I’ll See You on the Dark Side of the Moon

by Lowetide

As we get closer to the NHL regular season, it’s important to reacquaint ourselves with the established quality of the Oilers, the acquisitions and the lost players plus injuries that will impact next season. I get the sense many of you are down on Edmonton’s chances in the Canadian Division. Where do you think they’ll finish?

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.

CHANGES

  1. We should start with the Klefbom injury. Yes, that’s a tough one and there’s no guaranteed solution. Caleb Jones is my pick to slide in and replace him, but we’ll see how things go.
  2. Why did Holland sign Mike Smith? Holland seems to be decisive in his work. I expect he made a list, and tried to get Markstrom, then checked down, and then down again, finally landing on Smith for goal and spent the money ticketed for Markstrom elsewhere.
  3. Why did Holland sign Mike Smith? Well, Smith’s stickhandling resulted in four fewer shots per 60 at five on five, and he allowed much fewer rebound chances.
  4. Why did Holland sign Mike Smith? He ran out of options and his coach likes him.
  5. How many defensemen are they going to keep? I think nine. Nurse-Bear, Jones-Barrie, Russell-Larsson, Lagesson-Bouchard and then Lennstrom as the extra. Maybe Lensstrom passes Lagesson. I do think they’ll carry at least one extra blue and also believe Evan Bouchard will play in 2020-21.
  6. Who comes out for Bouchard to slide in? We have this conversation every year. The No. 7D plays a lot in an NHL season. Bouchard will be fourth up on the right side, and that means he’ll play quite a bit even in a 56-game season.
  7. How many games did the RH side miss last season? Larsson missed 22 games, Bear missed none, Matt Benning missed 28 games. Defensemen get hurt. Lots.
  8. Barrie is going to eat his lunch on the power play. I agree, Bouchard won’t see five on four time, but coach Dave Tippett could use the RH side for the outlet passing (Bear, Barrie, Bouchard) and the left side (Nurse, Jones, Russell) as the defenders. It’s not strict template, suspect Jones will flourish as a passer, but I remember San Jose running everything in their zone to the right side so Dan Boyle could get it out under control. Maybe we’ll see something similar in Edmonton with these three talented righty passing blue.
  9. You think they’re better? I think the move of Leon Draisaitl to center is the truth that sets them free. Adding Turris hopefully helps the No. 3 line and the added skill wingers make it easier for Tippett to find chem.
  10. How much difference will it make? At five on five in the second half, Draisaitl’s line outscored opponents 33-16, McDavid’s line was 20-20, Riley Sheahan 9-20, Gaetan Haas 4-4, Jujhar Khaira 7-12. The changes made will improve McDavid’s line (I believe) and the top two lines should be able to outscore opponents significantly. I think Kyle Turris can beat the Sheahan line and their -11 gap from one year ago and Haas/Khaira should have more imaginative wingers on the fourth line to help close the gap on the -5 from the final group.
  11. If you could make one addition to this team, with no regard for cap, who would it be? Mike Hoffman. You’d have to run Nuge and 97 with him so RNH could mind the store but Hoffman’s rockets from McDavid passes is a dream.
  12. If you could make one addition to this team, that is reasonable, what would it be? Slater Koekkoek, who could help on the LH side and possibly fill a top-4 role at times in the coming season.
  13. Will Holland make a deadline deal? Yes. Darcy Kuemper or Antti Raanta.
  14. What will the opening shift look like in 2020-21? Oilers lose the draw, Flames punch it in to Edmonton’s zone on the left side. Caleb Jones races back and beats Andrew Mangiapane to the puck. Sends it right side, where Tyson Barrie threads the needle past Matt Tkachuk’s forechecking and sends a perfect pass to McDavid in full flight. The captain shoots the gap and fires a wicked back hand shelf to beat Markstrom on the first shot he faces in a Flames uniform. Markstrom’s shoulders sag, a miserable start to his season and a moment of regret for not signing in Capital City.
  15. Do you think they make the playoffs? I do. The move of Draisaitl to center, added to the additional wingers and the push of prospects from below make this team more balanced than in the past.
  16. Will we see the balance photo? Possibly. The goaltending is the worry.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy show on the way, we might even get some news from the NHL and NHLPA. We get rolling at 10 this morning, TSN, with Russell Baxter from Fansided and NFL Spin Zone to talk about the two games yesterday and a wild playoff race joining us at 10:20. At 11, Gerry Moddejone from Post Media talking CFL and the world’s longest list of free agents, plus your comments at 10-1260 or @Lowetide on twitter. Any breaking NHL news, we’ll have it. See you on the radio!

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jp

What does that leave for the skeleton crew in Bakersfield?

I decided that since the Oilers 6th(!!) line isn’t going to play a lot of games that Benson should be in Bakersfield (Quine-Cracknell-Griffith as the Oilers 6th line/taxi squad).
So here goes for the Condors.

Benson-Marody-Lavoie
Gambardella-McLeod-Maksimov
Esposito-Malone-Stukel
Hamblin-Brousseau-Folkes
Christiensen-McPhee-Safin

Niemelainen-Stanton
Kaldis-Jaks
Kulevich-Desharnais

Skinner-Wells

Something like that.

I dunno, seems like maybe Holland nailed an NHL and AHL roster pretty well this offseason.

OriginalPouzar

Part of the “issue” is going to be having “real prospects” on the taxi squad vs. keeping those players in Bakersfield playing and having “lesser players” on the taxi squad.

Benson should be playing hockey if he’s a 1st or 2nd injury fill in, for example.

jp

I don’t think there’s much of a gap today between Benson and others I listed on the taxi squad (he has more upside of course).

But yeah, I chose playing games for the young guys over being on call to get a few NHL games. Benson and the others would still be available of course, just not at a moments notice.

We’ll see how Holland handles it.

I feel like Holland did a nice job building a NHL roster + taxi squad + AHL roster that fits the 2020 season.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Late to the party but just wanted to point out Gretz the Younger is the GM in BAK.

Otherwise I largely agree with/like your proposed squads in both leagues. A good balance in BAK of prospects and veterans, and the NHL roster is rounding into form nicely (even if there are yet a few holes to patch).

jp

First crack at an Oilers 30 man roster + taxi squad.

I should say up front, I think that prospects need to play (the taxi squad is worst than the PB). So this isn’t necessarily a BPA list.

Nuge-McDavid-Kassian
Kahun-Draisaitl-Yamamoto
Ennis-Turris-Puljujarvi
Neal-Khaira-Chiasson
Nygard-Haas-Russell
Benson-Quine-Cracknell
(or Quine-Cracknell-Griffith, so Benson can play games?)

Nurse-Barrie
Jones-Larsson
Russell-Bear
Lagesson-Bouchard
Lennstrom

Koskinen-Smith
Forsberg

That got to 30 quick, though the obvious names (for me) fit almost perfectly.

If the team was locked into 30 players for the whole season I’d prefer another D and G at the expense of a forward, but call-ups from Bakersfield will be available, just not quick.

OriginalPouzar

You forgot Archie!

jp

I did!

Get Griffith off there and bump Russell down to the 6th line!

unca miltie

Totally non hockey related, when I was a kid, really had two heros, Mickey Mantle and Chuck Yeager. Mantle has been gone a long time, and Chuck Yeager passed away yesterday. Some of us are getting old.

