GDB 40.0 Wrap Up: Islanders @ Oilers

What the hell just happened? Final Score: 5-2 Oilers.

Why do they have to keep scheduling the World Juniors games at the same time as the Oilers game? Why?  Is it because the hockey gods don’t want me to enjoy nice things?  The Canada game was a lot tighter than I think most people expected, and the Oilers game looked to be a few gears slower in terms of pace.   What is a blogger to do?  (Watch the Canada game, naturally). McDavid looked good, and the Canadians are moving on to the gold medal game.  Well done, boys.  We salute you!

As for the Oilers game, this thing went surprisingly well.  At this point, I don’t know if I’m actually seeing the Oilers drive to the net, or if I’ve unknowingly taken some kind of hallucinogen.  It’s not only that, the Oilers are actually shooting the puck on the power play.  What have you done to this team, Todd Nelson? What have you done?  Whatever it is, the Oilers seem to be resurrecting ELPH (Exciting Last Place Hockey) and that’s something I can get behind!  Although the result is the same (losing), the games are in the very least entertaining.  At this point in the season, that’s a small victory I’m willing to take.

Well…the Oilers didn’t seem to care about ELPH, because they went out and crushed the Islanders with an inspired effort.  That’s points in 4 straight games under Todd Nelson.  Back to ELPH: despite the win, the Hurricanes also won their game (2-1 over Boston) so the Oilers remain in 30th place.  I can’t imagine they’ll stick in the basement long if they keep playing games like this, and getting the kind of goaltending that Scrivens has been giving them lately.  I’m not sure how to feel just now about it.  I love wins, but I also love winning the draft lottery.  Such is life as an Oilers fan.

We wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

HappyKid

  • Matt Hendricks scored his 4th and 5th goals of the season.
  • Nice assist on the play by Rob Klinkhammer on Hendricks’ first goal.  Happy to see a new guy able to contribute right away.
  • I love Johnny Boychuk.  Unfortunately, he plays (and scored) for the wrong team.
  • Todd Nelson has the Oilers going to the net.  Finally!  I just don’t understand how that wasn’t part of the plan before?
  • Derek Roy scored his first goal as an Oiler.  Another new guy contributing.
  • Matt Fraser with a beauty release for his 2nd goal as an Oiler.
  • The Hall-Nugey-Eberle line was solid all night.  They were creating chances, and cycling the puck well.
  • Ben Scrivens was solid tonight.  He finished the game by stopping 31 of 33 shots and winding up with a .939 save%.  Scrivens is giving the Oilers a chance to win, and that’s all you can ask of him.

THE FACE PALMERS

crybaby

  • David Perron scored last night.  The goal was assisted by Sidney Crosby.  Colour me unsurprised.
  • Until the last few minutes of the 1st period, there was absolutely nothing going on.  There was 8 shots total, at the 16 minute mark.  It was a snoozefest until Matt Hendricks scored.  1 goal on 5 shots in the first period.
  • Derek Roy and Teddy Purcell turned a 2 on 0 into zero shots on goal.  They passed the puck to each other 400 times, but they didn’t shoot.  Well done.
  • Nail Yakupov was averaging about 4 minutes of ice time per period.  I bet he flourishes wherever the Oilers move him to.  I also assume the return will be underwhelming.

BEST OF THE TWEETS

Do you think you’re hilarious? Show the rest of the Internet. Tweet your hilarities to @OilersNation and @jsbmbaggedmilk, during the game, for your shot at landing in this glorious space.

THE JANUARY CONTEST IS COMING

WhatIsAMeme

As you know, we like to give away Wanye’s stuff around here when he’s not around.  As such, I have just figured out what we’ll be doing for the January contest.  All I’ll say, for now, is that you’d better find a program to make memes.  Stay tuned to the Nation for the theme of the contest, the rules, and the prizes.

  • Derzie

    Glad to see the new blood showing the way. It should serve as an example of how things will progress when management gets shown the door and new managers come in.

