G73 2014-16: BLUES AT OILERS

by Lowetide

The Edmonton Oilers are less a hockey team at this point than 23 potential assets, and for fans that can be no fun at all. In season 10 of losing, it is hard to care about a lot—but we do, incredibly. Last night I wrote an item about the Nuge and received plenty of pushback. Basically, you said it might happen but we don’t want to hurry tomorrow. So, we won’t. We will talk about today.


  • 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: 7-6-1
  • Oilers in January 2015: 5-7-1
  • Oilers in January 2016: 4-5-2
  • Oilers in February 2015: 5-6-1
  • Oilers in February 2016: 4-8-2
  • Oilers in March 2015: 5-6-3
  • Oilers in March 2016: 4-3-0
  • Oilers after 71 in 2014-15: 19-39-13, 51 points (-74 GD)
  • Oilers after 71 in 2015-16: 27-37-7, 61 points (-40 GD)

In G72, the Winnipeg Jets won 4-1 and the Oilers lost their 40th game of the season—for the fifth (non-shortened) time in a row. Edmonton will make it six later this month. By the way, Edmonton’s compressed schedule is very obvious when looking at G72 a year ago being played March 23—a full week later than this season. The NHL schedule for the Oilers was a killer this year, shame on the man or woman who signed off on it.

DEFENSE, 2015-16


  • Andrej Sekera is 49.3 percent with Mark Fayne this season, both have taken hits in the comments section of this blog. I understand the idea of having wall-to-wall puck movers, but defending remains a big part of the game. Sekera is not a grand power play option, but his 5×4 pr 60 ranks No. 1 among the blue who did it a lot this year. He even did pretty well against the SC and HDSC compared to group. I think only Sekera returns.
  • Darnell Nurse seems a lock for the roster next year. His possession numbers and 5×5 offense are on par with Ladislav Smid in his rookie season. I believe Nurse is a more dynamic player offensively, but not giving him a season in the AHL at 20 may have long-term impact on this player. We wait.
  • Brandon Davidson and Oscar Klefbom are surely a big part of the solution for next year. Both men were over 50 percent in possession, and this is early in their careers. I know this is darkness, the season over and the Oilers destined for No. 30 overall, but this is your silver lining.
  • Jordan Oesterle has performed well in these early days and I wonder if he starts next season above Griffin Reinhart as first callup.
  • Man Games Lost had an enormous impact on this team. I will not argue it, but will leave it here.

CENTERS, 2015-16


  • Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins could easily be one-third of a championship 9F before the end of this decade. Seriously.

WINGERS, 2015-16



  • If you could protect only three wingers for an expansion draft, the choices are clear: Taylor Hall, Benoit Pouliot and Jordan Eberle.
  • If the rules allowed you to protect one other winger, who would it be? My choice would be Nail Yakupov. Patrick Maroon is making it interesting, but I go for potential until we know who the young Russian is, and we are in year four. Who is your fourth winger?
  • Zack Kassian has faded badly, to the point where bringing him back is no longer a sure thing. For me, I think his issue is the same one as has impacted Yakupov: The lack of a quality center for his line has made Kassian a loose cannon on a ship headed for the rocks. He is 0.67/60 at 5×5 with Mark Letestu, 3.10/60 at 5×5 with Leon Draisaitl. Evidence is here.
  • Nail Yakupov of course is the poster boy for this kind of split. With Mark Letestu? 0.28/60 at 5×5, but with Connor McDavid, he is 2.41/60 at 5×5. That evidence is here.
  • Jordan Eberle is the current RW for McDavid. Is he beating that Yakupov number? Eberle is 2.74/60 with McDavid, 2.25/60 with the Nuge. Evidence is here.
  • Why isn’t Eberle with the Nuge, while Yakupov plays with McDavid? Don’t know.

marincin and lander ferguson 1415


Martin Marincin had a great evening in Toronto, those of us who value the advanced stats could have told you a year ago (and even before) about his ability. In fact, we were pretty convinced of this fellow by November 2010.

Here’s something else this blog believes: Wait five years. The Oilers sent Marincin away last summer, five years after his draft. It was a mistake, we talked about it at the time. The 2010 draft has been slammed forever, but these years later Taylor Hall, Martin Marincin and Brandon Davidson appear to be on the way to productive careers of varying length. Wait five years. You may not like Anton Slepyshev today, but hold back your water until 2018 summer. Seriously.


  • Todd McLellan:  “In talking to Pete (Chiarelli), the character assessment from now till whenever we’re done will be huge. It will really come into play in some of the decisions we make moving forward.” Source

I don’t like these kinds of assessments, because body language varies and who knows when someone is looking. Would you rather have the guy who looks alert and ready at all times, or the guy who can bash in the brain of the opposition at 5×5? Martin Marincin not following the nutrition/workout plan got him to Toronto, God knows where Taylor Hall’s resting face (he is sulking!) gets him. What a way to run a railroad.

sad dog


Based on twitter last night and today, there is going to be a lot of shaming headed toward Oilers fans because of the Toronto win last night. I understand how people feel, it is a damned shame that Edmonton management has been unable to get it together for so long. That said, the rules are the same for all teams and until they create one that says the Oilers cannot draft first overall (and that may come today!) then all is fair in love and war.

