FOUR MINUTE WARNING

Lowetide
July 15 2013 02:59PM

 

The Edmonton Oilers may not add to their current group of forwards for the coming season based on GM Craig MacTavish's words in his latest interview. If true, the bottom 6F look slightly better in some areas and the same or worse in others. How will coach Dallas Eakins get around it? Increased minutes for his top 6F, reliance on the wisdom of the pro scouting department, a winger from his AHL team and perhaps a Baron or two when things get tight.

TIME ON ICE 2012-13

The Oilers under Ralph Krueger employed a 4line rotation that saw Nail Yakupov (12:04) and Eric Belanger (10:47) get about the same even strength time on ice. More stark, the Hall-Nuge-Eberle line played about 15.5 minutes at even strength, about 2 full minutes less than league leaders like Steven Stamkos and Ilya Kovalchuk. Edmonton could easily push their 1line (and their 2line) during games and rotate the bottom 6F's less often. 

Why would they do that? Because in today's NHL any game that can offer points in the standings is vital, and because the Oilers have a massive gap between their 1line and their third and fourth lines.

How would they do that? There are designated times during each game where a television timeout allows the coach to re-set his lines. Coach Ralph Krueger often passed on the opportunity, I think that's one area where the new coach can have an immediate impact.

Other strategies to gain the edge? Offensive zone starts for the best available forwards and monster own zone faceoffs for Boyd Gordon (he's used to it--and good at it!) feeds into an area of strength for the hockey club.

Anything else? The really curious item for me last season was the PP TOI for the top guns. Hall, Nuge and Ebs averaged just 3 minutes a night, while 23 NHL forwards averaged 3.5 minutes per night or more with the man advantage. 

There are 25 NHL players who averaged more than 20 minutes a night on ice a year ago, 35 two years ago. The Oiler leader this past season was Sam Gagner at 19:24, with Hall--the best player on the team--averaging only 18.5 minutes a night. Increasing that number by 90 seconds or two minutes for Hall's line--with a similar increase for the 2line--should give Edmonton more firepower and make them less reliant on the bottom 6 forwards. 

If the Oilers can move some of those depth minutes to the front line of forwards, the results--shot differential, goals for and against--should head in a better direction. The keys are the Hall line, the Gagner line being much better than a year ago, and Boyd Gordon.

THE PRO SCOUTS

If the pro scouts (on both sides of the pond) got it right, Jesse Joensuu may end up being a hidden gem from the free agent frenzy. Signed to a 2-year contract with the Oilers, he's a physical player with skill and some ability

THE HOCKEY NEWS ON JOENSSU

The Hockey News offers an excellent thumbnail sketch on all NHL players and prospects and is a good starting point. Joensuu is exactly the type of player Edmonton used to acquire during the Sather era--a 2nd round pick who struggled with an NHL team not known for succesful talent development-- and hopefully Craig MacTavish inherited it from his old GM/coach.

EAKINS MEN

The Oilers acquired two of Eakins Marlies (Ryan Hamilton and Will Acton) and those two players along with some of the AHL Barons (Anton Lander, Mark Arcobello, Martin Marincin, Taylor Fedun along with recently signed Richard Bachman, Brad Hunt) provide some needed depth. The blueline is especially strong.

I think the Oilers will probably add some training camp invites or late summer ufa additions (guys like C's Marty Reasoner, David Steckel, Jerred Smithson, along with wingers like Brandon Yip, Chuck Kobasew, Peter Mueller) depending on cost and availability. The club up front is pretty exposed currently if they lose someone to injury and MacT will want to cover up the holes as best as he can before September and training camp.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Photo Credit: -J. Nilsson Photography
Model: Daniela Marin

It has been less than a perfect summer so far, but the improvements in the roster are up the middle--G, D and C--along with added skill and experience in David Perron. A guess at opening night lineups might look like this (C-L-R):

  • Nuge-Hall-Eberle (Arcobello likely slotted in for injured Nuge)
  • Gagner-Perron-Yakupov
  • Gordon-Jones-Hemsky
  • Lander-Smyth-Jonessu
  • Smid-Petry
  • Ference-J Schultz
  • N Schultz-Belov/Larsen
  • Dubnyk/LaBarbera

Those top 2 lines need to play a larger portion of the game, that 3rd line has to be getting most of the available own zone starts, and the 4th line needs to be effective when called upon. The Oilers remain a rebuilding team in transition, but the summer moves have been reasonable and should improve the team next season.

If coach Eakins can grab 4 minutes in total time from the bottom 6 forwards and hand it to the top 6 forwards, the Oilers may be able to move up the standings enough to make the trade deadline meaningful.

A veteran left winger for that 3rd line wouldn't go amiss either.

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
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Sign Marty Sakic, err...Joe Reasoner, err...you know who I mean for the 4th line C slot.

If he's as good as that guy he was compared to he ~could fill in for the injured Baby Nuge~

@David S....Line up starts behind me bro.

@Daniela....How you doin'?

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#53 Craig1981
July 15 2013, 04:58PM
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@Lowetide

She was actually very excited about it. I told her to get back to you.

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#55 Lofty
July 15 2013, 05:22PM
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LinkfromHyrule wrote:

a lot of people seem to think that our bottom 6 is gonna doom our team next year, but honestly, I don't see it as quite that bad. Our 3rd line is actually pretty decent(provided Jones rebounds at least a bit). The fourth is definitely not pretty though, too many question marks for my liking

hopefully training camp will let some OKC guys breach the lineup

Maybe a question for Lowetide but what is the NHL average TOI for 4th liners?

Didn't the Tampa Bay Lightening run through the playoffs with one outstanding line?

I'd think the top two lines play 70% of the game and are the most important part of most teams. Third line has PK responsibilities so they're around 20% to 25%, should leave 10% to 5% for the 4th line. 6 minutes or less per night for the 4th line? Lander, Smyth and Brown should be able to hold the fort for 3 or 4 short shifts a period.

A good 3rd line is one thing, but is the 4th that important?

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#56 Rama Lama
July 15 2013, 05:23PM
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I get the feeling that Mac T is tempring our expectations on getting additional help........might be wise to under promise and over deliver? Sure beats the alternative.

From any measure it's painfully obvious that the ship is not complete. Yes it has a sail, a keel, a good rudder, but also comes with a big hole right in the back of the hull. All the prefessional writers have mentioned this so unless they are all wrong ( Stauffer excluded) there should be another deal brewing in the background.

THe availability of the Nuge,( full rehab see's him returning in mid-October) to me is the greatest concern. I hope that he packed on some pounds and added some leg strength, everything else is there in spades.

Any chance Allan on giving us an update on the Nuge and where his headspace is at, given all the current roster changes? I'm curious about our lack of an legitmate enforcer protecting our skill.......just don't see Brown being able to keep anyone in check.

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#58 Lofty
July 15 2013, 05:27PM
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15w40 wrote:

So if the Oilers keep Hemsky around do they try for a 3rd semi scoring line and bring up one of the offensive guys like Rajala or Arcobello to play the other wing with Hemsky and Gordon?? on the 3rd line.

If your going to be small you might as well be a threat to score using MacT's thinking. Unless big Finn 2.0 has some offense to contribute on the 3rd line.

Looks like Lander is the default 4th line centre with the Smyth and Jones??

Maybe play Hemsky up the line-up with RNH and Hall to see if you can get his offensive #'s to balloon and increase the trade value?

There will be teams looking for offense in the 1st part of the hear and if Hemsky catches fire trade him then and slide Yak right in there.

Hemsky with Gagner didn't seem to be a good combination on the defensive side of centre.

