Tracking Anders Nilsson

Anders Nilsson was drafted in the third round of the 2009 NHL draft. He played two more seasons in Sweden, before coming to North America to play in the New York Islanders organization. He played 75 games in the AHL and 25 in the NHL over three seasons with New York, but left of the KHL last year.

The Oilers acquired him from Chicago on Monday and promptly signed him to a $1 million, one-year, one-way contract.

I knew very little about him, other than watching him play for Sweden at the World Championships, so I asked goaltending guru, Kevin Woodley, for some insight on Nilsson.

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Gregor: What are his strengths and weaknesses?

Woodley: His size is his strength. He has a really good athletic
base, he moves very well for his size. That is the strength, the weakness, at
least early in his career in the NHL was that he moved too much. When you are
that big and that long and you move too much you are opening up holes. Pucks go
through you as opposed to using your size effectively, and you tend to open up and
create more holes than you need to.

It is a fine line for bigger goaltenders, in terms of how
long it takes them to realize how to use their size efficiently. When you move
as explosively as Anders does, sometimes the saying less is more is applicable, it can take a
while to figure it out and learn it at the NHL level.

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Gregor: Devan Dubnyk told me last summer he realized he needed to move less, so how will a
goalie coach go about teaching Nilsson to move less?

Woodley: There are a couple different parts here.

One is positioning. That is the tactical side of the game.
You have the technical side which is how you move, how you track pucks and how
you close up holes. The tactical side is where you play in certain situations
on the ice. For a guy with Anders size there really isn’t much need to play near
the edge or on top of the crease. You can play a more contained, controlled

In theory, that should allow you to move less and open up
fewer holes, because everything is shortened, all your movements are shortened.
Play inside the blue ice, shorten the movements, shorten the distances you have
to travel and minimize the holes you open up. The bigger the goalie is the more
that principle, in general, comes into effect. Unless of course you are Pekka
Rinne who is huge, and yet he is so explosive and can get away with playing a more
aggressive game.

Within the technical framework you have many different
elements. One of the elements is how you track the puck. It is interesting you
mention Devan Dubnyk, because I’ll be on the ice with him tomorrow. One of the
things that he changed in his game from being almost out of the league two
years ago to being a Vezina trophy finalist last year, and again I’m not saying
it is all of it, but it is part of it, is the new buzzword and a new way of
tracking the puck called head trajectory.

Anders has been exposed to it. In layman’s terms it is not
just following the puck, it is how you move your head when you follow the puck.
It affects all the physiology of a goaltender…whether we close down on the puck
and keep those holes closed, or whether we turn off of the puck, imagine
pulling away from it with our shoulders as we move to the left and open up

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Anders was exposed to this his last season with the New York
Islanders when he was in the American League with Steven Valiquette, who is one
of six coaches who has learned this technique. Anders learned it. I talked to
him about it and he really seemed to adopt it well and embrace it. He went on a
really good run using it and got called up to the Islanders, and unfortunately
the Islanders I don’t think they had anyone in the NHL level to teach him to
use his size. They really do have a
philosophy for their goaltenders to let them figure it out on their own. He
goes on this run, he is using this new technique and it is helping him in the
AHL, but he arrives in the NHL and he has no support for it, and is on his own
to figure it out. And the next year he is in the KHL.

A long winded story here.

I don’t know how much he followed
up with head trajectory in the KHL, but the interesting connection is…When I
said there is a half dozen goalie coaches who are on the inside of this
philosophy, one of them is Dustin Schwartz, the goaltending coach with
the Oilers. He would be aware of the work that Anders did with Valiquette and
the way he embraced it. It is a foundational piece for all goaltenders, but it
can really be a massive difference maker for big goaltenders. It teaches them
to move without opening their frame, track pucks better and use their size more
efficiently, both in terms of tracking the puck off the release and the way
they move around on the ice as the puck is passed.

I wonder how much of Schwartz knowing he had been exposed to
head trajectory played a part in the Oilers acquiring him.

Parting Shot…

A few things.

The Oilers haven’t officially announced anything, but I’m told Schwartz will be staying on as their goaltending coach. They are very high on him and believe he is an excellent young coach. Combined with Woodley telling us he is one of a few goalie coaches who specialize in head trajectory training it makes sense to have him on staff.

