Pick up the Pieces

by Lowetide

Playing the Minnesota Wild is kind of what I imagine it’s like to sail into the Bermuda triangle: You’re a little nervous because of all the stories, but it’ll be fun to tell your friends about when you get home safely. Jacques Lemaire pulled some kind of voodoo at the turn of the century and the Oilers have been chasing ever since.

THE ATHLETIC!

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

  • New Lowetide Trade Deadline: Oilers countdown to trade deadline involves age old dilemma
  • New Jonathan Willis: They shoot, they don’t score: NHLers who just can’t find the back of the net
  • New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Why cap issues mean McDavid’s return could be Oilers’ only pre-deadline move
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Oilers lack deadline flexibility due to injuries, few assets and bonuses
  • 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 61 GAMES

  • Oilers in 2015-16: 22-33-6, 50 points; goal differential -33
  • Oilers in 2016-17: 33-20-8, 74 points; goal differential +13
  • Oilers in 2017-18: 26-31-4, 56 points; goal differential -33
  • Oilers in 2018-19: 26-29-6, 58 points; goal differential -23
  • Oilers in 2019-20: 32-22-7, 71 points; goal differential +3

Oilers lost, so did Calgary and now the division looks like Vegas has found the rhythm and the rest of the group is keepin’ time while the Golden Knights climb up the ladder to the roof (where they can see heaven much better). Still, who can be truly upset with this Oilers record?

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
  • Current 10 games: 0-1-0

OILERS IN FEBRUARY

  • Oilers in February 2016: 2-8-0, four points; goal differential -19
  • Oilers in February 2017: 5-5-0, 10 points; goal differential -1
  • Oilers in February 2018: 2-7-1, five points; goal differential -5
  • Oilers in February 2019: 2-5-3, seven points; goal differential -11
  • Oilers in February 2020: 5-4-1, 11 points; goal differential +1

It’s still the best February during McDavid’s time, and there’s some distance to go. If we’re honest, 3-2-1 without the captain is still a solid result.

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 0-1-1)
  • 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: 5-4-1, 11 points in 10 games

I projected Edmonton to go 3-1-0 from here until the end of the month, meaning the team would finish 8-5-1 for February (as predicted). We don’t know if McDavid will play on Sunday but he’s close.

OILERS 2019-20

The top line is flying but the other three units were sucking air and chasing all night long. Rookie mistakes on blue, bad luck too, it’s all part of the Lemaire hate stew we’ve been watching for 20 years. Wild doesn’t play exactly like Lemaire taught them, the club no longer chokes the life out of the game with the trap. Now, the team merely plays whack-a-mole with opponents. Refs liked it, I’ll say that much. Nice to see Nuge approaching 50 points in a season for the first time in his career. All numbers five on five and via Natural Stat Trick.

LINE 1 Nuge-Leon Draisaitl-Kailer Yamamoto played 16:55, going 24-18 Corsi, 11-12 shots, 3-0 goals, 3-4 HDSC.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored two goals and one assist, four shots, one HDSC, won four of five on the dot. Could have had two more goals, best chances that didn’t go in happened early second period. Leon Draisaitl scored what might have been the flukiest goal of his career, bounced off a the south end of a Minnesota skate going north and went back and to the right. Real Zapruder film stuff. Had a goal, an assist, two giveaways, won 12 of 17 in the circle. He’s pretty impressive as a faceoff man now, has been for three years. Kailer Yamamoto landed with two assists, a shot, two HDSC, GV, TK. Ranks No. 6 in points among Oilers forwards, despite giving the field a 41 game head start. He could finish as high as fourth. Backchecked like a demon later in the game to save the day.

LINE 2 Sam Gagner-Gaetan Haas-Alex Chiasson played 9:52, going 10-10 Corsi, 3-7 shots, no goals and 0-2 HDSC.

Sam Gagner had one shot, a good chance, TK, GV, had some looks but couldn’t cash. He does have good offensive tools, needs a little more skill on his line. Gaetan Haas had a shot, GV, TK and won three of seven faceoffs. He worked hard, but the Wild block everything. Alex Chiasson took a penalty when a Wild player grabbed on to his stick, very weak call.

LINE 3 Tyler Benson-Riley Sheahan-Josh Archibald played 7:25, going 5-11 Corsi, 3-6 shots, 0-2 goals and 1-0 HDSC.

Benson had a giveaway and two takeaways, most noticeable passing the puck. Set up Archibald for a brilliant chance. Won some puck battles. Riley Sheahan had a shot and went 4-4 in the faceoff circle. Josh Archibald had one incredible chance, a takeaway and three blocked shots. Took a vicious elbow that saw him miss a few shifts. Blocked Koskinen on the Soucy shot.

LINE 4 Jujhar Khaira-Colby Cave-Patrick Russell played 5:16, going 5-2 Corsi, 2-1 shots, no goals or any danger.

Jujhar Khaira had two shots, a giveaway (there were more) and a takeaway. He coughed up the puck twice in the same shift and spent just 22 seconds on the PK (which is his strength). Was it his last game as an Oiler? Colby Cave won four of seven in the circle, and (I think) deflected the shot from the high slot on the first goal against. Koskinen adjusted but could not control the rebound. Patrick Russell had a quiet evening.

Oilers loss is notable but doesn’t sink them. Arizona, Vancouver and Vegas play tonight, so Edmonton could be No. 2 through No. 3 tomorrow morning.

