G65 2016-17 RED WINGS AT OILERS

One of my first memories of the Detroit Red Wings came on March 7, 1970. By then I was watching hockey even if the adults were doing something else, and on this day (it was a Saturday) Detroit was playing at the Forum in Montreal. It was  a weird year, 1970, with my Bruins near the top and the Canadiens struggling to make the playoffs. On March 7, Detroit and Montreal were tied, so the game that night was massive.

Detroit scored three times in the first 10 minutes of the second period, and Montreal scored just once (Mickey Redmond) to set up a 3-1 score entering the third. Montreal pushed hard, and Yvan Cournoyer scored with just over a minute left to make it 3-2. In those days, that meant the Red Wings were about to find a way to crumble, but they hung in, and Gordie Howe scored into an empty net for a 4-2 final.

I remember Howe ragging the puck at center ice, smiling, taunting, before rifling it into the Habs net with three seconds left. From March 7 through the end of the season (including this game), Howe would score nine goals in 15 games and the Red Wings would post a 8-3-4 record (20 points) while the Canadiens went 7-5-3 (17 points) to miss the postseason by zero points (they tied with the Rangers but lost the tiebreaker). Howe smiling was a cruel bit of work, and he was my Dad’s generation, but back then Montreal missing the playoffs was a massive story. It is probably why I remember that game.

In 1982, Mike Ilitch purchased the Detroit Red Wings and hired Jim Devellano as general manager. It was an overnight sensation! Just 15 years later, they won Stanley! Bang! And it only took five coaches! Devellano’s first acquisition came in the fall of 1982, he purchased Stan Weir’s contract from the Edmonton Oilers. His final transaction before the 1997 Stanley was also a purchase, at the trade deadline that year. Devellano sent cash to the Leafs for Larry Murphy on March 18. On June 7, Detroit won the championship. It can take exactly one forever to turn a franchise around, and Devellano had a lot of help in men like Bryan Murray, Scotty Bowman, Ken Holland, Mark Howe, Hakan Andersson and Jim Nill. Plus, he had an owner willing to spend money in order to bring glory back to Hockeytown.

Daryl Katz bought the Oilers in 2008, so 15 years puts this team at 2023. Will Edmonton beat the Red Wings march to glory?

COULD IT BE MAGIC, 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: 6-6-0, goal differential -2
  • Oilers after 64, 2015-16: 23-34-7, goal differential -39
  • Oilers after 64, 2016-17: 34-22-8, goal differential +16

G65 a year ago was another win, 2-1 in overtime over Buffalo. Connor McDavid scored in the extra frame, he scored the earlier goal in the game as well. From this point to the end of the year 2015-16, Edmonton went 8-9-1 in 18 games. If this year’s Oilers duplicated that record, they would finish 42-31-9, 93 points. Something tells me this club will push a little beyond that total, all things being equal.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM MARCH

  • At home to: Detroit, NY Islanders, Pittsburgh, Montreal (Expected: 2-2-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Dallas, Boston, Vancouver, Los Angeles (Expected: 3-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Anaheim, Colorado (Expected: 1-1-0) (Actual: 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Colorado, Los Angeles, San Jose (Expected 1-1-1) (Actual: 0-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 7-5-1, 15 points in 13 games
  • Overall current results:

I had a tough time with this one, because Edmonton may have clinched something good by the time the road trip ends and we may see some guys getting rest. The second stanza should allow the club to grab some daylight and secure a top three spot in the Pacific. Either way, I am satisfied this is in the range of reasonable. If the Oilers do cover this month’s bet, they will enter April with a record of  41-27-9, good for 91 points with five games to play. Can Calgary keep pace? Hang on, this is going to be fun!

