SHOOTOUT AT THE O.K. CORRAL

Connor McDavid, as a child, was touched by God—we are so lucky to have him playing in our town. Calgary weeps, and it is good. The Edmonton Oilers brought back the 80s last night and fans were treated to a wide open game. Folks, you aren’t going to make the playoffs doing that every night—but it was a helluva debut for Rogers Place.

  • Todd McLellan: “He was Connor. He was our leader. He had fire in his eyes.” 

THE DONNER PARTY, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers in October 2015: 4-8-0
  • Oilers in October 2016: 1-0-0

Edmonton wins its first home game in thrilling fashion, the hero scores twice—including a penalty shot—and the defensemen racked up points in a way I do not recall in recent Oilers history. The Corsi numbers are coming, via hockeystats.ca, and the spy vs. spy via NaturalStatTrick. Score effects were in play at times during this game.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

defense-last-night

  • Andrej Sekera was terrific to my eye, played a lot (20:43 total) and picked up an assist. The pairings got jumbled after the Davidson injury, but I liked Sekera’s game very much. He faced Gaudreau the most (4:37) at 5×5, going 8-2 Corsi for, and that line was dominating other defensemen.
  • Brandon Davidson played well until an injury (looked like a slewfoot from young Tkachuk to my eye) forced him from the game. BD was solid until then, and was keeping partner Nurse hovering around the .500 mark (I believe Nurse was 9-11 with Davidson) to that point in the game. Faced Sam Bennett the most among forwards (2:54), going 4-4 in Corsi 5×5.
  • Kris Russell played 20:09, had two assists and finished +3. Blocked two shots, had a takeaway and played well in my opinion. He can scoot. Faced Kris Versteeg (5:36) and went 9-5, struggled against other (Bennett-Tkachuk) lines.
  • Adam Larsson was my defenseman of the game, despite the possession number above (remember the score effects). He was very physical, had an assist, was +2 but did have three giveaways again. I like him. He was 5-5 in 7:54 (!!!) against Johnny Gaudreau.
  • Darnell Nurse had a rough trip up the depth chart after the Davidson injury, but looked good until that point in the game (despite the late arrival on the first GA on a broken play). Had an assist on the empty netter. He was 5-8 in 4:42 against Sam Bennett, who had a very good game. He is not going to help this team at 5×5 if he is inside the top 4D.
  • Oscar Klefbom played 24:47, had an assist and two blocked shots. I love his game, not at all surprised he played just shy of 25 minutes. He was 3-8 against Versteeg (in 6:34), that line (with Monahan and Gaudreau) were a complete mitt full.
  • Davidson’s injury is a problem, and likely means someone is coming in, wonder if it is Benning? Oilers need a PP option.
  • Cam Talbot posted a .963 even-strength save percentage and an .889 save percentage on the PK, both numbers look fine to me. I thought he played well, and will place the PP GA (both of them) squarely at the feet of the knuckleheads in front of him.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

