67
Photo Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

A Cure for an Ailing Offence?

The Oilers offence has become the butt of every joke.

“They couldn’t score in a brothel,” seems accurate.

“They couldn’t run a bath,” is fitting.

“Their offence is about as useful as an ashtray on a motorcycle,” is stingily true.

Despite only scoring eight goals in four road games, the Oilers managed to go 2-1-1 on the trip, and outside of a grotesquely inept offence, the rest of their game was quite good.

But they need a cure for their struggling offence.

The Oilers are on pace to score 183 goals. To put that in perspective, the fewest goals they scored during the Decade of Darkness was 191 in 2011, 192 in 2007, and 193 in 2015.

In 2009/2010, when they finished 30th in the NHL, they scored 206 goals. Was that team more offensively talented than this group? Here is the lineup.

Player          GP      G      A     PTS
Penner         82     32    31      63
Gagner         68     15    26      41
Brule            65      17    20      37
Horcoff         77     13    23      36
O’Sullivan     73     11     23      34
Visnovsky     57     10    22      32  (traded to Anaheim)
Potulny         64     15     17      32
Gilbert          82       5    26       31
Cogliano       82     10     18      28
Nilsson         60      11    16       27
Hemsky        22       7     15       22
Comrie          43      13     8       21
Grebeshkov  47      6     13       19  (traded to Nashville)
Moreau         76      9       9       18
Pouliot          35      7       7        14
Souray          37      4       9       13
Stortini          77      4       9       13
Whitney        19      3        8      11  (acquired from ANA)
Jacques        49      4       7       11
Smid              51      1        8       9
Pisani            40       4      4       8
Staios            40       0      7       7  (traded to Calgary)
Johnson        19       3       4       7  (acquired from CGY)
Stone             27       0      6       6
Strudwick      72       0      6       6
Chorney        42       0      3       3
Reddox          9         0      2       2
McDonald      2         1       0       1
Jones             8         1       0       1 (waiver claim)

Ales Hemsky, their most offensively talented player, only played 22 games. Mike Comrie played 43. They weren’t blessed with an abundance of pure offensive players, but they found ways to score.

They scored 206 goals on 2,331 shots. They had a team SH% of 8.9%. And no, the bottom six wasn’t playing with a centre as gifted as Leon Draisaitl or Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. They were 28th overall in SF, but still found ways to tickle the twine.

Sixteen different players had at least one powerplay goal. Injuries were a major reason they had so many different PP combinations, but different players, who weren’t powerplay specialists, found ways to score.

This group was 17.5% on the PP. They had 52 goals in 301 chances.

GET GRITTY, PAY THE PRICE

Jan 16, 2017; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers left winger Jujhar Khaira (54) celebrates his first NHL goal against the Arizona Coyotes during the second period at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Walter Tychnowicz-USA TODAY Sports

The 2017/2018 Oilers have not been gritty enough around the net. Jujhar Khaira’s rebound goal last night was the first “in the paint” goal from the bottom six ALL effing year! That is inexcusable, and to me, adding a top-six right winger won’t solve that problem. It needs to be solved from within.

The Oilers offence is a paper champion right now.

They are third in the NHL in shots per game at 35.8.

They are second in CF% at 55.25. They are first in Fenwick For% at 55.17%.

Here are some more 5×5 stats for their offence.

They are outshooting the opposition 480-417, but they’ve been outscored 30-26.
They have out-chanced their opponents 454-361, but been outscored 25-23
In”High Danger” scoring chances they lead 179-139, but have been outscored 14-13.

But — and this is a massive but — they are last in goals scored with 38. They are last in goals per game at 2.23.

Their power play is 24th at 14.9%. They have one powerplay goal in their last five games. Their best players get all the PP time and they can’t score consistently.

The Oilers team SH% is 6.3%, dead last in the NHL. Even if they were equal to the last place 2010 Oilers in SH% at 8.9, which would be 20th in the NHL now, they would have 16 more goals.

Imagine how much better their record would be with 16 more goals. I’m not asking them to suddenly finish every chance, but to just bear down on some and be 20th in the NHL with a 8.9SH%.

