Game 68 2018-19: Maple Leafs at Oilers


I’d give this Oilers team a 35 percent chance to win this evening. It’s an away game, a team that mopped the floor with Edmonton mere days ago and is coming off a disappointing loss.

If the Oilers can get a point tonight, and especially if they win, I think all fans will take notice. The national media may have to change hammers (from sledge to rubber). In this way, tonight’s opponent is a gift, an opportunity. It’s Hockey Night in Canada, and it’s rarely meant as much in the last decade.

THE ATHLETIC!

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: The Oilers aren’t good, but this group has more potential than teams from the decade of darkness
  • New Lowetide: Bob Nicholson’s search continues for the Oilers new tomorrow, but at a leisurely pace.
  • Jonathan Willis: Potential GM candidates and why Edmonton needs to consider those with varied experiences.
  • Lowetide: Identifying Oilers roster needs reveals a familiar list
  • New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: How Leon Draisaitl has found ‘another level’ by matching offensive wizardry with sound positioning.
  • Lowetide: How many future NHL goal scorers are playing for the Bakersfield Condors this season?
  • Lowetide: The career destination for Oilers phenom Jesse Puljujarvi remains unknown.
  • Jonathan Willis: Learning from a flawed argument I made about Leon Draisaitl in 2016.
  • Black Dog Pat: How the Oilers can emerge from the Bob Pulford-like era they’re stuck in.
  • Lowetide: The Oilers’ deadline decisions inform what may come in spring and summer
  • Jonathan Willis: From Mikko Koskinen to Bakersfield, the next two months will reveal a lot about the Oilers
  • Lowetide: The Edmonton Oilers and the OHL.
  • Lowetide: Complete Oilers top 20 prospects, Winter 2018

OILERS AFTER 68

  • Oilers in 2015: 26-35-7, 59 points; goal differential -30
  • Oilers in 2016: 35-24-9, 79 points; goal differential +10
  • Oilers in 2017: 30-34-4, 64 points; goal differential -35
  • Oilers in 2018: 30-30-7, 67 points; goal differential -20

The Oilers are seven points behind the Minnesota Wild with two games in hand, so if they can win those two games it’ll be a three point deficit. I don’t think Edmonton makes it, but will say that a win tonight against a formidable Toronto team would turn a lot of agnostics into believers.

OILERS IN MARCH

  • Oilers in March 2016: 3-1-0, six points; goal differential +3
  • Oilers in March 2017: 1-2-1, three points; goal differential -2
  • Oilers in March 2018: 2-2-0, four points; goal differential -2
  • Oilers in March 2019: 3-0-0, six points; goal differential +6

WHAT TO EXPECT IN MARCH

  • On the road to: Columbus, Buffalo (Expected 0-1-1) (Actual 2-0-0)
  • At home to: Vancouver, Toronto, NY Rangers, Minnesota (Expected 2-1-1) (Actual 1-0-0)
  • On the road to: Arizona, Vegas, St. Louis (Expected: 0-2-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Columbus, Ottawa, Los Angeles, Dallas, Anaheim (Expected: 3-1-1) (Actual)
  • Overall expected result: 5-5-4, 14 points in 14 games
  • Current results: 3-0-0, six points in three games

OILERS FORWARDS, LAST 10 GP

  • The Oilers have been very successful in the last 10 games, for a couple of reasons shown here.
  • Connor McDavid is simply the best, something we should never take for granted.
  • Leon’s at 2.04, Gagner is doing fine and a couple veteran wingers are posting some crooked numbers.
  • It isn’t perfect but it is better. Wing needs an overhaul this summer.

OILERS DEFENSE, LAST 10 GP

  • I’m the last man standing on Corsi Rel but it gives me a feeling for the group and confirms my concern about the second pair.
  • Mikko Koskinen has been getting credit (and he should) for these last 10 games, but it’s important to note his .927 SP at 5-on-5 ranks no. 19 among starters in this time frame.
  • All numbers via NaturalStatTrick.

THE CARLTON SHOWBAND

The Toronto Maple Leafs occupy a unique place in Canadian culture. Previous to 1970, the Leafs spent many decades as the only English Canadian hockey team in the NHL, effectively giving the club a captive audience by default. Additionally, the 1960’s saw the team win several Stanley’s, making the enormous population of Leafs nation vocal, jubilant and unavoidable. In 1967, when Toronto would win its fourth championship in six years, the Maple Leafs were the hockey equivalent of modern sports franchises like the New York Yankees or New England Patriots of fairly recent vintage.

