GDB 28.0: Two consecutive wins?

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The Oilers never played the same team in consecutive games last season, but tonight they battle the Sharks for the second straight game, before doing the same vs. Anaheim on Wednesday and Friday.

During this painful non playoff drought, eight and 1/3 seasons, the Oilers have played the same team in consecutive games 16 times. They won both games four times, lost both games on five occasions and split the series seven times.

They have swept three of the last four back-to-back meetings (2009 and 2013 vs. Calgary and 2011 vs. Vancouver), and tonight they will try to build on a solid 2-1 victory over the Sharks this past Sunday.

After losing eleven consecutive games, I can understand why you’d be skeptical the Oilers could suddenly win two straight against San Jose. I know I am.

The only other time the Oilers have won games this season has been consecutively. They won four in a row between October 20th-27th and then two straight on November 7th and 9th.

They have been incredibly streaky, usually in the wrong direction, all season.

Lose five.

Win four.

Lose four.

Win two.

Lose eleven.

Win one.

They need to play smart and disciplined if they hope to start another winning streak. Being consistent is difficult for this group, and one of the biggest struggles for the Oilers has been producing offence on a regular basis.

The Oilers need Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and David Perron to produce if they hope to win. They would love more offence from Nail Yakupov, but over his past 90 games he has scored a point in 28 games. At this point it is unrealistic to expect significant offensive production from Yakupov. You hope he starts to produce, but if you are expecting it I think you will be disappointed.

I had a quick look at how often the Oilers top forwards are producing:

Player GP PTS GameWithPts Game W/0 pts  %Game with Pts
Hall 21 17 13 8 61.9%
RNH 25 17 15 10 60.0%
Eberle 26 17 14 12 53.8%
Perron 27 14 13 14 48.1%
Yakupov 27 8 8 19 29.6%

And here is how these five produced points last season.

Player GP PTS GameWithPts Game W/0 pts  %Game with Pts
Hall 75 80 50 25 66.70%
Eberle 80 65 43 37 53.8%
Perron 78 57 42 36 53.8%
RNH 80 56 36 44 45.0%
Yakupov 63 24 20 43 31.7%

It is interesting to note that Eberle is producing points in exactly the same amount of games, but his points-per-game is down. Much of that is due to the fact the Oilers top scorers aren’t picking up multiple points in games.

Last season, Hall had 21 multi-point games, Eberle had 20, RNH had 15, Perron had 11 and Yakupov had 4.

So far this season, Hall only has three, while RNH and Eberle have two, Perron has one and Yakupov has none.

The Oilers top guns need to find ways to find their name on the scoresheet a few times in games, rather just picking up a point every second game.

Here is a quick look at how Hall compared with the top-ten scorers last season.

Player GP PTS GameWithPts Game W/0 pts  %Game with Pts
Crosby 80 104 60 20 75%
Getzlaf 77 87 55 22 71%
Giroux 82 86 53 29 64.6%
Seguin 80 84 49 31 61.2%
Perry 81 82 52 29 64.1%
Hall 75 80 50 25 66.7%
Kessel 82 80 48 34 58.5%
Ovechkin 78 79 48 30 61.5%
Benn 81 79 52 29 64.1%
Pavelski 82 79 50 32 60.9%

Only Getzlaf and Crosby scored points in more of their games than Hall. He was very consistent, and here’s how he compares this season against the same nine players.

Player GP PTS GameWithPts Game W/0 pts  %Game with Pts
Crosby 27 35 17 10 62.9%
Seguin 27 35 18 9 66.7%
Getzlaf 28 29 17 11 60.7%
Giroux 26 29 19 7 73.1%
Kessel 26 27 15 11 57.6%
Benn 27 25 16 11 59.3%
Pavelski 29 23 16 13 55.1%
Ovechkin 26 22 11 15 42.3%
Perry 23 21 13 10 56.5%
Hall 21 17 13 8 61.9%

He is fourth highest in producing a point in games he plays, but he is well below in total points. He hasn’t been able to find the scoresheet as often within games this year, and that is where he needs to improve. It is a lot of pressure, but the best point producers find ways to have multiple point games.

