G52 2016-17: WILD AT OILERS

AND we are back. The All-Star break is not something I look forward to, but it is on the schedule so we have to take our medicine. Consider it the Cod Liver Oil chase (did your Mom have to chase you with the damnable giant spoon? Mine did) for 2017. Now, we race to the trade deadline with a mittful of wins, only fear and good judgement holding us back.

WILD THING, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers in October 2015: 4-8-0, goal differential -7
  • Oilers in October 2016: 7-2-0, goal differential +10
  • Oilers in November 2015: 4-7-2, goal differential -6
  • Oilers in November 2016: 5-8-2 goal differential -3
  • Oilers in December 2015: 7-6-1, goal differential -9
  • Oilers in December 2016: 7-2-5, goal differential +3
  • Oilers in January 2016: 4-5-2, goal differential -5
  • Oilers in January 2017: 9-3-1, goal differential +11
  • Oilers after 51, 2015-16: 20-26-5, goal differential -23
  • Oilers after 51, 2016-17: 28-15-8, goal differential +21

G52 a year ago the Oilers romped 7-2 over the Ottawa Senators. Edmonton, at that point, would have 30 games left in the season and be 21-31 in straight won-loss. The club would win just 10 of the final 30 and that was all she wrote. It is vitally important the Oilers do not fall into a long slump beginning tonight. Just win, baby.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM JANUARY

  • On the road to: Columbus, Boston, New Jersey, Ottawa (Expected: 2-1-1) (Actual: 2-2-0)
  • At home to: San Jose, New Jersey, Calgary, Arizona, Florida, Nashville (Expected Result: 3-1-2) (Actual: 4-1-1)
  • On the road to: Calgary, Anaheim, San Jose (Expected Result: 2-1-0) (So Far: 3-0-0)
  • At home to: Minnesota (Expected Result: 0-1-0)
  • Overall expected result: 7-4-3, 17 points in 14 games
  • Current Results: 9-3-1, 19 points in 13 games

We agreed (not ever, not one time) that 17 points in 14 games would be reasonable, but the Oilers exceeded that number and now we are left to contemplate what might be reasonable for February. More on that Thursday (we are really not going to agree Thursday) but there are some nice January memories we are about to pack in the trunk today.

DEFENSE, 2016-17

  • This is the offensive side of the Edmonton defense, and it has been a very good run so far. Edmonton scored 24 goals all of last season, and have 23 goals already.
  • I wondered if the Oilers D were shooting more, so had a look. Last season, the Oilers blue averaged 8.34 shots per game, this season the number has increased to 8.78 shots per game.
  • Edmonton’s defense has seen their shooting percentage increase from 3.5 to 5.1. Can they sustain it?
  • Oscar Klefbom has been shooting like crazy. Last season he averaged 1.6 shots per game, this season 2.51 per game. That is a significant increase.

FORWARDS, 2016-17

  • The Oilers have three forwards who are on track for 20 goals this season, and three more who could get there with a hot streak. It isn’t exactly balanced scoring, but there are some encouraging signs.
  • Connor McDavid is on pace for 82gp, 27-68-95. In the modern era, that is a blistering pace. It is important for us to understand this enormous total. In this decade, there have been seven seasons better, all of them from quality teams with a great deal of support. This young man is a stone alone in many ways. A searing and masterful performance.
  • Leon Draisaitl has done Peter Chiarelli an enormous favor with his season. The Big Train is on his way to 82gp, 31-43-74 and those are terrific totals. He is 48.8% on the dot, he is 8-9-17 on the power play. Had Draisaitl faded, it would have been very difficult for the Oilers to have had their successful season.
  • I see Ryan Nugent-Hopkins as the key. The young man is trending for a 82gp, 18-24-42 season and that is shy of his best years by 14 points. He will need a hot streak or two in the next 30 games in order to get there, but I believe he is more than capable of getting it done.

One of the fun things about this All-Star weekend was seeing an Oilers player in a feature role. CMD received a lot of air time across North America and handled himself very well. It is interesting to see players adjust to a major media role, Wayne Gretzky is millions of miles better now than when he was 20 (as an example). The exchange above shows some of 97s character and humor, he appears to have more humor than many hockey players. He is quick on his feet, on and off the ice. Good to know.

