GDB 65.0 Wrap Up: Oilers @ Blackhawks

That was the most unexpectedly exciting Oilers game that I’ve watched in a while. Final Score: 2-1 Blackhawks in the shootout.

Tonight’s game was the first of a five game road trip for the Oilers. I had planned on calling this road trip the “we’re coming for you Buffalo” tour of March 2015, but the Oilers played so well that it doesn’t seem to feel right tonight. The Oilers had Chicago tonight, have Detroit on Tuesday, and Pittsburgh on Thursday. The Oilers also have a matinee against Carolina and finish up the road trip against Columbus next Friday, so I thought that maybe they could win those two. But start the road trip with a game like that? Against Chicago? GTFO. 

One thing goes with out saying, the Oilers need to find a way how to play like this every night and they need to figure it out quickly. This was by far the most exciting Oilers game I’ve watched in a while, and it was greatly appreciated. I don’t even care that they lost! I was happy to watch the Oilers play an entertaining hockey game. That being said, seeing them play like this also makes that loss against Los Angeles even more annoying. But that’s the Oilers, they have Jekyll and Hyde vibe going on that’s unexplainable and undeniably their own. On some nights (like tonight), they look like they can play with anyone. The problem is the other nights when they look like they should be relegated.

All in all, tonight’s hockey game was a pretty solid start to the Friday. The #TankNation faction probably would have preferred that the Blackhawks end it in regulation, but I don’t even think they can hate on that game. That was the kind of game, and effort, that we’ve been looking for… correction… THREATENING MURDER for. Frankly, if the Oilers found a way to play like that every night they certainly wouldn’t be in the league basement again for the 100th consecutive year. One day, they’ll play games in March that matter. For now, we just have to continue on with our weekend knowing that the Oilers probably deserved a better fate tonight.

We wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

Smytty

  • That was a great road game for the Oilers against a very good Chicago team. It was exciting, it was back and forth… it was everything that Oilers games haven’t been for a long time.
  • The Oilers outshot the Blackhawks 47-39 and probably deserved a better fate than what they got.
  • Derek Roy scored a beauty goal on a spin-o-rama (his 7th) after Nail Yakupov did some great work in the corners to get him the puck. Really solid play. These two have been great together. 
  • Oscar Klefbom had some good looks on net tonight. I know he’s not known necessarily for his offence, but he played a solid game and had a few shots on net. 
  • Ben Scrivens was dialed in tonight. He bailed the Oilers out way more often than he should have had to. You could probably argue that Scrivens was the reason the Oilers were able to get a point in tonight’s hockey game. He finished with a very impressive 38 saves and a .974 save%

THE FACE PALMERS

Bonsignore

  • One of the more interesting things about the Oilers also happens to be the most annoying thing about them: you never know which Oilers hockey team is going to show up. This did not look like the same hockey team that got blown out by the Kings on Tuesday. The Oilers kept up with the Blackhawks, got strong goaltending, and made things happen all night long. Jekyll and Hyde, man… it’s been a weird ride, this year.
  • Despite the score, the Oilers had a truck ton of giveaways tonight. They gave the Blackhawks plenty of prime scoring chances, but thanks to Scrivens the Hawks couldn’t cash. 
  • I still can’t believe that 
  • Neither Carolina nor Buffalo can do anything right. They both lost despite having the the lead at one time in both of their respective games. This would have been some fine ELPH had they stuck with the plan.

SCORING SUMMARY

From TSN.ca

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A NATIONGEAR PROMO CODE

SadSince07

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    • bazmagoo

      Visually he looked good but he isn’t sciring, neither is eberle. This is not ok and needs to be addressed. Shultz had some nice chances but again no finish. If this continues next year something’s gotta give. Your top line needs to put up the points, these guys aren’t.

      • sesame_oil

        I think next year the expectations has to be the number 1 line has to be scoring at a much better clip, we cannot continually say they are young as they are being paid for potential and not results.

        Not sure if it is the eakins effect. ebs has been scoring more lately but nuge seems to be in a funk since the all star break.

        The eakins disaster is right up there with pronger leaving, it set the oilers back a couple of years. Mact self inflicted this on himself.

        • camdog

          Eberle hasn’t scored a goal in 14 games. RNH has 4 goals in that time frame. When Hall is healthy the Oilers have one of the most expensive lines in all of hockey, but they don’t dominate the game like an 18 million dollar line should.

