Riesen to Believe, 2019 Volume 1

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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115 Responses to "Riesen to Believe, 2019 Volume 1"

  1. godot10 says:

    The optimal deployment of the D.

    Nurse Larsson Shutdown Pair, D-zone Starts
    Klefbom Persson O-zone Starts, rookie with a vet.
    Lagesson(or Jones), Benning, Soft minutes Benning slotted properly. rookie with a vet.
    Russell

  2. OriginalPouzar says:

    3 weeks until the rookies hit the ice.

    Pumped!

  3. Glovjuice says:

    godot10:
    The optimal deployment of the D.

    Nurse LarssonShutdown Pair, D-zone Starts
    Klefbom PerssonO-zone Starts, rookie with a vet.
    Lagesson(or Jones), Benning, Soft minutesBenning slotted properly.rookie with a vet.
    Russell

    THIS is exactly the correct deployment.

  4. dustrock says:

    Hoo-wah that RW depth chart is something special.

  5. godot10 says:

    dustrock:
    Hoo-wah that RW depth chart is something special.

    Both Draisaitl and Neal could end up on right wing. Certainly one of them might. Both have played more on right wing than left in their careers.

  6. unca miltie says:

    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.

  7. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    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.

  8. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    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!

  9. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    “James Neal, 31. I think Ken Holland made out like a bandit with this trade, even if it doesn’t work out.”
    HA. This statement epitomizes the stench of the Lucic contract.

  10. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    Too soon for me to say this with any confidence, but WTF…

    Regardless of training camp performance I think the team (Coach/GM) will go with the older players for the opening night roster…UNLESS all of the new “Vets” (>23 yr old) selected for the initial line-up poop the bed.

    After going to Bake for a few months to lick their wounds of being cut and get their games going – Benson & Marody will get significant chances in the line up. UNLESS of course, all the “Vets” in the line-up are lights out – but I don’t think that will be the case.

  11. Lowetide says:

    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!

    He wasn’t right a year ago and if he doesn’t recover this year it’s a good guess his career ends. So, if you’re Brodziak, LTIR might be preferable to Bakersfield for the season. Then again, maybe he wants to coach and that offers a transition. I’m guessing LTIR. Hope he recovers, always liked him.

  12. OriginalPouzar says:

    Goalies:

    I was adamant that Koskinen wasn’t good enough, just awful but for his October/November heater, even before he was overworked later in the year. I believe some numbers were posted earlier this offseason to show that many I mis-remembered and he performed better than I remember when not tired.

    With that said, he does have to be better overall and more consistent – I’d rather him give the team a chance to win generally with solid tending that be either lights out or leaky.

    I’m not concerned about his “glove hand”, my concern from watching him, with an untrained eye, was his angles – he seems to constantly not be square to the shooters and bad angle shots would leak through him consistently. I thought this was likely due to adjustment to the ice surface but it seemed to get worse as the year went on.

    I take some solace in the fact that both our goalies have proven to be able to “get hot” for stretches are provide high end tending. Maybe, just maybe, they will trade off being hot and the team will generally have plus tending?

    I’m excited for Starrett to get a couple starts. Hopefully Smith’s groins hold but, like Kris Russell, its reasonable to expect him to miss at least one stretch with some sort of ailment.

  13. OriginalPouzar says:

    Not listed because not signed in the NHL but I’m loving the bet on Konovalov – the more I read and hear about him (CoH podcast a few weeks back). That was an enormous rookie season in the KHL last year. Can’t wait to see if he can build on it.

    He’s signed for two more years in the KHL and then is up to sign at the same time both Wells and Skinner become RFAs – great timing I think as the org can make a decision on which 1, 2 or 3 of them to sign.

    Rodrigue is younger and more raw – miles to go – lets hope for a WJC starting role (through the tournament).

  14. OriginalPouzar says:

    Its tough for me to split a conversation on the defence in to leftie/rightie as there are only two 100% right d-man – Larsson and Benning.

    A bounce-back season from Larsson is imperative to this team’s success. I really think his farther’s surprise passing has weighed heavy on him and was a material part of his tough season last year. Fair enough. Being a year farther removed from the passing could be something.

    Most are excited for Nurse to, presumably, have a different partner this year and to see where his game goes. His spike on offensive production last year wasn’t really a spike but was due to getting PP time. His plus 5 on 5 production has been something for almost 3 full seasons now and its reasonable to except near 30 even strength points. Spiking to 40 plus again is likely contingent on PP time and, with Klefbom healthy to start the year and potentially a guy like Persson in the linuep, perhaps his PP time will be reduced once again. That may be a good thing for his next contract but that is not something Tippett should care about.

    Nurse/Larsson was exceptional two seasons ago and here is hoping it gets a chance and can regain previous form winning minutes against top comp. That would also allow for a Klefbom/Benning 2nd pairing which has seen success in the past.

    Maybe Persson can handle the 2RD but, until he proves it, I can’t pencil him in there and it has to be Benning. I am very hopeful Persson is a legit NHL d-man at even because, from watching his highlights, his puck moving and PP acumen are real and substantial. If he can prove to be a legit guy at evens, this could be a big find. We’ll know in a few months.

