Rare Earth

by Lowetide

The roster appears set, although Philip Broberg will get sent to the Bakersfield Condors when Kyle Turris gets activated and someone will be leaving the roster when Colton Sceviour signs. I think people are less than thrilled with me for mentioning Tyler Benson as a possible waiver casualty, but it’s Benson or Ryan McLeod (who is a center) as likely demotion candidates. I believe McLeod is likely because there are no waiver issues, but this is a developing story.



  • Goalies Mike Smith, Mikko Koskinen
  • Left Defensemen Darnell Nurse, Duncan Keith, Slater Koekkoek, Kris Russell
  • Right Defensemen Tyson Barrie, Cody Ceci, Evan Bouchard
  • Center Connor McDavid, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Derek Ryan, Devin Shore, Ryan McLeod
  • Left Wing Leon Draisaitl, Zach Hyman, Warren Foegele, Brendan Perlini, Tyler Benson
  • Right Wing Jesse Puljujarvi, Kailer Yamamoto, Zack Kassian, Kyle Turris
  • PTO: Colton Sceviour

This assumes Broberg is sent down and does not assume Sceviour is signed in time to be in the opening night lineup. Coach Dave Tippett has already told us that Benson and McLeod sit on Wednesday.


I’m about to tell you something and will ask you to read it and then forget about it. Thanks.

Long ago, back in the old hippie days, I learned something about defensemen that makes sense every year no matter what the other numbers show.

The metric is five on five Corsi Rel for defensemen. It’s Corsi (shot differential when on the ice) compared to the other defensemen on the team for that season. It had a wild popularity for several years, and then one year nothing rhymed.

People rained down blows on Corsi rel for defensemen, there was blood in the streets up to my ankles, blood in the streets up to my knees.

So, I don’t argue with people about it, but do pay attention to the numbers each season. Ideally, you’d have at least 200 minutes and it’s important to remember there’s a giant difference between early and late preseason games.

Here are the current roster blue and their 2021-22 five on five Corsi rel during preseason:

  1. Darnell Nurse 79 minutes, 8.36 CF Rel Pct.
  2. Tyson Barrie 53 minutes, 6.42 CF Red Pct.
  3. Evan Bouchard 106 minutes, 5.71 CF Rel Pct.
  4. Slater Koekkoek 53 minutes, 4.46 CF Rel Pct.
  5. Cody Ceci 83 minutes, -10.64 CF Rel Pct.
  6. Kris Russell 24 minutes, -10.67 CF Rel Pct.
  7. Duncan Keith 47 minutes, -11.27 CF Rel Pct.

This isn’t a long track we’re looking at here, but we can say that the Nurse-Barrie combination (30 of Nurse’s minutes came with McDavid) should be rock solid relative to defensive teammates. Evan Bouchard played 29 minutes with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and this pairing did well.

I think we have to wait and see on the Keith-Ceci pairing and do believe Russell will play over Koekkoek at times this year. That isn’t the same as saying I think he’s better, but Russell’s goal suppression numbers are eerie. His GA-60 last season was 1.83, the best number on the Oilers and No. 21 among defenders with 500+ five on five minutes across the league. Coaches value this, Russell will play if healthy. By the way, his CorsiRel Pct in 2020-21 was -4.85, last among Oilers regulars on the blue.


We’re back, hitting the airwaves on a massive day for hockey. At 10, on TSN1260, the Lowdown will talk Seattle Kraken, Edmonton Oilers, Stanley Cup favourites and more with Andy MacNeil, Hockey Analyst for VSIN. We’ll have updates from Rogers, plus discuss MLB playoffs, the NFL weekend and the Elks apparent decision to start looking at next year. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!


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at less than 2/3 target of 99 players…this could be it for the future of the game



Harpers Hair

Will this ever end?


I ask the same about you every day.


This ends in about 15 hours or less.

thank you for your cooperation

Last edited 3 days ago by hunter1909
Harpers Hair

Ray bringing the heat on ESPN.

Rudy Martzke

Best line: ESPN’s Ray Ferraro, on if the Penguins window is closing, “The only undefeated thing in sports is age. Time gets everyone.”

Last edited 3 days ago by Harpers Hair
Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

Hey LT,

I was not able to login for the last couple of days but I just wanted to wish you a belated Happy Thanksgiving.

You are an incredible author, radio host (seriously, you are hilarious), and hockey fan!

I am very thankful for you and all your hard work.

All the best to you and your family.


