Long Train Running

by Lowetide

There are championship seasons that come together quickly. The Philadelphia Eagles began the 2017 season with a 1-1 record, won nine in a row, lost their franchise quarterback and romped to the Super Bowl behind a quarterback chosen in the third round five years previously. Generously, it was the third best Eagles team I’ve seen since becoming a fan of the team in 1973, but the only one to win a championship.

What would this Oilers team need for a championship run? One Nick Foles? Two? Would Ilya Konovalov turning into an on-ice Semyon Varlamov be enough? What if that happened and Dmitri Samorukov emerged as a top-four shutdown defenseman overnight?

THE ATHLETIC!

THREE YEAR AVERAGES FORWARD FIVE ON FIVE PTS-60

  • Zach Hyman (1.97); Connor McDavid (3.04); Jesse Puljujarvi (1.23)
  • Nuge (1.75); Leon Draisaitl (2.69); Kailer Yamamoto (1.72)
  • Warren Foegele (1.54): Derek Ryan (1.81); Josh Archibald (1.14)
  • Devin Shore (1.30); Ryan McLeod (0.56); Zack Kassian (1.62)
  • Tyler Benson (0.88); Kyle Turris (1.32)

The possibilities are far more attractive than a year ago. if you move Nuge to No. 3 center and Foegele to 2LW, the possibility of three outscoring lines is there. Now. If you added 2000 Marian Hossa on a reasonable deal?

I kid, but if the Oilers were fortunate enough to discover Dylan Holloway was healthy, he could have an impact on this roster. Don’t look past Ryan McLeod either, his speed is such a difference maker.

THREE YEAR AVERAGES CORSI PCT AT FIVE ON FIVE

  • Darnell Nurse (48.5); Tyson Barrie (52.2)
  • Duncan Keith (48.1); Cody Ceci (46.8)
  • Kris Russell (44.5); Evan Bouchard (52.4)
  • Slater Koekkoek (49.6)

Holland is rocking a veteran unit, with just one youngster in the group. On the other hand, we’re looking at two blue ticketed for the minors (Philip Broberg and Dmitri Samorukov) who could impact the 2021-22 season at the NHL level. Plus Markus Niemelainen who showed enough in Bakersfield to earn a mention when we discuss the season to come. No one knew much about Artem Zub not long ago, and he had a positive impact relative to his fellow defenders last year.

Filip Berglund? He’s more than a distant bell, and based on the lack of a PTO for a RH defenseman, should also be considered an option.

What if, and hear me out, what if Philip Broberg emerges as a real option? His game seems to translate well to the smaller ice, every indication we’ve seen suggests it.

Or what about Samorukov? His KHL season suggests he has turned a corner, and if true, he might solve any issues that arise on the left side of the defense.

GOALIES FIVE ON FIVE SAVE PERCENTAGE OVER THREE YEARS

  • Alex Stalock: .918
  • Mikko Koskinen: .916
  • Mike Smith: .910

I suspect Smith will win the starting job, but am about 50-50 on Koskinen taking over the bigger load by the quarter pole. Stalock is a wild card, he hasn’t played in some time, but there’s no harm in bringing him to camp.

What if Konovalov is the real thing? He isn’t a big man but those KHL numbers shine like a diamond. Stuart Skinner is also in the conversation, and he delivered a strong run in Bakersfield last season. Did he turn a corner?

Holloway. Samorukov. Broberg. Konovalov. The Oilers are in a position to survive without them, but if one of them pops, or two, we’re talking about a step or two closer to a championship. The moves of summer were jarring, absolutely outside of expected, and the team no longer has a pile of cap room to solve issues.

The positive? No kids are being relied upon to make a giant leap. Those young players are the next step. When they arrive is key.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN1260, we have a great show planned. Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal will talk about the Oilers goaltending situation, and Joe Osborne from OddsSharks will chat pennant run and Stanley Cup odds. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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OriginalPouzar

Massive congrats to Tyler on the gig with the DFO Rundown – some serious prime talent being accumulated.

