And the Spotlight Looks Like a Prison Break

If you only knew. If you only knew. The Dallas Stars of 20 years ago were beauty and the beast, Mike Modano on a majestic rush combined with Derian Hatcher’s maniacal play and Mike Keane’s mouth and stickwork. If the NHL of the late 1990’s were a western, the Dallas Stars were surely Frank Miller. There was more than a touch of Frank Miller in the play of the Stars last night, so watching the Oilers win had special value. This road trip is madness. The piano has been drinking. The spotlight looks like a prison break.

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: How the Oilers deadline deals might alter summer plans
  • New Jonathan Willis: Splitting Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl saved the Oilers’ season
  • Lowetide: Is the OHL still the Oilers’ primary resource at the draft?
  • Lowetide: The Oilers’ 2017 draft and the value of waiting five years
  • Jonathan Willis: Oilers’ AHL factory has produced three NHL defencemen, with more on the way
  • Jonathan Willis: Andreas Athanasiou injured, Mike Green elevated in Oilers’ loss to Vegas
  • Lowetide: Andreas Athanasiou acquisition might give the Oilers a scoring winger for McDavid cluster.
  • Jonathan Willis: Oilers salvage a point as newcomers settle in (and produce) with Connor McDavid
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Are Oilers poised for a long playoff run after Ken Holland’s deadline moves?
  • Lowetide: Ken Holland’s Oilers trade deadline active, targeted and predictable
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Andreas Athanasiou acquisition the most intriguing deadline move for Oilers
  • Jonathan Willis: Shrewd addition of Tyler Ennis gives the Oilers insurance, options up front
  • Jonathan Willis: Connor McDavid returns to the Oilers; now the task is to get him linemates
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Oilers bolster blue line by acquiring Mike Green; Is a scoring winger next?
  • Lowetide: Oilers’ European prospects offer interesting options for the future
  • 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: Stepping out and up, Leon Draisaitl puts himself in the Hart Trophy mix in Connor McDavid’s absence
  • Lowetide: Making sense of the Oilers defensive depth chart for the stretch run and the summer

OILERS AFTER 67 GAMES

  • Oilers in 2015-16: 25-35-7, 57 points; goal differential -31
  • Oilers in 2016-17: 35-23-9, 79 points; goal differential +11
  • Oilers in 2017-18: 29-34-4, 62 points; goal differential -37
  • Oilers in 2018-19: 30-30-7, 67 points; goal differential -20
  • Oilers in 2019-20: 36-23-8, 80 points; goal differential +7

Amazing. The current Oilers, who deploy a No. 3 center who went 0-for-15 in the faceoff circle last night, have 80 points and are on a mission from God to make the playoffs. This isn’t a hockey team anymore. It’s a movement.

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: 4-2-1

OILERS IN MARCH

  • Oilers in March 2016: 2-0-0, four points; goal differential +5
  • Oilers in March 2017: 1-1-0, two points; goal differential -1
  • Oilers in March 2018: 0-2-0, zero points; goal differential -3
  • Oilers in March 2019: 2-0-0, two points; goal differential +5
  • Oilers in March 2020: 2-0-0, two points; goal differential +6

WHAT TO EXPECT IN MARCH

  • On the road to: NAS, DAL, CHI (Expected 1-1-1) (Actual 2-0-0)
  • At home to: CBJ, WPG, VEG, NYI (Expected 2-2-0)
  • On the road to: PHI, WAS, OTT (Expected 1-1-1)
  • At home to: TBY, ANA, COL, SJS, ANA, VEG (Expected: 3-2-1)
  • Overall expected result: 7-6-3, 17 points in 16 games
  • Current results: 2-0-0, 4 points in two games

The early days of March have the team out in front of my predictions but you’ll notice the schedule is not easy as we move toward the Ides of March. This is a fantastic start to the final month of the season.

OILERS 2019-20

I don’t think the McDavid line as it stands is going to last much longer (mentioned that yesterday) and with James Neal back in action maybe we see the band get back together (Kassian and Neal with 97). Khaira at center looked solid, Klefbom back soon is fabulous. Koskinen stole that game, people. All numbers five on five and via NST.

LINE 1 Nuge-Leon Draisaitl-Kailer Yamamoto played 9:57, going 5-15 Corsi, 4-9 shots, no goals and 0-4 HDSC. Played 9:48 against Heiskenan-Johns, getting outshot 10-4.

Nuge was the offensive star of the game, going 1-1-2 all on the man advantage. He didn’t move the needle at all at five on five. No shots, no HDSC. It’s a theme. Leon Draisaitl won nine of 15 in the faceoff circle, had a takeaway and a giveaway and three shots. Took a penalty, had an assist that came on the power play. Kailer Yamamoto had a giveaway, a big shot black and checked like a demon. Like every Oilers player, he got rocked by a physical Stars team several times.

LINE 2 Tyler Ennis-Connor McDavid-Josh Archibald played 7:43 and were positively caved by Dallas: 3-14 Corsi, 2-8 shots, no goals and 1-2 HDSC. Outshot 7-1 by Gurianov-Dickenson-Hintz.

Tyler Ennis had one shot, one HDSC and got lucky as his stick got high on Jamie Benn but the referees missed it. Connor McDavid’s assist came on the power play, at five on five he had one shot, drew a penalty and won six of 14 on the dot. Josh Archibald worked hard but didn’t get a lot done. I think we see a shuffle for the McDavid line soon. Archibald was solid on the PK.

LINE 3 Andreas Athanasiou-Riley Sheahan-Zack Kassian played 8:04, going 6-5 Corsi, 6-2 shots, no goals and 1-0 HDSC.

Andreas Athanasiou had three shots and a HDSC, one of only four forwards to get one at five on five. He also took a minor penalty twice and will need to iron that out of his game in a quick hurry. Still early days, want to see him have some scoring success. Riley Sheahan got the golden sombrero in the faceoff circle, had one shot, a giveaway and at least a couple of plays where he put his mates in more peril than he would have by just leaving well enough alone. He’s struggling lately. Zack Kassian had a takeaway and played a physical game on a night where the Oilers were getting thrown about with abandon.

LINE 4 James Neal-Jujhar Khaira-Alex Chiasson played 6:46, going 6-5 Corsi, 2-3 shots, no goals and 0-1 HDSC.

James Neal had some jump in his first game back in ages. He had one shot, drew a penalty, turned over pucks (although he got no credit). Played well. Jujhar Khaira won three of seven in the dot, had a HDSC, two giveaways, hammered Dickenson at the Oilers bench. Sent a pass from his own corner to the slot that found Radulov. Incredibly poor decision. Alex Chiasson scored a huge goal, it was a beauty in overtime. Had one shot, HDSC, drew a penalty. Damn near scored in regulation, too. A good game for Chiasson.

PAIRING ONE Darnell Nurse and Ethan Bear played 17:13, going 12-14 Corsi, 8-11 shots, no goals and 1-2 HDSC.

Darnell Nurse had one shot, one giveaway and three blocked shots. I thought he had a terrible first period. Ethan Bear had two shots and a takeaway, he was challenged by the fleet Stars forecheck but performed well to my eye. In photo on the Klingberg PP goal but what the hell are you supposed to do with that shot? Gurianov beat Bear clean early in the game, reminded us the quality rookie blue is still finding his way.

PAIRING TWO Caleb Jones-Adam Larsson played 13:01, getting fed 6-26 Corsi (!!), 6-14 shots, no goals and 1-5 HDSC. Spent much of the evening with the Draisaitl line and against the Heiskanen pairing, the Faksa line.

Caleb Jones had one shot on goal and used his mobility to get advantage, but it was a tough night. Adam Larsson had one shot and was a hammer on a night when the Oilers badly needed on. I thought his penalty was earned, Larsson’s stick clearly got part of the facial area of his opponent.

PAIRING THREE Kris Russell and Matt Benning played 8:43, going 6-4 Corsi, 3-1 shots no goals and 2-1 HDSC.

Kris Russell had two shots, and looked far better than he did in his first games back after the layoff. Strong PK. Matt Benning had a clean slate, not much shaking at either end. That’s a good thing for defensemen. A turnover or two exposed him but I thought he played well overall.

GOALIE Mikko Koskinen was the biggest factor in the game, full stop. Stopped 42 of 43, .977. He played only two games in January, six in February. He is 3-5-0 since January 1, with a save percentage of .917.

THE WHO BY NUMBERS

Edmonton’s five on five Corsi is 48.06 (No. 26), the shot differential is 48.59 (No. 21) and the goal differential is 46.79 (No. 25). Save percentage .9103 (No. 27). Shooting percentage? 8.34 (No. 16).

What is keeping the Oilers afloat? Special teams. Great PP, Great PK.

