GDB 13.0: HOME ICE ADVANTAGE – Looking to bounce back

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Nightmare

The Oilers need to bounce back after Saturday’s disappointing loss to the Flames.

The Philadelphia Flyers have lost three straight, including a 4-1 setback in Vancouver last night and they enter Rexall Place with a 4-5-2 record. This is another team the Oilers need to beat. They will never improve if they can’t compete and regularly defeat average teams like Philadelphia.

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The Flyers are struggling to score. They’ve only scored once in each of their past three games, and they’ve only lit the lamp once in six of their eleven games played.

Claude Giroux has four goals and only six points. Jakub Voracek has no goals and only four points. Voracek’s new $8.25 million/year deal begins next season. The Flyers need him to start producing. The low goal total isn’t a major surprise, he’s more of a passer than shooter, but four assists is unacceptable. The Flyers need their two best players to start producing if they hope to win.

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The Oilers have been getting excellent production from their two best forwards. Taylor Hall has seven points in his last three games, and 13 on the season. Connor McDavid has 12 points in 12 games, and those two give the Oilers two dangerous lines.

Leon Draisaitl has fit in very well with RNH and Hall, while the Pouliot-McDavid-Yak trio has been excellent, except for Saturday’s loss vs. Calgary.

The Oilers need some production, albeit not much, from their bottom six forwards. Todd McLellan mentioned that again today, and he is hoping Purcell’s two-point effort on Saturday will jumpstart the veteran’s production.

LINEUP…

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Oilers lineup courtesy of DailyFaceoff.com

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Flyers lineup courtesy of DailyFaceoff.com

QUICK HITS…

  • It is the battle of the backups. Anders Nilsson will play his first game since getting pulled on October 23rd vs. Washington, while Michal Neuvirth will start his 5th game of the season. Neuvirth has a solid 1.91 GAA and .939sv% this season, while Nilson, after a strong first two games, has a .902sv% and 3.92 GAA.
  • Matt Hendricks is back in the lineup. He took a shot off the inside of his right ankle in Calgary on October 17th and hasn’t played since. He suffered a bad pressure cut and he still has some swelling on his foot. He admitted it is painful to skate, but he wants to play and the Oilers need his energetic personality on the bench and in practice. The Oilers are an extremely quiet group. Good teams have vocal leaders and energetic guys on the bench, but with Hendricks out the team lacked that ingredient.
  • The Oilers activated Hendricks and put Lauri Korpikoski on IR, retroactive to last Wednesday. He said yesterday he is ready to play, so he could be activated by the weekend.
  • Darnell Nurse is a vocal player and as he gets more comfortable he will speak up more. It is difficult for a rookie to come in and be one of the vocal players, but with such a quiet group, Nurse might have to become more vocal sooner than expected.
  • Defencemen like the plastic skate protectors, but many forwards, especially wingers, don’t. The puck explodes off the plastic, and when D-men ring it around the boards and the forward tries to knock it down with his feet, it is much harder to do it wearing those protectors. Hendricks will wear them tonight. He wore them during the lockout season, but said they felt clunky. “I have no choice, but to wear them now. They help when you are blocking shots, but it is a challenge if you are trying to control a pass off your skates,” he said after the morning skate.
  • Sean Couturier skated this morning. He has missed five games due to a concussion and it sounds like he will sit out tonight.
  • McLellan said Fayne is out because he didn’t want to insert two D-men who didn’t play last game at the same time. Reinhart draws back in tonight, and we might see Fayne on Friday if one of the D-men struggle.
  • Peter Chiarelli has been working the phones looking to make a trade. Don’t expect a major deal, but it sounds like, and this surprises no one, that he trying to tweak his blueline. Historically very few trades occur before November 15th, and an Eastern GM said via text this morning, “It is tough to negotiate a trade early in the season because you don’t want to overreact and trade away a player just because he had 10 bad games, and then see him flourish elsewhere.”

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING…

From Bill Meltzer

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The Oilers had a dramatic comeback win against the visiting Montreal Canadiens on Thursday, recovering from an early 3-0 deficit to skate off with a 4-3 regulation win keyed by a three-goal outburst in the third period. 

The emotional win was followed by a 5-4 regulation home loss to the Calgary Flames. Once again, the Oilers fell in early multi-goal hole and battled back to eventually tie the game. This time around, however, it was the opponent who came up with a late goal to seal the match. Michal Frolik finished off a hat trick with the game-deciding goal in the final 10 seconds of the third period on a seemingly harmless shot out of the corner.