OILERS FORWARDS, 2016-17

  • Connor McDavid is going to dominate the postseason front pages, as the ‘contract’ will move from the backburner to the spot above the fold.
  • I am going to assume $12.5M times eight and be thrilled if it goes below that number.
  • Jordan Eberle is at 1.56/60 now, he is making steady progress. He has been such a consistent player, I half expect him to score 12 in the last 18 to hit 25 again.
  • Milan Lucic is No. 7 among forwards in 5×5 points.
  • David Desharnais will line up with Anton Slepyshev and Zack Kassian according to reports. I think he could be very effective if his line gets some cherry minutes like Derek Roy utilized a couple of years ago.
  • Nuge is coming along a little, Darcy has been showing the RNH line is getting a little more clean air nightly and the offense is returning to his game. Very big item if this team plans on winning playoff games.
  • Benoit Pouliot is skating again, Oilers seems to be slow-playing return. I suspect they want to make sure he is right before the playoffs, which makes sense.

DEFENSE, 2016-17

  • DFF is via GMoney and Woodguy with my sincere thanks and appreciation.
  • Interesting to see there is a big 5 in terms of elites are Sekera, Russell, Larsson, Klefbom and Matt Benning—all at 34 percent or more.
  • DFF Rel Comp shows Nurse and Benning doing well, and Benning is doing it while playing some tough minutes. Good days.
  • Oscar Klefbom’s nine EV goals have him No. 3 among defensemen in the category.
  • Klefbom—Larsson is starting to get some love now, I think that little session where Larsson was hurt may have re-set his value with a lot of Oilers fans. I know defensive defensemen are the enemy for many in Oilersnation, but it pleases me that Larsson is getting some positive attention.

GOALIE

  • Cam Talbot overall: .920 (No. 8 among regulars)
  • Cam Talbot even strength: .928 (No. 8 among regulars)
  • Cam Talbot against power play: .878 (No. 13 among regulars)

He has been very good this season, even with the dip in SP against the power play. I spoke to Sunil Agnihotri on Monday, he reminded me that the SA/60 metric 4×5 has been poor all year, but the goalie had been bailing out the team. Edmonton gives up 55.6 shots per 60 in all shorthanded situations, about six more than provincial rival Calgary. If the Oilers want to win a playoff round, tightening that number should be a priority. We do know that coach Todd McLellan has been working on it over the week, still wonder about his personnel and we will see tonight what they have planned.

CURRENT STANDINGS

  • Edmonton and Calgary are separated by a mere two points now and the Flames have been putting the boots to opponents for some time. Edmonton had to get through that tough February schedule, but should be able to keep pact with the Flames—and possibly put them away by the middle of the month. Winning tonight means they will be four points up with 17 to play, and I like the chances of the northern town based on strength of schedule. St. Louis has a truly insane schedule—it’s so easy—but they don’t look much good right now. It is possible we see five Pacific teams make it, incredibly.

TOTAL RECALL

I have been thinking about Justin Fontaine this week, about how likely it is we see him as part of the recall group between now and the end of the year. Each team can make four recalls, plus emergencies, from now to the end of the season. Here is my list:

  1. Jordan Oesterle
  2. Anton Lander
  3. Jesse Puljujarvi
  4. Griffin Reinhart
  5. Mark Fayne
  6. Justin Fontaine

Is that about right? I would have Fayne as the top option, but it is clear the Oilers do not regard him as a solution to anything beyond Gryba injury. I think Fontaine would have to impact things in Bakersfield in order to receive a recall, and guys like Slepyshev, Khaira and Caggiula are going to get every chance to show their stuff.

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503 Responses to "G65 2016-17 RED WINGS AT OILERS"

« Older Comments
  1. Professor Q says:

    Melvis:
    Mantha. I thought he was our guy..lol. Any relation?

    Seems not:

    “Ryan Mantha (no relation to Anthony), is another big blueliner out of the USHL. He recently won a Clark Cup Championship with the Indiana Ice. I’m unsure what to make of his play this season. While the size he brings to the table is unmatched, he has been rather inconsistent throughout the season. He also doesn’t play the body as well as he should, given his stature.”

    http://thehockeywriters.com/ryan-mantha-the-next-ones-nhl-2014-draft-prospect-profile/

  2. Melvis says:

    Professor Q,

    Thanks for that.

