by Lowetide

The Edmonton Oilers pushed closer to winning a playoff spot (now well over 90 percent) and moved the Calgary Flames closer to the seller’s table at the NHL’s trade deadline. It didn’t come easy, Darryl Sutter’s Flames will be a better team with less talent a year from now and were a tough out last night, but now it’s done and it’s on to Montreal.


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 2015-16: 15-20-3, 33 points; goal differential -21
  • Oilers in 2016-17: 19-12-7, 45 points; goal differential +6
  • Oilers in 2017-18: 17-18-3, 37 points; goal differential -7
  • Oilers in 2018-19: 18-17-3, 39 points; goal differential -6
  • Oilers in 2019-20: 19-15-4, 42 points; goal differential -4
  • Oilers in 2020-21: 23-14-1, 47 points; goal differential +14

This year’s team hasn’t endured many truly low points (three losses in a row to Toronto, poor performance against Montreal last week) and have recovered nicely from all downbeats. Can’t say they’ll win a playoff round, but it’s pretty certain they’ll be in one sometime in May.


  • At home to: Calgary (Expected: 1-0-0) (Actual 1-0-0)
  • On the road to: Montreal, Ottawa, Ottawa (Expected: 2-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Vancouver, Vancouver (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Winnipeg (Expected 0-1-0) Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Montreal, Montreal (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Winnipeg, Winnipeg (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Calgary (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Vancouver (make up game) (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • Expected April record: 8-5-0, 16 points in 13 games
  • Actual April record: 1-0-0, 2 points in 1 game

The three Vancouver games won’t happen until late in the month, or in May. The road trip to Montreal and Ottawa should allow the team to get a strong start to what will be an important month as the contenders jockey for position. I think we’ll see Edmonton-Winnipeg as the opening round series.


  • Kahun-Draisaitl-Yamamoto played 10:57, going 6-5 shots, 1-0 goals, 4-2 HDSC and 10-8 Corsi five on five. This line had is going on all night and all three men contributed. Kahun scored the only five on five goal on the night, and a lovely setup from Yamamoto (via Bear via Draisaitl) and one HDSC, plus drew a penalty. Draisaitl picked up two assists, 7 shots attempts, two HDSC’s and a bunch of faceoff wins. He also looked close to flattening Matt Tkachuk. He also made a wonderful stealth back check coming out of the penalty box to save a good scoring chance from cashing. Yamamoto had a HDSC, a sweet pass on the Kahun goal, drew two penalties and generated lots of positive puck movement. A wonderful player.
  • Nuge-McDavid-Puljujarvi played 10:12, going 2-4 shots, 3-9 Corsi five on five. Nuge scored on the power play and is a PK genius, my goodness he’s an effective player. McDavid scored the winner, Flames are effective at not allowing clean air so there was some frustration. Puljujarvi had McDavid in alone and couldn’t send him the pass, that can’t happen. That’s the job. He forechecked well, turned over pucks, but all anyone will remember is that errant pass.
  • Kassian-Haas-Archibald played 6:51, 1-4 shots, 0-1 goals, 3-8 Corsi five on five. Kassian took a penalty that was unnecessary but his mates killed it expertly. He also had good moments, keeping the puck away from Calgary players along the wall and grinding out the game. Edmonton needs more of that from him. Haas fell down a few times, and was most useful when on the penalty kill. Archibald had two clean minutes on the PK and played a physical game, missed an empty net chance late. He was on the ice for the first GA, but came down low to cover the slot on Russell’s turnover. Tough to fault the winger for picking up his defender on a broken play. Previous incarnations of the Oilers would have had the LW waiting for the pass at center.
  • Shore-Khaira-Chiasson played 6:24, going 5-3 shots, 0-2 HDSC and 7-4 Corsi five on five. Shore had one look and a pair of giveaways, but nothing bad happened on his watch. Khaira was on the PK for over a minute, had three shots and had his legs moving and won three of six on the PK. He is an effective NHL center. Chiasson got some PP time and made some nice plays on both PP goals, but most will remember only the physical beating he took net front. He’s very effective there. Two shots.


  • Russell-Larsson played 16:37, going 7-5 shots, 0-1 goals, 3-2 HDSC and 13-7 Corsi five on five. Russell played a lot, 22:58, blocking three shots, giving away the puck three times and surviving two shifts over two minutes in length. Lost control of the puck (unforced) a few seconds before the first GA, and then was a better door than window on the Mike Stone shot. Larsson much the same, although more effective across the board. The guy is a rock and the coach counts on him in big moments. The Monahan line didn’t get a sniff with Larsson on the ice (six minutes of five on five time).
  • Nurse-Barrie played 14:21, going 4-6 shots and 5-12 Corsi. Nurse had a couple of shots, defended well, including a fantastic shot block on Elias Lindholm that could have changed the game script had the puck found its target. This pairing was at a disadvantage because Barrie is playing hurt. Barrie had four shot attempts, two blocked shots and his coverage suggests he is less than 100 percent. Barrie’s five on five rels were rel rel gone, something’s wrong.
  • Jones-Bear played 7:07. going 5-1 shots and 7-5 Corsi. Jones had just one noticeable wobble, Derek Ryan working him and getting Calgary some zone time. Bear was rock solid, getting an assist, passing the puck well and generally keeping trouble from Mike Smith’s door.
  • Mike Smith stopped 24 of 26, five of six HDSC’s and had a .923 SP on the night. Ken Holland pwned every math analyst and all the bloggers who use numbers, including this blog’s author. Absolutely outstanding season for Smith, who sits at .919SP for the season. All numbers Natural Stat Trick.


Someone asked me the other day about where players I’ve ranked so far will land on draft day. Below is my Canadian list, including all three CHL leagues and one tier 2 player. I will suggest seven or eight of these names land in the first round of my 2021 draft list.

  1. RW Dylan Guenther, Edmonton Oil Kings
  2. LC Mason McTavish Peterborough Petes.
  3. RD Brandt Clarke Barrie Colts.
  4. LC Zachary Bolduc, Rimouski Oceanic.
  5. RC Ryder Korczak, Moose Jaw Warriors.
  6. G Sebastian Cossa, Edmonton Oil Kings.
  7. LW Zachary L’Heureux, Halifax Mooseheads
  8. LD Daniil Chayka Guelph Storm.
  9. LC Francesco Pinelli, Kitchener Rangers
  10. RC Xavier Bourgault, Shawinigan Cataractes
  11. LW Brennan Othmann, Fint Firebirds
  12. RD Corson Ceulemans, Brooks Bandits
  13. RW Oliver Nadeau, Shawinigan Cataractes
  14. LD Evan Nause, Quebec Remparts
  15. LW Eric Alarie, Moose Jaw Warriors
  16. LC Brett Harrison, Oshawa Generals
  17. RC Logan Stankoven, Kamloops Blazers
  18. RW Chase Stillman, Sudbury Wolves
  19. LW Conner Roulette, Seattle Thunderbirds
  20. LD Carson Lambos, Winnipeg Ice

My list will be 120 deep and all of these names will be on it, probably in the top 75. I’ll drill down on the USHL and NCAA plus USHS in the coming days, and then it’s the Atlantic crossing to most of the talent pool for 2021.


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Nygard is not NHL calibre…he knows it, the oilers know it, the other 30 teams know it.


Happy Easter.
in dying for my morning read. But I can wait


Find out in 90 minutes or so but I can’t imagine Nygard gets claimed.  This doesn’t mean he is going anywhere (i.e. AHL) but, even it if he isn’t, the Lennstrom assignment opens up a spot on the taxi squad.

