GDB 10.0 Wrap Up: Oilers @ Wild

Lame

I really hate the Minnesota Wild and the boring garbage hockey horse they rode in on. Final Score: 4-3 Wild

Does anyone else think it’s odd that the Oilers play one road game in Minnesota only to return home for a Thursday game against Montreal? I assume the schedule makers are just throwing darts at a calendar in terms of scheduling because that’s the only thing that makes sense. Travel schedule aside, the Oilers had a game to play against a Minnesota opponent that has not been overly kind to our beloved heroes in recent memory. To make matters worse the Wild still play that boring brand of hockey even though Jacques Lemaire hasn’t been around in years. 

Tonight, the Oilers looked like they weren’t ready to play and it cost them early. The Wild were all over them, and the pressure left the Oilers scrambling to gain any traction. Luckily for the Oilers, they were able to weather the early storm (and deficit) and claw back into the game. After tying the game up in the second period the Oilers were able to keep the Wild at bay and looked more comfortable than they did early. In the rebuilds past, the Oilers would have likely folded and gone home after being down by two goals early in the first period, but things seem to be changing around here, albeit it slowly.

After taking an early lead in the third period the Oilers were unable to find an answer for the Wild’s cycle down low and they paid for it in the end. The Minnesota Wild were very effective once they got the puck settled down in the Oilers zone, and the visiting team eventually broke after bending for so long. On the bright side, the Oilers’ offense is starting to hit its stride, but getting possession of the puck is still an issue. It goes without saying, but the Oilers will continue to struggle until the defense improves. In the Western Conference teams live and die by their defense, and right now it’s just not good enough. 

We wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

Money

  • Connor McDavid and Nail Yakupov are hot fire together. They both extended their point streaks to six games with their first period assists on the goal by Taylor Hall. I swear to Gord that I am going to run out of words to accurately describe how amazing Connor McDavid is at playing hockey. Someone buy me a thesaurus. 
  • Did I mention that Connor McDavid is amazing?
  • Taylor Hall continues his excellent play despite what the haters think. He scored his fourth goal of the year on the power play off of a nice play by ConYak. Hall later made an even nicer play on his assist to Pakarinen. 
  • When Rob Klinkhammer went down Iiro Pakarinen filled in on the top line with Nuge and Hall and looked good in the process. He scored his first goal of the season off a beautiful dangle and dish by Taylor Hall. All world play by Hall, and a great finish by Little Buttcheeks. 
  • Darnell Nurse settled in nicely in only his third NHL game. The knock on ol’ Darryl was that he was a bit scrambly sometimes but he looked good tonight. He didn’t try to do too much, played a steady game, and made excellent passes to get out of the defensive zone. Having mobility on the backend opens up a whole new world in OilersNation, not to mention the Nurse bomb he dropped on Dubnyk for his first NHL goal.
  • Can we all agree that Cam Talbot was a monster pickup for Peter Chiarelli? On the first two Wild goals Talbot was screened and the second two goals were a result of poor defending against the cycle. He was solid throughout the night (the stats won’t show how good he actually was) and gave the Oilers a chance to win. Talbot finished with 24 saves and an .857 save%. 
  • The North x NorthGretz Podcast kicks off next week! Follow myself, Jeanshorts, and Chris the Intern as we explore all the best of the Nation Network in 35 minutes or less. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and on Soundcloud. New episodes will be up every Monday so plan your lives accordingly.

THE FACE PALMERS

Broke

  • Brutal start by the Oilers. You can’t spot a trapping (read: boring) team like the Wild two goals less than 10 minutes into the game. Also worth noting that you can’t give up two goals in under a minute either.
  • Every time I see Devan Dubnyk I can’t help but wonder how things would have gone if MacT didn’t throw him under the bus before his last season as an Oiler had even started. Granted, it all worked out in the end (McDavid), but it was tough sledding for both the Oilers and Dubnyk through the 2013-14 season. Regardless, it annoyed me to see Dubnyk get the win tonight.
  • The Oilers really had no answer for the Wild’s cycle tonight. Whenever they established themselves in the Oilers’ zone the defense struggled immensely to break things up. 
  • Ryan Suter had two goals all year, last year. He had two tonight. I call shenanigans! 
  • Speaking of shenanigans, what’s up with the Oilers sticks tonight? During the third period alone I could have sworn that they broke a half dozen sticks. I know Darnell Nurse is a beefcake, but Nugey? Shenanigans.
  • With the Oilers having injuries on the back end they need veterans like Sekera and Fayne to step up and play bigger, tougher minutes. Body position is very important and on the first goal their bodies were positioned right in front of Cam Talbot. 
  • I don’t know what game the refs were watching but I find it hard to believe that they only saw three infractions all night (two PPs for the Wild, one for the Oilers). Matt Dumba connected with a headshot on Lauri Korpikoski in the first period and didn’t even get so much as a glance from the officials. Did the Oilers get the replacements for these past two games or what?

