G45 2017-18: Oilers at Coyotes

by Lowetide

If you look at this morning’s standings, and try to create a scenario where the Edmonton Oilers make the playoffs, you are sitting in the ‘fiction’ section of your sofa or kitchen table. That’s a fact. I keep reading stories about the Oilers needing to win tonight, and tomorrow, and wonder if some of us have gone bananas. If the Oilers make the playoffs, I’ll eat my 8-Track (it’s a car 8-Track, lots of dust and some oil on it) with soy milk. That means I’m pretty damned sure about this thing.

THE ATHLETIC!

Great offer! Includes a free 7-day trial so you can try The Athletic on for size free and see if they enjoy the in-depth, ad-free coverage on the site. If you don’t feel it’s worth the $4.49/month, cancel anytime during trial before getting charged. Offer is here.

RED RUM, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • January 2016: 2-2-1, goal differential -2 (5 points)
  • January 2017: 2-3-0, goal differential -4 (4 points)
  • January 2018: 1-4-0, goal differential -13 (2 points)

G6 in January 2016 was a 2-1 shootout loss to the San Jose Sharks. Last season saw the Oilers win 3-2 in overtime against New Jersey (Leon and McDavid teaming up). Tonight you’d like to see a win and that goal differential get under control. If the draft lottery was today, Edmonton would be in position No. 4. They’re going to get a very good player. More in a minute.

AFTER 45, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers 15-16: 17-23-4, goal differential -26 (38 points)
  • Oilers 16-17: 22-15-7, goal differential +7 (51 points)
  • Oilers 17-18: 18-23-3, goal differential -24 (39 points)

G45 in 15-16 was a 2-1 shootout loss against San Jose as per above, and last year it was a 2-1 shootout win over the Calgary Flames. If Edmonton loses tonight, the club will be in a flat-footed tie with the 15-16 team, unthinkable that could happen for this Edmonton team. A good game against Nashville earlier in the week offers hope and yet this Oilers team has been consistently inconsistent all year long.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM JANUARY

  • At home to: Los Angeles, Anaheim (Expected 0-1-1) (Actual 1-1-0)
  • On the road to: Dallas, Chicago, Nashville, Arizona, Vegas (Expected 2-2-1) (Actual 0-3-0)
  • At home to: Vancouver, Buffalo, Calgary (Expected 2-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 4-4-2, 10 points in 10 games
  • Current results: 1-4-0, two points in five games

Entering play tonight, Edmonton is 11 points behind Calgary, who have a game in hand and hold the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference. The Oilers are also 11 points behind Minnesota, 9 points behind Chicago, 8 points behind Colorado and Anaheim. All but Minnesota have games in hand on Edmonton.

https://twitter.com/SportsnetSpec/status/951560661271691264

Back in the spring, when he reached his peak as an Oilers player, Anton Slepyshev was playing well in playoff games. After he scored in the clincher against San Jose, I wrote the following:

  • Anton Slepyshev is emerging this spring as a real option for the Oilers on RW. What does that do to the depth chart? Leon, JP, Kassian, Slepyshev next year? Could be. We may also see Eberle, JP, Kassian, Slepyshev, this allowing Leon back to center. Source

I liked the Slepyshev scouting report back when Corey Pronman wrote about him the year before the Russian winger was drafted. That said, during his NHL career he’s been scoring at a 1.14/60 5×5 rate. Even his playoff run that featured 3 goals saw him post at 1.37/60 5×5. Is he a failed prospect? I don’t think so.

I’m always about giving 500 at-bats to youngsters, that’s basically an entire season (82 games, say 1200 minutes). Slepyshev is at around 760 minutes, for me it’s too soon to know.

  • Slepyshev with McDavid 5×5: 42:52 minutes, 1-1-2 (2.81)
  • Slepsyhev with Draisaitl 5×5: 134:02 minutes, 3-2-5 (2.24)
  • Slepsyhev with Nuge 5×5: 119:41 minutes, 1-3-4 (2.01)
  • (NaturalStatTrick)

He has played 40 percent of his 5×5 time with these men, and is over 2.00/60 with each of them (some overlap).

IT’S A MISTAKE!

The Oilers committed in summer to a series of auditions, we’ve seen Kailer Yamamoto, Jesse Puljujarvi, Jujhar Khaira, Anton Slepsyhev and Nathan Walker get at least some playing time. I’ve disagreed with a few things (Oilers should have sent Yamamoto to junior after one or two preseason games) and was flat out wrong on Jujhar Khaira (to my delight).

Through it all, Peter Chiarelli has remained true to the auditions, even (in my opinion) when his coach was less than thrilled with the options available. This move, announcing that Anton Slepyshev is available for trade, runs counter to all the things the general manager held as being vital to this season (finding inexpensive value contracts on the wings).

I have no idea if Anton Slepyshev is going to have an NHL career, but a team with an analytics department and a need has an enormous advantage over the rest of the pack. That ‘pack’ includes your Edmonton Oilers, with the Slepyshev decision offering confirmation.

 LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, we’re back! First Lowdown since last Friday, we’re drunk with guests! Scheduled to appear:
  • Steve Lansky, BigMouthSports. Oilers in a world of hurt.
  • Rob Vollman, ESPN & NHL.com. Did he really suggest trading Auston Matthews?
  • Paul Bissonnette, Coyotes broadcasts. The one, the only.
  • Matt Iwanyk, TSN1260. Point Counter Point discusses the members of Edmonton’s inner circle cluster. Who belongs? Who no longer belongs?

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Se you on the radio!

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pts2pndr

A number of friends have had great success with a supplement called Lysine. They take it regularily like vitamin C . It also works well for those people that have reoccuring cold sores. If you feel an outbreak comming on increase the dose. Added benifit is it is now recommended as a good supplement to take with Vitamin C for heart health.

pts2pndr

deardylan: No worries NYC. I took it as a laugh/joke cause I was in pain and just happy it wasn’t anywhere near the dangerzone. Laughing is a great pain reliever like Henke was for the bluejay bullpen.

Do you remember how long it lasted when you had it?Any way you avoided it for the past 12 years?Healthy Diet, Exercise, No Stress Life?Following the Oilers with too much expectation can be hazardous to ones health if you have been following for the last 12 years +

deardylan,

I think usually you get it once, doesn’t come back again for most, although I hear in old age you can be vulnerable for a second time.

This and herpes in the danger zone or cold sores are not related to shingles in that sense (I have neither of those, haha). My shingles lasted 2 weeks or so but lingering odd pain stayed about a month. I had it on my ribs at my back but it felt like my whole skin was hurting fot a month even after the visible signs disappeared.

Hang in there.

Cassandra

Jethro Tull:
Thanks everyone that answered my question about what it personally means to them to be an Oilers fan. For me, it’s a little different.

My first Oilers experience was back in ’99. I was young, dumb and full of…….vigor. Only one of those things has changed. I was on secondment from thr British Army to CFB Wainwright. I was invited to ‘Smarties’ in downtown Wainwright where I watched my first game of hockey.

Whilst partying with the nurses at Vermilion, I met my wife. I stayed. Everyone was Oilers. I’d found my team and replacement for my waning interest in football. It was briefly reignited whem Pompey won the FA cup, but we had been seeing other people for years. I was an Oilers fan. I AM an Oilers fan.

I’ve been an assidious student of the game, earning some coaching quals and coaching the Ladies team when posted to Suffield. I would be a rink rat if I could.

I love going to games. I love coming here. Most days, anyway. I love the passion and the knowledge that Oilers fans have. I swear, I have visited most other team’s online content to get general info, and Cassandra would shit a brick if he had to deal with some of those troglodytes.

Cassandra and WG hit on the idea of tribalism. Well, they’re nearly correct. We are all one tribe, but the word they were looking for was ‘sect’. Tribal thinking being the opposite of barbarian (control and safety in ritual vs. Notions of love, honour, etc.)

What does it mean to me to be an Oilers fan? Good beer, good steak, great advice, decent debate, and occasionally some hockey.Stay safe out there.

Great story. I love that you slipped in a nice “whilst” to see if we were paying attention.

Tesla's Hair

NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker):
deardylan,

I didn’t make a joke about it being like herpes. It is a type of herpes. Not all herpes are STDs.

I wished you well as someone who had it 12 years ago. Hope you are better.

No worries NYC. I took it as a laugh/joke cause I was in pain and just happy it wasn’t anywhere near the dangerzone. Laughing is a great pain reliever like Henke was for the bluejay bullpen.

Do you remember how long it lasted when you had it? Any way you avoided it for the past 12 years? Healthy Diet, Exercise, No Stress Life? Following the Oilers with too much expectation can be hazardous to ones health if you have been following for the last 12 years +

OriginalPouzar,

Yeah, I mean this draft looks pretty stellar. Could well be that aside from Dahlin, there is a run on forwards.

