GDB 56.0 Wrap Up: Oilers @ Canadiens

Assist on the winner goes to Tom Gilbert. Final Score: 4-3 Oilers in OT.

I have to say, I’m really digging this week of early hockey games.  Regardless of how the Oilers play, there is either time to calm down from your Oilers related rage or celebrate(?) a win.  That being said, I can do my job in my underwear, so I understand that a good chunk of you miss most of these games because of your careers and grown up responsibilities.  Most of the time, missing the first half of the game is a benefit, am I right?

Tonight, the Oilers played a really solid road game.  They dug themselves a hole early, but they were able to crawl back.  The Oilers were able rally back from a two goal deficit by hard work, shooting the puck, and crashing the net – WHAT A CONCEPT! I just can’t help but wonder where this work ethic was early in the season.  Even with the loss and injuries to Hall and Pouliot, the Oilers are starting to look like an actual team… albeit several months late. 

Every time the Habs thought they were going to pull away the Oilers found a way to tie things up.  It was the kind of resiliency that we haven’t seen in the Nation in a long time.  Would the Oilers have ever been able to complete a comeback like this in the early parts of the season? There’s no chance, right? A win like this leads me to only one conclusion… Todd Nelson’s black magic is powerful and dangerous.  

Like chicken, we wrap.



  • The game finished early!
  • Petry made a really nice little move and shot on the Matt Hendricks deflection goal.  How the Oilers don’t think that Petry provides value on the blueline is baffling.  Some other team will get a really solid player there.
  • I love seeing Matt Hendricks score (his 7th). The guy works for absolutely everything he gets, and you can’t help but cheer for him. 
  • Nuge hadn’t scored in 8 games and it was nice to see him get two tonight (his 13th & 14th of the year).  It was ugly, but they all count.  I bet he was annoyed that Kelly Hrudey called him a third line centre. 
  • Oscar Klefbom made a huge save (yes, a save) when the net was empty.  The Oilers were able to come back and score off the back of his goaltending efforts.  Unreal!
  • Anton Lander scored (his third) the game winner in overtime.  Nail Yakupov got an assist on the goal, giving him a three-game point streak. 
  • Speaking of the winning goal, I loved that it was Tom Gilbert that took Tokarski out to give Lander the tap in. Once an Oiler, always an Oiler.
  • Todd Nelson’s winter tan is superb.



  • PK Subban was a second round pick. Damned hindsight! (In case you were wondering, not one of the three first round picks that the Oilers had that year are still in the organization – Gagner, Plante, Nash) Montreal also drafted Pacioretty and Ryan McDonagh that year as well.  *sigh*
  • Christian “Lil Stumpy” Thomas scored his first ever NHL goal tonight. Shocking, right? LOL!
  • The refereeing crew, or whoever it was, that felt the need to review the Petry “goal.” By goal I mean that shot that missed the net entirely.
  • The Oilers are finally putting in 60 minutes worth of effort 56 games into the season. Where was this in October?
  • These points in the standings are not going to help us get our McJesus. 



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Last week, I got an email from my friend Jackie Dee at the Oilers Rig about a fundraiser that they’re holding at Brewsters on February 21st to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis.  This is the second year in a row that the Oilers Rig has held this event, and we want to help them raise as much money as possible.  Last year, they raised over $2000 for MS research and with the auction items they’ve got this year I’m hoping we can help launch them past that. 

What’s for auction you ask?  How about a signed Connor McDavid team Canada jersey? They’ve also got a really cool Ryan Smyth farewell canvas that has been signed as well, just to name a couple.  The point is, they scraped together some really cool stuff to auction off, they’ll also have trivia and prizes, but more importantly an opportunity to do something positive in the community.

If you don’t have plans set for February 21st, you do now.  Shout out to our friends at the Oilers Rig for raising money for such a great cause. If you’re looking for more details on the event, the article explaining everything you need to know is here

  • 99CupsofCoffey

    How many wins for Nelson now? 8?9? Three or four more and he’ll probably be the second winningest coach for the Oilers in a decade #untrueoilersfactsthatarenttoofaroff

  • Good experience and lesson for the Team. Work hard on all our shifts, don’t get down when you are behind a goal or two… keep pushing.
    See you can win those type of games.

    Their best effort, the last two games {NYI & MTL] this season.

