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Photo Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

GDB 66.0: No Dead Weight

Tonight, the Edmonton Oilers will face one of the most prolific scoring ex-Oilers, but it won’t be on the ice. Doug Weight, the last Oilers player to score 90 points in a season, will face his former team for the first time as a head coach.

Weight is 13-6-3 after taking over as Interim head coach on January 17th. He is also still the assistant general manager. Weight was a great leader and communicator as a player and his Islanders players feel he has the same traits as a head coach.

He can relate to the stars like John Tavares, and he respects the role players.

Weight is the 5th former Oilers to coach against them.

Colin Campbell coached the Rangers from 1995-1998.
Ron Low also coached the Rangers in 2001-2002.
Wayne Gretzky coached the Coyotes between 2006-2009.
Adam Oates coached the Capitals in 2013-14

Campbell had the most success making the playoffs the first three years and winning at least one round every year, and he led them to the Conference Final in 1997.

Weight has had some early success and the Islanders have vaulted up the standings since he took over. The Islanders had 42 points on January 17th and were 8th points out of the playoffs. Fast forward to today and the Islanders have 71 points and hold down the second Wildcard spot.

They are one point ahead of Toronto and two points up on Florida and Tampa Bay. They are in a dog fight for the playoffs, and after a brutal first period, or more specifically a terrible stretch of 4:40 when they allowed four goals in the final five minutes of the period the Islanders spoke about needing a rebound performance tonight.

“You can’t afford lapses like we had in Calgary,” said Weight. Many of the players echoed the same sentiment. Even with their improved play with Weight running the bench the Islanders have still had some brutal performances.

They got crushed 7-1 by Toronto on Valentine’s Day, and Columbus crushed them 7-0 on February 25th. When they play bad they are really bad, but in 18 of Weight’s 22 games the Islanders have played very well.

The Oilers are rested, this is only their 2nd game in the past seven days, and the extra practice time has allowed them to sharpen up specific areas of their game. Even the best players in the world need a reminder and the Oilers looked very crisp vs. Detroit on Saturday.

LINEUP

Oilers

No lineup changes for tonight’s game.

Benoit Pouliot was cleared for contact and he is getting closer to returning. He might be available Friday, but Sunday would seem more likely.

Islanders

Defensive Pairings
Nick Leddy
Nick Leddy
Scott Mayfield
Scott Mayfield
Thomas Hickey
Thomas Hickey
Travis Hamonic
Travis Hamonic
Calvin de Haan
Calvin de Haan
Dennis Seidenberg
Dennis Seidenberg
Goalies
Thomas Greiss
Thomas Greiss

Former Oilers Jason Chimera is having another solid season late in his career. He has eleven goals in his past 25 games and is up to 16 on the season. The 37-year-old is still one of the fastest players in the league and is showing no signs of slowing down.

QUICK HITS

  • “He is a lot louder now,” laughed Weight when asked about Chimera. Chimera played one game with Weight in Edmonton before Weight was traded to St.Louis. “He never stops talking now, but that is good because we have a quiet room. He is always upbeat and he’s been a great leader for us,” continued Weight discussing Chimera.

  • Chimera is a great success story from Millwoods hockey. He recently played his 1000 NHL game and he is showing no signs of slowing down. He is a really good guy, and one of the fastest talkers I’ve ever met.

  • Another Edmonton product, Johnny Boychuk, won’t play tonight for NYI. He is still day-to-day according to Weight.

  • The Islanders haven’t won in Edmonton in 14 years, since March 13th, 2003. Of course they’ve only played six times since: 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2014-2016, but the Oilers have dominated the all-time series in Edmonton going 22-8-5.

TONIGHT…

(Photoshop: @TomKostiuk)

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers win their fourth consecutive home game and extend the Islanders road losing streak in Edmonton to seven games with a 5-2 victory.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Lucic scores. He has 12 career goals vs. the Islanders, the most against any NHL opponent.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The revamped Nation launched today. It looks fantastic. In honour of the new site Wayne goes back in time and pulls out Ghost Ride the Whip after the game to celebrate the Oilers reaching 80 points for only the third time in the history of Oilersnation. Many new readers are inspired by the video and decide to shoot their own and send them to Wanye in hopes he plays them when the Oilers reach 90 points for the first time. It is indeed glorious times for Wanye and the loyal readers of the Nation.

Recently by Jason Gregor:

  • Señor Frijoles

    Fans that stand up and turn around with their arms up to face the camera should be escorted from their sweet rink side seats and executed outside the stadium.

  • 1_4theMoney

    Honest question… do you guys get sick of the constant circle jerk about McDavid on the broadcasts? There is zero in-game analysis, just Connor this….Connor that

  • Not a First Tier Fan

    Really disappointing game – especially after seeing them play on Saturday. For whatever reason they changed their strategy back to this loser game of trying to make the prettiest pass instead of simply dumping pucks at the net…

    At this point of the year that’s on the coaches. Either the coaching staff aren’t pointing this out to them or they’re bringing it up and the team isn’t listening.

  • Not a First Tier Fan

    Well there you go… I guess the boys weren’t going to win all 18 games to wind out the season but it’s tough to lose like they did tonight. They simply didn’t look like a playoff team out there and instead looked like a bunch of jerks hamming it up for the highlight reel.

    Power plays (or lack of) told the story tonight. Islanders cached in on theirs while the Oilers looked like the three stooges on their two opportunities. Fire Woodcroft. For realsies.

    Personally I think tonight showed why it was smart to wait and not trade away the farm for an expensive rental this year. The immaturity of the team was in full display and it was tough to watch. For sure Connor was buzzing all over the place and every time he touched the puck you were holding your breath – but he almost never shot the thing… instead always trying to make that one extra pass. Other than that the best line on the ice was Kassian, Caggiula and Desharnais… easy.

    Anyways they better pick up their socks cause they play one of the best in the league next and it will be a miracle if they’re not dropped down to a wildcard position by Friday.

    Ugh. That game left a bitter taste…

    • Anton CP

      It is joyful and frustrating watching McDavid at times. He is no doubt always going to be the best player on ice but at the same time that he just won’t shoot the damn puck.

      • MMAX

        I’m thinking McLennan should start implementing a series of fines, mainly for Conner and Leon for one too many passes instead of shooting. Come on guys, you walk in with a clear shot and dump it off into traffic??? Not good.

  • Rob...

    I stopped watching fairly early into this POS. The refs showed no interest in following the rule book. At that point this sorry excuse for a game becomes really unappealing.

    • Not a First Tier Fan

      Would it honestly have mattered if they did use their whistles? Oilers had two chances to the Islanders one and spent the whole time chasing the puck and regrouping in their own zone. Very little zone pressure applied.

  • Oiler Al

    Said it before……you are not going to win too many games ,scoring one goal.Again McLellan doesnt have the team well prepared.Turn overs and terrible special teams.

  • 813.52

    Bad advice by your designers on the new site. Too much crap going on in all directions is distracting and takes away from flow of conversation. Long line lengths are hard to read. Eyes are bouncing all over the place.

    Sometimes less is more.