GDB 7.0: Streaking?

Two consecutive wins is usually not a big deal, but if the Oilers can win tonight many in Oilersnation will be tempted to follow in the footsteps of the enthusiastic Frank “the Tank.” Wins haven’t been plentiful in Edmonton for the previous eight seasons, so I can understand why people get excited when one is actually achieved. People were honking their horns on Wayne Gretzky drive after Monday’s win, so it is clear the citizens of Oilersnation needed a win, and are hoping for another.

The players and coaches won’t look past the Capitals, but if the Oilers can pick up a win tonight, they could skate into the weekend on a three-game winning streak with the struggling Carolina Hurricanes in town on Friday.

The Oilers have played very well their past two games and will try to build on that tonight. The Capitals are 3-0-2 in their first five and they haven’t played since Saturday. They are rested and they have played with much more energy and emotion under Barry Trotz thus far.

Alex Ovechkin has five goals in five games and he’s re-ignited the physical aspect of his game. Ovechkin plays best when he is emotionally and physically involved, and he has responded well to Trotz.

Tonight we get the luxury of watching the two best left wingers in the NHL. Taylor Hall has four goals and he’s become the clear-cut emotional leader of the team. It should be very entertaining to watch him and Ovechkin go head-to-head.

LINEUP

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 12.00.39 PM

No reason to switch up the lines. You can expect to see Hall/RNH/Eberle battle the Backstrom/Ovechkin line a lot tonight. Gordon’s trio will face them at times, as well, but Eakins will go power vs. power tonight.

Draisaitl and Arcobello’s lines need to chip in. Perron, Pouliot, Yakupov and Purcell need to be better than Washington’s second and third lines.

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 12.00.50 PM

Fayne and Marincin were excellent on Monday. Fayne is the Oilers best D-man in his own zone, and it isn’t close. He gets excellent body position, has a good stick and he is strong enough he can battle with any size forwards. He also makes excellent outlet passes. His pass that sprung Hall for a breakaway and the subsequent penalty shot was a thing of beauty. I’d like to see him and Marincin play a few more minutes.

It was refreshing to see the Oilers blueliners shoot the puck more on Monday. Nikitin and Schultz got the memo that shooting is important, and hopefully they don’t need another reminder in a week or two.

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 12.01.02 PM

He has played two solid games and he will need to be very good against, a big, fast, skilled and determined Capitals team.

CAPITALS

Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 2.38.09 PM

Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 2.38.17 PM

Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 2.38.26 PM

The Capitals have been excellent at moving the puck quickly out of their zone. They have an excellent puck transporter on each pairing, and Trotz has instilled a “get the puck out of our zone as quick as possible.”

TONIGHT…

Ovi

GAME DAY PREDICTION: Old school is one of my favourite movies and Frank is an absolute beauty. If the Oilers win I could see Wanye or a few other of the loyal Nation readers calling for a streaking party, however, I don’t see it happening against the Caps. They are a very improved team. Oilers lose 4-3  in OT in an entertaining affair.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The fans belt out O Canada with extra emotion to honour the slain solider who lost his life in Ottawa earlier today.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: David Perron picks up his first penalty and his first goal of the season. Perron celebrates with a enthusiastic double fist pump, but during his second fist pump he accidentally raps Benoit Pouliot in the face. The inadvertent shot seems to wake up Pouliot and later in the game he also scores his first goal of the season. 

Recently by Jason Gregor:   

SmallBanner2

  • Admiral Ackbar

    Gordon-Hendricks-Joensuu I love this line. Lunch-pale line. The greasy grinders. Give them more icetime. Me thinks they deserve north of 16 minutes per game, especially if they’re defending a lead.

    Andrew Ference needs to be taken out to pasture. He’s in over his head in the NHL. Disgusting overpay.

  • BlazingSaitls

    Canes on Friday will be a great primer for the Habs on Monday. As long as the Oilers dont take the Canes too lightly they will have some great momentum going into Monday.

    Thanks to The Nuge and The Professor Oilers are building a winning culture!

  • The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33

    Wow,what a great game, Eakins had Yak out to close the game, and for the first time we saw what the core can do when their skillsets are spread out and managed well.

    The Coaches deserve extra Kudos for the last 3 games,they are coming together fast.

    Nice effort tonight by the 4th line,especially Hendricks.Joenssu is looking like a Beast and Gordon is looking for more offense.

    Hall was the best 2-way force I have seen yet,Nuge looked dangerous offensively all night and Yak was pushing the River with high energy and smart decisions.

    This was a good night to be an Oilers fan.

    Dallas did feed everyone their lunch by showing supreme trust in Yakupov late in the game,he has buried the issue in my eyes,as he said in his presser,everything is about the Team this year and the points and minutes are given with team needs coming first,he showed it tonight and backed up his word.

