GDB 23.0: GOING STREAKING

Old School is one my favourite movies. Mitch, Frank "The Tank" and Beanie were an excellent combination of sarcasm, smarts, idiocy and yearning to re-live youth.

Frank ended up going streaking by himself, and ends up getting picked up by his embarrassed wife and her fan full of friends. Classic.

If the Oilers plan to start their own winning streak, they will need more than one guy leading the charge. The Oilers haven’t won two straight since winning on the road in Ottawa (Oct 19th) and in Montreal (Oct 22nd). That is the only positive streak the Oilers have been on all season, and considering they haven’t won at home since October 7th, it would a refreshing change for the home fans to see a solid effort.

The Oilers have lost six straight at home and they’ve been outscored 23-3. That is embarrassingly bad. You can’t sugarcoat it.  They are 1-7 at home, they’ve been outscored 32-11and their only win came in a shootout. It is time the Oilers start rewarding their loyal fans with a good effort, and hopefully some offence.

The Oilers have scored one ES goal at home in the last 360 minutes. One, and it was scored by a defenceman, Justin Schultz, late in the game vs. Washington. How is that even possible? What makes it even more concerning is that you are supposed to get favourable matchups at home, yet lately Sutherby and Strudwick are more likely to score than the Oilers forwards.

The fans pay big bucks and despite the awful start, they are still coming to the games. No more excuses, no more talk of moral victories, who cares about shots for or against or scoring chances. Just work harder and score. Go to the damn net, pay the price and shoot the puck.

LINEUP

Hall-RNH-Eberle
Yakupov-Gagner-Hemsky
Smyth-Gordon-Perron
Jonesuu-Acton-Gazdic

Belov-J.Schultz
Ference-Petry
N. Schultz-Potter

Dubnyk

Justin Schultz returns to the lineup after missing eight games due to a groin injury. Schultz will help moving the puck out of the zone, but he needs to shoot the puck in the offensive zone. Philip Larsen had 19 shots in 8 games, and he helped make the PP better. Schultz has 20 shots in 14 games, and I’d like to see him shoot more often rather than look to pass.

PARTING SHOTS…

  • Look for the Oilers weakside D-man to start pinching again. In Florida they stopped pinching, because the forwards weren’t making the right decision, which led to too many odd man rushes. When the D-man pinches it is vital that the high forward make the right read and not be too low in the zone. The 3F (high guy usually) has to anticipate when the weak side D is going to pinch, and he needs to swing high in the zone and shade over to that side.
     
  • Have Oilers fans become adverse to hard plays. I can’t believe Andrew Ference is taking grief for his fight with Lee Stempniak. Stempniak crushed Ference with a hard hit; Ference was annoyed by it and elected to go after Stempniak. The Oilers rarely push back, and when one finally does, some fans actually complained about it. Go back and watch tapes of the Oilers in the 80s, do you think they were choir boys all the time? They were incredibly skilled, but they also were tough and didn’t let teams take advantage of them.

    If anything, Oiler fans should be excited that they have a player who is wiling to stand up for himself. He took matters into his own hands. This team needs more guys to play with an edge or emotion.
     

  • David Perron is the only forward who has an ES point in the last six home games. We’ve focused a lot on the lack of a top-pairing D-man, which is true, but until this group of forwards can sustain a cycle in the offensive zone they will struggle scoring. It is time the forwards started carrying their weight on home ice.
     
  • READ THIS….We would like to sell out DJ Suitcase today. So as a bonus, we will do a draw today at 5:45 from everyone who bought a ticket. The winner will get a pair of seats to tonight’s Oiler game and Thursday’s. The party will be fun, and now you will have a chance to go to two Oiler games. Buy your DJ Suitcase tickets here. All proceeds go to The Inner City Children’s Program. Good luck and thank you.

LOOKING AHEAD….

 

GAME DAY PREDICTION: At some point they have to win at home don’t they? The Oilers record for consecutive home losses is 9, between October 16th, 1993 to November 24th, 1993. That was a span of 39 days. The Oilers last home win this year was October 7th, a span of 43 days. The season ticket holders, mini pack holders or single game buyers deserve a win. Oilers shock all of us with a 6-2 win.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Hall gets two points. He has 11 points in 8 career games vs. the Blue Jackets.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: After hearing all the talk about whether the Oilers should have drafted Ryan Murray instead of him, Nail Yakupov scores a pair of goals, and crushes Murray with a heavy hit. After the game Yakupov says it was nothing personal, but also points out that if the Oilers had drafted Murray that J. Schultz likely wouldn’t have signed in Edmonton. That ends the "what if" debate about who they should have drafted. 

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR