14-15 OIL: PORT SIDE

smyth moose jaw crop

It’s going to be a tough fall in the Capital, as Oiler fans won’t see No. 94 patrolling left wing at Rexall anymore. The young guns are here and creating memories,but that kid from Banff won a lot of hearts in this town. He’ll be tough to replace.

1LINE….HEY TAYLOR

hall evens

One of the league’s best even-strength scorers and a young man who scares the BeJesus out of opposition defensemen the second his skates cut ice. Hall has added ‘health’ to his resume in recent seasons, and after missing 38 games in his first two years, missed only 10 in the last two. Per 82gp, Hall is averaging 31 goals and 75 points. He is one of the most valuable young players in the NHL.

2LINE….DAVID PERRON

A career year at 26 and offers Edmonton a unique player-type. The Oilers haven’t enjoyed an agitator this good in miles, and you can’t tell me that his antics had no impact on the other guy. Even if you could, the 28 goals and 57 points was an absolute pleasure to watch. Can play the other wing if it comes to it.

3LINE…BENOIT POULIOT

pouliot vollman

This gives Edmonton THREE very good 5×5/60 wingmen on the portside. Here’s how they ranked last season (source:BTN) among LW’s:

  • No. 2 overall Taylor Hall 2.91
  • No. 24 overall David Perron 1.96
  • No. 33 overall Benoit Pouliot 1.79

That’s. Insane.

Note: Perron and Pouliot are listed at other positions at BTN

HOW MANY EVEN-STRENGTH GOALS?

Taylor Hall scored 20 even-strength goals a year ago, Perron posted 19, both with Edmonton. Hall’s number ranked in a tie for 25th league-wide in 2013-14. Over in Manhattan, Pouliot had 8 even-strength goals and 20 assists.

47 EV goals from the top three LW’s on the roster is impressive, Edmonton had Ryan Smyth in the 3line role last season (he also played center) and scored 44. A lot of projection depends on role, linemates, and time on ice, but expecting 47 even-strength goals from this trio seems reasonable next season. Fair?

HOW MANY POWER-PLAY GOALS?

Perron led the team with 8 PP goals one year ago, Hall one behind. Pouliot? 7! Can we expect 22 PP goals from this trio in 2014-15? Last season’s PP TOI for the trio:

  • Hall 3:10 per game
  • Perron 2:49 per game
  • Pouliot 1:56 per game

Ryan Smyth received 2:33 per night with the man advantage, so maybe this group will get enough time to score 22 PP goals next season. 

No one in this group spends much time on the PK, or at least no one did last season.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

snake

If the Oilers can get 70 goals (47 even, 22 or 23 PP) from this trio, the offense for these Edmonton Oilers has a very nice power base. The worry? Edmonton’s fourth line LW a year ago, Luke Gazdic, scored 2 goals in 385 minutes. That’s not going to help the GF.

Up next? The RW’s.

  • D

    The Oilers should be fine generating offense. The whole problem is overall depth, defense and goaltending. Can’t win a lot of games 6-5 these days.

    Too many question marks still up there in Oil town.

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    Hall truly is a beast. He’s not even the straw that stirs the drink, he’s the double shot of Kraken in the flat Coke that is the Oilers.

    • The Last Big Bear

      Let me take you to 4 years from now:

      Hall has been traded for a crappy return after he demanded a trade.

      Yak has returned to the KHL.

      RNH is your often injured second line C.

      Dry saddle is a bust.

      No play offs in sight.

      WW

      • Quicksilver ballet

        MacTavish has proven to be much more stable than Kevin Lowe. A year or two ago I might have agreed with your statement.

        Craig appears to care much more than Katz and Lowe do. 60/40 your scenario is far from the reality that may occur. The two most pressing needs on this hockey club are still vacant.

        • D

          Unfortunately I agree………MacT has schooled BB BT this off season.

          Outside Bennett the Flames draft sucked.
          (Sounds like the Oilers: pick a stud with your “earned” hi suck draft pick and blow the rest).

          WW

          • Serious Gord

            Figures. Two basement dwelling greasy trolls who need the help of fictional characters to make themselves feel cool have found each other. How cute.

            -Randy “Macho Man” Savage

          • Dan 1919

            Coaching has no doubt been a debacle, but something I’ve mentioned before and still believe; Kruger’s shortened season of “improvement” to me was an allusion. If you can remember back to that season I remember thinking they were lucky it ended at the half way point, because things were trending down.

            Not to say Kruger wasn’t good, but at the end of the day the Oiler’s haven’t had a roster that’s even come close to resembling an NHL club in years. This coming season appears to still have huge holes in D & 2C, but right now it is still at least presentable to be in the NHL.

            No coach in the NHL could have gotten these past Oiler rosters anywhere close to playoffs, and with all the turmoil of new coaches and another AHL roster, I wouldn’t have expected much better from any other coach on last year’s performance either.

            Not to exempt Eakins of last years comedy show called the Oilers, but I’m willing to see what happens with some new found stability and added roster improvements. I’ll give him 20-30 games before I give up on him again.

          • Dwayne Roloson 35

            i disagree that krueger’s shortened season was an illusion. we had a solid record at 19-22-7 with no perron, an ahl worthy bottom 6 and nugent hopkins with a bad shoulder making him pretty ineffective. we finished strong scoring 13GF and allowing 3GA in the last 2 games. Hall has admitted that they were mad about krueger leaving and they didnt seem to buy into eakins at the beginning.

            im tired of hearing how kruger had an ahl system. well apparently that system scored us more goals per game and allowed less goals a game. Under Ralph Krueger, the most shots we allowed in a game was 43. under eakins we’ve allowed 59,51,50,48,48,45,45,44,44.

            i still feel we should have kept krueger but im happy we have eakins 2 years in a row. Im hoping eakins can pull it off but i feel he has a way better team and we only played almost .500 hockey near the end of this year. i still dont know if eakins is the guy but ill give him another year.

        • Serious Gord

          So it was stable to fire Krueger and hire Eakins without a search?

          And then to sign gagner only to trade him for zip and to keep hemsky and get zip for him to and to stay with dubnyk as the starter.

          And now with free agency essentially over and the NHL GMs all at their respective lakesides until September it seems very unlikely that MacT will do anything else between now and the start of the season.

          If that’s “stability” I want nothing to do with it.

          • Reg Dunlop

            Usually when a new GM comes in he wants to hire his own coach. I’m not a fan of Eakins but I understand why MacT did it.

            As for Gagner.., trading him for Kyle Clifford would have been for zip. Trading Gagner for Purcell is a solid trade seeing as how MacT wasn’t going to gamble keeping Gagner as the 2C.

            Whose to say MacT is done? He’s been the most active GM the Oilers have seen in a long time. I’m sure he is well aware of the current C situation.

          • Serious Gord

            Almost all moves have been Pygmy trades and acquisitions – still nothing on the two highest priority items – just like last year. He’s been active only on the fringes.

          • Quicksilver ballet

            Perron for Paajarvi and a 2nd? Oilers win that trade
            Hendricks for Dubnyk? Oilers surprisingly won that trade.
            Scrivens for 3rd round pick? Oilers win that trade.

            Most recently Gagner for Purcell? We’ll see but I like it so far.

            The Oilers highest priority last year was fixing the goaltending which he did by adding Fasth and Scrivens who so far have proven they can give the Oilers a chance to win. The Oilers other glaring priority was Defence, MacT just added Fayne and Nikitin who are proven and capable defencemen and provide a stop-gap for guys like Klefbom and Nurse. It also gives Marincin incentive to outplay Nurse/Klefbom for that final spot on defence.

            The only priority left as I see it is to add a capable 2C to prevent Draisaitl being handed a spot that might hurt his development.

            The Oilers might not be a playoff team next season but I don’t see why this team can’t compete for a spot. Time will tell, but so far I give MacT credit for what he’s done with what Tambellini left him.