OriginalPouzar

I recall this Holloway quote from his zoom interview after his surgery:

“I don’t want to rush anything,” Holloway said after signing his entry-level deal on April 16. “It’s an injury where if I don’t heal properly, it’ll affect my hand for the rest of my life.”

Its a bit concerning that, 5 months later, it has not healed properly. Its a good thing he didn’t start to play again before they realized this.

The fact that former 9th overall pick, Michael Rasmussen, had this injury in his draft year and then busted, is further concerning.

Reja

Hopefully the 2nd Doctor has better results for the young lad.

OriginalPouzar

For sure but, from accounts, this surgery needing to redone is not a rare occurrence – this likely has nothing to do with how the surgery was done – this happens with this bone.

defmn

As some of us speculated at the time.

https://www.sportsnet.ca/nhl/article/oilers-rookie-notebook-dylan-holloways-wrist-injury-tough-blow/

Samorukov was part of the ask by Arizona when they were peddling goalie Darcy Kuemper, a package considered too rich by Holland.

Harpers Hair

Fans line up for hours to get a Kraken sweater.

https://twitter.com/EmeraldCityHky/status/1438179450441506817?s=20

Ryan

I posted earlier today in the old thread.

While at work, Safari suggested that I switch to “dark mode.” At that very moment, I realized that either Lowetide had taken over the Al Gore or he was amazingly prescient.

#Lowetideinvented’darkmode’

31saves

One of the reasons I started reading Lowetide so much were late bus rides after work on the way home. The dark background saved my phone valuable battery and was much easier on the eyes 🙂

Harpers Hair

Alberta going back into lock down.

No specific word on attendance at hockey games.

31saves

Not quite a lockdown.

Alberta is implementing a “Restriction Exemption Program”, which means that so long as businesses consent and only serve those who provide proof of vaccination, medical exemption or negative Covid test then its business as usual. If they do not consent, than it is essentially full lockdown to some of (if not) the highest restrictions we’ve seen.

https://www.alberta.ca/covid-19-public-health-actions.aspx

As for hockey, we can’t be sure, but since they’ve already stated they require proof of vaccination, I don’t think we’ll see much change in their plans moving forward for attendance.

Harpers Hair

Thanks.

N64

No change for the fans, but unless there’s a special exemption added the link says adult sports teams participants also need to join that program.Thrn again the actual language in the public health order may not apply to pro sports employees.

Last edited 11 days ago by N64
hunter1909

http://www.oilersdeathmarch.com/marches/2021-22

Register here for Hunter 1909s Death March

Randle McMurphy

I wonder if Samorukov has much experience at dropping the gloves?

OriginalPouzar

From following him in junior and the KHL, nope, not really.

pts2pndr

Stick in the face is worth more than dropping the gloves! Anyone can drop the gloves. Let the referees make that call. Are you a D man or a fighter? One has value the other is a dime a dozen goon!

OriginalPouzar

Gotta love Sammy – very polite in his interview and excited and, of course the quote: “as long as my goalies are happy at the end of the game” – or words to that effect.

pts2pndr

This is the correct answer!

Cassandra

Colton Sceviour was just signed to a PTO.

Since he is an established vet and hence guaranteed a job by Tippett, which of the young players who will never get a chance will be sent to the AHL?

dustrock

Sail on to Europe, Tyler Benson

Reja

Nope he’ll land in our Division. Book it!

Last edited 11 days ago by Reja
Scungilli Slushy

Bizarre. I don’t think it’s Benson that is in trouble here. Sail on Archie.

Bill Clinternet

Why would Archie be sailing on?

OriginalPouzar

The tweets from last May that have surfaced have been extrapolated in the potential that he’s on of the unvaccinated that, of course, could create issues on his ability to play all games and participate in all team “events”.

Side

Contingency plan/negotiating leverage in case Yamamoto doesn’t sign?

