Bare Trees

The Edmonton Oilers grabbed a point from the best team in the league despite playing without several of its best players. It was a balls out effort and I give the entire team credit. My player of the game? Ethan Bear. Time and again, it’s the rookie who sends the puck to safety, tape-to-tape and under control. Such a fine player.

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 lack deadline flexibility due to injuries, few assets and bonuses
  • New Lowetide: Making sense of the Oilers forward depth chart for the summer
  • Lowetide: For Oilers’ Kailer Yamamoto and Leon Draisaitl, first impressions are long forgotten. Why not for Jesse Puljujarvi?
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Next-night masters: How the Oilers beat the Hurricanes and improved to 6-0 in the 2nd half of back-to-backs
  • Lowetide: Oilers reap benefits of Bakersfield Condors’ strong development process, even in a losing season
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Stepping out and up, Leon Draisaitl puts himself in the Hart Trophy mix in Connor McDavid’s absence
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Despite ‘transformation’ with Oilers, Zack Kassian’s on-ice actions come under scrutiny again
  • Jonathan Willis: Why the Oilers are playing their best 5-on-5 hockey of the season
  • Lowetide: Making sense of the Oilers defensive depth chart for the stretch run and the summer
  • Jonathan Willis: 10 overlooked trade targets for the Oilers before the 2020 deadline
  • Lowetide: The Oilers trading their first-round pick is a bad idea
  • 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
  • Lowetide: If fast is the new big, the Oilers are trending in a very good direction
  • 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

OILERS AFTER 60 GAMES

  • Oilers in 2015-16: 22-32-6, 50 points; goal differential -31
  • Oilers in 2016-17: 32-20-8, 72 points; goal differential +12
  • Oilers in 2017-18: 25-31-4, 54 points; goal differential -33
  • Oilers in 2018-19: 25-29-6, 56 points; goal differential -24
  • Oilers in 2019-20: 32-21-7, 71 points; goal differential +4

A strong middle period was the key to getting the Bettman, along with special teams which are a damned dream for Oilers fans who have been watching for the last decade. A slender point behind the 2016-17 season after 60 games. Music!

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
  • Sixth 10 games: 6-3-1

That’s a solid number and puts Edmonton in very good position for the stretch run. We’ll see if Ken Holland makes any moves but this team has earned the help.

OILERS IN FEBRUARY

  • Oilers in February 2016: 2-7-0, four points; goal differential -18
  • Oilers in February 2017: 5-4-0, 10 points; goal differential 0
  • Oilers in February 2018: 2-6-1, five points; goal differential -4
  • Oilers in February 2019: 1-5-3, five points; goal differential -12
  • Oilers in February 2020: 5-3-1, 11 points; goal differential +2

Best February in the McDavid era, and a positive goal differential to boot. Oilers are 3-1-1 without 97, which would have been impossible before Tippett.

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) (Actual 2-1-0)
  • At home to: BOS, MIN (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 0-0-1)
  • 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: 5-3-1, 11 points in nine games

Oilers need three wins from the final five games in the month to reach my expected results. I like this team’s chances, though Vegas and Winnipeg could be a challenge. Edmonton on pace to finish with 97 points.

OILERS 2019-20

Not much scoring so the numbers remain mostly untouched. Leon Draisaitl has a 14-point lead on Connor McDavid with 22 games left. McDavid won’t play in all of them. All numbers five on five unless noted and via Natural Stat Trick.

LINE 1 Nuge-Leon Draisaitl-Kailer Yamamoto played 10:55, going 10-6 Corsi, 8-2 shots, 0-1 goals, 5-2 HDSC. Draisaitl played 12 minutes against Chara-McAvoy but there was no hard match among the forwards.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had two shots, HDSC, played well and skated miles. Smart player. Had a power-play assist. Took a silly penalty, suspect he thought everyone was doing it so why not? But the stripes caught him. Leon Draisaitl had three shots, two HDSC, three giveaways, one takeaway, won 12 of 16 in the faceoff circle. My favourite play was a strong back check and interception in the Oilers slot and then jailbreak the other way for a good chance. Great discipline and attention to detail. Kailer Yamamoto spent the evening driving Zdeno Chara crazy. Yamamoto used Chara’s size against him brilliantly in a hummingbird versus 18-wheeler matchup. Best chance in OT. He lost his mark again on the first goal, that’s twice in a week. However, Sebastian Aho and Patrice Bergeron are damned good hockey players so let’s review.

LINE 2 Tyler Benson-Riley Sheahan-Josh Archibald played 6:27, going 2-6 Corsi, 0-2 shots no goals and 1-1 HDSC.

Tyler Benson had a quiet night, getting one or two good looks (great chance on the power play). He does get the puck to good places, that’s going to keep him in the lineup. Bruins were a load for Game No. 5 of his career. Riley Sheahan had a takeaway and won two of four on the dot. Josh Archibald had a HDSC, takeaway and played over six effective PK minutes (as did Sheahan). The special teams impacted this line’s five on five minutes. Important players in getting the Bettman.

LINE 3 Sam Gagner-Gaetan Haas-Alex Chiasson played 5:36, going 9-3 Corsi, 3-1 shots, no goals and 1-1 HDSC.

Sam Gagner scored the power-play goal, and at even strength he had two shots, HDSC and played well five on four. He was the most dangerous shooter on the Edmonton side, adding a crossbar ping to his deflection goal. Gaetan Haas had a shot, drew a penalty and won three of four faceoffs. He’s a player Tippett likes at five on five. Alex Chiasson was very physical and drew the attention of the Bruins a couple of times. One shot, drew a penalty and two giveaways. This line got some traction and Gagner scored the goal. I wonder if they get more time on Friday night.

LINE 4 Jujhar Khaira-Colby Cave-Patrick Russell played 3:04, going 3-1 Corsi, 1-1 shots, no goals and no HDSC.

Jujhar Khaira played 4:34 at five on five and 4:19 on the four on five, had a shot on the PK but nothing shaking elsewhere. Colby Cave blocked a shot and won two of four faceoffs. Doesn’t get PK time, meaning he didn’t play much. Patrick Russell had a shot on net.

PAIRING ONE Caleb Jones and Adam Larsson played 13:25, going 17-8 Corsi, 9-3 shots, no goals and 5-2 HDSC. Pairing spent just one minute against Bergeron line.

Caleb Jones had a giveaway and a takeaway, and confidently moved the puck. That included some smooth moves past forecheckers and taking good risks. I thought he looked right at home in the top-four defense. Adam Larsson also had a solid game, two shots, a giveaway, took a penalty and played 5:21 on the PK. Took a shot off the back (neck? shoulder?) later in the game and seemed dulled for a moment.

PAIRING TWO Darnell Nurse and Ethan Bear played 11:16, going 4-16 Corsi, 0-8 shots, 0-1 goals and 2-8 HDSC. They were supported (7:15) by the Draisaitl line and faced (6:28) the Bergeron line for basically the entirety of that trio’s five on five time.

Darnell Nurse had one HDSC and a giveaway on an enormous night’s work. Including both special teams he played 29:58. Defended Marchand’s progress into the Oilers zone but couldn’t stop the pass to Bergeron (who had a step on Yamamoto) on the first goal. In overtime, he stumbled as he drove to the net, then fell, his mark (Pastrnak) scoring the winner. Took a penalty on the PP when he didn’t feel pressure and turned the puck over in a bad spot. I’ll give him credit, he answered the bell. I’m not inclined to bury a guy for doing his best when injuries force the coach to stretch him to impossible levels. I’ll stand by Darnell Nurse this morning, just as I did for Shawn Horcoff when he had to carry giant boulders up a hill under sniper fire. Context, people. Ethan Bear had a fine night, I want to scream because people apparently don’t notice his cherry passes. Jesus, Mary and Joseph if you haven’t witnessed these pay close attention to how much danger is avoided by Bear’s outlets. Had the assist on the PP goal, I think we may see him more (PP is not Nurse’s strength) as the days go down. Took a penalty, drew a penalty, pissed off Marchand, had a takeaway.

PAIRING THREE William Lagesson and Matt Benning played 6:31, going 5-5 Corsi, 4-2 shots and no threats.

William Lagesson had a good game, you can see why the Oilers like him. Drew a penalty, made some good decisions defensively and received substantial PK time (4:40). That’s a tell, ladies and germs. Coach trusts you against the best team in the league on the PK in your fourth NHL game, coach trusts you. Matt Benning had two shots, took a penalty, drew a penalty, takeaway. I think this pairing may get more minutes moving forward, solid evening’s work.

GOALIE Mike Smith stopped 32 of 34, .941 and both goals against were high danger. I don’t think anyone can blame the goalie this morning. One minor note: He is so aggressive on breakaways, not sure it’s wise to be that consistently aggressive. Shooters wait until he makes his move. Supposed to be the other way.

NURSE AND THE POWER PLAY

One of the things we’ll see in the days to come is an adjustment in power-play usage among defensemen. In the 2019-20 season, lefties have been deployed for 288 minutes (2-19-21, 4.38 points per 60) and righties for 48 minutes (1-1-2, 2.49 points per 60).

Next season, maybe sooner, Evan Bouchard and Ethan Bear are going to change the dynamic. Maybe Edmonton runs two defensemen on each PP or maybe Nurse is dropped and Bear is added (until Bouchard gets used to the rigors of five on five).

Either way, Dave Tippett’s opinion is the one that matters, and he had Nurse out on the power play and in extra time. We know that Nurse, who has a great shot, doesn’t have the passing and offensive instincts of Klefbom. His decision not to reset (but rather drive to the net) is being mentioned online as a mistake, but I’d suggest it was the right call but wrong player. Tippett would rather have had Klefbom there, he’s unavailable. Coach has given his veteran a shot in that spot, maybe we see a different look next time. Perhaps Bear and Benning in extra time.

I’m a little flummoxed this morning by people burying Nurse for giving his best last night. It’s Horcoff all over again. Edmonton booed Paul Coffey, so in a way Nurse should take this as a compliment. I’m wondering why we can’t acknowledge shortcomings without being vicious about it, but then again this is the internet. You know folks, all five men out against Bergeron’s line last night made mistakes. Maybe we can reflect on that for a time.

May I respectfully suggest your concerns are better expressed at the coaching level? I think a more interesting discussion today would involve how long it takes Tippett to move Bear on to the 1PP and Nurse off the 1PP. He’s a damned smart coach, that’s a move he could make today.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, we’ll hit the ground running with plenty to talk about. Sounds like a Holland avail will be part of the proceedings, we’ll carry it if available. Frank Seravalli will also join us to chat about trade deadline heating up, Jeff Krushell from Krush Performance will chat Blue Jays and MLB.

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367 Responses to "Bare Trees"

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  1. Woodguy v2.0 says:

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

    Central
    COL 16
    STL 16
    DAL 16

    Lolrific
    EDM 11
    VAN 10
    VGK 9

    Wildcard
    CGY 7
    NSH 6

    Out of playoffs
    WPG 6
    ARI 5
    MIN 4
    CHI 0
    SJS -3
    ANA -5
    LAK -13

    -COL has 1 less gp than STL & DAL
    -STL and DAL have same pts%, but STL has 2 more regulation wins than DAL
    -NSH has 2 less gp than WPG

    Relevant games tonight:

    WPG (-135) at OTT (+115) – Given that OTT shitcanned BUF with 7 goals 2 days ago I wonder if fading Hellebuyck is good here? Getting Demelo from OTT was a good move by Chevy.

    ARI (+150) at STL (-170) – I don’ think ARI has a prayer here.

    TBY (-120) at VGK (+100) – If TBY weren’t out getting the flu last night they’re value at this price

  2. Woodguy v2.0 says:

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

    Atlantic
    BOS 27
    TBY 25
    FLA 10

    Central
    PIT 22
    WSH 20
    CAR 13

    Wildcard
    NYI 13
    PHI 13

    Out of playoffs
    CBJ 11
    TOR 9
    NYR 7
    BUF 2
    MTL 0
    NJD -5
    OTT -7
    DET -28

    -CAR and NYI have same pts %, CAR has 2 more regulation wins
    -Both CAR and NYI have played one less game than PHI

    -If FLA wins and CBJ loses then for the first time in a month or so the top 8 teams in the EC will also be the 8 playoff teams.

    -If FLA wins and TOR loses then the gap between them for 3rd in the Atlantic is 3 points over Bettman with 20 games to go for TOR…..

    -Relevant wildcard games today:

    PIT (-105) at TOR (-115) – What’s better than watching PIT crush TOR in PIT? Watching them do it in TOR. TOR being a fav here has everything to do with TOR fans betting on their team regardless, not actual ability. PIT is good value here.

    PHI (+105) at CBJ (-125) – Gotta like PHI at this price. Jack is out of cards except for Elvis and the kid has to be getting tired.

    FLA (-140) at LAK (+120) – FLA got Good Bob last night in ANA so that means FLA’s better goalie Montembeault will start. I like them here. Price is close.

  3. deardylan says:

    Oops! I predicted 70 points with Connor out the first part of season. No way they can win without CMD. Wrong and wrong and wrong. So happy to be so wrong.

  4. speeds says:

    Personally, I have no problem with Nurses effort, but I did not see him as the best PP option before the game and still dont afterwards. Particularly when you know he is about to play a bunch of other minutes. As you say, player usage is a coaching decision, not on the player.

    One way to reduce the minutes for Bear/Nurse might be to dress 7D and put Bouchard on PP1 right out of the box. Particularly when 97 is back and you can perhaps rotate the 3Cs through line 4?

  5. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    My player of the game? Ethan Bear.

    There is a strong argument that he is the best Oiler Dman this year.

  6. JJS says:

    I am a bit worried about Nurse and his hockey instincts

    Discounting the occasional rush, I don’t see consistent positive contributions that match the modern game

    I like the player and the emotion, but he is a 4th or 5th defense-man on a Stanley

  7. teddyturnbuckle says:

    Weird game last night with all the power plays. Thank god for the penalty killers last night because the Oilers power play was brutal. Zone entries are still a mess hopefully Conner will be back soon. Time to try Bear on PP 1. He has EARNED IT! Lagesson looked good last night which is good news.

  8. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Wonder if Tippett thinks about either A) playing Bear on PP1 or B) playing Bouchard PP1, scratching Cave & running 7D. Cave played 4 minutes last night.

  9. OriginalPouzar says:

    5 games without McDavid and the team goes 3-1-1 and the only blemishes are a one goal loss in Tampa and an OTL against the Bruins – the two hottest/best teams in the NHL.

    This is something else.

  10. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    My player of the game? Ethan Bear.

    There is a strong argument that he is the best Oiler Dman this year.

    I always love good oiler defenceman more than superstar forwards. Loved Petry, loved Davidson even when he broke in.

