Who’s Zooming Who?

Watching the Stanley Cup finals, it’s easy to imagine the Oilers (or any team) turning things around immediately by acquiring a quality starting goalie. A brilliant goaler married to luck can go a long way. The trick of course is identifying the goalie. Over 100 years into the sport, that remains a moving target.

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 OFFER IS HERE!

  • New Lowetide: How will Ken Holland build around Connor McDavid?
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: The top five players the Oilers could lose in the expansion draft
  • Jonathan Willis: What a trade involving Edmonton’s No. 8 pick might look like given Ken Holland’s history
  • LowetideHard Target Search: Finding the Oilers a centre who can penalty kill, help shape a useful third line, and serve in a mentor role
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: How a third-line grinder launched the star-filled Oilers to their first Stanley Cup and a hockey dynasty.
  • Lowetide: Is Zack Kassian the answer for the McDavid-Draisaitl line?
  • Lowetide: NHL Combine brings Oilers dual problems into focus for Ken Holland
  • Lowetide: Analyzing the Oilers roster to see which players fit Dave Tippett’s ‘aggressive, fast team’ approach
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Dave Tippett’s coaching philosophy, how he relays information to his players and why information is king
  • Lowetide: What will Ken Holland see in Evan Bouchard?
  • Lowetide: Does Oilers’ signing of Joakim Nygard signal a measured approach to summer 2019?
  • Lowetide: Dave Tippett’s roster deployment in Arizona and what it might mean for the Oilers
  • Jonathan Willis: Why Ken Holland’s worst years in Detroit tell us the most about how he’ll fare in Edmonton
  • Jonathan Willis: Three offseason scenarios and how each one would affect the Oilers salary cap
  • Lowetide: Examining the Oilers’ goaltending options in free agency.
  • Jonathan Willis: Every Oilers AHL prospect, rated by how close they are to the NHL
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Protector, supporter, confidant: Connor McDavid’s mom, Kelly, is his off-ice rock through good times and bad
  • Lowetide: An offseason plan for Ken Holland to remodel the Oilers roster.
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Ken Holland steadfast that buck stops with him as new Oilers GM.
  • Lowetide: How will Ken Holland proceed in Year 1 as Oilers general manager?
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Prioritizing the roster issues that await Ken Holland in Edmonton.
  • Lowetide: Ken Holland’s procurement list for his rumored move to Edmonton will include front-office personnel
  • Jonathan Willis: A Milan Lucic trade is at the top of the to-do list for the Oilers’ next GM.

GOALIES

My ranking of goalies each season bares little resemblance to the NHL’s ranking (as shown in the draft each season. Before I give you this year’s ranking, here’s last year and where each player was chosen.

1 Jakub Skarek, Jihlava (Czech). No. 72 to NY Islanders
2 Oliver Rodrigue, Drummondville (QMJHL). No. 62 to Edmonton.
3 Lukas Dostal, Brno (Czech). No. 85 to Anaheim
4 Olof Lindbom, Djurgardens (SuperElite). No. 39 to NY Rangers.
5 Amir Miftakhov, Irbis Kazan (MHL). Undrafted.
6 Ivan Prosvetov, Youngstown Phantoms (USHL). No. 114 to Arizona.
7 Joel Hofer, Swift Current Broncos (WHL). No. 107 to St. Louis
8 Justus Annunen, Karpat (Jr. Sm-Liiga). No. 64 to Colorado.
9 Vincent Purpura, Omaha Lancers (USHL). Undrafted.
10 Alexis Gravel, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL). No. 162 to Chicago.

2019 GOALIES

1 G Spencer Knight, US National Team (USHL). A .929 save percentage in the USHL and a mountain of positive scouting reports have him as the top goaltender in this year’s draft.

2 G Mads Søgaard, Medicine Hat (WHL). Posted a strong season (.921). He is 6.06. Danish goalie had a solid year in the NAHL a year ago.

3 G Pyotr Kochetkov, HK Ryazan (VHL). Huge goalie performed well in two Russian junior leagues and posted a .953 SP at the World Juniors. He might be the second goalie taken (behind Knight).

4 G Hunter Jones, Peterborough (OHL). He’s a big goalie who has a solid reputation, but .902SP saw me fading him.

5 G Colten Ellis, Rimouski (QMJHL). Has posted two quality seasons in a row, with SP’s of .913 and .910 in two consecutive seasons. It’s more rare than you’d think.