Let’s assume Buffalo grabs Dahlin

Arizona would likely go with another high end forward–Svechnikov

Then you have Zadina, Tkachuk, etc., which Matthew’s play in the NHL has to have GMs itching to grab him in the top 5.

One of Boqvist or Ty Smith could fall to the Oilers in that 7~10 range and a RH puck-moving D would be a godsend for this team, if they aren’t reaching in their draft slot, and if they bring the player along slowly and properly.

As for acquiring a replacement for Maroon, it will be tough. Drai at 7.5 would have made things a little easier.

I think you need to find players on one or two year deals–with Lucic locked in for 5 more after this, you can’t really afford another buyout situation (like Pouliot). So if you have to overpay on a one year deal, you do it. But you avoid 3 year+ deals, and prefer not to have to even go 2.

OriginalPouzar

These kids at the top of the draft are, from accounts (and the limited viewing I’ve been able to do) very high end and high end kids these days generally make an impact in the NHL right away (forwards).

With that said, absolutely I agree 100%, if we are lucky enough to draft one of them, they can’t simply be gifted a top 6 NHL spot coming in to camp, the GM has to find a way to provide some real competition for that job. No, Benson and Yamamoto are not real competition.

On that note, its more likely that we are drafting in the 7-12 range (I think) and an even more perverse scenario is that top 6 winger spot is gifted to Yamamoto or Benson without and real competition.

I’m not sure how our GM does it given the limited cap space we have, but we need to acquire an established top 6 winger – I’m not saying someone higher end like Kane, but a declining veteran with a track record of production (i.e like a Vanek) or maybe a younger veteran coming off a down year that’s likely to bounce back – its got to be short term and moderate cap.

Is it doable?

We have a gap next year before our forward prospects are likely ready but, after next year, we very well could have a decent stream of forward prospects ready to truly compete for NHL jobs, year after year. We are starting to acquire some decent talent in our forward prospect pools – they are just still amateurs right now – developing in junior and college.

Patience – the prospects are coming.

Still somehow wish we’d wind up with Svechnikov…in 3 years a Svechnikov-McDavid-Puljujarvi line would wreak havoc on the entire NHL, but then again he is Russian and I worry about our team’s history with Russians of late.

deardylan,

Thanks for sharing the Zadina highlights. Silky smooth. If anything, I appreciated the goal after the highlight you flagged even more. 3 efforts on the puck and finally rewarded, although the rebound given up was pretty bad.

As for the Tkachuk question, I think the Oilers might go with Brady given the choice because they probably feel like they passed on the power forward type by going with JP over Matt and here is a chance to add his brother.

In either case, let’s hope they don’t just hand either of them Maroon’s spot without a veteran in there above them in the pecking order. I mean, what could go wrong right?

OriginalPouzar

Zadina was awesome offensively at the world juniors – not alot of depth on that Czech team and he made things happen consistently.

I think the Oilers would have to win the third lottery to get a shot at this kid and I wonder if they would take him over Brady Tkachuk?

deardylan,

I didn’t make a joke about it being like herpes. It is a type of herpes. Not all herpes are STDs.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/shingles/symptoms-causes/syc-20353054

I wished you well as someone who had it 12 years ago. Hope you are better.

OriginalPouzar

Hebig with one goal last night.

He keeps up solid production as an over-aged.

Unlikely to forge an NHL career but lots of talent there. Getting traction after missing all of last season.

OriginalPouzar

It’s nice to see Benning start to play better over the last little bit.

He and Klef are starting to find their games.

I think the 10 days off (and the shot) helped Klef and his shoulder. Hopefully he didn’t reaggravate it with his fall last night.

Only 3 games left this month so lots of rest.

Tesla's Hair

THANKS FOR SHINGLE WELL WISHES

Thanks to those of you who wrote well wishing posts as I went pretty silent the last 3 weeks recovering from “Shingles” attack and yes it is not the type you replace for a fortune on your rooftop. Means alot to me.

NYC made a joke like it was herpes. haha. Well in a sense he is correct it is similar type of virus although so happy not in that area or on my face/lips. Its on my chest and back. It is kinda like a adult version of chicken pox that will hit about 30%+ of the population that had chicken pox when they were younger. First day feels like a heart attack and then blisters take over I had maxed out the days on the antivirals that did a great job to contain the spread and haven’t taken any painkillers.

