Wheatfield Soul

by Lowetide

The Edmonton Oilers keep piling up wins, closing the gap between “assumed playoff team” and the real deal. It’s also true the club is finding some answers to ongoing roster questions, including an emerging bottom-six line that is trending in a good way. Oh, and the young right wingers scored on Thursday night, welcome news for players trying to establish themselves in the league.


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: 17-21-3, 37 points; goal differential -23
  • Oilers in 2016-17: 21-13-7, 49 points; goal differential +6
  • Oilers in 2017-18: 18-20-3, 39 points; goal differential -17
  • Oilers in 2018-19: 19-19-3, 41 points; goal differential -10
  • Oilers in 2019-20: 20-17-4, 44 points; goal differential -8
  • Oilers in 2020-21: 25-14-2, 52 points; goal differential +15

A strong start to each month (save January) has been the key for Edmonton this season. You can say Ottawa is a weak link in the division, but the Calgary Flames have grabbed a 2-4-1 record against the Sens, good for five of a possible 14 points on the season.


  • At home to: Calgary (Expected: 1-0-0) (Actual 1-0-0)
  • On the road to: Montreal, Ottawa, Ottawa (Expected: 2-1-0) (Actual 2-0-1)
  • At home to: Calgary (Expected 1-0-0) (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: 8-4-0, 16 points in 12 games
  • Actual April record: 3-0-1, 7 points in 4 games

One more game and then a long layoff for the Oilers, and that might benefit the team. The trade deadline is Monday, Edmonton could trade for a player and he would be out of quarantine shortly after the Winnipeg road game. At the same time, a recall might be the route to go and Ryan McLeod (as an example) could get a recall Saturday and be ready right after the off week.


  • Draisaitl-McDavid-Puljujarvi played 17:45, going 11-10 shots, no goals, 0-3 HDSC and 26-17 Corsi for five on five. I thought the line played much better than these numbers show. Draisaitl was physical and back checked hard, had a takeaway, won nine of 11 in the dot and had a couple of strong looks on the PP. McDavid had an assist, four shots and a breakaway. He didn’t have the same jump as Wednesday, but pushed through and made a strong pass on the PP goal. Puljujarvi scored his ninth goal of the year, empty netter but it still counts.
  • Shore-Khaira-Archibald played 10:37, going 3-11 shots, 1-0 goals, 1-2 HDSC and 6-15 Corsi for five on five. This line is gaining real traction now, expect we’ll see them in the playoffs. Shore scored a goal on a nice tip, topped 15 minutes in playing time that included a buck-fifty on the PK. Checked hard. Khaira had an assist, won nine of 15 in the faceoff circle, and played well. Archibald had four hits and one reasonable chance.
  • Kahun-Haas-Yamamoto played 5:43, going 4-5 shots, 0-1 goals, 1-0 HDSC and 2-6 Corsi five on five. Kahun played just nine minutes and looked slow to act. He was around the puck a few times but couldn’t impact a damn thing beyond one faceoff victory. Haas had a fantastic interception and a clear breakaway, I would have put him on the cover if he’d scored. He’s never making the cover, because he moved so far left the goaltender only had to guard about a quarter of it to ensure a save. Yamamoto scored a power-play goal, it had been a month and he needed it.
  • Kassian-Turris-Chiasson played 5:22, 0-3 shots, no goals or high danger and 2-5 Corsi five on five. Kassian had six hits, three shot attempts but isn’t engaged. Turris didn’t have a lot going on and was moved off the line at one point. Chiasson had a shot and a giveaway, worked the power play (I thought he got the assist) and was reliable as always.
  • Something went on with Haas in this game. He ran with Kahun-Yamamoto mostly, but had a shift with Archibald in the first period, and then checked down in the third period(or up, who the hell knows) to Kassian-Chiasson, with Turris switching spots. The Archibald shift might been four on four, but the later change was an adjustment mid game. Both worked, Turris combining with Kahun and Yamamoto for a HDSC.


  • Nurse-Barrie played 19:55, going 12-12 shots, no goals, 1-4 HDSC and 27-21 Corsi five on five. Nurse had a couple of good shots among eight attempts, one ripped the mask off Anton Fosrberg’s head. Barrie got another assist, I swear he gets one for staying awake during the anthem.
  • Russell-Larsson played 16:21, going 4-11 shots, 0-1 goals, 2-2 HDSC and 8-17 Corsi for five on five. Russell had a shot on goal, defended a lot and screened his goalie on the only marker of the evening. Larsson played his usual outlaw brand (they don’t put that brand on display it’s behind the counter. You have to ask for it) of defense, hit a couple of guys, ran a few cowboys off his property and still landed a minus one for this troubles.
  • Jones-Bear played 12:45, going 3-10 shots, 1-0 goals, 1-1 HDSC and 7-14 Corsi five on five. The young pairing had some chaos but also did some good things. Jones shot from the point was tipped by Shore, giving the young blue his first point in some time. Bear turned the puck over a couple of times, got walloped a few more but hung in there.
  • Mike Smith was fire, stopping 39 of 40, .975. He now owns a .922 save percentage, that’s No. 8 among starting goalies with 750 or more minutes (47 goalies qualified). His .929 SP at five on five (500 or more minutes) has him No. 12 among 55 goaltenders.