Ovechkin is down almost 20% so far this year over last season, although this season is a much smaller sample size.

LINEUP

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The Oilers’ lack of centre depth hurts them again tonight. Boyd Gordon is out, so Arcobello will play the middle with Perron/Purcell while Matt Hendricks returns to the lineup and plays the middle on the fourth line.

RNH might have to play more than 24 minutes tonight.

You see Sharks lineup at dailyfaceoff.com and here is what San Jose is saying about the game… From the Mercury News.

Their four-game win streak had been the second longest active one in the NHL, though a distant second to the Chicago Blackhawks with eight straight victories.

So there is something to be said for that accomplishment.

But it was almost too predictable that the Sharks’ streak would end here. There was the back-to-back factor, but mostly it was simply the pattern that has become almost a punchline. The Sharks have gone 0-6-1 against Buffalo, Florida, Carolina and Edmonton while a more respectable 5-1 against Los Angeles, Anaheim Boston, Tampa Bay and the suddenly successful New York Islanders.

There was also the fact the Oilers had been put through the wringer the previous 72 hours for their ineptness in losing 11 straight games. Things even reached the point where Coach Dallas Eakins canceled the Sunday morning skate – in part at least – so his players wouldn’t have to answer yet another round of questions. Honest.

Guess it helped.

QUICK HITS…

  • Claude Giroux leads all NHL forwards with 21:53 TOI/game. Nugent-Hopkins is second in the NHL at 21:27. Giroux has 108 shots, RNH has 59. RNH has a good shot, I’d like to see him use it more.
  • The biggest difference between Klefbom and Marincin is that Klefbom is harder to knock off the puck. Marincin has better puck moving skills, not by much, but he does, however, overall Klefbom is a better D-man, especially in his own end. I’ve always liked his game more. He isn’t as flashy, but I feel he is more reliable than Marincin. Like most of the D-men, I’d like to see him work on his shot in the summer, so he can at least be a threat from the offensive blueline.
  • Please keep playing Fayne more than Schultz. Eakins and Ramsay need to protect Schultz and hope that with limited minutes, and more success, he can regain his confidence and at least contribute offensively. I’m curious to see how he will respond by not being on the ice late in games. If he is competitive at all this will push him to play better and prove to the coaches he can play at crucial times in the game. 
  • The Oilers recalled D-man Brandon Davidson today, which makes me believe Nikita Nikitin will be out longer than originally expected.
  • Boyd Gordon is not healthy, he will miss at least two games, but the Oilers must have no faith in Anton Lander. Why wouldn’t they recall him and send Joensuu to the minors? Their value of the centre ice position becomes more head scratching by the day.
  • I wonder if those who opposed me when I said the Oilers paid Schultz too much when he signed his 1-year deal, still feel the same way? The Oilers have to qualify him at $3.65 mill just to maintain his rights. I wrote then that the Oilers need to stop paying players with the hope they will earn the contract. The Oilers had no reason to pay him that much. It was a one-year deal, if he played outstanding this year and earned a big raise, fine, but now the Oilers will have to pay him at least $3.65 million next year. 
  • I’m not surprised Leon Draisaitl has struggled offensively in his rookie season. It is extremely hard to produce points in the NHL at ES, but I’m shocked Evander Kane only has three points 5-on-5. I realize he has been injured, but in 20 games he has 2-1-3. If there was a moment to try and buy low on him, now might be the time.

