Sign Your Name

by Lowetide
Photo by Mark Williams

And so it was, on a January night in Toronto, when the veterans were bleeding enough to lose a winnable game, Ken Holland’s patience landed on the top line and provided a spark. The words after spark in that sentence may one day be “that lit the fuse” but we can’t know that yet. What we do know is that in one game, in one moment, Dave Tippett, being of sound mind and body, chose a gigantic Finn, 6.04, 201 pounds of unbridled enthusiasm, to run with the McDavid line. And it was beautiful.

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.

OILERS IN MONTH NO. 1

  • Oilers in October 2015: 2-4-0, goal differential -4
  • Oilers in October 2016: 5-1-0, goal differential +7
  • Oilers in October 2017: 2-4-0, goal differential -7
  • Oilers in October 2018: 3-3-0, goal differential -6
  • Oilers in October 2019: 5-1-0, goal differential +6
  • Oilers in Month 1 2021: 2-4-0, goal differential -5

At this point, I would suggest to you that the Oilers record placed against the team’s own past means making the playoffs is less than 50 percent. It’s a short season, Edmonton has already played one of the two bottom feeders (Vancouver) and managed only a split. The team is going through a tough time, including playing one goalie over and over and over again, a third and fourth line who are kind of a drag, and some special teams wobble. I think they make the playoffs.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM MONTH NO. 1

  • At home to: Vancouver, Vancouver (Expected: 1-1-0) (Actual 1-1-0)
  • At home to: Montreal, Montreal (Expected: 1-1-0)(Actual 0-2-0)
  • On the road to: Toronto, Toronto, Winnipeg, Winnipeg (Expected 1-2-1) (Actual 1-1-0)
  • At home to: Toronto, Toronto, Ottawa (Expected 2-1-0)
  • Overall expected result: 5-5-1, 11 points in 11 games
  • Current results: 2-4-0, 4 points after six games

I had the Oilers posting 11 points in 11 games, if they run even with my prediction now through the end of the month Edmonton finishes 4-6-1, nine points in 11 games. They’ll finish January in fifth place, two or three points out of the playoffs. This is not a tragedy, but the team will need to improve.

LINES LAST NIGHT

  • Nuge-McDavid-Kassian played 14:16, 9-4 shots, 1-0 goals, 4-2 HDSC and 12-7 Corsi for five on five (Natural Stat Trick). These are great numbers, McDavid had five HDSC and Nuge 1. The line had 10 shots five on five, but Kassian had but one. He was pulled from the line late, we’ll see if it was a short-term demotion on Sunday in Winnipeg. McDavid was incredible, I’d rate this as his second best game of the year (Game 2).
  • Kahun-Draisaitl-Yamamoto played 14:04, 2-6 shots, no goals, 0-1 HDSC, 9-19 Corsi for five on five. The goal was shorthanded and the even strength play was not strong. The line had numerous good looks in the first period but couldn’t get it done five on five. Yamamoto was a demon on the forecheck, an example being the shortie by Draisaitl where KY started the sequence with good old pursuit and determination. Kahun is a smart player and he’s going to cash soon.
  • Ennis-Turris-Puljujarvi played 7:34, 3-3 shots, no goals, 1-0 HDSC and 6-6 Corsi for five on five. Ennis had the high danger scoring chance, the line played their opponents straight up and for the third game in a row didn’t give up a five on five goal. That’a great trend. Turris took a penalty, and he’s quiet offensively. If he goes one more game (making it seven) with no points, I’m going to call him ‘the ghost of Jean-Francois Jacques’ as he’ll match JFJ’s first season in the NHL (7, 0-0-0).
  • Neal-Shore-Archibald played 4:54, 0-3 shots, 0-1 goals, no HDSC and 2-3 Corsi for five on five. The goal against at five on five was real Keystone Cops stuff, Archibald couldn’t move the puck up the wall, Larsson got intercepted but Neal and Shore heard the same dog whistle and were long gone like a pair of tugboats heading for open water. Back at base Koekkoek performed Swan Lake through the slot as a warmup act for the Toronto goal. Shiza that was stunning.
  • Nuge-McDavid-Puljujarvi played 2:30, 4-0 shots, no goals, 1-0 HDSC and 8-0 Corsi for five on five. It was impressive. Now, don’t get mad if we don’t see this Sunday or for a month of Sundays. It’s happening naturally and no one is pushing the big Finn. One day, we’ll make a list of all the kids who didn’t get their 2:30 with the big line on a Friday night in the big smoke, age 22.

