EDM Kinda/Sorta 3rd quarter review

Discussion in 'National Hockey League' started by AlClemBee9575, Mar 26, 2017.

  1. AlClemBee9575

    AlClemBee9575 Superstar 3

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    Alright I missed the boat on the 3rd quarter season review for the Oilers. Even though the Oilers have 7 games left, I'm going to talk about where they are 30 games after I did the half-season review. Let's go.

    Season Record: 41 wins - 25 regulation losses - 9 OT loss
    Home Record: 21-12-4
    Road Record: 20-13-5
    Points: 91 points
    Standings: T-1st in Pacific Division, T-3rd in Western Conference, T-8th overall in NHL
    PP: 22.7% overall (3rd in NHL)
    PK: 80.7% overall (16th in NHL)
    Goals For: 219
    Goals Against: 190
    Differential: +28 (1st in Pacific Division)

    Positives:

    1. Maroon-McDavid-Draisitl:

    Coming into this season, the Oilers projected top line was to be Lucic-McDavid-Eberle. And whilst that line has had some success, the production level of Maroon-McDavid-Draisitl has been absolutely lights out. All three lead the Oilers in scoring with 27 goals for Draisitl, 26 for McDavid and 25 for Maroon. They're big and physical, hard to contain, and they get the job done night in and night out...even if they're the only line doing it.

    2. Our "ex-Canadiens" line:

    When David Desharnais was acquired from Montreal for Brandon Davidson, he was quickly put on a line with LW Benoit Pouliot and RW Zack Kassian. The three former Montreal Canadiens have had instant chemistry. While they're not scoring a lot of goals, they had great offensive zone time and keep other teams hemmed in their own zone a lot. They've only played 11 games together though I can't find out how many points that line has in those 11 games. So I'll just put their individual stats.

    Desharnais: 11 GP, 2G, 2A, 4Pts
    Kassian: 72GP, 7G, 16A, 23Pts
    Puliot: 60 GP, 8G, 6A, 14Pts

    3. Laurent Brossoit:

    Usually I put Cam Talbot into the positives section, because I feel that he's Edmonton's true MVP aside from McDavid. But after his recent performances, Brossoit gets his spot here. As I mentioned in the half-season review, Gustavsson was slated to back-up Talbot. He didn't pan out and was sent to the AHL (he scored a goal a few days ago btw). In his place, Laurent Brossoit has done a phenomenal job. He got his first career win against the Calgary Flames (who drafted him and then traded him to Edmonton for Ladislav Smid), stopped a combined 21 shots tending the crease after Talbot got pulled for two straight games (the 2nd game he got his 2nd NHL win), and stopped all but one shot in the Oilers 4-1 over the Colorado Avalanche last night.

    4. Jesse Puljujarvi:

    Another person that I talked about in the half-season review, Jesse Puljujarvi had a rough go in the NHL this year. The Oilers were forced to keep him in the lineup due to problems at the right wing position and Puljujarvi ended up playing 28 games, making him not able to win the Calder Trophy. Through those 28 games, Puljujarvi had 1 goal and 8 assists for 9 points. He was releagated to the AHL, but has since turned up the heat. In 30 games down with Bakersfield, Puljujarvi has 10 goals and 14 assists for 24 points and is currently +5. Having seen some highlights from the Condor's YouTube channel, he has Patrick Laine like one-T on the powerplay, great speed and great hands. Overall, Puljujarvi is having a good season down in the AHL, and I fully expect him to be good in the NHL next season.

    5. Milan Lucic:

    People like to laugh at Lucic's contract. 7 years for $42M @ $6M/year. And they're not wrong. With his age and seeming transition to a speed game in the NHL, Lucic's contract is going to be horrible in a few years. Of that I don't doubt. But for right now, it's pretty good. As for Lucic himself, he's doing alright. While his numbers do seem a little down when compared to previous totals (18G, 25A, 43Pts in 75GP), he's rounded into form lately. He's found good chemistry with Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle, and even rediscovered some chemistry with McDavid recently. He's great on the PP, he's been scoring goals, and he's been laying out the body when he needs to. As I said above, yes, his contract is going to be garbage and laothesome down the road. But for right now, it's good money and he's doing his job.

    Negatives:

    1. Too many passengers:

    While I do like this current version of the Oilers team, there are simply too many passengers most nights. The Maroon-McDavid-Draisitl line has been the major driving force of offense for the Oilers which allows the 2nd, 3rd and 4th lines to take a night off. Wednesday's game against Anaheim was a perfect example of the rest of the team taking a night off. Now lately, they've been chipping in, but it's simply not enough. Come playoff time, those other lines will need to step it up if the Oilers want to seriously hang with the best. Because if McDavid's line gets shutdown, the Oilers get shutdown.

    2. Talbot being overworked:

    This is the problem that arises when a team has too much faith in their starter and not enough faith in their backup. Talbot has been an absolute workhorse for the Oilers this season and I have 0 complaints about him or his play this season. He leads the league in games played (67), starts (67), shots faced (1952), saves made (1795), and minutes played (3952:50). The next guy? Toronto's Fredrick Andersen with 61 games played, 61 games started, 1924 shots faced, 1767 saves made, and 3538:20 minutes played. However, the overworking and fatigue finally caught up to him. Against Anaheim on Wednesday, Talbot looked visibly fatigued when he was moving slow and gave up some he-should've-stopped-that-type goals. This was made even worse by McLellan starting him THE NEXT NIGHT against Colorado. The result? Talbot was hooked from the net twice after giving up 4 goals both times. Hopefully the rest does him well and he's rested and refreshed when the Oilers play LA on Tuesday.

    3. McLellan's goalie gaffe:

    Look I like Todd McLellan. I like his coaching style, his approach to the game, and (some) of this decisions. Heck I really think he should be a finalist for the Jack Adams this year. But he recently made the dumbest decisions ever. The Oilers played a back-2-back on Wednesday-Thursday. They played Anaheim on Wednesday and then Colorado on Thursday. On Wendesday he, naturally, started Cam Talbot against the Ducks. Talbot surrenders 4 goals on 18 shots, get the hook and is replaced by Laurent Brossoit who stops 16/16 enroute to the Oilers losing 4-3. The then team flies to Colorado and arrives at 0300 Colorado time. For that game, McLellan decides that the best way to win THAT game is to start a visibly tired goaltender behind his visibly tired team. The result? Talbot gives up ANOTHER 4 goals, Edmonton goes down 4-2 before Brossoit enters the net to start the 3rd. The Oilers would go on to win that game by scoring 5 goals in the 3rd winning 7-4. Me and whole bunch of Oilers fans were, understandably, pissed and absolutely gave it to the Oilers twitter account. Someone either saw it or was smart enough to know better because McLellan started Brossoit last night against the Avs, stopping all but one shot, enroute to an Oilers victory.

    Grade: A

    Going into this season, the consensus among panelists and hockey experts was that the Oilers would miss the playoffs, finishing 1-2 points out. The consensus among Oilers fans was that the team would get in. They didn't care where the Oilers finished, they only cared about making the playoffs. And the Oilers have, I think, exceeded our expectations. They've been in a playoff spot since game 1, have beaten really good teams in Chicago, St. Louis and Washington, but they've also lost to some good teams in Nashville and Minnesota. As it stands right now, the Oilers are in a 3-way tie for 1st in the Pacific division though they don't play again until Tuesday against LA. It should also be worth mentioning that if the Oilers win on Tuesday against Los Angeles, they will clinch their first playoff berth since '06. This review should'nt have been that long and I'll do a season ending review after Game 82 when the Oilers take on the Vancouver Canucks.
     

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