Just leave Hemsky on the 3rd line. He can skate circles all day long while Jones and Gordon play in the crease and go to the net. Should also be playing against other 3rd line players which can't hurt.

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#59 Lofty
July 15 2013, 05:29PM
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Lowetide wrote:

At evens, 4line centers are usually 9.5 to 12 minutes. A lot of centermen people think are 3rd liners are not. Boyd Gordon for instance, was clearly the #3C in PHX last season.

Interesting, much more than I thought.

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#61 Lofty
July 15 2013, 05:46PM
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Lowetide wrote:

Yeah, it's a lot. Greg Campbell from Boston at evens was 11:12, Jay McClement was 11:31 in Toronto, Riley Nash was 11:44 in Carolina. I'd say Belanger at 10:47 was a hair higher than the average, and maybe Brad Richardson at 10:19 was average. somewhere in there.

I found this article from D. Wagner of the Score:

http://blogs.thescore.com/nhl/2013/06/04/how-does-the-boston-bruins-fourth-line-compare-to-the-fourth-lines-from-other-playoff-teams/

Looks like 8 to 11 minutes for playoff teams this year. The PPG isn't much of a surprise...

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#62 Spydyr
July 15 2013, 05:58PM
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Sure the top two line guys should play a few more minutes a night,Ralph missed the boat on that.

That being said you do not win in the three month long grind that is the Stanley Cup playoffs without rolling four lines.Every contender has four good lines.

The upgrades Mac-T has done to the third and fourth line so far, are marginal at best.

If you put Gagner and Yak on the same line expect it to be a minus line.Neither can play defence.

Looks like another year outside the playoffs.It must be the master plan right,right?

Not like Katz will let the cat out of the bag.

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#63 madjam
July 15 2013, 06:14PM
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Gordon an upgrade on Paajarvi acceptable , and Perron an upgrade on Horcoff is reasonable expectations . I forsee a reasonable upgrade on Whitney and Potter .

Bottom six as shown is subpar in comparison to our other divisional rivalries , and defence better but still weak . Some still available like a Kobasew and/or Steckle might help marginally . Bottom six currently subpar in physical department to most and not very assertive in that regard either . Defence still lacks toughness to get us going in positive direction even though it is slightly better .

Weak enough that Nurse might be a bet to be pressed into action this year , as we still need that physical upgrade to challenge other divisional rivals for playoff s[pot . In a nutshell -on ice operational requirements above development in certain times . We see it all the time including our last 3 top junior picks , and each one did rather well considering .

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#64 DSF
July 15 2013, 06:54PM
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Good grief.

If Taylor Hall plays an additional 2 minutes per game, he will play an additional 164 minutes extra next season. (if he plays a full 82 game season)

At his current scoring rate of 3.16 P/60, that would yield an additional 8 points over the course of a season.

Let's assume, based on that, and ignoring he's taking ice time from someone else who could score, the Oilers score an additional 8 ES goals next season (best possible case).

That would mean, all else being equal, the Oilers would score 133GF and 134GA.

18 teams last season had a 5V5 F/A equal or better than 1.00.

Since PP success varies widely from season to season, expecting much progress in the standings based on more ice time for the top 6 at evens doesn't get you very far.

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#65 15w40
July 15 2013, 07:23PM
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Whew!! I was beginning to wonder if the sun was going to come up tomorrow......

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#67 Dog Train
July 15 2013, 07:36PM
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Here's hoping for a healthy season. This lineup is pretty thin to begin with, injuries could really hurt up front. On D, I think the depth is fine as long as the top of the depth chart can hold their own.

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#68 DSF
July 15 2013, 07:38PM
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Lowetide wrote:

DSF: Where is the puck with Hall's line on the ice? If shot differential for the 3 and 4 lines is a mess, taking 2 EV minutes a night away gives them some small advantage.

The extra goals have value too of course.

Yes, it is a small advantage but improving the 3rd and 4th lines would likely yield much more improvement.

