California Dreaming

The Edmonton Oilers exorcised a couple of demons in San Jose on Tuesday night. The team held a lead in the third period, something it was unable to do Saturday against the Dallas Stars. At the same time the club answered back a 6-3 loss to the Sharks on November 12. It was a solid effort by Dave Tippett’s crew.

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, less than two coffees a month offer here.

  • New Lowetide: Oilers’ No. 2 prospect winter 2019: Philip Broberg
  • Lowetide: Joel Persson’s demotion highlights difficult adjustment for Oilers’ ‘European showtime’ trio
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis: Evaluating the Oilers’ readiness for the 2021 Seattle expansion draft
  • Lowetide: Oilers’ No. 1 prospect winter 2019: Evan Bouchard
  • Lowetide: Oilers’ college procurement could increase under Ken Holland
  • Jonathan Willis: A shift-by-shift analysis of Caleb Jones in his Oilers season debut
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘Sometimes it’s just unstoppable’: How McDavid and the Oilers’ power play dominated the Avalanche
  • Jonathan Willis: Darnell Nurse, Caleb Jones and the crisis that’s looming in the Oilers’ middle distance
  • Jonathan Willis: Basically, yes, the Oilers should keep Ryan Nugent-Hopkins ‘forever’
  • Lowetide: Why the recall of NHL-ready Caleb Jones should benefit the Oilers in the long run
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Oilers Report Cards: Several drivers make the grade but Edmonton’s bus still has a few passengers
  • Daniel Nugent-BowmanFrom 4 to 97, Oilers both new and old share the stories behind their jersey numbers
  • Jonathan Willis: Could a fall trade improve the fortunes of your NHL team in 2019-20?
  • Lowetide: Analyzing Dave Tippett’s defensive usage and what the Oilers will do when Adam Larsson returns
  • Lowetide: What’s going on with the Bakersfield Condors?
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins shines, mad props for Leon Draisaitl and more to like as the Oilers beat the Devils
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: What inexperienced defencemen like the Oilers’ Joel Persson must do to gain their coach’s confidence
  • Lowetide: Oilers are closer to having an effective second line than a year ago, but few have noticed
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: The beauty of a good night’s sleep can be elusive for many NHL players

OILERS AFTER 23 GAMES

  • Oilers in 2015: 7-14-2, 16 points; goal differential -13
  • Oilers in 2016: 12-9-2, 26 points; goal differential +9
  • Oilers in 2017: 8-13-2, 18 points; goal differential -16
  • Oilers in 2018: 10-11-2, 22 points; goal differential -12
  • Oilers in 2019: 14-6-3, 31 points; goal differential +15

Edmonton is on pace for 111 points the last time and Oilers team delivered that point total it was 1986 and I was wearing dockers and drinking screwdrivers. If the team finished the season at Bettman .500 from here on in (25-25-9) the final record would be 39-31-12, 90 points. This team might be headed for fresh blacktop.

OILERS IN NOVEMBER

  • Oilers in November 2015: 3-5-1, seven points; goal differential -2
  • Oilers in November 2016: 2-6-1, five points; goal differential -11
  • Oilers in November 2017: 4-4-1, nine points; goal differential +3
  • Oilers in November 2018: 3-6-0, six points; goal differential -7
  • Oilers in November 2019: 5-2-2, 12 points; goal differential +10

The November fog seems to have lifted, this brilliant nine games is a nice start. I don’t expect we’ll see the club get close to the the October numbers (9-4-1) but the goal differential (October, +5 and November +10) is damned impressive.

WHAT TO EXPECT IN NOVEMBER

  • On the road to: PIT (Expected 0-1-0) (Actual 1-0-0)
  • At home to: ARI, STL, NJD (Expected 2-1-0) (Actual 1-1-1)
  • On the road to: ANA, SJS (Expected 1-0-1) (Actual 1-1-0)
  • At home to: COL, DAL (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 1-0-1)
  • On the road to: SJS, LAK, VEG, ARI, COL (Expected 2-3-0) (Actual 1-0-0)
  • At home to: VAN (Expected 1-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 7-6-1, 15 points in 14 games
  • Current results: 5-2-2, 12 points in 9 games

The road trip now looks far more promising, especially if the Oilers can get past the LAK later this week. Honestly, this season has a different feel, even more than the 2016-17 group. Something about repeatable performances. All numbers five-on-five unless noted and via NST.

LINE 1 Leon Draisaitl-Connor McDavid-Zack Kassian played 14:46, going 16-10 Corsi, 8-5 shots, 2-1 goals, 5-2 HDSC.

Leon Draisaitl grabbed a late assist, had two shots and a HDSC, plus drew a penalty. It goes without saying but he could have scored more if not for slightly off timing. Man he’s having a year. Connor McDavid had a goal and an assist (plus a PP apple), along with three shots, two HDSC plus a penalty taken and another drawn. Zack Kassian scored an early goal that helped set the tone for the game, had two shots and two HDSC. The line is hammering like Dick Pound at a drug testing convention.

LINE 2 Jujhar Khaira-Nuge-James Neal played 10:39 together, going 9-16 Corsi, 5-11 shots, 0-1 goals and 2-2 HDSC.

Jujhar Khaira scored again and had an impact on the game with strong work along the wall and on the forecheck. Four shots, two HDSC, one takeaway and a half dozen hits. Fine game. Nuge had one shot on goal and didn’t get much done offensively, but made several good defensive plays (including a brilliant backcheck that robbed Evander Kane of a one-timer for a sure goal. James Neal scored his 13th goal of the season on the power play, but was quiet at evens. I like the line.

LINE 3 Markus Granlund-Gaetan Haas-Alex Chiasson played 9:27, going 5-9 Corsi, 2-3 shots, 1-0 goals and 1-4 HDSC.

Markus Granlund scored his first goal as an Oiler, had one shot and a takeaway. Gaetan Haas grabbed an assist, a shot, HDSC, got hit four times, lost battles several times and went 1-11 in the dot. Look, I like him too but if you’re looking for an area to improve, well, it’s at centre. Alex Chiasson didn’t get much done but did battle and shot wide a couple of times.

LINE 4 Joakim Nygard-Riley Sheahan-Josh Archibald played 8:58, going 7-6 Corsi, 5-2 shots, no goals and 4-0 HDSC.

Joakim Nygard had one shot, two HDSC, a takeaway and a giveaway. He’s fast as lightning. Riley Sheahan had an assist, two shots, two HDSC, plus won 8 of 14 faceoffs on a night when no one else could do a thing. Josh Archibald had three shots, one HDSC, two takeaways. He was noticeable in a good way.

OILERS 2019-20

Connor McDavid closed the gap on Leon Draisaitl last night, this must be what it was like when Mickey and Maris were chasing the home run crown in 1961. I kid. Matt Benning was hurt last night, it’s uncertain if he will be able to answer the call in Los Angeles. Adam Larsson is close to ready, so that may be the change out. The question I have is this: Does coach Tippett break up Klefbom-Jones? I’m not sure of the way to go.

PAIRING ONE Oscar Klefbom played 13:22 with Caleb Jones, going 8-16 Corsi, 5-8 shots, 1-0 goals, 1-4 HDSC. Pair was 2-4 in offensive-defensive zone faceoffs. Klefbom and Kris Russell played 8:09, going 10-7 Corsi, 6-3 shots, 1-0 goals, 3-2 HDSC and 4-1 offensive zone faceoffs.

Oscar Klefbom had an enormous game. Played 8:24 against Hertl line, 6:27 against Couture line. Had an assist (plus a PP assist), three shots, a giveaway and skated miles. Sharks are a physical team and Klefbom took many hits but performed admirably. Outstanding game. Caleb Jones played a steady game and is establishing himself as an NHL player in real time.

