The Edmonton Oilers got down early again, but pushed back and had the lead for a time, before heading to overtime tied 3-3. A goal was scored, was mysteriously overturned (looked good to me), before Connor McDavid and Cam Talbot finally put things to bed in the shootout. We’re now at the All-Star break and who knows what today and tomorrow bring.
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- New Lowetide: Is Magnus Paajarvi worth a waiver claim?
- New Lowetide: Putting together optimal lines after the deadline
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers planning for summer.
- New Lowetide: Central Scouting and where the Oilers shop for talent
- New Lowetide: Updates on Yamamoto, Cairns and Keegan Lowe
RED RUM, YEAR OVER YEAR
- January 2016: 4-4-2, goal differential -4 (10 points)
- January 2017: 6-4-0, goal differential 0 (12 points)
- January 2018: 5-5-0, goal differential -12 (10 points)
You talk about a roller coaster ride month, this thing ran the range of emotions from rage to fury. At the end of the day, this Oilers team managed to finish old timey .500 for January.
AFTER 49, YEAR OVER YEAR
- Oilers 15-16: 19-25-5, goal differential -27 (43 points)
- Oilers 16-17: 26-15-8, goal differential +14 (60 points)
- Oilers 17-18: 22-24-3, goal differential -23 (47 points)
If the club goes 16-13-4 for the rest of the year, Edmonton will finish 38-37-7, 83 points. My guess is the team’s final record is somewhere in that spot, if things work out well. It is not what was expected nor hoped for, but it is a fair representation.
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 2-3-0)
- At home to: Vancouver, Buffalo, Calgary (Expected 2-1-0) (Actual 2-1-0)
- Overall expected result: 4-4-2, 10 points in 10 games
- Current results: 5-5-0, 10 points in 10 games
The Oilers met my expectations for the month, careening from loss to win and back again. That inconsistency was the only consistent thing about the Oilers in January. The games will be less important now, wins and losses viewed alongside projected draft position.
OILERS PROJECTED PICKS 2018
- First Round, No. 8 overall: LD Quinn Hughes, Michigan (NCAA). Fast as lightning defender, smooth as silk and very creative with the puck. Small (5.09) and electric, prototype for the modern game.
- Second Round, No. 39 overall: W Samuel Fagemo, Frolunda (SuperElite). Impressive climb through the Swedish system, he has good boots and an excellent shot. Dynamic with the puck on his stick, raw in other parts of the game. Simon Boisvert likes him.
- Third Round, No. 70 overall: G Olivier Rodrigue, Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL). Butterfly goalie with a save percentage over .900 in the Q, he’s very quick and skilled. This is in the range where Edmonton looks at goalies.
- Fourth Round, traded to Montreal for Al Montoya (if he plays seven games)
- Fifth Round, No. 132 overall: RC Kristian Reichel, Red Deer Rebels (WHL). Righty center with a good shot, he turns 20 in June and could turn pro in the fall. This is Robert’s boy, has skill and two-way ability.
- Sixth Round, No. 163 overall: RC Aidan Dudas, Owen Sound Attack (OHL). The OHL is a ridiculous league where talent roams freely, and Dudas is a fantastic skill player whose only crime is being 5.07. I love him.
- Seventh Round, No. 194 overall.
- Idiocy to call the OT goal off, the NHL is a train wreck.
- Cam Talbot had a ‘last year’ game by my eye, stopping 34 of 37 (.919) and several were of the ‘hoochie mama’ variety.
- Brandon Davidson (2 goals) and Ryan Strome (2 assists) were impressive, and Connor McDavid was all world (one assist, should have been two, four HDSC’s).
- There were 60 defense pairings.
- Natural Stat Trick.
- Travis Yost: While most of the league has moved towards pace and tempo, Edmonton’s moved in the completely opposite direction. It’s been the most curious of decisions considering the draft lottery reward of the blazing-fast McDavid. And, quite frankly, it looks like one of the big reasons why the team will be sitting at home when the playoffs start.
I have always argued balance, a team that has ‘heavy hockey’ and speed merchants shuffled through the order. Consider a baseball team with both speed at the top of the batting order and guys with hair on their ass to bat three, four and five. Balance. It isn’t all or nothing. A team can run Darnell Nurse, Adam Larsson, Milan Lucic and Zack Kassian, even throwing in a Jujhar Khaira here and there. What the Oilers need is speedy wingers (like Caggiula) who can score (Caggiula has not shown ability to be a top six forward in this area).
I get the railing against hits and chasing the puck but for me a speedy player like Nurse who plays a physical game has value. Matt Tkachuk has value. However, speed is a need too. Jesse Puljujarvi has all of it, thank goodness, so maybe that’s the new ideal.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A busy, fun morning on TSN1260. Starts at 10, and yes, we will talk about goalie interference. Scheduled to appear:
- Steve Lansky, BigMouthSports. We’ll check in to see if Steve remembers any famous referee moments, plus All-Star break and second half predictions.
- Paul Almeida, SSE. What should we expect leading up to the trade deadline?
- Matt Iwanyk, TSN1260. XFL baby!
- Frank Seravalli, TSN. The latest deadline rumors.
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter.