GDB 14.0: HOME ICE ADVANTAGE – McDavidless

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Fracture

Sports can be a harsh business at times. Many fans had circled tonight’s game as must-see TV with the expectation to watch Connor McDavid play Sidney Crosby for the first time.

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In 1984/1985 these two franchises watched Mario Lemieux battle Wayne Gretzky for the first time. Gretzky led the league with 73-135-208 and won the Art Ross, Hart and Stanley Cup while Lemieux won the Calder with 43-57-100.

Gretzky and Lemieux met for the first time on November 6th, 1984, in Pittsburgh as the teams skated to a 3-3 tie. Gretzky scored the tying goal with four minutes remaining after Lemieux assisted on the go-ahead goal midway through the third period.

Thirty-one years later Crosby and McDavid were scheduled to meet on the exact same day, but alas hockey fans will have to wait until next season to see these two phenoms face each other in NHL action.

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Despite McDavid’s absence there is still a lot of skill on the ice. The Oilers’ top two lines consist of three #1 overall picks (Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Nail Yakupov), a #3 pick (Leon Draisaitl), a #4 pick (Benoit Pouliot) and a 22nd overall selection (Jordan Eberle).

The Penguins‘ top two lines consist of Crosby (#1), Evgeni Malkin (#2), Phil Kessel (#5), David Perron (#26), four-time 22+ goal scorer Patrick Hornqvist and Pascal Dupuis.

There is no lack of offensive scorers on either roster, and fans should still be excited about tonight’s game.

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LINEUPS….

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Oilers lineups courtesy of DailyFaceoff.com

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Penguins lineups courtesy of DailyFaceoff.com

QUICK HITS…

  • “If I had a vote, he’d get mine as their MVP thus far. He has been great and they’ve only allowed 13 goals 5×5,” McLellan on Marc-Andre Fleury and the Penguins. The Penguins have scored 19 goals at EV. Fleury has a sparking 1.74GAA and .939sv% and he’s only allowed 19 goals in eleven games. Good news for Oilers is they won’t face him.
  • The Oilers have improved their 5×5 scoring. They have 23, tied for 12th, but they are still struggling to stop EV goals. The Oilers have allowed the third most (30), and only Columbus (32) and Calgary (42) have allowed more EV goals.
  • Crosby has played 193:26 at EV. He doesn’t have a goal and has only three assists. Both of his goals have come on the PP. He’s only put up 2-4-6 in 12 games thus far. His lack of offensive production  is one of the biggest surprises of the season. I’m certain he will pick up a point tonight.

  • The Oilers have seven + players so far. Hall leads the team at +7 followed by Draisaitl and Hendricks at +4, RNH is at +2 while Darnell Nurse, Brandon Davidson and Yakupov are at +1. The good news for the Oilers is that six of them are 24 and under. The skill players are improving their defensive zone coverage.\

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING…

From The Pens Blog…

They’ve added their fourth No. 1 overall draft pick since 2010 – who we noted is now injured, and they have absolutely nothing to show for it. And yet the lucky lottery ping pong balls of the NHL keep bailing them out over and over. You know the drunk guy/girl at the bar who keeps spilling their drink everywhere while their friend continuously orders them new drinks hoping they won’t do it again? Yeah, that’s the Oilers.

They rearranged front office responsibilities in an attempt to mask the suck of years past, but that was basically the equivalency of spraying Axe Body Spray in your car after your dog pukes everywhere.

Todd McLellan became the sixth Oilers head coach in the last seven seasons. That has to be some kind of record. Ice cream cones in the desert have more stability. But hey, at least he doesn’t have to worry about tanking in the playoffs anymore!

They traded a second round draft pick for Cam Talbot to be their starting goaltender this season, because going after other team’s backups has paid off so well for this franchise. Talbot was pretty good last season when he had an actual NHL-caliber defense in front of him. This season, his defense includes three traffic cones and a roll of Saran wrap, hence the .897 save percentage.

TONIGHT….

GDB14

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GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers have won two of their last three home games versus the Pens. They stun the Penguins with a 4-2 victory including an empty net goal.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: RNH scores a goal. He has three goals and six points in five career games versus Pittsburgh. 

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Nail Yakupov is growing a moustache for Movember. Gene Principe interviews him during one of the intermissions and since Gene is also growing a stache he asks Nail about his. Yakupov looks Mean Gene in the eye and says, “You call that a moustache, this is a real moustache,” and then proceeds to use his right thumb and index finger and rub his moustache from the outside into the centre. Yak is interviewed because he scored earlier in the period.

NOMINATE YOUR HOME ICE HERO!

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

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    • DaveChamp

      That’s ironic that the Pens blog is ripping on the Oilers’ drafting luck . How was it that they ended up with Crosby, Malkin, Fleury, and Jordan Staal?

      • Jaxon

        Was thinking the same thing. They also started with a good pick at #18 in ’00 (Orpik), nothing in ’01, 5th overall in ’02 (Ryan Whitney, which eventually got them Kunitz) , 1st in ’03 (Fleury), 2nd in ’04 (Malkin), 1st in ’05 (Crosby), 2nd in ’06 (J Staal). Their draft cluster was ’00 to ’06 and they won in ’09. 6 impact players over 7 drafts. After getting the first 5 players (including Crosby) they still didn’t make the playoffs. They made the playoffs in 06-07 in lost in the 1st round 4 games to 1. In ’07-08 they made it to the Cup Final but lost to Detroit and then beat Detroit in the final in ’09.

        Edmonton started with a good pick at #22 in Eberle in ’08 (the Oilers’ Orpik), nothing in ’09, 1st in ’10 (Hall), 1st in ’11 (Nuge), 19th in ’11 (Klefbom), 1st in ’12 (Yakupov), (traded this years 15th for 4th in ’12 (Reinhart), 7th in ’13 (Nurse), 3rd in ’14 (Draisaitl) and finally 1st in ’15 (McDavid). 9 impact players over 8 drafts.

        The Oilers’ draft cluster goes from ’08 to ’15 (1 year longer) so if the Oilers won in 2018 or 2019 they would be just as successful as the Penguins in ’09.

        • ItshurtswhenOilersLose

          And how do the pens not pick in 01′ yet you include it in the “cluster” years?

          to make you post more accurate, you gotta include Gagner and don’t forget Paajarvi at #10

          So really, the pens had 5 high picks, plus Orpik and the oilers had 10

          That’s double.

          • ItshurtswhenOilersLose

            past #5 its still a Crapshoot really. #6 overall is a high pick yes, but its one that you can still get very very wrong just by chance. And really, its the top two picks that change a franchise. Crosby, Malkin, Staal, Fluery. Hall, Nuge, Yak, McDavid. Include Leon at #3, and ya, we got one more I guess.

          • Jaxon

            Accuracy depends on your criteria and definition of “cluster”. My criteria was picks that contributed to a Penguins cup or could contribute to an Oilers Cup. Orpik was still a big contributor to their Cup and not much older. Orpik = Eberle. The year after both of them, neither teams has any picks that did or could contribute to a Cup. Paajarvi and Gagner are gone. If you take out Orpik, you take out Eberle. And both clusters start 2 years later. Doesn’t change what I was saying that much.

    • The Last Of Barrett's Privateers

      We may not have to wait till next year to see McDavid vs Crosby. If the penguins can take care of business in the east, we will see them in the cup final.

    • Randaman

      gotta like that Pittsburgh blogger.

      It reminds me of someone that used to come on ON and have good rips the Oiler’s and ON. I forget his handle but most of you know who I mean.

      He’s in Pittsburgh now!!

    • Craig1981

      Wow, that Pen’s write-up is a little harsh…….its has just enough truth in it to cut.

      Oh well, Any team that has Crosby and Malkin in it, plus drafted Fleury 1st overall, and after one cup is pretty much a wildcard card team, will do anything to stop from looking in the mirror

    • Shit bitch cunt fuck

      “They’ve added their fourth No. 1 overall draft pick since 2010 – who we noted is now injured, and they have absolutely nothing to show for it.”

      Whitney(5th 2002), Fleury(1st 2003), Malkin(2nd 2004), Crosby(1st 2005), Staal(2nd 2006)…

      DID NOT MAKE PLAYOFFS UNTIL 2007.

        • oilerjed

          That’s why I laughed at so many thumbs up to Randaman’s original post! That’s alot of internet trolling gentlemen right there.

          I would be ok with them if my computer wasn’t such a piece of sh!t. It takes forever to load ON pages and locks up a ton. Not on any other site though??
          Any one else have trouble with this site?

      • Simmerdown

        The ads are based on your search history. They are targeted and not a product of website specifically. You may be looking at sites that make it seem like an old guy like you would buy a Russian girl…..
        Just sayin, might want to work on privacy.

        I don’t typically post, just kind of felt bad and worried about the potential there.

