Ramblings – Looking at Slumping Players, the ‘Other’ Aho, Rust and More (Feb 28)



With Kailer Yamamoto and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins sidelined, the Oilers iced a less-than-ideal lineup. And you can tell that Coach Jay Woodcroft felt that way because man did he ever shorten the bench. Four players saw under 7:45 of ice time, three other players saw under 12:45. That means five players topped 21:56, with Leon Draisaitl leading the way with 28:08. Not sustainable. If the depth guys can't be used when behind by a goal – then get new depth guys. Much has been made about Edmonton's need to acquire a goaltender. And I understand that's about the toughest acquisition a team can make. But checking forwards and bottom defensemen? Those are the easiest to acquire.

PP QB watch: Tyson Barrie saw 4:43 PPTOI and Evan Bouchard saw 2:17 with the second unit. Barrie has three PPPts in the nine games with the new coach, and that's with about 20:40 in total PPTOI. Bouchard has had about 16:30 and one PPPt, though much of that was with the second unit.

If Philip Broberg is going to get 6:23 every game, the way he did Sunday, then I think the Oilers need to send him down. Either trust him or don't. I don't like seeing prospects in a situation where they only get minimal ice time.


Speaking of which – Seth Jarvis just 9:12 on Sunday. The game prior – 10:57. The one before that – healthy scratch. He's an NHL-caliber player right now and I think the Hurricanes are a better team with him getting 14 minutes per game (his season average prior to five games ago). His season-to-date xG% at 5v5 is 59.1 – and that leads the team.

I do understand why Martin Necas saw just 10:48 though. First of all, he's not very strong defensively. His possession numbers point to some struggles there, as well as the expected-goals ratio (46%). He didn't play the final nine minutes of the game and this will be the case when they are up by one goal and against a team boasting McDavid. That kind of low ice time is not a trend, but a one-off.

I was looking through Frederik Andersen's game logs and noticed that he only had one RBS (Really Bad Start) all season. And that one 'barely' qualified, at three goals allowed on 16 shots. But he has 22 Quality Starts including Sunday. Only one other goalie has more Quality Starts this season with zero or one RBS – Igor Shesterkin.


Alex Tuch had a case of the new-team adrenalin when he went all nutty in his Buffalo debut, posting 19 points in 16 games. But his heartrate has settled back to normal now, and his three points in six games are slowly correcting his stats to a more realistic level. He's also a minus-6 in that span. If he can stay healthy – and so far he hasn't shown us that he can – I think he'll have a surprisingly