Spark!

by Lowetide

Jesse Puljujarvi and Zack Kassian switched spots on Sunday night, and both provided a scoring spark to their new lines. On a night when Edmonton badly needed two points, the performances of both men were key to success. We might look back on Game 7 in 2020-21 as a turning point in the season, similar to Kailer Yamamoto’s recall after Christmas 2019. Suddenly, things have gotten interesting.

Coach Dave Tippett’s growing reputation for finding ways for young players to establish themselves in the world’s toughest league has another check mark today. So far in Edmonton, Ethan Bear, Kailer Yamamoto, Caleb Jones and now (it appears) Puljujarvi have found their way. While we celebrate the success of these youngsters, we also remember the young men (Nail Yakupov chief among them) who arrived in this city during a time of great confusion and shortsightedness. Successfully developing youth is the oxygen of an NHL team. It appears to formula under coach Tippett works.

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 20153-4-0, goal differential -2
  • Oilers in October 2016: 6-1-0, goal differential +10
  • Oilers in October 2017: 2-5-0, goal differential -8
  • Oilers in October 2018: 3-3-1, goal differential -7
  • Oilers in October 2019: 6-1-0, goal differential +9
  • Oilers in Month 1 2021: 3-4-0, goal differential -4

The Oilers are in fourth place this morning, that’s a playoff spot. Now, if you factor in winning percentage, we’re talking a different set of standings. That was an important victory for the team.

WHAT TO EXPECT IN 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 2-1-0)
  • At home to: Toronto, Toronto, Ottawa (Expected 2-1-0)
  • Overall expected result: 5-5-1, 11 points in 11 games
  • Current results: 3-4-0, 6 points after seven games

My projection for the team to this point (2-4-1) is slightly behind where the team currently sits, but I have the club finishing the month 3-1-0 and honestly the Oilers have more holes (and severe problems) than I thought possible.

LINES LAST NIGHT

  • Nuge-McDavid-Puljujarvi played 13:34, going 12-8 shots, 1-0 goals, 8-3 HDSC and 20-12 Corsi for five on five. It was a great night for the Finn, five shots at five on five, an assist, four individual scoring chances and damned near a late goal. He was impressive, turned over pucks and forechecked well. He had incredible chances, notably an early goalmouth chance from a McDavid pass (Yamamoto would score later on the same play) and a brilliant individual rush late in the game where the big man almost nudged the puck into the net while falling. Passed well. What a night!
  • Nuge scored, five shots and two HDSC’s five on five. McDavid had three assists, more clean air than he’s seen in some time and is tied for the league lead in points (4-6-10 in 7 games). Trio was 83.8 expected goal percentage which is actual fire. The 2016 No. 4 overall pick looked like the 2016 No. 4 overall pick last night.
  • Kahun-Draisaitl-Yamamoto played 12:22, 6-11 shots, no goals, 3-5 HDSC and 13-22 Corsi for five on five. Draisaitl was 1-1-2, scoring what might be the biggest goal of the season for the Oilers with mere milliseconds left. Yamamoto is in a zone now, he’s just impossible on the forecheck, as good as anyone I’ve ever seen in turning over pucks. In a zone. Yamamoto also scored, both Leon and KY goals came when with 97. Kahun is playing well, hopefully the offense will come. This line is getting fed because Nurse-Bear is the only pairing that has formed a solid.
  • Ennis-Turris-Kassian played 4:19, 2-6 shots, 0-1 goals and 0-3 HDSC, 2-7 Corsi for five on five. The goal against came after an icing and then a lost faceoff plus coverage issues. It would cause a small shuffle on the line, Ennis out and Neal in.
  • Neal-Turris-Kassian played 2:43, 2-3 shots, 1-0 goals, 1-0 HDSC and 3-3 Corsi for five on five. The goal was gorgeous, strong passing between the three forwards. I thought they played well together, Neal and Kassian on the same line give the trio a lot of grit. Kassian failed to hit center and iced the puck, the following sequence leading to Winnipeg’s first goal. He made amends with a lovely pass on the Turris goal. Don’t bet against Kassian climbing back up the depth chart at some point, he’s done it before many rimes.
  • Neal-Shore-Archibald played 3:19, 2-3 shots, no goals, 1-0 HDSC and 3-2 Corsi. Shore didn’t play for an extended period in the first, and the line was quiet in their limited five on five time (that’s a good thing). Neal didn’t get noticed until the line change.

PAIRINGS AND GOALIE LAST NIGHT

  • Nurse-Bear played 16:46, went 18-8 shots, 2-0 goals, 13-3 HDCS and 28-14 Corsi for five on five. Most of this (14 minutes) came with the McDavid line and against the Connor-Schiefele-Wheeler line, I thought Nurse was going to start a fight with Wheeler on the pitchfork play. Nurse made some excellent on the fly outlet passes, he’s improved in that area this season. He was obvious in a good way all night. Bear had a solid game, his puck decisions are excellent. Fans remain angry that Tippett HS’d him, but the results have been outstanding. When the coach uses playing time as a hammer on a young regular, he better be right. In this case, Tippett appears to have used the right occasion for a wake-up call.
  • Russell-Barrie played 15:22, went 9-14 shots, 0-1 goals, 1-6 HDSC and 12-21 Corsi for five on five. I don’t think this is an effective pairing, but the goal against saw Ehlers in the high slot and his mark not able to get to him (Kahun). I’m not sure it was his fault, believe Kahun came right off the bench and couldn’t get there in time. Barrie is becoming more comfortable but hasn’t yet accomplished anything. Give him time, he’ll help at some point. Russell is not a good partner for him. By the way, the five on five goal against Russell last night was the first of the season. He’s wildly unpopular in some parts of Oilers nation, but every year he’s been here the GA/60 at five on five shows he is effective in goal suppression. Haters gonna hate, coaches keep playing him.
  • Koekkoeke-Larsson played 11:58, going 3-12 shots, 0-1 goals, 2-3 HDSC and 7-23 Corsi for five on five. This duo was on for the first goal against, I think both blue were ineffective and they were joined by Kyle Turris who was late to catch up to the goal scorer. I expect we’re going to see Larsson sit here soon, he looks off. I remain a fan of the player but his positioning has been off this year and his puck moving has digressed markedly. Is he hurt? Don’t know. He’s vulnerable now, even as the coach clearly values his shutdown blue.
  • Mkko Koskinen was sharp all night, stopping 35 of 38, .921. His SP for the season is .907, that’s solid considering the workload.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

It’s always fun after an Oilers victory, especially an exciting one like last night. We hit the air at 10 this morning on the Lowdown and will drill down on a game with at least five strong storylines, plus the NFL weekend. Scott Wheeler joins us at 10:40 to talk about the new Oilers prospect pool rankings (he counts 11 real prospects, that’s an excellent number). At 11, Jason Gregor pops in to talk about last night’s Oilers game and Dave Tippett’s handling of Edmonton’s youth.