    If Bear gets a long extension, I think I’ll have to get a jersey for the first time since 2012.

  11. giddy says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    5 games without McDavid and the team goes 3-1-1 and the only blemishes are a one goal loss in Tampa and an OTL against the Bruins – the two hottest/best teams in the NHL.

    This is something else.

    No kidding!!! Wow. Amazing stuff. Credit to Smith too for last night, that was a fantastic game for him.

  12. OriginalPouzar says:

    “William Lagesson had a good game, you can see why the Oilers like him.”

    I can see why the Oilers SHOULD like him (and I’ve been pumping his tires for two years now) but do the Oilers actually like him?

    He’s had to fight tooth and nail to get lineup and ice time – yes, Jones has played well and deserves to be ahead of him on the depth chart and Russell is the incumbent vet. I go back to the 8 straight games of healthy scratch when a regressing Manning played night over night.

    I hope the Oilers like him and, if they don’t, I think Willie is going to show them why they should over the next few weeks.

  13. wheatnoil says:

    Nurse – Bear had a tough game but was hard matched against Bergeron. They faced other forwards, of course but Bergeron-Pasta faced almost no other D than Nurse – Bear. I think we can say two things about that:

    1) Nurse-Bear (and the forwards on the ice with them) were not up to the task. They got carved at 5×5 / even-strength. There’s no sin in that. Not many can handle Bergeron-Pasta. But it is what it is. Nurse-Bear did their best and last night weren’t at a level where they can shut down one of the best duos in the NHL.

    2) All the other D got a softer route because they didn’t see Bergeron-Pasta almost at all at evens. So their relative success is on the shoulders of Nurse – Bear carrying a heavy load. Lagesson-Benning owned the non-Elite Comp (they also got only limited minutes with Drai). Jones – Larsson had a solid game but were spared the worst.

    The PP is another question entirely. The Oilers have non-vet options. More than one, in fact. Dialing back on PP time for Nurse may rest him up for the heavy even-strength load he’s going to carry with Klefbom out.

  14. OriginalPouzar says:

    I 100% understand Tippett/Gully going to Nurse on PP1 last night. Nurse has experience on PP1 and did a decent job there last year when Klef was out. They went with the guy with NHL experience and some success.

    Bear has PP acumen (was great on the PP in Seattle) but he is a rookie and doesn’t have the NHL experience.

    Well, maybe its time for him to get some PP experience. I’m curious if the team is practicing today as I think the coaching staff may want some practice time with Bear on PP1 before they make the change.

    • Leroy Draisdale says:

      With Bear getting the shot through for the goal(Ganger tip) that gives them another built in excuse. Reward Bear, rest Nurse.

  15. dustrock says:

    Been hard to argue with any of Tippett’s coaching this entire year, I’ll stick to continuing to play Khaira (PK, #2 in the league, hard to argue) and the idea of putting Nurse on the PP.

    Bear has been a better PP option since his first NHL game than Nurse. No offence to Nurse, and you’re right LT, let’s not blame Nurse for being on PP1.

    Just don’t really see why Tippett thought this was a good idea. He isn’t an elite passer, he makes poor reads offensively, and I actually don’t think his shot is fantastic.

    • Doug McLachlan says:

      He’s not a bad puck transporter and I think the idea is that he can fill the ladder role that McDavid has to gain the O-zone on the initial PP set up.

      Letting Leon do it alone has lead to a couple of turnovers at the blueline.

      Not saying I agree with the plan, but that’s what I think is motivating it.

  16. BAWS says:

    Tippet has the special teams rocking and the buy in effort from the team this year is huge. I don’t know how he changed the Players mindset from previous years, but any true fan And long term follower of this team cannot complain imo.
    All we got was a Bettman, but considering all the regulars out this team put in an A+ effort against a very solid team. Yeah I hate the loss, but it was a hell of a game ( last 2 periods anyways)
    I would also like to see more of Bear on the pp right now and later when the teams whole and healthy, but I feel nurse worked his butt off. Made mistakes, but had a great effort.
    Smith is doing way more than I ever expected when he was signed. Can he sustain it? Since we don’t have a choice I guess we’ll see. Its scary when he plays the puck out of the crease, but damn he does it well.
    I hope Holland can pick up some help. After the improvement and effort this year both Tip and the team deserve a reward.
    I think they’ll play post season, but I think next year is the real run. Either way it’s nice to see this team back at a winning and competing level. Exiting times for this team and fans.

  17. Andy Dufresne says:

    I thought that Nurse was Nurse.

    2nd pairing D being asked to elevate his game and doing ok given we were playing the Bruins after all.

    Darnell is Darnell. “Value” at $3.2m…….not a Value Contract at $5.6m

    Perhaps it would help some to look at his average cost (across his two bridge deals) as 3.2 + 5.6 divided by two = $4.4m per year over 4 years.

    That approaches Value imo…..IS CERTAINLY fair market value.

    Im happy we have Nurse. We dont have another dman quite like him.

    He’s a legit 2nd pairing Dman with upside / room to improve.

    Because we are blessed with Oscar on a value contract, Bear as a miracle/revelation, Jones and Lagesson on ELCS, Bouchard soon to be, and Larsson at $4.16, Nurse will NEVER be the Fan Favorite. NEVER.

    But thats OK. He’s a solid 2nd pairing dman with some upside. On a fair market contract. Hopefully we learn to love him for what he is.

    We should probably save the vitriol for the next contract.

  18. dustrock says:

    In fact, I’d like to see Bear over Klefbom on PP1, to be honest, although I realize part of the argument for Nurse was handedness over Bear.

  19. dustrock says:

    https://theathletic.com/1598118/2020/02/19/wheeler-midseason-ranking-for-the-2020-nhl-drafts-top-62-prospects/

    Wheeler’s latest look at the 2020 prospects.

    Glad to see Scott likes Mavrik, just like LT.

  20. Louis Levasseur says:

    I’m a bit curious about the timing of Klefbom’s surgery. They say it has been something that has been nagging him for quite awhile and was scheduled. If that’s the case, why wasn’t it scheduled to coincide with the AllStar game and the Week off?

  21. Our Edmonton Operation says:

    teddyturnbuckle:
    Weird game last night with all the power plays.Thank god for the penalty killers last night because the Oilers power play was brutal.Zone entries are still a mess hopefully Conner will be back soon.Time to try Bear on PP 1.He has EARNED IT!Lagesson looked good last night which is good news.

    The Oilers and us fans are so used to Connor rushing with ease into the offensive zone on power plays, we get frustrated when we see his mere mortal teammates try and gain the zone like other teams. They also haven’t had much practice without Connor. They relied on his zone entries all the time. It’s like when Dad does all the driving for the family, and then when the teenaged kids have to suddenly do it and drive through downtown or go on the highway, it’s not so easy as one thought.

  22. Andy Dufresne says:

    Sam Gagner is definelty earning a 1 yr $1m contract.

    I hope Kenny grinds it down to $800K

  23. OriginalPouzar says:

    Dadanov, Namestnikov, Granlund, Craig Smith, Ennis.

    The above are my targets for pure rentals of players that could play in the top 6 that I would target – If we could get any of them without the first rounder.

    I don’t know if Nashville will be selling but I hope so.

  24. Andy Dufresne says:

    Archbald, Sheahan, Hass, Nygard, Benson, Gagner is a formidable bottom 6

    Forechecking pressure and PK.

    Of course we are short one center there.

    McLeod ?

  25. Andy Dufresne says:

    Chaser and Khaira are ok.

    Not performing up to their contract prices…but ok.

    Tippett is skilled enough to make them useful.

  26. who says:

    wheatnoil:
    Nurse – Bear had a tough game but was hard matched against Bergeron. They faced other forwards, of course but Bergeron-Pasta faced almost no other D than Nurse – Bear. I think we can say two things about that:

    1) Nurse-Bear (and the forwards on the ice with them) were not up to the task. They got carved at 5×5 / even-strength. There’s no sin in that. Not many can handle Bergeron-Pasta. But it is what it is. Nurse-Bear did their best and last night weren’t at a level where they can shut down one of the best duos in the NHL.

    2) All the other D got a softer route because they didn’t see Bergeron-Pasta almost at all at evens. So their relative success is on the shoulders of Nurse – Bear carrying a heavy load. Lagesson-Benning owned the non-Elite Comp (they also got only limited minutes with Drai). Jones – Larsson had a solid game but were spared the worst.

    The PP is another question entirely. The Oilers have non-vet options. More than one, in fact. Dialing back on PP time for Nurse may rest him up for the heavy even-strength load he’s going to carry with Klefbom out.

    I agree with your last paragraph.
    My rookie suggestion for the powerplay is Caleb Jones.
    Nurse and Bear are going to get the tough matchups plus play regular shifts on the PK. Best way to spread Klefboms minutes out is to use the guy who doesn’t PK on PP1. Especially when that guy has demonstrated plus skating and puck handling skills. I’m pretty sure he would be an improvement over Nurse on the PP.

  27. Andy Dufresne says:

    Tippett mentioned, I think post game, that Smith is the preffered option agaisnt teams with a superior forecheck. Makes sense. Seems obvious now that the team has learned to position themselves to take advantage of Smiths agressiveness.

  28. jake70 says:

    Do teams have an “overtime coach” , like as in it being a special teams thingy? Losing that 2nd point time and time again adds up. They need to figure it out a bit better.

    • Andy Dufresne says:

      They have an Overtime Coach.

      He created an Overtime System and presented it to upper management.

      It was a picture of Connor McDavid.

  29. Andy Dufresne says:

    Patrick Russell at $700K is miles ahead of Colby Cave.

  30. dustrock says:

    who: I agree with your last paragraph.
    My rookie suggestion for the powerplay is Caleb Jones.
    Nurse and Bear are going to get the tough matchups plus play regular shifts on the PK. Best way to spread Klefboms minutes out is to use the guy who doesn’t PK on PP1. Especially when that guy has demonstrated plus skating and puck handling skills. I’m pretty sure he would be an improvement over Nurse on the PP.

    Especially if handedness for PP1 is the issue, I doubt they want to mess with their extremely successful setup with the 1D being LHD.

    I am blindly guessing but figured that is part of the reason Nurse was selected.

  31. drglen says:

    agree, don’t fault Nurse at all for anything in that game really. Hell of a game. I think there is truth to the ‘pecking order’ notion as well, and Tipp kind of had to go with Nurse at least for one game. Agree I also saw bear many times making these precision clearing passes, a couple by Jones too. and Bear looked really good to me in 3 on 3.

    I think a safe bet is to go with 2 D on the next first unit powerplay… the other thing is.. we had great difficulty just gaining zone entry without Connor… so I think you need to look for Bear and maybe Jones to do that. Kind of depends on game context? If we get a powerplay with a one goal lead, you may well see Bear quarterback solo.

    Doubt we’ll see bouchard unless someone gets hurt here… but for the sake of argument, who would he replace presently? I think you might move Bouch with Larrson and maybe give Lagesson another couple days off.

  32. Andy Dufresne says:

    We killed 7 powerplays last night.

    Against the best powerplay in the league.

    Well 2nd best if you count us 🙂

    Scotty Bowman was watching last night; He’s not sure, but he thinks he felt it move.

    #HardOnThePK

  33. Bag of Pucks says:

    Fans (and coaches for that matter) are always going to get on players when they make mental errors that are preventable mistakes.

    Nobody questions Nurse’s skills, effort, or willingness to answer the bell. But dumb decisions in winnable games? That’s a sure recipe for criticism.

    I don’t agree with Horcoff as a direct comparison. Horcoff was respected by most fans. The frustration towards him was over the large contract (not the player’s fault) and so the ire towards Shawn was largely misdirected frustration over Lowe’s contract failings. Players know the pressure they’ll be under to perform when they sign these luxe deals. Horcoff himself knew he was expected to take his production to a higher level.

    Nurse is the player LT often describes, 1 year of development 5 years in a row.

    Personally speaking, I was an advocate for patience on this player when MANY posters here were floating his name as a sweetener in trade talks. But I now suspect these mental errors will always be a part of his game regardless of where he sits on the depth chart.

    That’s why I like the contract term on this player. Holland is creating a culture of competition and the untradeable contracts of the OBC are going to become rare sightings indeed. If Nurse can’t eliminate these mistakes, Bouchard, Broberg and Samourkov will force the issue. As it should be.

  34. cowboy bill says:

    I’m really liking these youngsters on the roster . They are playing better than some of the vets , Not a bad problem to have .

  35. geowal says:

    Anybody see this story? Haven’t seen mention of it. Wild stuff:

    https://calgaryherald.com/sports/hockey/nhl/calgary-flames/lucic-reveals-on-hnic-that-he-was-thinking-about-retiring-early-into-his-season-with-the-flames/wcm/e25b5503-d675-4b41-b493-821965d8b0d7

    Question: if Lucic did retire, would there be cap implications for the Oilers similar to Luongo? If so, based on this article we should send a card to Akim Aliu for getting Peters fires.

  36. Darth Tu says:

    I’m not worried about Nurse at all. I can’t be mad at him for trying, he put in a hell of an effort last night, the whole team did. Coming out of that game with a point is music! It was just like the Tampa game last week, except we came away with nothing there other than an effort to be proud of.

    Bear’s passing is incredible – I mentioned it after the Canes game on Sunday, the amount of times that I see him winning the puck deep in our zone, then making the perfect outlet pass to a forward that lets us break out is incredible. If Russell is playing in his spot on his offhand instead of the breakout we’d be seeing him flip it up the boards from his backhand, and then the opposition comes right back in for another 30 seconds of zone time. I get that part of this was players not being ready/injuries/roster composition over the last 4-5 years, but wouldn’t you know it, having balanced L-R D pairings with at least one decent passer per pair leads to less time in our own zone!

  37. godot10 says:

    //May I respectfully suggest your concerns are better expressed at the coaching level? I think a more interesting discussion today would involve how long it takes Tippett to move Bear on to the 1PP and Nurse off the 1PP. He’s a damned smart coach, that’s a move he could make today.//

    I expect for Tippett, it is an ice time issue, and a usage priority issue for Bear.

    Tippett knows Nurse can play 30 minutes. He doesn’t know if Bear can play 30 minutes. He doesn’t want to break Bear. The rookie is hauling a heavy load as it is.

    Plus, he needed Bear for the even strength shutdown role against Bergeron et al.

    Nurse is unbreakable. Tippett knows he can abuse him.

  38. Darth Tu says:

    Andy Dufresne:
    We killed 7 powerplays last night.

    Against the best powerplay in the league.

    Well 2nd best if you count us

    Scotty Bowman was watching last night; He’s not sure, but he thinks he felt it move.

    #HardOnThePK

    Up to 24th in the league for home PK now, 79.3% kill rate – The regression to round around league median is happening. Can we put the orange jerseys make us too easy to score against theory to bed yet?

