GDB 75.0 Wrap Up: Stars @ Oilers

You’re tanking wrong. Final Score: 4-0 Oilers.

Remember when a game between the Stars and Oilers meant something? I do. I remember when Todd Marchant scored in overtime to put the Oilers through to the 2nd round. I remember the save that Curtis Joseph made right before that to keep the game tied. Now, some of my fondest memories of a Stars/Oilers game include making fun of that dick in the tanned jacket that is constantly banging on the glass in Dallas. The days of the EIG budget teams making the playoffs on sheer will seem to be a distant memory at this point. 

Tonight’s game started out in almost the same way as the win against Colorado. The Oilers were able to score a goal within the first minute, and take an early lead into the first intermission. For a team that needs points to stay in the playoff race, Dallas came out flat and allowed the Oilers an early lead. From there, the Oilers never looked back. Despite the Stars outshooting the Oilers 29-28 they couldn’t get anything past Richard Bachman. Bachman was perfect as he stopped everything that was sent his way, and he walked away with his first win as an Edmonton Oiler. 

Despite the win I can’t help but feel conflicted about how to feel. On one hand, I love the Oilers and I love seeing them win. This city is a better place when the Oilers are winning. That being said, adding 2 points to the standings is absolutely useless at this point in the season and there lies the dilemma. There are two supposed “generational” talents at the top end of this draft, and it looks like the Oilers are playing their way out of have a chance at either of them. But I love seeing them win… What the hell are they doing to us?

We wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

BobRoss

  • I liked Todd Nelson giving Richard Bachman the start against his former team. Those are the kind of small things that make players love a coach and good on Nelson for doing it. Despite the depleted lineup the Oilers were not only able to win, but they pumped the Stars for 4 goals.
  • Speaking of Bachman, he played perfectly for his first win as an Edmonton Oiler stopping all 29 shots that he saw. 
  • Jordan Eberle is on a ridiculous tear right now. He scored his 22nd by driving the net and somehow getting lost in a crowd of Stars players. I don’t know what kind of magic he’s holding in that beard but it’s working for him, and I might be so bold as to suggest he never share again. 
  • Derek Roy scored again (his 12) tonight giving him 7 points in his last 9 games. I know the fancy stats don’t particularly play out well for Roy, but I’m hoping MacT can get him re-signed on a reasonable deal. There aren’t many players on the Oilers roster with the amount of experience that Derek Roy has and I’d take a flyer on that all day. That’s not even touching all the good things he’s done with Yakupov.
  • Benoit Pouliot set a new career high as he scored his 17th goal on an amazing pass from Taylor Hall from behind the blue line.
  • Andrew Miller scored his first NHL goal on a penalty shot. Not only did he score, he absolutely shelved it on a very good goaltender in Kari Lehtonen. It’s always awesome to see a guy score his first goal.
  • I don’t know how you can’t feel good when see Brandon Davidson playing for the Oilers. The guy battled cancer, won, and worked his way back to the NHL (if only for a few games). You can’t help but root for the guy. 

THE FACE PALMERS

VomitPaint

  • I can’t even enjoy wins as much as I should be. Stupid draft… Stupid Oilers… 
  • Are we sure that Viktor Fasth is alive? The Oilers haven’t mentioned him since he went down, and I’m starting to get worried. Someone check RX2 before they put the flooring down. 
  • In the 2nd intermission, John Shannon was talking about how the Oilers should avoid Jack Eichel, if they’re in a position to draft him, because they need a centre. *never stops face palming*
  • The Oilers were under 30% in the faceoff circle. That’s brutal.
  • I kind of wanted to see Taylor Hall and Jamie Benn scrap. For the sake of Taylor Hall’s face (ankle?), I’m glad they didn’t. 
  • It’s odd to see both Shawn Horcoff and Ales Hemsky playing for the Dallas Stars. There was a time when that would have been unthinkable, but those days have been gone for a long time. 
  • Buffalo and Arizona had a 3 point game last night putting the Oilers only 1 point up on the Coyotes… until they decided to win tonight. I hate that wins leave me feeling conflicted. That’s your fault, Oilers.  