6 G Jonathan Lemieux, Val d’Or (QMJHL). A nice step forward year over year (.902, from .867) and he was buried by an awful team in year one.

7 G Trent Miner, Vancouver (WHL). Posted a .924 save percentage, outplayed the Giants starter during the regular season and saw playoff action.

8 Carter Gylander, Sherwood Park (AJHL). A giant (6.05) teenager posted a .915 SP this season. Heading to Colgate in 2020

9. Amir Miftakhov, Irbis Kazan (MHL). I liked him last year, he had a good season.

10 Lukas Parik, Liberic (Czech Jr). Another big goalie (6.04) with a solid resume.

BUTTON’S LIST

Is out. Wow. Lots of surprises (it is here) but I like scouts having the courage of his convictions. Here’s Button’s top 20 and where I ranked them:

Button’s final list set the Al Gore on its ear but for me it offered real insight into his thinking. Why? As you may know, my list is math based, and my rankings this year faded the USHL kids by some measure.

For instance, several USHL forwards have a superior NHLE to Kirby Dach based on Christian Roatis’ numbers. I faded the USHL forwards at the top (Roatis suggests 27 percent of offense will survive from USHL) because we’re dealing with a very small amount of evidence.

If this USHL crop, as a group, is correctly marked at 27 percent of offense, we’re talking something beyond a watershed moment. Clayton Keller’s NHLE was 35.6 in 2016, his draft year. In his first two NHL seasons, he is averaging 56 points. That’s a little over 40 percent (with a one year stop in the NCAA).

This year, Turcotte is 47.0, Hughes is 44.2, Brink is 35, Boldy is 34, Zegras 32.8, Caufield 32.4. Is 27 percent the correct number for these kids? I faded them.

Button came to a different conclusion. I may not agree but do respect his thinking and betting on those impressive kids in the USHL isn’t the worst option. We’ll see. We could be looking at a stunning group of players from a single league, something we’ll talk about forever. Even fading them, I have four inside the top 10 and six of the first 12. It’s a monster.

OILERS MOCK! (USING BUTTON’S LIST)

First round, No. 8 overall — LC Alex Turcotte, U.S. National Development Team (USHL). I have him No. 4 on my list, Button has him No. 10. A big deal was made about it, but Button had him No. 8 on his March list. Turcotte is a strong two-way player, skilled and absolutely will be gone before No. 8 overall.

Second round, No. 38 overall — R Nathan Légaré, Baie Comeau Drakkar (QMJHL). I have him at No. 27, Button has him No. 42. Power winger who can score goals, he can find open ice and cash (45 goals in 68 games) and drives to the net with abandon. I am loving my draft so far.

Third round, No. 85 overall —  LC Blake Murray, Sudbury (OHL). I had him No. 32, Button didn’t rank him. I do not understand, but I didn’t rank his Russian so there you go. Murray is a big center with plus speed and a scoring touch. A July 2001.

Fourth round, No. 100 overall —  RD Anttoni Honka, Jyp (Sm-Liiga). I had him No. 37, Button didn’t rank him. Draft Analyst: Swift skating puck rusher who knows how to handle the puck and has the kind of mobility that keeps forecheckers honest.

In January, I ran the Oilers Top 20 at The Athletic (here) and we do a ‘group’ ranking after the draft. If the Oilers grabbed Turcotte, to go along with Bouchard, Jones, Benson, Marody, Yamamoto and others, we’d be looking at the most substantial list since McDavid played his 51st game. The 2015 list contained McDavid, Draisaitl, Nurse, Brossoit, Jones, Bear, Lagesson and others. Gretzky is building, if Edmonton grabbed Turcotte that would be a helluva get.

Neal is an interesting option, owns a great shot and shoots a lot. I would think Holland would be looking for more speed on the wing but maybe the price is right. Curiouser and curiouser.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy Friday morning, TSN1260, we’re drunk with guests! Steve Lansky from BigMouthSports will join us at 10:20 to talk about blown calls by refs through the years, and we’ll chat about the long road back for Boston. Daniel Nugent-Bowman from The Athletic will join me, we’ll talk about several things, including the gigantic goal by Kevin McClelland that I consider the most important goal in Oilers history. Matt Iwanyk talks Raptors at 11, and Jeff Krushell chats about Canadians chosen in the mlb draft at 11:25. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!

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221 Responses to "Who’s Zooming Who?"

