Welcome, friends, to yet another Saturday edition of the GDB as our beloved Edmonton Oilers get themselves set for a matchup against the New York Islanders. Is today the day the Oilers right the ship? We’re only a few hours from finding out.
Getting set for today’s game was all kinds of frustrating for me. I was looking at the fancy stats, records, and doing the usual prep that goes into writing the GDB but I actually found myself getting angry during the process. Instead of prepping or minds and livers for a playoff run, we’re looking at selling off assets and getting set for the draft lottery again, which is a spot I never would have dreamed about in year four of Connor McDavid’s career. How the Islanders lost their best player in the offseason but are still managing to sit atop of their division is beyond me. Why are they able to lose their best guy and still manage to stay relevant while the Oilers aren’t able to pull their heads from their asses with the best player on the planet in their lineup on a nightly basis? It doesn’t make sense. It’s like Lou Lamoriello made a pact with Satan that ensured the Islanders wouldn’t be affected by Tavares bailing on them and they’re riding the dark wave right into the playoffs.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s endlessly irritating to be a fan of an organization that was gifted so many top prospects over the decade of darkness and have them piss it all away. How many times can one team get things wrong before significant changes are actually made it order to right the ship? How much of Connor McDavid’s time do they really think they can waste before he gets pissed off enough to make the call to his agent that we’re all dreading? Obviously, these are questions that we don’t have the answers to and today’s game likely won’t make things any clearer regardless of the outcome, but I’m honestly at a loss for words as to what we should do or think anymore. Yeah, we can talk about the Oilers needing to get a good start and find some balanced scoring for the 58th time this season, but would it really matter? Would it change anything?
Looking ahead at today’s game, all I really care about is that we get entertained. I don’t know if that means I’m accepting ELPH again or if the bar is just really that low right now, but all I want for us is to be able to enjoy the hockey game. Is that really too much to ask?
|LAST 10 GAMES||1-7-2||6-2-2|
|EXPECTED GOALS FOR%||47.2||51.53|
Numbers courtesy of Corsica (fancies at 5×5)
Draisaitl – McDavid – Kassian
Khaira – RNH – Puljujarvi
Lucic – Malone – Chiasson
Rieder – Cave – Rattie
Klefbom – Larsson
Nurse – Russell
Gravel – Petrovic
Late last night, the Edmonton Oilers traded Cam Talbot to Philadelphia in exchange for Anthony Stolarz, completing a trade that we’d all been expecting for some time now. Personally, I actually thought that Talbot would play in today’s game before the Oilers made the move but, at the end of the day, there wasn’t much point in waiting if they felt it was time to move on. With this move, the Oilers will now have the space needed to recall Andrej Sekera from his conditioning stint without having to make any other moves to get cap compliant.
Lee – Nelson – Eberle
Kuhnhackl – Barzal – Bailey
Beauvillier – Filppula – Komarov
Martin – Cizikas – Clutterbuck
Leddy – Boychuk
Pelech – Pulock
Toews – Mayfield
The interesting thing about the Islanders is that they’re getting their scoring by committee. They don’t really have any guys that are putting up points in droves like the Oilers do with Draisaitl and McDavid but they are getting a little bit from a lot of guys. To put it another way, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins’ 52 points would be leading the Islanders if he played for them (Barzal has 49), but the obvious difference is that they have nine players with more 20+ points whereas the Oilers only have five.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING…
Saturday night, the Islanders complete its home schedule of games played at Barclays Center against the Edmonton Oilers. It, in fact, might be the last home game the team ever plays in the building. Moving to Brooklyn did save the team in a sense — they finally did win a playoff series — but the relationship between the team, its fans, and the building always seemed to be filled with turmoil. The crazy thing is, the Islanders have actually been really good inside Barclays from when they first arrived — 77-47-18. Saturday, depending on the decision of postseason games, should be the last time the Isles take the ice in Kings County. It would make sense for everyone involved with the franchise.
Game Day Prediction: The Oilers battle hard, get some big saves, but ultimately fall by a 4-3 score.
Obvious Game Day Prediction: Jordan Eberle scores because why wouldn’t he?
Not-So-Obvious Game Day Prediction: When asked what is going on with the Edmonton Oilers, Lou Lamoriello talked about the Oilers’ willingness to let their players grow facial hair. In Lou’s opinion, the patchy beards some of the boys are rocking are a problem and he would raise heck if this was his team. CLEAN SHAVEN FACES ONLY, BRAH!
Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 2/16/2019 – 9:00 am MT