Spy vs. Spy

by Lowetide
Tyler Benson photo by Mark Williams

I think Tyler Benson’s last chance Texaco is next season, 2021-22 training camp. I also think the organization would love to see him succeed. He’s inexpensive, has offensive ability and understands the idea of taking your man either by stick or being physical. It would benefit him greatly to show well in the scrimmage today. Having Tippett and his coaching staff with eyes on him is a good thing. He’s a good young player. Today’s a big day.

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.

  • New Lowetide: 9 bold predictions for the Oilers’ season
  • Lowetide: Early roster rumblings as Oilers open training camp
  • Jonathan Willis: Oilers training camp: Forecasting the big roster battles
  • Lowetide: Dylan Holloway’s world juniors work offers clues about Oilers future
  • Lowetide: The Bakersfield Condors will be competitive in the coming AHL season
  • Athletic: How we’d run the Oilers: Maximize primes of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl
  • Eric Duhatschek: How a stint in Sweden prepared Oilers prospect Evan Bouchard for NHL camp
  • Jonathan Willis: After a brilliant rookie Oilers season, how high is Ethan Bear’s ceiling?
  • Lowetide: How secure is Zack Kassian’s role on Oilers’ top line?
  • Lowetide: Why fans should expect an Oilers playoff berth in Canadian division
  • Jonathan Willis: Dave Tippett has more options now thanks to versatile Oilers forwards
  • Lowetide: 7 big questions facing the Oilers heading into next season
  • Lowetide: What if Ryan Nugent-Hopkins doesn’t sign with the Oilers?
  • Jonathan WillisLeft-side logjam will force the Oilers to make a choice, and perhaps a sacrifice
  • Lowetide: Theodor Lennstrom is the Oilers’ latest European bet on defence
  • Lowetide: Seattle Kraken expansion mock draft 5.0: Who could the Oilers lose?
  • Lowetide: Why McDavid and Nuge together could be key to Oilers’ playoff success

OILERS TEAM A ROSTER

  • Tyler Ennis-Leon Draisaitl-Kailer Yamamoto
  • Josh Archibald-Kyle Turris-Jesse Puljujarvi
  • Alan Quine-Cooper Marody-Adam Cracknell
  • Seth Griffith
  • Darnell Nurse-Ethan Bear
  • Slater Koekkoek-Evan Bouchard
  • William Lagesson-Theodor Lennstrom
  • Mikko Koskinen (Anton Forsberg)

This is the No. 2 line, the No. 3 line and by my count No. 6 line. This team also gets the top pairing, the fourth pairing and the fifth pairing. Top goalie and No. 3 goalie. It’s my guess the team will have 11 of these players on the opening night lineup. Puljujarvi has been a major focus of this training camp. He is getting a major push from the organization. This is exactly what Sparky Anderson did for Howard Johnson and dozens of his other young players. It worked plenty. It’s a good ploy for the Oilers.

OILERS TEAM B ROSTER

  • RNH-Connor McDavid-Zack Kassian
  • Tyler Benson-Jujhar Khaira-Alex Chiasson
  • Joakim Nygard-Ryan McLeod-Patrick Russell
  • Kris Russell-Tyson Barrie
  • Caleb Jones-Adam Larsson
  • Markus Niemelainen-Ryan Stanton
  • Mike Smith (Stuart Skinner or Dylan Wells)

This is the No. 1, 4, 5 line, the No. 2, 3 and 6 pairing and the No. 2, 4 and 5 goalie. I think the team will break camp with 11 players on the roster. I think this is the most interesting team, with Benson, Khaira, Nygard and McLeod all in contention for a roster spot. I’ll be interested in the Russell-Barrie pairing and their performance.

OILERS OPENING NIGHT ROSTER 2020-21

Based on what we know, and the lines that appear here, we can guess about the opening night lineup:

  • RNH-Connor McDavid-Zack Kassian
  • Dominik Kahun-Leon Draisaitl-Kailer Yamamoto
  • Tyler Ennis-Kyle Turris-Jesse Puljujarvi
  • Josh Archibald-Jujhar Khaira-Alex Chiasson
  • James Neal (IR), Devin Shore, Gaetan Haas
  • Darnell Nurse-Ethan Bear
  • Caleb Jones-Adam Larsson
  • Kris Russell-Tyson Barrie
  • Oscar Klefbom (IR), Slater Koekkoek
  • Mikko Koskinen (Mike Smith)

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

It’s an all-star cast this morning on TSN1260, beginning at 10. Frank Seravalli from TSN joins us at 10:20 to talk about the latest NHL news and how teams are ratcheting up for the season. At 11, Jason Strudwick, the man the myth the legend, joins us to talk about training camp and trying to win an NHL job against tough competition. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter.

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[…] Spy Vs. Spy (Lowetide) […]

OriginalPouzar

Dallas Stars have cancelled their practice today – they have not provided a reason and the league will be taking care of the communication on the matter.