    We all know I think Willie L. is ready for 3LD but I don’t think we see him until a call-up – that’s OK – He and Bear can start the season as the top pairing in the Bake.

    Wildcard: Would Tippett actually healthy scratch Kris Russell on October 2 if a couple of Lagesson, Persson and Jones (or even Bear I guess), have really strong camps?

    Kris Russell has a place in this lineup and can/does help the team, but, if those kids are ready (or look to be), how do they not play?

  15. OriginalPouzar says:

    Really tough to talk about the forwards, in particular by position and spot in the lineup given there is a chance for so many to play up and down the lineup and at various positions.

    The gating matters to me:

    – Can Benson and/or Marody prove to be legit NHL players this season and, if so, can Benson stick as 2LW and can Marody stick as 3C or 2/3RW?

    – Are Nygard and/or Haas actual NHL players?

    Some key battles I can’t wait to watch unfold:

    – Kharia vs. Benson for 2LW (with some Neal, Nygard thrown in to the mix)

    – Khaira vs. Haas vs. Marody for 3C

    Really like the make-up of Granlund/Archibald as the 3rd line wingers – who will be between them.

    Wildcard: Puljujarvi under contract and at camp. Is there a chance?

  16. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lots of talk in yesterday’s thread about McDavid, his linemates and his GA issues.

    Someone mentioned McDavid “took a step back last year” and I actually agree. I believe his GA issues were due a combination of:

    – too many minutes in general
    – knowing that he (and Leon) pretty much were the offence, i.e. additional pressure to produce
    – a bit of cheating for offence/lazy defensive zone play due to the above

    Its imperative that this team has four lines that can take a regular shift. Of course, Tippet shouldn’t just role 4 lines but that 4th line needs to be able to play semi-regular minutes and keep/gain momentum and lets the top lines rest.

  17. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar:

    Wildcard: Would Tippett actually healthy scratch Kris Russell on October 2 if a couple of Lagesson, Persson and Jones (or even Bear I guess), have really strong camps?

    Kris Russell has a place in this lineup and can/does help the team, but, if those kids are ready (or look to be), how do they not play?

    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.

  18. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Lots of talk in yesterday’s thread about McDavid, his linemates and his GA issues.

    Someone mentioned McDavid “took a step back last year” and I actually agree. I believe his GA issues were due a combination of:

    – too many minutes in general
    – knowing that he (and Leon) pretty much were the offence, i.e. additional pressure to produce
    – a bit of cheating for offence/lazy defensive zone play due to the above

    Sometimes players just struggle too, see Larsson (struggle being a relative term in McDavid’s case).

    Very often we never know the reasons (I expect the players themselves don’t either in many cases) but things most often right themselves. Very likely McDavid and his line will be back to dominant outscoring whoever his line mates are.

  19. McNuge93 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Not listed because not signed in the NHL but I’m loving the bet on Konovalov – the more I read and hear about him (CoH podcast a few weeks back). That was an enormous rookie season in the KHL last year. Can’t wait to see if he can build on it.

    He’s signed for two more years in the KHL and then is up to sign at the same time both Wells and Skinner become RFAs – great timing I think as the org can make a decision on which 1, 2 or 3 of them to sign.

    Rodrigue is younger and more raw – miles to go – lets hope for a WJC starting role (through the tournament).

    Yes, and the beauty of it he can develop independently of Wells and Skinner in the KHL. Not competing for ice time or which league he plays in. (AHL or lower) Hopefully one of the prospects is ready in two years.

    And we could really end up regretting trading Nurse. He has the tools. As most of you are saying, we do not trade any one of Klef, Nurse or Larsson until the prospects are absolutely pushing them out the door.

  20. Bag of Pucks says:

    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.

  21. jp says:

    LT, I love these write-ups with player predictions/projections. Thank you, and I agree pretty much across the board.

    It’s going to be a fascinating camp with so many extra players than spots on the roster.

  22. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    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%

    When you just look at his time with McDavid we saw this: (all 5v5)

    TOI: 428min
    G/60 .84
    A/60 1.12
    PTS/60 1.96

    In the 428 with McDavid he put up 6-8-14

    Pro-rated to a full season of ~860min with 97 is 12-16-28

    Still not great considering who is playing C but “passable” if the LW is Leon.

  23. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Goalies:

    I was adamant that Koskinen wasn’t good enough, just awful but for his October/November heater, even before he was overworked later in the year. I believe some numbers were posted earlier this offseason to show that many I mis-remembered and he performed better than I remember when not tired.

    With that said, he does have to be better overall and more consistent – I’d rather him give the team a chance to win generally with solid tending that be either lights out or leaky.

    I’m not concerned about his “glove hand”, my concern from watching him, with an untrained eye, was his angles – he seems to constantly not be square to the shooters and bad angle shots would leak through him consistently.I thought this was likely due to adjustment to the ice surface but it seemed to get worse as the year went on.

    I take some solace in the fact that both our goalies have proven to be able to “get hot” for stretches are provide high end tending. Maybe, just maybe, they will trade off being hot and the team will generally have plus tending?

    I’m excited for Starrett to get a couple starts.Hopefully Smith’s groins hold but, like Kris Russell, its reasonable to expect him to miss at least one stretch with some sort of ailment.

