If we’re to believe the rumblings, Craig MacTavish is looking for goalies in alpha order and we can expect something soon. The club is now 1-5-1 with games in New York and Ottawa to come. WILL MacT make a big move? It’s a strange time of year for it.
The Oilers have been rumored to be seeking a goalie, a defenseman and (earlier) a center and a physical winger. I think center has been solved, and doubt we’re about to see another Mark Fistric added to the group. Goaltending, however, might be a different story. And then there’s this:
There’s a lot of information there. First of all, I’m not thrilled with the idea of mortgaging the future for 10 minutes of Ryan Miller. That’s the “Roloson maneuver” and a team that is otherwise a strong Stanley contender can make that move—this Oilers team isn’t it. Neuvirth is an interesting option, but he’s no screaming hell and there’s abundant evidence Dubnyk is a superior goaltender. Elliott had one brilliant season and has been mediocre before and since–that’s not going to help.
The Dubnyk item from McKenzie is the majority opinion among thinking Oiler fans, but not the overwhelming one. I think the right call now is to put Dubnyk back in Thursday night and if he plays well play him again Saturday. There’s not a lot of room left though, they need to see some good results in October.
- Bob McKenzie: There isn’t anything the Edmonton Oilers aren’t at least looking at or considering, but we are to believe that nothing is imminent at this point. Part of the problem the Oilers are going to run into is that most of these teams don’t want to make a deal this early in the season and give up one of their surplus goaltenders until they get a better handle on their own situation.
The underlined portion is the big item here. The Oilers probably lead the league in meetings, and their pro scouts must feel they’re on a rock and roll tour (hello Cleveland!) but making a trade just to make one is crazy.
BULLETS IN THE CHAMBER?
- Michael Baldwin: “There are reports Barons goaltender Richard Bachman might join Edmonton in the near future. Off to a 1-5-1 start, Edmonton owns the worst save percentage (.833) in the NHL.”
ABOUT LAST NIGHT
The Oilers are 1-5-1 after seven games and the won-loss is as bad as bad can be (their one win came in a shootout) but the underlying numbers are excellent–in fact, if the shooting percentage and PDO normalize this rig could turn around in a quick hurry. The 5×5 Corsi for % shows a lot of good things, and to my eye Taylor Hall was back to being himself last night. Eberle was playing at a higher level too, and I think this team is going to have a very good run when Gagner gets back and Yakupov starts finding the range.
There’s just too much.
RAJALA UPDATE (COURTESY MARTIN LUNDEN)
Credit to Martin for finding this story that sheds some light on Toni Rajala’s thought process that led to him being released by the Oilers. Quoting the article using Google Translate: “partly because I did not like in the AHL, and partly because I felt I was ready to play in the NHL. I think a couple of years in Europe can help me become an NHL player, and I still dream of becoming. In Edmonton, there were also so many talented, young players that it was hard to get anywhere.”
One never knows of course, but Rajala was a helluva AHL player and if he’d continued posting those crazy numbers I think he might have forced the issue. Of course, Linus Omark is in OKC and nothing good has happened for him, but Omark was out of this world good in the spring. The Oilers seem to have made decisions on several of their Euro players this summer (Harski, Rajala) and the Barons club lacks offensive flair because of it. I suspect it was a combination of 50 contracts, MacT’s opinion of these players and I do think Hartikainen hurt his cause with that NHL performance last season.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
10am TSN 1260, we’ll bring a lot of Oilers talk and some other things too. Scheduled to appear:
- Alan Hull from Copper and Blue. We’ll talk about the Oiler game, the goaltending situation and Rajala’s release.
- Jory Stuparyk, Associate Director at Donnan Hockey, High School Instructor at Vimy Hockey and Video Coach for Edmonton Oil Kings. I’m looking forward to the conversation, this is a fascinating area of the game.
- Scott Cullen from tsn. We’ll talk Oilers, Leafs and mlb playoffs.
- Eric Rodgers from Tend the Farm. We’ll talk about the Barons (won last night) and about the Euro’s who have come through OKC (Hartikainen, Omark, Rajala) and had unusual career paths afterward.
10-1260 via text, @Lowetide on twitter. It’s going to be fun!