GDB 60.0 Wrap Up: Avalanche @ Oilers

At least the last few minutes of the game were good? Final Score: 3-2 Avalanche 

Does anyone else get nervous when you look at the schedule and see that the Oilers are playing on Hockey Night in Canada? Maybe it’s just some kind of rebuild PTSD but I can’t help but feel the need to brace myself before Saturday night games. I remember when my HNIC faith in the Oilers died. It was a game where I thought the end of days were surely coming. It was against Detroit, just before the Bryzgalov era of the rebuild, and the Wings absolutely slaughtered the Oilers 5-0. These games have left me feeling uneasy ever since, and with just cause. *shudders*

If there was a remedy for my pregame lack if faith it was that the Oilers were playing the Colorado Avalanche, which meant anything could happen. It’s not like the Oilers were playing the Sakic/Forsberg/Roy Avalanche from the 90s, and so maybe they could get something done. When Taylor Hall scored early I thought that maybe my early uneasiness was just me being an old crank, but then the Oilers allowed two goals to wide open Avalanche players and the negative vibes returned. Frankly, the Oilers were flat tonight and gave the Avalanche easy lanes to the net, and they took full advantage.

Coming back from the road trip I was hoping that a few weeks at home would put some wins on the board. Before this past home stretch, the Oilers had been a pretty solid home ice team, but they can’t win a game to save their lives lately. Worst of all, tonight’s game was another winnable game on the calendar that the Oilers never really showed up for. It was a snooze fest. Let’s be honest, the most exciting part of the game happened at the end of the night when the Oilers pulled the goalie. It was another tough night in OilersNation, but at least we’re another day closer to the draft.

We wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

TheBeatles

  • After being on a goal scoring drought, Taylor Hall seems to be finding his touch again. He scored his 20th goal of the season by driving to the slot and burying the puck when he had a chance. The Oilers pass up on too many shooting chances, and it’s always nice to see Taylor Hall firing away. 
  • Benoit Pouliot is one of the few Oilers forwards that is consistently willing to go to the net. He scored his 14th goal of the season by banging the puck home at the side of the net. 
  • I can’t say enough good things about the year Brandon Davidson has had. He is playing big minutes on the penalty kill and at even strength, when most people would have expected him to be a non-factor this year. He plays big minutes and plays them well. Amazing story. 
  • Zack Kassian played his first game in a while after coming back from the flu. You’ve got to admire that the first thing Kassian does it get in a scrap. That takes a lot of energy for a sick guy.
  • I think Cam Talbot was better than he stats will tell you. He had absolutely no chance on the first two Avs goals, and the third was no slouch either. He finished the night with 26 saves and an .897 save%.
  • Big props to the penalty kill, especially the work on the 5 on 3. 

THE FACE PALMERS

Hanson

  • The Oilers completely forgot that John Mitchell existed as he walked into the slot and put the puck home, completely uncovered. Bold strategy. No chance for Talbot on this goal. 
  • The Oilers followed up with another ghost defensive effort on Tyson Barrie’s goal in the second period. He was wiiiiiiiide open. 
  • The power play sucked again. Broken record, I know.
  • How many times have the Oilers sent out a blind pass into the slot with absolutely no idea if anyone is there or not? Has to be millions, right?
  • For the second straight game the Oilers have had a goal called backed. In tonight’s chapter Taylor Hall was bumped into the goal (outside the crease) and was given a penalty and had the goal disallowed. Lame.
  • Actually I just hated the reffing in general. How about that phantom tripping call on Fayne? Ridiculous.
  • The Oilers made Pickard look like a Vezina candidate. He’s supposed to be the backup. 
  • Shout out to CBC for missing Taylor Hall’s goal because they were in commercial. Nailed it. 

SCORING SUMMARY

1ST PERIOD
07:14 EDM Taylor Hall (20) Wrist shot – ASST: Leon Draisaitl (27), Teddy Purcell (21) 1 – 0 EDM
11:19 COL John Mitchell (9) Wrist shot – ASST: Blake Comeau (19), Tyson Barrie (30) 1 – 1 Tie
2ND PERIOD
01:23 COL Tyson Barrie (9) Deflected shot – ASST: Jarome Iginla (18), Matt Duchene (22) 2 – 1 COL
3RD PERIOD
03:49 COL Tyson Barrie (10) Wrist shot – ASST: Alex Tanguay (18), Gabriel Landeskog (25) 3 – 1 COL
18:19 EDM Benoit Pouliot (14) Wrist shot – ASST: Jordan Eberle (17), Connor McDavid (17) 3 – 2 COL

BEST OF THE TWEETS

Talk to me Twitter.

