Mash and a Win

by Lowetide

Jay Woodcroft is something of a prospect whisperer, and I will tell you it’s my opinion the young coach is in his final minor league season. Given a couple of days, ice and electricity, he helped a ragtag bunch who were taking on injuries by the shift to a 4-3 win over a Calgary Flames team that had a hard time staying within the rules.

The Oilers have iced more talented teams in the past and lost, but Woodcroft’s Condors (that’s what we were watching last night) have skill, ruggedness and enough of a 200-foot game to make things go. Let’s have a look at the stories from last night.

THE ATHLETIC!

NOTES FROM LAST NIGHT

LW Raphael Lavoie rang iron in the first period, did it again late and he has a release that will convert in pro hockey. He looks quicker to me. Drew a penalty with some nice work in the second period. He hit the post on a two-on-one no goalie stops, it either goes in, high or (as it did) hits the crossbar. I’d estimate three shots, plus the two iron maidens.

LC James Hamblin was valuable in this game, moving the puck to good places and making sure there was cover on fast breaks. Had a breakaway in the second period but couldn’t cash and a couple more in the third period that could have put this game away.

RW Xavier Bourgault got a chance to show his passing skills but is a younger player and I thought the bigger Calgary squad neutralized him in the first. In the second, he found his legs and showed impressive skill, won battles and looked dangerous. He’s very skilled. Took a brutal hit from behind in the third, I didn’t hear anything about his condition, we’ll likely find out today or tomorrow. Very aware player with the puck on his stick.

LW Matvei Petrov was “also in photo” on the first Calgary goal, he kept the play moving at times but also looked like one of the younger players out there. Had a great look offensively but the puck would not cooperate.

RC Henrik Rybinski scored twice on the power play, I think he might see California this winter. A nice skill set and some size. Added an assist later on. I think he’s going to get an offer, but it’s possible another NHL team will scoop him up with an NHL deal.

RW Tyler Tullio to my eye was one of the best Oilers on the night, rugged, passed well, aggressive and had a nice chance late in the first period. He didn’t connect on some of the skill plays, important to remember this is one night.

LW Ostap Safin always impresses me with his presence and his skill, he had some good looks and two assists. He is a fine passer and has a good release (had a couple of point-blank chances) plus he packs some attitude. One of his shots seems to hurt goalie Dustin Wolf for a moment. He’s 6.05, 204, kind of a skilled Coke machine. Health is always the issue.

LC Devin Brosseau was quiet in the first period, he made a nice pass in the second and got a reasonable chance on net. He was more noticeable in the third period. That isn’t a criticism, this is so early in the preseason for these players and sweeping statement one makes based on last night would be wildly unfair.

RW Dino Kambeitz was quite noticeable, he battled and moved the puck along the wall. He caught a penalty in the second for hard work, but I like him. The Flames played an edgy game and the Oilers weren’t able to match that style, but Kambeitz was part of what pushback the Oilers made in the game.

Line 4: Brady Burns-Drew Englot-Tim Soderlund: Burns didn’t play much to my eye, did pick up an assist on the Kemp goal. I noticed Englot, who won some physical battles and made life miserable for the Calgary defense. Soderlund is a nice passer but nothing stood out by my eye.

Pairing One: Markus Niemelainen-Mike Kesselring: Niemelainen was physical and good in coverage, I like his game. He’s quick enough to mirror the rusher and still get over to stop the drive to the net. Kesselring is rangy and then some. He played well, calm and effective with the puck in the offensive end.

Pairing Two: Philip Broberg-Filip Berglund: Broberg was big, fast and effective, he defended well and got some shots through. Berglund was as expected, moved the puck well, played a simple game and wasn’t out of position often. His best moment was strong defending in a danger area against Connor Zary in the second period. This pairing was effective on an early second-period penalty kill.

Pairing Three: Dmitri Samorukov-Phil Kemp: Samorukov was hurt early and did not return. I thought shoulder immediately but Oilers fans across the universe were the same. Kemp was solid, I like his subtle movements of the puck and man he stays in his lane well. That discipline helped him on the PK. He scored in the second to tie the game 3-3 and later ripped the winner. He is not a goal scorer, it was like Terry Harper going end to end for a goal, which did happen in front of a Montreal Forum crowd and was chronicled hilariously in the book Lions in Winter. Yanni Kaldis filled in for Samorukov and was money on the first-period power-play goal, a gorgeous pass to Rybinski. That’s his game. Undersized skill defender. Picked up another assist on Rybinski’s second goal.

Goalie: Olivier Rodrigue: He didn’t have a chance on two of the first period goals, but you’d like better rebound control. It’s early for all of these goaltenders. Made a fantastic save late in the third against Mathias Emilio Pettersen.

