GDB 54.0: Longest Losing Streak of the Season?

Jonathan Willis
January 26 2014 11:54AM

Chicago. Dallas. Minnesota. Winnipeg. Vancouver. Phoenix. Six straight losses have the Oilers on the verge of their longest ineffective run of the season; only a win over Nashville can halt the trend.

The Road To The Olympics

The schedule softens a little bit after the Olympic break, which is a good thing for the Oilers because they haven’t done a very good job of handling the rough stretches. Take the current six-game losing streak, comprised of a four-game Western road trip and then a home game against Vancouver. The only ‘easy’ matchup was a home game against the non-playoff Coyotes, which the Oilers lost on Friday.

Today the Oilers play the Predators. Tomorrow they play in Vancouver, which based on recent history is a game they’re all but certain to lose (the last time a tired Oilers team played Vancouver they lost 4-0 and were out-shot 40-19). Then there’s a Wednesday game against San Jose, then a four-game road swing out East starting with the Boston that ends with back-to-back games in New York.

A failure tonight gives the Oilers a very good shot at 10 consecutive losses.

Lottery Standings!

Rank Team Pace
1 Edmonton Oilers 56
2 Buffalo Sabres 57 (71)
3 Calgary Flames 68
4 Florida Panthers 76
5 New York Islanders 76
6 Winnipeg Jets 82

Ugh.

Buffalo is on a 57-point pace for the season, but have improved to a 71-point pace under Ted Nolan. Calgary is on track to finish a dozen points ahead of the Oilers. And that is the total number of teams set to finish less than 20 points in front of Edmonton.

Predictions!

Game Day Prediction: The losing has to end at some point; let’s call it 3-1 in favour of Edmonton.

Obvious Game Day Prediction: Even though Devan Dubnyk is not expected to start, Louie DeBrusk will find a way to use the nickname ‘Big Easy’ at least once on the broadcast.

Not-So-Obvious Game Day Prediction: After winning the hardest shot competition yesterday, Luke Gazdic gets an opportunity on the man advantage and scores his first power play goal of the season.

Recently by Jonathan Willis

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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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#201 oilerjed
January 27 2014, 12:37PM
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@Serious Gord

These calculations require an awful lot of faith in the fact that these big names are going to sign here. Im thinking we will get 2-3 mil guys for 4-5 mil and make due. that will give us 9-15 mil to splurge on the rest. (using your math that is)Should be plenty

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#202 A-Mc
January 27 2014, 12:47PM
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@The Last Big Bear

I agree with your sentiment. The UFA market is pretty grim for the Oilers this year.

Players that might be worth a shot:

Jagr (~2mill base, 2mill bonuses: 4Mill for a big winger)

Paul Stastny would be OK, but he currently makes $6.6m, so as a UFA (if COL doesn't re-sign) is going $7+ (which seems outrageous). Too much $$ for a guy that weighs 206lbs and is just "Good" in the points department.

Zidlicky - Possibly! He's old as dirt, but a veteran D guy for a couple years could help bring along the young D in their development. He's worth ~4m/yr as well. He's not big but he does tally points and plays 21+ mins a night in Jersey.

Andrei Markov. He's old (35) but he plays 25+ mins a night for MTL. He's often a + player and he tallies some points (26pts in 52gms this season). He is finishing up a 3 year 5.75/yr contract.

Brooks Orpik. 33YO, 219lbs Defenseman. Plays 22min a night avg for PIT. Makes 3.75m/yr right now.

Derek Morris. 35YO, 210lbs Defenseman. Plays 20mins/night for PHX. 17 pts on the season and is +7. Makes 2.75m/yr right now.

Matt Niskanen. 27YO, 209lbs Defenseman. Plays 20Min/night for PIT. 30pts and +29 on the season. Makes 2.5M/yr right now.

Steve Ott. 31YO, 189lbs but plays tough. Plays Center for BUFF @ just under 20min/night. Makes 3.2M/yr. Has a glaring -20, but he IS on the buffalo sabres..

most decent options are quite old, so you'd only be looking at using them for a couple years.

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#203 Tikkanese
January 27 2014, 01:00PM
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Oh the irony of a bunch of keyboard warriors talking about nutritionists!

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#204 A-Mc
January 27 2014, 01:03PM
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@A-Mc

Hell even a guy like Mark Stuart (D), from WPG might be a good addition. 29 YO, makes 1.8m/yr right now and plays 17.5M/night and is +3. He's 6'2" 213 lbs and we've seen him play with Jam vs the Oilers.

