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 The Need to Improve [message #694793]
Thu, 18 May 2017 16:31 Go to next message
Adam  is currently offline Adam
Messages: 10705
Registered: August 2005
Location: Edmonton, AB

6 Cups

I was pretty frustrated over the loss to the Ducks. I have only watched a couple of periods of hockey since, and even then, it was only because I was on the road and had nothing else to do while I ate. The way that this playoffs have gone, I saw opportunities that may not come again. The favourites have fallen by the wayside. Nashville came in to the playoffs as the 8th place team in the West. Ottawa was 6th in the East. The Penguins were second, but they're a badly beaten up team and look vulnerable right now, so the Oilers loss to the Ducks was a devastating blow.

I am worried that the Oilers could very well take a step back next year and so this summer will be a huge challenge for the team as they need to upgrade on depth, defence and coaching, because some of the factors that drove last year's success (health of every key player, Talbot playing almost every game) may not be sustainable year to year.

I think that watching the Oilers and comparing them to other teams in the playoffs this year has shown some of the areas where we're short. Our defence may be better than what it was during much of the Decade of Darkness, but that's not saying a lot. The right side is still not very strong, and lacks the ability to move the puck forward while maintaining possession. The depth of the D-group was exposed when Sekera was injured. There is no one in the organization capable of stepping in and adequately covering. Gryba won't be back, but his replacement can't be another guy in the same mold - he was exposed for his lack of speed.

I think that our coaching was exposed in the playoffs. McLellan did little to counter what the Ducks did throughout. He did not get McDavid away from match-ups, despite the fact that those match-ups were clearly working well for the Ducks - #97 had four points in the seven game series.

His team seemed prone to surrendering goals in bunches. As much as Game 5 will always be tarred with the memory of the Kesler goalie interference, the Oilers had a 3-0 lead late, a game after having a 2-0 lead evaporate. They saw the same thing happen in the Sharks series. When the team continued to press, they dictated games, but when they moved to protect leads, it rarely ended in a positive outcome - and yet we saw them move to that multiple times.

The breakout is ugly. We don't maintain possession well at all. It's night and day watching Pittsburgh or Nashville or Washington break out of their zone and the Oilers. Whether it's all systems because it's what McLellan wants, or whether he's developed a system based around not having enough defencemen who can complete a pass, the breakout is a major concern that needs to be addressed. It was a big contributor to the issues we had against the Ducks when we'd see the team trapped deep only to surrender possession again and again. I hope that McLellan can figure out a new way of doing it, because what he has isn't a good solution.

And for some reason, when players on McLellan's team lose confidence, they never seem to get it back again. For the second year in a row, we've seen that once a guy gets in a slide, he never seems to pick himself back up and get out of it. That's a huge concern, because we have had some high-priced players who haven't managed to get on track under McLellan. That hurts the team in multiple ways, most importantly - 1) If they aren't scoring, then other players need to carry more of the burden. 2) Players coming off career worst years don't get great value on the trade market.

I think the team needs better production from their secondary scoring, especially at even strength.

Here's the numbers for ES Scoring:

McDavid - 70 points, 0.87 ESPPG
Draisaitl (RFA) - 50, 0.61
Eberle - 37, 0.45
Maroon - 36, 0.44
Nugent-Hopkins - 32, 0.39
Pitlick (UFA) - 11, 0.35
Lucic - 25, 0.30
Kassian (RFA) - 24, 0.30
Sekera - 23, 0.29
Pakarinen (RFA) - 4, 0.29
Klefbom - 21, 0.26
Nurse - 11, 0.25
Puljujarvi - 7, 0.25
Larsson - 19, 0.24
Slepyshev - 10, 0.24
Letestu - 18, 0.23
Desharnais - 4, 0.22
Pouliot - 14, 0.21
Caggiula - 12, 0.20
Benning - 12, 0.19
Russell (UFA) - 12, 0.18
Hendricks (UFA) - 7, 0.17
Gryba (UFA) - 6, 0.15
Khaira (RFA) - 1, 0.10

I've included only players who dressed in over 10 games, and I've excluded Lander (0.18ESPPG) and Davidson (0.04) as they're already gone. Some things that jump out here. Despite big powerplay seasons on the top unit, Lucic and Letestu both were really underwhelming at even strength. Kassian scored at the same rate as Lucic, despite almost never playing with McDavid, Draisaitl or Nugent-Hopkins. Lucic was on a scoring line all year including an extended push with #97, played almost three and a half minutes a game more at even strength, had significantly less bad luck on disallowed goals, and only provided 1 more even strength point for the entire season in 305 more minutes on the ice. That's not good, and it doesn't bode particularly well when there's six more years of that contract left.

Also from this analysis, the only UFA I'd even consider bringing back is Pitlick - although I think he's likely to move on and try to find some better luck for another team. It's been a long hard go for him with the Oilers, and maybe it's time for a change for him. I don't think he can score like he did last year with any regularity - I think he was buoyed by some awfully good puck luck in the early going - but he still can be a contributor somewhere if he can stay healthy.

We can't bank on the same level of health next year - between our top six forwards and our top three defencemen, the Oilers had just six man games lost. They're already certain to lose more than that next year with Sekera out for at least the first month of the season. Depth is going to be even more important and we don't have a lot in the system, unless some really young guys like Puljujarvi and Bear can take huge steps forward quickly.

With the expansion draft, there will be more good defencemen available than we'd normally ever see. I hope that Chiarelli is shopping in June, because I think the roster badly needs an upgrade.

I think that we're going to need a big summer from our GM. He's going to have to be a little more cap conscious than he's been in the past couple of years. It's great if the top free agent in the market wants to play with McDavid, but they're going to have to adjust their salary expectations. It becomes a fair value, rather than a top dollar discussion - and if they still want to make a mint, then sign a shorter term deal.

We can't lose more deals in order to become a better team. Chiarelli's done a good job when buying low - getting assets for next to nothing in Kassian and Maroon. He's had a worse time of it when he's not gambling on a reclamation project. If there are trades coming this summer, it can't be clear losses or the team is going to move backwards.

I am curious to see what they do with goaltending next year. It looks to me like they're likely to proceed with Brossoit as the back-up, and I have little confidence that that will end up any better than Gustavsson or Nilsson did.

It's hard to underestimate the impact of Talbot in the Oilers fortunes this past season. Yes, his save percentage was only a couple ticks better this year than the previous, but he started 20 more games this year compared to last and he was replacing Nilsson's 0.901 save percentage in those starts. He was 0.8 goals against a game better than Nilsson, so in 20 games, that alone is a 16 goal differential swing. (Not surprisingly, Nilsson lost 14 of the 24 games where he got the decision).

The Oilers went from 29 games last year started by back-ups down to just 9 - which carries significant risk for the team. Playing that often risks Talbot's health. Goalies that play 70+ games and win Stanley Cups are extremely rare in this era because there's significant wear and tear and fatigue ends up playing a factor the longer you go. If he's playing that much, it also is an indication of the level of confidence the team has in the back-up and how much of a drop-off it is from one to the other. If your 70 game starter gets hurt, it's a pretty good indication your chances are shot, because you'd never start your other guy in the playoffs but for an injury.

Brossoit had decent NHL numbers in a tiny sample size this year, but I haven't seen a lot in those games to give me confidence. Like Gustavsson in a couple of his early starts, he had good numbers, but the style of play is concerning at times and you wonder if there's not a significant luck factor that will even out over any longer sample size.

I'd like to see the team look at a decent veteran backstop who can fill the gap there and send Brossoit back to the farm for another season, but I would be surprised if this happens.

The other not insignificant challenge for this year? Negotiate new deals with the two top skaters on the team that don't significantly handicap the team moving forward. This hasn't been an area where Chiarelli's historically excelled. In both Edmonton and Boston he's brought in top players by signing them to rich deals. He struggled to keep control of his cap in Boston which led to the exit of some key players and played a role in his decisions to trade two of the top players in the league in Kessel and Seguin. With McDavid, he has next to no leverage, and will have to convince his player that he can make the team better if McDavid leaves money on the table. With Draisaitl, he's already made one mistake in waiting this long to get him signed to a deal, and he's got to find a way to control escalating costs while inking a player who finished top ten in the league in scoring. Again, he has to use the success that those players saw this year and convince them that the way to best ensure it continues and that gets us further is if they don't insist on the top dollar available to them. He's talked down the threat of an offer sheet, but it is a danger if the negotiations hit a snag. We'd match of course, but the impacts that such an offer could have on our salary cap make it attractive for a rival team to take a run, knowing that it will hurt our ability to become a juggernaut in the future if Draisaitl is already making, say, $8MM or $9MM a year. He looks like he could grow in to a contract like that too...so it's not insanity to think someone might be willing to lob that grenade, knowing that either A) Edmonton's cap is hurt long-term by it or B) that they get a 21 year old who's already had a top-10 season...

The bright spot? We have McDavid. He's already the best player in the game, and he's going to get better yet. That covers up for a lot of coaching and management mistakes, and it does make the Oilers a much more attractive team to free agents - whether that's foreign pros, college amateurs or NHL vets reaching UFA. As long as he stays healthy, he's likely going to break 100 points again next year, and I would not be surprised if he threatened 40 goals. When you're talking about the improvement in goal differential, it is impossible not to mention McDavid - he was in on over 40% of the teams goals, and his 55 point year over year improvement looms over the Oilers offensive push.

Draisaitl and Klefbom taking steps forward were also big factors in the team's success, but McDavid drives the bus for the Oilers and it's hard to imagine a starker difference than what the team would look like with him in the lineup and what it does if he's on the sidelines.

It's a big summer. I hope the Oilers management is up to the task.



"This team needs an enema!"
#FireLowe #FireMacT #FireHowson #FireBuchberger

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 Re: The Need to Improve [message #694801 is a reply to message #694793 ]
Thu, 18 May 2017 18:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Gator21  is currently offline Gator21
Messages: 247
Registered: February 2016
Location: Kelowna, BC

No Cups

I don't know what I should read first, this post or War and Peace.


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 Re: The Need to Improve [message #694802 is a reply to message #694801 ]
Thu, 18 May 2017 19:27 Go to previous messageGo to next message
vsove  is currently offline vsove
Messages: 902
Registered: May 2006
Location: Edmonton

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Gator21 wrote on Thu, 18 May 2017 18:20

I don't know what I should read first, this post or War and Peace.


A valuable contribution to the thread, thank you.



No Mo' Lowe

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 Re: The Need to Improve [message #694810 is a reply to message #694802 ]
Fri, 19 May 2017 08:51 Go to previous messageGo to next message
HamBlaster  is currently offline HamBlaster
Messages: 1102
Registered: June 2007

1 Cup

A comment ripe with sarcasm. A little humour doesn't hurt, vsove.

Unless there are rules against humour in this forum?



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 Re: The Need to Improve [message #694813 is a reply to message #694810 ]
Fri, 19 May 2017 09:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
vsove  is currently offline vsove
Messages: 902
Registered: May 2006
Location: Edmonton

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HamBlaster wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 08:51

A comment ripe with sarcasm. A little humour doesn't hurt, vsove.

Unless there are rules against humour in this forum?


Joy is forbidden since the Oilers lost.

Only grim darkness remains.

As to the thread - we absolutely need a viable backup. Maybe Brossoit is that guy, but the sample size is so tiny that I don't think we can be confident in it. He could end up being a valuable pickup who can play 20-25 games and give the Oilers a chance of winning those games - or he could end up reverting to his 2015-2016 form, in which case, what do you do? Playing Talbot for 70+ games in another season can't be our plan. It's not sustainable. And waiting until all that's left on the market is Gustavsson 2.0 is just going to put us in the exact same situation as we were this past season.

Our forward corps is reasonably balanced at the top, but I think you need to make the permanent shift to Drai at center. Having McDavid/Drai as your one-two punch is a better use of Drai than putting him on McDavid's wing, as it forces opposing coaches to make decisions about line-matching.

Russell was a warrior for us, but he can't be our best option going forward. If he were willing to take a 1-year contract to hold the fort until Sekera's back, I'd do it, but he's going to want term and I can't see him fitting in our plans long-term. We'll still need to sign someone else.

Chiarelli seems willing to give Nuge and Eberle another chance to right their ship, which I think is the right call. We either need to sign someone who can step in until Puljujarvi is ready, or we need one of the players we have to do it. I still think trying Nuge on the wing is our best option. The big question, forwards-wise, seems to be our third and fourth line. Depending who we protect and who Vegas takes, as well as who we re-sign, we have some combination of Kassian, Caggiula, Slepy, Letestu. Maybe Pouliot (depending). Desharnais is going to be gone. I imagine Khaira becomes more of a fixture - again, if he sticks around.

It's a huge summer, like you said. McLellan's coaching is going to be tested, and Chia's ability to bring in cheaper complimentary pieces, while unloading bad contracts, will be a major factor in our success next season. I hope he's able to convince both McDavid and Drai to take less money in exchange for building a dynasty around them. You have to imagine that, for those purposes, at least, our season finished in the best possible way. We made the playoffs, which proves to both of those players that we're not that far off from being a real competitor, but we didn't win it all, which means that there's no Draisatl Conn Smythe to price around, for example. Still would've been great if Drai had been signed a year ago, but not much you can do on that front.

I'm a little more optimistic on the team's outlook. For me, the worry isn't that we take a huge step back, it's that we don't take that step forward. We've talked about being the Pittsburgh Penguins of the West, but we could just as easily become the Washington Capitals of the West - a team that seems like they're always going to win it all, and yet never performs up to expectations when it matters most. What happens this summer and next will, I think, make it abundantly clear which of those we are.

[Updated on: Fri, 19 May 2017 09:41]


No Mo' Lowe

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 Re: The Need to Improve [message #694884 is a reply to message #694801 ]
Sun, 21 May 2017 18:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
DUFFMAN  is currently offline DUFFMAN
Messages: 248
Registered: July 2014

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Gator21 wrote on Thu, 18 May 2017 18:20

I don't know what I should read first, this post or War and Peace.


I would choose Anna Karenina over W&P - similar in theme/scope but AK is better written.



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 Re: The Need to Improve [message #694897 is a reply to message #694884 ]
Mon, 22 May 2017 21:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Adam  is currently offline Adam
Messages: 10705
Registered: August 2005
Location: Edmonton, AB

6 Cups

DUFFMAN wrote on Sun, 21 May 2017 18:36

Gator21 wrote on Thu, 18 May 2017 18:20

I don't know what I should read first, this post or War and Peace.


I would choose Anna Karenina over W&P - similar in theme/scope but AK is better written.


I enjoyed both. Could have done without the 150 page essay on the inevitability of fate at the end of War & Peace, but other than that, I liked the story - especially Pierre's story arc. For Anna Karenina, I enjoyed everything except for the parts about Anna herself and Vronsky. I found them hard to sympathize with. The rest of the characters were much more likable.



"This team needs an enema!"
#FireLowe #FireMacT #FireHowson #FireBuchberger

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 Re: The Need to Improve [message #694804 is a reply to message #694793 ]
Thu, 18 May 2017 20:30 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kr55  is currently offline Kr55
Messages: 10125
Registered: May 2002
Location: Edmonton

6 Cups

My main concerns for this summer.

1) A quality backup. Maybe LB can be that, but I would like to see some competition brought in for the pre-season.

