GDB 15.0: DEATH MARCH OR A BRAND NEW DAY?

The 5-9-0 Oilers hit the road to hell this week, with stops in Chicago, Anaheim, Arizona and Los Angeles. By this time next week, we could be talking about the death of another season or a brand new day. Hold on!

The facts and the running verbal don’t quite match up for the 2015-16 Edmonton Oilers. Take last game, a loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins at home. Edmonton could have won the game—four posts, they battled for possession on loose pucks, heavy on their sticks, plenty of excitement—but a couple of lapses and it’s 2-1 with the Penguins heading down the QE2 with two points and thank you very much.

They’re better, I swear. The facts? Damnable things.

  • 5×5 Corsi For %: 47.7 (No. 25)
  • 5×5 GA/60: 2.81 (No. 28)
  • 5×5 Shots For/60: 26 (No. 28)
  • 5×5 Shots Against/60: 30 (No. 23)
  • 5×5 Shooting Percentage: 8.36 (No. 7)
  • 5×5 Save Percentage .9063 (No. 27)
  • All Situations Corsi For %: 49.2 (No. 19)
  • Source

What does all of that mean? Well, at 5×5 the Oilers are not competitive enough to be a going concern, but they are getting more than their share of goals due to a higher than expected shooting percentage (Leon’s a dream, but he’ll correct — that’s just a fact). The team’s overall possession numbers put them inside the league’s top 20, meaning the power play (No. 3 in Corsi for %, 90.8) is getting a lot of shots to contribute to the overall number. Edmonton’s 10 power-play goals have them tied for No. 6 in the NHL, and that’s something we should expect from Todd McLellan’s teams.

Are the Oilers unlucky to be 5-9-0? A little, I’d suggest. If the goals that were goals were called, or the goaling had stopped a late puck, they could be 5-7-2 or even 6-7-1. That said, if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

EBERLE A FACTOR

It was in fact a fast game from the start against Pittsburgh, but Eberle will quickly adjust I’m sure and we’ll probably see a more substantial player tonight in the Windy City. Jordan Eberle is often mentioned by fans as a trade option, but his value as an offensive player is massive. A prime Eberle would go a long way to helping Edmonton win this game, and it’s an important one for the team.

LINEUP….

Screen Shot 2015-11-08 at 10.55.27 AM

Screen Shot 2015-11-08 at 10.55.36 AM

Screen Shot 2015-11-08 at 10.55.48 AM

Oilers lineup courtesy of DailyFaceoff.com

Screen Shot 2015-11-08 at 10.17.38 AM

Screen Shot 2015-11-08 at 10.18.02 AM

Screen Shot 2015-11-08 at 10.18.16 AM

Blackhawks lineup courtesy of DailyFaceoff.com

QUICK HITS

  • I don’t know that we can call it a goaltending controversy, but Anders Nilsson the Giant appears to have some curb appeal for Todd McLellan. Something to watch as the year winds along.
  • Anton Lander needs to do something. Schnell! Such a fabulous pre-season with Leon and Nail, but he’s not moving the offensive needle and time is running out.
  • Oilers 2012 draft pick Erik Gustafsson has impressed enough to make the Blackhawks roster this year. Edmonton passed on signing him a couple of years ago. Credit the scouting department with finding him, and punish the management for not getting him signed? Hard to say. The Oilers have enough 5-6 D to choke a horse, don’t know if Gustafsson has enough skill to project ahead of someone like Brandon Davidson.
  • The trade for Griffin Reinhart this summer gives Edmonton an overload of bona fide lefties on defense. Oscar Klefbom, Darnell Nurse and Griffin Reinhart are young enough to patrol the Oilers defense for a long time. The problem? It’s going to take some time before they’re prime.
  • The Oilers badly need someone from the bottom 6F to step up at 5×5 offensively.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING…

  • Second City Hockey: Edmonton has long had trouble
    playing Chicago’s type of game. The Oilers have the
    fourth-lowest 5-on-5 Corsi in the league (47.7 percent) and usually
    struggle to dominate possession. Other than a beatdown against the Flyers last Tuesday where the Oilers had a 49-22 shot advantage, the team has been out-shot 11 times in 14 games.
    Source

TONIGHT…

GDB15

GAME DAY PREDICTION: Chicago and Edmonton match chances in a wild first, which ends in a 1-1 draw. Edmonton’s goal comes on the power play and is credited to the Nuge. 

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: In the second period, Edmonton’s defense has a hard time with the run and gun Hawks, giving up a trio in quick succession—effectively ending the suspense. 

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION:

A late goal by Anton Lander offers a little hope for that struggling bottom six, but the Oilers lose 4-2 against a clearly superior hockey club

    • Lofty

      Less than 4 minutes to go down by 2 goals….how many of the remaining dozen possesions do you drive to the net hoping for a penalty or greasy goal??? Just asking.

    • Randaman

      @ herb,

      Schultz doesn’t defend as well as he should but at least he can hit the forwards in stride with a pass instead of banking it off the boards for an icing call.

      We need a true #1

      Maybe that goal will help give Sekera some much needed confidence

    • Oilers4ever

      Incidentally… Refs in this league now are so effing bush league compared to the good ole days of Koharski and Van Hellemond. I don’t know where they find these tools from but they need to work on developing better refs. Let them play in the last two minutes unless it’s a real obvious call. You can’t call that on Boomer with 15 seconds to go. Pure bush league.

    • Randaman

      So apparently the NHL is cracking down now anytime you take one hand off the stick and touch an opposing player. Two penalties tonight where the free hand just tapped the opposing players stick.

      I seem to remember another play a few games ago when a flyers player reached out with his free hand and obstructed an oilers player with a little nudge…that ended up in a trainwreck right into the end boards. But no call there, that’s just a hockey play.

    • Serious Gord

      5-10-0……..?

      @5-15-0……..the curtain falls on 2015/2016.

      Holy Puck…I predicted 5-15-0 as Armageddon for the season.I seriously did not hope to see this but,its not like it wasnt being telegraphed early on.

      Someone please tell me they cannot possibly lose 5 more in a row?

      If this group ends up 5-15-0 I will stop posting on hockey sites forever.To spooky for my liking.

    • camdog

      Why do the oilers not finish any checks this year?
      Awful coaching decisions late in the game. Not to sure if any emotion exists between any of the players, they all look like robots at the moment. Even though it’s a high paying job that they enjoy, they could have some fun and show a little heart…. Be a little greasy,make the the other team feel uncomfortable for once. Anything for the win. The game plan of staying in the game is not fun for any teamate, fan, coaching staff or owner.

    • Andresito

      5-10-0. Tonight was a depressing game that looked alot like years past. I think at this point it is insane to think these “core” players are a good mix. Theyve been out of the playoff race for years now. It isnt working.

    • Jayinetown

      Small sample size but for anyone keeping track – Hall was on for 3 goals albeit the last goal was a PP goal late.

      Kane makes a great pass on the 1st goal and it’s somehow Yaks fault, not fair.

      Kane had a pretty good night and was matched up against Nuge’s line most of the game but somehow Kane managed to light it up when Hall was on the ice