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Random Stats…

It’s the final Friday before Christmas, and hopefully you don’t become Frank Costanza this weekend.

Frank: Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son. I reached for the last one they had, but so did another man. As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way.
Kramer: What happened to the doll?
Frank: It was destroyed. But out of that a new holiday was born. A Festivus for the rest of us.

It is a major error to celebrate Festivus early, so there will be no Airing of Grievances today. Instead, we’ll take a quick look at things around the NHL and how some scenarios could benefit or hinder the Edmonton Oilers.

1. The Oilers caught a huge break when the Minnesota Wild announced Matt Dumba will have shoulder surgery next week. GM Paul Fenton explained, “He will be out for a significant time. We don’t know (how long) until they get in there.” That doesn’t sound promising for the Wild, who are chasing the Oilers for the final wildcard spot and sit three points back with one game in hand. Edmonton has 39 points in 35 games, Vancouver has 38 points in 38 games, Dallas sits with 37 points in 35 games and the Wild are currently 12th in the west.

2. Losing Dumba is a major blow for the Wild. He is tied for second on the Wild in goals with 12, is fourth in points with 22 and he plays 23:23/game. He also leads all NHL D-men in goals. They will really miss him on the PP where he is tied for the team lead with six goals.

3. The Oilers are dealing with their own injuries on the blueline, but they should have Kris Russell back within a few weeks and Andrej Sekera is getting closer every day. He has discussed openly his willingness to want to get some AHL games in before he returns to the NHL lineup and Bakersfield has a pretty busy schedule coming up.

4. They play on December 31st, January 2nd, 4th and 5th and then again on January 9th, 11th and 12th. Sekera talked about wanting to play three games in four days in the AHL, and he will have two opportunities to do that in early January. If he gets the green light from the doctor we could see him in the AHL in the next ten days, and then possibly join the Oilers on the last leg of their California road trip in San Jose on January 6th. Getting Russell and Sekera back in the lineup would be a major boost for the defence.

5. Sekera looks much more mobile in practice than he did a year ago today, when he returned to the lineup. His knee is a non-issue, and he is just waiting until the doctor says he has enough strength in his Achilles to get in a game. Last year, when he returned wearing a knee brace, at times he looked like an Ocean Liner when he was pivoting. The brace limited his range of motion and when he tried to pivot he couldn’t extend his knee how he wanted. That won’t be the case this year.

6. Tobias Rieder is one of ten forwards in the NHL who have played 22+ games and are still goalless. Of those ten, Rieder has the most shots with 42.

Player                       GP     SHOTS    TOI/GAME
Tobias Rieder           22        42             13:22
Valeri Nichuskin       27        39             12:15
Juho Lammikko       32         32             10:55
Tim Schaller             29        26             11:49
Gabriel Bourque      28         17            10:41
Frederik Gauthier    26         19             8:25
Chris Kunitz             22         21            10:18
Brian Gibbons         27         19            10:22
Tom Pyatt               34         27            11:59
Noel Acciari            28         39            11:48

Rieder has the most assists, seven, most shots and averages the most icetime. He’s also missed three breakaways this season. You’d think he is due to score soon.

7. Milan Lucic scored on his first shot of the season, but he hasn’t scored since. He isn’t getting many chances lately either, and he only has 35 shots in 35 games this year. It is difficult to score when you don’t get many shots. In 43 games from January to April last season, he only had one goal as well, but he did have 70 shots. He needs to find a way to get more puck on net if he wants to end his funk.

8. At the other end of the goal scoring spectrum, in the 2018 calendar year Alex Oveckin has scored 54 goals in 75 games, Patrik Laine has 49 goals in 77 games and Connor McDavid is third with 46 in 77 games. McDavid has the most EV goals with 37 to Ovechkin’s 36, while Nathan MacKinnon has 33 and Jeff Skinner has 30.

9. Only three players have 100 points in 2018: McDavid (112), Mikko Rantanen (109) and MacKinnon (106). Leon Draisaitl and Niklas Backstrom are tied for 17th with 80 points.

10. The Arizona Coyotes are struggling again, but their PK has been outstanding, leading the NHL at 88.3%. They’ve only allowed 12 PP goals on 103 kills, and they’ve scored an amazing eleven shorthanded goals. They are only -1 in 175 minutes of PK time. They are -20 at 5×5, being outscored 68-48. They are ruining one of the best PK seasons we’ve ever seen in the NHL.

