GDB 33.0 WRAP UP: Oilers @ Sharks

They say that “close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades”… or something. Final Score: 4-3 Sharks.

I have to admit, I’m still confused as to what is going on behind the Oilers bench.  Is MacT calling all the shots, or is Todd Nelson (aka Nelly, aka St. Lunatic) running the show?  Systems wise, is Todd Nelson teaching the same system he runs in OKC, or is MacT pulling some strings there?  Only the Oilers could make the head coaching position so confusing. At this point, all I care about is that they have a head coach that knows what he’s doing. 

This loss can almost be filed in the ELPH category of Oilers hockey!  Despite collecting another token for the McDavid lottery, the Oilers actually played an entertaining brand of hockey.  The Twitterz was abuzz with fans that were pleasantly surprised to see the Oilers crashing the net, and playing like an NHL hockey team.  I almost thought they were going to pull off a win, if not for the 34 second scramble in the 3rd period.

Regardless of whether they played well or not, the Oilers have to find a way to close out games.  This was another 1 goal loss that they had a chance at winning.  As always, the Oilers were punished for their mistakes.  Whether it was a bad line change, a defensive miscue, or a giveaway – they all seemed to end up in the back of the net.  The little things are killing the Oilers, and if they want to start winning games they’ll have to iron out these details.

We wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

DiggingGrave

  • Taylor Hall is still an Oiler. TAKE THAT, INTERNET!
  • Little Nugey is turning into a takeaway machine. He’s stealing pucks a lot, and he’s only going to get better at it.
  • Boyd Gordon doesn’t get enough credit for what he does.  He’s the kind of player that does the dirty work, and tonight he was rewarded with a goal for his efforts. 
  • The Oilers were actually GOING TO THE NET! It’s a Christmas miracle!
  • Justin Schultz had a solid game. For as much as people hammer on him, you have to give him credit when he earns it.  He wasn’t great on the 2nd Couture goal (at all), but he played well overall. 

THE FACE PALMERS  

Grave

  • The Oilers played really well in the first period, and it was confusing emotionally.  Playing well in the first period is kind of like finding a crop circle.  It doesn’t happen every day, and when it does you’re not really sure how to handle it.
  • The Pittsburgh Penguins don’t wear their throwback jerseys nearly enough.  That’s not at all related to this game, but I felt like it should be noted anyway.  Thank you for your patience.  Now back to your regularly scheduled complaining.
  • The Sharks don’t have enough former captains playing for them.
  • Why are line changes killing the Oilers right now? The Sharks 1st goal came as a result of a bad line change.
  • The swarm came back to haunt us on the Sharks 2nd goal. 
  • The Oilers lose the lead just as quickly as they took it.  The Oilers couldn’t close after taking a 3-2 lead into the 3rd period.
  • Brad Hunt iced the puck on the last rush of the game. Seriously.

BEST OF THE TWEETS

Are you hilarious? Show me. Tweet your nonsensical ramblings to @OilersNation and @jsbmbaggedmilk for your shot at landing in the GDB Wrap Up. 

THE #NATIONLIMO AND A PHOTOSHOP WINNER…

As bad as the Oilers have been, this season (and the last 8 seasons), it’s awesome to go to the game in the #NationLimo. When you have tickets to the game, head to the Pint Downtown and you could win a ride to, and from, the game in a limo.  On top of that, we’ll hook you up with some Nation swag and an Oodle Noodle GC.  All you have to do is let the bartenders know that you want your name on the list.  You should also note that this isn’t some special event, this is happening every home game.  Write that down, take a screep cap, or lock it in your mind locker.  It’s a good time, and you should be there.

Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 10.58.41 PM

Another photoshop contest comes to a close, and there are winners to announce. I want to give a big thank you to everyone that submitted an entry for the December photoshop contest.  As always, you guys shone like diamonds and we appreciate your hard work.  Stay tuned for January’s contest to be announced early in the new year.

  • The Soup Fascist

    I’m assuming i wasn’t the only one who watched that behind the scenes Connor McDavid Transitions show last night, got excited and then constructed a life sized oilers goalie voodoo doll to insure the loss?

