The Oilers sit 4-15-2 this morning, the frustration is mounting and the quarter pole is a long way from the home stretch (let alone the finish line). The coach rode his top 3 lines even knowing an important game was waiting tonight, but the team itself at least showed up after going down 3-0 to the Sharks. The spirit is willing, but youth and talent are not strong enough on this team to overcome a team like San Jose.
No sin in that.
However, tonight they play the Calgary Flames and it’s very important that this team give itself a chance to win.
- Play Dubnyk. He had an excellent game last night, keep it going.
- Play the Nuge-Hall-Eberle line together for the rest of the season. Go with what works.
- Play the 2nd PP unit first. I spoke to Tyler Dellow about this earlier in the week and the 1PP is just too predictable. Until they figure out what’s wrong, use the Yak PP and that should help the PP-PK GF-GA ratio.
- Find a 4th line that is useful. This is silly. The coach dresses three guys he doesn’t use.
- Put Arcobello back in the lineup and leave him there.
- Stop taking stupid penalties.
I know, easier said than done. However, these are just basic decisions the coach and General Manager should be able to make without the fanbase having to worry over it. The Arcobello decision is fairly typical of this season: curious and counterproductive. This team can’t afford to put one of their 10 best forwards in the pressbox, not right now.
Taylor Hall: “I’m just so tired of coming in here after games and having to give a reason why we lost”
This hockey club will eventually string some wins together–they may have to make some changes before that happens–but it’s interesting to see the reaction these young players are having to the stream of losses. Yakupov handled it his way, Hall is handling it a different way, and the schedule makers have handed this club a life line just in time. I do believe that if the losing continues we’re going to see some pretty stark moments for these guys and that’s the number one reason why something has to give, and it should happen tonight.
Win tonight, and with Columbus and Florida coming they could be 7-15-2 by Friday. That’s still terrible but we’d be talking about good games in a row and the pall that has been cast around this team might see some sunlight.
The Flames are 5 points ahead of Edmonton with 2 games in hand, and their Corsi for% is superior (47.7 to 45.8) but I don’t think they’re a better team in terms of talent. That and $2.75 will get you a cup of coffee.
SCORING, LAST 10 GAMES
Dubnyk’s SP is .894 in the last 10, only Nail and Perron have scored more than 2 goals and Gagner is a ghastly -10 (along with the young Russian) to lead the team. Hall’s numbers are the most impressive in the last 10 (because he missed 5 games and still posted offense). This is a horrible set of numbers for a truly gifted group of players. If I’m in Vegas, I’d bet on a spike on this graph beginning this week against the Flames, Jackets and Panthers.
Ladies, if they can get out of their own way, they’re heading north.