Five Days in May

by Lowetide

Since he arrived in the NHL in the fall of 2015, Connor McDavid’s Edmonton Oilers have made the postseason twice in five years and it will soon grow to three times in six tries. In those same six seasons, Calgary has made it three times, Vancouver made it just one time but is the only Canadian Pacific Division team to make it to the third round in that span.

Edmonton should be the dominant Canadian team until McDavid and Draisaitl’s contracts (current plus any that follow) are exhausted. The first real hint of that possibility came in 2017, and it’s starting to look like it again. Miles to go.

THE ATHLETIC!

I’m proud to be writing for The Athletic, and pleased to be part of a great team with Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis. Here is our recent work.

OILERS AFTER 49 GAMES

  • Oilers in 2015-16: 19-25-5, 43 points; goal differential -26
  • Oilers in 2016-17: 26-15-8, 60 points; goal differential +10
  • Oilers in 2017-18: 22-24-3, 47 points; goal differential -26
  • Oilers in 2018-19: 23-23-3, 49 points; goal differential -12
  • Oilers in 2019-20: 26-18-5, 57 points; goal differential 0
  • Oilers in 2020-21: 30-17-2, 62 points; goal differential +19

A team that can repeat a formula has a good chance of success and coach Dave Tippett has settled on the team he’ll go to war with this playoff season. He’ll count on two lines to push five on five, run two pairings ragged and count on Mike Smith to stop more shots than the other guy. It sounds like the 2016-17 formula, except the special teams are an extreme strength this time around.

WHAT TO EXPECT IN MAY

  • At home to: Calgary (Expected: 1-0-0) (Actual 1-0-0)
  • On the road to: Vancouver, Vancouver (Expected: 1-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Vancouver, Vancouver (Expected 1-0-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Montreal, Montreal (Expected 0-1-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Vancouver (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • Expected May record: 4-2-2, 10 points in 8 games
  • Actual May record: 1-0-0, 2 points in 1 game

Edmonton has but two opponents left and suddenly those Montreal games could be important. The Habs have caught the Jets and could emerge as the Oilers first-round opponent. So those two games against the Sam Pollock Jazz Trio on the Île de Montréal loom large this morning.

LINES LAST NIGHT

  • Draisaitl-McDavid-Yamamoto played 12:43, going 8-5 shots, 1-0 goals, 2-0 HDSC and 10-9 Corsi five on five. Draisaitl had an assist five on five (and three others in other game states) plus a HDSC, strong back checking and won some battles. He looked tired in Calgary but had boundless energy in this game. McDavid went 1-2-3 overall (one assist five on five on the Bear goal) had two takeaways, a couple of hits and one jab at Lucic. Yamamoto had one HDSC and one shot but doesn’t look dangerous with the puck. Speed looks fine I wonder if he has something going on (hand injury?) that makes him less able to make the puck dance. Could be lack of confidence too, he’s still a young player. Edmonton needs him.
  • Nuge-McLeod-Puljujarvi played 9:12, going 7-1 shots, 3-1 HDSC and 9-6 Corsi five on five. A tremendous debut for this trio, each man with a story to tell. Nuge had four shots, two HDSC and a takeaway (all of these are five on five numbers unless noted) and was involved in all areas. Skated, transported, passed, all well. McLeod made some nice passes (set Nuge up from behind the net) had a decent look and helped the puck stay a long way from Edmonton’s net. Puljujarvi had two shots, one HDSC, drew a penalty, pissed off the Calgary defense no end (Gio had to lay down he got so frustrated) and generally played a brilliant game. I flat out love this line. Dave Tippett has had some good ideas this season, the line is one of them.
  • Kahun-Haas-Archibald played 6:58, going 2-5 shots, 0-1 goals, 1-4 HDSC and 3-7 Corsi five on five. Kahun had one great chance, Haas did not but made a fantastic stick check on Buddy Robinson that was absolute textbook, was 5-2 on the dot at five on five and spent 2:21 clean on the PK. Archibald played 3:03 strong on the PK and scored an EN goal.
  • Neal-Shore-Chiasson played 4:28, going 0-4 shots and 2-10 Corsi five on five. Neal had one shift in the third period where he made two or three solid little contributions but was pedestrian otherwise. Shore had a takeaway and went seven of nine on the dot at five on five plus played well (and got hit high) on the PK. Won 8 of 10 faceoffs. Chiasson did very little five on five but had three HDSC on the PP. I don’t know how he didn’t score.

PAIRINGS AND GOALIE

  • Nurse-Barrie played 13:49, going 5-6 shots, no goals, 1-1 HDSC and 7-10 Corsi five on five. Played the Gaudreau-Lindholm-Tkachuk line to a stand still in nine minutes five on five. Nurse played a steady game, had an EN goal (No. 15, he is now the third-leading goal scorer on the club) and was engaged physically. Barrie had an assist (No. 35), drew a penalty, had one reasonable chance and was effective in coverage (there were a ton of sorties down the left wing last night).
  • Kulikov-Larsson played 12:55 going 8-5 shots, no goals, 4-0 HDSC and 11-12 Corsi five on five. A wildly effective evening spent mostly with the McLeod trio, very effective against the Ryan line. Kulikov had two shots, two hits and two blocked shots. He has ice in his veins when turning over the puck, he just goes and gets it like you and I would after dropping a spoon or a jar of pickles. Kind of reminds me of Igor Ulanov in this way. Larsson was an absolute tiger, six hits, four blocks and textbook defending. He’s so good at defense it’s kind of thrilling. Larsson did play a frantic 4:40 with Nurse late when the Flames were pushing, a couple of true quality chances but no goals for the road team.
  • Jones-Bear played 6:37, going 4-5 shots, 1-1 goals, 1-2 HDSC and 6-5 Corsi five on five. Jones can’t let Tkachuk behind him and certainly can’t let the puck get by. When coaches HS young defensemen in playoff games, that’s why. Saying that, Jones is easily the best choice for third pair LH side and young blue struggle so you live with the mistakes. Bear scored a gorgeous goal, had three shots and a blocked shot. He’s playing his best hockey of the season by several miles. Bear played four effective minutes with Nurse, that pairing is the best available for Tippett.
  • Mike Smith had another quality start, stopping 29 of 30, .967. He now has an 18-6-2 record for the season and a .924 SP plus 2.30 GAA. Quality.

Some in my timeline took the line shuffle as a demotion for JP, but I think Tippett wanted to give Yamamoto a push. It makes sense if you look at the last 10 games for each man at five on five:

  • Puljujarvi: 2-3-5, 13 shots (2.09 pts-60)
  • Yamamoto: 0-0-0, 10 shots (0.00 pts-60)

So, if you’re Dave Tippett, and just a couple of weeks from the postseason, how would you unlock Yamamoto? In 150 minutes over the last two seasons, these three men together have outscored opponents 12-3. I don’t know what the issue is with Yamamoto but imo the movement of JP wasn’t related to poor play. The guy is the team’s third best forward at this point in time.

Yamamoto? Probably just a slump and dealing with the rigors of the game. He’s in a spot of bother offensively, good on the coach for looking at possible solutions.

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Tesla's Hair

So funny that right after Harpers Hair post about Auston Matthews was this ad. Who is the Harper Hair Gutter Guard in this forum? 😉

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Paddy Morans Jockstrap

I was thinking today that you would have one heck of a defenseman if you could take about 80% of Barrie’s offense and combine that with 80% of Larsson’s defense. Then I realized I was describing Nurse. Hell of a player he’s turned into.

OriginalPouzar

Of note, the boys touched down in Vancouver today and Koekkoek is with the team.

Normally an injured player does not travel with the team if he doesn’t have a chance of playing (and that’s even prior to Covid-restrictions).

I know it was reported that he’s about a week away from games but i wonder if we see him in the next few days.

knighttown

I had a few more looks at the Jones play and it’s not the mistake I thought it was. The end zone replay shows that Jones knew exactly what he was doing and even invited the pass by Tanev(?). As the puck goes D-to-D Jones reads it and is really rotating well to pick it off. If the pass is perfect he’d just skate past a stationary Tkachuk into a defensive posture and be fine.

The issue was that the pass was just tempting enough that he lunges for it and when he misses he’s lost all backwards momentum and MT makes a great play to both catch it clean and generate speed while spinning.

If he’s in that spot 100 times it ends badly 1-2.

Russell would have been fine because he’d back off, allow a clean zone entry and the scoring chance would come 10 seconds later.

single moments…and all that…

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

At 2-0 you make the safe play. Period. Jones didn’t and got burned which made a game out of it. Unacceptable. The scoring chance would not have come 10 seconds later. Bear would have been able to cover his man (the scorer) instead of trying to clean up the Jones mistake. Jones has some talent but if he doesn’t quite offering up multiple high danger scoring chances per game (he’s the worst EDM dman at this) then he won’t play.

Redbird62

Except that scoring chance that may or may not come 10 seconds later, probably wouldn’t end up in the back of the net, since Russell gets scored against at a noticeably lower rate than all other defenseman on the Oilers, including when he plays against elites, fairly consistently since he got here 5 years ago except for Sekera. The analytics crowd that relies on public data to complain about his shot share and xGF/xGA, don’t properly assess Russell’s game. Tippett uses analytics too, but this crowd doubts that he does, because Tippett’s analysis leads him to a conclusion that disagrees with theirs.

Barrie and Nurse take risks that Russell doesn’t because enough good things happen to offset the bad and Bear is trending that way as well so gets some leeway from Tippett.. So far in Jones’ young career, good things don’t happen often enough yet to offset the bad with those decisions that Tippett will overlook the outcome of those risks. Jones getting only 9 minutes in that game was because Tippett and/or Playfair probably were not happy with Jones’ calculus on that play.