          • Serious Gord

            Ya nailed it! Mac has had pulled off some very smart, for real trades that makes this team better, and gives hope for the playoffs dispite the lack of depth down the center. I said “hope” so relax trolls. A true fan of hockey would be excited to see how this year plays out. I’m as gun shy as the next after being burnt for so many years but the negativity is absolutely comical! The Edmonton oilers are better than they have been in a long time.. Are they unproven.. Yup. That’s why it’s called the future. That’s what makes sport interesting.

          • Serious Gord

            Saying they traded Gagner for.nothing is.awfully ignorant. They got much needed size, possesion and speed. As opposed to slow weak no defence and cant win a face off as a center attributes possesed by Gags.

          • Serious Gord

            They got it at 4.5 mill per year. It was one teams negative asset for another. As has been pointed out the net value of gagner after it all was Tallied up was a sixth round pick – just a bit better than a bag of pucks. Will purcell’s negative value benefit the oil more than gagner’s? Going in it would seem so but he certainly isn’t wart-free. Time will tell.

          • Serious Gord

            Negative value is in the eye of the beholder. Edm is in no cap crunch and correct me if im wrong but Purcells contract is shorter than Gagners isnt it?

            Bottom line is Edm is a better team with Purcell instead of Gags

          • Serious Gord

            As has been discussed at length on this site in the past, player who is under contract for more than he’s worth has negative value – Rick dipietro mis an excellent example.

            Because of cap issues – getting to the cap – Tampa was shopping for just such a player. And gave up Purcell happily to do it.

            As for cap crunch – you can never have too much – especially if – like the oil – your are still missing some very high priced pieces.

            Bottom line? we haven’t gotten there yet.

          • Serious Gord

            Who cares what Tampa does. Purcell has way more value to Edm than Gagner. Thats all that matters.

            “A player whos under contract for longer than he is worth”.

            How does that point to Purcell? Hes under contact for 2 more years at 4.5 Once again you clearly have a grasp on negatives. Learn to spot a positive

      • Serious Gord

        I guess we can’t blame you for being bitter.

        With Calgary being at the start of their rebuild, you likely have at least 2-3 more years of lurking at the bottom of the standings. Then you get another decade of looking up to The Oilers in the standings.

        Not a great time to be a Flamer fan.

          • Reg Dunlop

            Yeah… and then you woke up.

            Have you looked at your roster lately?

            Gio, and a whole bunch of meh.

            Only thing you have going for you is that you’re likely a favorite for the McDavid sweepstakes.

          • Quicksilver ballet

            That’s my point.

            enjoy that next 4 years when you can. It’s going to be painful.

            Rebuilding through the draft is great, but it takes time for the kids to grow up and become real NHL’ers

            We’re on the verge of seeing the fruits of our labour, you’re still in the seedling stage.

          • Quicksilver ballet

            You hope… And I’m not a flames fan, I’m just saying it’s hard to imagine the flames doing such a poor job with their rebuild as the oilers

          • Dwayne Roloson 35

            yeah but we’ve only had a competent GM for a year and a bit.

            we shouldn’t have traded away every player worth something for nothing like we did.

            we will be better than calgary next year for sure. we played almost .500 hockey the last half of the season when we finally adjusted to eakins and acquired some better players thanks to mac-t.

          • Dwayne Roloson 35

            yeah but we’ve only had a competent GM for a year and a bit.

            we shouldn’t have traded away every player worth something for nothing like we did.

            we will be better than calgary next year for sure. we played almost .500 hockey the last half of the season when we finally adjusted to eakins and acquired some better players thanks to mac-t.

          • Reg Dunlop

            Yes please: can the Oilers please have a decent season and finish ahead of the Flames……first overall is ours this year!

            Please don’t completely suck again.

            WW

          • Serious Gord

            Hows Mark Jankowski these days? And how bout the return for your beloved Iggy. Some very tough times are ahead for you. Just check out Burkes draft record in Toronto

          • Serious Gord

            That’s the spirit! I’m glad to see you’re embracing it now.

            Another 2 or 3 top 3 picks and the flames should become very good in 5 – 6 years time.

