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Monday Mailbag – Do the Oilers finally have three scoring lines?

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Photo credit:Tom Kostiuk
baggedmilk
3 months ago
Happy Monday, dearest Nation Citizens, and welcome back to another Mailbag that’s geared up to help keep you updated on all things Edmonton Oilers. This week, we’re discussing Connor Brown goal predictions, line combinations, Calvin Pickard, and more. If you’ve 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.
Mar 13, 2024; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; The Edmonton Oilers celebrate a goal scored by forward Connor Brown (28) during the third period against the Washington Capitals at Rogers Place.
1) Oilers fan in Van asks – Connor Brown got the monkey off his back with his first goal of the season against the Washington Capitals, and now I’m wondering how many everyone thinks he’ll finish the season with?
Jason Gregor:
I think he will finish the season with four goals.
Liam Horrobin:
Harsh, but I will say two at the most.
Baggedmilk:
Give me five! I believe.
Mar 10, 2024; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin (71) moves the puck against Edmonton Oilers center Adam Henrique (19) during the third period at PPG Paints Arena. The Oilers won 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
2) Yves asks – Can we finally say the Oilers have three scoring lines?
Jason Gregor:
Depends on what is your definition of three scoring lines? Last season Seattle was the only team with seven forwards with 15 or more EV goals. Two teams had six.
If you drop it down to 12 EV goals, then Boston and Seattle had nine, Vegas and STL had eight.
Currenlty Edmonton has six players with 12+ EV goals. Adam Henrique and Ryan McLeod have 11, and are on pace for 12. If Henrique averages one EV goal/seven games with the Oilers that would prorate to 12 on the season. Corey Perry has four EV goals in 20 games with the Oilers which would put him over 12.
I think it is important to have the guideline as to what to expect from three scoring lines. Twelve EV goals is a good measuring stick and the Oilers seem to have that. In Connor Brown’s seven seasons he has had four with 12+ goals, one where he had nine in 63 games, which prorates to 12 and then two without. Now that he’s finally scored a goal, could he score one goal EV goal every seven games. It is very plausible.
So I’d say by the standard of 12 goals, yes, the Oilers have enough players capable of scoring at a 12-goal EV pace.
Liam Horrobin:
I think we can finally say the Oilers have four effective lines. The top three lines are all capable of scoring and the fourth line does a good job of playing simple hockey. Look at Saturday night, the Oilers don’t get any goals from the top line but had Warren Foegele and Sam Carrick score as well as a crossbar from Evander Kane. Ken Holland deserves more credit for his business this season with the forward group.
Baggedmilk:
I’m going to need more scoring from the third line before I declare them a scoring line, but while we’re waiting a few more games to find out, I do think this as close as the Oilers have ever been to having it.
Nov 22, 2023; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Edmonton Oilers goaltender Stuart Skinner (74) is meet by goaltender Calvin Pickard (30) after being pulled in the first period against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
3) Gregg asks – Do you think Calvin Pickard has played well enough to earn another contract with the Oilers? All the guy has done is come in and play well, but the Oilers still have Campbell in the minors who could easily come back next season.
Jason Gregor:
Yes, he has. You also bring up a good point about Campbell. He has played well in the AHL, just like Pickard had before his recall. Could Campbell post respectful numbers in EDM now that they are a more consistent defensive team. I think it is possible. If I was the Oilers I’d sign Pickard to a one-way deal around $800-$900K. It gives them depth, and options in goal for next season.
Liam Horrobin:
I think he’s played well enough to earn a new deal. However, I am not sure that deal is going to be with the Oilers. I hope it is.
Baggedmilk:
If they can get him on a modest increase (no increase?) on this year’s contract then they should absolutely do it. The guy has been a good soldier, deserves an extension, and it’s always nice to have organizational depth.
Mar 16, 2024; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Colorado Avalanche goaltender Alexander Georgiev (40) makes a save on Edmonton Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (93) during overtime at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
4) James asks – It’s early but which Western Conference team do you see as the biggest roadblock between the Oilers and the Stanley Cup?
Jason Gregor:
Good question. Vancouver is my answer, because the Oilers likely have to play them before any of Dallas, Colorado or Winnipeg. So only due to possibly facing them first do I have Vancouver. I think all four teams will be tough. Right now, Vegas doesn’t look like a huge threat. Vegas has the 26th most points and tied for 25th in P% (.512) in the NHL since December 1st. They are 24th in the standings and P% since January first, but have a .483P%. Today they do not look like a dangerous team.
Liam Horrobin:
The Colorado Avalanche because it’s fire with fire.
Baggedmilk:
I’m going with the Colorado Avalanche because they’re just so damned good. They have all kinds of skill throughout their lineup, they score a ton, and it’s going to be a real challenge to stop them in the post-season.
Mar 13, 2024; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Connor Brown (28) celebrates after scoring a goal during the third period against the Washington Capitals at Rogers Place.
5) Bryan B. asks – I’m wondering if the Oilers have cap space left this year to help offset Connor Brown’s bonus next season. If there’s cap space left do the Oilers leave it alone this regular season to help pay that bonus down or do they recall a forward to have more versatility?
Jason Gregor:
In about two weeks the Oilers will have enough cap space to recall a player. I could see them using it to recall Philip Broberg or Dylan Holloway, maybe even Jack Campbell for a game. Even if they don’t the Oilers are on pace to only have less than $50K (closer to $25K) in actual cap savings at the end of the season. They have accrued cap space to recall a player, but that doesn’t mean they will have $800+K in actual cap space at the end of the year. So I suspect they will recall a player.
Liam Horrobin:
I think you’ve just got to worry about that in the summer and play to win games now.
Baggedmilk:
Paying down the bonus would be sweet tbh.

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