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  1. Jeremy says:

    Ben,

    You may also get a red headed stepchild…

  2. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – I want to go on record as saying the Warriors fans are losers. Of course no one will report this but this was likely the last game in Oracle Arena, and the fans streamed out before the game was over

    – If the Fans had class: they would have stayed and cheered and ovations for the years of being an incredible team in the last game at their stadium (albeit a real sh$tty venue)

    – FUN FACT : I have 2 tickets for game 5 in section 118. I could probably get $15K for the pair. I have a very expecting wife: what should I do?

  3. Lowetide says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    – I want to go on record as saying the Warriors fans are losers.Of course no one will report this but this was likely the last game in Oracle Arena, and the fans streamed out before the game was over

    – If the Fans had class: they would have stayed and cheered and ovations for the years of being an incredible team in the last game at their stadium (albeit a real sh$tty venue)

    – FUN FACT : I have 2 tickets for game 5 in section 118.I could probably get $15K for the pair.I have a very expecting wife: what should I do?

    None of my business, but I’d ask her what she would like to do.

  4. Jaxon says:

    I think we’ll see Phillip Tomasino as a top 8 in a redraft 5 years from now. His skating, vision, hockey sense, puck skills are all pretty elite. He’s a right-handed C/W with a late July birthday, so among the youngest first rounders in the draft. He’s got decent size at 6’0″, 181lbs.

    He scored at a higher Adjusted (league and age) Primary points rate at 5v5 than anyone in the draft, except Turcotte, while meeting a threshold of top-line competition (13.93 5v5 TOI/GP) and being moved from his natural center position to wing part way through the year in the OHL the best junior league in the world. and that’s after getting off to a bit of a slow start. After 11pts in his first 17 games, he scored 61 points in his final 50gp. He also had the highest +/- of OHL draft eligibles at +37.

    The closest I got to a negative in scouting reports is he can get knocked off his game sometimes and doesn’t win some 1-on-1 battles. But I think the same can be said of Hughes, Caufield, Krebs, Suzuki, Newhook, and Zegras and they’re not being dinged much if any for it. The highest I’ve seen anyone rank him is Pronman at #17, while some don’t even have him going in the first round.

    Using Pronman’s grading system, there are only 5 players who were graded 60 or higher in Skating, Hockey Sense, and Puck Skills:
    Hughes, Turcotte, Newhook, Tomasino, Fensore (he’s a tiny D on the USNTDP who scored at a pretty high pace as well). You’d think that would push Tomasino into “damn-near-sure-thing” territory.

    Cam Robinson – Dobber ProspectsMay 15th: “A highly intelligent, two-way centre with good puck skills and a penchant for scoring big goals. Quick stride, good puck-skills and a heavy release. Underrated playmaker. ”

    Sam Cosentino – SportsNetMay 8th: “A centre who showed he could be effective on the wing, likely goes back to his natural spot next season.”

    Chris Peters – ESPNMay 6th: “One of the more interesting skaters in the draft in terms of his fluidity and speed, Tomasino matured a lot over the course of the season and showed that he can beat teams with a clever pass or accurate shot.”

    Hannah Stuart – theScoreMay 1st: “Tomasino has experience playing down the middle and on the wing, and he’s sharpened the defensive aspect of his game enough that, with his hockey sense and skating ability (he’s got terrific speed and edge work), he could very well succeed as a center at the next level. ”

    Sam Conentino – SportsNetApr. 9th: “Has breakaway skating ability and a nose to both create and finish.”

    Scott Wheeler The Athletic:
    “Tomasino’s game is built for today’s NHL in that he plays with pace, he’s a threat in transition, he handles the puck lightly but not too long, he drives the slot, he finds pockets off the puck and he makes tough plays look easy. A little more upper body strength will go a long way to making him a more complete player as well. Though Tomasino is a natural centre, he spent a good chunk of the post-trade deadline season playing right wing with Akil Thomas due to the IceDogs’ overwhelming talent down the middle. Now that a decent chunk of the IceDogs core is poised to move on, Tomasino will become more of a go-to threat next year and I think he will handle it really well. The talent is there for him to become a productive, borderline line-driving top-nine forward at the next level.”

    Pronman The Athletic:
    July 28, 2001 | six-foot | 181 pounds

    Skating: 60
    Puck Skills: 60
    Physical Game: 45
    Hockey Sense: 60

    Tomasino is a very talented forward who started the season down the lineup but worked his way into a decent role on a top OHL team. He’s got all the tools to succeed in the modern day NHL. He’s a very fast skater with high-end puck skills and the vision to make difficult plays. His pace is good but I wish he used his high-end speed a bit more. Tomasino is a threat off the rush due to how quickly his feet and hands move, and when you think of “playing fast,” he’s a guy who is built to do that. He looks to make plays, often finding tight lanes, and he has the creativity to make unique passes. Tomasino has a slight build and isn’t the best at winning 1-on-1 battles in the tough areas. He can at times get pushed around and out of the game, and other times he’ll drive the tough areas. He’ll need to work on the consistency of his play and making the most of his tools, but he’s got the ability to impact a shift like few in this class do.

    Niagara IceDogs coach Billy Burke on Tomasino: “His speed and his skating stand out. He’s fast from the start of his shift to the end of his shift. He’s able to find his teammates and make plays while he’s going fast. He’s developing into a dynamic playmaker.”

    I know it’s a reach, but I wouldn’t be upset if they picked him at #8. I’m sure it would drive everyone mad, so that would be entertaining as well.

  5. leadfarmer says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Stauffer and Friedman were spitballing a 3 way with Lucic landing in VAN, Neal in EDM and Ericsson in CGY.

    I think Ericsson has the most to give of the 3 but who the hell knows.

    Neal is the only that you can buy out though. I would go for that one

  6. Munny says:

    Jaxon: think we’ll see Phillip Tomasino as a top 8 in a redraft 5 years from now

    Would love to get Tomasino somehow in this draft. Would be willing to burn a pick to move up from our 2nd to get him.

  7. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Lowetide: None of my business, but I’d ask her what she would like to do.

    – Well I asked, so it is your (and others) business! Thanks for the response: your right: ask my wife!

    – I will just do a thread jack on this, to help me figure it out:

    – $15K is a lot of money.

    – The no Dad, no kids Kinger would go and have a blow-out evening, and have a memory for a lifetime. Or taking my 9 year old son, as what a lifetime experience for him

    – Or I’d take my wife and we would have the best time ever (assuming she doesn’t pop!), and she is from SanFran, but god bless her, much to the dismay of her parents, she’s a Raptors fan!

    – But its a lot of money to leave on the table and selfish: We aren’t in the poor house, but always respect money.

    – It’s an interesting juxtaposition: not theorictical.

    – But yes, I will ask my wife: she will say that it’s a lot of money, but it’s an opportunity of a lifetime

    – If they lose game 5, and win game 6, and I collect $15K for the family I’m ok

    – But if there is a game 7: look out!

    – I’m not sure the same $ applies to if the Oil every got to the Cup: but I wonder what Edmonton ticket holders would do under similar circumstances?

  8. jp says:

    russ99:
    All the shot metric numbers say he has a hand in more shots for than shots against. Shots aren’t for one player, they’re based on the play of 10 skaters and 2 goalies on the ice.

    The GA% shows no variance considering minute played and competition played. I’d prefer on ice save percentage. Benning has been sheltered, playing lesser minutes and lesser competiton, you’d expect better goals against numbers.

    Maybe when the tracker data is released to the public (please, Gary?) there can be a metric that determines a player’s expected role and how he played in minutes where he had to play above that role, in results for both ends of the ice.

    Both Nurse and Russell played a lot more minutes at higher role, comp due to injury than expected, and produced at least average results. Benning has not been able to handle more minutes, a bigger role or tougher comp so I can’t see why we’d expect him to handle a 2RD role.

    As in my post, I’d prefer an 2nd RHD acquisiton to play with Nurse, Sekera bought out, Benning traded (I like Brown) and Russell on the left side to start with Jones, moved at a point when another younger player is ready to take his spot.

    The whole point of my post was to look at Benning’s performance as a top 4 D against top 4 competition. I think the sample I pulled out from Benning’s overall numbers reflects that fairly well. I suppose it’s possible that Klef/Nurse/Russell-Benning were getting easier top 4 minutes than their top 4 minutes without Benning, but I think the role and competition were generally comparable.

    In terms of on ice SV%, Benning was 92.47% overall for the past 2 years. In top 4 minutes his number drops as you’d expect. He’s also a shade lucky relative to his teammates, but the gap isn’t large (nothing close to explaining why his GA/60 [in top 4 minutes] is the best among Oilers D):
    Benning 92.16%
    Nurse 92.01%
    Russell 91.99%
    Larsson 91.34%
    Klefbom 91.26%

    Again, my point was that Benning already has been able to handle a bigger role, vs tougher comp with better than average results. He has already played significant minutes as 2RD with excellent results. That’s why potentially we could expect him to handle the 2RD role.

