One year ago, the Oilers formula for winning included Connor McDavid’s searing offense, Cam Talbot stopping pucks and the rest of the roster hanging on. In the last 10 games, a stretch that has seen the team go 4-5-1, McDavid has eight points (one goal), the leading goal scorers are Darnell Nurse and Patrick Maroon (both have four), there have been two power-play goals (Leon, JP) and Cam Talbot has a save percentage of .889. Only nine different players have scored a goal in the last 10 games. Incredibly, the team is on a three-game winning streak and have a promising immediate schedule. We’re past burning daylight, the team has taken exactly one forever to come together. Is this recent run true north? We begin to find that answer tonight.
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.
- New Lowetide: Updates on Yamamoto, Cairns and Keegan Lowe
- Lowetide: Paul Coffey’s role in Edmonton
- Tyler Dellow: What’s wrong with the McDavid power play
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers mid-season review: The Defence
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers mid-season review: The Forwards
- Corey Pronman: Top 50 NHL prospects (Oilers alert)
- Lowetide: Hard target search 2018 deadline
RED RUM, YEAR OVER YEAR
- January 2016: 4-2-2, goal differential -1 (10 points)
- January 2017: 5-3-0, goal differential -1 (10 points)
- January 2018: 4-4-0, goal differential -7 (8 points)
G9 in January 2016 was a 6-4 loss to Tampa Bay which featured a shorthanded winner and an EN goal. G9 in January 2017 was a 4-3 overtime win over the Florida Panthers. The Sabres went to overtime in Calgary last night so the Oilers should have the better boots.
AFTER 48, YEAR OVER YEAR
- Oilers 15-16: 19-23-5, goal differential -24 (43 points)
- Oilers 16-17: 25-15-7, goal differential +10 (57 points)
- Oilers 17-18: 21-23-3, goal differential -18 (45 points)
G48 was a 6-4 loss to the Lightning as above, as the Oilers stumbled toward the end of January (the 15-16 team would win just 12 more games). G48 for the 16-17 team was a 3-2 shootout loss to Nashville. The 16-17 team would win 22 more by the end of the year from this point on. If this year’s team splits the difference (winning 17 games) the club would finish with 38 wins in 2017-18. Honestly, that seems reasonable based on season history and quality of team.
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 2-3-0)
- At home to: Vancouver, Buffalo, Calgary (Expected 2-1-0) (Actual 1-0-0)
- Overall expected result: 4-4-2, 10 points in 10 games
- Current results: 4-4-0, eight points in eight games
Anyone who tells you they absolutely know which Oilers team will show up tonight is lying. The verbal seems confident and the Saturday game was fun, but who knows what tonight brings?
The idea of Central is making sure the team hasn’t forgotten or missed someone in their region. In the brilliant Gare Joyce “Heartbreaks” book, he quotes a Western Conference scout on Central:
- “The fact is that they do the best they can with the resources the league gives them. They give us a guide, not a definitive breakdown. If it were definitive, there’d be a lot of guys out of jobs.”
- LD Rasmus Dahlin, Frolunda (SHL). Europe No. 1
- R Andrei Svechnikov, Barrie Colts (OHL). North America No. 1
- L Filip Zadina, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL). North America No. 2
- LC Jacob Olofsson, Timra (Allsvenskan). Europe No. 5
- LD Ty Smith, Spokane Chiefs (WHL). North America No. 14.
- RD Adam Boqvist, Brynas (SuperElite). Europe No. 2
- RC Akil Thomas, Niagara Ice Dogs (OHL). North America No. 10
- L Brady Tkachuk, Boston University (NCAA). North America No. 3
- RD Ryan Merkley, Guelph Storm (OHL). North America No. 21
- LD Quinn Hughes, Michigan (NCAA). North America No. 4
- L Joel Farabee, U.S. National Development Program (USHL). North America No. 11
- R Oliver Wahlstrom, U.S. National Development Program (USHL). North America No. 7
- LC Filip Hallander, Timra (Allsvenskan). Europe No. 12.
- RD Jett Woo, Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL). North America No. 20
- LC Ryan McLeod, Mississauga Steelheads (OHL). North America No. 16
- LC Barrett Hayton, SSM Greyhounds (OHL). North America No. 6
- RC Rasmus Kupari, Karpat (Sm-Liiga). Europe No. 6
- LC Joe Veleno, Drummondville (QMJHL). North America No. 13.
- RD Noah Dobson, Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL). North America No. 8
- LC Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Assat (Sm-Liiga). Europe No. 9
- RD Evan Bouchard, London Knights (OHL). North America No. 5
- LD K’Andre Miller, U.S. National Development Team (USHL). North America No. 31
- RD Calen Addison, Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL). North America No. 34.
- R Dominik Bokk, Vajxo Lakers (SuperElite). Europe No. 8
- RD Bode Wilde, U.S. National Development Team (USHL). North America No. 22.
- RC Cam Hillis, Guelph Storm (OHL). North America No. 59.
- LC Phillipp Kurashev, Quebec Remparts (QMJHL). North America No. 68.
- LC Milos Roman, Vancouver Giants (WHL). North America No. 40.
- L Isac Lundestrom, Lulea (SHL). Europe No. 3
- W Samuel Fagemo, Frolunda (SuperElite). Europe No. 40.
- LD Jared McIssac, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL). North America No. 12.
I am missing (but considered) Serron Noel (NA No. 9); Rasmus Sandin (NA No. 15); Benoit-Oliver Groulx (NA No. 18); Patrick Giles (NA No. 19). Among high ranking Europeans, I have not listed Grigori Denisenko (Euro No. 4) and Adam Ginning (Euro No. 7). Lists are here.
Central doesn’t move much at the top in their final rankings (they were famously stubborn on Angelo Esposito in 2007, dropping him to No. 8; he would go No. 20) but there will be lots of movement. Last year’s big movers were Jason Robertson and Alexandre Texier (last year’s list).
Any of the top 6 on my list would be fabulous for the Oilers. I really like Ty Smith, Simon Boisvert has me interested in tracking Oliver Wahlstrom.
- The Top 50 NA list features 17 names from the OHL, nine from the QMJHL, just five from the WHL. Low total out west. The USTP (U.S. National development team) has seven names in the top 50, five more from other USHL clubs. Two kids from U.S.high school, two from BCHL, two from NCAA and one from OJHL. That’s 50.
- Oilers don’t draft the Q heavily, that may change this year with the improved quality.
- Curtis Douglas, a center for the Windsor Spitfires, is the tallest man in the draft at 6.08.
- Adam Samuelsson, a defenseman for the U.S. National team, is the heaviest at 240.
- There are six players from Swe-2 (Allsvenskan) in the Euro top 50. That’s the league that seems to house explosive kids like Elias Pettersson (I had him No. 4 overall, Central had him No. 2 Euro) and I wonder if we see a run on these kids from that emerging league.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A busy morning, we’ll go heavy on the hockey and throw in some football and tennis for good measure. All gets rolling at 10, TSN1260:
- Jonathan Willis, The Athletic. Jon’s recent posts on mid-season performances reveals plenty and we’ll drill down on several subjects.
- Steve Kournianos, The Draft Analyst. Central’s list, Steve’s opinions.
- Scott Cullen, TSN. Wild trade deadline ahead, who is safe in Edmonton, Avs baby, Aussie Open hot!
- Paul Hamilton, WGR55 Buffalo. The Sabres at the deadline and into summer.
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!