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Monday Mailbag – What do the Oilers need to get into the NHL playoffs?

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Photo credit:Tom Kostiuk
baggedmilk
8 months ago
Happy Monday, friends! As always, I’ve got a brand new Mailbag set and ready to help you get your week started and make sense of everything that’s going on with our beloved Edmonton Oilers. This week, we’re talking about Philip Broberg, the playoff race, re-visiting the Foegele/Bear trade, and more. If you’ve got got a question you’d like to ask, email it to me at baggedmilk@oilersnation.com or hit me up on Twitter at @jsbmbaggedmilk and I’ll get to you as soon as we can.
Feb 17, 2022; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers defensemen Philip Broberg (86) looks to make a pass in front of Anaheim Ducks forward Derek Grant (38) during the second period at Rogers Place.
1) Andre asks – What is everyone’s take on Philip Broberg? He’s only 20+ games into his NHL career at this point, but I’d love to hear everyone’s first impressions.
Robin Brownlee:
Good skater. Smooth with the puck. Good size and will get bigger as he fills out. Nothing not to like here. Broberg just needs time.
Jason Gregor:
Broberg is progressing nicely. He is an excellent skater, and he has shown signs lately of being more comfortable and confident with his decisions on when to join the rush and when to take shots. Defence is hard, and as long as he isn’t asked to do too much I think he will be fine. He needs to get stronger, but you can’t rush that, just like experience. With added strength in a few years, he should be a solid top-four D-man with the potential to maybe be more.
Cam Lewis:
It’s a bit of a blurry memory because so many players came up and came through during these years but he reminds me a lot of a young Oscar Klefbom. Maybe that’s just a bias in my own head because they’ve had a similar path from a first-round pick to pro in Sweden to the AHL to the Oilers but that’s what I notice. His skating is so so soooo good and he’s very calm and poised for his age.
Tyler Yaremchuk:
He’s been impressing me more and more honestly. He seems to always be on the ice for more shots for than shots against and I love the way he jumps up into the play but doesn’t get caught out of position too much. Defensemen take a while to develop but I think we’re seeing Broberg take some big steps forward right in front of our eyes.
Zach Laing:
I’ve liked his game quite a bit. He’s kept things simple, and I don’t think he’s looked out of place. Broberg is showing he can play both sides, which could be huge for this team moving forward.
Baggedmilk:
He’s getting better and better the more he plays, and it’s been fun to watch him figuring things out at hockey’s highest level. I still think there are plenty of rough edges that need to get smoothed out, but that will happen with time and at-bats.
Jan 29, 2022; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Edmonton Oilers center Leon Draisaitl (29) celebrates his goal against Montreal Canadiens with teammates during the second period at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports
2) Blake asks – The Oilers are in a very tight playoff race with 23 games left to play. We all know that they need to play better down the stretch to get in, but what is the biggest thing the team needs to do/continue to do/execute in order to make that happen?
Robin Brownlee:
Take care of the defensive end of the game and everything else falls into place, especially with the top-end talent the Oilers have in McDavid and Draisaitl. Hold opponents to two goals or less, like the Oilers did against Tampa Bay Saturday, and they’ll win a lot of games.
Jason Gregor:
Just keep playing consistently. Their 5×5 play has been solid for the past month. If their special teams can just average they will be fine. They still need to improve on scoring first. It will make their life much easier.
Cam Lewis:
A couple of things would get them in without any doubt… McDavid and Draisaitl go nuclear and one of the two goalies gets hot. To be honest, the Oilers are battling with some flawed teams for spots in the Western Conference so it shouldn’t be all that hard. Just don’t have another awful cold stretch and win your four-point games with Vegas, LA, Dallas, and so on.
Tyler Yaremchuk:
The powerplay absolutely has to get going. If the powerplay can go on a ten-game run where they’re running at 35-45% like they did earlier in the season, then the Oilers will be a playoff team. They’re winning despite their powerplay not consistently producing for them and that has to change. The goaltending is going to have to hold up as well but Koskinen has now allowed three or less goals in regulation in 12 straight starts. That’s pretty good!
Zach Laing:
The Oilers, somehow, find themselves in a good spot. Teams around them like Vegas and LA have faced some serious injuries and are imploding. The powerplay needs to get going at a better clip here, but the most important thing might just be playing more solid 5×5 hockey.
Baggedmilk:
If they can play more games like they did against Washington and Tampa then we’re going to be fine. Dominant wins against two very good teams. Let’s goooooooo!
3) Ed asks – I am writing this question on Tuesday… At this point, the Oil are almost more likely to be sellers than buyers at the deadline. Who would fetch the best return at the deadline? Kane has been excellent, and I think could get a 1st rounder. If Koski continues to play well he would also get a lot of interest. Anyone else?