forwards-last-night

  • Jordan Eberle scored a goal (EN), had three shots and a lot of power-play time. He looked more engaged last night than in the preseason, fit the line better overall. Could have cashed at least one more goal on a nice play Lucic to McDavid to 14. 8:40 against Giordano, 11-4 Corsi for at 5×5.
  • Connor McDavid was fire. 2-1-3 boxcars, six shots, penalty shot, he was 47 percent on the dot. An amazing player, he drove the Flames crazy all night. 12-4 in 10 minutes against Giordano, and matched up well against the Monahan (12-7) when other lines were getting caved.
  • Jesse Puljujarvi! Scored his first NHL goal late, allowing fans to breathe a little. Very active, had a hit and a takeaway and two shots on goal. Disappeared a little during portions of the game, he is a teenager. Played 4:50 against Dougie Hamilton, going 6-2 5×5 Corsi.
  • Milan Lucic had two shots, six hits, multiple great passes and at least two good chances to score. I think this line is going to be effective (three goals tonight, although Lucic wasn’t involved in any of the scoring) and the big man brings a nice set of skills. 8-4 in 6:40 against Giordano 5×5 Corsi.
  • Patrick Maroon continued his strong exhibition play with an excellent evening. Scored early, four shots on goal and played over 15 effective minutes. He was 6-5 in 5:04 against Dougie Hamilton, I felt he was one of the best forwards on the Oilers.
  • Zack Kassian scored a goal, had three hits and two takeaways—plus 1:29 on the PK. He looks faster this year, and he is just as rugged as in the past. He was 2-5 in 3:34 against Dennis Wideman, I thought he had a good night.
  • Leon Draisaitl impacted the game early on with a fabulous interception and then sent a shot that was tipped for the first goal of the game. Only 33 percent on the dot, he played over 16 minutes in the game, he was 5-5 in 5:10 at 5×5 against Dougie Hamilton.
  • Tyler Pitlick scored the most Pitlicky goal of his career, sending a nice shot to the back of the net before doing a Flying Wallenda into the end boards. Edmonton had a defenseman named Mathieu Roy at the turn of the century, his sorties often looked like those failed liftoffs from Cape Canaveral. Two shots on goal, I thought he performed well—he moved up to the struggling Nuge line at points in the game. 2-7 against Wideman in 4:19.
  • Anton Slepyshev was not effective on the 2line, losing that spot to Pitlick at times during the game. Had two shots on goal and three more attempted that did not get through. He was 1-6 in 4:58 against T.J. Brodie on the one line that needs help (Nuge) for Game 2.
  • Benoit Pouliot did not deliver his usual game, despite playing 16:42 overall. In terms of TOI at evens, his line was the de facto 3line last evening. 1-8 in 4:04 against T.J. Brodie, he needs to have more impact in the next game.
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins did some good things on special teams (he is Dave Keon on the PK), but not much happened at evens and he was 18 percent on the dot. He was 1-7 in 3:49 against T.J. Brodie, with 4-8 in 5:04 against Sam Bennett representing his low ebb at 5×5. Not good enough.
  • Mark Letestu played on a line that featured goals from both wingers, that might not happen again this season. He was 64 percent on the dot, but 1-6 in 4:39 against T.J. Brodie. He was 6-4 against Mikael Backlund in 4:28, caved against pretty much every line.
  • NaturalStatTrick.
  • HockeyStats.ca.

THE POWER PLAY

colbert

Milan Lucic spent 5:29 on the power play last night, despite not holding a strong resume in this area. Look, I am a Lucic fan, believe he can help this team and saw lots of good things from him last night at evens. He is new to the team and the power play is not good—did you see the goalmouth concerto in the moments before the GA?—it is time to change out some players. And maybe bring Matt Benning in as the RH shot.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Darcy McLeod, Because Oilers. McDavid is fire, Nuge runs cold, and the blue blue blue line of the Edmonton Oilers.
  • Tom Fath, FC Edmonton. Eddies are having a helluva season and we will talk about the playoffs, the long build to success and the excitement surrounding the team.
  • Paul Almedia, SSE. A look at Game 1 and what Edmonton has to do in order to tighten up the blue.
  • Jeff Veillette, Leafs Nation. Auston City Limits.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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248 Responses to "SHOOTOUT AT THE O.K. CORRAL"

« Older Comments
  1. Blackwolf says:

    pocession charge:
    There is a wall on Calgary’s blue line that Johnny Gaudreau cannot get past.We cannot see it but it does exist.He’s not a fan of playing defence.

    I remember one play where gudreau had an attempt in our end, looked gassed and ended up on his knees. Oilers breakout and lucic ends up with a quality chance that Elliott stopped at the other end.
    When they showed the replay of the lucic shot from the goalies pov you could still see Johnny on his knees in the Oilers end. Nice back check there.

