G68 2016-17: CANADIENS AT OILERS

Are we having fun yet? The Montreal Canadiens of my youth were probably the most famous athletes in Canada at the time. The 1970-71 team featured an iconic old guard , led by Jean Beliveau, Henri Richard, newly acquired Frank Mahovlich and John Ferguson; a stunning prime group that included Yvan Cournoyer, Jacques Lemaire, Jacques Laperriere, Serge Savard and Rogie Vachon; and an emerging group that included Peter Mahovlich, Guy Lapointe, Marc Tardif and Rejean Houle. Oh, and they called up Ken Dryden with six games to go in the regular season.

I can still see them in my mind’s eye, as they were in that season, youth designed to replace age in perfect time, and the roster quality so tight no one player was forced to take on more than he could handle. One of the key items for Montreal that season was Houle, a young two-way player of outstanding quality. John Ferguson, a warrior similar to Milan Lucic, was no longer able to handle the checking role that was entrusted to him. The young rookie, in his first playoff, was the reliable man on the line, and the club won Stanley. As painful as it was to watch these Habs crush my Bruins and all who stood in their way, it was also impressive to see a team so well prepared.

Those Montreal Canadiens teams of my youth were towering rosters, made to win Stanley every spring. And you know what? They damned near did. I will admit there are times I think about digging up Sam Pollock so I can yell at him in person, but even I can admit he created a work art those long years ago.

WHAT THE HELL I GOT, 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 in March 2016: 8-8-0, goal differential +5
  • Oilers in March 2017: 1-1-1, goal differential -2
  • Oilers after 67, 2015-16: 25-35-7, goal differential -37
  • Oilers after 67, 2016-17: 35-23-9, goal differential +14

G68 a year ago saw the Oilers win a tight one over the Winnipeg Jets, as Cam Talbot stopped 39 of 40 shots. Every Mother’s son will talk all day about the Oilers choking, but the truth is the Edmonton Oilers haven’t had a bad month since November, and even then it wasn’t a disaster. Sometimes you have to give the other man his due, and we are at that moment today.

 WHAT TO EXPECT FROM MARCH

  • At home to: Detroit, NY Islanders, Pittsburgh, Montreal (Expected: 2-2-0) (Actual 1-1-1)
  • 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
  • Current results: 1-1-1, 3 points in 3 games

Tonight is a tough game, but it will be followed by what should be an easier week for the Oilers. There are still some fans who are worrying about the playoffs, but for me this Edmonton team has shown a lot no matter the outcome. That Penguins game was a watershed moment for me. The Oilers are being challenged, do they have a response?

HYPHEN MADNESS

Elliotte Friedman reports the Oilers are one of the teams chasing another free player, and now that they have proven able to grab these really good college free agents, we best pay attention. NHLE is 82gp, 26-26-52 and I imagine he is NHL-ready or close.

  • Kirk Luedeke:“He’s a smart 200-foot kind of a guy. He doesn’t have a ton of size, but he plays bigger. He’s heavy on pucks, he’s responsible, he’s diligent, he works hard along the walls and he goes to the dirty areas and he’s got some jam. The offense has really come up in the last couple of seasons, especially this season, that’s what’s getting a lot of people’s attentions, but the foundation is there.”
  • Source

GOD’S FLASHLIGHT

  • No. 4: Connor McDavid 2.61
  • No. 81: Patrick Maroon 1.70
  • No. 84: Leon Draisaitl 1.69
  • No. 111: Jordan Eberle 1.55
  • No. 149: RNH 1.30
  • No. 161: Milan Lucic 1.09
  • Source

This is 750 or more minutes, 5×5 points-per-60. I call this God’s flashlight because there is no way to hide. If you are a top 6F, and better than average, then you must be inside the Top 90 (or so) for the season. Some nice recovery for that 2line, but they waited so very late and are still well back. Jordan Eberle looks like he is the one second line player  who is going to recover his season.

STANDINGS 

Based on dm’s and email verbal you have sent to me, the latest standings are not wildly popular in good old our town. What’s more, my efforts to calm the waters and suggest this is an excellent challenge for an emerging team seem to have enraged you. So, let’s stick with the facts and hopefully we can all find some peace in the valley.