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It will be interesting to see Nilsson in training camp. If I was him, I’d come to Edmonton early and spend more time working with Schwartz. Cam Talbot is a student of the head trajectory philosophy as well, having learned it from Benoit Allaire in New York, so he too won’t have much of an adjustment working with Schwartz.

The best part of the Nilsson acquisition is it creates real competition for the both goaltending spots on the roster. Those two along with Ben Scrivens will come to camp knowing only two of them will stay in the NHL, and I believe competition makes players better.

For far too long the Oilers haven’t had much competition for roster spots, and Peter Chiarelli has added depth in goal, on the blueline and up front so players will compete, not only for a spot on the roster, but also for icetime.

For those going to the Eskimos game tomorrow, read this for a recap on rule changes, but also positioning changes for the officials.

Recently by Jason Gregor:     

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    Another brilliant move. We now have very solid goaltending. Potentially three starters. The best two will be kept and the third will be moved for a first round pick. Maybe to the Lames.

    • Jason Gregor

      3 starters! Are you kidding me? All three have a combined what 200 NHL games? Talbot has shown “potential”, I’m still not sold on any of our goalies yet. They need to steal some games for us this year for once.

  • Poutine Gravy

    Curious – with the length (1 year) and type (1 way) of contract, wouldn’t it mean that Chiarelli is already envisioning him as a backup?

    He’d have to get some ice time this year so they can evaluate, and I assume they may not want to risk waivers, so realistically backup seems like the only logical placement?

    • Jason Gregor

      No, he can be just like Jacob Markstrom was last year. Sent down and cleared waivers. Most teams have two goalies they are set on at coming out of training camp.

      If he doesn’t play well they won’t keep him and risk losing Scrivens who played better.

      The one-way deal was enticement to return to NHL and show him he has legit chance to make the team, but it isn’t a guarantee. If he goes to minors he only counts $50,000 against the cap.

  • Sticks and stones my friends. It’s just words. Don’t read the comment if you know who is posting it. Do we really need tattle tales on this site. Oh please mr Gregor ban this guy and delete that guy. Grow up put you big boy undies on and move on to the next comment. If you ignore these people who just come on here just to get a rise out of you, they will eventually realize it and go away. Whining about it to me is just as sad as trolling in itself.

    Have a McDavid day for crying out loud.

    • Joe Mamma

      Please give me an example of apathy solving anything. Ever.

      “Just pretend it’s not there and it will go away” is just a gutless copout.

      Take a scroll through all the pages of comments here and tally up how many are actual hockey discussion, and how many are just schoolyard crap. And that margin is getting greater every day. This site is turning into a freaking joke.

      That’s cool with you? Good for you bud. But do the rest of us a favor and keep your bigmouth holier-than-thou comments to yourself.

      • Time Travelling Sean

        Wow! Big moth Holier than thou comments? A little on the harsh side bud. All I’m saying is skip past the trolling comments and read the actual hockey content. It’s not hard.

          • Joe Mamma

            Case in point, comments #138-147…. All just Internet bunfight bs. If you can’t see why garbage like this is bad for this forum, you’re a lost cause.

            I happened to enjoy coming to ON for informative articles and (mostly) intelligent discussion and debate. But those days are dying. Like I said, if that doesn’t bother you, that’s fine. But who elected you the Opinion Police exactly? I must have missed the vote.

            If you’re content to sift through reams of low-brow troll speak for a couple nuggets of hockey talk, that’s your business. But we’re all ON citizens, and many of us are tired of what this place is becoming. Take your own advice you hypocrite, and don’t read it if you don’t like it.

          • Joe Mamma

            You’d like that, wouldn’t ya ziggy? You’d like me to follow the advice of these dimwits, and just “ignore it and it will go away.”

            No. I don’t think I will. I think I’ll continue to draw attention to the fact that you and your ilk contribute absolutely nothing of value to this forum, and that your being allowed to continue your incessant trolling makes this forum look bush league. Any self respecting mod would have banned you a long time ago.

            If they banned DSF, there is no excuse for you being allowed to comment here. At least DSF contributed to the discussion some of the time. You are all troll, all the time. I cannot think of a single comment you have ever made that wasn’t designed to get a rise out of people. It’s funny the first few times. We’re all down for a little rivalry chirping once and a while.

            But not…

            On every.



            Ad nauseum.

            As Brownlee said to you the other day, your act is wearing thin. I look forward to the day that you dance on his last nerve and he smashes you with the banhammer. Until then, no, I think I’ll keep bringing your antics to the fore.

