While Detroit and Columbus battle for 8th place in the west, and the Rangers and Jets try to giveaway their playoff berth, the Oilers are in an epic battle to secure a top-five draft pick. Victories by Carolina and Nashville last night have given the Oilers a legitimate shot at the #4 pick, and a loss tonight would move them into 26th (fifth pick).

I feel for Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and the other players who give a solid effort most nights, because losing sucks, and this year the feelings of frustration, anger, failure and disappointment are more apparent than ever. Oilersnation is as beaten down as some of the players. Many said the 2012 season was rock bottom, however, that isn’t the case; this year is turning out to be worse.

The Oilers were supposed to improve and compete for the playoffs this year. They did have a five-game winning streak that had them in the playoffs for ONE day, but since that 24-hour tease the Oilers have plummeted down the standings.

There will be no quick fix for the Oilers in the off-season. They won’t be able to fool their fans into believing that an appearance by Oscar Klefbom and their first-round pick will be enough to make them competitive. They sure as hell better not fool themselves into believing that, because the reality is that this team needs improving in many areas.

The most pressing concern for this team is the need to improve their blueline. You can’t win with limited size and strength on the backend. They desperately need a legitimate top-pairing defender, however, those aren’t easy to find. 

Those changes aren’t possible during these final three games, but the players who are in the lineup tonight can at least give an honest effort. Show some pride, show some desire. When your best player, Taylor Hall, is giving a solid effort you’d think the lower-tier players would follow his lead.

If they don’t, that should tell Craig MacTavish all he needs to know.





Ryan Whitney has a lower body injury, leg, and he will sit tonight. Magnus Paajarvi is healthy so Eric Belanger returns to the pressbox.

The Oilers need to show up tonight, or the Blackhawks will embarrass them. The good news is that the Oilers are 4-1-1 vs. the Hawks over the past two seasons. and they’ve outscored them 32-23.

At the very least they need to be competitive tonight.


  • I disagree with those who believe the Gretzky statue should stay at Rexall, IF or when a new arena actually gets built. Gretzky is connected to the Oilers, not Northlands, Sky Reach Centre or Rexall Place. Molsons purchased the statue and spokesperson Julie Gathercole said,
  • I did, however, agree with Mark Spector’s thoughts on my show. He said, "The Katz Group should step up and build their own statue at the new rink." That makes sense. They should finally step up and lead the charge. They should build some real statues, like the Roberto Clemente one in Pittsburgh (above, how awesome is that). Make a statement and show the fans you are committed to the past, present and future of your franchise. Spend some of your own money.
  • Why are so many fans in love with Teemu Hartikainen? What has he done? He has played 22 games and he has 0 ES points. Zero. If I’m not mistaken, he hasn’t even been on the ice for an ES goal. He has an incredible opportunity to earn himself a regular NHL job, but he’s done nothing to show he wants that job. Players need to realize they don’t get NHL jobs handed to them. They need to earn them.
  • Ralph Krueger agreed that Hartikainen needs to be more aggressive and have more pushback. "It is important as part of your persona that you respond to that (Beauchemin hit), whether you are a skilled player or not. It is the grit within our offence that is a major element that is missing on our team. We need to have that from guys who aren’t PP guys. He is trying to figure that out, and he needs to become more aggressive with his personality."
  • Gotta love the NHL. The Panthers, the worst team in the league, defeated the Rangers, in a fight for their playoff lives, last night. Did anyone pick the Panthers on their Sports Select ticket? I doubt it. Most of us assume the Hawks will win tonight, but in the NHL you never know from game-to-game who will win.
  • Oscar Klefbom has spent the past few seasons playing against men, and he looks like he can handle the physical toll of the NHL. He is bigger than many of the guys in the Oilers room. It was refreshing to hear this from Krueger today, "I think he will be able to come to camp and push for the #6 spot on our blueline." The last thing the Oilers need to do is pencil him into their top-four. They need to find proven top-four veterans to play there. If Klefbom comes in and blows the doors off, great, but this team can’t expect to improve if they pin their hopes on another young defender.
  • Alex Ovechkin leads the NHL with 31 goals. In the 48-game, 1995 season five players had 30+ goals. Owen Nolan, Ray Sheppard and Alex Zhamnov had 30, Jaromir Jagr had 32 and Peter Bondra led the league with 34 goals. The crazy stat is that Bondra only had 9 assists. NINE freaking assists in 48 games, despite scoring 34 goals.
  • Here are some other goal-scoring leaders who came close to Bondra’s Goals/assist ratio:
                                         YEAR     GP       G         A       PTS
    Cy Denneny               1924      22        22       2        24
    Babe Dye                   1925      29        38       8        46
    Nels Stewart             1926      36        34       8        44
    Maurice Richard       1945      50        50       23      73
    Gaye Stewart             1946      50        37       15      52   
    Bobby Hull                 1962      70        50       34      84
    Bobby Hull                 1967      66        52       28      80
    Peter Bondra             1995      47        34        9       43

    Bondra’s season was unlike anything the NHL had seen in 70 years.