    Maybe the tracker data will eventually reveal some of what you’re seeing. I think you and others are underrating the player.

  9. Jaxon says:

    Tomasino Vs Zegras, Caufield, Boldy, and Kaliyev by Mitch Brown:

    https://twitter.com/ThatGuy11920/status/1127618290556317700/photo/4

  10. Jaxon says:

    Munny: Would love to get Tomasino somehow in this draft. Would be willing to burn a pick to move up from our 2nd to get him.

    What would it take to get to 17 or higher? Two 2nd round picks (38th and next year’s 2nd round)? Plus maybe one of Cave, Safin, Lagesson, or Day? Cozens and Tomasino in the same draft would blow my mind.

  11. Victoria Oil says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – Well I asked, so it is your (and others) business!Thanks for the response: your right: ask my wife!

    – I will just do a thread jack on this, to help me figure it out:

    – $15K is a lot of money.

    – The no Dad, no kids Kinger would go and have a blow-out evening, and have a memory for a lifetime.Or taking my 9 year old son, as what a lifetime experience for him

    – Or I’d take my wife and we would have the best time ever (assuming she doesn’t pop!), and she is from SanFran, but god bless her, much to the dismay of her parents, she’s a Raptors fan!

    – But its a lot of money to leave on the table and selfish: We aren’t in the poor house, but always respect money.

    – It’s an interesting juxtaposition: not theorictical.

    – But yes, I will ask my wife: she will say that it’s a lot of money, but it’s an opportunity of a lifetime

    – If they lose game 5, and win game 6, and I collect $15K for the family I’m ok

    – But if there is a game 7: look out!

    – I’m not sure the same $ applies to if the Oil every got to the Cup: but I wonder what Edmonton ticket holders would do under similar circumstances?

    This is basketball, not hockey – so sell the tickets! You could do a lot for your family for $15k. Plus, no guarantee the Raptors will win.

    P.S. #GoGoldenState

  12. Death By Misadventure says:

    Woodguy v2.0: *wipes a tear away*

    Truth.

    Woodguy v2.0: It was BlackDogPat’s thing and I “borrowed” it.

    Ah right. I remember now.

    However, like Johnny Cash and Hurt, I think you “own” it now. Haha.

  13. Death By Misadventure says:

    Glovjuice: This is a gorgeous post. One of the all time greats.

    Holy shit. Thanks Glovjuice.

    Just one man, drinking wine, alone, and reminiscing about the good ol’days.

  14. OriginalPouzar says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – nah. You don’t need that. You wait a year and all of Lucic Russell sek gagner buy outs are gone and you have 22mm+ to improve roster.

    This year you go:

    sek-larsson
    Nurse-Benning
    Sek-jones
    Russell – Persson.

    – Next year with 20mm. We be like

    Sek-Larrsson
    Nurse-stud
    Jones-Bouchard

    – and you trade other magic beans next year and spend on awesome players and pay the ones who need to be re-upped.

    – so you break in one D a year on 3rd pair

    – if you want to be awesome for many years this is what you do.

    – if you want to be ok this year and not as awesome going forward you do buyouts retain salary trade away assets and don’t get a chance to be full on.

    I have been fully against any buyouts, using material assets as sweeteners, retaining salary, etc. for quick cap space improvements so we are on the same page there and I never professed anything different via potentially agreeing to this trade.

    At the same time, adding PK Subban changes the dynamic completely and in many ways for the better. That is the high end 1RD this org has been searching for for years. Knocking Larsson down to 2RD is phenomenal. The three year term on Subban is pretty much perfect and, in year 3, won’t be much more expensive than a re-signed Nuge. The 30-33 year age of the Subban term is of little concern. The term stop-gaps Bouchard in the top 4 perfectly.

    Drai scored 50 last year and, in the last third of the season, was a plus 200 foot player – the man is ready for 2C and should not be able to win the goal share (issue was GA not GF).

    A serviceable 3C should be easy enough to find to stop gap Ryan McLeod.

  15. OriginalPouzar says:

    slopitch:

    OP – you take Hall all day. Always seek elite talent.

    Contract cannot be discounted and signing him to $10M plus (especially with Skinner’s contract) for his 30-37 year old years is fraught with major risk.

    I give major term to young players who will be improving, or at least not declining, through the term – i.e McDavid, Leon, Nurse on his next deal, etc.

