GDB 61: THRIFT SHOP!

We’re now at the point in the season where individual games don’t pack the potential punch of earlier games. Now, we’ve long since kissed the playoffs goodbye but we’re also reaching the point where no one can catch the Oilers and the Oilers can’t catch anyone (save the Big Smoke). What does that mean? For the Oilers, it means they’re turning their roster into a thrift shop. For Oilers Nation: Have fun! Enjoy the wins, forget about the losses and for goodness sakes don’t let this season depress you one moment more! Enjoy the warmth of the sun, your significant other in a spring dress, turn up the tunes and hope for a big :$. In the language of Nail, ))))))) !

If there’s one thing experience tells you it’s this: Getting down over things you can’t control is a bad bad bet. It’s true, the serenity pledge is all about it. Here, let’s run that one:

  • Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

It has to be expensive, throwing Oilers jerseys on the ice and then suffering a beer in the face and what’s more people are starting to get angry about it.

I hate to see that. I understand frustration (although honestly, am miles too cheap to throw a jersey away) and this march through another losing season is painful. However, the jersey throw and reaction last night is a good place to put an end to that sort of thing. It’s so ‘last year’ as the kids say (when I say that, please understand I have NO idea what kids actually say these days).

Anyway, I worry about people. This is tough, being a fan is supposed to be fun and this isn’t a whole lotta happy. So, tonight, if the game starts to frustrate you, remember sunshine, good times, a warm embrace and the magic in a pretty girl’s smile. Accept the things you cannot change. It’s a thing. Sermon fin.

I’m reading a lot of “well, let’s hear from the Todd Nelson fan club NOW!” after losses, and folks that’s badly missing the point. Nelson has the Oilers 10-11-3 since he took over, the power play is better and the goaltending/shooting percentage seems to be headed in a good way.

However, this is a team that can’t ice Taylor Hall tonight, nor David Perron and possibly not Jeff Petry. The club has added Derek Roy and Oscar Klefbom is playing well, but doesn’t the coach deserve some credit here?

Dallas Eakins and Todd Nelson have taken a solid beating online from fans this year and I’m at a loss to explain it. Did we not agree that the center position was poor? What was that line? Two centers and mud? I think that was it. The memory plays tricks on us, but let’s agree on this: tonight’s Oilers team is badly outgunned from the opening face-off until the final siren sings. Blame Todd Nelson? Get outta town. 

TALE OF THE TAPE

oilers ducks

Le holy. Miles of difference in won-loss but not too much in shots for/against. There’s a story in this season, it involves goaltending, shooting percentage and special teams. We’ll talk after the season but I’ll say this today: If you’re picking a team to spike next season, the Oilers should be in the conversation. That said, sign Jeff Petry, get a starting goaltender and stop playing teenagers, please and thanks. This team has the jacks and kings but keeps tripping on finding the sixes and sevens.

LAST 10 GAMES

last 10 feb 21

22 goals, last 10 games. Doesn’t cut it. 36GA by the way during the same 10 games. Remember that when people are ripping Taylor Hall in the summer. The man pushes the river.

LINEUPS….

The projected lineups from DailyFaceoff… We’ll update these as they change.

Screen Shot 2015-02-21 at 11.13.25 AM

Screen Shot 2015-02-21 at 11.13.36 AM

Screen Shot 2015-02-21 at 11.13.48 AM

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING…

From Anaheim Calling

The Ducks have been in a major slump. Even the national news has covered it. (And when the national news even acknowledges the Ducks’ presence, that is a big deal). The slump appears to have been broken by a 6-3 victory over the Flames last night, but for us, beating the Flames is like breathing and probably doesn’t mean much. Furthermore, as we all know, the Flames lead 2-0 until Andrew Cogliano sparked a five goal rally from the Ducks (another example of that pesky we-need-a-major-goal-deficit-to-start-playing-like-we-care trend that the Ducks seem to exemplify). So, basically, don’t get too excited about last night.

All pessimism aside, the Ducks are in an excellent place to repeat last night’s gaudy score. Tonight’s game will be the Oilers‘ eighth in 13 days, and the club is coming off a dispiriting 4-0 loss at home against the Minnesota Wild in which they managed a meager 15 shots. For other teams, a 4-0 drubbing at home might set the stage for a huge comeback game the next night. But since these are the Oilers (with their 17-33-10 record), don’t count on it. Someone remind me why Justin Schultz voluntarily elected to go to this team?

TODAY…

GetzlafRam

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers get a solid effort from Richard Bachman but fall 3-0 to the superior Anaheim Ducks. 

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: HNIC broadcast says “Oilers” and “bad” in the same sentence 400 times, JUST IN CASE we don’t get it. 

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: HNIC broadcast doesn’t actually mention the Oilers during any of the intermission segments of the game.

SmallBanner2

    • YFC Prez

      Ohh ohh I know I know. !!!!!!!!!!

      Find a D man first. You know like Chara or Phaneuf. Any real top pairing d man. Goalie would be nice. But untill the D is fixed Price would look bad playing here.

      Put scrivens on another team and he’s going to look better. I don’t think goaltending is as big as a problem as our D. d is still awful. And might I add The BEST d-man on the team is gone very soon. It’s only gonna get worse.

      • bradleypi

        Seriously dude. He shoulda stopped that one. Price would have. And I’ve never said Schultz is right on track but as far as the future of the Oilers go, he is a better option than petry. You have to admit that. It’s not even about next year now. It’s about building a team that is a contender 5 years from now. Petry would be 32 by then and probably not in the league

        • YFC Prez

          I’m going to say this about Schultz. He’s looked better under Nelson. Surprisingly better but still not good. He’s progressed from a player who looks incapable of playing at the NHL level to a 3 Rd pairing guy who can play on the power play. That may even be a little generous

          If Schultz turns out at the level Petry is currently at I will be surprised. If he does turn into a elite level top pairing D-man my mind would be completely blown. Don’t get me wrong I would love to see Schultz become the player he looked like he would be after that tear he went on in oKC. He just hasn’t shown anything close to promising signs that this will ever happen.

          Barring injury Petry will be in the league five years from now.

          I hope your right about Schultz. The oilers could use some good news on the back end. But I’m fairly confident your very mistaken about Petry.

          • YFC Prez

            If you dig into it you can find a direct quote from Lowe about this team not only contending for the playoffs but for the Stanley cup in five years.

            Five years have come and gone.

          • YFC Prez

            What part of no playoffs for 9 years and counting, and finishing close to last place for the last 5 straight years screams soon to be Stanley cup contender to you?

          • bradleypi

            Hall,nuge,ebs,yak,Schultz,Gordon,nurse,Leon,moroz,chase,Yakimov and whoever they draft this year screams contender to me. Oh and a winner in Mact building the squad. That’s all. You don’t agree?

          • YFC Prez

            5 years isn’t unrealistic for any team to become cup contenders. In 5 years toronto or calgary or buffalo or new jersey could all be cup contenders. All it takes is proper management. The type of management the oilers have shown they don’t have from the previous 5 years

          • Kevwan

            He’s been on the job for 2 years. (shirt 2 months) and was apart of the management for a year prior as a senior V.P of hockey operations. So he’s had his hand in this for 3 years. He’s also a rookie gm who’s team has digressed under his control.

            But hey, you keep dreaming. You’re blind faith is kinda cute

          • bradleypi

            Lol.. why do you hate the Oilers so much? You’re very bitter man. This season is over. Deal with it. Let Mact build his team. If you dont like him there is plenty of other teams to cheer for

          • CMG30

            I’ll give MacT credit where credit is due: he’s been an active GM since he took over.

            In fact he’s turned over 2/3rds of the roster so he has basically built his team… and here we are: standing at the bottom looking up!