Concern after the game focused on the injured prospects (Samorukov, Kemp and Bourgault) the Oilers will likely have information out today or at the latest tomorrow. The Condors are going to be strong defensively, Broberg was all over the ice and Berglund (whose SHL numbers suggest a PK stalwart, wrote about in the piece above) will push for the feature pairing against Samorukov (if healthy) and his partner. Fun start!

KAILER YAMAMOTO

Yamamoto’s contract is signed and that’s great news for Oilers fans. He’ll slide in on one of the top three lines, with the Draisaitl line the most likely spot. Many are down on the young man after the goal-scoring drought in the second half, but I think the lead story there is that all of the other metrics, from assists to five on five goal differential while on ice, to possession, stayed the same. His game didn’t fold because pucks we’re going in. Will he need to be more consistent? Of course. Valuable young player at an insane price. What’s not to like?

Just five spots left, and maybe an extra goalie if the NHL chooses to run a taxi squad again this season. I have to tell you, the top three lines are going to change entire segments of Oilers games this season. There will still be plenty of puck chasing, but less in Edmonton’s zone I expect.

Who are the five? Koekkoek, Shore, Benson, McLeod and Turris so far, but we’ve only just begun. Daniel’s piece on Marody is compelling and there are elements of the “Marty Reasoner adjustment” in there. We’ll see.

Any distant bells with a chance? Samorukov’s injury last night and Konovalov not playing in rookie camp leaves one sour on the possibility, but we’ll see. Broberg, Lavoie and Niemelainen are worth discussing as recall options, but we’ll know more when preseason rolls out.

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Link to last night’s rookie game:

https://youtu.be/4BAoqUkC3U4

GordieHoweHatTrick

Thank you!

I don’t know how Sammy got his jaw broken in that hit (body contact or hitting the ice?) BUT he got up and looked to make sure the puck was going deep into the O zone before turning and skating off the ice…with a broken freaking jaw. Tough.

Scungilli Slushy

Poor guy.

Here’s hoping he isn’t on a Sami Salo trajectory.

Surely this isn’t going to happen. Finally a bunch of good prospects and the Gords take them away.

Harpers Hair

It’s called a “Bakersfield Dozen”.

€√¥£€^$

My pleasure! Seemed to be a shoulder, maybe an elbow contacted his face, his head was so low on his hit attempt.

Keep hearing how big Sammy is, around 6’3″ 220, but Walker Duere is listed at 6’3″ 211 and looked much bigger than Sammy. How did anyone else see it?

hunter1909

Oilers look well managed despite the dark desires of the doom and gloom set.

Oilers management finally has the handle on the team and the franchise. Playoff success is the final frontier, lol

Harpers Hair
defmn

Not much differentiation in the scoring with the top 4 teams ranked as either A- or B+.

leadfarmer

B+ to go with the best 2 players in the league? I’ll take it!!!

Harpers Hair

Would you prefer two 50 goal scorers or five 30 goal scorers?

OriginalPouzar

Who has 5 30 goal scorers?

Canucks have one winger that has scored 30, Miller. Hoglander and Garland have 30 goal potential but Garland never has and Hoglander is FAR from a lock to get even close. Highmore isn’t even in the conversation for that.

The Oilers have two legit potential 50 goal scorers and Hyman is more of 30 goal scorer than any of the above listed Canucks – if he plays 82 games, he’s close to a lock for that. Nuge is just as much a 30 goal scorer as Garland, Hoglander, etc. Puljujarvi just as likely to score 30 as them as well.

jp

Heck, even Yamamoto was on pace for 30 in 19-20, I’d add him to the ‘potential’ list as every bit as much as Hoglander.

Canucks have one winger that has scored 30, Miller.

That’s incorrect by the way. Miller has never scored 30. No current Canuck has ever scored 30 goals in an NHL season. HH must have been talking about a different team.

JimmyV1965

The season can’t start soon enough. HH can prattle on all he wants, but the rubber hits the road in a few weeks.

OriginalPouzar

The Canucks have 5 30 goal scorers just as much as the flames were poised to make a run up the standings last season (although at least the latter was somewhat of an opinion/prediction, the former is really just made up).

Harpers Hair

Hyman’s career high is 21 goals and that came with playing with two of the best players in the league and he’s 29. But now he’s a LOCK for 30 goals???

Nuge’s career high is 28 again playing with two of the best players in the league.

Garland scored at a 27 goal pace two seasons ago playing on a very poor Arizona team with no name centres. He was 23 years of age.

JT Miller scored 27 in his first season in Vancouver in a 68 game season. He could easily score 30 in a full season.

Brock Boeser scored 29 goals in 62 games as a rookie. I’m pretty sure he is capable of scoring 30 in a full season.

Hoglander scored 13 goals as a 19 year old rookie. Not likely a 30 goal scorer anytime soon but neither is Puljujaarvi who only scored 15 as a 23 year old.

Fact is…Nuge is the only Oilers winger with even a spitting chance of hitting 30 and he will soon be turning 29.

