G42 2015-16: LIGHTNING AT OILERS

All-Star Taylor Hall and the brilliant Leon Draisaitl lead the Edmonton Oilers into the second half of the season, beginning tonight. Edmonton has been very streaky this year and hope to win their third in a row, as they once again attempt to get back to modern .500 on the year.

LINUS OMARK SENDS HIS LOVE, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers in October 2014: 4-5-1
  • Oilers in October 2015: 4-8-0
  • Oilers in November 2014: 2-9-3
  • Oilers in November 2015: 4-7-2
  • Oilers in December 2014: 2-8-4
  • Oilers in December 2015: 7-6-1
  • Oilers in January 2015: 5-7-1
  • Oilers in January 2016: 2-0-0
  • Oilers after 41 in 2014-15: 9-23-9, 27 points (-49 GD)
  • Oilers after 41 in 2015-16: 17-21-3, 37 points (-20 GD)

Oilers beat Chicago 5-2 a year ago in G42, so Edmonton will need to win this evening in order to keep pace. The team is 1-0 for the week, with two games to go before Monday—both against the Florida teams. 1-1 sound right this weekend? I don’t really have a feel for when the wins will come since Klef left (and didn’t before, truth be told).

In the second half last season, Todd Nelson went 15-21-5; if Edmonton repeats that record this year, the final record will be 32-42-8, 72 points. That would represent (obviously) a 10-point increase season over season. I don’t think my original RE is RE now (too many injuries), but do believe something like 35-35-12 (82 points) is a fair line in the sand. That would represent a 20-point increase over 2014-15.

BLUE, 2015-16

OILERS DEFENSE OVER SEASON

  • Brandon Davidson has been a revelation.
  • Oscar Klefbom is a fine young player. I hope he can stay healthy.
  • Andrej Sekera is who we thought he would be. Considering all the FA blue who have passed this way in the last decade, that alone makes him a favorite.
  • Eric Gryba has played the third-most minutes of any defenseman on the Oilers this year.
  • Justin Schultz needs five more points to score 100 as an Oiler. How many defensemen have reached that mark in Oilers NHL history? 17. Paul Coffey, Kevin Lowe, Charlie Huddy, Steve Smith, Janne Niinimaa, Randy Gregg, Lee Fogolin, Boris Mironov, Tom Gilbert, Risto Siltanen, Steve Staios, Jason Smith, Craig Muni, Dave Manson, Roman Hamrlik, Tom Poti, Eric Brewer.
  • Darnell Nurse is going to have a long and productive career, wish the Oilers could afford to bring him along at his own speed. Bruce McCurdy pointed out to me the other day that Nurse scored five points in his first 10 games, two points since. Maybe he will score more as he moves down the depth chart.
  • Brad Hunt has played exactly four more games this season than I thought he would.
  • Mark Fayne can’t get arrested, but he is in my top 4D among this bunch, and it isn’t close.

CENTERS, THIS SEASON

oilers centers over season

  • Leon Draisaitl laid waste to the NHL at even strength in the first half of the season, can he post a 60-point season? The last center to do that? Jarret Stoll and Shawn Horcoff, 2005-06. Unless I missed someone.
  • Connor McDavid is getting closer to being NHL-ready. If he takes warmups tonight or Sunday, this town may explode. If it happens on the road, it might happen anyway.
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has 216 career points as an Oiler. How many centers have more in team history? Nine. Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Doug Weight, Shawn Horcoff, Todd Marchant, Craig MacTavish, Sam Gagner, Jason Arnott, Mike Krushelnyski (who did play some center).
  • Anton Lander. I still cheer for him.
  • Mark Letestu has done pretty well at the 5×4 and he does know how to play center. I think his line (with Hendricks and Korpikoski) are going to be the 4line next year.

WINGERS, 2015-16

oil forwards over season

  • Taylor Hall is a point-per-game player, ranks No. 2 in shots and is among the best LWs in the game. His All-Star nod is proper and long overdue. He ranks No. 4 in EV points among forwards this season.
  • Jordan Eberle has scored 130 career goals for the Oilers. How many RWs have scored more as Oilers? Three. Jari Kurri, Glenn Anderson, Ales Hemsky.
  • Teddy Purcell is going at the deadline, I am pretty confident in saying it. Zack Kassian might be first up as a replacement option, but it is more likely Nail Yakupov gets in there as 2R. Kassian on third line with (say) Nuge could happen after the deadline.
  • Benoit Pouliot may be a little vulnerable as these gifted young players push for playing time. His 16 minutes a night may get clipped and (as has been mentioned many times in regard to Nuge) his cap number may be too dear for the role he eventually fills on this roster.

