Dave Tippett made a big difference to the Edmonton Oilers in 2019-20. Special teams is the obvious area but there are other pockets of improvement that appeared upon his arrival. Young players were able to fill feature roles that previously would have been filled by a veteran. He had an impressive feel for which goalie to ride in specific areas of the campaign. A coach can help his team, even if it is outmanned. Maybe we forgot about that over the years in Edmonton.
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, check it out here.
- New Lowetide: Exploring Oilers prospect Ryan McLeod’s possible NHL path
- Jonathan Willis: What does the path to an Oilers Stanley Cup championship in 2023 look like?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Ales Hemsky on his health, alumni games, tough opponents and the Oilers’ stars
- Lowetide: Swedish export Noel Gunler offers Oilers a worthy draft target
- Scott Wheeler: Why Oilers prospect Raphael Lavoie is the shot creation king.
- Lowetide: How can Andreas Athanasiou — Ken Holland’s big bet — help the Oilers?
- Lowetide: What are Evan Bouchard’s chances of making the Oilers in 2020-21?
- Jonathan Willis and Lowetide: Who are the Oilers’ top 10 prospects and where do they project in the NHL?
- Jonathan Willis: How do Connor McDavid’s first five NHL seasons compare to the all-time greats?
- Lowetide: Oilers 2020 draft: Are fans ready for Oil Kings’ Jake Neighbours?
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers need to keep feeding their currently rich pipeline of defensive prospects
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: How a series of oddball jobs prepared Ken Holland for his front-office career
- Jonathan Willis: 2020 NHL offseason goalie market: Team needs, free agents and trade possibilities
MACT’S OILERS 2007-08
Craig MacTavish won 41 games with this roster. The team’s five on five goal differential (143-166, -23) was typical of a MacT team: Perhaps a little shy on the power play but better than expected at five on five. If MacT’s teams got goaltending, they would make the playoffs.
Using hockey-reference and even strength goals for and against, here are the goal differentials for Edmonton teams since the turn of the century. Notice what happens when MacT leaves and also notice when it corrects.
- 2000-01: 171-156, +15 (MacT)
- 2001-02: 142-125, +17 (MacT)
- 2002-03: 162-161, +1 (MacT)
- 2003-04: 164-134, +30 (MacT)
- 2005-06: 146-161, -15 (MacT)
- 2006-07: 133-182, -49 (MacT)
- 2007-08: 156-181, -25 (MacT)
- 2008-09: 165-160, +5 (MacT)
- 2009-10: 148-206, -58 (Quinn)
- 2010-11: 139-184, -45 (Renney)
- 2011-12: 148-172, -24 (Renney)
- 2012-13: 85-101, -26 (Krueger)
- 2013-14: 149-204, -55 (Eakins)
- 2014-15: 148-218, -70 (Eakins, MacT, Nelson)
- 2015-16: 151-187, -36 (McLellan)
- 2016-17: 183-159, +24 (McLellan)
- 2017-18: 187-200, -13 (McLellan)
- 2018-19: 172-202, -30 (McLellan, Hitchcock)
- 2019-20: 161-174, -13 (Tippett)
MacT’s teams were mostly productive, the 2005-06 team was quality but lacked goaltending until the Dwayne Roloson trade (the other three goalies had save percentages under .900). The 2006-07 MacT team had major defensive issues but that improved in the following year and by his final season as coach MacT’s Oilers were in the black.
Beginning with Quinn, there’s a seven year period of bleeding badly until McLellan’s second campaign. The 2018-19 season, imo, was a lot about cap issues and unproven players in prominent positions.
As you can see, the 2019-20 season saw marked improvement at even-strength outscoring but there is work to be done.
Lots of Lias Andersson-Jesse Puljujarvi talk right now, I wrote about the idea just before Christmas. Apparently Ken Holland wanted a first-round pick added to Andersson, with a mid-level prospect coming back from Edmonton. There’s speculation that William Lagesson is the other piece in the puzzle but that’s not an actual factual trade proposal.
We don’t know where the pick will land, but let’s say it’s No. 21. The Rangers could use an NHL-ready left side blue (their right side is golden) and I’m a Lagesson fan. I think Dmitri Samorukov would have more potential value long term but Lagesson is a plug and play.
If the deal is Jesse Puljujarvi and William Lagesson for Lias Andersson and the pick that gets you Mavrik Bourque, I do the deal. You?
I’ll have an article up at The Athletic today or tomorrow about the Oilers situation as it pertains to the draft. It sounds like general managers will get their wish, with the timing of the draft occurring after the 2020 Stanley Cup is awarded. There’s a lot to talk about either way, we should find out about it this week.