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Photo Credit: © Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Game Notes Oilers @ Hurricanes: 2006 was so long ago

Twelve years ago, the Edmonton Oilers and Carolina Hurricane went to game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals and the Hurricanes hoisted their first NHL championship. Since then, both organizations have only made the playoffs once in 12 seasons. The Hurricanes in 2009, going all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals, and the Oilers last year.

The Hurricanes have amassed 972 points over the past 12 seasons, while the Oilers have a league-worst 856. The Hurricanes are in the midst of missing the playoffs for the ninth straight season, but they’ve never been bad enough to get a top pick. They got Jeff Skinner at seventh overall in 2010, Ryan Murphy 12th in 2011, traded their eighth overall pick, and Brian Dumoulin, to Pittsburgh for Jordan Staal, then picked Elias Lindholm fifth in 2013, Haydn Fleury seventh in 2014, Noah Hanafin fifth in 2015, Jake Bean 13th in 2016 and Martin Necas 12th in 2017.

Being just good enough to avoid a top pick, or being really bad like the Oilers (five top-three picks), has proven equally fruitless.

1. Carolina has the longest active post-season playoff appearance drought at nine seasons. Buffalo is next at seven, Arizona is at six and if New Jersey and Colorado make it then Vancouver will be fourth at three seasons. But the Canes aren’t close to longest active streak without a playoff series win.

2. The Florida Panthers haven’t won a playoff series since 1996, and if they don’t win a round this year, it will be 21 NHL seasons. The Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets organization has never won (17 seasons), while Columbus hasn’t won in 16 seasons and the Toronto Maple Leafs haven’t won a series in 12 seasons (they’ve only made the playoffs twice). The Oilers, without question, have been the worst NHL franchise since 2006/2007, but Carolina and a few others have endured a lot of losing as well.

3. The Hurricanes have nine forwards with 12 or more goals, tied with the Rangers for most in the NHL, but they are 26th overall in goals for with 191. The Canes don’t have enough high-octane offensive players to compete. They could really benefit from winning one of the three lotteries and moving into the top-three. They currently own the 11th pick.

4. Some interesting stats courtesy of Elias Sports Bureau. When Connor McDavid scored three points in the third period Saturday in Florida, it was only the second time in his career he’d produced three points in a period. The first time was November 23rd, 2016 against Colorado.

5. More from Elias. McDavid now has 31 third period points this season. He had 34 last year and is the first Oilers players since Jari Kurri in 1989 and 1990 to have consecutive seasons of 30+ points in the third period.

6. At this point, I see the Oilers battling the Blackhawks and Islanders for the seventh, eighth or ninth best lottery odds. Dallas moved up from eighth to third last year. The real lottery battle is at the bottom of the NHL. Buffalo has 58 points while Arizona and Vancouver have 59 and they all have ten games remaining. In their past 15 games, Arizona has picked up 19 points, Buffalo has tallied 15 and the Canucks have nine. You read it here first; Vancouver will finish 31st and have the best odds to win the lottery.

7. I tweeted on Sunday the Flames were done, and last night’s 5-2 loss to the Coyotes hammered home that point. They have fallen apart down the stretch and currently they are without a first or second round pick for the 2018 draft. The New York Islanders own both those picks from the Travis Hamonic trade. The Islanders currently own the ninth and 13th pick heading into the lottery. Best case for them is they finish with the seventh and 12th pick before the lottery on April 28th.. Considering the Winnipeg Jets had lottery protection on the first round pick they gave up for Paul Stastny at the trade deadline, when they were comfortably in a playoff spot, many in Calgary will be wondering why the Flames didn’t, at the very least, get top-three protection for their draft pick. I suspect future trades in the NHL will have that type of protection, similar to what we see in the NBA.

8. In his first 192 NHL games with the Oilers, Predators and Coyotes, goaltender Devan Dubynk was 70-82-24. Then he was traded from Arizona to Minnesota in January of 2015 and he is 130-68-18 as a member of the Wild. Only Washington’s Braden Holtby has more wins since January 2015 than the 14th overall pick in 2004. Dubnyk now has 200 victories in his career.