Would not be surprised if we do so a call-up (although the timing isn’t the best as I would imagine the Mon/Wed games with Vancouver the following week are canceled).

Bulging Twine

# of Face offs taken and Faceoff win percentages of Stanley Cup winning Tampa Bay in last years playoffs:

Point 369 – 57.7%
Gourde 293 – 43.3%
Cirelli 275 – 45.8%
Goodrow 205 – 45.4%
Johnson 187 – 44.4%
Paquette 159 – 53.5%

Goodrow 84 – 40.5%
Cirelli 44 – 38.6%


I suspect part of the reason Edmonton’s depth numbers look so bad is that there is no real second PP unit.

I know you prefer total points to even strength points, but the gap in usage here is large.

Looking at the sixth best EV scorer (EV P/60) may be a better metric.

EDM: Kahun, 1.46
TOR: Nylander, 1.72
WPG: Appleton, 1.86
CGY: M. Tkachuk, 1.72
OTT: B. Tkachuk, 1.35
VCR: Miller, 1.58

Kahun is off the mark a bit, but not terribly so, particularly given his cap hit and the famous names on that list.


Shouldn’t we just be looking at total goals, or goal difference? They seem more relevant stats than the 6th highest scorer.


Thank you.


Why I’m concerned about our 6th forward is that the scoring rate is really bad, bottom three in the league, worse than it was last year. Given scoring is up and we’re playing in a division that has 4 of the top-10 scoring teams in the league, it’s an obvious weakness relative to our peers. Not good. Kahun and JP playing top-6 minutes and producing bottom-6 results can’t work. They have to be difference-makers, i.e., contribute more to team offense. If their current scoring rates hold up, our only plan for winning against the playoff teams will be the Drai and CMD produce 3 goals route, or we become some kind of defensive monstrosity. To me, those are both unlikely scenarios. Some one else has to step up, even if just a little. No other team has our high end. We need a bit more muscle in the middle. Core strength.

Bling is on the mark about no PP2. Only 4 forwards get PP opportunities, unlike most teams.

I don’t think that’s the full story, but the Oilers have 9 forwards who scored 0.5 PPG in the NHL last season so I don’t think skill or talent is the issue either.

It’s interesting that all 3 outside additions (that scored 0.5 PPG, Ennis included) have scored 0.33 PPG or less this year and have 0 PP points between them. Lack of PP for these guys is definitely a factor.

At the same time, Kahun, who has a very strong 5v5 scoring history (without much PP usage) can’t score with Draisaitl, and Nuge can no longer score with McDavid.


I think what we’re seeing is that the Oilers have addressed their current and future defence. They need to fix their forward depth pronto.


Fair to say that Nurse, Bear, and Bouchard will be around for the long-term? Also, Klefbom and Larsson are fair bets for the medium term?


If the answer is “yes”, then does that make an asset like Broberg more valuable as a trade component?


Joel Eriksson Ek scores his 12 goal. He may be “arriving” this year. Still a big miss to value him over Barzal, Connor, Chabot, Boeser, Konecny, or Beauviller, but at the very least the player the Oilers were targeting might be a useful NHLer.


Great post.

John Chambers

Perhaps the Canucks could make up their four games against the Sens while the first round of the playoffs was being played.

This way they get to 56 games and satisfy their contract to the broadcasters.

If there’s no chance of them impacting the playoff brackets of course 🙂


One of the better ideas I’ve heard.

Ice Sage

Would we call those ‘rubber matches’? It’s bound to meet the road by then!?!


Or we make a trade!


I want Glendening and Bennett.


Rising tide lifts all boats.


I’d be reasonably comfortable lining Bennett up against Hyman and Marner against Jesse and Glendening against Spezza.


Not sure why so many are butt hurt that the Oilers want Glendening….Even if he is only used to win faceoffs. It’s not like he is expected to play on Connors wing..
Hard no to me for Bennet tho…


The reason I am against Glandenning is that the only thing he does better than Haas or Khaira is win faceoffs and I don’t think faceoffs are nearly important enough to replace a better player in the lineup.

I think it was Gregor that tweeted the faceoff percentage of the teams that went far in the playoffs. Didn’t seem to be much of a correlation.

Harpers Hair

Daniel Nugent-Bowman


One thing I didn’t mention earlier. Since waivers weren’t required at this time, this move could be a favour to Nygard (to see if another team wants him). Nygard has spent much of the season on the taxi squad, appearing in 6/38 games. I’m told he’s committed to playing in the NHL



NHL player wants to continue playing in the NHL!


I also am committed to getting paid


A little while ago, I was told that the rubber was going to hit the road – the Oilers had played 7 of their 9 games with the Sens and the schedule was about to catch up with them and they’d drop down the standings. Seems I must have misheard/misread as the Oilers continue to win hockey games at a similar rate, doing things like sweeping the Jets (in regulation) and splitting with the Leafs while getting 3 out of 4 points.

Not long after, I was told the rubber was going to hit the road and the Oilers should watch out for the flames – they had a bunch of games with the free-point Sens coming up and a favorable schedule and Sutter was going to Sutter. Seems I must have misheard/misread as the flames got embarrassed by the Sens are all but officially eliminated from the playoffs and 12 points back of the Oilers.

Not long after that, and fairly recently, in fact I think it was today, I was told the rubber was going to hit the road as Habs were a great goal scoring team and they had a bunch of free-bingo spots coming up with the Sens – should pass the Oilers easily. Seems I must have misheard/misread as they are down 6-3 and about to lose to the Sens in regulation (which I didn’t think was possible for such a dynamic team). I guess that Yamamoto sized college player with zero NHL games will be the difference-maker


That Ottawa team is growing & improving every time I watch them this year. I can see why Holland signed Forsberg.


He played very well tonight

Harpers Hair

They’re going to arrive much sooner than expected…a ton of talent on the way.


tell us more please… you’re so knowledgeable 🙂

Harpers Hair

Of course, what you’re ignoring is that the Oilers originally had a very compressed schedule to finish the season but with Covid postponements, that has been pushed back.

Pulling your pud because Montreal lost a game is just so YOU.

The Oilers next game is in Montreal..might want to wait for the results of that game before you soil yourself.

The Canadiens lead the season series 3-1 and have outscored the Oilers 12-5.


What you completely ignore is that, since their hot start in January, the Habs have been meh and, since the Oilers tough start in January, they have been very very good.

You use the Oilers having already played most of their games against the Sens as a reason they will plummet – no plummeting.

You use upcoming games against the Sens and Sutter as a reason the flames will rise – they lose to the Sens multiple times and lose.

You use games against the Sens as a reason the goal scoring Habs will leave the Oilers in their dust – they lost to the Sens and fall behind the Oilers not only in points but your favorite points percentage.

This is after constantly predicting the Oilers falling in the Pacific last year due to schedule and it NEVER happening.

Its almost as laughable as believing the Flyers have given up 75 goals in 7 games and then doubling down on it and being condescending towards those that correct it.


You forgot when he made up the rest of the North divisions record against the Sens to try and make the Sens seem worse. That was good.


So you dish shit out but you don’t like it when it gets thrown back in your face. Get a life and like I said before go buy a friend or at least get a dog. You might be able to get work your way up to an actual life form even a weasel would be an improvement to the snake you are now.


That’s the funny thing about games in hand. The team actually has to win them. Edmonton is now officially in 2nd place in the North by points and points percentage since they get the tie breaker over Winnipeg. Edmonton got 3 points from Toronto in Toronto and Winnipeg only got 1/4 at home. Still a ways to go and things can swing if the Oilers don’t stay the course (not counting chickens yet but I expect them to continue on as they have been). This team is full value by any measure for its position in the current standings.

