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Photo Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

GDB 20.0: VIVA LAS YEGAS! (6pm MST, SNW)

For the second time in as many nights, the Edmonton Oilers will be facing off against a Pacific Division rival to try and secure a four-point swing in the standings. Can it be done? We’re only a few short hours from finding out. 

After running all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals in their first ever season, is anyone really that surprised that the Golden Knights have crashed back to earth this year? I mean, c’mon… All season long, I kept thinking that each and every loss was going to be the one that sent Vegas spiralling towards the bottom of the standings but it just never happened. Remember when the Oilers absolutely pummelled the Golden Knights 8-2 at home last November? I was convinced that that was going to be game to send our boys shooting skyward and the Knights crashing back down to the bitter, dark hell we ended up in. Instead, they just kept finding ways to win and ended up only a few Ws away from writing one of the best sports stories of all time. Fast forward to this season and the Golden Knights have come back down to earth, and look much more like the team I expected them to be last year.

Looking back at last season, Edmonton was one of the few teams to actually have some consistent success against Vegas (3-1 record), managing to outscore the eventual runner-ups by a combined score of 16-11 over four games. Outside of that one game, a 4-1 road loss in mid-February, the Oilers were able to put up all kinds of offence against the Golden Knights and I’m hoping that a little bit of that touch has been able to carry over. They spread the goals around, Connor did his thing, and we went home happy 75% of the time. All in all, the series against Vegas was one of the few overall bright spots that we had last year so I ended up clutching to those three wins more than I probably should have or is totally reasonable. With the way last night’s game in Calgary ended, the boys need to do something to brighten the mood around here because that loss was every shade of disappointing. I’m thinking actually playing for the full 60 minutes would be a good start.

NUMBERS

OILERS GOLDEN KNIGHTS
RECORD 9-9-1 8-11-1
WIN/LOSS STREAK L1 L1
GOALS FOR 54 50
GOALS AGAINST 60 58
POWER PLAY 19.7 16.7
PENALTY KILL 75.0 85.5
AVG. SHOTS/FOR 31.5 34.2
AVG. SHOTS/AGAINST 30.2 26.2
TEAM SAVE% .903 .899
CORSI FOR% 50.54 56.41
PDO 98.88 95.62
TEAM SHOOTING% 6.55 6.01
EXPECTED GOALS FOR% 52.03 56.86

Numbers courtesy of Corsica (fancies at 5×5)

LINES

Oilers

Caggiula – McDavid – Draisaitl
Spooner – Nuge – Rattie
Lucic – Marody – Chiasson
Khaira – Brodziak – Kassian

Klefbom – Larsson
Nurse – Benning
Gravel – Russell

Talbot

After last night’s game in Calgary, there hasn’t been any indication just yet about what the line combinations are going to look like tonight so I’ve kept things the same until news comes out. For now, what we know for sure is that Cam Talbot will get the start but that’s about it. But I’ll keep checking for news on the bus ride home and update things as news comes out.

Golden Knights

Marchessault-Karlsson-Smith
Pacioretty-Eakin-Tuch
Nosek-Carpenter-Hyka
Carrier-Bellemare-Reaves

McNabb-Miller
Theodore-Engelland
Merrill-Holden

Fleury

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING…

From Vegas Hockey Knights:

Underwhelming. That’s the one word that sums up the Vegas Golden Knights 2018-19 campaign thus far. The team isn’t buying into Gerard Gallant’s hard-working, three-zone style of play.

Vegas has struggled in all facets of the game, defending, scoring and goaltending have been average to subpar to start the year. And to make matters worse, the NHL’s newest team is banged up and filled with injuries. The club is missing Erik Haula and Paul Stastny to long-term ailments.

Luckily the Golden Knights have a lot of things working in their favor as of late. Vegas defeated the Anaheim Ducks in a 5-0 rout at T-Mobile Arena on Wednesday night. The victory stopped a two-game skid and improved the overall team record to 8-10-1. Sure that record isn’t impressive in the slightest. However, nearly the entire Pacific division currently sits in a similar position.

TONIGHT…

Photoshop: Tom Kostiuk

Game Day Prediction: Back-to-back games? No problem. The Oilers handled the Golden Knights last season and they do it again this year, starting with a big 4-3 win tonight.

Obvious Game Day Prediction: I am soooooo hungover after last night’s Nation Road Trip game in Calgary and will definitely eat two-four bags of beef jerky to try and get over it.

