GDB 38.0: Good riddance 2014

http://allindiaroundup.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/goodbye-2014-welcome-2015-wallpaper-1024x737.jpg

The Oilers would love nothing more than to erase 2014 from their memories. It has been a terrible calender year for the Blue and Orange.

They’ve played 77 games.
They’ve won 24 of them.
They have totaled 59 of a possible 154 points. 

It hasn’t been pretty, but they will try to end 2014 on a good note; with back-to-back wins.

Tonight will be their 78th game and they will try to end the year with two straight wins after losing 20 of their previous 21 games. 

The Oilers played well for 40 minutes last night and then the Kings took over. You knew at some point the Kings would control the game, because they are simply a better team, but by outplaying and outscoring them in the first two periods the Oilers were able to hang on and get to the shootout.

Oscar Klefbom will play a lot under Nelson. Nelson loved him in OKC, and while Klefbom is still learning, especially to protect the middle of the ice on long breakout passes, I like most aspects of his game. The best part is that he doesn’t get out muscled very often during one-on-one battles in the corner or in front of the net.

That is the main reason he is here and Martin Marincin is in the AHL. The Oilers and Nelson want Marincin to be play with more urgency and competitiveness during battles. I believe he will improve and you will see him back in Edmonton. For those wondering why the Oilers won’t do the same with Justin Schultz. It is simple, Schultz needs to clear waivers. If he didn’t, I’m certain he’d be honing his skills in the AHL.

LINEUP

Screen Shot 2014-12-31 at 10.17.06 AM

No reason to change the forward lines after a win. I’ll be curious to see who comes out of the lineup when Benoit Pouliot returns. He is getting closer and could play within a week.

Screen Shot 2014-12-31 at 12.24.22 PM

Nikitin clearly isn’t healthy, or was simply out of game shape last night. He looked brutally slow last night, so Keith Aulie draws in tonight. Smart coaching decision.

Screen Shot 2014-12-31 at 12.24.38 PM

Todd Nelson is going with Scrivens again. I recognize what the stats say with playing goalies on back-to-back nights, but sometimes you go with your gut. I don’t have much of an issue with this decision. If it works good for him, if it doesn’t it improves chances their chances of finishing 30th. A rare win-win for the Oilers…

You can see the Flames lineup courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com

QUICK HITS…

  • Oilersnation gives Marc Arcobello his farewell video. I know JeanShorts teared up making this video. He was a huge Marcobello fan.
  • When you watch the WJC game today between Canada and the USA take a moment and dream about Jack Eichel or Connor McDavid playing for the Oilers. Both are great players. Who would you pick if you had the 1st overall pick in June?
  • One of my New Years resolutions will be to ban “compete level” from my vocabulary. I haven’t said it in a long time, and considering it rarely is used properly by most hockey players, coaches, general managers, media and fans I will try hard to refrain from uttering it in 2015. I hope many do the same.
  • Things I will never understand. The Oilers had lost 20 of 21. There was ample time to bitch, moan and complain about their play, and usually it was warranted. Last night, Ben Scrivens stops 37 of 39 shots, then four shootout attempts, yet some fans complain about goaltending. Why do it after that game? At least enjoy the victory, since they are so rare, or at least find the correct time to complain about a goalie’s performance. Last night was not the time to rip on Scrivens.
  • All the best to you and yours in 2015. I hope your family life, party life, love life and sports fan life are all more enjoyable and entertaining in 2015.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING…

What is FlamesNation saying about tonight’s game? Check that out, here.

TONIGHT…

JohnnyHockeyOnFire

GAME DAY PREDICTION: I loathe Calgary, so I will pick a big upset and the Oilers win, 3-2, on New Years eve against Calgary for the first time in franchise history. They are 0-4-1, actual tie in 2001 and losses in 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2009, and all games have been played in Calgary.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Analytics people won’t be happy with decision to play Scrivens on consecutive nights.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: (courtesy of Baggedmilk) The Oilers close out the year with back to back wins, stunning the hockey world and fans alike.  To celebrate, “Baby Nuge” is allowed to stay up until midnight to ring in the New Year. Craig MacTavish decides to spend New Year’s Eve with Kevin Lowe, and they play Dance Dance Revolution until the early morning hours.  

Recently by Jason Gregor:     

SmallBanner2

  • Andy7190

    Didn’t clear the puck deep enough.

    But over all, the Oilers are more and more looking structured and organized.

    They must be forgetting the swarm. They look better. But they are still too soft to play against.

  • mk

    Good show on New Years Eve my breathen to the north! So close. I hope the 2015 calendar year is a better year for both Alberta teams – I dream of meaningful BoA meetings (i.e. playoffs…deep in them). Let’s both get there.

    Go Flames go!

  • mk

    Ference scored a goal and decides he doesn’t have to anything for the rest of the season. That was literally the worst line change I’ve ever seen. Just leave it to the oilers captain.

  • geeker99

    I am seriously done with 19, put him waivers cause there is a difference between growing pains and that. No effort and I am done. Ether hire Huddy type coach to teach him D or sit the kid. Not helping ignoring his play,

  • geeker99

    why does McDavid = Crosby all of a sudden? what is wrong with you people? the oilers locker room need a shake up. wake up oiler fans. adding another of the same type of player is a mistake. how do you guys not see this? when all theyve drafted are the same type of players?! because he is a generational talent???!!! based on what???!! playing against his own peers and age group??! give me a break. you oiler fans are the pinnacle of the past decade regarding this team. youre all soooo freaking blind its laughable.

    • geeker99

      I agree with this. all of the top picks have been the best player on their team since they started. if your scoring 100- 150 points a year how much are you playing defenece? Nuge is the only one who looked like he had any defence in his game. thinking playing in Red deer under a sutter regime. mc david looks like he could be soft this way. I dont know though and thats the job of scouts and development coaches. which keeps me up at night .LOL anyway happy new year everybody.

  • Butters

    FLAMES FANS ARE NOT NICE!

    Flames fans are pretty nasty! That’s OK. The most popular song ever in Calgary is that old Three Dog Night tune:

    “ONE is the loneliest number you will ever do

    ONE is the saddest experience you will ever do”

    • YFC Prez

      As an Oilers fan I used to revert to the old “Yeah well how many cups have you won (Vancouver or Calgary fan)?”.

      Honestly, this has to be one of the stupidest things a person could ever say.

      Face the facts. The Oilers are complete sh*t. We have not been relevant for 10 years and if you take out 2006 we have been irrelevant for almost 25 years. The Oilers winning cups in the 90’s is about as relevant to the Stanley Cups won by the Canadiens all those eons ago when there was only a handful of teams in the League. Its doesn’t mean sh*t. What have you done for me lately?

      This organization is a complete joke. Thanks Kevin.

  • geeker99

    The oilers are terrible. They are a couple million dollars from the cap yet can’t break double digit wins until 2015. You got Nikitin and Purcell getting 4.5 million but can’t do anything. The oilers should start getting reasonable contracts and maybe get some players who care besides Nuge.

  • Andy7190

    Just a thought:

    Let’s assume we draft McDavid/ Eichel, we would still be going into next season with only to “NHL” centers. Clearly Draisaitl with 40 NHL games and a rookie #1 Draft pick are better then rookie Drai and Arcobello, but it is still 2 vets and 2 “rookies” at center to start next season.

    I can’t help but wonder if maybe the Oil start one of the 2 on wing next season and get a 3rd vet on center (maybe even Derek Roy)