90s fan

With Ennis and Nygard going through waivers, who’s getting the call?


Ennis was put on waivers in order to be able to put him on the taxi squad for roster flexibility (in this case, because they needed to activate Stalock).

They had a full taxi squad and roster until they sent Lennstrom down so they have the ability to add one. Nygard didn’t need waivers to get sent down – this may be the org seeing if someone would take Nygard to give the player a chance that he won’t get in Edmonton any longer. He’ll clear and he may get sent down.

Either way, they have an opening now – I would think that, if anyone is called up, it would be Benson and I do think we might see that.

This could be making room for an acquisition but any acquisition but that would require the player being a taxi squad type player or another current roster played would need to be waived.

I say Benson call-up.


I think it would be a very good idea to call up Benson now and get him some games. They should have done it a little earlier to determine the true need to possibly make a deal.

90s fan

Is there a shortened quarantine period for nhl during trade deadline? Would that also affect callups from ahl?


Nothing changes because of the trade deadline.

For players coming to Canada from the US, its 7-days – although I haven’t actually read or heard anything official, I presume this also applies to AHL call-ups (although that only applies to EDM/Bakersfield and VAN/Utica I believe).

Harpers Hair
90s fan

Ottawa has been so good to us. Taking 12 wins from others to date. Up 4-2 against the habs currently. Man I love the Sens!


but I was told that games against Ottawa are a given ??? HH can you please clarify 😉 ?


The Twitter criticism of Tippett pertaining to Jones is interesting.

By GF%, Tippett is playing his best D.

Nurse 57.8
Barrie 54.2
Lagesson 52.9
Russell 52
Bear 50
Larsson 46.5
Bouchard 45.5
Jones 40
Koekkoek 25 (!)

I suppose the controversy starts by looking at FF%.

Jones 56
Bear 54
Bouchard 52
Nurse 50
Larsson 49
Barrie 49
Russell 47
Lagesson 41

So the question comes down to whether or not you believe Jones is unlucky, or if his discrepancy between FF% (and xGF) and GF% is self-inflicted.

What I love about Jones’ game is the confidence. He moves the puck well, both with the outlet and skating the puck out. He is decisive. You may not agree with his decision 🙂 but he plays with gusto.

Defensively, I love how he steps up to cut-off plays in the neutral zone. In that sense, he is very effective at “standing up” plays before they develop.

On the bad side of things, he suffers from being “also in photo” on several key plays.

Sometimes I don’t understand his risk-reward calculus, such as last night late in the third where he could have easily flipped the puck out but elected instead to skate straight into traffic.

My position is that I don’t think you can throw up your hands and say Caleb Jones is unlucky and Tippett is biased towards Russell.

I think this idea is implausible given that Tipp had Jones as a top 4 D at the beginning of the season.

Overall, I am bullish on the player — suspect the org is as well — but as we all know D, even the good ones, don’t develop in straight lines.


Update on the Canucks:

16 coaches and 3 players confirmed and they are presuming the entire team will test positive. Brazil variant. Shutdown will be extended but no official detail yet. North schedule likely to go past May 11. The North division playoffs being delayed does not necessarily delay the other divisions. At this point, no intent to reduce the schedule.


16 players and 3 coaches*

Harpers Hair

comment image
Iain MacIntyre


Understandably, NHL wants Canucks to play full 56 games. But 4 in row vs OTT Apr 22-28 are probably irrelevant. Schedule could be shortened+altered so Canucks play playoff-bound teams that week.


Irrelevant for playoffs vs. non-playoffs, probably but not irrelevant for things such as:

1) final standings and draft position/lottery odds
2) performance bonuses
3) games played for ELC vesting, vesting UFA years, etc.

Will be interesting to see where this goes.

Harpers Hair

Snot irrelevant for broadcast revenue.


Never said it was.


Who’s going to watch a game that is irrelevant? I would think that the advertisers for those games might be somewhat not pleased but you could check with some of your experts and get back to us!

Harpers Hair

If only half of the Vancouver TV market watches a game, it equals the entire Oiler TV audience.


Why would that many people waste their time.


I’ve watched countless Oilers games with no playoff implications – don’t for a second consider any of it a waste of my time.

Harpers Hair

You’ve apparently been watching the Oilers over some of at least the last 30 years.

Why did you waste your time on a team that has the lowest point total in the salary cap era?

Fans gonna fan.


The team he cheers for has more Stanley Cups since they have been in the NHL than the rest of the Canadian franchise added together. They also have more individual player awards than your sad sack Canucks that have won exactly Zero Stanley Cups. You are a loser fan of a franchise that has nothing to brag about.


I watch every Oilers game and, over the course of the years, there have been plenty with zero playoff implications.


I’m not sure you are representative of the general population on this issue OP. 😉


Maybe not but I’m sure there will be plenty that would still tune in – just like plenty tune in down the stretch in every non-playoff year, for all teams.

Of course, viewership will be down but not close to non-existant.


Just teasing, OP. Those who post here probably represent the top 1% of committed fans & you are probably in the top 1% of those who post here.


The die hard fan will watch but advertising and dollars spent are about numbers. I watch all Oiler games however I only watch hi-lights of other games that might influence the standings and or watch for scores on TSN web site.

Harpers Hair

You’re missing some great hockey.

You should watch the Avalanche steam roll opponents if you can…they are a wonder to behold.


The advertising dollars for the 2021 regular season have been spent and the parties are contractually obligated. Cancelling games would require “revenue returned” and I’m sure the league will do what they can to ensure that doesn’t happen – may not be possible but they will (and should) try.


This is not knock on MSmith but an observation of goalie treatment and how it is affecting their development. Why is it that whenever Mike Smith has a bad game, he gets a second chance to redeem himself the next game but this is not the same for Koskinen. I can named a few times when this has happened with Smith getting a chance to regain his confidence by working through a bad game before . However, Koskinen gets a different treatment esp this year. Koskinen had a loss of 0-4 but he never gets a chance to prove himself the next game only to see Smith come in. This is not fair to the development of Koskinen and Tippett surely has his Coyote Ugly favorite in Smith.

Bag of Pucks

The NHL is not a development league. HC is going with the goalie that he thinks gives his team the best chance at a W. Based on Smith’s record, it’s hard to fault his decision making imo.

By my eye, Koskinen’s rebound control and puck handling are nowhere near what Smith’s is. That’s why he’s getting the lower risk starts (ie the backup starts).

Oilers have a clear #1 atm. Not sure that’s a problem. It’s kinda what you want, no?


Development does not necessary mean learning from junior to NHL caliber. It also can involve helping a goalie hone his skills better; or getting rid of bad habits; and or helping his mental game etc. That is why there is still coaches for goalies in the NHL despite their age.


Oilers do not owe the players “development”

Its entirely up to the players to show up for games, and from what I have seen this season Koskinen plays like he is not all there.

In olden times the AHL was used for development but thanks to the wack arrangement with the players they have to be waived etc which screws everything up.

I hope they bring up a youngster from the AHL to replace Koskinen.


There is always growth and development by helping him gain back his confidence even in the NHL.

Dee Dee

Koskinen tends to tank himself if things go bad a few games in a row. Backing off his starts seems to help him regain his confidence faster.


Oh yes I almost forgot Smith played so well vs Chicago even when he was with Calgary. Tippett is too loyal to a former Coyote. You need both goalies to perform well in playoffs… and Smith can destroy himself when he is so amp up that not even Freud can peel those layers of emotions back.


Isn’t going to happen this year. I don’t get the dislike for Koskinen. This has been a difficult year for him to get in a rhythm. He is however better than any goalie on the farm.


