GDB 36.0 Wrap Up: Oilers @ Canucks

*makes fart sounds with mouth* Final Score: 2-1 Canucks in OT

Greetings, citizens! I hope all of you had an excellent Christmas with your family, friends, or whoever agreed to spend time with you. Were you all spoiled with gifts according to your naughty/nice Corsi? Excellent. I’m happy to hear it. Despite my best attempts, my Christmas wish was not granted as once again the Oilers played McDavidless hockey against the heathens that are the Vancouver Canucks. 

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From where I sit (pantless) there’s nothing more annoying than knowing that the Oilers are trailing the Canucks in the standings based solely on Vancouver’s ability to squeeze out loser points. The Canucks have fewer wins than the Oilers yet they have more points on the board than we do. Getting a win tonight was crucial to not only keeping pace with the rest of the Pacific Division, but also a step towards undoing the injustice of the Bettman points. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be.

The Oilers started off tonight’s game well, taking an early lead in the process, but had their play fall off a cliff in the second period. Vancouver pressed throughout the middle frame, tied the game, and probably should have led after the Oilers gave them seemingly endless opportunities to create offence. Whether it was screwing up easy breakouts or turning the puck over at the opposing blue line, the Oilers did not make this game easy on themselves. They lost because of mistakes and there were a lot to choose from.

This was a winnable game for Edmonton.

Wrap it up like Christmas leftovers.

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  • The Oilers had a fairly solid start tonight. I was wondering what they would be like after a few days off but they had legs and played with some jump off the start (outshot the Canucks 13-6 in the first).  
  • Mark Letestu walked into the slot and roofed his 4th goal of the season like he was some kind of offensive juggernaut. 
  • Matt Hendricks plays the game hard and it’s nice to see him get rewarded with an assist for his seemingly endless hard work. 
  • Darnell Nurse hasn’t played against the Sedins many times in his young career but he saw a lot of them tonight, and held his own for the most part. There were a few times Nurse’s decision making looked rushed as he gave away the puck on breakout attempts. 
  • Cam Talbot kept the Oilers in the game when they likely shouldn’t have been. That being said, I think even he would say he would like to have the overtime winner back. Talbot looks like he’s set to continue his run as the starter with another solid night. Talbot finished with 22 saves and a .917 save%.
  • We’re having a Boxing Week sale on all NationGear where you get 20% off just for using the promo code. Check out the graphic for details and head over to to pick up all the gear that Santa neglected to bring for you. 
    Screen Shot 2015-12-26 at 9.05.16 AM
  • At least we got a point?



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  • Elliotte Friedman mentioned Edmonton as a possible landing destination for Zack Kassian. I don’t like it. I’ll never forget about what Kassian did to Sam Gagner and how he refused to answer the bell for it afterwards. It would feel too dirty. Dislike. Abort. 
  • Luke Gazdic made a bad play on the icing that got his line pinned in their own zone for an extended period of time. Rather than a quick bounce of the boards he sent it all the way and the team paid for it. 
  • Nikita Nikitin is an all world goat. Rather than walk the puck out of his own zone he makes a backhanded pass to nobody which results in zone time for the Canucks, and the Jannik Hansen goal. I’m dying to know what the Oilers would get for him apart from some kind of invoice. 
  • The power play was brutal again tonight. They couldn’t get anything done. They scored as much as I did in high school going 0/3 on the night.
  • Speaking of the power play, Justin Schultz seems to be doing his best to recreate the Belanger triangle while on the man advantage. Not to mention the fact that Jultz played 27:12 tonight. HOW DOES HE DESERVE THAT MUCH ICE?
  • It was a bad night for the Pouliot-Nuge-Eberle line. They were quiet all night, and often found themselves pinned in their own zone. 
  • How many turnovers did the Oilers have at their own blue line? 
  • The Gryba/Nikitin pairing gave me heartburn all night.
  • Markstrom stole this game for the Canucks. He made some huge saves when they needed them and the Oilers couldn’t beat him. He finished the night with 32 saves and a .970 save%.