Not-So-Obvious Game Day Prediction: After landing in Edmonton early, the Golden Knights get their morning skate out of the way and spend the rest of the day at the Grand Villa Casino to try and make themselves feel more at home. They enjoy steak sandwiches and tip decently well.


Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 11/18/2018 – 12:00 pm MT

    • Peter Chiarelli whisperer

      As usual, the fans are overreacting. Thumbs up for Oilers management.

      Lucic – McDavid – Draisaitl
      Spooner – Nuge – Rattie
      Klefbom – Larsson
      Nurse – Benning
      Talbot

      OR

      Nuge – McDavid – Draisaitl
      Hall – Barzal – Eberle
      Klefbom – Petry
      Nurse – Schultz
      Dubnyk

      • crabman

        except your roster costs the Oilers over $6M per season more and considering we are up against the cap it wouldn’t work. ofcourse maybe Russell isn’t signed for $4M amd we save $3m on his replacement but we are still well over the cap. Even if we saved on the backup position by $1.25M because we have faith in Dubnyk we would still be over the cap.
        I understand your frustration, I am right there with you, but every move is done seperately and the roster you suggested would never have happened. Any one of those changes though does potentially improve this team a lot.

    • MrBung

      Agreed. This current Oiler roster is not good enough to make the playoffs. GM and coach will be gone at the end of the season. Coach might be sooner given management having no more options left to fix the mess they created.

      • tealyn

        I think that if Chia was concerned in the least about his job that Mclellan would have been long gone, the fact that he isn’t gone tells me that Chia isn’t smart enough to be worried about his job. Troubling…

      • TruthHurts98

        That 3rd period last night has pretty much done me in as an Oiler fan. Rivaled the playoff meltdown against the Ducks in game 5. The entire team stunk. But it goes all the way to the top. Katz has the worst record as an owner. Losing is like an incurable disease with this franchise. Playoffs?!? Weakest division in the league and the Oilers will still be bottom 5 in the NHL by the end of the year with these fools running this team. It’s sad.

    • TruthHurts98

      I’m with you too. TM putting the boat anchor on the top line because Leon is too much of a wuss to fight Tkachuk. They should have targeted baby Gaudreau but let him skate circles around the entire team. They will give the Kings a run for last place in the league this season.

  • SRELIOFAN

    Man, as a fan that loss was deflating last night. It would have been easier to stomach if they hadn’t been up 2-0 in the second. They absolutely have to close out those kind of games, ESPECIALLY against the Flames.

    Hoping for a strong game from Talbot and a big win tonight or else team (and fan) morale is going to be at a new low.

  • Chris_Cruise

    Mr Bung, you had me cracking up last night with your disclaimers under every message about downvoting.

    I have to say that was some funny stuff man!

      • rnj

        Hey weird the guy whose comments got trashed nonstop last night has a fan complimenting those same comments. A new account I’ve never seen before. That posts for the first time immediately as the GDB comes out. Has anyone seen them in the same room together?

        • Chris_Cruise

          Haha nice rnj but we’re different people.

          I can see how MrBung wears on the eternal optimists here but I can appreciate both sides. He calls it how he sees it. Nothing wrong with that.

          Can’t hate on a fan who’s fed up with being dragged through the mud for as long as we all have. He just has the courage to call it like he sees it. Maybe I’m not in the comments enough for that to wear on me like it does to others. Oh well, you know what they say about opinions…

  • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

    IF the Oilers win tonight, it will undo last night’s game and put them right back to square one. We’re 0-1-0 against the Pacific so far and 36-18-5 against them in the past 3 seasons. They got this

  • Dallas Eakins Hair

    I dont know how much gas the Oilers will have in the tank but I hope they play a full 60 and can come out like they did the first two in Cowtown and just play good smart. The third the defensive awareness just was gone from the game, too much blendering killed the chemistry last night, and please lets try to stay out of the box

    I would say play Koskinen again, but I think he’d be tired from last night, otherwise I only really saw one goal I didnt like that went in on Koskinen, otherside the other he had no chance on, but I thought he was pretty solid.

    I think the Oil will start Talbot, I hope if they do start Talbot that comes back and plays his ass off like the Drake did and shows why they need to be playing him, guess we will see

    Lets go Oil!

    • Dallas Eakins Hair

      I guess I should have added if Koskinen isnt tired and says he is good to go then I say play him, I thought Koskinen was a rock last night 3 of those goals he didnt have a chance on the one I think he’d like back but overall his performance was great. I am officially putting the nic name I gave him in the preseason of Kosititsin on the shelf

  • camdog

    Calgary would be running away with division if they had that goaltending from the start of the year. Thing with the Oilers is their depth lines might not have been scoring but they weren’t going to get scored on. I’m not convinced this will be the case moving forward. In the third the forward group was a mess. Defenceman were putting the puck where it was supposed to go and the forwards were in no mans land. The entire forward group is a mess right now, it didn’t have to be that way.