Kinger_Oil.redux

– Having a hard time reconciling the news on the same day that they are allowing NHL Hockey players to get paid millions in Ontario, while not allowing our kids to go back to school. It’s interesting the moral comprises that governments make. I wonder if these decisions were made via zoom calls with Ministers whilst on their carribean vacations.

Reja

A weasel reporter tried to bait Mcdavid on the lines of that. I thought he handled the question very well but I did wish it was throwback Pronger responding.

Harpers Hair

Someone asking a valid question is hardly a weasel.

Reja

Loaded question the reporter knows full well a 23 year-old hockey player isn’t calling the shots on the league, province and both countries Canada and America protocols. He’s a weasel….

kgo

McDavid is only 23?! Holy shit folks the McDavid window is officially opening in 6 days.

Kinger_Oil.redux

– Hey the players aren’t doing anything wrong: I’d want to get paid that amount too, and would have the same sense of entitlement. Its certainly not “equitable”, but little in life really is. My son can’t play hockey this year, has to stay home from school. Guess he can enjoy watching the hockey. How would you imagine Pronger answering?

N64

~ Let Auston field that one.~

AB schools reopen Monday with no other restrictions being removed for at least 2 more weeks

defmn

It has to be really hard on parents of young school age children juggling work and home life these days but the equivalency is a stretch.

The protocols the NHL is paying for involving a very small number of individuals don’t really compare to schooling.

Best of luck to you though. It can’t be easy these days.

Kinger_Oil.redux

– Thanks: and same for all parents in same boat. It’s not an equivalency thing. Its the inequities in life, and the moral hazards that we face: the economic impact of hockey players vs. those who have to take care of kids, are derivatives of each other in terms of impact to the economy. But hockey is popular, and everyone has to get paid. Don’t hate the playah’ hate the game.

– I’m not surprised by the decision, merely pointing out the difficulty in reconciling the message: “hey peeps, we need you to restrict your movement, and make huge sacrifices. No worries though: you get to watch the hockey” *this message was brought to you from the officials, via Turks and Caicos*

jp

It’s funny all the different perspectives.

I’m back working now and my only child is pre-school age. But when the original shutdown happened back in March (for my workplace and the NHL), one of the things I was most disappointed about was that there would be no hockey to watch.

At the time (as now) I’d very much have wanted the players to continue playing (if it could be done safely) even though I wasn’t able to work or do much of anything else.

Anyway, just a different perspective, I’m sure for many reasons.

OriginalPouzar

I’m not sure anyone wants to put the kids through the testing and other protocols the NHL players and employees are undertaking in order to mitigate risk.

I’m not sure the cost of such protocols is something that is affordable for the schools.

Last edited 16 days ago by OriginalPouzar
Dac189

I would place the NHL in the same category as things like best buy, furniture/clothing stores, toy/video game stores, Marmot skii hill, etc. Non-essential stores which are mostly open.
I think the NHL is held to a higher standard than similar businesses. Probably because of the outreach it has.

N64

Yes. AB left non essential biz open at 15% capacity. Ontario closed them while leaving hybrid stores like Walmart open.

OriginalPouzar

jp

For sure, lots is expected.

My biggest concern with that pairing has been that you want Barrie getting ice in offensive situations. And Russell suppresses all things related to scoring. So they should neutralize each other to an extent (theoretically).

Just listened to Tip’s media avail today and Matty asked him about having Barrie out there with McDavid and Drai and, frankly, Tip didn’t seem too concerned about it. He said Barrie would play with those guys on the PP but they need all their d-men to push the play at 5 on 5 and be up on the play. He acknowledged that Barrie was very good offensively but part of it will also be the game situation.

jp

That makes sense, and he’s right that they want/need all the D pushing. His words seem to imply he’s not thinking much about who to put out there though, and I’m not sure if that’s true.

Maybe there’s enough balance on the pairs this season to let it happen, but last year Nurse played 59% of his 5v5 minutes with McDavid and/or Draisaitl, Klefbom 48% and Russell only 32%.

Now you’ve paired Barrie (who should clearly be in the Nurse 60% range) with Russell who should be (and was) in the 30% range.

Doesn’t seem optimal (though none of the other alignments seems clearly better to me). Does Tippett put Russell-Barrie out there for Ozone face-offs? Or does he avoid using Barrie in those situations because he comes with Russell? Be damned if I know.

defmn

Dave is preparing for a career in politics. He is a master of saying next to nothing while giving the impression he has answered the question. 😉

jp

Absolutely, he is very good at that.

Reja

He’s a players coach he knows anything you say Knowadays can be overblown in a instant. He’s not going to pigeon hole anyone on the team he’s old school.

defmn

Yup. I meant my comment as a compliment to him. 😉

Harpers Hair

What happened to Broberg?

You expected him to attend Oilers camp.

Has he gone back to Sweden?

defmn

OP was always in favour of Broberg returning to Sweden when the tournament finished as far as I recall anything he mentioned here.

Harpers Hair

I seemed to recall he thought Broberg participating in camp before going home would be a plus for Broberg…could be wrong which is why I asked the question.

defmn

Ah, maybe, I know he has been big on Broberg finishing the season in Sweden but OP posts a lot so I might have missed something.

