31

A NEW YEAR: BETTER DAYS AHEAD

One more year almost gone. Another to come. With 2011 on the way, I can’t remember being this optimistic, be it about the Edmonton Oilers or life in general. That’s not my nature, as many readers here can attest, but as I slip into my 50-something years more gracefully than I thought myself capable, I…

38

Rockin’ New Years Eve

This is Valeri Kharlamov. He had a major impact on every Canadian hockey fan 38 years ago. Game 1, Canada-Russia. My father and I agreed that Frank Mahovlich would be the best player against the Soviets because of his size and skill (he wasn’t; that honor went to Phil Esposito). September 2, 1972. Canada had a 2-0…

63

GDB 36.0: THE AVALANCHE STARTS TONIGHT?

Life without Ryan Whitney begins tonight for the Oilers, and it doesn’t seem likely that they will have the horses to stay competitive. Whitney has been Mr. Everything for the Oilers this year. He leads them in points, assists, plus/minus and icetime. He is +13 on a team where the other D-men are all minus,…

59

The Lottery!

With Ryan Whitney out of the picture for two months, the Edmonton Oilers’ already strong chance at a lottery finish just got a little stronger. The reality is that this team has had a stranglehold on a lottery position since the get-go, and this is just a little extra insurance to get them over the…

59

UPDATED: WHITNEY OUT TWO MONTHS??

Back on December 3rd I wrote that the the Oilers were ready to put ELPH in the rearview mirror, and would not finish in the bottom five. Shows how much I know, although I did state the only way they would stay in the hunt for a lottery pick would be if the injury bug hit….

55

AT RANDOM: WHAT ABOUT ANDREW?

I don’t know if Andrew Cogliano is ever going to play his way back into the long-term plans of the Edmonton Oilers, but I can’t help but think his best chance to do it will come in the next month. That window of opportunity swings open tonight against the Buffalo Sabres, when he’ll line up…

27

GDB: 35.0 A DEBUT AND A RETURN

Jeff Petry was the Oilers first draft choice in 2006, 45th overall. After being drafted he spent one more season in Des Moines in the USHL, then three years of NCAA at Michigan State University, 32 games in Oklahoma in the AHL and tonight he will make his NHL debut. Petry looked decent at the rookie…

30

Oilers Prospects Flourish on WJ Stage

This is Martin Marincin at the World Junior’s a year ago. The Team Slovakia defender (and Oilers draft pick) is engaging Nazem Kadri on December 29, 2009. It looks like an effective play by the defender. Oiler draft picks are delivering more of the same at the Buffalo World Juniors this week.

59

GDB 34.0: HIBERNATE IN THY CAVES

Behold the Canadian Male. Full swing into the Christmas Season of Hibernation he shan’t leave his couch for days. The big morning is now behind him and there ain’t not nuthin’ to do until the New Year but watch WJC, eat wings and – oh what’s this? The Oilers play the Canucks tonight.

17

WJ’s Opening Day– the 2011 Eligibles

This is Sean Couturier. The big (6.03, 192 and barely 18) power winger enters this year’s Wolrld Junior Championships as the number one overall prospect for the 2011 draft. Although Oiler fans concede the Islanders and Devils are too dreadful to catch, Couturier isn’t the only name they can watch Boxing week with an eye to…

33

Steve Tambellini & The Quest For Grit

One of the over-arching themes of Steve Tambellini’s time as General Manager of the Edmonton Oilers has been the ongoing quest to make the team stronger, grittier, and more emotional. Few skillsets have been targeted with the same zeal and commitment with which the Tambellini Oilers have pursued players who fit those descriptors.

52

Size Has No Impact On Faceoff Percentage: 2009-10 Data

  A question that has come up a few times is whether big players tend to have an advantage when taking faceoffs. There is a certain logic to the idea that they do: after all, bigger, stronger players should be able to outmuscle their smaller counterparts in the faceoff circle. The data, however, suggests something…