The Kind of Goaltending That Makes a Saint Swear

Jonathan Willis
December 24 2014 11:45AM

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Every year there are a handful of teams that start out at a certain level – good, middling, bad – and are then either impelled upward by glorious goaltending or dragged downward by shoddy goaltending. A very good team can come *this* close to missing the playoffs if it sticks with Ty Conklin; a bad team can ride Semyon Varlamov all the way to the postseason.

Guess which side of that chasm the Oilers are on this year.

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Jeff Petry & the Detroit Red Wings

Jonathan Willis
December 23 2014 09:06AM

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It’s no secret that the Detroit Red Wings are anxious to add a right-shooting defenceman to their roster. The club has been linked to pretty much every name out there – from Tyler Myers in Buffalo to Tom Gilbert in Montreal to Mike Green in Washington and, yes, to Jeff Petry in Edmonton.

Apparently, discussions between the Wings and the Oilers on the matter go back to the summer.

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Edmonton Oilers demote Anton Lander. Presumably there's a reason.

Jonathan Willis
December 21 2014 09:05PM

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Well, nobody’s going to say Anton Lander didn’t get a fair crack at the NHL. He had six shots, four hits and won 69 percent of his faceoffs in his latest one-game call-up, so naturally the Edmonton Oilers – loaded to the gills with centres who do all that stuff – shipped him off to the farm moments after the end of that game.

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Leon Draisaitl, Healthy Scratch

Jonathan Willis
December 20 2014 02:30PM

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In what can variously be described as a victory for meritocracy, a victory for proper development or a blow to proper development, it appears that the Edmonton Oilers will make Leon Draisaitl a healthy scratch for Sunday’s game against the Dallas Stars.

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Craig MacTavish and his Centres

Jonathan Willis
December 19 2014 01:45PM

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It’s a lot of fun watching Craig MacTavish behind the Oilers’ bench. The man can flat-out coach and honestly this would probably be a better organization if he were in that role full-time and somebody else were pulling the strings from the general manager’s office.

But it’s also interesting to watch the general manager behind the bench, because every assignment he makes says something about how the Oilers’ top decision maker sees his team. What he did with his centres against San Jose on Thursday is fascinating.

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