August and Everything After

by Lowetide

The world should be thankful for hockey. In Canada, the very best of us devote all of their youth and much of their first four decades to the pursuit of excellence in the sport. The northern nation dabbles in the other pursuits, but when it comes to hockey, plug in, flush out and fire the f’in feed. The playoffs are ahead. The power and the glory, forever and ever, amen.

THE ATHLETIC!

Great perspective from a ridiculous group of writers and analysts. I am proud to be part of The Athletic. Here are the most recent Oilers stories.

How good are these Oilers? At the top end, the club is championship calibre. The best way to express this is to list the players who landed on the correct side of five on five goal differential. First the forwards, January 1 to the end of the season:

  1. Kailer Yamamoto 30-13 (70 percent)
  2. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 30-14 (68 percent)
  3. Leon Draisaitl 33-16 (67 percent)
  4. Joakim Nygard 5-3 (63 percent)
  5. James Neal 10-7 (59 percent)
  6. Alex Chiasson 9-7 (56 percent)
  7. Connor McDavid 20-20 (50 percent)
  8. Gaetan Haas 4-4 (50 percent)

This is two men who push the river (McDavid, Draisaitl) and some impressive complementary players but no one should underestimate the importance of Yamamoto over (say) Rattie. You need these players to succeed, and in the era of the salary cap, you need some of them to be making less than $1 million. A good list. Now, the blue, from January 1 to the end of the season:

  1. Caleb Jones 21-13 (62 percent)
  2. Adam Larsson 25-20 (56 percent)
  3. Oscar Klefbom 19-17 (53 percent)
  4. Ethan Bear 25-23 (52 percent)
  5. Darnell Nurse 24-23 (52 percent)
  6. Matt Benning 9-9 (50 percent)

Jones may not grab a starting spot on August 1 but he earned it down the stretch. Klefbom-Larsson were rock solid and Nurse-Bear performed well, too.

THE BOTTOM SIX FORWARDS

Here is the area that will need work in the offseason, beginning with a third-line center. You’d love Gaetan Haas to grow into the role but my guess is we see some shoring up by Ken Holland. Here are the bottom six forwards since January 1:

  1. Joakim Nygard 5-3 (63 percent)
  2. James Neal 10-7 (59 percent)
  3. Alex Chiasson 9-7 (56 percent)
  4. Gaetan Haas 4-4 (50 percent)
  5. Josh Archibald 12-18 (40 percent)
  6. Jujhar Khaira 7-12 (37 percent)
  7. Riley Sheahan 9-20 (31 percent)
  8. Patrick Russell 2-11 (15 percent)

This is the area Ken Holland will address over the offseason. Sheahan has not been re-signed, and some of those already under contract (Neal, Chiasson, Khaira) could be dealt. For free agent Patrick Russell, getting a deal and winning a job may be difficult. Josh Archibald, Joakim Nygard and Gaetan Haas have all signed recently for 2020-21, so a roster spot is clearly in view. However, burying those deals in the minors wouldn’t touch the cap room much, if at all.

I think Holland did some of his offseason procurement at the deadline, bringing in Andreas Athanasiou plus UFA’s Tyler Ennis and Mike Green. That bottom six forward group is going to receive some tweaks.

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OriginalPouzar

Oilers release their training camp roster.

Jones is indeed on it.

Granlund is not.

Interesting to see Wells and no Starrett. I wonder if he’s not healthy still

https://www.nhl.com/oilers/news/release-oilers-announce-phase-3-training-camp-roster/c-317386884

Goaltenders (5): Mikko Koskinen (Vantaa, FIN), Olivier Rodrigue (Chicoutimi, QC), Stuart Skinner (Edmonton, AB), Mike Smith (Kingston, ON), Dylan Wells (St. Catharines, ON)

Defencemen (10): Ethan Bear (Ochapiwace, SK), Matt Benning (St. Albert, AB), Evan Bouchard (Oakville, ON), Philip Broberg (Orebro, SWE), Caleb Jones (Arlington, TX), Oscar Klefbom (Karlstad, SWE), William Lagesson (Gothenburg, SWE), Adam Larsson (Skelleftea, SWE), Darnell Nurse (Hamilton, ON), Kris Russell (Caroline, AB)

