G2 2016-17: OILERS AT FLAMES

The Edmonton Oilers entertained the hometown fans with the best opener since Eberle’s magic fall 2010, but that was yesterday, and yesterday’s gone. Tonight, the rubber hits the road, and a win is the most important thing. Right?

THE END OF THE WORLD, YEAR OVER YEAR

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

The Edmonton Oilers entered this season with (I believe) five defensemen who could reasonably be counted on to play NHL hockey at par—depending on usage. Oscar Klefbom, Adam Larsson, Andrej Sekera, Mark Fayne and Brandon Davidson—in my opinion—formed a reasonable group of five, and Darnell Nurse among others would provide depth. Edmonton added Kris Russell and Eric Gryba—hey, the more the merrier and I know the numbers on both men—and that looks better than one year ago. Right?

The Brandon Davidson injury is a bitter pill, because that third pairing is a real concern. I do think the top 4D has a chance to be much better than a year ago, but the road trip is going to expose that third pair. Nurse—Gryba? Or do the Oilers mess with Klefbom—Larsson, Sekera—Russell? That will be the heart of the conversation today.

DEFENSE, GAME 1

defense-last-night

  • Sekera—Russell and Klefbom—Larsson did well in the high danger category, and as we discussed yesterday morning those two pairs kept the puck moving in a (mostly) positive direction.
  • This group also posted six assists, about one month’s worth (I kid, but barely) of assists for the entire group one year ago.
  • The options to draw in for Davidson are Mark Fayne, Matt Benning and Eric Gryba. I think Gryba is the logical choice, but would like to see Mark Fayne in there. The problem? Nurse and Fayne are not a good combination, at least the evidence suggests as much (44 percent Corsi for 5×5 percentage, in less than 100 minutes), but I am uncertain about the other options. Woodguy suggested Eric Gryba, that may be the answer Todd McLellan settles on today.
  • Darnell Nurse (or other) will no doubt want to have a conversation with Matt Tkachuk tonight, he of the outside the lines behavior (hit Russell from behind, what looked like a slew foot on Brandon Davidson and then a bizarre period where he apparently held the player down, and a hit late in the game on Adam Larsson). I know most of you will not agree, but for me the two points are the gold tonight, and once the game is put to bed other scores can be settled. As an additional point on this matter, probably a good idea to dress 7D if the goal is to announce your presence with authority—and dress all of your penalty killers.
  • The Oilers are way short of good enough to be chasing retribution on the road while also pursuing two points. I will be disappointed if we see a five-minute power play for the Flames tonight while the game is in the balance. These two points matter, folks, you win tonight and then against Buffalo and it is 3-0-0 and the month is set up beautifully. Keep your eyes on the prize!
  • The top two pairings are going to have to play 25 minutes each—and if the Oilers are in this game during the third period, I bet we see the bench shortened with extreme prejudice.

FORWARDS, GAME 1

forwards-last-night

  • The McDavid line was fanbloodytastic. I know there are concerns with Milan Lucic, but we are one game into the season—and that trio posted 11 shots in Game 1. I have projected the McDavid line to score 82 goals this season, and the trio potted three in the first 60 minutes. So far, so good.
  • Nuge line did not do well in Corsi for 5×5, but the high danger chances show a low event 2line. That is what you want from your checking line, so Nuge and Pouliot need to cash. I projected the Nuge line to score 52 (Pouliot—Nuge—??) but nothing rhymed in the first game. The line (Poo-Nuge-Slepy) had five shots on goal.
  • The secondary scoring (Maroon, Pitlick, Kassian, Puljujarvi) was fabulous, but we should not expect four wingers from the bottom 6F to score one goal each every night—or any night ever again!
  • The Draisaitl line had some good moments, and the Letestu line were very high event (and played quite a bit).
  • At even strength, Connor McDavid lapped the field. We should expect more of that tonight.
  • McDavid played almost seven more minutes at evens than the Nuge. Seven!