2) Puck mover for the 2nd pairing, ideally a righty. I do not want to see a big commitment to Russell. I like the guy, I appreciate his effort and how good he is at reading the play in our zone, but be need our 2nd pair to get that puck moving against lesser competition. Russell scores lots of points for skillful defensive play because he has so much opportunity to show off his skills in his own zone as he is not great at getting that puck moving. The other reason for an offensive RHD on the 2nd pair is to upgrade the PP. No more Sek on the PP please, he is not cut out for it.

3) RW sniper for McDavid. Would like to see us get a shooter for the RW. Drai needs to start getting used to the #2C spot. Pulju isn't going to be ready ready next year for prime time. Need to find someone that can play a top 6 RW role, and it would be really nice for that player to be able to find the open ice and rifle pucks with McDavid.

For Lucic. Hopefully he is taking the Sek route to his Oilers development. 1st year of struggling to play the system and get used to the team, and a better 2nd year. All you can do is hope with Lucic, he's here for a long time.

I am hoping that the breakout issues we have can be fixed with D upgrades. Anaheim gives me hope. Carlyle is a clown coach. His Leafs teams were god awful at moving pucks, he doesn't coach good systems, he's just a matchup nutball. He just has a team now loaded with creative puck moving D and veteran forwards. His team is basically coach proof, just like back in 2007...ugh...please lose to Nashville.

[Updated on: Thu, 18 May 2017 20:34]


"The Edmonton Oilers are not where they should be right now and that is unacceptable. We need to get better immediately. That starts today"
-Kevin Lowe, April 2013


"Next year (15/16) I would forecast as another developmental year"
- #2, April 2015

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 Re: The Need to Improve [message #694807 is a reply to message #694804 ]
Thu, 18 May 2017 21:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
GabbyDugan is currently online GabbyDugan
Messages: 507
Registered: May 2002
Location: Edmonton, AB

No Cups

The thing I'm most concerned about is injuries...this past season had the Oilers were overall pretty darn healthy with a few exceptions.....

I'm probably in the very small minority here, but I feel the Oilers will be even stronger contenders in the coming season....unlike many, I'm not ready to give up on guys like Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle - they came into the playoffs like deer in the headlights but will be more focused next season, and I think they can take some of the pressure off of McDavid and Draisaitl...Lucic was a bit of an overall disappointment to me this past season, but he has the summer to reflect on what he needs to do....he's got a pretty long-term deal that pays him big bucks, and hopefully he will show that he is worthy of it-he's pretty good off the ice and in the dressing room-just needs to be more consistent on the ice...Draisaitl? wish we had two of him-one to ride shotgun with McDavid and another to anchor his own line...and the Oilers still have a few guys like Letestu that can do the heavy lifting night after night.....Maroon, Kassian?-tough as nails ...

I'm pretty confident that the defense will be adequate (pending good health for all)....Klefbom had a pretty good season, and if he stays healthy he will be even better....I wasn't too happy that Larsson cost the Oilers Taylor Hall, but he had a good season and I think it takes a full season to adjust to moving from the East to the West....I don't think this pairing will ever be 30 minutes a night guys, but if they can give 20 minutes every night-great.....

...I think Nurse still hasn't hit the glass ceiling, but I've been a big supporter of his right from the start so my bias is no secret....if the Oilers would find a veteran partner for him it would be nice, but Benning is pretty mature for a defenseman with so little pro experience....kind of wish Brandon Davidson would be still here,but there should be some good candidates for the #5,6,7 defensive spots at training camp...further down the road,like in one or two years, the Oilers have Ethan Bear, Ziyat Paigin, Caleb Jones,Markus Niemelainen, etc... etc....and they are supposedly in contention for a 25 year old right handed Czech defenseman Jan Rutta who has been doing better every year in the Czech League...

http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=159997

....I do wish the Oilers had more goaltending depth....Talbot is one of the steadiest and most reliable NHL goalies, but he should have more opportunities to rest...is Broissoit the answer????I can't be more firm than maybe,hope so....

....I'm sure Chiarelli will do some tweaking at the expansion draft...I've pretty much given up on trying to read his mind, and I'm not sure if Katz gives him complete autonomy-there are a lot of "executives" in the Oilers' HO....but I think the Oilers won't lose much through the summer...

and I do have confidence in the current coaching staff, mostly because they figured out ways to come back from absolutely horrible team efforts like 7-0 poundings...

....sorry for the War and Peace Volume 2 posting..




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 Re: The Need to Improve [message #694808 is a reply to message #694793 ]
Fri, 19 May 2017 06:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ziltoid  is currently offline ziltoid
Messages: 134
Registered: January 2011

No Cups

I think a lot of what happens this summer, from a personnel perspective, comes down to what the management group decides is the root of this season's failures. From where I (and others) are standing, the bulk of this season's problems stem from the defense; there were significant problems with zone exits, board work in our zone, passes were at times reckless and put forwards in bad spots that increased turnovers, etc. If the management group views those problems as player "inexperience" or "getting used to systems," then we are in for a rough 2017-18. Truth is (i) our d-core was just not good enough; there was a bad RH-LH mix, lots of youth and inexperience, not enough puck movers, etc, and (ii) these problems in the d-zone cascade and contribute to problems in all other aspects of the game; how much of certain players' offensive woes can be attributed to our struggles in exiting the zone? If the gameplan is a hard ring around the board, then it becomes significantly harder to formulate an effective attack in the offensive zone. What about goaltending? Talbot is all-world and can handle the chaos brought about by our defensive problems, but no backup can be expected to do that; if playing the back-up is a (near) guaranteed loss because of our defensive problems, how often are you going to start them? How much of Talbot's (at times) shakey playoff performance can be attributed to overwork during the regular season?

If the management group recognize how much of our struggles can be traced back to the d-core, and they take steps to fix that core, then I am very optimistic about the future. If they don't, then we may have some problems as McDavid and Drai can't carry THAT much of a load.



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 Re: The Need to Improve [message #694809 is a reply to message #694808 ]
Fri, 19 May 2017 08:30 Go to previous messageGo to next message
RDOilerfan  is currently offline RDOilerfan
Messages: 1497
Registered: January 2016

1 Cup

I would like to see the Oilers get another right shot dman. I think the lefty-righty combo is important. I don't think they need to a top pairing guy anymore. Klefbom and Larsson have established themselves as a good top pairing. So ideally someone that could play in their top 4. If that guy can be on your PP, great. Quite honestly, if they could get themselves a slightly more experienced Benning, that would be perfect. I think Benning can do a little bit of everything. Move the puck decently, defends decently, has a little bit of edge. I think he could play on the Oilers PP as he seems to be able to get his shot through which is what you need. I just think they didn't want to dump that on his plate as well as getting used to defending in the NHL. Which I agree with. I think it would be a lot easier to get a guy that is decent in all areas then blowing the bank on a guy who lets say is an elite PP guy. Ultimately, I would like the Oilers to develop a top 6 where it doesn't matter really who's out there, they are all good.

For secondary scoring. You always want more. I think guys like Slep and Caggulia will improve in that area. They could definitely use a winger for McDavid. If you could get a guy who is a 20 goal RW, McDavid can turn him into a 30 goal guy easily. Maroon went from a career high 12 goals to 27. So I don't think you need to blow the bank on a "sniper". Crosby makes decent, cheap wingers into 25 goal guys pretty easily. Why can't McDavid?

For the secondary scoring in general. The Oilers paid 6 mill to Nuge who had 43 pts. Everyone can talk about how much better his defensive game is but I am sorry, if you give Chia, McLellan, whoever in the Oilers organization a stiff drink of truth syrup, they aren't paying any player 6 mill to just be a shut down guy. They have to spin it so as not to gut Nuge but to remotely earn his paycheck, he has to be pushing 55+ pts while being good defensive AND win a freaking draw.

Eberle is the same. Yes he has improved defensively. But when you play in the NHL for 7 seasons, you better be somewhat better defensively just by experience. So to me saying he is better defensively isn't saying much. But he's a one dimensional player, let's call a spade a spade here. He's being paid 6 mill to flirt with 30 goals and over 60 pts without trying. Even if he does that, I still think he's a bit over paid so 20 goals and 51 pts doesn't cut it. If those 2 have years they should do automatically, are we worried about secondary scoring as much? Probably not.

For Lucic. http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/player-bio/milan-lucic I am sure I am starting to come off as a Lucic apologist what isn't my intention. I fully expect him to be better next you. To go from an American market where you can live your life mostly unnoticed to a hardcore Canadian market where you can't fill your car with gas without getting harassed would be a HUGE adjustment for any player. But I wonder what people think is an acceptable season for Lucic because all I hear is he wasn't that good. He had 23 goals, 50 pts with over 200 hits. Last year he had 20 goals, 55 pts with 244 hits. So while I think he has a little more to give, I don't think he was bad. So if he has 25 -55 next year, while having over 200 hits, a few fights and doing what he does on the bench and in the dressing room, is that a good year? I'm not trying to stir the pot, I would just like to know what is considered a good year.



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 Re: The Need to Improve [message #694812 is a reply to message #694809 ]
Fri, 19 May 2017 09:13 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kr55  is currently offline Kr55
Messages: 10125
Registered: May 2002
Location: Edmonton

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RDOilerfan wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 08:30

I would like to see the Oilers get another right shot dman. I think the lefty-righty combo is important. I don't think they need to a top pairing guy anymore. Klefbom and Larsson have established themselves as a good top pairing. So ideally someone that could play in their top 4. If that guy can be on your PP, great. Quite honestly, if they could get themselves a slightly more experienced Benning, that would be perfect. I think Benning can do a little bit of everything. Move the puck decently, defends decently, has a little bit of edge. I think he could play on the Oilers PP as he seems to be able to get his shot through which is what you need. I just think they didn't want to dump that on his plate as well as getting used to defending in the NHL. Which I agree with. I think it would be a lot easier to get a guy that is decent in all areas then blowing the bank on a guy who lets say is an elite PP guy. Ultimately, I would like the Oilers to develop a top 6 where it doesn't matter really who's out there, they are all good.

For secondary scoring. You always want more. I think guys like Slep and Caggulia will improve in that area. They could definitely use a winger for McDavid. If you could get a guy who is a 20 goal RW, McDavid can turn him into a 30 goal guy easily. Maroon went from a career high 12 goals to 27. So I don't think you need to blow the bank on a "sniper". Crosby makes decent, cheap wingers into 25 goal guys pretty easily. Why can't McDavid?

For the secondary scoring in general. The Oilers paid 6 mill to Nuge who had 43 pts. Everyone can talk about how much better his defensive game is but I am sorry, if you give Chia, McLellan, whoever in the Oilers organization a stiff drink of truth syrup, they aren't paying any player 6 mill to just be a shut down guy. They have to spin it so as not to gut Nuge but to remotely earn his paycheck, he has to be pushing 55+ pts while being good defensive AND win a freaking draw.

Eberle is the same. Yes he has improved defensively. But when you play in the NHL for 7 seasons, you better be somewhat better defensively just by experience. So to me saying he is better defensively isn't saying much. But he's a one dimensional player, let's call a spade a spade here. He's being paid 6 mill to flirt with 30 goals and over 60 pts without trying. Even if he does that, I still think he's a bit over paid so 20 goals and 51 pts doesn't cut it. If those 2 have years they should do automatically, are we worried about secondary scoring as much? Probably not.

For Lucic. http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/player-bio/milan-lucic I am sure I am starting to come off as a Lucic apologist what isn't my intention. I fully expect him to be better next you. To go from an American market where you can live your life mostly unnoticed to a hardcore Canadian market where you can't fill your car with gas without getting harassed would be a HUGE adjustment for any player. But I wonder what people think is an acceptable season for Lucic because all I hear is he wasn't that good. He had 23 goals, 50 pts with over 200 hits. Last year he had 20 goals, 55 pts with 244 hits. So while I think he has a little more to give, I don't think he was bad. So if he has 25 -55 next year, while having over 200 hits, a few fights and doing what he does on the bench and in the dressing room, is that a good year? I'm not trying to stir the pot, I would just like to know what is considered a good year.



I don't think you need to break the bank for a RW for McDavid either. The key is finding the right fit. Like you say, look at Crosby's example. If you can skate, play a little bit fearless to get into scoring areas, and you can shoot the puck (1-timer is a must), you can produce playing with Crosby. I think there are loads of right handed wingers (don't even necessary need to be RH, but it would be ideal) out there that could be 20-30 goal scorers with McDavid. It's just a matter of making the right choices and bringing them in as cheaply as possible. And that is the kind of discovery that Chia and his group are going to need to become experts at if we are going to have long term success under the cap with this core.

[Updated on: Fri, 19 May 2017 09:16]


"The Edmonton Oilers are not where they should be right now and that is unacceptable. We need to get better immediately. That starts today"
-Kevin Lowe, April 2013


"Next year (15/16) I would forecast as another developmental year"
- #2, April 2015

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 Re: The Need to Improve [message #694816 is a reply to message #694812 ]
Fri, 19 May 2017 09:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
RDOilerfan  is currently offline RDOilerfan
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Kr55 wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 09:13

RDOilerfan wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 08:30

I would like to see the Oilers get another right shot dman. I think the lefty-righty combo is important. I don't think they need to a top pairing guy anymore. Klefbom and Larsson have established themselves as a good top pairing. So ideally someone that could play in their top 4. If that guy can be on your PP, great. Quite honestly, if they could get themselves a slightly more experienced Benning, that would be perfect. I think Benning can do a little bit of everything. Move the puck decently, defends decently, has a little bit of edge. I think he could play on the Oilers PP as he seems to be able to get his shot through which is what you need. I just think they didn't want to dump that on his plate as well as getting used to defending in the NHL. Which I agree with. I think it would be a lot easier to get a guy that is decent in all areas then blowing the bank on a guy who lets say is an elite PP guy. Ultimately, I would like the Oilers to develop a top 6 where it doesn't matter really who's out there, they are all good.

For secondary scoring. You always want more. I think guys like Slep and Caggulia will improve in that area. They could definitely use a winger for McDavid. If you could get a guy who is a 20 goal RW, McDavid can turn him into a 30 goal guy easily. Maroon went from a career high 12 goals to 27. So I don't think you need to blow the bank on a "sniper". Crosby makes decent, cheap wingers into 25 goal guys pretty easily. Why can't McDavid?

For the secondary scoring in general. The Oilers paid 6 mill to Nuge who had 43 pts. Everyone can talk about how much better his defensive game is but I am sorry, if you give Chia, McLellan, whoever in the Oilers organization a stiff drink of truth syrup, they aren't paying any player 6 mill to just be a shut down guy. They have to spin it so as not to gut Nuge but to remotely earn his paycheck, he has to be pushing 55+ pts while being good defensive AND win a freaking draw.

Eberle is the same. Yes he has improved defensively. But when you play in the NHL for 7 seasons, you better be somewhat better defensively just by experience. So to me saying he is better defensively isn't saying much. But he's a one dimensional player, let's call a spade a spade here. He's being paid 6 mill to flirt with 30 goals and over 60 pts without trying. Even if he does that, I still think he's a bit over paid so 20 goals and 51 pts doesn't cut it. If those 2 have years they should do automatically, are we worried about secondary scoring as much? Probably not.

