After watching the Mighty Oilers beat the Pens in an impressive fashion some of us find ourselves wondering if that level of compete and compelling victory are a one time aberration or a sign of things to come. It was a grand time on Friday night, with rarely seen "hooting" "hollering" and "legitimate excitement" felt by many Oilers fans. 

The team that came back in the third period was an entirely different squadron than we have seen on many a night and they need to be seen more often. And quick.



The Oilers are a business and any business is subject to cycles. The Oil spectacularly peaked early on in the NHL and it seems as though Oilers fans have paid for every championship calibre game in the 80s with an equal period of terribility in the 10s. The Oil have since averaged out early market dominating performance with a trough so long you can see it from space. But this is where you have to look at the long game. You see? The Oilers aren’t so bad when you look at them on a long enough time horizon. You just need to take an average of the last 500 years!


If you look at the Oilers as a business it’s staggering to think that the Oilers have easily spent over $400 million on salaries since they last made the playoffs and haven’t seen a second of post season action for their buck. That’s an eye popping sum that Kay-Z has sent out the door and with nothing coming back in return. Brutal.

But as is the case with any stock, good money is made by calling a market bottom. That’s the time the savvy investor takes a look at the fundamentals of the business and decides if the worst is behind the company and brighter days lay ahead. Has the market changed? Has the business made significant changes? Are there new key executives involved who understand the issues they face and have a plan to turn things around?

Even the most pissed off Oilers fan will grudgingly admit the Oilers are a  much better team than they were anywhere between 2007-11. And though recent changes to Coach and GM have frustratingly yet to bear fruit it is way too soon to call for the heads of Eakins and MacT. We actually like where Mac T’s head these days, having read a mile long interview with him this afternoon.

As Robin Brownlee pointed out, David Staples has a massive 4 part interview with MacT over at the Edmonton Journal that is one of the better Oilers pieces we can recall for awhile. For someone trying to gauge if the Oilers are anywhere near coming off market bottom we offer the words of the man charged with turning the business around:

"When I took over my one mandate was to turn this team over to the guys who are ultimately going to lead us out of this, and that was largely the draft choices, Taylor, Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle, and put them in very prominent positions. No hiding them in the match-ups. Turning them loose to the toughest match ups. And at the start of this year, that didn’t go well. It went poorly. But I believe strongly failure is a great motivator. I think that those failures really helped those players try and restructure their game and the way they think the game and some of the decision making that they make during a game."

Bear in mind that the title of the article itself quotes MacT saying "I’m not arguing that were close were not" but if you read the entire interview it’s immediately clear that MacT is infinitely more on the ball than our dear Tambellini ever was and he seems to understand the issues crippling his business even if he has yet to do anything significant to address them. As an MBA grad one would hope he applies all that book learnin and starts making some moves soon.

It may not be market bottom for the Oilers yet – but a few more confidence building wins like the one against the Penguins and it may be closer than it feels most days.


And so flush with the temporary confidence that comes from beating the Penguins the Oilers face off with the Chicago Blackhawks today in Chicago. How good are the Hawks? Very. How good are the Oil? Somewhere between terrible and brutal. But the Pens are on a 7-2-1 streak in their past 10 and the Oil can pat themselves on the back for providing half of those losses.

Believe it or not the Oilers are 4-2-1 in last 7 trips to Chicago. A win tonight would be their third win in their last 4 games all against the top 9 teams in the NHL. Hmm. You never know.


The Oilers have yet to tweet their lineups but as of 2:50 PM the lines are as follows according to Please shoot any updates into the comments as they are released and keep us all on top of the very latest. 




The Hawks have also yet to finalize their lines as of press time but the latest combinations are presented here.


GAME DAY PREDICTION: Oh what the hell. The Oilers win 4-3, causing hundreds of thousands of Oilers fans petitioning the United Nations for Kevin Lowe’s resignation to stop their protest for a brief moment in celebration before resuming their cause in earnest.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Jordan Eberle scores 2 goals and hundreds of new Oilers fans are born exactly 9 months from today as a result of worldwide jubilation immediately after the game.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Fresh off a 2 goal game, The Nuge has a 3 point night. Although he has had one hell of a weekend he still reports to Grade 1 classes on Monday morning like every other student in his class. Full of youthful energy and wonder and delicious victory pie.

  • **

    For anyone still saying Dubnyk is a starter but the team in front of him is pulling him down, Ryan Miller has a .928 sv% and a 2.58 GAA on a team worse than the Oilers.

    Dubnyk is .895 sv% and 3.30 GAA.

    Even Berra and Ramo are doing better for Calgary at .899 and .900, 3.03, 2.88

  • outdoorzguy

    “the Oilers are a much better team than they were anywhere between 2007-11”.