  2. Lowetide says:

    You guys worry about revenge, I want the two points Friday night.

  3. jimmers2 says:

    Blackwolf,

    Also (but not quite) in picture.

  4. Side says:

    Admiral Ackbar:
    Davidson is expected to be out ‘a while’ according to MacT. Larsson missed practice for ‘maintenance’.

    Daryl better light up Tkachuk friday. Then Lucic. Then Kassian. Then Maroon. Send the message. The Oilers will not be slew-footed and they will not be victims of dirty plays.

    Think Big Joe on Kessler after Kessler ran Weber in the game before at the WCH.

    Thank you for giving me the image of Daryl Katz lacing up tomorrow for the sole purpose of taking runs at Tkachuk.

    “Don’t **** with my team, Matthew!”

  5. Side says:

    Blackwolf: Johnny on his knees

    That may be my new favorite nickname for Johnny.

  6. Younger Oil says:

    Oilspill:
    Actually I hope it not a fight but a smoking body check that lights tkatchuk up.

    I don’t care what they do to Tkachuk, as long as after they do it, the only thing he’ll be able to eat for the next three months is soup through a straw.

  7. stevezie says:

    Revenge is a normal enough thing to want, but y’all realise this sudden obsession over Tkachuk is the ultimate compliment to him?

    Nurse is coming off an off game, and isn’t so big it’ll seem weird. I expect he challenges him. I hope he wins, because I am an imperfect man. That’s about it.

  8. SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo! says:

    Lowetide,

    Last week WoodGuy shows up with his “rational analysis” during the Versteeg blow up and now LT chimes in very Dungy-esgue with the “we play to win the game” mantra, which once again ruins our pitchfork sharpening party.

    You two need to stop using sober arguments around here.

  9. Lois Lowe says:

    Not once last night did I think, “Boy, they could use Yakupov going offside right now or Versteeg.”

  10. Yeti says:

    My goodness, do some people need to calm their tits.

  11. frjohnk says:

    Lowetide:
    You guys worry about revenge, I want the two points Friday night.

    Yup.

    I’m sure the Oilers took notice of young Upchuck.

    But the Oilers need to be smart about addressing this issue. Calgary has a few players who can make the Oilers pay on the scoreboard very quickly if the Oilers were to get into penalty trouble to get some revenge.

    The 2 points is the number 1 goal tomorrow. But if the opportunity arises for a bone crushing or scrap against young Upchuck (so it doesn’t come at a cost, penalty , suspension)I’d be OK with that too.

  12. Frank the dog says:

    Alpine: Raitis Ivanans? He played a few seasons for LA before going to Calgary.

    You are more than correct. In fact he played for the Canadiens before he joined the Kings; it was with the Canadiens that he broke his orbital bone in a fight with Zdeno Chara. He was concussed against SMac. He was then sent down to the AHL affiliate, I thought he had been called up to fight SMac but that was not the case. I think tha tpunch from SMac pretty much ended his hockey career.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raitis_Ivan%C4%81ns

  13. Frank the dog says:

    Lowetide:
    You guys worry about revenge, I want the two points Friday night.

    Aren’t the two linked? If they don’t take care of business, then they will have less 2 point games.

  14. GMB3 says:

    delooper,

    Bryantt Myhres?

  15. stephen sheps says:

    Lowetide:
    You guys worry about revenge, I want the two points Friday night.

    something something old klingon proverb something something

    (I wonder if a win was what Khan had in mind…)

  16. Hall of Shame says:

    Lowetide:
    You guys worry about revenge, I want the two points Friday night.

    Flames would be perfectly happy to settle for 2 more of our D out. Chia was pretty clear in the offseason that we need D to make the playoffs.

  17. Lowetide says:

    Frank the dog: Aren’t the two linked? If they don’t take care of business, then they will have less 2 point games.

    No. Revenge is losing focus, winning is winning.

