G49 2016-17 OILERS AT FLAMES

by Lowetide

The Edmonton Oilers stole a point last night, and stole two points in a game on Wednesday. Craig MacTavish used to say that a team sometimes wins games they should lose at the beginning of a slump, and loses games they should win when coming out of one. Let’s hope this isn’t one of those times.

OILERS ERA(S)

We had some fun yesterday discussing the Oilers over time, and changes in the weather that defined decades. There were some great posts offering insight, and I have changed the ebbs and flows from yesterday:

  • 1972-1978—the Bill Hunter years in the WHA, great idea without an on-ice personality
  • 1979-1988—Boys on the Bus, Gretzky and Messier bring glory to the brand
  • 1989-1991—Boys on the Bus Coda (post-Gretzky, post-everybody)
  • 1992-1996—Heartbreak, hopelessness and Shame Corson
  • 1997-2006––The Little Team that Could. One little miracle was the capstone to the era
  • 2007-2014—Nadir’s Raiders, mind numbing, endless acid rain
  • 2015+—The McDavid Era

My thanks to all who contributed to the clarity, and to Stephen Sheps for some cool wording (used above). Scott Reynolds mentioned the Gretzky trade, and I included it, but maybe it needs a stanza all its own? Anyway, have a look, I like this little exercise, maybe we will do something with it in summer.

TIES THAT BIND, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers in October 2015: 4-8-0, goal differential -7
  • Oilers in October 2016: 7-2-0, goal differential +10
  • Oilers in November 2015: 4-7-2, goal differential -6
  • Oilers in November 2016: 5-8-2 goal differential -3
  • Oilers in December 2015: 7-6-1, goal differential -9
  • Oilers in December 2016: 7-2-5, goal differential +3
  • Oilers in January 2016: 4-5-2, goal differential -5
  • Oilers in January 2017: 6-3-1, goal differential 0
  • Oilers after 48, 2015-16: 19-24-5, goal differential -27
  • Oilers after 48, 2016-17: 25-15-8, goal differential +10

My reasonable line in the sand for January (17 points in 14 games) is on track (13 points in 10 games) but the Oilers now need to win two of the last four games this month in order to reach the goal. Plenty of good hockey this month, but there are some things that rightly cause furrowed brow this morning.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Davidson—Benning went 11-6 in 9:04 together, Benning went 0-2 with Larsson, Sekera and Russell—accounting for the gap. Went 2-4 against the Johansen line, 1-2 against Fisher line. I think Todd McLellan may want to run this pairing more.
  • Sekera—Russell were 9-12 in 11:10 together, that is a rather low 5×5 total for the second pairing. This pairing was 2-5 with McDavid and 1-3 with the Nuge line. They were 2-5 against the Johansen line and 5-2 against the Fisher line. Sekera had a golden chance to score in overtime, if the NHL went four-on-four for entire games he would score 30 goals a season. Sekera is the best free-agent signing by this team in forever. What a fine defenseman. Russell has good speed, and can transport the puck, but he doesn’t get pucks to good spots often enough to be successful very often. I think he would be better off making a five foot pass to the center in the defensive zone.
  • Klefbom—Larsson were 7-27 in 14:39, and my goodness there are some ugly numbers to deal with this morning. 2-13 with McDavid, 6-11 with RNH, 4-13 against Johansen and 2-6 against Fisher. The men were chasing a lot, and Nashville was getting some great looks. I still believe in them, but the Preds match up very well with the entire team and specifically this pairing. Deft passing and wingers who dart give these two fits. Victor Arvidsson was a nightmare for Larsson, who has played really well for the last few weeks.
  • Cam Talbot stopped 42 of 44, .955. Many were of the very difficult variety.
  • Stats via NHL.com, NaturalStatTrick and HockeyStats.ca.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