Forwards (18): Josh Archibald (Brainerd, MN), Andreas Athanasiou (Woodbridge, ON), Tyler Benson (Edmonton, AB), Alex Chiasson (Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures, QC), Leon Draisaitl (Cologne, GER), Gaetan Haas (Bonfol, SUI), Tyler Ennis (Edmonton, AB), Zack Kassian (Windsor, ON), Jujhar Khaira (Surrey, BC), Cooper Marody (Brighton, MI), Connor McDavid (Newmarket, ON), Ryan McLeod (Mississauga, ON), James Neal (Whitby, ON), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Burnaby, BC), Joakim Nygard (Stockholm, SWE), Patrick Russell (Holte, DEN), Riley Sheahan (St. Catharines, ON), Kailer Yamamoto (Spokane, WA)

JimmyV1965

N64: Lag matters a lot with recent case doublings.And a dramatic expansion in one age cohort does not end there. So add a lag for the young to pass it along to older in their lives just to get to the main lag to death. Better treatment may have reduced death rates somewhat but you can only say that with age specific stats

Yes. They are expecting the number of deaths to jump soon because of the lag. They’re not expecting April numbers though. Not to say any deaths are meaningless. They are all important.

N64

jp: A bit of a lag between infections, then cases, then deaths.

Lag matters a lot with recent case doublings. And a dramatic expansion in one age cohort does not end there. So add a lag for the young to pass it along to older in their lives just to get to the main lag to death. Better treatment may have reduced death rates somewhat but you can only say that with age specific stats

who

OriginalPouzar: 1) Yes and Yes.
2) Joking about it – lighthearted.
3) Lots of rec leagues keeps stats – We used to have “awards nights” with trophies in the Edmonton league – it was a community event.

Okay. I honestly wasn’t sure if you were kidding or not.
My point is, that telling us about your exploits in a rec league isn’t going to validate your opinions with most posters on this blog. At least not the ones who played hockey at a higher level than the Jewish rec leagues.
You must know this? Right?

OriginalPouzar

Reja:
If the Oilers have a long run in the playoffs it wouldn’t surprise me if Bouchardgets his shot and racks up the points like the magnet that he is. It’s easy just hit Mcdavid while he’s on the fly and QB the PP likeLarry Murphy it’llthrow a twist into Chicago’s strategy.I’m sure they been viewing non stop and have a masterplan to stop the No 1 PP.

Well, with Green not joining, the chances of Bouchard playing rise as he is 4th on the right side option.

It would/will be interesting to see what Coaches Tippett and Playfair do if/when there is an injury to Bear, Larsson or Benning – will they flip one of Rusty or Jones over to play 3RD or give that opportunity to Bouchard?

I’m OK if Bouch plays a few games but I do think they need to be cognizant of the 10 game threshold – I’m generally not concerned about burning a year of a players’s ELC – its often beneficial vis-a-vis the 2nd contract but, in this case, with the Oilers cap situation, I’m very much looking forward to 3 years of Bouchard on his ELC – cap hit under $1M (well, bonuses could take it to $1.6M).

As far as his deployment, I would assume he would be VERY sheltered and would see zero PP1 time and likely very little, if any, PP2 time.

Lets not forget, Ethan Bear was a great PP player in the CHL, like Bouchard, and he only got leftovers on the 2nd pairing this year.

I anticipate that Bear gets more PP1 time next year (decrease in Klef’s minutes) and Bouchard, when in the NHL, takes on the leftovers ala Bear this year.

Jones is also in the mix – he played PP1 over the likes of Bouchard at times in the AHL.

OriginalPouzar

who: Okay. Maybe this is an inside joke that I missed.
But I gotta ask 3 questions.
Is there actually Jewish hockey leagues in Calgary and Edmonton?
And are you actually bragging about leading them in scoring?
And who the hell keeps scoring records in arec league?

1) Yes and Yes.
2) Joking about it – lighthearted.
3) Lots of rec leagues keeps stats – We used to have “awards nights” with trophies in the Edmonton league – it was a community event.

jp

JimmyV1965: The risk of serious health threats for people under 35 with no underlying health conditions is still low. There is a risk, but it’s low. They can still catch the virus of course and masks reduce the likelihood of that happening.It’s interesting that with all the new cases being reported in the States, the number of deaths is still much lower than it was in March and April. More testing of course and probably more young people contracting the virus.