Harpers Hair

No.

Just you 🙂

Harpers Hair
Slapshot

Don’t believe everything you read. What Ledlin said isn’t true. I was on the 1980/80 Cougar team. Those things did not happen. I remember him; a good player, but he didn’t kame it through training camp. Cut before the season began.

Kinger_Oil.redux

– Analytics (and this blog), have done a poor job of establishing the relationship between Goalies and team performance. The lack of continuity Y0Y of “elite” goalies is virtually non-existant:

– FUN FACTS:
1) None of the top-5 goalies for 2 years ago were in the top 5 this year
2) Koski went from 41 to 15, Rask from 28 to 2, Jake Allen 42 to 4
4) 3 of the best goalies last year, played a total of 2 games combined in the NHL the year before: Pavel, Elvis and Jarry

– Figure out how good the Oilers are going to be: and that’s the goalie prediction.

– If we don’t make the playoffs, its not because the goalies let us down, rather significant injuries to the roster. The quality of goalies is just a narrative, that never proves prescient.

– I bet goalering is not the limiting factor, and that some goalie will be viewed as a surprise to the upside for the Oil this year, because the team is likely better than understood.

– Remember last year when the consensus was that Koski was one of the worst goalies in the league: both this blog and experts on the Athletic believed this to be true. Then the team ended up better than consensus, as did the Koski. Watch for the same this year

OriginalPouzar

Do you think Tampa Bay wins the cup if they had Koskinen and Smith as their tenders?

Do you think the Oilers get past Chicago if they had Vasilevsky as their tender?

Kinger_Oil.redux

– FUN FACT: Vasi and Koski had the exact same sv% this year

OriginalPouzar

I understand that. That would imply you think that Koskinen is the superior goalie to have the same save percentage on an inferior team.

Would you care to answer the question with your opinion?

I’m not sure I need to note Vasi’s save percentage over a 2 month playoff

Kinger_Oil.redux

– No offense, but you haven’t shown any insight into goaltending.

– The strongest predictor of goalie play is team play, based on the data I look at. Given the parity in the league, team play (and as a result goalies) varies greatly year over year. You just have recency bias, and attribute things based on noise. Of course the goalie who wins the cup has a great sv%.

– I bet a number of goalies win the Cup as the Tampa goalie last year: Koski being one of them, but it’s a silly thing to contemplate: who cares?

OriginalPouzar

It’s not silly to contemplate – your post essentially suggests that goaltender ability is meaningless and the likes of Vasi, Price, Connor H., etc. wouldn’t make the Oilers a materially better team.

Its notable that, when stating the goalies had equal save percentages, you didn’t acknoweldge the difference between performance in 52/70 games vs. 38/71 games.

ArmchairGM

Holland himself said he doesn’t believe in paying for goaltending, he obviously thinks along the same lines. Elite goalies aren’t elite every year – look at Gibson, Bobrovsky, Holtby and others – so you aim for the middle and spend the money you saved on areas that have a greater impact on your team.

Kinger_Oil.redux

– Yup: given a level of competence, most goalies are interchangeable: that Holland and I agree on. The stuff that goalies can’t control far exceeds what they can. The role and impact of a goalie (and how to evaluate their inate skills), is greatly over rated, and not understood. Goalies are basically proxies for team play over a season. Consensus and conventional wisdom are just wrong when it come to goalies.

ArmchairGM

I like to use HDSV% and HDSA/60 to get some idea of a goalies skill and the quality of the team in front of him. I’m sure its not perfect but it does give some idea I think.

wolf8888

This seems like an over simplification. To say that any position is only a reflection of team play doesn’t take in to account individual skill levels and effectiveness. How is a goalie different than a forward in that the quality of a forward makes a difference?

OriginalPouzar

With a 1.5M cushion they should accrue cap through the season and would likely STILL be able to fit in 1/3 or 1/4 of Klefbom’s salary, if he were to return around the trade deadline.

If I remember correctly, the entirety of the cap hit of the player returning from LTIR is required – no pro ration for amount of season left.

I believe that was confirmed when discussing it in relation to Sekera.

wolf8888

Does anyone have the exact details on this? That sounds crazy.

Last edited 9 months ago by wolf8888
defmn

This from the CBA.

Once an injured player returns to the team from the LTIR, the team must reduce its average salary cap to below the Salary Cap Upper Limit before they may remove the player from the LTIR.

OriginalPouzar

I am highly confident that the Oilers would need $4.1M of cap space in order to activate Klefbom from LTIR at any point in the season. That was the deal with Sekera.

wolf8888

Thanks Defman. No mention of any prorating I guess. Doesn’t seem to make logical sense. If the player misses 95% of the season he still counts as a full season against the cap. What’s the point of LTIR then?

defmn

Not sure but I think the answer is that it is the league making sure that teams don’t stash guys on LTIR for periods – especially older players – and activate them for stretches and then put them back on LTIR to rest them.

I don’t know but that is the best I can think up to explain it.

jp

Is your conclusion that the team would or would not need to clear the full $4.1M? I’m still confused.

OP, can you find any other documentation of this? I don’t recall it with Sekera. The team utilized his LTIR in season, didn’t they?

jp

Sekera also returned before the trade deadline. If Klefbom were return before the trade deadline then I agree the team needs to get his salary and the rest on the roster under 81.5M.

defmn

I think that is correct.

defmn

I don’t know but that is how I read the rule.

OriginalPouzar

I can’t find documentation at this point – I remember having conversations about this with Puckpedia, etc. and it was very clear that the team needed cap room for Sekera’s entire $5M.

Here are a couple old tweets from capfriendly that deal with it (but don’t state the rule completely):

https://twitter.com/capfriendly/status/1092557050176069632

https://twitter.com/capfriendly/status/1092557050176069632

Here is a blog discussing it:

https://oilersnation.com/2019/01/30/wwydw-fitting-andrej-sekera-under-the-salary-cap/

jp

You’re probably right. I was thinking the team wouldn’t need to get under 81.5M to activating Sekera after the trade deadline but maybe that’s not correct/possible.

ArmchairGM

Agreed. This doesn’t sound right to me at all. Cap is calculated daily, so “full cap hit” isn’t the same thing halfway through the season as it is for game 1.

OriginalPouzar

I’m looking forward to having Matt Blumel on the Condors for 2021/22 – he’s having a major spike in the Czech league and earning himself an ELC.

Harpers Hair

Frank Severalli reporting there will be 26 man rosters with a 4 man taxi squad for all teams.

Gentlemen, start your engines.

defmn

Only 22 to count against the cap then?

Edit: I see I misunderstood. 26 + 4 for each roster.

Last edited 9 months ago by defmn
OriginalPouzar

How do the extra 3 active roster players effect the cap?

Harpers Hair

I would imagine the players over the regular limit will be exempt from cap implications.

The taxi squad just hanging around in case of an outbreak?

OriginalPouzar

So do they just automatically remove the 3 players with the lowest cap hits?

I would expect the 4 person taxi squad to be fully segregated from the team.

Harpers Hair

Sounds about right.

Harpers Hair

In other news…the BCJHL has suspended operations indefinitely.

New BC public health orders mean teams can no longer practice or work out together.

