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Photo Credit: Tom Kostiuk

Monday Mailbag – Where is the Oilers’ depth scoring?

A fresh week means a brand new Mailbag is here to help you get your Monday started and also to make sense of everything that’s going on with our beloved Edmonton Oilers. This week, we’re talking about the losing streak, fishing for trades, depth scoring, and more. If you’ve got got a question you’d like to ask, 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.

Oct 1, 2021; Everett, Washington, USA; Edmonton Oilers head coach Dave Tippett watches play against the Seattle Kraken during the third period at Angel of the Winds Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

1) Mike asks – We are seeing the Oilers dealing With the injuries, slow starts, and losses. We know the ability to deal with adversity is an important part of playoff success… what do you see as the silver linings to the Oilers’ difficulties we can hold onto?

Jason Gregor:

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Young D-men like Broberg and Niemelainen getting some NHL experience.

And the losing streak is now and not in May, but moral victories don’t mean much ultimately.

Robin Brownlee:

Not really looking for silver linings, but at least they’re 16-10-0 instead of 10-16-0 as they try to snap out of this funk they’re in. They built in some margin with a great start, but they’ve used it up now. Depth scoring isn’t there and the power play has dried up. Not sure that’s the type of adversity that leads to success. Injuries are a legit cause for struggle, but every team goes through them.

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Tyler Yaremchuk:

I would hope that they’re learning some hard lessons about how slow starts can sink you and that there are no easy nights in the NHL. On top of that, they have shown that they can win despite having a pile of injuries, so that is one encouraging sign that’s come from all of this. For right now though, they just need to string together some wins.

Baggedmilk:

The silver lining is that the Oilers have Connor and Leon on the roster, but the bad news is that there aren’t many people helping them out right now. That’s a huge problem, in fact.

2)@a_lg_dubldubl asks – Does Holland wait until the deadline to make a move, or do you see him being more proactive?

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Jason Gregor:

I don’t see him making a move until 2022.

Robin Brownlee:

The results and record will dictate. Hard to believe Holland will settle for more of the same for much longer if three’s not some signs of a turnaround by the Christmas break.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

I wouldn’t be surprised if he is more proactive. This team could use some scoring depth and a left-defenseman right now, so if there’s a deal to be made, Holland should be all over it. Making a move early also gives a player more time to get used to your system, which is a benefit. It usually costs more to make a move now, but I think it’s something that Holland should be exploring.

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Baggedmilk:

I’d like to see him make a move sooner than later to bolster the lineup but I doubt it happens. He doesn’t exactly have a history of moving quickly.

Dec 7, 2021; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Minnesota Wild defensemen Matt Dumba (24) checks Edmonton Oilers forward Warren Foegele (37) during the first period at Rogers Place.

3) Taylor asks – Is the Oilers’ depth scoring as bad as the stats show or are there just too many players struggling to hit their potential?

Jason Gregor:

Many guys couldn’t score in a brothel with $500 in their pocket right now. They need some guys to find their touch, but they also aren’t blessed with a lot of offensive depth.

Robin Brownlee:

If the goal column doesn’t have big enough numbers in it, there’s your trouble. The numbers say the depth scoring is almost non-existent and that’s the story. No need to Corski and Fenski beyond that.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

Even if there are players struggling to hit their potential, that’s still on those players. They need Foegele to start finding the back of the net and Kassian to start consistently putting in more effort. Nugent-Hopkins and Yamamoto have to start consistently putting up offence as well. They just have way too many passengers right now and that’s unacceptable. I don’t care if someone if they’re snake bit or not. It can’t happen.

Baggedmilk:

The snakebite is real right now. I don’t know what it’s going to take for some of these guys to get going, but it needs to happen immediately. I mean, Kailer Yamamoto has now gone five straight games without even registering a shot on goal.

Oct 22, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Edmonton Oilers head coach Dave Tippett looks on in the third period against the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports

4) @prairiedawg21 – Do you think the team we have seen play over the last handful of games is the REAL Edmonton Oilers?

Jason Gregor:

No. They weren’t as good as 9-1 and aren’t as bad as 0-5. They are probably a 9-6 team realistically.

Robin Brownlee:

No. Teams and seasons go in ebbs and flows. The Oilers weren’t destined to be Stanley Cup champions because they were 9-1-0 through 10 games and they aren’t dogspit now because they’ve lost five straight. The real deal is in the middle. The record they have now isn’t far off what I expected overall, but the huge swings in performance are a surprise.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

No. I think they have too many players playing below what they’re capable of and if those players get going, this team will start to look like a contender again. No guarantee that it happens, but this isn’t the real Oilers in my opinion.

Baggedmilk:

Somewhere in the middle. They’re not a 9-1 team and they’re not going to lose every game either.

Feb 4, 2020; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Edmonton Oilers head ocahc Dave Tippett looks on prior to a game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

5) @dohfOs asks – At what stage do you believe Tippett/Holland internally is no longer safe? Is it…
– if the Oilers find themselves out of a playoff spot mid-season.
– if the Oilers miss the playoffs.
– if the Oilers go out in the first round.
– other?

Jason Gregor:

Their future will depend on playoff success. Have to win one round to stay.

Robin Brownlee:

By nature of their positions, Holland has a longer shelf life than Tippett. Missing the playoffs this season — I don’t see that happening — gets the coach fired.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

If they get bounced in round one, Tippett is likely gone. Simple as that. Or if they’re out of a playoff spot at some point in January or later.

Baggedmilk:

I wrote about this on Saturday and while I certainly understand why some folks want a coaching change, I really doubt it’s going to happen unless the wheels totally fall off here.

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