Boyd Gordon, a 4th line centre in my books, scored 14 points last season.

Jannik Hansen, for example, scored 27.

Kyle Wellwood, for example, scored 15 points in only 39 games (and was 55% in the faceoff circle)

Can you win when your 3rd and 4th lines are being taken to the cleaners on a nightly basis?

There are many FA options available and if MacT can't or won't access them, he is failing.

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#70 toprightcorner
July 15 2013, 07:43PM
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northof51 wrote:

Thanks L/T for the post. I was trying to make the same point about Kruger but I don't have "any credentials" and "nobody would listen to me". With Kruger gone, the Oilers as a team are better.

That said, Kovalchuk (24:44 TOI/G), Stamkos (22:01), St. Louis (21:59), Giroux (21:10), E. Staal (20:59), Semin (20:56), Duchene (20:55), E. Kane (20:27), Eriksson (20:07), and J. Staal (20:06) all missed the playoffs last year. TBL and CAR were particularly dependent on a small group of forwards to carry the mail and while statistically (boxcars) they were up to the task, the rest of the team couldn't pick up the slack.

Simply put, the 3rd and 4th lines will have to be better next year.

Fantastic point!

Its the third line they need more quality time from, play the top line at about 19:30 - 20 min a night and things should improve.

Unless killing a lot of penalties, I don't like 4th line players playing more than about 7-8 minutes a game total or 6-7 evens.

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#71 toprightcorner
July 15 2013, 07:45PM
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David S wrote:

This CANNOT possibly be real.

But in case it is...

*Tucks shirt. Sits straight up. Sucks in gut.*

Helloooo Daniela!

Classic, funniest post in a while!

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#72 DSF
July 15 2013, 07:46PM
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Lowetide wrote:

Well, that's kind of why I wrote the post. If MacT is done, the 3 and 4 lines are not playoff quality imo.

No they're not.

And the solutions are sitting right in front of him...they're available for nothing and they're cheap.

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#74 DSF
July 15 2013, 07:59PM
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Lowetide wrote:

I think the Oilers won't go above where they are now until they get cost certainty on Gagner and figure out Hemsky. Their bonus $'s are massive.

Paralysis by analysis.

Both Gagner and Hemsky should be gone by now.

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#75 DSF
July 15 2013, 08:06PM
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toprightcorner wrote:

Some statistics may say there are many better alternatives out there but I would suggest that about 30-40% are not better when it comes to work ethic, character compete level. Those we don't want.

Out of the remainder, many probably have not interest in coming to Edmonton either based on point in their career or lack of team success or geographically. Out of the remainder, many of those willing to come would likely have to be overpaid. When it comes to 4th line, an overpayment of $500 - $750k is a lot of money.

So you are now down to a name or possibly two and if these players are the top of the heap for that position, they are best suited to wait a while for the best offer to come in once teams step back and analyse their situation.

Basically, it is very easy to say there are a lot of options out there when in reality it is usually significantly less.

If everything you say is true, the Oilers will always be losers.

The Oilers are one of the worst teams in the league because they don't have enough actual NHL players.

For the first time in almost a decade, there are very good NHL players available for almost free.

Signing a dufus like Ryan Jones tells you pretty much all you need to know about the Oilers.

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#76 DSF
July 15 2013, 08:10PM
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@The Soup Fascist

No, I took the best possible case.

Taylor Hall (and his linemates) scoring at Hall's established level.

The actual results are likely to be less.

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#77 Romulus' Apotheosis
July 15 2013, 08:12PM
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@Lowetide

Your Summer Vacation called!

John Candy wants you to step away from the neighbor calling in by-law enforcement on your kids playing road hockey down the street and take the kids on an adventure.

Enjoy the steak!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_215iQ7KDs

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#78 Dave Lumley
July 15 2013, 08:13PM
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Hey Lowetide, Any chance of seeing a return of Eager on the fourth line?

