The Oilers reach Tabernac Saturday (afternoon edition) in Boston today, and the script written involves a rocking good time for the home side. Edmonton hasn’t played a complete 60 minutes in weeks, the Bruins are locked, loaded and angry from a series of recent overtime misfortunes. If I’m rating this movie, it’s a horror, not suitable for children. Or the aged.
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: Zack Kassian’s breakout performance presents Oilers GM Ken Holland with a familiar dilemma
- New Lowetide: Ken Holland, the Oilers amateur procurement department and the 2020 draft
- Jonathan Willis: It would be a mistake to write off the Oilers after their December slump
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: From Leon Draisaitl to the penalty kill, the things the Oilers need to improve to get back to the playoffs
- Lowetide: A shift-by-shift analysis of Kailer Yamamoto’s 2019-20 debut in the Oilers’ New Year’s Eve game.
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: James Neal puts on New Year’s Eve show to remember in Oilers’ thriller
- Lowetide: Midseason review of ‘reasonable expectations’ shows Oilers are on track with preseason targets
- Jonathan Willis and Daniel Nugent-Bowman: How are our Oilers predictions holding up at the midseason mark? We decided to find out
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers midseason report card shows an unbalanced team with a lot of replaceable parts
- Lowetide: Oilers recall Kailer Yamamoto and William Lagesson
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘If I have another one in a short time, my career could be over’: Recent head injuries concerning Oilers’ Matt Benning
- Jonathan Willis: The Oilers have actual problems; Connor McDavid’s defensive game is not among them
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘We didn’t come with the mindset to play a hard game’: Poor preparation leaves Oilers coach steaming
- Jonathan Willis: Leon Draisaitl is struggling badly, even as the Oilers’ depth forwards seem to be coming around
- 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 44 GAMES
- Oilers in 2015: 17-23-4, 38 points; goal differential -24
- Oilers in 2016: 22-15-7, 51 points; goal differential +4
- Oilers in 2017: 18-23-3, 39 points; goal differential -25
- Oilers in 2018: 21-20-3, 45 points; goal differential -11
- Oilers in 2019-20: 21-17-5, 47 points; goal differential -7
If this game ends in a loss, this year’s Oilers will have quite a bit in common with last year’s team. Of course, last year’s team finished 14-18-6 to finish 35-38-9, 79 points. I think Edmonton will push close to 90 points this time. Edmonton is 16-17-5 since the five game streak to open the season. If the club repeats that run to end the year, the final point total will be 85.
OILERS IN JANUARY
- Oilers in January 2016: 2-0-0, four points; goal differential +1
- Oilers in January 2017: 1-1-0, two points; goal differential -1
- Oilers in January 2018: 1-1-0, two points; goal differential -4
- Oilers in January 2019: 1-1-0, two points; goal differential -3
- Oilers in January 2020: 0-0-1, one point; goal differential -1
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM JANUARY
- On the road to: BUF, BOS, TOR, MTL, CAL (Expected 2-2-1) (Actual 0-0-1)
- At home to: NAS, ARI, CAL, STL (Expected 1-2-1)
- Overall expected result: 3-4-2, eight points in nine games
- Current results: 0-0-1, one point in one game
I have today as a loss. What you’re looking for today is a strong performance, perhaps the goalie stealing a point, or the power play going off and allowing the road team to earn overtime.
I’m excited to see that second line again, especially Yamamoto working the corners against Chara. He’s small and quick, Z might not see him.
The Oilers are far from a complete team, but it’s encouraging to look at this depth chart and see the placement of Bear, Lagesson, Jones and Yamamoto. One hopes we see Tyler Benson soon. The future isn’t Tyler Toffoli, the future is Ryan McLeod.
Tyler Benson had a goal and an assist last night as the Condors continued a nice little run. Josh Currie had a pair of assists, Evan Bouchard scored and Stuart Skinner stopped 29 of 31, .935. Jay Woodcroft and staff seem to have figured some things out, suspect Brandon Manning has been a useful addition.
One final item on Bakersfield (who play again tonight): Jay Woodcroft has been on the job for less than two seasons, and several prospects have popped under his watch. Always credit the prospect for most of the work, but when the parade over 18 months is Ethan Bear, Patrick Russell, Caleb Jones, Kailer Yamamoto and William Lagesson, that’s a lot. Shame the Oilers only gave Jesse Puljujarvi four games with Woodcroft and company. Second half recalls might include Tyler Benson, Evan Bouchard and Josh Currie. Thanks to Wilde for clarity on lines and pairings and his comments in yesterday’s thread are valuable insight.