  3. sliderule says:

    Leon better get his head in game.

    He has been a turnover machine.

    Wings will pop one if he keeps coughing it up

  4. jake70 says:

    sliderule:
    Leon better get his head in game.

    He has been a turnover machine.

    Wings will pop one if he keeps coughing it up

    He’s been turning the puck over a lot lately blind and lazy passes

  5. Lowetide says:

    Oilers getting the doors blown off to open the third period.

  6. treevojo says:

    Good d by larsson

  7. Diablo says:

    jake70: He’s been turning the puck over a lotlately blind and lazy passes

    As good as McDavid has been offensively, that line has been getting shelled in the D-zone lately.

  8. Diablo says:

    Man, Desharíais has been making a ton of plays so far.

  9. unca miltie says:

    That one was needed

  10. Lucinius says:

    Eberle finally found his back-hand.

  11. treevojo says:

    That’s the backhand everyone fell in love with

  12. Diablo says:

    Classic Ebs

  13. russ99 says:

    Ebs with the backhand!!

  14. OilClog says:

    The Ebs of Old!

  15. hunter1909 says:

    That’s Eberle making like Glenn Anderson in the 1987 finals.

  16. Melvis says:

    The echo in the room. I’m liking the Desharnais add.

  17. hunter1909 says:

    Melvis:
    The echo in the room. I’m liking the Desharnais add.

    Ex Habs lol

  18. flyfish1168 says:

    3 different lines with a goal tonight

  19. Oil2Oilers says:

    Eberle will never score again 😜

  20. Melvis says:

    OK Nuge. Bring out the witch of old. Wrap it up.

  21. hunter1909 says:

    sliderule: Leon better get his head in game.
    He has been a turnover machine.

    What a shitty player.

  22. Rebilled says:

    Thank the gods of the six planets.

  23. Lowetide says:

    Eberle scored

  24. Rondo says:

    If McDavid had a true sniper on his line the scoring race would be over. Oilers would be a better team.

  25. russ99 says:

    Ugh. That sucked.

  26. OilClog says:

    Louie calls out the refs with the missed call leading to the goal against.. Detroit’s entire game plan is interference then more interference

  27. LMHF#1 says:

    That Kassian move with the puck in the corner. Wow. Just owning that real estate tonight.

  28. Centre of attention says:

    Helm’s cheating for offense there so if that pass doesn’t work out the Oilers have an odd man rush the other way. The way she goes boys.

  29. ASkoreyko says:

    DD is looking pretty impressive so far. Looks like a very solid pickup by PC. Really creates an effective 3rd line so far.

    Loving it.

  30. Zelepukin says:

    We need a name for the Kass line because they are dominating.

  31. Lowetide says:

    Maroon scored.

  32. russ99 says:

    Nice pass Drai.

  33. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    That was the goal the Oilers never used to get the past decade. Thank goodness for that. Breathing room.

  34. Yak Efron says:

    How does HyunDrai do it?!??

  35. russ99 says:

    Zelepukin:
    We need a name for the Kass line because they are dominating.

    Two smurfs and a giant?

  36. Zelepukin says:

    russ99: Two smurfs and a giant?

    MasterBlasters

  37. russ99 says:

    Zelepukin: MasterBlasters

    Lol!!!

  38. OilClog says:

    Leon looks gassed he’s got a bit of drunken shaolin master style going on

  39. russ99 says:

    Looch really playing great in the crease tonight

  40. Gerta Rauss says:

    oh boy….it would be 8-2 without Terry Sawchuk in net…

  41. Younger Oil says:

    The Wings look a lot like the Oilers did 7-8 years ago, in my opinion at least.

  42. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    russ99:
    Looch really playing great in the crease tonit,

    Took them a while but it looks like that trio is starting to figure out what makes them work. Interesting to see Caggiula-Desharnais-Kassian figure it out in a few minutes. Chemistry. Can’t quantify it, but it’s a thing.

  43. vinotintazo says:

    Zelepukin:
    We need a name for the Kass line because they are dominating.

