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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  • Spydyr

    Oilers PP is a real threat, to itself.

    Hall’s effort is warlord elite. Eberle should wear a go pro cam if he’s just going to look for McDavid to do something.

  • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

      You realize they havn’t been in a rebuild for 10 years right? You realize they don’t have 4 1st over all picks? You realize they havn’t picked had 9 top 10 picks in the last 10 years right?

    • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

      Do you actually believe, or are just trying to say, that the people who praise them are not aware of that?

      What exactly is your point?

      I hate the Flames, but you have to give credit where it is due, they are head and shoulders above the Oilers in the last decade and/or more.

      They have managed to build a good team, with a solid core. They didn’t due it by being fortunate and gifted 1st over and Top 10 picks. They did it through good scouting, coaching and developing. They did it through risky trades and moves. Oilers just sign other people’s spare part as their spare parts, and really make a trade that has potential risk of a loss. The players just like the management has learned to play it safe in Edmonton.

      • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

        And look where all that managerial savvy has gotten them: right beside us in the basement.

        You just went a whole comment without mentioning Hall. I’m actually impressed.

          • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

            Aw come on Eddie, you don’t have to be mean about it. You’re gonna hurt my feelers.

            And Realist, I’m not debating that the Flames get more out of their players. I mean, they’re a whole two points ahead of us. That’s obviously “head and shoulders above” the Oilers.

          • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

            I don’t mean to hurt your feelings, my bad. Someone once told me you are what you eat, and I thought you were being a dick-for no reason.

            You are not being a realist, you are being a statistic groupie. You pick a number out of the last 10+ options of years and become a fanatic about it, a year that soothes your argument. Sure, i’ll agree with you: they are not that much better than us this year.

            In the last decade plus they are definitely better than us with a lot of less.

            Right after head and shoulders I state decade +, why did you chose to ignore it?

  • Rocket

    Not a fan of having Pakarinen on the first line. He’s a perfectly serviceable 4th line winger. But besides crash & bang, what does he bring?

    So far this game he has shown he doesn’t have good hands and can’t keep possession of the puck.

    I’m not a Purcell fan either but at least he can play in the top six.

    A head scratcher. What’s Maclellan thinking?

  • Randaman

    Is there anyone on this team that can actually put a pass on his teammates stick while coming out of the zone?

    Good thing they are only playing the Devils.

  • Randaman

    Nice one timer by Yak. I could’ve sworn that people (Apologists) say he has a hell of a shot.

    Sorry, don’t see it. KHL next year? I wouldn’t rule it out

  • Jay (not J)

    Drew sounds really excited to be in New Jersey tonight to face what sounds like his favourite team the Devils. Maybe they can leave him there when they leave.

  • Randaman

    Is it too early to start cheering for losses? Just kidding but they don’t look any more interested tonight than they did on the weekend.

    13 shots half way through the third? Pathetic, disheartening, embarrassing, etc.

    They still get paid, right?

  • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

    What an apathetic effort from the Oilers. I thought they would come out blazing. No pushback, no fight.

    10 years out of the playoffs and we are this bad – it is truly hard to believe how bad this team and franchise are.

    30th place right now is a franchise embarrassment.

    Good luck PC – you are going to need it. During draft day make sure Bob Greene, Lowe, Howson and MacT are locked in a closet back at HQ.

    • chickenStew

      This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that we are in last place once again. This year should tease out a few obvious things:
      1) coaching is not the issue; its very much a player issue. We have the wrong mix of players in the locker room and on the ice
      2) the amount of pushback after 2 embarrassing blowouts reeeeally spell the state of your team…we are miles away and missing several key pieces.
      3) the core is indeed rotten…and the people responsible for putting it together and continue to defend their actions should be let go from the organization period. They clearly don’t have a clue, so don’t deserve any more chances to prove otherwise.

      To me, this team has had several high ranking people in the organization take turns at sh*tting the bed. And each time they do, soft-hearted owner Katz makes a new one for them. I may be too harsh here but if a 2 yr old sh$ts the bed, you get him a new bed. If a full grown man sh%ts the bed multiple times, you make him lie in it and tell him to GTFO and to take his mattress with him! In this case, adult male = Lowe. Mattress = Howson and his cronies (MacT)

      No accountability in the front office means no accountability on the team, it’s an attitude and it is contagious! I just hope they figure this out before they ruin McDavid, cuz he is a delight to watch! Mark my words, as long as the adult defacating male and his mattress are still around, this will be a basement dwelling team. Time to graaaaaaze on!