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#80 toprightcorner
July 15 2013, 08:22PM
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Even though MacT says he is happy with the forward line up they currently have doesn't mean they won't make changes if an improvement can be made. I think (and hope) that they are focusing their efforts on the back end to get a top two dman as IMO that is probably their biggest need.

I don't think Gagner's signing effects them going after that piece of the puzzle cause they need it and if signing Gagner prevents them from adding a top 2 dman, then maybe that signing is not the best decision.

As far as minutes played even though many of players averaging 20+ min per game played in the KHL last year, they have a pretty lax schedule playing 2 games a week on average. Hall and Ebs played a ton of minutes in the AHL, taking buses and getting all the media attention that I don't know if they could have effectively taken on much more ice time. With such a condensed schedule, a balance between fatigue and productive minutes is tough to find.

With Hall, Ebs and Nuge play minimal PK minutes, 20-21 minutes would be a good number to strive for. I think the third line is where some of the minuted need to come from and they need to be productive minutes, not strictly scoring wise but impacting the game positively.

I am not certain about Joensuu. I like his size, forechecking ability but he has a total of 11 seconds of NHL experience in killing penalties and only 4th line minutes. I don't see how this makes him a candidate for 3rd line minutes where most people spot him with Hemsky not in the lineup.

I also think it would be a HUGE mistake if Lander started the season with the big club, he is no where ready to make any sort of positive contribution as a 4th line center. His scoring chances for and against are dismal at best. I would much rather have Smithson cause at least he can win faceoffs.

I believe MacT will add another depth forward and possibly two. One if a signing and probably one in a trade for Hemsky.

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#81 DSF
July 15 2013, 08:22PM
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Lowetide wrote:

MacT said he'll come to camp, if he's healthy he has a chance.

Do you think the Oilers could find an upgrade on Ben Eager in free agency?

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#82 The Soup Fascist
July 15 2013, 08:26PM
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DSF wrote:

No, I took the best possible case.

Taylor Hall (and his linemates) scoring at Hall's established level.

The actual results are likely to be less.

Not to nitpick but you would be assuming that Hall received a point on every goal his linemates scored, which is obviously not the case.

To be fair though, as you correctly point out, one should consider that the bottom 3 would chip in the odd goal which you did not count against the net benefit of L1, so it likely comes out in the wash.

As LT points out though, the puck should spend more time in the opponents zone playing L1 vs L4.

All that being said, I hope MacT is not done on the bottom six. The Oilers forecheck / physicality is unlikely to scare anyone.

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#83 Walter Sobchak
July 15 2013, 08:41PM
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Mikey wrote:

If you think Gordon is a AHL player, your view and hockey opinon is garbage.

Not Gordon.....the rest are.

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#84 Gaz
July 15 2013, 08:41PM
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@DSF

Try and be productive. You've made it clear that MacT is failing - ok, I'll buy it. What do you suggest he does?

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#85 DSF
July 15 2013, 08:48PM
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toprightcorner wrote:

If Eager plays to is potential and competes every night, I don't see a replacement in the remaining UFA's.

If we were talking about trades, I would love them to try and get Matt Martin from the Islanders. I believe he is a close facsimile of Kyle Clifford at a much lower price tag. Hits a ton, fights, skates, kills penalties and is a force down low.

Kyle Clifford in an interesting option.

So is Jordan Nolan.

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#86 toprightcorner
July 15 2013, 08:53PM
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DSF wrote:

If everything you say is true, the Oilers will always be losers.

The Oilers are one of the worst teams in the league because they don't have enough actual NHL players.

For the first time in almost a decade, there are very good NHL players available for almost free.

Signing a dufus like Ryan Jones tells you pretty much all you need to know about the Oilers.

I agree they need a better bottom 6, especially a big physical winger on the 3rd line and a 4th line centre.

MacT said he only wants players on the team that want to be there and I agree, you will never get the most out of a player if he doesn't truly want to play for that team.