He’s on waivers this morning. I don’t believe the Oilers will claim him but do want to point out the club needs a winger who can score with skill at the deadline. During his time with Edmonton, Caggiula scored 0.89 goals per 60 in 2016-17 with 97, and then 1.23 goals per 60 in 2017-18 and 1.27 goals per 60 in 2018-19 before he was traded in what was a mad, mad Sunday. Over three seasons, Caggiula scored 7 five on five goals in 355 minutes. That works out to 1.18 goals per 60 with McDavid at five on five during Caggiula’s time in the city. For comparison purposes, here are the numbers for the captain’s most common five on five linemates this year:

  1. Leon Draisaitl: 7 goals in 224 minutes (1.87 goals per 60)
  2. Kailer Yamamoto: 4 goals in 135 minutes (1.77)
  3. Josh Archibald: 1 goal in 45 minutes (1.33)
  4. Jesse Puljujarvi: 5 goals in 381 minutes (0.79)
  5. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins: 4 goals in 384 minutes (0.62)
  6. Zack Kassian: 0 goals in 93 minutes

Caggiula would be an option, especially if Draisaitl is playing on the second line (hopefully they try 93-29-56). I’m fine with Puljujarvi on RW, but that Yamamoto number is enticing.


At 10 this morning, TSN1260, with hit Friday hard and malicious intent. Steve Lansky from Inside the Truck podcast will join us to talk trade deadline and how television may handle what might be badness as opposed to madness, early Jays happiness, Masters coverage and what happened in the Oilers room in the aftermath of the Steve Smith own goal. At 11, Matthew Iwanyk from TSN 1260 will attempt to explain the AL East standings, the Oilers magic number and trade deadline day. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!


You may also like

3.9 15 votes
Article Rating
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I’m refreshing twitter way too often. Heart wants Hall. Head doesn’t quite agree. But why not go for it and why wait? Enough with hoarding picks and hoping they eventually work out.

Hall is better for the next 4 years over anyone we have or could draft. He solidifies two scoring lines and has the speed and smarts to play well for long enough to make it worth it.

Ok my head now agrees. Go get Hall. Use a first and dump some contacts or pull a Tampa or Toronto to make the money work if needed.


It’s getting close to the deadline and LT has traded Chad Allen for Burton Cummings.


If the Oilers could make a similar quality upgrade as that trade, they’d have really good shot at the the cup. A comp would be sending Patrick Russell and James Neal to Buffalo for Taylor Hall, with Buffalo retaining half of Hall’s salary.


Plus we’d get to keep Hall for the next 5 years at a reasonable price.

Harpers Hair

Cole Caulfield with 2G and 1A in his pro debut for Laval.

Oh my.


Any player that does something that might make it appear like they could be lorded over Oiler fans in the future causes you to have a wet dream. Oh my! You are so shallow and predictable.

Last edited 1 month ago by Redbird62

Shallow beyond belief.

“Oh my.”

He never left Grade 8 with the rest of the kids.

Harpers Hair

Oiler fans had better hope Broberg turns into a stud.

The wave of NCAA players drafted in 2019 are now signing their ELC’s and some are already making an impact in the pro game.

Players picked after Broberg signing their NHL contracts since the draft:

Trevor Zegras

Victor Soderstrom

Matt Boldy

Spencer Knight

Cam York

Cole Caulfield

Alex Newhook.

Worth noting Vasili Podkholzin has 9 points in 14 games in the Gagarin Cup playoffs despite playing limited minutes. He’ll sign as soon as soon as the KHL season ends.

It’s a spectacular wave of young talent.


You should post that over on the Canucks site. They need something positive to talk about.


Wow, with 8 of them, you can have a different dream every night for more than a week Happy fantasizing! Whatever floats your boat. There were a total of 203 taken after Broberg not by the Oilers, so you might be set for a good 6 months. Then you can move on to all the players taken after Holloway.


He’s just making up for lost time. 2014 and 2015 were total write-offs after all.


I was cheering for Broberg to fail until this wonderfully inciteful post, now I’ve changed my tune. It really does take the signing of other teams prospects to ELCs to make one cheer for their own teams prospects.

Would you say the rubber is about to hit the road in this situation?


Honestly, you know that coming on this forum just to be contrary makes you a dick, right?


Holloway will be a far superior NHL player to Caulfield in the long run.


Trevor Zegras AHL 10 games 5 goals 6 assists
Trevor Zegras NHL 17 games 1 goal 6 assists

Alex Turcotte AHL 20 games 2 goals 10 assists

Jack Hughes NHL 61 games 7 goals 14 assists
Jack Hughes NHL 39 games 9 goals 12 assists

His peer group. Do you think he is really going to be appreciably better.

The most hyped US class ever is sort of meh.


Condors finish off the 5-3 win – impressive against the top team in the division.


Condors with an insurance goal late.

A good 25 seconds of zone time for the top line – some great puck retrieval and board works (one really nice battle win by McLeod) – a plus keep at the line by Lennstrom over to Deharnais and Marody tips his shot from the circles in.


Kemp with a beautiful blue to blue stretch feed to Hamlin for a quick break – no goal but nice pass.


Gildon scores from the point – the video has been out so only listening to the game now.

Ooop, video is back now.


Henderson scores with less than 10 left in the 2nd period – Cracknell from behind his own net, up the middle to Deharnais with zero room, the puck is turned over, a pass and a one-timer.

3-2 Condors going in to the 3rd.

John Chambers

I think Tippett will unveil the 93-29-56 line for the playoffs, and Holland will trade for Alex Iafallo to be McDavid’s right winger.

It’ll be a whole different look for their playoff opponent. How the Oilers played against the Leafs and Habs in March will have little bearing on how they might match up in late-May.

John Chambers

Left. Derp.


I do see Iafallo as a legit and reasonable target.

Won’t speak to the forbidden line.

SK Oiler Fan

Completely agree. What was successful in the regular season will be thoroughly scouted and predictably thwarted. First 2 rounds will be like football where you bring out the never seen play book.