  • Rdubb

    Was that game ever a complete 180 from the way they’ve played the past season and a third!!!
    Maybe all the guys on the team will now take note that when you go to the net you can score more goals than by shooting from the boards, or from the point with absolutely no-one in front of the net, heck, i even noticed that a few Oilers where standing in front when a point shot was taken, although it didn’t happen that much, it did happen, both of which are good signs!
    What is with the Oilers giving up pairs of goals within 2 minutes? Not only did it happen once, it happened twice in this one game, and if i am not mistaken, the Sharks also did this to the Oil the last time these two teams meet?
    Even though the D played better as a whole last night, they must start getting more physical, i don’t mean that they have to lay big Scott Stevens hit ever time, but “rub” the guy out, stand him up as he enters the zone, if he is going wide, place a hip check or slow him down. Teams are finding that the Oilers D is “weak” in the sense that they do not take the body very often, and when the do, the offensive players can generally skate straight through them…
    Final thought; even though Scrivens has played well the past week or so, he goes down to his knees way to early. When the puck is in the Oilers zone, i’d bet that Scrivens is on his knees more than his skates, and that is WRONG!!! Watch if you don’t believe me – if the puck is in the corner and the opposition player either skates the puck towards the back of the net or passes it, Ben will be on knees. If they pass puck to the high slot, he’ll be on his knees again, he always seems to follow the puck on his knees and will then get to his skates, but will quickly drop again if it looks like the guy will shoot…
    Hopefully, the new “goalie coach” will try and fix that a little. Its one thing if the opposition is going for a wrap around, but if not, it is so hard for Ben to get set because of always being down & out of position as-it-were…if he were to stay on his feet a little more, i think that he’d have a much easier time getting set…
    Thats just my opinion, & what do i know, i never made it to that high of level of hockey, or perhaps i grew up in the era where goalies stand on their skates a little longer. How many goals go in up top & the goalie would have stopped it far more easily had they been standing, quit often if you watch, what do you think?
    I’d like to hear what other goalie’s think? Or even writers who follow hockey for a living?

  • YFC Prez

    If you are getting Mcjesus in the draft. You trade Hall for that number one dfence and assets. Hell , maybe try to make a deal with Poille in Nashville and get Shea.

    • Zarny

      Yeah it probably did.

      As Eakins said in his final presser, you can get guys to go to the net and do things that aren’t natural for them in short spurts. Over the long run they tend to revert back to natural tendencies.

      Changing the coach does nothing to change the fact the Oilers have very few players who enjoy violence and pain. Especially in their top 6.

      In a few games you can expect their natural tendencies to shine through again.

  • Burnward

    Oilers have now lost 6 straight!!!!!
    MacNelson record stands at 0-2, 2 coaches cannot win, now that is entertaining!!!!!

    Pack up Rexall this Sunday and brace yourselves for the Greeat Tyler Seguin Show when he scores an easy hat trick & winks at Taylor “scoreless” Hall. Now that will be entertaining!!!!!

    Dallas 7 Oilers 1

  • S cottV

    I guess that I am old school, but you don’t expose your goalies – like the Oilers continue to do and expect to win.

    1st – late and then bad coverage on the sharks player behind the net. 3 Oilers in front puck watching and not one of them thinks to swivel his head to identify the threat and cover it off.

    2nd – Yak back. Need I say more? Again puck watching – and the entire Oiler defensive alignment gravitates toward it, like it’s a magnet. Watch a tom thumb game to get an idea about what I mean.

    3rd – the defensive alignment in the neutral zone, should never have given up that clear cut high speed drive and shot to the net. With Ferrence also deflecting it – not sure how anyone overly blames the goalie. Perron also took a dumb@ss penalty.

    4th – Shultz – need I say more. At that point in the game, you simply don’t give that up – period.

    Goals against are usually the result of at least 2 or 3 miscues. I don’t fault Scrivens nearly as much as some.

    On the positive side – yes – the effect of MacT / Nelson, or is it Nelson / MacT – while generally confusing, yielded more apparent balls to go to the net – to score.

    Not sure how 99% of the knowledgeable hockey world, sees things like this coaching arrangement, as being highly unusual and the Oilers don’t.

    I guess Katz, Lowe and MacT are smarter than all those other guys around the hockey world.

  • Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"

    I really have no clue what to say as everything I ever thought I knew about hockey seems to be said and yet they loose. Sept is so far away.

  • YFC Prez

    Does anyone else think that maybe the oilers are 1 or 2 players away from being on the other side of the 1 goal losses?

    Draisatl, will surely be a better center next year, hopefully good enough to shield mcdavid a little bit in his first year.

    Nurse, might be good enough next year to make the team.

    Maybe with these 2 players, and the oilers making a couple of moves the team will actually be able to be on the other side of these one goal games, it just seems like the oilers are missing that extra punch, and if we can get that extra shot maybe things can turn around.

    Mac-t tried and thought that he might have gotten that extra punch last year and obviously it hasn’t worked out for us, but I don’t think that this collapse of the oilers is truly the end of the world, maybe it is for this season, but I think that with that extra punch ie. a second line center, maybe this could have been a completely different season.

    • Spydyr

      “Does anyone else think that maybe the oilers are 1 or 2 players away from being on the other side of the 1 goal losses?”

      Sure, Quick and Doughty should do it.

      • DoubleDIon

        That’s all it’ll take?!!!! Quick, someone get Mactavish a phone, get the parade route planned, and for the love of God will someone tell me where Omark is?

    • Spydyr

      Draisatl should be in juniors. If there is any shielding next year it will be McDavid for Drai.

      I like Dre but I really think he’d be better off playing junior and in the WJHC. This season is such a waste on his ELC.

      If we go into next season with Nuje, Dre, Arco, Gordon and McD as our centers, we’re in for a repeat season.

      • DoubleDIon

        My hope would be IF me drafted McDavid or Eichel, then we could alternate either of them and Drasaitl at centre and wing, and bring in a guy like Berglund as a third line option with some scoring ability. That`d also prevent Gordon from getting some shoulder injuries as a result of him carrying our defensive play on his back.

