Oilers/Canadians Postgame(s): Overtime Losses

Jonathan Willis
January 05 2010 11:58PM

Coyotes: 5, Oilers: 4 (OT)

USA: 6, Canada: 5 (OT)

Both teams near and dear to the collective heart of OilersNation lost by a single goal in overtime. Team Canada lost at the World Juniors after an incredible comeback effort fueled by two late Jordan Eberle goals. It wasn't enough, as Capitals prospect John Carlson scored the overtime winner to give the U.S. the gold medal.

Meanwhile in Edmonton, the Oilers twice came back from two goal deficits, but lost in overtime on a Shane Doan goal. Another loss, another bad outing for Jeff Deslauriers, and another game that I presume very few people actually watched because there was a chance to watch hockey played by a team that wins every now and again.

Team Canada Star

1. Jordan Eberle. Yep, that's it. There were other strong performances in tonight's game (Pietrangelo, for one, was pretty good)but it was Eberle who once again came through in the clutch, scoring goals with 2:49 and 1:35 left in the third period of the hockey game. He was Canada's best player - perhaps the best player on the ice - from the middle of the second period on, and his big-game heroics on the junior stage have given him a lasting place in Canadian hockey lore.

Random Thoughts

Eberle was named tournament MVP and Best Forward at this year's WJC. Given that Anton Lander and Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson also had good tournaments, there's plenty of reason for hope (and with three of the first four stories on the official website being about the WJC, the Oilers know it). Isn't hope wonderful?

With the Springfield Falcons 5-2 loss on Sunday, Taylor Chorney now sits at minus-19 in the 16 games since he's been returned to the AHL. I don't know why he's posted such miserable numbers since turning pro (my guess would be defensive incompetence) but they're certainly continuing.

On the other side of the spectrum, Theo Peckham is the only plus defenceman in Springfield.  There's reason for hope there.

With his two point night this evening, the much-reviled Patrick O'Sullivan is as hot as he's been all season; he has three goals, three assists, and a plus-1 rating in the last six games.

I completely agree with Brownlee's argument about splitting time the rest of the way between Deslauriers and Dubnyk the rest of the way. 

Congratulations to Dustin Penner on his 20th goal of the season; it's his first goal in seven games, and hopefully this marks the end of the mini-slump he's been in.  Lowetide suggested that the Oilers might consider trading him a few days back (a suggestion that wasn't met with a chorus of cheers) but there's a part of me that wonders if his early season performance was an aberration.  After scoring 15 points in the first 10 games of the season, he's dropped to 7 or 8 points over the last three 10-game segements.  Has he broken ou, or is he in danger of reverting to the 40-50 point player he's been the last three years?  I don't know the answer, but if I were the Oilers I'd be thinking about it.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#51 Zamboni Driver
January 06 2010, 11:20AM
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Not sure who I'd pick between Gagner and Eberle right now.....but I do know that I NEVER want to see them on the same line.

Ever.

Okay, powerplay maybe - but just say 'no' to the smurfs.

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#52 Chris.
January 06 2010, 12:16PM
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Tracie said:"Eberle is small, but so is St. Louis and Crosby and they seem to get it done. I believe Eberle is stronger on the puck and his speed and hands open up space for him to do stuff...the frustrating thing with Cogs is that he has speed but no hands and with Nilsson and Gags, they get pushed off the puck really easy. Eberle finds opens space and can do stuff with it...I think him and Gags are keepers and try to find some good draft picks for Cogs and Nilsson. Again, just my thoughts..."

So you've seen Eberle perform in the NHL alongside Crosby and St Louis? You know for sure that Eberle will be stronger on the puck than Nilsson or Gagner? What caused you to believe that Eberle will be able to "do stuff" with the puck against NHL regulars on a nightly basis?

Not to be harsh... but Eberle is a Prospect. Nobody.... and I mean nobody is 100% sure how Eberle's game will translate in the NHL. Did anyone notice how Schremp had been tracking ahead of Eberle offensively on Willis's graph on the main page? It's a little early to get so excited. Oiler fans always do that... we build entire rosters and assign expectations on a bunch of hopefull's and maybe's.

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#53 Crash
January 06 2010, 12:19PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

RE: Trading Eberle

As always, it depends on value. There's always a price, and if someone comes in and knocks your socks off with an offer you have to think about it.

Particularly since everyone in the hockey world is going to be gaga over him right now, and his junior numbers (prior to this year) really haven't been all that amazing.

That said, barring an amazing offer, Eberle's a guy you prioritize - less because of his world junior performance (it's six games, people - six games!) and more because of the leap forward he's taken in junior this year (29 goals and 60 points in 28 games). The only caveat there of course is if they're all power play points (Rob Schremp at the same age had 57 goals and 145 points in 57 games, thanks to his power play prowess).

I guess what I'm saying is this: 99% of Oilers fans are going to read too much into a couple of strong tournaments - really three key games where Eberle was unbelievably good - and over-value this player. Yes, he's a very good prospect, but we shouldn't look at a few games and pronounce him untouchable.

IMO he's getting close to untouchable....the hand quickness is already NHL calibre. You did mention his 2 world jr tourneys and the season he is having this year in the Dub but you forgot to mention he also spent 9 games in Springfield last season and while there was arguably their best offensive forward garnering 9 pts in the 9 games he played last year. I believe he may have been the teams top scorer over that period of time.

All signs point to this kid being the real deal. As far as picking between Gagner and Eberle...well the great thing is we don't have to...we have them both.

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#54 David S
January 06 2010, 12:20PM
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The Towel Boy wrote:

Was it Tambellini in his interview with Duthie on TSN who was saying that, in the preseason games with the Oilers, nobody generated more scoring chances than Jordan Eberle?

To me he just seems more hungry to score goals and that's why I'd choose Eberle over Gagner. Not that Gagner doesn't love scoring goals...his sh!t eating grin after every goal is hilariously awesome. I want a player that's gonna rifle the puck at the net from all angles. Sometimes I think we lack that in our lineup. They always seem to be looking for the nice passing play instead of just firing it at the net.

I guess with any prospect you just don't know what you've got until they play some games with the big club. But I would suggest foot speed and hockey IQ of Eberle to be at least superior to Robbie Schremp...IMO.

You must have missed last night's Oilers game (no surprise there). Gagner had 7 shots against a pretty decent NHL team.

I dunno, but maybe we should see how Eberle plays in the men's league before anointing him the next hockey Jesus. As we've seen, racking up points in the juniors doesn't necessarily mean a home run in the NHL (see Robbie Scremp).

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#55 Crash
January 06 2010, 12:27PM
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Not sure why we're comparing Schremp and Eberle but in any case one big difference is Eberle also plays a sound defensive game and was used extensively as a PKer in the world juniors. Also Schremp played on a team with many more weapons on it than the Regina team that Eberle plays on. IMO there is no comparison. Eberle outshines Schremp on all levels.

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#56 Chris.
January 06 2010, 12:51PM
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@Crash

Eberle outshines Schremp on all levels? Really? Easy statement to make given that Schremp has failed to make an impact in the NHL... But how do you KNOW given that Eberle has never played a single game in the NHL? Hindsight doesn't even apply. When Schremp had his 149 point season he "outshined" Eberle IMO... and back then nobody, and I mean nobody in Oil Country wanted to hear about his small frame and poor overall footspeed... Btw just exactly how big and fast is Eberle again?

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#57 Bruno
January 06 2010, 03:16PM
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No doubt that Eberle's value is higher than it has ever been, but he is the last person they would consider trading right now. Given all the bad press surrounding the team this season, trading the Canadian Hero(almost)would be a PR nightmare. People on ON are more than just your casual hockey fans and might be able understand a trade that involved him. People who only catch the odd game, flip on the highlights, or caught the WJC would be convinced the Oil were trading Gretzky again.

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#58 David S
January 06 2010, 06:59PM
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Bruno wrote:

No doubt that Eberle's value is higher than it has ever been, but he is the last person they would consider trading right now. Given all the bad press surrounding the team this season, trading the Canadian Hero(almost)would be a PR nightmare. People on ON are more than just your casual hockey fans and might be able understand a trade that involved him. People who only catch the odd game, flip on the highlights, or caught the WJC would be convinced the Oil were trading Gretzky again.

Uhhhh...no.

Eberle has a loooooong way to go before he could (might) be compared to Gretzky. Jeez man. He hasn't even played in a regular season game yet.

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#59 Scuba Steve
January 06 2010, 07:28PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

"I want a player that's gonna rifle the puck at the net from all angles."

Sounds like O'sully, and no one likes him ;)

I have yet to see Osullivan "rifle" the puck, that guy has the softest shot on the team and that includes JDD

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