    The Habsline. Once pouliot makes it there

  44. Rebilled says:

    It’s very strange to watch a tense game in March.

    Very great.

  45. hunter1909 says:

    Excellent game.

  46. OilClog says:

    Zelepukin:
    We need a name for the Kass line because they are dominating.

    Two top 4 defenders and a bag of pucks

  47. Rondo says:

    Detroit is playing back to back lost 4 players in trades and is in the bottom 1/4 of the league.

  48. OilClog says:

    Rebilled:
    It’s very strange to watch a tense game in March.

    Very great.

    Might need to go have the ticker tested, been a decade since it’s last real workout

  49. russ99 says:

    Damn. Looch crushed Larkin.

  50. OilClog says:

    Rondo:
    Detroit is playing back to back lost 4 players in trades and is in the bottom 1/4of the league.

    Hi Remenda

  51. delooper says:

    Okay, the Oilers are a better team than I thought they’d be at this point. And I thought I was being wildly optimistic in my hopes.

  52. Chachi says:

    Detroit has not had a powerplay tonight. Welcome to what the rest of the league had to put up with for the last 25 years you dirtbags.

  53. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    I see LA has pulled their goalie with 5 mins left.

    Edit- that might have been NHL.com messing up a delayed penalty call.

  54. hunter1909 says:

    Rondo:
    Detroit is playing back to back lost 4 players in trades and is in the bottom 1/4of the league.

    Would you like me to cry?

  55. Oil2Oilers says:

    hunter1909:
    Excellent game.

    On a Saturday night even. Not even concerned by the late goal against, honest

  56. LMHF#1 says:

    Nurse and Gryba doing SFA in front of the net. Brutal.

  57. hunter1909 says:

    Oh boy.

  58. Melvis says:

    JFC three wings behind the D.

  59. russ99 says:

    4 guys too high up cherry picking for the empty netter.

  60. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    That’s what we got the insurance for!

  61. hunter1909 says:

    The MUFC of hockey.

  62. square_wheels says:

    The Wings still master the set plays.

    Something to learn watching them.

  63. russ99 says:

    A little too close at the end, but a nice win.

  64. square_wheels says:

    Come on Vancouver, quit sucking

  65. Gerta Rauss says:

    Rondo:
    Detroit is playing back to back lost 4 players in trades and is in the bottom 1/4of the league.

    And played with 5D for most of the night..and we beat them pretty handily tonight

    It was a nice win, lots to like tonight

  66. Chachi says:

    Great presence of mind by McDavid to go ahead and haul that guy down with almost no time left.

  67. Diablo says:

    Good win, despite the defensive miscues. Desharnais was noticeable in a good way tonight – hope he keeps it up.

  68. npanciroli says:

    Could have easily been 8-3, all lines looked great.

  69. square_wheels says:

    You have one thing to do Vancouver. Icing on a PP is not it !

  70. who says:

    Curious decision to leave the nights worst defensive line on the ice to protect a one goal lead at the end.

  71. square_wheels says:

    Tough shit LA

  72. hunter1909 says:

    Hunter1909 2016-17 Oilers Death March Update for 4.3.17:

    With tonight’s victory over the Detroit Red Wings, Oilers now on pace for a 98 point finish. The current Death March players who predicted 98 points are the new Death March “capos” until the next game:

    The Hermit
    Johnny Larue
    Till_Horcoff_is_Coach
    Side
    98
    Kraz
    Das Zuke
    Blackadder

  73. spoiler says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    Remarked the same thing in my living room… “it hasn’t been half a game and the Deshay line looks like they’ve been playing together all their life.”

  74. striatic says:

    square_wheels:
    Tough shit LA

    Is there a reason we want LA in particular to do badly?

  75. Mr. D. says:

    Ya chop them down..oh Ya..that’s a penalty.

    LMHF#1:
    Nurse and Gryba doing SFA in front of the net. Brutal.

  76. spoiler says:

    hunter1909,

    I’m loving these. It’s like our own yellow jersey ceremony.

