CBC Edmonton News (TV): Re-cap of the win in Vancouver, competition for the wild card spot and potential trade options

cbc edmonton logoI joined host Alicia Asquith on the CBC Edmonton News for my weekly segment to discuss all things Oilers. Clip is here and starts at the 19:25 mark: CBC Edmonton News (2019, January 17)

Topics we covered:

  • Wednesday night’s shoot-out win against the Vancouver Canucks.
  • The western conference playoff race and who the Oilers are competing with for a wild card spot.
  • With 14 games left before the trade deadline, we discussed the potential trade options, including Spooner, Talbot, Puljujarvi and the 2019 first round pick.
  • Preview of Saturday night’s game against the Flames.

Big thank you to everyone at CBC for putting it all together.

 

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CBC Edmonton News (TV): Re-cap of the Pacific road trip, scoring problems, Chiarelli’s mismanagement and playoff chances

cbc edmonton logoI joined host Alicia Asquith on the CBC Edmonton News for my weekly segment to discuss all things Oilers. Clip is here and starts at the 17:20 mark: CBC Edmonton News (2019, January 10)

Topics we covered:

  • Re-cap of their 7-2 loss against the Sharks.
  • The Oilers scoring problems and what their options are to improve their offence.
  • Peter Chiarelli’s complete mismanagement of the roster.
  • Realistic chances of making the playoffs.
  • Preview of tonight’s game against Florida.

CBC Edmonton News (TV): Recent struggles, powerplay and lineup changes

cbc edmonton logoI joined host Kim Trynacity on the CBC Edmonton News for my weekly segment to discuss all things Oilers. Clip is here and starts at the 19:00 mark: CBC Edmonton News (2018, December 20)

Topics we covered:

  • The Oilers recent struggles and what we  can expect going forward
  • The powerplay and the lineup changes we saw in practice this morning
  • The loss of Jujhar Khaira to a two-game suspension and what this means for the team
  • Preview of Saturday night’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning

 

CBC Edmonton News (TV): Hitchcock’s impact, Klefbom’s injury and previewing tonight’s game

cbc edmonton logoI joined host Alicia Asquith on the CBC Edmonton News for my weekly segment to discuss all things Oilers. Clip is here and starts at the 16:00 mark: CBC Edmonton News (2018, December 13)

Topics we covered:

  • The contributing factors to the Oilers recent success
  • The Oilers team numbers this season, before and after Hitchcock’s arrival
Todd McLellan Edmonton Oilers (2018/19) Ken Hitchcock
20 Games 11
9-10-1 Record 8-2-1
0.475 Points% 0.773
-9 Goal differential +5
31.4 Shots per game 30.2
30.1 Shots against per game 29.5
9.1% Team Shooting% 8.9%
89.1%  Team Save% 92.4%
  • The loss of Klefbom to injury and what impact it will have to the roster
  • Preview of tonight’s game against the Winnipeg Jets

Data: Natural Stat Trick

CBC Edmonton News (TV): Goal-scoring issues, Klefbom’s performance and upcoming games

cbc edmonton logoI joined host Alicia Asquith on the CBC Edmonton News for my weekly segment to discuss all things Oilers. Clip is here and starts at the 16:10 mark: CBC Edmonton News (2018, December 6)

Topics we covered:

  • Re-cap of last night’s game against the Blues, what went well and what the challenges were.
  • The Oilers goal-scoring problems, as they currently rank 26th in the league when it comes to total goals and 29th in terms of goals per 60 at even-strength (5v5).

  • Klefbom’s performance so far this season and his improved play compared to last year. I also touched on how Klefbom takes a lot of shots from low probability scoring areas and how it might be hurting the rest of the team’s offensive production.

  • Upcoming games at home against Minnesota and Calgary – two teams who are top-10 in the league when it comes to points percentage.

Big thank you to everyone at the CBC for putting it all together!

CBC Edmonton News (TV): Recent success, expectations under Hitchcock, lack of scoring and goaltending + notes

cbc edmonton logoI joined host Sandra Batson on the CBC Edmonton News for my weekly segment to discuss all things Oilers. Clip is here and starts at the 17:55 mark: CBC Edmonton News (2018, November 29)

Topics we covered:

  • Recent stretch of games, and what the positives have been.
  • What we can expect from the Oilers with Hitchcock behind the bench.
  • The Oilers goaltending situation with Koskinen starting again tonight, and what this can mean for Cam Talbot.
  • Goal-scoring issues and what the Oilers should do to address it.
  • Preview of tonight’s game against Los Angeles.

Notes:

  • While it’s great that the team is banking points, the Oilers should be concerned with the fact that they’re constantly in one-goal games and often needing overtime to collect the extra point. Couple articles I found helpful in the past and their key findings:
    • Clear victories, which are victories by two or more goals (non empty-net), “are a better indicator of talent level than a team’s overall record, and much better than a team’s record in one-goal games” (Source: Copper & Blue)
    • Also: “There’s almost no relationship between winning (or losing) a lot of one goal games in one season and winning (or losing) a lot the next season.  There’s a reasonably strong relationship between wins by two or more goals from year-to-year, though.  It’s pretty clear which is an indication of real talent and which is mostly chance.” (Source: Pension Plan Puppets)
  • I also mentioned the work I did last week about Ken Hitchcock, and his history with special teams.
  • Goaltending numbers worth keeping an eye on:
    • Even-strength (5v5)
      • The Oilers team save percentage at even-strength isn’t bad. They currently rank 13th in the league with 92.23%. It’s their save percentage on the penalty kill that’s bad, ranking 25th with 82.61%. More on that below.
      • Among 39 goalies who have played at least 450 even-strength (5v5) minutes (roughly 10 games) this season, Koskinen ranks 9th with a save percentage of 93.5%. Talbot ranks 26th with a save percentage of 91.5%. Average save percentage among the group of 39 is 92.2%.
      • When it comes to high danger save percentage (5v5), Koskinen ranks 17th with 84.2%. Talbot ranks 21st with 83.7%. Average high danger save percentage among the group of 39 is 83.6%.
    • Penalty kill (4v5):
      • Among 36 goalies who have played at least 50 minutes shorthanded, Koskinen ranks 5th with a 93.0% save percentage. Talbot ranks last with a save percentage of 73.5%. Average save percentage among this group is 87.75%.

