Valley of the Calm Trees

There’s always ongoing conversations about Oilers players who are performing poorly. I’ll see posts that say “James Neal can’t play on a skill line anymore” and “Adam Larsson is barely hanging on to an NHL job” and it makes me smile. Now, people are on Ethan Bear. He’s hit a wall! His decision making is terrible!

It’s usually injury, folks. We always forget. Always. I do. Swear to God. If a player who played 20 games at a certain level, then falls off badly, chances are it’s injury. Follow the math, find the birth certificate, see if his partner or linemate is hurt and then check on the player himself. I swear to you this is the case so often it’ll make your head spin.

So what does that mean? Well, we loved Nurse-Bear for 35 games, and now we’re down on them. All hail Klefbom-Larsson. Maybe, maybe they’re all good and all are carrying maladies great and small? Maybe.

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: Oilers need to figure out five-on-five woes quickly, starting with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl
  • New Lowetide: Who should be the next man up from the Bakersfield Condors?
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Q&A: 10 subscriber questions for Oilers rookie defenceman Ethan Bear
  • 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

OILERS AFTER 35 GAMES

  • Oilers in 2015: 15-18-2, 32 points; goal differential -15
  • Oilers in 2016: 18-12-5, 41 points; goal differential +6
  • Oilers in 2017: 16-17-2, 34 points; goal differential -7
  • Oilers in 2018: 18-14-3, 39 points; goal differential +1
  • Oilers in 2019: 18-13-4, 40 points; goal differential -2

The Oilers are now in negative goal differential and have given up the top spot among the McDavid Oilers to the 2016 team. It remains a terrific start for this year’s model.

OILERS IN DECEMBER

  • Oilers in December 2015: 6-1-0, 12 points; goal differential +5
  • Oilers in December 2016: 3-1-3, nine points; goal differential +2
  • Oilers in December 2017: 4-3-0, eight points; goal differential +5
  • Oilers in December 2018: 5-1-1, 11 points; goal differential +6
  • Oilers in December 2019: 2-4-1, five points; goal differential -8

The Oilers are suffering the gales of November a little late but the results are just as difficult to endure. My goodness this is 50 miles of bad road. Pick a rut and go doesn’t seem to be working.

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) (Actual 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: 2-4-1, 5 points in 7 games

I thought the Oilers played well enough to get a win, or at least a point. It’s the second loss in a row where I felt the team was a little shortchanged on the scoreboard. Craig MacTavish used to say a team on a winning streak would win a game or two at the end of it despite playing badly, while a team trying to get out of a slump would lose a game or two at the end of it they deserved to win. I believe the Oilers are at that spot now.

OILERS 2019-20

Oilers have four men projected to score 20+ goals, a defenseman on the way to 40+ points and terrific special teams. Five on five? Not so much. All numbers five on five unless noted and via NST.

LINE 1 Leon Draisaitl-Connor McDavid-Zack Kassian played 16:04, going 10-21 Corsi, 6-17 shots, 0-1 goals and 3-6 HDSC. That’s a terrible line for the top line, one of the worst this season.

Leon Draisaitl had an assist on the power-play goal by Chiasson, one HDSC and two takeaways. Won six of 12 in the dot. Connor McDavid had one HDSC (how he didn’t score is beyond me), two takeaways and drew a penalty. Zack Kassian had two shots, one a good chance, and was physical.

On the second goal against, play begins with McDavid getting the puck out of the zone to Draisaitl in the neutral zone. Leon sends a backhand no look pass to 97 a split second later but it is intercepted. Leafs put the puck in their own end, under control, and then send a true pass under control to center (Engvall the receiver). Engvall sends an outstanding pass (that beats Ethan Bear who gets caught flat footed) to Mikheyev who is free inside the blue line. He drives to the net, gets a point blank shot that Koskinen saves, Darnell Nurse doesn’t clear, Kerfoot delivers to Mikheyev and that’s a goal.

LINE 2 James Neal-Nuge-Sam Gagner played 14:40, going 17-13 Corsi, 9-5 shots, 0-1 goals and 0-3 HDSC.

James Neal looks faster now, last two games have been better. Four shots, one HDSC, but also two giveaways and a takeaway. Nuge had two shots, three giveaways, one also in photo and a second period shift where he backchecked like Dave Keon and damn near scored. Sam Gagner looked a little slow with the puck, death against Toronto.

