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Photo Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

GDB 50.0: Finish Off Strong (7:00pm MT, SN1)

For the last time before heading off into their bye week and All-Star Break, the Edmonton Oilers will look to get themselves back on track with a win against the Detroit Red Wings. Can they pull it off? The first step will be showing up.

After stumbling through what can only be described as a disastrous weekend and following it up with a day that was ripe with suspect roster decision, the Oilers need to find a way to head into their break on a high note. They need something that helps them feel good about themselves before heading off to Gord knows where for the next ten days. Something to help fans remember why they spend so much of their money and lives invested in them. Needless to say, the vibe around here has been toxic for a while and it doesn’t seem like this management group cares much, so all we’ve got left is to hope for wins and to keep sending out prayers that things will magically change. Would a win against the league-worst Detroit Red Wings help?

At this point, the Oilers are basically stuck in quicksand and we’re all on the sidelines helplessly waiting to see if they’re going to keep struggling and drown or if they’ll find the lifeline that saves their season/respectability. The trades they’ve made have been weird, the games are getting more painful to watch, and I’m really unsure about how much I’m able to trust in the process anymore given the people that are steering the ship. I’m not going to pretend to know what the answer is for fixing everything, there are plenty of problems that need to be addressed and some of them are deep-rooted issues, but I do know that the people that put the Oilers in this spot shouldn’t be given any more chances to turn things around. But as we saw with yesterday’s roster moves, the organization doesn’t see things the same way and Peter Chiarelli will be given every chance to crawl out of the grave he’s dug for himself.

Given the fact that we’re now four years into Connor McDavid’s career, being this far away from being competitive is completely unforgivable and it’s getting to the point where I actually feel sorry for him for being forced to answer why things are the way they are. Yeah, you can tell me that there is still plenty of time left in this season, and you’d be right too to a certain extent, but there’s no way in hell you will ever convince me that this team shouldn’t be further ahead of where they are based on the players they started the McTenure with. When they drafted him back in June of 2015, the Oilers needed improvements on the back end but here we are almost four years later and they’ve depleted the skill on the wings and still haven’t solved the defensive issues. I don’t even know how that’s possible. Yet, here we are, hoping and wishing for better days while being stuck in this Groundhog’s Day world that the Oilers have created for us.

Oh, and I almost forgot, there’s a game tonight against the Detroit Red Wings, I believe. Need a quick start, get pucks deep, stay out of the box, and blah blah blah. Just win, alright? 

NUMBERS

OILERS RED WINGS
RECORD 23-23-3 18-25-7
WIN/LOSS STREAK L2 L2
LAST 10 GAMES 5-5-0 3-6-1
GOALS FOR 144 142
GOALS AGAINST 160 170
POWER PLAY 21.5 16.5
PENALTY KILL 76.8 77.2
AVG. SHOTS/FOR 28.7 29.3
AVG. SHOTS/AGAINST 31.2 33.2
TEAM SAVE% .902 .906
CORSI FOR% 45.83 48.32
PDO 99.43 100.38
TEAM SHOOTING% 7.89 8.38
EXPECTED GOALS FOR% 46.61 46.55

Numbers courtesy of Corsica (fancies at 5×5)

LINEUPS…

Oilers

RNH – McDavid – Puljujarvi
Khaira – Draisaitl – Chiasson
Spooner – Cave – Yamamoto
Lucic – Brodziak – Kassian

Nurse – Russell
Gravel – Larsson
Manning – Benning

Koskinen

After the mayhem that went down yesterday with the Rattie and Spooner hitting the waiver wire, Caleb Jones being reassigned to Bakersfield, and Mikko Koskinen signing a three-year contract extension, I really wasn’t sure what to expect from Hitchcock’s line combinations. Now that we know that neither Spooner nor Rattie was claimed, the Oilers chose to retain Spooner on the roster instead of assigning him to the Condors. Patrick Olsen on Twitter had the breakdown on why this is possible. According to Jack Michaels, it looks like Rieder will draw the short straw tonight. Frankly, with this team, I feel like anything is on the table at this point and all we can really do is strap in and hope for Jesus to take the wheel.

Red Wings

Bertuzzi – Larkin – Nyquist
Vanek – Nielsen – Mantha
Helm – Glendening – Athanasiou
Abdelkader – Ehn – Frk

Kronwall – Green
Dekeyser – Jensen
Ericsson – Cholowski

Howard

Over their last 10 games, the Red Wings have been giving up an average of 3.4 goals per game and a whole lot of shots against, which might be exactly what the doctor ordered for our boys. On the flip side, Detroit has also been firing a lot of shots towards their opponents’ nets and that could be a problem as our goaltending hasn’t exactly been hot fire over the past month or so.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

From Wingsnation:

The Red Wings road trip through Western Canada so far as been a disaster. In both games, they had a lead going into the third period and in both games they lost it. Their losing efforts as of late have plummeted them to the bottom of the standings where, after the Los Angeles Kings won their matinee game yesterday, they sit in last place.