    The Road PK continues to be dynamite – 89.9%.

  39. OriginalPouzar says:

    McDavid is skating this morning prior to practice.

    Klef and Russell also on the ice with him.

    I’ll be interested to see what PP1 looks like at practice today and if Bear is getting reps.

  40. godot10 says:

    JJS:
    I am a bit worried about Nurse and his hockey instincts

    Discounting the occasional rush, I don’t see consistent positive contributions that match the modern game

    I like the player and the emotion, but he is a 4th or 5th defense-man on a Stanley

    Nurse played 30 effing minutes. Are people really this clueless? Jeff Petry all over again.

    • Bruce McCurdy says:

      Hear hear.

      Not his best game but he played half of it anyway, in all situations 5v5 4v4 3v3 PP PK, led the team in shot attempts, blocks, hits, & jumped into the scrum at an appropriate moment.

      Important point for the team in trying circumstances, so why do Oilers fans need a #%*&ing scapegoat? This one doesn’t. I’m proud of my team this morning.

      • Doug McLachlan says:

        It’s been a long time since I’ve been so excited for the Oilers Nation “Point” gif on my Twitter timeline.

        That was a loss that felt like a win.

        Oh, and the Leafs are out of a playoff spot so, you know, all good.

  41. godot10 says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    My player of the game? Ethan Bear.

    There is a strong argument that he is the best Oiler Dman this year.

    Would he be if he were not playing with Darnell Nurse? We don’t know. Nurse deserves a lot of credit for providing space for Bear.

  42. Cassandra says:

    Nurse’s only real problem is that he is no good on the powerplay. His passing is too slow, mostly because he handcuffs himself with the puck.

    Easy fix. Don’t play him on the powerplay.

    Loving Caleb Jones. That’s a guy who plays hockey the right way, with aggressive gaps and joining the play. He’s the anti-Russelll.

    Him and Bear are why you don’t pay retail for trade deadline acquisitions. If you can get Ennis for basically nothing, fine. But none of this two picks for depth defensemen nonsense. Lagesson and Bouchard are your depth defensemen.

    If the GM doesn’t squander the long term then pretty soon the short term always looks good.

  43. Bag of Pucks says:

    godot10: Nurse played 30 effing minutes.Are people really this clueless?Jeff Petry all over again.

    Well, we can’t be right all of the time. That magic power is reserved for a select few apparently.

    • Side says:

      An example of the magic in action:

      “Todd McLellan is a #thoroughlymediocrecoach, but even mediocre coaches can win cups. See Dan Bylsma. Todd will win a cup coaching the Oilers because he has McDavid and because Todd is mediocre, which will cause the Oilers to want to keep him around, even though he is mediocre”

      *Todd McLellan turns out to be a bad coach for the Oilers and only makes the playoffs once, without ever coming close to winning a cup. He gets canned for being bad at coaching his team.*

      “See, I told you. Todd will win a cup coaching the Oilers because he has McDavid and because Todd is mediocre, which will cause the Oilers to want to keep him around, even though he is mediocre

      • godot10 says:

        I was consistent that McLellan was a #thoroughlymediocrecoach even when he had a fluky winning season.

        I made this assertion before Halloween, plus or minus a few days, of his first season with the OIlers.

        I never once changed my position. And as you posted, I claimed that I would maintain that position even if he accidentally won a Cup, like Bylsma.

        And I was right.

        • Side says:

          You made many assertions on Todd, some of which were right.

          You also made a bunch which were not very accurate.

          IMO, Todd wasn’t even a mediocre coach for the Oilers. He turned out to be a bad coach.

          I would say you were wrong there.

          As you said, mediocre coaches can win a cup. I don’t believe you ever mentioned “luck” being involved before, that seems like a new one. But, you do say Todd did have a lucky season, which was 2016/2017 and he never came close to actually winning the cup.

          Wrong there.

          You also mentioned that the Oilers would commit to Todd’s mediocrity and would likely extend him.

          They did not.

          You often cast a wide net with your predictions, and for whatever reason, go around the site trying to get recognition and acknowledgement for it, even if your net comes out 95% empty.

          If you had said that Todd is a bad coach for the Oilers, that he would never win a cup with the Oilers, that he would only make the playoffs once and described why and how his coaching style would fail for the Oilers. I would be agreeing with you.

          Alas, you did not.

  44. Cassandra says:

    Also, this is the best the Oilers have played all season, with McDavid out. Russell and Neal are also not playing. This is not a coincidence.

    Play your best players and don’t give vets extra vet credit when they can’t keep up.

    Neither should see the ice in the playoffs.

    Klefbom, Larsson, Nurse, Bear, Jones, and Benning are all way better than Russell. Not sure about Lagesson yet, but I’m leaning toward him too.

    Neal can’t keep up. Less than replacement player at this point. Now this is a team that is playing Colby Cave and Patrick Russell who aren’t NHL players either (especially Russell), and Khaira who probably isn’t either. Still I prefer all of them to Neal, who is useless.

    Trade a 4th round pick for Ennis already (post above notwithstanding). And why didn’t the Oilers trade for Malgin? When your forward depth is this bad upgrading should be easy.

  45. who says:

    Cassandra:
    Nurse’s only real problem is that he is no good on the powerplay.His passing is too slow, mostly because he handcuffs himself with the puck.

    Easy fix.Don’t play him on the powerplay.

    Loving Caleb Jones.That’s a guy who plays hockey the right way, with aggressive gaps and joining the play.He’s the anti-Russelll.

    Him and Bear are why you don’t pay retailfor trade deadline acquisitions.If you can get Ennis for basically nothing, fine.But none of this two picks for depth defensemen nonsense.Lagesson and Bouchard are your depth defensemen.

    If the GM doesn’t squander the long term then pretty soon the short term always looks good.

    Agree completely.

  46. leadfarmer says:

    This is why you play your prospects on special teams during development. Nurse should never see pp time but I dont think Bear has had much pp time during his development so cant fault him for going with a guy with more reps.

    At some point some people need to realize there is a difference between liking the player but not wanting to pay him like a top defensemen and not liking a player

  47. Darth Tu says:

    Cassandra:
    Also, this is the best the Oilers have played all season, with McDavid out.Russell and Neal are also not playing.This is not a coincidence.

    Play your best players and don’t give vets extra vet credit when they can’t keep up.

    Neither should see the ice in the playoffs.

    Klefbom, Larsson, Nurse, Bear, Jones, and Benning are all way better than Russell.Not sure about Lagesson yet, but I’m leaning toward him too.

    Neal can’t keep up.Less than replacement player at this point.Now this is a team that is playing Colby Cave and Patrick Russell who aren’t NHL players either (especially Russell), and Khaira who probably isn’t either.Still I prefer all of them to Neal, who is useless.

    Trade a 4th round pick for Ennis already (post above notwithstanding).And why didn’t the Oilers trade for Malgin?When your forward depth is this bad upgrading should be easy.

    I loved the Neal for Lucic trade. However, if Neal can get healthy I say we deal him now or in the summer for whatever we can get. His value is at it’s highest, and his wheels aren’t going to get any quicker from here on out.

    People were hating on Chiasson, but his play seems to have really came around and he can do a similar job on the powerplay to Neal. I’m also loving a lot of his greasy hits/plays along the boards, he might be slightly overpaid, but he’s a perfect bottom 6 winger.

    • Material Elvis says:

      I think the idea of trading him is a pipe dream. I guess there is always a chance that some other GM loses his faculties for a moment and wants a ‘goal scorer’ but I don’t see it. Neal is a prime buy out candidate.

    • Andy Dufresne says:

      Neal is a $1.9m buyout for 6 yrs.

      If you buy him out you gain about $3.85m in cap space.for the next 3 yrs

      What do you value him at?

      I think he has negative value in the market.

      What are you willing to give up to move the contract?

      We know right now that it costs us $1.9m for 6 yrs to create about 3.85m x 3

      What asset are you willing to give up to save the $1.9 x 6 ?

      It really seems to me that the cost for us to buy him out is probably less than the cost to us, to have some team take on his contract

      You might find someone to take him if we retain half his salary and throw in an asset.

      Then our cost is $2.875m x 3 + an asset.

      And our savings (in comparsion to $1.9×6) is $2.65m minus the value of the asset.

      Either his value has to increase quickly (great playoffs etc) or we will be forced to buy him out.

      I see a buyout this summer. Or perhaps Holland waits to see if he can move him (again at the cost of an asset) to Seattle in the expansion draft.

      He’s gone this summer…imo

  48. Andy Dufresne says:

    Calling it now.

    Colorado trades for NYR goalie Georgiev

    AND

    Holland grabs Tyler Ennis 20 minutes before the trade window closes.

    #WalmartShoppers

  49. Our Edmonton Operation says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    I 100% understand Tippett/Gully going to Nurse on PP1 last night.Nurse has experience on PP1 and did a decent job there last year when Klef was out.They went with the guy with NHL experience and some success.

    Bear has PP acumen (was great on the PP in Seattle) but he is a rookie and doesn’t have the NHL experience.

    Well, maybe its time for him to get some PP experience.I’m curious if the team is practicing today as I think the coaching staff may want some practice time with Bear on PP1 before they make the change.

    I also remember Nurse doing a decent job on PP1 last year when replacing an injured Klefbom. Surely other people remember that besides OP and me? Nurse should get credit for that. So last night was Nurse’s first time in awhile manning PP1. We should cut him a break due to his lack of practice, as he acquitted himself well last year.

    I’m not smart enough to know how to look up Nurse’s PP points last year while Klefbom was out – acknowledging PP points aren’t the litmus test of how competent you are on the PP – but Jason Gregor’s article at Oilers Nation on January 11, 2019 stated that Nurse had 4 PP points in the first 13 games Klefbom was injured, while in comparison Klefbom had 6 PP points in 31 games back then to date. Gregor would state, “Nurse’s PP production, albeit in limited minutes, has been quite good.”

    https://oilersnation.com/2019/01/11/darnell-nurse-emerging-as-an-offensive-threat/

  50. N64 says:

    leadfarmer:
    This is why you play your prospects on special teams during development.Nurse should never see pp time but I dont think Bear has had much pp time during his development so cant fault him for going with a guy with more reps.

    At some point some people need to realize there is a difference between liking the player but not wanting to pay him like a top defensemen and not liking a player

    Coach does not want to overload the new guy no matter how good he is.
    GM needs to sign this guy long. Lots of PP pts is not going to make that easier.
    Short term and long terms needs are on the same page here.

  51. dustrock says:

    Darth Tu: Up to 24th in the league for home PK now, 79.3% kill rate – The regression to round around league median is happening.Can we put the orange jerseys make us too easy to score against theory to bed yet?

    The Road PK continues to be dynamite – 89.9%.

    Why is the Road PK a full 10% better? Orange jerseys need to be binned! 😀

  52. 106 and 106 says:

    Holland to address media in 20 minutes after practice (live on Sportsnet).

    McDavid skating on twitter.

  53. Darth Tu says:

    dustrock: Why is the Road PK a full 10% better?Orange jerseys need to be binned!

    Damn you! It’s better than 18% difference or whatever the heck it was earlier. I need to dig out the shitty spreadsheet I made in January about this to see how it’s changed.

    My main findings previously were that there was a huge difference in the amount of calls against us on the road versus at home. As in, we had about a full third less calls on home ice, so letting in any goals at home had a much larger impact on the PK rate there than on the road.

    What was funny is it was exactly the opposite case for the Bruins. They were getting a huge amount of penalties called against them at home, but relatively few on the road. Definitely not the norm for the league. At the time the Bruins were doing a similar job home and away of defending said powerplays though, unlike us who had the orange pylon syndrome.

  54. Woogie63 says:

    It strikes me that in game hockey coaching is so old school, assistant coach talking into his sleeve, assistant coach leaning into a players with a little in the moment coaching, a white board to draw a set play with a dry erase marker. An iPad that gets pulled out twice a game. Reviewing the video on a monitor built into the bench- all of it is 20 years ago.

    The amount of really time information has improved – the science and measure of high performance is absolutely unreal from even 10 years ago.

    It is hard to see if this information is being used in real time?

  55. who says:

    Andy Dufresne:
    Neal is a $1.9m buyout for 6 yrs.

    If you buy him out you gain about $3,85m in cap space.for the next 3 yrs

    What do you value him at?

    I think he has negative value in the market.

    What are you willing to give up to move the contract?

    We know eright now that it costs us $1.9m for 6 yrs to create about #.85m x 3

    What asset are you willing to give up to save the $1.9 x 6 ?

    It really seesm to me that the cost for us to buy him out is probably less than the cost to us, to have some team take on his contract

    You might find someone to take him if we retain half his salary and throw in an asset.

    Then our cost is $2.875m x 3 + an asset.

    And our savings is $2.65m minus the value of the asset.

    Either his value has to increase quickly (great playoffs etc) or we will be forced to buy him out.

    I see a buyout this summer. Or perhaps Holland waits to see if he can move him (again at the cost of an asset) to Seattle in the expansion draft.

    He;s gone this summer…imo

    Very good summary.
    If we trade him it’s going to cost an asset. No one is taking that contract without a sweetener added.
    The buyout isn’t that bad. Cheaper than Sekeras. But the problem is the length. 6 years is a long time. The last 3 years it will be the only buyout on the books though.
    I would try to retain some salary and add a middling asset. If that doesn’t work I would look at buying him out.

  56. Ben says:

    Sounds like Nicholson has finally admitted to Kenny that McDavid was killed on that board collision play.

  57. Reja says:

    Woogie63:
    It strikes me that in game hockey coaching is so old school, assistant coach talking into his sleeve, assistant coach leaning into a players with a little in the moment coaching, a white board to draw a set play with a dry erase marker.An iPad that gets pulled out twice a game.Reviewing the video on a monitor built into the bench- all of it is 20 years ago.

    The amount of really time information has improved – the science and measure of high performance is absolutely unreal from even 10 years ago.

    It is hard to see if this information is being used in real time?

    Fake news.

  58. dustrock says:

    Ben:
    Sounds like Nicholson has finally admitted to Kenny that McDavid was killed on that board collision play.

    Yes this is Coonnor McDaavid, his clone we grew from the original sample.

  59. OriginalPouzar says:

    As per Holland, McDavid will go out with the team for a bit today and will be going on the road trip.

  60. OriginalPouzar says:

    speeds:
    Personally, I have no problem with Nurses effort, but I did not see him as the best PP option before the game and still dont afterwards. Particularly when you know he is about to play a bunch of other minutes. As you say, player usage is a coaching decision, not on the player.