          • SSB1963

            You my friend are waaaaaay to sensitive. Water off a ducks back bud. Why do you let it bother you so much? I haven’t squashed one opinion I just happened to have a different one than you. As for post 138-147. I have this thing on the right side of my screen that allows me to scroll past the garbage and read the good stuff. Don’t sweat the small stuff man, and have yourself a good day!

    • Oilerz4life

      I am more than capable of ignoring the trolls, but when other ON posters engage in childish slanging matches with them it derails the threads and is crushingly BORING to grown ups. You’ll have to take my word on that I guess.

  • Yo yo yo. We got connor, but they say they beat us with Dougie the hammer, now gio wants a contract, that should legally put him in the slammer, but when alls said en done, frolik got gold instead of clam chowder, with sekera we don’t know, if the hype will show, but when we got reinhart, they too lafed but they don’t know, that nurse will be a top pair, and do they bash it? They won’t dare, keep your Dougie, low number contract makes them fuzzy, I’m a troll, bowl Lowell, coal, mole, toll, ect………..

    And this is why alberta farm boys do not get record deals

    Flames suck

    • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins


      “Those lines weren’t quite as sublime/as watching Hall chargin’ up the left side/in all alone on a breakaway in overtime…”

      It takes a real twisted person to try to write rap lines about the Oilers, I just can’t believe I’m not the only one. Infiniprops, dude.

  • JackB

    “Mr. Gregor, please ban these trolls. My feelings are getting hurt.”

    I can’t believe all the crying by Oil fans.

    Now they’re just like their team, soft, soft, soft.


  • Dwayne Roloson 35

    Head trajectory sure is a weird goalie buzzword now. I tried to read more about it, being a ball hockey goalie myself, and all you can really get is articles where Dubnyk mentions it, vague praise about it being “revolutionary,” and message board posts from guys trying to figure what exactly it is. Most of the latter end up concluding that it sounds like you follow the puck with your head instead of just your eyes, and that leads to better positioning.

    It honestly doesn’t seem like a big deal to me. But I suppose it’s nice that the Oilers have a goalie coach who’s more on the cutting edge now, as opposed to Pete Peeters and Frederic Chabot, who seemed to be more “work harder! Get confident, stupid!” kind of coaches. Whether or not they can turn Nilsson into something will be an interesting test.

    • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

      You’ve got a slight edge on most when it comes to understanding tenders, being a goalie yourself. But I would argue you were doomed from the start. I’m pretty sure Nietzsche was talking about goalies when he wrote about staring into the abyss.

      • Joy S. Lee

        Oh, Woodley’s explanation is fine. Srelio in the above comment explains it well too. I’ve read similar explanations before.

        What I’ve been looking for is a bit more in-depth analysis, I guess. Is it really “revolutionary”, or is that hyperbole? How does it really differ from what a lot of goalies are already taught? Did it really differ that much from what Dubnyk was already doing, or was it just another way of thinking that helped him focus and get his confidence back? If head trajectory is so great, why doesn’t everybody do it? Isn’t it really just another way to label something guys were really already doing?

        I mean, butterfly goaltending was revolutionary; it was something completely different to what goalies were doing before. Head trajectory seems like just another way to focus your positioning, though. Like, instead of worrying about squaring your hips and/or shoulders to the shooter, you just worry about your head and rely on your crouch/posture to have you in the right position to make a save.

        It’s kind of interesting, particularly when you’re talking about it in the context of Dubnyk, who obviously went from almost out of the league to Vezina finalist after working on head trajectory for one summer. I think Nilsson is probably more analogous to another goalie you mention in a comment, Gregor, and that’s Markstrom. He’s got similar size, just not the same minor league success. Like I said, it’ll be interesting to see if Schwartz and the Oilers can turn Nilsson into something or not.

        • srelio

          Its not revolutionary but its also not something I would have ever thought about if i hadnt worked with schwartz. The simple fact is its easier to move your eyes than your entire head so thats what most people do. Realistically it only makes a milliseconds difference but in the nhl that could raise your save percentage significantly. With Dubnyk im guessing it was just something new to focus on instead of just fixating on his problems as its easy to fall into when the pucks down the ice (which carries over to when its in your zone). Being a goalie gives you a lot of time to think which is a bad thing because you need to be reacting. If youve thought about making a save the pucks already in the net. It probably stopped him from over thinking the play to be able to focus on improving just one thing. Its also much easier to recover from a slump if you can see a tangible improvement in one aspect of your game (in Dubnyks case head trajectory). Of course anything regarding Dubnyk is pure speculation.