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Dac189

Koskinen has been great so far in my opinion. Glad to see he hasn’t caved playing every game

Last edited 8 months ago by Dac189
El Duderino

Again, why are the comments listed willy nilly? All over LT’s blessed half acre? Go back to oldest first, newest last. I can’t follow the flow otherwise. The old way was the best way.

N64

just click on newest and pick oldest.

that brings back the old way and its wonderful load more button to get to the bottom. tonight one load more will be enough. game nights you’ll only need 3-5 load more buttons. enjoy.

Last edited 8 months ago by N64
Munny

There’s a simple solution that Ryan could deploy, but either it is impossible with this theme, or it is beyond his abilities: move the comment box to the bottom of the thread and have the comments load in temporal order… y’know like the old version of the site.

Even worse is when you hit refresh for the page and it sends you to some random location partway down the comments.

And then of course, once you’ve scrolled back to wherever in the middle of the page the comment box resides, you still have to re-order yet again, and then go through the “Load More Comments” buttons till you get to your spot. If you’re checking in once an hour or so, this is incredibly annoying even on a desktop.

Right now the system kind of works during the games and doesn’t work for anything else. I don’t have a lot of time to waste during the day and because the site either consumes more time, or has to be read upside-down, I’m usually only here briefly now… unless a game is on and I’m at home.

hunter1909

Fantastic to see JP starring so soon after rejoining the team – so far it’s starting to look like one of those HNIC feel good stories.

hunter1909

“How the teenager JP returned to the NHL a star Player”

This.

OriginalPouzar

Condors signed Kevin Gravel to an AHL deal. Good stuff, I expect, like Stanton, he’s a fantastic AHL d-man and will help a fairly “meh” Condors’ defence (until Broberg, Kemp and Sammy can join) – only two on NHL deals (Lennstrom and Niemelainen).

Stauff tried to get some info on Bouchard out of Keith Gretzky: “are you expecting to have Bouchard” – Gretz was very non-commital – didn’t sound like it though.

As an aside, the tender we claimed from the Kings can join the team on Thursday. He won’t be activated for a bit though as he’ll need to get in to shape, etc. It will be good to get Skinner down to Bakersfield. Right now they have Rodrigue and Redmon (AHL PTO) in camp.

Harpers Hair

Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) Tweeted:
Talked to Iowa coach Tim Army yesterday for a look at the start of Iowa’s season. 

For the second year in a row, there sadly won’t be a Calder Cup awarded in @theahl. Top 4 teams in each division will play best of 3’s for a division championship. Playoffs will last a week.

https://twitter.com/RussoHockey/status/1353775276568662016?s=20

Fuge Udvar

I wonder if they way to get Bouchard in is on an extremely sheltered 3rd pairing with Jones.

Move Barrie with Koekkoek and hopefully that can take some of the pressure off Barrie to be the sole puck mover.

I doubt Tippett will scratch both Larsson and Russel. But it puts our 4 best puck transitioning D in the top 4. And hopefully Jones and Bouchard don’t see the other teams top 6.

Nurse – Bear
Koekkoek – Barrie
Jones – Bouchard

Fuge Udvar

Also nobody is allowed to take a penalty

Redbird62

In the topsy turvy situation created for the Oilers goalie situation in large part by the New Jersey Devils, the Oilers may still have to wait a while to have a shot at getting Forsberg back. First, Crawford retires, combined with other goalie injury problems leads to the merry-go round of Comrie being claimed, Forsberg being claimed and re-waived and claimed again by Winnipeg, then Dell being grabbed by New Jersey. Dell still sits on New Jersey’s non-roster for maybe one more day then probably has to be activated, but New Jersey has now moved Blackwood onto non-roster due to Covid, so until Blackwood is cleared to play, I doubt they will waive Comrie or Dell. They are also waiting for Vatanen and Pratt to clear protocol to get them in the line up, but New Jersey has the flexibility with a pile of ELC contracts to get those guys on without having to waive Comrie or Dell.

The Oilers are presumably waiting for one of Comrie or Dell to be waived, then possibly Winnipeg reclaims Comrie then releases Forsberg who can then be claimed by the Oilers. This all assumes no other team higher in the waiver pecking order than the Oilers runs into goalie troubles and makes a claim ahead of the Oilers. Waiver priority is still set by last year’s standings and the Oilers are 20th in priority. Normally the waiver priority updates to current point percentage standings starting on November 1st. Maybe that will be Feb 1, this year or perhaps a little later since the league will only play a little more than half of January. Right now, Oilers have the 9th worst point %. Of course if they win their next 4 they could end up close to 20th in priority if it resets Jan 1. Besides, based on current standings, Vancouver would reset at number 1 in waiver priority so they’d probably scoop up any half decent goalie on waivers :).

Based on Tippett’s comments it sounds like Smith is 2 weeks away anyway, and the Oilers have a 4 game in 6 night stretch starting Feb 6. It would be good for the Oilers to be able to claim Forsberg by Feb 1 so he could be available to play in time for the back to backs in Ottawa Feb 8/9. I think they still start Koskinen back to back this weekend.

OriginalPouzar

Grosenick is permitted to be activated and join the team for the game on Thursday. He won’t be activated right away as he’ll need time to get back in to game shape, etc. but, within a week or so, he’ll be the back-up and could conceivably play a game.

OriginalPouzar
Harpers Hair

Is there even one player on that roster that has a better than 50-50 chance to make the NHL?

OriginalPouzar

I’m not sure why I would engage in this discussion as its clearly, as per usual, posted to try and propagate a narrative since, you know, you’re clear statements about the AHL being watered down with top prospects being assigned elsewhere.

McLeod for sure and Benson and Rodrigue.

Of course, Bouchard is on the taxi squad and he, along with each of Samorukov, Broberg and Lavoie and Holloway would be well within that category.

Wheeler listed the Oilers with 11 “real prospects”

Last edited 8 months ago by OriginalPouzar
Harpers Hair

It’s done to propagate a discussion which may or may not align with your ongoing narrative.

I asked if there is a 50-50 chance any of those players have an NHL Career and I would peg McLeod at maybe 50-50 while Benson and Rodrigue would be distant bells.

Yes, the other 4 players you mentioned likely have a shot but they are NOT on the Condor’s roster which is what the question dealt with.

And since YOU brought it up..a reminder that Wheeler ranked the Oilers prospect pool 19th best in a 31 team league…not very impressive considering their draft position over the past several years.

Harpers Hair

I also found it interesting that Wheeler ranked Bouchard ahead of Broberg in his ranking considering Bouchard is getting a little long in the tooth when compared to his draft cohort.

buck yoakam

are we the only hockey forum you relentlessly try to irritate or is it a relatively level playing field?…me thinks some young oiler fan gave you way too many launch pulls?

buck yoakam

sorry thats gaunch pulls

OriginalPouzar

You asked the question to try and propagate a negative narrative regarding the Oilers’ prospect pool knowing that the answer to the question would be low but disregarding the obvious context (a) the the “AHL prospects” on all teams would not be in the league and (b) the Oilers have the majority of their top prospects playing in other leagues.

Your intent is obvious and your attempt to hide it childish – at least adult up and admit what you are doing.

