G32 2015-16: OILERS AT RANGERS

Craig MacTavish the coach used to say you win games at the end of a winning streak you don’t deserve, and we saw that last night. It does not mean Edmonton loses tonight, but if they do fans have received what we can reasonably call fair warning. Lordy that was a loose game.

DOWNTOWN TRAIN, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • 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: 4-7-2
  • Oilers in December 2014: 2-8-4
  • Oilers in December 2015: 6-0-0
  • Oilers after 31 in 2014-15: 7-19-5, 19 points (-45 GD)
  • Oilers after 31 in 2015-16: 14-15-2, 30 points (-7 GD)

This winning streak came at the right time, because pretty much all of the gap you see in those numbers is bought and paid for by your friend December. G32 a year ago was a 2-1 loss to the Coyotes, as the hits kept coming and in the end Dallas Eakins would not fight another day for the Oilers.

standings

ON ICE SCORING CHANCES FOR/AGAINST: 13-34

ON ICE HIGH DANGER SCORING CHANCES FOR/AGAINST: 8-12

This morning, 38 per cent of the way through their season, the Edmonton Oilers are in Manhattan, in the playoffs, and waking to a brand new day. No matter what they get out of this, I know, I know, they will never forget. It is morning in Edmonton, for the long-suffering fans. Music!

THE CASE FOR THE DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

oilers blue nov 30

Davidson—Gryba stepped into the second pairing role and had a tough time with the Bergeron line. Part of the issue for me is that Gryba is a plodding decision maker and that means turnovers. The man can defend, but with the puck it is deer in the headlights. Oilers have to fix that. Davidson is a real find, that was a good road game for the young blue. He was under fire much of the night but kept his head. I find that even his mistakes come when trying to make a good, or the right, play. Smart young hockey player.

Sekera—Nurse were once again asked to climb Everest without a rope and my goodness it was an adventure. You may disagree with me, but I thought that was Sekera’s best road game of the year, he was out of his brain on the 5:15 making or trying to make plays. Darnell Nurse skated miles and I love his game, but he is at a point where less would be more. The young man tracks brilliantly and will chase to the death, but in modern hockey, chase often means death. Have to find a way to remove puck from carrier. I have zero worries about his confidence, he simply displays no fear. Impressive to see him maintain composure, we have seen a generation of Oilers rookie blue wilt under far less pressure. As has been said by this blog for weeks: I wish I may, I wish I might, see him play on a lower pairing tonight. This pairing had 11 defensive zone starts, most on the team.

Nikitin—Schultz is a pairing that should not be, not with Mark Fayne in Bakersfield. That said, I think Schultz with Nurse  and Sekera with Fayne would be a far better way. Listen to me talking after a sixth straight win. I wonder if Ference draws in tonight? Hell, at this point the Oilers are playing with house money on the winning streak (and the road trip).

What would be a good trip, after last night? I said 1-2-1 before the Boston game, important not to get greedy. 2-2-0? Yeah, Rex may have been right.

  • Todd McLellan: ”Our goaltender played a tremendous game for us. When we’re a little short staffed, we need that from him, but I think we can be better in a lot of areas. That was a taste for our group that haven’t played in the playoffs for a long time, for me, that was like a playoff game, they checked every inch of ice, they didn’t let you breathe.” Source

CENTERS IN BOSTON, LAST NIGHT

oil c nov 30

Nugent-Hopkins had a fine night, I think he was one of two forwards who stood out. Posted some offense and checked him some Bruins, they are a tough matchup for him because their centers are veterans and extremely good at what he is also good at—two-way play and anticipation. Leon Draisaitl found it hard to breathe, but that Bergeron fellow is a first class offense killer, no shame in being 20 years old and 34 percent against one of the toughest screws to ever walk a turn at the TD Garden.

Mark Letestu and Anton Lander had a tough night but one would hope for better based on the players they were facing. Both played two minutes against Chara and Letestu did get Seidenberg, Lander too. I think the Oilers need a better third line, but then again Connor McDavid is a game changer the moment he steps back on the ice.

WINGMEN IN BOSTON, LAST NIGHT

oilers f nov 30

Jordan Eberle (along with Nuge) was the best forward for Edmonton last night. He is finally clicking after that injury in pre-season—and doing what we knew he could do when healthy. 14 had two high-danger individual scoring chances, the only Oiler with more than one on the night. Goal-scorers are so damned valuable, and Eberle is one.

Hall—Purcell were checked into the ground, and all got a dash one on the late goal. A total of four shots for the hottest line in the league, I think we can pass on ripping this duo. Purcell made a play last night where, after about 12 minutes of pounding, he made a deft move to the left of the Edmonton net to beat a man clean, and start the breakout. It was the first skill play I had seen in possibly 15 minutes. Hall and Purcell each had one high-danger individual scoring chance.

Jujhar Khaira is going to make it hard to activate Rob Klinkhammer, but it is time for Benoit Pouliot on the Nuge line. Khaira might survive beyond the BP recall, though.

