Blue Bayou

by Lowetide

Connor McDavid is lightning on skates, pure adrenalin for hockey fans and almost impossible with his combination of speed and skill. How he can continue to shock quality defensemen amazes me. They know he’s fast, they know he’s going to drive to the net, but they can’t leave the inside so he goes wide. Except on Wednesday, when he was so fast the defensemen parted and he went down main street. McDavid’s nightmares per 60 has to be No. 1 among opposition defensemen. Fearsome.

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 Athletic, we are celebrating our 2-year anniversary this week. To mark the occasion, you can get 40% off subscriptions here.

  • New Lowetide: A shift-by-shift analysis of Ethan Bear in the Oilers’ season opener
  • New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Looking at how the Oilers can manage on defence without Adam Larsson
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: No need to temper expectations after Connor McDavid’s season debut for Oilers
  • Lowetide: Ken Holland has a plan for the Oilers’ top prospects.
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: At home with Ken Holland: Packing away the championship memories and preparing for a new challenge
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Q&A: Oscar Klefbom on being a mentor, his strategy for staying healthy and saying goodbye to a friend.
  • Daniel and Jon: Ten bold (and not so bold) predictions for the Oilers this season
  • Lowetide: The Oilers are poised to break a 25-year-old franchise record this season
  • Lowetide: Jesse Puljujarvi’s fast start leads the way for Oilers prospects as 2019-20 gets underway
  • Lowetide: Joakim Nygard and Gaetan Haas bid for final Oilers spots during a strange game in Calgary
  • New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: An educated guess at the Oilers’ opening-night roster
  • Lowetide: Jay Woodcroft’s Bakersfield Condors might be bound for glory
  • Jonathan Willis: Ethan Bear, Tomas Jurco outshine the competition in second-to-last Oilers preseason game
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Joakim Nygard managing his anger as he eyes spot on Oilers.
  • Jonathan Willis: Assessing the Oilers’ roster as the final positional battles are sorted out
  • Jonathan Willis: Oilers cut Evan Bouchard and Shane Starrett. Is Ethan Bear on the cusp of making the team?
  • New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Connor McDavid’s nearing return and four other things we’ve learned from Oilers camp
  • New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: How five months in Kelowna changed Leon Draisaitl’s hockey career
  • Lowetide: Matt Benning may be vulnerable to a trade as Ken Holland works to tweak Oilers roster
  • Corey Pronman: Oilers No. 9 farm system.
  • Lowetide: Oilers top 20 prospects summer 2019.

MCDAVID

After the game against Vancouver, it’ll be fascinating to see what Dave Tippett comes back with on Saturday. I don’t see McDavid playing with Nygard and Neal, so maybe it’ll be Draisaitl-McDavid-Kassian and then Jurco-Nuge-Neal tomorrow night.

CAVE

Tippett’s options for the No. 3 line are basically waiting for Riley Sheahan to get better. Colby Cave played 11:10 at five-on-five on Wednesday and he’ll probably play the same on Saturday. Gaetan Haas will have to play more than 2:10.

LARSSON

Adam Larsson is a shutdown defenseman and a veteran. William Lagesson has a similar skill set but lacks experience, Kris Russell has been asked to play the role in his time in the NHL. Russell is the likely solution. Veteran coaches prefer veteran players for major roles. My prediction is Dave Tippett will play Russell with Nurse until it becomes obvious that it’s not working. Klefbom-Bear may remain and then the third pair will be two of Brandon Manning, Matt Benning and Joel Persson. Evan Bouchard has been recalled but is unlikely to play. I think William Lagesson should be considered. He might be the best option for a third pairing with Benning.

