GDB 76.0 Wrap Up: Oilers @ Coyotes

I take dessert over desert every single time. Final Score: 4-2

There are some things in this world that I just don’t understand (along with hundreds of warehouses full). One of those things is how the Edmonton Oilers can be so awful against the equally terrible Arizona Coyotes. Okay, so maybe the Coyotes are marginally less terrible than the Oilers, but they’re not world beaters, is what I’m getting at. Slightly better or not, that still doesn’t mean that the Coyotes should be running the show like they have been. After thinking about it, all I can conclude is that the Oilers are repeatedly lulled to sleep by the Coyotes’ horrible trap style of defense. I get it, man, they’re boring. But how do the Oilers not accidentally win sometimes?

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With the way the Oilers started this game I was actually hopefully that this ridiculous Coyotes curse might actually meet its match. Unfortunately, the dark art of Oilersing® themselves into giving their opponents prime scoring chances was on full display, and the Coyotes reaped the benefits. Whether it was power play chances or general Oilersing® in all three areas of the ice, the Coyotes had numerous opportunities to scoop up loose pucks and turn them into scoring chances. When you combine some moments of loose play with the Coyotes curse and another injury to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins what you have there is a textbook recipe for disappointment.

The wrap.



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  • Connor McDavid finds himself on a five game point streak after picking up two more assists on both Jordan Eberle and Mark Letestu’s power play goals. How there is consideration for anyone other than Connor McDavid to win the Calder trophy is crazy to me. Games played or not, he’s the best rookie.  
  • I was super into the Hall-Nuge-Draisaitl line. They were producing chances and playing sound defensive hockey all night until Nuge went down. That was a line that could have done great things. I hope it gets another chance next season but preferably sooner. 
  • How many nights in a row do we have to talk about Jordan Oesterle before we start buying his jersey? I don’t know whether this is a red hot streak he’s in or if the Oilers have actually developed another defenseman, but he’s looking like a keeper right now. I think he’ll start next season in Bakersfield but will definitely push as the season goes on if he can maintain this level of play. He played over 27 minutes tonight.
  • Griffin Reinhart played over 23 minutes in what was another solid game for the Big Cat. He’s looked very good paired up with Oesterle and his minutes would show that McLellan agrees. 
  • The power play kept the Oilers in the game, and it was refreshing to see success with the man advantage. They finished the night 2/4 on the power play. 
  • Cam Talbot was good but not great and if that’s his low mark then we’re going to be golden. I think you could definitely say that he’d want the first goal back, but I’m not sure what he could have done on the other two. Talbot finished the night with 27 saves and a .900 save%.
  • Connor Murphy took a healthy run at Jordan Oesterle while Zack Kassian was on the ice. Kassian checked the number and then laid a clean hit on Murphy later on in the shift. Retribution done the right way right there my friends. Kassian will need a new contract this summer, and I’m asking what you think the number will be for dollars and term. Leave your guess down in the comments section. 



  • The Coyotes curse continues. They are 19-0-4 against the Oilers since 2011. Gross.
  • The Oilers really couldn’t get much going 5-on-5 and the cycle was virtually non-existent for long stretches of the night. 
  • Anyone who says Nuge is soft hasn’t been paying attention. He got his melon rattled because he was going into the tough areas after a loose puck. If he’s concussed, and this was his last game of the year, I hope it’s not his last game as an Oiler. The Oilers will lose that trade for the next decade+.
  • Tobias Rieder scores because of course he does. Great call on that one, Tambellini. 
  • Darnell Nurse got caught puck watching on the Alex Tanguay’s goal. Tanguay slipped behind ol’ Darryl and the puck wound up in the back of the net. To be fair to Nurse, Tanguay banged home a rebound that Talbot would have normally handled differently.  
  • The Oilers were 41% in the face off circle tonight. That’s not nearly good enough. It’s tough to win the game when you’re always chasing the puck. 
  • The penalty kill went 1/3. Not bad by any means, but notable. 


