It Don’t Come Easy

by Lowetide

What would an ideal AHL season look like for the Oilers organization? If we look back in April 2020 on this Bakersfield Condors team, what would represent a perfect day?

As you may know, if you’ve slogged your way through one of my ‘Farm Workers’ episodes, it’s my belief that the outer marker for AHL grads (men who have played 120+ games in the minors) is a quality NHL player. Fernando Pisani was a quality NHL player but he wasn’t a superstar. His skill set is the outer marker, the goal. That’s a fine player.

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, there is a Puck Drop Special offer here.

  • New Minnia Feng: The 2019-20 Oilers fan guide to emotions and stressful circumstances
  • New Jonathan Willis: How much will the Oilers have to pay to keep pending free agent Zack Kassian?
  • New Lowetide: Sheahan hurt, Oilers in need of a two-way centre; some candidates emerging
  • New Jonathan Willis: Handicapping the chase for the Calder after the first month of the 2019-20 NHL season
  • Jonathan Willis: Unproductive Oilers forwards are in danger of losing their jobs — and soon
  • Lowetide: Analyzing the current state of the Edmonton Oilers goaltending.
  • Jonathan Willis: Should the Oilers trade for a veteran NHL defenceman?
  • Lowetide: Oilers first-round pick Philip Broberg increases his role; Condors’ Caleb Jones looks NHL-ready
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘I don’t think anyone’s feeling comfortable’: Oilers’ Holland pleased but cautious amid early improvements.
  • Lowetide: Josh Archibald’s injury and limited replacements available puts some pressure on Oilers
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: 4 reasons why the Oilers passed their first true test of the season
  • Lowetide: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and James Neal are leading a quality Oilers second line
  • Lowetide: Assessing the early season progress of Oilers’ defence and goaltending
  • Jonathan Willis: A rare success during Edmonton’s long rebuild, why Oscar Klefbom is the model for finishing Oilers’ blue line
  • Lowetide: Jesse Puljujarvi’s impressive Liiga performance headlines Oilers prospects this week
  • Jonathan Willis: Can the Oilers afford to pursue Taylor Hall in free agency?
  • Corey Pronman: Oilers No. 9 farm system.
  • Lowetide: Oilers top 20 prospects summer 2019.

NHLE’S (AHL FORWARDS)

Ken Holland’s plan to ‘over-ripen’ prospects includes a step forward by said prospects during the season. That’s my take anyway. So, one of the things we should be looking for is a spike in production, especially among forwards. So far this season, the forwards are flat or worse:

  1. Joe Gambardella 32.9
  2. Brad Malone 28.8
  3. Kailer Yamamoto 25.6
  4. Josh Currie 25.6
  5. Tyler Benson 25.6
  6. Cooper Marody 21.3
  7. Colby Cave 19.2
  8. Ryan McLeod 12.8
  9. Luke Esposito 8.5

Ideally, you’d like to see someone pushing 40 NHLE at some point this season. Plenty of time to go, but if you’re recalling (say) Yamamoto today, it’s for reasons other than his forcing the issue. Here, let’s look at last season’s forwards:

  1. Cooper Marody 42.3
  2. Tyler Benson 37.3
  3. Joe Gambardella 36.8
  4. Josh Currie 29.7
  5. Kailer Yamamoto 25.6
  6. Cam Hebig 17.4
  7. Nolan Vesey 6.8

The forwards are all down year over year (Yamamoto is running in place) and part of that is the power play. I don’t think the Oilers can recall any forward on merit. A year ago,
Benson became the sixth real forward prospect since 2010 to play as a regular at 20 (Teemu Hartikainen, Tyler Pitlick, Magnus Paajarvi, Bogdan Yakimov, Jujhar Khaira). This year, Ryan McLeod and Kirill Maksimov will look to join the group.

