Monday Musings: This is who the Oilers are

Jason Gregor
November 28 2016 01:16PM


After back-to-back losses to the 30th place Arizona Coyotes, many are wondering just who the Edmonton Oilers are.

It stings losing consecutive games to the worst team in the NHL. The Oilers didn't play awful, but they simply weren't good enough. They are also the team who dominated the western conference leading Chicago Blackhawks last Monday.

I think last week is an accurate depiction of who they are right now.

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GDB 22.0: Desert Storm

Jason Gregor
November 25 2016 02:09PM

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Lucic Photoshop

(photoshop: @NewfieMikey)

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Jordan Eberle was a rookie the last time the Oilers defeated the Coyotes in regulation. In the 22 games since, the Oilers haven't been able to muster one victory in 60 minutes. They have four wins, one in OT and three in a SO, but the Coyotes have owned them since January of 2011 going 19-0-4 and outscoring the Oilers 76-44.

However, this year has been different for Edmonton. They are a much different team, and they have exorcised many demons early this season. They will look to extinguish another lengthy bad skid tonight in Glendale.

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Oilers Report Card

Jason Gregor
November 24 2016 04:00PM

Parent Teacher Interviews

The Oilers reached the quarter mark of the season with a first place Pacific Division record of 12-8-1. They are seventh in goals per game at 3.05 and 14th in goals against/game at 2.57. Their EV scoring has been the biggest improvement. They have tallied 44 at EV, third most in the NHL.

They have made huge strides and for the first time in eleven seasons they look like a legitimate playoff contender.

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GDB 21.0: Mile High City

Jason Gregor
November 23 2016 07:31PM

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Pat Maroon

(photoshop: @isuckatpicking)

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The Oilers fly into the Mile High City with lofty expectations. A solid beginning to the season has them looking down at everyone in the western conference except Chicago and St. Louis. They should be satisfied with their 23 points, but not comfortable as Anaheim is one back, while San Jose and Los Angeles are two points behind.

Since the NHL switched to two divisions in each conference, 87.5% of western conference teams (21 of 24) who were in a playoff spot at the quarter mark of the season made the playoffs. Each year one team fell out of a playoff spot over the final 3/4 of the season.

Last year the Jets were in eighth today, but Anaheim, after their atrocious start, bumped them out. In 2015, LA was seventh and missed, while the Jets jumped up from ninth to make it. In 2014, Phoenix (now Arizona) was in fourth spot (14-4-3), but they finished ninth, two points behind Dallas who sat in ninth place at the quarter mark.

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Depth: A good problem

Jason Gregor
November 22 2016 04:19PM

Depth

The Edmonton Oilers have a depth problem. However, it is finally not a lack of depth.

Todd McLellan currently has two veteran forwards with a combined 920 NHL games of experience sitting in the pressbox. Mark Letestu has played well. He leads the Oilers with two shorthanded goals and is tied for ninth in team scoring with six points. Benoit Pouliot just played his 500th career game, and despite going pointless in 11 games, he is still tied for seventh on the Oilers with three goals.

But both have sat out for two games and after Monday's 5-0 victory over Chicago it might reach three games of eating popcorn in the pressbox.

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