If the Leafs win the Stanley this spring, the combination of social media, online aggression, enormous pockets of Leafs fandom across all precincts, and decades of fire targeted from and toward Toronto may explode across the nation like a wildfire. The result could be the undoing of all the good work (over a century ago), a time when building the railway connected the entire nation and brought the jewel of confederation into Canada.

What’s even more worrisome? Pierre Berton isn’t here to write an exhausting tome to chronicle the event for history.

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511 Responses to "Game 68 2018-19: Maple Leafs at Oilers"

« Older Comments
  1. Professor Q says:

    russ99:
    This is ugly.

    Do we have any high danger chances on net tonight? Maybe Connor’s shot to close the first period.

    Have you even been watching the game?

    There have been plenty.

  2. Andy Dufresne says:

    OriginalPouzar: He’s more of a passer than a shooter – very soft hands vis-a-vis the pass and his ability to stickhandle in small spaces. His shot seems fine but its not a plus shot – I would compare this to Nuge.

    That sounds alot like Nuge.

  3. Andy Dufresne says:

    Freddy playing all world tonight

  4. OriginalPouzar says:

    Man, Freddie Anderson – some wonderful chances on this PP – just one of those nights…

  5. Andy Dufresne says:

    Sweden going to be scary good in international play.

  6. LMHF#1 says:

    Connor needs to watch some old Gretzky footage and go set up behind the net when things aren’t looking good.

  7. OmJo says:

    Hearing Rogers Place cheer after every Leafs clear is disgusting.

    The building should be fumigated tomorrow.

  8. Professor Q says:

    Andy Dufresne:
    Sweden going to be scary good in international play.

    Andersen is Danish!

    But yes, the top Swedish players on both Edmonton and Toronto are quite a sight to behold.

  9. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    Andy Dufresne:
    Freddy playing all world tonight

    Yup he’s good. Kinda of unsung maybe? Doesn’t get enough credit maybe?

  10. BONE207 says:

    OmJo:
    Hearing Rogers Place cheer after every Leafs clear is disgusting.

    The building should be fumigated tomorrow.

    Oh…is that the smell of success???

  11. Andy Dufresne says:

    Professor Q: Andersen is Danish!

    But yes, the top Swedish players on both Edmonton and Toronto are quite a sight to behold.

    Denmark ! ……Thats in Sweden right??

  12. OriginalPouzar says:

    Ryan McLeod with an assist on a third period insurance goal.

    London about to lose in a battle of the top two in the division – Bouchard with no points but 6 shots on net. -3 tonight (although one was the empty netter)

  13. Andy Dufresne says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Ryan McLeod with an assist on a third period insurance goal.

    London about to lose in a battle of the top two in the division – Bouchard with no points but 6 shots on net.-3 tonight (although one was the empty netter)

    Nice that they are both developing in winning environments.

  14. OmJo says:

    I’ve only watched the 3rd but Kassian is playing well.

  15. Andy Dufresne says:

    THis isnt over yet

    Remember what Anahiem did to us in the playoffs

  16. BONE207 says:

    Andy Dufresne: Denmark !……Thats in Sweden right??

    Stockholm syndrome

  17. Andy Dufresne says:

    OmJo:
    I’ve only watched the 3rd but Kassian is playing well.

    Agreed. Just not throwing the big hits tonight, or seperating the man from the puck…that Ive seen.

  18. flyfish1168 says:

    BONE207: Oh…is that the smell of success???

    Yes, when the work is done it is always a success

  19. OmJo says:

    Andy Dufresne:
    THis isnt over yet

    Remember what Anahiem did to us in the playoffs

    Cheat?

  20. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    Andy Dufresne:
    THis isnt over yet

    Remember what Anahiem did to us in the playoffs

    *High five*

  21. Lucic n Chong says:

    OriginalPouzar<
    OriginalPouzar</strong

    Got it. Cheers.

  22. BONE207 says:

    flyfish1168: Yes,when the work is done it is always a success

    Sweet smell of disappointment

  23. Andy Dufresne says:

    Queue the Comeback!

  24. OmJo says:

    That was dirty.

  25. OriginalPouzar says:

    Willie Lagesson with a seeing eye shot shot from the point slips in.

    Esposito with the faceoff win.

    2-0 Condors.

  26. OriginalPouzar says:

    Nice pass by Leon on the Nuge goal.

  27. LMHF#1 says:

    Andy Dufresne:
    Queue the Comeback!

    Intentionally or unintentionally witty there?

