GDB Game Notes: Oilers @ Penguins

It is always exciting when two of the best players in the NHL faceoff against each other, and the energy is heightened when it is the two players considered the best in the league. Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid will play one another for the sixth time tonight. The previous five games have all been decided by one goal with three of them needing overtime or a shootout. The individual stats of McDavid and Crosby have been polar opposite to the outcomes of the games.

1. McDavid has produced 3-6-9 head-to-head, with Crosby scoring 2-1-3. Both of Crosby’s goals came earlier this season in an highly entertaining 6-5 OT victory. McDavid has produced much more, but the Penguins have won all five games. The last time the Oilers defeated the Penguins was during McDavid’s rookie season, and he was out of the lineup with a broken collarbone. The Oilers won 3-2 in a SO on November 28th, 2015 in Pittsburgh.

2. It is remarkable the Oilers and Penguins organizations have each had two legitimate generational players in the past 30 years. Edmonton being home to Wayne Gretzky and McDavid, while Mario Lemieux and Crosby dazzled Pittsburgh fans. The Oilers and Penguins each have five Stanley Cups since the NHL expanded to 21 teams in 1979/1980, and during that time the Penguins have scored the most goals in the NHL at 10,352, while Edmonton is second with 10,222. Both fanbases have been spoiled offensively.

3. But both have had hardships as well. The Penguins have allowed the 2nd most goals since 1980 at 10,391 and Edmonton has allowed the 4th most at 10,108. The Pens have the 7th most wins and (1464) and 6th most losses (1257), while Edmonton is 12th in wins (1386) and have the 5th most losses (1281). These teams have seen great highs and lows over the past 40 seasons.

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4. Edmonton has had 15 single digit first round picks (top-9). The Penguins have had 13. *If you are curious the Islanders have the most (23) and Red Wings and Flames the fewest (8).**

Edmonton selected McDavid, Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov #1 overall. They took Leon Draisaitl #3, Jesse Puljujarvi and Jason Bonsignore #4, Sam Gagner, Boyd Devereaux, Steve Kelly, Ryan Smyth and Paul Coffey at #6, Darnell Nurse and Jason Arnott at #7 and Grant Fuhr #8.

The Penguins selected Crosby, Marc-Andre Fleury and Mario Lemieux #1, Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Stall and Craig Simpson #2, Darrin Shannon and Zarley Zalapski #4, Jaromir Jagr, Ryan Whitney and Chris Joseph #5, Derrick Pouliot #8 and Mike Bullard #9.

5. Oilersnation is hoping their beloved Oilers will once again become a dominant team, but the reality is while the Penguins were able to build up from the bottom on two different occasions and win Stanley Cups in 1991 and 1992 and again in 2009, 2016 and 2017, the Oilers haven’t been able to get out of their 12, and possibly soon-to-be 13 year funk.

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6. The Oilers’ playoff hopes are teetering on the brink again. They need to win five of their six games before the February 25th trade deadline to even be in the playoff mix. It is a major ask, and based on how they’ve played recently you would think it is unrealistic. They are 6-14-2 in their last 22. They are 1-5-2 in their last eight games. They need a major reboot if they hope to win five of six.

7. Edmonton will get a break with Evgeni Malkin sitting out a one-game suspension for swinging his stick at Michael Raffl on Monday night. The Pens also lost Olli Maatta. He separated his shoulder and depending on how severe it is he might be out until the playoffs. The Penguins still have a lot of talent, but the Oilers are desperate and need to take advantage of a Malkin-less lineup.

8. After tonight’s game, the Oilers might have to make a roster move. Andrej Sekera plays his third game in the AHL. He will meet and talk with Keith Gretzky and depending on how he feels the Oilers will decide if they will formerly submit an application for him to play an extra two games in the AHL. The Oilers have spoke to the league about it, but they couldn’t file the application to extend his conditioning stint from three games to five games until after Sekera had played three games. If Sekera and the Oilers feel he would benefit from a few more AHL games they will apply. But just because they apply doesn’t mean the NHL will accept it.

