Riesen to Believe, 2019 Volume 1

by Lowetide

I’ve stared at this 50-man list all summer, and waited for the clouds to part and the pto’s to arrive. I’m early on this year’s Riesen to Believe, but it’s for my own sanity so it’s good.

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, here’s an incredible Offer!

  • New Lowetide: Connor McDavid and optimal line chemistry: The Oilers need to abandon enforcer fixation and add a skill winger
  • Lowetide: Jesse Puljujarvi’s biggest hurdles: Bad timing and the indifference of the Oilers.
  • Lowetide: Projecting the Oilers 2019-20 Opening Night Lineup
  • Lowetide: Revisiting the Oilers’ 2016 draft and the opportunities missed
  • Lowetide: Examining the potential waiver-wire opportunities at hand for the Oilers
  • Lowetide: Cooper Marody’s utility gives him an edge for an Oilers roster spot in 2019-20
  • Lowetide: Ken Holland’s roster construction options for the Oilers over the next seven months.
  • Lowetide: Kailer Yamamoto has the talent to win a job with the Oilers on merit, if he’s healthy.
  • Jonathan Willis: Jesse Puljujarvi still has upside and the Oilers’ patient approach is the right one
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Q&A: Dave Tippett on rounding out his coaching staff, fixing Oilers’ special teams and using Connor McDavid
  • Lowetide: Handicapping the Oilers’ young defencemen and their chances of replacing Andrej Sekera
  • Lowetide: Is Kirill Maksimov progressing as the Edmonton Oilers’ next great hope for a true homegrown sniper?
  • Jonathan Willis: Oilers ease pressure on crowded defensive pipeline by trading John Marino to the Penguins
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: What the 2021-22 Oilers might look like after their steady build toward contender status
  • Lowetide: Joel Persson is ideally situated to win an opening night roster spot with the Oilers
  • Jonathan Willis: Projecting the Oilers’ opening night lineup, line combinations and more.
  • Lowetide: Oilers’ acquisition of James Neal could add badly needed scoring to the top two lines.
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Ken Holland puts his stamp on the Oilers with first big move in Lucic-Neal trade
  • Jonathan Willis: Ken Holland ends an ugly situation for the Oilers by trading Milan Lucic for James Neal
  • Jonathan Willis: Which Oilers defencemen can make an outlet pass?
  • Lowetide: Looking ahead to Oilers training camp: 35 players for 23 jobs
  • Jonathan Willis: Josh Archibald won’t fix the Oilers’ biggest problems, but he’ll help with some key issues.
  • Lowetide: Oilers top 20 prospects summer 2019.

GOALIES

1 Mikko Koskinen, 31. He has an uneasy hold on the No. 1 job and will have to perform well if he’s going to keep it. Delivered in October and November (.924) but was overworked and spent by season’s end. I think he’ll perform well if used properly. 100%

2 Mike Smith, 37. Smith started slowly but had a .912 save percentage after the All-Star break. There’s all kinds of risk with this signing, but it’s textbook Holland to employ aged goalers. 100%

3 Shane Starrett, 25. Posted a great season in Bakersfield (.916 save percentage) and is the first recall option entering camp.

4 Dylan Wells, 21. Played 12 AHL games (.909 save percentage) and spent the rest of the year in the ECHL. I don’t know if there’s an edge for backup in Bakersfield but Wells might have the inside track (as a guess).

5 Stuart Skinner, 20. 41 ECHL (.903) games made him the Wichita starter, with just six AHL games (.879) during the regular year. Skinner caught fire for Bakersfield in the playoffs, with a .918 save percentage in four games.

6 Olivier Rodrigue, 19. 48 games in the QMJHL (.902) and he’s a consistent goaltender who may have the best pedigree among the young group. Headed back to junior for his final year.

LEFT DEFENSE

1 Oscar Klefbom, 26. Four more years at just over $4 million, he’s a grand value contract. Per 82gp: 8-24-32. I’m interesting in seeing how coach Dave Tippett handles him. 100%

2 Darnell Nurse, 24. Oilers fans remain divided on him, for me his 2017-18 season was impressive and he’s easily one of the top 4D. If you want to trade him, find four better before you do it. Per 82gp: 7-19-26. 100%

3 Kris Russell, 32. The simplest way to improve the defense is to move Russell to third pair. It clouds the depth chart but history teaches us NHL teams employ way more than six defensemen in a season. 100%

4 Caleb Jones, 22. I have him making the team, but he isn’t a lock. Jones is at the very top of the recall list and his third pairing numbers in the NHL a year ago (over 56 percent Corsi for in just over 115 minutes). I like him plenty. 70%

5 William Lagesson, 23. I like him for NHL work this season, not certain it’s out of training camp. His shutdown ability in the AHL is impressive and I do believe he’ll spend time on the third pairing this year. 30%

6 Brandon Manning, 29. Wildly unpopular trade but he has NHL experience and the team doesn’t save much in sending him down. The team does have better options, though. 5%

7 Dmitri Samorukov, 20. He was so strong in the second half, and sometimes a late surge represents real progress. That smart play is to send him to Bakersfield, but there’s a sliver of a chance. 1%

8 Keegan Lowe, 26. You can’t mention him without people hammering the last name, but he has delivered two quality seasons for the organization and would be a worthy recall.

