Torn and Frayed

by Lowetide

Ken Holland can go to training camp with the roster as it currently stands and have competition in the uncertain spots. There is room to add on the 50-man list and I do think a right-wing will be dealt for a left-wing. There are some great value contracts out there, one imagines the team at least ponders on or two additions. The next two moves will likely be signing RFA’s Ethan Bear and William Lagesson. The weekend’s work gives us our first chance to construct next year’s roster and estimate the numbers. Let’s go.

THE ATHLETIC!

I’m proud to be writing for The Athletic, and pleased to be part of a great team with Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis. Here is our recent work.

July 8, 2019

On the date above, I wrote the following:

Looking long and hard for volume shooters to elevate to a skill line is damned difficult for the current Oilers. Tyler Benson (2.54 shots per game in the AHL), Joakim Nygard (2.94 shots per game in the SHL) and Sam Gagner (8.13 five-on-five shots per 60) are candidates for feature roles, but it’s a moving target for this Oilers team. He’s my first attempt at RE for 2019-20, understanding changes will come.

Leon Draisaitl [41]—Connor McDavid [44]—Zack Kassian [13]
Milan Lucic [9]—RNH [23]—Alex Chiasson [12]
Markus Granlund [11]—Gaetan Haas [7]—Joakim Nygard [10]
Jujhar Khaira [7]—Colby Cave [4]—Sam Gagner [10]
Tomas Jurco [7]—Cooper Marody [4]
Oscar Klefbom [8]—Adam Larsson [3]
Darnell Nurse [8]—Kris Russell [2]
Caleb Jones [2]—Matt Benning [5]
Brandon Manning [0]
Mikko Koskinen [.912]—Mike Smith [.905]

My estimate has Edmonton scoring 230 goals, allowing 252. That’s a massive year over year improvement, most of it defensively. In 2018-19, the Oilers were 229-271 (-42) and my initial 2019-20 RE has the team -22, owing mostly to a massive improvement in goals against (+19 season over season). How will they get it done? I’m giving a lot of credit to Dave Tippett and shot suppression. In the Coyotes final season before Tippett, the team allowed 2591 shots. The following year? 2427. He also increased shots for by 200, but the Oilers currently employ a group who are unlikely to take full advantage. We’ll see what the summer brings in terms of roster improvement.

As it turns out, the Oilers in 2019-20 did better than my 230-252 estimate, going 223-215 +8 in 71 games. The shots for and against don’t rhyme because of fewer games, but if I pump up the 2019-20 season to 82 games, we can get a reasonable idea about whether Tippett managed any kind of shot suppression. Remember, in 2018-19, the totals were 2392-2599 (-207 shots). This year, extrapolating 71 games to 82, the numbers would be 2425-2626 (-201 shots). So why did they improve? Part of it is in save percentage, improved from .896 to .905. Part of it is special teams. How will things look in 2020-21? Here’s my first look at RE.

RE 2020-21 FIRST BLUSH

Tyler Ennis [16]—Connor McDavid [38]—Zack Kassian [15]
RNH [25]—Leon Draisaitl [42]—Kailer Yamamoto [20]
James Neal [11]—Kyle Turris [14]—Jesse Puljujarvi [10]
Alex Chiasson [8]—Jujhar Khaira [5]—Josh Achibald [7]
Joakim Nygard [4]—Gaetan Haas [5]
Darnell Nurse [7]—Ethan Bear [5]
Caleb Jones [5]—Adam Larsson [2]
Kris Russell [1]—Tyson Barrie [14]
William Lagesson [0]
Mikko Koskinen [.918]—Mike Smith [.898]

That gives us (based on a slight increase in shots for and against) a goal differential of 254-246, +8. That is identical to the +8 differential of a year ago. I don’t think this team is better, and the kids who are going to be regulars (Kailer Yamamoto, Jesse Puljujarvi, Caleb Jones, Ethan Bear) have a wide range of possible outcomes to their seasons. I think this is a playoff team, but Vegas has nothing to worry about, Calgary has improved and I’m sure Vancouver has plans, too.

