.LEHNER1.36
    JORDAN.BINNINGTON1.26
    ALEXANDAR.GEORGIEV1.05
    CURTIS.MCELHINNEY0.96
    ANDREI.VASILEVSKIY0.96
    ANTON.KHUDOBIN0.84
    JACOB.MARKSTROM0.82
    RYAN.MILLER0.70
    COLLIN.DELIA0.58
    COREY.CRAWFORD0.58
    TUUKKA.RASK0.54
    MATT.MURRAY0.53
    CASEY.DESMITH0.52
    JACK.CAMPBELL0.50
    JUUSE.SAROS0.48
    PEKKA.RINNE0.48
    DARCY.KUEMPER0.41
    CARTER.HART0.35
    MARC-ANDRE.FLEURY0.30
    BRIAN.ELLIOTT0.30
    FREDERIK.ANDERSEN0.27
    PHEONIX.COPLEY0.23
    PETR.MRAZEK0.19
    MACKENZIE.BLACKWOOD0.14
    BRADEN.HOLTBY0.11
    HENRIK.LUNDQVIST0.10
    SEMYON.VARLAMOV0.08
    CONNOR.HELLEBUYCK0.06
    CAREY.PRICE0.04
    SERGEI.BOBROVSKY0.03
    PHILIPP.GRUBAUER-0.02
    JIMMY.HOWARD-0.08
    MIKKO.KOSKINEN-0.18 ************************
    DAVID.RITTICH-0.18
    JAMES.REIMER-0.20
    CARTER.HUTTON-0.22
    MIKE.SMITH-0.43
    MARTIN.JONES-0.48
    ANTHONY.STOLARZ-0.50
    MALCOLM.SUBBAN-0.54
    LOUIS.DOMINGUE-0.61
    CAM.WARD-0.63
    CRAIG.ANDERSON-0.72
    ROBERTO.LUONGO-0.79
    JAKE.ALLEN-0.84
    JONATHAN.BERNIER-0.85
    CORY.SCHNEIDER-0.94
    LINUS.ULLMARK-0.96
    JOONAS.KORPISALO-1.05
    DEVAN.DUBNYK-1.09
    ANDERS.NILSSON-1.11
    CAM.TALBOT-1.22
    KEITH.KINKAID-1.27
    AARON.DELL-1.55
    GARRET.SPARKS-1.67
    ALEX.STALOCK-1.72
    JONATHAN.QUICK-2.10
    ANTTI.NIEMI-2.50
    CHAD.JOHNSON-2.86

    So here’s every goalie that has been better this year:

    LAURENT.BROSSOIT1.94
    THOMAS.GREISS1.93
    JAROSLAV.HALAK1.82
    BEN.BISHOP1.67
    JOHN.GIBSON1.52
    ROBIN.LEHNER1.36
    JORDAN.BINNINGTON1.26
    ALEXANDAR.GEORGIEV1.05
    CURTIS.MCELHINNEY0.96
    ANDREI.VASILEVSKIY0.96
    ANTON.KHUDOBIN0.84
    JACOB.MARKSTROM0.82
    RYAN.MILLER0.70
    COLLIN.DELIA0.58
    COREY.CRAWFORD0.58
    TUUKKA.RASK0.54
    MATT.MURRAY0.53
    CASEY.DESMITH0.52
    JACK.CAMPBELL0.50
    JUUSE.SAROS0.48
    PEKKA.RINNE0.48
    DARCY.KUEMPER0.41
    CARTER.HART0.35
    MARC-ANDRE.FLEURY0.30
    BRIAN.ELLIOTT0.30
    FREDERIK.ANDERSEN0.27
    PHEONIX.COPLEY0.23
    PETR.MRAZEK0.19
    MACKENZIE.BLACKWOOD0.14
    BRADEN.HOLTBY0.11
    HENRIK.LUNDQVIST0.10
    SEMYON.VARLAMOV0.08
    CONNOR.HELLEBUYCK0.06
    CAREY.PRICE0.04
    SERGEI.BOBROVSKY0.03
    PHILIPP.GRUBAUER-0.02
    JIMMY.HOWARD-0.08

    Here’s the same list with the FA’s broken out
    JAROSLAV.HALAK 1.82
    ROBIN.LEHNER1.36
    CURTIS.MCELHINNEY0.96
    JACOB.MARKSTROM0.82
    RYAN.MILLER0.70
    BRIAN.ELLIOTT0.30
    PETR.MRAZEK0.19
    SEMYON.VARLAMOV0.08
    SERGEI.BOBROVSKY0.03
    JIMMY.HOWARD-0.08

    Here’s my take on each FA:

    JAROSLAV.HALAK – Will BOS sign him again? Probably.Liked him forever.34 this summer.

    ROBIN.LEHNER-great season after getting his mental health issues under control. Will NYI let him get to FA?Maybe if Bob is in the bag, but is Bob better these days?

    CURTIS.MCELHINNEY – 35 year old career back up having a great season.I’d probably look at him as a back up for next year.Starter?That’s a long shot.Does CAR let him get to FA?

    JACOB.MARKSTROM – VAN will have him signed before summer

    RYAN.MILLER – Only wants to play near LA.Doesn’t need the money

    BRIAN.ELLIOTT–maybe.Up and down career due to injuries, including this year.I’ve always liked him.My pick for 1B for next year.With Koskinen at $4.5 they can afford a $2MM back up

    PETR.MRAZEK – best season of his career since he was a rookie and its still not great.Wouldn’t bet on his as starter, would pick up as back up if the music stopped and I didn’t have a chair.

    SEMYON.VARLAMOV– Will cost at least $6MM I think, but I wouldn’t pay it.Injury history his huge.Might get less.

    SERGEI.BOBROVSKY – Bob is getting paid and it will be too much.Probably $8MM

    JIMMY.HOWARD– Steady Eddy forever.Just signed for $4MM for next year (thought he was still FA).35 in a week.

    Gord knows I don’t defend EDM and especially Pete, but the Koskinen contract is below #8 on my things to worry about for next year.

    no. 8. Seriously ? He has not provided reliable starter goaltending at all. no 8. Not a chance. This game is called goalie. Come on Woodguy.

  15. OriginalPouzar says:

    ArmchairGM: Yeah, the Oilers have $71.7M committed to 16 players next season, so that leaves about $11M to sign 7 guys. I’m thinking that the new GM comes in with a sharp knife though, and will create more space.

    Unfortunately a Sekera buyout us the lowest-hanging fruit ($3M is space next year) followed by a Gagner buyout ($2.133M). I’m not sure either is a great idea but the new GM will have no loyalty and will want the space to bring in his own guys

    I am not on-board at all with any sort of Sekera buyout – why would we buy out one of our top d-men who is going to provide value (or close thereto) for his contract – there are enough anchor contracts on the is team to target for removal that a buy out of Sekera makes no sense – at least to me.

    Buying out a player that provides value because his contract is a bit too high is the exact type of panic move in the name of immediate improvement that this team should not be making. If cap space cannot be created with less pain then management needs to be patient and realize that most anchor contracts fall away by their terms within a couple of years.

  16. OriginalPouzar says:

    I’ve been posting about a potential Hayden Hawkey signing but, with Providence in the Frozen 4, I guess his college career isn’t quite over yet.

    Honestly, I don’t know how this NCAA post-season works – I mean, Providence lost to Boston College in the hockey east tournmanent but they are still in the “NCAA Tournament” it seems.

  17. lawrenharris says:

    Mark Hunter for GM! Mark Hunter for GM!

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