GDB 55.0: Honouring Brodeur

GloryDays

Martin Brodeur will have his #30 jersey raised to the rafters tonight, and the Oilers will have the pleasure of watching the Devils honour the winningest goalie in NHL history.

Brodeur only played the Oilers 18 times, finishing with nine wins, six losses, one overtime loss and two ties, which wasn’t very much compared to how often he faced the New York Rangers (101), Philadelphia Flyers (92) and New York Islanders (91).

I’m certain Oilers fans respect Brodeur’s accomplishments, but the fact Justin Schultz is a healthy scratch tonight will garner much more chatter among the faithful of the Blue and Orange.

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I wrote yesterday it was well past due for Schultz to take a seat in the pressbox. Continuing to play him was hurting the Oilers and Schultz. His confidence is shot, his competitiveness has always been an issue and over the weekend he looked defeated. A seat upstairs might light a fire in him, or not, but it was the right decision by Todd McLellan.

“He needs to watch a game and reflect on his play and what his impact is both offensively and defensively,” McLellan said this morning about Schultz.

It was the only change McLellan made.

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“I saw some very uncharacteristic things, individually and
collectively,
over the last two games that need to be fixed,” said McLellan. McLellan
also added the coaches are looking for leadership. He brought up his
comments when the OIlers made the captaincy change and the moments where the
coaches would be looking for leadership.

I read that as a challenge to his team for someone to step up and lead this team. Not just vocally, but in how they play the game. Don’t quit. Don’t be lazy. Make smart plays. Make aggressive plays and don’t give up when things go awry.

McLellan and GM Peter Chiarelli are still evaluating who they want in the mix moving forward, and while I’m certain they have a pretty good sense of who they want to keep, the final 28 games could weed out some others if they show they aren’t engaged when the season is slipping away.

LINEUPS…

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He switched up three of the four lines, although I’m curious to see how long Pakarinen lasts with Hall and Draisaitl. I think we will see some shuffling of the lines, excluding the McDavid trio which remains the same. The Oilers were dreadful over the weekend.

Darnell Nurse and Adam Clendening will replace Schultz and Griffin Reinhart. Reinhart was assigned to the AHL, which is wise, since he needs to play rather than sit in the pressbox. Clendening needs to make an impression. If he has a solid game he could earn himself a regular spot in the lineup. Nurse is young and a game in the pressbox will help him. Many young players have been a healthy scratch, and I expect Nurse to play better than he has recently.

Oilers lineup courtesy of DailyFaceoff.com

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Devils lineup courtesy of DailyFaceoff.com

QUICK HITS…

  • The Brodeur ceremony starts at 4:15 p.m. Edmonton time. The entire program will last close to an hour, then the players will warm up and the game will start at 6 p.m MST.
  • The Oilers have picked up a point in their previous ten visits to New Jersey. They are 5-0-1-4 (the one being a regular tie in 2001/2002). Their last regulation loss occurred December 10th, 1997. That is their current longest “point-streak” in any road city.
  • I have long doubted the accuracy of Central Scouting, and when you compare their mid-term rankings to Bob McKenzie it is easy to see why. The top-ten prospects are pretty obvious, but Central Scouting depth rankings are horrendously inaccurate and have been for years.
  • The Devils are still the boring New Jersey Devils. They are 29th in GF/game at 2.22 and are third in GA/game at 2.26. Their games average 4.48 goals per game. That is awful. They are 30th in Shots/game at only 24.4, and allow 28.9/game. Let’s hope tonight’s game is an anomaly and there are some actual shots, scoring chances and goals, but I won’t hold my breath.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING…

From All About the Jersey

Last night the Devils struggled to maintain possession and were on the backfoot most of the night. This left them susceptible to committing penalties as opposed to drawing them. A good start could go a long way in making sure they achieve this goal and not be forced to chase the game for 60 minutes. While this is easier said than done, they should have a decent chance of doing this against the last place Oilers.

TONIGHT…

GameDay

GAME DAY PREDICTION: Oilers have two productive wins, followed by two ghastly losses. On Marty Brodeur night they find a way to keep their streak going in NJ with a 3-2 win.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Hall and Draisaitl combine for a goal. Hall has seven points in six career games versus the Devils, while Draisaitl has three in two games. Both had three points in the Oilers’ 5-1 victory on November 20th at Rexall Place.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Hendricks is goalless in 25 games. Korpikoski hasn’t scored in 21. Taylor Hall is next highest at seven games without a goal. Hendricks ends his drought tonight scoring his first in 17 career games versus the Devils.

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  • Zamboni Driver

    Re: Reinhart.

    If he hadn’t played for the Oil Kings everyone would wonder what he’s even doing in the NHL. And wouldn’t blink that he’s being sent down (hopefully never to be seen again, at least not this year).

    Also…who gives a hell that he played for the Oil Kings?

    • Reg Dunlop

      Who cares that he played for the Oil Kings? The guy who made the trade. Kevin Lowe. Remember the look on Chia’s face when the trade was announced? No way was that a Chia acquisition.

      Anyway, to repay the oil for Gretzky’s Mickey Mouse comment which, by the way, spurred the Devils to actually improve their team, NJ donkey punches the oil tonight 6-zip kickstarting oil mgmt. to finally trade some dead wood like Schultz.

      • SSB1963

        Get a grip! Lowe never made the trade it was Chia based on import from Bob Green who knew the player better than anyone else. The K-Lowe hating should have stopped by now.

    • SSB1963

      The fact that he was drafted 4th over all (and not by us)and was rated highly by draft projections tells me that there is a player there. Further to that if we hadn’t had such a run of injuries odds are he would be in the AHL seasoning his game.

  • AJ88

    Why do the ON writers and faithful Schultz haters spend an inordinate amount of wasted time and energy writing about this guy. So he is traded or not signed, the Oilers are now ready to win the cup, make the playoffs? There is something much more in need for them to move forward, leadership being in the forefront. Do not be suprised if someone gets traded that you were not expecting, this team should be much better than it is and I suspect it has more to do with off the ice than on it.

    • Randaman

      Really??

      The one constant throughout this entire rebuild has been the CORE!!

      This CORE is wrong. Uninspired, entitled, spoiled, pampered, etc. Call it what you want.

      You really think more off ice changes are required? Lowe and MacT being run over by a bus will not fix this mess overnight.

      Yes, I do agree that a trade involving this core has to take place and some people won’t like it. So be it!!

      • Jason Gregor

        Yep the media here are in love with the core. I heard lowetide saying yesterday, that any trade for Hamonic that fans wont like it because of what edmonton has to give up. LIke are you kidding me, stop falling in love with your core that has done nothing but lead edmonton to last place .

        • Dwayne Roloson 35

          What’s led us to last place was having no depth up front, no defence and no goaltending.

          This is the only year we’ve had decent depth up front. Can’t really blame the forwards because the team wasn’t set up to win.

      • AJ88

        When I state “off the ice”, I am not talking management, I am talking players with attitude, respect, etc issues that have caused this team to play more like individuals than as a group, hence I mentioned players may be traded that you would not expect to be traded even though they may have decent numbers “on the ice”.

      • Natejax30

        What people won’t like is the underwhelming return for the so-called core player.

        We are going to have to overpay to get what we need. Nobody is going to give a team that has McDavid another superstar.

        We may well need to wait for our prospects to develop, or take on a good prospect instead of a bonafied 1-2 for return of one of our core, such as a Seth Jones type.

      • The one constant has not been the CORE!! Depending on what you call the CORE!!, it’s been added to or changed every year since 2009.

        The on constant has been an inexperienced upper management and a total lack of experienced NHL quality players.

        This is a good example of why well managed NHL teams value players with Stanley Cup experience.

        Ebs, Hall, Nuge, Nail, Nurse, Drai and maybe even CMD and Nurse would have benefited tremendously had there been some experienced NHL players with the team that they respected. Instead we get Ference, Nikitin, Pouliot. Not exactly the finest examples of NHL leaders.

  • Jason Gregor

    Heard from an inside source in the medical industry that Klefbomb was in for day surgery late last week. Oilers brass must be keeping this under wraps. didn’t hear what the procedure was but I wouldn’t expect him back anytime soon which sucks.

  • Natejax30

    Just don’t embarrass yourselves again tonight…my flames fan buddies are turning it up a notch this week, and I would like to leave my house tomorrow…lol.

