A Long December and there’s reason to believe

by Lowetide

Somebody robbed the Edmonton Oilers, last night about half past nine. Somebody robbed the Edmonton Oilers, I swear I ain’t lying. It was a disappointing game in Vancouver on Monday night, the Oilers failed to gain clearance from the Canucks, Calgary Flames and the other teams chasing. You can say they played in bad luck and the officials slanted the ice, but that doesn’t explain the baffling PK coverage on the winning goal and the undistinguished play of some of the team’s best players.

That kicked in goal was a travesty, an absolute monstrosity of a decision. However, the Oilers can’t let that define the season and could have extracted a point even after that ridiculous goal. Markus Granlund was in position to block the shot on the PK and didn’t sacrifice. I’ll be interested to see if he plays against the Flames on Friday.

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 Athletic, less than two coffees a month offer here. 

  • New Jonathan Willis: Leon Draisaitl is struggling badly, even as the Oilers’ depth forwards seem to be coming around
  • New Lowetide: Should the Oilers pursue Lias Andersson in trade?
  • Daniel Nugent-BowmanBroken toes, holiday-time hospital visits and memories of home: A week in the life of Oscar Klefbom, the Oilers’ do-everything defenceman
  • Daniel Nugent-BowmanGrasping Mike Smith, Leon Draisaitl and the Oilers’ recent plight by reading between the lines
  • Lowetide: As Oilers’ auditions of fringe forwards nears conclusion, it’s time for Condors’ top prospects to force the issue
  • Lowetide: The key missing element to the Oilers’ brilliant top line
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘We called him ‘The Crane”: Teammates and coaches reveal their best Connor McDavid stories
  • Jonathan Willis: Should the Oilers have outbid the Coyotes for Taylor Hall?
  • Lowetide: Connor McDavid’s frustration and the impact it could have on the Edmonton Oilers
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Oilers need to figure out five-on-five woes quickly, starting with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl
  • Lowetide: Who should be the next man up from the Bakersfield Condors?
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Q&A: 10 subscriber questions for Oilers rookie defenceman Ethan Bear
  • Lowetide: Five loud noises Ken Holland could make to help the Oilers immediately
  • Lowetide: Complete Oilers top 20 prospects list, winter 2019
  • Lowetide: Oilers’ No. 5 prospect, Winter 2019 — Raphael Lavoie
  • Lowetide: Oilers’ No. 4 prospect winter 2019: Tyler Benson
  • Lowetide: Oilers No. 3 prospect winter 2019: Ethan Bear
  • Lowetide: Oilers’ No. 2 prospect winter 2019: Philip Broberg
  • Lowetide: Oilers’ No. 1 prospect winter 2019: Evan Bouchard

OILERS AFTER 40 GAMES

  • Oilers in 2015: 16-21-3, 35 points; goal differential -22
  • Oilers in 2016: 20-13-7, 47 points; goal differential +5
  • Oilers in 2017: 17-20-3, 37 points; goal differential -17
  • Oilers in 2018: 19-18-3, 41 points; goal differential -6
  • Oilers in 2019: 20-16-4, 44 points; goal differential -4

The Oilers are one game from mid-season and honestly these numbers are solid. I projected the team for 88 points and they are in the range (currently on track for 90 points), and that would represent an 11-point improvement from last season’s 35-38-9, 79 points.

OILERS IN DECEMBER

  • Oilers in December 2015: 6-4-2, 14 points; goal differential -7
  • Oilers in December 2016: 6-2-4, 16 points; goal differential +1
  • Oilers in December 2017: 7-4-1, 15 points; goal differential +8
  • Oilers in December 2018: 6-5-1, 13 points; goal differential +2
  • Oilers in December 2019: 4-7-1, 9 points; goal differential -10

Edmonton’s best players hit a wall in December and Mike Smith had some real troubles. The club is going to give back about six points to the rest of the division, and that’s not good news. However, if they can salvage the final two games, plus straighten up and fly right in January, this group can stay in the race. Another month like this one and my blog will be talking draft and selling at the deadline. Edmonton’s room for error is gone. Now.