Edmonton remains in a very good place, despite the historic run from Calgary and the performance spike by the Los Angeles Kings. Let’s run the records for the teams in question over the last 10 games:

  1. Calgary Flames 9-0-1, 19 points
  2. Los Angeles Kings 5-3-2, 12 points
  3. Edmonton Oilers 5-4-1, 11 points
  4. Anaheim Ducks 5-5-0, 10 points
  5. St. Louis Blues 5-5-0, 10 points

There is exactly one surging team (CGY) and the rest are basically running a typical record for a Bettman-era NHL team. The Oilers had some tough road games during their last 10, and are about to head into the easier part of the March campaign. Miles to go, and I understand the difficulty in watching the Flames pass Edmonton. However, they are full value for their record, recovering beautifully from a terrible start. Calgary could win the division, and push deep into the playoffs. Their team is more mature and balanced, while Edmonton has a ways to go. This is going to be a terrific run to the end of the season, I can’t wait to see how this team responds.

  • Oilers next 5: Montreal, Dallas, Boston, Vancouver, Los Angeles
  • Flames next 5: Pittsburgh, Boston, Dallas, Los Angeles, @Washington
  • Kings next 5: St. Louis, Arizona, Buffalo, @Calgary, @Edmonton

LAST 10 GAMES

  1. C Connor McDavid 10, 5-7-12
  2. R Jordan Eberle 10, 3-4-7
  3. R Leon Draisaitl 10, 2-4-6
  4. L Milan Lucic 10, 3-3-6
  5. C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 10, 2-4-6
  6. LD Oscar Klefbom 10, 2-3-5
  7. RC Mark Letestu 10, 2-3-5
  8. R Zack Kassian 10, 2-2-4
  9. L Patrick Maroon 10, 1-3-4
  10. RD Adam Larsson  8, 1-2-3
  11. RD Matt Benning 9, 1-2-3
  12. LC David Desharnais 3, 1-1-2
  13. RD Eric Gryba 7,0-2-2
  14. LD Kris Russell 6, 1-1-2
  15. R Iiro Pakarinen 8, 1-1-2
  16. L Matt Hendricks 10, 1-1-2
  17. LD Andrej Sekera 10, 0-2-2
  18. LC Drake Caggiula 8, 0-1-1
  19. G Cam Talbot 9, 2.56 .914
  20. G Laurent Brossoit 1, 3.09 .889

Five forwards have been scoring at good to great levels over the last 10, with Patrick Maroon the only slumping member of the top 6F at this time. Oscar Klefbom, Mark Letestu and Zack Kassian have also scored well during this period, and David Desharnais has had early offensive success.

WHY AREN’T YOU IN FULL PANIC MODE, LT?

If you are enraged by the standings, upset at the recent performance of this Edmonton team, tweeting out verbal that suggests the current situation has long-term impact and meaning, I would like to suggest two things to you:

  1. There are going to be times like this over the next few seasons. You will get used to it.
  2. I think we have reached the point where I believe in this team more than you do.

I have always felt the Oilers, as currently set, lacked enough balance to push through into the playoffs and a first-round win. I picked the club to finish with 84 points, for heaven sake that is not a ringing endorsement. Over the season, this Edmonton Oilers team has shown me a lot, and not just Connor McDavid and Cam Talbot.

Is it possible that you no longer believe in this team just as I start to believe they can push into the postseason, even with their flaws? At the very least, we should see how this thing plays out. I will tell you that, for me, this Oilers team has already shown a tremendous amount over 2016-17. I believe in this Edmonton Oilers team, and even missing the playoffs won’t change that opinion.

So, I guess I owe you a debt of thanks. Your outrage at this team performing well in the face of an historic nine games by the Calgary Flames helped cement my view of this team as a contender.

I hope you can join me soon.

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451 Responses to "G68 2016-17: CANADIENS AT OILERS"

« Older Comments
  1. Professor Q says:

    I do notice that whenever one of our players gets into a slump or isn’t playing well, we jump to claiming that they’re nursing an injury as the first explanation.

    I’m guilty of this as well. Over the past 10 years we’ve lost the most man games to injury. It’s affected us a lot.

    Perhaps they just stop playing well?

  2. JDï™ says:

    hunter1909: 14 players tied for 1st place.

    Talk about lack of effort.

  3. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    I can’t decide what was shittier:

    1) The players
    2) The coaching
    3) The ice

  4. Johnny skid says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    I can’t decide what was shittier:

    1) The players
    2) The coaching
    3) The ice

    for me it was the final score.

  5. JDï™ says:

    Woodguy v2.0: 3) The ice

    600 million reasons to not have bad ice. From a sheer dollar point of view, that’s got to be it.