OriginalPouzar

Dreger speculating that mandatory vaccination MAY be required (once available) – something to be discussed still – I don’t see that happening.

Per LeBrun, the schedule may not be as compressed as we may think as the NHL will likely schedule in a some additional “clear days” as they anticipate that games will be postponed, etc.

Two sides are still finalizing rosters and taxi squad protocols, etc. – this will be complicated for the Oilers, Canucks and Flames but the other four minor league affiliates will play in a “Canadian AHL division”

Harpers Hair

Based on Severalli’s report all the Canadian teams along with the rest of the league will be able to have a total of 30 players in camp.

One would naturally assume that those rosters will include every teams 7 best prospects and will definitely include a third string goaltender.

That will pretty much gut AHL rosters leaving only distant bells available to play.

OriginalPouzar

In camp? or on the roster (26 man roster plus 4 player taxi squad)?

GordieHoweHatTrick

Looks like we are getting ready to rumble. Exciting! Hope the teams can keep the Covid counts to a minimum as they move towards the start of the season.

I think the Oilers are a significantly improved team by adding depth – there will be strong competition for ALL wingers not named Nuge. There is a viable 3C for the first time since the DAMN Strome trade. The loss of Klef is the only real downgrade from last year, but Jones and Lagg are ready. I have faith in Koski, but if he goes down…all bets are off.

OriginalPouzar

Carter Savoie with the go ahead PP goal with 2 minutes left – a beauty snap shot from the circle off the rush….

OriginalPouzar
defmn

It does appear that boy can shoot the puck. 😉

Hard to get too excited 4 games in about a 4th round pick but I have to admit he has me paying attention now.

wolf8888

Beauty! Really appreciate these updates OP

€√¥£€^$

The Oil Knight has been posting all of Savoies shifts on his YouTube channel within about 4hrs after his games have ended.

Savoie’s game and foot speed have a long long way to go, but what a killer shot.

He does show consistent second effort in his own zone, but he is very poor at winning puck battles, he often runs into teammates and he makes a few soft plays per game. He also doesn’t always seem very confident with the puck early in games.

It is very clear why he was picked so late. Fortunately he plays in an excellent program in probably the best league in the NCAA and he will have plenty of opportunity to improve his overall game. It is going to be fun to watch his development.

jake70

Alberta government laying on restrictions. Just watching Kenney’s briefing. Is this U-20 tourney going to happen?

Harpers Hair

If, from afar, I’m reading the new restriction properly, the U20 tournament and NHL training camps would be in jeopardy.

Has anyone heard about exemptions?

Harpers Hair

Just listened to an extensive radio hit with Darren Dreger.

He says he’s been told to expect a flat cap throughout the extent of the 6 year extension of the CBA with a decent chance the cap goes DOWN a couple of seasons from now.

He also says players signing contracts going forward are going to be in for a rude awakening as the massive debt the players owe the owners mounts.

Players entering the league in the next few years are going to take the biggest hit as they’ll be paying back the owners for years and years.

On the subject of the new US TV deal, he cautions that it is likely to be much lower than expected as the networks will have significant trouble signing advertisers who are struggling themselves.

As an aside, the current and future economic conditions massively favour Seattle since they have no long term contracts in place and with their massive amount of cap space will be able to dictate the market, signing free agents that other teams have to dispose of.

OriginalPouzar

This is what I’ve been saying about the cap and its effect on the players in the next number of years 4-6 if the players don’t agree to “pay back more” now.

The cap doesn’t go up over $82.5M until revenues hit $4.8B and the Escrow Balance is paid off. The Escrow Balance isn’t going to start to get paid off until 2021/22 at the earliest and its going to grow materially this coming season.

With reducing escrow caps over the next few years, it won’t be paid off over the term of the new extended CBA.

OriginalPouzar

Savoie starts the PP at the right point this time but does end up on the left point – one real nice keep at the line and dangle to make a pass but the PP didn’t get much going.

OriginalPouzar

Savoie starting to settling in with his new more skilled linemates – starting to create offensive zone cycles and pressure. Not cashing yet but looking dangerous as a line.

OriginalPouzar

Beauty rush there by Savoie – took the puck from deep in the defensive zone, dangled through the neutral zone an in to the offensive zone – wasn’t able to make a plus play in the offensive zone (he had zero teammate support) but, damn, it was a sexy rush.

OriginalPouzar

Beautiful play by Savoie – take a pass off his skate in the neutral zone right to his stick to create a 2 on 1 and a beautiful touch pass to Gunaman to put him right in on the goalie but he can’t cash.

Savoie is good with the puck on his stick.

fistycuff

Hunter could you put me down for Oilers with 68 points and also, Jesse will score 12. 😎

jp

I like it 🙂 But did you know they played at a 65.5 point (56 game) pace this past season?

jp

godot10

December 8, 2020 10:11 am

Holland has to save enough in-season cap space so he can bring back Klefbom off LTIR after the trade deadline.

Two things.

First, Holland is reported to have said recently “I’m 99.9 percent sure Klef is not going to play in the 20-21 season.” (reported by Spector here: https://www.sportsnet.ca/nhl/article/oilers-notebook-whats-new-edmontons-players-overseas/)
So waiting on doing anything because Klefbom might return is likely a fool’s game.

Second, the Oilers can:
A) sign Bear for $1.5M
B) add a $2M FA
C) get compliant on day 1 to use in-season LTIR for Klefbom
D) still have $1.5M left over for injury/walking around money for the season (more if they run with less than 23 players on the roster).

With a 1.5M cushion they should accrue cap through the season and would likely STILL be able to fit in 1/3 or 1/4 of Klefbom’s salary, if he were to return around the trade deadline.

Holland has the money to sign another moderately significant player if there’s a good fit out there. (just maybe even the elder Granlund).

ArmchairGM

Is Haula getting signed in time for training camp? That’d be a nice Christmas present… and give the Oilers the undisputed #1 offensive group in the league.

jp

It sure would be. He’s near the top of my ‘plausible’ list, though there are a bunch of guys out there who could help the team.

OriginalPouzar

I think we’ll start to see some real transactions shortly, once the NHL/NHLPA approve the RTP and announce official dates.

Teams such at the Lightning, Knights, Blues, etc., that need to make significant moves to remove cap in order to get compliant, will finally be forced to agree to the material sweeteners they will have to add.

The higher end free agents available (Hoffman, Haula, Duclair) will sign.

I don’t think the Oilers will be in play here but, then again, I didn’t expect the Kahun signing.

jp

I have a feeling they will (Kenny’s a grinder, right?). But who the hell knows.

OriginalPouzar

Savoie does indeed start the game as 1LW – Pioneers hemmed in for most of the shift but Savoie uses his body to win a battle near the own-zone blue to get an important clear (and set up a 1 on 1).

OriginalPouzar

Savoie listed as 1LW for this afternoon’s game!

Last edited 9 months ago by OriginalPouzar
Scungilli Slushy

Koskinen’s success totally depends on whether or not the coaches can convince the team to stick to it’s system.

Steven V’s clear sight analysis and others as well have shown that chances after cross seam and low high to the slot chances are far more dangerous chances.

When the Oilers play well and at times dominate teams as we saw last year they are doing this. Tippet said that controlling the dangerous ice is what he wants. Give them the perimeter.