    Watched the Canada game on TSN. Ray Ferraro is the best colour man around. The hockey, broadcast, commentary and fans were all top of the heap. THEN I flipped over to the Oil on Sportsnet. It was like a kick in the gut. The place was like a mausoleum. You could hear the guy behind the bench clear his throat. The ice was an odd shade of grey-blue (reflection I take it). The colour guy was the polar opposite of Ferraro. Clumsy, fumbling, didn’t know names of players, interrupted the play by play guy (who was decent enough). And the play was like a bunch of longshoremen bumping into each other while trying to leave a tea party. The contrast between the 2 game viewing experiences was extreme. From an example of the best to an example of the worst with one click.

    • BubbaZanetti

      Tell Kastz to pop a couple more 100 watt blubs into the rink.Rinks like ACC, Bell, have speicall TV lights .. the rink is much brighter.
      Rexall is an old building, but still better production than some of the USA rinks. I think some of those games, don’t appear to be HD.

      Ferraro is goodk, but I think the new guy in
      Edmonton [ Remeediaus ???spelling ]is equally as good.. no goof stuff like Hrudy, but has very specific commedntary about on ice actions, both pro and con. His voice might be a bit sqeaky, but he is dead on about the game.

      I’ll give you that TSN studio guys are much better than Sportsnet. They don’t have Goofs like Keypreos, and McClean.

        • camdog

          [ thanks for the spell check on Remenda, I should have looked it up]

          I would not argue that Louis had to be replaced, he was fine, only think about his commentary, was that he drank some of the corporate koolaide at times. He is doing a good job on the panel [ a bit long winded at times, but is fine].

  • Kenny The Rat

    …..we won. Oilers won, yep we won. MacT you deserve credit for adding the players, and Nellie has this team playing like they are suppose to. I like coaching the way Nelson does it, when asked a question he returns an honest answer, he is always communicating with his players, players are responding to his style.
    OKC are at top of the AHL thanks to Nellie…..

  • Kenny The Rat

    Wow, the Oil string together a couple of decent games and this place goes in full r-tard mode.

    So Mact brought in a couple bottom 6 players and we won a game. Has everybody around here forgotten that this is the same management that has made us the laughingstock of the league for the past 10 years? Oh were trending in the right direction and now we are just going to turn this ship around? Right.

    This is like a young kid who smacks up a car 8 or 9 times and one day dad comes home and the kid is out there shining the car up the in the driveway so dad turns around and throws him the keys and says “take er for a rip, I guess you learned your lesson”.

    Sorry, but I aint buying it. Keep Nelson and gut the rest of these clowns………all the scouts, K Lowe, Howson, and MacTurdish.

    Or keep them around if you are so impressed with a couple of games. I will see you in rebuild year 10. Jeez.

    • Kenny The Rat

      I have not seen any comments from people starting a celebration here man?

      98 percent of the people on this site hate the way the oilers are so chill out.

      Nothing wrong with taking a little joy in a win. Come back when they play a sh’ty game and continue on.

      • Sorensenator

        If 98% of the people on this site hate the way the Oilers are then they wouldn’t be taking solace in one win. It’s one win. It changes nothing. If this team does not gut the management you will never see real improvement.

        It’s either make the real changes needed or we are destined for Infinibuild. That is all.

    • Jordan88

      People want to be happy for a win…

      And that win coming from a bunch of 3rd and 4th liners.

      When was the last time we had a 3rd / 4th line that worked that hard?

      *queue jeopardy music*

      I would say oh probably 05-06.

      Yeah.. that long ago.

      so stuff it.

  • D'oh-ilers

    As much as it would be great to get McDavid or Eichel, I’d still prefer seeing this team finally “get it” and start to put it together. They need to figure it out eventually, and now’s as good a time to start as any.

  • Kenny The Rat

    Awesome!!! Now how to celebrate? Call the parents waking them, tell the good news; and then reflect on a job well done. All my critiquing on O.N. has finally paid off!