I think, for everyone’s mental health, it is important for us to separate the team’s failure from that of the fan base. As fans, we cheer like hell for our team (Oilers fans have the faith of a child, that is one of our best features) and deal with the wreckage each spring. The team should be ashamed, the players should be frustrated by management’s addled decisions, but the fans? Last I checked, no fan decided to pass on buying out Nikita Nikitin last summer, and someone inside the Thinking Room must have said he would have a better year in 2015-16.

So, take heart. You cannot control the Oilers, the standings, the lottery, the sunshine or the rain. You control your own behavior, and your own opinion of yourself. Walk tall, Oiler fan. You are the best thing about this team. Full stop.

nuge hall ebs


The times they are a-changin’. I mentioned yesterday morning that we are likely going to see some exits, and last night’s article got a lot of reaction in a negative way. So, while I want to continue writing those articles, I will present them in a Hard Target Search format and we will talk about possible acquisitions as opposed to who is leaving. However, before we leave this area, I thought it might be an idea for all of us to post our list of assets we think will be heading out of town. Here is my list:

  • Jordan Eberle or Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (depending on the ask)
  • Nail Yakupov
  • Mark Fayne
  • Griffin Reinhart
  • First-round pick



Frank Seravalli reports that NHL teams will be looking for a range for next year’s cap, and for Oilers fans that may be massive. If the cap is flat—or goes lower—we may see some very attractive deals shake loose for only money. Peter Chiarelli has some room here before free agency, and I think it could be a very active June. As difficult as it is to swallow this morning, Edmonton winning the draft lottery would be a beautiful noise. I am not asking you to actively cheer for a lottery win, but do request you think about the possibilities should it happen. Seravalli item.

oilers lottery


We may also hear about a new Oiler rule as it impacts the draft, but for Edmonton fans it is less about their team and more about the teams who follow. Closing the barn door after all of the horses are out may be the human reaction to a stampede, but in actual fact there is very little use in it. Connor McDavid is an Edmonton Oilers player, the rest is strictly B-side.



A fun show today, 10 this morning, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey. The Oilers have very few games left, is there anything they can get out of them that will aid next season?
  • Josh Martin, Bleacher Report. NCAA Tournament gets underway with play-in games tonight, go Michigan! Go Holy Cross? We will get it all sorted out with Mr. Martin.
  • Andrew Bucholtz, 55-Yard Line. The CFL Combine this past weekend uncovered some legit talent. Who are these guys?

I am also working on a St. Louis Blues guest, jiving times is a monster this morning. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide twitter. See you on the radio!



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Gerta Rauss: -kind words about Reinhart

Almost reminds me of a coach called Babcock and a dman by the name of Marincin… but you know, narratives gotta narrate.


G Money:
Since you guys goaded me into posting today, I’m going to retaliate by pasting a link to my game summary:


Fine work as usual sir!

I really appreciate what you’ve got going, your work is a must see after all Oiler games.

Just great stuff.

Suntory Hanzo


What a great site. He also should be on the payroll. (after you, of course, LT)


Centre of attention,

He played leftside today.

He and Reinhart switched sides multiple times this game. Generally Oesterle’s been on the right.


stush18: So I really think we need to talk about Reinhart being on the team next year.
Cuz other than his first game back, he has been playing very well. I see him making almost every pass tape to tape, he’s separating the body, and he’s always had an active stick and good positioning

I agree. Reinhart is looking very good. That trade can still pan out.

Gerta Rauss



I’ve seen some creative spelling of the coach’s name online and I’ve been amusing myself
with equally creative spelling when adding the post game comments to the blog


Gerta Rauss,


Gerta Rauss

McKenzie post game audio

-I thought Nuge had a hell of a game

When asked about the 3C

-we may go,at some point in the next 10, where we maybe move Leon over and bump Nuge up, because we’ve to figure some things out and answer some questions as these next 9 games go by

-kind words about Reinhart

Gerta Rauss

Lots of excitement tonight-nice game


So I really think we need to talk about Reinhart being on the team next year.

Cuz other than his first game back, he has been playing very well. I see him making almost every pass tape to tape, he’s separating the body, and he’s always had an active stick and good positioning

If oesterle is can still move through waivers next year, I can see


With nurse and oesterle first call ups.

Seriously, when he was called up after the all star break, he killed it. He was then sent down, and was playing very good hockey by all reports. He has since been called back up, and been playing good hockey again, with another good rookie.

Maybe we only trade for hamonic?