SCORING SUMMARY

1ST PERIOD
07:25 MIN Ryan Suter (1) Wrist shot – ASST: Jason Zucker (5) 1 – 0 MIN
09:30 MIN PPG – Marco Scandella (1) Tip-in – ASST: Thomas Vanek (3) 2 – 0 MIN
11:09 EDM Taylor Hall (4) Wrist shot – ASST: Nail Yakupov (7), Connor McDavid (5) 2 – 1 MIN
2ND PERIOD
04:41 EDM Iiro Pakarinen (1) Deflected shot – ASST: Taylor Hall (4) 2 – 2 Tie
3RD PERIOD
03:38 EDM Darnell Nurse (1) Slapshot – ASST: Oscar Klefbom (3), Benoit Pouliot (4) 3 – 2 EDM
08:43 MIN Ryan Suter (2) Tip-in – ASST: Mikko Koivu (5), Nino Niederreiter (2) 3 – 3 Tie
09:26 MIN Charlie Coyle (3) Backhand shot – ASST: Thomas Vanek (4), Justin Fontaine (3) 4 – 3 MIN

BEST OF THE TWEETS

Talk to me Twitter. Tweet at @OilersNation and @jsbmbaggedmilk for your chance to land in the Best of the Tweets. 

CONYAK 2015


ConYak is a beautiful partnership, no? I can only assume that these two had their DNA intertwined before either was even born to be able to find each other on the ice as well as they have been. Maybe it’s fate? Regardless, ConYak could be one of the most impressive duos the NHL has ever seen! To celebrate this new (and sexy) relationship we have released this ultra sexy ConYak tee, complete with double headed centaur so you know we mean business. 

As always, a portion of all sales will be donated directly to Earth Group in an effort to provide life essentials for needy folks around the world. Not only will you be stylin’ in your new ConYak tee you’ll also be contributing to a very worthy cause. 

    • Chongler

      We also had a healthy Chris Pronger in his prime in 2005.

      However, there a flashes of brilliance that we haven’t seen with this team in a long time…they are just snuffed out by the reality of a shattered D-Core.

  • giddy

    Who is there right mind would even think to trade Yak at this point? When there’s a line that has two guys that are both on six game point streaks while on a 3-7 team, that’s about the last thing you’d think to split up. I doubt any other teams would even put much value to him anyway, the only teammate he’s had much measurable success with is a generational talent. Not a lot of teams with one of those laying around to accommodate Yak with.

    • Derzie

      Yak should have success with a generational talent. Remember Rob Brown? He wasn’t a number 1 pick but Mario made him look super. Brown was a bum after they took him off Mario’s line.

      • Al Theeathoone

        Brown was a natural scorer, I watched him develop as a teen . He was encouraged to be one-dimensional .

        Brown was never a bum…he was built to be what he was, a one dimensional shooter spoiled by a Minor Hockey System/Community obsessed with pushing kids forward to the NHL.I knew some of Robs teammates and no one was complaining when he was lighting the lamp and players like him were over-protected and over-managed by their coaches and parents and communities.

        Those were the days.

        No one who plays in the NHL and lines up with Mario is a Bum, maybe not so likeable{scorers attitude} maybe something else that rhymes wih brass-hole but not a Bum.

  • Dwayne Roloson 35

    Did everyone seem to forget we are playing without our leading scorer from last year, two regular defenseman and a heart and soul player like hendricks? I’m impressed they were leading the game at one point. Put two of the guys back in the line up and this is a completely different game. Stop your crying oiler “fans”. Take away the leading scorer from anytime and they are going to struggle, add new gm, coach, players, of course its going to take some time to figure things out. i feel the oilers have had a chance to win almost every night. and thats alot more than i can say for last year!

    • Totally agree. This is a much better team than last year and the injuries are hurting. In our first 10 this season only 1 non playoff team from last year (LA – currently one of the best) and 60% road games and some key injuries. Last year we gave up 36 goals, this year 31.

      Most did not expect them to make the playoffs but did expect them to be a much improved team. Better D:G and, when Ebs returns, better F than last year. They are in most games and far more fun to watch (e.g. Connor M). Be patient, slow and steady wins the race.

      • 9 years out of the playoffs is a little too much slow and steady.

        Chia needs to show his skills, and make some impact moves so we can start playing .500 hockey this year, and playoffs next year.

        I’m all slow and steadied out. Sounds like some BS MacT would say.

        • Al Theeathoone

          I am not happy about it either. Unfortunately there was NO improvement over those 9 years so any way you look at it, this really is the first turnaround year. Bob N then Chia then Todd M then the assistants then the scouts then the system then the players both personnel and learning that system All these significant changes (more than any other team) will take time to mesh together. No small task. 9 years wasted, 8 mos. not.

          Patience Luke, and the force will be with us. At least the hockey is more entertaining and we are in most games……

  • Canoe Ride 27.1

    We are painful to watch in our own end. Pretty much need to DVR all games and fast forward the long stretches in our D zone. Feels like groundhog day.

    If it wasn’t for McDavid right now, I’d probably start watching curling. Sweep! Hard! Ugh.

  • YFC Prez

    Sekera will not make it full contract if this is his best painfull buyout pill to swallow for chia. Sekera is nitkitin all over again. I think we have a pro scouting problem. Lol . The only thing chia did that macT didn’t is hire a proven coach. I’m not sure he could have hired one as good McLellan at the time. Eakins was his undoing. Mact also gambled on a backup goalie he hoped was ready to be a starter. I think talbot is good no question and could be great with a solid defense in front of him. but Martin Jones could have also been had with a much larger sample size. A lot of the time we were pinned in our own zone Sekera and fayre seemed to be on the ice and our forwards were along the back boards trying to get the puck while the defense floated in front of our net

  • camdog

    Different season, same result & another moral victory.
    BTW what is wrong with readers here? One day they trash the thought of trading one of Hall, Nuge, Yaks, Ebs for a significant Dman while the next day they want it bad. WTF?
    The MacT/Lowe/Eakins/Howson curse goes on.
    Eakins had 9 points after 10 games last year with no good goalie. Now they are at 6 pts…
    Time to panic? Or time to make a huge trade???
    I say Chia is working on it.

  • Oilers4ever

    Oilers defense still sucks crap and their offence continues not burying chances they get. Until they fix these two things the losses will continue to pile up. At least we aren’t getting creamed like calgary has been most nights.

    • S cottV

      A work in progress assumes you have the right pieces in place to have a reasonable chance to achieve success. The Oil don’t have the right mix of character, talent and grit to consistently compete in pro-hockey.

      Thanks to incompetent coaching and management for the past 9 years the Oil remain at the bottom of the league. The glory days have come and gone. This is the team time forgot.

  • 5 Cups

    A lack of timely meaningfull tactical System-Sympathetic “contact” seems to be costing the Oilers games this season.

    They are All-In.
    The effort is there.

    The men have learned now how to as a Team stay on the “right side of the puck”,this is a step forward.

    Now the men need to learn how and when and where to engage contact to provide a sympathetic impact within their System or Process.

    This needs to be a Tactical Management issue.

    All Players have “habits” ingrained in them..these habits can be re-shaped or modified by a good coach.If these habits are not there hey need to be TAUGHT not COACHED.

    There is a big difference beween Coaching NHL Hockey and Teaching NHL Players…ask D.E.

    D.E didnt have a management program to help him show his men how to incorporate his concepts….so failing to “teach” he used his Coaching impacts to frame the entire issue and blamed the men for not knowing fundamenals of Hockey defense…..he just didnt understand them or their impacts enough to be able to Teach and Coach concurrently.

    These torpedos sinking our Battleships are small in-game adjustments in terms of application of contact to progress the Systems intentions…each Game and opponent Process and Officiating Crew is different and the contact must be a part of the pre-game planning and I know by evidence provided it isnt.

    Tactical Contact managed within the Process is needed now that everyone is on the right side of the puck…..EVERY opponent has players who are able to break the fence good positioning builds so there MUST BE tactical applicaions of “contact” worked into the gameplan every night.We dont want to just say “hit more” that is to generic a dictum…..but really…Ya gotta hit em more fellas.Look how Conner “made space” by using tactical well managed “contact” on the famous Glove-Job playaction.

    JW should have every opponents Draft Horses IDed and targeted pre-game,you must add more contact so put it where it will most optimally support your speed as a 2ndary impact….hit the slow movers and make em even slower…they recover slower JW…..hitting a speedster is less impactfull tacticlly because of their recovery ability ….make existing cracks bigger because you dont yet have a Hammer big enough to make new cracks in anything.

  • OILFANMEXICO

    I want a trade for #1 D-man like all the Oilers fans do, but what team is willing to trade one(even for Eberle or Hall)??? Unless, a stud UFA comes available, we may be stuck with yet another 2nd line D-man, which we don’t need. Add to this, a lot of GM’s know giving us a stud D-man will complete our puzzle and we will be a powerhouse.Look what Pronger did for us.

    • Burnward

      Prongers overall-nasty and Stevens predator streak in open-ice and Marchments hip checks and Gators straight-arms,Messiers devastating Devils-elbows…. some say they wouldnt fit in to the game today ,I digress,I would take Pronger or any of these guys out of retirement tomorrow .

      Oh the good olde days.

  • 5 Cups

    Teams seem to be playing us one on one when we have the puck . A lot of interference , hooking , holding , etc. and they are not drawing penalties by doing it . We on the other hand seldom play the other club with same tactic with any prolonged consistency , being more in zoning them out rather than pestering them one on one , especially when opposition has puck . Most games we play well until the opposition gains ice by us not getting involved one on one up and down the ice . Long stretches each game you have to wonder when the other club will let us play with puck . That’s when we always seem to get into trouble . The majority of our players are not condusive to one on one match ups , which certainly does not help . Some major adjustments to personnel seem quite evident .

  • Al Theeathoone

    Lets be realistic…
    How many of the teams in the Western Conference can the Oilers actually beat on a regular basis this year or next year?

    Even if the Oilers had a “stud defense man” or two of them do you honestly think they can begin to or continually rack up points against Chicago, L.A., San Jose, Nashville, Dallas, St. Louis, Anaheim, Winnipeg, or even Vancouver or Calgary? There’s no proof they could beat anyone in the East either.

    This franchise is embarrassing and is NOT getting better. Not progressing at all.

    The Oilers have half a dozen highly skilled offensive forwards that 29 other teams would kill for and the best young player to come along in decades and still they can’t score? Can’t win a game or two? No folks it’s not because of their defense. It’s because they have no game plan, no structure, and inferior teaching methods.

    We were all fed that this marvelous new experienced coaching staff would quickly turn this team around. In reality they are no better than anything we have had here up to this point. No game plan on how to beat teams. Power play not working. Can’t score, can’t defend, can’t be taught to quit making bone head mistakes, can’t be taught to understand they have to take their eyes off the puck once in a while and cover their man, can’t get the puck out of their zone, and most importantly can’t win games. You’d think that these highly praised allegedly superior coaches could think of a game plan to win a game or two. Clearly management and these coaches are not capable of creating a winning atmosphere and the proof is in the pudding.

    Millions of dollars tied up in players not playing, in players who should never have been brought here at any price, players earning millions playing (or sitting) in the minors, millions in coaches no longer coaching here and managers (allegedly) no longer managing here.

    The Oilers are “OUT OF THE PLAYOFF RACE” already and it’s not even Halloween. They would need 90 points in their next 72 games to make the playoffs. An impossibility even for a real NHL team. Another long year of futility, shame and embarrassment ahead for both the players and the fans. Disgusting.

    This sports franchise is a disgrace. Bob Nicholson is an outright failure, and so is Pete Chiarelli, and it flows downhill from them. McLelland and his posse are clearly not capable of proper teaching or of bringing any improvement to this team.

