'Everyone has skill'

Jason Strudwick
June 24 2013 08:37AM

It has been a lot of fun watching these playoffs. There has been everything I like about hockey....hitting, lots of net front and corner battles and intensity.  The Cup final has been very good.

I watched Game five with some friends, and of course when a bunch of Oiler fans get together to watch the playoffs at some point the conversation comes back around to the Oilers. I really enjoy listening to the comments from Oiler fans about their team. This time the topics ranged from goaltending to coaching and everything in between.

I have heard this all before so nothing really new there until the topic of how the Oilers would do against the Bruins or the Hawks in a seven game series came up. This is where the inspiration for this article came from.

Two of my friends were going at it about how the Oilers would do. My one friend kept saying the Oilers would be fine, maybe not win, but fine because of all the skill they have acquired through the draft. The other said they would get run out of the building, most likely lose a seven game series in three games for the first time in history.

Finally the negative guy said this... 'Yes they have skill but everyone has skill'.

Truer words have never been spoken.

Comparisons

Top teams in the NHL have skill in their top six forwards. That is why they are a top team. It is very rare for a team to have regular season and playoff success without a lot of talent. Here is the Oilers' top-six compared to the same group on the Bruins and Blackhawks.

As of right now the Oilers top six:

  • Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle
  • Magnus Paajarvi, Sam Gagner, Nail Yakupov

The Bruins (healthy):

  • Milan Lucic, David Krejci, Nathan Horton
  • Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, Jaromir Jagr

The Hawks (healthy):

  • Bryan Bickell, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane
  • Marian Hossa, Michal Handzus, Patrick Sharp

The Hawks and Bruins top six are a handful. They have everything you want in that group.

Super high end skill...Krejci/Jagr, Sharp/Kane.

Strong defensively.... Bergeron,Toews

Big Bodies/Battlers..... Lucic/Horton/Marchand, Bickell/Hossa/Handzus

We can all agree these are some of the best players at what they bring to a top six group. The only guy who is over his head is Handzus and that is because of age.

Here are the same skills sets broken down for the Oilers top six group right now.

Super high end skill... Hall/Nuge/Eberle/Yakupov/Gagner

Strong Defensively....

Big Bodies/Battlers....Paajarvi

How does the mix for the Oilers top six look now? Is the mix there to compete with the top teams in the league?

Balance

The Oilers are heavy in top-end skill but very light in other areas. This is no one’s fault in my opinion. It is just the way the draft classes have been the last few years. The challenge now is for MacT to get better balance in this group.

As time passes these guys will develop into more complete players. They will get stronger and heavier. They will have the chance to become more well-rounded players, especially on the defensive side of the puck. The goal would be for Dallas Eakins to feel comfortable putting them on the ice to protect a lead with a minute to go in the game. Learning that part of the game will take some time.

The issue for the Oilers in my opinion is this...who will be that big body and the battler in this group? Right now I don't see a guy that fits the mold. I think Paajarvi has the size, but this needs to be developed as well as an edge to his game.

These types of players are so valuable in the playoffs that most teams will not part with them for free. Drafting is one option but then you must wait for them to develop. Adding this type of player is the biggest challenge for MacT and the Oilers brass.

It is clear that when you compare the Oilers to the two Stanley Cup finalist that the mix for the Oilers top six is not right. I have no doubts that all the players I listed for the Oilers are NHL players, just not on the same team and lines. The problem is they are all very similar. It is a recipe that will not produce success.

Moving forward MacT needs to evaluate what he already has, recognize what is needed and figure out a way to bring those skills in. This won't happen in one summer, these thing take time.

Follow Jason Strudwick on Twitter!

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Jason hosts the Jason Strudwick show from 9pm to 12am, weeknights on the team 1260. He is an instructor at Mount Carmel Hockey Academy and loves working with the kids. Having played over 650 games in the NHL, Jason has some great stories and unique takes on life in the NHL. He loves Slurpees and Blizzards. Dislikes baggy clothes and close talkers.
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#1 wyseguy
June 24 2013, 08:47AM
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"these things take time"??............sigh

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#2 Jonathan Willis
June 24 2013, 08:47AM
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No doubt there's still work to do, though I think the argument could be made that eventually the group would look something like this:

Skill: Eberle, Gagner, Yakupov

Good defensively: Nugent-Hopkins

Battlers: Hall, new guy (Horton?)