Good players do fall through the cracks. Good teams lose them because they simply cannot protect everyone, bad teams lose them because they have no idea what they are doing. Colorado falls into the latter category at this time. What of Gormley?

  • Boxcars: 58gp, 2-3-5 (career) (1-3-4 at 5×5)
  • Corsi for 5×5 Percentage: 47.5
  • Per 82gp AHL: 9-33-42
  • NHLE: 82, 4-15-19

I think someone may claim him, not sure Edmonton fits. He is mobile, has enough size (6.02, 196) to play the NHL game and at one time was considered a fairly sure NHL bet. The Kassian addition suggests there is some of the Sather in our new GM, and Gormley would in fact appear to fit the reclamation profile. We wait.

It will be good to see the young Russian back, wildly unfair injury for a man on pace to post his first 40-point season. Todd McLellan had him going in a reasonable direction, hope he picks up where he left off and a new career high in points (31 as a rookie remains high water) seems possible.

Bogdan Yakimov made his season debut in the KHL today, playing 12:59, picking up an assist and three shots on goal. I hope we see him again, we will leave a light on.

We touched on this last night, but Jujhar Khaira was sent to Bakersfield yesterday. He will get more playing time in the AHL and I do believe we will see him again. Every year, after the season is over, I post a Farm Workers item that goes back and touches on the types of players who emerge from the AHL and help in the NHL. Khaira is such a player. Quoting the 2015 edition of Farm Workers:

  • If you haven’t established yourself as a prospect of interest by 22 you are in trouble. The players who have graduated to useful NHL careers have at least played some NHL games by the end of their entry level deals. Source

Khaira played one dozen NHL games and gave Peter Chiarelli, Todd McLellan and the rest of the Oilers brass something to think about when projecting their team for next season and beyond. For his part, Khaira probably has a list of things to work on (consistency!) and he does seem to have enough skill and range of abilities to have a career. Will it be as a Brad Winchester? A Jason Chimera? Too soon to know. Among the other men who are in their entry-level deals, it is interesting to see how many (or few) have played some NHL games so far:

  • Griffin Reinhart (20)
  • Jujhar Khaira (12)
  • Anton Slepyshev (11)
  • Jordan Oesterle (6)
  • David Musil (4)
  • Laurent Brossoit (1)
  • Bogdan Yakimov (1)
  • Martin Gernat (0)
  • Kale Kessy (0)
  • Dillon Simpson (0)
  • Mitchell Moroz (0)
  • Kyle Platzer (0)
  • Joey Laleggia (0)
  • Greg Chase (0)
  • Ben Betker (0)
  • Eetu Laurikainen (0)
  • Braden Christoffer (0)

If you are Martin Gernat, coming up on the end of your entry-level deal without some NHL time, it is probably fair to wonder about your future with the organization. Others? Less so, as they still have time on their contracts. One thing we may see? More callups for NHL looks, as the new management might want to see what a Kessy, Laleggia or Platzer do in the big leagues.

This. I am sure other NHL GMs (Saints! Every damn one of them!) have been offering immediate help for 10-year career defensemen, but that isn’t really the right idea. PC has some blue who are older than Connor McDavid, younger than Taylor Hall and should be able to help in major roles in two years. Hold on tight to those players! Vital.

Got Stamkos? Can you imagine this forward group with Stamkos? The mind, she boggles. If the Oilers ran next season with these three pairs—Hall/Leon; McDavid/Stamkos; Nuge/Eberle—we might be looking at the storm of the century every night in a rink near you. Three scoring lines at home and on the road? Where these guys would be going, they wouldn’t need roads.

kidman6

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy Friday with great guests, Lt_Eric and more! TSN1260, beginning at 10.

  • Steve Lansky, Big Mouth Sports. No Hall good enough for Raines, does anyone care about the All-Star game?
  • Antony Bent, FC Edmonton. The new year means new signings for the Eddies, and of course the transfer window and Spurs!!!!
  • Scott Cullen, TSN. A wave of NHL trades this week, plus things are looking up for Toronto and Edmonton NHL teams.
  • Paul Almeida, SSE. One final look at the WJs and draft eligibles, and Paul will pump his Bengals before they get beaten on the weekend.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!