If you’re playing along at home, no I don’t hate anyone on the list and yes there will be more players added to my final RE. This is the first blush, and Tyler Benson’s minutes are represented by Nygard’s presence, etc.

IS HOLLAND DONE?

Of course not. We’ll see a trade and probably a waiver pickup somewhere in the preseason. For the second year in a row, Holland is leaving enormous opportunities for the youth of today to break on through. I didn’t expect it a year after clearing the deck for Bear, Jones and Lagesson, plus recalling Yamamoto over making a trade after Christmas. Ken Holland’s answers are coming from Bakersfield, friends.

298 comments
0

You may also like

0 0 votes
Article Rating
298 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
JimmyV1965

pts2pndr: Have you really thought this through? Asking for a friend.

What are you questioning? If free agency contracts have dropped or if we should buy out Neil next year.

PinkSocks

Cassandra: That is only a reasonable definition in the most mechanical of senses, one which does not reflect what happens on the ice, or the usage of the term in any meaningful way.

Likewise, calling the top 90 forwards in the league, “first line forwards” makes nonsense of the term.

Now, I think the terms are meaningless to begin with, however if people insist on using the term it should reflect some kind of bell curve of distribution.It makes much more sense to use a criteria that leaves you with more third line players in the league than first line players.

This also leaves you with a large number of 4th line players with significant overlap with the AHL.There is no reason to pay more than 1 M for a 4th line player when there are dozens of players in the AHL just as good.

You are right and wrong. There are unequivocally 62 top pairing defensemen in the NHL. It does not necessarily mean that every team has 2 of them though. Defining who is and who is not a top pairing defenseman is purely based on opinion. Take a poll of 100 knowledgeable hockey people asking them who are the 62 top pairing defensemen in the league and you would get a list of more than 62 defensemen. It’s opinion, but some players will be on every list. Darnell Nurse may be on 20 of the lists, while Victor Hedman would certainly be on everyone’s list.

In the same sense, there are 31 first line centremen in the league. It doesn’t mean every team has one.

The Oilers may not have one single top pairing D on this roster. You could make an argument for Nurse or Klefbom in either direction. What is a certainty however, is that the Oilers are fortunate enoguh to have 2 of the 31 first line centrement in the league.

But you are correct, the terms “top pairing D” or “number 1 centre” are useless.

jp

Cassandra: That is only a reasonable definition in the most mechanical of senses, one which does not reflect what happens on the ice, or the usage of the term in any meaningful way.

Likewise, calling the top 90 forwards in the league, “first line forwards” makes nonsense of the term.

Now, I think the terms are meaningless to begin with, however if people insist on using the term it should reflect some kind of bell curve of distribution.It makes much more sense to use a criteria that leaves you with more third line players in the league than first line players.

This also leaves you with a large number of 4th line players with significant overlap with the AHL.There is no reason to pay more than 1 M for a 4th line player when there are dozens of players in the AHL just as good.

I’m not sure that ‘hockey players’ ought to follow a normal distribution. Even if they do, I expect the meaty part of the bell curve falls outside the NHL.

If we’re seeing only one extreme of the curve then the top 90 forwards in the NHL is a fully reasonable definition of top line forwards, I think.

Cassandra

geowal: You don’t think top pairing meaning top 62 could make sense? #1D meaning top 31? Even if they’re not equally distributed, surely that would also be a reasonable definition.

That is only a reasonable definition in the most mechanical of senses, one which does not reflect what happens on the ice, or the usage of the term in any meaningful way.

Likewise, calling the top 90 forwards in the league, “first line forwards” makes nonsense of the term.

Now, I think the terms are meaningless to begin with, however if people insist on using the term it should reflect some kind of bell curve of distribution. It makes much more sense to use a criteria that leaves you with more third line players in the league than first line players.