  18. stevezie says:

    Lois Lowe:
    Not once last night did I think, “Boy, they could use Yakupov going offside right now or Versteeg.”

    And as long as no one gets hurt and Puljujarvi continues to score on shots the goalie should save, you never will.

  19. LMHF#1 says:

    who: Look, the Bertuzzi hit was over the top. I agree. But yeah the hit on naslund would have resulted in a suspension today. He targeted the head, pure and simple.
    My point is that Steve Moore had already established a pattern of similar hits before the naslund incident. Go back and look at some Colorado game tapes of that season if you don’t believe me.

    Yeah…we’re not going to be able to agree here. Not a chance.

  20. flyfish1168 says:

    Does anyone know if the Oilers are looking to the league for disciplinary action on Tkachuk? I do believe the league has to be watching if there will be retribution.

  21. wheatnoil says:

    On Nurse:

    Pouzar posted my stats from last night, which showed Nurse looking pretty good. (Thanks for posting that Pouzar! I meant to but it was late and I was trying to keep up on Twitter.) I, myself, thought Nurse had a good game but a couple points.

    We need to acknowledge that Nurse had a poor corsi-rel that game, and his corsi was poor even adjusting for score-effects (42.1% score-adjusted corsi last game, which was second worst among D).

    We also need to acknowledge G Money’s Danger Fenwick numbers, which also shows Nurse had by far the worse DFA / 60.

    How do I put all this together?

    I think Nurse did a good job defending the blue line and forcing dump ins. He recovered pucks off dump ins very well. He made some good in zone passes. He did not make even one Zone Exit pass. Instead, all 3 of his controlled zone exits were by carrying it out. That was an ongoing concern even last year. He relies heavily on his wheels to get the puck out over longer breakout passes.

    That said, while inside his own zone, he had a few weak moments and let up some high danger scoring chances and Calgary offensive flurries. That’s going to tank your corsi and your DFA in a small sample size of a game.

    Since i’m looking closely during the game for the stats I’m tracking, I tend to rely on them heavily for my impression of the player. I think that’s natural when you’re looking closely for a few things. It doesn’t necessarily paint the whole picture.

    So I think the tracking stats I measured showed Darnell’s strengths last game. Meanwhile, his corsi and DFA show his weaknesses.

  22. who says:

    LMHF#1: Yeah…we’re not going to be able to agree here. Not a chance.

    Fair enough.

  23. jimmers2 says:

    Drew,

    I was at that game, strangely enough. Brown and Grimsson were jawing, Brown was the more aggressive. As I recall he was angry about fighting Grimsson when not quite ready and perhaps even lost on points. He wasn’t waiting for Grimsson to say yes, Brown dropped the gloves and went at Grimsson straight away, I think one of Grimsson’s gloves stayed on his hands for an odd second too long as a hand was swollen from fighting too much. Brown had a couple of undefended shots and the advantage the rest of way, landing lots of big punches to Grimsson’s face. The tall tree fell. Brown was a seriously cold dude in a fight and utterly dangerous. Anton Chigurh for ’90’s hockey. I seem to recall the cheering crowd hushing afterward. Grimsson must have been tough as well as strong as he got up and went to the box but he was in a bad way.

  24. Doug McLachlan says:

    Gregor, over on Oilers Nation, is reporting that Larsson was out today as a maintenance day so reason to hope he is good to go tomorrow.

    Also sounds like Kassian will replace Shlepyshev on RNH’s right wing. I’m ok with this.

    That gives us:

    Lucic – McDavid – Eberle
    Pouliot – RNH – Kassian
    Maroon – Draisaitl – Puljujarvi
    Pitlick – Letestu – Shlepyshev

    Klefbom – Larsson
    Russell – Sekera
    Nurse – Gryba
    Fayne

    Talbot

    Not how I would deploy them but I do like that big line of Maroon – Leon – JP.

    Also, really like that the plan seems to be rolling with all NHL d-men.