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660 Responses to "G42 2015-16: LIGHTNING AT OILERS"

« Older Comments
  1. Ice Sage says:

    Not meant to be. Pucks to the net and good things happen!

  2. tcho says:

    This is like watching Oilers of years past. From the jaws of victory we snatch…

  3. Pouzar says:

    So every TB goal was off an Oiler player. Got it.

  4. geowal says:

    Nurse couldn’t have turned his skate any more perfectly for that.

  5. Suntory Hanzo says:

    5 goals for oilers so far. Offence has awoken!

  6. Kitchener says:

    My bet’s on Hall to score the winner. No more pushing the river – it’s about to get thrashed.

  7. Centre of attention says:

    Oilers have some double agents infiltrating the ranks. 3 own goals is it now?

    #JustOilerThings

  8. Ryan says:

    Oilers score five goals, but lose 3-2.

  9. flyfish1168 says:

    The f***n hockey gods hate us.

  10. square_wheels says:

    Powerful lesson in game management tonight, far too many grade A chances we didn’t bury.

    These things happen to young teams.

  11. BAUCE says:

    How in the actual fuck is this even happening.

  12. khildahl says:

    If it wasn’t for bad luck they wouldn’t have no luck at all.

  13. russ99 says:

    Rotten luck. Hope they get one back.

  14. Ice Sage says:

    Pouzar:
    So every TB goal was off an Oiler player. Got it.

    Sounds flukey but TB has been directing the pucks into the net area and that can happen. Props to TB for going ‘greasy’ while the Oil are still in ‘pretty’ mode.

    If TB wins, this will be the tipping point of the season.

  15. wheatnoil says:

    The hockey Gords want to see a Puljujarvi post tomorrow from Lowetide.

  16. Ice Sage says:

    wheatnoil:
    The hockey Gords want to see a Puljujarvi post tomorrow from Lowetide.

    I’m a Lai-a-nee man myself – let the Big Fin debate begin!!!!!!!

  17. square_wheels says:

    Friday night SN post game, or as I like to call it : Oilers loss but dreams of Carly Agro shoulder pressing me 🙂

  18. fuzzy muppet says:

    Fuck. That one hurts almost as bad as the Calgary one early in the year

  19. Lowetide says:

    Two points they should have in the bank now, no other way to say it.

  20. Quinlan says:

    Have I ever mentioned how frustrating Pouliot is? Poor awareness not realizing Nurse was busting to the net there.

    Crappy game. What an awful period.

  21. Kitchener says:

    I blame “Steve Smith”

  22. russ99 says:

    Fluky loss. Couldn’t bury chances, but that partly has to do with Bishop.

  23. Lewis Grant says:

    If TB wins, this will be the tipping point of the season.

    I’m out of here. Too many good hours lost.

  24. Gerta Rauss says:

    Well, that happened

  25. Suntory Hanzo says:

    That made me sad.

  26. Centre of attention says:

    russ99:
    Fluky loss. Couldn’t bury chances, but that partly has to do with Bishop.

    They buried chances. Too bad they were Tampa bay chances. Your right thought, pretty fluky.

  27. SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo! says:

    That was beyond depressing.

    They literally beat themselves

  28. Aron_S says:

    I know they’re not good enough to make the playoffs, but goddammit. I hate that I watch for 40 minutes, see that the Oilers have a good record when leading after 40 and still think, “They’ll have to play OT to win.” How wrong I was.

    I feel gross. Stupid loss.

  29. Kitchener says:

    Quinlan:
    What an awful period.

    Yeah. I didn’t foresee that method of demise, but they started the 3rd on their heels and never recovered.

  30. Ice Sage says:

    Oilers aren’t good enough to sit on a 2 goal lead. They were rarely dangerous after it was 2-0.
    Those 2 points were essential since other Pacific teams will get points out of TB (Calgary already did).
    Ah well.
    Maybe they can break FLA’s streak on Sunday… little victories are what’s left now.

  31. hags9k says:

    5 minutes left. Camera pans to Jultz who is having one of his best games of the year. I scream at the TV, Get Off!! Get to the bench! He didn’t hear. Turnover, GWG.

  32. Samson Loveblast says:

    Without question one of the most frustrating losses I can recall seeing. Argh. TB did not deserve to win.

  33. russ99 says:

    The only thing I would have changed is taken a time out after Hall’s OG, since it seems the team fed off how despondent he was to let that one in.

  34. SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo! says:

    Like wow I can’t believe that happened.

