Hey people, lifelong Albertan and Oilers fan here, all 24 years of it. Grew up a Gretzky fanatic, but I missed out on the glory years and my allegiance was always tested with The Great One playing for the Kings and then the Rangers. I'll always be an L.A and NYR fan as well but the Oilers come first, and it isn't even close.
I'll be providing game previews and recaps, as well as weekly updates on all the fantasy relevant Oilers, the farm team in Oklahoma, the Oiler prospects in the CHL and SEL, and offering my opinion on anything that's going on in Oil Country. Any and all questions regarding the Oilers are welcome!
Thanks to PnG. I know i'll be busy over here but i'll still find time to offer my 2 cents on the Studs n Duds.
Just thought I'd share...
20 games in, the Oilers are worse than last year.
2009/10 - 8-10-2 63 GA and 58 GF
2010/11 - 5-11-4 82 GA and 49 GF
Games lost by 1 goal: This year 5, Last year 8
Games Oilers were shut out: This year 2, Last year 3
Games Oilers shut out opponents: This year 1, Last year 0
Biggest goal margin (in a loss): This year 6 goals happened twice, 5 goals happened 3 times, and 4 goals once. Last year 3 goals which happened only twice
At least there is a light at the end of the tunnel... another lottery pick.
Found this amusing (from the same link):
"But, this is still a team that will be battling for the basement with the New York Islanders. We all need to start hoping for Tavares to take a page out of Stamkos' book."
God we could really use Larsson.
I'm worried if these brutal losses keep up it will be bad for the kids though.
Great post fajita.
I think the biggest reason for the slower start this year is the poor play of Dustin Penner. Last season he had 30pts in the first 22games and the trio of Penner, Gagner, Hemsky was dominating. They've been very inconsistent this tear tho.
I still believe this years version of the team is better than last years, but it still wont keep them out of the bottom 3.
I hope someone like Larsson or Couturier seperates themself as the clear #1, there's something really unsatisfying about finishing last and not knowing you'll get the best prospect.
Larsson was the clear cut #1 but hasn't been putting up great numbers this year. I still think he'll be the first selection though.
Originally Posted by donions
The one small bright spot with the Oilers is that their drafting has been a lot better in recent memory. I think they had a phenomenal draft in 2010.
Taylor Hall, 1st Overall - Okay so he's a no brainer and he's struggled to start the year, but he's also looked phenomenal out there even on nights where the scoresheet hasn't shown it. He'll hopefully crack between 40-50 points if he can pick it up even a touch in the second half of the season. That's Stamkos/Tavares territory and given the horrific nature of the team that's not too shabby.
Tyler Pitlick, 31st Overall - He looked quite good before the season began but he stumbled out of the gate a little bit with Medicine Hat. But he's really turned things on lately and is now sitting at 22 points in 19 games, sitting at 4th on the roster with a few less games played than two of the three in front of him.
Martin Marincin, 41st Overall - With 25 points in 23 games Marincin has had a simply stellar start to his year with the Prince George Cougars. He is only 1 point out of the WHL scoring lead for defenders and is looking like he is justifying his pick as the first overall pick in the 2010 CHL Import Draft.
Curtis Hamilton, 48th Overall - A steal where he was drafted, the Oiler benefited from his injury the season prior to pick him up midway through the second round. Sitting at 9th in the WHL in total points, Hamilton leads the Blades with 13G and 20A in 23 games and sports a sickening +26!
Ryan Martindale, 61st Overall - Not to be outdone, Martindale's 40 points in 25 games with the Ottawa 67's is also a team leading high, and he currently sits in 2nd place in OHL points. There is some doubt as to whether his production is do to strong teammates like Toffoli, or on his own merit, but his hot start has not gone unnoticed in Oiler land.
Throw in the 8-5-1 Tyler Bunz in net and the Regina Pat offensive defenseman Brandon Davidson who sits 5th in WHL scoring for defense and this past season's draft has to be viewed - at least this point - as a very successful one for the Oilers.
ya there really is no clear cut number 1 pick in this years draft but there is some highly regarded players for their positions. tambi is gonna have a tough decision for the second year in a row.
do we go with a huge number one center in courtier, that has drawn lecaliver comparisons or do we take the number 1 all round stud d man in larson who has been compared to lidstrom.
then theres some alright secondary options in hopkins and murphy who both could prove to be impact guys.
personally i hope we talk this rebuilding route the same way as tampa and draft the stud dman but damn would courtier, hall and eberle look sick together out there.
either way its gonna be exciting in the near future in oil country. i cant wait for this team to all come together
You just saved me a long post doulos. I was planning on highlighting those players not named Hall from last years draft that have looked so good to start the year. Well done.
