G68 2017-18: Wild at Oilers

After 67 games, this year’s Edmonton Oilers have scored 185 goals (NHL average: 199) and allowed 219 (NHL average: 199). That’s minus 14 in GF and minus 20 in GA. The cruelest stats come from special teams. NHL average PP goals for (41) is 17 more than Edmonton’s total (24); the average penalty kill has yielded 41 goals, Edmonton 53. So, a team that is minus 34 overall is minus 29 goals in special teams. What a miserable year.

THE ATHLETIC!

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SPRING FORWARD, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • March 2016: 3-1-0, goal differential +3 (6 points)
  • March 2017: 2-1-1, goal differential +1 (5 points)
  • March 2018: 2-2-0, goal differential -2 (4 points)
  • March 8, 2016: San Jose 3, Edmonton 0 (Source)
  • March 14, 2017: Edmonton 7, Dallas 1 (Source)

Edmonton’s win on Thursday got them back to .500 for the month of March. Many of you have suggested in the comments section that the rest of the season doesn’t matter. Wins and losses and points aren’t the most important thing, but things like Jujhar Khaira and Ethan Bear getting opportunities is a big deal. It’s really too bad there aren’t two or three wingers on the farm who can be recalled at this time.

AFTER 67, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers 15-16: 25-35-7, goal differential -43 (57 points)
  • Oilers 16-17: 36-22-9, goal differential +21 (81 points)
  • Oilers 17-18: 29-34-4, goal differential -34 (62 points)
  • March 6, 2016: Edmonton 2, Winnipeg 1 (Source)
  • March 12, 2017: Montreal 4, Edmonton 1 (Source)

One thing the Oilers should be doing is ripping the daylights out of that minus 34 number. What a terrible reflection of this team, zero excuse for the special teams to be this far asunder. Heads will roll, wonder if they’re going to be the ones you want. That’s kind of what we’re waiting for, like ghouls. Hate this part of hockey.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM MARCH

  • At home to: Nashville, NY Rangers, Arizona, NY Islanders, Minnesota (Expected 2-3-0) (Actual 2-2-0)
  • On the road to: Calgary (Expected 0-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: San Jose (Expected 0-0-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Florida, Tampa Bay, Carolina, Ottawa (Expected 1-2-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Los Angeles, Anaheim, Columbus (Expected 2-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Vancouver, Calgary (Expected 1-0-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 6-7-3, 15 points in 16 games
  • Current results: 2-2-0, 4 points in four games

LAST 10 GAMES

  • Milan Lucic (10, 1-1-2)Connor McDavid (10, 8-7-15)Leon Draisaitl (10, 4-6-10)
  • Mike Cammalleri (9, 0-6-6)Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (3, 1-1-2)Pontus Aberg (5, 0-1-1)
  • Anton Slepyshev (10, 2-2-4)Ryan Strome (10, 5-4-9)Jesse Puljujarvi (10, 2-1-3)
  • Drake Caggiula (8, 0-1-1)Jujhar Khaira (10, 3-0-3)Zack Kassian (8, 1-0-1)
  • Iiro Pakarinen (8, 1-0-1)
  • Darnell Nurse (10, 0-2-2)Adam Larsson (7, 0-2-2)
  • Oscar Klefbom (10, 1-3-4)Matt Benning (9, 0-5-5)
  • Andrej Sekera (7, 0-2-2)Kris Russell (8, 0-1-1)
  • Ethan Bear (4, 0-1-1)
  • Cam Talbot (9, 2.74 .920)Al Montoya (1, 4.76 .891)

 

  • Cam Talbot has enjoyed what I think is his strongest 10-game run this season. It’s important for him to have some success, still think the team needs a more substantial backup. I spoke to Pierrre Lebrun about it this week, he’s been saying teams need to have a fresh starter for the playoffs for some time now. Talbot’s workload a year ago surely had an impact on him this year, no? I think that’s an argument you can make.
  • Connor McDavid is impossible. He towers over the rest of the roster.
  • Leon Draisaitl is of this earth, but very good and delivering at an 82-point pace in the last 10 games. Have to play him on a No. 2 line all season in 2018-19. There’s no choice.
  • Ryan Strome had his best 10-game run as an Oilers player. The number would have been higher but Jesse Puljujarvi didn’t cash all of his cheques. He has taken 15 shots to score those five goals, so is on a very nice run of good fortune.
  • Mike Cammalleri is a sticking point for many of you but holy hell boys perhaps we should wait for someone to outplay the veteran before replacing him. Pontus Aberg is playing well enough to stay in the lineup but that’s not a high bar with this group of wingers.
  • Jujhar Khaira is getting lots of love and rightly so. He’s scoring from the depths of the roster and may get a push before season’s end.
  • Bakersfield had a costly loss last night, I think we could see a recall in the coming days.
  • Darnell Nurse and Adam Larsson are having success on the top pairing, I see them as more shutdown types and wonder if the Oilers would be wise to break them up. Perhaps next season.
  • Oscar Klefbom is closing well, despite controversy about his health and whether he should be playing at all.
  • Matt Benning has played well in this 10-game set, I would pull Andrej Sekera from the lineup.
  • Ethan Bear had his best game Thursday, wonder how many more he’ll get?

DRIVING WHEEL

I am still reading about Peter Chiarelli’s gameplan in replacing Taylor Hall and cannot believe how many people are wrong on a simple point. On the day PC dealt Hall, the following men had performed thusly in the most recent NHL season:

  1. Taylor Hall 82gp, 26-39-65
  2. Leon Draisaitl 72gp, 19-32-51
  3. Connor McDavid 45gp, 16-32-48
  4. Jordan Eberle 69gp, 25-22-47
  5. Benoit Pouliot 55gp, 14-22-36
  6. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 52gp, 12-22-34

Draisaitl was already on the team, he couldn’t replace Hall. No sir. Chiarelli’s decision, the one we should be discussing, is the choice made on the draft floor. We know there was a trade brewing before Columbus picked PLD and it fell apart afterward. Peter Chiarelli, in selecting Jesse Puljujarvi, added a future ‘push the river’ replacement for Hall. He would later add a veteran option in Milan Lucic to help immediately. Leon was never an option to replace Hall, he was already part of the driving wheel that included him.

That doesn’t change the Hall trade, or improve the look for Chiarelli, but it does put the facts in the right place. Important to do. If Puljujarvi can eventually push the riverand we certainly can’t know that yet—the mistake of the trade will be the number of years it took JP to reach that level. This is year two.

WHO ARE THEY MOVING?

I’ve been getting some unusual dm’s and emails in the last few days. People suggesting Chiarelli would be wise to move the first-round draft pick or Jesse Puljujarvi, as opposed to Nuge or Oscar Klefbom. I think that’s bass ackwards.

  • You keep the pick because that player could be another impact player. You may have to trade one of the river pushers due to cap down the line, grab one if you get the chance. This player will also be ineligible for the Seattle expansion draft.
  • You keep Jesse Puljujarvi because he could be another impact player. I sense the team thought they were getting McDavid’s shooter, and that hasn’t been a quick adjustment. Even without that element, this is a grand talent.
  • You keep Klefbom because he’s a $4 million defender who has already scored 38 points and can wheel. Even if he plays 60 games every second season, he’s a value contract for the next one. You don’t trade these guys. Seriously.
  • You keep RNH because he’s your most capable two-way center and that’s a very important part of building a winning team.

You may ask yourself “who do they trade?” and my answer is Milan Lucic if you can, Zack Kassian, Drake Caggiula, Ryan Strome, Matt Benning, Andrej Sekera or Kris Russell if you can. Get good players, keep good players. Why do the Oilers approach every offseason with a list of quality talent on the ‘assets out’ list? This team badly needs a small bet, a Jan Hejda or Steve Staios bet, to cash. You don’t make a bet like that by sending Oscar Klefbom away in the deal because you’re already screwed if you do.

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301 Responses to "G68 2017-18: Wild at Oilers"

« Older Comments
  1. Melvis says:

    Outsped, outskated, outplayed, outchecked, out possessioned. Make that 9 straight losses.

  2. Munny says:

    The first 13 minutes doesn’t bode well for the remaining 47.

    Wild look like we did March 2017.

  3. BONE207 says:

    I like Strome’s hustle so far. Wild look fast. Maybe that’s why the oilers have trouble at the start of the game. Too long assessing the opposition speed

  4. Munny says:

    Melvis,

    I will be walking to the pub shortly. This is not going to end well.

  5. StixMalone says:

    Melvis:
    Outsped, outskated, outplayed, outchecked, out possessioned.Make that 9 straight losses.

    I always hoped that’s how we would play but not to be. No sense of dominance…..

  6. Munny says:

    How can Sekera fail to make that simple pass?

  7. Lowetide says:

    Munny:
    How can Sekera fail to make that simple pass?

    That was pure comedy.

  8. BONE207 says:

    Munny:
    How can Sekera fail to make that simple pass?

    He read your previous post 😁

  9. Melvis says:

    Munny,

    I’m gonna join you.

  10. Munny says:

    Lowetide: That was pure comedy.