Hall as a big body/battler might get some eyebrows, but he seemed to play that role at times last season - he's average-sized rather than big, but has some edge to his game. Actually, I wonder how much a physical edge becomes part of Yakupov's game long-term, too - he seems to enjoy hitting.

Anyway, I do wonder if the Oilers go after Horton this summer - he can play with anybody and adds a unique skillset to the group.

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#3 Greg
June 24 2013, 09:12AM
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Looking at the top two lines is one way of looking at this, I think the oil have an advantage becasue they can share high skill accross three lines and add the pieces around that way. Eberle Hopkins XXX- Hall XXX Pajarvii- Yakupov Gagner XXX

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#4 Romulus' Apotheosis
June 24 2013, 09:16AM
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I'd say RNH and Hall's possession numbers at their tender age project to extremely good defensive players.

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#5 yawto
June 24 2013, 09:18AM
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I know it is playoffs and all but if we go off of records the past two years head to head, the Oilers have more than held their own against the hawks. Just sayin.

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#6 Quicksilver ballet
June 24 2013, 09:21AM
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Sure looks like the Oilers are still a few yrs away from even being a playoff team. MacTavish has a shot at Hartnell, Ott and Clarkson in the coming weeks. That would go along way to help address this problem area. Clarkson would be the most difficult to bring in. Would a 5 yr 25 million dollar deal be enough to drag him away from the swamp? Have to think a 4 yr 15 million dollar deal would keep him at home if he wants to remain in Jersey/stay home.

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#7 Craig1981
June 24 2013, 09:23AM
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@Jonathan Willis

I 100% agree, I don't think many people would have Hossa as a "big body" over high end skill. I think what makes great team so great is there top playiers fill 2 or more of this same roles (hossa-big talented, datsyul-defensive skilled, malkin-big talented)

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#8 striatic
June 24 2013, 09:41AM
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i think the analysis in the OP is off and should look more like this ..

Super high end skill... Eberle, Yakupov, Gagner

Strong Defensively.... Nuge

Big Bodies/Battlers.... Hall, Paajarvi

Hall last year added a major "cycle along the boards and kick the puck out to the shooter" component to his game last year. He's a battling playmaker as of last year and i suspect this trend continues.

Nuge is a very strong defensive player. he was one of a very few plus players on the Oilers last year and did it on a bum shoulder. His pursuit checking is excellent.

the Oilers need to improve on their defensive play in the top 6 more than anything. doing this via the Centre position is the best way to do it.

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#9 WhattaMike
June 24 2013, 09:43AM
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@I'd rather have Shock and Awe, over just Bold...

I agree with your opinion that big tougher guys like Ott or Hartnell should be pursued but...those guys are over 31 now and Hartnell's contract ($4.25 mil per yr) is too high a cap hit for too many more years....for a guy turning 32 soon. Ott...as well...is almost at $3 mil and would want up to probably $4 mil plus per yr going into the 2014-15 season as well.

I would rather the Oilers pursue guys at about 29 yrs going ahead than guys heading into the 32 yr stage. Look at the many guys the Oilers traded for in their 30's and how bad that mostly turned out these past years.

Because of what I read lately...I can see (and like) the Oilers going for younger guys like Zack Smith, Nino Neiderreiter, Travis Hamonic, Boyd Gordon, Horton, Bickell, etc.

The contracts may be as big as Ott's will be or Hartnell's but at least they are 2 to 10 yrs younger and still have potential.

If the Oilers are going to blow off another year...which as a fan...I definitely do not want to see... then they may as well bring up Cheechoo and Josh Green for 4th line duty. This is not the way to go in this instance but these two are far cheaper than Ott or Hartnell.

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#10 admiralmark
June 24 2013, 09:45AM
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Willis is right. I think Hall and Yakupov bring or will bring a lot more physical play then people expect from skill players. The only concern is if it will bite them with injuries... But I think that with what they are going to bring we may only really need 1 more (most likely LW or 2C spot) nuclear deterrent with skill. This position is gonna be the most expensive and difficult to fill. I think that the rest of the teams positions can be used to create overall toughness. but that 2C or 2LW spot is a critical cog.