          • Dwayne Roloson 35

            The flames had pretty much the same roster last year but some how finished 10 points higher than us in the standings? And what about the 8 -1 debacle? Our management has to figure out how to build a team. Without the right mix of players we are screwed again. The hockey gods are punishing Kblowe (and us) for his arrogance and ineptness. Lose 6 rings and I bet things turn around.

        • Admiral Ackbar

          With the Gagner trade the Oilers officially started their second rebuild.

          The Flames prospect pool (Johnny hockey) is much better than the Oil, hard to believe if you look at the draft picks……a disgrace really….

          WW

          • Serious Gord

            I think what he’s saying – and it’s kind of true – is the first high draft pick that oil earned because of the collapse of the team post the cup run has now been traded. Thus that first leg of the first rebuild attempt has been abandoned. And thus in a way the post-gagner/post first rebuild acquisition era has begun.

          • Serious Gord

            2007 is when you started you mayor suck…..and You have been sucking ever since.

            Yes: you ruined Gagner. Just like RNH and Yak.
            Hall is a stud and will be very good for another team.

            Please let other teams have a shot at some prime draft picks.

            Bettie should really put a stop to the Oilers BS tanking for 9 years to destroy hi draft picks.

            WW.

          • Basshole39

            I’m sorry, how much success have the Flames had in their whole existence? I guess arguing sucking with you is a losing battle as you would probably be an expert on the topic!

            Wait until Monahan hits the sophmore jinx and we will see how optomistic you are then!!

            Are you also WW on Flames nation so I know who to troll, say about this time next year?

      • Reg Dunlop

        A person has to be very pathetic to assume the identity of a fictional TV character then proceed to troll a fan based hockey website in the dead middle of summer.

      • Serious Gord

        Wow Walter! What a dark sad future you live in!! Jeez.. Why are you even on a hockey fan based website in the summer when obviously your planning to slit your wrists by August? Your being ridiculous.

  • hallsyoilerforever5

    The team can score. That’s obvious, since they got a ton of firepower. But will the defense be able to not leak goals against? Can all the forwards be willing to backcheck, if the puck isn’t on their stick? If both things happen, then I’m sure Scrivens and Fasth won’t have to deal with 40+ shots in loads of game as well.

    • The Last Big Bear

      The Oilers were 27th in the NHL in scoring this year.

      They scored fewer goals than Calgary.

      They are brutal at scoring.

      Good luck blaming that on Dubnyk.

      • Admiral Ackbar

        Maybe you can’t blame Dubnyk for the Oilers lack of scoring but you can’t tell me that it isn’t demoralizing for a team to watch him let in weak goal after weak goal night in and night out. Hard to win a game when you can’t count on your tendy to make a save. Not all of his fault but a lot of the simple shots in net were… Even with solid D and team defence in front of him with the Nashville Predators couldn’t keep the puck out of their own net… Just ask Barry Trotz.

        • Reg Dunlop

          Well said.

          And in response to those of Silo’s ilk, just keep in mind that not all of the state of the art players in the calgary system will turn out. We all know it’s easy to be cocky at the start of a rebuild but when Gadreau, Monahan, Bennet, Ramo and Arnold all fizzle and the NHL makes sure that Conner Mcdavid goes to an American team… your tune may change.

      • Reg Dunlop

        Honestly, man, a goal saved is just as valuable as one scored. Any upgrade on Dubby will help, not to mention the value of avoiding the huge letdown numerous bad goals had on the psyche of the oil. Young guys are doubtless more likely to give up when, regardless how they perform, the tending gives them no chance. And no, I am not excusing what I saw as giving up last year; it’s just that a new year, a fresh start for everybody and a little more veteran leadership and hopefully some calming influence and we just might see some actual improvement come Oct.

  • D

    Between this, the LT piece on Arco, a better defence and goal, and the addition of shiny new draft pick Draisaitl, my hope is slowly being restored this summer.

  • D

    One big change from the Kruger season was that the Oilers lacked a strong net presence on the powerplay with the loss of Horkoff’s minutes.

    It seemed no one wanted to take over that spot and everyone stayed on the perimiter.

    Who’s the best candidate?