He could be a good pickup.

Actually another dude that might be good is Nikita Nikitin. 27YO, 6'4" 223lbs. Plays ~17mins/night for CBJ and is +10 (Defenseman)

I started off this UFA journey thinking there were slim pickings but as it stands right now, there are actually quite a few options that could help. I suppose it's easy when your defense core is the worst in the league; almost everyone is an upgrade. Unfortunately it's still really early and this UFA crop is going to significantly diminish as we get closer to and pass the trade deadline.

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#205 A-Mc
January 27 2014, 01:05PM
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Tikkanese wrote:

Oh the irony of a bunch of keyboard warriors talking about nutritionists!

A case of Pil is all a guy needs to maintain proper nutrition.

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#206 S cottV
January 27 2014, 01:17PM
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A-Mc wrote:

If you think of the endurance of a multi-marathon runner, then yes endurance will lean out your body but that doesn't really apply to hockey unless the athlete is fat.

Hockey "endurance" isn't the same thing as you're never on the ice for more than a minute or two anyway. From what i gather its about training your body to recover quickly, it's about efficiency in how you play to be sure you're not over playing the game (and thus needlessly burning energy), and it's about conditioning the body to not go into shock during prolonged high-energy shifts or shifts at the end of a hard game where the body would otherwise want to start shutting down.

Very difficult to gain muscle mass in season.

Games, practices, travel - wouldn't allow for the appropriate weight training and required recovery period.

Not sure what the Oilers are doing for in season endurance. If it's real strenuous - the players would sure need to be disciplined about recovery.

Would cut into the bar scene for sure.

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#207 oilersd
January 27 2014, 01:23PM
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A-Mc wrote:

Hell even a guy like Mark Stuart (D), from WPG might be a good addition. 29 YO, makes 1.8m/yr right now and plays 17.5M/night and is +3. He's 6'2" 213 lbs and we've seen him play with Jam vs the Oilers.

He could be a good pickup.

Actually another dude that might be good is Nikita Nikitin. 27YO, 6'4" 223lbs. Plays ~17mins/night for CBJ and is +10 (Defenseman)

I started off this UFA journey thinking there were slim pickings but as it stands right now, there are actually quite a few options that could help. I suppose it's easy when your defense core is the worst in the league; almost everyone is an upgrade. Unfortunately it's still really early and this UFA crop is going to significantly diminish as we get closer to and pass the trade deadline.

Agreed. In a relatively weak ufa class either one of these are good additions. Hopefully they are available and Mact can sign them. Hard to say this far out from free agency.

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#208 oilerjed
January 27 2014, 01:26PM
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Id rather target expensive RFAs om teams close to the cap. Maybe there is a trade to be had, maybe an offer sheet. Bos - Hamilton FLA - Kulikov (no cap room issue, but only 2 d signed 2014/15) Mon - Subban SJS - Demers

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#209 pkam
January 27 2014, 01:31PM
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Tikkanese wrote:

Oh the irony of a bunch of keyboard warriors talking about nutritionists!

I'll rather read about nutritionists or UFAs or draft prospects, than the call to fire Lowe, MacT, and Eakins anytime.

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#210 outdoorzguy
January 27 2014, 01:40PM
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Guy Boucher's gone now too.

Missed out on another one!!

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#211 @Oilanderp
January 27 2014, 01:53PM
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A-Mc wrote:

A case of Pil is all a guy needs to maintain proper nutrition.

Thanks for the reminder! I have to go see my ...nutritionist.... pork chops for dinner!

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#212 A-Mc
January 27 2014, 01:58PM
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oilerjed wrote:

Id rather target expensive RFAs om teams close to the cap. Maybe there is a trade to be had, maybe an offer sheet. Bos - Hamilton FLA - Kulikov (no cap room issue, but only 2 d signed 2014/15) Mon - Subban SJS - Demers

Just some FYI:

PK Subban is up there with Doughty and Weber. Doughty makes 7m/yr AAV and Weber makes 7.8M/yr AAV.

Doughty is closer to PK than weber in terms of Age, Size and Pt totals. Weber bests them with TOI, Pts and size.

The RFA offer sheet compensation range is probably in the 6.7-8.4m/yr range for PK Subban. Which means! If the Oilers offer sheeted Subban for 7.5M/yr for 7 years, and he Signed it and MTL couldn't match it: the Oilers would need to send 2x 1sts, a 2nd and a 3rd to MTL. So this year it would literally be a 1st overall and next year it would likely be a top 10 1st, the 2nd and 3rd.