THE NORTH X NORTHGRETZ PODCAST

The boys are back from Jasper and still licking their wounds! This week they talk about McDavid’s five point night, if McDavid has a legit shot at the Calder, what could have been for McDavid this season, and other, non-McDavid related things!

PREVIOUS EPISODES

  • OILFANMEXICO

    You know Imo, if we cloned Hendricks and Davidson and created a team out of the two we would win way more games.Heart and determination wins over skill alone.

    Not sure if ON is getting younger members,but it’s like kindergarten in here.

  • Zamboni Driver

    So I am not a Yakupov fan as may have been clear in the past. Being critical might not even really be fair…I think he seems like a good kid, just not a good hockey player. And not his fault he was #1 overall in a dumpster-fire draft year.

    However.

    I will fully admit if Yak had played the god-awful, couldn’t-give-a-sh!t, “what-they-want-me-to-defend-too” backcheck last night that Eberle did – I would be roasting him.

    So consider Eberle roasted. Pathetic. Disgraceful. Disgusting lack of effort. Again.

    To me, he is the TOP of the doesn’t care about losing brigade. He would be absolutely the top of my move to get a D.

    He’s an embarrassment and a huge reason why ELPH is back with a vengeance.

        • MrBung

          Keep telling yourself that. There are new excuses with this team every season. One thing stays the same, bottom 5 every year. Joke of the NHL and Pro Sports.

          • MrBung

            With the weak defence depth the team had this season , losing Oscar Klefbom for almost half the year has decimated this team. What other team could sustain the losses of Conner mcdavid for 37 games, Jordan Eberle , Nail yakupov and now Ryan Nugent Hopkins. These are not reasons or excuses, but they have to be factors to consider when assesing this team after the season is over. I still believe in this core, they are highly skilled and when the team can finally play healthy then we can make a true judgement call on this team.

          • Zamboni Driver

            No, no. you’re absolutely right.

            Because Hall, Eberle, Yakupov, Schultz are just kids! Raw rookies, right?

            Oh…no. Wait. They’ve all been in the league for YEARS.

            And the Oilers are in last place.
            Again.

          • OILFANMEXICO

            Let’s say we get into the playoffs and we incur some injuries to our core. It’s obvious we don’t have the depth to compete with injuries. So who cares how we look when healthy, we need a well rounded team healthy or not. Besides, we know what Nuge,Hall,Ebs brings and there weaknesses as they still show them to this day. Chiarelli, has seen enough trust me.

          • MrBung

            Sigh. How about coming to the realization that this organization has no depth. Further to that, I honesty don’t think it is realistic to believe all of these players will stay healthy and be in a position to play together. Lots of small, overrated, and injury prone players.

            We have little detail on Klefbom’s staph infection. We have no idea how serious it is/was. AFAIK the guy hasn’t even been skating. Who knows how this will affect him for next season and career.

          • S cottV

            The current management team has had to deal with the mistakes of the previous regime. Chiarelli was forced to put on the sidelines the likes of Niktin, Scriven, Ference, at the start of the season. Once niktin and Ference are off the books , the team will have more flexiblilty in off season moves and more cap room to aquire the assests for this team. I understand the fans are frustrated but they need to be patient with the new regime .

          • Oil City Roller

            Sorry Bob but they do not play with the grit and edge to be contenders. The stupid mistake Ebs made entering our defensive zone is a good example of how inept some of these players have become.

  • Zamboni Driver

    Actually come to think of it, I’ll give Yakupov even MORE of the benefit of the doubt.

    If he had been as braindead/who cares as Eberle, at least he would have been mad at himself. Mad at the world. Something.

    Eberle was likely heard to be saying, “I like it way better when I get to do my sick dangles.”

    • S cottV

      Yeah Eberle – is just not in the fight whenever the going gets a little rough.

      There were a couple of times I remember saying – geez Eberle get in the fight. Get into that scary area and put your nose over your stick and make something happen.

      But no – and the sustained pressure we had up to that point was gone.

      I’ve seen Eberle blow defensive reads like on the Barrie goal, many many times.

      Some guys just don’t have it in them to process, this kind of stuff at an NHL pace of play.

      Much like Gagner.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    A poster said CBJ did a mid season trade, why can’t Chia?!?….how’s that trade working out for them? Did it vault them into playoff position?…no, they’ve stayed pretty much where they were in the standings before the Jones/Johansen trade happened.

    PC probably could have made some trades mid season, but nobody wants Shultz’s contract(MacT). The lack of hockey trades is because of the cap. Hockey trades happen during golf season. Hall is not the problem, Nuge is not the problem. Chiarelli inherited one hell of a mess coming into this year left by the “genius” that is MacT. If PC doesn’t do what he’s paid to do this summer and the Oilers don’t make the playoffs next year, then by all means haters, hang him out to dry.

