Chapter One

by Lowetide

An NHL roster is 23 bets. Not every roster bet is equal. Connor McDavid is a rare gem, that’s a wonderful bet. What about the No. 3 center? He’s important, but you’re really just trying to deploy one of the best 100 centers on the planet in the role. Right?

You’re not asking as much from that third center. Score as much as the other guy, call it a day. But he has to be competitive compared to other NHL No. 3 centers.

Ken Holland bought inside (Riley Sheahan) and outside (Gaetan Haas) the NHL to address the pivot position. He has some information, maybe one chapter, on Haas. The road beckons. What should Dave Tippett do?

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: Keeping an eye on Jesse Puljujarvi: Which teams could emerge as potential trade partners?
  • New Lowetide: Kailer Yamamoto’s fast start in the AHL highlights an active week for Oilers prospects
  • Lowetide: A shift-by-shift analysis of Ethan Bear in the Oilers’ season opener
  • 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 AFTER TWO GAMES

Through two games the top six forwards have delivered seven goals, bottom six one (I’m counting Nygard bottom six). All top-six forwards save Nuge and Chiasson have posted at least one goal. You’d like more goals from the bottom six, but one goal in two games works out to 41 over a season. Would you be pleased with 41 goals from a bottom six forward group? Last year, Edmonton’s bottom six scored 28. Meaning, the Nygard goal puts this year’s group a full game ahead of last year. Score again Tuesday and we’ll call it an eruption!

CONDORS AFTER TWO GAMES

These lines and pairings are mostly a guess based on players on the ice when goals were scored. I watched the Friday night game, didn’t see any of Saturday. I’ll say this: Caleb Jones is a helluva player based on what I saw Friday. The Currie goal that night was impressive and involved pretty much every Condor on the ice. It started with Jones separating player from puck and getting an outlet pass to safety. Only two men have scored for Bakersfield. I don’t think Ryan McLeod will get 30 points this season, but with those two linemates he could post a handsome number.

EARLY HAAS

Gaetan Haas is at 4.72 points-per-60 even strength (all number NTS). It’s miles too early to discuss these numbers, let alone trust them. He has played 12 minutes five-on-five in the NHL.

I’m wondering today what Dave Tippett is planning. Can he run McDavid, Nuge, Haas and Riley Sheahan up the middle? Or, should he slide Leon Draisaitl back to the center position. Here’s what that might look like:

  • Joakim Nygard-Connor McDavid-James Neal
  • Tomas Jurco-Leon Draisaitl-Zack Kassian
  • Markus Granlund-Nuge-Alex Chiasson
  • Jujhar Khaira-Riley Sheahan-Josh Archibald
  • Extras: Gaetan Haas, Colby Cave

This assumes that Patrick Russell is sent to Bakersfield (it might be Cave).

EXPECTED GOALS

This is the brilliant work of Sean Tierney and is something we would wise to follow all year long. McDavid’s circle is just below Draisaitl’s, and Haas is about equal with Lawson Crouse. I’m going to run these once a week during the season. Check out Tierney. He’s smart.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN1260. We get rolling for a week that ends with turkey and I am SO excited! We’ll also talk sports! At 10:20, Andy McNamara explains the NFL weekend, and I’m going to need some help figuring out how the Cowboys and Eagles are 3-2 this morning. Jason Gregor pops in to discuss Oilers and Eskimos at 11, with Gabe Lacques from USA Today talkin’ baseball at 11:25. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!

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Caribbeerman

These lines work for me save for Granlund who has been ineffective thus far this season. Replace him with one of your Jessie trade options (Athletic) and then maybe we’re talking.