BAKERSFIELD

The Condors play tonight, the team’s roster is a rocket. Solid prospects like Evan Bouchard, Tyler Benson, Dmitri Samorukov, Kailer Yamamoto, Caleb Jones, Cooper Marody, Kirill Maksimov, William Lagesson, Ryan McLeod, Shane Starrett, Stuart Skinner, Joe Gambardella and Josh Currie will be on display to begin the year, although Bouchard is in Edmonton at this time. Based on preseason scoring, might be an idea to watch for Kailer Yamamoto and Kirill Maksimov, Tyler Benson and Cooper Marody, Caleb Jones and Evan Bouchard:

I believe we’ll eventually see up to one dozen of these players in Edmonton during the regular season. Ken Holland said recently he’d like to see the group stay in Bakersfield until Christmas, or maybe even all year. Adam Larsson’s injury is the first challenge to the plan, there will be more.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, we kickstart the weekend. Steve Lansky from BigMouthSports will check in on MLB’s playoffs, the NHL season getting underway and the Oilers first game. Matt Iwanyk from TSN1260 will pop in at 11 and preview the CFL weekend and give early impressions on the Oilers. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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steelymac17

How does Remenda keep this gig?

CallighenMan

Harpers Hair,

Get Lost

hags9k

Lowetide: I think it’s important to let people consume things as they feel appropriate. Priorities change. As much as I ramble on about getting the Hockey News every week as a youngster, by 1978 I was driving a car, had walking around money and had other interests.

It’s the same as we grow older, especially when family arrives and our days no longer belong only to us. I knew a man named Gord, years ago, he was a Canucks fan. He was a friend, and our lives intersected for over a decade, first daily, then weekly, then rarely, before none at all.

About three weeks before he passed, I had a chance to reconnect. It was in the period shortly after 2011 spring, and we both realized he would not have a chance to see his Canucks win Stanley. Our connection, the close one, was 25 years gone by the time he passed, but he was a friend of mine.

If I can write a few lines about you, and you me, even if we only meet on this blog, well that’s something worthwhile. It only works on a volunteer basis, though. No pressure.

The tears are for Larsson’s leg, not this post….honest.

Jethro Tull

Lowetide: Love ya, DSF, and you are welcome here. Maybe sometimes ease up on the acid tongue. ?

Acid tongue sounds like making out with a tree planter.

duct tape and foil

Ozoil:
duct tape and foil,

Fully agree he should and can carry the 3rd line, if he had somewhat decent 3rd line wingers.He’s been stapled mostly to players too far beneath him to show his true value.Maybe a couple of the bets like jurco and nygard payoff or a couple of the young guys catch fire when called up.Until that happens though, I don’t think there’s enough talent to keep nuge useful on a 3rd line.

Depends on your definition of useful I guess. If we get caved on the 3rd and 4th lines as bad as last year then it won’t matter what the top 6 does. The bottom 6 will give it all back and more. I’m starting to get more than a little worried that the top guys on this team care a bit too much about their individual results and having fun playing offense instead of doing the dirty jobs you need to win. That smells more than a little bit like the early days of Hall, Ebs and Schultz.

jp

OmJo: Yeah… One of the reasons I’m not too high on him, and wouldn’t be willing to trade a Nuge or Nurse for him like, again IIRC, was entertained over the last couple of seasons by some. His offense is nice, but $5.5M for a defenceman who doesn’t play very good defense doesn’t really help the Oilers.

His handling probably inflates his numbers a bit.

Agreed on all points.

Chris

Yamamoto scores from Jones and Malone. This line was all over the Gulls. This game isn’t close so far.

Chris

Correction. Curry from Benson and Bouchard.

Chris

Currie scores from Bouchard and Marody with a gorgeous goal. 1-0 Condors.

Chris

Jones is playing with Lowe. Gagner just hi the crossbar.

Chris

Condors looking outstanding in the first couple minutes.

Genjutsu

wolf8888:
Leroy Draisdale,

I also disagree. OP adds to the site. Cmon back boy!

Totally agree I miss the updates on prospects. This place is lesser without his presence. Hope he returns soon.

Woodguy v2.0

Side:
OriginalPouzar,

Eyyyyyyyyy

Woodguy v2.0,

Eyyyyyyy

Just curious, are you going to be doing game day posts again?

When it occurs to me to do one and I have something to share I probably will.

I probably want to track 5v5 GF%, McDavid on/off as well as special teams goal share as well again.

