Legend

by Lowetide

Last night’s game is the stuff of legends, real Paul Bunyan stuff. Leon Draisaitl’s after practice yesterday verbal talked about checking close and being precise on defensive details. 2-1 final, exhausted post-game.

The big man then proceeded to go out and post three assists and an EN goal to help the Oilers to an impressive win. Kailer Yamamoto, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Mike Smith also had starring roles in one of the most exhilarating wins of the season. A day that began with shocking news about Connor McDavid ended with two points and a win.

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: Why Connor McDavid’s injury is unlikely to alter Ken Holland’s trade deadline plan for the Oilers
  • New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘We want to take it as a challenge’: Oilers survive first game without McDavid as room for improvement remains
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Trying to make sense of Connor McDavid’s injury and Darnell Nurse’s new contract with Oilers
  • Jonathan Willis: Faced with uncertainty, Oilers hedge their bet on Darnell Nurse
  • Lowetide: Oilers sign Darnell Nurse
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Oilers Observations: A Connor McDavid scare, Leon Draisaitl’s back, boosting the top line and helping Zack Kassian
  • Lowetide: The Oilers trading their first-round pick is a bad idea
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: After a ‘long road’ to the NHL, Tyler Benson’s Oilers debut holds extra meaning
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘Emotionless’ Oilers fail yet again to match passion from a week ago
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: 15 potential trade targets for the Oilers before the 2020 deadline
  • Lowetide: Drilling down on right-handed centres for the Oilers to target before the trade deadline
  • Jonathan Willis: Oilers trade suggestions: 50 proposals from readers, with our verdict
  • Lowetide: If fast is the new big, the Oilers are trending in a very good direction
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘I got a text from Wayne Gretzky that I’ve still got saved’: 8 years later, Sam Gagner reflects on his 8-point night.
  • Lowetide: What’s next for Tyler Benson and William Lagesson after being called up by the Oilers?
  • Lowetide: Why the Oilers are more likely to trade Adam Larsson than Kris Russell
  • Lowetide: Oilers prospects Evan Bouchard and Tyler Benson deliver best minor league performances in 20 years
  • Jonathan Willis: An updated list of which Oilers are most likely to be traded in 2019-20
  • Lowetide: Kailer Yamamoto gives Oilers a midseason spark, one of the best in team history
  • Jonathan Willis: The Oilers’ road forward — and perhaps to a Stanley Cup — requires trusting the kids on defence

OILERS AFTER 56 GAMES

  • Oilers in 2015-16: 22-29-5, 49 points; goal differential -27
  • Oilers in 2016-17: 29-19-8, 66 points; goal differential +7
  • Oilers in 2017-18: 23-29-4, 50 points; goal differential -33
  • Oilers in 2018-19: 24-27-5, 53 points; goal differential -21
  • Oilers in 2019-20: 30-20-6, 66 points; goal differential +4

The numbers don’t lie, this is just the second Oilers team in the 97 era to grab 66 points from the first 56 games of a season. The first team in the cluster to 30 wins. Positive goal differential for just the second time. Never thought this season would roll out in such a way.

ON THE TENS

  • First 10 games: 7-2-1
  • Second 10 games: 5-4-1
  • Third 10 games: 5-4-1
  • Fourth 10 games: 3-6-1
  • Fifth 10 games: 6-2-2
  • Current 10 games: 4-2-0

Oilers seem destined to post another solid run on the tens. There’s a tough road trip ahead, but the final two games of the home stand set up the rest of the month well.

OILERS IN FEBRUARY

  • Oilers in February 2016: 1-4-0, two points; goal differential -16
  • Oilers in February 2017: 2-3-0, four points; goal differential -4
  • Oilers in February 2018: 1-3-1, three points; goal differential 0
  • Oilers in February 2019: 1-2-2, four points; goal differential -7
  • Oilers in February 2020: 3-2-0, six points; goal differential +2

It isn’t a major hurdle, but this year’s group is having the best run to Valentine’s compared to the previous four teams. Notice the handsome goal differential relative to the past.