  • Rufio Barcoli

    Todd is a useless coach.
    Hopefully the player try their best tonight, because the coaching hasn’t been any help this year.
    I still can’t believe Todd has a job.

    • Dallas Eakins Hair

      I dont agree with all your viewpoints but on this I stand in solidarity with you.

      One thing that really really bothered me last night was when TM benched Marody. Like WTF for? I didnt see anything that warranted it in his play, I dont want Marody to end up like Jesse with his confidence shattered, Marody has been really good in Bakersfield, if he is doing something TM doesnt like then TM or an assistant should tell him not bench the poor guy

        • Dallas Eakins Hair

          I dunno Alex, Woodcroft was part of the coaching mess here when they cleaned part of the house but TM escaped unharmed. Bakersfield is in the middle of the pack in the Western conference there, so record is a little better than TM’s

          I think the Oil would give the Job to one of the Assistants if TM was Axed tomorrow. I dont see the Oil looking for a HC till after the season if they fired TM right now.

          I dont think Woodcroft would be the answer to a new HC

  • CRONENBERG

    Piss poor coaching by Maclellan last night. What did he say to the team during the second intermission? That they were being too chippy and spending too much time in the box? We played rough and intimidating and were up 2-0 and then come out in the third like they’re all scared to start a fight and the Flames pounce all over it and win. Their comeback started as soon as the Oilers stopped playing rough.

    • Dallas Eakins Hair

      In the box I agree with too many penalties last night but being chippy and playing hard throwing hits is what the Oil needed to do, it worked for 2 periods.

      Remember the season when the Oil ran to the playoffs. They were hitting every team they played and they played hard, I believe that was one of the failures of last year was because we werent physical enough with taking the body to the man and throwing hits, I think the Oilers let it be known that it wasnt going to be easy game for teams they played, they got away from that last year and the 3 rd they looked tired, but You may very well be right that TM changed the tone of the game too much an it had an inverse effect on the teams play in the 3rd

  • Heschultzhescores

    Why are we always talking about the Oikers being tired? These are young men in their prime
    They should be able to play back to back with an hour break for lunch. The excuses need to stop! Either you have the goods or you’re not good enough. That goes for the players and every player in the Oiler’s management team. Time for no excuse hockey!

  • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

    I’ll say this. I was fine with Lucic on the top line…until Calgary got on the board. THAT is when I would’ve swapped back to the lines that got us goals.

  • Oscar

    Hopefully the Knights prevail here & put Chia & McLellan out of their misery after one win in seven most recently. Who out there thinks this is working … anyone?

  • GK1980

    That pathetic effort by Edmonton in the 3rd still makes me sad. I used to think this team is better but I’m starting to doubt it. Secondary scoring or lack of will end their season early.

  • Leichs

    I don’t know what to hope for anymore. On one hand, the pacific is weak and a win gets us right back in the thick of things with a lof of hocky left to play. On the other, I am sick of the coach and GM and I really don’t think we are going to any SCF with these two guys at the helm. Change will only come when the losses start piling up (if that hasnt happened already). I don’t like the way coach has been handling our young players and his decision to keep Luc on the top line despite how bad he clearly looked is just one of many Todd blunders. Marody only played 3 minutes and change if those numbers are correct? It seems the young guys are all held accountable and if they make one mistake or bad play they are banished to the bench for the whole game or demoted like Jesse. Guys like Luc, Drake, Strome, Nurse and Benning can make as many mistakes as they want with absolutely no consquence. This coach is coaching fear of error into our young players right out of the gate. I’m sure Bouchard felt it when he scored his first career goal and was healthy scratched the following game. Caleb Jones got the same treatment during the preseason. Made one mistake in one game (a game he scored in later on) and got immidiately sent down without having the opportunity to dress a game with our main roster and despite how good he looked the games before. I dunno anymore.

        • Heschultzhescores

          There have been many games he should have been out the door, but we hang onto familiar things even when they have long since stopped working. I’m thinking it’s the money. He is still under contract for a few years. A familiar problem with this team…paying too much for too long and getting too little

        • Chris_Cruise

          I don’t see why this got any trashes. A lot of haters on here today. Too much saltiness leftover from last night. Logically you wouldn’t want a new coach to inherit this mess of a roster. He’d be set up for failure. I see your point in wanting a GM in place first and then the coach actually comes in like he stands a chance. Not plugging holes like Todd is currently forced to do.