PAIRINGS AND GOALIE, LAST NIGHT

  • Nurse-Bear played 17:22, 8-5 shots, 1-0 goals, 3-2 HDSC and 12-10 Corsi for five on five. Bear got the assist, passed the puck and battled. Toronto’s forwards constantly tried chipping it past Bear and then attempt to beat him to the puck, suggesting to me Bear’s footspeed may be seen as an exploitable weakness. I thought he did well, but something to keep in mind as these ‘every second day’ games keep wearing down the blue. Nurse skated miles, played 24 minutes. Good pairing.
  • Russell-Barrie played 16:23, 4-8 shots, no goals, 0-2 HDSC and 12-19 Corsi for five on five. Russell turned the puck over that led directly to the Toronto zone entry that would eventually force the Shore penalty, and the late PP goal by Tavares (game winner). Barrie played over 25 minutes, leading the team, but I don’t think he got enough accomplished to warrant the time. He is plodding on the five on five, Edmonton needs him to make quicker decisions.
  • Koekkoek-Larsson had some tough times, notably the second Toronto goal where Larsson had two chances to clear the puck out and didn’t get it done. Played 9:06, 3-3 shots, 0-1 goals, 2-0 HDSC and 7-8 HDCS. Now, I will tell you this is a good line for what was clearly the third pairing on this night. I know the goal looks bad, but (those who are veterans of this blog know what’s coming) single events can have enormous impact while also being single events. Both are good NHL defensemen. That was not a good play. Two of the forwards left the zone like they were marching in the May Day parade at the Kremlin, but the defense always gets the firing squad.
  • Mikko Koskinen stopped 25 of 28, .893 and I thought he played well enough to give his team a chance to win. Again.

LARRY KING

When I was young, I would listen to the radio late into the night. 2-3 in the morning. America had super stations back then, KOMO in Seattle, KSL in Salt Lake, KOA Denver, others. Their late night shows were incredible talk shows, guys who were way out there and who had strong followings. That’s where I found Larry King, I believe on the Mutual broadcasting network. He was engaging, funny, and willing to talk about damn near anything. I loved his show. He went on to become a suspenders legend on CNN, had a fantastic cameo in a movie about bees, and he was married eight times to seven women. He was a reason I got into radio, and I’m sad to see him pass. He lived a long and interesting life, and surely earned the Paul Anka nod (My Way). Rest in peace, Larry King.

LAINE DUBOIS

The 2016 draft gets weirder by the day. The Winnipeg Jets traded Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Pierre-Luc Dubois. Dubois has (and can) played against elites in the past (Puck IQ), but didn’t do it much in 2019-20. I imagine the Jets will have him on a feature line soon. Laine (again Puck IQ) has played substantial minutes against elites in each of his four seasons and has bled each time. Jack Roslovic is a really good young player, the third-round pick gives the deal an hfboards kind of feel. I love these big trades! I also suspect both general managers got something they love from a situation that had reached a point of no return. Don’t sleep on Roslovic. He could be a very good NHL player for a long time.

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OriginalPouzar

Whoa, games at 7, not 6 and Tuesday is at 6, not 7 – I had those backwards.

Changes my day and food scheduling – good thing I’m so adaptable.

Probably won’t know about potential lineup until 11-12 – Tip said there are some injury concerns on the left side of the D so we’ll see who is in. Here is hoping its not Koekkoek – but I would like to see Jones in (for Russell).

Don’t imagine Bouch is in after Tip’s verbal yesterday but I guess we’ll see.

I imagine Tip goes back to the same top 6 from last game but the leash on Kass will be shorter if things aren’t working early.

Kinger_Oil.redux

— How long does Turris have to figure it out I wonder: he’s a key cog: If our 3C sucks how are we going to get scoring non Drai and CMD lines?

— I’d love to see RNH on the third line as a C: I wonder what they do if Turris isn’t the solution?

Bling

Fuge Udvar:

Agree sample sizes are small. Unfortunately, if you wait until sample sizes are large enough, the season is over.

Nurse-Bear playing more often with the top 6 forwards helps their GF%, but they also shoulder more difficult comp.

Larsson is playing against middle to lower comp (by eye) and is frequently culpable when things go wrong. These are egregious errors that we’re talking about.

If this is injury-related, rest him. If it’s not an injury, maybe it’s mental fatigue.

Either way, I don’t think a night in the press box is the end of the world.

Sierra

Mental fatigue 5 games into the season?

OriginalPouzar

Its probably time to trade Kassian for Colin White (will need to even out the cap though) – Stuetzle needs protection.

OriginalPouzar

Is it bad when a d-man has more goal against (9) than hits (6) at 5 on 5?