  16. OriginalPouzar says:

    Jaxon: What would it take to get to 17 or higher? Two 2nd round picks (38th and next year’s 2nd round)? Plus maybe one of Cave, Safin, Lagesson, or Day? Cozens and Tomasino in the same draft would blow my mind.

    I have no idea of the acquisition cost for that move but Lagesson is 7 categories of value above any of Cave, Safin and Day and should not be lumped in with them.

    He is in the Jones category and ahead of Bear, in my opinion.

  17. Jaxon says:

    OriginalPouzar: I have no idea of the acquisition cost for that move but Lagesson is 7 categories of value above any of Cave, Safin and Day and should not be lumped in with them.

    He is in the Jones category and ahead of Bear, in my opinion.

    I included him because he has a different value. And the left side has some depth
    Nurse
    Klefbom
    Sekera/Russell
    Jones
    Samorukov
    Lagesson
    The top LD are set. 3LD has a solid, if overpaid, veteran who can play 2LD. So you can be patient with Jones and Samorukov and they only have to eventually be as good as 3LD to be useful.
    Is that enough depth to let one of the the youngsters go to get you Tomasino?

    Lagesson had a great season but don’t Jones and Samorukov still have a higher ceiling?

    On the right side
    Larsson
    Benning
    Bear
    Bouchard
    Persson
    Berglund

    That’s a lot of unproven players still fighting for 2nd and 3rd pair. Benning might be able to handle 2RD, but it is not certain. We really don’t know who will come out on top so I’d be more reluctant to give any of them up. Bouchard appears to be an eventual sure thing to at least fill 2RD, but that isn’t guaranteed and might not happen for another couple of years. Can Bear handle 3RD? Can Persson? Berglund? To many unknowns to get rid of one I think.

  18. Ryan says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – Well I asked, so it is your (and others) business!Thanks for the response: your right: ask my wife!

    – I will just do a thread jack on this, to help me figure it out:

    – $15K is a lot of money.

    – The no Dad, no kids Kinger would go and have a blow-out evening, and have a memory for a lifetime.Or taking my 9 year old son, as what a lifetime experience for him

    – Or I’d take my wife and we would have the best time ever (assuming she doesn’t pop!), and she is from SanFran, but god bless her, much to the dismay of her parents, she’s a Raptors fan!

    – But its a lot of money to leave on the table and selfish: We aren’t in the poor house, but always respect money.

    – It’s an interesting juxtaposition: not theorictical.

    – But yes, I will ask my wife: she will say that it’s a lot of money, but it’s an opportunity of a lifetime

    – If they lose game 5, and win game 6, and I collect $15K for the family I’m ok

    – But if there is a game 7: look out!

    – I’m not sure the same $ applies to if the Oil every got to the Cup: but I wonder what Edmonton ticket holders would do under similar circumstances?

    You said that you have “a very expecting wife” as in “what to do when you’re expecting” type of expecting?

    If so congrats for the baby on the way.

  19. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    Maybe the Raptor victory will induce labour and you can name your child Kawhi

  20. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    jp: The whole point of my post was to look at Benning’s performance as a top 4 D against top 4 competition. I think the sample I pulled out from Benning’s overall numbers reflects that fairly well. I suppose it’s possible that Klef/Nurse/Russell-Benning were getting easier top 4 minutes than their top 4 minutes without Benning, but I think the role and competition were generally comparable.

    In terms of on ice SV%, Benning was 92.47% overall for the past 2 years. In top 4 minutes his number drops as you’d expect. He’s also a shade lucky relative to his teammates, but the gap isn’t large (nothing close to explaining why his GA/60 [in top 4 minutes] is the best among Oilers D):
    Benning 92.16%
    Nurse 92.01%
    Russell 91.99%
    Larsson 91.34%
    Klefbom 91.26%

    Again, my point was that Benning already has been able to handle a bigger role, vs tougher comp with better than average results. He has already played significant minutes as 2RD with excellent results. That’s why potentially we could expect him to handle the 2RD role.

    Maybe the tracker data will eventually reveal some of what you’re seeing. I think you and others are underrating the player.

    I think Benning is a reasonable option for 2RD all things considered.
    He is not ideal for 2RD

  21. jp says:

    GordieHoweHatTrick: I think Benning is a reasonable option for 2RD all things considered.
    He is not ideal for 2RD

    Absolutely. I’d argue that Benning is probably passable as 2RD. Definitely not ideal.

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