GDB 57.0: WOLVES

It has been another long, frustrating season for Oilers fans and it’s easy to forget just how many good things are housed on the roster of Orange and Blue. Perhaps today is a good day to remind ourselves of the good things in life, in Edmonton and in OilersNation.

BEST OILERS PLAYER 2010-15

burr1

This is Wanye’s uncle (Rayne) taking a dim view of my choice for Oilers best player of the last five years. There are, by my estimate, three men (Nuge, Hall, Ebs) who could reasonably fit the bill and honestly any answer is the right one.

For me the answer is Taylor Hall. I call him Chance and love to watch him flying down the ice, with defensemen backing up like no tomorrow and sphincter’s tightening across the opposition. A wonderful sight!

Sadly, I’ve reached the conclusion that the best ‘future’ on the club belongs to the Nuge. Hall’s still brilliant but I think we’re reaching the point where counting on No. 4 to play 75 games a year isn’t reasonable. A quick note here on Jordan Eberle: Buddy is almost always No. 3 on this list but he has to be given credit for staying healthy and posting productive numbers every season. Mark my words, “Ebs” is going to rank high on this list when all is said and done:

OILERS ALL-TIME GOAL SCORERS

  1. Wayne Gretzky 583
  2. Jari Kurri 474
  3. Glenn Anderson 417
  4. Mark Messier 392
  5. Ryan Smyth 296
  6. Paul Coffey 209
  7. Craig Simpson 185
  8. Esa Tikkanen 178
  9. Shawn Horcoff 162
  10. Doug Weight 157
  11. Craig MacTavish 155
  12. Ales Hemsky 152
  13. Todd Marchant 136
  14. Petr Klima 119
  15. Dave Hunter 119
  16. Ethan Moreau 112
  17. Jordan Eberle 111
  18. Taylor Hall 103
  19. Sam Gagner 101
  20. Jason Arnott 100

TALE OF THE TAPE

oilers sens tale

Oilers have a stronger record in the last 10 games and their shots for/against number remains relatively strong. This is certainly a winnable game based on how well Edmonton has been playing on this road trip.

The Oilers still have their issues but as Robin Brownlee says this version of the Oilers looks like they’re more engaged and more certain about their own game. It’s important to remember that Todd Nelson doesn’t have some exceptional talent—Taylor Hall, David Perron and Benoit Pouliot—but they bring what the have with extreme prejudice. And it’s a far better viewing than the tentative crew we saw before Christmas.

IS OUR CHILDREN LEARNING?

Jonathan Willis made an excellent point in his article on Todd Nelson yesterday:

  • Take the interim tag off Todd Nelson. He’s made big upgrades
    at special teams and at even-strength he’s had incredible challenges
    which go a long way toward explaining the step back in the team’s
    underlying numbers. Source

I agree with Jon’s take and would suggest that Nelson’s ability to get AHL players to play at an NHL level (Lander, Klefbom) has extreme value. If these men play at current levels for the rest of the season, the MacT shopping list will be reduced by several.

How much is Todd Nelson worth to this team? Enough to suggest he’s been the best callup from the minors this century (although Klefbom may give him a run for his money).

LAST 10 GAMES

last 10 feb 13

Lineups…

The projected lineups from DailyFaceoff.com

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WHAT THEY’RE SAYING….

From Sens Chirp

Two days after a spirited rally against the high-flying Pittsburgh Penguins, the Senators continue their five game homestand against the lowly Edmonton Oilers.

It has been another disaster of a season for the Oilers although the possibility of landing a top two pick in June has to be pretty attractive at this point. And granted all those high picks haven’t helped them much to this point but when it’s one of Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel, it’s certainly going to be a player that will help turn their fortunes around. Eventually.

For some reason, when I woke up this morning I accidentally checked the Wild Card standings instead of the usual league-view I’ve been using for the last few weeks.  Heading into today’s action the Senators sit 11 points back of the Bruins for the final playoff spot. And with two games in hands…Nahhhhh, there’s no chance.

Well technically there’s about a 5.6% chance but really, there’s no chance.

TODAY…

Plank

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers play a strong game but can’t score, fading in the third period and losing 2-0. 

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Intermission commentators get names of Oilers players wrong, call Nuge a fourth-line center and refer to our city as Edmundston. 

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The
Oilers gain respect with a 60-minute effort despite the final score. 

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  • The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33

    I’ve never been a petry fan. I always thought he was soft, mistake prone and average at best. But man, I’ve never seen him play as well as he has the last few games. He’s all over it right now. makes you wonder if he’s just motivated to get out of here

    • YFC Prez

      I wouldn’t be surprised to see pouliot and Purcell switch spots for the start of the third. Really Roys line is the only one doing much tonight.

      Maybe you should call out Nugey again. Worked like a charm last game

      • YFC Prez

        Maybe that’s why they can’t put together a team, cuz they’re always drinking. Probably drunk when they traded a pick and signed Nikitin

        It’s starting to make sense. Maybe they’re not stupid, maybe they’re just raging alcoholics.

        • Serious Gord

          On the pregame radio stauffer interviewed an Ottawa journo. The journo said that no one in the league knows what Edmonton is doing regarding roster and trade deadline His sources say that it changes all the time – one minute eberle and hall are up for trade the next they aren’t.

          Seemed like that really pinned stauffers ears back – he quickly switched topics rather than inquire more about it – which is clearly what the listeners would rather be have done.

          • YFC Prez

            That’s not surprising! How could anyone in the league know what the oilers are doing when they themselves don’t know what they’re doing. Atleast they’re good friends with Katz. If you throw s**t at the wall long enough something’s gotta stick

          • Serious Gord

            While I think it would be overstating it to say stauffer and I are friends, but we have been on friendly terms for about a decade in a very odd relationship – me as the phone in caller and he as the host.

            As the Color guy for the team he is clearly in a compromised position and thus I’m not surprised he defends and deflects the Management of the team.

            But I think it fair to say that there are very very few people who are bigger fans of the oil than bob. And that he is dying inside with the team being this bad this long.

            He does a job that I couldn’t possibly do under compromising conditions and I greatly respect that.

          • hark65

            I agree with most of your comments and have heard you a few times on his show. I stopped listening to Bob when I realized he either doesn’t understand the game of hockey or he can’t say anything negative about the team at any point in his shows.

            In regards to my first comment, (he doesn’t understand the game), it was obvious to me 3 years ago that the Oilers had too many small skilled players in their lineup and voiced that to him several times. He refused to hear that type of talk and would lecture listeners by saying “they’re still young, give them time” and “be patient”. There was not one ounce of him that would listen to reason about the roster being filled with too many of the same type of players. Nor would he listen to the fact that the players were being rushed into the NHL (eg. RNH, Yakupov to name two) or that management was terrible at making those decisions because of their arrogance. He scoffed and lectured against my reasoning.

            For that, I believe he doesn’t understand the game or how to build a roster to compete in the WEstern Conference. Yes, he’s an employee of the Oiers and has to be careful about what he says, but at least acknowledge when fans make good points. Many fans bring a high knowledge of the game that many broadcasters and journalists refuse to acknowledge (eg. Marc Spector is one that comes to mind).

  • Maggie the Monkey

    “How much is Todd Nelson worth to this team? Enough to suggest he’s been the best callup from the minors this century (although Klefbom may give him a run for his money).”

    Some will think I’m an idiot but I’ll suggest that this title still belongs to Horcoff.