  28. Andy Dufresne says:

    Once the Oilers realized he was DANISH….they had no problem scoring on him

  29. BONE207 says:

    Wtf…

  30. OriginalPouzar says:

    Marody deflects one off the post on a sweet pass from Benson – close to 3-0.

  31. OmJo says:

    Ha!

  32. Andy Dufresne says:

    DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES!!!!

  33. OmJo says:

    What’s the record for most goals with a pulled goalie in a game?

  34. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    At least they got Drai/McD points?
    …looking for positives…

  35. Andy Dufresne says:

    FUCK ME THAT WAS CLOSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  36. OriginalPouzar says:

    Oh my, Kass almost ties it up – wow!

  37. OmJo says:

    So close!

  38. OmJo says:

    Kassian is looking like a hockey player right there.

  39. flyfish1168 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Nice pass by Leon on the Nuge goal.

    OriginalPouzar:
    Marody deflects one off the post on a sweet pass from Benson – close to 3-0.

    OP, Are you watching both games on separate big screens in your mancave?

  40. OmJo says:

    16 seconds left.

    Where’s Eberle?

    Too soon?

  41. OmJo says:

    Well….

    At least McDavid got his 100th point.

  42. flyfish1168 says:

    BONE207: Sweet smell of disappointment

    The job is done now unemployed.

  43. Zelepukin says:

    wtf. I literally walked away from that 3min whistle.

  44. jp says:

    Wow. Well that was almost something. Didn’t see even the pulse of life coming though

  45. OriginalPouzar says:

    Its like a broken record but Samorukov with a 3rd period goal.

    Keep rolling Dimitri…

  46. OriginalPouzar says:

    Réal Goudenyéu: Yup he’s good. Kinda of unsung maybe? Doesn’t get enough credit maybe?

    He’s in the running for the vezina this year….

  47. Andy Dufresne says:

    LMHF#1: Intentionally or unintentionally witty there?

    Yes. 🙂

  48. BONE207 says:

    flyfish1168:
    OP, Are you watching both games on separate big screens in your mancave?

    You must be new here.
    He lives in the garage & only enters the house when he has husband duties. Then back to garage again. Wife is a passive black widow.

  49. dsr29 says:

    Nurse has puck at the point with 5 seconds left and sends back to Nuge instead of firing it towards the net. I look forward to having a defenseman with some actual offensive ability on this team at some point.

  50. Andy Dufresne says:

    OmJo:
    So close!

    yeah…..maybe if LT and The Admiral hadnt given up on us so early….. 🙂

  51. Professor Q says:

    dsr29:
    Nurse has puck at the point with 5 seconds left and sends back to Nuge instead of firing it towards the net. I look forward to having a defenseman with some actual offensive ability on this team at some point.

    The Oilers unfortunately always do this, even with lots of time and when on the PP.

    They absolutely love passing backwards from the slot, to and within the perimeter, and out of their scoring chances.

  52. Andy Dufresne says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Its like a broken record but Samorukov with a 3rd period goal.

    Keep rolling Dimitri…

    How does his shot look?

    Is he the QB on PP1? PP2?

  53. BONE207 says:

    Andy Dufresne: yeah…..maybe if LT and The Admiral hadnt given up on us so early…..

    Well fuck those guys. We should ban them

  54. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar: Gagner is 100% an NHL player – he’s looked quite good through 2 tonight.

    I 100% agree. Just trying to find the “6 AHL forwards” in the lineup.

  55. Andy Dufresne says:

    Boy……when we’re good and have a supporting cast (Benson, Andreas Johnsson, etc) we are going to be hard to contain.

  56. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lucic n Chong:
    OriginalPouzar<
    OriginalPouzar,

    You mind sending a link to the paywall? I’ll gladly drop $35 to avoid watching this train wreck today.
    Edit: LT if this isn’t allowed please delete. I already subscribe to the Athletic but I just can’t seem to get enough.

    That game was far from a train wreck

    https://www.watchtheahl.com/#/

  57. OriginalPouzar says:

    flyfish1168:
    OP, Are you watching both games on separate big screens in your mancave?

    Condors’ game on the IPad.

  58. who says:

    Goaltending was fine
    Defense was fine.
    We just don’t have enough good forwards to sustain pressure in the ozone shift after shift against a good team.
    Didn’t really like Drais game tonight. Thought he was slow on the backcheck a few times and careless with the puck a few times. Nurse put him in a bad spot on his last turnover.
    The Leafs are just better, and it looks like the Oiler players know it.

  59. OriginalPouzar says:

    Samorukov named second star of the game again tonight.