Originally Posted by doulos
I remember watching the TSN "Oil Change" documentary covering the draft, and the Oilers scouts were going bonkers when Pitlick and Marincin were available with their 2nd round picks. They made attempts to trade up in the draft to make sure they landed 1 of these guys and they felt extremely lucky they landed both.
My uncle is a scout for the Kelowna Rockets and he couldnt say enough good things about Marincin's game this year. He wont go quite as far as to compare him to Chara, but maybe a left handed Tyler Myers.
11/25 vs. Colorado
For the 2nd game in a row the Oilers will be in the NHL spotlight. The only game on Thursday night is the 1st match up of the year between the Avs and the Oil. Tom Renney was less then pleased with the teams effort on Tuesday and worked the team very hard at practice on Wednesday, expect a better effort from the Oil, especially with the Avs playing in Vancouver last night.
Stats of the night: The Oilers are 1-11 when allowing the 1st goal.
Oilers PP rank, 25th. Avs PK rank, 25th. Something's gotta give.
Season series: 0-0
2009-2010 series: 3-3
Expected goalie matchup: Gerber vs. Budaj
Oilers fantasy lines:
- Dustin Penner had 5pts and 17SOG in 6 games vs Colorado last year, as well as a 3pt game in the Avs last visit to Rexall.
- Sam Gagner has 17pts in 19 career games vs Colorado.
- Tim Gilbert had 5pts in 6 vs the Avs last year, but still managed to post a -5.
- Zach Stortini has 48pims vs the Avs in there last 9 matchups. Does pro-line have a fight card yet? Cause I'd bet the house he drops the gloves with Cody Mcleod if they are in the lineup tonight.
- Ales Hemsky was banged up at practice on Wednesday. It isnt serious but he'll miss tonight's game. This could be a good opportunity for MPS.
Avalanche fantasy lines:
- Craig Anderson has dominated the Oilers, 4-1 record with 4 shutouts! Amazing. Luckily for the Oilers he's banged up and likely won't play.
- Peter Budaj has been dominated by the Oilers recently. 10 goals against in 2 losses to Edm last year. He posted a winning record of 3-2 in 2009 but allowed 16 goals. Budaj also played last night and has not appeared in games on back-to-back nights since 08-09, he was pulled in both those games.
- Milan Hejduk has been on fire since a slow start to the year and it shouldn't stop tonight, post-lockout he has 27points in 30games vs Edmonton.
- John-Michael Liles is also on fire, and has 9pts in his last 8 vs Edm, Including a 3pt game last year.
- Matt Duchene, 7pts in 6 games vs Edm, to go with a +6.
Game Recap to follow.
11/25 vs Colorado
Much better effort tonight from the Oilers to end a 6 game losing streak at Rexall Place. They came out harder then a Priest at a daycare, and turned it on again in the final minutes. I watched this game at work so I missed portions of it, and all the Oiler power-plays, but caught the majority.
Hall-Horcoff-Eberle: Solid outing from this trio, they were the 1st line on the depth chart with Hemsky out. Hall was flying tonight tho it didnt translate into scoring chances til late in the game. Horcoff and Eberle were struggling to keep up with Hall on the rush at times, Eberle especially was invisible at times, but he made a fantastic play on the game winning goal, beating Liles out of the corner and feeding Hall for an open net.
Penner-Cogliano-Brule: Potentially the best game these 3 have played all season, individually and as a trio. Penner was challenging defenders with his body instead of trying to deke everybody, he still took some shifts off and looked lazy at times, but that's Penner. Brule was a huge factor on both the opening goals. Cogliano played his best game in a long while as an Oiler, he was credited with both goals originally, but just getting on the score-sheet is big for him.
MPS: Strong finish tonight, he had the fans out of their seats with a couple late game rushes; just as the crowd calmed down again Eberle setup Hall for the winner, a glimpse of things to come perhaps?
Gagner: I honestly cant recall many plays involving Gagner, and the game just ended. He had 1 good scoring chance but Budaj turned it away.