Robin Brownlee:
Sellers? I don’t think so. Ken Holland has already declared this “win now” country. Oilers are in the mix, so why pull the chute? No chance Holland does that.
Jason Gregor:
I strongly disagree that Edmonton was ever more likely to be a seller than a buyer. That wasn’t ever a consideration. They won’t be selling this week, at least not a major piece. Could they make a move similar to when they acquired Mike Green and included Sam Gagner to make the salary work, yes, that is likely, but I don’t believe for a moment the Oilers were ever in a position to even consider being sellers.
Cam Lewis:
No, absolutely not. They hardly have any rental assets, as Evander Kane has a no-move clause, and Mikko Koskinen and won’t net much of a return because he has no playoff experience. Selling would send an awful message in the seventh year of the Connor McDavid era, and him being pissed off obviously isn’t something the organization wants.
Tyler Yaremchuk:
They’re not going to be sellers. So neither of those guys are going to be traded. They were never going to sell.
Zach Laing:
Selling has never been in the question. Edmonton needs to add, but that might be a tall task.
Baggedmilk:
My guess is that the Oilers aren’t going to do much, and I think we should be lowering our expectations as to what Ken Holland gets done. That’s not to say that I don’t want him to go fishing for an impact trade, but I’m just expecting something more along the likes of a ‘4th round pick for Kulikov.’
Nov 9, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Edmonton Oilers left wing Warren Foegele (37) and Detroit Red Wings defenseman Moritz Seider (53) battle for the puck in the first period at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
4) @Alex_Antosh asks – Given that we are halfway through the season and Bear has been scratched a few games. Which team won the Bear for Foegele trade? Both or neither are acceptable answers.
Robin Brownlee:
Halfway through the season? Scratched a few games? Both or neither are acceptable answers? Man, you’re not even trying.
Jason Gregor:
Both teams got what they wanted, but neither player has played as well as either team would have liked to this point. I don’t see a clear winner on either side at this point, so I’d say undetermined at this point.
Cam Lewis:
Pretty easily Carolina. I’d much rather have a solid young defender than a winger who can’t finish. It’s easier to find a Warren Foegele for cheap in free agency, I’m not sure that’s the case for Bear.
Tyler Yaremchuk:
Carolina. Bear has had moments where he’s played in Carolina’s top-four and I still think he has a future as a top-four defenseman. I’m not sold on Foegele ever being more than a decent third-line winger.
Zach Laing:
Carolina. The gained a young, cost-controlled RHD. I’ve liked Foegele’s game more than some, however, and he’s still young enough where his game can grow.
Baggedmilk:
Meh. I like Warren Foegele even though I don’t think he’ll ever score again — our boy is snakebitten like you wouldn’t believe — but I don’t like the cost of acquisition. Said it then, repeating it now.
5) @Edmonton99 asks – Is it time for the Oilers to empty the bank – pay whatever price the coyotes want for Chychrun and try to ensure they make the playoffs? They need either a new superstar goaltender now (ain’t happening) or a bolstered defense to stop hemorrhaging weak goals and win a few points.
Robin Brownlee:
Nothing says “kick me in the nuts and take my lunch money” like “pay whatever price the Coyotes want . . .” The Oilers don’t need a superstar goaltender now, they need a tandem capable of consistently playing .915. Can Koskinen/Skinner do that for the rest of the season and playoffs? I think so. Bigger moves like you’re referencing are best left until the off-season. Of note, Chychrun was injured against Boston on the weekend. Not sure how bad it is.
Jason Gregor:
He was injured on the weekend, and it is unsure how serious so I’d say no. If Edmonton is going to push their chips in on a D-man and I’d do it for a top-four RD instead of a left D-man. Edmonton has enough solid LD.
Cam Lewis:
The trade deadline isn’t the time for moves like this because the selling team knows the buying team is desperate. A big blockbuster will have to wait for the off-season. For now, fill the cracks via trade and maybe pull the trigger on a deal involving the first-round pick if the player is under control next season as well.
Tyler Yaremchuk:
I think they should bring in a solid defenseman at the deadline. If they can get an asset for Josh Archibald and then package that pick with something else for a defenseman, I think they’ll be in a good spot. I’d love to see them go all in on a guy like Chychrun, but I doubt that’s happening. I’m expecting Justin Braun or someone like that.
Zach Laing:
Chychrun is one heckuva defenceman and exactly the kind of guy they should be targeting. He’s cost-controlled for a few more years on a cheaper deal. It’s probably a move that would come in the off-season.
Baggedmilk:
I want Chychrun too but emptying the clip to get him doesn’t make sense either. I’d absolutely be open to trading the first and a prospect+ to get it done, though.

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