GDB 73.0 Wrap Up: Jets @ Oilers

Everybody… tank your body. Everybody… tank. Your. Body right. Final Score: 4-1 Jets.

As I sat down to watch tonight’s game, all I could think of was how there are only nine games left until we start the yearly recharge. In nine games, 16 teams that aren’t the Oilers will be making a run at the Cup while OIlers fans plug in their metaphorical batteries. We’ll all watch the playoffs wishing that the Oilers could attend such a party, and the rest of our time waiting patiently for the draft. It’s on draft day when Oilers fans finally have a chance to feel like something positive could be happening. It’s all we have at this point. Those times are just around the corner, my friends. The yearly tradition of a summer recharge is almost here.

Tonight’s game started out as many have before it. The Jets scored an early goal on the heels of a turnover, and the Oilers went chasing from there. Unfortunately the Oilers spun their wheels more than chased. That’s not to say that the Oilers played particularly poorly, but the Jets were able to cash in their chances while the Oilers were not. Looking at the scoreboard you probably wouldn’t have expected the Oilers to outshoot the Jets, but they did.  Unfortunately for the Oilers, Pavelec turned almost everything aside whereas they didn’t have the same fortune. 

At the end of the day, the Jets were the better hockey team tonight. Winnipeg won the game as they should have. They took it to the Oilers in all three zones of the ice. When they had the puck, they pressured the Oilers with shot attempts. When they didn’t have the puck they were running the Oilers over. The Jets are playing some tight hockey right now, and you can see why they’re a team that’s likely on their way to the playoffs. I guess what I’m saying is that tonight’s game is a better measuring stick for the Oiler than that blowout win against the Leafs. 

Looking at the Oilers schedule they close out the season against the Western Conference. Although they’ve been better against the West under Nelson than they were under Eakins, there are no easy games going forward. If the Oilers are going to take this season’s version of tanking seriously this might be a good time for some callups. The Sabres and Coyotes aren’t helping us with any wins, so the Oilers may have to take this into their own hands.

We wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

CandiceSwanepoel

  • The goal horn went off when the Jets scored. If that’s not tanking I don’t know what is.
  • Depite what Cory Hirsh thinks, I think Taylor Hall fits on this team. He played much better tonight than he did in his first game back from injury. Even though he didn’t score, Hall was producing chances all night long which is more than most can say tonight.
  • Nugey extended his point streak to six games as he scored his 23rd goal of the year in the third period. If nothing else, this season has shown us that Nuge just might be the one that the Oilers end up building around. At 21 years old, the sky is the limit for this kid. 
  • Twitter was fun tonight! After Cory Hirsh’s ridiculous “he’s not developing” comment about Taylor Hall we started doing a #TaylorHallCharacterProblems hashtag and it was hilarious. Likely more entertaining than the game. 
  • Speaking of Taylor Hall, he played much better tonight as it seemed like he was able to shake off some of that rust. He was producing chances all night long, and assisted on Nuge’s goal which gives him two assists in two games since being back from injury.
  •  Another step in the McDavid direction. Well… if Buffalo and Arizona can figure out how to win ever.

THE FACE PALMERS

MamaJune

  • The Jets took an early lead as Drew Stafford walked in alone after intercepting the puck at his own blue line. Klefbom passed the puck to where he though Justin Schultz would be, and Scrivens couldn’t bail him out. 
  • Frankly, the Jets outplayed the Oilers early in the first period despite having similar shot totals. The Oilers played better towards the end of the period, but it was another start they need to improve on.
  • In the first intermission, Corey Hirsh said that the Oilers should trade Taylor Hall because he’s not developing. HE HAD 80 POINTS LAST YEAR! Unbelievable.
  • Nikita Nikitin is not a top four defenceman. Frankly, the good teams are wondering how the hell the Oilers are paying him as much as they are. It makes me wonder about the vision plan in the Oilers head office. Could a benefits problem be the cause of this mess? Nikitin played over 25 minutes tonight. Think about that for a second. 
  • Tonight wasn’t a great night for Ben Scrivens. That being said, it’s not like he was working with much out in front of him. One thing is for sure, the Oilers will need better goaltending and defence if this team is going to move anywhere in the standings. Scrivens finished with 20 saves and an .833 save%.
  • The power play wasn’t able to bail the Oilers out tonight as it went 0/3. 
  • Blake Wheeler took a puck to the face late in the first period. I don’t care which team has a player get hit you don’t want to see that.
  • Buffalo had the lead going into the third period and ended up losing in regulation. THEY. CAN’T. DO. ANYTHING. RIGHT. You too, Arizona. Don’t think you get out of this. 

SCORING SUMMARY

From TSN.ca

Score

BEST OF THE TWEETS

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THE PHOTOSHOP CONTEST

Photoshop

What’s at the end of the Oilers rainbow? You tell me. What’s at the end of the Oilers rainbow is the theme for this month’s photoshop contest – what that means is up to you. The deadline to enter is March 27th, and if you have an entry you can email it to me at baggedmilk@oilersnation.com. 

  • The Real Scuba Steve

    Yah, they lost. Again. Hopefully next time they can do it with a little more style.