I miss TC. I went every September for many years and it was always fun – as opposed to the regular season when I would sometimes sit in my over priced seat and wonder what kind of stupidity made me keep spending money to watch the shit show on the ice below me.

Harpers Hair

What season did you give up?

I also had season tickets for many years from the WHA days and remember a game between the Oilers and Senators some time in the 90’s that drew about 7000 fans for the worst professional hockey game I’ve ever seen live.

It took me another year or two to kick the habit but I thank my lucky stars and retirement income that I wasn’t paying anything during the Lowe/McTavish era.

The team still has not recovered.

defmn

I left Edmonton 13 years ago this month when we retired.

The team has not fully recovered but it is off of life support and there are growing signs of health.

Harpers Hair

Heavy mettle 🙂

pts2pndr

He was playing injured. Assuming you are of reasonable intelligence what do you think Broberg would be doing.

Harpers Hair

Anyone approaching average intelligence would question if the Oiler’s medical staff was observing him and treating him or if he returned immediately to Sweden.

Reja

Sheldon Souray does not say hi.

OriginalPouzar

What? I expected him to be at camp? I sure as heck never had that expectation.

I was one that said he should have zero chance of playing NHL games this season as he is not ready and needs to spend the rest of the season in Skelefftea and then, once he comes over in April, should head to Bakersfield.

I said, that maybe he might get camp if the timing lines up but I was against it – I also said, even if the time lines up, given the short nature of camp, I don’t think the team would bring him given essentially no chance of staying.

Further, we’ve known for two weeks now that he was definitely not coming to camp, its been discussed in this forum, you’ve read it and know it and now you are intentionally being an ass.

Harpers Hair

Holy Over reaction Batman!

Fuhr and Lowething in Vegreville

No, not an overreaction at all.

Based on your meritless and obvious attempt to incite a reaction out of him, I actually feel his response was on point and maybe even a slight “underreaction”…

You’re so smart and in many cases add so much to this community and often help add context and perspective to discussions here that I hate so much for you when you can’t help yourself from being a troll and/or obvious contrarion.

Be better. I know it’s in you.

Reja

Don’t ever change as Henry Hill once said. That’s the hardest part, everything is different. There’s no action, I have to wait around like everyone else. I can’t even get decent food. Right after I got here, I ordered some spaghetti with marinara sauce and I got egg noodles with ketchup. I’m a average nobody, I get to live the rest of my life like a schnook.

leadfarmer

You’re an idiot

OriginalPouzar

Listening to Tip today and, with Kahun, he was praising his skill and vision but then talked about having to find out where he’ll fit in and play.

I really don’t think he’s a lock for the top 6 to start and, as I’ve been saying, given camp deployment through 5 days, I anticipate Ennis starts in the top 6 (and Kahun likely as 3LW with Turris and Jesse).

jp

Yeah it’s a bit of a surprise, but even from the outside Ennis and Kahun played similar roles (outside Edmonton) last year and produced pretty much identically (boxcars). And Ennis has played there already, so familiarity. Especially with Kahun missing so far.

In terms of Kahun’s eventual landing spot, hard to say. I think Archibald might stay on the 3rd line, if he’s going to be Turris’s PK partner. We’ll see.

OriginalPouzar

Could be but I really don’t see PK partners needing to play together at evens (see Khaira/Nuge).

I really hope that Tip doesn’t keep Archie on his off-wing on the 3rd line – he’s a clear 4th line type energy player and someone like Kahun or Ennis make so much more sense with Turris/JP – at least in my mind.

If it wasn’t for the PK, I’d almost thing that Archie was on the outside of the opening night lineup and he’s holding Kahun’s spot:

Nuge/McDavid/Kass
Ennis/Drai/Yamamoto
Kahun/Turrs/Puljujarvi
Nygard (Benson)/Khaira/Chiasson

Haas – IR or pressbox
Neal – IR

Nuge/Khaira
Turris/Yamamoto

Ya, PK forwards…… not deep without Archie.

jp

I agree with you, just reading the tea leaves.

Surely Archibald is in the starting 12 if Neal/Haas are injured. Benson or Nygard aren’t playing over him, and if they were they wouldn’t be rotating on the 4th line.

And if Archibald’s destination is the 4th line he’d be getting reps there. But he is not.

I mention PK mainly because I assume it’s part of Tippett’s rationale. Remembering that Tippett played Archibald up the lineup last season (including in the play-in), we shouldn’t be all that surprised (if this is in fact what he does).

OriginalPouzar

I don’t disagree with you on a high level but something is missing here.

If neither of Archie nor Ennis are placeholders, then where does Kahun play? 4LW – the spot that Nygard and Benson have shared through camp?

I love the potential of a Kahun/Turris/Puljujarvi line – I am not nearly as enthused with an Archie/Turris/Puljujarvi line (Archie on his wrong side and playing higher in the lineup than he should be).

If it wasn’t for PK need, I could see Nygard or Benson playing over Archie as they are left wingers (not saying it would be likely but I could “see it”).

jp

I agree with all this as well.

