The Delmar Divide

The St. Louis Blues are a good hockey team, with strong, fast and rugged players up and down the lineup. The skilled men are battle hardened and the youngsters are sprinkled lightly through the batting order. There’s a lesson there.

THE ATHLETIC!

The Athletic Edmonton features a fabulous cluster of stories (some linked below, some on the site). Great perspective from a ridiculous group of writers and analysts. Proud to be part of The Athletic, less than two coffees a month offer here. 

  • New Lowetide: The key missing element to the Oilers’ brilliant top line
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘We called him ‘The Crane”: Teammates and coaches reveal their best Connor McDavid stories
  • Jonathan Willis: Should the Oilers have outbid the Coyotes for Taylor Hall?
  • Lowetide: Connor McDavid’s frustration and the impact it could have on the Edmonton Oilers
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Oilers need to figure out five-on-five woes quickly, starting with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl
  • 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
  • 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 37 GAMES

  • Oilers in 2015: 15-19-3, 33 points; goal differential -18
  • Oilers in 2016: 19-12-6, 44 points; goal differential +6
  • Oilers in 2017: 17-18-2, 36 points; goal differential -6
  • Oilers in 2018: 18-16-3, 39 points; goal differential -3
  • Oilers in 2019: 19-14-4, 42 points; goal differential -2

This year’s team is second best among the McDavid seasons, and are struggling through the toughest stretch of the season. It may seem empty, but getting that win in Dallas is a big deal for Edmonton. Less of a burden for the new year. The Oilers are in third spot in the Pacific, two points ahead of the Calgary Flames, who have a game in hand.

OILERS IN DECEMBER

  • Oilers in December 2015: 6-3-0, 12 points; goal differential -3
  • Oilers in December 2016: 4-2-3, 11 points; goal differential 0
  • Oilers in December 2017: 6-3-0, 12 points; goal differential +8
  • Oilers in December 2018: 6-2-1, 13 points; goal differential +8
  • Oilers in December 2019: 3-5-1, 7 points; goal differential -8

It isn’t pretty that’s for sure, but there are games like last night where you have to give the other man his due. The Blues live on the better side of the Delmar Divide.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM 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) (Actual 1-1-0)
  • 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: 3-5-1, 7 points in 9 games

The point-per-game prediction is in a small amount of trouble, but no one is suggesting impending doom or even headed for Grandpa’s special medicine. This is a tough stretch, but the three wins and the Bettman have Edmonton hanging around.

OILERS 2019-20

No line spent more than seven minutes together so I’m just going to link to NST and you can browse. Mikko Koskinen was outstanding, he’s quality right now.

WHOSE FAULT WAS IT?

On the first goal against, Gagner and Neal get over the line and muddle possession, while Bear hesitates. He finally changes, but the two wingers turn the puck over and then it’s jailbreak. I don’t blame the defenseman in this case, he’s watching two NHL forwards cross the line with possession. The odds of two trained men with good motor skills keeping that play going is high. That’s on Gagner and Neal. Your opinion of that play may differ and that’s fine.

On the second goal, McDavid tries to receive a Draisiatl pass but it lands with Zack Kassian along the wall, right side, just inside the St. Louis blue line. Kassian sends it toward McDavid (now deep in the St. Louis zone) but it never gets there. At the moment the puck is turned over, Kassian and Draisaitl are the closest to Edmonton’s end, with Leon the first to enter the slot era where the goal will be scored seconds from now.

Back at the puck, Ryan O’Reilly leaves it for Perron along the left wall as he enters Edmonton’s zone. Bear is matched with O’Reilly, they are headed behind the net. Nurse comes over to contest Perron, who gets the puck deeper as Nurse hits him. Draisaitl is cruising through the slot at this time, if he hangs there he’ll be very useful. Instead he gains speed anticipating a pass around the boards to the right point. It’s a pass that never arrives. Edmonton is still in reasonable position, as Kassian arrives at the slot era, just as O’Reilly performs a spin-o-rama and shakes Bear. Kassian can’t impact the play, as O’Reilly sends a nifty pass to MacEachern, who cashes on fine execution by all three Blues’ forwards. McDavid used an extra gear to get back, but couldn’t make a difference. Everyone blames McDavid on that play, watch it again. He worked like a bugger to make it back, and couldn’t get there in time after O’Reilly’s impressive move behind the net that also left Ethan Bear out of the play. That’s a quality goal by St. Louis.

ABOUT LAST NIGHT

Edmonton doesn’t have the horses against a team like the Blues when they are healthy and playing well. St. Louis is 7-1-2 against the Pacific, the loss in regulation to Anaheim and John Gibson stood on his head. Blues are good, Oilers played well.

AUSTIN CZARNIK

I’ve always liked him (wrote about him here) and he has speed, forechecking ability and can PK. Nice range of skills. I’d love to see the Oilers grab him off waivers. I don’t believe they will.

TYLER BENSON WATCH

Dillon Dube and Tyler Benson have similar numbers and came through the WHL at the same time, but Dube has played 39 NHL games and Benson zero NHL games. Oilers at this point have an NHL-ready winger who might move the needle more offensively than some of the current roster players who are playing every night. Club just lost a 2-1 game and could use a roster freshening. Benson is ready. If not Benson, then try Yamamoto. Time to use the farm and recall some help.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy, fun morning today TSN1260. We’ll begin at 10:20 with Eric Fawcett from North Pole Hoops and NBA Canada. We’ll also chat with Geoff Ulrich from Draft Kings about top fantasy teams of the decade and NFL weekend. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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322 Responses to "The Delmar Divide"

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  1. Darth Tu says:

    Harpers Hair: Yes they will as will the Oilers.

    However Vancouver relies less on the PP for scoring.

    In other news, they outscore the Oilers in all game states.

    VCR 3.08 G/GP

    EDM 2.89 G/GP

    Reduce the Oilers PP scoring and they will drop from 20th in the league to somewhere in the nether regions.