12:55 EDM Mark Letestu (4) Wrist shot – ASST: Lauri Korpikoski (3), Matt Hendricks (4) 1 – 0 EDM
03:37 VAN Jannik Hansen (11) Wrist shot – ASST: Henrik Sedin (24), Daniel Sedin (21) 1 – 1 Tie
04:01 VAN Jannik Hansen (12) Slapshot – ASST: Matt Bartkowski (7), Jacob Markstrom (1) 2 – 1 VAN


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This week we welcome Chris the Intern back and the boys talk Oilers playoff hopes, the return of Jordan Eberle, Stamkos to the Oilers, and we have a contest to give away FREE STUFF!! 

As always you can follow North x NorthGretz on FacebookTwitter and Instagram, and subscribe to the podcast on ITunes


  • Makaveli

    Baggedmilk, at what point does this get repetitive for you? Sure the oilers have had some good games this year, but you could have wrote this for x number of games over the past few years.

  • .

    I’ve read a number of posts getting excited for McDavid and Yak to return, so the team can have three scoring lines. The way this season is going, if McDavid and Yak come back and start scoring the Oilers will have two scoring lines, and a checking line and whatever you call the Nuge/Eberle line. Since the primary defensive focus is on the Drai/Hall line, shouldn’t the Nuge/Eberle line be able to score? Shouldn’t Mr. Two-Way be positive in the plus/minus at least occasionally?

    Watch, at some point in the next five games, they’ll get a point, and their fan clubs will come back and start singing their praises, and completely gloss over their nights like tonight. Remember, Eberle was injured at the start of the season so he gets a pass for the whole season, and Nuge was ok until he got the flu, so now he gets a pass for the rest of the season too.

    • RNH and Ebs are playing poorly, no doubt. But they get the second line of the other team, plus the 3 and 4th defense. Still good players. FOr 40 games last year, RNH and EBs outplayed first lines and first pairing D-men. Like I said, they are not playing well. Too bad… If they were playing like last year, we would be racking up the wins, but they are not. Coaching? Todd Nelson was getting more out of that second line, that is for sure.

    • Dwayne Roloson 35

      Despite popular belief, the writers here included. Hall and Drai do not produce points against the tough competition. Hall at home is 3rd in league scoring. Hall on the Rd is outside the top 50. His Rd pts per game is outside the top 100

      Nuge is outscoring Hall on the road while still drawing the tough zone starts.

      • .

        For the record I’m a Hall fan. I think he should be taking shifts with Ebs and Nuge on the road. Double shift him for TV time outs. If any player can reignite Eberle it’s hall.

        • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

          I noticed you didn’t post the numbers. I figured they must be a little too close for your comfort.

          Hall ppg on the road 0.60
          Nuge ppg on the road 0.58

          Hall Corsi QoC 1.807
          Nuge Corsi QoC 1.761

          Yup I was way off. I couldn’t get the Corsi QoC to split home games. It would not have been kind to Hall.

    • Jay (not J)

      I hope Friedman was out in space on that one. Kassian isn’t invited even if he did have something positive to contribute. If an Oiler had beat the crap out of him along the way there would be grounds for a clean slate but that’s not the case. He can flunk out and go party somewhere else.

    • a lg dubl dubl

      These players say and do all kinds of horrible sh*t to each other on the ice, its all part of the on-ice psychology and gamemanship.

      Sports history is filled with guys who were complete assh*oles – why should fans cares about a guys character – all I really care about is whether the team wins or not.

      We all agree Ference is a great person, but I don’t ever want to see him again on the ice representing the Oilers.

      By all account Billy Smith was a total assh*le and his teammates couldn’t stand him, but the Islanders would have never won 4 cups without him.

      • Chaz

        Totally agree. We have been for years and still are too easy to play against. Having a good agitator would help with that.

        Also, while Billy Smith was a total A-Hole on the ice, I’ve heard that he was a great guy off the ice. Same with Tim Hunter. On ice behaviour isn’t a window to anyone’s off ice character.

