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
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
- Wayne Gretzky 583
- Jari Kurri 474
- Glenn Anderson 417
- Mark Messier 392
- Ryan Smyth 296
- Paul Coffey 209
- Craig Simpson 185
- Esa Tikkanen 178
- Shawn Horcoff 162
- Doug Weight 157
- Craig MacTavish 155
- Ales Hemsky 152
- Todd Marchant 136
- Petr Klima 119
- Dave Hunter 119
- Ethan Moreau 112
Jordan Eberle 111
- Taylor Hall 103
- Sam Gagner 101
- Jason Arnott 100
TALE OF THE TAPE
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.
Oilers don’t have the smartest guy in the room coaching them any more, but they’re playing with balls and heart. Fans will happily take that
— Robin Brownlee (@Robin_Brownlee) February 13, 2015
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
The projected lineups from DailyFaceoff.com
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING….
— XXL Magazine (@XXL) February 13, 2015
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.
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.