    Goaltending is almost a complete wild card. I’m not down on Koskinen, I absolutely believe he ‘could’ be a strong starter, but it’s very far from guaranteed. Smith also could be a positive. But both of them run basically the entire spectrum of outcomes. Hopefully the tending holds.

    On Starrett, yes he’s very likely to get a few NHL games due to injury. What a huge year for him. If he can keep up his strong play from last year (and performs well in a call up) he’ll likely pave the path to a backup job with the Oilers in 2020-21.

  24. Bag of Pucks says:

    unca miltie:
    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.

    Happy to hear it. I’m never sure with a post like that if it’s going to be perceived in the manner intended. Glad you took a constructive take from it.

  25. Lowetide says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    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?

    I think Messier was taking faceoffs early, recall him playing with Weir as center but taking faceoffs. He was famously moved in ’83-84 and that locked the Stanley action but it was on-again, off-again for years.

  26. jp says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    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%

    When you just look at his time with McDavid we saw this: (all 5v5)

    TOI: 428min
    G/60 .84
    A/60 1.12
    PTS/60 1.96

    In the 428 with McDavid he put up 6-8-14

    Pro-rated to a full season of ~860min with 97 is 12-16-28

    Still not great consider who is playing C but “passable” is the LW is Leon.

    But that isn’t a full season. Kassian played 1049 minutes 5 on 5 last year (13:16 per game), even with half of it spent in the bottom 6. And you’re isolating only minutes he spent with McDavid.

    In the second half he scored 41-13-9-22 and played 16:30 per game (total TOI). Isn’t 26-18-44 a more fair pro-rating of Kassian as 1RW?

  27. Bag of Pucks says:

    Lowetide: I think Messier was taking faceoffs early, recall him playing with Weir as center but taking faceoffs. He was famously moved in ’83-84 and that locked the Stanley action but it was on-again, off-again for years.

    Man, I guess it took them longer to make the move than I remember.

    I think there is a similarity there, in that, like Draisaitl, Messier presented as more goalscorer than playmaker early on. By my eye, Leon is an elite playmaker and that’s why I think he’s somewhat miscast as McDavid’s finisher. It’s undoubtedly a role he can fill (50!) but is it making best uses of his passing skills?

    McDavid puts the D so much on their heels, I’m not convinced you need a Malkin/Thornton type player alongside to cash those opportunities. Neal may actually be the perfect fit. A one shot sniper trailing the play to collect all the garbage.

    I want to see that scenario where’s McDavid’s line exhausts the opposition and before their D can change, Leon’s line comes over the boards. Sustained pressure from two elite pairs.

  28. Lowetide says:

    Bag of Pucks: Man, I guess it took them longer to make the move than I remember.

    I think there is a similarity there, in that, like Draisaitl, Messier presented as more goalscorer than playmaker early on. By my eye, Leon is an elite playmaker and that’s why I think he’s somewhat miscast as McDavid’s finisher. It’s undoubtedly a role he can fill (50!) but is it making best uses of his passing skills?

    McDavid puts the D so much on their heels, I’m not convinced you need a Malkin/Thornton type player alongside to cash those opportunities. Neal may actually be the perfect fit. A one shot sniper trailing the play to collect all the garbage.

    Part of it was that Messier was really good (he was named to the first all-star team in 1981-82 and 1982-83 as a LW) and the acquisition of Ken Linseman in 1982 gave the team a fabulous No. 2 center. However, Messier did play the middle at times in those years, too.

  29. Bag of Pucks says:

    Lowetide: Part of it was that Messier was really good (he was named to the first all-star team in 1981-82 and 1982-83 as a LW) and the acquisition of Ken Linseman in 1982 gave the team a fabulous No. 2 center. However, Messier did play the middle at times in those years, too.

    By the time he gets to the Rangers though, he’s driving the middle of the ice with that dual threat of his lethal wrister or a timely dish to Graves or Amonte. That’s what Leon is capable of with the right linemates. And like Crosby, McDavid can generate offense without needing an elite driver alongside.

    Both MacLellan and Hitch were too under the gun for instant results. They tried to spread the wealth but if the chemistry went dormant for a game or two, they went back to Butch and Sundance. Tippet needs to commit to finding outscoring pairs with chemistry that’s not dependent on all of the elites in one basket. That’s what the powerplay is for.

  30. Reja says:

    Lowetide: Part of it was that Messier was really good (he was named to the first all-star team in 1981-82 and 1982-83 as a LW) and the acquisition of Ken Linseman in 1982 gave the team a fabulous No. 2 center. However, Messier did play the middle at times in those years, too.

    When’s the last time the Oilers had a rat with skill. Loved him.

  31. Bag of Pucks says:

    Reja: When’s the last time the Oilers had a rat with skill. Loved him.

    Bryan Marchment & Todd Harvey were both pests, but not to the skill level of ‘The Rat’ by a long shot. The Oil need more of this player type imo. Kassian fits the bill but he goes to sleep on being an agitator sometimes.

    Playing against a dink like that can really throw you off your game. You’re sitting on the bench thinking about how to punch him in the face instead of how to defeat their forecheck.

  32. Jordan says:

    I am very excited to see how the coach decides to select and deploy the players Ken has brought in.

