Todd McLellan wasn’t pleased with the performance of his team last night, and that’s a good thing. He didn’t name the culprits (although did give a number) and that’s also a good thing.
Coach McLellan says he will be having individual meetings with several #Oilers players to address some of tonight's shortcomings.
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) October 24, 2015
The Al Gore named lots of candidate in the aftermath of last night’s game, and for me there’s very little value in hammering each other all day over the five names. Seriously. If you watched the game, you have your opinion and are welcome to share. There are more important opinions than mine to discuss this morning.
- Todd McLellan: “I’ve been disappointed in our team this year, the Dallas game in particular but tonight I was more disappointed in individuals. We’re a good team but we can’t afford to have four or five guys not with us. We had guys who played 18 minutes who didn’t get a shot or a hit. Pretty poor individual line.” Source
McLellan is fabulous. I’ve been reading Oilers coaches and management call out players by name for years, from Lubo to Devan and frankly I’m sick of it. Good for McLellan to hold back on this night. Refrain from name calling in public at night, napalm in private this morning.
OILERS D LAST NIGHT, IN A BOX
This is pretty much the way I saw the game. For me, the Sekera—Fayne combination was fairly effective, especially if you include special teams time. Your mileage may vary.
Oscar Klefbom had an ‘also in photo’ night on a few plays, including the weird goal mouth pass that went off a Cap and an Oiler before going in—that made it 3-2 and was a very difficult moment for the Oilers to overcome. You could also fault him for the Justin Williams goal but I think an under control Anders Nilsson has that shot and Klefbom was in fact where he should have been (but didn’t execute). Either way, not his best evening but I’m certainly prepared to defend him today as one of the two best defenders on the roster.
Eric Gryba played the most EV minutes last night and he’s trending that way, folks. I think Todd McLellan likes the big man and suspect we may see a pairing shift in the coming days (if the struggles continue). Last night, at evens, Gryba’s partners were:
- Ference 10:44, 6-15 Corsi
- Klefbom 3:52, 5-2 Corsi
- Fayne 1:58, 4-3 Corsi
- Schultz 1:08, 1-1 Corsi events
- Sekera: 34 seconds, 2-1 Corsi events
I’ve said for some time that (for me) Klefbom needs another partner. I was (am) hoping it would be Andrej Sekera, but it’s also possible we see a Klefbom—Gryba pairing in the coming days.
"We overwhelmed ourselves with stupidity in some areas." – Oilers coach Todd McLellan
— Rob Tychkowski (@Sun_Tychkowski) October 24, 2015
MEANWHILE, BACK ON THE FARM
Darnell Nurse is five games (0-1-1) into his AHL season and you can’t convince me the six men on the ice last night at Rexall are ALL better than him. I understand there’s a development timeline and the Oilers are going to adhere to it, but Nurse isn’t 18 and he isn’t 19. Is he exactly what the Oilers need? Hell no, they need much more. That said, I believe Nurse can help. They should call him up. Today.
McLellan can express disappointment, he can hold meetings, he can give the stink eye to the PR guy and he can kick the vending machine in the hall. He can do all manner of things, but he can’t make this six good enough to compete against a good-to-great NHL team. This is us. Peter Chiarelli needs to make a trade and bring in more capable defensemen and until he does we’re going to have more nights like this one than the fanbase deserves.
I’m encouraged by McLellan not calling out his players by name and am hopeful we see a roster move in the coming days. Without one, we may not see this team look capable until the Calgary game.