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Oilers Look For Goals In Trip To Anaheim

The Oilers need more goals, you guys.

Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports



9-6-1, 19 points, 1.188 p/g Ranks 7-6-3, 17 points, 1.065 p/g
Pacific Division - 1st Pacific Division - 3rd
13th P/G 17th
10th ST 9th
10th S/G 24th
17th Goal 14th
TV - Sportsnet Oilers
Radio - 630 CHED
Honda Center

The opposing view


Patrick Maroon - Connor McDavid -  Jordan Eberle
Benoit Pouliot - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -  Tyler Pitlick
Milan Lucic - Leon Draisaitl - Jesse Puljujarvi
Mark Letestu -  Anton Lander -  Zack Kassian

Oscar Klefbom - Adam Larsson
Andrej Sekera - Matthew Benning
Darnell Nurse - Eric Gryba

Cam Talbot
Jonas Gustavsson

You Gotta Problem

The problem is goals.  Don't make it anything that it isn't.  Alright, I'll give you the "allowing a goal just 30-90 seconds into the game" thing, that's not good either.  But, 95% of your problem?   It's goals.  It's not a lack of preparedness, it's not that Jordan Eberle only eats at Swiss Donair, it's not that Cam Talbot is screwing it all up.  It's none of that.  All of those players are who they are.  Nothing's changed in that regard.   All of this will work with some goals.

It's goals.  Plain and simple.  At the beginning of the season, everything was going in.  Oilers hung seven goals on the Flames, and were averaging four goals a game through the first five.  "Oilers have turned a corner!" you read. Well, yeah, they did.  So long as they can pump four goals a game behind a floundering Brian Elliott every night, your corners have been turned.

Only problem?  They're not playing the Flames every night. Matter of fact, they've actually got to play some teams that made the playoffs last year, and now that this is happening, some of those goals are drying up.  Oilers have averaged just 2.4 goals in their last five games, and the old adage about being difficult to win tends to ring true when you're not scoring more than your opponent.

The Oilers are going to have to start to get some goals from players who aren't on the top line, or who aren't mistakenly called "Lance" by Drew Remenda.  It's got to happen fast, because things are about to go way south in a hurry.

The Oilers are in Anaheim tonight to take on a Ducks team that yielded five goals to the Predators on Saturday night. Let's go to the tape.

The Oilers are saying

"Things just needed to be changed...We weren't creating anything and defensively we were getting scored on a little bit.  It's nothing you take to heart.  You just move on and play better tomorrow."


That's Jordan Eberle on getting moved from the top line in favour of Tyler Pitlick during Saturday's game against the Rangers

I get that we all want Jordan Eberle to burst through a giant Oiler logo when Connor McDavid can't for whatever reason, but you're getting the same miles out of Jordan Eberle now that you did three years ago.  So why's everyone pointing their ink pens toward Eberle?  The only person ahead of Eberle on the scoresheet right now is 97.  Relax.

The opponents are saying

"You have to take away his speed as much as you can...You need to know where he is on the ice.  Simple as that.  He's going to have opportunities.  He's going to be good.  It's just a matter of how close you check him."  Source

That's Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano on how the Ducks will need to keep tabs on Connor McDavid.

Connor McDavid:  still good.

Have some of this

  • UPDATE - STOP ALLOWING THE FIRST GOAL IN THE FIRST MINUTE OF PLAY: It only took eighty seconds for Michael Grabner to score his ninth goal of the season as the Rangers visited Edmonton on Saturday night.  25/62 was the defensive pairing on the ice when it all went down.  Maybe we get away from that so early.
  • GOAL DROUGHT: I touched upon the importance of scoring goals in order to win hockey games earlier in the article.  Jordan Eberle could use a goal or two to keep the sharks at bay, but Lucic, Draisaitl, Pouliot and Nugent-Hopkins could all benefit from a couple of points tonight.  I believe that if the Oilers continue to toss in the high-30s in shots, that they'll come around.
  • Cam Talbot (8-6-1, .918 SV% / 2.57 GAA, 2 SO) will likely go for the Oilers tonight.  Look for the Ducks to counter with John Gibson (5-5-3 .902 SV% / 2.68 GAA, 1 SO)
  • Though still injured, Drake Caggiula, Brandon Davidson and Matt Hendricks have made the trip with Edmonton on this three game excursion.  It remains to be seen if any will get into game action.  The Oilers will be in Los Angeles on Thursday and Dallas on Saturday.
  • Iiro Pakarinen (knee), Drake Caggiula (hip), Mark Fayne (undisclosed) Brandon Davidson (upper body) Matt Hendricks, and Kris Russell will be out for the Oilers. The Ducks will be without forwards Nate Thompson (heel), Nicolas Kerdiles (concussion) and defenceman Simon Despres (concussion)