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GDB Game Notes: Look Away — I’m Hideous!

One of the my favourite scenes in Seinfeld ends with Kramer’s infamous, “Look away, I’m hideous.”

“What happened to your face, it looks like an old catcher’s mitt. It’s from all that smoke. You’ve experienced a lifetime of smoking in 72 hours. What did you expect?” saysJerry Seinfeld

“Emphysema, birth defects, Cancer, but not this! Jerry — my face is my livelihood. Everything I have I owe to this face! It is my allure, my twinkle,” replies Kramer.

“Your teeth are all brown,” says Jerry

“Look away — I’m hideous!”

It reminds me of the Oilers scoring depth.

1. I understand your best players are going to score a big percentage of your team’s goals, but the Oilers’ lack of depth scoring was on full display with Connor McDavid out of the lineup. Sometimes when McDavid is the lineup you can be hypnotized into watching him and then when the other lines are on, as long as they don’t get scored on, or lose momentum, it is considered okay. The depth lines haven’t struggled creating shots, but their lack of finish is beyond ugly thus far.

2. Here are the forwards goals and minutes played at 5×5:

Milan Lucic: Zero goals in 313 minutes
Tobias Rieder: Zero goals in 196 minutes
Ryan Strome: One goal in 321 minutes (combined EDM/NYR)
Zack Kassian: One goal in 259 minutes
Jujhar Khaira: One goal in 234 minutes
Kailer Yamamoto: One goal in 150 minutes
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins: Two goals in 390 minutes
Ryan Spooner: Two goals in 253 minutes (combined NYR/EDM)
Kyle Brodziak: Two goals in 247 minutes
Jesse Puljujarvi: Two goals in 179 minutes
Ty Rattie: Two goals in 160 minutes
Drake Caggiula: Five goals in 302 minutes
Connor McDavid: Six goals in 445 minutes
Alex Chiasson: Six goals in 252 minutes
Leon Draisaitl: Eight goals in 419 minutes

The last four are scoring at a good clip. Rattie has two goals in only 160 minutes and Puljujarvi is just behind him with a pair in 179 minutes. Rattie should be playing more if Ken Hitchcock wants production, and not just guys who can cycle the puck and put pucks on net. At some point, you need to score.

3. Many forwards are on terrible goal scoring paces and you’d think someone will snap out of it eventually, but it has to happen now if the Oilers hope to stay in the playoff race. McDavid’s return to the lineup will obviously help, but it doesn’t erase the fact the scoring depth isn’t good enough. Even RNH needs to produce more goals 5×5. He had one goal in 236 5×5 minutes with McDavid. I’d like to think he would produce more the next time they play together. He is better than that number suggests.

4.Speaking of scoring at 5×5, Draisaitl and McDavid have the exact same 2.29 P/60. Draisaitl has played 196 of his 419 minutes with McDavid (46%), but still has the same P/60. In my eyes the most asinine take today is blaming Draisaitl for the Oilers woes. That somehow his $8.5 million salary is the issue. Does any sane person actually think the extra $1 million would make any difference to the Oilers lineup? First off, they had over $5 million in empty cap space last season, and even if they had an extra $1 million on July 1st this past summer, they weren’t signing anyone of note. I don’t see how his salary is a concern. Debate if it is slightly overpaid, sure, but in the grand scheme of the Oilers it is a minor overpay.

5. Draisaitl isn’t a perfect player, but he has the 16th most points in the NHL since the start of the 2016/2017 season. He wasn’t moved up to McDavid’s line because he wasn’t producing as a second line centre, he was moved there because the RNH-McDavid combo wasn’t scoring as much as the coach wanted. So they switched RNH and Draisaitl. I don’t blame either centre, I blame the GM for not having enough competent wingers so Draisaitl could remain on the second line and produce at a decent clip. When no one else is scoring the coach put together the duo that scores the most. I understand why he did it. Can Draisaitl be better? Sure, but if you think he is remotely a problem, then I’d like to know what you think the answer is.

