Thursday, December 31, 2015

What's Next?

While there will always be a debate surrounding when the Edmonton Oilers officially started their rebuild, using the 2010 NHL Entry Draft as the launching point has always seemed to make the most sense. After all, this whole thing was essentially kicked into gear during the 2009-10 campaign. It was during that season when the mindset shifted from trying to make the playoffs, to going out of their way to ensure the organization would land one of Taylor Hall or Tyler Seguin. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Zack Kassian Project

Living up to expectations can be a fairly daunting task for professional athletes and one that many have trouble ever coming close to achieving. Zack Kassian is an individual who has struggled mightily in fulfilling the promise that came with being a highly touted prospect but the Edmonton Oilers are hoping the 13th pick of the 2009 Entry Draft has the internal drive and strength to overcome both his on and off-ice troubles. 

Monday, December 28, 2015

A Lost Opportunity

Despite heading into the Christmas break with a 3-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets and having put together a 7-3 record over their previous ten outings, theEdmonton Oilers had not been playing fundamentally sound hockey for some time. While the occasional timely goal from their talented forward group and fantastic netminding from the tandem of Anders Nilsson and Cam Talbot helped mask many of this group’s shortcomings, everyone knew Todd McLellan’s crew was going to have to improve their overall game and do so in a rather timely manner. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Talbot's Time To Shine

While a large portion of this fan base were ready to throw netminder Cam Talbot to the curb following a rather difficult stretch of games mere weeks into his Edmonton Oilers career, my guess is they are likely singing a different tune after watching the 28-year old do his thing over the past seven days. Anders Nilsson may have carried the load for the better part of six weeks, but it looks as though No. 33 is ready to reclaim his job as this team’s go-to-guy for the foreseeable future. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Avoiding The Extended Losing Streak

We are now 34 games into the Edmonton Oilers 2015-16 schedule and one thing has become very apparent about this group. Be them good or bad, this is one heck of a streaky hockey club. After reeling off six consecutive wins to start the month of December, the Oilers have followed up their most impressive run in recent memory with three straight losses over a five-day span and are now trying to stop the bleeding before it gets out of control. 

Saturday, December 19, 2015

What's Not To Like?

For an organization that could not develop anything other than first round picks for the better part of the past decade, it appears as though the Edmonton Oilers could be on the verge of finally turning that around. While defenceman Brandon Davidson is looking like one heck of a steal as the 162nd pick of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, they may have found another diamond in the rough in youngster Jujhar Khaira.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Jumping Into The Rental Market

For fans of the Edmonton Oilers, the past couple of weeks must have felt rather odd. As if watching this team win six straight games wasn’t already enough of a foreign feeling, the fact they climbed their way back into the Pacific Division playoff picture is downright staggering. Let’s not forget this is the same team that most had left for dead after an ugly 3-0 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on November 30th. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

No McDavid = Struggling PP

As odd as it may sound, the Edmonton Oilers were the hottest team in the NHL heading into last night’s showdown with the New York Rangers. With both teams streaking in opposite directions, the Oilers having gone a perfect 6-0 and the Rangers winless in their previous three outings (0-2-1), the outcome seemed rather predictable and it played out in exactly that fashion. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Talbot To The Rescue

It had been quite some time since Cam Talbot started a game for the Edmonton Oilers and even longer since he actually played a part in helping his team take home two points. Prior to last night’s tilt with the Boston Bruins, the former New York Rangers backup netminder had started exactly one of Edmonton’s last 12 games, dropping a 4-3 overtime decision to the Detroit Red Wings on November 27th

Monday, December 14, 2015

Making Their Mark

Anyone who looked at the Edmonton Oilers schedule heading into the current NHL campaign knew exactly where things stood. In order for this group to have any hope of staying in contention for a playoff spot in the Western Conference, they were going to have to find a way to survive the opening three months of the season. Typically, that would be far easier said than done. 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

A Curious Decision

When word broke yesterday morning that the Edmonton Oilers had decided to place defenceman Mark Fayne on waivers, it was rather difficult to not raise an eyebrow at the move. While the former New Jersey Devil has struggled mightily over the opening two months of the 2015-16 campaign, one would think he is still good enough to slot in front of a player like Eric Gryba on an NHL roster. 

Monday, December 07, 2015

Brophy Off Base With Criticism

So at what point will the Edmonton Oilers bashing end? While there is no question the organization has been in complete and utter disarray since falling in Game Seven of the 2006 Stanley Cup Final to the Carolina Hurricanes, the constant targeting of the franchise by certain fractions of the eastern media has become rather tiresome. The most recent addition to that list comes courtesy of long-time hockey writer Mike Brophy.