Sierra

Childish. You two constantly bickering is definitely so.

striker

“I’m not sure why I would engage in this discussion”

And yet…

who

I just can’t help myself

OriginalPouzar

Yes, we know you can’t – its personal.

who

You’re like that fish everyone loves to catch and release.

Cause you take the bait…….everytime.

dessert1111

Benson and McLeod.

Rodrigue, Marody, and Lennstrom I would say have legitimate shots but not over 50%.

Harpers Hair

Benson is quickly running out of track but McLeod certainly is still in the hunt.

Rodrigue and Marody have been pedestrian at best and Marody will soon be 25.

Lennstrom is 26 and is so far down the LD depth chart you can’t even see him from here.

OriginalPouzar

Rodrigue was the best goalie in the Q after the World Juniors last year and hasn’t even played a game of pro in North America.

You probably meant to write “Podkolzin” – a player that has actually disappointed since his draft day.

Last edited 8 months ago by OriginalPouzar
Harpers Hair

And you were just whining about the treatment Konovalov was getting in Russia.

Podkholzin will be an NHL player…quite likely this year.

Rodrigue has a very pedestrian save percentage (.908) this season playing in one of the worst pro leagues in the world.

Still lots of time for the young man but he ain’t setting the world on fire against plugs.

McSorley33

If Benson can’t crack this Oilers bottom 6 …..i think we can safely say he is not a prospect anymore.

Only McLeod and Rodrigue are real prospects.

The Marody ship sailed years ago…

Harpers Hair

Yep.

McSorley33

Leagues worst bottom 6 or close?

Tyler Benson did not get real close to making the Oilers roster.

We are getting pretty close the end of the line.

Dac189

I find it kinda funny that there’s a name pronunciation list for the players with the difficult names

OriginalPouzar

There is some talk out there that the Stockton Heat will be playing out of Calgary this season. The timing is odd as the schedule just came out yesterday with Stockton part of Pacific divison.

I will be some sort of miffed if the Heat play out of Calgary (presumably shifting the sched to play the other Canadian AHL team) and the Condors remain south of the border.

OriginalPouzar

OriginalPouzar

It was speculated last night (via Stauffer) that an Oiler would be placed on waivers today in order to activate Bouchard from the taxi squad.

The thought (or at least my thought) was that it was likely to be Chiasson or Lagesson. As it turns out, it is Ennis. Ennis only played 6 minutes and change last night and hasn’t really been effective in any of his games.

I do like Ennis and believe he provides some nice depth of skill on the left side and hope he clears. If he doesn’t clear, its not the end of the world for me. Nygard has looked better in his two games and Haas will also be activated probably within a week (give or take). I also think the Benson can and should be an option on the left side.

It’ll be interesting to see if its Bouchard or Nygard that gets activated off the taxi squad.

If Ennis is out, one would think Nygard would come it but that means Bouch can’t be activated (of that’s the plan). They could activate Bouch and put Chiasson back in the lineup (probably pushes Archie back to left wing but Shore and Chiasson did have a nice game a few games ago.

Listening to Tip’s media avail from today and I really don’t think Bouchard is going to be activated – I believe its going to be Nygard.

When asked about Ennis on waivers and lineup changes, Tip talked about lots of forwards around and this will provide some more flexibility between the roster and the taxi squad given they are carrying 8 d-men on the active roster already. Mentioned how the bottom 6 is still a work in progress.

I think we’ll see Nygard or Chiasson in for Ennis and that’s it – maybe Jones makes his way in to the lineup but I don’t see multiple changes on the back-end.

jp

Nygard is the only one that makes sense (if it’s not Bouchard), right?

If Chiasson was the one coming in they didn’t need to waive Ennis.

Will be sad if Ennis is claimed (I think it’s very likely), but Nygard had definitely looked good when he’s played.

OriginalPouzar

Probably right although I guess they could just be trying to sneak him through waivers now thinking it may be easier than in a week when Haas is ready? Seems unlikely though.

Maybe they want Khaira back and on the wing (or else they would assign Shore)? The PK hasn’t been as good recently. Also seems more unlikely.

Presumably its Nygard as we played well in his couple of games and I think the only reason he was assigned was because he was the only player (aside from Yamo and Shore) that could be assigned in order to activate Neal.

Redbird62

The Oilers are going to have to activate Grosenick onto the 23 man roster once he is finished protocol. They need a spot for him since they are at 23 with Ennis. That could even be tomorrow or Wednesday. Not sure when he actually arrived to start the time. He won’t dress right away, because they want him to get some ice time with the team, but I don’t think they can leave him non-roster once he has satisfied the quarantine. It’s not like Haas and Neal who both actually tested positive which allows extra time for them to regain their conditioning after quarantine is over.

OriginalPouzar

He’s available to come off the non-quarantine list for the game on Thursday.

I didn’t think they would have to activate him for Thursday so that he takes up an active roster spot but you may be right. Obviously, he wouldn’t dress until he’s had time to get up to speed so, yes, he’d take up a spot on the 23 and they’ve have 3 goalies on the active roster until he’d ready to actually dress for a game and they could re-assign Skinner.

DieHard

Holland needs to get a 2nd or 3rd round pick for Larsson. Got to keep him playing and healthy for the trade deadline. And the trade will depend on where we are and the state of our D corp. Risky? Yes, but…

wolf8888

He could have a maintenance day so he could get the view from up top and it wouldn’t hurt his tradability one bit

OriginalPouzar

If the Oilers are in the playoff picture, there is no way (in my opinion) that Holland “sells” any Oiler roster player, in particular on the back-end. We saw, with the acquisition of Green, just how much Holland values depth on the back-end going in to a playoff push.

Bulging Twine

On Adam Larsson, he’s still providing good board play but it appears to me he is in full on panic mode in the Dzone. He’s hearing alarms and he’s running around too much. It’s like he’s trying to do too much. Doing other players jobs for them as well as his own. Less could be more for him.

There was one play that made me think he’s just not thinking clearly right now, I forget which game now but the puck was in his D partners corner, the D partner was playing contain (off – not engaging) and Larsson left the front of the net and went after the player and ended up tripping up his partner and he himself fell.

A view from upstairs could benefit the player. What is the thing every player says after they watch a game from up top? You realize there is more space than you think.

There are definitely some considerations in Healthy Scratching him if you intend to resign him. Would he resign if he’s healthy scratched? The 4 million in cap space would be useful anyways. I wonder what he and his agent JP Barry would be looking for in a new contract. You could be certain his agent would be hating that his player would be scratched in a contract year.

Munny

No one has scored for the Oil while Rusty has been on the ice, so the SH% portion of his PDO is 0.

Lol…

Yet he still has a higher PDO than Larsson, Barrie, or Jones.

Darth Tu

I’d love to see Bouchard getting his chance. However, I think the reason he’s being held back is that right now there’s no definite 2nd pairing. Tippett most likely wants to start him on the 3rd pair and spot him in on PP2 to begin.

Right now you have:

Nurse-Bear
Koekkoek-Larsson
Russell-Barrie

Now if you pull Larsson out Bouch is likely playing 3rd pair minutes with either KK or Russell. That leaves Barrie playing 2nd pair minutes with KK or Russell. I don’t think that ends well. Barrie was obviously a top 4 defenceman in his time with Colorado, and started out that way for Toronto but so far he’s not been as solid as I’d hoped – I had him pegged as 2nd pair to start the year despite what everyone else said – and I was wrong.

Barrie, until he finds his way with the Oilers is a 3rd pairing defenceman who can play some PP time. For Bouchard, I don’t think it will help his development for him to be pushed onto the 2nd pair immediately. For him to come into the team and play we either need to see Larsson or Barrie significantly improve their play. Or injuries happen in which case we’re probably in a spot of bother.

Darth Tu

Further to that, if you pull Larsson out of the equation your PK team looks a lot shakier.

teamblue

If they are putting Bouchard in the lineup, I really hope it’s not in a 11F/7D setup. If he’s being put in, at least give him regular 3rd pair minutes with PP. Let’s him stay in the flow of the game and not try going out on the PP cold after sitting too long.

Darth Tu

I could get behind that before dumping him straight into the starting lineup. That said, I know LT has previously voiced concerns about going the 7D route.

dessert1111

I’m pretty surprised it was Ennis waived and not Chiasson. I like Ennis more and he is cheaper. I’ll be surprised if he isn’t claimed.

On the brightside, there is a lot of depth and this is one less player between Benson/McLeod and their shot, and at some point, they need to be given a look.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

McLeod has already been assigned to BAK. Not likely to get a recall unless there are dire circumstances, one would think.

OriginalPouzar

Benson as well. I would like, after they get a few weeks of games in, to assign Benson back to the taxi squad and P. Russell or Quine to Bakersfield.

I believe McLeod needs the AHL season (what’s left of it) but would prefer Benson to be available to the Oilers.

OriginalPouzar

I think we are looking at a Nygard activation to replace Ennis on the roster (and in the lineup), not Bouchard quite yet:

Jason Gregor

@JasonGregor

“We will go with both for now. Nurse filled in for Klefbom when he was hurt and is comfortable there. Barrie is still getting comfortable so we will see both.” Tippett on PP alignment. #Oilers

Reja

Ennis was and can be a effective player I think the injury cost him his chance for a couple of years payoff. I would be surprised if he gets claimed.

OriginalPouzar

Lots and lots of talk about Larsson and how poor he has been and I wonder if he really has been?

Don’t get me wrong, he is really struggling to move the puck from the defensive zone when under any pressure at all – mostly off the glass and out which isn’t idea. I have seen him make some solid transition passes when he has had time and space.

I know he’s made 2-3 errors (bad reads and turnovers) that have led directly to goals and that is legit but, other than the couple of glaring errors, has he been turning the puck over and making mistakes?

I don’t think he has.

The Cult of Hockey does their “mistakes on high danger scoring chances” and Larsson has only made a few on the year. Now, of course, that is relying on somebody else’s work and there is subjectivity and, further, many don’t really seem to “trust” the opinion of David Staples on hockey. With that said, I think most do trust the opinion of Bruce McCurdy on hockey and he vets through all of the analysis on this.

To the extent their work is right it seems that, yes, there have been a few major errors over the course of 7 games but, other than that, Larsson’s defensive play has been solid to better than solid. His puck movement in transition is struggling but his defensive play isn’t really.

Is that possible?

Redbird62

They do a pretty thorough and fair job of assessing the Oilers. There is some subjectivity, but then there has to be since someone needs to decide the quality of the scoring chance (because shot origin location to determine sc vs hdsc on Naturalstattrick is a poor substitute) and also to look around and assess which players may have blown assignments that contributed to the goal against. And they look at the whole game in a fair amount of detail not just remembering a key play or two, and they try not to let their bias’ related to anyone player affect their judgment.

NHL.com has Bear, Nurse and Koekoek with more giveaways than Larsson. On a per 60 minute basis, Nurse and Larson are tied at 3/4 with Bear being higher. As well, so far killing penalties, he has the lowest GA/60 among the defenseman. With Koekkoek he is only been on the ice for 2 goals against 5 on 5, while with Jones in slightly less TOI they duo gave up 4. I do wish he would help in the transition game a little more, but I still feel pretty comfortable saying that unless he his banged up or worse, Tippett will not be sitting Larsson any time soon.

leadfarmer

The problem is the rest of the roster with 3 similar defensemen amplify Larssons weaknesses.
if he was the pk choice stay at home linemate of a good puck moving defenseman I think he would look better

OriginalPouzar

That was the plan and the deployment in the first few games when paired with Jones. I know they struggled but I think the pair deserves another shot – they had much success through 8 games together last season.

McSorley33

The Jets played 5 games in 7 nights.

Adam Larsson:

8 CA / 24 CA

That’s impossible against a fatigued team.

Adam Larsson was in his own end as much as Koskinen was.

Larsson just can’t move the puck and when he loses his confidence I feel
like he gets worse.

Adam now has a growing string of games like the one against the Jets.

OriginalPouzar

Being in his own end and defending does not equate to giving the puck away or being culpable on a ton of high danger chances against.

That’s kind of what I said, he’s having trouble moving the puck under pressure but he’s not consistently giving the puck away and making egregious errors leading to goals against (a couple this year but, from reading, it would seem like its 2 per game).

OriginalPouzar

I agree, 100%.

I added that context to my using Staples name in the post because there is a “gang of cool kids” on twitter that go out of their way to bash every Staples opinion and this group has a following. Staples (and McCurdy) take the time to watch game film from 2nd tier Swiss pro leagues and these guys go out of their way to bash his opinions on what he sees. Its awful.

I read every Cult piece and listen to every pod they put out – Bruce, Dave and Kurt are an invaluable piece of the Oilers community.

SkatinginSand

He is not bashed for watching games, he is bashed because he has absolutely no tactical or strategic understanding of hockey. He has proclaimed forwards at fault for goals when they were providing back pressure on the puck carrier, he has declared defencemen at fault for going into the corner “for no apparent reason” when they were playing the Dementor swarm for two of the most obvious examples. He shows no desire to improve on his Under 11 level analysis and is incredibly arrogant about his views.

OriginalPouzar

Case in point.

It seems odd that the uber-respected Bruce McCurdy would professionally associate with a person and talk hockey with that person multiple times per week if his opinion was so meaningless.

SkatinginSand

That is a ridiculous argument even by your standards. Somebody is smart because they talk to smart people? Why don’t you instead try to refute my examples? Or, even better yet, why don’t you question my hockey analysis credentials?

hunter1909

I for one am certainly happy that enough of the current Oilers roster is reading this blog and Nurse in particular taking my advice to be more impactful in games.

OriginalPouzar

I’m not blind to the various issues the team is still working through early in the season (PP, deployment of bottom 4 D, etc.) but I’m not sure which of the following I’m more excited about:

1) Yamamoto picking up where he left off last regular season and solidifying himself as a legit top 6 forward and maybe even a real 0.8-1.0 point per game player (with nominal PP time).

