— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) December 18, 2015
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.
The view from Denver where we’ll have the Edmonton Oilers vs Avalanche tonight on HNIC 10pmET. pic.twitter.com/VlFStuuUdx
— Christine Simpson (@SNChrisSimpson) December 19, 2015
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).
- Taylor Hall 82, 37-50-87
- Leon Draisaitl 72, 28-56-84
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 81, 20-38-58
- Connor McDavid 62, 24-33-57 (Rookie)
- Teddy Purcell 82, 15-35-50
- Jordan Eberle 69, 28-10-38
- Nail Yakupov 71, 6-32-38
- Benoit Pouliot 73, 15-21-36
- Oscar Klefbom 79, 11-21-33
- Andrej Sekera 81, 8-23-31
- Lauri Korpikoski 74, 18-6-24
- Darnell Nurse 73, 6-15-21 (Rookie)
- Mark Letestu 82, 7-12-19
- Nikita Nikitin 52, 0-17-17
- Brandon Davidon 71, 6-10-16 (Rookie)
- Iiro Pakarinen 74, 9-6-15 (Rookie)
- Matt Hendricks 72, 6-9-15
- Justin Schultz 68, 0-11-11
- Eric Gryba 71, 0-11-11
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
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
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!
- 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.
The NHL’s holiday roster freeze comes into effect tonight at 11:59 and runs through 12:01 a.m. on Dec. 28. (All times local)
— NHLnumbers (@NHLnumbers) December 19, 2015
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
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.