For Lucic. http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/player-bio/milan-lucic I am sure I am starting to come off as a Lucic apologist what isn't my intention. I fully expect him to be better next you. To go from an American market where you can live your life mostly unnoticed to a hardcore Canadian market where you can't fill your car with gas without getting harassed would be a HUGE adjustment for any player. But I wonder what people think is an acceptable season for Lucic because all I hear is he wasn't that good. He had 23 goals, 50 pts with over 200 hits. Last year he had 20 goals, 55 pts with 244 hits. So while I think he has a little more to give, I don't think he was bad. So if he has 25 -55 next year, while having over 200 hits, a few fights and doing what he does on the bench and in the dressing room, is that a good year? I'm not trying to stir the pot, I would just like to know what is considered a good year.



I don't think you need to break the bank for a RW for McDavid either. The key is finding the right fit. Like you say, look at Crosby's example. If you can skate, play a little bit fearless to get into scoring areas, and you can shoot the puck (1-timer is a must), you can produce playing with Crosby. I think there are loads of right handed wingers (don't even necessary need to be RH, but it would be ideal) out there that could be 20-30 goal scorers with McDavid. It's just a matter of making the right choices and bringing them in as cheaply as possible. And that is the kind of discovery that Chia and his group are going to need to become experts at if we are going to have long term success under the cap with this core.


I totally agree. I heard Dreger the other day talking about the Oilers and Eberle and how he thinks its a give Eberle would be gone. He mentioned the Isles and brought up Strome. You have to think the Isles need to do something to improve and to convince Tavares to stay. He leaves, they got nothing. They had a decent team then Snow guts it last off season but not resigning guys and not replacing them. Strome was a #5 overall pick. Good scorer in junior. He turns 24 in July. 6'1, around 200. Shoots right. Really good skater, really good offensive instincts. He's a center but has played mostly wing. I know McLellan likes the center/wing combo. He's cheap. It hasn't worked with the Isles and I think part of it is the Isles have been sort of clowns for a few years and he got jerked around. Strome's best year is 17 goals, 50 pts 2 seasons ago. He had 13 goals, 30 pts and I don't think he was in their top 6 though I don't know for sure this past season. Strome is signed for 1 more year at 2.5 mill but he would be an RFA. On paper, Eberle is the better, more prove player. But if he Strome comes to the Oilers, a younger, up and coming team, gets a fresh start and plays with McDavid, could he score more than 20 goals? Maybe. Like I said Maroon had a career high 12 goals and he put in 27 this year. Strome has a career high 17, had 13 last year. If he doesn't work out and you have to move him down the lines. He's only making 2.5 mill so it doesn't hurt you. If Eberle is playing lousy again and you have to move him down, it hurts you more because of the contract.

Connor Sheary plays with Crosby and seems to be a fit. Sheary is smaller than Strome but they are both good skating, offensive guys. Sheary in 61 games this year had 23 goals, 53 pts playing with Crosby. To me on paper, Strome looks like a bigger Sheary type guy.

[Updated on: Fri, 19 May 2017 09:43]


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 Re: The Need to Improve [message #694819 is a reply to message #694816 ]
Fri, 19 May 2017 10:15 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ziltoid  is currently offline ziltoid
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[quote title=RDOilerfan wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 09:39][quote title=Kr55 wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 09:13]
RDOilerfan wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 08:30



I totally agree. I heard Dreger the other day talking about the Oilers and Eberle and how he thinks its a give Eberle would be gone. He mentioned the Isles and brought up Strome. You have to think the Isles need to do something to improve and to convince Tavares to stay. He leaves, they got nothing. They had a decent team then Snow guts it last off season but not resigning guys and not replacing them. Strome was a #5 overall pick. Good scorer in junior. He turns 24 in July. 6'1, around 200. Shoots right. Really good skater, really good offensive instincts. He's a center but has played mostly wing. I know McLellan likes the center/wing combo. He's cheap. It hasn't worked with the Isles and I think part of it is the Isles have been sort of clowns for a few years and he got jerked around. Strome's best year is 17 goals, 50 pts 2 seasons ago. He had 13 goals, 30 pts and I don't think he was in their top 6 though I don't know for sure this past season. Strome is signed for 1 more year at 2.5 mill but he would be an RFA. On paper, Eberle is the better, more prove player. But if he Strome comes to the Oilers, a younger, up and coming team, gets a fresh start and plays with McDavid, could he score more than 20 goals? Maybe. Like I said Maroon had a career high 12 goals and he put in 27 this year. Strome has a career high 17, had 13 last year. If he doesn't work out and you have to move him down the lines. He's only making 2.5 mill so it doesn't hurt you. If Eberle is playing lousy again and you have to move him down, it hurts you more because of the contract.

Connor Sheary plays with Crosby and seems to be a fit. Sheary is smaller than Strome but they are both good skating, offensive guys. Sheary in 61 games this year had 23 goals, 53 pts playing with Crosby. To me on paper, Strome looks like a bigger Sheary type guy.


I think a lot of people are missing the point when it comes to Nuge, Ebs, Lucic, and forward performance in general.

Yes, there were some players that underperformed, but the question is what's the main cause of this underperformance. Most have turned to the player and laid the blame on them, and to a certain extent that is true, but what proportion of the variability in their performance can be attributed to personal matters? I contend that although personal matters are a factor, they are overshadowed by systematic issues that stem from our defense; if, as Adam and others have said, we address the defense such that we are able to develop a more controlled breakout with cleaner puck possession, then we will be able to generate a stronger attack in the offensive zone, which leads to more points.

Let's take Lucic for example: he has come from teams that have all world d-men (e.g., Doughty, Chara) and strong d-cores that are good at moving the puck out of the zone in a controlled fashion (especially in the top 6 where he plays). When he gets to Edmonton, he is faced with a defense that cannot do that nearly as well, which makes it harder for him to post 5v5 points.

Ebs and Nuge's struggles can also be traced back to the defense. In the early days of their career, they could cheat for offense because they were not relied on for helping douse the fire drill in our own zone. Now, however, they are required to help in the defensive zone, and when the d-men can't create clean zone exits, Ebs and Nuge end up taking additional defensive responsibilities without receiving clean breakouts to counteract the fact they are no longer cheating for offense. Thus their point totals drop.

I think more of the drop off for Nuge and Ebs can be attributed to personal matter than Lucic, but in all three cases, I think those personal matter are overshadowed by system issues. If we do not address these system issues, then it does not matter who you put in place of RNH, Ebs, Lucic, etc, they will still underperform as they do not have a defense that can move the puck up the ice.

This is, again, just my take, but it carries a lot of explanatory power while taking into consideration the complex, interactive nature of the sport, as well as know facts about our defense. Your milage may vary.



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 Re: The Need to Improve [message #694822 is a reply to message #694819 ]
Fri, 19 May 2017 10:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kr55  is currently offline Kr55
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ziltoid wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 10:15

RDOilerfan wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 09:39



I totally agree. I heard Dreger the other day talking about the Oilers and Eberle and how he thinks its a give Eberle would be gone. He mentioned the Isles and brought up Strome. You have to think the Isles need to do something to improve and to convince Tavares to stay. He leaves, they got nothing. They had a decent team then Snow guts it last off season but not resigning guys and not replacing them. Strome was a #5 overall pick. Good scorer in junior. He turns 24 in July. 6'1, around 200. Shoots right. Really good skater, really good offensive instincts. He's a center but has played mostly wing. I know McLellan likes the center/wing combo. He's cheap. It hasn't worked with the Isles and I think part of it is the Isles have been sort of clowns for a few years and he got jerked around. Strome's best year is 17 goals, 50 pts 2 seasons ago. He had 13 goals, 30 pts and I don't think he was in their top 6 though I don't know for sure this past season. Strome is signed for 1 more year at 2.5 mill but he would be an RFA. On paper, Eberle is the better, more prove player. But if he Strome comes to the Oilers, a younger, up and coming team, gets a fresh start and plays with McDavid, could he score more than 20 goals? Maybe. Like I said Maroon had a career high 12 goals and he put in 27 this year. Strome has a career high 17, had 13 last year. If he doesn't work out and you have to move him down the lines. He's only making 2.5 mill so it doesn't hurt you. If Eberle is playing lousy again and you have to move him down, it hurts you more because of the contract.

Connor Sheary plays with Crosby and seems to be a fit. Sheary is smaller than Strome but they are both good skating, offensive guys. Sheary in 61 games this year had 23 goals, 53 pts playing with Crosby. To me on paper, Strome looks like a bigger Sheary type guy.


I think a lot of people are missing the point when it comes to Nuge, Ebs, Lucic, and forward performance in general.

Yes, there were some players that underperformed, but the question is what's the main cause of this underperformance. Most have turned to the player and laid the blame on them, and to a certain extent that is true, but what proportion of the variability in their performance can be attributed to personal matters? I contend that although personal matters are a factor, they are overshadowed by systematic issues that stem from our defense; if, as Adam and others have said, we address the defense such that we are able to develop a more controlled breakout with cleaner puck possession, then we will be able to generate a stronger attack in the offensive zone, which leads to more points.

Let's take Lucic for example: he has come from teams that have all world d-men (e.g., Doughty, Chara) and strong d-cores that are good at moving the puck out of the zone in a controlled fashion (especially in the top 6 where he plays). When he gets to Edmonton, he is faced with a defense that cannot do that nearly as well, which makes it harder for him to post 5v5 points.

Ebs and Nuge's struggles can also be traced back to the defense. In the early days of their career, they could cheat for offense because they were not relied on for helping douse the fire drill in our own zone. Now, however, they are required to help in the defensive zone, and when the d-men can't create clean zone exits, Ebs and Nuge end up taking additional defensive responsibilities without receiving clean breakouts to counteract the fact they are no longer cheating for offense. Thus their point totals drop.

I think more of the drop off for Nuge and Ebs can be attributed to personal matter than Lucic, but in all three cases, I think those personal matter are overshadowed by system issues. If we do not address these system issues, then it does not matter who you put in place of RNH, Ebs, Lucic, etc, they will still underperform as they do not have a defense that can move the puck up the ice.

This is, again, just my take, but it carries a lot of explanatory power while taking into consideration the complex, interactive nature of the sport, as well as know facts about our defense. Your milage may vary.



The D is certainly part of it. But, there has been a lack of ability shown in the offensive zone as well by those forwards. A lot of goals these days been to come from grinding things out in the offensive zone and quick 1-banger plays that come off the boards, getting the puck to a guy in the slot that has got away from or fought off a check. And against a team like the Ducks with all their mobile D with good sticks, a guy like Ebs, who has got a bit slower, had a hell of a time getting anything done on the rush too the odd time he was able to breakout with any kind of space. Nuge was definitely the best of Lucic/Ebs/Nuge at moving the puck up the ice. Lucic was a disaster most of the time (he needs to copy Drai's giant stick blade or something, he losses the puck so easily), Ebs kept the button hooks going that usually resulted in the puck heading back to our zone within a few seconds. Nuge was actually able to penetrate into the zone now and then and make plays. On the cycle...that line was pretty stinky. Nuge/Ebs lost the puck far too easily, and Lucic, if he won the puck would do some goofy carry and lose it anyways.

[Updated on: Fri, 19 May 2017 10:56]


"The Edmonton Oilers are not where they should be right now and that is unacceptable. We need to get better immediately. That starts today"
-Kevin Lowe, April 2013


"Next year (15/16) I would forecast as another developmental year"
- #2, April 2015

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 Re: The Need to Improve [message #694824 is a reply to message #694822 ]
Fri, 19 May 2017 11:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ziltoid  is currently offline ziltoid
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Kr55 wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 10:49

ziltoid wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 10:15

RDOilerfan wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 09:39



I totally agree. I heard Dreger the other day talking about the Oilers and Eberle and how he thinks its a give Eberle would be gone. He mentioned the Isles and brought up Strome. You have to think the Isles need to do something to improve and to convince Tavares to stay. He leaves, they got nothing. They had a decent team then Snow guts it last off season but not resigning guys and not replacing them. Strome was a #5 overall pick. Good scorer in junior. He turns 24 in July. 6'1, around 200. Shoots right. Really good skater, really good offensive instincts. He's a center but has played mostly wing. I know McLellan likes the center/wing combo. He's cheap. It hasn't worked with the Isles and I think part of it is the Isles have been sort of clowns for a few years and he got jerked around. Strome's best year is 17 goals, 50 pts 2 seasons ago. He had 13 goals, 30 pts and I don't think he was in their top 6 though I don't know for sure this past season. Strome is signed for 1 more year at 2.5 mill but he would be an RFA. On paper, Eberle is the better, more prove player. But if he Strome comes to the Oilers, a younger, up and coming team, gets a fresh start and plays with McDavid, could he score more than 20 goals? Maybe. Like I said Maroon had a career high 12 goals and he put in 27 this year. Strome has a career high 17, had 13 last year. If he doesn't work out and you have to move him down the lines. He's only making 2.5 mill so it doesn't hurt you. If Eberle is playing lousy again and you have to move him down, it hurts you more because of the contract.

Connor Sheary plays with Crosby and seems to be a fit. Sheary is smaller than Strome but they are both good skating, offensive guys. Sheary in 61 games this year had 23 goals, 53 pts playing with Crosby. To me on paper, Strome looks like a bigger Sheary type guy.


I think a lot of people are missing the point when it comes to Nuge, Ebs, Lucic, and forward performance in general.

Yes, there were some players that underperformed, but the question is what's the main cause of this underperformance. Most have turned to the player and laid the blame on them, and to a certain extent that is true, but what proportion of the variability in their performance can be attributed to personal matters? I contend that although personal matters are a factor, they are overshadowed by systematic issues that stem from our defense; if, as Adam and others have said, we address the defense such that we are able to develop a more controlled breakout with cleaner puck possession, then we will be able to generate a stronger attack in the offensive zone, which leads to more points.

Let's take Lucic for example: he has come from teams that have all world d-men (e.g., Doughty, Chara) and strong d-cores that are good at moving the puck out of the zone in a controlled fashion (especially in the top 6 where he plays). When he gets to Edmonton, he is faced with a defense that cannot do that nearly as well, which makes it harder for him to post 5v5 points.

Ebs and Nuge's struggles can also be traced back to the defense. In the early days of their career, they could cheat for offense because they were not relied on for helping douse the fire drill in our own zone. Now, however, they are required to help in the defensive zone, and when the d-men can't create clean zone exits, Ebs and Nuge end up taking additional defensive responsibilities without receiving clean breakouts to counteract the fact they are no longer cheating for offense. Thus their point totals drop.

I think more of the drop off for Nuge and Ebs can be attributed to personal matter than Lucic, but in all three cases, I think those personal matter are overshadowed by system issues. If we do not address these system issues, then it does not matter who you put in place of RNH, Ebs, Lucic, etc, they will still underperform as they do not have a defense that can move the puck up the ice.

This is, again, just my take, but it carries a lot of explanatory power while taking into consideration the complex, interactive nature of the sport, as well as know facts about our defense. Your milage may vary.



The D is certainly part of it. But, there has been a lack of ability shown in the offensive zone as well by those forwards. A lot of goals these days been to come from grinding things out in the offensive zone and quick 1-banger plays that come off the boards, getting the puck to a guy in the slot that has got away from or fought off a check. And against a team like the Ducks with all their mobile D with good sticks, a guy like Ebs, who has got a bit slower, had a hell of a time getting anything done on the rush too the odd time he was able to breakout with any kind of space. Nuge was definitely the best of Lucic/Ebs/Nuge at moving the puck up the ice. Lucic was a disaster most of the time (he needs to copy Drai's giant stick blade or something, he losses the puck so easily), Ebs kept the button hooks going that usually resulted in the puck heading back to our zone within a few seconds. Nuge was actually able to penetrate into the zone now and then and make plays. On the cycle...that line was pretty stinky. Nuge/Ebs lost the puck far too easily, and Lucic, if he won the puck would do some goofy carry and lose it anyways.