WHAT TO EXPECT IN FEBRUARY

  • On the road to: CAL, ARI (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 1-1-0)
  • At home to: SJS, NAS, CHI (Expected 2-1-0) (Actual 2-1-0)
  • On the road to: TBY, FLA, CAR (Expected 1-1-1)
  • At home to: BOS, MIN (Expected 1-1-0)
  • On the road to: LAK, ANA, VEG (Expected 2-1-0)
  • At home to: WPG (Expected 1-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 8-5-1, 17 points in 14 games
  • Current results: 3-2-0, six points in five games

The next four games are absolute killers, and the Wild usually make the Oilers and fans numb, too. Some tough matchups ahead. Those tough games seem to bring out the best in this team.

OILERS 2019-20

The top line had a massive night, Mike Smith was outstanding and the team tightened up defensively after a Fillmore East first 25 minutes. All numbers five on five unless noted, and all via NST.

LINE 1 Nuge-Leon Draisaitl-Kailer Yamamoto played 13:45, going 14-13 Corsi, 10-8 shots, 1-1 goals and 1-2 HDSC. Not certain this line stays together on the road but keeping them together was a key to victory.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had an assist (plus a power-play goal) along with three shots, GV, TK and some great decisions at both ends of the ice. Leon Draisaitl had an EN goal, an assist, two power-play assists, one shot, won 10 of 17 on the dot. He’s Paul Bunyan. Kailer Yamamoto had a goal (plus a PP marker), three shots, one HDSC, one giveaway and two takeaways. This may one day be a famous line. Nuge is in a good spot.

LINE 2 Zack Kassian-Riley Sheahan-Josh Archibald played 11:16 together, 9-8 Corsi, 5-3 shots and 1-0 goals, 3-1 HDSC.

Zack Kassian had an assist, two HDSC, created some good looks. I thought he lost his man on the first goal (Saad beat him to the net) but seemed strong after. Riley Sheahan scored a goal, two shots, two penalties and won 9 of 19 in the dot. Josh Archibald had an assist, a takeaway and five hits. He worked hard and took some hits to make plays.

LINE 3 Jujhar Khaira-Colby Cave-Patrick Russell played 7:57, going 3-5 Corsi, 2-3 shots, no goals and no HDSC. It was the nothing happened line and that’s a good thing.

Jujhar Khaira had a shot on net, a giveaway, and 2:19 successful on the PK. Colby Cave had a shot, a takeaway and won four of six in the dot. Patrick Russell had a takeaway and won some battles along the wall.

LINE 4 Sam Gagner-Gaetan Haas-Alex Chiasson played 7:27, going 5-10 Corsi, 4-7 shots, no goals and 0-1 HDSC. Far higher event than the Cave line in about the same minutes.

Sam Gagner had two shots on goal and had 54 seconds on the power play. Gaetan Haas drew a penalty and won two of five faceoffs. Alex Chiasson had a shot on goal and a PP assist.

PAIRING ONE Darnell Nurse and Ethan Bear played 17:04 together, going 19-12 Corsi, 12-9 shots, 0-1 goals, 1-3 HDSC.

Darnell Nurse had three shots on goal, played a little on the PP and skated miles. It was his shot that was tipped then turned over in the opposition zone, and was the genesis of the play that would result in the 1-0 goal. Pairing handled it well, needed the trailing forward to cover Brandon Saad. Played 8:48 against Patrick Kane (10-7 Corsi and 0-1 goals. Ethan Bear had one shot and three giveaways on the night, made lots of good plays and solid outlet passes. Bear played Kane well on the first goal against.

PAIRING TWO Oscar Klefbom and Adam Larsson played 17:16, going 11-19 Corsi, 8-9 shots, 2-0 goals and 3-0 HDSC.

Oscar Klefbom took a penalty, played a strong physical game and kept the puck heading in a good direction. Made good decisions all over the ice. Adam Larsson had two shots, a giveaway, and at least a couple of sorties into the offensive zone.

PAIRING THREE Caleb Jones and Matt Benning played 9:01 together, going 3-4 Corsi, 1-3 shots, no goals and 0-1 HDSC. Benning was paired with Klefbom on the GA, he didn’t play the two-on-one well.