I agree it’s low, but not none. Something like 3% of people in their 30s are ending up hospitalized too, even if they aren’t dying.

Yeah current deaths remain much lower than they were. They are rising though in the past week. A bit of a lag between infections, then cases, then deaths. I imagine they’ll climb more but not sure how much.

Anyway, I do agree that more testing and a bias towards younger people getting infected (and also some better treatment options emerging for those in hospital) have most likely resulted in an actually lower death rate.

jp

N64:
Sorry You guessed wrong

Humor has a sharp edge
Not cool to dismiss due to age or comorbidities

N64:
Liver infection issues over that span
In a disease with crazy blood clotting

Should have read. Yup, there is some reason for concern even among the young and healthy.

And yeah Green appears to have a really good reason for sitting this thing out.

N64

jp: I guess you didn’t mean to quote The Onion??

But yeah without knowing Green’s exact issues and comorbidities, the fact his body had major trouble fighting off a previous viral infection is absolutely reason for concern.

Liver infection issues over that span
In a disease with crazy blood clotting

N64

jp: guess you didn’t mean to quote The Onion??

Sorry You guessed wrong

Humor has a sharp edge
Not cool to dismiss due to age or comorbidities

Pescador

Pescador:

So much focus is always on the 3C when discussing the soft parade,

Unless of course the debate is about Yakupov or Puljujarvi

Pescador

leadfarmer: Really need AA to be a top 6 quality forward on that 3rd line.

This post truly is more than the sum of its parts.
So much focus is always on the 3C when discussing the soft parade, especially during the playoffs.
It is possible for the wingers to be the drivers.
Quick someone get P.C. on the horn!
Oilers finally have a lineup that resembles depth,
Feels weird

hunter1909

If there are any of you reading this who feel like they might like to start a physical fitness stint, now might be the best possible time with the pandemic circling overhead of everyone like vultures.

The virus, like all viruses needs to invade, set up camp then multiply; but a physically fit person should have a superior immune system to counterattack.

Too bad about Mike Green.

JimmyV1965

jp: It’s clear you think your take is accurate.

Honesty, I generally agree with what you’ve said here. But you essentially said in your previous comment there is no risk for a 35 year old. That’s not the opinion of the majority of experts.

And you said the other day it’s pointless to wear any mask unless it’s a respirator. That’s plain wrong.

You’re choosing the experts you listen to (as we all do). I guess it’s just the confidence you have in your group of experts that surprises me.

The risk of serious health threats for people under 35 with no underlying health conditions is still low. There is a risk, but it’s low. They can still catch the virus of course and masks reduce the likelihood of that happening. It’s interesting that with all the new cases being reported in the States, the number of deaths is still much lower than it was in March and April. More testing of course and probably more young people contracting the virus.

Side

jp: It’s clear you think your take is accurate.

Honesty, I generally agree with what you’ve said here. But you essentially said in your previous comment there is no risk for a 35 year old. That’s not the opinion of the majority of experts.

And you said the other day it’s pointless to wear any mask unless it’s a respirator. That’s plain wrong.

You’re choosing the experts you listen to (as we all do). I guess it’s just the confidence you have in your group of experts that surprises me.

I was hoping he was kidding about masks being pointless.

I have no clue how anyone could think such a thing, especially now.

Speaking of 35ish year olds and COVID

comment image

jp

Scungilli Slushy:
I think my take on Covid is accurate.

An easily transmissible virus that is of serious consequence to few people. The issue being that the transmissibility can overwhelm hospitals.

Places with low population density have less issues.

Nothing has changed regarding this from the beginning of it.

This is common knowledge freely available.

I take it seriously and also reasonably. The media around this is in my opinion very unprofessional. But that’s what happens when old industries don’t see when change is coming, and so real investigative journalism is mostly gone.

It’s clear you think your take is accurate.

Honesty, I generally agree with what you’ve said here. But you essentially said in your previous comment there is no risk for a 35 year old. That’s not the opinion of the majority of experts.

And you said the other day it’s pointless to wear any mask unless it’s a respirator. That’s plain wrong.