Only 3 more years of that Tyler Myers contract….

OriginalPouzar

Has the game passed Ian Clark by?

OriginalPouzar

Hellebuyk with the start tonight – guessing the Oilers see Brossoit tomorrow (maybe Forsberg……).

OriginalPouzar

Holtby not able to maintain his 3.57GAA or his 0.892 save percentage.

Both taking a beating tonight.

Trying to catch Demko (5.45/.866) I guess.

jp

Is it too soon to talk about Ian Clark, and whether maybe a change needs to be made there?

OriginalPouzar

Damn, i literally just made an Ian Clark comment without seeing this – beat me to it good sir.

PokeCheck

In fairness to Holtby and the goalie coach, Perry’s goal was a beautiful curling shot with Juolevi and Myers on the sweeping crew.

Last edited 1 month ago by PokeCheck
N64

The 2016 draft is sure top heavy with trade demands

~ Time to pump up JP with lots of McDavid time in case Matthews asks out. ~

OriginalPouzar

Savoie with a rebound goal at 5 on 5 to extend Denver’s lead to 3-1.

Oilpower

Could very well see the top 3 picks from 2016 draft hit free agency at a pretty young age.

godot10

Matthews only signed a 5-year deal, and is only 4 seasons away from UFA status.

norm_klassen

4 years away from Arizona.

leadfarmer

Ha!! Holtby. That’s a change ups change up

Ice Sage

Prescient picture, LT – the guy drafted after the 2 players swapped today.
Am looking forward to how Torts and Laine get along 😉

oilsnc79

Lt you are a master word wizard. Well done sir.

leadfarmer

Question is do we pay our 4th best forward the 7 mil + that he is asking for
its like we can’t afford to but we can’t afford not to

norm_klassen

what if he only has 30 points in 56 games? i would take 7 mill if i where him u never know

Redbird62

I am not sure which is a more amusing assessment of relative merit: this take that Yamamoto is a better player than Hopkins or Godot’s that Draisaitl is a better player than McDavid.

leadfarmer

I think Yamamoto passed Nuge on the side of the road 15 miles past Shelbyville

jp

Can’t quite agree, but Yamamoto has been exceptional.

godot10

I have never said that Draisaitl is a better player than McDavid. I said that Draisaitl was the most impactful player in the league between Nugent-Hopkins and Yamamoto.

Sierra

So Drai isn’t the better player but he is more impactful???

godot10

He won the Hart Trophy and the Art Ross Trophy last year and the Ted Lindsay.

I think that means the most impactful.

OriginalPouzar

If McDavid is the better player than Drai, the gap is certainly not that big these days – in my opinion.

Sierra

Doesn’t that mean Drai was the better player last year? I’m not following the logic of your previous comment.

godot10

Draisaitl was the most impactful player in the league when he had Nugent-Hopkins and Yamamoto on his wings. Most points per game. Turned an out of the playoffs team into a playoff team with the best record in Canada. As soon as the line was broken up, the Oilers quickly became a non-playoff team again.

Recognized for it too with the hardward.

#Tipsy hasn’t figured it out though. His years in Phoenix may have made him a cautious loser.

SwedishPoster

I think Columbus made out like bandits in that trade. Yeah Laine has his flaws but he’s also one of very few players in the league with the capacity to be an annual 40-50 goal scorer. I don’t see that kind of gamebreaking ability with Dubois, he’ll be solid behind Scheifele no doubt but in five years I think this will be seen as very onesided in favor of CBJ.

Also cool that they bring back hometown kid Roslovic. Can’t be that many locals to Columbus in the NHL can it?

Crazy Pedestrian

On paper, it definitely does look like a fairly tilted trade in favour of CLB, but all three players are on record to have asked for a trade out of there respective towns. So Winnipeg throwing in Roslovic probably doesn’t bother them much when he publicly asked to be traded. Winnipeg did get a 3rd round pick as well which helps balance out the trade.

Redbird62

One of the bigger differences between last year’s Oilers start and this Oiler’s start is special teams. Over the first 6 last year, the Oilers scored 8 PP goals, gave up 1 PP goals against and one shorthanded goal against. This year in the first 6 games, they have scored 3 PP goals, given up 4 PP goals against, had two shorthanded against, while scoring one themselves. So last year’s special teams were +6 thru game 6, this year thru 6 they are -2, so they are worse by 1.33 goal per game on special teams.  