The first goal against begins with the puck in the Oilers zone. Kris Russell has just blocked a shot and he doesn’t look right. Puck bounces to the nearest Maple Leaf, who sends a gorgeous pass (Toronto are a beautiful passing team) to Morgan Rielly. Rielly sends a goalmouth pass to Engvall, who is stopped by Koskinen. Nuge gets the rebound in the corner and does not help his team when he send a six-inch pass to Mikheyev. The Russian skates up the wall to the Edmonton blue line and sends a pass to the defender (RH shot) who forces Koskinen to make a save. At this point, Koskinen has lost his stick. Engvall has the puck in the corner, pass to Kerfoot and an excellent shot makes it 1-0. Nuge’s poor clear the key play for Edmonton, even an icing would have been a brilliant result.

LINE 3 Jujhar Khaira-Riley Sheahan-Josh Archibald played 6:58, going 8-4 Corsi, 7-1 shots, 4-0 HDSC.

Jujhar Khaira had four shots, one HDSC and a great rebound look. Riley Sheahan had two shots, one HDSC and won 8 of 11 in the faceoff circle. Josh Archibald had two shots, one HDSC and a takeaway. If the Oilers won this game, or they had scored, we’d be talking about this line today. Good work.

Markus Granlund-Gaetan Haas-Alex Chiasson played 5:04, going 5-7 Corsi, 3-3 shots, no goals and 1-2 HDSC.

Markus Granlund was mostly quiet, save for a giveaway. Gaetan Haas was active again, two shots, one HDSC. Alex Chiasson scored a great goal on the power play and had another great chance at five on five.

A quick note on the Kerfoot line and defenseman Justin Holl. I don’t know how far the Maple Leafs will go this season, but the bets laid down on men like Mikhayev, Engvall and Holl are sublime. Edmonton needs those kinds of additions.

PAIRING ONE Oscar Klefbom and Adam Larsson played 21:55, going 25-19 Corsi and 16-8 shots, no goals and 6-1 HDSC. Played mostly with the Nuge line and against the Hyman-Tavares-Marner line. A fine game by the Swedes.

Oscar Klefbom had three shots, blocked several and helped get the puck going in a good direction. Adam Larsson had a strong game, he’s healthy again and up to speed. You’ll see people talk about his improved concentration, attention to detail, dedicating himself to the season. Nope. Healthy.

PAIRING TWO Darnell Nurse and Ethan Bear played 17:48, going 19-22 Corsi, 10-17 shots, 0-2 goals and 3-8 HDSC. They played 15:33 with the McDavid unit, this five-man unit underperformed badly.

Darnell Nurse was hammering Maple Leafs during the anthem and beyond, but his hesitation on the clear during the second goal against is what fans will remember. Had a giveaway and a takeaway. Ethan Bear has been caught flat footed a few times recently, I think it’s a combination of good scouting by opposition and Bear’s playing so many important minutes. He’ll be fine. Adjustments take place during the season all the time.

PAIRING THREE Kris Russell and Caleb Jones played 7:40, going 8-8 Corsi, 5-4 shots, 0-1 goals, 1-3 HDSC.

Kris Russell blocked a shot and was down and out for a moment on the first goal against, pretty much a clean slate afterward defensively after that (one giveaway). No offense to report as always. Caleb Jones had a shot on goal and a takeaway, I liked his game.

GOALIE Mikko Koskinen stopped 28 of 31, .903. He was rock solid in net and gave his team a chance to win. Edmonton got a little unlucky because there were few penalties, but did win the possession battle for the second game in a row. A win is coming. Promise.

CONDORS 2019-20

Condors won last night, courtesy some depth scoring, Shane Starrett’s fine goaltending and a ton of shots directed at the Griffins’ net. I think Jay Woodcroft is finding the range with this team now.

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251 Responses to "Valley of the Calm Trees"

« Older Comments
  1. Ryan says:

    Where does Shero go from here?

    Sitting Hall was good for advertising and creating a sense of urgency (the old take away close salesmen use.)

    Didn’t work apparently.

    https://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/examining-devils-taylor-hall-trade-situation-currently-stands/

  2. godot10 says:

    Harpers Hair:

    Bouchard is playing his second pro season and is hardly lighting the league on fire.

    First pro season. Draft plus two.

  3. who says:

    McSorley33: I look at this forward group and I think we have 3 forwards and one of the biggest cliffs after that
    you can find in the NHL.