  60. Andy Dufresne says:

    Nurse 25:25 +2

    Stolarz .925

    Draisaitl 26:20 2 Assists

  61. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    Andy Dufresne:
    Boy……when we’re good and have a supporting cast (Benson, Andreas Johnsson, etc) we are going to be hard to contain.

    It might be the booze but maybe we aren’t that far away?

  62. Andy Dufresne says:

    Réal Goudenyéu: It might be the booze but maybe we aren’t that far away?

    Booze and Optimism……is there a better combo than that? 🙂 Im with ya.

  63. who says:

    Andy Dufresne:
    Nurse25:25+2

    Stolarz .925

    Draisaitl 26:20 2 Assists

    I take back my criticism of Drai. That is an insane amount of ice time for a big man.
    But that’s the problem when you don’t have the depth. Your top guys just get worn down.

  64. Andy Dufresne says:

    Im calling it early…….Oilers will win another Cup before the Leafs do.

    BOOK IT!

    BANK IT!

    PUT IT IN YOU VAPE PEN AND SMOKE IT!

    Mark down the date and time….March 12th, 2019 at 8:12pm

  65. OriginalPouzar says:

    Geez – Baracuda score to cut the lead to 2-1 and then, boom, seconds later Marody gets that back from Benson and, then, next shift, a point shot from Lagesson is blocked in front, corraled by Russell and put him.

    4-1

  66. Andy Dufresne says:

    who: I take back my criticism of Drai. That is an insane amount of icetime

    Thats according to NHL Gamecenter.

    Good on you to change your mind. Well played.

    Big number for such a Big man.

  67. flyfish1168 says:

    BONE207: You must be new here.
    He lives in the garage & only enters the house when he has husband duties. Then back to garage again. Wife is a passive black widow.

    lol, not new just don’t visit and read commentary all the time

  68. flyfish1168 says:

    OriginalPouzar: Condors’ game on the IPad.

    LOL, I’m going to tell my wife you watch it on two big screens in your man cave. Hardcore Oiler fan.

  69. OriginalPouzar says:

    Christoffer extends the lead to 5-1 from Stanton and Marody (his second point of the night).

    This team can score in bunches.

  70. Reja says:

    dsr29:
    Nurse has puck at the point with 5 seconds left and sends back to Nuge instead of firing it towards the net. I look forward to having a defenseman with some actual offensive ability on this team at some point.

    Bouchard. Time to bring up legesson see what he’s got. Sell high on either Nurse or kelfbom for a scoring winger and a draft pick do this at the draft. Use assets to pick up a 2D can you imagine a winger that can put the puck in the net from those sweet passes from Leon,Connor and soon to be Benson.

  71. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – sitting on balcony at condo in Miami. Waves pounding on the ocean finishing my monte #4 and scotch kids asleep. Wife goes to bed earlier as pregnancy moves along. Life is good

    – Don’t want to name drop and it’s not my typical day at all but we were on Wirtz’s yatch this afternoon. He shared some funny stories about the Blackhawks. (Look up his yatch it’s called Blackhawk ). Crew decked out in really cool black and white casual uniforms with that iconic logo and he’s got some neat stuff on his boat from the team

    – He said they are bottoming out the right way and he’s excited mid-term

    -Told him I was an Oilers fan – he called over the captain and told him to set up the plank and send me overboard. But then said he wouldn’t do that he felt sorry for me

    – Asked me what they are doing up there kind of shook his head.

    – Fun day for sure. What am amazing engaging and fascinating guy and family. It’s worth looking up the family on wiki. As an aside said he invested in a pot company to complement their liquor distribution business.

    – For me what was neat was he spent time with the two of us asked good questions and actually knew enough to recognize that his bank lends to the family. He had a boat load of next generation entrepreneurs on the boat.

    – more respect for the Blackhawks organization after the day.

  72. flyfish1168 says:

    Zack is showing signs of why he is a 1st round pick. Tonight I would have to say he was the unsung hero

  73. SVR says:

    Reja: Bouchard. Time to bring up legesson see what he’s got. Sell high on either Nurse or kelfbom for a scoring winger and a draft pick do this at the draft. Use assets to pick up a 2D can you imagine a winger that can put the puck in the net from those sweet passes from Leon,Connor and soon to be Benson.

    I’m with you. We need someone other than 97, 29, 93 who is at least a threat to score. Nurse for ehlers works for me

  74. OmJo says:

    dsr29:
    Nurse has puck at the point with 5 seconds left and sends back to Nuge instead of firing it towards the net. I look forward to having a defenseman with some actual offensive ability on this team at some point.

