G33 2017-18: Oilers at Wild

Saturdays. We had our chores (bringing in coal—don’t let anyone tell you it’s clean and beautiful; milking and feeding the goats, shoveling the driveway) but most of the day belonged to us. My solution to getting things done was starting early, up well before dawn. If my brother got up too, we could start to work, if not, I’d play hockey in the driveway. I knew the lines and pairings back and forth for the entire league back then, especially for the Boston Bruins:

  • Wayne Cashman—Phil Esposito—Ken Hodge
  • Johnny Bucyk—Fred Stanfield—Johnny McKenzie
  • Mike Walton—Derek Sanderson—Eddie Westfall
  • Extra F: Garnet Bailey, Don Marcotte
  • Bobby  Orr—Dallas Smith
  • Carol Vadnais—Ted Green
  • Don Awrey, Matt Ravlich
  • Gerry Cheevers (Eddie Johnston)

There was a trade in there (Rick Smith, Reggie Leach out, Carol Vadnais in) but you could find pairings and details in the next week’s The Hockey News or maybe the Bruins played that Saturday night. Teams ran three lines, two pairings, plus two extra forwards and a fifth defenseman back then. I didn’t play road hockey at the family home in 1985, but have a fairly good memory (aided by Bruce McCurdy) of that team. The 1984-85 Edmonton Oilers were an All-Star cast:

  • Mike Krushelnyski—Wayne Gretzky—Jari Kurri
  • Mark Napier—Mark Messier—Glenn Anderson
  • Dave Hunter—Kevin McLelland—Pat Hughes
  • Dave Semenko—Billy Carroll—Willy Lindstrom (et cetera)
  • Paul Coffey—Charlie Huddy
  • Kevin Lowe—Lee Fogolin
  • Don Jackson—Randy Gregg
  • Grant Fuhr (Andy Moog)

That’s a monster team, I won’t see another like that one in this town during my lifetime. The weird thing? I’m not sure it’s the best Oilers team ever. Seriously. I have to tell you the 1987 team might have been better. Incredibly. The NHL has named the 1984-85 Oilers the best team ever, and I’ve come to accept it. Esa Tikkanen played a little in the playoffs, Napier was a favorite, Pouzar too. Strangest thing of all? I’m pretty sure the best Bruins team ever was 1970-71, that team didn’t make the Finals. Blasted Habs.

There are so many games I can watch every night now that none of them have the importance of that single Saturday night game of my youth. Somewhere back there, in a moment when Bobby Orr was in full flight and the Toronto Maple Leafs were backing up in a quick hurry, the magic of this beautiful game found me and has never let me go.  It’s time to do the chores, but we’ll all get back together in time for puck drop. Bring the cards, bring the booze, bring the laughter. It’s Saturday night, hockey night, in Canada.

THE ATHLETIC!

Great new offer! Includes a free 7-day trial so you can try The Athletic on for size free and see if they enjoy the in-depth, ad-free coverage on the site. If you don’t feel it’s worth the $4.49/month, cancel anytime during trial before getting charged. Offer is here.

LONG DECEMBER, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • December 2015: 6-0-0, goal differential +7
  • December 2016: 2-1-3, goal differential +1
  • December 2017: 3-3-0, goal differential +4

The Oilers in December this year are running well enough to contend (32 points would put Edmonton five points out), but there’s a little matter of that slow start to overcome. G7 in 2015 fall was a 4-2 loss to the NYR and last season it was 3-2 win over Winnipeg courtesy Mark Letestu.

AFTER 33, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers 15-16: 14-16-2, goal differential -11
  • Oilers 16-17: 15-12-5, goal differential +7
  • Oilers 17-18: 13-17-2, goal differential -11

If ever there was a team in need of a winning streak, this is it. The Oilers need to get on a roll, to get back to fake .500 as soon as possible. 2015 G33 was a 4-0 loss to Teravainen and the Chicago Blackhawks, last year saw Edmonton win 3-2 against Tampa Bay in a shootout. A win this afternoon finally allows the team to arrive at 30 points on 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: 0-1-0)
  • On the road to: Montreal, Toronto, Columbus (Expected 1-2-0) (Actual 2-1-0)
  • At home to: Nashville (Expected 0-1-0) (Actual 0-1-0)
  • 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: 3-3-0, six points in six games

I have today’s game as a win, you can see just how much work there is to do in the coming days. You could get outrageous odds on Edmonton running the table for the rest of the month (7-0-0) and I wouldn’t bet on it. That’s the kind of run that would be required in order to get this team back into the race.

