What the HELL was that?

by Lowetide

It was April 27, 1975. The Montreal Canadiens, perennial Stanley Cup favourites, met in Game One of third round playoff action in Buffalo. I wasn’t sure who would win (Buffalo was a quality team by then) but was certain Ken Dryden wouldn’t allow more than two goals.

He allowed six, including the overtime winner by Danny Gare (boxscore is here). Point being, you never know. If you’re surprised Edmonton allowed five goals last night, it will happen again. If you’re surprised Edmonton won the game, well, that’s a little more understandable.

Dave Tippett was happy with the two points, while pointing out there’s lots of work to do. Two in the bank is better than two leaving on a jet plane beside that Dustin Brown, I’m sure we all agree.

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: Jay Woodcroft’s Bakersfield Condors might be bound for glory
  • Corey Pronman: Oilers No. 9 farm system.
  • Lowetide: Oilers top 20 prospects summer 2019.

OILERS IN OCTOBER

  • Oilers in October 20150-2-0, goal differential -4
  • Oilers in October 2016: 2-0-0, goal differential +5
  • Oilers in October 2017: 1-1-0, goal differential +2
  • Oilers in October 2018: 0-2-0, goal differential -6
  • Oilers in October 2019: 2-0-0, goal differential +2

Last night’s win ties the best start by the team since Connor McDavid arrived in 2015. The other year, 2016, Edmonton would make the postseason. Bank those October points!

WHAT TO EXPECT IN OCTOBER

  • At home to: Vancouver, Los Angeles (Expected: 1-1-0) (Actual 2-0-0)
  • On the road to: NYI, NJD, NYR, CHI (Expected 2-1-1) 
  • At home to: Philadelphia, Detroit (Expected 1-1-0)
  • On the road to: Winnipeg, Minnesota (Expected 1-1-0)
  • At home to: Washington, Florida (Expected 1-1-0) 
  • On the road to: Detroit, Columbus (Expected 1-1-0)
  • Overall expected result: 7-6-1, 15 points in 14 games 
  • Current results: 2-0-0, 4 points after 2 games

Now the team heads out on the road and this should be a fascinating. I think the coach will have to improve his center depth by running 97, 29 and 93 up the middle. Man this team has pure gold on one end and something else at the other.

THE STORY

It was a bizarre night, can’t explain the story without Natural Stat Trick. All numbers five-on-five unless otherwise indicated.

LINE 1 Leon Draisaitl-Connor McDavid-Zack Kassian were 12-8 Corsi in 12:37, the line was splendid throughout the game. They were 7-7 shots, 2-2 goals, 4-2 HDSC.

Leon Draisaitl (2 assists, both five-on-five), played 26 minutes and skated miles. Every offensive sortie is dangerous. Connor McDavid (four points, 1-1-2 at five-on-five) was dominant from the start. Lost Kopitar on the 3-2 goal. He was very involved, I think Drew Doughty’s presence is good for 97. Zack Kassian is going to post some crazy crooked numbers this season, his goal seemed to settle the team down for a time. He scored, now has two in two games. Great work by this line, the trio now has 13 points in two games.

LINE 2 Joakim Nygard-Nuge-James Neal played 10:31, going 8-6 Corsi, going 4-4 shots, 0-1 goals and 2-2 HDSC.

Joakim Nygard scored his first NHL goal, it was huge and required skill. He had three (two at five-on-five) HDSC and three shots on goal. Very involved. Oilers don’t win that game without his goal. Nuge has been quiet offensively through two games, but helps in other ways. James Neal scored twice, including the winner. He didn’t get a lot done at five-on-five, but the power play ability was a massive part of the game. He’s going to make Ken Holland look like a friggin’ genius at this rate.

LINE 3 Markus Granlund-Gaetan Haas-Tomas Jurco played 8:04, going just 4-9 Corsi, 2-3 shots, 1-0 goals 1-4 HDSC.

Markus Granlund played just over 10 minutes at five-on-five and took five hits. He had a shot, hit someone, blocked a shot. He needs to do more. Gaetan Haas had a solid game, picking up his first NHL assist on the Nygard goal. He had two HDSC and won five of nine faceoffs. He’s climbing the Mattherhorn one step at a time. Tomas Jurco made a brilliant move on the Nurse goal, the guy has true skill.

LINE 4 Jujhar Khaira-Colby Cave-Patrick Russell played 5:09, 3-7 Corsi and 3-3 shots, 0-1 goals and 1-0 HDSC.

Khaira had his stick broken on the PK (just before a GA) and had two shots. Cave was in chase mode and a hair unlucky on the Michael Amadio goal. He played just 5:49, but did win three of four faceoffs. Russell had a HDSC, blocked a couple of shots and showed well enough to get another game.

PAIRING ONE Darnell Nurse and Ethan Bear played 14:49 together, going 10-13 Corsi, 7-8 shots, 1-2 goals and 4-3 HDSC.

I thought Darnell Nurse played well, scored a goal while also blocking Smith on the Doughty goal. His passing seemed a hair better with his new partner. Nurse played 6:51 against Kopitar, 2-7 Corsi and 0-1 goals, Bear 5:25, 2-5 Corsi and 0-1 goals. Ethan Bear outlets well, has good positioning most of the time, and has great anticipation (three takeaways). I liked the pairing, with the understanding it was their first night and the opponent wasn’t a strong one.

PAIRING TWO Oscar Klefbom and Joel Person played 12:48, going 14-14 Corsi, 10-9 shots, 1-2 goals and 3-3 HDSC.

Oscar Klefbom had three assists (two on the power play) and is at his dreamy best as the 2019-20 season begins. He did have two giveaways, but on a night where there were 23 by both teams combined at five-on-five, that seems about right. Joel Persson was mostly good, he was slow to recognize danger a couple of times and got walked by a role player later on. Klefbom played 5:48 against Kopitar, 8-5 Corsi and 1-1 goals. He is Edmonton’s best defenseman. Persson played 5:01 versus Kopitar, 6-4 Corsi and 0-1 goals. I prefer Bear on this pairing but it’s one game and Persson’s wheels and offensive talents are clearly there.

PAIRING THREE Kris Russell and Matt Benning played 11:45 together, 8-9 Corsi, 3-2 shots, no goals and 2-3 HDSC.

Kris Russell was high event, two takeaways and three giveaways. The fact he played just 2:22 against Kopitar is a tell, and we’ll have to monitor as the team heads out on the road. Russell had five defensive and one offensive zone faceoff. Matt Benning moved the puck well, defended well, but couldn’t impact the game. That isn’t a normal happening, Benning is good at getting shots through and helping with outlets. Was +1 due to a four second shift with Klefbom.

Goalie Mike Smith authored his own tragedy early, conducting actual tomfoolery on NHL ice. His TWO gaffes outside the crease made this game a close one to the end. On the other hand, he stopped eight of nine HDSC’s and won the game. I don’t buy the idea that Smith’s puckhandling is an overall positive, he zips the puck past a capable defenseman quite a bit. I’d hope his passing is more adept than we’ve seen in both games so far this season.

We’re on to Nassau County. Or Barclays.

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Woodguy v2.0

19/20
EDM Goal Share after 2 games (2-0-0)

Even strength (5v5,4v4,3v3)
McDavid On Ice 4-3 (57%)
McDavid Off Ice 3-3 (50%)
Net EV +1

Sp. Teams (PP+SH For–PK+SH Against)
2-1
Net ST +1

Empty Net
0-0
Net EN 0

SO & PS
0-0
SO & PS=0

Net Goal Differential +2

ashley

Not a great effort. Tippett is a veteran coach and won’t be happy with that despite the 2-0 record.

The defense is really worrisome. Persson’s first game, so we don’t want to be too harsh, but he couldn’t keep up with the speed of the attack. He had troubles managing the gap. We’ll see how this plays out, but even for a first game, that was a very poor showing.

I think it shows the limitations of using offensive advanced stats to grade defense prospects. Most of the value of a Dman is in their ability to defend. That doesn’t show through well in offensive statistics. He’s going to have to be better to stay on the team. I’m curious if he gets another game at this point.

Bear looks a little green, but some savvy moments out there. The passing and decision making is very good, among the best we have on the roster. We haven’t had someone that can pass like that in a long time. He’s very quick especially in tight and excellent first step acceleration. Good agility. He’s going to stick. Great athlete.

The forwards had a heyday with the Kings poor depth and that part was a lot of fun to watch. Watching the quick bottom six forwards, I don’t miss Lucic at all. Speed is king in today’s game.

Jethro Tull

Last night we saw the best and worst of Mike Smith.

Still waiting for that Tippett defensive structure to assert itself.

Loved Connor picking Doughty’s pocket on the Kassian goal.

I think there was a meeting of eyes and a wry smile shared between the two coaches.

Might be a fun season, if not successful.

jake70

How it plays out over the season for points total remains to be seen, but it seems this team is faster/quicker.

OriginalPouzar

Its the NHL, any team can beat any other team on any given night.

Bottom feeders beat Stanley Cup contenders all the time.

I will NEVER discount a win, or any part thereof, based on opponent.

For as long as I can remember, the Oilers have played down to the level of their opponent when playing the “lesser teams.

Of course, Leon and McDavid with some big games but, also, some massive plays from the bottom of six and the new guys brought in.

The goalie gave up 3 gimmies and they still won – excellent.  Smith battled back after that first period and came up with some big stops.

Drai is a beast.

James Neal scoring a couple of goals early in the season is huge for his confidence which should be huge for this team.

2-0 

Glovjuice

I certainly agree with OP that Jurco deserves and ahould be in top six based on camp, skill, and history but having that skill in the bottom six does have its benefits- other teams have skill in the bottom six. One on each of the two bottom lines might be the ticket. Ho Sang ?

Jethro Tull

Woodguy v2.0:
19/20
EDM Goal Share after 2 games (2-0-0)

Even strength (5v5,4v4,3v3)
McDavid On Ice 4-3 (57%)
McDavid Off Ice 3-3 (50%)
Net EV +1

Sp. Teams (PP+SH For–PK+SH Against)
2-1
Net ST +1

Empty Net
0-0
Net EN 0

SO & PS
0-0
SO & PS=0

Net Goal Differential +2

I think I could live with a lot of short comings of that 50% McDavid number stays at that.

Woodguy v2.0

ashley,

I think it shows the limitations of using offensive advanced stats to grade defense prospects. Most of the value of a Dman is in their ability to defend. That doesn’t show through well in offensive statistics. He’s going to have to be better to stay on the team. I’m curious if he gets another game at this point.

I’m going to quibble with this a bit.

A Dman’s job is to not just defend.

Its to also get the puck back from the opposition and get it moving out of the zone while the team retains possession.

Get the puck back, make the first good pass.

I think once the sample size is big enough and we can measure how much better/worse each center does with a particular Dmen/Dpair in terms of shots/goals for/against that this information is valuable.

Its always been “What you create minus What you give up”

If you give up little, but create even less, that’s not good.

Conversely if you create a lot, but give up even more, that’s not good either.

Reja

ashley:
Not a great effort.Tippett is a veteran coach and won’t be happy with that despite the 2-0 record.

The defense is really worrisome.Persson’s first game, so we don’t want to be too harsh, but he couldn’t keep up with the speed of the attack.He had troubles managing the gap.We’ll see how this plays out, but even for a first game, that was a very poor showing.

I think it shows the limitations of using offensive advanced stats to grade defense prospects.Most of the value of a Dman is in their ability to defend.That doesn’t show through well in offensive statistics.He’s going to have to be better to stay on the team.I’m curious if he gets another game at this point.

Bear looks a little green, but some savvy moments out there.The passing and decision making is very good, among the best we have on the roster.We haven’t had someone that can pass like that in a long time.He’s very quick especially in tight and excellent first step acceleration.Good agility.He’s going to stick.Great athlete.

The forwards had a heyday with the Kings poor depth and that part was a lot of fun to watch.Watching the quick bottom six forwards, I don’t miss Lucic at all.Speed is king in today’s game.

Great game fans were electric Oilers cashed in a big 2 points. Holy smokes you grade harsh I’m glad we have a players coach he’s our ace in the hole.

v4ance

A couple thoughts after last night:

1) McDavid and Drai should be split up for road games to give opposing coaches a tough choice that we haven’t had since we still had Hall on the team. The opposing shutdown line will have to cover McDavid and Draisaitl will probably get a power on power 2nd line matchup that he can win or a 1st line matchup that he can saw off. At home with the last change, Tippett can throw McDavid/Drai to overpower opposing bottom 6 forwards or go power on power like they did last night against the Kopitar/Brown line.

2)I think Holland had a really good offseason with the cap constraints that he was handed when taking over from Chiarelli. The bottom 6 has lots of options so that if one player isn’t pulling his weight, we literally have 2 or 3 others ready to step in. Actual bottom 6 depth for once!

3) If I set a New Year’s deadline on whether we’re giving up the conditional pick in the Neal trade, I’m already picking the under right now. Best conditional pick ever!

4) That play by Jurco on the tying goal to Nurse makes me think Tippett should allow Jurco another chance to play with McDavid. They looked good in the one preseason game and I think they could develop some nice chemistry.

5) I know Nuge is talented enough to play on PP1 but there were two instances where a right shot could have fired a one timer on a cross box pass that RNH had to take an extra second to corral and wrist at the net. A 9th ranked powerplay is nice after last year but if you can find even another marginal area of improvement, why not exploit that?

6) I thought Kris Russell struggled early in the defensive zone but in the 3rd period, he had a couple nice plays to hold the offensive blue line and keep the cycle going

Material Elvis

Woodguy v2.0:
ashley,

I think it shows the limitations of using offensive advanced stats to grade defense prospects. Most of the value of a Dman is in their ability to defend. That doesn’t show through well in offensive statistics. He’s going to have to be better to stay on the team. I’m curious if he gets another game at this point.

I’m going to quibble with this a bit.

A Dman’s job is to not just defend.

Its to also get the puck back from the opposition and get it moving out of the zone while the team retains possession.

Get the puck back, make the first good pass.

I think once the sample size is big enough and we can measure how much better/worse each center does with a particular Dmen/Dpair in terms of shots/goals for/against that this information is valuable.

Its always been “What you create minus What you give up”

If you give up little, but create even less, that’s not good.

Conversely if you create a lot, but give up even more, that’s not good either.

I was about to respond to Ashley but you nailed it. Especially in today’s NHL, it’s not about ‘just defending’.

leadfarmer

If we continue to have to play Drai and Mcdavid like #1 D to squeeze out wins against bottom feeders this season is not going to last long.

If our second best Ricki D, Russell, is being sheltered from the best players in the world can we please trade him. Obviously what he gives up even if a relatively smaller number is higher than he contributes

Neal is obviously good at the one thing he is good at. Putting the pucks in. We won that trade the moment it happened

flea

I thought the oilers were strong structurally, 2 G have nothing to do with the defence, and another two are bad bounce/kind of unlucky goals. Thought the Doughty goal was a bit of a fluke that it snuck through, YMMV. Only the kopitar goal was really on the D. They aren’t perfect but already miles better than last year, IMO.

On the other hand, the Kings reminded me so much of Oilers teams under Mclellan. Inconsistent effort. They can turn on and push and then just completely shut down.

If you’re gifted two goals in an NHL game you should be able to win. Embarrassing loss for LAK.

On to NYI where I assume they’ll give the net to Koskinen.

Material Elvis

I might be the only person who doesn’t blame McDavid on the third goal. When Smith stops the puck behind the net, McDavid is getting himself into position to take a breakout pass from one of the D or wingers (who Smith should have moved it to). A quick turnover and pass to Kopitar did not give McDavid the time to make the adjustment and get into proper defensive position. That one was all Smith from my perspective.

N64

Playoffs?
Losing pre-season record. Check.
2-0 start for the Edmonton McDavids. Check.
Goalie playing out of his mind. Not in that sense please

leadfarmer

ashley,

If you think defensemen are just for defending I’m curious to hear your explanation of today’s NHL. Where the Fayne and Manning’s of the world have lost their jobs to players that are higher event. Because either every NHL scout Gm and coach is an idiot and they are doing things wrong or the assumption that defense is for defensemen is wrong

It’s what you create minus what you give up. That’s the best explanation for these Ricki D losing their jobs and the Ricki F losing their jobs. Because we all know that Gagner can put up points at a decent clip. But he puts up more points for the opposition hence he does not have a job

Ryan

Anyone surprised to see Benning with 13:30 toi? Last on the team.

jtblack

I did get 1 thing wrong for sure.

I thought McDavid would be “average” until around X Mas. That is clearly not the case. I eat crow on that one

Ryan

ashley,

Many will disagree with you here. Count me amount them.

They’re not defensemen any more. They’re transition men now.

I was surprised to see Lowetide not refer to Bear as manna from heaven today, lol.

Bear can really make some great outlet passes.

Material Elvis

leadfarmer:
If we continue to have to play Drai and Mcdavid like #1 D to squeeze out wins against bottom feeders this season is not going to last long.

If our second best Ricki D, Russell, is being sheltered from the best players in the world can we please trade him.Obviously what he gives up even if a relatively smaller number is higher than he contributes

Neal is obviously good at the one thing he is good at.Putting the pucks in.We won that trade the moment it happened

What kind of asset do you plan on giving up to unload Russell? I think he’ll be here all season.

Psyche

Good morning from Saskatchewan!

If Taylor Hall’s injury keeps him out during the same time frame Adam Larsson is out – does that make the trade a wash? 😉

I prefer the younger and more skilled D. I hate to wish an injury on a player, but if Lagesson (or Caleb Jones) drew in for Kris Russell…let’s just say I’d be fine with that. I didn’t mind Russell’s at times last night, but his default style of game doesn’t fit the current game style.

I agree with LT, it really was a 6-3 game wrapped in a 6-5 package. I’m curious if anyone has been able to measure the positives vs negatives of Mike Smith’s puck handling/moving. Drew Remenda mentioned a few times about the advantages that come with the risk. I don’t know if it is a simple errors vs completed passes analysis. Or goals for vs goals against (as a result). If it is the latter I believe we are at 0-2.

Speaking of Drew, sigh, I appreciate his work on the broadcast, but I could do with less Todd and LA King stories. It felt like a Sharks game from previous seasons. It is Hockey Night in ‘Canada’, not Hollywood. If he can’t take the time to research some Oiler connections then maybe SportsNet needs to go another direction. (I would’ve loved some Playfair stories.)

To end on a positive note, I enjoy Kevin Quinn calling Oilers games. He is enthusiastic and knowledgeable. I always wonder why he is never on Stauffer’s show or on TSN1260 (hint, hint). I’m certain he has some quality insight to share with Oiler fans.

Have a great Sunday all! Stay warm.

Scungilli Slushy

10! Players have points in 2 games.

I’m liking the speed the team has. It’s up to the coaches to get them to be more consistently organized as a team, and hopefully the goalies respond and get than SV% up to average.

And Tip can get Smith under control. I also noticed he doesn’t always pass to an Oiler but just fires it up the ice. No different than glass and out, still a possession loss too many times.

Still more potential on this roster than last year’s as I see it.

Bar_Qu

2 things I noticed from the game last night. First, Nygard was everywhere last night, good and bad. I know I was watching for him, so he may have stuck out a little more, but he was up and down the ice all night. I like his willingness to engage physically in the offensive zone, but he’s got to learn to protect the puck against the bigger guys in the defensive zone. He was muscled off it easily several times early in the game. An area for focus, for a guy I think dominated where he was and is sometimes caught off guard by how much better the competition is here. But his skill is showing, and he adjusts to get the looks and last night the goal. A good find for the team if he can get in the double digits for goals.

Second, Bear and Nurse together makes each better. Nurse does well if he can wheel with a good outlet pass, while not having to cover back for his partner all the time. Bear has someone he can send a quick pass to, while not having to worry if its getting caught. They both skate well, and even though Klefbom is a better mentor for Bear, better to connect Persson with the stronger D. I was really pleased watching that pair last night, and the numbers look pretty good for how confused Smith made Bear look twice (I’m coming back – oh, you are sending the pass hard behind me to another team? ok).

Scungilli Slushy

Psyche:
Good morning from Saskatchewan!

If Taylor Hall’s injury keeps him out during the same time frame Adam Larsson is out – does that make the trade a wash?

I prefer the younger and more skilled D. I hate to wish an injury on a player, but if Lagesson (or Caleb Jones) drew in for Kris Russell…let’s just say I’d be fine with that. I didn’t mind Russell’s at times last night, but his default style of game doesn’t fit the current game style.

I agree with LT, it really was a 6-3 game wrapped in a 6-5 package. I’m curious if anyone has been able to measure the positives vs negatives of Mike Smith’s puck handling/moving. Drew Remenda mentioned a few times about the advantages that come with the risk. I don’t know if it is a simple errors vs completed passes analysis. Or goals for vs goals against (as a result). If it is the latter I believe we are at 0-2.

Speaking of Drew, sigh, I appreciate his work on the broadcast, but I could do with less Todd and LA King stories. It felt like a Sharks game from previous seasons. It is Hockey Night in ‘Canada’, not Hollywood. If he can’t take the time to research some Oiler connections then maybe SportsNet needs to go another direction. (I would’ve loved some Playfair stories.)

To end on a positive note, I enjoy Kevin Quinn calling Oilers games. He is enthusiastic and knowledgeable. I always wonder why he is never on Stauffer’s show or on TSN1260 (hint, hint). I’m certain he has some quality insight to share with Oiler fans.

Have a great Sunday all! Stay warm.

Drew is like having a current significant other who can’t stop talking about their ex’s. Who cares?

It feels like having a traitor in the house to me. I don’t care much about the current info of the teams I hope the Oilers utterly dominate.

Historical info is fine and interesting. It’s neutral emotionally. He doesn’t do that much.

dustrock

Bear had a good game but pretty rough 3rd I thought. When he didn’t get the puck all the way deep I remember thinking “uh oh” and i believe Remenda said the same thing.

