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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    • jdh1089

      He’s not injury prone. The shoulder injury was known from junior. The shot block was him having you know what on the PK and blocking a shot and today, any player would have been injured on that play. Unrelated unfortunate injuries.

      • toprightcorner

        I agree. If a player constantly has groin or hip issues, that is injury pron. Sometimes things happen when you play in the tough areas. The Oilers opponents have know for years they can freely it the Oilers and since they do, we are bound to get more injuries. Sign Lucic for top line, sign Matt Martin for 4th line and then with KAssian and Maroon and the teams will start to change their strategies and we will get hit less and less injuries will happen.

        A few more Darryl suspensions will help too.

  • 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.

  • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

  • ThinkingOutLoud

    Great effort right until the end – so many nights this team looked not just beaten but broken – tonight however the fire was definitely in their bellies. Losing like they did tonight I can take.

    But if course we lose again to the Coyotes and that damned howl… Of course Rieder scores… And of course we once again lose Nuge…

    ON poll: Cogliano would have played the same number of games in a row injury-free in an Oilers Jersey. Cheers for yes, Trash for no one in an Oilers jersey is safe from the curse…

  • O.C.

    Meh. It isn’t even painful anymore.

    We appreciate wins more than any other team in the league!!!!!

    (1/3 PP isn’t a face palm. I wish the Oil average was 33.3%)

    • .

      You’re not wrong, but does every team face the greatest cumulative impact of injured forwards and defensemen by the IIT-skater metric?

      On a related note, Maroon was greatly missed.

    • Theboon83

      We’ve had more man games lost than any other team and they are all high quality losses such as Eberle, Mcdavid, Nuge, Klefbom, Davidson, Yakupov, Pouliot, and Gryba. That’s a lot more than “their share of injuries.”

      • '68 Fire Chicken

        St.Louis called to remind you they had injuries to key players and still led the division. Too lazy to look up other teams but seriously,the IR is not the problem.

        Every year we blame injuries. Team sucks bro. Injuries or not this team is terrible. Sorry but 10 years of proof is pretty damming.

        Whats more concerning is that when fully healthy we seem to play worse as a team.

        Man who would of thought being tertible for 10 years and making no significant moves would backfire like this….

        But we always have next year right ?

        • toprightcorner

          Someone did stats on this a few weeks ago where they ranked the forwards and defense that were injured with a 15 for best player 14 for second best etc and 10 for best dman and so on. By that equation, the Oiler quality of man games lost was significantly higher than any other team.

          It is always top 6 players or top 4 dmen that are getting hurt it seams. Now that definitely affect your record, but isn’t the only reason for poor performance.

      • hockey1099

        Injuries happen to all teams. While we have lost some key players we have had the good fortune of having key guys coming back when key guys get hurt. Mc David goes down we get eberle and and dri. Nuge goes down right after McDavid comes back. We brought in maroon who has been a good fill in for poo. If we were a good team we could handle injuries. Our call ups on d have done well at replacing the guys that went down the real problem is our top guys on d aren’t good enough.

  • 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

  • toprightcorner

    One player really stood out in my eye, he made solid plays, great passes, had 5 scoring chances, controlled the play when he had the puck and man is he a fast skater. I think he is #97, anyone hear of this kid before?

  • toprightcorner

    I was paying special attention to the times when McDavids line gets stuck in their own zone. That happened a few times and in either circumstance, McDavid was well positioned but the puck was hardly ever near him, if it was, he would get it and move it out. In the other situations, Eberle or Nurse seemed to have an opportunity to get it out or under control and either mishandles the puck, made a bad pass or just turns it right back over. The amount of times Eberle could get the puck to clear and screwed it up was ridiculous. That cost 3-4 rushes for McDavid where likely 2 end up in a scoring opportunity.

    • toprightcorner

      yes they were a little weak, Reinhart was trying not to hold him Oesterle probably figured Griffin had hi and was blocking a potential pass. Biggest problem was the faceoff, should have been stopped with Doan blocking McDavids stick prior to the drop, that allowed Reider to grab it uncontested and come around the bottom where Reinhart faced off as a winger. a Linesman would blow that dead 9 out of 10 times, the 10th time is usually against Edmonton.

      Other then that play, they were the best d-pair on the night

  • Connor McJesus

    I hope I’m not the only one that sees nothing right now in Nurse. I know Chiarelli has been shaking his head at some of his plays.

    I don’t know where the fandom comes from, for me, Nurse has been anything but ready for NHL impact. I hope I’m not the only one who thinks that.

    I say he should really be developing instead next season or package him in a trade for Hamonic. I really don’t see the same value as the rest of the people, other than his ability to be a tough guy.

    He always misses the net on shots from the blueline! At least get it on net, please. His passing and puck-handling has seemed sub-par to me too, but then again, all Oilers seem to struggling in that area.

    • toprightcorner

      Nurse need a year in the AHL to learn the pro game. That was the original plan but when injuries hit he was the best option available. I would have liked to see hi sent down after the trade deadline so he would also get a chance to play in the AHL playoffs.

      He is big, mean, tough andone of the best skating dmen in the league already. He did the fastest skater backwards in the skills competition and was only 1 second behind Korpikoski who is fast in his own right. Nurse could beat Eberle in that race going backward with out a doubt. His high upside is mini-pronger

      • RJ

        Not trying to pick a fight with you in particular, but I find that reasoning baloney.

        This was just an “evaluation” year. They were never expecting to make the playoffs. That’s what people have been saying since Christmas, especially since the All-Star break. So if they were never expecting to seriously challenge, then there was really no good reason to play Nurse at all in the NHL.

        (Re: needing a defender, from what I’ve read, Reinhart, Oesterle, Nikitin and Nurse were not the best in Bakersfield, Musil has been. I would have called him up first and made Nurse wait.)

        Nurse should have been in the AHL all season playing 20-25 minutes a night learning the pro game. Next season, if he was ready, then he gets a shot. The obvious comparable is Davidson. He played 150 games in the AHL before he got his opportunity and he’s been very solid as a rookie. Oesterle is another solid comparable of a player learning his game in the AHL.

        Nurse has a lot of great tools but it takes time for everyone (except McDavid) to learn the pro game before they can be successful.

        (As for Kassian, thats a tough one. He is invisible for games at a time then he wakes up and has a strong game, and you remember why you looked at him in the first place. At some point, he figures it out or he’s in Europe. So a one-year deal would be fine, and if you can drop his salary at all, I’d consider that. It’s going to be tough with a flat cap so every dollar counts.)

    • JimmyV1965

      I agree that Nurse is drowning out there right now, but trading him would be a monumental mistake. Send him to the minors for a year to develop his game and get his man strength. Very few players in the league have his combo of speed, size and nastiness. We have to look beyond the now and actually do something to develop a player. No one thought he was ready for the big leagues this year.

    • S cottV

      I agree.

      You don’t always grind a guy.

      I think he would settle down and handle pucks better with a little job security.

      Kind of like Talbot settled in and played better with the contract done.

  • Hockeyfan

    i know Flames ain’t much better, but it is hard to believe the Coil are shooting for dead last again. Be careful, can’t see MCD wanting to hang around this team for very long. Locker room must be a nightmare. Too bad nancynuge went down. Gonna be 3 to 5 years before Coil even sniff playoffs.

  • Is Losing Becomes a Habit for Our Oilers?

    Book I recommend to all Oilers this summer. “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg I think everyone in this forum and Oilers in general would agree with me that losing has become a habit.

    So we can bring in new Owner, GM, Coach, McDavid, other Rookies with Winning Attitude yet without changing the underlying habit the bad habit will spread. Even the habits lead to injuries…weak habits break down the mind, break down the spirit and eventually break down the body. These guys are under incredible stress from travel, reporters, their families, fans. Under the spotlight bad habits go from cobwebs to cables.

    Who on the oilers is under achieving? Just look at their previous year stats–Yak, and compare them to today. They are moving to their prime years so there is no excuse. The bad habit of losing is wrecking their minds and bodies.

    How Habits Work:
    Trigger, Routine, Reward.

    Oilers read the book and understand the habits. Change your words and change your world. Change your habits (losing) into winning.

    It starts with every single player. It starts with every fan. The winning habit that creates a Virtuous Circle. Not a Vicious one. After 10 years of no playoffs I believe more than ever that the difference is a slight shift of habits—not trading away players.

    If you are not growing you are dying and some players are not growing.

    Simple small incremental shifts will lead to huge gains. Just try a small shift with hitting a golf ball…and you will see the huge difference in results.

    Power of Habit Book is waiting for you! Lets Go BOYS!

    Winning is a HABIT! So easy to change if you understand how habits work.

  • Oilerchild77

    The Oilers suck. I know, I know, injuries and this and that. But, really…they just suck.