  • Hendricks—Letestu—Kassian scored the even-strength goal, some nice work for sure. Went 3-7 against the Johansen line and 1-3 against the Ribeiro line, I prefer Lander and or Khaira on the line but Hendricks scored a goal and credit to him. This is a guy fighting for his NHL life, and he got it done last night. Have to respect that.
  • Lucic—Caggiula—Slepyshev had their best game to my eye, all three men working hard and trying to get the puck going in a good direction. A lot of attention paid to Lucic’s goal and that big hit on Austin Watson (that young man would have been on waivers this morning if Slats ran the Preds). I was most encouraged by his improved passing, he connected more last night. This blog does not react to single plays and single events, because the reactionary view tends to careen and inform on just a portion of the game. So, the cool hit and important goal are going to get a lot of coverage, but Lucic is about getting the puck into a good spot via the pass, and I saw some good moments last night. Went 3-1 Johansen and 3-3 against Ribeiro, 2-4 against Fisher.
  • Pouliot—Nuge—Eberle are heading in a good direction now, the line totaled eight shots on goal and had some chances. I think 14 really has to hurry up his game, his stickhandling to nowhere is getting him into trouble. I am not trying to be a jerk here, Eberle has real ability. I think he is kind of stuck in a rut, where he doesn’t trust his instincts. I am sure he will get out of the slump, need those neurons firing. Went 3-8 against the Ribeiro line, who used short passes and pace to scoot out of their own zone effectively.
  • Maroon—McDavid—Draisaitl had a tough night 5×5, both 97 and Leon got assists on the power-play goal. Maroon has to stop fighting, it takes him off the ice for prolonged periods and screws up the flow of the game. He is a smart fellow, he will figure it out, but others need to answer the bell now, Maroon is too valuable on the ice. Went 1-15 against the Johansen line, who ran over the Oilers big time (the Arvidsson—Johansen—Forsberg line went 18-6 against Edmonton). Edmonton needs a recovery game tonight from this trio at 5×5.
  • P.K. Subban went 6-1 against McDavid, 2-3 against Nuge, 2-1 against Letestu and 2-0 against Caggiula.

TAKEAWAYS FROM THE GAME

  • Cam Talbot was the best player in the game for Edmonton. He stole a point.
  • Milan Lucic is starting to find the range with his passes. That is a really good sign.
  • The top pairing was in chase mode and played too much. I think the third pairing can take on a little more of the chores.
  • Patrick Maroon has to stop fighting. It ruins the flow of the top line. Cannot have this.
  • Edmonton is either getting better at getting points out of close games or are running a nice string of luck.

CAM TALBOT

  • Talbot at even strength: .924 (No. 12 among starters)
  • Talbot against the power play: .896 (No. 4 among starters)
  • Talbot overall: .919 (No. 11 among starters)

Based on those numbers, I think we can reasonably suggest Talbot is among the ten best goalies in the NHL this season (I have starters at 25 or more appearances). He has 24 wins so far this season, the last time an Oilers goalie had that number (in a complete season) or more was last decade. Mathieu Garon had 26 wins in 2007-08, Dwayne Roloson had 27 in 2006-07 and 28 in 2008-09. The most this century by an Oilers goalie? Tommy Salo, 2000-01, with 36 wins.

-Photo by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved-

LAURENT BROSSOIT

If the Oilers are going to give him a start before the All-Star break, tonight makes the most sense. The Flames, while remaining a strong club, and less formidable than Nashville and the two California teams coming up next week. Brossoit has earned his opportunity with several solid years in a row in the AHL. Here is his career in boxcars through November 30, 2016:

  • Age 20 (2013-14) 10GP, 3.99 .876
  • Age 21 (2014-15) 53GP, 2.56 .918
  • Age 22 (2015-16) 31GP, 2.66 .920
  • Age 23 (2016-17) 9GP, 2.59 .920 (on Nov 30)

He got cranked in three straight games over Christmas, and his SP took a deep dive (now .908). Combine that with last year’s audition (.873 in five games with the Oilers) and the next NHL audition for LB is going to be important. My own feeling is that if an employee spends four years auditioning for a job and performing to your satisfaction, probably a good idea to give that employee an opportunity. The Oilers (at some level) are very high on Brossoit, the last time I recall management (pre-Chiarelli) as strong on a prospect on the farm was Steve Passmore. I hope he gets his shot, he has earned the opportunity. If he can deliver in the backup role, he will have solved a significant problem for this organization.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM JANUARY

  • On the road to: Columbus, Boston, New Jersey, Ottawa (Expected: 2-1-1) (Actual: 2-2-0)
  • At home to: San Jose, New Jersey, Calgary, Arizona, Florida, Nashville (Expected Result: 3-1-2) (Actual: 4-1-1)
  • On the road to: Calgary, Anaheim, San Jose (Expected Result: 2-1-0)
  • At home to: Minnesota (Expected Result: 0-1-0)
  • Overall expected result: 7-4-3, 17 points in 14 games
  • Current Results: 6-3-1, 13 points in 10 games

The Oilers slightly under-performed the opening road trip, but had a strong home stand and are now set up for the second roadie. There are four games left in the January schedule, if Edmonton can average a point a game this month should be considered a success. Beating Calgary tonight would mean a 4-0-0 run (Flames have one point) and a massive turnaround over previous seasons.

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square_wheels

stephen sheps,

Well, fair warning, if you decide on a tattoo it’s highly unlikely you will get just one. My only caveat, find a good shop, which is defined by the vibe. Simply put, the artists willingness to listen to you but also put their own creativity into the piece. Also a good shop will not perform any of these on a first timer – nothing on your hands, above the collarbone, misspelling (yes people ask for No Regerts), girlfriend/boyfriend names on the really young (teenager). Unfortunately, most good shops have a long waiting period, I would not consider too many appointments that are booked immediately for within a day or 2 (unless you get dumb lucky from a cancel). expect to wait 1-3 mos for a really good artist, for the elite people…..sometimes up to a year.

Swinging back to SNL performances I’ve always thought they should let some bands play a 3rd song, even if just ad-hoc acoustic or go the extra few minutes. I think the most memorable SNL music performance (Sturgill is now in my top 3) was when U2 ended the show with I Will Follow. I’ll never forget the Edge closing the show with that great opening riff, even the cast was going crazy.

If SNL was my show, it would be just rock/punk, Sturgill and Chris Stapleton and the occasional old school hip-hop act.

No question, my first guest would be The Menzingers.

Crazy Pedestrian

That was a fun/awesome game to watch! I can’t remember the last time I heard a “Let’s Go Oilers!” Chant in the enemies barn… Good on them for sweeping the fLames this year! 8 points in the bank that used to go the other way! But no more!! The Oilers have arrived!!!

Now they just need to start figuring out how to beat the Sharks… They will most likely be their opponent if/when they get to the dance…

square_wheels

Suntory Hanzo,

I liked the show as well, great premise. I think the lack of a protagonist made it hard for most to really get into it.

If you enjoy Sturgill, I’d highly recommend both of his chats on the Joe Rogan Experience.

stephen sheps

square_wheels,

That’s amazing! Maybe one day I’ll finally cave and get the ink I’ve always wanted. But for now I remain tattoo free…

npanciroli

pocession charge: Pride.

No not that far from shame.

Less shame?

Yeah.

Suntory Hanzo

stephen sheps,

Should have played Sugar Daddy. After watching Vinyl, i fucking love that track. It’s off the charts. When the guitar kicks in with the riff it blows me away. What a great intro to the show. Too bad it’s cancelled.

Suntory Hanzo

JDï™,

late to the show, but well played.

Nailer Yakumoto

JDï™:
They really play ‘The Heat Is On’ after every goal?

That’s like a reverse incentive kind of thing.

Burst out laughing when that started playing. Good times.

5Things

1. What is this #? 7? I can’t count this high anymore.

2. Would you rather: Dougie Hamilton or Larsson?

3. Is Michael Ferland not our Tyler Pitlick? So hard not to root for this guy.

4. Notice how no pucks were bouncing on the Oil in the third tonight? Maybe I’m not reading the right blogs, but it seems to this viewer that the ice at Rogers hasn’t been the best, especially in the 3rd.

5. I wonder if it wouldn’t be helpful for Lucic to get a bigger stick. Especially after watching Jagr this week, it makes me think this might be a helpful offseason change for him.. He’s a quarter second slow to so many pucks. He looks to me to have the same size stick as Caggulia.

Pescador

Great night Kings lose, Ducks lose,
Flames get Pulverized & sweep in the same game.

Gerta Rauss

Sweet,sweet victory

That was nice

MrEd

The Craig MacTavish Oilers from 2000-2009 were an era IMO. And a good one.

JD_Wry

rickithebear: 1st overall pick KHL.

Must have been a flyer!

Well not to be a dink, but Yakupov – 1st overall NHL pick.

Ice Sage

striatic:
The Oilers need to figure out a way to beat the Sharks. That’s the next major hurdle to overcome. Sweeping the Flames is great but getting swept by the Sharks would be embarrassing. How about sweeping the remaining games versus the Sharks instead? Why not?

