GDB 56.0 Wrap Up: Ban the CBA Breaks

That wasn’t very fun. Final Score: 5-1 Blackhawks

There were plenty of times over the past 10 years when Oilers fans would have loved a few CBA mandated weeks off, but with the team finally in the playoff hunt having a six-day wait between games felt like an eternity. To make matters worse, the Nation was saddled with a feeling of uncertainty in regards to how our boys in blue were going to perform in the first game back from whatever it was that they got up to doing during the break. These points are too important for the Oilers to be coming out flat. While they did have some jump to start the game, the Oilers didn’t do much to make their own lives any easier. 

With Chicago playing last night in Winnipeg, the Oilers had a chance to use their fresh legs to their advantage and get themselves back up and running on a better note than the last time they were off for a few days. Regardless of whether or not the Blackhawks were a “tired” team, Edmonton needed a strong effort from their entire lineup, to play a simple game, some strong goaltending and they needed all of it for 60 minutes. It was too much to ask. The game started out well enough with Patrick Maroon scoring the opening goal but the tides turned quickly as Chicago tied the game up within two minutes and ended up with the lead before the opening frame was over. What the Oilers may have gained in rest, they gave up in their ability to execute 

After taking the lead the Blackhawks never looked back. They worked the puck well through all three zones, took advantage of the Oilers’ generosity, and got sound goaltending from Scott Darling that carried them to victory. Make no mistake, the Oilers didn’t play well tonight and this was a game that they’re going to have to review and improve upon. They didn’t lose because of a lack of energy, they lost because they couldn’t overcome the warehouse worth of mistakes and giveaways that they presented to the Blackhawks on a silver platter. The Oilers were rusty in all three zones and even though they outshot Chicago their sloppiness repaid them with a loss. It’s not that they were completely outclassed in terms of effort, but the Oilers seemed to look for ways to shoot themselves in the foot. 

Wrap like Kanye.



  • Patrick Maroon scored his 19th goal of the season being getting himself to the front of the net and keeping himself ready for Connor to find him. McDavid gave an excellent second effort to strip the defenceman of the puck and set Pat Maroon up on a tee in the slot. 
  • Connor’s takeaway on the Maroon goal was so good it’s worth its own bullet point. Connor flew into the zone, stole the puck lick a bandit, and set Maroon up perfectly. Magic. 
  • Jordan Oesterle looked good again tonight as he continues to fill in for the injured Kris Russell.
  • It was good to see Matt Benning back in the lineup after getting crushed in that game in Carolina. He’s been a highlight of the season so far and the Oilers were lucky that he only missed the one game. 
  • You don’t see it often but Ryan Nugent-Hopkins dropped the gloves and chucked up with Hinostroza and handled himself quite well. The two players were chirping back and forth on the shift before the fight but I’m not sure I expected them to drop them. You can see the fight over on Nuge’s fight page at 
  • The Oilers were 57% in the faceoff circle which is a silver lining for a team that often struggles on the dot.
  • They outshot the Blackhawks 31-25 tonight.  
  • Louie DeBrusk was with Kevin Quinn tonight and I was a big fan of it. More Louie! Thank you.


Black Licorice

  • Richard Panik scored the tying goal under two minutes after Patrick Maroon opened the scoring with a seeing-eye single through traffic and past Talbot. The puck took a Chicago friendly bounce and beat the keeper to tie the game at one. Panik scored a second goal on the power play in the second period by banging home the loose puck on the third or fourth crack at it in tight. Talbot made the first couple saves but he couldn’t stop them all. 
  • Patrick Kane scored a power play goal from behind the goal line after he was able to bank the loose puck off of Talbot’s skate and just past the goal line. The Blackhawks got a few whacks at the puck from within a few feet and it was only on the third such chance that they were able to put the puck in the net. 
  • Oscar Klefbom got caught with a bad attempted pass on the breakout. Klefbom tried to feed the puck up to one of the forwards but it ended up pass through all of them right to Trevor van Riemsdyk and he made no mistake. 
  • Cam Talbot made his 50th start of the season tonight, and it wasn’t a great night but I don’t think it was as bad as the stats will tell you it was. Talbot didn’t get much help from the team in front of him, but there were also goals that he would like to have back. After missing practice yesterday you know there’s going to be a bunch of storylines that spin out from this over the course of the next few days and I’m not looking forward to it. Talbot was pulled after two periods and finished the night with 16 saves and a .800 save%.
  • Laurent Brossoit wasn’t overly busy in relief of Talbot but he did allow a scramble goal that wasn’t necessarily on him. Brossoit finished the night with four saves and a .800 save%. 
  • Edmonton allowed two power play goals which were a huge difference for the Blackhawks. Not good enough for the home side.
  • They only got the one chance but the Oilers couldn’t score on the power play to keep up with Chicago.
  • The NHL site has the Oilers with only 18 giveaways but I’d bet money on it being more than that. 
  • The Oilers were sloppy with the puck on too many occasions and it gave the Blackhawks more chances than they should’ve had. 