I don’t disagree with the overall premise but that is more based on last season than anything as, really, how many bad starts has Mike Smith had? I think he’s had one bad start, one meh start and, other than that has been good or better.

Not many bad starts to bounce back from.

Mike Smith’s impact on the way the skaters are able to play is more substantial that I had previously given it credit for – a large part of that is that he has only made a handful of egregious plays out of the net and only one has hurt them (this does not count plays like a stretch pass last night that he didn’t need to make with a tired group that resulted in the play coming back and not allowing a change – didn’t hurt us).


That’s what happens when you have a arm that can move


All these athletic glove saves Smith has been coming up with are all goals on Koskinen


You need both goalies in playoffs to do well. Can’t leave one behind cause you know Smith cannot maintain this pace not into the playoffs ie Chicago series


I don’t think that a team needs two goalies to go far in the playoffs – both Stanley Cup Finalists relied on one goalie.

Smith’s performance in the play-in is 100% meaningless. Yup, he played like crap but it was one game, actually, it was less than half a game if I remember correctly.

All goalies have bad games, multiple times per year – any single game means nothing – in particular one game in August after 4 months off.

I didn’t want Smith re-signed but it had zero to do with the play-in (as it was irrelevant) – my opinion was based on his regular season, in aggregate.

Smith has show to be able to be very good in the playoffs – as recently as his last season in Calgary – of course, he’s a bit older now but playing better than he did during his last regular season in Calgary.


Smith wins Koskinen loses the object is to win or else your selling cars on the edge of town.


Best dealerships are usually located near edge of town. Less overhead….


Cars cost less with Koskinen…

Victoria Oil

A while ago, I postulated that Adam Larsson led the league in ‘nastiness per penalty minute’. The only way I thought of measuring this was to look at hits/PIM. Turns out he is 8th by this metric among defensemen using a minimum of 50 hits or 2nd using a minimum of 100 hits.

Player Hits PIM Hits/PIM

Michael Del Zotto 83 4 20.75
Ryan Pulock 68 4 17.00
Ilya Lyubushkin 56 4 14.00
Radim Simek 60 6 10.00
Calvin de Haan 88 10 8.80
Mario Ferraro 105 12 8.75
Alexander Romanov 86 12 7.17
Adam Larsson 116 18 6.44
Radko Gudas 171 27 6.33
Robert Hagg 63 10 6.30

However, Larsson is 1st among dmen in the ‘Gator Cup’ standings which is based on combined blocked shots + hits and named after one of my all-time favourite Oilers. Darnell Nurse is 10th.

Player Blocks Hits Blocks+Hits
Adam Larsson 104 116 220
Radko Gudas 47 171 218
Jani Hakanpaa 55 157 212
Nikita Zadorov 50 128 178
David Savard 83 83 166
Mario Ferraro 60 105 165
Calvin de Haan 76 88 164
Neal Pionk 57 96 153
Nikita Zaitsev 75 77 152
Darnell Nurse 67 84 151


Nice work and good title for the trophy. Larsson is a tough cookie to play against and is very good at playing physical without too many penalties. He has a good idea where the line is and how to get close.

Victoria Oil

I was going to call it the ‘A-1 Burgers Gator Cup’, but I didn’t want to do so without Woodguy”s permission.

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

You vastly underestimate the quality of Montreal’s forwards.

Gallagher is a top notch 1st line W on any team- full stop. Tatar is a middling 1st line W. Danault is ideally a shutdown 2C, but does it at a high enough level to slot in effectively at 1C with the aforementioned wingers. On top of that, all of Toffoli, Anderson, Suzuki, and Drouin are legitimate 2nd line talents who together bring a broad array of skills to the table. Respectively, those are a talented shooter, a fast, productive power forward that PKs, a mix of tireless motor and top end skill, and an top class puck-handling playmaker (albeit, quite the perimeter player).

What they lack in McDavids and Draisaitls, they cover well with depth of productive talent and even strength dominance (top-3 in the league in every significant 5-on-5 stat). And behind that, they have a goaltender that has shown the ability to steal a playoff round. I said it at the beginning of the season and I’ll say it again now:

Montreal has perhaps the best shot at coming out of the North division.

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

To follow up, MTL’s stat rankings league-wide:

CF% 55.9 (2nd to COL)
FF% 55.6 (2nd to COL)
GF% 61.5 (1st)
xGF% 55.9 (2nd to COL) <— Noticing a trend?
SCF% 56.9 (2nd to COL)
HDCF% 57.3 (3rd to NYI and COL)
HDGF% 65.7 (1st)

If their PK was better and they had a bit more luck in OT/SO, they’d rightfully be counted among the league’s elite this season.


“And like Hunter…” Clearly you have problems with the English language.


Point, Set, and Match.

Oilers have disappointed me for too long. Like you.

In my case, its now more a case of wait and see. Playoff time if everyone turns up to play I figure Batman and Robin make the difference.

Its going to take a very good team to stop the Oilers this season.

Toronto for sure has the talent and skill, Montreal can get hot and the goalie can jump out of nowhere like he probably expects to today and that’s going to be as hard or harder than Chicago last time…

Finally the Jets as they keep saying are one of the best balanced rosters but I honestly need to see the Jets beat Oilers in the playoffs to believe it.

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

A fair counter in some respects and perhaps how I phrased it was incorrect. My apologies. My overall point was intended to be the final line in my initial post:

“Montreal has perhaps the best shot at coming out of the North division.”

As this is what’s relevant to them being compared to the Oilers and the rest of the North as your original seemed to be doing. While they shouldn’t be counted among the elite of the elite like Colorado, they’ve been a plenty successful 5-on-5 team over the past 2.5 seasons even if you remove this year from the sample (3rd in CF% & 10th in GF%). A team with the depth at forward (adding Staal and Caufield reinforces that), 5-on-5 results, and goaltending that they have has a genuine shot at winning a Conference Final and Cup Final in my opinion.

Beyond that, I disagree that chance share numbers aren’t relevant but I’ll concede that xGF seems largely derived from those scoring chance numbers so, sure, redundancy. I’m curious as to where you derive your lack of valuation of chance shares? Any interesting articles on the topic?

I only included Fenwick because some people seem to like using it 🙂


What you are stating is, in short, without Price standing on its head they’re doomed.

I’ll keep our “2 player” hockey team, thanks.

Last edited 5 months ago by hunter1909
Eh Team

Montreal goes long stretches without scoring as their forwards have no shooting skill. Plus they insist Price is their go to goalie and he has been below league average for awhile now

Harpers Hair

That’s just goofy.

Montreal is tied for 6th in the league in GF/GP along withToronto and Pittsburgh at 3.24.

The Oilers are slightly ahead at 3.29.

And Montreal gets all that back in GA/GP where they stand at 10th in the league at 2.58 while the Oilers are 16th at 2.87.

Considering the Habs will have Eric Staal and Cole Caulfield for the stretch run and Tyler Toffoli (18 goals) is back from injury tonight, their offence should increase markedly in the remaining games.

In addition, the Habs have 4 games remaining against the Senators…the Oilers have only 2.


Someone care enough to fact check these numbers? Or should I just ignore them like all of the other stats HH makes up?

Eh Team

How are those Senator games working out for the Habs? Price is rocking the .902 save % for this season.

Harpers Hair

Price has started 2 games against the Oilers this season

Record 2-0-0 with one shutout.

Save percentages of 1.000 and .971.

Looks like he’s kept the “2 player team” at bay pretty well.



Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

I think you’ve limited your frame too much by relying solely on pts/gm and toi/gm. Also, I find it strange you choose to expand your time frame to the beginning of their careers rather than what they are now, in the present/recent history. Further, I think your method of assessing “first liners” by overall ice time neglects to consider at what condition these lines are played: 5-on-5. Allow me to posit my own set of stats in response.

(EDIT: though, upon re-reading, it’s possible your TOI #s are 5-on-5 but you merely didn’t state it as I chose to)

Over the past 2.5 seasons (the time frame I deem relevant to assessing their current classification), Montreal’s top line rank as follows in even strength scoring per 60 (among 408 Fs who have played more than 750 mins in that span):

Tatar ranks 11th @ 2.6 flanked by Stamkos and Marner
Gallgher ranks 17th @ 2.5 flanked by Vrana and Stone
Danault ranks 33rd @ 2.29 flanked by Meier and Pacioretty

All of these three have produced at a rate well-above a top line level of offense. As they’re regular linemates, this shouldn’t be a surprise. In that case, we should see how effective they are as a line.

You may be surprised to hear that they’re among the best 5-on-5 lines in the entire league. As a line together (1487mins), they’ve outscored opposition 94 to 49 (65.7% GF) while dominating scoring chance numbers (62.7% SCF & 64.4% HDCF). For reference, McDavid’s best season in this respect came in 16-17 (1315mins) where he posted a 62.1% GF (77GF to 47GA), 54.1% SCF, & 58.8% HDCF. Even if you insist they aren’t top line Fs themselves, they are certainly such when together.

As for the others, they’re a bit more nuanced to make the cases for as any numbers from the past 3 years include a couple of outliers/down seasons. Overall, in the same rank as above, they rank as follows when including the outliers and down seasons:

Drouin ranks 120th @ 1.86
Toffoli ranks 164th @ 1.74
Anderson ranks 201th @ 1.63
Suzuki ranks 262nd @ 1.43

So all but the rookie/soph. Suzuki rank in the top-half of the 408 Fs. Breaking the numbers down by season you have:

Drouin: 1.85, 1.77, & 1.93
Toffoli: 1.23, 1.97/2.44*, & 2.47
Anderson: 1.79, 0.57, & 2.0
Suzuki: 1.44 & 1.4

*midseason trade

So, aside from the rookie/soph., they’re all demonstrating scoring rates well within or above expectations for 2nd line Fs (1.75 pts/60 and above). When you factor the strenuous circumstances that led to each of their down years into your assessment, all three of Drouin, Toffoli, and Anderson are in high-end 2nd to low-end 1st line offensive production rates.

For the sake of addressing your point about TOI/gp, here’s how they rank in 5-on-5 TOI/gp (though I’m not sure I value it’s value as a classification tool as much as you do):

Danault ranks 71st
Gallgher ranks 102nd
Anderson ranks 104th
Suzuki ranks 105th
Tatar ranks 120th
Drouin ranks 130th
Toffoli ranks 142nd

So, by your own metrics viewed through a different (and IMO more appropriate & precise) lens, they seem to meet or exceed the criteria to qualify as 1st and 2nd line Fs.

Last edited 5 months ago by Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

poll. if Dys are shutdown for a few weeks.

vote + if you think Gary would consider north Division playins for teams 3-6.

vote – if you think that Gary would never do anything that unfair to honest competion


Neither of your options makes any sense. There will be no play in. The team have been “playing in” all season.

There is a simple way to adjust the Canucks schedule and the Northern division schedule.

Eliminate 1 Canuck game against every other Canadian team. The Canucks schedule goes to 50 games, and everyone else’s to 55. Eliminating 6 Canucks games creates a 2 week cushion for them to get healthy. The Canucks will be ranked by points percentage.

It is not rocket science to reschedule the Northern division to make it work.


Since Montreal has already played its full allotment of nine games against the Canucks, your simple solution already has one easy to spot problem.


The circumstances were entirely different last year. The whole league shut down almost instantaneously with almost no warning for 4 months. The league needed to figure out how to make things fair to decide playoffs. With 10 – 13 games to go in the regular season schedule, the teams in 17 through 21 had very legitimate arguments that they had realistic chances to make the playoffs if the schedule were completed. Only Chicago, Arizona and Montreal were effectively though not mathematically eliminated. They were going to have to do something with either 20 or 24 since 21 doesn’t work, so all 8 were given a shot. Yes TV ratings could have been a factor with Chicago and Montreal though they would have assumed those teams would probably get eliminated first round anyway. There was no fair and reasonable way to complete the schedule since the whole league was intermixed, so they compromised. Yes Pittsburgh and Edmonton drew the short straw in having to face a 5 game elimination against teams with nothing to lose but that happens and Edmonton just didn’t play well enough to win. Ask Detroit how they felt in ’06 losing to a team 30 points behind them in the standings that got into the playoffs on the second last day of the season.

This year, with all points positions and all games all within the same division, and with time to adapt the schedule for disruptions to make the end result fair, I would think there is virtually no chance the NHL would be in a position to say the Calgary/Vancouver get to be in a play-in given how far back they are. And they can do different things in different divisions since no division is impacted by what happens in another.


A primary reason they went with 24, as opposed to 20 teams, was almost assuredly to satisfy regional TV obligations with respect to the Rangers, Habs and Hawks.

20 teams would have been “more fair” but I 100% understand why the decision for 24 was made and I don’t disagree with it.


Pretty hard to argue that regional TV rights were the primary reason. They were 10th in their conference on points, and 11th in points%. Yes in their own division, they were 7th and would have missed out on any cross-over, but 4 thru 7 in that division were separated by only 2 points same as 6-11 in the conference. It would have been pretty egregious to eliminate them from the playoffs with 12 games left on the schedule since they had played pretty well since Jan 1 with the 2nd or 3rd (Pts vs. %) best record in their division (kinda like the Oilers). Letting the Rangers in was fair, but it came at the cost of having to let in 3 undeserving teams. Given the circumstances it was reasonable for the league to err that way, rather that letting in 4 others but not the Rangers even without the TV rights. Since the league had already decided they had to do something different, why would 20 be the proper cut-off anyway? If the Penguins and OIlers had played better, this wouldn’t even be an issue.


Regional TV rights for the Habs and Hawks were primary….. as you said, undeserving teams.

I’m not saying it was an issue, just noting. As I said earlier, I agreed with the decision – revenue was massively important and fulfilling contractual obligations was a main part of that.


It takes more than “look at non-Senators games” chat to troll this blog.

Our current resident troll at least takes time to find other teams from other divisions. Even he understands the Oilers top 1/3 in the NHL overall record.

Calgary Flames on the other hand face years and years of black darkness ahead. Little wonder you are reduced to wandering the internet lol


HH talks abut other divisions, not I.

Oilers have played very well vs the Jets. Improving all the time vs Toronto, and fuck Montreal for being game cancelling prats.

The season record is ok, but other than pointing to an easy Oilers trip to the playoffs its not particularly important.

Anyway, you’re 100% basically right. I lost hope with them last playoff/ins when the Hawks schooled them.


So sorry about the Flames.


I don’t understand why, reading through Oilers’ blogs/comments, twitter, etc., I constantly read or hear about Bouchard being “better than” Jones, Lagesson or Russell……. they don’t play the same position and aren’t substitutable for each other in the lineup.



All play “defence”.


Yeah the conversation should be focused more on which of the wingers these D are trying to substitute for!

Damn point parasites!


So what you’re saying is, if Edmonton gets Toronto in the first round, Toronto will choke so Edmonton will win.

And if Montreal loses to Winnipeg, Edmonton will beat Winnipeg because Edmonton is 4-2 against them in the regular season.

