G59 2016-17: OILERS AT BLACKHAWKS

We rarely saw games from America as kids, had to be playoffs or that rare time when both (then all) of the Canadian teams were on the road. We would see Chicago Stadium during the playoffs, especially the finals. Chicago Stadium always looked smoky, giving it an unusual feel, and it was very loud. The atmosphere seemed tight, close, intense, partly because of the Stanley Cup playoffs, but the building added to it. Chicago today plays in a giant building, still loud, with a brilliant anthem, that damned dagger song, and, for most teams, a night of losing. We’re on to Crystal Lake, today.

OLD DAYS, 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: 9-4-1, goal differential +8
  • Oilers in February 2016: 3-8-2, goal differential -18
  • Oilers in February 2017: 3-3-0, goal differential -1
  • Oilers after 58, 2015-16: 22-30-6, goal differential -32
  • Oilers after 58, 2016-17: 31-19-8, goal differential +17

G59 last season was a 5-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild. From G58 to the end of the season, Edmonton posted a record of 9-13-2, to finish 31-43-8 (70 points). If the Oilers duplicated last season’s finish—which would be hugely disappointing—their final record would be 40-32-10 (90 points). The Edmonton Oilers turned north and kept going all year long. The size of the reward at the end is the only question. The games remain important, something we haven’t seen this late in a season in exactly one forever.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM FEBRUARY

  • On the road to: Nashville, Carolina, Montreal (Expected: 1-1-1) (Actual 1-2-0)
  • At home to: Chicago, Arizona, Philadelphia (Expected: 1-1-1) (Actual 2-1-0)
  • On the road to: Chicago, Tampa Bay, Florida, Washington, Nashville, St. Louis (2-3-1)
  • Overall expected result: 4-5-3, 11 points in 12 games
  • Overall current results: 3-3-0, 6 points in 6 games

We are Even Steven based on our expectations (everyone agreed) and a win tonight probably puts the fan base in a wildly confident mood entering the Florida btb. The loss by Anaheim to Florida last night offers further encouragement for this Oilers team. This is the point in the climb where wins and points could be in short supply. Chicago is a bear, the two Florida teams badly need two points, the Capitals are rolling and St. Louis is really rolling. A win tonight would be manna from heaven.

FORWARDS, 2016-17

  • There is still time, but the gap between McDavid and the rest of this roster is pretty incredible. When the Oilers find his Kurri, joint will be hopping.
  • Leon Draisaitl is past 20 goals and 50 points again this year, now comes the big test. Can he drive a line as the main man? If he can move that 1.77/60 beyond 2.00/60, Edmonton will have the best young center depth chart on planet earth.
  • Three of the top six scorers among forwards (Eberle, Nuge, Lucic) are below 1.50/60. Usually when we identify these unusual stats, the regression kicks in and the Bret Saberhagen talk fades away. This may in fact be full Brett Saberhagen.
  • Anton Lander, Mark Letestu and Zack Kassian have been impressive offensively, considering their roles. Recently, Matt Hendricks has joined the fun—further isolating Ebs, Nuge, Lucic and Pouliot. I don’t mind telling you this is a bizarre table, with some pretty famous names being save by their power-play prowess.
  • Patrick Maroon rained down blows upon Brandon Manning’s helmet on Thursday night, hope those hands still have goals in them.

DEFENSE, 2016-17

  • Oscar Klefbom has reached 10 goals. This is just the ninth time since 2000 an Oilers defenseman has reached the total, and Oscar has plenty of time to add to his total. Only Sheldon Souray (23) in 2008-09 seems out of reach.
  • Adam Larsson is a much better fit for Klefbom on a feature pairing. Whereas Justin Schultz was also an offensive player, Larsson minds the store while Oscar drives the offense on the line. I blame that damned Swedish second assist for obscuring our view of Klefbom. I really like this pairing.
  • Matt Benning is going to force some veterans down the depth chart in the coming months. His pass to Leon was an elite skill play (puck was bouncing and he had a lot of things going on in the instant he passed it) and we see it from this young man often. Mobile for days.
  • Andrej Sekera has been playing a little less of late, but is vital to this team’s success. Veteran defensemen, man. Buy em by the bushel.
  • Brandon Davidson, for me, is back to being himself on the blue. I would like to see him with a more offensive partner, but that isn’t available currently.
  • Kris Russell will be back early in the road trip, Darnell Nurse late. I love defensive depth, its like a full tank of gas, bills all paid, and the whole family in a good place. Missed it!
  • Cam Talbot is tied for No. 6 in the NHL in save percentage. Best trade by Peter Chiarelli?

