Every Monday, Oilers radio colour analyst and Oilers Now
host Bob Stauffer answers questions submitted by fans about the team.
- At your expert sense, the bottom line of the Edmonton Oilers we know is finding their game, the defense aspect or offense aspect, I have a feeling they found it against montreal, which was to pressure the opposing team's offense to make a mistake and then use it to fire up the offense. Do you think this "Eastern teams rally" help them decide which side of the game to play(defense or offense)? -Thank You
-- Kyle in Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, Quebec
I think it is fair to say at this point in the season that the Edmonton Oilers are still trying to find their game and define who they are.
At 4-6-1 it is clear they are a work in progress.
Other than the opening night against Calgary in which Edmonton outshot the Flames 40-26, including 25-11 through the first two periods, I am not sure you can say that the team has imposed their will on an opposition team all season.
Are the Oilers an offensive team? Are they a defensive team?
The highest the Oilers have finished in goals for over the last few seasons was 19th in 2012-13, not sure that qualifies them as an offensive team. I think we all know the challenges the team has had over the last few seasons in terms of giving up too many goals.
Eventually, my hope is the Oilers become a top-10 offensive team in the NHL.
It will be very interesting to see who steps up for the Oilers on the upcoming five-game road trip given the massive absence of the one consistent offensive threat the team has had over the last few seasons with Taylor Hall out two to four weeks with an MCL sprain. With the Oil's recent play and all four wins coming against the east, would you classify the Oil as a playoff team IF for say they were in the eastern conference? Or would they be in the same boat as they are in the West as a weaker team?
-- Shane in Grande Prairie
Whatever happened to the cheesy bar “Jiggers on the Wave” I think it was in Grande Prairie Inn?
The split says it all:
- 0-6-1 against the West
- 4-0 against the East
Last season Western-based teams played at roughly a 100-point pace against the East, and Eastern-based teams played at around an 85-point pace vs. the West. The average should be at around 92.5.
Coaches can’t say it, but the numbers speak for themselves. The West is a far better Conference than the East.
In my opinion, the the only team in the East kind of built like the big boys in West (LA, San Jose, St. Louis to name three) might be Boston and they are going to spend the next several weeks without Zdeno Chara.
Strength down the middle: centre, defence and goaltending separates the West from the East.
No question in my opinion that the Oilers would be further down the road in terms of competing for a playoff spot if they were in the Eastern Conference.
Do you believe that Klefbom and Nurse will be ready to play in the NHL next year?
-- Ahmed in Mississauga
With Oscar Klefbom’s recall on Sunday I guess it is safe to say we are about to find out if the 19th overall pick in 2011 NHL Draft is ready for prime time. He had a stellar start to the AHL season registering 1-6-7 in 6 GP with a +7. Klefbom should be a steady top-four D long term who I think will develop more offence over time. By all reports, he was a man amongst boys to start the AHL season.
Darnell Nurse is a more dynamic player than Klefbom in my opinion.
The seventh overall pick from the 2013 NHL Draft has probably tried to do too much for his junior team the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds since returning to the OHL after playing two games for the Oilers. He has 2-4-6 in 5 GP, but is a -5.
I would say Klefbom would be a permanent fixture on the Oilers D no later than the start of the 2015-16 season and Nurse a full-time Oiler no later than the start of the 2016-17 season. Bob Stauffer is Colour Analyst on the Oilers Radio Network and Hosts “Oilers Now” each day Noon to 2:00 PM Monday thru Friday on 630 CHED and you can follow him on Twitter at @Bob_Stauffer