Joakim Nygard-Connor McDavid-James Neal
Tomas Jurco-Leon Draisaitl-Zack Kassian
Markus Granlund-Nuge-Alex Chiasson
Jujhar Khaira-Riley Sheahan-Josh Archibald

Kinger_Oil.redux

– One of the reasons for my “optimistic” scenario for the Oil, was when some of the top D miss their inevitable games, this year’s batch of call-ups have much more promise (could do same for F’s):

Jones, Bear, Lagesson, Bouchard etc >>> Garrison, Gravel, Petro, Wideman, Autivu, etc

– We finally have some draft and development, who can move up, rather than cast-aways, never-beens, or final destination D’s.

– This improvement to the bottom part of the 23 man-roster that LT talks about is significant

– I am the only person on this blog who has said this: every other poster sees it differently. They are wrong, so I am here to teach them lessons: that’s what I’m about: haha: joking…

pts2pndr

The line of Draisaitl, Neal and Jurco were very good in preseason. I wonder if putting them together and having a first line of McDavid, Kassian and Nygard would be a better balance. This way you would have a faster McDavid line and a bit more skill on the Draisaitl line.

McNuge93

Kinger_Oil.redux:
– One of the reasons for my “optimistic” scenario for the Oil, was when some of the top D miss their inevitable games, this year’s batch of call-ups have much more promise (could do same for F’s):

Jones, Bear, Lagesson, Bouchard etc >>> Garrison, Gravel, Petro, Wideman, Autivu, etc

– We finally have some draft and development, who can move up, rather than cast-aways, never-beens, or final destination D’s.

– This improvement to the bottom part of the 23 man-roster that LT talks about is significant

– Now I know I am the only person on this blog who has said this: every other poster sees it differently, and they are wrong, so I am here to teach them lessons:haha: joking…

I think a lot of us are eager to see how Bear, Lagesson, Persson, Jones and Bouchard develop this year. And they certainly have that opportunity to prove if they are NHL ready the way the roster is structured. We need to find out this year as I think Holland will need to make decisions next summer and we will lose 1 or 2 of them. I’m agnostic, I don’t care who wins the day as long as a couple of them step up and actually prove they are ready. Bouchard is a special case though. We are all counting on him to, in time’ actually be that high end, power play quarterback we have been longing for.

so polar

Care to link to what you mean by Tierney’s expected goals, LT? If it’s on his tiwtter, it just simply doesn’t load for me. Apologies if I’ve just missed it. A quick google led me to nothing discernibly oilers.

oilersfan

neal’s best yeArs in the nhl were with Malkin not Crosby.

I woukd prefer to keep Kassian with McDavid and Jurco, Draisaitl with Neal and Nygard

Nuge with Khaira and Chiasson

Sheahan with Granlund and Archibald

Keep Haas and Russel, send cave down

Pretendergast

JP vs Broberg tomorrow, here’s hoping they both succeed, but I’m cheering for Broberg cause ya know, he wants to play for us.

LadiesloveSmid

Poor Nuge will score zero with Chiasson/Khaira

Yeti

> Gaetan Haas is at 1.24 points-per-60 five on five (all number NTS) and is over 50 percent in possession and faceoffs. It’s miles too early to discuss these numbers, let alone trust them. He has played 48 minutes five-on-five in the NHL.

That can’t be true can it? Maybe 4.8 minutes across the two games?

JJS

We have been gifted the perfect schedule as we continue to sort out our lines

Any other year, and we would be toast by Halloween!

jm363561

Kinger_Oil.redux:
– One of the reasons for my “optimistic” scenario for the Oil, was when some of the top D miss their inevitable games, this year’s batch of call-ups have much more promise (could do same for F’s):

Jones, Bear, Lagesson, Bouchard etc >>> Garrison, Gravel, Petro, Wideman, Autivu, etc

– We finally have some draft and development, who can move up, rather than cast-aways, never-beens, or final destination D’s.

=====

The pipeline of promising D is astonishing for an Oiler fan. Understandably you do not mention (25 year old) Joel Persson but his performance against LAK was very promising. He has no NHL experience, much to learn, and arguably should be playing no higher than third pairing. I hope his career is not Schultzed.