          • Newj

            Exactly, the are still young and show “promise”. MacT took a risk and got 1 out of 3 right. That’s 33%, so I guess it’s a fail. RNH may have another gear but Eberle is not worth 6 million and I can’t see eberle getting any better. RNH is a 1B right now.

          • camdog

            Mact was only around for RNH contract. The root of the problem goes back to a strategy developed by K-Lowe in association with his contract’s guy Olczyk. Tambelinni was around at the time, but it was Lowe’s hire that was in charge of the contracts.

    • Newj

      During last night’s shoot out it’s presumed the following conversation took place on the bench:

      Acton: “Psssst Todd, we’re close to getting 2 pts tonight”

      Nelson: “Hey Teddy Bear, get out there and show us your best deke. Yak, Nuge grab a seat. Gadzik you’re out after Teddy Bear.”

    • bazmagoo

      What if I told you we have a winger, named Taylor Hall, once healthy will change that.

      I also know I don’t know how to use commas, nor can I structure a sentence, so spare me please.

  • R U Kidding Me!

    THE SUFFERING HAS TO END!

    Bettman needs to call it RIGHT NOW, put EDM, BUF and ARI in a hat, and pull one name for first overall pick. Seriously. This is killing me!

    • Aitch

      That’s not raunchy. all natural milk is boob-agged (sic)

      I wish Seabrook wouldn’t have messed up his future team’s chances of McDavid though. #NotATeamPlayer

  • R U Kidding Me!

    Baggedmilk said:

    “One thing goes with out saying, the Oilers need to find a way how to play like this every night and they need to figure it out quickly”.

    Hold on now Bagged. Not too quickly. Let’s work on McEichel and then work on winning. 😉

  • Craig1981

    Next game MacT put scrivens on LTIR for dandruff, put bunz in as the starter, and looks directly at the CAMERA and says “your move buffalo”

    We are so close to eichel, but so far

  • TheBirdOfAnger

    Man. I had work tonight. Why did I have to miss out on an actually entertaining game 🙁

    And why did I have to suffer watching the LA Oil game instead last time 🙁

  • Marc-BigNasty

    Stay gold pony Roy. Stay gold.

    Awesome night from the second line! I’m starting to confirm within myself that they are more effective when Hall is out of the line up. It just seemed like Ebs, Nuge and Pouliot couldn’t get any traction until the OT. Or at least not as effectively as Roy, Yaks and Purcell did.

    Either way, Yak city baby.

  • AJ88

    Good to see the Oilers still have a heartbeat. Very entertaining tonight. What is a little frustrating is the shootouts and the Oiler’s continual selection of Roy (1/7) and Eberle (1/10). Seems like Eberle is stuck using the same move every time. Time to change things up, I don’t think RNH has been in the first three shooters this year…His effort tonight deserved some recognition, maybe a chance in the shoutout.

  • Anton CP

    After watching so many games that Oilers need a really good and experience coach. Nelson has been doing an ok job but himself also has much to learn. If Oilers are going to spend a big bucks next season then it better be on some high profile seasoned coach to guide this team.

    • bazmagoo

      Don’t think you are going to attract a high profile coach to this rag-tag team:

      Top 50 Scorers .. 0
      Eberle @ 70 and Nuge @ 99 on the list. Most other teams have multiple scorers on the top 50.

      Here you go coach.. Gadzik, Hamilton, Fraser, Purcell, Roy, Klinghammer,Hendricks, Gordon,Yakapov,!

      With all do respect guys like Hendrick,Gordon, and Roy are role players, but they still are not putting up points.
      If The number one line cant score more than one goal a night, you are going to lose almost every game.
      Scrivens was amazing last night, but that’s a rare show.. the defense with all the kids in the line up will not allow you to win 1-0 games.

    • bazmagoo

      I agree Anton, but the Oilers management do not want to make the playoffs until they are in the new building. I think it’s likely Nelson will get a 2 year deal in the off season and have a chance to prove himself.

  • Anton CP

    Glad to hear they decided to put in an effort tonight. Watched the flame game, they did it again! They just won’t stop!! What a fun team to watch! If they make the playoffs it’s gonna be a great sexperience for Monahan, Johnny hockey and the boys.

