GDB 48.0 Wrap Up: As bad as bad can get, Oilers lose 5-0 in a no show

Ticket refunds should be a thing. Final Score: 5-0 Sabres

Coming into tonight’s game, I had this one circled as another ‘must win’ for the Oilers. The last time these two team met, the Oilers completely dropped the ball and were made to look like fools by a Sabres team that had no business beating them. That said, it’s tough to win when you only compete for 20 minutes of an entire hockey game, or in the case of tonight’s game, not at all. As far as winnable games go, this was one of those strokes of luck where the Oilers were playing a garbage team on the second night of a back-to-back set and there was no excuse to not to walk away with two points. Instead, they refused the gift and offered up one of the worst efforts of the season.

Right from the moment the puck dropped, it didn’t look like the Oilers cared much about keeping their winning streak alive. They were outshot, outworked, and outscored by the 30th place team that was playing their second game in a 24-hour span. They were bad in every way. Quite frankly, the fans in attendance should have been given a gift basket on their way out to try and provide some value for their money. Aside from stating the obvious, that this game was as bad as it gets on almost every level, there’s not much else to say. From management to players on the ice, the Oilers organization should be embarrassed about what we just watched because I certainly am. I choose to watch this hockey team, you clowns are responsible for it.

The wrap.

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  • This game is over.
  • The Khaira-Strome-Slepyshev line was easily the best trio on the night. They were the only ones that were actually able to generate something positive with a higher frequency than a lunar eclipse.
  • Connor McDavid is still an Oiler, but he deserves better than this. He deserves a management team that knows what they’re doing. He needs to play better and we know he will, but can the brass surround him with the players that can make an impact?
  • Al Montoya came into a no win situation and was solid in relief of Cam Talbot again. Sure, he allowed another power play goal against but I’m pretty sure Patrick Roy himself wouldn’t have been able to do much while playing behind this gong show of a PK formation. Montoya gets the next start or nah?
  • After getting pumped in the faceoff circle on Saturday night against Vancouver, the Oilers rebounded nicely with a 58% success rate against the Sabres.
  • At least the Oilers led in hits (43-23)? Oh right, that’s because they never had the puck.
  • At least Pouliot didn’t score?
Edmonton Oilers host NHL's first outdoor game 17 years ago today


  • The Oilers allowed the first goal for the 29th time this season. 29th! Unbelievable.
  • Sam Reinhart opened the score (probably did it for Griff) with a power play goal, which seems like an Oilers tradition at this point. Somehow it felt worse that the puck just barely trickled over the line. Almost more insulting, somehow.
  • The Sabres added to their lead only 17 seconds in the second period as Ryan O’Reilly outmuscled Puljujarvi in the slot and put the puck past a helpless Talbot. The whole sequence was a gongshow as Lucic got outworked on the boards which led to the puck ending up on O’Reilly’s stick. It goes without saying that it was a dog farts way to start the period.
  • Zemgus Girgensons got the Sabres’ third goal of the night which left the crowd so quiet that you could hear the disappointment in their hearts.
  • Jack Eichel chased Cam Talbot with a perfectly placed wrister that beat the goalie right under the bar. And could you believe it was on the power play? I’ll give you a moment to recover from the shock.
  • Terrible night with the puck. They couldn’t pass, they couldn’t break out of their zone, and they couldn’t sustain any kind of pressure. Horrible puck management by the Oilers.
  • Cam Talbot was supposed to be a stabilizing force between the pipes tonight and he was anything but. I know the team in front of him was also bad but there were some very stoppable pucks that got past him. Another forgettable night for Dadbot.
  • I counted four brutal giveaways for Milan Lucic in the first period alone. The play was dying on his stick and that is a massive problem.
  • Why can’t the Oilers kill penalties at home? Why is it that they can be so good on the road but completely useless at home? They allowed three goals on four power play chances tonight. This nightmare won’t ever end.
  • Not to be outdone, the power play is pretty much useless all of the time and, as expected, did absolutely nothing again tonight (0/2). Gregor talked about it this morning, the power play has only been able to succeed at a 10% clip over the past 27 games.
  • The last thing I want to do is a #BeetCast and there’s something even more offensive about having to do one because of the Buffalo Sabres. The Sabres are terrible and the Oilers should feel bad for making me feel bad. For the rest of you, feel free to join in and ask questions over on my Twitter.
Throwback Thursday: This week in 1997, Edmonton Oilers Curtis Joseph records first back-to-back shutouts in team history



