Balance

I have this nervous energy that builds up when things aren’t balanced. It’s a thing. One of the reasons I quit the roto league is the eight categories that I could never do equally well in. Drives me crazy. Whenever I write about a balanced hockey team the pushback is extreme. “You don’t need a checking line! Power versus power!” Sure, sure. Can we at least try to have one, just in case power is exhausted? Humor me.

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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.

CHECKING LINES

“For all this, though, (Stan Weir) is an important part of the team. The line he centres, with (Dave) Hunter and (Dave) Lumley on the wings, has only 39 goals in total–fewer than (Jari) Kurri alone–but the Oilers rely on their dogged checking to spike their opponents biggest guns, as tonight they will have to spike (Guy Lafleur).” Peter Gzowski, The Game of Our Lives.

As we get closer to training camps returning, a deep dive on lines and pairings will be required. This is what I have as likely, although Dave Tippett’s verbal about Nygard suggests Neal may draw in ahead of him.

These are five on five numbers, January 1 through the end of the season. I have sorted them by time on ice per game, gives us a great view of how Tippett deployed the blue. Based on these numbers, I’d expect the starting pairs to be Nurse-Bear, Klefbom-Larsson and Jones-Green. Your mileage may vary and I do think a veteran like Russell may work his way into the lineup. Playoffs are normally the domain of the battle hardened.

CHECKING LINE

Given a choice, I would pick Nuge to center the checking unit, but he’s too valuable on the Draisaitl line. Using Puck IQ’s numbers versus elites, we get an interesting view of the team’s centers.

First of all, how gorgeous are these numbers from Draisaitl and McDavid, on two separate lines? Music! Second, Gaby Haas once again shows up in strange and wonderful places. A 26 percent number as a percentage is strictly fourth line but could he take on more of the heavy lifting? What about Sheahan-Haas-Archibald, with both centers taking strong side faceoffs? I don’t know, just dreaming.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

We’re back with some sunshine after a rainy weekend, starting at 10 this morning, TSN1260. NHL rinks will be opening this week, we’ll check on the Oilers situation. Zig Fracassi from Sirius XM will chat NHL return and NFL training camps at 10:20, Jason Gregor will update the Oilers situation at 11. Jason Portnuando pops in at 11:25. We’ll talk Woodbine horse racing on TSN and the “Dark Horse App” that makes things easier for everyone. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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96 Responses to "Balance"

  1. OriginalPouzar says:

    What I want:

    AA/McDavid/Kassian
    Nuge/Drai/Yamamoto
    Ennis/Sheahan/Archie
    Nygard/Khaira/Neal

    Klef/Larsson
    Nurse/Bear
    Jones/Benning

    Koskinen
    Smith

    —————

    What I think Coach T will do (subject to players not in shape or looking like they are taking a while):

    Ennis/McDavid/Kassian
    Nuge/Drai/Yamamoto
    AA/Sheahan/Archie
    Neal/Khaira/Chiasson

    Klef/Larsson
    Nurse/Bear
    Russell/Green

    Smith
    Koskinen

  2. OriginalPouzar says:

    “As we get closer to training camps returning, a deep dive on lines and pairings will be required. This is what I have as likely, although Dave Tippett’s verbal about Nygard suggests Neal may draw in ahead of him.”

    ——————-

    Ya, Coach T expressed concern about Nygard being off for so long – he didn’t even get a practice in before the pause so wouldn’t have had an real on-ice action since January. Coach T. expressed that he was confidant that his legs would be ready to to go but that his hands might not be up to speed yet (his injury was actually to his hand and he had hand surgery so its been a LONG time since he got to use his puck skills).

    Lets not forget, Nygards “hands” aren’t that great to start with.

    Combine that with Coach T. singing the praises of Khaira at center and the Neal/Khaira/Chiasson line as a big and heavy forecheck line – I think Nygard will need to work his way in to the lineup.

  3. Brantford Boy says:

    My eyes lit up with the title today… is the Balance photo the woman on the International dating ad I see?

    Ugh, forward line combinations… without breaking that #2 line up, options are somewhat limited. All I would add, is in the last games I felt AA was building chemistry with Sheehan and Archibald, and I believe Neal-Khaira-Chiasson worked well in a small sample which leaves Nygard out, and I doubt that happens.

    I agree completely with the defensive pairings.

  4. OriginalPouzar says:

    As per Reid Wilkins, Oilers might not quite be ready to open up for voluntary skates today.

    Lots of protocols to comply with and ensure are in place.

  5. Brantford Boy says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Ennis/McDavid/Kassian
    Nuge/Drai/Yamamoto
    AA/Sheahan/Archie
    Neal/Khaira/Chiasson

    Klef/Larsson
    Nurse/Bear
    Russell/Green

    Smith
    Koskinen

    OP, I think you nailed it here… I can’t see the coach sitting the vets including goalie.

  6. cowboy bill says:

    It would be difficult for coach Tip to leave Neal & Chiasson off the playoff roster because of their vast playoff experience . However they are two slow boats and the way the league is transitioning to more of a speed game who knows how things could look . LT’s line featuring ( Sheahan-Haas-Archibald ) is brilliant , if Haas is up to the task . But it is the playoffs , it depends on how the games will be played . Either way it seems the Oilers can grind it out or blow the opposition away with their speed . So they have their bases covered . Balance is the key .

  7. cowboy bill says:

    As far as the Goaltenders go , it should be , WIN and you’re IN .

  8. OriginalPouzar says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    As per Reid Wilkins, Oilers might not quite be ready to open up for voluntary skates today.

    Lots of protocols to comply with and ensure are in place.

    Oilers tweeting they are indeed open.

  9. Eh Team says:

    OriginalPouzar: Ennis/McDavid/Kassian
    Nuge/Drai/Yamamoto
    AA/Sheahan/Archie
    Neal/Khaira/Chiasson

    Klef/Larsson
    Nurse/Bear
    Russell/Green

    Smith
    Koskinen

    This lineup exposes the vulnerability of the Oilers. Lines 3 and 4 are much better than before still (well) below average. Neahl, Khaira, Sheehan and even Archibald have been significantly outplayed and outscored on 5×5. Russell has not been good, but hey “veteran”. Chicago has much better goaltending with Crawford. If you look at the whole of Smith’s season, he has been well below average.

    Oilers can beat Chicago, as Chicago is horrible defensively, but there is still a lot of work to do before the Oilers are legit contenders. Inserting Jones and Haas would help, but still a lot of weak spots in the lineup.

  10. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Fire Khaira & K Russell into the sun. I can’t see why any right minded coach would play them outside of injuries.

    I really thought for a second were going to see the Balance Photo™, LT not cool.

  11. hunter1909 says:

    LadiesloveSmid: Fire Khaira & K Russell into the sun. I can’t see why any right minded coach would play them outside of injuries.

    Khaira might not be Bob Gainey but he’s not easy to steal the puck from and he’s tough and rarely makes any big mistakes. On a bottom 6 role a player like that can be extra valuable in the playoffs.

