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Edmonton Oilers

They could have had a few more options or been serving in the crowd to reduce lineups, but you could quickly pop down for 5 minutes during the game and get what you needed. Intermissions with crowds that size will almost always be problematic. If anything, the LRT and security were bigger issues for most.
 
Tough test tonight with the Stars, who are a top competitor in the West. It's a great opportunity to see what this team is made of. Coming off of a big win against the Flames in the Heritage Classic, we'll see whether that was a "springboard" win or not. I expect Connor will have a big game, he hasn't really had one of his marquee games yet. He looked really good against the Flames, despite the injury. Sounds like we'll be getting Wedgewood and not Oettinger tonight (though that's not confirmed yet).

It'll be a tough game but if the Oilers play the way they did against Calgary (minus the lack of discipline) they should be able to win.
 
A little bit late, but Chief Littlechild seemed a step slower at the Heritage Classic. I hope he's okay.
 
It's hard to think what more Lavoie can do to get a chance. If 7 points and 4 goals in 5 games isn't enough, they might as well just trade him. I love Gagner but seriously, is he really going to be a difference maker at this point in his career? Lavoie on the other hand could be, this move makes no sense.
This didn't age well, did it? 😅
 
Dang, Gagner two goals was awesome I stand corrected. But I don't think we can expect him to suddenly become the top-6 player he was projected to be at 34. It's so disappointing to have such an exciting third period and great push back only to still end up losing. The Oilers continue to be the most unlucky team in the NHL, statistically speaking:

luck.jpg


This chart is from @datadrivenhockey on instagram. It's a couple games out of date at this point but I'm sure it's consistent if not even more extreme after last nights game.

Hang in there Oilers fans, it's not sustainable to continue losing at the rate the Oilers have, playing as well as they have.
 
Oilers are a mixed bag of weird things going on right now that is leading to losing.

- The D actually hasn't looked bad the last few games but they're shitting themselves on rush chances—I actually think the bigger problem is the neutral zone play.
- Mistakes are magnified because they don't have a goalie right now who can make the extra save when they need it. Dallas was awful on D last night and made a TON of mistakes but Wedgewood and the posts covered them up so it's not even a story.
The offense looks dangerous but has absolutely no luck right now. I think they'll be fine here and am way less worried about this than I am about the goaltending. SH% won't stay this low for long.
- 97 and to a lesser extent 29 don't look right. Clearly, 97 is still injured and 29 has not looked right the last few games, I wonder if something is going on with him too. This is directly affecting the PP.
- PK continues to be a weakness.
- Holland messed up the cap so badly that they have limited options with regard to call-ups, lineup changes, etc.

Overall, other than a couple of no-show games, I legitimately think they've been the better team in most of their games this year. Hard to win with below .900 sv% though, especially when your sh% is in the tank. I'm worried, and I think they've already lost their shot at winning the div., let alone the conference, but I also think some of this stuff will start to turn around soon enough. I do think Holland needs to somehow, some way, figure out a solution to the goaltending but I also don't think he's creative enough, or has the balls to make a move like that. I'd love for him to prove me wrong.
 
D has been good imo. Oilers fans like to point out their mistakes but every team and every player makes those mistakes. Our issue as you say is that our goaltending isn't able to cover that up. So the Oilers can dominate vast stretches of the game, still score a decent amount but still end up losing because all most teams need against our goaltending right now is one or two chances.

I also like your point about Ken Holland's lack of creativity. Plenty of NHL teams are up against the cap and still manage to add and improve their team. Toronto, Vegas, etc. I think that Kenny is a good GM overall (not that he hasn't made boneheaded moves though) and especially his drafting is decent. But he seems afraid to make big moves, which seems like a common trait among some of the older, more seasoned GM's cough, cough Lou Lamoriello, who entered management before the era of Advanced Analytics and the Salary Cap.

There are a few good options potentially on the market.

