McDavid’s Aggression

Connor McDavid has all the tools. He has the brains to think
the game at the highest level. He has the hands to make plays with the puck
that even the world’s elite marvel at. He has wheels reminiscent of a young
Pavel Bure. And he has the vision to find his teammates and see plays that are
difficult to spot from a bird’s eye view of the ice. However, what ties it all
together to make him the most dangerous player on the ice is his
aggressiveness. It’s not enough that he just has these gifts. His genius is in
the way he challenges the opposing skaters to keep up to him.

You need only to have watched the last game to be reminded
of the fact that Connor McDavid against five skaters is already hilariously unfair
for the opposition. His goal – the goal – was a blend of unnatural speed,
hands, vision, and aggressiveness that makes McDavid dangerously unpredictable
in the best possible sense of the phrase.

Perhaps what makes McDavid so dangerous is his
aggressiveness, not with his physical play like Kassian or Hendricks, but the
aggressiveness with which he attacks the defense. Because his skill level is so
incredibly high and his feet never out-pace his hands or his mind, McDavid can
challenge NHL defensemen in ways maybe only two or three other people in the
world can.

We know that McDavid can make those critical plays with no
time and space while he’s at top speed. He knows he can make those plays. He
also knows most people cannot. So when he attacks the Blue Jackets’ defense by
moving to the inside, what he’s really doing is throwing down the challenge to
Justin Falk and Jack Johnson. He has all the confidence in the world and knows
that there is better than a 50/50 chance that if he forces the defense to make
a play they will come up short against him.

In this case, McDavid starts his assault with that wicked
speed starting in his own zone. Eberle gets the puck up and over to Pouliot but
he’s a little flat-footed. McDavid is behind the pass by a split-second but in
the blink of an eye he’s got the puck and is heading towards the space between
Johnson and Falk. Johnson attempts to stick his hip out but McDavid is so fast
he walks around him before contact is made. Meanwhile, he’s regained control of
the puck and pulled it back towards him which apparently melts Falk’s brain and
leaves him sliding on the ice neatly out of the play. Now he’s all alone with
the puck.

That’s when he’s playing 5v5 hockey.

So when the opposition is down a man that aggressiveness
just ramps up. We’ve seen him draw defenders towards him. We’ve seen him use
that incredible speed to break through the blue line. We’ve seen him
relentlessly hound the puck as he did last night as well.

The rookie centre gets the puck and again makes a move that
challenges his target to make play even better than the one he is about to
make. In this case he attempts to take the puck around the goaltender and he’s
up to the task. But the rest of the defense is frozen in place, static, while
McDavid continues his dynamic and relentless attack. McDavid hasn’t given up on
the play even after his initial move is thwarted. He gets the puck back and
keeps the play moving around a Blue Jackets team that is watching a trainwreck
happen in slow-motion.

While the goalie is out of the play, having made one quality
athletic stop already, the defense can only pray the ref will blow the whistle.
He doesn’t. Instead, McDavid gets the puck back while he’s getting up from a
prone position and keeps the play moving towards Eberle and away from the


McDavid is a scoring chance machine. That applies to all
game states. In his 14 games we’ve witnessed his ability to make the power play
deadly as well as his ability to find space at even-strength. He’s so gifted in
so many aspects of play but it’s the willingness he has to throw down the
gauntlet to seasoned NHL veterans, just 14 games into his own career, that
makes Connor McDavid the electrifying and terrifying player he is today.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    McD does indeed see the ice better than any Oiler player and it shows. i can’t help but think that with the production they might get down the road with Leon and Connor as the top 2 centers, Nuge is the logical player to be moved this summer for a d-man. (Hamonic perhaps?) then add a good UFA d-man, and the Oilers just may have solved the never ending problem of having a competent defense.

    • The Soup Fascist

      Yes please. I really like our chances with a just turned 19 and 20 year old tandem playing 40 mins a night at center – facepalm. You want to help McDavid? – provide him with some protection in the batting order.

      Soon, if not already, McDavid will get all the tough matchups. What happens if you run a Hall-Nuge-Drai line, that was killing it before injuries decimated this team? Now who do teams match up against? Meanwhile Drai continues to develop as a player on the wing and gives flexibility as a center when injuries / matchups demand it.

      While only 23 (soon) at least Nuge knows his way around the league and is an excellent 2 way guy, who will keep getting better.

      Why do you move Nuge for a 3 / 4 D man? When the hell did Travis (edit: NOT Justin) Hamonic become Shae Weber?

      Finally – finally this team has depth at center – and people want to destroy it, for a DECENT but not great defenseman.

      Protect McDavid. Save the Nuge.

        • The Soup Fascist

          My mistake – I make lots of them.

          I feel bad you did not have the cognitive ability to grab the basic premise of the argument in spite of my error.


          I fixed it so you could take another run at it.

      • Danglishish

        All great points. I don’t think anyone would suggest that Nuge isn’t very valuable to this team.

        But the problem I have is that those who say Nuge should be off limits never address the obvious question:

        If we keep Nuge, what do we do about our defense? If there is consensus that only Nuge will get us a legit top pairing dman, what would you do? Do you move Ebs for a 3-4 dman instead? Is that enough to get this team over the hump? If you’re Chia, what is your plan to get us a d-core that makes us a contender?

        Genuinely curious…

        • The Soup Fascist

          Honestly, I would exhaust using a combination of a winger (Ebs, Yak), and / or our 1st rounder and / or one of the LHD we have, to shore up the RH d-side.

