ON THE KILL

Lowetide
September 02 2014 06:57PM

gordon common

Boyd Gordon will be back, Matt Hendricks too, but the Edmonton Oilers are going to need to stretch a few forwards this winter. Many of the penalty-killers from a year ago (forward division) are gone, leaving a gap and an opportunity.

LAST YEAR!!!!

A year ago, Edmonton finished 15th in penalty-killing efficiency and allowed 50 goals to the other teams when they had the man advantage.

Source

Among forwards, Dallas Eakins asked a lot of the people you'd expect:

  1. Boyd Gordon 206 minutes
  2. Ryan Smyth 122 minutes
  3. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 99.5 minutes
  4. Matt Hendricks 97.5 minutes (in 33 games)
  5. Mark Arcobello 67.5 minutes (in 41 games)
  6. Will Acton 60 minutes (in 30 games)
  7. Jordan Eberle 55 minutes
  8. Anton Lander 51 minutes (in 27 games)
  9. Ryan Jones 45.5 minutes
  10. David Perron 37 minutes

The club will no longer have Ryan Smyth and Ryan Jones for use, but Hendricks spent a lot of time (we're talking 3 minutes a night) on the PK. New coach Craig Ramsay is in charge of the power play, but one hopes he pops in to the 4x5 meetings too, since he was so bloody brilliant at it (27SH goals in his career, No. 34 on the all-time list). 

arcobello ferguson griffins

THINGS I THINK WE'LL SEE

  1. Boyd Gordon getting the tough zone starts and a mountain of penalty killing
  2. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins continuing in his role as second option among C's
  3. Mark Arcobello being used as both center and winger, giving the PK more faceoff options (Arco was 51% in the dot last season)
  4. Hendricks playing heavy heavy minutes at the discipline
  5. Lander/Tyler Pitlick (whoever plays 4line winger with Gordon/Hendricks) playing an increased role.

POULIOT, PURCELL

The two new hires up front didn't kill a lot of penalties last season or in previous years. Benoit Pouliot spent just 32 seconds on the PK (that's incredible) during his 80 games as a Ranger, so doesn't appear to be a natural. Teddy Purcell spent a buck 49 on the PK, that's not much better. Better pencil Eberle and Perron onto next year's list, too. 

reddox

MACTAVISH SPECIAL!

When Craig MacTavish coached, he was always trying to find more versatility on his roster. Wingers would play center, and sometimes defensemen would play forward. So, if you hear MacT or Dallas Eakins talking about Keith Aulie possibly taking some PK shifts up front, don't be alarmed. They've already thought of it, all that's left is for Aulie not to laugh out loud when it's mentioned in TC and there's every chance we see it.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

hahahaa

The Oilers PK was 15th overall a year ago. For a 28th place team, that's a positive. I expect we'll see plenty of Boyd Gordon, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Matt Hendricks and Mark Arcobello, and the PK could end up being the reason Anton Lander finally sticks in the NHL.

Barons photos by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved.

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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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#1 Pucker
September 02 2014, 07:32PM
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It would be good to see less of Nuge and Ebs on PK and more of the 2nd line centre MacT is going to sign.

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#2 Quicksilver ballet
September 02 2014, 07:48PM
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Should still start with that Kassian kid.

Oh sorry. I miss interpreted the title.

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#3 oilcountryforlife
September 02 2014, 07:55PM
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Them Red Pandas be making me laugh...

By the way, did the Oilers finally get that second line centre and top pairing defensemen everyone was talking about? I've been busy enjoying summer and haven't been obsessing on little Leon.

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#4 Quicksilver ballet
September 02 2014, 08:12PM
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MacTavish should pull a Lowe type Vanek move on Ryan Johansen. Throw a wrench into the BlueJackets plans with a 6 yr 36 million dollar offer sheet. A cap hit between 5 and 6.7 is a 1st, 2nd and 3rd.

Jackets would match of course, but it could force the Jackets to free up someone else next summer. Dubinsky and Johansen making that much coin, could free up Anisimov.

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#5 blainer
September 02 2014, 08:49PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

MacTavish should pull a Lowe type Vanek move on Ryan Johansen. Throw a wrench into the BlueJackets plans with a 6 yr 36 million dollar offer sheet. A cap hit between 5 and 6.7 is a 1st, 2nd and 3rd.

Jackets would match of course, but it could force the Jackets to free up someone else next summer. Dubinsky and Johansen making that much coin, could free up Anisimov.

The Jackets are matching any offers for RJ... I would most defiantly NOT offer sheet anybody as we will be the target of such moves next year if Yak has a breakout season and Shultz lights it up.

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#6 a lg dubl dubl
September 02 2014, 08:55PM
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blainer wrote:

The Jackets are matching any offers for RJ... I would most defiantly NOT offer sheet anybody as we will be the target of such moves next year if Yak has a breakout season and Shultz lights it up.

So what if teams offer sheet Yak or Shultz, if the offer is to much take the picks and use the picks to trade for players

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#7 a lg dubl dubl
September 02 2014, 09:02PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

MacTavish should pull a Lowe type Vanek move on Ryan Johansen. Throw a wrench into the BlueJackets plans with a 6 yr 36 million dollar offer sheet. A cap hit between 5 and 6.7 is a 1st, 2nd and 3rd.