  • Rdubb

    After watching the Team Canada vas the USA @ the juniors i sure found their pace of play to be hands down quicker than 99% of the Oiler games thus far this season. The Canadian defence, well, the entire team for that matter, also seemed to move the puck much better than our Oiler defence, they had crisp passes, tape to tape, the puck was moved out consistently up to the forwards, something that doesn’t happen very often in Rexall or what ever other arena the Oilers play in. Something else i noticed from watching the better junior teams, and hopefully Scrivens & our goaltending coach noticed too was how the goalies stayed & stood on their feet much more than Ben does and seemed to be able move from side with far more ease, got out to challenge the shooters and were squared to them, something that doesn’t happen all that often with Ben because he is too freaking busy sliding around on his pads. Ben MUST LEARN to stay on his feet more, thus allowing him to be able to challenge the shooters a little more and it’d also allow him to get squared and set for the shots coming, and until he learns that, well, his era will continue to hover around the .900 mark, which is too bad because when he decides to stay on his feet even a wee bit more, his sv% tends to be much higher, he plays better games and gives EDM a chance.
    Final thought; the 3 newest Oilers seem to bringing something that was lacking, energy!!! All 3 of them have been able to contribute very early on in their Oiler career on the score sheet too. MacT could have easily added some other guys via the waiver wire early too, and they have gone on to play well on their new teams thus far.
    Maybe it’s the change behind the bench, maybe it’s the addition of these 3 new guys, but the Oilers finally seem to playing some resembelance of NHL hockey, going to the net where most NHL goals are scored, they’re battling in the O-zone and i think i am also seeing guys cover up for their d a little more…did the leadership change? did the “energy” on the ice change? did the “energy” in the room change? Or maybe the young guys just didn’t like Eakins and couldn’t get up to play for him, with no-one being there to show them that they must play for guys they don’t like and that they won’t always have an NHL coach that they like. These younger guys need guys to learn from, and by finally adding a little veteran leadership just might aid these guys…
    Final Final thought – MacT will use PIT 1st round pick combined with Nail and perhaps even a young D and will move for a legit top pairing D or he’ll move Nail and the pick for a legit #2 C, thus leaving Leon on the outside looking in next yr when EDM picks 1 or 2 which will be their 3rd line C along with Gordon as the 4th…Maybe Leon will play on EDM’s farm team, were ever that may be?

  • MorningOwl

    Got to admit it – the Oil looked like a team last night, well deserved win. maybe getting these actual NHL players, even though they are supporting pieces, made a difference.

    another thing – adding the new blood starts to affect the culture, and i think we are seeing signs of it. Even though I am a Flames Fan, I surely hope this is the beginning of the turning point.

    That being said – MAcT and Klowe…. “lest we forget” these guys need to go.

  • YFC Prez

    Most of the professional writers stated that coaching was not the problem under Eakins.

    I stated that Eakins was our best opportunity at capturing McDavid or Eichel………now it seems Nelson is taking this team in another direction and soon we will be out of the Dive for McDavid race.

    This team looks like they have a plan of attack under Nelson……..nice!

  • If the Oilers are not making the playoffs, i would rather they finish 29-30th and get Eichel or McDavid……what benefit is there to finishing 20-23rd? Moral victory?……..we are way beyond moral victories….damn……#fireeakins has #backfired

    • camdog

      Well it looks like Mact has the team back where they were when Tambelinni was fired. Only took a year an half to get there but it has finally happened. Definitely conflicting times to be an Oiler fan. A bottom 3 finish gives the team an impact player that could lead this team for the next decade.

      There’s a fine line between the Chicago Blackhawks build and the Atlanta/Winnipeg build. Weak drafting and building from the wings out is what happened in Atlanta, hopefully that’s not what happened here.

  • BubbaZanetti

    This was perhaps the best “TEAM” play of the season. I think the arrival of some of these new players,the most skilled, but they all can skate and shoot the puck.More importanrly they bring a element of work ethic on every shift.