GOT A LONGTERM PAIN? HOW TO TIGERBALM NERVE CELLS

Learned that capsicum works to knock out some of the pain nerves so yesterday made a salve with red tiger balm, camphor, lemon grass and the hottest chili peppers I could find in Vietnam and simmered in olive oil for 10 minutes and then froze it in freezer. Today put on freezing cold slave and burned the pain away. It worked for about 6hrs and then needed it again. Crossing my fingers that salvation is found in a chili pepper salve! If anyone has terrible chronic nerve pain let me know and if I get the recipe right hopefully I will save people pain around the planet without taking pharmaceuticals or morphine. Another story from Asia to tell my grandkids 🙂

CONSISTENTLY INCONSISTENT

Yes agree with Lowetide, Oilers consistently inconsistent so they might end up on a high beating the lowest and highest place teams before Connor McDavids big Vegas party. The party at Christmas might have ended the season and the party for Connor might start the season for next year!

QUICK QUESTION FOR THE NUMBER CRUNCHERS AND REST OF SEASON ANALYZERS

I am not sure about all the waiver deals etc but is there a way we can play Slep, Lestestu, Maroon more so they get more ice time, and let our long term committed players to work on different parts of their game and just play with more fun instead of taking it so seriously. Would McDavid okay it?

Have other teams did this in recent past without wrecking morale and also start to focus on trades, draft and long term–then they turned the next season around? Guessing Arizona and Buffalo and Oilers just haven’t figured out a way to do it yet consistently. Which team has?

FILIP ZADINA

Today I pressed my mock draft button and Oilers got a replacement for Maroon. LW Filip Zadina. “In all three zones, he proactively looks to create problems for the opposition” (Curtis Joe, EP 2018)

Filip Zadina – IIHF WJC 2018 Highlights. Wow @ 2:54min.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULNIzyzpUyI

JD_Wry

OriginalPouzar: I’d like to see Slep get back in the lineup toingith.

And risk injury, sewering the 5th round pick coming back?

His production doesn’t really warrant that.

OriginalPouzar

I’d like to see Slep get back in the lineup toingith.

Drake had a “tenacious game” last night – perhaps Cammy can take a rest and Sley can slid in with Strome and Khaira.

OriginalPouzar

The much anticipated game in Vegas tonight.

The Oilers got two points last night but it sure as heck wasn’t pretty and it sure as heck wasn’t close to a “perfect game” from the team.

I would think that they don’t look past this game to the festivities and the bye week but who knows?

I do know that the history of these two teams predicts a blow out in favor of the Oilers (notwithstanding good goalies back for Vegas).

I think it should be a very fun game – I anticipate the crown will be loud and somewhat in support of the Oilers. Thousands made the trip. I’m sure they will be sober too….

OriginalPouzar

Here is hoping that Talbot’s game picks up at least a little bit in the 2nd half of the season.

I can’t imagine the Oilers moving on from Talbot this off-season and trying to find another starter for next year.

I don’t really see any scenario where Talbot isn’t the starting goalie coming in to camp next year.

I don’t think anyone believes he is actually as poor as he’s played this year. We may now question if he is as good as he played last year and the real answer is somewhat in between.

Hopefully he can finish the season strong and have some confidence in the off season for his preparation for camp.

At the very least we know he has the ability to be essentially elite for an entire season – he proved that last year – maybe he can’t be that goalie year in and year out but come next October it won’t be unreasonable to hope/expect him to provide solid to great tending for the year no matter how this season finishes as he’s done it before.

JD_Wry

Montoya blancs the Yotes.

On to Loss Vegas!

JD_Wry

One win closer to 8-track pancakes.

Hey, isn’t that a Jack Johnson song…?

Munny

I don’t like the idea of searching for another starting goalie. Keepers are known to have bad years. They’re also known to have bounce-back years. I’d rather wait and see. Cheaper option, and goalies being voodoo, in any given year an attempted solution could be worse.

Munny

Dicky94:
Munny,

He looks lazy. Rather see JP up there with McDavid.

So hash, then.

Gayfish

Ryan:
Who’s our next hard target search for a starting goalie?

Where’s Gmoney when you need him?

Carter Hart

Ryan

Who’s our next hard target search for a starting goalie?

Where’s Gmoney when you need him?

€√¥£€^$

€v¥£€us: Called it!!!?

How come everyone else can “call it” and get high fives and chest bumps and shit?

*Runs to NHL.com to check standings

Oh….

In Chia we trust!?

€√¥£€^$

frjohnk:
Oilers win !!!!

In Chia we trust!

Umm, wait what? We do?

Oh…..

