BLUES AT OILERS G30 (12-13) 23.3.13

The Edmonton Oilers are 3-0-2 in their last 5 games, have increased their chances of making the second season from2.5% two weeks ago to 16.9% today. They have an excellent PP, a solid PK and are about where they were a year ago in terms of points after 29 games.

The key for Edmonton is to avoid stepping into the elevator shaft like they did one year ago (2-9-0 in games 30 through 40). How do they stay away from long losing streaks? Injuries are a factor, luck is always in the background snickering, and their performance 5×5 is insane. The Oilers scored 38 5×5 goals in their first 29 games, exactly half the number pushed through by Pittsburgh in 32 games this season. EV scoring (imo) reflects the team perfectly: all world skills, but the gunners lack experience and can be bottled up for extended periods doing scut work far from the opposition goal. They need to clean it up, this isn’t about goaltending or faceoffs or hits or fights or intimidation. This is about winning puck battles, smart outlet passes, not taking chances when nothing rhymes, zone exits and entries. Basically all of the stuff we’ve been talking about this season.

Is it just me or is the lockout a distant bell?

Yesterday on Team 1260, Ryan Rishaug had an interesting take on the Oilers at the deadline. Rishaug suggested the Oilers might choose to keep Whitney, Smid, Fistric and Jones–that would be the club’s commitment to the team–if they were in a position to contend for the post-season.

As a fan, I hate it. I hate it I hate it I hate it. Hey, I’m in my 50′s here people, can we possibly get some freaking urgency at some point? I don’t have forever!

The deadline uncertainty is an issue for all teams around the bubble:

  • Ken Holland: “From our perspective, how it affects the Detroit Red Wings – we need to win some games. I look at the trade deadline, and there are buyers and sellers, and those that stand pat. And those that stand pat are teams that are on the bubble. You don’t want to throw a lot of assets at something that you’re not sure if you’re going to miss the playoffs. I’m talking about young players and draft picks.”

College defenseman Danny DeKeyser will probably sign sometime in the next 7 days, Western Michigan club is unlikely to advance. Detroit is probably the favorite to land him.

The Nuge’s flu is likely to keep him out of tonight’s game according to reports. He’s important to the team even though his scoring is way off. “Very doubtful” was the word from coach Krueger yesterday, Eric Belanger will draw back in tonight.

Sam Gagner is tied for 23rd in overall points and 26th in goals (with 12). Taylor Hall is tied for 16th in assists with 20, Devan Dubnyk is 11th in SP (.918).

I’ll revisit my RE at the end of the season, but considering my guest today on the radio show I thought it might be an idea to post his projections, mine and the current state of affairs in regard to the Oilers. My original post about Scott Cullen’s Oiler projections for the shortened season is here (Cullen’s Oiler projections)

SCOTT CULLEN’S OILERS PROJECTIONS

  1. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 43, 13-23-36
  2. Jordan Eberle 44, 15-19-34
  3. Taylor Hall 43, 16-17-33
  4. Nail Yakupov 46, 15-16-31
  5. Justin Schultz 46, 9-19-28
  6. Sam Gagner 42, 10-16-26
  7. Ales Hemsky 35, 9-17-26
  8. Ryan Smyth 46, 11-13-24
  9. Shawn Horcoff 40, 7-12-19
  10. Magnus Paajarvi 45, 6-11-17
  11. Ryan Whitney 30, 2-14-16

LOWETIDE RE

  1. Taylor Hall 39, 21-19-40
  2. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 42, 13-26-39
  3. Jordan Eberle 44, 14-18-32
  4. Sam Gagner 43, 11-21-32
  5. Ales Hemsky 35, 8-24-32
  6. Nail Yakupov 45, 11-15-26
  7. Ryan Smyth 40, 9-13-22
  8. Shawn Horcoff 44, 6-10-16
  9. Jeff Petry 42, 2-15-17
  10. Ryan Whitney 39, 2-15-17
  11. Justin Schultz 44, 4-11-15
  12. Magnus Paajarvi 39, 3-9-12