    What did you take, Hunter?

  77. russ99 says:

    striatic: Is there a reason we want LA in particular to do badly?

    We play them three more times?

    I’d rather Calgary lose and LA get past them.

  78. OriginalPouzar says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    OriginalPouzar,

    We both know you’re not sorry. Bringing up an old meme from around here where people start with “I’m sorry…” before going on a rant.

    I have asked you to move on several times after saying we just disagree on this. Not asking any more. Stop being a dink and enjoy the game. Life is too short to get so worked up about someone else’s opinion.

    I was in no way being a dink. Want rant are you talking about? I was simply explaining my position, once again. I don’t need to move on just because you want me to. I was just trying to have a conversation about a point. Asking the other person to “agree to disagree” isn’t acceptable to me in this case as you have simply not been able to provide me with anything to agree on.

    Do you not agree with the material difference between a contract that ends with a player as an RFA and one that ends as a UFA.

    Please, take a step back and realize that you are saying you’d prefer McDavid to have a contract that ends when he is no longer an Oiler asset and can go play with any team over a contract that ends when the Oilers have McDavid’s rights – its a pretty big point which is why I’m not willing to “agree to disagree”.

  79. Jethro Tull says:

    striatic: Is there a reason we want LA in particular to do badly?

    Dustin Brown.

  80. vangolf says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Let it go. Please.

  81. spoiler says:

    OriginalPouzar: agree to disagree

    I don’t think this means what you think it means.

  82. Melvis says:

    So your sitting there… in this bar in Anytown USA. Nursing a bourbon and a beer back .Minding your own business. Just watching a small tube in the corner.

    And this clown straddles a seat one over and bends your ear for an hour about whatever crawled up his ass and died there.

    And finally you shoot him the look of love, settle up and leave.

    And his parting shot, “What are you so pissed about?”

    “Originality”.

  83. LMHF#1 says:

    Mr. D.:
    Ya chop them down..oh Ya..that’s a penalty.

    Get on the defensive side of the play, and be ready to tie up the stick. It’s not rocket science.

    It’s also late enough in the game that you can get away with “falling” and bringing the other guy down. That was always one of my favorite tricks in front of the net.

  84. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    That was a big game to win. I think a loss would have given Calgary hope of catching us. This keeps the heat on and sets the tone for the stretch run of home games. And the score flattered the Wings. Promising signs, especially with a 3rd line that finally looked effective.

  85. Centre of attention says:

    Larsson’s stache’ is straight out of the 1970’s

  86. treevojo says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Like a 🐶 with a 🍖

    He’s asked nicely multiple times.

    This isn’t a matter of numbers where someone is right and someone is wrong.

  87. Bulging Twine says:

    Larsson has one more even strength point than TJ Brodie.
    3 more than Giordano.
    tied with Eckman- Larsson

  88. Centre of attention says:

    Bulging Twine,

    He’s a great two-way D isn’t he?

  89. prairieschooner says:

    Why did Detroit put the goalie back in on the two icings with 12 seconds left in the game?

  90. Mustard Tiger says:

    prairieschooner:
    Why did Detroit put the goalie back in on the two icings with 12 seconds left in the game?

    Great question. If you lose the face-off you’re out of time anyway so I think the goalie should remain out

  91. Side says:

    hunter1909:
    Hunter1909 2016-17 Oilers Death March Update for 4.3.17:

    With tonight’s victory over the Detroit Red Wings, Oilers now on pace for a 98 point finish. The current Death March players who predicted 98 points are the new Death March“capos” until the next game:

    The Hermit
    Johnny Larue
    Till_Horcoff_is_Coach
    Side
    98
    Kraz
    Das Zuke
    Blackadder

    Awwhhh yeahhh!

