One of the things Todd McLellan needs is a real second line. A year ago, Milan Lucic (23 goals), Nuge (18) and Jordan Eberle (20) gave the team a pretty solid trio of offensive options behind the McDavid line (which totaled 86 goals). In the last few games, RNH and Milan Lucic have found success with Ryan Strome. The line has four goals so far (McDavid-Leon-Maroon have five) and maybe there’s enough chem for sustain. Spreading out the offense is the ideal scenario, Kailer Yamamoto’s audition continues today and that may well be a key to success.
TSOP BY MFSB, YEAR OVER YEAR
- Oilers in October 2015: 2-4-0, goal differential -4
- Oilers in October 2016: 5-1-0, goal differential +7
- Oilers in October 2017: 2-4-0, goal differential -7
The win in Chicago was badly needed and in all honesty another one today is necessary. Of the two Pennsylvania stops, this is probably the easiest unless they park an expansion team in Allentown overnight. The goal differential is poor but if Cam Talbot is locked and loaded we’ll see the gap close and the Oilers will be out of the blue and into the black.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM OCTOBER
- At home to: Calgary (Expected: 1-0-0) (Actual 1-0-0)
- On the road to: Vancouver (Expected: 1-0-0) (Actual: 0-1-0)
- At home to: Winnipeg, Ottawa, Carolina (Expected 1-1-1) (Actual: 0-3-0)
- On the road to: Chicago, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh (Expected 1-1-1) (Actual 1-0-0)
- At home to: Dallas, Washington (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
- Overall expected result: 5-3-2, 12 points in 10 games
- Current results: 2-4-0, 4 points after six games
Edmonton righted the ship just in time, another week of losing and they’d be the Coyotes (who are out of it now, which is both incredible and familiar). If the Oilers run the table, they’d cover my original bet. It’s more likely they’ll need to crush November to get back into top 3 Pacific. Game Seven a year ago was an impressive 4-1 win over the Washington Capitals featuring 34 stops from Cam Talbot and a pair of goals from Benoit Pouliot.
You can check defense pairs too – just click on the tab at the top of the viz.
As everyone guessed, TOR, EDM, and DAL have great pairings. pic.twitter.com/STLVwqUM3a
— Sean Tierney (@ChartingHockey) October 20, 2017
Tierney’s stuff is just brilliant, I promise not to steal any more of his stuff for a long time (he has a site and you have to promise to go there and check it out). Some good news for Oil blue pairings in that table.
LEON NEEDS MORE TIME
It’s no fun at all to know the big man won’t lace them up today but the Oilers are wise to look long term on concussion issues. Edmonton’s offense has been popgun so far this season, they haven’t had an ‘outscore the mistakes’ game all year. Flyers games tend to be wild affairs with lots of broken plays and breakaways, this could get ugly.
The young blue should be ready to get into the lineup this morning, not sure what the pairings will look like. Darnell Nurse with Kris Russell looks good to my eye, not certain Benning with Auvitu is an ideal match. Thoughts? I like Benning’s game when he’s on, hopefully he can get back into the lineup and have success.
- Connor McDavid is on pace for 109 points on the season. His numbers shine like a diamond save for the gf-ga and that should turn with the defense tightening and goaltending corrected.
- Leon Draisaitl was off to a solid start at 5×5, the most important discipline. Edmonton needs him to return soon.
- Patrick Maroon has looked (to my eye) a little late on arrival on sorties this year. He had that stick on the ice from Schaumburg to the net on Thursday, that’s the way (uh huh uh huh) I like it.
- Kailer Yamomoto is shooting the puck over 18 times per 60 minutes at 5×5, and frankly it’s shocking that one of the pucks hasn’t gone in yet. Semi breakaway the other night, and chance with the goalie down and out, well these things happen. In fact, both Leon Draisaitl and Jesse Puljujarvi had the same troubles as rookies.
- Milan Lucic is bringing his more traditional offense (5×5) to the season these early days, he and Nuge have had some early success. Getting a second line that can kick in with a goal per game would be fantastic.
- Brad Malone’s numbers are good early and he seems to be around the net a lot. I don’t know how this is going to go with LD and Drake Caggiula about to return, but he’s earned more playing time.
PULJUJARVI’S GAME LAST NIGHT
Bakersfield Condors won last night, the big star was Nick Ellis (boxscore here) who stopped all 32 shots faced. The goal scorers were Chad Butcher and Joe Gambardella, Joey Laleggia had three shots, Dillon Simpson and Ethan Bear were on for both goals. Jesse Puljujarvi had one shot on goal, now 4gp, 0-2-2 on the year.
- Auvitu-Gryba sometimes looks like Laurel and Hardy but the numbers shine. I’m not sure what the pairings will look like today but the possession number and SA/60 are ludicrous.
- Nurse-Russell has gotten the job done so far, Russell’s offense is an interesting early season story. He did have some good boxcar seasons as a yute, perhaps Todd McLellan will use him in that role moving forward. I would like to see Auvitu.
- Klefbom-Larsson have had some wobble early in the season but looked good in the last game and Oscar’s offense seemed to be more focused. Edmonton needs these two men from Sweden to be their best defensemen every night.
- Laurent Brossoit has a .935 even-strength save percentage (No. 13 league-wide) and Cam Talbot owns a .906 SP in the same discipline (No. 32 overall). Source
I don’t know their actual record but will bet the Oilers winning percentage is less than .400 in afternoon games. It’s a thing.