Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Jump On The Leon and Connor Express

With their perfect record no longer being a talking point, the Edmonton Oilers can officially settle into the 2019-20 campaign. Five wins in six games has re-invigorated fans across Oil Country and for the first time in ages, there is a sense of positivity creeping into the equation among the masses. It’s still early but it’s become abundantly clear the duo of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl will keep them in the fight all season long. 

Oilers Need The Good Mikko Koskinen

Be it tonight against the New York Islanders or in a couple of days from now when the Edmonton Oilers pay a visit to the New Jersey Devils, Mikko Koskinen will get a chance to start his first game of the 2019-20 campaign. No matter which one he winds up playing, it is apparent the towering guardian is going to have to hit the ground running in order to win over Dave Tippett’s trust and earn regular playing time. 

Monday, October 07, 2019

Early Returns

It hasn’t always been pretty but grading victories is not something the 2019-20 Edmonton Oilers can concern themselves with. Two games, two wins and both coming by the narrowest of margins. As expected, the dynamic duo of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl has done the so-called heavy lifting but the emergence of some secondary scoring has been a welcome addition to the equation. 

Monday, September 30, 2019

Time To Silence The Critics

If he could, James Neal would like nothing more than to erase last season from the history books. Unfortunately, that isn’t how things work, not even for a ten-time 20-goal scorer. Like it or not, he now has something to prove and the Edmonton Oilers are banking on the 32-year-old pulling out all the stops in hopes of silencing his critics. 

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Decision Time

With the Edmonton Oilers pre-season schedule officially over, the time for Ken Holland and Dave Tippett to decide who will be part of the equation in Wednesday’s season opener has arrived. Chances are both will lean towards a more experienced lineup but lets us hope that won’t be deciding factor in determining who ultimately makes the roster to start the 2019-20 campaign. 

Friday, September 20, 2019

The Anton Burdasov Experiement

After spending the past ten seasons on a variety of different teams in the KHL, Anton Burdasov has decided to take a crack at trying to land his dream gig…playing in the NHL. Though the hope of securing a one-way deal from an organization did not come to fruition, the Russian winger signed a PTO with the Edmonton Oilers earlier this week. A surprise to some but from the player’s perspective, it was likely an easy decision to make. 

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Ethan Bear Is Ready To Shine

Of all the young defencemen in the Edmonton Oilers system, Ethan Bear has become a forgotten man of sorts. Be it the free-agent signing of Joel Persson, highly-touted prospects Evan Bouchard and Dmitri Samorukov or AHL holdovers Caleb Jones and William Lagesson, the list of blueliners looking to stick with the big club is a lengthy one. A crowded bunch to be sure but the 22-year old seems ready for the challenge.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Defence, Defence And More Defence

You have to give him credit. On the day the Edmonton Oilers announced Dave Tippett as their new head coach, many in the mainstream media were asking if he’d be bringing his defence-first system to the Alberta capital. Instead of stating the obvious, the Moosomin native suggested he wasn’t that kind of coach at all and in fact, used whatever system worked best with the pieces he had at his disposal. 

Friday, September 13, 2019

Benson Time

It’s been just over three years since an article appeared in this very spot suggesting the Edmonton Oilers might have stolen Tyler Benson with 32nd pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. While they and every other organization not named the Chicago Blackhawks missed the boat on Alex DeBrincat, the former Vancouver Giants standout seems poised to take a run at becoming an NHL regular this fall.

The Oilers Are Deeper But Did They Do Enough?

Following what was yet another disappointing campaign for the Edmonton Oilers, it should have surprised no one to see Ken Holland waste little time in tinkering with the club’s roster. Though one can argue with certain moves that were made along the blue line and between the pipes, the collection of forwards on the roster is improved. Now the question becomes, will it be enough? 

Friday, August 09, 2019

The Jesse Puljujarvi Saga

Isn’t it funny how things can go so wrong over the course of three short years? The date was June 24, 2016, and the setting was the NHL Entry Draft in Buffalo. It was on that day the Edmonton Oilers were handed the good fortune of having Jesse Puljujarvi fall into their lap at the No. 4 position in the draft. Well, so much for predictions and those sort of things. 

