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.

  • I agree gbear. The value of the franchise has skyrocket since Katz took over. Now he needs to earn his money and turn the oilers into a championship team. I understand things don’t just change overnight. But no one should be safe. Whatever it takes to get these guys winning.

    On another note. Why would a losing team not be getting up at 7 every morning for practice. To me the later you sleep in the later you stay up. I think If you can’t win you can sure as hell get your ass out if bed in the morning.

  • Max

    1 – I never read/listen to negativity re the Oilers
    2 – So that eliminates Robin Brownlee, Edmonton Sun and David Staples’ articles
    3 – I adore my team, have done for 25 years since I came to Canada
    4 – In another life I’d have been married to MacT
    5 – In this life I am extremely happily married and I am an eternal optimist re my Oilers
    6 – And tonight? Sam will break out – again – and we will win
    7 – Oh – did I mention I am an eternal optimist?

  • **

    I’m looking for consistency more than anything else. We played well against the Penguins. Now how do we respond? It will take a big effort in the Madhouse tonight but the ‘Hawks aren’t clicking on a ll cylinders right now. I say we prolong their mini slump and win 5-4 in a shootout.

  • **

    “Even the most pissed off Oilers fan will grudgingly admit the Oilers are a much better team than they were anywhere between 2007-11.”

    What if I told you the team is on pace for their worst season ever points-wise?

  • a lg dubl dubl

    Im curious, if the Oilers win tonight and leap frog the Lames, and actually stay ahead of them for the remainder of the season and the Oilers miss out on Ekblad, will fans still call for Lowe and MacT to get $hit canned?

  • **

    “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.”

    What if I told you the franchise value of the Oilers has tripled since Katz took over?

      • **

        You’re right, my bad. According to Forbes Katz bought the team for $170 mil. Their latest valuation for the franchise is $400 mil. That’s 2.35 times more value, not 3 times, sorry about that. Mind you this valuation was done before the Rogers deal was announced, so I’m just going to go ahead and say that a this time this year the Oilers will have indeed tripled (at least) their value as a franchise.
        Where did you come up with $600 mil? number a$$-pulling is probably fun, but not accurate.

        • Considering the market has gone up that much, has little to do with Katz being the owner. Just like I’m sure the Leafs being worth 1B has (yes some) has little to do with the teachers pension no longer owning their team. It’s all about the cap era, the market, and Wanye’s eternal love for Eberle.

  • **

    Apart from the past 2 match-ups, we seem to be able to do well against the Hawks. IF the guys can remember this and IF they stick to the game plan, hell, we could stick it to them AND overtake Calgary as a bonus….GO OILERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • **

    Obvious game day prediction: The oilers lose this one bad and we don’t hear from Wayne again until draft week. Boy seems to bail when things are going south.

    • geeker99

      I’m flabbergasted by comments such as these. “Nobody’s panicking”?! Have you been living under a damn rock?!?! Nobody in edmonton is disillusioned enough to think this season is going well. Have you been reading the comments on these blogs?? Have you been listening to the call in shows?! If anything fans have been too panicky, screaming about falling sky and demanding knee jerk reaction trades that either make little sense or are trades no sane gm would ever make. And yet you feel the need to fabricate this reality where you are the sole arbitrator of truth, and can see how bad the oilers are while all us mortals bumble around in ignorant bliss. Just because some of us see some positives in beating one of the best teams in the league. Well excuse us for seeing small silver linings on what has been a very dark season.

      • **

        I was just trying to force a joker quote. Apparently I did a poor job. I guess what I was trying to say is that the Oilers are milking that win for all its worth. I personally need much more than that to raise my current expectations about the performance of this team.

  • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

    They beat the Pens, however Pens did not take them seriously and lost. They thought they could show up and win, they nearly did.
    You can take what you want out of the game but history tells us Oilers are one of the worst teams in the NHL.

  • #ThereGoesTheOilers

    What’s not to like about MacT? Tambo sure wouldn’t get into an arguement with a fan. He’d still be sitting in the pressbox mulling over the upside of heading downstairs…can’t rush these decisions you know…