RIGHT DEFENSE

1 Adam Larsson, 26. Shutdown defender had a difficult season, and the Oilers badly need a rebound. I have argued it would be madness to trade him (here). 100%

2 Matt Benning, 25. I’m not certain where he’ll play on the depth chart, and he may not be with the team after the deadline, but entering camp Benning appears to be an important piece. 100%

3 Joel Persson, 25. He has a clear shot at the NHL job, it helps the organization to send the kids down. It won’t be easy but he has terrific puck moving skills. Who would be his best partner? 70%

4 Evan Bouchard, 19. It’s rare to see a more perfect fit for need than the marriage between Bouchard and the Oilers. Still, 30 games in Bakersfield is a strong option if the NHL roster can afford it. 50%

5 Ethan Bear, 22. He was effective when healthy, and has NHL experience. I’m confident in placing him here, but wouldn’t be surprised if he makes the team out of camp. 30%

6 Logan Day, 24. His impressive season has been overlooked with all of the other RH puck movers joining the chorus this fall. I don’t know where he’s heading but last season in Bakersfield was impressive.

CENTER

1 Connor McDavid, 22. His injury appears to be in the past and we know his desire to win is enormous. I’m expecting a career season. Per 82gp: 37-69-106. 100%

2 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 26. Per 82gp, he has scored 22-36-58, perfect for a No. 2 center. Now, he can’t push the river so needs plenty of support and that’s going to be an issue again this year. Finally, he remains (in the words of Tyler Dellow) a power-play ‘witch’, only curtailed by the presence of power-play God McDavid. 100%

3 Jujhar Khaira, 25. There are absolute limitations in placing him here, but the absence of alternatives clears the mind. Khaira is a rugged two-way forward who has shown signs of being a solid PK man. Per 82gp: 8-14-22, which isn’t a lot but his career high in goals (11) is stronger than the other options. 100%

4 Cooper Marody, 22. He is one of the few players on the roster who can make the team in two positions, so he looks out of time here (but the percentage includes center and wing). Skilled, smart and coming off an outstanding AHL debut. 40%

5 Gaetan Haas, 27. RH center who has speed and two-way skills, we don’t know if his skills are a match for the NHL game and we don’t know if he’ll need a period of adjustment. Edmonton is vulnerable here. 35%

6 Colby Cave, 24. He has some utility but lacks any one strength to recommend him. He’s on the roster and he won 52 percent of his faceoffs. I don’t think he’s a long-term answer but he has a real shot at the roster. 30%

7 Kyle Brodziak, 35. He had a tough year, fell off demonstrably from previous level of performance. He was clearly not at full health, and so may surprise at camp. He’s 35. I think there’s a good chance he is on LTIR for the season. 30%

8 Brad Malone, 30. Malone serves as insurance at the position and has played 14 percent of his time with the Oilers in the NHL. If he’s recalled, something unplanned has happened.

9 Cameron Hebig, 22. It’s a big season for Hebig, who started last season as part of the Kid Line then faded away. He will need to find a role in Bakersfield.

10 Ryan McLeod, 19. I don’t think he’ll see the NHL this season and am interested to see how much he brings offensively in the minors.

LEFT WING

1 Leon Draisaitl, 23. The big man scored 50 goals last season, a feat that puts him on a higher level. Don’t expect another 50, but something close to career average (per 82gp: 29-44-73) is reasonable. A real gem. 100%

2 James Neal, 31. I think Ken Holland made out like a bandit with this trade, even if it doesn’t work out. I think 16 goals is a reasonable expectation. You? 100%

3 Markus Granlund, 26. He’ll be in the Rieder role, PK man who can score some, check some and maybe move from pivot as required. It’s a good choice, although you worry he lands more of a feature role than warranted. 100%

4 Joakim Nygard, 26. He has speed, giving Nygard a major advantage over other hopefuls. His SHL scoring pace (he was among the league leaders) shouldn’t be overlooked. 75%

5 Tyler Benson, 21. I think he has a real chance to make the team. If Benson comes to camp, gets a chance with skill, and shows those passing skills, he can make the team. 45%

6 Tomas Jurco, 26. He has had some success (per 82gp: 9-11-20) in the NHL but it has been four years since he was a regular in the league 20%.

7 Joe Gambardella, 25. He scored 29 goals in the AHL last season and showed some ability in an NHL recall. A long shot, he could impress Tippett early and ride it to an NHL job. 15%

8 Nolan Vesey, 24. He hasn’t shown a lot.

RIGHT WING

1 Zack Kassian, 28. Per 82gp as an Oiler, he scored 10-14-24, which is excellent production for a role player but doesn’t warrant No. 1 line work. He does enter training camp as the top RW. 100%

2 Alex Chiasson, 28. Over the last three seasons, he output per 82gp is 16-15-31, and eight of his 22 goals a year ago came on the power play. He’s a bit of an odd match in this forward group (counting on 22 goals again is unwise). 100%

3 Josh Archibald, 26. One of my favourite offseason additions, Archibald can PK, score goals, skate and play a physical style. No real negatives. 100%

4 Sam Gagner, 30. One of the most interesting players on the roster, over the last three seasons he is delivering (per 82gp) 15-26-41. He could play on all four lines during the year. 100%

5 Josh Currie, 26. I think he could slide into a 13-14F job easily this training camp, so have ranked him here. No matter if Currie gets sent out, it’s better than even money that he plays in the NHL this coming season. 30%

6 Kailer Yamamoto, 20. I don’t think there’s much chance of Yamamoto making the roster out of camp, my suspicion is the organization wanted to see more a year ago. Wrist injury aside, he’ll have to show he can dominate the AHL before recall. 30%

7 Patrick Russell, 26. The more I look into his minor league season, the more impressive it looks. He’s a depth winger at the NHL level, but could see the NHL again this season. 4%

8 Kirill Maksimov, 20. I don’t see a path for him to make the opening night lineup, but a dominant first half in the AHL could see him recalled. He’s a perfect fit for a gigantic need.