And in terms of Kahun as 4LW… maybe? It doesn’t make much sense to me, but everything else Tippett has done has been consistent.

The D pairs have had the expected starting 6 together in the same combinations from the start.

11 of the 12 forward slots haven’t changed (Benson/Nygard at 4LW being the exception).

If Tippett has Ennis as the opening day 3LW and Archibald the opening 4LW, every indication is they’d be practicing and scrimmaging in those spots right now.

Not saying I agree with it (I don’t) but that’s my take on where Tippett is headed at this point.

OriginalPouzar

jp

I agree with all this as well.

And in terms of Kahun as 4LW… maybe? It doesn’t make much sense to me, but everything else Tippett has done has been consistent.

The D pairs have had the expected starting 6 together in the same combinations from the start.

11 of the 12 forward slots haven’t changed (Benson/Nygard at 4LW being the exception).

If Tippett has Ennis as the opening day 3LW and Archibald the opening 4LW, every indication is they’d be practicing and scrimmaging in those spots right now.

Not saying I agree with it (I don’t) but that’s my take on where Tippett is headed at this point.

I agree and that’s why part of me thinks that Archie is placeholder for Kahun and may not automatically have a lineup spot – slip Kahun in there and every player is in a reasonable position for their skillset (without arguing about Kass a 1RW).

Of course, Nygard/Benson over Archie seems like a non-starter without even taking in to account PK.

pts2pndr

Actually it is quite important for penalty killing pairs to operate on the same line. It precludes having to jumble two other lines after a PK. This is particularly true if you are trying to line match for instance. It is done but it’s not ideal.

OriginalPouzar

pts2pndr

Actually it is quite important for penalty killing pairs to operate on the same line. It precludes having to jumble two other lines after a PK. This is particularly true if you are trying to line match for instance. It is done but it’s not ideal.

I don’t really agree with the importance level. I mean JJ and Nuge were a PK pairing all year long. Archie/Sheahan were the other pairing all year and, while they did play together quite a bit, Archie got moved all over the lineup and they spent plenty of time apart.

Tip likes to go with McDavid/Drai often after a PK in any event.

pts2pndr

I think Ennis is possible for top six however I don’t think Tippett has seen enough of Kahun at this time for it to be a sure thing. Given that Kahun has a history with Draisaitl I can’t see Tippett not experimenting with that combination before the regular season starts.

OriginalPouzar

I don’t disagree but it would seem odd to have Ennis there for 5 days out of a 10 day camp and not a single shift (to this point) with the linemates he would be starting the season with.

We’ll know more once Kahun gets inserted on to an NHL line next practice – I think they have a day off tomorrow – not sure if its tomorrow or Sat but I think its tomorrow.

defmn

Bob Stauffer
@Bob_Stauffer
·
22m
After an injury-plagued start and finish to 2019-20 Adam Larsson has shown “good jump” through the first few days of Training Camp. The @EdmontonOilers need Larsson to provide a shutdown presence on the back-end and contribute on the PK.

OriginalPouzar

Adam Larsson was VERY good in 2020 (except in August) and THAT player, the player we had in 2017, makes this team ALOT better. He’s not old, in fact, he’s probably right in prime years for his type of d-man. I’m anticipating a great season from Larsson – giving him the odd night off for the likes of Bouchard could also go a long ways.

OriginalPouzar

Reid Wilkins

Tippett says Neal is skating; Haas isn’t. “I don’t anticipate either one back anytime soon.”

————–

Starting to look like Devon Shore is going to get himself a contract and take Haas’ spot.

I don’t know if the team will have the cap space to have both these guys on IR and a full 23 player roster – unless one, or both, go on LTIR.

jp

Interesting to know what the issues/injuries are with them.

IIRC Haas was reported to be delayed just as a precaution due to close contact with a positive case. But maybe he actually got sick, or has some other injury. Definitely not good timing for him whatever the case.

OriginalPouzar

I was going to put it in my post but stopped short.

I agree on Haas – unless he actually got injured somehow, he must be sick with symptoms – if he was just a close contact and tested negative there would be timelines, etc.

If a player tests positive, they are automatically able to be put on LTIR if the team chooses – that would allow the team the extra cap space to fill his spot (as opposed to regular IR) but it would be a min 10 games/24 days.

Tarkus

Much like Faust, Sami Vatanen has made a deal with the Devil(s).

Munny

Will there be a Joey Moss MEMORIAL Cup this TC?

Should be nationally broadcast, if so.

Last edited 16 days ago by Munny
OriginalPouzar

I’m going to anticipate there will be quite the ceremony on Wednesday, televised nationally (and likely a follow up one with all the Boys in the Bus in actual physical attendance when that’s a thing that can happen – maybe opening night 2021/22).

OriginalPouzar

Bryan

My money is on team A. It would be great if JP and Benson both shine.

Gregor says the Benson/Khaira/Chiasson line had a good game – had the puck alot.