I didn’t know one could say
“pissed-off” on TV



George Carlin told us “you can prick your finger. You just can’t finger your prick.”


Once upon a time, a person could get fired from a radio gig by uttering “booger” on the air.

How far we’ve come as a society…


I think that was on WKRP in Cincinnati, not in real life. Specific word aside though, your idea still stands. Crazy that the same government would strictly regulate speech on TV while specifically encoding the illegality of interracial marriage. Some people still think we were “more moral” then.


My comment was made with tongue planted firmly in cheek.

Kudos to you for discerning the reference.


I hope one of the streaming services picks WKRP up. Haven’t seen since I was little, but I remember it being funny. Not knowing anything else about radio, I always imagine Lowetide as being from that universe.


I swear to God, I thought turkeys could fly! Les Nesman


As God is my witness I thought turkey’s could fly

Gerta Rauss

the same government would strictly regulate speech

Never mind the government man, it’s the phone cops that’ll get ya

Don’t you people get it? It was the phone cops!”

Last edited 3 days ago by Gerta Rauss

Unless Tampa have the greatest dynasty team in the making of all time…

They way they’re playing in their first game vs the Penguins suggests they are all stuffed with Christmas dinners. To paraphrase the great movie “Alfie” with Michael Caine they seem “poncified”.

No freaking way do they win anything but a lottery pick.

Last edited 3 days ago by hunter1909
Harpers Hair

ESPN using multiple low angle cameras to get closer to the action.

Looks great.

Harpers Hair

Brian Boyle scores for Pittsburgh.

A great story.

Last edited 3 days ago by Harpers Hair

Watching the first game of the season – a top contender and the always competitive Penguins – I keep seeing Jeff Carter, Corey Perry, Brian Boyle, etc.

Good teams do employ these veteran players in lesser roles than they played in their primes. Yes, cap hit……

Last edited 3 days ago by OriginalPouzar
Scungilli Slushy

The hardest part of being a championship team is the role players, as we know. Being lucky enough to have elite players makes success more likely.

And goalies, who are the best or the worst!

Bank Shot

After Keith’s current contract is done, we will all be happy with his play for the next five years on the third pairing at a bargain price.


Another solid radio spot with Woody on Oilers Now with Stauff:

On Lavoie, he started off by saying that he has alot of the raw materials on what it takes to be an NHL hockey player (he’s big, he can shoot, good offensive instincts they want to accentuate). 

He then went to say that the main thing they are working on with him is with respect to the little details of “professional consistency” – things you can only learn in the AHL. He’s in a good spot. He’s got the confidence of the coaching staff but everyone understands its going to be a process with this player. They are working with him every day, they have a game plan with him and they are going to stick with it – he’ll diligently work on his craft.

It sounds like alot of the stuff that we all knew on draft day that he was going to need to work on. These are the types of things that we often see develop big time in a 2nd year pro.  It sounds like the org knows its going to take time and its a “work in progress”.  Subject to a real “pop”, I don’t imagine he’s an NHL option at all this season – which was kind of expected.

He also mentioned that there is a chance they will generally run with 7D and 11F on many nights.  This makes sense given how many D they have (plus, add Lagesson and then Samorukov – well, assuming no more injuries).  

They won’t have enough room to get all the NHL contracts in the lineup let alone a guy like Deharnais (who is a solid AHL player but not a real prospect) or Kaldis.

Harpers Hair

Western Conference Playoff teams:

Central: Colorado, Dallas, Minnesota, Winnipeg

Pacific: Vegas, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary.


Is the season over already. It seems like it didnt even start yet. How did Vancouver pull that off, they werent looking very good early on.

Last edited 3 days ago by McNuge93
Harpers Hair

My predictions.

What are yours?

Scungilli Slushy

I’ll go Vegas Oilers Canucks Flames Krak Kings Ducks Sharks

Harpers Hair

Yeah..pretty much the same.

Don’t think it matters much who finished 2/3 as they will play each other in any event but there is incentive not to finish 4th and face Vegas in the opening round.

Scungilli Slushy

To me Oilers and Knights are the class

If the Oilers aren’t es no bueno

Heads will roll

Harpers Hair

Not on the same level.

Oilers have major questions in goal and on D.

The Lights have neither.


The Knights have major question marks at center.

Smith was better than Lehner last year……. is Lehner’s head in the game?

Harpers Hair

And yet those forwards outshot and outscored the Oilers last season.

How could this be?


and yet the Oilers current starting goaltender outperformed the Knight’s current start.

How could this be?

Harpers Hair

Because he had to.