        • OilCanFan1

          It seems to me, although I come from a different sport, that goalies should already be tracking this way. Perhaps the big thing is someone actually coining a term for this and coaches spotting the players that don’t do it.

  • OilCanFan1

    What a pathetic life one must have waiting around for decent articles about a team you hate just so you can put in some stupid insult that perhaps a 7 year old could think was clever. Wow. Someone like that should be banned.

  • Joe Mamma

    Just watched Connor’s goals in scrimmage.. Is that the Oiler’s goal horn going off for every goal?…in a 3 on 3 scrimmage!?!

    Hahaha come on guys, doesn’t that strike you as, well..hilarious? Hillbilly?

    • JackB

      We made the scrimmage something special. The fans needed something special, after 9 years of being TRUE FANS (regardless of the frustration)

      BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY . . . we made it special for a special family . . . for a special police officer.


    • Mike Krushelnyski

      Funny, I don’t think I’ve ever watched any highlights of a Flames development camp. Anyone else?

      It’s ok if you want to become an Oilers fan, dude. We won’t judge.

      • Randaman

        Ah slow day dude, will be hopping on the riding mower with some sailor jerrys shortly.

        Draisaitl was sure stripped handily I noticed in the montage. Also noticed Connor seemed to have a worried look on his face. A look that kind of said, Wow, this is the team I am on? I never expected to score on my NHL club at a much quicker rate than I ever scored in Junior..

      • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

        Watching a Flames development camp would be like injecting concentrated boredom straight into your eyes.

        I don’t blame ziggy for wanting a look at McDavid, though.

        • Mike Krushelnyski

          WEll Jordy we don’t feel the need to announce every 3 on 3 scrimmage goal with the regular season, big time goal horn so if that’s boring than yeah I guess it is.

          Figured I’d get a look at McDavid before he started falling to meet expectations

  • CapeBretonOilers

    My love for ON is fading fast. An interesting piece by Gregor and after a few comments we are into the sandbox with the Calgary trolls again and I stop reading. There is no longer much room for adults here.

      • Jason Gregor

        Listen bud my Flames are gonna pound your soft little Oilwrs into oblivion again this season. McDavid will try dangling and BOOM – no more dangling! My boys have got the toughness and pugilistic abilities to back this up! Waitt till fall baby- it’s gonna be fun!!!!

      • bradleypi

        So you’re saying I’m a troll? Because I didn’t understand why oilersnation loved petry and hated Schultz? And because I know more about the oilers and hockey than you? Seeing as how petry is gone and Schultz is still here, it seems I may have been onto something…. I just like to talk hockey and the oilers man. But I guess if disagreeing with the masses on oilersnation makes me a troll then so be it. I always thought a “forum” was a place to express your opinions…..

        • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

          No, you weren’t onto something. The Oilers are taking Schultz to arbitration, while Petry just played monster minutes in the playoffs on Montreal’s top 4, and earned himself a new contract.

        • Jason Gregor

          I don’t think saying Schultz is still here and Petry isn’t suggests you were correct. The guy, MacT, who was in charge and liked Schultz better is no longer in charge.

          I’d be very curious to see an argument that states Schultz is better than Petry. Please show me.

          • bradleypi

            Well pick any stat that applies to defencemen to start with. And in all reality, did petry make the Habs any better than they were before he got there? They got lucky to beat Ottawa in the 1st round because Hammond choked big time and then were dispatched pretty easily in thd 2nd round. They can have him. But that’s the thing, it’s not that I think Schultz is so much better, it’s I think Schultz’ potential is greater. Petry is 28 and what you see is what you get. Average physicality, average shot, doesn’t make a good first pass outta the zone. Schultz’ offensive awareness is what seals the deal for me. Under a new coaching staff that know how to run a good power play I think the sky’s the limit. Oilersnation will realize on 2 years that petry leaving isn’t gonna cripple the franchise. That’s all I was trying to say.

          • bradleypi

            Lol. Just because you say it, it doesn’t make it true. You have your opinion, I have mine. Let’s revisit this conversation in 2 years and we’ll see. Montreal had no better option to play in their top 4. That’s why they traded for petry and hoped he would help. Shocker! He didn’t…..

          • Randaman

            I have to disagree with you. Is Petry worth 5.5M? No

            He did however play well as he became more comfortable with systems, D partner, etc.

            Don’t let your dislike of Petry cloud your perspective as a whole.

            Just an observation

          • bradleypi

            And by began to play well, do you mean was very average and didnt do enough to help the habs get past the 2nd round? My perspective isn’t clouded at all. And why do you assume I dislike petry? I never hated on him. That’s oilersnations job to hate current oilers. I didn’t blame him for the oilers being crappy like oilersnation blames jultz and ference. I just disagreed when everyone on here was talking so highly of him when he had the worst stats on the team. It made absolutely no sense to me. Petry had his chance to be the guy here and he couldn’t make it happen. Montreal will want out of that contract in 2 years. Book it.

          • Randaman

            Water under the bridge now. I was just going by what the so called experts on TV were saying. No, not Hrudy LOL.

            Time will tell I guess.

            I really like Schultz and hope he proves you right.

          • Randaman

            I would like to think that with a full season of being properly coached, Schultz could become a top 4 guy.

            It’s up to him though. He obviously has the talent and smarts. No?

            We threw one away due to ineptness of management. Let’s not be too hasty to repeat that same mistake.

            When Klefbom and Nurse are ready, he can be that third pairing guy and PP specialist, while being able to play top 4 when injuries or suspensions (Nurse LOL) occur?

        • Randaman

          @ bradleyPi,

          I for one think you have valid points sometimes.

          I think the thing that pisses people off (including me) is the arrogant, I’m smarter than you attitude you post with.

          Try making your point in a more respectful manner and you will avoid being called a troll!

          Schultz definitely has great potential and has been developed poorly. I hope and believe this will change with McLellan and His staff.

          Petry was a lot better than you ever gave him credit for and like Schultz was rushed to be something beyond his capabilities.

          Enjoy your evening

    • Jason Gregor

      I have no idea why a guy saying he thought it was Lindback irks you so much. It is a lame chirp, but it is not offensive.

      We can’t ban everyone you don’t like because they don’t agree with you. If you see his name as the author don’t read his post. You don’t have to read it.

      We have editors who delete and ban posts that are offensive or attacking. We won’t ban someone because he cheers for Calgary and makes lame chirps. For those complaining he hijacks a thread…Don’t respond to him…He is desperate and needs attention. Ignore him.

      • Quicksilver ballet

        The trading Klefbom for Seabrook scenario. This mentoring issue is lame duck soup in the big picture. Every player pulling on that jersey the first week of October wants to win/compete now. Why the need to keep differing for future maybe hopes?

        Brent makes the Oilers much more competitive starting immediately. It isn’t a lock Oskar will ever even get close to that Seabrook level, and there’s still plenty of kids like Nurse and Reinhart and Schultz he can mentor. I’d have no problem sending Klefbom or Draisaitl as the primaries in a trade like that. It improves the Oilers now, and certainly beats waiting for a train that may never ever come. Seabrook is also the ideal every night top pairing contributor the Oilers have so desperately needed.

        Where’s Kevin Lowe with his patented (When you have the opportunity to land a player of Jeff Woywitkas/ Brent Seabrooks pedigree. You do it) phrase when we need it.

        Timing is everything i guess. A proven leader for a blue chip prospect. Brent Seabrook is a major upgrade over Oskar Klefbom.

      • Oilerz4life

        Jason – I like the articles you right, but I suspect I spend a lot more time on the comment sections than you do and this trolling is turning into childish mush. I never respond to the trolls, but many people here do, so that whenever a good discussion gets going it is dumped in favour of a sandbox fight. Of course you have picked today’s most lame and harmless example for your response, as if it was representative of the problem. It isn’t.

        This has NOTHING to do with agreements or disagreements with Calgary fans and your apparent ignorance of that proves my initial point. You are out of touch with this issue. Trolls don’t make arguments, they just stir the pot. I have no problems with Calgary fans coming on here and contributing to the discussions respectfully and there are a few who do. I don’t always agree with what they say, but they are welcome by my lights. You also apparently haven’t noticed that the people who are complaining are not the ones who respond to the trolls. It is the adults who are complaining. The gaping hole in your argument is that you do not distinguish between the odd lame joke, arguments we don’t agree with and persistent mindless trolling, which are very easy to distinguish if you read the threads regularly.

