It was May 24, 1990. It was spring. I remember it as a rainy spring, we had just moved back to the city and I was thrilled to take in Edmonton during a playoff run. It’s a different city with the Oilers in the playoffs, ridiculous pride that can only come from being isolated, independent, day drunk and entrepreneurial. I loved this city in 1990, from the rat hole to Old Strathcona and everywhere in between. I can’t tell you why I’ll never forget the Kid Line, you had to be there. It was cold and windy and we had just celebrated our seventh anniversary 10 days before. It was the Stanley that came out of nowhere (a lot of pieces came together late), and it was secured in Boston. Craig Simpson: Sacrifice and then glory. I wish such an avalanche of memories for you very soon.
The special Lowetide offer is here. Makes a great (early) Christmas gift!
- New Lowetide: Oilers No. 9 Prospect Winter 2017: Jujhar Khaira
- New Lowetide: Fresh Farm Produce
- New Jonathan Willis: When McDavid is off the ice
- 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: Oilers No. 5 Prospect Winter 2017: Tyler Benson
- Lowetide: Oilers No. 6 Prospect Winter 2017: Kirill Maksimov
- Lowetide: Oilers No. 7 Prospect Winter 2017: Ostap Safin
- Lowetide: Oilers No. 8 Prospect Winter 2017: Filip Berglund
- Lowetide: Nadir’s Raiders
- Lowetide: Sail on, Ziyat Paigin
- Lowetide: Analyzing the Mike Cammalleri trade.
- Lowetide: Peter Chiarelli’s trades.
- Special Offer
DIRTY WATER, YEAR OVER YEAR
- Oilers in November 2015: 4-7-2, goal differential -9 (10 poins in 13 games)
- Oilers in November 2016: 5-7-1, goal differential 0
- Oilers in November 2017: 5-7-1, goal differential -6
The 2015-16 club played only 13 games in November, while the 2016-17 team lost 2-1 to Arizona. A win this afternoon puts this year’s team ahead of Todd McLellan’s previous November Oilers.
AFTER 24, YEAR OVER YEAR
- Oilers 15-16: 7-14-2, goal differential -13
- Oilers 16-17: 12-9-2, goal differential +9
- Oilers 17-18: 8-13-2, goal differential -16
G24 in 2015-16 was a dandy 3-2 shootout win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, a year later it was a 4-2 loss to Toronto. A win today would mean this year’s model is six points behind last year’s pace. Difficult to overcome but not impossible. The Oilers are in something of a coma, pretending to know the hour and the day they wake up is lunacy. Now would a good time, however.
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: 1-1-0)
- On the road to:
Dallas, St. Louis, Detroit, Buffalo, Boston (Expected 2-2-1) (Actual 1-3-0)
- 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: 5-7-1, 11 points in 13 games
I have today as an OT loss, followed by a win against Arizona and a regulation loss to Toronto. If all goes according to Hoyle, Edmonton will complete November with a 6-8-2 record, 14 points in 16 games.
We are quickly reaching the point of no return for this edition of the Edmonton Oilers. If Daryl Katz wakes up this morning and wants to make a change, NHL history suggests firing the coach is the most popular plan. There are many instances in the game’s past where a change in head coach can inspire a quick turnaround in fortunes.
I don’t believe that to be the issue, your mileage may vary.
My opinion about McLellan is he simply didn’t have the horses. Talk of Leon Draisaitl is terrific but you need someone to replace him at 1R. McLellan (and Ryan Strome) appear to prefer the new hire at center, leaving McLellan with a list of mostly unproven options for McDavid’s right-wing. We’ve seen the good and bad from Kailer Yamamoto and Drake Caggiula in that role and it’s fairly clear a substantial gap exists between Leon Draisaitl and everyone else playing on 97’s starboard.
News last night via HNIC that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is getting some interest and that Patrick Maroon might fetch a pretty penny at the deadline. Listen, if you trade RNH during the season, the “equal value” that will come back is likely to be a good young player and a draft pick.
In both cases, I believe the best plan is to keep your powder dry. Todd McLellan drew 103 points from this team (well, this team and a couple of extra pieces) and he didn’t get stupid overnight.
Peter Chiarelli has misjudged this team twice in a calendar year. He made one small move at the trade deadline, running counter with his own past (loading up is a Chiarelli staple) at the trade deadline and then betting internal options on right-wing and defense.
Even with that, I don’t favor firing Peter Chiarelli at this time. The season is 29 percent spent after today, it’s a bitter pill and absolutely a price must be paid. I’m not at all confident ownership would be able to negotiate the rapids of a mid-season overhaul, better to wait until the season is complete and the entire story has been written.