        Kassian got under the skins of the Oilers and the skins of the entire Oiler Nation. If he can play well enough to skate in the top 9 I’d love to have him in Oiler silks pissing off 29 other teams. God forbid we have a player who gives the odd face wash and intimidates the other team!

  • The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33

    I have totally lost any respect I ever had for Eberle. He pots a couple of goals and thinks he is all that. He is an gutless, unmotivated, overpaid floater. He can’t even stand up on his skates. He is an embarassment, and the really sad fact is…he ain’t alone.

    Chiarelli has a very busy summer ahead. Maybe he can put Eberle and a few of these non- hackers on ‘The Slightly-Used Hockey Player Kijiji’. He could be the next interweb billionaire.

  • Lofty

    Wow can Ebs, get any worst? He does not do anything out there but float. To me he was the worst player on the ice outside of Nik. It’s time to send him a message and put him in the press box. Either come to work ready or stay out.

    • For Pete's Sake!

      I agree. Ebs has the worst plus/minus on the team. He absolutely refuses to get involved in the game physically in his own end or the opposition’s.

      Perimiter, perimiter, perimiter. That’s Eberle’s game. He’s an albatross around Nuge’s neck playing on his line. He’s literally making Nuge look bad because of how bloody awful he’s playing.

      Eberle is so soft that even Schultz could cut through him like a knife through butter.

  • What kind of power play is it with Nuge and Schulz on the points
    Badly need a point guy who can shoot and someone to stand in front of the net
    Where is the assistant coach Jay W who was supposed to be the power play guru

  • I’m hoping McLellen is playing good cop for the first half of the season, getting systems in then bad cop during the second half to start hammering guys with bad habits.

    Team needs more grit and cycle time in the O end. This has been an issue for years and still is. You can’t always score on the rush. Time for McLellen to start kicking a$$.

  • I’m not sure pointing out the bad play by players has helping at all, how about we try and focuse on the good plays and when players are playing well. One thing I do now The Oil need to step and take over games.

  • I’m not sure pointing out the bad play by players has helping at all, how about we try and focuse on the good plays and when players are playing well. One thing I do now The Oil need to step and take over games.

  • camdog

    Amazing how people’s outlooks change on a goal. I’m quite confident that if the Oil had snuck one in during OT rather than the Nucks their would be a lot of love. I thought the Oil played better than in their game vs the jets, at least they kept the shot clock below 40

    The next 3 weeks will be critical for the Oil. a lot of divisional games and hopefully they will start to be getting heathlier. I can’t stress how much an improvement McD should mean to this team, as at the moment the 2nd line is MIA. When McD returns maybe RNH/Ebs will have some better results vs 3rd line competition.

  • .

    If the Oilers can get Kassian for Scrivens, as Elliotte Friedman was alluding to on HNIC, that would be a great deal for the Oilers.

    Kassian might be a reclamation project, but the Oilers have had success with these before. Remember Don “Sniffles” Murdoch and Craig “Vehicular Manslaughter” Mactavish?

    Kassian could add some much needed muscle and intimidation to the lineup, he is only 24 years old, and he put up some very decent scoring numbers his last two years with the Canucks.

    Who cares what he did to Samwise, its all water under the bridge, plus he his Hall’s homey from their Spitfire days.

    Kassian for Scrivens? Do it PC.

    • MorningOwl

      I’m not a fan of what Kassian did to Gagner’s jaw but if this crazy guy can bring some speedy tough play to any of our top 2 lines and help to protect McDavid then all will be forgotten about Gagner. More importantly, Chia has to research just how rehabilitated this guy is. The Nuge and Ebs have looked awfully small and intimidated recently. It seems the opposition love giving Ebs a facewash every time they get.

    • .

      Kassian. .Spitz… I’d trade for him and bag skate the prick for the entire year in the AHL. Or just keep Scrivens. He’s been doing well lately. We are only one injury away from calling Scrivens up.

    • Lofty

      I’m not the sentimental type, so Kassian’s decapitation of Gagner is neither here nor there for me. I question the move for other reasons.

      1. Kassian turned his back on Gazdic when the latter was looking for pay back. Tells me Kassian is a bully boy who will not stand up when the going gets tough.