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#11 westcoastoil
June 24 2013, 10:08AM
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Horton would fix things in a hurry.

Hall-Nuge-Ebs Yak-Gagner-Horton Paajarvi-Gordon-XXX

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#12 Ducey
June 24 2013, 10:09AM
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@Jonathan Willis

I hope the Oilers do not go after Horton.

He will get term and a lot per season.

He is clearly having shoulder problems and his concussion problems are going to catch up with him. Look at the history of guys with multiple concussions and they do not age well.

He can no longer fight and although that is not always necessary, ideally the Oilers have a top 6 guy who can take care of the kids a little bit. Horton has had the benefit of playing rough and tough with Lucic as his wingman. I am not sure he can do it solo.

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#13 David S
June 24 2013, 10:23AM
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The current Oilers team against either of Chicago or Boston in a seven-gamer would be a slaughter. We wouldn't win one period of one game, let alone a game.

Agreed our top six might be competitive (might). But our bottom six, D and goaltending isn't even comparable. Dubnyk against either of this year's starters? Yeah right.

Watching the finals for me is a painful reminder how far we actually have to go to be a competitive NHL team capable of mixing it up in the playoffs.

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#14 Will
June 24 2013, 10:24AM
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I still think the Oilers should create a new paradigm shift in how winning teams are built. Lets call it the oopti-oop. Just way to much skill and talent that simply overloads the opposition.

Or they could just draft Nichushkin if he's available, then get Nick Antropov as a cheap UFA for three years to play in between the two Russian kids.

No one seems to like this idea though.

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#15 kdunbar
June 24 2013, 10:37AM
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@ David S

While I do not agree with you about Dubnyk (Especially against Crawford), I do agree that our Top 6 can compete, but our bottom 6 / Defense can not.

@ Will

I Like the idea if Lindholm is not available also at #7. (Or Barkov, McKinnion etc... Forgone conclusions)

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#16 DigDeepNBleedBlue
June 24 2013, 10:43AM
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Yeah, that sounds about right.

Hall and Yakupov could bring more nastiness, but at this point there are just flashes. Same for Paajarvi you could say. He's gotta let them drop some more. They all do. None fall into the PF realm of a Lucic or Bickell, however.

There's a need for that in the top 6.

Not sure about Horton. Concussion issues, shoulder issues. One year contract and it's likely a no harm no foul signing. Any longer would be a mistake IMO. The hope would be a better option.

How I see the top nine right now:

Hall-RNH-Yakupov ???-???-Eberle Paajarvi-???-Gagner

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#17 TeddyTurnbuckle
June 24 2013, 10:45AM
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Bryan Bickell was a no-body at the star of the season now he is hailed as the next Cam Neely. The Oilers need to fill 3 or 4 spots in their forward group with grit players with offensive potential. Maybe even borderline Ahlers who are waiting for their chance. Any big body gritty player has the potential to be the next Bickell playing on a line with Nuge and Ebs. I'm sick and tired of watching the Oilers get dominated physically all over the ice. I'd be targeting Clowe, Morrow and other gritty guys with high priced two year free agent deals. If the player doesn't fit then you trade him for a 2nd or 3rd round pick at the deadline in two years. I have complete confidence in Mac T. I remember when the Oilers drafted Yakupov I thought to myself, "I like the pick because he was the best player but Tambellini better put Gorillas around these kids to fill out the lines. " Instead Tambo did very little and rolled out 4 lines of figure skaters. If not for good goaltending we might be picking 1st again this year. Keep up the good work Struds.

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#18 106 and 106
June 24 2013, 10:45AM
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@Ducey

... so you would suggest..... Hemmer?

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#19 Will
June 24 2013, 10:56AM
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kdunbar wrote:

@ David S

While I do not agree with you about Dubnyk (Especially against Crawford), I do agree that our Top 6 can compete, but our bottom 6 / Defense can not.

@ Will

I Like the idea if Lindholm is not available also at #7. (Or Barkov, McKinnion etc... Forgone conclusions)

Thanks, I like that you got that it would be Nichushkin basically only over Lindholm and Nurse.