PAIRING TWO Darnell Nurse-Ethan Bear played 17:37, going 22-16 Corsi, 12-7 shots, 2-1 goals, 8-3 HDSC and 6-8 offensive zone faceoffs.

Darnell Nurse had two assists, two shots and played a physical game. Played 6:10 against Hertl’s line and 6:01 against Couture’s line. Nurse had a good game. Ethan Bear had a giveaway and a takeaway, made one gorgeous deke in the offensive zone and played capably. He’s technically a rookie but his audition is over. Bear is bona fide.

PAIRING THREE Kris Russell and Matt Benning played 2:25, going 0-3 Corsi. Benning was injured early in the game and that forced the club into making five add up to six. It worked out well. Benning’s health is a big story this morning.

GOALIE Mikko Koskinen stopped 33 of 35, .943. NST notes he stopped all 10 HDSC’s and to my eye the big man was outstanding.

JUJHAR KHAIRA

We have seen Mr. Khaira play this well before, then fall into long periods of pedestrian play. I’m a big fan of this player would like to point out that he has nine shots in his last two games, 182 shots in his first 175 NHL games. This man can play a more prominent role, especially if he trusts his shot. Khaira is impossible to deal with when he’s aggressively pursuing offense.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, we hit the air on the Lowdown, TSN1260. At 10:20, a truly rare Edmonton radio happening as Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey will break down an Oilers win from last night. I called the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in an effort to have them deliver a live version of ‘Hallelujah chorus’ but they couldn’t make it work with their schedule. Either way, a joyous moment on the way. Marshall Ferguson from TSN 1150 Hamilton joins us at 11, we’ll talk about Grey Cup and the strong Ti-Cats club heading to Calgary. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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242 Responses to "California Dreaming"

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  1. Munny says:

    Reja,

    I wonder how desperate Dubie will get to “fix” things a la Chiarelli?

    I’d like to think we could help him out with that. Out of the goodness and kindness of our hearts of course.

  2. Munny says:

    Lowetide: One of the issues we have in these conversations is that people expect GM’s to make zero mistakes. It doesn’t exist. The trick is to make few mistakes and to make sure all of those errors are on smaller issues.

    I expect GMs of other teams to panic. Like ours did.

    …Because, well, because.

  3. Harpers Hair says:

    Scungilli Slushy: Chayka will be the second boy genius canned after Dubas, when it’s realized that his end game is really promoting his company, he knows diddly about the game because he has no experience really, and he’s being driven by exceptional players he didn’t acquire all of, like Babs and Toddy M’s success as coaches.

    Damn noisy place I’m in forgot my last point.

    I think you’re wrong.

    Here’s why.

    In Toronto, Dubas and Babcock were never on the same page.

    Babcock was hired by Shanahan not Dubas and now that Dubas has been re-united with Keefe, I think you’ll see some radical changes and the Leafs will improve dramatically.

    Worth noting the Marlies are the best team in the AHL.

    Babcock is an ol timey hockey man and from several interviews I’ve heard today, the Leaf’s players had had enough of his old school thinking and decisions.

    In Arizona, Chayka has built a very balanced team that plays with pace, attacks in 5 man units and plays team defense like a dream. This of course helps his goaltenders have outstanding save percentages.
    (Kuemper .937. Raanta .922)

    They don’t have any superstars but nothing they’re doing involves unsustainable shooting percentages and, in fact, some players like Phil Kessel will likely kick it up a notch as the season progresses.

    Also worth noting is that Arizona is the best defensive team in the league with a GA/GP of only 2.23.

    Don’t think Chayka will be fired anytime soon.

  4. hunter1909 says:

    Finally Oilers played in a big game that they won.

    Seems like unless Taylor Hall wants to take a huge hit contract wise for the team the Oilers won’t be able to afford him any more than the Leafs could afford Tavares + Nylander + Marner + Matthews.

    Leafs have royally set themselves back, just like Chiarelli’s Oilers but no McDavid/Draisaitl to save them down the road ahead.