    I guess I am of the opinion that half of our forwards would clear waivers tomorrow.

    So, I think we need 4 forwards *minimum*.

    2 wingers for Nuge and a real 3C

    The scale and scope of the problem at the forward positionneeds to honestly appraised.

    Don’t you think you are being a little melodramatic here?
    1 quality winger for the Nuge line would make a world of difference.
    Yeah, our bottom 6 is nothing special. But you could say that about most teams in the league. The salary cap just doesn’t allow for a lot of talent in the bottom 6. You might catch lightning in a bottle for a couple of years, but eventually, if they’re good, you gotta pay me.

  4. JimmyV1965 says:

    McSorley33: I look at this forward group and I think we have 3 forwards and one of the biggest cliffs after that
    you can find in the NHL.

    I guess I am of the opinion that half of our forwards would clear waivers tomorrow.

    So, I think we need 4 forwards *minimum*.

    2 wingers for Nuge and a real 3C

    The scale and scope of the problem at the forward positionneeds to honestly appraised.

    I’m still not sure what you’re saying. Are you saying we need four more top six forwards? Sure it would be nice to have six top six forwards, but that ain’t happening. In fact, most teams only have four or five top six forwards. Two more forwards on this team will make a dramatic difference. I don’t think I’m being a fanboy saying two forwards will improve this team. I think too many fans believe this team’s issues are deeper than they really are.

  5. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Harpers Hair,

    Soft skill AHL players with a concussion history who can’t live up to their inflated contracts have almost zero value. Certainly not enough cache to net a quality RD such as Matt Benning.

    “Jim Benning has been trying to trade Sven Baertschi for the past 10 weeks… but he missed most of last year with a concussion.”

    Source: https://theprovince.com/sports/hockey/nhl/vancouver-canucks/canucks-gm-benning-confirms-team-looking-to-trade-sven-baertschi

  6. Harpers Hair says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    JimmyV1965,

    That’s my point.

    We’re not taking their roster detritus for an elite RHS 3rd pairing D on a reasonable contract.

    Elite???
    Good grief.

  7. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    With a TV timeout in between the regular shift and the PP. A material break, as it were.

  8. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Harpers Hair: Yeah they do…unless they play in college and then the timeline is different..but of course you’re smart enough to know this.

    Bouchard is playing his second pro season and is hardly lighting the league on fire.

    Still time though.

    Ahem. Must have been a typo on your part. But…

    Rookie pro season.

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=180272

  9. OriginalPouzar says:

    HarpersHair: Yeah they do…unless they play in college and then the timeline is different..but of course you’re smart enough to know this.

    Bouchard is playing his second pro season and is hardly lighting the league on fire.

    Still time though.

    This is Bouchard’s first year pro – last year he was winning OHL d-man of the year.

    Oh, so good college players don’t have to show themselves early – because it fits your narrative?

    Ummmm, Bouchard has a higher PPG as 20 playing in the AHL that this dude your talking about had playing in the USHL at that age.

    What a wild wild ride you can turn something in to.

  10. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Harpers Hair,

    He kills 3rd pairing competition, and looks good in top-4 by numbers too.

    You’re welcome to dive into the numbers if you like, or search here for ArmchairGM’s posts about it during the summer. Or not. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  11. Harpers Hair says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    Harpers Hair,

    He kills 3rd pairing competition, and looks good in top-4 by numbers too.

    You’re welcome to dive into the numbers if you like, or search here for ArmchairGM’s posts about it during the summer.Or not.¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Elite defensemen are bonafide #1

    There are maybe 20 in the league.

    Benniing ain’t one of them.

  12. OriginalPouzar says:

    Benn and Stetcher got just caved tonight.

    Hughes leaked three goals against and Myers was negative.

    I would think that Brogran Rafferty would be on his way up shortly, no?

  13. Ryan says:

    JimmyV1965: I’m still not sure what you’re saying.Are you saying we need four more top six forwards? Sure it would be nice to have six top six forwards, but that ain’t happening.In fact, most teams only have four or five top six forwards. Two more forwards on this team will make a dramatic difference. I don’t think I’m being a fanboy saying two forwards will improve this team. I think too many fans believe this team’s issues are deeper than they really are.