There was a great article outlining how our top line pretty much eats up the competition in nearly all categories. So, how to make our second scoring line better is really the question. Antropov seems to be a player like Penner. Big body, has demonstrated real talent (67 point career year playing with Kovalchuck), but maybe doesn't live up to either his potential or price tag. Since he's 33, and coming off a long contract where he was good not great, I think he could be had for a decent price. Put him with a skilled Russian (of which he'd have on either wing) and it could be a deadly line. We get a size upgrade, someone who can win face-offs, and even some veteran presence which is badly needed in our top 6. As a second line playing against weaker competition, that line could dominate.

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#20 LinkfromHyrule
June 24 2013, 10:58AM
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@David S

Dubnyk>Crawford no question. Crawford always looks shaky to me letting out bad rebounds or somehow ending up in the corner with the puck in front of the net.

Anyway, I think a series against boston would end in 4 games with half the team injured, whereas a Chicago series might be a little closer but still ugly and end in 5 games. Both these teams have great depth in their forwards and defense plus 1-2 stud defenseman. Boston has a great goalie. Ugh. YOu have your work cut out for you Mact

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#21 Jerconjake
June 24 2013, 11:08AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Sure looks like the Oilers are still a few yrs away from even being a playoff team. MacTavish has a shot at Hartnell, Ott and Clarkson in the coming weeks. That would go along way to help address this problem area. Clarkson would be the most difficult to bring in. Would a 5 yr 25 million dollar deal be enough to drag him away from the swamp? Have to think a 4 yr 15 million dollar deal would keep him at home if he wants to remain in Jersey/stay home.

Clarkson will be 34 at the end of a five year deal, and there's every chance his production will drop off before then. $5M for that player could really throw the salary structure out of whack. Pass.

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#22 WhattaMike
June 24 2013, 11:25AM
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While I am a supporter of getting a guy like Horton as a UFA, I would still want very complete physical exams of him starting at the end of these finals to enusure there is no serious damaged goods coming over, especially in a type of four to five yr offer deal.

I agree with many and do believe that the Oilers seriously need a big left winger type bull with skating power and offensive skills for on the 2nd line...but the team needs one who does not act reckless either. With the type power play abilities this Oiler team can have (in two Units never mind just one), we need a guy to help accomplish this as like plus Hall, Yak, Ebs, RNH, etc, to draw penalties as much as possible.

The third line should have both very good two way skill with grittiness and some offensive flair like say Gordon, MPS, (along with maybe Patrick Thoreson coming here too) .....and the fourth line should be like a past Grier, Marchant, Larocque type line..lol..which would be awesome right now for the Oilers.

BTW, does anyone think that Patrick Thorsen maybe being signed and coming back would be better and/or more ideal in place of not signing Petrell or Jones???

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#23 madjam
June 24 2013, 11:34AM
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Size ,grit and skill needed in top six . Our fab 5-6 basically is lacking in the first two . Gagner just compounds that . No one else is doing very well with an abundance of smaller players , so it should come as no surprise that we will continue to flounder trying to run average to small personnel . Sure you can get several average ones to help , but unlikely we will get any of them ,as they are cherished by their parent clubs .

We have done well drafting skill , but poorly drafting size and skill together .

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#24 Thinker
June 24 2013, 11:43AM
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Super high end skill... Eberle, Gagner

Strong Defensively.... Nuge

Big Bodies/Battlers.... Hall, Yakupov

I don't see paajarvi sticking in the top 6. I imagine they add another big body, as paajarvi is more of a defensive specialist. Anyone questioning if yak is a battler can meet me by the bike racks. I think theres a litt overlap with hall (all three) and yak (1and 3).

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#25 Quicksilver ballet
June 24 2013, 11:56AM
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@WhattaMike

If the Oilers are going to blow off another year...which as a fan...I definitely do not want to see... then they may as well bring up Cheechoo and Josh Green for 4th line duty. This is not the way to go in this instance but these two are far cheaper than Ott or Hartnell. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Like you mentioned, Green and Cheechoo are much closer to what'll happen here. If money is the issue at hand here, then you're right, the Otts and Hartnells are too much player for this market. Bring on more soft smurfy types, cause they're younger and Edmonton can afford them. Prepare for doom, NHL!

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#26 VK63
June 24 2013, 12:22PM
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Getting outshot by a super wide margin was what these kids were most prolific at last year. The element of "super skill" that it takes to do that is currently available in the battle river hockey league... for cheap.