04:01 Edmonton Patrick Maroon (19) ASST: Connor McDavid (43) 0-1
05:49 Chicago Richard Panik (13) ASST: Nick Schmaltz (6), Brent Seabrook (25) 1-1
09:54 Chicago PPG – Patrick Kane (19) ASST: Richard Panik (13), Jonathan Toews (23) 2-1


08:37 Chicago Trevor van Riemsdyk (3) 3-1
18:26 Chicago PPG – Richard Panik (14) ASST: Jonathan Toews (24), Patrick Kane (38) 4-1


15:49 Chicago Artem Anisimov (20) ASST: Patrick Kane (39), Brian Campbell (10) 5-1


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  • jdh10899

    Think Eberle needs to see a game from the press box. Benching him literally cannot hurt whatsoever. Has a 6M player ever been this invisible for this long?.

    • ricardo2000

      As usual, the Defence wasn’t capable, people forgot how to skate preferring to reach out with a useless stick, scoring happens in front of the net, the Oilers gave up, the 6 million dollar men aren’t worth it.

      Do any of these people want to be in Edmonton when McD’s lightning finally strikes?

      Will McD sign a long-term contract if he has to carry losers on his back for the rest of his career?

  • KMA

    The Oil need to man up and get engaged if they expect to do anything in the playoffs.

    And props to Nuge for dropping the gloves, but please don’t do that again.

  • Namudi

    You know how they say, seeing Mcdavid live is totally different then seeing him on tv? Well lucic isn’t any faster live than on tv if anything, tv does him justice it’s like watching someone trying to skate through sludge.

  • Stack Pad Save

    I think the Oilers need a wake up call top to bottom. Trade to shake up the line up. Cagullia needs some AHL time. I think McDavid needs more some speed on his line to keep up with him. I’d love to see a Maroon Drai Lucic line to see how much havoc they could cause.

    • LOOCH

      Lucic cant play on mcdavids line. Hes slow as molasses and a cry baby when he gets moved off his line. His best game was against nashville when he levelled that guy and played with some grit. Other games not so much. Not sure whats wrong with the guy. Maybe they told him not to get penalties?

      • LOOCH

        Hope you’re reading this big guy. Start hitting and fighting like you used to or this oilers contract will be bought out so fast itll make your head spin>

      • S cottV

        McL has blended just about everything but, what seems to me – to be the most logical thing to try.

        Maroon McD Nuge

        Lucic Drai Kassian

        Pouliot Cagguilla Eberle

        Surely everybody gets that Nuge is struggling vs top end match ups? Ace two way shut down the top line C? Fake News that has been going on for a long time. On the other hand – he might fit in well with McD’s support.

        Get Drai playing less cute and get him serving up o zone possession hockey with two guys that need it that way. Not sure anyone has noticed but Kass is playing pretty well. Don’t put Eberle in this spot for crying out loud.

        The third might just be able to generate net positive offence vs 3rd line match ups. Sure as hell are not scoring in the realm of top 6.

        It’s actually getting pretty stupid that this hasn’t been at least given a look.

        Agree with prior poster – PC has to bring in reinforcements, the sooner the better. Top 6 power RW, 3C, a RH d man who can shoot.

        • Randaman

          I like the first line combinations but I think that third line will bleed goals. Besides, why destroy Cagguilla’s confidence playing him with those two bums?

  • Jiff

    That was just a great game to watch after no hockey for five days… brutal. Now we go 9 games in the next 18 days?! Ridiculous. this team gives me headaches.

  • S cottV

    Don’t like and really never have liked the way McL handles the lines.

    Who plays with who, the constant blending, who gets elevated and who doesn’t – etc etc.

    • giddy

      Yeah, I don’t get it sometimes.

      27-97-14 never worked well. I understand shuffling the lines to try to get something going in the third, but why on earth did it resort to THAT line? Seriously, try anyone else with McDavid. Heck, throw 42-97-93 together before putting 27-97-14 together again…

  • Heschultzhescores

    I’m tired of the reasons/excuses used for playing like crap.

    We had too long off…
    We played back-to-back…
    It was an afternoon game…
    3 games in 4 nights…
    Travel is killing us…and on and on

    How about just play and quit making excuses.

    • Stack Pad Save

      I thought the same thing when I heard McLellan was worried about coming off the long break. I hate it when he builds the excuse in before the game has even happened. His line juggling and excuse making displeases me.