    God’s flashlight aka 5v5/60

    Draisatl – 3.12
    McDavid – 3.04
    Kassian – 2.54

    (200 minutes cut off)

    Based on current league stats. 2nd liner starts at 2.04
    Based on current league stats. 3rd liner starts at 1.56
    Based on current league stats. 4rth liner starts at 1.14 (last year – 1.34)

    Gagner – 1.98
    Haas 1.24
    Nuge – 1.11 (!) – 291 st in league
    Khaira – 0.98
    Granny – 0.88
    Russell – 0.83
    Neal – 0.81
    Chaser – 0.73
    Sheahan – 0.41
    Archibald – 0.23

    That’s a bottom six, yikes!

    Fire Archibald into the sun along with Granny and Russell.
    Package Chaser in a deal so you don’t have to buy him out.
    Buyout Neal in the off season.
    Chaser. Raise your hand if you argued against me in discussion of his contract this summer.
    Sit that Gagner guy?

  14. Darth Tu says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    The Canucks need some more soft skill.

  15. Harpers Hair says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Benn and Stetcher got just caved tonight.

    Hughes leaked three goals against and Myers was negative.

    I would think that Brogran Rafferty would be on his way up shortly, no?

    Nah.

    The Canucks played the late game in San Jose last night and then had to travel to Vegas for a game that started early.

    And San Jose airport closes at night so you have to bus to an adjacent airport.

    Pretty much guaranteed loss night.

    The Oilers had no such excuses when they got smoked last night.

    Maybe if they had their elite defenseman in the lineup they would have fared better.

  16. Ryan says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    Harpers Hair,

    He kills 3rd pairing competition, and looks good in top-4 by numbers too.

    You’re welcome to dive into the numbers if you like, or search here for ArmchairGM’s posts about it during the summer.Or not.¯_(ツ)_/¯

    I like looking at on the fly starts per 60 for dmen.

    It tells you if and who the coach is hiding from the other team.

    Benning is second only to Manning on the Oilers.

    The Canucks try to hide Stetcher and Benn

  17. Ryan says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Benn and Stetcher got just caved tonight.

    Hughes leaked three goals against and Myers was negative.

    I would think that Brogran Rafferty would be on his way up shortly, no?

    That’s a pretty decent rendition of a DSF post.

    You’re getting good at that!

  18. jtblack says:

    Ryan,

    thx for the info

    3 F’s at 2nd line rate or better.

    Thats abiut what the eye test tells us

  19. Munny says:

    Harpers Hair: Bouchard is playing his second pro season

    You’re day drunk. That will bite you in the ass.

    #deadcatbounce

  20. flea says:

    Harpers Hair,

    Let’s call a spade a spade.

    Oilers have been surprising this year. Better than expected. They are in a slump but were in all the games they lost. Flawed team, I think most posters here are aware of that.

    Canucks were supposed to be better than this. Traded first round picks. Signed high profile free agents. They are starting to lose the pack now. A lot of pacific teams ahead of them. Sure – maybe they catch the Oilers, but are they also catching the Flames, Knights or your beloved Coyotes?

    If I’m a Nucks fan I’m getting worried. They went 0/2 this weekend, scheduled loss aside they needed something out of this game.

  21. jtblack says:

    Forward depth:
    GOALS
    SCHEIFLE – 15
    EHLERS – 14
    CONNOR – 14
    LAINE – 10
    WHEELER -9
    ROSLIVIC – 6
    PERREUALT – 6

    and thats not counting the 2nd line Center (Bryan Little), whos been injured

  22. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Harpers Hair,

    Except I never called Benning a #1 defenseman.

    I said he is an elite third pairing D.

    Nice try.

  23. who says:

    jtblack:
    Forward depth:
    GOALS
    SCHEIFLE – 15
    EHLERS – 14
    CONNOR – 14
    LAINE – 10
    WHEELER -9
    ROSLIVIC – 6
    PERREUALT – 6

    and thats not counting the 2nd line Center (Bryan Little), whos been injured

    Not sure what you are trying to say here but,
    McDavid 20
    Drai 20
    Neal 15
    Kassian 11
    Nuge 6
    Khaira 6
    Looks like Edmonton is one 9 goal scorer short. Like I said, 1 quality winger for Nuge would do it.

  24. OriginalPouzar says:

    HarpersHair: Nah.

    The Canucks played the late game in San Jose last night and then had to travel to Vegas for a game that started early.

    And San Jose airport closes at night so you have to bus to an adjacent airport.

    Pretty much guaranteed lossnight.