          Sekera, Klefbom, Nurse, Reinhart and Davidson are all lefties. Unless two are switching to the right side (not recommended), you have a problem. Now I don’t move Klefbom unless there is a big upgrade and I likely don’t move Nurse at all.

          Point is between some combination of a winger with pedigree, a seemingly high 1st rounder and a good LH d-man you should be able to find a solid RH 1st pairing guy. You also may have to acquire another through an overpay in FA.

          Moving out Schultz or not re-signing him is a no brainer. And management does not seem to like Fayne’s game so he is likely on the way out, though possibly salary retained. I would keep Gryba if he is not too expensive as a 7 – your mileage may vary.

          Moving a fine 2 way centre to shore up D, is robbing Peter to pay Paul. Solves one problem – causes another.

          Save the Nuge.

          • Danglishish

            I can 100% get on board with that.

            I think the challenge though is that any team giving up a legit top pairing dman is going to want a top line center in return. They are both rare commodities, so taking a package of winger(s) and 3rd pairing dmen for a d-stud may be unrealistic. You need to get very, very lucky to pull that off.

            I guess at the end of the day if Chia’s only option is to move Nuge for a stud, as much as I want Nuge to stay, I think that puts us over the top and makes us a contender so I’d accept it. Not preferred, but maybe necessary. Not doing anything is not an option in my opinion.

          • The Soup Fascist

            That is fair.

            So the secret is to find a potential top pairing guy stuck in traffic behind another stud.

            I don’t advocate trading the world for him as his contract expires in 2017, but a guy like Kevin Shattenkirk is a RHS guy who can certainly run a powerplay and be an offensive catalyst. He is buried behind Pietrangelo and feeling the heat from Parayko on the right side.

            Not ideal because of his contract – but the kind of guy that can be had especially for a team needing scoring wingers like the Blues.

            We need to see the lay of the land this summer. Cap will be an issue for some teams making them give up pieces they don’t want to. Draft lottery will obviously play a role.

            I am convinced whoever gets #1 would be courted by Arizona to trade the ticket for the Phoenix-raised Austen Matthews. OEL could definitely be in play for that pick given the ‘Yotes need to sell tickets and rumblings of a downtown Phoenix arena – where it should have been built in the first place.

        • S cottV

          I would try to trade either Eberle and the 1st round pick or Yak and the 1st round pick for a #2 defenseman.

          I don’t think anyone will trade a #1 defenseman.

          Only way to get a #1 would be free agency

        • a lg dubl dubl

          Its called, UFA, good trades, taking advantage of teams with cap problems, fleecing a team, having a better prediction of a breakout season for a young defenseman than another team, pouncing on an opportunity and good drafting, analytics to identify undervalued players. Those are they ways we get a D man.
          calibre top 6. Why dilute that just to get a little better D core? How may teams are screaming for goals, and we are sitting here with potentially goals coming out of our ears if we could just get the puck to them. Sure we could trade some of them, and would be more balanced?? That’s the easy way. But that wont get us a stanley.

          What will get us a stanley is if chia manages to keep McDavid, Hall, Eberle, Nuge, Drai, Pouliot, Klefbom, Davidson, Sekera, Nurse, Talbot for the next 5 years and somehow manages to round out the roster with a top D pairing and a solid bottom six. He does that, and we are making some serious noise. He starts trading some of that core to fill other holes cause its the easiest thing to do, we maybe make it to the second round a few times????

          I want an all or nothing, high risk, high reward approach. Everyone things we should trade nuge or ebs cause we need defense, well my friends, thats the easy play for neophytes like us.

          • Danglishish

            “Its called, UFA, good trades, taking advantage of teams with cap problems, fleecing a team, having a better prediction of a breakout season for a young defenseman than another team, pouncing on an opportunity and good drafting, analytics to identify undervalued players. Those are they ways we get a D man.”

            Yes, that’s also called ‘pie in the sky fairytale management.” “Good trades” is a key component? Thanks for that insight, I’m sure Chia could use advice like that. “Fleecing a team?” Sounds simple, great plan.

            The whole point of my question was to point out that, while it’s fine and good to want to keep an asset like Nuge, unless you have another specific option in play, he may be the necessary piece to go.

            Your answer illustrates EXACTLY what’s wrong with the “don’t touch the core” argument.

          • Cain

            Couldn’t agree more.

            There always seems to be a: “somehow” or “unseen solution” or “find a way” answer to the question of how to get quality for unequal return…

          • Jay (not J)

            I didn’t know this was an option.

            I have to agree trading Nuge or Eberle is the obvious move. Give quality to get quality.

            If Chiarelli can do a “Neely + 1 for Pedersen” type of trade to add a defenceman then that’s the better way to go. (But I won’t hold my breath.)

        • A-Mc

          Hall would net us a really good defencemen. You’d retain your three centres, or one could play wing.

          Hall is a talent, but we will need a o give something good to get something good.

      • Chet.

        PREACH IT!!

        Not to mention Kelfbom, Davidson, Nurse and Reinhart are all developing along at different rates which will help settle the back end down.

        Hamonic can be had, but not for an overpayment, especially not Nuge or Eberle.

      • .

        I wonder if Hamonic and a 2nd round pick could be had for Pouliot, Purcell, and Shultz?



        Would be a hell of a top six.


        Would be a strong 3rd line.

        • Cain

          agreed. Except pouliot is without question a top 6 player.