PP1 scores again – win the draw, good puck movement and Malone, from behind the net, banks one in off the skate of a d-man. Lucky goal.

3-1 Condors.

2 for 3 on the PP (both PP1 which is Cracknell, Grifith, Malone, Gildon, Joe G.)


Check that, Condors lose a defensive zone draw, the point shot hits the blocker up high and as its going well wide, tipped in on a great re-direct.

Last edited 1 month ago by OriginalPouzar

Oilers PP1 unit scores.

Griffith, Cracknell and Gildon with some great puck movement, Gildon gets it towards the net and Joe G. buries the rebound.

Yes, that until is the clear PP1 tonight.

2-0 Condors late in the 1st – a dominating period against the 1st place team.


Thanks OP, keep updates coming plz. Much appreciated.


Lavoie with his first to open the scoring


Griffith drops to Cracknell who puts it towards Lavoie streaking to the net and Lavoie tips it in for his first AHL goal.


Malone starting with Joe G. and Esposito – i wonder where Lavoie plays.

Presumably he will be with Cracknell and Grifith (or maybe Hamlin/Stukel).


Lavoie indeed starts with Griffith and Cracknell.


Skinner starts tonight – good news, I found it odd that he didn’t start last game and had concern he was sick.

Malone is back after missing a month with injury – he replaces Safin who didn’t play much last game.

Lennstrom back in – for Kaldis.


The Avs have bolstered their D-corps in a trade with Detroit, acquiring Patrik Nemeth.



With Johnson and Cole out, Colorado has a very small defense with only only player over 200 lbs. They needed some size on their back end to help them with the playoff grind.


There has been “talk” about the Canucks shutting down their season or playing a shortened season but, as expected, that does not seem to be the case.

Benning says most of the players are on the “other side of it” and, once they get up and running they plan on playing a full 56 game season and most of their players, save maybe 2-3 will be ready once the team is.

Harpers Hair

One possible solution that is being discussed is rejigging the schedule so that Vancouver, Calgary and Ottawa play each other for draft lottery seeding while the first round of the playoffs are underway.

That would satisfy broadcast and sponsorship deals but would be incredibly difficult to make it fair for all teams.

Harpers Hair

For example, the Oilers have 5 games remaining against the Canucks.

One would assume those games would be shifted to have those 5 games against the other playoff teams.


What are you suggesting? That instead of playing the Canucks 5 times more the Oilers would play the Habs 5 time more?


So is the object to lose in this playoff or win. If the object is to win to move up in the draft lottery it is in direct conflict with how the draft sequencing is set up with the team with the worst overall record getting the the better pick lottery aside. I would not rank this as one of the NHL’s smarter moves but the truth is it’s all about the money!


I don’t see any scenario where the Canucks players, as a group, come back and play “lottery seeding” games.

The provider of this information also said, 12 hours ago, the that league would be scheduling Oilers games this coming week when we already knew that was not happening.

Harpers Hair

The information was provided by Canucks beat reporter Blake Price.

Take your childish shit up with him.


I’ll wait for the announcement on the Oilers games for this current week.


Fuck me, You could apply some critical thinking prior to simply parroting someone else’s talk, especially if you don’t want it scrutinized here.

Last edited 1 month ago by Sierra
Harpers Hair

Scrutiny here is like getting a colonoscopy from a blind surgeon with no arms.


Then why are you here if this site is so beneath you?


Ha! Come talk to me about scrutiny when you get -161 on a single post!

Last edited 1 month ago by kgo

I was impressed,😉


right, because you’re so much better than all the others…


You are welcome to not come to the site we may even hold a celebration if that is the case.


says the “mature” troll lol…


Another of your so called reliable sources. He probably passing the same incorrect crap that’s been updated. OP is a valuable contributor to this site you are a major ass hole and annoyance.

90s fan

Brilliant, this is exactly how the lottery should work every year! Bottom 4 (Or 8?) teams have a single elimination for draft seeding to see who gets the first draft. Only in this tournament, the winner gets the # 1 draft! (It would be really interesting how teams handled this. The bottom ranked teams might be a bit slower to trade their rental players!


Good point.


I could see them reconfiguring the schedule so all Canucks games against the current 4 playoff teams are finished by the originally scheduled end of season and the games against Calgary and Ottawa are left to be played after that date, while the playoffs have started. This would have to be contingent on none of the four playoff teams going on a losing streak and having one or more of the bottom three move back into contention.

Harpers Hair

There is no time for contingencies.

If the Canucks get back in action on April 17th as hoped, they would then need to play 19 games in 23 days with a 4 game eastern road trip in the middle involving 3 travel days.

Games remaining:

vs Edmonton 5

vs Ottawa 4

vs Toronto 4

vs Calgary 4

vs Winnipeg 2

I suppose they could try and reschedule the 5 games against the Oilers into the 4 game set against Ottawa and then play the Senators at the end but that still doesn’t solve the issue of playing so many games in a short time frame unless the season is extended again.


Would anyone trade yamamoto and kassian to Seattle for future considerations, provided they picked neal during the expansion draft.


What? No.


As much as I love Yammer that’s almost 10 mil cap space


If I was the decision make I would definitely consider it.


To be honest, I didn’t see Kass in there – though it was just Kailer and Neal out.


No way. Its easier to buyout Neal and keep Yamo. It was only a yesr ago we had one legit top six winger.


The question is, is Yamamoto a top 6 winger?
He was last year, not so sure about this year.
I think I just might say yes. The fact that I’m torn suggests it might be a fair trade.


Yamamoto to get rid of two massive negative value contracts. I like Yamamoto, but I would definitely make that deal.

Harpers Hair

Yamamoto is not worth that much.

Seattle will have a banquet of top 6 wingers to choose from without taking on dead money.


it appears the discussion isn’t clear to you – the question wasn’t if Seattle would do it, but rather if the Oilers would do it if it was available to them.

Harpers Hair

It appears unicorn farts are something you think worth pursuing.


Maybe not worth that, but local kid. Could be the face of the franchise for the next decade. And Seattle will not have a banquet of top six wingers unless they over pay in free agency.


I would use Kassian to trade for Hall this season and I would use Yamamoto in a deal for Nolan Patrick.

I see no way to shed the Neal contract other than via buy-out.

If Holland doesn’t open up the cap space this summer to bring in UFA’s to bolster the top 6, 3C & goaltending, then he is doing a disservice to 97 & 29.

Last edited 1 month ago by €√¥£€^$
Scungilli Slushy

Not Yama

Kassian and Jones or Lagesson yes


Peter Chiarelli would


Foligno with 50% retained and Merzlikns at 50% retained for koski at full boat and Caleb Jones and 2022 2nd round pick. Adds a bit for 2021 playoff run while opening up $2.5 of cap space for next year.

Columbus gets a pick plus Caleb to help keep Seth happy and foligno can sign back with them


I don’t think Jones and a 2nd rounder in the future is going to get those two players – that’s even if they weren’t taking the negative value contract of Koskinen.

The Jackets do not have to move a goalie – Merzlikins is exempt from the expansion draft.


Your likely right but if Holland believes in Merzlikins you offer the 2022 First or another asset as sweetener.


Well, sure, but that’s a completely different trade than the one you initially proposed, no?


The Oilers record vs. the playoff teams in the North is currently 8-10-2, good for a .45 P%.

From 16-17 to 18-19, just 5 teams in the Western Conference (out of 24 total playoff teams) have entered the playoffs with a sub .500 P% against their remaining opponents. Only COL managed to win a round.

In the EC, it was also just 5 teams out of 24 over those 3 seasons. CBJ won a round and CAR managed to win two.

COL and CBJ were 8 seeds upsetting 1 seeds (CGY and TBL, respectively). CAR, I think, was a 7 seed against WSH. They also beat NYI, the 4 seed. Basically, big upsets of the anything can happen in the playoffs variety.

Last year was screwy with the play-ins. There were 2 teams in the WC and 5 teams in the EC with a sub .500 P% against their conference competitors. 4 of them won their play-in matchups but none made it past the first round.

Not winning in the regular season against the teams you have to win against in the playoffs is a pretty good indicator you’re not going to win against those teams in the playoffs.

Given how things have played out, the rest of the schedule is pretty meaningless in the North. The Oilers probably want to avoid TOR, but, really, who cares? Maybe it’s TOR’s year, maybe we put up some resistance like CBJ, and the Leafs do what they do: fold. The pressure wouldn’t be on the Oilers in that series, at least. Although, Tippett might feel it a little bit, as he should.

I’m a superstitious sort when it comes to the team. I’d prefer if the Oilers win two more games than they lose against WPG and MTL the rest of the way. They’d end up with a .500 P% against the playoff teams. Good enough for me.


Its highly likely the Oilers will play the Jets in the first round of the playoffs – considering the Jets have not been able to overcome the Oilers in regular season……

Ancient Oilers Fan

When the Oilers won their first Stanley Cup in 1984 they entered the finals against the Islanders having lost their 10 previous meetings by an aggregate score of Oilers 24 Islanders 48.

That included 3 regular season losses in 82/83, 3 regular season losses in 83/84 and being swept by the Islanders in the 1983 Stanley Cup Final.

You don’t have to beat them before the playoffs only during.

Oops meant to reply to Georgexs

Last edited 1 month ago by Ancient Oilers Fan

The reality is that the teams in the playoffs are close enough that with judicious briefing of the officials the league is able to greatly affect who wins the division. Given it’s all about the money it is most likely that the winner of the Montreal Toronto series will represent the North division.


I’m going to stop short of believing in league directed officiated based playoff outcomes.

Scungilli Slushy

I’m less concerned about North opponents than that the Oilers do not play a team structure well heading into the playoffs. Right now it is far too spotty and they are giving up way too much.

Tippet spoke about playing well heading into the playoffs, it’s the key.

I like that Tipp focuses less on opponents than executing their own plan well.

The question is whether the Oilers can overcome roster holes with what they have and maybe a small add.

The Jets have a suspect D group but are playing well for example. As their roster stands.

I also expect that after such a terrible last against the Hawks that Tippet & Co had better have their team ready to roll or I would be very under impressed. You only get so many massive fails with elite talent.

There are enough good players in the team.

As in what is going on with his ability to motivate the group.


Partaking in Long Shadows IPA from Blindman Brewing of Lacombe. 👍


Maybe Nuge goes on LTIR for the rest of the regular season, Holland acquires Hall and Getzlaf, each with 50% retained, and then Nuge is activated for the playoffs.


Love it. Genius. You called it if this or anything resembling this happens.


Hard no on Getzlaf.


Why no to Getlaf?


I don’t think Nugent-Hopkins has an injury where one can legitimately put him on LTIR yet.

Some doctor would have to sign off that the injury means that he definitively cannot play for a month. Easy for a broken bone. Not so easy for a concussion.


It was not a serious suggestion.


If it is as I suspect a concussion depending on the severity it could be easier than you think.