CURRENT PROJECTIONS BASED ON ACTUAL PERFORMANCE

  1. Sam Gagner 48, 20-26-46
  2. Taylor Hall 45, 10-35-45
  3. Jordan Eberle 48, 12-22-34
  4. Ales Hemsky 47, 13-15-28
  5. Justin Schultz 48, 8-17-25
  6. Nail Yakupov 48, 10-15-25
  7. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 46, 3-15-18
  8. Ryan Whitney 41, 6-13-19
  9. Ryan Smyth 47, 3-10-13
  10. Magnus Paajarvi 43, 11-4-15
  11. Shawn Horcoff 31, 10-5-15
  12. Lennart Petrell 42, 4-7-11
  13. Jeff Petry 48, 5-5-10
  14. Nick Schultz 48, 0-7-7
  15. Eric Belanger 40, 0-6-6

Cullen is close on Jordan Eberle, Justin Schultz, Ales Hemsky, Shawn Horcoff, Magnus Paajarvi and Ryan Whitney. He missed on only RNH by my eye (but who knew?) and did not anticipate Hall’s step forward. Cullen did an outstanding job to my eye.

clock

LOWETIDE AT HIGH NOON

Today at noon Edmonton time, we hit the airwaves of Team 1260 with two hours of hockey talk. Scheduled to appear:

  • Scott Cullen from tsn. We’ll talk about first half surprises, Oilers who are kicking butt, Calder chances for Yakupov and Schultz, and of course your questions are welcome.
  • Ellen Etchingham from Back Hand Shelf. We’ll talk about Ellen’s unique view of the game, what fascinates her these days and her unusual relationship with the rabid fandom that is Oilers Nation.
  • Corey Graham from team 1260′s Oil King broadcasts. Corey’s the hardest working play by play guy in junior hockey, because the Oil Kings keep winning! A massive blowout last night kicked off the playoffs for the OK, we’ll talk about the game, the incredible depth and the Memorial Cup.
  • Travis Yost from Hockeybuzz. Travis is the Senators columnist for the buzz, and he’s exceptional. His tee up for today’s game is here. We’ll talk Senators, Oilers, playoffs and the impact of coaching on a roster.

Hope you can tune in. Questions and comments welcome, best way to get hold of me (even during the show) is on twitter @Lowetide_ but I check the blog too for questions and comments.

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280 Responses to "BLUES AT OILERS G30 (12-13) 23.3.13"

« Older Comments
  1. Lucinius says:

    Putting a skill player like Yak on a line with Belanger and Jones has to constitute cruel and unusual punishment.

  2. fuzzy muppet says:

    Gret99zky,

    Don’t say that. Even Columbus rebuilds faster than this loser franchise. Calgary will do a full rebuild and still be a better team than this bunch of dopes.

    Edmonton is the NBC of the NHL

  3. SK Oiler Fan says:

    That’s game. Outchanced 5:1 tonight

  4. Lucinius says:

    Hemsky has been the only Oiler with any real offensive threat tonight, imo.

  5. fuzzy muppet says:

    They should have moved Whitney after his hot streak. Now they have zero chance

  6. Southern Oil says:

    That is exactly why you cannot overpay Smid.

  7. Lucinius says:

    Couple missed calls there.. but given our powerplay lately.. don’t really blame the ref for not calling them.

  8. fuzzy muppet says:

    Lucinius,

    It’s not just IMO it’s EO.(everyone’s opinion).

  9. crude says:

    (Give-away on the last one aside) Ebs and Hall don’t deserve the same salary. This is a big problem.

  10. SK Oiler Fan says:

    St Lou has alot of good players, love that Sobotka. They could use a goal scorer at the deadline, then they’d be one of my favorites to make the conf finals

  11. Reg Dunlop says:

    Ok, it’s all over now. The oil should be able to catch everyone except Colorado and Florida meaning we will pick 3rd or 4th. Right in the range of Drouin.Boy, wait till next year; think of all the goals we will rack up with another small prepubescent kid to add to our collection.

