Three points from a possible 10 on this road trip has the Edmonton Oilers firmly entrenched in the Auston Matthews sweepstakes. I mean here we are again, a month later albeit, about to crack open the latest scouting reports on this year’s draft class to see who might be blessing the team with their presence next summer. Surely Lowetide will have his draft class previews being posted in due time but you’d have to think that we’re past this, right?
The game versus the Maple Leafs might just be the straw that broke Chiarelli’s back. Did you see how irate Todd McLellan was on the bench? He was using every morsel of strength he had just to hold back from blowing his top and I don’t blame him one bit. The team did nothing apart from hand a rookie goalie a shutout in his first NHL start and help put his name in the record books as the first Toronto Maple Leaf to get a shutout in his debut.
There’s a trend I’m noticing as of late. When the Oilers are up against teams that are supposed to be better than them, they find a way to stay in the game. Against supposed inferior or equal teams, they shit the bed or better yet, they stay home. Also if the Oilers are playing a tenacious and physical team they are more likely to have poor games. Is it time to shake up the foundation of this team? Small and skilled is fine but a team still needs those players that are willing to do the dirty jobs. Is there one player in the top six that you respect for his playing style or his character?
What I mean by that is, take Ryan Smyth for example. Everybody loved him because he went to the dirty places and got the jobs done that others wouldn’t do. He earned a ton of respect from fans, players, and management types for that. The closest players on the team are Taylor Hall and Matt Hendricks. I’d lean more to Hendricks though. But the team is lacking those kind of players. You might not like what Brandon Dubinsky did to Sidney Crosby last week but he’s exactly the kind of player the team needs. In fact, there are a few guys on that Blue Jackets team I’d love to have on the Oilers. Scott Hartnell and Boone Jenner are two more. Get me more of those guys. You might say that there are too many of those players on that team and not enough skill… Could some sort of agreement be made between Columbus and Edmonton?
*I received a little message in my inbox after the game that the Oilers are preparing to make a deal with an Eastern Conference team for help on defense but not for Travis Hamonic. Possibly Ebs, Jultz, and an unnamed prospect are all in play. Your guess is as good as mine as to who the target might be.*
What really is the problem with this franchise? Is it the constant changes being made every year in an attempt to cash in on those magic beans as if there’s one move that is going to fix it all? Or is it the lack of meaningful changes? I remember when there were cries from the fanbase to get rid of the old core and that was back when Horcoff was running the show. Now there are new cries to get rid of the Hall/Ebs/Nuge core… What the hell folks?
With that said, imagine what the team would look like with Aaron Ekblad and Seth Jones on their defence… Woof!
The Actual Game
- It looks like Nuge is going to break out soon. He’s beginning to rush with the puck more and has been growing over the last couple games here.
- Nurse stepping up on Phaneuf and having a chat with him was pleasing to see. It also led John Shannon to note during the intermission that the next Oilers captain might just be Darnell Nurse.
- Every year that passes I earn a bit more respect for Nazim Kadri. I like his playing style and he puts up with a lot of crap in Toronto. He’s very a physical player and yet he can put up a point or two when needed. I wouldn’t mind him on the Oilers if we’re being honest.
- Why weren’t the Oilers in on Leo Komarov?… He’s playing lights out this year but even if he wasn’t, he’d fit in so well with McLellan’s system.
- Was anybody complaining about Dion Phaneuf’s contract while he was laying out every Oiler in sight? Didn’t think so.
— Rob Soria (@Oil_Drop) December 1, 2015
Whilst the words that Mr.Soria speak are ever true, I have to wonder, when can we stop making excuses for the team’s performances?
I don’t have anything to say about the game to be honest. The Oilers had nothing going tonight and the Leafs strong two-way game and PP took advantage of a tired and weak Oilers hockey team. Hopefully they get some rest before their next game against the Boston Bruins because that game is not going to be any easier. If they made Garrett Sparks look this good, just imagine how Tukka Rask is going to look…