SCORING SUMMARY

From TSN.ca

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  • YFC Prez

    After watching tonight’s game, I feel comfortable moving forward with this Dcore!

    I also think we just found next years starting goalie!!! #Bachburglar

    And thus concludes my 2 cents

    Pretty sure I saw Nelson get a little splash of water on him tonight. To his credit, he remained calm and gently wiped himself dry with a towel (extra cent for the kids)

  • bazmagoo

    The Oil have fooled us with these sort of games late in the season for a few years now, I hope a few of you guys aren’t parting with season ticket money based on this game. Sorry to be negative, but it’s an illusion.

    • Zarny

      Because at least if the Oilers get McDavid or Eichel there will have been something positive come from this season of sh*t and p*ss.

      Absolutely nothing positive comes from winning a few games in March and April and finishing 27th or 28th. It just means this season was a complete and utter waste.

        • Zarny

          No, there is nothing positive about winning games when you have measly 57 points after 75 games and are 31 points out of the playoffs.

          Especially when it means you’ll end up with Bobby Ryan or worse instead of Sidney Crosby. There is nothing positive about that.

          You know winning mattered? October. And November. And December. When they managed to only win once in 21 games.

          • AJ88

            So what are you wanting them to do? Sounds like you want them to purposely lose to guarantee the 11.5% chance of landing of McEichel. Sorry, I would rather have the team improve and build some confidence than worry about a lottery win. The only guarantee of McEichel is if you are dead last and that is not going to happen.

  • Zarny

    As much as I want the Oilers to get game changing players which will be members of our organization for numerous years to come realistically they shouldn’t need it to become a good team. The Oil already have 3 first overalls and I know people hate on Yak but even if he shouldn’t have been #1 in his draft year he would most likely be a top ten player anyways. Combine that with Eberle who looks like a steal at #22, Klefbom at #19 and Nurse and Draisaitl who are both top ten picks (7 and 3 respectively) the Oilers should have the necessary talent coming into the league or already playing for them (barring them trading good players for bags of pucks….) that should make them into a good team regardless of what happens at this year’s draft. All this sorrow about winning games doesn’t really make sense to me, for me the indications of the guys we have progressing is enough, we already have them so why jeopardize their development and growth for a chance at drafting Mcechiel.

  • Zarny

    @marty

    Jeopardize their development? They already lost 20 of 21 games earlier this year. Even after Eakins was fired they are still way below 0.500.

    A few more losses in March or April isn’t going to jeopardize anything just like a few more wins isn’t going to teach them or build anything.

    • The Soup Fascist

      Zarny, I get where you are coming from. Really I do.

      However, I am not sure who you are mad at.

      If you have players who intentionally tank a shift let alone a game on purpose it reveals a lack of competitiveness, pride and determination. I am not naive enough to think every player gives it his all every shift but intentionally making bad plays to “fix” the result is at best, immoral and more likely illegal. Plus don’t forget many of these guys are playing for a job next year be it elsewhere or here. Not sure if you can expect Matt Fraser to skate slower – assuming that was possible – so they can bring in a phenom who will invariably knock him further down the ladder.

      Todd Nelson can’t walk into a room and tell 20 guys to take a fall. First he does not have a job next year. Second if you came into an NHL room and set up the game like a WWE performance the backlash would be epic. Yes there are more subtle things he can do – but like I said he has to justify his actions to others in hockey than MacT when he goes out with his resume.

      MacT has the most opportunity for the “nudge wink” tank and to be fair I think he has not brought in anyone that would provide short term help but hurt the team long term by giving up assets, since it has been clear the playoffs were not happening. Granted he did not gut the team as the Sabres and Coyotes did at the guideline but those GMs are intentionally making a mockery of the game.

      MacT could have let the slide continue by leaving Eakins in place, Chabot running the goalies and not bringing in Roy and having Yak continue to swim (drown) in circles. That likely would have been enough to move down a spot or two, I suppose, but I could not take any more of Eakins and I think the bulk of the players were in the same boat.