This should not be too much to ask for this group. Asking them to score at a rate equivalent to the 2010 Oilers isn’t asking a lot in my eyes.

WHAT TO FIX?

Nov 23, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (97) and left wing Milan Lucic (27) celebrate the goal of center Leon Draisaitl (29) in the third period against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. The Oilers won 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s start with the power play, because the first unit is the same as the one who led the Oilers PP last year. You know, the one which clicked at 22.9%.

The Oilers need to pay the price more,  bring some urgency and, for goodness sakes, adapt to what the penalty kill is doing.

I know it sounds cliche and simple, but I don’t buy that it’s just bad luck. The powerplay rarely looks dangerous, even when they don’t score. Connor McDavid is an incredible player, but he only has nine shots on the powerplay. He did score his first PP goal of the season versus the Rangers, so maybe that will get him shooting more, but he has the puck so much on the PP and teams are playing off him and not respecting his shot. He needs to start firing to keep them honest.

Just get the PP to be average (18.6% is 16th overall), and the Oilers will win more games. That isn’t very much. I’m not asking for them to suddenly become elite on the powerplay, just be close to the league average.

The other factor is they need to generate more powerplays. They Oilers are generating a lot of shots, which suggests they have the puck more, but it isn’t resulting in powerplays. I still see them taking the puck behind the net, rather than dipping a shoulder and driving to the goal, too often. They don’t force the defenders into more challenging defensive positions, and I haven’t seen many egregious missed infractions go against the Oilers. They need to do a better job 5×5 of drawing penalties.

And of course they need players like Zack Kassian, Jujhar Khaira, Ryan Strome, Drake Caggiula, Anton Slepyshev, Mark Letestu, Brad Malone and Jussi Jokinen to show a pulse offensively at 5×5. The injuries to Caggiula and Slepyshev do hurt the depth somewhat. I’d argue they have the most potential to produce, but they need to be in the lineup and they need to be more consistent.

Khaira looked great in the preseason but struggled early. Last night he was skating much better. His goal wasn’t pretty, but who cares? It went in and that should boost his confidence.

PARTING SHOT

I don’t see a White Knight riding in to save the offence. One trade for a supposed scoring winger won’t solve the woes of the Oilers. This group needs to play smarter. Work harder. Be more desperate. Go to the tough areas, and when they are in a good shooting lane, pick a corner, rather than hitting the goalie square in the chest.

I really liked Jesse Puljujarvi’s game versus the Rangers. We know he has a good shot, but having a good shot and getting in position to use it are very different. He found open spots, and he didn’t hesitate to shoot. You hope that rubs off on guys like Slepyshev, Caggiula and Strome. They have decent shots, but they haven’t found the soft spots often enough. The onus is on the player to read the play, find the weak underbelly of the defence and then have a quick release. We saw that from Puljujarvi on Saturday and he, and many of his teammates, need to do more of it going forward.

The Oilers PK was actually pretty decent on trip killing off 11 of 13 for 84.%. The major gaffe was Oscar Klefbom’s decision to vacate the front of the net and slide up-ice leaving Rick Nash wide open for an easy redirection. Otherwise the PK was good. It is a good

Recently by Jason Gregor:

  • 99CupsofCoffey

    I had heard that the coaching staff instructed Puljujarvi to work on puck movement, space, backchecking, defence when he was in Bakersfield. I think it has paid off, as he was much more mobile in my eyes.