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

Agree……as long as Russell plays almost exclusively 3rd pair and with our bottom 6 forwards. He stifles top 6 offensive production. Having nothing happen is acceptable on our bottom 6 lines since we have McDavid and Drai on our top lines. Jones is a problem because his gambles produce GA and rarely any GF with our bottom 6 talent. If he can’t adapt his game to the forwards he plays with (and take fewer risks) then he won’t play.

Redbird62

Fun fact, Russell has played with McDavid a total of 700 minutes over the past 3 seasons (vs. Nurse 1,700), and the team has a goal share of 60% during that ice time and manages to score at a respectable 3.5 goals per 60. Russell is smart enough to adapt his game to his situation and knows he is best suited to playing the conservative game the coach wants him to play during most of his ice time particularly at this point in his career. Russell with the top 6 forwards is not the best overall use of the Oilers defensemen. You’re right that Jones still needs to learn that.

Russell has done Yeoman service for this team over the past 5 seasons, which has been well appreciated by all the coaches and the other players, just not so much by the fans. I hope Jones game picks up his game enough that Tippett puts him in ahead of Russell, but I fully understand why he keeps going back to Russell right now.

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

Russell gets a lot of flack, but he is and has been, a positive contributor. You’re right that he has also gotten better at adapting to who he plays with. He’s now less passive with McDavid and the Russell reset is pretty much gone.

Jones needs to learn how to play situationally taking into account the score and who else is on the ice. If he wants to just “play his game” no matter what, well, he will sit and watch a lot. Kulikov has his warts but he’s pretty mobile, a decent passer, and tough as nails. We are much harder to play against with him in the lineup. If Klef is done then I’d have no issue keeping him next year as Sammy’s mentor and letting Broburg develop one more year in the AHL.

CMcD4PM
Last edited 13 days ago by CMcD4PM
wolf8888

Did you also get the feeling that the future is not as glowing as some(troll) has been telling us?

Harpers Hair

@stephen_burtch
·
2h

In Alex Ovechkin’s career best goal scoring season – 2007-08 – he had 36 goals through his first 47 games and ended the year scoring 65 goals at a 0.79 goals per gp pace.

Matthews has 38 goals through 47 gp, producing at a 0.81 goals per gp pace.

@stephen_burtch
·
48m

Replying to @stephen_burtch
And to answer your question about strength of schedule

In 07-08 Ovechkin’s was -0.19

This year Matthews’ is -0.11

So Ovechkin’s was easier.

90s fan

Yep. What’s crazy is Luke Fox, Sportsnets Leafs writer. I mean of course the homer take is that Matthew’s should get the hart, but then he challenges the reader to give him a reason why he wouldn’t.

I can give almost 100 reasons, but not sure he wants to hear it.

Harpers Hair

That’s just foolishness…McDavid should be a unanimous choice for the Hart.

Doesn’t mean that Matthews isn’t having an historic season.

Mitch Marner should also get some Selke votes…he’s turning into a superb two way player.

godot10

What is historic about Matthews season? What NHL records is he breaking? Inquiring minds want to know.

Harpers Hair

He is scoring at a rate that would give him 66 goals in an 82 game season.

Era adjusted that would rank him in the top 10 of all time.

https://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/era-adjusted-greatest-nhl-goal-scoring-seasons-time22/

Not breaking any records but neither is McDavid.

I’d say though that both are historic accomplishments…your mileage may vary.

Also worth noting, Matthews just turned 23 in September and should have his “man strength: soon. 🙂

flyfish1168

He is having a good to a great season. If he was not playing in toronto it wouldn’t be as big a story.

Harpers Hair

More here.

https://www.sportsnet.ca/nhl/article/maple-leafs-matthews-continues-unbelievable-season-wingman-marner/

Notable that Matthews and Marner are killing it at evens…if their PP ever gets rolling…watch out.

leadfarmer

Yawn

Harpers Hair

Smelly fart…you are the leading example of how so totally insecure Oiler fans are that they can’t recognize excellence in players on other teams.

Very sad.

OriginalPouzar

Noone here really denies that Matthews is having a fantastic season and is an elite goal scorer. Of course, everyone that reads these comments already knows that and doesn’t give a crap about the minutia of the posts created and clearly know the intent of their posting

who

“the minutia of the posts created” ?
Is the pot calling the kettle black?
Do you see the irony in complaining about another poster incessantly posting his views?

OriginalPouzar

I have no idea why you feel the need to be so adversarial towards me, weekly.

In any event, that isn’t even close to what I was talking about.

Random strength of schedule comparisons between Ovechkin and Matthews has nothing to do with an opinion, is of no interest to almost any poster here and was posted in a thinly veiled anti-McDavid greatness vein.

leadfarmer

no. It’s an example of why most sites have trolling rules.
you can appreciate things without being a douche troll

90s fan

Does it have to be a record to be historic?

Everyone was talking about the potentially historic record of Gonzaga in NCAA ball this year. However an undefeated season had happened before, and Gonzaga would have broken no records.

I guess historic means it would hold a special place in the history of the game?

So one might call McDavid and Matthews season historic.

Harpers Hair

Exactly?

90s fan

Oh I completely agree. But I also hate the leafs, so I dont like to talk about it!

I quite like Marner.

leadfarmer

Not gonna lie
He’d look good as our 3rd line center

90s fan

And: dont we get enough Leafs coverage by the eastern media folk? Who would have thought that my dislike for another team would surpass the flames….

DevilsLettuce

The goal posts in all the other cities have been abandoned, this is all the hateful lunatic has left.

Side

How many goals did Ovechkin score against a Vancouver team ravaged by COVID?

Harpers Hair

How many has Matthews scored against the Atlanta Thrashers and Tampa Bay Lightning who were both abysmal punching bags in Ovechkin’s highest scoring season.

Side

You’re right.

Matthews has 3 abysmal punching bags in Ottawa, Calgary and Vancouver instead.

Yawn.

leadfarmer

There are plenty of places on the internet you can have a circle jerk about Austen Matthews
We don’t care hence the name of here Lowetide not Matthewscirclejerktide

jp

Replying to @stephen_burtch

And to answer your question about strength of schedule

In 07-08 Ovechkin’s was -0.19

This year Matthews’ is -0.11

So Ovechkin’s was easier.

Isn’t this at odds with one of your other narratives? (‘the North is terribly weak; the Oilers are shit’)

Though to keep track I guess.

Keeper_13

Thinking of a new stat – TOI by game situation separated by score, period, and whether the game has playoff implications. The idea being that the closer the score, the less time left in the game, and the more the 2 points at stake matter, the more revealing it is that the coach chooses to put you on the ice.
Is anyone aware of a stat like that existing? If not, do you think it would be a worthwhile stat, or just more noise?

OriginalPouzar

On Natural Stat, you can filter by leading, tied and trailing.

leadfarmer

According to the Athletic were at 96% lock for 2nd place with 2% chance catching leafs and 2% falling behind to Jets.
So we’ve pretty much entered meaningless games territory.
Ill be curious to see Tippets deployment strategy

N64

Those 2 games against the Habs could decide who we get in first round

leadfarmer

Well the Jets are 78% and Habs 19% to finish third and Jets only have one game against a playoff team (Leafs) while the Habs have 3 dates with Toronto and two with Edmonton
So it’s actually likely we land that Jets

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

Unlikely as the Habs play TOR 3 times next week and OTT once. The second TOR game is a 3rd in 4 days game and the third is a 4th in 6 days. WPG plays OTT twice and CGY once with rest in between. I’d bet that WPG wins all 3 and MTL loses 3 of 4, but even if MTL splits, they are still locked into 4th as long as WPG wins their 3 games next week because of wins (less than WPG).

Even though WPG lost a bunch against the Oilers this year, the games were close. You don’t want to play TOR until after the Habs take a large slice out of them in R1. Oilers/Jets is the preferred match up for both teams.

Last edited 13 days ago by Paddy Morans Jockstrap
OriginalPouzar

I’m just so happy that we are taking preferred playoff matchups and which of the two playoff teams below us do we want to face in the first round.

The Edmonton Oilers are going to be playing a playoff game in 2 weeks – most likely hosting!

How exciting!

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

Yeah it’s been a very long road to respectability.

Redbird62

With the Habs only 2 back of Winnipeg, winning or losing each or both of the last 2 games against the Habs could influence who the Oilers’ opponent will be. Lose both, and the Oilers could be facing a Habs team that will even more definitively have their number. Beat them twice, and a) the Oilers probably won’t play them in round 1, and b) even if they do, they would be less concerned about it, having beaten them the 2 most recent times.

leadfarmer

Does anyone really care what regular season record you had against a team?
Also Theres a reason that Jets are listed at 78% despite being only up 2 points. 5 out of 6 games Habs play are against the top 2 seeds with 3 against the top seed.
Also they’ve played 4 games a week for now their 5th week, something the resident troll has been crying about the Canucks having to do for only 2 weeks now.
but yes every game matters. It’s just a uphill climb for one team

OriginalPouzar

I do think that, for the most part, the regular season records, don’t matter much.

With that said, if the Oilers play the Jets and, in game 1, McDavid and Drai “have a night” as they did all year against the Jets, that will probably get in to the Jets head a bit.

Redbird62

I fully agree that Winnipeg should be favoured to hold the spot and probably lock it down even before those 2 games are played, but Medina Spirit won the derby yesterday at 15-1 (or 12-1), over 5 other horses with much lower odds. Sometimes upsets happen. Vegas factors in that Winnipeg has lost 6 in a row, and also takes into account who is missing which players as well as strength of remaining schedule. I said they could matter not that they will matter, but that is the uncertainty of sport and why they play the games. If Vegas didn’t think it was possible for Montreal to pass Winnipeg, you could not bet on it. You can no longer bet on whether Edmonton will or will not make the playoffs, because even though it is mathematically possible for Vancouver to catch them, Vegas views the odds as negligible.

And I haven’t researched the correlation between regular season records versus playoff records, so I can’t say definitively they matter, but you probably can’t say definitively they don’t unless you can point to some research on it. And I would think regardless, Tippett and the players on the OIlers would still want to put their best foot forward in those games. Anecdotal, so not persuasive evidence, but Edmonton did not look good against Chicago during last year’s regular season either. It’s possible styles can conflict and may be even more prevalent when you played the same team 9-10 times in 4 months vs. 2-4 times in 6 months.

Last edited 13 days ago by Redbird62
Georgexs

Prior to last season, KY was a young, ineffective player. Last season, he was a young, incredibly effective player with RNH and Drai. This season, he’s still young but not scoring at top-6 rates despite getting top-6 ice time. Tippett may have taken KY’s scoring for granted when he broke up that line last season. When the line was together, the results were unusual in two ways: KY became a point a game player and Drai and RNH won their minutes together. The trio took the Oilers from out of the playoffs to a comfortable second place in the Pacific. But, again, it was all unusual and Tippett set no store by it. Still doesn’t as evidenced by his cancelling of the reunion tour after the two GA in the game against Calgary. The HC has no special confidence in that combination.

Maybe there’s nothing to fix with Yamamoto. And if there is, playing him as an off the puck, net front presence or slot shooter with CMD and Drai is probably not the way to go.

Bank Shot

He probably isn’t broken. We all knew that Yamamoto wasn’t going to keeping scoring at a ppg pace without PP time.

Yams could be soring a little more, but he likely isn’t going to be more than a 40-50 point guy if he isn’t a fixture on the PP and that’s still a useful player.

Georgexs

40-50 point guy? That’s a comfortable top-6 player. If KY does that without PP points, he’d be a top-3 player. Sign me up for that kind of useful.

flyfish1168

Let’s hope it is only a sophomore jinx. He does need to get some man strength and become similar to marchart in Boston

Georgexs

If Jones can’t let Tkachuk get behind him, he’ll have to always be behind Tkachuk. Isn’t that Russell’s game? I thought Jones’s strength was stepping up in the neutral zone and at the opposing blue line, stopping plays before they start.

Isn’t last night’s thing just a part of his risk/reward profile? How can you get aggressive neutral zone and blue line play without sometimes allowing for a Tkachuk to get past?

That play also gives some information that fits the pattern with Bear as a defender. Sometimes your teammates are going to put you in a tough spot. Do you have the athleticism or can you make the right read to at least mitigate the damage? Bear couldn’t catch Tkachuk, couldn’t get at the rebound, couldn’t block Gaudreau’s shot. All happened too fast. That’s how it goes against the other team’s top forwards. A top pair guy has to have some unusual offense or he has to have some unusual defense. If he doesn’t, he’s not unusual, i.e., top pair.

Last edited 13 days ago by Georgexs
northerndancer

well said imo. Love your analysis posts Georgexs. Not xs-ive. Just thoughtful. Pairings can be so important. Nurse covers a lot of ground, allowing his partners to close gaps, pinch in etc. I think Tippet wants mobile groups of 4 or 5. At this time the left side has only Nurse to allow that to happen regularly. Not enough speed on that side. It makes Bear and Jones a bit of a weak pair. Put Jones with a quick right side D like ??? and he might look better.

Georgexs

Jones was more noticeable last year. He seemed more involved in the offence. I still remember his goal against TBL. He had good results playing with Benning. Benning isn’t fast but, with the Oilers, he was incredibly lucky, consistently winning his ice time on teams that consistently lost at 5v5. Maybe that’s what Jones needs. A lucky partner.

Wilde

Yes exactly if Jones ‘stops making that play’ it’s literally over for him. He might as well retire. If he never created an odd man rush the other way when he steps into plays as often as he does, he would be the best defenseman of all time. That’s just not a thing you can do.

I would just have him keep doing it in confidence and at the end of the road if whatever you’re reading reads negative, you give him to Seattle or something. I don’t think it will but there’s no third way here.

OriginalPouzar

Lots of off-Oiler ice stuff to monitor:

Broberg assigned to taxi squad – he’ll still need to quarantine for two weeks and almost assuredly won’t be activated to the main roster during the regular season and won’t play in the playoffs. Hopefully he’ll be around the team for a longer experience than in August

Holloway was to be examined first week of May – chance for great news and him heading to Bakersfield on a PTO – fingers’ crossed (ha!)

Konavolov signing watch in full mode – I doubt he comes over though but it will be nice to have him in camp in September.

GordieHoweHatTrick

Passing thought based on some comments in the thread…

Would it be a good / bad /possible to expose KY to Kraken with an agreement they get to take the Real Deal with him?

90s fan

I would be against this. If it was easier to find affordable wingers maybe, but I think I’d rather buy him out or ride out his contract for 1 more year, then buy him out.

leadfarmer

Depends who is biting at the bit to come here. But we have a decent amount of cap space for next season and might give a full offseason of training
i think it’s gonna be hard to not bring Smith back next year

godot10

Kassian or Neal.

who

I am 50/50 on this.
That probably makes it a fair deal for both teams.
I am disappointed in Yamamoto this year. Love the hustle and the tenacity, but he really hasn’t impacted many games. And he’s been playing in the top 6 all year.
He’s been given a lot of rope, without producing much.

OriginalPouzar

Yamamoto and Puljujarvi both have 15 points at 5 on 5.

I think we all acknowledge that Jesse’s game is more than just production but isn’t Kailer’s as well?

jp

Yamamoto and Puljujarvi both have 15 points at 5 on 5.

I think we all acknowledge that Jesse’s game is more than just production but isn’t Kailer’s as well?

Yes!

Don’t we? (I sure do).

defmn

Not sure if this has been posted already as I am in the midst of moving to Vancouver so have been on the board only sporadically.

Chris Johnston
@reporterchris
The #oilers have assigned *defenceman Philip Broberg to their taxi squad. His SHL season with Skellefteå just wrapped up.

Last edited 13 days ago by defmn
wolf8888

Where from?

defmn

Moving from Calgary.

Last edited 13 days ago by defmn
wolf8888

Nice, I’m moving from Edmonton but always an Oilers fan

Neumann

R+B brewing and AJs Pizza joint. Many more but a good start.

wolf8888

Thanks. Where are they?

Neumann

Both just outside Olympic Village. Get a bike and do brewery tours. No better way to enjoy the city in the summer.

wolf8888

Sweet! Thanks Neumann. Maybe we can have a beer and watch the Oilers win The North 🙂

Are the lockdowns over yet?

OriginalPouzar

The Jets really miss Ehlers, that we know.

He is a point per game guy and is huge for that team.

Lots of talk in the past, including very recent past, of a Nurse for Ehlers swap.

Both players are having their best seasons and are on the upswing of their career.

I ask/wonder, as much as the Oilers could 100% use Ehlers in their top 6, would a Nurse for Ehlers swap have made this year’s team better and/or would it have made the team better in the coming years?

I take the legit 1D (which Nurse 100% is this year).

I think the mileage likely varies.

Keeper_13

I would not make that trade personally. Ehlers is a hell of a player, but smart franchises don’t trade young D with #1 upside unless at a clear overpay. Just IMO

leadfarmer

It’s important to note that Ehlers is ppg while not being on top pp.
The Jets play since that time speaks how important he is to that team
Nurses play this year shows how important he is to this team

wolf8888

I would love to see him as an Oiler but I wouldn’t give up Nurse. I can’t imagine our D without him

31saves

I just want to marvel at something really quick.

If almost any player in the NHL picked up 13 points in 7 games it would be a career defining stretch. Unthinkable for the vast majority of players.

For McDavid, there is no one who doubts that he can do it. It wouldn’t even be his best stretch of hockey lately.
He is the best hockey player I’ve ever seen and we are so lucky to be able to watch him every night.

Last edited 13 days ago by 31saves
leadfarmer

5 games vs one of the worst teams in the league with one of the worst defenses
Mcdavid has a pretty good shot

Harpers Hair

The Canucks are competitive for about half a game and then visibly run out of gas as was exemplified by their last two games against the Leafs.

And with their schedule that’s going to get worse.

leadfarmer

It’s not running out of gas. They just aren’t good as was predicted by pretty much everyone before season started.

Harpers Hair

I’m guessing you haven’t watched their games.

Before the Covid outbreak, they were on a 6-2-1 run without their best player in the lineup.

They came out of quarantine with two straight wins against the best team in the division despite having only one practice and many players still suffering lingering effects of Covid.

While they were never real contenders this season (losing Toffoli was an epic blunder) and had a very poor start coupled with injuries on D, they could play with anyone.

As a self proclaimed medical professional, you of all people should have a grasp of how difficult it is perform at a high level with almost zero recovery time followed by the most ridiculously difficult schedule in NHL history.

But carry on with your petty partisanship.

You wear it well.

leadfarmer

so Please tell us oh wise one
what happened in all the Canucks games you didn’t count above?

leadfarmer

Oh cry me a river they had 8 games in 2 weeks with half of them against the Senators which they lost all but one
We already had a 8 game in 2 weeks stretch and we’re in the middle of another
so keep crying whiny troll

Harpers Hair

Yeah…not skating for three weeks while suffering from Covid symptoms have one practice and being thrown into the fire of a compressed schedule while Oilers were resting because games against the Canucks were postponed is exactly the same.