    One way to reduce the minutes for Bear/Nurse might be to dress 7D and put Bouchard on PP1 right out of the box. Particularly when 97 is back and you can perhaps rotate the 3Cs through line 4?

    teddyturnbuckle:
    Weird game last night with all the power plays.Thank god for the penalty killers last night because the Oilers power play was brutal.Zone entries are still a mess hopefully Conner will be back soon.Time to try Bear on PP 1.He has EARNED IT!Lagesson looked good last night which is good news.

    LadiesloveSmid:
    Wonder if Tippett thinks about either A) playing Bear on PP1 or B) playing Bouchard PP1, scratching Cave & running 7D. Cave played 4 minutes last night.

    Without further injury, the only way Bouchard comes in to the lineup is to go with 11/7 – obviously none of Bear, Larsson or Benning are coming out and none of them are shifting to the left side (nor is Bouchard).

    Not to mention that Willie played a solid game last night including 4 min on the PK and could very well run with this opportunity to prove he is a legit 3LD right now.

    ————————————————-

    I 100% understand Tippett/Gully going to Nurse on PP1 last night. Nurse has experience on PP1 and did a decent job there last year when Klef was out. They went with the guy with NHL experience and some success.

    Bear has PP acumen (was great on the PP in Seattle) but he is a rookie and doesn’t have the NHL experience.

    Well, maybe its time for him to get some PP experience. The team is practicing in a few minutes and I am interested to hear/see if Bear gets at bats on PP1 or if they plan on giving Nurse some more opportunity.

  61. JimmyV1965 says:

    Lots and lots of talk about Nurse today. Not sure why. He was a beast last night. Sure he ices the puck too much. Sure he made a low percentage play in OT. Sure he sucked on the PP.

    But I didn’t see a lot of HDSC chances for the Bruins outside their fabulous PP. And I have no doubt that given time Nurse will be as good as Klef on the PP, which is very meh.

  62. OriginalPouzar says:

    Holland, when asked if the first round pick is in play: “I’m not going to deal the first round pick for a rental”.

    We pretty much knew this but that was an express a statement as there can be.

  63. 106 and 106 says:

    Would I like to do something?

    Yeah, I’d like to do something to pitch in.

    -Holland

  64. OriginalPouzar says:

    Holland says he wants to be active – the guys in the room have worked extremely hard and he would like to provide some help. Its going to depend on cost.

  65. Dicky94 says:

    JimmyV1965,

    I liked that he would at least take a shot on the power play. I rarely see Klefbom shoot the puck when he is set up nicely to do so. Overall I didn’t mind Nurses game last night.

  66. OriginalPouzar says:

    Neal probably 2-3 weeks from playing

    Russell – he’s getting better but no time frame.

    Nygard getting pin taking out this week and then 2-3 weeks.

  67. JimmyV1965 says:

    Andy Dufresne:
    Neal is a $1.9m buyout for 6 yrs.

    If you buy him out you gain about $3.85m in cap space.for the next 3 yrs

    What do you value him at?

    I think he has negative value in the market.

    What are you willing to give up to move the contract?

    We know right now that it costs us $1.9m for 6 yrs to create about 3.85m x 3

    What asset are you willing to give up to save the $1.9 x 6 ?

    It really seems to me that the cost for us to buy him out is probably less than the cost to us, to have some team take on his contract

    You might find someone to take him if we retain half his salary and throw in an asset.

    Then our cost is $2.875m x 3 + an asset.

    And our savings (in comparsion to $1.9×6) is $2.65m minus the value of the asset.

    Either his value has to increase quickly (great playoffs etc) or we will be forced to buy him out.

    I see a buyout this summer. Or perhaps Holland waits to see if he can move him (again at the cost of an asset) to Seattle in the expansion draft.

    He’s gone this summer…imo

    You don’t think we can trade him for pucks if we retain $2 mill? That gives him a cap of 3.75.

  68. geowal says:

    Neal is a couple weeks away, Russell he really doesn’t seem to know, Nygard gets his pin out of his hand when they’re in California.

  69. OriginalPouzar says:

    He hasn’t shopped Puljujarvi and noone has really asked about him.

    • Darth Tu says:

      I can believe that – no one would be asking about Puljujarvi now as he can’t play this season (I think). That’s more an ask in the summer.

      • Dicky94 says:

        Could be Holland using it as leverage to get his ass back over here and play next year for the Oilers. Nobody is interested in you JP. Want to play another year in Finland?

        • Andy Dufresne says:

          You gotta think JP Agent was given permission to speak to other teams / seek out another deal. No?

          • Andy Dufresne says:

            I think the odds slightly favour JP staying in Finalnd/Europe forever.

            Between very low value as an asset and the idea that he’s enjoying himself ALOT more in Finland (Big Fish Small Pond Theory) I dont think staying at home is out of the question.

  70. Wilde says:

    Gonna transcribe a thread from my Twitter on Woodcroft putting together a pairing that I’d wanted to see for awhile: Samorukov-Persson.

    Wilde:

    I mentioned a lil while ago that I was curious to see a Samorukov-Persson pairing, in general I’ve wondered how many cases in which a rookie blue would actually be better served alongside a veteran puck-mover rather than a conservative one

    Samorukov is definitely a two-way project but he has been challenging different offensive possibilities and playing pretty aggressively, and I thought Persson could back that up by bailing his partner out with skill more than positioning

    The upside is you get passages like this, where other teams are under heavy duress in the NZ and then have to be off to the races quick to be able to have any chance at a recovery after a forced chip-in

    (Red=Samorukov, no. 38; Blue=Persson, no. 35)

    [ *** put a Twitter video here in the thread; here’s a streamable link

    https://streamable.com/xvlrd ]

    Anyways the bottom line is that you’re better served finding out if players can play up-tempo and in a way that will add value against replacementesque tendencies (to allow entries, to chip along the wall) as soon as possible so that your actual project’s goals are down the rail

    (as opposed to some kind of separate phases or twists and turns between, say, playing as a conservative, low-event third pairing despite the ultimate goal being a player that can challenge skilled forwards and judiciously punish mistakes)

  71. ArmchairGM says:

    Andy Dufresne:
    Calling it now.

    Colorado trades for NYR goalie Georgiev

    AND

    Holland grabs Tyler Ennis 20 minutes before the trade window closes.

    #WalmartShoppers

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see Colorado pick up both Georgiev and Kreider, for Jost, 2020 1st and 2021 2nd (becomes a 1st if conditions met).

  72. Reja says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    He hasn’t shopped Puljujarvi and noone has really asked about him.

    Might be saying the same thing a year from now.

    • N64 says:

      Don’t think he’ll be moved this summer. If he’s not at training camp I think he’ll be in Finland next winter hoping for Seattle.

  73. Bag of Pucks says:

    NJJ Devilss Twitter / Russian Bot is reporting Barzal for Brandon Manning trade. Holland quoted, “I’m here to right every wrong. Larsson for Hall is next.”

    #DontShootTheMessenger

  74. ArmchairGM says:

    Crazy thought: when Klefbom and McDavid return, what about asking Jones to play 1LW? He possesses all of the attributes we’re looking for in a winger-for-McDavid: great skating, a defensive conscience (ha!), high IQ and a decent shot. Sure rookie, position, etc. Florida is using defensemen as forwards with reasonable results right now.

  75. Halfwise says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    No mention of Brogan Rafferty? That’s suspicious.

  76. OriginalPouzar says:

    Larsson just left practice……

    Ryan Rishaug
    @TSNRyanRishaug
    ·
    3m
    Stayed out for the main part of the structured practice, but left immediately after the last drill ended – so may not be anything. Other guys tricking off now as well.

    • T0ML says:

      Bouchard COME ON DOWN!

      I hope its not serious for Larsson … But going against MIN might be a good getting “Feet wet” for Bouchard….

  77. Bag of Pucks says:

    Halfwise:
    Bag of Pucks,

    No mention of Brogan Rafferty? That’s suspicious.

    Bonaparte Ragamuffin is untouchable.

  78. OriginalPouzar says:

    Mikko in the “home goal” which indicates he’ll likely start tomorrow – I agree with that decision.

  79. Andy Dufresne says:

    JimmyV1965: You don’t think we can trade him for pucks if we retain $2 mill? That gives him a cap of 3.75.

    No, No I dont.

    simply because of the contract (term and dollars)

    Would a GM take a chance on Neal at $3.75 for 2 yrs ? maybe. But i doubt it.

    3 x $3.75m …. almost certainly not.

    If I was a GM and I felt neal fit my roster somewhere (PP Specialst, Mentor) I might roll the dice at $2m x 3yrs…. but i’d have to see how he plays in the playoffs.

    In your view, how much more valuable is Neal than say Tyler Ennis ?

    Which of the two is better built to play in the top 6 ?

    What does Ennis cost? A buck and half? On a one year contract.

    • Andy Dufresne says:

      I look at it like it cost us $2.65m x 6 to buyout Lucic. and it created $3.35m in cap space.

      • John Chambers says:

        You’d think a team like New Jersey would be willing to take on a vet like Neal to hit the salary floor and add some pop to a depleted lineup. Based on the Marleau trade this summer though it should cost us a 2020 1st and a prospect like Samorukov.

        I think a bridge deal for Nurse is perhaps an indication that Holland is wiling to roll with Neal for another couple of years, and perhaps buy him out down the road.

        I’m opposed to any major UFA signings like Hall or Pageau anyhow, so may as well keep the cupboard stocked and avoid any crippling buyouts for the time being.

        They should be able to move Russell and use the money to sign Bear to a long-term deal.

  80. New Improved Darkness says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    Horcoff himself knew he was expected to take his production to a higher level.

    You missed Lowetide’s entire point.

    His sheltering wing was precisely that higher level.

    It was there the whole time.

    But then because no good deed goes unpunished, management decided that if you can send a player out there with Horc a full line or line and ½ above where the player belongs, and Horc’s broad shoulders will shelter the rube from PJ-soiling PTSD, that you can then also get away with nightmare-fuel cradle-robbing everywhere else.

    ———

    Address your $50 cheque to:

    Shawn Horcoff’s Youngling Academy
    1 Infinite Loop
    Mordor, Middle Earth

    to receive your holiday candle individually hand-crafted from Orc blubber.

    ———

    Amazon review:

    3/5 My orc-blubber candle from Shawn Horcoff’s Youngling Academy as if dispatched by Eagle drone with the very whips of the Nazgûl behind them. Only it’s far smaller than expected for the price paid. Did he slaughter any orcs at all? Come on! You could squeegee this much grease off of Grishnákh’s brow in a single motion. Not impressed.

    ———

    Right.

    Just wait until you’re the one soiling your own mithril diaper while patiently explaining to Pippin how to cup the silver-crescent siphon-spoon gently against the edge of Grishnákh’s eyebrow without waking him up.

    ———

    [*] The secret is to wedge it into your armpit for two minutes beforehand until it reaches ambient Orc body temperature.

    Horc the Orc Slayer: “No, Pippin, just a quickie above the vest; it’s cold tonight, and for the last twenty minutes we trekked almost a full ent-fathom below grade into a sheltered declivity where the sun never shines—if you pay attention, you’ll notice that you can almost see your own breath.”

    Pippin: “But there’s no moon.”

    Horc the Orc Slayer: “Exhale toward Sauron’s penumbra. Do you see it?”

    Pippin: “I think you’ve got me confused with Legolas.”

    Horc the Orc Slayer: “Okay, here’s another way. How’s it hanging?”

    Pippin:What?

    Horc the Orc Slayer: [sighs] “You know, your tiny-little rosy cotton balls.”

    Pippin: “Hey! That’s an impropriety! And an insult! With a second insult on top!”

    Horc the Orc Slayer: “They’re probably so retracted at this temperature, you’re down to two little hummocks under a fuzzy wattle”.

    Pippin: “I don’t like this conversation.”

    Horc the Orc Slayer: “Then get your eyes checked.”

    Pippin: [rolling his fairly sharp eyes] “Is there a third method?”

    Horc the Orc Slayer: “Do you know the Athelas plant?”

    Pippin: “I think you’re mistaking me for a common gardener.”

    Horc the Orc Slayer: “I think you’re mistaking Mordor for Buckland.”

    ———

    A note on measurement. One ent-farthing is one Hobbit-hand shy of Treebeard’s bellybutton. There are seven ent-farthings to an ent-fathom.

    Handy mnemonic: “shy” rhymes with “Shire”. So you always know to subtract that Hobbit hand.

    ———

    If Mrs Treebeard was still in the picture, she would have taken one look at Treebeard, and then pinned his knotty ears back.

    Mrs Treebeard:That’s not squirrel hair!”

    Treebeard: [surprised] “Where?”

    Mrs Treebeard: [bellowing] “In your sapmons infold!”

    Treebeard: [snappishly raking his bramblefan across his bellybark] “Oh. A vagrant tuft of Pippin’s toe hair, I suppose.”

    Mrs Treebeard: “Pippin who?

    Oh oh. Bad move. It takes a long time to explain anything in old Entish when you’re sleeping on fairy-ring sofa soil.

  81. OriginalPouzar says:

    dustrock:
    In fact, I’d like to see Bear over Klefbom on PP1, to be honest, although I realize part of the argument for Nurse was handedness over Bear.

    Really tough to argue for changes to PP1 when healthy given it is literally verging on the best in the history of the NHL – Klefbom has been a big part of that – not to say that Bear couldn’t make it better but Klef’s puck distribution, chemistry with the “big 3”, etc. are material.

    • Andy Dufresne says:

      And Kelfbom PP skills have imporved materially this year. Holds the liine a little better, distributes the puck better, changes the angles (walks the line) a little better, still has a muffin for a shot.

  82. duct tape and foil says:

    Easy to like this team and the way they play most nights. A few things to fix like Drai and McDavid shift length, and teams like BOS figured that out right smartly in OT. Start your #2 group against Drai and tire him out, then unleash #1 about 1 minute in when he’s gassed and won’t go to the bench. Bruce had a stat last night that 4 of EDMs overtime loses were right around 1:15 into the OT. We can go with McDavid and Drai on separate units with RNH and Yamo.

    People crapping on Nurse are clueless. He’s a 2LD with fantastic wheels and tough as nails. Offense is not and never will be his game. He is also almost pretty much indestructible which is a great attribute for dmen who get injured a lot (see Klefbom, O. for an example).

  83. OriginalPouzar says:

    LouisLevasseur:
    I’m a bit curious about the timing of Klefbom’s surgery.They say it has been something that has been nagging him for quite awhile and was scheduled.If that’s the case, why wasn’t it scheduled to coincide with the AllStar game and the Week off?

    The word used was “procedure”, not “surgery” and its been reported that it was the same procedure Nuge got – I think it was shot, not surgery.

  84. OriginalPouzar says:

    Jason Gregor
    @JasonGregor
    ·
    5m
    McDavid just took four hard strides on a passing drill and ripped a one timer. Showed no signs of favouring his knee.
    Then a quick enter zone, curl at hashmarks and find trailer he went full speed and did his usual turn on a dime. Leg looks good.
    **I’m not a doctor.***

  85. N64 says:

    Halfwise:
    Bag of Pucks,

    No mention of Brogan Rafferty? That’s suspicious.