    However, if we get to look at that Bright Side picture every time the Oil lose it will be worth it.

  • Harry2

    How are those two women from the same species?

    … after hours of research… turns out they aren’t.

    Physics turns out to be turn. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

    Wow on both accounts, for different reasons.

  • freelancer

    The fact is this team is not designed to play in the West. The last 9 games will make this painfully obvious. You look at our top 6 as it stands right now, Hall, Rnh, Eberle, Pouliot, Roy, Yakupov. RNH as is easily the best two way player out of all the above but not overly physical. Pouliot, Hall, and Yak can on occasion throw a bigger hit, but all three are more possession guys who rely more on having the puck. Eberle and Roy are all offence with very little defensive capabilities.

    In order to make up for that you should have a physical defence… oh wait Schultz and Nikitin are in our top 4. This management seems to have identified “physicality” as something reserved for 13th forward facepunchers and 7th D men. This cannot be your core in the conference. Something eventually has to give.

  • Dan 1919

    This team actually impresses me by how bad they still are. Here’s a realistic assessment of the Oiler’s defence.

    Shultz: He plays like a junior player and should still be in the AHL, when he gets his scoring touch back he should be given limited ice time in the NHL in the offensive zone and on power plays… he’s not ready for full-time NHL.

    Klefbom: Best d-man on the team, should be developed slowly and not thrown to the wolves, ideally playing second pairing minutes with a veteran.

    Marincin: Not an NHL dman, not enough drive, can maybe get there with more AHL time
    .

    Ference: Not an NHL dman anymore, would be good enough as the spare 7th guy

    Fayne: Solid bottom end NHL dman skills, low minutes, 5/6 guy.

    Nikitin: Lacks skill and hockey sense to be a top 4 guy (MacT lied), good enough skill wise for a 5/6 slot but doesn’t fit the bill as far as what that role would entail from a character standpoint… so not an NHL Dman

    In conclusion, we have one NHL dman named Klefbom who would be a number 4 guy on any average NHL team.

    Does anyone know how next year’s draft is looking?

  • oilerjed

    After watching last night’s game I’m more convinced then ever that Hall is
    the keeper and Eberle is the guy to trade. He is a really good player but
    EVERY time it was time to
    forecheck you could see his hesitation. He always lets up about 5 feet from the
    boards and avoids contact at almost every oppourtunity.

    Hear me out,

    He is putting up a ton of points which should keep his value up at the draft
    table and has been relatively healthy and consistent his whole career. Is there
    any chance that a floundering Bruins team gives up on Lucic in exchange for Ebs?
    Maybe a +.

    Sorry WAYNE

    • vetinari

      I’d start with the basics like:

      “What the f@$& were you thinking when you assembled this roster in the off season?”

      And then maybe:

      “When can we realistically expect Oiler playoff hockey again?”

      And then end with:

      “Isn’t it common practice that if a player, coach, GM or some other employee of a professional sports franchise fails to perform his duties at even an average performance level in comparison to his peers for a period of two years or more, he is usually (and should be) fired, moved or replaced?”

    • 1)Why haven’t you resigned along with your buddies for the good of the franchise?
      2)You seriously think I am going to pay more than double for tix at the new arena?
      3)Why is it ok for NN to show up out of shape (highest paid defenceman on the roster) and not Theo Peckham?
      4) Why do you refuse to move assets for what the team requires?
      5)Have you seen the JSBM cartoons? They are hilarious.
      6)Which way is the door? Gotta get out of here before I write another cheque you don’t deserve.

    • Hemmercules

      Ask him what he does when him and his buddies aren’t driving hockey teams into the toilet.

      Seriously though, Why even bother asking him anything?? He will overvalue everything he has, undervalue everything he doesn’t have and probably tell you with a bold face that this team is ready to turn the corner next season without roster changes. I mean, were talking about the guy that liked to play Moreau and Reddox on the first line. He clearly has a weak eye for player evaluation and it goes back to his coaching days.

      If Mact knew what was good for him he would stay out of the public eye, shut his mouth, and get to work. All these interview and appearances aren’t doing anyone any favours in my opinion.

    • oilerjed

      Ask him which of the trade sugestions that he has read on ON is the one he is going with. A timeline would be good too.

      Seriously, Ask him many NHL defensemen he thinks he can realistically bring in in the offseason.

    • While I appreciate the other suggestions for questions for MacT proposed above, I’m going to stick with one that I feel can be a make or break for this team: What is his vision for this hockey team, as in, what does this team look like when it wins a Stanley Cup. (think team identity, are they a group of bruisers, an offensive powerhouse, a shutdown defensive team, etc.) If MacT is just going to go on building through the draft then he’s just getting what he gets and it’s going to continue to be a mashup of different players in different positions, instead of building towards a goal. An important part of being a leader is to first have a vision, then be able to convey that vision to those under him. I have absolutely no clue what he’s trying to build right now, and “Stanley Cup Contender” is pretty vague and doesn’t answer the question.

    • 1. How can you justify crowning Shultz as a Norris trophy candidate?

