Just Out of Reach (of my two empty arms)

Ethan Bear made an inspired pass to Connor McDavid on the tying goal last night, but the Edmonton Oilers couldn’t hold the lead and have now lost three in a row for the first time all season. It’s a test for the upstart Oilers, who said goodbye to first place and could slide more by this time next week. No one said it was going to be easy and this club is once again firmly entrenched in the school of hard knocks. What was the problem last night? How much time do you have?

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 Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Q&A: 10 subscriber questions for Oilers rookie defenceman Ethan Bear
  • New Lowetide: Five loud noises Ken Holland could make to help the Oilers immediately
  • Lowetide: Complete Oilers top 20 prospects list, winter 2019
  • Jonathan Willis: Oilers recall Caleb Jones, one of their most plausible trade chips
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘These games are not coming back’: Oilers lament frustrating week at home
  • Jonathan Willis: Dave Tippett rewarded for his bets on the resilience of Mikko Koskinen, Oilers
  • Lowetide: How many value contracts do the Oilers have and are any more on the way?
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Ken Holland responds to allegations that Mike Babcock mistreated players in Detroit
  • Jonathan Willis: How will Hart voters choose between Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl?
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: How the Oilers turned team defence from a weakness into a strength
  • Lowetide: Eight assets the Oilers could use to acquire Taylor Hall
  • Lowetide: Oilers’ No. 5 prospect, Winter 2019 — Raphael Lavoie
  • Lowetide: Oilers’ No. 4 prospect winter 2019: Tyler Benson
  • Lowetide: Oilers No. 3 prospect winter 2019: Ethan Bear
  • Lowetide: Oilers’ No. 2 prospect winter 2019: Philip Broberg
  • Lowetide: Oilers’ No. 1 prospect winter 2019: Evan Bouchard

AFTER 34 GAMES

  • Oilers in 2015: 14-18-2, 30 points; goal differential -17
  • Oilers in 2016: 17-12-5, 39 points; goal differential +5
  • Oilers in 2017: 15-17-2, 32 points; goal differential -8
  • Oilers in 2018: 18-13-3, 39 points; goal differential +3
  • Oilers in 2019: 18-12-4, 40 points; goal differential +1

The Oilers are not yet at the halfway mark of the season and have 40 points. For a team that managed just 78 and 79 points in the two previous seasons (after 82 games), it’s a good spot. The current streak is difficult but there’s plenty of time to correct. Does this team have enough talent to stay in the Pacific Division race?

OILERS IN DECEMBER

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

The December record continues to be futile and runs out of time with the previous four seasons. Edmonton will need to win a couple they should lose in order to save this month.

WHAT TO EXPECT IN DECEMBER

  • On the road to: VAN (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 1-0-0)
  • At home to: OTT, LAK, BUF, CAR (Expected 2-1-1) (Actual 1-2-1)
  • On the road to: MIN (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 0-1-0)
  • At home to: TOR (Expected 0-1-0)
  • On the road to: DAL, STL (Expected 0-2-0)
  • At home to: PIT, MTL (Expected 1-1-0)
  • On the road to: VAN (Expected 0-0-1)
  • At home to: CAL, NYR (Expected 1-1-0)
  • Overall expected result: 6-6-2, 14 points in 14 games
  • Current results: 2-3-1, 5 points in 6 games

I have the Oilers losing the next four games, and if that happens the December record will be 2-7-1 and the season record will be 18-16-4 as the team arrives at the midway point of the season. It could happen just this way. Oilers fans will be beside themselves with a seven game losing streak but the schedule offers no relief for some time.

WHOSE FAULT WAS IT?

On the first goal against, faceoff is in the Minnesota end, off an icing play. Wild win the faceoff but Kassian semi wins a battle and moves the puck along the wall, left side, and there’s a moment where McDavid thinks about engaging Kunin before the youngster calms the play. He sends it behind the net to Soucy, who sends a hope pass to center. Ethan Bear reaches the puck and tries to shoot it in, but there are two Minnesota forwards on him and the puck slides into Edmonton’s end. Mike Smith grabs it behind the net, and sends a high hard shot off the glass that lands in a tough spot because no one knows where the hell it will land and when it does it’ll be a 50/50 puck. It doesn’t reach Kassian at the blue line and lands right in front of Nurse almost as he passes the puck in real time. It bounces past Nurse and now the Oilers are in real trouble. Wild winger has the puck, Bear is in the middle, other winger driving to the net and Nurse is trying to deal with Jordan Greenway who is a load. Pass goes down low and shot goes wide. Puck goes back to the point, shot, Greenway blocks out Nurse but Smith sees the puck and gets a glove on it. The video clearly shows, for me, that Smith should have had it. Chaos starts and ends with Smith. Remember: Oilers lose this game by one goal.

The second goal again begins in the Minnesota end, with Jujhar Khaira trying a pass into the middle along the left wall. It wasn’t a brilliant play (he should have eaten the puck) but the Oilers are at worst three on two with Archibald the third man back. Nurse holds his position in the neutral zone and Bear, a rookie, takes a step toward the middle (which in this case is fatal). Two heartbeats later Bear is playing a three on two like a two on two and Eric Staal sends a lovely pass to Jason Zucker who rips it shelf. Rookie defensemen will break your heart, Bear is a quick learner. Postgame had Dave Tippett talking about Khaira but if you look at the play it’s nothing dangerous until Bear steps into the middle.

Third goal against starts with Kassian sending a long pass from his own zone to Leon far left side in the neutral zone on the fly. It’s a tough pass, Leon grabs it and hits the blueline at the same time as the blur that is Connor McDavid. They gain entry, Leon sends the pass to the far right side just past the Minnesota blue line where Kassian finds the puck, shoots it, and has position after Suter blocks the shot. Kassian does one of those wide Mike Grier turns, dumps it to McDavid along the right side wall and now we’re cooking with petrol. McDavid sends a nifty pass into the slot for Darnell Nurse, who has it, and then doesn’t have it. He gets a shot off but it’s errant, wide left and now we’re pretty certain possession will change. Should be no problem because everyone has time to scoot. Wild get the puck out and again send a terrific pass (Rask to Foligno) that catches McDavid and Bear (plus Leon!) in the neutral zone. A nice give and go with Hartman and Foligno drills it home. I think Smith needs to stop that puck, but once again the defensive sorting is poor from 97, 29 and 74. That’s a team GA.

Fourth goal against starts with the Oilers in their own end off an icing, puck heads north with McDavid and Kassian. McDavid attempts the Pete Mahovlich split the seam move and Minnesota gets possession. Again the Oilers get caught, this time due to a line change. Darnell jumps off and Adam Larsson jumps on (not sure why it was Larsson) but it’s too late, there’s a jailbreak. Donato shoots, Smith doesn’t stop it and it’s 4-2. Smith needs to stop one of these, terrible line change.

Fifth goal is described by poster Bling, from the comments section last night. Here’s what he wrote: That 5th Wild goal was interesting. I encourage everyone to watch the replay. Nygard-Nuge-Chiasson Larsson-Klef. Failure to advance the puck past our side of the neutral zone by Nuge. Then Larsson breaks up a play along the right boards, there is another Oiler there (I think Nuge), but somehow the puck doesn’t get cleared. From there it goes to the left corner. A 2v2 puck battle is lost by Klef and Nygard. This is when chaos unfolds. Chiasson is covering the RHD (to Smith’s left), but he rotates to the other side of the ice to thwart what would have been a one-timer by Zucker. This would have been okay, but Nygard was late on rotating to Staal, who unfurled a wicked one-timer. Amazing play by Zucker to not force what would have been a shot block by Chiasson. Here’s the funny thing. I watched this play a few times. How long do you think Staal was open? 3 seconds! It’s a hard game. Rare goal where (I think) everyone on the ice is to blame.

Sixth goal against is Mike Smith behind his net. He sends a tough pass to Darnell Nurse, both because there was some heat on it and because there was a Wild forward bearing down. Nurse doesn’t get good wood on his pass, and there’s a turnover far left side at the goal line. Haas takes the first forward in, Jones is 10 miles from Kunin and that’s all she wrote. Smith’s decision making behind the net, a forced error on Nurse and a rookie blue in coverage. I’m going to stare at the goalie.

So let’s add it all up: Two poor decisions by Smith behind his net and goals (the first for sure, plus either the third or fourth or both, and the sixth doesn’t happen without his stickhandling) he should have had full stop. Two poor decisions by a rookie defenseman (Bear) and one by another (Jones). One slow reaction by your two best players (97 and 29). A bad reaction to a line change (I’ll say Larsson but who knows?) plus Bling’s Nygard-Nuge-Chiasson Larsson-Klef moment. Who you going to blame?

Folks, rookie defensemen have been breaking hearts since Joe Hall had the sniffles. Line change buggery is occupational hazard. But your goalie? He needs to be better than Mike Smith was last night. And your best players? They can’t be caught in the neutral zone and have to be checking like demons in a game where losing first place and officially entering the slump region is on the line. Did you hear Connor McDavid take ownership last night, saying he needs to be better? If you take one thing away from last night, make it that McDavid quote. That’s what leadership looks like.

NUMBERS

Natural Stat Trick has the info here, I’m not going to do the usual but it’s all in the notes. Of note: Oilers did win the five-on-five Corsi battle (51-50) for the first time in ever. If you’re looking for something positive, here’s a thing:

Lots of things are true this morning. For instance, it seems every damned chance the other side gets lands in the net. It won’t always be this way. Also, very good NHL players aren’t cashing like they should in recent days, that too shall pass. What then, do we know for sure?

Well, Edmonton is now 34 games into the season, so we can find out what they are by comparing numbers to the rest of the league (again NST).

  • Corsi for five on five: 47.80 (No. 26)
  • Fenwick for five on five: 48.35 (No. 22)
  • Shots for five on five: 47.77 (No. 26)
  • Goals for five on five: 45.77 (No. 26)
  • Expected goals for five on five: 48.66 (No. 22)
  • Shooting percentage: 8.54 (No. 9)
  • Save percentage: .9075 (No. 27)
  • PDO: 993 (No. 21)

I’ve had several people ask me why this blog is so five on five focused when the special teams have been driving results. The reason I focus on the five on five is because it’s the biggest game state. It is fabulous to see Edmonton first in PP goals (32) and sixth (16) in PK goals against, but the heart of the game is at even strength and the main portion is five on five. Edmonton is not good at it, and here’s news the goaltending is only part of the issue.

What’s the biggest problem for the Oilers? I think it’s McDavid on ice (37-29, +8) and McDavid off ice (28-48, -20) for a total (65-77, -12) that is well shy of contention. Same as it ever was. Others have differing opinions but that’s my opinion.

WHAT TO DO ABOUT MIKE SMITH

I mentioned on The Oilcan Podcast for The Athletic the other day that at some point the organization might have to move away from Mike Smith. That could involve IR or running with three goalies, but your stopper has to give you a fighting chance in every game. This doesn’t look good in a week where Mikko Koskinen is also fighting it, but it’s no sin to hedge a bet on an old goaltender. Shane Starrett can’t stay healthy and it seems the recent goalie shuffle has everyone in place, but at some point a waiver opportunity or a small trade may come available. I think Ken Holland would be wise to at least contemplate adding some insurance at the position.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, we have a rocking show and lots to talk about on TSN1260. Steve Lansky from BigMouthSports takes us through last night’s game and the weekend tilt against Toronto, plus WJ’s. Matthew Iwanyk will talk about the EE grabbing a new coach from the top of the pile and we’ll read your text messages to 10-1260. @Lowetide on twitter, let’s kickstart this weekend in style!

written by

The author didn‘t add any Information to his profile yet.
Related Posts

166 Responses to "Just Out of Reach (of my two empty arms)"

  1. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    GOALIEPOCALYPSE!!!!

