Thoughts on the Oilers: RNH, Winning/Losing Streak and Defence + Radio Hit

Joined Lowetide this morning on TSN 1260 to discuss the Oilers. Always enjoy chatting with Allan.

Couple of notes:

  • I did see the winning streak as a bit of a mirage. Don’t get me wrong, it was a lot of fun, especially that Friday night win against the Rangers on home ice. But the fact that the club was getting outshot and outchanced, and that the goaltending numbers were slightly above their season average, made me skeptical. The other issue is that the Oilers needed overtime and shootout frequently in that winning stretch to close out games. Good teams are able to close out games in regulation. If you keep putting yourself in luck-driven scenarios, you can expect to eventually get burnt.
  • The Klefbom loss is significant for the Oilers. Corey Travers over at Copper & Blue looked into just  how good Klefbom has been this season and where his underlying numbers are at.
  • Looks like the RNH trade rumours are flaring up again. Funny how it tends to coincide with a losing streak. While I completely agree that the Oilers need a legitimate defenceman to play minutes and contribute on special teams, I don’t think it should come at the price of RNH. The guy is playing against the best players every night, allowing Draisaitl and Hall with some lighter minutes, especially on home ice. And if you trade him, who exactly would replace RNH? Dmitri Filopovic had a great defence piece a few weeks ago when the rumors were picking up. Highly recommend it.
  • To be honest, I do not see the Oilers making any moves to bolster the defence core during the season. Really, what would be the point? The team will have cap space in the off season and won’t be pressured to tinker with their core.
  • If you’re interested, Ryan Stimson over at Hockey Graphs put together a series of posts last week that looked into the passing data that he and his group of volunteers collected. The data from a sample of games is available now. Definitely something to keep an eye on going forward.
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