  92. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Bulging Twine,

    Centre of attention,

    He is very good now and coming into his own. When we stop to think about:
    1) He moved cities
    2) He moved countries
    3) He moved from anonymity in New Jersey to the fishbowl of Edmonton
    4) He changed teams
    5) He changed coaches
    6) He changed D-partners
    7) He changed systems
    8) He changed teammates
    9) He had enormous shoes and expectations to fill based on what was given up for him
    10) He was known in New Jersey for being a bit of a slow starter anyway
    11) He is still young and hasn’t even hit the 400 game mark in his career so has room to grow.

    I think most sane voices were saying, give him this year to get settled in.
    And he is now rounding into form. Tonight he was skating the puck up himself a lot more than I’d seen him early in the season. He looks a lot more comfortable out there.

    The future is bright for Klef-Larsson. I fully believe they will blossom into a bonafide top pairing by about this time next season. They are well on their way and their skill sets complement each other so nicely. Klef a bit of a gambler and Larsson the conservative player.

    Now, I think I said back in November they would eventually be a middle-of-the-pack or slightly below average top pairing D and some people thought I was being critical. To me, not every team, by definition can have an above average top pairing. But this pairing makes 8m combined. That’s great.

    Also, if you look at a list…just some guesses, your mileage may vary:
    Josi-Subban
    Hedman-Stralman
    Keith-Hjalmarsson
    Brodie-Giordano
    Muzzin-Doughty
    Ekholm-Ellis
    Vlasic-Braun
    LIndholm-Manson
    Slavin-Faulk
    Suter-Spurgeon
    Methot (or anyone)-Karlsson

    I am probably missing a few, but think Klef-Larsson will be in that mix, especially as a few of those guys up there will probably age. They’ll be in good company anyway.

    Happy days ahead.

  93. spoiler says:

    LT said:

    •Overall expected result: 7-5-1, 15 points in 13 games

    I like this as a line in the sand. I think they can do better, and not because they dominated a weak Wings side, but it looks like some form of scoring balance might be achievable.

  94. jake70 says:

    Rondo:
    If McDavid had a true sniper on his linethe scoring race would be over.Oilers would be a better team.

    Top line has 3 left shooters. Need a righty shooter. Don’t laugh but just for shits and giggles be interesting to see Letestu on that line playing on the left part of the O zone, for a game.

    Turns out they needed the 4th goal to win (now if they dont’ score that goal, the game dynamics may have been such Detroit doesn’t score their own 3rd goal) – they got a little lucky because the pass from 97 to 29 didn’t go in but 29 ended up with hit to get it to 19 who scored. Again, 97 needs to shoot there, he is 10-12 feet out point blank.

  95. Professor Q says:

    jake70,

    Ovechkin? 😉

  96. Professor Q says:

    Interesting point about the game last night: 22 seemed to be the magic number.

    22 goals & 22 multipoint games for McDavid.

    22 saves by Talbot. Maybe there were more, too?

  97. OriginalPouzar says:

    treevojo:
    OriginalPouzar,

    Like a with a

    He’s asked nicely multiple times.

    This isn’t a matter of numbers where someone is right and someone is wrong.

    Yes, it kind of is because it is the difference between an RFA and a UFA.

    If people really wanted me to let it go, they could simply not respond to me – i’m not spamming with this, just responding to comments I don’t agree with.

    Great game last night – had four lines and 3D pair going.

    It feels great to win on a night when the other team’s tender actually outplays ours – that is rare!

  98. marconiuse says:

    hunter1909,

    Could I impose on you to remind me what I predicted?

  99. square_wheels says:

    striatic,

    Just to grind the salt into those terrible contracts and their horrible “old school” style.

    Fuck LA.

  100. N64 says:

    marconiuse:
    hunter1909,

    Could I impose on you to remind me what I predicted?

    http://lowetide.ca/2016/10/12/g1-2016-17-flames-at-oilers/comment-page-1/#comment-571010

    MARCONIUSE says:
    October 12, 2016 at 10:46 am
    Hi Hunter,
    Put me down for 95 points please
    Go oilers
    *clap clap*

  101. Pouzar says:

    RealPouzar says nice win.

  102. marconiuse says:

    N64,

    Thanks!

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