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Photo Credit: Tom Kostiuk

Monday Mailbag – Is this it from Kyle Turris?

Happy Monday, comrades, and welcome to a brand new Mailbag where I’ve taken your questions about what’s happening with the Edmonton Oilers, emailed them to our writers, and copied and pasted their answers right here on the ol’ Internet for your education and enjoyment. This week, we’re looking at the Kyle Turris’ struggles, points percentage, McDrai, and a whole lot more. If you’ve got one, email it to me at [email protected] or hit me up on Twitter at @jsbmbaggedmilk and I’ll get to you as soon as we can.

Day one of 2020-21 camp

1) Nathan asks – I’ve been disappointed with Kyle Turris over the first few weeks on the third line and I’m wondering what has been everyone’s first impression?

Jason Gregor:

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He hasn’t had a very productive start. The past few games have been better defensively for him, but they will need more from him at both ends.

Robin Brownlee:

I’m with you. I thought Turris might provide a bit of offensive spark in the bottom six but we haven’t seen it. Numbers aside, just not seeing the energy in his game I thought he might bring.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

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My first impression has been a great one, but I’m always willing to cut a player a little bit of slack when they’re getting going with a new team. With that being said, we’re almost the 25% mark of the season and there’s no denying that Turris needs to give the Oilers more. I haven’t minded his play on the PK, but at 5v5, he really hasn’t been helping generate a lot of offence. He’s better now than he was in the first few games of the year, but they need more from him.

Baggedmilk:

I thought that Turris would benefit from the reduced expectations that come with playing behind Connor and Leon but that hasn’t happened yet. Is it even possible? I guess we’ll have to wait and see because it’s not like he’s going anywhere right now.

Jan 16, 2021; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers defensemen Tyson Barrie (22) blocks a shot by Montreal Canadiens forward Jonathan Drouin (92) during the second period at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

2) David asks – The Oilers got a few first ‘first goals’ last week from Neal, Kahun, Barrie, and Puljujarvi. Do you believe the secondary scoring is starting to come or was this was a temporary boost from of playing the Senators?

Jason Gregor:

Oilers secondary scoring is good. Their blueline has the most goals of any team in the North. Their goals against are, once again, the bigger concern.

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Robin Brownlee:

Can’t read too much into any short stretch, especially against the Senators. Puljujarvi has been doing a lot of good work and is starting to be rewarded for it. Barrie has been better after a slow start. Haven’t seen much from Neal aside from that two-goal game.

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Tyler Yaremchuk:

I think it’s a bit of both. I think depth players getting goals is always a good thing, no matter who the opponent is. Yes, it was against the worst team in the division, but hopefully, this gives those players a bit of confidence as the Oilers head into some more important games.

Baggedmilk:

I think it’s starting to come around a little bit. Even Saturday night against the Flames, the Oilers got goals from Puljujarvi and Khaira, which had they been able to get a save, could have made a big difference.

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3) Oilers fan in Van asks – Pierre LeBrun tweeted this week he “would advise fans to track points percentage rather than overall points in the standings. In case some teams don’t play 56 games.” Is this because the NHL didn’t provide enough cushion for rescheduling or do they not have an option?

Jason Gregor:

I don’t think it is about a cushion. If the North has no games postponed and finishes on May 8th, do you want those teams sitting around waiting for the other three divisions to finish the season. If COVID keeps hitting the USA teams, it is likely we could see divisions player a different amount of games simply because I doubt teams in the North will want to wait a week or 10 days between the end of the regular season and start of playoffs.

Robin Brownlee:

The timing and magnitude of COVD outbreaks trumps any plans put in place. There is not enough time for extending the regular season and to stick to the timeline in place when teams are having multiple games postponed.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

Yeah, I think so. They apparently gave themselves a bit of a cushion (7-10 days) but not enough in my opinion. I personally wonder what’s the most they’ll push a team. Like, would they make a team play like eight games in ten days if it means they get all 56 games in? I really want to know where the line is.

Baggedmilk:

I wrote about this on Friday, and I was more surprised with myself that I hadn’t really thought about it. But if teams can’t play the full schedule, what is the NHL supposed to do?

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Dec 6, 2019; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid (97) and forward Leon Draisaitl (29) discuss a play during the third period at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

4) Taylor asks – When was the last time you’ve seen two teammates as dominant as Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl?

Jason Gregor:

Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. They were dominant, but Crosby missing parts of three seasons meant didn’t allow us to see both of them. Plus it isn’t like fans in Edmonton were watching Penguins games as often as you watch the Oilers, so we missed some of their great games.

Robin Brownlee:

Crosby and Malkin come to mind. Sakic and Forsberg had some really good years as a one-two punch in Colorado.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

Crosby and Malkin in their primes? I’d love to elaborate, but I think that’s the only correct answer. Even then, were they this dominant at the same time? I’m not sure. Before that… Lemieux and Jagr might be the answer, but that’s before my time.

Baggedmilk:

Everybody is saying the same thing so I’m going to go ahead and switch things up by saying Pronger and Niedermeyer when they both played together in Anaheim. I mean, it doesn’t get much better on defence than that, does it?

5) Mathieu asks – Do you find that you’re only paying attention to the Canadian division as opposed to keeping an eye on the rest of the league? It seems like I only watch the Canadian teams and couldn’t tell you how everyone else is doing.

Jason Gregor:

I did at first, but covering the NHL is my job so I had to start watching other games. Luckily my nephew plays in San Jose, so I have watched more Pacific games. I find I am least interested in the Central right now.

Robin Brownlee:

I keep an eye on everyone, but my focus is the North Division.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

I’m keeping tabs on the other games because I play a lot of fantasy hockey and I bet on games a lot. So for me, it’s probably close to the same as normal years. I know I’m in the minority though.

Baggedmilk:

There are other teams playing?

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