    Heck they even got the $6Million Line going, and Scrivens played like the game meant something.

    A lot of credit goes to Nelson.. playing a up and down simple game [ no swarm] going to the net.

    Yes these new arrivals might be playing for their lives.. but at least they put effort nd pride into their work.

    Sorry, is there any hope for young Yak.?

    • Anton CP

      Fixing Yak is needing someone to wipe his memory out about Eakins’ teaching. Someone needs to tell him to forget everything he learned from Eakins because Eakins was never about making him better instead of trying to mold Yak into the player he wants. If this is coming from a legendary coach then yes but if this is coming from a guy who has zero success in big league with a larger than life persona then hell no.

    • PimKing

      Yak should be used to fleece a gm for a Damn if he can’t begin to find his game. Really wish he would just bull his way around and drive into dmen once he gets the step.
      Downside is if he matures into a Tarasenko type player cuz that guy is a beast right now and only getting better.

      • camdog

        It seems that not too many players improve their game under “Oilers” watch.

        Hopefully Nelson and crew can change him. It seems he can’t read the play or the ice.
        He is always standing still when he does not have the puck, no matter what zone the play is in.

        Yak, ” DO NOT stray out of your lane just play up and down the ice and unless there is a line change.. DO NOT wander back into your own zone for a wind up run..

        He’s got a good heavy shot, take it to the net, if you don’t loose the puck first.

        This kid has zero confidence right now.

        Its lost asset if he cant turn his game around ,because on the trade market he is at best third rounder as it stands.

  • PimKing

    All you guys comparing Canada to the oilers, like there is a single common thread between the two, is a joke.

    On one hand you have a group of elite level juniors playing against weaker competition, hence why they look so good. On the other hand we have the Oilers, a weaker competition team playing against elite NHL players.

    Now if you want to see the awesome pace of game that everyone is raving about, were gonna need to grab a Dman or 2 yet. That’s where the flow starts (other than on Smyttys head). If for some miracle the Dmen start pinching down the wall and holding pucks in and a forward calmly and cool takes his place on the point and doesn’t look like a bunny about to be caught by wolves, well then were on to something. This teams is better now with more heart and NHL level skill, and a coach who looks like he can make adjustments on the fly. Before it always seemed like they were square pegging the round hole and just wouldn’t ever waver from that, it’ll go just hit it..!

    So, Team Canada = F1 car in an Indy race

    Team oilers = 702cu big block, shoddy drivetrain, 4 different tires and wipers that haven’t worked since 07. They come to the track, its just not always pretty.

    But it looks like we picked up some mechanics there in Klinkhammer and Fraser.

  • camdog

    Forget McDavid or Eichle. What this team truly needs is Boychuck. I was banging the drum over the summer and got told he wouldn’t be worth it. I think Gregor even said we’d have to pay him 6 mil and that wasn’t worth it.

    Top pairing, right shot, veteran, big body dman, that can do it all. Yeah, better not pay that guy 6 mill to anchor our defence for the next 6 years.

  • BubbaZanetti

    Gotta like Derek Roy’s comments after the game when he was interviewed by Principe. When asked what he thought was contributing to the teams better play, Roy said ” it’s about battling hard, everyone, and when our top guys are battling hard it has that trickle down effect”. Maybe not word for word, but you get the idea. And last night I thought our top line actually did battle hard. And when you get the same effort out of the top line as you do the fourth then this team at least has a chance. But, can they keep it up ?

  • BubbaZanetti

    I have to say that having Lander and Roy in the line up, has almost overnight changed the general compete level of the team. Who knew having some experienced centres would cause such a turn around? It kills me to think that for just money, both Roy and Lander could have been here since the start of the season. Or, if not Roy, then any number of vet centres on the market over the summer.

    I’m not even going to call it managerial incompetence. Nope, more like hubris. Now, imagine Petry got signed long term, and Schultz and Hunt weren’t getting 20 + min since the start of the year. The Oilers might actually have been competitive.