Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Kris Russell Noise


No matter what side of the Kris Russell discussion one is on, there is no debating as to whether or not he is a viable NHL defenceman. Despite the shortcomings in his game, the 30-year old showed once again he could help a team as a depth piece during the 2016-17 campaign. However, this notion that the Edmonton Oilers are in some kind of dire need of re-signing the Red Deer native is not only confusing but flat-out untrue.

Oilers History: The Dave Brown Years


When the Edmonton Oilers decided to trade away an aging Dave Semenko during the 1986-87 season they parted ways with one of the most popular players in club history and best enforcers to ever play the game. For those who didn’t get the chance to watch him play, No. 27 could strike the fear of god into opponents without the use his fists. More often than not, all it took was one glare to keep opposing players in check.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Oscar, Oscar, Oscar


Barring another injury-riddled campaign, the 2016-17 season was always going to be a campaign in which the Edmonton Oilers made substantial gains in the overall standings. The question was whether or not the improvement would be great enough to allow them to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2006. Considering the club finished the year as a top ten team, the answer to the question was a resounding a yes.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Time's Up Tyler Pitlick



The 2016-17 season was certainly an interesting one for Edmonton Oilers forward Tyler Pitlick. After years of seeing nothing more than the occasional cup of coffee in the NHL, the 31st pick of the 2010 Entry Draft finally earned himself a shot at proving he belonged at this level. To his credit, the youngster made the most of the opportunity but was once again derailed by injury.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Oilers History: The Rat Years



After the Edmonton Oilers suffered a shocking first-round loss to the Los Angeles Kings during the 1982 playoffs, it was clear the team was missing something. The need for that “pain-in-the-ass” player who would not only willingly get his nose dirty but also be able to contribute on the score sheet was obvious. Before the 1982 -83 campaign got under way, the Oilers were able to acquire just that type of player in Ken Linseman.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Interesting Times In Oil Country


The Edmonton Oilers will be in an interesting position heading into the 2017-18 NHL season. After exceeding expectations during the 2016-17 campaign and pushing the Anaheim Ducks to a seventh game in their second playoff series, simply qualifying for the post-season will no longer be good enough. With that being the case, Peter Chiarelli will need to ensure he doesn’t allow the moment to cloud his better judgment.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

The Passion Returns


It was a result that was far from easy to swallow but certainly not one that should have been unexpected. As much as the fans were hoping their Edmonton Oilers could find a way to sneak past the Anaheim Ducks in the seventh game of their second-round series, the clock finally struck midnight on a year all of Oil Country won’t soon forget. After suffering through a decade of pain, the lover affair between this organization and their fans has been rekindled and it is long overdue. 

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Time For McDavid To Shine


For the first time during the 2017 playoffs, the Edmonton Oilers officially find themselves in a must-win situation. Starting with tonight’s showdown over at Rogers Place and Wednesday’s potential "winner take all" return engagement in Anaheim, losing to the Ducks is something this team can no longer afford to do. With their margin for error now a thing of the past, it will be up to Connor McDavid to lead the charge and ensure this group finds its way back to the Western Conference Final for the first time in a decade. 

Saturday, May 06, 2017

Another Hurdle For Young Oilers To Overcome


Believe it or not, the sun did come up this morning in the city of Edmonton. After watching their beloved Oilers end up on the wrong end of a crucial video review decision for a second consecutive game, one couldn’t help but wonder if a dark cloud was making its way over the City of Champions. As if having to deal with a team as good as the Anaheim Ducks wasn’t already challenging enough for Todd McLellan and company to overcome, this extra little wrinkle wasn’t supposed to be part of the equation.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

It's All About Learning




When it comes to the 2017 NHL Playoffs and the Edmonton Oilers, nothing appears as though it will be easy. Ten games into what has been the initial voyage into post-season hockey for much of this group and safe to say it has gone as expected. Rarely, if ever, do the playoffs follow a predictable path and this year has been no different. With that said, Todd McLellan’s side is going to learn a ton about itself before their second-round series with the Anaheim Ducks comes to a close.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

A Different RNH


In the near six years that have passed since being selected first overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Edmonton Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has gone through quite the transformation. After being touted as the organization’s next great centre and putting together one heck of a rookie campaign in 2011-12, the sky seemed to be the limit on just how good the Burnaby native could be. Fast forward to the present day and my how things have changed.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Oilers Continue To Hit All The Right Notes


Hate to be the guy who said I told you so but I told you so. It may not have been pretty but thanks to a quick start, another huge goal from the power play and a stellar performance from netminder Cam Talbot, the Edmonton Oilers are heading home with a commanding 2-0 series lead over the Anaheim Ducks and have yet to play a complete 60 minutes. Isn’t playoff hockey great? 