Koski’s style is positional, take the net away with size. I wouldn’t be surprised if his SV% when he’s in position facing a ‘stationary’ shot is very good, and when they get him moving it drops rapidly.

I want them to be aggressive offensively but also hope a year’s maturity helps them play with more patience and trust the team system.

Hopefully also Connor and Leon play less. That would mean they have support and can press less.

And be that much more of a nightmare to play against because they aren’t exhausted and forcing plays.

OriginalPouzar

This is the first season that I can remember where the Oilers are likely to lose their #1 d-man in the off-season, not be able to replace him and the fanbase, media, etc. do not believe its likely to be catastrophic to the season. That on its own is a massive arrow up for the team.

Caleb Jones is a key to the above and the season – 60% goal share with Adam Larsson last year when Klef missed 10 games in February – March. If Jones/Larsson have a 60% goal share in that time period this year….. money!

———————–

A second key to the season is Koskinen being able to replicate last year’s results with a higher start rate of apx 65% of the games. I think he can do it.

——————–

I think there is little doubt that Bouchard will play NHL games this year. He’s 4th on the RD depth chart and injuries will happen. I guess there is a chance that, if a RD is injured, they slide Russell or Jones over to the right and insert Lagesson but I anticipate Bouchard will get the call – in particular if he’s on a taxi squad and not playing in the AHL.

Bouchard does not need to play PP1 in his rookie season to succeed – that is a role he will eventually obtain and very likely succeed in, however, one step at a time.

——————

I don’t see the benefit of adding a 3LD like Slater K. to the team. If we think Lagesson is NHL ready, and I do (and I think many others do), its time to allow him to be the first injury fill-in on the left side. Adding another a guy like Slater K. doesn’t necessarily improve the team and pushes Lagesson to waivers. This guy has paid his dues, improved year over year since drafted, just signed a 2-year value contact – he has earned and deserves that shot.

—————

The additions of Kahun, Puljujarvi, Turris and Ennis (with only the real loss of Sheahan and AA) have added depth of skill and balance to the forward group. We can assume that both the Drai and McDavid lines will be material out-scoring lines. If we can’t assume that, or it doesn’t happen, we have an issue.

I’m not sure the bottom 6 will allow less goals at evens but I think they will score more goals at evens and both lines can be MUCH closer to 50% than we saw last year.

Their ability to score more will also take pressure off McDavid and Drai at 5 on 5 which will mean (a) less pressure on them to provide ALL THE OFFENCE, (b) less minutes for them even when chasing the game and (c) due to (a) and (b) less fatigue and mental/defensive mistakes.

There will be regression on both the PP and the PK but I believe that there will be a big spike at 5 on 5 goal differential.

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

That’s because Nurse is our #1 Dman 😉

BornInAGretzkyJersey

I don’t see the benefit of adding a 3LD like Slater K. to the team. If we think Lagesson is NHL ready, and I do (and I think many others do), its time to allow him to be the first injury fill-in on the left side. Adding another a guy like Slater K. doesn’t necessarily improve the team and pushes Lagesson to waivers. This guy has paid his dues, improved year over year since drafted, just signed a 2-year value contact – he has earned and deserves that shot.

I’d take this another step farther and suggest Lagesson is the one who deserves to be 3LD to start the season.

KRusty already has his contract extension for next season — he’s not going anywhere. WL has already been playing very well in Sweden for a while this season. He’s up to speed. That’s likely the very best set of circumstances for him to show his stuff. A wily vet like KR can ostensibly step in and out of the line up after sitting a while with little drop off in play.

Lagesson in the top six opening night line up. It’s the right thing to do.

Elgin R

Regression of the PP is not a lock. PP1 forwards produced well with both Klefbom and Nurse. Barrie is a PP improvement over both those players. The PP1 forwards are all experienced and in their prime years. The Oilers had the #1 PP in the league in 2019/20 (29.4%), but still trailed the leaders from the last 4 seasons who were all over 31.6%. Any movement to the mean would see the NHL PP leading team trend upwards not down from 29.4%. So a valid prediction would be for the Oilers to finish 1st in PP at over 30%.

PK – year to year varies too much to predict a winner or %.

OriginalPouzar

What do you mean, trailed the leaders from the last 4 seasons at 31.6%.

The Oilers PP percentage was, to my knowledge, the highest in decades – this is why I think that regression is almost a lock – I can’t predict that the PP will be historically great for a second year in a row. Don’t get me wrong, it should be right at the top of the league but I don’t think it will score at the same rate as last year.

ArmchairGM

No NHL team has had <29.4% conversion rate since 1979.

Elgin R

Sorry guys you are correct, I was looking at playoff stats for the last 4 years not regular season. Still going with the Oilers over 30% prediction – because why not!

OriginalPouzar

No need to apologize.

I sure hope you are right but, if I’m being honest, I don’t think that counting on the PP once again being the best in decades is a good bet.

Thankfully, even with our 3C at less than Adam Guadette levels, the lineup looks to be able to score more goals at 5 on 5 this coming season.

jp

I agree the % will almost certainly come down a bit.

But with the same forward group plus Barrie, it should remain elite.

The PP is also due for more chances (22nd In opportunities per game) so I’m optimistic the drop off in goals scored won’t be much at all.

Harpers Hair

Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) Tweeted:
The two Team 🇨🇦 players who tested positive two weeks ago will not be part of the return to play protocols as established by Alberta Health and Hockey Canada. In addition to those two players, three more will also be excluded from RTP, so 5 players in total heading home.

https://twitter.com/TSNBobMcKenzie/status/1336339365912449026?s=20

OriginalPouzar

Hey – Konovalov with the start today – he stops 27 of 30 in a 4-3 win.

Maxim Berezkin also in the lineup for Yaroslav – got just under 10 minutes of ice.

Pardubice is down 4-3 in the third – Blumel continues a spike year with another goal.

Harpers Hair

Ray Ferraro raising an interesting point this morning..

If the return to play includes taxi squads, he believes those players should not be allowed to practice with the NHL cohort since a positive test among the main group could force the taxi squad to isolate rendering them effectively useless.

pts2pndr

If they don’t practice with the team they will effectively be useless anyway and merely a body to put in a sweater.

Harpers Hair

Much better than a body in a casket.

pts2pndr

Just as a point for you if you haven’t thought it through. Assuming the taxi squad stays in the team bubble where is the added danger. There might be a slight additional risk due to increased roster size however once one player on the main roster tests positive there would be a higher risk of COVID for for player coming to the team from the taxi squad. Also assuming a player tests positive at an away sight the logistics of getting him to the team COVID free are real as international airports are having problems on a regular basis. There is no simple answer until the vaccine is administered and that still won’t be a guarantee.

OriginalPouzar

Its a good point and one that has been made over the last bit – segregating them prevents against the worse-case scenario if there is a team out-break. It keeps them “healthy” in that case and able to be inserted in to the lineup if 3-4 players all of a sudden can’t play.

Having guys like Bouchard, Benson, Lennstrom, Nygard (who I don’t have on the active 23 to start), etc. that have been playing hockey for the last few months is helpful – they won’t be totally out of game shape, at least to start.

As I posted previously, not ending up having the Condors re-locate to Canada for the season was a terrible result and have big implications.

