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Allow Anonymous Posting forum... Edmonton
 Oilers lock a playoff spot. How did this happen? Allow Anonymous Users Reply to This Topic...
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leigh
Moderator



Canada
1715 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2017 :  10:55:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
First time in the playoffs in 10 years! That is hard to believe, unless you're an Oilers fan, then it probably feels pretty real. But how did this happen?

It's been an interesting series of events in the last 2 years. Here are a few critical ones:

- April 2015 - the Oilers ownership finally realized they needed a new perspective in the GM role and went out and got Peter Chiarelli.
- May 2015 - they hired Todd McLellan as the head coach.
- April 18th - Oilers win Draft lottery (4th time in the last 6!)
- June 2015 - Draft Connor McDavid (the next Crosby? Maybe better?)
-June 2015 - Pick up Cam Talbot from Rangers
- June 2016 - Trade Taylor Hall (arguably their only true #1 pick of the 3 prior to McDavid)
- October 2016 - McDavid named Captain
- March 2017 - Oilers make the playoff for the fist time in 10 years

Yes there are a lot of gaps in that timeline and I'm sure some credit is due elsewhere (defense?) At any rate, I think you can spread the credit around a bit here; Chiarelli, McLellan, McDavid and Talbot. Now I've always believed that coaching and management are important and they have to make the right moves at the right time, and these two did just that BUT at the end of the day it's the player's on the ice that ultimately win you the game. So having have your # 1 goalie truly be your number 1 goalie is one of the big differences this season - and what a work horse with the highest minutes in the game. But you could argue that because there were at least 10 starting goalies with better GAA`s and Sv% that Cam Talbot wasn't that much of a standout. No?

What then? No question in my mind that without Connor McDavid in this line up (and Hall back in) the Oilers don't make it, or barely squeak into 8th spot. Having the #1 forward in the league show up day in and day out can't be overstated. Hall is a great player but McDavid is next level. As demonstrated in the assist category, he just makes players better. After 6 futile years with the Oilers, Hall didn't have that quality at the same level as McDavid. Again, don't get me wrong, this is no slight against Hall, this is just to show how much difference a truly elite all-around player can make on your team.

So putting this in order of importance for the Oilers:
1) McDavid
2) Talbot
3) Chiarelli (although I'd put him in a tie with Talbot)
4) McLellan

Ok, now tell me how it was the defensive core who were really the difference makers. The ones that allowed the Talbot to have the highest shots on goal in the league

Beans15
Moderator



Canada
8275 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2017 :  11:09:51  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It might be fitting that I am the first to respond to this message and I have had to toil along with this terribly mismanaged team for far too long. Had I not already been fighting a cold I would likely be ill today for different reasons. Last night's win was a long time coming.

As far as the comments from Leigh, he really hit it on all topics. Having a legit #1 goalie is certainly important to the success of any team and Talbot has been brilliant. McDavid is the straw that mixes the drink in Edmonton. They really are nothing without him. But ultimately, the change in leadership is the most important change that make the Oilers more likely to be perennial contenders for years to come. The Oilers, since the early days of the 80's, always hired from within. For the better part of the past 20 years, the Oilers have had Kevin Lowe and Craig MacTavish (in various capacities) running the team. That had some early success as Sather left them in a pretty good spot but over time they tossed that all away. Since those gentlemen have been pushed out of positions of authority in the past few years, and non-Oiler leadership has been brought it, the tide completely shifted. That's not only Chiarelli and McLennan but also Bob Nichols and literally everyone in between. New scouting, new trainers, new literally everything. The entirfront office changed. The Oilers had a culture of losing for years and they had to go out and bring in leadership that were not from the old boys club and had a history of winning. That, above everything else, is the reason why the Oilers are playoff bound rather than golf course bound.