      2. Who would he replace? Is he a better hockey player than Gazdic or JJ? At least the latter 2 seem to be willing to stand when needed.

      3. Reclamation projects seldom work out. In the Sather days he would bring in one each year. Other than MacT none of theme worked out. Don Murdoch had 1/2 of a decent year with the Oil. Was out of the NHL a year and a half later.

      • .

        1. Who cares if he didn’t fight Gazdic. What he did what get an entire Oiler team off their game, and actually engaging in a fight has very little to with it. I’d love for the Oilers to have a guy everyone in the league hates – when was the last time we had a guy like that? Raffi Torres?

        2. After looking at his stats I’d argue he is a better player then Gazdic and JJ because he can score and put up points and has done this in consecutive seasons in Vancouver, in 2013-14 and 2014-15

        3. What do we have to lose if he doesn’t work out?

        • .

          I don’t think Kassian got the Oil of their game, they really were that bad.

          When your so called tough guy turns down a challenge is negatively impacts the team. The team then knows if I can’t count on this guy if I need some help. I will guarantee you that his turning is back on Gazdic hurt the ‘Nucks.

  • Van isl Oiler

    Clearly Ebs and RNH need a guy like Hall to stir the drink. Since Hall and Draisaitl are not going to be seperated and nor should they, what about Hendricks? He clearly does not have the offensive prowess of Hall, but he plays with much grit and determination (his whole career is built on it). He will get his elbows up in the corners, stand in front of the net and basically create a bit of room for the other two. They obviously need something to inspire them because they look rather disinterested. I don’t know if this would work, but it can’t be worse than what’s going out there now.

    No, no, no to Zack Kassian. Not just what he did to Gagner, although that classless act followed up by taunting him afterwards would be enough, by all accounts, he is not liked by his team mates. He is cancer in the dressing room. Why do you think he’s available? I doubt very highly any of the current Oilers would want this douche bag in the room. Please, Chia Pet, not Kassian.

  • .

    I found it odd that everyone was talking playoffs before xmas because what I see on the ice is nothing even close to a playoff team. The goalies have stole some games, that’s it. They are still 2 top 4 dmen away from icing an NHL defense…NN should not ever play for the Oilers again, he is awful, ditto for Schultz. Also the talk to extend Talbot…sure if the term does not exceed 2 years…have we seen enough if this guy to have him around for 5 years…geez get a grip!!

  • Jay (not J)

    Hopkins , Eberle and Lander should be in their prime , Yet under new coaches have all taken backward steps . Todd mentioned club may have plateaued just before Xmas and needs to find a new higher level to remain competitive soon . Current lineup sure seems to be falling short on to many fronts , and looks awkward and inefficient in the style of play coaches seem to want them to play . Some do not look good even as AHL players .

    • Oilers4Ever

      Remember when Todd Nelson had both Lander and Nuge playing at pretty much point-per-game? Todd Mclellan is looking a finely polished Dallas Eakins to me right now, all systems and no heart. Remember how with a very weak lineup and virtually no real defense Todd Nelson was still nearly at 500? Remember what he always said?? “I’m just trying to get the guys playing for each other”

      That is accountability folks, handled in the best way possible. Currently this team by eye is playing for individual success, and you won’t change that until you change the messaging. Can’t believe we let Todd Nelson get away, what a bunch of dummies

      • Stack Pad Save

        Nearly at .500?

        G W L OTL Pts
        51 17 25 9 .422

        Nelson’s coaching stats with the Oilers (above) show that he wasn’t even close to being at .500 win percentage.

        I trust TMac and PC, they need this season to straighten things out and I’m sure there will be some off-season moves that will make next year a playoff team. If they don’t make the playoffs next year, then we have a problem.

        They are much better this year, and aren’t getting speedbagged on a regular basis and actually look like they belong in the NHL, whereas the last 5 years they looked like an AHL team and I doubt they could have won a seven game series with the Hershey Bears.

        Its almost January and they are still in the playoff race, despite losing MacD for the last two months and several other key injuries.

