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.


  • Rob...

    What channel is the game on? I can only find the frigging thing in the East Indian feed. SNW is showing the Shames, contrary to what the sidepane says.

    Edit: CBC corrected their feed.

  • Reg Dunlop

    What the Hell is going on here? A decade of being snot-bubbled by LA but tonight the oil are initiating the rough stuff? Pushing and face-washing after the whistle? WHERE ARE THE OILERS AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO THEM!?

    • madjam

      Toronto probably viewed the play as Brossoit interfering with Lucic by trying to trip him outside the blue paint . Surprised they did not give him a penalty for diving ? Lousy call anyways !

  • Glass

    Nice to see the Oilers play with authority this game. Initial thoughts are that we should give LB one more year in the AHL to round out the edges of his game, and find a more suitable back up in the meantime. That was totally goalie interference but I’m not surprised it didn’t go our way because #Oilers

      • bradleypi

        How am I trolling? In my opinion I’d rather see gazdic in the lineup policing against an obviously tougher kings squad than the invisible korpikoski. Explain how that’s trolling please?? And when you’re done I think you need to unbunch your panties. Grumpy gus….

  • Reg Dunlop

    I don’t think Brossoit is ready for prime time yet. He’s just guessing out there. Anyone notice Lucic doesn’t go near Nurse? He’s still catching his breath after their fight 4 months ago.

  • Oilitsinyoutogive

    I hate to be negative here, but I just don’t feel this guy between the pipes ever gives the oilers a chance to win. Maybe I just don’t see the game right but any time he starts we seem to already be playing behind. Not just tonight.

  • Oilers4ever

    When are the oilers gonna pull their heads of their asses and realize Brossoit is not ready yet… Or at least play him against weaker teams… Not the beasts of the west. Allowing 5 in two periods doesnt build confidence… If mgmt cant figure that out they have issues.

    • FireScorpion

      Read my game day prediction. The Coil needed to drop this one and made decisions accordingly. Crazy like a fox. Of course he’s not ready but Auston demands it..the same way McDavid demanded playing 82 games with only 2 NHL centers

      And of course Edmonton has no shame soo there’s your answer

          • FireScorpion

            Knew enough to know McFalseProphet wasn’t going to save you from last place..which I suppose puts me ahead of what..95% of Oilers fans?

            Oh but Matthews is the ticket eh? Lol

          • Oilers4ever

            No dumbass. real Oilers fans knew he wouldn’t be enough on his own. Hes good but even Gretz couldnt win games on his own without the other 19 showing up. Its a team effort moron.

            I will say that McDavid in the lineup makes them a different team. You really are a dumb ass if you dont know that. And if he’s not hurt all year the Oilers probably have 10-12 more points minimum…

            Besides… As long as the tanking Leafs exist we wont be last. 🙂

  • 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.

  • Spydyr

    I had mentioned this when the brought him up Brossoit should have been down in the AHL trying to help the Condors into the playoffs and gain some valuable experience. Instead he is in the NHL losing confidence by the minute.

    At that time I also stated he would be better served by spending next season the last season of his waiver exemption being the starter in the AHL instead of riding the pine in the show.

    We can only hope that the Oilers “Braintrust” has seen enough and procure a backup for next year. Giving Brossoit some more time to mature and develop his game.

  • 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.

  • Tikkanese

    “Talbot is the first goalie to get a shutout since Dubnyk. No wait that’s not right, he’s the first 20 goal scorer since one Devan Dubnyk. No wait that is wrong again, the first 20 goal scorer… no wait, the first 20… winner game goaltender. NAILED IT.”
    Drew Remenda

    Can they just fire this guy already… WOW