Saturday, December 05, 2015


One would think after leading the Edmonton Oilers in scoring for three of the last five seasons that Jordan Eberle would have bought himself a little bit of rope, but apparently that is not the case. Since making his season debut on November 2nd against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the silky smooth sniper has struggled mightily to find his game. Combine that with the Oilers inability to move up the Western Conference standings and suddenly all that anyone wants to talk about is trading one or both of Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. 

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Is Anders Nilsson The Real Deal?

When general manager Peter Chiarelli decided to part ways with a pair of draft picks to acquire netminder Cam Talbot from the New York Rangers, the hope was the Edmonton Oilers had finally found a goalie capable of handling the responsibility that comes with being the go-to-guy for a struggling hockey team. Unfortunately, the 28-year old has been unable to deliver on that promise and has essentially handed Anders Nilsson the opportunity of a lifetime. 

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Time For A Little Perspective

Being a fan of the Edmonton Oilers has arguably never been more difficult. After having Connor McDavid fall into the organization’s lap, many were expecting this once storied franchise to start showing signs of improvement. With frustration at an all-time high, another campaign of the same old song and dance was never going to be an acceptable outcome for the 2015-16 season. While our eyes may be telling us one thing, that progression is actually being made, taking a look at the NHL’s overall standings suggests something completely different.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Trade RNH…No Thank You

With the Edmonton Oilers wallowing in their customary spot at the bottom of the NHL standings, the calls for Peter Chiarelli to trade one of his “inherited” core pieces have been growing. While the odd crazed fan has suggested the club move Taylor Hall in what could arguably be one of the dumbest moves any team could make, the vast majority of this fan base has been targeting Jordan Eberle and Nail Yakupov as the players most likely to leave town. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

A Breath Of Fresh Air

It may sound odd to say about a team who currently sits in a tie for last place in the overall standings, but the 2015-16 edition of the Edmonton Oilers deserve some credit. After kicking off their year with what has been an almost obscene schedule over the opening eight weeks of the season and being forced to deal with injuries to key personnel, aka Connor McDavid, this group has managed to find a way to stay in hockey games on a nightly basis.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Losing Nail Yakupov

Contrary to what some may suggest, the Edmonton Oilers did not make the wrong decision in selecting Nail Yakupov with the first overall pick of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. With the circumstances being what they were, also known as an unhealthy Alex Galchenyuk, drafting the gifted Russian was an absolute no-brainer. Unfortunately, things have not played out in the manner that either the player or organization were hoping. 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Return of Justin Schultz

While it may be hard for a fraction of the fan base to accept, the Edmonton Oilers have actually missed not having Justin Schultz in their lineup. By the sounds of it the 25-year old is on the verge of making his return to action and if healthy, he will be a welcomed addition to this team’s backend. For the first time in ages, it looks as though the Oilers could potentially have three pairings in which there is no real black hole on their blue line. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Now Is Not The Time For Laurent Brossoit

When it comes to up and coming prospects currently in the Edmonton Oilers farm system, few appear to have this fan base as excited as netminder Laurent Brossoit. While the organization has been looking for a No. 1 goaltender since parting ways with Dwayne Roloson following the 2008-09 campaign, they have yet to hit the jackpot when it comes to finding their go-to-guy in between the pipes. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Nilsson Time

We are now 23 days into the month of November and the Edmonton Oilers have played nine games, posting a 3-5-1 mark. While their record may not be where they want it to be, the fact the Oilers have handed over the starters role to Anders Nilsson over the past three weeks is nothing short of astonishing. After all, the 2015-16 campaign was supposed to be a coming-out party for one Cam Talbot. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Emergence of Brandon Davidson

Edmonton Oilers defenceman Brandon Davidson was in a bit of a tough spot heading into training camp. In order for the 24-year old to start the year in the NHL, he needed to make enough of an impression on head coach Todd McLellan to slot him above two of Mark Fayne, Andrew Ference, Oscar Klefbom, Nikita Nikitin, Darnell Nurse, Griffin Reinhart, Justin Schultz and Andrej Sekera. To his credit, he accomplished exactly that and has not looked back since. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Two Words...Travis Hamonic

While the Edmonton Oilers did find a way to drop another one-goal decision on Wednesday evening at Rexall Place, falling 4-3 in overtime to the Chicago Blackhawks, Oilers Nation was abuzz thanks to some surprising news surrounding the availability of New York Islanders defenceman Travis Hamonic.

Monday, November 16, 2015

The New Dynamic Duo

No one ever said this was going to be easy. While the Edmonton Oilers have their issues, most notably their defence, inconsistent netminding and no Connor McDavid for the foreseeable future, it looks as though this group will be able to at least give itself a fighting chance on most nights and much of that can be attributed to the play of Leon Draisaitl and Taylor Hall. 

