Sports Until the Edmonton Oilers get better goaltending, forget about it

08:25  09 december  2017
08:25  09 december  2017 Source:   edmontonjournal.com

Late fluke goal lifts Maple Leafs past Oilers

  Late fluke goal lifts Maple Leafs past Oilers Late fluke goal lifts Maple Leafs past OilersEDMONTON - William Nylander had a goal and two assists as the Toronto Maple Leafs got past the Edmonton Oilers 6-4 on Thursday night.

Game Day 29, Oilers vs Canadiens. Perhaps the Oilers have died from one thousand cuts this year, but bad goaltending , a bad power play and a bad penalty kill have been constant issues all year, and they were again in Edmonton ’s 4-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday.

Until the Edmonton Oilers get better goaltending , forget about it  Edmonton Oilers roll out the welcome mat for yet another Eastern

113017-no_object-60678776-Oilers_Toronto-2-W.jpg© Larry Wong 113017-no_object-60678776-Oilers_Toronto-2-W.jpg

Perhaps the Oilers have died from one thousand cuts this year, but bad goaltending, a bad power play and a bad penalty kill have been constant issues all year, and they were again in Edmonton’s 4-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday.

If those things don’t change this weekend in Montreal and Toronto, nothing will change for the Oilers.

Edmonton Oilers coach Todd McLellan is shuffling his line-up, moving out Drake Caggiula and Ryan Strome from Leon Drasaitl’s line and moving in Nathan Walker and Anton Slepyshev. It’s hard to see how Walker and Slepyshev will be major difference makers.

Should the Edmonton Oilers go with Nick Ellis or Laurent Brossoit next game?

  Should the Edmonton Oilers go with Nick Ellis or Laurent Brossoit next game? Edmonton’s weak playoff hopes got a wee bit brighter with its 7-5 win over the Calgary Flames on Saturday night, but they will quickly be extinguished without better goaltending. Edmonton’s weak playoff hopes got a wee bit brighter with its 7-5 win over the Calgary Flames on Saturday night, but they will quickly be extinguished without better goaltending.

STAPLES: Essential the Oilers get better goaltending . Latest Oilers loss just doesn’t pass the smell test. Until the Edmonton Oilers get better goaltending , forget about it . It 's not yet safe to praise the Edmonton Oilers , but here goes …

STAPLES: Essential the Oilers get better goaltending .  Player grades: Snakebitten Edmonton Oilers deserve better but can't solve McElhinney, Until the Edmonton Oilers get better goaltending , forget about it .

The difference needs to come in these other areas, starting in goal, where Cam Talbot is out and back-up Laurent Brossoit now has a one win, six losses and a .876 save percentage.

It’s fashionable to say he wasn’t the reason the Oilers lost to the Flyers, as Edmonton came out flat, but such a statement is also soft pedalling the fact that goaltending was a major factor. Simply put, Brian Elliott of the Flyers outplayed Brossoit, just as we’ve seen opposition goalies outplay the Oilers goalie in the vast majority of games this year, even when Talbot was healthy.

Against Philly, the Oilers had eight Grade A scoring chances, with just seven for the Flyers, and three of the Flyers best chances came after Brossoit either failed to smother a loose puck in his crease or let out a juicy slot rebound.

Simmonds helps lead Flyers over Oilers

  Simmonds helps lead Flyers over Oilers EDMONTON - Wayne Simmonds had a goal and an assist and Claude Giroux added a pair of helpers as the Philadelphia Flyers won their second game in a row, defeating the Edmonton Oilers 4-2 on Wednesday. Jordan Weal, Dale Weise and Michael Raffl also scored for the Flyers (10-11-7), who have won consecutive games on the heels of a 10-game losing skid. Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored for the Oilers (11-15-2), who have lost two of their last three.Philadelphia outshot the Oilers 13-7 in the scoreless opening period.

If you look at the list of issues facing the Edmonton Oilers this season, backup goaltending is pretty far down the list. We dramatically changed our penalty kill and got some good results from it down the stretch.”

Vegas odds have them at a 0.1% probability of winning a ticket to the dance, but forget about the playoffs. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is the Edmonton Oilers number one centre. The former first-overall draft pick is in his fourth NHL campaign and keeps getting better and better . 5 A Goaltending Upgrade.

The key sequence in the game late in the second period when the Flyers goalie stoned Darnell Nurse in close, then 25 second later Brossoit let in a soft goal on an outside.shot.

If Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli doesn’t bring in another adequate goalie pronto, what little hope there remains for this season will be out the window. It may well be that Chiarelli already missed the boat, and that early this week was his last real window to make that move.

As for the power play, it’s been clear for some time that the top unit that excelled last year of Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Mark Letestu, Milan Lucic and Oscar Klefbom isn’t going to click, yet that’s the unit that McLellan again went back to against the Flyers. Until McDavid becomes a shooter and is surrounded with shooters, I don’t see things changing on the power play. It lacks pop, firepower. It lacks shooting threats.

As for the penalty kill, it continues to get whipped by cross-seam passes. Philadelphia’s power play goal came on a sequence of not one, but two cross-seam passes, first with Mark Letestu and Zack Kassian getting beat, then Matt Benning down low. The Letestu-Kassian combo especially seems overmatched right now on the kill and prone to being beat on cross-seam passes.

Oilers interested in Jets goaltender Michael Hutchinson

  Oilers interested in Jets goaltender Michael Hutchinson Oilers interested in Jets goaltender Michael HutchinsonEdmonton closed out last season having allowed the eighth-fewest goals in the NHL (2.52 per game) but rank tied for second-last in the cage this time around, allowing 3.39 goals per game through the season’s early goings. According to Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos, general manager Peter Chiarelli is considering Winnipeg Jets netminder Michael Hutchinson as a potential antidote.

When healthy, Klefbom can be a difference maker for the Edmonton Oilers . Chiarelli, had better get on the phone & trade players now, who have some value, rather than waiting, till they completely At least until he gets tired of seeing prime scoring chances passed back to him, and just does it himself.

However, the Edmonton Oilers had anything but a Dubnyk-like performance in net this season as they finished with a .888 save percentage. If we overlay the Oilers save percentage we can get a better sense of how drastic the teams performance was compared to league average goaltending .

It takes some doing not to be excited and bullish about a team that has Connor McDavid, but such is the state of the Oilers that most fans are now as down as they were in the worst days of the Decade of Darkness. Perhaps McDavid and Co. can find a way to work with McLellan and Chiarelli and salvage this season. But the Philly loss was a major kick in the teeth, all the more so because those same issues that have killed the Oilers this year, killed them yet again.

McCURDY: McLellan unloads on Oilers

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STAPLES: Brossoit facing biggest start of his career

McCURDY: Usual suspects producing up front for Oilers, but surprises on the back end

Saros helps Predators shut out Oilers 4-0 .
Saros helps Predators shut out Oilers 4-0Pontus Aberg, Kevin Fiala and Roman Josi also scored for the Predators (20-7-4), who have gone 10-1-2 in their last 13 outings and have won their last 10 straight against Edmonton.

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