I’ve been writing an article on American Thanksgiving for about half a decade now. Here is last years. It’s a nice measuring point on if we make the playoffs or not. For the Oiler’s, it has been 100% accurate every year I’ve done it. If we were in a playoff spot at Thanksgiving we make the dance. If we weren’t, we did not make the dance.
Most years I’ve been a #firethemalltobesafe guy as my big issue has always been our (mis)management. We used to rush. Now we over ripen. Both are bad and I’m not even sure which is worse? For years we’ve had 3 big issues.
- Goalies are not good enough
- D is weak
- Bottom 6 is a black hole
This offseason was different! Fresh of a final 4 appearance we got Jack Campbell. We got Evander Kane on a sweetheart deal. Our first rounders JP and Yam were ready to take the next step and get glorious first line minues. Our D was improved as Bouch will take the next step, Nurse is elite, Ceci is all world, Kulak is the steal of the century and Broberg will step right into the Top 4 and make us forget who Zegras is!
No more Smith, Koskinen, Archibald, Keith and Kassian (a few of which we protected in the expansion draft). We were set! We retained future Selke winner Jesse P! After destroying kids in Penticton, Dylan Holloway will be the first rookie to win the Calder. Petrov will be the steal of the draft and be a 50 point scorer in the NHL very soon. Xavier Bourgault was the best player selected in round 1 and is clearly going to be a .ppg NHL player (Jesper who???).
My first article was nothing but unicorns, rainbows and lollipops. Not one person read the article, created an account so they could insult me with their first post and leave. I was disappointed.
On top of that. We are in a weak division without much competition. The East, at any given time, has 3 real good teams not in the playoffs. That division is stacked. The West gets weaker and weaker further down the standings. Warren Foegele is going to really light it up this year! Ryan McLeod is the ‘non first rounder’ of our dreams. There is no way we can’t make the playoffs in year 100 of Connor and Drai in a weak division with Kane, Campbell, Holloway, Kulak, JP/Yam! Most importantly. We got rid of that old Turkey Tippet and brought in stats darling Woodcroft (and Manson). One good D away from being a legit cup threat!
Well, Happy American Thanksgiving everyone! The only Turkey I see is the Oil!
Turns out scoring a lot in Junior and having a nice NHLe doesn’t always translate to a pro game. Goodbye Petrov for now. Turns out dominating a Penticton tournament with 2 first rounders doesn’t equate to a Calder trophy. Sorry Dylan and hope you’re okay from being rocked into next month, getting less than 10 minutes a game and being a goat on several high profile giveaways. Bouch (my fav Oiler) did not take a next step unless you count the 4 he has taken backwards. Turns out Kulak is more third pair than Top 4. Bro is in the AHL but he’s coming, don’t you worry! Outplayed by a guy who has 3 nice hits in a game but can’t really do much else. Woodcroft is using the Tipp playbook page for page. Kane got hurt and in a bad place for an elite finisher as no guarantee those tendons all realign perfectly (see Petra Kvitova in tennis). McLeod has been circling like a world class skater but not seeing much finish. JP has 4 points (one less than McLeod who plays bottom 6 while JP is getting Top 6 looks consistently). Foegele scores a goal and everyone chants ‘he’s arrived’, he has not.
20 games and only 7 guys have 10 or more points. Our 8th leading scorer has 6 points (Bouch).
I’m sticking to it. I think we buck the Thanksgiving trend and still make the playoffs. I say Kane comes back 100% and is an amazing ‘rental’ near the trade deadline. Bouch gets it together. JP will get 10 points in his next 20 games. Foegele will get at least 5 goals in that stretch. Holloway will go to the AHL, when he comes back he will never see a bus again. Xavier B will step in after Xmas. Woodcroft will look at what he’s done and right the ship! Campbell will get above .900. Skinner will dip to .915 but Campbell will rise to it and we will have consistently good goaltending every night!
The only thing that has no room for improvement?
The D! What more is anyone expecting from these guys? We have to score 4 or 5 goals to win games. They are soft, don’t get enough points and are turnstyled far too often. Trade Barrie for value (not pocket lint). Promote Bouch to get him ‘going’. Bring Bro back and see what we have. Get a Gavrikov/Chychrum and swing for the fences. The time is NOW.
Thanksgiving Award Winners for the Oil
Hart - Connor McDavid AINEC
Selke - absolutely no one
Rocket - Connor McDavid
Norris - absolutely no one
Vezina - the Stew is excellent but the Soup is COLD
Other factors - RNH has been very good (5 on 5 scoring too!). Hyman has been excellent.
EVERYONE LOVES A POLL
My last article with Polls was a resounding result for the D being our biggest problem.
Here are some fun ones:
Do you think we make the playoffs?
I read Oiltitan’s comments on another thread and it got me wondering.
Who does everyone think is better?
Darnell Nurse today or peak Klefbom (which I think is 2016)?
Stylistically very different players. I’d obviously like both of them with Larsson and healthy Sekera but that ship has sailed.
Both have received Norris votes in one season (I think 2016 for Klef and North Division for Nurse).
Who is better? Peak Nurse of Peak Klefbom?
This poll is closed
I know I’ll regret asking this one:
Which RW do you want?
This poll is closed
Who would you take if you could go back in time?
This poll is closed
RIP Borje! You blazed a trail for a lot of Europeans and are a GOAT.