Welcome back to the 9 game review (last one as I can now do 8 game reviews right up to game 82). It’s bad. It’s really bad. Let’s get to it!
First 8 games - 7 wins, 1 loss. 14 points
Games 9 to 17 - 6 wins, 3 losses. 12 points (9 games)
Games 18 to 26 - 3 wins, 6 losses, 6 points (9 games)
We were 27th in the NHL in this stretch.
Powerplay was 23rd in this stretch.
Penalty Kill was 27th.
Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are still members of the Edmonton Oilers.
The Edmonton Oilers are in the NHL. In fact, they are one of the wealthiest clubs in the NHL now according to Forbes. Record profits! Really happy for Katz and Co. $20 Bud Light’s for everyone!
A few of our injuries are clearing up and Smith and Keith might be back soon.
Xavier B made Team Canada!
Our team is built around 2 Superstars, a beautiful PP unit and not much else.
Are we the only team in the NHL without a second PP unit?
5 on 5 play continues to be awful.
PP has dried up a bit.
Injuries are mounting. Hyman, as of now, has a ‘day to day’ type injury. That would be a big loss if it is worse than that. Keith and Smith may be close to returning. I put this under ‘bad’ because our team hinges on 2 players over 37 and well past their primes. .
Yam hasn’t had a shot on net in 5 games.
If the justification for Bear for Foegele is that Foegele is an excellent bottom 6 player and will fix it then I’d like to point out our bottom 6 is the worse it has ever been. If we were good at 5 on 5 and didn’t need D help I’d feel much better about that trade.
Koskinen continues to make 10 bell saves and let in house league shots. Funny how his win record is not as good when the team isn’t scoring 5 goals for him.
On that note, no goalie will win when we score 1 or less goals a game.
Nurse is struggling.
Our Bottom 6 hasn’t scored in several games. Our Top 6 isn’t doing much better.
Schedule is not quite as easy as it was during that 9-1 stretch.
Vegas is coming! Calgary is ahead of us. We are third in the Pacific. The Wildcard battle currently includes the Av’s.
It is almost 2022 and our starter is Mike Smith backed up by Koskinen. Keith is vital to our D. Kris Russel was in our Top 4 several times during this segment.
I will be leaving this part here for every review. I still think the moves below will become problematic for us.
Holland ‘win now’ guys (bold is 30 or over):
Kassian (3.2), Turris (1.6), Ryan (1.25), Shore (.85), Keith (5.5), Barrie (4.5), Ceci (3.25), Russel (1.25), Smith (2.2), Archi (1.5), Stalock (.75) and Neal/Sekera/Lucic buyouts (5).
That is over 30 million dollars in cap space!
Returning next season will be Kassian (3.2), Ryan (1.6), Shore (.85), Keith (5.5), Barrie (4.5), Ceci (3.25), Smith (2.2) and Neal/Sekera/Lucic buyouts (5) for 26 million next season.
I’ve kept this part here for all 3 reviews. It’s really blowing up in our faces now.
The win now guys - Kassian has been awful (4 pts in the 9 game segment though!). Turris is a healthy scratch or plays less than 10 minutes. Ryan has been our worst player. Keith has been hurt. Why did we sign Barrie for 3 seasons again? Russel started great and that badly regressed in a few games and then got hurt himself. Smith has not played in a very long time. Archi has Myochondritis and may never play for us again. Ditto for Stalock. I didn’t include Ceci because he has been good this season and that signing may not be awful.
The only Holland moves paying dividends are Ceci and Hyman. Ceci has been hurt. Hyman may be hurt for awhile now. That is not on Holland of course as both are near the peaks of their careers.
Tipp has potentially lost the room. I don’t think he gets fired this year. Holland has never fired a coach during the season. He lets their contracts expire instead. Tipp’s contract expires this season. I’d expect him to last till playoffs and then go off into the sunset (unless he wins several rounds of course). While I hope for Woodcroft as an obvious replacement, I think it’ll be Babcock because he’s won Cups and such.
Before the season we needed a top LD, bottom 6 help and a Goalie. We had a tonne of cap space coming in. We were all told to be patient as Holland is a genius who has won several cups and all those Chia contracts are gone! Well, Holland absolutely ‘Chia’d’ us. After his offseason work we still need a top LD, bottom 6 help and a Goalie. Our cap situation is now worse and the next offseason is going to be really bad as Nurse doubles his salary, JP and Yam need new contracts and we still have a lot of baggage returning (Shore, Kassian, Smith, Keith and Barrie to name a few).
It’s too late to fire Holland. He won’t fire Tipp. Nicholson remains on top!
Even if we did fire Holland. The new GM will be handcuffed by all of his bad moves and ‘greybeard club’. It would take them at least 2 years to clean this up.
Next 8 - I still think we are a 100 point club and will make the playoffs comfortably. Smith should get in a few games. Keith will be back. That should solidify the D a little. I’m guessing a 5-3 record. In a perfect world we trade Barrie, Koskinen and Kassian before the New Year.
We have 6 players averaging less than 10 minutes a night on the season: Perlini, Benson, KK, Shore, Sceviour and Turris. 5 of these guys are Holland signings. 3 of these guys were signed for 2 seasons.
Now you may think these aren’t good players and that is why our bottom 6 is bad. I don’t necessarily disagree but NO ONE is good playing less than 10 minutes a game. Connor McDavid would be a minus at 5 on 5 playing 9 minutes a game.
We either need better bottom 6 players (Holland) or to deploy our team better (Tipp). Or a combo of both. Currently Plan A is to play Drai and McDavid seperate. Plan B is to put them together. That is the entire playbook. I think the opposition has figured this out.