2) Jesse Puljujarvi potentially doing what Yamamoto did last year and providing an in-season top 6 winger that changes the look and dynamic of the team. This one is FAR from being solidified but the arrows are good early on. If he can be the player that he was last night consistently, it would be massive for this team.

3) Darnell Nurse taking that needed defensive step in his development. He’s not a perfect player but, overall, he has been very good this season as the team’s true #1 d-man

4) Mikko Koskinen playing a true starter’s load (even moreso) and, frankly, being pretty good. He’s let in some weak goals, including at bad times but, overall, I feel he is generally giving the team a chance to win and hasn’t shown signs of fatigue with the workload.

Bling

Yesterday was the best game I’ve ever seen Darnell Nurse play. Defensively, he was a complete monster. Bear was right up there. Those two suit each other real well.

I dislike the Ennis move, because you need depth and Ennis can play up and down the lineup.

However, if this is the price to see Bouchard and Jones in the lineup, I guess you live with it.

Should be clear as day that the bottom two defensive pairings are broken. I’ve said my piece on that; let’s see what Tippett does next game.

OriginalPouzar

I think the Ennis move might be to get Nygard back in the lineup. I guess they could put Chiasson back in the lineup (as opposed to Nygard) and active Bouch.

I’m hoping Ennis clears but he may not. I understand the depth requirement and his ability to play up and down the lineup but there is also Nygard to potentially play that role and Hass is going to be activated soon (not necessarily for that role but another forward body) and, frankly, I would like to see Benson back to the taxi-squad and available as an option if they are looking like they need some forward skill depth on the left side.

In any event, if Ennis does clear, it gives more lineup flexibility but he may not.

McSorley33

Don’t get me wrong Yamamoto and JP are positives big time.

But line 1 and line 2 were not a problem last year and they were never expected to be a problem this year.

The bottom 2 lines are bleeding chances and goals.

Dave Tippett has already been subsituting forwards in and out of the bottom 6 and I am not sure any line bottom line anchored by Turris or Shore will work out.

Already – Dave is barely playing Shore.

Shore had 6 min of 5 on 5 ice time. That is a tell what the coach thinks

Turris had 9 mins and gave up 2 goals against. ( yes scored 1 as well)

In that paltry 9 minutes – Turris got shelled – again.

A small group of us on the Nurse bandwagon are seeing the same Nurse we saw last year.
( again if Nurse had half the turnover Adam Larsson had people would be bouncing off the walls)

Koskinen has been pretty good. Not great. But pretty good.

OriginalPouzar

If Jesse can be a legit top 6 right winger, it allows Kassian to play in the bottom six which, in theory, should be a boost thereto.

I know you are very hard on Turris, and justifiably so given his overall performance through 7 games, but I’m not ready to write him off completely as a legit offensive-minded 3C, let alone a bottom 6 center at all. His numbers even in Nashville show that he should be able to produce at least 0.5 P/G and I do think that his defensive game will improve at least slightly from what we’ve seen.

McSorley33

This is a very reasonable take.

However, I want to slightly push back on Kassian being pushed down to line 3, being a good thing.

i think we would both agree Kassian is not a good defensive player.

Pairing Kassian with Turris could be problematic because Turris has been bad -so far- defensively.

i am hard on Turris. I was really bullish on his signing.

But Kyle is 31 and he looks like he has lost a step and a half here.

Worse, I think Turris is really trying. I actually can’t fault his effort level.That is the scary part.

I concede I could be too impatient.

However, we have to ( at least for the sake of this season) admit we need to make a determination here fairly quickly on Turris.

jp

Shore had 6 min of 5 on 5 ice time. That is a tell what the coach thinks

I posted a couple of weeks back about the likely 5 on 5 minutes for each line and how important it is for the team to have McDavid and Draisaitl on two, decently productive lines.

When I broke down the 5 on 5 TOI I came up with 15 minutes each for McDavid and Draisaitl (which was cutting 1+ minute off what each played last year). That left 11 minutes for the Turris, the 3C and 7 minutes for whoever the 4C ended up being.

Anyway, Shore’s played 7:30 per game so far, him getting 6 minutes yesterday isn’t much of an indictment at all. It’s the way it’s going to be if Tippett doesn’t re-unite McDavid and Draisaitl (which is a good thing).

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

How long does it usually take player safety to announce hearings? Tkachuk has to get a hearing for last night, right?

Elgin R

DOPS contacts the team and player before their next game. In this case, they will not do anything. Does DOPS suspend players like Turtle or Marchand? Not enough to get them to change.
Bettman to NHL fans: Nothing to see here folks, please move along.
Bettman to NHL accountants: Man is Tkachuk good for ratings!

Dac189

Even if that was somehow unintentional, how is it acceptable that Tkachuk almost ruins someone’s career every couple of games.

10 game suspension if I had a say. With another 20 games suspension after his next major dangerous-career threatening-life changing play. Which, knowing Tkachuk, should only take a couple of days.

It was painful to watch Campbell try to get up after.

Redbird62

No question Tkachuk went a little extra to pile on top on Campbell though it would be tough for DPS to suspend him for that one. I have seen several replays but can’t really see how much force he applied or really get a good angle on whether there was a defender who could be framed for “pushing him”. That said, Campbell wasn’t slow to get up because of that. About 30 seconds earlier, he kicked his leg out to his left on a shot, and seemed to pull or tweak something. The broadcast crew noticed it live with him struggling to get back to his feet as the play continued, and after the Leafs cleared the puck out he bent over wincing. The Flames came right back in and the pile up occured. Campbell didn’t even complain about Tkachuk after the game when specifically asked.

Woogie63

Hey Tip keep working the line-up, but remember Ennis, Shore, Russell, KooKoo are 13 forwards and 7 dman type, important but can’t block emerging talent.

1.Get the team in the play-off
2.Get JP, Bouchard and Jones a role to be effective
3.Klefbom and Smith’s replaces are developing in the KHL

GMB3

How many 13th forward type players scored at a .5 point per game pace last year?

Harpers Hair

Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) Tweeted:
The NHL has issued a ruling on the status of former ARIZ GM John Chayka. Haven’t seen the full document…but there is a suspension through Dec 31, 2021.

https://twitter.com/FriedgeHNIC/status/1353771776954798080?s=20

OriginalPouzar

Russian pro hockey is so weird – Maksimov plays 14 minutes in the KHL for CSKA Moscow and scores the winning goal on the PP. Then he’s healthy scratched for the next game and assigned back to the VHL – 2 assists today in a 3-2 win.

Elgin R

KHL management’s continual ploy – sign a long-term contract with us or get screwed over (see Konovalov, Ilya). Good for the Oilers as it may push these players to the AHL sooner rather than later.

OriginalPouzar

For sure – they use playing time as a weapon for the youngsters to try and get them to stay.

There is a slight difference between Konovalov and Maksimov though.

Maksimov is signed in the NHL and on loan to CSKA Moscow – he’s undoubtedly coming back to the NHL and can’t sign in the KHL – well, without kind of a “reverse defection”.

