Here is Part 2 where I review everything I got wrong last time, hand out mid season awards honoring the best Oiler’s team of the last decade and make predictions for the next 8 games.
What I said last time:
Canucks, Blues, Lightning, Canucks, Sharks, Jets, Coyotes and the Kings. This is a very friendly stretch as 5 of those teams are not playoff teams. Dare I suggest we’ll be in the Top 3 in the Pacific at the halfway point of the season?
My Predictions: Jesse will get 4 points and some special teams. Koskinen will get 6 starts (and 5 wins). Cam will get 2 starts and 1 win. We go 6-2 as a result and will be 2nd in the Pacific next time. We play Calgary the very next game that will put us in first in the Pacific. We won’t see Klefbom. We will see Russel. Sekera rumours will be swirling. RNH will be at 40 points. Draisaitl will be at 50. Connor will be at 60.
Guys I’m worried for in the next 8 games: Zykov, Rattie, Spooner and Cam Talbot.
Guys I think will have a nice run in the next 8 games: Nurse, RNH, Drai, McDavid, Rieder, Mikko and Jesse.
I was about 50-50 but my big mistake was predicting how many wins we’d get. The 8 game stretch was extremely friendly but it went South real fast. We definitely are not in the Top 3 of the Pacific. Jesse got 2 points not 4. Koskinen did get 6 starts but he definitely didn’t win 5 (he won 1). Cam did get 2 starts (and relived 2 more times). We went 1-7 and not 6-2! We didn’t see Klefbom. We didn’t see Russel (although he is back now). Sekera had no rumours and Chia’s presser makes it sound like he’s far away (congrats on the baby!). RNH is at 36 points not 40. Draisaitl is over 50 points. Connor is over 60 points. Zykov is gone. Rattie had a 3 point game but was pointless in the rest. Spooner has done very very little. Talbot is still sub .900. RNH, Drai and McDavid had a nice stretch. Reider, Mikko and Jesse were average to below average.
Mid Season Awards
Everyone loves the 2016/2017 playoff team. I thought I’d hand out awards based on that team. All stats are based on the current teams projected stats and the 2016/17’s actual stats.
- Connor McDavid all world award: Connor McDavid is on pace for over 120 points.
- Leon Draisaitl ‘top ten in scoring’ award: Leon Draisaitl is on a 100 point pace!
- Jordan Eberle ‘50 soft points’ award: RNH is on pace for a ‘hard’ 70 points.
- Cam Talbot .918 award: Mikko Koskinen has done great and is at .915 but is definitely struggling right now. (Cam is still sub .900).
- Patrick Maroon 20 goal award: Chiasson gets this as he is at 16 goals and can surely squeak out 4 more for a career year!
- Healthy Oskar Klefbom 38 points award goes to: Darnell Nurse who is on pace for 36 points.
- RNH 40 to 50 point awards: No one.
- Milan Lucic 50 point award: No one else is even close to a 50 point pace. Next forward is Khaira who is on pace for 26 points. (Funny when you consider Lucic is still on the team).
- Andrej Sekera 35 point award: No one has ever filled those shoes, not even Andrej Sekera.
- Mark Letestu 35 point award goes to: No one is even close.
- Peter Chiarelli runner up for GM of the year: Peter Chiarelli is still actually employed by the Oilers but I don’t see him cracking the final 3 in GM of the year voting this year.
So, compared to 2016/2017 we are 4 players shy of being a playoff team. All we need is TWO MORE 40 to 50 point guys, one 35 point Dman and one more 35 point forward. It could be pointed out that our Top 3 scorers this season will have more points than our Top 3 scorers in 2016/2017. If that is your believe than we only need 2 more 40 to 50 point guys and one 35 point Dman.
I mentioned I didn’t want Hitchcock back as coach next year. I don’t think a perfect Hitchcock team meshes with my vision of a team with Drai and McDavid on it. I said this in the middle of a massive hot streak and when we were a playoff team. I just wanted to revisit it again. It’s not that I blame Hitchcock for the losing streak. I don’t, I’ve written over 20 articles making it clear that Chia and the roster he built is the problem. What I’m not liking though is that, under Hitchcock, a lot of bigger, ‘tougher’ players are getting rewarded. He likes to surround his talented players with muscle. His first move was the identity line which featured 3 guys that I don’t think are part of the solution going forward but the MSM (and everyone else) loved it. For the Coyotes game I’m noticing that Lucic is on line 2 again. I look at line 1 and I see Kassian. I also notice our solution on D was to pick up Petrovic and Manning.
I want nothing more than a Cup run or two from the Oil. When I see Lucic on line 2 after getting 2 goals in a calendar year (and only 1 in North America), Kassian on line 1 and guys like Petrovic and Manning on the backend I can’t help but feel that we are getting much further from my vision of a high flying Oiler’s team that is to be feared.
Not all of this is on Hitch of course. Chia has created this roster. We only had 3 solid (but not spectaculor) D in our Top 4 to begin the season with no contingencies.
My predictions for next time:
We go 4 and 4
We are still not in a playoff position
Talbot takes back the net
Chia is fired but a member of the Old Boys Club takes over and we get no further ahead.
On a parting note. Chris Wideman was waived. So was Jakub Jerabek. So was Jason Garrison. Those are 3 guys that Chia brought in to help our D issues.