GDB 78.0: ROADHOUSE BLUES

The Edmonton Oilers are in Los Angeles tonight and based on the previous results (Edmonton is 0-4 against LAK this year, being outscored 15-8 in those four games) OilersNation should not enter the evening confident. One thing we can look for tonight? LAK are probably closer to Peter Chiarelli’s vision of the Oilers than the current Oilers.

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The Kings send giants in waves, their forwards are barely contained by boards and glass and opposition defenders are merely shrapnel. Even their skill guys—Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty—are damned difficult to play against. The Oilers, in their current incarnation, also have a difficult time playing against the Kings (record above is proof) because of their lack of experience. Young players, especially defensemen, often make poor decisions with Milan Lucic bearing down on them like a runaway train.

CHIARELLI’S PLAN

Peter Chiarelli’s plan is to make the Oilers more like the Kings, and his old Bruins. Those teams have plenty of skill, but they are also:

  • Big and aggressive in all areas (forecheck, backcheck, PK, hitting, and they are a little filthy)
  • Agitating
  • Punishing
  • Strong, strong, strong up the middle

We can see it in the additions of Eric Gryba, Zack Kassian and Patrick Maroon—but we have not yet seen it at center, which is about the summer. We can see it in the addition of Griffin Reinhart last summer, the elevation of Darnell Nurse to the NHL and his being kept despite struggles over much of the season.

We can also see it in the new rivalry with the San Jose Sharks. The last time I remember San Jose and Edmonton having bad blood, Raffi Torres was looking innocent and Milan Michalek was not doing well. Before that? Dougie Weight was heading off the ice and Bryan Marchment was swearing—and that folks was around the turn of the century.

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What does that mean for this summer? Well, tonight the Kings will ice Milan Lucic, and the former Bruins winger is a free agent this summer. If he comes available, I think it is reasonable to suggest Peter Chiarelli will pursue him with extreme prejudice. In fact, even a player like Kris Versteeg—who has missed the last three games—offers the kind of grit/skill package Chiarelli valued highly in Boston (and is procuring for Edmonton).

Bottom line: When you are watching the Kings tonight, imagine that style with men like McDavid, Hall, Draisaitl, Klefbom and Sekera driving the offense. That’s the template, I believe.

I am putting this here, so Wanye doesn’t have to.

Along with all of the other terrific things about this young man, he is a hockey fan and hung around on day two of the draft to see where his friends went in the selection. I wonder if Dylan Strome, Nick Betz and Alex Debrincat end up as Oilers down the line.

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PROJECTED LINEUPS

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Oilers lineup courtesy of DailyFaceoff.com

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Kings lineup courtesy of DailyFaceoff.com

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QUICK HITS

  • How on earth are the Oilers going to employ all of these left-handed defensemen next season? We assume that Oscar Klefbom, Brandon Davidson, Darnell Nurse and Griffin Reinhart will play next year, and with Andrej Sekera, that’s a lot of lefties! Suspect we will see some trade movement among these names.
  • How much of this summer will be spent addressing defense? Well, I think the Oilers could go into next season with this forward group, Talbot and a substantial backup, and be considered a strong playoff contender IF the defense is sound. Big if, but that will be the summer—along with that big center I suspect Peter Chiarelli has in mind to replace the Nuge.
  • I will be doing some draft work in April for ON, interested to know if you prefer spotlights (entire article on one player) or overviews? Let me know.
  • If the Oilers can win tonight or on Monday, they will have their second .500 month of the year.
  • Edmonton’s goal differential (-37) is no longer league worst. The Vancouver Canucks have passed them with a steaming pile of bad in recent games.