Caleb Jones had a takeaway and played a relatively quiet game, third pair playing just 21 percent of the five on five minutes. Benning didn’t play the pass on the two on one, will say that was a perfect pass from Patrick Kane. Had one shot on goal, GV, TK.

GOALIE Mike Smith stopped 38 of 41, .938. Stopped all five HDSC. Since January 1, he is 8-0-2, has a .917 save percentage and a goals against average of 2.67. That’s fantastic stuff, and exactly what Catherine Silverman told me back on July 1 about him. He can carry a team for long stretches. The second GA featured keystone cops PP entry for Edmonton and then a jailbreak two-on-one with Nuge defending, Toews got all of it and Smith almost stopped that one, too.

THE RECALL

I expect it’ll be Tyler Benson and that he’ll get a longer look on the road trip, but we’ll have to wait and see. Should hear this morning.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy morning, TSN1260, but it should go as planned unless Ken Holland has another media avail. Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal will put last night’s game in perspective (suspect we’ll be hearing about Pat Hughes), and Joe Osborne from OddsShark will talk MLB odds (are the LA Dodgers a favourite after the big trade?) and NHL (are the Oilers are road bet worth making this week?). 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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OriginalPouzar

They mentioned a call-up to be made yesterday afternoon that would meet them in Florida but it never came.

My guess is they are waiting on an assessment of Granlund’s health. He missed last game with injury (undisclosed to my knowledge) but yesterday Woody did say he may be available for tonight’s game.

If he’s ready to go, I think he’s the call-up.

dustrock

I agree completely. Tippett is risk-averse, it’s a C that’s hurt, and they’re on a tough road trip. Bring in a veteran who at least knows the drill.

I would prefer Benson but I get the logic here.

Doug McLachlan

Benson it is!

He’s super creative with the puck but doesn’t have the wheels.

Do you swap him out for Gagner from last night’s line and run:

Benson-Haas-Chaisson?

Woodguy v2.0

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

Central
COL 17
STL 17
DAL 13

Cause-if
EDM 10
VAN 10
CGY 7

Wildcard
VGP 6
WPG 5

Out of playoffs
AIR 5
MIN 4
NSH 4
CHI 2
ANA -3
SJS -4
LAK -14

-tie breaks due to gp
-COL takes the conference lead. Shitty about Jbo, hope he recovers. Man.

Relevant games tonight:

CGY (-130) at LAK (+110) – Need Flattop to do his old team a favour tonight.

CHI (+130) at VAN (-150) – CHI played their asses off last night. Wonder how much they’ll have tonight?

meanashell11

I really liked that second line last night.

Woodguy v2.0

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

Atlantic
BOS 23
TBY 22
TOR 11

Metropolitan
WSH 21
PIT 19
NYI 17

Wildcard
CBJ 13
PHI 12

Out of playoffs
CAR 11
FLA 10
NYR 5
MTL 3
BUF 1
NJD -5
OTT -9
DET -26

-TOR needed a 3rd period goal and OT to beat ARI. They’re not that good.

Relevant wildcard games tonight: None

Caribbeerman

Too bad that Cooper Marody has not been 100% as this could have been the perfect opportunity for him with CMD out and the “DRY” line staying together. I would imagine Granlund would get the call.

Paulie

In his CoH game summary, Leavins says Oscar is apparently playing hurt. Does anyone have info on this?

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

Paulie:
In his CoH game summary, Leavins says Oscar is apparently playing hurt. Does anyone have info on this?

I find it’s usually best practice to simply assume Klefbom is hurt because he always is in some way or another.

dustrock

LT, I get the road trip has different considerations for matchups, but I’m not sure you could split up the Drai line until you’ve had several games in a row where it clearly isn’t working.

Right now, they’re white hot and teams haven’t figured them out yet.

Yamamoto is playing like a 5’8″ Ryan Smyth out there, greasy goals. I’m not convinced long term that he doesn’t start to get boxed out more, but his ability to find open space near the blue paint sure seems high-level if not elite.