6. McDavid has nine points in 196 minutes with Draisaitl, and he has eight in 250 without him. Better players produce more with skilled players. I’ve read suggestions the Oilers should play RNH and Draisaitl together and have McDavid on his own line. You can, but you are seeing that even an elite player like McDavid won’t produce at the same rate if he doesn’t have a quality scorer. His pace would dip the least, because he is the best of the three, but asking any centre to dominate without having RNH or Draisaitl on their wing would be asking a lot. Hopefully, Oilers management realizes that scoring 25 goals consistently, or producing big points consistently, is hard, and you can’t just expect McDavid to magically turn an average player into a 25-35-60 point producer.

7. Valentine Zykov is skating in Edmonton with injured Tobias Rieder and Andrej Sekera. He is still waiting to get his work visa sorted out. The Oilers are hopeful he will be available to play by the weekend, possibly Friday night. Zykov has an absolute bomb of a shot, likely the hardest on the team. The question will be: does he skate well enough to get open often enough to use it? When he is cleared I’m curious where they play him. He did have 33 goals and 54 points in 63 AHL games last season, and in his 23 NHL games split between this year and last he has 3-4-7.

8. Three goals in 23 games would have him sixth among Oilers in goals and tied for eighth in points. You might as well play him in the top six and see what he can do. It isn’t a great option, but it illustrates how dire things are offensively for the Oilers.

9. McDavid has 17 points at 5×5 thus far. He is on pace for 53. Last year he had 71. I don’t think he is playing poorly, but the supporting cast is doing very little. If his numbers are down, why should anyone be surprised that Draisaitl wasn’t dominating the opposition without a proven top-six winger? Even the best player in the NHL is struggling, by his standards, to produce at 5×5.

10. The Blues lost 6-1 in Arizona on Saturday, but they also lost some key players to injuries on the road trip. Alex Steen has concussion like symptoms and Alex Pietrangelo left the Colorado game in the third period with a hand injury that might require surgery. Robbi Fabbri separated his shoulder in Arizona and Carl Gunnarsson and Jaden Schwartz are also injured. Five main starters are out tonight. St.Louis sits in 30th place, tied with LA with three games in hand, and they’ve struggled all season. This is another team the Oilers need to beat, and they can’t waste an opportunity to defeat a team weakened by injuries.

Month of Giving

Thank you to Trent and Glen for their generous bids and to Mr. Derk for the awesome suit package.

Day Three:

Package #1:

  • Pub party for 10 at On The Rocks. Includes meals and beverages for all.
  • $400 GC from On The Rocks as well as a Crab Boil (for eight)
  • Pair of tickets (row 23) to the Oilers/Flames game this weekend.

You can bid by calling 780.444.1260 or text 101260 between 2-6 p.m. today.

Package #2: Tee It Up.

Image result for the ranch golf course edmonton

  • 10 rounds of golf at the Ranch Golf and Country Club (hole 8 above) with a power cart for each round and use of driving range before every round.
  • One round of golf for three people with their Head Pro Shawn Piercey.
  • One round of golf for two with GM Murray McCourt and Kevin Karius from Global TV. This is a spirited match and usually involves some friendly “wagering.”

You can bid by calling 780.444.1260 or text 101260 between 2-6 p.m. today.

Thanks in advance. All proceeds will help out the Christmas Bureau and Brightfield Elementary breakfast program (A Rotary Club of Edmonton Mayfield initiative).

GAME NOTES BROUGHT TO YOU BY ATB FINANCIAL

From peewee to the pros, Albertans loves the atmosphere, energy, and life lessons that take place at rinks across the province. And where there’s an arena, you’ll find an ATB branch nearby—with our team members cheering and fundraising along with you. See more information at ATB.com.

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Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 12/05/2018 – 9:30 am MT

  • SmyttysMulletsRevenge

    If i hear another “Draisaitl overpaid, drive a line blah blah” I am going to punch my monitor. For real though.
    Landeskog/Ratanen/McKinnon
    Pastrnak/Marchand/
    Stamkos/Gourde
    Kucherov/Point
    Marner/Matthews
    OV/Kunetsov
    Barkov/Huberdeau/Hoffman
    Benn/Seguin

    List goes on. Skill plays with skill.