  • Did you notice Babe Dye’s 1925 season? He had 38 goals in 29 games, which was 1.31 goals/game. When Gretzky scored 50 in 39 he was at 1.28. Technically Dye had missed one of his team’s game so he had 38 goals in 30 of his team’s games which dropped him to 1.26. Either way, Dye had an unreal 1925 season. 
  • Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Devan Dubnyk have accepted invitations to the World Championships. Sources tell me Steven Stamkos, Claude Giroux, Eric and Jordan Staal are also likely to be going. Also Justin Schultz, Nick Schultz and Sam Gagner might get an invite. Ladislav Smid will play for the Czech Repulic. Nail Yakupov, Jeff Petry also have a good chance of representing the USA and Russia.


GAME DAY PREDICTION: The last time the Hawks were in Edmonton Sam Gagner had 4 goals and 8 points. No one expected that to happen, so anything is possible tonight. We’ll see 10 goals tonight, but the Oilers will lose 6-4.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Andy Moog gets a huge ovation, and before puck drop someone will have the Moog mini-stick they received before the game listed on Kijiji. Likely for $30 bucks.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Oilers fans despite being beaten down, will give a standing ovation in the 2nd period after the 4-89-14 line hem the Hawks in for 30 seconds. The dedication and passion of Oilers fans never ceases to amaze me.


  • The Soup Fascist

    We want a controlled laterally strong 3 man transition into the o-zone,with a d-man ready to come in behind right to the net to clean up garbage. Not a semi-fast break give and go attempt like we tried there for a bit.ANd when we finish the give and gos we need to use a onetime redirection or some type of quick-release onetimer,we need to speed our shots up,the zone entry is controlled but we execute the onetimer type of shots.

    Simple method.

    All is well,just hit the o-zone entrys better with lateral strength ,use the onetimers and have a d-man coming in upspeed down the middle for the rebounds we box out with our 3 man entry and net collapse.

  • The Soup Fascist

    Well the simple goddarn play worked fine for the Hawks, but I was hoping we would execute it,ha ha ha ha ha, the Oilers are so dysfunctional man.They just keep on kissing their sister.

  • Reg Dunlop

    J Schultz to Nail for the onetimers,lets work it times a flying.What happened to the fast release onetimers 5on5? And why always the huge windups, faster pass,shorter windup.

  • Reg Dunlop

    Assuming the oil lose out, a TB win over Fla and a big effort from Nashville in Columbus puts the oil in 28th. 30th, then 29th and now 28th. Movin on up like George Jefferson! Stanley comes home in 2040.

  • Rocket

    Well that game was something that happened. The fans didn’t really even boo The Oilers too much. Maybe even the ticket holders are getting apathetic.

    Anyway, how ’bout that other local sports team. You know the one that can actually beat a calgary hockey team. Great series.

    Go Oilkings!

  • Dubnyk stood on his head and still lost. Without paying much attention I counted 6 breakaways. That is bush league hockey. The first one occurred because Hall decided to try to deke 4 Hawks instead of chipping it deep. That set the tone.

    If the d-men know this happens repeatedly, I’m not sure why they just don’t back up. Yeah the game is fast but… they do this for a frickn living. Someone along the way isn’t accepting the system.

  • The only hope now is to find Kyle Wellwood. He will know what to do. Did you know that during one 60 second stretch in a game 4 years ago Wellwood was a +2? That works out to be +120 per 60 mins!!! He is obviously superior to every Oiler that ever lived ever in everington everville.

    Find the Wellwood, Save the World.

  • Crispy

    I know people are sick of losing, but with our loss and Tampa’s win, this is great for the draft. Tampa is playing Florida in game 48 and are just one point behind us. I want Barkov!

  • The Soup Fascist

    Agree. But too early to write him off. Kid has boat loads of talent. Oilers needed to find him a skilled veteran and they failed to do that. If MacT can right that wrong he will settle down. College and AHL was far too easy for him. NHL speed and size has been a wake up call.

    • The Soup Fascist

      How did you do that ?? Are you a psychic or something? Can you share:

      Friday’s Lotto max numbers? …. The next team DSF will be a fan of???? …… What posessed Gregor to wear the jeans in the picture above????

