G29 2017-18: Oilers at Canadiens

With only fear and good judgement holding us back, The Edmonton Oilers set out on the northern sea this weekend. The club still has plenty of track this season, but the train needs to turn north in a quick damned hurry. A road trip is a fine idea, not sure the destinations are ideal. Game 29 sees a HNIC early game versus the Habs and Carey Price. Lord have mercy.

THE ATHLETIC

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LONG DECEMBER, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • December 2015: 2-0-0, goal differential +1
  • December 2016: 2-0-0, goal differential +4
  • December 2017: 1-1-0, goal differential 0

Month by month, the song remains the same. No doubt this Oilers team has the talent to pick themselves up, brush themselves off and start all over again. And they could be in contention by the new year if they put the pedal to the metal. This team can’t get motorvatin’ over the hill no way no how, maybe the road trip finds some answers. G3 December 2015 was a 4-2 win over Buffalo, one year later it was a 2-1 OT loss to Minnesota.

AFTER 29, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers 15-16: 11-15-2, goal differential -13
  • Oilers 16-17: 14-10-4, goal differential +9
  • Oilers 17-18: 11-15-2, goal differential -15

G29 in 2015 was a 4-3 OT win (Taylor Hall) over San Jose and last year a 6-5 loss to the Flyers. Edmonton can’t turn their  season around with a win tonight but they can stop the bleeding for an evening. Small victories are big steps.

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: 0-1-0)
  • 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: 1-1-0, two points in two games

I have tonight as a loss, Carey Price is back and Montreal is a different team with him in nets. The Oilers can win tonight, but the last time I saw them wasn’t inspiring. We’ll see.

PULJUJARVI VERSUS YAMAMOTO

Puljujarvi has played 11 games now, it’s a good time to compare him to Kailer Yamamoto’s nine-game audition earlier in the year. They are scoring at about the same rate per game, but there are some good indicators for both men.

  • JP is at 1.67/60 scoring 5×5, that’s a good number. What’s more, he is shooting a lot (about the same as Yamamoto) and having success (four goals already).
  • Yamamoto leads in individual and individual HD scoring chances but both players are getting good looks in this audition (partly due to quality linemates).
  • Possession numbers are excellent, KY had a better power-play experience but sample sizes.

This is a good set of numbers for Puljujarvi, offensively he’s showing well. I don’t think there’s a lot to worry about in other areas of the game, if he can score anything near 2.00/60 next season (at 20) suspect Edmonton has a good one.

WINTER TOP 40

I did the writeups at The Athletic this year but didn’t have room to list all of the prospects. I decided against including Yohann Auvitu (he isn’t going to spend a day in the system) and there are 42 names.

  • The biggest need is on each wing, the Oilers have some nice things coming. Right-wing has two top drawer youngsters, and Tyler Benson is healthy and pushing this year. Kirill Maksimov and Ostap Safin are also promising, but as is the case with KY, early days and we’ll get a much better snapshot next fall and winter.
  • Although center is an area of extreme strength up top, Jujhar Khaira and Aapeli Rasanen give the team some nice options at the position. The rest of the group can be defined as distant bells but you never know.
  • The Leftorium still exists, with Caleb Jones, William Lagesson and Dmitri Samorukov representing the best prospects at the position, but there are five righties who have a chance. An excellent number.
  • Peter Chiarelli has been aggressive in the procurement of goalies and that is reflected here.
  • Each winter, I like to draw a “line in the sand” where the legit NHL prospects end and we get to the fringe group. My estimates have 11 names being “legit” NHL prospects, your mileage may vary.

THE 2015 WINTER LIST

  • The top of the 2015 list is the best since the 1979 or 1980 (I wasn’t making lists then, honest).
  • The Leftorium was in full bloom.
  • I think the list of defenders was strong, but there are maybe five legit forward prospects in this group.

THE 2010 WINTER LIST

  • I didn’t do a 40-man list in 2010.
  • Like 2015, the top of this list is outstanding and there is some sustain. I should have had Jeff Petry higher (Guy Flaming did) and Devan Dubnyk turned out very well. I’m not sure 2015’s list (as an example) is going to have that kind of quality running behind McDavid, Draisaitl and Nurse.

