The first time the NHL Oilers played against the Pittsburgh Penguins, it was a bloodbath in Pennsylvania. Edmonton won 5-2 (nine points for the Callighen-Gretzky-MacDonald line). If you look at the summary linked, you’ll see an actual mountain of penalties in the second period. I reached out to Cam Connor, whose name is spread liberally throughout the game’s penalty notations.
- Cam Connor: “In the middle of the second period, Gretzky came over the Penguins blue line and walked defenseman Kim Clackson. I knew what Clackson was going to do, because he always slashed the oncoming forward on that play. Clackson whacked Gretzky on the side of the head, and Wayne went down. Dave Semenko, who could beat Clackson, went right after him. Pat Hughes and I ended up pairing off. Semenko told me he and Clackson fought five times during the melee. At the end of the fight, the linesman began splitting them up, and Semenko turned his head for an instant. In that moment, Clackson came over the top of the linesman and landed a punch on Semenko’s left eye.”
I believe this video is from that night. Based on the video, Mr. Connor did a helluva lot more than “pair off” but it looked like an incredible game. 🙂
The Athletic Edmonton features a fabulous cluster of stories (some linked below, some on the site). Great perspective from a ridiculous group of writers and analysts. Proud to be part of the group. Outstanding offer is here.
- New Jonathan Willis: Taking stock of Oilers positives as they enter the final third of a dismal 2018-19 season.
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Q&A: Keith Gretzky on the Oilers trade deadline plan, Andrej Sekera’s return and Jesse Puljujarvi’s season
- New Lowetide: Oilers’ potential roster upheaval might set a record for summer activity
- New Jonathan Willis: Teams should beware of these players at the 2019 NHL trade deadline.
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Will he stay or will he go? Possible trade destination for Cam Talbot.
- Lowetide: Comparing Oilers prospects Tyler Benson and Kailer Yamamoto
- Lowetide: Is Ken Hitchcock helping Jesse Puljujarvi find his way as an NHL player?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: What Connor McDavid’s evolving leadership qualities mean to the Oilers.
- Lowetide: It’s time for Oilers owner Daryl Katz to stand and deliver a winning organization.
- Lowetide: Setting the Oilers’ expected keeper list for the next GM
- Lowetide: Entry deal AHL forwards give the Oilers an excellent trade pool.
- Lowetide: If fast is the new big, how do the Edmonton Oilers get there in a hurry?
- Jonathan Willis: Analyzing how well Peter Chiarelli and Keith Gretzky restocked the Oilers with their draft work
- Lowetide: Finding a path to the playoffs may involve reckless use of future assets by the Oilers
- Jonathan Willis: An Oilers blueprint for the 2019 NHL free agency period
- Corey Pronman: 2019 NHL Draft midseason rankings
- Jonathan Willis: An Oilers blueprint for the 2019 NHL trade deadline.
- Lowetide: Edmonton’s 2019 entry draft plans may change with new GM but needs are clear
- Lowetide: Complete Oilers top 20 prospects, Winter 2018
OILERS AFTER 56
- Oilers in 2015: 22-29-5, 49 points; goal differential -27
- Oilers in 2016: 29-19-8, 66 points; goal differential +7
- Oilers in 2017: 23-29-4, 50 points; goal differential -33
- Oilers in 2018: 24-26-5, 53 points; goal differential -20
I don’t think the playoffs or 90 points are realistic at this point, but 82 (point-per-game) is within reach. Edmonton has reached 82 points just once since 2009, that was the 103-point season in 2016-17.
OILERS IN FEBRUARY
- Oilers in February 2016: 2-4-0, four points; goal differential -14
- Oilers in February 2017: 3-3-0, six points; goal differential -1
- Oilers in February 2018: 1-4-1, three points; goal differential -1
- Oilers in February 2019: 1-2-2, four points; goal differential -7
WHAT TO EXPECT IN FEBRUARY
- On the road to: Philadelphia, Montreal (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 0-0-2)
- At home to: Chicago (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 0-1-0)
- On the road to: Minnesota (Expected 0-0-1) (Actual 1-0-0)
- At home to: San Jose (Expected 0-1-0) (Actual 0-1-0)
- On the road to: Pittsburgh, Carolina, NY Islanders (Expected 2-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
- At home to: Arizona, NY Islanders, Anaheim (Expected 2-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
- On the road to: Nashville, Toronto, Ottawa (Expected 1-2-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
- Overall expected result: 7-6-1, 15 points in 14 games
- Current results: 1-2-2, four points in five games
This is the point in the month where I thought the Oilers would go on a bit of a roll. I thought Klefbom and Sekera would be back, and also thought the team would have added a scorer. Good for them, staying the course is the right call. My prediction for the month as a whole is well within range.
Andrej Sekera plays tonight for the Condors and based on reports he’s very close to being NHL-ready. In Daniel Nugent-Bowman’s interview with interim general manager Keith Gretzky (a must read) he says “it won’t be pretty” but they can get under the cap. Koskinen starts, he needs to be November Mikko. Folks, I don’t think they make it, but improving on last year remains a noble goal.
Insider Trading has the Oiler trying to deal Brandon Manning and Alex Petrovic, with no takers at this time. Frank Seravalli suggested both being placed on waivers is a possible solution, Oilers fans reacted online with derision. Now? It might be the likely plan. What a waste of assets.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A busy morning, we’ll cover a lot of bases between 10 and noon, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:
- Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal. Oilers buyers or sellers?
- Matthew Scianitti, TSN. A wild day in CFL free agency.
- Jon Campbell, OddsShark. NHL playoff odds, NFL odds early days and the Alliance.
- Corey Pronman, The Athletic. His mid-season rankings feature two “special” players and four “elite” players. We’ll talk about this year’s draft.