GRIFFIN REINHART

In his last 10 games, Griffin Reinhart has posted 3-3-6 boxcars and is playing a larger role on the team. A recent article by Paul Gazzola indicates Reinhart has come through a difficult season with renewed determination and a more complete game. While Brandon Davidson is vulnerable to the expansion draft, so is Reinhart. I am increasingly convinced Peter Chiarelli will make every effort to make a deal with Vegas in order to both protect his growing defensive depth, and to unload some cap space. Interesting days ahead, but Reinhart is part of PCs future plans, in my opinion.

JESSE

A very pleasing moment from the Condors game last night, as Jesse Puljujarvi scored an even-strength goal, assisted by Anton Lander. It suggests the young Finnish winger is in fact getting a bit of a push, and that we may see him spike offensively. He has 47 shots in 16 games, his boxcars (6-6-12) projected to an NHLE of 82, 16-17-33. I have no quarrel with him staying in the AHL for the rest of the season, especially if a bona fide offensive center is part of the roster. I think Lander ends up back here, so we might see a veteran AHL center added by the deadline to facilitate JPs progress for the rest of the year. It would be grand if the Condors made the playoffs.

RECRUTES HOCKEY

I have mentioned Grant McCagg’s new site before (it is here) but wanted to give you a head’s up on a few things. He has some major things rolling out this weekend, and I will speak to Grant on SSE at 2:20 this afternoon. He has a new mock draft up this morning, and some big things will appear there later today.

TSN TRADE LIST

The list is now 40 deep, and Jordan Eberle keeps moving down the list. I think Peter Chiarelli’s main assets for trade will be lefty blue, 2018 draft picks and veterans who have been passed by youth on the depth chart. Adding a second-round selection—or a bona fide prospect—should also be a major priority.

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446 Responses to "G59 2016-17: OILERS AT BLACKHAWKS"

« Older Comments
  1. jonrmcleod says:

    It’s pretty crazy that the Oilers are 8th in points, 8th in goals for, 11th in goals against, and 7th in goal differential.

  2. Ice Sage says:

    hunter1909:
    “Oilers are being completely outclassed this game. Shot totals flatter the Oilers, and the score is hilarious.”

    Calgary Puck

    LOL – that’s called goaltending… wouldn’t expect Phlegms to understand

  3. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Road record an eye-popping 17-9-5 now. 5th overall road team in the entire league based on points percentage.

  4. hunter1909 says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    Road record an eye-popping 17-9-5 now. 5th overall road team in the entire league based on points percentage.

    The ubercool reality is: Oilers just bitch slapped the 3x champion Hawks in their own barn. Call it goaltending, intimidation, or just young legs over the experienced….the fact is, our boys just beat a 1st class hockey team.

  5. Pouzar says:

    Ice Sage: LOL – that’s called goaltending… wouldn’t expect Phlegms to understand

    F^ck those guys.

  6. Centre of attention says:

    Ethan bear has 2 goals tonight.

    Currently on an 8 game point streak IIRC.

  7. Pescador says:

    hunter1909: How about Larsson? It’s like having Taylor Hall playing defense.

    Strong post

  8. Pescador says:

    hunter1909: The ubercool reality is: Oilers just Stole 2 Points from the 3x champion Hawks in their own barn. Call it goaltending, intimidation, or just young legs over the experienced….the fact is, our boys just beat a 1st class hockey team.

    Ftfy

  9. spoiler says:

    I feel like I have to cheer for the Kings to beat the Panthers. Just so they can put the Falmes behind them sooner rather than later.

  10. LadiesloveSmid says:

    spoiler:
    I feel like I have to cheer for the Kings to beat the Panthers.Just so they can put the Falmes behind them sooner rather than later.