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#27 rickithebear
June 24 2013, 12:36PM
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Jason: Mact sees Sam as a winger with his sub 47% FO. RNH is a sub 40% FO center.

So at best Top 6 wingers Hall, Gagner, Yakupov, Eberle RNH As a Center.

if RNH continues at Sub 40% Can you justify him at Center.

Hall-XXX-Gagner RNH-XXX-Eberle MP-XXX-Yakupov Smyth-XXX-

Scotty Bowman allways stated he believed in offensive pairs with a physical puck retrieval player with the dynamic fwd pairs. I can think of only 3 Centers with with size; high take away; and FO count are hard to get.

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#28 rubbertrout
June 24 2013, 12:47PM
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Bickell is going to get overpaid based on what he has done during the playoffs. He's going to be Fernando Pisani 2.0

Make no mistake, I loved Fernando but it is a mistake to throw dollars and term at a guy who plays well for a 2 month stretch of time.

Let's also remember that Lucic and Krejci (while playing pretty dominant hockey in the post season) aren't quite as dominant in the regular season and both have a tendency to disappear at times. This year they had 27 and 33 points respectively.

I understand there is more to the game than scoring points but one would be tied with J. Schultz for 5th in scoring on the Oil and the other would sneak in at 4th.

If those guys played here then everyone would be up in arms because they weren't putting together huge offensive seasons (even though they don't have a track record of doing so) and we would try and drive them away after a season or two.

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#29 madjam
June 24 2013, 12:51PM
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Hard to project anything as yet until we see whom might be added and where . Generic acquisitions unlikely to excite the fans .

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#30 madjam
June 24 2013, 01:38PM
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Might tomorrow bring Luongo , Bieksa , Raymond and Vans. first round pick for Hemsky , Horcoff, Fistric and Dubnyk ?

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#31 madjam
June 24 2013, 01:49PM
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Ryan Kennedy of Hockey News has Lazar as Nbr.6 , Drouin 7, Ritolainen 8 , Nurse 12 , Nicushkin at 21 .How close might he be ?

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#32 Lochenzo
June 24 2013, 01:55PM
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Bickell was pretty useless when he wasn't playing with Toews and Kane. His passes resulted in turnovers and his stickhandling is almost as bad as JF Jacques'. But put him on a line with Toews and Kane, and all three of them play like their the best line in the league, good enought to overcome a defensive stallwart in Chara. Pretty amazing what happens when you have the right pieces together.

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#33 DrDave
June 24 2013, 02:14PM
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Anyone think if we can get Penner back here on a 2year 2.5M-3M it would be that bad of a move? I think Eakins may be able to bring the beast out of him and we've all seen what he can do when he's on his game. I've always been a big Penner fan and would welcome him back here. I think he's done in LA.

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#34 seanjohn
June 24 2013, 05:13PM
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Struds: "The Oilers are heavy in top-end skill but very light in other areas. This is no one’s fault in my opinion. It is just the way the draft classes have been the last few years."

oh its someone's fault alright. whomever it was that thought drafting Gagner, Cogliano, Schremp and trading for Nillsen, Brule.... notice a pattern. drafting Gagner was ok, but why all the other smurfs? totally miss read the league.

1. Lowe, after the 05 lockout, thought the league was going back to finesse and skill. bad picks/acquisitions followed under his direction. that, and creating the most entrenched ol' boys club in the league. he hires friends, no the best. fail and fault.

2. Tambellini. for blowing every acquisition he made, sitting on his hands most of the time, mis-evaluating his team, and thinking he could draft and develop his entire roster. fail and fault.

3 Pendergast. no need to explain. fail and fault.

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#35 seanjohn
June 24 2013, 05:19PM
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@Quicksilver ballet

i'm also disturbed that it appears they are ready to just let another season slide. sad, but very possibly true.

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#36 MarcusBillius
June 24 2013, 06:00PM
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What I originally thought when I read the headline is that you're going to write an article about how everyone on the Bruins and Blackhawks has skill.