Konovalov, on the other hand, hasn’t signed his ELC yet – he could re-sign with Yaroslav so the “playing time as a weapon” is legit.

With that said, very good sign that Konovalov has not re-signed in the KHL – I think that’s an indicator of his desire to sign with the Oilers come May.

Sierra

Great game by JP and Mikko, and also Nurse and McD!

I’ve yet to noticed Kahun on the ice. At some point, soon, the LW with Drai And Kailer needs to be noticeable.

Turris is terrible in his own end, and matched with Kass makes me very afraid.

Still waiting to see something from Barrie. Has he really improved the D Group’s outlet passing?

Russell would be a good #7 D, but he can’t be playing this many games.

OriginalPouzar

Turris and Kass, when Neal joined them, did seem to get their offensive game going a bit but, absolutely, I agree, that is a line that I can see getting caved quite regularly – both Turris and Kass are weak on defensive zone battles. I see Turris trying but he’s simply a poor battle guy.

Barrie clearly hasn’t found his offensive game yet – neither his transition game or his “join the rush game” which is really his greatest asset. Hope it comes.

Yup, Russell is a great #7. He has, and can have, good/solid games but, you are right, he simply can’t play every night, especially up the lineup.

Jones and Lagesson are on the active roster – Coaches Tip and Playfair have options.

OriginalPouzar

Late 3rd period penalty aside (which was really just unlucky as the player stepped on his skate), that was a fantastic game by Darnell Nurse and, frankly, to me, its a continuation of a great season from Darnell Nurse.

Yes, I know he’s iced the puck a few more times this year and he’s passed the puck in to some skates from time to time but, on the aggregate, I think he is having a fantastic season and has taken another step.

With Klefbom out, he is undoubtedly the #1 d-man on the left side (and likely the roster) and playing a legit 1st pairing role against the opposition’s top players and, frankly, he’s killing those minutes. Yes, lots of McDavid minutes but those are minutes against the opposition’s best.

To my eye, Nurse has taken a step defensively early in this season – I don’t see him going walkabout and leaving position to puck chase, I don’t see him failing to identify the danger player in the slot area, I don’t see him getting beat back door, etc.

No, I’m not saying that he should get $7M plus on his next contract but the player we are seeing this year is full value for his current cap hit and he’s just entering his prime years.

Nurse is a massive piece of this team now and going forward.

dustrock

I agree Nurse has outperformed expectations. I’ve never seen him as a top pairing d-man but as a #3, he’s fine.

Will be a difficult decision for the Oilers I think. I’m not actually sure what he’s worth and it would really come down to the numbers without McDavid, the human rising tide.

pts2pndr

Nurse unfortunately is a lot of people’s whipping boy when it comes to the D which for the most part is completely unwarranted! He is in my opinion the man to build the D around. He will be full value for any new contact that starts with a six. Any more and management will have to think long and hard with the strong left candidates pushing in the next few years.

Elgin R

I miss watching Klefbom this year, but say that every year it seams. Nurse improves every year and does not miss games. A player cannot help his team on the IR. Hoping Holland can get Nurse signed to a reasonable (for the team) contract.

GordieHoweHatTrick

I like that he more or less kept his cool after Wheeler skewered his ribs. A penalty at that point would have been bad news bears…

OriginalPouzar

It was speculated last night (via Stauffer) that an Oiler would be placed on waivers today in order to activate Bouchard from the taxi squad.

The thought (or at least my thought) was that it was likely to be Chiasson or Lagesson. As it turns out, it is Ennis. Ennis only played 6 minutes and change last night and hasn’t really been effective in any of his games.

I do like Ennis and believe he provides some nice depth of skill on the left side and hope he clears. If he doesn’t clear, its not the end of the world for me. Nygard has looked better in his two games and Haas will also be activated probably within a week (give or take). I also think the Benson can and should be an option on the left side.

It’ll be interesting to see if its Bouchard or Nygard that gets activated off the taxi squad.

If Ennis is out, one would think Nygard would come it but that means Bouch can’t be activated (of that’s the plan). They could activate Bouch and put Chiasson back in the lineup (probably pushes Archie back to left wing but Shore and Chiasson did have a nice game a few games ago.

GMB3

Not sure how a 28 year old fringe NHLer with 9 career points is your idea of a safety net for a versatile “up and down the lineup” type player in contrast to a career .5ppg player who’s had success in various roles throughout his career.

OriginalPouzar

As I said, I’m hopeful they are able to keep Ennis but, as of now, with Chiasson, Nygard, Khaira, Haas, P. Russell, Benson, Quine as the “out of the lineup winger depth), I’m not overly concerned about losing Ennis if it happens.

Nygard has been more effective, at both ends of the ice, in his couple games than in Ennis’ couple of games.

Ryan

leadfarmer

January 25, 2021 9:20 am

…Please Please dont put Barrie on that top pp again. Less is more in that position.

If Bouchard is not better than Larsson at this point then trade the guy while he still has value otherwise play him ffs, and trade Larsson

Where were you when my post about playing Nurse on the first unit was getting ratio’d? 🙂

Agreed. That’s the crux of it. If Bouchard can’t play better than this iteration of Adam Larsson, he’s not really a prospect of note.

leadfarmer

I was saying try Bear on there and got equal response

McSorley33

I know Woodguy did work on this but we need a 3C.

And I don’t think ‘contending’ teams will trade.

That leaves a very tiny pool of teams with even fewer real legitimate 3C options.

My first suggestion is Derek Stepan RC of Ottawa 30 – UFA end of year

Problem is the salary.

50% CF – 1 GF / 2 GA

54% on the face offs

That is a short term fix and I can’t make the money work.

norm_klassen

Is Step a defensive player? i know he could score a bit . Might just be the same as Turris a work in progress

McSorley33

I think his scoring days are behind him.

Will be the first to admit -I am fishing in a shallow pool here

UnjustEnrichment

Kassian was much better playing on the third line, which is where he belongs. As a new father, he will be very tired a lot of the time, if he is an involved father. That does not bode well for being awake and alert during games. It is what it is, but he should not be on the first line.

Watching Puljujarvi on that first line makes one salivate. He really is starting to play that north-south game that we wanted him to play. His upside is enormous. I suspect his scoring is going to come from in front of the net more than from slap shorts originating from the outside. Net-front presence and good cycling on the boards–that is what he can provide. He is going to get his points through doing that. He is going to make space for McDavid and whoever else plays on that line.

ArmchairGM

I’ve been saying it for 6 months now: a Holloway – McDavid – Puljujarvi line will tear this league apart. Can’t wait to see if in action, possibly as soon as Christmastime.

GordieHoweHatTrick

YES!

Munny

Christmas 2022 seems far more likely and far more Old Dutch.

OriginalPouzar

Yup, if Jesse can consistently play the game he did last night (with or without a “bump” to his hands/finishing ability as he continues to get more comfortable) and Holloway can develop the game he plays at the college level to transition to the NHL level, that would be a hell of a line.

The speed on that line and the size, speed, aggression and motor on the wings – with each player having at least good to plus skill.