    Tippett’s as good a head coach as they make. Holland’s already proven himself as as savvy a horse trader as Sather.

  5. Munny says:

    hunter1909: Seems like unless Taylor Hall wants to take a huge hit contract wise for the team the Oilers won’t be able to afford him any more than the Leafs could afford Tavares + Nylander + Marner + Matthews.

    But Calgary lurks in the shadows, dangling Johnny Gaudreau from their belt, like a tawdry coinpurse just waiting to be spent.

  6. hunter1909 says:

    Munny:
    Reja,

    I wonder how desperate Dubie will get to “fix” things a la Chiarelli?

    I’d like to think we could help him out with that.Out of the goodness and kindness of our hearts of course.

    Thank goodness Nylander’s family hate Edmonton.

  7. hunter1909 says:

    Munny:
    hunter1909,

    But Calgary lurks in the shadows, dangling Johnny Gaudreau from their belt, like a tawdry coinpurse waiting to be spent.

    Calgary haven’t even started to understand the full implications of Lucic “contributing” to their team’s culture. Or his cap anchor.

    Avalanche exposed Gaudreau’s inability to drive a Stanley Cup championship team without team toughness so they go out and get the schoolyard bully who’s shaving and driving his own car to elementary school.

  8. HT Joe says:

    hunter1909: Thank goodness Nylander’s family hate Edmonton.

    And WE hate the Nylanders…

  9. Reja says:

    Munny:
    Reja,

    I wonder how desperate Dubie will get to “fix” things a la Chiarelli?

    I’d like to think we could help him with that.Out of the goodness and kindness of our hearts of course.

    I said it last week and I’ll say it again we have the deepest D in the division and maybe beyond. We very well could be set for 10 years, you win from the backend out and it doesn’t hurt too have arguably 2 of the best players in the world. The difference between 2016 and now is this is Connor’s and Leon’s team Nurse, Kassian Kelbom etc aren’t to far behind.Close your eyes and picture the Oilers in the playoffs whose going to stop Leon and Connor in a 7 game series. Holland has been dealt a Ace King time to fleece some desperate teams.

  10. hunter1909 says:

    Considering the drama and expense I prefer the thought of bringing Maroon back to the team, not Hall who apparently will cost a fortune that the cap strapped oilers don’t need any more than a spendthrift wife needs a new credit card.

  11. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – Neat stuff today with the Laughs.

    – Babcock wasn’t the GMs guy : it didn’t work. Coach wasn’t Chias guy (nor was Hitch)

    – This Sheldon guy is a coaching stuf: every team he coached has made the playoffs.

    – Coach and Babs were both “ok boomer’d” out of their jobs by players who tuned them out.

    – Who would have thunk that Lou would be gm’img the sh?t out of the isles and Dubas is down to his last coach before he gets fired.

    – For what it’s worth I think the Leafs will be sick with the new coach who coached over half the current Leaf roster: we will see.

  12. hunter1909 says:

    HT Joe: And WE hate the Nylanders…

    Or, mostly anyone on Lowe+MacT’s enemies list since 2000 AD.

  13. Reja says:

    Harpers Hair: I think you’re wrong.

    Here’s why.

    In Toronto, Dubas and Babcock were never on the same page.

    Babcock was hired by Shanahan not Dubas and now that Dubas has been re-united with Keefe, I think you’ll see some radical changes and the Leafs will improve dramatically.

    Worth noting the Marlies are the best team in the AHL.

    Babcock is an ol timeyhockey man and from several interviews I’ve heard today, the Leaf’s players had had enough of his old school thinking and decisions.

    In Arizona, Chayka has built a very balanced team that plays with pace, attacks in 5 man units and plays team defense like a dream. This of course helps his goaltenders have outstanding save percentages.
    (Kuemper .937. Raanta .922)

    They don’t have any superstars but nothing they’re doing involves unsustainable shooting percentages and, in fact,some players like Phil Kessel will likely kick it up a notch as the season progresses.