Haven’t heard/read much about Nygard’s game (Benson’s main comp) but he did score just after a PP ended.

leadfarmer

Kind of feel for taxi squad guys
the difference between an nhl paycheck and minor league paycheck is a simple transaction
otherwise no difference from the taxi squad vs press box guys other than a 10x pay grade

OriginalPouzar

but the taxi squad guys would be assigned to the AHL if there wasn’t a taxi squad.

There will be a 23 man roster plus the 6 player taxi squad as opposed to the 23 man rosters and then re-assignment.

The taxi squad guys get the same cash they otherwise would have but get to hand out at Rogers and get the NHL coaching and practices and perhaps even travel with the team – as opposed to being in Bakersfield and bussing around the blahs of California.

defmn

Not to mention NHL level per diems. 😉

OriginalPouzar

Here is the Jesse goal – I like his tracking of the puck and working to get to a place where he can pounce – that’s “offensive IQ”:

https://twitter.com/JoshTPark/status/1347261725364477952

Elgin R

And ‘hands’ as his stick was between his legs and he still got it elevated with some zip on it.

OriginalPouzar
Reja

I’m just kidding but it’s back to Yellow Cab driving for Bouchard if it was him with the weak ass back check.

dustrock

I think whoever was defending McDavid is going to try very hard not to do anything close to physically contacting him in the first scrimmage 😀

Munny

So the top player on Team A passed it to the top player on Team B for the OT winner?

On whose net? Are there some new OT rules of which I am unaware?

defmn

From the live feed on Sportsnet these were the teams.

Team White Roster
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins-Connor McDavid-Zack Kassian
Tyler Ennis-Leon Draisaitl-Kailler Yamamoto
Joakim Nygard-Ryan McLeod-Patrick Russell
Kris Russell-Tyson Barrie
Slater Koekkoek-Evan Bouchard
Markus Niemelainen-Ryan Stanton
Mikko Koskinen
Anton Forsberg
Team Blue
Josh Archibald-Kyle Turris-Jesse Puljujarvi
Tyler Benson-Jujhar Khaira-Alex Chiasson
Alain Quine-Carson Marody-Adam Cracknell
Dominik Kahun-Devin Shore-Seth Griffith
Darnell Nurse-Ethan Bear
Caleb Jones-Adam Larsson
William Lagesson-Theodor Lennstrom
Mike Smith
Stuart Skinner

€√¥£€^$

I won’t be able watch the scrimmage today, does anyone know how to watch livestream afterwards? Or if this will be available for viewing later anywhere?

I have extremely limited time today, so I just popped in to ask about this.

Thank you in advance!

defmn

I haven’t seen a live stream anywhere but there is a 6 minute video on youtube of the goals and some of the play if that helps.

OriginalPouzar

Jesse ties it up with the extra attacked and then Drai to Connor to win it on OT.

Just like we all expect the regular season to go!

Lets do this!

OriginalPouzar

FYI, the scrimmage is being streamed on SN.ca – without numbers on the players though….

https://www.sportsnet.ca/nhl/article/watch-live-edmonton-oilers-intrasquad-game-training-camp/

dustrock

Yeah looks like some test footage for NHL ’21 on the PS5, so strange to see the flat navy and white.

jp

Updates/observations welcomed from anyone watching. I’m not able.

OriginalPouzar

My current guess:

Nuge/McDavid/Kassian
Ennis/Drai/Yamamoto
Kahun/Turris/Puljujarvi
Archibald/Khaira/Chiasson

Haas/Nygard
Neal (IR)

Nurse/Bear
Jones/Larsson
Russell/Barrie

Koekkoek

Koskinen
Smith

Taxi Squad

Fosberg
Benson, Russel, Quine
Bouchard, Lagesson

——–

Shore could get a contract, pushing Nygard (or Haas if he doesn’t get many reps) to the taxi squad and Quine to California.

jp

I think Shore gets a contract, even if it’s just to sit on the taxi squad.

He’s got a far better resume than anyone you’ve listed on the taxi squad, as well as a few on the actual roster.

Munny

Yup, I think so too.

Reja

I do has well I think Tippett and Holland like him. I always heard his name or noticed him with the Ducks and Stars he’s a gamer. I wonder if he kills penalties effectively and what his percentage from the dot is from the right and left sides is. If he signs and ends up In Bakersfield he could be a good mentor to McLeod and others.

Elgin R

Man lineup speculation is fun! However, cannot agree with the top 3 lines. If, as has been postulated by many including Tippet, with the short camp and no preseason games familiarity is an important factor, then moving RNH and replacing him with Ennis does not follow the narrative (or production expectations for that matter). Don’t know how many shifts Ennis got with McDavid in his 12 games with the Oilers, but it was certainly not many, if any at all.

Last season 5v5:
Kahun – 2.53 / 60
Ennis – 1.89 / 60

Team pts% from 2020 (regular season and play-ins) and then best available left-winger, indicate Tippet should do is leave the DRY line together and then have Kahun on McDavid’s wing.