The Knights have 3, arguably 4, D better than any Oiler D.

All their goaltender has to be is average and they win going away.


They played the two California dumpster fire teams for one thing!


I smell a injury coming for the flaky Lehner. Book it!


Mostly in your eyes and your record of prediction leaves much to be desired even for a troll!


Happy to report that the Oilers have one of the best goaltending tandems in the league. No questions there.

Harpers Hair

Not on the same level.

Oilers have major questions in goal and on D.

The Knights have neither.

Ice Sage

And the Oilers skill and now depth on forward is better than VGK.
Let’s see how it goes – this is the one season series that will be required viewing and will determine 1-2 placing. I like the Oilers chances.
Canucks, Flames, Kraken and LA will be in a dogfight for the 3-4 spots.

Harpers Hair

The Oilers are coming from so far back they will have a very tough time being competitive with the Knights.

Last season, the VGK were 4th in the league in Shots/GP with 32.7

At the same time, they gave up only 27.3 SA/GP.

The Oilers were actually underwater in shot differential, giving up the 11th most shots while taking only the 15th most shots.

I doubt adding Hyman and Foegele will change that gaping hole considering Keith and Ceci are hardly shut down D.

No surprise the Knights had a goal differential last season of +67 while the Oilers were at +29 with most of that coming on the PP.


I wonder if playing SJS and ANA 8 times (let alone ARI and LAK) had anything to do with goal differential.

I wonder if losing the Vezina trophy winner and heart of the team could have an effect on a team…

Harpers Hair

One word.



I don’t know why you put in so much effort making yourself look bad on a daily and nightly basis. The mind boggles.

Harpers Hair

Feeble minds are easily boggled.


Thanks for your confession. We are all aware of your state, though.


I’ll go out on a limb here and suggest that shot and goal diff is a reflection of the division they played in last year. Just a little bit.

Harpers Hair

The previous season Vegas had a shot differential of +5.3

The Oilers had a shot differential of -2.4

Vegas had a goal differential of +16

The Oilers has a goal differential of +8

Limb sawed off.


Ya. The Knights were better than the Oil last year. Like that’s some revelation. The Oil’s goal diff was ninth best in the league. That’s about right. The Knights goal diff was second by a large margin, which was way out of line. I’ll give you this – they might be better than the Oil this year. The gap is shrinking though and will continue to shrink because they have an old core and a meh farm system.


Are your units where your mouth is? I think not!


And yet, somehow the vaunted Knights barely won the division in 19-20, the last direct comparison we have. The teams are much closer than you’d like to think.


For an idiot you haven’t even figured out new season they start at the same place! Yesterday is history a lot like you! You need to up your troll game or get help from a mental health practitioner!


Holland on Oilers Now confirmed they are signing Sceviour to a contract (2-way with a large min guarantee) – he recently spoke to the agent and thinks it’s done.

Also confirmed Broberg is going back imminently and Turris is coming back today (as we all know but it’s confirmed).

Holland also confirmed that If the team is in a good position (top 8 for example), the first round pick would be in play (didn’t confirm for a rental – Bob asked about acquiring a player with term). He did confirm “the time is now”. He won’t make such a trade if they are a bubble team fighting for a playoff spot.

Gerta Rauss





Hunter 1909’s Original Death March™

Game closes at/near the first puck drop of game 1


since 2014…providing joy to hundreds and thousand


Tip was asked about playing McDavid/Drai together and he didn’t even put a question mark on it like he normally would (“don’t read too much in to the practice lines”, for example) and talked about the additions giving extra depth in behind.

Seems they will start together tomorrow night.

It is what it is – Its definitely not my preference but I am dang excited to see them tomorrow night and see how the lines in behind them perform (Nuge/Hyman and Foegele/Ryan).


Tip also confirmed that Turris will be available.


He also confirmed that Sceviour doesn’t have a contract yet but sure made it sound like its coming (Tip said he just saw Sceviour and asked him if he had spoken to Holland yet…. he had not yet).

Bank Shot

All the other big teams tend to stack their talent.

Colorado and Boston play all their big guns together.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

I know … you almost never see Crosby without Malkin. Right?


Malkin and Crosby have a long history of playing together and a long history of playing apart – very similar to McDavid ad Drai early in their careers (and when they were having playoff success).

In three seasons from 2007-2010 – playoff success seasons, Crosby played 879:33 minutes at 5 on 5 with Malkin and 1920:16 without him – so about a third of his time with him.

Not much different that what he see with McDavid/Drai.

