In 2018-19, the average NHL team scored and allowed 244 goals. Edmonton scored 229, off the pace but in the range. However, the team’s goals against total was 271, making the goal differential -42. Clawing back that many goals in one summer is impossible, but closing the gap has to be the goal. Have the Oilers improved this summer?
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, here’s an incredible Offer!
- New Lowetide: Adding a scorer will be Ken Holland’s first big move as Oilers GM
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: What the Oilers’ depth chart looks like now and where they go from here
- New Jonathan Willis: How often do goalies like the Oilers’ Mike Smith rebound?
- New Lowetide: Ken Holland’s roster moves clear the way for Oilers top prospects Tyler Benson and Kailer Yamamoto.
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: A deeper look at Mike Smith’s comments after signing with the Oilers
- New Jonathan Willis: Oilers GM Ken Holland promises long-term rewards for an approach light on short-term improvements
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Trade market now most likely place for Oilers to find scoring winger
- New Lowetide: Oilers add free agent Markus Granlund, creating a crowded depth chart at left wing
- New Jonathan Willis: Tomas Jurco is a nice little reclamation bet by the Oilers.
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: How re-signing winger Alex Chiasson impacts the Oilers
- New Lowetide: Oilers add Mike Smith to an uneasy goalie depth chart for 2019-20
- Lowetide: Oilers buy out Andrej Sekera, look to a more dynamic free-agent frenzy.
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘He comes as advertised’: Philip Broberg’s skating makes him development camp standout for Oilers
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Oilers plan to skew younger on defence could open the door for Evan Bouchard, Dmitri Samorukov
- Lowetide: Taking stock of Oilers prospects ready to graduate with a clear shot at an NHL job in 2019-20
- Lowetide: Oilers top 20 prospects summer 2019.
- Lowetide: Are these Jesse Puljujarvi’s final days with the Edmonton Oilers?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Ranking the Oilers’ trade assets from the high-priced diamonds to those needing fresh starts
- Lowetide: Oilers GM Ken Holland is shopping for 20-goal scorers on a budget. What will he find?
PROJECTED LINEUP 2019-20
Can this lineup score more than 229 goals? Although Leon scored 50 last season, McDavid popped 41 and Zack Kassian 15 — 106 goals in total — my early RE projections have this group scoring just 88 in 2019-20. Now, that will get tweaked and if the Oilers acquire a scoring right winger we can project higher.
The No. 2 line? Well, I’ll guess 52. Third line? 35. The rest of the forwards? 25. That’s 200. Add the defense and you’re looking at 230. That’s about what the team managed last season, when the 229 Edmonton goals ranked the team No. 20 among 31 teams. Not close to good enough. As I wrote this morning for The Athletic, Ken Holland has to get some scoring before training camp. By the way, that isn’t my final lineup, suspect Tyler Benson makes that one.
I can answer that one, or at least give you Holland’s thinking based on his own words. In the book “Behind the Moves” Holland says “the minute a young kid would play well (in the minors) for six weeks, he’d get called up and provide a bit of a spark. Then six weeks later they’re sent down and they’re beaten up. I learned people are ready when they’re ready and I learned about the importance of building their foundation.”
Holland would prefer to keep Benson in Bakersfield for another 40 games, but it’s uncertain he can do it. Same goes for Marody and Yamamoto.
I spoke to Daniel Nugent-Bowman from The Athletic on the Lowdown yesterday, his intel has Broberg playing in the SHL in 2019-20. That’s fine, his minutes and production can be tracked. I don’t think he’ll get much in the way of power-play time, so the boxcars won’t pop. That said, his five-on-five goal differential can be tracked from a league that has seen tremendous blue his age perform at varying levels.
Red Line: Classic late-bloomer was a dominant force in the KHL and blossomed into the league’s top rookie. Extreme battler who will stop pucks with any body part and refuses to lose. Lacks ideal NHL size, but is athletic, flexible, well balanced, and smart.
I like Dzingel as the best available for Edmonton, although American free agents often choose American teams. Dzingel is a first-shot scorer and has established himself as a solid percentage marksman. You’re not getting a two-way winger, you’re getting the bat over the glove.
Ferland holds my interest, Johansson too and Vanek might be a useful add late August if the scorer hasn’t been identified.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A busy Friday morning with all hell about to break loose. Starts at 10, TSN1260. Steve Lansky from BigMouthSports will pop in to chat Mitch Marner offer sheet, Kawhi’s whereabouts and CFL’s “Live Mic” moments from week one. Hart from Puck Pedia will join us to chat about cap room in Toronto, on the island and in Edmonton. Crazy day! 10-1260 text @Lowetide on twitter. I’m getting the vapors because of Lou!