GDB 19.0 Wrap Up: Blackhawks @ Oilers

MoralVictory

Is Hamonic an Oiler yet? Final Score: 4-3 Blackhawks in OT.

Tonight was another one of those strange night where circumstances outside of the Oilers game were almost as entertaining as the game. After Elliotte Friedman made it public that Travis Hamonic requested a trade closer to home, and put Edmonton as one of the possible destinations, Oilers Twitter was ablaze. Now, there are no guarantees that the trade will be consummated but the thought of it was enough to to leave us all wondering what it would be like to have a legitimate top pairing d-man. 

As for the game itself, the Oilers started out like a house on fire. Not only were they matching the Blackhawks every step of the way, they badly outshot the former champions in the first period. Really, the only problem early on was the fact that the Oilers couldn’t score a goal to save their lives. They were kind of like the creepy kid in school that follows girls home and wonders why they won’t go out with them – the effort was there but they couldn’t close. Don’t get me wrong, I like seeing the Oilers outshooting teams, but they have to cash in on some of those chance and give themselves a lead. 

The second period was like salt in the goalless wound that was the Oilers excellent start. Almost expectedly, Chicago was able to capitalize on a power play and punish the Oilers for making a defensive mistake and found themselves with a two goal lead, halfway through the game. Although Jordan Eberle was able to pull the game back to within one, the Oilers trailed by a goal going into the third. It was still frustrating to see the Oilers trailing after the terrific start. Certainly, Corey Crawford was a huge part of the Oilers inability to score, but they have to find a way to get it done.

Going into the final frame the Oilers were going to have to recapture the effort they brought forth in the first period, and they were going to have to beat Corey Crawford. While the Oilers were able to claw their way back into a tie game after two separate one goal deficits, they weren’t able to close out a win. To me, the Oilers played well enough to win this game but they weren’t able to score a goal when they desperately needed one. When Edmonton made mistakes the Hawks buried them and what should have been a win ends up as a pity point. 

Another moral victory on our way to the imaginary Schmanley Schmup. 

We wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

FreeCandy

  • If you have the cash and nothing to do on Friday night make sure to bid on the Edmonton Food Bank charity auction! We put together a great night for this coming Friday with all the money going to a great cause. The bidding closes tomorrow at noon. 
  • Great start for the Oilers. They outshot the Blackhawks 11-3 and dominated the play throughout the first period. 
  • Taylor Hall continued his warlord-esque tear through the NHL again tonight. He got his 13th assist of the season on Draisaitl’s goal late in the third period. 
  • Beautiful goal by Jordan Eberle. He went in alone on Corey Crawford and absolutely roofed the puck for his second goal of the season. 
  • What a move by Daryl before dishing the puck off to Benoit Pouliot for the tying goal (his fourth) early in the third period. Nurse walked into the zone with the puck on a string and made a perfect pass to release the Poo.
  • Neon Leon Draisaitl is seeing the game in slow motion right now. Draisaitl’s sixth goal of the season tied the game late in the third period and allowed the Oilers to take the game into overtime. With the way this kid is playing I would think it’s fair to say that his AHL days are over.
  • Teddy Purcell continued his point streak with an assist on Draisaitl’s tying goal. Purcell has been hot since he cut those inches off his stick. Maybe Oates was on to something?
  • Oscar Klefbom had a great night stealing pucks. He was picking off passes all over the ice by seemingly always having his stick in the passing lanes. He’s getting better and better as the season goes on. 
  • The Oilers went 53% in the faceoff circle. 

THE FACE PALMERS

FreeCandy

  • No McDavid = Unhappy Blogger. The wait continues…
  • I always get nervous when the Oilers badly outshoot the other team but can’t cash in on any of their chances. Letting teams like Chicago hang around will come back to haunt you like paying a hooker with a personal cheque. The second period proved that tonight. 
  • Why couldn’t the Oilers buy a power play tonight? I feel like Chicago got a lot more leeway than Edmonton did in terms passed calls. Just me?
  • Corey Crawford made an unbelievable save on Taylor Hall in overtime only to have Chicago go back and score the winner shortly after. 
  • The Oilers went 0/3 on the power play tonight. That could have been the difference between an OTL and a W in the standings. 
  • I hate how much I love Jonathan Toews. Mostly when he’s playing on a team that’s not Team Canada. 
  • Anders Nilsson wasn’t busy to start the game but the pace certainly picked up in the last 40 minutes. I wonder if the lack of work in the first period contributed to Nilsson being less sharp than normal in the second and third periods? Reaching? Maybe. I’m not saying that all of the goals should be pinned on Nilsson but tonight was another sub .900 night for an Edmonton tender. The Ders finished the night with 23 saves and an .852 save% and the goaltending controversy continues. 