        • Serious Gord

          Very rare to see the GM fired before a coach.

          The GM traditionally sacrifices his coach in a last ditch effort to save himself.

          I highly doubt that the trajectory will vary from that norm.

        • M22

          Solid point. But, one thing in your post stood out, to me – “really stupid”.

          The Oiler braintrust (lol) simply cannot avoid stupidity. It’s not for lack of caring, as some simpletons have insisted, but rather, lack of ability. Try as they might – and they do try hard, no doubt – they simply can’t be what they long to be: competent. It’s been said several times, in several forums, that the Oilers would be a bottom-dweller had they not won the McDavid lottery. I can’t even make a case against that.

  • slats-west

    After a game like last night where you had one slip away and dint get 1 point you need your ‘Tender to steal one. Cam? …….Maybe let’s take small steps don’t let the first shot in!

  • Heschultzhescores

    Let’s a give Spooner a fair shake. He just flew in from the east to a new team. It’s not his fault Todd rushed him in the lineup and overplayed him

  • Oilers played two good periods last night, first and second. I have to wonder what was said during the intermission, for them to come out flat in the third. It was not the same team.
    Having said that, I expect a boozeless night for Baggedmilk, but a healthy vegan meal instead.

    • TKO

      I think you need to give some credit to the other team… after playing poorly in the second, they regrouped and came out flying. Flames win when they play a speed game, and they turned it on in the third, passes started clicking and no more odd man rushes against. When the Flames are moving their feet, they are a very good team. this isn’t a put down to the Oilers, who have the best player in the world and some good supporting pieces.

      • ARB

        Very true have to give the flames credit for dominating the Oilers in the third. Also Rittich played very well especially with the breakaway saves. Mclellan didn’t help the Oilers at all by not changing the lines back once the game changed and by not rolling all four lines. I want lucic to do well, but he kills every line he is put on. And it was talked about before this year the NHL has changed if a team goes after your star players you go after theirs. Tkachuk did his job perfectly all game!

  • Arfguy

    That third period last night? Disaster.

    Hopefully, Todd realizes that Lucic is more of a hitter these days than a scorer and goes back lines with speed. I am looking forward to when Rieder comes back so we have more options on the left wing for speed.

    Right now, I am hoping that those line combinations in the article are accurate and stick for a while.

    • Arfguy

      I don’t want to trash it, but I honestly think that Lucic’s days as a potential scoring threat are long past. If the Oilers want offence from their forwards, Lucic should be kept far away.

      The only way I see Lucic really scoring these days is in front of the net, but his speed and reaction time is sorely lacking to be able to tip pucks or deposit rebounds.

  • jesse says yep

    Why must someone always light the bandwagon on fire just to jump off? Get off, stay off and find something that makes you happier cuz hockey doesn’t seem to be your thing.

  • Serious Gord

    Oil have six games left this month. All but one against pacific opponents (4 point games).

    For some time now many oil fans have clung to the “wait till we play the pacific” meme like Hillary clung to “we own Michigan and Wisconsin”. Well it’s nearing midnight and the verdict on the season likely is upon us – the oil either win 4 of six or the odds of playoff hockey in Edmonton get A LOT steeper.

  • Lazarus

    Lots of talk today about how dumb TMac was last night, getting out coached, coaching for his job.
    I enjoy thinking about how every single Oiler fan was over the moon when they hired him..thinking they were getting an elite coach. Never wondering why the Sharks never accomplished anything

    • Arfguy

      In fairness, I think people were claiming the same thing about Barry Trotz prior to his Stanley Cup win last season.

      Alain Vignault has not won a Cup but has successfully guided two different teams to the Stanley Cup Finals. Pointing to San Jose as a team that is somehow “bad” is not something that makes sense, because they continuously make the playoffs while the Oilers have made the playoffs just once in the last 10 years.

    • Leichs

      We were more so just happy to get a guy with experience. Our coaches before that were unproven. Todd coached a regular season titan that was a perrennial playoff threat for like ten years straight. Same can be said about Pete, people were just happy to have experience at the positions. No one could have predicted that Pete would dismantle the entire roster and trade all the skill and speed away for slower players and cap space and use it to sign even worse players lol. And no one would have thought that Todd would be so bad at coaching rookies/young talent.

    • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

      What’s the point? The problem with a team that sucks is that every practice is just practicing more suckage. It’s why our PP and PK sucks.