I think now, more than anytime in the last 10 years, a proper plan of how to build this team is in place. Until Tamballini left I never realized how terrible of a GM he actually was.

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#87 Gaz
July 15 2013, 08:56PM
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@DSF

Right. Again, you've identified why MacT sucks, but you haven't proposed an actual solution. You've merely pointed out the failings.

Do you have specific players that you'd suggest?

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#88 Walter Sobchak
July 15 2013, 09:01PM
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DSF wrote:

Get an actual 3rd line C.

Gordon is a nice player but, if your 3rd line C can't score a lick, you're pooched.

Get 2 actual 3rd line wingers.

Jones might score you a few but he is a defensive disaster.

Jesse Joensuu?

Give me a break.

Shawn Matthias was rumoured to be available last year, the Oilers should be all over that kid.

This is a third line centre!

Boyd Gordon is a great forth line centre who can move up to play third if/when an injury occurs, this is called depth.

Clifford would also be an outstanding player to target.

To bad management is inept.

Agreed with everything you said in the blog today.

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#89 toprightcorner
July 15 2013, 09:02PM
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DSF wrote:

Kyle Clifford in an interesting option.

So is Jordan Nolan.

Clifford is not available and we can't give an offersheet without a 2nd round pick next year.

Jordan Nolan is a dime a dozen and doesn't bring anything to the table, IMO.

Matt Martin is far superior. 2012-13 - 48-4-7-11, 67 shots, 234 hits, 63 pims, 7 fights, 1:35 SH/TOI

2011-12 - 80-7-7-14, 130 shots, 374 hits, 121 pims, 15 fights, 1:16 SH/TOI

I would take those numbers on my 4th line any day.

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#90 Mean Machine
July 15 2013, 09:07PM
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Trade for Clifford with a pick and a prospect Sign Mueller Trade Hemsky for a good third line centre Sign Morrow (unlikely but would be nice)

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#91 Mean Machine
July 15 2013, 09:10PM
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Mean Machine wrote:

Trade for Clifford with a pick and a prospect Sign Mueller Trade Hemsky for a good third line centre Sign Morrow (unlikely but would be nice)

Apologies, thought it would show my "enter" spaces

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#92 DSF
July 15 2013, 09:16PM
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Gaz wrote:

Right. Again, you've identified why MacT sucks, but you haven't proposed an actual solution. You've merely pointed out the failings.

Do you have specific players that you'd suggest?

Mikael Grabovski

Adam Henrique

Luke Adam

Gutsav Nyqvist

Mikkael Boeker

Cody Franson

Joechen Hecht

Damien Brunner

Danny Cleary

Brendan Morrow

Manny Malhotra

Scott Gomez

Mason Raymond

Nik Antropov

Ronn Hainsey

Kyle Wellwood

Not an exhaustive list but I expect you could find a few upgrades.

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#93 OilClog
July 15 2013, 09:20PM
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If Hall all by himself continues to excel, no one else improves in the slightest of margin, the Oilers are improved from last year.

You can't have two lines, expecting to go far in the playoffs. But, you can do plenty of damage if your top two lines are killing it during the regular season. I believe the Oilers will be slaughtered in the 1st round of the playoffs.

The bottom 6 may not score much as it stands, imo they're better defensively with the addition of Gordon and the defense, they won't be giving up as many goals on a whole.

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#94 OilClog
July 15 2013, 09:24PM
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DSF wrote:

Mikael Grabovski

Adam Henrique

Luke Adam

Gutsav Nyqvist

Mikkael Boeker

Cody Franson

Joechen Hecht

Damien Brunner

Danny Cleary

Brendan Morrow

Manny Malhotra

Scott Gomez

Mason Raymond

Nik Antropov

Ronn Hainsey

Kyle Wellwood

Not an exhaustive list but I expect you could find a few upgrades.

This is exactly the point, GM's have stopped shopping. All players except Henrique, have significant faults.

These players will be signed at mostly reduced cost, so why jump in yet.. lots of bottom end options all over the place

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#95 toprightcorner
July 15 2013, 09:25PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Shawn Matthias was rumoured to be available last year, the Oilers should be all over that kid.

This is a third line centre!

Boyd Gordon is a great forth line centre who can move up to play third if/when an injury occurs, this is called depth.

Clifford would also be an outstanding player to target.

To bad management is inept.

Agreed with everything you said in the blog today.

Matthias?? No thanks!! 44% on the dot? Was 4th in total face offs taken and barely beat out Weiss who only played 17 games. He's a 4th liner at best. Never plays tough minutes and does not know how to use his size. Sure he put up points this year but other than that blip they are fairly equal offensively and he gets over twice the offensive starts than Gordon does.

I would rather have a 3rd line centre that prevents the other teams top line from scoring then scoring 35 points instead of 25 points.

Only an idiot coach would only play Gordon 11 minutes a game with how he shuts lines down.

BTW, we can't target Clifford, RFA that Kings won't trade and we can't sign to an offer sheet as we don't have a 2nd rounder for compensation

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#96 DSF
July 15 2013, 09:27PM
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oliveoilers wrote:

So basically the gist is if we had better players, we'd be a better team. Thanks, tips.

Yes.

If the Oilers had better players they would be a better team.

Problem is, Oiler management doesn't seem to recognize better players.

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#97 **
July 15 2013, 09:28PM
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Butters wrote:

Wow, a deep discussion and worry about the Oilers' third and fourth lines. The Oilers are making progress.

I was thinking the same thing. I think it is the first time in years the Oil nation is having a sober conversation regarding the lineup. No more blind hope, no more "this is the year". It finally looks like the team is being built to win, not reliant on one or two miracle players. I'm excited for next season. Go Oilers!!

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#98 oliveoilers
July 15 2013, 09:29PM
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OilClog wrote:

If Hall all by himself continues to excel, no one else improves in the slightest of margin, the Oilers are improved from last year.

You can't have two lines, expecting to go far in the playoffs. But, you can do plenty of damage if your top two lines are killing it during the regular season. I believe the Oilers will be slaughtered in the 1st round of the playoffs.

The bottom 6 may not score much as it stands, imo they're better defensively with the addition of Gordon and the defense, they won't be giving up as many goals on a whole.

If someone with magic qualities said to me "the Oilers will make the play-offs, but be slaughtered in the first round next season, I can make that happen", well then. I'd be all over it. Let's not forget what Eakins is supposed to bring to the table! New coach, new skipper, new GM. Just give 'em their yard of rope....

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#99 **
July 15 2013, 09:31PM
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toprightcorner wrote:

Matthias?? No thanks!! 44% on the dot? Was 4th in total face offs taken and barely beat out Weiss who only played 17 games. He's a 4th liner at best. Never plays tough minutes and does not know how to use his size. Sure he put up points this year but other than that blip they are fairly equal offensively and he gets over twice the offensive starts than Gordon does.

I would rather have a 3rd line centre that prevents the other teams top line from scoring then scoring 35 points instead of 25 points.

Only an idiot coach would only play Gordon 11 minutes a game with how he shuts lines down.

BTW, we can't target Clifford, RFA that Kings won't trade and we can't sign to an offer sheet as we don't have a 2nd rounder for compensation

It would be pretty bold for Mac Tavish to trade Hemsky for a second round pick and then giving an offer sheet to Clifford.

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#100 Crispy
July 15 2013, 09:33PM
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David S wrote:

This CANNOT possibly be real.

But in case it is...

*Tucks shirt. Sits straight up. Sucks in gut.*

Helloooo Daniela!

There is one way to prove it. Daniela, if you're real send LT more bikini pictures! I wouldn't mind you being the "what does it all mean" girl a few more times ;)

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