Not sure, but and I’m not trying to move one of these guys out… But klef and sekera are not going anywhere. Davidson is under sworn protection from Bruce. And Reinhart is Chias guy. Interesting summer coming up.

G Money

Since you guys goaded me into posting today, I’m going to retaliate by pasting a link to my game summary:


Centre of attention

So me and Lowetide were bashing Letestu in DM’s before the game so of course he goes out and gets 3 points.

Love it.

The Trade Guy

I talked to my wife and played with the kids and then watched this game. It was a fun game to watch. I wouldn’t even mind if the Oilers lost 6-4 games because offense is fun.

But you can still blow it up Pete.

Suntory Hanzo

Ypu know what really psses me off? I see an ad for Pizza73 on the Oilers page when looking up the post game interviews.

I worked at the Sherwood Park location in High School – 1989ish – so I am feeling nostalgic as I live in BC now. So’s I click on the link to look at the deals. The first thing I notive is that the sizes gave changed… when I worked there the sizes were Regular or Bigger.

Then I notice the Johnny Fucking Hockey Hat trick combo! I wanted to go Phranklee on those guys.

It’s the small things that hurt the most. I should have left the past in the past.

Like when I rewatched MegaForce.

Centre of attention

Centre of attention,

He played leftside today.

Sure, but I saw him right side with Davidson and it was wonderful. He will be on the farm next year but IMO Rienhart has serious competition, not just Nurse.

Griffin looked fine tonight too, for what it matters.


Centre of attention,

He played leftside today.


Suntory Hanzo: Not sure if LT wants to use them for his next RE series

Gord forbid.

Centre of attention

striatic: Same with Maroon. Chia seems to know which of these big guys to pick, small sample size of course but it bodes well.

Maroon is better in tight, but Kassian can skate much better than Maroon. Once Kassian pulls the big rig out on the open highway, he can really move. The same as Draisatil kind of.

Centre of attention

Oesterle gets smoked sometimes being a smaller guy, but he makes the play first. He can make passes under pressure knowing he might get destroyed the next second. Impressive.

Centre of attention

Oesterle is making it hard not to have him around next year. He is playing right side without a major drop in performance too.

Suntory Hanzo

Take that.

Not sure if LT wants to use them for his next RE series


Centre of attention:
kassian has great hands for a big body. he can skate too.

if he can just put it together…

I can see why Peter picked him up for pennies on the dollar though. Potential.

Same with Maroon. Chia seems to know which of these big guys to pick, small sample size of course but it bodes well.


Nice win boys.

Centre of attention

kassian has great hands for a big body. he can skate too.

if he can just put it together…

I can see why Peter picked him up for pennies on the dollar though. Potential.


I never had a doubt.

Me neither


That Kassian play. Damn.

Suntory Hanzo



Oesterle with an assist!

Suntory Hanzo

Kassian with nice hands there.


If the Oilers were going to beat the Blues, you had to know it was going to be kind of like that.


Take that.

Centre of attention

Hall doesn’t like playing with McDavid. Stuffed a wonderful chance.

Suntory Hanzo

Totally legal hit by Brouwer according to Blues commentary. But rules state of cut it has to be a major, so it was out of refs hands.

Centre of attention

Hockey gods intervened on that 2-on-1.

Hockey gods want Oilers to win, only explanation.

Centre of attention

He pinned Hendricks head to the boards and for sure gave him a concussion.

Maybe a bit of a make up call, but I really hope Hendricks can play another game in the NHL.

Is he still on bench?

Suntory Hanzo

The loyal fan in me tells me another PPG is coming.

Laura Pronger tells me a shorty is coming.

I really don’t like these St. Louis commentators.



Lander has a bad case of the sideburns.


Random Acts of Yak’s, there.


Matt looks like he is playing hurt. Interesting how they won’t play Anton in his place


Lowetide: I remember years ago, 80s, we were driving down the road somewhere around there, and in the middle of nowhere was this bar. I mean nothing around. We went in (four of us) and it was a country bar, maybe 10 people in it, big damn building. Everyone a regular but us. We sat down, waitress came over, we ordered, drank our beer and no one was saying a damn thing. First 10 minutes were really uncomfortable, we ended up closing the joint. Great time.

Nice, ya it has grown a lot from what I am told. I have only been here 10 years since I married my wife from down here, I am from Lethbridge originally. It was 10 years ago I found this blog to deal with my hockey withdrawals I was dealing with!

Centre of attention

Is Oesterle OK? He just got crushed by about 300 pounds of St Louis blue forechecker

I don’t know how that wasn’t boarding. Maybe Oesterle turned into the boards a bit? He’ll learn.

Little Poteet

Centre of attention,

Nah, Fabrizio hit him with a slash to the calf

Suntory Hanzo

The ghost of thecaptainethanmoreau lives again!

Centre of attention

I think Griffen blew a hammy on the play before the penalties


This is the most Oilers game of the season.