Game 16 2018-19: Oilers at Panthers

The Edmonton Oilers finish up a four-game road trip tonight in Sunrise, Florida. After winning against Detroit, losses to the Capitals and Lightning have Oilers fans feeling a little uneasy. The Panthers have played in just 11 games, winning only three, but defeated the Winnipeg Jets last time out. It’s a big game for Edmonton, losing three in a row is a bad idea. If Edmonton wins tonight, they keep pace with the Flames and Canucks.

The Athletic Edmonton is going to bring it all season long. Proud to be part of a lineup that is ready to cover the coming year. Outstanding coverage from a large group, including Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis, Lowetide, Minnia Feng and Pat McLean. If you haven’t subscribed yet, now’s your chance. Best available offer is here!

  • New Lowetide: What happens to the Oilers when Alex Chiasson’s hot streak ends?
  • Jonathan Willis: Under the circumstances, playing in the AHL affords Jesse Puljujarvi the best chance at career redemption.
  • Lowetide: A new day dawning for Oilers prospects in Bakersfield as increased usage means greater success.
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: In depth: Embattled Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli defends his record, remains bullish on the future.
  • Lowetide: Future Oilers bubbling under in Bakersfield may get a look sooner rather than later.
  • Lowetide: Oscar Klefbom takes a step forward for the Edmonton Oilers.
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Forty years later, remembering the forgotten trade that brought Wayne Gretzky to Edmonton.
  • Tyler Dellow: Isolating issues with the NHL’s slower paced power plays.
  • Lowetide: Oilers reach a pressure point on defence and right wing
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Does Caggiula’s recent performance warrant another chance alongside McDavid?
  • Jonathan Willis: Predicting the impact Ethan Bear and Edmonton’s other top AHL prospects will make at the NHL level.

  • Oilers in October 20156-10-0, 10 points; goal differential -7
  • Oilers in October 2016: 9-6-1, 19 points; goal differential +4
  • Oilers in October 2017: 6-9-1, 13 points; goal differential -13
  • Oilers in October 2018: 8-6-1, 17 points; goal differential -2

Edmonton can tie the 2016 club with identical 9-6-1 records with a win tonight. The two losses on this road trip are in the rear view and Ty Rattie is back so the team has some more options on right wing. I think we’re reaching a point where Peter Chiarelli will need to make a move to keep the Oilers playoff chances at current levels. Rattie could delay that move with a productive November.

  • Oilers in November 2015: 2-3-0, four points; goal differential -3
  • Oilers in November 2016: 2-2-1, five points; goal differential -3
  • Oilers in November 2017: 3-2-0, six points; goal differential 0
  • Oilers in November 2018: 2-2-0, four points; goal differential 0

It’s important to get some points out of every week, and tonight’s game is the best chance for the Oilers since the weekend. The next three games against the Avs, Habs and Flames feature stronger teams by record than tonight’s opponent. Edmonton hasn’t played down to the competition yet this season, in my opinion.

  • At home to: Chicago (Expected 1-0-0) Actual (1-0-0)
  • On the road to: Detroit, Washington, Tampa Bay, Florida  (Expected 2-2-0) (Actual 1-2-0)
  • At home to: Colorado, Montreal (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Calgary (Expected 0-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Vegas (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: San Jose, Anaheim, Los Angeles (Expected 2-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Dallas, Los Angeles  (Expected 1-0-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 8-5-1, 17 points in 14 games 
  • Current results: 2-2-0, 4 points in 4 games

I have the four games after this one as another 2-2-0 run, before the Oilers get on a reasonable streak as they get into the heart of the Pacific Division. The road game against Calgary is going to be interesting, watched the Flames last night and they are a riddle wrapped in a enigma.

My article today at The Athletic is about the ongoing battle for the soul of the 2018-19 Oilers. The coach isn’t playing Jesse Puljujarvi or Kailer Yamamoto in a feature role, and Ty Rattie has been hurt. In the meantime, the goal-scoring leaders behind 97, 29 and 93 are Alex Chiasson (6) and Drake Caggiula (5). I think a trade is possible, for a right-wing and a right-side blue.

The Penguins are an interesting team and the list of possible trade acquisitions fascinating. I’ve mentioned to you in the past that Peter Chiarelli has a fascination with acquiring the aged and Pittsburgh has some interesting options:

  • Patric Hornqivst, 14, 4-2-6. He is 31, in the first year of a five-year deal that pays 5.3 million per season. His numbers are slightly below previous levels, perhaps the Penguins are open to a trade. He would help the power play.
  • Carl Hagelin, 14, 1-2-3. He is also 30, a speed burner and makes $4 million this season (UFA in the summer). He gets lots of PK work and could give the bottom-six forward group another veteran hand.
  • Brian Rust, 14, 1-2-3. He is one of the Penguins who has struggled this season (38 points one year ago). He is 26 and has a similar skill set to Hagelin. He is $3.5 million times four, that might be a contract Jim Rutherford is keen to offload.
  • Riley Sheahan, 14, 1-1-2. He is not a strong offensive player but does have abilities as a shutdown center. He is 26, UFA in the summer and makes $2.1 million. If the Pens are knocking on Chiarelli’s door re: Ryan Strome, this player might be in the conversation.

On defense, I have always worried about the Oilers and Jack Johnson, so you might see something along those lines. There are also young struggling wingers like Daniel Sprong, but Edmonton has their own young struggling wingers so it makes little sense from here.

A busy show with splendid guests, we get rolling at 10 this morning, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Simon Boisvert, Prospect Insider. One of our most popular guests will pop in and offer opinions on Jesse Puljujarvi, Kailer Yamamoto and the group in Bakersfield so far this season.
  • Jacob Klinger, Penn Live. We’ll chat about a resilient Steelers team and the Le’Veon Bell situation.
  • Frank Seravalli, TSN. Milan Lucic, Chiarelli scouting games, Penguins pondering change.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Starts at 10!

Original Source
Author: Lowetide