Now we just need Yamo and the JP replacement to inject some depth and hope into the top 9 and I might start to see some light at the end of the tunnel.

Eh Team

LadiesloveSmid: Poor Nuge will score zero with Chiasson/Khaira

Can’t really bury Nuge with these linemates. It will negate his offense and they really need Nuge’s socring to supplement McDavid and Drai.

Kinger_Oil.redux

jm363561,

– Yeah, for Persson, don’t know yet if he is an Autivu, or a serviceable D at the NHL level.

– But between all current non-NHL D that we can lean on, pretty confident that their net “potential to become NHL D” is far greater than what we’ve had for many years.

– That’s a big difference: the weakest link, by “rising” the bottom is a lot higher from draft + development IMO

– Collectively, the 100 games (+/-) that D who aren’t on the opening day roster is going to give a lot better performance than in previous years, and that matters a lot for overall results (at least that was part of premise for a potential much better year)

HT Joe

LadiesloveSmid:
Poor Nuge will score zero with Chiasson/Khaira

Didn’t Drai do pretty well with Chiasson and Khaira? It’s not ideal (obviously) but unless Drai and McDavid are on the same line still, their linemates won’t be that much better.

*Caveat* I’m starting to get hopeful about a Neal bounce-back season. 😀

Darth Tu

Yeti:
> Gaetan Haas is at 1.24 points-per-60 five on five (all number NTS) and is over 50 percent in possession and faceoffs. It’s miles too early to discuss these numbers, let alone trust them. He has played 48 minutes five-on-five in the NHL.

That can’t be true can it? Maybe 4.8 minutes across the two games?

Has LT included pre-season? That’s what I’m guessing with 48 mins five on five.

Andy Dufresne

Average age of Oilers NHL Roster (not including goalies) …. 26.2

OriginalPouzar

I think we are passed the waiver deadline for today and I haven’t seen any word that P. Russell or C. Cave have been put on waivers.

What does this mean for Sheahan and tomorrow? Is he not activated? That would be a disappointment. Are they going to re-assign Haas? It would be a shame if he goes over Cave.

They could send Manning down but I don’t imagine they do with no extra D while out on the east coast.

Andy Dufresne

Look at that chart!

Kass is a Beauty !

Khaira needs to step it up to earn his spot in the bottom 6 at $1.2m

OriginalPouzar

Karpat (Puljujarvi) plays Skelfeeta (Broberg and Berglund) tomorrow in Champions League.

All the games are streamed on the CHL (Champions Hockey League) website and the stream is good (or has been in the past).

The exact time is unknown – perhaps around 10am but likely starting sometime between 10am and 2pm.

https://www.championshockeyleague.com/en/schedule#select_schedule=0

Ryan

Encino man has had a rough start to the season. His CF is in the 20’s. Replacing him with Sheahan should hopefully move the dial forward (just because Cave has been so bad thus far).

JJ is on the bad “tier,” okay quadrant (I tried to work that in) on the Tierney chart too. Hopefully he rebound with a different centre.

OriginalPouzar

Joakim Nygard-Connor McDavid-James Neal
Tomas Jurco-Leon Draisaitl-Zack Kassian

I can’t remember who it was but someone on here made a solid point the other day about needed to split McDavid and Drai on the road to giving the opposing coach, with last change, lineup fits. I think that made alot of sense and I hope to see it.

I like the above two lines based on Kass/Drai in game 1 – I would personally switch Nygard and Jurco.

Andy Dufresne

Headline:

Son of Chucky, Axed !

OriginalPouzar

The boxcars don’t do Yamamoto’s early start credence. Yes, 2 goals in 2 games looks great but he looked even better on the ice. He was the best player on the ice, both teams, in both games.

I watched every second of the first game but only had the second game on in the background as the Oilers do take priority but, from what I did see and the accounts of those that did watch, the performance was the same – creating offence consistently from the opening faceoff.