In “all situations” the Oilers goal differential is 51.08 (No. 15) and the save percentage is .9044 (No. 15). Shooting percentage 10.65 (No. 2).

I can’t see Arizona catching Edmonton now, they have 30 points in play (15 games) and trail by eight points. Let’s say the Coyotes go on a heater and finish 10-5-0 in the home stretch. That would leave them with 92 points, meaning Edmonton would need to go 6-8-1 to finish with 93 points and land ahead of Arizona. The Bettman era means catching teams is like climbing Everest.

LINES

The lines won’t work like this. Something has to be done. In 23:55 together Ennis-97-Archibald have been outshot 8-17 and have an expected goal percentage of 26.24. The fact the actual goal differential is 2-1 is interesting, and McDavid does this routinely but this line is not good.

Andreas Athanasiou-Riley Sheahan-Zack Kassian have played 19:01 together and have a shot share of 63.64 (14-8) despite being 0-1 goals. That’s the one line (aside from the Nuge trio) that might have some sustain.

McDavid’s trio needs a fix and right soon.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN1260, we hit the ground running with fresh mountain quality. Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal will review the two exceptional road games that (imo) signal a real change in this team’s persona. Joe Osborne from OddsShark talks NHL, NBA and NCAA brackets for March madness. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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332 Responses to "And the Spotlight Looks Like a Prison Break"

« Older Comments
  1. duct tape and foil says:

    I think people are forgetting that Mikko was hurt around the holidays. Not enough to keep him out, and the team kept it pretty low key, but Iʻm pretty sure he was nursing something.

  2. Reja says:

    jtblack:
    Lots to catch up on …..

    “on a night where the Oilers were getting thrown about with abandon.”

    I notoced that as well.Dallas are big and physical. I think they will give COL all they can handle.

    As for as Cap rising I do think it can help teams that have 1 or 2 albatross contracts (hello Jeff Skinner).All teams will benefit but I don’t think its Net Zero.

    Anthony Stewart on Sportsnet has Edm winning the West.…… and the Cup.

    The Yamo,Bear & Jones Impact cnt be understated.Emphasizes the importanceof keeping the pipeline full.ALL teams can bebefit from this but the impact differs depending on quality of players gradusting to the NHL.

    Bear and Yamamoto’s impact based on Cap Hit is probably comparable to Drai and McD.

    DRAI & MCD are all world, but they also account for 25% of the teams cap.

    BEAR & YAMO have had major impacts and account for 3% of the Cap.

    They are a nasty bunch and will be hard to knock off. If they end up playing the Av’s and the Av’s manage to win they’ll be beat to rat shit.

  3. OriginalPouzar says:

    russ:
    The NHLPA has a lot to say about the cap, and last year’s hold fast to protest Escrow was a shot across the bow.

    I doubt they approve a huge increase this summer without a CBA bargaining chip in return.

    The cap is based off a projection of HRR – its a mathematical calculation.

    What that players have the ability to do is use an “escalator” which artificially raises the cap but hits them with escrow.

    They don’t really have an ability to “sign off” on the number.

  4. New Improved Darkness says:

    Only out of deference to our illustrious host am I not immediately renaming my account Paunch and Rudy.

    The Trump administration has come under criticism amidst the outbreak for its proposed cuts in overall health funding in 2018. The Centers for Disease Control was forced to slash 80% of its global disease outbreak program as CDC funding was cut.

    Created in 2014, the program operated in 49 countries, but the CDC planned to reduce or eliminate operations in 39 of those countries. In its fiscal 2020 budget, the Trump administration proposed eliminating funding for epidemiology and laboratory capacity at state and local levels.

    An additional $30 million ‘Complex Crises Fund’ had also been cut entirely, which would have allowed the State Department to fund deployment of disease experts in the event of outbreaks.

    In May 2018, President Donald Trump’s national security advisor John Bolton disbanded a National Security Council global health security team that was responsible for leading the American response to a pandemic.

    While the CDC has announced plans to screen people for the coronavirus, only three of the 100 public health labs were reported to be fitted for that role even after delays, which has been credited to the agency’s funding cuts.

    President Trump has been further criticized for proposing further cuts to the CDC and National Institute of Health budgets, pegged at 16% and 10% respectively in a released 2021 white paper, seemingly during the midst of the outbreak on 11 February 2020. The proposed budget also called for a $65 million cut to the US’ contribution to funding for the WHO.

    In response to the criticisms of the administration’s handling of the crisis, Mick Mulvaney, the White House’s acting Chief of Staff in a speech to a conservative audience event accused the U.S. media of being overly-critical and of “stoking virus fears” in hopes that “this is going to bring down the president.”

    Half of the U.S. president lives and breathes with the hope of bringing down the current president. This is not new. Slick Willie’s ouster was not long ago a fixture in the fantasy life of the other half of America. Obama also had his die-hard detractors—some all tied up in noose knots—but about this group, the less said the better.

    Stoking fears? When we’re already way above the “oh fuck” spontaneous flash point for functioning statistical intelligence?

    The difference between the self-combustion set and those for whom inflammatory accelerant arrived instead in their daily news feed, is that the self-combusted deal with “fear” as a continuous variable. That’s the upside of figuring out lie of the land on your own steam. Those who were “stoked” by the stokers of white and black coal—it takes two to tango—tend to treat fear as a Boolean variable. And before you know it, they’ve invested $2000 into construction-industry dust masks with a virus-filtration coefficient of 0.01%

    Whatever else you might think about the Deep State—some of which is actually true—they were at the same time generally disposed toward stockpiling resources against the possibility of a future pandemic. The entire tribe of Deep State–pathogens is homozygous recessive for bean counting.

    Present circumstances would have been their brief but illustrious day in the sun.

    ———

    Each reply doubles the odds that Lowetide fires me into the sun. I’m totally exposed here. Please bear that in mind about this rare outburst from the forbidden side of the Wuhanese-sneeze debaculus spectaculous.

    [*] D. spectaculous in binomial nomenclature.

    ———

    Fezzik: Tuberculous tobaculus.

    ———

    Li Wenliang: Coronavirus kills Chinese whistleblower doctor — 7 February 2020

    A Chinese doctor who tried to issue the first warning about the deadly coronavirus outbreak has died, the hospital treating him has said Li Wenliang contracted the virus while working at Wuhan Central Hospital. He had sent out a warning to fellow medics on 30 December but police told him to stop “making false comments”.

    ———

    When you’re scuttling Tuttle, it’s hard to keep your Buttle straight.

    Buttle or Tuttle? — 7 February 2020

    ———

    Until I came up with Paunch and Rudy, I would have kept my powder dry, but that’s just too good not to share.

    Miraculously, Google does not report a single pre-existing use of that phrase.

    Did you mean: punch and judy
    No results found for “paunch and rudy”.
    Results for paunch and rudy (without quotes)

    ———

    Finally, I’m not even saying that Trump’s policy was wrong. But rather than this recycled tripe-sandwich about “stoking fear” I’d like to hear the many things the Trump administration also did—surely a full-court press—to encourage others to pick up the slack that belt-tightening America policy changes were likely to introduce into the global system.

    Crickets?

    Damn.

    Seattle draft-expansion postponement now trending into the fourth decimal point.

    ———

    It was an itty-bitty string bikini that she wore like a virgin surgeon for the first time today.

    ———

    To reiterate: Paunch and Rudy is gen-u-ine top drawer. So I shared. Try to leave it alone unless your riposte is equally bar down.

  5. Doug McLachlan says:

    The NHLPA is, like most organizations, not monolithic in it’s position.

    Established players having signed lucrative contracts really don’t like their $ going back to pay escrow so oppose increasing the escalator.

    Players just hitting UFA want as high an escalator as possible so they can “cash in” like the established players before them. Lower escalator means lower cap and not only lower contract $ but also less teams that might be able to sign particularly the top-end talent.

    No easy mix. In the CBA’s early days it was easy to hit the full 5% escalator because the cap was artificially low and using the full amount didn’t result in much if any escrow. In fact I think there was one year where the League had to top up everyone with a bonus to meet the CBA revenue split. Lately, that hasn’t been the case hence the tension within the NHLPA ranks.

  6. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    – Didn’t think I was at all disrespectful.

    – Glad we agree: Koski > Smith, and if Smith = Koski = More wins

    – Smith rocking his .905 SV% this year v Koski’s .906 last year.

    – Many hammered Koski last year relentlessly. This year Smith is worse in the saving shots department of being a goalie, over a large sample while playing on a team way better than Koski did who was also over-worked. Hey we all have blinders in some form.

  7. New Improved Darkness says:

    On the other hand, comments on Paunch and Hrudey is open season.