  • Quicksilver ballet

    28th a real possibility now. Gives the Oilers a real shot at MacKinnon or Barkov. Lie back and think of England all… it’ll be over soon.

    Speaking of british humour. For those on Netflix, check out that sitcom THE IT CROWD, what a hoot. Haven’t laughed this much since season 1 Modern Family.

  • Clyde Frog

    After watching us put up pathetic offensive numbers for 85% of the season, struggling to win games 2-1 and lose scoring one goal or less for the rest…

    I think it is safe to say Krueger’s non-powerplay system just sucks.

    That or he has zero buy in and can’t figure out how to get it…

    But in 45 games, the players either are playing it or just can’t.

    I give him a coin flips chance in hell of making it.

  • J. Huberdeau is -16. He averages 17 mins Time On Ice per game. He’s played 42 games. That means he gets scored on every 42×17/16 = 44.6 minutes.

    J.Schultz is -19, with 21.5 mins Time On Ice per game. He also has played 42 games. That means he gets scored on every 42×21.5 = 47.5 minutes.

    Obviously since Huberdeau gets scored on more often than Schultz, he cannot play hockey. At all.

    See how you’re dumb, Deliberate Stats Fudger? I doubt you do.

    • The Soup Fascist

      This stat is impossible. Apparently you are unaware Dale Talon is the GM of that team and there is no way he would allow such an atrocity to occur on his watch.

      • Time Travelling Sean

        Yea but Hubby is a 19 yr old rookie, Schultz Jr is 22, so his rookie season ought to be judged more as his 3rd season in the league, which indicates that every year he’ll be a – player, and seeing as he is 22 he has no room to improve, rookie season or no.

  • 2004Z06

    Time to move on to your next target DSF…That J. Shultz horse is dead. Here is a question for you though….How many NHL games have you played? Coached? Thats what I thought.

    My god man you are picking on a KID playing on a crappy team with no heart. He has played too many games, too many minutes and too high on the depth chart for a rookie.

    Blame the coach/management group for failing to provide him with some support! Leave the kid alone already.

    I just don’t understand what you have to gain from this incessant behavior.

    I respect your right to an opinion, but every day its the same crap.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Tampa Bay has the 2 top leading scorers in the NHL right now. That sure hasn’t translated into team success. See them as being in the same boat as the Oilers. Questionable goaltending, missing some grit up front, and not a legitimate top pairing blueliner on their roster.

      • Quicksilver ballet

        See him more as a 3/4 guy. Perhaps a 2 if injuries push him up the depth chart for a couple weeks at a time. Not enough of a biscuit/basket ratio for a top pairing guy. The kid hasn’t disappointed I don’t think, but when your grabbing D’men in lottery positions, you’re setting yourself up for possibly disappointment.

        Even if the Oilers do get that No.1 pick again. I’d shy away from Seth Jones and make MacKinnon the first overall selection. The best defenseman taken in the entry draft is rarely the first defenseman chosen. Oilers need to put that 2nd line center position to bed now.

        • The Soup Fascist

          I think we are debating on a mute point. No way the Oilers win the lottery again. The Oilers lottery envelope is already in the freezer, so Jones / MacKinnon won’t be an issue.

          But ….. I would stay away from MacKinnon like L.Lohan dodges sobriety. I think he has “overated” written all over him. If I had the choice I would take Jones all day long. I believe with his athleticism he is going to be a generational defenceman. Plus Jay-Z could likely get Beyonce in as between period entertainment. Yowza.

          I believe the decision, depending on how bad the other bottom feeder teams play the last couple games, a more likely scenario is a “Drouin / Barkov” or a “Nichushkin / Monahan” debate. In both cases I take the big center, although Nichushkin is a big winger with skill.

          To me Drouin or MacKinnon are mistakes. BPA, I get but, geez another small forward???

  • G Money

    My prediction of a 3-1 Oilers loss with either Hall or Yak scoring the lone goal was off-by-one. Man that Yakupov kid is terrible, DSF really knows what he’s talking about.

    @Rocket – Thanks man! It’s like shooting fish in a barrel, though.

    @2004Z06 – He’s bitter that young Schultz signed with the Oilers and not the Canucks. (P.S. you own a Z06? Got it on the road yet? I just took my NSX out of storage, but gotta get that nasty gravel off the road… sigh).

  • G Money

    @Clyde Frog – I am firmly in the camp of “the system is to blame.”