Moron.

leadfarmer

They were pretty much eliminated first week in February where they dropped below 10% for playoffs and never made it above 15% even after that heater you mentioned.

leadfarmer

So they were healthy enough to beat the best team in the division 2 games in a row and yet so ravaged by covid that they couldn’t possibly play at a high level?
so which one you going with here?
cant be both

Reja

Excuses are for losers who trades a first rounder at the start of a rebuild didn’t make any sense then and still doesn’t. Maybe they have a mandate to be a mediocre team like the Flames.

OriginalPouzar

The Nucks schedule has been no more hectic than the Oilers over the last week and is exactly the same for the next 4 games.

Keeper_13

Canucks have a hard row to hoe, but Demko’s good. I’m not worried about losing many games, but I don’t think we can afford to take for granted that Conner will score at career average over this period. On the other hand, I can’t think of any reason for the NHL to want to influence the outcome of these games. IMO the league wants the illusion of parity and they want exciting playoff races, so my best guess is the officiating last night reflected the League’s desires – Calgary’s loss more or less ended their participation in the playoff race and reduced the illusion of parity. I don’t really see what the NHL has to gain from the outcome of these Edm/Van games.
This is just my current working theory of how the NHL works. We’ll see how well it holds up.

leadfarmer

Demko is the only reason that they won’t finish last in the division
They will probably fall to most shots against per game given up in the league

Keeper_13

A good goalie can conceal a multitude of sins. FWIW most of my immediate family are Nucks fans so I am ok with the Nucks doing ok because it will make people I love happy. I don’t follow the Nucks, am mad enough at the NHL that I don’t watch non-Oilers games unless with a group of people, and you know, covid. Totally get why some are angry at the fanbase, some of them can be really annoying. And none of us ever are! 😉

Reja

Canuck fans are pathetic who boos Team Canada off the ice against the evil Commies. The Canuck fair weather fan base cursed themselves of ever winning the Stanley Cup.

jm363561

Oilers fans booed Doug Weight.

Reja

They also booed Coffey Messier and Fuhr on a few occasions no comparisons to the 72 series where it was good vs evil you obviously weren’t born yet. There wasn’t more than handful of folks that didn’t watch the final game Ask anyone over 55 where they were when Henderson scored and they’ll give you a response in 2 seconds.

Last edited 13 days ago by Reja
pts2pndr

I have lived in B.C for the last 16 years. I deal with Vancouver fans on a regular basis. A loyal fan does not trash another fans team. A true fan of the Canucks would not be on a site that is largely an Oiler fan base site as he would sooner discuss his team with other like minded people. As I tell my friends that are Vancouver fans I believe that Vancouver is building a good young team. HH is a bandwagon fan who jumps on board with whatever team is having success at the time. He derives pleasure by making asinine statements solely to piss people off. It is not the least sportsmanlike. He does this to make himself feel superior. If he is an adolescent he needs to grow up and come back when he does. If he is an adult he should cease and desist with his adolescent behaviour.

JimmyV1965

What’s truly scary is they may make the playoffs next year. The pacific division will be the worst by far. Can’t even begin to contemplate how many points McDavid will get next year.

leadfarmer

Yeah the quality of the division is going to be very poor. 2 of the teams would probably not make it in a different division
sharks kings ducks are rebuilding (or if you are sharks you should be)
Flames probably close to tearing it down
I don’t think the Kraken are going to be as lucky as Vegas
so that leaves Coyotes and Nucks

Westley

If Sam Bennett can get 13pts in nine games 13 in 7 should be a breeze for McDavid…

JimmyV1965

We are so very lucky. McDavid and Drai. Wow

OriginalPouzar

Bad teams go on good streaks.

The nucks went on a 6-2-1 streak which was not representative of their season before or after – they were on a heater and then fell back down to earth and are playing like the team they are.

The Oilers likely will not sweep the Canucks – Demko is a good goalie and he could steal a game, Smith or Mikko could crap the bed for a game, etc.

winchester

There was ample time this year for Oilers to assess the taxi squad for performance.

In hindsight, with emergence of Macloud, should Benson and Marody have received more time to showcase their game?

Seemed like the last two years of they didn’t get a lot of time.

Based on Macleod’s Play , I am left wondering who they would be better than in today’s line up and taxi squad.

This is slightly nitpicking. However, looking at last nights line up, I’m glad Khaira, Kassian and Ennis should still be available.

DevilsLettuce

Does McLeod know he’s surrounded by imposters looking to take his title?

winchester

Typical high end goal scorers tend to float a little in and out of the slot and look for space, you generally don’t find them at a standstill in front of the net.

Thus Yamamoto when playing with Leon and Connor finds himself as the net front guy. He has NHL strengths but standing in front of the net taking a beating is not one of them.

Jessie P, playing the same role has a much better time in front of the net.

Yamamoto is good, forecheck and quickness huge strengths, but I don’t love him as the third wheel with the two stars.

I don’t see this is who should be the third wheel. The line up should start with two top centers split up, then divy up the wingers.

Keeper_13

I like Yams too much to be dispassionate about evaluating him. If I was any higher on him the cops would be kicking down my door. He is Rey Mysterio – wee little undersized shrimp who competes with heavyweights, holds his own, and, sometimes, wins. Really hope he has a long career here in Edmonton.

jm363561

I agree with all you say but right now Yamo is no more or less effect than Archibald. I wonder what they will pay him.

Munny

After last night, I’m beginning to wonder how Nuge would look at 3C…

Only half seriously. I don’t think there’s a better option on the roster.

But to my eye, he was the weakest link on L2.

meanashell11

No, he was not.

Munny

Who did you have as the weakest of the trio?

At least eight people have disagreed so far and not one has had the balls to say.

Last edited 13 days ago by Munny
OriginalPouzar

Coach T. states that Khaira is likely to return to the lineup this week – great news.

Keeper_13

I’ll light a candle for him the first game he’s back on the ice. Take care of your brain, Jujhar!

OriginalPouzar

I trust the team doctors (the same doctors that were very careful with Matt Benning last year and very careful with Ethan Bear this year). There is absolutely no reason to rush the player back given the standings situation and I trust the team is not.

Victoria Oil

Since meanashell11 brought up the Larsson-Gator comparison earlier today, I thought I would update the Gator Cup standings. Larsson has fallen from 1st to 3rd over the last month, while Nurse is tied for 10th.

Player Hits Blocks Total
Radko Gudas 229 63 292
Jani Hakanpaa 200 78 278
Adam Larsson 154 120 274
Rasmus Ristolainen 176 60 236
Nikita Zadorov 169 67 236
Mario Ferraro 146 82 228
Jamie Oleksiak 135 82 217
David Savard 117 100 217
Nikita Zaitsev 106 95 201
Darnell Nurse 111 86 197
Connor Murphy 91 106 197
Neal Pionk 126 69 195
Jacob Trouba 111 84 195
Esa Lindell 99 95 194
Brenden Dillon 133 57 190
Seth Jones 98 91 189
Justin Faulk 113 76 189
Alec Martinez 37 150 187
MacKenzie Weegar 111 76 187

Last edited 13 days ago by Victoria Oil
meanashell11

Look at those blocks. I will take those over hits!

Redbird62

Larsson, unlike many of the others on this list, is highly ranked in both categories not just in the combined ranking. All the players that hit a more or a similar amount to Larsson are way behind him in shot blocks. And other D who are high in blocked shots are well behind him in hits. He does both at a high end.

That hitting is a real dilemma for fore-checking forwards, dump it behind the net, only to have Smith play it, or dump it in the corner and get pasted by Larsson (or now Kulikov). Fun times.

Keeper_13

Love the Gator Cup, wish it was a real thing at the NHL awards!

Woogie63

As play-offs start, weirdly, I like to see the future stars that make up the Black Aces. These guys hang around and skate after the practice is over but get to be around a play-off team for a few weeks/month.

With expanded rosters and Covid measures, I am not sure if the Blacks Aces will be a thing this year.

How if we could build 6 Black Aces we would have a terrific set of athletes.

Bouchard
Broberg
Holloway
Benson
McLeod
Skinner/Konovalo

pts2pndr

That’s a talented group of young players and why I am excited to be an Oiler fan.

Ice Sage

Add Savoie

Reja

Connor Leon and Hollaway my dream line how do you stop that line it’s to bad Hollaway broke his thumb. There’s no doubt in my mind he would of been our secret weapon in the playoffs. When you have Turner Valley beef that’s the envy of the world you don’t marinate it.

OriginalPouzar

I look forward to reading this but, from my views of the Condors, Lavoie is not close – lots of work to do away from the puck, on conditioning and on skating.

Lots of players of this pedigree learn a lot in their first AHL seasons and come back much more ready for the pro game after an off-season of real training and knowledge.

DevilsLettuce

I watch Jones in the defensive zone and left convinced he needs to dedicate himself to the gym. Him and Bear are very similar size, yet it seems like Bear has 5x the torso strength in the battle.

Imo don’t think much will be lost if the Kraken take him, don’t see him elevating past a fringe defender at this point.

Solly

I agree with you completely. The love for Jones on here is unfounded and he doesn’t deserve it. There isn’t anything in his game that makes it a hard decision to sit him…he’s an ok player but he’s not an everyday NHLer. He makes mistakes that cost goals and doesn’t seem to acknowledge or fix them. His abilities are easily replaceable.
I would be happy for the Kraken to take him…we would be losing a player at a position of very good depth for us. I worry more when the Kraken realize this (Francis probably has, he’s very smart) and start looking at other guys. I have a weird feeling Archie would be a very good player to take from us. I really hope they don’t…he’s probably our best bottom-6 player right now.