    Still trying to wrap my head around … # 48, 62, on second unit power play.

  • The Oilers came back to win.Price was a spectator.
    There are plenty of scouts watching the Oilers.It is obvious the Oilers will make a large component of Team Canada at the World Championship. The scouts should be impressed.That has added to the confidence of the team.For the “last” while the Worlds were an Oiler Tradition. Once again history repeats.

  • Zarny


    LMAO…a team’s W-L record is fancy stats now. Good grief.

    “Visually better”. Yes, that BS says all you need to know about those fawning over 0.500 hockey.

    PS…MacT was up his a$$.

  • Zarny

    @ Mac T

    Enough is enough, the Oilers of 2014 were in a much better situation to prosper in the future than they are now. Why you ever turfed that brilliant fail artist Eakins is beyond me. For a time I thought maybe you were out smarting the entire NHL and had deceptively masterminded a great tank operation to save this awful, awful club. Turns out I was wrong and gave you way to much credit, your just stupid. This small shred of determination and battle they show from time to time is disgusting. If we want to match Buffalo we need to take drastic measures. Unload Fasth, Petry and Hendricks and give Bachman the reins. Bury this walking dead for good this year. Let’s do ourselves a favor for the next 20 years and grab this McDavid kid. Buffalo has rung the bell its your time to answer it. Be “bold” Mac T be “bold” …..

    • MacTastic

      You have a keen eye for spotting talent. Are you also good at counting things, like Stanley cups? Mr. Ewol, perhaps you have a bright future in the upper echelons of an NHL level hockey operations executive staff…

  • Butters

    I remember thinking to myself during the OT, “C’mon Nelson, get Yak in there to get the winner”. True story.

    I am loving how Nelson is unruining Yakupov.

    • bazmagoo

      The Eakins hiring set the Oilers back 2 seasons, minimum. Whether that was incompetence or a tank is debatable. The results can’t be debated. If the Oilers get some value contracts on the cheap (Lander, Yakupov) it could be worth it though. Hoping, when was the last time we had a value contract on the books?

  • Zarny your comments tonight are interesting. Statistically your absolutely right. Can’t argue the numbers that compare this year to last year.
    The argue is moot because Eakins is no longer coach of this team and the results of his tenure are fixed and now history.

    Nelson gets a clean slate. Different players inserted since he arrived. Roy> Lander>Klefbom etc.

    So in terms of comparison I do not think its fair or constructive to compare Eakins to Nelson.

    What we can talk about is the change that we have seen in this team in the past few weeks in terms of compete. Sure there is still inconsistencies in term of individual and team play. Yet what we have seen is far more positive in terms of results and competiveness than what we saw previously earlier this season. Is that a credit to Nelson? Partly. To a roster that has added players like Lander and Roy. Partly. To a healthy Jordan Eberle. Partly. There are a lot pieces that we can look at individually that have lent to the Oilers resurgence recently. Its to the eye and to the perception a different team than the one we saw earlier this season.
    Statistically we are better. And by better I refer to the numbers that apply to this team this year. Not last years nor 2006.

    If your going to argue Zarny last year vs this year its not an argument that for me has holds any water. We need to focus on what we are seeing now. That is the 20 games since Nelson took over. And in my opinion this group is playing as well as can be expected with a number 1 center who is not even 23 years old yet. The bar seems to be have set pretty high for some of our players by the media. Unfairly in my opinion by some. Jason Gregor just to name one.Kelly Hrudey to name two.Mark Spector to name three.
    Development is never in a straight line. Ever. Martin Maricin is a good example. Lander is the 4 star example of development. Yakupov is the 5 star bell ringer. Development takes time.Each player takes time to develop his own game. There are steps forward and back. But the need for patience is primary.Time and then more time. Lesson after mistake or after success.
    This team is still in flux. There is no set time limit on when a team will become not just a group of individuals but a team. MacT and Klowe both understand this. Heck Eakins understood this and in his post interview spoke the very word Patience.

    Zarny when this season is done and Nelson and his group are done then speak and talk about stats and suchlike. Till then its moot and even more so when you compare it to last years squad.

    • OtOil

      Eakins was no stranger to having new players added to his line up.

      I find it funny that MacT figures he added 3 new players at the same time he added a new coach, but seems to think it was the players that made the difference, even though he added how many under Eakins?

