OFF THE TOP OF MY HEAD

I wasn’t expecting the Edmonton Oilers to actually beat the Los Angeles Kings at the Staples Center Thursday, but after coach Todd Nelson publicly challenged his team, I didn’t expect an 8-2 embarrassment on the heels of the 5-1 drubbing they took in Anaheim the night before.

Yes, the Kings are a vastly superior team from top to bottom and they needed the two points way more than the Oilers did. Yes, an Oiler line-up already lacking at the best of times has been shot full of holes by injuries and filled by some overmatched AHL call-ups. We know these things. So does Nelson, yet he obviously expected more:


Well, Nelson saw what the Oilers were able to do and it was a whole bunch of nothing, save for a handful of shifts before Ben Scrivens once again channelled Andre Racicot and gave up a 3-0 lead on just six shots in the first 9:13 of the game. That led to rusty call-up Tyler Bunz being put between the pipes for the final 20 minutes with the Kings already up 5-1.

Given the sieve-like performance by Scrivens, it’s not so much the final score I find troubling. It’s the lack of emotion and willingness to compete I can’t buy, even if the cause was predictably lost. Jordan Eberle, again courtesy of Tychkowski, summed it up:

NOTHING DOING

Nelson set the table with the playoff reference. The Oilers responded like it was Dallas Eakins talking. That’s what I found jarring. One of the things we’ve credited Nelson with since taking over is that he seems to be able to coax the best out of the players he’s got to work with, that the team responds to him. That didn’t happen against the Kings. Not even close.

That’s on the players, even allowing for the goaltending and the injuries. It’s not good enough, even if the Oilers have been beaten down again by another losing season and are playing out the string. Show something. Don’t turn the other cheek a night after getting slapped around in Anaheim.

It’s no news flash that the Oilers aren’t talented enough or deep enough or experienced enough to beat teams as good as the Kings, even when their coach frames a game as a measuring stick – it’s up to GM Craig MacTavish to do something about that.

But give fans the best you’ve got, men. If you’re willing to go quietly, that’s just one more thing that MacTavish has to add to his to-do list, and he’s got more than enough on his plate already. Don’t shrug your shoulders and quit like that when the Calgary Flames come calling Saturday.

SURVEY SAYS

FamilyFeud

I can’t wait for the results of the forensic analysis we’ve been assured is being done within the organization, although I don’t have a lot of confidence that it will result in any meaningful changes where actual change needs to happen. Do you?

Meaningful change has to be put in motion right at the top and I have no faith whatsoever that owner Daryl Katz, even if he has a hand in the process, is ready to fire his friends. He’s already shown more than once he’s willing to look the other way when it comes to that. Katz can’t leave it to Kevin Lowe or MacTavish or it becomes an obvious farce.

Bob Nicholson? He’d seem like the most obvious and best choice. If Nicholson is the guy, has Katz given him the green light to clean house as he sees fit? Call me doubtful. I foresee significant changes to the pro and amateur scouting staffs, but I’m from the Show Me State when it comes to anything beyond that

WHILE I’M AT IT

Megaphone

The Oilers have recalled David Musil from Oklahoma City. This, via team news release: “The Edmonton Oilers announced today they have recalled defenceman David Musil on an emergency basis from the American Hockey League’s Oklahoma City Barons. Musil, 21, has registered 10 points (1G, 9A), and 33 penalty minutes in 62 games with the Barons this season. The 6’4”, 203-pound defenceman has appeared in 123 career AHL games, accumulating 22 points (3G, 19A) and 87 penalty minutes.”

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260.

  • WTF2

    I have zero belief in MacT. I would have fired his a$$ out of here 23 months ago. He is a pathetic excuse for a manager. His family must be embarrassed to show their face in Edmonton.

    To suggest the audit Nicholson has supposedly conducted on the Oilers organization will not be made public is a total farce. The fans will never forgive Kim Jong Lowe for such a move.

  • Oilfaninvan

    Bottom line: One of the core that isn’t named RNH needs to go for a top pairing d man. How else do you get one? The current d roster plays IN THE WEST PEOPLE.

