It’s my first game back at Rogers Place and I got here just in time for a couple of stinkers from Talbot and Reimer, excellent.
Here are a few observations and thoughts as the Oilers and Panthers “battle” it out for a couple of points.
TOBIAS WHERE ART THOU?
Call me a fool. I thought the Rieder signing was a major win for Chiarelli in the off-season but he has literally not moved the needle at all. Heading into this game against the Panthers Rieder had not scored in his first 30 games as an Oiler. During his NHL career, he has averaged 5.28 goals for every 30 game stretch so this simply can’t be the norm. I still feel like he will contribute at some point and I’m ok with them having control of him at the end of the season.
So how important is Kris Russell to the Edmonton Oilers? I’m not asking how good he is but how important is he to this team? I’m asking because I noticed three plays in the first 15 minutes that I kind of liked. On the PK he stepped inside a Panthers player, took away a pass, calmly played it to Nurse who dumped it down the ice. He also made a nice one on one play against Barkov and eliminated him in the corner. On top of that, he had another very tidy breakup in the defensive zone. Don’t’ get me wrong they weren’t amazing plays but they are plays that a lot of other d-men on this team have struggled to make.
So is he the fourth most important d-man? The third? I don’t think I’d put him in the top two…..but maybe? We all watched how this team looked without him and Klefbom who is clearly the most important by a country mile.
A PICK FOR BOONE?
So we all know Bob Stauffer has been pushing the idea of the Oilers moving their 1st round pick for a forward with term.
IMO the Edmonton Oilers must be exhaustive in their efforts to improve scoring depth up front and should be prepared to move their 2019 #1 if neccessary to acquire a legit top 6 FWD…with term…
— Bob Stauffer (@Bob_Stauffer) January 9, 2019
I have searched the internet far and wide looking for a forward that has at least three years remaining on their contract, can play top-six minutes and makes less than $4,000,000 per year. I’ve arrived at Boone Jenner.
Jenner scored 30 goals as a 22-year-old but now at the age of 25, he has just seven. Scott Howson, who is once again back with the Oilers, drafted Jenner when he was the GM of the Blue Jackets so he would be familiar with him. Would the Jackets be willing to take a d-man back as well to help a little bit with Jenner’s $3.75 million dollar cap hit?
I wouldn’t love this deal and I don’t expect you to love it either but what more would you really expect from Chiarelli at this point. Any other suggestions out there?
We saw a glimpse of this early in the second period against the Panthers. It actually led to a scoring chance and then that appeared to be the end of it. I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing more of it if it didn’t make me feel so damn bad for McDavid. I guess you could leave Chiasson with McDavid but whom would you play on the other side? May I suggest zero goal man Tobias Rieder.
VEGGIES IN THE PRESS BOX
When did Dallas Eakins get back to town? There were two big plates of veggies in the press box tonight. I stood next to Ryan Rishaug and Jason Gregor while they enjoyed them. I preferred to indulge in popcorn, after all, I can have veggies at home whenever I want, I just never want to.
Speaking of veggies, how much longer until former Oilers bench boss Dallas Eakins takes over in Anaheim? The Ducks have lost a franchise-worst 9 consecutive games and it certainly seems like Randy Carlyle is on thin ice. Imagine the Oilers in a playoff race against a Ducks team coached by Dallas Eakins.
5 on 3 Failure
The Oilers scored shortly after but the 5-on-3 chance they had at the end of the second period was troubling. They actually took a timeout to draw something up and it looked like the only plan was to stand around and try to pass it to Chiasson. The Panthers and everyone else in the world knew exactly what was going on.
Fans at Rogers Place just chanted LOOOOOCH because he cleared the puck at the blue line. I have no bloody idea what’s going on.
THEY DESERVED WHAT THEY GOT A bad bounce in the third sealed the Oilers fate in this one but in no way did they actually deserve any better. Darnell Nurse had six shots on goal while ALL OF THE OILERS FORWARDS COMBINED HAD FIVE. If your forwards can’t generate more than five shots on goal you don’t deserve to win a hockey game and likely never will win a hockey game. Draisaitl played over 24 minutes and didn’t register a shot on goal. Maybe I should have stayed home and watched the game but I heard that sucked too.
30. Seconds. Later.
MCDAVID SAVES THE DAY
Ok, so Draisaitl did finally get a shot and then he set up McDavid to tie the game. The Oilers somehow pulled this thing out in a shootout after Reimer stood on his head in overtime.
Thank god for Connor McDavid. That is all.