Connor McDavid was brilliant, Cam Talbot stopped 31 shots and the support group delivered in all areas. In Edmonton’s home victories the team has looked under control, getting at least their share of the good-to-great chances. If they can find consistency, we’re going to have another playoff spring in the Capital. Long road, last night was a start.
PIKES PEAK, YEAR OVER YEAR
- Oilers in November 2015: 1-1-0, goal differential +1
- Oilers in November 2016: 0-1-1, goal differential -3
- Oilers in November 2017: 1-1-0, goal differential +2
Edmonton’s win last night has them ahead of last November (lost in OT to Toronto and had a poor game against the Rangers) and perhaps this month will smile on the Oilers a little more this season.
AFTER 12, YEAR OVER YEAR
- Oilers 15-16: 4-8-0, goal differential -7
- Oilers 16-17: 8-3-1, goal differential +7
- Oilers 17-18: 4-7-1, goal differential -9
It’s interesting to see just how similar this season and fall 2015 are turning out. Now, that year had some injury troubles but this on does as well. Important to keep marching and making this November a productive one.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM NOVEMBER
- At home to:
Pittsburgh, New Jersey, Detroit (Expected: 2-1-0) (Actual 1-1-0)
- On the road to: NYI, New Jersey, NYR, Washington (Expected: 1-2-1) (Actual: 0-0-0)
- At home to: Vegas, St. Louis (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual: 0-0-0)
- On the road to: Dallas, St. Louis, Detroit, Buffalo, Boston (Expected 2-2-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
- At home to: Arizona, Toronto (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
- Overall expected result: 7-7-2, 16 points in 16 games
- Current results: 1-1-0, two points in two games
A big win last night, more are needed. I have the club running in place during this month, we should be delighted if more is gained over the piece. I do not have them doing a lot on the road trip, that’s the part of this month’s schedule where we might be pleasantly surprised. This is a difficult schedule.
DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT
- Nurse—Larsson were 32-19 together, 11-10 in shots, 7-3 in HDSC. That’s a damned good night! The pairing spent most time with the Nuge line (8-5) and against Hall—Zacha—Stafford (8-8). All kinds of post-game chatter about Larsson’s 13 hits, he was very physical and had some offensive moments, too. Nurse’s tremendous speed was on display and badly needed against the Roadrunner Devils.
- Klefbom—Benning went 20-23 together, 5-9 in HDSC’s. Were 13-12 with the McDavid line, I do like seeing these two men break out with the gunners. Were 11-13 against the Hall—Zacha—Stafford line, and 2-1 in goals against the trio. Klefbom’s goal was huge, very timely marker, and well earned.
- Russell—Gryba went 14-21 together and 4-2 in HDSC’s. Insanity? Fenwick for was 56.52, 11-9. Crazy to the highest! Kris Russell and Eric Gryba blocked nine shots.
- Cam Talbot stopped 31 of 34, .912.
- Natural Stat Trick and NHL.com.
FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT
- Maroon—McDavid—Draisaitl went 24-17, 2-1 in 5×5 GF-GA and 7-6 in HDSC. The trio had eight faceoffs in the offensive zone, five in the defensive zone and the rest (13) in the (wait for it) neutral zone. McDavid was 9-11 against Hall, I loved watching it. Maybe they’ll meet in the finals and we’ll all have heart attacks. Is anyone keeping track of the number of open nets missed by McDavid’s wingers? Holy lord.
- Lucic—Nuge—Slepyshev were 20-15 together, 4-4 in HDSC and 1-0 in goals. The group had seven offensive zone and one defensive zone faceoff. Interesting. Went 8-7 against Hall and 11-2 against Henrique (this is Nuge) and the line posted four points on the night. That’s breaking news. Lucic was out of sync early, thought he tightened his game later on and had one of his better outings of the year. Nuge was fab and Slepyshev finally gets with skill and looky there he contributes to a goal. Could be a turning point for player and team.
- Jokinen—Strome—Caggiula went 16-18, 1-1 goals, 2-0 in HDSC’s. Amazingly, the group had three offensive and 11 defensive zone starts (one neutral) on the night. Went 7-6 against Boyle and 5-5 against Hall. Everyone has a number against Hall, he played 80 minutes, swear to God. This was an effective line, playing tougher than you might expect minutes.
- Pakarinen—Letestu—Kassian were 9-11 together, 2-3 in HDSC’s. Letestu’s pass on the power play to McDavid was gorgeous, just a really skilled play. Went 6-11 against the Wood line, that guy can fly. Kassian seemed to be playing with more abandon, needs to play balls out to be at his most effective.
— Eric Friesen (@EricJFriesen) November 4, 2017
Yet we still hear things like “McDavid needs to be better” and honestly it’s ridiculous. I’m going to start collecting these quotes and crediting them, because honestly these kinds of comments need to be confronted and addressed. Seriously. If there is a germ of an idea in your brain that suggests Connor McDavid is any part of the issue, flush the germ. Drink plenty of liquids, wash that germ right out of your life. Today. Toot sweet. Schnell.
It's believed Ott/Col/Nash were in discussions on 3 way trade involving Matt Duchene going to Sens. Talks have ended. No deal.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) November 4, 2017
Apparently the Avalanche were receiving a combination of picks and prospects for Duchene. Edmonton has bled too many young assets to make this trade (for Duchene) and I’d still make the trade.
For me this is where the rubber hits the road. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are super nova, Patrick Maroon, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Milan Lucic are over 2.00/60 5×5 for the year. The slow start has obscured the fact Edmonton has some promise on that second line, and perhaps the key to unlocking a complete line is young Mr. Slepyshev.