9 Jesse Puljujarvi, 21. Per 82gp, he is 10-12-22 in the NHL. Nothing really to say.

CRAZY CRAZY

Here’s the thing: There are so many candidates for the 21 skater jobs. Last year, the number of players who were 30 percent or better to make the Oilers: two goalies, eight defensemen, 14 forwards (here). This year? Two goalies, 10 defensemen and 18 forwards. Holy hell.

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[…] Riesen to Believe, 2019 Volume 1 […]

Material Elvis

Armchair, if McDavid wanted JP on his right wing, he’d be there. Pretty sure you already know this but are just being a dink.

Material Elvis

ArmchairGM: Why do people write this kind of nonsense with zero evidence to back it up?

Uh, because it’s true? Welcome to the real world buddy.

rickithebear

HT Joe:
We have 1 series win in Katz era.
Should have been in Conf final.
2 awful good goal calls cost us that in 16-17.

Since 08-09
TOR 0 series wins
Buffalo 0 series wins
Florida 0 series wins
CGY 1 series win
CBJ 1 series win
Col 1 series win
EDM 1 series win
ARZ 2 series wins
DAL 2 series wins
MIN 2 series wins
NYI 2 series wins
WPG 2 series wins
NJD 3 series wins; 1Conf
OTT 3 series wins
VGK 3 series wins; 1conf
CAR 4 series wins
MTL 5 series wins
PHI 5 series wins; 1Conf
VCR 5 series wins 1Conf
ANA 6 series wins
DET 6 series wins; 1conf
NSH 7 series wins; 1 Conf
STL 8 series wins; 1Cup; 1conf
NYR 9 series wins; 1 Conf
TMP 9 series wins; 1 conf
LAK 10 series wins; 2 cups; 2 Conf
WSH 10 series wins; 1Cup; 1 Conf
STL 11 series wins; 1Cup; 1Conf
Boston 14 series wins 1Cup; 3 Conf
CHI 16 series wins; 3 cups; 3 Conf
PIT 17series wins; 3 cups; 3 Conf

jp

russ99:
jp,

Tracker data is coming. Hope it gets released to the public.

CF% will eventually look just as minimally useful as +/-

That data will certainly help, and yes hopefully it’s available.

I still think +/- (goal differential) is useful by the way.

jp

rickithebear: JP:

I understand that!

You are one who is showing the understanding that it is low quality analytics.

It is a form of Communication that guys are comfortable with here.

But it is really highly flawed!

Nearly every form of data is flawed or limited in some way. Some understanding and awareness of the flaws is extremely important in parsing any data – I think you clearly agree on this point.

It seems as though you’re blind to the flaws and limitations of your own datasets though. Even if the logic is sound, it’s clear based on some of your conclusions (IMO at least) that your analysis is far from perfect. IMO a little humility would go a long way in communicating your ideas.

russ99

jp,

Tracker data is coming. Hope it gets released to the public.

CF% will eventually look just as minimally useful as +/-

russ99

Jones played right side all last year in the AHL and has had the requisite NHL cup of coffee.

I think he’s vastly more likely to break camp on the right side than Persson who hasn’t played in North America yet.

rickithebear

jp: Everything else aside Ricki, it’s very difficult to expect people to stop using data that’s readily available in favour of potentially superior data that isn’t easily available.

JP:

I understand that!

You are one who is showing the understanding that it is low quality analytics.

It is a form of Communication that guys are comfortable with here.

But it is really highly flawed!

jp

rickithebear:
I wonder why you guys are not quoting
SB%
Fans jumping up and spilling beer at home is better team performance indicator than
GF%
CF%
DF%

These 3 100% of data cannot be trusted because of the poor differentiation resolution.

They fail to diferentiate for
Fwd NZ trap
% of 3-2-1 Def structure
Face off zone start
Bench start with or without pocession.

Spilt beer has some real correlation to actual performance.

So how about baked pies %
BP% data accuracy is 100% inaccurate when it comes to individual hockey performance.
Just like GF%, CF%, DF%

Everything else aside Ricki, it’s very difficult to expect people to stop using data that’s readily available in favour of potentially superior data that isn’t easily available.

ArmchairGM

Material Elvis: the best player in the world says to you, “Coach please don’t play me with player X because he’s awful”, then you are not going to respond by pulling up the naturalstattrick website on your phone in order to convince him otherwise. McDavid doesn’t seem like a vindictive guy who’s trying to block JP’s career from advancing; he doesn’t like the fit

Why do people write this kind of nonsense with zero evidence to back it up?

rickithebear

For 12 years I have allways shown best WOWY forward pairs and unit slotting.
PP fwds
Pk fwds
DZ, tough comp fwds
Best WOWY pairs last 1 or 2 seasons.

It is not rocket science.
Like have shown for last 4+ weeks.

Drai 31 evg – Mcdavid 31 evg 888 EVTOI = 4.19 evg/60
RNH 6 evg – Kassian 2 evg 192:45 = 2.49 evg/60
Cave 1 evg – Gagner 2 evg 94:33 = 1.91 evg/60

As for individual fwds
Mcdavid 1.27 evg/60
Draisaitl 1.25 evg/60
Neal 1.04 to 1.21 evg/60 13-14 to 17-18
Jurco1.02 evg/60 17-18
RNH .92 evg/60
Archibald .89 evg/60
Khaira .80 evg/60 17-18; .66 evg/60 16-17
Kassian .79 evg/60
Chaisson .78 evg/60
Puljujarvi .73 evg/60 17-18
Granlund .70 evg/60; .98 evg/60 16-17
Brodziak .69 to .97 evg/60; avg of .80 evg/60 in 3rd line C role. 07-08 to 16-17

That is the kind of Evg production you want to see out of Veteran forwards.

rickithebear

Holland has stated Dmen are usually ready by 23-24
Wants them to defend as priority #1
Wants them to generate offence as 4th & 5th option without sacrificing defence ( maintain 2D -1G)

Larsson Top 10 HD dman to his side.
Benning top 40 HD dman to his side
Russell #1 0% Corsi dman. Best dman in league at making goalies job easy.
Lagesson 3 rd best NPPP AHL season since lockout. Best AHL HD dman prospect in 20 years.