    Where have you gone, Brogue Ratatouille?
    Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

  86. Alpine says:

    Probably have to take back a contract for Neal. Likely an overpaid 4th line type like Clutterbuck or Komarov. Could see Lou doing it because he likes collecting older scorer types, like Marleau and locking up 29 year Lee for 7 years. He does have to pay Barzal this summer though.

    My other choice is Anisimov who i think would be an ideal return since he has one year left on his deal after this one. Dorion took Zaitsev so maybe he’d take Neal?

  87. OriginalPouzar says:

    AndyDufresne:
    Sam Gagner is definelty earning a 1 yr $1m contract.

    I hope Kenny grinds it down to $800K

    I do like him as a cheap utility guy with skill that can play all over the lineup – character guy as well.

    Assuming they re-sign Sheahan and Archie, I think there would only be room for one of Ganger and Slepy – who is the better option?

    I think Slepy would provide more potential but risk he doesn’t fit. We know what Gagner is and what he would bring.

    • Andy Dufresne says:

      Well. Sleppy at the very least gives you the leverage to grind Gagner on dollars.

    • drglen says:

      ya, I think the shlepy ship sailed long ago. He had that wicked shot but you’d see it 1 game out of 10… different context but Haas, who i’m sure should be kept at this point, remains a better option than bringing in a Shlep.

      Ganger has been interesting.. he’s played way more than people imagined and proves his veteran toughness in these type of games

    • RedNed says:

      Funny you mention this. Watching Oilers improved forecheck this year has brought my mind to Slepy several times. Just a few minutes I saw of a game he from before he was signed with Oilers, and how ferocious he was on the fc. Different level of competition, admittedly, but it stood out a mile from his comparables (all this is qualitative, by eye, analysis, no numbers sorry). Has decent size and shot.

      Then again, I like Gagner too. Lesigh.

  88. Bag of Pucks says:

    New Improved Darkness,

    Horcoff got the luxe deal cos Lowe thought he was on the verge of breaking out as an offensive producer (ie boxcars). Couldn’t agree more that Horc was game as far as playing the toughs.

    I’m afraid I need a decoder ring for the majority of that post. You’re an obviously talented writer but I’ll be damned if I can decipher your premise half the time.

  89. OriginalPouzar says:

    AndyDufresne:
    Patrick Russell at $700K is miles ahead of Colby Cave.

    Colby Cave is not a legit NHL player on a playoff contender (nor is P. Russell) – of course, the Oilers have 4 regular forwards out of the lineup, hence the tweener insertion.

    • Andy Dufresne says:

      Agreed. But if injuries force a call up, id much rather it be Russell who’s available to be called up.

  90. OilClog says:

    Shannon and the talking heads should really stop proclaiming when players are returning from injury, if they want to be taken seriously at all going forward. It’s getting tiresome to have time wasted by individuals paid to report on things properly only to provide you with shit. Accountability needs to start being applied, fear mongering and straight out lies need to be snuffed out.

  91. drglen says:

    cant find any news anywhere… was a Holland avail? Anything of substance? Any trade to announce?

    If not, …… what about Edmonton just standing pat? If it looks like we are getting in….. go with the guys you have. It’s all about hot goaltending anyways.

    I’m also wondering what role the players themselves have in this… like Coleman, must have wanted to go to florida, nice weather, better taxes.

    I’m saying 50/50 on anathasiou out of detroit, but not for anything of consequence,… I’d trade JP for him that’s about it.

    Flyer… can you pull Thorton out of San Jose as a rental? In spite of what Holland says, . that would be the guy imo. Of course, why would he want to leave his life there.. but, it is another shot at playoffs and maybe even a cup run here… i’m not ruling it out.

  92. Cassandra says:

    JimmyV1965: You don’t think we can trade him for pucks if we retain $2 mill? That gives him a cap of 3.75.

    Not a chance. Ask yourself if Neal were a free agent in the offseason would he be able to sign a 3 x 3.75 M deal as a 32 year old. He wouldn’t get one year at that price.

    Guys like Neal are going year to year at near minimum for the rest of their careers. You can’t trade him, you can only buy him out.

  93. OilClog says:

    Overtime is 3 on 3, a constantly rotating triangle of passes til someone gets a free step.

    Nurse had a line to drive to the net, he took the chance to get the extra point. Neither of the forwards had the situational awareness to cover for Nurse.

    Breakaway, game over.

    But Nurse is 110% responsible if you listen to the masses, cancel culture craves any length of rope they can get to go on a run with.

  94. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Darth Tu: I loved the Neal for Lucic trade.However, if Neal can get healthy I say we deal him now or in the summer for whatever we can get.His value is at it’s highest, and his wheels aren’t going to get any quicker from here on out.

    People were hating on Chiasson, but his play seems to have really came around and he can do a similar job on the powerplay to Neal. I’m also loving a lot of his greasy hits/plays along the boards, he might be slightly overpaid, but he’s a perfect bottom 6 winger.

    Chaser is a well liked team guy. He plays for his team and listens to the coaches.

    But he can’t skate or handle the puck. He’s nice and has a decent shot.

    Sort of like Russell. The key to playing like the best teams is pursuit and correct puck movement. Guys that can’t handle the puck and pass kill momentum and possession, kill plays.

    We can see Russell being out is probably helping not hurting. I see Chaser in this light. Gagner too for the most part because he can’t win battles, but his skill level and offensive sense are far higher, so as a cheap extra forward I don’t mind him.

    P Russell is a gamer that doesn’t necessarily hurt things and is decent with the puck but he is too much of a black hole offensively. Too bad.

    • Darth Tu says:

      Yeah – I like Patrick Russell, but he’s a bit like Cave in being in the “lots of good effort and hustle, but no scoring results”. Note, I am not saying dump Patrick Russell, he’s been great cover wise and is a value contract, same with Cave.

      That said I’d take Chiasson over Russell in the lineup once McDavid and Kassian return.

      Again, I like Neal, but if there’s a way to move him on to Ottawa say (he’s an Ontario boy after all) with cap retained, or dealing him for Anisimov as suggested above I’d be game. Old Artem’s contract runs out in 2021 as well.

      Saying that – I have no idea on how Anisimov is doing this year, other than the 17 points in 42 games, and -14 thing. Is he over the hill and done?

  95. Oil2Oilers says:

    LT suggesting that the Oilers will go after pending RFA Jake Debrusk this summer in his Athletic piece has me intrigued. 😉

  96. OriginalPouzar says:

    OriginalPouzar: I do like him as a cheap utility guy with skill that can play all over the lineup – character guy as well.

    Assuming they re-sign Sheahan and Archie, I think there would only be room for one of Ganger and Slepy – who is the better option?

    I think Slepy would provide more potential but risk he doesn’t fit.We know what Gagner is and what he would bring.

    Woodguy
    @Woodguy55
    ·
    21m
    Holland just volunteered on Stauffer’s show that Slepeshev was KHL player of the month and that he met with him when he was there a couple months ago. #SleppyComeHome

  97. OriginalPouzar says:

    AndyDufresne:
    We killed 7 powerplays last night.

    Against the best powerplay in the league.

    Well 2nd best if you count us

    Scotty Bowman was watching last night. He’s not sure, but he thinks he felt it move.

    #HardOnThePK

    This was indeed the key to the game.

    I mentioned a few times pre-game that I was extremely concerned about the PK with Russell and Klef both out.

    Willie stepped up with 4 minutes on the PK and Nurse with 6.

    The PK was the 1st star last night.

    The play a good structure and then any bobble or errant pass and they are on it and get a clear.

    Archie/Sheahan – my goodness.

  98. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    John Chambers:

    I think a bridge deal for Nurse is perhaps an indication that Holland is wiling to roll with Neal for another couple of years, and perhaps buy him out down the road.

    – Neal isn’t going anywhere this off-season, I agree. It’s funny: Holland was genius when Neal scored early and often, and now that Neal is injured, some talk buy-out. I don’t get it

    – The play for Neal is an expansion deal with Seattle. Of course, I said the same about Lucic,

    – Lucic and Neal both on Seattle would be destiny…

  99. tollen77 says:

    “A slender point behind the 2016-17 season after 60 games. Music!”

    Don’t forget how healthy that 2016-17 team was as well… adjusted for health, the results this season have been encouraging.

  100. Material Elvis says:

    John Chambers:
    You’d think a team like New Jersey would be willing to take on a vet like Neal to hit the salary floor and add some pop to a depleted lineup. Based on the Marleau trade this summer though it should cost us a 2020 1st and a prospect like Samorukov.

    I think a bridge deal for Nurse is perhaps an indication that Holland is wiling to roll with Neal for another couple of years, and perhaps buy him out down the road.

    I’m opposed to any major UFA signings like Hall or Pageau anyhow, so may as well keep the cupboard stocked and avoid any crippling buyouts for the time being.

    They should be able to move Russell and use the money to sign Bear to a long-term deal.

    Why wait two years to buy out Neal? The team needs the cap savings next year, not in three years. Who cares that he will be $2M dead cap space for years 4-6? That will be about 2% (or less) of the total cap at that time.

  101. Scungilli Slushy says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    OriginalPouzar: I do like him as a cheap utility guy with skill that can play all over the lineup – character guy as well.

    Assuming they re-sign Sheahan and Archie, I think there would only be room for one of Ganger and Slepy – who is the better option?

    I think Slepy would provide more potential but risk he doesn’t fit.We know what Gagner is and what he would bring.

    Woodguy
    @Woodguy55
    ·
    21m
    Holland just volunteered on Stauffer’s show that Slepeshev was KHL player of the month and that he met with him when he was there a couple months ago.#SleppyComeHome

    Holland knows the mindset of players from that neck of the woods, a massive change from BoB days.

    Still the problem with Slepy to me is like JP. I’m not sure they want to wait for things. JP is saying otherwise now but I don’t know that he has a full read on what that means in reality. He might come over, think he’s awesome, while the coaches are looking for something different, and be disgruntled again.

    But playing for the Oilers is his best NHL bet for sure.

    Slepy as 3/4 RW would be better than PR, AC or JJ 5v5 at least.

  102. Material Elvis says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – Neal isn’t going anywhere this off-season, I agree.It’s funny: Holland was genius when Neal scored early and often, and now that Neal is injured, some talk buy-out.I don’t get it

    – The play for Neal is an expansion deal with Seattle.Of course, I said the same about Lucic,

    – Lucic and Neal both on Seattle would be destiny…

    Holland was a genius because he offloaded a buyout-proof Lucic contract, not because Neal had an early season PP goal scoring heater. Have you looked at Neal’s 5v5 numbers Kinger? They are awful….with McDavid. It has nothing to do with his injury and nobody has said as much. They need an upgrade at 1LW if they want to improve the team. Why the EFF would Seattle take on Neal or Lucic’s contract? Toronto gave up a first round pick to get rid of one year of Marleau — it would cost a lot more to dump Neal.

  103. Scungilli Slushy says:

    It’s a shame a perpetual 20 goal scorer is untradeable even when under 6M in salary.

    You’d think somebody goal starved would bite. Retain 1M even. But alas likely not.

  104. Reja says:

    OilClog:
    Shannon and the talking heads should really stop proclaiming when players are returning from injury, if they want to be taken seriously at all going forward. It’s getting tiresome to have time wasted by individuals paid to report on things properly only to provide you with shit. Accountability needs to start being applied, fear mongering and straight out lies need to be snuffed out.

    It’s all about hits.

  105. Dicky94 says:

    Andy Dufresne,

    Very possible. I’d like to see him give it one last shot with the Oilers. Send Connor and Leon over in the summer with the cup to persuade him.

  106. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Nurse just couldn’t connect on like a single goddamn pass last night. He’s a fine $4-$4.5M 2nd pairing Dman. It would be one thing if he tapered off after the 1st, he was poor all night. I hope they move on from him, at least summer 2021, before paying out the nose when his current contract expires.

  107. geowal says:

    “McDavid won’t rule out playing tomorrow”
    -Davison show

  108. Bank Shot says:

    LadiesloveSmid: I always love good oiler defenceman more than superstar forwards. Loved Petry, loved Davidson even when he broke in.

    If Bear gets a long extension, I think I’ll have to get a jersey for the first time since 2012.

    Maybe hold off to see if he sticks with 74. He was 25 in junior and 24/25 in Bakersfield.

  109. YKOil says:

    Going to say it.

    Bear is the new Huddy.

    Been waiting for another one a long, long time.

  110. Bank Shot says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Jason Gregor
    @JasonGregor
    ·
    5m
    McDavid just took four hard strides on a passing drill and ripped a one timer. Showed no signs of favouring his knee.
    Then a quick enter zone, curl at hashmarks and find trailer he went full speed and did his usual turn on a dime. Leg looks good.
    **I’m not a doctor.***

    He had me until he wrote that McDavid ripped a one timer. Now I know he’s lying. lol

  111. LMHF#1 says:

    Thoroughbred defencemen thrive on more minutes rather than suffering.

    Think of Pronger’s 30+ minute nights. Or Doughty’s. Lidstrom. Hedman. Chara.

    Nurse is good. And he’s an excellent athlete. He should be able to figure out how to be effective in a high minute game based on his attributes. He is not a minute-eating thoroughbred top-pair defenceman. So they’d better not pay him like one. Ever.

    All that said – Tippett should know not to play him on the powerplay. Especially when they’re short at the back end and he has options.

  112. Reja says:

    Scungilli Slushy: Chaser is a well liked team guy. He plays for his team and listens to the coaches.

    But he can’t skate or handle the puck. He’s nice and has a decent shot.

    Sort of like Russell. The key to playing like the best teams is pursuit and correct puck movement. Guys that can’t handle the puck and pass kill momentum and possession, kill plays.

    We can see Russell being out is probably helping not hurting. I see Chaser in this light. Gagner too for the most part because he can’t win battles, but his skill level and offensive sense are far higher, so as a cheap extra forward I don’t mind him.

    P Russell is a gamer that doesn’t necessarily hurt things and is decent with the puck but he is too much of a black hole offensively. Too bad.

    After Connolly balked Chase was immediately signed remember this is weeks before the Lucic Neal trade. Chase was good on the PP and one of the reasons for a top 5 PP last year and he looks good on it now that Neal’s out. You need a big body In front of the net that can take the punishment, screen the goalie, tip shots, open up the cross ice seam pass for Leon and be a human vacuum cleaner on the rebounds. For a lousy 2.1 mil cap hit I don’t get all the dislike for him. A top 5 PP and PK surely has to get you into the playoffs.