SCORING SUMMARY

1ST PERIOD
NONE
2ND PERIOD
07:26 CHI PPG – Duncan Keith (2) Tip-in – ASST: Patrick Kane (16), Artemi Panarin (13) 1 – 0 CHI
14:41 CHI Artemi Panarin (7) Snap shot – ASST: Artem Anisimov (6), Patrick Kane (17) 2 – 0 CHI
16:37 EDM Jordan Eberle (2) Wrist shot – ASST: Brandon Davidson (1) 2 – 1 CHI
3RD PERIOD
04:00 EDM Benoit Pouliot (4) Tip-in – ASST: Darnell Nurse (4), Teddy Purcell (5) 2 – 2 Tie
11:44 CHI Andrew Shaw (2) Wrist shot – ASST: Tanner Kero (1), Marcus Kruger (1) 3 – 2 CHI
17:14 EDM Leon Draisaitl (6) Wrist shot – ASST: Taylor Hall (13), Teddy Purcell (6) 3 – 3 Tie
OT PERIOD
01:08 CHI Marian Hossa (3) Snap shot – ASST: Brent Seabrook (10) 4 – 3 CHI

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THE NORTH X NORTHGRETZ PODCAST – EPISODE 3

This week the boys take a look at reducing the size of goalie equipment, which chip flavour is the best, and what Chris the Intern has learned in his time as the OilersNation intern. 

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  • Randaman

    From all the comments I have read I have come to the conclusion that the bar has been set very low in Oil Country.

    I care about seeing improvement but damnit, I want to start to see wins.

    Period.

  • Keg on Legs

    The NHL wants to increase scoring, change the net size, shrink goalies, blah blah blah….my take?

    GET RID OF THE LOSER POINT! GOOD ON THE LEAGUE TO FINALLY FIGURE OUT A GOOD WAY TO DECIDE WINNERS (3 on 3, then shootout), BUT SERIOUSLY…A POINT FOR LOSING? WANNA CHANGE THE GAME? REMOVE THE LOSER POINT!

    • Anton CP

      In a certain soccer league before that took away tie-game which only win-loss count that they ran a 3 tier point systems. Beat a team in regulation: 3 points, beat a team in OT: 2 points, beat a team in SO: 1 point. This point systems should be able to eliminate teams dragged the game into overtime and will force teams to try to score on any given chances.

      • camdog

        Not a bad idea, but think about what happens to the game itself when a loser point is up for grabs…if a loser point is eliminated and you only get points to win straight out, that changes the game…coaching to get a single point EXISTS! Imagine what the final 10 minutes of the 3rd could look like in a tie or a one-goal game! Different game WITHOUT changing the net or posts or goaltender equipment, etc!

  • Hemmercules

    You know it kinda makes me sick reading some of the comments in here after watching the game last night.

    So what if we don’t make the playoffs? Did anyone actually think we were going to?

    Why not take a minute and enjoy the fact that this team gave Chicago a very good run for their money, outplayed the hell out of them in the first period and fought back to bring it to OT. Hall was robbed by Crawford or we are talking about 2 points instead of 1.

    How about enjoy the fact that we have a star in Drai, Hall is playing outstanding hockey and Nurse is going to be a beast in this league in the very near future.

    McDavid is going to be the best player in the league for the next 10 years and he’s ours!

    Last but not least, I don’t feel like putting my f’n foot through the screen this season like I did for the past two. I enjoy almost every single game, win or lose. I think the refs have screwed us more than anyone this season.

    So how about you just don’t watch this very young team who battle and don’t give up every single night and go cheer for another team. What about those Flames? You know the darlings of the league that have the “Best Defense in the League.” ????????

    • S cottV

      What makes me “sick” is that the team is dead last in the league – again. Not the division, not the conference, the ENTIRE league.

      What makes me “sick” is that as soon as their is criticism of this teams losing ways, comments are thrown out about “why don’t you cheer for the Flames or “.

      What makes me “sick” is that this team has a worse record at this mark than it did at the same time last season with Eakins/MacT at the helm.

      What makes me “sick” is that Oil lost that home came to the Flames a number of weeks back. That one really hurt. And is supposedly the type of “lesser” team the Oil are supposed to beat because up until they have played and lost to all the “top” teams.