  • Zarny

    Geez, just when you think you can count on a regulation loss they pull that.

    It’s comical how colossally bad Buf, Edm and Arz have been. Gotta feel for Francis and Nonis. Staring at their dumpster fires and not even close.

  • Anton CP

    This is sad, because Eakins was possibly the worst coach of Oilers ever and maybe even one of the worst in league history that ANYONE would be a better coach than Eakins. Nelson does a better job than Eakins (who can’t?) really not say much about if Nelson is indeed a reliable coach for going forward. Just like players that coaches also need to learn, have Nelson stay with Oilers as associate coach to a more experienced coach is a good thing. The Oilers may have played better lately but their record under Nelson is still nowhere to be considered as a moderate team. They are still under .500 with nothing to play for.

    I hate Eakins with passion, I wish he will never find another NHL coaching gig ever. It’d be a cold day in hell that I will ever say anything nice about Eakins.

  • AJ88

    “Oscar Klefbom had some good looks on net tonight. I know he’s not known necessarily for his offence, but he played a solid game and had a few shots on net. ”

    They need a bomb from the backend. Oscar had a ton of nice chances but like you said it’s not really part of his game. I’m also questioning Nigel’s ability to be a number 1 center. He is very good don’t get me wrong but he rarely controls a game or line like s number 1 typically can.

    He has no hall so what does that tell you there. If he needs hall to have success then he isn’t a true number 1 center. He is still young and I like the kid and hope he can get to that next step.

    • sesame_oil

      Yeah i completely agree with you, nuge is currently not a number 1 center, he may grow into one one day. He is being paid like a number 1 so we should be expecting him to dominate or score more.

      i am not saying nuge is bad or anything and realize he is young at 22 or something but how many 22 year olds are making 6 mill in the league. like in any professuon, you are paid well for a reason and that it is for the offense.

      • sesame_oil

        Gifting RNH with a 6M contract for 6 (or is it 7) years for no apparent reason is one more of the firing offense on MacT’s rap sheet.

        RNH is trending to a 1B or 2nd line center (if you want your team to be a contender). Paying him $6M will impact the Oil’s ability to attract and/or retain a true No1.

        • AJ88

          I think 29 other teams in the league would take a chance on RNH if given the opportunity. There is nothing but upscale on him. Time will tell, 3 years from now he may look like a bargain.

          • Anton CP

            There would be a significant number of teams who either do not have the cap space or budget to take a $6M contract for what RNH brings. If his contract was more reasonable in the 3 to 4ish range, then, yes there would be a lot of interest.

          • AJ88

            I understand the cap/budget argument, but I believe the vast majority of teams would find cap space if they knew Hopkins was available. I do not think his contract would scare anybody away.

          • Serious Gord

            6M for a center who might be in the top 100 in scoring and doesn’t have a lot of other high end qualities (i.e less than 50% in faceoffs, average size and physicality, improving2 way game)would be a tough sell.

          • camdog

            But in the mean time, the Oil have $18M tied up in a 1st line that gets outplayed more often than not as evidenced by their plus minuses. Makes finding the $ for someone like Prety more difficult.

          • AJ88

            Not going to disagree with you. That line has to produce, hopefully they have secondary scoring next year as well or things are not going to improve a whole lot for the top line. I think a lot will depend on Hall…

          • sesame_oil

            I am not saying rnh does not have any value but he is an RFA, the team has the advantage and does not use it to their advantage.

            the question is how many of them would give 6 mill to their rnh equivalent in their rfa years. The Canadiens did not do that with subban.

            It is decisions like this that make edmonton a lottery for the last number of years as no other team would do it.

            They could have cap space to take advantage of the cap teams

          • AJ88

            And now Subban has a 8 year/72 Million $$ contract. The argument was Montreal probably could have signed him earlier for a lot less. Again time will tell if RNH @ $6M was worth it. RNH may have been the only one I would have signed on the Oilers with a long term contract.

  • camdog

    “We felt when we did the contracts with Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle, that at that point we knew we’d be doing a very similar, if not identical, contract to what we did with those players,” Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish told reporters. “This is just a reflection of how highly we hold Ryan within our organization.”

    http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/nhl/ryan-nugent-hopkins-oilers-strike-7-year-deal-1.1861119

    In the above comment We = Kevin Lowe I still remember when people said Tambelinni had 100% control of the team, lol.