Are their struggles to "get it done" (so to speak) in the offensive zone because they are struggling as players, or can those struggles be traced back to d-zone problems? I would be curious to see what percentage of Ebs, Nuge, and Lucic's points came from clean zone exits, and what percentage came from non-clean or o-zone draws. I can't help but think these grinding goals are a result of poor breakouts... poor breakouts may pre-dispose a line to scoring more greasy goals due to troubles in clean zone entries; if we have cleaner exits, then we can have cleaner entries, and thus cleaner goals (a style of goal scoring that is much better suited to Ebs and RNH, and to a lesser extent Lucic given his hands).



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 Re: The Need to Improve [message #694826 is a reply to message #694824 ]
Fri, 19 May 2017 11:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kr55  is currently offline Kr55
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ziltoid wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 11:00

Kr55 wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 10:49

ziltoid wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 10:15

RDOilerfan wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 09:39



I totally agree. I heard Dreger the other day talking about the Oilers and Eberle and how he thinks its a give Eberle would be gone. He mentioned the Isles and brought up Strome. You have to think the Isles need to do something to improve and to convince Tavares to stay. He leaves, they got nothing. They had a decent team then Snow guts it last off season but not resigning guys and not replacing them. Strome was a #5 overall pick. Good scorer in junior. He turns 24 in July. 6'1, around 200. Shoots right. Really good skater, really good offensive instincts. He's a center but has played mostly wing. I know McLellan likes the center/wing combo. He's cheap. It hasn't worked with the Isles and I think part of it is the Isles have been sort of clowns for a few years and he got jerked around. Strome's best year is 17 goals, 50 pts 2 seasons ago. He had 13 goals, 30 pts and I don't think he was in their top 6 though I don't know for sure this past season. Strome is signed for 1 more year at 2.5 mill but he would be an RFA. On paper, Eberle is the better, more prove player. But if he Strome comes to the Oilers, a younger, up and coming team, gets a fresh start and plays with McDavid, could he score more than 20 goals? Maybe. Like I said Maroon had a career high 12 goals and he put in 27 this year. Strome has a career high 17, had 13 last year. If he doesn't work out and you have to move him down the lines. He's only making 2.5 mill so it doesn't hurt you. If Eberle is playing lousy again and you have to move him down, it hurts you more because of the contract.

Connor Sheary plays with Crosby and seems to be a fit. Sheary is smaller than Strome but they are both good skating, offensive guys. Sheary in 61 games this year had 23 goals, 53 pts playing with Crosby. To me on paper, Strome looks like a bigger Sheary type guy.


I think a lot of people are missing the point when it comes to Nuge, Ebs, Lucic, and forward performance in general.

Yes, there were some players that underperformed, but the question is what's the main cause of this underperformance. Most have turned to the player and laid the blame on them, and to a certain extent that is true, but what proportion of the variability in their performance can be attributed to personal matters? I contend that although personal matters are a factor, they are overshadowed by systematic issues that stem from our defense; if, as Adam and others have said, we address the defense such that we are able to develop a more controlled breakout with cleaner puck possession, then we will be able to generate a stronger attack in the offensive zone, which leads to more points.

Let's take Lucic for example: he has come from teams that have all world d-men (e.g., Doughty, Chara) and strong d-cores that are good at moving the puck out of the zone in a controlled fashion (especially in the top 6 where he plays). When he gets to Edmonton, he is faced with a defense that cannot do that nearly as well, which makes it harder for him to post 5v5 points.

Ebs and Nuge's struggles can also be traced back to the defense. In the early days of their career, they could cheat for offense because they were not relied on for helping douse the fire drill in our own zone. Now, however, they are required to help in the defensive zone, and when the d-men can't create clean zone exits, Ebs and Nuge end up taking additional defensive responsibilities without receiving clean breakouts to counteract the fact they are no longer cheating for offense. Thus their point totals drop.

I think more of the drop off for Nuge and Ebs can be attributed to personal matter than Lucic, but in all three cases, I think those personal matter are overshadowed by system issues. If we do not address these system issues, then it does not matter who you put in place of RNH, Ebs, Lucic, etc, they will still underperform as they do not have a defense that can move the puck up the ice.

This is, again, just my take, but it carries a lot of explanatory power while taking into consideration the complex, interactive nature of the sport, as well as know facts about our defense. Your milage may vary.



The D is certainly part of it. But, there has been a lack of ability shown in the offensive zone as well by those forwards. A lot of goals these days been to come from grinding things out in the offensive zone and quick 1-banger plays that come off the boards, getting the puck to a guy in the slot that has got away from or fought off a check. And against a team like the Ducks with all their mobile D with good sticks, a guy like Ebs, who has got a bit slower, had a hell of a time getting anything done on the rush too the odd time he was able to breakout with any kind of space. Nuge was definitely the best of Lucic/Ebs/Nuge at moving the puck up the ice. Lucic was a disaster most of the time (he needs to copy Drai's giant stick blade or something, he losses the puck so easily), Ebs kept the button hooks going that usually resulted in the puck heading back to our zone within a few seconds. Nuge was actually able to penetrate into the zone now and then and make plays. On the cycle...that line was pretty stinky. Nuge/Ebs lost the puck far too easily, and Lucic, if he won the puck would do some goofy carry and lose it anyways.


Are their struggles to "get it done" (so to speak) in the offensive zone because they are struggling as players, or can those struggles be traced back to d-zone problems? I would be curious to see what percentage of Ebs, Nuge, and Lucic's points came from clean zone exits, and what percentage came from non-clean or o-zone draws. I can't help but think these grinding goals are a result of poor breakouts... poor breakouts may pre-dispose a line to scoring more greasy goals due to troubles in clean zone entries; if we have cleaner exits, then we can have cleaner entries, and thus cleaner goals (a style of goal scoring that is much better suited to Ebs and RNH, and to a lesser extent Lucic given his hands).


I don't think you can entirely blame a line not being able to create opportunities once they're already inside the offensive zone on how things went in their defensive zone. For sure, Nuge and Ebs are more inclined to producing on the rush, but those kinds of opportunities dry up in the playoffs, especially against a team like the Ducks who have no issue just reaching out and grabbing you as you try to get by them (with no consequences from the refs of course).

Just for extreme examples, watch guys like Rakell and Forsberg, battling around the net, getting their sticks on pucks in scrambles, finding the soft areas and getting shots of quickly. Those are guys that are great on the rush, but also able to be useful in the offensive zone playing a part in fore-checking and cycles. Nuge was actually able to do some of that too, he just couldn't catch a break, I think he worked really well with Poo. Poo was able to steal pucks and set Nuge up a number of times, just couldn't get any finish. Eberle, pretty invisible in the offensive zone as soon as anything turned into a battle. Lucic, seemed to think he had to be the one making plays along the boards all the time, maybe he was right since he seemed to be the only guy on the 666 line that could come out with the puck at least around half the time, but it didn't work out to well for him or the team.



"The Edmonton Oilers are not where they should be right now and that is unacceptable. We need to get better immediately. That starts today"
-Kevin Lowe, April 2013


"Next year (15/16) I would forecast as another developmental year"
- #2, April 2015

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 Re: The Need to Improve [message #694827 is a reply to message #694826 ]
Fri, 19 May 2017 11:30 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ziltoid  is currently offline ziltoid
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Kr55 wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 11:20

ziltoid wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 11:00

Kr55 wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 10:49

ziltoid wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 10:15

RDOilerfan wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 09:39



I totally agree. I heard Dreger the other day talking about the Oilers and Eberle and how he thinks its a give Eberle would be gone. He mentioned the Isles and brought up Strome. You have to think the Isles need to do something to improve and to convince Tavares to stay. He leaves, they got nothing. They had a decent team then Snow guts it last off season but not resigning guys and not replacing them. Strome was a #5 overall pick. Good scorer in junior. He turns 24 in July. 6'1, around 200. Shoots right. Really good skater, really good offensive instincts. He's a center but has played mostly wing. I know McLellan likes the center/wing combo. He's cheap. It hasn't worked with the Isles and I think part of it is the Isles have been sort of clowns for a few years and he got jerked around. Strome's best year is 17 goals, 50 pts 2 seasons ago. He had 13 goals, 30 pts and I don't think he was in their top 6 though I don't know for sure this past season. Strome is signed for 1 more year at 2.5 mill but he would be an RFA. On paper, Eberle is the better, more prove player. But if he Strome comes to the Oilers, a younger, up and coming team, gets a fresh start and plays with McDavid, could he score more than 20 goals? Maybe. Like I said Maroon had a career high 12 goals and he put in 27 this year. Strome has a career high 17, had 13 last year. If he doesn't work out and you have to move him down the lines. He's only making 2.5 mill so it doesn't hurt you. If Eberle is playing lousy again and you have to move him down, it hurts you more because of the contract.

Connor Sheary plays with Crosby and seems to be a fit. Sheary is smaller than Strome but they are both good skating, offensive guys. Sheary in 61 games this year had 23 goals, 53 pts playing with Crosby. To me on paper, Strome looks like a bigger Sheary type guy.


I think a lot of people are missing the point when it comes to Nuge, Ebs, Lucic, and forward performance in general.

Yes, there were some players that underperformed, but the question is what's the main cause of this underperformance. Most have turned to the player and laid the blame on them, and to a certain extent that is true, but what proportion of the variability in their performance can be attributed to personal matters? I contend that although personal matters are a factor, they are overshadowed by systematic issues that stem from our defense; if, as Adam and others have said, we address the defense such that we are able to develop a more controlled breakout with cleaner puck possession, then we will be able to generate a stronger attack in the offensive zone, which leads to more points.

Let's take Lucic for example: he has come from teams that have all world d-men (e.g., Doughty, Chara) and strong d-cores that are good at moving the puck out of the zone in a controlled fashion (especially in the top 6 where he plays). When he gets to Edmonton, he is faced with a defense that cannot do that nearly as well, which makes it harder for him to post 5v5 points.

Ebs and Nuge's struggles can also be traced back to the defense. In the early days of their career, they could cheat for offense because they were not relied on for helping douse the fire drill in our own zone. Now, however, they are required to help in the defensive zone, and when the d-men can't create clean zone exits, Ebs and Nuge end up taking additional defensive responsibilities without receiving clean breakouts to counteract the fact they are no longer cheating for offense. Thus their point totals drop.

I think more of the drop off for Nuge and Ebs can be attributed to personal matter than Lucic, but in all three cases, I think those personal matter are overshadowed by system issues. If we do not address these system issues, then it does not matter who you put in place of RNH, Ebs, Lucic, etc, they will still underperform as they do not have a defense that can move the puck up the ice.

This is, again, just my take, but it carries a lot of explanatory power while taking into consideration the complex, interactive nature of the sport, as well as know facts about our defense. Your milage may vary.



The D is certainly part of it. But, there has been a lack of ability shown in the offensive zone as well by those forwards. A lot of goals these days been to come from grinding things out in the offensive zone and quick 1-banger plays that come off the boards, getting the puck to a guy in the slot that has got away from or fought off a check. And against a team like the Ducks with all their mobile D with good sticks, a guy like Ebs, who has got a bit slower, had a hell of a time getting anything done on the rush too the odd time he was able to breakout with any kind of space. Nuge was definitely the best of Lucic/Ebs/Nuge at moving the puck up the ice. Lucic was a disaster most of the time (he needs to copy Drai's giant stick blade or something, he losses the puck so easily), Ebs kept the button hooks going that usually resulted in the puck heading back to our zone within a few seconds. Nuge was actually able to penetrate into the zone now and then and make plays. On the cycle...that line was pretty stinky. Nuge/Ebs lost the puck far too easily, and Lucic, if he won the puck would do some goofy carry and lose it anyways.


Are their struggles to "get it done" (so to speak) in the offensive zone because they are struggling as players, or can those struggles be traced back to d-zone problems? I would be curious to see what percentage of Ebs, Nuge, and Lucic's points came from clean zone exits, and what percentage came from non-clean or o-zone draws. I can't help but think these grinding goals are a result of poor breakouts... poor breakouts may pre-dispose a line to scoring more greasy goals due to troubles in clean zone entries; if we have cleaner exits, then we can have cleaner entries, and thus cleaner goals (a style of goal scoring that is much better suited to Ebs and RNH, and to a lesser extent Lucic given his hands).


I don't think you can entirely blame a line not being able to create opportunities once they're already inside the offensive zone on how things went in their defensive zone. For sure, Nuge and Ebs are more inclined to producing on the rush, but those kinds of opportunities dry up in the playoffs, especially against a team like the Ducks who have no issue just reaching out and grabbing you as you try to get by them (with no consequences from the refs of course).

Just for extreme examples, watch guys like Rakell and Forsberg, battling around the net, getting their sticks on pucks in scrambles, finding the soft areas and getting shots of quickly. Those are guys that are great on the rush, but also able to be useful in the offensive zone playing a part in fore-checking and cycles. Nuge was actually able to do some of that too, he just couldn't catch a break, I think he worked really well with Poo. Poo was able to steal pucks and set Nuge up a number of times, just couldn't get any finish. Eberle, pretty invisible in the offensive zone as soon as anything turned into a battle. Lucic, seemed to think he had to be the one making plays along the boards all the time, maybe he was right since he seemed to be the only guy on the 666 line that could come out with the puck at least around half the time, but it didn't work out to well for him or the team.


Oh of course, there is no question part of the blame rests on the players.... but I think the preponderance of blame goes to defensive systems. That is, more of the blame for decreased point totals can be attributed to defensive failures than individual failures. Given that I think it is more of a systems issue than a personal issue, I think we are better off fixing the system than rolling the dice on a new FW (or FWs) and hoping they can overcome the system failures.



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 Re: The Need to Improve [message #694832 is a reply to message #694819 ]
Fri, 19 May 2017 12:13 Go to previous messageGo to next message
RDOilerfan  is currently offline RDOilerfan
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[quote title=ziltoid wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 10:15][quote title=RDOilerfan wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 09:39]
Kr55 wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 09:13

RDOilerfan wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 08:30



I totally agree. I heard Dreger the other day talking about the Oilers and Eberle and how he thinks its a give Eberle would be gone. He mentioned the Isles and brought up Strome. You have to think the Isles need to do something to improve and to convince Tavares to stay. He leaves, they got nothing. They had a decent team then Snow guts it last off season but not resigning guys and not replacing them. Strome was a #5 overall pick. Good scorer in junior. He turns 24 in July. 6'1, around 200. Shoots right. Really good skater, really good offensive instincts. He's a center but has played mostly wing. I know McLellan likes the center/wing combo. He's cheap. It hasn't worked with the Isles and I think part of it is the Isles have been sort of clowns for a few years and he got jerked around. Strome's best year is 17 goals, 50 pts 2 seasons ago. He had 13 goals, 30 pts and I don't think he was in their top 6 though I don't know for sure this past season. Strome is signed for 1 more year at 2.5 mill but he would be an RFA. On paper, Eberle is the better, more prove player. But if he Strome comes to the Oilers, a younger, up and coming team, gets a fresh start and plays with McDavid, could he score more than 20 goals? Maybe. Like I said Maroon had a career high 12 goals and he put in 27 this year. Strome has a career high 17, had 13 last year. If he doesn't work out and you have to move him down the lines. He's only making 2.5 mill so it doesn't hurt you. If Eberle is playing lousy again and you have to move him down, it hurts you more because of the contract.