    McDavid and Crosby are really the only 2 players who make garbage players better.

    • Flint

      I think the reasoning is because McDavid and Draisaitl aren’t dominant enough for their salary when together. Do the math…. they make a combined 21million AAV, just those two. How many points will they get this year combined.

      Now, look at the other top lines in the league. Add up the salary. Add up the points. Way more points, way less salary.

      Pastrnak+Marchard+Bergeron is less AAV than just McDavid and Draisaitl…. 1,4mil less. Gaudreau, Monahan and Lindholm is less then McDavid and Drai… 3,0mil less. Eichel, Skinner AND Pommeville…. the same, but it’s 3 players.

      Who knows what Rantonen is going to get but McKinnon and Landeskog make 11,87… so they can pay him 9milAAV and the three players will be 130k less than just McDavid and Drai.

      Add RNH to actually get a full three player “power line” and it’s not even close. I think this is why people want to see two solid lines for that kinda investment…. not 66% of one, while searching for a value winger that works.

      • SmyttysMulletsRevenge

        A lot of those contracts were signed in a different cap era. hard to use those as comparables. Mackinnon signed his contract after a 53 point season Landeskog 59 points. Ratanen will get PAID if he wins the scoring race.

        Mcdavid is on pace for 120 points and drai 91. I think thast worth 21 million.

        Your logic does not apply.

        • Flint

          I’m talking about building a winning team.

          Elhers, Scheifele and Wheeler…. three players, cheaper than McDavid and Draisaitl. All contracts are recent signings and that includes Wheeler’s coming contract…. they are still cheaper. 3 players on pace for 52pts, 109, and 98pts – that’s a total of 259pts with 625k to spare and that includes Wheeler’s coming contract which by your logic should be even higher because it was signed later.

          McDavid and Draisaitl are on pace for 111 and 91 pts today…. or 202 total…. they give away 57pts, a roster spot and 625k to three of the Jets star players.

          The logic is sound. Cap management and value per $ is important to building a winning team. Jets are in 6th in the league…. Oilers in 21st.

          • Flint

            @Smyttys… the Oilers culture of losing has problems with facts at all levels.

            Wheeler last year scored 91 points the two years prior were 74 and 78. Draisaitl’s best season is 77.
            Scheifele scored 60 in 60 last year, and 82 the prior year, and this year has 32in 27GP. So, the last three years including this he’s been a 1,048ppg player. He’s on pace for 97pts this year. He makes half what McDavid makes. Enough to add a player like Elhers.

            Wheeler has the same points as McDavid and makes less than Draisaitl. Schiefele make much less and produces better PPG than Draisaitl ever has this year… better, last year better, the year prior better.

            This avoidance of the truth is so ingrained in Edmonton… the owners do it, the staff does it, the fans do it. This is one of the reasons why the Oilers will be a bubble team now and for years to come.

            But you know, 61/41/60… sure…. make up whatever numbers you want.

  • Spydyr

    The problem with the Oilers and this has been going on for decades is they always try to score the pretty goals. They need to have a better net front presence. Time after time I see someone in front of the goalie then when the shot comes they move out of the way and wave their stick at the puck trying for a defection. Just screen the goalie the puck may hit you or you can pounce on a rebound. The Oiler also try to pass the puck into the net way to often. Get guys going to the net and get more shots on net. Play for the rebound or a bounce. The Oilers powerplay consists of passing the puck around the perimeter to guys stationary until they finally try for a cross ice pass through the box that is picked of more often then not. Perhaps get the players to skate towards the net creating holes in the box instead of standing stationary. Try getting point shots with two or three players going to the net.

    • OldOilFan

      I agree on considering a different strategy (whether PP or generally). Since this team is not constructed to play a fast north-south game, lacking [as they do] the ability to “finish” near the net, then maybe it’s time to slow things down somewhere on the ice – say between the bluelines?

      The Pens took the league by surprise 3 years ago with the fast north-south game, and it seems that the entire league jumped on board soon after.