    Darnell Nurse is 28th in defense scoring.

    Imagine if he had offensive ability!

    IIRC, Nurse didn’t have a clear shooting path to begin with. His shot would have been blocked and then somebody would have posted something like.. “Nurse has the puck at the point with 5 seconds left and doesn’t send it back to a wide open Nuge instead of taking a low percentage shot.”

  75. Reja says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    – sitting on balcony at condo in Miami. Waves pounding on the ocean finishing my monte #4 and scotch kids asleep. Wife goes to bed earlier as pregnancy moves along. Life is good

    – Don’t want to name drop and it’s not my typical day at all but we were on Wirtz’s yatch this afternoon. He shared some funny stories about the Blackhawks. (Look up his yatch it’s called Blackhawk ). Crew decked out in really cool black and white casual uniforms with that iconic logo and he’s got some neat stuff on his boat from the team

    – He said they are bottoming out the right way and he’s excited mid-term

    -Told him I was an Oilers fan – he called over the captain and told him to set up the plank and send me overboard. But then said he wouldn’t do that he felt sorry for me

    – Asked me what they are doing up there kind of shook his head.

    – Fun day for sure. What am amazing engaging and fascinating guy and family.It’s worth looking up the family on wiki. As an aside said he invested in a pot company to complement their liquor distribution business.

    – For me what was neat was he spent time with the two of us asked good questions and actually knew enough to recognize that his bank lends to the family.He had a boat load of next generation entrepreneurs on the boat.

    – more respect for the Blackhawks organization after the day.

    Enjoy it take it all in life is so short especially when you have kids it goes so fast.

  76. Bulging Twine says:

    Matheson and Stolarz after the game talking about when he found out he was starting and how his day went.

    Stolarz: I was able to get out there in the morning and get a few saves in
    Matheson: Who were you out there with
    Stolarz: Just Swartzy and a few of the scratches, but Schwartzy can rip it pretty good
    Matheson: Probably better than some of the forwards

  77. Reja says:

    SVR: I’m with you. We need someone other than 97, 29, 93 who is at least a threat to score. Nurse for ehlers works for me

    Leon and Connor are close to being in their prime get a goddam shoot first go to the net winger.i love kass and he’s playing great but he’s a third liner for heavens sake.

  78. Reja says:

    Bulging Twine:
    Matheson and Stolarz after the game talking about when he found out he was starting and how his day went.

    Stolarz: I was able to get out there in the morning and get a few saves in
    Matheson: Who were you out there with
    Stolarz:Just Swartzy and a few of the scratches, but Schwartzy can rip it pretty good
    Matheson: Probably better than some of the forwards

    Ladies and germs we may have found our back up for 2 years on a cheap contract. He played great tonight to bad he didn’t get the W. He was second star behind Hasek oops I mean Andersson in my opinion.

  79. Glovjuice says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Great power rush there for Drai

    Rieder with some great speed to almost make in a 2 on 1 but shooting was the right play by Drai.

    0 goals in 53 games. You can’t make this stuff up. Err. You can in Soiler land.

  80. Georgexs says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Keep the puck out of the Rickibox

    Hire players who can turn corgis into goals more than average

    Have a better than average goalie

    Hire Dmen who don’t panic and can make a 30ft pass on the tape.

    Have your forwards support the puck low in the dzone

    Never give up odd man rushes.

    What are your theories these days?

    That all sounds sensible.

    How long do you think the Oilers have with CMD? This summer or next?

  81. Georgexs says:

    Maoriduvpoojt: http://petropraxis.blogspot.com/?m=1

    Good to see you back Georges

    Don’t believe I’ve had the pleasure. Did you go by a different handle before?

    (And thank you!)

  82. Numenius says:

    I didn’t think that was a particularly bad game.

    They were beat by a better team, but if some bounces had gone their way earlier, they might have won.

    Good to see them score 2 with the goalie pulled.

  83. digger50 says:

    Numenius:
    I didn’t think that was a particularly bad game.

    They were beat by a better team, but if some bounces had gone their way earlier, they might have won.

    Good to see them score 2 with the goalie pulled.

    The leafs may be a better team, however the top of the Oilers line up is better than the top of the leafs line up. As good as any team in the league.

    This ship can be turned around quickly.

  84. godot10 says:

    Reja: Bouchard. Time to bring up legesson see what he’s got. Sell high on either Nurse or kelfbom for a scoring winger and a draft pick do this at the draft. Use assets to pick up a 2D can you imagine a winger that can put the puck in the net from those sweet passes from Leon,Connor and soon to be Benson.