Which list do you like most? Do you think the 2017 list has more depth and balance? Interesting questions. One quick note: I think, sincerely, a more matureorganization would have made more of names like Linus Omark and Magnus Paajarvi. That’s why lingering around Anton Slepyshev (as an example) and giving him extra at-bats is a good idea.

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462 Responses to "G29 2017-18: Oilers at Canadiens"

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  1. Munny says:

    What result in the late game gives both teams no points?

  2. StixMalone says:

    Pouzar: He played tonight?

    I guess so? Didn’t see much of anyone in a red jersey….

  3. rope-a-dope says:

    Did they tweak the transition game? Or did Montreal just have a poor game? They seemed to be moving the puck up ice more effectively.

  4. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Would really love to see this team + Larsson and Sekera

    Really too bad the hole they’ve dug themselves into

  5. Pouzar says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    Would really love to see this team + Larsson and Sekera

    Really too bad the hole they’ve dug themselves into

    Going to be an interesting 2018 with those two back and a Pacific Div heavy schedule.

  6. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Gagner first line C for Van tonight. Quite the job green is doing out west if that’s their best option tonight

  7. Munny says:

    Pouzar,

    Talbot too.

  8. Pouzar says:

    Munny:
    Pouzar,

    Talbot too.

    Yes and that guy.

  9. OmJo says:

    NHL . Com…

    Price: 8-11.
    Niemi 20-21.

    Oilers win 6-2.

    What am I missing here? Two EN goals?

  10. Munny says:

    Does Karlsson actually want McDavid money? Anyone been following that story?

  11. SK Oiler Fan says:

    rope-a-dope,

    I didn’t see slot of red jersey’d Forwards disrupting nuetral zone speed and passes tonight.

  12. OmJo says:

    Not gonna get excited for this team until at least after the Toronto game.

    They have to earn my excitement. Big wins tend to follow embarassing losses. And we already had one to Toronto.

    F the Leafs up tomorrow. Please.

  13. Pouzar says:

    OmJo: Not gonna get excited for this team until at least after the Toronto game.

    At least Leaves travelling back to T.O. after a game as well.

  14. flyfish1168 says:

    Having competition for ice time and the possibility of being a healthy scratch is a good motivator to give a better effort

  15. Munny says:

    Did Friedman just quote MacT?

  16. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Munny:
    Does Karlsson actually want McDavid money? Anyone been following that story?

    That’s what he should get. Time for old Whiskey nose to buck up

  17. texmex says:

    Question. Edmonton is apparently looking at Hutchison and Mrazk as backup options. (Too lazy to look up correct spelling).

    If talbot is out two weeks, could play against Nashville next Thursday the 14th

    So, what do you do. Make trade or trust LB?

  18. gogliano says:

    Puljujarvi looked like a 19 year old #3rd overall draft pick out there. On the cusp of being of a bona fide 1st line RW. Not this year but soon. Hope they keep that line together.

  19. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Oil played very well, but if Price isn’t Vezina every night this is what they are. Just a different game when you get up early which has been an oddity this year

  20. JimmyV1965 says:

    Munny:
    Does Karlsson actually want McDavid money? Anyone been following that story?

    If the cap goes up to $80 mill like they’re saying he might get more than McDavid. He’s the best dman in the league. Chia might have got lucky there signing those two guys this year and not next year.

  21. flyfish1168 says:

    Munny:
    Does Karlsson actually want McDavid money? Anyone been following that story?

    RHD and one of the best. He deserves at least PK range. With inflation and CAP going up that should mean he gets more

  22. Pouzar says:

    1st PP point for Drai tonight.

  23. JimmyV1965 says:

    I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer after such a big win, but I cringe every time our dmen are pressured down low. Benning was absolutely horrible tonight. I think I would rather see Gryba out there instead. He can’t possibly make as many mistakes. Problem is hes not great down low either.

  24. Munny says:

    Nucks with the early lead

  25. Pouzar says:

    Yeah whatever you say TMc.

    Coach McLellan said “we’ve got a ton of confidence in him” & that the young forward is back to “grinding” like he did during #Oilers training camp & preseason.

  26. Ice Sage says:

    OilClog:
    Cap goes up above 80m everyone can stay, but what would 29 bring back in a haul opposed to losing Nuge n Maroon?

    Russell will never waive, why would Sekera.. Lars is here for eternity, madman to trade Nurse, Klef days are numbered.

    Why not sit Camm, run 29 with Nuge and Maroon and allow Strome to play in his preferred spot while Slep gets some damn rope!