    Agree that the PP will need to find a way to work a Benning into the line-up but for now I’d be satisfied with defensive competency at this point.

  25. kooler says:

    Lowetide:
    You guys worry about revenge, I want the two points Friday night.

    Can this be sent to player safety for the NHL to handle …both the late high hit on Larson and the Davidson slew foot?

  26. Jethro Tull says:

    Lowetide: No. Revenge is losing focus, winning is winning.

    Tickle us, do we not laugh? Prick us, do we not bleed? Wrong us, shall we not revenge?

    General Chang.

  27. Doug McLachlan says:

    It would appear that the Flames will not gift us the same defense set-up on Friday.

    Pat Steinberg
    ✔ ‎@Fan960Steinberg

    #Flames pairings are: Giordano-Brodie; Hamilton-Jokipakka; Wideman-Engelland; Kulak-Grossmann

    11:38 AM – 13 Oct 2016

  28. commonfan14 says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!: ast week WoodGuy shows up with his “rational analysis” during the Versteeg blow up and now LT chimes in very Dungy-esgue with the “we play to win the game” mantra

    That was Herm Edwards.

  29. stephen sheps says:

    Jethro Tull: Tickle us, do we not laugh? Prick us, do we not bleed? Wrong us, shall we not revenge?

    General Chang.

    wonderful, I am pleased I’m not the only one to make a trek reference w.r.t revenge, but you went with the obscure while I went with the obvious….

    In space, all warriors are cold warriors….

  30. Zelepukin says:

    This looks like it’s shaping up to be another year of everyone arguing like madmen in training camp/pre-season with regards to who stays up/goes down, who plays with who and it takes all of 1 game to remind us that because Oilers, injuries happens and perfect line-ups do not exist.

  31. Alpine says:

    Frank the dog: You are more than correct. In fact he played for the Canadiens before he joined the Kings; it was with the Canadiens that he broke his orbital bone in a fight with Zdeno Chara. He was concussed against SMac. He was then sent down to the AHL affiliate, I thought he had been called up to fight SMac but that was not the case. I think tha tpunch from SMac pretty much ended his hockey career.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raitis_Ivan%C4%81ns

    Yeah, It looks like he stayed with CGY for another year and gave the KHL a try and that was it.

  32. leadfarmer says:

    Doug McLachlan,

    They will gift us Elliott again though.

  33. Jethro Tull says:

    leadfarmer:
    Doug McLachlan,

    They will gift us Elliott again though.

    ET was adamant Elliott got the start.

  34. digger50 says:

    Excuse me as I join the comments without viewing the previous 200.

    Tachuck represents a problem for the Oilers. They talked about being bigger, tougher, hard to play against. Now they need to deliver and a rookie should be a small bump in the road.

    Fighting today is a good way to break your hand so sure but use caution. I thought Kassian last night showed great restraint to stay out of the box

    Feeding your opponent a steady diet of good hard crunching hits with a side order of cross checks will put the bruise count up. They don’t like it, then a fight may be in order. Gryba is good at this.

    They need to run over Tachuck like he’s just an afterthought, get it done early, then take advantage of a shaky rookie worried about hi9 game tryout.

  35. SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo! says:

    commonfan14,

    See how focused I was on my pitchfork! Couldn’t even keep my SportsCenter “Angriest Coach Rants” coaches in order.

  36. Madtown Oil says:

    LT, Larsson looked good to me too, but made two poor decisions going for (and missing) the puck, instead of the man, leading to dangerous odd man situations. Concerning?

    Could it be argued that if Elliott played well it would have been Calgary 4 CMD 3. Ebbs added little to that line IMHO…and I think that the RNH line misses him to help create chances 5×5. Is this line up going to have trouble finding two scoring lines?–didn’t look like it last night, to my eye.

  37. Woodguy says:

    fifthcartel:
    The Oilers have a Darnell Nurse problem.

    and they have turned down more than one deal for a RHD for him.