CAM TALBOT

The Oilers are heading into Minneapolis for a day game, I have about 30 scripts from past collisions and they all read the same. Cam Talbot will need to be Bernie Parent today and that’s a fact. At least Lemaire isn’t there and the Wild have opened up their game a little.

EUGENE MELNYK

???

MIKE HOFFMAN

I wrote about Mike Hoffman as a trade target for the Oilers over at The Athletic on December 12. Elliotte Friedman wondered aloud about the idea (Hoffman to Edmonton) later in the week and it’s something to ponder. Hoffman playing wing on 97’s line would by dynamite. Cost? I’ll say Oscar Klefbom.

Edmonton’s future on right-wing will be at the World Juniors, led by Kailer Yamamoto. He was an impact player at the summer series and should play a key role this Christmas for Team USA.

ETHAN BEAR

The Condors got some good news this week with the return of Ethan Bear to practice. In the early days of the season, he was the most impressive blue among the rookies (Bear, Caleb Jones, Ryan Mantha, Ziyat Paigin). Since Bear (8gp, 2-3-5 +4) went down with injury, the other three men performed thusly:

  • Caleb Jones 15gp, 1-4-5 -9 (8gp, 0-2-2 -8 with Bear in lineup)
  • Ryan Mantha 13gp, 1-2-3 +3 (8gp, 0-3-3 -5 with Bear in lineup)
  • Ziyat Paigin 3gp, 0-0-0 -1 (4gp, 0-0-0 -1 with Bear in lineup)

The Condors play in San Jose tonight.

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271 Responses to "G33 2017-18: Oilers at Wild"

« Older Comments
  1. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    Are the oilers the only team in the NHL that plays man coverage in the defensive zone?

  2. Melvis says:

    Frack. Five heads up asses.

  3. flyfish1168 says:

    Why is it when we ring it around the boards in our own end the other team is almost always in a position to intercept it.

  4. Extend Russell says:

    Wow
    Miracles do happen
    Oil winning a afternoon game

    Oops I’ll just keep my big mouth shut

  5. Munny says:

    Stop overplaying the coverage!

  6. Munny says:

    Do we ever score empty-netters? From memory seems like our /60 is low.

  7. geowal says:

    Munny:
    Stop overplaying the coverage!

    Is there another way!!??

  8. Munny says:

    Stupid penalty by Zucker, Pouliot/Moreau-like

  9. Gerta Rauss says:

    Wow what a crosscheck to the face of Davey

    PP coming up with 2:03 remaining

  10. npanciroli says:

    im not feeling confident i hope im wrong

  11. Extend Russell says:

    JP!!!!
    Who is this beautiful man child!

  12. npanciroli says:

    ok so my stream is like 1 minute behind haha

  13. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    Beat Minny at home in the afternoon? Big win.

  14. Gerta Rauss says:

    Whew

    Maybe the Oilers should rent Northlands for the rest of the year and call them “away” games

  15. flyfish1168 says:

    Our PP is an advantage for the other team

  16. N64 says:

    November is calling and is a bit foggy as to why we needed to trade RNH to keep cap room for Maroon or trade Puljujarvi while he still had value.

    Goals/Game

    RNH 0.39
    Puljujarvi 0.38
    McFranchise 0.36
    Draisaitl 0.28
    Khaira 0.25
    Maroon 0.24
    Lucic 0.24

  17. D says:

    Russell earned his pay with that last block. He would have taken that puck with his face if it meant winning the game.

  18. npanciroli says:

    What a nice win.

  19. Extend Russell says:

    See that save from Russell ? Clutch block right there analytics nerds.
    4 more years !!

  20. frjohnk says:

    npanciroli:
    What a nice win.

    We won a game during the afternoon.
    And against a backup.