Keeper_13

IMO if Seattle talks themselves out of taking Jones it’ll be because they took Lagesson, took Benson, or we swung some kind of deal with them. Also, maybe worth comparing Darnell Nurse at 23 years old to Darnell Nurse at 26 years old. Jones isn’t a finished project yet.

Solly

Ideally, Kraken take a LHD from us as we have plenty of depth there. Lagesson or Jones can be replaced instantly.
Benson might be a rough loss but he hasn’t proven to be able to play in the NHL yet (fault of our own?) so taking him is a big risk for Seattle. I can’t see them taking that risk.
Archie has all the tools that are desirable…he hits, he’s fast, and he can score goals. His contract is cheap and he can PK. If they take him, we lose a lot more than we think.
I’m not going to compare Nurse to Jones…Nurse has always had raw, high-end talent with a ceiling of a #1 D-man. Jones does not.

OriginalPouzar

I look for the Kraken to sign Barrie during the “talking period” and use their Oiler choice that way.

Seems highly unlikely but that’s is more hope.

godot10

But the Kraken have an analytics department, so I have very little hope that this would happen.

Reja

It’s quite possible Francis needs a QB for the PP and Barrie is perfect for the Kraken.

Keeper_13

Agreed that Jones does not have Nurse’s pedigree, but sometimes the mutts end up winning the race. I wasn’t trying to say “Jones = Nurse”, I was inviting you to consider the difference between “23 year old Nurse” and “26 year old Nurse”. Let’s pretend we’re EA sports and Nurse gained 10 points to his overall rating in those years. Let’s pretend further that Jones will gain another 10 points to his overall rating in the next 3 years. How long of a career do you think that pretend version of Caleb Jones would have? Who would you want him to have that career for? Granted there is a lot of pretending happening, we could also pretend the bottom falls out of Jones next year and we end up being happy Seattle took him. Personally, I don’t know what the odds are here, I’m just uncomfortably aware of the possibilities.
I agree with your assessment of LHD being our deepest position of strength, I had just always hoped we would be making trade deals from that position to improve our team instead of losing that depth to expansion.
Good point about Archie, I hadn’t thought about that.

Solly

Sure, he could gain 10 EA points…but keeping Jones in the lineup for 3 more years will be taking away valuable time from guys like Sammy/Broberg’s development time. They will need to get into the lineup in the next 2 years to reach their potentials. I don’t think giving Jones that time to develop helps our team’s overall potential.
We’ll have to lose somebody to expansion so a trade with Jones involved would have given the Kraken an easier job of cherry picking one of our other better prospects/players.

By watching every game this season and last, I don’t see or feel like Jones is deserving of that development time. A veteran LHD can be acquired at little cost to fill his vacancy.

who

Archie can score goals?
That’s a pretty optimistic take.
Good 4th line player, but he wouldn’t be a big loss if Seattle took him.

Redbird62

A 23 year old Nurse had already earned his way to ~280 NHL games, and in the same season Jones is in now, (2018/19 for Nurse – they are only 2 years apart, not 3) was playing almost 24 minutes a night in all situations, scored 41 points, and was already filling in as the number one guy every time Klefbom was hurt. There were Edmonton fans, including many on this board who for some unfathomable reason believed the Oilers could move on from Nurse, because they had Jones coming up. Caleb Jones will never at any point in he career, ever be a long term adequate replacement for what Darnell Nurse can do. My guess is Jones’ baseline is that he can carve out a career as 5/6 guy who has occasional runs in the top 4 with an upside to be a 3/4 defenseman for a few seasons. His play so far this year does nothing to indicate otherwise.

pts2pndr

I read a mock draft of the Kraken that had them taking Benson. There are a number of teams that will be leaving D off their protected list so there will be a large group to select from. It will be fun to see who they select.

Fuge Udvar

That second line has promise but they don’t have the center depth to run 4 centers in the top 6. I feel like that was just a trial run for when they load Draisaitl with McDavid. I doubt we will see that deployment when protecting a lead in playoffs.

McCleod at 3C really balances the lines out. I like Haas and he has a lot of tools but just doesn’t create enough chances in the offensive zone.

cowboy bill

It might be different when JJ returns. Then they can run that 14 , 15 , 16 line .

Clarkenstein

The way Yamamoto has been playing there is zero chance Seattle claims him if he’s left unprotected. This team has to get meaner, bigger and tougher and here is one position that needs for that to happen. I would expose Jones. He’s turning into a good young D man but in these drafts you will lose someone you didn’t want to. He’s replaceable imo. McLeod will score 50 points in this league…soon.

treevojo

Yamamoto gets taken in a nanosecond by Seattle if left unprotected

Harpers Hair

His connection to the Pacific Northwest would be a great marketing tool for the Kraken.

Reja

You think Francis gives a flying eff about that Francis is the 5th all time leading scorer no ones pressuring him to take Yamo. You’ll be surprised how Francis builds his team.

godot10

I’d leave Yamamoto unprotected for the Kraken if they also agreed to take Kassian for a 7th round pick.

pts2pndr

Yamamoto is a fore checking demon. He is having a sophomore jinx. He has value and what he brings at his cap hit is very difficult to replace.

Harpers Hair

He’s a RFA.

What would you pay him?

flea

It’s going to be a bridge deal, 1.5-2.0M over a couple seasons

OriginalPouzar

100% Seattle would claim Yamamoto if left unprotected (in my opinion)

Zero chance the Oilers don’t protect Yamamoto (in my opinion)

Yamamoto has a 2nd RW ceiling but may be better suited to a middle six winger that PKs, plays PP2 (if there ever is such a thing on this team) and can move up. In time, perhaps the Oilers have the depth for that (Lavoie, Savoie, outside acquisition, etc.)

Kailer’s second contract shouldn’t be tough – similar to Bear’s second contract – 2 years with an AAV around $2M.

Harpers Hair

An interesting comparison is Nils Hoglander.

Both undersized wingers playing in the top 6.

Both speedy and tenacious along the boards and both likely more suited to third line duties when roster construction permits.

And their counting stats this season are almost idententical.

Ice Sage

Disagree, he’s practically a home-town Seattle kid entering his prime and fun to watch. This is exactly the kind of emerging player Vegas stocked up on (Karlsson, Marchessault, etc)

Last edited 13 days ago by Ice Sage
Solly

Regardless of Yamo’s regression (in stats) this year…we have almost zero RW depth. He will be cheap for the next few years and he became a part of one of the most effective lines in hockey in his NHL debut. The guy gives everything he has every game and I am shocked he hasn’t been injured more often. Gritty, hard-working, durable, and relentless.

He is a must-protect on this team.

If the Kraken want him, they can pay for him…in gold bars and #1 draft picks.

Keeper_13

Posted this on ON, hoping for more feedback. Exciting hockey did happen, but for me, how zebras manage games is becoming clearer. This is not to complain about refs, it is me trying to understand what the real rules are, not the pretend ones they put in the rule book. Like any good sophont, if my umbrella isn’t keeping the warm, yellow, stinky rain off my back, I start trying to find out why that is.

Watched the game late. Started out keeping notes on the game, scrubbed them to spending the game thinking about the refs. These were typed in real time.

That penalty on Bear in the 1st was game management. Refs saw Edmonton was destroying Calgary so gave them a BS penalty to break up their momentum. Seriously, that push by Bear has been allowed for years. I know this because I don’t want it to be allowed and it drives me nuts and it happens fifty times per game. If you are planning to gamble on the NHL… maybe buy lottery tickets instead?  

Not very impressed with the penalty on Nurse, but it is a penalty. Just frustrating to contrast it with the garbage the NHL lets go *some* times, for *some* reason, for *some* players, in *some* situations. Why do they do this? If they have a good reason, why do they keep it secret? It is a mystery.

Now is the intermission. Refs had their thumb on the scale that period and it wasn’t even subtle. They completely changed the momentum and character of the game. Flames were getting smoked like a doobie in Vancouver, after those penalties they were holding their own. Players should be the ones deciding games, not referees.  If the refs didn’t get involved this could be a 6-0 game, Edmonton was outplaying them and outchancing them that badly.

Draisaitl was tripped on the PP right in front of the ref, caused a turnover and a clear, no call. The rule book doesn’t say that you’re allowed to trip people if you are shorthanded. If a game is not played by the rules, is it fair?  

Two blatant noncalls favouring Calgary around 8-7 minutes left in the third, first interference on Yams (passes the puck to someone, tries to go for a skate, is cross checked), then the most obvious blatant slewfoot in the world on Leon. Dirty play, shameful, super obvious, you could have seen it from low orbit and if you didn’t see it you should have called a dive on Leon cause if there was no penalty holy crap he sure made it look like there was. Refs have their thumb on the scale in this game big time. Is the NHL trying to decide the outcome of this game without being obvious about it? If they were, how would we know? If they were, would it look… exactly like this?

Somebody must have leaned on the announcers cause they ain’t saying jack about the refs. Just described that trip as a “fall”.

No surprise this is getting testy. Tempers are flaring. Haha talking heads are talking about how the flames have to be disciplined, can’t take a penalty, for all the world as though they think the refs would call one. Super uninterested in this “Flames are so strong bwah Edmonton needs to stand up for themselves” narrative. Edmonton is plenty big and strong, but Ethan Bear gets a penalty for what has become a normal hockey play and Lucic gets to run around slewfooting stars. Being bigger doesn’t protect you from referees!

I turned the game off after the first empty netter. Glad we won but that wasn’t a fair game at all.

DevilsLettuce

The refs have never gotten past McDavid pointing to the jumbo tron.

Keeper_13

That was glorious. Not very smart though 🙂

cowboy bill

Oilers won and they will be stronger for it . I haven’t heard the Oilers sniveling about the refs , only the fans .

Keeper_13

If you read that as sniveling, I would respectfully ask you to read it again. I am trying to understand why the refs call, and don’t call, the game the way they do.
Also, if you watch the refs interfere with games and then mock fans who point it out, you are just as much part of the problem as the refs are. Just a thought.

pts2pndr

Factual commentary that the refereeing left much to be desired is not sniveling. Nor can it be denied that game management was on full display. This is a sad commentary for a league that claims to be professional!

€√¥£€^$

You are correct, but I decided to stop worrying about that and just try to enjoy the game.

It almost broke me in 2016 when Benoit Pouliot got called for a cross check in an away game vs LA. He was in the Ozone at the LW boards by the circle right in full view of the ref, where he made contact with an LA Dman with his stick across his body, but it didn’t seem like much of an impact. Later in the period in the exact same location and with the same ref in the same position, Pouliot gets cross checked hard from behind and he fell heavily into the boards and onto the ice. No call.

When Pouliot did it, the guy stayed on his feet and was kind of just guided into the boards.

After this I thought for sure the refs had it in for him personally and I commented about that here. I’ve given up on this, and with the Oilers being a much better team, I can focus on their success and not be so concerned about my team getting cheated.

This game management reffing philosophy is is an awful and flawed thing for sure. I remember my dad always commenting in the Oilers early days about how games were fixed and he was only a casual fan.

Harpers Hair

There is (and always has) been a different standard for defensemen when it comes to cross checking.

While the rule book doesn’t explicitly spell it out, the refs will allow defensemen to whack players but they don’t allow forwards the same latitude and often call a penalty on a push.

€√¥£€^$

I see it this way, as well

Keeper_13

Agreed this has been going on for a while. If the NHL wants it this way, that’s cool. They are a privately owned, for-profit business and they can be as kayfabe as they want. However, they are also involved in gambling on the outcomes of matches. This is a clear conflict of interest. Would we let Vince McMahon do business with people taking bets on who was going to win the belt? Seems like there would be a lot of potential for criminal financial activity if we did.

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

I am confused by this logic that assumes the mob (Vegas) wants fair games? Aside from the fantasy that gangsters prefer honest matches, is it not more likely that they are actually in on the scam. Having inside info on which team is favored by the refs is kinda beneficial no? Enjoy the “game” but be under no illusions that it’s sport. It’s not. So I guess that makes me a smark.

Last edited 13 days ago by Paddy Morans Jockstrap
Keeper_13

This is a good point, and makes me think of kayfabe in wrestling before the Montreal Screwjob blew kayfabe apart. The WWF, as it was at the time, saw their fanbase as composed of “marks” and “smarks”. The “marks” are the ones who believe the matches are not scripted. The “smarks” (for “smart mark”) are the ones who know it’s scripted but choose to enjoy it anyway.
In the WWF, keyfabe was the illusion that the wrestlers were the ones who decided who wins and who loses, and the illusion that the storylines were real.
Are we at a point where we can say that in the NHL, keyfabe is the illusion that referees are not being secretly told to change the outcome of matches?
For more info on kayfabe: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Kayfabe
Warning: That site is a time sink.

JimmyV1965

Reffing is garbage. Teams with fast, skilled guys will always pay the price for crappy reffing. Thought the Bear penalty was a penalty. He actually grabbed the guy.

€√¥£€^$

Agreed 100%

Keeper_13

Agreed, but I don’t think the problem is the referees. I think the refereeing is exactly the way the League wants it to be, and we can change the individual zebras out however we want, we will continue to get more or less the same results.

€√¥£€^$

After dwelling more on this than I expected, NHL officiating is extremely problematic.

It’s been raised here before about how NBA games are not managed and that stars in that league get the benefit of the doubt greater than 85+% of the time.

Do NHL stars get the same treatment, nope. Do they even get 20% of the calls? I wonder if anyone has been tracking this with McDavid? I wonder why the NHL has a problem with this concept?

Finally, my last thought on this and why I am posting. If the NHL thinks “game management”, rather than following the rulebook is the best way to call a game, how does that make the NHL any different from the WWE?

OriginalPouzar

With respect to cross-checking, a few reports re: the recent GM meetings on this.

The NHL does want to crack down on cross-checking but expressly permit “more latitude” in front of the net.

It was “hilarious” that these reports came out like the day before Nesterov’s cross-check to McDavid’s chest on the rush – that went uncalled.

Keeper_13

From Mr. Friedman:

20. On cross-checking, GMs were reminded of the standard: a push versus a punch with the stick. The former is okay, the latter is not. There’s a little more latitude in front of the net as opposed to elsewhere on the ice. There is supposed to be an allowance for net-front battling, which is where the subjectivity comes in and makes some people crazy.

Now that we know what the standard is, get ready to see it ignored all the time, and get ready to see the League pretend it isn’t being ignored all the time, and get ready to be mocked or gaslighted if you have the temerity to point out what’s going on.
What is the point in the NHL clarifying a rule if they aren’t even going to *try* to interpret it consistently?

Neumann

There are many definitions of a cross check. Depends on the sport and the level of play.

Youth box lacrosse = place and push.
Mens box lacrosse = hit with the stick as hard as you want between the shoulders and hips and not on the back.
youth field lacrosse = push with both hands together, ref can’t see any stick between the hands
Mens field lacrosse = somewhere between place and push with a hand distance gap and full on cross check.

OriginalPouzar

OK, fair enough, however from having played hockey, and having watched NHL hockey, for apx 40 years, I think I have a good sense of what’s considered a “crosscheck” in NHL hockey.

OriginalPouzar

Of note, Leavins says Koekkoek should be ready for game action in about a week.

That’s good news, depth never hurts, but I hope that Tippett/Playfair don’t have him penciled in as an every day guy – really, to me, there is a 4-way battle for 3LD on any given night right now – Jones, Russell, Lagesson, Koekkoek.

I know most on here prefer Jones, as do I, however, he does make mistakes on the pinch and in the neutral zone that seem to result in goals – all d-men make mistakes that cost goals but these are noticeable for the coach and there is likely a trust thing there.

I don’t think Koekkoek is “very good” – he did kick our ass in the play-in and he was noticeable in a good way in the first week of the season but, after that, he’s essentially Kris Russell, no?

Bank Shot

Isn’t Jones a poor man’s Russell at this point as well?

I mean he doesn’t post offence and he certainly isn’t better defensively. He’s a little bigger, but still seems a little undersized on the back end.

I don’t mind Caleb at 3 LD but it seems he gets a lot of love that is somewhat underserved for a tweener. Like Benning and Marincin before him, it seems his fanbase is bigger than his results.

Jones seems like a fringe guy we fall for because we are fans of the team. My last one was Caggiula.

Last edited 13 days ago by Bank Shot
pts2pndr

In fairness Jones is a plus skater and an excellent passer. He is equal or better than Russel in these two areas. Russel is a gamer who will do whatever it takes up to and including sacrificing his body to block shots. They have different skill sets and attributes. Russel is at the twilight of his career. Jones requires more time to work on his defensive awareness and risk management. They both have value when used correctly. At this time Jones does not have the experience to fill a top four D role even though the skill set is excellent.

Keeper_13

I agree that Jones’ game has flaws, but I think that *if* he puts it together he’s got a fairly high ceiling. No idea what those odds are, but I pucker up a little at the thought of losing Jones for nothing.

Sierra

“Puljujarvi has been irritating Calgary defensemen all night with his relentless forecheck”

I wonder how many times Jesse used Gio’s own line on him and told him to back to the gym.

Last edited 13 days ago by Sierra
cowboy bill

I worry about Yamamoto’s size . He seems to get squashed like a bug quite easily and since the physicality has been ramped up he can’t compete at his usual level. He’s going to get hurt and we aren’t going to see him in the playoffs. Good thing Kassian will get back ready to roll .

Keeper_13

Buddy is made of cartoonium. No matter what you do to him he pops right back up again.

OriginalPouzar

Some in my timeline took the line shuffle as a demotion for JP, but I think Tippett wanted to give Yamamoto a push.

I think it was a function of, if the top line is loaded up, McLeod/Nuge “need” Jesse more than Connor and Leon. Jesse can help drive that 2nd line, can help transport the puck, can help create chaos in the offensive zone, etc. Drai/McDavid don’t really need anything in particular and Jesse is needed on line 2 to balance that line – no offence to Yamamoto but Jesse’s game is more driver than Kailers.

cowboy bill

It helps that Jesse is 10 inches taller and 50 pounds heavier.

OriginalPouzar

I think its important that McLeod post a production stat in the next couple of games. He’s clearly playing well. The coach clearly thinks he’s playing well. At the same time, not matter how many kudos the coach can (and does) give, the kid’s confidence will likely start to crater if he goes pointless for a while longer.

Keeper_13

For me, it’s about the process more than the boxcars. I see him doing lots of things that contribute to success. Fair point about confidence though.

OriginalPouzar

Yamamoto taking a fair bit of heat on the post-game show last night (TSN) and in Oil Country in general. I’m not sure what to make of it.

Harpers Hair

Pretty simple…lack of production while playing with a couple of the best players on the planet.

His shooting percentage last season was a predictable mirage.