Friday, November 13, 2015

Paging Cam Talbot

When the Edmonton Oilers decided to jump into to the off-season trade market and acquire Cam Talbot from the New York Rangers, this organization was hoping they had finally acquired a No. 1 netminder. While it was far from a guarantee, many felt parting ways with a pair of draft picks was a risk well worth taking.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Arrival of Mr. Darnell Nurse

While we may just be seven games into Darnell Nurse’s rookie season with the Edmonton Oilers, the talented blueliner has already managed to become of a fan favourite during his brief time in the NHL. Be it his ability to move the puck up ice, a willingness to engage in the physical side of the game, the exuberance he brings to the rink on a nightly basis or a combination of all three, whatever it is…it is clearly working. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

An All Too Familiar Scenario

So here we are. Thanks to Connor McDavid crashing into the end boards against the Philadelphia Flyers and breaking his collarbone, the Edmonton Oilers suddenly find themselves in an all too familiar situation. For the last number of years, this organization has lacked depth at the centre position and, while it was still an issue heading into 2015-16, having No. 97 in the mix allowed them to be competitive on a nightly basis. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Survival Mode

Despite posting a rather unflattering 5-10 record through the first fifteen games of their 2015-16 schedule, the Edmonton Oilers have not been playing poorly. Unfortunately for them, it has not led to much success in the overall standings and with their current predicament being what it is, this collection of players could be in for a rough ride over the coming weeks. 

Monday, November 09, 2015

Andrej Sekera and the Edmonton Oilers

It’s no secret that fans of the Edmonton Oilers have had little to cheer about since watching their team reach the 2006 Stanley Cup Final. With that said, most were hoping things would take a turn for the better under the guidance of Bob Nicholson, Peter Chiarelli and Todd McLellan. Unfortunately, those who were hoping for a turnaround overnight have been disappointed with the start of the 2015-16 season. 

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Road Warriors

After kicking off their 2015-16 schedule with five of their first six games on the road, the Edmonton Oilers played seven of their next eight on home ice. That run came to an end on Friday evening when Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins paid their one and only visit of the season to Rexall Place. 

Friday, November 06, 2015

Giving Taylor Hall His Due

Perception can sometimes be a funny thing. While he has been among the NHL’s most consistent point-producers since becoming an everyday player in 2010-11, many hockey observers seemed almost unwilling to give Edmonton Oilers winger Taylor Hall his due. It may still be early, but it looks as though the 2015-16 season may end up being the year in which that finally starts to change. 

Thursday, November 05, 2015

No. 4, No. 14 and No. 29

With Connor McDavid unavailable for the foreseeable future and the Edmonton Oilers lack of centre depth being what it is, Todd McLellan has been put into a rather difficult situation. He either moves Anton Lander up to the second line in hopes the hard-working Swede catches lightning in a bottle and starts producing offence or he bumps Leon Draisaitl from what is the hottest line in all of hockey and into a role the 19-year old is truly not ready for.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

A Massive Blow

After years of successfully putting together rosters that were bad enough to ensure they would be near or at the very top of every NHL Entry Draft since 2010, the Edmonton Oilers hit the jackpot this summer in having Connor McDavid fall into their lap. While the other 29 organizations in the league and their collective fanbases were understandably disgusted with the outcome of last April’s Draft Lottery, no hockey fan is happy with how thing played out during last night’s 4-2 Oilers victory over the visiting Philadelphia Flyers at Rexall Place. 

Monday, November 02, 2015

Finding The Right Role For Mark Fayne

On a night in which the Edmonton Oilers spotted the Calgary Flames multiple two-goal leads but still found a way to get themselves back into a game they really had no business being in, Cam Talbot picked the worst possible moment to cough up an absolute stinker of a game-winner. While the Flames Michael Frolik may have been the star of the show, with as ugly a three-goal effort as anyone has witnessed in some time, it was the Oilers starting netminder who ended up with the spotlight squarely on him in what was a rather disheartening 5-4 loss. 

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Surviving October

While a 5-7 record for the month of October may not sound like much to write home about, when it comes to the Edmonton Oilers, finishing the opening month of their 2015-16 schedule in such fashion would have to be viewed as nothing but a step in the right direction. Considering just how difficult their schedule was out of the gate and the fact they dropped their first four games in regulation, closing out the month with 10 points in the standings would actually be quite an accomplishment.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Mark This One Down

For the last number of seasons, fans of the Edmonton Oilers had grown accustomed to what they witnessed during the first period of last night’s tilt with the Montreal Canadiens over at Rexall Place. In years gone by, falling behind 3-0 in an opening frame to a team as good as the Habs, almost guaranteed an ugly scoreline after the final buzzer. On far too many occasions, this group would simply quit on itself and willingly take their medicine.