      Maybe the Oil can spring an east-west transition game onto unsuspecting opponents. Kris Russell, for example, probably has the wheels and hands to bring the puck out over his own blue line and then make a decent pass to a forward in relatively open ice… Just a thought.

      • Spydyr

        Other than a handful of players the Oilers do not have much offensive skill. The thing is the offensively skilled players on the Oilers are World class. Let the first line be it with Connor and Leon or Connor and Nuge score the pretty goals. Tell the other three lines to play a hard get shots and got to the nest style. I would much prefer a shot on net and the opposition getting the puck then cycle in the corners until the opposition gets the puck. Like Walter Gretzky said “You miss one hundred percent of the shots you don’t take”.

  • Soccer Steve

    We’re treading water now and we can feel the season slipping away with our division starting to spread out. After tonight we play Wild-Flames-Avs-Jets. The potential for 0-4 is so there that tonight is a complete must-win.

  • Natejax97

    Tommorows headlines…St Louis goalie (insert name) puts up fantastic performance against struggling oilers. oilers win 1 0 in overtime…draisaitl from McDavid. Emergency Rooms in Edmonton flooded with heart attacks and stress induced flu victims. Twitter explodes…

    At least we win??!?!?

  • Natejax97

    Unpopular thought…teams are heating up in the Pacific. I don’t think we have the horsepower to keep up with the depth of Anaheim and Vegas, let alone San Jose when they finally get going. I am beat up to the point where I will just cheer for the team and rid my life of expectations. Yay if we win and oh well if we don’t. Playoffs don’t seem realistic now that the other teams are waking up. So it will be a pleasant surprise if we make it. Maybe in a few years some of our prospects work out and we will turn into the team we long to see now. I will continue to read comments here and celebrate with you guys moving forward on small victories. As always go oilers go!!!!! Hope Lucic scores tonight and hope we beat a basement team.

    Keep it positive out there guys!!! Have a great game oilersnation and hope you all have tasty drinks with friends!!

  • Realist1

    I read here regular and only post once in a while. Why does oilersnation always auto redirect me to some terrible, ad plagued loop? I am not talking about the linked ads – it’s an auto-redirect that happens while reading the articles/comments. If there was an abyss to the internet…. that is where it sends you. It happens on both my PC and my phone, so it’s certainly not something on my end (and only oilersnation does it).

    Does anyone else experience this? Is there a way to stop it?

    • NZOF

      Yeah, it’s that obnoxious popup, and simply hitting the back button your browser doesn’t work. Need to close browser and re-open it. I’m at the point where I barely read articles on here any more as it seems to be 50/50 whether I’ll be able to make it through an article before I get redirected. Maybe I’ll try a different browser & see if that makes a difference, as firefox popup blockers don’t seem to do anything.

    • Oiler Al

      I reply, because its a bug with me.It only happens when I am Oilers Nation site, so its ON allowing these pop up’s on their site.I assume they don’t have the resources to deal with this.Ad blockers may work but defeats the support the site needs.

    • Odanada

      Are you running the Chrome browser on your laptop?
      Google “Chrome extensions” and search up “Fair Adblocker” at the extensions site. “Add” it to Chrome and it will block popups and filter out ads. If you don’t like it, go to the 3 vertical dots up beside the address bar (top right hand corner of screen), click on it and go to “more tools” and then “extensions”, where you can disable it or delete it at will. The adblocker is free and should solve your problem.

    • Jason Gregor

      Draisaitl isn’t McDavid. Why compare them two. McDavid makes $12.5m to $8.5m. He is better and no one debates that. GF% is one stat it isn’t the do-all-end-all. Please show me what stats I used were inaccurate. Oilers depth scoring isn’t good. Draisaitl is actually on pace to score more 5×5 points this year than last. Last year he scored 22 5×5 points with McDavid and 19 without. If people actually think him making $7.5m would somehow help the Oilers go ahead, but it doesn’t make it accurate. As I wrote of course Draisailt can be better, but he isn’t even in the top-ten issues for the Oilers. If he is, I’ll patiently wait for you to outline why. And show me where I said anything about McDavid GF% being bad or good. It wasn’t mentioned, because it has little to do with the fact Oilers 5×5 scoring is a major issue.