          • YFC Prez

            Actually he’s made alot of mistakes. Eakins of course, Nikitin, gagner contract, Labarbera, Scrivens and Fasth, depending on Draisaitl and not bringing in a center, Belov, Grebeshkov… There’s actually only 1 move he’s made that has worked out a d that was signing Gordon. Nothing else he’s done has worked out

          • YFC Prez

            He’s acquired klinkhammer and a first for Perron. I call that a win just cause Perron was drastically underperforming. Signing Roy was good. His call ups have been good.

            I would say mac T failed in the offseason. But at the midway mark. When he sent draisatl down, replaced Eakins with Nelson called up lander, signed Roy. He did a little bit of good.

            It’s not good, but not every move has been a fail.

            EDIT. I’d also add that even though he messed up With keeping Draisaitl up for as long as he did. When he finally got the deal in place to go to the rockets that was gold for the player. Look at the team he gets to play on, he’s been the best player in the league since going down. For all the developing mistakes the organization makes. This looks brilliant. I hope Draisaitl has success in OKC next year, then we will see a completely different player next time he comes up.

          • Zamboni Driver

            See I kinda disagree. He brought in Perron in the first place. Traded a tenth overall pick and a 2nd round pick for him. I don’t see how getting a late first years later is a win.

            Signing Roy was good, would’ve been better if be signed him in the summer. Too little too late. Not a win in my books

          • pkam

            You mean the tenth overall that the entire league passed on for free.

            And by signing Roy, you mean trading for him. Roy would not sign here in the summer. He only agreed to come here, after the entire league said “No Thanks” to getting his services for free.

            That would sure change a players mind about playing in Etown. Minors or Edmonton?

          • YFC Prez

            Yup I agree. I’m just pointing out that he’s had a decent stretch the past couple of months.

            The big picture is still very ugly though.

            I am far from a Mac T apologist.

          • Kevwan

            He signed for under a million.Not sure how much he would have had to overpay. Everyone knew he needed an NHL C, if not Roy then others were available. Not really hindsight when everyone and their dog was saying it.

            Whatever happened happened -people make mistakes. Just stop pretending MacT made none.

          • Zamboni Driver

            Pretty sure Merit mentioned about seven bad signings not “A” bad signing.

            You have fun staying there all night in blind faith.

            Mactavish’s record is abysmal.
            Want evidence? Check the standings – they’re WORSE than when he took over prepared to make BOLD MOVES™. Though those ‘simple stats’ probably don’t count in your world.

          • bradleypi

            I don’t hate the oilers. I hate the management team of the oilers. And the only reason I still follow them is because they’re the team I grew up with.

        • CMG30

          Umm, the way Schultz is tracking and without MacTavish to defend him, he could find himself in the AHL in 5 years. If you are considering building anything around Schultz right now give your head a shake! Petry over Schultz any day and I say that knowing full well that Petry is a 3/4 defenceman on a good team.

          If you don’t believe me ask yourself what you can get in a trade for each of them. I’ll give you a hint: One of them is in demand, the other may bring you slightly more than a bag of pucks at this point.

          Also this 5 year rebuild nonsense needs to stop. The Oilers got their 3 #1s overall already. Now it’s time to build the team around them. Next year is MacT’s 3rd year as GM. If this team isn’t darn close to the playoffs at the end of it he’s failed.

          • bradleypi

            See that’s the problem with oilersnation. Always jumping to conclusions. I never said build around Schultz. I’d build around Taylor and nurse. Schultz is a solid 2nd pairing dman on a contender. He’s not overly physical but he’s got a good stick and can push the offense. In time tho. He’s still young. Where as petry will be too old to be the non factor he is most nights

          • bradleypi

            Right, so how many PP points does Schultz have since Nelson took over? It seems to me Lander was running the PP not Schultz. So let’s see your list of teams in which Schultz is a top 4 dman.

          • bradleypi

            Why is that relevant to anything right now? He’s 24 as I’ve been corrected. And why do you need stats to verify that he is an offensive dman? Do you not watch the Oilers? Plus I’m drunk and lazy. Why don’t you tell me how many pp points he has smart guy

  • bleedingoil

    the boys are getting back into form. I hear Nelson removed all the pictures in locker room that Eakins put up and replaced them with pictures of McEichel.