          I see yak and kassian on the third line with a yet to be acquired center…who is good. Someone like Stoll 7 years ago.

          Letestu and Hendriks on the 4th line seems right.

        • 99CupsofCoffey

          Hamonic has a lot more trade value, than the 3 you have suggested. Purcell is worth nothing more than a mid round draft pick, and Schultz probably similar. Pouliot is not a wanted commodity either. Its going to cost Edmonton at least one of Eberle or maybe even Nuge to pry him.

  • .

    I’d say relentless (oppressively constant, incessant) more than aggressive (hostile, belligerent, bellicose, etc): he’s got no quit.

    And like so many great players he’s got this ability to slow down time for himself and his team mates.

    Worth noting from the last game, his FOW% was 57, significantly higher that his first 13 games (38) Letestu was 52 and Hendricks was 67–within their normal ranges).

    I wonder how much time in recovery McDavid was able to spend on addressing his one obvious weakness? If he keeps up the FOW% numbers I think that will just go to show how incredibly relentless the kid is right now.

    • ubermiguel

      I was thinking “tenacious”; very determined to do something.

      It’s only one game against a very poor team, but we blew them out as opposed to playing at their level and squeaking out a win like the Oilers so often have in the past.

      • .

        Tenacious works well. His play on the Eberle goal says a lot. Up 4-1 and lying flat on the ice while the puck is nearly in the grasp of the goalie who’s supported by a defensemen, McDavid says, “I want that puck” and he takes it. As a sheer expression of will, I was more impressed with this assist that I was with the 1-2 goal.

        Gretzky had a rule, there’s only one puck andI want it. I think McDavid may have a similar rule of his own.

        • Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"

          I my opinion that goal was just as amazing as the one before it. That play was over with 99% of NHL players as it sat there at the goaltenders side with the only player who could get it down on the ice. It blew my mind that he would not quit. Next time I feel like quitting on something I will punish myself by watching that goal ten times.

          • positivebrontefan

            That is some punishment, that’s like misbehaving at your buddies place so his hot Mom can give you a spanking.

            I agree though, that assist, was to me, just as impressive as the goal. That’s what showed his never give up on a play, don’t let your foot off the gas attitude. Too often in the last ten years we would get a “dreaded three goal lead,” as my father in-law calls it, only to get pushed to lose in overtime.
            As long as he’s on the ice that won’t happen.

          • Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"

            Yeah I though it would be a great way to improve my work ethic. Seriously though it will take time to find players that compliment him and can keep up with him. Hall’s line should both improve because of getting second line defense against them and because he will want to show that he belongs on a team with Connor. The whole team better work hard because it wont be long and free-agents will be calling us and taking hometown discounts just to play with the kid.

  • The Soup Fascist

    Really happy to see Connor back. Unfortunately, as an expat who used to be able to watch the games on Gamecenter, I am unable to watch the games now due to a massively epic fail by Their customer service and general ineptitude is unbelievable. Paid 200$ and as of 3 days ago every game I try to watch is blacked out.

    Why they try to make these changes in mid-season and not the summer (when they can test it properly) is so stupid, it is hard to believe.

    Will we get a refund, a discount? Unfortunately they got me by the balls because I live overseas and don’t have any other options.

    Total fail and BS. Very frustrating. Hard to believe they the NHL treats loyal fans like this. My friend has and for a quarter of the price he gets wayyyyy better service.

    Total BS.


      Use that site. Always a good stream or two for every game, sometimes have to deal with getting the other teams announcers tho. In situations where gamecenter fails to provide the service you desire you’re forced into going with less legit means. (however streaming TV is not illegal… in Canada)

    • MorningOwl

      NHL gamecenter sucks a big fat one. They couldn’t give me proper service but just kept saying sorry instead of actually displaying it and giving me my money back. And they wonder why people watch ‘illegal’ versions online lol

  • .

    Sweet Lord, how damn lucky are we (Oil Fans) to have this young man fall from heaven into our fold!

    Even the Debbie Downers who frequent this site and the trolls as well cannot spew their element of negativism in reference to the second coming of the Great One.

    Years of pure joy for us fans and years of total envy for fans of other teams! Go OIL Go

  • .

    One factor which is very hard to measure is the impact which McDavid’s presence has on the rest of the Oilers players. They now know they have a chance to win almost every game simply because of his talent level.

    The only possible comparison is the effect which Carey Price has on the Habs line up. When he is palying, the Habs are never really out of a game and they have a certain swagger because of it. McDavid’s impact is very similar.

    Should be an incredibly exciting next few years. What a change from ELPH.

  • West

    Not on topic, but what is the NHL rule on suspensions while a player is injured. I can remember other suspensions that did not kick in until the player was cleared to play, so if Wideman has a concussion as is now being claimed, I would expect his suspension should not start until he clears concussion protocol. Or has the rule been changed about this?

  • Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"

    My only concern for this great player, that he might have the recklessness in his game that Taylor Hall had [has], mainly because of his speed.Someone gives him the hip or shove and he becomes a rockect going the other way. The Philly injury was just that.

    PS; Matt, Nuge for Hamonic.. are you nuts. Not saying Nuge can’t be traded but he would be huge over pay for Hamonic, who at best is a 3/4 D-man., on a good team.

      • DoubleJ

        My apologies Matt, the Nuge comment was picked up from # 1 Hard Boiled 1.0.
        Got stuck in my brain as your comment from the article, which it wasn’t. Stand corrected.

      • Zarny

        So you would rather keep losing?