    Yes, I have always thought Khaira is going to be the Pisani of the next Oilers playoff team.

  12. jtblack says:

    hunter1909: Khaira might not be Bob Gainey but he’s not easy to steal the puck from and he’s tough and rarely makes any big mistakes. On a bottom 6 role a player like that can be extra valuable in the playoffs.

    Yes, I have always thought Khaira is going to be the Pisani of the next Oilers playoff team.

    The difference is Pisani could score and did score in the reg season before his playoff heater ..

    J.J. has never scored …at any level …

  13. hunter1909 says:

    jtblack: The difference is Pisani could score and did score in the reg season before his playoff heater ..

    J.J. has never scored …at any level …

    …Which makes it all the more remarkable, lol

  14. hunter1909 says:

    jtblack: The difference is Pisani could score and did score in the reg season before his playoff heater ..

    J.J. has never scored …at any level …

    Seriously, neanderthals like Kassian and Khiara become worth their weight in playoff gold, provided Dave Tippett is coaching….he is?

  15. hunter1909 says:

    Obviously I must be stupid to ask this but why are the Oilers not one of the top 4 seeds when they are 4th in points?

  16. OriginalPouzar says:

    cowboy bill:
    It would be difficult for coach Tip to leave Neal & Chiasson off the playoff roster because of their vast playoff experience . However they are two slow boats and the way the league is transitioning to more of a speed game who knows how things could look . LT’s line featuring ( Sheahan-Haas-Archibald ) is brilliant , if Haas is up to the task . But it is the playoffs , it depends on how the games will be played . Either way it seems the Oilers can grind it out or blow the opposition away with their speed . So they have their bases covered . Balance is the key .

    Of course they are going to be on the roster – the question is if they will play every game – I think they both start game 1 with Haas and Nygard (and Benson, Jurco, Granlund) in the pressbox but there is no certainty they play every game – in my opinion.

  17. defmn says:

    hunter1909:
    Obviously I must be stupid to ask this but why are the Oilers not one of the top 4 seeds when they are 4th in points?

    The league decided on points % to determine seeding.

  18. OriginalPouzar says:

    Sounds like the selected PHWA got their ballots today so the voting will be done shortly.

    Wonder when they will “give out the awards” – I’m guessing no time soon.

    Ryan Lambert and his view show his lack of viewing of the Oilers – he sees a plus/minus and creates an opinion on Drai’s game without any context.

  19. Harpers Hair says:

    Ted Wyman (@Ted_Wyman) Tweeted:
    It’s official. Canada West has cancelled all fall term university sports, including Football and soccer. Sports like hockey, basketball and volleyball all pushed back to at least January 2021. Pandemic continues to hit hard for so many student athletes.

  20. Gerta Rauss says:

    Brantford Boy: is the Balance photo the woman on the International dating ad I see?

    I must be doing something wrong, I get ads for removing ear wax

  21. Eh Team says:

    OriginalPouzar: Ryan Lambert and his view show his lack of viewing of the Oilers – he sees a plus/minus and creates an opinion on Drai’s game without any context.

    What these guys point out is that while Draisatl and McDavid generate a lot of goals they also give up a lot. Which is a fair assessment. The next step for both is picking up their defensive games to become dominant in both ends. Well, really the puck shouldn’t be in the Oilers end as much as it is.

    Some of that may be a reflection of quality of line mates, though the addition of Yamo and Ennis should help. And some of it was the result of playing both McDavid and Draisatl together which is really overkill as both can drive their own lines. If you play McD and Drai together you need a strong defensive forward as the third line mate. Someone other than Kassian.

    When Drai played with Nuge and Yamo you had three strong players together and it showed in the results. But that left McDavid carrying two weak(er) players. Ennis helped but McD needs a “Yamo” to play with too.

  22. OriginalPouzar says:

    Eh Team: This lineup exposes the vulnerability of the Oilers.Lines 3 and 4 are much better than before still (well) below average.Neahl, Khaira, Sheehan and even Archibald have been significantly outplayed and outscored on 5×5. Russell has not been good, but hey “veteran”.Chicago has much better goaltending with Crawford.If you look at the whole of Smith’s season, he has been well below average.

    Oilers can beat Chicago, as Chicago is horrible defensively, but there is still a lot of work to do before the Oilers are legit contenders. Inserting Jones and Haas would help, but still a lot of weak spots in the lineup.

    The line of Neal/Khaira/Chiasson only played abou 35 minutes together (really, 3 games) and they were 3-0 in goals.

    Neal and Chiasson played about 200 minutes together (without Khaira) and were 54.5% GF%.

  23. jp says:

    jtblack: The difference is Pisani could score and did score in the reg season before his playoff heater ..

    J.J. has never scored …at any level …

    I don’t think that’s fair.

    Khaira was 25 this season. Pisani turned pro age 24, turned 25 in December of his first pro season.

    Pisani’s 2nd pro season (he was ~8 months older than Khaira was this year) he scored 79-26-34-60 for the Hamilton Bulldogs. In Khaira’s last AHL season (he was 22) he scored 27-8-12-20. Pro-rated to match Pisani’s games that would be 79-23-35-58. Damn near identical but Khaira was 3.5 years younger.

    Pisani spent another half season in the AHL (he was 26 for most of it and scored marginally more than the previous season mentioned above) before making the jump to the Oilers. His first NHL game was just after his 27th birthday.

    In Pisani’s first full season (age 27/28) he scored 16 goals, then a career high 18 the next season (this was 2005-06 and followed by his famous playoff run).

    Khaira has struggled, this year in particular. But considering he’ll be 26 in his next NHL season and he’s already scored 11 goals in a NHL season (at age 23, when Pisani was scoring 14 goals in college) it’s not fair to say Pisani could score and Khaira never has.

  24. BONE207 says:

    Brantford Boy:
    My eyes lit up with the title today… is the Balance photo the woman on the International dating ad I see?

    I wish I had dating ad women on my feed.

    Balance…led me to believe I had missed something big this morning. How about symmetry instead. Our first 2 lines should out do other team’s lines. The 3rd & 4th lines just need to give symmetry to the lines they go up against. Offensively, defensively & just able to saw off their opposition at the very least. Bashing & crashing causing painful pursuit for the other team. Stifling opposition offense with smothering defence if scoring is not available. It may not be beautiful in regular season but is breathtaking in the playoffs.

  25. OriginalPouzar says:

    Ryan Rishaug
    @TSNRyanRishaug
    ·
    2m
    While he wouldn’t be specific about what the deadline is, Bill Daly tells me the Canadian Government is very aware of the NHL’s timeline for a decision on the border quarantine issue. Dialogue continues. He adds all 3 Canadian cities remain options for the NHL’s hub city plan.

  26. hunter1909 says:

    defmn: The league decided on points % to determine seeding.

    …something they have always refused to do in the past.

    Thanks now it won’t worry me. Back to worrying about social distancing.

  27. Lowetide says:

    For the first time in a long time, I’ve had to time someone out. Please be respectful, to the host and to all posters. Thanks.

