It took very little time for the Mike Cammalleri trade to pay off in a big way. Mere minutes after the deal, Edmonton’s offense unlocked after 17 laborious games and scored at will. Although Cammalleri wasn’t credited with any points, his presence was obvious and is not doubt a harbinger of things to come.
The special Lowetide offer is here. Lots of new material today.
- New Lowetide: Analyzing the Mike Cammalleri trade.
- New Jonathan Willis: Kris Russell and getting value from that contract.
- Lowetide: Plenty to be gained from a losing season, but it takes some balls.
- Lowetide: Oilers No. 1 Prospect Winter 2017: Kailer Yamamoto
- Lowetide: Oilers No. 2 Prospect Winter 2017: Jesse Puljujarvi
- Lowetide: Oilers No. 3 Prospect Winter 2017: Ethan Bear
- Lowetide: Oilers No. 4 Prospect Winter 2017: Caleb Jones
- Lowetide: Peter Chiarelli’s trades.
- Special Offer
PIKES PEAK, YEAR OVER YEAR
- Oilers in November 2015: 3-4-1, goal differential -1
- Oilers in November 2016: 2-5-1, goal differential -9
- Oilers in November 2017: 4-3-1, goal differential +4
Music! Finally a positive goal differential for the Oilers. In eight November games the club has nine points and it’s possible to envision ending the month close to even overall and within shouting distance of a playoff spot. Let’s not plan the parade, but the last five games have been a welcome change of pace.
AFTER 18, YEAR OVER YEAR
- Oilers 15-16: 6-12-0, goal differential -11
- Oilers 16-17: 9-8-1, goal differential -1
- Oilers 17-18: 7-9-2, goal differential -7
Music! The Oilers this year (16 points) trail last year’s team (19 points) by only three points. A gigantic game coming up against St. Louis tomorrow night. A win and this year’s model could enter the road trip with 18 points in 19 games and a chance to land on the 20-20 square at the quarter pole. Light a candle!
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM NOVEMBER?
- At home to:
Pittsburgh, New Jersey, Detroit (Expected: 2-1-0) (Actual 1-2-0)
- On the road to:
NYI, New Jersey, NYR, Washington(Expected: 1-2-1) (Actual: 2-1-1)
- At home to:
Vegas,St. Louis (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual: 1-0-0)
- 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: 4-3-1, nine points in eight games
That second road trip of the month is just around the corner and it’s a lulu. If the Oilers can grab six points in those five games, there may be a story to tell that doesn’t involve punching a wall for Edmonton’s hockey fans.
- Klefbom-Benning had a fine night, in possession and with the boxcars. The pairing played fewer 5×5 minutes than the other duos, Klefbom was 20 minutes overall with all the time on ice. Probably Klefbom’s best game of the season, his mobility and skill on display everywhere. Helluva goal by Benning, don’t believe he’ll score five goals from the slot his entire career.
- Auvitu-Russell moved the puck well, Auvitu was positively dangerous and could have counted at least a couple of goals. De facto second pairing on the night, reflective of the opponent and score. Russell’s pairing routinely has the most high event defensive moments, didn’t change to my eye last night. Auvitu is a rambler.
- Nurse-Larsson played a bunch, including seven minutes against the Neal line (4-6 Corsi, plus the GA). Nurse went walkabout once and it cost a goal, but it was long after the game had been put to bed. I like this pairing a bunch.
- Cam Talbot stopped 22 of 24, .917.
- NaturalStatTrick and NHL.com.
- Maroon-McDavid-Draisaitl combined for seven points with and without, a very nice evening for the trio. You get the feeling Vegas ruined the fun by bringing in the kid goalie, McLellan’s gentlemanly conduct may have cost one or two hat-tricks. Can’t say I blame him, though. McDavid is going to light up the Vegas nights for a long time, and he’s on pace for another 100-point season.
- Caggiula-Letestu-Kassian were solid together, the veterans even got some power-play time in mopup time. McLellan let the horses run. Letestu’s 10 5×5 minutes must have felt like a lifetime after the last few weeks.
- Lucic-Nuge-Puljujarvi had their moments, I thought the veterans were more dynamic offensively while the youngster is cheating for defense. Good that he did at times, especially on an early goal mouth recovery. Nuge is playing as well as I can remember. Lovely goals. Lucic isn’t getting a lot of credit, due mostly to one errant pass a period and 18 months of hammering away on him verbally. He remains a surprisingly astute passer and this morning his 5×5 scoring number is 2.29. You want the youngster Puljujarvi to get more offense going, confidence is important and he had some chances.
- Khaira-Strome-Pakarinen looked good to my eye, Khaira is really coming on now. Khaira spent 3:05 on PK and had two assists mere days after we were talking about him being on the waiver wire. Hockey is a strange game.
- I didn’t run the Corsi’s because it’s not clear to me who the tough opposition is for Vegas. That’s not a shot, just an observation.
Crazy stat from last night. The oil have had so few pp opportunities this season (50) that those 3 pp goals last night boosted their pp% from 14.9 to 20. That bumps them from 24th to 12th. Seasons young gang, keep the faith! #oilers @Lowetide @OilersNation
— Jay (@JWinto) November 15, 2017
Fascinating paragraph and a reminder it’s still fairly early. Some of Edmonton’s power-play dynamos (Leon) still haven’t enjoyed seeing a line drive into the gap. No hot streak yet, suspect we’ll see one before January.
— TheAthletic Edmonton (@TheAthleticEDM) November 15, 2017
It’s the kind of trade we’ve been discussing for some time and Cammalleri’s boxcars (and 5×5 numbers) are good this season. For me, the success of this deal will come down to two things: Health and usage. If Cammalleri can play 50 games through the end of the season, get 5×5 time, and a center named McDraikins, suspect we’ll see some offense. Jokinen was a more responsible player and there was a time when he also brought offense. Edmonton didn’t use him in an offensive role, that may change for him in Los Angeles. I liked his game, wish him well.
- Todd McLellan: “He’s a guy who is telling the coach that he deserves to be in the lineup. We’re taking notice.”
For most players trying to make the NHL grade, there’s a lot of luck involved. Khaira has some fortune on his side (coach and general manager appreciate his size and rugged style) and if he can play at current levels consistently he’ll be in Edmonton for years.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10 this morning, TSN 1260. There is much to discuss! Scheduled to appear:
- Darcy McLeod, Because Oilers. A blowout win and a trade!
- Keegan Matheson, Jays reporter. Winter meetings, free agency, trade market.
- Gerry Moddejonge, Post Media. Eskimos favorites?
- Todd Cordell, Hockeybuzz. We discuss Mike Cammalleri.
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!