    I was scared of death: Former NHL goaltender Kelly Hrudey’s daughter goes public with mental illness battle — 3 May 2013

    Take a good look at the last photo, where Ron and Kelly look like the Sedin-twins of the 1000-mile stare.

    So open season, as tastefully as possible.

  8. DieHard says:

    Couple things.
    I know 29, 93 and 56 are a thing right now. We could try 29, 28 and 56 giving 97 a fully thriving 93.

    Just a question: what percent of cap should be spent on goalies? Is 10% reasonable?

  9. DBO says:

    Having depth is so weird. LT has said over and over, get real NHL players. Sheahan, Archibald, etc are actual NHLers. And on D next year is interesting. How much youth can you run? Cause Bouchard will be up. Means Benning is gone. Russell may stay if only cause he plays both sides and can be insurance if needed. Next year’s roster won’t see much turnover.

    Klefbom. Larsson
    Nurse. Bear
    Jones. Bouchard
    Russell

    Benning is trade bait. Or Larsson in a bigger deal. Lagesson will be moved as well if needed.
    Up front I only see Benson graduating. Means Archibald and Sheahan only stay in team friendly deals.
    And it means Neal is likely bought out. Can’t really crack top 6 and at that price point Benson is more valuable

    ???. McDavid. Kassian
    Nuge. Draisatl. Yamamoto
    Benson. Sheahan. Archibald
    Nygard. Khaira. Chiasson

    Ennis is a cheaper option. Meaning Athanasiou is also a possible trade bait, but with his acquisition cost and pedigree he may be likely to be re-signed.

    So Neal buyout or trade.
    Russell trade or buyout would be great, but coaches love him.
    Benning dealt
    Lagesson dealt
    Only one of Ennis or Athanasiou re-signed to play with McDavid.
    Bouchard and Benson up full time.

  10. Dustylegnd says:

    I maintain, when you have 2 of the best players on the planet and a good deal of depth filled in…a cap increase benefits you more than others

    Hockey is Strong Link game…that is a massive advantage for us

  11. LadiesloveSmid says:

    DieHard:
    Couple things.
    I know 29, 93 and 56 are a thing right now. We could try 29, 28 and 56 giving 97 a fully thriving 93.

    Just a question: what percent of cap should be spent on goalies? Is 10% reasonable?

    https://twitter.com/JFreshHockey/status/1234294257290285057?s=20

    “Fun fact: There is not a single starting goalie in the NHL who has been in the 70th percentile of the league or higher in Goals Saved Above Expected/60 in all of the past three seasons.

    The “elite” goalie is a myth in today’s NHL.”

    I’m really not sure that spending much money on goaltending makes a lot of sense. If Lehner is available for a similar pricetag to what he’s making now, that’s intriguing. Koskinen’s cap hit is challenging.

  12. Cassandra says:

    I’ll grant that the benefit is greater to the Oilers than the Avalanche. The Avalanche are the exception here, and in any case the Oilers aren’t competing with the Avalanche they are competing with other teams as well, who are also benefited (i.e. the rising cap is more a disadvantage to the Avalanche than it is an advantage for any other particular team).

    Also, we are talking of an advantage of a couple of million dollars of cap space spread over a number of roster spots. This is not that big an advantage, especially considering it is an advantage over only one team.

  13. Darth Tu says:

    I see your logic, but I’m thinking AA is here for next season. I’m not accusing you of this, but are people genuinely giving up on him already?

  14. Cassandra says:

    Dustylegnd:
    Depends on weather its 84 or 88

    Except for when one of those teams is really only 1 good scoring winger away from special and already has the two best players in the World on the same team

    Hockey is a Strong Link Sport

    Is it true that hockey is a strong link sport? I know people say this, but I am skeptical.

    McDavid’s line doesn’t outscore the opposition no matter who is on the wings.

    Draisatl and Nuge only really took off once Yamamoto was added and he’s the 3rd wheel.

    Didn’t woodguy and GMoney show the detrimental effect of having even one grittensity player on an otherwise top line?

  15. stephen sheps says:

    New Improved Darkness: When you’re scuttling Tuttle, it’s hard to keep your Buttle straight.

    Buttle or Tuttle? — 7 February 2020

    Brazil is such a great movie. Gilliam at his finest.

    I’ve used it as a teaching tool a number of times.

    Brilliant reference.

  16. Doug McLachlan says:

    PinkSocks:
    I would swap the wingers on 23 and 97’s lines and run it for a few games.If AA can’t make it work with McDavid and Kassian then he’s better off batting lower in the lineup and getting Neal back with 97/44.

    With the exception of the perfect pass from Khaira to Radulov, that line was quite effective on a night that not much else rhymed.

    28-97-44
    93-29-56
    63-23-15
    18-16-39

    Ok, let’s figure this out from Tippett’s point of view.

    First off, the given, we run Leon’s line until it breaks.

    Nuge – Draisaitl – Yamomoto

    This isn’t the “problem” it’s maximizing McDavid.

    *****

    xxxx – McDavid – xxxx
    Different horses for different courses so we have a couple of options.

    Neal – McDavid – Kassian
    I’ve heard this suggested but I’m not sure I’m a fan. I would like to know if the numbers bear this out but I think Neal prefers to play is off wing and Kassian’s speed and reckless abandon is nice I don’t know if it’s been shown to work long-term (though he certainly had a good run with McDavid earlier this year).

    AA – McDavid – Ennis
    That first game together in Anaheim looked pretty impressive even with the OTL. If AA’s troubles are related to lingering issues from that LBI, then maybe they should revisit this set up once he’s back up and running at 100%.

    AA – McDavid – Kassian
    Man this is asking a lot of McDavid on the other side of the puck.

    I think my favourite for now is this:

    Ennis – McDavid – Neal
    I have liked Ennis in his short time with McDavid and this puts Neal on his preferred wing. The honey-badger role goes to Ennis and Neal is the trigger man. If anyone can make it work, Connor can. Once Neal was put back into the line-up the organization clearly indicated that that 3rd is headed to Calgary so let’s just get it over with in Chicago.

    *****

    AA – Sheahan – Archie
    Sheahan has played with AA in Detroit and was developing nice chemistry with Archie. If AA can become the fast-break option Sheahan and Archie can hopefully cover up the defensive deficiencies, especially against lesser competition.

    *****

    Chaisson – Jujhar – Kassian
    I have been waiting for JJ to break out of his fog for some time now but to my eye he’s been getting closer of late. Prior to last night I think everyone was expecting Neil to swap out for Chaisson but I think Tippett thought, correctly, that Dallas would be a good game to revisit the tenants of “Big Boy Hockey”. Well this line has that across the board. 6’4″ 208lbs – 6′-4″ 219lbs – 6’3″ 207lbs (but with extra snarl). I don’t agree with the Moar Bigger crowd on most occasions but it has a purpose and a first round series against Calgary/Vancouver or a second round against Vegas (and maybe a 3rd round against St.Louis or Dallas) is that occasion. Ya, I get the whole Kassian is a 4th liner with that contract…Deal with it, we dance with the ones what brung us.

    *****

    That has some extras on the outside looking in (or down) from the press box.

    Haas, who I really like and given the compressed scheduled to the end of the year should still get games. His play has really improved and he has a knack from drawing penalties.

    P.Russell. Love the effort but at a certain point you have to be a threat to cash. Hope he gets one before the end of the season but come post-season he’s a Black Ace.

    Nygaard. Love the speed but even without the hand injury would not crack this top twelve now without an injury. Shame that Bakko is not headed to the post-season since he could use the North American influence. Glad he gets more at-bats next season.

  17. John Chambers says:

    Darth Tu,

    I’d be hard pressed to qualify him at $3M.

    That’s not to say I don’t want him to be an Oiler next season but he’d have to come back on a show-me contract.

    Nice wheels, decent mitts, doesn’t do enough of the little things to be relied upon as a top-line player.

  18. v4ance says:

    Either you’re getting more legible or I’m getting more crazy cuz I’m starting to understand you more!

    The Paunch and Rudy show is entertaining. Almost as good as some deck musicians on the Titanic! Unfortunately instead of the Titanic, we’re all floating around on this big blue super heating globe and the pumpkin Captain has his thumb up his butt eating burgers and rummaging through everyone’s luggage looking for spare change.

    Hey my pain meds must be kicking in!