  2. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    WC standings using points percentage shown as points over/under fake Bettman .500

    Central
    COL 12
    STL 11
    WPG 8

    Pacific
    ARI 8
    EDM 6
    CGY 6

    Wildcard
    DAL 7
    VAN 4

    Ouf of playoffs
    NSH 3
    MIN 3
    VEGREVILLE 3
    SJS -2
    CHI -2
    ANA -2
    LAK -5

    EDM and CGY have identical 18-12-4 records. EDM has 14 regulation wins compared to 11 for CGY so EDM gets the tie break.

    NSH and Vegreville just can’t string much together.

    SJS shows how much of their issue was the coach and how much was the goalering as they lost 6-3 to the Rags.

    Only game that matters tonight is the Flying Holupsis in DAL. Vegreville lost 4-2 in STL last night. Will be interesting to see if Gallant starts Fluery back to back.

  3. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Speaking of playing goalies back to back……

    Dom finds out Tulsky’s seminal research on this just happened to use the two seasons of data which would show playing goalies B2B the worst.

    Tulsky found a 10% drop in SV%

    Dom finds its only 2.5% if you expand the sample to 12 seasons from 2.

    Excellent stuff from Dom.

    Here: https://theathletic.com/1450527/2019/12/12/why-nhl-coaches-need-to-revisit-the-idea-that-goalies-shouldnt-start-on-back-to-back-nights/ (warning Athletic paywall)

    There needs to be a rigorous study of rest and goalies and not just using games off between starts but cumulative TOI over days to see what the optimal rest actually is.

    If I had the right database to do it, I would. I don’t.

  4. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    EC standings using points percentage shown as points over/under fake Bettman .500

    Metropolitan
    WSH 18
    NYI 14
    PHI 8

    Atlantic
    BOS 13
    TBY 5
    BUF 5

    Wildcard
    PIT 8
    CAR 8

    Out of playoffs
    FLA 4
    NYR 4
    MTL 4
    TOR 1
    CBJ -2
    OTT -4
    NJD -7
    DET -14

    After I proclaimed TOR vs FLA is the race for 3rd in the Atlantic FLA can’t win and St. Ralph has BUF hitting on all cylinders winning 3 in a row. I’m happy for BUF fans, they are long suffereing like us, but with less shitty management and more shitty drafting luck.

    MTL is warming up too after being in a tail spin with their own 3 wins in a row and are tied with FLA for 4th in the Atlantic.

    Leaves are spinning their wheels. Moneypuck has them at 38.3% to make the playoffs.

    Sportsnet executives are sprucing up their resumes as we speak. They’ll lose a ton again this year if the Leaves don’t make it to the post season.

    Rogers has already punted those responsible for the NHL deal, but losing $$$ causes cuts and firings.

  5. meanashell11 says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    GOALIEPOCALYPSE!!!!

    +1

  6. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    The video clearly shows, for me, that Smith should have had it. Chaos starts and ends with Smith. Remember: Oilers lose this game by one goal.

    Wait a minute…….

    Are you saying that Smith didn’t catch a puck?

    Are you sure that wasn’t Koskinen?

    Asking for someone……..

  7. ArmchairGM says:

    FYI: Smith has played in 18 games so far this season. His bonus structure will kick in very soon:

    “Games Played Bonus: $125,000 at each of the following levels (20, 25, 30, 35 gms) & $250,000 at each of the following levels (40, 45 gms) + Playoff Qualification & Rounds Won Bonus: $750,000 max earnable (broken down by qualification, first 3 rounds won and gms won in those rounds)”

    We could well have carryover bonus overages next season.

  8. Ryan says:

    Sorry from old thread.

    Dom has our projected point total at 87.7.
    Iirc, I had 86.
    Playoff probability 33%.
    Does a Chris Tierney move the needle for 3c?
    Rumored to available and cheap, but his cap is nearly $3m.
    Smith has been in free fall mode…

  9. frjohnk says:

    ArmchairGM: We could well have carryover bonus overages next season

    For a goalie that looks to have a save % of less than .900 for the year.

    F&ck me gently

  10. barry.moore23 says:

    All of the above may be true. The fact is they’re still ours !! Oh, you Oilers 💕💕

  11. Jethro Tull says:

    Here’s the thing: Adapt or die.

    One of the myriad of curses of the Oilers since St. Ralph was the absolute stubbornness of coaches to change game tactics in real time.

    You may not be doing anything particularly wrong, but if the opposition are trying to exploit your weaknesses (by, I dunno, shooting the puck in, leaving the forecheck a tiny bit late and letting Smith handle the puck to an unprepared defense), then you better have something more in your toolbox.

    The book is once again out on this iteration of the Oilers. And if Tippett IS teaching different things, then skid those who can’t either pick this up or process the game at an NHL level.

    This stems from Dave’s “shoot the puck” comments the other day…

  12. Pretendergast says:

    Went to Flames Leafs last night, don’t judge I hated it too but puck is puck.

    Their goalie outduelled the Leafs but it wasn’t close imo. The Leafs have the quick strike and were dominant early but they are clearly a glass cannon. Freddy covered alot but he was below meh this game.

    Flames are just a deeper team, Looch was invisible but Johnathan Hockeyplayer dazzled. The way they are playing means they should win the division. Hate to say it.

    Biggest thing was that the seats were about 60 40 leafs to flames fans. Hope that doesn’t happen Saturday. Gross.

  13. GMB3 says:

    McDavid and Drai together since the first of November (minus last nights results)

    43% CF, 43% SF, 43% GF. 17-13 goals.

    All numbers 5v5.

    I know there’s a litany of potential causes that can shift blame a bit, save percentage mostly, but it’s imperative that a line that’s about a quarter of our cap space to be better than this.

    Draisaitl has the 6th worst xGA/60 in the league by evolving hockeys rapm metric

  14. JimmyV1965 says:

    We’ve allowed six goals in the last two games. In one game, the goalie played well. In the other, the goalie was awful. Not sure what I’m saying here.

  15. Wilde says:

    On the Smith-to-Nurse GA, Jones being anywhere but where he was is just conceding a dump-in recovery and OZ shift to the other team when that’d regularly be like 5-10% of outcomes. All three Wild forwards were stacked on the left wall and they hard-rimmed it.

    Then all three ended up in between the dots by the time the puck touched Nurse. That’s a lost forecheck.

    Smith could have let the puck go. Or he could have just hurried it along. By stopping it, corralling it, AND making a shitty pass (literally passed it as if his left side D was a right shooter!) what was made to occur was the only way that Jones doesn’t just pick up the second pass along the wall and do whatever he wants with it – even the Wild’s high forward was at the top of the circle (pre-second-pass) strong side.

    It’s the goal I fixated most on. An instant classic for the “puck-moving goalies lose games” folder.

  16. JimmyV1965 says:

    Ryan:
    Sorry from old thread.

    Dom has our projected point total at 87.7.
    Iirc, I had 86.
    Playoff probability 33%.
    Does a Chris Tierney move the needle for 3c?
    Rumored to available and cheap, but his cap is nearly $3m.
    Smith has been in free fall mode…

    $3 mill for a 3C is not expensive at all. Have no idea about Tierney as a player. He’s put up decent point totals over the years.

  17. flyfish1168 says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    GOALIEPOCALYPSE!!!!

    You have been waiting for the right time for that one

  18. ArmchairGM says:

    Ryan: Smith has been in free fall mode…

    frjohnk: For a goalie that looks to have a save % of less than .900 for the year.

    F&ck me gently

    Mike Smith’s splits:

    October: 4-3-0-1, 2.29 GAA, .919 Sv%
    November: 3-4-0-0, 3.47 GAA, .895
    December: 0-1-0-1, 4.47 GAA, .820

    Just two quality starts in his last 9.

  19. JimmyV1965 says:

    Here’s what I love about Stevie Y. He’s made four trades in season already. All of them have basically been shit for shit. Three of the trades have likely done nothing to help the team. They haven’t hurt the team either. But the one trade for Fabbri has been gold; 15 pts in 16 games and 8 goals since joining the Wings.

    He’s addressing roster holes without mortgaging the future. If you make enuf smart bets that don’t cost too much, you might hit a homerun with one of them.

  20. Oilin4 says:

    Does anyone recall if Smith’s slide started before or after he strained his groin?

    If before, likely not chance of recover. If after, he may recover if they can give him a rest. Wouldn’t really need to play him between Dec 21 and Jan 2.

  21. dustrock says:

    GMB3:
    McDavid and Drai together since the first of November (minus last nights results)

    43% CF, 43% SF, 43% GF. 17-13 goals.

    All numbers 5v5.

    I know there’s a litany of potential causes that can shift blame a bit, save percentage mostly, but it’s imperative that a line that’s about a quarter of our cap space to be better than this.

    Draisaitl has the 6th worst xGA/60 in the league by evolving hockeys rapm metric

    They’re playing too much.

  22. dustrock says:

    I ate crow earlier in the season when the goaltending was fire.

    I now regurgitate that earlier crow and spit it back on the plate (my stomach is the Sarlaac pit).

  23. drglen says:

    true story, on my way home listening to game on radio.. unbelievably we score 2 goals and tie the game 4 4. Haven’t eaten to I pull up to the drivethrough window, and not to be rude, I turn off the radio for the duration of the exchange.. money, food, etc. I pull out and turn the radio back on and it’s 6-4 Minnesota.

    And this is second game in a row for same situation.

    But I wouldn’t throw out the goalies yet. Goalies get hot and cold and teams that rely on hot goalie to carry them eventualy crash. ( see Montreal ) Exception being fleury. Team defense, which is collective dumbness, is at fault. This is a Holland created lineup , granted with very very little to work with) which was supposed to limit goals against. but the stats on the game basically point to bear, Nurse, and Jones, so. I guess it’s not so much on the bottom 8 forwards.

    Corey Schneider?

  24. dustrock says:

    https://theathletic.com/1455534/2019/12/12/wheeler-final-thoughts-from-team-canadas-world-junior-selection-camp/

    Scott Wheeler had very nice things to say about Raphael Lavoie at the Canadian junior camp.

    Thinks he should get a look on the top line RW.

    Is also very shocked that Newhook was cut after he was one of the best players out there.

    Sometimes you wonder how much of this selection is pre-determined. Canada always manages to have a couple of weird cuts.

  25. PennersPancakes says:

    drglen: Corey Schneider?

    No. God no. Please god no. Even if this is a joke its too awful to think about haha.

  26. ArmchairGM says:

    Starrett is going to be activated soon, here’s what I think they should do:

    a) give him 1-2 starts in the AHL to get into game shape again: Bake plays tonight and tomorrow night and then not again until next Saturday, he should be given one or both of this weekend’s starts. He’s only had one start since mid-October, so I think a tune-up game is important.
    b) recall to the NHL on Sunday
    c) Koskinen to start Saturday, Monday and Wednesday, so Starrett gets a few days to practice with the team
    d) start Starrett at home on Friday vs the Penguins, first of a back-to-back
    e) if Starrett does better than Smith he should get the Vancouver start, giving Koskinen 6 days between Montreal on the 21st and Calgary on the 27th
    f) if Starrett works out, send Smith to AHL or (if he tweaks his groin again) to LTIR, if not, shop for backup

  27. leadfarmer says:

    They need to run Koskinen for two weeks. See what he can do. We need to see what he can do
    Smith is not part of the future and even if he had a great year I wouldn’t re-sign him
    This is a good time to be goaler shopping
    I hear Rags are looking to move a goalie yet again

  28. drglen says:

    dustrock:
    https://theathletic.com/1455534/2019/12/12/wheeler-final-thoughts-from-team-canadas-world-junior-selection-camp/

    Scott Wheeler had very nice things to say about Raphael Lavoie at the Canadian junior camp.

    Thinks he should get a look on the top line RW.

    Is also very shocked that Newhook was cut after he was one of the best players out there.

    Sometimes you wonder how much of this selection is pre-determined.Canada always manages to have a couple of weird cuts.

    agree… I don’t follow this closely at all, but every year there are puzzling cuts. You wonder, I assume these kids have agents already, .. getting on world junior squad does much for the draft stock of a prospect, .. there may be external pressures. Probably not.. probably just some coaches making tough decisions, but, there’s lots of this kind of thing goes on in college sports in the US.

    It always takes me a while to get into world junior, but since it continues through the holidays, its great to watch after the Christmas high.

    I really like the Spengler cup too. Canada is always kind of a rag tag underdog squad in that game so I really like that tournament.

  29. Bling says:

    Bruce at Cult of Hockey with maybe the line of the year:

    (On Smith) “He fought the puck, and the puck won.”

    A game score of 1 and then a twist of the knife!

    https://edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/nhl/cult-of-hockey/player-grades-oilers-pump-home-five-goals-but-still-find-a-way-to-lose-to-wild

    The guys over at CoH rarely give out ones, which makes last night’s game sadly historic.

    I think Smith and Koskinen pull themselves out of this rut, but Smith is now at 60 GP over the past two seasons with a sub .900 save percentage. The end may be nigh.

  30. drglen says:

    ArmchairGM:
    Starrett is going to be activated soon, here’s what I think they should do:

    a) give him 1-2 starts in the AHL to get into game shape again: Bake plays tonight and tomorrow night and then not again until next Saturday, he should be given one or both of this weekend’s starts. He’s only had one start since mid-October, so I think a tune-up game is important.
    b) recall to the NHL on Sunday
    c) Koskinen to start Saturday, Monday and Wednesday, so Starrett gets a few days to practice with the team
    d) start Starrett at home on Friday vs the Penguins, first of a back-to-back
    e) if Starrett does better than Smith he should get the Vancouver start, giving Koskinen 6 days between Montreal on the 21st and Calgary on the 27th
    f) if Starrett works out, send Smith to AHL or (if he tweaks his groin again) to LTIR, if not, shop for backup

    Sorry guys, I don’t know much about Starret. Basically, is he good? Would he be in the carter hart craig Biddington category of maybes?

    Agree with the comment that says run Koskinen as a starter now, smith as a backup and yes he probably does have soar groin. He was very very slow getting up from a situation about 3 or 4 games ago and the colour guys wondered.

    The slide also corresponds to Larrsons return…and I didn’t catch the game until the 3rd, but it appears by stats he had a decent game and was used for very high minutes,.. usually an indicator of coaches trust. So, I don’t think its Larsson.

  31. drglen says:

    Bling:
    Bruce at Cult of Hockey with maybe the line of the year:

    (On Smith) “He fought the puck, and the puck won.”

    A game score of 1 and then a twist of the knife!

    https://edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/nhl/cult-of-hockey/player-grades-oilers-pump-home-five-goals-but-still-find-a-way-to-lose-to-wild

    The guys over at CoH rarely give out ones, which makes last night’s game sadly historic.

    I think Smith and Koskinen pull themselves out of this rut, but Smith is now at 60 GP over the past two seasons with a sub .900 save percentage. The end may be nigh.

    +1

  32. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    flyfish1168: You have been waiting for the right time for that one

    Just occurred to me this morning.

    True story.

  33. dustrock says:

    Ha ha ha Bruce with a classic burn.

  34. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    leadfarmer:
    They need to run Koskinen for two weeks.See what he can do. We need to see what he can do
    Smith is not part of the future and even if he had a great year I wouldn’t re-sign him
    This is a good time to be goaler shopping
    I hear Rags are looking to move a goalie yet again

    Where are you hearing this?

    I don’t see anything about Rags trading a G.

    Help me out.

  35. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    ArmchairGM,

    f) if Starrett works out, send Smith to AHL or (if he tweaks his groin again) to LTIR, if not, shop for backup

    Smith has a NMC.

    He’s not going to the AHL.

    LTIR or bust.

  36. ArmchairGM says:

    drglen: Sorry guys, I don’t know much about Starret. Basically, is he good? Would he be in the carter hart craig Biddington category of maybes?

    Not close to Carter Hart, but his stats aren’t far off Binnington’s AHL numbers at the same age.

    AHL stats for Binnington
    Age | GAA | Sv%
    24 | 2.08 | .926
    25 | 2.08 | .927

    AHL stats for Starrett
    Age | GAA | Sv%
    24 | 2.33 | .918
    25 | 2.03 | .923

    I’m not saying Starrett is as good as Binnington, just that he deserves a chance.

  37. PennersPancakes says:

    drglen: agree… I don’t follow this closely at all, but every year there are puzzling cuts. You wonder, I assume these kids have agents already, .. getting on world junior squad does much for the draft stock of a prospect, .. there may be external pressures. Probably not.. probably just some coaches making tough decisions, but, there’s lots of this kind of thing goes on in college sports in the US.

    Definitely some room to speculate unless they gave an explanation for each cut. As for draft eligible players:

    – Forwards: Byfield, Lafreniere, and Dawson Mercer
    – Defense: Jamie Drysdale
    – Goalies: Nico Daws (passed over last year)

    Byfield and Lafreniere are probalby going 1 and 2. Drysdale is the highest ranked dman. Goalies are voodoo. That leaves Mercer who is being ranked 10-30 ish but is also a RHS who can score.

    Always like watching guys who havent been selected yet but nothing seems too out there for this year.

  38. GMB3 says:

    dustrock:
    https://theathletic.com/1455534/2019/12/12/wheeler-final-thoughts-from-team-canadas-world-junior-selection-camp/

    Scott Wheeler had very nice things to say about Raphael Lavoie at the Canadian junior camp.

    Thinks he should get a look on the top line RW.

    Is also very shocked that Newhook was cut after he was one of the best players out there.

    Sometimes you wonder how much of this selection is pre-determined.Canada always manages to have a couple of weird cuts.

    They love to take limited offensive guys under the pretext of “playing a role” despite it being a short tournament that skill wins basically every year. Liam Foudy will make the team, despite guys like Mercer and Perfetti being far superior players.

  39. ArmchairGM says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    ArmchairGM,

    f) if Starrett works out, send Smith to AHL or (if he tweaks his groin again) to LTIR, if not, shop for backup

    Smith has a NMC.

    He’s not going to the AHL.

    LTIR or bust.

    CapFriendly says he has an NTC, no NMC mentioned.

    https://www.capfriendly.com/players/mike-smith

  40. teddyturnbuckle says:

    The Oilers have to stop giving away two on ones like candy. By eye it seems that Smith is not helping his d men with some of his passes. Khaira needs to sit in the press box.

  41. PennersPancakes says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    ArmchairGM,

    f) if Starrett works out, send Smith to AHL or (if he tweaks his groin again) to LTIR, if not, shop for backup

    Smith has a NMC.

    He’s not going to the AHL.

    LTIR or bust.

    Everything I’ve seen so far has been a NTC not a NMC? Could be wrong.

  42. leadfarmer says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Where are you hearing this?

    I don’t see anything about Rags trading a G.

    Help me out.

    I can’t remember where it was but that’s the talk on the various Rags blogs Shestyorkin is leaving for Russia if he’s kept down and Lunqvuist has a year left. Their options are
    Lundquist retiring
    Trading one
    Three headed goalie monster which means pissing them off

  43. drglen says:

    hmm it occurs to me, step back a bit, we analyze things so hard, every detail every nuance, .. but this is basically the same squad that started the year on a tear and lead in first place.. same squad, except..

    we were getting big time stops in the run, and now we are not getting stops. I think that’s basically it.. . goalies are not playing well. But can you just change out the goalies? Replace smith with a magic A plus game saving stopper? You cannot. There are probably 5 guys in the league of that caliber and with salaries near or over 6 mil… and even they run hot and cold. No sense brining in a Montoya..

    Corey Schneider NJ has this big contract and has played terribly.. I don’t even think they can play him now. Neal for Schneider? I like Neal, great oiler.. great steal for Luc, but 6 mil? nah.

  44. JimmyV1965 says:

    drglen:
    true story, on my way home listening to game on radio.. unbelievably we score 2 goals and tie the game 4 4.Haven’t eaten to I pull up to the drivethrough window, and not to be rude, I turn off the radio for the duration of the exchange.. money, food, etc.I pull out and turn the radio backon and it’s 6-4 Minnesota.

    And this is second game in a row for same situation.

    But I wouldn’t throw out the goalies yet.Goalies get hot and cold and teams that rely on hot goalie to carry them eventualy crash. ( see Montreal) Exception being fleury. Team defense, which is collective dumbness, is at fault. This is a Holland created lineup , granted with very very little to work with) which was supposed to limit goals against. but the stats on the game basically point to bear, Nurse, and Jones, so. I guess it’s not so much on the bottom 8 forwards.

    Corey Schneider?

    I’m not defending our defence, but during this three game losing streak we have had more scoring chances than the opposition IMO. Our goalies haven’t been good enuf. Goalies helped us win some games earlier in the season that we should have lost. Now they’re costing us games. Hard no on Schneider.

  45. drglen says:

    ArmchairGM: Not close to Carter Hart, but his stats aren’t far off Binnington’s AHL numbers at the same age.

    AHL stats for Binnington
    Age | GAA | Sv%
    24 | 2.08 | .926
    25 | 2.08 | .927

    AHL stats for Starrett
    Age | GAA | Sv%
    24 | 2.33 | .918
    25 | 2.03 | .923

    I’m not saying Starrett is as good as Binnington, just that he deserves a chance.

    Ok.. thanks! I say do it then.. and now’s a good time because we can tell Smith to rest his groin and not bruise his ego too much.

  46. PennersPancakes says:

    drglen: Corey Schneider NJ has this big contract and has played terribly.. I don’t even think they can play him now. Neal for Schneider? I like Neal, great oiler.. great steal for Luc, but 6 mil? nah.

    Only been a couple games but hes even getting lit up in the AHL.

  47. SkatinginSand says:

    LT, love what you do, but criticizing Larsson on the fourth goal was way off base.
    D changes on the fly in the second period are always chancy, but Nurse decided to go off in the middle of a jail break. It is all on him. Defence often do not change left for left and right for right, especially in the second period. This is not Peewee hockey.

  48. GMB3 says:

    2022 draft eligible Brad Lambert is currently playing his first game in the Liiga. He’s 15 for 6 more days. That’s incredible. He’s currently projected to be in the mix with in a stacked top 3 between himself, Shane Wright (currently a point per game in the OHL as a 15 year old), and St. Alberts own Matthew Savoie.

    Finland could have back to back first overalls with Aatu Raty in 2021 and Lambert in 2022, although Wright probably has the inside track to date.

    Jumping back to the WJ’s, it’s going to be exciting watching both Lafreniere and Byfield play on team Canada. I’m really looking forward to it.

  49. ArmchairGM says:

    teddyturnbuckle: The Oilers have to stop giving away two on ones like candy.

    This certainly was an issue last night.

  50. ArmchairGM says:

    ArmchairGM:
    Mike Smith’s splits:

    October: 4-3-0-1, 2.29 GAA, .919 Sv%
    November: 3-4-0-0, 3.47 GAA, .895
    December: 0-1-0-1, 4.47 GAA, .820

    Just two quality starts in his last 9.

