On days like this one, when impossible trades are thrown around as ideas and we dream they could be true, perhaps it’s important to go back and review what we know, what we think we know, and what we THINK we think we know.
HARD NUMBERS, HARD CANDY
- Oilers in October 2014: 4-5-1
- Oilers in October 2015: 4-8-0
- Oilers in November 2014: 2-9-3
- Oilers in November 2015: 2-4-0
The Oilers would end November one year ago with six wins and 4 ties in 23 games. Currently, the team has six wins and no ties in 18 games. It would be insane to suggest there’s real progress in the standings, because 30 is a number but it isn’t a good one. Let’s check the ‘other math’ and see what swings.
- Corsi For 5×5 %: 48.5 (No.21) compared to 48.1 (No. 24) last season.
- GF per 60 5×5: 2.10 (No. 17) compared to 1.93 (No. 26) last season.
- GA per 60 5×5: 3.01 (No. 29) compared to 2.91 (No. 30) last season.
- Shots-for per 60 5×5: 26.6 (No. 24) compared to 27.2 (No. 26) last season.
- Shots-against per 60 5×5: 29.8 (No. 22) compared to 29.6 (No. 21) last season.
- Shooting percentage 5×5: 7.92 (No. 13) compared to 7.10 (No. 26) last season.
- Save percentage 5×5: .8988 (No. 28) compared to .9019 (No. 30) last season.
What does that tell us? Offensively, the Oilers are slightly better than one year ago 5×5. They’re scoring more (it would work out to about 14 more 5×5 goals over last season) and the shooting percentage is up (shots down, you need more shots, or at least I think you do).
Defensively, the Oilers are giving up more goals per 60 (it would work out to about 9 more goals this year) although the shots against are identical year over year. As you might guess, the save percentage is worse than last season and the Oilers are into the elevator shaft and watching the floors go by.
All that said, it all comes down to 6-12-0 and if it’s 6-14-0 at the end of next week you can spend the winter helping me spell Chychrun. However, before we fall into the long nightmare, let’s spend a few minutes with our friend from the RE series and check the temperature.
- I see it’s going as you predicted! Well, not quite. Long season though, one hopes the bad luck injuries end, and we need to get some goaltending. There’s plenty to be gained this winter by this organization.
- Boy you can sling it like mad. Did you win a seat in the election?!!?!? Look, I thought the goaltending would be better and the defense tighter. I guessed Edmonton would score more and allow fewer, and we’re 18 games in and things aren’t going as planned. Long road, plenty of blacktop.
- You projected GOBS of offense! AND you promised us whores! Well, I’ve never promised whores, that would be illegal. I pegged Edmonton’s offense at 2.80/game, they are currently at 2.61/game. That isn’t tragically bad, and if you consider McDavid, Eberle and one Nugeless night it’s a prediction one can defend.
- That’s not bad, actually. Okay, but you blew the GA! You always do! You’re so BAD!!!!! I projected Edmonton’s GA at 2.73/60. The team is currently at 3.22/game and that’s bad. If this continues, the Oilers will allow more than 260 goals. Still better than last season, but a terrible failure by management.
- Who is to blame? Well, I think a lot of the trouble comes from the diabolical D, which combined with the goaling has me ordering Murder, She Wrote DVD’s by the ton. Craig MacTavish and Scott Howson have some explaining to do in regard to Nikita Nikitin. That’s beyond a misfire. I don’t know how the new GM went about his business, but at some point they must have decided not to buy out Nikitin and one imagines someone stood up for him in the big meeting. That doesn’t look really good today.
- The goaltending bet is all Chiarelli!!! Sure, but I’m at a bit of a loss about why people are so quick to sewer Talbot. It doesn’t make any sense. He played well in New York, will probably (as Devan Dubnyk did) regain his career elsewhere, but at some point I think Edmonton is going to need to give him a chance to establish himself. Not now, mind you. He’s a wobbly G, they’ll need Nilsson to run with the starting job for the next while—maybe even call up Laurent Brossoit.
- Why not make a trade? Chiarelli may in fact make a deal, but Nilsson has a .907EV SP currently and I’d run with him for this week to see if he can save the day. I do agree that at some point the club may have to make a deal, but I go back to the Talbot bet.
- Screw it! He’s trash!!! How many times do you have to go through this, before maybe it’s something else? The problem in life is that you develop a past and the Oilers are death valley for goalies. No sir. Stand and deliver, there’s not one damn thing wrong with this young man. He may not be an NHL starter, but he didn’t get Shell shock until he put on the orange and blue. We have met the enemy—it’s us! Pretty soon, mamas aren’t going to let their kids get on the plane to come here!
- You’re on dope. Look, Cam Talbot is not playing well, he looks a fright. Why? Let’s find out! Can we not review last year’s video and see what has changed? Perhaps a quick trip to Bakersfield for a conditioning stint? Hypnosis? Kreskin? Reveen? You can’t just call dial-a-goalie.
- Why can’t we have Calgary’s goalies? You’re joking, right?
- Okay, what should they do? The Oilers should add another veteran defender—remember when we talked about why the balance photo wouldn’t be seen this year?—then send Griffin Reinhart to the minors (you could send Davidson instead, but he’s shown well enough to stay imo). They should run Nilsson as the starter, with Talbot getting some games along the way, too. The Oilers are 6-12-0, but if they get the goaltending figured out (which may take a trade, I concede) and play their experienced defense set (with the new man), they could drive toward .500 and that’s due north. Hell, when McDavid returns, if they’re tighter in shot suppression and stopping more shots, maybe they go 12-6-0.
- I take it back. It’s not dope. You’re crazy. And scene.