    Also worth noting is that Arizona is the best defensive team in the league with a GA/GP of only 2.23.

    Don’t think Chayka will be fired anytime soon.

    How’s your Canucks doing these days they most be on a break.

  14. hunter1909 says:

    Watching other NHL teams I get the feeling that while there are many good teams with good players and systems the Oilers blow nearly all of them out of the water with McDavid+Draisaitl who are currently as unstoppable as anything I’ve seen before in the NHL.

  15. Reja says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    – Neat stuff today with the Laughs.

    – Babcock wasn’t the GMs guy : it didn’t work. Coach wasn’t Chias guy (nor was Hitch)

    – This Sheldon guy is a coaching stuf: every team he coached has made the playoffs.

    – Coach and Babs were both “ok boomer’d” out of their jobs by players who tuned them out.

    – Who would have thunk that Lou would be gm’img the sh?t out of the isles and Dubas is down to his last coach before he gets fired.

    – For what it’s worth I think the Leafs will be sick with the new coach who coached over half the current Leaf roster: we will see.

    It all rests on Andersen shoulders he’s looked rattled the last few games. If he loses his Mojo they’re completely screwed.

  16. jp says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Kurri was the most complete player I watched growing up and was the reason Gretzky rarely needed to cross his own blue line.

    I’m not using too much hyperbole either.He would wait outside the blue line (2 line rule was in effect then) for his team mates to get the puck back and get it to him.

    Then Kurri would bury it when Gretzky fed him.

    Gretzky fed many players in his career, none came close to burying them like Kurri did.

    If it didn’t go in, Kurri would then go get the puck back and/or be first on the back check in a league then never back checked.

    I can’t imagine Gretzky without Kurri.

    It was so perfect.

    Thanks for that. I saw Kurri play for the Oilers but was too young to remember them together. I “knew” all that stuff of course, but it’s clearly not the same.

    FWIW I was replying to a poster who likened LTs Connor-Leon vs Mantle-Maris comparison to Gretzky-Kurri. With Gretzky-Kurri there was never really a points race. And my statement was factually correct – the closest Kurri ever came to Gretzky in scoring when they played together was 73 points back in 84-85.

    Clearly that doesn’t come close to capturing Kurri’s importance. And seriously, thank you for the history lesson.

    Current day, Leon is clearly not the same type of compliment to McDavid that Kurri was to Gretzky. But it’s still more than a little remarkable that he’s projecting to score 20+ points more than Kurri ever did. Especially in this far lower scoring era. I’m impressed.

    McDavid-Draisaitl appear to be writing their own history. They just need some real team success to cement their place.

  17. Bulging Twine says:

    “Zack Kassian ….. helped set the tone for the game”

    He’s been doing that a lot this season. Perhaps he helped set the tone for this season.

  18. drglen says:

    it’s funny but for some reason I don’t care about Babcock’s firing. I think I’m supposed to.. but I don’t. Just a little blip of passing trivia.

    Faceoffs were a problem last night.

    Archibold looks to be a keeper. Goal would be nice, but he causes problems on the forecheck.

    Let’s hope Khaira can keep this up.

    not a great game for Chaisson, but he did battle.

    I’m not sure what’s up with Nyggard. He’s fast but always seems to be in a dense mesh of checking sticks, never a clean break. Not sure what that means.

  19. Munny says:

    Bulging Twine:
    “Zack Kassian ….. helped set the tone for the game”

    He’s been doing that a lot this season.Perhaps he helped set the tone for this season.

    I don’t think have ever seen Tippett as enthused during a presser as he was last night about Kassian.

  20. Scungilli Slushy says:

    drglen:
    it’s funny but for some reason I don’t care about Babcock’s firing. I think I’m supposed to.. but I don’t.Just a little blip of passing trivia.

    Faceoffs were a problem last night.