    Those two things were probably harder to overcome than will be to get into the playoffs.

    A healthy McDavid and a good Talbot gives us a chance every game.

  21. Confused says:

    Great win boys, let’s keep it going against SJ

    Hope Larsson is back.

    Todd please change the pp.

    Madness to trade JP or Nuge, Maroon is gone.

  22. jake70 says:

    frjohnk: We won a game during the afternoon.
    And against a backup.

    Those two things were probably harder to overcome than will be to get into the playoffs.

    A healthy McDavid and a good Talbot gives us a chance every game.

    Afternoon win
    Win vs backup
    Vs Minnesota…IN MINNESOTA against the Coleman coolers

    I mean you could argue the season has been a success no matter what else happens rest of way.

  23. blainer says:

    What a mess that PP is. For Jeebus sake coach please try JP in the Ovie spot. He has earned it.

    Man this coach can be stubborn with PP time and deployment.

    This team is gonna look a whole lot better when we get Reggie and Lars back. Tabs looked good but we need a more established back up stat.

    Playoffs a distant bell but I still believe !!

  24. flyfish1168 says:

    Now for the Preds to beat up the F***en Phlegms tonight

  25. frjohnk says:

    blainer: Playoffs a distant bell but I still believe !!

    I’ll drink to that

  26. frjohnk says:

    flyfish1168:
    Now for the Preds to beat up the F***en Phlegms tonight

    I’ll drink to that too.

  27. Munny says:

    Gerta Rauss: Whew

    Quoted for truth.

    I won’t deny it. I might have yelled JESUS H FUCK on that Niedereiter wraparound attempt.

  28. geowal says:

    jake70: Afternoon win
    Win vs backup
    Vs Minnesota…IN MINNESOTA against the Coleman coolers

    I mean you could arguethe season has been a success no matter what else happens rest of way.

    It was even a reasonably enjoyable game! Bizarre.

  29. russ99 says:

    Love to see Lucic take Jesse under his wing, teach him the tricks of the trade.

    Which is part of why we signed Lucic.

  30. frjohnk says:

    Munny: Quoted for truth.

    I won’t deny it. I might have yelled JESUS H FUCK on that Niedereiter wraparound attempt.

    McDavid may have saved a goal when our D men went chasing

  31. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    frjohnk: I’ll drink to that

    – On paper we are 28th. On different piece of paper, we are one of the best teams in the NHL

    – Keep hope alive: we are a lot better than our paper record

    – Big time coaching job today, again. PK was awesome: Coaching up Lucic and Pool. PP will improve a lot by the end of this year. If we weren’t such a good team, I wouldn’t say this

  32. Pouzar says:

    blainer: What a mess that PP is. For Jeebus sake coach please try JP in the Ovie spot. He has earned it.

    Man this coach can be stubborn with PP time and deployment.

    You are the most even keeled poster here.
    It’s official now, change the goddamn PP TMick!

  33. Pouzar says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: PP will improve a lot by the end of this year.

    Agree b/c it’s hot garbage and can’t get much worser and all.

  34. blainer says:

    Pouzar: You are the most even keeled poster here.
    It’s official now, change the goddamn PP TMick!

    Lol…lol.. I kinda let you do the talking for me.. I pretty much agree with everything you post and actually find it very entertaining when you get mad at someone because again you say it for me..

    keep up the good work !!!

  35. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Pouzar:

    – Meh: that’s way more luck, and trying too hard than aything systemy: that’s mostly BS IMO

    – Way too analyzed IMO: it was good for bit this year, after being bad,now its going through a bad streak, and it will get good again. PP are streaky and we are trying way too hard. It will break huge, we are way too good, and there isn’t some sinister shoot from the point or dumb coach thingy

  36. fishman says:

    Big win keeps the dream alive! Next step is to start winning at home (unless the NHL lets us play balance of season on the road) Can’t take any more games off to keep slight playoff hope alive. Some good things happened today but still so many things that need to be fixed! Hurry up Lars and Seksy!

  37. blainer says:

    frjohnk: I’ll drink to that

    Me too.. Friggin buried in 30 cm of snow.

    Came home for the holidays from Florida for this…

    Oh well a white Xmas it is..