Holland showing a lot of faith in scouting department by keeping first rounder. Might be some good talent available that falls due to difficulty in scouting this year


His amateur scouting department has been very good over the last four years. The teams development of drafted players has improved exponentially. Holland also gets a high grade in steering the ship including hiring of Tippett as head coach. The only wart for me is their pro scouting. Given the numbers etc that this department has to work with it is a puzzle to me how they can appear so inept.( Turris)

Bag of Pucks

Holland doesn’t need to trade the 1st for a rental. He’s trading the ‘injured’ Nuge. Ken can see which way the wind is blowing with that negotiation.



Might be a hint of truth in that.


Ya, possibly.

Bag of Pucks

2 D pairs and 2 lines getting caved doesn’t bode well for playoff style hockey.

Hopefully the mojo rising houngan goalie voodoo holds up.

I can sacrifice the neighbour’s cat if you think it’ll help?


We need Smith to find his inner Roloson.


Dare to dream 👍


OP is doing a good job of reminding everyone why we can’t just move guys in and out of the taxi squad without repercussion.

But it does make the taxi squad seem pretty stupid if they have to worry about waivers every time. Too bad in the pandemic that there couldn’t be different rules to allow for more load management.

Really do suspect this factors into playing time for guys like Bouchard.


The rules of the taxi-squad was the limit of what the players were willing to agree to with management to get back to playing. Guys on 2 way contracts still only get paid their minors’ salary on the taxi-squad so they like that they could get picked up if waived since that would get keep getting their NHL salary. For veterans like Turris, Chaisson, Ennis etc. a chance to be picked up by another club prevents teams from stashing veterans in the minors or on the taxi-squad this year when it’s possible another team could use them – like with the goalies. If there were not all the cap issues as well this year, either more players would have been picked up, or teams would have been more reluctant to place players on waivers.


For all intents and purposes, cap and CBA wise, players on the taxi squad are akin to being in the AHL including their cap hit and their take home salary (although they get paid the NHL per diem).

Most of the guys have already cleared waivers (Chiasson, Shore, Khaira, etc.) and could go back a forth at will but their “waivers clock” has re-set (it resets if they are the NHL roster for 30 days, cumulative, or play 10 NHL games).


Am I going to have to start marinating some crow regarding 40 year old Mike Smith?

Last edited 1 month ago by McSorley33

I am eating crow up until Smith does fall off of a cliff at some point and then I will spit the crow out, cough up the feathers and shout “SEE! I TOLD YOU SMITH WAS BAD!”


I am guessing you’re being sarcastic, but with a record of 14-3-2, and a base salary of $1.5 million, it’s not possible for Smith to not more than cover the bet on him the rest of the way. He collected his first $50,000 bonus playing his 20th start, and may collect another $100,000 in the regular season (that would be $150,000 if he played all of the last 15 but more likely he’ll play 2/3. If his performance falls off a cliff, at that point the team runs with Koskinen and maybe also plays Stalock. I doubt anyone thought that Smith would get the Oilers 14 wins during the whole season, and I think at this point he is good for a few more.


My default is sarcasm.

But when playoffs come and if Mike Smith gives the other team 2 goals on a platter again. And if Smith turns into a pumpkin. And if Tippett refuses to play Koskinen or Stalock and sticks with Smith who continues to stink up the playoffs with his play.

I will be vomiting crow up all over the place, exorcist style, saying I knew it.


Funny thing is there are actually some on here who would actually say “I told you so” and genuinely believe they were right all along. They’d be the same ones, who if, and remember this is all if, the Oilers were to get all the way to the cup final and Barrie had 20+ points in the playoffs to lead all defenseman, but in a deciding game blows one coverage leading to a goal against and they lose, they’ll also scream, I told you the team can’t win with a player like Barrie. That way they can feel good if the OIlers win and get to feel good about how smart they were if the Oilers lose.


Barrie is good value this year at his current cap hit. He is a liability in the defensive zone hence no penalty killing ability. As a rover and in the role Tippett has him playing he is full value for this years cap hit. A larger cap hit for more term changes the equation completely. Yes you can win with Barrie but not as a full time any situation top pairing D!


That’s funny and true.

But the two situations are not analogous. Smith is definitely adding value to the team. He has earned the starter job.

Defenders require a more nuanced analysis. We have to look at the ledger and see what the assets minus liabilities look like. Not all assets (second assists on a power play featuring Drai/McD/RNH) are equal to liabilities (goal against because he’s not where he needs to be or decided to wander).

Defenders must first be able to defend. I could care less how many assists a Dman gets. If they can’t defend, they are a liability.

Barrie has terrible game sense and terrible defensive instincts, and these will definitely cost us in goals against and possibly lost playoff games.

Can this problem be overcome with offense from him or others so they Oilers can make a decent run? I hope so.

Last edited 1 month ago by ashley

That second assist stuff is just utter BS. Most goals scored by McDavid and Draisaitl have second assists, now and in the past. But the fact is that those guys are scoring more now than they ever did while giving up less. Since Barrie got moved up with Nurse, they spend most of their time with McDavid, with Leon second. In that time at 5 on 5 they have a 60% goal share. That hasn’t happened for Connor/Leon since 16/17 with a healthy Sekera and Klefbom. Many defenseman got to play with Connor and/or Leon over that last 3 years and none could help those two drive offense and creativity like he does. Maybe Bouchard and/or Bear get there, so you don’t need Barrie long term, but right now Tippett’s best option is to play Nurse Barrie with McDavid and others as much as possible to maximize GF vs GA from his top offensive players.


I think the situation is far more complex than what you imply. It’s quite a stretch to suggest that Barrie is driving McDavid’s and Draisaitl’s success. You don’t know that, and that conclusion does not follow from the few ideas you have posted.

You could put just about anyone in that spot on the powerplay, and they would put up some crazy numbers.