  38. Woodguy says:

    npanciroli:
    Woodguy,

    Turned off safe search.

    *polite golf clap*

  39. Woodguy says:

    russ99,

    Nurse is 21 and he played a good, tough game last night that showed improvement from last year. We should be overjoyed.

    At least 4 of those word don’t mean what you think they mean.

  40. Jethro Tull says:

    Madtown Oil:
    LT, Larsson looked good to me too, but made two poor decisions going for (and missing) the puck, instead of the man, leading to dangerous odd man situations. Concerning?

    Could it be argued that if Elliott played well it would have been Calgary 4 CMD 3. Ebbs added little to that line IMHO…and I think that the RNH line misses him to help create chances5×5. Is this line up going to have trouble finding two scoring lines?–didn’t look like it last night, to my eye.

    Could also be argued that if Talbot had played well and we hadn’t given up two shorties then it would have been 3-1 Oilers.

  41. Yeti says:

    Doug McLachlan: Shlepyshev

    You spelled Schlepyshev incorrectly.

  42. Woodguy says:

    rickithebear: Tkachuk so pissed me off I need a Rain man /manual paper session till 2 a.m. to calm down.

    -Sports net’s shot charts.
    – visual confirmation of shots to se if close x,y
    – langes shot success values for x,y position.
    this is one cumulative data set.

    – visual confirmation of net elevation location for shots.
    – shot success rate by net elevationlocation and hole openness.
    this is a 2nd cumulative data set.

    – took both
    – confirmed if close
    – took the average.

    Anger may have affected the visual confirmation process late at night.

    Didn’t know Sportsnet did net charts.

    Do you have a link?

  43. Woodguy says:

    Lois Lowe:
    Not once last night did I think, “Boy, they could use Yakupov going offside right now or Versteeg.”

    That’s because you weren’t trying.

  44. Woodguy says:

    wheatnoil,

    So I think the tracking stats I measured showed Darnell’s strengths last game. Meanwhile, his corsi and DFA show his weaknesses.

    That’s fair.

    Natural stat trick now how Scoring Chances For/Against/Rel and High Danger Scoring Chances For/Against/Rel.

    Last night’s Dmen:

    Scoring Chances against:

    Player SCA
    Kris Russell 0
    Adam Larsson 1
    Andrej Sekera 2
    Brandon Davidson 4
    Oscar Klefbom 5
    Darnell Nurse 8

    High Danger Scoring Chances Against:
    Player HDCA
    Kris Russell 0
    Adam Larsson 0
    Andrej Sekera 1
    Oscar Klefbom 1
    Brandon Davidson 3
    Darnell Nurse 5

    There’s no hiding from these numbers.

    Interesting fact.

    Among the top two pairs last night:
    Klef-Larsson
    Sekera-Russell

    They allowed NO HDSCA.

    None.

    Nurse-Davidson allowed 3

    Nurse – Klef allowed 1

    Nurse – Sekera allowed 1

    I sense a pattern…….

  45. theres oil in virginia says:

    Jethro Tull: Tickle us, do we not laugh? Prick us, do we not bleed? Wrong us, shall we not revenge?

    General Chang.

    Sorry, but continuing the theme from this morning, I read this as “Pitlick us, do we not bleed?”

  46. fuzzy muppet says:

    Frank the dog,

    It’s very sad to think that that evening(along with Gagners 8 point night and Yaks knee slide) are the high points in the last decade! An entire quarter of my life watching bad, bad hockey.

    Oh lord I need some winning hockey soon.

  47. VanIsleOil says:

    Yeti,

    Doug McLachlan: Shlepyshev

    You spelled Schlepyshev incorrectly.

    “Chop wood, Schlep water” – Dallas Eakins

  48. Professor Q says:

    Lowetide: No. Revenge is losing focus, winning is winning.

    Winning is the best revenge in hockey.

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