TONIGHT…

DeadSharkEakinsKlondike

GAME DAY PREDICTION: I don’t see another win streak happening just yet. The Oilers lose 4-2.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Sharks’ powerplay scores twice. They are 3rd in the NHL at 23.3%.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: After drinking Eggnog and spiced rum for the first time in my life last night (embarrassingly true story) while setting up our Christmas Tree, I crush a few more glasses of this delicious elixir tonight. Throughout the entire game I keep cursing myself that I waited this long to enjoy this wonderful drink. I honestly can’t remember why I thought I didn’t like it. IDIOT…

DAY 6.. MONTH OF GIVING

A big thank you to Raffi for his bid on dinner with Majeau and Strudwick being the waiter, and to Mike for purchasing the signed Paul McCartney guitar. Another big thank you to Christenson Developments and Vivo Ristorante for donating the prizes.

TODAY’S PACKAGE…

We have an excellent and very generous package donated by The Home Matchmaker Michelle Derk from Remax Elite.

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  • Johnnydapunk

    Just tuned in.Looks like there is no awareness of the Sharks answer to last game.

    The Sharks adjustments are no big deal.

    Two basic changes.

    Looks like the Captain wants a Goalie change,might be easier to ask Dallas,huh?

    • Chris_Cruise

      Come on now Lummer this is twice I have had to remind you , it is Velostat not tinfoil times have chsnged…..jesus Lummer you are a Genius,look the word stat is even built right in to the name of the material the Special Hats are made of,seriously Lummer this is like Fate or something.Somehow I missed that until you were on my mind,funky huh?Dam stats show up everywhere.

      Yes they have indeed strayed and been pushed out of the Sandbox by some very basic bushleague counter- adjustments since last game.

      Why you didnt help them Lummer?I know you know they dont know what we know,just teach them slow.

      Maybe it is hard to get used to working with Hammers and Anvils when you are in your comfort zone hauling water and chopping wood?

  • Lumley

    Team comes out flat again…coach sucks.

    Coach demotes a young guy that is playing well on line one for no apparent reason ….coach sucks.

    Coach has no clue how to NOT ruin the confidence of his young players…. coach sucks.

    Ever since coach flipped Pitlick and Perron both lines have been crap… coach sucks.

    4th line keeps playing despite being down 2 in the third…coach sucks.

    Three goals were defensive zone meltdowns… coach sucks.

    Andrew “A smaller weaker Jason Smith” Ference is our CAPTAIN…. coach sucks.

    HOW DOES THIS GUY STILL HAVE A JOB!?!?!?!? Walrus time..PLEASE.

    • Lumley

      WALRUS. Holds everybody accountable and of you don’t like it you don’t play. Coaches his players, doesn’t just stand there and lean on the glass, listening to what Rocky Friggin Thompson has to say about things.

      Hire the Walrus. Fire the Hairdo. Make it happen MacT. Grab some nuts and be bold. Start the transition period now with a coach that actually has an idea.

  • Chris_Cruise

    Another article about Hall’s great stats…. yet twice with him alone with the goalie and he can’t bury it .. He needs to be a difference maker with those chances and prove he can is an elite player.

    • Chris_Cruise

      ^^^^^This^^^^^ I’ve been saying this for a while now.

      I suspect he is part of the problem in the dressing room.

      He used to put the team on his back and embraced the role of leader. Now he just looks disinterested and not nearly emotionally engaged enough. .

      It’s sad, it’s like he was a wild stallion and they “broke” him. Now he’s a tame horse who is just towing the line.

      We need to move Hall before he asks to be moved. It could actually net us a big return AND relieve the dressing room of his potentially negative presence.

    • oilredemption

      I made a point last week about when I watch the flames play, I never feel that “weird” nervous feeling when their d-man handle the puck.

      It’s a Christmas miracle when our guys handle the puck in our own end, and it creates a proper outlet pass.

      The scariest part about watching an oilers game, is watching them get the puck cleared, and turned into an offensive chance.. it is down righ scary.

    • Chris_Cruise

      Your either swearing or not hitting the submit button right.

      Kevin lowe is the biggest scab that the oilers have ever experienced. He is single handedly why we are where we are!!

      Kevin Lowe sucks so bad.. he is not worth an analogy.

      He just plain suckidy suck sucks.