NHLE (AHL DEFENSE)

  1. Caleb Jones 21.3
  2. Evan Bouchard 17.1
  3. Dmitri Samorukov 4.3
  4. Keegan Lowe 4.3

Points from defensemen is a little less valuable in terms of assessing defensemen, but it does speak to time on ice and success. It’s difficult for a defender to post a high number, anything over 20 is good and implies a two-way player. Expect a spike from both Bouchard and Samorukov in the coming months. Here are last year’s numbers:

  1. Ethan Bear 22.9
  2. Caleb Jones 22.3
  3. Logan Day 20.4
  4. William Lagesson 15.5

As is the case this year (so far), 20+ points is a good indicator of offensive success. Lagesson’s points came at evens, so that’s a fine number, too. Ethan Bear was an AHL regular at 20, one of four since 2010 (Martin Marincin, Martin Gernat, Ethan Bear, Caleb Jones) and it looks like Bouchard and Samorukov are joining the party this season.

TWEENERS

The truth is that ‘tweeners’ are the biggest AHL category and point totals can fool you. Rob Schremp was a tweener, he scored 53 points in 69 AHL games at age 20 ( not quite Benson levels). Anton Lander was a tweener, Ty Rattie was a tweener.

Maybe Kailer Yamamoto will be a tweener. I don’t think he will, but this blog thought Marc Pouliot, Teemu Hartikainen and Linus Omark would make it. There’s luck, good and bad, in making it from the tweener division. Part of luck is injury. Ask Pouliot.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy Friday morning gets started at 10, TSN1260. Steve Lansky from BigMouthSports will drop by from the Royal Winter Fair. We’ll chat World Series, Oilers start, Leafs worries and the Tkachuk goal. Matthew Iwanyk will discuss the Eskimos-Roughriders game, Tiger’s recent success and what it might mean for 2020, and Ravens-Patrioits. Reid Fowler from Draft Kings will preview the NFL weekend. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Rock On. Rock On. Jimmy Dean.

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CallighenMan

McNuge93: Yes, that was a bad signing by the Canucks and they are going to regret it. He has done nothing since about midway last year. Hurricanes had a great playoff but he didn’t.

but, but HH said it was a brilliant signing … you *must* be wrong!! LOL. what an asshat HH is

Jurco Nutmeg

Gags needs some PP love. Every game there’s a chance a RH stick would’ve buried.

giddy

Wrong thread!!

OriginalPouzar

– Pre-game tennis (Shap and Nadal in the SF)

– Oiler game – national broadcast in the US

– NHL Saturday ice-surfing

– Condors Game

That’s a beauty day!

OriginalPouzar

Should be a great game today – Crosby, Malkin, McDavid, Drai – that’s some star power. I’ll take the 22 and just turned 24 year old.

Judging by practice yesterday, should see the same lineup that played well in Columbus – hopefully Sheahan is good to go, he was a full participant.

Judging by practice, Smith looks to be the starter. Sure, I’m fine with either. It is interesting to me that Koskinen has played a bit better in my opinion (by eye and numbers) but Smith has a few more starts. Maybe they are really really wanting Koski to get that rest.

OriginalPouzar

HarpersHair: It means he’s an offensive D who needs sheltering but isn’t very good at offence
His closet comparable is Hughes and they aren’t in the same conversation..

The conversation was prospects – Quinn Hughes is in the NHL and not a prospect.

You posted the PPG of of 5 players in the AHL this year to determine which organization has better prospects.

You included Juolevi with a higher PPG as Bouchard as determinative of being better.

You said that age doesn’t matter as good NHL players show themselves early (a wild statement considering the advanced age of the 3 of the 5 Cancuck “prospects”) shown.

Bouchard now has a higher PPG than Juolevi (and younger) but instead of acknowledging that, by your criteria, Bouchard is the better prospect, you bring up Quinn Hughes who has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with this conversation.

So, you listed Francis Perron – should I bring up Leon Draisailt as a comparison given the same draft year.

Wild stuff yet again.

OriginalPouzar

HarpersHair: Uh, no.

