The Edmonton Oilers wrap up the first truly successful month of the 2017-18 season this weekend, with games against Chicago and Winnipeg. The current December record is 7-4-0 and allowed the club to recover from much of the early-season malaise. How close to 10 wins can the Oilers get in December? We’ll find out this weekend.
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- New Lowetide: Oscar’s Place
- New Lowetide: On Cam Connor, Jujhar Khaira, Ryan Strome and Anton Slepyshev
- Lowetide: Jones, Bear and Mantha
- Lowetide: Year-end taking stock
- Lowetide: Connor McDavid: The Athletic’s Person of the Year!
LONG DECEMBER, YEAR OVER YEAR
- December 2015: 7-3-1, goal differential -2 (15 points)
- December 2016: 6-2-3, goal differential +2 (15 points)
- December 2017: 7-4-0, goal differential +10 (14 points)
G12 in 2015-16 was a 5-3 loss to the Calgary Flames, and last year saw Edmonton lose 3-2 in overtime to the San Jose Sharks. A win tonight gets the Oilers to eight wins and 16 points, that’s a fine month.
AFTER 38 GAMES, YEAR OVER YEAR
- Oilers 15-16: 15-19-3, goal differential -20 (33 points)
- Oilers 16-17: 19-12-6, goal differential +10 (44 points)
- Oilers 17-18: 17-18-2, goal differential -5 (36 points)
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 1-0-0)
- At home to: San Jose, St. Louis, Montreal (Expected 1-1-1) (Actual 3-0-0)
- On the road to: Winnipeg (Expected 0-1-0) (Actual 0-1-0)
- 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: 7-4-0, 14 points in 11 games
A win tonight would mean eight W’s during December, the most by Edmonton since March 2017 (9) and January 2017 (also 9). The Oilers need some 8-4-1 and 9-5-1 months moving forward, getting everything from December is a grand idea.
Cameron Hebig has been fantastic for @BladesHockey this season. Really nice to see the Oilers reward him with an entry-level contract.
— Todd Cordell (@ToddCordell) December 28, 2017
I had him ranked No. 138 for the 2016 entry draft, talked to a scout (not an NHL scout) about him that spring and got the idea Hebig might have a chance. He lost an entire season to injury after that but there was something there in 2016 and the Oilers clearly feel he has the ability to play pro hockey.
- RHC, 6.0, 182
- 35gp, 28-23-51, 177 shots
- 56.1 faceoff percentage
- Scouting Report: Displays speed, skill and grit. He can make plays at high speed and has soft hands when both giving and receiving a pass. Tends to play at 100 miles per hour at all times, needing to learn to slow down as he gets older and more experienced. He plays a sound defensive game.
That isn’t my scouting report but a snippet of one from two summers ago that was passed along to me. I think this is a fine signing, in an area where the Oilers badly need help (offense at the center position). Suspect this will be one of many additions at forward now through draft day.
WHERE WOULD HE RANK?
This is my Winter Top 20 for 2017, and the addition of Hebig gives us something to discuss. I’d have him somewhere in the 22-26 range, not sure he’d be ahead of Tyler Vesel or Joey Laleggia, but maybe above Gambardella based on what we know. Phil Kemp would be the highest riser since the ranking, Greg Chase is no longer in the organization. Filip Berglund’s signing a new SHL contract does not impact his ranking.
Oh man, Kailer Yamamoto nearly scores to put the US up 2-1 but he’s absolutely robbed. #Oilers
— Alex Thomas (@Alex_Thomas14) December 29, 2017
A tough night for Team USA at the World Juniors, and a loss to Canada today puts the host nation in a tough spot. I saw most of the game, Slovaks got about five golden chances and cashed three of them. The World Juniors is identical to basketball’s March Madness in that upsets are possible in the early rounds. Even with that understood, last night’s result was a shocker.
"Edmonton really tried with Hoffman, but I just don't think they were close" – Friedman on 960
— 🃏 (@akaRCN) December 29, 2017
I wrote about this at The Athletic (here), there’s not really a good trade fit in my opinion. The Oilers could go Patrick Maroon, pick, prospect, but the Senators no doubt want young players who can have an immediate impact while also being value contracts. I think the ask from Ottawa might include the 2018 first-round pick and that may be a deal killer. Teams don’t line up.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10, TSN 1260, it’s the New Year’s edition of the show! Party hats, free flowing freshie, it’s going to get wild! Scheduled to appear:
- Steve Lansky, Big Mouth Sports. Remembering Johnny Bower, Oilers big weekend.
- Frank Seravalli, TSN. WJ’s fireworks began last night, USA in a tough spot now.
- Matt Iwanyk, TSN1260. Oilers still in the race at New Year’s, where will they be on Valentine’s Day?
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!