The good news is they roll into Edmonton tonight where they won’t be the biggest disaster. The Oilers are currently out of playoff contention, though by a mere three points, and Peter Chiarelli seems determined to sink them even further. Yesterday, he waived Ryan Spooner, effectively turning Jordan Eberle into nothing. Then, it was announced that Mikko Koskinen, the goalie whose played a mere 31 NHL games, has been extended for three years at a $4.5-million AAV. He’ll apparently be their starting goalie of the future.

But enough about their head office moves. What about their play on the ice as of late? The Oilers are 5-5-0 in their last 10 games and 12-12-1 at home. Funnily, they are 11-11-2 on the road, making them a perfectly even and balanced team. Thanos would like them. In their only other game against the Red Wings this year, the Oilers won by a score of 4-3.

TONIGHT…

Photoshop: Tom Kostiuk


Game Day Prediction: After dropping two horrible games against the Flames and Hurricanes, the Oilers bounce back with a strong effort and a 3-2 win.

Obvious Game Day Prediction: Regardless of what happens in tonight’s game, Oilers fans will be thankful for a 10 break from the emotional rollercoaster that is Oilers fandom.

Not-So-Obvious Game Day Prediction: Before the game starts, Peter Chiarelli will walk into his favourite local coffee shop and trade $200 for a small Vanilla Latte. He will then trade the cup holding the latte back to the coffee shop in exchange for them pouring the coffee in his hands.

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Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 1/22/2019 – 10:00 am MT

  • Alberta Ice

    Game day prediction: The volatile Oilers completely shell shock a tired road team to the score of 7-2 (like as they did to Buffalo) and make the Red Wings become as tasty as Buffalo Wild Wings. The Oilers get a bonus feather to its salary cap when Lucic gets a hat trick utterly completing this fowl prediction of a game score.

  • Spoils

    sorry if this is a repost…

    really want to shout from the hilltops – FIRE CHIARELLI NOW

    also, don’t rush the rebuild.

    yes, I said it, we are in a rebuild.

    Step1 – ADMIT CHIARELLI FAILED
    Step2 – take note that we have the best player in the world signed with term and we have some quality support around him that is as young or younger.
    Step3 – hire a new GM (be patient here, deploy an interim GM that can only tinker, be willing to pay to get the best GM)
    Step4 – patiently build through the draft and by opportunistically praying on teams that are trying to rush a rebuild (oh – you mean like find the Taylor Halls we can trade Larssons for? yes).

    The goal isn’t making the playoffs. The goal is winning the cup. multiple cups.

  • Spaceman Spiff

    If you’re only a casual Oilers fan and not up-to-date on the Koskinen contract situation, fear not. The bloggers on this site will be happy to remind you of its details every time Koskinen lets in a goal over the next three seasons.

    • Rufio Barcoli

      Of course.
      It will be the Yin to Talbot’s Yang.
      Remember how for the last two years when Talbot let’s in a goal or loses a game-they would all come out and write excuses for him, no matter how poorly he played.
      They’ll do the opposite for Koskinen.

  • Danger Pay

    Obvious game day prediction:
    A group of family and friends will gather and talk around seats they didn’t pay for, then give the rightful seat holders dirty looks when they show up to sit down.
    Plenty of fans will not be in their seats prior to puck drop.
    An upper bowl drunk will have to refill his/her drink at least 3 times during both the 1st and 2nd, making everyone in that row get up every time they leave and return.
    I was looking into getting cheap ticket for tonight then I remember, Oilers fans will be there, No thanks. Just had a colleague return from Tampa Bay. She attended a Canes v Lightening game and said everyone was in their seats prior to puck drop. Everyone was nice to talk to. No one left during gameplay and everyone was back from intermission before puck drop.
    If I was Oilers management I couldn’t or wouldn’t care less about Neanderthal Oiler fans who don’t know how to act in public. Tier 1 fans, more like entitled animals with no etiquette.

  • You just got LITT up!

    rotfl … how embarrasing that a team currently tied for last place in the entire league is able to take shots at the Oilers and are how crappy they are. Good job Oilers!

  • VK63

    2000+ seats on Ticketmaster right now, many, by price, getting dumped!!. Well done Oilers fans!! thats the bullet wound that OEG can’t fix with a pompous bandaid and a foghorn dissertation.

    • Danger Pay

      Obvious game day prediction:
      A group of family and friends will gather and talk around seats they didn’t pay for, then give the rightful seat holders dirty looks when they show up to sit down.
      Plenty of fans will not be in their seats prior to puck drop.
      An upper bowl drunk will have to refill his/her drink at least 3 times during both the 1st and 2nd, making everyone in that row get up every time they leave and return.

      • Danger Pay

        I was looking into getting cheap tickets for tonight then I remember, Oilers fans will be there, No thanks. Just had a colleague return from Tampa Bay. She attended a Canes v Lightening game and said everyone was in their seats prior to puck drop. Everyone was nice to talk to. No one left during gameplay and everyone was back from intermission before puck drop.

