The Edmonton Oilers embark on an important road trip tonight. By the time the team plays a home game again, we’ll have reached American Thanksgiving. If Edmonton is in a playoff spot on that day, there’s a good chance we’ll see playoff games come the spring. This is a tough trip with a major prize at the end.
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 Athletic, less than two coffees a month offer here.
- New Lowetide: Joel Persson’s demotion highlights difficult adjustment for Oilers’ ‘European showtime’ trio
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis: Evaluating the Oilers’ readiness for the 2021 Seattle expansion draft
- Lowetide: Oilers’ No. 1 prospect winter 2019: Evan Bouchard
- Lowetide: Oilers’ college procurement could increase under Ken Holland
- Jonathan Willis: A shift-by-shift analysis of Caleb Jones in his Oilers season debut
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘Sometimes it’s just unstoppable’: How McDavid and the Oilers’ power play dominated the Avalanche
- Jonathan Willis: Darnell Nurse, Caleb Jones and the crisis that’s looming in the Oilers’ middle distance
- Jonathan Willis: Basically, yes, the Oilers should keep Ryan Nugent-Hopkins ‘forever’
- Lowetide: Why the recall of NHL-ready Caleb Jones should benefit the Oilers in the long run
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Oilers Report Cards: Several drivers make the grade but Edmonton’s bus still has a few passengers
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: From 4 to 97, Oilers both new and old share the stories behind their jersey numbers
- Jonathan Willis: Could a fall trade improve the fortunes of your NHL team in 2019-20?
- Lowetide: Analyzing Dave Tippett’s defensive usage and what the Oilers will do when Adam Larsson returns
- Lowetide: What’s going on with the Bakersfield Condors?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins shines, mad props for Leon Draisaitl and more to like as the Oilers beat the Devils
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: What inexperienced defencemen like the Oilers’ Joel Persson must do to gain their coach’s confidence
- Lowetide: Oilers are closer to having an effective second line than a year ago, but few have noticed
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: The beauty of a good night’s sleep can be elusive for many NHL players
OILERS AFTER 23 GAMES
- Oilers in 2015: 7-14-2, 16 points; goal differential -13
- Oilers in 2016: 12-9-2, 26 points; goal differential +9
- Oilers in 2017: 8-13-2, 18 points; goal differential -16
- Oilers in 2018: 10-11-2, 22 points; goal differential -12
- Oilers in 2019: 13-6-3, 29 points; goal differential +12
A point tonight gets Edmonton to 30 points and keeps the team on pace for a 100-point plus campaign. We can talk about saves, penalty kill, McDavid-Draisaitl, Tippett or any number of reasons. Bottom line is that a more veteran team, familiar with current role, is winning more than they’re losing. A lesson there.
OILERS IN NOVEMBER
- Oilers in November 2015: 3-5-1, seven points; goal differential -2
- Oilers in November 2016: 2-6-1, five points; goal differential -11
- Oilers in November 2017: 4-4-1, nine points; goal differential +3
- Oilers in November 2018: 3-6-0, six points; goal differential -7
- Oilers in November 2019: 4-2-2, 10 points; goal differential +7
I remain amazed by just how much an eight or nine game glimpse can tell us about a team. Bill James always said the first 10 games of a baseball season (162 games in length) were important, that goes double for hockey (82 games). Any 10-game stretch tells you a lot. There are two playoff teams in this photo.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM NOVEMBER
- On the road to: PIT (Expected 0-1-0) (Actual 1-0-0)
- At home to: ARI, STL, NJD (Expected 2-1-0) (Actual 1-1-1)
- On the road to: ANA, SJS (Expected 1-0-1) (Actual 1-1-0)
- At home to: COL, DAL (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 1-0-1)
- On the road to: SJS, LAK, VEG, ARI, COL (Expected 2-3-0)
- At home to: VAN (Expected 1-0-0)
- Overall expected result: 7-6-1, 15 points in 14 games
- Current results: 4-2-2, 10 points in 8 games
The five games on this road trip are going to be a major test for the Oilers. The team’s current record against the Pacific Division (3-1-1) is pristine, how long will it remain that way?
Two men are driving the offense at a ridiculous, Phil Esposito in 1970-71 levels. I don’t think there’s much that can be said about it, to be honest. I predicted the No. 1 line would score 96 goals in my reasonable expectations series. Doing the math on that total over 82 games, we should expect the Oilers top line to score 26 goals in 22 games. The trio stands at 37 goals.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A busy morning on the Lowdown, we get started at 10, TSN1260. Jonathan Willis from The Athletic will help tee up tonight’s game in San Jose, Andrew Peard will call in from the road with an Oil Kings update and Josh Lewenberg from TSN will discuss his ‘top 25 greatest Raptors in franchise history’ at 11:25. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!!