Not sure where Highmore came from…he’s a 4th line winger if he makes the team.

And, I’ll leave you with this from Yost’s article.

“Over the past two seasons, the Canucks are averaging 4.3 goals per 60 minutes on the attack with the Miller/Pettersson duo on the ice. For context, the Edmonton Oilers have averaged 3.8 goals per 60 minutes at even-strength with Connor McDavid on the ice.”

jp

“Over the past two seasons, the Canucks are averaging 4.3 goals per 60 minutes on the attack with the Miller/Pettersson duo on the ice. For context, the Edmonton Oilers have averaged 3.8 goals per 60 minutes at even-strength with Connor McDavid on the ice.”

This isn’t a great look for Yost.

Pettersson/Miller at even strength: 4.31 GF/60
Pettersson/Miller at 5v5: 4.22 GF/60

Connor McDavid at even strength: 4.22 GF/60
Connor McDavid at 5v5: 3.79 GF/60

Yost appears to be comparing Pettersson/Miller at even strength to McDavid at 5v5.

Not the same context at all (nor at all fair).

Last edited 25 days ago by jp
OriginalPouzar

21 goals in 51 games – I wonder what kind of pace that is? Interesting that Miller and Boeser’s goal totals get cited with games played but not Hyman.

I wonder why one just ignores the “if he plays 82 games”.

Citing Nuge’s 28 goal career high but not doing the same for the likes of Garland.

Narratives.

The Canucks do not have any wingers than have scored 30 goals and they have no more 30 goal scorer potential on the wings than the Oilers.

Oilerguy

Haha yeah didn’t even incl Hyman, our top 4 even 5 players on fwd rival or beat any team in league in my humble opinion.

Oilerguy

Or 3 players that put up 270 points in total at the top of your line up……

Oilerguy

You’re losing it ol timer.

pts2pndr

He’s at the senile age and doesn’t even realize he’s lost it!😉

Harpers Hair

Yeah…they’re pretty close.

As is the centre depth.

https://www.tsn.ca/travis-yost-grading-the-centres-on-canada-s-nhl-teams-1.1690637

defmn

Top 3, though, rather than top 4 teams are close. Oilers still haven’t found a solution for the 3C hole.

Harpers Hair

Agree. I would have though Holland could have done better.

€√¥£€^$

I think Ryan will be a solid interim solution, especially with good wingers on his flanks.

defmn

Interim and not really contender level imo. I realize the cap money dried up but we all know how that happened too. We’ll know soon enough if Keith can make us forget the costs.

Harpers Hair
Harpers Hair

Of note…Yost has Duncan Keith at the bottom of the pile.

Tarkus

The Ennis Mightier returns to Ottawa on a PTO.

Melvis

Mrs.Lowetide is the greatest. I owe her a bottle of what… how about a Pink Whitney?

Gerta Rauss

per DNB at the Athletic

Jay Woodcroft said G Ilya Konovalov is scheduled to play tomorrow for the Oilers rookies at CGY

Material Elvis

Just finished watching last night’s game. There wasn’t a lot of dynamic talent on either side of the ice. The line of Lavoie-Hamblin-Bourgault was the Oilers best even strength line. I agree with LT that Lavoie seemed much faster than last year; he had a rush down the left wall where he showed some separation speed and hit the crossbar with a quick wrister (an aside, his English is the best I’ve ever heard a Quebecois speak, other than Kevin Lowe). Tullio was overall the most effective Oilers forward to my eye, along with Hamblin. On defense, Berglund and Broberg were the most effective pairing. Broberg has an incredible physical skill set. He made a couple of very easy looking stick checks on Calgary rushes that caused neutral zone turnovers; also, pinched at the offensive blue line and kept the puck in when I thought he had no chance. His size, speed, and reach are incredible. Didn’t try to do too much and I prefer that approach. Berglund was a man amongst boys. Kemp was not as slow as I had been reading. Too bad about Samorukov but at least it’s not his shoulder. The guy he hit (Duer?) is a massive guy and shrugged off Dima’s hit like he was a fly.

For the Flames, I expected more from Pelletier and Zary but they were just okay. Their prospect pool doesn’t seem very deep.

YYCOil

Where do players like Holloway and Sumarokov live while they are injured – Edmonton close to team medical staff …Bakersfield- close to their team or do they go “home” until they can play?

Last edited 26 days ago by YYCOil
leadfarmer

I’d assume Holloway who is out a minimum of 3 months goes home.
Since Sammys jaw was non surgical he can probably resume training soon just no contact so I’m guessing he sticks around

fishman

So is Tippet in the last year of his contract? Does Woodcroft get a shot next year? Guessing will depend on how this season goes. Don’t see Woody staying in the AHL for much longer.

OriginalPouzar

Yes, Tippett is in the last year of his deal and said in the off-season, they weren’t talking contract at the time as he wants to take it year by year right now.

