GDB Wrap Up: Predators @ Oilers

Shea Weber

Testosterone gets Shea Weber injections. He is a terrifying man. Despite his terrifyingness, he was no match for the mighty Oil. Final Score: 5-1 Oilers

This weekend, a friend of mine offered me tickets to either tonight’s game against Nashville or Thursday’s game against Buffalo – oh the choices! Since I would rather watch Shea Weber play than cry over basement battles, I chose tonight’s game rather than Buffalo. One thing is for sure, seeing both Shea Weber AND Seth Jones on the same team is a little bit frustrating. The Oilers defence is so far behind what the Predators have it is almost cry worthy. Maybe it’s time to give Grebeshkov another look? Regardless, the good guys won and that’s all that matters.

Tonight’s game was a shining example of “where the hell did that come from?” Not only did the Oilers play a full 60 minutes, they defended each other AND outshot the other team. Let me give you a minute to let all that soak in.  It was beautiful. I’m tired of watching losing hockey and I don’t even care if the Oilers win themselves out of a lottery spot. The “ARGHHHH I’M ANGRY THAT THE OILERS SUCK. BLARRRGGHH I’M ANGRY THAT THEY WON BECAUSE THEY’RE NOT SUCKING AS BAD” makes no sense to me. At least the whiners don’t have to worry about it, Florida beat San Jose so we’re still in 29th place.

Let’s wrap this thing up…

The Bright Side

  • Viktor Fasth was a Swedish warlord in the net
  • The Old Dutch snack attack ALMOST came to my section
  • NUUUUUUUUUGE! Let the flood gates open
  • Return of the Ebersqueeeeeee

The Face Palmers

  • Eberle gets runs from behind, baby Nuge comes in to save him
  • Rexall DJ played neither Billy Idol nor Cotton Eye Joe
  • 3 Rexall beers cost 4x as much as my cab ride home
  • Jesse Joensuu didn’t play because he hurt himself kicking the boards
  • The fans that are pissed off about wins because they want another lottery pick

Best of the Tweets

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  • Spoils

    Watching a game like this, confuses me, but also reminds me that there’s no perfect way to build a team, and no one player to build it around.

    Nashville for example, is pretty much what every armchair gm was clamouring for the Oilers to become at the beginning of the year, right down to the man named Shea Weber. Trade our goal scorers to pick up our stud defender.

    Well Nashville arguably has two stud defenders and has for a long time. They also have a Vezina wining goalie, and a defence first system. And look where that has gotten them.

    It sucks that these wins are meaningless, however if they can take this style of play into next season, as well as upgrade on a few positions, maybe the fans won’t have to hold onto lottery pick hopes in order to be invested.

  • Zarny

    Just win baby! You don’t understand what a win can do for fans in town going to work next day. It’s also important that these youngins leave on a good note and get a feeling of what winning means for everyone. Loving Marincin and Klefbom. I have more faith in Mac T going into this off season. Go Oil.

      • Spydyr

        Yes, because 3-4 more wins at the end of another meaningless season is worth more then a decade of Ekblad. Don’t get me wrong it is nice to see the team finally playing as a team.Unfortunately they pissed the season away before Halloween.A player like Ekblad would take some of the sting away.More so then a few wins against teams that have nothing to play for either.

        This is not the first year they have won late in the year when the other teams have nothing to play for.

        Big picture here.

        • I can appreciate what you’re saying but I’m tired of watching losses. I would rather watch a team that plays well down the stretch than one that tanks for a CHANCE at drafting Ekblad.

          You guys all talk like it’s a lock that they will be drafting him. Look at the lottery percentages for this year. It’s completely different and there’s a very real chance that Ekblad could be anywhere other than here. Assuming he’s coming here is setting yourself up for disappointment.

          • Well said, Ekblad is BPA and the Oilers are far from picking first overall. It’s actually more likely a team below us wins the lottery and we pick anywhere from third to fifth.

            I do think the Oilers will, however, get another good centre which is another position of great need. With Klefbomb, Marincin, and Nurse all about to knock on the door. Our defensive prospects are in good shape. Strength down the middle and balance int he top six are more important in terms of our prospect pool in my opinion.

            Geting solid veteran defence, is what the oilers need on the back end. And that is not going to come through the draft.

        • Zarny

          The choice isn’t between 3-4 more wins at the end of this season or a decade of Ekblad.

          The choice will be a decade worth of Ekblad vs a decade worth of Sam Bennett or Leon Draisaitl.

          And both Bennett and Draisaitl could end up being better NHL players than Ekblad.

          Erik Johnson was the 1st pick overall in 2006 but I think most would go with Mr. Toews (3rd overall) as the best player from that draft.