      Like I said. I would love to have McDavid or Eichel but in all seriousness I don’t see how much more they could do without doing even more damage to an already floundering team. I just can’t be mad at the players or Nelson for trying, and the reality is MacT could not have tanked as hard as his counterparts without irrepairable damage being done.

      Edit: To be clear I think MacT is way out of his depth as GM and would love to see him replaced. I don’t want the comments above to be seen as support for management’s decisions. Overall his track record is abysmal.

      • AJ88

        Good to see someone taking the time to challenge this “tanking” philosophy. The Oilers biggest need is confidence, winning hockey games is a requirement for this to happen. I think Eakin’s style of coaching was damaging to the Oilers and Nelson has had some success turning this around, tank mode is not an option for any professional organization.

        I am not sure Buffalo and Arizona are making a mockery of the game, if you are getting a ” generational” player, I think you need to strip your team right down and build your team around that player. If the Oilers were to win the lottery and chose McDavid I think some decisions would have to be made concerning their former #1 picks. Egos can get in the way of building team chemistry.

      • Zarny

        I’m simply mad at the situation. I’ve stated before and agree the players and coaches won’t tank. That’s a given.

        And ultimately I’m mad at MacT for starting the year with obvious holes in the roster that resulted in the Oilers winning once in 21 games and flushing another season down the toilet.

        I’m not mad at the players and coaches for trying; but it doesn’t mean anything right now and unfortunately it’s counter-productive to winning more games next year and the 10 after.

        I am getting sick of people trying to spin a positive out of winning a meaningless game when you’re 30 plus points out of the playoffs though. It means nothing. It won’t salvage this year and will have zero affect on next year.

        • The Soup Fascist

          We agree the Oilers are in a sh!tty situation. And I think we share the frustration that management in place seem woefully ill equipped to make the changes necessary – especially since many had a hand in getting the team here.

          I guess where we differ is how easy / difficult it is to engineer a “tank” and if there are longer term issues that arise with “embracing” it as an organization.

          All that being said, I would not mind one of McEichel ending up an Oiler.

          • Zarny

            I don’t even think we necessarily disagree on how easy/difficult it is to tank a season. Personally, I don’t think MacT was trying to tank this year; he just misread how good/bad the team was. He certainly didn’t dismantle the team like Arz and Buf did to tank at the trade deadline. And I don’t think he should have.

            Like I said, I’m basically just mad at the results since winning now accomplishes nothing and only costs the team in the long run.

  • Zarny

    I dont know why some of u dont want to tank

    look at 2012 NFL draft……..Indy all but guaranteed themselves a perpetual playoff spot by tanking season, and drafting Luck

    they may not be guaranteed a SB, but they will forever be in meaningful games as long as hes healthy

    buffalo, phoenix and Toronto figured this out …….any other year doesnt warrant tank…..this isnt any other year!!!!!!!!!

  • Zarny

    Coyotes, Leafs and Sabres have a plan in place
    to tank the season!..
    At least they have a plan unlike the Oilers who have been flying by the seat of their rears for years.. What a friggin joke.

    You load up the team with AHL players, and they end up playing better than your planned team.

    Nelson is fighting for a job, that’s why Gazdick, Fraser, and Klinghammer play 6 minutes of hockey, Cant blame Nelson for that.

    On the other hand any other team in the NHL would not even have these three loosers on the roster.

    • AJ88

      Give me one player or coach in any professional sport that has stated that losing is part of their strategy. Losing may be part of your strategy but successful people would not even think it.

  • Sorensenator

    With the Buds win last night the Oil are 6 points behind and have fewer wins than the Buds. The Oil would need to pick up 7 points on the Buds in the last 7 games to jump into 27th and that is very unlikely. The Oil have 7 games left and they would need to be very good to get 7 points given the schedule. The Buds are likely to pick up a points or two as well.

    The Yotes have one less game left and it is unlikely they will pick up the 3 points they trail the Oil by.

    The Oil will get a pick in the top 4, most likely 3 or 4. Hannifin, Strome, Marner are the likely players.