    The franchise that couldn’t run a power-point presentation well enough to announce the team name, they put their ice in last year. Ya know, to get the kinks of the new building worked out.

  6. jake70 says:

    JDï™: 600 million reasons to not have bad ice. From a sheer dollar point of view, that’s got to be it.

    The franchise that couldn’t run a power-point presentation well enough to announce the team name, they put their ice in last year. Ya know, to get the kinks of the new building worked out.

    Didn’t they say Garth Brooks played there 9 shows? His fault…..;-)

  7. Scungilli says:

    I can handle rookies making weak plays that are exactly opposite to common hockey wisdom, but not vets brought in to help.

    Or vets drafted expected to be doing the job at this point. Sure it’s not a lost year, surely we can call a bed crapping straight up. No?

    Patience yes, but let’s not forget so many commenters here and everywhere making excuses for players and coaches and GM’s, leading to what we went through, amongst the worst NHL records of all time.

    That was piss poor, to play so well and screw it up with a few weak plays. Those responsible for the let up need to go. For me it was two players in particular really not getting it done.

    This is the only way forward. The youth maturing and covering some of the weaknesses isn’t the correct solution. They need to be augmented, not carrying lesser players.

  8. JDï™ says:

    Dan Craig can make an outdoor game in California happen, but the Katz Palace? Nada.

  9. Dino says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Sorry but the Islanders and the Habs both managed to win on that ice. Not a good enough excuse.

    Coaching is to blame for a 4min PP being put to waste and that unproductive first line still being together and Hendy still being in the lineup.

    Players are to blame for playing with no urgency. They’ve played such little hockey in the past 2-3 weeks they should be refreshed and quick and mentally sharp but they aren’t. How many point shots are they going to continue to flub? All their plays either come from the rush or cycles that result in point shots. No desperation, no urgency.

  10. Professor Q says:

    JDï™:
    Dan Craig can make an outdoor game in California happen, but the Katz Palace? Nada.

    If you think about it, the ice in both arenas used by Edmonton in the past 10 years necessary shitty ever since Dan Craig left.

    Although even with his “guru” status, outdoor games even in Canada and colder places have had many issues the past few years. Lost his touch?

  11. GMB3 says:

    Leon Draisaitl looks downright disinterested and lazy

  12. JDï™ says:

    Professor Q,

    But that he can make those California games happen at all, is a tell. He should be able (with his track record), to make any indoor rink acceptable for NHL hockey.

    And to those who say that both teams played on the same ice, well one team is built with skill and speed in mind, and they lost to ‘get it to the net’ hockey.

    Does the Ferrari racing team work all year to develop the best car possible, and then run it on a gravel track? Note: I have no idea who the best F1 racing team is at the moment.

  13. GMB3 says:

    Dino:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    Sorry but the Islanders and the Habs both managed to win on that ice. Not a good enough excuse.

    Coaching is to blame for a 4min PP being put to waste and that unproductive first line still being together and Hendy still being in the lineup.

    Players are to blame for playing with no urgency. They’ve played such little hockey in the past 2-3 weeks they should be refreshed and quick and mentally sharp but they aren’t. How many point shots are they going to continue to flub? All their plays either come from the rush or cycles that result in point shots. No desperation, no urgency.

    I don’t think he used it as an excuse.

    I honestly believe that LD has either been playing hung over, he’s injured, he’s lazy, or he fails to maintain an in-season strength and conditioning program.

  14. Scungilli says:

    GMB3:
    Leon Draisaitl looks downright disinterested and lazy

    No he has some kind of issue going on. He’s old enough now to be full of piss and vinegar and he isn’t. Maybe it’s an injury, but we’ve seen this before. He runs out of gas it seems.

  15. MrEd says:

    Bob seems to be all in for a line shake-up.

    JJ-McDavid-JP
    Lucic-Leon-Eberle
    Pouliot-RNH-DD
    Maroon-Letestu-Kassian

    I’m fine with crazy.

  16. Scungilli says:

    Some players are developing nicely but still playing too high up in the order.

  17. GMB3 says:

    Scungilli: No he has some kind of issue going on. He’s old enough now to be full of piss and vinegar and he isn’t. Maybe it’s an injury, but we’ve seen this before. He runs out of gas it seems.

    He needs to fio. Not sure if he is the 2c we like to envision him as

  18. MrEd says:

    1st and 4th line wingers can swing.

  19. Lowetide says:

    I want to thank everyone for not going crazy tonight in the comments section. Very mature group and it is appreciated.