    Meanwhile Minny is putting on a passing clinic.

  11. Munny says:

    I haven’t looked at a shift chart, but this period seems like a strange deployment of lines, even for TMac. Are they saving CMD for the third period and the five goal comeback?

  12. npanciroli says:

    Our system and deployment is a disaster need a new coaching staff.

  13. Melvis says:

    Hmm, on the bright side, we’re still sorta in it.

  14. OilClog says:

    They focus on Mcdavid so much Nuge is an afterthought with too big a hockey brain to be left alone that much. Why can’t it be more coach

  15. BONE207 says:

    Oilers started slow but they looked into the game by the end of the 1st. More effort & shots may break the wild streak.

  16. Wilde says:

    Weird period, Minnie usually doesn’t shoot from outside the circles that much.

  17. Lowetide says:

    After One

    0-0
    Shots 12-5 Minnesota
    Corsi for 5×5: 17-7 Minnesota

    Don’t sleep in the subway, darling.

  18. BONE207 says:

    Wilde:
    Weird period, Minnie usually doesn’t shoot from outside the circles that much.

    They came in thinking the 1st shot is a goal in Rogers.

  19. Munny says:

    Melvis:
    Munny,

    I’m gonna join you.

    First round’s on me.

    Have a good night, gents.

  20. BONE207 says:

    Hmmm…this 2nd is not looking good for the orange team

  21. BONE207 says:

    Lowetide:
    After One

    0-0
    Shots 12-5 Minnesota
    Corsi for 5×5: 17-7 Minnesota

    Don’t sleep in the subway, darling.

    The subway thing…you’re saying the Oilers should not go to the LRT before they finish the game at hand. Some may already be at the belvedere station

  22. Sighduck says:

    This game looks bleak

  23. Sighduck says:

    Nice recovery by Russell after a horrible turnover at the Minnie blue line by the forwards

  24. BONE207 says:

    Sighduck,

    What??? We don’t tank no more?

  25. Sighduck says:

    BONE207,

    I swear this is the only team in the universe where both winning and losing look bleak depending on what you cheer for (wins vs. lottery). The only thing I can’t stand is this boring brand of hockey when the ‘wild’ are in town

  26. BONE207 says:

    Connor

  27. Sighduck says:

    That is not bleak at all

  28. Pretendergast says:

    Suter hit nothing but air, ridiculous turn on a dime. Still can’t believe the stuff Connor does.

  29. Rebilled says:

    Never a doubt.

    Thank God*

    *Jesus

  30. Sighduck says:

    McD only 6 points back now, the chase for the art ross might be the one thing that unites all oilers fans lol

  31. BONE207 says:

    Sighduck:
    BONE207,

    I swear this is the only team in the universe where both winning and losing look bleak depending on what you cheer for (wins vs. lottery). The only thing I can’t stand is this boring brand of hockey when the ‘wild’ are in town

    I figured the Browns or the Cubs were ahead of us but as a local boy, this death march back to apathy gets tiring. Connor keeps me watching.

  32. OilClog says:

    Connor Mcdavid is not from Earth.

    Oilers should be focused on surrounding him with shooters.

  33. BONE207 says:

    Connor again

  34. Melvis says:

    Fack. Petula Clark.

    George. Here’s a hint . You’ll find it downtown.

  35. Pouzar says:

    Bank Shot: Am I the only one rooting against NJ?

    No.

  36. Sighduck says:

    McD going to catch kuch tonight?

  37. Pescador says:

    Lucic giving Dubnyk some goalie advice

  38. Pretendergast says:

    shout out to Looch for being big and in front

  39. BONE207 says:

    Good screen by Lucic. Funny that Auberg gets PP time but #FreeSlepy does not.

  40. Rebilled says:

    Talbs looks good but spend all the money on a goalie next year.

  41. Sighduck says:

    Looch has had a few good looks tonight

  42. npanciroli says:

    BONE207,

    I wonder if they know/think Slepy is leaving next year.

  43. Melvis says:

    Sheesh. After VOR’s posts, I get lost on the bottom shelf looking for that dusty old tome about another Prince, that Florentine – Machiavelli, and we’re up two?

  44. flyfish1168 says:

    What a little confidence can do for a team.

  45. Pouzar says:

    BONE207: Funny that Auberg gets PP time but #FreeSlepy does not.

    And TMc actually said he see’s him as a PP guy. /tool

  46. Pouzar says:

    npanciroli:
    BONE207,

    I wonder if they know/think Slepy is leaving next year.

    He gone.

  47. orangepylon says:

    Aberg pretty offensive-minded. Me like.