They don't have marginal NHLers in their roster. Their 4th lines contribute. The Hawks can afford to sit Stalberg out for stretches during the playoffs. The Bruins' 4th line has won games for them. And it's a good bet that bottom-pairing defencemen from either team would not just challenge for, but claim the 3-4 pairing outright in Edmonton.

The talent drop-off for the Oilers outside our kids and Smid/Petry is steep.

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#37 DonDon
June 24 2013, 06:07PM
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David S says:

"Watching the finals for me is a painful reminder how far we actually have to go to be a competitive NHL team capable of mixing it up in the playoffs."

Couldn't agree more. The argument that the Oilers would do okay because of their success against the Hawks in the regular season doesn't carry very much water as we're talking about the Stanley Cup Finals, where the tempo and intensity picks up, when every game is a live-and-death battle.

Also Jason Strudwick is correct about the Oilers lack of balance. MacT has a very difficult challenge in bringing balance to the the Oilers roster so it can eventually compete for the Stanley Cup. Compete for the SC isn't the same as make the playoffs.

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#38 NewAgeSys
June 24 2013, 06:32PM
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Nice piece Strudwick, where have you been? Nice to see you working out the fingers on the keyboard or touchscreen or typewriter or chisel and stone slab......

We are watching the Hawks play the game the Oilers should be playing, and had every chance to play for 3 years straight.

The Hawks are using an NHS influenced Adjusted-Hybrid, like LA used last year, more things are the same between LA and Chicagos system execution than it may seem at first glance.

The Bruins havent really been in this one in my opinion, their goaltender has been outstanding holding the Hawks back.

The word balance comes to mind.

System balance.

Yes everyone has skill in the NHL, that isnt a revelation, system acumen and execution has and always will be the defining factor in determining a Championship team.

I disagree about MPS I believe he is ready right now and is providing what we need how we need it. I just dont agree with you all on what it is we need. The Kings owe me a Ring for the NHS contributions and so will the Hawks after tonight. I guess you could say I dont agree with much of anyone .

You want to stop the Hawks? Same as stopping the Oilers.

I want to see 7 games so here is the keys for Boston to defeat the Adjusted-Hybrid of the -- Oilers-Hawks-Kings-Blues ect. The NewAge Hockey System keys.

You need to limit the possesions by holding on to the puck once you gain the o-zone, Stop the perimeter shots from being taken so fast and take it all the way in after you have gained the zone and the Hawks are setting up, dont try to take it in off the rush as you enter the zone, one lateral pass and charge all the way in with the puck to the outside and your arm to the inside pushing in on them to prevent leaking it to the middle where the Hawks are strong and funneling you,

Do NOT make half-decisions , carry the mail every time and force them to drag the big bodies down, Stop using your size defensively and adjust your system so you use it offensively, short anerobic rushes from inside the blueline after they begin to set up and are in transition.

If you do this it will force them to attack you in the neutral zone and you will gain the advantage there by drawing them out of their own comfort zone.

If you simply do as you do and allow them to let you have the o-zone as they have been doing counting on your taking a perimeter shot fast and giving them the puck back immediatly, then make one fast pass laterally and a charge right in alternating sides for 60 minutes you will win the game.

If you try to finesse the NHS Asjusted-Hybrid the Hawks will scorch you badly. It is a superior system. The Bruins have simply been hanging on not taking it to anyone.

Abandon the Tactical Shooting Program because it needs a transition base to be effective and let the constant and consistant net drives replace that influence dynamiclly in support of your set play system base, wake up. Just make sure you COMMIT and take it all the way in dont start getting cute and bleeding the puck to the middle or they will eat you alive.

Smarten up, the Hawks need the boards or open ice to use you size against you, give them neither and drive that puck to the net pushing to the middle keeping the puck outside. |Do NOT headman it towards the net this is critical, their system is set up to quickstrike you so if you leave pucks in the middle you will be eating them.

Boston must control the momentum of the game by maximising and optimising every possesion they get in the same way, by driving it to the net over and over repeatedly until something on the Hawks simply breaks down. If the Bruins shoot the perimeter shots and give the puck up to fast without a solid drive to the net they will lose. Every possesion must count. The illusion that this has been a defensive series must go if Boston is to come back, they actually believe that crap.