        • Danger Pay

          If I was Oilers management I couldn’t or wouldn’t care less about Neanderthal Oiler fans who don’t know how to act in public. Tier 1 fans, more like entitled animals with no etiquette.

        • Ted

          But the OILERS chant is sooooo unheart felt I’m sure the players hear too. If your gonna chant be biligerant and scare the **** out of the person beside you to wake them up!!! … The chant is sooooo sooooo bad it’s not worth it …. IT’S EMBARRASSING!!!

          • Danger Pay

            Agreed, Then there’s always an a$$hat who starts the chant right after puck drop. Can we let the game develop a little bit, let everyone get settled, including the players? Nope, straight into “LessgoOy-lers” right out the gate for no rhyme or reason.

          • Gravis82

            you know, this is probably on the city. Katz walked in with a certain design and then the city essentially said no to everything and they just kept cutting and cutting and cutting.

            Owners do not fund their own buildings anymore. It rarely happens. If the city wants the team they have to pay. We are a small city so this is what we get. Oh well

    • Lazarus

      Took you all 12 years but maybe you have finally grabbed a clue..you are all guilty of enabling and all shoulder the blame for what has been allowed to happen. Who do you think paid for it?

      • Gravis82

        any why is that?

        Because McDavid is literally the only other good player to play with on the team.

        WHen Drai plays alone, he is with plugs as Nuge is up with McDavid.

        Our GOOD players are NOT the problem.

        Our problem is that we do not have enough of them.

    • Clayton

      So you are going under the assumption that Chia gets fired…hired by St. Louis and makes the Tarasenko and Parynko for Nurse and Drai trade…then gets fired from the blues and hired by the Caps to make the Burakovsky for Talbot trade? Because I think the only GM in the world that would make those deals would be Chia.

  • KootenayDan

    The players inside the dressing room need to understand there is only one Connor. The rest need to play a simple hardworking style game. They need to rally the troops and play a much more defensive game. They keep trying to force their way in the offensive zone only to get beat by the other teams transition game. Be who you are an under talented group outside of a few skilled players and play boring give up nothing hockey at least until more skill arrives down the road. Maybe just maybe not let in the first shot might help.

  • slats-west

    I really hope they win tonight. Not because of the obvious reasons regarding chasing the last Wild Card ……….but if they lose the PANIC button could be hit and who knows what Chia will do!!

  • Stallions #35

    I am still on the side of sending Yamamoto to the A. He just doesn’t seem strong enough to battle on this level. Its like the little engine that could…he has the fight in him but just getting over powered. How is Reider not a better option than him right now?

  • Stallions #35

    How do we continually get outshot almost every game? Its 9-6 for Redwings right now…Its Detroit!…Thank goodness I am not watching this game… but checking for updates is as painful…hahaha

  • Dallas Eakins Hair

    why the hell ae the Oilers defence playing like 5 feet from each other leaving their opponents all kind of space and sticking theit sticks out like it is going to stop the opposition from coming in. no forcing the opposing player to the outside, no cutting off the angle, no forcing him off the puck with pressure, just let them skate on in…. totally useless and yet they are still using this system and it doesnt work

    • Dallas Eakins Hair

      I like Koskinen but this signing wasn’t smart for a variety of reasons. 1. Koskinen isnt playing well right now, they should have waited till closer to the end of the season and they could have signed him at 4 mil, he isnt having a lights out season I wouldnt have only signed him for 2 years we still dont know what we have with him 5 mil at 3 years if he doesnt work out is going to be a tough trade, and right now teams were not going to beat the Oilers door down for Koskinen
      2 Signing Koskinen now just made the trade market for Talbot weaker, now teams know your going to want to dump him because your not paying him 4 mil to be a back up , so your going to trade him and teams know this so know your trading from a position of weakness and its even worse because Talbot hasn’t been playing well so any trade value Talbot had you just reduced because you have told teams he isnt going to be re-signed and Koskinen is our 1 one guy, like talk about dumb , why weaken an already weak trading position further by doing the Koskinen signing now!
      Chia is making more moves that are hurting the team and this just is another example, over pays Koskinen and signs him to a 3 yr deal not knowing if he can handle the load when he more than likely could have got Koskinen at less and on a shorter term in case he doesnt pan out and they have to move him’

        • Dallas Eakins Hair

          I know man, its just bizzare they let chia make a deal, he just overpays in term and money and screws us every move he makes. A deal he should do is Chaisson at 1 25 a yr…. but no no, lets no bother with a guy who can score lol

      • Rufio Barcoli

        He is one of Gregor’s errand boys (interns).
        I forgot what he writes articles on as, but once I find out I’ll let anyone know.

        Everyone of these “writers”/interns have a few accounts that they sign in here under and spew crap to further their dumb ideas and thoughts.

      • Himynameistaylor

        Buddy just because I find humour in the boneheaded plays of the ostensible saviours the fan base appoints doesn’t make me any less of a fan. Hop off my nuts bro ur a lil thirsty

  • President & General Manager

    The Wings are too fast. Looks like Peter and Bob will have to plan another rebuild. This might take years to fix but don’t worry Peter’s on it.