    The Oilers had no such excuses when they got smoked last night.

    Maybe if they had their elite defenseman in the lineup they would have fared better.

    I see – valid for 11 regulation wins in 34 games….

  25. Darth Tu says:

    Harpers Hair,

    Sorry my man, this sounds like excuses to me.

    Vegas are a decent team, playing a team part way through their rebuild. There’s no shame in losing.

  26. jtblack says:

    who: Not sure what you are trying to say here but,
    McDavid 20
    Drai 20
    Neal15
    Kassian11
    Nuge 6
    Khaira 6
    Looks like Edmonton is one 9 goal scorer short. Like I said, 1 quality winger for Nuge would do it.

    Yah if Edm had 1 more 10+ Goal scorer; they would.prob have 2 – 4 more wins

  27. v4ance says:

    Shero has done a great job to draw out the auction to keep 6-8 teams in the mix. No matter what, the return will be miles better than Chiarelli’s debacle. Right now even if Ari is the frontrunner, there’s still time for someone else to up their current bid.

  28. JimmyV1965 says:

    Harpers Hair: Nah.

    The Canucks played the late game in San Jose last night and then had to travel to Vegas for a game that started early.

    And San Jose airport closes at night so you have to bus to an adjacent airport.

    Pretty much guaranteed lossnight.

    The Oilers had no such excuses when they got smoked last night.

    Maybe if they had their elite defenseman in the lineup they would have fared better.

    Both teams have flawed rosters. They’re not mutually exclusive. Any so called balance you think the team possesses, which is a fantasy to begin with, it ends at the blue line. If they keep running Hughes 23 minutes a night things will get real ugly for him. He should be getting sheltered minutes in offensive situations. I think the Oilers destroyed a dman or two doing this.

  29. jp says:

    Ryan: He’s played a lot with Kassian who isn’t exactly a 2-way player.

    I’m on my phone, but I thought that coincided with the spike.

    That was talked about a fair bit last year, and it does coincide.

    Having a slightly deeper look I’m not sure we can blame Kassian though.

    2018-19 Full season (5 on 5)
    McDavid 3.39GF/60 3.30GA/60 50.7GF%

    From January 1st on:
    McDavid 3.51-4.20 45.9%
    Draisaitl 3.18-3.74 46.0%
    Kassian 3.22-3.31 49.3%

    That doesn’t LOOK like a Kassian effect.

    Using the line tool to look at McDavid and Kassian during the 2nd half of last season:
    Both On 403min 3.87-3.72 51.0%
    McDavid Only 298min 3.02-4.98 38.5%
    Kassian Only 250min 2.16-2.64 45.0%
    Both Off 1195min 1.31-2.06 39.4%

    So with a little more information I don’t know that anyone could reasonably blame McDavid’s GA numbers on Kassian. Huh.

    This year:
    Both On 431min 4.18-3.20 56.6%
    McDavid Only 162min 2.60-2.97 46.7%
    Kassian Only 64min 4.67-2.80 62.5%
    Both Off 1.32-2.65 33.3%

    McDavid alone remains not terribly effective, but the GA isn’t a particular issue. To the original point, it doesn’t seem to me that Kassian owns much of McDavid’s defensive struggles.

    As an aside, it’s kind of hilarious that based on these numbers alone one would conclude (I think) that Kassian is the driver and better player of the two.

  30. Munny says:

    v4ance,

    I’m not convinced of this. I think he went a little brinksmanship and it backfired.

  31. Wilde says:

    no one wants to help me on Twitter so I’ll drop this here

    https://streamable.com/bqate

    This is Samorukov’s shot to Stukel’s tip and in, right?

    It’s credited to Peluso (meaning it’s deflected by both forwards and so Samorukov’s shot is the second assist) and he celebrated but I see no direction/angle change or any difference between the spin on it when it leaves our view behind the goalie (which is where it would have touched Peluso if it did) and when it comes back into view and goes into the net

    I don’t have a ton of respect left for the official AHL stats but I’d have to be in the rink to get an angle on Peluso’s side of the goalie

    e: The reason I keep watching this over and over is because 5-on-5 primary points are a massive part of the extremely prudent Game Score formula I’m using

  32. Munny says:

    v4ance:
    Shero has done a great job to draw out the auction to keep 6-8 teams in the mix.No matter what, the return will be miles better than Chiarelli’s debacle.Right now even if Ari is the frontrunner, there’s still time for someone else to up their current bid.

