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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.

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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

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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.

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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


  • Sparky Blue

    NSOGDPS – Baggedmilk exercises option to buy more Kulmans shares and lays in a good supply of at cost beets. Oilers continue on downward trend and the POHO laments how he could have pulled a Tambellinin over the last five years done nothing.

  • elliotsmom

    Still waiting for General Disappointment to do the Walk of Shame. Bobby pull the trigger. Relieve us fans of our misery and frustrations that Chia has be causing.

  • Odanada

    Love the pic of Looch pumping his own tires!!!
    Pete’s new “plan” is pump up Milan and trade him at the deadline!
    Genius Chiarelli! Pure unadulterated GENIUS!!

    NSOGDP Looch scores a Gordie Howe hat Trick!

    • 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

  • Dallas Eakins Hair

    Another goal and another failed stick defence, look at that sequence, no pushing the man off the puck no pressure, no trying to push him to the outside…no no…lets use our sticks and stick it out and that will magically tell them they cant go this way with the puck, yeah that will stop em cold….unbelievable they just cant figure out why the opposition can skate right to the net and why they are getting scored on right left and center, and none of the coaches see’s a problem with this system…just wow

  • Odanada

    As hard as it is to believe, we look like the Washington Generals and Detroit looks like the Harlem Globetrotters.
    C’mon guys. You can do better than this!

    • Odanada

      Maybe we could trade him for someone less capable, then trade that guy for someone even less capable, then put that third even less capable guy on waivers……. Yes folks. No one in the league gave a fork about Spooner.
      Chia is a beastmaster

  • Anton CP

    I will now point out for the reason that why Nuge is terrible. He is the example for the Oilers fans willing to settle for mediocrity instead of a desire for better. Here is a list of players that was drafted at the same year as Nuge:Gabriel Landeskog, Jonathan Huberdeau, Mark Scheifele, Sean Couturier, Dougie Hamilton, Rickard Rakell, John Gibson, Vincent Trochek, JOHNNY GAUDREAU, and NIKITA KUCHEROV! Other than Hamilton and Gibson that everyone else on the list have all cracked the 60 points at certain point of their career but somehow Nuge is great? Everyone on that list only Gaudreau and Scheifele are paid more than Nuge but somehow no one ever felt that Nuge is overpaid? The only reason that Nuge is still remain as an Oiler simply because no one willing to pay any good price for Nuge because he is not worth 6m per year. You can blame the Oilers management failed on him but he has never lived up to the expectation. So for those still cheering behind the greatness of Nuge, you get what you deserve: a mediocre team for the mediocre fanbase.

  • Anton CP

    I was listening to radio yesterday that said about how great Nuge is and Nuge is “Toews light” that I was thinking about what part of “light” Nuge has as Toews? I guess his contract was a bit lighter to Toews.

  • A-co

    This is not the game you wanted from your STARTING goalie after you give him a 3 year deal..OUCH…not all on the goalie though…the offense could have showed up tonight…pistol pete now has 10 days to think of how he can sewer this team more so…

  • Ted

    Did you see the four fans behind the bench? … Three were like—- why are we here? …. and the other sleeping! Great game!! NOT!!! …. AT HOME! BOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

  • Anton CP

    The Oilers fans has been delutional since 2006. 2006 unexpected successes were because Lowe and the Oilers benefitted largely from introduction of cap era and took in bunch of big contract stars due to their former teams unable to get under the cap. The one that carried the team, Chris Pronger, wanted out by the following season then somehow without the most important player on the team that the fans believed the Oilers can still win a cup.

    A few years after that, with 3 straight first round picks that fans were believing the team is on a destiny to be a contender with all the top end talents that they gathered then Eakins and MacT mercilessly destroyed everyone’s hope and the team ended up with McDavid. Then everyone is demanding the team to win the cup within McDavid’s entry level that Chiarelli just gathered the highest paid FAs in hope that the team can compete right away. We got this team in the end.

  • Randaman

    Don’t beat me up too badly but who do we keep between Draisaitl & Nuge? This is of course to be dealt with by a competent GM. Do you trade Draisaitl (higher value) for a package? I would keep Nuge myself. Good dependable 2C that plays PP, PK, etc. We need to surround Connor with more than just two players (Nuge & Draisaitl)!

    • Rebuild3.0

      What is it with oilers fans and wanting to trade the only productive members of the team? there are 20 guys that arent doing anything but these are the ones that need to go?

      • Randaman

        Because you can’t win with two or three players. #97, #29 & #93 are all we have. After many years of crap, this is absolutely pathetic! You want to stay with the status quo? Good for you.

        • Rebuild3.0

          no, the difference is that i’m not stupid enough to be blaming the only players on the team that are productive. what’s pathetic is that people like you have no problem with 12 players that dont do anything and instead want to trade two guys that are on pace for career years.

      • Randomfan

        I dont think anyone is implying you keep the 20 and trade the players that are producing. But in the current scenario you have to move a piece that gets you few pieces back that can produce better than the other 20 that are not producing. Or you wait till you grow from within. We all know how that went in last 10 plus years. No matter what this org does they cant win. The problems run deep.

        • All Ice

          Yep, keep being the team giving up the best player in every trade cause that’s how you win? If you can’t win with the current group and can’t trade anything but your best then you sit pat and draft. Long term thinking instead of constant downgrading of talent

  • OldOilFan

    Oilers players laughing?

    I hope -tonight, anyway- that they are laughing, right along with us! All of us baffled and confused by the latest chapter in OilGate.

    Put another way, I hope the Oilers are “loosey, goosey” and feeling like “LOL, we might as well just have fun out there tonight… nothing to lose because it can hardly get any worse than it’s been lately.”

  • 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.

  • 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!!