Scungilli Slushy

Good point but it is really about the roster.

Tipp needs to get a team going now, he can’t claim he’s short of options.

If he can’t maybe he and Woody can swap.

SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo!

Tippett knows Drai-Nuge-Yamo can play together. It took one game to see that Hyman can play with McDavid/Puljo.

It makes some sense to see if Hyman/Nuge/Yamo can hold their own.

Being able to rotate that top six (maybe too 8 if you include Foegle/Kassian) gives you a lot of options. Options are tough to line match against.

Not a terrible idea to try this out right now. Also gives Drai/McDavid a chance to get rolling right off the bat.


– Folks: I have a good excuse for not being able to report back on the annual armchair GM contest : on Oct 4 we just had our 4th. So time is precious and sleep deprivation prevails

– No one called Duncan Keith, only a few predicted Hyman, Nurses contract everyone was off by 10 million + , Barrie in Larsson out wasn’t seen. Smith – Koski few predicted. Ceci wasn’t on radar. No trades.

– A weird off-season, a weird team. I think we are a hot in-season goalie callup because injuries from being Bennington Blues cup team.

– wish our team was “cooler” in terms of Tampa Col, smart orgs: alas we will cheer for this “old-school, you-knew-this-was-going-to-be-us-when Holland-was-hired”

– Might be some late night sleep-deprivation posts thrown in

– I’ll be giving LT a PayPal donation on behalf of all that participated: keep doing what your doing





well done sir. congratulations.



Bulging Twine



I don’t think looking at Corsi Rel in isolation is going to tell you much, honestly.

If you look at last season and filter to 925 minutes at 5v5, you get arguably the top-pairing defensemen from every team – 62 names in all. Here are the top-10 for Corsi Rel:

  1. McAvoy: +5.69
  2. Pelech: +5.29
  3. Shattenkirk: +5.01
  4. Nurse: +4.54
  5. Fowler: +4.44
  6. Fox: +4.37
  7. Hughes: +4.25
  8. Doughty: +4.24
  9. Pulock: +4.17
  10. Tanev: +4.00

If Anaheim really did have two top-5 defensemen in the league last year, you’d think they would have finished higher than 30th.


Shore tweaked something in practice and is questionable for tomorrow.

Sceviour may have to wait for that contract as McLeod is the likely reassignment to make room for him (unless they don’t call Turris up).

Benson not on waivers today.


This is what we might see tomorrow night. Sounds like Chiasson will sign (MacEwan on waivers).

Chaisson is a responsible player that can help defend in the bottom 6 but I’m confident in saying I’m happy to see him in the top 6 as an opponent (as long he’s not on a twice a season 4 game heater).

Lines at Tuesday’s #Canucks practice 



Decidedly Skeptical Fan

Wouldn’t the third line be a more appropriate place to break-in Podkolzin? Curious.

Harpers Hair

It’s likely Travis Green is going to deploy that 3rd line as a shutdown line.

Not a good spot to break in a rookie.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

Thanks, HH.

Harpers Hair

Also don’t be surprised to see Hoglander move up to the second line depending on game state.

Chiasson is just a placeholder for Boeser until he’s ready to go.


If Hoglander is so good why not start him on the 2nd line and slide him down when Boeser is healthy?? He’ll be back in Europe in a few years.

Harpers Hair

Hoglander is good in all 3 zones.

Chiasson isn’t.


Given exhibition season results (no points, in fact, not on the ice for a goal for, even on the PP) and on the ice for 5 goals against, the most appropriate place is probably Abbotsford.

He is a very good player – I like his power, skill and motor. At the same time, is there much doubt that 20, 40, 60 games in the AHL wouldn’t make sense?

It seems he’s on the team, and in the lineup, due to a lack of team depth as opposed to being ready – something we are very familiar with as Oiler fans.

Harpers Hair

I’m thinking Travis Green has a better read on the player than you do.


Remember when you said they wouldn’t sign Chiasson and now he’s playing in their top six?

Good stuff.


You need to keep sight of the big picture here.

When Podkolzin is still struggling to score a couple of years from now you’ll be able to claim ‘Green stunted Podkolzin’s offensive by keeping him in the bigs when he clearly wasn’t ready’. You could even throw in an Anton Lander comparison.


Oh, can I add the potential Magnus Paajarvi comparison – just like “Podz” he stayed in Europe for his draft plus 1 prior to coming over and being thrust in to the lineup.

The difference is he actually produced in the exhibition season.


Yeah, Paajarvi is a really good comp in a lot of ways. Size, draft position, though Podkolzin seems to have more of a motor and mean streak.

And on Paajarvi’s side, another plus is that he was an all-star at the senior world championships by the time he arrived in North America.

I was so sure he was a player after that World Championship success and his solid rookie season, but alas…

Last edited 3 days ago by jp

He played in the 2010 World Championships and was 3rd in scoring (in the entire tourney, not just for Sweden) with 5G/9P in 9 games.

Played in 2011 as well (aftter the Oilers season ended) and finished 2nd on Team Sweden with 7 points in 9 games – ahead of guys like Pastrnak, Backlund, L. Erickson, OEL.


Yup, I was sure he was the real deal.


He absolutely does – doesn’t mean the player is ready for the NHL – many GMs/Coaches have put prospects in the NHL before they are ready due to lack of NHL depth ahead of them.

Last edited 3 days ago by OriginalPouzar
Material Elvis

Most Rising Stars start on the 4th line, playing with scrubs.


So MacKinnon tested positive and will miss the first two games. He’s asymptotic.


Correction: will miss the game on Wed but Sat is TBD.


He does seem to be ahead of the curve …


Asymptotic to what! -).


The Stanley Cup, obviously. He’ll approach it closer and closer, but each time, McDavid will yank it away.


I think we have to wait and see on the Keith-Ceci pairing and do believe Russell will play over Koekkoek at times this year. That isn’t the same as saying I think he’s better, but Russell’s goal suppression numbers are eerie. His GA-60 last season was 1.83, the best number on the Oilers and No. 21 among defenders with 500+ five on five minutes across the league.

I agree that Russell can defend and Russell will indeed play – I imagine he’s well over 40 games, maybe even close to 60. I do think his game load needs to be managed. He’s getting long in the tooth and starting to get banged up more and more…….

I did want to note that Codi Ceci was 2.03 GA/60 last season which was 41st (min 500 minutes as per above).

With that said, I should note that Russell had more TOI vs. elites (34% vs 28%) but Ceci can defend (by the numbers).


We are nearing the start of the regular season and I am really concerned ….. not about the team, but logging in to this blog 😉
“Error establishing a database connection” is the message that has been appearing for several weeks, and if I persist with rebooting, eventually it logs me in. Is this happening to others?

El Duderino

Yuppers it’s broken here too.




I get the same error, but finally discovered that if you keep hitting the reload button (if that is different than your rebooting) it eventually loads (slowly) with at most 6-7 retries so you can get in after only a short wait. Still not ideal and definitely needs fixing.


yes same experience.


It’s time to Go, Daddy.

~ GoDaddy probably has a VP of breaking lowetide.ca charged with convincing LT to take his tsunami of readers elsewhere.~

Last edited 3 days ago by N64

did someone call me 😉 ?

Bulging Twine

oh ya, big time

Decidedly Skeptical Fan



I am ok today but on the occasions I cannot log in I go to the Oiler Hockey aggregator site – https://oilerhockey.com/ – and click on the LoweTide link from there. Personally, I suspect the problem is OP is tripping embedded volume limits.

Last edited 3 days ago by jm363561

Its interesting that you only post to mention me – duly noted.


Well, you are the most volume metric poster . . . . . . . just saying.


The roster appears set, although Philip Broberg will get sent to the Bakersfield Condors when Kyle Turris gets activated and someone will be leaving the roster when Colton Sceviour signs. I think people are less than thrilled with me for mentioning Tyler Benson as a possible waiver casualty, but it’s Benson or Ryan McLeod (who is a center) as likely demotion candidates. I believe McLeod is likely because there are no waiver issues, but this is a developing story.

I agree with all of this and is pretty much as presumed and predicted (Turris waived and assigned for one-day and Broberg on the opening day roster for cap purposes).

With Kassian looking ready, or close to ready, for the start of the season and IR not an option, if they do want to sign Sceviour someone has to do (unless they don’t bring Turris back but coach has already said he’s 4RW to start).

You may be right, LT, but I don’t think waiving Benson is something Holland would do at this point. I think we all know and agree that, if they were going to try and slide him through waivers, that would have been easiest the last few days – I’m not sure they would try and risk that now. McLeod re-assigned seems much easier. I know he’s a center, faster, can PK, etc. but asset management is real.

Then again, Shore, currently the “winning 4C” (although, ultimately, much better deployed on the wing) wasn’t on the ice today for practice for some reason……


I have a feeling McLeod will be yo-yo ing between nhl and all. With no injuries he’s in ahl. With injuries he’s in nhl.


Holland has expressed he doesn’t like to do this but I don’t disagree – it very well could be the case.


Sorry, Rishaug reports McDavid and Drai are skating together and it’s Hyman-Nuge-Yamo.

Le sigh.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

Tip doing what Tip does best.

Drai-Nuge-Yamo was the best line the Oil iced. Is Connor really so bad at the hockey that Dave can’t find ANYONE to make that first line click? Or is it that Dave is the problem here? I think the answer to that question is pretty obvious, no?


Yes, the DNY line was awesome. You won’t replicate it. Get over it.


I would argue that if the coaches are looking for the best line the Oilers could ice, it would include both Leon and Connor (although I do prefer them in short stints and find they can get stale after a couple of games).

Personally, I would not start them together at evens tomorrow night but there are arguments for it as well (and, with a 3rd line that should be able to saw off or outscore on most nights and a 2nd line that has three players that can be legit top 6 players, the team should have a different team dynamic when they do play together).

From where I sit, I don’t like it but, at the same time, I can’t call it a mistake (or posit that Tippett is a problem because of it) – we haven’t seen it with the current group of forwards. Not to mention, many coaches play their best players, even their top 3, together.

Crosby/Malkin played well over 30% of their TOI together one regular season where they won the cup (less in the playoffs).


If/When Leon and Connor are looking stale together break them up.


Well, yes, agreed, once they start pressing and making higher risk plays with each other, turning the puck over frequently and missing defensive assignments, break them up – of course, at that point, we’ve probably lost a game or two in the process of making that determination (on the coach’s to recognize earlier though).

I prefer keeping the in-game load up option for energy/momentum changes, etc. – anecdotally, they seem “most dynamic” right after load up and that really gets lost if playing together generally.

Oh well, there are argument both way and, of course, we’ll see it both ways many times through the season.


Exactly – those guys were on a heater that they haven’t been able to replicate since.


I take this as a sign that the coaching staff is not going to use Draisaitl much on the PK this year. RNH-Hyman-Yamo are together cause they will be primary PKers … the main PP guys and PK guys are together on separate lines in the top 6. There are going to be a lot more penalties in the early going than last year, so that probably factors into the decision. In the regular season, special teams are the key to winning and losing games.

Also it’s pretty hard to ignore the fact that Mcdavid and Draisaitl are fire together.


Oh, with the current forward group, I would think that Drai would get next to no time on the PK (except for special circumstances).

They’ve got Nuge, Hyman, Foegele, Ryan, Shore, Sceviour, Yamamoto, McLeod.

Sure, not all of Shore/Sceviour/McLeod will be in each game but there is lots of depth for forward PK guys.

I think Drai is often, and can be, a very good 5 on 4 guy (we know about 5 on 3) but, of course, managing loads is important.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

Interesting insight … I hadn’t thought of that. Thanks.

mr sakich

Vancouver really doesn’t have a good shutdown pair. They have OEL / Meyers but the rest of their defence is pretty weak. I wonder if Tippet is going to run McD / Drai against teams at home where they have weak defence pairings who will not be able to contain them. It is almost like being up a goal or two before the game even starts. The rest of the team has to play even GF/GA, we normally win or tie the special teams battles.

Seems like a recipe for sucess

Harpers Hair

Nathan MacKinnon In Covid protocol.


Practice today (per Wilkins, Gregor, etc.):

Kassian is on the ice for practice.

Nuge was on the ice early and working with the PP.

Shore not on the ice and McLeod was taking his spot with Perlini and Sceviour/Benson.

Turris not skating (I don’t think he can as, technically, he is a Condor right now – likely to be recalled prior to the game though).


LT, I would love for you at some point to do some analysis both on the Oilers but also more league wide on the fortunes of “Corsi Darlings”. And by that I mean those players that the advance stats community were really excited to come to the Oilers or those that they were vehemently opposed to coming to the Oilers and do a five years out kind of look at them. I thought of it the other day when I saw Josh Leivo on waivers in Carolina and went, “Well, there’s another failed advanced stats player.” I’m not opposed to advanced stats and I read your blog everyday, so obviously I am open to them to some degree, but in my mind, the stats that have been common knowledge have been an abject failure at bringing players to the Oilers (see Fayne, Mark and others). I’m interested in a deeper analysis then my anecdotal one that leads me to conclude this. Just an idea. Thanks for all your work on this blog. 🙂


Marco Roy is 6-3-7-10 for the Bratislava Capitals.