This also leaves you with a large number of 4th line players with significant overlap with the AHL. There is no reason to pay more than 1 M for a 4th line player when there are dozens of players in the AHL just as good.

pts2pndr

who:
What happened to all the posters who said it would be a huge mistake to buyout Neal?
Suddenly everyone thinks it was a good idea?
If the Oilers wanted the money to be players in this down market they should have done it. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.
The only reason not to do it is because this coming season may be completely fucked up anyways.

There are going to be even better players available next year. The Oilers will be in a better place to make the correct decisions for the team moving forward. They will also have more money available without having to sacrifice the future. Timing is everything!

pts2pndr

JimmyV1965:
If the Oilers bought out Neil, the extra cap space would have covered almost 100% of Toffoli’s contract.I am no fan of free agent signings, but we knew this world be a very different year.

Have you really thought this through? Asking for a friend.

pts2pndr

Harpers Hair:
So, Vancouver gets a legit #1D to play with Hughes for a third round pick.

They will have to move some money to accommodate Virtanen and Gaudettecontracts.

Keep dreaming in technicolor!

JimmyV1965

who:
What happened to all the posters who said it would be a huge mistake to buyout Neal?
Suddenly everyone thinks it was a good idea?
If the Oilers wanted the money to be players in this down market they should have done it. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.
The only reason not to do it is because this coming season may be completely fucked up anyways.

I’ve been arguing for weeks that we should buy out Neil. We knew this round of free agency would be different than anything we’ve seen before. On the positive side, it won’t be changing in the near future. We can buy him out next year too.

jp

Georgexs:
I’m concerned about Dave’s use of spreadsheets. Is anyone else concerned?

I took his putting Nuge with McDavid vs Chicago as a response to the Hawks taking it to McDavid in their regular season games.

I’d forgotten Ennis had been put with Draisaitl (and Nuge with McDavid) even before the shutdown. Still, that could have been ‘we’re gearing up for the playoffs in another few weeks here, I should get these new guys (Ennis, AA) familiar with all their potential linemates in case the need arises later’.

We can’t know Tippett’s motivation but tinkering with lines and getting the deadline additions comfortable with more of your team is good business. As is giving McDavid extra help with a matchup he lost cleanly during the season.

Could also have been Dave’s use of spreadsheets more generally. I’m not terribly concerned on that one. (If a spreadsheet told Dave to start Mike Smith in game 1, well then I’d be concerned again).

who

What happened to all the posters who said it would be a huge mistake to buyout Neal?
Suddenly everyone thinks it was a good idea?
If the Oilers wanted the money to be players in this down market they should have done it. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.
The only reason not to do it is because this coming season may be completely fucked up anyways.

jp

leadfarmer: Just looked. I thought Podkolzin was a very highly rated prospect. Running in place on the stats board from last year with less output than Samurokov. What is going on there?

I’ve posted about this before, Podkolsin seems never to have put up boxcars to match the scouting reports. I think his offense is just shy for a top 10 pick.

Maybe the production catches up to the tools at some point but I don’t see any examples of high end offense even in the small sample tournaments. At least Holloway posted big numbers in his draft -1 (and slightly better offense at the U18s).

jp

Woodguy v2.0: Re: Top 2 lines.
I think Tippett had it right putting RNH with McDavid. McDavid needs high end help and defensive help and Nuge is all that.

McDavid’s 2nd half performance was the worst of his Oiler career. After a summer of rehab and a rotating cast of middling linemates he was probably quite beaten down and tired.

Playing RNH with McDavid is the right thing to do.

I’m way late to the party, and if Ennis-Draisaitl-Yamamoto can keep up what they were doing then zero question Nuge-McDavid-X makes great sense.

I’m not seeing how McDavid’s 2nd half performance was the worst of his career though. He was 21GF-20GA in 23 games. +1.

McDavid **should** be better than that but that’s who he’s been the past 2 seasons: +2 in 78 games in 18-19 and +3 in the first 41 games of 19-20. And those 119 games as a +5 player came playing with Draisaitl. I don’t see how we can blame McDavid only being +1 on middling wingers.

I actually think McDavid did quite well without any help in the 2nd half. If you can give him Nuge that’s great too obviously, but I’d argue McDavid’s outscoring ability barely suffered by playing him with neither of Nuge or Draisaitl. And while you’re correct that Nuge-Draisaitl-Yamamoto won’t score 75+ GF going forward i believe it’s literally the first time Draisaitl has managed to outscore without McDavid (maybe he and Hall did way back, but he sure hasn’t done that for any extended period since then).

I’ll also add, among the 16 skaters that McDavid played 60 5v5 minutes with this season, the guy he had with the best xGF% was Neal. And in more than 200 minutes.

I know it’s not an acceptable thing to say, but I really do believe Neal would most probably have better results if he were to find himself on McDavid’s wing again.

geowal

Cassandra: Ok, I’ll bite.“Legit #1D” is a term lacking definition, so I’ll ask where would you rank him?

To me, legit #1 D means top 15 in the league.Top pairing means top 30.Those are the only definitions that make sense.

In any event, I have a hard time believing Schmidt is top 15, he might be in the conversation for top 30.Maybe.

You don’t think top pairing meaning top 62 could make sense? #1D meaning top 31? Even if they’re not equally distributed, surely that would also be a reasonable definition.

JimmyV1965

If the Oilers bought out Neil, the extra cap space would have covered almost 100% of Toffoli’s contract. I am no fan of free agent signings, but we knew this world be a very different year.

OriginalPouzar

Oh wait, duh, Vegas isn’t part of the Seattle Expansion draft (although the premise stands – players with NTCs to not have to be protected, only players with NMCs – it seems many are unaware of the nuance).

Material Elvis

Harpers Hair: The Oilers can no longer execute a buyout.

Only teams that are going to player elected arbitration can use the second buyout window.

Yeah, KH should have pulled the trigger when he had the chance. I would do it next off-season in a heartbeat.

OriginalPouzar

David:
With Vegas saying they are keeping Fleury this season, if they are unable to offload him next offseason what can they do in the expansion draft? Both Fleury and Lehner have modified no trade clauses (Fleury’s is bigger). What is the outcome there?

No trade clauses do not mandate protection in the expansion draft (they only apply to trades). No Movement Clauses mandate protection.

Obviously they will expose MAF and protect Lehner.

leadfarmer

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual:
leadfarmer,

Yes, but not every player that’s available in this flat cap world has a NTC. Not only that, but late UFA market is going to present some excellent value that 3.9mil extra cap space would be PERFECT for.

Hey I’ve been on the front of the buy him out wagon, but I don’t get to make that decision
At least the leagues cap situation is only going to get tighter next year
A few teams may get lucky to lose a player with a 4-5 mil cap hit in the expansion draft
We will be sitting on over 20 mil cap space in a year and that’s if we give Nuge 7 per

RonnieB

Victoria Oil: David:
With Vegas saying they are keeping Fleury this season, if they are unable to offload him next offseason what can they do in the expansion draft? Both Fleury and Lehner have modified no trade clauses (Fleury’s is bigger). What is the outcome there?

I believe Vegas is exempt from having to give up a player in the expansion draft.

I believe that is right. Even if it isn’t, players with NTC don’t have to be protected so they could simply protect Lehner and expose Fleury.

Harpers Hair

Material Elvis: I was on the buyout bandwagon too.That $3.8M this off-season is more than twice as valuable as the $1.9M dead cap 4-6 years from now.

I would do whatever it takes to land Cirelli.

The Oilers can no longer execute a buyout.

Only teams that are going to player elected arbitration can use the second buyout window.

Victoria Oil

David:
With Vegas saying they are keeping Fleury this season, if they are unable to offload him next offseason what can they do in the expansion draft? Both Fleury and Lehner have modified no trade clauses (Fleury’s is bigger). What is the outcome there?

I believe Vegas is exempt from having to give up a player in the expansion draft.

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

leadfarmer,

Yes, but not every player that’s available in this flat cap world has a NTC. Not only that, but late UFA market is going to present some excellent value that 3.9mil extra cap space would be PERFECT for.

David

With Vegas saying they are keeping Fleury this season, if they are unable to offload him next offseason what can they do in the expansion draft? Both Fleury and Lehner have modified no trade clauses (Fleury’s is bigger). What is the outcome there?

leadfarmer

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual:
That Schmidt trade is an example of why Neal should’ve been bought out this year of all years. Amazed no one out of the division matched that offer.

It’s not that hard in today’s flat cap world to turn a 10 team no trade into a one team wish list

Material Elvis

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual:
That Schmidt trade is an example of why Neal should’ve been bought out this year of all years. Amazed no one out of the division matched that offer.

I was on the buyout bandwagon too. That $3.8M this off-season is more than twice as valuable as the $1.9M dead cap 4-6 years from now.

I would do whatever it takes to land Cirelli.

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

That Schmidt trade is an example of why Neal should’ve been bought out this year of all years. Amazed no one out of the division matched that offer.

Material Elvis

godot10:
“The year that I had him as a head coach was probably my most successful year, even though it was a shortened season, other than my MVP year.”

Well, I consider that basically agreeing with me.

Yeah, for sure. I figured that Hart Trophy meant nothing to him. It’s probably collecting dust in a cardboard box in a storage container somewhere out by Scarborough.

Ice Sage

Damn – Schmidt better not delay Rafferty’s inexorable era of domination

Georgexs

Harpers Hair: I heard the Oilers replaced Mike Smith with a year older Mike Smith.

Oh the humanity!

Thank you for your interest. I admit, it is concerning.

How do you feel about this Thatcher Demko? I believe he saved 3 more shots out of a 1000 than our guy.

Let’s commiserate. Should I send flowers or alcohol or both?

godot10

“The year that I had him as a head coach was probably my most successful year, even though it was a shortened season, other than my MVP year.”

Well, I consider that basically agreeing with me.

Harpers Hair

Georgexs: Nate Schmidt is a legit #1D while Darnell Nurse is “no top pairing D”. Neat. I heard the Canucks replaced Markstrom with Holtby. Schmidt may have to be 2 legit #1D’s to make it work.

Also neat. Sumo wrestling on YT. FYI.

I heard the Oilers replaced Mike Smith with a year older Mike Smith.

Oh the humanity!

Harpers Hair

Klima’s_Bucket:
Harpers Hair,

How much of that 20 Million do you think Sneaky Pete and Huggy Bear will eat up?

I’d would guess most of it.

Georgexs

Harpers Hair: “top 4”.

Heh.

He’s a legit #1D who plays and wins against elites.

With Hughes, he will be part of an elite top pairing.

Worth noting, the Oilers don’t have even one D who would be considered a top pairing D on a good team.

Next season, the Canucks have $20 million coming off the cap and could reap even more if they buy out Eriksson and Beagle.

If you’re worrying about paying a top pairing D $5.95 million, you’re doing it wrong.

Darnell Nurse makes almost the same amount and he’s no top pairing D.

Nate Schmidt is a legit #1D while Darnell Nurse is “no top pairing D”. Neat. I heard the Canucks replaced Markstrom with Holtby. Schmidt may have to be 2 legit #1D’s to make it work.

Also neat. Sumo wrestling on YT. FYI.

Cassandra

Harpers Hair: “top 4”.

Heh.

He’s a legit #1D who plays and wins against elites.

With Hughes, he will be part of an elite top pairing.

Worth noting, the Oilers don’t have even one D who would be considered a top pairing D on a good team.

Next season, the Canucks have $20 million coming off the cap and could reap even more if they buy out Eriksson and Beagle.

If you’re worrying about paying a top pairing D $5.95 million, you’re doing it wrong.

Darnell Nurse makes almost the same amount and he’s no top pairing D.

Ok, I’ll bite. “Legit #1D” is a term lacking definition, so I’ll ask where would you rank him?

To me, legit #1 D means top 15 in the league. Top pairing means top 30. Those are the only definitions that make sense.

In any event, I have a hard time believing Schmidt is top 15, he might be in the conversation for top 30. Maybe.

Abbeef

Harpers Hair,

Canucks got better today and in the future. Great move by the dys as much as I don’t like admitting it. Healthy Klefbom could be part of a number 1 pair on any team, downplaying the Oiler players doesn’t add to your point it just reinforces your biases and makes others read all your posts with a grain (or block) of salt.

Klima's_Bucket

Harpers Hair,

How much of that 20 Million do you think Sneaky Pete and Huggy Bear will eat up?

Klima's_Bucket

When did Nate Schmidt become so good?

Before or after Vegas?

Harpers Hair

OriginalPouzar:
The Canucks just got better.

Nate Schmidt is a good top 4 d-man who plays a shit-ton against elites, plays special teams and helps offence.

On the other hand, his contract, big money for his 30s, when the cap isn’t going up over $82.5M for 4-5 years (likely) and with some big players to sign next off-season, make it arguable if it was a “good move”.

Its weighing the current benefit vs. the potential future issues the contract creates.

Today, the Canucks are better than they were yesterday.

“top 4”.

Heh.

He’s a legit #1D who plays and wins against elites.

With Hughes, he will be part of an elite top pairing.

Worth noting, the Oilers don’t have even one D who would be considered a top pairing D on a good team.

Next season, the Canucks have $20 million coming off the cap and could reap even more if they buy out Eriksson and Beagle.

If you’re worrying about paying a top pairing D $5.95 million, you’re doing it wrong.

Darnell Nurse makes almost the same amount and he’s no top pairing D.

Crazy Pedestrian

leadfarmer:
I’m still waiting for Yzerman to create a masterpiece
Like Zadina for Sergachev

I’m finding it extremely hard to figure out how Tampa is going to get out of cap hell.
They have $2.9M to sign 5 players including Sergachev and Cirelli. Even if they trade them away for picks, they will still only have $2.9M to sign 7 players. They have to trade away quite a lot of cap away and the only players not on a NTC/NMC that are signed for more than $1.8M are Point ($6.75M) and Vasilevskiy ($9.5M). Both of which I’m sure they do not want to part with.

That’s a pretty big conundrum.

OriginalPouzar

The Canucks just got better.

Nate Schmidt is a good top 4 d-man who plays a shit-ton against elites, plays special teams and helps offence.

On the other hand, his contract, big money for his 30s, when the cap isn’t going up over $82.5M for 4-5 years (likely) and with some big players to sign next off-season, make it arguable if it was a “good move”.

Its weighing the current benefit vs. the potential future issues the contract creates.

Today, the Canucks are better than they were yesterday.

Harpers Hair

leadfarmer: Still need to sign Reinhart and need a goaler upgrade and only have a year left on Dahlin
And don’t have a single defenseman signed 2 years
So other than another 1 year contract to a guy like Hoffman. Don’t see many options

Under current circumstances, not being tied to long term contracts is a huge advantage.

If they were going to upgrade in goal that likely would have happened already and Reinhart won’t cost a fortune.

Sierra

godot10: The pairs are A,B,C, not 1, 2, 3.The pairs wil be optimized to be deployed situationally. Without Klefbom, a top 4, and a bottom pairing is the wrong way to think about it.

With this group of D, the Oilers will be a three pairing team.

You’ve posted this twice without stating which situations you think Barrie will mainly be deployed?

godot10

Harpers Hair:
After signing Hall, the Sabres still have $13.6 million in cap space and have 8 D on their roster.

They are in a prime position to move a RD (Ristolainen?) and pick up another impact forward or upgrade on LD.

They have Olofsson and Reinhart as RFA’s, and Cozens ready to break in.

They need to trade a rightie D for a leftie D.

leadfarmer

Harpers Hair:
After signing Hall, the Sabres still have $13.6 million in cap space and have 8 D on their roster.

They are in a prime position to move a RD (Ristolainen?) and pick up another impact forward or upgrade on LD.

Still need to sign Reinhart and need a goaler upgrade and only have a year left on Dahlin
And don’t have a single defenseman signed 2 years
So other than another 1 year contract to a guy like Hoffman. Don’t see many options

Harpers Hair

After signing Hall, the Sabres still have $13.6 million in cap space and have 8 D on their roster.

They are in a prime position to move a RD (Ristolainen?) and pick up another impact forward or upgrade on LD.

Georgexs

OriginalPouzar: Yup, CMD can score with anyone as linemates but the issue is he can’t “outscore” with anyone as linemates.

Don’t get me wrong, Nuge is indeed intergral to the totality of the Nuge/Drai/Yama dominance and Holland and Tip need to find another way to help Connor win his ice, but Coach T.’s premise was correct and made sense.

This team is not going anywhere when McDavid’s line is not outscoring the competition – and it was in 2020. They were winning in 2020 because of the 77% goal share by that Drai line – that’s not sustainable either.

As I said, breaking up that line didn’t work and another way needs to be found but the premise of McDavid needing help is real and correct.

Here’s what I see in the past 3 regular seasons:

5v5 Minutes, GF-GA, Situation

1809, 115-100, CMD w Drai and w/o RNH
600, 33-27, CMD w RNH and w/o Drai
1303, 65-64, CMD w/o Drai and w/o RNH

So, CMD doesn’t get beat without RNH and Drai.

Name an Oiler line combination in the past 3 seasons not involving CMD (other than Drai-RNH-KY) that managed to not get beat.

Drai hasn’t been able to win away from CMD. Neither has RNH. Put the two of them together and they still couldn’t win. They only started to win once KY was called up.

The Oilers winning non-CMD minutes has proven close to impossible since 16-17, and Tippett finally had a combination that worked. Breaking it up made sense like starting Smith against CHI made sense.

Again, KY hasn’t scored except when playing with Drai and RNH. Drai and RNH have been outscored except when playing with CMD or KY. The Oilers haven’t been able to compete with CMD off the ice, except with Drai-RNH-KY. All season long, Tippett saw this. Sure, he could have experimented in the couple of games before the stoppage. But he had a lot of time to think it over and decide what to go up against CHI with. Drai-RNH-KY went 3-1 in 2 games and 25 minutes against CHI too. That wasn’t in his spreadsheets.

Coaches sometimes help their teams, sometimes hurt their teams. Tippett has shown he’s very capable of both.

CMD’s talents allow the Oilers to keep it close even when playing with marginal offensive players like Kassian and Maroon and Lucic. CMD doesn’t have to outscore the opposition for the Oilers to go anywhere. He just has to keep it close while playing with less than top flight offensive talent, because the Oilers don’t have enough top flight offensive talent to go around. (I mean, we still have no idea if KY can score in the NHL away from Drai and RNH. Actually, no. We do have an idea. To date, he can’t.) The Oilers then win through CMD’s contributions on special teams and evens other than 5v5 minutes.

And, by the way, CMD last season w/o RNH and Drai went 26-22. That’s outscoring, isn’t it?

defmn

leadfarmer:
I’m guessing Schmidt selected Vancouver and picked every other team with cap space on the no trade list.I can’t imagine that offer not being beaten

Sounds right. The list of teams with room to take on cap is shrinking pretty quickly now.

Predictions of internal caps for a lot of teams don’t appear to be coming true.

Harpers Hair

digger50:
First rounder for Patrick Kane please.

Buffalo should be all over that.

digger50

First rounder for Patrick Kane please.🤗

leadfarmer

I’m still waiting for Yzerman to create a masterpiece
Like Zadina for Sergachev