14:56 Buffalo PPG – Sam Reinhart (9) ASST: Rasmus Ristolainen (17), Jack Eichel (27) 1-0


00:17 Buffalo Ryan O’Reilly (12) ASST: Scott Wilson (2), Sam Reinhart (9) 2-0
07:25 Buffalo Zemgus Girgensons (4) ASST: Kyle Okposo (19), Jack Eichel (28) 3-0
11:39 Buffalo PPG – Jack Eichel (20) ASST: Rasmus Ristolainen (18), Kyle Okposo (20) 4-0
17:25 Buffalo PPG – Ryan O’Reilly (13) ASST: Sam Reinhart (10), Jack Eichel (29) 5-0


No Scoring


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Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 01/23/2018 – 10:00pm MST

    • Anton CP

      Dahlin is great, but a few issues:

      1) He is left side defense, the Oilers have tons of it with Nurse is set to take the more important roles that left side will be a bit jammed.

      2) Very few first overall pick d-mans ever lived up to the promise. Dahlin needs to be incredibly special to make a difference for a struggling team.

      I would rather go for No.2: Andrei Svechnikov.

    • Sir Dudeinstein

      He’s so worried about his revenue streams let’s hire another ex oiler after he’s hired come up with a position that isn’t needed to say we are saved…
      I think oilers are the only team who has more people in their upper management than roster players

    • Glencontrolurstik

      Regarding Katz,…In some sick way, this situation is a badge of honour he wears with pride…
      He has all these great hockey men of old surrounding him, built a great home for them, and flaunts it waving his hands 360… “This is all mine,…”
      Take what you need, enjoy yourself…
      “Yeah, we’re losing”,… “But look at these idiots, spending their hard earned money”
      “They are like lemmings,… isn’t it great?”

  • Fire Woodcroft!

    So let’s say I’m managing a team at work and our goal is to produce a report once a week. There are even some weeks that we don’t need to get the report in – let’s just say the expectation is to get it in around 80% of the time.

    But the system I put in place for my team to produce the report doesn’t work. My team only meets target 50% of the time. Despite not meeting the goal I refuse to change my system and unsurprisingly my team continues to under perform.

    I should be fired – but my manager sticks up for me and promises the bosses that things will get better.

    But they don’t. In the real world after all that, not only would I be fired but my manager who backed me would be fired as well.

    It’s like Dan Akroyd said in Ghostbusters… ‘You’ve never worked in the private sector… they expect results.’

    • Sir Dudeinstein

      My question would be If you got told who reports to accept and everything and you tell your employee who reports can only be accepted and that affects your number are you still accountable? In the shareholder eyes you are.
      Now by saying this I think there is still some people on the board of directors telling some people who to play who to sit who to call up who to gets what line…
      I mean why else nurse gets a hard time to play on the powerplay but someone who doesn’t have a good shot who barely have any experience who been accountable multiples who wears number 83 gets penalty kill and power play time. Just saying

  • Heschultzhescores

    Oh I see the censors are out. Can’t get an edit button but can delete entire posts because they offend your sensitive little ears. Is this hockey or is this the ladies sewing club?

  • TKB2677

    I try to be positive. I am not like some Oilers fans who look for the negative. I typically NEVER say a bad thing about him because he is my favorite current player. In my books, it goes Gretzky then him. But I flat out don’t agree with the writers comment about McDavid deserves better. Has the management made some mistakes, YUP. But McDavid needs to wear some of the teams woes this season in my opinion. He hasn’t been good enough this year and it has nothing to do with his linemates. He played for 1/4 of the year with the SAME GUYS and he wasn’t as good. He is the reining scoring champ, league MVP and voted the best player in the league by the players. He CAN’T have a game like he did last night. The whole team was bad but he was terrible as well.

    To win in the NHL, is a teams depth important? Yes. Do you need your 3rd and 4th liners to chip in once in awhile? YES. Do you need decent players in all positions? YES. But when in the NHL, in order to win most nights, you need your best players to be good. This doesn’t apply to just the Oilers, it’s every team. Tampa is regarded as one of the best teams in the league. Their roster didn’t change a ton from last year so what is different? Well they got Stamkos back and he has played mostly great and Kucherov has been off the charts for most of the year. They are 2 of that teams 3 best players. Boston has gone on an insane run, why? Well the Bergeron, Pasternak, Marchand line has been unbelievable for more than a month. Guess what, those 3 are their best players. I don’t think this season there has been a stretch longer than a couple of games where the Oilers best players have been at their peak. Even McDavid. 53 pts, 15 goals in 48 games. That is a 90 pt pace. For most players, that would be a hell of a year, not for the MVP, Ted Lindsey and scoring champ. 15 goals in 48 games is a 25 goal pace. As a player who has the combination of speed (fastest in the league), super skill, hands, hockey sense, shot and vision that McDavid has, 25 goals is pathetic. He should be a 35+ goal guy easy. Who cares about who is linemates are, the amount of PRIME scoring chances McDavid passes up to try and set up someone else is mind boggling. How many times have we all seen McDavid have the puck with time and space in the high slot, traffic in front and instead of shooting, he PASSES to a player at the side of the goal for a low percentage, tap in you brutal angle shot. He does it multiple times a game.