      • Danglishish

        We are dead last at the 19 game mark, but I guarantee you there isn’t another team in the league that would say we are the worst. Compare our record to last year come spring.

        The frustration with the criticism is that people seem to throw the towel in when we’re 19 games in, and showing tremendous improvement. Saying “let’s blow up the team because our record under Eakins was better after 20 games” is frustrating because I think it’s fair to expect that we will have a much, much, much better record by the end of this year. And come next year, we build on that as opposed to starting from scratch all over again. Recovery takes time… give this team one season to show where we’re heading.

        As for the Flames game, yeah it sucked. It happens. But contrast that single game to games like last night. We outplayed, outshot, outchanced and flat out beat the stanley cup champions without our best player on the ice. Yes we lost in overtime, but can you really say that what we did last night (without McDavid) would ever have happened last year?

        While fans are probably split 50/50 as pessimists and optimists at this point, I am willing to bet by spring 95% of Oiler fans will be very, very happy with where our team is.

  • camdog

    In the month of October the Oilers had one of the best powerplays in the league. In November without McDavid (and Schultz) the Oilers powerplay has been one of the worst in the NHL. They were built to score on the powerplay and they aren’t right now. McDavid wasn’t just carrying Yak offensviely he was carrying the entire powerplay on his back.

  • Heschultzhescores

    How many times can a team be so close to scoring? It’s bizarre, pretty much every game has us almost scoring while the other team always scores when they need it. It seems like a jinx, and the only way to get over a jinx is to not believe your jinxed…catch 22. If it hasn’t already happened, it’s time for a new team psychologist.

  • Jay (not J)

    I dunno, but that McDraisaitl kid is looking like everything he was advertised as being and a sh!t tonne more!
    I thought that was a great game last night right up to the final goal. We get on here and get down on the team pretty regularly. It’s hard to deny tough, this team is bloody close.

  • Heschultzhescores

    For all the writer and fans that are getting all lathered up for Travis Hamonic I have just one question…………how many time have you heard his name mentioned in hockey new lately? If ever?

    Yes there is a reason for this……..he is a good defenceman not a great defenceman…….he is NYI version of Mark Fayne…….good numbers…….who cares?

    Move on people……..if he were to come to Edmonton it would be at a great cost and we would be further behind in the long run!

    • camdog

      He’s a little more physical version of Jeff Petry. Just remember how good Petry looks playing on a good team in the Eastern Conference, now think how good Petry would look playing on a sub par team in the Western Conference.

    • Hemmercules

      I would take Hamonic over Fayne, Shultz or Petry 10 out 0f 10 times. No contest.

      Great defensemen very very rarely become available. Good defensemen rarely become available. Its either this or massively overpay a UFA man next summer. The Oil need to get this one done if you ask me.

      Sure, he plays in the East, but the Metropolitan devision is no pushover.

  • camdog

    Still a loss, but still think this is a completely different team. If they keep playing this way, the wins will come, simple as that.

    On another note, I think McLellan has a legit shot of three scoring lines when McDavid comes back. What does everyone think about the following line combos:

    Hall – Draisaitl – Purcell

    Pouliot – McDavid – Yak

    Hendricks – Nuge – Eberle

    Lander – Letestu – Korpikoski

    Obviously lines 1 though 3 are in no real particular order. But at the moment, it doesn’t seem to matter who’s on the Hall Drasaitl line, Nuge and Ebs make a good pair and could do well with Hendricks banging bodies. And then just reform the McDavid line.

    • Hemmercules

      I do like the Line combos you have put together!! The fear I have is that by the time McDavid comes back a few players on your list my on longer be on this team!! I hope that does not happen and we get c chance to see your line combos on 2016!! As I believe it gives us 3 scoring lines!!

      • Danglishish

        Interesting. Who do you see traded by then? I guess a lot has been said about Eberle or Yak being put in a package for Hamonic. And maybe a guy like Lander could be gone if he doesn’t pull up his socks. Are these the guys you are thinking about?

        Unless it’s a trade for a D man, I can’t see Yak or Ebs going anywhere. If I was Chi, I would put Yak back with McDavid, let his points climb, then look at trading at the deadline to get top value, or even in the summer when players aren’t traded for picks.

        As for Ebs, given contracts coming up in a few years, I still think he is the one who eventually heads out of town, purely for cap purposes, but I’m not sure that happens this year.

        Finally, while I like Hamonic, I would rather try and grab Byfuglin in the off season if that looks available.