Woodguy v2.0

Melvis: That’s cool, cause I find these May-September bromances really painful.

Alcohol, lube and hash help.

Yeti

jtblack: KOKANEE SASQUATCH?

Close

ArmchairGM

New thread up, people.

Shane

Sierra: You sir, are a gentleman and a scholar. We are all better for this environment you so graciously provide us with.

+1

Side

OriginalPouzar,

Eyyyyyyyyy

Woodguy v2.0,

Eyyyyyyy

Just curious, are you going to be doing game day posts again?

Melvis

Woodguy v2.0: Also,
I haven’t posted much over the summer mostly because:
1) I’m really busy
2) There wasn’t much to talk about
I’m sure I’ll post more during the season as time allows.

That’s cool, cause I find these May-September bromances really painful.

Sierra

Harpers Hair: Apparently you can buy carbon offset credits.
Erases all sins.

Lol, post of the day.

Sierra

Lowetide: I think it’s important to let people consume things as they feel appropriate. Priorities change. As much as I ramble on about getting the Hockey News every week as a youngster, by 1978 I was driving a car, had walking around money and had other interests.

It’s the same as we grow older, especially when family arrives and our days no longer belong only to us. I knew a man named Gord, years ago, he was a Canucks fan. He was a friend, and our lives intersected for over a decade, first daily, then weekly, then rarely, before none at all.

About three weeks before he passed, I had a chance to reconnect. It was in the period shortly after 2011 spring, and we both realized he would not have a chance to see his Canucks win Stanley. Our connection, the close one, was 25 years gone by the time he passed, but he was a friend of mine.

If I can write a few lines about you, and you me, even if we only meet on this blog, well that’s something worthwhile. It only works on a volunteer basis, though. No pressure.

You sir, are a gentleman and a scholar. We are all better for this environment you so graciously provide us with.

Sierra

PinkSocks:
97 and 29 in practice on the same line.So now lines 2 through 4 will bleed.Am I really that naïve/stupid/foolish to believe that chemistry may take longer than 1 period to establish?

Draisaitl /Kassian /RNH was working.McDavid will figure it out.FFS leave them on separate lines so at least only 2 lines need to be hidden.

Man this team.

jtblack

LOCKNESS MONSTER SIGHTING?
KOKANEE SASQUATCH?

NO wait. It’s WOODGUY and OP !!!!!

OriginalPouzar

Pouzar:
Daniel Nugent-Bowman (@DNBsports) · Twitter
https://twitter.com/DNBsports

Bear and Lagesson are up. Bouchard (or his contract, anyway) is down. Defence is shaping up for the Oilers.
7 mins ago

As anticipated:

https://twitter.com/coopsie39/status/1180113217722470400

OriginalPouzar
@coopsie39
Really intrigued to see what happens after #practice today. Bouch will get sent down and Bear recalled but If Persson isn’t good to go I expect Lagesson recalled as well.
7:31 AM · Oct 4, 2019 from Calgary, Alberta·Twitter for iPhone

Ozoil

duct tape and foil,

Fully agree he should and can carry the 3rd line, if he had somewhat decent 3rd line wingers. He’s been stapled mostly to players too far beneath him to show his true value. Maybe a couple of the bets like jurco and nygard payoff or a couple of the young guys catch fire when called up. Until that happens though, I don’t think there’s enough talent to keep nuge useful on a 3rd line.

SVR

Anyone notice what number this Gusev guy is wearing? WTF?

duct tape and foil

Ozoil:
duct tape and foil,

As much as I love the nuge, I think we have two elite centers and a really good one.

Agree but I think he’s an elite 2nd line C and he should be able to drive a 3rd line.

Woodguy v2.0

Ryan,

Woodguy is awesome enough that I engineered a bet that I couldn’t win so I could give him a gift of appreciation for all his hard work here. For a time it was like two blogs in one. Lowetide’s main post and the second post shortly after from Woodguy.

While I agree with you that I’m awesome, you thought you had the best of it in our bet and fully expected to win.

You are a gentleman and paid up….and then some.