At 5 on 5, last year’s team scored 12 and gave up 13. This year’s team has scored 9 and have given up the same 13. Last year, like this year, the bottom 6 did not get off to a fast start either. Through 6 games last year, the bottom 6 had a total of at most 1 goal and 3 assists (Jurco, Nygard, Haas) though at least one of them was in the top 6 during this stretch. The top 6 just had a better shooting percentage than this year.  They actually have better 5 on 5 possession metrics this year compared to last year through 6 games and lead the league in high danger scoring chances, they just aren’t cashing yet. 

Last year’s team had 5 distinct phases of varying length: a hot start, a so-so fall, a disastrous December, were mostly strong January thru to the shutdown, and then a short but disastrous play-in. Hopefully, this first 6 game stretch is just one of the shorter bad stretches they go through.  Last year Dallas started 1-6 and got to the Stanley Cup Final.  Any longer of the slump though and the psychological impact of chasing all year does make a prolonged early season slump harder to overcome than a midseason slump.  

OriginalPouzar

Bouch isn’t playing tomorrow listening to Tip – “he’s working hard in practice”. “He’s a good PP and we’ve had conversations about going with 7D but we’ll continue to monitor it….” – caveat: that was a bit paraphrase.

I think there is a chance Jones plays as, when asked about Jones, he said there were some bumps and bruises they are monitoring and they’ll have to see.

OriginalPouzar

Tip was asked about Kahun today and he raved about how well that line is playing and how many chances they are creating (acknowledging they need to score more). I could see Jesse and Kass swapping spots but, if anyone is anticipating Nuge moving to play with Drai, I would be very surprised if we see that anytime soon.

Tip is committed to Nuge with Connor.

Elgin R

4-8-1 since breaking up the DRY line. The team is not winning and Tippet is moving beyond stubborn. Definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

jp

Except it sort of kind of is working (everywhere except the actual score sheet).

Nuge-McDavid without Draisaitl have had 60% of the shots, 62% xGoals, well over 60% of the scoring chances and high danger scoring chances, but are only 2-4 in goals.

Sometimes the surface results in small sample sizes don’t capture what’s really going on.

godot10

Draisaitl and Kahun have no goals.(at even strength). Things are going well, #Tipsy.

Last edited 1 month ago by godot10
OriginalPouzar

Jets are playing tonight, late (8pm) – I anticipate Brossoit will play either tonight or tomorrow.

Oilers need to take advantage of a tired team in this series (2nd half of back to back tomorrow and 3 in four nights on Tuesday) no matter which Jet tender plays each game.

Bling

Tippett likens Yamamoto to Jere Lehtinen, with respect to his forechecking and stick work.

godot10

I think Lehtinen could get the puck out of his own end along the boards.

OriginalPouzar

I would suggest that a 22 year old Lehtinen, as a 0.5 PPG player in the NHL that season (paling in comparison to Kailer’s offence) may have lost a board battle or two during the season.

Bulging Twine

Holloway’s NHLe up to 34.1

Revolved

Bulging Twine,

It is tough to accept how much players’ opinions must influence deployment. Of the major sports, who you play with is only really an issue in hockey. This leaves an unfortunate space for personalities to clash.

With only the knowledge available to a fan, I think our best chances of winning would be in:

Nygard – McDavid – Puljujarvi
Benson – Draisaitl – Yamamoto
Kahun – RNH – Kassian
Ennis – Turris – Archibald

Nurse – Bear
Jones – Barrie
Koekkoek – Bouchard

Don’t worry, though. I know it’s not gonna happen.

Bulging Twine

Benning is getting publicly flogged in Vancouver

Kert

Canuck fans are a riot.

Yeti

Across my heart. I want you to be my baby.

dustrock

I wonder if Barrie is terrified of making a mistake. Think the Toronto experience screwed him up, although I seem to recall Avs fans saying he’s always been a slow starter.

Thought of him as more of a rover and almost 4th forward at times and I’m just not seeing that player anymore.

There’s little plays he’s down in leaving the DZ where you can see a subtle flash of the puck skills but man he needs to get the confidence going.

Honestly can’t see Bouchard playing any worse than Barrie.

Yeti

MacT would Smid him at LW on the fourth line.

teamblue

The confidence is climbing. He’s been making more and more forays into the offensive zone as part of the cycle each game. Not just in his own confidence to make plays in the offensive zone, but in his teammates to cover the point when he does.

OriginalPouzar

Samourkov plus 1 in a 3-1 loss – dynamite arrows on this prospect.

How Maksimov is a healthy scratch after playing 14 minutes last game and scoring the game-winning PP goal, I’ll never know.

Of course, Pasquale with the start today for Yaroslav.

OriginalPouzar

Looks like Forsberg is off Covid-quarantine protocol as he’s been added to the Jets roster – lets hope he gets one of these two games and the Oilers light his ass up!