Matt Hendricks and Iiro Pakarinen did things I liked, mostly involving slowing down progress and interrupting the steady stream of sorties. I have no idea who stays when Yakupov comes back, but for me Pakarinen is a keeper.

Cam Talbot had to wait awhile for his chance, but he was brilliant in Boston. If he regains his status as No. 1 goalie, signs a contract with the Oilers for next year and beyond, we will probably forget about the game in Boston, mid-December. I think it was a very important game, this is a young man who could be the solution to a key problem for many miles. Along with Anders Nilsson, the price paid for the solution in goal could be small—if it works. Good arrows, Mr. Talbot. Now, for crying out loud start the other man in Manhattan.

The national media refuses to embrace the story, but it is good for you to know who your friends are in times like these. I am beginning to think the radio airwaves and television transmissions are catering to Leafs Nation, who apparently cannot handle success in Edmonton—to the point where it doesn’t get mentioned in a way that is reflective of its importance. Stu in Statistics has it right: Without McDavid this is a fast train who are beginning to outscore myriad mistakes on a given night. They badly need a RH defenseman to play with treble Klef, and this goaling needs to be .915 or better, but there is sunlight seeping into the room and lighting up Oilers Nation for the first time since the crib caught fire.

It is December 15, the Edmonton Oilers have 30 points in 31 games. Connor McDavid may well be skating at an outdoor rink every morning at 2am using night goggles (still cannot see a way McDavid gets on the ice without that fact getting reported). It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day.

SMASH -- "Mr. DiMaggio" Episode 103 -- Pictured: Debra Messing as Julia Houston -- Photo by: Patrick Harbron/NBC

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

Beginning at 10, TSN 1260. A fun, busy day, scheduled to appear:

  • Jonathan Willis, Cult of Hockey. We will look back on last night’s game and forward to this evening’s rematch of the Friday game. Will we get another 80s night?
  • Brian King, NonStopSportsPicks. Maas is in as Eskimos coach. Is that a good thing?
  • Kirk Luedeke, Red Line Report. We will discuss the Bruins, the college kids available in the 2016 draft.
  • Guy Flaming, the Pipeline Show. World Junior roster and Guy is off to Finland. Did he pack correctly? Let’s help him.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide twitter. See you on the radio.

 

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423 Responses to "G32 2015-16: OILERS AT RANGERS"

« Older Comments
  1. Radiusofnerdature says:

    square_wheels,

    I work for one of the big 3 on the drilling services side and our forecast for next year is a bunch of mud. We are bidding jobs at a loss right now. Suspect that’s the norm for most.

    Yay Rachel, stick it to those farmers!!!

  2. RexLibris says:

    Mr. Lowetide.

    New gif for you. Our favourite hurdler: http://imgur.com/gallery/lzihl73

  3. square_wheels says:

    Radiusofnerdature,

    She sure botched that, we planned to ignore it anyway on our farm…..3 years left of this is going to be wild. GMoney and I have an MLA that’s famous for all the wrong things, including being a former part time waitress who lived with her granny while studying psychology. She’s the equivalent of Otto from the Simpsons – “I failed grade 6 3 times Bart-dude, now I drive the School Bus”.

  4. flyfish1168 says:

    Just watch “The Reporters” on Toronto Sports Network that is produced from the “Center of the Universe.” Learn so much about the love affair between the beleafs and stamkos. But most important I learnt Steve Simmons is grey matter challenged. I feel dirty watching it.

  5. Henry says:

    theres oil in virginia:
    Rangers announcers noted that the Oilers are missing their best defenseman.No, they didn’t mean Ference.

    They should have. Klefbom destroyed their team on Friday.

  6. jp says:

    G Money:
    Shot data: https://oilersnerdalert.wordpress.com/2015/12/15/g32-2015-12-15-oilers-at-rangers-shot-and-distance-data/

    Note: this will be the last *regular* shot update until after January 8th when I return to the country!

    Next game I think I’ll be in Dubai or in the airspace nearby.

    If I have good internet, I’ll stream and run numbers when I can!

    Wow, NN-Shultz were shockingly good by the numbers. I missed a big chunk of the game, but didn’t realize they were decent based on the comments.

    Maybe they deserve another chance… I guess they’ll get it anyhow.

    Enjoy the trip! We’ll miss your posts.

  7. Henry says:

    The Oilers had a lot of chances particularly on rebounds but couldn’t bury them. It was almost like the pucks were warm and bouncing around too much.

    The Rangers’ forwards played better defense than their defensemen for the most part. They aren’t as good a team as their record.

    I liked the Oilers ok in this game and they lost. They were bad in Boston and won. It evened out.

    Eberle is rounding into nice form. Excepting one terrible shift in the first, he was handling the puck through the neutral zone with confidence and sticking his passes.

    The pass behind in the neutral zone on the powerplay worked well in San Jose for a while and in the 80s for the OKLA Sooners wishbone offense. For the OIlers it just kills the speed on the blue line and must be stopped. Zone entries with this level of talent don’t need much gimmickry.