    Out of all the weirdness I can say that Sekera had a period to forget.

    Blew I tire on a zone entry and flubbed a point pass on the power play, Tried to wrap it around after a clean Nuge draw win, led to an icing, TB scored next play. Bone-head pinch on the second goal (brutal brutal luck/play on Hall).

    Overall terrible terrible luck. Man oh man they were playing a very good game up until the Hall own goal. Air got sucked out of the building.

    They really needed that win. Huge blown opportunity

  35. Water Fire says:

    Why so glum, not often they score 4!

    At least it’s out of the way, statistically speaking.

  36. Water Fire says:

    For me mental stability which leads to stable play is at the top of the list of desired traits.

    A ton of wheeling and playmaking and offensive frenzy are so completely curb stomped with one weak moment, especially in the playoffs.

    This is not to say I want a plugger team. It’s why Nuge is a favourite. And Connor will be that way. Smart and good – dominant.

  37. Water Fire says:

    Water Fire:
    For me mental stability which leads to stable play is at the top of the list of desired traits.

    A ton of wheeling and playmaking and offensive frenzy are so completely curb stomped with one weak moment, especially in the playoffs.

    This is not to say I want a plugger team. It’s why Nuge is a favourite. And Connor will be that way. Smart and good – dominant.

    Oh ya – and lucky too.

  38. russ99 says:

    Water Fire:
    For me mental stability which leads to stable play is at the top of the list of desired traits.

    A ton of wheeling and playmaking and offensive frenzy are so completely curb stomped with one weak moment, especially in the playoffs.

    This is not to say I want a plugger team. It’s why Nuge is a favourite. And Connor will be that way. Smart and good – dominant.

    I don’t want a plugger team either, but when your third and fourth line isn’t defensively strong and you can’t weather a push from the opposition’s best, it puts more pressure on everybody,

    Not saying this specifically cost us, but as I said three years ago, no playoffs until we have a shutdown forward line,

  39. Hope is a good thing says:

    Plenty of bad luck on deflections – happens. Veteran defenceman making a low % pinch while you’re up one late in a game – under your control and unforgivable. Life of a pro athlete: OT hero one night, goat the next.

  40. dangilitis says:

    kinger_OIL:
    dangilitis,

    – Purcell – meh, but at less than $3mm I like more

    – Ass-kissing is better than cock blocking

    What they do in the off-season should depend on the market. Trading him for picks at the deadline, however, means the team loses a player who can fit in well on a top offensive line and PP unit. I would prefer, if they do trade him, to have another warm body on an expiring contract coming back.

  41. LMHF#1 says:

    That miss from Leon at the end of the first hurt. Different game if they go into that break 2-0.

  42. Zelepukin says:

    LMHF#1:
    That miss from Leon at the end of the first hurt. Different game if they go into that break 2-0.

    How would that be a different game? We still went into the 3rd up 2-0.

  43. JDï™ says:

    So how were the corgis? http://i.imgur.com/hYIcaez.gifv

  44. Centre of attention says:

    Talbots post-game interview really took the edge off. He wasn’t even upset, just kind of “shit happens” kind of thing. He made a good point, the Oilers were in the right spot and doing the right thing. The second goal had the puck go off Killorns stick before the D zone face off. It should of been out of the zone.

    Hall on back check, right spot. Davidson was in the right spot boxing out the man in front off a faceoff, puck goes in off his leg. Nurse looking back door to box out the guy coming out front and off his skate. Just burn the tapes and move on.

    I have a feeling the Oilers want retribution Sunday. The Panthers are on a bit of a PDO-driven run so I can see them losing Sunday. The Oilers will have to earn it though, regardless.

  45. bendelson says:

    In lieu of a Bjookie appearance tonight (I hear he’s hangin’ with Mayweather these days) I’m going to go ahead and suggest umlauts for everyone. Tough night at the rink. I thought they played well.

    “Steve Smith”: Oddly, by Steve’s First Rule of Comedy, I’d be more hilarious if you felt otherwise. You prick.

    I’ve heard of said ‘Steve’s Rules of Comedy’ before and have grown somewhat comfortable in their usage (though you remain ever-elusive about how many rules there actually are “Steve”). In fact, we have discussed this very topic on a previous occasion…

    Woodguy,

    Link?

  46. LMHF#1 says:

    Zelepukin: How would that be a different game? We still went into the 3rd up 2-0.

