The Edmonton Oilers will probably have some good news for you tomorrow, as veteran wingers Benoit Pouliot and Matt Hendricks are likely to return for the Kings game.
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) November 13, 2015
Slepyshev is clearly a player the Oilers value, he made the big club out of the box this fall and was recalled this past week. His size and speed (along with skill) make him an attractive option, along with loads of experience against men in the KHL. He’ll probably play tomorrow night for Bakersfield.
Pouliot and Hendricks both on ice for today's practice.
— Jack Michaels (@EdmontonJack) November 13, 2015
The addition of these two men may allow the Oilers to split up Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Leon Draisaitl, while also giving a boost to the third line.
- Taylor Hall—Leon Draisaitl—Jordan Eberle
- Benoit Pouliot—Ryan Nugent-Hopkins—Nail Yakupov
- Matt Hendricks—Anton Lander—Teddy Purcell
- Luke Gazdic—Mark Letestu—Iiro Pakarinen
That’s my guess, I think we should expect a ‘big’ roster against the Kings—which means Gazdic and Pakarinen probably win the day over Andrew Miller. It has also been reported that Andrew Ference could draw in, suspect one of the younger blue might see a day off in the city of angels tomorrow.
THESE ARE BETTER DAYS
A year end November, the Oilers were in a bad way. The losses were mounting and wouldn’t let up until the new year (four wins total, Nov and Dec). At the end of the month, I wrote:
As I see it, the Edmonton Oilers are boxed in and snowed under this morning. Although the team won a couple of points on the road trip, and played a good game in Nashville, the season is gone and we’re many miles from halfway home. It’s beyond Groundhog Day—the movie—this is now an historic march through the absolute nadir of a sports team. A generation of hockey players have been picked up, consumed and spit out. Another generation is on its way. The “Gagner era” was a miserable failure but the “Hall era” looks like more of the same.
This morning, the Oilers have very few options available to them in terms of appeasing the fanbase.
- Make a significant trade
- Fire the coach
- Fire the GM and the coach
- Have the owner write another apology letter
- Explain to the fanbase why losing another year is a good idea
- Ignore the fanbase
Daryl Katz decided to fire the coach, open a forensics file and we lived through another long winter in this northern town. 2015 fall, we’re enjoying good weather, missing Connor McDavid and wondering what happens from here. For me, it’s simple. The Oilers simply have to play the rest of this November schedule as close to .500 as possible, possibly clawing back on those four games that were losses at the beginning of the season. If at any point between now and the time McDavid returns, this team can hit .500, I believe that will represent ‘due north’ for the Edmonton Oilers. Todd McLellan is alone, relying on his current roster and good news from the IR. It is a difficult time, but many miles from last winter.
If the Oilers suffer a losing streak this month, perhaps the pressure will become unbearable, forcing a trade. Peter Chiarelli may help with a trade, the farm has no more to give.