I still have ~1/2 that bottle of the Bunnahabhain 25yr that I won from you, but have long since digested the wonderful dinner and cocktails we had at XIX.

Also,

I haven’t posted much over the summer mostly because:

1) I’m really busy
2) There wasn’t much to talk about

I’m sure I’ll post more during the season as time allows.

Ozoil

duct tape and foil,

As much as I love the nuge, I think we have two elite centers and a really good one.

OmJo

jp: Good point. He absolutely does (actually played 3rd pairing comp most years by PuckIQ).

Yeah… One of the reasons I’m not too high on him, and wouldn’t be willing to trade a Nuge or Nurse for him like, again IIRC, was entertained over the last couple of seasons by some. His offense is nice, but $5.5M for a defenceman who doesn’t play very good defense doesn’t really help the Oilers.

His handling probably inflates his numbers a bit.

jtblack

Lowetide: I think it’s important to let people consume things as they feel appropriate. Priorities change. As much as I ramble on about getting the Hockey News every week as a youngster, by 1978 I was driving a car, had walking around money and had other interests.

It’s the same as we grow older, especially when family arrives and our days no longer belong only to us. I knew a man named Gord, years ago, he was a Canucks fan. He was a friend, and our lives intersected for over a decade, first daily, then weekly, then rarely, before none at all.

About three weeks before he passed, I had a chance to reconnect. It was in the period shortly after 2011 spring, and we both realized he would not have a chance to see his Canucks win Stanley. Our connection, the close one, was 25 years gone by the time he passed, but he was a friend of mine.

If I can write a few lines about you, and you me, even if we only meet on this blog, well that’s something worthwhile. It only works on a volunteer basis, though. No pressure.

Well said, as always.

OmJo

PennersPancakes: A good GM finds good scouts and listens to them. Clearly Chia wasnt scouring the WHL but he was responsible for the people who did. Scouts should get credit but so should the GM.

Credit for choosing the scouts, sure.

But credit for actually listening to them, eh… that’s what he’s supposed to do, after all.

I will give the GM more credit for pro scouting.

I’m biased against Chiarelli, I’ll openly admit that. So when I say he, or GM, I’m not talking about him specifically but a GM in general.

Cassandra

rickithebear:
JP:

One of the first things Insaid is.
Data says one thing. (Well not in the case the data you choose.)
Then look at video to see if the SOE match.
If they do, yeah.
If not, Why?

Stop the silly eye versus math.
You need both.
Accurate revisitable
Video
And
Data.

“We are the hockey world”
“We fans are the children”
“scouts and data are the ones who make a better day, so let’s start vidin.

If you actually watched hockey you would know that your table hockey version of reality does not correspond in any way with how the game is played. Not according to eye. Not according to data. Not according to any coaching system that exists anywhere. It is a fiction you’ve created.

jp

OmJo: Doesn’t Barrie get sheltered, though?

I’m not asking in a “a-ha, gotcha!” kind of way. IIRC, he is (or at least was) sheltered quite a bit defensively. Correct me if I’m wrong.

Good point. He absolutely does (actually played 3rd pairing comp most years by PuckIQ).

Cassandra

rickithebear: Have you look at NFL schematics.
During the first year of SB nation Det lions blog – Pride of Detroit I study football.
Then stoped cause I Identified and stated PFF would become basis for high standard of player measure.
They are at a point we’re their analysis has to go to a deeper schematic level of measure.

Patricia was hired. Once healthy I invested in schematic analysis of position players.
What was base action required of each and who they went after.

Nothing sweeter than giving up low draft picks for almost sure fire fits in base def structure.

Other teams cast-offs are Belichek pro bowl level players.

Only now it is
Other teams cast offs are
NWE, DET, TEN
Players.

I ask you to give evidence:
16/17, 17/18, 18/19
Barries Top 6 dman (approx 186)(approx 650 win)
Evga/60 rank

Barries: Skater ( top 12 fwd) ( top 7 dman)(approx 589 skaters) ( 490 min)
Evg/60 rank
A1/60 tank
A2/60 tank
You will see the 3 variables top 277 are forward heavy.
They drive evgf/60.