9. It would be odd to see the NHL take a hard stance on two extra games in the AHL, but allow teams to have players not even come to camp or be around teams and stick them on LTIR. I’m not sure the Oilers are trying to start a new trend by having veteran players play two extra AHL games. First off a player has to agree to go down on the conditioning stint. But more importantly, if a player feels they will benefit from a few more games in the AHL, why would the NHL be so against it? Again, it is two games. In this case, instead of being activated on Thursday, Sekera will be activated on Sunday. It also allows AHL fans to see an NHL veteran for a few more games. If the Oilers, or any team with a player in the situation of Sekera, applies for an extra two games, I don’t see much of an issue with it. I’ve long argued veterans coming off a lengthy stay on the LTIR, or even IR, should play a few games in the AHL to get back up to speed anyways.

10. Unless the Oilers suffer a major injury and place someone on LTIR before activating Sekera, they will need send down just over $1.2 million in actual cap space (not prorated) to activate Sekera to the roster and be cap compliant. Alex Petrovic seems like the most likely candidate to be put on waivers, but if he isn’t claimed he’d only free up $1.025 million, so the Oilers would have to make another move. If Petrovic is claimed then his entire $1.95 million salary comes off the books and they could activate Sekera. Interim GM Keith Gretzky is trying to facilitate a trade as well, but if that doesn’t happen before Sekera’s AHL stint is over then putting a player on waivers is the only way for Edmonton to get under the cap. Waiving Manning wouldn’t clear any more room than Petrovic.

11. Edmonton could send Jesse Puljujarvi to Bakersfield with Petrovic and that would clear up space and get Puljujarvi playing more. Ken Hitchcock is adamant that Puljujarvi was tired and worn down and that’s why his minutes have been reduced. He likes how he forechecks and feels he helps them more than Colby Cave would.

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12. After the trade deadline NHL teams can only recall four players from the AHL — players who can go up or down. If a team runs into injury problems, then they can recall someone else on emergency, but after the deadline the NHL only allows four players to be recalled. I wonder if the Oilers put Puljujarvi on that list. I would. Bakersfield regular season doesn’t end until a week after the NHL. The Oilers play their final regular season game on April 6th. If they don’t make the playoffs, and it looks unlikely today, then their season is over. The Condors’ final three regular season games are on April 10th, 13th and 14th. Then they will start playoffs. Edmonton could send Puljujarvi down after his exit meetings on April 8th and he could get in three games before the playoffs. I would assume Brad Malone will be one of the four names, along with Caleb Jones and let’s say Cooper Marody. Add Puljujarvi as the fourth guy.

13. The Condors are a good team and it would be a great experience for Puljujarvi to play some playoff games. The Condors could win a round or two, or maybe three, depending how it goes, and I’d want Puljujarvi exposed to that atmosphere and intensity.

14. The great part about he Internet is how many cool stories you can stumble upon. This story popped up in my social media feed yesterday. People who see a void and start a business intrigue me, especially when the focus of the business can improve people’s quality of life, and in some cases save their life. I love this idea and considering four of my nephews broke an arm or elbow in their life, I know that access to quicker casting would be a huge benefit. Or do you know someone who might need an amputation. This could save their lower limbs. Check it out. Even better it is a local Edmontonian starting a business to fill the void.


From peewee to the pros, Albertans loves the atmosphere, energy, and life lessons that take place at rinks across the province. And where there’s an arena, you’ll find an ATB branch nearby—with our team members cheering and fundraising along with you. See more information at ATB.com.

Recently by Jason Gregor:

Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 2/13/2019 – 7:00 am MT

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  • 18% body fat

    What stupid moves manning and petrovic were. They werent even better than the options we had. Even in his last days Chia still wanted to crosscheck, punch, off the boards break outs and dump ins. How stupid and I mean stupid can one person be.

    • The future never comes

      Both moves were dumb as hell and now were literally paying for them. No one is reading for them, because they know our cap situation. So maybe they get claimed by the waiver wire which means we gave up assets to get them and we’ll get none in return. Brilliant.