  • RaWbbie

    Hello Jason, great article; I totally agree with the focus from the public on a scoring winger to “right the ship” and help provide offence is not the answer.
    Obviously hockey is a team sport, and offence is delivered through a team effort … but there is a player on the roster, eating up key minutes and playing in key situations that is really hurting the teams ability to hold the offensive zone and create sustained offensive pressure and chances.
    This player is Matt Benning. I would love to see some stat where I could demonstrate what I see game in and game out from this player, and it is always the same! Offensive plays die on is stick inside the opposition blue line; whether from a soft wrister that is easily read and blocked by the other team, or a result of poor positioning where the puck seems to be JUST out of his reach or JUST hops over his stick.
    Can I blame the coaching staff for his deployment? I would love to but let’s be honest… we have no other RHD that can play in that offensive role! Take some time and watch the last 5-6 games and you will see it… this is happening EVERY SHIFT… the play dies on his stick. I’m tired of watching it, and I do not know how he keeps getting prime opportunities (PP time, matched against Ovie)… but most alarmingly how has our coaching staff and management not noticed this???
    At any rate, that is my rant… I’m sick of Benning. He cannot do the job he is assigned. I think he has some potential for long-term NHL employment (5-6 defenceman) but he is in way over his head right now.

    • Samesame

      Forget getting a true scorer. Just “try harder”. Cause of course we know for sure that cagg, strome, puju, slep, kass etc are all proven scorers….

      Also, yeah, bennings struggles are totally handicapping the talent of those said proven scorers. …..

      • morsecode89

        The gambles you take and ‘the price you pay’ to have the grittiest, most un-offensive team in hockey… None of the players in the Oilers bottom 6 have scored reliably at 5v5 in their entire career outside Jokinen. And Jokinen looks about as quick as molasses in a league that’s only become faster.

        The fact Drake Cagguila, 8 career goal man, plays first PP unit on this team at times says it all.

        • fasteddy

          I have an opinion, (not backed by any stats), that part of why the fancy stats look good is partially the problem; they keep possession on the outside well but it hurts their productivity. Need to make teams scramble, get some rebounds off the pads, draw some penalties…..stop trying to make perfect plays

        • Jason Gregor

          Caggiula played two games on 1st unit PP and he scored one goal. Fact is the PP sucked early with the same unit. Don’t suggest Caggiula was the reason and incorrectly state he was a regular on #1 unit. The first unit PP had same five guys who lit it up last year and they did very little early on.

    • jultz=2cups!😂😂

      Uh oh. I’ve seen this story play out before. Oilersnation singling out one right handed dman and blaming him for everything. Is benning also magically causing the other powerplay unit not to score as well bud? If you looked at the roster at the start of the season and thought that benning was gonna be the offensive catalyst for the team then you need to puff puff pass. I’d like to see a major shakeup in the lines. Put em in the blender till they find something that works

  • Randaman

    McLellan’s stubborness towards splitting up 97 & 29 is the number one issue. They are becoming too predictable 5on5 and on the PP. Leon needs to spread his wings and drive the second line. One line mentality is not cutting it.

    • dabears318

      When they were apart earlier in the season it was “why doesn’t mclellan put them together, the unfamiliar linemates are causing their struggles”. Not saying this was you… but I personally I am looking forward to when this group figures it out and gets back to their winning ways so ON can stop the finger pointing.

      • Samesame

        Not sure it’s gonna Happen tho. Everyone just assumed we’d be as least as good as last year. Forgetting that we had no injuries, didn’t desperately depend on unproven scorers to pick up slack and had talbot playing all World for much of the season. This team has no proven depth scoring. Like none. Connors over a ppg, nuge is playing as well as he has in years. Leon’s on pace close to last year.

        The finger should be squarely pointed at chiarelli. He gambled on losing talent for cap space, washed free agents, unproven scorers and internal development.
        He’s missed all of em pretty much.
        After years of bottom feeding and high picks And getting Connor McDavid, it’s crazy to see how poor our scoring depth is.

        Pc was handed a golden ticket and he’s turned the team into a slow, physical grinder squad that can only win low scoring defensive affairs

    • dabears318

      forgot to mention – I agree with your sentiment that they are predictable. Especially on the PP.

      @baggedmilk Where is the edit button we were promised? It has to be over a year now. At this point just go with a PaaS commenting forum. Comments can’t be edited, if I go to my profile I can’t see any discussion I’ve commented on in the past… this site simply isn’t what it was from a community discussion standpoint… and that is pathetic, since the changes were 100% in ON control. Inb4 “it’s free, don’t like it leave”. I think a lot of people are and maybe you should start listening to the ones that are left.

  • go-oil

    Kudos to McLellan and the team cutting down GA and turnovers on this road trip. Hopefully the good goaltending and defence continues and they can find some goals. I do find their offence hesitant and predictable at times. There isn’t that chemistry of quick passes—perhaps because of unfamiliarity of new teammates? And I think they need to corral and pounce on rebounds more, and get more traffic in front of goaltenders. On the PP I would love to see more of an umbrella with Puljujarvi in the high slot and Lucic/Maroon in the low slot with McDavid/Drasaitl/Nugen-Hopkins/Strome on the boards and Kelfbom/Benning manning the point. I still like the underlying numbers and believe their shooting percentage will increase as the year goes on. I see more resiliency in this group than the one in the same hole 2 years ago. They are due for a run to get back over .500.

  • FISTO Siltanen

    When you look at Lucic in the past he has been blessed with a strong right shot on his line. Usually centre but sometimes wing.

    I think if JP can keep up his recent play thst my second line is going to be dynamite.

  • morsecode89

    This team upgraded on grit and down graded on skill in just about every category. And they virtually have no proven scorers in their bottom six outside of a well-past his prime Jokinen. We can use superlative phrases like ‘grit’ and ‘go to the net more’ but what this team is really lacking is another proven goal scorer.

    I just don’t see the offense being there for this team UNTIL that white knight does ride into town. Losing the scoring wingers we did lose has severly handicapped this offense. We are a dominate possession team. We have the worlds best player and one of the best first lines in hockey, but we completely lack ‘finish’ outside of our top 6. And man, does that top six get the attention they deserve. Each and every game, no matter how hard Mclellan tries – which he should even do a better job of trying – Connor Mcdavid plays against the other teams fastest and most defensively reliable players. To the point the virtually shadow him.

    I’m not saying the Oilers won’t score more, but we’re almost 1/4 of the way through the season and this is THE LOWEST scoring team Edmonton has seen in a decade. That and their special teams have absolutely killed this team. We’re at the point where if the offense doesn’t pick up, the playoffs are gone.

  • Tenbar

    Leon getting 8.5 million also indicates he can center his own line. If that’s too much to ask then he’s way overpaid. This team is too predictable and simply not good enough. I look forward to the next one for one trade that we get fleeced on.

  • lee

    There is a disconnect between players and coaching. The system they are using has been good for keeping the goals against down but clearly it’s a terrible system to score goals. McDavid is on pace to finish 15-20 in scoring, Leon is on pace for 60 points. Sorry but next year this couple are eating up 20 plus million and it’s not good enough.
    Would like to see RNH and Leon switch during the game. Might make it harder on the other team.
    Paying Leon the kind of money he got only works when he is a top 3 right winger, right now he is not even close.
    If we had a sharp GM I would trade Leon for a young scoring winger and a point getting right young d man.
    Or trade him to Arizona for Keller the rookie and thier 1st pick this coming draft plus a top prospect. This draft has a stud d man who would give this team what it has been desperate for the last 10 years.
    The team is scoring 2 goals a game so don’t tell me Leon can’t be traded. With him the team still sucks.
    The depth of this team is weak and if Leon or McDavid miss 3-4 weeks due to an injury the Oilers will be talking about the draft.
    Take away last season and how is this team any better than Buffalo.

    • Holly Wood

      If I am a gm on another team and I say I like Leon but not at 8.5, would you eat some salary? I guess it depends on who is coming back but by pay McD and Leon what they ate created a bunch of other problems.

        • jultz=2cups!😂😂

          Are you saying that you wouldn’t have signed Russell this offseason? You would have been happy with a klefbom, Larsson, benning, nurse, gryba and auvitu defence? You’re crazy. What would you have done with that 4 mill?

        • FlamesFanOtherCity

          Lucic was signed prior to Leon’s deal. Russell was signed with the savings on Eberle’s salary. If you think’s there’s nothing wrong with paying a RW’er $8.5m after one good season, then I don’t know what to say. If he’s a 2nd line center, then that’s too much to pay. If he’s a 2nd line center, then you are paying Nuge $6m to be a 3rd line center. If he can’t handle the 2nd line center role, then you can’t trade Nuge. Leon’s deal will haunt you in that Nuge will have to get traded for a cheap alternative or defensive help. If Draisaitl can’t take the 2nd line center spot, then you have even less depth next year.

          This is the one year where cap isn’t a huge issue. Next year is the problem with both McDavid and Draisaitl’s deals on the books. Nurse, Benning, Marron to name a few that will earn raises.

    • OriginalPouzar

      Leon is scoring at pretty much exactly the same pace he was last year – PPG (12 points in 13 games – extrapolates to 77).

      Also, he has zero PP points so every point has been even strength.

      He’s actually producing better than last year in that regard.

  • TKB2677

    As much as I at times love watching the magic that Leon and McDavid can have with one another. I have said it all along I thought they need to break them up. In my opinion, when they are together, they get too cute together.

    How many times have we seen McDavid and Leon take turns trying to set each other up only to get so close to the net they don’t get a shot or get so far in they have a brutal shot.
    How many times have we seen McDavid or Leon get the puck in the slot, maybe be in the perfect shooting position only to try for a back door tap in to his buddy Connor or Leon?

    It drives me nuts. I love those guys, I love watching and when they click it’s magic. I know the Oilers offense is sputtering and it seems crazy to break them up but I think you have too. The reason is it would force those 2 too be the best players on their line. The puck would go through them like it should when their line is on the ice. It would force them to be the guy making the plays rather than the 2 of them trying to one up each other on who can make the best set up. AND it would maybe create some healthy competition between lines. When McDavid and his line goes out there and does something awesome, hopefully Leon would want to do the same with his line.

    If I was making the lines, I would have:
    Maroon – McDavid – Nuge
    Lucic – Drai – Puljujarvi.

  • ScottV

    I would make another major change to the forward lines and then leave them for awhile. Stop changing things up every game. Get guys thinking that they are gonna be together for awhile, so they will put in extra time together brainstorming on how to be more effective. The players need a vision of the overall game plan and coach feedback, but they also need to get together to work out the finer details through experience and cohesiveness between them – as a line.
    McL must think that he has to keep them blended in order to reduce complacency. Give 12 guys more credit – get them in set lines and let them work more of the issues (like scoring more and getting scored against less) out for themselves. All the blender is doing – is creating a mess and that is what it looks like.

    Go with

    Lucic – McD – Nuge
    Maroon – Drai – Puljujarvi
    Jokenin – Strome – Kassian
    Khaira – Letestu – Pakarainen

    Nuge can still play some c on the fly with McD, in the same way that Drai does. Give Lucic a good go with McD and tell McD to make it work. It will energize Lucic.

    Put Maroon with Drai. They are familiar with one another and Maroon needs a contract. Put him in a position where he needs to produce in 2nd rotation. Get Drai taking Puljujarvi under his wing, to make it work. Tell Drai to put the right pressure on the kid to perform and coaches stay out of it. Stop screwing the kid around and tell him he ain’t going back to Bakersfield. That should settle him down, so – maybe he can focus in a constructive way. They have to make it work with Puljujarvi.

    When healthy Cagguila may be an insert for Jokenin. Although I think Cagguila is over rated, or at least he has been given too much – too soon. Depends on how Jokenin plays. Give Strome an extended look in 3c. Leave him there for awhile. I like Kassian in 3rd rotation.

    Letestu looks like he’s losing a step. Let Khaira switch in and out of the c position on the fly with Letestu. I think Khaira will grow into Letestu’s eventual replacement in 4c. Maybe not this year but next. Let him settle down – without the fear of the blender. I like Pakarinen in 4c. He knows how to play the game both ways.

    Malone – Bakersfield. Slepyshev is scattered and over rated. Overall – I like Kassian in 3rw and Pakarinen in 4rw – ahead of Slep. Kass and Pak have a better understanding of the game, as it’s played in 3rd and 4th rotation. Slep is a big stretch in top 6.

  • Heschultzhescores

    We tied up a lot of money in two players, and maybe there is some resentment there from the rest of the team. It’s almost like….”well they make all the money they can score all the goals too”. Something isn’t right in that dressing room, that is guaranteed!

    • crabman

      who on the Oilers are jealous of McDavid, the franchise player, and Draisaitl, a 3rd overall pick and last year top 10 scorer, being paid the most?
      The young unproven players on their entry contracts? Or is it the $6M 2nd line center and LW? or is it the very well paid 4th line C and RW?
      Your crazy accusation of resentment is ridiculous. Every team pays their top offensive players the most and they don’t have as big a problem with secondary scoring like the Oilers.
      Lack of depth of secondary scoring the reason we have a problem with secondary scoring.

  • Neumann

    What I’ve noticed on the PP is that 97 gets his 3 lanes taken away:
    1. Back to the Point to 77 (Left handed pass to left handed shot)
    2. To the middle for 29 (left handed pass to left handed shot)
    3. To the crease for 19 or 27 (left handed pass to left handed shot)

    His 4th passing option is cross seam to 55 (the only right handed shot). And unlike last season it doesn’t seem like this is clicking.

    There are options and I hope Woodcroft and Co. are looking at them:
    1. Adjust the formation (put McDavid on the opposite half wall so he can shop to his left handed shooters in the slot and the point and they can put their right handed shot on the crease and big left handed body in front of the net – one option)
    2. Change out some of the personnel (Benning is a RHD, if he is on the point 97 can set him up for a one timer much easier and that would force the PK to change their positioning with the potential to open up inside passing lanes for 97 and or for him to take a shot – leading to my next point)
    3. Shoot. It doesn’t always have to be a highlight reel goal… please shoot when there are opportunities. Hit the goalie in the pads, create chaos, have the opposing team adjust their structure and then free wheel.

  • Reinman

    Letestu has been brutal so far this year. He is even playing poorly defensively. Anyway, I think it is time to go 97, 29, 93 as our top 3 centers. Throw JP out there with maroon and McDavid. Lucic and Kassian with Drai, and Shlep and Cagguilla with RNH. Once we are healthy. Strome can play RW on the 4th line with Letestu and Pak/Kaira.

  • RJ

    Remember way back in 2015, when Todd McLellan was hired, OilersNation kept talking about hiring an elite offensive coach?

    I’d be curious to see the PP stats for McLellan and the stats for Eakins. I’m not seeing an elite PP for either coach, and at some point the PP coach needs to answer some questions.

    To be fair to McLellan, the RW situation is not dramatically different from the centre situation in Draisatl’s rookie year. Trade the only proven RW (warts and all), and add a third liner with some upside, and this lack of scoring shouldn’t really be surprising.

    I still don’t see the elite puckmover or PP QB on the back end either. At some point you’d think the media would have questions for PC.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    i dunno about anyone else but i’m tired of waiting for guys like Khaira, Slepyshev, Caggiula, and Strome, our so called “support staff” to produce some goals and points. these guys are some of the reasons why we aren’t winning games….not THE reason but some of the reasons.

    • Holly Wood

      When you lock up two stars with a large chunk of your cap that’s what is bound to happen. No money left for mid level players. Same thing is about to happen in Toronto. Pittsburgh and Chicago had it figured out for a while. The Oil will need to figure it out quick

      • jultz=2cups!😂😂

        You do realize Mcdavids contract doesn’t start till next year right? The salary cap has nothing to do with how these guys are playing right now. Leon looks out of sorts to me. Probably not fully recovered from his concussion. When he is, it will be a big boost for the offence.

        • Holly Wood

          I never said that had any bearing on their play, I suggested that is why you can’t add supporting players as there is no cap left. As you pointed out the McDavid contract kicks in next year so unless you are adding someone one a one year deal you would have to dump players next year. This is a mess for a lot of teams. No player should make more than 10% of the cap. Picture the same scenario in any workplace

  • camdog

    Letestu historically has been good on the powerplay. This season he looks like he lost a step and his confidence with it. Problem with Oilers is they continue to have a shortage of right shot players playing well. It’s killing the powerplay.

  • Leaking5w-30

    Teddy percell is having a strong year, so is eberle, and pouliot. It’s bad when I’m thinking that retaining dod talent would have been good preventative medicine.

  • gshok

    There are goal scorers and then there are play makers. Oilers are loaded with playmaking talent. But not one true goal scorer. The only one we had we traded to the islanders. They don’t have to be the best defenders, nor heavy on the boards. Just one or 2 goal scorers on either D or O.

    • jultz=2cups!😂😂

      Lol. But you guys hated eberle because he wasn’t the “best defender”. That type of player is what cost the oil the playoffs if I remember correctly around here

  • Spoils

    I totally agree with with these suggestions for what the Oilers need to do to right the ship but I still believe that ship isn’t an elite hockey team unless we add one more first-line scoring winger. It will push everyone down the depth chart, make the most of our depth at C, and give us contender upside. Right now shedding hall and ebs has left us light on scoring.

  • BringtheFire 2.0

    3 games above .500 20 goals in the last four games rolling three lines consistent (4 intermittent) of offense STELLAR goaltending Johnny Hockey for just over 6.5 per year and Jaromir F@cking Jagr schooling Sam Bennett and mark Jankowski how ya DOIN’ OUT THERE TODAY OILERSNATION

    😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😉

  • madjam

    We are not as gifted this year offensively as we were last season , and we will remain weakened until some trades are made . You also need some players capable of raising puck over the 11 inches of the goalie pads – which for Oiler players is quite the chore .

    • Reinman

      We are not as gifted offensively as we were last year? Not sure what you mean, outside of Ebs/Strome. Ebs went for long stretches last year with no goals. We still one quite a few of those games. Trades are not the answer. THe team ust needs to play better. This trades will fix everything mentality is what weakens your team in the first place. What trade do you suggest is going to fix our problem. ( without creating another one somewhere else). Shlep has looked good this year. JP looks like he has improved too. The rest just need to get their game going. Getting healthy should help us out as well. ( Sekera, Cagguila, Shlep). But Draisaitl and McDavid are not doing much 5v5. Time to split them up, and spread our offense out over three lines. I also think Drai, Lucic and Kass could be a real good line to wear down their defense which may help the other lines get a bit more room out there. Put RNH out there with some skill players ( Shlep and Cagguilla. And give Poolparty and audition on McDavid’s right side. If McDavid is in the same category as Crosby, then that should be his thing elevating the game play of those around him. Plus stylistically, you would thing McDavid and JP would be a perfect match. JP can skate and likes to shoot, that should be perfect to go along with McDavid.

  • Stack Pad Save

    In my opinion the biggest problem is coaching. The Oilers were good last year and every team probably scouted the Oilers hard and saw how Anaheim and San Jose was able to contain the Oilers offence last season during the playoffs and have duplicated it. The coaching staff doesn’t look like it has done any adjustments to the break out or Power Play from last year and other teams use a strong forecheck and pinching D to bottle the Oilers in their own zone and clog up the middle of the ice. Also, Klefbom has taken a step back this year, he is having trouble making good defensive reads, he isn’t jumping up into the play as much and is struggling. Sekera not in the line up led to more Russell, which led to more off of the glass and out. Finally, Special teams have killed the Oilers this year. They have lost the special teams battle almost every night and have lost games as a result. I think Letestu needs off the Power Play that experiment seems to have run its course and they have to change the set-up.

    I really think McLellan is on the hot seat if this team doesn’t turn it around on Specialty teams. That is one area that the top end talent of the Oiler should make for a match up nightmare against other teams.

  • Rama Lama

    I agree that our PP is deficient, but there is a much simpler explanation for this. Most of the opposition has figured out that we are a one trick pony when it comes to the PP and we have become painfully predictable. We have no problem passing the puck, most often perimeter passing, followed by a cross-seam pass. Every opposing player now knows how to defend against our PP.

    When was the last time we just put the puck to the net and banged away?? It seems we do not have any players outside of LD that will put the puck in the slot……as a PP strategy. Todd Mclellan needs to teach this group that shooting the puck is a good thing on the PP……..time for a dirty goal!