You’re choosing the experts you listen to (as we all do). I guess it’s just the confidence you have in your group of experts that surprises me.

Reja

If the Oilers have a long run in the playoffs it wouldn’t surprise me if Bouchard gets his shot and racks up the points like the magnet that he is. It’s easy just hit Mcdavid while he’s on the fly and QB the PP like Larry Murphy it’ll throw a twist into Chicago’s strategy. I’m sure they been viewing non stop and have a master plan to stop the No 1 PP.

Reja

Harpers Hair: Some speculation on the interwebs that he’s not playing because the Oilers aren’t going to offer him a new contract.

I could see that why play with all the bubble conditions and having no contract. It’s not like he’s hurting for cash. I bet he signs with Stevie Y. Let it be said. Let it be written. Book it.

Jaxon

I’m kinda hoping Benson gets into action and they put him on a line with Neal. Not sure who the C would be. Haas’ speed, Khaira’s size, or Sheahan’s experience? I’d like to see what Benson could do with a real scorer.

Scungilli Slushy

Lowetide: I think that’s a great progression for him, but he has to sign and earn the opportunity. I think he has that kind of potential for sure, not sure the line he’ll play on.

Yes I was projecting for him. He’s an interesting kid. I don’t feel he has the mindset for the NHL. As you likely remember from my comments around him.

But he sure has the tool kit for it.

jp

N64: When week 2 goes haywire it looks like an immunology issue followed by clotting in week 3. It’s about comorbidities as well as age and liver issues I think he’s smart to be concerned.

https://www.theonion.com/teen-who-died-from-coronavirus-probably-had-undiagnosed-1844325600

I guess you didn’t mean to quote The Onion??

But yeah without knowing Green’s exact issues and comorbidities, the fact his body had major trouble fighting off a previous viral infection is absolutely reason for concern.

N64

jp: He has some history with viral infection problems. I don’t know the details but seems it’s a health issue rather than believing he’ll hurt his next payday

When week 2 goes haywire it looks like an immunology issue followed by clotting in week 3. It’s about comorbidities as well as age and liver issues I think he’s smart to be concerned.

https://www.theonion.com/teen-who-died-from-coronavirus-probably-had-undiagnosed-1844325600

Scungilli Slushy

jp: He has some history with viral infection problems. I don’t know the details but seems it’s a health issue rather than believing he’ll hurt his next payday.

I assume you’re also aware your take on the severity of Covid is fairly far to one side of the spectrum. Many (most, it’d think) believe there’s more risk than you seem to.

I think my take on Covid is accurate.

An easily transmissible virus that is of serious consequence to few people. The issue being that the transmissibility can overwhelm hospitals.

Places with low population density have less issues.

Nothing has changed regarding this from the beginning of it.

This is common knowledge freely available.

I take it seriously and also reasonably. The media around this is in my opinion very unprofessional. But that’s what happens when old industries don’t see when change is coming, and so real investigative journalism is mostly gone.

jp

godot10: Hey Zack! Know your job. Do your job.
But he doesn’t know his job. And he is incompetent at doing his job.

We can agree that Zack Kassian’s greatest strength isn’t as a defensive forward.

But this is what happened with McDavid and Kassian on the ice this season:
McDavid+Kassian 663min 42GF 35GA (3.8-3.2 /60) 54.6%GF
McDavid no Kass- 392min 20GF 23GA (3.1-3.5 /60) 46.5%GF
Kassian no McD— 207min 8GF—9GA (2.3-2.6 /60) 47.1%GF

I’m not sure how Kassian deserves any flack for his work with McDavid.

who

OriginalPouzar: Only person in history (to my knowledge) to lead both the Edmonton and Calgary leagues in scoring (different years, of course).

Okay. Maybe this is an inside joke that I missed.
But I gotta ask 3 questions.
Is there actually Jewish hockey leagues in Calgary and Edmonton?
And are you actually bragging about leading them in scoring?
And who the hell keeps scoring records in a rec league?

jp

Bruce McCurdy: Oilers penalty, #44, Zack Kassian. 2 minutes for not being #17, Jari Kurri. Time: immemorial.