Keeper_13

Sometimes we eat our own 🙁

Oilman99

Due to his unrealistic numbers posted last season, Yamamoto is being over rated. He works his ass off, but the heavier the other teams play, the more he struggles to compete, he gets bounced around like a rubber ball.

leadfarmer

https://twitter.com/jfreshhockey/status/1388879050874236937?s=21

with Ehlers gone this is why I everyone wants to play the Jets in the first round
Blake Wheeler is terrible in his own end at this stage in his career

Keeper_13

To be fair, who do you think we’ll get better reffing against – the Jets, or the Habs?

Harpers Hair

Which city is the biggest TV market?

There’s your answer.

Reja

Leafs vs Oilers match up is a wet dream for Sportsnet viewership.

Harpers Hair

Leafs vs Montreal would dwarf that matchup.

Quebec is a much larger TV market and there are literally millions of Habs fans across the country.

Keeper_13

There is some truth to that, but by that logic the Leafs would be the most favoured team in the league. I think there is more to it than that – hockey history, volatility of the fanbase, personal relationships, which team has more “made men”, how much scrutiny there is at the moment, whose win would “grow the sport” (ie get more American fans), etc.

Harpers Hair

New York and Toronto are the centres of the hockey universe.

With the Rangers out, the Islanders will have to carry the NY banner but a Toronto run to the Cup would attract the most eyeballs by far.

Unfortunately, some of the best teams in the league are likely to be eliminated in the second round with the potential for poor markets like Carolina and Florida advancing.

Keeper_13

I think the NHL believes the Canadian fanbase will watch no matter what, so they have less to gain from a Leafs Cup run than from, say, a Vegas Cup run.
On a completely unrelated note, remember that time the refs made a bad call that hurt Vegas in the playoffs, and the League addressed their concerns? When is the last time the League addressed the concerns of any Canadian fanbase? If the League had felt like it already had Vegas’ fanbase in the bag, do you think they would have addressed their concerns?

Harpers Hair

Thing is, there are millions of bandwagon fans who only come out when their team is winning and there are millions of them in Leaf Nation.

Sure, Vegas is a nice story but their ability to attract a fan base on a national level is seriously impaired by the sheer number of teams in the US and the relatively small size of the Vegas local market.

There is also more fragmentation of audience numbers south of the border since there are numerous competing sports like the NBA and MLB to contend with.

While the Jays and Raptors are distractions, a Leafs cup run would easily push them aside.

Harpers Hair

The Toronto/Hamilton area has nearly 8 million TV households.

Vegas has only 743 thousand.

And of course, the Leafs have many more fans from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island.

They’re like cockroaches.

Keeper_13

You’re probably right I guess. Seems to me the League has been all about growing the game in America since the Gretzky trade, but sometimes you get a theory in your head and then everything seems to confirm it. Like a bias of some sort 😛

Harpers Hair

A Sunday morning treat for y’all.

There is a new director’s cut of the iconic Prince performance of While My Guitar Gently weeps and it s even more mind blowing than the original.

Theres a link to the YouTube video in the linked story.

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/music/story/2021-04-29/prince-rock-hall-of-fame-while-my-guitar-gently-weeps-directors-cut?_amp=true&__twitter_impression=true

Gamma Cassiopeiae

Brilliant! Thanks for this!

Harpers Hair

While watching it for the third or fourth time, I started thinking that performance is analogous to the way Connor McDavid plays hockey.

Prince was surrounded by a group of certain Rock and Roll Hall of Famers and then had an historic “hold my beer” interlude.

The new director’s cut does a much better job of showing how the other players reacted.

Tom Petty actually grinned!

Bohologo

Everyone should watch that solo, it’s mesmerizing.

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/22/magazine/prince-andthe-competition.html

“On occasions like this one, Prince’s performances had a way of shifting from show business as usual — a star’s prerogative to entertain and strut his stuff — into the realm of pure blood sport.”

Wilde

why do people like this one so much, is it the fan-service-esque crossover-episode effect that’s seemingly going to grip people forever? prince always had chops and is the best entertainer on stage there; it’s gotta be people just not knowing he’s a good guitar player?

Harpers Hair

Good does not begin to describe that performance.

Wilde

Prince is… one of the best musicians of all time? Again, did you not know who he was? Also I’m curious, do you play?

Harpers Hair

Yes he is and yes I did but that performance was other worldly and has been recognized as such by the entire music industry.

No I don’t play but have spent decades both listening to and broadcasting some of the best guitarists who have ever lived in all genres.

Wilde

I’m having trouble breaking through this basic quesrtion: What’s the difference between this and Prince being Prince any other night, except who else was there on stage bringing people outside of his regular listenership through the youtube algorithm? I’ve even seen this performance framed more often as “wow I didn’t know Prince could play guitar this well” more often than any other way.

I’m not asking in bad faith, you don’t have to cite credentials. There wouldn’t be any competition there. No one’s ever been available on a platform for me to do this interrogation with any practicality before, that’s all.

Bag of Pucks

I would suspect there’s an element of people who otherwise don’t appreciate Prince’s music seeing his talent reframed in this classic rock context. Plus a new generation of folks who didn’t witness his original emergence as a soloist with his unaccompanied solo in Let’s Go Crazy realizing that yup, Prince practiced.

Wilde

I think you’re right, it’s also people registering the unlikelihood of the guy who’s writing everybody else’s hits, putting out ridiculously stacked and full albums, and is a very bad man with a singular set of charisma and (effortless!) gravitas who is an excellent, serious performer also making the time to keep in that kind of shape on guitar and to know exactly how hard to go with it. It sort of boggles the mind, so I can see people not expecting it.

It’s a great performance on a dream setup; just not (and entirely on a different track from) a virtuoso play of the actual guitar itself. In fact it’s probably better off as such, wide-hog open pull-offs and all, rather than mindless shredding or something.

Bag of Pucks

Prince definitely steps up under the spotlight here, but I would also point out that playing pentatonic licks over an A minor vamp puts almost every rock guitarist in the perfect wheelhouse to shine. There’s nothing revelatory about his phrasing here but he plays with energy and showmanship and that’s half the battle.

While My Guitar Gently Weeps is the perfect song for developing players to practice their solo chops. The simple 3 fret modulation from A minor to A major was a Clapton trademark at the time and I wonder if Harrison already had Eric in mind when he wrote the song? An interesting life choice. A dude covets your wife and you gift him with the quintessential perfect platform for melodic guitar riffery.

KnightRain

I remember reading an article years ago when a reporter asked Eric Clapton what it was like to be the best guitarist alive. Eric replied “I don’t know. Why don’t you go ask Prince.” lol At the time I honestly didn’t realize Prine was any good. I now know better…

Wilde

As someone who repeatedly cites Eric Clapton’s praise to defend the honour of another certain wildly underrated guitarist, I believe that story is apocryphal especially because the timeline wouldn’t match up

Bag of Pucks

Sorry, a post like this definitely activates the guitar nerd in me but another thing I enjoyed in this clip is the simply open string pulloffs that Prince plays. That’s a total flash move that most guitar players would avoid as cliche while forgetting that it totally impresses the chicks! What’s more rock & roll than that?

You can connect the dots on those type of licks from Robert Johnson to Buddy Guy to Angus Young. It puts a smile on my face to think that Prince could have copped an Angus lick and why wouldn’t you? The Highway to Hell starts at the Crossroads.

Keeper_13

NOTHING is more rock & roll than impressing the chicks! In the immortal words of Gord Downie: “They’re all for the ladies… but this one’s for the ladies.”

Cape Breton Oilers 4EVR

Barrie earned extra points on my scorecard for spearing Tkachuck in the junk last night. If he doesn’t do that, guaranteed that dirtbag finds a way to stumble into the crease and land on Smith in an international “accident.” Might have been Barrie’s best play of the year. Just imagine Smith gets hurt in that game, and we have to watch Tkachuck try to fight off the smirk in the interviews as he says it was no intent on his part. Great job by Barrie to head that catastrophe off at the pass!

GordieHoweHatTrick

You mean “head that off in the pants”

Keeper_13

I did not know Barrie had that in him – first he throws a crosscheck knowing Tkachuk’s gonna skate just about chin-first into it, then the hook/spear, then when Matt gets up to slash him Barrie’s already getting in his face. Don’t want to see an Oiler doing stuff like that unless it’s to Tkachuk, or Marchand, or Perry, or someone like that.

Reja

This isn’t Barrie’s first rodeo glad to see him have a edge, he’s going to need it if we’re going deep.

Woogie63

IMO

The Oilers are a better team when 29 and 97 are split up.

The Oilers are missing Kassian and JJK, right now, they are too small to cycle down low, the current team sends the puck to the point instead of cycling below the dot. Which course every defender wants.

We are in garbage time – Jones needs to play error free hockey or hope a NHL HC writes off a major mistake per game to a young player learning the game … not likely.

93-71-13 doesn’t score enough to be a NHL second line.

pts2pndr

Small sample size!

JimmyV1965

Edmonton becomes a true contender when McDavid and Drai no longer start games together. Coaches will always reunite them situationally. Maybe we’re not good enough right now to separate them at the start. Maybe not.

Pretendergast

I know it’s not relevant to this blog, but I’m always game for a good razzing.

Rick Dhaliwal
@DhaliwalSports
·
51m

Nikita Tryamkin has signed in KHL for 2 years.

#Canuck tried to re-sign him but the 2 sides could not agree to terms.

After 2 years, Tryamkin is no longer VAN property.

Harpers Hair

He wanted too much money and a guaranteed role.

With the emergence of Juolevi and Jack Rathbone in the bullpen, the Canucks were right to walk away.