    Exhibit A: On the penalty kill, Anton Lander has a perfect opportunity to get the puck out at the blueline, but… Doh!!! Korpikoski runs into him, or maybe it was Lander running into him, I don’t really know. What’s bad is I don’t think they know either because they don’t know where their teammates are going to be.

    And there are examples of this throughout every game they play. Shots around the boards to nobody, passes to a point man that isn’t there (or sometimes a point man on the other team), puck clearings directly at an opposing defenceman, confusion over who should come in to take the puck when a teammate has a player pinned on the boards. Good lord, it just goes on!

    The truth hurts.

  • Anton CP

    McDavid may finished the season about 48 points in 44 games, that is translated into around 90 points if he plays a full 82 games season. Give him some rest days and some minor possible slumps that he should still manage to get about 80+ points for the entire season. McDavid is the best rookie in this class and that is not even up for debate.

    However, if Marakov can win Calder at the age of 31 then I can’t see the committee will vote in McDavid’s favor. At least for now that Panarin will still be a favor to win Calder over anyone else.

  • As I was working out in the gym–got a crazy idea how about we analyze the analyzers. The cheers and thrashers in the blogging community. Do we have a winning spirit? Do we spread this to our Oilers team? Would the Oilers like to analyze the bloggers who spend hours going over their stats? Haha

    Analytics on the Blogging Community for This Post

    276 TRASH 625 CHEERS
    0.44 TRASH for Every 1 CHEERS

    Cheers overcome the Trash in the Oilers Community

    For those who have been Trashed by the Trashers always remember…
    “We are all in the gutter, and some of us are still looking up at the stars”

  • Athabascajim

    I’ve been an Oiler fan since 1972.
    I’m tired.
    Tired of watching pucks endlessly rimmed around the boards in the Oiler end to no one in particular. Or wildly slashing at the puck in a vain attempt to clear it out. Every team in the league has figured this out and pinches down to maintain pucks in the Oiler end. What’s wrong with a tape to tape pass? Or having a controlled breakout?
    I’m tired of watching players with no skill play in the top 6 and continually ruin good offensive rushes by dumping it in. (Korpokoski and Pakarinen come to mind.
    I’m tired of watching Oiler forwards lose every board battle.
    I’m tired of watching Oilers checkers continually being on the wrong side of the puck.
    I’m tired of watching Sekera shoot into shin pads on the pp.
    I’m tired of watching how little McDavid actually gets to carry the puck for entries on pp’s. A talent like this should have the pp built around him.
    These things can be fixed with coaching. Maybe we need coaches who are willing to fit a system to the players they have, and not try to fit the players to their system.
    Mostly I am just tired of watching this Oilers team not play to their potential.
    This team is yielding much less than the sum of the parts. Something is broken.

    • Oilerchild77

      Oh here we go with another “blame the coach” speech. Yeah, let’s start over yet again with another new coach because that’s worked out so well for them before. I think we’ve been through enough coaches to know that isn’t the problem. It’s players that aren’t listening that need to be shipped out. Also, they need more than 1 season under the same coaching staff to establish continuity in order to build an identity for the team. That’s what creates a winning culture.

      Coaching systems can be followed by ALL types of players if they are willing to listen and buy in. If they refuse to follow, get rid of them because they aren’t a team player. No more catering to players. Tried that and it’s been a disaster.

      • Athabascajim

        What’s wrong with trying to design a system to suit the players you have on the team? Maclellan’s system sure produced a lot of cups in San Jose didn’t it. Given the amount of skill on the Oilers it would be nice to see someone tap into it instead of trying to coach it out of them in favor of a risk averse defensive system. Can’t wait to see a team of Patrick Maroons grind our way to the playoffs and then go out in the first round every year. That’ll sell a lot of tickets.

        • Oilerchild77

          People who understand the fundamentals of hockey know that trying to cater to players who want to play their own way never works. The Oilers have been doing that forever. Until this season, they were letting their players do their own thing. It’s losing hockey Jim. The 80’s are over and you can’t win at the NHL level without playing a patient, disciplined team game.

          And by the way, Todd MacLellan is one of the best coaches in the NHL and he has forgotten more about hockey than most fans, including you and I, will ever know and, trust me, he and Chiarelli will not be catering to players. The days of letting players play however they want are over. One more thing, I would take a team full of Patrick Maroons that competes in a smart, disciplined way over a bunch of flashy skill that doesn’t fall in line any day.