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Photo Credit: Tom Kostiuk

Monday Mailbag – In Brossoit we trust?

My friends, Monday is here again and that means it’s time for your ol’ pal Baggedmilk to give you an opportunity for some free learning from your friends at Oilersnation. As always, I’ve taken five of your questions and sent them out to our writers to get the all of the worldly wisdom that you’ve always been looking for. I still need questions for next week, so if you have something you’d like to ask you can email me at baggedmilk@oilersnation.com or hit me up on Twitter at @jsbmbaggedmilk.com

1) Tyler asks – Peter Chiarelli held his first press conference of the season this week and I’m wondering what your first reaction was?

Robin Brownlee:

He didn’t provide any real insight beyond the obvious, although his death by 1,000 cuts got lots of play. No really solid takeaways from it.

Jason Gregor:

His one line of death by a 1000 cuts was only thing that stood out. He spoke a lot without saying anything to profound.

Lowetide:

The general manager sounded like a man who was frustrated by the team’s lack of success but feeling the solution was going to come internally. So it came off as possibly unsatisfying but suspect he was delivering the state of the team as he saw it.

Matt Henderson:

The death by 1000 cuts line seems pretty accurate, though he avoided mentioning that they were self-inflicted cuts for understandable reasons. I liked that he was challenged with some questions by local media on things like team speed. Overall it was OK but left me wondering how much future he would be willing to give up to save this season.

Cam Lewis:

I think he sort of shares the same frustrations that we do. He’s pretty clearly frustrated that the internal solutions he banked on haven’t come through at this point. Though the difference is we’re frustrated because many of us saw this coming and we don’t have any indication that he did.

Chris the Intern:

Unsurprisingly we didn’t learn anything at all from the presser. Every one of his answers were very political and revealed nothing. NO FUN!

Baggedmilk:

He said basically nothing which is what I expected him to say. I was surprised that he specifically called out a few players like Talbot, Caggiula, and Slepyshev but aside from that it was par for the course. He tapdanced when he needed to and said even less in other areas. Pretty standard Chiarelli presser, if you ask me.

Feb 21, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Edmonton Oilers goalie Laurent Brossoit (1) makes a save against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

2) Brady asks – What do you expect from Laurent Brossoit now that he has been thrown into the starter’s role?

Robin Brownlee:

Safe to say, after that uneven win over Calgary, some consistency would be a place to start. He’s been terrific and then terrible in the same period too often.

Jason Gregor:

He was shaky in first 10 minutes vs. the Leafs, then made six great saves to keep them in the game. In Calgary he was fine in the first two periods, but then let in two really bad goals and didn’t challenge on another. Captain obvious notes he can’t have those massive swings of ability. He needs to find level ground. He doesn’t need to be fantastic. In his next few starts if he can hover around .910 to .915sv% they would be happy. I expect Dustin Schwartz (goalie coach) and him will use the extra practice time this week wisely and try to find some consistency in his play. I don’t expect him to be great, he just can’t continue to let in obviously weak goals.

Lowetide:

I think he’ll never get a better opportunity to establish himself at the NHL level. I hope he runs with it, but don’t have expectations one way or another. He has been consistent for about four years now, so he’s ready for the challenge.

Matt Henderson:

I am not a big Brossoit fan at all. He doesn’t appear to be an NHL starter. Maybe not even an NHL backup, to be honest. I think the Oil should be actively looking for his replacement.

Cam Lewis:

Not much, really. I don’t think the Oilers are all too high on him either considering how much they’ve been riding Cam Talbot this year and last.

Chris the Intern:

I love Brossoit and I really hope he succeeds in his career but he’s had a terrible start this year with the Oilers. He makes a lot of good, key saves in a game but then he let’s in some awful goals. I’m sure this is an experience thing and he’ll learn over time, but we need him to play well asap! Then again if we score six goals every game we shouldn’t have an issue.

Baggedmilk:

Right now, LB is just really inconsistent and that’s a problem. That third period in Calgary saw some soft goals and it almost caused them to blow a five goal lead. I don’t think I have to tell you guys that that just can’t happen.

Sep 18, 2017; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers goalie Nick Ellis (34) guards his net against the Calgary Flames during the third period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Edmonton Oilers won 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

3) Jared asks – Do you think Peter Chiarelli will look to acquire a veteran backup goalie or do you think they’ll ride this out until Talbot gets back?

Robin Brownlee:

He should and I suspect he will.

Jason Gregor:

He could try, but there aren’t many out there. People mention Pickard in Toronto. Why would Leafs trade him? If Andersen gets injured then they’d be in the exact spot Edmonton is in. Chiarelli will try, but I don’t see many available. Please don’t mentioned Eddie Lack. Brossoit admitted he lost his focus in the third. If he proves he will learn from it, then he might be good enough to keep them in the race until January.

Lowetide:

I think there’s a real chance PC makes a trade if Brossoit doesn’t look ready for the role. It’s also possible a trade falls in his lap or an attractive option hits waivers.

Matt Henderson:

Talbot is out for two weeks but there are rumours it might be a month. I would like to think that if it’s a month then the team will make a move for a real goalie. It’s hard to find worse than Brossoit right now.

Cam Lewis:

It appears Talbot is going to be out longer than expected, and based on the Toronto and Calgary game and how little margin for error the Oilers have the rest of the way, Chiarelli should be seeking an upgrade.

Chris the Intern:

I think they’ll ride it out unless we lose a few in a row due to bad goaltending. It also depends on Talbot’s timeline. Two weeks? Maybe we ride it out. If it’s a month? Then we should probably seek help. I think Ellis will get some games in and you never know, between the two goalies we might be able to salvage this time of Talbot’s absence.

Baggedmilk:

He should have looked for one in the summer, but I completely understand why he’d want to give LB a chance. With Talbot out, the Oilers need someone to step up to the plate and I’m just not sure if Brossoit can handle that on a nightly basis yet.

Nov 28, 2017; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (93) celebrates his overtime goal against the Arizona Coyotes at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Walter Tychnowicz-USA TODAY Sports

4) Brian C. asks – I’m still seeing all kinds of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins rumours circling on Twitter. Can you explain how it would make any sense to trade the third leading scorer on a team that is starved for goals? Do you think this is all noise?

Robin Brownlee:

Where are these rumors you speak of coming from? Start there.

Jason Gregor:

If they acquire a fair trade, sure you can look at it, but Chiarelli can’t afford to downgrade in skill if he moves RNH. You can move him for the right deal. I’m intrigued how RNH is perceived in Oilersnation compared to Hall and Eberle. RNH is on pace for 57 points, right around his career high, but not out of this world and people talk like he is untradeable. You don’t want to lose the trade, so maybe it is fear fueling the narrative, but if Chiarelli can acquire pieces to actually help the team, then I could see a move. He just can’t afford to downgrade in skill again.

Lowetide:

Teams often trade from strength to address weakness but dealing RNH when he’s having such a strong season would be difficult to justify.

Matt Henderson:

Heh. I don’t think that has stopped Chia from trading even better players before. What I think about it doesn’t matter at all, but to me it would be nuts. Nuge is fantastic and ought to be an Oiler for a long time.

Cam Lewis:

It’s never just noise when Peter Chiarelli is your general manager. If he wants to make a trade, he will. And no, trading Nugent-Hopkins doesn’t make much sense because he’s easily worth his cost-controlled $6 million contract. He’s evolving into an excellent second line centre and I’m very unsure why you would get rid of a player like that.

Chris the Intern:

Haha, did it make sense to trade Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson, or Jordan Eberle for Ryan Strome? No, trading RNH makes absolutely no sense at all. As much as I love Patty Maroon, he BETTER be the one to get traded before Nuge is. I’m hoping this is all noise anyways, or Nuge’s return must be top notch.

Baggedmilk:

I’ve seen the insiders all talking about Nuge in trade rumours and the whole thing pisses me off. If Chiarelli moves him considering the kind of season he’s having then he shouldn’t be allowed to make any more trades.

5) Natasha asks – With the way this season has gone so far, do you think the Oilers will be sellers at the deadline?

Robin Brownlee:

Too early to say. I think the Oilers will get better, not worse, the rest of the way. Where will that put them at the halfway mark?

Jason Gregor:

Still to early to say they should be sellers. They are 4-2 in their last six. They are playing better. The only UFAs they have are Maroon, Letestu and Cammalleri. The latter two won’t get you a lot. Trading away young RFAs, because you are frustrated, for picks would be idiotic. The Oilers aren’t as bad as their record. They need some consistent goaltending and their special teams need to wake up. The Oilers are 5th in 5×5 GF. They aren’t as unskilled as people suggest. Their most skilled players are in a funk offensively on the PP. The PK has been a disaster for over a year, which makes me question more the PK coach, than all the players who have worked on it. Trading away young RFAs for picks would be a loser mentality at this point, and if often why bad organizations remain bad.

Lowetide:

It is looking like that’s going to happen but there’s still some time left before we can confirm it. A strong December could turn around the conversation.

Matt Henderson:

They should be sellers right now if the expiring contracts they have aren’t worth committing to or if they can’t afford them next season. So, yes. Maroon and Strome are tops on my list.

Cam Lewis:

Patrick Maroon would net a great haul and if the Oilers are out of it they would be dumb not to sell come trade deadline time. Unfortunately the team is built to be active at the deadline with its open cap room, but it’s hard to say if they’ll be in a spot to capitalize on it.

Chris the Intern:

It’s tough to say. I imagine them being in the race for a wild card spot so we might have to do what’s possible to give us that extra push.

Baggedmilk:

I think they’ll have to be unless they can go on a run here. I’m sure there are some expiring contracts that other teams would be interested in.

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  • Gorbahchano

    Why does Henderson still write for this site? I’m all for opposing views and such but his narrative is so old, he’s wrong more than he is right, there are more respectable people you could have writing that I would actually read without wanting to slash that writers tires.

      • Hemmercules

        There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot he actually likes about the Oilers. Some fans just choose to be that way and its easier to pull off when the team is down and out.

        I don’t agree with him that they need to be sellers right now, the playoffs are a long shot still but not totally impossible. Shipping off as many guys as you can to the highest bidder and calling it a season in early December is a loser mentality. I can’t see Maroon and Strome having less value in a couple months anyway should they want to sell them off for picks or whatever.

        They do need to find a goalie though. I want to see Ellis play a game but if they can pick up a someone half decent they need to do it if Talbot is out weeks. Maybe Brossoit cleans it up a bit in these next few games? Hard to write him off after two games where he made some really great saves but he needs to clean up the stinkers and work on his positioning and post coverage.

    • camdog

      Trolls like him and Spector get lots of clicks when they write negativety. There’s a large segment of the population that enjoys this. Nothing gets this blog posts up more than when a few Flames trolls come along. More trolling equals more revenue, common denominator at Sportsnet for close to 15 years.

    • Derian Hatcher

      For me, it’s not his content, it’s how he says it. If he is satisfied coming across as a smug, arrogant, know-it-all who does not have the writing skills to constructively assess professional hockey players, then so be it. BTW there are a lot of commenters that have better writing skills and can critique the performance of players in a more constructive way than MH. Why is he employed by ON? That’s a good question. Maybe they need higher standards for their writers. Anyway, I’ve wasted enough time on MH and his “writing”.

      • MessyEH!

        Henderson started as a commenter here, just like all of us. If you think you can do better. Than do better. I’ll enjoy all the free content I can get. Opposing opinions, great! Challenge your preconceived ideas. Articulate your arguments. Compose articles that provide insights that broaden our mindsets.

        Or, you can be children and sh@t on everything An author has to say.

    • Dean S

      Peter Chiarelli will be remembered in Edmonton for 2 terrible decisions. Acquiring Griffin Reinhart for the 15th overall draft pick and 33rd overall pick in the 2015 draft. Signing Milan Lucic to a 42 M (7 YEAR x 6M) contract.

      • MessyEH!

        Lucic is still being Lucic. Scoring at the same rates. The final few years could be tough. Unless he reinvents his game. Think Ryan Smyth net front presence and fast puncher.

  • styyg

    Brossoit isn’t nhl goalie and will never be. Hopefully he turns me wrong in the future, but i doubt it. Why doesn’t oilers look for european players, eastern teams do that every year. Good addition for future goalie prospect would be undrafted Veini Vehvilainen from Karpat Finland, wjc champion and hes grown a lot as a goalie last few seasons. Gp 20, Gaa 1,51, Sv% 94.0 this season as first goalie.

    • FISTO Siltanen

      Isn’t that what MacT wanted us to believe about Devan Dubnyk?

      Why not see how the kid responds with the plan to give Nick Ellis at least one game before Talbot returns?

  • camdog

    Oilers have moved into top 10 on the penalty kill on the road nearing 83% a full 25% higher than the 58% at home. Meanwhile their powerplay is 20% at home and 13% on road.

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    Philly is coming in cold as a railroad spike in January, so do they go with “experience” in Brossoit to try and get two points, or give Ellis the start against a floundering team and see what he can do?

  • CMG30

    LB is young, inexperienced and not getting the playing time as he’s been stuck behind Talbot for a long while now. Kind of leaves the Oil between a rock and a hard place. Unless he suddenly discoveres 60 minutes of solid goaltending, the PC needs to find a reliable backup.

    It would be a different story if they were sitting in the top third of the league. But they’re not. They are sitting well outside the playoffs and can not afford to eat bad losses.

    • Derian Hatcher

      I have to say that Karma is a witch. A lot of the flames trollers giving it to Russell on his unfortunate own goal…then Brodie unfortunately defelects one in his own net. Karma…always evening things out.

    • Dean S

      Matt, I agree with you 100%. Edmonton’s goaltending has been absolutely awful this year. SV % on nhl.com (min 6 games played) Talbot was 44th, LB was 56th. Things will not improve until we get decent NHL goaltending. Should be in the top 2/3 of 31 starters. I appreciate your articles and comments.
      A Honest Oil Analysis.