    7-1 Habs, Lets just hope the stink of this team doesn’t end up tainting Mcdavid for any amount of time.

    We wuz wrong. Hockey is the best!

  27. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Acumen: Sergachev is currently outscoring Drouin

    Does Steve say a high end D is a better than a high end (non elite) forward? I think he does and he is right. More impact on a game. Other than goalies. Steve drafted a goalie in the first round. 23 and he’s pretty good. Build from the net out.

  28. SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo! says:

    JimmyV1965,

    Well I know you weren’t trying to be a Debbie downer but that post sure did it 😉

    Once Larsson gets back reunite the Swedes and bump Benning down to 3rd with Davidson and we’re cooking with has.

    Lineup issues surface once Sekera gets back though.

    Overall very very solid win. It was nice to sit in another teams barn and watch the home team get torched by the good guys.

    My only problem was the powerplay. Even with two goals there wasn’t a whole lot of flow happening. JP is making a helluva case to get himself a spot on one of those units though.

    Fun game, on to TO (who have to fly back from Pittsburgh tonight) should be another good game tomorrow.

  29. Ice Sage says:

    SK Oiler Fan:
    rope-a-dope,

    I didn’t see slot of red jersey’d Forwards disrupting nuetral zone speed and passes tonight.

    This. Julien didn’t get the memo!

  30. Boil-in-the-Oil says:

    Jekyll and Hyde. Wow, that is surely the team, surely the level of play, I expected to see from the start of the season. We were teased with it in game 1…then, well, here we are.

    Looked like a fine game from LB. Davy looked good, back in his 88 Oilers silk. The Aussie looked good by my eye. But Khaira (sp?) was really good, again…i like this young man.

    Maybe the spanking they got from Todd at practice was heard. Maybe. We hope they keep responding like they did tonight, maybe we get a season out of this mess. Thats a lot of maybe’s.

  31. OmJo says:

    Yakupov.

    1. Produces in the top 6.
    2. Gets sent down to bottom 6 after a bad game or two.
    3. Gets regulated to the 4th line, 7 minutes a game.
    4. Gets benched for not producing in the bottom 6.

    New team, same story.

  32. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – That was a big time game, by coach

    – Coach says: “We win the games when we impose our will”

    – That’s a big-time coach. Because he’s right. That game tonight: awesome PP, with a joke D: we just imposed our will on the best G in the league, and said: “get off the fng ice you bum, we are the Oil”

    – Tonight’s coaching job: with everyone crapping on the team: his lines were awesome, he coached up our goalie, this team believes in him. This is a good team that has had bad results

  33. Munny says:

    OmJo: New team, wrong story.

    FTFY

  34. Johnny skid says:

    OmJo:
    Yakupov.

    1. Produces in the top 6.
    2. Gets sent down to bottom 6 after a bad game or two.
    3. Gets regulated to the 4th line, 7 minutes a game.
    4. Gets benched for not producing in the bottom 6.

    New team, same story.

    if it wasn’t for bad luck that poor kid would have no luck at all.

  35. OmJo says:

    Johnny skid,

    I love how the article is written… This is the sub heading….

    http://www.denverpost.com/2017/12/09/nail-yakupov-scratched-avalanche/

    “Yakupov has just three assists and a team-low three blocked shots”

    Name me another forward who scored 7 goals in 20 games who would get demoted and then benched for not blocking shots or getting more assists.

  36. OriginalPouzar says:

    texmex:
    Question. Edmonton is apparently looking at Hutchison and Mrazk as backup options. (Too lazy to look up correct spelling).

    If talbot is out two weeks, could play against Nashville next Thursday the 14th

    So, what do you do. Make trade or trust LB?

    Mrazek has a cap hit of $4M – they would need to retain and I would need them to take a contract back – a Brian Ferlin or a Kyle Platzer or something like that.

  37. OmJo says:

    If LB plays more than once a month when Talbot returns he should be fine. I wouldn’t waste an asset on a backup until the trade deadline, if we’re in the playoffs picture. Unless it can be had for a 6th prior to trade deadline.

  38. OriginalPouzar says:

    OmJo:
    If LB plays more than once a month when Talbot returns he should be fine. I wouldn’t waste an asset on a backup until the trade deadline, if we’re in the playoffs picture. Unless it can be had for a 6th prior to trade deadline.