Thursday, October 29, 2015


When it comes to professional athletes, almost all of them have another individual or team that they tend to struggle against. When it comes to Montreal Canadien netminder Carey Price, that team is none other than the Edmonton Oilers. As odd as it may seem, the former Olympian has managed to beat Edmonton just once in seven career appearances. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Sending The Wrong Message

The Edmonton Oilers are now ten games into their 2015-16 schedule and find themselves with a 3-7 record. While there were those who were expecting more from this group, they have actually started to show signs of meaningful improvement. Regrettably, it has not led to more wins and much of that can be attributed to the lack of quality players on their defence. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

An Easy Decision

While the odds may have been stacked against Darnell Nurse making the Edmonton Oilers' opening night roster against the St. Louis Blues, it really was only a matter of time before the 2013 seventh overall pick would find his way onto this blue line in 2015-16. However, no one likely expected to see him back in the fold so quickly. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

Tough Break

What can you say…while it was far from their finest effort, the Edmonton Oilers were certainly dealt a crappy hand on Sunday night against the Los Angeles Kings over at Rexall Place. While it looked as though Connor McDavid had snuck a last second game-tying goal past Jonathan Quick to force overtime, the replay official saw it differently and in the end it left Edmonton on the wrong side of a 3-2 decision.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Giving Oscar A Helping Hand

The start of the 2015-16 season has been an interesting one for Edmonton Oilers defenceman Oscar Klefbom. After suffering an injury during training camp, the talented rearguard has struggled to find his game over the opening two and half weeks of the year. Unfortunately, the Oilers blueline is structured in such a way that it can ill-afford to have the 22-year old at anything but his very best. 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Lesson Learned

For the first time this season, the 2015-16 addition of the Edmonton Oilers were handed the challenge of facing on offence juggernaut on Friday night over at Rexall Place. Despite having won three straight games and showing moderate improvement on a nightly basis, Todd McLellan’s side was brought back down to earth by the visiting Washington Capitals. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015


While it was far from a perfect performance, the Edmonton Oilers still found a way to beat the Detroit Red Wings in regulation for the first time in a very long time on Wednesday night. On the strength of another solid outing by netminder Cam Talbot and some timely production from the trio of Connor McDavid, Benoit Pouliot and Nail Yakupov, the Oilers managed to sneak past the Wings with a 3-1 win over at Rexall Place. 

An Opportunity Earned For No. 10

It was a trio which first saw the light of day during the Edmonton Oilers second game of the season against the Nashville Predators and one Todd McLellan has turned to in every game since. While Connor McDavid, Benoit Pouliot, and Nail Yakupov didn’t necessarily hit the ground running, the three have combined to give the Oilers new bench boss another legitimate scoring option. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Getting On The Board

It is no secret the Edmonton Oilers still have a fair bit of work in front them before becoming one of the better teams in the NHL. However, with the likes of Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, Connor McDavid, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov now in place, it really is not a matter of if this team will become a force to be reckoned with but rather when. 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Game 5 - An Offensive Outburst

After facing three of the better teams in the Western Conference during their first four games of the season, the Edmonton Oilers were finally thrown a lifeline of sorts on Saturday evening. While the Calgary Flames have owned the Battle of Alberta over the last number years and are coming off a fantastic 2014-15 campaign, they were exactly what the doctor ordered for Connor McDavid and company. 

Friday, October 16, 2015

Game 4 - More Growing Pains

It was supposed to be a special night. The Edmonton Oilers facing off against the St. Louis Blues in what was not only Connor McDavid’s debut in his new backyard but also the final home opener over at Rexall Place. Despite delivering what was arguably their most complete effort of the season, it made little difference in the final scoreline. 

So Far, So Good

After dropping their home opener to the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night, the Edmonton Oilers have essentially mirrored their start from 2014-15. While last year’s 0-3-1 record isn’t much different from this October’s 0-4 mark, there has been one major difference…the play of their netminders. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Game 3 - A Two Man Show

On an evening in which Connor McDavid potted the first goal of his career, the Edmonton Oilers were badly outclassed by the Dallas Stars. While a final score of 4-2 may suggest a different story, in actuality it was the performance of netminder Anders Nilsson that kept this one from being a blowout. 

Hurry Back No. 14

It may have taken a little longer than most had hoped but Edmonton Oilers rookie Connor McDavid ended the suspense on Tuesday night, scoring the first NHL goal of his career against the Dallas Stars. Unfortunately for the 2015 first overall pick and his new teammates, it was not enough to register their first win of the young season.