        There are a number of real ON posters whose comments I don’t particularly like and I am sure there are a number here who aren’t crazy about mine, and all that is fair enough and part of any well run site, but you raising that is a total red herring. Allowing trolls to come on here and hijack multiple threads every day is another matter. I can’t make people stop getting sucked in and responding in kind, although I have certainly tried. This site is a commercial operation which belongs to ON management and the writers it pays, so you can do whatever you think is good for business. Perhaps alienating a growing number of your regular posters because trolls produce more comments or add to the members count, or whatever, may be profitable in the short term, but I think it stinks.

        • Joe Mamma

          Sorry Gregor, but the man is right. You cherry picked a pretty marginal example, and like it or not these trolls are becoming a huge problem on this site.

          Sticking your head in the sand doesn’t change this fact, and looks pretty bad on you. And trying to blame pouzar like he’s somehow trying to silence dissenting opinion is the same kind of garbage argument that the trolls use. Be better man.

  • The Last Of Barrett's Privateers

    Keep the troll remarks coming. I find there comments and ON responses quit entertaining. We have 2 months before training camp. What are we going to do, oh and ah over McDavid and Nurse, speculate line combinations, goaltenders, etc for 60 days. Anyone not getting a laugh out of the trolls are taking this way to serious

  • Oilerz4life

    Schultz is still more valuable than Petry was here . Playing behind Markov and Subban made life easier for him. Look , if Schultz was to have been the one traded . i’ll bet he (Schultz) would have performed even better than Petry . Then you’d all be screaming why did we let Schultz go .

    Petry as an Oiler in 59 games – 4 goals 11 assists for 15 points and a -25 ,which I believe was worst on the defence at that time . Petry lucked out going to Habs and they paid him with a lucrative contract I doubt he can live up to . Schultz was 81 games ,6g,25A for 31 points but I believe he still finished with a -27 , so I must conclude he got better for him after Petry left

    Had we had two top defensemen like the Habs and Lemilin no slouch either , then we might have had them both here at a reasonable price.Petry was in the right place at the right time , so good for him .

  • Darkmanic

    If you look at advanced stats between Scrivens and Talbot you’ll see that even after last year’s horrendous season Scrivens has been a better goaltender then Talbot. Let’s not forget that Scrivens was told he was going to be part of a tandem then back-up and then starter and back to back-up then over to a starter again and that could not have been fun or positive for growth. I truly believe that if we had a good defense then Scrivens would have flourished. Also there is a curve from playing 15-20 games and 60-70 games so last year could have been that curve for Scrivens. I just hope our off season moves will be enough for Talbot to not get run out of town after 1 bad season

  • CapeBretonOilers

    I used to be a goaldie in Cape Breton .. I followed the head trajectory theory because it would let us drink more while playing and we wouldn’t get dizzy as much 🙂

    C-ya all in the fall 🙂

  • Oilfan69

    In regards to Petry and the playoffs:

    Petry averaged over 21 minutes a game through the playoffs. In the Tampa series, he was an even or plus player in every game except the last game. During the regular season with Montreal he eclipsed the 23 minute mark multiple times.

    Fact. Petry IS a top 4 defenseman on any playoff team. Worth the money he was paid? Who knows…

    End of discussion.


  • Joe Mamma

    What a bunch of immature idiots. That does it. I’m done with the comments section on this damn site. What an absolute joke this place has become. Have fun chucking poop at each other children.

  • toprightcorner

    If Schwartz teaches and supports head trajectory than keep him for sure. That seems to be the thing that is making big goalies blossom over the last 2-3 years with Dubnyk, Talbot, Bishop and Mason all using some parts of it.

    Dubnyk proved how the proper goalie coach can help them meet their full potential.

    • Kevwan

      Not trying to slag on Schwartz but I didn’t see much improvement in Scrivens game (or Fasth’s) after he took over last year. If the goalie play isn’t signicantly better this year then it’s time for an experienced, succesfull goalie coach.

      @ Johnnydapuck

      Good point about Nillson’s RFA status next year.

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    I’ll admit, I have a bit of a hate-on for Schultz. No one who makes that much money should look that disinterested and utterly incompetent at work. McLellan’s got his work cut out for him, but if we end up shipping Schultz out for an actual Chia Pet, I’d be OK with it.

    • Randaman

      I’m old enough to remember Coffey being looked at in the same light.

      No comparison talent wise but I think you see my point.

      McLellan does have a project on his hands but we could say that about 3/4 of the team.

      • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

        Coffey is an EXTREMELY rare case from a different era. If Schultz doesn’t have the talent, he needs the work ethic. Which, at this point, he sure as hell does not have.

        McLellan could be the real factor here, though. As much as the roster turnover will likely help, McLellan’s systems are perhaps going to be the biggest factor that doesn’t rhyme with ShmcShmavid.

        • Randaman

          Agreed. My point was that people thought Coffey had a lackadaisical attitude and was lazy.

          I am hoping for a big turnaround from Schultz. The good thing is that it has happened to players before.

          Like I said, we wait…

        • Randaman

          Yes, I agree wholeheartedly. I didn’t say Coffey was lazy at all.

          What I said was that early in his career some people saw him as non committed and lazy.

          Hope this is clear now

  • OilCanFan1

    As long as either goaltender did NOT attend the Tommy Salo school of stoping beach balls, I’m good with goaltending.

    I like the fact that we have some good options in goal this year……….Talbot should be interesting. Talk about pressure?

  • OilCanFan1

    It will be interesting to watch how the goaltending situation unfolds. I think there is a whole lot of potential in these 2 new goalies and I’m pretty certain Scrivens will bounce back from that crappy year. Hopefully Scrivens will learn to move less and limit his stickhandling.

  • Oilerz4life

    There’s a big difference between the KHL and NHL. There’s a big difference between the KHL and AHL. I would argue that the AHL produces more skilled hockey players suited to NHL hockey than the KHL. There is absolutely no guarantee that Nilsson makes the Oilers. For all we know, Brossoit may be more NHL ready at this point than Nilsson and Nilsson may end up as a back up in the AHL if he doesn’t earn a spot at camp and clears waivers. His numbers for his last stint in the NHL aren’t very good. He is a gamble and there is no guarantee. Maybe he makes it, maybe not, but Scrivens isn’t going to just roll over and play dead. Sometimes the best thing for a goal tender is a break from the mental aspect of the game. The pressure. Scrivens may return back on his game.

    One encouraging sign is the quote from Glen Sather where he stated that nothing bothers Cam Talbot and that he will be the starter, that to me is a good sign. Maybe Chiarelli picks up another better, more proven defenseman, there are good prospects and the Oiler’s development system is improving (look at how the Barons finished last year) so the compass is turning Northward, where it should be. Hockey analysts are saying Edmonton is going to be an absolute force in a few years, a contender for the cup itself. We may even see Brossoit playing full time for the Oilers in the near future, which would be awesome. At this point though the goaltending situation in Edmonton is shakey, although the Cam Talbot deal is promising.

    • freelancer

      I think you can look at it a few ways. Typically you see KHL forwards and defenceman struggle more when they first come to the NHL because it’s a much more physical league and players don’t have as much open ice as they are used to.

      With the open ice you usually see alot more of a north and south game with teams trading chances. Goaltenders in this league (I am assuming) have to deal with a higher amount of quality shot attempts. The fact that Nilsson has done very well in this regard should translate well to the NHL.

      I wonder if his biggest issue will come with the tougher, shoving in front of the net, deflections and the shots created as a result of those things.

      • Oilerz4life

        I can see your point, it’s just that Nilsson’s numbers in his last stint in the NHL weren’t very good. I guess there is a shot, but the Oiler’s goaltending situation right now is shakey. Talbot presents some hope. I’m just not sold on Nilsson yet, unless he proves himself. But, Scrivens may come back strong, who knows. It’s to bad Bachman is gone, I think he would have been better than either Scrivens or Nilsson. I’m not totally sold on the goaltending situation just yet, hopeful in Talbot, Sather says nothing bothers him and that he will start, which is a good sign. I’m just hoping Chiarelli picks up another bona fide defenseman and is able to find someone who will really challenge Talbot, whoever that may be.

  • toprightcorner

    Do not respond to trolls in anyway not even a trash and don’t read their garbage and you know who they are it will only perpetuate their need to make comments. Obviously this must be payback for the Oiler trolls that go and do the same thing on Flames nation, we should learn to hate each other nicely without lowering ourselves to hurtful comments.

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    They won’t ban the trolls. Arguments in the comments = page views = ad revinue.

    Tell them how big of an idiot they are, then continue with your post.

  • freelancer

    Hey Gregor, don’t you usually do a blog comparing the current Oilers roster to the teams that were in the Stanley Cup Final? Would be curious to see how we stack up now.