    I ask Oiler management (and coaches) – HAVE YOU NO PRIDE? No shame? Why is being an embarrassment ok with you? Isn’t it time you started earning your pay cheques?

    This City deserves better than this.

    • 5 Cups

      Relax man. Anyone with sense realized this team had a high probability of not making the post season again.

      Playing around .500 hockey the rest of the way get the team 75-85 points on the season; which is where most people put this Oilers team. of course that means they need to play .500 hockey the rest of the way…not out of the question from what I have been seeing.

      The new group has managed to put some putty on some of the leaks, but there are so many areas on the oilers that need fixing that not even the Flex Seal of GMs could stop them all.

      I am with you. At some point I would like to be watching the Oilers with the lead in the third without thinking “how are they going to blow this tonight?” Its coming, they are playing better, deep breaths.

    • Serious Gord

      Two things:

      90 points in 72 games translates into 38-40 wins and 10-14 otls. Barely above a 500 record so it is doable. Not likely, but doable.

      We are ten games into the season having played only two teams that did not make the playoffs last season – Dallas and LA. And both of those teams are currently LEADing there respective divisions.

      So it is far too early to pass judgement in toto and in extremus like you are above.
      By all means argue for areas and judgements about weaknesses in the team and certain players at this point those can begin to be made. But management and general management is a much more complex and bigger enterprise that requires a lot more evidence than we have so far.

  • camdog

    The Oilers only had 10 hits ALL game and the AHL call up Nurse had 3 of them? HIT SOMEBODY ANYBODY! Why can the small Wild players hit and Oilers don’t check them back? Frustrating to watch them get checked all over the ice and they don’t get mad or get even. Maybe Byfuglien is what this team needs?

    • For Pete's Sake!

      Exactly right! Most of the Oiler players don’t hit anybody. They must think it’s beneath them or something.

      Teams with smaller players can win in the NHL if they play agressive hockey. Just look at the Wild and the Canadiens.

      I’m so tired of seeing a guy like RNH standing beside a guy like Suter who’s open beside the Oiler net and letting him just shoot the puck in the net.

      I don’t care if Suter’s bigger than you Nuge, all you had to do was give him a little push and you would have prevented that tying goal.

      It’s the little things that kill hockey teams and these guys just keep making the same lazy mistakes over and over again.

      • Serious Gord

        This, besides perhaps a weak defensive corps, is the most worrying part of their poor play. It speaks to attitude and the level of tenacious competitiveness. I assume that that can to some degree be coached. And physical contact can certainly be demanded by a coach.

        Defence is currently largely a talent issue for this team. And that can be addressed via trade.

        Competitiveness and physicality can at least to some degree be coached/taught. And that they seem to still be struggling with this makes me doubt just a little tmcs coaching abilities. (Was it one of the key failings of the Sharks during his tenure? I think it was.)

    • It was bad enough that Gryba was the only one to respond to Dumba’s cheap hit. (Hope the NHL is reviewing this today, but probably not, We are a Canadian team, so apparently that’s fine). I stopped watching after Talbot got run over and every Oiler on the ice was checking his skate laces. The losing bothers me, but watching all the prima donnas think that the heavy lifting belongs to everybody but them is getting harder and harder to watch.

      • Derzie

        I am biased against the Oil but that Dumba hit was as dirty as they come. Head first contact. Smiling on the bench afterwards. How that doesn’t get reviewed today boggles the mind.

        • Al Theeathoone

          The smiling on the bench is the only thing wrong with the scenario……no price-tag on the man he hit….toothless snowflakes who refuse to value teammates…..a major identity issue, one worth a season of change to adjust.

          Everyone thinks they are the Master-link in the chain…..pitifull….men who do not know their roles…..like a fleet of Ghost-ships.

          Some people get MAD when they are losing NOT AFTERWARDS…..they will fight before you dominate them in a game , when they feel you gaining an edge they plug you good and see how you feel about it,and next time they will plug you twice as hard , and next time they take 2 for crosschecking you in the chops.

          Price-Tag….play the song in the next meeting….because someone needs to begin putting them on Oilers Jerseys,and collecting the toll.Lots of men are being paid to be Gatekeepers,where are they?