      2. Who endorsed the signing of Nikitin? Are they still employed?

      3. Do you plan on finding 4 top 4 defensemen?

      4. Will you go hard after an actual NHL Starting Goalie?

      5. Do you have the brains and balls to pull the trigger on a BOLD trade?

      6. How do you sleeep at night – as the Jets, Flames and Sens progress – while the Oilers regress?

  • oilerjed

    I just hope that Nelson should just play Richard Bachman and recall Laurent Brossoit to be backup for the rest of the season. Send Scrivens and Nikitin to the AHL to get their confidence or something. Yes I know our defense is weak but some of the goals that Scrivens let in reminds me of the days when we have Salo when he lost his confidence, he played like sh*t.

  • vetinari

    Everything about last night has the homeside overwhelmed.

    Has there ever been an in-game contest when either participant was not able to answer enough trivia questions (2) before the dry scrape/commercial timeout ended….it happened last night.

    Which then ironically was followed up by an Oiler Too Many Men Penalty on the PP.

    The finest in slapstick humour.

    UnderArmour might want to rethink that contest.

  • WOW, now that looks like a proper rebuild. Jets have done a bang up job of turning their Thrashers into Western Conference Dark Horse. Jets organization is putting the Oilers brass to shame.

    Jets are heavy, fast and calculating. Systems play and intensity was overwhelming for our rag tag bunch of kids.

    Oilers are so far away from competing in the West.

    SO MANY HOLES and Management doesnt have the brains or balls to fill em.

    Pouliot-Nuge-Eberle

    Hall – Big 2C – Yak

    3LW – Lander(or better) – 3RW

    Hendy – Gord – Klink

    1LD-1RD

    2LD-2RD

    Klefbom-Fayne

    #1 Goalie

    Scrivens

    SO all Mac T needs to do is find a legit top 2 line center, a whole 3rd line, 4 top 4 dmen and a starting goalie ….. Craigs on it.

    • Hemmercules

      I wish that list at the end was a joke. I still have to laugh though when I look back and realize a potato could have better results as a GM over the last 9 years.

  • S cottV

    Deep rooted Oilers culture has produced a small skillsy – ineffective hockey club.

    Even most Oiler fans can’t let go of this little skillsy thing, that produced Stanley Cups many years ago.

    Offensive oriented – free flow – pretty goals. Don’t worry that much about defence and the goalie is on his own. It’s almost like – if we can’t win 5 to 4 in the proper skillsy free flow way – then there is no honour in winning.

    If only we could go back 10 years and have someone at the helm – who had nothing to do with the past and made the decision to change the culture. Go big, go balanced, go for strength in net, a sold defence and strong in the middle. Select coaching that values strong team play, systems, defensive awareness and select players that can fit that mold.

    Had that been done – we wouldn’t be in this mess right now.

    Now the Oilers are handcuffed and there appears to be no end to playoff woes in sight.

    We are so far away from the playoffs – it’s comical.

    Give us a team that looks like the Jets, the Blues, the Kings. It ain’t always pretty or exciting but a win is a win is a win. You get enough of them and you make the playoffs and have a shot at the cup. If you think you need some additional skillsy at that point – rent it.

    We need a culture change and another proper rebuild. The only good news – is maybe some of our small skillsy players can be used as trade bait to jump start it.

  • BubbaZanetti

    How did we end up with Hirsch and Ruccin on SNW………that pathetic duo could not play hockey let alone talk hockey………embarrassing!

    Someone need to tell Mac T he knows less about defence man than just about any person attached to hockey.

    All we have is Oscar………the rest would not make it in the AHL, let alone the NHL.

  • BubbaZanetti

    My clinical assessment is Hall and the Nuge is all we have to cling to. Without them we have no hope left. So be damned those who speak ill of them, we just want to cling to what little hope is left, even if you might be right…

  • robc186

    To respond to earlier in the thread…I just got back from the luncheon with MacT…

    I thought MacT did a great job answering the questions and might have given me the push I need to renew for next year. Up to this point I was sitting on the fence but leaning towards saving my money, but after the lunch today I’m leaning the other direction. I don’t have to make the decision yet.

    They answered 2 of my questions: what’s the vision for what the team looks like when it’s a Stanley Cup contender, and second as season ticket holders are we going to get first dibs on other events like concerts, etc.

    1 – the team will be built to be a high skilled team with 3 skill/scoring lines and one defensive line, with defensive focus on ability to move the puck. This is probably the best vision given the roster he’s got, and whether or not he can execute, we will see. At least he has a vision and a plan to execute. He detailed this much better but I’m paraphrasing.

    2 – the reason they don’t offer concerts, etc. to existing ticket holders is because they don’t have the rights to do so. In the new arena they will, and are considering the best ways to offer tix to these other events to season ticket holders. I consider this a huge value add to season tickets, and might be the biggest reason I will likely renew.

    Any thoughts?

    • BubbaZanetti

      And here I thought my post was going to be the most ridiculous one today ? The simple fact that a question like question #2 not only was asked but answered, really demonstrates how doomed we all may be ?

    • BubbaZanetti

      Wow! I bet you would make a great cult member!

      You went in breathing fire, and after Mact gave you an answer from his “book of hope” series, your waving your check book in the air.