  28. jp says:

    LT: “I have this nervous energy that builds up when things aren’t balanced. It’s a thing. One of the reasons I quit the roto league is the eight categories that I could never do equally well in. Drives me crazy. Whenever I write about a balanced hockey team the pushback is extreme. “You don’t need a checking line! Power versus power!” Sure, sure. Can we at least try to have one, just in case power is exhausted? Humor me.”

    You’ve stated, I believe, the balance photo is reserved for the team being balanced coming out of camp. So it’s not coming this time of year no matter what you think. But do you not think the current Oilers version is pretty damn balanced?

    They may or may not have a checking line, I don’t think we know actually. They added 2 top 6ish forwards at the deadline and we’ve had a pretty small window to see them and the rest of the forwards get settled in their new roles.

    Goalie I guess is a question though Koskinen has a starter quality SV%. D is 8 NHL players deep.

    And the forwards. The timed out poster (I guess) was questioning the validity of a checking line. But using his own criteria the Oilers have some real damn quality up front. I checked NHL forwards this season. 372 of them (12 X 31 teams worth) played 39 games this year. PPG brackets by line for those forwards were/are:

    1st line: 1-93 – 1.55-0.68
    2nd line: 94-186 – 0.68-0.47
    3rd line: 187-279 – 0.47-0.31
    4th line: 280-372 – <0.31

    So the "average" NHL forward has scored 0.47 PPG this season by my estimation.

    The Oilers have on their current roster:
    Draisaitl – 1.55(1) #1 in the NHL
    McDavid – 1.52(1) #2 in the NHL
    Yamamoto – 0.96(1)
    Nuge – 0.94(1)
    Kassian 0.58(2)
    Neal 0.56(2)
    Ennis 0.53(2)
    Athanasiou 0.47(2)
    Chiasson 0.37(3)
    Archibald 0.33(3)
    Nygard 0.27(4)
    Sheahan 0.23(4)
    Haas 0.17(4)
    Khaira 0.16(4)
    Russell 0.11(4)

    That's 4 forwards who've scored at 1st line NHL rates. 4 more who've scored at 2nd line NHL rates (8 in total) and 2 more who've scored at 3rd line rates (10 in total). In terms of average, the Oilers have 8 forwards who've scored above NHL average this season.

    Anyway, I think this team quite balanced, I'm curious if you agree or if you think they need more still.

  29. OriginalPouzar says:

    I had read some stuff on The Athletic last night about training camps being pushed to August and I was a bit surprised as I hadn’t hear that anyways.

    Doesn’t seem like that was accurate:

    Pierre LeBrun
    @PierreVLeBrun
    There’s been some confusion out there about the potential start of NHL training camps for the 24 teams in Phase 3: both the NHL and NHLPA, subject to negotiation, are hoping for mid-July still for start of camps…

  30. Lowetide says:

    JP: I think the Oilers are close to balanced. Photo may appear in preseason.

  31. OriginalPouzar says:

    Drai has been “labelled” a center for the purpose of the official “all-star vote”.

    Similar to the Hart, will he be first team all-star over MacKinnon (or even McDavid)?

  32. jtblack says:

    jp,

    “it’s not fair to say Pisani could score and Khaira never has.”

    Says who? I still stick to that statement.

    Khaira has never scored more than 11 Goals in any pro league. In junior 29 Goals was his best year, and that was TIER 2.

    I am not going to sit here and say Pisani was a great goal scorer or point producer. But the context was that JJ could do what Pisani did.

    Most players will never go on a run like Pisani did. but I definitely don’t see J.J. doing it …

  33. Ribs says:

    Lowetide:
    JP: I think the Oilers are close to balanced. Photo may appear in preseason.

    You mean after they trade away Nuge and Larsson for draft picks? *cries*

  34. Material Elvis says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Sounds like the selected PHWA got their ballots today so the voting will be done shortly.

    Wonder when they will “give out the awards” – I’m guessing no time soon.

    Ryan Lambert and his view show his lack of viewing of the Oilers – he sees a plus/minus and creates an opinion on Drai’s game without any context.

    Plus minus is traditionally the most important stat for determining the Hart Trophy winner. It’s not flawed at all. At least the vote is transparent so we will all know who the real idiots are.

  35. Material Elvis says:

    Brantford Boy: OP, I think you nailed it here… I can’t see the coach sitting the vets including goalie.

    His media avail was a tell. He will start a veteran lineup unless they completely blow it in training camp.

  36. Darth Tu says:

    Lowetide:
    JP: I think the Oilers are close to balanced. Photo may appear in preseason.

    Music.

    In terms of D, this is the closest I’ve seen to balance on the Oilers in a looooooong time. And not just balance of right and left, I mean quality at each slot.

    Forward wise I don’t think we’re far away from balance as well. I’d say one 3C, and 1 AA grabbing a job on McDavid’s line.

    I hope we get there, the Force has been out of balance for far too long, it’s time for destinies to be fulfilled and all that.

    “LONG HAVE I WAITED”.

  37. €√¥£€^$ says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    What I want:

    AA/McDavid/Kassian
    Nuge/Drai/Yamamoto
    Ennis/Sheahan/Archie
    Nygard/Khaira/Neal

    Klef/Larsson
    Nurse/Bear
    Jones/Benning

    Koskinen
    Smith

    —————

    What I think Coach T will do (subject to players not in shape or looking like they are taking a while):

    Ennis/McDavid/Kassian
    Nuge/Drai/Yamamoto
    AA/Sheahan/Archie
    Neal/Khaira/Chiasson

    Klef/Larsson
    Nurse/Bear
    Russell/Green

    Smith
    Koskinen

    I agree with what Tippet will probably go with.

    I’d like to see a 4th line with Nygard/Hass/AA

    I am convinced that Haas is a very effective player with faster line mates who are also good at making and taking passes. He has been stuck with mostly slow boots wingers from what I recall.
    Faster wingers would create more space for him and I’d like to see what he can do with that shot of his, something we have seen very little of.

    As well, with an O zone deployment, his poor FO abilities wouldn’t cause so much grief.

    Just my 2 cents

  38. defmn says:

    jp:

    Anyway, I think this team quite balanced, I’m curious if you agree or if you think they need more still.

    Not that you asked me. 😉

    The team is careening closer & closer to balance but there are a lot of different ways to view that concept.

    Some of the criteria?

    Cap hit distribution – this team will never be balanced because it has two superstars who are paid as such. This means the team will always need a larger number of sub $1M players than you would see in a team balanced by cap hit.

    Age – this year’s edition took a big step by bringing in a group that filled the 26-29 age group that, imo had been underrepresented forever. Bear, Jones, Yamomoto brought the enthusiasm of youth. Neal, Smith and then Green the grizzled experience.

    Size & Speed & Skill – I think you need all three. This blog spends a lot of time talking about size/toughness/hitting etc. and I am not sure that there is any clear winner of those discussions because the terms are difficult to quantify. Chiasson seems to be a bit of a focal point this year with he and Kassian are easy targets for those who evaluate solely through numbers. To me balancing these three aspects of the game means you are not as vulnerable to your opponent’s tactics and this shows up more in 7 game series than it does in the regular season.