    For reference, here are Koskinen’s splits:

    October: 5-1-0-0, 2.39 GAA, .922 Sv%
    November: 4-1-0-2, 2.69 GAA, .918
    December: 2-2-0-0, 3.40 GAA, .893

    Two quality starts in his last 4, 5 of the past 9.

  51. Sierra says:

    Million dollar question – is this the real Oilers? If not, then who are the real Oilers and how do they get back to that? More reliable goaltending for sure, but defensive coverage isn’t as good as it was earlier in the season. Hard to believe a team with McDavid and Drai lose high scoring, track-meet type games.

    The Oilers desperately need a second line….still

  52. Sierra says:

    ArmchairGM: This certainly was an issue last night.

    And previous nights. It’s not new.

  53. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    The video clearly shows, for me, that Smith should have had it. Chaos starts and ends with Smith. Remember: Oilers lose this game by one goal.

    Wait a minute…….

    Are you saying that Smith didn’t catch a puck?

    Are you sure that wasn’t Koskinen?

    Asking for someone……..

    Smith flat out dropped the first one & was beaten above the glove on goals 2, 3, 4, & 5. But you’re right, Koskinen sucks on the glove side. 😐

  54. flyfish1168 says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Just occurred to me this morning.

    True story.

    Its a goal one. lol

  55. Bruce McCurdy says:

    ArmchairGM:
    Mike Smith’s splits:

    October: 4-3-0-1, 2.29 GAA, .919 Sv%
    November: 3-4-0-0, 3.47 GAA, .895
    December: 0-1-0-1, 4.47 GAA, .820

    Just two quality starts in his last 9.

    Just two above .870 in his last 9. Three below .770.

  56. ArmchairGM says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Just two above .870 in his last 9. Three below .770.

    It’s ugly. Smith has had just 2 quality starts in his last 9 dating back to his amazing 51 save performance vs Pittsburgh November 2nd. At that point, his stats were 2.12 GAA and .931 Sv%. Since then he’s posted 4.13 GAA and .854 Sv%. He can’t stop a beachball.

  57. Bruce McCurdy says:

    leadfarmer: I can’t remember where it was but that’s the talk on the various Rags blogs Shestyorkin is leaving for Russia if he’s kept down and Lunqvuist has a year left.Their options are
    Lundquist retiring
    Trading one
    Three headed goalie monster which means pissing them off

    I’ve seen Georgiev good a number of times. First time was watching him beat the Oilers 3-2 here a couple years back when NYR weren’t good & Oilers were supposedly getting a break not having to face the King. I remember hearing that & thinking “Daren Puppa says hi” & sure enough…

  58. Jethro Tull says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Smith flat out dropped the first one & was beaten above the glove on goals 2, 3, 4, & 5. But you’re right, Koskinen sucks on the glove side. 😐

    I can’t see why both of these cannot be true.

  59. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Bling:
    Bruce at Cult of Hockey with maybe the line of the year:

    (On Smith) “He fought the puck, and the puck won.”

    A game score of 1 and then a twist of the knife!

    https://edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/nhl/cult-of-hockey/player-grades-oilers-pump-home-five-goals-but-still-find-a-way-to-lose-to-wild

    The guys over at CoH rarely give out ones, which makes last night’s game sadly historic.

    I think Smith and Koskinen pull themselves out of this rut, but Smith is now at 60 GP over the past two seasons with a sub .900 save percentage. The end may be nigh.

    Haha, thanks. The line stands on its own, but I actually stole it from this:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=AL8chWFuM-s

  60. Bruce McCurdy says:

    ArmchairGM: It’s ugly. Smith has had just 2 quality starts in his last 9 dating back to his amazing 51 save performance vs Pittsburgh November 2nd. At that point, his stats were 2.12 GAA and .931 Sv%. Since then he’s posted 4.13 GAA and .854 Sv%. He can’t stop a beachball.

    Goals against average doubled. Save percentage effectively halved (opposition shooting percentage soared from 6.9 to 14.6%).

    I expected a correction, but holy shit.

  61. godot10 says:

    dustrock:
    https://theathletic.com/1455534/2019/12/12/wheeler-final-thoughts-from-team-canadas-world-junior-selection-camp/

    Scott Wheeler had very nice things to say about Raphael Lavoie at the Canadian junior camp.

    Thinks he should get a look on the top line RW.

    Is also very shocked that Newhook was cut after he was one of the best players out there.

    Sometimes you wonder how much of this selection is pre-determined.Canada always manages to have a couple of weird cuts.

    The coach of Canada’s junior team always comes from junior hockey. Why are you surprised that US college players don’t get the benefit of the doubt when it is a close decision?

  62. Bag of Pucks says:

    I think the goaltending will look substantially improved when the team stops giving up 3 odd man rushes every period.

    Just because Grant Fuhr stopped 95% of those, Oiler fans probably shouldn’t expect it as their birthright.

  63. Bag of Pucks says:

    This team is doing what it always does when it goes on a losing streak, the Fs are getting lazy on the backcheck.

    An aggressive backcheck fixes so much: smaller lengths for D outlet passes, less opposition zone time on the cycle, less controlled entries by O, more turnovers in the neutral zone, more offensive rushes in transition, etc.

    NHL coaches will stop being mean when young millionaires stop taking nights off. Can they express that in a Code of Conduct?

  64. OriginalPouzar says:

    Woodguy:
    The video clearly shows, for me, that Smith should have had it. Chaos starts and ends with Smith. Remember: Oilers lose this game by one goal.

    Wait a minute…….

    Are you saying that Smith didn’t catch a puck?

    Are you sure that wasn’t Koskinen?

    Asking for someone……..

    We know early in the game when Smith isn’t going to be on – when he’s doing the lunging thing that he does, that’s a clear signal.

  65. Greenberg says:

    The stats nerds (not a negative) were not served by LT’s “seeing” analysis of last night’s game, but as one who “sees” the game, I would say that when LT resorts to “seeing”, he is brilliant. He has done that in a few recently.

    Couple of other notes: Eliminating McDavid analyses of games, does it help if we rate how vastly superior the bottom four defencemen of the opposition are against our bottom nine forwards? When our bottom six forwards are on, the opposition defence can stay in rest mode.

    2) Steve Lansky’s phrase this morning of “effort of prevention” seems priceless in analysing the backchecking abilities of our forwards. He also might have had our goalie’s precision passes in his mind.

  66. gregsaint says:

    Fourth goal – it wouldn’t have been a bad line-change if the puck got deep and stayed there a bit longer.

    If the D are going to change when the puck goes up the ice after an own-zone draw, everybody on the ice should know that and not make any risky entry plays (like trying to split the D at the blue). “Hey, we need a D change after we clear it here, make sure we get it deep…dump and chase time boys”. This team needs to get on the same page. Maybe Tippett and crew aren’t all that, after all?

  67. Oilman99 says:

    drglen:
    hmm it occurs to me, step back a bit, we analyze things so hard, every detail every nuance,.. but this is basically the same squad that started the year on a tear and lead in first place.. same squad, except..

    we were getting big time stops in the run, and now we are not getting stops. I think that’s basically it.. . goalies are not playing well.But can you justchange out the goalies? Replace smith with a magic A plus game saving stopper?You cannot. There are probably 5 guys in the league of that caliber and with salaries near or over 6 mil… and even they run hot and cold. No sense brining in a Montoya..

    Corey Schneider NJ has this big contract and has played terribly.. I don’t even think they can play him now. Neal for Schneider? I like Neal, great oiler.. great steal for Luc, but 6 mil?nah.

    Neal is on track for a 30 goal season, that’s 15 more goals this team cannot afford to give away if they want to be competitive for the rest of the season. Trade Neal and we are back down to four top six forwards again.

  68. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Greenberg:
    The stats nerds (not a negative) were not served by LT’s“seeing” analysis of last night’s game, but as one who “sees” the game, I would say that when LT resorts to “seeing”, he is brilliant. He has done that in a few recently.

    This stats nerd was well served by LT’s “seeing analysis”, which was outstanding. It’s not a matter of all or nothing, there is room for both/multiple forms of analysis, as our host himself proves time & again.

  69. Oilman99 says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Just two above .870 in his last 9. Three below .770.

    Not sure Smith should see another start until Koskinen shits the bed worse than him.

  70. OriginalPouzar says:

    GMB:
    McDavid and Drai together since the first of November (minus last nights results)

    43% CF, 43% SF, 43% GF. 17-13 goals.

    All numbers 5v5.

    I know there’s a litany of potential causes that can shift blame a bit, save percentage mostly, but it’s imperative that a line that’s about a quarter of our cap space to be better than this.

    Draisaitl has the 6th worst xGA/60 in the league by evolving hockeys rapm metric

    They absolutely have to be better with respect to GA and defensive play in general.

    I never really worry or concern myself with CF% or similar metrics with that line as, in my opinion, they will always under-represent the play when they are on the ice – this is function of how that line plays in the offensive zone – they aren’t a volume shooting line and will cycle/posses the puck trying to create a higher danger opportunity. Yes, we can complain about over-passing, and that does happen, but, in the aggregate, I am fine with the way this line plays in the offensive zone.

  71. Oilman99 says:

    GMB3:
    McDavid and Drai together since the first of November (minus last nights results)

    43% CF, 43% SF, 43% GF. 17-13 goals.

    All numbers 5v5.

    I know there’s a litany of potential causes that can shift blame a bit, save percentage mostly, but it’s imperative that a line that’s about a quarter of our cap space to be better than this.

    Draisaitl has the 6th worst xGA/60 in the league by evolving hockeys rapm metric

    It seems that the pace of play by both guys slows down when they are together lately because they have tunnel vision trying to make a play to the other guy. McDavid’s hesitance to retrieve pucks after he is checked in the offensive zone needs to be addressed, it seems too often he is leaving it to the other guys to retrieve possession.

  72. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    ArmchairGM,

    PennersPancakes,

    I sit corrected.

    Thank you.

  73. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    leadfarmer: I can’t remember where it was but that’s the talk on the various Rags blogs Shestyorkin is leaving for Russia if he’s kept down and Lunqvuist has a year left.Their options are
    Lundquist retiring
    Trading one
    Three headed goalie monster which means pissing them off

    Thank you

  74. Bag of Pucks says:

    Oilman99: It seems that the pace of play by both guys slows down when they are together lately because they have tunnel vision trying to make a play to the other guy. McDavid’s hesitance to retrieve pucks after he is checked in the offensive zone needs to be addressed, it seems too often he is leaving it to the other guys to retrieve possession.

    Connor does remind me of early career Stevie Y a tad. Not fully committed to the 200ft game. Picks his spots.

    To be fair, he owns it post game when he’s poor defensively. But the lack of consistent effort on defensive details is worrisome. The C sets the example.

  75. Bag of Pucks says:

    The good news is McDavid will want to dominate in the Primetime matchup against his childhood team.

    Better get your Zs tonight boys. Connor will be wearing his rocket boots tomorrow night on every shift.

    Should be entertaining.

  76. PennersPancakes says:

    OriginalPouzar: They absolutely have to be better with respect to GA and defensive play in general.

    I never really worry or concern myself with CF% or similar metrics with that line as, in my opinion, they will always under-represent the play when they are on the ice – this is function of how that line plays in the offensive zone – they aren’t a volume shooting line and will cycle/posses the puck trying to create a higher danger opportunity.Yes, we can complain about over-passing, and that does happen, but, in the aggregate, I am fine with the way this line plays in the offensive zone.

    Theres a lot of factors to look at (other teams ability to focus on one line, defensive units, goaltenders) but McDavid-Drai-Kass dont outscore at 5v5 to the extent they should. They sure put up points but they have started to give it back themselves. I am NOT saying these other players are better but this appears to be an alarming trend. McDrai to play some consider TOI of course.

