Photo Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Nielson’s Notes: Oilers-Senators Edition

The Edmonton Oilers have done a pretty darn good job bouncing back after losses so far this season but they’ve been equally as bad when it comes to getting 3the job done against weaker opponents. They have now left eight points on the board against the Wings, Wild, Kings and Senators, and I don’t care how many other games they’ve won, that is simply unacceptable if you have your sights set on the post-season.

The Oilers didn’t just lose to the four teams listed above they were actually outscored 16-4 in those games.


Jujhar Khaira scored his 6th goal of the season in the first period on a set up from Leon Draisaitl. Archibald found the back of the net while playing with McDavid over the weekend. It got me thinking what the numbers would look like for some of these support guys if McDavid and Draisaitl had anchored their own lines this season. I’m not saying they should split those guys up moving forward, I’m just curious? Could Khaira have 10-12 goals already if he was with Draisaitl all year? Could Archibald have seven or eight goals alongside McDavid?

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Mikko Koskinen has outperformed all of our expectations so far this season but he was leaky tonight. The first goal against shouldn’t have happened and the second one simply can’t happen. I think some folks have been expecting Koskinen to start against the Kings on Friday which would have been his first three game stretch of the year, does that happen now? Would you start Koskinen or go with Smith against LA?


Connor McDavid is a freak; he turned this into a scoring chance.


What does Caleb Jones eventually become for the Oilers? The career of Jones here in Edmonton goes one of two ways: he either becomes a staple on the Oilers third pair, a versatile option that can play either side, or he is viewed as a trade chip for the Oilers to get help up front.

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Bouchard, Broberg and Bear, a trio I’m labelling as the killer bees, aren’t going anywhere and it’s probably too early to give up on Samorukov. So by this process of elimination, Jones could end up being the available piece. I do believe he’ll end up being an NHL regular, I’m just not sure it happens here in Edmonton.


Trading for Taylor Hall as a rental is one debate but signing him to a long-term deal in the off-season is a completely different discussion. A large portion of the Oilers fan base and a few of my fellow members of the media act like Hall is perennial Hart candidate but that’s just not the case. His Hart Trophy campaign was amazing, it truly was well deserved but it was also significantly better than any other year of his career.

He has only hit 70 points twice in his nine-year career, three if you include his pace during the lockout season, and will be hard pressed to reach the mark this year, I know a large part of that is due to injuries but that’s the point I’m trying to make. Would it be a good idea to commit to a player for his 28-35-year-old seasons that plays a style that leads to injuries? His career average is 62.4 games played and 56.8 points per season.

In today’s NHL, Taylor Hall is going to cash in this offseason. He’s going to get TOP LINE money because he is a top-line player but he wouldn’t be a first line player in Edmonton, so it’s a signing that wouldn’t make sense.

Baggedmilk on #theLOCKERROOM: Hockey is back, baby!

As for a rental pick up, Elliotte Friedman on the Sportsnet broadcast last night, “I think there is a limit for what they want to do and I have a feeling the threshold for this deal is going to exceed that.”


Dave Tippett doesn’t beat around the bush in his post-game availabilities and he hit the nail on the head again after the loss to Ottawa.

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“He gave up two poor goals, got them in the game and they outworked us the rest of the game. We chased the game, we weren’t very good, first period we were all right, our power-play wasn’t very good in the first period. Then we gave up two quick ones, both not very good goals, the second one was poor coverage, but still not a very good goal and then we chased the game from there, made too many mistakes, couldn’t outscore our mistakes.”

Once again Tippett speaks the truth. Let’s see how they bounce back on Friday.

Previously by Dustin Nielson: