Two months into the 2017-18 season and the nightmare coma continues. The Edmonton Oilers employ fantastic talent and replacement level players side by each and it has caught up to them in a big way. If the club had a veteran winger with scoring ability and a No. 2 RHD, I think we’d be looking at a playoff spot this morning. They’re not coming, this is us. We’re on to
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- New Lowetide: Walker, Australian Oiler
- New James Mirtle: An All-Canadian NHL division!
- New Jonathan Willis: Time to move on from Eric Gryba
- 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: Oilers No. 9 Prospect Winter 2017: Jujhar Khaira
- Lowetide: Oilers No. 10 Prospect Winter 2017: Nick Ellis
- Lowetide: Oilers No 11-20 Prospects Winter 2017
- Lowetide: Fresh Farm Produce
- Lowetide: Analyzing the Mike Cammalleri trade.
- Lowetide: Peter Chiarelli’s Media Conference
- Lowetide: Finding the Off Ramp
LONG DECEMBER, YEAR OVER YEAR
- November 2015: 7-6-1, goal differential -8
- November 2016: 7-3-4, goal differential +3
G1 December 2015 was a 3-2 shootout win over the Boston Bruins, G1 December 2016 was a 6-3 victory featuring an explosive power play for the first time all season. If the Oilers can straighten out the special teams they can get back into contention but both look helplessly hapless right now.
AFTER 27, YEAR OVER YEAR
- Oilers 15-16: 9-15-2, goal differential -16
- Oilers 16-17: 14-10-2, goal differential +11
- Oilers 17-18: 10-14-2, goal differential -15
As we begin the month, pretty clear the current Oilers are repeating the 2015-16 season. As you’re recall, the Oilers finished with a 31-43-8 record, last in the Pacific Division, last in the Western Conference, No. 29 in the NHL. That’s an embarrassing thought for Year Three Chiarelli and McLellan. G27 2015-16 saw Edmonton win 2-1 over Dallas in overtime, and last season a 2-1 OT loss to the Minnesota Wild.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM DECEMBER
- On the road to: Calgary (Expected: 0-0-1) (Actual: 0-0-0)
- At home to: Philadelphia (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual: 0-0-0)
- On the road to: Montreal, Toronto, Columbus (Expected 1-2-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
- At home to: Nashville (Expected 0-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
- On the road to: Minnesota (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
- At home to: San Jose, St. Louis, Montreal (Expected 1-1-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
- On the road to: Winnipeg (Expected 0-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
- At home to: Chicago, Winnipeg (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
- Overall expected result: 5-6-2, 12 points in 13 games
- Current results: 0-0-0
There’s just too much wrong. Trading actual assets this close to dead in the water makes no sense and with Talbot gone for December we’re looking at another audition position. There’s just too much wrong here, from special teams to injuries to goaltending to open auditions, and on it goes.
You can light candles and pray and I will never count out a Connor McDavid team completely, but this dog won’t hunt. It’s time to move on and discuss other things. A team can get a lot from a losing season (wrote about it at The Athletic) and we’ll begin our look at the draft early January. Cool?
This is the current 50-man list, we could see the number reduced if Iiro Pakarinen is collected on waivers. This season has exposed the weaknesses in this roster, important to remember where it was 2015 spring.
50-MAN CHIARELLI’S FIRST DAY
I’d say the team is better in goal, defense, center, with both wings favoring the team from three years ago. Amazing to see who turned out among the prospects (Klefbom, Nurse, Davidson, Pitlick).
Nathan Walker has not cleared waivers. Picked up by the Edmonton Oilers. They weren't the only ones to put a claim in either.
— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) December 1, 2017
He is an interesting player, my look at him for The Athletic suggests we’re looking at a shy offensive contributor. The story of this season for Peter Chiarelli appears to be auditioning right-wingers who can’t reach 2.00/60 for love nor money. It’s actually pretty amazing.
OILERS ROSTER AND LINEUP
One area I’ll be following over the coming months is that baffling right-wing conundrum. Scoring wingers are more plentiful than effective centers, they are basically the “first base” option for hockey. “First base” is the one position anyone can play, save Al Oliver when he came over from the Texas Rangers, God love him.
Interesting to see everyone over 50 percent Corsi among the blue (except Russell, but he’s basically there), that would have been a dream back in 2010 fall. Talbot’s even-strength save percentage is interesting, bringing up something else we’ll talk about as the season rolls along: Improving special teams.