Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Oilers lose 4-3 to the Wild - 5 observations

It all went wrong when I predicted a win!

Early dominance by the Oilers wasn’t enough to secure a win as a persistent Wild team took the 2 points.

1. Adam Larsson continues to be a beast eating up minutes and tough assignments.  Showed great toughness coming back from a nasty facial injury in the previous game and played again tonight with a full face mask.

2. Special teams need to improve for this team to stay on pace for the play offs.  A 14th ranked powerplay in the league is not too bad but a 28th ranked penalty kill is not good enough.  In terms of the powerplay I would be trying Evan Bouchard on the first unit, some natural pure skill would really help the high end forward talent on that group.

3. I am ready to see Puljujarvi back in this lineup, too much potential to be sitting and a few games out should give him some new hunger and ambition.

4. I was critical of Leon Draisaitl earlier in the season but he is now playing much better which balances our offence and takes the pressure off McDavid.

5. Alex Chiasson is turning his PTO opportunity into some great early season results.  4 goals in 6 games and involved in all areas of the game.

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

One of the my favourite books about the Edmonton Oilers - Looking out for number one by Dave Semenko

A close friend gave me this book in 1989, I read it a few hours and it was compelling reading.  In the days before the internet insider stories about the NHL were very rare.  The late Dave Semenko's book gives a fascinating insight into live as an enforce in the league during the early 80s.

The book is full of uncensored accounts of his times on and off the ice as a professional and junior hockey player.

Lots of information on his relationship with Wayne Gretzky and his battle to be a player as well as a tough guy.

You also gain a real insight into the hatred at times between their NHL rivals at the time, particularly the Flames and the Islanders.

You won't find the book in stores now but it can be found in the Amazon Marketplace, definitely worth picking up a copy if you can find one at a sensible price.

My Oiler predictions for games 11 to 20 in season 2018-19

With a better performance over the first ten games than most of us expected the Oilers now head into a more mixed bag of opposition over the next ten.

I predict below 6 wins and 4 losses equivalent to 1.2 points per game and enough to keep the team on pace for a play off spot.

Monday, 29 October 2018

After ten games the Edmonton Oilers are on pace for 106 points

Last night's overtime win in Chicago took the Oilers to 13 points in their first ten games.

6 points better than the horrible start to last season but 2 points behind their hot start to the 2016/17 season.

Maintaining the current pace of 1.3 points per game would give the Oilers 106 points at the end of the season.

Sunday, 28 October 2018

After 9 games the Oilers are on pace for a play off spot

Last nights exciting win over the Predators in Nashville leaves the Oilers with 11 points from their first 9 games.  This gives them 1.22 points per game which over a full season equates to a shade over 100 points.

Tonight the Oilers head into Chicago to play a beatable Blackhawks side with a rested Cam Talbot but a likely weary McDavid and Klefbom who are being leaned on for major minutes during the current streak.

Saturday, 27 October 2018

How many points do the 2018-19 Edmonton Oilers need to make the play offs?

With the first month of the 2018-19 Edmonton Oilers season nearly complete I decided to look into how many points will be needed to make the playoffs, either in a divisional automatic place or as a wild card.

Last 5 years last divisional automatic place

2017-18 San Jose 100 points

2016-17 San Jose 99 points

2015-16 San Jose 98 points

2014-15 Calgary 97 points

2013-14 Los Angeles 100 points

Last 5 years last wild card place

2017-18 Colarado 95 points

2016-17 Nashville 94 points

2015-16 Minnesota 88 points

2014-15 Winnipeg 99 points

2013-14 Dallas 91 points

A simple average gives us 98.9 points for an automatic divisional place and 93.4 points for a wild card place.

Adding a safety buffer would probably give a target points total of 100 and 96 respectively.

Assuming a minimum goal for the season is to make the playoffs via the wild card place then to reach the buffer number of 96 points the Oilers need to earn 1.17 points per game.