Doug McLachlan

Man do I love Yamamoto’s game.

Best description I’ve heard is that he’s an angry hornet inside your car.

That second goal where he just steals the puck out from Lehner’s pad was beautiful. Not hacking and slashing, just calm hands – like a surgeon.

Reja

Last night was the biggest win in almost 3 years. If they can gut out 3 points on this road trip this will magically heal Connor’s leg and he’ll be good to go against the big bad Bruins.

Reja

dustrock:
LT, I get the road trip has different considerations for matchups, but I’m not sure you could split up the Drai line until you’ve had several games in a row where it clearly isn’t working.

Right now, they’re white hot and teams haven’t figured them out yet.

Yamamoto is playing like a 5’8″ Ryan Smyth out there, greasy goals.I’m not convinced long term that he doesn’t start to get boxed out more, but his ability to find open space near the blue paint sure seems high-level if not elite.

It usually takes one or two go arounds against a team before they figure out some players. It sure looks like Yamo is going to ride the wave for the remainder of the season.

OriginalPouzar

Paulie:
In his CoH game summary, Leavins says Oscar is apparently playing hurt. Does anyone have info on this?

I think he’s been dealing with foot/toe issues most of the season – lots of maintenance days but he’s been a trooper and hasn’t missed a game.

He could very well be dealing with other bumps/bruises as well given the time of year.

dustrock

Reja:
Last night was the biggest win in almost 3 years. If they can gut out 3 points on this road trip this will magically heal Connor’s leg and he’llbegood to go against the big bad Bruins.

Tampa will be tough and Rask hasn’t lost at home since April 2019, if they play Rask.

They will have a shot against Florida because Bob and Caroline is always a toss-up. If they can win those 2 games that is a hugely successful road trip, with or without McDavid.

fries n gravy

Paulie,

I asked the Oilers scout the other night and he didn’t say yes or no, just ignored the question and talked about something else. I probably didn’t frame the question well, my bad. Totally inconclusive.

N64

Woodguy v2.0: WC standings using points percentage shown at points over/under fake Bettman .500

-tie breaks due to gp

Hi WG, Pts % alone will break ties for playoff position in favour of fewer GP. So you don’t need a separate tiebreak if you run with “WC standings sorted by points% showing points over/under fake Bettman .500”.

Note: there are rare scenarios where for clarity you’d show the pts% next to the over/under. But the classic example from MLB involved 2 teams above .667 and 6 games in hand.
https://twitter.com/CBSSportsMLB/status/1007328235464613888

When this occurs (usually in the first few weeks) it’s cool to see both. That MLB scenario sorted by PCT showing GAMES above .500 would be:

NYY +11.5 (.684)
BOS +12.5 (.681)
TB -1.5
TOR -4
BAL -14.5

Coiler

Well done to the team. Leon was in beast mode last night. The fact that he was able to get 4 points against Chicago’s best defensive pairings speaks to his elite level. Well done to the big German.

Like many of you noted in yesterday’s blog comments, Nuge stepped it up bigtime. Hopefully this will continue.

giddy

Last season when McDavid lost a few games, Drai went supernova. Appears to be the same thing here. Kid has big shoulders.

It really is like when Crosby is hurt on the Pens, Malkin turns it up to 11–like when Crosby only played 22 games, Malkin had 109 pts in 75 games.

Oilin4

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual: I find it’s usually best practice to simply assume Klefbom is hurt because he always is in some way or another.

Imagine half the players are playing hurt at this point in the season

JJS

Man oh man, this team

We live and die on the backs of our goalie and our studs

Same as it has been for a decade…

Great to see Nuge finding the success that has been visible just beneath the surface since his rookie year. Line-mates matter. Who knew?

godot10

// I thought he lost his man on the first goal.//

It is a matter of fact that “he” lost his man on the first goal, not a matter of opinion. “He” is getting as regular as the Sun rising in the East in being responsible for the first goal against in the game.

A weak, weak, weak effort on that play.

Woogie63

Dear Mr. Lehto

Your advice sucks.

JP

Material Elvis

JP is running that show. Don’t blame the agent.