NSH .692
COL .692
VAN .692
STL .679
EDM.679

Oiler are tied for fourth.

Oilers – 19 points

NSH – 18 points

Colorado – 18 points

St. Louis – 18 points

Yes, i understand “points percentage” but that’s simply not how the day to day standings work in the NHL so, again, cherry picking to fit a narrative.

As of this moment, the Oilers are on top of the Western Conference Standings by the rules of the NHL.

OriginalPouzar

Glass:
Bouchard has been doing fine in producing points, but he really needs work defensively. He’ll get there, we just gotta be patient.

From my eye, its not “defensively” necessarily but decision making and mistakes in the offensive zone.

OriginalPouzar

Brind’Amour finishes with a goal and an assist and 12 for 16 in the faceoffs. His assist was SH so he’s killing penalties.

I missed the OT last night but Malone won it for the Condors from Day and McLeod.

JimmyV1965

Maybe a little refresher on the history of Olli Juolevi is in order. There was a lot of consternation in Canucks land in his Draft +1 because he was outscored on the London Knights by Evan Bouchard, who was nearly two years younger, as well as Victor Mete, who was drafted in the fourth round in the same draft. Juolevi went back to Finland in Draft +2 because his role on the team was taken over on the Knights by a much younger Bouchard.

SwedishPoster

OriginalPouzar:
Condors start with the Day, Jones, Curie, Esposito, Malone PP after a TV timeout.

Two noble prizes to her name and now on an AHL PP. That’s impressive.

ArmchairGM

OriginalPouzar: Maybe we should use the 8 points in 8 games in the AHL as a teenager as conclusive?

Yes! Of course we should.

Reja

Harpers Hair: Teams also don’t get docked for points they haven’t lost yet.
When the Oilers lose to the Penguins tomorrow, and they will, this will become clear to you.

Bouchard with 2 assists 6 points in 10. Nucks lose there toughness with Ferland out. Might have to stop the engraving on the Calder trophy.

meanashell11

Basil: Always reminds me of somebody machine-gunning a seal.
Major Gowen: The heat?
Basil: No, no. My wife’s laugh.

Munny

Gerta Rauss,

It’s okay… (he’s from Barcelona).

Gerta Rauss

Munny,

Whatever you do, don’t mention the war

Munny

Harpers Hair: Uh, no.

NSH .692
COL .692
VAN .692
STL .679
EDM.679

Oiler are tied for fourth.

This joke’s a little generic, however. The old confuse-the-sport trick is way too done. Your comments are usually more outrageously stupid than this. I will put it down to the late hour. Can’t be “on” all the time.

Munny

Nit64: Hey folks. Stop feeding the clever fellow who knows better than to troll

I don’t know, man… I haven’t seen anyone play an imbecile so straight up since Basil Fawlty. Takes a brave and courageous man to play the idiot so thoroughly and consistently… and simply so an entire community can have some laughs and be entertained. Commendable really.

I think we should express the laughter he brings us and thank him for every asinine comment. It’s the least we can do in return.

hunter1909

Harpers Hair: Uh, no.

NSH .692
COL .692
VAN .692
STL .679
EDM.679

Oiler are tied for fourth.

You appear to have Hockey confused with Baseball. In Baseball they use percentages to calculate division leaders. In Ice Hockey they tally up the total number of points collected.

N64

Someone: Tied for first with 19 points. Nsh, Van, Col only have 18 points. It’s a little bit tricky, but teams don’t get credit for points they haven’t yet earned.

Hey folks. Stop feeding the clever fellow who knows better than to troll

Ice Sage

Cheers DSF, you are a predictable beauty!
Go Canucks hahahah !

Harpers Hair

Someone: Tied for first with 19 points. Nsh, Van, Col only have 18 points. It’s a little bit tricky, but teams don’t get credit for points they haven’t yet earned.

Teams also don’t get docked for points they haven’t lost yet.
When the Oilers lose to the Penguins tomorrow, and they will, this will become clear to you.