Works for me.


While Stanton has been banged up (he missed a few games and, when he came back, left early), the Condors have added Kemp and Kesselring to their roster in the last bit. I don’t think they “need” Lennstrom and the assignment down to the AHL (along with Nygard potentially going down, notwithstanding Nugent-Bowman thinking this is just to “re-set the clock”) opens up a spot (or two) on the otherwise full taxi squad.

There is no one to activate off IR or non-roster so this indeed opens up a spot for a call-up (or potential trade in).

We’ll probably know more tomorrow around 10am.


Mike Smith yelling sweet victory at a dejected Turtle was chef’s kiss 👌

Sutter Hockey met the rubber and became roadkill.

Torts has his 3rd leading scoring scratched and top 2 scorers on the 4th line. This is where Calgary’s roads are leading too, perhaps they’ll collide on circle drive leading into circle way that piles into circle circle the city of circles.

Harpers Hair

Daniel Nugent-Bowman with a look at various Oiler items including info on the team’s thinking on Bouchard which has set off a Twitter shit storm.


Got any tweets or articles on how well Sutter hockey is going in Calgary?


I have no idea why people would be upset at this?
Jones & Bouchard are “In case of Emergency break glass” players..
would be nice for them to be playing top minutes in the AHL but this is a different year and every player has to contribute in different ways.

I also believe Holland will use his 1st rounder, possibly prospects. I think Holland shocks some people with a trade.
just one guys opinion.


For years we’ve been demanding the team break in rookies slowly, this is what that looks like in a covid world. The other 3 RD have had good seasons and a longer track record, no sane coach sits one in favour of Bouchard unless they’re banged up or start to really falter. You hope he gets a few more games in (and I’m sure he will), but I don’t think this hurts his development any worse than the Jultz treatment.


The Julz treatment broke a promising player until he left the toxicity of Lowe+MacT.


Exactly. It’s tough to have Bouchard sitting, but if the alternative is to clear the field of competition and throw him into the deep end, I’ll take the current scenario. I’m sure Bouch will get at least a few more games in this year and probably find an opening on the right side next year.

Scungilli Slushy

Tippet is really fixated on PK. Poor Nygard must really not be good at it as they see it.

He’s not as skilled as Ennis or Kahun, but I’m not sure he’s a less effective player. Bigger and faster.

It seems we’ll never know. E and K don’t really PK either. Weird. Must be sideburns.

Bank Shot

Sometimes there isn’t a lot to differentiate between fringe players.

There are probably 3000 guys outside the NHL that could probably “Not get clobbered” in a depth role.


So question I have after watching last nights game is what exactly is “cross checking”???? There appeared to be an amazing amount of lumber applied and a couple of calls last night. Larsson uses his stick as much as anyone and does get called for it occasionally. Goudreau blasted Russel in the back with no call? Does the receiving player have to get knocked to the ice to get a call? It almost appears like a discretionary call by officials… End of rant.


It mostly depends on what mood the ref is in at that particular moment.


At least Russell was allowed to give it back to Gaudreau with a cross check but there isn’t much consistency at all.


Cross checking is when one team gets 2 power plays in a row and a goal is scored on one of them so you have to give a power play to the team who was scored on to help even it up.


Denis, is that you?

Bruce McCurdy

Don’t forget Ritchie crosschecking Barrie into Smith. That was sneaky-dirty bordering on filthy.


Thanks. I thought Barrie was practicing imitating that Game 1 of the 2006 finals short assed defenceman MAB.


The Edmonton Oilers
where the rubber meets tomorrow’s road tomorrow


Next years defense by mid season

Nurse – Bear
Klefbom – Larsson
Jones/Lagesson – Bouchard

That is a cup calibre D.
PK = Nurse, Bear, Klefbom, Larsson
PP 1 = Bouchard
PP 2 = Klefbom/Nurse/Bear

2022/23 – remove Russell and add Broberg. Our d is set for a lot of years if we manage the cap smartly. Nurse is going to get paid. Accept it. Larsson could be renewed for same cost today. Klefbom same thing (especially if he isn’t on PP 1 anymore).

Barrie’s cost is too much and his D is too weak to move away from Larsson next season. Larsson won’t be resigned until after the expansion draft so they can protect Bear, Nurse and one of Jones/Lagesson. Unless they plan to sign and protect Larsson and just accept one of Jones and Lagesson goes and they keep the one not taken. Which i am ok with as they are third pairing D and should not cause a lack of sleep (that seems to permeate the Oiler fans).

Run Barrie through the playoffs (ideally on third EV pairing) and let him walk. Was a perfect and cheap bet this year that paid off. Be happy and move on, but he will not be moved this year. stop asking for it.


“Was a perfect and cheap bet this year that paid off. Be happy and move on, but he will not be moved this year. stop asking for it.”

yup, exactly.
solid post

Last edited 5 months ago by Sierra

Except Klefbom is finished as a hockey player until proven otherwise.


Agreed to all.


So, Lennstrom down to the AHL and Nygard on waivers. Nygard is on the taxi squad so waivers is obviously to send him down to the AHL.

I would think that this may signal a call-up – likely Benson.

John Chambers

Oh please be Benson.

This is our trade deadline acquisition to address LW.


He or Marody, maybe?

Harpers Hair

Nugent-Bowman reporting the move was just to re-set the waivers clock on Nygaard.


I doubt they give him a chance in Edmonton some players get washed away and never get a push when new management takes over previously picked players. I hope he’s part of a trade say with Jones or Bear in the off-season for a goaltender or left winger that can play top 6.


Stop trying to Ethan,
we need more Bears not less


If they were bigger and faster.


Holland is the one who signed Nygard as a free agent, not the previous management, so Holland was fully vested in him succeeding, which has not happened yet for a variety of reasons other than that one.

Bruce McCurdy

My understanding is that Nygard could be sent directly to AHL now without need of waivers. Maybe doing the player a solid to see if there’s interest, with Vancouver a possible destination given their trials and tribulations on the health front in both Vancouver & Utica.

Mustard Tiger

LT talking about pwning noobs put a smile on my face

Brantford Boy

Number nine, number nine, number nine, number nine…
Could LC Francesco Pinelli, Kitchener Rangers be the next Fernando Pisani?

Harpers Hair

Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) Tweeted:
Waivers: Joakim Nygard (EDM)

Harpers Hair

Jonathan Willis (@JonathanWillis) Tweeted:
For the player’s sake, I’d love to see Nygard get claimed, though it seems unlikely. He showed some good things last season but just hasn’t had a chance this year to do anything.

unca miltie

couple thoughts. First of all, in the decade of darkness, the Oilers would have lost that game. This is a competent group. Secondly, I think Seattle will make the choice of Lags or Jones for us. now on to Montreal and show them who the real Oil are.

Bruce McCurdy

Can’t lie, I want to see the Oilers crush the Habs on Monday.

Brantford Boy

Previous incarnations of the Oilers would have had the LW waiting for the pass at center.

Khaira was on the PK for over a minute, had three shots and had his legs moving and won three of six on the PK. He is an effective NHL center.

Both these bullets are Khaira in my opinion (although blue line, not center). His board work after the recall has been like watching a completely different player. I can probably count on 1 hand his total turnovers exiting the defensive zone since being brought back up, whereas it was a 5 count per game the last several years. Credit where do, I had written him off, glad I was wrong.

Last edited 5 months ago by Brantford Boy

Not sure why, but I’ve always liked Khaira and hoped he would figure things out. Might be that magnificent beard.


The hair is on point too.