  • Can’t emphasize enough how it’s the Oilers’ lack of scoring talent that’s sinking them right now. They’ve only scored 37 goals at even-strength, the third lowest total in the league, for a goals-for per hour rate of 1.93. They rank 28th in the league with a 6.18% shooting percentage. They’re right around league average when it comes to generating unblocked shot attempts (a good proxy for shot quality), but just can’t finish.
  • How the team addresses their scoring issue is going to be interesting. I doubt that guys like Yamamoto or Puljujarvi are the answer – they might be another year away from being dependable NHLers. And I don’t think the third or fourth lines have enough talent to squeeze out a few goals. Best bet is to part with an asset, maybe a pick or a prospect, but it’ll probably require a roster player to land a good scoring winger.
  • This is where the Oilers need to get creative. One player that I mentioned on the newscast as potential trade-bait was Darnell Nurse. Mostly because his perceived value on the market is likely far, far higher than his actual value. His numbers have not been good this year, and I’m not convinced he’s anything more than a second or third pairing player.

Data: Natural Stat Trick

CBC Edmonton News (TV): Coaching change, acquiring Wideman and Spooner, and previewing the upcoming games + other notes

cbc edmonton logoI joined host Alicia Asquith on the CBC Edmonton News for my weekly segment to discuss all things Oilers. Clip is here and starts at the 15:00 mark: CBC Edmonton News (2018, November 22)

Topics we covered:

  • The hiring of Ken Hitchcock, and what we can expect from the new head coach.
  • The key factors that lead to Todd McLellan’s dismissal, including the general manager’s poorly constructed roster.
  • The acquisition of Ryan Spooner last weekend and Chris Wideman earlier today, and what to expect from each player.
  • The upcoming games against Anaheim and Los Angeles, and really how poor the Pacific division has been.

Couple other thoughts bouncing around in my drafts that I haven’t converted into articles.

Coaching change

  • This does not appear to be a Peter Chiarelli hire. I’d speculate that the decision to bring in Ken Hitchcock came from higher up. And it signals, to me at least, that the team is now evaluating the general manager’s work.
  • I think Chiarelli’s preference would’ve been to replace McLellan with one of the experienced assistant coaches that he hired in the summer.
  • I understand why the head coach had to be replaced. The results weren’t there, and we didn’t see enough progress from some of the higher-end draft picks like Yamamoto and Puljujarvi. He didn’t line match, and I don’t think he put together optimal line combinations. It doesn’t help either when the roster he was given had so many flaws, so many holes. And I get the sense he was pressured by management to play Lucic in the top six and do everything he could to have Draisatl center his own line.
  • Not absolving McLellan for the team’s poor results, but there’s a lot of external factors that I hope Hitchcock, or the future coach, doesn’t have to put up with.
  • If the organization was committed to the management group, I think there would’ve been a more exhaustive search, lead by the general manager, to find the next head coach.
  • I’m really curious to see how much the shots against drop with Hitchcock behind the bench. The Oilers are league average right now when it comes to shots, unblocked shot attempts and scoring chances against per hour. Worth tracking after another 20 games.

Strome/Spooner trade

  • I didn’t understand the Strome-for-Spooner trade before the coaching change. I especially don’t understand it now. The trade itself came across to me as something the coach influenced, perhaps thinking that Cooper Marody could slide into that third line center spot. And that an additional winger who has some speed would help the team.
  • One line I wanted to see was Strome with Marody and Khaira. Wasn’t going to happen because Lucic was stapled to Strome’s wing, and he wasn’t going to be on the fourth line or healthy scratched. Aaand now we definitely won’t see it.
  • Can’t help but wonder how Hitchcock would’ve handled a player like Strome had the trade not been made. Strome is such a non-event player; he doesn’t create much and doesn’t allow much against either. I would think he’d have found a spot in the top six on the wing or maybe remain as a third line pivot and a key penalty killer.
  • I had a good laugh when I noticed that Spooner’s career shooting percentage is just as lame as Strome’s. I was hoping that maybe Spooner would be closer to league average and that maybe he could find some success playing with RNH on the second line. Expectations are fairly low at this point for Spooner.

Shooting percentage

  • I suspect we’ll see the team’s shooting percentage at even-strength gradually improve, and the credit will automatically go to the new head coach. Heading into Tuesday’s game in San Jose, the Oilers ranked 26th in the league with a 6.60% shooting percentage. They’re 13th in terms of generating shots on goal (31.62 shots per hour).
  • The team’s high danger shooting percentage is also extremely low. They’re 29th in the league with a 13.19% shooting percentage. I want to think that they should improve since they’re right around league average when it comes to high danger shot attempts per hour. The problem is they don’t have enough skill outside of McDavid, RNH and Draisaitl to be finishers. Currently the top two players in terms of individual high danger shot attempts per hour are Rattie and Caggiula – not exactly the most talented guys that strike fear into goalies.

Such a brutal spot that the Oilers are in right now. They need to change how they operate and how they assemble a roster, but that’s only going to happen if they overhaul their management group, and even make some changes to the executive group above the general manager. So much potential being wasted. In my opinion, they need to start changing their overall approach and strategy right away and get a jump on things for next season.