Klefbom & Nurse were on the team last year.
Holland has stated some dmen need to be taught details of attacking while maintaining defence.

Lagesson & Persson were the 2 23+ dmen mentioned ready for NHL test by Holland.
Manning is still on roster.

We know that based on HD def to their side
and WOWY results.
These dmen are capable of these slots.
xxx – Larsson
Power vs power; shared DZ, shared bench change without possession
Nurse – Russell
2nd comp; Shared DZ; shared bench change without possession
Klefbom – Benning
3 rd comp; OZ push; bench change with possession

Manning
Lagesson
Persson

Would love to see Lagesson tested Power vs Power.
Cannot do any worse than Klefbom or Nurse.
They have not proven they are able to handle 1st comp.

jeetz

Jordan,

I am willing to bet Holland and Tippett have 2 projected line ups. The pre-Christmas and post-Christmas. Some of the players they need for this roster to compete for playoffs may need some more time, plus they will need players who can take the pressure off McD and Draisaitl to start the season. Exciting times

rickithebear

Rather than pie in sky line guesses.

We need veteran PP fwds
with Tippett saying Mcd & Drai getting as much of 2 min.
That leaves 4 fwds sharing rest of PP
Drai 16 ppg
Mcdavid 9 ppg
RNH 8 ppg
Chaisson 8 ppg
Neal 7 ppg in 16-17 & 17-18
Gagner elite 8.00+ PPGF/60

You need veteran top PK forwards.
Archibald top 20
Khaira top 40
Cave showed top 50 PK potential in Boston
Kassian, Brodziak, granlund are of similiar performance.

DZ specialists
Kassian, Brodziak, Khaira, Haas, Cave

Our 2 best WOWY off fwd pairs last year.
Draisaitl – mcdavid
RNH – Kassian
You run them together for 800-900 minutes.

With PP, PK, and DZ that is 13 fwds.

Other Holland acquisitions
Jurco – one of Holland’s Under 22 fwds (20)
Gallant said 2 Nd to none skill, drives play with speed.
Nygard scoring and top speed.

Best NHLE goal scoring forwards in AHL last year.
Gambardella (25) 17 evg NHLE
Currie (26) 14 evg NHLE

Best u23 evg NHLE
Maroody 9 evg

Draisaitl – Mcdavid – Chaisson
Neal – RNH – Kassian
Granlund – Brodziak – Archibald
Khaira – Cave – Haas
Gagner – Nygard/Jurco

Gambardella
Currie
Maroody are call-ups

rickithebear

I wonder why you guys are not quoting
SB%
Fans jumping up and spilling beer at home is better team performance indicator than
GF%
CF%
DF%

These 3 100% of data cannot be trusted because of the poor differentiation resolution.

They fail to diferentiate for
Fwd NZ trap
% of 3-2-1 Def structure
Face off zone start
Bench start with or without pocession.

Spilt beer has some real correlation to actual performance.

So how about baked pies %
BP% data accuracy is 100% inaccurate when it comes to individual hockey performance.
Just like GF%, CF%, DF%

HT Joe

JimmyV1965,

Haha, the Oilers have statistically been the worst NHL team by a mile throughout the duration of Katz’s ownership.

JimmyV1965

jtblack:
Woodguy v2.0,

“So they pick “kill w/ 97” and try not give it all away when he’s on the bench, which is probably the best strategy.”

Thats been the strategy since 2011.

Strategy is flawed …
or
Bottom 6 (9) so bad the strategy couldnt work

Maybe Tippett is better off trying to saw off all lines
win on PP/ PK

We’ve been awful since before 2011 because our roster has been spectacularly flawed. That hasn’t changed. Splitting up Drai and McDavid doesn’t changed that. It just waters down what little talent we do have.

Bag of Pucks

Woodguy v2.0,

I can’t fault the HCs for using the crutch. Connor and Leon are hell on wheels together and as GeorgeXS shows, it pays off more often than not.

However, with Leon’s passing skills and RNH’s UFA out fast approaching, i think it behooves Holland and Tippett to start laying the groundwork for Leon at 2C sooner than later. That is the future imo.

3 lines at minimum that can score seems to be the current Cup recipe. If we can get two lines outscoring, that’s a good start at least.

jp

Georgexs: Larsson, Russell, and Benning all joined the Oilers in 16-17. That’s why I went with 3 seasons for the long view.

“Skewed by his minutes with Sekera” goes both ways. Sekera, outside of 16-17, had poor 5v5 results when playing top 4 minutes with the Oilers, including a miserable 17-18. He broke even last season as a $5+M 3rd pairing D, playing mostly with Benning. Benning, typically playing in the bottom of the order, tends to make everyone’s numbers look good, a partial function of 1) playing with Benning and 2) playing in the bottom of the order.

Some people made more of Sekera than his on-ice results warranted.The idea that Russell only had good numbers because of Sekera ignores the players’ careers as well as their actual numbers. Russell, playing a significant part of his career on his off-side, is in the ball park of the 5v5 player that Sekera has been while playing on his natural side. Until Sekera’s injury, for sure. Since the injury, well, who knows about Sekera…

My main issue with the 16-17 Sekera-Russell numbers was the 1035 PDO. I understand why you used the 3 seasons and it’s completely fair. And yes, Sekera may be overrated, and Russell almost certainly is underrated, in the view of many fans. Myself included.

jp

Woodguy v2.0: Wingers rarely play full seasons with one C.
Over 800 min would be among the exceptions in the league outside of very established pairs like McKinnon-Rantanen who played 990 together.
I thought it was a good compromise.
Tippet is a blender coach too, but he weak Cs in ARI

Fair point about the minutes with McDavid, but I still think 28 PTS sells him well short if he’s 1RW.