    If they combined the Blues roster and the Oiler roster to make an all-star squad, I don’t see any oil making the cut. And remember, the Blues are certainly not the best team in hockey; sadly. the oilers are the worst. Still love them though.

  12. RexLibris says:

    On the bright side, the forwards have had almost 40 minutes of practice time on the backcheck. They’ll be experts by season’s end.

  13. fuzzy muppet says:

    There’s almost no chance at the playoffs and it lies squarely on the feet of management.

    All they needed were 2 d-men and an actual NHL worthy 4th line. Instead, they waste contracts on Abneys, Petrells, and Eagers, Greens, Byers etc.

    How management still has a job is absolutely mind-boggling

  14. tcho says:

    Ouch.

  15. Lucinius says:

    Whelp.

    Thanks Whitney.

  16. VanOil says:

    Can we bench Whitney in the second half of the third in every game not Yak, Please.

  17. Lowetide says:

    At least Whitney didn’t get the minus. Khabibulin out to dry on that one.

  18. RexLibris says:

    Reg Dunlop,

    You’d still have to outpace the Flyers, Islanders, Flames and Capitals to get to Drouin territory.

    Glad I’m not sitting in the stands for this one.

  19. pboy says:

    If anyone was questioning whether or not bringing Whitney back on a value contract might be a good idea, tonight is a pretty definitive answer.

  20. tcho says:

    How do you pin that one on 6? He hits his player with the pass…

  21. RexLibris says:

    Any chance the Oilers can trade a player for another draft pick and take Mantha as well as whomever else they select?

    We could use his size right now, and he’s still a junior.

  22. Gret99zky says:

    Watch Whitney get re-signed in the summer because he has the off-season to do power-skating and re-invent his game. “Still a highly skilled and servicable defenseman.” Because Oilers.

  23. fuzzy muppet says:

    pboy:
    If anyone was questioning whether or not bringing Whitney back on a value contract might be a good idea, tonight is a pretty definitive answer.

    Oh I’m 100% positive that they are still “assessing”

  24. jake70 says:

    Man, boobirds out at Rexall, ugly, ugly hockey.

  25. Lucinius says:

    tcho,

    Because he went to change, decided against it and was late in coming back to get his man.

    Instead of, you know, waiting to see if the puck got deep before trying to change like an intelligent hockey player should at the midget level.

  26. Rebilled says:

    50/50 draw.

    Paying Oiler fans, your highlight of the night.

  27. Oilanderp says:

    Yak looked pretty miffed that Smyth didn’t give him a look on the 2 on 1.

  28. hunter1909 says:

    They’re down by 2 goals?

    I can’t watch anymore.

    I can’t watch this team getting slapped around, while IHL calibre players like Petrell perfect the art of inner perimeter hockey. Or Whitney, period.

    And playing Khabibulin in a game that anyone can tell was more or less critical, well.

  29. Lucinius says:

    As a Hemsky fan I’m really starting to hope he gets traded to a good team. After all these years the guy deserves a shot at somewhere that’s competently run and managed.

  30. tcho says:

    Yeah – 94′s slapper is far more fearsome than 64′s…

  31. Southern Oil says:

    Oilanderp:
    Yak looked pretty miffed that Smyth didn’t give him a look on the 2 on 1.

    I would be too because Smyth can’t shoot the puck from that distance.

  32. hags9k says:

    Smytty had a nice half dozen game stretch earlier on but tonight he looks about 100. It’s starting to be hard to stomach. I don’t want to remember him like this.

  33. Reg Dunlop says:

    RexLibris,

    Of the 18 remaining games, I see only 2 ‘should win’ games; at home to Columbus and Phoenix. They easily could lose the rest.

  34. dessert1111 says:

    Tank, tank, tank!!

  35. Oilanderp says:

    This team just isn’t good enough. And not lucky enough either.

