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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  • Jay (not J)

    Long time coming. Lets hope that the D who do skate tonight have a rock solid outing and there’s no one to justify taking out to give Jultz his place back. The elevated play can last until Klefbom (WTF is a staph infection anyway!?!) gets back, through the deadline and with a little luck maybe the kid has played his last shift for the Oil.

    OK, OK, OK. it’s still nice to not see him on the ice for one night.

    • Mike Krushelnyski

      Google “leg staph infection ” and check the images

      It’s not pretty man! No idea how he got it though but sounds like a really unlucky thing to get!!!!

      • Jay (not J)

        UGH! I DID and I can’t unsee it!! Staph infection on the lip…
        horrible stuff. Take your time Oscar! Don’t lose your sh!t and cut the whole leg off (I would in a heartbeat)!

      • ChillyPepper

        Backing the day a girl from my highschool had a serious staph infection in her leg. The bacteria actually destroyed her calf muscle and cost her her volleyball scholarship.

        By the sounds of it, based on recovery length… His is pretty serious. Staph is becoming more resistant to antibiotics… It’s pretty scary stuff.

  • 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.

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    Monahan, Gaudreau and Bouma scratched for being late for practice after the Super Bowl.

    The hard working Calgary Stains, ladies and gentlemen.

    • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

      I remember a few times hearing how Hall and a couple guys looked questionable for the game and ‘under the weather’ at morning skate, pounding Gatorade. I also remember them getting all kinds of minutes that night and play a garbage game.

      Accountability, good on the flames! Wish the oilers ran a tight ship like that.

        • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

          Common knowledge. I know this because I’m an oiler fan and follow the team. Don’t remember the exact game, but I remember specifically this year Hiw hall looked sick and was pounding Gatorade at the morning skate. I wanna say it was in Montreal, but can’t remember.

          You think our guys never go out or have never been late for practice? The only reason you don’t know is because they don’t get called out on it.

          You don’t think some of our guys had a good time over the Super Bowl weekend? How did they play again?

          • Jay (not J)

            Ahh, thanks. Can’t believe you remember the exact game. But this guys kidding himself if he thinks no oiler has ever been late to a practice or goes out and has a time. The only difference is the flames are letting the. Know that it’s unacceptable.

          • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

            Not once did I claim no Oiler has ever been late for practice. You seem to think I’m defending Edmonton, when I’m just ripping on the Flames.

            As Spector suggested, this probably isn’t the first time this has happened – you think they’d bench Gaudreau and Monahan at this stage of the season for being late once?

            Look, I know we’re all frustrated here, but ask any real Oiler fan – it doesn’t matter where either team sits in the standings. The Flames are the enemy, and everything they do is stupid and wrong.

          • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

            I absolutely love your unwavering oiler fandom man! I use to think everything the flamers and nuckelheads ever did was stupid and the oilers couldn’t do any wrong! I use to!

            But I think the last 10 years has sucked out every ounce of optimism I could muster. I’m not a fanboy anymore. Show me. I’m not hoping for anything anymore. I’m not buying what they’re selling, show me and we’ll talk.

            I’m glad they still have a few fans like you clinging on to hope. I’m not there anymore. I’ve been burnt too many times. Stop talking about how good they’re gonna be one day and show me.

          • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

            I think you must have missed all my comments over the weekend saying “keep McDavid, Draisaitl, Nurse and Klefbom, trade everyone else.” Again, how am I praising the Oilers? By saying the Flames are “as terrible as Edmonton”? Whew, that’s some high praise right there.

          • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

            I’m with you on the keepers! Totally agree!

            I just took your comment as making fun of the flames for scratching them. I was just saying I commend them for scratching them and sending those players a message. Oiler players have done the same and were never held accountable.

            On paper the flames have a worst team than the oilers, yet they continue to finish above them in the standings year after year. I think the accountability and standards the flames have shown tonight that they set could be apart of the reason for that

          • MorningOwl

            Could you please show us here, “on paper” how the flames are worse “on paper” than the Oilers? what could you possibly be basing that on? the only metric by which the Flames are worse “on paper” is draft position over the last 10 years.

            seriously, I would like you to do the exercise of demonstrating how “on paper” the Flames are worse… measuring the whole team.

            Yes, the Flames, in the early stages of their rebuild, have been up and down, but I doubt very seriously you could even attempt to come up with any metric that makes the Oilers better “on paper”. Wishful thinking.

            Maybe you should change that to “in MY OPINION the Oilers have been better than the Flames, even though they have finished better than THE Oilers for the last 10 years.

    • cityofchampions

      Sign of a good coach – takes no sh$t from anyone, whether it be star or role player. The Oilers’ core could have used a few lessons like this earlier in their careers. I don’t want to like anything about the Flames, but they are hard-working, over-achieving, well-coached team.

  • Spoils

    Buff signs in Winnipeg
    Phaneuf traded to Ottawa

    news involving big NHL defencemen feels significant.

    does that mean Win and Ott D prospects could be plucked?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Mr.Snrub

    20 shots!

    What an offensive powerhouse these Oilers are.

    Oh well, at least it’ll be hilarious to watch Maple Laff fans and the Toronto Sports Network lose their $#!& when Bill Daly pulls out that golden ticket and another # 1 pick for the Oil in a couple months.

    • MorningOwl

      being happy about pulling off another first overall in the way you did is like the kid who gets bullied every day in school, and is happy because as a result he gets to stay in at recess and sit next to the teacher. some consolation prize for absolutely sucking at the only thing that matters to the team and fans – hockey. “ya we suck, but haha, we get all the good picks s who cares”

    • For Pete's Sake!

      At least Chia is willing to admit his Golden Boy on defense needs more time in the AHL.

      Something MacT was never willing to admit about Jultz. Forcing his coaches to give him top pairing minutes no matter what.

      Maybe that fact alone is progress on this sad sack team.

  • 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.

  • .

    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.