We are probably two years away from Holloway being that player at the NHL level but, damn……

JJS

Full props to JP for simplifying his game.

He appears to have grasped that his current role is – forecheck, take the body, shoot, make little passes, and head to the blue ice.

I haven’t seen any dipsy doodling. More stops and starts.

Honestly, MacD with skilled wingers will change the entire division.

leadfarmer

I think more his tunnel vision got better. That back door pass to mcdavid that hit a stick on the way was a different JP

Redbird62

And the soft little area pass Jesse made to Nurse on the rush, who seemed to get hooked with no call.

€√¥£€^$

Kahun-CMD-JP
RNH-Drai-KY
Neal-KT-Kass
Nygard-Haas-Arch

Nurse-Bear
Jones-Barrie
Koekkoek-Bouch

C’mon Tipp, get crackin’, unleash the bees!!!

UnjustEnrichment

I remain unimpressed by Barrie. Nurse was superior last night as a point person on the power play. Given the supreme talents we have up front on the power play, we do not need a point-man who fires the puck at the net frequently, leading to frequent loss of possession. There is a time to shoot from the point and a time not to shoot, and the point-man has to know the difference. Barrie apparently does not.

UnjustEnrichment

I suggest that Barrie watch some old video of Denis Potvin manning the point on a good power play. The play rarely died when Potvin was on the point.

Reja

Larry Murphy was great as well he straddled the line perfectly his passes were crisp and on the tape and he had a deceiving wrist shot with a low slap shot that 7 out 10 times made it to the net. This is what Bouchard was drafted for I know he’s not Holland’s pick but give the fuking kid a chance.

Primetime

Leafs fans on line are clamouring for Dubas to pick up Ennis…and some are terrified he won’t make it that far down the list to them….why?

Durag

My bet is on him clearing

jp

37 points in 70 games last season (and making less than $1M) probably gets him claimed. It’s a shame IMO, even though he didn’t do anything to impact the games he played so far.

godot10

Please, Kyle. Claim him.

Foege Foegele Torpe

Leafs fan, eh?

OriginalPouzar

The Leafs have about $30K of cap space and $270K of LTIR reserves and with an active roster of 21. I think they would need to go back down to a 20 player active roster to fit Ennis in (which would include re-assigning two off their current active roster).

LadiesloveSmid

I guess Chiasson PKs, but waiving Ennis seems like a poor move. I get that end goal is activating Bouchard, which I am in favour of. Don’t think Shore/Chiasson are better players & you’re risking losing Ennis. Hopefully not, fingers crossed.

McSorley33

Agreed.

Ennis had to be in the top 6 or nothing.

No chance he was going to work with Turris or Shore.

godot10

Kahun is better. Ennis in one too many small forwards. Yamamoto, Kahun, Kassian.

McSorley33

Don’t disagree but Ennis was not going to work in a bottom 6 role

And while I like Kahun – at some point you have to score an actual goal playing with
reigning league MVP.

Ennis would have loved to have a crack at the top 2 lines this year

I believe he had that last year and it looked decent.

Redbird62

Another unnecessary passive aggressive stab at Kassian. Of forwards that play more than 10 minutes a game, Kassian is 2nd on the Oilers and 27th is the league in hits per 60. Since he joined the Oilers, he is 15th in the league in total hits among forwards. You can repeat the narrative all you want but the facts support that Kassian plays a heavy game. Yes he is somewhat inconsistent, and has not gotten off to a great start this year, but if Jesse’ sticks on the top line, Kassian playing on a third line with other players who have some offensive acument like Turris and Neal is could be a better fit for him and allow him to play more of an energy dump and chase game.

jp

Trust me, Godot doesn’t give a F about statistics.

Reja

I agree but we need a shit disturber this team looks like it’s going through the motions. We need a player to fire up the lackadaisical bench Yamo is to small and Kassian just isn’t into it. I give Kassian 3 more games if he doesn’t want to play with a a edge and he thinks he can float around for the next 3-1/2 years he can do it in Bakersfield.

McSorley33

Glad to see JP get a bump to line 1.

Kyle Turris scored. But gave up 2 goals against.

The 3rd line continues to harm the team.

There are really no words to describe Adam Larsson at this point.

He was in his own zone the ***whole night***

What is more concerning is the orgs apparent willingness to watch the Larsson spectacle all the while as Bouchard is just chilling.

Last edited 8 months ago by McSorley33
flyfish1168

Hopefully Bouchard is learning not to do defensively by watching.

Ryan

Adam Larsson, at age 28, is still a top-four NHL defenseman…

Vote + for yes
Vote – for no

dustrock

I’ve wanted to trade him the last 2 years ha ha ha

MushedPeas

Have to believe, still, that playoffs Lars is different. Or he’s done. Can’t tell

norm_klassen

he isnt done but in Edmonton i think he is. He might need a lesser role somewhere else. he will find his game again

jp

I don’t know!!

I want to believe it’s still yes. He definitely was a top 4 D from January to March 2020, but he sure hasn’t looked like one in the 9 games since.

leadfarmer

I got some great responses over the last 2 years whenever I said we need to trade him while he still has some value

jp

Adam Larsson, at age 28, is still a top-four NHL defenseman…

Vote + for yes

Vote – for no

Checking back, this is a pretty impressive and resounding vote result (especially considering I know there was at least 1 sheepish + vote).

Doug McLachlan

Alright boys, that was terrifying and awesome in almost equal measures.

Love the Woodguy % for those top two lines – must fix the bottom 6, as it ever was. Agree that it all starts from the back out and other than Nurse-Bear there is some work to do.

Ok, we good here up top of the line-up.

Nuge-McDavid-Puljujarvi!, yup that looks right. Keep it up.
Kahun-Drai-Yamo, also looking good – need to bank a couple off Dominik’s ass but good.

Wobble in the middle of line-up.

Neal-Turris-Kassian. Thought these three had a few good sequences last night. Run it again. It looks like an actual 3rd line.

Yeesh, what to do with the 4th line.

Ennis-Shore-Archibald. Not working. Ennis was just waived. Looking forward for Haas to return but don’t think he’s ready. Maybe time for JJ to come back in?

Try Nygard-JJ-Archibald for the next game? Does Nygard and Archibald’s speed up JJ’s pace?

On the back end…

Nurse-Bear. Reliable. Good pairing. Play within yourselves.

Koekkok-Larsson. Nope, not working. Really like Koekkok and want Larsson to be the player I think he can be but it’s not working.

Russell-Barrie. Absolute mismatch here. The theory is actually strong but it is not clicking.

Try out

Koekkok-Bouchard, Jones-Barrie

and give Russell and Larsson some popcorn time? Man, I thought I knew how important Klefbom was to this team but no, I had no idea.

Let’s run the Jets out of the rink on Tuesday and get on that bus to Edmonton!

dustrock

I agree with these pairings, but Tippett might shudder at having so many untested D at the same time.

Elgin R

Sucks to take the bus. But with no airport in Winnipeg visiting teams have to make do.

Klam

Honestly Shore hasn’t looked horrible, new team still figuring it out. I also like the old Neal, JJ, Chiasson line because while it is slow boots they are smart and check hard. Different game makes the other teams defense get mixed up at different times. Like throwing a change up.

Neal, Turris, Kassian worked though. So I would go with Shore, JJ, Archibald or Nygard, Shore, Archibald depending on which team you are facing. JJ in the middle against bigger teams and Shore and Nygard for faster teams.

OriginalPouzar

I don’t disagree with most of the post and the overall analysis of certain lines and pairings but just want to note that its not free reign to bring player in to the lineup off the taxi squad. There is still a 23 player roster limit (and a cap).

The above suggestion has 3 players coming in off the taxi squad and includes Shore in the lineup (the only player, in addition to Ennis and Yamamoto, that can come off the roster without additional waivers),

Ennis is being waived so he will either be able to be assigned to the taxi squad (or he’s claimed) but, in order to bring in three players from the taxi squad, Nygard, JJ and Bouchard, 2 more (in addition to Ennis) need to be removed.

I think we’ll only see one addition for tomorrow (unless they also want to swap Shore with JJ). They could use “game day non-roster waivers” which would allow them to waive someone tomorrow and activate a player but, if they were going to waive a second player, presumably it would have been done today.

Pretendergast

Hopefully for JP this is more ‘Ethan Bear emerges’ than ‘Hitch is making them play the right way’.

If Bouch can get in as a regular by seasons end, I will be thoroughly impressed with Tips integration.

Shoutout to Koski for that first period, if he isn’t solid that game was done in 10 mins.

Harpers Hair

Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) Tweeted:
Ennis (EDM) on waivers

https://twitter.com/FriedgeHNIC/status/1353750432275963905?s=20

Durag

Carolina better not

jp

Expected it would be Ennis. He hasn’t looked good at all unfortunately.

Yeti

Lots of people understandably saying it is time to reintroduce Jones for Russell. That’s a very fair suggestion. But I wondered whether the Lagesson – Barrie pairing might not be a better fit?

Ryan

While I see what you’re saying in terms of natural fit… I’ve long remarked at other teams’ penchant for pairing a ‘hair on the ass defenseman’ with a small, mobile, puck mover.

The ceiling for Jones is so much higher than for Lagesson.

I’m a believer in Jones, but even I was disappointed with his start so far. Early days and all…

What I am wondering is if it’s a product of playing top-four minutes as a rookie with a veteran partner who’s no longer close to capable?

In theory, Larsson should be the perfect veteran steadyhanded presence for a mobile rookie like Jones.

Larsson, if he’s not injured, isn’t looking like much a capable bottom-pairing defenseman in today’s NHL anymore.

MushedPeas

Jones skates well, passes well, handles the puck well (recalling a particular goal from the BL where it bobbled and maybe it’s out but instead he one-times into the mesh). I’ve yet to see him defend well. I hope that’s experience, but we don’t that it is, unless closer viewers of his AHL minutes can extrapolate judge guess that that’s where his big league game is going. I hope, but i’m 31 years into hopin.

OriginalPouzar

I would have no problem with Lagesson getting inserted in the lineup (although Jones does need to get back in as well).

With that said, I remain of the opinion that Willie will start to show his plus game once he is able to get in to a solid string of 6-8 games and the game slows down for him. He’ll be able to show that aggressive and plus defence but also his solid ability to make a pass and transition the puck.

I fear that, because he will continue to “be good defensively” but not “shine in transition”, he will be in and out of the lineup and not really get that chance to settle in.

flyfish1168

JP deserves to be on the top line. Playing on the 3rd was a boat anchor. Turris and Ennis are were not on the same level.

OriginalPouzar

Can you please show your work re: McDavid/Nuge on a different level from Turris/Ennis? Such a controversial statement must come with background facts.

Ha, just kidding, oubviously.

I know, lame!

Durag

I was hoping Jesse would discover his inner Yamamoto and it looks like it’s happening. He has been relentless on the puck carrier in the o-zone and the neutral zone and his wingspan seems to take up half the rink.

Bulging Twine

Two ++ forecheckers

OriginalPouzar

I mentioned a few times in the thread last night, he gets on the defenders so fast in the neutral zone with his size and speed – he is becoming a chaos creator in the offensive zone (and the neutral zone).

McDavid had more “clean air” than he’s had since the 2nd Canuck game – I can’t confirm causation but I wonder if it was at least partially due to the giant and fast chaos creator?

Oil2Oilers

Holy Haggis and Whiskey Tippet might finally have the forward lines surrounded! Now about those D pairs, they need the odd vet fired into the Sun, or my whiskey bill will before more than Burns night.

DevilsLettuce

Full credit to Jesse for going home, maturing and developing into what he has become. I cannot and will not give the Oilers or Davey Tipps any credit whatsoever for his development. Holland gets full credit for repairing the relationship, but as far as development for Jesse, it’s all his own doing.

OriginalPouzar

Of course, lets not forget that Jesse and his agent were a material part of the problem in his stalled development during his ELC.

It can’t be any sort of coincidence that his initial assignment to the AHL came right after he spend 40 games on the NHL roster which, in addition to vesting the first year of his ELC (after 10 games played) also vested a year toward UFA status.

It seems very clear that there was an agreement between Jesse (and his agent) and management to keep him on the NHL roster for 40 games for future contract purposes.

Not to mention, the required treatment noted above in Jesse’s 18-year old season reduced his waiver exempt years from 5 to 3 which was likely a factor in his trade-value over the last 20 months (team’s couldn’t trade for him and develop him in the AHL).

cowboy bill

Liked the Neal-Turris-Kassian line , it’s similar to the Neal-JJ-Chiasson line only better .
Tip may have stumbled on to something .
Can’t wait for Haas to make his return , he will slide in somewhere in the bottom six and really make a difference . I see two RHC’s in the bottom six maybe Shore/Nygard-Haas-Archibald as one of the bottom sixers .

If the Oil can remain consistent with their defensive work we could see a turnaround .
Wonder when they waive Chiasson ?

Last edited 8 months ago by cowboy bill
Yeti

Agree with the N-T-K line. But I’m not quite sure what Haas will bring? He won’t make things worse, but I’m not sure about him making a definitive improvement… Mind you, he’ll probably now score a couple of goals and tell me to shove my opinions up my haas.

Elgin R

Last year Hass drew 10 more penalties than he took and was -3 in 517 minutes TOI. Turris is even on penalties and -5 in 75 minutes TOI. The big difference between the two is faceoff percentage – with a clear edge to Turris.
3rd Line cannot keep bleeding goals at this rate. Replace with Hass asap.

OriginalPouzar

Coach said Haas continues to skate with the team and is getting closer but probably not an option this week.

jp

FWIW, Turris is -1 in the last 4 games (-4 in the first 3).

Bleeding, but the rate has slowed.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

Yamo is an absolute stud. The kid absolutely loves going to work. He is a worker bee that has a ton of skill. A player type the Oilers have been missing for a long time.

Melman

So happy to see JP play a game like that. Please 8lb 9oz baby Jesus let it be the first of many.