    There are a lot of good options for all bottom 6 roles, which should allow the coach to deploy them in a way that will suit his game plan for them.

    Presuming the coaches can effectively select the best options available for the roles they want, the bottom 6 should be a big strength this year, and at a very reasonable cap hit.

    The big questions are who steps into the top 6 forwards and can complement Nuge, CMD, Leon and Neal. Kassian seems a decent bet based on history and range of skills, but isn’t a lock, due to limited offense. Nygard has had great success as a top line option, but not in the NHL. Marody and Benson are not NHL tested and have not show the quick boots necessary for NHL Scoring lines. Same problem for Chiasson and Gagner, but they do have NHL experience.

    Same questions with the D, but that’s been discussed to death because it’s much less complex I. That there are fewer options for fewer roles.

    As long as one of Smith and Koskinen can be adequate in goal,we have a hope.

    As long as Kenny doesn’t send away more assets for poor bets or stop gaps, I’ll be pleased. Pete pissed away a lot of value trying to find the answer back there, and failed to address it long-term.

    Very excited to see what kind of team we will have in 6 weeks.

  33. defmn says:

    Bag of Pucks: Man, I guess it took them longer to make the move than I remember.

    I think there is a similarity there, in that, like Draisaitl, Messier presented as more goalscorer than playmaker early on. By my eye, Leon is an elite playmaker and that’s why I think he’s somewhat miscast as McDavid’s finisher. It’s undoubtedly a role he can fill (50!) but is it making best uses of his passing skills?

    McDavid puts the D so much on their heels, I’m not convinced you need a Malkin/Thornton type player alongside to cash those opportunities. Neal may actually be the perfect fit. A one shot sniper trailing the play to collect all the garbage.

    I don’t think you are alone in thinking this. For me this is the most important move the new management and coach can make. It will determine, imo, whether they are really interested in a long term plan for success or if that is just gum flapping and we are continuing down the road of hoping to be mediocre.

  34. Reja says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    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 get what your saying but Anderson and Kurri weren’t chopped liver they would have been great where ever they ended up. One of my favourite lines all- time Anderson Messier Hagman they were so raw but that line could flat out fly. They introduced and mastered the pass from behind the net in the same direction they entered at warp 5 speed for the easy tap in making the Goalie look foolish.

  35. Reja says:

    Bag of Pucks: Bryan Marchment & Todd Harvey were both pests, but not to the skill level of ‘The Rat’ by a long shot. The Oil need more of this player type imo. Kassian fits the bill but he goes to sleep on being an agitator sometimes.

    Playing against a dink like that can really throw you off your game. You’re sitting on the bench thinking about how to punch him in the face instead of how to defeat their forecheck.

    We passed up on a real dink 3 hours south. On the bright side we don’t have to pay 8.5 for someone that can’t skate.

  36. Georgexs says:

    Here are the numbers @ 5v5 for the returning D regulars from last season:

    Player, GP, TOI/GP, GF%

    Benning, 70, 12:53, 55.84
    Russell, 72, 17:45, 50.51
    Nurse, 82, 18:58, 46.32
    Klefbom, 61, 18:33, 40.0
    Larsson, 82, 18:53, 36.89

    And here are their numbers from the last 3 seasons:

    Player, GP, TOI/GP, GF%

    Benning, 205, 14:26, 54.44
    Nurse, 208, 18:10, 50.47
    Russell, 218, 17:18, 49.46
    Larsson, 224, 18:29, 47.67
    Klefbom, 209, 17:31, 46.49

    “The simplest way to improve the defense is to move Russell to third pair.”

    Comparatively, the 5v5 results with Russell on the ice haven’t been the problem.

    If Tippett takes the course of action you suggest, or if he chooses to make Russell his 7D, he’ll need starkly different results from Larsson and Klefbom as well as a breakthrough campaign from one (or two) of the prospects. Three if Benning is already targeted for a trade.

    That’s a lot to ask for.

    Happily, Tippett has yet to get involved in a land war in Asia.

  37. jtblack says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    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.

    +1. MCD & LEON will get PP, 4×4 & 3×3 time together. Other than that, split them up – in the name of Balance.

  38. Bag of Pucks says:

    Reja: We passed up on a real dink 3 hours south.On the bright side we don’t have to pay 8.5 for someone that can’t skate.

    I think he’d lost his taste for being a shit disturber though, plus you can’t punch what you can’t catch.

  39. jp says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    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.

    Lowetide: Part of it was that Messier was really good (he was named to the first all-star team in 1981-82 and 1982-83 as a LW) and the acquisition of Ken Linseman in 1982 gave the team a fabulous No. 2 center. However, Messier did play the middle at times in those years, too.

    Messier scored 50 as a winger (mostly) too, so it’s a damn good comparison.

    Though it was so much easier to score 50 back then. Messier was was one of 10 players to score 50 in 81-82. Draisaitl is one of only 5 in the last decade. Really incredible accomplishment.

  40. godot10 says:

    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.

    Because it worked so well with Russell for the last two years. More of the same please. We love 80 point seasons and missing the playoffs. That is what Russell gets you.

    Start as you mean to go on.