WHAT TO EXPECT IN DECEMBER

  • On the road to: VAN (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 1-0-0)
  • At home to: OTT, LAK, BUF, CAR (Expected 2-1-1) (Actual 1-2-1)
  • On the road to: MIN (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 0-1-0)
  • At home to: TOR (Expected 0-1-0) (Actual 0-1-0)
  • On the road to: DAL, STL (Expected 0-2-0) (Actual 1-1-0)
  • At home to: PIT, MTL (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 1-1-0)
  • On the road to: VAN (Expected 0-0-1) (Actual 0-1-0)
  • At home to: CAL, NYR (Expected 1-1-0)
  • Overall expected result: 6-6-2, 14 points in 14 games
  • Current results: 4-7-1, 9 points in 12 games

I understand your frustration with the kicked goal and the strangest too-many-men in history, but Edmonton will need to push through if there’s a playoff spring in 2020. Every team gets screwed by the officials, but the playoff teams keep their structure on the PK in the third period of a tie game. Edmonton and Vancouver split their four games this season. I think that’s a reasonable result. How it happened is damned galling.

WHAT TO DO?

It’s after 11 on Monday night as I write this, so if you’re reading me saying NST info is here that means I also slept until 7am and didn’t have time to run the usual numbers for you.

What I want to talk about now is this division. It’s there for some team and the Oilers have the two best players in the Pacific. Ken Holland would have to abandon the ‘let’s see how this turns out’ path he is currently on. He would need an upgrade on the wing for the Nuge line and a strong two-way center, and a better backup goalie wouldn’t go amiss.

I know Holland has ice in his veins but he’s also competitive. The division is there.

OILERS 2019-20

This is five on five scoring for forwards, five on five shot differential for defense and save percentage for goaltenders.

Mikko Koskinen won the goalie war and it wasn’t close. Very few times this season has the big Finn been the story in a negative way. The job of a goalie is to give his team a chance and Koskinen has done it consistently.

My list of best defensemen of the first half is Ethan Bear, Darnell Nurse and Caleb Jones. Adam Larsson has also been coming on, and Oscar Klefbom has played better and is coming on. Kris Russell’s shots against per 60 is the lowest on the team among regulars.

Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl hit the break with fantastic numbers, but the five on five goal differential (40-36 for McDavid, 36-42 for Leon) suggests there are things wrong for the team’s gunners. Zack Kassian’s five on five goal differential is 38-29, so maybe the wonkiness is happening when 97 and 29 are playing extra minutes.

MERRY CHRISTMAS

One thing I’ve learned this year? Tell people you care. So. No matter your color, your religious beliefs, your sexual orientation, your political beliefs or your beliefs about oil and gas, I care. You are equal to me in the eyes of the God I pray to. Be well, be safe, know that I care. Sincerely.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy morning with fun guests, TSN1260 beginning at 10. Simon Boisvert previews the World Juniors at 10:20, with special emphasis on the Oilers kids. Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal reviews a bitter loss to Vancouver last night. We’ll have him on 10-second delay beginning 20 minutes BEFORE he hits the air. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!

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CallighenMan

flea:
Reja,

While I know you’re being sarcastic, the Game 5 goal was brutal, in game 7 the oilers got outplayed and deserved to lose.

Just trying to look at it objectively. Horvat doesn’t lift his skate, and players are allowed to use their skate to direct the puck in. While he moves his blade at the puck, he never lifts it.

It’s actually a pretty impressive play.

It’s a long season, things even out. Merry Christmas Reja!

Your interpretation of what is a kick and also what actually happened is incorrect. He is overshooting the net and realizes he can’t stop so he moves his foot forward ( actually back because he has already slightly overshot the puck) in order to direct the puck past the goalie. It was virtually a textbook kicked in goal. In soccer you don’t kick the ball with your toes, you shoot and pass with the side (inner or outer) or top of your foot in the case of a volley or half-volley.

I used to think NHL refereeing was crap when the Bruins and Flyers were always wrestling the glory years Oilers to the ice, but current referees are far worse as they are totally inconsistent and often do not seem to even know the actual rules.