The Bruins need to forget the one shot and a rebound mentality and do more than try to get lucky on an NHL goaltenders glove side, because they cannot rely on the transition game the Bruins need to abandon the Tactical Shooting Program and drive the puck in the old fashioned way, by hand. Treat every possesion like it will be your last and take it to the basket hard or go home.

There is no comparing the two systems we are seeing here, the Hawks use a clearcut NHS Adjusted-Hybrid and the Bruins use a Hybrid and apply a few of the same core values LA borrowed from the NHS last year. Equate the transitional aspect of the Hawks game to the "adjusted" part and it will make more sense.

The Bruins still use set plays as their catalyst{HYbrid}, and the Hawks less so as they use dynamic managment tactics instead{NHS Adjusted-Hybrid}.

For the Bruins to win tonight the stats page tomorrow must read, less shots on net, less hits, more goals , more penaltys for, the simple action of changing the dynamic puck managment momentum in the Hawks zone will change the entire game, remember if the Bruins drive it to the net every time they will be forcing the temder to cover it up most times, this means a face-off in ther Hawks zone instead of a transition back down Bostons throat consistantly,the same as a shot and a rebound in dynamic terms, so great right?

I just gave the Bruins a way to turn the series around, the ONLY WAY to battle Chicagos new look. The NHS way. A way to take back momentum they would never have done on their own.

I predict the Bruins will believe their own BS and the Analysts BS, that this has been a close series, IT HASNT. The Hawks have dominated everywhere but the scoreboard. I think the Bruins try to take the NHS Adjusted-Hybrid on and will be scorcehed for 5-6 goals if they do this.

No set play Hybrid system will ever dominate an NHS Adjusted-Hybrid because of the offense the transition style provides and because of the reactive defensive tactics available that allow a consistant quickstrike threat. Dynamic managment tactics slay set plays 24/7365.

And on that note if I were coaching the Hawks I wouldnt have helped the Bruins with this data and they would have blown Boston out 6-2. Boston is just lucky the Hawks arent using the NHS or this would have been over in 4 games.

You can effectively stop the NHS Adjusted-Hybrid this way but not the fully initiated and engaged NHS.

This my friends is how you win tonights game against the Hawks.

The transition game didnt take Boston to the final traditional set play mentality did, the Hawks are forcing them to play a transition game, you fellas just dont see or feel it like I happen to. Dance with the girl you brung to the dance for christsakes. Play the transition game against your own grain and you are playing with fire.

Seguin should be taking it to the net like Taylor does.

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#39 NewAgeSys
June 24 2013, 07:58PM
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Ooops, sorry Struds I forgot to say I disagree that our top six is that out of whack from a size vs balance perspective.

All you need are average sized NHLers across the board, find the numbers and see if we are there if they make you comfortable, the principal remains the same.

You dont need them bigger fellas they are just nice to have because their sphere of influence is so large. Not heavy, but large.

Proper system acumen and execution wins every time over size.

This is hockey and its all about who scores the most goals the fastest this defense first stuff is pure BS. You arent "wearing me down" using your size advantage if it is 3-0 at the end of the first period my friends, ha ha ha ha, never.

Goals are thrown like jabs in hockey and land like George Forman right hands when they go in. Teams who look for size are looking for a knockout punch every time and are backwards in my opinion. No one is throwing bombs for 60 mins, simply no one. But any average sized team can throw jabs for 60 mins as long as they make them accurate.

It is like Soccer talk, crap, you take the two most beautiful games god ever created and you make them defensive because you cant find enough beautiful minded coaches and Athletes to make it work, sickening, yes yes I know everyone wants to play right.

Hockey games should always be 8-6 and so should Soccer games, with that many possesions it is actually a sign of piss-poor managment and coaching tactics when the scores ae 1-0 and 2-1, a travesty of the highest degree. Not good defense, a lack of ability to generate offense in an offensively catalysed sport, I call that utter failure.

There is a huge organised coaching and product marketing and business and labor structure conspiracy to this whole issue we dont have time for.

Set play perspectives were forced into these sports, these sports naturally cater to a creative and transitional approach, all set plays do is make it easier to play the game cerebrally for many men who cant think creatively and transitionally.

Set plays level the playing field cerebrally,like it or not. They let slower adjusters find stability and success .