    Wayne could you please explain why anyone would come to this conclusion? The Oil are trending to their all tome worst finish.

  • outdoorzguy

    How does anyone think this team is an improvement over anything over the last dozen years? This organization is the laughing stock of all pro sports. Even Winnipeg has done something to right the ship. The management blinders have to come off, although I think they are just plain incompetent to see what is going on. Come on people, start to rise up and show your 12 year frustration. Enough is enough. Stop this madness now!

  • outdoorzguy

    To that one person said give klow credit. Yes some of your co workers will say some good things about you but if your work ain’t up to snuff the negatives will always prevail. My prediction is he resigns or Katz gives him full ownership of the team. He’s got no where else to go but own the team. But honestly you actually think the guy would even want to be back next year. The only bad part about this for him is that the year he leaves the oilers make the playoffs. And it’s gonna look to be all his fault and unfortunately for him all the negative rebuild problems are gonna look to be his fault.

  • D-Unit

    2 things:

    1. How does Gagner get the second most ice time among the forwards? Why does a coach want such a liability on the ice that much?

    2. Why can’t the Edmonton media throw some difficult questions at the Oilers Coaching and Management? How would the Montreal media be with the Canadiens if they were this terrible? Can Edmonton and Montreal switch media personnel for a few weeks? I think it would be very interesting, even if I could only understand half of them.

  • **

    I fully realize we lose this game no matter what, but the refs sure were looking like they had big money on the Hawks.

    I thought Hemsky looked good; not much else though.
    Team was fighting the puck all night, could never make one nice pass.
    Like someone mentioned above, the play was dying consistently on Gagner’s stick.

  • geeker99

    Oilers keep buying into the hype from other city media or their scouts. They said Eakin was a hot coaching coming out of AHL, Oilers hired him. Scouting reports each year (mostly from 29 other teams) picked soft top player as number one ranking knowing Oilers get 1st pick, Oilers felled for it and pick that player. As a result Oilers have all these (top skills players) top ranked scouting report picks and top coaching candidate pick. The result is now what we all see, more bottom 5 finish and out of playoffs. If you know the secret of a goose that lay golden eggs, would you tell everyone about it? So why the hell do the Oilers listen to what other people out there telling them which players to pick and who to coach the team?

    • geeker99

      Eberle was 22nd overall pick so we can remove him from this equation.

      In 2010 was basically between Hall and Seguin which Oilers was looking for a scorer more than a playmaker. During 2009~2010 that the team was a mess so any good quality players were needed.

      In 2011 that the draft was considered to be relatively weak, the top 4 skaters were RNH, Landeskog, Huberdeau, and Larsson. Landeskog might be a better player so far but consider he is play on the same position as Hall and Oilers has no playmaker that was understandably that they choose a C. Huberdeau had a good year last year and he is just bad this year. Larsson is still searching his game in between AHL and NHL so that is not much of a desirable choice.

      In 2012 is plain and simple that Yakupov was NHL ready, and he was sharp off the bat. Can you think of others that could be a better choice than Yakupov at that year? Others were
      either still in minors or on IR. Only Lindholm is playing well because he is playing behind veteran leaders and a solid team.

      If you want to blame scouts, don’t. Oilers scout has been a lot better in recent years than before. The management on the other hand has not given the young players enough time to develop. It is just expectation were too high on all the youngsters to deliver right away.

  • geeker99

    Wayne are you really happy with where MacT has taken the team this year? What fluff you write. MacT hired and continues to support a rookie coach who has no effin idea how to coach in the NHL. Are you scared of losing your back door pass to the dressing room. I am sick of media in this town not calling out management. Anything short of demanding managerial change is just fluff.

  • geeker99

    we all saw aekins AHL system till november 15.
    Yes Dallas double high pressure works well against AHL players slow to react and reduced passing skills.

    In the NHL players pass to the open space in the center of the ice and in the box in front of the net.

    we went 4W-15L-2OTL.

    Since then we have played 27 games.
    we are 11W-13L-3OTL

    11 of the 13 losses reflect how dominate the top 6 in the west are.

    2 @ANA
    2 STL
    the rest of the league would average 1pt from these games

    @VCR BTB
    CHI; @CHI
    the league would get 2 pts from these games.

    The league would average 3 pts out of a possible 22 in these games.

    in the other 16 games we are 11-2-3
    we are 5-2-1 against the east

    2-1 against the eastern conferences top 3

    we have 4 games that are in the clear loss category.
    the other games are against teams we were highly successful against.

    It will be interesting to seethe decisions up to olympic trade deadline.