The Edmonton Oilers impact forwards are either healing, in the hospital, in the doghouse, the outhouse or on fire. It would be nice to have more than two (Hall, Draisaitl) in the ‘fire’ quadrant but it’s a long season.
FIRE AND RAIN, SEASON OVER SEASON
- 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: 3-6-1
- Oilers after 22 in 2014-15: 6-14-2, 14 points (-31 GD)
- Oilers after 22 in 2015-16: 7-14-1, 15 points (-12 GD)
Game 23 for Edmonton last season was an OT loss to Nashville, Filip Forsberg scored in the extra frame and Viktor Fasth was very good.
PLEASE SIR, MAY I HAVE ANOTHER?
— StatsCentre (@StatsCentre) November 27, 2015
It could have been worse, far worse, and that four weeks could be a bit of wishful thinking. Either way, he didn’t blow his knee up so we’ll count our blessings and consider the candles lit a worthwhile enterprise. Yakupov is a fine young man, hope he’s here for the good times and maybe he’ll be back the same night as Connor McDavid. In that shining city on a hill Mr. Katz dreams of, I think Nail plays RW and serves the Glenn Anderson role. So far? Willy Lindstrom.
- Hall—Draisaitl—Eberle: The offense is all on the Santa Maria.
- Korpikoski—Nugent-Hopkins—Purcell: I should like this line, Nuge and Purcell are good possession players and Korpikoski has had good seasons. I don’t trust the Finn here. The Pinta may take on water.
- Pouliot—Letestu—Hendricks: I bet you $12 Craig MacTavish suggested this line. If one of them had a broken hand and another had a shoulder issue, this would be 2004MacT for sure. This is the Nina, which could be the best of the three at sailing upwind.
- Gazdic—Lander—Pakarinen: Todd McLellan’s fourth lines are the brig. You eat gruel and spend weeks without seeing the sun.
Don’t know about Khaira, suspect he’s more likely to play in Pittsburgh. The blue is likely to stay the same, although changing out Reinhart for Gryba is possible. Cam Talbot gets the start, let’s hope it’s a good one.
— Rob Vollman (@robvollmanNHL) November 27, 2015
Well, let’s have a quick look at some basic numbers before we ask Rob about the season over season. Numbers below are complete season totals for 2014-15 and of course after 22 in 2015-16.
- Shots For Per Game This Season (Last Season) in All Situations: 28.9 (28.4)
- Shots Against Per Game This Season (Last Season) 5×5: 29.0 (30.0)
- Goals For Per Game This Season (Last Season) In All Situations: 2.55 (2.35)
- Goals Against Per Game This Season (Last Season) 5×5: 3.09 (3.37)
There’s improvement in lots of areas but the point totals will be identical after 23 games if the Oilers lose in regulation this evening. My question for Rob (among others and you’re welcome to chime in) will be: What would a ‘normal’ record look like with the shot differential being basically .500 and the goal differential being -.54 per game?
LAST 10 GAMES
Interesting to see who has been scoring and stopping pucks over the last 10 contests, gives you a view to chill.
- Leon Draisaitl 10GP, 4-8-12
- Taylor Hall 10GP, 4-7-11
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 9GP, 3-4-7
- Teddy Purcell 10GP, 2-5-7
- Oscar Klefbom 10GP, 3-3-6
- Benoit Pouliot 9GP, 2-2-4
- Andrej Sekera 9GP, 1-3-4
- Jordan Eberle 9GP, 3-0-3
- Darnell Nurse 10GP, 0-3-3
- Brandon Davidson 8GP, 0-2-2
- Eric Gryba 8GP, 0-2-2
- Nail Yakupov 10GP, 0-2-2
- Matt Hendricks 7GP, 1-0-1
- Mark Letestu 10GP, 0-1-1
- Anders Nilsson 8GP, 2.52 .907
- Cam Talbot 2GP, 4.10 .857
The Oilers also have a long list of players who have been in the lineup and have no crooked boxcar numbers:
- Anton Pakarinen 10; Anton Lander 9; Mark Fayne 8; Griffin Reinhart 8; Luke Gazdic 5; Andrew Miller 5; Lauri Korpikoski 4; Connor McDavid 1; Anton Slepyshev 1.
The scoring depth on this team is very poor and I know part of it is injury. That said, Pavel freaking Datsyuk will center Detroit’s third line tonight. In the last 10 games, Anton Lander (0 points) and Mark Letestu (1 goal) have shared that role. It’s an issue. The Oilers are outplaying other teams at the top end, but giving it all back at the other. This is known as the ‘Doug Flynn starts at second base for the Expos’ malady and it is real.
I know people are obsessed with the defense and it could be improved and should be filled with more established players. That said, the six they’ll run tonight have NHL ability and as they fly more sorties they should get better. Who are the best candidates for the 3line tonight? Todd McLellan is robbing from the 2line to make it stronger. This team needs some help on the 3L and I think the guy they bring in should have the ability to score.
Matty wrote an article last night about dealing Nuge and that article inspired two readers to ask about the return. One email suggested Shea Weber should be the target, and that’s a bad idea. Why? Well, Nuge is 22 and Weber is 30 and that’s a big damn deal. Consider how old they’ll be in five years, when McDavid is 23: Nuge 27, Weber 35. It’s not the right way to do this. Keep the Nuge, trade a winger. I know everyone loves McDavid and Leon, but they’re very young (hell Nuge is young!) and dealing Edmonton’s 22-year old C means Leon and McDavid face tougher opposition at home and on the road. Madness. Keep the Nuge, find another option.
MCDAVID BACK EARLY
Anyone else have their spidey senses tingle on the timing of this good news story? Oilers awful in Raleigh and Nail gets hurt by a runaway linesman, and bam! GREAT NEWS ON MCDAVID!! Anyone see this as a wily old GM issue framing like a bandit? Just me? I think PC has a big brain. Now, he needs to use it to procure a Pisani pdq.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
We’re rocking the show with the wide wide world of sports today! 10 this morning, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:
- Dustin Nielson, TSN1260: LIIIVVVVE from the Grey Cup in Winnipeg, we’ll get a report on the nudity and the awards.
- Steve Lansky, Big Mouth Sports: The CFL has a new logo, it’s a throwback to a simpler time. Like before color and artists. We’ll also talk about the Grey Cup game.
- Yukon Jack, 100.3 The Bear: Yukon is a fabulous guy and a unique one, too. He’s hosting ‘Daddy Boot Camp’ with the Edmonton Public Library which is basically Dads getting the kids out of the house so Mom can relax and the kids/Dad can bond. Brilliant idea, we’ll see how things are going a few weeks into the camp.
- Rob Vollman, ESPN. We tackle the math puzzle above: Is our Oilers learning?
- Antony Bent, FC Edmonton. More signings by the Eddies, and the Tottenham Hotspur are kicking royal ass right now.
- Dave Jamieson, TSN1260. The CFL awards and predictions for the final score on Sunday.
10-1260 text, @Lowetide twitter. Kick out the jams, it’s Friday!