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G36: Panthers @ Oilers - From Within

January 20, 2022, 3:29 PM ET [111 Comments]
Sean Maloughney
Edmonton Oilers Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
For better or worse this team is going to need to try and figure things out for themselves. Evander Kane isn't coming, either at all or any time soon. Dave Tippett will continue to be the coach even though he hasn't won a game since December 1st, and Ken Holland is enjoying a vacatio.... I mean scouting in California.

A couple days ago we heard about how uptempo the Oilers practice was. The whole team took part in battle drills, with Nurse and McDavid leading the way and getting praised by their teammates for doing so. Every media person kept saying it was the most physical practice the Oilers have had all year. My question to that...

Why?

Why has it taken the team over four months of play to start practicing with that kind of intensity. I understand that it isn't feasible to practice to that degree all the time, especially during the heavier parts of the schedule but the Oilers really haven't had a heavy schedule yet. Why has it taken this long to run a practice like this? Add this to the increasingly long list of reasons why Dave Tippett is not the right coach for this team.

I've been told I am too negative so I'll do my best to provide some fans a glimmer of hope before we return to the regular scheduled programming of "why Edmonton is floundering." Over the past two months the Oilers are getting PDO'd a bit. PDO is a combination of on-ice save percentage and on-ice shooting percentage. It's the closest thing to a luck stat. Basically the number should add up to 100%. Teams that are over 100 are likely running into a bit of puck luck and will regress while teams below 100 are probably running into some bad luck and not getting some of the goals that they should be. Since the start of December, the Oilers have the third worse PDO in the NHL at 0.972. The stats suggest eventually things should start to balance out which would equal more goals going in for the Oilers.

That isn't to say things will just magically fix themselves. The team as a whole needs to commit to team defense in a way we haven't yet seen this season, the depth guys need to show up more and most importantly, the top guys need to start earning their paychecks. Puljujarvi has one goal in his last 12 and Hyman has no goals in that time. Both players are doing some good things on the ice but at the end of the day they are being paid to score goals.

Tonight Brendan Perlini will get a look with Connor McDavid. Perlini has 4 points (3-1-4) in his last 5 games and has done so averaging less than 10 minutes a night and with other depth players. I don't have an issue with Perlini getting the bump right now because he is playing well and it's at least something different for Dave Tippett to try.

We could see some shuffling though because as I am writing this it appears that Zack Hyman will miss the game tonight. Likely due to COVID.

William Lagesson was sent down and cleared waivers to do so. There has been some animosity between the organization and the player/agent and I wouldn't be surprised to see Lagesson included in a trade at some point before the end of this season. If he is packaged in, it wouldn't be for much (anything of note) since 31 other teams just had an opportunity to take him for free and didn't.

Remember that time when Bill Zito, current GM of one of the top teams in the NHL interviewed for the Oilers GM position but Bob Nicholson decided instead to go with Ken Holland who hadn't won anything in two decades? Good times.

The NHL has announced a number of rescheduled postponed games which means the Oilers are going to have to play a bunch of games packed together in February and March. Things are only going to get tougher for this team. The Pacific Division as a whole has slowed down over the past month meaning the Oilers can still make the playoffs but they need to get to work right now.
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