    I hope Justin Schultz finds his game with a new team and salvages what is left of his career. He is a good kid and I honestly wish him the best. I also hope he stinks it up against the oil though.

  • Natejax30

    Load up a cube van full of money and have it backed right up to Tyson Barrie’s door at 12:01 est on June 30th. That will get us what we need. It will cost 1st, 2nd and 3rd round next year, and the money spent will force us to trade a core player.

  • Oil City Roller

    To all us armchair GMS. What GM in their right mind would give up anything of value for our lazy coach killing 6 million dollar forwards? Chiarelli is trying not to take back a garbage contract to get rid of these guys. Maybe we can trade Shultz’s for some magic beans. Anybody that has played with him lately has been trying to do the job of 2 defensemen. Add in our lazy forwards and the other teams are getting 2-3 extra chances when the puck should have been over the blue line and out the first time.

  • There’s only been 3 guys constant throughout the rebuild. They’re wearing suits, have made an unmatched amount of terrible moves and mistakes, and we’re told to suck it up cuz they’re not going anywhere

  • Oil City Roller

    The Oilers, like the degenerate crackhead, need to hit rock bottom before they can turn things around. Only unprecedented levels of shame and embarrassment will suffice. We must relish in humiliating loses. Only then will there be a chance to get rid of the unholy clown trinity of Lowe, MacT, and Katz.

    Please Devils, treat the Oilers like the dog that pooped on the floor. Rub their noses in it then whack them with a newspaper. Let the 0-28 run begin tonight!

  • .

    NSOGDP: After standing around honouring Brodeur for 2+ hours, Schneider’s legs fall asleep, and he ends up letting in 10, of which McDavid scores 5 and Safeway gives away its 1st $1M dollar prize to Heather Kachuk.

  • chickenStew

    I feel like two losses, albeit blowout losses, still does not justify this pessimistic pity party that some are throwing on here. This team was not suppose to make the playoffs. In fact, narrowly missing the playoffs would have been an overachievement. Keep the expectations realistic. What happened on the weekend does not really change anything in the big picture. They needed help on D before and they need it now. Their chances of a playoff run went from very unlikely to bleak. Defensive help will likely not come until the summer. We have Connor McDavid! Schultz is a healthy scratch! Things are looking up!

    Not-so-obvious game day prediction: despite being “Too Soft”, Eberle continues to defy the odds (according to this seasons critics) and ties Hall with career points 312 & 313.

  • .

    I don’t think it’s about who the fans run out players of town and for what reason. Yes it was Horcoff’s contract and not his skill that made us unhappy. But Yak has not improved or progressed at all since being drafted – and #1 at that. He is NOT a #1 player and probably never will be – a very weak draft that year made his dreams come true. Cam Barker was a first round pick who did nothing in the NHL. Schultz was a player who WANTED to come to Edmonton and that made him invincible and adored, albeit for a very short time. It really is time to blow the whistle on these two and admit that we f***ed up. Move on, let them show their potential somewhere else (maybe) and get us that top D through a trade or sorcery. I don’t care how, just DO it!

  • .

    Jeez I must be more stressed about tonghts game than I thought. Dyslexia rules. “Which players the fans run out of town is what I meant to say.” Humble apologies and cheers to the next beer!

  • chickenStew

    “One, they scare you because they can beat you 7-2 on any given night, and there were other nights where we had our way. And that’s the consistency (or lack thereof) that we will try and fix here. I think there were games where if you could get off to a good start, and push them out of games, and the mental aspect of them being in it for the whole night, you thought you had a chance to succeed.

    That is something that will have to change.” – Todd McLellan, Sept. 15

    That pretty much sums up the last four games for the Oilers. They lit up Columbus, blew out the Senators, then watched Montreal and the Islanders get off to good starts and those games was over after the first ten minutes.

    McLellan was supposed to coach a no-quit attitude, but it’s not there. He has a lot of players with no heart. You’d think it wouldn’t take a whole season to identify the no-heart guys and start moving them.

  • Morgo_82

    I am telling all who will listen as to why Purcell is on the 3rd line. It has to do whether the Oil should offer him another contract or ship him out. i am of the beleif that it takes an intelligent player to play with Hall and Drai, which Teddy is. if somebody else can play on that line he will be trade bait,lets see how many they try on this first line.