    Chemistry – is this part of balance? I don’t know but it was part of my thinking in separating KRussel’s value on the team as opposed to Jones the other day. Do the skills of the 5 man units mesh? This is part of my oft repeated “it is not the job of the GM to acquire the best players, it is his job to build the best team”. Yes, there is considerable overlap, but no, they are not the same.

    I don’t know how to explain this team’s need for an improved 3C in terms of balance but somehow it seems to me to be in there somewhere. Is it in terms of median efficiency? If you said that Draisaitl & McDavid outperform the requirements of their job description by, say, 20%, and Sheehan underperformed in his role as the 3C by, say, 30% does a 150% range of ‘performance expectation’ sound like a sensible category? Is a smaller discrepancy a measurement of balance?

    Anyway. Just some thoughts. I still think the ‘balance photo’ should involve a playground teeter totter. 😉

  39. jp says:

    Lowetide,

    Thanks, glad to hear.

  40. jtblack says:

    Lowetide:
    For the first time in a long time, I’ve had to time someone out. Please be respectful, to the host and to all posters. Thanks.

    well done Captain! You are the best Host. You run a great blog and I Appreciate that you keep the comments civil.

  41. Decidedly Skeptical Fan says:

    Material Elvis: His media avail was a tell.He will start a veteran lineup unless they completely blow it in training camp.

    Yamamoto is a veteran, right?

  42. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Drai has been “labelled” a center for the purpose of the official “all-star vote”.

    Similar to the Hart, will he be first team all-star over MacKinnon (or even McDavid)?

    Is this a new thing? I’m remembering Hall not getting an All-Star nod due to Ovechkin being all-star RW AND LW.

    Maybe Draisaitl will be an all-star LW and C (fat chance).

  43. jp says:

    jtblack:
    jp,

    “it’s not fair to say Pisani could score and Khaira never has.”

    Says who?I still stick to that statement.

    Khaira has never scored more than 11 Goals in any pro league.In junior 29 Goals was his best year, and that was TIER 2.

    I am not going to sit here and say Pisani was a great goal scorer or point producer. But the context was that JJ could do what Pisani did.

    Most players will never go on a run like Pisani did. but I definitely don’t see J.J. doing it …

    As you like. No one on earth saw Pisani doing it when he did it either. Obviously it’s not likely Khaira will have a run like that.

    When you account for their age (Pisani had his only 20 goal pro season, in the AHL, a little older than Khaira is now; had not played an NHL game at the age Khaira is now) I don’t think it’s fair to conclude Pisani was a better scorer. You don’t need to agree.

  44. leadfarmer says:

    Lowetide:
    For the first time in a long time, I’ve had to time someone out. Please be respectful, to the host and to all posters. Thanks.

    Ohh I missed it? Who was it?

  45. leadfarmer says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    I had read some stuff on The Athletic last night about training camps being pushed to August and I was a bit surprised as I hadn’t hear that anyways.

    Doesn’t seem like that was accurate:

    Pierre LeBrun
    @PierreVLeBrun
    There’s been some confusion out there about the potential start of NHL training camps for the 24 teams in Phase 3: both the NHL and NHLPA, subject to negotiation, are hoping for mid-July still for start of camps…

    Mid July start of camps? Is that like mid August start of playoffs?
    Im very curious to see how much interest they get in the US out of summer hockey.

  46. jp says:

    defmn: Not that you asked me.😉

    The team is careening closer & closer to balance but there are a lot of different ways to view that concept.

    Some of the criteria?

    Cap hit distribution – this team will never be balanced because it has two superstars who are paid as such. This means the team will always need a larger number of sub $1M players than you would see in a team balanced by cap hit.

    Age – this year’s edition took a big step by bringing in a group that filled the 26-29 age group that, imo had been underrepresented forever. Bear, Jones, Yamomoto brought the enthusiasm of youth. Neal, Smith and then Green the grizzled experience.

    Size & Speed & Skill – I think you need all three. This blog spends a lot of time talking about size/toughness/hitting etc. and I am not sure that there is any clear winner of those discussions because the terms are difficult to quantify. Chiasson seems to be a bit of a focal point this year with he and Kassian are easy targets for those who evaluate solely through numbers. To me balancing these three aspects of the game means you are not as vulnerable to your opponent’s tactics and this shows up more in 7 game series than it does in the regular season.

    Chemistry – is this part of balance? I don’t know but it was part of my thinking in separating KRussel’s value on the team as opposed to Jones the other day. Do the skills of the 5 man units mesh? This is part of my oft repeated “it is not the job of the GM to acquire the best players, it is his job to build the best team”. Yes, there is considerable overlap, but no, they are not the same.

    I don’t know how to explain this team’s need for an improved 3C in terms of balance but somehow it seems to me to be in there somewhere. Is it in terms of median efficiency? If you said that Draisaitl & McDavid outperform the requirements of their job description by, say, 20%, and Sheehan underperformed in his role as the 3C by, say, 30% does a 150% range of ‘performance expectation’ sound like a sensible category? Is a smaller discrepancy a measurement of balance?

    Anyway. Just some thoughts. I still think the ‘balance photo’ should involve a playground teeter totter.😉

    I’d agree that’s all valid.

    You’re right this team can’t ever be balanced based on cap hit distribution. Though it’s obviously not a bad thing having the top 2 scorers in the league.

    I think the team is doing pretty well in the age, size/speed/skill and chemistry categories.

    I agree a better 3C is probably needed for balance but I also wonder whether adding an AA or Ennis or whoever to Sheahan (or another <$2M C) actually produces a saw-off line (or maybe Neal-Khaira-Chiasson or some other combination is one). Tippett got way less time then expected to work through the post-deadline combos to find a couple of bottom 6 lines that work.

    I'm not quite clear on the "150% range of ‘performance expectation’ " but agree that the bottom 6 lines can bleed a little given McDavid/Draisaitl's expected outperformance (assuming that’s what you were getting at). Not to the degree Sheahan's line bled this year, but I don't know an Oilers bottom 6 (assuming 2 high end lines above them) needs to actually win its minutes.

    5v5 minutes per game from Jan. 1st onward:
    Draisaitl 16:45
    McDavid 16:20
    Sheahan 10:35
    Haas 8:45

    McDavid or Draisaitl will be playing essentially 2/3 of the 5v5 minutes each game. And Haas didn't bleed. Holland/Tippett really only have to 'fix' 10 minutes a game.

  47. Harpers Hair says:

    jp:
    LT: “I have this nervous energy that builds up when things aren’t balanced. It’s a thing. One of the reasons I quit the roto league is the eight categories that I could never do equally well in. Drives me crazy. Whenever I write about a balanced hockey team the pushback is extreme. “You don’t need a checking line! Power versus power!” Sure, sure. Can we at least try to have one, just in case power is exhausted? Humor me.”

    You’ve stated, I believe, the balance photo is reserved for the team being balanced coming out of camp. So it’s not coming this time of year no matter what you think. But do you not think the current Oilers version is pretty damn balanced?

