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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  • Mike Krushelnyski

    Can some explain the downside to at least TRYING Yakupov on the top line for one game, or a couple periods?

    If I’m his agent I’m winking and blowing kisses at every team in the KHL.

    • S cottV

      Lets see…

      In one way or another Hall, Drai, Pouliot, and McDavid – have made it clear that there is no way they wanna play with Yak.

      Why?

      Because he has no idea what he is doing.

      The KHL would be a good place for Yak.

      • Mike Krushelnyski

        Well even if they did make it clear that they don’t want to play with Yak, it’s probably a bad idea to let the players dictate line combos.

        But since we know the playoffs are out of the question, I would be seeing if there is any way he can fit in the top 6. I’m pretty sure Pakarinen isn’t the long term answer there.

        I agree that the KHL would be a good place for Yak. I hope that we can pump and dump him for some kind of return before he comes to that conclusion as well.

          • Newj

            What part of Drouin’s game/attitude is that more superior to Yak’s?

            I think a fresh start for both might do wonders.

            Drouin’s still on his ELA so its not a large $ contract.

          • Zamboni Driver

            I think Yak and Drouin are very similar. High scoring offence-focused in juniors. Need to learn a two-way game. Even though they were drafted high, they spent time as healthy scratches, in the pressbox. On the third or fourth line.

            The difference is that Yak didn’t publicly push for a trade, though I do remember his agent making some noise.

            I don’t mind the idea of a Drouin/Yak trade, just to give Yak a fresh start. He scored some goals since he came back from injury, but Pakarinen is ahead of him tonight? Looks like their minds are made up about him.

          • Dwayne Roloson 35

            I’d do a Yak for Drouin trade even if we had to throw in a little extra. I like Yak but I think he was messed with too much by Eakins and a fresh start would be good.

            Under Kreuger, he led our team in goals. Under Eakins, they tried to make him a 3rd line checking winger and played him 5 minutes or scratched him when it didn’t work out.

            He was criticised way too much for a young player who had only 48 games under his belt when Eakins took over.

          • Morgo_82

            I wouldn’t want that clown anywhere near this team. besides, aside from one period he’s looked like crap in Syracuse too, when he isn’t crying like a b!tch and refusing to play.

          • Jay (not J)

            I have to agree with you there. The last thing we need is a prima donna who’s going to tell McLellan where he plays and who with and how much ice he deserves.

    • S cottV

      The downside is that people might actually think there is a player there and overvalue him for anothe 2 years. Let’s hope his agent is blowing kisses to the KHL and he can join Belov, Cam Barker and Gilbert Brule and other failed Oilers.

        • boknowes

          http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/draft/nhl2012e.html

          Take a look at the 2012 draft class. I agree.

          Review the F group in the link, Yak looks damn good considering some of the centres and line mates he has had to play with. Don’t forget the regression he and other Oilers had under Eakins. Majority of high scoring juniors have to learn how to play defense once they turn pro. Lack of coaching continuity and weak management has drastically hurt Oilers player development.

          I always wonder what people’s view of him would be if his last name was Smith…

          • Spydyr

            Him being Russian has zero impact on my conclusion that he doesn”t have much hockey sense and while highly skilled and a Jonny Hustle…..Yak is not a top 6 guy in the NHL! BTW Eakins is long gone can”t blame his poor play this year on the wood chopper.

  • 916oiler

    I keep waiting for the Oilers to address their terrible defense but each year rolls to the next.

    I’ll check in this time next year and watch them if they fix it but I have long lost hope for this team.

    Good luck with filling that new arena Katz!

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • vetinari

    They better show up and actually put in some effort against a beatable Eastern conference team who played last night.

    GDP: Oilers 4 NJ 2 Why? I’m an optimist. Or an idiot. Or both. I do cheer for the Oilers after all.

    OGDP: Comments section will be quieter tonight with no Schultz and no Reinhart in the lineup to complain about.

    NSOGDP: Tootoo. Kassian. Predict two fights between these guys by the end of the night, with one line brawl between the fourth lines.

  • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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”.

  • 2Oilers4

    After a couple of really bad, awful, garbage games, MacLellan whips the boys back in shape. Oilers come out flying tonight, Hall with 2 Goals and McDadvid with 3 Points. Oilers win 6-3.

  • 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.

    • #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?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • S cottV

    Just look at the Devil’s line up. Who the heck are these guys?Yet they are one point out of a wild card [game in hand as well] spot.

    Don’t see a ton of first rounders on their roster either.

    Makes one wonder how far off the tracks this Oiler train is?

  • socaldave

    The Oilers are more or less out of the playoffs so I except them to play better hockey for the last 30 games.

    They have done that most years, play well when season is lost.

    The will play .600 hockey.

    Management will think all is well and the Oilers more or less remain intact and we are assured that next year will be much better.

    • Jason Gregor

      He can’t skate.
      He is a 3rd pair guy making $3.325 and has one year left on his deal.

      Oilers trading for him for Schultz would be a bad trade. They don’t need to add bad $$ just to get rid of Schultz. They can walk away from his salary this summer.

  • 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

  • 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