Jackets would match of course, but it could force the Jackets to free up someone else next summer. Dubinsky and Johansen making that much coin, could free up Anisimov.

Still don't think MacT sits on the "c" depth as it is right now, but it would be nice if he grew a pair and did something like offer sheet RJ, or even say trade Yakupov and 2015 1st round pick*

*not throwing an nhl15 trade out there, just sayin.

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#8 Hayek
September 02 2014, 09:04PM
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So many more options for the PK with Gazdic out of the lineup. Let's hope it stays that way for the rest of the season.

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#9 Oil Vice
September 02 2014, 09:44PM
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Hayek wrote:

So many more options for the PK with Gazdic out of the lineup. Let's hope it stays that way for the rest of the season.

He needs to play just enough to remind other teams what he will do if our kids get messed with. If/when he does play the team needs to stay discipline...then PK doesn't matter.

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#10 Oilersinsider
September 02 2014, 09:59PM
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Not signing a guy like David Legwand for that little something extra could hurt the Oilers in this context. He was a bonafide penalty killer.

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#11 srelio
September 02 2014, 10:07PM
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I wonder how long itll be before the gifs at the end of these are about winning instead of adorable yet oddly depressing reminders of the oilers

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#12 D
September 02 2014, 10:43PM
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srelio wrote:

I wonder how long itll be before the gifs at the end of these are about winning instead of adorable yet oddly depressing reminders of the oilers

Hopefully starting Game 1 this season and deep into the playoffs.

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#13 DrunkGuyTy
September 03 2014, 06:09AM
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Man, those are heavy PK numbers for Gordon. These guys are so under appreciated. All guts, no glory.

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#14 Johnny
September 03 2014, 07:06AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

MacTavish should pull a Lowe type Vanek move on Ryan Johansen. Throw a wrench into the BlueJackets plans with a 6 yr 36 million dollar offer sheet. A cap hit between 5 and 6.7 is a 1st, 2nd and 3rd.

Jackets would match of course, but it could force the Jackets to free up someone else next summer. Dubinsky and Johansen making that much coin, could free up Anisimov.

It looks like you missed it....GM of the Jackets said he would match any offer for Johansson.....EXCEPT one from the Oilers. Then they will take the picks.

A VERY deserved kick to the nuts.

Teams that finish last every year should be shamed. Besides that, three top five picks for Johansson is too good to turn down.

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#15 j
September 03 2014, 08:26AM
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Biggest PK'er = goalie. Second biggest PK'er = good system. Oilers have improved both in spades. What is the net effect? No idea.

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#16 northof51
September 03 2014, 08:48AM
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Last year, the Oilers' penalty kill was, believe it or not, bolstered by higher than average SV% while shorthanded (8th in the league 4 vs 5).

Under Krueger, when they had the 9th overall PK%, their 4 vs 5 SV% was 4th in the league. Seems we may be due for some regression, which will ultimately lower our efficiency percentages...

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#17 madjam
September 03 2014, 08:55AM
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Johnny wrote:

It looks like you missed it....GM of the Jackets said he would match any offer for Johansson.....EXCEPT one from the Oilers. Then they will take the picks.

A VERY deserved kick to the nuts.

Teams that finish last every year should be shamed. Besides that, three top five picks for Johansson is too good to turn down.

Where is the link that Columbus would not match an Oiler offer ?

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#18 TRAINRECK
September 03 2014, 09:05AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Should still start with that Kassian kid.

Oh sorry. I miss interpreted the title.

These guys do not stand up for their teammates, especially when they are no longer here.

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#19 HardBoiledOil
September 03 2014, 09:25AM
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madjam wrote:

Where is the link that Columbus would not match an Oiler offer ?

^yes, me want see! i'd do the offer sheet on Johansson, let the Jackets have three 1st rounders from us....we get a big center with talent who blossomed just last year, and he'd fit in nicely with our team that is trying to do some winning NOW.

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#20 pkam
September 03 2014, 09:52AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

MacTavish should pull a Lowe type Vanek move on Ryan Johansen. Throw a wrench into the BlueJackets plans with a 6 yr 36 million dollar offer sheet. A cap hit between 5 and 6.7 is a 1st, 2nd and 3rd.

Jackets would match of course, but it could force the Jackets to free up someone else next summer. Dubinsky and Johansen making that much coin, could free up Anisimov.

If MacTavish manages to sign Johansen to 6 yr 36M offersheet, the BJ will thank MacTavish for the great favor of helping them to lock up their #1 centre.

After Dubinsky signed the 6 yr 35.1M contract, you really think Johansen will sign for less than 6M per? BJ will be more than happy to sign him at 6M per to any contract 5 yr or longer.

12M for the top 2 centers will be very cap friendly in a couple of years when cap is 80M+.

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#21 Zarny
September 03 2014, 10:26AM
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pkam wrote:

If MacTavish manages to sign Johansen to 6 yr 36M offersheet, the BJ will thank MacTavish for the great favor of helping them to lock up their #1 centre.

