The Edmonton Oilers are 5-1-1 in their last seven games and will need to repeat that several times over just to be (very likely) disappointed on the season’s final day. This California trip is a good test for how this month could turn out. I’m thinking 1-1-1 but this Oilers team defies prediction. We’re just going to have to wait and see. It is important to win as many games as possible, to have regression in save percentage and on special teams, to see Klefbom and Sekera come all the way back, to have the young Finnish winger scoring with regularity.
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: What would Sam Pollock do?
- New Jonathan Willis: Can Connor McDavid save the Oilers season?
- Lowetide: Oilers Keeper List
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers cap situation and the deadline
- Lowetide: Oilers draft history and the OHL
- Lowetide: Oilers draft and college returns
- Lowetide: Central Scouting and where the Oilers shop for talent
CALIFORNIA SUN, YEAR OVER YEAR
- February 2016: 2-0-0, goal differential +9 (4 points)
- February 2017: 0-2-0, goal differential -3
- February 2018: 1-0-1, goal differential +3 (3 points)
- February 6, 2016: Montreal 5, Edmonton 1 (Source)
- February 5, 2017: Edmonton 1, Montreal 0 (SO) (Source)
This year’s Oilers looked pretty damned good last game but so much of the good has been followed by the bad or indifferent. Edmonton in 2017-18 has been a mirage in the days after a win.
AFTER 51, YEAR OVER YEAR
- Oilers 15-16: 20-26-5, goal differential -26 (45 points)
- Oilers 16-17: 28-15-8, goal differential +21 (64 points)
- Oilers 17-18: 23-24-4, goal differential -20 (50 points)
- February 4, 2016: Edmonton 7, Ottawa 2 (Source)
- January 31, 2017: Minnesota 5, Edmonton 2 (Source)
The Oilers could reach the point-per-game plateau with a victory tonight. Such a weird season, you would have thought that would have been done by Halloween.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM FEBRUARY, YEAR OVER YEAR
- At home to: Colorado, Tampa Bay (Expected 0-1-1) (Actual 1-0-1)
- On the road to: Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Jose (Expected 1-1-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
- At home to: Florida (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
- On the road to: Vegas, Arizona, Colorado (Expected 2-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
- At home to: Boston, Colorado (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
- On the road to: Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Jose (Expected 0-2-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
- Overall expected result: 5-6-3, 13 points in 14 games
- Current results: 1-0-1, three points in two games
I have tonight as a win, with the rest of the road trip being more difficult. Edmonton won the special teams battle against Tampa Bay, can they do it again versus the Kings? Watch out for the goalie tonight in Los Angeles, their starter has fallen on bad times at the exact moment the backup turned into Bernie Parent.
So this year, so far, at 5×5 in the NHL:
1st line: >1.93 points/60
2nd line: >1.57 points/60
3rd line: >1.22 points/60
— WheatNOil (@WheatNOil) February 6, 2018
In the tweet thread from WheatNOil, he qualified his work above, saying “I’m not sure if my method was the best way to do it. Certainly cutting off a lot of players and maybe that skewed the numbers but it does point to a strange year in depth scoring.” Still, it’s an interesting thought and gives us a different view of this team’s forward group.
- Connor McDavid 2.93
- Leon Draisaitl 2.62
- Milan Lucic 1.84
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 1.80
- Patrick Maroon 1.79
- Jesse Puljujarvi 1.76
- Jujhar Khaira 1.76
- Mike Cammalleri 1.57
- Ryan Strome 1.56
- Zack Kassian 1.26
- Drake Caggiula 1.20
- Mark Letestu 1.80
- Anton Slepyshev 1.00
- Iiro Pakarinen 0.70
- Natural Stat Trick
The Oilers 5×5 scoring is promising in several areas. McDavid and Leon are rockets all down the line, and the team has several men scoring around a second-line level. In fact, Ryan Strome, who is technically third line based on these numbers, is the No.9 man currently. There’s some depth here, helped by the development of youngsters Puljujarvi and Khaira. Good teams get plenty from losing seasons, Edmonton has a few stories to tell.
— Rob Vollman (@robvollmanNHL) February 7, 2018
Maroon is in a good spot, I think that contract of his will mean Edmonton receives a reasonable return. Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson? Jordan Schmaltz? Don’t know. Zack Smith has a better balloon and is in a stronger spot than I’d imagined.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10 this morning, TSN1260. Another Oilers game day which seems strange but get used to it there are a ton on the way. Scheduled to appear:
- Darcy McLeod, Because Oilers. Chiarelli’s team is facing some tough decisions. Is there a way to thread the needle here?
- Max Domi, Arizona Coyotes. Young NHL forward is putting his name behind the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes and we’ll discuss it.
More to come on a fluid show, 10-1260 text @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!