  41. jp says:

    Bag of Pucks: By the time he gets to the Rangers though, he’s driving the middle of the ice with that dual threat of his lethal wrister or a timely dish to Graves or Amonte. That’s what Leon is capable of with the right linemates. And like Crosby, McDavid can generate offense without needing an elite driver alongside.

    Both MacLellan and Hitch were too under the gun for instant results. They tried to spread the wealth but if the chemistry went dormant for a game or two, they went back to Butch and Sundance. Tippet needs to commit to finding outscoring pairs with chemistry that’s not dependent on all of the elites in one basket. That’s what the powerplay is for.

    I’m not as strong on Leon needing to play C as you are, though I do agree it’s most probably the way forward.

    In terms of last season though McDavid really struggled badly away from Draisaitl.

    McDavid GF% with Draisaitl vs without:
    16-17 59.4% 65.5%
    17-18 57.4% 57.8%
    18-19 56.4% 39.2%

    I don’t know how much you can blame the coaches for keeping the pair together considering what happened when they were split up.

  42. Reja says:

    Bag of Pucks: I think he’d lost his taste for being a shit disturber though, plus you can’t punch what you can’t catch.

    Tkachuk family will torture Treliving for every cent possible and l love it. I disagree on Marchment being a pest he was a Nasty Career ending prick that carved out a good career.

  43. jp says:

    godot10: Because it worked so well with Russell for the last two years.More of the same please.We love 80 point seasons and missing the playoffs.That is what Russell gets you.

    Start as you mean to go on.

    Well my comment was based on what I believe WILL happen, not what I think would be best for the team. I think the chance that Tippett sits Russell to start the season is nil.

    That aside, if we’re following your logic then we need to send away a lot more players than Russell on day 1.

    I welcome the day that the young defenders make Russell redundant and take his job, but the evidence that Persson/Jones/Lagesson are better hockey players than Russell today is non existent.

  44. hags9k says:

    “1. Zack Kassian, 28. Per 82gp as an Oiler, he scored 10-14-24.

    9. Jesse Puljujarvi, 21. Per 82gp, he is 10-12-22 in the NHL.”

    JP’s agent must have eaten a lot of paint chips as a kid. This depth chart is on a silver platter. Man.

  45. Professor Q says:

    Reja: Tkachuk family will torture Treliving for every cent possible and l love it. I disagreeon Marchment being a pest he was a Nasty Career ending prick that carved out a good career.

    It really makes me feel bad as a Knights fan that a lot of these kids coming out of London are acting like this recently.

    Hopefully Bouchard is a good example rather than a follower of Tkachuk and Marner.

  46. Lowetide says:

    hags9k:
    “1. Zack Kassian, 28. Per 82gp as an Oiler, he scored 10-14-24.

    9. Jesse Puljujarvi, 21. Per 82gp, he is 10-12-22 in the NHL.”

    JP’s agent must have eaten a lot of paint chips as a kid.This depth chart is on a silver platter.Man.

    Haha. True.

  47. Professor Q says:

    Also, poor Laine, if his word is true.

    That’s worse than the Puljujärvi situation.

    You’re up for your RFA re-signing negotiation and the organization that supposedly wants you just cold blocks you the entire Summer and doesn’t talk to you about anything or invite you to anywhere.

  48. Georgexs says:

    Which teams make the playoffs?

    One reasonable guess would be the teams that made the playoffs in the previous season.

    Season, # of playoff teams that made the playoffs in the previous season

    00, 14
    01, 11
    02, 10
    03, 12
    05, 11
    06, 11
    07, 11
    08, 11
    09, 10
    10, 13
    11, 12
    12, 11
    13, 11
    14, 9
    15, 11
    16, 9
    17, 9
    18, 11

    1. Since 2000-01 (when the league expanded to 30 teams), previous season playoff teams have always been the favorites to make the playoffs.

    2. In 3 of the past 5 seasons, we’ve seen the odds drop close to even, i.e., only 9 of 16 prior playoff teams re-qualified, allowing 7 new teams to meet the threshold. This amount of turnover is a new development.

    The playoff field appears more open than it used to be, less predictable. In fact, 3 of the finalists in the past 4 seasons didn’t qualify for the playoffs in their prior season (SJS in 15-16, VGK in 17-18, STL in 18-19). I think we have to go back to 05-06 when we had 2 finalists that hadn’t appeared in the playoffs in the previous full season (CAR vs. EDM).

  49. jp says:

    Georgexs:
    Here are the numbers @ 5v5 for the returning D regulars from last season:

    Player, GP, TOI/GP, GF%

    Benning, 70, 12:53, 55.84
    Russell, 72, 17:45, 50.51
    Nurse, 82, 18:58, 46.32
    Klefbom, 61, 18:33, 40.0
    Larsson, 82, 18:53, 36.89

    And here are their numbers from the last 3 seasons:

    Player, GP, TOI/GP, GF%

    Benning, 205, 14:26, 54.44
    Nurse, 208, 18:10, 50.47
    Russell, 218, 17:18, 49.46
    Larsson, 224, 18:29, 47.67
    Klefbom, 209, 17:31, 46.49

    “The simplest way to improve the defense is to move Russell to third pair.”