PAIRING ONE Darnell Nurse and Ethan Bear played 18:58, going 21-14 Corsi, 7-9 shots, no goals and 1-3 HDSC.

Darnell Nurse had four shots and a takeaway, skated miles. He used his wingspan effectively on defense, on a night when he needed it against some big, tough Wild forwards. Had a couple of wonderful chances at net later in the third but couldn’t find the range. Ethan Bear had an assist, a shot, two giveaways and battled hard all night. Wild forwards are a fearsome crew, that was a hard day’s night. Bear has developed this very cool move where he presents as it to pass and then resets. Very effective. He’s about two sleeps from taking Nurse’s job on the 1PP.

PAIRING TWO Caleb Jones and Adam Larsson played 15:46, going 15-21 Corsi, 8-13 shots, 2-2 goals, 2-3 HDSC.

Caleb Jones had two shots, drew a penalty, three shot blocks. He had some rookie moments. His outlet passes are coming into view as he gets more comfortable. Adam Larsson had two shots, took a penalty, had two giveaways and a takeaway. On the first Spurgeon goal, he had the puck under control but didn’t get it out. Major issue there. Winning goal bounced off his stick and into the net.

PAIRING THREE William Lagesson and Matt Benning played 10:51, going 15-11 Corsi, 7-9 shots, 1-1 goals, 1-2 HDSC.

William Lagesson had a tough night, although he was credited with just one giveaway. Was beaten by Fiala on the first goal, he needed to intercept the puck or park Fiala on his ass, but did neither. Rookie blue do this, there’s nothing to do but endure, secure in the knowledge he’ll learn. Matt Benning had an assist, two shots and a goal post. I think he’s a very good NHL defenseman.

GOALIE Mikko Koskinen stopped 34 of 38, .895. Stopped seven of eight HDSC. Made some big stops, including a breakaway on Parise at the end of the second. The third goal against was a major game moment, would have liked him to be aggressive on the shot and earlier in maybe freezing the puck. The fourth goal was unfortunate and a killer, I saw it as Larsson tipping it past his goalie but you could argue Koskinen wasn’t facing the original shot in a good way.

Man this is a hurting team. Among my top 20 prospects in December, only Samorukov, McLeod, Maksimov, Persson and Skinner (in goal) played for Bakersfield. All of Yamamoto, Benson, Jones, Lagesson and Bouchard are in Edmonton on recall, with Bear and Patrick Russell having made the big club out of camp in October. Condors need some help. It won’t come until fall.

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Woodguy v2.0

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

Central
STL 18
COL 17
DAL 15

Mediocrific
VAN 10
EDM 10
VGK 10

Wildcard
WPG 7
NSH 6

Out of playoff
CGY 6
MIN 5
ARI 4
CHI 1
SJS -4
ANA -6
LAK -12

All tie-breaks due to games played

Relevant games today:

WPG (+130) at PHI (-150) – Have to give the edge to PHI with they way they’re playing. Line looks right. Maybe a bit light on PHI.

CBJ (+130) at NSH (-150) – With NSH having played in CHI last night I think CBJ *might* be value, but Jack is out of players

TBY (-170)at ARI (+150)- ARI should have no chance here.

BOS (-140) at VAN (+120) – Can BOS do it again on their 3rd in 4 nights, 2nd of back to back in 3 different cities? Probably.

FLA (+165) at VGP (-190)- FLA isn’t going well. Expect the Pysankas to make short work of this unlees Q plays his better goalie.

Bag of Pucks

Woodguy v2.0,

Good assessment. Man, Tavares is a stone cold killer based on those numbers.

It seems the crux of it is the Kadri trade. That deal felt reactionary to me based on the Nylander contract and what he then saw as the lay of the land with Marner.

When the Nylander negotiations became protracted, I thought he should have traded him then for D with term. Instead he loses Kadri, a better player than Nylander imo, and has to settle for a D with no term in Barrie. That’s the series of decisions that strike me a little as more Allman Brothers jam and less Rush arrangement and rehearsal ?

Woodguy v2.0

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

Atlantic
BOS 28
TBY 24
TOR 10

Metropolitan
PIT 21
WSH 20
NYI 14

Wildcard
PHI 14
CAR 12

Out of playoffs
CBJ 11
FLA 9
NYR 8
BUF 2
MTL 1
NJD -4
OTT -8
DET -29

-NYI has 1 less gp than PHI

Relevant wildcard games today:

WPG (+130) at PHI (-150) – WPG is 7-3-1 in last 10. Beating shitty teams and STL twice for some reason. PHI isn’t shitty. Time re-start my part-time job.

CBJ (+130) at NSH (-150) – I can never predict NSH games.

CAR (+125) at TOR (-145) – Should be a good game. I expect goals. CAR with some value.

SJS (+155) at NYR (-175) – Rags in an admitted “re-building year” would be first wildcard in WC. I don’t expect them to make it in the EC, but fun story. “Wanna fast track a re-build? Have great goaltending, young puck moving Dmen and hire The Bread Man”

FLA (+165) at VGP (-190)- I bet the computer boys wouldn’t have signed Bob for Bob term and Bob money. Christ, Tallon is just a trainwreck…..unless he’s trading Demers then he is All Knowing and All Seeing.