  19. OriginalPouzar says:

    oilersfan:
    – the increased cap space could be used to sign up bear for 4-7 years instead of only one
    – could be used to re-sign Ennis and sign Slepyshev.
    – watching AA, he reminds me of a faster version of Yakupov. Has the desire , skill and intensity to win but a fairly low hockey iq. Fortinately the speed part is important; what prevented Yak from sticking
    – i wonder if that turnover against Nashville AA made on the second goal was a result of not knowing the system? looks like he was trying to decide where to outlet the puck and in that split second was double teamed and lost the battle
    – i thought the second penalty on AA last night was a terrible call,,, im not sure he touched the Dallas player that fell with his stick (tripping call)l, they were shoving each other and the Dallas player fell…more it was amake up call on the missed penalty on Benn
    – the Ennis/Mcdaivd/Archibald line has two small players on it. I think switching Zack and Archibald would help win more battles and should improve the corsi
    – that being said, the game last night Mcdavid got caved i believe partly as a result of the 3 games in 4 nights, late night flight out of nashville, riding high after the nashville blowout, etc.

    I think 4 years would walk Bear straight to UFA status so, unless he’s taking a big discount on AAV, I do not want that term.

    I agree with signing Bear for term 6-8 years as long as the AAV is “right” and I’m not sure I go higher than $4M at this point, even given the Klefbom contract.

    Re-signing Ennis should be in the $1M range and Slepy not more than $1.3M (the equivalent of the 90M rubbles he’s currently making). Those are contracts that should be signed/contemplated even prior to the higher projection in the cap

    Archie seems to be able to have a good offensive game or two with McDavid and then they regress as an offensive tandem – makes sense given, well, Archie is a bottom six player. Its likely time to let Kass out of the dog-house and move him back up there.

  20. John Chambers says:

    LadiesloveSmid,

    LadiesloveSmid,

    This is why I like the 1A 1B approach to goaltending. No major salary or term commitments to either G and you ride the hot hand.

    Koskinen is overpaid but about $1M but is delivering fair value as 1/2 of a tandem. If you can get league-average goaltending in the $6 – $8M range you’re not in a bad spot.

  21. OriginalPouzar says:

    N64: That’s the pre-covid19 projection.

    If we have a month or two of games played in empty arenas I’d imagine ticket holders will get credit for next season.

    Of course, we don’t need to catastrophize……

  22. godot10 says:

    OriginalPouzar:

    I agree with signing Bear for term 6-8 years as long as the AAV is “right” and I’m not sure I go higher than $4M at this point, even given the Klefbom contract.

    $4 million is NOT enough. Direct comparable who hasn’t played as well, Rasmus Andersson, signed for 6 x $4.55 million.

    6 to 8 years at anything between $4.5 to $5 million should be the range of a Bear deal.

  23. OriginalPouzar says:

    leadfarmer:
    I would be very surprised if the cap doesnt rise just the lowest predicted number.Escrow is one of the biggest complaints of the players and they are going to try to reign that in even further

    I believe the projection is what they project the mathematical HRR number is – without regard to the players potentially using their escalator and it hitting escrow.

  24. PennersPancakes says:

    godot10: Rasmus Andersson

    Whisky Tango Foxtrot. They literally have the same box cars this year.

    + negotiation points for Rasmus: Had an extra season before signing, played 79 NHL games last year compared to bears 0. 2nd round pick vs Bear 5th round.

    + points for Bear: Sick last name,

    Hope to get it as low as possible but you’re right the Rasmus contract would be fair value for both sides!

  25. OriginalPouzar says:

    Cassandra:
    I’ll grant that the benefit is greater to the Oilers than the Avalanche.The Avalanche are the exception here, and in any case the Oilers aren’t competing with the Avalanche they are competing with other teams as well, who are also benefited (i.e. the rising cap is more a disadvantage to the Avalanche than it is an advantage for any other particular team).

    Also, we are talking of an advantage of a couple of million dollars of cap space spread over a number of roster spots.This is not that big an advantage, especially considering it is an advantage over only one team.

    I won’t/can’t disagree with most of that as long as you acknowledge your actual position isn’t what you first stated – something along the lines of a net zero and not helping any one team over the other.

    As for your last paragraph, there are many many examples of where $1M or $2M extra yearly cap dollars could help. Just off the top of my head with a couple of real-life examples:

    – an extra $1M-$2M would have allowed the team to sign Nurse long term as opposed to his current bridge. Both sides wanted the long term deal but the cap space wasn’t there. The long term deal would like have been to similar AAV that his soon to start 2-year UFA end deal is. Imagine having Nurse locked up to that AAV for another 3-4 years – boon for the team and his trade value as well.

    – this off-season, an extra $1M may have allowed Holland to actually sign Connolly instead of having to settle for Chiasson – or maybe it makes him more comfortable with a Burakovsky at $3M and he makes that trade. Maybe he could have signed Lehner instead of Smith?

  26. OriginalPouzar says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    OriginalPouzar,

    – Didn’t think I was at all disrespectful.

    – Glad we agree: Koski > Smith, and if Smith = Koski = More wins

    – Smith rocking his .905 SV% this year v Koski’s .906 last year.

    – Many hammered Koski last year relentlessly. This year Smith is worse in the saving shots department of being a goalie, over a large sample while playing on a team way better than Koski did who was also over-worked.Hey we all have blinders in some form.

    I have no blinders on – as i said, overall and generally, I prefer Koskinen.

    At the same time, this year, being 2020, Smith has been the more consistent and better tender. Last night’s phenomenal performance by Koskinen took him from very poor numbers in his 7 2020 appearances to those equalling Smith.

    There may be blinders the other way.

    ————-

    As I posted before last night’s game, it was important for Mikko to have a solid performance and increase his own confidence because the team is going to need him down the stretch.

  27. tileguy says:

    pts2pndr: I think the coach believes he has a one A and a one B goal tender and that the team can win with both. To decide which one to play he uses a number of factors such as work load, hot hand, record against a given team and the info from his goalie coach to decide which goalie gives his team the best chance to win on a given night. To this point in time what he has been doing is exceeding the expectations of the fan base as a whole.

    So Mike owns the hot hand, let’s see who starts tomorrow. It will tell us a lot about how the coach is viewing his tending.

  28. v4ance says:

    Other Bear comps:

    Jones $850k x 2 RFA years, 3 RFA years of control remaining (6th rounder)
    Will Butcher $3.73M x 3 RFA years UFA right after this deal (COL 5th rounder)
    Mackenzie Weegar After ELC, 3 one year contracts $675k, $900k, and then $1.9M. 1 more RFA year & UFA after (7th rounder)
    Brett Pesce $4.0M x 6 …. 4 RFA +2 UFA years (3rd Rounder)

    So a contract right around $4.0M AAV isn’t out of the realm of possibility based on comps

  29. N64 says:

    In the long term pensioners are dead and GMs with short term disadvantages work for TSN. Just nuts to think that the immediate impact of inflation is the same for all teams.

  30. Harpers Hair says:

    ArmchairGM: Yamamoto and Bear aren’t in the same tier as Pettersson and Hughes though. I think we’ll see tier 1 players getting the lion’s share of the increase, which is what has happened every other time the cap jumped significantly.

    Contracts for all four of those players will come under the new US TV deal.

    You can bet their agents are licking their chops.

    Vancouver has the benefit that Loui Erikksson’s contract can easily bought out that off-season if he’s still around with a minimal cap hit of only $666,000 for two years.

    I would also assume Neal has been disposed of by then but who knows what the cost of that will be.

  31. Bulging Twine says:

    Not sure it was clarified but the higher end of the cap range given, 88.2, is if the players use the full 5% inflator. 84 is without the inflator.

  32. jm363561 says:

    I generally dislike these type of exchanges but this made me laugh. Pescador’s comment was completely unnecessary. He fully deserved the counter punch.

  33. N64 says:

    That was the old line. The new line is that the severe testing bottleneck was a serious issue caused by the previous admin.

    Believe it or not I don’t care how any of this reflects on either party in the Divided States. Nor do the Koreans or Italians that played games with no fans present.

  34. N64 says:

    Of course not. Nor did Italy or Korea. You get the cards you’re dealt. We Wait.

    The topic was the cap. Fortunately this will all be baked into the cap (either way) by July 1.

  35. jm363561 says:

    What has got little attention is the impact on the cap situation of these three breakout players. Add in Benson and Lagesson, a few expiring contracts and, (I expect) a Neal buyout, we move from hell to, at least, purgatory.

  36. v4ance says:

    Here’s an interesting comp….

    Mark Giordano undrafted.
    1st contract $900k x3
    2nd contract $4.0M x 5 UFA years

  37. Harpers Hair says:

    The IIHF just cancelled all March games and tournaments it is eying doing the same for April.

  38. N64 says:

    Yep. And if their are schools closures in NHL cities during first wave arenas won’t be open.

  39. Harpers Hair says:

    Just listened to a radio hit by Pierre Lebrun.

    He thinks the cap will come in around $85 million.

  40. N64 says:

    Events dependent on gate would rather cancel. Events based primarily on TV revenue would rather refund fans and play in empty arenas.