  36. tcho says:

    Lovely understatement from the CBC play-by-play with 2 minutes left – “the Oilers 5 game point streak in danger of coming to an end tonight.”

    Incisive.

  37. RexLibris says:

    Reg Dunlop,

    Don’t they have two against the Flames?

    In all honesty, I really don’t care about the rest of the season save those BoA games. I’d like the Oilers to win the season series on aggregate. Something like 32 – 5 sounds good.

    ;-)

  38. fuzzy muppet says:

    It’s time to play 64 as much as possible. This season is over. Playoffs on the line in a must win and they completely shit the bed.

    Sign Smid around 3.5 per and Jettison 37, 20, 6, 94, 28 and 15. That’s a lot of Flotsom

  39. VanOil says:

    This game has lived down to my expectations. Thank goodness for alcohol. In honor of there anthem singing earlier: http://youtu.be/GZZ7_l1QaZ8

  40. RexLibris says:

    Well, I now have a reason to cheer for the Flames, Capitals, Flyers, Islanders and Lightning all to win tomorrow. Seth Jones is only a losing streak away.

  41. RexLibris says:

    Night all, time for some sweet, sweet self medication. *looks up draft rankings*

  42. Lucinius says:

    Embarrassing.

    Only word to really describe tonight. Can only think of maybe three or four Oilers who didn’t stink up the joint. Eberle, a guy getting paid as well as he is? One of the worst on the night. A lot of times he just stood around, not even bothering to skate towards loose pucks.

    The powerplay was a joke, and has been for about 20 games now. RNH being gone isn’t the problem, either; the problem is they refuse to adapt the powerplay at all meaning its very easy to scout and work against.

    Defensive system continues to be one of the worst in the league. If that’s Krueger’s system? Well.. almost a firing offense, as he doesn’t seem to have any inclination to change it despite it being one of the biggest problems the team has.

    Any night the majority of the players come out this flat, this dis-interested in a game with serious implications for the playoff chase? This is when you either bag-skate them or simply tell them not to bother with their careers as a professional hockey player.

    Hopefully they get that message and wake the fuck up and play like they should be able to.

  43. SK Oiler Fan says:

    I don’t see this team on it’s current path ever beating that Blues team as currently constructed. and Tambolowe are tasked with making up the difference? Good luck

  44. tcho says:

    Well, that’s the kind of team the Oil will eventually have to be able to beat. Not there yet. 10-year plan? (first we need to collectivize farming in the Ukraine…)

  45. squeezboks says:

    Blues games this year = Wild games for me last year. Boring as hell.

    Oilers dusting the puck off way too much. Every team forechecks the crap out of us. Move the puck quicker and you nullify that tactic.

    Team deserved to get booed tonight. No push early on. No passion.

  46. fuzzy muppet says:

    LT is awfully silent tonight.

    I’m guessing it has to do with the 2nd bottle of wine he tweeted earlier before the game

    He was smart enough to know in advance.

  47. Lowetide says:

    I’m watching this After Hours, it’s hilarious. Friedman may choke them all soon.

  48. asiaoil says:

    St Lou was bigger better, rested and motivated. The kids have no decent veteran support aside from Horcoff, Hemsky and Smid. Two forward lines and 3 decent dmen don’t cut it and neither does the clown show in the front office

  49. squeezboks says:

    Also, I gotta get this out of my system. I have been a Jones fan for a while but, an absolutely heinous dump in near the end there. Had the opportunity to take ONE more stride and drill the puck in deep. Instead, he flips it in soft because he is on the wrong side of the red line.

    Teams needs to exert its will, crush out that extra stride and make the other team work for it.

    Hall looks like a man defeated at the end of this. Breaks my goddam heart.

  50. jake70 says:

    The management team never has to face the media immediately after a game, maybe they should. Lock the dressing room, put a sign on it “Talk to Management”.

  51. Rebilled says:

    Trent Reznor joins Queens of the Stone Age.