OriginalPouzar

Samorukov with a broken jaw – out 6 weeks. I guess that’s better than re-injuring his shoulder but it sucks he won’t be in camp (where he would have had an opportunity to show that he should be a real call-up option and, of course, mising camp just puts a player behind for the season).

Rookie Camp lines:

Lavoie-Hamblin-Bourgault
Petrov-Rybinski-Tullio
Safin-Englot-Kambeitz
Soderlund-Brosseau-Burns

Broberg-Berglund
Niemelainen-Kesselring
Kaldis-Kemp

Konovalov
Rodrigue
Kruger

This will also likely be the lineup for tomorrow’s game.

https://twitter.com/oilersaccess/status/1439651053729816581

fishman

Kind of like that Rybinski guy. Wonder if Oilers are interested in an AHL deal for him????

OriginalPouzar

I think he’s likely to get an AHL deal, for sure.

Numenius

Daniel Nugent-Bowman
@DNBsports
·
4m
Broken jaw for Samorukov. No surgery required, but he’ll be out for six weeks, the Oilers announce.

Numenius

That’s rough, but better than re-injuring the shoulder or a concussion, I’d say. Six weeks will give the shoulder more chance to heal, too.

Bank Shot

Crappy deal. At least he’ll still be able to skate and practice. Shouldn’t be too far behind the eight ball when he comes back.

90s fan

Never had a broken jaw, but I can’t imagine him skating for the next 2/3 weeks, right?

OriginalPouzar

Bourgault on the ice.

Chiasson in the stands with his arm in a sling.

Samorukov not on the ice.

Geezus!

fishman

Not sure playing Flames rookies twice was a good idea! We may end up with 3 or 4 bad injuries. F**k the Flames!

Reja

That’s why Holland added Hyman, Foegele and now that Holloway is out the new dark horse that makes the team Perlini.

OriginalPouzar

Unless his game has vastly changed, Perlin’s game doesn’t resemble that of Holloway, Hyman or Foegele at all.

Reja

Holland tried the Smurf attack we are a embarrassing 1-7 in the playoffs under Holland and Tippett. Perlini is big and can skate if he goes to the net and creates scoring chances he’ll make the team. His hands aren’t made of stone like some of his brethren he’s competing against for a job. I say he makes the team. Who is your dark horse to make the team?

OriginalPouzar

im not saying he can’t make the team just pointing out that he doesn’t play the style of the other guys you grouped him with.

Reja

What happened to Perlini he has hands he’s big and fast and he certainly has the pedigree. He scored 17 with the Coyotes this is probably his last chance at the dance can Tippett his old boss get him going?

OriginalPouzar

I don’t know what happened to him – perhaps his lack of consistent effort, commitment the 2-way game and battle caused him to wash out of the league when his offence dried up. When he wasn’t producing, he wasn’t adding anything on the ice.

Perhaps his game has matured since then – he says it has.

He’s simply not the “puck hound” as per your comparables, or at least he wasn’t in his earlier days.

Harpers Hair

Listened to an extensive interview with Rick Tocchet last week.

He was asked about the atmosphere in Arizona over the last few years and he said it was very difficult to keep the players motivated while the franchise was going to shit, not paying its players on time and falling behind on other payments.

He expects players who escaped that environment to play much better in new cities and mentioned OEL, Garland and Perlini by name.

jp

He was asked about the atmosphere in Arizona over the last few years and he said it was very difficult to keep the players motivated while the franchise was going to shit, not paying its players on time and falling behind on other payments.

Says the guy that was fired because he couldn’t motivate said players, lol.

winchester

Anybody know or hear what Jessie did in the off season? Stay home, go to camps, training? Was he early to arrive to Captain skates?

Bank Shot

He went fishing at least once and apparently did some MMA training.

Boil-in-the-Oil

So maybe our “gentle giant” won’t be so gentle any more. I like it!

Reja

It was a sad day when they cancelled the Friendly giant. I wonder what ever happened to Rusty and Jerome.

OriginalPouzar

He was back home for most of it I believe but he has been on the ice the last few days with the NHL guys.

winchester

thank you

winchester

Well at least we know why Kailer was holding out on his contract. Way to tell the player what you think of him Kenny. As in, not much.

There is always a balance and if you grind away, even take advantage of a player or employee, you get the opposite of a motivated player.

To hand out dollars across the roster, then grind your drafted and developed player, not cool. Even a small bump of 1.4 would have been fair.

Reja

Holland never drafted Yamo. Could the one year contract mean he’s more tradeable? Could it mean that they think he’s no longer a top 6 unless injuries happen and are paying him accordingly.

Bank Shot

If Yamamoto performs well this season he will get his money next year. That’s just the way it works for players without arbitration rights. I don’t think anyone has ever accused Holland of not being fair on contracts.

