by Lowetide

So the old Boston Bruins had this winger named Wayne Cashman and he was a load. Although he lacked the skill of high-end players, he could dig the puck out, score some goals and play a fierce brand of hockey. On those Orr Bruins teams, if the crowd made a loud “OH!” noise, chances are Cashman did something to someone which may or may not have been caught on tape.


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.


Ryan Smyth arrived in the NHL about one dozen seasons after Cashman, and fighting was done by enforcers. Still, the corner work and relentless pursuit of the puck was the same, and passing even more important. Cashman scored 22-41-63 per 82 games during his career (in a high scoring era) while Smyth scored 25-29-54 in 82 games in a less offensive era.

Most of you are familiar with Smyth and his style, so there’s no need for an explanation.

Smyth didn’t have a great shot but scored a bunch of goals by being a master of the net front tip and slamming in rebounds by the bushel. Patrick Maroon did much the same thing when he was riding shotgun on Connor McDavid’s line.

Last season, coach Dave Tippett used James Neal and Alex Chiasson in the net-front presence roles on the powerplay and McDavid’s line didn’t have a five on five Smyth clone. Who tipped the most shots last season for the Oilers as a percentage of overall output? It’s a surprise!

Nygard showed some exciting possibilities during what was a brief debut season with the Oilers. In 54 minutes with Connor McDavid, the shot differential was 59 percent and the goals for percentage 75. Nygard scored just 0-1-1 in those minutes (1.11 five on five points-per-60) with McDavid scoring an impressive 2-4-6 (6.68 five on five points-per-60).


There’s about $2.5 million in cap still available, this includes Oscar Klefbom on LTIR. If Edmonton wanted to get Klefbom back on this roster, general manager Ken Holland would need to send down Kailer Yamamoto and waive William Lagesson. A trade, perhaps Alex Chiasson, would be more likely.

As for Nygard, he was hurt but is now back playing in the SHL, four games so far and no crooked numbers.


You may notice a new look on the blog this morning. Poster “Ryan” reached out to me recently and offered to update the blog front and back. I consulted with Danny (who did the original work) to make sure it was okay because this is his baby, too. Ryan has fixed myriad issues, and the hope is that we’re back to being far more user friendly now and into the future. Please let me know in comments or email what you like, what you don’t like, and any issues you are having. Sincere thanks to Ryan for all his hard work and for taking care to make sure this old ship remains seaworthy. Also, many thousand thanks to Danny, a generous soul who answered thousands of emails over the years that began with “HELP!” I promise it won’t be 15 years between changes next time. Probably. 🙂


A busy morning and a fun one, too, we get started at 10 on TSN1260. Steve Lansky from Inside the Truck podcast will join me at 10:20 and we’ll talk about the Masters in November, World Juniors at Christmas and the difficult issues raised by Mitchell Miller’s hockey future. Matt Iwanyk from TSN1260 will come stumblin’ in (that’s a fabulous Suzi Quatro reference that most of you won’t get because you’re too young) and chat Raptors in Kansas City, Blue Jays in Buffalo and why all contests are not created equal. At 11:25, it will be my honor to talk to Mike “Doc” Emrick about his new book, his brilliant career and his decision to retire. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!


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Is there no longer a quote option?

Wait, I see some threaded replies so maybe there is a way to quote?

Are all “quoted responses” shown threaded or will they show up as new responses at the bottom?

I find if quoted responses are imbedded in the middle of the thread, I will miss the responses – checking back through the comments to see if there has been a response isn’t really feasible, in my opinion.

Elgin R

Very nice update. Easier to read (darn it all for getting old). Headers are especially convenient.

Assuming no player changes (additions or subtractions), the lineup looks close. One issues is that Archie needs to be in the lineup for PK duties. I like what Neal and Chiasson bring, but in a compressed season Tippet should plan on resting older players. Neal and Chiasson can split the games (until the inevitable injuries happen) on the 4th line and be available for PP1.

Now the test: hit SUBMIT and then check for the edit feature!