Victoria Oil

It is an awesome beard. Connor should take notes. 🙂

Cape Breton Oilers 4EVR

I wish some of the other guys who are getting cycled through press box/waivers/taxi squad would get motivated like JJ did. I think that’s part of management’s strategy in making those moves.


He was pretty brutal at the beginning of the year too but since he got put on the taxi squad and then called up he has played his best hockey ever.

Bag of Pucks

Good on ya for admitting you were wrong about Smith, LT. That kind of honesty and humility is too rare on the Interwebs.

As an old goalie himself, this is something Holland has always excelled at. He got Cup winning performances from Hasek and Osgood long after the rest of the league saw them as viable starters.

He’s also really good at moving on from mistakes and not spending good money after bad. That was a hallmark of this org for far too long. Letting AA walk was another good offseason call that a fair few pundits second guessed.

The Oil actually have functional management now. Music.

Scungilli Slushy

Agreed Holland’s competence greatly reduces the fear of the other shoe dropping.

Although I felt at the time the AA deal was quite an overpay. Yes AA had the 30 goal season, but it was a year removed and AA has always been a player with big issues never hitting his potential.

He also was exactly the type of player the Oilers didn’t need, a one way troubled skill player that had a history of not fitting in easily. Unsurprisingly they couldn’t fit him in and he wasn’t strong in most areas, and he walked with his 2 second rounders which now is a problem.

Green made more sense, but he had a lengthy history of health issues and burnt another pick without providing anything to the team.

Some like those deals, I thought they were both weak. It’s always a bit of a crap shoot, but they panned out how they were most likely to IMO.

Bag of Pucks

I thought AA was a reasonable bet cos skill. But obviously in hindsight, it was a mistake.

The good news is he didn’t compound the mistake by resigning him. He moved on.

Compounding the error was SOP for Oiler management for years. They resigned underperformers for years because of optics. Holland tunes out that noise.


Very very true – not doubling down on the AA acquisition mistake was important and I’m sure walking from the player was tough for Holland given the cost of acquisition and how it would look to the fan-base. Holland acknowledged a mistake and made the next right decision.


Unless KH can pull of some magic with some clear short term wins with minimal/negligible long term pain at the trade deadline, I am happy to see this line-up go into the playoffs. I would like to see a Benson audition at LW.

It did however look like Derek Ryan was auditioning for a trade to a playoff team last night…

Last edited 5 months ago by GordieHoweHatTrick

If Barrie is hurt, wouldn’t it make sense to put Bouchard in, its not like Barrie is a super d man defensively. It looks like the Oiler’s will make the playoffs and they don’t really match well with either Toronto or the Jets, so it doesn’t matter where they finish.
Hopefully near the end of the season, some players get a rest for the odd game and bring in a few of the kids.
Load management is important, getting to the playoffs exhausted won’t help.


Edmonton is 4-2 vs. Winnipeg, have outscored them head to head and are ahead in the possession battle on all metrics head to head. So far Winnipeg has been the better matchup for Edmonton compared to Montreal or Toronto. The one thing about a Toronto series though is all the pressure will be on Toronto based on their recent history.

I think if Barrie needs a night or two off, the 2 upcoming Ottawa games may be that opportunity.

Brewha Ha

When the playoffs start, everything is at zero and means nothing, zero, diddly squat. That said, I believe that the best matchup for the Oilers in the first round is Montreal. I worry about the goaltender in Winnipeg stealing games from the Oil, and I think Toronto can shutdown Connor and Leo. It is really close though… and in the end it will be a real battle Royale to get out of this division. I believe there is a good chance the first two rounds of the North division will go 7 games and the winner will be the one who gets the best tending.


I disagree. This year, Price has had our number and we cannot seem to get more than 2 pucks passed him.
Winnipeg is much better for us as Hellybuck is good but not amazing this year. And Drai seems to be able to put pucks passed him almost at will.
I hope for Winnipeg 1st round.

Brewha Ha

And so to repeat myself, what has happened in the regular season means exactly zero, nothing, Nadda. Winnipeg’s goaltending will come through in the playoffs. Sorry to have to repeat myself but it appears as though you did not see that first sentence.


You can say it as many times as you’d like to…won’t change anything.
By your logic, since the regular season means nothing…we can expect Haas will be our leading scorer and McD won’t score a single point in the playoffs?

Sure, it could happen. But I’d bet it won’t.

Brewha Ha

Ok so here we go…what happens in the regular season means nothing when the playoffs start. Nothing, zero, nada….everything and every stat is reset to zero…unless you have brain damage then you understand it…I challenge you to be better dude.

Last edited 5 months ago by Brewha Ha

Your argument makes no sense…repeating it doesn’t make it any better.
We are better against Winnipeg this year because we play similar styles. Tor/Mtl are tougher for us because they are much better at playing as a full 5-man unit. We are not good against teams that can activate their D regularly in the play.

Brain damage? Kinda harsh…just because someone has a different opinion.
What if I did have brain damage or had a mental disability? You should choose your words more carefully, you might say the wrong thing at the wrong time and learn a very harsh lesson one day.


Dude he’s trying to explain to you that everything that happened in the regular season gets thrown out and a new season starts. What happened in the past stays there. The game changes and every player, coach and team gets a fresh start…

Last edited 5 months ago by fistycuff

A once in a lifetime chance to play Toronto and Montreal potentially in the early rounds of the playoffs. McDavid has the chance to finally prove his mettle in the playoffs, vs historical Big Two teams.

So far his record stinks. A 2nd round goofy kickout vs the canny Ducks;

And that infernal playoff/in vs the canny Hawks.


If Barrie is so significantly hurt that it affects his performance, he wouldn’t be playing. He’s playing so he’s not that hurt. He just sucked last night.

And unless he had some kind of brain injury, I don’t see how being hurt can result in him, as the last man back, pinching in for a shot on net with Tkachuk coming out of the penalty box for the cleanest breakaway you will ever see.

Total lack of defensive awareness. Taking a couple games off to let some bruises heal won’t fix that.


If the Oilers re-sign Barrie and let Larson go, they will significantly decrease their odds of winning Stanley. Sure his offensive numbers are “great” but his defence is poor. His offence needs to be taken into consideration with the fact that he is usually on the ice with McD, Drai or both and a Norris candidate for a partner. I believe Bouch can provide at least as much offence in the years ahead, marginally improved defence, and at a much lower cost. The money to re-sign Barrie is best spent elsewhere, I.e., top 6 LW or 3C


I posted a lineup yesterday that showed Nuge, Barrie & Larsson re-signed with $5 M left over to sign a top six winger.

I get that many don’t want to spend money on Barrie and that might be the right decision but the narrative that the Oilers cannot re-sign all three is simply untrue unless there is a bidding war and the players themselves decide they want to leave which would be a completely different discussion.


The issue isn’t next year but down the road a bit further when Nurse and other players need to get paid. The team is slowly clearing off some salary anchors and don’t need to add another one. If he would sign a two year extension that could be palatable but don’t see that happening. With Klefbom hopefully returning and other young d getting closer his skills won’t be needed. Bouchard and Nurse or Klefbom will be fine running the power play.


This team’s financial balance was broken the year Draisaitl & McDavid signed their current contracts. And, no, that is not a comment on their worth. It is a comment on the fact that the team was going to be in ‘Pittsburgh mode’ for the duration of their contracts.

The flat cap robbed the Oilers of any chance that would change during the second half of those contracts so here we are.

I just think that this board has somehow adopted the narrative that Barrie is going to want to extract every single penny out of his UFA status this summer with absolutely no proof that that is the case. We don’t know but I see lots of posts claiming we do.

