Clinched

 Curtis, Oilers  Comments Off on Clinched
Mar 292017
 

The reality of the playoff possibility for the Oilers sunk in for me about 2 weeks ago. But last night, as it became official, joy and relief swept through my body. I have been defending Chiarelli and his moves since the beginning. The moves I liked, the moves I didn’t like, the moves I understood and the moves I didn’t understand. And now, here we are.stanley_cup_2015

Since the transition to the Bob Nicholson era, things have been heading in the right direction. The hiring of an experienced GM coupled with an experienced head coach was a signal that the Oilers were going to do things the right way. A statement by the new CEO that everything hockey would report to him. McTavish and Lowe are still in the wings and while at times their fingerprints are visible on some of the moves that are made, the reigns have clearly been turned over.

Halfway through last season I wrote a blog about changing the culture of the team and it looks as though Chiarelli and McLellan have done that through trades, expectations and most of all – winning. We don’t need to re-hash the trades and the moves. There were some winners and there were some losers. But, they all came together to make the recipe that is a team going to the playoffs. Some difficult decisions were made and there was some blood shed, but here we are, on the way to the 2nd season.

Since coming off a bad weekend 8 games ago, the Oilers have really stepped on the gas. After dropping that 4-1 to Montreal, they Oilers have posted an impressive 7-1 record, including 3 games where they scored 7. We haven’t seen a stretch like this since 39 was patrolling the middle. It is perfect timing and the Oilers are picking up steam at the right time. With two games left against San Jose and one against Anaheim, their fate rests solely in the hands of the Oilers. The remaining 3 games are against bottom feeders LA and Vancouver and should be winnable games. Even if they finish 0.500 – they will still have finished the season with an impressive 10-4 record. Calgary has a similar finish to the season as does Anaheim and San Jose. So, it will come down to the interdivision games that make up the next week and a half. Trying to predict who will finish where is a difficult task and no matter how it shakes out, it will be a difficult road.

Hot Talbot, the League’s top scorer and 4 lines that are all chipping in…anything is possible. In 2006 I had one mantra that I said over and over in the dying days of the season and the first couple of playoff games – Believe! Believe in this team until they give you a reason not to.

Feb 052016
 

What if the Oilers can put together a string of wins and points to make a serious playoff push to end out the season in the final days of Rexall Place? Why not? The Sens did it last year at the end of the season, finishing 23-4-4. They did it on the back of amazing goaltending by the Hamburgler and some good bounces and solid team play. The Oilers made a late surge in 2006 to squeak into the playoffs and it was magic. What if?95078701518.34

A guy can dare to dream, but there was one point of view that struck a chord with me last night while I was scrolling through the Twitterverse. What if the Edmonton Oilers change the way the game is played? What if we don’t need another defenseman? What if we are just able to keep scoring so many goals that it doesn’t matter? I know that this flies in the face of everything that the 90’s to 2000’s have taught us…but, what if? What if we are watching the team that is about to change the way the game is played? What if we don’t need to trade Eberle or RNH or anyone, for that matter? What if this is the system where spare parts like Teddy Purcell can thrive? Every generation in every sport has a team that changes the way the game has been played. What if we are watching the beginning of something special? What if we are watching the reinvention of the game?

If a team is facing Draisaitl and Hall followed by McDavid followed by RNH and Eberle…does it really matter who is playing defense? Of course the answer is yes, but…what if? What if a D corps that features Nurse, Sekera, Klefbom and my drunk uncle is good enough to get it done with those forwards? What if?

In the NFL you are supposed to play good defense and run the ball. That’s how you win. Tell that to Tom Brady and Bill Billichek, who haven’t had a consistent running game in a decade yet have won more than any other team in that time. Sometimes, the right people can make it work. What if it’s Edmonton’s time?

What if?

Jan 202016
 

Deep-Thoughts-Hulu

  1. No RNH in the lineup gives management and fans a look at what life without a 3rd center that can slot into the top 6 looks like. So far, I am not a fan of the image. Please don’t trade Nuge. But, if you must, make sure you get back a legit number one RHD.
  2. The Oilers have been waiting for some draft picks and low priced players to add some size and grit to their line-up that can move up and down the top 9 if need be. It looks like Kassian, Pakarinen and Khaira will be just that.
  3. I hope Nilsson finds his form again. It would be nice to have two goalies signed for the next couple of years for a small dollar amount.
  4. Talbot has been fantastic, but, I am shocked that he got the dollars that he did. Dubnyk was a Vezina nominee last year and their deals are comparable from a cap hit perspective. He’s been great so, I hope that pays dividends.
  5. On the topic of goaltenders, I hope the way it plays out is that Nilsson shakes back into form and signs a 2 year deal worth about $1 million per season. Then, next season, Brossoit plays so well that the Oilers have no choice but to deal Nilsson in the off-season for more help where they need it. No need to rush Brossoit, but he is knocking on the door.
  6. At the beginning of 2014-15 I would have identified the team needs as this:
    1. Center depth
    2. Defensemen
    3. Goaltending
    4. Size and grit in the top 9

Continue reading »

Oct 282015
 

thought_bubble-Random-Thoughts2

1. Whether you want to hear it or not… the Edmonton Oilers season is over already yet again. As of this morning the team sits fifth in the Pacific division, 6 points back of the wild card and 25th in the N.H.L. Elliotte Friedman has a stat that say just 3 of 32 N.H.L. teams at least 4 points out of a playoff spot on November 1st recovered enough to make the playoff between the 05/06 and 11/12 seasons. It’s over and its still October. I hate to be so negative but it’s the truth. Continue reading »

Random Oiler thoughts November 4th, 2014

 Brody  Comments Off on Random Oiler thoughts November 4th, 2014
Nov 042014
 

random-thoughts-1

Our beloved Edmonton Oilers are struggling again of late. A couple losses in a row, an injury to their best player and a long road trip ahead make for nervous times for the players, the management and the fans. Being an Oilers fan throughout the rebuild is tough and we all know that anything could happen and if history tells us anything it’s that the Oilers are about to hit the road without their best player and a bunch of losses could be coming our way. I really hope I’m wrong but… Continue reading »

Jul 232014
 

Oilers lineup

Oilers lineup positives- Make no mistake…The Edmonton Oilers are a better team today than they were at any point last season and I expect this team to take take one giant step forward this season.  The goaltending is better.  The back-end actually resembles an N.H.L. defence.  The stud forwards will all be better.  Both wings have skill, depth and are grossly improved.  I truly believe every sentence that I just wrote.

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Too many holes to fill for one summer

 Brody, Oilers  Comments Off on Too many holes to fill for one summer
May 222014
 

FillingHoles

The Edmonton Oilers are clearly a flawed team and general manager Craig Mactavish has the extremely difficult job to try and fix it and in short order.   The collective group on the back-end was horrific, the size in the top six was embarrassing, the lack of depth on the bottom end was painfully obvious and the list goes on and on.   Is it even possible for Mact to fill all the holes in one offseason??? Continue reading »

My Edmonton Oilers deadline predictions

 Brody  Comments Off on My Edmonton Oilers deadline predictions
Mar 042014
 

images

The N.H.L. trade deadline is just 23 hours away and Oilers general manager Craig Mactavish is probably busy explaining why his pending UFA’s are of value and why they’re worth making a deal to get.   Admittedly the Oilers assets are second tier guys but I can still see them being of use to a cup contender.  The playoffs are a grind with teams playing every other day for two months.  Extra bodies are a must and the Oilers have a few players who I feel could be of use to those cup contenders.

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