Elgin R

Rats – no EDIT option.


Welcome to an edit button option!


Replace Neal with Hoffman, rearrange lines accordingly, squint when looking at goalers/rookie d, and we are officially in the conversation !!


It is my thoughts that there is a reason Hoffman doesn’t stick. Not sure why, as I’m not in the rooms. But his goal scoring is not good enough to compensate for what he leaks (think about Woodguys point: the goal is to win the game, which means outscoring, not just scoring. 2-1 is better than 5-7 as a result in other words) and whatever the hell else is going on that seems him never held onto as a foundational piece like other 30g guys. That’s my two bits.


V nice looking site!

I know its early but I have some hope Dylan Holloway has some Ryan Smyth elements to his game. This team could sure use a Taylor Hall. But a 23 year old Ryan Smyth would sure help too.

Scungilli Slushy

I see ideal wingers for Connor to be like Holloway as well. Given Connor is at his best as a rush player, having wingers that are really good at creating turnovers and especially breaking up the bad guy’s outlets would seem perfect.

Also because the Oilers have been not great at neutral zone play by my eye, but imagine the wingers back checking and stealing or deflecting pucks and Connor picking it up and coming like a meteor back at them.

It would not be fun to play against that, one bobble and watch out. Also if those wingers knew how to find space and had some finish to cash the constant set ups, perfection.


Site looks good and is so much nicer to use on a phone now! No issues logging in for me.

Love the comparison today- I’ve thought for years that other teams use the tip play way more than the Oilers do. Not sure I agree with Nygard on the top line, but tipping point shots is something those bottom 6 need to focus on to generate goals.


I agree. We need a player type like tkachuk for Connor


Holloway is very much like Tkachuk – Brady, that is.


We need a pain in the ass type of player that makes the other team look over their shoulder and be aware they are on the ice. Kassian can be that type but he doesn’t bring it consistently.

Last edited 28 days ago by flyfish1168

I like the new look. The layout is great, and the font size is easier on these old eyes.
15 years between changes is about right, as far as I’m concerned 😉


Just like LT, his site gets more beautiful with age.


Just checking out this new functionality…seems nice and clean so far!

Nygard is exactly the kind of guy who should get a run on the top line: fast, defensively responsible, and a history of scoring goals in another league. If I remember correctly, he too wasn’t scoring all those SHL goals because of a wicked shot, it was more of the opportunistic garbage goal variety. I hope he heals up and gets a good look.


I love the new look. Not so sure about the comment section yet. Probably just need to get used to it.

Brantford Boy

LT, first off, I really like the font… simple as it sounds it is much more appealing.

Second, as we get stuck in our ways in older years, I’m a fan of the black background. I noticed yesterday and I believe with an earlier website update when it went white it was a little hard on the eyes. Probably just due to what you came to expect, but the headings I feel are easily identified and the “<p class=" blue blocks are easier on the eyes on black rather than white.

As for goal tips, without hockey I've reverted back to "the world travel year without Oiler hockey" and just got in 2006 Game #3 vs. the Sharks the other night. Smitty takes one off the face and has some slow ice time on return until he's reunited with Horcoff and Hemsky, but right back in front of the net. We need players like this, especially with our upcoming defense who will get pucks through. I saw Nygard as somewhat fearless (maybe not Haas board work fearless), Chiasson is best at it, and Neal is pretty damn good on the sides of the crease and better than Chiassob at jamming in rebounds. I think Nygard could do a lot of damage if he was stapled there for a time. Net front presence is a real thing. I believe I recall McDavid saying he wanted to be more like Crosby in his tips and net front presence. Although I like his willingness to get better in every area, I'm not sure if that's where he's best suited, without using his speed and getting hammered in the back by stay at home defenders in the crease.


I like the new look, especially the new font. The sliding photos at the top is a bit too fast for my liking, and it would be nice if the Lowetide banner stretched the whole way across the top. Hopefully I’ll be able to see the latest post even if I’m not logged in.


