232
Photo Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

GDB 49.0: Just Show Up (7pm MST, SNW)

The Edmonton Oilers have been shutout in four of their last ten home games. They lost those four by a combined score of 19-0. They weren’t remotely engaged in those games. It is an unacceptable trend and if this group has any pride at all, they will at least they will put forth an NHL-worthy effort tonight.

The Oilers have shown up and played well against the Pacific Division this year, going 9-2, and will look for a similar effort tonight against the Flames.

No question Peter Chiarelli made some bad decisions that have led to the Oilers taking a huge step back this season. The coaches also need to share a lot of the blame, because the Oilers have the worst special teams in the NHL, and it isn’t close.

But the players also need to share some responsibility. This lineup has more talent than a 26th place club, and their performance on home ice over the past ten games simply hasn’t been good enough.

I have a hard time accepting the players don’t hold some responsibility.

Through 48 games last year, of the 15 forwards who played 20 games, Jordan Eberle, Benoit Pouliot, Tyler Pitlick Matt Hendricks and Anton Lander are no longer here.

In those 48 games Eberle had nine goals, Pitlick had eight, Pouliot had five, Hendricks had two and Lander had one. Pitlick played 31 games, Hendricks and Lander had played 20. They combined for 25 goals.

The Oilers forwards have scored 114 goals.

Their forward replacements this year have been Strome for Eberle, Khaira for Pitlick, Cammalleri for Pouliot and Pakarinen for Hendricks/Lander, since those two rarely played at the same time. Lander was sent down November 16th and Hendricks played his first game on November 19th.

Through 48 games this season the Oilers forwards have scored 109 goals.

The five fewer goals came from those changes. So, a small drop, no question.

But the Oilers big minutes players are still the same on forward, and Darnell Nurse took Andrej Sekera’s minutes and has kept them even with Sekera returning.

Many of the existing Oilers haven’t played as consistently or as effectively as last year. No question the GM can be looked at for losing trades, and the special teams coaching has been abysmal, but the players, as a group, haven’t been as effective, especially in the defensive zone.

The Oilers defensive zone coverage, starting with Cam Talbot and including the defence and forwards, hasn’t been as good. They have turned the puck over more and far too often they’ve had five-star giveaways. They have to own that.

MORE CHANGES

Sep 18, 2017; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Jesse Puljujarvi (98) and Calgary Flames defensemen Matt Bartkowsjki (44) look for a loose puck during the second period at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

There will be more changes to this roster, and likely the coaching staff and possibly even management over the next few months, but the majority of this team will be back next year and those players need to use the final 34 games to find the competitiveness they proved they could play with last season.

Do Colorado, New Jersey, Vegas have more talent than the Oilers? I don’t think so, but they have been much more consistent. It is completely fair and accurate to question some of Peter Chiarelli’s moves, but that shouldn’t give this group a free pass to be sitting in 26th spot and to have been lifeless far too often this season.

They have more ability than they’ve shown so far this year and I’d hope they use the final 34 games to rediscover the consistency, passion and commitment they played with last year. Even if they are down a bit in skill, they should not drop from an eighth place team to a 26th place team because of changing out four forwards, and only one who was a top-six forward.

LINEUP

Oilers

Maroon-McDavid-Caggiula
Lucic-Draisaitl-Puljujarvi
Khaira-Strome-Slepyshev
Cammalleri-Letestu-Kassian

Nurse-Larsson
Klefbom-Benning
Sekera-Russell
Davidson

Talbot

The Oilers might be playing with seven D-men tonight. Todd McLelland wouldn’t announce the roster moves this morning, but Brandon Davidson and Mike Cammalleri said they were playing. Iiro Pakarinen and Mark Letestu were out late after practice.

Adam Larsson is a little banged up and his status will determine what happens with the lineup.

FLAMES

Gaudreau-Monahan-Ferland
Tkachuk-Backlund-Brouwer
Bennett-Jankowski-Hathaway
Lazar-Stajan-Lomberg

Giordano-Hamilton
Brodie-Hamonic
Kulak-Stone

Rittich

Ryan Lomberg will make his NHL debut for the Flames. The Flames might have another lineup change.

Rittich has a solid .932sv% and a 2.03 GAA in six appearances this season.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING…

From Flamesnation:

The Oilers lost 5-0 on Wednesday to Buffalo. Buffalo. They’re a reeling team. Expect an emotional game from the Oilers as their players try to salvage their season, save their coach’s job and try to somehow get themselves back into the playoff picture.