One of the things we should be looking forward to (and hoping for) is a long run by the Bakersfield Condors. Ethan Bear and Caleb Jones are coming to the end of their respective junior careers, and we could see an AHL audition this spring. I don’t think either man will break camp with the big club in the fall, but it will be good to see where they are at the pro level. Gives us a line in the sand moving forward.

One of those obscure stories that will bind us together for decades, Vladimir Tkachev appears to be writing his own script and that is just fine. Just so you know, his NHLE right now is 82gp, 20-37-57—that is a very good number. Good to know (if true) the Oilers are looking for high skill out among the hinterlands.

TOP PROSPECTS GAME

I watched the Top Prospects Game last night, enjoyed it thoroughly. Each of these games is unique, and last night the offense burned down the mission and sent Charlie Alnut and Rose Sayer down the Ulanga River. Mike Morreale of NHL.com has a really good overview of the evening here, and I jotted down a few notes on some players:

  • Sasha Chmelevski scored a tremendous goal in the first period, a goal-scorer’s goal that makes you take notice. From what I was told online last night he has been inconsistent this year, but that shot surely got everyone’s attention.
  • Jake Leschyshyn scored too, and I thought he played really well in all three zones. I knew he would be my kind of player.
  • Kailer Yamamoto had several chances plus scored a goal. He isn’t really a Chiarelli type, but he is going to score goals in the NHL.

Gents worth a follow (if you are interested) are Steve Kournianos, Corey Pronman and Brendan Ross. I keep hoping the Oilers find a way to get Cale Makar, but based on what I saw last night, Michael Rasmussen might be an Oiler if he is still on the board come draft day.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

We get rolling at 10 this morning, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Scott Burnside, ESPN. Connor McDavid plays a major role in the All-Star weekend, on and off the ice.
  • Jonathan Willis, Oilers Nation. Signing Kris Russell: Good idea or madness?
  • Scott Cullen, TSN: The race to the trade deadline: How many teams are out of this thing?

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Giddyup!

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297 Responses to "G52 2016-17: WILD AT OILERS"

« Older Comments
  1. Lowetide says:

    Really strong shift by Slepyshev. Even in a loss, some good can come of it.

  2. russ99 says:

    Just like the holiday break, looks like the All Star break hit us at just the wrong time.

    No substitute for hard work, fellas.

  3. russ99 says:

    And out comes the line blender.

  4. Lowetide says:

    Looks like McLellan would like to see some different lines tonight, good idea. You can learn some things about your team in a game like this one.

  5. StixMalone says:

    Why not let Brossoit play now?

  6. russ99 says:

    Lowetide,

    Nothing to lose, I guess.

  7. treevojo says:

    Love how mclellan sends messages.

    Benoit has been flying all night.

  8. Acumen says:

    Derek,

    Yeah. Very, very poor effort from these two tonight. Lucic looks like he’s got a teflon coating on the blade of his stick, can’t take a pass or make a move at all.

  9. treevojo says:

    Mcdavid is the carrot and everyone knows it.

    Keeps people from getting complacent.

  10. Lowetide says:

    I am not in a mood to time people out, but will if necessary.

  11. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    Acumen:
    Derek,

    Yeah. Very, very poor effort from these two tonight. Lucic looks like he’s got a teflon coating on the blade of his stick, can’t take a pass or make a move at all.

    To be fair the ice is god awful at Rogers…I know I know, everyone is playing on the same ice…

  12. Oil2Oilers says:

    russ99:
    Oil2Oilers,

    Did Russelll lose the puck right before exit? No,

    I am unsure of which of the 3 goals against for which Russell was on the ice for that you are referring.

  13. Ryan says:

    StixMalone:
    Why not let Brossoit play now?

    This is the correct answer.

    I don’t imagine a team like the wild blows too many 3 goal leads.

    Odds of winning tonight approaches zero.

    Give Talbot some much needed rest and live to fight another day.

  14. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    The oilers are getting exactly zero second chances

  15. Scungilli says:

    Caggiula and Drai are green. They can thrive in non key roles, will rookie in key roles. Benning the same thing. Vets in key spots for the playoffs.

  16. treevojo says:

    Nice. Sleppy deserved that.

  17. Lowetide says:

    Slepyshyev scored. Nice to see

  18. Gerta Rauss says:

    Sleppy!