05:38 ARI Alex Tanguay (8) Wrist shot – ASST: Oliver Ekman-Larsson (31), Anthony Duclair (21) 1 – 0 ARI
09:04 EDM PPG – Jordan Eberle (23) Wrist shot – ASST: Lauri Korpikoski (10), Connor McDavid (27) 1 – 1 Tie
12:22 ARI PPG – Martin Hanzal (11) Wrist shot – ASST: Michael Stone (29) 2 – 1 ARI
17:02 ARI Tobias Rieder (13) Wrist shot – ASST: Brad Richardson (18) 3 – 1 ARI
17:56 EDM PPG – Mark Letestu (10) Wrist shot – ASST: Andrej Sekera (21), Connor McDavid (28) 3 – 2 ARI
19:14 ARI EN – Max Domi (18) Wrist shot – ASST: Martin Hanzal (25), Jiri Sekac (4) 4 – 2 ARI


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Talk to me Twitter. 


This week Chris The Intern and Jeanshorts struggle through colds to bring you thoughts on all the Oiler powerplay goals, who would be protected during the expansion draft and whether or not they’d re-sign Zack Kassian. Next Baggedmilk plays a game with Chris that will make everyone feel old, before all life’s mysteries are answered in another round of Ask The Idiots!

As always you can follow North x NorthGretz on FacebookTwitter and Instagram, and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes

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  • KPUZ

    3 thoughts:
    1. Trade any Oiler defenceman for somebody who can hit the f-ing net. Talk about rally killers.
    2. Refereeing was f-ing awful all night, especially on the non-icing call and the Matt Cooke-Marc Savard like hit by Murphy on the Nuge’s head (nice response by the gutless Oilers teammates!!!).
    3. Is it only Kassian that has any balls on this team? No response to Nuge getting rocked on a dirty hit. Take the suspension for laying a beating on Murphy as we are playing for nothing anyways.

    • Explicit

      The nuge hit didn’t look dirty and certainly didn’t look dirty in real time, he even continued on playing the puck. You want the oilers to jump everyone that hits anyone in an oiler jersey?

      And the ref excuse is getting old. I think the refs have been bad all year across the league… It’s not some conspiracy against the oilers

      • KPUZ

        Watch the hit again, it was Murphy’s shoulder directly to Nuge’s head. DeBrusk call it a dirty hit as well. After he hits him cheaply, he cross checks him in the back. Referees could have called two penalties on the play.

    • Terry Jones weak kneed wimps article needs to be published again. Its no wonder these guys are always hurt. The book on this team throughout the league is hit them hard and hit them dirty, because every team knows there will be 0 response from a collection of players who look like they are at a Disney On Ice charity fundraising campaign. What a bunch of pussies. The only game I will watch for the rest of this year is the last game against the Flames , and I will probably lose another $15.00 on that. Blow it up, blow it up real good, and next year we maybe have a squad with some pushback. At least Kassian took a number and layed a good hit, but when the refs miss an obvious call, the players themselves have to police these types of infractions, at least all the other NHL teams do.

  • toprightcorner

    Is it just me or is Reinhart taking a step forward every game and Nurse taking a step backwards? Hopefully managements realizews next year the Darryl needs at least 40 game in the AHL for more development. IMO, every dman drafted outside the top 3 should spend at least a season in the AHL to develop against men, but at a slower pace where every mistake doesn’t end up in the back of your net.

    • Armchair genius

      I agree. A majority of people are still blasting the trade for Rienhart but I think him and Oesterle have been the best pair in the last 4/5 games. Oesterle moves the puck well, and Griff lays the body around. I don’t know if Nurses’ play has dropped off or griff’s play has stepped up that much.

      • RJ

        I blasted the trade for a few reasons:

        1) He’s a LHD. They had Klefbom, they knew Nurse would come up at some time this season or next, and they ended up getting Sekera. Not to mention nearly all of their AHL defencemen were left-handed. Unless you were guaranteed he was going to be a top pairing guy, acquiring him didn’t make much sense. They needed a right-handed defenceman then and they still need one now.