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING

  • Jewels From the Crown: The Kings’ coaching and dedication to system has certainly yielded
    results. They’ve been the top Corsi For percentage team in the NHL four
    years running. In the 2011-2012 season, they were second only to
    Detroit, and only by a tenth of a percent. Source

GAME DAY PREDICTION

GameDay

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Kings—who have lost three in a row—come out firing in the first period and take a 1-0 lead. A chippy game turns ugly with some vicious hits and stick retaliations.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Kings pop two more early in the second period and the game settles in to a typical NHL ‘running out the clock’ game by midway through the second. A late goal by Nail Yakupov on the power play gives the visitors some hope.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION:

The Oilers shock the Kings (and the world) by scoring twice in a very physical third period, with Taylor Hall scoring the tying goal just before getting leveled by Drew Doughty. The Kings win it in overtime on a Tyler Toffoli snipe. It is a helluva game, and postgame comments are somewhat similar to recent San Jose Sharks’ players comments—indicating the battle has been joined, if not in the standings, then in the games at least.


  • JimmyV1965

    I know this is totally off topic and idle speculation, but would ON trade Hall and a salary dump like fayne or someone to Islanders for Hamonic and Lee or Nelson? I’m looking at the east and its either Bruins of Isles not making playoffs. Luv Hall, but just spit balling an idea.

  • FireScorpion

    Obvious Game Day Prediction

    The Oilers go into the day finding themselves having moved up in the standings from DEAD LAST to 29th and feeling nervous about losing lottery percentage points for Auston immediately do the appropriately Oilers thing and bend over in an attempt to settle back into “Edmontonth” as opposed to 29th.

    Ahhh the tank is strong with these ones

  • The Last Of Barrett's Privateers

    LT.

    Then you listen to T-Mac talk about RNH and you become instantly confused.

    If the Oilers can get Backes then ya, I can see RNH moving.

    If you get Lucic, then I see Hall moving too.

    That forward group could get gutted this summer.

    • fasteddy

      Ya because getting rid of 23 yr olds entering their prime years for players entering the down side of their careers would be such a smart thing to do…..

      • Spydyr

        Almost as smart as going into every season for the last decade without a top pairing on defence.Everyone has been playing two spots to high in the batting order.That has to be addressed this summer.

  • Hockeyfan

    The 2016 version of tank continues. Such a proud tradition by such a proud franchise. Good job Broissoit. Glad flames dumped him. What’s Talbot at last 5 games.892 sv%. HAHA. Joke of NHL. Joke team.

    • Oilers4ever

      Seems to me you should worry about your own sad sack team whos losing tonight and took a huge nose dive of 20 points plus from last. Pundits at the start of this season were right when they called the Flameless ones out on their abundance of fluky 3rd period comebacks and late game heroics last year. Clearly it caught up to them based on this years performance. And Talbot is 2.52 GAA and a save percentage of.913. Whats your flunky at. Hes also better than that over the last 5.

      Stop drinking the Flameless ones koolaid. Its affecting what little hockey knowledge you had to begin with.

  • FireScorpion

    Ah yes Johnny Hockey, the pint sized, 7th in league scoring in his 2nd season, one of the couple most exciting players in the World, lowly 4th round pick that you feel threatens Connor leading you to spout Connor is better every 2 days.

    Get back to me when Connor scores a hatty, or pots a pair of goals in 10 seconds or does something other than lead his team to the league basement…
    In response to insecure Socaldave

    • Mooseroni

      Wow that was a good draft pick you made for Johnny! Lol your comments drip of jealousy. What will happen when the flames have to move back to Atlanta? Or do you still think they’re going to build that arena?

      • Spydyr

        I would trade Eberle plus and Yak plus for defensive help. The top three pick should replace some of the offense and perhaps bring even more defence.

        I would even trade Hall for defensive help but the return would have to be fabulous.

        Pick up another top 6 forward as a UFA there are some good ones available.

        • RJ

          I think they need to get that top defender right away, be it Hamonic or someone else.

          I’d love to see them pick up a centre, even if he has to play on the wing.

  • bradleypi

    Not sure how this loss is getting pinned on LB. Lucic has been physically overwhelming all game and a huge factor. Creamed Hendricks in the corner early, interfered with LB on the 2nd goal and then punched maroon on the chin a couple times. No answer from the oilers. Only goal I’d maybe blame on LB was the goal mouth scramble and even then it looked like Reinhart stepped on the puck before LB could cover it. Just another case of the kings are way better than the oilers and their small ahl defense.