YKOil

Merry Christmas all!

HT Joe

Reja: Oh the poor done by ref looked at the monitor knew he was wrong but wasn’t man enough to overturn the call. He fuked my team out of two points and your worried about the refs feelings

For what it’s worth, the call sucked (and I’m mad at the refs) – we don’t disagree there at all.

Merry Christmas!

Reja

HT Joe: With so many people throwing the “troll” label around over the last month or so, I feel compelled to add my 2 cents:

– Poster trying to objectively understand what went through a referee’s head during a game:Not trolling

– Poster accusing a fellow fan of “[enjoying] the game 5 goal against Anaheim as well probably [getting] a real thrill when Carolina took us out in game 7”:definitely trolling.

Oh the poor done by ref looked at the monitor knew he was wrong but wasn’t man enough to overturn the call. He fuked my team out of two points and your worried about the refs feelings

Buddy

I’d like to say the kicking goal last night was beyond ridiculous, but that would imply that the NHL video review room has standards which they sometimes (often) fail to meet, whereas the truth is either (1) they just make it up on the fly, or, more likely, (2) there is no Toronto video room, the refs just stand around for awhile holding iPads that are connected to nothing, and they then decide whatever they want.

We’ve all known since 2017 that the Oilers have to win games beyond the margin of Bettman, but it still comes as a punch in the face every time we’re reminded of it.

Anyway, who cares. We’re halfway through the season and the Oilers might still make the playoffs. I sure didn’t predict that. So let’s call the glass half full, and raise a toast to our host.

Merry Christmas, LT! And Merry Christmas to all my fellow Lowetideans!

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

Munny:
Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual,

lol… sorry, was going off the top of my head.Plenty of room around the microphone for a full chorus.

Just joking, of course 🙂 At this point, I’d be surprised if everyone in the blog hadn’t called for his acquisition!

drglen

late to comment sorry. frustrating game, but I cannot say the canucks did not deserve to win, in spite of everything… they wanted it more and they have more threats to score throughout the lineup.

That was a kicking motion… I mean.. what the hell, .. how can you not call a kicking motion.. a kicking motion? he kicked the puck in. Maybe we should work on some trick plays which use feet. Haas is probably a good soccer player… get in front, tie up the d stick, and pass to his feet and he kicks it in. why not, apparently this is a good hockey play now.

But, I though Canucks had two or three clear goals where they missed point blank or hit the post… they could have been ahead 4-2 going into the third period.. That’s why I’m not too upset, and I think subconsciouly the refs , though they are not supposed to.. considered that a goal was due.. kicked or not.

Larsson looked good but, I’m not seeing opposing forward really REMOVED from the puck and the puck going north… lots of battle but not going north. Except for Bear… good game. Jones looking better.

What we needed to win that game were some faceoff wins. I don’t know what we can do about that. When we need a draw we don’t get it. It’s a huge problem

Munny

geowal,

Say hi to my friends John and Donna if you run into them, lol. Careful, though, they’re Flames fans.

Munny

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual,

lol… sorry, was going off the top of my head. Plenty of room around the microphone for a full chorus.

geowal

Early Merry Christmas from Prague! It’s 12:15 here, just returned from a pub after a nighttime walk in the city, place is actually prettier at night than the daytime.
Boxing Day off to the World Juniors, looking forward to seeing Lavoie and Rodrigue against Russia and Germany, hoping both play.

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

Munny:
Ennis.

I’ve been preaching His Name for awhile now.

Josh Anderson (if available)

Reja, Armchair and I have been yelling this one from the mountain tops too.

Those two players would make a world of difference.

I realize I’m relatively new here, but exclusion takes lives, ya know 🙁

HT Joe

Reja: How can anyone not trolling think otherwise.

With so many people throwing the “troll” label around over the last month or so, I feel compelled to add my 2 cents:

– Poster trying to objectively understand what went through a referee’s head during a game: Not trolling

– Poster accusing a fellow fan of “[enjoying] the game 5 goal against Anaheim as well probably [getting] a real thrill when Carolina took us out in game 7”: definitely trolling.

tileguy

Bling:
Drai is clearly tired, and so is McDavid.

At some point an upgrade to the top six has to incorporate the calculus of how dominant the big two are when well-rested, and how much there is to lose from an overuse type injury.

There is a lot of truth in your statement, tired mind, tired legs, contribute to injury. We have to upgrade the top six with scorers and are currency is Defencemen

jtblack

Munny:
Ennis.

I’ve been preaching His Name for awhile now.

Josh Anderson (if available)

Reja, Armchair and I have been yelling this one from the mountain tops too.

Those two players would make a world of difference.

ENNIS seems like the perfect type of target. Will be UFA. just played for $800k. has speed and skill.

Would like to see his fancies.

Ken should go after him on a 1 yr or 2 yr show me deal for around $1 Mil per

Reja

JOFA: Doesn’t lift his skate? Are you sure? How much snow did he spray up with that right skate? Now watch the left skate. It appears he was stopping with his left skate and doing his best to get his skate on the puck with his right.His first interview after the game was telling…as was his smirk on the bench. The second interview from the dressing room he happened to have a completely different answer from the first a few minutes prior. He knew damn well that wasn’t a Goooooooooool!

He Instinctively kicked in on purpose when the knuckles went out for drinks after they were all laughing how Bow has a horseshoe up his ass. How can anyone not trolling think otherwise.

Bling

Drai is clearly tired, and so is McDavid.

At some point an upgrade to the top six has to incorporate the calculus of how dominant the big two are when well-rested, and how much there is to lose from an overuse type injury.

Munny

Ennis.

I’ve been preaching His Name for awhile now.

Josh Anderson (if available)

Reja, Armchair and I have been yelling this one from the mountain tops too.

Those two players would make a world of difference.

Bling

Benson, Yamamoto and Marody aren’t pushing a PPG yet at the AHL level.

They are in line with the likes of Josh Currie and Brad Malone, so we have an idea of what we can expect production wise from them in the NHL.

I really don’t see any of those guys helping in the top six right now, and I say that as a fan of all three players.

Munny

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual: I don’t get the aversion to giving them a try up here

The aversion is likely because the Oilers are already breaking in two rooks.

I doubt we see Benson till Coaching Tip thinks Jones is settled in.

Scungilli Slushy

norm_klassen:
Can we call up Benson and Yam and see what they can do? We need to indoctrinate them sooner or later. I dont expect free agents are lining up to sign here next year.

Maybe not this year, but Benson is an easy skill add next season. He’ll be 22, I think he will help. More than some of the current players, vet or not. Yama too if he could play a fullish season sometime.

I get wanting vets, but if they aren’t getting it done what’s the point?

The point above mentions Sakic adds skill everywhere. The Oilers can as well. Merciless cap dumping. Trade for a skill winger or two, maybe a Ufa that isn’t a bad contract as much as possible – Sakic added without being dumb and those second tier guys are producing, I believe because the overall skill level is high in the team – good players to play with, while not perfect.

Use The D that are ready in Lagesson Jones and probably Bouchard next year.

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

norm_klassen:
Can we call up Benson and Yam and see what they can do? We need to indoctrinate them sooner or later. I dont expect free agents are lining up to sign here next year.

I don’t get the aversion to giving them a try up here. Sure, they’re not lighting up the world right now in the AHL, but both have skill and I’m sure at least one of them can offer a noticeable improvement on who Nuge is currently stuck playing with. Worst case, they don’t cut it and get sent back knowing what they need to improve to make the jump back up. If that’s enough to cripple their confidence, they’re not long for the NHL anyway.

If bringing Benson up allows Neal to be shunted to the 4th line where he can do as little damage as possible while still bringing value on the PP, then even that’s enough for me.

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

I think we’ve gone through enough coaches to trust that this isn’t a coach issue. The roster needs some substantial additions at F to be able to remain competitive and now is the perfect time to make those changes. Going into a relatively slow-paced February where McDavid and Draisaitl should be able to get some rest and prepare for their (seemingly) annual torrent down the stretch.