Thanks! I don’t have the ability to design logos. The old logo has a lot nostalgia associated with it, but it was designed for a different website design. It’s too low resolution for me to stretch it. I am not sure what the best option would be to fix this concern.


The best option to fix this concern is simply to move the old logo down above the recent posts, and replace it with Lowetide’s balance photo as the new banner.

Harpers Hair

The best way to deal with the logo is to incorporate into a header wide banner with a neutral background.
There are many online banner makers available.


That’s a really good idea. I can just take the current logo and add in the old website background color and make it the width of the banner. I’ll do that when I get a chance.


One other thought: I really like the look of a plain text logo. The Athletic, or even in the spirit of newspapers like the NY Times.

I think a plain text logo/banner with the current design would look very minimalist and sharp. It will enhance the great work you’ve done with the rest of the site.

I agree that the old logo has a lot of nostalgia, but I think a rebrand every 15 years or so is not the worst thing in the world.


Thanks for your hard work. I find the comment bubble to large and gets in the way of some of the text as you are scrolling up or down. Is there a way to make it a little smaller?


“You either have the puck or you are getting the puck”
Coach Sutter

I like the new look on my phone

McDavey Jones' Lockeroom

LOVE the new look !!

buck yoakam

The new look is great!….Corey Perry is a player wth similarities to Smytty….hangs around the net and drives the goalie crazy…

Harpers Hair

Very nice work on the rebrand. Particularly like the top menu which points to posts about different topics. The site is also much more responsive on mobile devices.


“ You may notice a new look on the blog this morning. “ ** rolls eyes**


If you like guys that can dig pucks out of corners you’re going to like this Holloway kid

Darth Tu

I’m liking the new page layout, in particular the front page before we hit the articles.

As for lines, I realise the fact that all the verbal seems to have cooled on Benson, but maybe he comes in and has the kind of camp Bear did last year? He’s had a bit of a taste of the show and now might have a better idea of what he needs to work on to make it there full time. If he can pan out, even as a fourth line option, then you have a bit of a solution from within.

Using LT’s lines from above (I’ll go with the Nygard topline addition for the purpose of this exercise) you end up with:


Chiasson gets traded freeing up the extra few mill we need in case Klefbom magically returns at some point during the season, or leaves us with cap space to deal for some other area of need (a scoring winger, a backup goalie if Smith falls even further off the cliff etc.). Neal flips over to his preferred right wing, and you have him and Khaira to do the crashbang work, and Benson to dish passes for Neal to one time.

Obviously complete realm of fantasy type stuff, but here’s hoping. If Benson doesn’t work out, slide Archibald back in there at right wing and move Neal back to left on the 4th and away we go.

On D – I’m not sure I’m a fan of the Jones-Bear pairing. That’s asking a lot of a relative rookie and a sophomore + neither of them are all that big. Going on the offence it could be dynamite, but I worry about breaking up cycles if any of the bigger teams in the league set up camp in our defensive end.

I’m still leaning more towards:



I just don’t see anyway that Josh Archibald is not an everyday player on Tippet’s line up card. Not only is he their top penalty killer, he has shown the ability to move up and down the lineup if needed for in game moves/injuries

Darth Tu

I’d agree, I like Archibald in the lineup too. That’s probably the play instead of having Neal at right wing, I was basing it on LT’s suggested lineup above.

Really it’s between Nygard and Ennis at this point for who is McDavid’s winger, and who’s with Turris. Unless as I was saying Benson somehow magically blows up in camp and makes the team like Bear from last year.

I like Haas as a penalty kill option as well, but in this model he’s in the pressbox as injury cover.


I worry about the PK with that line-up.


It was said about Wayne Cashman that the USSR Soviet 1972 team went to the dressing room to wait to play the 2nd period of the 2nd game in Toronto all talking about “Cashman, Cashman”…

To say that the Canadians were desperate to win game 2 is an understatement.

Cashman knew how to hurt people. Boxing fans can compare him to a Marvin Hagler in ferocity.