    Take a look at the Corsi numbers for Oilers this year vs the last number of years. Even though Gagner and Hemsky have never been great defensive players, they have always been pretty good at driving the play the right way, and also pretty consistently over the last three years.

    This year, Gagner is 13 (!!!!) shots per 60 minutes worse than last year. Hemsky’s Corsi is also worse by anywhere from 14 to 8 shots per 60 (depending on year of comparison). He’s gone from consistently plus to way negative (like -12).

    But the most damning statistic – assuming that Corsi is a statistic you accept as having some validity – is that EVERY ONE of our defenders except Schultz Sr are worse than last year. In fact, every one of them except Schultz Sr are WORSE THAN ALEX PLANTE WAS LAST YEAR.

    That kind of across-the-board decline is not age, or fatigue, or cheating for offense, or rookieness. I believe it is RK’s system. As I understand it, we are the only team in the league using it, which suggests RK figures he knows this stuff better than any other coach – and when you think you’re the smartest guy in the room, trouble is usually afoot.

    My question is more simple – with that kind of broad based decline, if not the system, then … what?

    The Oilers desperately need to figure out the answer to that question before they/we have any hope of truly improving defensively.

    Good night all!

    • Quicksilver ballet

      Your logic is inescapable.

      Might I add that the Oilers are “trying” to execute the NewAge Hockey System and they dont know how to do it fully and completely.It is NOT new to the NHL,I introduced it in concept and philosophy to the NHL is developmental stages over the last 3 years,the LA kings owe me validation for they used NHS adjustments to their system to make their Cup run and win it all.I created the NHS,and offered it to the Oilers the team whose core i used to design the dynamic template.I created the NHS for the Oilers.

      But I didnt release all of the system data to anyone,I asked for a job first,and was ignored,and my data was utilised anyways for free, there was an as we can see unsucessfull attempt to copy-cat the NHS,this isnt possible as I have never released the systemic handbook to anyone ever,that critical data I kept for the Oilers once they accepted me as source,I released to the public methods of using the NHS to adjust common systems being used all over the NHL.

      The story is right here in Edmonton,and the best part is that get this, the Oilers have simply been scabbing very very good data from online and trying to disprove the source as they also try to incorporate the data ha, ha,h a.They have tried to take the data I provided and evolve it,they have tried to figure out how the entire NHS works from a few philosophical ideologys that were tailored to fit the system they used historiclly.It will not work for them. The Oilers tried to discredit me as a source of new and innovative data and are taking it in the pie-hole for that stance. They turned the NHS down and tried to supress it and me long ago.In fact as far as I am concerned it cost us a Stanley Cup because the Oilers had full acess to the creator and all of the NewAge Hockey System data LA utilised starting with about 25 gms to go in the regular season prior to their cup run.In fact we were trying the same tactics during tht time,we just didnt stick with them all like LA did,we had no faith.Just arrogance that caused denial and a lack of integrity that caused suppression, the results the team is recieving are well deserved and as pros they all know the things that need to change around here.I am surprised Doug weight hasnt tracked the NHS down yet. Most hockey people cant accept that anything NEW could ever be concieved,ha ha ha,it is what it is,and it is the Moma2s NewAge Hockey System.

      Instead of standing and delivering like men the Oilers brass turtled and refused to validate the source of the new data they were incorporating, they instead chose to copy-cat what they could get for free.That was a mistake.

      Fortunately the entire NHS system database is still available to the Oilers, I havent redlined them yet but its dam close.It just got a whole lot more expensive for them because they tried to buy the equivilant influence by hiring Darkhorse,they mistook Statistical Darkhorse influence for Intuitive NewAge Hockey System influences.It cost them dearly to ignore me and supress the NHS,it cost them dearly to bring in the influence that damaged them terminally this season with statistical false/positives,and believe me brother it will cost them dearly to now retain and validate me so I can help them use the NHS and its Intuition based systemic philosophys to re-tool their focus and balance the natural statistical perspective their wealth of NHLers has.

      I posted a dynamic template 3 years ago BEFORE I released and NHS data at all outlining exactly how the Oilers would react to the NHS data presentation,exactly,from how they would identify it and internally validate it right down to trying to ignore me,supress me as the source of the NHS and then try to utilise the NHS data by integrating as much into their present system as they could manage.

      The Kings,Hawks,Blues and others are actively and sucessfully implementing these NHS systemic tactics and philosophys.

      The Oilers have had the ability to directly acess the NHS database and its creator,they made a CONCIOUS decision to ignore the source and to refuse to validate their use of any of the data.