Aren’t they both right wingers?

Last edited 11 days ago by Side
OriginalPouzar

I think this might be right – Marody and Turris are in that conversation as well and, of course, both Hyman and Foegele can play the right side (although, for me, Foegele shouldn’t be bumped up the the top 6 to start – let him play the role he’s excelled in to start).

The Archie potential issue is a red hearing though.

defmn

From last night but I didn’t see it posted here and thought it would be of interest to some. I really don’t want to see TC start and Yamamoto not there.

@nielsonTSN1260
Ken Holland met with Kailer Yamamoto’s agent J.P. Barry tonight. By all accounts it was a positive discussion, but nothing confirmed just yet. Camp opens in a week, I think it’s good news that they are actually meeting face to face to discuss a deal.
7:43 PM · Sep 14, 2021

Darth Tu

Grand. I imagine they have a deal signed in the next day and he’s on ice for day one of camp. I stand by my $1.6 mill estimate.

Side

It really is face to face. Both Yamamoto and Holland are listed as 5’8 which surprises me.

Wasn’t sure if it would be a chest to face kind of situation or not.

Randle McMurphy

Hope he doesn’t sell his soul to the devil.

OriginalPouzar

For some good news, per Nugent-Bowman, Samorukov cleared to ply games.

Darth Tu

He comes armed with his crowbar.

Seriously though, how many brewskis are you necking on the flight to Turkey? It’s not that far from Greece!

pts2pndr

Wouldn’t that be a ply bar!😉

Darth Tu

Touche 😀

OriginalPouzar

Haven’t had a brewskie in over 9 years so zero, thank you for asking.

Of course, there aren’t direct flights from the islands to Istanbul so it takes a little while.

That post was made from a taxi after 11 hours of travelling – to the extent you were actually interested.

Darth Tu

Excellent, good for you. I apologise for making a joke involving drinking – I didn’t realise you were a non drinker.

As for your actual trip, I hope you’re having a great time. Turkey is a beautiful place to visit, I’d love to make it back there some time in the future. Greece is also amazing, oddly never made it to the mainland, but visited more than my fair share of islands.

OriginalPouzar

We spent an amazing 7 nights on Naxos – will be in Istanbul for 4, then back to Athens for a few before heading back home.

Its been great (except I’ve worked a ton (sigh), thank you for asking.

pts2pndr

The key my friend is a work life balance! May you find the balance! It is my number one wish for my kids! Life is short and the answer I try to stay true to is always be you!

dustrock

Keith still in BC coaching his son, apparently everyone else is here?

jp

Has there been an update from today?

As of yesterday (from the Oilers site) quite a few others haven’t been on the ice with the team yet.

Off the top of my head, Puljujarvi, Barrie, Russell, Stalock, Archibald, in addition to Keith.

defmn

Tony Brar
@TonyBrarOTV
· 1h
Duncan Keith has joined the group skating at Rogers Place this week. #Oilers

JOFA

On the ice😉

leadfarmer

I mentioned this before. Lack of state tax doesn’t really matter when the housing costs are that ridiculous in Seattle. Athletic explores the sticker price shock of Seattle housing

https://theathletic.com/2477367/2021/09/15/house-hunting-in-seattle-kraken-players-getting-an-introduction-to-the-market/?source=user_shared_article

Harpers Hair

It does matter.

While housing in Seattle is very expensive state taxes in other jurisdictions can be crippling.

In California the state income tax rate on a players salary, say of $5 million, is $58K PLUS 12.3% of any income over $599K.

That would produce a tax bill on an income of $5 million well into 6 figures.

https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/taxes/california-state-tax

Not only that but California residents have to pay state taxes on any income they earn OUTSIDE the state.

pts2pndr

There are also multiple tax shelters that there aren’t in Canada. Depends on wether you want to spend or invest! It is not near the burden you make it out to be. It’s you negative personality that we all have grown to love shining through! You are an never ending beacon for the rest of us unwashed stupid people. For that we thank you!