  48. BONE207 says:

    Pouzar: And TMc actually said he see’s him as a PP guy. /tool

    He did get a couple of great chances there. Maybe they groom Auberg to take the Sleppy Popcorn Gallery. Fire the Mall

  49. Sighduck says:

    orangepylon:
    Aberg pretty offensive-minded. Me like.

    That line has looked dangerous at times tonight for sure, must be tough to look at the future if you are a Minnie fan, those suter and parise contracts are going to look like fieces pretty soon

  50. Sighduck says:

    BONE207: He did get a couple of great chances there. Maybe they groom Auberg to take the Sleppy Popcorn Gallery. Fire the Mall

    I have it on good authority that he shaves the sides of his face every damn day

  51. BONE207 says:

    Pouzar…your buddy should have passed to Kass

  52. Pouzar says:

    Minny is the most suffocating team I’ve seen all year.
    McDavid still leading 2-0.

  53. Pouzar says:

    BONE207:
    Pouzar…your buddy should have passed to Kass

    I blame the full shield….no wait…

  54. BONE207 says:

    Sighduck: I have it on good authority that he shaves the sides of his face every damn day

    Ya but his hair is so long it can be mistakenly identified

  55. Gerta Rauss says:

    It ain’t pretty but I’ll take a 2-0 lead going into the 3rd

    Lots of hockey left

  56. Pouzar says:

    Giants vs Chiefs

    Benson with a goal.
    Yammy with an apple.

  57. Washingtron says:

    Watching on a delay, midway through first. Russell is the king of the no-look pass. Just not the cool kind.

  58. Lowetide says:

    After Two

    2-0 (both Oilers goals in the second)
    Shots 21-16 (11-9 EDM in that period)
    Corsi for 5×5 37-29 (17-12 EDM in the second)

  59. Melvis says:

    Bit of rope a dope and a lucky 3 up in the third. C,mon boys. Hold the line:

    There are many versions but I’m kinda fond of this one. Lukather can play a bit and I miss my bros, Mike and Jeff.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdxMd8WeCrM

  60. prairieschooner says:

    After Connor” first goal the reason for the delay was that DD had to buy a ticket to get back into the arena !

  61. Confused says:

    Really enjoyed the moments of Nuge holding the puck and jinking rather than all the chip and chase crap they have had him doing for years.

    Man, got skills let him use them! Go Nuge!!

  62. BONE207 says:

    PP 1…PK 0…finally coming around

  63. Pouzar says:

    Snow Angels.

  64. npanciroli says:

    here we gooooo

  65. npanciroli says:

    Pouzar,

    lol every damn time

  66. Pouzar says:

    Don’t wanna count my chickens buuuutttt…

    I like Drai in OT.

  67. npanciroli says:

    Pouzar,

    Nuge for me.

  68. StixMalone says:

    Coach teaches the “ scramble “ method of defending….

  69. BONE207 says:

    Pouzar:
    Snow Angels.

    He gets the ranch & the rink confused

  70. StixMalone says:

    The demise of this team not holding a 2goal lead

  71. BONE207 says:

    StixMalone:
    The demise of this team not holding a 2goal lead

    You do know it’s hard playing in the playoffs. Meanwhile Talbot showing that he’s willing

  72. rickithebear says:

    Just logged on!

    Did any hockey EXPERTS blame Russell when bear was picking his nose at the blue line.

  73. Pouzar says:

    Well it wasn’t OT.

  74. BONE207 says:

    Leon Freon!!!

  75. StixMalone says:

    What was Dubnyk doing there.?

  76. Pouzar says:

    Bear sighting #2

  77. Pouzar says:

    #Try

  78. Pouzar says:

    rickithebear:
    Just logged on!

    Did any hockey EXPERTS blame Russell when bear was picking his nose at the blue line.

    Bear on Bear crime.

  79. Melvis says:

    WOOT!

  80. BONE207 says:

    Nugey!!! He never misses the empty nets

  81. Rebilled says:

    Bearly.

  82. BONE207 says:

    Pouzar: Bear on Bear crime.

    The bruinization of Lowetide.ca

  83. Pouzar says:

    So how many points does your new LWer score with McDavid next year?

  84. Rebilled says:

    Nuge should have an A on his sweater next game.

    not the other guy.

  85. BONE207 says:

    We may lose an hour but not the game. Finally a streak broken on Tabernac Saturdays

  86. Pouzar says:

    Benson scores his 2nd of the night to tie game 5-5.

    OT

    I like Drai.

  87. BONE207 says:

    Pouzar:
    So how many points does your new LWer score with McDavid next year?

    Way too early. We may upgrade from a blender to a food processor or even an Easy Bake Oven.