  • bleedingoil

    5 minutes in and I can’t watch anymore. What a joke this so called “rebuild” turned into. I find it disgusting that Lowe is still collecting paycheques for this cr@p

  • Kevwan

    Roy and Yak leading Oiler forwards in TOI through the first. Well deserved.

    Biggest difference between Nelson and Eakins – Nelson adjusts player usage in game based on performance.

  • bradleypi

    I thought I heard Gregor say that it wouldn’t be a good idea to sign Roy. I don’t see how they can’t sign him to an extension. Isn’t he the perfect complimentary piece that they are looking for to play with Yak?

  • Anton CP

    As for coach of Oilers, I think that Oilers should still try to hire an established veteran coach but keep Nelson as assistant. That can help the team a lot because it helps new coach to settle in and have a more experience to guide the team. Well, logically.

  • YFC Prez

    I’m super stoked to see what the forward lines look like with a healthy Taylor Hall.

    With the way yak and Roy play together the oilers finally have 2 lines that can push the offence.

  • Zamboni Driver

    So Sportsnet is still a dumpster fire generally, but whoever the colour guy is tonight is light years better than the ‘regular’ guy (whoever that is).

    He even seems to have motivated Kevin to say ‘give away’ and ‘turn over’ when speaking about the Oilers. Now THAT is something….and Laforge will be speaking to him about that later, I’m sure.

  • CMG30

    To be fair, not every move MacT has made has been bad. I’ve even changed my mind on the Smid trade. I don’t even think this team deserves to be where it is, rather it should be hovering around 20.

    The problem is that MacTavish had a very bad summer. He started out Ok and then just quit. He made huge gambles on 2C, defence and goal. All failed and if he had only followed conventional wisdom he could have avoided at least 2 of the three. And then there’s the current lighting rod: his seeming inability to accurately judge what talent he has.

    If you want to build a winner, you need to start with momentum. You need a light at the end of the tunnel so that free agents have a reason to come. You NEED to show progress. At this point we’re entering the territory where the prospect of losing guys like Hall and RNH is becoming possible because they wont want to re-sign with this flying circus no matter how much money gets thrown at them. Starting another 5 year rebuild cycle is NOT an option.

  • Rdubb

    Who ever is saying that Nelson needs to go needs to shake their head a little, and if that doesn’t work, all i gotta say is that they DON’T KNOW HOCKEY FROM JACK!!!
    Nelson’s record is far better than Eakins, even without Hall in the line-up. He has the team playing COMPETITIVE hockey on most nights, something which was an oddity under Eakins. He has the players going to the net and screening the goalie, again, an oddity under Eakins. Has has improved the PP by what, a full 10 percentage points? He has also improved the PK although I am not exactly sure on that number so I am not going to toss one out there.
    He has all the young guys, except for Schultz, playing heads and tails better then they were under Eakins. All these young guys have seemed to have taken a few steps backwards this last season and a half, and once coach Nelson showed up, those steps backwards STOPPED, and now they’re starting to move forwards, i’d even go as far as saying many are at the point they were at the start of last season. Imagine if Nelson was hired instead of Eakins, “where would they be”?
    Sure, Nelson has Roy, but remember he was put on waivers so he wasn’t producing or up to standards at that point. Eakins had a healthy Hall and Perron. Nelson’s Oiler team has lost a minimum of 4 games due to a bad goal, just like last night’s 2nd ANA goal, should have been an easy one to hold on to as it hit Ben in the “bread basket”, but he dropped the puck as it were…Yes, I know that Eakins had the same problem too, but his teams were losing by several goals a game…
    If Hall was in this line-up and somewhat healthy, I feel like Nelson’s 10-11-3 record could easily be 13-9-2…and give EDM ave goaltending, then I also think they’d be 16-7-1 under Nelson, although those numbers are a guess and might be a bit hopeful, but, you must admit, the OIL are playing MUCH BETTER, MORE COMPETITIVE, MORE ENTERTAINING, AND WINNING HOCKEY under coach Nelson…