    • Odanada

      Chia was on a very short leash at the end. I suspect the Manning deal was initiated by Hitch. Both deals were likely approved by “committee,” meaning I blame Bobby Nicks

  • OriginalPouzar

    Hopefully Khaira is able to play tonight as I’m looking forward to seeing the Khaira/Nuge/Puljujarvi line (for at least the two shifts the coach will stick with it).

    • Redbird62

      I would think if a trade doesn’t happen, Petrovic is the guy sent down first, since if he is claimed, the Oilers are done, if he is not claimed they have covered most of the problem. Manning would be next on the list for the same reason. And in both cases, the team would probably be okay if they were claimed. I believe both of Brodziak and Benning are at greater risk of being claimed because Brodziak’s contract is cheap and Benning is probably viewed by many as still having upside potential. Also, the Oilers would probably rather lose in order Petrovic, Manning and even Brodziak before losing Benning for nothing. Though if Manning were claimed, that would be like having lost Caggiula for nothing, but I think the Oilers value Benning more highly that they did Caggiula by the time he was traded (maybe not a high bar). The Oilers can easily get below the cap by sending any 2 players down, if they are willing to run with only 22 on the roster for some period of time.

  • OriginalPouzar

    In his interview with DN-Bowman, Keith Gretzky intimated the likelihood of a trade to get cap compliant but, as you mention Jason, it can easily be done without a trade – waiving and sending down one of Petrovic or Manning (clearly the org likes Manning better) and assigning someone like Puljujarvi or Malone (or even Brodz after waiving) – they could run with a 22 man roster but, if its Puljujarvi (or Brodz), they could bring someone up like Joe G. or P. Russell and still be compliant

    • Jason Gregor

      KG would prefer to trade Petrovic or Manning (although I don’t see anyone taking him with another year on his deal) and get something for him, but he might have no choice to waive him, especially if after tonight they decide Sekera doesn’t need two more AHL games.

      • OriginalPouzar

        Agreed – a trade of one of those two is much better as it opens up more cap space and gets the team compliant with the single move. They may be able to trade Manning if they retain – they should retain a max of $1,175,000 leaving a cap hit of $1,075,000 (which would be the cap hit next year if Manning was buried in the AHL) – if that is the case, they should get an asset back. Petrovic should be easily tradeable for a C prospect or mid-pick given he’s a UFA, however, from accounts, they are having trouble finding a taker.

  • Derian Hatcher

    And so Bobby Nicks searches on for a GM when all the while the GM HE hired, and was under HIS watch proceeded to dismantle the roster and add healthy scratches. What was Nickelson doing while Chia did this? Playing solitare in his computer? #truelybaffling

  • Cujo

    Watching how the Eskimos did yesterday at the free agency, I wish KG or whoever our next GM is going to be would turn out to be like Sutherland. Spend up to the cap but actually get good players on the team. I feel bad for McDavid so far. He definitely deserves better.

  • The future never comes

    Secondly, these games have now hit garbage time. The time of year where teams start taking Edmonton lightly because they know they stink and the Oilers squeak out more wins than they deserve. Then some of the fan base gets so overly optimistic about next season, in which we see the same results every other year. Virtually by December we are out of playoffs and start to wake up to how brutal this team is.

      • The future never comes

        Were also like what 4 points away from last place in the league? The wild card race is historically inept, but now teams are starting to win so it should deter the dreamers more each day.

  • VK63

    Great link. ATB is doing some cool stuff with people, love their incubator mentality. Pretty stiff price tag at 2700 bucks but Singularity U has an innovation conference coming up at the convention centre that is full of this sort of progressive entrepreneurial spirit. My subjective cost benefit analysis was short…. welp… its a “f” of a lot better than an Oiler game. :))

  • Serious Gord

    So a loss tonight and we can all agree that the playoffs aren’t realistic and that the team is a seller (if anyone will buy is another question)?

    Then can we now start thinking longer term …. I know!! A PLAN!!

    Setting 2021-22 season as the one where the the team should be rebuilt enough to compete for a CUP…

    We have how may pieces in the org now that will be on that roster? Five? Seven? That means 20-22 other guys.