Dicky94

Munny,

He looks lazy. Rather see JP up there with McDavid.

Zelepukin

frjohnk: Watch Oilers resign Letestu for another year.

Kinda joking but kinda not.

Coach and GM like him

It’s actually a miracle we didn’t offer him an extension in the off season, given he can score on the PP one-timer like Ovi and win face-offs like Toews.

Surrey Oiler

I’m here in Vegas, told you guys would love Montoya! Hoping he starts tomorrow and gets McDavid the W for his birthday!

€√¥£€^$

Offside:
I could be wrong but Montoya may currently have the best GAA in Oilers history #tradeTalbot

He’s only just scratched the surface having only played 167 NHL games, if he keeps this up he could really be something in about 3 yrs……

*Runs to check hockeydb.com stats.

Oh, that’s right….retired 🙁

OriginalPouzar

Stuart Skinner with shootout in his SC debut.

His second shutout in the last few games.

frjohnk

AsiaOil:
I’m still waiting for Chia to “trade Pena” (Letestu) so TMac is forced to “play Hatteberg” (Slepy).I’m guessing Letestu’s W/WO numbers are horrifying but I don’t think I’ll get the outcome I’m hoping for though. Nice to get a win though.

Watch Oilers resign Letestu for another year.

Kinda joking but kinda not.

Coach and GM like him

jzed

Young Darnell and the other guy may haul the rest of these underachievers out of the fire against a team with 10 wins, but coughing up weak goals in the first 10 minutes gets you a regulation loss against all the teams the Oilers have to catch. Happy for Darnell, appreciate the other guy, glass half full I guess. I will finish this drink and have another.

Offside

I could be wrong but Montoya may currently have the best GAA in Oilers history #tradeTalbot

AsiaOil

I’m still waiting for Chia to “trade Pena” (Letestu) so TMac is forced to “play Hatteberg” (Slepy). I’m guessing Letestu’s W/WO numbers are horrifying but I don’t think I’ll get the outcome I’m hoping for though. Nice to get a win though.

Jethro Tull

Al Montoya reminds me of a young Joe Montegna

Zelepukin

…but, also against the worst team in the NHL, or maybe the best AHL team in the world.

I hope they start Montoya. Less than 24hrs isn’t enough time as player to forget that Talbot has been letting in the first or second shot of the game way too often this year.

frjohnk

Pescador: Frjohn

?

OriginalPouzar

JimmyV1965:
Will be interesting too see who starts in net tomorrow.

Gotta go with Al I think.

The chances of the condition not vesting are slim to none at this point so its no longer a factor in my mind.

frjohnk

Oilers win !!!!

In Chia we trust!

OriginalPouzar

The question was asked 3 minutes in to the game, something along the lines of “why would any one in their right mind continue to watch?”

The people that decided to got to see:

– Darnell Nurse get the first multi-goal game of his career with a number of great defensive and transition plays thrown it – he’s regressed a bit the last few weeks but was wonderful tonight

– Al Montoya make all the saves for 57 minutes and get the victory – our new back-up next year is, as many posited, a solid and established NHL veteran netminder – what fans have been clamoring for for years. Yup, it was too late for this year but is our back-up next year.

– Connor McDavid with one of the plays on the year on the 2nd goal.

– a comeback victory.

– a huge PK with 3 minutes left protecting a one-goal lead.

What’s going to happen tomorrow night? I have no idea, I’ll tune in to find out.

JimmyV1965

Will be interesting too see who starts in net tomorrow.

AsiaOil

Montoya doing was a vet backup does. Some folks don’t appreciate the value of that but it’s important. LB likely gets nothing more than a 2 way offer this summer, if that.

OilClog

thought it was a sister he discovered, okok I’ll check myself out now.

Gerta Rauss

Tony Montoya with his first W as an Oiler

Munny

Gerta Rauss:
man…terrible decision by Drai but he gets away with it…whew

I swear to Gord he’s discovered women, demon liquor or Melvis’s hash stash this year. Game after game of dumb plays.

Gerta Rauss

baby Nuge with the empty netter…!!

€√¥£€^$

€v¥£€us:
Knowing now the chances of coming back after giving up the first goal and trailing after the 2nd and 3rd period normally I would have turned the tv off after the 2nd goal.But Arizona is one of the few teams where the percentages are not brutal for comebacks.

So….stay tuned.There is more hope than normal.

Called it!!! 🙂

Gerta Rauss

lol…

OilClog

Rick is a lost lost man behind that bench