Tuesday’s game is the third match of a four-game homestand for the Oilers. The team enters the game having lost four of its last five games overall. On home ice, Edmonton is 2-4-0 on the season to date.

TONIGHT…

GDB13

    GAME DAY PREDICTION: After being outscored 8-2 in their three previous first periods, the Oilers storm out of the gate and lead 2-0 after 20 minutes, and win the game 5-2.

    OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Sam Gagner picks up a point against his former team.

    NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: McLellan mentioned they need more secondary scoring and he gets a goal from the most unlikely of sources. Eric Gryba has four career goals. His first NHL goal came on home ice on March 23rd, 2013 in Ottawa, but his next three have come on the road. He didn’t score a goal last year, and the last time he tickled the twine was March 8th, 2014 in Winnipeg. He ends his  105-game goalless drought tonight.

    NOMINATE YOUR HOME ICE HERO!

    Celebrate the volunteer, parent, coach or organizer who keeps the game going and asks for nothing in return. 

    Nominate your Home Ice Hero and they could win a prize worth $5,000. Nominate your hero.


    • brian_d

      Was I the only one to think “Jason Smith” when Gregor mentioned Gryba’s goalless stretch? He used to go through similar stretches. I don’t think that was the only reason this struck me–I’d really love for Gryba to show flashes of Smith. Don’t get me wrong, I love the intensity and “tryhardness” of Gryba’s game. He’s not without mistakes, though, and I really think he would endear himself to fans and carve out a niche for himself if he stepped it up even more, to “Smith-ian” levels.

      • stonedtodeath61

        And let’s not forget that Jason Smith coaches the D here in Ottawa. Gryba’s game is part of what JS coached him on as Big Earl became a fixture on the Sens Blueline under Smith

    • YFC Prez

      I just noticed on the projected lineups nurse on the top line with Sekera. Is he really putting Nurse on the right side tonight? Or Sekera.

      Seems like a lot for Darnell to jump to the top line and play right side this early.

    • Robert (AKA Hockey Fan)

      Glad to see Hendricks back in the lineup tonight. His grit and toughness is what the Oilers will need against the Flyers tonight!

      Let’s go Oilers! 5-2 Oil!

    • RedMan

      Anyone else read the McKenzie report that the Avs and others are interested in Nikitin?

      Not sure what they’d have to take back, but if they can get rid of him early, then that’s one less thing.

      • hagar

        The problem is NN was mis-cast….if we just ask him to be dirty nasty bully and let him take few penalties doing so he will pay dividends….seeing as Mac-L is going to be forced to go to the Hammer and Anvil olde school style Stand-Up Defense , trust it this because there is no other way to stop the Possesion/Transition style of NHL Hockey which isnt exactly revolutionary although this Eras flavor is new, …..Nikitin could be a solid piece of this Possesion/Transition busting defense if used properly in the right supportive role within a role that fits his strengths.

        NN was not brought here to be an All-Round D-Man he was brought in for his size and his bite.

        He is still big and if allowed to be is still Nasty…no he doesnt turn like Schultz but if you use NN in a Stand-Up role he understands with backchecking forwards worrying about pucks so he doesnt have to be a human turnstile then he and Gryba can teach Reinhardt and Nurse how to execute a viscious clean Center-body-mass Stand-Up check at or above their own bleueline and recover first on their feet in position removing an opponent from the playaction and if fortunate their feet as well.

        There is beautiful video out there of Lindros executing AWSOME Stand-Up hits,elite ones.

        If there was ever any doubt that the Oilers would need to use the Hammer and Anvil well IMHO based on evidence provided to date that doubt is long gone.

        Messing around in our d-zone is one of 2 reasons we are being spudded nightly,the other being a lack of stand-up contact which is coincidentally WHY we are always messing in our d-zone to long…because to many pucks get taken deep on us by possesion vs dump-ins….we need to force the dump-ins by putting up an Anvil at or above our blueline.Not on game by game basis either…we should have begun the season this way ,advice that was posted last year and pre-season a lotta times .

        We want to either use our speed to recover dumped pucks or use our speed and skill to retrieve pucks in the n-zone or on our blueline or slightly inside our zone looking to SHRINK THE RINK and turn and burn with only 2 zones to transit to cash in AGAIN using our speed and skill.The Collapse Defense supports nothing we need….the Stand-Up Defense uses our size and bite optimally and supports all of our organisational offensive strengths which are now at the historic and epic level.