    They have tons to do…

  • Glencontrolurstik

    Is it just me that’s lost interest in this club? I think I’m just tired of the continued “same, same rhetoric.”
    Almost like we know the outcome… Katz, life’s too short to back a team like this. Oh, I’m sure I’ll be back, just a little something in the cornflakes lately.

  • Towers-of-dub

    We should be placing bets on which of the top players will commit the first Jr. B level mistake in this game? Will it be a blind backhand pass to Pittsburgh’s top line? A lazy back check? Hopelessly ill timed line change? Mindless attempted clearance Only to have the puck kept in at the blue line then get caught running around in their own zone for 90 seconds before the inevitable lost assignment, lack of positional awareness and the eventual bounce of 2 defenders past a helpless goalie for a back breaking goal? Amateur night garbage. Let’s see what kind of bushleague nonsense we can get for $79 million!

        • Mr. McDavid

          name 5 players that have had leons
          pt totals in the last 3 years
          you cannot. there is only 4 player’s
          8.5 million for what he does is
          at his age is fine . but you guys cry
          every day over anything
          Leon is not the problem he will be part of the solution. he is not perfect
          but Mr McDavid his pts are because
          of Connor… look at McDavids numbers without Leon.
          they excel together
          stop a puck goalies.!
          defend defensemen!
          bottom 6 earn your money
          referee make a call you are paid for.
          owner ,GM , coach , media and Connor complain that they the refs
          are biased and ignoring their jobs
          and basically cheating.
          what if a cop say s it’s not murder
          I like Austin and Zac your going
          to jail for speeding .
          or the judge says over ruled
          Mitch your free to go on the power
          play, Connor I didn’t see nothing
          go get stiches up and I’m glad
          you don’t complain because
          I’m going to do this to you and your
          team untill..dod 3.0
          call the dxm rules.
          or we can all listen to how
          it Kats fault
          the guy who gave us an area
          saved our team from ever leaving
          spending 80 million every year
          yea it’s his fault
          stop coming to our dxm
          site . quit posting all you cry babies
          I hate it ask. but if no one will
          stand up to the refs will will lose
          every season
          because they dictate if we win
          or lose. if they call a fair game
          we would get enough call s
          we could have a chance

  • FanBoy

    wonder if PIT is looking for some depth defencemen due to the Maatta injury, if so wonder if they’re interested in Manning + 5th rounder for a 4th rounder similar to the Thompson-MTL trade. Basically just moving up 20 draft spots. Or even just Petrovic for a pick.

  • Abagofpucks

    I can’t believe Pistol Pete graduated Harvard Law school, he must have finished dead last in his class. He’s like the worst GM in history since the days of Ballard.

  • Odanada

    That Gryba buyout money sure would come in handy now, wouldn’t it?
    Pete was a disgrace and the man who gave him his job and watched him make bad deal after bad deal is a disgrace too.

  • Rufio Barcoli

    I’m surprised the Oilers aren’t scouting the comments section for their next GM.
    This place is full of experts, insiders and behindsight know-it-alls.
    “I would have done this.”
    “I know this guy could have got that.’
    “I wouldn’t have done that.”
    “Hall is the best LW in the game, we could have got Doughty or Burns for him.”
    I wish the Oilers would hire one of these whiners-they’d have a cup in a year.

    • Wadentheshade

      When you are paid millions of dollars to run a team and do such a crap job of it then you need to expect a comment section such as this. How can you not be critical of the job he did. He leaked assets almost every deal he made. He has driven this team into the ground so hard the digging will need to continue for years before we can even hope for a playoff appearance.

    • Derian Hatcher

      Even you, Mr. Barcoli, would have done a better job than Chia. IF he would have ran the Caguilla for Manning trade by you, what would you have said?

    • Rick Stroppel

      I don’t like to bet money on sporting events. Sports are supposed to be fun.
      My bet is this: if as you say BOTH Manning and Petrovic are placed on waivers and picked up, I will post a statement saying I AM A STUPID PERSON.

      If you are wrong, you will post a message saying I AM A STUPID PERSON. Remember, you said BOTH would be picked up.

      BTW Rufio: are you a real person in the real world? Or is somebody paying you to post these silly messages in support of the Oilers organization?

