Edmonton arrives in Vegas with a four game losing streak and lots of reasons to give up. Fans should be looking for youth to prevail, at least in terms of time on ice. On Pulju, on Slepy, on Caggiila, on Khaira, this is your chance to establish yourselves as NHL players. That’s a big damned deal and there’s no guarantees for the fall. Crash the gate doing 98! On the other hand, the general manager and coach badly need to see this team to win some hockey games.
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: Is Ryan Strome a keeper?
- New Jonathan Willis: Bob Nicholson shines a light.
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers at the deadline.
- Pierre Lebrun: Western Conference buyers and sellers.
- Craig Custance: Trade deadline.
- Lowetide: Value contracts in 2018-19
- Lowetide: Kailer Yamamoto’s Future
- Jonathan Willis: Would trading Leon Draisaitl get the Oilers closer to Stanley?
- Lowetide: How Good is Kirill Maksimov?
- Lowetide: Now is the time to play Khaira and Puljujarvi
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: Oilers and the WHL.
- Lowetide: What would Sam Pollock do?
- Lowetide: Oilers Keeper List
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: Oilers and the WHL.
- Lowetide: Oilers draft history and the OHL
- Lowetide: Oilers draft and college returns
- Lowetide: Central Scouting and where the Oilers shop for talent
VIVA LAS VEGAS, YEAR OVER YEAR
- February 2016: 3-3-0, goal differential 0 (6 points)
- February 2017: 3-3-0, goal differential -1 (6 points)
- February 2018: 1-4-1, goal differential -5 (3 points)
- February 13, 2016: Winnipeg 2, Edmonton 1 (Source)
- February 18, 2017: Edmonton 3, Chicago 1 (Source)
The Oilers started the month well before stepping into the elevator shaft. As inconsistent as this team has been, Edmonton is unpredictable both ways. We could see a win tonight and a small run in the “W” column, it’s happened previously in this season.
AFTER 55, YEAR OVER YEAR
- Oilers 15-16: 21-29-5, goal differential -33 (47 points)
- Oilers 16-17: 29-18-8, goal differential +16 (66 points)
- Oilers 17-18: 23-28-4, goal differential -28 (50 points)
- February 11, 2016: Edmonton 5, Toronto 2 (Source)
- February 11, 2017: Chicago 5, Edmonton 1 (Source)
If the 2015-16 team catches this year’s model, I think that’s a very bad sign for Peter Chiarelli and Todd McLellan. Not living up to last season’s team is one thing, but the 15-16 group that posted 70 points? I don’t believe they survive.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM FEBRUARY
- At home to: Colorado, Tampa Bay (Expected 0-1-1) (Actual 1-0-1)
- On the road to: Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Jose (Expected 1-1-1) (Actual 0-3-0)
- At home to: Florida (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 0-1-0)
- On the road to: Vegas, Arizona, Colorado (Expected 2-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
- At home to: Boston, Colorado (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
- On the road to: Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Jose (Expected 0-2-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
- Overall expected result: 5-6-3, 13 points in 14 games
- Current results: 1-4-1, three points in six games
The Oilers have played well against Vegas and the Arizona game on Saturday afternoon holds some promise. After that, the month of February appears daunting.
- “You always want to add to your core. I still really believe in Cam Talbot, and he’ll be the first person to say he hasn’t had a good year, so it starts with your goaltending. We’ve had a lot of injuries on the back end, especially in our top three defencemen. If we could add another top defenceman, that would be real good. We have two keys up front; Leon and Connor are both excellent players. People are down on Leon, but when you start to look at his stats, 5-on-5 he’s in the top seven or eight in the league; he just hasn’t been as productive on the power play. We’ve got to make sure we continue to support around that group, for sure. I really do believe we’re a lot closer than what we’ve shown this year.” Source
The actual quote is far less provocative than the stories that have been written because of it, suspect the Oilers are going to get hammered with every media avail from management until the fall. There’s an expectation of something after the season, if that doesn’t come one wonders about fan reaction. Fire the coach? Fire the GM? Assistant coaches? Are you sure that’s enough? I’ll say this: If this Oilers organization stays the course, the general manager makes another big trade and the club can’t make the playoffs in 2018-19, this will get very ugly. I don’t know how the Oilers go through a season like this one and then tell the fans they are going to run the same group again next year. That’s going to take a helluva sell.
Nicholson doesn’t say regression in this statement but there’s likely to be plenty (special teams, goaltending) in 2018-19. I’d still like to see a more substantial backup added and do agree about RHD. Tyson Barrie is an interesting target, I’m not onboard with a Klefbom or Nuge pricetag but suspect that’s exactly what the ask will be from the Avs.
— Spokane Chiefs (@spokanechiefs) February 15, 2018
Yamamoto’s splits are now borderline insane, and he’s getting closer to the DeBrincat (2.00 points per game in final junior season). His push in the season’s second half is amazing.
- Yamamoto 2016-17: 65GP, 42-57-99 (1.52 points-per-game)
- Yamamoto 2017-18: 27GP, 14-32-46 (1.70 points-per-game)
- Yamamoto first 10 games: 1-8-9
- Yamamoto second 10 games: 7-11-18
- Yamamoto last seven games: 6-13-19
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
One of my favorite days of the week and the guest list shines like a diamond. At 10 this morning, TSN1260, scheduled to appear:
- Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal. The viewers’ guide to the rest of this Oilers season.
- Rob Vollman, NHL.com and ESPN. Is there a match for Milan Lucic ala Phaneuf-Gaborik?
- Frank Seravalli, TSN. Trade deadline approacheth.
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!