  113. LMHF#1 says:

    Meanwhile – in double standard land where cheap shot punks get protected, stars get their heads bashed in: https://www.tsn.ca/dallas-stars-rick-bowness-jamie-benn-hit-on-oliver-ekman-larsson-looks-a-lot-worse-than-it-is-1.1445662

    • Bag of Pucks says:

      OEL cheap shotted Benn in their previous game. I suspect an ex tough guy like Parros sees this as reasonable tit for tat.

      Btw, I’ve never seen a tat I would willingly trade a perfectly good tit for.

  114. Bag of Pucks says:

    YKOil:
    Going to say it.

    Bear is the new Huddy.

    Been waiting for another one a long, long time.

    Good comp!

    He reminds me a bit of Norm Maciver as well.

  115. godot10 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Jason Gregor
    @JasonGregor
    ·
    5m
    McDavid just took four hard strides on a passing drill and ripped a one timer. Showed no signs of favouring his knee.
    Then a quick enter zone, curl at hashmarks and find trailer he went full speed and did his usual turn on a dime. Leg looks good.
    **I’m not a doctor.***

    The danger with a contusion is re-injury before it is healed completely. You cannot see “sufficient time” on the ice. He should look fine on the ice. Functionality returns well before the risk from reinjury abates.

    Disclosure: I am not a doctor.

  116. Sunnyboy says:

    Good effort last night after a slow start.
    Big picture look here:

    Edmonton – 12th place in league – +6
    Drai -12
    Nuge -4
    Yamo +11
    McD- -8

    Boston – 1st place – +54
    Bergeron +21
    Pasta +20
    March +24
    Krejci +21

    Love 29 all over the place but an MVP that can’t saw off even?

    • Darth Tu says:

      So Yamo is basically half a Marchand? There’s a joke in there somewhere.

    • giddy says:

      Edmonton would be out of the playoff picture with league average special teams–which is where Drai has been picking up a lot of points, that don’t count to +/-.

      My assumption at least. Had some ugly goal differentials in December that really murdered his +/-

    • Side says:

      I’m curious what Draisaitl’s +/- is from when him, Nuge and Yamamoto were a line.

      I don’t watch a ton of Boston games, but for a while Draisaitl was thrown on the ice for any and all situations, with many different linemates.

      Hasn’t Boston just been running their “Perfection” line all season?

  117. LadiesloveSmid says:

    tollen77:
    “A slender point behind the 2016-17 season after 60 games. Music!”

    Don’t forget how healthy that 2016-17 team was as well… adjusted for health, the results this season have been encouraging.

    The 16/17 team went on a tear to round out the season. This team would need to go 15-5-2

  118. godot10 says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    Nurse just couldn’t connect on like a single goddamn pass last night. He’s a fine $4-$4.5M 2nd pairing Dman. It would be one thing if he tapered off after the 1st, he was poor all night. I hope they move on from him, at least summer 2021, before paying out the nose when his current contract expires.

    #3D on new contracts (with no RFA years) are getting $6 million minimum.

  119. npanciroli says:

    Nurse is fine, i would keep his minutes to EV and PK as much as possible and also tell him to let Bear make the breakout passes whenever possible. I do think he is much better at breaking up plays this year.

  120. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Material Elvis,

    – I think package Neal + young Draft and Develop D that is blocked with a magic bean premia and a 3rd rounder and ship that off to Seattle, maybe retain $1MM.

    – Next year, Neal plays further down the batting order, but still scores some, gets PP time.

    – Buyout is crazy-talk this year..Neal is who we thought: awful posession, can score with skill

  121. who says:

    JimmyV1965: You don’t think we can trade him for pucks if we retain $2 mill? That gives him a cap of 3.75.

    I don’t.
    If you were a GM would you sign him for 3.75 x 3 this summer?

  122. LadiesloveSmid says:

    godot10: #3D on new contracts (with no RFA years)are getting $6 million minimum.

    I’m not sure he’s the better player on the 2nd pair. Not a lot of teams can afford $12M 2nd pairs

  123. Dustylegnd says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    My player of the game? Ethan Bear.

    There is a strong argument that he is the best Oiler Dman this year.

    impressive assertion…man there are few substitutes for plus passing….and it makes the life of the forwards much easier

  124. Darth Tu says:

    who: I don’t.
    If you were a GM would you sign him for 3.75 x 3 this summer?

    If Ottawa really are dumping everyone now they’re going to need someone to help them reach the cap floor next season. Why not Neal?

  125. OriginalPouzar says:

    Darth Tu:
    I’m not worried about Nurse at all.I can’t be mad at him for trying, he put in a hell of an effort last night, the whole team did.Coming out of that game with a point is music! It was just like the Tampa game last week, except we came away with nothing there other than an effort to be proud of.

    Bear’s passing is incredible – I mentioned it after the Canes game on Sunday, the amount of times that I see him winning the puck deep in our zone, then making the perfect outlet pass to a forward that lets us break out is incredible.If Russell is playing in his spot on his offhand instead of the breakout we’d be seeing him flip it up the boards from his backhand, and then the opposition comes right back in for another 30 seconds of zone time. I get that part of this was players not being ready/injuries/roster composition over the last 4-5 years, but wouldn’t you know it, having balanced L-R D pairings with at least one decent passer per pair leads to less time in our own zone!

    What’s impressed me the most about Bear over the last month or so has been an uptick in his defending – his one on one rush defence (see Pastrnak, 3 times last night), his board battle and his general defensive positioning.

    My eye test shows an uptick in defensive performance.

    The NHL is not a development league but players develop in the NHL.

  126. OriginalPouzar says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    Hear hear.

    Not his best game but he played half of it anyway, in all situations 5v5 4v4 3v3 PP PK, led the team in shot attempts, blocks, hits, & jumped into the scrum at an appropriate moment.

    Important point for the team in trying circumstances, so why do Oilers fans need a #%*&ing scapegoat? This one doesn’t. I’m proud of my team this morning.

    Nurse (and Bear) was hard matched against Pastrnak – the “Perfection Line” didn’t take a shift without seeing that pairing. The pairing got caved but only one goal against

    Nurse was good at 5 on 5 and great on the PK, where he played 6 minutes – the PK was the 1st star and Nurse was a part of that.

    He was terrible on the PP but he was a big part of the win.

  127. Material Elvis says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    Material Elvis,

    – I think package Neal + young Draft and Develop D that is blocked with a magic bean premia and a 3rd rounder and ship that off to Seattle, maybe retain $1MM.

    – Next year, Neal plays further down the batting order, but still scores some, gets PP time.

    – Buyout is crazy-talk this year..Neal is who we thought: awful posession, can score with skill

    It would cost Broberg or Bouchard to get Seattle to take Neal. They won’t take him for a B level prospect. Even then I’m not convinced. Neal is slow as molasses; Ron Francis is going to build an up-tempo team. It’s way smarter to buy him out.

  128. OriginalPouzar says:

    Of note, last year, for 5 on 4 P/60, Klef was 4.22 and Nurse was 3.68.

    A fairly significant drop I would say but Nurse wasn’t awful last year (not great though).

    Klef is 4.49 this year – I’m surprised its not higher given how dynamite the PP has been. Nurse is down to 3.12 but, of course, he’s been given nothing but dregs for PP time and linemates prior to last night.

  129. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Material Elvis: It would cost Broberg or Bouchard to get Seattle to take Neal.They won’t take him for a B level prospect.Even then I’m not convinced.Neal is slow as molasses;Ron Francis is going to build an up-tempo team.It’s way smarter to buy him out.

    – Thats what everyone said about Lucic… Anyway, we clearly have different takes. We will see

    – He’s not getting bought out this off-season. That would be as dumb as Brah’/Bouch give away

    – He scores goals with skill: thats not nuthin’

  130. LadiesloveSmid says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    GF/60 5v4 – 2018-2020

    Klefbom: 10.37
    Nurse: 7.63

    Both very strong. Missed McDavid more than anything. I’m not sure how to find 5v4 G/60 WOWYs to prove that.

  131. OriginalPouzar says:

    JimmyV1965:
    Lots and lots of talk about Nurse today. Not sure why. He was a beast last night. Sure he ices the puck too much. Sure he made a low percentage play in OT. Sure he sucked on the PP.

    But I didn’t see a lot of HDSC chances for the Bruins outside their fabulous PP. And I have no doubt that given time Nurse will be as good as Klef on the PP, which is very meh.

    I agree with your premise but can’t agree with your position on Klefbom’s contribution to the PP. He has developed a chemistry with the “big 3” and his puck distribution among them has been fantastic – his description decisions are top notch and he puts the puck right in the forward’s wheel house, every time. He has also become quite adept at holding the line and making plus plays in that regard.

  132. OriginalPouzar says:

    Corresponding with Gregor and he confirmed no PP work at practice today.

    I would foresee Nurse on PP1 tomorrow.

  133. OriginalPouzar says:

    JimmyV1965: You don’t think we can trade him for pucks if we retain $2 mill? That gives him a cap of 3.75.

    Trading him with retained salary is a much better option than a buyout.

    I’m not sure if he’s tradeable at $4M or not.

  134. Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – Thats what everyone said about Lucic…Anyway, we clearly have different takes.We will see

    – He’s not getting bought out this off-season.That would be as dumb as Brah’/Bouch give away

    – He scores goals with skill: thats not nuthin’

    But he promptly and consistently gives back more than brings. Care to know who else scores with skill? Alex Chiasson (on the PP), Zack Kassian and even Josh Archibald. All for much cheaper. If buying Neal out this offseason means Holland can add a Donskoi/Burakovsky with the ~3.9mil it would open up, I likely do it. If it means he can add an even better player than them, I definitely do it.

  135. OriginalPouzar says:

    Darth Tu:
    I can believe that – no one would be asking about Puljujarvi now as he can’t play this season (I think).That’s more an ask in the summer.

    Selling teams aren’t looking for players to play this season, they are looking for future, picks/prospects – I don’t think not playing this season is an issue for that type of deadline trade.

  136. gregsaint says:

    “[Lags was a] healthy scratch when a regressing Manning played night over night.”

    And now we don’t have worry about Manning playing for the Oilers ever again, huzzah! It’s been a good year so far 🙂

  137. OriginalPouzar says:

    Durag:
    Not losing Caleb Jones to Seattle might be the best value we can get for Puljujarvi.

    I think we are trending towards having to go with 4-4-1 with:

    Bear, Jones, Nurse, Klef

    McDavid, Drai, Nuge (re-signed), Yamamoto.

    —————

    This is another factor when contemplating trading a valuable prospect or high pick, an expansion exempt asset, for a player that would require protection.

  138. Reja says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – Thats what everyone said about Lucic…Anyway, we clearly have different takes.We will see

    – He’s not getting bought out this off-season.That would be as dumb as Brah’/Bouch give away

    – He scores goals with skill: thats not nuthin’

    Hardest thing to do in hockey is score. I’m expecting a well rested play the body hard Neal for the playoffs. If he can streak in the playoffs which I predict Calgary will be crying in there beers all off season.

    • flea says:

      Exactly, he’s been hurt, I’m willing to see if he comes back a little better.

      Still better than Lucic.

  139. Dustylegnd says:

    Andy Dufresne:
    I thought that Nurse was Nurse.

    2nd pairing D being asked to elevate his game and doing ok given we were playing the Bruins after all.

    Darnell is Darnell. “Value” at $3.2m…….not a Value Contract at $5.6m

    Perhaps it would help some to look at his average cost (across his two bridge deals) as 3.2 + 5.6 divided by two = $4.4m per year over 4 years.

    That approaches Value imo…..IS CERTAINLY fair market value.

    Im happy we have Nurse. We dont have another dman quite like him.

    He’s a legit 2nd pairing Dman with upside / room to improve.

    Because we are blessed with Oscar on a value contract, Bear as a miracle/revelation, Jones and Lagesson on ELCS, Bouchard soon to be, and Larsson at $4.16, Nurse will NEVER be the Fan Favorite. NEVER.

    But thats OK. He’s a solid 2nd pairing dman with some upside. On a fair market contract. Hopefully we learn to love him for what he is.

    We should probably save the vitriol for the next contract.

    Every time the shit hits the fan and he challenges people who constantly refuse to have a tilly……he is my favourite Oiler D…yes he has warts….but they are mean warts

  140. godot10 says:

    Darth Tu: If Ottawa really are dumping everyone now they’re going to need someone to help them reach the cap floor next season. Why not Neal?

    Ottawa wants contracts that consume cap dollars, but not real dollars. Neal doesn’t qualify.

  141. Reja says:

    OriginalPouzar: I think we are trending towards having to go with 4-4-1 with:

    Bear, Jones, Nurse, Klef

    McDavid, Drai, Nuge (re-signed), Yamamoto.

    —————

    This is another factor when contemplating trading a valuable prospect or high pick, an expansion exempt asset, for a player that would require protection.

    Yes I definitely agree with our pipeline on D we are set for many moons and on the cheap as well. I was begging for a Caleb Jones plus Jesse for Josh Anderson trade in training camp. I wonder how much Caleb’s stock went up yesterday and will continue to go up if he can tread water with Kelfbom out. Great job signing Caleb on the cheap by Holland.

  142. YKOil says:

    On a buy-out basis we can hold $2.0m of Neal’s salary and be close to even on Cap and way ahead on term

    On a term basis we can hold $2.75m or so and take a small hit on Cap (comparative to the scenario above) but still way ahead on term.

    If there is a market for Lucic at $5.25m then there is a market for Neal in the $3.0 to $3.75m range

    Yesterday I posted a hypothetical Alzner trade, basically leveraging down the Cap hit rather than dumping it altogether. Montreal is carrying his $4.625m contract and has him in the minors for a hit, this year, of $3.55m

    Neal, with $1.0m retained, for Alzner gives us a slim Cap savings of $125k. In the minors it is a Cap savings of $1.20m or so.

    The key being one less year. What is the cost of that? An unconditional 3rd? That would be close imo.

    Like Lucic, Neal has some value (in this case, as a power play goal scorer). Neal also, in year one of his buy-out, has a much cheaper Cap hit. Montreal could easily exchange their problem for ours, see how it goes for a year and then buy him out.

    We would, pretty much, do the same (only we would auto-park Alzner in the minors).

    People can say ‘never going to happen’ all they want. Holland’s work shows that it can happen I’ll stick with Holland thanks.

  143. who says:

    Darth Tu: If Ottawa really are dumping everyone now they’re going to need someone to help them reach the cap floor next season. Why not Neal?

    They may be willing to take the contract but I believe they would demand a sweetener to do it.
    Otherwise why wouldn’t they just sign a player who’s actually worth the cap hit as a means to get to the cap floor?

  144. Cassandra says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – Thats what everyone said about Lucic…Anyway, we clearly have different takes.We will see

    – He’s not getting bought out this off-season.That would be as dumb as Brah’/Bouch give away

    – He scores goals with skill: thats not nuthin’

    You don’t see the contradiction here. The price of getting rid of Lucic is Neal, who we want to get rid of.

    In any case, it cost the Leafs a first round pick to get rid of 1 yr of Marleau’s salary, and Marleau is significantly better than Neal.

    That makes the price for taking on 3 years of Neal, 3 first round picks. By the time Seattle comes around, he’ll be even worse.

    It’s also not true that he can score with skill. His pts/60 this year is .84 despite playing significant minutes with McDavid. That’s terrible. He scored some cherry PP goals. As we saw with Lucic in his first year, this is not indicative of ability but rather opportunity. The power play doesn’t do any worse when Neal isn’t on it. He should no more get credit for those goals than Lucic did.

    Buying him out is an easy call. He would provide negative value if he played for free, when you add the almost 4M of cap space you gain and his roster space is by far the easiest place to improve the team.

    Disagree if you want, but there are no grounds for disagreement other than obstinacy.

  145. Cassandra says:

    YKOil,

    This is actually a reasonable option. However, this doesn’t mean that Neal has value, since you are trading him for massive negative value (Alzner), it is just that Alzner’s massive negative value is less massively negative than Neal’s massive negative value.

    And Bergevin is one of the general managers with a track record of shoddy short term thinking that I can imagine him doing it.

    So Neal (2M retained) for Alzner. Might not even have to throw in the 3rd since Bergevin is going to think Neal can help their power play. That’s a great deal for the Oilers. Make it so.

  146. Darth Tu says:

    godot10: Ottawa wants contracts that consume cap dollars, but not real dollars.Neal doesn’t qualify.

    I guess you’re right. Again, nothing against Neal. I just want more cap space for the Oilers moving forward. We can’t end up in the mess that Toronto are in.

  147. duct tape and foil says:

    Moving Neal is unlikely, but hell, Old Dutch moved Lucic so anything is possible. If we do have to buy him out then July 2021 is the time since Pouliot’s $1.33 million buy-out cap hit disappears and Sekera’s drops by $1 million. That more than cover the addition of Neal at $1.9 million for 4 years.

    We got 40 games of Neal going all Mike Bossy for us this year which is great, and we can use him as a 4th line and PP guy next year. He can’t take tough 5×5 matchups anymore. I’d also move Chiasson this summer (don’t need both him and Neal) and you should be able to do that clean. Might even get something modestly useful back or at least a guy you can just stuff in the minors at no cap cost. Chaser seems like a guy OTT might see some value in and we might even be able to toss him into a package this week for a guy like Tierney.

  148. who says:

    OriginalPouzar: I agree with your premise but can’t agree with your position on Klefbom’s contribution to the PP.He has developed a chemistry with the “big 3” and his puck distribution among them has been fantastic – his description decisions are top notch and he puts the puck right in the forward’s wheel house, every time.He has also become quite adept at holding the line and making plus plays in that regard.

    “his puck distribution among them has been fantastic”.
    This sounds like a bit of an overstatement to me. The best thing Klefbom has done on the powerplay is holding pucks in at the line. He’s also been better than Nurse last night at starting the rush and making the drop pass. But that is damming with faint praise.
    I haven’t seen too much “fantastic distribution” inside the zone. Pretty sure I could stand at the top of the umbrella and slide passes to the left and right hash marks. That appears to be Oscars main responsibility inside the zone. Get the puck to one of the big three. I haven’t seen him make many passes through the box. Or even shoot for tips, for that matter.

    • flea says:

      He’s incredibly talented at holding the zone. I think it’s undervalued. How many PPs does he keep alive?

      He plays an important role there and they miss him.

  149. Numenius says:

    OriginalPouzar: McDavid, Drai, Nuge (re-signed), Yamamoto.

    I’m confused. Why would you re-sign Nuge before the expansion draft?

    If you leave him unsigned, that allows you to protect someone else.

  150. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Nurse had a 11.5% xGF last night at 5v5

    He straight up had a poor game. Match up, TOI, and all. He got his teeth badly kicked in.

  151. who says:

    Reja: Hardest thing to do in hockey is score. I’m expecting a well rested play the body hard Neal for the playoffs. If he can streak in the playoffs which I predict Calgary will be crying in there beers all off season.

    I hope he’s on the shelf, or ineffective, for the rest of the season. I’m starting to get a sliver of hope that we won’t have to give up the 3rd rounder this year.
    If he wants to turn it on for the playoffs, great!

  152. ArmchairGM says:

    Material Elvis: It would cost Broberg or Bouchard to get Seattle to take Neal.They won’t take him for a B level prospect.Even then I’m not convinced.

    This is a ridiculous assertion. He’s on pace to get over 20 goals this year, which will be his 12th 20-goal season out of 13 tries. Those kind of goal scorers don’t grow on trees. And we all know this is largely due to a “PP heater” which will no doubt “regress to the meat”, but what you probably don’t want to accept is that his 5v5 play has been pretty good this year with the exception of his PDO… but that should “regress to the meat” too, shouldn’t it?

    Among the 15 forwards that have played more than 250 minutes for the Oilers this year, Neal is 2nd in CF% (51.10), 2nd in FF% (51.52), 5th in xGF% (51.65) and 2nd in HDCF% (53.73). In NONE of these metrics do any of McDavid, Draisaitl or Nugent-Hopkins appear above him on the list, so you can’t tell me he’s been riding the coattails of the best on the roster. His .967 PDO is 3rd worst on the team, and its the shooting luck that’s dragging it down. Given the underlying metrics are so strong, just how much of his 11th best GF% (38.78) is his fault?

    According to puckiq.com, he’s played the 6th most minutes against elites of all the forwards, so the numbers above aren’t juiced by easy minutes. Moreover, vs Elites Neal is 1st on the team in CF% (46.60, +4.80 rel) and has a positive goal differential in these minutes, 10-7.

    All in all, while there are very likely better uses of his $5.75M cap hit, he’s a useful player and certainly won’t require a Bouchard or Broberg-level prospect to give away.

    • Material Elvis says:

      Poor GF%. Poor 5v5 scoring numbers playing with McDavid. $5.75M for 3 more years after this. Doesn’t get around the ice very quickly anymore. It might take more than Broberg/Bouchard. You are vastly over-rating the player and underestimating the cost to dispose of that hideous contract.

    • Material Elvis says:

      Also, Lucic’s underlying metrics were pretty reasonable on the Oilers, too. Are you implying that he was a good player as well?

  153. who says:

    YKOil:
    On a buy-out basis we can hold $2.0m of Neal’s salary and be close to even on Cap and way ahead on term

    On a term basis we can hold $2.75m or so and take a small hit on Cap (comparative to the scenario above) but still way ahead on term.

    If there is a market for Lucic at $5.25m then there is a market for Neal in the $3.0 to $3.75m range

    Yesterday I posted a hypothetical Alzner trade, basically leveraging down the Cap hit rather than dumping it altogether.Montreal is carrying his $4.625m contract and has him in the minors for a hit, this year, of $3.55m

    Neal, with $1.0m retained, for Alzner gives us a slim Cap savings of $125k.In the minors it is a Cap savings of $1.20m or so.

    The key being one less year.What is the cost of that? An unconditional 3rd?That would be close imo.

    Like Lucic, Neal has some value (in this case, as a power play goal scorer).Neal also, in year one of his buy-out, has a much cheaper Cap hit.Montreal could easily exchange their problem for ours, see how it goes for a year and then buy him out.

    We would, pretty much, do the same (only we would auto-park Alzner in the minors).

    People can say ‘never going to happen’ all they want.Holland’s work shows that it can happenI’ll stick with Holland thanks.

    You’ve done a good job explaining yourself.
    You are saying that Neal is tradeable, just like Lucic was. You are correct.
    But the Oilers had to eat some salary, include a conditional 3rd, and take back Neal’s contract, to trade Lucic.
    The same scenario will exist if they trade Neal for Alzner.
    Yes you can trade these players. But they have negative value. So the Oilers will have to add a sweetener, or sweeteners. These could include retaining salary, adding an asset, or taking back a bad contract. Or all of the above.
    I think that’s what you are saying, is it not?

  154. Gerta Rauss says:

    The wildcard in the Neal buyout may be the owner

    Prior to the trade, the Oilers had $19M committed to Lucic. After the trade, the Oilers have $28.3M committed to the transaction.

    Katz took on over $9M to lubricate this deal

    Katz may have agreed to take on the extra dollars in 2019 with the understanding that the balance of the contract would be bought out in 2020 and he recoups some of those committed dollars

    We wait

    • duct tape and foil says:

      Very true and the difference is pretty much the savings gained by buying out Neal next summer. Let Neal play the Tomas Holmström role (4th line and PP1) next year to see if he can pop another 20 goals and not give up too much against the chumps. Got to move Chiasson over the summer to make it work though as you can’t have both guys on the same line.

  155. ArmchairGM says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    OriginalPouzar,

    GF/605v4–2018-2020

    Klefbom: 10.37
    Nurse: 7.63

    Both very strong. Missed McDavid more than anything. I’m not sure how to find 5v4 G/60 WOWYs to prove that.

    Nurse in 95 minutes without McDavid: 1.89

    Ouch.

    http://naturalstattrick.com/linestats.php?fromseason=20172018&thruseason=20192020&stype=2&sit=5v4&score=all&rate=y&team=EDM&vteam=ALL&view=wowy&loc=B&gpfilt=none&fd=2017-10-04&td=2020-04-04&tgp=2000&strict=incl&p1=8478402&p2=8477498&p3=0&p4=0&p5=0

  156. YKOil says:

    who,

    Yes, would be two sweeteners here – some retained salary and a pick

  157. ArmchairGM says:

    godot10: Ottawa wants contracts that consume cap dollars, but not real dollars.Neal doesn’t qualify.

    Russell.

    • godot10 says:

      I’m sure Kris Russell has enough grey matter left to leave Ottawa off of the 15-team list of places where he is willing to go.

  158. who says:

    ArmchairGM: This is a ridiculous assertion. He’s on pace to get over 20 goals this year, which will be his 12th 20-goal season out of 13 tries. Those kind of goal scorers don’t grow on trees. And we all know this is largely due to a “PP heater” which will no doubt “regress to the meat”, but what you probably don’t want to accept is that his 5v5 play has been pretty good this year with the exception of his PDO… but that should “regress to the meat” too, shouldn’t it?

    Among the 15 forwards that have played more than 250 minutes for the Oilers this year, Neal is 2nd in CF% (51.10), 2nd in FF% (51.52), 5th in xGF% (51.65) and 2nd in HDCF% (53.73). In NONE of these metrics do any of McDavid, Draisaitl or Nugent-Hopkins appear above him on the list, so you can’t tell me he’s been riding the coattails of the best on the roster. His .967 PDO is 3rd worst on the team, and its the shooting luck that’s dragging it down. Given the underlying metrics are so strong, just how much of his 11th best GF% (38.78) is his fault?

    According to puckiq.com, he’s played the 6th most minutes against elites of all the forwards, so the numbers above aren’t juiced by easy minutes. Moreover, vs Elites Neal is 1st on the team in CF% (46.60, +4.80 rel) and has a positive goal differential in these minutes, 10-7.

    All in all, while there are very likely better uses of his $5.25M cap hit, he’s a useful player and certainly won’t require a Bouchard or Broberg-level prospect to give away.

    Broberg or Bouchard added to Neal to get rid of him seems too high.
    But this player has some serious negative value. If he went to free agency this summer he’d be lucky to get 1 year at 2million. Maybe 2 years at 1.5 million. The Oilers are on the hook for 3 more years at 5.75 million. That’s the biggest cap issue on this team. By far. It’s the main reason the Oilers will struggle to add a top 6 forward this summer.

  159. Bag of Pucks says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Corresponding with Gregor…

    Great work. If there’s anyone who enjoys a fake tweet or two, it’s Gregs. Good sense of humour on that boy.

  160. ArmchairGM says:

    who: They may be willing to take the contract but I believe they would demand a sweetener to do it.
    Otherwise why wouldn’t they just sign a player who’s actually worth the cap hit as a means to get to the cap floor?

    Because no self-respecting UFA will sign there this summer?

  161. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    I don’t agree with Horcoff as a direct comparison. Horcoff was respected by most fans. I don’t agree with Horcoff as a direct comparison. Horcoff was respected by most fans. I don’t agree with Horcoff as a direct comparison. Horcoff was respected by most fans. I don’t agree with Horcoff as a direct comparison. Horcoff was respected by most fans.

    Imma hafta disagree with you here Normie.

    Twitter didn’t exist back then, but this blog did, as did hfboards and fishwraps.

    Hfboards hated him.

    The fishwraps (esp Matheson) would also mention how Horcoff “wasn’t a 7MM player” when his cap hit was 5.5 and he only got 7 in his first year.

    LT was a supporter as were many of the commenters, but there were plenty of people with disdain for My Kaptain in LT’s comment section too.

    My memory of those years is that those who like Horcov were in the minority and by a significant margin.

  162. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    godot10: Would he be if he were not playing with Darnell Nurse?We don’t know.Nurse deserves a lot of credit for providing space for Bear.

    In a micro sample his results with Klef are better.

  163. OriginalPouzar says:

    who: “his puck distribution among them has been fantastic”.
    This sounds like a bit of an overstatement to me. The best thing Klefbom has done on the powerplay is holding pucks in at the line. He’s also been better than Nurse last night at starting the rush and making the drop pass. But that is damming with faint praise.
    I haven’t seen too much “fantastic distribution” inside the zone. Pretty sure I could stand at the top of the umbrella and slide passes to the left and right hash marks. That appears to be Oscars main responsibility inside the zone. Get the puck to one of the big three. I haven’t seen him make many passes through the box. Or even shoot for tips, for that matter.

    What you posit you could do is something Nurse was not able to do last night. I think you underestimate the chemistry they have and importance of actually putting the puck in the spot where the recipient can make a play quickly – Nurse was not able to do that last night.

    I encourage you to read McCurdy’s game grades from last night as well – he provided some high level thoughts on the distribution matter as well.

  164. Bag of Pucks says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Fishwrap. Too funny.

    Not sure why you mangled my post to make it seem OCD, but it’s quite possible looking back that the contract dissatisfaction pushed the mob into the red. Edmonton is a blue collar town that’s pretty demanding of the big ticket contracts.

    I seem to recall this is when analytics really started coming to the defence of players like Horc and was showing the contribution beyond basic boxcars.

    One of Holland’s big management mantras is you don’t pay big money for defensive skills. Ken wants the $ to go to the offensive talent and production. Whereas as a former foot soldier himself, i think Lowe was more inclined to cut big deals with two way stalwarts like Horcoff and Pisani.