    Let me ask you this…

    (and I don’t know the answer)

    Are prices likely to go up from here or down? Towards the bid or the ask?

    (w.r.t. Hall)

  33. Harpers Hair says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    Harpers Hair,

    Except I never called Benning a #1 defenseman.

    I said he is an elite third pairing D.

    Nice try.

    An elite third pairing D is a mediocre second pairing D .

    Can never have enough of them, right?

  34. Twinkle Mo' Fo' Toes says:

    Wilde,

    I’ll try this on my tv, hard to tell on my phone, but looks to me like it went straight in….

  35. jp says:

    Harpers Hair: Elite???
    Good grief.

    It’s like how Jay Beagle used to be an elite 4th liner.

  36. Twinkle Mo' Fo' Toes says:

    Harpers Hair: An elite third pairing D is a mediocre second pairing D .

    Can never have enough of them, right?

    Matt Benning gets excellent results in a 3rd pairing deployment. That is a nice player to have on your roster. Full stop.

    Silver Deadcat Hairman…..why do your posts always remind me of a 12 year old who just says shit to piss off the girl he has a crush on?

  37. northerndancer says:

    Wilde:
    no one wants to help me on Twitter so I’ll drop this here

    https://streamable.com/bqate

    This is Samorukov’s shot to Stukel’s tip and in, right?

    It’s credited to Peluso (meaning it’s deflected by both forwards and so Samorukov’s shot is the second assist) and he celebrated but I see no direction/angle change or any difference between the spin on it when it leaves our view behind the goalie (which is where it would have touched Peluso if it did) and when it comes back into view and goes into the net

    I don’t have a ton of respect left for the official AHL stats but I’d have to be in the rink to get an angle on Peluso’s side of the goalie

    Wilde, watching that stream made me think I have cataracts but it looks like the first (outside)player tips it up a bit and the last guy (peluso?) has it go off his knee or pants and in. Or my screen is dirty.

    Thanks for your work on the Condors stats. Along with OP’s selective play by play I feel like I am in some form of strange sampling/compression program of reality. More than usual, that is.

  38. flea says:

    Wilde,

    Is Peluso the guy right in front? Footage is too poor to really tell what happened but he sure celebrates like he got a pice if it.

  39. jp says:

    jtblack: thx for the info
    3 F’s at 2nd line rate or better.
    Thats abiut what the eye test tells us

    No, 2nd line is 2.04-1.56. So Gagner counts as a (high end) 2nd liner as well.

    1st line rate – 3 (and damn good ones, McDavid and Draisaitl are top 10, Kassian 28th)
    2nd line rate – Gagner
    3rd line rate – Haas (Nuge is close! lol)

    Things get ugly in a hurry, but the Oilers have 4Fs scoring at 2nd line rates. And Nuge normally does.

  40. Ryan says:

    jp: That was talked about a fair bit last year, and it does coincide.
    Having a slightly deeper look I’m not sure we can blame Kassian though.
    2018-19 Full season (5 on 5)
    McDavid 3.39GF/60 3.30GA/60 50.7GF%
    From January 1st on:
    McDavid 3.51-4.20 45.9%
    Draisaitl 3.18-3.74 46.0%
    Kassian 3.22-3.31 49.3%
    That doesn’t LOOK like a Kassian effect.

    Let’s take a step back first. The reason this was talked about last year was because McDavid’s previous results were far superior.

    2016 – 17. McDavid. 3.51 GF/60. 2.14 GA/60. GF 62.1%
    2017 – 18. McDavid. 3.62 GF/60. 2.72 GA/60. GF 57%

    In the subsequent season as you mentioned, half of the games playing with Zach along with crappy goaltending, we see a spike in GA/60.

    jp: Using the line tool to look at McDavid and Kassian during the 2nd half of last season:
    Both On 403min 3.87-3.72 51.0%
    McDavid Only 298min 3.02-4.98 38.5%
    Kassian Only 250min 2.16-2.64 45.0%
    Both Off 1195min 1.31-2.06 39.4%
    So with a little more information I don’t know that anyone could reasonably blame McDavid’s GA numbers on Kassian. Huh.

    As Woodguy often mentions, bottom of the roster players and bottom pairing defensemen both benefit from playing against guys that beat the puck square.

    The guys these players play against don’t score goals.

    When Kassian wasn’t playing with McDavid, he was playing down the roster hence the better GA/60 without McDavid.