  8. Lowetide says:

    Two more goals for Bear tonight. 31GP. 11-24-35.

  9. Gerta Rauss says:

    Mclennan post game audio

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/podcastplayer.htm?pid=98&iid=53203

    On Pakarinen

    obviously, he’s wounded, or he would have been back, he blocked a shot. He didn’t finish the night so we’ll know more later on tomorrow

  10. jp says:

    Lowetide:
    Two more goals for Bear tonight. 31GP. 11-24-35.

    Extremely impressive season for Bear so far. Wow.

    Looks like he might be one hell of a find.

  11. Oddspell says:

    Lowetide,

    I’ve been trying to rack my brain and figure out a decent comparison for Bear. When we drafted him I expected him to be Andrew Ference (in a good way). The more I hear, the more I’m thinking someone in the Nick Leddy or Nick Kronwall mold might be a good comparable as Bear’s offensive game has shown through. Does someone with a better view want to weigh in?

  12. Reneh says:

    square_wheels:
    Radiusofnerdature,

    She sure botched that, we planned to ignore it anyway on our farm…..3 years left of this is going to be wild. GMoney and I have an MLA that’s famous for all the wrong things, including being a former part time waitress who lived with her granny while studying psychology.She’s the equivalent of Otto from the Simpsons – “I failed grade 6 3 times Bart-dude, now I drive the School Bus”.

    This is the kind of dipshit, judgmental comment that doesn’t belong on Lowetide…..from your point of view working and living with family and going to school is frowned upon by you, which makes you an ignorant asshole. I hope no children, farmhands or family die on your farm despite your ignorance, and no, I am not worried about the kids picking eggs.

    Rene

  13. Reneh says:

    Lowetide,

    That was a great run! Queue the four game losing streak and trade everyone rumors….WEEE! Up and down on the roller coaster. I prefer to just mull and enjoy….red wine, spices…warm…mullll.

  14. Alpine says:

    Oddspell:
    Lowetide,

    I’ve been trying to rack my brain and figure out a decent comparison for Bear. When we drafted him I expected him to be Andrew Ference (in a good way). The more I hear, the more I’m thinking someone in the Nick Leddy or Nick Kronwall mold might be a good comparable as Bear’s offensive game has shown through. Does someone with a better view want to weigh in?

    His draft year and draft +1 numbers are not too different from TJ Brodie’s. Similar size too.

  15. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Reneh:
    Lowetide,

    That was a great run!Queue the four game losing streak and trade everyone rumors….WEEE!Up and down on the roller coaster. I prefer to just mull and enjoy….red wine, spices…warm…mullll.

    I don’t think that “queue” means what you think it means.

  16. böök¡je says:

    Let’s stay away from the politics folks. I get enough of that on Facebook. As of late, it seems as though intelligent conversation on the subject isn’t really possible so no sense bringing this place down.

  17. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Reneh: This is the kind of dipshit, judgmental comment that doesn’t belong on Lowetide

    I don’t think that’ “doesn’t belong on Lowetide” means what you think it mrans.

  18. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    böök¡je:
    Let’s stay away from the politics folks.I get enough of that on Facebook.As of late, it seems as though intelligent conversation on the subject isn’t really possible so no sense bringing this place down.

    Fuck you,
    böök¡je,

    !!!

  19. Halfwise says:

    LT has pitched a big tent here. Room for everyone.

    Funny, I don’t care about people’s politics much.

    Spelling mistakes, man, that’s something else. Cue my pompous outrage over the looser ones.

    Also, props to Melvis for coming back early in the thread to pick up all those big names he dropped the other night.

  20. thehop says:

    Halfwise:
    LT has pitched a big tent here. Room for everyone.

    Funny, I don’t care about people’s politics much.

    Spelling mistakes, man, that’s something else. Cue my pompous outrage over the looser ones.

    Also, props to Melvis for coming back early in the thread to pick up all those big names he dropped the other night.

    This is a big tent. I love that about this blog but perhaps we should designate a corner of said tent for folks who wish to argue the merits of bill 6 and the current state of albertan politics. Or we can build a stage and let Melvis relive 1983. Whatever you do…don’t look him in the eye and smile. It doesn’t mean what you think it means:)

  21. Really? says:

    Oddspell,

    Strangely enough the first player who came to mind when I read your post was Pat Stapleton who played for the Blackhawks years ago. The year prior to the arrival of Bobby Orr in the NHL Stapleton set a record for assists by a D man. While not a big guy, Stapleton had offensive skill and played a very smart brand of hockey.

  22. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Really?,

    Interesting. I had never heard of Pat Stapleton.

    A guy known as “Whitey” who played for the Blackhawks. Damn.

  23. Lowetide says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!:
    Really?,

    Interesting.I had never heard of Pat Stapleton.

    A guy known as “Whitey” who played for the Blackhawks.Damn.

    Wonderful player. Fantastic passer, he was small but could handle the opposition. He and Bill White were exceptional together.

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