Friday, April 28, 2017

Stepping On An Opponent's Throat


Despite finding a way to sneak past the Anaheim Ducks in their second round series opener, the Edmonton Oilers were not exactly clicking on all cylinders during their Game One 5-3 victory. While they started to show signs of life on the man advantage and defenceman Adam Larsson enjoyed what was arguably the finest all-around performance of his career, the team wearing white had exactly two players deliver what would be considered a typical showing over the course of the past seven months.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Ducks Are Playing A Dangerous Game


In the days leading up to last night’s second round curtain raiser between the Edmonton Oilers and Anaheim Ducks, much of the conversation revolved around the potential outcome of Connor McDavid being shadowed by Ryan Kesler. An interesting talking point to be sure but one many seemed to forget did not necessarily favour Randy Carlye’s side. Not surprisingly, the team wearing white ended up taking full advantage of the situation in earning a crucial 5-3 victory.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Talking Oilers Playoffs and McDavid Book With Stellick and Simmer In the Morning


This morning's segment on SiriusXM NHL Radio's "Stellick & Simmer in the Morning" ...Oilers Playoffs and Connor McDavid Book talk.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Oilers History: The Game


With the current edition of the Edmonton Oilers firmly entrenched in the 2017 NHL Playoffs, I felt today would be the perfect time to take a look back at arguably the most important one game result in franchise history. The year was 1984 and the setting was the opening game of the Stanley Cup Final against the four-time defending champion New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Who Are These Edmonton Oilers?


After failing to qualify for the NHL Playoffs the previous ten seasons, it only seemed fair to keep expectations at a minimum for the Edmonton Oilers heading into the 2017 post-season. Be it an early exit, a lengthy run or anything in between, this group was in a no-lose situation. With that said, absolutely no one could have predicted how things were going to unfold during their first round match-up against the San Jose Sharks.

Talbot Proving His Worth


It may only be three games but as far as debut post-season performances go, Edmonton Oilers netminder Cam Talbot has made quite the first impression. Next to Connor McDavid, the 29-year old played the biggest part in this club’s surprising turnaround during the 2016-17 regular season. In order for the Oilers to have any hope of enjoying similar success during the playoffs, a repeat performance from their No. 1 goaltender was a must. 

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Welcome To The Playoffs


As good as the Edmonton Oilers looked over the final month of the season, the thought of having them open the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Place was something which didn’t sit well with yours truly. Whether the masses wanted to admit it or not, unless we are talking about a team who had enjoyed at least a degree of success in recent post-season memory, the pressure that comes with opening on home-ice is quite real. And for a team with as little experience as this one, that moment can sometimes be a little much.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Better Get Used To It


With one game remaining on the Edmonton Oilers 2016-17 schedule, Connor McDavid is on the verge of completing one of the finest sophomore campaigns season in recent memory. Should the talented youngster manage to pick up a couple of points in tonight’s season finale against the Vancouver Canucks, he will not only officially win the first Art Ross Trophy of his career as the league’s top scorer but do so in style.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Playoffs and Beyond


With all of two days remaining in the 2016-17 NHL regular season, the Edmonton Oilers have all but clinched home-ice advantage in their first-round showdown with the San Jose Sharks. By this time tomorrow, there is a good chance this team will have eclipsed the 100-point mark and their star attraction will have or be on the verge of doing the same thing on an individual front. As great as this year has gone for Connor McDavid and company, expectations for this group still need to be kept in check. 

Friday, March 31, 2017

It's There for the Taking


As hard as it might be to fathom, we are here. With five games remaining on their schedule, the Edmonton Oilers have put themselves in a position where the out-of-town scoreboard no longer matters. If this group can go out and take care of business over the next ten days, they will finish the 2016-17 season as Pacific Division champions. In a year in which surprises have been the norm across the NHL, one would be hard-pressed to find a potential result being as shocking as what this group is on the verge of accomplishing.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Importance of Klefbom and Larsson


At the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, the Edmonton Oilers felt they had secured a pair of key pieces in their rebuild with the selections of Swedish forwards Magnus Paajarvi and Anton Lander. While both were expected to develop into productive NHL players, neither one managed to live up to their advanced billing. Ironically enough, the organization went out and found another pair of fellow countrymen to fill a need but this time around the duo of Oscar Klefbom and Adam Larsson have delivered on their promise.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Time To Celebrate


In our day to day existence, eleven years is a long time to go without something. In the world of sports, such a timeframe can feel like an eternity…just ask any fan of the Edmonton Oilers. As memorable as watching their team’s run to the 2006 Stanley Cup Final might have been, going a decade plus between playoff appearances was never supposed to be part of the equation. Certainly, a tough road to haul for all involved but one that is mercifully about to come to an end. 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Staying The Course


It is next to impossible to go out and find an NHL coach who doesn’t make his share of bad decisions over the course of a season. No matter who we are talking about, mistakes are going to be made. In a campaign that has seen little go wrong for the Edmonton Oilers, very few of Todd McLellan missteps have come back to bite him or his team. However, the decision to start Cam Talbot against the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night could potentially prove problematic. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Oilers Sitting Pretty


In a year in which the Edmonton Oilers were looked upon as being a team with nothing more than a “decent shot” of ending their decade-long absence from the NHL Playoffs, they are on the verge of potentially doing much more. With ten games remaining on their schedule, this club has not only earned its way back into the post-season but also given itself a legitimate shot at taking a run at the Pacific Division crown.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Oilers Fans Can Exhale


It has been a mere five days since panic started to set in with large chunks of the Edmonton Oilers fan base. With a decade-long absence on the franchise’s recent resume and having just been passed in the standings by the red-hot Calgary Flames, all was not well in good ol’ Oil Country. While somewhat understandable, it was rather odd considering the club has been among the top teams in the Western Conference for much of the 2016-17 NHL campaign.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

McDavid Takes Another Step


When it comes to team sports, it’s not often head-to-head marquee matchups between two of the league’s premier players live up to the hype…especially in today’s NHL. However, that has not been the case when it comes to showdowns between the Edmonton Oilers and Pittsburgh Penguins. For the second time this season, Connor McDavid and Sidney Crosby delivered on all the hoopla and the Richmond Hill native took his game to another level during yesterday’s thrilling 3-2 shootout loss.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Century Mark Still In Reach


Following his two-point effort in last night’s 4-3 Edmonton Oilers victory over the Detroit Red Wings, Connor McDavid saw his league-leading point total rise to 74. He currently sits four points in front of Patrick Kane, five clear of Sidney Crosby and has built a seven-point bulge between himself and the duo of Brent Burns and Brad Marchand. With five weeks left to go in the season, the scoring race is by no means a done deal but there is another pressing question that needs answering.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Nothing Has Changed


The 2017 NHL Trade Deadline came and went with the Edmonton Oilers not being a major player. While they did add veteran centre David Desharnais in a deal with the Montreal Canadiens which cost them defenceman Brandon Davidson, it was not a move that is likely to have the kind of impact some are hoping. Which means their chances at experiencing playoff success remain unchanged from 48 hours ago.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Trade Deadline: Desharnais In, Davidson Out...


Yesterday was an interesting day for the Edmonton Oilers. On the eve of the NHL Trade Deadline, they team went out and beat the St. Louis Blues 2-1 to close out a tough six-game road trip and move back into sole possession of second place in the Pacific Division. A great result to be sure but also one that came with mixed emotions, as defenceman Brandon Davidson was traded to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for veteran centre David Desharnais.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Disaster Averted


As the gap between the Edmonton Oilers and the Western Conference playoff cut line continues to shrink, there are those who are starting to worry about what the immediate future might hold for their favourite hockey club. There is no question Todd McLellan’s crew has been a model of inconsistency since the NHL All-Star break but the month of February was about survival and to their credit, this team has done just that. 

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Oilers Need To Be Smart


With the Edmonton Oilers firmly entrenched in a playoff position and the NHL Trade Deadline less than a week away, the club will find itself in a bit of an awkward spot over the coming days. On a roster which already includes the league’s leading scorer and a goaltender who has given them a shot at taking home two points on a nightly basis, many are hoping Peter Chiarelli will be a busy man leading into Wednesday afternoon.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Hockey History: Top 5 Goalies of the 60's


The last line of defence. In a nutshell, that is what a goaltender has, is and will always be. No matter the era they played in, the job has always remained the same. See shot, stop shot…rinse and repeat. Sounds simple enough, now if only it were that easy. Over the coming weeks, we will look back into hockey history and celebrate the careers of some the greatest goalies to have ever played the position. To kick things off we go to the 1960’s and the days of when the 30-something netminder ruled the day and the man who was known as “Mr. Goalie” led the way.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Oilers Tops In Canada