        • Hemmercules

          Trade for Hamonic now AND go hard after Byfuglien in the off season. Byfuglien will have options, wont be an easy grab or he may not even be available to the Oilers at any point. They have to pounce on this Islanders situation while they can, He actually wants to come to a west Canadian team so the Oil actually have a chance here.

          • Danglishish

            I agree waiting it out risks losing it all. However, I think we might be overvaluing Hamonic just a tad. Yes he plays top pairing minutes for the Isles, but so did Schultz when he was healthy here, so to me playing lots of minutes does not a good defenceman make. As for trying to get them both, that’s just not realistic considering on the right Edmonton would then have Sekera, Fayne, Hamonic, and Byfuglin.

            To me it’s gotta be one of Schultz, Hamonic, or Byfuglin.

            Ultimately, I think if he does come here, it won’t be long until Oiler fans turn on him because he’s not producing 40 points in a year.

          • Jay (not J)

            The state of our defense overvalues Hamonic. PC would be better of to overpay (to a point) for this guy than let him go to Vancouver or California. Absolutly they should still try to add Buff in the offseason.

          • BobbyCanuck

            Considering he’s asked for a trade specifically to Western Canada due to family issues, and that his family is in Winnipeg, I really don’t think Vancouver or California are options for him.

            This is a situation where because the player has asked for a trade to a specific location, Snow has to take the best of what he is offered from one of Edmonton, Calgary, or the Peg. I heard this morning Calgary’s GM is focused on getting the team he has working, and not changing out the pieces, so I don’t think Calgary is going to put a substantial offer out there.

            Winnipeg, being the preferred destination for the player probably has an inside track, but who are they going to give up for this guy? They’re not giving up Truoba. So that leaves probably Tyler Myers. And while Homanic is on a very good contract, Myers is about to go into prime years, and get paid even less. Moreover, points wise he’s a better player. So I just can’t see the Peg moving a guy like Myers for a more expensive and worse version.

            The only other chip they have it to trade Byfuglin. But considering where the Isles are with the cap, and how many players need to be resigned next year, I just don’t see them being able to offer Buf the 7 mill he’s going to ask for this summer. So really I doubt snow wants to take back a one year rental.

            Then you look at Edmonton and you can see guys like Fayne, Schultz, and Klefbom. All these guys are comparable in price, contract, and what they might bring. You may say Fayne isn’t worth a bag of pucks, but considering Homanic only has 3 points to his name this year, it’s not like he’s lighting the league on fire either.

            Bottom line, if Winnipeg was willing to give something good up, then they probably have top billing, but I don’t know why they would. Likely Snow has known he needs to trade the player, and has been talking to Chi since the summer. I would imagine Chi has simply just been waiting until the ask goes down, and this might have helped that.

            But, if he does that, no way Buf comes here in the summer cause there won’t be enough money or term to have Sekera, Homanic and Buff all under contract unless it’s Klefbom going back the other way, and Schultz gets traded for picks int he summer.

          • Jay (not J)

            I like your logic, but even if Hamonic ends up here there’s still a hole at the top of this D. If it isn’t Buf it’s going to be someone and PC is going to have to find a way to make that money available.

          • JT7

            So you’re saying even if we get Hamonic, we still need someone?

            Assuming it’s Klefbom going, then I guess it would be Nurse Hamonic, Sekera Schultz? Or maybe Sekera Fayne and they do a Reinhert Schultz?

            Or I guess the could even try Nurse Schultz and do Sekera Hamonic.

            If however hope of hope happens and Schultz is the one going, then your top 4 is Nure Sekera, Klefbom Hamonic, and that is pretty deadly.

          • bradleypi

            I couldn’t agree more….. if the oil do somehow get hamonic without giving up nurse then why do they need anyone else?? I love the 1st set of pairings you listed, and I wondered at the start of the year why sekara and schultz weren’t paired together then. They seem like a perfect match to me. Left side d is set for the future imo for the oil. Hamonic would slot in very nicely with nurse and gryba/fayne with Reinhart is a solid 3rd pair.

          • Hemmercules

            Both guys play lots of minutes but there is a difference between them:

            Offensively, Shultz and Hamonic are close. Defensively, Hamonic wins by a landslide.

            The Oilers need defensemen that are hard to play against. Shultz is soft as butter.

            No one should ever expect Hamonic to get 40 points a year, we should expect him to keep some pucks/players away from the net which I think he can do better than Shultz.