He’s gotten a fair share of abuse for being too generous in that department.

OriginalPouzar

Holland has not “handed out dollars” for any player coming off their ELC as GM of the Oilers.

McNuge93

Jeez, KH cant win. Gets criticized for giving out too generous a contract, and also gets it when he gets a good deal. Yamo probably had an option for 2 years at higher dollars but bet on himself.

David

Why is it that when the players have the negotiating power and use every ounce of it, it isn’t personal just business, but when the team has the negotiating power and squeezes the player it is completely personal?

If there is an expectation that teams don’t hold player’s feet to the fire in their first couple of contracts then that expectation should also be there for when players hit UFA or are eating up UFA years.

90s fan

Cant win. Paying everyone too much. But just as mad for paying Yamamoto not enough… if only everyone would settle for mediocre amounts of money.

MushedPeas

If Kailler kills it then maybe KH shuffles the deck to make room, OR, he becomes a valuable trade piece w that many RFA years remaining. Maybe a smart GM doesn’t land here, but lots of room for a smart GM to redeem the situation.

That situation, in a vacuum, is having a journeyman middle six / top six talent filling out the forward ranks for a pittance.

winchester

Hey, good to get some down votes so I know what HH feels like. And some comments from newer posters.

I do stand by my comment. When you overpay at positions you have to take away from someone else. Kind of sucks when that someone else is you. Both overpays and underpays can be harmful. The goal is a united team that play for each other. Fair is the target.

hunter1909

Please feel free to predict the final points total for the Oilers this season.

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

Randle McMurphy

That Yamamoto contract is “manna from heaven”, “the golden ticket”.

What a huge motivator for Kailer.

The financial trajectory of the rest of his career is predicated on his performance this year.

I think Kailer is another of those hyper-competitive personalities.

If healthy, I suspect his performance will be off the charts this year, a career season in every sense of the word.

John Chambers

There is something to keeping a player hungry and motivated.
Koskinen is also in the final year of his contract and he’ll be wanting to prove that he can be a quality backup because those guys can earn $2.5M.

fishman

I suspect Koski will be very happy to collect is $4.5 mil this season and retire back to Finland, his retirement being well funded. Coming to the NHL paid off handsomely for him.

winchester

BUT, players are bailing out of Columbus two at a time because of Kekalainen’s similar tactics. And this is Edmonton, you have to keep these guys who want to be here. Not overpay, but dont grind them until they disengage.

hunter1909

He has to get off to a fast start.

Reja

I believe that over 50% of players that are established play better in a contract year. If Yamo starts off in the top 6 sprinkled with a bit of PP time and doesn’t produce in the first 10-15 games he’ll find himself demoted to the bottom 6-3, not the ideal place to be in a contract year.

Kert

I don’t know if “off the charts” is reasonable, when 27-11-15-26 is already on the charts.

Side

Picture of Woodcroft in the article looks a lot to me like Buzz from Home Alone as a grown up.

You’re all welcome for my riveting hockey contributions.

John Chambers

That low-dollar Yamamoto contract number is going to allow the Oilers to start the season under the cap BEFORE they LTIR Klefbom.
That means they’re going to have all kinds of cap room in-season to make a big move and not have to do a bunch of gymnastics to get there.
The implication is that Holland will be shopping for a #1 goalie.

OriginalPouzar

It will be a benefit to non have to use off-season LTIR but, no, I don’t think this is correct – the Oilers are not going to have loads of cap room because of this.

They will be getting under the cap with Klef by reducing the opening day roster to 23 players, then they will place Klef on LTIR which will provide LTIR reserves (the amount they can go over the cap) equal to $4.1M less the cap room they had – so apx $4M.

Calling up the three players to fill out the roster will take up most of the LTIR reserves.

The Oilers will still have issues managing the cap on a day to day basis. If a player is banged up and will miss, say, 2 weeks – they won’t even have the cap space to call up a player to replace him on the active roster. They will only be able to replace that player if he’s put on LTIR (min 10 games/3 weeks).

Gerta Rauss

Jonathan Willis posted a roster on twitter yesterday that got the Oilers under the cap prior to day 1 with Klefbom on the roster

I think we all agree it CAN be done, I wonder if the Oilers actually go that route

Jason Gregor has mentioned the CBA quirk about teams using LTIR and player bonuses ie:if the player is NOT on the roster on day 1, the bonus applies in full in the player is recalled during the season

It’ll be interesting to see which route the Oilers take- I think Broberg has the biggest (potential) bonus of the group, and there’s a good chance we see him in EDM during the season

https://oilersnation.com/2021/08/30/edmonton-oilers-roster-with-salary-cap-considerations/

Brantford Boy

I remember reading this… and I’ve read a few other articles recently on how this could play out… makes my head spin… “Confused would we!”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHyvjcYZ3zg

Also, where is everyone watching the prospect game(s)? I think I found it here but obviously missed the live feed:
https://www.nhl.com/oilers/video/oilers-rookies-vs-flames-rookies/c-42256703

Is there a “recorded” version out there?