Bag of Pucks

LT’s morning post and WG’s league summaries with coffee brewing and no hangover.

I feel like Steve Martin. “The new phone book is here! The new phone book is here!”

Woodguy v2.0

Nice to see Nuge approaching 50 points in a season for the first time in his career.

/thread

Seriously, just lock it down, its over.

90s fan

I feel like I am missing an inside joke that the entire blog knows, except me.

Woodguy v2.0

Bag of Pucks:
Woodguy v2.0,

Good assessment. Man, Tavares is a stone cold killer based on those numbers.

It seems the crux of it is the Kadri trade. That deal felt reactionary to me based on the Nylander contract and what he then saw as the lay of the land with Marner.

When the Nylander negotiations became protracted, I thought he should have traded him then for D with term. Instead he loses Kadri, a better player than Nylander imo, and has to settle for a D with no term in Barrie. That’s the series of decisions that strike me a little as more Allman Brothers jam and less Rush arrangement and rehearsal ?

To me they moved seemed designed to have as many Dmen contracts expire at the end of this season.

He’ll have about 12MM in cap space this summer with no expensive forwards to sign.

He has Rielly under contract for 2 more years, needs to sign Muzzin and get a 1RD.

I wonder if he inquires on Subban if NJD would retain a bit and get a boat load of youth in return?

Subban’s counting stats are garbage this year, but he’s been their best Dmen via fancystats and TOI vs Elites playing with the re-animated body of Andy Greene.

Bag of Pucks

Was there anything analytics wise to suggest Bobrovsky was going to fall off a cliff?

Or is this just “goalies are voodoo” so don’t give aging ones term?

With guys like Luongo and Lundqvist and Fleury, the rules may be changing for how long the elite tenders can stay productive.

Andy Dufresne

Yes. Voodoo Rel…. or VRel as the cool kids call it.

Bag of Pucks

Woodguy v2.0,

PK playing in the Center of the Universe? My head would explode.

Litke 94

Had the pleasure of taking my Mom, who is a diehard Oilers fan, to her first ever game at Rogers. Got amazing seats from a generous seller on Twitter who didn’t feel like taking me to the woodshed. Very appreciative.

Despite losing, the game was awesome. Kailer Yamamoto plays hockey like Teddy Ruxpin on speed. I have no idea what that means, but I think it fits. If he doesn’t hit the post in the first, that is maybe a different game. What a player.

We ended up sitting next to relatives of Spurgeon. Although it killed me to see a Defenseman on the Wild of all players get a friggin’ hat trick against us, I was at least happy to see his family so happy and proud. That must be a great feeling.

giddy

I have to give an immense amount of props to a team that is icing the best 1st line in the league followed by a 3rd line, a 4th line, and an AHL line, followed by a d corp consisting of three rookies with less than 140 total NHL games between them.

Reminds me of being in Cuban taxi. Spare parts from all ages and directions slapped together to make a still semi-functional ride

Bag of Pucks

I like that analogy. The Oilers are a classic 57 Chevy.

leadfarmer

My biggest issue with Dubas is signing Tavares before signing his own RFAs. I think seeing what money they were willing to give Tavares made the other guys want similar contracts.

Also trading Kadri was reactionary and not necessary. So he did something dumb in the playoffs, not the first guy. Should have moved on. They had a meh-poor Barrie for a year and Kerfoot is a downgrade on Kadri

Andy Dufresne

You hsign Tavares the minute Tavares agrees to sign…imo

And

they traded Kadri based on overall leaning towards analytics. What Kadri brought was, in part, the intangibles. The analytics would favour Nylander over Kadri. No?

They put up with Nylanders shinanigans because the guy posts good numbers. Its part of Dubas philosophy / management style. No?

Bag of Pucks

Kadri’s fancies were strong. Cap hit and optics spurred the trade. Management was not pleased with Kadri’s playoff suspension.

Andy Dufresne

Stronger analytics than Nylander?

John Chambers

John Chayka’s job has to be in jeopardy. It’s fair to take a risk, but his calculus was off (and his luck bad), and the franchise is at risk of being set back two years.

Colorado, St Louis, and maybe another team could make a play for Hall, but the return probably looks like a B prospect and a late 1st. A salvage deal for Chayka and a bitter pill for their sparse fanbase.

If I’m Taylor Hall I’m instructing my agent to tell Chayka there’s no way I’m signing there. I can’t imagine the player being okay with missing out on playoff hockey again.

giddy

The Taylor Hall story has to be one of the cruelest in sports. Elite player, in his 11th season, with 5 playoff games to show for it. Spent his prime playing his heart out on absolute dumpster fire teams.

Of course, I’m sure when his tears hit the Italian leather Ferrari seats things become a bit easier, but still. Talk about wasted talent.

Andy Dufresne

But if Taylor wants to coast into Free Agency, why would he instruct his agent to tell Chayka that? Doesnt make sense to me.

Taylor Hall saysing “I want to stay here and help this team make the playoffs” makes sense to me from a Taylor Hall perspective.

#TaylorIsDrivngTheBus

Woodguy v2.0

Bag of Pucks:
Was there anything analytics wise to suggest Bobrovsky was going to fall off a cliff?

Or is this just “goalies are voodoo” so don’t give aging ones term?

With guys like Luongo and Lundqvist and Fleury, the rules may be changing for how long the elite tenders can stay productive.

Aging curve, age and cap hit and term.

