No More Loud Noises

by Lowetide

On the day Craig MacTavish introduced Dallas Eakins as the Oilers new coach in the summer of 2013, I wrote the following:

The Oilers under Craig MacTavish are apparently hellbent on waking the fanbase from the Tambellini coma. In the immortal words of Bob Cole “it’s all happening!” I can’t remember the name of the defenseman he signed an hour ago, but do know Teemu Hartikainen is off to Russia and suspect they’ll announce Katz has purchased Guam by 5pm.

This is a fact: the Oilers off the ice are more interesting than on the ice. I pray Baby Jesus this is the last summer we can make that statement. Press conference at 1:30, then Guam.

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, check it out here.

In the days before Ralph Krueger was fired he spoke with real clarity about prospect Teemu Hartikainen: “He’s trying to figure out what a gritty, strong power forward does and what’s connected to that. What’s important for him is to continue to manage the puck in all three zones.”

General manager MacTavish, who also had a gift for getting to the point, said about Hartikainen “in today’s NHL, even marginally, you have to be a threat to score.” How many kids currently project to become 15-goals a year scorers?

Magnus Paajarvi

  • 2008-09 (SHL) 7 goals on 103 shots (6.8 percent)
  • 2009-10 (SHL) 12 goals on 160 shots (7.5 percent)
  • 2010-11 (NHL) 15 goals on 180 shots (8.3 percent)
  • 2011-12 (AHL) 7 goals on 100 shots (7.0 percent)

Paajarvi is a fast train and delighted fans with 15 goals as an NHL rookie, 10 at five on five. His most prominent line (Omark-Gagner-Paajarvi) played 215 minutes together, winning the Corsi five on five battle (51.3 percent), the five on five shot differential (50.25 percent) but lost the goals battle 9-15.

I saw this line and don’t blame the coaching staff for breaking them up, but a responsible center between Omark and Magnum PS might have worked. Holy hell there were jailbreaks, but credit to Paajarvi for showing real concern defensively and hauling ass on the regular. He didn’t reach 10 percent shooting percentage before or after his draft day.

Teemu Hartikainen

  • 2008-09 (Liiga) 17 goals on 132 shots (12.9 percent)
  • 2009-10 (Liiga) 15 goals on 183 shots (8.2 percent)
  • 2010-11 (AHL) 17 goals on 132 shots (12.9 percent)

Teemu Hartikainen had a chance, I swear to it. He had a good shot, size and aggression. Oilers scouts called him “a poor man’s (Tomas) Holmstrom” around draft day.

Tyler Benson

  • 2017-18 (WHL) 27 goals on 232 shots (11.6 percent)
  • 2018-19 (AHL) 15 goals on 173 shots (8.7 percent)
  • 2019-20 (AHL) 9 goals on 106 shots (8.5 percent)

I think Benson will have enough offense to play in an NHL top-nine and maybe higher. I think he’s far more likely to have 25 assists in a season than 15 goals, and his boxcars are going to look like they came from a playmaking center. Perhaps he surprises.

Kailer Yamamoto

  • 2017-18 (WHL) 21 goals on 111 shots (18.9 percent)
  • 2018-19 (AHL) 10 goals on 45 shots (22.2 percent)
  • 2019-20 (NHL) 11 goals on 44 shots (25.0 percent)

I think we can all agree Yamamoto won’t post a career shooting percentage of 25 during his NHL career, but he’s bona fide. I believe he’ll shoot more in the days to come, but the success rates on 1.5 shots per game are outstanding. Yamamoto’s numbers tower over the rest of the names on this list in shooting percentage.

Raphael Lavoie

  • 2018-19 (QMJHL) 32 goals on 206 shots (15.5 percent)
  • 2019-20 (QMJHL) 38 goals on 310 shots (12.3 percent)

And now, a volume shooter. As you’ll see in a minute, the step from junior hockey to pro can impact how often a player has the puck in scoring positions. Lavoie’s junior numbers are fantastic. You could let a lot of air out of these totals and still have a productive pro player.

Kirill Maksimov

  • 2016-17 (OHL) 21 goals on 160 shots (13.1 percent)
  • 2017-18 (OHL) 34 goals on 227 shots (15.0 percent)
  • 2018-19 (OHL) 40 goals on 232 shots (17.2 percent)
  • 2019-20 (AHL) 5 goals on 59 shots (8.5 percent)

There’s nothing wrong with Maksimov’s shot, he just isn’t getting the puck in scoring areas. The adjustment for young players moving into the AHL can be difficult. Maksimov was used to taking the puck with regularity and now bigger, more mature men are making it impossible. We should see a more competitive set of numbers in 2020-21.

Matej Blumel

  • 2018-19 (USHL) 30 goals in 238 shots (12.6 percent)
  • 2019-20 (Czech) 4 goals in 58 shots (6.9 percent)

He played less than 12 minutes a night in the Czech league so the dip in production has an explanation. I’d love to see him in the AHL 2020-21.

Ryan McLeod

  • 2017-18 (OHL) 26 goals in 165 shots (15.8 percent)
  • 2018-19 (OHL) 19 goals in 149 shots (12.8 percent)
  • 2019-20 (AHL) 5 goals in 69 shots (7.2 percent)

I was impressed by McLeod’s rookie AHL season, he posted more even-strength offense than expected. I don’t know how much he’ll deliver as an NHL player but I’m pretty sure (based on his resume) he will get there.

SUCCESS!

My parents always taught me to be humble but to hell with that noise today. David Staples from the Cult of Hockey named this blog, along with Mark Edwards (HockeyProspect.com) and Ryan Kennedy (The Hockey News) as the best among those outside the hockey industry in identifying talent at the draft. Woot! I’m going to have a beer and then I’m going to have another one.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A fabulous show starts at 10 this morning, TSN1260. We begin the day with Dr. Randy Gregg, former Edmonton Oilers defenseman and soon the operator of Re/Max Field in Edmonton. Baseball will be in the city for the next 10 years or more in that jewel of a ballpark, we’ll talk to Gregg about his plans to bring in at least one new team. Gerry Moddejonge from PostMedia will join us at 11 to talk about the latest CFL plans, and Bill Shea from The Athletic Business will discuss his article on the now recovered sports card industry. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!

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frjohnk

Congrats on the recognition.

Well deserved.

jtblack

“as the best among those outside the hockey industry in identifying talent at the draft. Woot! I’m going to have a beer and then I’m going to have another one.”

WELL DESERVED!! CONGRATS LT

Psyche

“…as the best among those outside the hockey industry in identifying talent at the draft.”

Congratulations LT! A much deserved tip of the hat. This is the only website I’ve ever read daily (since the beginning).

Kind sir, you absolutely rock! Continued success from southern Saskatchewan.

Waiting for a cup

I have been searching for “this blog” all morning. Google gives me nothing.

Anyone have a link?

JJS

Hey LT – were Lavoie’s numbers last year in the AHL or the Q?

Thanks!

OriginalPouzar

I agree, there is nothing wrong with Maksimov’s shot, in fact, its one of the best in the organization.

Maksi’s “issue” in his rookie pro season was not being able to use that shot – a combo of not being put in the situations (nominal PP time, bottom 6) and, well, not creating those opportunities.

In junior, he was a “go to guy” – Ovie spot on the PP, scoring lines, etc. – he didn’t have to work as hard to create space and find the soft areas. Will he be able to put himself in positions to use that shot as a pro? I think we’ll find out quite a bit this coming season (assuming there is a league for him to play in).

Darth Tu

Congratulations LT. Now we eagerly await your final draft rankings!

OriginalPouzar

I anticipate that each of Maksimov, McLeod and Lavoie will be given plenty of top 6 minutes and PP time (and PK time for the first two). Throw in some Marody and maybe a Currie and possibly a rejuvinated Kuffner and I like that top 6.

Benson in play as well.

Stay healthy next season Condors, stay healthy.

Sunnyboy

Stick tap to LT for a big effort on the yearly draft, made the 3 stars.

buck yoakam

Congrats LT!…echoing earlier post that this is the only hockey blog i read daily …we are very lucky to have you at the helm and your research and insightful thoughts should be rewarded!…Go Oil!

LMHF#1

If you can’t turn this guy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xI76sGzGwc
https://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=112587

into a hockey player – it’s on YOU.

MacTavish’s take on Teemu was boneheaded. Just as it was on many players Sather would have either turned into gold, or traded for silver.

alberta bound edmonton

Congratulations LT. Well deserved and looking forward to your final rankings

defmn
ArmchairGM

Woooooot!

Oz

Congratulations on the recognition LT. Well deserved as your style of writing is unique.
Daily follower and occasional poster. Now to put you back to work, where is Shane Starrett in the organizations plan? I know he had injury problems in 2019 and returned to play in December, but I have not been able to track his whereabouts since. He was very good for the Barons in 2018-2019 playoffs and with his size and compete level I was hoping he would make the show and would eventually be our backup goalie.

Brantford Boy

Sunnyboy:
Stick tap to LT for a big effort on the yearly draft, made the 3 stars.

+1

First star in my opinion… the ONLY website I ensure I read every day, wherever I am, whatever I’m doing… Congrats LT!

Cheers!

defmn

Congratulations on the recognition of your drafting acumen.

Well deserved.

jtblack

JJS:
Hey LT – were Lavoie’s numbers last year in the AHL or the Q?

Thanks!

Q

godot10

Benson has to adjust his game to become an NHL-er. He has to get over his obsession with being a playmaker, and learn how to make himself a threat to actually score goals some of the time. i.e. He has to become a better offensive player without the puck on his stick. He has to learn to go to scoring areas without the puck.

Hartikainen was beastly against Eakins NHL tweener stacked Marlies’ team in the playoffs. He terrorized Jake Gardiner, and was the best forward on the ice. It is a shame that Dallas did not put in a good word for him with MacT.

Pescador

Waiting for a cup:
I have been searching for “this blog” all morning.Google gives me nothing.

Anyone have a link?

Congratulations to you Lowetide!
I listened to the David Staples radio hit yesterday on Oilers Now with a giant smile on my face.
Here is the link if anyone wants to listen:
https://omny.fm/shows/oilers-now-with-bob-stauffer/playlists/podcast/embed?style=artwork

hunter1909

LMHF#1: MacTavish’s take on hockey was boneheaded.

Fixed.

JimmyV1965

Congrats LT. Stauffer gave you the ultimate compliment by referring to you as a grinder.

OriginalPouzar

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Conversation
Darren Dreger
@DarrenDreger
Level 1:
Curious what NHL players think about this? Edmonton is rolling out an impressive “lifestyle” presentation in its Hub city quest. Secured golf course. Cool temps. Outdoor big screens for movies/other games. Some fun stuff planned. More tonight in Insider Trading.

Shane8830

I don’t post much but I read your blog everyday, and your articles on the Athletic because quite frankly you’re the best Oilers writer (not just blogger) in Edmonton. You’re hardly every biased, your insights are thoughtful, and you come up with interesting ideas to talk about even when there hasn’t been hockey in months. In other words good job, you deserve every accolade you get and more.

Darth Tu

OriginalPouzar:
See new Tweets
Conversation
Darren Dreger
@DarrenDreger
Level 1:
Curious what NHL players think about this? Edmonton is rolling out an impressive “lifestyle” presentation in its Hub city quest.Secured golf course. Cool temps. Outdoor big screens for movies/other games. Some fun stuff planned. More tonight in Insider Trading.

Interesting. I wonder what golf course gets the honour of being cordoned off to the public then? Surely not one of the River Valley ones?

jake70

Well done LT. I think I am now 10 years in reading your blog, pretty sure it was May or June 2010 I read first article, the hook for me to come back was the Expos references and Hunter’s posts..haha. I haven’t committed to anything for that long other than a 1998 all white Jeep TJ Sahara that I had for 12 years…had a tape deck….lol…damn I miss that car.

jp

Congratulations on the COH shoutout LT!

Well deserved, and we know Scott Howson is listening.

fishman

Congratulations to our talented host! I don’t post often but read daily as do many others. Keep up the outstanding work!!!

barry.moore23

Congrats LT well deserved.

If the NHL chooses Arizona I’m sure we could fit a few of the guys in at our Thursday 5:45 AM oldtimers pick up. They’d have a blast just like we do. Might let em skate for free.

OriginalPouzar

Chris Johnston
@reporterchris
·
9m
The NHL return-to-play format currently under discussion allows for some jockeying among the top-four teams in each conference (BOS/TB/WASH/PHI … STL/COL/VGK/DAL). It would see them play each other — three games, in-conference — with the outcomes helping determine seeding.

hunter1909

Glad you’re happy Lowetide! Enjoy that beer! You’ve earned it!

Harpers Hair
JimmyV1965

OriginalPouzar:
Chris Johnston
@reporterchris
·
9m
The NHL return-to-play format currentlyunder discussion allows for some jockeying among the top-four teams in each conference (BOS/TB/WASH/PHI … STL/COL/VGK/DAL). It would see them play each other — three games, in-conference — with the outcomes helping determine seeding.

Geez, if the Oilers manage to win the first round, the second round will be ugly, no matter who it is.

Material Elvis

Shane8830:
I don’t post much but I read your blog everyday, and your articles on the Athletic because quite frankly you’re the best Oilers writer (not just blogger) in Edmonton. You’re hardly every biased, your insights are thoughtful, and you come up with interesting ideas to talk about even when there hasn’t been hockey in months. In other words good job, you deserve every accolade you get and more.