        This is IMHO something which will not go away in todays NHL and others ESPECIALLY the Lightening will now be doing this NOW….the Stanley Cup will be won this season by a Team executing the Hammer and Avil and actioning an olde school Stand-Up defense which will spud both the Kings and Hawks and every Possesion/Transition style team…..this will push league evolution to support a 2-zone lightning fast transitioning highly explosive offensive brand of hockey very much like 8o’s hockey was.Shrink the Rink ….this my friends plays right into the Oilers hands considering the historic skill-level they now posess surpassing even the Dynasty Oilers in raw fire-power and skill.Shinking the Rink builds the Devils PhoneBooth out of 2 zones where the Oilers skillsets give them the edge in close against anyone in the NHL …right now.

        If Mac-L comes out with the anemic collapse defense and fails to use the Hammer and Anvil I see another come from behind game with a 4-3 loss capping things off.Lots of penalties against,holding and hooking and high sticking types.Lots of PK time.

        If Mac-L comes out using the high pressure/speed contact focused Hammer and Anvil and supports his Process and players properly I see a 5-2 Oilers win supported by season high shots on net total,and odd man rushes for galore.Lots of PP opportunitys drawing holding and hooking and slashing calls.

        • Jordan88

          Sorry, I see Iginla got 2 goals and an assist..scored again late in the 3rd.

          And trolling and gloating about Mcdavid being injured is exactly what I expect from a flame troll. I guess you are hoping Johnny doesn’t get hurt.

    • SSB1963

      Mad.
      Disappointed.
      Yes, they won the game.
      I get it, he lost an edge…it was a yard sale on the end boards.

      We got pushed around after that happened.
      Hall cross checked
      Drai getting smacked in the lips
      All “non calls”

      Remind me why we have Gaz?

        • oilersfan30

          Ya. Like one of the best skaters in the world is going to lose and edge right there and crash into the boards if he was on a breakaway with no-one around.

          It likely had something to do with being tugged off balance at literally the most vulnerable moment possible (right after the shot and the weight transfer) and then a slash in the face for good measure.

          • Rob...

            I’ve watched it a few times…
            Painful. But it does look to me as if he lost an edge.
            You may see it different.
            Call me assinine and we can’t be friends anymore.

            I’m as crushed as every other Oiler fan right now. Im even more crushed that there was 42 seconds left in the game, when it was clear the game was won, that there was no statement made.

            None

            No “rub the hot goal tender”
            No “stick the guy next to you”
            No “scrum”
            No “[email protected]&k you”

            That is what makes this hurt the worst.

    • Jordan88

      After being in relationship with Wilson for seven years,he broke up with me, I did everything possible to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so much because of the love I have for him, I begged him with everything, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to someone online and she suggested that I should rather contact a spell caster that could help me cast a spell to bring him back but I am the type that never believed in spell, I had no choice than to try it, I mailed the spell caster, and he told me there was no problem that everything will be okay before three days, that my ex will return to me before three days, he cast the spell and surprisingly in the second day, it was around 4pm. My ex called me, I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that happened, that he wanted me to return to him, that he loves me so much. I was so happy and went to him, that was how we started living together happily again. Since then, I have made promise that anybody I know that have a relationship problem, I would be of help to such person by referring him or her to the only real and powerful spell caster who helped me with my own problem and who is different from all the fake ones out there. Anybody could need [email protected] the help of the spell caster, his email:you can email him if you need his assistance in your relationship or anything he also help me to win $500,000:00 for lotto game.I CAN NEVER STOP TALKING ABOUT YOU SIR HIS EMAIL: drakugbespell[email protected] post by Wilson

    • vetinari

      @Gregor

      Given that Ference and Fayne are in the press box and Davidson’s stock is rising (and he’s unlikely to clear waivers), I wonder if Chiarelli is working the phones trying to pitch a 2 for 1 defenceman swap with someone to rebalance the roster. What teams are short a defender or two right now and would consider a trade?

      • A-Mc

        It seems to me that the only 2 D that you might get some value (albeit, very little) would be Davidson and Fayne. I don’t think Ference has any value until the deadline.

        SO if that is the assumption we go into a trade proposal with, what kind of Defenseman do you think would come back in a Davidson/Fayne trade?

        I dont see much actual benefit coming our way, other than cap relief, do you?

        • vetinari

          Cap relief and freeing up one roster spot.