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Improving The Penalty Kill

Of all the issues that have hampered the Edmonton Oilers in recent years, perhaps the most perplexing has been their continued struggles on the penalty kill. Over the better part of the past three seasons, they have been among the league’s worst when shorthanded. Ken Holland is banking on that trend not continuing in 2019-20, thanks in part to the additions of wingers Josh Archibald and Markus Granlund. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

A Pitch For Jake Gardiner

We are roughly four weeks into NHL free agency and defenceman Jake Gardiner is still without a home. Be it concern surrounding his health and/or the want for a contract at a healthy number with term, something is up with the former Toronto Maple Leafs rearguard. With that said, this would be the perfect time for the Edmonton Oilers to try and sign the talented blueliner.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Holland Makes First Impactful Move

To suggest Peter Chiarelli left the Edmonton Oilers in cap purgatory and with a badly flawed roster would be kind. Ken Holland knew cleaning up said mess was part of the deal when he took the gig as the club’s general manager and that it wasn’t going to be easy. Though he still has plenty of work to do, trading Milan Lucic to the Calgary Flames for James Neal was certainly a step in the right direction.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Opportunity Knocks For Persson

After years of struggling to produce quality NHL defencemen, the Edmonton Oilers are on the verge of seeing that trend changing. The names we hear most often are Ethan Bear, Evan Bouchard, Caleb Jones, William Lagesson and Dmitry Samorukov. With that said, the young blueliner who could be the swingman in determining how the upcoming 2018-19 season plays out is Joel Persson.

The Mikko and Mike Show

It’s not every day that we see a team with two of the league’s top four scorers miss the playoffs but the Edmonton Oilers managed to accomplish just that in 2018-19 and by a rather comfortable margin. And yet, with as poorly constructed as their roster was, had the duo of Cam Talbot and Mikko Koskinen found a way to raise their level of play, we are likely talking about a playoff team. 

Thursday, July 11, 2019

The Edmonton Oilers And The Use Of Cap Sapce

So here we are. Roughly two weeks since the Edmonton Oilers bought out defenceman Andrej Sekera and the roster is no better. In fact, the argument could be made it has gone in the opposite direction. Though there is still plenty of time for general manager Ken Holland to do something prior to the start of the 2019-20 NHL season, one can’t help but wonder why the decision was made to create cap space and not use it. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Opportunity Wasted

With their current roster being as underwhelming as it is, the Edmonton Oilers were never going to be major players during this year’s NHL Trade Deadline. However, for an organization that is going to have to do a ton of heavy lifting over the summer, yesterday was a perfect opportunity to get a head start on things. Unfortunately, interim general manager Keith Gretzky and the rest of the organization’s higher-ups saw it differently.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Don't Look At The Old Boys Club

To suggest the past thirteen years have been rough on the Edmonton Oilers organization is about as big of an understatement as one could make. Their record over said time period speaks for itself and has directly led to certain “narratives” surrounding the team on an on0going basis. Most notably, the perception of the “Old Boys Club” running the show but that simply hasn’t been the case since the summer of 2015. 

Friday, January 25, 2019

Finding The Right Fit

The clock finally struck midnight for Peter Chiarelli and the Edmonton Oilers. While it took too long for the proverbial trigger to be pulled, in the end, Bob Nicholson did what he needed to do in dismissing his general manager earlier this week. Though his missteps along the way were plentiful and left the organization with a ton of work to do, make no mistake, it has in no way made the position any less attractive for those craving the spotlight and potential glory that comes with winning in a Canadian market. 

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Oilers Need To Focus On Tomorrow, Not Today

The Edmonton Oilers find themselves in a curious predicament. The limitations of their roster are obvious to any hockey observer and yet the opportunity to grab a playoff spot in a rather pedestrian Western Conference is quite real. Though a return to the post-season remains priority one for the here and now, the long-term viability of this organization being able to enjoy future success is of far greater importance.