For his day job, Cashman played wing for no one less than perennial Art Ross centreman Phil Esposito.


Yup, dig the new look and font. +++


I like the new look. Kudos to your team for bringing it all together.

I think this will be a really interesting season given that it will only be 45-50 games in total. You would hope the risks of injury would lessen and the legs will be fresher in the short term. I think Holland is constructing a nicely balanced team so far and with Tippet’s influence, they should do well.


Yup, dig the new look and font.


Yup, dig the new look and font. I get a “duplicate comment” notice when trying to post this.


As with the old site, the header menu really needs a login link. You shouldn’t have to scroll to the very bottom of an article page to access such a basic function. It would also make sense to re-order “Contact” to follow your major content categories.

Otherwise, things are looking good. I like the threaded replies so that I won’t have to go hunting to figure out what a particularly hot take was in response too and that I can actually read the site at a 133% zoom now as opposed to 150%. Progress!


I imagine that this is possible since WordPress has a bajillion plugins available, but if you’re not comfortable with a full post-editing capability due to (I assume) past abuse, perhaps consider a time-based one? For example, one that gives the user 5 minutes to make changes in their post so that they can address typos, wrong-handedness and an additional thought that occurred to them the moment they hit submit.


Thanks for the feedback. I’ve added a login button on the main menu and moved the contact link too. I’m working on a fix for the edit button issue.





A login button at the top of the page has been at the top of my wishlist for years.


The new format is so classy and sophisticated I feel I should of ironed my jeans before reading, or at least put them on.

London Jon

This made me laugh so I will be stealing that line…


Look at you, you fancy pants website!


I don’t seem to be getting kicked out after every time I post comments. Can anyone confirm if that issue has been resolved?


Just as I was answering that on iPad running Safari there was no issues I was shown the “access denied” block.


Quite well done.

Nesting replies isn’t nearly as fun as the old site’s comment stream.

Also, no quote option. Another excellent feature of the old site.


The old site relied on the “Quote Comments” WordPress plugin. The plugin code is deprecated. It hasn’t been updated in 3 years and doesn’t work with the current version of WordPress or this site design, unfortunately. I liked it too. I am looking at options to enhance the comment section.


The threaded reply format will take some getting used to.


It’s a temporary fix since the quote comments feature isn’t working. I’ll see if I can do something better when I have time.


I may be in the minority here, but I enjoy the threaded reply feature.

It would keep the rug pissing contests between certain posters concentrated together (where they belong), or interesting developments/replies within the context of the original post.

Is there any way to have an option of both presentations for the individual users?

I see at the top of the comments section that one can now sort by most replies, etc, can one opt to view as chronological or alternatively with embedded replies (and still basically chronological)?


Looks like blank lines in the comment box aren’t getting formatted as paragraph breaks when you’re rendering them.


Can you try it now? I think that issue should be fixed



Test one-two….Is this thing on?

I like the new look! Congrats!
I like the line-up with the pieces we currently have, but I think Archie needs to get in there somewhere for PK. If KH can still move Chiasson, that would be my suggestion -I know he brings some good elements, but the trade-off of getting better PK (arhcie) into the line-up outweighs the loss of another winger (be it Chia or Neal)…

theres oil in virginia

Wow, man! Nice job Ryan. This is a very nice look.


Thank you LT and a massive tip of the cap to Ryan.

The new look here is awesome….the link worked flawlessly.


For me anyway, new requires time to adjust, and am happy to report that it only took a small amount of time. Did not try an “edit” function as that has been commented on by earlier posters


Maybe a link to comments up on top so you dont have to scroll down


I really like the new format. Easier to read and a real clean look. Very well done!


Nice web design, like the new look LT


Wayne Cashman played for the Boston Bruins – a dynasty that wasn’t arsed to show up to become one.

Special thanks to the recent yet relatively completely forgotten by history dynasty that was the Montreal Canadiens during 1965-1966 and 1968-1969.