I am curious about the financial implications for the young players of these short term roster moves. None of this has any cap implications for the Oilers, but it can make a big difference to the pocket books of players on 2-way contracts.

I am pretty sure Broberg gets his NHL salary for the 1 or 2 days he is on the NHL 23 man roster, so he his making an extra 4 grand today, and maybe tomorrow too if they don’t reassign him till then. Seems like a nice little bonus simply for having an incentive clause in his contract creating the need for the paper transaction.

Lagesson’s 2 year deal effectively converted to a one-way deal this season, so he gets his full salary now whether on the Oiler’s IR or with Bakersfield.

The impacts on the salaries of Holloway and Samorukov are a little fuzzier. Both are listed as injured non-roster with the Oilers for now. Seems likely Holloway would just be getting his minors salary since he was injured before ever being on the Oilers roster, but I am not sure. Samorukov, however, broke his jaw at the Oiler’s camp, so even though he is non-roster, he may be entitled to his NHL per day salary until he can go back to Bakersfield. His NHL per day is similar to Broberg’s so an extra $4,000 grand per day. That he probably gets that seems fair, since it was an injury at the NHL level that prevented him from having a real shot at the NHL roster. If so, over the next 3 weeks he could gross an extra $85,000 which is more than his full season AHL salary (only assuming he would not have made the opening night roster out of camp – we’ll never know for sure).

Harpers Hair

Lagesson would actually be better off in Bakersfield since there is no escrow.

The NHL just set escrow at 17.2% for the season.


Ceci is not the defenceman many an Oiler fan think he is. I really believe that he is going to get caved in more often than not and the Nikita Nikitin comparisons will start cropping up in this blog by Christmas.

Saw him plenty in Ottawa and Toronto it gets really ugly at times. And if he was such a difference maker in Pittsburgh, why didn’t they try and resign him?

Hopefully I’m wrong and he and Keith or he and whomever (because injuries always crop up) he’s paired with find their way in Tippett’s system.


Pittsburgh probably would have liked to resign him, they just could no longer afford him even if they did want him. He fit under their cap on his show me $1.25 million contract, but they were not in a position to give him any kind of a raise on that given the contracts they had previously given to Matheson, Marino and Pettersson. Right now, their plan is to run with a $750,000 replacement in either 31 year old Chad Ruhwedel who has spent the last 5 seasons as their injury cover guy on the right side or 25 year old Mark Friedman, who they claimed off waivers from the Flyers last season and has played a total of 16 NHL games.




You may be right but Ceci’s goal again numbers the past few seasons suggest otherwise.

I think it unfair to extrapolate Ceci’s performance in Ottawa to future performance. He was a young and developing d-man who was rushed on a bad team. His game has transformed since those early years and it seems he has become a more mature 2-way player now.

Also, in Toronto, he played apx 33% of his TOI vs elites and did have the best GA/60 of any d-man on the team.

Its not that they didn’t want to re-sign him in Pit – they didn’t have the cap room and, from reading quite a bit, Penguin fans were generally disappointed they were not able to bring him back due to cap reasons.

We’ll see how it goes for him, there is definite risk vis-a-vis his level of play, but his last season in Pit (and his last couple of seasons) show that he should be able to defend quite well in 2nd pairing minutes.


Is it just me, or does that lineup have some semblance of balance to it?

As an aside…Sportsnet Insider Predictions – Stanley Cup Winner:

Elliotte Friedman: I’m picking Colorado until they win
Any guesses as to what pseudonym EF uses to post on this site?

Gene Principe: Edmonton
That’s why we like him.


I love the reference, on of my favourite tunes



Watched tsn’s preview of the Oilers season and nearly threw up when they mentioned the Smith-Koskinen’s combined save percentage from last season: .899. Which, of course, isn’t true at all – but I guess this type of reporting is where false narratives come from. Is it too much to ask the MSM to get their facts straight?


BTW, this tandem’s sv% last year was .9123… and I bet NONE of the readers here will be able to guess (without looking it up) how many teams had a better save percentage last season.


6 – making the oilers 7th in the league
doesn’t that other radio station guy mention this non stop?


That’s only if you include Skinner’s 5GA game I’m talking about just the Smith-Koskinen tandem. The Oilers are going into the season with a tandem that was bettered by only 3 teams last season.

That’s much less of a problem than the talking heads would have you believe.