    Italian Soccer just postponed some series on short notice that the home teams were not willing to play in empty arenas.

  41. N64 says:

    No IIHF tourneys during the NHL playoffs might just be relevant to Dys fans if Markstrom doesn’t come back to close the small notch.

    As you’ve alerted us Preds and Wild are on the prowl for Pacific lolly gaggers. Demko better have a big game tonight to slam the door on the Yotes. Objects in rear view mirror are closer than they appear. So we hear. Often.

  42. PennersPancakes says:

    4-5-1 in the last 10. YIKES

  43. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Love Gilliam.

  44. Harpers Hair says:

    20-7-4 at home.
    Next four games are at home.

  45. OriginalPouzar says:

    godot10: $4 million is NOT enough. Direct comparable who hasn’t played as well, Rasmus Andersson, signed for 6 x $4.55 million.

    6 to 8 years at anything between $4.5 to $5 million should be the range of a Bear deal.

    I’m not so sure it isn’t enough,

    Its tough to say that Bear has played better than Andersson – their point totals are the same (although Bear’s top two forwards are McDavid then Drai – he’s been hard matched with two of the best players in the world). While Bear has been a revelation in the top four, moving the puck, etc. he has not been without any a mistake.

    They are comparable but Andersson got his contract after performing for more than one season and also has the higher draft pedigree.

    Klefbom is the other comparable, obviously – I will just say that draft pedigree does indeed matter and Klef was a year younger when his contract was kicking in – he “arrived sooner” because, well, he was a better prospect.

  46. OriginalPouzar says:

    Bulging Twine:
    Not sure it was clarified but the higher end of the cap range given, 88.2, is if the players use the full 5% inflator.84 is without the inflator.

    That is totally different than what I thought – the players won’t be using the escalator under the current CBA I wouldn’t think.

    We are still looking at a $2.5M increase which is about $1M more than originally thought.

  47. N64 says:

    ~ Good to hear Markstrom will be back to replicate his home record ~ #TisButaNotch

  48. Reja says:

    tileguy: So Mike owns the hot hand, let’s see who starts tomorrow. It will tell us a lot about how the coach is viewing his tending.

    At first I thought he would come right back with Kosh but if he rotates them Smith gets CHi where he played great last go around and then VEG. Kosh gets jackets and Jets, that’s my prediction anyhow. I say Tippett gives Smith a go at Vegerville with first place on the line. If we can win the division and get home ice for the first 2 rounds with a rabid crowd growing every game look out.

  49. Reja says:

    The Yotes will be playing desperation hockey if they knock off the Canucks and Flames in regulation they’re right back in it. Hall’s going to come up big the next couple of games.

  50. jm363561 says:

    fries n gravy:
    I’ll evaluate AA’s play after he’s had more time to notice how players on a winning NHL team play.Tough start for him for sure, I’d scratch him for a few games.

    I asked a scout recently how they separate an individual’s play from his sucky team.We were watching a likely 2nd rounder in the next draft who looks like he’s now doing personal showcasing instead of doing team play.I asked how the player could be so dumb with so many scouts watching him every night.Mr. Scout didn’t have a slick answer other than “yeah he’s being dumb but he’s 17”.

    AA better catch up to playoff level play soon.He isn’t 17 and needs a contract.

    The article by Willis on AA attracted a lot of attention. The quote from an unnamed Wings player less so.

    “These young guys come in and think it’s all about the highlights. We’ve all talked to him to try to get him to understand how he’ll be successful, but he doesn’t want to listen.“

    I take comfort from the fact Holland knows the player well and Tippett seems a great man manager. We wait.

  51. geeker99 says:

    I think Yamo has really helped Nuge with his relentless forcheck. Making opposing defenders have to take a step back to make a play. That’s why making playoffs is huge for a franchise. It’s exposes the hockey players in your club. Physical desperation hockey. I would put Kassian back up with Conner as he was taking hits more than usual and hope JJ finds his wheels this month. Nice to be back

  52. jm363561 says:

    Great write up by LT. The amazing special teams performances are masking the underlying weaknesses. Dallas looked by far the better team last night. Lots of work still to be done. As LT notes, consistent line mates for Connor is critical but not helped by AA’s low key start.

    P.S. good to see Sek still playing well. Always liked the guy.

  53. Glovjuice says:

    Georgexs: 1. Not all teams spend to the cap. A salary cap increase would provide relatively more dollars to teams willing to spend to the cap, because the non-cap teams won’t increase their budgets by the entire amount of the salary cap increase, whereas cap teams (like the Oilers) will.

    2. You’re buying groceries for a balanced diet. You, like everyone else who shops in your neighborhood,have a weekly budget. Let’s say a balanced diet includes steak and vegetables. You (no doubt) prefer the finest steak. That costs a lot of money. You don’t have a lot left over for vegetables. So you go without or make do with grubby veggies, while your neighbors, who make do with lower quality steak, get a variety of delicious vegetables as well. They get a more balanced diet.

    Then, one day, everyone’s weekly budget goes up. Everything costs more (dammit), but steak prices increase at a faster pace than vegetable prices. Because everyone knows steak is really, really good for your diet and you can’t turn vegetables into steak.

    But, hey, you have a contract with the grocery that’s locked in your finest steak at a fixed price for the next little while. You now have extra money to spend on veg. Yes, veggie prices are rising but only modestly. So you’re shopping for slightly more expensive carrots and broccoli while your neighbors are going to be shopping for considerably more expensive steak. Compared to your neighbors, your extra dollars are going to do more towards balancing your diet.

    Also, you’ve already locked in the finest steak that your grocery has to offer. Your neighbors can’t get steak that’s nearly as good as what you enjoy. But, because of inflation, they’ll have to pay what you paid for steak that’s less than finest.

    Meanwhile, there’s lots of stock in the produce aisles.

    This is one of the greatest posts in Lowetide history. What a stunningly brilliant mind. I would love your IQ, George.

  54. jm363561 says:

    LadiesloveSmid: https://twitter.com/JFreshHockey/status/1234294257290285057?s=20

    “Fun fact: There is not a single starting goalie in the NHL who has been in the 70th percentile of the league or higher in Goals Saved Above Expected/60 in all of the past three seasons.

    The “elite” goalie is a myth in today’s NHL.”

    I’m really not sure that spending much money on goaltending makes a lot of sense. If Lehner is available for a similar pricetag to what he’s making now, that’s intriguing. Koskinen’s cap hit is challenging.

    Cam Talbot currently ranked 12 by SV%. He says hi. I seem to recall Holland has made similar comments to yours about committing $ to goal tenders.

  55. leadfarmer says:

    Smith is old and I wouldn’t bring him back and we need to see what we have in Koskinen and if he can’t be a starter then he needs to be bought out and we need a new goalie who has no ties to the Red Wings franchise

  56. jeetz says:

    Darth Tu,

    I believe it is time to re-unit Neal McD and Kassian. They were super hot at the beginning of the season, Neal and Kass are rested and hungry. McD needs a couple of big players who can think the game like him.

    Nygard is back soon and he was very effective with Sheahan and Archie

    That puts AA and Ennis with Haas, both who can move up if needed and help fill out a PP2 line

    So much speed and scoring potential. Top 2 lines can be limited to 18-20 min a night and bottom 2 lines can play up to 15 min a night each. This would ensure we can last through a tough final schedule and a long playoff push.

    Khaira and Chiasson can be put in when we need some size and grit plus injury coverage

    Neal McD Kass
    RNH Drai Yamo
    Nygard Sheahan Archie
    AA Haas Ennis

    Khaira Chiasson Russell

  57. Bobcaygeon says:

    Ryan Nugget Hopkins will be getting 8.0 Million per year and that is a pay cut.

    Not sure if the Oilers can afford that given the RFA’s coming up.

    The Oilers need to dump at least 8 million dollars for next year.

    Not impossible, but a start.

  58. OriginalPouzar says:

    Hope the Jackets can somehow gut out a regulation win:

    Columbus Likely scratches: #49 Ryan MacInnis, #53 Gabriel Carlsson, #65 Markus Nutivaara

    Injured: #3 Seth Jones (ankle), #13 Cam Atkinson (ankle), #14 Dean Kukan (knee), #17 Brandon Dubinsky (wrist), #24 Nathan Gerbe (undisclosed), #28 Oliver Bjorkstrand (ankle), #42 Alexandre Texier (back), #77 Josh Anderson (shoulder), #90 Elvis Merzlikins (concussion)

  59. jeetz says:

    Darth Tu,

    AA’s first impression has not been great, but I don’t think anyone has given up on him. It will take some time for him to recover from Detroit and learn the new Oiler way. Good news is that Tippett is the guy who can help him back and there is very little pressure on AA to be THE guy.