Cheers!

Randle McMurphy

One thing I learned from watching last nights game is just how difficult it is to be an amature scout.

Not a single player out there looked like a complete player to me.

It’s easy to assess the obvious, box cars etc. But the 20 other skills/tendencies that these scouts must track and document is very hard to assess.

You’d need to have eyes on theses guy and/or tape, for 30 or 40 or 50 viewings to conduct a thorough analysis. That and many interviews with coaches, and other resources.

Last edited 26 days ago by Randle McMurphy
31saves

One of my favourite stories:

Canadian scouts were allowed into the Soviet Union to scout a few USSR games prior to the 1972 Summit series. They only had the chance to see one game with their reported starting goaltender, and the young Tretiak allowed 8 goals that game. They reported back that the USSR had some talented players, but there was no need to worry since their goaltending was so poor that they’d be surprised if the Soviets could win even a single game.

What they didn’t know is that Tretiak had been out late the night before celebrating his wedding night.

Sometimes good players have bad games, bad players have good games and single moments stand out. I do not envy amateur scouts one bit.

Randle McMurphy

Great story. I’m a boomer and that series is engrained in my psyche, and I’ve never heard this story before. Thanks.

hunter1909

Down 1-0 in the series after the debacle in Montreal, the second game of that series played in Toronto and the Canadians put Wayne Cashman in to school the Soviets in North American Boston NHL goonery.

After 1 period was played when the Soviets skated off into their dressing room many were overheard saying “Cashman” Cashman”.

John Chambers

That’s why the Alan Mitchell NHLe standard holds up better than a scout’s assessment of: “he plays hard on his stick” or “he really digs in in the corners”.

If the player is good he routinely uses the broad set of hockey skills to score goals and limit the opposition from doing same.

NHLe – it’s not the only yardstick but it’s the best one

Randle McMurphy

I think you’re greatly underestimating the job that NHL Amatuer Scouts perform.

John Chambers

I don’t mean to undermine scouts. You could fill two internets with what they know and I don’t about hockey.

Im just of the philosophy that point scoring is a very strong overall proxy for a player’s abilities.

31saves

I think NHLe is a great starting point to find where to search, but scout assessments and the eye test will always have value. Not to say that you’re suggesting we use NHLe exclusively, but if we had, Dylan Holloway wouldn’t be an Oiler.

Last edited 26 days ago by 31saves
OriginalPouzar

NHLe – it’s not the only yardstick but it’s the best one

Only if one adjusts for age.

DevilsLettuce

Calgary lost to Ottawa 6 times during the previous season, how could this be you may ask. Well it’s simple really, Calgary sucks.

Side

That was one of my favourite stories of last season. Watching people discredit the Oilers success by saying the North Division and Ottawa were weak.

Only to watch Calgary try it’s hardest and get caved in by both.

kelvjn

Good thing they are out out of our division when the rematch likely regress to normal?

OriginalPouzar

Feels really odd to me to miss a game and a prospects game but it is what it is and thank you so much for the write-up LT.

Sounds like Kemp played well – how did his skating look? I know this isn’t the NHL yet but he had many many skating tiers to jump before he could even be in the conversation.

I think we all expected Berglund to dominate this level of play – he was drinking when some of these other kids were on the playground. Here is hoping that translates to the next level – I think he’s got a chance to play NHL games this year – he is fourth on the right shot depth chart (but not necessarily the RD depth chart).

dessert1111

I didn’t notice Kemp’s skating too much, I think he got beat badly once, but he also skated the puck deep into the O zone at least twice, because he scored two goals that way. All of the D looked rusty to me TBH, I was expecting Berglund to stick out more positively because of his age and experience.

31saves

Here’s an interesting little tidbit I found to spark a little conversation.

Jesse’s season quarter splits:

GP- G- A – P – S- TOI
15 – 3 – 2 – 5 – 37 – 14:29

14 – 4 – 1 – 5 – 28 – 14:29

12 – 2 – 3 – 5 – 25 – 16:11

14 – 6 – 4 – 10 – 25 – 15:32

Looks like Jesse finally broke out in the last quarter of the season. Shooting less, but playing more, maybe choosing his spots better?

The question is, which do you believe is the real #13? Is he going to be closer to the mid-season pace of around 40 points a year? or closer to the last quarter pace of around 60 points a year?

Personally, I believe that he’s closer to 60-70 points a year. I think all year he was generating chances, he just could never seem to convert, or he got unlucky, and it finally clicked for him at the end of the year, which I think and hope will carry over to this season.

Randle McMurphy

The real Jesse is 25 pts in 55 gms. < This is who he is.

“he just could never seem to convert, or he got unlucky,” < this is who he has always been.