11. The Prince Albert Raiders of the WHL have an excellent PK as well, sitting at 89.5%. They’ve scored 17 shorthanded goals and have only allowed 17 PP goals. They are even through 34 games. It will be interesting to see if the Coyotes and Raiders can come close to being even while shorthanded this season.

MONTH OF GIVING

DAY 15: Package #1: Hockey and Dinner at Grand Villa Casino

  • You and three friends will have a five-course meal at Atlas Steak + Fish in Grand Villa Casino. All wine pairings and beverages included.
  • Four tickets in a suite to the Oilers/Canucks game on December 27th.

You can bid by listening to TSN 1260 and calling 780.444.1260 or text 101260 between 2-5:55 p.m. today.

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  • Arfguy

    Things are not as dire for the Oilers as they may seem. While I think things can always improve, they could be so much worse. I looked at the stats and I think it is fair to say that a few people consider the Carolina Hurricanes’ defence core to be quite good. However, I see that Darnell Nurse already has more goals and points than Jaccob Slavin, Justin Faulk, Dougie Hamilton or Calvin de Haan. I consider Slavin to be a really good defenceman, but Nurse is one year younger and has better numbers this year.

    They really need to fix the power play. The Oilers need to think about shooting more and find open players. They want to make cross seam plays, but I have seen so many get intercepted that I think they should try moving it along the perimeter until they find someone who can shoot.

      • Dan 1919

        You don’t watch much hockey do you. The Oilers have a mediocre defence to start with and are currently without 3 of their top 4 guys, not to mention that 2 of the 3 are their two best dmen. They’re basically in a treading water situation until the Russell and Sekera get back, if they can win tonight I would consider that a bonus. It’s unrealistic to expect any NHL team to put up dominant performances with 3 top 4 dmen out.

  • WhoreableGuy

    Ovechkin is the greatest goal scorer of our generation and McDavid has more even strength goals than him for the calendar year of 2018. That’s amazing, imagine of McDavid can get a few more on the PeePer.

  • Todd the electron rod

    “The brace limited his range of motion and when he tried to pivot he couldn’t extend his knee how he wanted. That won’t be the case this year.”
    It might be the case this year as well. Last season we waited for break out years from several players. That didn’t go so well. This year we were counting on bounce back years from several players. I would respectfully suggest it’s not going as hoped for some players.
    I’m not counting chickens before they hatch on Sekera’s knee. It might be 100% and he’ll be nimble as ever. Or…

    • Jason Gregor

      Todd it won’t be because he isn’t WEARING the brace. He will take some time to get up to speed, but he isn’t wearing a brace so there will be nothing limiting his range or motion. Saying he will have more range or motion isn’t close to saying he will be the player he was in 2017. They are two different topics.

    • Kevwan

      The fact is injuries will happen to other teams just like they have/will happen/ed to the Oilers.

      I’m sure when Klefbomb got hurt, fans from our playoff rivals said “I hope Klef is OK” and “that helps our team”

  • OldOilFan

    Looch’s contract:
    if Lucic is open for a trade, probably back to East, some team will take him. It’s all about the playoffs, where he can make a difference. Crushing hits, cycling, big game experience and yes, decent hands.

      • OldOilFan

        Let the “trashes” come, here’s my take on Milan (btw, I’m more than old enough to be his father, for whatever that might be worth):

        1. He’s a proud, emotional guy and extremely fit athlete for a guy of his build
        2. EDM City (fans, media) has a bad track record for destroying the morale of individual Oilers
        3. If y’all would just lay off him for a bit, he’d get his game back
        4. If Lucic seeks a trade and gets it, then he will “show you up” afterwards
        5. What’s the big deal about his $6M anyway? Is PC gonna get rid of Looch for cap space and then bring in 2 more Spooners or 2 Stromes…

      • OldOilFan

        Lol, the whole team sucked against the Ducks at the end… the worst collapse in modern times.
        (I know, I know, Talbot was interferred with. That being ignored by the refs ranks with Brett Hull’s foot-in-the-crease goal against the Sabres, in my lifetime, as the worst officiating I’ve ever seen)