Guys like Wood (1.44 P/60), Sheary (1.35), Sorensen (1.3), Ennis (2.27) and even Boedker (3yr avg of above 1.5) would all be improvements. None should cost too much or anything at all and all improve the skill and speed dimensions of our bottom-9. It might only take two of them to make enough of a difference to allow the team to hold on until the deadline where Holland might feel comfortable enough to make a big addition.

Also maybe trade Khaira for DeSmith.

jtblack

MIN 20 GAMES.
AVALANCHE forwards with less than 11 Points. = 0

OILERS forwards with less than 11 Points = 7.

Russell, Archibald, Granlund, Sheahan, Nygaard, Haas, Gagner.

Depth. It’s a thing.

norm_klassen

Can we call up Benson and Yam and see what they can do? We need to indoctrinate them sooner or later. I dont expect free agents are lining up to sign here next year.

Little Johnny Frostbite

dustrock,

My daughter just turned 10 yesterday! Our whole home has been ravaged by the plague, so a lot of our holiday plans have ended up flushed down the toilet (literally) or thrown up (literally). 😉

Luckily she recovered enough to have a great birthday, and I scraped up enough energy to make it so. 🙂 Hopefully we’ll be mostly better in time to gorge ourselves tomorrow and have no regrets.

Christmas will revolve around good food, drink, board games with the kids, British Panel shows because we are a bunch of weird anglophiles.

Seeing how lethargic some of our top guns seem, I wonder if there’s an illness or something at foot. I don’t expect to see any trades before February; maybe a waiver pickup, but unlikely. Hopefully they turn it around.

Merry Christmas, y’all. Enjoy your families, and your loved ones!

Happy Christmas LT! Thanks for giving me a place to procrastinate at any hour of the day! You do the Lord’s work, good, sir.

dunterpunter

“2nd line needs more 5×5 scoring”

Multiple sources have said this, it’s correct, but damn. Poor Nuge.

If we had a 2nd line with 2nd line wingers – or at least one that can support Nuge, maybe it would be easier.

If I was Nuge I wouldn’t want to take one more year of being stuck on a 2nd line with 3rd line wingers. I know last year was a different story, but I feel sorry for the guy.

Merry Xmas

The goal last night was a bummer – but the Oilers have got some challenges in their favour.

jtblack

jtblack:
AVS @ VGS takeaways.Both teams push the puck up the ice quickly.

The last big acquisitions for VGS are Statsny, Pacioretty & Stone.Patches is a decent skater. Stone ad Statsny are sub par. Point is their overall team speed is noticeably slower than year 1. Their back end now Has Hague, Holden, McNabb & Engellend – all slower skaters.

VGS has loads of depth up front. 3 skill lines.

COL has skill throughout.SAKIC has just put together a good team. They are young, skilled and can skate.

Mackinnon Rantanen Landeskog is great 1st line.I was impressed with Landeskog live.Very skilled.

Kadri Buraakovsky Donskoi. All have skill. Burakivsky can fly.

Heres where I noticed COL was far better than edm.Compher Calvert Bellmare Nishushkin, Nieto & Jost. All have skill.You can see why Nishuskin was a 1st rounder.Huge and can skate.But all of their “bottom 6” have skill and can make plays.

E Johnson, Zadaarov Girard were all solid Makar was hurt.

Final Summary; AVS have skill on lines 1- 4.

Calvert 19 pts
Compher 19 pts
Nieto 16 pts
Nishuskin 13 pts
Bellmare 12 pts
Jost 11 pts

That makes up their bottom 6.Solid team.Well done Sakic. Byram and Newhook waiting to join soon.

doctoreye

ArmchairGM,

The obvious option was HALL!

jtblack

AVS @ VGS takeaways. Both teams push the puck up the ice quickly.

The last big acquisitions for VGS are Statsny, Pacioretty & Stone. Patches is a decent skater. Stone ad Statsny are sub par. Point is their overall team speed is noticeably slower than year 1. Their back end now Has Hague, Holden, McNabb & Engellend – all slower skaters.