  20. Lowetide says:

    Scungilli: No he has some kind of issue going on. He’s old enough now to be full of piss and vinegar and he isn’t. Maybe it’s an injury, but we’ve seen this before. He runs out of gas it seems.

    Big men look slow and slow ice cannot be helping. I do think he has a hitch in his giddyup though.

  21. StixMalone says:

    If he is injured then he should not be on top line. That is all on coach for not icing the best line up. Of course I don’t think that has been discussed before…..

  22. Scungilli says:

    MrEd:
    Bob seems to be all in for a line shake-up.

    JJ-McDavid-JP
    Lucic-Leon-Eberle
    Pouliot-RNH-DD
    Maroon-Letestu-Kassian

    I’m fine with crazy.

    Maroon has been recession proof. He’s a third liner on most teams. I’m not slamming, he’s been a warrior and a great add, but he’s too slow. Great hockey sense though.

    For me McDavid deserves more. But it is a process to build up, and each step has a purpose if the next is an improvement.

    The Oilers needed to have 5-6 ass kickers on the team to change the perception. Scheduled fighters didn’t do it. Nobody thinks of them as light weights now. There is hacking but not punking. They will be able to replace size with skill in areas now.

    So maybe Maroon and Gryba can be replaced with more skilled players. Because it is not a good idea to run Lucic and Maroon on the same team.

  23. gogliano says:

    GMB3:
    Leon Draisaitl looks downright disinterested and lazy

    Maybe 97 stole his girl.

  24. JDï™ says:

    gogliano: Maybe 97 stole his girl.

    Shame McDavid?

  25. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    This isn’t a blame the ice for the loss comment, but that was some of the shittiest ice I have seen in a regular NHL rink in a long time.

  26. JDï™ says:

    Lowetide: I want to thank everyone for not going crazy tonight in the comments section.

    I thought I had…

  27. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    And Ducks up two on the Caps. Wound, meet salt.

  28. Dino says:

    GMB3,

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Drai needs to play 15 min a game at this point he looks beat. And this happened last year too, he cannot sustain a full 82 game season yet. That’s why I wanted Chiarelli to go grab himself another RW at the trade deadline just in case Leon can’t play there the whole time.

  29. Dino says:

    As for line shake ups. I think I would like to see Nuge and Pou up with Mcdavid now.

    67 97 93
    27 29 14
    19 13 44
    54 55 42

  30. oilersfan says:

    I cannot believe the oilers didn’t get vrbata or sharpe at the deadline. I assume both were available for a third round pick since the selling teams now have nothing for them…

    Also, can anyone say when was the last time the oilers tied a game with their goalie pulled

    The last time I can remember was when Patrick Stefan missed the empty net and hemsky scored I believe in 2009… Has it been 8 years? I think it may be….!!!

  31. frjohnk says:

    Lowetide:
    I want to thank everyone for not going crazy tonight in the comments section. Very mature group and it is appreciated.

    Easy to keep my shit together when the team is still in a firm playoff spot tonight.

    Can’t say that will be the case if we find the team in 9th place in two weeks.

  32. ashley says:

    Lowetide:
    I want to thank everyone for not going crazy tonight in the comments section. Very mature group and it is appreciated.

    We’re just getting started.

    To be fair, the Habs get full credit for the first goal. It was a lot of hard work and a nice shot by Gallagher.

    That second goal was a killer. A circus bounce. A fluke play. You can’t draw that up. It’s just a terrible misfortune.

    Price played well and earned that win full stop. He gave them a chance and they converted.

    I thought Talbot played exceptionally well and deserved better. Sekara and Larsson looked good too.

    On an average day, that game goes to OT and maybe shootout, and I like our chances against them in both extra-time competitions.

    What’s that thing about some games you are going to lose no matter what? It seems like the gods thought this should be one of those.

  33. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    One thing I agree with is the top line is getting stale.

    Maroon is ice cold and Leon looks tired.

    McDavid needs help. Give him some of Nuge, Ebs, Looch and Poo

  34. Zelepukin says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    One thing I agree with is the top line is getting stale.

    Maroon is ice cold and Leon looks tired.

    McDavid needs help. Give him some of Nuge, Ebs, Looch and Poo

    I think that line is just getting strategically out-coached. The approach for every team now is:

    Pressure the wingers down-low and force them to make a chip play rather than a clean break-out pass to the middle.
    Keep on top of McD and don’t let him breakout with possession, at all costs.
    Active sticks on Maroon in the Oil defensive zone, as he’ll be the first to lose possession.
    Close gap on Drai because he’ll look to pass to a trailer 9 times out of 10.
    Defensively keep them to the outside, as they’ll look to cycle first and dish it to the D, rather than drive the net. The D don’t have anyone with a heavy shot, so you can still keep the forwards within close proximity rather than rushing the Oil D.

