The Edmonton Oilers have a self inflicted goalie issue and that’s a fact. Ken Hitchcock blamed it on being “far too easily discouraged” but Mikko Koskinen’s glove will be part of the summer conversation and none of the skaters has anything to do with that issue. We are told that the signing was a mass management decision, and that’s a tell. Edmonton’s pro evaluation abilities are an active threat to this franchise and its fanbase.
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. INSANE NEW OFFER IS HERE!
- New Lowetide: Kailer Yamamoto’s first pro season a cause for concern.
- New Lowetide: The Edmonton Oilers and the giant talent pool that is the USHL.
- Lowetide: How the Oilers can shop for a big bang on a small budget
- Jonathan Willis: How the Oilers can turn their prospect depth into the blueline of a contender.
- Lowetide: What Mark Hunter’s draft record in Toronto means for his Oilers GM candidacy.
- Lowetide: Colby Cave and Joe Gambardella build late-season resumes with Edmonton.
- Lowetide: The Oilers made a rare move and shopped the QMJHL at the 2018 draft. It could happen again.
- Eric Duhatschek: Sorting through the organizational problems in Ottawa and Edmonton.
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: After a year of despair, Oilers prospect Cameron Hebig grateful for latest chapter with the Condors
- Jonathan Willis: Bob Nicholson’s misguided Tobias Rieder comments reveal deeper problems within Oilers management
- Jonathan Willis: Ken Hitchcock knows why Edmonton has trouble exiting its zone, but lacks the players to fix it.
- Lowetide: Trimming cap fat and adding speed and skill will shape Oilers’ offseason.
- Jonathan Willis: Former Canucks architects Mike Gillis and Laurence Gilman should be considered for any vacant NHL GM job
- Lowetide: The Edmonton Oilers draft early, the WHL is loaded and there’s a lot of history.
- Jonathan Willis: Analyzing how much the Oilers should be willing to spend on pending free agent Alex Chiasson.
- Jonathan Willis: Keith Gretzky is a legitimate Oilers GM candidate, but would be a hard sell in Edmonton
- Lowetide: How the Oilers can build a contender during Connor McDavid’s prime.
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: How Leon Draisaitl has found ‘another level’ by matching offensive wizardry with sound positioning.
- Lowetide: The Edmonton Oilers and the OHL.
OILERS AFTER 78
- Oilers in 2015: 30-41-7, 67 points; goal differential -36
- Oilers in 2016: 44-25-9, 97 points; goal differential +31
- Oilers in 2017: 34-38-6, 74 points; goal differential -36
- Oilers in 2018: 34-35-9, 77 points; goal differential -27
OILERS IN MARCH
- Oilers in March 2016: 7-7-0, 14 points; goal differential -2
- Oilers in March 2017: 9-3-1, 19 points; goal differential +17
- Oilers in March 2018: 7-5-2, 16 points; goal differential +4
- Oilers in March 2019: 7-5-2, 16 points; goal differential -2
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, NJD (Expected 2-1-1) (Actual 2-2-0)
- On the road to: Arizona, Vegas, St. Louis (Expected: 0-2-1) (Actual 1-2-0)
- At home to: Columbus,Ottawa, Los Angeles, Dallas, Anaheim (Expected: 3-1-1) (Actual 2-0-2)
- Overall expected result: 5-5-4, 14 points in 14 games
- Current results: 7-5-2, 16 points in 14 games
I slept in so the numbers aren’t done, my apologies. The event summary via NHL.com and the Natural Stat Trick stat pack are your friend. Koskinen was very poor but he wasn’t alone. Adam Larsson had a bad game, McDavid’s line was 0-3 GF at 5-on-5, but in all honesty when the goalie doesn’t stop pucks the stats take a powder and not much can be learned from them.
Cooper Marody scored again last night, his line is now 52, 19-39-58 on the campaign. Someone wrote in the comments section yesterday that the attention given Tyler Benson (62, 14-48-62) was obscuring a brilliant season by No. 20. That’s true.
The issue with Marody as an NHL player is that we’re uncertain of his position. Is he a center? A RH No. 3 center with skill would be a major positive for this organization. Is he a right wing? If so, we’re going to be looking at him as an option to replace Ty Rattie, Kailer Yamamoto and Jesse Puljujarvi on the opening night roster in 2019-20.
OPENING NIGHT 2018-19
- Nuge — McDavid — Rattie
- Lucic — Draisaitl — Yamamoto
- Khaira — Strome — Puljujarvi
- Rieder — Brodziak — Kassian
The new general manager has enormous riches here (97, 29, 93) and some nice complementary pieces (Kassian, Khaira) and a couple of unproven players (Yamamoto, Puljujarvi).
We can talk about tweaks, but the new general manager is going to come in and have zero allegiance to any players. Increasingly, I worry the men about to be traded are either very useful now (Adam Larsson, Matt Benning, Jujhar Khaira) or a big part of a somewhere future (Jesse Puljujarvi, Caleb Jones). The general manager would be wise to take a careful approach to this summer. I’m reminded of my worry about Peter Chiarelli and his potentially trading Nuge. As it turned out, I was worried about the wrong gem.