This is excellent.

jp

Scungilli Slushy: A poor performance now will end his NHL career. Given his history that’s the risk, he’ll be too far back in skating,

Sitting out means the last look at him fully up to speed as much as he can is his shingle out front.

One million US dollars is a lot, and that is what he will at least get until he proves he’s done.

I have no idea his plan, but that makes the most sense to me unless there are strong health concerns around covid. Which would be very unusual for a 35 YO according to multiple health experts anyone can find on the web.

He has some history with viral infection problems. I don’t know the details but seems it’s a health issue rather than believing he’ll hurt his next payday.

I assume you’re also aware your take on the severity of Covid is fairly far to one side of the spectrum. Many (most, it’d think) believe there’s more risk than you seem to.

jp

godot10: If Green is not playing now, he is not going to play next season, when the health risks will likely be worse.

The bubble will be less risky than any protocols they have next season.

I was thinking the same thing. Gotta think Green will continue sitting things out until there’s a vaccine. Given he’ll be 35 in a few months, Covid could be the end of Mike Green, as an NHLer.

Scungilli Slushy

godot10: If Green is not playing now, he is not going to play next season, when the health risks will likely be worse.

The bubble will be less risky than any protocols they have next season.

A poor performance now will end his NHL career. Given his history that’s the risk, he’ll be too far back in skating,

Sitting out means the last look at him fully up to speed as much as he can is his shingle out front.

One million US dollars is a lot, and that is what he will at least get until he proves he’s done.

I have no idea his plan, but that makes the most sense to me unless there are strong health concerns around covid. Which would be very unusual for a 35 YO according to multiple health experts anyone can find on the web.

Scungilli Slushy

Lowetide: They need a defensive forward on that line, a Kurri. McDavid’s fast breaks can lead to one quick chance and then jailbreak the other way. Oilers have to be stronger on the counter.

Puljuvarvi I think is a natural for this job. He is naturally good at disrupting the counter attack as I see it.

He plays like a C with his roaming style. teach him right side face offs, tell him he can be wing man for the best player in the world for a good chunk of his career.

What else would a hockey loving player want? He’ll score 20+, ask him to take a reasonable salary. Assuming he’s fully healthy.

N64

OriginalPouzar:
Yup

~ I hear we only care about 5 on 5 ~

OriginalPouzar

Yup

Scungilli Slushy

OriginalPouzar: Only person in history (to my knowledge) to lead both the Edmonton and Calgary leagues in scoring (different years, of course).

Are you talking about points scoring?

OriginalPouzar

Material Elvis: Too bad.I hear he led the Jewish hockey league in scoring.Could have been a real asset…..

Only person in history (to my knowledge) to lead both the Edmonton and Calgary leagues in scoring (different years, of course).

Genjutsu

Harpers Hair: Some speculation on the interwebs that he’s not playing because the Oilers aren’t going to offer him a new contract.

Well that might be smart on his part if that’s the case.

His next contract may well be his last and if he gets a bad injury in the playoffs he may not have that option.

You gotta make the right call for yourself and your family.

Munny

Harpers Hair: Some speculation on the interwebs that he’s not playing because the Oilers aren’t going to offer him a new contract.

Ahh, the interwebs… good, so we can eliminate contract as an actual possibility then.

N64

Harpers Hair: Some speculation on the interwebs that he’s not playing because the Oilers aren’t going to offer him a new contract.

Speculation is offside. Good chance he needs to sit out next season ie. Retirement is an option. Tough timing.

https://russianmachineneverbreaks.com/2019/03/08/mike-green-to-miss-remainder-of-season-due-to-virus/

defmn

Harpers Hair: Some speculation on the interwebs that he’s not playing because the Oilers aren’t going to offer him a new contract.

That sounds like the usual milk of human kindness that we have all come to expect of anonymous interwebs gossip.

They saying the same thing about Hamonic?

Harpers Hair

Genjutsu: If Green has a condition that makes him vulnerable to COVID he’s likely not playing again until there is a vaccine or cure.

Who knows when that will happen. This may be the end for him.

Some speculation on the interwebs that he’s not playing because the Oilers aren’t going to offer him a new contract.

Material Elvis

Lowetide: Dammit OP, we haven’t even had a chance to make an offer! Harsh!

Too bad. I hear he led the Jewish hockey league in scoring. Could have been a real asset…..

Genjutsu

OriginalPouzar: Absolutely, I’ve been very adamant that there needs to be an incumbent at 3RD ahead of Bouchard going in to next season.Maybe I need to be more vocal in my opinions…..

What I don’t expect is for Green to sign a sweetheart deal with the Oilers, I don’t expect him to sign with the Oilers for any less than Matt Benning will (apx $2M) and, as of now, I am much more comfortable with Benning as 3RD going in to next year. There hasn’t been a chance to see if Green’s year was a function of regression or simply a terrible team.

I know, with utmost confidence, that Matt Benning can be a high end 3RD on the Oilers.

If Green has a condition that makes him vulnerable to COVID he’s likely not playing again until there is a vaccine or cure.

Who knows when that will happen. This may be the end for him.

OriginalPouzar

OilClog:
Nah man, you’re just in need of some self care when you’re at the point of saying it’s everyone else.

Mike Green comes back at a sweetheart price while being a veteran obstacle in the way of the youth pushing through, that’s perfect for a franchise looking to be constantly successful.

But hey, yea it’s ganglife homie.

Absolutely, I’ve been very adamant that there needs to be an incumbent at 3RD ahead of Bouchard going in to next season. Maybe I need to be more vocal in my opinions…..

What I don’t expect is for Green to sign a sweetheart deal with the Oilers, I don’t expect him to sign with the Oilers for any less than Matt Benning will (apx $2M) and, as of now, I am much more comfortable with Benning as 3RD going in to next year. There hasn’t been a chance to see if Green’s year was a function of regression or simply a terrible team.

I know, with utmost confidence, that Matt Benning can be a high end 3RD on the Oilers.

NicaOil

OP man what has happened to you….I use to love your brash, non censored color commentary…you are a number #1 true to your bones Edmonton Oilers fan, Gord Bless You. Don’t give in to the naysayers, smartest men in the room, hate that you love the team so much regulars. Give up your opinion guns a blazin’ and tell it likes you see it. Love you man!

OilClog

Nah man, you’re just in need of some self care when you’re at the point of saying it’s everyone else.

Mike Green comes back at a sweetheart price while being a veteran obstacle in the way of the youth pushing through, that’s perfect for a franchise looking to be constantly successful.

But hey, yea it’s ganglife homie.

OriginalPouzar

Agghhhh, three adversarial natured posts in a row – the gang is all here on a Saturday night….

OriginalPouzar

who: Well shoot.
How are the Oilers going to make a decision on him without you viewing him in the playoffs?

Something you want to get off your chest or are you simply posting to deride me posting my thoughts on the subject?

Of course, you read the following andintentionallyy ignored the use of “for me”, used twice, but have come on solely to be adversarial with me so have a great night:

ORIGINALPOUZARsays:
July 11, 2020 at 5:12 pm
For me, the Green opt out kind of shuts the door on potentially re-signing me. Don’t get me wrong, that has NOTHING to do with his decision, its solely based on the fact that, for me, I needed to see him play more games before I was willing to have him replace Benning as the inumbrant 3RD.

I wouldn’t feel comfortable moving Benning and re-signing a Mike Green that is turning 35 and coming off a poor season. I would need to see him have some success on the ice in a winning org first.

Harpers Hair

Lowetide: It hurts me that you didn’t get my joke. Sad trombone.

Ready, fire, aim.

who

OriginalPouzar: Unfortunately, without a chance to view the player, I don’t have comfort in him replacing Benning as the every day 3RD next season – not based off of his age and body of work last season.

I was hopeful to see him and his game on a team that wasn’t generationally bad like Detroit was last season.

Well shoot.
How are the Oilers going to make a decision on him without you viewing him in the playoffs? ?

N64

Darren Dreger
@DarrenDreger
·
1h
Postponed media avails in Toronto and Edmonton based on “detail” work with the Canadian government. Sources say the detail work being done is specific to travel and the Canadian government recognizing third party, league related event people, are considered essential workers.

Dreger needs better sources. The border is NOT closed to non-essential workers. It’s closed to discretionary visitors. Most work is considered non-discretionary.

The likely scenario is something about about quarantine eligibility.