        I don’t think anyone is “for” trading Nuge; they are for trading for a top pairing D.

        If Rob Klinkhammer could get that return I think that’s what the Oilers would do. If Yak or Schultz could fetch a top pairing D the Oilers would certainly do that before moving Nuge. If Eberle gets the Oilers what they need he probably goes before Nuge.

        The problem is even Eberle might not be enough to secure what the Oilers need. Which means the Oilers can either pay the price, spend less to acquire a top 4 D instead of a top pair, or do nothing and continue to be a bottom 5-10 team for all of McDavid’s ELC.

        So it’s great that you are “against” trading Nuge. What are you for?

        • Zarny

          I personally am for the best top 6 in the league. If our GM is worth his reputation, he’ll figure it out. And if he does, he deserves a cup.

          Hall, Nuge, Drai (or Drai Nuge?)

          Pouliot, McD, Eberle

          An extra center up there cant be bad.

          I don’t think yak has the hockey IQ to replace eberle. He does bring a bit more sandpaper though. He’s a 1st overall, but lets throw that out the window now. Hes signed and on our team, and I think with the right other two players hes is suited for a third line that gets easy minutes if the 4th line can saw off 2nd toughest comps playing 0 event hockey. Poulot – (center TDB) – Yak would be a sweet line for that type of deployment.

          • Zarny

            Ok. Fair enough.

            How would you fix the D? Because the best top 6 in the league coupled with one of the worst bluelines in the league gets you a bottom 5-10 team.

            So if you won’t trade any of 97, 4, 14, 93 or 29 how will you fix the D?

            Gamble on signing Byfuglien for $7-8M this summer? What if he signs elsewhere? And if he signs in Edm, who out of 97, 4, 14, 93 and 29 will you trade in 2 years when the Oilers can’t afford everyone?

            if your solution is do nothing and wait for Nurse and Klefbom the Oilers will waste all of McDavid’s ELC. The Oilers have all of 2 top 4 D right now – Sekera and Klefbom. Maybe Nurse improves next year; maybe not. Most likely he’ll look like a top 4 D on more nights and struggle on fewer; but he will still struggle.

            It’s great many fans don’t want to give anyone up. But that won’t change anything. McDavid alone isn’t going to move the Oilers significantly up the standings.

          • For myself, its not as much about giving a player up as much as it is about getting the right player back. Yes we all want a top pairing D man to fix this team. To trade for them would also solve some cap issues. However, who is available is my question? If you are giving up Eberle or RNH you are overpaying for a guy like Hamonic. The only other legit top guys will either stick with their respective teams for playoffs or be traded to a contender before the deadline. So you are left looking at the summer to make something happen. Even then, it is a huge challenge for Chia to pull off.

          • S cottV

            I would agree that right now – Nuge is the best two way center.

            He has a few years experience, over Drai – no question.

            However – 2 things.

            One – Nuge would not be considered a top flight two way centreman. He has a weakness in his own end. It’s part that he is not built to act in similar fashion to a d man, when the opposition pressures low in the d zone. It’s part that he tends to get overly focused on the puck, missing coverage assignments around him and behind him.

            Two – Drai has demonstrated an advanced awareness for being effective in his own end. His puck support is beautifully low and slow when needed. In d zone coverage, you see him – checking over his shoulder, looking all around to identify threats away from the puck. He coordinates very well with d men in his own zone and is built for a heavy go – if necessary. With Drai – it’s only gonna get better as he gains more experience, strength and confidence. I think he surpasses Nuge – as a future 2 way 2c, in a short period of time.

            While I would prefer to see how Nuge – might be a high end winger, who could back up at top 2c – in case of injury, if the 2nd coming of Jones – materializes beforehand, I think we have enough to make the deal, if Eberle wont get it done.

          • Jason Gregor

            Best two-way centre? Hard to be a great two-way centre when you can’t win faceoffs.

            I don’t buy the argument that his defensive prowess is so much better than Draisaitl or McDavid, especially when their offensive production is higher than is.

          • Nuge is so terrible at Faceoffs that McLellan had him take more than any other Oiler up until he got injured.

            Reducing defensive play down to Faceoffs is not helpful in the least. So I’m not even sure why we’re talking about it.

          • Jason Gregor

            You’ve yet to explain how he is so valuable defensively. What numbers back it up?

            He loses draws, which cause loss of possession, pretty sure that is one part of it.

            How is he so much better than Draisailt or McDavid that Oilers can’t afford to lose him?

            Oh and if taking more draws automatically equates to value…does that mean Schultz is a better Dman than all the other Oilers because he PLAYS more than them?

          • “How is he so much better than Draisaitl or McDavid that Oilers can’t afford to lose him?”

            Show me where I wrote that? I said I was against trading him. I still am. He’s the most experienced center we have capable of playing the top 6. He’s top 15 in takeaways by Centers in the NHL. He plays against the top offensive lines of the opposition.

            The Oilers have proven this over and over again: you can never have enough centers. If the choice is between Eberle and Nuge I trade Eberle every time. Redundancy in the position is important.

            I’m not even the one that brought up RNH in the thread and I’m not sure why you’re so fascinated with a reply I made in the comment section, but I would appreciate it if this discussion would revolve around actual things I said.

          • Gadgets

            I’m all for constructive discussions and productive disagreements, but is it common on other blogs sites for people to comment on fellow contributors articles in such a *** way like Gregor is today?