Last edited 9 months ago by OriginalPouzar
OriginalPouzar

Benson is already back in Edmonton from Switzerland. Time for Bouchard, Lagesson, Puljujarvi, Kahun, Nygard, Haas, Larsson, Lennstrom, McLeod, Lavoie, Rodrigue and, hey, maybe even Klefbom, to get their buts back to Edmonton.

I’m not positive about Rodrigue and Lavoie – neither are options for the NHL team this season so perhaps they stay in Europe. With Lavoie, he could stay and then come back with the AHL starts – that’s where he needs to be.

I don’t think McLeod is an option for the NHL team out of camp but I do think he should be at camp – the AHL is where he needs to be as well.

OriginalPouzar

Looks like Bouchard is on his way back – his IG has a picture of him at the airport.

Come on back boys!

Shane

OP, Klefbom is NOT playing in the 20-21 season.

Why do you keep saying this?

OriginalPouzar

because that is not official – i doubt we see him but you never know.

Shane

You always talk about taking Holland for his word. Why not now?

OriginalPouzar

I’m sure Holland believes that based on the info he had but, ultimately, its not actually his decision.

Harpers Hair

Last Word On Hockey (@LastWordOnPuck) Tweeted:
The National Hockey League’s 2020-21 NHL season will start on January 13, 2021, Greg Wyshynski reports. In addition, the NHL announced the season will be 56 games.

https://t.co/Py63MTGYTQ

https://twitter.com/LastWordOnPuck/status/1336361396133654531?s=20

Harpers Hair

Not sure how a 56 game schedule will work in a 7 team Canadian Division.

An unbalanced schedule?

Brantford Boy

By my calculations… 56/7=8… so 8 games per team in the division…

Tarkus

Teams don’t play against themselves.

Each team in a 7-team division will have six opponents within, and since 6 into 56 leaves a remainder, the schedule will indeed be unbalanced.

Harpers Hair

Math is hard 🙂

Material Elvis

Hopefully the Oilers will get two extra games against lesser competition like Calgary and Vancouver.

Harpers Hair

Since this is a made for TV event, I expect the additional games will be against Toronto to capture the widest possible TV audience.

Also likely is an additional game or two between Calgary and Vancouver because that matchup draws the biggest TV audience in the west.

godot10

Holland has to save enough in-season cap space so he can bring back Klefbom off LTIR after the trade deadline.

Shane

Klefbom is NOT coming back for the 20-21 season.

Why do people keep saying this?

OriginalPouzar

becuase what you are saying is not necessarily true.

Shane

Holland said 99.9% not playing.. You’ve always stated how Holland does what he says..

OriginalPouzar

Again, its still not official that he isn’t playing at any point this year.

godot10

So on what day in January does the Koskinen for Marc-Andre Fleury trade happen?

wolf8888

January 32. Why would the Oilers make that trade? Kos is a better goalie at this stage for much less money

godot10

It is a prediction, not an endorsement.

defmn

Yeah, I have seen that prediction other places as well. I would hope not.

jp

LT: “I think the move of Leon Draisaitl to center is the truth that sets them free. Adding Turris hopefully helps the No. 3 line and the added skill wingers make it easier for Tippett to find chem.”

This is it for me. The team should be better at 5v5 because of the forwards.

Agree goaltending (and LHD) is the worry. It could go sideways, but it could very well also hold

Koskinen was towards the top of divisional goalies last season, goaltending just needs not to crater.

There looks to be so much parity in the division anything from 1st to 6th seems possible. Should be a fun season. I’m pretty optimistic the Oilers will be closer to the top than the bottom.

Love the ‘opening shift’ too LT!

Brantford Boy

For anyone who isn’t in the know, a Roger Waters The Wall movie was released a few years ago (2014). The same director got together and recently releases Us + Them (2020). Both are must watches for Pink Floyd fans. I’ll never forget the 1994 tour, the paranoia that set in during the song Sorrow was crazy… it seemed like 20,000 fans needed to use the restroom at the exact same time… chaos!
As for the playoff prediction, and reading the LeBrun article yesterday I’ll change my previous prediction to:
Toronto
Edmonton
Calgary
Montreal
Vancouver
Winnipeg
Ottawa

Bouchard must play, simple as that. I think the horseshoe mustache needs to be released in North America along with those PIMs as LT pointed out.

Rondo

Roger Waters is a Anti-Semite

Tarkus

But if he wears a mask, at least the Canucks have a new option for an anthemist!

Material Elvis

Completely untrue. You are certainly proficient at spreading internet misinformation.

Rondo

You should try doing research.

Material Elvis

I don’t think ‘research’ means what you think it means.

striker

What a ridiculous smear. Caring about Palestinian civilians is not anti-Semitic. Various human rights organizations like the Israeli B’tselem, Amnesty International, and UNHCR have expressed similar views as Waters on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Yesterday with the anti-mask shit (despite being asked politely by our host to refrain from discussing the topic) and today with this.

Geez

defmn

I posted this a week or so ago. It didn’t get much attention but the topic this morning seems to make it pertinent so here it is again. I think Edmonton looks like it can hold its own.

I have been reading quite a few comments here that depth is going to be important in the coming season because of back to back games and additional injuries resulting from that compressed schedule.

I guess that is a distinct possibility but generally speaking and for most regular seasons I consider the top 12 on any team to be the most likely predictor of success. The playoffs often shine a spotlight on depth but the regular season?

I go with the 12 core players.

On the assumption we will see a Canadian division this season and all the speculation about who will land where I decided to take a look at those 12 players for each team and see how I would rank them by their components of 1st line, 2nd line, 3rd centre, 1st pair, 2nd pair, starting goalie.

And I fully expect to be corrected on lines and pairings. To be honest you could tell me just about anything on who the first line is for Ottawa and I wouldn’t know. I stole most of these from CapFriendly’s fantasy depth chart with a couple of changes where I thought I knew enough to make them.

Hopefully this will provoke a little more nuanced conversation but not too much ridicule. 😉

1st Lines

6. Montreal – Tatar-Danault-Gallagher
7. Ottawa – Tkachuk-White-Dadonov
2. Toronto – Hyman-Matthews-Nylander
3. Winnipeg – Connor-Scheifele-Wheeler
5. Calgary – Mangiapane-Lindholm-Tkachuk
1. Edmonton – Nugent-Hopkins-McDavid-Kassian
4. Vancouver – Miller-Pettersson-Boeser

2nd Lines

6. Montreal – Drouin-Suzuki-Anderson
7. Ottawa – Anisimov-Tierney-Brown
1. Toronto – Kerfoot-Tavares-Marner
3. Winnipeg – Laine-Stastny-Ehlers
4. Calgary – Gaudreau-Monahan-Dube
2. Edmonton – Kahun-Draisaitl-Yamomoto
5. Vancouver – Pearson-Horvat-Virtanen

3rd Centre

6. Montreal – Kotkaniemi
7. Ottawa – Stuetzle
4. Toronto – Thornton
3. Winnipeg – Lowry
1. Calgary – Bennett
2. Edmonton – Turris
5. Vancouver – Gaudette

1st Pair

1. Montreal – Chiarot-Weber –
7. Ottawa – Chabot-Zaitsev
2. Toronto – Reilly-Brodie
5. Winnipeg – Morrisey-DeMelo
4. Calgary – Giordano-Andersson
6. Edmonton – Nurse-Bear
3. Vancouver – Edler-Schmidt