Two more years and we will see a full blown switch to the NHS Adjusted-Hybrids transition game, remember Murphys Law? Well the europeans are just getting good at the set play systems so naturally it is time for the NHL to evolve again, ha ha ha . Now Don Cherry will have ammo till he retires.

The full NHS is ready to go anytime now, it wont hurt to wait another year or two to utilise it, the more teams who now use a Hybrid or who adopt the Adjusted-Hybrid the better, the NHS feasts on them all.

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#40 NewAgeSys
June 24 2013, 08:17PM
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striatic wrote:

i think the analysis in the OP is off and should look more like this ..

Super high end skill... Eberle, Yakupov, Gagner

Strong Defensively.... Nuge

Big Bodies/Battlers.... Hall, Paajarvi

Hall last year added a major "cycle along the boards and kick the puck out to the shooter" component to his game last year. He's a battling playmaker as of last year and i suspect this trend continues.

Nuge is a very strong defensive player. he was one of a very few plus players on the Oilers last year and did it on a bum shoulder. His pursuit checking is excellent.

the Oilers need to improve on their defensive play in the top 6 more than anything. doing this via the Centre position is the best way to do it.

Thats a pretty good look.

I think we will need to look to improve your idea of defensive ability via a system focus on that prolonged backchecking pressure we all got used to seeing that has gone A.W.O.L.

If we employ a stand-up defense which is advisable then the forwards across the board will react more traditionally and will use the prolonged puck pursuit backcheck, we have been trying to finetune the transitional perspective like other teams so we have not really needed this approach.

As long as our defense remains mobile and transitional we dont need that type of defensive support at the regular times, we need it in different areas at different times.

A transitional defense has a big offensive upside if you have a skilled team, but a set play system CAN allow you to have substantial offense with a slightly tighter defense if you do in fact have sick skill deep in your roster. Only if you have a huge imbalance of skill like we do now.

I think if we tune in the transitional system we will see so many goals you wont care about the lack of backchecking because we will have the puck most of the time.

You make accurate player valuations both in their individual physical projections AND their dynamic impact on the ice as well, excellent job.

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#41 David S
June 24 2013, 08:17PM
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@NewAgeSys

Dude. C'mon.

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#42 OilClog
June 24 2013, 09:35PM
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In two years the super skill of those 5 guys will trump the other two teams hands down.. It's icing 2 #1 lines. It won't be those top 6 guys that lose the games for us.. Just like the story is now.. Hall was becoming a freight train out there, Yakupov is going to be incredible hard to check off the puck when a full grown lion. Ebs is magic hands, and in a few years time everyone will be talking about how RNH's defensive game is the best in the league. He's already ridiculous on the back check. It's not the top 6 losing games for this team.. Pretty sure they light up Chicago regularly.

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#43 Dockstaff
June 24 2013, 11:26PM
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@Jonathan Willis

Hall has a good frame, he's just a skinny kid right now. By the time he hits 21-ish he'll keep the weight on and build muscle/size. He'll eventually fill a Glenn Anderson/Mark Messier type role.

Nuge will never be big, Gretzky/Yzerman size. But he's intelligent and skilled like them.

I'm hoping Yakupov can grow to play like Marchand, Ovechkin or Jagr.

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#44 oilers4
June 24 2013, 11:41PM
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Nathan Horton would be a perfect fit for the Oilers as he already has a bum shoulder!

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#45 Ryan2
June 25 2013, 08:58AM
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I am not as worried about the top 6 forwards as I am about the blue line. Right now the Oilers are three regular d-men short of a functional NHL defensive corps, and even further from a playoff calibre group. This is one area where not every team has skill, and it shows.

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#46 Mike Modano's Dog
June 25 2013, 10:39AM
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Jason,

I definitely would have added:

Defensive specialist: Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson

Physical: Hall

But your story overall is Bang On.

Just wait 'til we play NHL 14 next year. With the new 'Enforcer Engine' making fighting and intimidation a much bigger part of the game our Oilers are dead... lol! This might be the perfect time to come out of retirement for that reason alone, Jason!

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#47 Mike Modano's Dog
June 25 2013, 10:46AM
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Super, non-related question:

I just realized you were with the Rangers around the same time as my friend was, Terry Virtue. He had a great minor league career...and was up from time to time. Did you play with him, or know him?

Just curious Jason, thanks!

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