I created a theory years ago called Belichek and me.
You want players who repeat + ve goal dif actions on the balance sheet.
As D Sutter said to me “ we are turning them into fucking robots”
Repeat, repeat.

The check is sum of 5 skaters evg/60.
Versus
Dman ( pair and goalie) evga/60.
What is Barries contribution to evg/60?
Is it worth abandoning def of HD area?

I look forward to you presenting the data.
It is easy to get from NTS.

I will trust you are giving accurate data from each yr.

Performance is symbiotic.Stated almost right at the start you can trend for types of players that match a player.
But you can still have a WOWY sensible pairing that fails.

Binary people want absolutes.
That is not how it works!
Simple curve.
But grabbing the + ve end of curve and dumping -ve end of curve is good mgmt.

PS:
Do not cave.
Step up and Show the data.
Barries performance is what it is.

Every time you post this nonsense that evaluates D offense as if it can be compared to F offense on the basis of which you conclude that D offense is irrelevant because an offensive D contributes at a 3rd or 4th line level I say the same thing. You are ignoring marginal gains and have no concept of replacement value.

This isn’t an opinion of mine. It is a fact. A fact you happen to not understand. As a consequence you dramatically undervalue the contributions of D that generate offense (i.e. Barrie) while dramatically overvaluing guys like Manning.

This is one of the many gross errors you make in every single of one of your supposed axioms, errors you make while you pat yourself on the back for your uacknowledged genius.

I’ve given up trying to get you to understand. Your narcissism is far too deep for that. The best that can be done is to post warnings to others of your intellectual charlatanism.

PennersPancakes

rickithebear: Binary people want absolutes.
That is not how it works!

Other binary people, definitely not you or your methodologies though /s.

duct tape and foil

We have 3 elite centers and it’s time to play that way and try balance the attack. Plus we have 3 RW who have 20 goal seasons in the recent past (Neal/Chiasson) or were on pace with top 6 minutes last year (Kass). We can cobble together a decent C/RW 4th line from the remains

xxx McDavid Neal
xxx Drai Kass
xxx RNH Chiasson
xxx Sheahan Archi/Russell

So the question is who plays LW with these pairs? Here is my take:

Nygard McDavid Neal (2 guys attack with elite speed and have a big sniper following up)
Jurco Drai Kass (more of a cycle line with the best passer in the NHL at C)
Gagner RNH Chaisson (bring back Sam and try break even with this line – sorry RNH)
Granlund/Khaira Sheahan Archi/Russell (play whoever tries hardest and screws up least)

No surprise. We need a LW in the worst way along with a RHD. JP is nuts with this opportunity staring him in the face but whatever. IMHO we need RNH to bite the bullet, take a more defensive role, and pull the 3rd line to respectability. Drai/McDavid have to push the river on the their own lines. Only path to wins that I can see while Holland fixes the issue on LW. Maybe he can swing a deal with JP and Gags for a decent LW who a bit more expensive.

Harpers Hair

LadiesloveSmid:
What did I do to deserve this team?

What can I do for repentance?

Apparently you can buy carbon offset credits.
Erases all sins.

jp

OriginalPouzar,

Welcome back, it wasn’t the same without you.

PennersPancakes

OmJo: It always bugged me how GMs got credit for good (or bad) drafting, as if they’re the ones who do the amateur scouting and assemble the draft lists.

If he did in fact do this, kudos to him. Otherwise… meh.

A good GM finds good scouts and listens to them. Clearly Chia wasnt scouring the WHL but he was responsible for the people who did. Scouts should get credit but so should the GM.

OmJo

Pouzar: Say one thing, do the exact opposite…same as it ever was.

Maybe there actually IS something in the water.

Either that or the Oilers have a tendancy of hiring insane off-ice staff.

Ozoil

Completely agree with this. Mcdavid will figure it out. The problem has been offense without mcdavid. The drai nuge kass line was fire. I know pre season doesn’t always translate but if it worked so well, why not give it a go. Jurco mcdavid neal. From what I recall in the one game that line clicked.