  • BobbyCanuck

    Can we just ignore the trolls? We feed them, so they keep coming back.

    One would have to have an altered perception of reality not to see that this edition of the Oilers is far superior to anything we have had since around 2006.

    Did any of us really think we would make the playoffs this year? That is a stretch target expectation, and you are just setting yourself up for disapointment.

    Trading RNH cause we have centre depth? Ridiculous, teams that go deep in the playoffs have decent depth at all positions.

    – I have not felt the need to throw my nerf ball at the tv

    – We do not lose the game in the first 5 minutes, or the last 5 minutes (well, more or less)

    – We battle back when we are down

    – Some players have elivated thier game

    As far as Hamonic goes, just tell him he can use Katz’s private jet to get there whenever he needs to. Hell, lets build a run way in front of his parents house

  • camdog

    I don’t care what you whiners say, this was the best game the Oilers have played in years. They outplayed the Hawks and then didn’t quit when they fell behind.

    And unlike previous games when they beat the Hawks, last night the Oilers weren’t getting the bounces.

  • BobbyCanuck

    Very tired of hearing about “moral victories” and “visually better’. Bottom line is after a month and a half of the season the Oilers are in 30th place AGAIN. You can’t color that anyway that makes it look “VISUALLY BETTER”
    Any team that has had 4 number 1 overall picks and a #3 overall pick in the last 6 years and still is in 30th place needs to really examine a lot of things. You’re not going to get Hamonic without giving up a solid D man in return. On the Oilers that means either Klefbom or Nurse even up and maybe Schultz and a top 6 forward, lets say Yakupov.
    It is truly unbelievable that at year 9 of the rebuild the Oilers are still going to be a leading candidate for the draft lottery AGAIN.
    Being an Oiler fan is so embarrassing I am running up the white flag. I surrender

    • Danglishish

      If you truly believe that we’ll be in last place by the end of this year, then yes you should wave the white flag. Just be prepared to pull it back down and repent because it is obvious that we are going to have a stronger record over the course of the season and show tremendous growth.

      This is not the team of years past my friend.

    • Jay (not J)

      Well, see you then. I really can’t understand the frustration after last night’s game. The team fought themselves to within luck’s reach, didn’t choke in the last 3 minutes of regulation and lost a coin toss for the extra point. Yeah, losing sucks, but watching these guys not quit when they’re down is something we haven’t had the luxury of doing since kidline1.0. Their work will be rewarded as will our patience.

      And don’t be embarrassed. You’re one of the toughest and most resilient fans that the NHL has. Wear it proudly.

  • Jay (not J)

    The propaganda is strong with Hall.

    Warlord? Come on now. Hall could be be warlord on an island of midgets.

    The reason he got a point is due to the fact that he lost the puck while trying to stickhandle by Drai and two Blackhawks to go into a corner. Why he was going there-I don’t know. Drai pounced on a loose puck and shot it, it was no thanks to Hall.

    A big thank you goes to Hall from Chicago, for being their best penalty killer. He is selfish beyond belief, observe how many times he held on to the puck because he didn’t see his teammates worthy of the pass.

    The homerism is a joke.

  • JT7

    The propaganda is strong with Hall.

    Warlord? Come on now. Hall could be be warlord on an island of midgets.

    The reason he got a point is due to the fact that he lost the puck while trying to stickhandle by Drai and two Blackhawks to go into a corner. Why he was going there-I don’t know. Drai pounced on a loose puck and shot it, it was no thanks to Hall.

    A big thank you goes to Hall from Chicago, for being their best penalty killer. He is selfish beyond belief, observe how many times he held on to the puck because he didn’t see his teammates worthy of the pass.

    The homerism is a joke.

    • Jay (not J)

      How do you really feel? Hall is having an amazing start to the year. There seem to be a few people that have always been in the ‘Taylor Hall sucks’ camp that refuse to let go and now find themselves scrambling for any possible deficiency and then blowing it into some massive reason why Hall doesn’t belong in the NHL. Let it go. He does and the Oilers are lucky to have him.

  • Hemmercules

    Other than the end result, I enjoyed watching the game.

    We’re not a good team but we’re getting better.

    We’re trending up and are visually better.

    We’ll win the next one.

    • bradleypi

      @Oiler Al……You sound neuro-typical.lol

      That means that you sound “average”.

      There is no cure for “average” Oiler Al
      ..but you can choose to aim higher at any given time.

      You like the storyline dont you Al?lol.

      Why not loosen up and try to have a little fun huh?