He’s not that good.


Koskinen does not deserve a playoff start I’ll take my chances with Stalock or Skinner.


Are you aware of Mikko’s recent numbers (and of his overall numbers since Smith came back)?


I never said Koskinen deserves the start.

If I recall correctly, Smith had a bad playoffs last year.

I don’t recall Koskinen getting a chance.


Smith had a bad 26 minutes and was given no opportunity to recover. Koskinen played well enough the next game and a half to keep the net, but in a 5 game series, a bad start by Smith and a bad 3rd period in game 3 and and 4th game by Koskinen and that’s all she wrote. Based on that track record, if Smith has a bad game in a seven game series, he will get a chance to make up for it, either right away, or if replaced by Koskinen, if he falters.


yes, and the line-up will be around the block, twice.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

Hear me out, what if the Oilers trade for Brogan fucking Rafferty.

Tip executes a reverse Brent Burns and puts Broggy up at LW next to Nugey. I have it on good authority that Broggy is talented enough to move to forward and drive a second line.

Craig Zonit

The problem is, what would we package up for him? It’s certain to core out the roster, and we no longer have the rights to Linus Omark.


Holland confirms 100% that the first round pick is not available for a rental.

Of course, the question (from Matty) did not go in to the combination of a rental and disposing of bad cap.


Good, it really is the only pick we have this year as 4th or higher are pretty long shots. I’m fine with just adding a bottom six veteran who can either win faceoffs, kill penalties or is a good defensive shutdown player or combination of those. Next year may be the year to be a bit more aggressive and go for it.


Holland speaking was very clear that he needs to ensure he has cap space available to access his taxi squad players and for Slater Koekkoek’s return.

Remember, there are only four recalls (non-emergency) permitted post deadline – this includes transfers from the taxi squad to the active roster.


Nuge won’t play tomorrow – they hope to have him for the Jets next Saturday.

I re-iterate that this would be the perfect opportunity to play 7D and get Bouch in.

Haas and Nuge are both banged up and they will have a full week off after the game so they can empty the tank with the higher end players.


LeBrun spoke to Holland today and there is a new piece out at The Athletic.

I won’t go in to too much detail (as per rules) and there really isn’t anything earth shattering. Reiterated straight up he’s not acquiring any depth (but will explore the marketplace to see if he can “send a little asset and add a piece”).

On interesting note is the need to save some cap space as Koekkoek may be back prior to the end of the season (early May).

Darth Tu

I don’t feel that this passage is getting enough credit:

Larsson played his usual outlaw brand (they don’t put that brand on display it’s behind the counter. You have to ask for it) of defense, hit a couple of guys, ran a few cowboys off his property and still landed a minus one for this troubles.”

The guys in the black hats can’t win them all, hence the -1.


I’ve been a huge fan of Larsson and his take-no-prisoners and right on the edge play this year. As others have commented it feels like it’s from a different era.

The mean stay at home D-man is something I’m a bit sad to see be removed from the league. Maybe Larsson’s resurgance means that there is still a place for them – as long as they can make the first outlet pass.


How can you not re-sign Adam and Holland will his hard nosed play is perfectly on the cusp of a penalty but the Refs say play on.


Pesky cowboys
*shakes fist in the air*
Larsson + Puljujarvi = Regulators
Starring Yessa P as Ritchie Sambora

Darth Tu

Now we’re talking!


“Russell had a shot on goal, defended a lot and screened his goalie on the only marker of the evening.”

Larsson, behind the net, plays the puck along the boards to KY. Haas and Kahun fly the zone. Reilly pinches, knocks the puck away from KY, back to Tierney. Larsson chases, Tierney plays it out to Brown, who now has a 2-on-1 against Russell, the lone Oiler guarding the front of the net. Russell plays it by crouching to get his stick in the passing lane while stretching his right leg in the shooting lane. He takes away the most dangerous play (the pass across) while also limiting the shooter’s options. Brown beats Smith with a wrister from distance off the ice through the 5 hole.

I think that play is a great exhibit for why Russell is likely to join the 1000 GP club for defensemen.


“Poor Caggulia”

  • NCHC Second All-Star Team (2015)
  • NCHC First All-Star Team (2016)
  • NCAA West Second All-American Team (2016)
  • NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team (2016)
  • NCAA Championship Tournament MVP (2016)
  • Signed as a free agent by Edmonton, May 7, 2016.
  • Traded to Chicago by Edmonton with Jason Garrison for Brandon Manning and Robin Norell, December 30, 2018.
  • Signed as a free agent by Arizona, December 21, 2020.

Although I’m not the hugest fan,
I would say between his NCAA national Championship & his time in the NHL, Caggulia has had an amazing hockey career for an undrafted, undersized F.A. forward.
Don’t feel bad for the Drake


The Oilers have not been playing their best hockey the last couple of weeks. A key to being a good team is to continue to “milk points” even when not playing their best.

The Oilers have had to deal with some schedule issues – that road trip was massively draining for them, mentally.

To be on the road for 10 days but only end up playing a handful of games. To be cooped up in a hotel pretty much all day for 10 plus days. To be stuck in MTL for a number of days doing nothing and then to head back for an extra game….. then to head home for one single game before heading back, to Montreal.

Ya, ya, ya – 5 star hotels. I don’t care that their hotel rooms were nice, that is a mental slog.

Couple that with them truly being in the “dog days” of the season. A spot in the playoffs is assured. Not only that but they are pretty much locked in to the 2nd or 3rd position and their first round opponent pretty much assured.

This is a tough stretch of game and, while of course I would like them playing better game in and game out, I understand the product on the ice and the fact that are playing through and milking points – this is a good hockey team even with holes on the roster.