VGS has loads of depth up front. 3 skill lines.

COL has skill throughout. SAKIC has just put together a good team. They are young, skilled and can skate.

Mackinnon Rantanen Landeskog is great 1st line. I was impressed with Landeskog live. Very skilled.

Kadri Buraakovsky Donskoi. All have skill. Burakivsky can fly.

Jers where I noticed COL was far better than edm. Compher Calvert Bellmare Nishushkin, Nieto & Jost. All have skill. You can see why Nishuskin was a 1st rounder. Huge and can skate. But all of their “bottom 6” have skill and can make plays.

E Johnson, Zadaarov Girard were all solid Makar was hurt.

Final Summary; AVS have skill on lines 1- 4.

Calvert 19 pts
Compher 19 pts
Nieto 16 pts
Nishuskin 13 pts
Bellmare 12 pts
Jost 11 pts

That makes up their bottom 6. Solid team. Well done Sakic. Byam and Newhook waiting to join soon.

Woodguy v2.0

Sierra: I might believe they became exhausted, but I have trouble believing they are still exhausted.

Something else is going on.

They’ve played 13 games in 24 days since November 30th vs their toughest stretch of opponents.

They’re exhausted.

dustrock

New Improved Darkness,

With all we’ve been through, I’m amazed we’re in as good condition as we are, what with the Decade of Darkness and all.

Scungilli Slushy

Richard Roma: I think we can expect a bit of a return to the Tambellini era as Leadfarmer mentioned.

Holland is a guy that buys or sells at the deadline. He doesn’t make a lot of moves otherwise.

It’s a step up from Chiarelli, but maybe the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction.

Hopefully the old dog has learned some new tricks.

I found Bruce’s timeline of Holland’s activity before and after Illitch’s passing interesting. The pattern changed, I wonder if the owner was quite hands on and Holland was doing his bidding to a degree, especially with the aging core.

I hope he is very active in 2020. Of course if nothing is out there you shouldn’t make moves, but I agree with Armchair that there are players in the league system that could help and aren’t expensive to get or cap killers.

Finding them is where the stats dept would help, and I see as a primary function, to search out undervalued players existing and in the draft round 3 and later where it gets foggy. Round 1 and 2 you couild just use Bob’s list and win the day.

JOFA

flea:
Reja,

While I know you’re being sarcastic, the Game 5 goal was brutal, in game 7 the oilers got outplayed and deserved to lose.

Just trying to look at it objectively. Horvat doesn’t lift his skate, and players are allowed to use their skate to direct the puck in. While he moves his blade at the puck, he never lifts it.

It’s actually a pretty impressive play.

It’s a long season, things even out. Merry Christmas Reja!

Doesn’t lift his skate? Are you sure? How much snow did he spray up with that right skate? Now watch the left skate. It appears he was stopping with his left skate and doing his best to get his skate on the puck with his right. His first interview after the game was telling…as was his smirk on the bench. The second interview from the dressing room he happened to have a completely different answer from the first a few minutes prior. He knew damn well that wasn’t a Goooooooooool!

New Improved Darkness

The end times are clearly upon us.

Yesterday I was driving through town completing some last-minute xmas errands, and I spotted a payday loan store flying under a giant white banner: CLEARANCE SALE.

O Brother, Where Art Thou? with the cow on the cotton shed.

Apparently, they overstocked in 2019 payday loans, and they desperately need to make room for some inbound 2020 payday loans.

———

Blessed baby Jesus, can you spare us an ndash, this one time, so we can be 20–20 in 2020?

———

Jesus [circa February 2021]: Oh! You meant a mama-bear hyphen! Why didn’t you say so in plain language? Now it’s too late, and the golden symmetry of your prayer is ruined. Sorry about that. My bad. I should have caught this sooner. But what with carpentry class where a procured 2×4 becomes a cured 1½×3½, over-delivery requires immense planning. And I do have a lot on the go, what with a stiff daily Pilates regimen to enable me to adequately project my voice from the lofty prominence of a small mountain slope.