Bulging Twine

Just watched Kris Russell interview. He reminds me so much of many farmers/ranchers that I’ve talked to. Same sorta way of talkin’. No bs. Has some good things to say. Probably not much into small talk. I like listening to him. I’d like to hear more from him. We don’t hear much from him at all ’round these parts.

Last edited 1 month ago by Bulging Twine
fishman

So it is starting to look like both Toronto and Nashville knew what they were doing by not resigning/ buying out Barrie and Turris. I am sure Holland was hoping for a strong bounce back for those 2 players. To date it hasn’t happened and may not. KooKoo and Kahun looking like better bets.

Reja

I thought for sure Turris was going to be a steady eddy and give our 3rd line a advantage over the oppositions 3rd line. Also thought Barrie would add a new twist to the power play. If the PP was clicking half-assed we would be 4-2 or 3-2-1. Tippett has to figure this out fast the Donner party stomachs are rumbling.

OriginalPouzar

Dallas is paying Turris more than the Oilers this year and next.

100%, Turris’ play has fallen below expectations and is disappointing, 5 games in.

At the same time, his buyout we due to his $6M AAV – notwithstanding his issues with Peter L. in Nashville and not living up to his contract, he did provide $1.65M in value and I anticipate that Turris will end up doing so in Edmonton. He has been better than this even during his struggles in Nashville. He’ll get some game back.

OriginalPouzar

These second period highlights of Broberg from today’s game are intoxicating:

https://twitter.com/TheOilKnight/status/1353045504960180224

Harpers Hair

An updated ranking of the 32 top prospects in the “Michigan Draft”

https://www.nhl.com/news/2021-nhl-draft-top-32-prospects/c-320544528?tid=277764372

Elgin R

Since Tippet broke up the DRY line, the Oilers are 4-8-1.

Neal – McDavid – JP
RNH – Draisaitl – KY

Melman

There isn’t a lot of daylight to burn. Could also run Kahun- McDavid -JP and put the DRY line back together. My guess is he leaves line 2 as is for one more game and if they can’t get on 5×5 then he’ll have to break them up

OriginalPouzar

We talk about accountability and then, off a terrible game, James Neal goes to the top line?

If Nuge is going to be reunited with Drai, I don’t see why Kahun wouldn’t be given a shot at 1LW. Heck, Nygard is probably the one LW option that earned it with play over the last week

Woogie63

I kinda feel like Larsson’s games doesn’t need him to play on the right side?

Nurse-Bear
KooKoo-Barrie
Larsson-Bouchard

gets our BEST 6 dman into the game (your mileage might vary)

Pescador

Hmmm,
I say keep Nurse & Bear together,
Thats an very good 2nd D pairing.
Muddle together any mixture of
Russell, Barrie, Jones, Larsson, Bouchard, KooKoo, Lagesson.
The results won’t change all that much.

flyfish1168

Trying to wrap my head around the trade and I can’t. I value Laine over Dubois. Roslovic has underrated value. I see this as a clear win for CBJ. Winnipeg retaining salary makes this trade look worst than it is for Chevy

Last edited 1 month ago by flyfish1168
leadfarmer

Centers have a lot more value than wingers. Thats why Nuge wants to be paid like a center even though he doesnt play that position

Bulging Twine

And listening to Cheveldayoff, that is the big attraction, for him. They like the player and they like the position, and it’s a position of need.

Laine wanted out because he wanted to play with Schieffele on the top line but the team, after playing him there last year, didn’t like the results. Chevaldayoff referred to the analytics backing that up.

Roslovic was barely mentioned. There was more insight from Paul Maurice. He said Roslovic wanted to play Center and it was about opportunity for him as well.

Chevy seemed pretty ecstatic, as far as you can tell from him, to be getting Dubois. He likes his Center depth now. And says that winners have good C depth.

Last edited 1 month ago by Bulging Twine
Redbird62

Yet since the cap era, the Hart Trophy has been won 7 times by a center and 7 times by winger. The Conn Smythe, as a measure of value in the playoffs, have the centers ahead 5-4. Blanket statements about a players worth based on position miss a lot of context. I would agree that so far Laine’s career is a little more one-dimensional possibly than Dubois though neither kills penalties. Laine started out like he could be an Ovechkin lite, which would have made him a valuable commodity but Dubois closed the gap. In general, a center is worth more than a winger, but of the 47 forwards making $7 MM+, 23 are centers and 24 are wingers, so there are a lot of highly valued wingers.

