Kukla's Korner Hockey
via a press release from the Oilers,
The Edmonton Oilers announced today, they have placed defenceman Mark Fayne on waivers for the purpose of assignment to the American Hockey League's (AHL) Bakersfield Condors.
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
When do you know on a goalie? When does a good month become a great season, and a No. 2 morphs into a No. 1 you can count on?
They are stewing on that in Edmonton this week, where upstart Swede Anders Nilsson — whose father was both a Stockholm cop and Djurgarden goalie — has rolled into town on a one-year, $1 million deal and stapled Cam Talbot’s butt to the Oilers’ bench.
Suddenly, Nilsson has started nine of the last 10 Oilers games, and has a save percentage of .922. He hasn’t given up more than two goals in any of his last five starts, and his save percentage in those games is .951.
Big guy (6-foot-5, 225 lbs), big numbers. But does he have a big future?
“He’s kind of got that Pekka Rinne look to him,” mused his head coach, Todd McLellan.
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
It was only the second time this season that Dallas has been restricted to a single goal and they have yet to be shutout, an achievement Nilsson almost achieved.
The goaltender steal the win?
“Yup. That was a hell of a performance,” said coach Todd McLellan. “If he wasn’t the first two or three stars he should have been.
“As I walked down the hall I wondered what was going to be asked in here tonight and I knew my first answer was going to be ‘What a great game played by Nilsson.
“He stole a game he gave us a chance to win. That first period was really frustrating. The lay-ups that we gave them …
“If Anders doesn’t play the way he does that game gets away from us so fast that we don’t happened. We played better games and lost them than we played tonight,” added McLellan.
Watch the game highlights below of Edmonton's 2-1 OT win over Dallas...
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
There is a significant trade coming in Edmonton.
It could be tomorrow (least likely). It could be at the Feb. 29 National Hockey League Trade Deadline (less likely). Most likely it occurs in the lead up to the 2016 Entry Draft in June.
The reason: The original Oilers rebuild has failed (newsflash), and the new general manager — Peter Chiarelli — is assessing which of its parts can best be recycled into a legitimate No. 2, and perhaps also a No. 3 defenceman. Teams don’t trade No. 1 blue-liners, so that’s out of the question.
There is still much talent in Edmonton, but it’s clear to all that the original blueprint is a loser, and the new architect has to swing the wrecking ball — to some extent — in Edmonton. However, significant trades are nearly impossible to do mid-season, when everyone’s cap/budget is locked in. Also, history tells us good defencemen seldom move mid-season, and clearly Chiarelli doesn’t favour the New York Islanders’ ask for Travis Hamonic, or that deal would have been completed a month ago.
I can understand Todd McLellan saying what he did, the Oilers are still a young and at this point a very fragile team.
But you have to think Edmonton fans have had just about enough. They want a team that can compete on a nightly basis but are not getting that right now.
I will tell you this, that listless Oilers performance Monday night in Toronto is just further proof -- at least in my mind -- that Chiarelli at some point before the Feb. 29 trade deadline needs to consider dealing either winger Jordan Eberle or center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
-Pierre LeBrun of ESPN where you can read more on this.
I am past the mad stage with Oiler W-L record. It is beyond numbing they can be like this year after year. Hall is trying his butt off
Jordan Eberle is heckuva player playing very poorly but even if Chiarelli wants to move him now wouldn't get enuff for him
Nugent-Hopkins looks like Sidney right now. Neither playing anywhere near like they can Mystifying.
-Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal via Twitter after the Oilers lost 3-0 to the Leafs.
from Frank Seravalli of TSN,
McLellan didn’t specifically call out Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins by name, but it doesn’t take much more than a glance at the scoresheets to figure out whom he was referencing.
The Oilers limped back to Edmonton with a 1-3-1 record on their Eastern Conference excursion. They managed just two goals against two teams buried at the bottom of the standings - Carolina and Toronto - including Monday’s lifeless shutout loss to Sparks.
“When I look at this trip as a whole, we had some key, key people really underperform on the trip,” McLellan told reporters. “Significant minus numbers, not hitting the score sheet. It can’t always be [the top line] that provides that.”
Eberle, 25, has been invisible since returning from injury on Nov. 6. He went without a point in five games and was a staggering minus-8 on the trip.
Nugent-Hopkins, 22, did help generate two of the Oilers’ six goals on the trip with two assists. But he didn’t score a goal and was also minus-8 on the road swing.
Watch McLellan postgame below...
from David Staples of the Cult of Hockey,
Beware of the promise of summer!
That’s the repeated lesson for fans of the Edmonton Oilers, especially when it comes to the team’s search for Top 4 defencemen.
Every spring and summer since at least 2010, the Oilers have signed up a defenceman or two whom team management has hailed as a “Top 4 defenceman.”
A number of these d-men have started out playing decent hockey for the Oilers and a few have even held their own for a time as Top 4 d-men. But not one of them is now a high-performing Top 4 d-man on the team, though Andrej Sekera, the latest signing in the group, certainly is trending in that direction, having a run of good games now that he’s been paired up with rookie Darnell Nurse.
The Oilers have now acquired so many so-called Top 4 defencemen that the roster is full of over-paid but under-performing veterans.
How did the team get into this mess? And what should be the proper response to the run of failure?
from Seth Rorabaugh of Empty Netters,
Malkin was frank when talking about his team's bad start:
"Every game, we start slow. I don't know why. Coach talks before [the] game. First 10 minutes is very important for us. I know we start slow. Couple mistakes. A penalty. It's [2-0 after the first period]. It's not what we want but we talk after [the first period] here in the locker room and start to play better. But it's not our game when we start slow."
-Head coach Mike Johnson disputed that sentiment when Malkin's comments were brought to his attention:
"I disagree with that. I thought a lot of times, we've had some really strong starts. I know going back to the last game we played in Edmonton [Nov. 6] I think it was 15 to 5 shots and we had them on their heels through the first whole period. Tonight, it was a combination of them scoring right away and getting a power play and the first shot of the power play goes in. But I thought through the last half of the first period, I thought we started to take over the game by playing down low. Playing below the circles against them. And that's how we just took advantage of them in the game. I thought we had a lot of good scoring chances. We just missed on our chances. And we're missing on too many chances. The five-on-three [power play] was key a key turning point for me. I thought we had four great chances and we missed the net on three of them."
much more on the Penguins...
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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