Thanks to Bostons indolence as a playoff team, the door was left open for the upstart Philadelphia Flyers to rewrite the book on constructing championship teams lol


I love the new design. The new font is great and very easy on the eyes.

I think nested comments is the way to go, personally. I feel it will lend itself better to real conversations. Others have complained about flame wars and those get minimized under this system.


Love the new format. It’s been a long time since I’ve commented on here, but the new look deserves a shout out.

Gerta Rauss

Congrats on the new layout LT- looking good

Thanks for the effort Ryan, nice work

Todd Macallan

Agree with everyone here that the new look is great!

I agree with Slopitch above also.. When reading the Ryan Smyth section I couldn’t help but think of Holloway and his ability to forecheck and come out of scrums with the puck.

Scott Wheeler’s detailed story on Holloway that LT referenced previously provides tremendous examples of these skills, which are also sorely needed and may fit perfectly on the LW of Connor’s line someday. Hopefully someday soon.


After reading (and watching) Wheeler’s piece, I came to the same conclusion. We don’t know if his current skill-set will translate to the NHL but, if it does, it seems to lineup with what many have determined is needed on McDavid’s wing. A strong 2-way presence that wins battles – he’s also big, fast and offensively skilled.

Lets take our time and let Dylan develop because, if he does develop as hoped, he could be an absolute boon to this organization (morose than “another Yamamoto”, i.e. the smaller more skilled forwards that may have been available at 14).


Ryan Smyth “didn’t have the best shot” made me laugh.

It was a legit 1/10.

I can’t think of another good NHLer so poor at one aspect of the game.

Chara’s current skating? Nurse’s offensive creativity?


You’ll swear I’m making this up but I’m not.

Ryan Smyth had a stretch, as an Oiler, where he would come out of the corner, almost along the goal line, take a slap shot, and it would go top corner. He scored something like 5 goals this way one season.

He was the happiest man in the world when it worked out.


Re: The new look:
1) I don’t like change.
2) I don’t mind this change.
3) overall it is prettier, but text is more spread out which means more scrolling, which I don’t love, but plus is it’s a bit easier on the eyes.
4) I’d be tempted to turn up the brightness of the text job the comment section just a smidge.

Scungilli Slushy

Very nice LT congrats and thanks to Ryan!

I also agree a log in at the top would be handy. I believe they are called nested replies, I prefer that they populate at the bottom of the comments so we don’t have to keep scrolling through the section to see what everyone has said, or replied to our own comments.

I suppose theoretically it helps in not having to necessarily read replies from those we don’t want to see, or have to read spats as they occur.

I still prefer the old way.


Love the new look.


Even with Konovalov getting the regulation shutout last game (lost 1-0 in OT), Pasquale getting the start today. Thankfully, he’s been lit up for two goals on 18 shots through two period.

Rasanen with a goal and an assist through two period of play for KalPal.

Karpat being shut out so far.


Bobby Orr personally placed an ad endorsing @realDonaldTrump in today’s @UnionLeader . #nhp


Famed NHL defenseman Bobby Orr paid for a full page ad in the New Hampshire Union Leader wherein he endorsed President Donald Trump for reelection.

“That’s the kind of teammate I want,” Orr bolded.


“In 54 minutes with Connor McDavid, the shot differential was 59 percent and the goals for percentage 75. Nygard scored just 0-1-1 in those minutes (1.11 five on five points-per-60) with McDavid scoring an impressive 2-4-6 (6.68 five on five points-per-60).”


If you take Drai out of the equation, the sample reduces to 51 minutes but the GF/GA is 6:1.

I’ve been told that a 50 minute sample is useless, and maybe that’s right, however there is only one way the useless sample turns in to a useful sample. I don’t think the Nygard is the “out of nowhere answer to 1LW” and the “Oilers Sheary” but its something worth exploring to find out.


Nygard checks the puck digging and defensive ability boxes. He is also probably one of the few on the roster who can skate with McDavid.

With him and Kassian on the first line, it would force 97 to be the shooter, which may not be a bad thing.