Kahun – McDavid – Kassian
RNH – Leon – KY
Ennis – Turris – JP

OriginalPouzar

Man lineup speculation is fun! However, cannot agree with the top 3 lines. If, as has been postulated by many including Tippet, with the short camp and no preseason games familiarity is an important factor, then moving RNH and replacing him with Ennis does not follow the narrative (or production expectations for that matter). Don’t know how many shifts Ennis got with McDavid in his 12 games with the Oilers, but it was certainly not many, if any at all.

Last season 5v5:

Kahun – 2.53 / 60

Ennis – 1.89 / 60

Team pts% from 2020 (regular season and play-ins) and then best available left-winger, indicate Tippet should do is leave the DRY line together and then have Kahun on McDavid’s wing.

Kahun – McDavid – Kassian

RNH – Leon – KY

Ennis – Turris – JP

I 100% agree about familiarity which is why I’ve gone with the projected lineup that I have – its based off of usage in 4 days of camp now.

I don’t see Tippett running Nuge/McDavid through camp and then switching to Nuge/Drai.

The reason I have Ennis on 2LW instead of Kahun is because he has now been there through 4 days of camp. If Ennis was slatted to play with Turris and Jesse on the 3rd line, I would expect he’d be with them through the first 4 days of camp to get that familiarity. I see Archie on that line as Kahun’s placeholder.

Line most, I have been projected Kahun starting on Leon’s left wing but its looking to me like that will be Ennis to start and likely Kahanu with Turris. There is every chance those two will switch at times during the regular season, maybe even in the first game.

Eh Team

The weak links on this roster are Khaira, Russell and Smith. Khaira has been replacement level (or below) the last couple of years. I can see Haas and/or Shore replacing him. And Koekkoek is flat out better than Russell right now. And I can see Fosberg playing ahead of Smith too if he falters at all.

OriginalPouzar

Given Haas “isn’t close”, I’m expecting he starts the season on IR (maybe LTIR if he does have Covid) and Shore likely receives a contract. I don’t think there is any realistic chance that Khaira isn’t on the active 23 man roster to start the season.

He has been a “weak link” although he was not when he played center last year – down the stretch and in the play-in – as acknowledged by the coach as well.

Russell will need to fend of Koekkoek for sure – they may even split playing time on the left side. Lets not forget about the need for Russell on the PK, even moreso than the past with Klef out.

defmn

Nice difference from past years when we had to squint to see 23 NHL quality players no matter how hard we looked and every assessment started with “maybe”.

As I mentioned a while back last year was a big improvement in roster assembly and most of the guys added then are either gone or just trying to hold on to their jobs.

I’m still getting used to thinking management might know what they are doing.

OriginalPouzar

Nice to see Kahun on the ice (setting up the first goal as well)

Nice to see Benson continue to get a bit of a push over Nygard on the “NHL line” with Khaira and Chiasson.

I have both Benson and Nygard on the taxi squad to start the year (assuming Nygard clears waivers), however, if Neal is on IR to start the year, one of them likely gets the active roster (assuming there is cap room to have the 24 if Neal is regular IR and not LTIR).

Nygard may get that spot as Benson doesn’t need to clear waivers and it would save Katz some real money re: Benson would revert to AHL salary.

GordieHoweHatTrick

Are you at NAIT? 😉 Or is this streaming somewhere?
Thx!

jp

link posted above

Reja

Just out of curiosity is there any word on what’s keeping Neal out of the line-up? I wonder if it’s lower body are upper.

defmn

I’ve been wondering the same thing but haven’t seen any word yet.

OriginalPouzar

Nope.

Reja

Your the king I love your updates please keep them coming. If you hear please post I have a bet with my hated Flames fan buddy what the injury extent is.

OriginalPouzar

My guess there will be no intel on the injury from the team until camp is over – there might be something sneaking out from the media but nothing from the team.

Matty sometimes is able to drop intel on these things but he may be too busy trying to figure out the difference between the number 99 and the number 98.

dessert1111

I lol’ed. I saw him write about it and ask Tippett about it. It seemed to me like Tippett thought that, if anything, people would be upset for Jesse changing his number, so it felt like Tippett was defending that choice a bit. Unbeknownst to him Matty is furious Jesse had #98 before.

I find the fact that he fixated on it so much so bizarre.

Elgin R

In pretentious British accent from Wimbledon:

Game to Mr. Pouzar
Mr. Matheson to serve

defmn

Interesting article by Spector this morning in which Barrie confirms that he hopes for a long term deal in Edmonton when this season is over.

GordieHoweHatTrick

If so, it could be Barrie, Bear, Bouchard (the 3Bs!) on the Right side for 21-22 +, then there will need to be suitable pairings on the Left that are complementary to the “generally offensive RD”…

Nurse, Jones (hoping he can fill 2LD boots!), + ?

? 21-22 could = Klef, Lags, Sammy, or KK…and off in the distance Bro (my preference is to slow cook him for most of next year in AHL)…

Or do we need a “Larsson-type” RD in the line-up?

jp

In the Journal? I’ll have to have a look in a bit.

I love that players around the league have started WANTING to play for the Edmonton Oilers. It’s a really great sign.

And assuming he’s back to being the player he’s been for most of his career I’d be happy to have him resigned in the $6M X 5 range.

Elgin R

Barrie will be 30 years-old before the start of the 2021-2022 season. Giving long term deals to players in their 30s does not normally work out (Holland has a history of this and that is a worry). $5m x 3 if he wants to win Stanley with the Oilers.

jp

Fair that Holland has a history of it and that it’s a worry.

5 years and $6M is not an excessive price for a ~60 point defenseman though (he was above 60P/82GP in 17-19 and 18-19). There’s risk but I think Barrie is going to have a bigger impact on the team than many realize.

And is there any difference in giving a 30 year-old Barrie $6M X 5 and a 28 year-old Nuge $6M X 7?

OriginalPouzar

And is there any difference in giving a 30 year-old Barrie $6M X 5 and a 28 year-old Nuge $6M X 7?

1) 2 year age difference is a 2 year age difference

2) Organizational depth at defence vs. skilled LW with 2-way acumen. There is a good chance that Barrie’s primary skills can be replicated with Bouchard (not to mention overall depth with guys like Broberg, Sammy, etc. coming). Not sure Nuge’s skills are replicated within the org

3) Drafted and developed vs. signed as a UFA in late 20s – just a different feel.

jp

Well if Barrie were 5 years and Nuge were 7 (as is often talked about) the deals would take both to age 34.

Agreed about organizational depth on D vs F, but I’m not sure I agree that Barrie/Bouchard have duplicate skill sets beyond ‘offensive D’. They seem to play very different games and I don’t think it would be a bad thing to have highly skilled D on every pairing. They would be duplicating role on the PP though.

I see what you mean on Nuge being drafted/developed by the team but I don’t think that’s a great reason NOT to give Barrie a deal.

We’ll see how it goes, but even without McDavid and Draisaitl, Barrie has scored close to as many points as Nuge over the past 3 seasons (155 vs 178 for Nuge). He could prove to be an incredibly valuable player for the team, if he does $6M may not be a bad play.

OriginalPouzar

Elgin R

Barrie will be 30 years-old before the start of the 2021-2022 season. Giving long term deals to players in their 30s does not normally work out (Holland has a history of this and that is a worry). $5m x 3 if he wants to win Stanley with the Oilers.

I agree. If Barrie has a successful season that warrants a re-sign from the Oilers for term, that likely means he’s looking for something like 5 X $6M plus and, given organizational make-up, assuming Bouchard continues to progress, i wouldn’t thin that would be a good idea.

I am making assumptions on continued development but I’d rather have Bouchard given those minutes/PP time on the last two years of his ELC than spend big money on a d-man for his likely regression years. I anticipate that money could best be spent elsewhere – the cap isn’t going up materially for years.

We will talk about this often I’m sure but, at this point, Barrie hasn’t played a game for the Oilers and Bouchard hasn’t played a game for the Oilers since the fall of 2018.

Lots to play out before we can make these types of calls.

Reja

Was it for 6 mill x 5 years maybe sprinkle in a NMC. Might even be higher after Barrie hits it out of the park and finishes top 3 D scoring. I do think Tippett might be the perfect coach for Barrie and he I’m sure remembers quite well how his game tanked and he was probably miserable when he was playing under task master Babcock.

Munny

Wow, we called that one actually right, and early too.

Doesn’t happen every day, lemme tellyas.

Last edited 16 days ago by Munny
defmn

Blind squirrel rule. 😉

GordieHoweHatTrick

I enjoyed hearing the verbal on JP and Chia mucking it up a bit. If JP can consistently use his size and strength in battles in the boards and front of net we have what we were initially hoping for…Everything with JP 2.0 is going well so far…keep it going!

jp

Really looking forward to v2.0. He could be an important player for this team, and it’s really nice to see Tippett putting him in a stable (and seemingly secure) lineup spot right from the start.

If it goes well I might even have to change my handle 🙂

Elgin R

You could always go with PizzaMan

jp

lol I’ll consider it.

leadfarmer

I like the Jones Larsson pairing. Bouchard Kookoo are a good pairing although the 4th pairing they will make the roster. Nurse and Bear is alright. Cant say Russell Barrie doesnt make me cringe a bit but that is some good depth on D

defmn

Russell has been the square peg since the Barrie signing. Russell is a little pit bull in temperament but I have no idea how that pair is going to break the cycle once the other team is set up in our end.

jp

Just since the Barrie signing? 😉

defmn

Hehe. Particularly since the Barrie signing since I think we all expect positives from Barrie rather than just not drowning as has been the case in past years with his other partners.

jp

For sure, lots is expected.

My biggest concern with that pairing has been that you want Barrie getting ice in offensive situations. And Russell suppresses all things related to scoring. So they should neutralize each other to an extent (theoretically).