Someone

Harpers Hair: Uh, no.

NSH .692
COL .692
VAN .692
STL .679
EDM.679

Oiler are tied for fourth.

Tied for first with 19 points. Nsh, Van, Col only have 18 points. It’s a little bit tricky, but teams don’t get credit for points they haven’t yet earned.

Harpers Hair

OriginalPouzar:
Hmmmmm, seems Bouchard now has a higher PPG that Juolevi this year….. what could it mean?

It means he’s an offensive D who needs sheltering but isn’t very good at offence
His closet comparable is Hughes and they aren’t in the same conversation..

Harpers Hair

OriginalPouzar:
Colorado loses to Dallas and the Oilers stay atop the Western Conference.

Uh, no.

NSH .692
COL .692
VAN .692
STL .679
EDM .679

Oiler are tied for fourth.

Glass

Bouchard has been doing fine in producing points, but he really needs work defensively. He’ll get there, we just gotta be patient.

OriginalPouzar

Hmmmmm, seems Bouchard now has a higher PPG that Juolevi this year….. what could it mean?

OriginalPouzar

Lagesson gives the Condors the lead from Benson and Bouchard.

Kraz

Pescador,

The riots were the cherry on top of watching Kessler and their fans cry watching the Bruins raise Stanley in their own city.

OriginalPouzar

MaterialElvis: It looks like his ankle broke when he was skating.I haven’t heard what the diagnosis is but it didn’t look good.Very strange that it would snap like that without trauma or any provocation.Hope he’s okay, too.

My head went to sprain more than break – hoping its not the dreaded high ankle sprain

OriginalPouzar

Munny: He’s kind of small for an NHL defenseman isn’t he?Be a shame to lose such a talent to chronic injury woes.

In this case, he twisted his ankle (looked like he caught a rut) mid ice with no player touching him

OriginalPouzar

Colorado loses to Dallas and the Oilers stay atop the Western Conference.

drglen

Pescador: Oh but the riots & the senseless vandalism of private property,
That was the true victory

anybody here live/spend time in Vancouver? I did. Wish I still could in many ways.. but there is this kind of entitled marginal youngish male subculture there.. without a core or grounding, that reared its head that day and to an extent I agree, that demographic is still there and stronger.

I lived in Toronto too, and I’d be very, very interested to see what would happen if Toronto went to the finals and lost. Would they riot, … you know I don’t think they would. Never. Honestly I think they would just go home, or head out and celebrate the run smiling with friends.

I don’t think Vancouver’s ever going to live that down, but this team with that coach will be a very tough out in the playoffs.

OriginalPouzar

Looks like the Condors just got robbed of a goal – refs wouldn’t even review it – Ryan Holt is furious.

I think its pissed off the Condors – Benson looks like he has a fire lit under his ass – took a bomb of a clapper on the PP and then made a great play as the man-back on a SH 2-1

drglen

OriginalPouzar:
Marody looking the best on the McLeod/Marody/Yamamoto line.

Condors played a bit better after they got the momentum from the goal but Skinner was the best player in the period.

I’m going to have to get that condors package.. . but that’s the thing.. Marody has this great possesion skill and craftyness, .. but in what I remember from the NHL games, he’s pretty much kept to the outside/perimeter. Lots of movement and the appearance of progress, but nothing comes of it. – like treading water. Now I don’t think he’s had much taste of the benefit of top 6 NHL finishers either.. Maybe a bit more speed is all he needs.. pure atheletic breakwway speed. I don’t know enough about hockey to know if this is possible beyond a certain age and with a certain body size.

OriginalPouzar

Lowetide:
Sounds like Hughes got hurt in that VAN-ANA game. He is a great young player, hope he’s okay.

Looks like he caught a rut or something and that did not look good for his ankle.

drglen

OriginalPouzar:
Malone and Yamamoto PK1.