    Cheers everyone !!!

  38. Munny says:

    frjohnk: McDavid may have saved a goal when our D men went chasing

    Made me happier than any breakaway.

  39. Todd Macallan says:

    blainer,

    Yes b’y, some storm out here in town eh

  40. Pouzar says:

    Put Slepy with Nuge/Maroon and fire one of Cammy, Caggs, or Strome to the sun.

  41. Rebilled says:

    Munny,

    frjohnk,

    If it wasn’t McDavid, someone could say any mortal Oiler scores on themselves there. Very close.

  42. Munny says:

    Pouzar,

    Cags for me. If Slep’s groin is perfectly healthy.

  43. Pouzar says:

    Munny:
    Pouzar,

    Cags for me.If Slep’s groin is perfectly healthy.

    Slepy is runnin at 56.25 CF%…I’d love to see this guy get a prolonged look.

  44. fishman says:

    Munny,

    Yep Caggs takes too many bad penalties and not sure he has enough offence to be a regular. Sleppy has pedigree and skill but needs to stay healthy and go on a run. Clocks ticking.

  45. blainer says:

    Todd Macallan:
    blainer,

    Yes b’y, some storm out here in town eh

    Lol..sure ya Knows it is !!!

  46. Pouzar says:

    fishman:
    Munny,

    Yep Caggs takes too many bad penalties and not sure he has enough offence to be a regular. Sleppy has pedigree and skill but needs to stay healthy and go on a run. Clocks ticking.

    He isn’t being scratched for health reasons.

  47. blainer says:

    Pouzar:
    Put Slepy with Nuge/Maroon and fire one of Cammy, Caggs, or Strome to the sun.

    Lol.. there ya go sayin again for me !!

  48. fishman says:

    Pouzar,

    Perhaps not this time but think injuries have held him back. Hope he can put it all together as he has shown very well at times.

  49. blainer says:

    Pouzar: Slepy is runnin at 56.25 CF%…I’d love to see this guy get a prolonged look.

    I am really not impressed with Cammy either. He looks slow but he is getting a point here and there. Sleppy really hasn’t had a chance to get going. Missed training camp and banged up again but seems healthy now. Give him a few games to get up to speed like they did for cags. Bet he responds.

    Would like to see Cammy actually sit out and put Sleppy in his spot.

    I would also much rather Jesse on the PP than Cammy.

  50. Pouzar says:

    fishman:
    Pouzar,

    Perhaps not this time but think injuries have held him back. Hope he can put it all together as he has shown very well at times.

    Maybe to start the year but he looks good now.

  51. Pouzar says:

    blainer: I am really not impressed with Cammy either. He looks slow but he is getting a point here and there. Sleppy really hasn’t had a chance to get going. Missed training camp and banged up again but seems healthy now. Give him a few games to get up to speed like they did for cags. Bet he responds.

    Would like to see Cammy actually sit out and put Sleppy in his spot.

    I would also much rather Jesse on the PP than Cammy.

    I don’t think a lot of these lineup decisions are based on merit. Go figure.
    Slepy won’t be around long me thinks. Hope he kills it somewhere in the NHL.

  52. TheFinn60 says:

    russ99,

    I think Luch has to say thank you to Jesse for getting the puck out of the own zone. Look at the face off sequence and one will see how Jesse goes after the guy next to him and makes that puck stay loose, creating the play from there actually. Luch did well on the rush and finished off that play in a great way, strong like a horse. I am sure Luch will do whatever to teach the young Jesse one or two things, nice to see that line work out at least for now.

    Jesse is in a better place now and his play is improving slowly but surely.

  53. danny says:

    Afternoon win against Minny?
    The team feels like the old team a little lately.
    A mighty fine day for the fellow ppl snowbound on the rock

  54. JD_Sigh says:

    Pouzar: Hope he kills it somewhere in the NHL.

    Penguins?

  55. Bulging Twine says:

    Big win!
    On the road, travelling East for an early game.
    Against a team they are chasing.
    Nice.

  56. Pescador says:

    Pouzar: I don’t think a lot of these lineup decisions are based on merit. Go figure.
    Slepy won’t be around long me thinks. Hope he kills it somewhere in the NHL.