    That’s pretty interesting.

  52. VanOil says:

    Lowetide:
    I’m watching this After Hours, it’s hilarious. Friedman may choke them all soon.

    Agreed. It is best viewed as a comedy.

  53. SK Oiler Fan says:

    CBC Trainwreck.

  54. Release the Hounds says:

    Boy oh boy. This team sucks more than the Dyson DC23! As a fan since 1979, I have stuck with this team through the bad times and the badder times. But after watching this crap year after year with no real let-up in sight, I am pretty much at the end of my rope. If Katz cannot recognize that his Oiler management/coaching team is nothing but a bunch of incompetent, ass-licking, dick-sucking, shit-for-brains, sacks of dog vomit, then I guess he gets what he deserves. Die-hard Oilers fans deserve much more! So until Katz grows a pair and decides that he has had enough of the inmates running the asylum and sends them packing, the Oilers teams will continue their seasons of mediocrity and futility.

    My original six team from Chicago have become way more entertaining to watch and my doc and I will appreciate my lowered blood pressure numbers that comes from watching their games.

    As for me, life is too short to give a shit about the Oilers players who don’t give a rat’s ass about the people who pay their salaries, the fans. Because if they don’t give a shit about us, why give a shit about them. I mean, really!

  55. OilLeak says:

    I wish Gagner would rip Oiler management on national television. Then maybe, just maybe someone would have the courage to make some changes with this crap shoot organization.

  56. fuzzy muppet says:

    I can’t decide who is more undeserving of their job:

    Tambolowni or Dan Tencer. Does anyone believe his BS?????? What a joke

  57. Gret99zky says:

    Release the Hounds:
    nothing but a bunch of incompetent,ass-licking, dick-sucking, shit-for-brains, sacks of dog vomit,

    whoa. well nobody can say that was understated.

  58. Gret99zky says:

    OilLeak:
    I wish Gagner would rip Oiler management on national television.Then maybe, just maybe someone would have the courage to make some changes with this crap shoot organization.

    “Well, I’ve talked to my agent and he’s going to heli-vac me outta here and once I’ve signed with another team I’m going to lower the winch and rescue Hall, Ebs, and the Nuge from this burning rebuilding.”

  59. Lowetide says:

    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 26m

    “Unacceptable for the kind of team we want to be. We need to react to this as quick as possible by winning the next game.” – Krueger

  60. Lowetide says:

    “They pushed us around & we didn’t react the way we should have. It’s not good for us and not good for our fans.” -Hall

  61. Lowetide says:

    “Give it to them, they took it to us. But we didn’t have enough intensity and that’s unacceptable in the situation we’re in.” – Horcoff

  62. OilLeak says:

    Lowetide:
    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 26m

    “Unacceptable for the kind of team we want to be. We need to react to this as quick as possible by winning the next game.” – Krueger

    I don’t think Krueger believes the words coming out his mouth anymore, must be hard putting on that front every time the Oilers get killed.

  63. JohnnyRocket says:

    It must be hard to be an Oilers coach 2007-13. Making statements about increased effort/focus/character when you damn well know that your roster is flawed.

  64. OilLeak says:

    Lowetide:
    “Give it to them, they took it to us. But we didn’t have enough intensity and that’s unacceptable in the situation we’re in.” – Horcoff

    Oilers could bring all the intensity in the world to this game, but it wouldn’t have mattered. Intensity, desire, and push back aren’t going to fix Whitney’s mobility issues or the overall depth of this team.

  65. OilLeak says:

    Gret99zky: “Well, I’ve talked to my agent and he’s going to heli-vac me outta here and once I’ve signed with another team I’m going to lower the winch and rescue Hall, Ebs, and the Nuge from this burning rebuilding.”

    As much as I would be happy for the players to go to a winning organization, I would hate to have to start cheering for a team that I’ve followed since my childhood.