Connor Sheary plays with Crosby and seems to be a fit. Sheary is smaller than Strome but they are both good skating, offensive guys. Sheary in 61 games this year had 23 goals, 53 pts playing with Crosby. To me on paper, Strome looks like a bigger Sheary type guy.


I think a lot of people are missing the point when it comes to Nuge, Ebs, Lucic, and forward performance in general.

Yes, there were some players that underperformed, but the question is what's the main cause of this underperformance. Most have turned to the player and laid the blame on them, and to a certain extent that is true, but what proportion of the variability in their performance can be attributed to personal matters? I contend that although personal matters are a factor, they are overshadowed by systematic issues that stem from our defense; if, as Adam and others have said, we address the defense such that we are able to develop a more controlled breakout with cleaner puck possession, then we will be able to generate a stronger attack in the offensive zone, which leads to more points.

Let's take Lucic for example: he has come from teams that have all world d-men (e.g., Doughty, Chara) and strong d-cores that are good at moving the puck out of the zone in a controlled fashion (especially in the top 6 where he plays). When he gets to Edmonton, he is faced with a defense that cannot do that nearly as well, which makes it harder for him to post 5v5 points.

Ebs and Nuge's struggles can also be traced back to the defense. In the early days of their career, they could cheat for offense because they were not relied on for helping douse the fire drill in our own zone. Now, however, they are required to help in the defensive zone, and when the d-men can't create clean zone exits, Ebs and Nuge end up taking additional defensive responsibilities without receiving clean breakouts to counteract the fact they are no longer cheating for offense. Thus their point totals drop.

I think more of the drop off for Nuge and Ebs can be attributed to personal matter than Lucic, but in all three cases, I think those personal matter are overshadowed by system issues. If we do not address these system issues, then it does not matter who you put in place of RNH, Ebs, Lucic, etc, they will still underperform as they do not have a defense that can move the puck up the ice.

This is, again, just my take, but it carries a lot of explanatory power while taking into consideration the complex, interactive nature of the sport, as well as know facts about our defense. Your milage may vary.



So prior to McLellan, Nuge and Eberle were on a team that had poor system play, a lousy defense and they routinely were dead last or almost dead last in the entire NHL. Nuge and Eberle would get their points but the Oilers lost and lost and lost. So they bring in a coach who actually knows what he is doing. They bring in a GM who knows what he is doing. They improve the defense. Introduce an actual good system. The entire team flourishes to the point they have 103 pts, host a playoff round and you think the system needs to be changed for Nuge & Eberle?





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 Re: The Need to Improve [message #694833 is a reply to message #694832 ]
Fri, 19 May 2017 12:35 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ziltoid  is currently offline ziltoid
Messages: 134
Registered: January 2011

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[quote title=RDOilerfan wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 12:13][quote title=ziltoid wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 10:15]
RDOilerfan wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 09:39

Kr55 wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 09:13

RDOilerfan wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 08:30



I totally agree. I heard Dreger the other day talking about the Oilers and Eberle and how he thinks its a give Eberle would be gone. He mentioned the Isles and brought up Strome. You have to think the Isles need to do something to improve and to convince Tavares to stay. He leaves, they got nothing. They had a decent team then Snow guts it last off season but not resigning guys and not replacing them. Strome was a #5 overall pick. Good scorer in junior. He turns 24 in July. 6'1, around 200. Shoots right. Really good skater, really good offensive instincts. He's a center but has played mostly wing. I know McLellan likes the center/wing combo. He's cheap. It hasn't worked with the Isles and I think part of it is the Isles have been sort of clowns for a few years and he got jerked around. Strome's best year is 17 goals, 50 pts 2 seasons ago. He had 13 goals, 30 pts and I don't think he was in their top 6 though I don't know for sure this past season. Strome is signed for 1 more year at 2.5 mill but he would be an RFA. On paper, Eberle is the better, more prove player. But if he Strome comes to the Oilers, a younger, up and coming team, gets a fresh start and plays with McDavid, could he score more than 20 goals? Maybe. Like I said Maroon had a career high 12 goals and he put in 27 this year. Strome has a career high 17, had 13 last year. If he doesn't work out and you have to move him down the lines. He's only making 2.5 mill so it doesn't hurt you. If Eberle is playing lousy again and you have to move him down, it hurts you more because of the contract.

Connor Sheary plays with Crosby and seems to be a fit. Sheary is smaller than Strome but they are both good skating, offensive guys. Sheary in 61 games this year had 23 goals, 53 pts playing with Crosby. To me on paper, Strome looks like a bigger Sheary type guy.


I think a lot of people are missing the point when it comes to Nuge, Ebs, Lucic, and forward performance in general.

Yes, there were some players that underperformed, but the question is what's the main cause of this underperformance. Most have turned to the player and laid the blame on them, and to a certain extent that is true, but what proportion of the variability in their performance can be attributed to personal matters? I contend that although personal matters are a factor, they are overshadowed by systematic issues that stem from our defense; if, as Adam and others have said, we address the defense such that we are able to develop a more controlled breakout with cleaner puck possession, then we will be able to generate a stronger attack in the offensive zone, which leads to more points.

Let's take Lucic for example: he has come from teams that have all world d-men (e.g., Doughty, Chara) and strong d-cores that are good at moving the puck out of the zone in a controlled fashion (especially in the top 6 where he plays). When he gets to Edmonton, he is faced with a defense that cannot do that nearly as well, which makes it harder for him to post 5v5 points.

Ebs and Nuge's struggles can also be traced back to the defense. In the early days of their career, they could cheat for offense because they were not relied on for helping douse the fire drill in our own zone. Now, however, they are required to help in the defensive zone, and when the d-men can't create clean zone exits, Ebs and Nuge end up taking additional defensive responsibilities without receiving clean breakouts to counteract the fact they are no longer cheating for offense. Thus their point totals drop.

I think more of the drop off for Nuge and Ebs can be attributed to personal matter than Lucic, but in all three cases, I think those personal matter are overshadowed by system issues. If we do not address these system issues, then it does not matter who you put in place of RNH, Ebs, Lucic, etc, they will still underperform as they do not have a defense that can move the puck up the ice.

This is, again, just my take, but it carries a lot of explanatory power while taking into consideration the complex, interactive nature of the sport, as well as know facts about our defense. Your milage may vary.



So prior to McLellan, Nuge and Eberle were on a team that had poor system play, a lousy defense and they routinely were dead last or almost dead last in the entire NHL. Nuge and Eberle would get their points but the Oilers lost and lost and lost. So they bring in a coach who actually knows what he is doing. They bring in a GM who knows what he is doing. They improve the defense. Introduce an actual good system. The entire team flourishes to the point they have 103 pts, host a playoff round and you think the system needs to be changed for Nuge & Eberle?





I think the defensive system (and to an extent the defensive personnel) needs to be changed as we struggle with zone exits. I also think the added defensive responsibilities for RNH and Ebs interacts with our zone exit struggles such that it leads to a reduction in points for them. I also think we can get their point totals back up by fixing the defensive system such that it improves our ability to produce clean zone exits. I think their early point totals were driven by a lesser focus on defense, which led them to cheat for offense (which they can't do now). I also think fixing the defensive issues will lead to increased offense throughout the entire line-up. I also think dumping Ebs or RNH (or both) for new player(s) without fixing these defensive issues is bad strategy as we are rolling the dice that the new player(s) won't regress due to the defensive issues.

The defensive system doesn't need to change for RNH and Ebs, it needs to change for the good of the team.



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 Re: The Need to Improve [message #694834 is a reply to message #694833 ]
Fri, 19 May 2017 12:43 Go to previous messageGo to next message
RDOilerfan  is currently offline RDOilerfan
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[quote title=ziltoid wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 12:35][quote title=RDOilerfan wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 12:13]
ziltoid wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 10:15

RDOilerfan wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 09:39

Kr55 wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 09:13

RDOilerfan wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 08:30



I totally agree. I heard Dreger the other day talking about the Oilers and Eberle and how he thinks its a give Eberle would be gone. He mentioned the Isles and brought up Strome. You have to think the Isles need to do something to improve and to convince Tavares to stay. He leaves, they got nothing. They had a decent team then Snow guts it last off season but not resigning guys and not replacing them. Strome was a #5 overall pick. Good scorer in junior. He turns 24 in July. 6'1, around 200. Shoots right. Really good skater, really good offensive instincts. He's a center but has played mostly wing. I know McLellan likes the center/wing combo. He's cheap. It hasn't worked with the Isles and I think part of it is the Isles have been sort of clowns for a few years and he got jerked around. Strome's best year is 17 goals, 50 pts 2 seasons ago. He had 13 goals, 30 pts and I don't think he was in their top 6 though I don't know for sure this past season. Strome is signed for 1 more year at 2.5 mill but he would be an RFA. On paper, Eberle is the better, more prove player. But if he Strome comes to the Oilers, a younger, up and coming team, gets a fresh start and plays with McDavid, could he score more than 20 goals? Maybe. Like I said Maroon had a career high 12 goals and he put in 27 this year. Strome has a career high 17, had 13 last year. If he doesn't work out and you have to move him down the lines. He's only making 2.5 mill so it doesn't hurt you. If Eberle is playing lousy again and you have to move him down, it hurts you more because of the contract.

Connor Sheary plays with Crosby and seems to be a fit. Sheary is smaller than Strome but they are both good skating, offensive guys. Sheary in 61 games this year had 23 goals, 53 pts playing with Crosby. To me on paper, Strome looks like a bigger Sheary type guy.


I think a lot of people are missing the point when it comes to Nuge, Ebs, Lucic, and forward performance in general.

Yes, there were some players that underperformed, but the question is what's the main cause of this underperformance. Most have turned to the player and laid the blame on them, and to a certain extent that is true, but what proportion of the variability in their performance can be attributed to personal matters? I contend that although personal matters are a factor, they are overshadowed by systematic issues that stem from our defense; if, as Adam and others have said, we address the defense such that we are able to develop a more controlled breakout with cleaner puck possession, then we will be able to generate a stronger attack in the offensive zone, which leads to more points.

Let's take Lucic for example: he has come from teams that have all world d-men (e.g., Doughty, Chara) and strong d-cores that are good at moving the puck out of the zone in a controlled fashion (especially in the top 6 where he plays). When he gets to Edmonton, he is faced with a defense that cannot do that nearly as well, which makes it harder for him to post 5v5 points.

Ebs and Nuge's struggles can also be traced back to the defense. In the early days of their career, they could cheat for offense because they were not relied on for helping douse the fire drill in our own zone. Now, however, they are required to help in the defensive zone, and when the d-men can't create clean zone exits, Ebs and Nuge end up taking additional defensive responsibilities without receiving clean breakouts to counteract the fact they are no longer cheating for offense. Thus their point totals drop.

I think more of the drop off for Nuge and Ebs can be attributed to personal matter than Lucic, but in all three cases, I think those personal matter are overshadowed by system issues. If we do not address these system issues, then it does not matter who you put in place of RNH, Ebs, Lucic, etc, they will still underperform as they do not have a defense that can move the puck up the ice.

This is, again, just my take, but it carries a lot of explanatory power while taking into consideration the complex, interactive nature of the sport, as well as know facts about our defense. Your milage may vary.



So prior to McLellan, Nuge and Eberle were on a team that had poor system play, a lousy defense and they routinely were dead last or almost dead last in the entire NHL. Nuge and Eberle would get their points but the Oilers lost and lost and lost. So they bring in a coach who actually knows what he is doing. They bring in a GM who knows what he is doing. They improve the defense. Introduce an actual good system. The entire team flourishes to the point they have 103 pts, host a playoff round and you think the system needs to be changed for Nuge & Eberle?





I think the defensive system (and to an extent the defensive personnel) needs to be changed as we struggle with zone exits. I also think the added defensive responsibilities for RNH and Ebs interacts with our zone exit struggles such that it leads to a reduction in points for them. I also think we can get their point totals back up by fixing the defensive system such that it improves our ability to produce clean zone exits. I think their early point totals were driven by a lesser focus on defense, which led them to cheat for offense (which they can't do now). I also think fixing the defensive issues will lead to increased offense throughout the entire line-up. I also think dumping Ebs or RNH (or both) for new player(s) without fixing these defensive issues is bad strategy as we are rolling the dice that the new player(s) won't regress due to the defensive issues.

The defensive system doesn't need to change for RNH and Ebs, it needs to change for the good of the team.


The Oilers had 103 pts this season. While I think they could improve in some areas, they had 103 pts. Plus half their defense - Klefbom, Nurse, Benning have less than 200 NHL games. They as a team are going to get better as those 3 mature and get better with more experience.



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 Re: The Need to Improve [message #694835 is a reply to message #694834 ]
Fri, 19 May 2017 13:06 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ziltoid  is currently offline ziltoid
Messages: 134
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[quote title=RDOilerfan wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 12:43][quote title=ziltoid wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 12:35]
RDOilerfan wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 12:13

ziltoid wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 10:15

RDOilerfan wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 09:39

Kr55 wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 09:13

RDOilerfan wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 08:30



I totally agree. I heard Dreger the other day talking about the Oilers and Eberle and how he thinks its a give Eberle would be gone. He mentioned the Isles and brought up Strome. You have to think the Isles need to do something to improve and to convince Tavares to stay. He leaves, they got nothing. They had a decent team then Snow guts it last off season but not resigning guys and not replacing them. Strome was a #5 overall pick. Good scorer in junior. He turns 24 in July. 6'1, around 200. Shoots right. Really good skater, really good offensive instincts. He's a center but has played mostly wing. I know McLellan likes the center/wing combo. He's cheap. It hasn't worked with the Isles and I think part of it is the Isles have been sort of clowns for a few years and he got jerked around. Strome's best year is 17 goals, 50 pts 2 seasons ago. He had 13 goals, 30 pts and I don't think he was in their top 6 though I don't know for sure this past season. Strome is signed for 1 more year at 2.5 mill but he would be an RFA. On paper, Eberle is the better, more prove player. But if he Strome comes to the Oilers, a younger, up and coming team, gets a fresh start and plays with McDavid, could he score more than 20 goals? Maybe. Like I said Maroon had a career high 12 goals and he put in 27 this year. Strome has a career high 17, had 13 last year. If he doesn't work out and you have to move him down the lines. He's only making 2.5 mill so it doesn't hurt you. If Eberle is playing lousy again and you have to move him down, it hurts you more because of the contract.

Connor Sheary plays with Crosby and seems to be a fit. Sheary is smaller than Strome but they are both good skating, offensive guys. Sheary in 61 games this year had 23 goals, 53 pts playing with Crosby. To me on paper, Strome looks like a bigger Sheary type guy.


I think a lot of people are missing the point when it comes to Nuge, Ebs, Lucic, and forward performance in general.

Yes, there were some players that underperformed, but the question is what's the main cause of this underperformance. Most have turned to the player and laid the blame on them, and to a certain extent that is true, but what proportion of the variability in their performance can be attributed to personal matters? I contend that although personal matters are a factor, they are overshadowed by systematic issues that stem from our defense; if, as Adam and others have said, we address the defense such that we are able to develop a more controlled breakout with cleaner puck possession, then we will be able to generate a stronger attack in the offensive zone, which leads to more points.

