The Edmonton Oilers won a game—that’s a welcome respite from recent events—and it’s possible for creative writers to thread the needle when presenting playoff scenarios. I’m not going to do that because it would insult your intelligence. Let’s move on. It’s Tabernac Saturday and we’re on to Vegas.
Great 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.
- New Lowetide: Procurement 2018: We’re gonna need a bigger boat (will link)
- New Jonathan Willis: How do the Oilers move forward after squandering McDavid’s ELC?
- Lowetide: Leon Draisaitl’s contract makes him vulnerable
- Lowetide: Hard target search 2018 deadline
- Lowetide: Oilers and the 2018 Entry Draft
RED RUM, YEAR OVER YEAR
- January 2016: 2-2-2, goal differential -3 (6 points)
- January 2017: 3-3-0, goal differential -3 (6 points)
- January 2018: 2-4-0, goal differential -11 (4 points)
G7 in 2016 January was a 2-1 shootout win over the Calgary Flames and it was the same one year later I kid you not. Last night’s win in Arizona was a welcome breath of fresh air for fans but you can see how much has been lost. If the Oilers run the January table, they’re still so far from home.
AFTER 45, YEAR OVER YEAR
- Oilers 15-16: 17-23-5, goal differential -26 (39 points)
- Oilers 16-17: 23-15-7, goal differential +7 (53 points)
- Oilers 17-18: 19-23-3, goal differential -22 (41 points)
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM JANUARY
- At home to: Los Angeles, Anaheim (Expected 0-1-1) (Actual 1-1-0)
- On the road to: Dallas, Chicago, Nashville, Arizona, Vegas (Expected 2-2-1) (Actual 1-3-0)
- At home to: Vancouver, Buffalo, Calgary (Expected 2-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
- Overall expected result: 4-4-2, 10 points in 10 games
- Current results: 2-4-0, four points in six games
After tonight the club gets a week off and we have the All-Star break and things will get a little loose. Vegas are fire at home, I don’t know that it’s reasonable to expect a point from this game (although I projected a point from this contest).
DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT
- Klefbom-Benning went 19-12 in 17:28, 1-0 GF and 6-0 in HDSC’s (mostly with the McDavid line). I’m a big time fan of Oscar, he’s coming along now, 20 5×5 minutes and six shot attempts. This team will win if Klef rattles and hums, he solves a lot of problems. Pairing went 11-4 against Perlini-Stepan-Panik, which I take to be the Coyotes second line. Benning moved the puck well and hung in defensively.
- Nurse-Larsson went 15-15 in 17:07, 2-1 in GF and 4-5 in HDSC’s. To my eye there was a little roaming both men, although they delivered a good possession number in the toughest minutes. Went 7-3 against Dvorak-Keller-Archibald, which I count as Arizona’s top line. Nurse ripped two pucks past their goaler, he has a bomb. I’m really enjoying the progression we’re seeing from this young man. Larsson is a player this old timey hockey fan appreciates a lot, he’s a rock and the back difficulties appear to be the lesser as days go down.
- Sekera-Russell went 7-15 in 17:27 and a lot of that had to do with unnecessary turnovers, wonky passes and indecision. Pair was 0-0 in GF and 1-3 in HDSC’s, Russell made one play where he slowly moved up the ice, reached the neutral zone, waited until it was too late, made a poor pass and was enveloped by Coyotes. Sekera made some good plays, Russell looks betwixt and between at this time. Went 2-5 against Rieder-Fischer-Domi, and 1-6 against Perlini-Stepan-Panik. They’ll get killed tonight with the same decisions.
- Cam Talbot stopped one of three and was pulled, something going on there. I wonder. Al Montoya stopped all 19.
- NaturalStatTrick and NHL.com.
FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT
- Maroon-McDavid-Draisaitl accounted for four points on the night. Went 19-13, 2-0 GF and 8-1 HDSC’s. The coach likes this line. McDavid, as predicted, set his jaw and slipped into ‘to hell with this noise’ mode at the end of the first and basically willed the Maroon goal. Leon was the most wobbly of Edmonton’s good players, making dangerous passes and not quite getting control of the puck in situations he would normally thrive in. No matter, this trio is vish.