9. Columbus has won eight in a row. Since March 4th they have gained ten points on Philadelphia, who is 3-5-0 in their last eight, and suddenly the Blue Jackets are tied with the Flyers for third in the Metro division, and are only two points back of Pittsburgh for second place and home ice advantage. I’d love to see the Blue Jackets and Penguins battle again. Those teams despise one another and they’d be a fantastic first round playoff match up.

10. The Predators are playing their best hockey of the season right now. They are 14-0-1 in this last 15 games and they’ve outscored their opponents 59-27. Pekka Rinne is 11-0 with a .950sv% and 1.64 GAA. I’d say he is the favourite to win the Vezina right now. He leads the NHL in shutouts with eight, is tied for the most wins, 40, has the best sv%, .931, of any starter and his 2.21 GAA is 2nd behind Marc-Andre Fleury’s 2.20. At 35 years of age he is having his best NHL season and it coincides with the Preds having their deepest team ever. Can they become only the second western conference team (Detroit 2008 and 2009) in the past 16 seasons to make consecutive Stanley Cup appearances? It is difficult to do, but they are a better than last year’s team.

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Source: Jason Gregor, Verified Twitter Account, 3/20/2018 – 9:00 am MST

  • TKB2677

    As bad and disheartening this season has been for me. I take a small bit of joy in seeing the Flames not make the playoffs. I keep remembering all the Oilers fans losing it that the Oilers didn’t go an get Hamonic. I personally did not want them to get Hamonic because I saw his drop in play as a trend and I thought the price was WAY too high. The Flames go out and get Hamonic. He continues to be lousy. Despite all the players having career years (Gaudreau, Monahan, Hamilton in goals, Ferland, probably Tkachuk), the Flames squeeze another good, 40 pt season out of Giordano who will be 35 at the start of next season and the Flames squeezing a really good season out of Smith who will be 36 tomorrow, they still don’t make the playoffs. To top it off, they are going to give up a lottery pick to get a 3rd pairing dman. HAHAHA

    Then I look at my team. McDavid is only 21 and is having a decent year (close to 100 pts for McDavid I think is a usual year) but he is only in his 3rd season, still learning the league, hasn’t mastered faceoffs yet and he hasn’t peaked yet so there is room to grow for him. Leon is having a decent year but given his age, he’s not close to peaking yet so there is room to grow AND he had a concussion which stays with you for a while. The HUGE majority of the rest of the team had crappy years. I don’t think Talbot can play any worse than he did for almost 3/4 of the season. I don’t think it is possible for the Oilers PP which was top 5 last year to be at the bottom with McDavid and Leon on your team next year. I don’t think it is possible for the Oilers PK to be near the bottom of the league setting records for being bad next year. In the last months, the PK has been a lot better so it looks like the players are figuring it out and with an adjustment to the system, maybe the addition of another PK guy in the bottom 6, I expect it to be a lot better next year. So while I think the Oilers have some holes in their roster that need to be filled, I don’t see it being as dire as some do. I expect a HUGE bounce back year from Talbot and if they do nothing else, just Talbot putting up even decent starters numbers next year will make a HUGE impact.

  • Rama Lama

    As of late I see the Oilers playing very good hockey and I suspect they will have a good final 10 games. The PP which has been analyzed to death seems to indicate that still the Oilers have no one that is willing to shoot the puck.

    The last game saw beautiful perimeter puck passing folllowed by an attempt for a cross-seam pass, that was picked off each and ever time. Until the Oilers find someone willing to shoot the puck…….nothing will change. Ethan Bear has the shot but is too often looking to pass………as a lot of rookies do.

    Here is hoping that next year something changes……..starting with the coaches!

  • cmandev77

    Why does it feel like the NYI have fleeced both Alberta teams in trades lately? If Edmonton doesn’t get the 1st overall pick this year I am hoping NYI do with the Calgary pick. That would make me smile…