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Games 25 to 32 - the .500 edition!

Jeckyll and Hyde are alive and well in Oil County

Welcome back. We were first in the division at American Thanksgiving and are currently tied for 1st in the Pacific. Drai leads the league in points. We are all but guaranteed to still be in a playoff spot by the time 2020 rolls around. Let’s see how the 8 game segments have gone and let me know if one isn’t like the others.

First 8 games - 7 and 1 (14 points)

Games 9 to 16 - 3 and 5 (3-3-2) (8 points)

Games 17 to 24 - 4 and 4 (4-3-1) (9 points)

Games 25 to 32 - 4 and 4 (4-3-1) (9 points)

I was really hoping for a win last night as it would’ve been an above .500 segment and we haven’t had one since going supernova to start the season. We are extremely consistent at being inconsistent. We’re also very good at getting 8 or 9 points in every segment. Neat Stat: Last year we had 17 wins after 32 games. This year we have 18 wins. This years team is only 3 points ahead of last years team after 32 games. Everyone remember how last year ended, right?

Crazy trade theory!

I had a crazy thought the other day. I live in Ontario so everything is about the Leaf’s. I’m used to that but I always get steamed whenever Matthew’s scores a hattrick and the immediate ‘he’s better than Connor’ stuff gets loud. For the record, I don’t think anyone is better than McDavid. I’m also certain that Drai is better than Matthew’s (should be noted that I think Matthew’s is an awesome player).

I am hoping it is extremely clear that Connor/Drai’s 300 point season are masking a lot of things. I think most would agree on this part. So here’s the crazy thought. What if we traded Connor/Drai straight up for Matthews/Marner? Similar ages, salaries and all excellent players. How would the Oil be doing if we had Matthews/Marner instead of Drai/Connor? I’m guessing much worse than .500 hockey. Now replace Connor/Drai with any tandem you want in the NHL (Rantanan/MacKinnon, Pastrnak/Marchang)? How do you think we’d do?

Please note that I am in NO WAY suggesting we trade McDavid/Drai for anything. I’m just trying to illustrate how elite they are and how lucky we are to have them.

The Stats

16th best team in this 8 game stretch.

22nd in Goals For.

8th in Goals Against.

2nd in Powerplay.

11th in Penalty Kill.

Note that the powerplay might also be masking a lot of inefficiencies at 5 on 5. Neat stat: Lucic and Neal are now tied in even strength points on the season.

As far as scoring. Leon lead the team in this stretch. Connor and Leon were almost human in this segment as they were only getting a .ppg average. Third was a nice surprise to see. Alex Chiasson with his best stretch of this season. If we traded Kassian for a good return and moved Chiasson up to top line I wouldn’t even blink. That good for nothing Darnell Nurse had 4 points and the other 7 Dmen to suit up in the last 8 games also had 4 points. Klef with 2 points and a minus 12.

Speaking of D scoring. We have none. Klef with 19 points is excellent (but minus 17 isn’t the best). Nurse with 15 points (and even) is also good. It wouldn’t surprise me if Nurse ended up leading the D in scoring with another 40 point season while fans keep writing he can’t pass and hinders offence. Bear has 9 points and the rest have 5 or less. Jones and Larsson have yet to get 1 point in 19 combined games.

One Taylor Hall away?

You cannot follow the Oil and not have an opinion on Taylor Hall. It is a very hot topic. Everyone agrees that if we had Hall on our LW on line 2 that we’d be a better team. Zero arguments there. Most agree that our ‘hot start’ (note: 1 more win then a season ago at this time) should be capitalized on.

The question I have is what people think Taylor Hall would do for our team? Are we talking guaranteed Playoff appearance? Stanley Cup champions? A new Dynasty after we resign him (meaning we’d have 3 forwards making 30 million dollars next season).


What impact would Taylor Hall have on the Oil?

This poll is closed

  • 56%
    Guaranteed we make playoffs
    (27 votes)
  • 6%
    Bam! Stanley Cup!
    (3 votes)
  • 4%
    A new OIler’s Cup Dynasty
    (2 votes)
  • 33%
    We’d still miss the playoffs
    (16 votes)
48 votes total Vote Now

My own thoughts are that we definitely need to trade for another player at forward. Hall would be amazing but we’d have to give up a lot today and then even more if we want him on the roster next season. Hall will get 8 million or more a season for at least 5 years. That kind of money can buy you a lot of options. It would also having us pay 3 forwards 30 million dollars for several seasons. I feel we should explore other options.

We also don’t have 6 million in cap space available. I keep reading how the Devil’s are going to give us a former Hart Trophy winner and take on cap space for a fair deal. Why would they do this? He’s the most sought after UFA going into summer and will be the most prized player at the trade deadline. What are we offering to get the Devil’s to take Gagner or Russel back?

If I were Hall I’d be begging to go to the Av’s as he could be the difference between them winning or not winning the Cup. They have cap space, assets and a very good team.

If we do a trade with the Devil’s, another guy we should look at is Pavel Zacha. He’s a 30 point 3C who is excellent at faceoffs and penalty killing. He’s got size, speed and upside. He may have also burnt some bridges in New Jersey along the way (eg. might not be that expensive). Gusev might be another guy worth looking at as well.

I’m wondering if we my next 8 game review will have us going 4-4 again? Will that keep us afloat in the playoff battle? I’ve read that a .500 record would give us 90 points and should get us in. I’m really hoping for a 5-3 run here.