        • Reds

          Convenient that you lump in Mactavish’s reign in which they went 0-2-3. If you take away that ridiculous debacle Nelson went 11-13-3 until Mac-T traded away their best defensemen in Jeff Petry. Then they proceeded to lose 14 of their next 19 (many in overtime still at least).

          Also easy to forget that Nelson had a patchwork lineup. There was no Sekera, Nurse or Gryba… no Leon Draisaitl, and even Taylor Hall was out with a fractured ankle for the majority of his tenure.

          Also cute that you say they’re still in the playoff race, as if its like any other year. Despite the Pacific Division being terrible this season they could still very quickly be on the outside looking in if they don’t start figuring out how to play for each other.

          I agree they look better this year, but there is still something visibly lacking from their game. Call it anything you like… comradery, cohesiveness, team spirit. Whatever it is I don’t see it, and when Nelson was coaching it was in plain site.

      • tileguy

        Remember that when todd nelson took over the oilers were already out of a playoff spot. The players had no pressure and nothing to lose, of course you are going to play better. It’s alittle different when you have expectations and every game means something. Also the standard for good coaching in edmonton has left you wanting a sub .500 coach to replace another sub .500 coach. But visually they were better at the end of last year, right? To think nelson would have a major impact on this team is a dream, it’s the roster, not the coaching.

        • Lofty

          Wow some people just don’t get it. Sure, coaching has nothing to do with anything in sports. Nelson’s current 15 game winning streak in the AHL has nothing to do with him and everything to do with his players. Lander and Yakupov producing under Nelson had nothing to do with him behind the bench.

          The Edmonton Eskimos will continue to be grey cup champions in the future despite some bum named Chris Jones and all his staff leaving for another organization.

          whatever, I’m clearly wasting my time on this board and with this team. Call me when you guys have it all figure out ok? Good luck with ‘can’t go deep in the playoffs because his team is already maxed out Mclellan’

          And actually I don’t want just a .500 team, I want a cup contending team. The hiring of Mclellan tells me that this organization is merely striving to make the playoffs and nothing more. He couldn’t do it in San Jose with some of the best players in the game in their prime, what makes anyone think he’s bringing a cup to Edmonton?? Have fun 😉

          • Serious Gord

            So your logic is to make a guy who has never won anything, excpet a UHL title a decade ago as a guy who can make this oilers team a cup contender? Nelson didn’t make the oilers depth players better. Nor did he develope late round draft picks into nhlers. So again what has he done to prove that he can be an Cup contending coach. Also coaching detroits ahl team who has been one of the best in the AHL the last 3 years shouldn’t be that hard for him. Especially when you take into account detroits legendary drafting skills. Team Canada hired Mclellan because they believed he could get it done, but i guess you know more about winning than them.

          • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

            Alright now I know you are just trolling. You previously said ‘Its the roster, its not the coaching’, yet somehow Mclellan winning gold with probably the most stacked WHC Team Canada Roster ever is an accomplishment. No way Todd Nelson could do that… they probably wouldn’t even medal with him as coach.

            Obviously Todd Nelson hasn’t won anything of note yet, but he definitely made depth players better and he definitely developed some late rounders. Brandon Davidson comes to mind as an obvious one. Just because he hasn’t been given a legitimate opportunity in the NHL or had a head coaching stint that lasted longer than a few seasons doesn’t mean he isn’t a good coach. I look for the obvious signs, like getting players to overachieve and buy in. I don’t think there can be any debate that Todd Nelson’s players all love playing for him and buy in 100%. Todd Mclellan seems more like an 80% guy to me, and you can feel the pressure again in the players’ post game scrums that Nelson said he felt when he came up to the Oilers. The bad feelings are back and its up to the coach to snuff them out. Maybe with more time Mclellan can return confidence to this team, but Nelson did it in a matter of weeks and it appears to be dwindling again under the new regime.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Hendricks up with RNH and the boy formally known as Eberle. At least someone will drive the net on that line then.