1) Aging curve & Age – Bob turned 31 before he played one game of his 7 year contract. Only the highest end goalies curve down around 35, most are around 33, Bob isn’t high end enough and has been too up and down to bank on 35.

In the last 5 years he had two really high end years. 16/17 and 17/18. Not a consistent enough track record to bet on long term.

2) Cap Hit – with the Price contract and Ludqvist contract every GM in the league learned the lesson of “overpaying goalies isn’t worth it, even if they’re good as it handcuffs the cap, and no goalie is *that* much better than everyone else”

Every GM but Tallon apparently.

3) Term – giving 7 years to a 31 year old isn’t smart pretty much ever at most positions, but especially at goalie.

Andy Dufresne

Tallon LOVED Strombone. I surmise he views Boborovsky as his next Bobby Lou.

Ryan

If you’re not laughing, you’re crying…

From the Athletic…

https://theathletic.com/1621969/2020/02/20/lebrun-what-dillon-gives-capitals-hurricanes-interest-in-petry-and-more/?article_source=related

A player I believe Carolina likes a lot is Jeff Petry, and I mean, who doesn’t. Which is also why Montreal doesn’t want to move him….

What kind of package could Carolina throw at the Habs? I’m thinking something like a first-round pick and prospect blueliner Jake Bean, 21, a first-round pick, 13th overall, in 2016. That’s something I think Carolina would do to entice the Canadiens.

But that probably wouldn’t cut it for Montreal…

Man. 32-year-old Jeff Petry with one year left at $5.5 and teams are lining up packages.

How did we end up getting a second and fifth rounders for a 27-year-old Petry? (I know his contract was mismanaged and he was sold as a rental).

That stings.

Woodguy v2.0

Bag of Pucks:
Woodguy v2.0,

PK playing in the Center of the Universe? My head would explode.

That would be non-stop comedy.

Simmonds and Cox would have to buy truckloads of pixels to keep up with their venom.

Darth Tu

Bag of Pucks:
Woodguy v2.0,

PK playing in the Center of the Universe? My head would explode.

I can see him landing there if Jersey are interested in dealing him.

Bag of Pucks

Woodguy v2.0,

31. Shite. That is too too old for the Snow White contract.

Bob’s Vezina caliber when he’s on but that will undoubtedly be a boat anchor.

What’s Florida’s deal? They fire Gallant cos he’s not an analytics guy, then they hire a GM who’s also not an analytics guy. They seem to be flip flopping?

ashley

MIN played with more of an edge last night. Closer to playoff mode than the Oilers. The Oilers matched for parts of the game, but just couldn’t keep up the intensity. Skill wise I though the teams were well matched.

I liked Stalock a lot. I think we are going to see the pendulum swing back to more athletic goalies rather than just coke machines. Big and athletic is best, but athleticism is more valuable than just a big plug which is what seems to be in favour right now.

Koskinen has been getting the cherry games, but can’t seem to lock it down. Some bad luck last night for sure, but his luck would be better if he could track the puck and get into position more quickly. I don’t know why he struggles to see where it is. His reactions are slower than average, but his size should compensate if he can get positioned properly. Still, some nice saves in there, but he needs a more complete game. Most NHL goalies save unscreened shots from 20+feet away having had all kinds of time to set up, especially from an angle. Nice shots for sure, but you just don’t see that anymore. Maybe just another off game.

ashley

Benson has a skating problem. He is going to have to find a way to reinvent himself to be effective at the NHL level. He can get to top speed as we saw on some rushes, but his acceleration and pivot are slow for this level. I don’t think he is going to stick.

Persson had the same issue.

I like Jones. He is learning on the fly and making terrible mistakes, but you can see that it is coming together. The Galenchyuk rush to the net was a top shelf NHL play. He got burned badly, but I bet he takes that one to the bank and learns for the next time.

Bear just keeps getting better. What a find he has been. I think he is our best Dman.

It’s unfortunate that Nurse ended up on the shooting end of some great Drai passes. He either missed the net or shot it into the goalie’s crest. Not the guy we want shooting the high danger opportunities.

JimmyV1965

I think I need some therapy. I can’t stop thinking about how good this team would be if the Drai line was the second best on the team. One winger makes it happen. Frick!! I don’t want to wait until next season. I’ll have to go to a quiet place and stomp and scream and pull my hair out.

Woodguy v2.0

Bag of Pucks:
Woodguy v2.0,

31. Shite. That is too too old for the Snow White contract.

Bob’s Vezina caliber when he’s on but that will undoubtedly be a boat anchor.

What Florida’s deal? They fire Gallant cos he’s not an analytics guy, then they hire a GM who’s also not an analytics guy. They seem to be flip flopping?

Not sure that Gallant was an “analytics firing”.

Apparently it was Tom Rowe (GM at the time) who had the beef with Gallant.

The venom sent the ” computer boys” way was misguided.

FLA still has a very analytics heavy drafting department.

John Chambers

JimmyV1965,

It’s a real conundrum for Holland (and fans).

The Oilers could trade a 5th for Tyler Ennis (the hockey player), trust the current roster to make noise in these playoffs, and we’d have a pile of assets to make moves in future years.

But if they lose in game 7 of the 1st or 2nd round you’d kick yourself thinking that if they’d only spent their bullets to acquire Tatar or Pageau.