    Notable top line players and GF% (This was a quick scan and I avoided players on the same lines)

    – Panarin: 68.75%
    – Marchand: 67.27%
    – Barzal: 64.86%
    – Malkin: 64.86%
    – Radulov: 64%
    – Point: 63.89%
    – Laine: 61.90%
    – MacKinnon: 60.71%
    – Couturier: 60.53%
    – Gallagher: 59.62%
    – Eichel: 59.32%
    – Boeser: 57.89%
    – Guentzel: 57.69%

    – McDavid: 56.06%
    – Drai: 52.24%

  77. ashley says:

    drglen:
    true story, on my way home listening to game on radio.. unbelievably we score 2 goals and tie the game 4 4.Haven’t eaten to I pull up to the drivethrough window, and not to be rude, I turn off the radio for the duration of the exchange.. money, food, etc.I pull out and turn the radio backon and it’s 6-4 Minnesota.

    And this is second game in a row for same situation.

    But I wouldn’t throw out the goalies yet.Goalies get hot and cold and teams that rely on hot goalie to carry them eventualy crash. ( see Montreal) Exception being fleury. Team defense, which is collective dumbness, is at fault. This is a Holland created lineup , granted with very very little to work with) which was supposed to limit goals against. but the stats on the game basically point to bear, Nurse, and Jones, so. I guess it’s not so much on the bottom 8 forwards.

    Corey Schneider?

    Goalie assessment is tough because it requires large sample sizes. 20+ games to really get a feel for what is going on, but no team has 20 games to play with if they think someone is bad.

    For Smith last night, Goals 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 were 10 bell chances right out of the Dubnyk era. So Gregor’s simplistic statistical analysis above is faulty. Those stats quoted do not support the conclusion that the goalie was bad. That is a leap of logic.

    That said, most NHL goalies will save half of those 10 bell chances. Smith didn’t manage to stop any of them last night. Maybe a bad night? Or maybe declining performance? Hard to say with an incredibly small sample. Time will tell. For what it’s worth, Koskinen also looked bad the previous game playing in front of this unstructured squad.

    We threw away Dubnyk for just such performances and he was actually a good goalie on a team with really bad structure.

    My point is that there are lots of holes here and structural ways to prevent 10 bell chances even with this roster. Goalies and defenders are easy targets for unsophisticated criticism, but most of the fault lies with the team structure/discipline last night, particularly the forwards who were anticipating poorly and slow in transitions. Tippett had them all back defending deep on transitions during the early season run and he needs to find a way to get them back there.

    Regressing to bad habits is normal for any player and team. This losing streak is on Tippett, and it’s up to him to get the structure back in place and turn it around. The goalies save percentage will follow suit.

  78. Bling says:

    OriginalPouzar: They absolutely have to be better with respect to GA and defensive play in general.

    I never really worry or concern myself with CF% or similar metrics with that line as, in my opinion, they will always under-represent the play when they are on the ice – this is function of how that line plays in the offensive zone – they aren’t a volume shooting line and will cycle/posses the puck trying to create a higher danger opportunity.Yes, we can complain about over-passing, and that does happen, but, in the aggregate, I am fine with the way this line plays in the offensive zone.

    I agree with that take.

    17/30 = 57% goal share.

    The first line is not a problem. Can they be even more dominant? Yes, but it’s a long season and there will be ebbs and flows. The fact that we (not you OP, but us as a collective) are talking about a 57% goal share as a “slump” is nuts. Let’s not forget that figure would probably be north of 60% with better goaltending.

    Here is what continues to be a major problem (player, ES GF%, EVP/60):

    Archibald, 22%, 0.24
    Sheahan, 23%, 0.43
    Khaira, 29%, 1.03

    All three guys are PK options, which complicates things. What about xGF% and PDO?

    Archibald 42, 923
    Sheahan 44, 934
    Khaira 42, 956

    So they’ve been a bit unlucky. I am willing to cut JJ some slack; he’s scoring even strength goals and his point totals would be higher if his linemates could score.

    There needs to be a fix here. It’s why I’m clamouring for an add. The leakiest part of the ship is a 3C, and Pageau could turn this thing around real quick.

    Good news?

    Gaetan Haas and Sam Gagner are legit. They should not be taken out of the lineup (ES GF%, EVP/60).

    Haas (47, 1.33)
    Gagner (47, 2.15!!!!)

    Both guys are 4th and 5th on the team in even strength points per 60 AND primary points per 60 (excluding SSS Colby Cave).

    89 still has game. We’ve all been played!

  79. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    ashley: We threw away Dubnyk for just such performances and he was actually a good goalie on a team with really bad structure.

    My point is that there are lots of holes here and structural ways to prevent 10 bell chances even with this roster.Goalies and defenders are easy targets for unsophisticated criticism, but most of the fault lies with the team structure/discipline last night, particularly the forwards who were anticipating poorly and slow in transitions.Tippett had them all back defending deep on transitions during the early season run and he needs to find a way to get them back there.

    I agree with your post wholeheartedly, but especially this portion.

  80. PennersPancakes says:

    Bling: Here is what continues to be a major problem (player, ES GF%, EVP/60):

    Archibald, 22%, 0.24
    Sheahan, 23%, 0.43
    Khaira, 29%, 1.03

    Wow thats awful. if you make it 5v5 instead of just ES its even slightly worse. These guys suck.

  81. pts2pndr says:

    SkatinginSand:
    LT, love what you do, but criticizing Larsson on the fourth goal was way off base.
    D changes on the fly in the second period are always chancy, but Nurse decided to go off in the middle of a jail break.It is all on him.Defence often do not change left for left and right for right, especially in the second period.This is not Peewee hockey.

    Nurse was off the ice before the puck was turned over. When he went for the line change the puck was headed in a good direction in full control of the best player in the game. He was not at fault.

  82. Bling says:

    PennersPancakes: Theres a lot of factors to look at (other teams ability to focus on one line, defensive units, goaltenders) but McDavid-Drai-Kass dont outscore at 5v5 to the extent they should. They sure put up points but they have started to give it back themselves. I am NOT saying these other players are better but this appears to be an alarming trend. McDrai to play some consider TOI of course.

    Notable top line players and GF% (This was a quick scan and I avoided players on the same lines)

    – Panarin: 68.75%
    – Marchand: 67.27%
    – Barzal: 64.86%
    – Malkin: 64.86%
    – Radulov: 64%
    – Point: 63.89%
    – Laine: 61.90%
    – MacKinnon: 60.71%
    – Couturier: 60.53%
    – Gallagher: 59.62%
    – Eichel: 59.32%
    – Boeser: 57.89%
    – Guentzel: 57.69%

    – McDavid: 56.06%
    – Drai: 52.24%

    That Panarin number is just bonkers.

    Sniffing EVGF 70% is like parting the seas, writing War and Peace, and playing that solo at the end of Sweet Child O Mine.

    It’s also what the opposition does when playing against Sheahan and Archibald.

    Think about that. Panarin does to the entire NHL what the entire NHL does to Sheahan and Archibald.

    *runs*

  83. pts2pndr says:

    gregsaint:
    Fourth goal – it wouldn’t have been a bad line-change if the puck got deep and stayed there a bit longer.

    If the D are going to change when the puck goes up the ice after an own-zone draw, everybody on the ice should know that and not make any risky entry plays (like trying to split the D at the blue). “Hey, we need a D change after we clear it here, make sure we get it deep…dump and chase time boys”. This team needs to get on the same page. Maybe Tippett and crew aren’t all that, after all?

    The puck never got deep. The goal not on a bad line change. As you pointed out, bad puck management was the cause.

  84. leadfarmer says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Thank you

    Well not exactly what you wanted, but I’ve been looking at a variety of Rags sources lately as I have Anthony Deangelo in my keeper league (d points only) and wanted some info on how he was doing
    There was talk last week that Toronto was in talks about acquiring him but I’m guessing his recent streak made the cost too expensive

  85. SkatinginSand says:

    pts2pndr,

    Not a chance. By the time he got close enough to the bench for Larsson to get on, there is not a dman in the league that could have caught up to the play. There is a reason that when the Oilers are a home, 2nd period line changes are supposed to go, 1 right d off 2 left d on plays right side until 1 left d off, 2 left d slides to left side and 2 right d on. Nurse screwed it up royally. However, it would have not been an issue if the forwards would not have turned the puck over.

    edit: just looked at it again, there is no way of telling when Nurse started to change, the only thing you can see is Larsson jumping on as the stretch pass is being completed.
    Nurse still did not make a proper d change. The forwards still had an egregious turnover at the offensive blue line.
    Believe it or not, a turnover at the offensive blue line is more likely to result in a goal against than a turnover at your own blue line.

  86. OriginalPouzar says:

    As per Reid WIlkins:

    Draisaitl-McDavid-Kassian
    Granlund-RNH-Chiasson
    Neal-Haas-Gagner
    Khaira-Sheahan-Archibald

    P. Russell extra. Nygard not on the ice.

    Koskinen in home goal.

  87. Clarkenstein says:

    FANTASY: People saying “Who thought the Oil would be in 1st place at this point in the season?”
    REALITY: 8 regulations wins in their last 26 games.

  88. GMB3 says:

    OriginalPouzar: They absolutely have to be better with respect to GA and defensive play in general.

    I never really worry or concern myself with CF% or similar metrics with that line as, in my opinion, they will always under-represent the play when they are on the ice – this is function of how that line plays in the offensive zone – they aren’t a volume shooting line and will cycle/posses the puck trying to create a higher danger opportunity.Yes, we can complain about over-passing, and that does happen, but, in the aggregate, I am fine with the way this line plays in the offensive zone.

    I’m with you on that. Similar to how the old Soviet teams were often outshot because they were always trying to generate high danger chances

  89. OriginalPouzar says:

    drglen: agree… I don’t follow this closely at all, but every year there are puzzling cuts.You wonder, I assume these kids have agents already, .. getting on world junior squad does much for the draft stock of a prospect, .. there may be external pressures.Probably not.. probably just some coaches making tough decisions, but, there’s lots of this kind of thing goes on in college sports in the US.

    It always takes me a while to get into world junior, but since it continues through the holidays, its great to watch after the Christmas high.

    I really like the Spengler cup too.Canada is always kind of a rag tag underdog squad in that game so I really like that tournament.

    This is the first year in the last five where we haven’t traveled to a far away land for the holidays and the benefit is I’ll be able to watch the tournament in full (generally back early January for medal round, etc.).

    I’m pumped to watch the tourney in full.

    I have a small inkling to head over and take in some games but I don’t want to go to Europe in the damn winter again – been 4 times, all in the winter.

    MacT will be happy to know your watching him coach – maybe he can implement some newly learned Russian techniques.

  90. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Bag of Pucks: Just because Grant Fuhr stopped 95% of those, Oiler fans probably shouldn’t expect it as their birthright.

    I agree with this.

    The neutral zone back pressure this team had in October was excellent.

    Allowed the Dmen to pressure up and they had cover.

    Its not happening anymore with the same frequency.

  91. OriginalPouzar says:

    drglen: Sorry guys, I don’t know much about Starret.Basically, is he good? Would he be in the carter hart craig Biddington category of maybes?

    Agree with the comment that says run Koskinen as a starter now, smith as a backup and yes he probably does have soar groin. He was very very slow getting up from a situation about 3 or 4 games ago and the colour guys wondered.

    The slide also corresponds to Larrsons return…and I didn’t catch the game until the 3rd, but it appears by stats he had a decent game and was used for very high minutes,.. usually an indicator of coaches trust.So, I don’t think its Larsson.

    He was fantastic last year for the year and has been good in all 3 of his starts this year including the one within the last few weeks (clearly came back from injury too early though as he hasn’t played since).