    When you say they rely less on PP scoring than the Oilers – Vancouver have scored 111 goals this season with 33 scored on the powerplay. That’s good for just under 29.73% of their total on the year. The Oilers have scored 109, with 34 scored on the power play. That’s 31.19% of their total.

    The Oilers have scored 1 more goal on 18 fewer opportunities, hence their higher PP% than Van’s. If penalty call drop off is indeed real it looks more to me as if the Canucks will struggle just as much.

  2. Harpers Hair says:

    Darth Tu: When you say they rely less on PP scoring than the Oilers – Vancouver have scored 111 goals this season with 33 scored on the powerplay.That’s good for just under 29.73% of their total on the year.The Oilers have scored 109, with 34 scored on the power play.That’s 31.19% of their total.

    The Oilers have scored 1 more goal on 18 fewer opportunities, hence their higher PP% than Van’s.If penalty call drop off is indeed real it looks more to me as if the Canucks will struggle just as much.

    Exactly my point.

    That 2% difference is huge especially for the team that scores fewer goals overall.

    Both teams will get fewer PP opportunities but the Canucks score more at evens.

  3. OriginalPouzar says:

    ScungilliSlushy: Do you actually think that or just pissing on LTs carpet again?

    Kovalchuk could only maybe help a team that had an anemic PP and could shelter him, according to your own assessment of the importance of 5v5 play, not because of refs but because it’s the dominant game state.

    Not that I think this player should be signed by the Oilers (not would he sign with the Oilers) but, in his time as a King, his production at 5 on 5 has been solid – apx 1.5 P/60 both last year and this.

  4. OriginalPouzar says:

    HarpersHair: Exactly my point.

    That 2% difference is huge especially for the team that scores fewer goals overall.

    Both teams will get fewer PP opportunities but the Canucks score more at evens.

    That 2% is less than two goal, over almost half a season.

    That’s a very aggressive use of the word “huge”

  5. Bag of Pucks says:

    Cassandra: It’s incredible how one person can be so consistently wrong.In any case, expansion doesn’t dilute the quality of play precisely because the pool of available talent is a) not fixed and b) larger than the number of jobs.

    This is more or less undeniable if you think about it, consistent with everything we know about human beings, and it is true across all spheres of human activity.

    Exceptional athletes aren’t nurses or programmers. They are rare and finite and it is precisely why the consistently productive ones command mega salaries.

    The reason you don’t perceive expansion as diluting the quality of play is mistakes make for entertaining hockey. More journeymen in the league equates to more fresh air for the stars that remain. It doesn’t mean there’s an inexhaustible supply of elite skill athletes.

    But I suspect you know this already. The facts are immaterial to your rhetoric. When you’re challenged to produce a single case study, you move the goalposts. When you’re confronted with the specific flaws in your premise, you respond with vague and unprovable absolutes.

    Your motive is to construct strawmen that meet your need to criticize Oiler management. Nevermind that no team in the league relies on the waiver wire as their primary method of procurememt, in your world, that’s proof of Oiler incompetence alone.

    You remind me of the OBC cos you’re absolutely convinced that you alone know how to build a better mousetrap despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary.

  6. Darth Tu says:

    OriginalPouzar: That 2% is less than two goal, over almost half a season.

    That’s a very aggressive use of the word “huge”

    Not to mention that the Van PP is less efficient than the Oilers PP – so even with less opportunities, the Oilers are probably going to make up that 2 goal differential there alone. Then add in the Pk, again the PK opportunities for both sides will go down if there are less penalties called, but the Oilers have an 85.1% PK versus the Canucks rate of 80.2%.

    That’s probably going to even things out from lost PP chances over the rest of the season as well.

    Anyhoo – I’m heading off to the land of Xmas shopping. You guys stay frosty and enjoy the Vegreville game tonight.

  7. Bank Shot says:

    Harpers Hair: Exactly my point.

    That 2% difference is huge especially for the team that scores fewer goals overall.

    Both teams will get fewer PP opportunities but the Canucks score more at evens.

    But the Canucks are a worse hockey team, so they’ll continue to be poor and likely give up a lottery pick for Miller.

    Benning is really pushing his chips all in to end up on the NHL hamster wheel of mediocrity.

  8. pts2pndr says:

    frjohnk:
    Elite teams can lose their top goal scorer from the year before and still not miss a beat.

    Imagine if the Oilers lost Draisaitl for 5 months.

    Oilers have some work to do if they ever want to be in the elite team category.

    Not true but you see it any you like.

  9. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Harpers Hair: No. I think the second line needs help big time.

    Is there a better option available?

    He would be less helpful than Neal IMO. And they have Neal.

  10. Harpers Hair says:

    Bank Shot: But the Canucks are a worse hockey team, so they’ll continue to be poor and likely give up a lottery pick for Miller.

    Benning is really pushing his chips all in to end up on the NHL hamster wheel of mediocrity.

    Are the Canucks worse?

    By what metric?

    They have two games in hand, a better goal differential and have suffered numerous injuries.

    The Canucks prospect pool is vastly superior.

    The draft pick is conditional

    Goes to 2021 if the Canucks miss the playoffs this season..

  11. Scungilli Slushy says:

    OriginalPouzar: Not that I think this player should be signed by the Oilers (not would he sign with the Oilers) but, in his time as a King, his production at 5 on 5 has been solid – apx 1.5 P/60 both last year and this.

    Ok you 2, only if Neal goes the other way!

  12. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Harpers Hair: Are the Canucks worse?

    By what metric?

    They have two games in hand, a better goal differential and have suffered numerous injuries.

    The Canucks prospect pool is vastly superior.

    The draft pick is conditional

    Goes to 2021 if the Canucks miss the playoffs this season..

    It’s punted to next season if the

    But they’re the Dys. Are you not aware?

    Why be sad?

  13. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Sierra: Are Kassian’s results playing in McDavid’s slipstream better than RNH’s results when he was playing in the slipstream?

    Its really tough to compare then this way because Drai played a ton with 97 & 44, but very little with 97 & 93. That’s a big deal.