At the very least Holland appears patient and won’t overspend.

Wilde

Just wall-to-wall nephews, the entire team, the entire team is nephews help me

v4ance

Woodguy v2.0: Aging curve, age and cap hit and term.

1) Aging curve & Age – Bob turned 31 before he played one game of his 7 year contract.Only the highest end goalies curve down around 35, most are around 33, Bob isn’t high end enough and has been too up and down to bank on 35.

In the last 5 years he had two really high end years. 16/17 and 17/18.Not a consistent enough track record to bet on long term.

2) Cap Hit – with the Price contract and Ludqvist contract every GM in the league learned the lesson of “overpaying goalies isn’t worth it, even if they’re good as it handcuffs the cap, and no goalie is *that* much better than everyone else”

Every GM but Tallon apparently.

3) Term – giving 7 years to a 31 year old isn’t smart pretty much ever at most positions, but especially at goalie.

Maybe they saw Luongo age well in his second stint with Florida and they felt Bob was going to be just as good. Luongo was re-acquired from Van at age 34 and was a solid starter for another 5 years.
I guess some management can’t tell the difference between “outliers” and normal aging curves.

Then again, maybe Bob gets better in his second year. He’ll figure out how to adjust his style to fit the Panthers’ defensive system so he’s in better position to make saves. But that could be counteracted by Bob’s reflexes just slowing down like a normal person.

jtblack

ashley,

“Benson has a skating problem. He is going to have to find a way to reinvent himself to be effective at the NHL level. He can get to top speed as we saw on some rushes, but his acceleration and pivot are slow for this level. I don’t think he is going to stick.”

I def noticed that last night as well ….his edge work isn’t great, and what you mentioned .. He has trouble just covering the point man, and sticking with his check ….

Going to be tough for him to be impactful at this level … I watched him in junior and he clearly had skill, I knew his skating wasn’t good, but when he is on the ice against NHL skaters, it’s pronounced how poor his stride is …

cheering for Benson, but clearly some work to do …

Darth Tu

jtblack:
ashley,

“Benson has a skating problem. He is going to have to find a way to reinvent himself to be effective at the NHL level. He can get to top speed as we saw on some rushes, but his acceleration and pivot are slow for this level. I don’t think he is going to stick.”

I def noticed that last night as well ….his edge work isn’t great, and what you mentioned .. He has trouble just covering the point man, and sticking with his check ….

Going to be tough for him to be impactful at this level … I watched him in junior and he clearly had skill, I knew his skating wasn’t good, but when he is on the ice against NHL skaters, it’s pronounced how poor his stride is …

cheering for Benson, but clearly some work to do…

Bear struggled with his skating (at least to my eye) in his first stint in the NHL. Heck, people thought Yamamoto and Drai struggled in their first go arounds. I’m not willing to write Benson off based on 4 games.

This NHL experience he’s gaining right now should give him clear, definite pointers on what he has to work on to take it up a notch. Fingers crossed he is pounding the skate work this summer and comes into camp ready to go for next year. There is a player there for sure.

Bag of Pucks

Woodguy v2.0: Not sure that Gallant was an “analytics firing”.

Apparently it was Tom Rowe (GM at the time) who had the beef with Gallant.

They are sent the ” computer boys” was was misguided.

FLA still has a very analytics heavy drafting department.

Opinion seems split on what motivated the Gallant firing.

https://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/florida-panthers/fl-hyde-panthers-column-1129-20161128-column.html

https://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/florida-panthers/sfl-gallant-firing-wasn-t-about-analytics-had-more-to-do-with-my-strong-opinions-20170109-story.html

This is interesting because you have the same newspaper essentially overturning it’s earlier report with a different reporter, in reaction to new information from Gallant. The question I would have is, was Gallant quashing the earlier reports because he didn’t want to be perceived in the NHL as an anti-analytics coach?

The first article makes it clear that Panthers ownership and Rowe were/are hugely analytics driven and I do recall reports at the time where Rowe had expressed differences of opinion with Gallant’s roster deployment vs what the numbers were suggesting.

I think the reality here is the Gallant firing was at least partially motivated by analytics and that decision left some egg on their face when the Panthers proceeded to miss the playoffs and Gallant lights it up with the GKs. This theory seems plausible especially in light of Tallon reasserting his influence.

What’s really interesting about this is the questions around where analytics will ultimately influence the game. It’s already established in drafting and pro procurement as it should be and with the best teams, I would imagine it’s hugely influential in cap management and lineup decisions. But what about in game roster deployment? That’s where there seems to be a good amount of friction still with some HCs preferring to go with their eyes and guts. Once the chip is in the puck, there will be data to challenge those decisions too. This could get fun!

Wonder Llama

LLAMA LLOWETIDE LLEXICON (E – N)

EDMONTON OILERS: A team in the National Hockey League.

EYE TEST/SEEN HIM GOOD: On December 1, 2014 Coyotes rookie Tobias Rieder scored two shorthanded goals against the Oilers on the same penalty kill. Sign that kid up first chance you get! In 67 games with the Oilers Rieder scored zero goals. In the immortal words of Obi-Wan Kenobi: “Your eyes can deceive you. Don’t trust them.”

FANCYSTATS/FANCIES: Advanced analytics for hockey in the tradition of the pioneering work of Oakland Athletics GM Billy Beane and including the insights of several Lowetide contributors like WoodGuy and G Money. Includes things like barking corgis and PDO mirages. Does not include plus/minus unless it supports your current narrative.