    Hopefully a franchise that knows how to develop players with his toolbox.
    Oilers method: press box-Bakersfield–repeat-flush.
    He would look good in Tampa, Washington

  57. Todd Macallan says:

    danny,

    You know it! One of these days all the NL Lowetidians will have to meet up for a pint or 3.

  58. Pescador says:

    Pouzar:
    Put Slepy with Nuge/Maroon and fire one of Cammy, Caggs, or Strome to the sun.

    If Slepyshev gave the puck away more & was way less physical he would be Strome

  59. lynn says:

    Khaira had an off game today. Still working to be consistent. Hope he isn’t sent to the press box.

  60. Woogie63 says:

    PP2 has Benning, Strome, Cammalleri and these three don’t strike fear in anyone’s mind

    New plan

    PP1
    Klefbom, McDavid, Draisaitl, Lucic, Puljujarvi

    PP2
    Nurse, Nuge, Slepyshev, Maroon, Letestu

  61. Pouzar says:

    JD_Sigh: Penguins?

    Pescador: He would look good in Tampa, Washington

    All these

  62. Pouzar says:

    Pescador: If Slepyshev gave the puck away more & was way less physical he would be Strome

    Guy skates his bag off too. Always max effort.

  63. russ99 says:

    Boring century anniversary outdoor game so far, but man, that ice is in incredible condition.

    Better than Rogers Place for sure. Would love to see McDavid play on this.

  64. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    Exercised some demons today that’s for sure… good to hear talbot is back to being talbot!
    Man has Lucic proved us doubters wrong… He’s looking every bit like what we were all hoping for when they signed him! Let’s hope he keeps it up!
    Too bad it was at the expense of a productive Maroon… hoping he would stay somewhat productive until the trade deadline, where I was also hoping that Chia would trade him for 2 round pick or something… Don’t know what the oilers would get for him as it stands right now.

  65. JimmyV1965 says:

    I know it doesn’t mean anything, but I was reading a Preds blog yesterday and a Wild blog today and both writers mentioned how fast the Oilers are. And I know it’s not a big deal, but that slow narrative absolutely drove me bonkers. It was a BS narrative perpetuated by the MSM parroting each other and not really watching the games. We have a bunch of big players so we must be slow. I think it really underscores the failings of the MSM.

  66. Boil-in-the-Oil says:

    Hope Davy is ok, he went down like a rock when that high stick hit him in the face; that will surely be reviewed by the NHL, high hit-to-the-head.

  67. Pescador says:

    JimmyV1965:
    I know it doesn’t mean anything, but I was reading a Preds blog yesterday and a Wild blog today and both writers mentioned how fast the Oilers are. And I know it’s not a big deal, but that slow narrative absolutely drove me bonkers.It was a BS narrative perpetuated by the MSM parroting each other and not really watching the games. We have a bunch of big players so we must be slow.I think it really underscores the failings of the MSM.

    MSM are slowly coming around

  68. Pescador says:

    Boil-in-the-Oil,

    He’s cool, his neck might need a day off.
    Love the way he’s been performing since coming home.

  69. deardylan says:

    Well at least they are becoming consistently consistent in their dancing at .500

    Win-Lose-Win-Lose!

  70. deardylan says:

    Munny:

    Ben: Most of us
    While I understand your personal view, don’t ascribe it to “most of us”, please and thanks.

    This conversation in interesting as I feel both of you are right in some way and also we often don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are.

    And it reminds me of Robert Anton Wilson “Reality Tunnels” in Prometheus Rising

    Our perceptions are gambles. We believe what we see and then we believe our interpretation of it, we don’t even know we are making an interpretation most of the time. We think this is reality. – Robert Anton Wilson

  71. Jethro Tull says:

    deardylan: This conversation in interesting as I feel both of you are right in some way and also we often don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are.

    And it reminds me of Robert Anton Wilson “Reality Tunnels” in Prometheus Rising

    Our perceptions are gambles. We believe what we see and then we believe our interpretation of it, we don’t even know we are making an interpretation most of the time. We think this is reality. – Robert Anton Wilson

    Or maybe this was Robert’s interpretation of reality?

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