OriginalPouzar

Interesting note from Staples listening to the CoH post-game podcast, we know Leon’s production in the 15 games since Kailer’s recall, however, in those 15 games, Nuge is 6th in the NHL in scoring.

Remember the struggles Nuge started the season with?

He’s playing the best hockey of his career now (and I think it pre-dated the current Nuge/Leon/Kailer line).

He said he wanted consistent linemates he could form chemistry with. Well…..

godot10

dustrock:
LT, I get the road trip has different considerations for matchups, but I’m not sure you could split up the Drai line until you’ve had several games in a row where it clearly isn’t working.

Right now, they’re white hot and teams haven’t figured them out yet.

Yamamoto is playing like a 5’8″ Ryan Smyth out there, greasy goals.I’m not convinced long term that he doesn’t start to get boxed out more, but his ability to find open space near the blue paint sure seems high-level if not elite.

Keep playing the Draisaitl line togetther until they start stopping them.

We have seen this movie before with Malkin and Kopitar. It is our turn.

Reja

godot10: Keep playing the Draisaitl line togetther until they start stopping them.

We have seen this movie before with Malkin and Kopitar.It is our turn.

You can only ride Leon hard for so long. Its Holland’s job to get some fricking help in the middle and no he doesn’t have to sell the farm to acquire a 3C that can briefly play 2C in a pitch.

Material Elvis

Sounds like you are describing Pageau. Do you think Pierre Dorion is going to help out the Oilers because of the kindness of his heart? Any 3C/2C guy will cost a premium at this point.

John Chambers

If the Oilers weather the storm over the next two weeks maybe the NHL media will start to acknowledge Draisaitl as a Hart candidate.

The odds on him winning the Art Ross are probably pretty good. He’ll just have to polish up that -11 before the end of game 82.

LadiesloveSmid

Dom Luszczyszyn has EDM going 12-11-3 to round out the season in his model for 93P which *should* be enough to make the playoffs.

This team’s not making any noise, would be nice to get wing help for 97 though. Palmieri?

Dumping Russell/Neal imperative this summer.

Material Elvis

Would love Kyle Palmieri on Connor’s wing. Take last night’s team and add McDavid and Palmieri…..cooking with gas.

I’d dump both of those guys next year, too, especially Neal. Russell is a reasonable #7 if they can’t get rid of the contract without too much pain.

Profit

Sportsclubstats has the Oilers at 89.9% to make it in.

Similar assumption that a roughly .500 record through the end of the year should get them in with 92-93 pts.

russ99

OriginalPouzar

The problem with this idea on the road is that they’re going to line match our weaker lines to death, which LT alluded to.

We need Nuge to center his own line to keep us in the game, we’re playing teams way better than the Hawks at hemming us in and generating good quality chances on the cycle.

TheGreatBigMac

Yes but I still think you at least try to go with what’s been working before hitting blender. Maybe Leon and crew can power through!

If/when it’s time to play will it blend I say we try:
Archibald Drai Kassian
Gagne Nuge Yam

LadiesloveSmid

Benson called up.

Litke 94

Was watching SC with Jay and Dan last night, which included a bit on Tkachuk vs. Doughty.

It got me thinking… LA is in the midst of a rebuild. Edmonton is moving towards win-now mode. Doughty likes McDavid… Hates Calgary. Seems to fit pretty well on the surface.

If the path to trade for Drew Doughty made itself available – knowing the full extent of how much that may cost and the steps to do it – would you do it? He’s 30, signed at $7 million a year for another 5-6 years I believe.

It would certainly require both Larsson and Russell shipped out before hand. And would likely require one of Bouchard or Broberg being sent back in the trade, on top of other things.

Would this be a move worth exploring? Do you think Doughty will pull a Weber/Chara and play well into his mid to late 30s? Is it worth the cost of a top D prospect? Could it even be done with the cap? Would LA even be willing? What are Doughty’s underlying numbers like?

At the very least it intrigues me.

Material Elvis

Pass on Doughty. His contract is terrible and will age poorly.

LadiesloveSmid

Doughty’s contract is in year 1 of 8, $11M AAV.