        2) Cost – he cost about the same as Hamilton, who is a top-4 RHD who hasn’t hit his prime, but had played a lot in the NHL previously. He cost more than Boychuk, who was a proven top-4 defender. Had they picked him up for a third, then it’s not a bad gamble, but to give up two high picks in a deep draft still makes no sense.

        3) his skill set – if he had a special skill set, like being an elite PP guy, then that’s something the team doesn’t have. But he doesn’t bring that either.

        4) bonus – He’s playing fine now in a small sample size, but with his bonus situation he’s likely to be in the AHL all next season anyways. Illogical move all around unless he takes a huge leap this off-season.

  • toprightcorner

    Easy answer to Kassians resigning. as an RFA making over $1mill he has to be qualified at least the same as his current salary whcih is $1.75 mill.

    I would qualify Kassian for one year at that$1.75 mill and take it from there. He shouldn’t expect more and the team should see if he can control his addiction for another year before committing more term in a deal

  • IronX

    How we don’t own the coyotes is beyond me, injuries or not.

    If our line up is so much better what’s the problem?

    If it’s not that much better, let’s make 4 or 5 trades this summer, its embarrassing to be owned by a “poor” team.,, Arizona should not ever beat us, at anything.

    • Oilerchild77

      It’s not the talent, it’s the collective hockey IQ of the Oilers where the problem lies. You don’t see the Coyotes confused over where they’re supposed to be or what they’re supposed to be doing on the ice. They understand the fundamentals of team play, which makes up for a lack of talent. Also, they have a premier dman who plays 25-30 minutes a game. That helps.

      • S cottV

        Yes – agreed.

        It’s following a system that keeps risk vs reward in check.

        Rush attacks are back loaded with more disciplined trailing depth support, in case of a turnover. They don’t tend to commit 100% to a forward attack, attaching a safety valve – more so, than you see with the Oilers. If you are 100% committed to attack, you are 100% exposed on counter attack. There is a balance in there that we don’t pay attention to, in relation to AZ.

        They are more disciplined at keeping a high forward in the o zone, which allows for safe d pinches and more o zone possession, along the boards.

        AZ doesn’t expose the puck on possession, as much as you see with the Oilers, particularly in sensitive areas. AZ Puck management vs Oilers puck manglement.

        If something goes wrong, like a turnover, they are in a disciplined position to deal with it and you get a sense that its practised and part of their identity. Example – Yak is often back in support on a turnover but we often see him covering the wrong guy or no one at all. That doesn’t happen with the Coyotes – they know what to do.

        They vary the forecheck. If their 3 forwards are in good position – they employ a 2 1 2, but the “1” guy is in a good disciplined neutral transitional position.

        If their forecheckers are not in an ideal position, or they are protecting a lead – they lay back in a trap formation. It may be boring but it’s smart, particularly vs a rush oriented team like the Oilers. The Oilers have difficulty generating offense if its not rush oriented. We need time, support and mostly speed through the neutral zone or we are basically screwed. That is what a good neutral zone trap takes away. Its a Hall buster for sure.

        The prime directive is winning and doing whatever it takes to give yourself the best opportunity to do so. A good Coach – dealt a less than royal flush player hand, doesn’t concern himself too much with entertainment value. If you do – you handcuff yourself and the margin for winning is so tight, you are gonna lose too many hockey games.

    • GK1980

      On paper the oilers look deadly but in reality we all know what they are. Chia will make changes, hopefully the right ones. I don’t come up with trade ideas either, that’s the GM’s job. I’m just an awesome fan.

      Speaking of fans, tons of oiler fans in attendance last night. No Canadian teams in the playoffs is pathetic and sad. I loath “Arizona” and believe they are just taking up a spot in the NHL that a real hockey city could use. Shayne Doan is a player but to end his years in Arizonan is kind of sad.

      My responses will be fewer until October. Hopefully we can criticize wins more next year then loses.