    Last 2 seasons
    TOI with both McDavid and Drai:
    RNH 39 min
    Kassian 688min

    Drai adds a large dimension to that line.

    To try to level the playing field we can look at 97+44 without 29 as that has 192min so know that the sample is a bit small.

    I can’t get individual scoring rates “without Drai” but I can get On Ice Results:
    Last 2 seasons:
    With 97 and without 29:
    CF%
    RNH 49.2%
    Kassian 46.0%

    Expected Goal Share
    RNH 46.4%
    Kassian 41.1%

    Goal Share
    RNH 43.8%
    Kassian 44.4%

    If you include time with Drai

    With 97
    CF%
    RNH 49.7%
    Kassian 48.4%

    Expected Goal Share
    RNH 47.9%
    Kassian 47.0%

    Goal Share
    RNH 52.5%
    Kassian 53.7%

    So it seems to me that Kassian needs Drai on the line also to reach RNH levels of results.

  14. jtblack says:

    The TAMPA watch. I beleive Tampa has as good a chance as any top team to Win the Cup.

    Leading Dallas 3-2 tonight. Outshooting DALLAS 31 – 13 after 2. *If* TB wins they will move to 6 games over .500

  15. London Jon says:

    Home in Canada for the holidays for the first time in 4 years.

    Got Tix for the Canucks game in Vancouver next week and then the Flames game after Xmas.

    Pretty excited. I watch every game every year on TV but these are my first live games since Gothenburg.

  16. Bag of Pucks says:

    Man, we talk about Chaisson and Neal being slow. Have you seen Eberle lately?

    Looks like he’s skating in these. https://images.app.goo.gl/x4JLxWAbyjFUbfNM6

  17. jtblack says:

    Woodguy v2.0: When you cut and paste someone else’s words you should give credit.

    This is from Dom’s piece at The Athletic today.

    This reminded me of a scene from Goodwilll Hunting.

  18. pts2pndr says:

    jtblack:
    Cassandra,

    Was Leivo a trade or waiver guy?LT always wanted him and he’s fit in nice in VAN

    Leivo was a trade.

  19. jtblack says:

    OriginalPouzar: Not that I think this player should be signed by the Oilers (not would he sign with the Oilers) but, in his time as a King, his production at 5 on 5 has been solid – apx 1.5 P/60 both last year and this.

    at almost 0 risk, why not?

    maybe he can be James Neal 2.0. Even if hee only helps for 4 months. If he sucks, cut him loose.

  20. Ryan says:

    How did the Kings terminate the Kovalchuk contract?

    Is that an option usually? Carries less term than a buyout.

    It would be a brilliant option to clean up the 50 man if good players were available on waivers.

  21. OriginalPouzar says:

    BankShot: But the Canucks are a worse hockey team, so they’ll continue to be poor and likely give up a lottery pick for Miller.

    Benning is really pushing his chips all in to end up on the NHL hamster wheel of mediocrity.

    The pick is lottery protected – moves to 2021 if they miss the playoffs this year.

    Of course, given they are unlikely to re-sign Markstrom and Demko hasn’t proven starter ready…..

  22. OriginalPouzar says:

    jtblack: at almost 0 risk, why not?

    maybe he can be James Neal 2.0.Even if hee only helps for 4 months. If he sucks, cut him loose.

    The risk is the 49th contract.

    You can’t just “cut a player loose” – he may agree, he may not.

  23. OriginalPouzar says:

    Ryan:
    How did the Kings terminate the Kovalchuk contract?

    Is that an option usually? Carries less term than a buyout.

    It would be a brilliant option to clean up the 50 man if good players were available on waivers.

    The team cannot do it unilaterally – the player has to agree and essentially agree to not get what’s owed to them on the rest of the contract. Kovy gave up millions.

  24. jtblack says:

    DEPTH comparison.

    1st Line
    PALAT-POINT-KUCHEROV
    33 GOALS

    2Nd Line
    KILLORN-CIRELLA-STAMKOS
    29 GOALS

    3rd Line
    VERHAGHE-JOHNSON-XXXXX
    8 GOALS +

    4th Line
    GOURDE- PAQUETTE-MAROON
    15 GOALS

    Not sure how Edm stacks up..Just 1 example of 1 good team

  25. jtblack says:

    OriginalPouzar: The risk is the 49th contract.

    You can’t just “cut a player loose” – he may agree, he may not.

    fair enough. I am not in the “bring inthe washed up 35 yr old”; but his pts/60,are better than all but 4 Oilers

  26. Ryan says:

    OriginalPouzar: The team cannot do it unilaterally – the player has to agree and essentially agree to not get what’s owed to them on the rest of the contract.Kovy gave up millions.

    Thanks.

    Weird situation. With the contract terminated, they can’t even trade his cap hit to Ottawa.

  27. Harpers Hair says:

    OriginalPouzar: The pick is lottery protected – moves to 2021 if they miss the playoffs this year.

    Of course, given they are unlikely to re-sign Markstrom and Demko hasn’t proven starter ready…..

    This is nonsense.

  28. Harpers Hair says:

    jtblack: fair enough.I am not in the “bring inthe washed up 35 yr old”; but his pts/60,are better than all but 4 Oilers

    Exactly.

    He could help…for peanuts.

  29. leadfarmer says:

    Harpers Hair: This is nonsense.

    You mean like Nuges horses are going to make him sign in Seattle nonsense?

  30. Richard Roma says:

    Harpers Hair: Exactly.

    He could help…for peanuts.

    What do you figure the Dys will fetch when they trade Leivo at the deadline?

  31. leadfarmer says:

    OriginalPouzar: The pick is lottery protected – moves to 2021 if they miss the playoffs this year.

    Of course, given they are unlikely to re-sign Markstrom and Demko hasn’t proven starter ready…..

    And then it’s just a matter of time before Pettersson asks for a trade

  32. jtblack says:

    DAL beat TB in OT 4-3.
    Shots were 48-20 for TB.