    Klefbom and Nurse are just entering their prime, and you want to trade them? Trading players entering their prime is the mistake the OIlers have been making for the last decade.

    Klefbom’s contract is dreamy too.

  85. godot10 says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:

    -Told him I was an Oilers fan – he called over the captain and told him to set up the plank and send me overboard. But then said he wouldn’t do that he felt sorry for me

    – Asked me what they are doing up there kind of shook his head.

    You could have said. Repeating the Wirtz Sr. and Pulford era in Chicago.

  86. godot10 says:

    Glovjuice: 0 goals in 53 games. You can’t make this stuff up. Err. You can in Soiler land.

    Sather would have played him with Gretzky. And the slump would be over.

  87. Reja says:

    godot10: Klefbom and Nurse are just entering their prime, and you want to trade them?Trading players entering their prime is the mistake the OIlers have been making for the last decade.

    Klefbom’s contract is dreamy too.

    That’s why you’ll get a above market return for one of them.Leon needs a Mike Bossy type shoot first go to the net work in the corners.Everyone says we’re wasting Connor’s years where’s the love for Leon he just keeps getting better every game in my opinion.

  88. Glovjuice says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    My goodness Klefbom has been strong defending the blue line and the area just passed it.

    LOL, he has played, what, 50 % of the games of his value contract so far. Because Oilers. Oh, and same for Sekera – what, 15% of the last two years. It’s a thing.

  89. Reja says:

    Who wouldn’t want the GM job in Edmonton you have McDavid,Leon and a ton of assets including the farm team. Pete new he was on the chopping block and panicked with a couple of dumb trades. If the next GM is thrifty and makes a couple of Sather trades that aren’t telegraphed we are a contender for the Holy Grail.

  90. jp says:

    Glovjuice: LOL, he has played, what, 50 % of the games of his value contract so far.Because Oilers. Oh, and same for Sekera – what, 15% of the last two years. It’s a thing.

    Klefbom’s missed 38 games during the contract. Played 84%, still value.

  91. SwedishPoster says:

    godot10: Sather would have played him with Gretzky.And the slump would be over.

    Well he’s been getting ample time with german Gretzky without pissing a drop. He’s having a flat out bad season. The only thing going for him currently is okish PK work. I don’t even think his defensive work 5 on 5 has been that good, he has a good stick and makes good plays when around the puck defensively but he’s not really covering good areas, mainly hanging out around the boards digging for pucks. Which is an issue offensively as well, he’s not finding good ice nearly often enough. So far this season, and it’s getting late, he looks like a guy who is one show me contract near league minimum away from the KHL.
    For the record I would gladly give him that show me contract to see if he can find his range again as he has ok puck skills and playmaking to go with good skating and I do think he could be useful as a bottom sixer but my fear is that after his injury he went from an excellent skater to just a good one and thereby losing his NHL edge.

  92. OriginalPouzar says:

    Didn’t see the third period but the Condors added a couple of more for the 7-1 win.

    Russell (2nd of the night) from Joe G. and Bear on a PP

    Polei from Callahan and Gust.

    Starrett stops 27 of 28 to improve his lead leading GAA and this may move him in the lead league in save % – will have to check.

  93. OriginalPouzar says:

    Reja: Leon and Connor are close to being in their prime get a goddam shoot first go to the net winger.i love kass and he’s playing great but he’s a third liner for heavens sake.

    Once one or two of our prospects prove legit NHL ready and at least one (likely Bouchard or Jones or Samorukov) prove to be legit top 4 NHL defenders, then we can trade from the depth of D for a forward.

  94. OriginalPouzar says:

    godot10: Klefbom and Nurse are just entering their prime, and you want to trade them?Trading players entering their prime is the mistake the OIlers have been making for the last decade.

    Klefbom’s contract is dreamy too.

    Correct.

    The Oilers need more players that provide value for their contracts and actual value contracts – Klef (and, for one more year, Nurse) is one of the few examples of that on this team.

    4 more years at $4.1M has immense value – sure, he’s not untradeable, however, any trade would need to be a Larsson for Hall type steal, in my opinion.

  95. Ribs says:

    That was such an interesting game. The Oilers were down 3-0 and it felt like they still could push it to the limit near the end. Hitchcock spoke to this in his post-game as well. A very clarifying game for the coaching/management staff.

    Leon is going to be/is better than I think most thought he would be. We’ve seen sparks from him before, but I think he might be about to go full-on supernova. If you told me he’d be our top face-off man when he was drafted, I would not believe you one iota.