Also LT has the best radio voice.

jp

Oz,

Lowetide: It’s a great question. They have Skinner, Wells and Rodrigue, I can see them signing Starrett and offloading Wells (as an example).

I hadn’t considered them doing that but it sounds like a good idea. Wells hasn’t played much, nor very well since signing. And Starrett had a tough season but has a real nice track record before that.

Starrett is a UFA though so who knows. I’d personally like to see him get another year and I also don’t feel very comfortable with one of Skinner/Rodrigue/Wells being in line for Oiler games 1A/1B goes down with an injury.

PennersPancakes

JimmyV1965: Geez, if the Oilers manage to win the first round, the second round will be ugly, no matter who it is.

I think its always been true but especially more after last year, every opponent can be a tough one. With the top division leaders losing to WC including the Presidents Trophy victor getting swept.

No road to the cup will ever be “easy”.

Freddy

Well Deserved!! You’re easily one of my favourites inside or outside hockey circles. I love the different and as far as I’m concerned completely valid perspective you provide. Congrats!!

leadfarmer

Harpers Hair:
Pierre LeBrun with an update on the 24 team playoff structure.

https://theathletic.com/1828663/2020/05/21/lebrun-nhl-awaiting-nhlpa-approval-of-return-to-play-plan/?source=twittered

That is really really bad.
I could see having top 6 in each conference in and 7-10 fight for the last two spots but why would teams that were almost eliminated get to play a team that was almost guaranteed a playoff spot in a best of 5 series after a long layoff

defmn

Marco Rossi takes the Most Outstanding/Valuable player award for the OHL announced today. LaFreniere for the Q and 3rd round Minnesota pick last year Beckman for the WHL.

Harpers Hair

leadfarmer: That is really really bad.
I could see having top 6 in each conference in and 7-10 fight for the last two spots but why would teams that were almost eliminated get to play a team that was almost guaranteed a playoff spot in a best of 5 series after a long layoff

Money.

Having Montreal, Chicago and the Rangers with their massive fan bases involved primes the pump.

N64

leadfarmer: That is really really bad.
I could see having top 6 in each conference in and 7-10 fight for the last two spots but why would teams that were almost eliminated get to play a team that was almost guaranteed a playoff spot in a best of 5 series after a long layoff

My first choice would have been a 20 team playoff with Rangers and Panthers playing a one game tiebreaker. Next choice would be 22 games. 24 games is all about Chicago and Montreal TV markets. Money > Fairness as usual.

The round robin for the bye teams to establish seeds is better then being idle. The best idea was round robins with teams starting further ahead or behind. That would be a fair stand in for completing the season. If the #12 seeds could manage a near sweep earned and entertaining.

Darth Tu

Harpers Hair: Money.

Having Montreal, Chicago and the Rangers with their massive fan bases involved primes the pump.

on the plus side Montreal have been one of the top teams in the league fancy stat wise all year (if you follow Sean Tierney’s charting Hockey).

ArmchairGM

So I guess having 4 bubble locations – 1 for each division – is out the window?

duct tape and foil

Therre was effectively zero chance MTL made the playoffs in a full season and they sold off assets at the deadline. Fairest way would be a round-robin play-in for the #8 slot in each conference while the other teams play exhibitions to shake off the rust. Fair has got nothing to do with anything in the NHL

London Jon

Congratulations LT.

Very, very well deserved.

Lowetide is the only content I read every single day ?

godot10

Chicago and Dallas were playing poorly at the end of the season. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

Dallas has the talent to beat anybody, but they haven’t been able to score goals this year. Rick Bowness, career assistant coach, after a fast start, was coaching himself back into a career assistant coach.

I think I would rather be in an actual best of five playoff series than in the top four round robin. It concentrates the mind immediately.

I hope they allow for one (or two) exhibition game for each team against someone on the other side of the bracket.

N64

ArmchairGM:
So I guess having 4 bubble locations – 1 for each division – is out the window?

~ They probably can’t find 4 good US locations. ~

OriginalPouzar

I found it fascinating to look back at the drafts and compare the Oilers pick vs. LT’s pick vs. McKenzie’s consensus list pick.

There were years when LT did better than the team or the consensus.

Each of the three had “winning picks” over the others.

Caveat: Development of the player not being taking in to account.

OriginalPouzar

jtblack: Q

Imagine if he puts up those numbers in the AHL……

I hope he has a full season to play and goes 20/20….. I don’t expect him to have a Benson type rookie year but I guess you never know.