GDB 34.0: GET OUT OF DENVER!

Between the birth of baby Jesus, the new Star Wars movie and and the anticipated return of Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers fans have a lot to look forward to in the days and weeks ahead. There are some pretty cool things in the present as well.

PROJECTING THE POINTS

The Hockey News does a great job of keeping track of projected scoring. It is probably a fun fantasy tool (I don’t play any roto or fantasy hockey or baseball anymore, it was too difficult to refrain from violent behavior) and it gives us an idea about how complete seasons might look. With 2015-16 nearing the halfway point, here are your Oilers projections. Note: This assumes each player is healthy moving forward from today (clearly not the case).

  1. Taylor Hall 82, 37-50-87
  2. Leon Draisaitl 72, 28-56-84
  3. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 81, 20-38-58
  4. Connor McDavid 62, 24-33-57 (Rookie)
  5. Teddy Purcell 82, 15-35-50
  6. Jordan Eberle 69, 28-10-38
  7. Nail Yakupov 71, 6-32-38
  8. Benoit Pouliot 73, 15-21-36
  9. Oscar Klefbom 79, 11-21-33
  10. Andrej Sekera 81, 8-23-31
  11. Lauri Korpikoski 74, 18-6-24
  12. Darnell Nurse 73, 6-15-21 (Rookie)
  13. Mark Letestu 82, 7-12-19
  14. Nikita Nikitin 52, 0-17-17
  15. Brandon Davidon 71, 6-10-16 (Rookie)
  16. Iiro Pakarinen 74, 9-6-15 (Rookie)
  17. Matt Hendricks 72, 6-9-15
  18. Justin Schultz 68, 0-11-11
  19. Eric Gryba 71, 0-11-11
  20. Source

Fun little item to look at when the season has enough weight to it, I always like to see how players are progressing compared to their own established levels. Career years? Taylor Hall, Leon Draisaitl, RNH, Nail Yakupov, Benoit Pouliot, Oscar Klefbom. A nice group of rookies, too.

DECEMBER 6 STANDINGS IN THE PACIFIC

dec 6 standings

Oilers at the bottom but still alive, goal differential of -13 and plenty of work to do. Notice the ridiculous number of OT games for Vancouver, that could be a big item later in the year.

DECEMBER 19 STANDINGS IN THE PACIFIC

DEC 19 STANDINGS

The Oilers remain -13 in GD but have gone 4-2-0 in the last six games, keeping them in the range of a playoff spot (two points behind Calgary, the two games the Flames have in hand on Edmonton are substantial too). It has been, despite the injuries and disappointments, a fun first half of the season for fans. We anticipate McDavid’s return, and draft talk is on full mute. I will take it!

PROJECTED LINEUPS

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Oilers lineup courtesy of DailyFaceoff.com

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Avalanche lineup courtesy of DailyFaceoff.com

QUICK HITS

  • The lack of offense in Chicago got Todd McLellan’s creative brain moving, and the first line in practice yesterday (Hall, Nuge, Leon) should be impactful. Expect the blender.
  • McLellan also seems open to change on defense, with Nurse—Sekera apparently the only safe pairing.
  • Oscar Klefbom’s value was known before the injury, but his importance is being driven home with each passing game missed to injury.
  • Benoit Pouliot may be back tonight, Colorado is a fun place for the Oilers to play so we hope he has the wheels turning.
  • Oilers had scouts at the Ottawa (NHL) and Springfield (AHL) games last night, we should pay attention to these things as we edge closer to the deadline. Peter Chiarelli will be trading a defenseman, likely Nikita Nikitin but Mark Fayne and even Justin Schultz could go.

    Will Edmonton make a move today? We wait. If a deal is made, suspect a defenseman will be heading out of town (or Bakersfield).

    WHAT THEY ARE SAYING

    • Ross Sellers, Mile High Sticking: Meanwhile, Matt Duchene is on fire, after starting the season with 3
      points in 11 games he now has 25 points in the last 22 games. Yet, both (he and MacKinnon)
      sit with 28 points on the season through 33 games, and they probably
      both set the cap hit for players on this team. Source

    GAME DAY PREDICTION

    GDB34

    GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers spend the entire first period on their heels, going down 2-0 in the blink of an eye. A late power play offers hope but the good guys cannot cash. 

    OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Both team score in the second, Edmonton getting on the board with a power-play goal and Denver scoring late on a beautiful play by Duchene. 

    NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers score twice, once early and once late and send this to overtime. Close for both teams, but a shootout decides it with Lauri Korpikoski—the 10th shooter—sending Oilers Nation happily to the bar for another round. 

    • Randaman

      Classic Oilers!
      I am 18 so this literally is classic oilers hockey to me.
      they won 6 in a row and inspired me to shell out $200 for a game in FEB.
      Please God all I ask for is a healthy squad. I will sell the ticket if Ference is playing I swear.

    • Slapshot

      Sigh. I thought we were done with the Oil embarrassing themselves on HNIC. I was naive to believe things would be different after that win streak. Mirage indeed.

    • Randaman

      Oilers shelled on national TV. What a surprise. Iginla scores, of course!
      An effective defenceman goes down injured, definitely didn’t see that coming!

