Ramblings: A Pre-Thanksgiving With All the Fixins

steve laidlaw


Interesting scheduling quirk this week, as the NHL is going dark for American Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving to my friends south of the border! That pushed the entire league into action last night, well all but one with the Blues sitting out. Good riddance I say! I am facing a team in head-to-head with Jaden Schwartz, Brayden Schenn, Alex Steen, Alex Pietrangelo and Colton Parayko. I got steamrolled as hard as the Oilers on Tuesday.

Anyhow, with all that action last night, let’s dive in.


The Oilers busted out some new lines in a bounce-back win over the Red Wings:





Milan Lucic notched an assist to run his scoring streak up to three games. Moving up with McDavid is certainly a bonus and the power forward is on pace for a not-too-shabby 56 points. However, we should note that Lucic was blanked for power play as Patrick Maroon has taken Lucic’s top unit minutes.

Overall, Lucic has two power-play points on the season. Last year he feasted on PPP with 11 goals and 24 points with the man-advantage. That’s the first time in his career that Lucic had ever been a big producer in that phase. Regression was likely.

What to make of Lucic’s 5-on-5 scoring receiving a bump? They’ve insulated him with 60% offensive zone starts. He’s also been skating alongside a productive Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. There is some secondary assist noise here with Lucic registering points on 71% of the Oilers’ goals with him on the ice. He hasn’t traditionally been that involved. I feel comfortable suggesting that if Lucic remains shutout of the power play, he won’t crack 50 points.

Maroon, by the way, hasn’t done much to take advantage of the spike in power play time. Maybe he needs more time, but he has never been much of a power-play producer either. It is telling that neither of the Oilers’ net-front men have scored a power-play goal through 22 games. There are some goals being left on the table. I’m not sure if either Maroon or Lucic will be the ones to take advantage, however.

Drake Caggiula has points in three straight, taking full advantage of being bumped up to play with McDavid in both phases.