    Archibold looks to be a keeper. Goal would be nice, but he causes problems on the forecheck.

    Let’s hope Khaira can keep this up.

    not a great game for Chaisson, but he did battle.

    I’m not sure what’s up with Nyggard. He’s fast but always seems to be in a dense mesh of checking sticks, never a clean break. Not sure what that means.

    Chiasson and Gagner are smart players, good team guys, neither have chosen to adapt to the leahue IMO. Neither are strong enough finishers to warrant NHL duty. Sam gets enough points IF he’s in the right spot, but on the Oilers they don’t need playmaking wingers, they need scoring wingers.

    Europe or retire or another low contract and a move is in the horizon.

    Edit – because skating. Both have had enough money and time to deal with it, maybe have, in that case it didn’t work. Sam got heavier before faster and I think that is what has sunk him.

  21. Munny says:

    Bulging Twine,

    This is a remarkable stretch of games he’s been havin.

    Fully deserved the highlight treatment from Spector on SN’s site today.

  22. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Wilde: Scungil

    Most of the lottery teams before PC began gutting to be heavy. I’m not trying to be obtuse. I hope you feel the same.

  23. Munny says:

    Elliotte’s 31:

    https://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/31-thoughts-calgary-flames-johnny-gaudreau-not-selling-low/

    Brief, and largely ancillary, Oiler mentions therein.

    But the 31st Thought is a story well worth a read. The story of Abzilla.

  24. Munny says:

    To tell you the truth, Draisaitl and McDavid remind me of Messier and Anderson more than any other pairing. Style of players, how they played together, points relationship.

  25. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Harpers Hair: Worth noting the Marlies are the best team in the AHL.

    Kyle drafted those players?

    Harpers Hair: They don’t have any superstars but nothing they’re doing involves unsustainable shooting percentages and, in fact, some players like Phil Kessel will likely kick it up a notch as the season progresses.

    Also worth noting is that Arizona is the best defensive team in the league with a GA/GP of only 2.23.

    Don’t think Chayka will be fired anytime soon.

    I agree, and he’s in a hard place because revenues. But if you don’t have elite talent outside of OEL (I say because Larsson is a different player with him in country play) and no money, how do you get it? Not by finishing too high and short of Cup yearly, as Oiler fans know.

    Also, if he has a company that sells data to the league (I assume) is that not a conflict of interest? Just the wife on the papers?

    Doesn’t really matter to me, what does is the Oilers win Cups as much as possible. I can’t have an NHL mistress. Some can, I can’t. Or perhaps won’t. But I’m the same way on the Eskies.

  26. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Lowetide: Scungil

    Agreed. I did mention the difference between dinosaurs and hairless asses, and the ones in between, which Tip seems to me. Hairless has had a lot of popularity lately, I see it toning down.

    For example what happens here isn’t a result of your natural skill that doesn’t take into account the years in media and early blog participation, does it?

  27. Bulging Twine says:

    Pouzar:
    McSorley33,

    Nurse was covering some serious ice last night. Maybe his best game of the year.

    ‘gree

  28. pts2pndr says:

    Harpers Hair:
    leadfarmer,

    Arizona is going to win the division.
    Book it.

    From picking any team but the oilers you have now become a deciple of Woodguy. No points for originality. If you keep jumping off and on various teams bandwagons you are bound to get it right eventually. Woodguy has the class to put his money on it have you. Never mind I really don’t care.

  29. hunter1909 says:

    I’m happy seeing Oilers in first place, and Lucic on the Flames. If this turns Oilers into a contender this might turn out to be the greatest lopsided trade in NHL history.

  30. Munny says:

    I highly recommend looking at the Conference Table once.

    Every hour or so…

  31. Munny says:

    hunter1909: If this turns Oilers into a contender this might turn out to be the greatest lopsided trade in NHL history.

    A viable 2nd liner, deadly powerplay specialist for a boat anchor. QEII sized.