After Dubinsky signed the 6 yr 35.1M contract, you really think Johansen will sign for less than 6M per? BJ will be more than happy to sign him at 6M per to any contract 5 yr or longer.

12M for the top 2 centers will be very cap friendly in a couple of years when cap is 80M+.

Umm no.

If the Blue Jackets would be happy to sign Johansen for $6M per for 5+ years they would have done it already. That is very close to what Johansen asked for and the Blue Jackets immediately said no way.

Given that Johansen has had 1 poor NHL season, 1 OK NHL, 1 good NHL season and is a player the Blue Jackets have had to really push to motivate they don't want to sign anything beyond 2 years.

Hence the contract negotiation stalemate and the reason Johansen likely won't be at camp on opening day.

I have no doubt Columbus would match an offer sheet of $6M per for 5-7 years but they would not like it. It would definitely hinder any trade interest the Oilers might have in a player like Anisimov.

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#22 HardBoiledOil
September 03 2014, 10:30AM
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^6 years at $8 mil/per and the Jackets don't match i bet? that might get Johansson here? and that would be a BOLD move, no?

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#23 Zarny
September 03 2014, 10:35AM
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Unless the Oilers add another C Lowetide's assessment sounds about right.

Which means that Nuge:

a) Is the only C capable of playing top line minutes against behemoths like Getzlaf, Carter, Toews, Kopitar, Thornton etc.

b) Is the only C that can be relied on for the PP

c) Will also see significant minutes on the PK

No chance his skinny 6'1" 185 lb frame wears down with that kind of workload.

What could possibly go wrong?

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#24 Quicksilver ballet
September 03 2014, 10:37AM
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@pkam

That is a possibility.

There is also the possibility the Jackets have their own ownership imposed cap closer to that 70'ish. Columbus is consistently in the bottom 3rd of the league as salaries go. They are nearly 15 million under this years cap with only Johansen left to sign. I'm sure they were banking on a 2yr 7'ish million dollar deal (3.5 x 2) for Ryan. That would still leave them almost 11 million in cap space. I don't see that frugal mindset changing anytime soon.

Ryan made 1.95 last season including bonuses. A jump to 6 after one good season would be a considerable unplanned expense on their part. The bargain second contract for a top 6 forward in todays game certainly appears to be lost for non competitive teams like the Oilers and Jackets.

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#25 Zarny
September 03 2014, 10:37AM
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Johnny wrote:

It looks like you missed it....GM of the Jackets said he would match any offer for Johansson.....EXCEPT one from the Oilers. Then they will take the picks.

A VERY deserved kick to the nuts.

Teams that finish last every year should be shamed. Besides that, three top five picks for Johansson is too good to turn down.

Try reality sometime...you'll like it.

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#26 Zarny
September 03 2014, 10:38AM
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Johnny wrote:

It looks like you missed it....GM of the Jackets said he would match any offer for Johansson.....EXCEPT one from the Oilers. Then they will take the picks.

A VERY deserved kick to the nuts.

Teams that finish last every year should be shamed. Besides that, three top five picks for Johansson is too good to turn down.

Deleted duplicate post.

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#27 Smokey
September 03 2014, 12:01PM
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I think with the lack of penalty killers we will see alot of Lander, cause there aren't alot of options. I think he will be every day NHL'er for that reason alone.

I think Pitlick has an inside shot as well if he does well in that role in training camp.

RNH will have to kill penalties, sigh. Arco will be out there, and then one of Eberle, Hall, Pouliot, or Purcell is going to have to get on the job training.

Ramsey is going to have to work magic.

I see overall the regular contributers being Hendrix, Gordon, Arco, RNH, Lander, Pitlick. If one of those sits then you will see Eberle or Hall, Poo or Purcell getting end of the penalty kill time. Eberle probably having the inside track.

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#28 Serious Gord
September 03 2014, 12:05PM
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Zarny wrote:

Unless the Oilers add another C Lowetide's assessment sounds about right.

Which means that Nuge:

a) Is the only C capable of playing top line minutes against behemoths like Getzlaf, Carter, Toews, Kopitar, Thornton etc.

b) Is the only C that can be relied on for the PP

c) Will also see significant minutes on the PK

No chance his skinny 6'1" 185 lb frame wears down with that kind of workload.

What could possibly go wrong?

Gordon over his career has averaged more than 15 games lost due to injury. Who fills in for him?

Assuming RNH is out for 10 to 15 that could mean 30 games or so with only one centre who has played more than a seasons worth in the nhl. What can we expect the won/loss record to be for those 30 or so games?

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#29 LOIL99
September 03 2014, 01:01PM
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j wrote:

Biggest PK'er = goalie. Second biggest PK'er = good system. Oilers have improved both in spades. What is the net effect? No idea.

I like your positivity but stating that the oilers goalie issues are solved has no basis. We are going into next year with two career backup goalies who have career number the same or worse than Dubnyk's were going into last year. Until the team defense improves, no goalie will be able to do much about the loses.

I hope you are right but lets not kid ourselves.

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