    Comparatively, the 5v5 results with Russell on the ice haven’t been the problem.

    If Tippett takes the course of action you suggest, or if he chooses to make Russell his 7D, he’ll need starkly different results from Larsson and Klefbom as well as a breakthrough campaign from one (or two) of the prospects. Three if Benning is already targeted for a trade.

    That’s a lot to ask for.

    Happily, Tippett has yet to get involved in a land war in Asia.

    IMO the 3 year sample for Russell is skewed by his minutes with Sekera. More generally the whole team had good results that year, so the last 2 years may be more representative of what we’re dealing with going forward.

    In the past 2 years:
    Benning 53.5 GF%
    Nurse 50.6%
    Russell 47.5%
    Larsson 42.7%
    Klefbom 42.1%

    My preference for the pairs would be (past 2 yrs minutes, GF%):
    Nurse-Larsson 1090 49.4%
    Klefbom-Benning 577 48.9%
    Russell-Persson or Jones-Russell

    Acknowledging the Russell isn’t ‘the’ problem, while also believing Klefbom, Nurse and Larsson are better players than the results indicate. (also acknowledging that my preference is not fully supported by past results)

  50. Material Elvis says:

    jp: IMO the 3 year sample for Russell is skewed by his minutes with Sekera. More generally the whole team had good results that year, so the last 2 years may be more representative of what we’re dealing with going forward.

    In the past 2 years:
    Benning 53.5 GF%
    Nurse 50.6%
    Russell 47.5%
    Larsson 42.7%
    Klefbom 42.1%

    My preference for the pairs would be (past 2 yrs minutes, GF%):
    Nurse-Larsson 1090 49.4%
    Klefbom-Benning 577 48.9%
    Russell-Persson or Jones-Russell

    Acknowledging the Russell isn’t ‘the’ problem, while also believing Klefbom, Nurse and Larsson are better players than the results indicate. (also acknowledging that my preference is not fully supported by past results)

    I think you are close with those pairings. Jones, Benning, Persson, and Russell will be fluid depending on injury and performance. Russell is the most veteran player, which is Tippett’s preference, historically. The young guys need to earn the coach’s trust early and push Russell out of the lineup.

  51. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    I think this year we are going to see modest improvements in bottom 6, PK and overall d zone coverage and break outs. While modest individually, collectively should push the team towards net goal differential of 0. If chemistry can be found in the 2nd line, should be a playoff team…

    Well, why the hell not…?
    😜

  52. OriginalPouzar says:

    Stauffer’s Point Predictions:

    McDavid: 33-68-101
    Draisaitl: 41-51-92
    RNH: 26-33-59
    Neal: 22-19-41
    Nurse: 7-32-39
    Klefbom: 9-27-36
    Chiasson: 19-15-34
    Nygard: 16-17-33
    Gagner: 12-14-26
    Kassian: 11-12-23
    Granlund: 10-12-22
    Khaira: 9-9-18
    Archibald: 9-8-17
    Persson: 5-10-15

    ——–

    I think McDavid, Drai, Nuge and Nurse are reasonable. Likely a little low for McDavid if healthy. Maybe a bit high on goals for Neal but I can see it.

    I think Chiasson is very high – Bob must see him essentially repeating last year – maybe he doesn’t realize it was a 3 week heater at 5 on 5 and PP for the rest and he was not an offensively adequate player for 2/3 of the season.

    Nurse I think is a bit high as I see his PP time decreased with a healthy Klef and likely at lease one of Persson, Bouchard, Bear in the NHL lineup. Nurse should get high end 5 on 5 points as he does every year now.

    Klef may be a bit low for me – I anticipate a healthy year and a big year from Klef. If he gets back to his PP form a few years ago, he should be over 40.

    Kassian is a wild card – how totals are essentially dependent on keeping that 1RW job – which he may not.

    Khaira should blow through that number if healthy – if healthy he’s likey up from the 4th line as either 3C with solid NHLers in Granlund/Archibald or potentially 2LW.

    If Nygard hits those numbers, things are going very well.

    There is a chance Persson blows through those totals. He could get 2 points this year or 45, such a wild card but that offensive talent is real from what I’ve watched.

  53. Material Elvis says:

    hags9k:
    “1. Zack Kassian, 28. Per 82gp as an Oiler, he scored 10-14-24.

    9. Jesse Puljujarvi, 21. Per 82gp, he is 10-12-22 in the NHL.”

    JP’s agent must have eaten a lot of paint chips as a kid.This depth chart is on a silver platter.Man.

    Does Markus Lehto have a track record of going public with client trade demands? I can’t seem to find much on a Google search. He currently has 60 clients on his book and none of them have an acrimonious relationship with their teams. I *highly* doubt that the agent has recommended this course of action to his client. It sure seems like Jesse is the one navigating the ship….into the rocks.

  54. Material Elvis says:

    OriginalPouzar

    There is a chance Persson blows through those totals.He could get 2 points this year or 45, such a wild card but that offensive talent is real from what I’ve watched.

    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.

  55. godot10 says:

    jp: IMO the 3 year sample for Russell is skewed by his minutes with Sekera. More generally the whole team had good results that year, so the last 2 years may be more representative of what we’re dealing with going forward.