He’s 30. That type of deal they should avoid like the plague.

Litke 94

Wow, okay then I was completely wrong in my late night browsing. Maybe I was looking at his old contract? Was that $7 mill per year?

At $11 million cap hit, that is way too risky.

Litke 94

That’s what it was… I must have stumbled upon his last contract for 7 million. My bad!

Material Elvis

russ99:
OriginalPouzar

The problem with this idea on the road is that they’re going to line match our weaker lines to death, which LT alluded to.

We need Nuge to center his own line to keep us in the game, we’re playing teams way better than the Hawks at hemming us in and generating good quality chances on the cycle.

There’s no way I would mess with the chemistry of that line. They are killing it right now — ride the wave.

John Chambers

Litke 94,

How about James Neal, Puljujarvi, Broberg and the 2020 1st for Doughty with $2M salary retained.

Litke 94

Now these are the types of proposals I am interested in seeing!

With 2 million retained, that contract becomes a lot less risky, but I wonder if LA would balk at having to gain cap in the trade, due to Neal.

Scungilli Slushy

A good GM finds gems that will be good players. Signing the memory of great players almost never works out.

Kovalchuk is doing great, but at his age somebody could make a big mistake if they give him term.

The Oilers have enough that stop gaps are what is needed, and some
good drafting to keep it going.

Clear cap space, make a deal for a top 6, a 3C, and perhaps a top 4 RD if Larsson is going.

knighttown

A few random notes;

1. My kid is a underaged Bantam defensman hoping to play Major (AAA) next year and if there’s one skill I could teach him (that is teachable) it’s Ethan Bear’s footwork on puck retrieval. His turn radius is exception (small feet?) but he does this little thing where he points his toes left-right-left and the forechecker just gets air.

2. I don’t think there’s any “figuring out” of Yamamoto. He has one exceptional talent and that’s his change of direction. The puck retrieval on the PP versus Keith; there might be 5% of NHL players that can get to that puck. He’s going left, sees the bounce and is going right in the blink of an eye.

Are these two items related? When you add in Leon’s skating improvements is it time to start talking about David Pelletier?

3. Darnell Nurse played a good game. But…BUT…the play you outline above is just so damn maddening. On that shift (or maybe the one previous) he fires a bomb of a slap shot off the pad…a real good play. I remember it because Louis complimented him on his “shooting mentality”
Not 30 seconds later, the puck moves around and he takes the pass from Bear and floats a wrister in that never was going to be good and always had the chance to be bad. It gets blocked and they’re off to the races. And he does it all the time. He had another “rush” where he gained the line and sent a floater at the tender. If he’s too stupid to learn, that’s on him but is it possible no one is correcting this behaviour because “pucks on net = good play”?

4. The script for Draisaitl’s Hart and Pearson wins has been written and now it’s up to him to publish it. Leon crawled out from under 97’s shadow, carried them for the 2-3 weeks when 97 was out, won the scoring race and dragged his team of misfits into the playoffs for the first time in years.

5. Although some might view it to be more likely Holland goes and gets a rental forward now because of McDavid’s injury I think it’s just the opposite. The human body is not like a computer where it spits out 2-3 weeks recovery. In addition, that leg is one of the most important and monetarily valuable assets in the history of sports. His advisors and doctors are making this decision, full stop, and the Oilers are along for the ride. If they don’t like what they see they’ll park him. I don’t see the Oilers putting their chips in until they know they have both of their pocket Aces healthy and in the lineup.

VanIsleOil

Leon Draisaitl is Paul Bunyan…. pure gold LT.

https://tinyurl.com/tcy56z7

Man that Smith is hard on the ticker to watch. Every shot he is flipping, swimming, or falling forward. But credit to him, lately it has been enough.

Litke 94

Litke 94:

Do you think Doughty will pull a Weber/Chara and play well into his mid to late 30s?

Wow, double strike-out. Just being reported that not only is Weber’s season likely over, but that his future is in question.

godot10

John Chambers:
Litke 94,

How about James Neal, Puljujarvi, Broberg and the 2020 1st for Doughty with $2M salary retained.