            *** Looked over my shoulder and Mom gave me the nod, I can say douchey.

          • Jay (not J)

            I think this issue will polarize ON until it is resolved one way or another. It’s nice to see the regular contributors put their 2 cents in anyway. It’s also nice that the various ‘voices of the nation’ have their own opinions and don’t all follow the loudest or biggest or whatever’s lead. As far as being douchy about it goes, we’re all kinda douche in our comments from time to time.

          • S cottV

            The only ass here is you. You added nothing.

            Gregor brought up an opinion and asked Matt to defend his. No personal shots, or lame name calling like you just did. You proved you should sit on sidelines and let grown ups have mature debates.

            Gregor asked why RNH is supposedly a better two-way? I agree he isn’t that dominant and is not as hard to replace as Matt or others seem to think he is, but I appreciate someone debating both sides and doing it without immature name calling.

          • Zarny

            Fair points Gregor, but let’s not forget that he’s only 22. The best faceoff guys in the league are veterans and, even thougu he’s been in the league a few years, I still don’t put him in that category.

            Also, and I don’t think I’m overstating this, Hopkins has had lousy coaching in his young career up until this year (not including this year’s coaches). I think logic will tell you that players improve fastest under experienced, quality coaching.

            Let’s not start picking apart his game by comparing him to McDavid, that just isn’t fair because nobody on this team compares to him.

          • Jay (not J)

            If Nuge ever writes a post career book, I think that the chapter or chapters on his coaching in his first five pro years could be fascinating. All of the guys were looked on as good hires from amongst the best available guys and they all left Edmonton (Kruger and Nelson to lesser extents) as failures. It will also be interesting to see if Nelson, Eakins or Renney ever make another HC appearance and how that works out for their new teams.

          • S cottV

            When winning faceoffs is not a particular strength and your d zone coverage is not a particular strength – it’s a big defensive problem.

            Nuge gets good marks for forechecks, takeaways, back checks and the odd spectacular defensive play. But – he is not a money player in his own end.

            McClellan has been leaning of Nuge – as a potential high end veteran, giving him a chance to really prove himself as a keeper.

            I think McClellan and PC would privately say that Nuge hasn’t quite been up to the overall task. I doubt he has met their understandably lofty expectations.

            He hasn’t driven the basic lines of Hall / Purcell & Pouliot / Eberle – anywhere near to the extent that Drai and McD have demonstrated.

          • Zarny

            No of course the choice isn’t trade Nuge or lose forever.

            I don’t think there are any unforeseen solutions though. To get a top pairing ish D the Oilers will have to move a Nuge, Ebs type player. Maybe a top 3 pick this year’s with a lesser asset gets it done but it’s certainly no guarantee.

            Move Eberle over Nuge – I agree in theory. But what if Eberle gets you Emelin and Nuge gets you Shattenkirk? I suspect most GMs give you more for a C than a RW.

            Otherwise, their option is to move lower value assets for D that are top 4 not top 2. And that could work. Draft picks and Yakupov, Schultz or other players may fetch a tandem like Garrison and another D who improve the blueline enough to compete.

            I’m simply curious what you think the Oilers should actually do. Because doing nothing will only lead to more losing. Assets need to be exchanged.

          • To get a top pairing ish D the Oilers will have to move a Nuge, Ebs type player.

            People keep saying this and it simply isn’t true. Look through the deals including top pairing D over the last decade, hardly any of them required top end players going back so it is unclear to me why everyone still believes that top D will never move otherwise.

          • Zarny

            Ok. So what deal are the Oilers sitting on because they won’t give up Schultz or a draft pick?

            Obviously context matters. Hamilton went for nothing but picks; except there aren’t any Hamiltons in the foreseeable future. Pronger only fetched Eberle in the form of a 1st rnd pick, but no team is pinned like Edm was. Hamonic’s trade request was months ago and Snow isn’t under any pressure. Yandle fetched Duclair which is certainly less than Nuge or Ebs; but the Oilers don’t have a prospect like Duclair to peddle. They have better than Duclair and then they have a lot worse.

            Of course, Seth Jones went for Ryan Johansen who is basically Nuge’s caliber. Any other Seth Jones’ out there that will go for less?

            For a legit discussion I think you need to use specific names. Hamonic, Shattenkirk, Vatanen, Lindholm, Byfuglien. There are very few names that actually meet the criteria of being top pairing D and being available. I’m curious who you think the Oilers can acquire for less than Nuge or Eberle type players.

        • Cain

          I think any player on the oilers except Mcdavid would be in play if the return was what is needed to improve your team. I think any team with the recent track record of the oilers would be open to change, and not stay status. If the team had been competing for a playoff spot the last few seasons, i could see staying the course, but if what you need to take it next level is availabe and you have to give up an assest so be it.

  • Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"

    “His genius is in the way he challenges the opposing skaters to keep up to him.” It also challenges his own players. Listen to Eberle’s comments after the game. MacDavid will do more for the way the Oilers change in the next 10 years than anything connected to the team. THe whole team will practice with a different intensity, play with more, think with more. He will make this team purposeful He looked more like THE leader on the ice than any player in Oiler silks since #11 or #99 IMO

    • MorningOwl

      quoting a very wise man:

      Too bad the oilers don’t play Columbus for the rest of their games at home!

      McDavid has 10 of his 15 points against teams that are out of the playoffs…

        • singlemalt

          That’s for sure! Someone in the “other” nation was suggesting that Sam B was his nemesis!!

          And I forgot that 3 of those 15 points came against the Lames. That must be 3 of the 5 points that he got against the playoffs bound teams,eh?