          And given the fact the Oilers have Nurse, Klefbom, Marincin etc but not a single prospect that will likely be a 2C Bennett or Draisaitl would probably be better picks.

          • It’s not like Calgary’s odds are much worse than ours now anyway.

            30th place: 25.0%
            29th place: 18.8%
            28th place: 14.2%
            27th place: 10.7%
            26th place: 8.1%
            25th place: 6.2%
            24th place: 4.7%
            23th place: 3.6%
            22th place: 2.7%
            21th place: 2.1%
            20th place: 1.5%
            19th place: 1.1%
            18th place: 0.8%
            17th place: 0.5%

          • Zarny

            Compared to what? I’m not going to feel any better if Calgary drafts Sam Bennett.

            You seem to have convinced yourself Ekblad is the love child of Pronger and Niedermayer.

            The scouting reports however, indicate he’s a lot more Erik Johnson or Brent Seabrook than Drew Doughty or Duncan Keith. In better draft years he wouldn’t be ranked #1.

            No one in this year’s draft is considered to be a Crosby, Stamkos, Tavares, Hall or Doughty. Every team in the top 6-7 will get a very good player.

            If the Oilers get Ekblad…awesome. He’ll be a nice bookend for Nurse one day.

            However, if I had to pick one guy whose intangibles will eventually separate him from the pack like Toews in 2006 it would be Sam Bennett not Ekblad.

            Edit Note: Notice how so many refer to 2015 as the McDavid & Eichel draft? No one talks about 2014 as the Ekblad, Reinhart or Bennett draft. This year’s prospects simply aren’t at that level.

          • Spydyr

            I don’t expect Ekblad to be the love child of Pronger and Niedermayer but after watching the Oilers for over 30 years I do know the defence is awful and Ekblad is the best choice in this years draft to remedy that.

            If they don’t get Ekblad and pick a real second line center I’m OK with that too.

            My thought process is you sucked all year and for the last eight, winning 3-4 more game now means much less then the chance at a better player regardless of who that player is.A player that may help the team for years ahead.Instead of the instant gratification brought on by a few meaningless wins.

          • Zarny

            So between Ekblad, Bennet, Reinhart, and Draistl … They are all looking like solid picks that also fit a need. 5th overall pick seems a little more of a crapshoot. Maybe Del Colle? My personal preference from what i’ve seen and know is Bennet. I think he is equal to Ekblad so either or would be fine.

          • Zarny

            I can appreciate your thought process. I would be more inclined to agree if there was a significant difference between Ekblad and the other top 5 picks or if the Oilers had a chance to move out the top 5. There doesn’t appear to be much difference and I don’t see that happening.

            I also think there is more upside to finishing the season strong than instant gratification.

            A huge part of sports is mental. Confidence is critical. I think finishing strong puts guys like Hall, Eberle, Nuge, Yak etc in a better mindset this summer.

            I also think finishing strong strengthens MacT’s sales pitch to potential UFA’s.

            This season is tainted by the abysmal 4-14-2 start. Since there are no mulligans in real life the Oilers have to live with those results.

            However, over the past 50 games the Oilers are 21-22-7 and over their last 17 games 10-4-3. Had their first 20 games been 9-9-2 they would be tied with Ottawa in 23rd place. They’d be knocking on the door of all the teams currently bunched with 70-72 pts.

            Players and agents are pragmatic. That won’t be lost on them.

  • Man it’d be cool if we got to a place where we’re just cheering for wins and don’t give a crap about who’s up in “the lottery” bacause that’s what “losing teams” think about.

    *Strokes, chin, eyes glaze over*

    Hmmm…yeah.

  • Spydyr

    Ekblad would be an awesome pickup. But the Oilers have plenty of young defensive prospects. Now, none of them are right shots, but I don’t see Justin Schultz or Jeff Petry going anywhere soon. The organizational prospect gap is at centre and goal. At centre, there’s Lander and maybe a guy or two from last year’s draft and unless Bunz can bounce back, Brossoit is the only long term goalie prospect to hang a hat on.

    So missing out on Ekblad is not a bad thing. Everybody mentions Draisaitl and Bennett. But what about Reinhart? Making the U20 WJ team at age 17 is no small feat. If we fall to the #4 pick and Reinhart is there, wouldn’t you be happy with that?

  • Spoils

    First off, win no matter what – learning to find ways to win and making a habit of winning are the most important thing –

    second, pick Ekblad if you can because true #1 D are that valuable and as deep as D is starting to look, it basically guarantees us a #1D and we can trade one of the other guys for the other missing piece

    if no Ekblad I would defer to size to go with our small forwards.

    add the goalie last.

    • ubermiguel

      “First off, win no matter what – learning to find ways to win and making a habit of winning are the most important thing”

      ^This a million times. The team reminded us last night the problem is not the absence of another #1 pick, it’s a lack of winners’ habits. Ference talked about this in his first HNIC After Hours interview months ago. It looks like the losers are starting to get it and are slowly becoming winners.