    • Oilers4ever

      No insult here… But LB laid on the ice like a beached whale and made no attempt to even try and stand up quickly to have a chance. Talbot makes that save. Just sayin. LB isnt ready and anyone who thinks he is knows jack crap about this game.

      • bradleypi

        Has talbot beat the kings this year?? Just cause you say talbot would make that save doesn’t make it true. The oilers aren’t very good. Maybe go back and read Lowetides gbd and tell me how many goals the kings have scored in 4 games against the oil this year. They are physically dominating the oilers tonight. Same old same old

    • socaldave

      Appreciate what you’re getting at, but too many times LB’s been lost at sea – losing pucks, not great puck awareness, poor rebound control… He just seems to be a half-second behind, which, we all know, is waaaaaaaaaaaay too slow. Too early to say if he’ll come good, mate – he’s just not there yet.

  • Explicit

    “How on earth are the Oilers going to employ all of these left-handed defensemen next season. We assume that Oscar Klefbom, Brandon Davidson, Darnell Nurse and Griffin Reinhart will play next year, and with Andrej Sekera, that’s a lot of lefties! Suspect we will see some trade movement among these names”

    This is what interests me. The only guy I would trade is Reinhart, but I don’t see getting the same value you gave up for him, I guess you can play him in the AHL next year. But Sekera is a good veteran, Klefbom is Klefbom, Nurse bring a little nasty, and Davidson does everything for cheap! I wouldn’t trade any of them. This is going to be an interesting summer

    • IronX

      “Klefbom is Klefbom ” what does that mean?

      If it means he is “very good” , I’m skeptical of that, I haven’t seen him enough in the NHL, and neither have you. People need to stop assessing players on “potential ”

      Did anybody check who was the oiler with the most hits last game, doubling hits on the second one? Yep, it was Reinhardt…. Hits open space and make you think twice about doing something stupid, plus, kid is settling down. And he stays healthy….

      If the right trade comes along, bye bye to Klefbom, no questions asked…. Kid plays a third each season!

      • Ed in Edmonton 1

        I one had just seen the last few Oilers games and knew nothing of the players other than what you saw in these games, Reinhart would be considered the better choice vs Nurse.

      • crabman

        Klefbom has a staf incection this year and broke his leg another. Both were long term non related and non reocurring innuries. People were crying to trade Hall because he missed too many games his first few seasons too. I’m not concerned about Klefbom’s health just yet but I do agree with all these LHD if the right trade comes along almost anyone is tradable

    • fran huckzky

      Since Reinhart has been back up he has been one of their more steady dmen and has been chomping fairly high minutes . The Oil said he needed to become more aggressive and he is now frequently leading the team in hits. Just because some of you didn’t like the trade it doesn’t mean you should hold it over the kid’s head for the rest of his career.

        • Oilerchild77

          Muffin, huh? I’d like to see you block one of Reinhart’s shots, or take a hit in the corner from him. You’d cry yourself off the ice like a 6 year old girl.

          • #1 overall waivers pick

            You’re turning Reinhart into some sort of legend. With one slap shot or hit in the corner, Zeus Reinhart can make grown men cry like little girls.

            Maybe we should pitch that line to the Blues. Sell them on the power of Zeus Reinhart and offer him up for Colton Parayko.

            We all know that the Blues would not make that trade. At the end of the day, Reinhart is not Zeus, he’s a muffin.

            32gp 0G 2A 02Pts

          • Oilerchild77

            I’m not turning him into a legend, I’m just calling out a sh!t talking idiot like you who thinks he knows how to evaluate NHL talent.

            Tell you what, since you think you know so much, why don’t you apply to become a pro scout for the Oilers and show them all how great your powers of observation are?

    • pkam

      Play the LHD on the right side, it is not a mystery and many teams are doing that. It is not ideal but it is not the end of the world like some of you think.

      If I remember correctly, Klefbom played on the right side with OEL in the last World Championship.

      Davidson has been playing on the right side for quite a while this season.

      And Reinhart has been playing on the right side too.