While Hopkins lines up at LW with McDavid or Draisaitl, he is also a key penalty killer and known for his 2 way game, and he is depth for center if anything happens to the top 2. Lined up as a LW, with either of Drai or McDavid, he racks up points at elite winger level. Hopkins is more valuable to the Oilers than would be guys like Kreider, van Riemsdyk, Anders Lee, Pacioretty or Evander Kane. If Montreal signed Gallagher for $6.5 million after the pandemic, Nuge’s value even to the Oilers is more than fair at around $7.5 million. I don’t know what the spread is between the 2 sides right now, but I hope they can come to an agreement in that range. A comparable free agent replacement (maybe Landeskog) would likely cost as much, Hall would be more expensive, and there is no one in the system to come close to replace him for 2 to 3 years.

flyfish1168

I do agree centerman tend to be worth more. But goal scoring the way Laine does it also comes at a premium

OriginalPouzar

I value PLD higher than Laine – not just because he’s a center (although that is part of it) but because of his overall skill-set as a higher end 2-way player. I think he’s going to be a top 10 center in the NHL before the end of his current contract.

flea

I think Winnipeg also seized an opportunity to get an elite talent back for Laine. Those players don’t come up for trade everyday. It hurts to trade someone like Laine but hurts less when you get another premium asset in return.

I think CBJ won the trade but understand the motivation for Winnipeg to jump on that deal. At any other point Laine likely returns a package of players, not a 1for 1 premium player.

Redbird62

Pretty big leap in just two seasons, one of the those somewhat short. I expect by the end of next season that he will have yet to even pass Scheifele as the best center on Winnipeg.

OriginalPouzar

Doesn’t have to pass Scheifele to get in the top 10. Scheiefele may be the most under-rated forward in the league, in my opinion.

Redbird62

I agree with you that Scheifele is underappreciated and clearly, since the Oilers themselves have 2 centers that are no brainer top ten (except in Dom’s model maybe) it is obvious that that fact alone doesn’t preclude Dubois from being top 10 being on the same team as Scheifele but I consider Scheifele border line top 10 right now. For Dubois this past season his PPG was 42nd among NHL centers at 0.70 ppg. McKinnon when he hit 22 exploded somewhat, but I don’t see that kind of potential in Dubois’s game. He would need to score a lot more points to get a sniff at a top 10 center, since he doesn’t kill penalties and he was on for more goals against than any other Columbus forward last season so not stellar 2-way yet in the O’Reilly or Toews mode. While I have no problem that he wanted out of Columbus, seems a lot do (Nash, Bobrovsky, Panarin, Duchene etc.) but Dubois better display better character than the guy who mailed it in for the first 5 games in Columbus this season. That was almost Alexei Yashin level class. Maybe Winnipeg’s style suits him better, but I am not seeing top 10 in this guy.

Last edited 1 month ago by Redbird62
Bling

GF% for D

Bear – 60 (sat for one game! Hahaha)
Nurse – 55
Koekkoek – 33
Barrie – 25
Larsson – 29
Jones – 17 (!)
Russell – 0 GF or GA

Now, by xGF Barrie and Larsson look much better (48% and 47%), respectively. I do expect some regression.

On the other hand, this is also not just bad luck.

These two have been awful.

Larsson has had some moments, I concede that point. However, his overall ability with the puck means that we have to live with a subpar offensive game and a substandard transition game.

A thought experiment: If Bouchard made every single mistake Larsson has in the past 6 games, and played the same minutes, who would have the higher GF%? I would argue Bouchard, on account of the latter’s puck moving.

Barrie has been putrid at evens and somehow even worse on the PP. Where is the offensive creativity? The outlet passing? I expected a faster player, a more dynamic one.

A thought experiment: If Bouchard played Barrie’s minutes, would he be any worse at evens or on the PP?

Bottom six is getting criticized, as they should. However, we also have two veteran D who are playing well, well below expectations.

Fuge Udvar

The sample size is much too small to draw conclusions from. I think you demonstrate that with Barrie and Larsson’s xGF (which uses a larger sample size) their numbers are suddenly a hair under breaking even. A single goal can change some of those percentages by up to 20%.

The other half of the equation is the defensemen need the forwards to pot a few to help their percentage. If you look at even strength GAs all of our defensemen either have 4 or 5:

Nurse 5
Bear 4
Koekoek 4p
Barrie 4
Larsson 5
Jones 5

From this it is not surprising that the guys that play with McDavid and Draisaitl have the best GF%.

Last edited 1 month ago by Fuge Udvar
Sierra

Need to solve the PP problem. Not only are they not scoring, often times the PP looks terrible.