    Nice

  19. Derek says:

    I understand the need to shuffle the lines in a game like this, I’m just not sure what Sleppy did to land with Letestu and Hendricks.

    Ahahaha and he scores with them right before I post. Todd is obviously much smarter than I am.

  20. HT Joe says:

    Sleppy… slappy…. sleepy… Samsonite!!!

  21. russ99 says:

    Nice goal Slepy, we needed that.

  22. treevojo says:

    Get the next one.

    We have a game.

  23. GMB3 says:

    Why does Slepy get dropped to the fourth line. Thought he was playing well.

  24. Gerta Rauss says:

    Agree on Broissoit-give the kid the net for the rest of the evening

  25. jzed says:

    What the hell, Tkaggula and Slepoy both scored???!!

  26. StixMalone says:

    Pushback kills so does Russell tonight

  27. Lowetide says:

    Kris Russell is having as bad a game as I have seen in a long, long time.

  28. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    Russell has been abysmal tonight

  29. Gerta Rauss says:

    Oilers with the momentum now

    -Kevin Quinn seconds before MIN makes it 4-1

  30. Scungilli says:

    Russell!

  31. Derek says:

    There’s Russel to give it right back. Ouch.

  32. Gret99zky says:

    Hopefully the legend of Kris Russell can get Chia something good at the trade deadline.

  33. HT Joe says:

    I liked how the Wild made the patented Goofie laugh after scoring

  34. treevojo says:

    Granlund nice stick

  35. russ99 says:

    Russell isn’t having the best game but the scapegoating is kind of ridiculous.

    Forwards were there to get the same puck plays off the boards the last two games, they’re not there tonight.

  36. Oil2Oilers says:

    Slepyshev, Kharia and that kid that is always injured filling out the bottom 6 forwards is a good sign for the future.

  37. jzed says:

    Never mind, Oiler site screwed up score. And then the built in vacuum guy scores again. Thought I heard the Wild beat reporter saying vacuum guy was on hot seat, guess not anymore

  38. Pouzar says:

    GMB3:
    Why does Slepy get dropped to the fourth line. Thought he was playing well.

    The Oiler way.

  39. GMB3 says:

    Slepy is a player

  40. treevojo says:

    Need to make this a 2 goal game going into the third

  41. Derek says:

    russ99:
    Russell isn’t having the best game but the scapegoating is kind of ridiculous.

    Forwards were there to get the same puck plays off the boards the last two games, they’re not there tonight.

    He’s had the puck and lost possession before each of the four goals against. There are other culpits, no doubt, Leon looked poor on the play at the end of the period. Leon helps you in the other end of the ice though.

    Russel doesn’t pass or transition well and doesn’t have much offense. If he’s not defending well he’s not providing anything to the team.

    That being said everyone has a rough game every now and then. This one reeks.

  42. marchmentsknee says:

    russ99,

    I guess he hasn’t pulled a Steve Smith but has been awful. And I like him.

  43. treevojo says:

    Boom

  44. treevojo says:

    Lucic can pass

  45. jzed says:

    Someone tell Quinn to shut up about momentum

  46. HT Joe says:

    #20!!

  47. digger50 says:

    Anybody know what 20 goals amounts to in bonus dollars for Drai?

  48. HT Joe says:

    digger50:
    Anybody know what 20 goals amounts to in bonus dollars for Drai?

    A bigger contract in the offseason!

  49. open ice says:

    digger50,

    212,500 per Stauffer’s tweet

  50. Lowetide says:

    4-2 after two, Wild. 29-21 Oilers in shots, 39-34 Corsi for 5×5 favors Edmonton.

  51. Pouzar says:

    Keep battling Oilers.

  52. treevojo says:

    open ice,

    Worth every penny.

    The guy is underpaid.

  53. treevojo says:

    A little better recognition of the clock at the end of the first and this would be an Oilers win.

    Hopefully they can squeak out a bettman

  54. Scungilli says:

    Eberle goes straight to the slot off an O zone face off looking for gravy without even looking where the puck is going. It’s not where he went and straight up through his abandoned spot for a rush by the Wild.
    #veteranplay
    #playoffscoming

    Why I’m at him and Russell is that they are the players torpedoing the growth, and they are players who should be leading the way in dedication and dependability, veteran top level players. If anyone is blowing it regularly it can only be rookies. They are both getting paid well so earn it. This is the home stretch, if not now, when?

  55. Mr. D. says:

    Talbot doesn’t play great we lose. We can’t solely rely on him.

  56. treevojo says:

    One of eberle or pouliot will score in the 3rd.

    Book it!

  57. VanIsleOil says:

    JDï™:
    Stream – http://tinyurl.com/gmg6fa2

    Really appreciate you posting the streams for the games. Not too many Oiler games on Sportsnet Pacific here on the rock.

  58. open ice says:

    Does the fact that Klef doesn’t have any minors mean that he isn’t taking the liberties the other teams are taking? in other words, he isn’t “gaming” the NHL reffing system?

  59. JDï™ says:

    VanIsleOil,

    This is the main resource: https://www.reddit.com/r/NHLStreams/

    But onhockey.tv can also be good.

  60. jzed says:

    Special team needs to be special

  61. Lowetide says:

    They are wasting this power play. I don’t think the Oilers win this game, but they need to be sharper in these important moments.

  62. russ99 says:

    Come on Oil, make it interesting.

  63. StixMalone says:

    Ouch…..

  64. russ99 says:

    Wow, that was ugly.

  65. jzed says:

    Wasted TSN Turning Point

  66. jzed says:

    Goodnight Irene

  67. russ99 says:

    Gotta trust your D when he’s in position to take away the pass, he’ll learn from that.

  68. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    Bro-swa is not ready for prime time with that play

  69. marchmentsknee says:

    LB looking like a TutorShooter

  70. treevojo says:

    Not oilers night tonight.

  71. Lowetide says:

    January has been good to us, despite this evening.

  72. Scungilli says:

    Klefbom is loving to take the shots but doesn’t seem to get that if they are off the perimeter no score much.

    To the middle son and closer in.

  73. CrazyCoach says:

    Some days you’re the steamroller……

    All I need now is Al from Happy Days going, yeah yeah yeah yeah!!!

  74. Scungilli says:

    Lets not whitewash a weak performance in a game that tells the truth. We can love the progress and be happy about this season and still call out the bad stuff.

  75. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    Honestly what is Bruce B’s secret?

  76. russ99 says:

    Lowetide:
    January has been good to us, despite this evening.

    True that.

    And Todd can motivate with some of tonight’s performances.

    I wish that kid would put down that bright neon orange sign in the front row behind their goal. It’s giving me a migraine.

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

    Scungilli,

    Two bad goals at bad times (2-0 and 5-2) and Russell had his worst game of the year.

    Also don’t want to make a mountain out of a mole hill either 😉

    Get their feet under them and bounce back next game

    Big but quick road trip coming up!

  78. Zelepukin says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!:
    Scungilli,

    Two bad goals at bad times (2-0 and 5-2) and Russell had his worst game of the year.

    Also don’t want to make a mountain out of a mole hill either

    Get their feet under them and bounce back next game

    Big but quick road trip coming up!

    Agreed. If anything, a continuing storyline with this team is that we are not good out the gate after a long break.

  79. Scungilli says:

    Réal Goudenyéu:
    Honestly what is Bruce B’s secret?

    Play the system without constant mistakes.

    The Oilers D to my eye are blowing coverage all over the place. Russell got lucky on the last play, for once. But his man had the middle lane to the slot 15 ft out if the puck popped out there.

    The Oilers let the opponent get on the inside to them all the time. Stick flailing at that point is really hoping the goalie bails you out.

  80. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    The wild are incredible at not allowing second chances. The oilers? Not so much.

  81. Scungilli says:

    They are living up to the meme of dregs lighting them up for 3 of 5.
    Edit: 6?

  82. Scungilli says:

    Klefbom for Trouba.

  83. CrazyCoach says:

    Well, these are the games where you walk in the dressing room, try to pump up the team a little, focus on one or two technical points, the walk out to face the media.

    Sometimes it’s best not to discuss stuff or harp on the obvious when everyone knows you got beat badly.

    But, I’d also use it a s a measuring stick and tomorrow’s practice would be selling the short time frame, such as, “OK, it would suck playing those guys every night, so let’s look at last night as a measuring stick and see how far we’ve come. We saw where we need work, so let’s get to it today!”

