The Edmonton Oilers can catch a few teams before the end of the season. The question is should they? I believe the Oilers have to stand and deliver at some point, and now is as good a time as any.
- Through December 27: 39, 12-24-3
- Since December 28: 32, 13-13-6
- Last 10: 5-3-2
- Overall: 71, 25-37-9
Edmonton has 11 games left, and can catch all of Florida, NY Islanders and Calgary. If all teams perform in their next 10 the way they have recently, Edmonton would pass Florida and the Islanders. The only way they catch these teams? Scrivens/Fasth have be Parent/Hasek, the skill required to win the possession game just isn’t there. Edmonton will play Calgary tonight, and will get outshot. Book it. That’s a very large problem and it hasn’t been fixed this season.
- Boyd Gordon 57.4 (1311)
- Mark Arcobello 51.0 (404)
- Sam Gagner 45.8 (828)
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 42.4 (1086)
While we’re putting together the summer ‘to do’ list, it might be a plan to get Boyd Gordon some help. Mark Arcobello showing up again in a good spot.
I used to play this game as a kid, probably because there was an expansion draft every two years and there was another time when two teams did merge. If we ask ourselves to list the absolute locks for this team (in our collective opinion) how many are there?
- Ben Scrivens
- Viktor Fasth
- Justin Schultz
- Jeff Petry
- Andrew Ference
- Martin Marincin
- Oscar Klefbom
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
- Boyd Gordon
- Taylor Hall
- David Perron
- Matt Hendricks
- Jordan Eberle
- Nail Yakupov
That’s my list, you might feel there’s a player who shouldn’t be on the list (or one added) but the 14th guy for me (Hendricks) has done enough to earn a spot as a role player next season. It’s also worth noting how many of these players are either too young to be in their prime or too old—very few peak players, which is typical for bad hockey teams. I remain hopeful the Oilers will sign Ryan Smyth to play LW next year on the 4line.
WILL MACT BLOW IT UP?
Part of me wonders if Craig MacTavish will turn over a bunch of the roster this summer. If he’s going to pursue a button down team (and let’s face it, he coached an EV juggernaut and Eakins looks like the same guy) maybe he trades away some of the skill in exchange for the sure things? Something to ponder.
ACQUIRING ACTUAL NHL DEFENSEMEN
We always talk about the Oilers going out and getting a defenseman who is established and young enough to hang around for a long time, but NHL teams don’t trade those guys often. In fact, the Oilers have traded more away in recent seasons (Smid, Gilbert) than they’ve acquired. I’m not saying Jeff Petry is heading out of town, but have to wonder at this point if the Oilers value Petry at a level equal to his ability.
Petry is RFA this season and will be looking for a significant raise. Oilers have often stepped off at this exact point (Cogliano, etc) in the relationship.
RELEASE THE HOUNDS!
I stole this from Dellow awhile back, he did all the work to go back and find the season over season Corsi for MacT’s teams (with the rebuild beginning in 2006-07 very obvious). I would link to the article, but couldn’t find it on Tyler’s site. He does talk about Corsi% Proxies of the past here. I don’t like stealing stuff without linking, but credit is due Tyler because this is the good stuff here.
What do these numbers tell us? Glen Sather, Ron Low, Kevin Lowe and Craig MacTavish had established and sustained an era where they could push the river (at least to a draw) with a budget that was trumped pretty much everywhere. At the time, I remember being frustrated by it, struck by a sense of the Oilers plight being unfair. Now, I feel my team has taken advantage of the tanking loophole for half a decade and are overundersidewaysdown.
If MacT has to cash Eberle and Yakupov and Schultz and some of these other kids to get back to 52.6% Corsi%, then release the hounds.