Here is hoping some depth scoring can continue for the Oilers so management doesn’t consider bringing Kailer up.

I would love to see him get 68 AHL games (plus playoffs) but, if he continues to perform like this for 40 or so, a call-up consideration wouldn’t be egregious in my mind.

Andy Dufresne

Look at that Chart:

Phiidelphia Flyers building a ring road in the North East.

OriginalPouzar

Looks like another Finish Jesse interview:

https://twitter.com/LonnbergMari/status/1181235700257234945

Mari Lönnberg
@LonnbergMari
Jesse was asked how he got along living in Canada, Jesse compared Edmonton to Finland – cold Winters and a big fan culture. Jesse said Edmonton was a nice place and easy to adjust. After three years he thinks he is mentally and physically more prepared.

Andy Dufresne

Line of the day from the Lowdown with Lowetide:

Andy Macnamara: “Make a wish day”

jp

LadiesloveSmid:
Poor Nuge will score zero with Chiasson/Khaira

Maybe. Nuge scored almost as many of his points on the PP as he did 5v5, that’s where his offensive spike last year came from.

Overall he was 1.75P/60 5v5. 1.69 with Khaira and 1.04 with Chiasson, and under 40% OZ starts with each player. They’re not going to help him score more but it might not be a huge drop off. All their on ice results were sparkling in a tiny 21 minute sample as a trio too FWIW (little to nothing).

HT Joe: Didn’t Drai do pretty well with Chiasson and Khaira?It’s not ideal (obviously) but unless Drai and McDavid are on the same line still, their linemates won’t be that much better.

*Caveat* I’m starting to get hopeful about a Neal bounce-back season.

They played even less as a trio (under 17 minutes).

Draisaitl scored 1.38/60 with Chiasson and 5.61/60!! with Khaira (but just 42 minutes). 2.57/60 overall, so actually a bigger drop in Leon’s scoring with Chaisson than for Nuge.

Draisaitl-Chiasson did play a lot together (550 minutes) and managed 56%GF. The underlying metrics (Corsi, Fenwick, shots) were ~47%, so 56% goals probably isn’t repeatable. It’s worth noting that Draisaitl’s overall shots/corsi/fenwick were all 47-48%, so he wasn’t worse with Chiasson than anyone else non-McDavid (and Draisaitl-Chiasson did still outscore without McDavid, 8GF-7GA).

I’d like to see McDavid/Draisaitl/Nuge on 3 lines, but realize it’s difficult for multiple reasons (wingers, TOI). Nuge-Draisaitl would be my preference otherwise to give McDavid a real shot to carry his own line.

I’d still like to see these TC lines revisited:
Jurco-McDavid-Neal
Nuge-Draisaitl-Kassian

OriginalPouzar

OriginalPouzar:
I think we are passed the waiver deadline for today and I haven’t seen any word that P. Russell or C. Cave have been put on waivers.

What does this mean for Sheahan and tomorrow? Is he not activated?That would be a disappointment.Are they going to re-assign Haas? It would be a shame if he goes over Cave.

They could send Manning down but I don’t imagine they do with no extra D while out on the east coast.

Thinking about this a bit more, I think they may IR one of the sick guys (retroactively to last Thursday, the day after the game).

Andy Dufresne

Watched two sporting events this weekend: Oilers Kings and Raiders Bears from England.

It was like riding the Kingda Ka* rollercoaster……TWICE !
.
.
.

*At 456-feet tall with a 416-foot drop from the first hill, the Kingda Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey is one of only two Strata roller coasters (those dropping over 400 feet). Not only is it crazy-tall, but it has the longest initial drop

oilersfan

Nuge has said he likes to play with Khaira and feels they play well together

Chiasson is slow but thinks the game well, is big, and has an awesome shot/release

Maybe a more skilled winger than him would be the best third player for that line but options are limited

Pouzar

oilersfan: Nuge has said he likes to play with Khaira and feels they play well together

I wouldn’t be mad at that.