Thumbs up to the Oilers grinders as well, Stortini and Jacques threw some big hits and drew penalties. Theo Peckham was a physical beast tonight! Dont forget his name, in a season or 2 when the Oilers are competitive, Peckham could be a very good PIMS source capable of chipping in 25-30pts from the blueline.
Whitney-Gilbert: Whitney played with Smid tonight and had another good game. Solid defensively and led a couple rushes up ice.
Gilbert had his best game of the season by a long shot, by no means does that mean he was awesome or anything, but being good is a huge step up from being awful. 2 assists, +2, some timely blocked shots, and just seemed more confident with the puck.
Gerber: What a story. His first NHL game in 2 years, despite suffering a serious neck injury last year in the KHL, and he steals the show. Some very timely saves in the 3rd while the game was tied. I expect Dubnyk to start Saturday, but don't be surprised to see Gerber back in within the next 2 games.
Some quick Avs notes:
-Shattenkirk was worth the hype. I didnt know much about him before this season, but I know enough now. Plays with so much confidence in both ends, made a great play on his goal to keep the puck in the Oilers zone then took it hard to the net.
-Matt Duchene was dangerous all night, he got hit hard by Alex Edler in last nights game, and since that hit he's been the best player on the ice in the 4 periods he's played since.
Next up for the Oilers, a Hockey Night in Canada rematch vs the San Jose Sharks. San Jose blew Edmonton out in the first meeting.
Peckham has been a beast in every game I've watched. They need more guys like him. Not so much skilled, but he definitely brings it on a nightly basis and is one of the few guys I've actually seen stand up for his teammates this year. They need more guys like him who can get after it physically. I think he can be a fan favourite for a long time if they keep him around.
For Gilbert I wonder if slapping the "A" on him with Hemsky out was a factor. I pretty much agree with your assessment, one of his better games but still not a great showing. I just think he's way too soft and loses way too many battles in the corner, which on this team can be deadly.
How about Smid tonight? Looked completely lost. I wonder if he's still shaking out the cobwebs from that concussion.
Last night's final 3 minutes vs the Avs was awesome. I jumped out of my seat and cheered when Hall got that goal from Jordan "You Shall Not Steal This Puck" Eberle.
For a team that has only won 6 games all year and was outplayed for most of the game as well, it was fun to at least see a glimpse of what the team could maybe? do down the road.
Originally Posted by doulos
I was very pleased with Eberle last night. Puck possession has always been one of Eberle's strengths so it's good to see he's figuring out how to use his body to shield the puck until the lane opened up. That play at the end wasn't the only time I'd seen him employing those skills last night.
Nice to hear some positives about the Oilers finally. Call it a hunch but I think that Hall goal might be like a psychological dam breaking - strongly considering grabbing him in my one year league, just on that speculation.
I hope that this is the dam breaking but I'm not so sure. One thing I've really noticed about him thus far is that he's struggled being able to get shots off and get them on goal consistently. He's getting a lot of pucks knocked off his stick before he can shoot or he's having shots blocked or just plain missing the net. This is especially true on the rush where he is still holding onto the puck way too long forcing the issue rather than passing or dumping it in. He's making improvements in all these facets though. So as he and really Eberle for that matter start to really figure out how to be more effective out there then you'll see their scoring chances mounting and his SOG will go up, which innevitably will lead to more goals.
Right now Hall is shooting 10%, which is respectable but he's only getting off 2.38 shots per game, which for a goal scorer like him strikes me as low.
I like to use Stamkos as a comparable because I like to aim high. Stamkos really struggled in the first half of his rookie campaign. Not until late mid to late February did things really start to click for him. For Stamkos, if there was a moment that rookie season where the dam broke it was probably the night of his first career hattrick on February 17th. Stamkos only fired 181 shots on goal that season and managed only 23 goals and 46 points but from the game he scored that hattrick onward you can note a marked improvement in the rate with which he both got shots on net and with which he recorded points.
Now could that big winner be the moment where things really start to click for Hall? I sure hope so, but what's really going to get it done is for Hall to more consistently get pucks on net. It's a simple concept but one that cannot be ignored. I've already noticed Hall improving in this area and it's showing in the numbers. I fully acknowledge the small sample size being used but Hall has improved SOG numbers in this his second month vs. the first month of the season. I wouldn't normally throw this in since I'm sure the results wouldn't be significantly different but it does back up what I've noticed from watching the games so I feel compelled to throw it out there.