    I’m tired of watching the Oilers lose year after year, after year, after year and I’ve watched the Oilers win 5 cups in my life, but reading the trolls on this site is just as frustrating. The trolls need to take some happy pills, or just jump off the bridge they crawled out underneath from.

    • Zamboni Driver

      It is PC job to make the neccesary changes to fix this team. Because its his first season, he gets a temporary pass , but it doesnt excuse the fact the team is still on pace to be 30th place, which is technically worse than last season in which Mact, Lowe, Eakins were running this Titanic.
      The first moves by PC can be questioned for sure, Trading for a defencemen that was not able to come into the lineup and help immediately has not worked out . He gave up 2 huge assests for an AHL defencemen. The last thing this team needed was another young up coming player who still needs time to develop. The fact that Reinhart cant be a regular defencemen on this current batch of d is very troubling.

      • OILFANMEXICO

        I agree with the Reinhardt trade 100%. He wasn’t good enough to play in the Islanders line-up so why did we trade for him. If you recall Lowe, McTavish, and Bob Green(from Oil Kings)all were praising Reinhardt. I think Chiarelli went in thinking they all knew Reinhardt was good. Mistake #1, as he will probably be traded as we have too many Left handed defenceman.

        • MrBung

          I wonder how much input Lowe and McTavish had in that Reinhart trade, they would have had more knowledge in him than Chiarelli, and trusting Craig on scouting defencemen is not a good option. Those 2 assests should have been used for a veteran player you could slot into the lineup right away.

  • CMG30

    Chirelli telegraphed that next summer was going to be the big one with the non-buyouts of Nikitin and Ference.

    I had hoped that the Oil would be doing a bit better this season, and they did by playing meaningfull games in January.

    People can be ticked off all they like about 9 years of suck. It’s true. The Oil have sucked for 9 years. But once we acknowledge that, we also need to acknowledge that that 9 years is not Chirelli’s problem.

    Chirelli came in with a huge to-do list. He had to fix the goal tending, take care of bad contracts, find a huge slug of legitimate supporting players for the core along with finding a coach and giving that coach time to implement his style of play. Oh and then there was the little matter of the defense. All without knowing what he did have in the team.

    Anybody who honestly believes that the above list would be accomplished in a year needs to give their heads a shake, 9 years of suck or not.

    Having said that, injuries have further hurt this team this season. This is not an excuse, it’s a fact. If we hadn’t had/having the injury trouble, we would probably be playing meaningful games right now. (But still end up outside the playoffs.)

    So vent all you like, but until we see the core playing with a proper supporting cast, on a well balanced team pronouncements like ‘Taylor Hall sucks’ or ‘RNH hasn’t developed’ are just so much nonsense.

    • Oil City Roller

      This summer Chirelli needs to remove MacT and Howeson from his staff and all hockey operation decisions and advise.

      Bob Nicholson needs to remove KLowe from all hockey operation decisions and advise.

    • Oil City Roller

      Thanks for the extra large glass of Kool-Aid to help wash down my pancakes this fine Sunday morning. You post had some quality hallmarks of a faithful Coil lapdog. Patience, evaluation, rebuild, injuries, facts not excuses, and my personal favourite, talking about the “core”. If you want to up your toady game may I suggest referencing NHL 16 to really lay it to fools who unrealistically think the Coil should be better.

  • Hockeyfan

    Man the oilers are bad. Gonna be a bad start in the new arena. I see why oil fans hate on Jultz, he is a pig out there. Maybe one more #1 will do it. HAHAHA.

  • Johnny Zylon

    Shame.

    Shame: n. 1. the painful feeling of having done or experienced something dishonorable, improper, foolish, etc.

    Shame is often confused with guilt, but shame is “the complete closure of the self-object circle. Guilt is produced when you evaluate your behavior as failure, but the focus is on what you could have done differently-and what you can do to repair the damage. Guilt is less intense than shame and less negative because the focus is an “action of the self rather than the totality of the self.” When corrective action is impossible, guilt is converted to shame. The Oilers by definition, should feel shame.

  • Deep6

    I pity all the people that pay full price to see this team. I am angry at myself for paying the price for game centre live as I am out of market. However it pails in comparison to the amount of money spent to see this abysmal lack of compete live.
    My armchair Coaching/GM what have you is.

    Put the C on Hendricks, the guy competes every game, puts his body on the line. I’d rather “Oilers Hockey” meant hard to play against hitting physical hockey than the 9 – 5 run and gun era of the Gretzky glory days. That’s gone and isn’t coming back even if we had 3 McDavids.
    How many times have you seen Hendricks head down racing to get a puck or to put pressure on a guy. Maybe putting the C on the guy will give all these slackers someone to look to, and maybe it’ll embolden him to call people out.