      • Rufio Barcoli


        Yes, I am a real person in this pretentious world we live in.
        Nobody is paying me to post messages.
        I am an Oilers support so I post message that support the Oilers.
        Unlike most of the behindsight know-it-alls who are part time Oilers fans, and cheer for multiple Canadian teams, that come on here and only post negatives comments after the fact to make themselves feel better.
        They are weak fans and weak people. Their emotions get the best of them so they need to vent and make themselves feel better.
        Most of them just comment and spread the main stream media’s gypsy gossip they ate up, and talk about the past and how it should be different.
        I, just like the rest of them, don’t really know what goes on behind closed doors of the Oilganization and what their plans are.
        I’m not going to believe some weak man’s gypsy gossip on how McDavid is going to request a trade or any other crap the goofs come up with.
        I watch the game of hockey and the players that play it, it’s all I have to go off of.
        I’m not going to waste my energy on negative assumptions.
        No one on here, nor any “experts and insiders” on this site and rest of media-never write about the negative play of the players that deserve.
        They pick one player, ex:Lucic and his contract and they blame him for everything.
        I watched for years Hall and Eberle with the worst effort and intensity of Draisailt but not once, not once did the media or anyone call them out on it. No, instead they made excuses for them, day in-day out.
        This not media coverage this is media propaganda.

        • Wadentheshade

          You must be the type of guy who high fives his financial adviser when he tells you he lost all your money. Stay positive champ. I consider myself a realist not a pessimist.

        • Rick Stroppel


          Do you have any idea what a serious insult it is to call another person a “goof”?

          IMHO, the moderators should be looking at this.

          • NickL89

            The word “goof” is only awful in prison my friend. Here in the real world it’s a childish Disney-esque word. Good luck readjusting to the outside when that stuff still bugs you.

          • BobbyCanuck

            Well you learn something new everyday over here!

            I thought Goof was prison slang for GO Fight

            But, from the Urban Dictionary
            A word used in the Canadian prison system to describe informers, molestors, child killers and all inmates segregated from the general population in protective custody. In a looser sense, anyone who has become hated by the prison population in general for suspect behaviour, or irritating behaviour may be thought of as a goof.

    • Redbird62

      That Petrovic’s contract expires this season makes him a less risky waiver claim by a team that needs some defensive insurance for this season, particularly if they are not near the cap. Based on how Manning has performed for 2 different teams since he signed his current deal, it is hard to imagine someone claiming him and taking on that hit for all of next season too. While a likely desperate Chiarelli actually traded an asset to take it on, it would seem other GM’s are likely to be a lot more savvy when it comes to Manning. Stranger things have happened though.

  • OldOilerFan

    Not going to convince me for a moment McD is happy with Manning in the dressing room. Get rid of him. Take the loss, not like we’re not going to have to get used to that with a few players.

  • Heschultzhescores

    It amazes me that Chia made such terrible moves and had no forsight into cap space. Signing kosk must have been his going away kick in the crotch, or he’s just not smart enough to anticipate the return of Sekera.

  • Oiler Al

    Always focusing and hanging our hats on narrow and weak hopes.[ only if we had Klef,only if Sekera is back,only if we had scoeing depth etc , always something]Yes these things help and make a difference, but the real issues has been goal tending! These two guys have been schitts creek all year long. Image where 7-8 more wins would have us. Stop giving these two guys a free pass.

  • Goon

    “2. It is remarkable the Oilers and Penguins organizations have each had two legitimate generational players in the past 30 years. Edmonton being home to Wayne Gretzky and McDavid, while Mario Lemieux and Crosby dazzled Pittsburgh fans. The Oilers and Penguins each have five Stanley Cups since the NHL expanded to 21 teams in 1979/1980, and during that time the Penguins have scored the most goals in the NHL at 10,352, while Edmonton is second with 10,222. Both fanbases have been spoiled offensively.”

    Not only that, but they’ve both arguably had the second-best centres of their generations (Messier and Malkin) at the same time they had the best players of their generation (Gretzky and McDavid), and the Pens had arguably the best right winger of all time in Jagr, to boot.