Draisaitl-McDavid-Kassian
Khaira-Nuge-Neal
Nygard-Haas-Jurco

pts2pndr

Eh Team: Can’t really bury Nuge with these linemates.It will negate his offense and they really need Nuge’s socring to supplement McDavid and Drai.

If you are playing nuge on a third line with Draisaitl and McDavid driving their own lines you don’t need To necessarily require Nuge line to supplement at all. You could play him centre on a line with Khaira and Hass. It gives you a righty lefty centre for defensive zone face offs and a very sound two way line. The fourth line would then be Granlund ,Sheahan, Archibald.

John Chambers

JJS:
We have been gifted the perfect schedule as we continue to sort out our lines

Any other year, and we would be toast by Halloween!

Right?

The Oilers first 10 games are against the bottom-half of the league. After this “soft opening stretch” the Oilers could be 8-2.

November will be a time for reckoning unless Tippett can figure out the correct formula for the roster.

rickithebear

Yeti:
You just refered to a new stat site NTS?
Have seen NTS refered to before.
By who I do not know.

Unless it is a reference to Natural Stat Trick?
NST

Then Cool.
Each person is an island.
Diffrent dialects are found on difrent Islands.

Yes means
Brain is still able to infer intent over spelling.
In these Cancer med times.

Rich M

Andy Dufresne:
Headline:

Son of Chucky, Axed !

Actually his bro (but I get where you’re going).

rickithebear

John Chambers: Right?

The Oilers first 10 games are against the bottom-half of the league. After this “soft opening stretch” the Oilers could be 8-2.

November will be a time for reckoning unless Tippett can figure out the correct formula for the roster.

Formula.
2-3 GA given up per gm by HD area def structure in 3 Phases (Ev,PK, & god forbid PP)

As many top Open HD density D pairs.
With forwards picking up 4/5th D options so they are not uncovered.

Reja

Andy Dufresne:
Look at that chart!

Kass is a Beauty !

Khaira needs to step it up to earn his spot in the bottom 6 at $1.2m

Khaira needs to assert himself and be more physical in the corners as well as driving to the net. If he does crank it up a notch it’ll open much needed room for his mates

HugThePost

Rich M: Actually his bro (but I get where you’re going).

What’s a more classless lowbrow move? Firing someone over Skype or the team owner and gm summoning the HC for a 5am meeting to tell the poor guy he’s fired?

rickithebear

18/19
Gravel 36gm 467 ev min; 2.18 evga/60; +.44 goals/60
Garrsion 17gm 178 ev min; 1.68 evga/60; +.94 goals/60

The off role of any dman is to get the puck to the top 10-11 forwards who are better at generating evg.
Their are about 5 d each year who are better than 4 th line but are almost allways bottom 40 evga/60.
Zero justification for them trying for goals.

That has held even in the last 2 season that have seen a jump from 2.39 evg/60 to 2.64 evg/60.

Holland says it best 4/5th option.
Visually noticed a high ratio of 4/5th success ( giordano stood out) over the years but did not start to break down all d goals By abandonment or 4/5th till this yr.

ArmchairGM

jp: I’d still like to see these TC lines revisited:
Jurco-McDavid-Neal
Nuge-Draisaitl-Kassian

As would I. And the bottom-6 would look like this:

Khaira-Sheahan-Archibald
Nygard-Haas-Chiasson

Granlund / Russell
Cave waived

McSorley33

Put me in the firmly load up line 2 camp – McDavid will draw the best D -obviously.

Thought Drai, RNH and Kass looked real good on their own…..they need to own 2nd best D pairs.

Give McDavid Nygard and Jurco.

Need a loaded line 2.

Then pray when lines 3 and 4 are on…..