    In the past 2 years:
    Benning 53.5 GF%
    Nurse 50.6%
    Russell 47.5%
    Larsson 42.7%
    Klefbom 42.1%

    My preference for the pairs would be (past 2 yrs minutes, GF%):
    Nurse-Larsson 1090 49.4%
    Klefbom-Benning 577 48.9%
    Russell-Persson or Jones-Russell

    Acknowledging the Russell isn’t ‘the’ problem, while also believing Klefbom, Nurse and Larsson are better players than the results indicate. (also acknowledging that my preference is not fully supported by past results)

    Larsson had an absolutely horrid season last year. It distorts all the stats. If he doesn’t rebound to more normal form, the Oilers are doomed. He is in mid-twenties, so a rebound is likely.

  56. rickithebear says:

    Material Elvis: Does Markus Lehto have a track record of going public with client trade demands?I can’t seem to find much on a Google search.He currently has 60 clients on his book and none of them have an acrimonious relationship with their teams.I *highly* doubt that the agent has recommended this course of action to his client.It sure seems like Jesse is the one navigating the ship….into the rocks.

    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!

  57. Bag of Pucks says:

    jp: I’m not as strong on Leon needing to play C as you are, though I do agree it’s most probably the way forward.

    In terms of last season though McDavid really struggled badly away from Draisaitl.

    McDavid GF% with Draisaitl vs without:
    16-17 59.4% 65.5%
    17-18 57.4% 57.8%
    18-19 56.4% 39.2%

    I don’t know how much you can blame the coaches for keeping the pair together considering what happened when they were split up.

    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.

  58. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    jp: But that isn’t a full season. Kassian played 1049 minutes 5 on 5 last year (13:16 per game), even with half of it spent in the bottom 6. And you’re isolating only minutes he spent with McDavid.

    In the second half he scored 41-13-9-22 and played 16:30 per game (total TOI). Isn’t 26-18-44 a more fair pro-rating of Kassian as 1RW?

    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

  59. Material Elvis says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Really tough to talk about the forwards, in particular by position and spot in the lineup given there is a chance for so many to play up and down the lineup and at various positions.

    The gating matters to me:

    – Can Benson and/or Marody prove to be legit NHL players this season and, if so, can Benson stick as 2LW and can Marody stick as 3C or 2/3RW?

    – Are Nygard and/or Haas actual NHL players?

    Some key battles I can’t wait to watch unfold:

    – Kharia vs. Benson for 2LW (with some Neal, Nygard thrown in to the mix)

    – Khaira vs. Haas vs. Marody for 3C

    Really like the make-up of Granlund/Archibald as the 3rd line wingers – who will be between them.

    Wildcard: Puljujarvi under contract and at camp.Is there a chance?

    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.

  60. rickithebear says:

    godot10: Larsson had an absolutely horrid season last year.It distorts all the stats.If he doesn’t rebound to more normal form, the Oilers are doomed. He is in mid-twenties, so a rebound is likely.

    Tanks for your comment.

    Just a couple analytical questions.

    How many of his shifts was he defending in a 1D -1G cause Nurse could care less about defence.

    Simple question that can be answered.

    You have to have that to make any comment on his defensive play.

    Otherwise it is a narative.

    Based on the rough counts on the games I was healthy enough to see.

    Larsson coverage of HD area to his side the rough rates suggested top 20 Def Dman.
    Nurse was his usual defensive disgrace.

    But hey I could have watched all Larsson best games.
    And
    Seen all Nurses worst games.

    Hey it could have been Larsson abandoning the HD Area. LMAOF!

    Looking at weather our forwards had the ability to generate entries
    Or
    The stones to penetrate the HD has little to do with how a Dman is performing.

    Do you know what the fan spilled beer % (SB%)
    Cause
    SB%
    And
    GF%
    They have the same value when it comes to analyzing dman play.

    Real dman measures.
    1. Open shots per corsi faced
    2. Open SH density per corsi

    But remember the differentiated statistical groups
    – Diffrent corsi faced by fwd NZ trap run.
    – difrent corsi faced by Face off zone start
    – difrent corsi faced by bench change ZS with or without Pocession.

    Remember to list Spilt beer % cause it might be more reflective of great defensive play in home games than GF%.

  61. Material Elvis says:

    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.

    Hitch had a ridiculous trigger finger on his blender. That must have been very frustrating for all the forwards.

  62. OriginalPouzar says:

    godot:
    The optimal deployment of the D.

    Nurse LarssonShutdown Pair, D-zone Starts
    Klefbom PerssonO-zone Starts, rookie with a vet.
    Lagesson(or Jones), Benning, Soft minutesBenning slotted properly.rookie with a vet.
    Russell

    Nurse/Larsson is a no-brainer to me.

    As discussed, Klefbom/Persson is simply contingent on Persson, no only proving to be an NHL d-man but one that can handle 2nd pairing minutes. This is far from a certainty and, likely, more unlikely than not.

    I think the best that can reasonably be hoped for is that Persson can handle 3rd pairing minutes but be a real nice addition to the PP. I will certainly hope that he’s already a legit 2RD but I don’t think its a reasonable hope.

