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yave1964

Oil slick, Oilers offseason primer

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Image result for edmonton oilers

 

 

 

 

2017-18 final record: 36-40-6 78 points 17 points out of a playoff spot.

 

A lot was expected of Edmonton this year as McDavid and Draisatl were expected to lead a deep playoff run following success the year before. Instead they started slow and stayed stuck in the mud all year, unable to gain traction and finished a distant also ran.

  You cannot blame the big two, McDavid had 108 points to lead the league and looked special, Draisatl had 70 points as robin to Mcdavids batman. The problem was pretty much everybody else.

  RNH missed 20 games and only managed 48 points, Strome who came over for Eberle had only 34, Lucic had a pathetic 10 goals and 34 points. These were the 3rd thru 5th leading scorers on the team. The supporting cast among the forwards was in a word: Awful.

  On defense, Larsson came off a career year, was injured quite a bit and was okay but no more than that when he did play. Darnell Nurse did finally begin to show his promise and was fine on the back end, but Klefbom slipped back, Sekera who is known for his offense had ZERO goals in 38 games between injuries. In short the defense was indefensible.

  It gets worse, Talbot was horrendous, giving up 3.02 goals against which was two thirds of a goal a game more than the year previous. Montoya who had signed for veteran influence was equally bad.

  The season ended with more questions than answers.

 

FREE AGENTS None really, Cammelleri is a goner, other than that a couple of minor players who don't matter will leave.

 

TOP PROSPECTS: 

Jesse Puljujarvi looks like a bust in a long line of first round dissapointments for the Oil, they need him to improve from 12 goals and 20 points to at least double that to justify his roster spot.

 Kailer Yamamoto got a cup of coffee and has first round promise and will be counted on to earn a middle six wing spot. Ethan Bear will be handed a starting job on the blueline and be counted on to provide a bit of snarl. Caleb Jones may make the team on the back end too, a fast skater with vision but very raw.

 

OFFSEASON QUESTION MARKS

 

DO YOU PLAY MCDAVID AND DRAISATL ON THE SAME LINE? McDavid needs linemates, Draisatl ideally would run his own line and join McDavid on the power play but as currently constituted the Oilers have little to help him. Lucic is a shell of himself, the kids have not stepped up. In all likelihood the two of them will be paired together and secondary scoring must come from somewhere.

 

 DO YOU TRADE RNH FOR DEFENSE? RNH for Faulk has been rumored and makes sense for both, other than it leaves the Oilers even more exposed both at center and in middle six offense. To me you have to keep RNH hope that he remains healthy and can provide 55-60 points in a secondary role. 

 

WILL PULJUJARVI EVER BECOME A TRUE TOP SIX FORWARD? He looked lost at both ends of the ice, I just do not see it. Some players take longer than others to develop so anything is possible but I see himas another Nail Yakopov. 

 

CAN THEY BOUNCE BACK? Any team with McDavid and Draisatl has the chance to be explosive offensively so yeah, they can, but they need to tighten their defense and find secondary scoring. Bear, Nurse, Klefbom and Larsson if healthy form a nice core, Sekera remaining healthy and providing scoring from the back end would make this a solid unit. The key to this group is health.

  In net, I have never been a Talbot fan and I see no evidence that he is going to be anything more than a middle of the pack goalie. They haven't made it official but they are signing Mikko Koskinen a former Isles prospect who has been performing very well in the KHL. He is built like Rinne and has went 36-10-4 over the past two seasons and may actually take the starting job if given a chance. Not a kid but talented, I think he would have a chance to be an upgrade.

 

 

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Can they bounce back ?

 

No. The year they made the playoffs was an exception. McDavid can't (and won't) be doing all himself. There no defense in this team and no reliable goalie. But it's true: the key for the Oilers will be to remain healthy.

And the first move I would make: fire Chiarelli ASAP. He gave an insane contract to Draisaitl who had one unique good year. I understand the will to lock the face of the franchise for longterm, but The money offer to McDavid doesn't make any sense too. Very risky commitment.

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      Can they bounce back ?   No. The year they made the playoffs was an exception. McDavid can't (and won't) be doing all himself. There no defense in this team and no reliable goalie. But it's true: the key for the Oilers will be to remain healthy. And the first move I would make: fire Chiarelli ASAP. He gave an insane contract to Draisaitl who had one unique good year. I understand the will to lock the face of the franchise for longterm, but The money offer to McDavid doesn't make any sense too. Very risky commitment.

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