    You never know with goalies but, yup, 100%, if he was fully healthy and playing like he does, I’d give him a game (or more).

    Its reasonable to suggest he could be ready to be a solid NHL back-up right now. Its also reasonable to suggest he can’t, I guess.

    Would love to see him get a shot.

    The benefit is that, if he plays well/solid, it may solve our back-up issue for next year.

    Of course, there is a difference between an “NHL back-up” and a “1B” which we may continue to need.

  92. OriginalPouzar says:

    Woodguy:
    ArmchairGM,

    f) if Starrett works out, send Smith to AHL or (if he tweaks his groin again) to LTIR, if not, shop for backup

    Smith has a NMC.

    He’s not going to the AHL.

    LTIR or bust.

    No sir – a NTC but not a NMC.

  93. gregsaint says:

    SkatinginSand,

    I guess the question I have with that goal is: did McDavid know that the D were planning to change and decided to try a very risky zone entry despite that info? Or did he not know?

    If it’s the former, than McD needs to be better on risk assessment…he does seem to have a tendency to try too much and it does seem to be affecting his GF%. If he knew the D were planning on changing, then he has to dump and chase there. No excuse not to and the D split attempt would be a rookie level mistake. Which makes me think it’s the later.

    If it’s the later, why? Why didn’t the forwards know that the D were going to change? That seems like very import info to have if you’re trying to manage the puck properly…and they keep talking about being better at puck management. Did Nurse just change on a whim? Did the coaching staff call him over?

    You think these would be the kind of things a professional NHL level team would have sorted out. It’s worrying that they are struggling with it.

  94. dustrock says:

    Woodguy v2.0: I agree with this.

    The neutral zone back pressure this team had in October was excellent.

    Allowed the Dmen to pressure up and they had cover.

    Its not happening anymore with the same frequency.

    Yeah, people were throwing the word “Selke” at Draisaitl back then and I was flabbergasted

  95. Sierra says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    As per Reid WIlkins:

    Draisaitl-McDavid-Kassian
    Granlund-RNH-Chiasson
    Neal-Haas-Gagner
    Khaira-Sheahan-Archibald

    P. Russell extra. Nygard not on the ice.

    Koskinen in home goal.

    We need a second line winger, like right now.

    Call up Benson if Granlund is the best option on the roster.

  96. ArmchairGM says:

    Woodguy v2.0: I agree with this.

    The neutral zone back pressure this team had in October was excellent.

    Allowed the Dmen to pressure up and they had cover.

    Its not happening anymore with the same frequency.

    Tippett not as magical as we thought?

  97. Sierra says:

    dustrock: Yeah, people were throwing the word “Selke” at Draisaitl back then and I was flabbergasted

    Sure, but it’s not only Drai. It seems the entire team has come down with a case of nobackcheckies.

    It’s so noticeable that the D are backing in further. Things are really off the rails right now.

  98. jtblack says:

    “Central
    COL 12
    STL 11
    WPG 8

    Pacific
    ARI 8
    EDM 6
    CGY 6

    Wildcard
    DAL 7
    VAN 4

    Ouf of playoffs
    NSH 3
    MIN 3
    VEGREVILLE 3
    SJS -2
    CHI -2
    ANA -2
    LAK -5”

    lets COUNT SJS, CHI, ANA & L.A. out of the Playoff race. Of those 4 only SJS may turn it around, but let’s just count them out for this exercise.

    That leaves 11 teams fighting for 8 playoff spots. Edmonton has to get passed by VAN or VGS to fall out of the top 3 in the Pacific. VGS could fall to 2 games over .500 after tonight. Again, they look good on paper (especially up front), but I have watched them all year and something isn’t quite right with them.

    I think VAN is decent, but still a young team finding it’s way.

    So the optimist in me, says Edm still has a chance …. They are in a better spot than I predicted they would be at this time ….Hopefully Tippett can right the ship, and quick …

  99. Bruce McCurdy says:

    gregsaint:
    SkatinginSand,

    I guess the question I have with that goal is: did McDavid know that the D were planning to change and decided to try a very risky zone entry despite that info? Or did he not know?

    If it’s the former, than McD needs to be better on risk assessment…he does seem to have a tendency to try too much and it does seem to be affecting his GF%. If he knew the D were planning on changing, then he has to dump and chase there. No excuse not to and the D split attempt would be a rookie level mistake. Which makes me think it’s the later.

    If it’s the later, why? Why didn’t the forwards know that the D were going to change? That seems like very import info to have if you’re trying to manage the puck properly…and they keep talking about being better at puck management. Did Nurse just change on a whim? Did the coaching staff call him over?

    You think these would be the kind of things a professional NHL level team would have sorted out. It’s worrying that they are struggling with it.

    The communication on that goal was nonexistent.

    Situation: Oilers iced the puck, second period, long change. The D pair had already been on the ice for 1:07, the forwards a bit less.

    Outcome: Oilers clear the zone, McDavid hits the offensive blueline in control as Nurse & Kassian change out behind him. McDavid tries the Pete Mahovlich (s/t LT), turns the puck over, and wham! It’s going the other way.

    As the LD, Nurse has the longest change, & leaves acres of space down the penalty box side. Guess where the puck goes.

    Nurse gets to the bench & nobody appears slightly aware that the change is coming. Finally Larsson clambers over the boards way after the fact but just in time to get nailed with a -1.

    (Worth noting, Bear has played 604 minutes this season, including exactly 0:03 with Larsson, a fellow righty. That would be this play, as Larsson’s shift started at 7:47, & Bear’s ended with the goal at 7:50. Zero chance that Larsson was the guy who was supposed to replace Nurse.)

    Team loses by one, in regulation. There are lots of goals to point fingers at, but this surely was one of them.

    Wake. The. Fuck. Up.

  100. SVR says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    As per Reid WIlkins:

    Draisaitl-McDavid-Kassian
    Granlund-RNH-Chiasson
    Neal-Haas-Gagner
    Khaira-Sheahan-Archibald

    P. Russell extra. Nygard not on the ice.

    Koskinen in home goal.

    That second line looks awful.

    I still don,t get why Tip switched the lines back last night. They had just tied the game up on the power play and were looking fine.

    The First line was fire the previous game and I think Leon and RNH can be an out scoring line if given a chance.

    McD and Leon also seem to have a better commitment to the d zone when playing apart.

    Really don’t get what the coach is seeing differently

  101. ashley says:

    Bruce McCurdy: The communication on that goal was nonexistent.

    Situation: Oilers iced the puck, second period, long change. The D pair had already been on the ice for 1:07, the forwards a bit less.

    Outcome: Oilers clear the zone, McDavid hits the offensive blueline in control as Nurse & Kassian change out behind him. McDavid tries the Pete Mahovlich (s/t LT), turns the puck over, and wham! It’s going the other way.

    As the LD, Nurse has the longest change, & leaves acres of space down the penalty box side. Guess where the puck goes.

    Nurse gets to the bench & nobody appears slightly aware that the change is coming. Finally Larsson clambers over the boards way after the fact but just in time to get nailed with a -1.

    (Worth noting, Bear has played 604 minutes this season, including exactly 0:03 with Larsson, a fellow righty. That would be this play, as Larsson’s shift started at 7:47, & Bear’s ended with the goal at 7:50. Zero chance that Larsson was the guy who was supposed to replace Nurse.)

    Team loses by one, in regulation. There are lots of goals to point fingers at, but this surely was one of them.

    Wake. The. Fuck. Up.

    Yes, well done Bruce. That was not Larsson’s shift. He does a head roll as he scrambles to hop over the boards because he can’t believe Nurse is standing there and no one is ready to go. He is pissed after the GA and slaps the puck into the boards. No one was ready on the bench.

    Maybe a player forgot. Maybe the coaches forgot to assign the next shift. Maybe the assigned Left D was fixing his glove or skate on the bench and wasn’t ready. Maybe the assigned Left D was mesmerized watching McDavid try to work some of his magic. They are fans too, after all and they get a front row seat to these incredible McDavid feats.

    There is always much more than meets the eye on these plays.

    As is often the case, the guy scrambling to chase the ultimate goal scorer is usually not the culprit. We have to look back several dominoes to see where things fell apart.

  102. digger50 says:

    We knew in December the roster had too many poor bets. Then they did well and bought some time. Even then it was brought up that the time to look for improvement when we are winning, not when losing and pressure is on.

    Bottom 9ish players were not comfortable at start of year, still vying for jobs. They learned they had the jobs over the youngsters and backed off the gas.

    Minnie has less skilled talent, but they have more NHLers. They interfere, disrupt, cross check just enough to get away with it. The overall talent matches the Oil but it’s on the ice every shift, where the Oilers talent peaks and drops.

    I’m stating what we already know.

    What I don’t know is why Holland made zero moves when he knew the same things. I think he is a loyal guy. He expects loyalty and he gives it. If he signs you to play, you play. It’s hard for him unless he feels youhaveny earned it yet and he’ll yo-yo you up and down.

    He landed on Russel and would t budge. Made his mind up about Marody, no waiver pick ups, not enough call ups to have a look. He bet his money on European long shots and other teams cast offs.

    And all this is “okay” It worked to a degree. But since then things have evolved. The top end and goalies took him further than expected. Adapt. Don’t be stubborn.

  103. Lowetide says:

    SkatinginSand:
    LT, love what you do, but criticizing Larsson on the fourth goal was way off base.

    Actually, I didn’t criticize Larsson. I said:

    ==

    Darnell jumps off and Adam Larsson jumps on (not sure why it was Larsson) but it’s too late, there’s a jailbreak.

    ==

    And then said it was a bad line change. The only real point made here is that I don’t know why it was Larsson. Could have been he was the quickest to react after another blue missed his assignment.

    No worries, it happens all the time, but I don’t know how you could possibly have concluded I was being critical of Larsson in the statement above.

  104. McSorley33 says:

    No point in getting too excited – this team is doing what most of us thought they would do.

    Painful to watch Mike Smith, no doubt.

    I am hoping Holland ( hey lookit – his old team did not go winless in 13 ! ) is actually
    a seller at the deadline.

    Maybe grab a 3rd rounder for Sheahan.

    We need to focus on prospects and next year.

  105. OriginalPouzar says:

    Just catching up – almost up to comments provided at 11am.

    I’m wondering, should Oilers fans start to get concerned about Mike Smith’s recent on-ice performance?

  106. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Only game that matters tonight is the Flying Holupsis in DAL. Vegreville lost 4-2 in STL last night. Will be interesting to see if Gallant starts Fluery back to back.

    Subban starts

  107. OriginalPouzar says:

    godot: The coach of Canada’s junior team always comes from junior hockey.Why are you surprised that US college players don’t get the benefit of the doubt when it is a close decision?

    I was surprised by Newhook not making it as well but, yes, its not to the extent of the Russian’s “hesitation” to choose from the CHL but it similar.

  108. OriginalPouzar says:

    BagPucks:
    I think the goaltending will look substantially improved when the team stops giving up 3 odd man rushes every period.

    Just because Grant Fuhr stopped 95% of those, Oiler fans probably shouldn’t expect it as their birthright.

    Listening to the CoH podcast this morning, Dave and Bruce spoke about high danger scoring chances and, from their year’s of tracking, about one in four go in – lets just say, a higher percentage than 25% went in last night (and have been recently).

    Not to mention the non high danger scoring chances (and the not even scoring chances).

  109. who says:

    ashley: Goalie assessment is tough because it requires large sample sizes.20+ games to really get a feel for what is going on, but no team has 20 games to play with if they think someone is bad.