Harpers Hair

I was comparing Washington State and California neither of which are in Canada last time I checked.

Try and keep up.

pts2pndr

Absolutely my good sir and would you like me to light a candle for you while I’m at it. Maybe I could get others to contribute and we could have a statue designed for you!

pts2pndr

Speaking of keeping up did you actually read what I wrote. I think not as your need to feel superior is foremost in your becoming feeble mind!

leadfarmer

Well if you’re a 700k player you’re really not saving anything if you live in Seattle
read the article

Harpers Hair

I read the article.

Using $700K as an indicator is waste of time since very few NHL regulars are paid that poorly.

leadfarmer

Well if you read the article then you’d notice Doonskoi was even having sticker shock and he’s had 20 mil in earnings

Shane

Someone makes 5mil and the taxes are ‘crippling’?!

Harpers Hair

That’s just state income tax….federal tax is much, much more.

Shane

Yikes that sounds rough… 🙄

Last edited 11 days ago by Shane
Bill Clinternet

When government’s spend it foolishly, yes it is crippling.

Average NHL player has maybe a 12 year window to earn salary. Every bit counts.

pts2pndr

Even at league minimum it is a problem the majority of Canadians would welcome!

BONE207

I don’t know Fellas…reading between the lines, it sounds like LT has an itchy trigger finger & wants to pull out that balance photo. A couple of young surprises would certainly be due for this team.

godot10

Nothing to be itchy about with the Oilers defense and goaltending. Everything would have to go perfectly for the OIlers to have a semblance of balance (which is an improvement), but they are not there yet.

pts2pndr

We all want the balance photo! LT is the constant that keeps us grounded and humble!

Randle McMurphy

Mr. McCurdy, whose byline should be:

McCurdy the Bruce!

King of Scots! (Sports Columnist of this Site.)

Last edited 11 days ago by Randle McMurphy
leadfarmer

Holloway had wrist surgery and out at least 3 months
https://twitter.com/edmontonoilers/status/1438155654783406085?s=21
Get well soon

flyfish1168

Damit not what I was hoping for.

Last edited 11 days ago by flyfish1168
leadfarmer

Scaphoid fractures suck!!

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

Thank goodness they waited for the start of the season!

ArmchairGM

Edmonton’s “Kucherov” moment!

jp

That sucks. But get well soon young man.

Randle McMurphy

Can someone call Reja’s wife, see if he’s OK?

Reja

Anytime you go under the knife you take your chances I’m glad Mcdavid received this memo. This sucks was really looking forward for some new blood to fire up Leon and Connor.

Last edited 11 days ago by Reja
dessert1111

By the time he’s back up and running, that takes us to mid season, and then there’s the adjustment and rust to shake off. Good chance he’s in the minors all year, but if he blows the doors off, could have a strong reinforcement coming up just before the playoffs – like a trade deadline move with the acquisition cost.

Harpers Hair

Same issue Brock Boeser faced in Vancouver.

It took him over a year to get his shot back.

tsunami

Thank you Doctor…

Bank Shot

Hope we see him on the big club by playoffs. I think he was the number 1 prospect. Certainly the only forward prospect close to making an impact. Big blow. Just hope its something that doesn’t affect his career long term at this point.

godot10

Who made the decision to let him play in Wisconsin’s playoffs with a broken thumb? Fire that guy into the sun.

OriginalPouzar

That would have been the decision of Granato and the Badgers along with Holloway. Sure, maybe they could have consulted the Oilers but they definitely didn’t have to – Holloway was their product, drafted by the Oilers but not signed – Oilers had zero control over the player.

Different situation that when Team Sweden consulted with the Oilers (even though they didn’t have to – he was actually signed with the Oilers, and loaned to Skelefteea).

Reja

So why wasn’t your prized winger signed yet?

OriginalPouzar

Who is my prized winger? Yamamoto?

