In the middle of the game, Patrick Maroon said ‘to hell with this noise’ and got things back to even. After that, it felt like a game either side could win, but Edmonton didn’t cash any of their chances and Wayne Simmonds put it all to rest late in the game. We’re on to Crosbyville.
- Todd McLellan: “We made one more mistake than they did & they got one more on the power play than we did.” Source
OH BOTHER, YEAR OVER YEAR
- Oilers in October 2015: 3-4-0, goal differential -2
- Oilers in October 2016: 6-1-0, goal differential +10
- Oilers in October 2017: 2-5-0, goal differential -8
This is officially the worst start of the Chiarell-McLellan era, and at this point we can expect some movement. It might be subtle, something like more mention of ‘build-mode’ during avails, and the return of Leon Draisaitl on Tuesday. At the other end of the spectrum, a real tweak in the roster, something substantial. I call for this all the time, but Peter Chiarelli owes it to his team to make sure they’re competitive. Edmonton is 2-5-0, including 1-3-0 without Leon Draisaitl. Leon’s coming back, but are you sure that’s enough?
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM OCTOBER
- At home to: Calgary (Expected: 1-0-0) (Actual 1-0-0)
- On the road to: Vancouver (Expected: 1-0-0) (Actual: 0-1-0)
- At home to: Winnipeg, Ottawa, Carolina (Expected 1-1-1) (Actual: 0-3-0)
- On the road to: Chicago, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh (Expected 1-1-1) (Actual 1-1-0)
- At home to: Dallas, Washington (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
- Overall expected result: 5-3-2, 12 points in 10 games
- Current results: 2-5-0, 4 points after seven games
The month is off the rails now, Edmonton trailing Los Angeles by nine points after seven games. There’s still time, and there are good arrows (Talbot appears to be in a good place, the team has given up three goals in the last two games) but it was pretty clear yesterday Philadelphia brought more skill to the rink. Leon Draisaitl will help, but Edmonton doesn’t have enough talent to outscore their mistakes, something they did a year ago. One of the culprits is injury, the lack of Leon and Andrej Sekera is having an effect for sure. PDO also suggests bad luck but I think it’s reasonable to suggest Edmonton lacks secondary scoring on merit: There isn’t enough skill on the roster.
DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT
- Klefbom—Larsson went 18-20 together (13-10 Fenwick), Larsson also spent an eventful 1:28 with Russell (both teams scoring in those 98 seconds). Duo went 9-17 against Giroux—Couturier—Voracek, that line is an absolute handful.
- Nurse—Gryba went 14-7 and that included 7-1 in scoring chances together. The duo played more than Russell—Benning, making them the de fact second pairing on the afternoon. Went 5-5 against the Couturier line and 5-1 against the Laughton trio. Gryba gets beaten wide and is playing too much for 7D, but math has never loved him more.
- Russell—Benning went 9-11 together and there were issues for both men. Benning’s passes, a real strength one year ago, often result in less than ideal outcomes. One example from yesterday saw Benning send the puck from behind his net to Russell—who was covered like a blanket by a forechecker. The spot on the ice from the faceoff dot to just past Edmonton’s blue line was the exact location of the loss. Russell had his own issues, off balance and then diving on the first goal (unlucky too, puck went right to Giroux) and then the obvious “also in photo” execution on the winning goal. I’m more inclined to finger the man who released his mark (Ryan Strome), others blame Connor McDavid for a sloppy line change. One thing I’ve learned about Kris Russell: If you don’t like him, you really don’t like him and that’s fine, we can talk of other things. One thing we can say is that KR did not save the day on either play.
- Cam Talbot was good again to my eye, no fault on either goal unless you didn’t like the rebound on the power-play marker. He stopped 22 of 24, .917. That should be good for a point at least most nights.
- Natural Stat Trick and NHL.com.
- Maroon—McDavid—Yamamoto counted the only goal, a stellar tally by Patrick Maroon that included so much hard work and some skill. Oilers need some more ugly goals, good for the big winger. The line itself won the possession and scoring battle, were 2-2 in HDSC’s. Mcdavid is shooting more and that’s good, suspect he’s due for a big game. Yamamoto remains without a goal, Leon edges nearer the 1R job. McDavid took a high stick from Adam Larsson, causing heart attacks across Oilers Nation.
- Lucic—Nuge—Strome went 5-12 and of course were on the ice for the winning goal. Lots of blame to go around, but the play was under control until Strome released his man, so that’s my culprit. Three shots for the line, no HD scoring chances, I like the trio’s work so far but they have to be more dangerous every night.
- Pakarinen—Letestu—Kassian went 6-7 together, Kassian also going 5-5 with the Malone line. Slepyshev moved to the Letestu line in the shuffle. Letestu had three shots on goal, one at even strength.
- Jokinen—Malone—Kassian went 5-5 together, Slepyshev was 4-0 with Malone. Slepyshev had one individual HD chance (hit the post). Corgi’s for the bottom 6F’s was reasonable but they have to start cashing goals soon. I also think Anton Slepyshev has earned a trip up the depth chart.
- I get the PDO argument, but the Oilers also looked sleepy at the start of the game and were down one goal early (again). Need to clean that up.
"If I'm the Edmonton Oilers, I'm calling the Montreal Canadiens and asking for Max Pacioretty"-Friedman
— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) October 22, 2017
In a way, this trade writes itself. Nuge for Max Pacioretty helps next year’s cap and gives the Oilers the closest player to Taylor Hall in the NHL (possibly more valuable because Pacioretty scores more goals per 82 games). When I spoke to Jen Lute Costella about Hall, she named MP as the most similar player in terms of transportation (mostly likely to be his own carrier from own zone through goal or first assist, thereby creating a goal all by his lonesome).
I don’t think the trade happens and I don’t think it’s good value (Nuge is 24 and has four years left before free agency, Pacioretty has two years left and is 28). That said, it’s similar in this way to recent Peter Chiarelli trades in terms of value, so that may not prohibit the trade. I don’t think either team would be willing to make such a massive deal this early in the season.
Based on verbal, sounds like the young man is going to get more than nine games in the NHL. I think it’s questionable if you’re looking to make the postseason, and curious if you’re focused on development.
If Kailer Yamamoto plays all year on 97’s wing, going 15-25-40, is that success? I like this player’s skill very much. Also wonder if the organization is still so focused on development, the possibility of wasting Connor McDavid’s final entry-level year is an acceptable cost of said development. Another month like this one and we won’t have to ask the question. It’s reasonable to assume there is urgency in Oilers management. Is there a beneficial trade out there?