FIFTY: The number of points Ryan Nugent-Hopkins might someday score if all the planets align and he finally shaves his sideburns.

GALES OF NOVEMBER: A reference to the 1976 Gordon Lightfoot song “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” this frightening phrase acknowledges the Oilers’ recent history of futility in the 11th month when playoff hopes come on deck and say “fellas it’s been good to know ya.”

GET GOOD PLAYERS, KEEP GOOD PLAYERS: A Lowetidian paraphrase of a quotation from legendary NY Islanders coach Al Arbour. https://oilersnation.com/2013/08/24/get-good-players/ Oilers management reportedly misheard this advice and attempted to sign both Kerry King and Buffy.

GOALIES ARE VOODOO: Goalies like to be hit really hard with frozen discs of vulcanized rubber. Goalies talk to their posts and throw up before games. Goalies are butterflies and snow angels. You don’t want to draft them too high or give them too long a contract, but almost everything depends on them. Goalies are voodoo.

GORD: Yahweh/God/Allah.

GRIFFIN REINHART: Matthew Barzal and Sebastian Aho.

JULTZING: Inspired by former Oiler defenceman Justin Schultz, it is the practice of defending by skating away from an attacking forward with one’s stick vaguely pointing towards him, just out of reach. Schultz was fine really but he was more MAB than CFP so his lack of TBCs got him traded to Pittsburgh where he promptly won a Stanley Cup. We’re all really happy for him. I guess.

KEEP YOUR POWDER DRY: Wikipedia can tell you all about muskets, Oliver Cromwell and early 19th century poems, but for Lowetidians it means don’t make unnecessary trades or free agent signings based on emotion or desperation. Example: In what appeared to be an emotional reaction to his poor point production in the 2017 playoffs Jordan Eberle was traded for Ryan Strome. In what appeared to be a desperate reaction to Strome’s initial poor point production in 2018, he was traded for Ryan Spooner. Jordan Eberle plays well enough for the NY Islanders. Ryan Strome plays beautifully for the NY Rangers. Ryan Spooner plays in Switzerland. All this is fine since the Oilers have no need for a scoring winger or third line centre. [EDIT: It all worked out in the end as Samwise Gamgee meets both those needs.]

MATERIAL: The difference OP makes.

MENDOZA LINE: 1. A reference to MLB shortstop Mario Mendoza and to .200 as a minimum competent batting average. So the Mendoza Line in hockey might be 10 goals per season for a forward or a .900 SV% for a goaltender, YMMV.
2. What you don’t want to push McBain over. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOk4hQXbGDs

MICHELLE JENNEKE: A world-class Australian track and field athlete who deserves nothing but our utmost respect and admiration. Also, she’s crazy fucking hot Good Gord. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdexkdpkIgk

MILES TO GO/EARLY DAYS: A reference to the Robert Frost poem Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening and the lines “The woods are lovely, dark and deep; But I have promises to keep; And miles to go before I sleep…” Simply an acknowledgement that things can change. Example: It’s November 24, 2019 and the Edmonton Oilers are 16-7-2 but these are early days and there are miles to go before they collapse.

MUSIC!: One-word Lowetidian exclamation of joy when things actually go right. Example: In the fourth and fifth rounds of the 2015 draft the Oilers chose defencemen Caleb Jones and Ethan Bear. Both have been developed and ripened within the organization and are becoming real NHL defencemen just when we need them. Music!

NADIR’S RAIDERS: Ralph Nader first became famous in the 1960s as a consumer advocate, most notably vis-à-vis the auto industry and such substandard models as the Chevrolet Corvair and the Ford Pinto. The group of law students who helped him investigate the FTC were known as “Nader’s Raiders.” Nadir is rock bottom, like finishing last in the NHL and picking first in the draft. Then doing it again. I’m sure there’s a joke about Lennart Petrell being unsafe at any speed here somewhere but I can’t quite reach it so here’s a song about a car: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wYveoz8ga0

BONE207

Llove your work.
There should be a bottle of whiskey named after you on the shelves of the Lowetide Bar & Grill.

Ryan

Coke machine: in the hunt for the next Milan Lucic, the Oilers wasted a plethora of draft picks drafting large, rugged players who lacked projectable NHL offensive ability.

Hind banana

Shine box. Rob Schremp get your shine box!

We wait.

Barbara Anne Scott: play of Oilers defenseman based on evaluation from Pat Quin.

Toonces: Steve Tambellelini.

Denver boot. Weak link player.

Calm your tits

God’s flashlight. 5v5/60

Acid eater: Dennis Grebeshkov who was prone to hearing dog whistles and make bad plays.

Wonder Llama

Patience. There is an interactive component at the end.

Also, see yesterday’s entry for Coke Machines and Calm Tits.

Andy Dufresne

Ive heard the term “hind banana” beofre but never knew its meaning or origin. Did a google search and couldnt find a good answer BUT I did find this from our last Glory Year 2016-17 and found it interesting

Game 35 2016/17

21 Dec 2016 ⋅ by Lowetide ⋅ in oilers 16-17 games ⋅ 558 Comments ⋅ Tags: mcdavid, oilers 16-17 games, puljujarvi, slepyshev

There are dozens of little things that bind Oilers fans together, and I understand most of them. The searing memory of Fernando Pisani damn near scoring third period G7 SCF 2006, the night the city won the lottery, the baffled moment we learned Jesse Niinimaki was going to be the first round pick, challenging Jeff Petry to be better in another town, sucking hind banana on any national game—especially Saturday night.