2nd Pair

3a. Montreal – Edmundson-Petry
7. Ottawa – Reilly-Gudbranson
3b. Toronto – Muezzin-Holl
6. Winnipeg – Beaulieu-Pionk
1. Calgary – Hanifin-Tanev
3c. Edmonton – Jones-Larsson
2. Vancouver – Hughes-Myers

Starting Goalie

1. Montreal – Price
7. Ottawa – Murray
4. Toronto – Andersen
2. Winnipeg – Hellebuyck
3. Calgary – Markstrom
5. Edmonton – Koskinen
6.Vancouver – Holtby

Jaxon

Goalies by last years 5-on-5 SVP%
WPG – Hellebuyck – .929
CGY – Markstrom – .925
EDM – Koskinen – .924
MTL – Price – .919
TOR – Andersen – .915
VAN – Holtby – .905
OTT – Murray – .904

I think Edmonton has improved it’s lineup and spend more time in the toher end, so I could see improvements for Koskinen. I’m not sure I see improvements on the other teams. I think Koskinen could end up being #2 this year. Turris over Sheahan is a big damn deal.

ArmchairGM

Here’s another look via HDSV% (and HDSA/60):

Koskinen: .851 (9.23)
Hellebuyck: .842 (9.15)
Markstrom: .836 (8.73)
Price: .828 (7.53)
Murray: .828 (7.81)
Andersen: .805 (8.01)
Holtby: .786 (8.65)

Interesting how the Toronto media likes to frame goaltending as a major issue for the Oilers…

maudite

For blog consistency can you please include demko’s playoff metrics in any future analysis alongside the other regular seasons numbers that you just did?

It would decrease redundancy i hope…

JimmyV1965

Interesting read. I agree with most of it. Of course, the results will likely be far different. The list of 3Cs is particularly interesting. Turris looks incredibly strong there.  

IMO the defence pairings are almost impossible to project. I’m not impressed with the Montreal defence at all. Chiarot and Edmundson are playing way too high in the order. The Calgary second pair of Hanifin-Tanev could be a disaster and you have them ranked the highest. 

Harpers Hair

Calgary’s 3C is not Sam Bennett…it’s Michael Backlund.
He is easily the class of that group.

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

The fact that he had Bennett listed as #1 struck me as odd anyway. Maybe he had Backlund in mind when he wrote Bennett?

defmn

That is only true if Lindholm moves to centre pushing Monahan and Backlnd. Last year Bennett played mostly between Lucic & Dube I believe. At least that is how they lined up when last seen on the ice.

Although I appreciate all of your lineup corrections I am still waiting to see your list.

Harpers Hair

Things could change of course, but Ward has already said he wants to try Lindholm at #1C.

https://www.thescore.com/nhl/news/2046904

Also of note, Josh Leivo could be a second line winger as Calgary improved its forward depth in the offseason.

Hard to predict how he will play after his broken kneecap but he was a positive play driver with Vancouver.

Last edited 9 months ago by Harpers Hair
defmn

Yes, we had this discussion a week ago. Offseason plans often change. Sometimes in the 2nd period of the first game. I decided to go with their track record.

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

In fairness, Lindholm switching to C is precisely what your ranking presupposes as you have him listed as their 1C. As Monahan is 2C and Backlund isn’t listed, it’s pretty clearly between the two of them and Backlund surely wins that battle.

defmn

Whoops. My bad. I forgot I switched them after HH and I talked about it last week. Am I allowed to plead old age? My apologies.

Reja

At 1.65 million Tippetts boy Turris is the best bang for your buck. Turris stirs the drink to first place in our division. Tippett can roll 4 lines game after game as long as the injury bug doesn’t hit us to hard.

OriginalPouzar

I would suggest that, at $850K, Caleb Jones may prove to be best bang for the buck.

With that said, yes, Turris looks to be on a potentially massive value contract.

Even in his “weak Nashville years”, he still produced at 2C level and he is now going to play 3C with some skill (although some do think he’s an option at top 3 RW, we’ll see).

If this goes as hoped, it will take so much pressure off the top 2 lines to provide all the offence, will allow Tip to not overplay 97 and 27 when down and will make the top two lines better, in all zones.

Harpers Hair

Adam Gaudette outscored Turris last season…true story.

OriginalPouzar

and that has what to do with the Oilers ability have more goals scored in the bottom six?

pts2pndr

And in your opinion you are the smartest man on the blog!😂

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

Tatar-Danault-Gallagher is a more effective line than you give them credit for. On paper, you have them ranked correctly, but their results would rank them higher. Nothing that strikes me as too glaring in the rest of the forward lines.

Your 3C ranking looks… messy. Bennett hasn’t played C consistently and, even if he did, ranking him #1 after his 12 point season strikes me as odd. Not sure that Lowry still qualifies as 3C for the Jets, either. Tough to say now, but I could see Harkins thriving in that spot with Roslovic and Copp. However, since it’s entirely possible that a Copp-Lowry shutdown line plays the 3rd most, I won’t say I think it’s wrong.

I wouldn’t put Turris that high, either. Say what you will about proven Vs unproven, but I’d likely take Gaudette and especially Kotkaniemi over Turris in the upcoming year. Timmy Stooz likely sees more time at LW this coming year. I think either Norris or Brown will be the guys running the middle. Overall, Ottawa’s lines are hard to predict.

I think you rank the 2nd pairing too high, also. Any pairing with Petry blows a Jones-Larsson pairing out of the water and Muzzin is also a much better player than Larsson. Either you hold Larsson in very high esteem, you don’t hold Petry or Muzzin in high esteem, or you’re unfairly boosting Jones given how you treated KK and Gaudette in the 3C ranking.

While I could argue a case for Holtby being higher with an improved goalie coach (look at how his drop in numbers coincided with Korn going to the Isles), it would be mostly speculative as we can’t accurately predict the amount of an effect each goalie coach has. As such, I’ll concede on the goalie list.

Harpers Hair

Given the compressed schedule, it’s likely wise to rank the goaltenders as 1A and 1B tandems since the backups will most likely get far more work than normal as there will be numerous back to back games.

defmn

I think you rank the 2nd pairing too high, also. Any pairing with Petry blows a Jones-Larsson pairing out of the water and Muzzin is also a much better player than Larsson. Either you hold Larsson in very high esteem, you don’t hold Petry or Muzzin in high esteem, or you’re unfairly boosting Jones given how you treated KK and Gaudette in the 3C ranking.

I did rank the Petry and Muzzin pair marginally better than Larsson and Jones. I’m not big on Edmunson but admit I don’t know enough about Holl to have a strong opinion. And, yes, I admit it. I really like Larsson and think we will miss him when he is gone after this season.

As with all the comments I didn’t think I would find universal agreement. 😉

I just thought it adds a layer of nuance to just listing the teams. It gives us a chance to see that other teams have strengths and weaknesses in key positions as do the Oilers.

A little more context to the discussion perhaps.

I’d love to see your ranking.

Harpers Hair

Will provide my list when I have more time later today rather than just nitpicking but one more nit to pick.

Based on TOI, it is very difficult to say which pairing is Vancouvers #1 pair since Edler and Hughes were almost even last season with Hughes getting #1PP duties with Edler on the PK.