    I sure hope this is the Kassian we see from now on. Wow.
    Is it conditioning? He seems to have found some afterburners in his skates lately!

    Sekera is still legit. He skates deftly and is very intelligent in his playmaking. If Klefbom, Larsson, and Sekera can stay healthy, we have a solid defence core. This is great news that I feel could go unnoticed because of the the injuries they’ve had.

    How do we keep these guys healthy.

    Nurse is an unsung hero. Keeping this guy around could be crucial to the future. Think hard about this one, new Oilers GM.

    Gagner showing some of his warts this game. That’s okay, though. We know/knew who he is. I would still keep him around as a complimentary guy, if possible. He’s a clever player that can be successful if put into the right situations. Don’t be afraid to wave the banishment card at him if he slumps, though… We know who he is.

    I have an irrational hate for Kyle Brodziak. Fuch that guy, lol. Far too casual for my liking. Give up the gum chewing/sideburns and we’ll talk.

    After a game like that, you can see that the team isn’t as bad as their record shows. A few smart additions and they could be rolling as soon as next season. They clearly need some guys that are self-motivated and that can score. They need a couple of Justin Williams type guys (not Justin Williams, lol). Guys that can be counted on to put away grade A chances when they get them. Nino might have been an attainable guy this season. The new GM needs to identify these guys and pounce.

    Toronto fans are the worst. Haha. How are they so oblivious to their team doing next to nothing for so long? Ignorance is bliss, I guess?

  96. OriginalPouzar says:

    Reja: Ladies and germs we may have found our back up for 2 years on a cheap contract. He played great tonight to bad he didn’t get the W. He was second star behind Hasek oops I mean Andersson in my opinion.

    I’m not sure if one game is a large enough sample size, is it?

    Normally, I would be fine with a back-up like Stolarz but not with our current starter remaining a bit of a question mark and unestablished as a legit NHL starter over the course of a season.

    I’m remiss to spend the extra cap at the back-up tending position but I think we need a more established back-up – some one like Elliot who has the ability to take over the starters position for periods of time. I don’t think it would cost more than around $2.25M.

  97. Ribs says:

    Who would you guess leads the team in +/- right now? It’s a goofy stat line, but…

    Matt Benning at +12. Next closest is Leon at +6. Hmm.

  98. OriginalPouzar says:

    Boys battled hard last night. Stolarz wasn’t bad, that’s for sure, in fact, he was quite good for the most part but Anderen was on his Vezina candidate game last night and the boys couldn’t beat him until it was too late. He made some wonderful saves on Drai throughout.

    While not the final nail, that game did put a nail in the coffin. Definitely need 6 points in the next 3 games – all winnable and the last one, next Sat in Arizona, should be a big game if they do their job against NYR and NJD – two games they should win if they play like they have been.

  99. JimmyV1965 says:

    Reja: That’s why you’ll get a above market return for one of them.Leon needs a Mike Bossy type shoot first go to the net work in the corners.Everyone says we’re wasting Connor’s years where’s the love for Leon he just keeps getting better every game in my opinion.

    Wouldn’t we be better off trading picks and prospects for that winger? Seems like a waste to invest so much time and effort developing these dmen and then trade them just as they enter their prime. Both of these guys have basically just hit the 300 game mark. They’ll each probably hit their peak next year, just in time for their new teams to reap the rewards.

  100. OriginalPouzar says:

    Georgexs: That all sounds sensible.

    How long do you think the Oilers have with CMD? This summer or next?

    Considering this is year one of an 8 year contract, I’m going to say, lots of summers.

    Not to mention, lots of important pieces in place, and very young pre-prime pieces, and the beginnings of a good depth of asset currency being built, with some patient and reasonable management, this team has the ability to improve markedly in about 2 years.

    If management doesn’t trade expansion draft and cost-controlled future assets for UFA-aged immediate help and doesn’t make the cap hell worse with such risky moves in the next two years (and doesn’t use sweeteners to get rid of contracts of buyouts, within two years or so this team will be set up beautifully.

  101. OriginalPouzar says:

    Numenius:
    I didn’t think that was a particularly bad game.

    They were beat by a better team, but if some bounces had gone their way earlier, they might have won.

    Good to see them score 2 with the goalie pulled.

    Agreed – there were some infuriated by the play of the Oilers at the beginning of the second period and turning the game off – that was mind-boggling to me given the effort level being provided by the home team – without Andersen being Vezina like, the game was up for grabs.

  102. OriginalPouzar says:

    Glovjuice: LOL, he has played, what, 50 % of the games of his value contract so far.Because Oilers. Oh, and same for Sekera – what, 15% of the last two years. It’s a thing.