      • .

        8* of his 15 points, or 53% come from teams out of the playoffs.

        Only 53% of teams make the playoffs, so that’s a reasonable average, that includes 2 points against the Capitals–where Holtby’s GAA is 2.07.

        *Montreal was in 1st place overall when he got his two points against them.
        It’s not McDavid’s fault that between his getting points and today the Habs have completely cratered.

      • .

        You can not use that as an argument as he can only get points in the games he plays. Maybe once the season is over if that is the case you could make that claim, but at the moment you can not because he’s only played 14 games.

      • ubermiguel

        Wow. Really dude? Putting aside the fact that he’s only played 14 games in the NHL, do you honestly think there is any chance he won’t do the same to the league’s best? He’s going to own them all. Bet on it.

        By the way. I guarantee you any playoff team in the league would trade half their roster to get McDavid on their team, and you know it. Keep the silly comments to yourself, because you just make yourself sound completely clueless.

      • Hmmm…are you saying that McDavid has THE POWER TO KNOCK TEAMS OUT OF THE PLAYOFFS??!

        Lame jokes aside, you are looking at a sample size of 14 games, 4 of which he looked out of his element, as he was figuring out the league. Those games were against Dallas, the Blues (twice), and Nashville.

        He had one point in those games IIRC. I think things would be different now, being that he now has 14 games worth of experience, vs back then when he was playing his first, second and third NHL game.

        And yes, I realize how silly it sounds to say that 14 games worth of experience would make that much difference, but it’s quite evident in his play. He looked far more comfortable against the Blues in his second time around, for example.

  • S cottV

    The kid is amazing – no question.

    Finding the right complimentary players to surround him with, is going to be an interesting challenge.

    On the surface, it might appear that he could play with just about anyone.

    Look a little deeper and there may be lots to consider.

    The more McD feels like he has to do most of the heavy lifting himself, the more he’s gonna just do it and the more likely that it’s gonna end badly with a high speed collision that dent’s something bad – like a knee, a shoulder or his head.

    The more he carries – the greater the risk.

    If you could go back in time, you would get with a 15 year old Bobby Orr and tell him – just because you can carry at will, doesn’t mean that you should or need to do so. Move it – get it back, move it – get it back. Pick your spots. Don’t push too many bad positions, just because you are maybe the only guy in the world that could pull it off, every now and again.

    Maybe – the world could have seen Orr play healthy for 15+ years.

    To me – McD needs to play with guys that are strong possession players, to share the load. Guys that wont just get the puck to McD and find open ice – to make a shot.

    He needs – first pairing d man to efficiently handle back end possessions. Big – fast – hard to play against wingers that can protect the puck, draw attention to themselves and move it to McD, with as much time and space – as can be supported for him.

    McD needs to feel that if he gives the puck to someone else, the possession isn’t gonna just get mangled.

    We don’t have the guys we need for the job at hand. PC in gonna have to find them.

    • The Soup Fascist

      I understand your concern. But a couple of things:

      – It is the fact that these guys want the puck on their stick and want to make plays that make them great. Turning Bobby Orr into a chip it off the boards guy would have been criminal.

      – Given advances in knee surgery – all surgeries for that matter – compared to 35 years ago, Bobby Orr WOULD have played 15 years in this era, even given his free wheeling style. The comparatively primitive procedures that Orr endured in the early 70’s derailed him more than any hit.

      IMO, you have to let the greats be great. The second they start playing cautiously is when they get hurt.

      • S cottV

        I understand your point – just think there is a middle ground to consider.

        McD can still be great, when those playing with him, contribute to puck possession and through effective working of the puck – get it to him with time and space.

        Now – he is in a time and space strike position, to shoot or pass within a high grade scoring chance.

        The more you manufacture this scenario – the better.

        When you play him with lesser like d men, and say a guy like Yak – as an example. You will manufacture too much of a much different scenario.

        This guy is too much of an asset to – just let loose.

        In my opinion.

        • The Soup Fascist

          One could say Hall may have found that balance (touch wood). No one was more reckless than him. Still plays an aggressive “give me the puck” game. Just not as “dumb”. Made him a better player.

          McDavid will, in my mind, figure it out much faster than most.

          • S cottV

            I think that he will adjust – as well, but there needs to be some adjustment and not all of it – purely of his doing.

            There is more to managing an asset like this, than perhaps meets the casual observer eye.

            Or – should be.

            I agree – knee surgery is much better these days, but – touch wood (I touched my wooden desk – promise), we don’t have to expose McD’s knees to any kind of surgery.

    • West

      I think we need to see more games from McDavid, and his current line, before worrying about changing his style of play. I also think its a bit overkill and unrealistic to find these big, strong, fast, puck possession guys to play with him. There are only a handful of these types of players around, that can also play top line minutes, and they certainly would not be cheap. The D suggestion is an obvious problem but not just for McDavid sake. Hall and Eberle have played their entire careers without this type of support! Its something that should get serious consideration when evaluating the forwards on this team! You think Patrick Kane puts up the points he does if he plays with the Oilers blue line instead Seabrook and Keith….nope. Anyway, agree with you on the D but the guy we all dream of is as precious to his team as McDavid is to the Oilers, so it is not an easy issue to solve and quite likely the cost will outweigh the reward.

    • The Soup Fascist

      Steve Hawking is just putting some some final “tweaks” on it before releasing the final version to the Oilers, to run roughshod over rest of the league.

      He is still hazy on a couple of the concepts.