700 minutes with McDavid at 2.0P/60 = 23.3
400 minutes without McDavid at 1.0P/60 = 6.7

30 5v5 points is a #4 forward. Add in special teams points and it seems more than passable.

Also, McDavid’s wingers since 16-17 (everyone over 400 minutes):

Player Min P/60 McDavid P60
Draisaitl – 1981 2.79 3.24
Maroon — 1259 2.05 2.76
Lucic —— 970 1.48 2.29
Nuge —— 590 2.34 3.15
Kassian — 513 2.22 3.16
Puljujarvi – 408 2.05 3.24
Eberle —- 403 2.23 2.08
Rattie —– 403 2.23 3.14

Kassian looks like everyone else. If you don’t think any of them were passable then fair enough. But McDavid won scoring titles and posted 55% GF% seasons with most of them. Kassian’s offense isn’t an issue IMO.

Glovjuice

OriginalPouzar: I’m actually not against going with the 3C set:

Neal/McDavid/Kassian
Benson/Drai/Chiasson
Granlund/Nuge/Archibald
Khaira/Marody/Gagner

Haas/Nygard/

No Marody:

Nygard/Khaira/Gagner

————————

Benson/McDavid/Kassian
Nuge/Drai/Neal
Granlund/Khaira/Archibald
Nybard/Haas/Gagner

I don’t know – nothing is perfect currently and, yes, I have Benson too high on these lineups but he may just prove to be able to play in the top 6 as many talented forwards have proven to be able to do on their ELCs.

This is good stuff. Basically what I hope for also. I would Nygard in for Chia in both of these for sure. But, no chance Chia sits.

OriginalPouzar

McDavid spoke to hoping to have more consistency in linemates, i think even prior to last season – didn’t turn out that way.

All coaches blend lines – its rare to see a trio like Rantanen, Ledoskog, Mackinnon spend essentially all their even strength minutes together. I don’t know if McLellan was much “worse” than most, probably a bit, however, Hitch took it to another level – something I have never seen before in my time watching NHL hockey.

What was “ironic”, if that’s the right word, is the coach’s refusal to make pairing changes on the back-end, in particular down the stretch with Nurse/Russell were getting killed and the season was lost. I know the coach’s need to try and win every game, as they should, but that was the time to try out a few new things – its not like they would have been breaking up a pair that was working.

Of course, that was more Yawney than Hitch I would think but still.

jp

Bag of Pucks: Chemistry does take time.

I see RNH mildly complaining about his linemates carousel however, and I suspect the players would like to see the coaches being a lot more patient before they reach for the blender.

I agree with this post. I agree that more stability would make the players happier and likely lead to better results.

I don’t think one can blame line juggling for McDavid’s lack of success without Draisaitl last season. He played with 7 wingers >100 min in 17-18 and 6 >100 min in 18-19.

OriginalPouzar

BornInAGretzkyJersey:
OriginalPouzar,

It’s a $75k benefit, so marginal at best.Ference was “healthy” on LTIR but not in NHL shape, so there is recent precedence with this team.

The biggest question is will Brodz have had time enough to allow his back to heal enough to be a productive NHL player?

15
FWIW (read: next to nothing) I have him buried in the AHL on my CapFriendly roster.Like the player, but he’s lost a step.

Remember, an AHL assignment gets $1.075M of his cap off the hit.

LTIR gets zero of his cap off the hit but allows the team to go over the cap by an amount if, when he’s placed on LTIR, the Oilers are within $1.150 of the cap and only by 1.150M – the amount of cap space they had.

If the Oilers are that close to the cap near the start of the season, the team is going to have trouble managing the cap and dealing with normal course injuries and could even be precluded from calling up replacement players to replace those on the IR for 7 days or a few weeks.

Of course, if they are using LTIR relief and they do want to make a move in-season that adds cap, they are likely precluded.

I see the AHL as a much better option – he would provide some cover for call-up as well.

No to mention, I’ve seen/read no indication he’s not looking to play hockey this year – i.e. doesn’t seem to be injured and calling it a career.

Professor Q

OriginalPouzar:
Always nice to see the flames ranked last in something in particular something as important as prospect ranking (team):

https://theathletic.com/1125088/2019/08/16/pronman-2019-20-nhl-farm-system-rankings/

I suspect the Oilers will come in around the 7-10 ranking and I can’t wait to read Ponman’s deep dive.

It really does give one the Kyls, eh?

BornInAGretzkyJersey

OriginalPouzar,

It’s a $75k benefit, so marginal at best. Ference was “healthy” on LTIR but not in NHL shape, so there is recent precedence with this team.

The biggest question is will Brodz have had time enough to allow his back to heal enough to be a productive NHL player?

FWIW (read: next to nothing) I have him buried in the AHL on my CapFriendly roster. Like the player, but he’s lost a step.

OriginalPouzar

Always nice to see the flames ranked last in something in particular something as important as prospect ranking (team):

https://theathletic.com/1125088/2019/08/16/pronman-2019-20-nhl-farm-system-rankings/

I suspect the Oilers will come in around the 7-10 ranking and I can’t wait to read Ponman’s deep dive.

OriginalPouzar

Georgexs:
So if you break up CMD and Drai, who plays with Drai?