Let's take Lucic for example: he has come from teams that have all world d-men (e.g., Doughty, Chara) and strong d-cores that are good at moving the puck out of the zone in a controlled fashion (especially in the top 6 where he plays). When he gets to Edmonton, he is faced with a defense that cannot do that nearly as well, which makes it harder for him to post 5v5 points.

Ebs and Nuge's struggles can also be traced back to the defense. In the early days of their career, they could cheat for offense because they were not relied on for helping douse the fire drill in our own zone. Now, however, they are required to help in the defensive zone, and when the d-men can't create clean zone exits, Ebs and Nuge end up taking additional defensive responsibilities without receiving clean breakouts to counteract the fact they are no longer cheating for offense. Thus their point totals drop.

I think more of the drop off for Nuge and Ebs can be attributed to personal matter than Lucic, but in all three cases, I think those personal matter are overshadowed by system issues. If we do not address these system issues, then it does not matter who you put in place of RNH, Ebs, Lucic, etc, they will still underperform as they do not have a defense that can move the puck up the ice.

This is, again, just my take, but it carries a lot of explanatory power while taking into consideration the complex, interactive nature of the sport, as well as know facts about our defense. Your milage may vary.



So prior to McLellan, Nuge and Eberle were on a team that had poor system play, a lousy defense and they routinely were dead last or almost dead last in the entire NHL. Nuge and Eberle would get their points but the Oilers lost and lost and lost. So they bring in a coach who actually knows what he is doing. They bring in a GM who knows what he is doing. They improve the defense. Introduce an actual good system. The entire team flourishes to the point they have 103 pts, host a playoff round and you think the system needs to be changed for Nuge & Eberle?





I think the defensive system (and to an extent the defensive personnel) needs to be changed as we struggle with zone exits. I also think the added defensive responsibilities for RNH and Ebs interacts with our zone exit struggles such that it leads to a reduction in points for them. I also think we can get their point totals back up by fixing the defensive system such that it improves our ability to produce clean zone exits. I think their early point totals were driven by a lesser focus on defense, which led them to cheat for offense (which they can't do now). I also think fixing the defensive issues will lead to increased offense throughout the entire line-up. I also think dumping Ebs or RNH (or both) for new player(s) without fixing these defensive issues is bad strategy as we are rolling the dice that the new player(s) won't regress due to the defensive issues.

The defensive system doesn't need to change for RNH and Ebs, it needs to change for the good of the team.


The Oilers had 103 pts this season. While I think they could improve in some areas, they had 103 pts. Plus half their defense - Klefbom, Nurse, Benning have less than 200 NHL games. They as a team are going to get better as those 3 mature and get better with more experience.


So we should maintain a broken defensive system that struggles with zone exits (one the most important aspects of the game) because they did pretty good this year and a half their defense were basically rookies? That is not a recipe for success.

Improvements from Nurse and Benning are not going to produce a fix to the underlying illness plaguing this team: cleanly moving the puck out of the d-zone. It may help, but it won't solve the problem. If anything, we want to fix this problem as soon as possible so those two don't develop any bad habits. Plus fixing the issue is only going to lead to improved play all through the lineup. Moreover, if we don't fix the problem, we always run the risk of having players we bring in regress because of the problems I mentioned, to say nothing of always selling low because players underperform here (which has major implications in a cap world).

Edit: I don't think it is fair for me to say the players we bring in ALWAYS underperform. I do think our defensive issues increase their susceptibility to decreased performance, which is still a big problems.

[Updated on: Fri, 19 May 2017 13:13]


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 Re: The Need to Improve [message #694836 is a reply to message #694835 ]
Fri, 19 May 2017 13:57 Go to previous messageGo to next message
RDOilerfan  is currently offline RDOilerfan
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[quote title=ziltoid wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 13:06][quote title=RDOilerfan wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 12:43]
ziltoid wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 12:35

RDOilerfan wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 12:13

ziltoid wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 10:15

RDOilerfan wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 09:39

Kr55 wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 09:13

RDOilerfan wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 08:30



I totally agree. I heard Dreger the other day talking about the Oilers and Eberle and how he thinks its a give Eberle would be gone. He mentioned the Isles and brought up Strome. You have to think the Isles need to do something to improve and to convince Tavares to stay. He leaves, they got nothing. They had a decent team then Snow guts it last off season but not resigning guys and not replacing them. Strome was a #5 overall pick. Good scorer in junior. He turns 24 in July. 6'1, around 200. Shoots right. Really good skater, really good offensive instincts. He's a center but has played mostly wing. I know McLellan likes the center/wing combo. He's cheap. It hasn't worked with the Isles and I think part of it is the Isles have been sort of clowns for a few years and he got jerked around. Strome's best year is 17 goals, 50 pts 2 seasons ago. He had 13 goals, 30 pts and I don't think he was in their top 6 though I don't know for sure this past season. Strome is signed for 1 more year at 2.5 mill but he would be an RFA. On paper, Eberle is the better, more prove player. But if he Strome comes to the Oilers, a younger, up and coming team, gets a fresh start and plays with McDavid, could he score more than 20 goals? Maybe. Like I said Maroon had a career high 12 goals and he put in 27 this year. Strome has a career high 17, had 13 last year. If he doesn't work out and you have to move him down the lines. He's only making 2.5 mill so it doesn't hurt you. If Eberle is playing lousy again and you have to move him down, it hurts you more because of the contract.

Connor Sheary plays with Crosby and seems to be a fit. Sheary is smaller than Strome but they are both good skating, offensive guys. Sheary in 61 games this year had 23 goals, 53 pts playing with Crosby. To me on paper, Strome looks like a bigger Sheary type guy.


I think a lot of people are missing the point when it comes to Nuge, Ebs, Lucic, and forward performance in general.

Yes, there were some players that underperformed, but the question is what's the main cause of this underperformance. Most have turned to the player and laid the blame on them, and to a certain extent that is true, but what proportion of the variability in their performance can be attributed to personal matters? I contend that although personal matters are a factor, they are overshadowed by systematic issues that stem from our defense; if, as Adam and others have said, we address the defense such that we are able to develop a more controlled breakout with cleaner puck possession, then we will be able to generate a stronger attack in the offensive zone, which leads to more points.

Let's take Lucic for example: he has come from teams that have all world d-men (e.g., Doughty, Chara) and strong d-cores that are good at moving the puck out of the zone in a controlled fashion (especially in the top 6 where he plays). When he gets to Edmonton, he is faced with a defense that cannot do that nearly as well, which makes it harder for him to post 5v5 points.

Ebs and Nuge's struggles can also be traced back to the defense. In the early days of their career, they could cheat for offense because they were not relied on for helping douse the fire drill in our own zone. Now, however, they are required to help in the defensive zone, and when the d-men can't create clean zone exits, Ebs and Nuge end up taking additional defensive responsibilities without receiving clean breakouts to counteract the fact they are no longer cheating for offense. Thus their point totals drop.

I think more of the drop off for Nuge and Ebs can be attributed to personal matter than Lucic, but in all three cases, I think those personal matter are overshadowed by system issues. If we do not address these system issues, then it does not matter who you put in place of RNH, Ebs, Lucic, etc, they will still underperform as they do not have a defense that can move the puck up the ice.

This is, again, just my take, but it carries a lot of explanatory power while taking into consideration the complex, interactive nature of the sport, as well as know facts about our defense. Your milage may vary.



So prior to McLellan, Nuge and Eberle were on a team that had poor system play, a lousy defense and they routinely were dead last or almost dead last in the entire NHL. Nuge and Eberle would get their points but the Oilers lost and lost and lost. So they bring in a coach who actually knows what he is doing. They bring in a GM who knows what he is doing. They improve the defense. Introduce an actual good system. The entire team flourishes to the point they have 103 pts, host a playoff round and you think the system needs to be changed for Nuge & Eberle?





I think the defensive system (and to an extent the defensive personnel) needs to be changed as we struggle with zone exits. I also think the added defensive responsibilities for RNH and Ebs interacts with our zone exit struggles such that it leads to a reduction in points for them. I also think we can get their point totals back up by fixing the defensive system such that it improves our ability to produce clean zone exits. I think their early point totals were driven by a lesser focus on defense, which led them to cheat for offense (which they can't do now). I also think fixing the defensive issues will lead to increased offense throughout the entire line-up. I also think dumping Ebs or RNH (or both) for new player(s) without fixing these defensive issues is bad strategy as we are rolling the dice that the new player(s) won't regress due to the defensive issues.

The defensive system doesn't need to change for RNH and Ebs, it needs to change for the good of the team.


The Oilers had 103 pts this season. While I think they could improve in some areas, they had 103 pts. Plus half their defense - Klefbom, Nurse, Benning have less than 200 NHL games. They as a team are going to get better as those 3 mature and get better with more experience.


So we should maintain a broken defensive system that struggles with zone exits (one the most important aspects of the game) because they did pretty good this year and a half their defense were basically rookies? That is not a recipe for success.

Improvements from Nurse and Benning are not going to produce a fix to the underlying illness plaguing this team: cleanly moving the puck out of the d-zone. It may help, but it won't solve the problem. If anything, we want to fix this problem as soon as possible so those two don't develop any bad habits. Plus fixing the issue is only going to lead to improved play all through the lineup. Moreover, if we don't fix the problem, we always run the risk of having players we bring in regress because of the problems I mentioned, to say nothing of always selling low because players underperform here (which has major implications in a cap world).

Edit: I don't think it is fair for me to say the players we bring in ALWAYS underperform. I do think our defensive issues increase their susceptibility to decreased performance, which is still a big problems.

OK buddy. Whatever you say. Apparently the Oilers defensive system is "broken". Gotcha. I don't know how any team can win 47 games and have a 103 season and have a broken defensive system but I guess anything is possible.



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 Re: The Need to Improve [message #694837 is a reply to message #694836 ]
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GabbyDugan is currently online GabbyDugan
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...seems like a lot of the people posting here are like the guys that post on Lowetide.... ready to step in as Oilers General Manager and spend Daryl Katz' money like the stereotypical drunken sailor....and fire every defenseman not named Bobby Orr

....the Oilers did pretty well this past season....like RD points out, they must have done something right to achieve 103 points....they stayed mostly healthy, especially when compared to previous seasons (the team training and medical staff are real unsung heroes)...they won a lot more games and outscored the opposition better than they did in years....they rebounded pretty well from most setbacks...it's just too bad they ran into the dirty antics and bad officiating in the second round of the playoffs...

...obviously (at least to me) there is no "perfect" defensive system in the NHL....teams make too many adjustments from shift to shift, period to period, game to game)....officiating is inconsistent (to put it kindly)....defensemen need to be ready for anything that come at them...





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GabbyDugan wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 15:12

...seems like a lot of the people posting here are like the guys that post on Lowetide.... ready to step in as Oilers General Manager and spend Daryl Katz' money like the stereotypical drunken sailor....and fire every defenseman not named Bobby Orr

....the Oilers did pretty well this past season....like RD points out, they must have done something right to achieve 103 points....they stayed mostly healthy, especially when compared to previous seasons (the team training and medical staff are real unsung heroes)...they won a lot more games and outscored the opposition better than they did in years....they rebounded pretty well from most setbacks...it's just too bad they ran into the dirty antics and bad officiating in the second round of the playoffs...

...obviously (at least to me) there is no "perfect" defensive system in the NHL....teams make too many adjustments from shift to shift, period to period, game to game)....officiating is inconsistent (to put it kindly)....defensemen need to be ready for anything that come at them...



Exactly. Are they a perfect team yet? They didn't win the Cup so no but they aren't junk. Their #1 dman Klefbom has 189 total NHL games of experience. 82 of them were from this season. That;s barely 2 full seasons of experience. He's going to be better defensively and transitioning the puck this coming season based on his experience. He plays BIG mins for the Oilers. The better he gets, the better their transition game will get.



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 Re: The Need to Improve [message #694841 is a reply to message #694839 ]
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RDOilerfan wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 15:20


Exactly. Are they a perfect team yet? They didn't win the Cup so no but they aren't junk. Their #1 dman Klefbom has 189 total NHL games of experience. 82 of them were from this season. That;s barely 2 full seasons of experience. He's going to be better defensively and transitioning the puck this coming season based on his experience. He plays BIG mins for the Oilers. The better he gets, the better their transition game will get.


Klefbom isn't the problem on advancing the puck. He and Sekera are the best on the team at it. Larsson has some weakness to his game there. Russell is horrible at it. Benning was a nice surprise. Nurse can skate the puck, but his passing was pretty iffy.

Good news is that Russell's agent has said he won't likely accept a three year deal at just south of $4MM, so hopefully the Oilers do find a much better fit.



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Fri, 19 May 2017 15:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Adam wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 15:34

RDOilerfan wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 15:20


Exactly. Are they a perfect team yet? They didn't win the Cup so no but they aren't junk. Their #1 dman Klefbom has 189 total NHL games of experience. 82 of them were from this season. That;s barely 2 full seasons of experience. He's going to be better defensively and transitioning the puck this coming season based on his experience. He plays BIG mins for the Oilers. The better he gets, the better their transition game will get.


Klefbom isn't the problem on advancing the puck. He and Sekera are the best on the team at it. Larsson has some weakness to his game there. Russell is horrible at it. Benning was a nice surprise. Nurse can skate the puck, but his passing was pretty iffy.

Good news is that Russell's agent has said he won't likely accept a three year deal at just south of $4MM, so hopefully the Oilers do find a much better fit.

I don't disagree that there is room for improvement. There sure it. I thought the Klefbom - Larsson pairing got better and better the more they played. I expect them to be even better this season. I expect Nurse to be better. Even if they do sign Russell, they have to have a guy to fill in for Sekera. So I would assume they will get a dman to fill his spot. Hopefully he can move the puck. But for the other guy to say the system of a 103 pt team is lousy is flat out wrong.



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RDOilerfan wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 15:44


I don't disagree that there is room for improvement. There sure it. I thought the Klefbom - Larsson pairing got better and better the more they played. I expect them to be even better this season. I expect Nurse to be better. Even if they do sign Russell, they have to have a guy to fill in for Sekera. So I would assume they will get a dman to fill his spot. Hopefully he can move the puck. But for the other guy to say the system of a 103 pt team is lousy is flat out wrong.


It's not a good system. It's designed to try not to lose. Dump it out, hope for the best. We saw that it's not a good enough system to hold leads in the playoffs. There are serious issues with that system, and I do think it's a contributor to the regression of the forwards. Unless McDavid was carrying it, we rarely advanced from our zone all the way to the attacking zone with possession. The standard play is off the boards/glass and out, and that's not a successful strategy.

McLellan was badly outcoached in the playoffs and that has to be a major concern. He has to be better, both in the regular season and more importantly, in the playoffs.

It took half the year to even figure out how to make the powerplay work with the number of weapons the Oilers have...he can't stumble through another year of dump-outs and dump-ins as his preferred method of moving from zone to zone and hope that we're going to be successful.



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 Re: The Need to Improve [message #694848 is a reply to message #694847 ]
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Adam wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 15:13

he can't stumble through another year of dump-outs and dump-ins as his preferred method of moving from zone to zone and hope that we're going to be successful.