    They may or may not have a checking line, I don’t think we know actually. They added 2 top 6ish forwards at the deadline and we’ve had a pretty small window to see them and the rest of the forwards get settled in their new roles.

    Goalie I guess is a question though Koskinen has a starter quality SV%. D is 8 NHL players deep.

    And the forwards. The timed out poster (I guess) was questioning the validity of a checking line. But using his own criteria the Oilers have some real damn quality up front. I checked NHL forwards this season. 372 of them (12 X 31 teams worth) played 39 games this year. PPG brackets by line for those forwards were/are:

    1st line: 1-93 – 1.55-0.68
    2nd line: 94-186 – 0.68-0.47
    3rd line: 187-279 – 0.47-0.31
    4th line: 280-372 –<0.31

    So the “average” NHL forward has scored 0.47 PPG this season by my estimation.

    The Oilers have on their current roster:
    Draisaitl – 1.55(1) #1 in the NHL
    McDavid – 1.52(1) #2 in the NHL
    Yamamoto – 0.96(1)
    Nuge – 0.94(1)
    Kassian 0.58(2)
    Neal 0.56(2)
    Ennis 0.53(2)
    Athanasiou 0.47(2)
    Chiasson 0.37(3)
    Archibald 0.33(3)
    Nygard 0.27(4)
    Sheahan 0.23(4)
    Haas 0.17(4)
    Khaira 0.16(4)
    Russell 0.11(4)

    That’s 4 forwards who’ve scored at 1st line NHL rates. 4 more who’ve scored at 2nd line NHL rates (8 in total) and 2 more who’ve scored at 3rd line rates (10 in total). In terms of average, the Oilers have 8 forwards who’ve scored above NHL average this season.

    Anyway, I think this team quite balanced, I’m curious if you agree or if you think they need more still.

    I do think the propensity of many coaches to match power vs power is an issue as many teams are trying to build rosters with scoring third lines and a fourth line with penalty killers who don’t see much ice time at evens.

    I expect you’ll see this in the Chicago series with Toews matched up against McDavid, Kane leading the second line and a third line that features 30 goal scorer Dominik Kubalik.

    Kubalik scored those 30 with just over 14 minutes TOI/G.

    Could be a difference maker.

  48. OriginalPouzar says:
  49. Brantford Boy says:

    leadfarmer,

    His name is Robert Paulson… his name is Robert Paulson… his name is Robert Paulson

  50. maudite says:

    What are PP numbers with and without chiasson on ice?!

    No way you shelve him if that PP is rolling IMO

  51. Eh Team says:

    jp: checked NHL forwards this season. 372 of them (12 X 31 teams worth) played 39 games this year. PPG brackets by line for those forwards were/are:

    1st line: 1-93 – 1.55-0.68
    2nd line: 94-186 – 0.68-0.47
    3rd line: 187-279 – 0.47-0.31
    4th line: 280-372 – <0.31

    So the "average" NHL forward has scored 0.47 PPG this season by my estimation.

    The Oilers have on their current roster:
    Draisaitl – 1.55(1) #1 in the NHL
    McDavid – 1.52(1) #2 in the NHL
    Yamamoto – 0.96(1)
    Nuge – 0.94(1)
    Kassian 0.58(2)
    Neal 0.56(2)
    Ennis 0.53(2)
    Athanasiou 0.47(2)
    Chiasson 0.37(3)
    Archibald 0.33(3)
    Nygard 0.27(4)
    Sheahan 0.23(4)
    Haas 0.17(4)
    Khaira 0.16(4)
    Russell 0.11(4)

    Do this at 5×5 and then show the 5×5 GF%. That will paint a different picture. I mean Neal isn’t a second line winger, he’s a 4th liner at evens (if that). I get that some of these players have good value on the PP or SH, but they need to hold their own at evens to be considered decent NHL’ers.

  52. jtblack says:

    jp,

    “You don’t need to agree.”

    We wont’ know until Khara’s career is done … If he never scores more than a dozen goals in any regular season and never scores more than 6 in a playoff, then we can conclude that Pisani was a better scorer. So we wait …

  53. Reja says:

    OriginalPouzar: The line of Neal/Khaira/Chiasson only played abou 35 minutes together (really, 3 games) and they were 3-0 in goals.

    Neal and Chiasson played about 200 minutes together (without Khaira) and were 54.5% GF%.

    This is a playoff line and if we’re going deep this line will have to score at the right times.

  54. PennersPancakes says:

    Harpers Hair: Dominik Kubalik

    Not discounting what Kubalik as done, 30 goals is impressive especially as a rookie. I know he has had at least one game on an all rookie 3rd linke with Hagel and Dach but he seems to play significant time with Toews.

    in the last 3 quarters of the season his 3 most common line combinations include Toews a total of 7/9 times. Would have to ask a Chicago fan how he plays without Toews. Moving him may bump Debrincat down to the 3rd line but that would still mean you have Alex Nylander in your top 6.

  55. jp says:

    Harpers Hair: I do think the propensity of many coaches to match power vs power is an issue as many teams are trying to build rosters with scoring third lines and a fourth line with penalty killers who don’t see much ice time at evens.

    I expect you’ll see this in the Chicago series with Toews matched up against McDavid, Kane leading the second line and a third line that features 30 goal scorer Dominik Kubalik.

    Kubalik scored those 30 with just over 14 minutes TOI/G.

    Could be a difference maker.

    Yeah 3 strong lines could be a difference maker. Though Towes and Kubalik were each other’s most common linemates this season. Is them playing apart a new thing? Did Kubalik still produce away from Toews?

    That aside, the Oilers most recent lineup included a guy who scored 30 goals last year on the 3rd line. And a guy who scored 19 goals this year (and points at a 2nd line rate) on the 4th line. I’m not so sure the Oilers come out behind if you’re stacking up scoring depth.

  56. jp says:

    jtblack:
    jp,

    “You don’t need to agree.”

    We wont’ know until Khara’s career is done … If he never scores more than a dozen goals in any regular season and never scores more than 6 in a playoff, then we can conclude that Pisani was a better scorer.So we wait …

    Fair.

  57. OriginalPouzar says:

    Ryan Rishaug
    @TSNRyanRishaug
    ·
    4m
    Talks on the Canadian border continue between the 3 Canadian teams, the NHL and the Federal government. Sense is things are heading in a positive direction and a decision on the 14 day quarantine issue could come this week.

  58. jp says:

    Eh Team: Do this at 5×5 and then show the 5×5 GF%.That will paint a different picture. I mean Neal isn’t a second line winger, he’s a 4th liner at evens (if that).I get that some of these players have good value on the PP or SH, but they need to hold their own at evens to be considered decent NHL’ers.

    So your only issue is with Neal?

    You’ll note that the large majority of guys getting killed in GF% are the ones who aren’t scoring. The bottom 4 players in GF% are 4 of the 6 lowest P/G scorers.

    The top 5 guys on my P/G list all have positive 5v5 GF%. Chiasson was the only other Oilers regular forward with a positive GF%. That’s 6 of the top 9 P/G players on the Oilers.