I understand you, I get you, I am you—save for one thing. I do not understand why Oilers fans are so damned angry about losing to the Arizona Coyotes. The Coyotes are made to frustrate like a Jacques Lemaire comb over, and they do it well. If you are looking forward to a work of art tonight, well, that’s on you. If you are insisting on an Oilers win, what part of history don’t you understand? The Edmonton Oilers will make more mistakes than the Arizona Coyotes tonight. We should be lighting candles and praying to the God of luck—who is probably Dave Tippett.

#GodofLuck

Perhaps “God of Luck” should be added to the LLama Library of Lowetidisms

The god of luck is on our side now!

Numenius

jtblack:
ashley,

I def noticed that last night as well ….his edge work isn’t great, and what you mentioned .. He has trouble just covering the point man, and sticking with his check…

I saw just the opposite of this last night, at least at one point. He stuck on the point man extremely well despite some fancy dangles. I thought “maybe he’s not fast but at least he can anticipate and defend.”

But maybe I missed other bad plays. I didn’t see the whole game.

Bag of Pucks

Wonder Llama,

Griffin Reinhart definition. Brilliant. Hindsight is a veritable superpower.

Mr DeBakey

No hindsight required.
A terrible trade from minute one.
Then got worse.

Bag of Pucks

Not disputing it was a bad trade. What’s obvious is the degree of how bad it was deemed is directly proportionate to the amount of hindsight applied to the draft picks in question. It was Erickson Ek for example. The Oil were never going to select Barzal.

Wonder Llama

I have wasted a shameful amount of time constructing alternate universe Oiler forward lines.

Most require a salary cap north of 100 MM.

Bag of Pucks

For me, the classic definition of jultzing is turning the puck over on the pp on an ill advised pinch AND then lollygagging on the backcheck so you have a good view of your tender hung out to dry.

mit167

Totally off topic but, Khaira and a sweetener / prospect for Marleau and Super Joe. They both are UFA at the end of the season. The money equals out and maybe balance. Line combinations are endless.

Woodguy v2.0

Bag of Pucks,

I can’t say much more here other than *I know* the analytics guys had no problem with Gallant.

Fialakov has it right. It was basically Gallant telling Rowe what he thought of his decisions.

Bag of Pucks

Inside skinny. Gotcha.

OriginalPouzar

Oilers practice at 11 this morning.

I’m sure we won’t get any confirmation on McDavid playing tomorrow but, if he’s a full participant, that means that he isn’t showing any “ill-effects” for skating 4 times in the last two days and would be a good sign.

More than anything, I’m anxious to see if Archie is on the ice – I have a feeling that elbow has done a bit of damage.

I think this is the first “real practice” since Klef was deemed out and I wonder if there will be a Bear on PP1 sighting – I think all/most Oiler fans hope so.

Woodguy v2.0

Bag of Pucks,

BPA at 16 and 32 were Barzal on almost all list and Aho on many.

Doesn’t matter what the Oilers would have done.

You don’t give BOS a pass on taking Senschyn and Zorbil either.

Especially after Mike Parkatti gave a presentation to Pete et.al about why Barzal might slide and how he was a top 5 pick in many drafts if he was healthy in his draft year.

OriginalPouzar

The first line was absolute fire last night but they had no help from the other 3 lines. First time since McDavid went down that it really hurt.

Oh well, it happens.

The “2nd line” looked fine to me early but regressed as the game went on and I think it was largely due to the Archie injury. Hope he’s OK.

The Nurse/Bear pairing we OK last night but the bottom two looked like 4 rookies.

Real tough game for Larsson, his first poor game in a while – and Jones couldn’t cover and looked a little rookieish.

Lagesson was over-whelmed last night – a poor game – a rookie game.

Hopefully we see some recovery in the 4 line game and the bottom two pairing tomorrow.

Andy Dufresne

People will marvel about the Draisaitl deflection goal for years like they did with the “Magic Bullet” in the Kennedy assasination. It defies rational explanation.

His skate was moving North but the puck deflected South, then took a myterious right hand turn and moved down and to the left. (or some such thing)

It will be on highlight reels for years and one day Oliver Stone will make a movie about it.

Bag of Pucks

Woodguy v2.0:
Bag of Pucks,

BPA at 16 and 32 were Barzal on almost all list and Aho on many.

Doesn’t matter what the Oilers would have done.

You don’t give BOS a pass on taking Senschyn and Zorbil either.

Especially after Mike Parkatti gave a presentation to Pete et.al about why Barzal might slide and how he was a top 5 pick in many drafts if he was healthy in his draft year.

It matters what the Oilers would have done because that is reality. Discounting reality makes this a purely theoretical, and imo, an arbitrary exercise.

Every team misses on draft picks and Barzal slid past many teams that day.

Nobody gives the Oilers a free pass for that trade, particularly in light of how deep that draft was.

But all of the hindsight hysteria assumes the Oil would’ve nailed those picks (Barzal AND Aho lol) when their draft history and the leaks on the Erikkson Ek considerations say otherwise.