  35. Georges says:

    Something about EC playoff teams. Oilers have picked up just 8 points in 15 games against that group. Boston’s the only game left.

    6 games left against WC non-playoff teams. They have 22 points in 15 games so far.

    7 games against WC playoff teams. 28 points in 22 games so far. (Although, I think that works out to 18 points in 17 games against non-Calgary teams.)

    Also, if you divide up the schedule into 10 game segments and look at whether you can predict a team’s results in the upcoming 10-game segment using the results in the previous 10-game segment, you wouldn’t do that great.

    Stuff happens.

    If we knew what was going to happen, why watch?

  36. Georges says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    One thing I agree with is the top line is getting stale.

    Maroon is ice cold and Leon looks tired.

    McDavid needs help. Give him some of Nuge, Ebs, Looch and Poo

    I’m with you. I think Lucic and Ebs are ready for the sequel.

    Not like Back to the Future 2. More like The Wrath of Khan.

  37. StixMalone says:

    Zelepukin: I think that line is just getting strategically out-coached. The approach for every team now is:

    Pressure the wingers down-low and force them to make a chip play rather than a clean break-out pass to the middle.
    Keep on top of McD and don’t let him breakout with possession, at all costs.
    Active sticks on Maroon in the Oil defensive zone, as he’ll be the first to lose possession.
    Close gap on Drai because he’ll look to pass to a trailer 9 times out of 10.
    Defensively keep them to the outside, as they’ll look to cycle first and dish it to the D, rather than drive the net.The D don’t have anyone with a heavy shot, so you can still keep the forwards within close proximity rather than rushing the Oil D.

    You see it and so does every other fan and coach. So why continue the same game plan? How does a team like Calgary or Columbus go on a big win streak in today’s game? I’m sure they change things up a bit so other teams can’t read them like yesterday’s newspaper! I don’t buy this crap about pencilling in losses. If the team buys into a coaches strategy AND executes it AND it gets them wins then said system works. This isn’t working. A team with this much fire power is being kept reined in. Trying to win 1 goal games is not this teams make up. Yet it is a preached reality. This team as of today is not a playoff contender. I think Chia has said as much. He knows it and will address it hopefully this summer. I personally feel they could perhaps win a round but they need to feel what playoff hockey is all about. Hopefully not with this system though. But I fear it’s too late ….

  38. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    https://youtu.be/npkQlbPOJbM

    Vintage Bob Cole. One of the great voices of our time

    4 min mark for Oiler fans, last 30 seconds is good, too.

  39. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Georges,

    Khaaaaaaaaaaaan!

    Great movie. Great villain.

  40. Diablo says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    One thing I agree with is the top line is getting stale.

    Maroon is ice cold and Leon looks tired.

    McDavid needs help. Give him some of Nuge, Ebs, Looch and Poo

    For what its worth, I think the coaching staff will mix things up for the next game.
    I’m sure they see the same thing we do – the 1st line is not clicking anymore. McDavid barely got the puck in the third. Leon had the pucks lots but did nothing with it – he needs to move down the second line with RNH getting a promotion to the 1st line and 1st PP.

    I’d run the lines like this:
    Lucic – McDavid – RNH (PP1)
    Maroon – Draisaitl – Eberle (PP2)
    Pouliot – Desharnais – Slepyshev
    Khaira – Letestu – Kassian

    Hendricks in the PB – its not personal, that guy is total warrior – a throw back to the 90’s teams that I used to love. But he can’t keep up anymore and he’s not going to be part of the team moving forward.

    RNH needs to be on the PP1 – that’s where he he’s been money up until this season.

  41. GMB3 says:

    Diablo: For what its worth, I think the coaching staff will mix things up for the next game.
    I’m sure they see the same thing we do – the 1st line is not clicking anymore. McDavid barely got the puck in the third. Leon had the pucks lots but did nothing with it – he needs to move down the second line with RNH getting a promotion to the 1st line and 1st PP.

    I’d run the lines like this:
    Lucic – McDavid – RNH (PP1)
    Maroon – Draisaitl – Eberle (PP2)
    Pouliot – Desharnais – Slepyshev
    Khaira – Letestu – Kassian

    Hendricks in the PB – its not personal, that guy is total warrior – a throw back to the 90’s teams that I used to love. But he can’t keep up anymore and he’s not going to be part of the team moving forward.

