This week, the Oilers continue their new changed pace with a 2-1-0 record against Western opponents this week. I think the best game was easily the 6-4 victory over the St. Louis Blues despite blowing a 5-2 lead. They won 2-0 against Vancouver, in a slower place game, and despite Vancouver having 40 shots on Cam Talbot, I didn’t think they were high quality extremely dangerous shots. They lost a let down game against the Predators where they would quickly get scored on after scoring a goal.
A note about the Canucks: Boy, have they ever fallen. I know our Power Play has been putrid as of late, but holy. Vancouver keeps insisting Linden Vey is the key to the power play rather than playing Radim Vrbata. They are not a good team: their defense is hurting with no less than four NHL rookies playing on the back end. That’s even worse than the Oilers, who had Reinhart, Oesterle and Nurse all playing (although you could count Adam Clendening who only has 45 games played, but is no longer an official “rookie”. The Canucks do not look like they have a plan and are stuck spinning the wheels. The trades they have made or could have made, has not looked good on Jim Benning. They have some nice pieces in Horvat, Baertschi, McCann and Demko in the minors, it’s going to be hurting for the Canucks.
Anyways, onto the Oilers.
Edmonton Oilers Three Stars of the Week
3. Mark Letestu. Mark Letestu makes his appearance on the Three Stars of the Week for his best game as an Edmonton Oiler against St Louis where he posted 2 goals and an assist in the win. Letestu has been a let down this season, which is too bad, because I know I was expecting him to be a higher producer at a cheaper cap hit than Boyd Gordon. His inclusion on the power play frustrates many, including your author. I still like Letestu and I was happy he had a great game against St. Louis. He needed it.
2. Cam Talbot. Alright, letting 4 goals and sporting an ugly 0.857 save percentage against St Louis is an ugly way to get a win, but Talbot was stellar against Vancouver, having a 40 save shutout against a hated rival. Last time I checked, Talbot had a 0.919 save percentage, good for 16th in the league. The league average is 0.916, which is above average. Can’t help but wonder what Talbot’s numbers would be if he didn’t have that slump earlier in the season. I hope that his slow starts aren’t a trend; I have read on Social Media that it is. It’ll be something to watch out for next season.
1. Connor McDavid. McDavid had four points in three games, including two assists against St Louis. While he had no goals, McDavid is just a superb play maker. The main highlight that stands out for me is the Leon Draisaitl goal that he was the primary assist for. He now has 39 points in 37 games and is a point away from Dylan Larkin for fourth in Rookie Scoring. As I said last week, McDavid should win the Calder Trophy based on the criteria that he is the best rookie in the NHL. A long shot theory is that I hope Eastern Media Members will vote for the Newmarket kid and be biased for Ontario but I have no basis for this.
Edmonton Oilers News
In case you missed it, our very own Walter writes about how Taylor Hall is an elite player.
At the Oilers Rig, I wrote about the 2015 draft and how the early returns are good, albeit a bit early to judge completely.
Over at Oilersnation, Lowetide talked about Bakersfield development turning some good results.
Jordan Oesterle and Griffin Reinhart looked sound. Reinhart had his best game as an Oiler against Vancouver.
Non-Oilers news, but the Edmonton Oil Kings will be playing the Medicine Hat Tigers in a one game tie break for a playoff spot on Tuesday.
Around the League
Kevin Spacey attended the Panthers Red Wings game. Seriously love the Spacey in Space trend in Florida.
Oilers vs Canucks
The Week Ahead
The Oilers play host to the Avalanche tonight but then embark on a three game road trip along the Pacific: Tuesday at Arizona, Thursday at San Jose and Saturday in LA.
That’s the week that was, feel free to follow me on Twitter!