      • Gadgets

        LMAO…..heres some food for thought…..the Oilers do NOT have acess to the NAS ,simply the same online data you have acess to.the NAS doesnt like the Oilers because suppression,Dellow,outstanding Bill since 2009,disrespect .

        McDavid wouldnt have had a single point had NAS logged on and played Devils Advocate.

        Wouldnt Bennet look good scoring 4 goals every 6th or 9th game? Because you moron ,Hartley has been trying to put together his own version of the NHS and was doing great until he refused to thank and aknowledge the source last Playoffs and was turfed immediatly for not wearing NHS hats.Since then he has been left alone,But he was never “assisted” so hows about your smart arse considers this …..NAS just might have had enough of the schtick the Oilers have been pushing and might choose to move south?All the fLames need is a little fan support online and they will become terminators.

        I recently watched a video of Dellow and Eakins and got sick to my belly….to think the Oilers even for a second entertained these con-job clowns justifies moving south and hammering the living spit out of the Oil until .

        NAS has displayed undying loyalty to the Oilers and now is pissed off….just seeing …..actually after chatting with a law enforcement friend of mine…..THIS SHOW IS OVER…if Burke is smart enough to make his move before Katz ,he is IN LIKE FLYN.

        I just cant stand the visual I will always have of that pasty faced little oxygen thief siting there with his co-conspirators.

        Allison Katz-Mayfield is an organiser of the SSAC…MMMmm…..puck you beestards.

        Burkie….when you get an e-mail on your Flames e-mail address ANSWER BACK…..when you get a phone call to the front office….have them ready….I dont have the number I need but I have had enough of this crap now….the visual pushed me over the top.

        I am moving on to Pro soccer…..NHL and CFL{I will prove it Burke} Championships are water under the NHS Bridge….I want bigger game now.

        I will only Consult now Burke…but that is all you need ,it is all Sutter and Quenville needed.

        I will work for the Flames for 10k per game for the remainder of this season but they have to give a monster bonus structure based on wins and Playoffs and a Ring when we win it cannot have it all but you will have what the Kings/Hawks had but close up and personal…you will win the SC this year if we start now.

        Darryl .. pay up retro to 2009 when Pat locked you in… date….one Gypsy Dollar more than Babcock and everything else requested.You will get everything ,all of it,including the full and complete System Book which no one has ever had acess to .Do you see what I did there?Its called pro-rated.

        ONE SINGLE MESSAGE is going to both T-Mc and Hartley and one to Burke and PC….on their respective listed Team online e-mail addresses…..if there is no open conduit to dam bad then.

        Katz ..Caveat emptor…you bought the proplem and the outstanding Bill….your employees screwed you and now you have to pay the bill they ran up. I wouldnt waste time,ignorance is no excuse,ONLY ONE more try with your boys tomorrow Darryl….my word to you that is it…no more.If your men havent replied before Saturday or didnt make it possible to get the message…to bad.

        I am e-mailing tomorrow,I will celebrate tonight.I am washing my hands of this entire mess now….I have things to settle with the Hawks and Kings but you guys are off my menu by Saturday morning when I check my e-mails.

        Just look at those losers on that SSAC video….thats what you screwed the NHS for?I oughta make you pay double Babcocks salary….

        Mac-T???…Mac-T???…no way you didnt see through these bushleague cons…you know the code….no way you didnt see Dellows body language and hear the poison in his sappy voice,just the look of him HAD TO HAVE TOLD YOU WHAT HE WAS….no way you sat in a room with any of those guys and your instincts werent going off all over the place….what happened Mac-T???How did these slimes get to you??

        Boy am I miffed off now,Willis you belong next to that POS Dellow…..Larkin you to…McCarthey ..Dubas et al ,you as well…and Gregor pull up a chair….you all better hope to hades NAS doesnt get his teeth into you because when it happens you will never be the same.

        Steve Hawking is a sham .Get a grip.

        • chickenStew

          Examples of Cognitive Problems Associated with Schizophrenia —-

          –Ruminating thoughts- these are the same thoughts that go around and round your head but get you nowhere. Often about past disappointments, missed opportunities, failed relationships.
          –Making up new words (neologisms)
          –Becoming incoherent or stringing unrelated words together
          –Frequent loose association of thoughts or speech- when one thought does not logically relate to the next.
          –Lack of insight (called anosognosia). Those who are developing schizophrenia are unaware that they are becoming sick.The part of their brain that should recognize that something is wrong is damaged by the disease.
          –Racing thoughts
          –Trouble with social cues. Often not responding appropriately and thus coming off as cold, distant, or detached.
          –Speaking in an abstract or tangential way. Odd use of words or language structure
          –Difficulty focusing attention.
          –Nonsensical logic
          –Difficulty understanding simple things
          –Thoughts, behavior, and actions are not integrated
          –Obsessive compulsive tendencies- with thoughts or actions
          –Thought insertion/ withdrawal- thoughts are put it or taken away without a conscious effort
          –Conversations that seem deep, but are not logical or coherent

  • 99CupsofCoffey

    I thought that McDavid’s assist from the back of the net was nearly as impressive as his goal.

    Amazing job of staying with the puck, figuring out it wasn’t going to work, and then getting the puck to the other side.

    McDavid probably feels like time slows down to a crawl with how fast he thinks.

  • Randaman

    I have been reading all the back and forth on who to trade, don’t trade Nuge, trade Yak or Eberle + for a top 2 D, etc.