        Go Oilers! We have such a great evolving group now, I love it. Just let it simmer and we will be a winning team for a decade. I don’t even care about the cup, I just don’t want to walk around feeling embarrassed anymore.

    • Jay (not J)

      Wow. That Pens blogger is a douche. How quickly he’s forgotten the sucktacularity of that franchise that only exists today because of lucky lottery balls. Really, considering the GREAT players that have been handed to the Penguins over the years, the phrase ‘nothing to show for it’ is the kind that their writers should stay far clear of.

    • 2Oilers4

      Yak should be Captain for nothing else other than his interviews are not from the “Ryan Smyth’s how to give 110% in your interviews” playbook.

      I don’t even watch interviews by McDavid, Nuge, and Draisaitl anymore cause they are all the exact same answers.

    • 2Oilers4

      Hall-Drai-Ebs line will be flying tonight! Hall with at 5 point night to take the league lead in scoring. Ebs will have a hatty in his return and Oilers win 6-2.

    • A-Mc

      I basically NAILED the GDP last game, so lets go for 2 in a row.

      GDP: 5-4 Oilers with Pens coming back from a 2 goal deficit, making us all nervous they might tie it up in the last 8 seconds.
      OGDP: Hall gets another point, and so does the Dirty Frenchman Perron.
      NSOGDP: Teddy has another decent showing and actually scores on one of this many chances. Hendy will get the Assist and celebrate it like he just won the lotto!

      Loves me some of that Hendy Cely #CaptainHendy

    • socaldave

      “The Oilers have improved their 5×5 scoring. They have 23, tied for 12th, but they are still struggling to stop EV goals. The Oilers have allowed the third most (30), and only Columbus (32) and Calgary (42) have allowed more EV goals.”

      Holy crap, I knew Calgary was bad but they are 10 goals worse 5X5 than COLUMBUS?!? I know the Oil aren’t exactly defensive stalwarts but at least we know that’s a weakness, that’s supposed to be Calgary’s strength.

      Brightens my day a little bit.

    • socaldave

      NSOGDP: Griffin Reinhart gets an assist on a point shot that gets tipped in. I’ve noticed he has been very good at placing his shots on sticks to get tipped, bound to go in eventually.

    • Craig1981

      Eff that Pittsburgh blogger, though his write up was funny and clever he was dead wrong.

      What we will have to show for it after tonight is 2 points. EBS w/a goal, Hall gets 2, Hendricks w/another. Gryba lays out Kessel as he tries to enter the zone, Nurse welcomes Perron back w/a bang and Nillson plays well enough for the win. 5-3 oil as nuge pots an empty netter!

    • Makaveli

      The Pens blog started out funny, but by the end cried a little… that really hurt….

      No matter, Hall keeps the Oilers rolling with another victory and Syd gets zero points.

    • Morgo_82

      Penguins fans shouldn’t mock the draft lottery, it’s the same draft lottery that landed them Sidney Crosby and we all know that without him they wouldn’t have won a thing.

    • Craig1981

      Myself , granted it did not come from an actual player,would be posting that Blog on the wall in the Oilers Room. Hey Darnell , read what they think of you ? Good luck pissing off Darnell , someone gets a punch in the mouth.

      Penguins early playoff exits with all that talent wont last long now will it. You are becoming one of the biggest playoff choke artists of all time.

      Right Mario ? Right Sidney ?

      Hey Penguins , the window is closing..quickly , you are the new Vancouver

      stinking Canucks.

      Post that Blog on the wall please.

      Now im pissed off. Mcdavid is already better than everyone on your team not named Crosby , and i am not so sure about that ever.

      Kick it in to high Gear Oilers. One for Connor.

      Cocky Easter Scribe. Eat me.

    • 2Oilers4

      This is the oil people.I expect the oil to come out strong drop a big terd halfway through the period .And then make it close in the final two periods just to come up short.I hope i’m wrong.oil 3-2

    • ubermiguel

      I was looking back at some news articles related to that Crosby draft.

      The Penguins had a 6% chance of landing Crosby, the Oilers had 11.5% chance of landing McDavid, so they should not be so judgmental about lucky lottery wins.

      Top prospects that year: Crosby, Pouliot, Brule, Bobby Ryan, Kopitar, Marc Staal, O’Marra and Jack Johnson. Some names familiar to Oilers fans there. Like I always say, accurately predicting the careers of 18 year-olds is nearly impossible.

      Also with James Neal and Letang being selected by the Pens that year, it has got to be their best draft year ever.