Monday Musings…

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The Oilers took their CBA-mandated one day off a week today, and they will be back on the ice tomorrow in Leduc. The players will get to enjoy Dallas Eakins’ on-ice beep test. “It’s brutal,” said a few players last week, but this year the test will be done at the end of practice not at the start, so the players are happy about that at least.

More musings….

  • Jordan Eberle just had the night off. He isn’t injured or nursing an ailment. The Oilers play Wednesday in Winnipeg and then in Saskatoon on Sunday vs. the Blackhawks. Sounds like he will dress at least once this week.

  • Tyler Pitlick didn’t play either, but when he gets into the lineup, likely Wednesday, he needs to show how desperate he is to make the team. He has to stand out. He has to show the coaches he is willing to do anything to make the team.

  • The Oilers didn’t discuss any PP or PK formations prior to last night’s games. The players just free-styled, but once cuts happen and they get down to more reasonable numbers they will work on the PP. It was interesting watching Nugent-Hopkins, Hall and Schultz on the PP. They had a plan and it worked. RNH wasn’t afraid to come off the hashmarks and shoot. I hope they do more of that this season.
  • I couldn’t watch the game in Calgary, but the reports I received about the Oilers weren’t complimentary. They played awful, especially offensively. It is only one game, but for players on the bubble playing uninspired in front of the head coach won’t help their cause.
  • Edmonton Rush defender Kyle Rubisch just won his third consecutive Defensive Player of the Year Award last night. He is the best player in Edmonton no one talks about. You should watch him play sometime. His footwork, agility and smarts are top-notch.
  • Ryan Johansen has until December 1st to sign an NHL contract. If he doesn’t then he has to sit out the entire season. That won’t happen. My guess is he and the Blue Jackets reach a deal before the start of the regular season.

  • The Oilers won’t be as bad as last year, because it will be almost impossible to match their horrific first 21 games.

    Their record was 4-15-2.
    They were outscored 80-48. They scored 35 ES goals in the first 21 games and allowed 62.
    They were shorthanded 79 times and allowed 15 PP goals.
    They played 13 of those games on the road.

  • In their first 21 games this year they play 13 at home. They open up at home vs. the Flames. Then they play three games on the road in Vancouver, LA and Phoenix. Then they are home for seven, on the road for five and back home for five. Their travel during the first quarter of the season is very favourable.
  • The Oilers were 25-29-7 in the final 61 games last year. With an improved defence and more experience up front I believe the Oilers should be around 82-88 points.
  • The NFL and NBA have domestic violence policies in their CBA, and MLB and the PA are already discussing one for next season. The NHL needs to be proactive and put a policy in place ASAP,  but I believe those partnered with the NHL should take a stand as well.
  • You can help a great cause and see an Oilers preseason game. If you donate $20 to our “Walk A Mile In Her Shoescampaign, you will be into three draws. One for each of the final three preseason games on September 29th, October 1st or 2nd. You can donate here. Deadline to get in the draw is 10 a.m. tomorrow. Thanks for helping to end family Violence. 

Recently by Jason Gregor:

    • Jason Gregor

      Great hit list Jason.

      I was at the game in Calgary last night and it wasn’t a very inspired game buy a group of players trying to make the team.

      Fasth looked good and I’m happy to see Brossoit making some good looking steps in the right direction.

      Yakupov had some jump. Couple of different bounces in front and he could have easily had 2.

      Musil looks like a tank that is missing a tread. I don’t think he’ll ever have the required speed which is too bad because I like his style.

      The reffing was awfully suspect even for a preseason game. All the calls against came from one ref and 3 were particularly week especially when Calgary was doing the same things. But I’m not as worried about that as I am about the Oilers play in their own zone.

      My observations from last night.

      Thanks

    • O.C.

      JG
      I saw you at the game, coming out of starbucks. That’s a pretty snazzy grey suit you were wearing. I would of said hi but I didn’t want to lose my spot in line at the ATM…I’ve always wondered, what kind of fun stuff do you get to do at games, I assume in the pressbox?

      • Jason Gregor

        Last night I accidentally dropped my recorder out of the pressbox and it landed 50 feet below, thankfully not hitting anyone. Young Evan picked it up and gave me the thumbs up that it was okay.

        I then went down to pick it up and bought him and his father an ice cream sandwich. I was lucky it didn’t hit anyone.

        That is the extent of my fun.

    • Leef O'Golin

      Yes, the NHL should be proactive and put a policy in place, but that hasn’t been Bettman’s strong suit (cough*steroids*cough). Too bad. They could swoop in with some major announcement and really score some good PR points while the NFL’s controversies continue.

    • O.C.

      I wonder what the NHLPA would say if the NHL proposed a policy that suspends a player without pay for up to a lifetime ban for knocking out your girlfriend, beating your kid with a switch, or any other despicable crime? Making policies up on the fly after the fact isn’t the best plan.

      Guys like Arco and Anton need to worry less what people say and show they really can bring it. That Calgary game wasn’t a good first step.

    • The Last Big Bear

      The Oilers pace for the last 61 games last year was just under 77 points.

      That would have put them in 28th place, one spot behind Calgary.

      Exactly where they ended up.

      Even if you ignore their dismal start, they still end up in the exact same spot in the standings.

      You get the same result if you look at their record after Scrivens came on board. They were still on pace for the bottom of the conference.

      If they do manage to improve by 15 points and get into the 82 point range, that would traditionally put them in the 25-ish spot. Last year it would have meant they finished in 26th place, and one spot ahead of Calgary, instead of one spot behind. Which would be worth it for a “besting your rivals” perspective, but still an utter catastrophe from a “winning at hockey” perspective.

      The upper end of your prediction (88 points) would require a 21-point jump in the standings, and I don’t really think that’s a realistic expectation, given that none of the skaters they added played higher than 3rd string minutes last season.

      It doesn’t mean they won’t make progress as an organization and as a team, but I don’t think they’re going to make much progress in the standings this season.

    • The Last Big Bear

      Good musings. I have been ravenous for any information from the Calgary game. Maybe I’ll check flames nation?

      I’m not too worried about Yak in the first game of the pre season. We’ll see how that line does against 2nd and 3rd line competition this year.

      Nice to hear from @Jack that Yak had some pep in his step. I think having the organization take a lot of the pressure off him this year is going to do wonders.

      Did Marincin play last night in Calgary? I haven’t heard a thing about him. Which for a defenceman like him is actually good news. But along with Draisaitl, and the 4 new free agents, he’s a player I am very interested in.

      It’s always funny when people are point predicting, they never account for the points coming off the other teams. If Edmonton has a 21 point swing, that likely means other teams are taking some point dives. Likely those teams are in our conference, and most likely they are the weaker teams. 82 – 88 points for the Oilers means a lot less points for someone else.

      Jumping on the point about the PP, I can’t remember if it was on a pp or just 5 on 5, but those two feeds from Drai to Perron in the slot were magic. I think he found his spot on the half wall as well. I also wouldn’t mind seeing how Yak does in that spot at some point. As he is a great shooter, but a tremendous passer as well.

    • Jason Gregor

      “The Oilers won’t be as bad as last year, because it will be almost impossible to match their horrific first 21 games.”

      I’ve been watching the oilers long enough to know better than that. I’ll be more surprised if they’re not just as bad