    Agreed. I’m cheering on the top 4 in the central and the kings to keep the flames out. Fuck the flames

  11. Kris11 says:

    You got a goalie this hot and the top scorer you load up at the deadline as much as u can and gun for the cup. Goalies are voodoo but this is a goalie you run with now, now, now.

  12. spoiler says:

    Canucks might not get a shot on net this game.

  13. LMHF#1 says:

    Might be crazy – but they’re better to watch on the road.

  14. gogliano says:

    In the final ten games of the season, Oilers play the Ducks twice and the Sharks twice. I don’t think SJS is in reach by then but that’s a potential four point swing against either team. Good chance we’ll be jockeying for position.

    Sure is nice to have meaningful games in March and April to look forward to.

  15. rickithebear says:

    EDM 59gm 72P (+13) if oilers go 11-11-1 .500 they get 95PT
    NSH 57gm 62P (+5) has to go 16-8-1 .660 to get to 95pt
    LAK 56gm 60P (+4) has to go 17-8-1 .673 to get 95PT
    ———————————————————-
    CGY 58gm 61P (+3) has to go 16-6-2 .708 to get 95pt
    VCR 58gm 56P (-2) has to go 19-4-1 .813 to get 95pt
    WPG 61gm 59pt (-2) has to go 18-3-0 .857 to get 95 pt

  16. Gordies Elbow says:

    Goal from Laleggia. Assists to Puljujarvi and Lander.

  17. jonrmcleod says:

    Bakersfield Condors
    @Condors
    That’s @joeylaleggia with his 6th goal in 8 games v. Stockton. @Landie51 with 31 points in 20 games. @Jpuljujarvi with 13 in 17.

  18. flyfish1168 says:

    nucks robbed

  19. Gordies Elbow says:

    Bakersfield Condors ‏@Condors 12s12 seconds ago
    More
    CONDORS GOAL!!!!! Hamilton from @Dmusil6 and Beck. It’s 2-0, 7 min. left. #Condorstown

  20. dessert1111 says:

    JDï™:
    hunter1909,

    Desertllll… That’s got to be a mistake.

    Probably JDi.

    Nope, I’m here!

    Tho it is misspelled 😊

  21. Rocknrolla says:

    gogliano:
    In the final ten games of the season, Oilers play the Ducks twice and the Sharks twice.I don’t think SJS is in reach by then but that’s a potential four point swing against either team.Good chance we’ll be jockeying for position.

    Sure is nice to have meaningful games in March and April to look forward to.

    Potential 8 point swing!

  22. LMHF#1 says:

    Brent Burns has 27.

    Will he finally get the respect he deserves after this season?

  23. Centre of attention says:

    Seattle Thunderbirds ‏@SeattleTbirds 4m4 minutes ago
    More
    BEAR!! Hat trick! Tied 3-3!

    Ethan completes the hat trick tonight. Again, he’s on an 8 game point streak.

  24. wheatnoil says:

    Posted this on Twitter, but some interesting historical perspective on the Oilers season so far:

    EDM has 28 wins non-shootout wins on Feb 18.
    In prev years they reached that mark on the following dates:
    15/16: Never
    14/15: Never
    13/14: Never
    12/13: Lockout
    11/12: Never
    10/11: Never
    09/10: Never
    08/09: Mar 7
    07/08: Never
    06/07: Feb 22 (G62)
    05/06: Mar 16
    03/04 Mar 7
    02/03 Mar 6
    01/02 Mar 6
    00/01 Feb 24 (G63)
    99/00: Mar 22
    98/99: Mar 28
    97/98: Mar 25
    96/97: FEB 13!! (G56)

    There it is, last time EDM had 28 non-shootout wins this early was 1997!

    For the record:
    95/96: Mar 24
    94/95: Lockout
    93/94: Never
    92/93: Never
    91/92: Feb 26 (G64)
    90/91 & earlier were all before Feb 18

    That means the Oilers have only had this many regulation or OT wins this early one other time in the last 25 seasons!

  25. spoiler says:

    Centre of attention:
    Seattle Thunderbirds ‏@SeattleTbirds4m4 minutes ago
    MoreBEAR!! Hat trick!Tied 3-3!

