34
Photo Credit: © Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Post-game(s) Oil Spills: Oilers earn split in Ontario swing

The Oilers continued their five-game road trip with a trip through Ontario. They got completely outclassed by a much deeper Maple Leafs team and then salvaged the back-to-back with a better showing against a weak Senators squad.

What happened?

Edmonton got off to a nice start in Wednesday night’s game in Toronto. Leon Draisaitl had a message for all the fans in Toronto who spent all day suggesting he was only a byproduct of Connor McDavid. Draisaitl got the puck in the neutral zone and plowed through everyone on the Leafs before burying his own rebound past Frederik Andersen. It might have been his nicest goal of the season.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

But that’s where the positives stopped. The Leafs turned on the jets in the second period an, in the span of about five minutes, completely guttered the Oilers. I’m not going to post each clip individually because I don’t think anyone needs to re-live that assault in-depth, so instead, I’ll put this here…

Off to Ottawa! The Oilers had a nice opportunity to redeem themselves for a terrible effort in Toronto against a Sens team that had traded away the majority of their roster at the trade deadline. Things got off to a slow start for the Oilers, as Ottawa heavily outshot them in the first period and carried a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes. Connor McDavid would finally get the Oilers on the board a few minutes into the second.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Sam Gagner gave the Oilers the lead minutes before the end of the second, then Colby Cave buried his first goal as an Oiler a few minutes into the third to give the Oilers some insurance. Josh Currie fed Cave with a nice pass and now has three points in six games since his recall. Not bad for an undrafted free agent who spent six years in the minors before finally getting a shot.

By the numbers (vs TOR, vs OTT)

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

The Oilers played two good periods over their two games in Ontario. They had a very good first period against the Leafs, then got completely dominated in the second. The third period is a wash as the Leafs were defending a massive lead. Then, in Ottawa, the Oilers started slowly, picked it up in the second, and then sat back on their heels in the third period. Being on the second night of a back-to-back, I get the slow start and the defensive shell finish in Ottawa, but the effort against Toronto was disappointing. The Oilers put together a very strong first but completely gave up in the second period as soon as the Leafs put on the pressure. Overall, it was a pretty ugly trip.

Thoughts…

  • I think a lot of us (myself included) had high expectations for the Leafs game. The Oilers and Leafs rivalry is an intense one, especially given the beef between the fanbases and Toronto’s incessant trolling in regards to McDavid’s supposed unhappiness in Edmonton. All signs pointed towards McDavid having a huge game. He was angry, coming off a two-game suspension, the team had ground out three of four points in his absence, and he was playing in his home town. Ken Hitchcock even had a tongue-in-cheek comment about expecting a Gretzky-in-Toronto type domination before the game. But that didn’t happen. The Oilers got totally outclassed by the Leafs and McDavid wasn’t really a factor. Look, I’m not at all blaming McDavid for the loss, but what that game did indicate is how much the Oilers lack depth. The Leafs, as much as it sucks to say, are the team the Oilers could be if managed properly. They’re loaded with talent and can take over a game within minutes. Even if Auston Matthews is off (he wasn’t noticeable on Wednesday), there’s Mitch Marner or John Tavares or William Nylander there to pick up the slack. Peter Chiarelli sacrificed a lot of skill to build what was supposed to be a tight, gritty, and strong-defensively team, but all he did was rob the Oilers of the potent offensive depth you need to be good in this league. Hopefully, the organization has learned its lesson.
  • The Ottawa game had a better result, but it was still a little jarring to watch the Oilers have to scrape one out against far and away the league’s worst team. The Sens are now without Mark Stone, Matt Duchene, and Ryan Dzingle after a deadline fire sale, but they still managed to heavily outshoot the Oilers. If not for Mikko Koskinen’s strong play in the third period (and a questionable call by the refs), the Sens may have pulled out a win. The Sens are a dumpster fire. They’re barely an NHL team after their deadline sales. This is a team anybody should be over to roll over easily. I don’t know. Maybe I’m sour about the spanking in Toronto, but I’m having a hard time drawing too many positives from the win in the second game. Another note, maybe I’m reading too far into it, but it might be telling that Ottawa randomly decided to fire their head coach after losing to the Oilers. Maybe people in Ottawa view the Oilers the same way I just described the Sens.


