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The good (playoffs baby!), the bad (RNH at 5 on 5) and the ugly (where is Bouchard?)

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NHL: Washington Capitals at Edmonton Oilers
Please contact his family immediately if you see this man!
Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back! Let’s get into it...

First 8 games, 3 wins and 5 losses for 6 points.

Games 9 to 16, 6 wins and 2 losses for 12 points!

Games 17 to 24, 5 wins and 3 losses for 10 points.

Games 25 to 32, 4 wins and 4 losses for 8 points (2nd worst segment of season)

Games 33 to 40, 5 wins, 1 loss and 2 OT Losses for 12 points (tied for our best 8 game segment)

Games 41 to 48, 5 wins, 3 losses for 10 points.

Our win% had us 12th in the NHL in this span (we’ve played a lot less games so I used percentage). Our PP was 6th and our PK was 12th.

Points!

This has been JP’s best segment by miles (previous was 4 points) and he’s getting close to .5ppg territory on the season. As with all the 8 game segments 2 points consistently gets several players into top 10 in scoring. 2 points in 8 games is top 10 for the Oil. That’s just not good enough. Note that whipping boys Russell and shore got 2 points and are on the list while some of your favourites aren’t.

Connor chasing 100 points remains a real treat to watch. Honestly, if the voters don’t all pick Connor for the Hart then I’d like them to have press conferences after explaining why.

Note Barrie is back on a heater. He got over 40 points which is more than an Oil in an 82 game season for at least 5 years. Yet I still think it’s time to let him go after the season is over.

Goalies

Smith has been amazing all season. Koskinen has not had a bad game in awhile and should get more starts. It won’t happen, of course, but Koskinen should be splitting these games.

The rest of our schedule has us playing the Nucks 5 times out of 8.

The Nuge!

I thought it was a slam dunk that everyone wanted RNH back. Then I got online and noted there is a pretty vocal crowd that thinks the Nuge sucks and needs to be let go. I honestly didn’t even realize that was one of the options. When I went to defend one of my favorite players I got stormed with 5 on 5 and primary assists stats.

1 primary assist is shockingly low. For even strength points RNH also drops much further down the scoring sheet.

So I thought it was time for a Poll! Originally the poll had about 6 options (eg. 6 x 6, 5 x 5 etc). I decided to just leave it at 2 options to make it harder to choose.

Poll

Should we resign RNH at his current 6 x 6 again?

This poll is closed

  • 40%
    Yes
    (48 votes)
  • 60%
    No
    (72 votes)
120 votes total Vote Now

Random stuff:

I’ve been AVID against keeping Barrie past this season. One of my reasons is because he will be over 30 and I don’t see much value in signing guys going into their 30’s on longer contracts unless they are going to be extremely good for us at value. I don’t think Barrie would provide that. This apparently makes me an agist! I’ve been told that there are many good 30 year old's that could help us. I totally agree! Easily 50 players in the NHL over 30 that would make us a contender. Let’s focus on our 30 year olds for next season:

Kassian (Holland)

Turris (Holland)

Russel (Holland)

Koskinen (Chia)

Neal (Holland)

When I’m being told of 30 year olds that can help us, which one of the ones that we currently have for next year are valuable to you? Note who signed all but one of them? This is about 10 to 12 million of our cap next year.

The Cap is getting bigger! It was all Chia’s fault. Nothing Holland could do!

I agree taking over after Chia is a hard ask. I’ve been relatively high on Holland and have liked a lot of what he has done. However, I’m not sure we have that much cap space coming up. My big fear is Holland’s history of signing over 30 year old players to poor contracts. Going into next season it is very possible that this is our 30 year old pile:

Barrie, Smith, Koskinen, Smith, Neal, Russel, Kulikov and Turris.

That is not a great group IMO. I hope we don’t resign Smith. I hope we let Barrie walk. I DO hope we sign Larsson for a similar contract and I do hope we resign RNH. I would much rather use the money that I think will be offered to Smith + Barrie towards a better UFA goalie or as part of a trade for a better goalie (eg. we take on salary).

This is my fourth 8 game review with no proof that Evan Bouchard exists. This has been the biggest Oil fail this season. I can’t think of a poorer way to develop a guy in his draft plus 3 season?

The North division has been great and I was very excited. However, I’ve barely paid any attention to the other 3 divisions. I’m also quite disappointed in the lack of competition. Leafs have been on top for 90% of the season. The next 2 (us and the Jet’s) have been cemented for awhile now! Sens and Nucks have been out for awhile. The only drama left is Habs or Flames. I thought it would’ve been more competitive to be honest.

This is the first time in about 20 years that we’ve made playoffs in back to back seasons. Let that sink in. I still think that Plan A of Smith and Koskinen will never win a cup.