    Until the best players on the team decide to put in their best efforts every night, McDavid included, it won’t matter who is on this team or what system they play.

    • BobbyCanuck

      Agree with you comment on McDavid, I am starting to think that he is uncoachable, there ha been articles about McDavid should shoot more, even Gretz said he should shoot more, have no idea what is problem is, all I know is when he gets the puck, defenders and the goalie rarely even bother to cover the shot, they all know is going to pass the puck, little Connie you is become very predictable

  • smiliegirl15

    I have never wanted to walk out of a game until last night. Lucic couldn’t handle the puck, but no one else could either. They couldn’t handle the puck to carry it out of their own end so many times. They couldn’t make a pass without bobbling it or passing it to the other team. They couldn’t shoot to save their lives. The scoreboard had more shots on net for the Oiler at about 30 at one point but I don’t see where that happened.
    It was a pathetic effort. It’s hard to be a fan these days. Even in the DOD there weren’t these blowouts on a regular basis. Losing games by 1 sucked but at least they were in it a lot of the time.
    These guys last night were out on the ice with shoulders slumped. They’d given up before the game started it seemed. Lots of empty seats in the stands.

  • percy

    Anybody ever see blazing saddles. The part where Harvey Norman gives the paddle ball to his boss Mel Brooks and shows him how to use it. Something tells me that’s what the after the game management meetings are like.

  • Derian Hatcher

    just sitting here with my calculator…pick a random player – Ok Patrick Maroon. Paid $1.9m US = approx $2.4 m cdn. Take a generous half off for taxes, agent fees etc. divide that by approx 14 pay periods from Oct to mid April = $88k cdn every two weeks!
    This revenue comes from the fans – directly – tickets, merchandise etc. or indirectly, through TV revenues – and he (along with most of his teammates) CANNOT GIVE A FULL AND CONSISTENT EFFORT EVERY GAME?
    Even if you take it throughout the year for 26 pay periods – thats $46K every two weeks for the Big Rig.
    Have these players no pride? No accountability?
    BTW Lucic is pocketing approx $150 000K every two weeks during the season. Nice effort Looch –
    I would LOVE to see that building EMPTY for one game or more. The organization deserves NOTHING from tier 1, tier 2, tier 3, and tier 4 fans.

    Drops calculator – heads back to the salt mines.

  • Hemmercules

    I haven’t actually sat down to watch a game since the newyears eve beat down. Caught the odd period here and there but missed the last 3 wins entirely. Decided to give it another shot last night. These guys are laughable. I ain’t even mad anymore. What can you even say?? They are comically bad. Laying an egg to a terrible team with the season on the line. I got a kick out of all the fans getting that hope in their eyes again after a 3 game streak only to be daggered in the heart last night.

    • Ditto, have not watched a game since either, cant watch this laughable crap any more, Katz wont fire the front office staff as 2500 severance cheques cuts into profits, which appears to be the only target. I cant believe how many times I told my hot young girlfriend, no hot tub tonight, Oilers are playing tonight. No more, had a pleasant night not watching.

  • Still Hate the Flames

    The only good thing that can come from this game is that perhaps, finally, I can stop reading about “playoffs” on ON articles and comments sections. Please. It’s been over for some time. Sad, but true.

    • puckle-head

      Thank you! Reading pregame articles that uses the words “if the Oilers are going to keep their playoff hopes alive,” makes me want to smash my work computer. And they make me pay for those.

