One thing’s for sure: This isn’t Jesse Puljujarvi’s fault. The Edmonton Oilers were beyond bad on home ice last night, in a game they needed to win in order to stop the bleeding. It was 60 minutes of coach killer and it’s impossible to ignore this spectacle. When your best players—and make no mistake that ghastly effort involved everyone but the fourth line—play that poorly, it’s a bad day.
I’m casting about looking for a song to match the mood, and find myself drawn to a hotel room in Orillia, Ontario and a wordsmith writing about the gales of November. We’re not there yet, but it’s in the forecast.
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- New Lowetide: Oilers send Puljujarvi and Yamamoto to Bakersfield; recall Marody
- Lowetide: Oilers trade options: Dealing from strength is finally a possibility.
- Lowetide: What happens to the Oilers when Alex Chiasson’s hot streak ends?
- Jonathan Willis: Under the circumstances, playing in the AHL affords Jesse Puljujarvi the best chance at career redemption.
- Lowetide: A new day dawning for Oilers prospects in Bakersfield as increased usage means greater success.
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: In depth: Embattled Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli defends his record, remains bullish on the future.
- Lowetide: Future Oilers bubbling under in Bakersfield may get a look sooner rather than later.
- Lowetide: Oscar Klefbom takes a step forward for the Edmonton Oilers.
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Forty years later, remembering the forgotten trade that brought Wayne Gretzky to Edmonton.
- Lowetide: Oilers reach a pressure point on defence and right wing.
- Ordinarily I do breakdowns of all the possession numbers and shots, et cetera, but always reserve the right to pass on the opportunity. I don’t work when the Oilers don’t work.
- There’s also lots of score effects in the possession numbers, so not much to learn. Bottom line: Connor, Oscar, Nuge, Leon, Cam, not one of the key players had a good game. If I had to pick a first star it would be Zack Kassian. Second star? Mikko Koskinen.
- Apologies. You can grab the info at NaturalStatTrick and NHL.com.
- Ty Rattie scored a goal, he’s up to 8, 2-2-4 now and 1.77 per 60 scoring 5-on-5. That number ranks him No. 4 among Oilers forwards.
- Cam Talbot was poor. I’m normally upbeat on the goalers but he wasn’t good from the start.
- Connor McDavid deserves linemates of a quality Nathan MacKinnon enjoys. One day he’s going to wake up and be extremely pissed with this organization. That’ll be a bad day.
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was not good. You can look through all seven years of this blog and find very few times I’ve been overly critical. I appreciate his game very much. He was off.
- Zack Kassian was fantastic, and the entire fourth line easily the best thing going for this club.
OILERS AFTER 17
- Oilers in October 2015: 6-11-0, 12 points; goal differential -10
- Oilers in October 2016: 9-7-1, 19 points; goal differential +1
- Oilers in October 2017: 6-9-2, 14 points; goal differential -13
- Oilers in October 2018: 8-8-1, 17 points; goal differential -8
The four game losing streak has coincided with a blip for the 2016 team, but in the following five games the 2016-17 playoff group went 3-1-1 to correct the course. Will this team do the same? Not with an effort like last night.
OILERS IN NOVEMBER
- Oilers in November 2015: 2-4-0, four points; goal differential -4
- Oilers in November 2016: 2-3-1, five points; goal differential -4
- Oilers in November 2017: 3-3-0, six points; goal differential -2
- Oilers in November 2018: 2-4-0, four points; goal differential -6
Oilers this November remind me of that 2015 team to be honest, kind of careening between individual brilliance and collective malaise. We’re at a point now where it’s pretty freaking serious for the head coach, so Tuesday is a big game.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN NOVEMBER
- At home to: Chicago (Expected 1-0-0) Actual (1-0-0)
- On the road to: Detroit, Washington, Tampa Bay, Florida (Expected 2-2-0) (Actual 1-3-0)
- At home to: Colorado, Montreal (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 0-1-0)
- On the road to: Calgary (Expected 0-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
- At home to: Vegas (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
- On the road to: San Jose, Anaheim, Los Angeles (Expected 2-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
- At home to: Dallas, Los Angeles (Expected 1-0-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
- Overall expected result: 8-5-1, 17 points in 14 games
- Current results: 2-4-0, 4 points in 6 games
Off the rails now, the ‘expected’ results were taken out back and shot last night around midnight. At this point, it’s probably fair to suggest the two Los Angeles games are winnable. After that? Depends on whether or not the Oilers decide it’s a good night to show up. Edmonton has gone 0-2, 6-2-1, 2-4-0 to start the season. Not much consistency there.
FIRE THE COACH
History tells us the coach is the first to get the pink slip. I have argued Todd McLellan doesn’t have the horses, but at some point that’s not going to fly. The Oilers rarely fire coaches in the middle of a season (Bryan Watson, Ted Green, George Burnett, Dallas Eakins). Todd McLellan has coached the Oilers for 13 playoff games, don’t know that he’ll get another one.
I don’t think this roster is good enough and that’s on the general manager. Four years now into Connor McDavid’s career and nothing rhymes. That’s on management, in my opinion. I’m thrilled with the progress in procurement, that is going to pay dividends. I’m not sure Peter Chiarelli or Todd McLellan are going to be around to see their dream come to fruition.
I don’t think the losing goes on much longer without a change. The Montreal game is a monster.
WHAT ABOUT KEEP YOUR POWDER DRY
It’s the right thing to do, but may cost the general manager his job. I wouldn’t be shocked to see one giant trade here, something designed to shock the system. What does it look like? Maybe it’s Tanner Pearson or Mats Zuccarello, maybe it’s Tuukka Rask. Expect the startling.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
I’ll be on the round table of the Dustin Nielson show at 9 this morning, TSN1260. Jamo will join me, we’ll talk CFL, Oilers and other things! At 10, it’s the Lowdown, scheduled to appear:
- Andy McNamara, TSN4Downs. We’ll chat Cleveland Browns, Philadelphia Eagles, Tennessee Titans and more. Crazy football weekend.
- Darrin Bauming, TSN1290 Winnipeg. The Blue Bombers are moving on, after a big win in Regina yesterday.
- Jason Gregor, TSN1260. What’s the next step for the Oilers?
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!