    That’s how I would frame it.

  84. russ99 says:

    Lucic had a little more jump on the McDavid line.

    I still think Leon is the best center for him, but it would be foolish to seperate Leon and Connor.

  85. Scungilli says:

    CrazyCoach:
    Well, these are the games where you walk in the dressing room, try to pump up the team a little, focus on one or two technical points, the walk out to face the media.

    Sometimes it’s best not to discuss stuff or harp on the obvious when everyone knows you got beat badly.

    But, I’d also use it a s a measuring stick and tomorrow’s practice would be selling the short time frame, such as, “OK, it would suck playing those guys every night, so let’s look at last night as a measuring stick and see how far we’ve come.We saw where we need work, so let’s get to it today!”

    That’s how I would frame it.

    McLellan did, referred to the Wild as the biggest test and best team in the league.

    How glaring the issues are is a good thing. Without a smoking hot goalie, all the D playing well and lucky and puck luck they are still pretty wobbly. Hopefully the spotlight shines clear to Chia.

  86. CrazyCoach says:

    Scungilli: McLellan did, referred to the Wild as the biggest test and best team in the league.
    How glaring the issues are is a good thing. Without a smoking hot goalie, all the D playing well and lucky and puck luck they are still pretty wobbly. Hopefully the spotlight shines clear to Chia.

    Yeah, I think everyone knew that realistically, this may have been one of those “Downward” games.

    This team does have a few glaring holes, but I’m happy with the progress made this season.

    Baby steps man, baby steps

  87. treevojo says:

    Positives. We didn’t lose because of effort.

    Negatives. Couldn’t stop timely goals.

    Can’t win em all.

  88. Jon K says:

    CrazyCoach:
    Some days you’re the steamroller……

    All I need now is Al from Happy Days going, yeah yeah yeah yeah!!!

    MacT said it best in the spring of ’06. Sometimes you’re the windshield and sometimes you’re the bug. Cheechoo was fine in the end.

  89. Mr. D. says:

    Lucy is a pouter. He is being selfish if the thinks he should be with McD. He can’t keep up, can’t pass, and is a turnover machine. His signing is starting to haunt us.

  90. russ99 says:

    Mr. D.,

    He’s a potentially game changing cycle player and he’s had two of the speediest rush centers on his line all year.

    We don’t exactly have a Bergeron or Kopitar on this team. Get Hanzal by hook or crook and turn them loose and we’d be singing a different song.

  91. treevojo says:

    Mr. D.:
    Lucy is a pouter. He is being selfish if the thinks he should be with McD. He can’t keep up, can’t pass, and is a turnover machine. His signing is starting to haunt us.

    After one loss hey.

    It’s a good thing this team hasn’t had any significant losing streaks.

    Mcdavids leadership would be in question.

    #TOOYOUNG

  92. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Can’t win em’ all. 7-1-1 still a great finish to January.

  93. Pescador says:

    russ99:
    Mr. D.,

    He’s a potentially game changing cycle player and he’s had two of the speediest rush centers on his line all year.

    We don’t exactly have a Bergeron or Kopitar on this team. Get Hanzal by hook or crook and turn them loose and we’d be singing a different song.

    Agreed
    To steal from Lowetide, Lucic needs a veteran center. Caggulia would be a nice 4th line winger on this playoff team

  94. Roughneck says:

    Welp. They moved the banners to help with air flow. More comfortable in the stands without the wind blowing but the ice was perhaps worse. Hope they figure that out as it’s a crying shame to see Connor and the skilled guys fight to pull off what they see in their minds eye.

    I hoped for Kris Russel to have a nice break and come back a new man. Sadly the law of unintended consequences granted a rather twisted version of said request. chalk one up for specificity.

    Oh well.. the h8ers needed some fresh material for empowerment and self righteous indignation. Evidently.

    Welcome to February.

  95. theres oil in virginia says:

    Réal Goudenyéu:
    Honestly what is Bruce B’s secret?

    F-bombs, lots and lots of F-bombs.

  96. russ99 says:

    Hitchcock fired in St. Louis. Didn’t see that coming, guess the move upstairs is off.

    Maybe this gives Yak another chance.

  97. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    russ99,

    Hitchcock wasn’t Yaks problem.

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