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JOSHUACANADA
PickupHockey Veteran



Canada
2251 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2017 :  11:09:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think in order of importance

Hall and Yakopov gone, #1
Adam Larsson, Kris Russel in, #2
McDavid Healthy #3
Talbot very good #4
Mclelland coaching #5
Chiarelli Gm'ing #6

There is no playoffs in my opinion with Hall and Yakopov in the lineup. I can't state how much Hall and Yakopov's me me attitude affected this team. Replacing them with middle 6 defenseman fixed what was ailing Edmonton. You might think that was defensive depth, but I actually think it was effort and attitude. McDavid might have made enough of a difference last year to vault them a few positions in the standings if he had played the full year, but not even he would have been enough last year for them to make the playoffs. Talbot played good last year, but better this year. Mclelland has made gains this year in getting the team to buy into a better defensive system, but it still has holes. Chiarelli deserves some credit for moving Hall and Yakopov, but his return was poor in my estimation. The results might prove otherwise, but he should have been able to get more for both Hall and Yakopov, or traded another player for just the returns he got (players such as RNH or Eberle)
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JOSHUACANADA
PickupHockey Veteran



Canada
2251 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2017 :  11:10:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Beans15

It might be fitting that I am the first to respond to this message and I have had to toil along with this terribly mismanaged team for far too long. Had I not already been fighting a cold I would likely be ill today for different reasons. Last night's win was a long time coming.

As far as the comments from Leigh, he really hit it on all topics. Having a legit #1 goalie is certainly important to the success of any team and Talbot has been brilliant. McDavid is the straw that mixes the drink in Edmonton. They really are nothing without him. But ultimately, the change in leadership is the most important change that make the Oilers more likely to be perennial contenders for years to come. The Oilers, since the early days of the 80's, always hired from within. For the better part of the past 20 years, the Oilers have had Kevin Lowe and Craig MacTavish (in various capacities) running the team. That had some early success as Sather left them in a pretty good spot but over time they tossed that all away. Since those gentlemen have been pushed out of positions of authority in the past few years, and non-Oiler leadership has been brought it, the tide completely shifted. That's not only Chiarelli and McLennan but also Bob Nichols and literally everyone in between. New scouting, new trainers, new literally everything. The entirfront office changed. The Oilers had a culture of losing for years and they had to go out and bring in leadership that were not from the old boys club and had a history of winning. That, above everything else, is the reason why the Oilers are playoff bound rather than golf course bound.






you beat me by 6 seconds Beans
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just1n
PickupHockey Pro



276 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2017 :  16:40:59  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
McDavid was 9 years old last year the Oilers made the playoffs... whoa.
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ryan93
PickupHockey Pro



Canada
955 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2017 :  18:08:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
First off, as a Rangers fan who following the 1997 playoffs had to wait until 2006 for another playoff game, I feel for Oilers fans. It must be an exciting time to see the team finally turning the corner.

I think it's really a combination of everything you listed Leigh. Connor McDavid has come exactly as advertised, as has Leon Draisaitl. Management/coaching has been a fresh, welcoming change from the Lowe/McTavish regime. Cam Talbot has been excellent. I was a little sceptical leaving NYC of his ability to be a #1, and he had a rough start as an Oiler. He has proven this season that he can carry the load and has solidified their goaltending.

Although I was hoping for more from Jodan Eberle (his 16 goals through 76 games is disappointing), they have a pretty balanced attack. While McDavid & Draisaitl drive much of the offence, Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Patrick Maroon, Milan Lucic, and Mark Letestu all have at least 15 goals.
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leigh
Moderator



Canada
1715 Posts

Posted - 03/30/2017 :  09:55:05  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Beans and other Oiler fans, I'm interested in hearing what you think of the Oilers defense?

Is Larsson living up to his billing? Is there enough scoring in that lineup? What weaknesses will need filling this summer? How did Talbot end up with soooo many shots against?
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leigh
Moderator



Canada
1715 Posts

Posted - 03/30/2017 :  09:59:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by just1n

McDavid was 9 years old last year the Oilers made the playoffs... whoa.

Damn! There's some context on how long it's been.
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Beans15
Moderator



Canada
8275 Posts

Posted - 03/30/2017 :  11:05:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ok, so a couple of things. Firstly, Taylor Hall's attitude was not great and that's apparent now more than when he was a player here. But let's not forget his on-ice contributions and had Draisaitl and Maroon not stepped up his loss would have been felt a lot more than it was.I may be a minority, but I think the Oilers would have been a better team with Hall and I think he is a completely different player on a winning team. He's not the guy to change that culture, but he has been an excellent player on very goods teams he has played on in the past (Windsor, Team Canada for world championship). Yakupov is an unfortunately soul who's work ethic and talent never translated to the ice. It's too bad because the kid did really love the game but I think the Oilers ruined him forever.