    • Do these idiots even realize we have no head coach for next year? That is unless Hitch just pulls the pin, and I would not blame him. He knows what is wrong , just like he said, and when a reporter asked him about JP, he said talk to management. Subtle way of saying they are the problem. Doubt Quenneville would come here, doubt they even bothered to contact him, too busy with Red Wine Summits and slapping each other on the back for all their wonderful work.

      • Señor Frijoles

        Seems natural that they’ll hire a GM before even thinking about a head coach for next year. GMs want to hire their own coaching staff, and having upper management put a coach in place ahead of the GM would deter many GMs from considering the position.

  • Alberta Ice

    Currie and Cave are bright spots carving their way into this lineup. They do have something to play for and it’s refreshing to watch their enthusiasm and energy. May they make the most of their opportunity to shine.

  • CaptainCanada94

    Remainder of the season prediction: (9-9 record)- Oilers draft between 6-10 this year in the entry draft.

    CBJ- L (Afternoon Game)
    BUF- W
    VAN- W
    TOR- L
    NYR- W
    NJD- W
    ARI- W
    LV- L
    STL- L
    CBJ- L
    OTT- W
    LAK- W
    DAL- W
    ANA- W
    VGK- L
    COL- L
    SJS-L
    CGY- L

  • This team needs to be dismantled from top to bottom. Only McD, Lon, Nurse and Larsson should be safe while the rest should be traded for draft choices, A prospects and players from winning organizations.

    • Lowe enuf

      I agree. This team never progresses because they wont clean house. The young guys are looking good and affordable. Get rid of the deadwood by any means necessary.

        • It is the only problem. Every media outlet in the world knows it. MSM Edmonton. Crickets. I know Rob T from the Sun is starting to, but it is still softball stuff. Direct question should be, why should the fans believe that the same guys who orchestrated this mess, are still going to be in charge of cleaning up their own mess due to their proven incompetence? Or more directly, why in Gods name are these people still employed?

          • Rick Stroppel

            MSM IN EDMONTON BASICALLY DOES NOTHING BUT KISS OILERS BUTT

            I would love to see how the media in a big American city would react to the Oilers organization. I am tired of fan-boys masquerading as journalists. Somebody has to work up the courage to ask the hard questions that many fans have been asking for the last 3-4 years, at least. I am tired of all the “feel good” and “you can do it” stories. I think the MSM in this city have eaten way too many free donuts for their own good.

  • Oily Reign

    Hmmm,.. it doesn’t look like it’s hurting/hurt Toronto’s young “prospects” by bringing them in too early. They have all played a lot of NHL games at an early age.
    If the Condors ever lose another game (hopefully not), I would start bringing some of the kids up for a short stint. Gives them a little NHL$’s as a reward, valuable experience, and identify’s the areas in their game they need to work on. Obviously, you need to balance that with their Calder Cup drive, but I think that this wasted Oilers season can still be helpful to our longer term development.

    • Spydyr

      Why would you upset the balance on a team that has a legitimate chance to win the Calder Cup?

      Let them learn,grow and develop in a winning environment. Give them the opportunity to see what it takes to win in the playoffs.

      • Agreed, otherwise I would recommend benching half the so called NHL roster, and lets see what the kids have,There is NO point in introducing them to this toxic culture. Unfortunately that culture will still be here when they do arrive . I really cannot believe that they just wont step down.

      • Oily Reign

        It’s a “farm team”. That is the reason for their existence. If they can get a bit of success there, great, but the Oilers are the priority. The sooner they become NHL players the better. Giving them exposure to the NHL and what it takes to make it there, doesn’t hurt development. Not giving them a clue of what it takes, does.

      • OriginalPouzar

        Not that they aren’t important parts of the Condors, at this point I would bring Stanton and Lowe up before Lagesson and Jones (Bear injured again/still) and P. Russell and Joe G. before Benson, Marody or Yamamoto. Just let the kids continue to develop and gain traction.

        No to mention, the team only has 2 non-emergency call-ups left (used 2 on Currie and Malone on deadline day).

  • Total Points

    Now that the pressure of a playoff spot is gone the Oilers will start to play better. The Oilers will brag up all the depth – Bakersfield’s great run, the play of Gagner, Cave and Currie, Bouchard is coming, Bear and Jones, etc.

    The OBC will remain intact and we will have hope from here through the draft, a few free agency signings , training camp, start of the season and by Christmas time the Oilers will again be out of it.

    We have seen this before and we will see this again