In their own end I wonder how much drop off there is from Benning to Barrie… Russell-Benning were pretty effective (though vs softer comp than Russell-Barrie are expected to see). Going back further, Sekera-Russell were good together and the size/strength gap to Barrie there isn’t large either. Maybe (hopefully) not as big a concern as you’re expecting?

defmn

I’m big on pairs and lines where the individuals complement each others strengths and mitigate their weaknesses. I don’t see that with Russell & Barrie.

jp

Yeah I certainly won’t disagree with that.

leadfarmer

Normally I’d say Russell needs a puck mover with him, but somehow this makes it worse

jp

Haha, it does though!

GordieHoweHatTrick

My thoughts exactly. If the coaches can obtain confidence in Koekkoek OR Lags, I think they could make a potentially effective partner for Barrie. Jones too perhaps as the “2nd pairing”, but lets see what happens with the Vet (KRusty) first…and Larsson.
It is nice to have depth and it will be needed!!

dustrock

Benson set up for success by playing with 5v5 Black Hole Khaira ha ha ha

defmn

Benson is being given a chance to show what he can do. I don’t think professional coaches need to see him play with Draisaitl in order to evaluate his ability.

If he makes a perfect pass to Khaira and Khaira muffs it pretty sure Tippett & Co. can tell who did their job and who didn’t.

godot10

It plays to Benson’s strength as a player. He is a passer and playmaker. Khaira and Chiasson are not known as players great with the puck on their stick. Khaira is a cycler, and Chiasson is a shooter. So Benson is being put in a place to succeed based on his strengths as a player. He gets to prove he can drive the play with two veteran “plugs”. The puck will be on his stick. He gets to pass and make plays. Things he is NHL quality at.

Benson’s weakness as a player in the offensive end is when he is without the puck. He doesn’t get himself into dirty scoring areas and he doesn’t shoot.

greenshifter

My thoughts exactly. Give him the Yamamoto treatment maybe just one scrimmage game

dessert1111

Anyone hear if today’s scrimmage, or any of the scrimmages, will be streamed?

teamblue

Not sure if link is allowed, but Sportsnet website is showing live.

Abbeef

Why don’t the jerseys have numbers? As someone who has coached tryouts before this seems odd. Also annoying for watching live, lol.

teamblue

Maybe this was more a system evaluation than a player evaluation.
Agreed, annoying watching live.

Elgin R

You may well be correct that Benson’s last kick at the Oilers can will be training camp in the fall. However, with the Kraken coming in 5 more NHL LW jobs are available. Also, depending on how James Neal plays, Holland may buy him out (though would not recommend this as buyouts just move the pain farther down the line).

Benson needs to show it now and I am hoping he does. We lost a good Edmonton-raised player in Benning and the local content needs to be replaced.

Tarkus

I would suggest this perceived need for local content resulted in some of the worst Oilers decisions at the draft table in recent years.

Token Edmontonians / Oil Kings is how we ended up with such luminaries as Travis Ewanyk, Mitch Moroz and Griffin F’in Reinhart.

I have no problem with the Oilers shopping close to home, but it should be an afterthought rather than a conscious focus.

jp

Also, Ennis can replace Benning in terms of local content.

Victoria Oil

I’m guessing that GFR doesn’t mean quite the same thing as CFP. 🙂

Elgin R

Excited about the 4th pairing. Both these young men (Koekkoek / Bouchard) are going to play and play a lot (est: 20 – 25 games each). Injuries are going to happen and maintenance days will most probably be scheduled due to the back-to-backs (11) and 3-in-4 (7). So a good 4th pairing is required.

OriginalPouzar

No doubt that 7D and 8D (4LD/4RD) will each end up playing a material amount of games.

As far as maintenance days and load management, etc., I absolutely agree that its ideal and a likely course (Koekkoek spelling Russell for games and Bouchard spelling Larsson to even Bear for games).

It may not be as easy as we think though as there are mechanics to work with when activating a guy from the taxi squad:

1) cap space, if they are replacing an injured player that is going on IR (not LTIR), they may have a cap space issue (in particular early if they have Haas and/or Neal on regular IR and running with cap hell over 23 roster players)

2) roster space – if its load management, if they want to sub in a player that’s on the taxi squad, he’ll need to be activated and someone re-assigned off the active roster – waivers could be an issue. They will likely have Koekkoek as 7D and Bouchard on the taxi squad. If they want Bouchard to spell Larsson for a game, someone needs to be assigned to the taxi squad to activate him.

cowboy bill

The roster looks to be set except for that fourth line . I’m sure Devin Shore is going to be pressing for a job , I like Gaetan Haas’s chances as well Josh Archibald . So those are my picks (Shore-Haas-Archibald) . Maybe James Neal can go on LTIR . Wouldn’t that be something ?

defmn

Chiasson, Khaira & Nygard in the PB or taxi squad?

I think the fourth line is going to be situational this year. Fast line or heavy line depending on who they are playing.

ArmchairGM

Robidas Island?

jp

That occurred to me for Neal too when we heard about his injury. But what would even be the point? The team doesn’t have really any need for his LTIR unless there were an expensive addition in-season.

Bryan

My money is on team A. It would be great if JP and Benson both shine.