Anyone who hit a club in the early 1990s remembers C+C Music Factory’s great song Gonna Make You Sweat. Even if you had two left feet, you’d still hit the dance floor when the DJ cranked it up.
C+CMF cranked out a few other solid tunes in Here We Go, Keep it Comin and Just A Touch of Love, but they stopped recording in 1996 after David Cole’s death. We’ll never know what other great songs they might have produced, but the Oilers’ recent success directly connects with C+CMF’s other great song, Things That Make You Go Hmmmm.
Drake Caggiula has five goals in the last five games, while Alex Chiasson has six in the last seven. They’ve become the Oilers C+C Goal Factory and are making people think…hmmm, could they be the answer on right wing?
Of course they aren’t going to continue scoring goals at this pace, but if both finish with 20 goals Oilersnation should be ecstatic, and I believe both of them can. I spoke to Chiasson before leaving on the road trip and he felt confident and realistic about scoring goals. He mentioned how he had nine goals in his first ten NHL games. That is crazy, when you consider he scored 50 in his next 371 games. Then he was signed with the Oilers and he has six goals in eight games this season.
He feels he is much better equipped to handle goal scoring. He outlined why here, and his comments about watching former teammate TJ Oshie were really interesting.
I’ve been bullish on Caggiula’s ability since he came in the league. Like any young player he struggled with consistency, but when he’s on his game he brings a lot. He has a great shot, he is quick on pucks, he is physical and plays with some bite. He also was a top-end scorer in college, and while he isn’t going to be a driver in the NHL, he has the offensive acumen to be a good complementary player when playing with highly skilled forwards.
Despite the notion that anyone can score with Connor McDavid, it isn’t that simple. You have to become comfortable not having the puck a lot in the offensive zone, and be able to read the play and find the soft openings and be in good positions to score. It helps if you can finish when you get a good chance, and Caggiula has a very good shot. He scored 43 goals in 81 games over his final two seasons at North Dakota. He has a track record of being able to produce. I’ve chuckled reading what I consider uniformed and uneducated comments about how he only had AHL ability. Caggiula wasn’t a top-six forward in his first two seasons — no one should have expected him to be — but he’s shown he can score. He needed to improve his consistency and defensive play, like the majority of young players, and while he is far from a finished product, I’m not shocked Caggiula is scoring. He has skill.
The C+C Goal Factory’s biggest asset might be that they force the Oilers organization to finally do the right thing, and develop their two 20 year old wingers in the AHL. Kailer Yamamoto and Jesse Puljujarvi need to play. They won’t be getting top-six minutes in Edmonton in the near future, and with Ty Rattie in the mix, why not just play him on the third line with Ryan Strome and Milan Lucic and send Yamamoto and Puljujarvi to Bakersfield when the Oilers return home on Friday?
There is no sane defence for why both 20 year olds are on the roster. They are not ready to be difference makers on a nightly basis, which is expected due to their age, so just make the right decision, Peter Chiarelli, and send them to Bakersfield. They have skilled forwards in Cooper Marody, Tyler Benson, Cameron Hebig and others, so Yamamoto and Puljujarvi will have skill to play with, and most importantly, they should regain their offensive confidence. They need to be playing and scoring, and right now they are doing neither in the NHL.
Cam Talbot gets the start after resting for two games. If Koskinen keeps playing well Talbot’s workload will likely be around 50-55 games instead of 65+.
Kyle Brodziak scored his first two goals of the season in Detroit on Saturday. His last goal with the Oilers came on March 27th, 2009. He played 689 NHL games with Edmonton, Minnesota and St.Louis between goals as a member of the Oilers.
The Oilers have seven players who have played 9+ GP still looking for their first goal: Strome, Rieder, Khaira, Klefbom, Larsson, Russell and Benning, but they also have seven players, 8+ GP, still looking for their first assist: Strome, Kassian, Brodziak, Puljujarvi, Caggiula, Chiasson and Garrison.
Edmonton is 8-2-1 in their previous eleven games so goal or assist droughts aren’t as big of a deal when the team is winning, but players always want to contribute on the scoreboard and the goalless guys are well aware of the goose egg on the stats page.
As a note, these lines are subject to change as the Oilers haven’t put anything out yet about who is playing where. If there are changes, we’ll be sure to jump in an edit.
Phoenix Copley will make his third start of the season and fourth of his career. His career numbers are not flattering. He is 1-2 with a 3.80GAA and .867sv% in 252 minutes of NHL action. He allowed six goals on 36 shots to New Jersey on October 11th, and stopped 27 of 30 in a shootout victory against Calgary on October 27th. Braden Holtby hasn’t fared much better, going 4-3-2 with a 3.62GAA and .885sv% in ten starts this season.
The Capitals have really struggled defending at 5×5. They have allowed 30 goals, 2.5/game, and only St.Louis and Ottawa are worse. In comparison the Oilers have been quite good, allowing only 1.53 goals/game at 5×5. However, Washington is averaging the fourth most goals/game at 5×5 at 2.25/game, while Edmonton only has 1.69 thus far. Edmonton has improved their 5×5 scoring recently.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING…
After one month of the 2018-19 regular season, the numbers demonstrate that the Washington Capitals have been allowing too many goals until here. The Capitals are ranking some bitter goals against average positions.
The first game was a big party, with a 7-0 home-opener victory over the Bruins. The second game, against the Penguins in PA, a 7-6 OT loss. In 10 games during the first month, only on two occasions did the Capitals lose by less than three goals, except the aforesaid 7-0 victory over the Bruins: the matching 5-2 score wins over the Golden Knights and Canucks.
The beginning of a new month hasn’t shown a change in scoring for Washington. Ending the road trip in Canada, the Capitals faced the Canadiens, losing by 6-4; allowing goals 5 and 6 in the short space of two seconds. Coming back home, in the first of a 5-game homestead, the hope of a victory before the fans fell up short by a 4-3 OT loss. The Stars’ triumph had been drawn yet in the first period, when they scored two goals in 10 seconds (an improvement compared to the Canadiens’ two seconds goal?!).
GAME DAY PREDICTION: Edmonton has a big advantage in goal and that is the difference in a 5-3 victory.
OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Both teams score a PP goal. Caps PK is 25th in league and the Oilers is 26th.
NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: McDavid has quietly moved into a tie for second place in NHL scoring with 21 points. He picks up two more tonight, both goals, to gain sole possession of second place in league scoring.