  • Oiler Al

    Two goalies come up with an outstanding SV%800 and the rest of the boys come up with a grand total of 1 stinking goal.!!!
    This is a terrible mix of players. Something very wrong with the way this team plays.Why is Pouliot even on the ice, he hasnt scored in 25 games? Why is the 4 th line klling penalities,when they were on the ice for 3 Chicago goals.

  • slats-west

    A few thoughts….

    – wow was that team out of position all night, every player decided to go “swarm” .. damn you NHL CBA agreement mandatory break

    – a lot of players along for a good coast tonight 14, 67, 55, 51 etc .. it’s amazing how some guys play like this when Chicago was playing 3 Rd game in 4 nights …….if I was McL with that soft forward line up I would told every Oilers we are having 3 solid hits per shift …Blackhawks would have folded like a cheap tent.

    – how does a 3rd and 4th line not play with energy every night and every shift? Its like 8-10 minutes of flipping playing time?!!!! You can’t go full out for 8 minutes over the course of 2 hours and 30 minutes … truly baffling

    – lots of rumbling about unprotecting Dion from Ottawa for expansion draft as supposedly no one would touch his salary ….. heh Chia any thoughts on doing that on #14

  • crabman

    That was a stinker and I get that everyone is pretty upset. But the sky isn’t falling. The Oilers are on a bad run 1-4 and they are all a bunch of bums. But before this they were 7-1 and people were talking about adding at the deadline and making a run. It’s the same team. Same thing happened to open the season. They are young and have been the laughing stock of the league for a long time. There will be streaks good and bad until they learn to be more consistent. It will come. Until then I don’t get too high when they are winning or too low when they are losing.

  • RJ

    During the last ten years, my biggest pet peeve with the team has been their ability to play well for one or two games. Then it seems like they get satisfied, and expect the other teams to just quit. Then they go on a losing streak.

    They’ve changed out how many players on this team and they still seem to play like that. Play well against the Sharks and Ducks and then dump a bunch of games.

  • TruthHurts98

    4 goals in the last five games. Excuses galore about breaks, but the contenders don’t have these same issues. PC has his work cut out for him or the playoffs… yeah. I hope they figure it out soon. 22 million tied up in 4 players that are completely worthless is killing this team.

  • camdog

    It’s no coincidence that the Oilers are struggling since they promoted Lucic off of the third line to the second line. Lucic and Eberle can’t play together. It’s been evident while watching the games and Wood Guy has the numbers to prove the analysis.

    As well out of the doom and gloom I thought Osterle played a pretty good game. Not only did he play better than Davidson he did it on his right side if not mistaken. Benning too me looked like he was still banged up.

    It should also be noted that the game changed when RNH made that cross check that got him that interference penalty at the 9 minutes mark of the first.

    • S cottV

      It was actually a Nuge double whammy on the first two Hawks goals.

      On the first – Nuge fails to make a simple play. Mark closely to the trailer. As he often does – Nuge goes to the wrong guy and gives up an unnecessary trailer pot shot – with net front presence.

      Dumb penalty on the 2nd.

      • camdog

        I’d like to see what Lander could do with 2 wingers that are fairly good skaters. He has proven that he can think the game at an NHL level. As to Cagguila I wouldn’t even mind him on Lander’s wing. I like Cagguila’s game I just don’t know if I like it is good enough to be centering the third line.

      • I am Batman

        Caggiula and Slepy both need to go to the A.

        They’re not ready for prime time. Hopefully Pitluck is back soon. For now not a lot can be done

        As for Eberle- I know the problem is who you draw in but he is irrelevant out there anyways so vs Arizona I’d healthy scratch him so that he gets that being lazy and self entitled doesn’t work for this team, even if we struggle to win that game he isn’t making a difference. Nuge at least cares.

        So…. Eberle scratched bring up someone from the A, get Hendricks back in , promote Kass Get Poo with McDavid, Poo can setup McDavid (we saw it last year)

        Poo – McD – Nuge

        Maroon-Drai- Kass

        Lucic- Caggiula – Slepy

        Hendricks- lander – Letestu

        • S cottV

          Agree with Cagguila and Slep in the A.

          They have to try harder to make something better happen with Lucic. I still believe that given the right line mates and the right o zone strategy, Lucic would look a lot better.

          Lucic with Nuge, Eberle, Cagguila, Slep? Really – is pretty stupid on McL’s part. None of those guys are willing to and or capable of – sustained o zone possession.

          Have never been a Pouliot supporter, so – I would switch Poo and Lucic.

          • S cottV

            Actually – Maroon should stay with McD.

            Lucic with Drai and Pouliot on the 3rd.

            Drai can slow things down for Lucic and is big enough to play a cycle puck protecting game.

          • Stack Pad Save

            I actually like Slepy’s game. I think he pushes the puck in the right direction. His main issue has been playing with Letestu and Hendricks. Both of them are too slow for the NHL. Letestu has been hot garbage on the power play lately and needs to come off it. He doesn’t even win enough draws to warrant it anymore.