Also, one consideration is that Hughes is the best defenseman in the Canadian Division (Morgan Reilly also in photo) and in some situations may be paired with Nate Schmidt which would yield the #1 pair in the division, no?

defmn

Agreed. There are definitely limits to what I did. Barrie didn’t even make the Edmonton list, for example.

pts2pndr

So shelter point is actually on fantasy island!😂

defmn

Will provide my list when I have more time later today rather than just nitpicking but one more nit to pick.

The day is almost done. 😉

Seriously, how would you rank these guys?

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

You separate them, but not enough to make up for the gap between the proven elements of each pairing. I also don’t think much of Edmundson FWIW. Perhaps a breakdown will make my specific stance more clear:

Petry ~= Muzzin >>(>) Larsson
Holl > Jones > Edmundson

I concede that I may be underrating Larsson but his performance the past 2+ years have not left me thinking much of him. He’s a steady hand #4 D but results (goal share specifically) have to improve before I can call him anything more than that.

As for my rankings, I’m happy to oblige! I’ll do it based on my recollection of numbers from last year in conjunction with my perception of the line’s potential for domination. It’ll be crude and likely have some gaps but I’ll add comments for my hotter takes:

1st Lines
3. Montreal – Tatar-Danault-Gallagher*
7. Ottawa – Tkachuk-White-Dadonov
2. Toronto – Hyman-Matthews-Nylander
4. Winnipeg – Connor-Scheifele-Wheeler
6. Calgary – Tkachuk-Lindholm-Mangiapane
1. Edmonton – Nugent-Hopkins-McDavid-Kassian
5. Vancouver – Miller-Pettersson-Boeser

Only numbers I went to confirm since this is my hottest take: in 1248 mins together in 3 years, they’re rocking a 62.3% GF and 61.3% xGF. They might be higher if not for the presence of Matthews and McDavid.

2nd Lines
6. Montreal – Drouin-Suzuki-Anderson
7. Ottawa – Steutzle-Tierney-Brown
1a. Toronto – Mikheyev-Tavares-Marner
1b. Winnipeg – Laine-Stastny-Ehlers
3b. Calgary – Gaudreau-Monahan-Dube*
3a. Edmonton – Kahun-Draisaitl-Yamomoto*
5. Vancouver – Pearson-Horvat-Virtanen

This was the hardest. JT struggled by numbers last year, but two elite players on a 2nd line is tough to beat. Ehlers is Ehlers and I think Stastny covers for Laine’s deficiencies. Gaudreau and Monahan are more than capable of bouncing back in the regular season. Drai is the best player on any of these lines but I think Yamo dips and Kahun ain’t Nuge.

3rd Centre
2. Montreal – Kotkaniemi*
6. Ottawa – Brown OR Norris
3c. Toronto – Thornton
7. Winnipeg – Lowry
1. Calgary – Backlund
3b. Edmonton – Turris
3a. Vancouver – Gaudette

I saw improvement in KK at the end of last year to suggest to me that he breaks through.

1st Pair
2. Montreal – Chiarot-Weber
7. Ottawa – Chabot-Zaitsev
1. Toronto – Reilly-Brodie
5. Winnipeg – Morrisey-DeMelo
3. Calgary – Giordano-Andersson
6. Edmonton – Nurse-Barrie
4. Vancouver – Edler-Schmidt

Nothing too outrageous here… unless you count Nurse-Barrie. I like a Willy Legs & Bear pairing 🙂

2nd Pair
3b. Montreal – Edmundson-Petry
7. Ottawa – Brannstrom-Gudbranson
3a. Toronto – Muzzin-Holl
6. Winnipeg – Beaulieu-Pionk
2. Calgary – Hanifin-Tanev
5. Edmonton – Jones-Larsson
1. Vancouver – Hughes-Myers*

I don’t think much of Myers, but Hughes is a true talent. The other top Dmen in this category have bigger anchors (Edmundson) or less proven players (Holl) tied to them.

Starting Goalie
1. Montreal – Price
7. Ottawa – Murray
3. Toronto – Andersen
2. Winnipeg – Hellebuyck
4. Calgary – Markstrom
5. Edmonton – Koskinen
6. Vancouver – Holtby

defmn

Very nice list. I don’t know about you but I found the exercise educational even given its shortcomings.

I know HH is always pushing his “perspective” perspective 😉 and although I think he enjoys doing it too much to the detriment of the ‘home team’ here he is not wrong to do it that way when thinking about how the teams most important to the standings line up against each other.

Its crude, for sure, but does offer perspective on other team’s strengths and weaknesses.

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

Absolutely a worthy discussion to see how others evaluate opposing teams! Helps check our own opinions and see where our knowledge/analysis might be lacking and whether others are seeing something we’re not. Have I sold you on Danault-Gallagher? 😉

defmn

Hehe. I really like Danault but I think of him more like a Horcoff 1st line centre than a prototypical 1st line centre. Would you rate Horcoff that high in his prime?

Gallagher is a piss cutter. I worry about his injury history.

Scheiffle and Petterson are pretty stiff competition imo.

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

I really enjoyed Horcoff even when he wasn’t in his prime, so maybe take my opinion with a grain of salt. Danault strikes me as a Horcoff-equivalent for the modern era (as in, faster and more skilled). Assuming his 5-on-5 numbers aren’t mostly a product of Gallagher, I think he’s the ideal (yet realistic) 2C.

As for Gallagher, two healthy seasons prior to this one, so I’m not worried like you are. He’s just too elite at even strength for me to discount.

jp

“I wouldn’t put Turris that high, either. Say what you will about proven Vs unproven, but I’d likely take Gaudette and especially Kotkaniemi over Turris in the upcoming year.”

Gaudette was the Canucks most sheltered regular last season, and that’s saying something. (16% TOI vs elites).

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

Notice the “likely”, but I’ll defend the position that I do lean towards- if only ever so slightly.

That’s a reasonable counter. I have some questions and concerns about how the classification system distinguishes between its categories, though. Given how many oddities I’ve seen in the data (elite players struggling against “Grits”, most players seeming to struggle against “Middle”), I’m not sure I believe in its merit as a standalone method of assessment. This could just be my ignorance on the matter, though.

However, he’s 24 and seems to be trending up while the others are over 30 and, for one reason or another, have been trending down. They all scored comparable amounts at 5-on-5 and Gaudette likely has the most opportunity for “upward mobility” (PP time, increased mins, etc) given the losses to VAN’s forward group. He likely sees a fairer share of the defensive load this season but, even if he doesn’t, Turris also seems likely to play pretty sheltered minutes (24% Vs Elites last year) so I’m not sure it’s too much of a knock against him in the comparison.

In the end, it would come down to me valuing the potential that his youth offers similarly to how I value the experience that the others bring. In a side-by-side analysis, I prefer to trust in the potential for growth in youth that’s trending upward over trusting in the return to form or stabilizing of recently declining veterans.

Last edited 9 months ago by Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual
jp

Yeah that’s pretty fair. I won’t disagree that Gaudette could end up being better than Turris going forward.

And there are some oddities about the PuckIQ results for sure. I feel like the %TOI numbers pass the eye test pretty well though (even if the results vs the tiers don’t always).