Derek

“Juolevi is emerging as a third pairing defenseman 5 years after we drafted him so we can afford to lose assets what with this absolute embarrassment of riches”

Harpers Hair

phhhtt..
Juolevi lost almost two full seasons to injury and is on a clear path to replace Edler sooner than later.

Losing the rights to a 27 year old who walked out on the team previously is far from a catastrophe.

Bank Shot

Why sign the next Chara when you already have the next Norris winner in Brafferty?

OriginalPouzar

Juolevi is playing 42% of his time against Gritensity and 28% against elites, his relative numbers are negative in all areas.

If that’s the “Edler replacement”, I look forward to this match-up for years to come.

Rathborne “emerging” – well, he has played a total of zero NHL games – quite to emergency – may be a little cart before the horsse.

Harpers Hair

Not surprising he is being broken in on a third pairing…isn’t that what you have been harping on over and over about Bouchard?

Yes, he is somewhat under water in FF% 47% like the rest of the team, but the goal share with him on the ice is 55.56%.

https://www.naturalstattrick.com/playerreport.php?fromseason=20202021&thruseason=20202021&stype=2&sit=5v5&stdoi=oi&rate=n&v=p&playerid=8479355

Woodguy v2.0

“Jones can’t let Gaudreau behind him and certainly can’t let the puck get by.”

It was Tkachuk who got behind him, Gaudreau scored on the rebound.

That is the exact play that kept him out of the line up before and he didn’t see much TOI after it last night.

If Jones get’s that play out of his game I think he plays everyday, but so far he can’t kill it.

Has to be frustrating for the coaches too. How many times do you have to show the video and say “this is your biggest sin, never do it again” and it keeps showing up time and again.

Sierra

If Jones get’s that play out of his game I think he plays everyday

Agreed

Our Edmonton Operation

When the play happened in real time, I didn’t see the LHD defenceman who let Tkachuk get past him but I thought, “I’ll bet that it was Jones”, since he’s done it before. Sure enough on the replay, it was Jones.

jm363561

Yep, my thought exactly.

Woodguy v2.0

The Apache Seed North Division standings May 2nd using points percentage shown as points over/under fake Bettman .500

TOR +20
EDM+13
WPG +7
MTL + 5
CGY -3
VAN -4
OTT -8

jtblack

Lots can happen but TOR – EDM division final is “likely”. Would be a treat to watch that series

Derek

You and I must’ve watched different TOR – EDM games this season.

Woodguy v2.0

EDM Goal Share after 49 games (30-17-2)

Even strength (5v5,4v4,3v3)
97 w/o 29 (28-28)-50%
29 w/o 97 (22-16)-58%
97 & 29 On (29-12)-71%
Turris(7-17)-29%
Other (18-27)-40%
Net EV +4

Special Teams:43-29
Net ST +14

Empty Net:11-2
Net EN +9

SO/PS 0-0
Net SO/PS 0

Net Goal Diff +27

maudite

That EN differential is such a relief after years of just a dreaded bunker scramble in defensive zone. Game changing difference this year.

N64

Jets have one games left against a playoff team. (Leafs) Habs have 5. three with Leafs and then they close the season with a pair with the Oil. If 3rd is in the balance better to fight the Habs tooth and nail for both games than having to do that on round 1.

Washingtron

I sure worry a lot when Kulikov has the puck. He manages to give it away most of the time. The fact he can recover it eventually doesn’t make up for giving it away instead of making an outlet pass. It’s the same as Russell having a million blocked shots because he gives up the blue line and has some questionable gap control. Making up for bad plays isn’t as good as not making them in the first place.

GordieHoweHatTrick

True, but as per the hilarious LT “pickle jar” analogy he is usually recovering.
I wonder how much of the turnovers are a result of him being re-programmed to the Oilers system and de-programmed from the Devil’s system…? It would be great to see his turnover rate decrease over the next few games as he becomes more familiar with his new programming (i.e., where to go with the puck with milliseconds to process).

Lordy Lordy Lorde

I think sometimes Kulikov passes it to the other team on purpose just so he can run them over

pts2pndr

While I appreciate your concern he usually recovers and I love the way he hits and makes our defensive zone a very unfriendly place for opposition players. Both Jones and Barrie make very poor defensive plays with Jones mistakes more often than not ending up in the back of our net.

Keeper_13

He just needs time to adapt to Edmonton’s system and Mike Smith. Hopefully it won’t take long.

€√¥£€^$

I circled Kulikov about 3 weeks before the trade deadline based on his data (and Mike Reilly), so I went back and watched several of his games.

In NJ he was very effective at skating the puck out of his Dzone and the passed it either just before or after he crossed his blue line. This really stood out to me in the games I watched.

I think he will be okay after another week with the team. Even though he he’s been in the the league a long time, he’s never played with a Mike Smith.

Last edited 13 days ago by €√¥£€^$
Bryan

The McLeod line was a delight to watch last night. I think the proper decision was made to have the younger Ryan at centre. He is such a marvellous skater and obviously has a high hockey IQ. Always seems to be in the right place.

i agree that this reshuffle was likely designed to get Yamamoto going but it should be a shot in the arm for Jesse as well. He won’t have to worry so much about deferring to his line mates, and looked to be playing more freely and having fun again.

Nuge was was silky smooth on left wing and played one of his best games of the season.

This line should be very solid defensively but there could be a concern with the defensive conscience of the first unit. If Connor/Leon/Kailer can largely keep the puck out of their own end then this top six should be more than competitive.

And is there any reason left not to call up Benson and Marody?

hunter1909

1 – McLeod looks like a player so far – but its like only been 2-3 games yet.

2 – Every reason not to call up AHLers…NHL playoffs are coming so what gives?

Last edited 13 days ago by hunter1909
Bryan

To improve the lineup would be the best reason.

pts2pndr

They are both offensive players not necessarily known as two way players. Their lack of experience and the roles they would be asked to fill are, in my opinion not a good fit at this time. I hope they both get a good shot to make the team next year.

Bryan

Possibly but I’m not sure what there is to lose at this point. Bakersfield isn’t having much of a playoff and there are players on the taxi squad that Tippet isn’t going to use. At the very least they can get a taste of being around the big club and practice at NHL speed.

OriginalPouzar

The Pacific Division is the only AHL division having playoffs so Bakersfield is having a playoffs.

OriginalPouzar

And is there any reason left not to call up Benson and Marody?

Yes, if you want Bouchard to play.

Nygard was call-up #1

Both Neal and McLeod are call-ups on an emergency basis so, when Khaira is activated, one is gone or used for a second call-up

Using two call-ups on Benson/Marody and they are done – no chance at Bouchard, Ennis, etc.

dustrock

Forza Inter

GordieHoweHatTrick

Agree. Can’t see JP on L2 as a demotion. When I first saw the L2 (Nuge-McL-JP) I dropped my jar of pickles. But then I didn’t panic and could see this as a really strong line. JP is becoming a real force in the NHL. I am so happy with how things are progressing for him and the team. Nuge the consistent 2 way vet and McL bringing more speed, possession and solid D coverage (there will be mistakes!). I am happy to see the current top 6 experiment continue for a few more games. If JJ can come back 100%, he will strengthen the bottom 6 by a considerable margin over the line up last night. Haas to 4C, Shore to wherever.

Benson would be a significant upgrade over Neal on L4. It is a shame we are not going to see this happen. It could be a big difference in the playoffs.

If the odds of Klef returning decrease in the months ahead, I would be happy to see Kulikov kept in the mix for next year.

Washingtron

I think Yamo’s dip correlates to when the refs put the whistles away. When’s the last time he drew a penalty, something that used to be a strong point for him. Now all those infractions are still happening but he’s not getting any calls. I worry teeny little super guys like him just can’t be effective when the other team can hook, slash and crosscheck with impunity.

hunter1909

Yamamoto is a sophomore NHLer. It’s common when sophomores have trouble after everyone has them in their book lol

Yamamoto, if nothing less has the heart which is great, but needs playoff hockey

Oilman99

Heart doesn’t win championships, Yamamoto is lucky they don’t have any other options for a top six winger, zero goals in 20 games time.

Keeper_13

The NHL reffing is so ass-backwards that you have to build one kind of team to make the playoffs and another kind of team to succeed in the playoffs.

fishman

I liked the top 6 but the bottom 6 not so much. The Haas line is simply too small to win in the play offs and the Shore line too slow. When JJ is back perhaps play him with Archie and Kahun and put Haas between Chiasson and Neal??? Also concerned about Yamo’s lack of production. The off season will be interesting to see what changes Holland makes. Free Benson!

hunter1909

Next season is going to be murder for some of the fringe players.

Sierra

Is Benson big or fast, or both?

Keeper_13

IMO Benson + footspeed = NHLer.

pts2pndr

Neither. Extremely good passer who sees the ice extremely well. He is very good on the boards and overall hockey IQ is NHL caliber. His early pubis injuries have caused concern about his skating. He does not have a separation/break away gear. I believe his hockey IQ will allow for an NHL career despite some skating issues one of which is his first step quickness.

OriginalPouzar

The bottom six got caved last night but the returns of Khaira and Kassian will/should help.

Khaira looks to be back next week.

Kass is done for the regular season (10 games/30 days min for LTIR plus they don’t have the cap space to activate him). I’m not sure if Kass will be ready for the start of the playoffs. As much as he can frustrate, here is hoping he is – size and speed in the bottom six if nothing else.

dustrock

Happy to see a garbage team turfed and even happier to see it happen to Garbage Human Lucic

Bryan

I actually think that Lucic is a decent guy. Giordano and Tkachuk on the other hand.

hunter1909

I hate the Canadien