GDB 17.0: Maintain a good start

The Oilers have scored first in eight of their 16 games, however, they’ve only held the lead twice after the first period. Another step in their development — yes they still have a lot of steps — will be learning to build off of a good start.

The Oilers are only 4-3-1 when they score first, tied for 24th worst winning % when scoring first, but the good news is that if they don’t score first, the Ottawa Senators, their opponents this evening, are 27th with a .444 winning % going 4-2-3.

The Oilers need to get hungrier for the next goal. They’ve only had a 2-0 lead twice this season.

They led 2-0 in Vancouver in the second game of the season, but gave up a goal with ten seconds remaining in the first period and then lost in a shootout.

They scored with 19 seconds left in the first frame against Montreal to take a 1-0 lead and then scored again six minutes into the second en route to a 3-0 victory.

They must learn to keep attacking and stay aggressive when they score first. The Senators have also struggled holding onto leads. They’ve also only been ahead 2-0 twice, and both times they won. Paul Maclean spoke last week about his team’s inability to hold onto leads. They’ve scored first in 9 of their 15 games, but only won four of those games.

“We work very hard to score first, but then our work ethic dips after we score it seems. I’ve been very happy with how we have started most games, but we need to continue that once we get a lead,” said Maclean.

Across the league this season, teams that score first are 152-47-34, but the Oilers and Senators have both struggled at keeping the lead.

There are many different components that go into winning, and one of them is learning to play with the lead. The Oilers need to find a killer instinct once they get a lead.


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The Oilers will keep the lines the same. There is no reason to switch them until Taylor Hall returns. Hall skated for the 4th straight today and he is getting closer to playing. He doesn’t want to rush back, but Sunday or Wednesday are possible return dates.

Perron and Yakupov work well together. Perron is great at protecting the puck down low, which allows Yakupov to circle around and find openings. When Hall returns, I’d rather move Pouliot to the 3rd line than take Perron away from Yakupov

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Eakins reunited Nikitin/Fayne and Ference/Petry in the hopes that will give his defence a more consistent balance. Schultz and Aulie can play together at home, because Eakins gets last change and can protect them better.

I don’t understand why you keep Klefbom and Marincin both here. Send one of them to the minors so they can play. The Oilers pace in practice isn’t high enough for them to benefit more from practicing than playing in the AHL.

It is the same for Draisailt. He would benefit more if the tempo/pace of practice was higher, but the Oilers pace simply isn’t as high as other teams. It is still an issue.

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Scrivens played well in relief in Nashville, and it makes sense to start him tonight against Ottawa. He needs to get on a run of good play like he did during the last home stand.


You can see the Senators lineup via


  • I wonder how annoying it would get if I tweeted out every time there was a fight and no one got hurt? I’d assume it would get tiresome, which is exactly how I feel about the anti-fighting crowd whining writing something every time a player gets injured in a fight. Connor McDavid broke his hand in a fight on Tuesday, and the anti-fighting articles were out in full force yesterday. How come when he fought on October 11th, none of those people wrote anything? They didn’t chastise him or the league for allowing fights then, but when he breaks his hand he is suddenly a dumb kid, or the league is barbaric for allowing fights.

    I don’t see the pro-fighting crowd writing an article after every fight that doesn’t result in an injury — thank gawd, I might add. Sometimes players get injured. It happens, we get it. McDavid was fed up with being harassed and decided to stand up for himself. I can’t rip him for that. It sucks he got hurt, but how much will it really impact his season or his team?

    He is only supposed to be out five to six weeks. The WJC tournament starts 42 days after he injured his hand, so he should be able to play, but if he doesn’t the only one truly impacted by his decision is him. The Otters will still make the playoffs and finish as one of the best teams in the OHL. He will still be the first or second overall pick in the draft.

    I’m not trying to change their opinion of fighting, it is obvious they don’t like it. Fine. But if injuries are your main defence, then how come they aren’t writing the same stories about the stupidity of increased blocked shots? How many players get hurt from that? Is it really making the game better watching players, even star players, block shots with ankles, wrists and feet? And if your argument is that someone could die from a fight, remember that players could die from blocking an errant shot as well.

    Fighting in junior and the NHL is decreasing, and I’ve always said if fighting drops because players choose not to do it, I’m completely fine with that. Let the players who are impacted directly from fighting decide if it is good or bad.

    I don’t need to read another article about why fighting should be banned, or why it should stay. We all know what side most people stand on, but it has reached the point of annoying when both sides try to use a 17 year-old as their foundation as to why it is good or bad.



GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers are at home against and eastern team, it is an easy choice to pick them to win. 4-2 Oilers over Ottawa and they improve to 5-0 at home against the east.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers score first, but Ottawa ties it before Edmonton wins the game.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Yakupov and Eberle score a goal marking the 8th time these two have scored in the same game. The Oilers improve to 8-0 when both of them score in the same game.

Recently by Jason Gregor:    

    • Andresito

      See post #171 , we missed that game for three reasons , number one the Pre-game tactical preperation was non-existant and the read and reacts way to slow and consistantly disconnected in the 1st period ,number two the keep it at his feet wasnt followed and number three his 5-hole wasnt targeted because of #2,you cannot only take what you want in a game which is defined in ultra-fine degrees like NHL Hockey is.

      The entire first period was a Gong show with what seemed to be blinders on the Oilers and their Coaches,and they fell behind 3 1st period goals for the 2nd game in a row,…..BUT….also for the 2nd game in a row they SHUT DOWN THE OPPOSITION OVER 2nd and 3rd PERIODS OF REGULAR MINUTES.Once this Team is dialed in it is dominating, things are just a shade to slow on the uptake,but once again EXCALIBER was drawn during the 1st intermission.

      For the 2nd game in a row it would be safe to ask why the 1st intermission adjustments werent applied in the 1st period????Why isnt this incredibly accurate data being added Pre-Game and in real-time during the game so the Team can react much earlier and get the fast starts they so badly need ?

    • Admiral Ackbar

      Good thing the Flames won again. Their win over Arizona plus our loser point pulls us out of the Western Conf basement by 1 point. Yeah baby. Here come the coilers.

    • FlamesRule

      Haven’t even played the big boys yet. This is just so frustrating. Just make a big save. Just score a goal when the chance is there. Just do something. Anything. Soon.

      • Admiral Ackbar

        Exactly. The Oilers have only played the Kings so far. Imagine those games against the Ducks, Sharks, Hawks, Blues, Wild, Stars and of course the Kings.

        This tire fire ain’t going anywhere.

    • boomtown99

      The Oilers cannot trade Yakupov before he has played five seasons. Give him Season 4 and 5 to assess his talent. Looking at the drafts, historically, the majority of players only start producing in their fourth and fifth seasons. Also, don’t compare Hall and Nugent-Hopkins with him because they’re one to two seasons ahead of his development and should be better at this stage of their careers.

      Yakupov was only drafted in 2012. Don’t be impatient!!!

      Would you trade Galchenyuk? According to, Galchenyuk has played 129 games recording 67 career points. Yakupov is barely second in that draft class’ scoring with 62 points in 127 games. They are both playing in only their third season. I can’t wait to watch Yakupov play in year 4 and 5, hopefully in an Oilers jersey.

    • BobbyCanuck

      I was hoping that out of respect for our solders in attendance and Remembrance Day. The Oilers would compete hard from the opening face-off.

      So disappointing, I switched the channel and got wrapped up in the Flames game, switched back, and we are down 3-0

      We lay an egg for the 25th anniversary team in attendance, we lay an egg for our solders.

      Oilers, have you no shame?

    • Rdubb

      I am glad that you decided to toss in the Oilers practices are not being done @ a quick pace & are generally (from what i hear from ex-players, both disgruntled and those who hold no grudge, as well as radio personalities and their guests) one of the slowest paced teams in the NHL, if not the slowest…
      If this is the case, and i am 100% sure that management and coaching staffs hear all this as well, why are they not “picking-up” the pace of their practices?
      Eakins cannot use the excuse of “teaching” anymore, as that is a somewhat ridiculous excuse as a lot of teams do “teaching” as well & their practices are at a much quicker pace.
      All i heard from Eakins last spring was how he wanted his players to be in tip-top shape, well, i think for the most part they all are, they would they need such slow paced practices with some of the best conditioned athletes in the world?
      I have personally seen two Oiler practices since Eakins has taken over as the head coach, and i can in all honesty say that the Spruce Grove Saints practice at a quicker pace then the Oilers, and no offense to the Saints, but that is SAD…
      It is time for Eakins to pull his head out of the sand (i really wanted to use a different word) and pick-up the pace of the practices and game day skates and stop worrying about taking away the donuts and other junk food from the reporters as their conditioning and eating habits should have zero to do with him…
      Maybe if the Oilers had a quick paced practice & or day game skate, they might actually start a hockey game like any NHL team should and stop falling behind 2 or 3 goals before they decide to start skating?
      Another thing, maybe the Oilers should try and PRACTICE LIKE THEY PLAY, or are supposed to play, throw in a few hits, knock a guy into the boards, hit his shins with your stick, cross check him when he is infront of the net, and then maybe, just maybe, these guys would be a little “tougher” when the puck drops…