———

[*] “What with” is pretty much the main verb in Aramaic; Aramaic being a Jewish language to the core, which no amount of Pilates succeeded in sanding over.

Scungilli Slushy

Ribs: Isn’t “moving his blade at the puck” another way of saying “kicking it”? Why does he have to lift his skate?

I dunno, I see forward motion with his skate to the puck and I’d consider it a kick. *shrug*

For me it’s the forward motion, indicating he was directing the puck with his foot. If he left it in the skating position the foot was in without any change, hoping it bounced off and in, good goal. But he didn’t do that.

Scungilli Slushy

barry.moore23:
The Vancouver feed showed something like 3-39-8 when McDavid and Drai do not score. How is that possible after all the high draft picks ??? I tried to convince my wife it has to be intentional but she’s not buying that. What else could it be ?? Oh, this team ….Happy holidays to all my Oiler fan friends.

Happy Holidays to you!

Luck is a big part of sports, and life. So is opportunity, recognizing it and taking it. Sometimes things happen and work out better than anyone could have expected.

4 first overall picks. Connor is obviously blowing even that lofty set of expectations out of the water. Hall is meeting his, a true play driving force, an impact player, warts and all.

Nuge was the consensus pick, and the luck part is that draft year was very shallow. Nuge is shy offensively for his draft position, as was expected based on his junior scoring. It turns out based on the fact he’s in the apex of his prime, that he is more of a complimentary player than would be hoped for.

Yak was also the consensus first pick (meaning the Oilers didn’t blow it), and for me is clearly a bust. How he was handled is a thing, but he had other chances, and can’t even dominate the KHL.

Then another high pick in JP is in trouble and has devalued massively. I have my doubts about the due diligence done by Chiarelli, because he did not expect it seemed to see JP drop. Still he was the consensus pick at 4. For me at that point I’d be willing to go outside consensus if intel suggested it – JP was never thought to be in the elite level.

Trading away one of the two impact first overalls was devastating given the weak return even if Larsson is good. Add an outright bust, a complimentary player instead of an elite or impact player, and a lottery prospect in trouble, and that’s a lot of talent missing from what we might expect.

The kicker is a series of talent draining further deals, the highlight being a trading the 16 and 33 for a player that also busted.

Any team would be in trouble. Bad luck, and being bull headed and not growing with the times, earned this.

What remains hopeful for 2020 and beyond is this. Nothing can be done about past bad luck (although it occurs to me a stats savvy team might have traded out of the 1 OV and acquired assets knowing they were not missing out most likely on an impact player, so perhaps it wasn’t 100% bad luck), but a couple of good moves could turn the balance back to a more neutral state for the team.

Part of the good moves is making needed potential talent on the farm push their way onto the roster. They’ll be working harder than ever and hungrier than ever when they arrive, if they have it in them.

Many here don’t think Holland and the flying blind, no stats dept Oilers, won’t have it in them to do it. I’ll hold out hope until crushed again that they will find players to help that are NHL normal quality players. And that he’ll improve the cap position while he’s at it.

Sorry for the wall!

Silver Streak

who were the refs last night ? Wonder if the ref that McD pissed off re his called back goal and subsequent successful one comment worked the Vncvr game last nite…..the goal
” was directed by a skate with a forward motion ” IMHO ….only in VNCVR !

Harpers Hair
Richard Roma

ArmchairGM: None are perfect options, but that’s the point: we don’t want to give up the futures necessary to acquire a perfect option. But all have some skill and could, like James Neal, rebound in a new environment. And without much cost, either.

I think we can expect a bit of a return to the Tambellini era as Leadfarmer mentioned.

Holland is a guy that buys or sells at the deadline. He doesn’t make a lot of moves otherwise.

It’s a step up from Chiarelli, but maybe the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction.

Ribs

flea: While he moves his blade at the puck, he never lifts it

Isn’t “moving his blade at the puck” another way of saying “kicking it”? Why does he have to lift his skate?