    Ethan completes the hat trick tonight. Again, he’s on an 8 game point streak.

    Pretty rare air for a Dman, even in Junior.

  26. wheatnoil says:

    Centre of attention:
    Seattle Thunderbirds ‏@SeattleTbirds4m4 minutes ago
    MoreBEAR!! Hat trick!Tied 3-3!

    Ethan completes the hat trick tonight. Again, he’s on an 8 game point streak.

    Adds in an assist too. Two of those goals were even-strength as well.

    Also, quietly Caleb Jones with a goal and an assist in that game too.

  27. Centre of attention says:

    Scoring change apparently that last shot was tipped. He has also picked up another assist as a Tbirds forward jams in a rebound caused by Bears hard point shot.

    He now has 2 goals 2 assists on the night so far.

  28. spoiler says:

    Centre of attention,

    Well… I take it back then!! lol

  29. wheatnoil says:

    Centre of attention:
    Scoring change apparently that last shot was tipped. He has also picked up another assist as a Tbirds forward jams in a rebound caused by Bears hard point shot.

    He now has 2 goals 2 assists on the night so far.

    He’s 2nd in the WHL in points among D & 4th in points/game. 2nd in primary points too.

    Caleb Jones is 10th in points, and 8th in points per game.

    Both pretty legit prospects.

  30. striatic says:

    wheatnoil: There it is, last time EDM had 28 non-shootout wins this early was 1997!

    CuJo’s last year as an Oiler. Interesting.

  31. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Ryan: Wasn’t Woodguy suggesting it?

    Praying, really.

  32. Dr. Taboggan says:

    wheatnoil,

    Centre of attention,

    Who are some comps for Bear? What is a reasonable expectation for a draft +2 D who puts up 20+ goals?

  33. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    wheatnoil,

    Ouch. I know we should be happy but that record is miserable. Man…

  34. Ice Sage says:

    This Nucks-Failmes game is hard to see, it’s so far back in the rearview mirror

    Edit – LOL

  35. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Fucking Canucks. I knew “METEOR” was the right answer for that game.

  36. spoiler says:

    Fuck you, Calgary.

  37. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Watched the entire 2nd and 3rd period of the flames game just to watch them lose, good gord. Fuck off nucks

  38. Diablo says:

    Won a game they didn’t deserve to win thanks to Talbot – if he keeps playing like this he’s going to be in the running for the Vezina.

    Was not impressed by RNH tonight – he’s miscast as a 3rd line centre and still makes rookie mistakes in his own zone.

    Toews absolutely crushed the Oiler’s centres tonight in the face off dot – I love that guy’s passion.

    Nice to see Lucic get one tonight – damn nice shot – he should use it more.

    Nice game by Benning tonight.

  39. JDï™ says:

    That was a game straight out of the first round of the 2006 playoffs. Shouldn’t have been, but it was.

  40. JDï™ says:

    dessert1111: Nope, I’m here!

    We’re going to need a birth certificate.

    #birther

  41. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    hunter1909: How about Larsson? It’s like having Taylor Hall playing defense.

    He’s been good too

    Wish he’s skate it out of trouble a bit more

  42. Chachi says:

    That game was a real knife to the gut for Oilers fans. Am I doing it right?

  43. who says:

    Wow, how did the oilers win that game? Thank you Talbot.
    I guess they are not quite ready to match the speed and skill of the Hawks. Kane and Panarin are fricking terrifying.
    Those posters saying the Hawks aren’t as strong as past years mustn’t have seen their last two games against edmonton. That is one good hockey team right now.

  44. MrEd says:

    Versteeg.
    Damn fish.

  45. jake70 says:

    Benning, Capfriendly tells me, is signed through 2018 with a max cap hit of 1.075M (0.925 + bonuses). Wonder if Davidson is an Oiler after the deadline…..L depth, Benning, and 88’s name coming up here and there in trade talk (obvious interest in him) – wouldn’t be surprised if he is next out.

  46. Roughneck says:

    A win tonight would be manna from heaven.

    (insert dram glass toasting image here)

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