The Edmonton Oilers are winners of three out of their last four games, are two goals below NHL average (78-80) and 11 goals against below average (80-91) for the season. They have Adam Larsson, Cam Talbot and Andrej Sekera on IR, two new hires in Brandon Davidson and Nathan Walker, and four lines with a story to tell. Philly is in town. Prepare for crazy.
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- New Lowetide: Just win, baby. Or else!
- New Tyler Dellow: Western Conference coaches and line matching
- New James Mirtle: A crazy year at The Athletic!
- New Lowetide: Anton Slepyshev: We Hoped for the best but it turned out the same
- Lowetide: Welcome back Brandon Davidson!
- Lowetide: Walker, Australian Oiler
- Lowetide: Oilers No. 1 Prospect Winter 2017: Kailer Yamamoto
- Lowetide: Oilers No. 2 Prospect Winter 2017: Jesse Puljujarvi
- Lowetide: Oilers No. 3 Prospect Winter 2017: Ethan Bear
- Lowetide: Oilers No. 4 Prospect Winter 2017: Caleb Jones
- Lowetide: Oilers No. 5 Prospect Winter 2017: Tyler Benson
- Lowetide: Oilers No. 6 Prospect Winter 2017: Kirill Maksimov
- Lowetide: Oilers No. 7 Prospect Winter 2017: Ostap Safin
- Lowetide: Oilers No. 8 Prospect Winter 2017: Filip Berglund
- Lowetide: Oilers No. 9 Prospect Winter 2017: Jujhar Khaira
- Lowetide: Oilers No. 10 Prospect Winter 2017: Nick Ellis
- Lowetide: Oilers No 11-20 Prospects Winter 2017
- Lowetide: Moonstruck
- Lowetide: Fresh Farm Produce
- Lowetide: Analyzing the Mike Cammalleri trade.
- Lowetide: Peter Chiarelli’s Media Conference
- Lowetide: Finding the Off Ramp
LONG DECEMBER, YEAR OVER YEAR
- December 2015: 1-0-0, goal differential 0
- December 2016: 1-0-0, goal differential +3
- December 2017: 1-0-0, goal differential +2
G2 December 2015 was a 2-1 win in overtime over Dallas, and it was a 3-2 OT win against Anaheim one year ago. Wins are either vital or unnecessary depending on how far gone you view this season. A win tonight (and losses by Calgary and Anaheim) puts Edmonton two points back of the Ducks and three behind the Flames. It”s there, climbing back into this race, but the injuries are substantial now.
AFTER 28, YEAR OVER YEAR
- Oilers 15-16: 10-15-2, goal differential -15
- Oilers 16-17: 14-10-3, goal differential +10
- Oilers 17-18: 11-14-2, goal differential -13
G28 in 2015-16 was a 4-2 win over Buffalo that featured goals from Teddy Purcell and Luke Gazdic. Last year it was a 4-3 OT loss to Buffalo on a Rasmus Ristolainen goal. A win tonight gets Edmonton to within a whisker of point-per-game for the season.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM DECEMBER
- On the road to: Calgary (Expected: 0-0-1) (Actual: 1-0-0)
- At home to: Philadelphia (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual: 0-0-0)
- On the road to: Montreal, Toronto, Columbus (Expected 1-2-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
- At home to: Nashville (Expected 0-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
- On the road to: Minnesota (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
- At home to: San Jose, St. Louis, Montreal (Expected 1-1-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
- On the road to: Winnipeg (Expected 0-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
- At home to: Chicago, Winnipeg (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
- Overall expected result: 5-6-2, 12 points in 13 games
- Current results: 1-0-0, two points in one game
Once every blue moon I write a personal opinion blog (last year around Christmas) and I thought it would be a good time for another. A month from now, we might be in full draft and deadline sell mode, so this is the last chance for a lot of these discussion points.
- Grab a goalie. I’ve always felt, based on usage, coach Todd McLellan lacked confidence in Laurent Brossoit. If the opportunity arises to procure a veteran who can run with the job this month, make it so. A third-round pick and risk of Brossoit on waivers isn’t enough to stop that train.
- Sign Patrick Maroon if the money and term are right. If not, trade at the deadline. One of Chiarelli’s best trades, Maroon is on pace for 24 goals, after scoring 27 a year ago. If the club can sign him to something around $4 million a year and for something in the range of three years, then make it so. If not, offload him for the new Maroon, a player in a similar position to the one PM faced in Anaheim deadline 2016. A speed merchant who shoots a lot would be ideal.
- Keep all the defensemen, once they’re healthy. Edmonton has Adam Larsson and Andrej Sekera on IR currently, with Darnell Nurse, Kris Russell, Oscar Klefbom, Matt Benning, Brandon Davidson, Eric Gryba and Yohann Auvitu holding down the fort. I’d keep eight defensemen when everyone returns. Seriously. The Oilers may end up running Klefbom-Larsson, Nurse-Sekera as top 4D and can rotate the rest.
- Don’t trade Klefbom or the Nuge, now or in summer. I think this is the big one. The cluster, as I see it, is McDavid, Draisaitl, Nuge, Puljujarvi, Yamamoto, Klefbom, Larsson, Nurse, Benning. That’s your no-fly zone right there.
- Peter Chiarelli should recognize the high-risk trade is not for him. A hold over from a year ago, it still applies.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A fun return this morning at 10, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:
- Darcy McLeod, Because Oilers. The new arrivals, what to do in goal until Talbot returns.
- Gerry Moddejonge, Post Media. Eskimos send a mittful to the All-Star team.
- Corey Pronman, The Athletic. Team Canada’s WJ invite list goes down at 11 this morning, Corey will give his opinions.
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Glad to be back on the radio!