To me, the obvious choice would be RNH. Skill should play with skill and we could ice a competitive second line while letting CMD (as an elite player) compete while playing with lesser/younger names or Neal.

The problem with my plan is that RNH and Drai without CMD haven’t been able to win their minutes.

They’ve gone 9-14 on 5v5 goals in 229 minutes over 222 games w/o CMD over the past 3 seasons.

When I look at the game log, however, it seems that this pairing wasn’t given a lot of rope. Just a couple of 4 or 5 games stretches where the combination was tried and then quickly abandoned. A lot of the goal results seem to be noise, where the two of them happened to be on the ice for a GA, even though they weren’t penciled in on the same line for the game.

Drai and RNH both need to play with high end skill. There’s not enough proven high end skill to go around at this point. You can talk about how Drai and RNH need good players, or you can put them together. If they can’t beat the opposition playing together on a second line, how good are they?

I’m actually not against going with the 3C set:

Neal/McDavid/Kassian
Benson/Drai/Chiasson
Granlund/Nuge/Archibald
Khaira/Marody/Gagner

Haas/Nygard/

No Marody:

Nygard/Khaira/Gagner

————————

Benson/McDavid/Kassian
Nuge/Drai/Neal
Granlund/Khaira/Archibald
Nybard/Haas/Gagner

I don’t know – nothing is perfect currently and, yes, I have Benson too high on these lineups but he may just prove to be able to play in the top 6 as many talented forwards have proven to be able to do on their ELCs.

Nix

Reja: Once the RFA ‘s signings and rosters are straightened out I think Jesse plus a roster player or asset will be dealt for a reliable 3 rd line centre whichcan play 2nd line centre in a pitch this centre will be able to PK and win a face off when it matters unlike anyone on our staff excluding Leon when he’s on his strong side. Playoffs baby

The Rangers are flush with middling centers and are struggling to properly slot them. They also just drafted a talented young Finnish winger and JP has ties to New York anyway. Just right a wrong and get Strome back for Jessie and let’s be done with it.

OriginalPouzar

Georgexs,

That is some great and detailed info/research (as always) and I don’t know what to make of it, if anything.

What it seems to say to me is that, when the coach is forced to change it up, they are losing more than they win but, when the coach sticks with the original plan, the team has a positive points percentage.

Makes intuitive sense.

Perhaps it could mean: “When he “sticks with it”, the results are positive. There isn’t a way to know how many times, things were going poorly, he stuck with it, and they came back. Well, there is a way but that’s ALOT of work.

OriginalPouzar

Reja: Once the RFA ‘s signings and rosters are straightened out I think Jesse plus a roster player or asset will be dealt for a reliable 3 rd line centre whichcan play 2nd line centre in a pitch this centre will be able to PK and win a face off when it matters unlike anyone on our staff excluding Leon when he’s on his strong side. Playoffs baby

I’m not sure the Rangers are looking to move Ryan Strome…….

Although I’m skeptical he’s going to go, if Jesse is indeed going to play in Ligga, I presume he’s over there far before the time you mention above – certain European leagues are already playing exhibition games and their seasons will be long underway.

OriginalPouzar

deardylan:
When does pre season really start? Does this list make the leaves turn colour faster?

I believe September 16 – the day the wife leaves to Europe for a couple of weeks (10 days after she gets back from doing the West Coast Trail, an 8 day voyage with the travel to remote Vancouver Island).

Not that she ever stops me, all preseason games available at Chateau O. Pouzar!

P.S. Oilers Rookies vs. Flames Rookies – Sept 9 an 12.

Very much looking forward to those games as well.

OriginalPouzar

As per ON, Klef has been skating with the usual cast of NHLers back home and Nygard has been with them.

Klef raves about his skating and explosiveness.

He does warn about the adjustment to the NHL ice indicating its real and is looking forward to seeing how Nygard adjusts because they could use his skill set.

This is kind of a nothing post but we’ve heard alot about his skating and it does sound like its a real asset when seen up close.

judgedrude

So, LT, what you’re essentially saying is that there is no Reisen for a balance photo this year?

pts2pndr

Material Elvis: If Benson’s competition for 2LW is Khaira and Nygard then he will likely make it.His skill level is much higher than the other two and should be a better complement to RNH and James Neal.A Benson-RNH-Marody second line would be very intriguing at some point next season.I still wouldn’t be surprised if Holland added a more established forward just before training camp starts.

Re: JP, I would peg his odds of being in the Oilers lineup on opening night at 10/1 or less, given the position he put his agent and team in, and his most recent comments.Chemistry:it’s a thing.A team has to be galvanized in order to get maximum performance.JP does not want to be a member of the team so there is absolutely no way he should be here in the fall.

Both Khaira and Nygard are far superior skaters! Khaira also brings an element of toughness. I will give you the fact that Benson is a superior passer and his hockey IQ is off the charts. I would like to see Benson start lower down the lineup initially but do think he has potential to fill one of the top six spots depending somewhat on his skating.

Reja

Material Elvis: Richard,

Is your post attempting to compare JP with Matthew Tkachuk?If it is, you can stop right now.Calgary got the better player and it’s not close.

Is your post trying to defend JP’s lack of playing time with McDavid?The team has access to all of the numbers that you do (er…maybe not) but coaches don’t base their playing time and roster decisions on cherrypicked statistics.If you are a coach in the NHL and the best player in the world says to you, “Coach please don’t play me with player X because he’s awful”, then you are not going to respond by pulling up the naturalstattrick website on your phone in order to convince him otherwise.McDavid doesn’t seem like a vindictive guy who’s trying to block JP’s career from advancing; he doesn’t like the fit.It was not only Todd McLellan but Ken Hitchcock who did not play JP in his anointed position on McDavid’s wing.Why not?They must not want to win, right?No!They want to win more than you and I.