    For Smith last night, Goals 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 were 10 bell chances right out of the Dubnyk era.So Gregor’s simplistic statistical analysis above is faulty.Those stats quoted do not supportthe conclusion that the goalie was bad.That is a leap of logic.

    That said, most NHL goalies will save half of those 10 bell chances.Smith didn’t manage to stop any of them last night.Maybe a bad night?Or maybe declining performance?Hard to say with an incredibly small sample.Time will tell.For what it’s worth, Koskinen also looked bad the previous game playing in front of this unstructured squad.

    We threw away Dubnyk for just such performances and he was actually a good goalie on a team with really bad structure.

    My point is that there are lots of holes here and structural ways to prevent 10 bell chances even with this roster.Goalies and defenders are easy targets for unsophisticated criticism, but most of the fault lies with the team structure/discipline last night, particularly the forwards who were anticipating poorly and slow in transitions.Tippett had them all back defending deep on transitions during the early season run and he needs to find a way to get them back there.

    Regressing to bad habits is normal for any player and team.This losing streak is on Tippett, and it’s up to him to get the structure back in place and turn it around.The goalies save percentage will follow suit.

    This pretty much sums up my thoughts.
    Yeah you’d like him to stop one of the grade A chances, but the only goal I’m faulting him on is the first one.
    The Oilers outplayed the wild, but had too many brain farts and the goale didn’t bail them out. That’s all. LT does a nice job of summarizing it above.
    So we are on a 3 game losing streak and everybody is screaming at Holland to do something. Why?
    We’re in all the games. Do we really think a trade will turn things around? I say that better goaltending, better puck luck and better decision making will probably do more than any trade.
    I saw a number of encouraging signs in last night’s game.
    I thought all 6 dmen looked good. Best game by Jones so far and Bear continues to impress me. Larsson and Russell were both solid. I feel pretty confident in this group moving forward.
    Haas seems to be getting better every game and Nygaard looks like he’s starting to get more comfortable as well. Their foot speed is a welcone addition to the lineup.
    I think we are 1 play driving forward away from having a perennial playoff team. Just don’t know how we get that forward? Or how we fit him under the cap?

  110. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Oilman99: Neal is on track for a 30 goal season, that’s 15 more goals this team cannot afford to give away if they want to be competitive for the rest of the season. Trade Neal and we are back down to four top six forwards again.

    Neal doesn’t play top 6 anymore. Can’t keep up to the pace.

    I like him with Haas and Gagner last night. Some skill with speed on a soft minutes line. They need goals from that spot and got 2 (Klef’s and Haas’ goal)

    He’s still PP1 and 10 of his 15 goals are on the PP.

    He has 4 5v5 and last night’s 6v4 one.

  111. pts2pndr says:

    SkatinginSand:
    pts2pndr,

    Not a chance. By the time he got close enough to the bench for Larsson to get on, there is not a dman in the league that could have caught up to the play.There is a reason that when the Oilers are a home, 2nd period line changes are supposed to go,1 right d off 2 left d on plays right side until 1 left d off, 2 left d slides to left side and 2 right d on. Nurse screwed it up royally.However, it would have not been an issue if the forwards would not have turned the puck over.

    Nurse was behind the play and Bear had joined the rush. You can spin it any way you want. Given the situation all is good until the forwards don’t get the puck deep. If Nurse had stayed on he would have been on for a too long shift. Everything in sports is not always by the numbers. Had Bear went for the change Nurse would have stayed. If this doesn’t fit with your thinking my apologizes. I am finding the attacks on Nurse tiresome and that may not be your intent. If so my humble apologies.✌️

  112. pts2pndr says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey: I agree with your post wholeheartedly, but especially this portion.

    There is a huge difference in theEakins swarm that left Dubnyk facing one or two on nothing once or twice a game. It gave a whole new meaning to odd man rushes. They are not close to the same. The Eakins era can not be compared to anything resembling normal. It cost us not only the goalie but because Hall identified where the stupidity lay and it cost MacT his job Hall ended up in NYJ.

  113. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    ArmchairGM: Tippett not as magical as we thought?

    He’s really good.

    He needs to get them back to where he got them before.

  114. OriginalPouzar says:

    Not sure who misses Matt Benning more, me as an Oiler fan or the Oilers.

    Elite 3RD – balances the defensive group.

  115. OriginalPouzar says:

    BagofPucks: Connor does remind me of early career Stevie Y a tad. Not fully committed to the 200ft game. Picks his spots.

    To be fair, he owns it post gamewhen he’s poor defensively. But the lack of consistent effort on defensive details is worrisome. The C sets the example.

    Yes, he owns it but, as you say, doesn’t dedicate to fixing it – a game (or even a couple shift) of focus on the defensive details is not the dedication we need.

    BagofPucks:
    The good news is McDavid will want to dominate in the Primetime matchup against his childhood team.

    Better get your Zs tonight boys. Connor will be wearing his rocket boots tomorrow night on every shift.

    Should be entertaining.

    Bah – prime time matchup doesn’t really seem to mean anything nor does playing the Leafs.

    Yup, Connor has had some great games against the Leafs and some great games in prime time but, to my memory, he’s had some poor games against the Leafs and some of his poorest games as a pro in prime time.

    ————————–

    I do expect him to have a plus plus game because, well, he is Connor McDavid and he can.

  116. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Just catching up – almost up to comments provided at 11am.

    I’m wondering, should Oilers fans start to get concerned about Mike Smith’s recent on-ice performance?

    Should diabetics monitor their sugar intake?

  117. OriginalPouzar says:

    PennersPancakes: Theres a lot of factors to look at (other teams ability to focus on one line, defensive units, goaltenders) but McDavid-Drai-Kass dont outscore at 5v5 to the extent they should. They sure put up points but they have started to give it back themselves. I am NOT saying these other players are better but this appears to be an alarming trend. McDrai to play some consider TOI of course.

    Yes, as I said in my post you responded to, they have to be better defensively and they need to reduce goals against. I do worry about their GF% due to GA issues/

    I was speaking to not caring about a weak CF% due to the nature of how they play the offensive game.

  118. OriginalPouzar says:

    ptspndr: Nurse was off the ice before the puck was turned over. When he went for the line change the puck was headed in a good direction in full control of the best player in the game. He was not at fault.

    That was the McDavid 1 on 2 not get it deep giveaway I believe, right?

    Yes, McDavid is the best rush player in the league but something that comes with experience and age and developing is recognizing game situations and, ya, that’s the time a puck needs to get deep – own zone faceoff with tired d-men that need a change and the long change – get the puck deep.

    (Just as an aside, that is partially on the d-man that took forever to get on the ice – Larsson came on evenntually but I think it was Klef that was supposed to).

    That is why I believe McDavid and Drai are not near their primes. Yes, they are entering their “offensive primes” but, as far as overall players, their prime years will be in their late 20s.

    Just like Crosby.

  119. OriginalPouzar says:

    Really hoping that Starrett is back tonight (or at least back this weekend).

    A couple solid starts for him could give management some options – some options that could help now but also could be used next year……..

    Could…..

  120. jp says:

    ashley: Goalie assessment is tough because it requires large sample sizes.20+ games to really get a feel for what is going on, but no team has 20 games to play with if they think someone is bad.

    For Smith last night, Goals 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 were 10 bell chances right out of the Dubnyk era.So Gregor’s simplistic statistical analysis above is faulty.Those stats quoted do not supportthe conclusion that the goalie was bad.That is a leap of logic.

    That said, most NHL goalies will save half of those 10 bell chances.Smith didn’t manage to stop any of them last night.Maybe a bad night?Or maybe declining performance?Hard to say with an incredibly small sample.Time will tell.For what it’s worth, Koskinen also looked bad the previous game playing in front of this unstructured squad.

    We threw away Dubnyk for just such performances and he was actually a good goalie on a team with really bad structure.

    My point is that there are lots of holes here and structural ways to prevent 10 bell chances even with this roster.Goalies and defenders are easy targets for unsophisticated criticism, but most of the fault lies with the team structure/discipline last night, particularly the forwards who were anticipating poorly and slow in transitions.Tippett had them all back defending deep on transitions during the early season run and he needs to find a way to get them back there.

    Regressing to bad habits is normal for any player and team.This losing streak is on Tippett, and it’s up to him to get the structure back in place and turn it around.The goalies save percentage will follow suit.

    So Koskinen is an uber star since he has decent numbers playing behind this team?

  121. Bling says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Not sure who misses Matt Benning more, me as an Oiler fan or the Oilers.

    Elite 3RD – balances the defensive group.

    I think him and Persson are missed.

    Both guys are, in a way, cut from the same cloth — though, of course, Benning is the more established of the two. Neither are uber slick out there, but both guys move the puck well and make smart little plays.

  122. Rebillled says:

    We can never have nice somethings.

    Guess Smith was healthy earlier?

    That being said, no Kadri Leafs tomorrow means a win for McDavids team.

    Go Beat The Leafs!

  123. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Rebillled:
    We can never have nice somethings.

    Guess Smith was healthy earlier?

    That being said, no Kadri Leafs tomorrow means a win for McDavids team.

    Go Beat The Leafs!

    Kadri was the key for the Leaves frustrating McDavid.

    I wish EDM got him.

    COL owned TOR in that trade.

  124. Scungilli Slushy says:

    The cap is good overall for the league, but guaranteed contracts seriously reduce fan enjoyment.

    Watching bad players take cap and quality away is not a highlight of my NHL experience.

    Please read that watchers.

    Can’t play, no pay, like the rest of us.

    Restovus, the new NHL Holiday!!

  125. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Woodguy v2.0: He’s really good.

    He needs to get them back to where he got them before.

    He’s Toto convince the hot shots to play like champions and not Oilers.

    Jail break hockey isn’t a winning formula, but they seem like donkeys buying into that.

    It’s not unusual, Leafs are there as well bcs was talent.

    But talent means nothing if it doesn’t produce.

    Just like being really smart. Where did it get you?

  126. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Scungilli Slushy: He’s Toto convince the hot shots to play like champions and not Oilers.

    Jail break hockey isn’t a winning formula, but they seem like donkeys buying into that.

    It’s not unusual, Leafs are there as well bcs was talent.

    But talent means nothing if it doesn’t produce.

    Just like being really smart. Where did it get you?

    Toto?

    You’re phone apparently has migrating powers. Should say ‘has to’.

  127. OriginalPouzar says:

    Woodguy: Kadri was the key for the Leaves frustrating McDavid.

    I wish EDM got him.

    COL owned TOR in that trade.

    I was hopeful of a Kadri to Edmonton type deal – wasn’t super-comfortable but was potentially illing to give up Adam Larsson in the deal.

    I was extremely happy the trade to the flames got nixed.

  128. Dicky94 says:

    Hall going to be an Oiler tonight?

  129. Gagnongoeshelf says:

    No one has mentioned that Hall was held out of game today vs Colorado according to TSN?

  130. Gerta Rauss says:

    Dicky94:
    Hall going to be an Oiler tonight?

    Hall a late scratch in COL-stay tuned

  131. Gerta Rauss says:

    AVS talking heads discussing the Hall scratch as well during the 1st intermission-said he took the pregame warm up and looked ready to go-we wait

  132. Dicky94 says:

    Gerta Rauss,

    It would be a good way to get the fan base excited on a Saturday night against the Leafs.

  133. Gerta Rauss says:

    Dicky94:

    It would be a good way to get the fan base excited on a Saturday night against the Leafs.

    Yeah, we wouldn’t be talking about Mike Smith tomorrow morning, that’s for sure

    I’m fine chasing Hall in free agency in June but I’m reluctant to acquire him in season right now- I think the cost will be too dear

  134. OriginalPouzar says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Really hoping that Starrett is back tonight (or at least back this weekend).