Melman

I know the single event, is a single event thing, but I’ve never been able to reconcile the logic in treating all single events the same. Some lead to a much higher % of goals than others so shouldn’t that be considered (quick wave from Laddy and the back door tap in). Should we treat Larsson’s double whiff turnover the same as Neal & Shore’s early departure? Maybe, but I have a hard time doing so. I’d love some opinion on this to enlighten me on why they are all just single events.

Randomly:
1) Barrie has been pretty underwhelming and nothing about his play gives hope to significant improvement. Maybe I’m wrong and all he needs to do it add a couple more +ve single events, but so far meh. Maybe Neal can get the pp going with his cagey hands.
2) I was sceptical about Kahun and Yamo as a winger pair, too much of the same. Leave it you want to rocking chair JP with 97-93, but I’m not convinced time will do much to change the effectiveness of that 2nd line.
3) Time to give Bouch a look in Larsson’s spot.call it maintenance if needed – 6 games in 11 days. I’d vote for 1 change on the D/game.

OriginalPouzar

Also per Wilkins:

Tippett says Bouchard is still an option and has been working hard in practice. Says there’s been talk about playing with 7D and giving him some PP time. 

From the way he talked about it, got the impression unlikely this happens tomorrow.

OriginalPouzar

Per Reid Wilkins:

Tippett asked about having Puljujarvi with RNH and McDavid tomorrow, says “we’ll see.” Compliments Puljujarvi’s style of play and says he’s been competing hard.

Cassandra

Oilers played well last night, much better than Wednesday. Don’t be confused by the score, the team that played last night has a fighting chance, the team that played on Wednesday was a pile of hot garbage.

But, it is time to rework the lines, more and more I think Godot is right about RNH and McDavid not working.

Either go back to RNH-Draisatl-Yamamoto and mix and match McDavid with other wingers (I would start with Kahun and Puljujarvi) or put McDavid and Draisatl back together and do the superline thing that seems so popular around the league. Then play RNH with Kahun and Puljujarvi, which I think would be a pretty good line.

I see lots of up arrows, Kahun and Puljujarvi have both been good, better than I expected, so has Koekoek, Devin Shore can play, get Caleb Jones back in the lineup and the powerplay starts clicking and this team is a contender in this division.

Backup goaltender is a problem though, though it was always a problem. Smith is done.

OilClog

🤣 🤣 🤣

Bling

I agree that they played well. Did the top 6 lose the game yesterday? They did not. The fourth line did.

The GF% of the Drai line ranges, individually, from 75-86%. That’s crazy. McDavid is at 56%, Nuge at 50%, Kassian at 40%. Maybe you modify the 97 line.

The bottom six is at 0%, except for Archibald who is at 17% (could that be the empty net goal?)

I would rejig the bottom six before the top 6. Question is how. Perhaps we see Haas in and Turris out, with Shore sliding up to 3C.

Eh Team

The Oilers have a 52.6% xGF%. They are only shooting at a 6.34% rate which is very low. Their PDO is 974. Even the powerplay while not scoring is generating as may chances as last year.

They have obvious issues with backup goaltending and lack of scoring on the 3rd and 4th lines, but the core of a good team is there.

Ottawa and Vancouver are poor teams, Winnipeg is up in the air but their defense sucks, so a playoff spot is well within reach.

Get Jones and Bouchard in (and Russell and Larsson out) , move JP to McDavid’s line, get Turris to the taxi squad.

Woogie63

10% of the season in the books, so not the whole story and we are certainly in a position to earn a play-off spot. Kenny/Tip report card;

1.Kenny added 7 players to add secondary scoring – 6gm;1G 5A, 2 of the adds have 0 Pts
2.RHD Barrie is going to improve the PP – Currently looks lost at 13%
3.Jones going to replace some of Klefbom’s minute – KooKoo in that spot
4.JP’s 3rd line strategy has 0 goals
5.Off season Smith signing – meh
6.In season goalie management – 2/3 NHL goalies are at best AHL replacement

If Kenny got the right guys, then the coaches have to get more out of this group.

Last edited 1 month ago by Woogie63
Pescador

So far the failure of the 3rd line has been the “Turris” strategy

flea

I’m willing to give all these new players 10 games to settle in. The Oilers need to get to the 10 game mark without losing the pack, then the real season begins. They’ve played two good teams so far, and the next 4 games are with teams more at their level. Hoping for a 3-1 record over the next 4

Redbird62

An interesting trade. First Dubois is selected 3rd over Jesse by Columbus at the draft table, and now, he is traded for that year’s number 2 and Winnipeg had to sweeten the deal a little bit since straight up Roslovic is easily more valuable that a 3rd round pick plus Winnipeg had to retain salary. So based on the player values of the trade, Dubois is ahead of the 2 Finns now from the 2016 draft. Both are under the same control with 2 years left on the deal and Winnipeg by retaining evened the $$ out. Part of it also may be that Winnipeg had to yield more because they needed a another solid center more than Columbus would want a winger.