Once the RFA ‘s signings and rosters are straightened out I think Jesse plus a roster player or asset will be dealt for a reliable 3 rd line centre which can play 2nd line centre in a pitch this centre will be able to PK and win a face off when it matters unlike anyone on our staff excluding Leon when he’s on his strong side. Playoffs baby

Tesla's Hair

When does pre season really start? Does this list make the leaves turn colour faster?

Bruce said…

“Seen a man standin’ over a dead dog lyin’ by the highway in a ditch
He’s lookin’ down kinda puzzled pokin’ that dog with a stick
Got his car door flung open he’s standin’ out on Highway 31
Like if he stood there long enough that dog’d get up and run

Struck me kinda funny seem kinda funny sir to me
Still at the end of every hard day people find some reason to believe”

https://www.springsteenlyrics.com/lyrics.php?song=reasontobelieve

OriginalPouzar

rickithebear: Tkachuk generated 10 evg at 19 with most of his minutes with Backlund Frolik.
Jesse generated 10 evg at 19 with less EVTOI and high % of his play with Lucic and Khaira.

Those numbers screamed play him with Mcdavid.

So what do PC and Tmac do?
Give 8 wingers more time with Mcdavid.
8 wingers start in a game.
Rattie got 200+ more EVTOI. Rattle FFS!

The team told him to FUCK OFF.

The usage facts say any other narrative is Bull Shit!

Yes, Lucic has been Jesse’s most common linemate through his three years but its odd that you mention Khaira who was his 5th and behind his TOI with McDavid and Nuge. Drai was 6th, essentially the same amount of time as he spend playing with Khaira.

OriginalPouzar

MaterialElvis: Bingo.He is naturally gifted offensively.If he isn’t a train wreck in his own zone, it will be near impossible to keep him out of the lineup specifically, off of PP1.Klefbom and Nurse just cannot do the same things with the puck.Plus he has that right handed shot and that will be tailor-made for Draisaitl’s one-timer (the Elias Petterson spot), and McDavid’s cross-ice feed for Persson’s one-timer (I think of a Ryan Ellis comparable for that shot).If he can pull it off, it would take so much pressure off of Bouchard to become ‘that guy’ right away, which is a big bonus.

I’m going to be cautiously optimistic and take the over on Stauffer’s projection for Persson.

Is the shot Ryan Ellis level because that is a weapon?

jtblack

Woodguy v2.0,

“So they pick “kill w/ 97” and try not give it all away when he’s on the bench, which is probably the best strategy.”

Thats been the strategy since 2011.

Strategy is flawed …
or
Bottom 6 (9) so bad the strategy couldnt work

Maybe Tippett is better off trying to saw off all lines
win on PP / PK

Material Elvis

rickithebear: Tkachuk generated 10 evg at 19 with most of his minutes with Backlund & Frolik.
Jesse generated 10 evg at 19 with less EVTOI and high % of his play with Lucic and Khaira.

Those numbers screamed play him with Mcdavid.

So what do PC and Tmac do?
Give 8 wingers more time with Mcdavid.
8 wingers start in a game.
Rattie got 200+ more EVTOI. Rattle FFS!

The team told him to FUCK OFF.

The usage facts say any other narrative is Bull Shit!

Richard,

Is your post attempting to compare JP with Matthew Tkachuk? If it is, you can stop right now. Calgary got the better player and it’s not close.

Is your post trying to defend JP’s lack of playing time with McDavid? The team has access to all of the numbers that you do (er…maybe not) but coaches don’t base their playing time and roster decisions on cherrypicked statistics. If you are a coach in the NHL and the best player in the world says to you, “Coach please don’t play me with player X because he’s awful”, then you are not going to respond by pulling up the naturalstattrick website on your phone in order to convince him otherwise. McDavid doesn’t seem like a vindictive guy who’s trying to block JP’s career from advancing; he doesn’t like the fit. It was not only Todd McLellan but Ken Hitchcock who did not play JP in his anointed position on McDavid’s wing. Why not? They must not want to win, right? No! They want to win more than you and I.

OriginalPouzar

BagofPucks:
Looking at a depth chart with Leon at 1LW instead of 2C seems fundamentally wrong.

For the old boys on the board, how long did Slats wait to move Messier from LW to C? The emergence of two outscoring pairs (Gretzky/Kurri, Messier/Anderson) is the lynchpin in the Dynasty.

We acknowledge RNH doesn’t push the river but continue with him at 2C?

If I’m Tippet, I’m starting McDavid and Draisaitl down the middle and from RNH, Neal, Benson, Chaisson, Lavoie,etc. I’m finding those two complimentary players that will create these mythical outscoring pairs.

Connor and Leon works wonderfully well, but it’s a one trick pony that has gotten this team nowhere. This coach crutch needs to be kicked to the curb and a proper approach to depth scoring pursued imo.

I too want to see Drai centering a separate line from McDavid, however, the coach has spoken about pairs and included McDavid/Drai as one of those pairs. When asked about splitting them, he was always, of course, said that’s an option but been fairly clear that his current thoughts are to start them together.

We can discuss how we, as fans and posters, would like to see the roster deployed and/or we can talk about how we foresee the coaching staff deploying the roster – different conversations, that can be blended.

rickithebear

How many playoffs would our team make with 212GA with the GF from each season.
12-13 would be pro rated.