    • BubbaZanetti

      Apparently, this team is “better” with the “core” we have ? Soooo, not gonna happen. So they’re going to have to trade Purcell and Ryan Hamilton for that top pairing d-man, easy peasee ? And on a side note, Eberle acknowledges that “we got pushed around”. Any of these guys ever consider the novel idea of “pushing back” or is that only the 4th line’s job ??

    • bazmagoo

      Rexall Place kind of is a tomb these days, 40 years old and a real NHL franchise hasn’t been in town for going on a decade. Wonder if all the boys will come see old Northlands get torn down when it happens eventually.

  • Serious Gord

    Fyi: the wiki definition of psychosis

    Psychosis refers to an abnormal condition of the mind, and is a generic psychiatric term for a mental state often described as involving a “loss of contact with reality”. People with psychosis are described as psychotic. People experiencing psychosis may exhibit some personality changes and thought disorder. Depending on its severity, this may be accompanied by unusual or bizarre behavior, as well as difficulty with social interaction and impairment in carrying out daily life activities.

  • bazmagoo

    The LA Kings game was not that bad as it looks, 8-2, for some reason the goalies were not focused and into the game.

    LA shot the pucks from all over and they went in, Scrivens was flopping around all over and he fall down too often. He spread his knees to cover the bottom before the shots and left the upper of the net uncovered.

    Bunz was bad because he hasn’t played any games at all, in OK Broissoit played all the games.

    The next game vs Kings, Oilers has to play the body and hit them all over. They will be scare of getting hurt for the playoffs.

    Cali is nice and warm, maybe the players got too relaxed there and not thinking about hockey. Playing against bigger teams, they have to play better and focused.

    Only 4 more games then the draft and free agency. A few trades then look forward next year folks.

  • bazmagoo

    The only reason I went to that area of town is when I used to watch the oilers play live.

    If they build condos there, they will be sh’t holes in no time.

    Katz has zero interest in that part of town, so it will turn into an extension of the slum area.

    It will be an after thought with no money left to develop because our city blew it’s load already.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Katz is buying up all the houses and real-estate in the area as we speak for his new venture.

  • Serious Gord

    BTW! Why does your phone start flashing every second when the battery is about to die?

    Shouldn’t it flash every second while it is still good, then not flash at all when it’s about do die?

    Why does it flash like crazy when you can’t afford the battery life for it to flash?

    Stupid oilers.

  • Anton CP

    The question would be, how do you fix it? I mean, other than the obvious like fire this and trade that, what would be a proper way to fix this team? The problem plague Oilers for past 9 seasons are due to the lack of veterans on the roster. Sometimes, even a total disrespect to players that made a FA signings that much more difficult. It is not only the owner, the manager, the players, or anyone that is related to this organization, fans also are part of the team. If everyone want a winning team, start from cheering for the win instead of crying about draft positions. You want loses? You will get a loser.

  • Barry McOckiner

    Every time one of the goalies lets an easy goal in early the wheels just fall off and everyone is deflated. I know the defence is bad, but goaltending has to be #1 priority this offseason, then defence men.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Not sure following the trend of larger more physically capable players is the model the Oilers should be trying to copy. By the time Edmonton catches up to the rest of the Western Conference, the game may have changed considerably by then. Maybe even moved back towards the preferred speed and skill direction. Less based on whose system will beat whose on game nights. The Oilers have been chasing their own tail on this issue for nearly 5 yrs already.

    Hope this already discussed Psychosis condition, hasn’t grasped me like it obviously has Kevin Lowe. Or, i may be in need of some serious professional help. We’ve been wandering in the desert so long I don’t know which way is up anymore.

    Happy Easter to all Oilersnation brethren.

    • camdog

      The Oilers started chasing their tail on this particular issue a lot longer than 5 years ago. Lowe was still GM when this organisational shift began. If you looked deep into the drafting history under Lowe you could probably go back to 2004 when the Oilers drafted Shremp. Lowe has always had a knack for taking gambles on smaller, “skilled” forwards that never panned out.