John Gibson: He has been somewhat inconsistent over the years but has been an elite goalie before and he has always been solid. Though his decline correlated almost exaclty with Anaheim's rebuild so I wonder if it has anything to do with his play or more to do with the caliber of the team in front of him. He might take a lot to get but would at the very least stabilize the goaltending situation.

Juuse Saros: I would absolutely love to get Saros and he would immediately fix everything. The Oilers were linked to him in the summer and if Nashville heads towards a rebuilding direction (which it seems like they unfortunately aren't based on their offseason moves) he could be a possibility. He would come at a hefty price but it would be worth every penny as long as we don't give up any top-6 forwards or any of our top 3 defensemen.

Carter Hart: Has shown flashes of being great amidst flashes of being very mid, but much like Gibson he has played on a mediocre to awful Philly team his entire career. I would be hesitant to trade for him though based on the Hockey Canada situation and his potential involvement.

Semyon Varlamov: Has been quietly excellent in the shadow of Ilya Sorokin. The Isles need offensive firepower and future picks, we need a goalie.

When it comes to a trade package Campbell would need to be involved for cap reasons. We would also likely need to dump at least 1 first round pick, but probably more if we want any salary retention. We would also have to part with one or more of Lavoie, Broberg, Holloway, Bourgault, or Akey as well.

The cost would be great but future assets mean essentially nothing right now for the Oilers. I hope it doesn't come to that and that one of our goalies (or ideally both) is able to find their game once again.
 
I would be working every possible angle to get Saros somehow, but any of your options would be an upgrade. It would be great if the two goalies here could turn it around, but even if they did I would not trust that to last well into the playoffs. They need to make a change. Oilers are very close to the end of their window with 97 and 29 and if they don’t make a strong push for the cup this year, we can forget about any possibility of signing extensions—we’ll be talking about what to get in return for 29 at next year’s deadline instead. No room left for errors, they need to go all in. I have very little faith in Holland’s abilities as a GM to get this past the goal line though. I really hope he can prove me wrong.
 
97 and to a lesser extent 29 don't look right. Clearly, 97 is still injured and 29 has not looked right the last few games, I wonder if something is going on with him too. This is directly affecting the PP.
To me, this is the biggest point. The biggest reason why the Oilers are considered a top contender is because we have these two, but they haven't been producing nearly as well as we've grown used to. I do suspect that eventually they'll click, as I can't imagine that two of the 5 best players in the league will continue to be playing well below their average forever, but it is cause for concern, especially if it is injury related.

I don't think that's all it is, because from game 1, none of them have had that brilliance spark that we're used to see from them, in any of the games. No breathtaking needle threading by 97, no unthinkable passes from 29. Not even that killer one-timer we're so used to, from Draisatl has been hitting the target. I think they might be having some trouble with handling the pressure of carrying the weight that favouritism brings. Prior to the start of the season, most media outlets and internet pundits had the Oilers as their top pick for the Stanley Cup...
 
To me, this is the biggest point. The biggest reason why the Oilers are considered a top contender is because we have these two, but they haven't been producing nearly as well as we've grown used to. I do suspect that eventually they'll click, as I can't imagine that two of the 5 best players in the league will continue to be playing well below their average forever, but it is cause for concern, especially if it is injury related.

I don't think that's all it is, because from game 1, none of them have had that brilliance spark that we're used to see from them, in any of the games. No breathtaking needle threading by 97, no unthinkable passes from 29. Not even that killer one-timer we're so used to, from Draisatl has been hitting the target. I think they might be having some trouble with handling the pressure of carrying the weight that favouritism brings. Prior to the start of the season, most media outlets and internet pundits had the Oilers as their top pick for the Stanley Cup...
It’s definitely injury related with 97. 29… not sure, maybe. Thing is, they’re still shredding the opposition as far as chances go, they’re just not scoring. Their analytics are very good and the ice is tilted when they’re out there. It’ll come.
 

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