At this point, as much as you’d like to see wins, the organization benefits from a 0-3 week and higher ranking before the lottery balls go marching in. Connor McDavid is in a terrific spot for the Art Ross and the bottom six (Strome and Cammalleri lines) is coming to life. Bet you didn’t see that coming!
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. Offer is here.
- New Lowetide: Can the Oilers find a partner in a Milan Lucic trade?
- New Black Dog Pat: What’s the use of continuity when the results don’t inspire confidence?
- Jonathan Willis: Aberg and Rattie audition for jobs as value contracts in major roles.
- Lowetide: Condors Curios: Interesting things bubbling under in Bakersfield.
- Lowetide: What are the Oilers getting in Cooper Marody?
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and the Republic of Finland
- 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.
LET IT RAIN, YEAR OVER YEAR
- Oilers in April 2016: 1-1-1, goal differential -1
- Oilers in April 2017: 4-1-0, goal differential +5
- Oilers in April 2018: 0-0-0
- April 2, 2016: Calgary 5, Edmonton 0 (Source)
- April 1, 2017: Edmonton 3, Anaheim 2 (OT) (Source)
The 2016 team was running out the string and last year’s team was ripping the cover off the ball. Only three games this April, will this team get to 75 points?
AFTER 79, YEAR OVER YEAR
- Oilers 15-16: 30-42-7, goal differential -48 (67 points)
- Oilers 16-17: 44-26-9, goal differential +38 (97 points)
- Oilers 17-18: 34-39-6, goal differential -31 (74 points)
- April 2, 2016: Calgary 5, Edmonton 0 (Source)
- April 6, 2017: Edmonton 4, San Jose 2 (Source)
There’s nothing really left in terms of goals, beyond McDavid’s scoring title. One thing I’d like to see? Jesse Puljujarvi hit 15 goals. He needs three.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM APRIL
- On the road to: Minnesota (Expected 0-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
- At home to: Vegas, Vancouver (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
- Overall expected results: 1-2-0, two points in three games
- Overall actual results: 0-0-0
— ImmigNewsDigest (@ImmigNewsDigest) April 2, 2018
I remember reading many years ago in one of those glossy hockey magazines (they all had crazy titles like “Hockey Pictorial” or “Hockey World!” or “Hockey Illustrated”) about Walter Tkazcuk’s early NHL experiences. John Ferguson of the Montreal Canadiens walloped the young Rangers center from Emstedetten, Germany. After the game, Ferguson growled about “these guys coming over and taking our jobs” and I expect that statement reflected the game at the time.
Fast forward to modern times and honestly the world is a better place. I have written on this blog about Jujhar Khaira 120 times, including the first one which includes a fabulous joke from PunjabiOil and the best scouting report of the day from CrazyCoach in the comments section. Bottom line: We’ve talked about this player as a player for years now, discussing his merits as a prospect. We’re not perfect, and our country is miles from being color blind, but in my lifetime things are heading in a better direction. Maybe 100 years from now, when Jujhar Khaira the fifth is drafted, things will be better still. That is my sincere hope.
THE NEXT 15 DAYS
A week from now, the season will be over. Garbage bag day and the exit interviews will be done and (likely) the media avails for Peter Chiarelli and Todd McLellan scheduled. Two weeks from now, we’ll know more about the direction of the team and we’ll know about injuries (I expect at least one revelation that will explain a lot) that impacted the year.
Bob Stauffer tweeted out late last night about the team’s direction. In my final RE post previewing the 2016-17 season, I wrote the following:
- The Edmonton Oilers remain a marriage of clusters, with the Connor McDavid cluster gaining in size and momentum with each passing month. The cluster with players in their prime is about the same as a year ago, but there has been a tremendous shakeup in its style and form—one of the key changes over the summer. Finally, the team remains incomplete but is maddeningly close—only a Chad Johnson, a Cody Franson and a Jonathan Marchessault away from the balance photo. It may happen during the season, but does not look like it will come by mid-October. Source
I think the Oilers can be straightened out fairly quickly, although money’s too tight to mention and that’s a real problem. One of the main priorities of the offseason will be finding a way to get the cap situation in a better place.
EARLY ATTEMPT: THE SUMMER LIST
- Ownership needs to figure out management and management needs to figure out coaching.
- A trade involving Milan Lucic, Andrej Sekera, Kris Russell out needs to happen this summer.
- A second-pairing RD. Note: I am not in agreement on this as a priority but it’s fairly obvious the Oilers are going to make a move to address the situation. I don’t think they’ll go Karlsson big but there’s a Tyson Barrie, Matt Dumba, Dougie Hamilton coming to our town.
- A scoring right-winger. This player might be an internal solution (Jesse Puljujarvi, Kailer Yamamoto, first-round draft pick).
- A Fernando Pisani. A player with great utility who can help in all situations and play the mentor role for youngsters.
- A strong backup goalie.
It goes without saying that a trade of Oscar Klefbom or RNH isn’t addressing the problem but rather moving the problem to a new spot on the roster.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A busy morning, TSN 1260 beginning at 10. Our coverage will change over this week from the season at hand to the summer ahead. It should make for interesting discussion. Scheduled to appear:
- Pierre Lebrun, The Athletic and TSN. Taylor Hall is a very strong candidate for the Hart Trophy, changes in Edmonton this summer.
- Eric Fawcett, Press Basketball. The clock struck midnight Saturday, we are left with two strong offensive teams in the championship game.
- Jason Gregor, TSN. How bold will the Oilers be this summer?
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!