Keep developing that broad skill-set Kailer, that’s you meal ticket

and that’s Jay! recognizing the terrain and helping the kid out. Good show.

OriginalPouzar

Benson struggling with his finishing confidence – he’s playing alright but just whiffed on a PP one-timer off a great set-up by Marody (and Bouchard) – and looked up at the sky.

Material Elvis

Lowetide:
Sounds like Hughes got hurt in that VAN-ANA game. He is a great young player, hope he’s okay.

It looks like his ankle broke when he was skating. I haven’t heard what the diagnosis is but it didn’t look good. Very strange that it would snap like that without trauma or any provocation. Hope he’s okay, too.

drglen

ArmchairGM: Haha, watching the Caps during their SC run and one of my kids asked, “why don’t the refs stop the play?”

I responded, “why would they do that?”

” ‘Cause nets off.”

lol _+111

OriginalPouzar

Condors start with the Day, Jones, Curie, Esposito, Malone PP after a TV timeout.

OriginalPouzar

Yamamoto is pretty much drawing a penalty ever game.

Munny

Harpers Hair,

Just when I think you can’t get any more ridiculously funny, you out do yourself!! Goodness gracious, the laughs you’ve provided today. Lightened my soul.

You do God’s work, DSF. I know it will be difficult—even for one as comedically talented as you—but please keep up the absurd comments. Sure does a body good.

OriginalPouzar

As it relates to that super soft schedule, the Oiler have beat the 1st, 7th and 10th place teams in the NHL.

Pescador

Kraz:
Harpers Hair,

Hughes is Torey Krug 2.0, Boeser is Eberle 2.0, Miller was the 8th best player on a contending team who was disposable and they traded a first round pick for, Myers was the 3RD on a contender, Jim Benning is a fucking awful GM Travis Green is a mediocre coach. The Canucks are doomed for mediocrity unless they find a way to clone Petterson. They missed their chance to
Win the cup in 2011 but maybe they will get their shot in another 40 years

Oh but the riots & the senseless vandalism of private property,
That was the true victory

Munny

Lowetide:
Sounds like Hughes got hurt in that VAN-ANA game. He is a great young player, hope he’s okay.

He’s kind of small for an NHL defenseman isn’t he? Be a shame to lose such a talent to chronic injury woes.

Munny

McSorley33: I am hoping Benson and Marody had a bit of a hangover from being relatively early
cuts from the big club. Maybe they will turn it on in Nov and Dec.
I mean Marody is about to turn 23 – if not now – when?
Strongly suspect ( hope I am wrong ) that the org. has made the call on Gambardella and Marody not having the wheels for the show.

drglen: Personally, I don’t think the oilers will ever play Marody.

As Godot says above, maybe we see him if Nuge gets hurt… maybe.

But unless Marody puts in an Ethan Bear-like off-season effort and improves his skating, he’s not likely to have much of an NHL career.

It’s on him… he has all the other tools. But he hasn’t undertaken that step to this point, despite the obvious need, so you have to wonder.

OriginalPouzar

ArmchairGM:
There’s an article (if you’re really bored) at nhl.com about how McDavid is winless vs Crosby in his career: 0-3-3. It makes it seem as if Crosby is still the king and McDavid the wannabe (most of the McDavid quotes are about how he watched Crosby growing up), and then buried in the article is their stats:

Crosby: 6, 2-2-4
McDavid: 6, 3-9-12

Bwahahahahahaha! Suck it, Sid!

and, on the polar opposite side of the spectrum is a great article at The Athletic from the PIT guy about how Crosby new McDavid was special at age 15 and things McDavid was doing as a 15 year old in the CHL.

https://theathletic.com/1343785/2019/11/01/yohe-sidney-crosby-always-knew-connor-mcdavid-was-the-next-one/

OriginalPouzar

Marody looking the best on the McLeod/Marody/Yamamoto line.

Condors played a bit better after they got the momentum from the goal but Skinner was the best player in the period.