    Star AA slow and he will move up the latter no problem

  60. OriginalPouzar says:

    jeetz:
    Darth Tu,

    I believe it is time to re-unit Neal McD and Kassian. They were super hot at the beginning of the season, Neal and Kass are rested and hungry. McD needs a couple of big players who can think the game like him.

    Sorry, I don’t believe the above to be true. I checked earlier today and the trio has played about 90 minutes together – while they are mildly positive in possession, they were negative in goals (4GF – 5GA)

  61. OriginalPouzar says:

    CBJ takes a 1-0 lead on the flames in the first.

  62. Numenius says:

    jeetz: AA’s first impression has not been great, but I don’t think anyone has given up on him. It will take some time for him to recover from Detroit and learn the new Oiler way. Good news is that Tippett is the guy who can help him back and there is very little pressure on AA to be THE guy.

    Star AA slow and he will move up the latter no problem

    Nicely said.

    I wonder if AA is a bit like Phil Kessel as a player. He doesn’t do well with expectations of being the #1 guy or even on the #1 line, but flourishes on a soft minutes 3rd line with PP time.

  63. Scungilli Slushy says:

    godot10: $4 million is NOT enough. Direct comparable who hasn’t played as well, Rasmus Andersson, signed for 6 x $4.55 million.

    6 to 8 years at anything between $4.5 to $5 million should be the range of a Bear deal.

    Brother
    Why fight so hard for something we can’t know?

    The behind scene is more impactful than anything we can project IMO.

  64. OriginalPouzar says:

    Make that 2-0 Jackets…..

  65. N64 says:

    jeetz: AA’s first impression has not been great

    first game was promising. other games were after an injury. we wait.

  66. Old Timer says:

    jeetz,

    jeetz:
    Darth Tu,

    AA’s first impression has not been great, but I don’t think anyone has given up on him. It will take some time for him to recover from Detroit and learn the new Oiler way. Good news is that Tippett is the guy who can help him back and there is very little pressure on AA to be THE guy.

    Star AA slow and he will move up the latter no problem

    While I have not given up on AA, I am not impressed with his apparent fitness level. He seems to lag the play and not have the energy to out work/outlast his opponents. I am concerned because he seems to have some skill, he just needs to apply that skill.

  67. jtblack says:

    A Decent little boost.
    .The more I think about it, the more a Neal buyout makes sense.
    . $1.9 mil x 6 yrs BUT saves $4 mil …

    That $4 Mil plus the Cap bump would be huge

  68. jp says:

    Old Timer:
    jeetz,

    While I have not given up on AA, I am not impressed with his apparent fitness level. He seems to lag the play and not have the energy to out work/outlast his opponents. I am concerned because he seems to have some skill, he just needs to apply that skill.

    Yeah he’s not been great. And I think he’s going to take some time honestly.

    I’d be much more worried though if Holland didn’t know the player so well. He drafted the kid and watched over his career until 10 months ago. Athanasiou’s warts are well known to Holland. I think this will work out long term.

  69. Halfwise says:

    We’ve set ourselves up for disappointment with AA.

    His hi light reel of goals with DET made us all salivate. And Holland knows him. What could go wrong?

    Holland knew him well enough to grind him on his last contract.

    We don’t know if he is hurt or out of shape or deeply discouraged or just a selfish juvenile star who never grew up or what.

    Maybe he’s Linus Omark. Or Rob Schremp. Or Michel Riesen.

    Gack.

    Maybe he’s a butterfly about to emerge from a red winged cocoon. Just needed a change of scene and time to adjust.

    I think he’s like Josh Archibald and we won’t know what kind of Oiler he will be for 40 games.

  70. flyfish1168 says:

    Bill:
    Between 84-88 million cap for next season, what kind of boon is that for Holland?

    If it wasn’t for the leafs pending situation I wonder if it would be moved that high?

  71. flyfish1168 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Make that 2-0 Jackets…..

    And turtle is out

  72. hunter1909 says:

    Old Timer: While I have not given up on AA, I am not impressed with his apparent fitness level.

    Good point, but he does come from a bottom feeder where no one is held accountable. Give him the 20 games Holland/Tippet are giving to him anyway.

    Halfwise:
    HALFWISE says:
    March 4, 2020 at 7:34 pm
    We’ve set ourselves up for disappointment with AA

    Not really. He simply needs to fit into the team which he’s not been particularly terrible at.

    How about Green? Veteran older star player tries too hard after getting traded and now he’s injured for 3 weeks. Once more, he will show up when it counts come playoff time so like Holland Tippett we all can relax until playoff versions of all three players including Ennis do their thing.

  73. Reja says:

    Besides Gio I would love to see drama queen Rasmus get a well deserved thumping by a Oiler.

  74. flyfish1168 says:

    Reja:
    Besides Gio I would love to see drama queen Rasmusget a well deserved thumping by a Oiler.

    Darnell lit him up in Penticton young guns tourney 2015

    https://www.hockeyfights.com/fights/129615

  75. OriginalPouzar says:

    I guess I’m watching the last few minutes of this game as Lindholm has cut the lead to 1 – under 3 to go.

  76. Halfwise says:

    2 – 1 CBJ with a couple of minutes left.

    Edit. 2-2 and headed to OT

  77. Halfwise says:

    Some homer refereeing a few minutes earlier.

    Edit now the Puke scores.

  78. OriginalPouzar says:

    Flames tie it up – damn.

  79. Younger Oil says:

    FFS Blue Jackets

  80. Lucinius says:

    Tkachuk… figures.

  81. jp says:

    wolf8888: Anyone know the goal support for our two tenders? Are the OIlers playing better for Smith? could that be part of coach’s bias?

    Calmerthanyouare: The Oilers are getting about a half goal more per game with Smith in net.

    They are scoring more for Smith, but it’s actually even more interesting than that.

    Using per 60 minutes results from Natural Stat Trick (all situations):
    (https://www.naturalstattrick.com/playerteams.php?fromseason=20192020&thruseason=20192020&stype=2&sit=all&score=all&stdoi=oi&rate=y&team=EDM&pos=G&loc=B&toi=0&gpfilt=none&fd=&td=&tgp=410&lines=single&draftteam=ALL)

    SF
    Smith —- 29.2
    Koskinen 29.3

    Shots for are the same.

    SA
    Smith —- 30.3
    Koskinen 32.9

    Koskinen is bad for shots against…

    GF
    Smith —- 3.28
    Koskinen 2.86

    Despite shots being the same, the team scores more with Smith in net (on ice SH% is 11.2% vs 9.8%).

    GA
    Smith —- 2.88
    Koskinen 2.86

    Even though the team allows more shots against with Koskinen in net, he stops more of them, so it’s a wash (On ice SV% is .905 vs .913; PDO is 1017 vs 1011).

    So is the GF difference all just percentages/fluke?

    SCF
    Smith —- 26.4
    Koskinen 26.2

    Nothing here.

    HDCF
    Smith —- 11.8
    Koskinen 10.0

    Huh. Well that’s something that fits with the team scoring more goals in front of Smith.

    What about goals against?

    SCA
    Smith —- 26.2
    Koskinen 30.0

    That’s interesting too. It fits with Koskinen’s extra shots against. So Koskinen’s actual goaltending looks even more impressive since the team allows more shots and scoring chances. But maybe the extra shots/chances are his fault??

    HDCA
    Smith —- 10.5
    Koskinen 11.0

    A little worse for Koskinen here too.

    So…
    The Oilers have scored more goals (and had more scoring/HD chances) in front of Smith.
    And with Smith in net they’ve give up less shots, scoring/HD chances against (but Koskinen’s better goaltending has fully offset the extra chances).

    Back to the original question: Yes, the team has performed better with Smith in net. And yeah, that may be playing into Tippett’s decision to anoint Smith the starter.

    (I should also note that we don’t know whether there is a bias in difficulty of schedule faced by either goalie, or something else that would skew the data. One thing that comes immediately to mind is that Smith has been starting since January and the Oilers have been on a strong, extended run. Smith is of course contributing to that strong happening, but him being the starter since Jan might also be benefiting his numbers aside from anything he’s doing)

    Whether Smith actually is responsible for boosting offence AND helping team defence, or whether this is due to a bias in the games he’s played, or just damn luck, we can’t know for sure. But it does look like it could be something real.

    FWIW he did something similar vs Rittich in Calgary last year, but not so much in the 2 years before that. I’ll give it a strong maybe that the team plays better in front of Smith.

  82. Buddy says:

    Went in off a Blue Jacket, so Giordano’s goal. Tkachuk just celebrated like it was his.

  83. Numenius says:

    godot10: Escrow might be 50-90%, depending on how things go this summer. #CoVid19

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the playoffs, if played at all, will be played to empty stands.