As for projecting, we all like Jesse’s game. HIs age, his size, his awareness, his determination, and who he is playing with, all make us suspect he will be better.

Chances are he will be better. It’s highly likely that he is better all around.

He’s probably not a 60-70pt player. But a 40-50pt player who is aggressive and plays well at both ends of the ice is a big WIN.

Last edited 26 days ago by Randle McMurphy
Randle McMurphy

After his first full NHL season, a few people here were “optimistically” hoping he could become some version of Jere Lehtinen. A solid two way forward with some scoring touch.

He’s moving in that direction

31saves

I absolutely agree, if Jesse turns into a perennial 40 point player whos a plus on defence and plays aggressively, that’s a huge WIN. In fact if he stays the course right now, I’d argue thats where he is already.

I still believe he has one more gear to go before the final product. Hes been around since forever and a day, but hes still only 23, and he was on pace for 37 points in an 82 game season last year. I’m excited to see where he lands in the lineup this year and where his game is this season.

OriginalPouzar

Of course, I would have preferred a second year to the Yamamoto contract (although that would have increased the cap hit by a good $500K – if Kailer even would have signed). Sure, this could lead to a more expensive contract for next season but, for now, in win-now mode, this player is signed to a massive value contract. Even if he has a 100% repeat season from last year, which would be disappointing, it would be a value contract considering what he brings when he’s not producing – elite 2-way play (the Oilers don’t get scored on when he’s out there), draws penalties, creates chaos and turnovers, developing in to a plus PK guy, etc.

This signing puts a bit of dagger in the chances for Marody or Turris to gain a roster spot..

Taking injuries aside, and assuming Shore is locked in for the roster, there is room for two of Benson/Perlini/Marody/Turris on the 23 man roster and that is if they go with the standard 14F/7G/2G.

They may need to go with 3 goalies and, if the league doesn’t allow for a pseudo-goalie taxi squad, they may only be able to carry 13F. Also, they may want to carry 8D.

Here is hoping the league goes with a goalie taxi squad for a 3rd goalie to stick with the team as I want Stalock around. Also, here is hoping they can exempt waivers for this taxi-squad assignment if it happens. From listening to Holland, it sounds like he’s more of an after-thought than a real competitor for 2G. Even if there is a taxi squad for goalies, I don’t anticipate Holland will assign Mikko there, he’ll put Stalock there and he could be claimed.

There is a TON of versatility up front – Nuge can play center or wing. Hyman can play either side and up and down the lineup. Foegele can play either side and a bit up and down the lineup. Even presumed lower in the lineup guys like Benson and Marody, to me, could potentially play up the lineup. With that said, assuming health, I think most presume the following to start:

Hyman/McDavid/Jesse
Nuge/Drai/Yamamoto
Foegele/Ryan/Kass
Benson(Shore)/McLeod/Archie

Nurse/Barrie
Keith/Ceci
Russell (or Koekkoek)/Bouchard

Some things I will be watching for at camp and through the season:
1) The battle laid out above for 13F/14F

2) Can McLeod supplant Ryan as 3C as the season goes on. Ryan is a big upgrade on the likes of Haas, Sheahan, Khaira, Turris of last year, etc. but, for me, he is better suited with a few less minutes on the 4th line (and PK). Can McLeod take that next step, which includes some offensive contribution, to become a legit 3C? To me, the key is him getting stronger and trusting his big body – leading to a willingness to engage in battle and stop avoiding contact. He doesn’t need to be a brusier but his offence will come when he learns to stop avoiding contact, engage a bit and battle. He’s a big guy – he needs to trust in himself.

3) Who will be the better 5th cog on PP1 – Jesse or Hyman? I think Jesse should get the first shot but, of course, Hyman likely willl.

4) Will Archie be playing? I know he’s in town and even though he’s in town, he hasn’t been around – that could be many things (a) Canada quarantine requirements, (b) NHL protocol now permitting unvaccinated players to join these informal skates at team facilities, (c) perhaps he’s in the process of getting his vaccinations (d) perhaps he’s all good to go and just settling back in to the city.

Bill Daly said there may be as few as 10 or less unvaccinated players when the season starts. Its not confirmed but it doesn’t look like the league will be applying to Canada for an exemption from quarantine for the unvaccinated and, if that’s the case, how can the team have an unvaccinated player on the roster – he essentially can’t go on road trips and won’t be able to participate in many team events.

4) Can Ceci repeat what he did in Pit last year – he earned a place up the lineup as the season went on and had a splendid GA/60 while being cover for a roaming Matheson. This was his 2nd plus GA/60 season in a row (and he had a few plus seasons with Ottawa early). Not to mention, sneaky good production – tied for 16th in the NHL for 5 on 5 points – ahead of guys like Hedman, Gio and a few other prominent guys.

