59

Laurent Brossoit need not be Edmonton’s backup next year

Laurent Brossoit’s late-season audition for the Edmonton Oilers’ backup job hasn’t gone especially well. He’s started five games and lost five times, with a 0.873 save percentage, and outside of a strong performance in a shootout loss to Winnipeg back in February hasn’t performed particularly well in any of those games. Fortunately for the Oilers,…

81

Who other than Connor McDavid plausibly deserves the Calder Trophy?

Anyone following the Calder Trophy race this season knows that Connor McDavid’s injury has badly hurt his chances of winning as award which almost certainly would have been his otherwise. The trouble for voters is that McDavid has been so good since coming back that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to give the trophy to anyone…

56

A Glance at the Blueprint?

Peter Chiarelli’s comments and actions around the trade deadline are fascinating to review for anyone with an interest in what his overall plan for the Edmonton Oilers organization is. We don’t have the full picture, by any means, but it’s little like getting a quick glance at the blueprint. Of particular interest was the general…

82

What a difference a week makes

Last Monday the Oilers were shut out 3-0 in Toronto. After the game Todd McLellan challenged some of his players, and without naming names it was obvious he was referring to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle. “When I look at this trip as a whole, we had some key, key people really under perform on…

73

It’s a Weird Science

Head Coach Todd McLellan blended the lines at practice, just one game into the season, to try to find better chemistry. From what I’ve seen so far though preseason and game one, it’s a good move.

45

Connor McDavid and the threat of Antoine Roussel

Paul Bissonnette took the hard road to the NHL, earning more than 200 games in the majors primarily through his pugilistic abilities. An outspoken and popular presence online, Bissonnette recently responded to a question about the relationship between Luke Gazdic and Connor McDavid, and offered an intriguing defence of the necessity of Edmonton’s enforcer. We can…

89

Found Money

The prospects who get drafted are the ones who work hard, produce well and have the dimensions that NHL clubs want. It’s an uphill battle even for the players whom an NHL club has already put their stamp of approval on — they won’t all make the NHL. Then there are the ones who didn’t get…

63

Protecting Connor McDavid

It took all of one game for questions about the Edmonton Oilers’ ability to protect Connor McDavid to surface. It wasn’t a regular season game, which would have been too much to hope for, but I had been optimistic that we’d at least be able to wait until the preseason before the inevitable hair-pulling about…

Is There Room for Gazdic?

Luke Gazdic is the most skilled Oilers forward when it comes to fisticuffs, but if he is going to be a regular in the lineup he’ll need to be more than just a fighter. Gazdic lost a few pounds — not that he was too heavy, he simply wanted to get leaner and quicker. But…

38

Skipping School

We’ll keep calling it the McDavid factor until someone else comes up with something catchy. He’s been the catalyst for sweeping changes in Oil Country. Even before being drafted he was responsible for the end of the Glory Days Oilers in management and the turnaround in respectability that the Oilers experienced. He’s unquestionably the reason…

71

Edmonton Oilers pass on buyout window

Tuesday was the last day to place players on unconditional waivers prior to a buyout, and the Oilers passed on the opportunity, meaning that the obvious candidates for severance will either have to be moved in some other manner or will be around next season. And that’s just fine.