    Benning with Klefbom has had success over the years and I think that is the plan going in to camp until someone else shows they can truly handle the 2RD (which really can’t happen until the season starts).

    Would Tippett healthy scratch Russell if two of the rooks truly look to be ready and able to provide on-ice play that helps more than Russell? I’m all for it if the situation arises but don’t see Tippett doing it – at least not on October 2.

  63. OriginalPouzar says:

    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!

  64. Bling says:

    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?

  65. OriginalPouzar says:

    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.

  66. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    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.

  67. OriginalPouzar says:

    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.

  68. OriginalPouzar says:

    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.

  69. rickithebear says:

    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.

  70. OriginalPouzar says:

    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.

  71. Material Elvis says:

    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.

  72. jtblack says:

    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

  73. OriginalPouzar says:

    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?

  74. OriginalPouzar says:

    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.

  75. deardylan says:

    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

  76. Reja says:

    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

  77. Georgexs says:

    jp: IMO the 3 year sample for Russell is skewed by his minutes with Sekera. More generally the whole team had good results that year, so the last 2 years may be more representative of what we’re dealing with going forward.

    In the past 2 years:
    Benning 53.5 GF%
    Nurse 50.6%
    Russell 47.5%
    Larsson 42.7%
    Klefbom 42.1%

    My preference for the pairs would be (past 2 yrs minutes, GF%):
    Nurse-Larsson 1090 49.4%
    Klefbom-Benning 577 48.9%
    Russell-Persson or Jones-Russell

    Acknowledging the Russell isn’t ‘the’ problem, while also believing Klefbom, Nurse and Larsson are better players than the results indicate. (also acknowledging that my preference is not fully supported by past results)

    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…

  78. pts2pndr says:

    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.

  79. judgedrude says:

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

  80. OriginalPouzar says:

    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.

  81. Georgexs says:

    On the subject of CMD playing with Drai:

    Let’s look at the Oilers’ record in games in which CMD and Drai were together for less than 2 5v5 minutes (A) vs. the team’s record when the pair were together for 2 or more minutes (B):

    In 18-19:

    Condition, GP, Pts

    A, 16, 18
    B, 62, 57

    And in 17-18:

    A, 38, 41
    B, 40, 35

    Hmm. The Oilers seem to do slightly better with CMD-Drai apart @ 5v5 than together. There’s nothing there to suggest the Oilers are a completely different (and weaker) team when CMD and Drai don’t play together @ 5v5.

    Now, the choice of 2 minutes is somewhat arbitrary. I’m trying to get a number that’s low enough to suggest the HC didn’t intend to play the 2 together on a line. There could be some situations in which the HC abandons this intention based on early game results, and that these games could have been more likely to be losses.

    So let’s look at it the other way, this time checking the Oilers record when CMD and Drai played together for fewer than 14 5v5 minutes (A) vs. the team’s record when CMD and Drai played together for 14 or more 5v5 minutes (B):

    In 18-19

    A, 42, 37
    B, 36, 38

    In 17-18

    A, 57, 53
    B, 21, 23

    Now, the Oilers seem to do better when CMD and Drai play a lot together vs. not playing a lot together. The opposite of the first result.

    The culprit seems to be the middle ground, where they play together between 2 and 14 minutes. This seems to suggest the HC has changed plans and the game hasn’t gone well. Let’s look at the Oilers record in these games:

    In 18-19 we get 26 GP and 19 points.
    In 17-18 we get 19 GP and 12 points.

    Now the HC can end up in this middle ground in two ways:

    1. He wants to play CMD and Drai together, things go south, he breaks them up.

    2. He doesn’t want to play CMD and Drai together, things go south, he puts them together.

    On either side of this middle ground, we get games in which the HC stuck to his guns. And, on either side, we see the Oilers producing an above .500 points pace in the past two seasons.

    TL;DR

    I don’t think whether CMD and Drai play together has made a difference for the Oilers record in the past two seasons.

  82. OriginalPouzar says:

    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.

  83. OriginalPouzar says:

    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.

  84. OriginalPouzar says:

    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.

  85. Georgexs says:

    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?

  86. Nix says:

    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.

  87. OriginalPouzar says:

    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.

  88. OriginalPouzar says:

    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.

  89. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    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.

  90. Professor Q says:

    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?

  91. OriginalPouzar says:

    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.

  92. jp says:

    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.

  93. OriginalPouzar says:

    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.

  94. Glovjuice says:

    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.

  95. jp says:

    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.

  96. jp says:

    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.

  97. Bag of Pucks says:

    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.

  98. JimmyV1965 says:

    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.

  99. HT Joe says:

    JimmyV1965,

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

  100. rickithebear says:

    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%

  101. rickithebear says:

    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

  102. jeetz says:

    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

  103. rickithebear says:

    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.

  104. rickithebear says:

    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.

  105. ArmchairGM says:

    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?

  106. jp says:

    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.

  107. rickithebear says:

    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!

  108. russ99 says:

    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.

  109. russ99 says:

    jp,

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

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

  110. jp says:

    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.

  111. jp says:

    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.

  112. rickithebear says:

    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

  113. Material Elvis says:

    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.

  114. Material Elvis says:

    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.

  115. Edmonton Oilers News and Rumors – NHL Gameday says:

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

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