    • Petrolero

      your comment reminded me of this car, I think it was form Ford, launched in the 70’s. They did exhaustive research with consumers asking them what they would like in a vehicle.

      By the time the numbers were crunched and the car was put into production, consumer’s preferences had changed and the car was one of the biggest flops in the company’s history.

      The Oilers are certainly in danger of getting stuck in an infini-faceplant if they take too long to catch up to their division.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    I’d offer sheet Doug Hamilton 6×6 and give up the draft picks before I resign Shultz. At least he’d be worth that kinda dough.

    I’ve heard, and witnessed no push back from the Oilers since 07. MacT invisions 3 scoring lines and a “push back” 4th line, but since 07 that’s been the mantra of the organization, until the big heads figure out it’d be better to “model the team” after L.A instead of Detroit, the Oilers won’t make the playoffs for years unless they move to the east. If they really wanted to model the team after Detroit, they’d have got Jim Nill to be gm.

    Smid, may not have been a “good puck mover” like Shultz but at least he fought for his ice, as did Jason Smith before him. Those are the kind of dmen I want on the Oilers not the Shultz type of “dmen”.

    It’s to bad management can’t see what the fans see.

    • Serious Gord

      I think a wiser course might be to go after Chara AND lucic. Both are having off years and are probably on the downside of very successful careers but with years of excellent service left in them. Boston is up against the cap if they want to keep the young up and comers. They might be willing to look at turning the page with these two players.

      • a lg dubl dubl

        Both have nmc in their contracts, don’t think they’d come here.

        I do dream of Rask coming here in a trade, but that only works in NHL15 and even then I had to give up my 2016 1st and 2nd rounders to get rid of Scrivens for Rask.

  • Burnward

    The only way to teach all the oiler rookies is to bring them to an oiler game.tell them to watch all the vets on the team. and then tell them don’t do what he did because it will end up in your net just like that play did.

  • nuge2drai

    Really hope we beat the Lamers tonight.

    Also looking forward the draft, even if we don’t win the lottery ending up with Hafinin or Strome is going to help solidify a team weakeness.

    Hopkins – Draisaitl – Strome

    Or

    Hafinin Nurse Klefbom

  • Serious Gord

    As big of a game as the JET-CANUCKS is , and its blacked out , and we watch Pittsburgh and Columbus whom no one in Western Canada gives a rats ass about. Unreal.

  • M22

    The only thing more nauseating than watching the Oilers soil themselves for the millionth time, is witnessing half-witted, pseudo-intellectuals espouse “facts” and “real data” with the same kind of assuredness that Lowe & MacTavish espouse imminent success on the ice.

    Let’s keep it relevant, ie. HOCKEY!

  • M22

    By the way, the “Daily Caller” website link in Serious Gord’s previous post will take you to a website co-founded by one Tucker Carlson, a political news correspondent on, wait for it……FOX News!!

    ‘Nuff said.

    • Serious Gord

      Tucker has been on several networks – cnn etc. And the column has nothing to do with him.

      The Cbc is chock a block with lefties yet you take their bias as being impartial.

      • M22

        How many networks he has been on is irrelevant. He’s been at FOX for several years. His political leaning is no secret, so it’s no surprise that the website is right-wing centric.

        I do not begrudge him his opinion, nor do I begrudge you yours.

        However, I do take exception with your assumption that I take the CBC’s bias as impartial. I’m not even sure why you would assume to know that I do. My belief is that impartiality is neither the domain of the left nor the right. Same can be said about bias and hypocrisy.

        Anyway, that’s the last I’ll say on this matter – after all, we’re here to talk hockey, and why the Oilers suck so bad, Gord. You and I seem to have some common ground there.

        Cheers.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    Oh man. As if this season were not bad enough. Realizing there are “fellow” Oilers fans who believe global warming is some left wing conspiracy and they feel the need to rant about it on an oilers blog is just more salt on the wound. Bleh!

  • Devolution

    A couple of weeks ago Barry Melrose described a hockey team as a cake and went on to say that the Oilers were all icing. You can’t make a cake with all icing.