Funny to see McDavid settle Bear down in the penalty box lol.

That and the Jurco nutmeg were worth the price of admission

Bling

ashley:
Not a great effort.Tippett is a veteran coach and won’t be happy with that despite the 2-0 record.

The defense is really worrisome.Persson’s first game, so we don’t want to be too harsh, but he couldn’t keep up with the speed of the attack.He had troubles managing the gap.We’ll see how this plays out, but even for a first game, that was a very poor showing.

I think it shows the limitations of using offensive advanced stats to grade defense prospects.Most of the value of a Dman is in their ability to defend.That doesn’t show through well in offensive statistics.He’s going to have to be better to stay on the team.I’m curious if he gets another game at this point.

Bear looks a little green, but some savvy moments out there.The passing and decision making is very good, among the best we have on the roster.We haven’t had someone that can pass like that in a long time.He’s very quick especially in tight and excellent first step acceleration.Good agility.He’s going to stick.Great athlete.

The forwards had a heyday with the Kings poor depth and that part was a lot of fun to watch.Watching the quick bottom six forwards, I don’t miss Lucic at all.Speed is king in today’s game.

Agree with Bear, he looks good out there and is a better complement to Nurse than Larsson (SSS).

Persson we have to give some time. I think we were both seeing the same things, but I think you are underselling the adjustment from the European ice. The defensive reads, gaps, and puck retrievals are probably the toughest adjustments.

I think he is already doing quite well transporting the puck and retrieving the puck. He is very comfortable making plays up against offensive blue line with pressure, something we saw in pre-season as well. Without him and Klefbom making plays at the offensive blue to keep the puck in, the Kassian goal doesn’t happen.

On one of the GA, they were caught out there with the Cave line, and it was Cave who blew his coverage.

On the offensive stats thing, keep in mind that Persson wasn’t just an offensive specialist last season in Sweden. He was a legit top-pairing D who could defend against the top opposition. I don’t see any glaring deficiencies in him to suggest he can’t defend well enough to occupy a spot on a second pairing.

Bling

Nygard is going to be a fan favourite.

I didn’t realize how physical a game he played. He is quick to loose pucks and he hits guys pretty hard. He causes a lot of chaos below the goal line with his forechecking.

No hesitation in ripping the puck on net, either.

fishman

Scungilli Slushy: Drew is like havinga current significant other who can’t stop talking about their ex’s. Who cares?

It feels like having a traitor in the house to me. I don’t care much about the current info of the teams I hope the Oilers utterly dominate.

Historical info is fine and interesting. It’s neutral emotionally. He doesn’t do that much.

Well last night was pretty entertaining with the exception of Remenda! I absolutely detest hearing him ramble on about San Hose and T Mac and west coast hockey. Does HNIC have an e mail address or website that takes feedback from fans. How can they continue putting him on the HNIC broadcast when he is so unpopular!!!!!!! Or is it just me and a select few who find him so irritating????

Andy Dufresne

OriginalPouzar: For as long as I can remember, the Oilers have played down to the level of their opponent when playing the “lesser teams.

So True.

In fact I think this fact is the key to the Oilers season.

Dave Tippett will be focused on getting the points we should/must get. We have got to win some large perdentage of games (80% ?) against teams that are/were in the bottom half of the standings.

Tippett will not allow this team to look past “perceived” lesser-lites. He will demand consitency of effort.

He will consistently re-inforce the idea that we are not as good as the best team we can beat, but only as good as our worst game / the worst team we lose to.

Paulie

leadfarmer:
ashley,

If you think defensemen are just for defending I’m curious to hear your explanation of today’s NHL.Where the Fayne and Manning’s of the world have lost their jobs to players that are higher event.Because either every NHL scout Gm and coach is an idiot and they are doing things wrong or the assumption that defense is for defensemen is wrong

It’s what you create minus what you give up.That’s the best explanation for these Ricki D losing their jobs and the Ricki F losing their jobs.Because we all know that Gagner can put up points at a decent clip.But he puts up more points for the opposition hence he does not have a job

Does anyone think Bear and Persson might pass Larsson on the depth chart? If the youngsters both generate more offense than they give back on defense, does Lars come back as 3RD for the long term? Early yet, but this seems possible if not very likely. More likely that 1 young D might pass him up.

Andy Dufresne

Which goaltender gets the start against the Islanders and why?

AND

If whoever gets the start plays well and wins does he also get the start Thursday in New Jersey?