    A couple solid starts for him could give management some options – some options that could help now but also could be used next year……..

    Could…..

    Starrett starting tonight!

    Given recent events, I’ve very happy about this.

  135. Bling says:

    All I want for Christmas is a game breaker and a river pusher.

  136. who says:

    Bling: I think him and Persson are missed.

    Both guys are, in a way, cut from the same cloth — though, of course, Benning is the more established of the two.Neither are uber slick out there, but both guys move the puck well and make smart little plays.

    Really? Cut from the same cloth?
    I don’t think they could be any more different.
    I guess they both shoot right and have limited skating ability. But Peerson is a timid, passive defender whereas Benning is willing to hit anything that moves. Even if he gets the worst of it most times.

  137. OriginalPouzar says:

    Benson/Marody/Currie
    Joe G./Malone/Yamamoto

  138. JimmyV1965 says:

    ashley: Goalie assessment is tough because it requires large sample sizes.20+ games to really get a feel for what is going on, but no team has 20 games to play with if they think someone is bad.

    For Smith last night, Goals 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 were 10 bell chances right out of the Dubnyk era.So Gregor’s simplistic statistical analysis above is faulty.Those stats quoted do not supportthe conclusion that the goalie was bad.That is a leap of logic.

    That said, most NHL goalies will save half of those 10 bell chances.Smith didn’t manage to stop any of them last night.Maybe a bad night?Or maybe declining performance?Hard to say with an incredibly small sample.Time will tell.For what it’s worth, Koskinen also looked bad the previous game playing in front of this unstructured squad.

    We threw away Dubnyk for just such performances and he was actually a good goalie on a team with really bad structure.

    My point is that there are lots of holes here and structural ways to prevent 10 bell chances even with this roster.Goalies and defenders are easy targets for unsophisticated criticism, but most of the fault lies with the team structure/discipline last night, particularly the forwards who were anticipating poorly and slow in transitions.Tippett had them all back defending deep on transitions during the early season run and he needs to find a way to get them back there.

    Regressing to bad habits is normal for any player and team.This losing streak is on Tippett, and it’s up to him to get the structure back in place and turn it around.The goalies save percentage will follow suit.

    Why do I think Koskinnen played well letting in six goals and Smith played poorly giving up six goals? I feel the team is playing poor defence right now as well. But is this true? Are they any worse than earlier in the season? I seem to remember a few games we should have lost but got bailed out by the goalies. Bruce would know this for sure, but I’m pretty confident the the Cult of Hockey has the Oilers with more Grade A scoring chances during this three game losing streak than the opposition. So why do their goalies make the saves and ours don’t?

  139. OriginalPouzar says:

    Joe G. snipes one home – well, that’s an aggressive use of the word “snipe” – from outside the circles underneath Picard’s armpit – weak goal but we’ll take it.

  140. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lucky bounce – puck pops out off the side board glass to Jake Stukel in the slot and its 2-0 Condors.

    Persson with the apple.

  141. jtblack says:

    DRAFT 2020

    RIDLEY GRIEG – Brandin Wheat Kings

    27 pts in 28 games.
    107 shots
    Late birthday (August).

    From my hometown. watched him since Bantam. Supreme Skill. Currently ranked as a B prospect.

    I expect him to tear it up after New Years. Keep an eye on him

    Edm needs skilll. If Ridley is avail anytime after Round 2, I hope Edm grabs him.

  142. jtblack says:

    Vgs 2 Dal 2.
    5 mins left in 3rd

  143. JimmyV1965 says:

    McSorley33:
    No point in getting too excited – this team is doing what most of us thought they would do.

    Painful to watch Mike Smith, no doubt.

    I am hoping Holland ( hey lookit – his old team did not go winless in 13 ! ) is actually
    a seller at the deadline.

    Maybe grab a 3rd rounder for Sheahan.

    We need to focus on prospects and next year.

    This seems eerily familiar

  144. OriginalPouzar says:

    Condors just dominating early – couple of goals by all over Grand Rapids – they take a penalty and Starrett comes up with a couple nice saves.

    This is how things were supposed to go with this team.

    So often this year the Condors have dominated early and any chance against goes in.

    Not unlike what we’ve seen from the Oilers lately (except actual Condor domination and losing).

  145. OriginalPouzar says:

    As I say that, Condors give up a goal – nice play though finished off by Valeno.

  146. jtblack says:

    McSorley33:
    No point in getting too excited – this team is doing what most of us thought they would do.

    Painful to watch Mike Smith, no doubt.

    I am hoping Holland ( hey lookit – his old team did not go winless in 13 ! ) is actually
    a seller at the deadline.

    Maybe grab a 3rd rounder for Sheahan.

    We need to focus on prospects and next year.

    I have changed my view on this. I am not opposed to selling at this years deadline, But I am opposed to a SLOW build.

    This season is McDavids 5th. He will have been in the playoffs once or twice.

    Edm needs 1 more Top 6 river pushed before puck drop in Sept. Whether its Hall or something close. Van paid dearly for JT miller but Miller had made an immediate impact.

    Ken Cant “wait” 2 or 3 years and hope some of these prospects pan out. He needs to add NHL forwards that can score and have skill.

  147. jtblack says:

    VGS wins in OT

  148. Oz says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    As I say that, Condors give up a goal – nice play though finished off by Valeno.

    OP I have watched some of the last few games and I am less than impressed with K Lowe. Valeno was his man on the first power play. Not just this play but it is frequent result for him. What I see is he plays an old style of defensive hockey skates behind his net and rims it around the wall, and most of the time we lose possession as a result. His “words of wisdom” for his team mates at the beginning of his shift bring to mind “smartest man in the room” likeness. Some on this board have mentioned he is holding his partners and I agree 100%
    Other players that have stood out for me
    KY is a buzz saw and an aggressive skater and playmaker and I would like him to finish the year in the AHL to improve his ability to handle the bigger players in the NHL.
    Benson, Marody and Gamberrilla are good playmakers,and their defensive coverage is good.
    R Mcleod is fast, good forechecker, good defensively, but has not scored or assisted in the time I have watched
    Lagesson plays his size and weight and I would like him to see some NHL time.
    Bouchard is the defenseman with the most offensive upside and what a great skater. He gets back fast. Best not to rush him up to the NHL even though he plays right side.
    Thanks for the reports from yourself and Wilde

  149. Oz says:

    Ha Mcleod assists on Cave’s go ahead goal

  150. OriginalPouzar says:

    Cave from Day and McLeod to put the Condors back up in front – missed the goal though.

    The line, as per usual, is Maksimov/Cave/McLeod – at least it was earlier in the game.

  151. Dicky94 says:

    jtblack,

    I agree! Lets go all in! Get to the playoffs and let McDavid do his thing! Slow and steady does not win the race. Probably a good thing I’m not a GM.

  152. OriginalPouzar says:

    Not long after GR tie the game up on a quick strike breakaway – Sammy puts one on net and Benson bangs home the rebound out of mid-air. Marody with the 2nd apple.

  153. OriginalPouzar says:

    Benson with another on a rebound of a Day shot….

  154. OriginalPouzar says:

    Condors going full Oilers – bounce off the back-boards and they give up a goal in the last 10 seconds.

    Up 5-4 after two.

  155. OriginalPouzar says:

    Won’t be tonight as A. Dater advised the Avs definitely won’t be trading for Hall this evening.

    My guess is that trade has been agreed to and they are talking extension/contract tonight.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if a team like the Penguins sneak in – Galchenyuk as a piece going back for the cap – of course, 1st round pick plus solid prospect.

  156. OriginalPouzar says:

    and Joe Valeno ties up the game at 5 early in the 3rd.

    My key tonight was Starrett playing well and, well…

  157. Sierra says:

    JimmyV1965: This seems eerily familiar

    Déjà vu

  158. OriginalPouzar says:

    Yamamoto/Malone

    Lagesson

    to start OT

    —————

    Yamamoto draws a PP early – that’s what he does.

  159. Wilde says:

    Bakersfield Condors v. Grand Rapids Griffins; December 13, 2019; first run

    Gambardella – Malone – Yamamoto
    Benson – Marody – Currie
    Maksimov – McLeod – Cave
    Stukel – Esposito – Peluso
    Lowe – Persson
    Lagesson – Bouchard
    Samorukov – Day

    Bakersfield Condors v. Grand Rapids Griffins; December 13, 2019; after Period One

    24 CF – 7 CA
    10 FF – 4 FA
    2 GF – 1 GA

    Top F: Stukel (1.46 Game Score) – 1 shot attempts, 0 (primary) shot assist / 1 goal / / 10CF-0CA / 1GF-0GA

    Top D: Lowe (1.83 Game Score) – 6 (primary) shot attempts, 1 shot assist / 1 (primary) assist / / 16CF-4CA / 2GF-1GA

  160. Wilde says:

    Bakersfield Condors v. Grand Rapids Griffins; December 13, 2019; after 2 Periods

    41 CF – 25 CA
    18 FF – 8 FA
    5 GF – 3 GA

    Top F: Benson (2.21 GS) – 2 shot att + 1 asst / 2 goals / / 11CF-6CA / 2GF-0GA

    Top D: Lowe (1.44 GS) – 1 shot att + 1 asst, 1 assist / / 20CF-14CA / 2GF-2GA

  161. SwedishPoster says:

    leadfarmer:
    https://mobile.twitter.com/NHLFlyers/status/1205599966317752321/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1205599966317752321&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fs9e.github.io%2Fiframe%2F2%2Ftwitter.min.html%231205599966317752321

    And damn
    Kids out for the season but probably career is done
    Terrible news

    Yeah that’s a tough one. Comes off as one of the nicest guys among swedish hockey players as well. Really good guy from all accounts.

  162. Wilde says:

    Bakersfield Condors v. Grand Rapids Griffins; December 13, 2019; Game Totals

    49 CF – 33 CA (59.76%)
    23 FF – 13 FA (63.89%)
    5 GF – 3 GA

    Top F: Benson (2.31 GS) – 2 shot attempts + 2 assists / 2 goals / / 18CF-8CA / 2GF-0GA

    Top D: Lowe (1.44 GS) – 7 shot attempts + 1 assists / 1 assist / / 25CF-16CA / 2GF-2GA

  163. SwedishPoster says:

    Jesse with his first NT goal today against Sweden. Another former Oiler prospect scored, goalie Frans Tuohimaa. Also his first NT goal. A few years ago hecouodn’t cut it in swedish second tier and now he’s with Team Finland. Goalies.

  164. OriginalPouzar says:

    Should be a fun game tonight.

    Here is hoping that the team limits the avoidable mistakes and manage the game better.

    Mikko needs to stop the one’s he should and maybe even a couple he shouldn’t.

    I’ll be at my cousin-in-laws for a holiday thing but will be watching.

    I miss Matty Benning.

  165. yeraslob says:

    Pretendergast:
    Went to Flames Leafs last night, don’t judge I hated it too but puck is puck.

    Their goalie outduelled the Leafs but it wasn’t close imo. The Leafs have the quick strike and were dominant early but they are clearly a glass cannon. Freddy covered alot but he was below meh this game.

    Flames are just a deeper team, Looch was invisible but Johnathan Hockeyplayer dazzled. The way they are playing means they should win the division. Hate to say it.

    Biggest thing was that the seats were about 60 40 leafs to flames fans. Hope that doesn’t happen Saturday. Gross.

    For the third season in a row, it takes the flames a season changing event (stick throwing, 9-1 drubbing, racist coach) to get their heads out of their collective asses. And they go from shlubs to NHL players, just in time to make the playoffs. Of course, in typical flames fashion, they graciously accept their first round playoff participation pendants and happily hit the links in April.

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!
© Copyright - Lowetide.ca