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Monday Mailbag – What can you learn from losing to the Stanley Cup champs… twice

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Photo credit:Tom Kostiuk
baggedmilk
9 months ago
Happy Monday, friends, I’m happy you joined us for another fresh edition of the Mailbag to help get your week started and break down all things Edmonton Oilers. This week, we’re looking at losing to the Cup champs, contract talk, Philip Broberg, and a whole lot 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.
May 14, 2023; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (97) reacts with teammates after being defeated by the Vegas Golden Knights of the third period in game six of the second round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Walter Tychnowicz-USA TODAY Sports
1) Anna asks – The Oilers have now lost to the Stanley Cup champions two years in a row and I want to know what lessons you learned about the team after watching both runs.
Jason Gregor:
The loss to Vegas will be a better learning moment. Colorado was a better and deeper team. Edmonton was equal to Vegas but wasn’t as composed at key times.
We will know in the first two months of the season if the players learned why they lost to Vegas. If we see fewer major gaffes and turnovers then they should have a legit chance to compete for the Cup. Assuming they stay healthy.
Robin Brownlee:
This year was proof yet again that a team like the Oilers, legitimate contenders but not powerhouses, can’t win without top-notch goaltending. I thought the previous year was a case of losing to the best team in the league. Colorado was a little better almost everywhere. I don’t put Vegas in that category. The Oilers simply had too many lapses and made too many mistakes.
Baggedmilk:
I hate this question even though I completely understand why you asked. Anyway, the Vegas loss hurts more because it felt like a winnable series had the boys not made so many mistakes. Think about it, the Oilers had the lead in every single game of that series.
Jun 2, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Edmonton Oilers center Ryan McLeod (71) controls the puck in the second period against the Colorado Avalanche in game two of the Western Conference Final of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
2) Hank asks – Can the Oilers do anything apart from signing McLeod and Bouchard or would there still be room for another cheap forward or defender?
Jason Gregor:
They can sign two forwards for $775-$800K contracts — guys who can push for spots in the bottom six.
Robin Brownlee:
Depends. What’s McLeod going to cost? What’s the money on a bridge for Bouchard? Will have to be sub-$1M players.
Baggedmilk:
I hope so. I need more depth, especially along at the RW position but I don’t know that we’ll be able to have it.
Jan 5, 2023; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers defensemen Philip Broberg (86) and New York Islanders forward Anthony Beauvillier (18) chase a loose puck during the second period at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
3) @OilersPain asks – Considering the impact players like Zegras, Boldy, Seider, and others from the 2019 draft have had on their respective clubs, should the Oilers be concerned about Philip Broberg’s development and how he still hasn’t established himself within the team’s system?
Jason Gregor:
They have three proven LD ahead of him. If he plays well this year (likely in AHL to start) and helps in NHL when injuries occur that is fine. He either helps the team or is a trade piece.
Robin Brownlee:
No. Broberg just turned 22 two weeks ago. Comparing him to prospects in other organizations with different depths of talent and player personnel doesn’t tell you much. Zegras and Seider, for example, are with bad teams that aren’t contending right now, so there’s more room to play them without anything on the line. No need to force Broberg into a line-up that’s got more proven depth on the left side.
Baggedmilk:
Broberg is still so young, but given the way the LHD position is set up I can understand why we’d be thinking about him as a piece to move. That said, the Oilers don’t have the cap space to do much of anything anyway so trading Broberg would have to be for something cheap unless he was part of a bigger package, and I don’t see that happening right now.
Apr 23, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Edmonton Oilers goaltender Jack Campbell (36) defends the goal against the Los Angeles Kings during the second period in game four of the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
4) tristynb_04 asks – Are we at all scared that Campbell doesn’t bounce back and Stu hits a sophomore slump and that we’re screwed between the pipes?
Jason Gregor:
Many teams have questions about goaltending to start the season. Unless you have one of the top-seven goalies. I’d be surprised if both struggled.
Robin Brownlee:
No. Not a bit.
Baggedmilk:
I’m betting on the bounce back. Let’s talk again in December.
May 6, 2023; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Edmonton Oilers goaltender Stuart Skinner (74) makes a save against Vegas Golden Knights right wing Jonathan Marchessault (81) during the third period of game two of the second round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
5) @marten_ferguson asks – Why in your opinion haven’t we seen a goaltending coach change in Edmonton? Vegas did and all their goalies excel now… we haven’t had a goalie be “good” year after year. Skinner was last year but faltered in the playoffs, glove side scouting reports are getting old.
Jason Gregor:
Not as old as the tired claims “goalie coach is the problem.” I’m not repeating why I don’t think it is necessary.
Robin Brownlee:
You think Skinner faltering in the playoffs after so many terrific outings during the regular season falls on the goaltending coach? Same goaltender, he just wasn’t as sharp. Teams with good goaltenders get good goaltending. I don’t get the fixation on goaltending coaches.
Baggedmilk:
It is interesting that they’ve never made a change in that position given how many coaches have been fired around here. I don’t have an answer, but then again, I don’t really know what a good goalie coach is supposed to do.

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