Beyond mountains are mountains…

I believe!

spoiler

striatic,

100 percent agreed. Said the same just above.

Thought we played them better the second game, but still nowhere near good enough.

danny

McDavid played a chord and it pleased the lord…. again

These guys aren’t one-hit wonders.

Music.

Can we replace Weirs Beard with Cohen’s Cajones?

Material Elvis

HT Joe:
Eberle with 2 goals, 2 assists… nice to see.Great job!

Decided on the Eberle jersey tonight. Wore it with pride!

Material Elvis

Offside:
As an Oilers fan, it’s safe to say that I’ve now gone from feeling shame to, wait – what’s the opposite of shame?

Pride. Be damn proud.

Offside

As an Oilers fan, it’s safe to say that I’ve now gone from feeling shame to, wait – what’s the opposite of shame?

striatic

The Oilers need to figure out a way to beat the Sharks. That’s the next major hurdle to overcome. Sweeping the Flames is great but getting swept by the Sharks would be embarrassing. How about sweeping the remaining games versus the Sharks instead? Why not?

rickithebear

54 players have 11g 32 p

rickithebear

JDï™:
Sleps really gets a heavy shot away.

1st overall pick KHL.

Must have been a flyer!

unca miltie

Is it safe to say the
Oil have turned North.

wooooooottttt

spoiler

What’s that sound I hear coming from the Red Mile…?

*strains to listen*

Ahh, perfect, music to my ears, it’s..

“Tabernac!”

spoiler

striatic,

Good chance we play them in the playoffs, so would be nice to find a way to win.

Johnny Larue

Hockey night in Canada Saturday night kick the Flames ass can’t get much better than that. I don’t know about you LT but starting to look like balance to me. They really have gelled as a group you know that chemistry thing. I don’t want to get to far ahead of myself but if/when the Oilers get in the playoffs watch out I think the fire has finally started I kind of feel sad that Taylor is not going to be there to enjoy it. Look out because here we come.

Material Elvis

The ‘Let’s go Oilers’ chant inside the Dome after the game was loud and incredibly satisfying.

MrEd

8500 fans in Bakersfield. 6-3 win.

rope-a-dope

Great game to watch. Looks like Brossoit had a 927 save percentage, will be money if this guy keeps progressing.

striatic

Sharks win. Oh well. Extra incentive to beat them ina couple games.

spoiler

Schlemko takes it for the Sharks in OT. damn.

treevojo

Adam Larsson

3 pt night.

Who says he can’t pass a puck?

striatic

spoiler:
Avs are now tied, but not much time left.

Sharks will pick up at least one point. Should be an interesting OT.

tcho

Woot. Yes. Woot indeed.

JD_Wry

Woodguy v2.0:
WOOOOOOOOOOOTTTTT!!!!!!!

^^^^^^^^^^^^

Woodguy v2.0

WOOOOOOOOOOOTTTTT!!!!!!!

JD_Wry

MrEd,

Not perfect, but solid when counted on and he got a lot of scoring support. There was a missed shot by Johnny Cocky early on that he seemed to give up a lot of net on, but…

spoiler

Avs are now tied, but not much time left.

MrEd

How was LB?

JD_Wry

square_wheels,

I only watched the opening skit, and the music segments. Fuck did he kill it.

spoiler

JDï™: Being from the west coast, he’s a very shell fish player.

Definitely from the West Coast… I think I see weed on his upper lip.

square_wheels

JDï™,

Asiz should be really good, thought the Star Wars girl was pretty stiff. The writing was poor as well.

striatic

Now that’s the stuff. Good for the Flames holding McDavid to one point. Mission accomplished! Well done Flames. Bravo.

OilClog

10pts up on 10th, 9pts on 6th, amazing!

JD_Wry

Should have saved Simpson for the musical guest tonight. Stoopid Lorne Michaels.

jzed

9 up on the Phleghms, LB played OK, deflections and foot off the gas opportunities, give him another start see if he can back it up

russ99

Sweeeeep!

That’s good for the soul.

Ice Sage

Thanks, Flames!
(for LB and taking Versteeg – he’s accursed)

JD_Wry

Sah-WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HT Joe

Eberle with 2 goals, 2 assists… nice to see. Great job!