The Edmonton Oilers are now 4-11-2 and screwed blue for the 2013-14 season. We’re not far from the ten year anniversary of the 2006 run and the playoffs remain a distant bell.
Here’s the thing: they played a pretty damn good road game last night against a good team and lost by one goal. Sure, they had too many dumb defensive plays and were absolutely robbed on more than one occasion, but they were in that game all the way, and the edge in play (on the road!) and the SOG favored the Oilers. If they keep playing that well, they’ll get the breaks. Life can be a bitch. Edmonton Oiler fans, this is the point in a fan’s life where long walks and movies and finding a member of the opposite sex might be good for mental health. Seriously.
EVEN STRENGTH SP
- 2010-11: .921
- 2011-12: .927
- 2012-13: .922
- 2013-14: .876
This is Devan Dubnyk in a box. If you believe Dubnyk will return to the 920′s then making a deal is a silly idea. If you don’t, then making a trade is the right call. Personally, I remain convinced he’s got more left in the tank. It’s also true they need a stronger option behind him, someone who could be dropped in as a #1 if the slide to Salo-level continues.
At this point, I’m not absolutely certain of the top 6 based on merit. Jeff Petry is the bpa on the Oiler blue, but after that (imo) the group seems to be a blur 2-9. Taylor Fedun and Phil Larsen have stepped in and looked fine, and the fact that Andrew Ference, Nick Schultz and Ladislsav Smid have been inconsistent (wildly so) is cause for concern. Honestly, this club needs a steady veteran who can chime in with Petry and play the toughs, and they need it now.
It’s always interesting to see who gets used by the coach, in last night’s comments Larsen was getting plenty of love but it’s important to see how much the coach was using him. A coach uses his defensemen based on their effectiveness, time on ice reflects a lot:
- Phil Larsen 23:34 (2:47 on PP)
- Ladislav Smid 22:38 (2:30 on PK)
- Andrew Ference 22:24 (1:30 on PK)
- Jeff Petry 20:20 (1:30 on PK)
- Taylor Fedun 14:26
- Nick Schultz 14:19 (2:30 on PK)
Huh. Phil Larsen. He’s a 5-6 who played a lot of minutes last night. If that trend continued we would have a story. When Justin Schultz comes back, the right side rotation (which had been Petry, Justin Schultz and then a vet like Nick Schultz) but Larsen and Fedun may force the issue here.
Nick Schultz, the walls are closing in Sir.
Taylor Hall, that is all. What mountain can we give him next? A goal, 8 shots, and the man I call “Chance” took it to the limits seconds after leaving the infirmary. I consider myself 100 times lucky to be an Oiler fan with Taylor Hall as the driver, and wish him myriad success. He’s a psycho killer on skates, this #4. Welcome back, Taylor. We missed you.
The club is burning daylight, those early years of Hall’s Oiler career. For that reason alone, I think MacT needs to fix the goaltending now. Go get Hiller, and sign him.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A lot going on today, 10 this morning TSN 1260. Scheduled to appear:
- Steve Lansky, Big Mouth Sports
- Andreas Morse, FC Edmonton
- Dennis King, Oilogosphere Icon
- Corey Graham, Oil Kings pbp
- Jungle Jim Hunter
10-1260 (texts have been great, thanks) and twitter @Lowetide_ Hope you tune in!