GDB 72.0: HOW HIGH CAN YOU FLY?

The Edmonton Oilers take to the ice against a famous opponent tonight. Some of the grandest scripts in franchise history were written against the men from Philly and one day a game like tonight might mean something for both sides. Tonight? Running out the string. Important things can happen during these times and for the Oilers it’s all about good health for Chance and the developing department of youth.

There are higher quality videos of the goal available online but I like this one. It shows—effectively—just how long ago it was, when giants walked among us. The Flyers and Oilers have roamed the NHL since that day with varying degrees of success but since 1990 spring it’s been a terrible dry spell. Philadelphia lost in the finals in 1997 and 2010, the Oilers made it all the way back in 2006 but fell short against the Carolina Hurricanes.

WILL WE GET BACK AGAIN?

In the long history of a company or sports franchise, there are actually precious few major moments of change or shuffle. For good reason, the organization aims for stability and tries to reach a repeatable success. If we look at the Oilers and divide by era, we get:

  • The Boys on The Bus (1979-1990)
  • The Boys on The Bus Coda (1991-1993)
  • The Weight Era (1994-1999)
  • The Boys on The Bus Storm the Main Office (2000-06)
  • The Boys on The Bus Submarine the Brand (2007-2014)

Is that about right? I think it is. There are two ways out of this:

  • Craig MacTavish follows his plan to build via youth and the draft (which, by the way, is always the right plan—building with youth procurement)
  • Replacing the management group and hiring someone like Jim Nill to run the show.

Fair warning on that second option: The new guy, if he’s worth his salt, is going to tell you that there is no quick fix and that trading youth is the definition of insane. The mistakes of the past are the mistakes of the past, but I don’t see any benefit in trading Taylor Hall for 60 cents on the dollar in an effort to improve the defense of this team.

Which is far different than saying the Oilers should stay the course with this management group. I think it’s important to remember a smart, veteran GM might in fact do the same thing Craig MacTavish is going to do this summer: Keep his powder dry.

RYAN JONES SAYS….

Former Oilers winger Ryan Jones had a few interesting words about the Oilers situation currently and the frustration felt by all:

  • “That rebuild word.. I’ve always hated it, even when I was there. It
    just means that you’re giving up on that year. Rebuild, they’ve used it
    for a few years and it was almost a write off for that current year.
    They need to get away from that. They’re not rebuilding anything
    anymore
    . The organisation has so much history, it’s won so many games,
    they don’t have to rebuild much, they just have to find a way to win
    hockey games“ Source

Ryan Jones says they’re not rebuilding but if that’s the case, how do you justify trading David Perron and Jeff Petry for role players and picks? They’re still rebuilding, folks. I’ll be very interested to see if the club deals that Penguins pick at the draft. It’s one thing to have that in mind, it’s another to get full value and quite another to pass on a draft pick that may deliver something very good. If your scouting director tells you the player available when the Pittsburgh pick pops up, what then?

The draft is going to be incredible drama this summer. Craig MacTavish has repeated what previous Oilers’ GMs have done: Go to the draft, discuss Coburn or Schneider, but come home with draft picks. We hoped for the best but it turned out the same.

TALE OF THE TAPE

tale of the tape

Source

The Oilers played very well earlier in the week against Columbus. If they bring the same level against the Flyers it’ll be a W and many Oilers fans will be happy (and almost as many will be devastated because McEichel).

  1. C Connor McDavid, Erie Otters (OHL) 46GP, 43-75-118 (2.57)
  2. C Jack Eichel, Boston U (NCAA) 35GP, 22-41-63 (1.80)
  3. R Mitch Marner, London Knights (OHL) 63GP, 44-82-126  (2.00)
  4. D Noah Hanifin, Boston College (NCAA) 36GP, 5-18-23 (.639)
  5. C Dylan Strome, Erie Otters (OHL) 66GP, 40-81-121 (1.83)

There’s your top of the draft ladies and men, who do you like at No. 3?

Top Scorers Last 10 games:

  1. Jordan Eberle 10GP, 4-11-15
  2. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 10GP, 4-10-14
  3. Benoit Pouliot 9GP, 5-2-7
  4. Nail Yakupov 9GP, 3-4-7
  5. Justin Schultz 10GP, 1-5-6

LINEUPS….

The projected lineup from DailyFaceoff.com

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WHAT THEY’RE SAYING…

From Bill Meltzer

In the final match of a four-game road trip through Canada, Craig Berube’s Philadelphia Flyers (29-29-15) will take on Todd Nelson’s Edmonton Oilers (19-39-13). Game tie at Rexall Place is 10:00 p.m. EDT. The game will be televised locally on CSN Philadelphia.

This is the second of two meetings between the inter-conference teams this season, and the lone game in Edmonton. On Nov. 4, the Flyers earned a 4-1 home win over the Oilers.

The Flyers played on Tuesday night in Vancouver and Thursday in Calgary. Following this game, which is the team’s 11th in 21 days, the Flyers will have three nights off and just one game in five nights in a stretch that will the club play just twice over the remainder of March. Six of the Flyers’ final eight games are at home. 

The Oilers are in the third game of a six-game homestand. They hosted the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday and Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday before back-to-back idle nights. On Monday of next week, the homestand continues with a game against the Winnipeg Jets.

TODAY

SuperKid

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers have their legs from the start and build a quick (and unusual) 3-0 lead. Taylor Hall scores early. Yadda yadda yadda, the game goes to overtime. 

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: HNIC broadcast calls Ryan Nugent-Hopkins a “10th-line center” just because they can! 

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

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  • CMG30

    Cross Marner and Strome off Oilers list for starters . One is to small and other one to slow . Barring getting MaDavid or Eichel , Oilers need another defenceman to compliment Nurse . It’ll be Hanifin or Provorov . The rebuild continues as long as MacT. remains .

  • Mike Krushelnyski

    Re: is the team rebuilding and will they even trade the Pittsburgh pick.

    My heart says no and yes and my head says yes and no. For all his talk of bold moves I think MacT is miles and miles out of his depth and terrified to put a foot wrong. We are not going to have a sniff of the playoffs unless we get crazy lucky and have a team comprised of 85% of our own picks come together in say 2020-21.

  • YFC Prez

    ANOTHER GREAT NIGHT FOR THE CANADIAN NHL TEAMS (THAT MATTER)

    VAN, WPG, OTT, MTL all won. CGY salvaged a point. LA and SJ both lost in regulation.

    I very much enjoyed the wild timeout torque-off by Dave Cameron in Ottawa. It reminded me of Pierre Page ( aka “les yeux crazee”).

  • vetinari

    Feeling that this is going to end up a 5-4 or 6-4 kind of game given how sloppy both teams are… I just don’t know who will be the one that comes out on top. Philly has equally bad defence and goaltending but we have the “Saturday Night National Telecast Curse” going for us.

    • Dan 1919

      Scrivens is not good but in all fairness no goalie will ever look good in Edmonton. Every single shot they give up is literally a clear shot from square on. They may not all be considered scoring chances but they are all giving NHL players clear hard shots from a great position. By the time you add those all up over the span of a game, an average to subpar goalie will have let a few in that appear to be solely his fault.

      • vetinari

        I think there’s more to it then just it being the defence’s fault (although they play a big part in the problem). There wouldn’t be rebounds if the goalie did his job and stopped the puck on the first shot. Watch Price or Lundquist. Rarely is there a rebound.

        With Scrivens, his rebound control is subpar for the NHL. That makes your players scramble. They can’t rely on you to smother it or to direct it to a predictable area where they can help you or recover it. When he leaves the net, it’s an adventure and he often overplays the puck like it’s a hand grenade. I like Scriven’s attitude and commitment to the community but on the ice, where it matters, I hope that they find someone to take over the 1A chores for him.

    • Dan 1919

      My overall unbiased assessment after not watching for a really long time:

      The Oilers are an AHL team with some NHL players. Note I didn’t even say a good AHL team, that was intentional, they’re an AHL team with some NHL players.

      • AJ88

        Dan,
        For a guy who has not watched the Oilers since the “beginning of the year” you have a lot to say about the team. Where are you getting your enlightening information from?

        • Dan 1919

          You clearly have no idea what you speak of. It’s time I destroy you into rouble and bless you with the opportunity to rebuild yourself properly.

          I’ve created an elaborate list which illustrates just where my information is derived from:

          1: My eyes – the Oilers struggle at the hockey
          2: 9 years of bottoms dwelling
          3: They’re the third worst team in the NHL right now
          4: seriously, you really opened yourself up with your comment, I’ve had to completely restrain myself here today. Go Home.

  • Dan 1919

    Just watched the first 10min of the Oilers since the start of the year when they fell out of the playoffs.

    Here’s my prediction for next year:
    They will come nowhere close to making the playoffs, again. They need 2 top end dmen to even compete in the NHL and they’d have to trade a “CORE PLAYER” (lol) to get that. We all know they won’t do that so here’s to another year of bottom dwelling next year.

    Looks like the plan is to put all their cards in Nurse and hope he’s the next Lidstrom.

    What a joke.

  • AJ88

    No surprise One dimensional hall is back and everyone is running around when he is on the ice. Trade him this summer before he gets hurt again for a goalie, through in purse sell and Hamilton

    • YFC Prez

      Serious? Hall is easily top 5 LW in the league. You don’t like his style? His “Style” works pal. Getting a fluke ankle injury in practice has nothing to do with the “style” of his play. Ridiculous.

    • YFC Prez

      Last year Hall leads the team in points. Season before last Hall leads the team in points. This year even with his struggles he is tied with the current team point leader (Ebbs) in PPG at .8.

      I really don’t think Hall drags anyone down with his style. Last season he was the best LW in the league. Oiler fans have a very short memory at times.

      First game back after a long layoff on a bad year for Hall. Give him a break, I just don’t see how you give up on this player yet.

      • YFC Prez

        Hall played for his buddy Eakins last year and had way more ice time than deserved. Also last year was pathetic.

        Without Hall the oil has moved to the best PP in the league, and Ebs and Nuge are over 25 points combined in last 7 games without Hall.

        Bet Anton lander is pissed he got stuck with hall…

        • YFC Prez

          The PP got better without Eakins. Not because Hall was out. Nelson just coaches a better PP. When Hall was on Kruegers PP that one was lights out as well.

          You really think Lander is mad to be playing with Taylor freaking Hall? Whacky.

    • YFC Prez

      There is only 1 reason to move Hall.

      That’s for a young franchise D man.

      For many on here there always needs to be a whipping boy , and many fans have a major ” what have you done for me lately ” attitude.

      This season it’s gone from Ebbs, to Yak and now Hall. Ebbs and Yak have SiUTBSOHC. Hall will do the same and then there will be a new whipping boy.

  • YFC Prez

    I guess for entertainment value between 2 losers, this is as good as you can hope for. Did you guys see that flames game tho? They got a point in OT. Couldn’t get the win. Gonna be worth watching the end of the flames season! P.S… F.U. Lowe!!

  • Ima Sikentard

    J Schultz has 0 defensive ability. On Philly’s first chance in OT he picks up his man late, then catches up to him and but let’s him get a prime shot because he is soft. It is embarrassing, we need to get rid of this guy.