Andy Dufresne

Woodguy v2.0:
ashley,

I think it shows the limitations of using offensive advanced stats to grade defense prospects. Most of the value of a Dman is in their ability to defend. That doesn’t show through well in offensive statistics. He’s going to have to be better to stay on the team. I’m curious if he gets another game at this point.

I’m going to quibble with this a bit.

A Dman’s job is to not just defend.

Its to also get the puck back from the opposition and get it moving out of the zone while the team retains possession.

Get the puck back, make the first good pass.

I think once the sample size is big enough and we can measure how much better/worse each center does with a particular Dmen/Dpair in terms of shots/goals for/against that this information is valuable.

Its always been “What you create minus What you give up”

If you give up little, but create even less, that’s not good.

Conversely if you create a lot, but give up even more, that’s not good either.

So Plus Minus then… haha 🙂

blainer

2-0

Making my 66 point prediction looking like it’s in jeopardy already..

Gotta love it !!

What often happens when a top pairing D goes on LTIR is it gives the younger guys a chance to show and show Bear has done.. Early days but he is looking bonafide..

We haven’t played the top teams yet but I think it really helps with a softer schedule to start as it’s giving the Euro’s a chance to adapt to the smaller ice and the rookies a chance to catch up to NHL speed

Folks the October schedule might turn out to be one of the biggest factors for this season. Very fortunate for us and I hope we take advantage in both the learning curve and to bank those points to put us into contention!!

Andy Dufresne

Lowetide: That was a 6-3 game dressed up as a 6-5 game because Mike Smith. Persson has good speed and his getting walked/gap control is part of adjusting. I’d be hesitant to view Persson’s current game as his outer marker.

Not that he’s an authority, but Kelley Hrudy was asked, how many major gaffs is an acceptable/expected number annually given the benefit that a superior puck moving goalie like Smith provides. A sort of cost benefit analysis. Hrudy didnt hesitate in responding 10 to 12 per year.

Seems high to me. But hey we’ve got two out of the way right off the hop.

Victoria Oil

I am a numbers geek like most of the other posters here. With respect to last night’s game, we could look at the analytics, discuss Smith’s poor puckhandling and Neal’s penalty in the last minute, etc. But for this one game, I prefer to step back as a hockey fan and marvel at what a fun and crazy wild ride that was last night. It actually might have been worth the $280 for my seat.

Then again, I didn’t have to listen to Drew Remenda or anyone else on TV.

Jethro Tull

Paulie: Does anyone think Bear and Persson might pass Larsson on the depth chart? If the youngsters both generate more offense than they give back on defense, does Lars come back as 3RD for the long term? Early yet, but this seems possible if not very likely. More likely that 1 young D might pass him up.

What it might do is spread the talent more evenly between the pairings. Important, especially on the road where the opposition get last change. You won’t feel so angsty of the “3rd” pairing are stuck out against the likes of the Avs or the Bolt’s top lines on a d zone faceoff.

MattyIce

We have a top 4 dman in Bear… why is this not being talked about more?

He is the first to break through from the pipeline. Imagine Bouchard, Broberg and Bear in a few years with Klef and Nurse as the vets!

Jethro Tull

Victoria Oil:
I am a numbers geek like most of the other posters here. With respect to last night’s game, we could look at the analytics, discuss Smith’s poor puckhandling and Neal’s penalty in the last minute, etc. But for this one game, I prefer to step back as a hockey fan and marvel at what a fun and crazy wild ride that was last night. It actually might have been worth the $280 for my seat.

Then again, Ididn’t have to listen to Drew Remenda or anyone else on TV.

If that’s the deal, not listening to Remenda, I’d pay $500 for nosebleeds at a thrashing off of Calgary quite happily.

Andy Dufresne

Reja: Great game fans were electric Oilers cashed in a big 2 points. Holy smokes you grade harsh I’m glad wehave a players coach he’s our ace in the hole.

I think Tippett looks at that game and says “Wow. I never had the likes of a McDavid and Draisaitl on my team before; wait until i get this bottom six playing Tippett style hockey!”

Holland says ” Someone send Treliving some fava beans and a nice bottle of Chianti….cuz I just eviscerated this rube”….”now Neal before me”

Andy Dufresne

Ryan:
Anyone surprised to see Benning with 13:30 toi? Last on the team.

Early indication that Benning will be the first Dman moved when Bouchard is ready? Trade Deadline?

Silver Streak

Take a minute and consider how our newbies have changed this team:

Bear, Persson, Smith, Neal, Nygard, Haas, Jurco, Archibald, Granlund, Sheahan,
10 players….again…thats 10 players….clearly the Dutchman has done a hellava job.
The Euro`s have opened a lot of eyes with their skill and speed….and how `bout
James Neal….what a trade !