If the Oil don’t make that trade, they more than likely screw up the picks anyway. For me, that’s why the organizational damage assigned to this trade almost always trends into massive hyperbole.

Passing on Larsson and then trading Hall to get him was way more damaging a setback. Because that was real not theoretical.

meanashell11

Bag of Pucks:
LT’s morning post and WG’s league summaries with coffee brewing and no hangover.

I feel like Steve Martin. “The new phone book is here! The new phone book is here!”

Shut up you jerk!

Bag of Pucks

I was wondering when someone was going to pick up that low hanging fruit! ?

Bag of Pucks

I could’ve had a threesome with two very attractive and slightly inebriated young ladies. All the signals were there. I didn’t because…marriage vows. Talk about a massive setback.

That missed menage was my own personal Reinhart trade.

OriginalPouzar

McDavid and Bear on PP1 at practice today.

Great sign for McDavid possibly playing tomorrow and, as I figured, they wanted Bear to get some PP1 practice time before putting him there in a game.

Victoria Oil

Ryan:
If you’re not laughing, you’re crying…

From the Athletic…

https://theathletic.com/1621969/2020/02/20/lebrun-what-dillon-gives-capitals-hurricanes-interest-in-petry-and-more/?article_source=related

A player I believe Carolina likes a lot is Jeff Petry, and I mean, who doesn’t. Which is also why Montreal doesn’t want to move him….


What kind of package could Carolina throw at the Habs? I’m thinking something like a first-round pick and prospect blueliner Jake Bean, 21, a first-round pick, 13th overall, in 2016. That’s something I think Carolina would do to entice the Canadiens.

But that probably wouldn’t cut it for Montreal…

Man. 32-year-old Jeff Petry with one year left at $5.5 and teams are lining up packages.

How did we end up getting a second and fifth rounders for a 27-year-old Petry? (I know his contract was mismanaged and he was sold as a rental).

That stings.

True dat

Andy Dufresne

Why did Vegas let Gallant go? Hes a players Coach so I doubt the team quit on him.

Was Gallant pissed at some of the moves that the GM made? In other words was he fired in both Florida and Vegas for speaking truth to power? ( or at least Gerards version of the truth)

Victoria Oil

John Chambers:
JimmyV1965,

It’s a real conundrum for Holland (and fans).

The Oilers could trade a 5th for Tyler Ennis (the hockey player), trust the current roster to make noise in these playoffs, and we’d have a pile of assets to make moves in future years.

But if they lose in game 7 of the 1st or 2nd round you’d kick yourself thinking that if they’d only spent their bullets to acquire Tatar or Pageau.

At the very least Holland appears patient and won’t overspend.

With his low cap hit, I think Ennis would cost a bit more than a 5th rounder.

RonnieB

Bag of Pucks,

You’re seriously suggesting the Oilers should have taken Larsson with the 1st pick rather than Nuge ?
OK then.

Professor Q

RonnieB:
Bag of Pucks,

You’re seriously suggesting the Oilers should have taken Larsson with the 1st pick rather than Nuge ?
OK then.

If they then proceeded to trade him for Seguin?

Bag of Pucks

RonnieB:
Bag of Pucks,

You’re seriously suggesting the Oilers should have taken Larsson with the 1st pick rather than Nuge ?
OK then.

I would’ve preferred that to trading Hall for Larsson.

Larsson WAS in the conversation for 1OV that year particularly amongst pundits advocating that the Oil draft for need. He was projected to have much more offensive upside than he’s realized in the pros. And there were concerns over how heavily weighted RNH’s production was on the PP.

Do you know what BPA advocates hate to acknowledge? Drafting for positional need and intangibles can work. The Oil passed on BPA Sam Bennett for the big C they coveted in Draisaitl. Likewise the Jackets with Dubois over Puljujarvi. Though less obvious, Ryan Murray as a positional need pick has proven to be a better pick than BPA Yakupov.

OilClog

Bennett was not BPA

stephen sheps

Bennett was absolutely in the convo for 1OV that season. Ran into more than a few top scouts as well as the bobfather at the KRock centre in Kingston that season. Lots of “hockey men” loved him.

Bag of Pucks

You are wrong sir. Mackenzie list had Bennett at 3, Leon at 4.

Bag of Pucks

Btw, the Flames missing out on Leon is something that should warm the heart of every Oilers fan.

Bank Shot

Central Scouting had Bennett at 1.

Reja

Andy Dufresne:
Why did Vegas let Gallant go? Hes a players Coach so I doubt the team quit on him.

Was Gallant pissed at some of the moves that the GM made? In other words was he fired in both Florida and Vegas for speaking truth to power?( or at least Gerards version of the truth)

Both firings sure looked personal no other rational meaning. If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck, it is a duck.

Andy Dufresne

Is It:

Did the Wild make you cry
Make you break down
Shatter your illusions of winning

And is it over now, do you know how
Pick up the pieces and go home.

Or the more complex lyric from Average White Band:

Pick up the pieces, uh-huh
Pick up the pieces, alright
Pick up the pieces, uh-huh
Pick up the pieces, woot!

Woot!

Ahhh!
Pick up the pieces
Pick up the pieces
Pick up the pieces
Woot!
Pick up the pieces
Wow!
.
.
#AverageWhiteGuysCantLyric

OilClog

Sadly the Oilers were employing the only GM in the league that would trade Hall for Larsson straight up.