    Interesting. TB used 4 different sets of Forwards in OT (in 3 mins).

    I bought NHL Centre Ice to start watching some other teams. Get some perspective on Edm.
    Watching AZ-MIN now. AZ is PUMPED to have Hall. Sellout for Yotes Tonight.

  33. Harpers Hair says:

    leadfarmer: You mean like Nuges horses are going to make him sign in Seattle nonsense?

    9 years of shit…is 9 years of shit.

  34. flyfish1168 says:

    Neal has 16 goals and Tkachuk just scored his 13th only.

  35. jtblack says:

    HALL just ripped post. You can tell he’s motivated tonight

  36. jtblack says:

    leadfarmer: And then it’s just a matter of time before Pettersson asks for a trade

    Thats what every other fan base says about McDavid and Edm. and its nonsense

  37. leadfarmer says:

    Harpers Hair: 9 years of shit…is 9 years of shit.

    So he’s going to go to an expansion team?
    The Wild and Blue Jackets don’t have the depth to help out a expansion team again so it’s up to Tallon
    I would not bet on Seattle having the same early success as Vegas

  38. flyfish1168 says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Man, we talk about Chaisson and Neal being slow. Have you seen Eberle lately?

    Looks like he’s skating in these. https://images.app.goo.gl/x4JLxWAbyjFUbfNM6

    Gagner has the same problem

  39. Richard Roma says:

    OriginalPouzar: The pick is lottery protected – moves to 2021 if they miss the playoffs this year.

    Of course, given they are unlikely to re-sign Markstrom and Demko hasn’t proven starter ready…..

    Markstrom is around that age where mediocre goalies slow down.

    By age 30 which he’ll be next year, he’ll be in decline.

    Speaking of 30, that’s about where he’s at in the league at 5v5 save %.

  40. OriginalPouzar says:

    jtblack: fair enough.I am not in the “bring inthe washed up 35 yr old” but his pts/60,are better than all but 4 Oilers

    Yup, he could probably add some scoring, I agree with that.

    At the same time, his GF% is 26% (although his xGF% is 46%).

    At the end of he day, the Kings agreed to terminate his contract which provides zero cap relief, zero – for a 35 plus contract, nothing gets rid of the cap hit except trade.

    Ownership doesn’t have to pay him but they have that massive cap hit for next year. Something might be amiss with the player/person.

  41. Richard Roma says:

    What do you think the Sens would want for Namestnikov?

  42. Harpers Hair says:

    flyfish1168:
    Neal has 16 goals and Tkachuk just scored his 13th only.

    One of these players has an 18.2% shooting percentage which is 7% above his career average.

    The other has a shooting percentage of 12.6% which is slightly below his career average 0f 13.1%.

    What do you think happens next?

  43. Harpers Hair says:

    leadfarmer: So he’s going to go to an expansion team?
    The Wild and Blue Jackets don’t have the depth to help out a expansionteam again so it’s up to Tallon
    I would not bet on Seattle having the same early success as Vegas

    Yeah…hanging around for guaranteed shit is always a great idea.

  44. Bag of Pucks says:

    Nice backhand pass in space for Hall and his first apple with AZ

    #91 now. Looks strange

  45. Bank Shot says:

    Harpers Hair: Are the Canucks worse?

    By what metric?

    They have two games in hand, a better goal differential and have suffered numerous injuries.

    The Canucks prospect pool is vastly superior.

    The draft pick is conditional

    Goes to 2021 if the Canucks miss the playoffs this season..

    Um only by points and points %. Hard to sell the Canucks as a better team.

    Yeah the first goes to 2021. They are going to miss the playoffs next year too. They are capped out and not good enough.

    Maybe Dim Jim will trade another first. We can only watch and laugh.

  46. Bag of Pucks says:

    Arizona broadcast crew speculating how likely Hall is to resign.

    As per usual, building is half empty. Dream on boys.

  47. flyfish1168 says:

    Harpers Hair: One of these players has an 18.2% shooting percentage which is 7% above his career average.

    The other has a shooting percentage of 12.6% which is slightly below his career average 0f 13.1%.

    What do you think happens next?

    I’m goating phlegm fans

  48. Bruce McCurdy says:

    OriginalPouzar: I agree with our assessment Bruce – you sounded a bit more negative on the podcast though, I must say – I blame Dave for rushing you…..

    The very first thing i said on the podcast was that both goalies were terrific, that Koskinen played well enough to steal the game had not Allen been outstanding in the other net.

    Later i went on a little rant about line changes, i.e. one of the key mistakes referenced in my comment above.

  49. OriginalPouzar says:

    Katie Strang with a piece on Lehner at The Athletic:

    https://theathletic.com/video/26-lehner/

    I encourage everyone to watch.

    What I found really interesting is that the few times players have come to him for advise, he has told them NOT to be transparent as you “get punished” for it. He is speaking, at least partially, with respect to contracts and such.

    I’m not sure he’s entirety right in that regard, and may hold some resentments – I mean, Ferland’s addiction issues are public and he received a long term contract.

    Kass got 3 years.

  50. Sierra says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    So it seems to me that Kassian needs Drai on the line also to reach RNH levels of results.

    Thanks for the analysis. After I hit the Post button I wondered what effect Drai would have on the discussion.

    Pardon my ignorance, but on what basis do you make your concluding statement? I don’t know expected goal share. Kassian has a better Goal Share with McDavid, with or without Drai, than RNH does.

    I suppose we must consider who the 3rd player is on the McDavid line when it’s not a Drai.

  51. Johnny skid says:

    Harpers Hair: Yeah…hanging around for guaranteed shit is always a great idea.

    don’t be so hard on yourself.

  52. jtblack says:

    AZ up 1-0. outshot Minny 17–7. Look solid.

    Flames winning.

    Your Move Ken 🙂

  53. Bank Shot says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Katie Strang with a piece on Lehner at The Athletic:

    https://theathletic.com/video/26-lehner/

    I encourage everyone to watch.