    PP#1 – Hall-RNH-Eberle:

    Hall is the logical choice but with his back door release, would you want him to?

    Eberle has a good one-timer too, but didn’t use it enough last year.

    RNH replaced Hemsky on the half wall.

    PP#2 – Perron-Mystery Man-Purcell

    Perron is willing to go to the hard spots.
    Purcell, who knows
    Arco???

    THIS IS THE SECOND UNIT PP???? OOO-MMMM-GGGG !!!

  • D

    Just have Smytty on the bench – not as HC or assistant coach, not even as part of the organization. Just HAVE HIM ON THE BENCH. He is Mr. Oiler, the fans adore him and the youngsters, when they see him there will do their utmost to try and become the kind of legend he is. I sincerely hope that when Ryan is ready to return to “work” that the Oilers organization will find a permanent spot for him. What a guy, gotta love him. Let him be part of the Stanley Cup winning team with the team he adores. It WILL happen.

    • D

      If the oilers are ever in a position before the trade deadline that they know for sure there gonna make the playoffs, they should sign smyth just to sit on the bench and to raise the cup when they take it. He deserves it more than any other oiler right now.

  • The Last Big Bear

    Just to comment that we are finally seeing some optimism from Oiler Nation. Let’s keep it up and bring some momentum into training camp and to start the season.

    These blog sites have been filled with surly accountant types arguing over statistics and sucking the life out of our game.

  • Serious Gord

    It there is one thing that seems to curse a lot of oilers fans it’s romanticism.

    It is what enables the old boy network that has kept the oil in the non playoff wilderness and it is what covers such blunders as bringing back Smyth and then giving the organization cover from the flak of another lost season by having him annouce his retirement just prior to the last game.

    Romanticism is what allows fans to be played here in EDM the way they are played in Toronto – even more so because things are still being run by people from the golden – bygone – era.

    Bloggers who go by nom de plumes with Lowe in them saying things like “It’s going to be a tough fall in the Capital, as Oiler fans won’t see No. 94 patrolling left wing at Rexall anymore. The young guns are here and creating memories,but that kid from Banff won a lot of hearts in this town. He’ll be tough to replace. ”

    Really aren’t helping to move things forward. Professional hockey played at a winning level requires cold-blooded management and fans that support the same.

    • Serious Gord

      Gord how are you going to spend your summer Saturday nights when the Oilers turn the corner? Its bound to happen whether its next year or ten from now.

      That much negativity cant be healthy

      • Serious Gord

        When things turn positive I will too – just as I was during the cup run. I don’t suffer incompetence very well – tolerance of it propagates it. I despise cronyism even more.

          • Serious Gord

            The hell I am a fair weather fan. I have been following them closely for a very very long time.

            I am a demanding fan. That is a very different thing.

          • Serious Gord

            Your a terrible fan whos a massive pain in the a$$. You have the opposite of rose coloured glasses. Learn to see a positive when you see one and drag your negative self from the abyss

          • Serious Gord

            You don’t read or listen to much of my comments do you? If you did you would know that you are wrong.

            We are talking about the worst team in the nhl for the last eight years. One that has been ranked by some as the worst organization of all of the four major North American spring sports. If my negative comments out number the positive that should hardly be surprising.

          • Serious Gord

            In retrospect I believe it was a good move considering Edms depth at center at the time. And when it didnt pan out he traded him away for a player type we desperately need

          • Serious Gord

            For over two years I argued that gagner was a surplus player whose skillset was a very poor – even negative fit on this roster. It took to years for MacT et al to agree with that point of view. Once the BPA strategy was implemented and it yeilded high skill, low physicality players gagner should have been moved. He wasn’t I believe because of blind loyalty and pride on the part of Lowe and MacT.

          • Quicksilver ballet

            It’s July again. The Oil haven’t lost a game in 4 months, they’ve added a couple players, and now these whimsical types want to plan the parade already, again.

            These kool aid types are all thinking in Technicolor Gord.

            These dark moments like the Gagner one you’ve mentioned never happened in their small minds. Therefor, you’re not allowed to use them to support your argument.