      Far be it for him to say the improvement had anything to do with the coaching change, but instead directs the attention to his addition of waver, and trade for junk players, that nobody else wanted.

  • geeker99

    I like this winning stuff. I also like watching yak take 3 one timers on a PP within 10 seconds scoring on his third. That never would of happen under Eakins. If we aren’t picking Mcdavid or Echiel our first rounders should be trade bait for some seasoned talent. Top 2 d-man 1st line center or a #1 goalie. No need for this team to get younger. Hope Hall comes back with different attitude when healthy.

        • bazmagoo

          Lots of replacements available short term for Roy, not so much Petry. Santorelli for 2 years at 2 million/season. Could be the best contract offer he gets easily, because of his size essentially.

          • CMG30

            Luckily Roy’s position is of someone fighting for the chance to play in the nhl. While we are happy to have him, it is not something to be relied on that’s for sure.

            I agree we can find other desperate centers to do what he has done, but we shouldn’t be dumping 4.5 on nikitin, while picking up league rejects at center.

            For the record I love Roy, and don’t think he is a reject, I am only going off what he was valued as.

            If you are reading this Roy, you are doing great!!

          • CMG30

            The same person that says Shultz is half of our top 2 shut down Dmen line for next year by chance?

            Btw, even Shultz looks better under Nelson. Maybe he will be a good young dman coming up.

            Who freakin knows who was supposed to be good, and who actually has the chance to still be.

            Obviously Eakins crushed the will of players… maybe Shultz will continue getting better along with Nail and Eberle?

            I wright the last 2 years off as garbage hands in the air coaching..

            I am even willing to give horrible Shultz a chance now with the new coach. I probably couldn’t buy a Pepsi from a vending machine with eakins standing behind me, for fear of hitting the wrong buttons.

  • SlaveLake

    Oh and. I know people have joked about it. But how come every time Hall is out. RNH is an all star. And when Hall plays he is a third line center (Hrudey). But ….

  • bazmagoo

    Have to say, I’m really impressed with Nelson’s work. The guy has overseen a pretty dramatic turnaround in the Oilers fortunes. I hated Eakins 20 games into last season, and finally am feeling joy again when watching games. Such a relief! Who would have thought? Enjoying games as a fan would be therapeutic!

  • Why some people here still support Eakins?

    The guy is a lousy coach, that’s why the Leafs are not hiring to coach their team now. Eakins got 1 and 1/2 season of experience with Oilers but he’s still not coaching in NHL. Leafs let their inter rim coach the team, he’s 2-13-3. Eakins was 36-63-14 with Oilers.

    Todd Nelson has the team playing way better and the players are having fun again.

    With the Oilers winning doesn’t affect in draft picks much in June. Sabres has 20% landing 1st, Oilers has 13.5%, 28th place has 11.5% and 27th has 9.5%.

    First pick, 2nd pick and 3rd pick are lotto draws. So it’s a gamble, any teams could have won those first 3 picks. 30th place has better odds, 29th to 27th are pretty much even with a few % better in odds.

    Todd Nelson and the Oilers need to win their remaining games for confidence builder for next season. This team has been losing long enough, finish in bottom 4 is ok. Hopefully Carolina and Arizona keep winning also, Buffalo will finish 30th for sure.

    • Serious Gord

      Finishing second guarantees at least a top three pick in this years draft.
      Finishing first at least a top two.

      Consensus is that McDavid and eichel are head and shoulders better than the rest making dead last guaranteeing at least eichel and almost doubling the odds of getting mcdavid an arguably worthwhile pursuit.

        • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

          I don’t agree with you on anything, but you’re right with this one.

          Nelson has the team pointed in a better direction, but I still think a major overhaul is needed. It’s been a while since I’ve said this, but damn man. What a game last night.

          And the Flames lost to the Kings. Overall great night.

  • SlaveLake

    I’m seriously torn by wanting to see the oilers succeed and at least stay in contention with buffalo for last. The thought of MCDAVID or Eichel in a oiler jersey has its merits..

    But wow is it good to see the oilers take games with some effort

  • camdog

    Nice to have a coach, coaching to win, rather than a coach coaching to boost the teams Corsi. Had to laugh at Eakins when he was bragging about that during his little radio spot a couple of weeks ago.