    The 3 others on my list are Neal and the two deadline additions. I don’t think we can judge the deadline additions after 9 games though they have established track records.

    So that leaves Neal and it’s fair to criticize his 5v5 GF% results. That said, I think they’ve been focused on way too much. His 5v5 SF% is 47.8%, right between Draisaitl and McDavid. His xGF% 49.7%, better than McDavid, Draisaitl or Nuge (due to having strong scoring chance results). He has a terrible PDO and maybe that’s a sign of deteriorating skills. Or maybe it’s a sign of bad luck. He has scored a lot of goals this year after all…

    The other thing about Neal is he’s been played largely as a 2nd line winger this year. He’s 6th among “regular” Oiler forwards in TOI vs elites. So based on everything other than on ice GF/GA he’s performed quite decently against fairly strong competition. I’m not claiming Neal should be a top 6 forward on the current Oilers but I do think he has a good chance of breaking even/outscoring bottom 6 competition. Which was kinda my whole point.

    The Oilers have added depth at the deadline. That allows some of the guys who weren’t putting up points (and were getting outscored) to be pushed out of the lineup. And guys like AA, Neal and Chiasson who played significant top 6 minutes this year can now take on bottom 6 opposition. Their results should improve. This is a good thing IMO.

  59. OriginalPouzar says:

    Brantford Boy:
    My eyes lit up with the title today… is the Balance photo the woman on the International dating ad I see?

    Ugh, forward line combinations… without breaking that #2 line up, options are somewhat limited.All I would add, is in the last games I felt AA was building chemistry with Sheehan and Archibald, and I believe Neal-Khaira-Chiasson worked well in a small sample which leaves Nygard out, and I doubt that happens.

    I agree completely with the defensive pairings.

    Chiasson/Khaira/Neal indeed did play well together – only 3 games I believe (35 minutes) but 3-0 GF/GA.

    Of note, Chiasson and Neal had a positive GF% in a large sample size for the year.

    Coach mentioned the other day how much he liked that line together and sees them as a heavy, physical aggresive forcheck line.

    ————

    With respect to Nygard, as I posted earlier I think, coach T. has concerns about the length of time since he’s played or even practiced and thinks his hands may lag behind his feet and it may take him some extra time.

    I agree that Nygard will have to earn his way back in to the lineup – he’ll play, I’m sure, but maybe not in game 1.

  60. russ99 says:

    I’m with you on the need for a checking line, and Haas has won me over with his overall game.

    Playoff hockey is different than regular season hockey.

    Really curious how Tippett sets things up. With the elite skill at the top of the lineup, this is unlike any other previous Tippett playoff team, but playoff success is frequently ties to the things Tippett’s systems do well, deny space, forecheck, retain the puck.

  61. Material Elvis says:

    Decidedly Skeptical Fan: Yamamoto is a veteran, right?

    Yamamoto is an established top six forward. I don’t think his position in the lineup is disputable. When in doubt, Tippett defaults to veterans. Jones will sit instead of Russell. Nygard will sit instead of Neal. Haas will likely sit, too.

  62. Material Elvis says:

    Harpers Hair: I do think the propensity of many coaches to match power vs power is an issue as many teams are trying to build rosters with scoring third lines and a fourth line with penalty killers who don’t see much ice time at evens.

    I expect you’ll see this in the Chicago series with Toews matched up against McDavid, Kane leading the second line and a third line that features 30 goal scorer Dominik Kubalik.

    Kubalik scored those 30 with just over 14 minutes TOI/G.

    Could be a difference maker.

    If Toews matches McDavid, who is going to be Chicago’s match up against Draisaitl? Dach or Strome? Either of those two are going to get crushed by the German.

  63. OriginalPouzar says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    Fire Khaira & K Russell into the sun. I can’t see why any right minded coach would play them outside of injuries.

    I really thought for a second were going to see the Balance Photo™, LT not cool.

    Well, Khaira did play well with Chiasson and Neal in a small sample and coach has expressed he likes that line and its size, heaviness and ability to forecheck.

    Also, Khaira is a mainstay on the PK and is a very good PK guy – that’s not only this year but his results year over year are good to great.

    Given the team’s success in the regular season was directly related to their special teams, I would think a right-minded coach would want to continue that including the chemistry Nuge and Khaira have as a PK unit.

    Take Khaira out of the lineup and, history shows, the next guy up is Drai – now, while Drai is a good to great PK guy, I’m not sure adding minutes of consistent PK duty is beneficial to the team.

    I know, a guy like Haas PKd in Europe but he had nominal PK time this year and I don’t think the NHL post-season is the right time to experiment.

  64. OriginalPouzar says:

    hunter1909: Khaira might not be Bob Gainey but he’s not easy to steal the puck from and he’s tough and rarely makes any big mistakes. On a bottom 6 role a player like that can be extra valuable in the playoffs.

    Yes, I have always thought Khaira is going to be the Pisani of the next Oilers playoff team.

    Actually, to me, the one main issue that Khaira had for the first 2/3 of the 70 game season was he started to become prone to the major mistake and it cost goals against on a number of occasions.

    Bad turnovers in the neutral zone and bad line changes.

    I agree, that’s generally not him and he’s 100% in my playoff game 1 lineup.

  65. OriginalPouzar says:

    hunter1909:
    Obviously I must be stupid to ask this but why are the Oilers not one of the top 4 seeds when they are 4th in points?

    Dallas is fourth in points percentage.

    I agree with going with points percentage.

    I am fine with the 24 teams (the economic reasons are real and they are important).

    I am not fine with them changing from division to conference rankings to determine the 4 teams with the bye.

  66. OriginalPouzar says:

    hunter1909: …something they have always refused to do in the past.

    Thanks now it won’t worry me. Back to worrying about social distancing.

    At the end of a normal season, points% vs. points makes zero difference because all teams have played the same 82 games.

    Sure, they haven’t used it to order the standings while the season is going but that is meaningless anyways – well at all times when the season isn’t abruptly ended 85% of the way though.

  67. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lowetide:
    JP: I think the Oilers are close to balanced. Photo may appear in preseason.

    I agree.

    With Sheahan as the 3C, they aren’t there!

  68. OriginalPouzar says:

    Decidedly Skeptical Fan: Yamamoto is a veteran, right?

    This is the third season where he’s played NHL games…….

  69. OriginalPouzar says:

    leadfarmer: Mid July start of camps?Is that like mid August start of playoffs?
    Im very curious to see how much interest they get in the US out of summer hockey.

    Yes, essentially.

    They’ve stated:

    – training camps won’t start until July 10th at the earliest – currently targettng July 14

    – training camps will be at least 2-3 weeks – likely closer to 3.

    – after camps, teams will travel to their hub cities and there will be apx a week before real games start – they will each play 2 exhibition games during that week.

    So, essentially, we are looking at 4 weeks from beginning of camp until game 1 so 2nd week of August if things go linear.

    Apx 2 months to get it all done.