Not writing a player off at 22 because he’s small and acknowledging his positives doesn’t equate to what you describe.

Reja

I was talking about Holloway and why he wasn’t signed earlier.

Reja

I’m talking to myself and others why Holloway was not inked yet? Nothing to do with Yamo but since you brought up Yamo if he looks like he did last year he doesn’t belong in the top 6 of a quality team.

OriginalPouzar

Holloway is signed.

Reja

Was Holloway signed before his injury or after?

OriginalPouzar

Holloway signed his ELC in the spring – it was after the injury (he couldn’t sign before he was done with the NCAA or else he would have lost the eligibility.

FYI, Holland today confirmed that prior to breaking his thumb the plan was to get him in the Bakersfield at the end of last season, not the NHL as you keep suggesting. He said it in no uncertain words.

Last edited 11 days ago by OriginalPouzar
defmn

Daniel Nugent-Bowman
@DNBsports
·
36m
It’s the left wrist/hand for Holloway, his lower one. Holland said he met with Holloway in August and the player was frustrated that he couldn’t shoot or take faceoffs. There is no concrete timeline for a return to action here. Mid-December sounds like a slim possibility.

defmn

You could tell by the way Stauffer asked Keith Gretzky about Holloway’s status when he interviewed him the other day that something was up and Stauffer knew that it wasn’t good.

Reja

You knew the Jig was up when they weren’t bragging how ready the kid from Bragg Creek was. How he had a legit shot at making the team especially with Yamo and Archie on the Scratched list so far. We talked about this before how fast your able to heal at 18-19 (Your almost invisible) and how quiet the Holloway camp was.

OriginalPouzar

Holloway’s chances of breaking camp with the team were likely slim even if healthy, in my opinion.

The kid remains 19 years old today.

Reja

Easy to say now that he’s grounded for who knows how long. I just hope Dylan playing career is not in jeopardy it’s kinda hard to play hockey when you can’t grip a stick.

godot10

Doug Lynch was once 21.

OriginalPouzar

No kids are being relied up (except Bouch) but there is real potential for a kid to get an opportunity (due to injury or struggle) and simply emerge. Maybe more than 1. Lots of pedigree and real potential, developed potential. It’s so heartening.

GCW_69

Let’s hope one does

Last edited 11 days ago by GCW_69
Reja

I wouldn’t exactly call Bouchard who’s legal to drink in Vegas and hit the Chicken Ranch’s if so chooses a glossy eyed kid. Paul Coffey had already amassed 250 points and was on full blitzkrieg on the rest of the league by the time he was 22 years-old.

buck yoakam

that was called the mustang ranch when I was a youngster…yup some nice filly’s

Reja

The original Chicken Ranch was located in La Grange Texas. Now that La Grange is on my mind I’m going to listen ZZ Top play their best tune and float back 40 years ago.

pts2pndr

It had something to do with knowing how to ride!😉

cowboy bill

It’s good to see that Bouch is well insulated with a solid veteran presence . His time is now as well as the rest of the team . If another youngster emerges so be it . But over cooking is fine in this case , though I prefer medium rare .

pts2pndr

As a cowboy I would expect you to like your steak in the category rare enough that a good vet could save!😉

LadiesloveSmid

Definitely need 1-2 surprises on D for this team to be any good at all. I am more concerned about defence than goaltending, which is saying a lot.

Bouchard needs to be top 4 RHD, one of Broberg/Samorukov need to emerge, and Keith needs to learn how to stop the rush.

GCW_69

I agree. The Oilers need one or two kids to break out to be successful. Most likely one defender and one goalie. Broberg or Sakumokov to push Keith to bottom pair and Skinner or Konavolov to pass Koskinen and push Smith.