PinkSocks:
97 and 29 in practice on the same line.So now lines 2 through 4 will bleed.Am I really that naïve/stupid/foolish to believe that chemistry may take longer than 1 period to establish?

Draisaitl /Kassian /RNH was working.McDavid will figure it out.FFS leave them on separate lines so at least only 2 lines need to be hidden.

OriginalPouzar

Really liked what Woodcroft had to say about Gagner on the Gregor show yesterday – he’s come down with the right attitude and with the goal to make it back to the NHL. He knows what he needs to work on and is excited to do so. He also wants to work on some new things such as the PK as he sees NHL ice time opportunity there.

I don’t know if he’ll be able to re-create himself as an NHL PK guy at this point in his career but I love the fact that he can acknowledge the differences in his game and the NHL game from 10 years ago and that he’s trying to adapt as a player.

OmJo

pts2pndr: Drafting under Chiarelliwas better than any GM not named Sather.

It always bugged me how GMs got credit for good (or bad) drafting, as if they’re the ones who do the amateur scouting and assemble the draft lists.

If he did in fact do this, kudos to him. Otherwise… meh.

OriginalPouzar

I’m damn excited to see Willie play (although bummed I won’t get to see him tonight for the Condors) but, at the same time, its disapointing as it likely means Persson is unlikely to play tomorrow night.

If Persson was playing, we’d have 3 righties allowing Russell to stay at 3LD, however, if Persson can’t go, it seems he’ll be shifted over to the right side and maybe even up to 2RD and we know he that generally goes.

———————————-

Really hope they don’t start the Drai/McDavid/Kass line as per practice.

For one, last game Drai/Kass were able to create offence without McDavid and that’s awesome.

Also, I think that line is better when its spotted in here or there or moved to later in the game than from the start.

I’d love to see the top two lines from last game with Jurco in for Nygard and Nygard moved down to the bottom 6.

OriginalPouzar

So excited for the Condors’ season opener tonight.

AHL TV is free for the weekend and I encourage all to watch.

Listening to Woody yesterday, this is what we’ll see (although it will change with Lagesson recalled to Edmonton):

Benson/Marody/Currie
Joe G./Malone/Yamamoto
Maksimov/McLeod/Gagner
Vesey/Essposito/Hebig

Lagesson/Bouchard
Lowe/Jones
Samorukov/Kulevich

Starrett
Skinner

What a stacked team.

———————

With Lagesson up, I think we’ll see:

Jones/Bouchard
Samorukov/Kulevich
Lowe/Desharnais

godot10

pts2pndr: Drafting under Chiarelliwas better than any GM not named Sather.

Trading draft picks for players was worse under Chiarelli than any other GM.

Okay. Maybe MacT was worse, but Chiarelli was a close 2nd.

OmJo

jp: Tyson Barrie has been a plus player at 5 on 5 in 5 of his 6 full seasons. And he’s been positive relative to his team (GF%rel) all 6 years.

Colorado’s GA/60 which him on the ice was better than team average 2 of the 6 years, worse 4 of the 6, but his GA numbers always hovered around team average.

Colorado’s GF/60 with him on the ice has always been significantly better than when he’s off the ice (he lead the teams defense in GF/60 4 years, was a narrow 2nd one year and narrow 3rd one year). Barrie reproducibly creates more goals scored for his team than the other defenders.

I understand your rationale for discounting offense for defenders but I don’t agree with it. Barrie turns out to be a beautiful example of a player driving offense from the back end, every single year, while not giving up a ton the other way.

He’s not a top GA/60 defenseman (in large part because he’s played on mostly bad teams), but he’s very clearly had better results overall than his teammates, driven by more goals for happening when he’s on the ice.

Pretty sure this is repeatable +ve goal differential action.

Doesn’t Barrie get sheltered, though?

I’m not asking in a “a-ha, gotcha!” kind of way. IIRC, he is (or at least was) sheltered quite a bit defensively. Correct me if I’m wrong.