      The more things change the more they say the same

    • Randaman

      Funny how this Jekyl and Hyde team can frustrate!

      Until PC gets rid of the junior size players that are very easily pushed off the puck (Nuge, Eberle, Letestu, Korpikoski, Schultz, etc), we will continue to wallow in the basement.

      I feel the trashes already so I ask you, where have Nuge, Eberle, Schultz, etc. Led us besides 1st overall picks????

      • Stack Pad Save

        For chrissakes this team since 2006 has not had an NHL D. THAT IS THE PROBLEM. Mact/Howson/Lowe couldnt figure it out. And Chia was left with the mess.

        Agreed Schultz needs to go and needed to go a long time ago.

        But lets consider tonights D:

        Sekera-Nurse(Decent 2nd Pair Vet and a rookie at 2nd pair level) They are the 1st Pair. Thats a Problem!

        Davidson-Nikitin(A rookie playing incredible and effective 2nd pair. Playing with a Vet that belongs in the AHL)

        Gryba-Schultz(This is an AHL Pair, maybe Gryba is a 3rd Pair)

        So zero 1st pair D men, 3 x 2nd pair D men, and 1 3rd Pair. But you think Eberle and RNH are the problem??

        You my friend would make a horrendous GM along with Bradley PI.

        • Randaman

          No, I think Nuge, Eberle, Schultz and Yak are part of the problem.

          I don’t claim to be a G.M. but these pieces could go a long way towards fixing the defence, which a few of us have been saying ever since it became clear that Yak is a bust. McDavid saved his ass in October and where did it go when Conner got hurt? That’s right, down the toilet!

          Nuge isn’t getting any bigger or stronger. Eberle still can’t or won’t throw a check unless you think swinging your stick with one hand as you are skating by is checking properly.

          This team will finish out of the play-offs again and PC will make some unpopular deals next summer. Bank on it

      • AJ88

        So tell me wise one, Nuge has the most takeaways on the team, he must be not as soft as you think or he must be so polite the other teams just hand over the puck to him. So which is it?

    • Mr.Snrub

      So i guess this means the parade is postponed? Buncha weak kneed wimps roll over and die the second they get even a whiff of “success”. 6 straight wins and waking up in a playoff spot for a day.

      K-Lowe – Not on my watch! Tank powers activate!

      30th place heading into Christmas, same ol same ol.

    • Stack Pad Save

      The Oilers defence was terrible tonight.

      Jultz is just plain terrible. Terrible. Nikitin got tripped up by avoiding the trip and looked like he was diving for a 10 from the Russian judges. Terrible tonight as well. Gryba cannot make a pass to save his life.

      Seeker and Nurse looked good tonight. I hope Davidson isn’t injured seriously. It looked like that cross check maybe broke a rib. But I hope it isn’t serious as the Oilers cannot win with Grebe, Schultz and Nikitin in the lineup. The Oilers need Klefbom and Davidson back.

      The Oilers Powerplay also looks terrible with Schultz back there. They need to let Nurse take his spot.

    • Xenofan97

      Until a hard work ethic develops from within these guys will never consistently win. Are they super talented….yes. Are they super inconsistent…..yes. And that’s what’s so hard to watch…….they could be so awesome. Jultz should have skated so hard after that blue line fiasco that he bends over and pukes. Money is no motivation for these guys and apparently pride is also not a motivator. Bag skate them for a week, show them that phoning it in is completely not acceptable

    • 3 Little Birds

      Stauffer and Michaels sure seem to have their marching orders to ‘fluff’ the Oilers performances no matter the effort or result. When you can actually call a 5-1 loss from heartless effort by most of the team, with a straight you are detached from reality.

      • bradleypi

        The water buffalo Stauffer will continue to grind away about the injuries. This excuse will carry on way into next season as the Oil continue to wallow in the bottom 5-10 in the league.

        Problem with Stauffer is that he is in loser denial. He is a Katz/Oil propaganda minister. He has Katz balls hangin on one side of his face and Lowes on the other side.

    • bradleypi

      TORONTO wins 5 – ZERO. A devastating loss for the Kings.

      COLORADO wins 5 – ONE.Another MORAL victory for the Oilers. After all the TEAM got a GOAL.

      It may have been the Altitude of 5,280 feet.The Avalanche played at Mile High level — The Oilers couldn’t get above 3,579 feet.

    • bradleypi

      You can always tell when Hall gets frustrated or angry. He starts hogging the puck. Tonight this is reflected in his shots on goal.

      Several times he had line mates in better positions waiting for a pass but he took the shot or lost possession of the puck.

      When he played junior he was probably good enough and dominant enough to be able to completely take over games. At the NHL level he is still incredibly talented but is not able to have quite the same impact.

      Gord bless him for trying and for caring but at the NHL level he needs to rely on Draisaitl to get him the puck in good scoring positions and to play a team game.

    • AJ88

      The team misses Klefbom but he is not the saviour it merely points out how shallow the depth on the defence is. Any team without a formidable defence will lose most games just look at the success the Flames have they win games with literally no forward depth. Nikitin is in perpetual panic mode, Schultz has zero confidence our best d-man right now is a 20 yr. old rookie, no chance for the forwards to get the puck consistently. Vey frustrating.