      You cannot replicate Intuition and that is what the NHS is based on so if i am not there to interpret every step of the way one-on-one with the coaches it isnt going to fly,not at all.It was a stretch for most hockey people to pick up the few components i posted,and the ones that got it right away used it right away because it automaticlly makes sense when you understand the application.Dougie Weight was a blast to watch as he began to sniff out the dynamic intentions he was seeing.Jarret Stoll and other also caught on very early.There are many Oilers who subscribe to parts of the NHS and it shows in their play on the ice.

      In a nutshell the NewAge Hockey system is not like any system being used today, the Oilers ARE NOT useing the full NHS at all, they are simply trying to replicate the NHS in their own egg-headed way,the Oilers are doing exactly what the other teams i listed are doing and that is applying NHS core value concepts to the systems they use now,the NHS evolved from these systems ,it is new ,it is an EVOLUTION,so it incorportates many of the systemic core values all of the current systems combined utilise.This means it is easy to adjust the systems teams use today useing NHS philsophys and dynamic tactics,WITHOUT,integrating full or pure tangible NHS data.This is what I have done as a taste test if you will, a free introduction,it took me 3 years and much work but to date the NHS can claim unofficial part influence in one LA Stanley Cup,3 years and one cup without formal recognition or application,its to much to believe isnt it?

      Well lets just say that the NHS is 100% catalysed by Intuative Dynamic Analysis and Managment tactics and Philosophys.It is like a safe that can NEVER be cracked.Not unless you are an Intuit yourself. The mighty Oilers have been trying to pull Excaliber out of the Stone for 3 years and have failed each attempt, a simple apology and a fat cheque ought to make water under the bridge, to be honest its getting scary that so many teams are going to the controlled transition style because we are so crappy at manageing that type of game,our traditional system was fastbreak based and had no plan B.ha ha ha.

      Yes the Oilers are the only team in the NHL useing their system but their system is a cheap knock-off of mine.They stole the wheels from my hotrod and now they are trying to make their Vlokswagon roll with the Big Boys.And to think I tried to simply give it to them because it was created for them initially,Hmph.

      The punch-line is that an Intuit like myself can step into any systemic program and ADD to it immediatly. The results the NHS tactics can produce are transposable onto any system out there. You just need to know the language and understand how to read the dynamic landscape.

      Lets just call it the Mystery System huh?ha ha ha.Whatever the influences are they can produce tremendous and dominant results when they are followed,fans are resourcefull today and connected,cumulatively they never miss a step,never. People are seeing something happen sometimes but they dont know what to call it or how to identify it,there is no “book” on it.I am the book.The Oilers are trying to hotwire something they dont understand and they are suffering total disconnects every time they hit a bump.Ha ha ha ha.

      Statistics are telling a totally new story when the stats guys analyse results, it is discombobulated in many areas,reverse areas of strength and weakness but not a bad attempt at balance considering how the stats print out,ha ha ha,this is because they are experimenting with Dynaic managment tactics,they dont have a firm grasp at all,really a toe-nails grasp,but nevertheless their stats are telling a new and interesting story if you dig into the right areas.sooner or later some Statty will come asking for rational tangible reasons why this is so and try to connect the dots.

      The Oilers are trying to manage an Intuition based system without an Intuit,and they are getting predictable results,its like getting a Bus driver to fly a Concorde,ha ha ha.Once in a long while he will get er lined up and break the sound barrier but most times he will be fiddeling with switches and cramming manuals trying to learn on-the-fly.

      Daryl Katz has lots of Money and I doubt he has an Intuit on the dole, and even if he does,ha ha,it wont be one with a background like mine that created an entirely new hockey system like the NHS.So the beat goes on,and we can either continue to watch this potentiasl dynasty throw critical contractual years away or we can diagnose this system dysfunction and demand managment respond,first we need to pigeonhole them by learning and passing on the causality or the system weakness data to everyone we know, the more educated fans become regarding systemics the more they can all add their cumulative and incredibly powerfull influences to solving the Oilers system dilemma.Remember that it is one thing to be critical and another to be constructively critcal,the latter comes with a superior solution,I say the causes of the Oilers organisational stagnancy are historiclly and systemiclly catalysed, and the NHS is the tailormade solution they require .

  • G Money

    It is interesting to note how ineffective the second line has been since Hemmer got hurt. His speed opens things up for Gagner similar to how Hall creates space for Nuge and Ebs.

    FWIW, the vets shut down a few games ago and now the young guys are as well. Not a good situation at all for the team. If MacT does not do a major overhaul with the vets on this team in addition to finding 3 capable NHL d-men (keep Fistric as a 7) to go with Smid, Petry and JSchultz then we can expect another year without the playoffs next season……