    They scored again in the 2ND. Forces Tampa to open up. Oilers take advantage. Game over.

  47. hunter1909 says:

    Tonight’s as good a time as any to resume:

    Hunter1909’s Official Oiler’s Death March 2016

    Oilers on course for a 72 point season.

    Three players currently tied for 1st Place; each having made 72 point predictions. They Are:

    719

    Kinger-oil

    Doyne West

  48. Zelepukin says:

    LMHF#1: They scored again in the 2ND. Forces Tampa to open up. Oilers take advantage. Game over.

    so you’re assuming that if hypothetically we scored on Drai’s shot in the first, Tampa would have played the exact same 2nd period (in this alternative universe of yours) allowing our 2nd goal to become our third goal going into the 3rd period. Then in the third Tampa would have opened up even more because they are down 3 instead of 2 (in this reality) and we would have taken advantage (scored more?) and at the same time still allow 3 own goals (applying your logic of we played the exact same game). Meaning, by your amazing logic, we would have won 4-3 or 5-3? Ya, makes sense.

  49. hunter1909 says:

    I tuned in when it was 1-0 then 2-0 but as soon as Tampa scored to make it 2-1 I bravely fled to NHL.com scores to intermittently watch tonight’s collapse.

    Looks like the Oilers jumped the Shark tonight.

    When’s the draft lottery?

  50. hunter1909 says:

    Zelepukin: so you’re assuming that if hypothetically we scored on Drai’s shot in the first, Tampa would have played the exact same 2nd period (in this alternative universe of yours) allowing our 2nd goal to become our third goal going into the 3rd period. Then in the third Tampa would have opened up even more because they are down 3 instead of 2 (in this reality) and we would have taken advantage (scored more?) and at the same time still allow 3 own goals (applying your logic of we played the exact same game). Meaning, by your amazing logic, we would have won 4-3 or 5-3? Ya, makes sense.

    Oilers are a pretty good team when playing with a 3-0 lead.

  51. OF17 says:

    Honestly, I thought this was one of the better games the Oilers played this year. They were composed defensively, had good sticks as the broadcast crew pointed out, were solid on breakouts, had both the Draisaitl and Nuge lines buzzing (although Pouliot had an awful 1st), the D looked among the most solid it’s been since Klefbom went down. Awful, awful luck to ruin what should’ve been a great feeling about our hockey team’s performance.

  52. Suntory Hanzo says:

    hunter1909,

    Could you post the list?

  53. PhrankLee says:

    Well I can’t unsee that game no matter what I do.

    Piss poor start. Too many missed chances.

    I’m with coach. They couldn’t out run the blunders.

    I was hoping for action from Chiarelli after 20 games. Now after 42 I am convinced we see nothing till the deadline. And that will be minimal. He appears to be putting all his bullets in line for the summer.

  54. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    PhrankLee,

    I think he makes a move if he thinks there is a good one to be made. But no point in making one to try to make the playoffs unless the team on its own plays its way into playoff position.

    It’s been 10 long years but what would piss me off now is making a move for the short-term and giving up a piece of the future to do it.

  55. GCW_69 says:

    It would appear the Oiler strategy is for the Gagner cluster to shelter the Hall cluster to shelter the McDavid cluster who will then shelter the next cluster without the team actually doing what it takes to get better.

    Therefore, let’s go all in. If Stamkos is gonna walk from Tampa, let’s trade them Nuge for Drouin and Vasilevsky.

    If we are going to be a perennial 70 point team, might as well see as many young stars as we can.

  56. PhrankLee says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    PhrankLee,

    I think he makes a move if he thinks there is a good one to be made. But no point in making one to try to make the playoffs unless the team on its own plays its way into playoff position.

    It’s been 10 long years but what would piss me off now is making a move for the short-term and giving up a piece of the future to do it.

    100% behind you on this.

    I was really happy he was not gung ho on gutting the team in any vein attempt to make the playoffs.

    If this team did make the playoffs this year it would probably represent the greatest improvement year over year by any team in history. That’s not realistic. I am not interested in making the playoffs this year, honestly. I never held out hope for that. What I want is improvement. Blatant and obvious improvement.

    We have to threaten .500 hockey by the end of the year to say there has been positive and meaningful improvement, though.

  57. hunter1909 says:

    GCW_69: If we are going to be a perennial 70 point team, might as well see as many young stars as we can.

    LMAO

    Thank you. That’s really funny.

    Add the primo draft pick heading this way next year and everything gets more better.

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