BaggedMilk is one of the freaks, very cold freaks, at OilersNation.com. Follow him on Twitter @SBMBaggedMilk. We asked him the same questions as we asked Scott Lewis last week.
Let’s start with something nice and simple. Why do the Oilers blow chunks?
How much time do you have? The biggest problem (and it’s not close) is that their special teams are a complete and utter disaster. Their PK is on pace to be historically bad, and their power play would be about as effective if they all laid down on the ice and cried for two minutes. Neither of those things make any sense either because their special teams were decent last year, but that’s where we’re at. Happy day.
It seems like the Oilers are finally letting Draisaitl play center full-time. How do they solve their winger crisis?
Find a better GM that actually knows what he’s doing in terms of evaluating NHL talent? Can I say that? I mean, the guy traded away virtually all of the scoring wingers on the roster to lay down bets on unproven players, so I don’t know how that problem can be rectified if Chiarelli is going to continuously shoot himself in the foot. The dude seems to love making his own job harder and the idea of him actually fixing a problem without creating another is almost a pipe dream.
What dumbass(es) are they going to end up trading Nugent-Hopkins for?
How dare you even put that out into the universe!? Shame on you. He’s just a child. But seriously, though, I’ve been calling the hopefully-never-gonna-but-probably-will-happen Nugent-Hopkins trade #OperationBrownBananas all season because you just know that if he does actually get moved that it will be for some plug like Cal Clutterbuck or some other corpse from Boston or any other equally annoying return. Why? Because Chiarelli loves cheap grit — That’s why. For some reason, Peter Chiarelli likes to trade skilled guys for bags of empties, and another blown one-for-one deal almost seems more like a foregone conclusion. All I can really hope for is that he either gets fired before doing something dumb or that someone takes his phone and throws it in the ocean because the Oilers are way better off with RNH in their lineup than without him.
Is Darnell Nurse closer to being the new Chris Pronger that we’ve always hoped he’d be?
Whoa, whoa, pump the breaks there, big fella. I’m a big Nurse guy too but I think that he’s still a few trips around the sun away from being anywhere close to Chris Pronger’s ballpark. That said, the guy has made some huge steps forward with his game, this season. He’s defending well, moves the puck effectively, and has played some big minutes. If he can keep progressing then the Oilers could have something special there, but they have to make sure to have some patience with him. Right now, he’s able to handle the tough minutes with no real pressure but if the Oilers dump a truckload of expectations on him then he could be the next Justin Schultz that crumbles under the pressure here only to flourish somewhere else. I have high hopes for Darnell Nurse, but it’s also going to take some time to get there.
The Oilers are eight points out of a playoff spot? Could they save themselves?
I’d donate a nut to the cause if meant the Oilers could make up those extra points. The honest answer is that I have no idea. There are games when the Oilers look like world beaters and others when they look like a team that should be relegated. When the Oilers are on their game, they can be very good. When they’re not, then we all pray that Connor can save us. So can they make the playoffs? Yes, they can. The real question is whether or not they can keep their heads out of their asses consistently enough to make that happen.
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