  • Spydyr

    The Oiler record from Jan 26 to date mean absolutely nothing for next season. 10 wins, etc

    Everyone knows that players and coaches react different when under pressure.

    The only way to evaluate the team will be after 10 games are played next season. Management needs to be smart enough to eliminate all the players who played poorly last fall. Some are already gone – Dubnyk, Acton, Hamilton, Belov, etc.

    Other non performers under pressure last fall were Gagner, Eberle, Yak (I give him a pass as he was not ready for NHL, should have been in a minor league – KHL, AHL, Junior)

  • Zarny

    @Lochenzo

    Bennett plays with an edge and has a great two-way game. Draisaitl is big and also has a great two-way game. I think both would be better compliments to Nuge but there is nothing wrong with Reinhart. Or Michael Dal Colle, Hayden Fleury or Nick Ritchie for that matter.

  • camdog

    Everytime Nashville went on the PP I kept thinking who’s Weber gonna take out on the Oilers this time? That shot should almost be criminal in the league. I’d be curious to know how many manned NHL games are lost due to his slapshot?

  • Zarny

    Feed them more of that tigers milk next game.
    Why has it taken 60some games to display an effort
    that was more akin to an NHL TEAM.instead of a bunch of JUNIOR players running around. Now lets see some of this jam against Calgary on Saturday.

    PS; note, Weber and Josi were not on the ice for any Oilers goals.Jones, DelZotto and Ellis were on for 3 goals each.

  • Bryzarro World

    I listen to CBC radio every morning. Whenever the turd from Calgary who is assigned to report the sports insults Edmonton, or closes his summary of a Flames defeat by saying, “things could be worse, they’re not the Oilers,” it really pisses me off. Last season was supposed to be the first of many that the Oilers would outpace the Flames.

    I still am an Oiler fan through the many lean years, and to me, this always begins and ends with the thought/concern: “do better than Calgary” (where I have recently moved after spending my whole life in Calgary). I still fondly remember the 10-1 shellacking the Oilers laid on Calgary in 1996 (that close to a shutout, too), and no matter where the two are in the standings, I would think most self-respecting Oilers fans would hope the team finishes ahead of the Flames. Problem is, most self-respecting Oilers fans have left the building, and through no fault of their own. But getting that pride back, to me, begins with a desire to look down at the team down Highway 2. Let’s hope that Ekblad or Draisatl or whoever we end up with is the final icing on the cake, and that we can look further down at the Flames as the years go by.

  • Johnnydapunk

    First to Mr Baggedmilk, yeah that first sentence was one of the best I’ve seen in a while.

    But the weird feeling I have and can’t get my head around is that now for the first time in forever, the Oil have 2 goalies that seem to be able to do the job. Both Fasth and Scrivens seem to be solid and that was something that needed to be sorted out, and MacT did it. Fair play to him.

    Sure Bryz was actually doing alright here and seems to be doing fine in Minnesota, but he didn’t seem like he wanted to stick around and the Oil were more of a place to showcase himself to the highest bidder for next season than a place to stay.

    What baffles me is that the Oil still have a chance to finish the season at .500 which would put a pooper in the draft position, but would be amusing nonetheless.

  • At this point, Win. That is all. The players taken in this draft are NOT going to be ranked the same in a redraft 5 years from now.

    Look at the 2009 draft, for example, and tell me you’d pick those players in the exact same order.

    Some guys don’t turn out as great as scouts thought on draft day. Some get injured. Some want to be plumbers instead. You can’t tell the future so all you CAN do is amateur scouting due diligence and in the mean time, try to win games.

    Missing on Ekblad and ‘settling’ for Bennett might be the best damn thing to happen to this franchise in a long time. Or it might not. Only time will tell.

    170 players were picked before Pavel Datsyuk in his draft year. Picking first does not guarantee anything! So pull your head out of your butts and WIN.

    EDIT: Datsyuk was drafted in 1998. In that year every single player (except one) taken in the first round went on to play at least 1 NHL game. Can you name the only team whose first round pick went on to play 0 NHL games?

  • Bryzarro World

    Oh my, the armchair scouts and coaches are out in force again – they bleat all through the season and as the season winds down, they know better than anyone. These KIDS up for draft are just that – KIDS. You watch them play against other kids and all of a sudden they are the answer to the Oilers’ prayers. We HAVE 1st round picks, and look where we are. If these kids had to face a top NHL team they would be WAY out of their depth. Bring up some NHL ready players from OKC, let youngsters develop and WHEN the Oil fire their professional and amateur scouts and hire some that actually can spot talent, perhaps we will have a chance at the cup.