    I am struggling on this next bit, because I can see it both ways. The 6 million dollar club, everyone blames MacT etc. However think about it, I love Edmonton, but when you’ve got places like LA, Florida…pretty much anywhere but Winnipeg (but they’re all still in the honeymoon phase) it’s going to be tough to attract and retain talent especially given the losing. What do you do, you get the deals done and hope they grow into their value. It hasn’t happened, and instead you have 2 guys in the group of 3 that are checked out of the team game before the puck drops (Hall & Eberle). Nuge, maybe it’s the baby face, but I still have faith in him. The other 2 need to go, yes Eberle has started developing chemistry with McDavid, but if “chemistry” means be 5 ft from the net and let McDavid hit me on the tape, put me on the ice and I’ve not played hockey in 20 years!

    Given the above statement, maybe some other people can help me out? Can someone tell me why I’m consistently seeing guys headed for a line change at the bottom of my screen coasting to the bench like they’re headed off the ice at the end of practice.

    Continuing on the SMDC (Six Million Dollar Club). Hall, has value so lets deal him ASAP It’ll suck cause he’ll go somewhere and be awesome because he’ll get his prima donna winning world back. He’s just not mentally tough enough to be here and to lead the team. Last night, he boles over the goalie, pouts for a second and Pickard and him share a tender moment with Pickard putting his glove on his back as if to say there there…..

    That’s another thing that drives me crazy, we’re out there having fun, we’re a beer league team but charging fans for premium product. Further evidence was Schultz last night, on camera smiling, chatting with the opposition. Seriously, I’ve only played rec level sports, but when it was game time those guys in the opposite jersey were the enemy. I get that there’s camaraderie between players, but in Rugby (my sport of choice) we’d bash each others brains out and save the beer swilling and tales of greatness for after the game. Until the final whistle goes, it’s phasers set on kill.

    Speaking of rugby, we had a special forces coach at one point in our era. We weren’t the best team skill wise, but we increasingly became the fittest. We won some games in the 70th minute because the other team was gassed. Can Coach Todd crank up the dial on fitness to 11. Puke skate everyone everyday, every-way, if every oiler was miles above the league average in fitness we might win a few more puck battles just because of the self confidence that looking and feeling like a universal soldier brings. Start right out of the gate, next year. Get Jocko Willink in to run conditioning practices. You players get paid more money than most guys will in their life time to play a game, you get summers off (especially our team) earn your money with blood, sweat and tears. Worst that can happen is, you’ll look even better for all the bunnies on the beach.

    • dw

      I can take all the negativity but when people start insulting defenceless vegetables that is where I draw the line. With that said “defenceless vegetables” could be used to describe 3/4 of our back end…

    • Dwayne Roloson 35

      You take back what you said about corn!

      Corn on the cob, corn off the cob, popcorn, cream corn…There are so many options. Im disgusted that you would bring corn into this.

  • Oil City Roller

    Its no wonder that this team has 184 goals against ,one of the highest in the NHL,yet again,look at the amount of time they spend in their own end of the rink, its crazy. They can never get the puck out.

    When they do they cant hit the net it seems.
    Again 58 minutes into the game last night, they only score one goal.

    PS Tyson Barrie reminds me of Ducan Keith.
    Not bad for a third rounder. Colorado saw something , many teams didn’t … he played McGregors backyard…

  • Dwayne Roloson 35

    Funny how oilers nation wants to blame the new management and hall for lack of success.

    New management brought us in competent goaltending and out best defenceman(sekera).

    If you think hall is the problem and not the lack of d-men/support players then you need to watch some more hockey and learn the game.

  • Sdgoalie31

    There are so many things I don’t understand watching this team. 1) Yak probably has the best pure one timer on the team, but he is your front screen on the PP. 2) No matter how much he proves to be inept, Schultz continues to get so much PP time. 3) Every team in the league can cycle the puck, we can’t and can’t defend against it. 4) Despite being totally ineffective, we still make 20 drop passes a night that just lead to bad turnovers. 5) Every trade deadline we trade real NHL players for draft picks, knowing the low probability they wil ever be anything if below a 3rd and then it is still a roll of the dice. 6) How do we pay Eberle so much to be so ineffective? Isn’t Chia out in Boston because of cap mgmt issues? 7) Do we have a real scouting dept or do they just read the public prospect lists? 8) Is Mr. Katz a property developer or does he want to own a winning hockey team. 9) Finally, we trade for a young a Dman and then play Nikitin. This was the year all was supposed to change and I’ve never been more frustrated.