    All I can say is anyone can be traded (McDavid the obvious exception here).

    I support Management with whatever trade they may make for the overall improvement of the TEAM!

    As for the aggression discussion, I would think McClellan is preaching CONTROLLED AGGRESSION to McDavid. He’s a quick study obviously. After what happened in November, he’ll figure it out.

    I have watched this team for 40 years now and I see it this way;

    Vision: Gretzky, McDavid, Lemieux,
    Pure Skill: McDavid, Lemieux, Gretzky
    Aggressiveness: McDavid, Crosby, Lemieux

    • Zarny

      The answer on who to trade is entirely dependent on the return.

      If Nuge brings back Shattenkirk or Hamonic and the best you can get for Eberle is Emelin or Garrison you likely trade Nuge.

      On the other hand, if both Nuge and Eberle could return Shattenkirk or Hamonic but you have to throw in a 2nd rnd pick with Eberle it’s a different decision.

      The Oilers don’t need to get rid of any particular player; they have to acquire particular players. There is a difference.

  • usetobewise

    McDavid might not yet be considered the best player in the world, but hypothetically if you could trade him for any player in the league would you? And for who? I sure wouldn’t!

    • Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"

      I trashed your comment, and I wish I could trash it 10 more times. But I will play along. Also, being ‘realistic’ in the sense that I am sticking with one team.

      1) MTL will win the lottery and select Matthews

      2) Price, Matthews, Paciorietty and Subban…and I would think about it for 2 seconds and say no rather than say no immediately.

  • .

    We have an additional 6 million and change for raises to Klefbom and Talbot plus we need to sign Brossoit for 2016-17. Besides the obvious deletions, I would trade Purcell for picks, and try to package Eberle and Schultz for Big Buf and Morrissey from the jets. We would then have the cap space to resign Buf for 4 years at 7.5 million. No need for an enforcer, power play improves, Buf shoots right and we have left defencemen to package up for a decent winger. Heck we might get one of the high end forwards in this year’s draft if McDavid only nets us 20 more wins this year.

  • Zarny

    We could spend days detailing adjectives to describe 97.

    He’s certainly tenacious and relentless. You see that in Sam Bennett and Austin Matthews too. They want the puck and they won’t give up until they get it. Dog on a bone. But that applies to Matt Hendricks too.

    Yes, McDavid has great hands, vision and is already one of the best skaters in the league. But IMO his biggest advantage is being able to do everything at top speed. That allows him to be aggressive. It’s a simpler game when you can do everything at a faster speed than everyone else.

    • .

      Zarny wrote:

      He’s certainly tenacious and relentless.

      Maybe Jack Black can write a song about him, Tenacious McD.

      Zarny wrote:

      his biggest advantage is being able to do everything at top speed.

      I largely agree, in that this is what we’ve seen him do successfully so far. The hand speed on the breakaway deke was like Kane’s, but at 40Km/h.

      At the same time, I suspect that we’ll start to see McD’s vision capabilities continue to emerge where we come to respect his ability to see the ice and the next 7 seconds in of the game as much as we respect his ability to execute at high speed.

      I think these things are closely related–as seeing ahead and executing at speed require a similar kind of foresight.

  • Mo Playoffs Mo Problems

    How about a quick shout out to Benoit Pouliot for briefly touching the puck and then getting the hell out McDavid’s way to cash in on the easiest assist he’ll ever get in his career?

  • .

    on my 146th viewing of “the goal” i can’t help but wish Kevin Quinn’s voice and the goal horn could be muted so i can focus on the sound the crowd makes….hearing 16,000+ gasp harmoniously as he splits the D is special…I wish there was a broadcaster out there ballsy enough to let fans hear the organic sounds of the game.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    With Jared Cowen in the dog house for the Sens, I wonder if a Cowen for Shultz( with salary retained) would be possible.

    Cowen does have another year at 3.1 cap hit ( 4.5 actual pay) but I’d take him any day over Jultz and with the possibility of Gryba and Fayne moving on.

  • A-Mc

    What about our 1st round pick this year for Hamonic?

    Keep nuge and ebs for now, and trade our first round pick for Hamonic.

    It’ll be a really valuable pick, so that has to be intriguing.

    • BDH

      Because of the uncertainty of the pick now, you wouldnt make that trade, what if its a 1st overall, and dont laugh, it could be, then hamonic for Auston mathews is not a good trade,

      • Seanaconda

        I think we shouldn’t trade the first round pick cuz we are gonna want a constant stream of players on elc’s that can play when we actually have to start paying some of these guys.

    • LibrarianMike

      No. They wouldn’t go for that. The Islanders are a “win now” team. They’re not goin to trade their best defesemen for a maybe. Even if it’s a high pick. They want ready-made roster players that can help them win now. That trade will require an Eberle at a minimum to get done. Gotta be more realistic.

  • BDH

    McDavid makes the whole team better. Almost everyone was in on the play that he broke wide open.

    Back in the day,…. the rink was called ‘the Mausoleum’ because it was as quiet as a graveyard. The moment the Great One scored or set up Kurri for another spectacular goal the rafters were shaking from fan noise.

    The decibel rating is in the danger zone with the foghorn. Anything over 95 Db is a hazard and results in a small amount of PERMANENT hearing loss. The NHL is so stupid they think the fans need to be reminded of the goal. Plus their new website sucks big time. Thank heavens for ON.

    The GM and coaches are doing a great job this season. Proof: almost .500 without McDavid. The free agents will be drooling to get ice time with #97.