    It wasn’t long ago that Yakopov was a bust, good to see that he’s back to being a high end prospect.

    Mact and Eakins remind me of that movie Dumb and Dumber with what they pulled off to start the season. Hopefully Mact has learned from his mistakes but from what I hear he has not.

  • Zarny

    Like all of you as Feb 14 is upon us I have felt like a Jilted Lover as an Oilers Fan. It is tough to be here. There are some truisms in love and sports. 1. Eternal pessimism will sink you no matter what the girl or team looks like. 2. Judge Girl/Team against your expectations of them and on their own merit. Do not compare the girl/team to the old one. 3.Unconditional Love is blind so be willing to listen to other opinions both in hockey and Girls. 4. When it goes great what ever you do do not remind the girl/Team of their failures unless you want a repeat of the problems. 5.Do not forget that at the end you only get the silver if they truly feel loved. Now go love on somebody, have a great Feb 14.

  • Costanza

    Yes, its too early to tell if Nelson is the guy
    going forward, but we know one thing for sure is that Eakins was definitely not the guy!, and that’s for sure. Should have never ever started this season as the head coach of the Oilers.

    Many here have point out that at least Nelson has the team playing with more spirit , energy, and staying in the game to the end.
    And he is doing with some very questionable talent, that the illustrious MacT as assembled here posing as an NHL team.

    Making the statement that ” we probably need to only add 3 players” , I would fire his asterisk right out of here.

  • Costanza

    No matter what you throw at Nelson ………he never complains, readjusts, and has his team prepared……..just like he did on the farm!

    Eakins has now been revealed for what he was ……..a complete waste of time as far as coaching goes! I will say he would make a good broadcaster.

    Mac T will try his hardest ( by screwing around with Petry and others) to challenge Nelson with all his trade trick………but I suspect NElson will just keep ticking.

    IT’s what happens when players respect you, you play for the full 60 minutes.

  • Zarny


    Sorry, but your comment is indicative of seeing what you want to see.

    Under Krueger, Eberle had 37 pt in 48 games. That pro-rates to 63 pt. Last year under Eakins, he put up 65 pt in 80 games. Statistically Eberle was better under Eakins than Krueger. He’s always been a streaky player and he’s certainly hot now, but it’s pure fallacy that Eberle was playing better under Krueger than Eakins.

    Under Krueger, Yak had 17 G and 31 pt in 48 games. Pro-rated over 82 games that is 29 G and 53 pt. Over the last 20 games he has 2 G and 8 pt. That pro-rates to 8 G and 33 pt. He is nowhere near playing like he did under Krueger.

    Under Krueger, Jultz had 27 pt in 48 games. Pro-rated that’s 46 pt over 82 games. over the last 20 games under Nelson he has 6 pt. That pro-rates to a whopping 25 pt over 82 games which is 54.3 % of the production he saw under Krueger.

    Saying that Eberle, Jultz and Yak are starting to play the same doesn’t actually make it so. It’s just more of that “visually better” BS.

    • camdog

      So you are saying that Yakopov isn’t playing better under Nelson then he ever did under Eakins. You may be the one and only Oiler fan to make this comment, very interesting.

  • Oiler Fan 16

    I think the overall team is playing better, now that they have a simpler game plan and are getting active coaching on the bench. Go to the net, play positions like you’ve been doing for your entire career and shoot the puck.

    Simple, but effective in giving yourself a chance to win.

    The goalies now can face shots with less stress and the defense can move the puck easier, knowing their wingers and partners are where they are expected to be.

    Fixing the lack of habits Eakins stressed is proving difficult, but it’s going to be a real interesting study in leadership and consistency.

  • Zarny


    No, I said Yakupov isn’t playing anywhere near his rookie season under Krueger; which is what you asserted.

    Is Yakupov playing better under Nelson than Eakins?

    Meh, maybe marginally. 3 pt in his last 3 games is certainly nice; but that means he only had 1 G and 5 pt over the previous 17 games all under Nellie and was -10. That isn’t exactly good.

    I’m sure Yak is a happier these days with a different coach. I don’t attribute that to Nelson though, any new coach would have given Yak new hope.

    And even under Eakins I thought Yak’s work ethic and energy level were good this year. The kid cares and plays with an edge which I think every fan likes. I haven’t seen an improvement under Nelson because I think that aspect of his game has been fine all year long.