MVP so far is Ken Holland.

Could this is be 1985 ” deja vu all over again “

giddy

Andy Dufresne: Not that he’s an authority, but Kelley Hrudy was asked, how many major gaffs is an acceptable/expected number annually given the benefit that a superior puck moving goalie like Smith provides. A sort of cost benefit analysis. Hrudy didnt hesitate in responding 10 to 12 per year.

Seems high to me. But hey we’ve got two out of the way right off the hop.

I thought of all people Burke made a good point of the benefit a good puckhandling goalie provides is the D take a lot less hits/abuse from hardforecheckers when retrieving the puck. Small things that can add up when your D aren’t as sore/tired all game.

leadfarmer

Paulie: Does anyone think Bear and Persson might pass Larsson on the depth chart? If the youngsters both generate more offense than they give back on defense, does Lars come back as 3RD for the long term? Early yet, but this seems possible if not very likely. More likely that 1 young D might pass him up.

I don’t think Persson will
Bear may.
While most say a defensemens prime is 27-33 I would say because of footspeed issue and the heavy physical game Larsson plays he will not be one of those defensemen.
His passing can also be considered less than ideal even though he can actually pass the puck.

Jethro Tull

Silver Streak:
Take a minute and consider how our newbies have changed this team:

Bear, Persson, Smith, Neal, Nygard, Haas, Jurco, Archibald, Granlund, Sheahan,
10 players….again…thats 10 players….clearly the Dutchman has done a hellava job.
The Euro`s have opened a lot of eyes with their skill and speed….and how `bout
James Neal….what a trade !

MVP so far is Ken Holland.

Could this is be 1985 ” deja vu all over again ”

It’s GB game 2 of 82 on the trek to Mordor, Silver.

It’s a good start and the some players are proving they have the skill level.

Next step is proving they can be consistent with that skill as other teams adapt their game plans accordingly. That goes for coaching too.

Andy Dufresne

Psyche: I prefer the younger and more skilled D. I hate to wish an injury on a player, but if Lagesson (or Caleb Jones) drew in for Kris Russell…let’s just say I’d be fine with that. I didn’t mind Russell’s at times last night, but his default style of game doesn’t fit the current game style.

I think its the reason that Kenny Holland when speaking about his predecsor Charelli, chose to speak about the fact that Chia had done well to bulid the pipeline of Dmen in Jr and the AHL.

I mean think about. If you’re Holland could this be timed any better for overall effect. Within one year, two max, going from an old slow (old school defense) to a young transition style defense with the likes of Klefbom, Nurse, Bear, Bouchard, Samorkov, Broberg, and Lagesson.

With at least 3 of them on ELCs just as the cap rises significantly.

#KennysNoFool

Andy Dufresne

dustrock:
Bear had a good game but pretty rough 3rd I thought. When he didn’t get the puck all the way deep I remember thinking “uh oh” and i believe Remenda said the same thing.

Funny to see McDavid settle Bear down in the penalty box lol.

That and the Jurco nutmeg were worth the price of admission

What is Jurco Nutmeg?

Andy Dufresne

Its only two games, but Oscar “Dreamy” Klefbom looks like he’s ready to take that next step. To be the undisputed anchor/stabilizer/mentor on defense that we so desperatley need him to be.

#AssumeTheMantle

Reja

Silver Streak:
Take a minute and consider how our newbies have changed this team:

Bear, Persson, Smith, Neal, Nygard, Haas, Jurco, Archibald, Granlund, Sheahan,
10 players….again…thats 10 players….clearly the Dutchman has done a hellava job.
The Euro`s have opened a lot of eyes with their skill and speed….and how `bout
James Neal….what a trade !

MVP so far is Ken Holland.

Could this is be 1985 ” deja vu all over again ”

Without Smith we don’t beat the Nucks same goes with the timely goal and beauty pass by the Euro’s in last night’s game. Last year all we had was Leon Connor and Nuge this year you can already feel the vibe the whole team is involved. If Neal and Kass can keep it going and with a Hungry bottom 6 we’re talking Playoffs Baby.

Ryan

Andy Dufresne: Early indication that Benning will be the first Dman moved when Bouchard is ready?Trade Deadline?

Who was it that oft uses the phrases “damning indictment?”

Ryan Rishaug?

It’s either injury, sideburns, or that he was paired with Russell.

Weird to see a coach play the veteran RHS d so many less minutes than two raw rookies.