  • btrain

    I don’t want to throw Talbot under the bus as I just think this is an off year for him. This has been the case for a number of other prominent tenders this year (Holtby, Price, Anderson, Murry). However, I think his inability to get into a grove throughout this season is a massive reason this team has become so fragile. The top 16 goaltenders in the league steal an occasional game, and consistently enough, stop grade A chances at key moments to keep their team in it. Like Talbot did last year, they cover up the mistakes. This helps keep the team in front of them confident and playing with purpose instead of trepidation. At this point even 1 PK or weak goals against is now absolutely deflating to this team. Obviously the issues go beyond this but for anyone who has played hockey in front of a goalie they don’t trust vs a goalie they are absolutely confident in, it makes a massive difference. When that first stoppable goal goes in the net on the tender you don’t trust, its a sinking feeling. You can’t help but feel you have a mountain to climb to win, no matter who you play against. As terrible as the players have been on the PK, the goalie is always your best PKer and Talbot is just unable to read the play out there, when down a man, to bail out his team as you would expect a starter to do.

    • BobbyCanuck

      Yes it can be a sinking feeling, but that is no excuse for losing 5-0 multiple time in recent games…not one goal, says more about our top 6 players than anything else

  • Quoteright

    Management needs to take the pressure off the club and figure out how to get home ice advantage.
    When ever the oil are down they could have a “Cheer for Beer” promotion. Depending on how loud the building gets for a 5 min stretch the price of beer could go down for the rest of the period up to half price.
    Everyone needs to relax a little and get back to having fun. Both the players and fans.
    Not enough on the ice to cheer for maybe management giving back it’s ridiculous profits for a period would create some positive atmosphere.

  • Smuckers

    I tried the Porchetta sandwich last night and it was delicious. That was as good as it got the rest of the night. If it wasn’t the first game in 20 years I’d taken in with my dad, I would have left in the 2nd period.

  • Snoop Scottie Dogg

    What Chia should do now is start contacting top teams with no cap space and dangle Maroon while retaining money. Maybe he can get a first rounder out of it? For that matter maybe he can leverage all that cap space in rental player acquisition for another team??? Just spit balling here…Chia might as well use up all that cap space for something.

  • Meister Jagr

    I think Mc4th#1pick is sending a message to have some changes made…Hall, Eberle and Dubnyk sure would look good for the oilers right now…as an unbiased outsider this is entertaining stuff. Kinda like watching the US election…can’t get any worse, no chance Trump gets in and whammo he is el presidente. Oh couldn’t get any worse, trade away Hall for an average defender, Dubnyk is best goalie in the league, Lucic is old, too many ex Oilers, and then losing to Buffalo in that manner. Shocking. Shouldn’t get any worse than this, this should be the bottom of the barrel where things can only get better. Good luck Edmonton!

    • MrBung

      Sigh…this once again confirms that the Oilers have become the joke of the league. Anyone can wreck an opportunity with a generational player – Katz and the Oilers! #FreeConnor

  • percy

    Just took a step back to look at the situation, maybe just maybe the fault lays in us the fan and our media in that order. Because we expect so much from our team that we put so much pressure on them. The only time you will excel in what ever you are doing is when you are not so pressured that you can’t get the enjoyment from it. That could be the reason very few players want to come to this franchise. Not because of management but because of the pressure the fan and the media put on them. Look at Vegas, probably very little pressure from the fans and media ,,, just a city who is happy to have a Team. And a bunch of players who are making the most of it. Just a thought.

    • MrBung

      Are you kidding me? People have pressure in work and have to perform. That’s life. The fans have been more than patient with this organization/team. All teams in the NHL are playing under some form of pressure. Those that do well find ways to work around it and strategies to deal with stress. True performers can deal with it. This is on ownership, management, coaching and players. If anything, fans here have been to patient. The place is still selling out.

      • Quoteright

        It’s selling out to fans who have had their tickets through ten+ years of struggle with one year of hope. I get it it’s hard to cheer, but really that’s how a home team can provide an advantage.
        The whole performance argument that they are well paid and should be able to deal with the stress neglects the fact that some are kids and really most are actually less mature than the average person because they have lived sheltered hockey lives. They all talk about how important confidence is.

    • Derian Hatcher

      Yup, give them a particpation ribbon and a chocolate milk.
      “Every one of you is a winner! We are so proud of you. Ice cream and donuts for everyone”

  • Sir Dudeinstein

    It seems like they are close to a panic button but they used that button way too many times.

    I find it funny that the media made a big statement that we moved on from the old boys with reassigning Lowe’s role…moving macT hiring chirelli…then turns around and starts bringing back the old oilers…when will they learn…stop REASSIGNING and actually get rid of the group that caused the last 10-15 years of darkness in our organization…lowe shouldn’t be sitting next to the gm during games…during the draft and finally leave this organization