Oilers/Blues: Five Things We Learned After Game 19

The Oilers have just lost 4-1 to the Western Conference-leading St.Louis Blues and I’d say I’m feeling a bit shortchanged…

The first period was perfect. It was intense and it was physical and it was all I could ask for apart from a few more goals. Another plus to the game was that Tarasenko didn’t score but after the first 20 minutes, the game went to shit for the Oilers.

I’d like to see the boys do something about being kept to the outside and being forced to play a perimeter game. Who is getting open for a shot in the offensive zone while Leon and Connor or Leon and Maroon are playing keep away along the boards? Is it time to move away from Patty on that first line LW?

Five Things We Learned

  1. Todd McLellan’s coaching decisions continue to baffle me.

    Jesse Puljujarvi was the best player on the ice tonight and for some reason, Todd McLellan decided that he wasn’t playing good enough to be on the 2nd line and demoted him to the bottom 6.


    Puljujarvi had 3 shots and 4 hits (including a massive one on Jaskin) in 13 minutes of TOI.

    *Update: McLellan says that it wasn’t a demotion to be moved off of Nuge’s line. That 2nd line wasn’t going. I’m less angry knowing that.*

  2. Would someone put Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl in touch with Jordan Eberle’s shooting coach?

    They might not hit the net but at least they’d be shooting, right?

    I just want to get into Connor’s head and see what he’s thinking when he decides to pass the puck instead of shooting it. This evening we know his decision to pass cost the team a goal against at least one time.

  3. Don’t worry too much about #2

    Leon’s disappearing act has become an annual thing. Watch, once he starts putting up the points, they’ll start coming in bunches. Remember how dry he went before the playoffs last year?

    As for Connor, he seems to be tossing up more multi-point games than consecutive games with points scored.

  4. Get Letestu off of the PP

    He’s done nothing to add to the power play this season so far. The rest of the league has caught on to the Oilers plan of attack with the man advantage. Get Cammalleri over there or even better put Puljujarvi on it.

  5. Mike Cammalleri will make a difference on that 3rd line and the PP

    Safe to say that for 35 years old, he can still move unlike the 34-year-old Jussi Jokinen. I liked what I saw from Camma tonight. He was engaged and got himself into the game with a couple of shots. Not only that but when he got hit from behind, the team jumped in to stick up for him.

    I wonder if we see him move up the lineup sooner than later. One game should never be used to judge but it’s something to build off of for him.

Is it time to get out the McBlender on the forwards? It looks like the players are far too comfortable right now and nobody is saying that they have to stay that way but the only offensive spark I’ve seen due to a roster change this season was Puljujarvi being called up.

Let’s try something like this for a game or two:

Maroon – McDavid – Caggiula
Cammalleri – Draisaitl – Puljujarvi
Lucic – RNH – Strome
Khaira – Letestu – Kassian

I liked Caggiula’s energy tonight but I hated the button hooks back into the Oilers zone in the 3rd period when the team was going for a goal. I think that Maroon, McDavid, and Caggiula had some success in the playoffs too. As for that 2nd line, Draisaitl would be flanked by two GREAT shooters so why not? I haven’t been too happy with Lucic’s performances but that’s how it goes with Milan. That said, putting him with RNH and Strome as the 3rd line shouldn’t hurt and we all know that Khaira, Letestu, and Kassian aren’t getting more than 9 minutes a night unless the Oilers are leading the parade to the penalty box.

I don’t know what to do with the defencemen. I really think that Benning is playing above his level and would be better suited on the 3rd pairing but as I’ve said in the past, Russell, Gryba, and Auvitu aren’t playing any better. That being said, if I had to, I’d probably choose Russell to move up to play with Oscar and have Benning paired up with Gryba.


The Dallas Stars are next up and I’d have no problem starting Laurent Brossoit. I watched the last time they played and remember Radulov and Seguin being on their game whilst Benn was off of his. Let’s hope that they’re all off of their games and the Oilers win a good blue-collar game. I’d love nothing more versus a Ken Hitchcock-coached team 🙂

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Beer League Hero Written by:

I’m the Beer League Hero! I am from Camrose, Alberta but I make my home in Taipei City, Taiwan. I’ve been through the ups and downs and the highs and the Lowes, the Bonsignores and the McDavids, the Sathers and the Eakins but I’ll never leave my Oilers, no matter what!

They’re with me until the end and then some. GO OILERS GO!

  • Lee Dicken

    It’s the age old problem with the NHL and teams, Players usually play way harder on their contract year and once they get the guaranteed big bucks take it into cruise.
    Think I am full of it, go back as far as you want and you see this repeated time and time again.
    Lucic isn’t old but he is getting worse every year as he is cruising into retirement with the humongous salary. McDavid and Leon were driven last season, are they the same this year? Unfortunately between the players cranking it up on their contract year and their agents who somehow convince the team that they will get this effort every year, just sign on the dotted line, we get what we get.
    When the next stoppage/strike comes the league should push for no cap and no guaranteed contracts. Let the teams have a clause where they can cancel at least 2 contracts every season. Imagine if you could trade a high paid player who thinks he is on a permanent vacation to another team that would have the option to cancel the contract at the end of the season.
    Pretty sure we would see a pile of trades if this was allowed.
    Never going to happen but it would make it a lot more interesting, The Oilers aren’t even in a win one lose one situation this season, They are very top heavy with cap money for forwards and the returns are less than stellar. Next year it gets cap ugly which means this team will even be weaker, yikes.