    What I found really interesting is that the few times players have come to him for advise, he has told them NOT to be transparent as you “get punished” for it. He is speaking, at least partially, with respect to contracts and such.

    I’m not sure he’s entirety right in that regard, and may hold some resentments – I mean, Ferland’s addiction issues are public and he received a long term contract.

    Kass got 3 years.

    Addiction issues are more easily monitored.

    You can’t piss test someone for sad.

    There is still more of a stigma around mental illness than there is around substance abuse.

    I understand they generally go hand in hand, but with how old school the NHL is, it doesn’t surprise me that one is treated differently than the other.

  54. ArmchairGM says:

    Bag of Pucks: Hall and his first apple with AZ

    Second.

  55. Harpers Hair says:

    jtblack:
    AZ up 1-0. outshot Minny 17–7. Look solid.

    Flames winning.

    Your Move Ken

    VCR up 3-1 end of the first.

  56. jtblack says:

    Harpers Hair: VCR up 3-1 end of the first.

    2-1 minny now

  57. jtblack says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Arizona broadcast crew speculating how likely Hall is to resign.

    As per usual, building is half empty. Dream on boys.

    I think its a sellout bro

  58. Harpers Hair says:

    jtblack: 2-1 minny now

    2-2

  59. leadfarmer says:

    What happens when 935 save percentage falls through

  60. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Oilers play back to back home games vs. opponents more rested than them. Pens played in Calgary Tue, rested since. Habs playing in Calgary now, they could watch the Pens-Oilers game in person tomorrow to prep for Saturday.

    No big deal, given how irredeemably shitty the Oil have been vs. short-rested opponents. Just a bit unusual.

  61. HugThePost says:

    DuClair scored his 20th tonight for Ottawa. Another guy we could have gotten off waivers. Oh well hindsight is 20/20 I guess.

  62. jtblack says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    Oilers play back to back home games vs. opponents more rested than them. Pens played in Calgary Tue, rested since. Habs playing in Calgary now, they could watch the Pens-Oilers game in person tomorrow to prep for Saturday.

    No big deal, given how irredeemably shitty the Oil have been vs. short-rested opponents.Just a bit unusual.

    Bruce you have seen it all (every year). whats your take on this Oilers team?

  63. jtblack says:

    4-2 Minny

    Boudreau has to be in the Adams conversation. I had Minny as bottom feeders

  64. leadfarmer says:

    I’m kind of liking this Wild team
    Their like the pre dark age Oilers

  65. leadfarmer says:

    jtblack:
    4-2 Minny

    Boudreau has to be in the Adams conversation.I had Minny as bottom feeders

    The defense is incredibly underrated

  66. jtblack says:

    Coyotes top PP had Oesterle and Hall. I think they rotate OEL & Chyyrun as well.

    Chycrun has 8 Goals. Hes 21 now.. who knew

  67. jtblack says:

    Watching FLAMES vs MTL on the French feed. Flames goalie has the old Brown pads.

    Flashback to 1986

  68. leadfarmer says:

    jtblack:
    Coyotes top PP had Oesterle and Hall.I think they rotate OEL & Chyyrun as well.

    Chycrun has 8 Goals. Hes 21 now..who knew

    OEL has had a tough start
    I had Chychrun as the best D out of that Sergachev Juolevi group
    He’s been held back by injury issues but he’s solid

  69. Bank Shot says:

    Harpers Hair: VCR up 3-1 end of the first.

    Choked away a 2 goal lead. So Vancouver.

  70. flyfish1168 says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    Oilers play back to back home games vs. opponents more rested than them. Pens played in Calgary Tue, rested since. Habs playing in Calgary now, they could watch the Pens-Oilers game in person tomorrow to prep for Saturday.

    No big deal, given how irredeemably shitty the Oil have been vs. short-rested opponents.Just a bit unusual.

    That doesn’t seem right that we are playing back to back in our home building and not rested. I can’t remember the last time we played back to back as the home team

  71. leadfarmer says:

    Bank Shot: Choked away a 2 goal lead. So Vancouver.

    How many leads has that team lost this year
    At least several 3-4 goal leads and multiple 2

  72. leadfarmer says:

    Oh kuemper that’s bad

  73. Harpers Hair says:

    jtblack:
    Coyotes top PP had Oesterle and Hall.I think they rotate OEL & Chyyrun as well.

    Chycrun has 8 Goals. Hes 21 now..who knew

    Chycrun with another.
    4-4.

  74. leadfarmer says:

    They should both play without a goalie

  75. Harpers Hair says:

    Two quick ones from Minnesota.
    6-4.

  76. leadfarmer says:

    If you are not watching the Arizona Wild game you should.

  77. Bag of Pucks says:

    jtblack: I think its a sellout bro

    Lots of empty seats for a sellout when I was watching mofo

  78. flyfish1168 says:

    phlegms get loser point

  79. Bank Shot says:

    leadfarmer: How many leads has that team lost this year
    At least several 3-4 goal leads and multiple 2

    Can always count on the Canucks being straight trash. 😁

  80. jtblack says:

    Keumper hirt. looks serious?

  81. Lowetide says:

    Dear Canucks: Please defend better.

  82. JimmyV1965 says:

    Watched the last 9 minutes of the Vancouver game. Tyler Myers was a real standout, but not in a good way. HH talks a lot about balance, something they utterly lack on defence. When Myers and a 20-year-old Quinn Hughes are your top dmen, your team is in huge trouble.

  83. Harpers Hair says:

    Bank Shot: Can always count on the Canucks being straight trash.

    Straight Trash wins in OT.

    Clown.

  84. Harpers Hair says:

    JimmyV1965:
    Watched the last 9 minutes of the Vancouver game. Tyler Myers was a real standout, but not in a good way.HH talks a lot about balance, something they utterly lack on defence. When Myers and a 20-year-old Quinn Hughes are your top dmen, your team is in huge trouble.

    You’ve entirely missed the plot.

    Alex Edler is their #1 defenseman.

    His absence due to injury has a cascading effect on every other D.