    They’ve both cut some poor contracts in their day. I’d love the inside skinny on what they learned from that and where they draw the line now as a result.

    Kass deal is an overpay but at least it’s tradeable. If Ken can avoid the boat anchors, that’s half the battle.

  165. OriginalPouzar says:

    Numenius: I’m confused. Why would you re-sign Nuge before the expansion draft?

    If you leave him unsigned, that allows you to protect someone else.

    To actually keep the player. If he’s not resigned until June 2022, he’s likely not re-signing.

    They may very well start talking re-sign this coming summer.

  166. who says:

    OriginalPouzar: What you posit you could do is something Nurse was not able to do last night.I think you underestimate the chemistry they have and importance of actually putting the puck in the spot where the recipient can make a play quickly – Nurse was not able to do that last night.

    I encourage you to read McCurdy’s game grades from last night as well – he provided some high level thoughts on the distribution matter as well.

    Well that will change my mind. Lol.
    I don’t need to read someone else’s opinion to validate my own.
    Sure, Klefbom was better than what Nurse showed last night. I said that.
    Would I call him a fantastic puck distributor because of that? No.

  167. OriginalPouzar says:

    Bag of Pucks: Great work. If there’s anyone who enjoys a fake tweet or two, it’s Gregs. Good sense of humour on that boy.

    I have no idea what you are getting at.

    I had great interest today in knowing if the team worked on the PP and, if so, how it was deployed.

    Given it was not practiced, I lean towards personnel changes not being made for tomorrow.

  168. leadfarmer says:

    Wonder what we will have to pay Seattle to take Neal
    Probably a first and Jones

    • Material Elvis says:

      It would be something like that. That’s why the buyout is a much better option (if Holland can’t trade him for a better buyout candidate first).

  169. OriginalPouzar says:

    who: Well that will change my mind. Lol.
    I don’t need to read someone else’s opinion to validate my own.
    Sure, Klefbom was better than what Nurse showed last night. I said that.
    Would I call him a fantastic puck distributor because of that? No.

    I think you under-value the puck distribution of the player on one of the best PPs of all-time. Your statement, although I’m sure it was just provided for emphasis, that you could do it yourself, is pretty solid evidence of the same.

  170. OriginalPouzar says:

    Tippett said McDavid was “day to day”.

    Russell took full practice with the team today but its not known if he’ll travel with the team. Tippett said, similar to Benning, they are going to take it slow with him.

    There are many of the position that the Oilers are better right now without Rusty.

    It’ll be interesting to see what happens if Lagesson has 3-4 more games as effective as last night.

  171. Bag of Pucks says:

    OriginalPouzar: I have no idea what you are getting at.

    You’re very adept at playing dumb.

    Btw, shouldn’t that get some props as one of the best backhanded compliments ever? 😶

  172. who says:

    OriginalPouzar: I think you under-value the puck distribution of the player on one of the best PPs of all-time.Your statement, although I’m sure it was just provided for emphasis, that you could do it yourself, is pretty solid evidence of the same.

    Well I do value him more after watching Nurse fumble the puck around last night.
    I will assume that Nurse just had a rough game. Because the truth is any competent NHL dman can make the plays Klefbom does on the powerplay.
    Just watch him on the powerplay. He stands at the top of the umbrella and either A) shoots it, or B) passes it to either sideboards. I rarely see him make a play that breaks down the structure of the penalty kill.
    If you want to call that “fantastic puck distribution”, have at her.

    • OriginalPouzar says:

      I’ve watched him all season long and your evaluation of what he does, in my opinion, continues to under-state his role and his effectiveness. As we saw with Nurse last night, even passing to the half-boards can be done poorly when the puck is not put in the right place allowing the recipient to quickly make the next play.

  173. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Darth Tu: Damn you! It’s better than 18% difference or whatever the heck it was earlier. I need to dig out the shitty spreadsheet I made in January about this to see how it’s changed.

    My main findings previously were that there was a huge difference in the amount of calls against us on the road versus at home.As in, we had about a full third less calls on home ice, so letting in any goals at home had a much larger impact on the PK rate there than on the road.

    What was funny is it was exactly the opposite case for the Bruins.They were getting a huge amount of penalties called against them at home, but relatively few on the road.Definitely not the norm for the league. At the time the Bruins were doing a similar job home and away of defending said powerplays though, unlike us who had the orange pylon syndrome.

    I looked at Home vs Road PK since they got the orange jersey earlier this year.

    Didn’t see anything “repeatable”

    I swear to Gord I’d find something.

    Then I looked at the home PK for teams that had “Hi-VIs” home jerseys.

    Didn’t see anything there either.

    Thought I would.

  174. Bank Shot says:

    Woodguy v2.0: I looked at Home vs Road PK since they got the orange jersey earlier this year.

    Didn’t see anything “repeatable”

    I swear to Gord I’d find something.

    Then I looked at the home PK for teams that had “Hi-VIs” home jerseys.

    Didn’t see anything there either.

    Thought I would.

    Weren’t the Oilers like top 3 on the PK on the road and historically bad at home last year as well?

    Or was that the season before?

  175. Harpers Hair says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Bag of Pucks,

    I don’t agree with Horcoff as a direct comparison. Horcoff was respected by most fans. I don’t agree with Horcoff as a direct comparison. Horcoff was respected by most fans. I don’t agree with Horcoff as a direct comparison. Horcoff was respected by most fans. I don’t agree with Horcoff as a direct comparison. Horcoff was respected by most fans.

    Imma hafta disagree with you here Normie.

    Twitter didn’t exist back then, but this blog did, as did hfboards and fishwraps.

    Hfboards hated him.

    The fishwraps (esp Matheson) would also mention how Horcoff “wasn’t a 7MM player” when his cap hit was 5.5 and he only got 7 in his first year.

    LT was a supporter as were many of the commenters, but there were plenty of people with disdain for My Kaptain in LT’s comment section too.

    My memory of those years is that those who like Horcov were in the minority and by a significant margin.

    This lacks nuance and is severely revisionist.
    While those who kept hammering Horcoff as a $7 million player were clearly wrong, Horcoff was also miscast as a first line centre and his $5.5 million cap hit exceeded his actual value.

    That cap hit in today’s dollars would easily exceed $8 million and there’s not a chance he could live up to that contract.

  176. Scungilli Slushy says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    Nurse just couldn’t connect on like a single goddamn pass last night. He’s a fine $4-$4.5M 2nd pairing Dman. It would be one thing if he tapered off after the 1st, he was poor all night. I hope they move on from him, at least summer 2021, before paying out the nose when his current contract expires.

    To me this is where the angst is from. He’ll get 7, but he’s a strong 2nd pair not a strong 1st pair.

    He doesn’t have enough game sense to be more, his game isn’t likely to change much ahead given his age.

    Klef is a better player. Paying Nurse is the same as paying Kassian. You’re really buying speed and truculence. The points would decrease with less usage with the top forwards.

    He’s a good player, but has some significant limitations. If Samu shows up soon in ill humour there will be an issue.

  177. Darth Tu says:

    Woodguy v2.0: I looked at Home vs Road PK since they got the orange jersey earlier this year.

    Didn’t see anything “repeatable”

    I swear to Gord I’d find something.

    Then I looked at the home PK for teams that had “Hi-VIs” home jerseys.

    Didn’t see anything there either.

    Thought I would.

    Thank you. I knew the more I looked at it that the whole hi-vis thing was born out of “pylon” jokes. Systems and deployment should trump jersey colour.

  178. OriginalPouzar says:

    Ken Holland is just so impressive whenever he does a media avail.

    He just knows everything about the team and what is going on with the team – knows their schedule for the next number of weeks and, listening to him on Oilers Now with Stauff and he’s listing off TOI for Jones last night and how much Lagesson played on the PK.

    He did “let slip” that the players coming in to the lineup with the injuries and those that have been given more minutes and responsibility and how they’ve performed could factor in.

  179. duct tape and foil says:

    who,

    Klefbom knows his role on the PP and that he’s the #4 option behind McDavid, Dra and RNH. Whoever you put back there is still #4. His job is to maintain possession in the zone and move the puck smartly to the skill forwards. He knows that he only shoots when he has an unobstructed lane and Chaser or Neal is screening the goalie. It’s a well defined and limited role that he performs well.

  180. duct tape and foil says:

    Looks like Lehkonen is healthy scratched tonight. He’d fill a hole for us. Fingers crossed.

  181. OriginalPouzar says:

    Bag of Pucks: You’re very adept at playing dumb.

    Btw, shouldn’t that get some props as one of the best backhanded compliments ever?

    Remember those multiple promises you made yourself to ignore me? Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to converse with anyone, but if one can’t be honest with himself…..

    • Bag of Pucks says:

      OriginalPouzar: Remember those multiple promises you made yourself to ignore me?Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to converse with anyone, but if one can’t be honest with himself…..

      Funny that. Turns out ignoring the white noise in one’s life isn’t nearly as fun (and healthy) as laughing at it.

  182. Mr DeBakey says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Twitter didn’t exist back then, but this blog did, as did hfboards and fishwraps.

    Hfboards hated him.

    The fishwraps (esp Matheson) would also mention how Horcoff “wasn’t a 7MM player” when his cap hit was 5.5 and he only got 7 in his first year.

    Horcoff’s contract was front-loaded, the first year worth much more than the following years.

    I remember Jones, who was Sun only in those halcyon days, used the actual salary instead of Cap Hit to rag on Horcoff as required.

  183. Harpers Hair says:

    Your daily Brogan Rafferty update.

    The Canucks are actively shopping RHD Troy Stetcher who is a RFA with arbitration rights.

    If he is is traded by Monday, Rafferty will be called up unless the Canucks are successful in pursuing in Tyson Barrie who is being shopped by the Leafs.

    A Rafferty call up would like lead to a Conn Smith trophy.

    You’re welcome.

    • Brogan Rafferty says:

      Earlier today I created myself on NHL 2002. I have been practicing all day for my big recall! I scored 74 goals in the 2002 season!

  184. flyfish1168 says:

    It is time to get rid of the arrogant idiot player safety parrot. That is horrible how Benn is not suspended. Time to suspend parrot from his position.

  185. OriginalPouzar says:

    duct tape and foil:
    Looks like Lehkonen is healthy scratched tonight. He’d fill a hole for us. Fingers crossed.

    I believe Namestnikov is being held out as well.

  186. OriginalPouzar says:

    Harpers Hair:
    Your daily Brogan Rafferty update.

    The Canucks are actively shopping RHD Troy Stetcher who is a RFA with arbitration rights.

    If he is is traded by Monday, Rafferty will be called up unless the Canucks are successful in pursuing in Tyson Barrie who is being shopped by the Leafs.

    A Rafferty call up would like lead to a Conn Smith trophy.

    You’re welcome.

    So he may just get that NHL roster spot before his 25th birthday (which is in 3 months).

  187. who says:

    duct tape and foil:
    who,

    Klefbom knows his role on the PP and that he’s the #4 option behind McDavid, Dra and RNH. Whoever you put back there is still #4. His job is to maintain possession in the zone and move the puck smartly to the skill forwards. He knows that he only shoots when he has an unobstructed lane and Chaser or Neal is screening the goalie. It’s a well defined and limited role that he performs well.

    Exactly.
    But that doesn’t make him a “fantastic puck distributor”.

    • duct tape and foil says:

      He does his job well, and that job isn’t going to change much whoever the sole dman is on the PP. Hard to argue with the results this year.

  188. Glovjuice says:

    I posit that Nurse would have looked much better on the power play if McDavid had played.

    Also, why do we never see statistical significance used with hockey analytics (say, when comparing player A to player B). For some metrics I don’t see why you couldn’t / shouldn’t.

  189. who says:

    duct tape and foil:
    He does his job well, and that job isn’t going to change much whoever the sole dman is on the PP. Hard to argue with the results this year.

    Yep.
    I agree with everything you’re saying.

  190. Harpers Hair says:

    OriginalPouzar: So he may just get that NHL roster spot before his 25th birthday (which is in 3 months).

    Perfect timing.!

  191. Scungilli Slushy says:

    I’m not convinced that a D pair functions well when only one partner has passing skill.

    We’ve seen a lot of that for years (or no passing skill) and what happens is the forecheck is pretty easy to plan.

    Cutoff the ‘player’ and the puck chopper has to make the play.

    The value of having what I consider an NHL skill set – skate and pass, competency 5v5 – is everything.

    That the new bottom sizers are far better at this changed the team. With a lot of roster and coaching changes settling in they are becoming normal, IMO because they can put pressure on and can be in the play regularly because they can get there.

    Also the PK, pretty hard for minus skaters to consistently do that well. It’s hard work.

    I also appreciate Holland’s choices in that especially on PK thinking the play is critical. The players he chose can think the game to that level.

  192. Scungilli Slushy says:

    flyfish1168:
    It is time to get rid of the arrogant idiot player safetyparrot. That is horrible how Benn is not suspended. Time to suspend parrot from his position.

    It’s a lot more than Parros.

    While being loved for his Ivy schooling that also indicates to me he’s ambitious. Which ‘could’ mean he was chosen because he would be a ‘yes’ man.

    There is no honour in the NHL offices. It’s about money.

  193. Jethro Tull says:

    Brogan Rafferty:
    Earlier today I created myself on NHL 2002. I have been practicing all day for my big recall! I scored 74 goals in the 2002 season!

    I heard you created yourself by going back in time and meeting your mum…..

  194. leadfarmer says:

    OriginalPouzar: So he may just get that NHL roster spot before his 25th birthday (which is in 3 months).

    Fun fact. Bouchard could start college in the fall and still be half a year younger than Raffertys freshman year.
    He reminds me of some college football players I knew that had eligibility until almost their mid 20s

  195. Brogan Rafferty says:

    Jethro Tull: I heard you created yourself by going back in time and meeting your mum…..

    I do not kiss and tell.

  196. Harpers Hair says:

    leadfarmer: Fun fact.Bouchard could start college in the fall and still be half a year younger than Raffertys freshman year.
    He reminds me of some college football players I knew that had eligibility until almost their mid 20s

    Bouchard should absolutely do that.

  197. Scungilli Slushy says:

    OriginalPouzar: I believe Namestnikov is being held out as well.

    It will not surprise me if nothing happens. ‘Prices’ this season alludes to emerging players being the focus.

    I don’t mind it. I’d you won’t put 40 of Woodguy’s units on a player you’re not getting a winger better than Benson.

    Holland won’t trade a D not named injured Russell.

    They will let the system step up IMO and send condolences to Woody.

    A couple of summer deals. Maybe a current starting D moves for help.

    That will be it and more one year contracts.

  198. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Looking at Weegar’s line stats, is he really better than Benning?

    If Larsson was dealt would Bear Benning Bouchard be horrible?

    Would Bear Weegar Bouchard be better?

    I’m not convinced.

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