That hurts, BUT! We wouldn't be giving up Hall/Nuge/Ebs or Yak to get him.

PS: Capgeek says MTL At-Deadline cap space is only 5M. They have 6 UFA's to sign in the off season as well. My guess is that there is no way they let Subban go to offersheet, even if they have to pay him 8m/yr

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#213 pkam
January 27 2014, 02:07PM
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A-Mc wrote:

Just some FYI:

PK Subban is up there with Doughty and Weber. Doughty makes 7m/yr AAV and Weber makes 7.8M/yr AAV.

Doughty is closer to PK than weber in terms of Age, Size and Pt totals. Weber bests them with TOI, Pts and size.

The RFA offer sheet compensation range is probably in the 6.7-8.4m/yr range for PK Subban. Which means! If the Oilers offer sheeted Subban for 7.5M/yr for 7 years, and he Signed it and MTL couldn't match it: the Oilers would need to send 2x 1sts, a 2nd and a 3rd to MTL. So this year it would literally be a 1st overall and next year it would likely be a top 10 1st, the 2nd and 3rd.

That hurts, BUT! We wouldn't be giving up Hall/Nuge/Ebs or Yak to get him.

PS: Capgeek says MTL At-Deadline cap space is only 5M. They have 6 UFA's to sign in the off season as well. My guess is that there is no way they let Subban go to offersheet, even if they have to pay him 8m/yr

You can't offersheet before the free agent season begins which I believe is July 1st. Draft is before July 1st so it will be the 1st round next season and the year after.

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#214 whoaaaaa
January 27 2014, 02:08PM
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A-Mc wrote:

A case of Pil is all a guy needs to maintain proper nutrition.

And which part of Saskatchewan are you from,kind Sir?

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#215 A-Mc
January 27 2014, 02:15PM
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@pkam

Oh ok, good to know! That's even better for us then.

This is total Troll bait, fantasy talk.. But imagine if!!!!!

Oilers Offer sheet PK subban and win. Offer him Weber money 7.8m/yr for 7 years.

Oilers move this years 1st overall (Because.. it'll be a 1st overall, we suck) + Eberle + Klefbom for Weber.

Oilers sign Scrivens (Because i think he'd be just fine if Defense is average or better).

Our team just got a WHOLE lot better going into next season!

Yes yes i know it's total fantasy that wont happen, but after 8 years of SUCK, my day dreams are all that keep me going.

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#216 A-Mc
January 27 2014, 02:17PM
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whoaaaaa wrote:

And which part of Saskatchewan are you from,kind Sir?

Lol, born here in E-Town but it would appear that at heart i have some toontown in me.

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#217 oilerjed
January 27 2014, 02:51PM
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A-Mc wrote:

Just some FYI:

PK Subban is up there with Doughty and Weber. Doughty makes 7m/yr AAV and Weber makes 7.8M/yr AAV.

Doughty is closer to PK than weber in terms of Age, Size and Pt totals. Weber bests them with TOI, Pts and size.

The RFA offer sheet compensation range is probably in the 6.7-8.4m/yr range for PK Subban. Which means! If the Oilers offer sheeted Subban for 7.5M/yr for 7 years, and he Signed it and MTL couldn't match it: the Oilers would need to send 2x 1sts, a 2nd and a 3rd to MTL. So this year it would literally be a 1st overall and next year it would likely be a top 10 1st, the 2nd and 3rd.

That hurts, BUT! We wouldn't be giving up Hall/Nuge/Ebs or Yak to get him.

PS: Capgeek says MTL At-Deadline cap space is only 5M. They have 6 UFA's to sign in the off season as well. My guess is that there is no way they let Subban go to offersheet, even if they have to pay him 8m/yr

oops sorry for the confusion. Wasnt really thinking offer sheets as the way to go. That curse hasnt quite left us yet. Im angling more towards the idea that we target those with RFA and possible issues resigning them and try and make trades. Boston could use a RW which we happen to have 2 of (counting gags)and happen to have a solid blueline locked up for awhile. and so on.

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#218 bigguy13
January 27 2014, 07:37PM
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@Bryzarro World

Actually the 90's were not as bad as you think, Doug Weight came here in 92 and in 93-94 we drafted Jason Arnott. We were only bad for 3 years. The oilers missed the playoffs from 93-95 and yes the stadium was less than half full. We made the playoffs from 96-04.

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