I was just noting that Gaudette was among the more sheltered forwards in the league last season (Nygard was the lowest Oiler forward for instance at 23% TOI vs elites) so his scoring and on ice results are likely to suffer if he actually were to play more typical 3C minutes.

Harpers Hair

Using TOI against elites can be very misleading because it ignores the strategy any particular coach may be employing.

Using your example of Gaudette, yes he was “sheltered” because Green spent most of the season hard matching the Horvat line against tough competition.

As the season wore on, he started matching Pettersson against the toughs more and more frequently.

I can understand his strategy from the point of view of easing in younger players in the second seasons with the more experienced Horvat taking the brunt of that work.

Another wrinkle is that lineups and roles can change from season to season depending on roster moves.

For example, Green has mused publicly about using Jayce Hawryluk as #3C and shifting Gaudette to wing which he believes would be a better match for his playing style.

As he explained it, Hawryluk is a burner and demon forechecker as is Antoine Roussell who should be better after having shaken off injury and having time to train in the offseason.

So, Puck IQ tells you what happened but it doesn’t tell you why or what is likely to happen going forward.

jp

Well it’s not misleading if it tells you what happened, though it clearly doesn’t predict the future.

I agree coaches protecting players and putting them in positions to succeed can be a good strategy. At the same time, if Gaudette is playing 16% of his TOI vs elites he can’t rightly be called a 3C. He was 4C on a sheltered offensive line.

Last season, at least, TOI also agrees. Gaudette was 11th among Canuck forwards in 5v5 TOI/game during the regular season. In the playoffs he was 12th, and only played 10 of the 17 games (not sure if he was a scratch or injured). Combined with being the most heavily sheltered, I don’t see an argument that he played 3C last year.

If Green decides to play him there this season it will be a real significant jump in minutes and opposition. We’ll see what his scoring and GF/GA numbers look like if that ends up happening (he was under water in GF/GA and only had 42% of the shot share as it was).

I think defmn ranking him 5th among 3Cs in the Canadian division was more than a little kind honestly.

After looking more at this, I’d take Turris over Gaudette as my 3C for the upcoming season 10 times out of 10.

Harpers Hair

Once again you’re falling for a fallacy that ignores the context of coaching strategy.

As I said previously, Green did not use his third line as a defensive line and, as such, the Horvat like and the (putrid) fourth line were tasked with harder matchups.

If you don’t believe Gaudette was a third line centre, who do you think was?

Worth noting that Gaudette in only his second pro season, outscored Turris in 3 minutes less TOI/G

And, yes, Gaudette was injured in the playoffs.

jp

Fallacy?

If not by TOI and how much you play against other teams better or worse players, then how would you define ‘first/second/third/fourth line’? Surely not by points scored…

ArmchairGM

What makes you think Toronto’s 2nd line is better than Edmonton’s? Since lines only play together at 5v5, looking at each team’s 5v5 performance doesn’t give Toronto the edge.

5v5 P/60 and (points)
Yamamoto: 3.16 (22)
Draisaitl: 2.89 (56)
Kahun: 2.43 (27)
Marner: 2.17 (32)
Kerfoot :1.80 (29)
Tavares: 1.80 (25)

Even if you were to take some air out of Yamamoto’s tires, Edmonton’s trio still beats Toronto’s by a LOT. In fact, despite Yamamoto playing just 27 games last year, the Edmonton 2-line potted 105 points at 5v5 last year, well more than the 86 those Leafs put up. Kahun missed a bunch of games too.

5v5 G/60 and (goals)
Draisaitl: 1.13 (22)
Yamamoto: 1.00 (7)
Kahun: 0.90 (10)
Tavares: 0.81 (13)
Kerfoot: 0.58 (8)
Marner: 0.48 (7)

I’m just not seeing it. The Leafs line would have to be nearly perfect defensively to be better than Edmonton’s 2nd line.

defmn

I know nothing about Kahun other than the numbers I read here so I nicked him and Yamomoto is still too soon to say imo. Marner may be the best winger in the division and Tavares does a lot of really good things. I took the two “sure” guys over the two question marks.

Just my opinion. I certainly don’t want to claim to be any expert. I just posted to start exactly this kind of discussion.

pts2pndr

I think your rankings are extremely reasonable. I am f the belief that overall ranking of D has to go beyond the top four and this is where I believe Edmonton has an advantage. Given that all the teams top four will have changes in personnel some more than others it should be of some concern to all teams in the Canadian division. There are also teams whose top four have a player that is approaching there best before date as well. The eastern teams in the division won’t be spending as much time in their own beds as they are accustomed to. I am looking forward to see how it plays out assuming there is a season.

flyfish1168

Lt love your enthusiasm on Oilers 1st goal against our provincial rivals. To add to your story I see a blowout with us smiling and where there is a brouhaha of great proportion. With lucic laying flat on the mat against JJ. We are on top by score and by fistcuffs. 🙂

Last edited 9 months ago by flyfish1168
fistycuff

And, everyone, loves, fistycuffs!!!

leadfarmer

I agree with you LT. I think we overpay in midseason for goalering help and Arizona is probably the team that benefits

jp

For me it’s more like 80%/20% that Koskinen is good enough that Holland doesn’t add a starter.

Smith, IMO is well over 50% in holding his job, but also much easier to replace.

maudite

catastrophic “man games lost to injury” aside:

I can’t see a way they aren’t in top 3 no matter how hard I try.

maudite

That’s where the range comes in on where we land in my head. I still hate the contract (given the context surrounding how it was done and for how much at that point) but I’m alright with the player, in the case of koskinen.

Klefbom hurts but I do honestly think we have an enviable platoon of LHD (signing a vet RHD who can likely further juice PP in barrie I think was a brilliant compromise by holland)

There are a lot of scenarios for goalie factor…but I’ll be shocked beyond belief if for the first time in forever I’m comfortable pre season picking this team to make the playoffs….and “because goalie” they don’t find a way.

Last edited 9 months ago by maudite
BornInAGretzkyJersey

I still hate the contract (given the context surrounding how it was done and for how much at that point) but I’m alright with the player, in the case of koskinen.

In January 2019, when the contract was extended, Koskinen was making the 33rd highest salary (by AAV). In that season, his extension would have placed him at 18th, between Craig Anderson and Jake Allen. Again, at 18th the following season. This time between Craig Anderson and Jordan Binnington after the market had adjusted to the season prior.

As it sits today, Mikko’s contract is 20th in the league by AAV.

In light of his performance by most metrics, solidly middle of the pack among starters (and sometimes much higher), he represents a value contract.

The issue I take with the extension (and I think we probably agree) is that Pete could have first used the money to lock up Darnell Nurse long term at an AAV of about $5.5M, and compelled MK to take a bit of a haircut to stay with the team. Or sign elsewhere. That would have been the ideal play considering there has been no shortage of similar quality goaltenders available since then for similar money.

maudite

It indeed seemed out of place as far as order of operations shoukd have followed at that point.

Harpers Hair

Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) Tweeted:
Team 🇨🇦 gets official clearance from Alberta Health to resume selection camp. Team White will practice today at 9:30 a.m. MT and 3:30 p.m. Team Red will be go at 11:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

https://twitter.com/TSNBobMcKenzie/status/1336337336355807237?s=20