    That’s pretty lopsided, but sadly:

    It doesn’t beat the Flames worst TWO… Hull and Gilmour. lol@flames

    Nor the Oilers… Gretz and Mess. *sobs*

  32. Side says:

    I remember when the Oilers hired a successful Marlies coach who was lauded by Leafs fans.

    I hope the story ends the same way for the Leafs..

  33. Caller Zen says:

    Munny:
    Elliotte’s 31:

    https://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/31-thoughts-calgary-flames-johnny-gaudreau-not-selling-low/

    Brief, and largely ancillary, Oiler mentions therein.

    But the 31st Thought is a story well worth a read.The story of Abzilla.

    Thanks for sharing and #20 on the list instantly made me think that Babbock is now the frontrunner for the coaching job in Seattle… so we might be seeing more of him as a divisional rival.

  34. Fuge Udvar says:

    2 things:
    I don’t know when we started calling Vegas, Vegreville but I love it

    Start Larsson with Klefbom. Klefbom compliments Larsson’s skillset better. Manage Larsson’s minutes but I’d much rather him with Klefbom than trying to drag around Russel. Veterans need confidence too.

  35. hunter1909 says:

    I’m jumping ahead to where McDavid and Draisaitl come of age and win cups. The current reckoning is 2-3 unless it’s a fluke.

    Flames fans have suddenly morphed into old Oilers fans as they see their precious team degraded with ridiculous GM moves like acquiring Lucic.

  36. ArmchairGM says:

    hunter1909:
    Finally Oilers played in a big game that they won.

    Seems like unless Taylor Hall wants to take a huge hit contract wise for the team the Oilers won’t be able to afford him any more than the Leafs could afford Tavares + Nylander + Marner + Matthews.

    Leafs have royally set themselves back, just like Chiarelli’s Oilers but no McDavid/Draisaitl to save them down the road ahead.

    Tippett’s as good a head coach as they make. Holland’s already proven himself as as savvy a horse trader as Sather.

    If Holland could clear enough money to sign Hall, I’d rather he used that space to sign Kreider + Pageau instead. While neither guy is elite, it would provide a lot more balance to the team.

    Here’s an example: https://www.capfriendly.com/armchair-gm/team/1510637

    There’s even enough cap space to keep Neal as he would bump one of Yamamoto or Tippett off the roster, for a cap difference of ~$4.9M.

  37. ArmchairGM says:

    hunter1909:
    Watching other NHL teams I get the feeling that while there are many good teams with good players and systems the Oilers blow nearly all of them out of the water with McDavid+Draisaitl who are currently as unstoppable as anything I’ve seen before in the NHL.

    They, combined with Kassian, are clearly the best line in hockey. And it’s not particularly close.

    They’ve really only been playing together since the beginning of January, IIRC. Here are some stats since then, as well as stats for Boston’s top line and Colorado’s:

    5v5 production:

    EDM: 64-84-148
    BOS: 51-62-113
    COL: 27-38-65

    COL clearly makes most of their production on the PP. I didn’t include PP numbers because it’s not a “line” (4 forwards) and Kassian doesn’t get PP time with the others.

    I can’t manipulate the line tool for specific dates, so these numbers are for the entire 2018-19 season + the 2019-20 season so far:

    EDM: 46 GF – 30 GA // 60.53 GF%
    BOS: 45 GF – 35 GA // 56.25 GF%
    COL: 51 GF – 35 GA // 59.30 GF%

    Here are the same stats expressed per hour:

    EDM: 4.85 – 3.17 = +1.68
    BOS: 4.04 – 3.14 = +0.90
    COL: 3.21 – 2.21 = +1.00

    I think EDM’s defensive liabilities are overblown, as is BOS’s defensive acumen. This year’s numbers:

    EDM: 4.85 – 2.32 = +2.53 (67.65 GF%) in 284:22
    BOS: 4.94 – 3.19 = +1.75 (60.71) in 206:40
    COL: 2.73 – 3.27 = -0.54 (45.45) in 109:58