If we knew that Holland was going to offer over $6 M with a NMC I could understand the certainty that it is a bad move. Until I see that, though, it is entirely possible to fit Nuge, Barrie & Larsson under the cap and worrying about down the road is not how Chicago, TB or Pittsburgh won their Stanley Cups.



I agree that the Oilers are definitely into the window when they want to give their two blue chip centres every chance for success. I would hope that the plan would be to create an elite environment for at least ten years and not just three or four.

If you are trying to fit a Marian Hosea into the lineup then you do what you have to do and sort the rest out down the road. I don’t think Barrie is the type of player to hamstring yourself over. With the offensive weapons that the team has at forward the biggest requirement for the defence is to move the puck up quickly and efficiently. See Ethan Bear.

Defencemen who put up a lot of points become expensive and when they give up as much or more going the other way then it is a cost best avoided. The Oilers need to become extremely selective in free agency and rely mostly on the young talent that is pushing up. If they can continue to draft effectively and are prudent about which players to pay and which they should move on from then there’s no reason that they can’t be very competitive for quite some time.

Last edited 5 months ago by Bryan

Great post.
“I don’t think Barrie is the type of player to hamstring yourself over”
Succinct. To the point.
You said it better than I ever could.


But again.

You are assuming what is not known regarding Barrie’s next contract.

I am old enough that I have seen Stanley won with just about every type of roster construction you can name – as long as there is elite talent in key positions.

You can cover for a player’s weakness if his strength warrants it. As Redbird has patiently explained over and over again by posting Barrie’s numbers.

It all depends on what Barrie wants on his next contract and people are posting here as though they know what that will be when we do not. It reminds me a lot of the reaction to Holland signing Smith last summer when everybody knew it was going to be a disaster.

Reading this board I am fairly certain half the posters would have traded Coffey 20 games into his first season. All I am saying is let’s see what Barrie & Holland talked about as a second contract last summer before we let him walk.

Scungilli Slushy

Barrie is better than no puck mover, but that isn’t the position the Oilers are in now.

I’ve never been a fan of that D type. The primary job is to defend, and very few D can actually ‘create’ enough O as opposed to ‘take the points from forwards’ to justify being a liability in the D zone.

Especially playing top minutes with the best players. And he’ll be too expensive to shelter which is where he always ends up.

Larsson provides more team net benefit to me. And plays a role no other Oiler D currently can at his level.

Larsson and Klef at 4M each is a pretty sweet set up.

John Chambers

Man Caleb Jones skates very well and makes a nice pass out of the zone, but last night’s gaffe is why we still rely on Kris Russell in our top-4.

Our leftorium is stocked full of not-yet-ready, can’t-quite-do-it, little-too-broken, talented-but-faulted.

If Ken Holland could age Jones and Lagesson by two years we would have a sextet that could take Toronto.


I imagine for most younger players it is hard to get right back up to game speed after sitting for extended periods of time. He was eased back in to line up last night. Another game of easing him in would be prudent and then give him a run of games with less sheltering, perhaps as 2LD with Larson…

then there should be sufficient evidence to make a choice between Lags and Jones. More time for comparisons would of course be ideal…


I’d sooner he used that magic wand to heal Klefboms shoulder, that would leave Jones/Lag to play a sheltered role and develop in their own time.


I love the play Ethan Bear makes on Tkachuk when he tries to go ‘tweener on the power play. Just lay down behind him and he goes A over T.

Not the first time Bear has pulled this off versus Tkachuk either.


This is a very good sign. Not only are his physical skills improving, but his mental skills are also progressing. Learning what to do on certain players in certain situations means this kid has a brain in that head…and he uses it to make himself a better player.


Is there anywhere where FO’s are broken down according to side?

From my experience:

On my strong-side when I was able to turn my hand over I had a lot more power and was more successful in being able to win a draw back into the corner (D-zone: safest) or to the right point (O-zone: also the safest and a good position to begin a play to the net).

On my off-side I was more hesitant to turn my hand over because winning the draw would naturally steer the puck towards the goalie (D-zone) or the middle of the ice (O-zone) which felt kinda hairy.

I’d guess that statistically I was significantly more effective on my strong-side.

I’d also guess that the situation (PP,PK) was far less relevant.

Scungilli Slushy

Tyler Dellow a few years ago put up a piece at the Athletic about it. There have been many, I’m not sure which stats site may have that info and I don’t have time to suss it out, the honey do list beckons.

Taking faceoffs strong side is more successful for the reasons you mentioned according to Dellow.

The problem being there are far fewer right shot players. The Oilers have one RS C in Haas and he’s not strong at faceoffs.

Tyler Dellow: Why faceoffs on the right side are kryptonite for Auston Matthews, Nazem Kadri – The Athletic


Thanks! Seems like a part of the game that can be Moneyballed…

Maybe Jesse can play first base?

Last edited 5 months ago by MrEd


Side of the ice is the one aspect of FO analytics that Puckbase doesn’t address.

For clarity: As a RHS, in the D-zone it’s a better play to win the draw into the corner (Right-side of the ice or Strong-Side).

Last edited 5 months ago by MrEd

It may not be available to the public, but NHL teams are very aware of strong side vs. weak side face offs. That’s why the NHL added the rule that teams get to pick which circle is used to start a power play. It also factors into who’s on the ice late in games for defending teams, for defensive zone draws.


Really? Teams get to pick? Are you sure?

I know that in other Leagues, that the Linesmen determine the subsequent FO side by matching it to the side from which the shot was taken on the prior play.


Linesman do pick most of the faceoff locations which are generally dictated by the cause and location of the stoppage. However, attacking teams do get to pick the location for the first faceoff of a power play (but not subsequent faceoffs during the same power play).

There are actually now other times added fairly recently where the attacking team gets to choose:

In rule 63.7, if the goal is accidently displaced by the defending player or goalie, or the goalie freezes the puck on a dump in from the other side of center, the attacking team gets to choose the side of the faceoff.

NHL Rule – 81.2 Face-Off Location – Following an icing, the attacking team will have the choice of which end zone dot the face-off will take place.

The NHL added these rules to increase the possibility for offense.


This is interesting. According to these rules, in each circumstance it’s the attacking team that gets to choose.

Puckbase is telling me that the vast majority of players who take that vast majority of FO’s are LHS.

I wonder if there is a side that chosen the majority of the time?

If the answer to my question is what I’d call the strong-side- then it makes perfect sense for Holland to be after a RHS player who takes FO’s. Particularly on the PK.

Last edited 5 months ago by MrEd

The Covid-situation with the Canucks seems very very bad – my goodness.

Hope they all recover in short order without lasting effects.

Harpers Hair

Canucks medical staff have been going to players homes to administer IVs.

Serious shit.


That is serious. Hoping for the best for them.


Of note, Mike Smith is vesting games played bonuses and, given the Oilers are over the cap and in to LTIR relief, they will be cap penalties for next season dollar for dollar (in addition to some bonus overage cap penalties from last season that the org chose to split between this year and next year.

Of course, the total bonuses for Smith this season, including some that can’t vest until the playoffs, is only $500K.

Just noting.


The Flames were a “tough out” indeed and, to my eye, were unlucky to lose. I like Elias Lindholm but he seems to have lost his goal scoring touch (only six ES in 38 games this year vs 20’ish in each of the last two years) – he had two fantastic chances last night and failed on both.

Mike Smith is the story (13-3-1) – is there a better contract anywhere? Would anyone prefer Markstrom? Talbot is tearing it up; Dubnyk is not; I still feel bad we gave up on Brossoit because of one shocking game in Calgary (or so it seemed). Whoever said “goalies are voodoo” got it spot on.

Last edited 5 months ago by jm363561