  88. BONE207 says:

    Pouzar:
    Benson scores his 2nd of the night to tie game 5-5.

    OT

    I like Drai.

    You’re in the whiskey again.

  89. Pouzar says:

    BONE207: You’re in the whiskey again.

    No sir…”Bone”-Drai.

  90. Leroy Draisdale says:

    Non hockey related comment…. does anyone else think Pontus Aberg looks like a young Ghost of Christmas past from Scrooged? Also Dumba reminds me of the Crusher from Bugs Bunny( the wrestler)

  91. BONE207 says:

    Pouzar: No sir…”Bone”-Drai.

    I feel for you

  92. Melvis says:

    Leroy Draisdale: Non hockey related comment….

    Oilers beat Minnie on a tabernac Saturday. Fewer than 300 comments. We might need a few more non hockey related comments.

    So real men don’t eat quiche, but I made a Lorraine yesterday to die for. A big salad alongside. A table plonk red the basis for a pitcher of sangria, and an imaginary afternnoon in a fern bar circa mid- seventies.

    As for forward thinking, I’m just getting a head start on summer after this dismal winter. And for the record, not another one in SK ever again.

  93. Gerta Rauss says:

    Leroy Draisdale:
    Non hockey related comment…. does anyone else think Pontus Aberg looks like a youngGhost of Christmas past from Scrooged? Also Dumba reminds me of the Crusher from Bugs Bunny( the wrestler)

    lol

    Barry Trotz is Grandpa Munster

  94. OmJo says:

    The rise and hopefully success of Ethan Bear is going to be huge for this organization. The first drafted and developed RHD since Petry! Just don’t mess this up!

  95. OmJo says:

    Aberg is looking (well, sounding – haven’t watched too many games lately but listening on the radio when I can) like Chiarelli’s next Patrick Maroon. That is, a cheap winger who can play with McDavid next year undervalued by his old team.

    With Maksimov, Safin, Benson, Yamamoto (not in any particular order) at least one of them should turn out to be a top line W, right?

    I think I’m officially on a draft more defencemen train now. At least in the first few rounds.

  96. YKOil says:

    Oilers will be drafting in the 8-12 range so there will be any number of C or D available, per LT:

    (9) LD Quinn Hughes, Michigan (NCAA). Fast as lightning defender, smooth as silk.
    (8) L Brady Tkachuk, Boston University (NCAA). Rugged power winger with two-way skills.
    (4) LC Jacob Olofsson, Timra (Allsvenskan). Speedy center with skill, he’s an emerging player.
    (16) RD Evan Bouchard, London Knights (OHL). Big numbers, intelligent.
    (11) L Joel Farabee, U.S. N. D. P. (USHL). Speedy winger with legit skill, he’s a little undersized.
    (13) LC Filip Hallander, Timra (Allsvenskan). Big, fast forward is an excellent puck transporter.
    (14) LC Joe Veleno, Saint-John Sea Dogs (QMJHL). Good size and speed, creative center.
    (15) RD Noah Dobson, Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL). Two-way defenseman.
    (11) RC Akil Thomas, Niagara Ice Dogs (OHL). Undersized center with all of the tools.
    (21) RD Calen Addison, Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL). Creative player, very fast.
    (10) RD Ryan Merkley, Guelph Storm (OHL). Ridiculous offensive package.
    (17) LC Barrett Hayton, SSM Greyhounds (OHL). Shooter owns a heavy shot and uses it liberally.
    (18) LC Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Assat (Sm-Liiga). Smart, very skilled and he’s 6.02, 190.
    (20) RD Jett Woo, Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL). A fine two-way prospect and a rare righty.

    I like all except Farabee as I prefer Centers who can then play Wing if needed. Don’t think Tkachuk will be there, not sure about him.

  97. Gayfish says:

    OmJo:
    Aberg is looking (well, sounding – haven’t watched too many games lately but listening on the radio when I can) like Chiarelli’s next Patrick Maroon. That is, a cheap winger who can play with McDavid next year undervalued by his old team.

    With Maksimov, Safin, Benson, Yamamoto (not in any particular order) at least one of them should turn out to be a top line W, right?

    I think I’m officially on a draft more defencemen train now. At least in the first few rounds.

    Let’s talk about him being a trade win after he scores a few goals.

  98. Munny says:

    Melvis:
    Sheesh. After VOR’s posts, I get lost on the bottom shelf looking for that dusty old tome about another Prince, that Florentine – Machiavelli, and we’re up two?

    Don’t forget Dante.

  99. Professor Q says:

    Munny: Don’t forget Dante.

    My brother loves Grandma’s Boy, too.

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