Oilers October Review: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
The Oilers officially begin the second month of their season tonight when we take on the Flyers. Let’s do a little recap about how the first month of the season went:
I guarantee the number one name picked for Edmonton boys in 2016 is Connor. McDaddy is currently tied for 11th in NHL scoring this year with 12 points, six points behind last season’s Art Ross winner, Jamie Benn, for the league lead. He’s 18-years-old and looks like he’s played in the league for 10 years. His five goals and seven assists were (more than) enough to make him the Rookie of the Month for October. Hypothetically, has anybody ever won that for every month of the year before?
Taylor Hall has also been exceptional. He leads the team in scoring with 13 points in 12 games, tied for seventh in the league, and his five goals are tied with McDavid for the team lead. Hall was also this week’s third star of the NHL. One of him or McDaddy will only have to face second pairing defenseman every night. That’s criminal.
Nail Yakupov is a couple points behind what Hank has predicted him to rack up this season, but he’s still on pace to shatter his career best single season point total. Amazing what playing with a world class hockey player can do for your career.
Any combination of the Fayne, Gryba, Ference and Sekera abomination we’ve laid on the ice every night. These four have been a train wreck. It’s painful to watch. Suckera can’t shoot, make a pass, or do practically anything productive. This sewage play is highlighted even more by the massive contact we dished him in the summer. Eric Gryba would be a GREAT seven if we had six better guys to play every night. Fuck Mark Fayne and his excel sheets. Andrew Ference has somehow gotten worse than when he used to one-time pucks into our own net.
The goaltending hasn’t been great as well. They haven’t been terrible, just haven’t been great. Cam Talbot’s stats in October have been compared to Scrivens’ October stats from last year:
via FRJohnK @Lowetide 's:
Scrivens In Oct 2014. 898 SV% 25 GA 225 saves
Talbot In Oct 2015. 897 SV% 27 GA 235 saves
— Woodguy (@Woodguy55) November 1, 2015
This is usually not a good thing because Scrivens was a shooter tutor. I’m not willing to jump off the Talbot train just yet. The Oilers had the toughest month of October in the league based on last season, 10 of the 12 games they played were against playoff teams from last year (the other two were Dallas and Los Angeles). In October last year, Scrivens gave up six goals on 29 shots against Arizona.
But still, the Oilers goaltending hasn’t played good enough to win us any games. We’re finally starting to score some goals, we’re going to need Talbot and Nilsson to step up in the pipes and give us a shot at winning or we’ll be out of it all by December, again.
That last game. My God. Michael Frolik became the first player in NHL history to score a hat trick without doing anything skilled. Cam Talbot went full Scrivens, completely blowing a puck playing play and letting in an impossible angle goal in from Saturn. We played the Flames on the second half of THEIR back-to-back, a mere hours after they got their shit blown off by Montreal and still couldn’t win.
Also, our in game entertainment. I couldn’t imagine it being worse than the last five seasons with the Octane but we’re once again in the same ball park. The DJ was playing some AOL dial up tunes during the warm ups on Saturday. Our goal song sounds like an accident. It’s the final year at the Jungle and our intro video looks like it was put together on iMovie. Fuck everything.
The best news about November is we don’t have to play St. Louis. The bad news is November absolutely stinks. About 70 per cent of our games are on the road this month, with only four of the 13 games being played in the Jungle.
Coming out of October 5-7 would have been outstanding, but to be perfectly honest 4-8 is still two wins better than I thought we’d have, especially with Jordan Eberle being out the entire month. The good news is, Matty Ice (and Ebs) will be back in the lineup sometime in the next one or two weeks.
This is an important month for the Oilers. If they can somehow get seven wins during this difficult 13 game stretch, we’re in good shape going into December for the first time since the 12/13 season, when we didn’t play until January. And if not, at least we have McDavid.