Why would you do that?

The Oilers have Bear, and Bouchard in the pipeline. And Benning, Berglund, Persson, with Jones and Broberg as swing men.

Alternatively, one can sign UFA Pieterangelo for similar money to Doughty and not spend the player assets.

Plus Doughty and Pieterangelo are 30. Neither is likely to have the longevity of Nick Lidstrom.

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

John Chambers:
Litke 94,

How about James Neal, Puljujarvi, Broberg and the 2020 1st for Doughty with $2M salary retained.

I think we’d have to replace Puljujarvi with Larsson for cap purposes (and perhaps they’d prefer a proven D in return, too) and likely add a bit more, but I’d absolutely consider the possibility. Would love to have a guy of his talent and swagger on the backend.

Elite Dmen seem to surprise with how they can reinvent or adjust their games as they age to remain effective well into their 30s. Weber seemed like he was in steep decline even 3 years ago, but has since turned it around a fair deal. Keith has lost a step but continues to thrive off his brain. There are no guarantees that Doughty will manage this, but he’s been elite long enough and made the necessary adaptations to be consistently good for long enough that I don’t think I’d be quick to Dough-t him.

JimmyV1965

Reja: You can only ride Leon hard for so long. Its Holland’s job to get some fricking help in the middle and no he doesn’t have to sell the farm to acquire a 3C that can briefly play 2C in a pitch.

Or you can always get wingers and play RNH at centre.

OriginalPouzar

Hmmm, Benson with the recall, not Granny, I’m a bit surprised.

GordieHoweHatTrick

knighttown: 3. Darnell Nurse played a good game. But…BUT…the play you outline above is just so damn maddening. On that shift (or maybe the one previous) he fires a bomb of a slap shot off the pad…a real good play. I remember it because Louis complimented him on his “shooting mentality”
Not 30 seconds later, the puck moves around and he takes the pass from Bear and floats a wrister in that never was going to be good and always had the chance to be bad. It gets blocked and they’re off to the races. And he does it all the time. He had another “rush” where he gained the line and sent a floater at the tender. If he’s too stupid to learn, that’s on him but is it possible no one is correcting this behaviour because “pucks on net = good play”?

I was thinking about this too last night.
If he could be taught better for completing the last 40 feet of his 200 ft drives, he would be at another level (Karlson-y). His shot is weak. At this point I think he should try to drive to the net and when he starts skating it the length of the ice W or C drop back to cover LD. Maybe Connor could teach him a few moves…

GordieHoweHatTrick

VanIsleOil:
Leon Draisaitl is Paul Bunyan…. pure gold LT.

https://tinyurl.com/tcy56z7

Man that Smith is hard on the ticker to watch. Every shot he is flipping, swimming, or falling forward. But credit to him, lately it has been enough.

His form and technique are basically gone, but he is a fighter.

ArmchairGM

OriginalPouzar:
Interesting note from Staples listening to the CoH post-game podcast, we know Leon’s production in the 15 games since Kailer’s recall, however, in those 15 games, Nuge is 6th in the NHL in scoring.

Remember the struggles Nuge started the season with?

He’s playing the best hockey of his career now (and I think it pre-dated the current Nuge/Leon/Kailer line).

He said he wanted consistent linemates he could form chemistry with. Well…..

Nuge is 10th in total points in the league since December 31st, but mostly because the guys ahead have played more games than he has in that span. His 1.4 P/GP is 4th in the league.

If you look at each team’s past 15 games only, Nuge’s 21 points comes in 3rd, behind only Draisaitl (28) and Kucherov (23).

ArmchairGM

John Chambers:
If the Oilers weather the storm over the next two weeks maybe the NHL media will start to acknowledge Draisaitl as a Hart candidate.

The odds on him winning the Art Ross are probably pretty good. He’ll just have to polish up that -11 before the end of game 82.