          I know that Nikitin and Ference will likely be next to impossible to move but I agree that Davidson and Fayne are definite trade candidates.

          Given McLellan’s connections to SJ, I wonder if they would part with Braun (RH shot) or if an underperforming team like the Ducks would part with Stoner?

          Neither of these trade options would be overwhelming and I would expect a pick or a prospect to come back the other way but it would increase the size and grit on our back end.

        • Leaking5w-30

          If chi dumps a d man salary it opens the possibility of the oilers being buyers if they are in the playoff hunt.

          Also it would be better to get some return on a guy like Davidson rather than risk him on waivers.

      • Jason Gregor

        I don’t see Ference being moved. Has another year on his deal and has NMC and looks like footspeed is gone.

        I doubt a team would take both of them in two for one. No team is that desperate right now.

        • vetinari

          Sorry, I was unclear but I meant a 2 for 1 for almost any combination of our defenders. I was only using Fayne and Ference to illustrate that we have veteran defenders sitting and if the young guns (like Nurse and Davidson) continue to play well, we need to move some bodies out. And that might mean that a guy like Davidson may need to be packaged up with a guy like Fayne to get a more physical/younger type of defender back.

    • Romance14

      I can’t emphasize enough how great it is that McLellan is rewarding players for their play. It doesn’t matter how much a guy makes, the players who give the team the best chance of winning on any given night should dress. Awesome to see the accountability being instilled within the room!

      • Oilers4Ever

        The NHL is run by a bunch of idiots who have zero common sense.

        A coach can challenge a play and only lose his TO if he’s wrong. If he challenges an illegal stick the team gets a delay of game penalty.

        Before shootouts were introduced, games could finish in a tie and each team received one point because there was no clear winner. With shootouts there clearly is a winner and loser however the loser still gets a point.

        If a fired coach or GM is hired by another team, the hiring team has to compensate the firing team with a draft pick.

        These are only a few examples but there are many more. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this $hit out and fix it. Bunch of effen idiots!

    • Johnnydapunk

      Can’t figure it out if the Oil are just dominating play or the Flyers are just not showing up. I don’t remember a first period that the Oil held a team to 2 shots and had 19 to show for it.

      1-0 though will still make it a bit nerve wracking to watch.

    • YFC Prez

      I was trashing y’all complaining about lack of call and/or lack of pushback after the McDavid injury. But man, last two shifts both the missed calls and lack of Oilers getting in the face of the Flyers is disturbing. Why did Klef let Simmonds just stand in the crease after the whistle and stare down Davidson on the ground?

      • YFC Prez

        I get sick to my stomach re-thinking that moment…..I wanted to cross-check Simmonds to the left ear thru my TV.

        The Oilers will NOT progress without finding some gunpowder …. simple…. not a new challenge in E-Town.

        A few opponents HAVE TO BE HURT to regain respect in the NHL.Hurt like Conner was during play….not some super-heavyweight fight waste of time….the Oilers need to hurt opponents during playactions.

        We take the 2 points and move forward.

        We hammered out a win.

        Progress.

    • Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"

      I liked the Title Picture until the Nightmare included McDavid. It looked left Collarbone to me or a separation of the left shoulder. If it is the shoulder it could mean the season. Bone is 6-8 weeks. Hope its just a bad bruise.

    • Alsker

      Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 58s58 seconds ago
      Coach McLellan says @cmcdavid97 has an upper-body injury that will keep him out long term…..UUUUUGGGGGHHHHHHH

    • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

      After being in relationship with Elizabeth for seven years,he broke up with me, I did everything possible to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so much because of the love I have for him, I begged him with everything, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to someone online and she suggested that I should rather contact a spell caster that could help me cast a spell to bring him back but I am the type that never believed in spell, I had no choice than to try it, I mailed the spell caster, and he told me there was no problem that everything will be okay before three days, that my ex will return to me before three days, he cast the spell and surprisingly in the second day, it was around 4pm. My ex called me, I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that happened, that he wanted me to return to him, that he loves me so much. I was so happy and went to him, that was how we started living together happily again. Since then, I have made promise that anybody I know that have a relationship problem, I would be of help to such person by referring him or her to the only real and powerful spell caster who helped me with my own problem and who is different from all the fake ones out there. Anybody could need [email protected] the help of the spell caster, his email:you can email him if you need his assistance in your relationship or anything he also help me to win $500,000:00 for lotto game.I CAN NEVER STOP TALKING ABOUT YOU SIR HIS EMAIL: [email protected] post by elizabeth