    League has said off-season will be at leas 45-55 days – could be longer depending on when they want/need to start 2020/21 – if they are done in mid-October, they could start early December but they may want to delay that for “fans in the stands”, etc.

  70. OriginalPouzar says:

    defmn: Not that you asked me.

    The team is careening closer & closer to balance but there are a lot of different ways to view that concept.

    Some of the criteria?

    Cap hit distribution – this team will never be balanced because it has two superstars who are paid as such. This means the team will always need a larger number of sub $1M players than you would see in a team balanced by cap hit.

    Age – this year’s edition took a big step by bringing in a group that filled the 26-29 age group that, imo had been underrepresented forever. Bear, Jones, Yamomoto brought the enthusiasm of youth. Neal, Smith and then Green the grizzled experience.

    Size & Speed & Skill – I think you need all three. This blog spends a lot of time talking about size/toughness/hitting etc. and I am not sure that there is any clear winner of those discussions because the terms are difficult to quantify. Chiasson seems to be a bit of a focal point this year with he and Kassian are easy targets for those who evaluate solely through numbers. To me balancing these three aspects of the game means you are not as vulnerable to your opponent’s tactics and this shows up more in 7 game series than it does in the regular season.

    Chemistry – is this part of balance? I don’t know but it was part of my thinking in separating KRussel’s value on the team as opposed to Jones the other day. Do the skills of the 5 man units mesh? This is part of my oft repeated “it is not the job of the GM to acquire the best players, it is his job to build the best team”. Yes, there is considerable overlap, but no, they are not the same.

    I don’t know how to explain this team’s need for an improved 3C in terms of balance but somehow it seems to me to be in there somewhere. Is it in terms of median efficiency? If you said that Draisaitl & McDavid outperform the requirements of their job description by, say, 20%, and Sheehan underperformed in his role as the 3C by, say, 30% does a 150% range of ‘performance expectation’ sound like a sensible category? Is a smaller discrepancy a measurement of balance?

    Anyway. Just some thoughts. I still think the ‘balance photo’ should involve a playground teeter totter.

    Part of balancing out the cap distribution is having players play material roles on their ELCs.

    Currently that is Bear and Yamamoto playing 1/2RD and 1/2RW.

    Cheap 2nd contracts can help as well – for example Jones is $850K for the next two years. What if he ends up playing legit 2LD minutes for a large portion of that (injuries, moving a veteran, etc.)?

    Evan Bouchard will be on his ELC for the next 3 years – $1.6M max (with his bonuses) – I anticipate he will vastly outplay that contract for most of its term.

  71. OriginalPouzar says:

    Harpers Hair: I do think the propensity of many coaches to match power vs power is an issue as many teams are trying to build rosters with scoring third lines and a fourth line with penalty killers who don’t see much ice time at evens.

    I expect you’ll see this in the Chicago series with Toews matched up against McDavid, Kane leading the second line and a third line that features 30 goal scorer Dominik Kubalik.

    Kubalik scored those 30 with just over 14 minutes TOI/G.

    Could be a difference maker.

    Kubalik’s most common linemate was J. Toews who had a great year producing at 5 on 5.

    If Kubalik is on a 3rd line away from Toews (and Kane), I don’t expect him to be the same “30 goal scorer”.

  72. bassguy says:

    hi Lowetide!..loved your reference to “gaby Haas”..haha..the “noon show” on cfrn..that band(trio) was pretty killer as I think richard cherniski on guitar..he is still around I believe and les vincent I think on bass but he has passed as has Gaby..thanks!..that was just before siesta cinema…

  73. OriginalPouzar says:

    maudite:
    What are PP numbers with and without chiassonon ice?!

    No way you shelve him if that PP is rolling IMO

    If I remember correctly, Neal had better PP numbers than Chiasson but the PP itself was a bit better with Chiasson on it for the year.

    I’m not sure if the difference was material and, if it isn’t, with a healthy Neal, if there is a “better option” for evens than Chiasson, I’d be OK with him being healthy scratched (i.e. if they want to get someone like Nygard or Haas in to give the team a quicker bottom six, for example).

  74. OriginalPouzar says:

    jp: So your only issue is with Neal?

    You’ll note that the large majority of guys getting killed in GF% are the ones who aren’t scoring. The bottom 4 players in GF% are 4 of the 6 lowest P/G scorers.

    The top 5 guys on my P/G list all have positive 5v5 GF%. Chiasson was the only other Oilers regular forward with a positive GF%. That’s 6 of the top 9 P/G players on the Oilers.

    The 3 others on my list are Neal and the two deadline additions. I don’t think we can judge the deadline additions after 9 games though they have established track records.

    So that leaves Neal and it’s fair to criticize his 5v5 GF% results. That said, I think they’ve been focused on way too much. His 5v5 SF% is 47.8%, right between Draisaitl and McDavid. His xGF% 49.7%, better than McDavid, Draisaitl or Nuge (due to having strong scoring chance results). He has a terrible PDO and maybe that’s a sign of deteriorating skills. Or maybe it’s a sign of bad luck. He has scored a lot of goals this year after all…

    The other thing about Neal is he’s been played largely as a 2nd line winger this year. He’s 6th among “regular” Oiler forwards in TOI vs elites. So based on everything other than on ice GF/GA he’s performed quite decently against fairly strong competition. I’m not claiming Neal should be a top 6 forward on the current Oilers but I do think he has a good chance of breaking even/outscoring bottom 6 competition. Which was kinda my whole point.

    The Oilers have added depth at the deadline. That allows some of the guys who weren’t putting up points (and were getting outscored) to be pushed out of the lineup. And guys like AA, Neal and Chiasson who played significant top 6 minutes this year can now take on bottom 6 opposition. Their results should improve. This is a good thing IMO.

    Lets also not forget that Neal played a material portion of the season with a broken toe.

  75. Reja says:

    Best of 5 is all goaltending even though the Oilers are favourites. If Smith is healthy after training camp Tippett will start him in game 1 if we lose game 1 he comes back with Kosh for game 2. I think Smith is going to pull a Roloson and go on a 2 month run.

  76. Lowetide says:

    bassguy:
    hi Lowetide!..loved your reference to “gaby Haas”..haha..the “noon show” on cfrn..that band(trio) was pretty killer as I think richard cherniski on guitar..he is still around I believe and les vincent I think on bass but he has passed as has Gaby..thanks!..that was just before siesta cinema…

    Lol!

  77. Harpers Hair says:

    OriginalPouzar: Kubalik’s most common linemate was J. Toews who had a great year producing at 5 on 5.

    If Kubalik is on a 3rd line away from Toews (and Kane), I don’t expect him to be the same “30 goal scorer”.

    Kubalik scored 26 of his 30 goals at evens.

    More than Kane’s 25.

    He’s a stone cold killer.

  78. Harpers Hair says:

    Lowetide: Lol!

    Gabby did a weekly “Barndance” show on CKUA for many years.

    You couldn’t meet a more upbeat and generally nice man.

  79. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar: Kubalik’s most common linemate was J. Toews who had a great year producing at 5 on 5.