    You can really see how when the Oilers are on the road how the other team suffocates the Hall line knowing that’s the only line that can really produce at any given time, while the other lines just try to do whatever it is they try to do.

    Hurry back McDavid, this team needs you!

    If the Kassian for Scrivens rumours are true, I’d do that. It’s free up at least a million in cap space, and Kassian is an RFA at the end of the year. I’d also bet that Kassian has something to prove to the league and would behave, plus having a prick on the ice for the Oilers would be a good thing, Nurse and sometimes Hendricks are the only 2 that are willing to do that.

  • camdog

    I’ll repeat this once again, giving Gryba and Fayne more minutes does not help this team win. They both played as many minutes last night as they are capable of playing. I know it’s hard for many too understand but right and left defence are different positions.

    • camdog

      2 of their top 3 defense are hurt. who else are you going to play? The other options for defense weren’t going to make the oilers any closer to winning. The oilers are and have been weak on the blue line for years. Everyone knows this. you aren’t making some magical point that the oilers don’t already know. Until the oilers are healthy and a team can offer up a top 4 right hand shot dman, this is what we have to work with.

  • Van isl Oiler

    The only question about tonight’s game that is relevant is how badly does Gaudreau and the calgary defense humiliate the Oilers?

    The blame is all on the incompetent Chiarelli!
    Willfully has not fixed the defense and abides weak,heartless play.

    • Reds

      yeah he’s been here a whole 9 months and hasn’t fixed a team that hasn’t been good over a decade! Like why didn’t he wave his magic wand and fix the defense. Oh wait managers usually need 3 years to see the impact on the team. He literally told you this year was about evaluating the team, and not to have playoff expectations this year. For the last time this isn’t NHL 16. you can’t just offer up trades and expect teams to take them. The only question is why do you ever cheer for this team? do us all a favor a go cheer on the flames and save us from willfully ignorant posts about gms.

      • Van isl Oiler

        I have been consistently right about this team and the incompetence of Chiarelli.
        Compare what Buffalo has done, with no MacDavid.

        • Stack Pad Save

          How many cups have you won as a GM?

          As a Coach? (Video games don’t count.)

          I’ll trust Chia and TMAC. Long before some ALLCAPSBIGMOUTHMORONKNOWITALLKNOWNOTHING.

          Chia has to fix MacTs mistakes 1st. That involves letting Scrivens and Nikitin’s contracts expire.Purcells contract expiring. Getting Ferrence to retire, buying him out, trading his albatross of a salary with half retained. Also Faynes contract being moved.

          That’s over 18 million in cap space. Purcell being the only one who should be in the NHL. You add Schultz in there we are at 22 million.

          31% Wasted cap space. Fayne and Ferrence are the only ones who may be on the books next season. Remain calm you can’t dig yourself out of a hole that deep in one season.

        • Dwayne Roloson 35

          Yeah look what buffalo has done, they have had their 1 round pick play the entire season and are a whooping 1 point ahead of us in the standings, and 7 points out of a playoff spot. Why oh why can’t we be like buffalo?!?! You talk about mediocrity, and then use a team that’s one point better as comparison.

    • Wince

      Hilarious. Johnny Hockey is untradable. Maybe RNH, Ebs, and Yak. But why would the Flames want all those contracts? Gaudreau has more points than all of ’em combined.

  • Oilfaninvan

    I think the main reason to be cautious about a trade for Kassian might be his effect in the room. A reclamation project is usually a better option for a veteran laden team with a lot of experienced leadership. The last thing the Oil needs is Nuge drinking excessively in a corner with how his season has been going, haha.

  • Reds

    We are precariously close to bottom of the league again having played 36 games and only 33 points . Only Anaheim 30 (3games in hand ) , Toronto 31 (3 games in hand ) , Winnipeg 32 (2 games in hand ) , and Columbus 29 points in 37 games are behind us . Chemistry is intermittent and fleeting all to frequently . Our club is still to much of a disaster at this sage .

  • Wince

    Oilers need to win tonight against Flames and their Xmas lag . Not only win , but dominate the play and game . We have to show we can dominate in our own division or season will be lost .