      • Jon123

        Why is your number 7.5? David Pastrnak was the closest comparable to him when the deal was signed, and their careers have followed similar paths since. He signed for 6.67. I completely agree with you on Draisaitl not being a major problem at all. My issue is that Chiarelli managed to sign our star for almost 2 million more than Boston signed their star. Chiarelli has shown a trend of overpaying guys by a little, and it adds up to missing out on some winger depth or defenceman that this teams need imo. That’s a top ten issue, Chiarelli overpaying many guys by a little adding up to us unable to add to our depth.

      • Beto Pagarelli

        Draisaitl is yet again on pace to be massively outscored when McDavid isn’t on the ice with him. I don’t care how many points he scores, if you’re consistently getting outscored by the opposition there’s a problem. Our secondary scoring is severely hampered by the fact that we can’t trust the $8.5M “Centre” to not have to be babysat by McDavid because he’ll get outscored by a ratio of 3 to 2 so yeah, it’s a pretty big issue. And are we trying to win hockey games or just get McDavid the most amount of points? Because it doesn’t matter how many points he has with or without Draisaitl if he outscores the opposition at the same rate. If you think raw 5v5 point totals are more relevant than GF% then you might need to read up on what GF% actually is.

        BTW, you list Draisaitl’s points last year with and without McDavid but you didn’t mention the difference in TOI between the two. His P/60 drops severely away from McDavid, and to just list the raw numbers without the TOI to provide context is disingenuous.

  • Rufio Barcoli

    Any idea how many more of your interns will be beating this inaccurate point home today or in the next week?

    If anyone bothers to look for themselves they would easily see that the point you are trying to prove is inaccurate and irrelevant.
    The Oilers are in the middle of the league for supportive scoring, and there is teams with better records than the Oilers with worst scoring from their supportive players/ lines.

    You didn’t have to waste all that time and words to say: “Chia sucks/Fire Chia.”

    Cult of Hockey member got fire because he rightfully to blame for this roster’s/team’s shortcomings.
    His assistants took the bullet for him last year, but this year you and him had to face the music and the truth.
    Accept the truth and move on.

  • Prairiechicken

    Unfortunate as it is, Oilers strategy seems pretty obvious. Lock it down defensively and average ~2 goals against, hope McDavid’s line can average 1.5 goals a game, and all other lines 1.5. That’s the formula for just about enough close 3-2 wins to get them on the cusp or just inside the playoffs. One can dream.

    As much as I’d prefer to be the golden state warriors of the NHL and win high scoring games (which we’d be close to if our crappy player transactions had worked out), I’ve come to accept this reality. Given the hand the coach has been dealt, it’s probably a good strategy.

    • OldOilFan

      Yep, it does look that way.

      Either the Oil win 2-1 (or 3-2 on a good nite) or they lose 3-1, 4-1, 5-2….

      Being an Oiler fan is like trying to coax your truck/car up the driveway when you get home from work, running on empty. Rinse and repeat on the next drive home.

      • OldOilFan

        Nice… but probably too ironic for the mass (American) audience to “get it.” Hopefully I’m wrong about that.

        My gen is getting old and the new gen’s taste remains to be determined?

        p.s. My “gen” was raised on hearing/seeing Bob Cole, Don Cherry, Scotty Bowman, the 87-90 Oilers, etc, for our “take” on hockey and its politics. I’m starting to believe (at 60 yrs old) that this particular slice of history I refer to – well – it just doesn’t matter much anymore?

      • OldOilFan

        edit: “Seattle Marinateds” in homage to G.Bettman and the NY brass who marinated and tenderized and cleared a path for the Seattle bid. Meanwhile, Quebec City would be a guaranteed 100 pct capacity sellout every game….but they can’t even “get a sniff” of interest from the NHL/NYC brass. Same old, same old.

  • Aquavid

    How about the name Seahammers for Seattle? It’s the actual name of Seattle’s underwater hockey team, by the way. It would be better than the Seattle Starbucks I think.