I can understand the argument that goaltending is a vulnerability for the Oilers. I’m not convinced it’s an issue to the extent that you seem to be, but I can see your point. The narrative that goaltending is an ‘issue’ that needs to be ‘fixed’ is just false though.


This was a survey of gems and goalie coaches in the Athletic. No reason at all was presented for Smith’s ranking besides age.


It’s really prevalent in all news reporting these days. This is why I prefer local reports on events and take all national, international, league wide etc. reporting with more than a grain of salt.

Local reporting tends to know what is going on while the ‘wide swath’ takes really just feed off of each other and repeat whatever they read from their colleagues more than doing any research of their own.

It’s as true of news stories as it is of sports stories.

There are 32 teams in the league now. If you think guys who write stories about all 32 teams and compare and rank them know as much about the Oilers as those who come here regularly and read LT’s posts and then the comments I would suggest that you have more faith in journalism than is justified.

As you say they can’t even get the most basic facts correct. That was true 35 years ago when I worked in politics and journalism and I am pretty sure standards have dropped significantly since even then.

as those who come here regularly

defmn, this is the nicest thing you’ve ever said about OP. 😀


OP knows more about Oilers news than anybody else here that I am aware of. He devours podcasts and radio talk shows. He is a tremendous asset when it comes to keeping everybody here up to date on rumours and moves.

And I will leave it at that.

Harpers Hair

While I certainly agree with you about the precipitous drop in the standards of journalism, I also believe you’re setting a trap for yourself.

There are a few national voices in sports who I would rank far higher for accuracy, transparency and objectivity than what passes for local coverage of the Oilers.

On the one hand you have the local voices who must rely on the team for access so duly spout the party line (I have real world experience of this) and on the other you have diligent, hardworking individuals who spend tremendous time and effort to advance analysis of the game we all love.

Like with all journalism you most certainly have to winnow out the pretenders but that will leave you with a handful of knowledgeable, responsible sources worthy of your attention.

A prime example of this is Jeff Marek’s new national radio show on Sportsnet that debuted a couple of weeks ago.

He begins each episode with a 15 minute interview with Elliott Friedman and follows up with interviews with top people in the game including Gary Bettman, several GMs (Chuck Fletcher today) and significant team sources.

Quite a bit more compelling than the cheerleaders in the local markets.


Goaltending may very well be an issue this season.

Of course, goaltending was cited to be a potential issue going in to the 2019/20 season and the 2021 season and it was not an issue in either regular season.

Mike Smith is 4 months older than last time he played a game – we do likely see some drop off in his play but its unlikely that its a cliff (and, actually, he’s played “better” in his exhibition ice than he did most of last year – solid in net and even better puck moving).

We will very likely see a drop in his start rate and more of an equal split with Mikko. Given a normal training camp with exhibition games (and not starting 10 plus games off the start), Mikko is more likely to give us closer to 2019/20 level tending.

There is also a legit potential 3rd option in the case of struggle or a shot term injury. I think most here would be comfortable with Skinner filling in for a 3 week stretch and playing a couple of game.

If the bottom falls out, well, tenders are generally not that expensive to acquire in-season.

Harpers Hair

I have no idea why this treatise was a product on my post on hockey journalism.

But its nice you got it off your chest for the 37th time.


The post was a response to the last post in a thread about goaltending rankings.

There are few things that I care less about that your opinions on hockey journalism.


Well, as an observation OP – perhaps you didn’t realize you had selected respond to HH when you spoke about goalies . . . . . . and left HH wondering what was going on . . . . .


Both Smith and Koskinen look locked in during the preseason game, and Skinner looked like he’s ready to matriculate soon. I’m less worried about the goaltending than most here, and I’m far from being a fan of Koskinen.

Just read the Athletic’s article about goaltending tiers … then looked over the one they wrote last year … aside from the top 3 guys, the rest of their opinions were way off. They’re just spitballing like the rest of us are. One of their experts even said that Nedeljkovic is the best puckhandling goalie in the league … we all know that’s hyperbole.

Smith’s ranking at 26 is purely cause of age … if Koski can hold up his end of the tandem, then Smith should be fine.

The key to season for me is whether Keith- Ceci can be a competent second pairing. If those two can form a good partnership on the ice, and the Oilers are graced by good health, then things will be fine.


Hey LT, Did you see the old timey end to the Red Sox Ray series? Sac Bunt and a Walk-off Sac Fly in extra innings . First Walk off Sac Fly to end a playoff series since the 1912 World Series.

Last edited 4 days ago by N64

edit slain by the resident db errors, but yeah bottom of the 9th.

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