I dunno, I see forward motion with his skate to the puck and I’d consider it a kick. *shrug*

flea

Reja,

While I know you’re being sarcastic, the Game 5 goal was brutal, in game 7 the oilers got outplayed and deserved to lose.

Just trying to look at it objectively. Horvat doesn’t lift his skate, and players are allowed to use their skate to direct the puck in. While he moves his blade at the puck, he never lifts it.

It’s actually a pretty impressive play.

It’s a long season, things even out. Merry Christmas Reja!

Reja

flea:
I actually didn’t mind the kicked in goal. He pushes it with the wide part of the blade, not the toe. I think it’s a hockey play, in my opinion, and why not encourage goal scoring? Lifting your blade off the ice is another story, safety issue.

Tough game for the Oilers, but I thought they played ok until the third and tried to sit on their lead.

My only hope is that a bad taste in their mouths takes the sheen off Christmas for the team, and they come back hungry. We were all happy with the Hitchmas miracle last year, and they came back and laid multiple eggs after Christmas.

The team does need help to stay in it though.

Merry Christmas to Lowetide, and all the posters here that provide quality comments everyday and make me enjoy this great game even more!

I bet you enjoyed the game 5 goal against Anaheim as well probably got a real thrill when Carolina took us out in game 7.

HT Joe

Thank you Lowetide for all that you do for the community! Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you and all the posters here!

McSorley33

barry.moore23:
The Vancouver feed showed something like 3-39-8 when McDavid and Drai do not score. How is that possible after all the high draft picks ??? I tried to convince my wife it has to be intentional but she’s not buying that. What else could it be ?? Oh, this team ….Happy holidays to all my Oiler fan friends.

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Yep.

I believe it is universally agreed RNH is our best forward on the non-McDavid/Drai division.

RNH just recorded his 3rd goal at 5x 5.

Travis Yost of TSN said it best on an article in 2018:

"Connor McDavid can do many things. He cannot, however, play 60 minutes a night.

But the chasm in the Oilers performance when McDavid isn’t on the ice is massive. The players the organization strategically developed or targeted to bring into their system and complement McDavid have, as a group, failed."
*******************************************************************************************
I would submit to everyone that this season looks awfully familiar to last season

Waiting for someone to say that our forward group will be dramatically better next year.

Rube Foster

Beauty Holiday Greeting LT!

If this Oiler Blog thingy doesn’t pan out for you, you just may have a bright future in the Greeting Card Industry! 🙂

To all you Magnificent Bastards everywhere, as the cool kids say – I appreciate you. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and the Happiest of Holidays to you and yours.

… that goal was kicked in, even young Bronco thought so himself. If ever there was a sign from Gord that that the past decade has been Karmic Retribution for the glory that was the Boys on the Bus, thare she blows.

It’s been 10 Long Decembers, but there is reason to beleive that the next decade will be better than the last.

BONE207

Sierra:
Was the skate goal reviewed by the command centre?

Yes, that’s the ridiculous part. How they could take away P Russell’s goal last time & award this one is beyond imagination.

Sierra

Was the skate goal reviewed by the command centre?

DevilsLettuce

Every official on ice and off involved in the soccer goal should be fined, docked performance points to officiate the playoffs. Unprofessional and unacceptable, between the rule book and technology the league should be able to call a correct game.

Oilers should protest, there’s some serious wrong doing going on in the referee community. Bush league while dipping into sports gambling, NHL needs to sort this out.

BONE207

Merry Christmas Everyone…because I care.

Hell ya that was kicked in. Like the NFL a couple years ago who couldn’t figure out what a catch was, Nhl can’t figure out what a goal is. Kicking the puck to your stick but missing it was always called back. Now I guess you don’t need the stick.

Ryan

leadfarmer:
If your going to play forwards 25 min a night you should probably sit them some days.
I was hoping they would leave Drai Mcdavid and Bear at home and let them rest for a few extra days

Are you suggesting the Oilers should have left Drai, McDavid, and Bear at home instead of having them playing Vancouver last night?

In spite of the 3rd game in 4 nights situation, I don’t really see a scenario in which you’d do that against a division rival especially considering the positions in the standings.