He’s +7 in his past 15 games.

doctoreye

Carolina has two first round picks in 2020 draft.They are looking for a RD.Why not trade Larsson for one of their picks?We could use that pick along with PULU to get almost any available player to play with McDavid.

knighttown

GordieHoweHatTrick: I was thinking about this too last night.
If he could be taught better for completing the last 40 feet of his 200 ft drives, he would be at another level (Karlson-y). His shot is weak. At this point I think he should try to drive to the net and when he starts skating it the length of the ice W or C drop back to cover LD. Maybe Connor could teach him a few moves…

Off the rush I think it’s pretty simple. Soft dump and chase yourself as he’s a load to handle on the forecheck. Get possession and wait for help. Or hard rim to the weak side.

It’s the shift killing muffins that are the major issue. It’s win a battle, back to Bear, over to Nurse and chest muffin.

He needs to keep that moving and there’s usually three options;
1. Support winger working up from the corner towards him
2. Center (or F3) moving up high, center of the zone at the blue line

If those aren’t open the safest play is always to place the puck behind the net and re engage the cycle. Defenders are trained to protect the corners and behind the net last.

Harpers Hair

Kypreous reporting Shea Webber’s career my be in jeopardy over foot problems related to previous surgery.
Ryan Whitney redux?

jtblack

doctoreye:
Carolina has two first round picks in 2020 draft.They are looking for a RD.Why not trade Larsson for one of their picks?We could use that pick along with PULU to get almost any available player to play with McDavid.

Also Tampa has 2 – 1st rounders ..they might want Larsson or Russell for playoff depth??? obviously to get a 1st, they would be part of a package

knighttown

knighttown: Off the rush I think it’s pretty simple. Soft dump and chase yourself as he’s a load to handle on the forecheck. Get possession and wait for help. Or hard rim to the weak side.

It’s the shift killing muffins that are the major issue. It’s win a battle, back to Bear, over to Nurse and chest muffin.

He needs to keep that moving and there’s usually three options;
1.Support winger working up from the corner towards him
2.Center (or F3) moving up high, center of the zone at the blue line

If those aren’t open the safest play is always to place the puck behind the net and re engage the cycle. Defenders are trained to protect the corners and behind the net last.

But then he followed these dog plays with two splendid “slot” breakout passes later in the game.

Honestly, with those might have been his only two such passes I can remember.

Harpers Hair

doctoreye:
Carolina has two first round picks in 2020 draft.They are looking for a RD.Why not trade Larsson for one of their picks?We could use that pick along with PULU to get almost any available player to play with McDavid.

Carolina has an analytics department.
Don’t think they’ll be giving up a first for Larsson.

Crazy Pedestrian

OriginalPouzar:
Hmmm, Benson with the recall, not Granny, I’m a bit surprised.

This is where I think they are banking on Benson’s skill to help one of the 3 fourth lines we currently have and maybe make it a third line.
If it were me, I’m thinking of pairing him with Nuge on a temporary 2nd line and keeping yam with Drai. Or maybe throw Benson up with Drai and Yamo and hopefully the Chem with Yamo from Bak clicks. Pair Nuge with Kassian in either case.

npanciroli

Time to jump on that Weber injury and trade Larsson for a forward from Montreal.

Darth Tu

Domi

ArmchairGM

DOMI

Woodguy v2.0

Nit64: Hi WG, Pts % alone will break ties for playoff position in favour of fewer GP. So you don’t need a separate tiebreak if you run with“WC standings sorted by points% showing points over/under fake Bettman .500”.

Note: there are rare scenarios where for clarity you’d show the pts% next to the over/under. But the classic example from MLB involved 2 teams above .667 and 6 games in hand.
https://twitter.com/CBSSportsMLB/status/1007328235464613888

When this occurs (usually in the first few weeks) it’s cool to see both. That MLB scenario sorted by PCT showing GAMES above .500 would be:

NYY +11.5 (.684)
BOS +12.5 (.681)
TB -1.5
TOR -4
BAL -14.5

Yes, I know.

I’m not going to do half games so I just mention why two teams with the points over Bettman are in a certain order.

Sometimes they have identical records and I break the tie via regulation wins, so I mention when it’s gp and the team ahead is actually ahead in points %.

If you want to do the same standings using half games i’ll read it.