  85. John Chambers says:

    Harpers Hair:

    Alex Edler is their #1 defenseman.

    How’s this for a plot:
    If Alex Edler is your top defenseman, you’re fucked.

  86. Bank Shot says:

    Harpers Hair: Straight Trash wins in OT.

    Clown.

    What’s with the lashing out?

    Can’t take a little criticism of your team? God knows you are here slamming the Oilers non stop.

    Someone that is here trashing the Oilers all the time should be able to put on their big boy pants and take a little criticism of the 40 year old virgins on the coast.

    Congrats on squeaking out one OT win in the last 4 games. Next stop, Finals.

  87. Harpers Hair says:

    John Chambers: How’s this for a plot:
    If Alex Edler is your top defenseman, you’re fucked.

    He’s better than Klefbom.
    What does that tell you?
    Can you be double fucked?

  88. John Chambers says:

    Harpers Hair,

    Double-fucked is when your best player Markstrom signs somewhere else this offseason, and you surrender a top-5 pick in 2021 to Tampa.

    I also see Van’s latest 1st round draft pick is up to 14 GP in the Russian League. No points yet. Is that a positive trajectory or is that the recipe for triple-fucked?

  89. Bank Shot says:

    Harpers Hair: He’s better than Klefbom.
    What does that tell you?
    Can you be double fucked?

    The troll is getting trolled and losing his mind. This is funny stuff. 😛

  90. John Chambers says:

    Bank Shot: The troll is getting trolled and losing his mind. This is funny stuff.

    The troll gets uppity when his wife kicks him out of the bedroom for excessive farting.

  91. Harpers Hair says:

    Bank Shot: What’s with the lashing out?

    Can’t take a little criticism of your team? God knows you are here slamming the Oilers non stop.

    Someone that is here trashing the Oilers all the time should be able to put on their big boy pants and take a little criticism of the 40 year old virgins on the coast.

    Congrats on squeaking out one OT win in the last 4 games. Next stop, Finals.

    I find any Oiler fan who trashes any other team in t he league to be offensive.

    The Oilers are the gold standard for shit in the past decade.

    They are easily the worst franchise in pro sports.

    And they’re headed right back in the toilet this season.

  92. Bank Shot says:

    Harpers Hair: I find any Oiler fan who trashes any other team int he league to be offensive.

    The Oilers are the gold standard for shit in the past decade.

    They are easily the worst franchise in pro sports.

    And they’re headed right back in the toilet this season.

    You are so cute when you’re in a rage spiral. 😛

  93. geowal says:

    Harpers Hair: He’s better than Klefbom.
    What does that tell you?
    Can you be double fucked?

    Is your goal for the nucks to be a good team or just better than the Oil. Saying “we’re not fucked cause you’re double fucked” doesn’t a) make you any less fucked and b) not make you sound like a whiny school child.

  94. John Chambers says:

    Harpers Hair: I find any Oiler fan who trashes any other team int he league to be offensive.

    The Oilers are the gold standard for shit in the past decade.

    They are easily the worst franchise in pro sports.

    And they’re headed right back in the toilet this season.

    The Canucks are celebrating their 50th season in which they’re won the square root of fuck-all and vandalized their city twice.

    They’d build a statue of Trevor Linden except he wants nothing to do with them.

  95. Harpers Hair says:

    John Chambers:
    Harpers Hair,

    Double-fucked is when your best player Markstrom signs somewhere else this offseason, and you surrender a top-5 pick in 2021 to Tampa.

    I also see Van’s latest 1st round draft pick is up to 14 GP in the Russian League. No points yet. Is that a positive trajectory or is that the recipe for triple-fucked?

    LOL.

    Markstrom is not their best player and he’s not going anywhere.

    Can you imagine if your best prospect is an AHL defenseman who’s getting shelled on a regular basis?

    Google Brogan Rafferty, read it and weep.

  96. Harpers Hair says:

    geowal: Is your goal for the nucks to be a good team or just better than the Oil. Saying “we’re not fucked cause you’re double fucked” doesn’t a) make you any less fucked and b) not make you sound like a whiny school child.

    Being better than the Oilers is the easy part…almost every team is.

    Only some of them have had multiple high first round picks (oh wait, none of them has) and they’re still shit.

  97. John Chambers says:

    I hope the Canucks erect a statue of Brogan Rafferty.

    Oh my god that’s priceless.

  98. Harpers Hair says:

    John Chambers:
    I hope the Canucks erect a statue of Brogan Rafferty.

    Oh my god that’s priceless.

    I’m sure it will be smaller and less shiny than the Evan Bouchard statue but that is looking increasingly unlikely since he’s getting beat up in the AHL.

    That -11 in 24 games ain’t pretty.

    Rafferty’s +14 is likely an anomaly. But then again he only has 24 points in 29 games. while offensive defenseman Bouchard has 14 points in 25 games.

  99. Bruce McCurdy says:

    JimmyV1965:
    Watched the last 9 minutes of the Vancouver game. Tyler Myers was a real standout, but not in a good way.HH talks a lot about balance, something they utterly lack on defence. When Myers and a 20-year-old Quinn Hughes are your top dmen, your team is in huge trouble.

    When 20-year-old Quinn Hugesis your top dman, the world is your oyster. He is a beauty.

  100. Munny says:

    Harpers Hair,

    lol. Rafferty is at best a plus Logan Day. And maybe just even Logan Day, we’ll see how the season turns out.

    Bouchard’s +/- is a reflection of Starrett going down, and the very first pro games of young player, despite being 5 draft eligible years of development behind Rafferty. But you knew this already.

  101. JimmyV1965 says:

    Harpers Hair: LOL.

    Markstrom is not their best player and he’s not going anywhere.

    Can you imagine if your best prospect is an AHL defenseman who’s getting shelled on a regular basis?

    Google Brogan Rafferty, read it and weep.

    I’m not saying the Oilers are good, but when you trot out Brogan Rafferty as a legit prospect, I’m speechless. Quinn Hughes is the real deal and he’ll be really good in about two years. That will leave you with Hughes and Rafferty. Good times.

