GDB 37.0: LOOSE CHANGE

The cold mornings are on us now, starting the car involves a few extra minutes for warm up and the search for mittens and toque is unnecessary (any self-respecting Albertan has all the winter wear in a feature place in the home by now). The Christmas turkey has been consumed (well, mostly) and the Boxing Day game made us suitably grumpy. Now, on to Calgary and the battle of Alberta. A win would be outstanding, but the Oilers are not healthy and they carry a noxious power play into the province’s second city.

THE PACIFIC

standings

The Oilers are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games—music!—but Calgary is 8-2-0 and have the look of a team coming together in a big way. Last night’s game saw some fine performances (Cam Talbot, Mark Letestu and his line, Andrej Sekera, the Leon line) and some wobbly ones. The coach put a positive turn on things:

  • Todd McLellan: “I
    liked a number of our players coming out of the Christmas break. I
    thought they had a little jump in their stride and made some plays. And
    then there was about five or six that I thought was pulling us down
    anchor-wise. And hopefully they give us better games tomorrow.”
    Source

That should light a fire under the ass of every man who had a poor night in Vancouver, but injuries and lack of depth are a big deal for Edmonton currently. We can get upset at turnovers, bad passes or shots going in from bad places, but there also needs to be the recognition that some very important pieces are injured. Sucks, but it is true.

I CONFESS

I miss watching Connor McDavid and I am tired of waiting. I understand patience, being less than independently wealthy my whole life means years and years of patience are a part of me. I can wait, but don’t expect me to be happy about it, and the timeline remains vague and distant. Remember the night the Oilers beat the crap out of the Flames? October 17th. More than two months ago. And tonight, we Oilers fans have to watch Calgary—healthy and successful despite icing a grown man named Dougie—with all the bells and whistles. Edmonton brings a posthumous power play, a second line that can’t get out of their own zone, and a third pairing the 1974-75 Washington Capitals may have passed on. 

It might be time for the Oilers to roll out new video of McDavid skating on a lake.

THE GAME IS A FOOT!  ?

Peter Chiarelli may be about to make a mid-season deal, sending away Ben Scrivens for Zack Kassian. Are you all ready for this? In some ways, this is a confusing deal—Edmonton has too many forwards now, no idea what happens when Nail Yakupov, Connor McDavid and Rob Klinkhammer return. Then again, Kassian probably plays in Bakersfield for a time and he would replace Bogdan Yakimov (in minutes, not position) in the lineup. Interesting days, trades are allowed beginning midnight.

PROJECTED LINEUPS

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Oilers lineup courtesy of DailyFaceoff.com

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Flames lineup courtesy of DailyFaceoff.com

QUICK HITS

  • Bakersfield also plays tonight, rookies Kyle Platzer and Joey Laleggia are beginning to spike offensively.
  • I would not be at all surprised if the Habs-Oilers deal turns out to have additional pieces.
  • The Habs were always linked to Nail Yakupov, wonder if that was discussed.
  • Oscar Klefbom and Brandon Davidson are missed more than my Lee jeans from the 1970s.
  • The Oilers power play makes me sad. If this continues, I may start missing the MacT power plays! Speaking of, what ever happened to Mike York? Toby Petersen?

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING

From FlamesNation.ca

Let’s face it, the Oilers are a scrappy bunch that are playing much better structural hockey under coach Todd McLellan, but their depth is stretched thin with them currently without Rob Klinkhammer, Connor McDavid, Nail Yakupov, Andrew Ference and Oscar Klefbom. And since they played and lost last night and are playing a rested Flames team, they’ll probably do their best to slow the game down and keep things low-event. It’ll be tough, though, considering that the Flames have last change and can likely minimize the amount the Oilers can victimize the Wideman/Engelland defensive pair.

GAME DAY PREDICTION

GDB37.0

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers come out strong early, as the Flames try to find their legs. A meandering shot from Nikita Nikitin gives the good side a 1-0 lead after one. 

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Calgary applies pressure at every turn in the second, scoring three goals and chasing Anders Nilsson. Edmonton’s power play grabs a late goal to make it close entering the third period. 

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION:

 Talbot shines in his second straight night of work, stopping 20 third period shots and stoning the Calgary power play. Edmonton’s own chance late with the man advantage does not cash and it ends 3-2 for the Flames on another frustrating night.

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  • Wince

    Two winnable games this road trip, and only 1 point to division rivals.

    Vancouver game was very winnable, with the Canucks having seven regulars out with injuries and Henrik Sedin playing injured. Oilers blow that game, mostly because 2nd line does nothing.

    Flames game, we should have gotten a point, and could have won. Again, some huge mental mistakes by Hall, and Jultz. These guys have to play smarter, they are not rookies and these are huuuuge games.

    FFS I am getting tired of watching this sh*t.

    Anyone who thinks the Oilers are still in the playoffs by put together a winning streak at home are delusional.

    Also, why was Bennet not made to answer for running Oilers all night. Disgraceful.

    Also, why isn’t TMac being grilled on our powerplay? Why is Shultz playing 25 minutes a night and pp minutes. Disgraceful.

    Oilers need to turn this sh*t around, and soon, because the fanbase can’t take much more of this crap.

      • Naturally catalysing and evolving fracture lines in roster dynamics not managed properly with players optimally micro-managed on seperatly managed but Stakeholder driven and paralell paths,normal sibling dynamics,one of the older birds is either going to fly or begin pushing younger not ready birds out of the Nest.

        In a naturally occuring sequential sibling maturation process its first in first out of the nest,however nature is not cooking by the book she is personalising everything,sometimes the first egg out gets shuffled over to the side where its not quite as warm and doesnt mature as quickly as the second or third egg out which stays firmly under the middle of the heater.

        The Oilers “incubator” KEPT SHUFFELING ALL THE EGGS in an un-natural manner.

        Big Brother is suppossed to protect smaller Brother and so on ….we had 2 Big Brothers in our clutch Hall and Ebbs and neither one developed properly due to the weird incubation process methinks.

        No one expected the Oilers to collect a Core and 1/2 worth of players in short order and Management was not able to think on their feet and manage these assets properly as they cme into the equation.Clearly.

        Had Gagner been given the reins and had the Oilers obtained a few key nasty support players the Oilers Core would have been making the playoffs in 2012 and wouldnt have missed since ,they were dialing it in under Ralph Krueger beyond any doubt and what they were dialing in was the EXACT look the Hawks use today to a “T”.

        How much would you like to see Ralphs PP now huh?

        Failure to allow Sam and the young guns to take leadership normally and then insulate them with quality big tough relible nasty support players DID NOT HAPPEN and the chance for historic evolution was lost.

        Today the Oilers are holding assets which mis-represent this exact same need….lol….they have a bunch of big offensive type men a few who are MARGINALLY EDGY…who have been slowly brought in to carry the responsibilitys Sams Oilers should be completely shouldering and embracing as we speak.

        Had we followed our path and not actioned the Eakins Sanction things could look very different,as soon as we got Hall and Ebbs we should have recognised the need to bring in immediate SIZE to support Sam Hall and Ebbs optimally a Center or d-man….this DID NOT HAPPEN EXPEDIENTLY…
        and then we lucked into Nugey…at which point we had to RE-SET AGAIN…revaluate with another smaller skilled centerman meaning we now needed BIG NASTY WINGERS OR D-MEN IMMEDIATLY IN A DOUBLE DOSE TO MAKE UP FOR THE ONE NEGLECTED.Then we lucked into Yakupov and STILL HAD NOT BROUGHT IN THE 2 MEN WE NEEDED TO SUPPORT WHAT WE HAD…..and the Yakupov RE-SET meant we now HAD TO LOOK FOR NASTY TOUGH D-MEN AND BOTTOM 6 forwards and we now needed THREE OF THEM AT A MINIMUM……this was NOT DONE….then we lucked into Neon Leon and the URGENCY ESCALATED TO BRING IN A NASTY BACK-END AND A STYLE TO SUPPORT THEM….and then by goodness McDavidsky showed up as a 3rd elite Centerman DEFINING THE OILERS PATH WITH A 100% certainty…..5-6 tough nasty players are needed and 3 need to be d-men.Yakimov would have been a perfect fit bottom 6 with his size.

        Looking at it this way another PURGE is needed.Which respects the new look which is a Center-strong IMMEDIATE future with Nugent-Hopkins and Draisaitl and McDavid supported by Hall and Ebbs and Yakupov and Nurse.No one needs to touch the Core and it IS READY TO WIN NOW.

        As I write this I hear Kassian is now an Oiler…and this follows moving Silent Sam Gagner as the SECOND STEP OF THE HISTORIC IMPLOSION WE ARE POSSIBLY ABOUT TO BEAR WITNESS TO.

        I have no words for the decisions I see being made as they relate to the building and sustaining of a winning roster…if you were PAYING ME TO SCREW THIS FRANCHISE AS HARD AS I COULD ….I couldnt come up with some of these bizarre moves.

        On the upside we will now be seeing Gadzic working overtime and we will now see a lot of other players forced to shake their gloves off more often …..now if they add Raffi Torres and Jaret Stoll they are 2 fighting tough top end d-men away from something edgy.

        Jonesy….we know that BELIEF IN A COMMON PHILOSOPHY is what brings men together and in competative sports the only thing which triggers another level of production is the belief in WINNING , so without what the men percieve to be a WINNING PHILOSOPHY you WILL NEVER BUILD A TEAM.

        As painfull as it is to say….look at the fLamers?They BELIEVE in and closely follow a Philosophy like the Kings and Hawks do,a WINNING ONE.

        Why cant we have what they have? What have we done to deserve being frozen out of nearly an entire Era of Playoffs?

        • TheYarish

          That was a lot to read but plenty to agree with I thought Krueger was a god send I haven’t been excited bout the oilers since . Being born in mid 90s I have seen maaaaybe 3 successful oiler teams in my 21 years and all of them weren’t keegle needing pussies they were the underdogs , Ryan smutj was the face of the team that says the identity we had , watching last nights game genuinely hurt my feelings lol Hendricks being pushed around by someone who could be his child ,Darnell nurse our black Chris pronger where tf was he ? Totally disgusted with this loser bunch we have get rid of everybody cause that was like watching a Calgary flame circle jerk all over the team I used to love to watch

  • Doctor Smashy

    Look at Arizona, who were willingly tanking last year (while the Oilers weren’t).

    Now the Coyotes have leap frogged the Oil and have a great chance to make the playoffs. Can someone from the Oilers organization explain this to the fanbase.

  • Haven’t done this yet this year, but WTF on some of TMac’s coaching decisions.

    * Why did he have four forwards on the powerplay with a 3- 1 lead in the 2nd period, and why was the only “defenceman” powerplay Jultz? Its like basically having 5 forwards on the ice, and the flames get a shorty (TMac f*cked up)

    * Talbot played very well in Vancouver, why not go with him in Calgary?

    * Why is Jultz getting so much pp time when it clearly doesn’t work?

    Can someone from the media ask TMac some tough questions? Brutal.

    Getting really tired of this BS.