- Lucic-Nuge-Puljujarvi had an unusual evening. Lucic had four HDSC’s but pucks were sailing past him in a fashion similar to the childhood game ‘keepaway’ for much of the night. He took a damned silly penalty late, too. Nuge scored and skated miles, easily the most effective member of the unit. JP’s offense has left him since he’s been banished from McDavid island, this is a very poor outcome of the line shuffle. Line went 11-10, 0-0 GF and 2-0 HDSC’s together.
- Khaira-Strome-Cammalleri went 4-10, 1-0 GF and 1-2 in the HDSC’s. Khaira was the best player on the line, but I liked Strome’s work, too. I think the former Islander may be turning a corner, welcome news if true. Cammalleri can still show flashes of that spectacular offensive ability, just not as much.
- Caggiula-Letestu-Kassian were the one line I didn’t see good at all. Were 6-10, 0-1 GF and 1-4 HDSC’s. I liked Kassian on the PK and not much else. Caggiula doesn’t get to the part of the game where bat meets ball anymore.
I don’t think so, but Cam Talbot isn’t where he needs to be and Montoya is playing very well right now. I would run Talbot tonight, your mileage may vary.
The Edmonton Oilers have offers Drake Caggiula to the Ottawa Senators for Mike Hoffman teams still talking……APG
— Tracy Lane (@TreenasOil) January 4, 2018
Ten days ago Fussy Britches tweeted this out and it hit the hockey world this week as a rumor. One thing we always need to remember about these tidbits is that they may be incomplete. Darren Dreger suggested a few days ago that a “Taylor Hall for Cody Ceci” trade was discussed (one for one) but logic and reason should lead us to challenge that notion. Peter Chiarelli has himself in a spot of bother all by his lonesome, no need for me to add to it with further eye roll emoticons.
Is Caggiula as a centrepiece for Hoffman reasonable? Per 82 games, Caggiula is scoring 10.6 goals and 23.9 points in the NHL. He is not a prospect (23 now) and his numbers suggest mid-level usage.
DRAKE CAGGIULA 2016-17
- 5×5 points per 60: 1.04 (11th among regular forwards)
- 5×4 points per 60: 4.25 (5th among regular forwards)
- Corsi for 5×5 %: 47.8
- Corsi Rel 5×5 %: -2.0
- DFF Elite 5×5 %: 38.7
- DFF Elite Rel 5×5 %: -10.6 (23 percent of TOI v. elites)
- Shots on goal/percentage: 93 shots/7.5%
- Boxcars: 60gp, 7-11-18
- (All numbers via Puck IQ, Stats.HockeyAnalysis.com and hockey-reference)
DRAKE CAGGIULA 2017-18
- 5×5 points per 60: 1.11 (12th among regular forwards)
- 5×4 points per 60: 3.10 in 19 minutes
- Corsi for 5×5 %: 49.35
- Corsi Rel 5×5 %: -3.44
- DFF Elite 5×5 %: unavailable
- DFF Elite Rel 5×5 %: unavailable
- Shots on goal/percentage: 51 shots/9,8%
- Boxcars: 33gp, 5-4-9
- (All numbers via hockey-reference)
We know usage is a big deal for complementary players, Caggiula has been fortunate enough to play with Connor McDavid quite a bit during his 1.5 seasons with the Oilers.
- Caggiula scoring with McDavid 5×5: 137:40, 3-4-7 (3.06)
- Caggiula scoring w/o McDavid 5×5: 867:09, 5-7-12 (0.83)
I’m not certain Drake Caggiula is going to have a long NHL career, will give credit for his establishing himself within the Oilers roster quickly. His speed makes him attractive to the coach, but for me Edmonton might be better off finding a burner with a little more offense and two-way acumen. Sometimes players look impressive without delivering the goods. Mr. Caggiula is neither prospect nor established, in my opinion.