To answer the question of the defense, Larsson and Russell (as well as Kelfbom being healthy) gave the Oilers something they haven't had since Pronger left that that is depth. Last year, guys like Sekera, Shultz had to play in roles they had no business playing. Now, there are legit offensive and defensive defensemen and enough of each to have everyone playing the roles they should be playing. They still aren't fantastic defensively as shown by the shots against totals they have, but they were a new group at the start of the year. I don't have time to do the numbers but I would anecdotally suggest they are better defensively today than at the start of the year. Also, McLennan knows the team he has and the team he doesn't have. The Oilers are not going to beat many teams shutting them down but will beat many teams by unleashing the horses offensively. They will give up shots to get shots. Not saying that's it's likely for them to see a ton of playoff success where defense is more important but they are they team they are and McLennan is not trying to turn them into a team they are not as the other 7 coaches in the past 10 years have tried to do.

At this point, I can see the Oilers making noise, maybe winning a round in the playoffs, but the like of Chicago and Anaheim are more seasoned and better teams top to bottom. I don't see the Oilers getting past either of those teams. I see the Oilers as likely winners against Nashville or Calgary, and I would say even money against Minnesota and San Jose.


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slozo
Moderator



Canada
4785 Posts

Posted - 03/31/2017 :  08:44:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Love that Leafs logo Beans

Congrats to Oilers fans - glad to have a Canadian team back in the playoffs. *


*NOTE: The only reason I can say this as a Leafs fan is that we have Auston Matthews. Before drafting Matthews, I would have had to mention my disgust / horror / fiery rage at McDavid going to the Oilers instead of the Leafs. I would have brought up the numbered balls, how before the last ball fell, the Leafs had the best chance at getting McDavid, but somehow the Oilers came up with it; and I would definitely have to mention all the #1 picks, bad drafting choices, and previous amazing history with Gretz and Mess et al as being a prerequisite for shutting the hell up about having any angst whatsoever.

But that's all water under the bridge now. With Matthews, and by extension Marner and Nylander, all those dark, evil thoughts have mostly left me. I'm all better now, and wish only the 2nd best for all other Canadian teams (minus the Habs obviously).





Don't Leaf me hanging, Buds!
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Beans15
Moderator



Canada
8275 Posts

Posted - 04/03/2017 :  11:27:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
There, that's better!

I think the Leafs have some of the same positive traits the Oilers do. They needed to clean out some of the residual impacts of the previous regime and they did a full scale change in their front office. Now, not only with some talented players and coaching, but also a more positive culture they are far more likely to success than in the past. I see TO as a threat to the next Oilers Dynasty and I couldn't say that before last year.

Slozo, I am very happy to hear you are happy to have Matthews. Get used to having the 2nd best of everything and the Oilers having the best.

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leigh
Moderator



Canada
1715 Posts

Posted - 04/03/2017 :  11:58:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by slozo

Love that Leafs logo Beans

Congrats to Oilers fans - glad to have a Canadian team back in the playoffs. *


*NOTE: The only reason I can say this as a Leafs fan is that we have Auston Matthews. Before drafting Matthews, I would have had to mention my disgust / horror / fiery rage at McDavid going to the Oilers instead of the Leafs. I would have brought up the numbered balls, how before the last ball fell, the Leafs had the best chance at getting McDavid, but somehow the Oilers came up with it; and I would definitely have to mention all the #1 picks, bad drafting choices, and previous amazing history with Gretz and Mess et al as being a prerequisite for shutting the hell up about having any angst whatsoever.

But that's all water under the bridge now. With Matthews, and by extension Marner and Nylander, all those dark, evil thoughts have mostly left me. I'm all better now, and wish only the 2nd best for all other Canadian teams (minus the Habs obviously).




LOL! that was a great therapy session Slozo. Feels good to let go, eh?
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Alex116
PickupHockey Legend



6097 Posts

Posted - 04/03/2017 :  17:20:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The only part I'm surprised with really, is the success Talbot has had. I sure hope they've not burned him out with all the minutes he's been played! I'll be the first to admit, I didn't see him being a true #1 and thought, oh no, have the Oilers messed up with Dubnyk? Happy for them Talbot has played very well.

I like Beans' analogy of their playoff chances. That's not to say I'd wager they beat Calgary and / or lose to Anaheim, but that's what I'd lean to if I were betting.

To the Oilers fans, and likely the Leaf ones too, enjoy the playoffs! Yikes, I hope I didn't just jinx Toronto.

Or do I?
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