Welcome back, we are exactly halfway through the season. We were in the playoffs last time! A lot can change in 8 games. This 8 game review is going to be split into 2 articles.
Last time’s Poll had 87% of people feeling we’d make the playoffs. So let’s see how everyone feels now?
Do you think the Oil will make the playoffs?
This poll is closed
Game 34 - We lost 4-2 to Vancouver. Terrible game. Koskinen looked human for first time since preseason. Caleb looks promsing. (0-1)
Game 35 - We lost 4-1 to St. Louis. Terrible game. Talbot started and was sub .900. Not that it was his fault but that sub .900 is a real trend. Jesse scored a beauty. He also looked like an OHL rookie on a phantom goal gift from the refs to St. Louis. Not sure what he was doing. (0-2)
Game 36 - We lost 6-3 to Tampa. Terrible game (noting a trend here?). It was so bad there wasn’t even a recap. McDavid and Leon were split up in this one. Jesse on first line. Mikko started. (0-3) Silving lining: This was the last game before Xmas break - we were in a wildcard spot!
Game 37 - We lost 4-2 to Vancouver. Terrible game (seriously, noting a trend here?). Connor looked great and no one else did. This is what it looks like when you have zero depth and are pushed to the cap. Thanks Chia! Chiasson out with injury. (0-4)
We lost Zykov on waivers to another division rival, Las Vegas. Aberg, part 2?
Game 38 - We lost 7-4 to San Jose in a terrible game. Congrats to Caleb on his first goal! Ty with 3 points. (0-5)
We acquired Petrovic the next day. And Manning for Caggiula and Garrison. Here are Chia’s transactions this season:
Manning (trade for Caggiula and Garrison), Petrovic (trade for Wideman and 3rd), Zykov (‘waive’d goodbye to a division rival), Wideman (traded), Spooner (traded for Strome), Chiasson (PTO), Garrison (PTO), Jerabek (traded) and Aberg (waived to a division rival). The best 3 current NHL players on that list are Strome, Aberg and Chiasson. 2 of them we got rid of.
Game 39 - We lost 4-3 to the Jet’s. Sure we allowed 4 goals or more again but, in this 0-6 swing, this was our best game. Not much of a bright side. (0-6)
Game 40 - We beat Arizona 3-2. Read the recap. At the same time Team Canada was eliminated from the World Jrs. Team Canada chose to destroy Denmark 14-0 in front of thousands of cheering Canadian fans (Denmark would go on to be relegated from the tourney). This was the very definition of ‘pissing off the hockey gods’. Don’t give me this ‘goal differential is important for tiebreakers’. It is roughly the fifth tiebreaker. First one is head to head and there was never going to be a 3 way tie for first between Canada/Russia/Switzerland/Czechs. They lost to Russia and those 14 goals were not important. Also, the greatest hockey nation in the world had Maxime Comtois as their captain. Maxime Comtois would be the baby that Brad Marchand and Matthew Tkachuk would have. In that Denmark game, Canada scored 6 goals in the third period after already being up 8-0. Comtois scored 3 of those. He was also very good at ‘agitating’ (face palm a Czech into his bench, slash a Russian in the back of the legs) and then waiting for his opponent to retaliate so he could drop like he’d been shot! On at least 2 occasions I saw him ‘miss’ a hit but then ‘accidentally’ his knee dragged and took out a players knee. It happened in the Finnish game and he took a guy out of the game with it. Of the 100 or more amazing players in Canada, this was the captain? Watching this guy miss the empty net with a minute left AND missing the penalty shot in OT was the ‘hockey gods’. Canada should be able to win this tournament every year based on skill, coaching and pedigree. Not by kicking the shit out of a bunch of Danish kids and making Comtois captain. (1-6)
Note: Those were the thoughts I wrote after Canada got eliminated. That was my reaction and I decided to keep it here. I guess I wasn’t alone since Comtois got massive social media backlash which has been labelled anti francophone. I want to be clear. I didn’t dislike Comtois because he missed a penalty shot, because he was French OR because he is a bad hockey player. I disliked his ‘brand of hockey’ and while I’m sure there is room for a guy like that on every team, that guy shouldn’t be the captain. Part of the team, of course. Captain? I’m not so sure. I do wish him all the best in his future NHL career though.
Game 41 - We lost to LA 4-0. Here is the recap. Remember when LA was terrible at the start of the season? Well, they’re not much better now but are destroying us in ugly fashion. (1-7)
Here are the important stats for the 8 game segment which was, by far, our worst stretch of the season:
- The players. Connor, Leon and RNH continue to lead the way. RNH’s minus 10 is a bit alarming. Nurse has consistently been on a 40 point pace which would be career highs. Rattie got all 3 points in one game. Only 6 different players scored a goal in this segment.
2. Here are the goalies. Mikko started 6 games but was pulled in 2. Cam Started 2 games. They have very similar numbers in this segment as they are both well below .900. I’d love to blame the goalies but I honestly feel sorry for them and don’t think they are to blame at all.
3. How the team did. Since December 15th the Oilers have been the worst team in the NHL with only 2 points. They scored 18 goals and allowed 34. I’m sure there have been worse segments in history but this has to be close.
4. We are now exactly halfway through the season. Here are our scoring leaders. Captain Obvious would like you to know that you multiply these totals by 2 to get the projected seasons total for our team.
The good news: Connor is on pace for over 120 points. Leon is well on his way to his first .ppg season and might crack 100 points. RNH is also on a career year and done everything asked of him (so expect to see him traded first). Nurse is on pace for a career year and 40 points. Alex Chiasson has been a great signing! He’ll probably get 20 goals and 40 points this season.
The bad news: Jesse has 5 points, Lucic has 8, Reider has 7, Rattie has 7. I mean, it’s all bad news really. Khaira is on pace for 26 points which would make him our 5th best forward in scoring.
They’ve played almost identical time. Mikko has been much better. There is no magic rebound to .918 for Cam. There won’t even be a magic rebound to his sub par .908 last year.
Lastly, here is the MOST important stat:
We are on pace for 82 points while the top 3 in the Pacific are on pace for about 100 points. we do have some hope at that final Wildcard spot as we are 4 points out and have 1 game in hand. Even better? We play Anaheim tonight and could really gain some traction.
Part 2 will come out a little later...