    We finally have a competitive playoff team, but it seems the hockey gods won’t let us shed the Oiler bad luck so easily.

  84. Halfwise says:

    CBJ playing OT like there’s a rule against effort.

  85. Buddy says:

    Good lord. Thanks Torts

  86. Pretendergast says:

    Werenski spotted them the win. Tipped in the tie goal then hotdogged it the entire OT. Korps did everything in his power.

  87. Younger Oil says:

    Imagine being 3rd in your division only winning 35% of your games after 60 minutes.

  88. Lucinius says:

    It is interesting how a number of teams in the East are playing like they don’t really want to make the playoffs.

  89. SkatinginSand says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    After looking through the boxscores of every game in Feb. I cannot agree with your conclusion that Smith has been better and more consistent.
    First of all, basing your argument on a 7 game sample is classic small sample size. That Koskinen has now a save percentage equal to Smith during this time is called regression.
    You did absolutely no accounting for strength of opponent. Playing against popgun offences like ANA and LA is not the same as playing VGP on the back end of a back to back. In fact, who is it that always started the back end of back to backs? Is it Koskinen’s fault that his teammates threw him under the bus in MIN? Remember Calgary, where Smith allowed 3 goals on 17 shots before being tossed or Anaheim where he allowed 4 goals on 21 shots?
    Please note that I am not saying that Koskinen has been good in every game. However, Koskinen is a far better goalie than Smith this year. He has fixed (Thanks to Dustin Shwartz?) many of the things that sewered him last year. His balance, stance and angles are much better. His lateral movement is much more controlled.
    On the other hand, Mike Smith has the classic Dwayne Roloson gift of making routine saves look spectacular because he has absolutely no lateral movement and is constantly trying to catch up to the play. He can be good because he is a great athlete, but it is not a recipe for long term success.

  90. Harpers Hair says:

    Younger Oil:
    Imagine being 3rd in your division only winning 35% of your games after 60 minutes.

    Imagine your team is resilient enough that no matter the score they believe they can come back and win…and then they do,

  91. Ice Sage says:

    Harpers Hair: Imagine your team is resilient enough that no matter the score they believe they can come back and win…and then they do,

    Well, then you just might me a 2020 Oiler fan…

  92. Harpers Hair says:

    Ice Sage: Well, then you just might me a 2020 Oiler fan…

    The Oilers are 2-2 in shootouts…The Flames are 6-1

  93. N64 says:

    Imagine all you want Mr. Notch.

  94. Johnny skid says:

    Harpers Hair: The Oilers are 2-2 in shootouts…The Flames are 6-1

    you are a real trivia buff.

  95. flyfish1168 says:

    Harpers Hair: The Oilers are 2-2 in shootouts…The Flames are 6-1

    Good thing we are ahead in the standing and in ROW

  96. Harpers Hair says:

    Johnny skid: you are a real trivia buff.

    Pat Steinberg
    @Fan960Steinberg
    ·
    3m
    Calgary scores three unanswered vs. with less than nine minutes remaining vs. #CBJ to turn a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 OT win. That’s a huge two points.

    Sixth career OT winner for TJ Brodie. Eighth win this season when trailing after 40 minutes, third most in the NHL. #Flames

  97. oilersfan says:

    The flames must have the nhl record for being down 2 goals with less than 10 minutes left, tying it up with the goalie pulled and winning in overtime or the shootout

    If the shoutout didn’t exist , would the flames be out of the wild card? I suspect so

  98. OriginalPouzar says:

    Harpers Hair: The Oilers are 2-2 in shootouts…The Flames are 6-1

    I honestly am not sure what this factoid is supposed to show or prove?

    That the flames are in a playoff battle because of their ability to win the “non-hockey” part of the game that isn’t applicable in the playoffs?

    This is an argument towards the flames inferiority, no?

  99. OriginalPouzar says:

    flyfish1168: Good thing we are ahead in the standing and in ROW

    and in regulation wins which is the first tiebreaker.

  100. Harpers Hair says:

    OriginalPouzar: I honestly am not sure what this factoid is supposed to show or prove?

    That the flames are in a playoff battle because of their ability to win the “non-hockey” part of the game that isn’t applicable in the playoffs?

    This is an argument towards the flames inferiority, no?

    I am sure this indicates the Flames have an innate ability to come back from being outscored early in many games.

    I am also sure that many playoff games go to overtime and the Flames are very, very good at winning games in which they trailed earlier.

    But clutch your pearls.

  101. Johnny skid says:

    Harpers Hair: Pat Steinberg
    @Fan960Steinberg
    ·
    3m
    Calgary scores three unanswered vs. with less than nine minutes remaining vs. #CBJ to turn a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 OT win. That’s a huge two points.

    Sixth career OT winner for TJ Brodie. Eighth win this season when trailing after 40 minutes, third most in the NHL. #Flames

    this is wonderful information for flames fans maybe you could share it with them.

  102. OilClog says:

    It’s amazing that all of us can visually see the interior pains that are overcoming you. Thank you for this, it’s juno worthy I’m sure.

  103. jp says:

    Harpers Hair: I am sure this indicates the Flames have an innate ability to come back from being outscored early in many games.

    I am also sure that many playoff games go to overtime and the Flames are very, very good at winning games in which they trailed earlier.

    But clutch your pearls.

    “have an innate ability to come back”. lol

    Winning shootouts = winning in OT in the playoffs. lol

  104. flea says:

    I want Edm – Cal opening round. It’s been something like 30 years since they’ve met in the playoffs. Make it so hockey gods.

  105. OriginalPouzar says:

    Harpers Hair: I am sure this indicates the Flames have an innate ability to come back from being outscored early in many games.

    I am also sure that many playoff games go to overtime and the Flames are very, very good at winning games in which they trailed earlier.

    But clutch your pearls.

    Posting shootout records shows this? Really?

  106. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    SkatinginSand:
    OriginalPouzar,

    After looking through the boxscores of every game in Feb. I cannot agree with your conclusion that Smith has been better and more consistent.
    First of all, basing your argument on a 7 game sample is classic small sample size. That Koskinen has now a save percentage equal to Smith during this time is called regression.
    You did absolutely no accounting for strength of opponent. Playing against popgun offences like ANA and LA is not the same as playing VGP on the back end of a back to back. In fact, who is it that always started the back end of back to backs? Is it Koskinen’s fault that his teammates threw him under the bus in MIN? Remember Calgary, where Smith allowed 3 goals on 17 shots before being tossed or Anaheim where he allowed 4 goals on 21 shots?
    Please note that I am not saying that Koskinen has been good in every game. However, Koskinen is a far better goalie than Smith this year. He has fixed (Thanks to Dustin Shwartz?) many of the things that sewered him last year. His balance, stance and angles are much better. His lateral movement is much more controlled.
    On the other hand, Mike Smith has the classic Dwayne Roloson gift of making routine saves lookspectacular because he has absolutely no lateral movement and is constantly trying to catch up to the play. He can be good because he is a great athlete, but it is not a recipe for long term success.

    – Thanks for this: I just don’t get how when analyzing the two goalies over the season by all measures one can’t conclude that Koski is the better goalie.

    – Smith’s stats over the season are inferior to Koski’s last year, clearly inferior to Koski’s this year. The only measure that points to Smith’s superiority this year vs last is wins: and that’s a team thing

    – It’s not even debatable, and taking small sample sizes to suggest otherwise is poor, and further proof of reality

    – Goalies are streaky to be sure, but how the team plays matter most. Factoring this over the season, there is only one conclusion available.

    – Smith certainly gets more rope than Koski: he’s the vet that the coach trusts, he’s his guy. As you point out he gets the more favourable starts. Koski is that overpaid guy from the previous regime: this dynamic always plays out in any organization when new management and coaches come in.

    – I have no doubt that Tipp feels that Smith is his #1 goalie, and the team plays hard behind him becasue he’s a winner, a leader, and awesome presence, and all of that can’t be discounted. By all accounts he’s been a benefit to the teams psyche, and that can’b be overlooked

    – That said he’s clearly inferior to Koski over the course of this season.

    – For a math based blog, this seems to have been ignored and/or not examined. I get it: Smith is in net when the team wins recently, and Koski had a few rough starts. But the ergo isn’t Smith > Koski

    – They are an effective tandem. If we had a better goalie than Smith, we’d be even better this year

  107. Harpers Hair says:

    OriginalPouzar: Posting shootout records shows this?Really?

    Posting numerous stats that show the Flames come back from deficits and win shows they are resilient.

    They did the same last season.

    You clinging to your RW obsession is odd.

    IT. ONLY. MATTERS. IF. THEY, END. UP. TIED. FOR. POINTS.