Nobody in the NHL has a worse penalty kill than Edmonton. Their home penalty kill has only killed off 54% of their penalties. It seems like a nice fit for Calgary’s power play.

TONIGHT…

Photoshop: Tom Kostiuk

GAME DAY PREDICTION: Your guess is as good as mine as to which Oilers team will show up, but they have been excellent versus the Pacific Division in their last 40 games, going 29-8-3 with six consecutive wins over the Flames. The Flames have points in ten straight games, but have lost three consecutive games in OT/SO. Oilers continue to frustrate Oilersnation by rebounding with a solid effort and looking like a completely different team than 48 hours earlier. Oilers win 3-1.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Flames score a PP goal.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Puljujarvi continues his goal-a-game pace against the Flames in his career and scores his fourth goal in four career games versus the Flames.

GDB BROUGHT TO YOU BY COLLIN BRUCE MORTGAGE TEAM

Find out why so many people are using Dominion Lending Centres #1 broker in Canada.
We are paid by the banks on the size of the mortgage, not the interest rate, so we try to get you as low as rate as we can. Whether it is a purchase, renewal or refinance, contact us to see what we can do to help!

Recently by Jason Gregor:


Source: Jason Gregor, Verified Twitter Account, 1/25/2018, 1:30pm MST



  • CRONENBERG

    I heard from someone who works at the rink, but I’m not sure if it’s true or not (maybe some one can confirm) that almost all the players left practice yesterday as soon as the mandatory part was over. Regardless, if the Oilers can’t show up for a game against Buffalo then fans shouldn’t show up for tonight’s game. I know it will never happen but man that would be great to see. Maybe there could be an initiative for fans to not buy any food or drinks for one game. I still can’t get over the fact I saved up to get me and my dad good tickets for that last game. And the mentality in the organization is “oh well, just one game. We’ll put it behind us and focus on the next one”. Well that ONE game is the only one I get to see this year, so that’s not how it works for me. They couldn’t give us one lousy goal. Not one single reason to cheer no matter how lopsided the score was. I remember a game years ago where we got shutout, the team effort was brutal but in the last few minutes Strudwick started a fight. That’s caring for your fans. Everyone on this team seems to forget that without the fans, there is no NHL. You don’t get to make millions for playing a game without us.

    • Keg on Legs

      Cronenberg, the problem is, is that it’s not only 1 game!!!!! I count at least 12 games where the boys have no emotion, effort etc. the worst part is, is most of them are at home!!!
      PC’s moves has lessened the talent pool slightly, but Hall and Ebs weren’t exactly heart guys, how man times did you see Hall skating back tot he bench in a huff while line mates are involved in a post whistle scrum?
      I have no idea what goes on here but it’s absolutely ridiculous. PC has nothing to do with the fact the PP can’t even get over the blue line and set up most times, or the brutal PK at home.
      BRUTAL!!!!!

  • morsecode89

    The sad thing about all of this anger and fan apathy is that I don’t know if Katz and the Old Boyz Club realize the level it’s hitting. Everyday, r/hockey has an article – parody or not – about how bad the Edmonton Oilers are managed. Over at TSN, talking hairdo Craig Button is livid about how the team hasn’t evidently surrounded Connor McDavid with the right pieces to win. Most journalists that come to town from other teams consistently throw draggers into the current Oiler roster. TSN just posted an article titled ‘The Oilers and the end of Heavy hockey.’ I’ve started watching opposing team broadcast streams online to get away from certain talking heads, and even those broadcasters seem upset or discouraged about the current state of the Oilers.

    Basically, Oilers fans, the media, and even other teams were all hoping to see a competitive Oiler team with Connor McDavid as the new face of the NHL. Instead, Oiler fans are regularly being treated to lackluster performances and a special teams that’s one of the worst in NHL history.

    This franchise has literally become the punch line of jokes around the league. And the saddest part is that we are probably the most loyal and die hard group of fans in the NHL. Selling out 12 years of mediocrity and spending money on jerseys from every savoir of rebuild 1 through 5.

    It’s just sad. We deserved so much better.

    • Even though I’m a diehard Canuck fan, I was really excited about seeing McDavid-Hall, Draisaitl-Eberle and RNH-Yakupov steamrolling the opposition for 50 minutes per game. Then Chiarelli happened. I sincerely feel for you.

  • MrBung

    Stauffer keeps telling us that this team is built to play in the Pacific. By the end of this season I don’t know if this team is built to play in the NHL period.

  • Mcjesus97

    Straight Up I was one of those guys saying tmcl is an ok coach but seriously how do you let talbot play this game I knew the first f***n shot was going on