            IMHO the lines should be:

            Maroon – McDavid – Nuge

            Lucic – Drai – Eberle

            Pou – Lander – Slep (SOFT MATCHUPS)

            Caggulia – Letestu – Kassian

            If one of lines 3 or 4 wasn’t pushing hard, banging and causing havoc they sit and play at most 1 shift a period.

    • I am Batman

      It takes two to tango… unless it’s from Arizona or Colorado nobody is in a rush to move players, so many teams still in the race, especially in the east.

      And even if Arizona and Colorado want to move people…. isn’t the smartest thing to do is wait for the strongest offer? If I’m a GM and I get a call from Chia, I listen, but I don’t give him anything until March 1, and with so many buyers and only two clear sellers….patience is going to be key

  • btrain

    At least they didn’t expel too much energy for a game they were likely going to be rusty for. Honestly, you can expect a handful of turds to be laid throughout the season. This may only be the 4th or 5th game they had no buisness showing up for. Huge improvement from any season in recent memory. I’m already passed this one given the circumstances, on to the next.

    • I am Batman

      The last 5 games (even with the win in Montreal) have been brutal.

      No scoring, no swagger, not even fun games. Spankings like yesterday’s are expected but can’t be accepted after basically 2 weeks of not showing up and in our own house.

      Someone needs to get mad, someone needs to get angry when they lose like this and needs to kick things around and drive forward. McDavid is the quiet type, Lucic is only talk….we know the story with some of the other “kids”… wonder if Nurse will be that guy that will drive emotion.

      • Oilerchild77

        You’re right. Someone needs to get mad and I think it should be the coach. The good thing is, he sounded plenty pissed after the game. The media got the reserved, edited version of events but I would bet my life he gave the unedited version to the players good and loud in the locker room.

    • OTOF2

      “At least they didn’t expel too much energy”.

      Seriously? They just had a week off and you think it was good that they saved energy? Most stupid thing I have read in a while.

      • btrain

        That line was meant in sarcasm but I can see how it may have been taken differently.

        Seriously though, people need to chill and stop jumping on this emotional Rollercoaster by living and dying with every game. Big picture, a handful of beat downs over the year happens to every team. Just so happens the Oilers are most vulnerable to a beat down after time off. Which is probably similar for most teams.

    • I am Batman

      You are alive! You know about stinkers in HNIC….

      The Shames laid four of them … all against the Oilers…

      I hope the Shames fail to make the playoffs by 1 point and that you are well aware that they gave up 8 against the Oilers.

      Going to be a wild ride for you son.

      • FlamesFanOtherCity

        The last stretch for the Flames is against the Pacific powerhouses. The BOA games are an interesting footnote on the season, more from the egg-laying they did than being beaten by am elite team.

        Since this is an ON thread, the Oilers need to look at recent performances as a barometer of their chances of making the playoffs. Losses to MIN, NSH, CAR and CHI, with the only win being a SO win over MTL. Some of them were against teams on the 2nd game of a B2B.

        Upcoming games will give you a good idea of whether the playoffs are in reach. Home games against ARI and PHI, followed by a long stretch of road games. Anything less than 500 hockey in this stretch could be disastrous.

        • I am Batman

          You are right. It’s sad that you are but you are.

          The Oilers need to win 3 in the next 5 to keep good pace.

          In my opinion they need to aim for 3rd in the pacific, if they get complacent and try to settle for a wild card they might have another thing coming. It’s tight down there…

          As for the Shames…. I know little about their real chances, I just hope those pacific power houses don’t just roll over and underestimate them

      • KenBone18

        I got some sunshine while your team was stinking it up against Minny (who the Flames beat), Nashville and Carolina.

        Don’t be Jelly – soon the Oilers will pull out and the flames will slide on in.

  • Dreadguy

    Oh man, I love Anton Lander for what he brings: work ethic, faceoffs, passion, great leader and role model in the AHL, etc… Holy crap balls he is slow. Is he getting even slower? Did anyone else see the clear cut shorthanded 2 on 1 that Lander and Nuge got? It ended up being a 2 on 3 because two Hawks players who started behind Lander beat him into the zone. I hate to say it, but he doesn’t even have the bare minimum of footspeed to be in the NHL. People wonder why his NHL numbers are crap? It’s because he can’t ever be in a situation where he has to catch someone. He always has to be on the d-side of the play, even in the offensive zone. If he had more speed, he would be a fantastic 3-4 centre.

    ***I was equal parts excited and terrified when “Knuckles” Nuge dropped the mitts. Good job!

      • Dreadguy

        So Lander’s wheels are fine in your opinion? Sorry, not buying it. If they were he would be the 3-4 C on the team. Instead, he’s in the AHL (again, as of today).