          Mac-L…PC…? No more talk of moving studs…you guys need to move the duds first.

          Doesnt anyone big and nasty get mad to earn their sheckles anymore?

  • camdog

    You can’t fix horrible drafting/development over night. It’s going to take a year or two to fix the damage done to this organisation by Kevin Lowe and company.

    The Oilers have multiple bad veteran contracts on their roster right now. These bad contracts are the result of having few second round and up pick make the team, which has forced the organisation to take chances on bad, over priced veterans.

    It’s too bad that Katz didn’t listen to the fans and turf Lowe earlier, but that didn’t happen. I know people well defend Lowe at all costs and get mad when I criticize him, but he was in charge of the scouting department, the system was set up during his time as GM. Not Tambelinni and not Mact’s time.

  • Burnward

    I do not undertsand the haters on Hall.

    Looking at his play, he is becoming an Elite NHL player.

    I would love to have a hater explain why they think Hall is not a good player.

    The only aspect of his game I would change is his need to carry the puck as much as he does.

    • I would for you to tell me what exactly is elite about Hall’s play.

      I’ve read people refer to him a elite,(I can’t see that in his play), yet no one wants to explain what exactly is elite about it.

      Hall reminds me a lot of S.Gagner.
      He best value is in the eyes of his fans, same as Gagner. People use to tell me how good Gagner was and to wait for him to develop, and blah blah blah.

      Gagner was only good on the Oilers, once he left on the Oilers he is belowe average. Yet, while on the Oilers some believed he had potential to be a superstar. Same is the story with Hall’s eliteness.

      Sorry about the rant. But, feel free to explain to me what is elite about Hall’s play.

      • Dwayne Roloson 35

        Comparing Hall to Gagner is a joke right?

        Hall-Explosive skater with crazy top end speed. Great puck skills, underrated passer who is one of the top point producers in the league when healthy.

        Gagner was slow, had decent hands and never hit the 50pt mark. He was also a Center who didn’t play D. There’s no comparison.

  • OILFANMEXICO

    Dustin Byfuglien,6’5″,260lbs

    -mean streak

    -4 seasons with 45-56 pts

    -2013 -Ranked 4th in Nhl defenceman

    -Playoff experience

    I would go hard after him as our options this year are limited.

  • Dwayne Roloson 35

    Purcell’s stick is a retirement home, it is where pucks go to die. It is hard to watch the man play sometime, I can only imagine how it is to play with him. Purcell is a waste of ice time.

    Same goes for that Davidson(?) kid. The kid is not an NHL player, it’s as if his controls are set on random.

    Once Hendricks is back, there will be a little more fight and effort from the team as a whole. Once Eberle is back a little more skill will be present as well.

    Nurse will develop into an NHL stud no matter where he plays. Play him in the NHL over Davidson and Ference.

    Bring up Drai and play him with RNH and Eberle.

    Trade Hall for a defense upgrade.

    I’m telling you people Hall is the new Gagner, it is better to get rid of him sooner than later. I also believe he has a lot to do with the energy in the locker room and on the ice.

    • Al Theeathoone

      Purcells spot needs to provide nasty physical PRO-ACTIVE support…Fail.

      Davidson…unknown .

      Hendricks..better find his offense.

      Ebbs…once he is healthy we expect him to have his cardio ready.

      Dre’needs to provide evidence he has offense to provide so he needs to be greedy and score like a Mad-Hatter and we will see him.

      Hall might be advised to move on if this is another losing season.

      Gagners 4 points in six games and his +3 look very nice to me when I look at the Oilers basic traditional stats sheet.I would rehire Sam .

    • Dwayne Roloson 35

      Hopefully EVERY Oiler watches HOW Darnell scored that goal in terms of aggression and urgency and intentions of overpowering the goalie…slappers on-the-fly when no one else is set up in the zone are not high risk because if you miss and ring them your support is just on time to pick it up coming in.Not all deep and flatfooted like when you unleash high rising bad angle slappers in the o-zone when everyone is in deep and static and batteling.

  • Derzie

    “Can we all agree Talbot is a steal” followed by “.857 save %”? How did you come to that conclusion? He may be ‘visually appealing’ but the results are the results. Sub par save % and a loss.