JimmyV1965

OriginalPouzar:
The boxcars don’t do Yamamoto’s early start credence.Yes, 2 goals in 2 games looks great but he looked even better on the ice.He was the best player on the ice, both teams, in both games.

I watched every second of the first game but only had the second game on in the background as the Oilers do take priority but, from what I did see and the accounts of those that did watch, the performance was the same – creating offence consistently from the opening faceoff.

Here is hoping some depth scoring can continue for the Oilers so management doesn’t consider bringing Kailer up.

I would love to see him get 68 AHL games (plus playoffs) but, if he continues to perform like this for 40 or so, a call-up consideration wouldn’t be egregious in my mind.

I’m pretty sure the concensus here was that Yamo is a failed prospect. Not sure what games you are watching, but once a prospect is written off by Oiler fans, it shall be law.

Don’t start hyperventilating OP. I’m responding to you because I know you’ve tried to put that nonsense into perspective.

Professor Q

HugThePost: What’s a more classless lowbrow move?Firing someone over Skype or the team owner and gm summoning the HC for a 5am meeting to tell the poor guy he’s fired?

At the same time as actively tanking while also refusing to trade your most valuable asset for a 1st round pick (which would help said tank) and making him sit out the year out of spite?

rickithebear

Once again in 18/19
Evg by position

1st line top 32
LW 16 evg; 1 every 5.13 gm
C 19 evg; 1 every 4.32 gm
RW 16 evg

2 Nd line top 62
LW 10 evg; 1 every 8.2gm
C 13 evg; 1 every 6.31 gm
RW 10 evg

3 rd line top 93
LW 6 evg; 1 every 13.67 gm
C 11 evg; 1 every 7.45gm
RW 4 evg; 1 every 20.5 gm

Just a little facts ( reality) for anyone complaining about goal production from our bottom 6, 2 games in.

jp

ArmchairGM: As would I. And the bottom-6 would look like this:

Khaira-Sheahan-Archibald
Nygard-Haas-Chiasson

Granlund / Russell
Cave waived

Fully agree. Though I don’t feel strongly about whether Cave or Russell is waived. Having the extra C on the roster isn’t without value.

Woogie63

If Nuge plays in the top 6 he has to be a winger.

Kinger_Oil.redux

rickithebear:
18/19
Gravel 36gm 467 ev min;2.18 evga/60; +.44 goals/60
Garrsion 17gm 178 ev min; 1.68 evga/60; +.94 goals/60

– Ricki : I’m not sure if you are saying Gravel and Garrison were/are good?

– They aren’t in hockey anymore.

– I posited that one of the reason’s for hope for this team is that they are moving away from the Gravel’s and Garrisons (who can’t skate, don’t shoot, pass poorly, no longer NHL D etc), to guys who can move the puck and more mobile, like any/all of: Bear, Jones, Bouchard, Perrsson, etc

– I would be highly skeptical that you are right and Gravel and Garrison ought to be NHL D: just the opposite: our team was hurt because they were the subs when our full-time D went down

Ryan

so polar:
Care to link to what you mean by Tierney’s expected goals, LT? If it’s on his tiwtter, it just simply doesn’t load for me. Apologies if I’ve just missed it. A quick google led me to nothing discernibly oilers.

Here’s Tierney’s Tableau page.

https://public.tableau.com/profile/sean.tierney#!/

He doesn’t create the data, he gets it from Evolving Wild: https://evolving-hockey.com/

OriginalPouzar

OriginalPouzar: Thinking about this a bit more, I think they may IR one of the sick guys (retroactively to last Thursday, the day after the game).

Seems like they can put someone on waivers tomorrow and deem them “non-roster” to open up the roster spot same day so, presumably, one of Russell or Cave gets waived tomorrow.

I wonder if they brought that person on the plane to New York only to have to fly back west tomorrow?

Ryan

Ryan,

Found this too. https://rpubs.com/evolvingwild/395136/

I nominate So Polar to create a Cole’s notes version.