    Even then it puts us at 50 contracts unless we can unload a middling contract in the transaction.

  39. Munny says:

    I think it’s best for all parties involved that Reilly takes a sick day tomorrow.

  40. OmJo says:

    OriginalPouzar: Even then it puts us at 50 contracts unless we can unload a middling contract in the transaction.

    We have a plethora of LD down in Bakersfield that can be thrown in to make the contracts work I think.

  41. OriginalPouzar says:

    OmJo: We have a plethora of LD down in Bakersfield that can be thrown in to make the contracts work I think.

    I wouldn’t be willing to give up anyone more material than Ben Betker.

  42. OmJo says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Oh yeah don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean throw like Simpson in there. Betker. I think Lowe would be the highest I’d go.

    Does that get it done? Probably not lol.

  43. OriginalPouzar says:

    9:11? This is getting perverse, the alarm goes off in 5 hours and 59 minutes – O.Pouz needs to go to sleep.

  44. OriginalPouzar says:

    Benson with a late goal on the 2nd to keep the Giants in the game.

  45. Ice Sage says:

    Well things could be worse, we could be Senators fans… one shot away from SCF last year, Erik freakin Karlssen and a big ‘shakeup’ trade for a (supposedly) elite impact player… WTF?
    Oiler level disappointment on steroids.

  46. Munny says:

    Please don’t remain tied. Please don’t remain tied. Please don’t remain tied.

  47. OmJo says:

    Ice Sage,

    Bettman voodoo curse on Canadian teams.

  48. OriginalPouzar says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Benson with a late goal on the 2nd to keep the Giants in the game.

    Check that – they changed it – not Benson’s goal.

  49. digger50 says:

    I missed the game.

    But was thinking during all the latest chaos nobody brought up the Davidson for Davy D trade.

    Did Davidson play like a guy we should have kept?

  50. thehop says:

    OmJo,

    Bring him back!!!

    Davidson is here. Why not!

  51. thehop says:

    Ice Sage,

    I’m going to remember and quote this when the season is winding down.

    You are going to look stupid.

  52. OmJo says:

    thehop,

    I’d honestly be happy af if he was brought back lol

  53. Pescador says:

    There’s the Gagner we know & love

  54. geowal says:

    Nice one tonight. I wonder which Oilers show up tomorrow

  55. Ice Sage says:

    thehop,

    Well that wouldn’t be a new feeling!
    Seriously, though, the Sens Have dug a deeper hole that the Oil. I wonder if Duchene is a malignancy… if so, Sacic may be rivalling Yzerman yet again!!!!!

  56. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Larsson at the Jay-Z concert on his Instagram story. I know he’s injured but I’m sure he’s not alone, weird event to attend in the middle of a back-to-back

  57. Android says:

    fishman:

    Nice when good things happen to good people!

    Indeed it is!

  58. Android says:

    LadiesloveSmid,

    He’s injured, and didn’t travel with the team. I don’t see any harm in it.

  59. OriginalPouzar says:

    Yamamoto with a single assist in a 9-2 win.

    Benson with a goal and an assist in a 4-3 OT win.

  60. GMB3 says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    – That was a big time game, by coach

    – Coach says: “We win the games when we impose our will”

    – That’s a big-time coach. Because he’s right.That game tonight: awesome PP, with a joke D: we just imposed our will on the best G in the league, and said: “get off the fng ice you bum, we are the Oil”

    – Tonight’s coaching job: with everyone crapping on the team: his lines were awesome, he coached up our goalie, this team believes in him.This isa good team that has had bad results

    You’ve been the biggest champion for sample sizes on this blog. We’ve seen this team blow out teams several times this year and follow it up with shit performances, yet we have “big time coaching ”

    Get a grip.

    Also, did you read Willis’ break down of Eberles points and cap hit vs Stromes?

  61. GMB3 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Yamamoto with a single assist in a 9-2 win.

    Benson with a goal and an assist in a 4-3 OT win.

    Have you watched any Spokane games since he’s been down? He’s not putting the puck in the net like I envisioned he would.

  62. OriginalPouzar says:

    GMB3: Have you watched any Spokane games since he’s been down? He’s not putting the puck in the net like I envisioned he would.

    I’ve bought a couple single games to watch but haven’t watched either of them in full and haven’t seen enough to make a real analysis.

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