I get emails and dm’s 10 at a time these days, mostly about changes in management or coaching. “You’re always on McLellan’s side, why can’t you see he’s the one who is going to be fired?” and “your buddy Chiarelli ruined the Bruins and now he’s ruined the Oilers. Thanks!” are just two of many lovely notes passed along recently. I think there’s a chance both men end up out of work, or in the case of Peter Chiarelli bumped into a new role like “Vice President of Procurement, Chancellor of the Exchequer.” Either way, first 15 days of April, don’t venture far from the Al Gore.
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- New Lowetide: Jujhar Khaira, Ethan Bear and why prospects fail.
- Lowetide: How the Oilers can win summer without breaking the bank.
- Lowetide: Hard Target Search for power-play quarterback
- Lowetide: Bob Nicholson speaks, Oilers’ fans burn.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and Sweden.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and the QMJHL.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: Oilers and the WHL.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: Oilers draft history and the OHL
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and the NCAA.
THE LAST SPIKE, YEAR OVER YEAR
- March 2016: 3-2-0, goal differential 0 (6 points)
- March 2017: 3-1-1, goal differential +7 (7 points)
- March 2018: 3-2-0, goal differential +1 (6 points)
- March 10, 2016: Edmonton 2, Minnesota 1 (Source)
- March 16, 2017: Edmonton 7, Boston 4 (Source)
Todd McLellan’s Oilers enjoy March, they are a combined 11-5-1 entering tonight’s contest over three seasons. The team has had an ongoing victory train over the Calgary Flames (7-0) and we’ll see about that tonight, too.
AFTER 68, YEAR OVER YEAR
- Oilers 15-16: 26-35-7, goal differential -42 (59 points)
- Oilers 16-17: 35-24-9, goal differential +18 (79 points)
- Oilers 17-18: 30-34-4, goal differential -31 (64 points)
- March 8, 2016: San Jose 3, Edmonton 0 (Source)
- March 14, 2017: Edmonton 7, Dallas 1 (Source)
This little March run has Edmonton getting some separation from the 2015-16 crew. Not even a long losing streak gets anyone fired before the end of the season now, Oilers still have a chance at 80 points on the season.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM MARCH
- At home to: Nashville, NY Rangers, Arizona, NY Islanders, Minnesota (Expected 2-3-0) (Actual 3-2-0)
- On the road to: Calgary (Expected 0-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
- At home to: San Jose (Expected 0-0-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
- On the road to: Florida, Tampa Bay, Carolina, Ottawa (Expected 1-2-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
- At home to: Los Angeles, Anaheim, Columbus (Expected 2-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
- On the road to: Vancouver, Calgary (Expected 1-0-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
- Overall expected result: 6-7-3, 15 points in 16 games
- Current results: 3-2-0, 6 points in five games
HERE COMES SUMMER!
Lots of churn out there in regard to the Oilers shortcomings, par for the course when a team is so far from expectation (they are about 20 points behind where they should be). As mentioned above, the season has been so severe that both coach and general manager are vulnerable.
A typical Oilers solution would be firing an assistant coach, at least one guy in Bakersfield and someone in the front office who is well down the list. Possibly followed by the signing of Darnell Nurse and we’re off and running.
The presence of Paul Coffey, hired during the season, and Wayne Gretzky, who has taken on a more public role (if not specifically in hockey ops) suggest there could be a shadow cabinet walking the same halls as Todd McLellan and Peter Chiarelli.
It’s important to make a distinction between the need for change and what the change could be for these Oilers. Two points:
- The Oilers have to do something, bleeding more young talent via June trades is not an option.
- The tea leaves are delivering an unsettling cast of characters in possible feature roles.
There’s a tendency to regard what is in front of us as the low point, the nadir. The seasoned Oilers fan will allow for the possibility we ain’t seen nothing yet.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A busy show on the way, TSN1260 at 10 this morning. Scheduled to appear:
- Jonathan Willis, The Athletic. Parsing word and deed, we’ll project the Oilers shuffle that is less than one month away.
- Kent Wilson, The Athletic. Tough times for the Flames but a win tonight will improve the forecast.
- Scott Cullen, TSN. Is Alex Ovechkin the best scorer of all time?
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!