  102. JimmyV1965 says:

    Bruce McCurdy: When 20-year-old Quinn Hugesis your top dman, the world is your oyster. He is a beauty.

    He will be a beauty…in about two years. Oiler fans know intimately the perils of playing a rookie 23 minutes a night in a feature role. It doesn’t end well.

  103. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Bruce McCurdy: When 20-year-old Quinn Hugesis your top dman, the world is your oyster. He is a beauty.

    Bruce, how is it that you know what he will be as an NHL player?

    We’ve seen a lot of beauties that don’t get it done.

  104. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Harpers Hair: I’m sure it will be smaller and less shiny than the Evan Bouchard statue but that is looking increasingly unlikely since he’s getting beat up in the AHL.

    That -11 in 24 games ain’t pretty.

    Rafferty’s +14 is likely an anomaly. But then again he only has 24 points in 29 games. while offensive defenseman Bouchard has 14 points in 25 games.

    You realize where the ‘title’ Dys comes from, right?

  105. JimmyV1965 says:

    Munny:
    Harpers Hair,

    lol. Rafferty is at best a plus Logan Day.And maybe just even Logan Day, we’ll see how the season turns out.

    Bouchard’s +/- is a reflection of Starrett going down, and the very first pro games of young player, despite being 5 draft eligible years of development behind Rafferty.But you knew this already.

    A better comparison of course would be Olli Juolevi, who has 8 points, making him the third highest scoring dman in Utica. He does lead the team with a -11. That’s something I guess. Maybe he’s not such a good comparison because he’s 18 months older and was basically outplayed on the London Knights by Bouchard in his draft -1 year.

  106. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Sierra: Thanks for the analysis. After I hit the Post button I wondered what effect Drai would have on the discussion.

    Pardon my ignorance, but on what basis do you make your concluding statement? I don’t know expected goal share.Kassian has a better Goal Share with McDavid, with or without Drai, than RNH does.

    I suppose we must consider who the 3rd player is on the McDavid line when it’s not a Drai.

    The basis of the statement being that Kassian’s CF% and xGF% rates with Drai and McDavid are close to RNH with McDavid only and Kassian with McDavid but no Drai are much lower than Nuge’s with McDavid only.

    I think Rattie was the 3rd mostly with RNH and McDavid last year iirc.

  107. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    JimmyV1965: He will be a beauty…in about two years. Oiler fans know intimately the perils of playing a rookie 23 minutes a night in a feature role.It doesn’t end well.

    The difference is that Hughes is killing his minutes.

    His DFF% (xGF%) vs Elites is an astounding 62.4%. I don’t remember seeing a result that high from anyone.

    He’s doing it in 2nd pairing minutes and has done it with both Tanev (58.4%) and Myers (72.6%(!!)

    Tanev is 40% and Myers is 46.2% away from Hughes.

    He’s not sheltered via zone start, face offs or TOI vs Elites.

    I’ve ground through a lot of data and these are quite amazing results. I don”t remember seeing results like this from anyone, let alone a 20 year old rookie on a meh team.

    VAN’s DFF% vs Elites:
    Hughes on 64.2%
    Hughes off 45.7%

    That’s nuts.

    Then you watch him play and he’s controlling the play whenever he’s on the ice. His skating and hockey smarts are simply better than everyone else on the ice (usually).

    If he were 6’1 and 190 instead of 5’10 170lbs and played in the Eastern Time Zone he’d be the talk of the league.

    He just turned 20 in October. Wow.

    I know the old “you need 300 games (or whatever number) to know what a defensemen is”, but after grinding through Dman results for ~13 years one thing is clear: The elite Dmen announce their presence with authority. They are very good right out of the box.

    You can always find very good Dmen who emerged later in their career, but the Doughtys, Suters, Webers, etc of the world play high leverage minutes in their early 20’s and kill those minutes.

    Players like Hughes and Makar are doing that today.

    Hughes was teenager when the season started. Crazy.

    Also,

    Scungilli Slushy: Bruce, how is it that you know what he will be as an NHL player?

    We’ve seen a lot of beauties that don’t get it done.

    EDM has never had a Dmen with these results in these situations for the entire fancy stats era.

    We haven’t seen a player like Hughes here probably since Coffey.

    Note: I know the original question was to Bruce and I’m not Bruce. I did play him in a Fringe production this past summer so I feel qualified to answer in his stead.

  108. Wilde says:

    410 forwards have spent more than two hours at 5-on-5 this season.

    Here are the rankings (by 5-on-5 primary points per hour) of the Oilers and the Red Wings forwards, minus the Yzerman RWs, like Erne and Fabbri and Filppula and Perlini. There’s 26.

    6
    15
    71
    77
    113
    152

    (that’s it for the entire top half)

    220
    254
    262
    273
    276
    278
    285
    286

    (about to hit the bottom ~15% or so)

    348
    351
    354
    357
    365
    372
    374
    395
    397
    399
    400
    401

  109. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Wilde:
    410 forwards have spent more than two hours at 5-on-5 this season.

    Here are the rankings of the Oilers and the Red Wings forwards, minus the Yzerman RWs, like Erne and Fabbri and Filppula and Perlini.

    There’s 26.

    6
    15
    71
    77
    113
    152

    (that’s it for the entire top half)

    220
    254
    262
    273
    276
    278
    285
    286

    (about to hit the bottom ~15% or so)

    348
    351
    354
    357
    365
    372
    374
    395
    397
    399
    400
    401

    Ranking using what?

    Who are which players?

  110. Wilde says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Remember when MTL took Kotkaniemi, and then Arizona took Hayton, and then Detroit took Zadina, and then the rumour was NYR was taking Kravstov?

    There was a beautiful moment there where all that had to happen was Chicago liking one of Boqvist/Bouchard/Dobson/Wahlstrom better and then Vancouver liking another one of that group better and it was gonna happen.

  111. Wilde says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Ranking using what?

    Who are which players?