    If Kubalik is on a 3rd line away from Toews (and Kane), I don’t expect him to be the same “30 goal scorer”.

    Let’s break it down (5v5)

    Kubalik overall — 812min 23-12-35 2.62 P/60
    Kubalik w/ Toews 462min 16-10-26 3.38 P/60
    Kubalik no Toews 350min 7-2-9 1.54 P/60

    Wonderful season for the player but taking out his minutes with Toews sure takes the wind out of his sails.

  80. OriginalPouzar says:

    Harpers Hair: Kubalik scored 26 of his 30 goals at evens.

    More than Kane’s 25.

    He’s a stone cold killer.

    How many of those were scored on a when Toews wasn’t on the ice?

    Nugent Hopkins was one of the leading scorers in the league – a stone cold killer. If the Oilers moved him to 3C would his offensive production be the same?

    Noone is saying that Kubalik isn’t a very good offensive player or that he can’t or won’t be a factor but you are implying that he could play on a 3rd line and have the same offensive impact as he had playing with Toews through the year.

  81. OriginalPouzar says:

    jp: Let’s break it down (5v5)

    Kubalik overall — 812min 23-12-35 2.62 P/60
    Kubalik w/ Toews 462min 16-10-26 3.38 P/60
    Kubalik no Toews 350min 7-2-9 1.54 P/60

    Wonderful season for the player but taking out his minutes with Toews sure takes the wind out of his sails.

    Boom – that data to prove the point I was making.

    Thank you – much appreciated.

  82. Harpers Hair says:

    Material Elvis: If Toews matches McDavid, who is going to be Chicago’s match up against Draisaitl?Dach or Strome?Either of those two are going to get crushed by the German.

    I expect Patrick Kane will have something to say about that.

    He actually outscores at evens.

  83. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar: If I remember correctly, Neal had better PP numbers than Chiasson but the PP itself was a bit better with Chiasson on it for the year.

    I’m not sure if the difference was material and, if it isn’t, with a healthy Neal, if there is a “better option” for evens than Chiasson, I’d be OK with him being healthy scratched (i.e. if they want to get someone like Nygard or Haas in to give the team a quicker bottom six, for example).

    5v4 on ice results for the Oilers with Chiasson vs. Neal. I decided to take minutes that either net front guy played with McDavid+Nuge to isolate PP1 minutes (McDavid played a fair bit of PP2 by staying out there after others changed).

    Chiasson (with McDavid+Nuge) 81min 14.9GF/60 0GA/60
    Neal —– (with McDavid+Nuge) 118min 10.2GF/60 1.5GA/60

    Results were better with Chiasson. These are pretty small samples but it’s a fairly notable difference, and partly supported by SF/SA…
    Chiasson 61.6SF 6.7SA
    Neal —– 56.7SF 12.8SA

    Worth noting that Chiasson actually had notably better 5v5 on ice results too. I argued for Neal not being so terrible earlier but Chiasson (on ice, not his personal scoring) was actually legitimately good: 50.4%SF and 52.5%GF overall. IIRC he was one of the few Oilers who kept their heads above water in minutes without McDavid too.

    Personally I’d have both Neal and Chiasson in the lineup over Nygard (in part because he’s coming off hand surgery which is really tough). But if I had to choose between them I’d probably keep Chiasson in the lineup over Neal even though there’s nothing sexy there.

  84. jp says:

    Harpers Hair: I expect Patrick Kane will have something to say about that.

    He actually outscores at evens.

    Draisaitl does too.

    I’ll agree Kane has been consistently better at it (though FWIW Draisaitl has been +16 in the discipline in 2020, I doubt Kane can match that).

  85. Harpers Hair says:

    jp: Draisaitl does too.

    I’ll agree Kane has been consistently better at it (though FWIW Draisaitl has been +16 in the discipline in 2020, I doubt Kane can match that).

    Pretty small sample size.

  86. jp says:

    Harpers Hair: Pretty small sample size.

    Yes, no question Kane has been very good at it for a long time.

    Would you bet against Draisaitl though? 🙂

  87. OriginalPouzar says:

    Harpers Hair: I expect Patrick Kane will have something to say about that.

    He actually outscores at evens.

    Do you have knowledge of the outscoring stats of the Nuge/Drai/Yamamoto line in their 27 games together?

  88. Material Elvis says:

    Harpers Hair: I expect Patrick Kane will have something to say about that.

    He actually outscores at evens.

    He’s good, no doubt. But if you expect him to outscore at evens with a rookie center or Dylan Strome, you might be in for a surprise. Especially if they are matched against RNH-Drai-Yamamoto. I would take that all day, every day.

  89. Material Elvis says:

    Draisaitl came out of the gate on fire in the fall; 40 points in his first 21 games. He’s going to be such a handful in these playoffs. Could open things up for the other superstar. Is it August yet?

  90. Scungilli Slushy says:

    The only formula for winning the Cup is luck in health, a decent enough goalie, and bounces, and enough skill.

    Same as it ever was.

  91. jeetz says:

    cowboy bill:
    It would be difficult for coach Tip to leave Neal & Chiasson off the playoff roster because of their vast playoff experience . However they are two slow boats and the way the league is transitioning to more of a speed game who knows how things could look . LT’s line featuring ( Sheahan-Haas-Archibald ) is brilliant , if Haas is up to the task . But it is the playoffs , it depends on how the games will be played . Either way it seems the Oilers can grind it out or blow the opposition away with their speed . So they have their bases covered . Balance is the key .

    While I agree in the regular season, history shows that the referees have a tendency to swallow their whistles in the playoffs allowing the tougher but slower players to be more effective. That might be a really effective playoff 4th line

  92. Harpers Hair says:

    OriginalPouzar: Do you have knowledge of the outscoring stats of the Nuge/Drai/Yamamoto line in their 27 games together?

    Do you have knowledge of Patrick Kane’s stats in the playoffs?

  93. OriginalPouzar says:

    Harpers Hair: Do you have knowledge of Patrick Kane’s stats in the playoffs?

    https://www.quanthockey.com/nhl/seasons/2016-17-nhl-players-playoff-stats.html

  94. ArmchairGM says:

    Harpers Hair: Do you have knowledge of Patrick Kane’s stats in the playoffs?

    IIRC Chicago hasn’t won a playoff series since Kane’s big contract kicked in back in the summer of 2015. Kane’s stats in two tries:

    11, 2-7-9, -4

    Meh.

  95. Lowetide says:

    New for The Athletic: Every prospect in the Oilers system and what’s next for each player. If you are not a subscriber, follow the link to a free trial.

    https://theathletic.com/1859144/2020/06/09/lowetide-every-prospect-in-the-oilers-system-and-whats-next-for-each-player/

  96. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lowetide:
    New for The Athletic: Every prospect in the Oilers system and what’s next for each player. If you are not a subscriber, follow the link to a free trial.

    https://theathletic.com/1859144/2020/06/09/lowetide-every-prospect-in-the-oilers-system-and-whats-next-for-each-player/

    Whoa – this should be awesome – can’t wait to read tonight!

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