OriginalPouzar

I can t discount the possibility of Berglund emerging as a legit serviceable 3RD – no guarantee but he has a skill set and real experience. Of course, right now, I think Tip and Playfair default to Russell (or Koekkoek) on their offside for injury cover.

cowboy bill

Most people forget that Broberg & Berglund were paired together in the SHL . So there’s some familiarity there . They could be a force in the AHL , maybe even a solid third pair in the NHL sooner rather than later .

pts2pndr

It’s nice that the coaching staff has actual options!

OriginalPouzar

Human can produce, both with and without elites. His rates prove that. Issue is games played.

I spoke to his uncle last night – he said his knees are fine. I take Scott’s word with a grain of salt.

Just play games Zack – stay healthy.

Gamma Cassiopeiae

When I read this I had no idea who “human” was. The funny thing is that I immediately eliminated McDavid from consideration, considering him more than “human”. I think the name is Zach Hyman… not Zack Human.

pts2pndr

Turbulence in flight!😉

Kert

I look forward to a season of miscommunication regarding Zach and Zack.

Gamma Cassiopeiae

We’re only human, after all.

Darth Tu

Zach! Get over the boards!

Both Zach and Zack go over, too many men. Canadiens score, tie game, LT weeps.

jp

Zach! Get over the boards! 

Both Zach and Zack go over, too many men. Canadiens score, tie game, LT weeps.

Avoiding that is the main reason for moving Kassian back to the top line, I believe.

Darth Tu

the McZackAttack line.

Side

I mean this in jest, OP. Your post reads like it was written by an AI program. All of this talk of humans producing with elites and knees and uncles. Scott. Zack.

I don’t know what’s going on, here.

OriginalPouzar

Yes, if Sammy and Konkvalov emerge that way, the tram is 100% a cup contender.

I think both could but not likely this season. You never know though.

pts2pndr

Okay now you’re just messing with us!😅

ArmchairGM

Your typo is apropos.

fistycuff

100% LT. The 4 kids mentioned are absolutely key. Plus, the players who got their big contracts this summer need to provided value for their deals. For the prices paid, Nurse absolutely needs to shine like a true #1. Hyman needs to get around 30G if playing with Mcd. Nuge better get back into the 60-70 pt range or kill penalties better than ever (or win a important faceoff). DK better play like Chris Chelios did when he was 38. The price was way too high. Lots of gambles but if one or two of the kids show they are ready, there may be music. I’m optimistic that the team will finish top 10. Go Oilers!

Randle McMurphy

Riffing off the lyric, there is one factor we don’t mention often that is critical in any cup run.

“Without “luck” where we be now?

Without luck, where would we be now-now-now-now?”

Last edited 11 days ago by Randle McMurphy
Randle McMurphy

I think when we reference Nick Foles and Fernando Pisani, we’re really talking about Lady Luck.

As dominant as the Oilers were in the 80’s, luck played a large role in the creation and life of that dynasty.

Come on PDO……..Mama needs a new pair of shoes!

Randle McMurphy

Long Train Running……..Yaroslavl Lokomotiv.

Can Konovalov be that guy?!?!

Last edited 11 days ago by Randle McMurphy
Randle McMurphy

Vladislav Tretiak topped out at 6’1″ 201lbs

Ilya Konovalov 6′ 194lbs and growing.

Reja

Tretiak will always be a top 5 favourite all time.

godot10

6’1″ 200 pounds was huge in 1972. It is undersized for a goaltender today.

Reja

Remember Ken Dryden at 6’4” leaning on his goal stick with that awesome mask on. The Goalies back then all had their own shtick to them not like the Goalies nowadays that all look generic.

ArmchairGM

Konovalov is 22, you sure he’s still growing?

Randle McMurphy

He’s Growing Healthier

defmn

Good luck beats good management every day of the week.

The only reason they teach management courses is because they don’t know how to teach luck. 😉

godot10

Good management positions a team so it can take advantage of being lucky.

i.e. Good management moves the baseline to where a championship is within the normal variance of outcomes…within one standard deviation.

defmn

It was a joke godot.

pts2pndr

Spoken like a true manager!

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