    Oops I mentioned what the ranking was by in my Tweet but not here, it’s primary points per hour; and I like the non-labelling for illustrating the point but the top group is Draisaitl, McDavid, Mantha, Kassian, Bertuzzi, Zadina, in that order.

  112. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Wilde: Oops I mentioned what the ranking was by in my Tweet but not here, it’s primary points per hour; and I like the non-labelling for illustrating the point but the top group is Draisaitl, McDavid, Mantha, Kassian, Bertuzzi, Zadina, in that order.

    Thanks.

    I see you edited your post.

    You should label the players too please.

    Help a brother out!

  113. v4ance says:

    Pre-tourney game: Canada absolutely dominating possession with a solid cycle game in the Swiss end during 1st period action. I think the Swiss only got one shot on net and didn’t get anything on net on their lone PP.

  114. v4ance says:

    VOR’s favorite, Liam Foudy scores a goal off the opening faceoff of the 2nd, out muscling a defenceman to pot a rebound to make it 2-0 Canada

  115. ArmchairGM says:

    v4ance:
    VOR’s favorite, Liam Foudy scores a goal off the opening faceoff of the 2nd,out muscling a defenceman to pot a rebound to make it 2-0 Canada

    Byram will score with 6:15 left in the 3rd to make it 3-0, a beauty snipe over the glove from the deep slot.

    Book it.

  116. v4ance says:

    Canada holds a 2-0 lead after 2 periods.

    Swiss had a few more shifts in Canada’s end. NJ’s newest defenceman Bahl looked bad in an extremely small sample size with about 3 consecutive bad outlet passes that came right back into the Canadian end.

    Lavoie okay. Some good puck protection along the boards, some turnovers trying to get to the middle ice.

  117. OriginalPouzar says:

    HarpersHair: LOL.

    Markstrom is not their best player and he’s not going anywhere.

    Can you imagine if your best prospect is an AHL defenseman who’s getting shelled on a regular basis?

    Google Brogan Rafferty, read it and weep.

    When I google Brogan Rafferty, a picture of Logan Day shows up.

  118. Reja says:

    Harpers Hair: LOL.

    Markstrom is not their best player and he’s not going anywhere.

    Can you imagine if your best prospect is an AHL defenseman who’s getting shelled on a regular basis?

    Google Brogan Rafferty, read it and weep.

    I love Stuck in the Middle and Right down the line but my favourite is Baker Street.

  119. Lowetide says:

    Reja: I love Stuck in the Middle and Right down the line but my favourite is Baker Street.

    I also liked “Home and Dry” and “Get it right the next time”

  120. JimmyV1965 says:

    Woodguy v2.0: The difference is that Hughes is killing his minutes.

    His DFF% (xGF%) vs Elites is an astounding 62.4%. I don’t remember seeing a result that high from anyone.

    He’s doing it in 2nd pairing minutes and has done it with both Tanev (58.4%) and Myers (72.6%(!!)

    Tanev is 40% and Myers is 46.2% away from Hughes.

    He’s not sheltered via zone start, face offs or TOI vs Elites.

    I’ve ground through a lot of data and these are quite amazing results.I don”t remember seeing results like this from anyone, let alone a 20 year old rookie on a meh team.

    VAN’s DFF% vs Elites:
    Hughes on 64.2%
    Hughes off 45.7%

    That’s nuts.

    Then you watch him play and he’s controlling the play whenever he’s on the ice.His skating and hockey smarts are simply better than everyone else on the ice (usually).

    If he were 6’1 and 190 instead of 5’10 170lbs and played in the Eastern Time Zone he’d be the talk of the league.

    He just turned 20 in October.Wow.

    I know the old “you need 300 games (or whatever number) to know what a defensemen is”, but after grinding through Dman results for ~13 years one thing is clear:The elite Dmen announce their presence with authority.They are very good right out of the box.

    You can always find very good Dmen who emerged later in their career, but the Doughtys, Suters, Webers, etc of the world play high leverage minutes in their early 20’s and kill those minutes.

    Players like Hughes and Makar are doing that today.

    Hughes was teenager when the season started.Crazy.

    Also,

    EDM has never had a Dmen with these results in these situations for the entire fancy stats era.

    We haven’t seen a player like Hughes here probably since Coffey.

    Note: I know the original question was to Bruce and I’m not Bruce.I did play him in a Fringe production this past summer so I feel qualified to answer in his stead.

    Nice post!!! Very intriguing info. I’ve been very careful not to criticize Hughes’ actual performance because frankly he hasn’t looked bad. Even last night, in my limited viewing, I didn’t notice Hughes, which is good for a dman. It’s a major mental hurdle to get over though – this 23 min a game. It just spells disaster IMO, but based on your numbers, he’s outright killing it. I’ll be stunned if he maintains that level this year, because he’s a rookie who comes from the NCAA and isn’t familiar with the grind that even CHL players experience. In Colorado, Makar is now getting about 16 min a game, which seems like a more reasonable way to develop a young player. And Edmonton certainly isn’t above criticism here. Bear is flat out playing too much. He’s 22 now and has a couple years of pro experience, but he needs less ice team, even if it means giving him a night off every six games or so.

  121. Lowetide says:

    New for The Athletic: As Oilers’ auditions of fringe forwards nears conclusion, it’s time for Condors’ top prospects to force the issue

    https://theathletic.com/1475292/2019/12/20/lowetide-as-oilers-auditions-of-fringe-forwards-nears-conclusion-its-time-for-condors-top-prospects-to-force-the-issue/

  122. ArmchairGM says:

    Lowetide:
    New for The Athletic: As Oilers’ auditions of fringe forwards nears conclusion, it’s time for Condors’ top prospects to force the issue

    https://theathletic.com/1475292/2019/12/20/lowetide-as-oilers-auditions-of-fringe-forwards-nears-conclusion-its-time-for-condors-top-prospects-to-force-the-issue/

    Good timing. Condors play their first game in almost a week tonight, I believe.

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