  66. JohnnyRocket says:

    OilLeak: Oilers could bring all the intensity in the world to this game, but it wouldn’t have mattered.Intensity, desire, and push back aren’t going to fix Whitney’s mobility issues or the overall depth of this team.

    This! I am sick and tired of the effort level being blamed for loses for this team. That accounts for some of the loses, but management dd their house-cleaning (coaches, trainers, players) and built this team from the ground up. If they can’t win, FIRE MANAGEMENT.

  67. JohnnyRocket says:

    I apologize for the all caps. Too many “pops” tonight.

  68. JohnnyRocket says:

    “How do you account fot your improvement in the defensive zone”? -question for Gagner to on Afterhours.

    There has been no improvement in the defensive zone.

  69. VanOil says:

    Willis giving out the dreaded 1 grade, no points for guessing who.

    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/03/23/edmonton-oilers-player-grades-stinker-vs-st-louis/

  70. Ribs says:

    Picked up a beer league game so I missed this one. Sounds like it was a good choice. But hey! They had two more shots than last time against the Blues! 19 Shots. Ick.

  71. elgruntus says:

    Samantha King was the best Oiler tonight…..by far!

  72. TheOtherJohn says:

    Reg Dunlop:
    RexLibris,

    Of the 18 remaining games, I see only 2 ‘should win’ games; at home to Columbus and Phoenix. They easily could lose the rest.

    $5 says PHX beats us

  73. JohnnyRocket says:

    Games 30-40 will play out exactly like last year. Except for the response of the fans. Management will not change. They will be sellers for draft picks of will make sideways/backwards moves like Schultz for Gilbert.. The MSM will not change their narrative. The players will feel demoralized.

    The differences this year? The fans will be furious with a bottom five finish, for the first time this millennium and the coach will not be fired. My guess is Tambo is the sacrificial lamb..

  74. TheOtherJohn says:

    Have no idea why some on twitter are down on Dan Tencer. Oiler management does not appreciate any one questioning the stupidity of their roster decisions. Second guessing stupidity is easy. Dan was hired to pump up the tires of Oiler management. You know: Tom Gilbert shit, Nic Schultz: poise. Dan is very good at that job. Unfailingly blind allegiance!! .

    Fact that some of the douchebag fans boo the Stanley Cup worthy 12/13 Oilers is a clear mistake. Should taser those loser fans. Do they not understand concepts like patience? Kevin won 6 SC rings: CHECK and he’s gotta know something about winning . Right? After all, give him another 5-6 years and the Oilers may just be getting ready to compete

  75. BONVIE says:

    JohnnyRocket,

    The problem is I never disliked the other coaches. Krueger is a terrible lifeless charactar, and his team reflects it. I can’t watch his interviews because he is so boring and uninspiring.

  76. BONVIE says:

    OilLeak,

    Look around the league at teams with injuries and holes in their roster that just keep on trucking. New Jersey and Ottawa come to mind.

    Its all about work ethic, intensity, and consistency.

  77. season not played says:

    meaningful game??
    right…….
    nice homestand.
    the players say all the right things but they dont care. they get paid win or lose, and for this group, it would appear that is all that matters.
    this team is heading nowhere.

  78. russ99 says:

    Maybe the fans should boycott the last 3 home games, as that’s the only way Katz is going to get the message that things are broken and fixes are needed, especially at the top.

    As long as they sell out Rexall, there’s no incentive to do anything, and I still think there’s a some truth to that don’t compete until the new arena conspiracy theory.

    And remember, the Columbus fans certainly played a part in Howson getting the axe.

  79. MrSmitty says:

    Man am I glad I went to bed instead of watching the rest of the game after the first goal. If Lowe and company aren’t skidded by the end of the season and we are still a lottery team, I am in for a torch and pitchfork gathering on Kingsway.

  80. loosemoose says:

    Is there a reason the list for tickets is so long?

    Who exactly wants to wait to pay money for that?

    Makes me wonder who is stupider…..oiler management for thinking this will pass as NHL hockey, or me for even watching when I know it isn’t.

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