      • Salty

        Well, I think more if it’s those guys at center, no upgrade in net, and a whole bunch of young guys on the back-end (assuming Petry out, Nurse in, Jultz returning, at least one of Klefbom or Marincin being a regular and probably not getting a top pairing guy in the summer, hopefully I’m wrong on a couple of these points) we’re in for a repeat of this season, just without the truly awful coaching. Any one of those positions gets an upgrade or over-achieves it shouldn’t be quite as bad although I don’t foresee play-offs to say the least.

    • DoubleDIon

      Maybe if those two players are Weber and Doughty and a goalie gets hot. Otherwise they are short the following:

      1 checking line winger
      2 top pairing defenseman
      1 1st or 2nd line center
      1 Starting goaltender

      That’s 5 players I think they need to become a playoff team. Only 1 of those 5 positions aren’t difficult to acquire. Four of them are the 4 hardest things to get in the NHL. There are huge, gaping holes in this organization at the highest value positions on the ice.

    • Zarny

      No.

      The Oilers are maybe 3 players (2C, 1D, 1G) IF those players are very good; like the D and G are top 5 at their position.

      That isn’t going to happen; so it’s more like 4-5 players.

      Draisaitl will shield McDavid? Give your head a shake. First, there are 49 games left in the season. At this point, the Oilers will get McDavid like they got Ekblad last year. Second, IF the Oilers get McDavid or Eichel they’ll likely be better than Draisaitl. Have you watched Draisaitl this year? He’s not going to magically turn into Anze Kopitar in less than a year and won’t be sheltering anyone for 3-4 years.

      Yes, Nurse is probably good enough to “make the team” next year. He’ll be a 3rd pairing guy. He’s not going to waltz into Edmonton and be Chris Pronger. Maybe when he’s 23 or 24 but that’s 4-5 years from now and it’s a maybe.

      Optimism is good but be realistic.

  • Spydyr

    I actually watched most of the game. Oilers were competing, so to speak.

    Hall – terrible game. I think he made one pass in the whole game.

    Jultz – trending up. That’s good.

    Petry – trending up. That should be worth millions to him.

    Yak – when I notice him, there seems to be a lot of movement for what he accomplishes.

    Arco – looks okay most the time till you realize he’s our second line center.

    Jumbo Joe – what a smooth player!

  • The result is the same…. however to quote a hockey legend

    “they visually looked better”

    It was nice to watch an Oilers game that made sense, finishing checks, hell making a check, following your shot to the net, crashing the net… I mean talk about emotionally confusing, who was that team on the ice last night.

    And could somebody in the organization, water boy, flight attendent, please tell Shultz, it is ok to hull the offensive player down and take a penalty rather than let him get the shot off. Take the penalty.

  • I think that Shultz has been told that he can play his offensive game. I think he will get better.

    Please send Brad Hunt back. I am OK with Davidson or Marincin.

    Please call up Lander to replace Arcobello or Draisatl.

    Goalie – let’s play Scrivens again. If we don’t then we will never know if he can get better and be more consistent.

    Please reunite the kid line .

    I am not sure that Yakupov can play any better. It seems like a lost cause.

      • Spydyr

        So did Gregor. Personally I was very suspicious. A good coach is not big talker – they just show us. A lot of the media got wrapped up in the too many coaches viewpoint. The Eakins travesty may have caused irreversible damage to some players. He should have been let go before the season was lost.

  • Zarny

    Ok, so I get very sick of hearing all the two faced ideas going on here. Can we stop with the, “The Oilers rush players into the NHL and ruin their careers, let them develop” and the “Why is Anton Lander, Marincin, and Klefbom not playing up with the big squad, my gosh management is stupid” in the same sentence?
    Dont argue both. You can argue that Anton Lander should be in the big club same with Martin Marincin but then dont argue that we need to leave players in the AHL to develop. Dont enjoy that

    • Salty

      Uh, what? Did you read that before you hit submit? You understand those guy aren’t 18 year old kids being rushed into the NHL, right? Klefbom is the youngest at 21, and he’s showing he can more or less handle the NHL game. Rushing Lander was an issue in 2011 when they decided to mess with his development for no reason, we’re well past that point.

  • Spydyr

    It’s clear that the Oilers management structure has now moved to the bench. When the team looks bad and we want to blame the coach who do you blame? Is it MacT’s fault or Nelson? Ha you cant tell so while we’re trying to figure it all out they slip out the back and distract Katz with talk of the new arena so he forgets that hockey is being played this year.

  • R U Kidding Me!

    I think we’re cursed, why does every miscue end up in the net, sure we make lots of screw ups but the hockey gods have to come around sooner or later. Canning Eakins came way too late but at least it was done. I am probably a bandwagon guy but imho they will play much better under Nelson, whether or not he is the long term answer( I wish he is but let it play out) who knows but he’s really only had a couple of days with no real practices but I sense something is better and if Hall buys in and a couple of others we may see some improved hockey the rest of the year. That doesn’t cure the obvious of firing the whole management team but I hope it is a start.