    The confounding factor here, as well, was the implosion of Koskinen.

    Instead of the last 41 games of last season. Let’s look at the first 41.

    Kassian – 2 GF/60. 3 GA/60. GF 40%
    McDavid – 3.35 GF/50. 2.4 GA/60. GF 58%

    Ding Ding Ding Ding !!! 🙂

    We have a winner!

    So for 2.5 half seasons before playing with Kassian, his GA/60 was substantially better.

    That’s where the concern comes from. Since playing mostly with Kassian, his GA/60 has been terrible.

    jp: This year:
    Both On 431min 4.18-3.20 56.6%
    McDavid Only 162min 2.60-2.97 46.7%
    Kassian Only 64min 4.67-2.80 62.5%
    Both Off 1.32-2.65 33.3%

    Kassian missed a few games with injury.

    Kassian himself has been stapled to McDavid and Draisatl having also played a bit with Nuge.

    McDavid has played quite a bit with Neal, Archibald, and Gagner.

    McDavid and Neal are 0 – 3
    McDavid and Ganger are 1 – 2

    That’s 1 – 5 right there

    Gagner can produce at 5v5, but he’s not really an NHL player at this point.
    Neal is Neal.

  41. Munny says:

    jp: It’s like how Jay Beagle used to be an elite 4th liner.

    +55

    (22+33)

  42. jp says:

    Ryan: Chaser. Raise your hand if you argued against me in discussion of his contract this summer.

    I think I gave some pushback, but more in a “it’s not THAT bad/big a deal” rather than being happy with the signing (IIRC).

    So yeah, a whole hell of a lot of meh.

    Back in the summer part of my argument was how little it would take to cover Chiasson’s July 1st deal (which made him the 243rd highest paid forward in the league this year).

    Chiasson is currently tied for 223rd (through 237th) in points among forwards so I guess one could argue he actually has been fair value, or at least in the ballpark. He’s also among the top 5 Oiler forwards in CF%, SF%, GF%, xGF% etc.

    So… I guess I’m doubling down (completely unenthusiastically). It doesn’t appear to have been a terrible signing, once Connolly was off the market.

  43. Wilde says:

    Twinkle Mo’ Fo’ Toes:
    Wilde,

    I’ll try this on my tv, hard to tell on my phone, but looks to me like it went straight in….

    The quality on AHL streams is awful on their end but yes that’s what I see

    flea:
    Is Peluso the guy right in front? Footage is too poor to really tell what happened but he sure celebrates like he got a pice if it.

    Yeah he does but the fact that the spin doesn’t even change at all makes it seem like it at most skimmed him (I’ve watched it frame by frame) but then that raises the question of why he felt it

    I don’t play contact and never had money for anything close to the gear these guys wear but he wouldn’t have felt it skim him, would he?

    northerndancer: Wilde, watching that stream made me think I have cataracts but it looks like the first (outside)player tips it up a bit and the last guy (peluso?) has it go off his knee or pants and in. Or my screen is dirty.
    Thanks for your work on the Condors stats. Along with OP’s selective play by play I feel like I am in some form of strange sampling/compression program of reality. More than usual, that is.

    Yeah that’s what had to have happened for it to be Peluso’s goal, and yw

  44. Ryan says:

    jp: I think I gave some pushback, but more in a “it’s not THAT bad/big a deal” rather than being happy with the signing (IIRC).

    So yeah, a whole hell of a lot of meh.

    Back in the summer part of my argument was how little it would take to cover Chiasson’s July 1st deal (which made him the 243rd highest paid forward in the league this year).

    Chiasson is currently tied for 223rd (through 237th) in points among forwards so I guess one could argue he actually has been fair value, or at least in the ballpark. He’s also among the top 5 Oiler forwards in CF%, SF%, GF%, xGF% etc.

    So… I guess I’m doubling down (completely unenthusiastically). It doesn’t appear to have been a terrible signing, once Connolly was off the market.

    A counterpoint to that is to consider 6 of his points came from the league’s best power play.

    He has 4 points at 5v5 placing him in a tie for 336. That’s the same as Granny, Russell, and Reider.
    One less than Haas.

    In terms of 5v5/60, he’s 384 with a cutoff of 100m.

    On the Oilers, he’s only ahead of Archibald and Sheahan, two guys who lead our team in 4v5/60 minutes.