The slap pass to the guy standing still at the red-line waiting to tip it in might be my most hated/useless play in any sport. It's like watching Team Canada play soccer against Brazil. Just boot the ball as far as you can and wait for the Brazilians to come at you again.



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 Re: The Need to Improve [message #694850 is a reply to message #694848 ]
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Goose wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 16:21

Adam wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 15:13

he can't stumble through another year of dump-outs and dump-ins as his preferred method of moving from zone to zone and hope that we're going to be successful.


The slap pass to the guy standing still at the red-line waiting to tip it in might be my most hated/useless play in any sport. It's like watching Team Canada play soccer against Brazil. Just boot the ball as far as you can and wait for the Brazilians to come at you again.


The funny thing with the Oilers is that when they're using their speed and controlling the puck, they could be really dominant. We saw it in Game 6 against the Ducks. We saw it in the OT in Game 5 versus San Jose when the Sharks barely got to touch the puck...and then we get a lead and McLellan has the team pull back to a single forechecker (if that) and a super-conservative philosophy of getting the puck as far away from the goal as possible. It's ugly hockey to watch, and more importantly, it was generally unsuccessful. And then when the other team ties it up, they have the momentum and the Oilers have to try to start skating and playing again.

Despite the improvements in the regular season standings, I feel less confident in McLellan's abilities now than I did a year ago, and I think if McDavid or Talbot were to miss a big portion of the season next year, I don't have confidence we'd be a lock to make the playoffs, never mind contend. We have enough weapons that that shouldn't be in doubt.



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 Re: The Need to Improve [message #694840 is a reply to message #694837 ]
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GabbyDugan wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 15:12

...seems like a lot of the people posting here are like the guys that post on Lowetide.... ready to step in as Oilers General Manager and spend Daryl Katz' money like the stereotypical drunken sailor....and fire every defenseman not named Bobby Orr

....the Oilers did pretty well this past season....like RD points out, they must have done something right to achieve 103 points....they stayed mostly healthy, especially when compared to previous seasons (the team training and medical staff are real unsung heroes)...they won a lot more games and outscored the opposition better than they did in years....they rebounded pretty well from most setbacks...it's just too bad they ran into the dirty antics and bad officiating in the second round of the playoffs...

...obviously (at least to me) there is no "perfect" defensive system in the NHL....teams make too many adjustments from shift to shift, period to period, game to game)....officiating is inconsistent (to put it kindly)....defensemen need to be ready for anything that come at them...




I think the opposite mistake which many make is thinking that it's good enough. The Oilers management can't ignore the level to which good health, McDavid and Talbot drove the improvement.

The issues with the defence showed themselves in the playoffs. They had no depth to bring in capable replacements when Sekera got hurt. They gave up leads repeatedly. They were often trapped in their own zone because of their inability to advance the puck while maintaining possession.

The team cannot be happy with where they are at. Chiarelli says that he feels the team was further forward than he thought - that means he can't make that mistake next year. The team has to rocket in to contention to win the Stanley Cup. It's the last season of McDavid's rookie deal, and no one should ignore just how important that is. The team does not have the luxury to wait on slow improvements.

No team is perfect, but no GM should ever be satisfied either, and if the Oilers don't realize that defence is an area where they were lagging, then they aren't paying enough attention. If I'm Chiarelli, I can't think that Bear or Jones are eventually taking spots - I need someone to fill those spots now. I can't be concerned if that means it's tougher for the guys on the third pairing to stay in the lineup every night...there SHOULD be internal competition. The Oilers can't rest on the laurels of a 103-point season because it's not good enough any more to simply make the playoffs. Home ice isn't enough, and winning a round or two isn't enough either. This team should have their sites set on being the Stanley Cup Champion in 2018. Anything less is failure for the next several years.



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 Re: The Need to Improve [message #694821 is a reply to message #694809 ]
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RDOilerfan wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 08:30


For Lucic. http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/player-bio/milan-lucic I am sure I am starting to come off as a Lucic apologist what isn't my intention. I fully expect him to be better next you. To go from an American market where you can live your life mostly unnoticed to a hardcore Canadian market where you can't fill your car with gas without getting harassed would be a HUGE adjustment for any player. But I wonder what people think is an acceptable season for Lucic because all I hear is he wasn't that good. He had 23 goals, 50 pts with over 200 hits. Last year he had 20 goals, 55 pts with 244 hits. So while I think he has a little more to give, I don't think he was bad. So if he has 25 -55 next year, while having over 200 hits, a few fights and doing what he does on the bench and in the dressing room, is that a good year? I'm not trying to stir the pot, I would just like to know what is considered a good year.



The big concern with Lucic is that he's not getting it done at Even Strength. He and Letestu have numbers that are highly skewed by powerplay results. It's great that they're scoring with the man advantage, but most of the game is played at even strength, and the contributions drop off the map there.

He was outperformed at even strength by Zack Kassian this year. He was 7th in offensive production among Oilers forwards at even strength for players who regularly got in the lineup, and his contributions were similar to what Pitlick, Pakarinen and 18-year old Puljujarvi contributed (although they were all in small sample sizes). That's despite getting a push with offensive players all season. Lucic never played on the third or fourth line this year.

Now, he could evolve in to a PP specialist, with more limited minutes at even strength, but I don't think that's what anyone expected when he was signed, and it's a far cry from what he's historically provided. I think he had 43 ES points with the Kings in 2015-16, so this was a really significant erosion in production.

It's possible a big part of that was the Oilers coaching. We've seen significant regression from several forwards for the Oilers - it's a point of concern when it comes to Todd McLellan - but with Lucic, it's troubling that the production is so low...much lower than Eberle or Nugent-Hopkins. The only one who saw more regression in ES play was Pouliot, who's almost certainly on his last legs with the team. There's no option for Lucic to be moved, so we NEED him to improve and hopefully both he and McLellan are aware of that, and that the PP numbers cover up some ugly ES stats.



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 Re: The Need to Improve [message #694830 is a reply to message #694821 ]
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Adam wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 10:25

RDOilerfan wrote on Fri, 19 May 2017 08:30


For Lucic. http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/player-bio/milan-lucic I am sure I am starting to come off as a Lucic apologist what isn't my intention. I fully expect him to be better next you. To go from an American market where you can live your life mostly unnoticed to a hardcore Canadian market where you can't fill your car with gas without getting harassed would be a HUGE adjustment for any player. But I wonder what people think is an acceptable season for Lucic because all I hear is he wasn't that good. He had 23 goals, 50 pts with over 200 hits. Last year he had 20 goals, 55 pts with 244 hits. So while I think he has a little more to give, I don't think he was bad. So if he has 25 -55 next year, while having over 200 hits, a few fights and doing what he does on the bench and in the dressing room, is that a good year? I'm not trying to stir the pot, I would just like to know what is considered a good year.



The big concern with Lucic is that he's not getting it done at Even Strength. He and Letestu have numbers that are highly skewed by powerplay results. It's great that they're scoring with the man advantage, but most of the game is played at even strength, and the contributions drop off the map there.

He was outperformed at even strength by Zack Kassian this year. He was 7th in offensive production among Oilers forwards at even strength for players who regularly got in the lineup, and his contributions were similar to what Pitlick, Pakarinen and 18-year old Puljujarvi contributed (although they were all in small sample sizes). That's despite getting a push with offensive players all season. Lucic never played on the third or fourth line this year.

Now, he could evolve in to a PP specialist, with more limited minutes at even strength, but I don't think that's what anyone expected when he was signed, and it's a far cry from what he's historically provided. I think he had 43 ES points with the Kings in 2015-16, so this was a really significant erosion in production.

It's possible a big part of that was the Oilers coaching. We've seen significant regression from several forwards for the Oilers - it's a point of concern when it comes to Todd McLellan - but with Lucic, it's troubling that the production is so low...much lower than Eberle or Nugent-Hopkins. The only one who saw more regression in ES play was Pouliot, who's almost certainly on his last legs with the team. There's no option for Lucic to be moved, so we NEED him to improve and hopefully both he and McLellan are aware of that, and that the PP numbers cover up some ugly ES stats.

I would agree with what you said for the most part. The Oilers need Lucic to round out his numbers so they aren't so drastic one way or the other. I would argue that his 5 on 5 numbers with the Kings were skewed too far to the other side. With the NHL getting tighter and tighter and it harder to score, having a good PP is becoming critical. I thought Lucic really added a much needed dimension to their PP. That being said, 5 on 5 I still believe part of the issue was he was playing primarily with 2 guys who struggled terribly offensively this season. Lucic is a straight line player. His bread and butter is being able to out muscle guys along the wall in his own zone and get the puck to his center. Then he goes up the ice and heads to the net looking for screens, tips and rebounds. I don't expect him to be carrying the puck a lot or threading passes through guys. Nuge is supposed to be the good skating, creative, distributing center. I expect him to carry the puck and thread the passes through. Eberle is supposed to be the shooter. I didn't see a ton of that between those 2. So if Lucic is going to the net looking to screen, tip or get a rebound and nothing comes at him, I'm not sure what he is supposed to do.

I still think he can be and will be better but who ever he plays with needs to be better as well.



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 Re: The Need to Improve [message #694825 is a reply to message #694793 ]
Fri, 19 May 2017 11:13 Go to previous messageGo to next message
messier11  is currently offline messier11
Messages: 473
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I played Center in my illustrious career so the thing the stood out to me the most this playoffs was losing faceoffs.

It was terrible throughout the playoffs and so many times whether PP, PK or ES we started without the puck and that wastes sooo much time.

Chia said in his presser that he believes Nuge can step up and Letestu did ok, but as a team we need Adam Oates back to coach these guys how to take a draw.

I think it is one of our biggest issues, if we can start with the puck on our sticks for the 60% instead of the 40%, we will be the better team IMO.



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 Re: The Need to Improve [message #694913 is a reply to message #694793 ]
Tue, 23 May 2017 10:06 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Rocksteady  is currently offline Rocksteady
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The thought in my mind that stands out that while McLellan is an EXCELLENT coach for the regular season he is simply average in the post season. It's dogged him in San Jose and it may continue with him here. McLellan does show a stubbornness in the post season using regular lines and there are smatterings of line matching but it shows in the playoffs that he doesn't manage his opportunities well and get a better line out against a less aggressive line. Carlyle was quickly shifting his lines and McLellan just find of kept pace, not trying to gain any advantage. Look no further than to McDavid's production as McLellan didn't try to take take advantage on last change.

Our D corp his still pretty weak. With Sekera out the pressure of resigning Russell is mounting, but there are better choices, if he's willing to take a 3 year term for about 2.5 per then sign him.. we still badly need a RHD with a shot. Klefbom surprised me this year when he started showing it and now it's on fully display. We need another one, but on the right hand side.

Eberle is worth keeping because at his price point there is no way any team would take him taking his full salary. It's too bad though, he needs to get grittier and be willing to take the shots from inside the slot.. that means he'll have to get dirty but I'm not sure he's willing.



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 Re: The Need to Improve [message #694917 is a reply to message #694913 ]
Tue, 23 May 2017 10:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Adam  is currently offline Adam
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Rocksteady wrote on Tue, 23 May 2017 10:06

The thought in my mind that stands out that while McLellan is an EXCELLENT coach for the regular season he is simply average in the post season. It's dogged him in San Jose and it may continue with him here. McLellan does show a stubbornness in the post season using regular lines and there are smatterings of line matching but it shows in the playoffs that he doesn't manage his opportunities well and get a better line out against a less aggressive line. Carlyle was quickly shifting his lines and McLellan just find of kept pace, not trying to gain any advantage. Look no further than to McDavid's production as McLellan didn't try to take take advantage on last change.

Our D corp his still pretty weak. With Sekera out the pressure of resigning Russell is mounting, but there are better choices, if he's willing to take a 3 year term for about 2.5 per then sign him.. we still badly need a RHD with a shot. Klefbom surprised me this year when he started showing it and now it's on fully display. We need another one, but on the right hand side.

Eberle is worth keeping because at his price point there is no way any team would take him taking his full salary. It's too bad though, he needs to get grittier and be willing to take the shots from inside the slot.. that means he'll have to get dirty but I'm not sure he's willing.


I think part of the problem is that McLellan is pretty Cherry-ish in some of his thinkings.

Exhibit 1: Dealing with officials in the media
He clearly doesn't want his team complaining about officiating and he's not generally doing that himself either. Even after Game 5, when his players were clearly upset about the goalie interference, he said very little on it. He didn't complain about the treatment McDavid got and the lack of calls throughout the playoffs. He didn't say anything about the thuggery of the Ducks. It was actually Carlyle that was complaining about the officials in the second round, which is incredible, given what was happening out there.

The fact is, we know that that kind of behaviour is effective to a point. You can't complain about them all the time, but a timely rant can tilt things in your favour. McLellan doesn't ever want to do it.

Exhibit 2: Running up the score
Other than Game 6 against the Ducks, McLellan seems to favour shifting his attack whenever the team is up by a couple of goals, playing the fourth liners a lot more, moving to a passive forecheck and protecting the lead. The problem is that it's not a very good strategy and you basically hand momentum to the other side, as the Oilers saw repeatedly in the playoffs.

Exhibit 3: Preferring old vets and tough guys
Hendricks and Gryba had to basically force their way out of the lineup, rather than other players forcing their way in, because we saw throughout the season that the default position was to re-insert those veterans again and again until it was clear they were losing games for them. One of the baffling things though is that even though there was clearly less confidence in them as the year progressed, there were still many times when they were sent out as the "veteran presence" in the last minutes of games. We saw this in the playoffs a couple of times, where with 90 seconds left, you had third pairing defencemen and third liners out with a tenuous lead.

Does anyone have the stats for how many empty net goals the Oilers scored this year versus how many times the other team scored with the man advantage? Maybe it's just perception bias, but I seem to remember a lot of late comebacks to force overtime from the opposition even before the playoffs. In the playoffs, there were a few more - including a couple 6-on-5 goals in that fateful Game 5 versus the Ducks.

To be fair to McLellan, the Oilers don't have a lot of tweeners who could come in to the lineup and play a role, so when injuries hit, the choices other than Gryba weren't much more comforting. I think I would have picked Fayne myself, but he's not exactly fleet either.

Exhibit 4: Player deployments with regards to line matching
I don't mind a coach accepting the line matches on the road, other than using icing calls to give offensive weapons a push. It's a lot of effort to break the match when the other team has last change and I'm all for trying to implement your game plan as opposed to just reacting to the other team's. But when at home, to not take advantage of last change yourself is to ignore a weapon in your arsenal. I found it frustrating in the playoffs how little McLellan took advantage of this, and how content he was to allow the Sharks and Ducks to dictate line match-ups, even though it clearly did have an impact on McDavid's production.

Exhibit 5: Publicly scolding players
I don't know if this is Cherry-esque, but it's definitely pretty old school. Embarrass your players and hope they respond by playing well. It's a terrible method of motivation that doesn't usually breeds more resentment than success and it just didn't work at all for the Oilers this year or last. Look at the players McLellan has called out publicly - Schultz, Fayne, Pouliot, Eberle, Nugent-Hopkins...has anyone played significantly better after the coach uses that tactic? It's funny to see a coach who's so afraid of offending the league or the officials by complaining, and yet singles out his own players in the media again and again. Maybe there's a reason that Thornton was not overly sad to see him leave the Sharks.

