There are four forwards who are over 1.50 points-per-60 at 5-on-5 since Ken Hitchcock arrived in Edmonton. One of them is Jujhar Khaira. The addition of Colby Cave via waivers may allow Khaira to rejoin the line (with Nuge and Jesse Puljujarvi) that seemed to have substantial chem a few weeks ago. The Cave addition received a surprising amount of negative reaction, for me it’s exactly the kind of deal fans should be pleased the Oilers are pursuing. This isn’t a Stanley Cup team. The Oilers aren’t one final piece from locking in as a strong contender. Miles away.
The Athletic Edmonton is going to bring it all season long. Proud to be part of a lineup that is ready to cover the coming year. Outstanding coverage from a large group, including Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis, Lowetide, Minnia Feng and Pat McLean. If you haven’t subscribed yet, now’s your chance. Outstanding offer is here.
- New Jonathan Willis: Why the Oilers should make a decision on Peter Chiarelli this week.
- Lowetide: The Edmonton Oilers appear to be mere hours from doing something overbold
- Lowetide: Edmonton’s offseason prospect procurement could be outstanding. Will they arrive in time to save the Oilers?
- Lowetide: Gauging the Edmonton Oilers’ needs and tendencies for the 2019 NHL Draft
- Jonathan Willis: Forecasting Oilers junior prospects based on their statistical performance
- Lowetide: Complete Oilers top 20 prospects, Winter 2018
- Lowetide: Oilers No. 10 prospect Winter 2018: Dylan Wells.
- Lowetide: Oilers No. 9 prospect Winter 2018: Joel Persson.
- Lowetide: Oilers No. 8 prospect Winter 2018: Kirill Maksimov.
- Lowetide: Oilers No. 7 prospect Winter 2018: Caleb Jones.
- Lowetide: Oilers No. 6 Prospect winter 2018: Cooper Marody.
- Lowetide: Oilers No. 5 Prospect winter 2018: Ethan Bear.
- Lowetide: Oilers No. 4 Prospect winter 2018: Ryan McLeod.
- Lowetide: Oilers No. 3 Prospect winter 2018: Tyler Benson.
- Lowetide: Oilers No. 2 Prospect winter 2018: Kailer Yamamoto.
- Lowetide: Oilers No. 1 Prospect winter 2018: Evan Bouchard.
OILERS AFTER 47
- Oilers in 2015: 19-23-5, 43 points; goal differential -22
- Oilers in 2016: 25-15-7, 57 points; goal differential +7
- Oilers in 2017: 21-23-3, 45 points; goal differential -24
- Oilers in 2018: 22-21-3, 47 points; goal differential -7
The 2018 McDavid Oilers remain unique in this set of four, boasting the second best goal differential and point total, while still standing (as of this morning) just outside the playoffs.
OILERS IN JANUARY
- Oilers in January 2016: 4-2-2, 10 points; goal differential 0
- Oilers in January 2017: 5-3-0, 10 points; goal differential 0
- Oilers in January 2018: 4-4-0, eight points; goal differential -8
- Oilers in January 2019: 4-3-0, eight points; goal differential 0
January each season tracks in a similar way, at least through the middle of the month. These games had little importance in 2016, and the club was rolling in 2017. This year is somewhat unique, in that the period in Oilers history we’re living through now involves games that matter every night. In January. Over the last dozen years, that’s rare.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM JANUARY
- On the road to: Arizona, Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Jose (Expected 2-2-0) (Actual 2-2-0)
- At home to: Florida, Arizona, Buffalo (Expected 1-1-1) (Actual 2-1-0)
- On the road to: Vancouver (Expected 0-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
- At home to: Calgary, Carolina, Detroit (Expected 1-1-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
- Overall expected result: 4-5-2, 10 points in 11 games
- Current results: 4-3-0, eight points in seven games
I have tonight as a loss, the Oilers haven’t played well this season against the Canucks (two losses, 4-8 goals) and the Canucks defend McDavid in all three zones. We’ll see if things change. Sometimes another team has your number and it’s difficult to find a way around it. In the last game, the Canucks blew the doors off with four goals in the first period, including two in the last couple of minutes in the period.
OILERS FORWARDS 5-ON-5 PTS/60 SINCE HITCHCOCK ARRIVED
There are 372 NHL forwards who have played 139 or more 5-on-5 minutes since Ken Hitchcock was hired. That’s the number of forwards who dress for the 31 teams in total for a game (31×12=372). We’re always talking about No. 1 centers and third line players, where do the current Oilers rank? Here we go:
This is all via Natural Stat Trick. There’s no real benefit from this exercise, but if someone says “Nuge is a third line center” you can go about your business secure in the knowledge they’re a nut job. Colby Cave is right where Kyle Brodziak lives (0.81).
All of these waiver pickups and trades are adding to the 50-man list for next season. What does that mean? The RFA’s on this list are going to get squeezed. Edmonton will likely sign Ryan McLeod in the coming days, along with Filip Berglund, Hayden Hawkey and others possibly turning pro. What does that mean for the RFA’s (asterisks)? Edmonton needs more room, ideally they find more by the end of the deadline by sending some of these contracts out.
I had Cave ranked No. 81 in 2014, liked his underlying numbers and a scouting report that suggested a range of skills (I had Ondrej Kase No. 60 btw). I hope it allows Khaira to move over and play LW, but Cave is a No. 4 center, that’s Brodziak’s job. I think we could see another center in town by the deadline.
Oilers moved Stuart Skinner to Bakersfield and Dylan Wells to Wichita (people train runs through Stubbville, though) yesterday, a small shuffle but important to each man’s development. Shane Starrett has taken over the starting role for the Condors recently, Wells was in that role not so long ago. Al Montoya is a distant bell now, hasn’t played since the end of November.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A busy morning on the show, starts at 10, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:
- Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal. The game tonight, the trade deadline to come and young Puljujarvi’s future.
- Jon Campbell, OddsShark. We’ll talk NFL weekend, McDavid Art Ross and the crazy race for the final spot in the Western Conference of the NHL.
- Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press. The Roughriders have no head coach and it’s damned near February.
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!