121

GDB 71.0: THE BEST TEAM WON

Sometimes you just need to accept that your competition is better. Twenty days ago the Buffalo Sabres had 44 points and the Oilers had 48. The Sabres had two games in hand and some wondered if the Oilers could grab 30th spot once again. In a short span of 20 days, the Sabres have shown…

60

THIS FLIGHT TONIGHT

Tyler Pitlick is in an ideal situation. The physical winger has a very good opportunity in Edmonton, as the club is in search of his player-type. The Oilers recalled him today, and this audition will have a major impact on his future.

62

EVEN WHEN THEY WIN, THEY LOSE

When the Edmonton Oilers reek like overripe cheese and lose too much, fans are unhappy. When they get their act together and win too much, as they’ve done over the last month, fans are unhappy. Tough crowd.

58

DO YOU SEE WHAT I SEE: EDITION XVIII

Are the Edmonton Oilers improving? For months people have said the Oilers have regressed. I don’t think they have improved or regressed when you look at their overall play. After a pathetic first quarter of the season the Oilers’ record is now eerily similar to last season.

47

Young Defencemen

The Edmonton Oilers have a weak blue line. In the short-term, they need to shore it up with actual NHL players, but in the long-term they need some of their prospects to step forward in a big way. How will they balance those two needs?

125

GDB 70.0: THE HOME STRETCH

Ten of the Oilers final 13 games are at home. If the Oilers were in the playoff hunt this would be a great schedule, but sadly that isn’t the case. The Oilers are playing for pride, contracts and a roster spot in the NHL next season. The play the Predators, Sabres and Flames this week,…

77

Different Directions

Ryan Smyth and Ryan Jones have a lot in common. They share a first name, an NHL team, both play (primarily) on the wing, and are both bound for unrestricted free agency this summer. Where they differ is in the Oilers’ likely interest in retaining their respective services.

98

PLAYERS NEED TO TAKE CHARGE

It is interesting how winning changes people’s perception. Jonathan Toews is applauded as a great leader and is credited with leading the Hawks to two Stanley Cups in four years. It is hard to argue that, however, I notice he gets much more credit for the Hawks than his head coach, Joel Quenneville. I don’t…

79

Well Done Yak, Well Done

Since March 13th’s game against the Blues, as a group the Oilers have been much more engaged. Twice the Blues surrounded Taylor Hall and there were none of his Oiler teammates to be found. In my last entry I detailed the reasons this is unacceptable on any closely knit team.