I am not sure about the narrative of Laine losing out against elites at least when comparing him to Dubois. He had one really bad season all around, but in his first 2 seasons, won the goal share and last season the goal total was 10 GF/12 GA against elites which is not terrible. Dubois had 2 really good years against elites, but not so much last year ending up similar to Laine at 8GF/11 GA. His first 2 seasons, he lined up with Artemi Panarin (who do you suppose was the driver?) as his left winger, whereas last season, he had a few different wingers on both sides. For Laine’s part, his one really bad season, his main center was Bryan Little. Last season, he was playing more with Scheifele.

More importantly though for the Oilers, will a motivated Dubois (assuming he’s happier in Winnipeg than Columbus), make Winnipeg a tougher opponent than they would be with Laine? They are now clearly stronger down the middle with Dubois probably having Elhers on his left flank, while Connor stays with Scheifele. As already mentioned by others here, the Oilers won’t have to find out this weekend. Too bad in one respect. I am sure Jesse would have been motivated for a good performance against Winnipeg playing against Laine. Whether he would have any extra motivation to show well against the player who jumped his spot in the draft won’t be a factor until at least Feb 15.

GordieHoweHatTrick

Once again we see a team that can’t get out of its own way. The biggest obstacle the team is facing right now is the coach’s decision-making. Tippett needs to pull his head out of his ass and make decisions that will benefit the team and not his ego.

1 – Reunite the best line in hockey last year. This is obvious to the entire hockey community.
2 – Establish an actual second PP unit and give them reps while the shit show 1PP unit figures out what to do again. The 2nd unit should build around KY and JP and it should not be the 3rd line as it has been the past few games. This is pathetic coaching.
3 – If veterans cant get their shit together, the alternatives need to get reps. I am looking at Chia, Larsson, Kass and Turris. The leash needs to shorten. Haas can’t be ready soon enough in my opinion.

dustrock

Guess new players can take time to heat up but the new additions, other than Cuckoo, are pretty underwhelming.

Thought this was the strongest forward group in years?

Thought Bouchard might have a shot because he had months of competitive hockey under him but let’s keep watching Larsson game after game.

Can we get Benson or McLeod in even for a single game?

Pescador

I am happy with what Shore has provided thus far.
Last night’s penalty aside, for me that entire sequence started with James Neal turning the puck over at the Leafs blue line while attempting a lazy backhand zone dump.
Just pathetic

OriginalPouzar

Yup, it was a bad play by Neal that led to a bad play by Shore – culpability on both.

On the Larsson-giveaway goal, it start with bad plays by BOTH Neal and Shore flying the zone early so when the puck got back to Larsson he had zero forward support – culpability to all 3.

Shore had been good through his first 3 games, getting better each game – until last night – he was not effective last night and hurt the team.

Neal was poor – two bad plays that hurt the team (one led to a goal against and one to a PK which got scored on).

teamblue

Larsson had full control of the puck. That puck needs to get up ice whether they were flying the zone or not. He can’t turn the puck over like he did. That goal is on him, not anybody else. Them flying the zone didn’t lead to the turnover. The turnover led to the goal.

OriginalPouzar

Both Benson and McLeod have been assigned to the AHL. I don’t know if they’ve physically left town for California or not but the AHL is starting up, camps and exhibition games, so they probably have – Condors first regular season game is Feb 5.

Material Elvis

If they want to help McDavid, they’ll need to free up some additional cap space. Imagine what they could get for the $9M that Neal and Kassian waste….

Pescador

Russell’s $4M comes off the books after this season

Material Elvis

That will help a bit, even though it’s $2.75M coming off the books after his extension kicks in.

Revolved

Last years success was based on identifying the kids that were ready and trusting they could succeed in important places. Can Dave Tippett and Ken Holland do it again? They need to make a move soon, cause this ain’t workin…

I would put Jones in for Russell now, insert Bouchard for Larsson or Barrie within a month and Benson for Kahun to push Archibald or Chiasson off the roster. Who do you guys see breaking on through?

Last edited 1 month ago by Revolved
Harpers Hair

Interesting PLD sidebar.
His father is an assistant coach with the Manitoba Moose.

Pescador

I’m certain Laine and Torture will get along
Just
Fine

Harpers Hair

I expect Laine will be there long after Torts is gone.