  108. Ice Sage says:

    Harpers Hair: The Oilers are 2-2 in shootouts…The Flames are 6-1

    Not a sign of resilience, to come back against a mid-range team decimated with injuries – odds were in favor of flames to begin with. I recall that they didn’t score 6 to come back against the Oilers last time they played. Besides Flames are Canucks direct competition now that Oilers have broken the orbit, condolences.

  109. Reja says:

    Harpers Hair: The Oilers are 2-2 in shootouts…The Flames are 6-1

    The Blue noser closes the gap to 7 with a game in hand.

  110. John Chambers says:

    Looking back at the 2017 draft, I would have Yamamoto behind only: Pettersson, Makar, and Heiskanen.

    Early days still, and we’re about to see a number of those players emerge in the next draft or two, but Yammer is looking like a homerun pick.

    Close in range are Robert Thomas and Hischier, but Yam fit the Oilers needs to a T.

  111. Harpers Hair says:

    John Chambers:
    Looking back at the 2017 draft, I would have Yamamoto behind only: Pettersson, Makar, and Heiskanen.

    Early days still, and we’re about to see a number of those players emerge in the next draft or two, but Yammer is looking like a homerun pick.

    Close in range are Robert Thomas and Hischier, but Yam fit the Oilers needs to a T.

    Way too early to call it.

    Necas, Suzuki, Chiytl all trending just as well.

  112. OilClog says:

    Opens twitter, sees Taylor Hall is trending, sees Canucks Twitter melting down, thinks about strengths of schedules.. This is tingly

  113. OilClog says:

    I think it’s just showing you’re lost, pretty sure the internet has a directory. Try Google.

    Dearest Google, who gives thy shit about thy Flames? You’ll find a whole group of people happy to see your gas lighting ways.

    Imagine thinking you need to explain how RW wins are important if 2 teams are tied in points at the end of the season, truly yeoman’s work you do.

  114. Side says:

    HH is desperate for attention and for the Flames to win. Sad.

  115. Bank Shot says:

    Canucks circling the drain.

    Hold onto your noses boys!

  116. OilClog says:

    Chityl has 22 pts in 57games this season, 1 less point then Yamamoto. Who has played 23 games this season.

    Chityl has played 141games for 48pts
    Suzuki has 40pts in 68games
    Necas has 35pts in 60games

    Yamamoto will have a chance to pass all these players in total. Points this season in half the games.

    Keep smoking that raw pipe, Bramble Ruxspin.

  117. Pescador says:

    Yammer fits every teams needs to a T,
    Point per game player on an entry level deal
    producing in the top 6

  118. duct tape and foil says:

    Carper’s Hairball

    Google the definition, pretty much fits the profile of this troll.

  119. hunter1909 says:

    Harpers Hair: Posting numerous stats that show the Flames come back from deficits and win shows they are resilient.

    They did the same last season.

    You clinging to your RW obsession is odd.

    IT. ONLY. MATTERS. IF. THEY, END. UP. TIED. FOR. POINTS.

    Calgary came back vs the Blue Jackets to be sure.

    Speaking of opinions, as you were just booted off the Hunter1909 DeathMarch™ with a pathetically low opinion of this seasons Oilers chances…

    How do you square reality, that is, Oilers not only in playoff position in march but potentially threatening to win the division?

  120. ArmchairGM says:

    Vancouver has four wins in its past 14 games (4-8-2) while allowing at least three goals in eight straight games and 13 of its past 15.

    nhl.com

  121. N64 says:

    Harpers Hair,

    Only thing that .matters is what your team does Harpy Notch.

    Be sure to let any Flames fans know how much you wish you weren’t chained to the Dys this year.

    Fly away home. Your home games are burning and your goalie is gone.

    Strength of Schedule indeed. More like SOS. ?

  122. Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual says:

    Harpers Hair: Posting numerous stats that show the Flames come back from deficits and win shows they are resilient.

    They did the same last season.

    You clinging to your RW obsession is odd.

    IT. ONLY. MATTERS. IF. THEY, END. UP. TIED. FOR. POINTS.

    Or perhaps it also matters because one team is taking leads and closing out games before overtime while another is surrendering leads and having to battle back semi-regularly. Perhaps there’s value in not consistently having to win games in OT and the SO as, once the playoffs come, those game states change or are eliminated and the extra play time tends to wear down your team unnecessarily.

    It’s just a thought but maybe YOUR. FRAMING. ISN’T. THE. ONLY. WAY. TO. FRAME. THINGS.

  123. npanciroli says:

    Oh no Vancouver blew it again

  124. OriginalPouzar says:

    Harpers Hair: Posting numerous stats that show the Flames come back from deficits and win shows they are resilient.

    They did the same last season.

    You clinging to your RW obsession is odd.

    IT. ONLY. MATTERS. IF. THEY, END. UP. TIED. FOR. POINTS.

    You didn’t post numbers that show the flames come back and win. You posted shootout numbers.

  125. OriginalPouzar says:

    The canucks lost last night? I don’t understand, they were playing at home….

  126. OriginalPouzar says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – Thanks for this: I just don’t get how when analyzing the two goalies over the season by all measures one can’t conclude that Koski is the better goalie.

    – Smith’s stats over the season are inferior to Koski’s last year, clearly inferior to Koski’s this year.The only measure that points to Smith’s superiority this year vs last is wins: and that’s a team thing

    – It’s not even debatable, and taking small sample sizes to suggest otherwise is poor, and further proof of reality

    – Goalies are streaky to be sure, but how the team plays matter most.Factoring this over the season, there is only one conclusion available.

    – Smith certainly gets more rope than Koski: he’s the vet that the coach trusts, he’s his guy. As you point out he gets the more favourable starts. Koski is that overpaid guy from the previous regime: this dynamic always plays out in any organization when new management and coaches come in.

    – I have no doubt that Tipp feels that Smith is his #1 goalie, and the team plays hard behind him becasue he’s a winner, a leader, and awesome presence, and all of that can’t be discounted.By all accounts he’s been a benefit to the teams psyche, and that can’b be overlooked

    – That said he’s clearly inferior to Koski over the course of this season.

    – For a math based blog, this seems to have been ignored and/or not examined.I get it: Smith is in net when the team wins recently, and Koski had a few rough starts.But the ergo isn’t Smith > Koski

    – They are an effective tandem.If we had a better goalie than Smith, we’d be even better this year

    I’ve acknowledged, at least twice in responses that Koskinen has been the better goal, on the year, in aggregate. Not sure why you keep defending a point that’s given.

    The argument currently being made is that in 2020, Smith has played better and, yes, 7-16 games is a sample size but that doesn’t matter in determining which tender has been playing better and should see the net on any given night. Tending decisions are based on recent info, not what a tender did back in October or November.

    While Mikko only had 7 games prior to Tuesday in 2020, I think its clear that Smith was having a better 2020 – GAA, Save Percentage were both well superior to Mikko. Mikko closed the gap with a 42/43 performace which evened up the numbers on the year.

  127. OriginalPouzar says:

    Harpers Hair: Way too early to call it.

    Necas, Suzuki, Chiytl all trending just as well.

    Again, you argue a point that isn’t being made. Yes, its too early to “call it” which is exactly what he said “Early days still”.

  128. Nobody says:

    Oh where have you gone Brogan Rafferty, Nucks nation turns its lonely eyes to you,

  129. Bank Shot says:

    What about Ethan Bear on a bridge?

    I am kind of leaning to the Oilers bridging all young talent between now and the ends of McDrai’s contracts very aggressively.

    Drai has 5 years left after this season. McDavid 6.

    I think if the Oilers want these guys to stick around for another contract they had better win a Cup before those contracts are up.

    In order to help the Oilers on the way towards that goal I feel like perhaps they should be beating down the salaries of their young talent with great vigour.

    Every penny is going to be crucial over the next 3-4 seasons and guys like Bear and Yamamoto have no rights.

  130. JimmyV1965 says:

    John Chambers:
    Looking back at the 2017 draft, I would have Yamamoto behind only: Pettersson, Makar, and Heiskanen.

    Early days still, and we’re about to see a number of those players emerge in the next draft or two, but Yammer is looking like a homerun pick.

    Close in range are Robert Thomas and Hischier, but Yam fit the Oilers needs to a T.

    Early early days yet. Was listening to a Blues podcast and they were raving about Thomas. Said he might soon be their best player.

  131. PennersPancakes says:

    How did all those comes backs and wins work for the Flames in the playoffs?

  132. Diamond Dick says:

    Gee, I’d think that if they were so good at comeback victories, they might be higher in the standings and not scrapping for their playoff lives. Or, just maybe they are THAT good and they like to spot other teams a lead; you know, to build the drama…..

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