    What in the world does that have to do with commenting on his play overall and individual plays in the game last night?

    Feel free to keep stretching to try and find something to retort to in all my posts….

  103. OriginalPouzar says:

    SwedishPoster: Well he’s been getting ample time with german Gretzky without pissing a drop. He’s having a flat out bad season. The only thing going for him currently is okish PK work. I don’t even think his defensive work 5 on 5 has been that good, he has a good stick and makes good plays when around the puck defensively but he’s not really covering good areas, mainly hanging out around the boards digging for pucks. Which is an issue offensively as well, he’s not finding good ice nearly often enough. So far this season, and it’s getting late, he looks like a guy who is one show me contract near league minimum away from the KHL.
    For the record I would gladly give him that show me contract to see if he can find his range again as he has ok puck skills and playmaking to go with good skating and I do think he could be useful as a bottom sixer but my fear is that after his injury he went from an excellent skater to just a good one and thereby losing his NHL edge.

    Clearly he can’t be qualified at $2M, however, if he would sign near $1M, then, absolutely, I think he’s a great bet to bounce back next year to near historical levels and for that to be a great value signing. It would be no risk.

  104. flyfish1168 says:

    Reja: That’s why you’ll get a above market return for one of them.Leon needs a Mike Bossy type shoot first go to the net work in the corners.Everyone says we’re wasting Connor’s years where’s the love for Leon he just keeps getting better every game in my opinion.

    And you will be plugging another hole with a more expensive contract on Defence. We are not deep enough. We need to create more CAP space. What you are suggesting is exactly what PC was doing. A Mike Bossy type player will cost more period. JMHO

  105. flyfish1168 says:

    Reja: Leon and Connor are close to being in their prime get a goddam shoot first go to the net winger.i love kass and he’s playing great but he’s a third liner for heavens sake.

    I still have faith in JP. He is young enough where we need to go on repair this summer with the new GM and coach. If you as phlegm fans they were happy to not give up on bennett. Same situation here.

  106. OriginalPouzar says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Didn’t see the third period but the Condors added a couple of more for the 7-1 win.

    Russell (2nd of the night) from Joe G. and Bear on a PP

    Polei from Callahan and Gust.

    Starrett stops 27 of 28 to improve his lead leading GAA and this may move him in the lead league in save % – will have to check.

    Yup, Starrett still leading the AHL in GAA at 2.21 (second is at 2.26) and is now tied for the lead in save percentage at .922.

    Great stuff!

  107. flyfish1168 says:

    OriginalPouzar: Yup, Starrett still leading the AHL in GAA at 2.21 (second is at 2.26) and is now tied for the lead in save percentage at .922.

    Great stuff!

    I like Stolarz body of work so far. I hope they will try and retain him just another asset.

  108. russ99 says:

    flyfish1168,

    If JP gets there I’ll be very happy.

    But we can’t keep doing this, we need NHL players, Not more hoping kids will become them.

    Biggest reason why we need regime chance under a new GM, otherwise we’ll have Jesse, Kailer and Evan with major roles next September where all three would get more development time under any competent management.

  109. OriginalPouzar says:

    Well, Jesse won’t be in the AHL next October – I would suggest there would be 30 claims for him if he was exposed to waivers.

    I’m going to assume that Jesse is able to get some solid training in and will be a fully ready for camp.

    Given he will be on the roster, the key to me is that the new coaching staff has a defined role for him when the season starts – whether its in the top 6 or the third line, a defined role and stick with it with steady linemates.

    Lets give him a chance to gain traction in a role and succeed.

  110. OriginalPouzar says:

    I’m wondering why the Oilers haven’t sent Brad Malone back down to Bakersfield yet. The Condors could use him (they had to “sign” Jakeb Stukel from Wichita to play in place of a banged up Yamamoto last night). Oilers have an extended 24 man roster, 14 forwards and 8D – not sure why this hasn’t happened yet?

  111. flyfish1168 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Well, Jesse won’t be in the AHL next October – I would suggest there would be 30 claims for him if he was exposed to waivers.

    I’m going to assume that Jesse is able to get some solid training in and will be a fully ready for camp.

    Given he will be on the roster, the key to me is that the new coaching staff has a defined role for him when the season starts – whether its in the top 6 or the third line, a defined role and stick with it with steady linemates.

    Lets give him a chance to gain traction in a role and succeed.

    +1

    I agree. We can’t give up so easy when the other regime did such a $hitty job with him. Let us hope we can do a reset and see from here.

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