If you’re angry at the Edmonton Oilers because of their weekend performances, I can’t help you. The club was quality both nights, couldn’t cash last evening and there’s plenty of positive to discuss. If you’re mad the Oilers are farther back this morning than they were Friday, I hear you. I get it. That said, if this is the Oilers team we’ll be watching the rest of the winter, I’ll need to modify my stance on playoffs. They play like that for 52 more games? Playoffs! Seriously.
You never know about a waiver claim, but we were all pretty sure about Brandon Davidson. He’s a good NHL defenseman, can win battles, move the puck, slow down the play, get position on a fast break defensively. I don’t know what happened in Montreal, it really doesn’t matter. He can play defense in an Oilers uniform, I’ll stand by that statement.
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- New Lowetide: Jujhar Khaira and other roster risks turning north
- 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: Just win, baby. Or else!
- Lowetide: Moonstruck
- Lowetide: Fresh Farm Produce
LONG DECEMBER, YEAR OVER YEAR
- December 2015: 4-0-0, goal differential +4
- December 2016: 2-0-2, goal differential +2
- December 2017: 2-2-0, goal differential +3
That was a bitter pill last night, Edmonton came away with two points from a weekend where surely four were earned. Helluva effort last night, I was impressed. Full stop.
- Todd McLellan: “We were very competitive and we strung two good games together. Unfortunately we didn’t get the result, but I can’t complain about the effort.”
AFTER 30, YEAR OVER YEAR
- Oilers 15-16: 13-15-2, goal differential -10
- Oilers 16-17: 14-12-4, goal differential +8
- Oilers 17-18: 12-16-2, goal differential -12
The 12 wins were mostly good efforts, I recall opening night, a strong game against Chicago and a night against the Devils where these men all pulled together. This weekend, they did it twice. A good sign.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM DECEMBER
- On the road to: Calgary (Expected: 0-0-1) (Actual: 1-0-0)
- At home to: Philadelphia (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual: 0-1-0)
- On the road to: Montreal, Toronto, Columbus (Expected 1-2-0) (Actual 1-1-0)
- 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: 2-2-0, four points in four games
The Oilers have Columbus and Nashville this week, I have those as losses and the Wild as a win. I’m encouraged by the effort but the schedule is a bear.
DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT
- Nurse-Russell were 23-9, 0-1 GF, 16-2 SCF and 5-1 in HDSC’s. Sometimes life isn’t fair. Russell had a fantastic chance, shot it a mile wide. Nurse had the puck wide and drove to the net. Didn’t score but he did something with it, good arrow. Went 10-1 against JVR-Bozak-Marner. Nurse is very good in year five after his draft, a reminder about patience (especially with blue).
- Davidson-Auvitu were 12-8 with some good defense and puck moving. Auvitu had a nice chance late, Leafs defender got a stick on it. Damn he’s got some jam. Davidson has calm feet, I cannot think of one reason to pull him out of the lineup. Went 4-3 against Brown-Nylander-Hyman.
- Klefbom-Benning went 16-11 and 8-4 in HDSC’s. Love the both men can wheel and Oscar had maybe the best chances among defensemen to score. Benning is a fine passer, he can get beaten in puck battles. Went 11-4 against Komarov-Kadri-Marleau. Oscar made some good decisions with the puck.
- Laurent Brossoit stopped 22 of 23, .957.
- Natural Stat Trick and NHL.com.
FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT
- Lucic-McDavid-Puljujarvi did everything but score. 97 was absolute fire, especially in the third period. The line had seven HDSC’s, were 4-1 as a line, and 22-8 Corsi as a trio. Went 22-7 against the Kadri line, an absolute shame this group couldn’t cash. I liked all three men, McDavid was beyond music.
- Khaira-Draisaitl-Strome went 16-6 together, 2-0 in HDSC’s. I think this line passed the Nuge trio based on the visual, went 15-8 against the Nylander line. Leon crushed his power-play shot (post), damn thing should have gone in. I think Draisaitl may end up getting Maroon soon, Khaira looked a little less comfortable than he did previously.
- Maroon-Nuge-Cammalleri went 13-8, 1-3 HDSC’s. I thought they all had good moments but were the least effective of the three big lines. Went 12-6 against the Bozak line. Nuge could have had two or three assists on the night.
- Caggiula-Letestu-Kassian went 5-8, 3-6 in SC’s but nothing in high danger areas. Went 6-8 against Martin-Moore-Leivo.
I do think it's kind of funny that Ottawa's loaded themselves up with crap contract after crap contract … and now it's even being discussed that Erik Karlsson might be too expensive.
— Travis Yost (@travisyost) December 10, 2017
When the team you cheer for does addled things, it hurts like hell. Trading Erik Karlsson is maybe the dumbest idea in the history of Ottawa, and that’s saying something.
— TheAthletic Edmonton (@TheAthleticEDM) December 10, 2017
In the article for The Athletic yesterday, I argued that the idea management made the Eberle deal, signed Russell and stood pat is incorrect and improperly identifies the sins of summer. It wasn’t lazy, rather it was ballsy-to-reckless in planning on so many unproven wingers and counting on Gryba/Auvitu to replace Sekera.
I do believe Peter Chiarelli has calmed the defensive waters (I am a big believer in Brandon Davidson) but even last night showed this team badly needs a veteran winger who can snipe. Very risky decision by management in McDavid’s final entry-level season. I wish that was the adopted verbal, but “lazy” and “dumb” are easier to push as a sin. Opportunity missed, in my opinion.
#Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli amongst the scouts in Mississauga this afternoon watching the Bulldogs & Steelheads. Second time in less than a month Chiarelli has watched the Steelheads… https://t.co/4NiooQ2Xgd
— Dhiren Mahiban (@dcmahiban) December 10, 2017
Lots of chatter about players Chiarelli may have been watching, I think it might have been an old fashioned amateur scouting trip. I bet they like Ryan McLeod quite a bit.
- Dan Stewart, Dir. of Scouting for Future Considerations: “This strong skating center could be even faster skater than his fleet-footed brother, New Jersey first rounder Michael McLeod. Ryan has quick feet with the hands and head to match. He displays creative vision and puck distribution skills to go along with a strong shot and impressive hockey IQ. Not many holes in his highly effective two-way game but in my opinion his NHL offensive upside is the only question. Still some very strong second line center potential is where I project his pro upside.” Source
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A busy morning, I’m on the roundtable with Dustin and the boys at 9. By 10, I’ll be fully conscious! Scheduled to appear beginning at 10 on TSN1260:
- Pierre Lebrun, TSN & The Athletic. The Oilers appear to have found a strong formula, is it too late?
- Andy McNamara, TSN4Downs. Eagles win division, the quarterback is toast. Le sigh.
- Jason Gregor, TSN1260. Oilers showed well this weekend, can they get back in this thing?
- MLB guest TBA.
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!