5) How do they work Bouch in to offensive opportunities and does Bouch move up the lineup, not because of Ceci/Barrie failure but because he forces it with his play?

6) Smith vs. Mikko vs. Stalock

Randle McMurphy

It’s all reasonable, except #6.

Stalock is a “distant 3rd”

Mikko is a lock for the top tandem. He may get more games than Smith.

Randle McMurphy

Having said that, I hope Holland has a plan C and a Cap plan that would allow for the procurement of another goalie at the deadline if need be.

meanashell11

I hope Samorukov is not too banged up. Otherwise I thought the boys had a good game. Yes, rebound control must be worked on!

OriginalPouzar

It would be VERY unfortunate if he did re-injure his shoulder – the fact that there was talk about him not quite being ready for this past week (but then getting cleared) is a bit troubling.

It would be very disheartening for both Holloway and Samorukov, two players that were likely to start in the AHL but impact the NHL lineup during the season, missed months to start the season.

Paddyh

Apparently just a broken jaw. Not shoulder related which is a positive I guess?

jp

You must be pretty happy about Kemp’s 2 goals.

Nice for him to do that at camp, I don’t think he has too many of those on his resume.

OriginalPouzar

Kemp also scored a big goal in the Condors’ championship winning game – he’s on a heater!

Elgin R

I don’t see Mikko as a Certian Oiler. Stalock may get claimed if waived and everyone save Mikko would do the happy dance if Mikko was waived and claimed.

Benson should beat out Shore except for #tippetlikesvets even when they are worse.

Good team on paper now let’s see what they can do on the ice.

Oilers finish1st in the Pacific!

31saves

To be fair, I think that’s the argument for waiving Koskinen. If you want three NHL caliber goalies, Koskinen is the least likely to be claimed on waivers, and if it were to happen, it might prove to be a good thing for the Oilers.

Randle McMurphy

While I suspect Mikko will put all questions of being waived to bed in the first month of the season, it would be interesting to see his reaction to being put on waivers (assuming he clears). Would it crush him? or, would it motivate him?

He seems like a very competitive personality type to me.

Really, as always, it’s going to come down to how well the team plays in front of him.

OriginalPouzar

Neal, Shore, Chiasson, Khaira, Turris, Ennis, etc., all waived last season and were able to accept it and stay professional, on and off the ice.

OriginalPouzar

I agree 100% that Stalock could get claimed and there is zero chance Mikko would get claimed. At the same time, I just don’t see Holland keeping Stalock on the roster and waiving Mikko as camp ends. This is largely based on Holland’s verbal last week (I think it was the Gregor show) – Stalcok is prepped and ready to compete for a job but Holland mentioned he had talked to Stalock and his agent in the days before and they do know that waivers and an assignment to the AHL (if not claimed) is a possibility.

I just don’t see him getting the real opportunity at camp to battle Mikko that he should. His 2019/20 season was very good (better than Mikko’s 2021 season) and his plus puck-handling would jive better with Smith and help the team play the same game nightly.

Here is hoping the league goes with the goalie taxi-squad and they go one step further than last season and exclude the waivers requirement.

Randle McMurphy

Stalock is value at $785K.

Given the calamities that occurred last season, It seems highly likely that Stalock will be on a Taxi squad. It probably matters more to us than it does to most teams.

Chances are, that if Holland and Tippett felt as strongly about Stalock as you do, they would have found a way to move Mikko out with salary retained.

Some team would have taken Mikko 50% retained ($2.25m) and that would make the cost of Stalock this year $785K (+ Mikko’s $2.25) = $3.1m

Last edited 26 days ago by Randle McMurphy
OriginalPouzar

We don’t know if there is going to be a taxi-squad for a 3rd goalie and, if there is, we don’t know if they would do away with waiver requirements – they didn’t last year.

I’m not 100% certain that Mikko was tradeable with 50% retained – I think Holland would have done that, even for zero asset return – the $2.5M in cap space would have been the return.

Holland, just last week, said that he told Stalock and his camp there is a chance he’d be on waivers.

I think Stalock should get a real shot – just am not confident he will based on verbal from the organization.

Randle McMurphy

Stalock hasn’t hasn’t played a single game for the Edmonton Oilers.

That’s a tell.

jp

Stalock hasn’t hasn’t played a single game for the Edmonton Oilers.

That’s a tell.

I don’t really agree.

Stalock was only activated on April 2nd, and I think it’s fair to question whether he was in game shape at that point.

The Oilers played only 19 more games before the end of the season. Koskinen had also been playing very well in limited minutes since Smith returned (.923 SV% and 2.46GAA in 8 games).

I wouldn’t have added a 3rd goaltender to the mix at that point.

The (potential) difference now is that 1) it’s a clean slate and the team isn’t preparing for the playoffs with what appeared to be a solid tandem, and 2) Koskinen’s performance at the end of the season further weakened the management/team confidence in him.