    If you think he’s fair value or a good spend for $2.15m, I’ll disagree with you.

  45. jp says:

    Ryan,

    I wasn’t trying to argue that McDavid is “better” with Kassian or that he needs him. Simply that Kassian likely isn’t a root cause of McDavid’s leaky GA in 2019.

    IMO it’s coincidence, or some non-Kassian factor, that’s causing McDavid’s inflated GA relative to his own past. I don’t think anything you posted moves me closer to believing Kassian is causing the change.
    (I think that was a clear implication of your original post, and has definitely been directly stated by other posters in the past. I’m unclear if you’re arguing it now)

    Definitely Kassian in the bottom 6 should be getting scored on less. Really the main comparison for me is McDavid-Kassian vs McDavid without Kassian. Looking at the entirety of 2019 McDavid allows considerably more GA without Kassian:
    McDavid-Kassian 4.03-3.51
    McDavid without 2.87-4.18

    Ergo, Kassian is very unlikely to be the cause of McDavid’s overall increase in on ice GA in 2019.

    What’s interesting looking a little more, SA and xGA were very similar for McDavid with and without Kassian (one a shade higher, the other a shade lower). So it does seem like McDavid has been unlucky and played in front of worse goaltending without Kassian (.900 vs .882 on ice SV%).

    That explains why the GA number is higher without Kassian than with him, but not why McDavid’s GA have cratered in the last year. I don’t know the cause but I don’t see any evidence that it’s Kassian since it’s affected McDavid every bit as much when Kassian isn’t on the ice with him.

  46. jp says:

    Ryan: A counterpoint to that is to consider 6 of his points came from the league’s best power play.

    He has 4 points at 5v5 placing him in a tie for 336. That’s the same as Granny, Russell, and Reider.
    One less than Haas.

    In terms of 5v5/60, he’s 384 with a cutoff of 100m.

    On the Oilers, he’s only ahead of Archibald and Sheahan, two guys who lead our team in 4v5/60 minutes.

    If you think he’s fair value or a good spend for $2.15m, I’ll disagree with you.

    That’s definitely fair. He doesn’t produce much at evens and he’s not full value for his own PP points.

    I don’t think I’d have signed him to that deal either but at the same time I have a hard time getting myself worked up about it.

  47. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Harpers Hair,

    I’ll take that elite third pairing D who can provide top 4 cover over a “soft skill” tweener who can’t score his way into the league. All day.

    Who do you suppose would return more at the deadline between Baertschi and Benning? Let’s allow uncle Jimmy to retain $1,466,666 — nearly the maximum allowed 50%, mind — so the respective cap hits are equal.

  48. Twinkle Mo' Fo' Toes says:

    northerndancer: Wilde, watching that stream made me think I have cataracts but it looks like the first (outside)player tips it up a bit and the last guy (peluso?) has it go off his knee or pants and in.Or my screen is dirty.

    Thanks for your work on the Condors stats.Along with OP’s selective play by play I feel like I am in some form of strange sampling/compression program of reality.More than usual, that is.

    After viewing it on my tv, I have the same take away as well.

    Thanks for all you do Wilde!

  49. OriginalPouzar says:

    I wonder the flexibility of a person’s brain that has the ability to talk about the greatness of Brogan Rafferty’s AHL season and importance of the multitude of 4th liners that the canucks have yet, at the same time, disparage the usefulness of Matt Benning.

    Wild Times!

  50. Lowetide says:

    Wilde:
    no one wants to help me on Twitter so I’ll drop this here

    https://streamable.com/bqate

    This is Samorukov’s shot to Stukel’s tip and in, right?

    It’s credited to Peluso (meaning it’s deflected by both forwards and so Samorukov’s shot is the second assist) and he celebrated but I see no direction/angle change or any difference between the spin on it when it leaves our view behind the goalie (which is where it would have touched Peluso if it did) and when it comes back into view and goes into the net

    I don’t have a ton of respect left for the official AHL stats but I’d have to be in the rink to get an angle on Peluso’s side of the goalie

    e: The reason I keep watching this over and over is because 5-on-5 primary points are a massive part of the extremely prudent Game Score formula I’m using

    Looks like Stukel and then in the net to me.

  51. flea says:

    Wilde,

    You can feel the puck through the gear, even a skim.

    There is also a bit of a code between these guys, they try to be honest about who made contact. If Peluso thinks he did, prob a strong argument that it happened.

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