Season; lowest playoff +/-; Edmonton’s differential
18-19; WC +14; Edm +20; playoffs
17-18; WC +5; Edm +23; playoffs
16-17; WC +10; Edm +35; playoffs
15-16; WC +10; Edm -9; None
14-15; WC +20; Edm -14; None
13-14; WC +1; Edm -9; None
12-13; WC -5; Edm +1; playoffs
11-12; WC +10; Edm Even; None
10-11; WC +5; Edm -19; None

Strong ga and even g fwd depth would get us in Playoffs.

Less 3-1-1-1 over the last 2 years would have been a good thing.

OriginalPouzar

jp: I really don’t believe we’ll see Russell in the press box in favor of multiple rookies, no matter how good their camp is. Possibly as the season wears on, but on Oct. 2nd the likelihood is all but zero IMO.

I agree with this completely and have expressed the same.

OriginalPouzar

GordieHoweHatTrick:
Why would Brodziak be LTIR and not in Bakersfield? Is he hurt? Would he not go? Are there advantages to the team having him listed LTIR in terms of cap space?
Thanks!

I’ve read Brodz on LTIR alot and I don’t see it. You can’t place a healthy player on LTIR. Sure, there are ways around that but, technically, its not an option.

His cap his goes away almost completely if assigned to Bakersfield – a nominal amount stays. I think the premise is the veteran may not report. Oh well.

There could be some cap benefit of placing him on LTIR – if the team is right up at the camp at the time of placement, they would get a bonus cushion to go over the cap. With that said, I sure hope that’s not the case as its a terrible way to manage the cap and, if they are using the LTIR cushion, they are greatly reducing the ability to make an in-season improvements – they aren’t accruing any cap space daily to bank.

Woodguy v2.0

Bag of Pucks,

I think the reason McLellan, Hitch played 97/29 together a lot and why Tippett is mentioning playing them together is because winning the power v power matchup is the toughest matchup to win and if the D/G aren’t a gongshow 97/29 not only win it, but kill it, which sets up the other ~35 minutes of 5v5 with an advantage and that is *huge*

The issue on EDM imo is that there isn’t enough high end help to win the 2nd line minutes regardless of whether it’s 29 or 93 being the C.

Who a player plays with is critical and EDM doesn’t have enough help to both kill 97 minutes and beat 29/93 2nd line minutes.

So they pick “kill w/ 97” and try not give it all away when he’s on the bench, which is probably the best strategy.

Holland bring in enough players to re-make most of the bottom six.

Tippett has said he won’t overwork the goalies and that’s HUGE imo.

I think the biggest bogey for whether or not EDM is competitive for a playoff spot this year is how well the 1st pair defends and most of that depends on how Larsson plays.

Kinda rambling but wanted to reply.

OriginalPouzar

GordieHoweHatTrick:
Thanks LT!
In the myriad of LD, Nurse has rather unique attributes compared to the others. IF he continues to progress (e.g., modest improvement with passing) and can play top pairing and PK, he is the keeper and Klefbom is the trade for legit top 6 winger. This of course ONLY happens after another solid display from Nurse and a trade of Russell and proven bottom 4 LD in the “Jones/Lagesson domain” to “replace” Klef in the 2nd pair (until Bro/Sam are also in the mix). Also, based on these aforementioned points, not trading him this year. Even 2-3 years remaining on Klef’s contract would have enormous value in procuring a top 6 winger with approximate same $ and term. I don’t want to trade him, but if things progress he is the one that should get the most in return.

I can’t really disagree with any of this.

I have it in my head that Klefbom’s contract is such great value (when he’s mainly healthy) that it shouldn’t be moved, in particular given the cap crunch will be here for a little while still.

At the same time, such value contract also heightens the trade value.

The return would have to be something special indeed, in my mind.

A couple important points:

– as mentioned, a trade of Klef (or Nurse) is too risky until a youngster truly proves to be ready for that 2LD – not not necessarily at the Klef level but at least a legit 2LD. The org could be in this position in a year or it may take a couple

– general internal options, in order of deemed readiness – Jones, Lagesson, Samorukov, Broberg

Nope, most wouldn’t include Lagesson as a 2LD option, however, I really think he can be a legit 2LD that is a high end defender who is also mobile and move the puck. We are likely some time away from that but, I could see him thrive at 2LD in the future – even with a guy like Bouchard or a more mobile guy like Persson (if he pops).

Sammy is the wild card – when will he arrive? I do think he gets the year in AHL and likely needs it but he could pop earlier, it happens. He does have a plus defensive game and plus ability to battle on the boards – combine that with his skating and maybe he’s a quick developer in pro hockey. He does need some time to develop his defensive decision making – i.e. when to step up at the blue line but I think he’s going to be a quick study.

Bling

rickithebear: Tkachuk generated 10 evg at 19 with most of his minutes with Backlund & Frolik.
Jesse generated 10 evg at 19 with less EVTOI and high % of his play with Lucic and Khaira.

Those numbers screamed play him with Mcdavid.

So what do PC and Tmac do?
Give 8 wingers more time with Mcdavid.
8 wingers start in a game.
Rattie got 200+ more EVTOI. Rattle FFS!

The team told him to FUCK OFF.

The usage facts say any other narrative is Bull Shit!

What happened and what is happening with JP is just a complete waste.

One doesn’t have to look much further than Strome to see how wildly talented Lucic is at suppressing the offence of his linemates.

I still think his best play is to come to camp, because he is the best option for the 1RW spot. Does he know it?

OriginalPouzar

uncamiltie:
Just got back from Saskatchewan and no computer so missed yesterdays post till now.Have to congratulate you OP on your sobriety. wonderful to hear.
Bag of Pucks, loved your take on addiction and cancer. I am a survivor of both and you hit a cord with me.
LT. thank you so much for this site, almost a daily read and I have learned so much over the years.

Thank you and, as it reads, I must offer a similar contrats right back at ya. Keep on fighting!