Agree with all of that except that Montreal is still in the mix for 2-3.


They are, kind of, but not really.

They are 9 points behind the Oilers with 4 games in hand.

They are effectively 10 points behind given the Oilers own the tie break (by ALOT).

Even if they win all four (which is unlikely), they are still behind.

Don’t get me wrong, it could happen but I think its a long shot at this point (and that’s not even taking in to account how jam packed their schedule is going to be – its going to be a slog for them).

Eh Team

This is the time to limit ice time for the stars and get everyone else in the mix- the whole 23 man roster and the taxi squad.


A couple of issues with this:

1) Except for Yamamoto, noone on the current roster can be assigned to the taxi squad to make room on the active roster without waiver. Turris will soon be made available to the taxi squad so that one player can be added to the active roster.

2) After the trade deadline, only four transactions can be made with players added to the roster from the taxi squad (non-emergency). Active rosters are no longer capped at 23 but the salary cap still applies (and the Oiler don’t have much room to run with more than 23 on the active roster) – they can’t just be cycling guys as between the taxi squad and active roster after Monday.


Russell had a shot on goal, defended a lot and screened his goalie on the only marker of the evening

Code for easy zone entries and an inability to make the outlet pass

90s fan

Does anyone track zone entries allowed or time spent on defense vs offense?


I believe so yes, just not sure who, I know I read in the past 2 days that McDavid leads the league in zone entries….so they must know who leads the league in allowing zone entries

90s fan


90s fan


I guess waronice used to track controlled zone entries against, but is no longer online.

90s fan

How can a player (Gusev) be waived with the intention of termination? What happens to his cap? (Freidman says he .makes 4.5mil) What special circumstances allows for this?

90s fan

I keep looking. Everything says it happens in june, before the buyout period. But here we are in april…


So, I’m pretty sure this is a mutual termination, which can happen any time as long as the team and the player agree. It’s a fairly regular occurrence (~10 times a year, typically). The cap hit goes away and Gusev becomes a UFA free to sign anywhere. There’s not much downside for Gusev, as most of the contract has already been pocketed ($4.3m was structured as a year one signing bonus). It just gives him an opportunity to find somewhere to play.

John Chambers

I think that’s what happened with Bogosian and Kovalchuk’s contracts last year

90s fan

Are there buyout like penalties when this happens? Or is jersey free and clear? And can we convince Neal to take this deal?


Since he will be able to sign anywhere as a free agent once he is terminated, should the Oilers be interested? He’s a right shooting LW who before this season, looked like a pretty skilled top 6 forward grab by New Jersey (44 points in 66 games last season on an offensively challenged team). I am inclined to say the Oilers should pass, since he is more of a playmaker than a scorer, though that might work with Drai and Yamamoto. Add to that he is 5’9″ and 163 lbs, and the Oilers are not lacking for undersized forwards. It’ll be interesting to see where he gets on, if anywhere, and at what price.


If Holland could trade for Derek Ryan and sign Gusev for peanuts (think he was owed $1M by NJD before the contract termination) would we be happy?

Gusev isn’t big, but he’s skilled and elusive. Maybe you try him with 13 & 97? Reunite the DRY line? and Ryan would add further depth up the middle

Last edited 1 month ago by GB&Q

Don’t look now, but the Oilers have just 1 regulation loss in their past 10 games. They’ve played Toronto twice, Winnipeg twice, Montreal twice, Calgary twice and Ottawa twice. One regulation loss.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is what a team in the National Hockey League looks like.


And what if you remove the wins against Ottawa? HMMM?!

Everyone knows those wins don’t count for the Oilers! They only count for the other teams!

Last edited 1 month ago by Side

Still only 1 regulation loss! 😉


Has anyone actually said wins against Ottawa don’t count or are you putting works in others’ mouths and taking their comments far out of context?


Yes, people have.

I have literally read

“If you take away the wins against Ottawa, Edmonton is a team barely above .500”

Our resident hair piece even replied, agreeing and said

“An inconvenient truth”

I don’t put words in peoples mouths. I just remember the funny stuff that comes out of other peoples mouths.

Nevermind all of the talk about the Ottawa “freebie” points which other teams don’t seem to have gotten the memo on.

Last edited 1 month ago by Side

The pied piper of that is HH our not so illustrious troll.


HH? So then no one.

Victoria Oil

I think their recent results overstate how well they’ve actually played. They’ve been outshot and outchanced quite a bit the last 5-6 games as they’ve been riding a nice PDO streak.

They were very fortunate to win last night and very fortunate to beat Ottawa 9 straight.

Yes, this team is legit, but let’s not ignore the fact that the recent fundamentals have not been great.


No, they’re riding the best line in the league and hoping the other 3 don’t give too much back and goaltending remains hot. It’s not a great formula for long-term success, but it’s working right now.

Elgin R

Time to replace guys who are just meh (read replacement level). This list includes, but is not limited to, Turris and Kahun for starters. It is officially recall time – get it done Ken!

McLeod – 97 – Yamamoto
Benson – 29 – JP
Ennis – RNH – Kassian
Shore – JJ – Archie

Nurse – Bear
Jones – Larsson
KRusty – Bouchard

PP1: 97, 29, RNH, JP, Bouchard (in for Barrie for a few games)

I know that it is not great to play rookies well up the lineup – but Yamamoto did it and no one currently on the team is getting it done at 1LW or 2LW.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results – Tippet does not appear to subscribe to this definition.

Last edited 1 month ago by Elgin R

Typical Oilers fan, the next rookie is the saviour.


Pro scouting has shown positive in regards to Shore, Archibald, Koekkoek, and Barrie. I’m neutral about their work regarding Kahun and Ennis. They failed in regards to AA, Turris, and Nygard. Then there were Persson, Granlund, Reider, Manning, Jurco, Green and Sheahan. Different circumstances and expectations for most of that last group.

Where does this leave our assessment of Pro Scouting? (Who are these scouts? Cause I forget!)

From my perspective AA, Turris and Kahun had the biggest expectations of the forwards. Apparently, none have met these expectations. With Kahun the only survivor still receiving opportunities. Is this more to do with cap restraints leading to fewer opportunities and riskier decisions? Or were the pro scouts overly optimistic about AA, Turris and Kahun? There’s lots we don’t know, it is hard to speculate. It leaves me with plenty of questions.

Last edited 1 month ago by Psyche
Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

Kahun is great signing. The guy is getting paid 900K and is on pace for ~30 points. His only problem is that he is being forced to play too high in the line-up. Don’t let unreasonable expectations convince you otherwise.


That’s a great perspective Uncle Steve! I wonder what Kahun’s expectations are for this season? I really see him as a middle six forward – which he is delivering on. Were the Oilers expecting more? I don’t know.

Elgin R

They were expecting more than being tied for 222nd in 5v5 points while playing mostly with the reining Hart trophy winner. Kahun does not PK so should not replace either of the LWs currently in the bottom 6.

Kahun had the opportunity this year to solidify a NHL career and has failed. Time to move on from him.


Do you feel the same way about Puljujarvi who has one more 5 on 5 point than Kahun and has played 7 more games and much if it with the best player in the world and a decent amount with both McDavid and Drai?


You are talking very different player types and have left out the defensive attributes and board play of JP. You are better than that!


Of course they are different types of players with different attributes but the post I was responding to spoke solely and directly to failing offensive production with great opportunity (i.e. linemates).


No he’s not.


Cool post – mature and grown-up.


This is the sales pitch Holland should be selling to pedigree ufa’s during the flat cap come play with Leon and Connor on the cheap. Where you can pad your stats and have a chance of winning the cup. Rinse and repeat for the next 5 years. If RNH doesn’t resign were definitely going to lure a big fish with the promise of PP1 time and a cup.


Is Kahun a 30 point player on the Oilers if he’s not playing with Drai (ie “too high in the line-up)?

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

Every morning I wake up at sunrise and light a candle for a Taylor Hall trade. Do it Holland, you coward!


You will get your wish as he will get traded but not in all probability to the Oilers.😉

Darth Tu

Speaking of wingers who can PK and are speedy. I see Byron is on waivers. Cap hit is waaaaay too high though – but I’d have more time for him as a player than Caggiula, just saying.

Darth Tu

I’m going to say pass on Caggiula, I get he’s fast and works hard, but I have more than a few memories of him turning over pucks from his last go around here. Granted I’ve not been watching Chicago games on the regular.

Now, if we could upgrade with another scoring left winger for the McD line that would be great, the mob would finally be happy when Nuge-Drai-Yam are reunited. Is that someone we have in the system? Like Godot says below, is that Benson? McLeod maybe?

He’s young but I wouldn’t have minded seeing Holloway get a look for a few games (damn broken thumb). Although AHL is more likely the first place for him to play, I’m still not used to the slow development thing apparently.

AHL is probably the best place for all of them though, especially if Bakersfield are heading to the playoffs. So trade it is I guess!

Side note – wow the Gulls have a lot of PIMs on the year. How many thugs do they have on that roster?!


Poor Caggiula

Litke 94

Further to those Mike Smith stats, he is now 5th in the league (min. 10 GP) in terms of Goals Saved Above Expected, at 9.8.

Jack Campbell is slightly above him, at 10.4 in 11 less games. I am not sure if the ability to get to that number, that quick, says more about Campbell’s incredible hot streak, or if the Leafs have been leaking more chances than they should – and are being bailed out.

One thing I do know for sure – I much prefer Jack Campbell going on an absolute tear now, and hopefully simmering out in the playoffs, rather than finding that magic in mid May.

Litke 94

Courtesy of MoneyPuck, of course.

Litke 94

Other interesting tidbits: Carter Hart second last in the league with negative 19 goals allowed that should have been saves, Markstrom at minus 9, Gibson’s numbers have improved to minus 5 on the season, Koskinen at minus 4.

Potential goalie targets: Driedger +3, Kuemper +3, Ullmark -5, Elvis -5.


Turris on waivers.

We may see Ennis or Bouch activated for Saturday.


Good news. Bury him in the minors next year too please.


Thanks OP

It’s a shame how Turris has lost his game. But the only thing keeping him in games is the ego’s of those who signed him. Unfortunate.

Eh Team

Turris lost his game a long time ago.



Maybe this fresh guy could pick up the phone and call Oilers pro scouting

Eh Team

Pretty sure Woodguy made the same observation before Turris was signed.

It was pretty obvious that the Turris signing had a low chance of succeeding.

Elgin R

Play Bouchard as he is not any use for injury cover in the playoffs if he has not played in 2 months!

Nurse – Bear
Jones – Larsson
KRusty – Bouchard


I don’t imagine that Barrie would come out of the lineup.

This is actually the perfect opportunity to go with 7D – Both Nuge and Haas are banged up and the team is likely to have a full week break after the game so they can empty the tank with the higher end forwards.


With Canucks all but not making the playoffs…

They could easily stop playing for the balance of the season, and the games baseball percentage like 2020 playins…

Bettman might do this. He might have no choice.

Good news for the Oilers who can rest up before dispatching the Jets.