Exhibit 6: Off the glass and out
This is another old school thought about defending. The safest play is just to get it to out of the zone and then worry about getting it back once its there. It's also something you see minimized by a lot of the best teams in the league. Most of them have a great puck-moving defenceman or two who can make a two-zone pass when needed, and again, McLellan isn't dealt a great hand there, but still, advancing the puck is a major area of improvement for the Oilers, and it's not clear that that isn't somewhat systems-based. It does look often like the preferred play for the Oilers is the dump-out, even when there's time for a more controlled exit.

As I said in the original post, there's a lot of room for improvement from McLellan and his group. I didn't feel they did a stellar job this year, especially in the playoffs. There's a concern that the management and coaching could look at their nominations for major awards and take that as a pat on the back, and not critically evaluate their own work this year, and I hope they don't do that. They have to be MUCH better next year so the team can be successful.



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 Re: The Need to Improve [message #694918 is a reply to message #694917 ]
Tue, 23 May 2017 11:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Goose is currently online Goose
Messages: 1285
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Adam wrote on Tue, 23 May 2017 09:52


Does anyone have the stats for how many empty net goals the Oilers scored this year versus how many times the other team scored with the man advantage? Maybe it's just perception bias, but I seem to remember a lot of late comebacks to force overtime from the opposition even before the playoffs. In the playoffs, there were a few more - including a couple 6-on-5 goals in that fateful Game 5 versus the Ducks.



Your perception appears to be correct.

The Oilers were one of only 2 teams (Toronto being the other) to not score a single goal 6-on-5 in the regular seasons (although they did have one 6-on-3). Philadelphia led the way with 9. Not sure if this includes delayed penalty situations where the goalie swaps out for the extra attacker, but I suspect it does.

http://www.nhl.com/stats/team?aggregate=0&gameType=2& ;amp ;report=goalsbystrength&reportType=season&seasonFrom =20162017&seasonTo=20162017&filter=gamesPlayed,gte,& amp; amp;sort=goalsFor6on5

They were middle of the pack, surrendering 8 goals, when they had the extra attacker out. Canucks were the worst with 15. Part of that is probably due to being behind a lot.

http://www.nhl.com/stats/team?aggregate=0&gameType=2& ;amp ;report=goalsagainstbystrength&reportType=season&sea sonFrom=20162017&seasonTo=20162017&filter=gamesPlaye d,gte,&sort=goalsAgainst6on5

Oilers were poor at defending leads late though. They gave up 5 goals at 5v6 play (ie. the other team had their goalie pulled), good for 26th in the league. Probably mostly due to Jordan Eberle.

7 teams tied for the lead in this category at 1 each. Interestingly it's a mix of good teams (Pitt, Montreal) and terrible teams (Colorado, Buffalo, Dallas) - again the terrible teams are probably good here, by virtue of never having a lead to give up.

http://www.nhl.com/stats/team?aggregate=0&gameType=2& ;amp ;report=goalsagainstbystrength&reportType=season&sea sonFrom=20162017&seasonTo=20162017&filter=gamesPlaye d,gte,&sort=goalsAgainst5on6



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 Re: The Need to Improve [message #694920 is a reply to message #694918 ]
Tue, 23 May 2017 11:26 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Adam  is currently offline Adam
Messages: 10705
Registered: August 2005
Location: Edmonton, AB

6 Cups

Goose wrote on Tue, 23 May 2017 11:10

Adam wrote on Tue, 23 May 2017 09:52


Does anyone have the stats for how many empty net goals the Oilers scored this year versus how many times the other team scored with the man advantage? Maybe it's just perception bias, but I seem to remember a lot of late comebacks to force overtime from the opposition even before the playoffs. In the playoffs, there were a few more - including a couple 6-on-5 goals in that fateful Game 5 versus the Ducks.



Your perception appears to be correct.

The Oilers were one of only 2 teams (Toronto being the other) to not score a single goal 6-on-5 in the regular seasons (although they did have one 6-on-3). Philadelphia led the way with 9. Not sure if this includes delayed penalty situations where the goalie swaps out for the extra attacker, but I suspect it does.

http://www.nhl.com/stats/team?aggregate=0&gameType=2& ;amp ;amp ;amp ;amp ;report=goalsbystrength&reportType=season&seasonFrom =20162017&seasonTo=20162017&filter=gamesPlayed,gte,& amp; amp; amp; amp; amp;sort=goalsFor6on5

They were middle of the pack, surrendering 8 goals, when they had the extra attacker out. Canucks were the worst with 15. Part of that is probably due to being behind a lot.

http://www.nhl.com/stats/team?aggregate=0&gameType=2& ;amp ;amp ;amp ;amp ;report=goalsagainstbystrength&reportType=season&sea sonFrom=20162017&seasonTo=20162017&filter=gamesPlaye d,gte,&sort=goalsAgainst6on5

Oilers were poor at defending leads late though. They gave up 5 goals at 5v6 play (ie. the other team had their goalie pulled), good for 26th in the league. Probably mostly due to Jordan Eberle.

7 teams tied for the lead in this category at 1 each. Interestingly it's a mix of good teams (Pitt, Montreal) and terrible teams (Colorado, Buffalo, Dallas) - again the terrible teams are probably good here, by virtue of never having a lead to give up.

http://www.nhl.com/stats/team?aggregate=0&gameType=2& ;amp ;amp ;amp ;amp ;report=goalsagainstbystrength&reportType=season&sea sonFrom=20162017&seasonTo=20162017&filter=gamesPlaye d,gte,&sort=goalsAgainst5on6


And this doesn't look good either. Three way tie for 27th by this metric:

http://morehockeystats.com/teams/en

We did score 10 empty net goals during the season, which is way more than I would have guessed.



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#FireLowe #FireMacT #FireHowson #FireBuchberger

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 Re: The Need to Improve [message #694922 is a reply to message #694920 ]
Tue, 23 May 2017 13:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kr55  is currently offline Kr55
Messages: 10125
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Location: Edmonton

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Adam wrote on Tue, 23 May 2017 11:26

Goose wrote on Tue, 23 May 2017 11:10

Adam wrote on Tue, 23 May 2017 09:52


Does anyone have the stats for how many empty net goals the Oilers scored this year versus how many times the other team scored with the man advantage? Maybe it's just perception bias, but I seem to remember a lot of late comebacks to force overtime from the opposition even before the playoffs. In the playoffs, there were a few more - including a couple 6-on-5 goals in that fateful Game 5 versus the Ducks.



Your perception appears to be correct.

The Oilers were one of only 2 teams (Toronto being the other) to not score a single goal 6-on-5 in the regular seasons (although they did have one 6-on-3). Philadelphia led the way with 9. Not sure if this includes delayed penalty situations where the goalie swaps out for the extra attacker, but I suspect it does.

http://www.nhl.com/stats/team?aggregate=0&gameType=2& ;amp ;amp ;amp ;amp ;amp ;amp ;amp ;amp ;report=goalsbystrength&reportType=season&seasonFrom =20162017&seasonTo=20162017&filter=gamesPlayed,gte,& amp; amp; amp; amp; amp; amp; amp; amp; amp;sort=goalsFor6on5

They were middle of the pack, surrendering 8 goals, when they had the extra attacker out. Canucks were the worst with 15. Part of that is probably due to being behind a lot.

http://www.nhl.com/stats/team?aggregate=0&gameType=2& ;amp ;amp ;amp ;amp ;amp ;amp ;amp ;amp ;report=goalsagainstbystrength&reportType=season&sea sonFrom=20162017&seasonTo=20162017&filter=gamesPlaye d,gte,&sort=goalsAgainst6on5

Oilers were poor at defending leads late though. They gave up 5 goals at 5v6 play (ie. the other team had their goalie pulled), good for 26th in the league. Probably mostly due to Jordan Eberle.

7 teams tied for the lead in this category at 1 each. Interestingly it's a mix of good teams (Pitt, Montreal) and terrible teams (Colorado, Buffalo, Dallas) - again the terrible teams are probably good here, by virtue of never having a lead to give up.

http://www.nhl.com/stats/team?aggregate=0&gameType=2& ;amp ;amp ;amp ;amp ;amp ;amp ;amp ;amp ;report=goalsagainstbystrength&reportType=season&sea sonFrom=20162017&seasonTo=20162017&filter=gamesPlaye d,gte,&sort=goalsAgainst5on6


And this doesn't look good either. Three way tie for 27th by this metric:

http://morehockeystats.com/teams/en

We did score 10 empty net goals during the season, which is way more than I would have guessed.


How we play the 5 on 6 annoyed me all year. We shoulda been pushing Chicago for ~20. Somehow we have the fastest player in the game, yet no one seems to want to get the puck to him, and really, McDavid isn't even looking for the break himself very often. Our players are just ordered to play way too defensive. Unfortunately, that way of playing showed up in the worst way in our series vs the Ducks.



"The Edmonton Oilers are not where they should be right now and that is unacceptable. We need to get better immediately. That starts today"
-Kevin Lowe, April 2013


"Next year (15/16) I would forecast as another developmental year"
- #2, April 2015

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 Re: The Need to Improve [message #694921 is a reply to message #694917 ]
Tue, 23 May 2017 13:22 Go to previous messageGo to previous message
RDOilerfan  is currently offline RDOilerfan
Messages: 1497
Registered: January 2016

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Adam wrote on Tue, 23 May 2017 10:52

Rocksteady wrote on Tue, 23 May 2017 10:06

The thought in my mind that stands out that while McLellan is an EXCELLENT coach for the regular season he is simply average in the post season. It's dogged him in San Jose and it may continue with him here. McLellan does show a stubbornness in the post season using regular lines and there are smatterings of line matching but it shows in the playoffs that he doesn't manage his opportunities well and get a better line out against a less aggressive line. Carlyle was quickly shifting his lines and McLellan just find of kept pace, not trying to gain any advantage. Look no further than to McDavid's production as McLellan didn't try to take take advantage on last change.

Our D corp his still pretty weak. With Sekera out the pressure of resigning Russell is mounting, but there are better choices, if he's willing to take a 3 year term for about 2.5 per then sign him.. we still badly need a RHD with a shot. Klefbom surprised me this year when he started showing it and now it's on fully display. We need another one, but on the right hand side.

Eberle is worth keeping because at his price point there is no way any team would take him taking his full salary. It's too bad though, he needs to get grittier and be willing to take the shots from inside the slot.. that means he'll have to get dirty but I'm not sure he's willing.


I think part of the problem is that McLellan is pretty Cherry-ish in some of his thinkings.

Exhibit 1: Dealing with officials in the media
He clearly doesn't want his team complaining about officiating and he's not generally doing that himself either. Even after Game 5, when his players were clearly upset about the goalie interference, he said very little on it. He didn't complain about the treatment McDavid got and the lack of calls throughout the playoffs. He didn't say anything about the thuggery of the Ducks. It was actually Carlyle that was complaining about the officials in the second round, which is incredible, given what was happening out there.

The fact is, we know that that kind of behaviour is effective to a point. You can't complain about them all the time, but a timely rant can tilt things in your favour. McLellan doesn't ever want to do it.

Exhibit 2: Running up the score
Other than Game 6 against the Ducks, McLellan seems to favour shifting his attack whenever the team is up by a couple of goals, playing the fourth liners a lot more, moving to a passive forecheck and protecting the lead. The problem is that it's not a very good strategy and you basically hand momentum to the other side, as the Oilers saw repeatedly in the playoffs.

Exhibit 3: Preferring old vets and tough guys
Hendricks and Gryba had to basically force their way out of the lineup, rather than other players forcing their way in, because we saw throughout the season that the default position was to re-insert those veterans again and again until it was clear they were losing games for them. One of the baffling things though is that even though there was clearly less confidence in them as the year progressed, there were still many times when they were sent out as the "veteran presence" in the last minutes of games. We saw this in the playoffs a couple of times, where with 90 seconds left, you had third pairing defencemen and third liners out with a tenuous lead.

Does anyone have the stats for how many empty net goals the Oilers scored this year versus how many times the other team scored with the man advantage? Maybe it's just perception bias, but I seem to remember a lot of late comebacks to force overtime from the opposition even before the playoffs. In the playoffs, there were a few more - including a couple 6-on-5 goals in that fateful Game 5 versus the Ducks.

To be fair to McLellan, the Oilers don't have a lot of tweeners who could come in to the lineup and play a role, so when injuries hit, the choices other than Gryba weren't much more comforting. I think I would have picked Fayne myself, but he's not exactly fleet either.

Exhibit 4: Player deployments with regards to line matching
I don't mind a coach accepting the line matches on the road, other than using icing calls to give offensive weapons a push. It's a lot of effort to break the match when the other team has last change and I'm all for trying to implement your game plan as opposed to just reacting to the other team's. But when at home, to not take advantage of last change yourself is to ignore a weapon in your arsenal. I found it frustrating in the playoffs how little McLellan took advantage of this, and how content he was to allow the Sharks and Ducks to dictate line match-ups, even though it clearly did have an impact on McDavid's production.

Exhibit 5: Publicly scolding players
I don't know if this is Cherry-esque, but it's definitely pretty old school. Embarrass your players and hope they respond by playing well. It's a terrible method of motivation that doesn't usually breeds more resentment than success and it just didn't work at all for the Oilers this year or last. Look at the players McLellan has called out publicly - Schultz, Fayne, Pouliot, Eberle, Nugent-Hopkins...has anyone played significantly better after the coach uses that tactic? It's funny to see a coach who's so afraid of offending the league or the officials by complaining, and yet singles out his own players in the media again and again. Maybe there's a reason that Thornton was not overly sad to see him leave the Sharks.

Exhibit 6: Off the glass and out
This is another old school thought about defending. The safest play is just to get it to out of the zone and then worry about getting it back once its there. It's also something you see minimized by a lot of the best teams in the league. Most of them have a great puck-moving defenceman or two who can make a two-zone pass when needed, and again, McLellan isn't dealt a great hand there, but still, advancing the puck is a major area of improvement for the Oilers, and it's not clear that that isn't somewhat systems-based. It does look often like the preferred play for the Oilers is the dump-out, even when there's time for a more controlled exit.

As I said in the original post, there's a lot of room for improvement from McLellan and his group. I didn't feel they did a stellar job this year, especially in the playoffs. There's a concern that the management and coaching could look at their nominations for major awards and take that as a pat on the back, and not critically evaluate their own work this year, and I hope they don't do that. They have to be MUCH better next year so the team can be successful.


McLellan took a 70 pt team and got them to 46 wins and 103 pts. He's up for coach of the year. The notion that it was all McDavid and Talbot is flat out laughable and wrong on sooo many fronts. So I have a hard time ripping a coach who helped take a laughing stock team and turn them into a 103 team in 2 years.

Secondly. It's common knowledge that in the playoffs, the refs ALWAYS put the whistles away and ALWAYS give preferential treatment to vet players. They expect young players to have to "earn their stripes." It happens every single season. It happened early on in the 80's when the young Oilers were establishing themselves and teams would mug GRetzky and Gretzky would complain. He complained so much he got the label as being a whiner. Then after a few years, they 80's young Oilers had earned enough respect and got the vet treatment. Messier was allowed to run around and do whatever the hell he wanted out there. He got away with murder. So since this is the standard, it has been and will continue to be that way until the league does something. What exactly good does it do for McLellan to rip into the refs? He made a few very diplomatic comments especially about the non goal calls. But McLellan going up there and ripping the refs would have done NOTHING. In fact, it would have had the opposite as the refs would have wanted to show the Oilers "a lesson."*



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