After having the good fortune of winning the 2015 NHL Draft Lottery it was only a matter of time before the Edmonton Oilers became the best Canadian team in the league. No one was expecting that transformation to happen overnight but taking those initial steps back towards respectability was always part of the equation for 2016-17. Fast forward four months and my goodness how things have changed.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Oilers History: The Paul Coffey Years


Unless you were fortunate enough to be around to witness Paul Coffey play during his prime, it is unlikely you can comprehend how important he was to the success of the Edmonton Oilers. Anyone can look at his stat line and be impressed by the eye-popping totals. However, those numbers do not tell us just how integral his role was in helping those teams find their identity and become arguably the greatest team in NHL history.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Oilers History: Petr Klima...40-Goal Man


When the book is closed on the 2016-17 regular season, it will mark the 25thconsecutive season in which the Edmonton Oilers failed to have a player hit the 40-goal mark. For all the damage Wayne Gretzky and company did back in the day, a quarter of a century is a long time for any organization to go without anyone having eclipsed said barrier. And the player who last managed to pull off the feat might not be who think. It was none other than the enigmatic Petr Klima.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

All Is Well In Oilerville


Like it or not, the NHL All-Star break could not have come at a worse time for the Edmonton Oilers. In the midst of playing some good hockey and having almost every bounce go their way for the better part of three weeks, Todd McLellan’s crew has come down to earth since returning to action. Three games, three losses and a grand total of three goals scored have sections of Oilers nation starting to feel uneasy.

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Oilers Say Thanks But No Thanks

These are curious times for the Edmonton Oilers. With Darnell Nurse not yet ready to return to the lineup, Matt Benning headed to the IR list and Kris Russell banged up, the organization was forced into making an internal move to help address their current situation. Instead of making the obvious move of recalling veteran rearguard Mark Fayne and one of Jordan Oesterle or Griffin Reinhart, the club decided to go with the two youngsters in their time of need. So what’s up?

Thursday, February 02, 2017

The Kris Russell Conundrum


In the 37 year history of the Edmonton Oilers there has arguably never been a more polarizing figure than defenceman Kris Russell. And there has certainly not been a player that has caused this much of a divide amongst fans and media types…with such a small body of work. After playing what was probably his worst game of the season on Tuesday night against the Minnesota Wild, the 29-year-old now has a grand total of 44 games under his belt in Orange and Blue.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The California Golden Seals


It has been 40-plus years since the California Golden Seals played their final game in the National Hockey League. In the minds of most young fans, they are nothing more than a footnote in history but for some, they still hold a special place in their hearts. Near the top of said list is a Los Angeles-based television producer by the name of Mark Greczmiel.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Oilers History: All-Star Memories


Today will mark another first of sorts for Edmonton Oilers superstar Connor McDavid. A broken collarbone forced the 2015 first overall pick from taking part in his first NHL All-Star Game during his rookie campaign but that will change this afternoon in Los Angeles. As the league’s leading scorer and most dynamic player in the game today, there is a chance the 20-year old phenom could end up playing a starring role in the 62nd mid-season classic. As a precursor to what may well end up being a moment to remember for Oilers fans everywhere, we give you the Top Three Moments in Edmonton Oilers All-Star Game history.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Oilers Turning Heads


These are interesting times for the Edmonton Oilers. In a year which absolutely no one picked them to be anything more than a potential playoff team in the Western Conference, this group continues to turn heads.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Thanks But Not Interested


With the Edmonton Oilers looking as though they are about to end their decade-long absence from the NHL post-season, names of potential Trade Deadline targets are starting to make the rounds. Of all the possible upgrades which have been mentioned in recent weeks, there are two this organization would be wise to steer clear of. As sexy as the notion of acquiring either one of Shane Doan or Jarome Iginla may sound to some, neither one would help address any of the holes currently on this roster.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Mark Letestu Quiets Critics


From an Edmonton Oilers‘ point of view, the first four months of the 20116-17 season could not have gone much better. Thanks in large part to the play of Leon Draisaitl, Connor McDavid, Andrej Sekera and Cam Talbot, this group sits third in the Pacific Division and tenth in the overall league standings. While the aforementioned quartet has rightly received the bulk of the credit for the club’s turnaround, veteran Mark Letestu has been the team’s unsung hero.