      • The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33

        I would also like to see Yak get some more PK time, those minutes are important to the young core,they give them confidence and allow them to build trust with the coaches,with the added benefit that any errors are after all made short-handed and draw less external critique thn 5 on 5 errors do, top that off with the fact that NHL teams are really pushing for offense on the PK now and there is a lot of opportunity to grow and learn for a player like Yak on the PK.

        If Dallas and Ramsay can turn Yak and Hall and Nuge and Ebbs into PK specilists then eventually their offensive skillsets will seep into the equation and add an important degree of potential offense to the Oilers PK.

        We knew 3 years go it was going to be a challenge to find minutes to feed the developing young elite core players so as to support their staggered evolutions and also optimise their potentials,now we are seeing your suggestion become reality,these Studs will have to out of necessity compete internlly for whatever minutes they can pry loose from Dallases death-grip,he IS making them work hard for those minutes which he treats like his life-line.

        When you have high end offensively skilled young players competing 100% internally trying to impress their Coaches to earn extra minutes via PK time only good things can happen.

    • Reg Dunlop

      Like I predicted, a win brings giddy optimism. While the oil played a solid game, they only won because the pucks that were hitting Scrivens tonight were finding the net in the first few games. Tempered optimism but still a big win. Carolina and Mtl. are winnable games, as are all games against eastern teams, at least until they realize that pounding the oil defense with a physical forecheck ALWAYS gets results.

      • The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33

        Giddy optimism can turn into evolving confidence under the right circumstances,it is a first step in the right direction,you cant feel it unless you are winning.

        It looked to me like the Oilers won because they forced the Caps to shoot from the periphery a lot and they were dogged on puck pursuit in both directions ,their Gapping was well managed and they were on pucks quickly and they used extended pursuit.Whenever I saw Ovie near a puck I saw aggressive Oilers going for his throat,he was under pressure all game long but he wasnt shadowed it was a group effort a system impact.

        There was one very well timed n-zone adjustment later in the game during the hardest Caps push-back supported by a well managed forecheck and an equally well managed defensive zone exit strategy,all three transition zones were seamlessly managed by the Coaches and the gameplan was well executed by the Plyers,there were simply no holes to find.

        Every game is winnable.

        The Oilers defense has more consistant and better managed support from the forwards than we have seen in a very long time,when that support is there the physical forecheck can back-fire on you quickly considering the Oilers depth of forward skill,we have been seeing shades of this over the last 3 games,you dont really want to be giving pucks up to the Oilers now,with their new-found management processes they are making teams pay for mistakes they are forcing them to make now.

        I have seen only forward progress over the last 3 games with no regression,I see no reason for this to change,early on it was simply system and process details which needed to be worked out.

        I am HUNGRY to see Carolina and Montreal or really ANYONE,I am gaining more and more confidence in this Coaching crew and Roster now.

        This team has been tempered by the searing heat of losing for so long I will gladly take tempered optimisim every chance I can.

        • The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33

          I think a lot of the in-game adjustments (which seem like a new strategy this year) has to do with Rocky Thompson, upstairs. His early interviews when joining this coaching staff were about how he was going to coach from up top, allowing the team to adjust during the game.

      • The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33

        Watching the game it appeared the Oilers were playing great, and not to take anything away from the win, they did play well. However it also became pretty clear there was virtually no hitting the whole game. If that’s “Eastern hockey” then I’m sure the Oilers could be very competitive in the Eastern Division.

        Unfortunately for them the West is very different. Tough, physical and lots of hitting where the Oilers have not been competitive and haven’t looked so this year either. That’s probably why the Oilers some games look terrific but then the next stink it up. Different teams play different styles.

        Congrats on the Oilers getting better (apparently, remains to be proven) but until they demonstrate they can beat out their primary competition in the West its still going to be a long season…

  • The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33

    First game I been able to watch all year in its entirety. Some observations:

    Nuge looks stronger, faster and way better

    First and fourth lines are great

    Hall is still a beast

    Yak looks really good. He’s engaged in all three zones almost every shift. He needs a better center

    Drai looks like a rookie but his skills are evident. He got better as the game got on.

    Arco and Pouliot were invisible. I wish Ference was too. He was bad.

    Fayne and MM looked good as a pair.

    Schultz’ biggest weakness is positioning. The good news is, this is very teachable. He possesses skills that you can’t teach. Good offensive instinct, great stick and good first pass.

    Scrivens was money.

    The team seems to be learning how to play defense.

    I still hate Eakins’ hair

    We are finally using the drop pass in the neutral zone in the PP. What took so long?

  • Serious Gord

    The Caps are a good team, solid D and goaltending plus experienced forwards with nice balance among their lineup.

    The Oilers, although outclassed at times in the third period, played hard and scored a nice win against a tough opponent.

    Win the next game and things are looking slightly salvageable.

  • Rob...

    What are you hoping to do, shame me? I respect someone who is willing to explain their position regardless how much it differs from mine. I can not respect a gutless individual who trashes something that merits a reply. In my opinion, post #2 fell into that category.