            Stay true, the legend that is Serious Gord.

          • Dan 1919

            Positive comments? Really when where? The ark of the covenant, the holly grail, Serious Gord’s positive comments, and Atlantis, all great missing mysteries of mankind!

            Oh and by the way your idea of a positive comment is a little like this… Hey those pants make you look less fat then the others you have been wearing lately!

            P.s The oil management needs critics, but painting everything with the same brush, be it positive or negative looses credibility, and you my friend have lost yours!

          • Serious Gord

            I suspect we could go back and look at your comments of late and accuse you of being endlessly positive. They certainly are abusive if other fans – that must make you so proud.

            I supported all three first round picks for example. Still do.

          • Quicksilver ballet

            Sorry if being on the I.D.I.O.T.S ( individuals disrespecting intelligent observation through stupidity) hurt your feelings, but the only one here “abusing” fans here is you with the never ending negative drivel, if you don’t believe me check out your trash count once and awhile.

            Just show a little positive perspective balance…. Even a little.

          • Dwayne Roloson 35

            What’s the source on that ‘worst sports organization of the four major leagues’ that you’ve described?

            Would be great to hear back from you, as I dont think you ever gave a source for the ‘Draisaitl is a bad skater according to some sources’ comment in another article when I asked for you to support your statement.

          • Dwayne Roloson 35

            I read the article in the paper saying we had the worst team out of 4 leagues. It was kind of thrown together but i did agree. we have been brutal. not many teams have been as bad as we have.just facts.

            the other thing about Drai being a poor skater is true. i read its not his strongest skill but it is still close to nhl ready.

        • Serious Gord

          Well that statement pretty much sums it up doesn’t it Gordie. Your the self admitted pos band wagon jumper. When times are good you come for the ride, when times get hard you bitch and whine. I despise you and so-called fans like you.

          • Serious Gord

            You truly don’t understand what it is to be a fan who can actually help a team move forward. Blind uncitical support for anything be it a team, a spouse, a company or a political party helps no one.

            And I have been very supportive in the last of players like RNH hall and yak in the past. You et al it seems have been blinds it that as well.

  • Serious Gord

    Any chance The Nation can get a troll button right next to the trash, then after so many troll hits the comments are hiddin thus saving everyone from reading it.

    Or maybe a sign that says “Don’t feed the trolls or they will never leave!”

  • Serious Gord

    For those who clearly don’t understand the definitions:

    “fair-weather fans –
    Fans who only follow their team when they are winning.

    die-hard fans –
    Fans who follow their team no matter they are winning or losing.”

    (From wiki).

    Now which category do you think I belong to?

    Note that “Follow” is not the same as support management and players regardless of how incompetent or inept they are.

  • Dan 1919

    Nicely done LT bringing light to one of the few very bright spots in the last 5-8 years… Taylor Hall.

    As hard as it is to fathom, he seems to be often overlooked in this hockey market that’s engulfed by the negativity of KLowe’s shortcomings.

    He’s a proud Oiler that is already a Power House in the NHL. As soon as next year he could solidify himself as one of the perennial top 5 best players in the NHL and stay there pretty much until retirement.

    IMO he already is an undisputed top 10 player in the NHL, but he seldom gets this recognition around the league because of the team he’s on. Even some of the best players don’t have his ability to create an opportunity out of nothing.

  • Dan 1919

    Personally I still blame lots of last year’s failures on Dubnyk, and I’m a MacT fan so far, but the one thing he should have done was get rid of him sooner.

    I knew the team was going to give up when he kept losing them games. They wouldn’t have made the playoffs but it would have been interesting to see what would have happened if Dubnyk had not thrown the first 20 games. They weren’t playing too bad and everyone was actually committed.

    That’s what I’ve decided to tell myself this offseason anyway, so I’ll try and watch the first 10 games again next season and see how it goes.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Ha! The dumbest stuff I’ve ever heard!! You kids are ridiculous!! I wish I had the time in my life to go troll other fans websites! Good for you! It’s kind if sad but still.. Good for you!!