    – So Edmonton’s 1st line hasn’t been scoring any more than last year, all of the improvement has come on the defensive side of the puck. What wonders occur when you have good goaltending!
    – I don’t think the Boston 1st line’s scoring rate is sustainable based on it’s own history. Bergeron isn’t getting any younger.
    – Colorado’s 1st line has experienced lost time due to injury, but the replacements have been doing better than the original wingers so far. In 30 minutes with Donskoi and Burakovski, MacK has been 3.88 – 1.94 with a 66.67 GF%. Nice to have enough depth that can step up!

  38. ArmchairGM says:

    Bulging Twine:
    “Zack Kassian ….. helped set the tone for the game”

    He’s been doing that a lot this season.Perhaps he helped set the tone for this season.

    His 16 points at 5v5 so far this year have him tied for 5th IN THE ENTIRE LEAGUE!!

    His 67 hits lead the team and put him at 7th in the league.

  39. Nit64 says:

    Fuge Udvar: I don’t know when we started calling Vegas, Vegreville but I love

    After that 6-0 drubbing Calmar must be relieved not to play Vegreville again until March.

  40. Pouzar says:

    Kurri in ’90 playoffs was Redonk

  41. Fuhr and Lowething. says:

    ArmchairGM: They, combined with Kassian, are clearly the best line in hockey. And it’s not particularly close.

    They’ve really only been playing together since the beginning of January, IIRC. Here are some stats since then, as well as stats for Boston’s top line and Colorado’s:

    5v5 production:

    EDM: 64-84-148
    BOS: 51-62-113
    COL: 27-38-65

    COL clearly makes most of their production on the PP. I didn’t include PP numbers because it’s not a “line” (4 forwards) and Kassian doesn’t get PP time with the others.

    I can’t manipulate the line tool for specific dates, so these numbers are for the entire 2018-19 season + the 2019-20 season so far:

    EDM: 46 GF – 30 GA // 60.53 GF%
    BOS: 45 GF – 35 GA // 56.25 GF%
    COL: 51 GF – 35 GA // 59.30 GF%

    Here are the same stats expressed per hour:

    EDM: 4.85 – 3.17 = +1.68
    BOS: 4.04 – 3.14 = +0.90
    COL: 3.21 – 2.21 = +1.00

    I think EDM’s defensive liabilities are overblown, as is BOS’s defensive acumen. This year’s numbers:

    EDM: 4.85 – 2.32 = +2.53 (67.65 GF%) in 284:22
    BOS: 4.94 – 3.19 = +1.75 (60.71) in 206:40
    COL: 2.73 – 3.27 = -0.54 (45.45) in 109:58

    – So Edmonton’s 1st line hasn’t been scoring any more than last year, all of the improvement has come on the defensive side of the puck. What wonders occur when you have good goaltending!– I don’t think the Boston 1st line’s scoring rate is sustainable based on it’s own history. Bergeron isn’t getting any younger.– Colorado’s 1st line has experienced lost time due to injury, but the replacements have been doing better than the original wingers so far. In 30 minutes with Donskoi and Burakovski, MacK has been 3.88 – 1.94 with a 66.67 GF%. Nice to have enough depth that can step up!

    Crazy.

    It would be interesting to see where the Kucherov line slotted in last season as a comparable.

  42. ArmchairGM says:

    Fuhr and Lowething.: Crazy.

    It would be interesting to see where the Kucherov line slotted in last season as a comparable.

    2018-19 season + the 2019-20 season so far for Kucherov – Point – Johnson:

    3.76 – 2.58 = +1.18 (59.38%) in 605:37

    This year Kucherov – Point – Johnson:

    3.48 – 2.32 = +1.16 (60.00%) in 51:45

    This year Kucherov – Point – Stamkos:

    4.82 – 2.89 = +1.93 (62.50%) in 62:15

    Whatever else is going on in TB, this line isn’t the problem.

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