    RNH needs to be on the PP1 – that’s where he he’s been money up until this season.

    I agree with this, but I’m not sure if TMac will split up that second line now that they have finally developed some chemistry.

  42. GMB3 says:

    Lucic’s goal was kind of the Lucic I was expecting July 1st. More of that please!

  43. SwedishPoster says:

    The passing game was severly lacking tonight. Sloppy sloppy performance imo. Habs did a good job checking and putting pressure all over the ice but if the Oilers do a better job getting passes on teammates sticks there’s much more space available to handle the puck. How often did you see three good clean passes in a row? Not a good game, let’s move on to the next. They need a couple of wins the next few or this turns into a nailbiter down the stretch.

  44. spoiler says:

    Diablo,

    I think it was right to reward the line-up and show confidence in them after the effort against Pitt. It’s catering to the players’ expectations somewhat but that’s not necessarily something you want to mess with.

    TMac wasn’t rewarded back with a strong performance and now he has every right to make changes and the fringe players can’t begrudge them nor can linemates.

  45. kgo says:

    For whatever reason Benning reminds me of a queens grenadier …Not sure if link will.work

    queen’s grenadier guard visited at his post by his little sister https://imgur.com/gallery/QqXJ40t

  46. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Dino:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    Sorry but the Islanders and the Habs both managed to win on that ice. Not a good enough excuse.

    Coaching is to blame for a 4min PP being put to waste and that unproductive first line still being together and Hendy still being in the lineup.

    Players are to blame for playing with no urgency. They’ve played such little hockey in the past 2-3 weeks they should be refreshed and quick and mentally sharp but they aren’t. How many point shots are they going to continue to flub? All their plays either come from the rush or cycles that result in point shots. No desperation, no urgency.

    The one thing you should be sorry for is reading something into my post that wasn’t there.

  47. hunter1909 says:

    Hunter1909’s 2016-17 Oilers Death March Update:

    Oilers lose another stinker and drop to a 95 point season pace.
    14 players tied for 1st place. They are:

    Giant Squid Overlord
    Marconaise
    KGO
    Yakupov Me
    Spengler
    Ashley
    Ryan
    The Mook
    Haz Wasted
    Kev
    Doug McLachlan
    Jordan
    Voxwah
    A-Frame

  48. Gino says:

    So, everyone one is shittin bricks right now please calm down. We are witnessing the growth of a new Oiler team right before our eyes enjoy this roller coaster ride. We are in a playoff race and this team hasn’t been in one for 10 years.

  49. Pouzar says:

    Pakarinen and Hendricks are not NHLers.
    I am no TMc fan but this is my only honest quibble with this lineup. Ice your best team and let the chips fall. We can’t develop our own players if we don’t let them play.

  50. Scungilli says:

    Pouzar:
    Pakarinen and Hendricks are not NHLers.
    I am no TMc fan but this is my only honest quibble with this lineup. Ice your best team and let the chips fall. We can’t develop our own players if we don’t let them play.

    I hope this is the last season where the old college try carries weight. I hope they understand how tight the league is getting, it’s more than just enforcers that have to go now or you are choosing to play with a disadvantage.

    Edit: 3 line teams get pretty tired if they win rounds. Stanley Cup aspiring teams should have 4 playable lines as a goal, and a third pair that is at least decent – skate, pass, defend.

  51. Scungilli says:

    That loss came down to soft play by centres that was compounded by soft play by Russell on the first and both Larsson Klef on the second.

    Watched the replays:

    -on the tying goal Desharnais was looking to fly the zone. Technically Pouliot was with the D covering DD’s position, but the problem was he was behind the net. Sekera was in the corner and Russell was Jultzing in the middle where he should have seen (along with DD) that the Oilers were behind the Habs players. Two vets, don’t need those kind thanks.

    -on the winning goal McDavid was in no man’s land and not really trying to back pressure. Larsson didn’t get tight on Pacc (which is rare he usually does) and that allowed the pass. Klef was too far off Galch where if he would have been tight less chance of a deflection. Galch had enough space to get a shot off as well. Loose defending. The whole thing could have been avoided if McD was in the middle of the ice and engaged in the back check in the first place – or somebody else designated with centre duties if that’s how they do it.

    They need better centres. McD will get there, not quite a 200 footer yer

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