BATTLE OF ALBERTA!

Uh, yeah, no. Not yet, anyway. One indication (for me) that Oilers fans have forgotten about what it feels like to be in the playoff chase is the pure vitriol towards Matt Tkachuk. Look folks, the Oilers have come upon agitators and tomfoolery beyond what this young rookie did in the first game, but reading the comments section it seems to me people are willing to give up two points in order to chase an 18-year old around the barn. Good gracious, did we forget how the NHL keeps score? Win the game, then set the record. I am genuinely flummoxed by people’s reaction, including a 900-word email to me yesterday detailing why Milan Lucic has already failed the team. My goodness folks, even hyperbole is stepping back from the verbal on this one. This isn’t the Federal League and winning the blasted game is the job.

THE POWER PLAY

  • Todd McLellan: “The power play was sloppy, we didn’t sense danger and when we gave up the puck it was somebody else’s problem. It should be five players’ problem, not one or two guys at the back. There are a lot of areas we have to improve on, but when you’re not playing best it’s nice to win a game.” Source

I do not think the Oilers have a grand chance of winning tonight (Elliott can’t possibly be as bad as he was in Edmonton), but the one area that could grab victory is the power play. Edmonton had three power-play shots in game one, with Puljujarvi scoring, that is in 11:11 with the man advantage. Room for improvement? Yes, I believe there is.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, we kick off the weekend right! TSN1260, scheduled to appear:

  • Steve Lansky, BigMouthSports. Blue Jays, McDavid opens Rogers Place with a memorable game, Auston Matthews with a first game for the ages.
  • Guy Flaming, Pipeline Show. Oil Kings off to an interesting start, and Tyler Benson is finding the range after returning to the Vancouver Giants.
  • Matt Iwanyk, TSN1260. Today’s Point/CounterPoint involves the NLCS and ALCS, plus the Oilers and how to handle the Matt Tkachuk issue.
  • Frank Seravalli, TSN. Frank was at the opener of Rogers Place, we will get his review, and we will chat about Auston Matthews and his fantastic debut.
  • Paul Almeida, SSE. Jays, Oilers and what to expect tonight in Calgary.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Friday!

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718 Responses to "G2 2016-17: OILERS AT FLAMES"

« Older Comments
  1. pocession charge says:

    Great win. Lucic is going to be a huge plus when he gets going. He and Eberle were both improved from last game. There’s something about this team….

  2. Professor Q says:

    How was that not a slashing call, though? Despite it being prior to a goal.

  3. square_wheels says:

    “Steve Smith”,

    Holy shit his face/lip is some ugly !

    Lander. You got to clear that puck, jeebus.

  4. Little Poteet says:

    Drain looch should be a thing

  5. The Hermit says:

    Ryan: I’m not a referee, but I thought if you swiped for the puck, made contact with the puck, then tripped a player in the same play, it’s fair game.

    It used to be allowed on the diamond check where the opposing player has a clear breakaway and the chasing defender dived from behind sweeping his stick to contact the puck with the opposing player usually ending up on the ice via a trip.

    That is a penalty now.

    https://www.nhl.com/news/nhl-announces-rules-changes-for-2014-15-season/c-730165

  6. khildahl says:

    They’re trying again? Really?

  7. LMHF#1 says:

    Does Elliott last the season in Calgary? Or is the Oilers attack actually this good?

  8. "Steve Smith" says:

    Little Poteet,

    It is a thing – I picked one up from the plumbing supply store earlier this week.

  9. dangilitis says:

    Fuck the flames!!! I love it!!! Oilers of years past infrequently scored EN goals because they weren’t skilled or hungry enough, or leading, for that matter.

  10. Ryan says:

    4 points from the godless Flames courtesy of McDavid.

  11. Centre of attention says:

    Elliott with 10 goals against in 2 games.

    More please.

  12. russ99 says:

    2-0! Nice to win a game we didn’t expect to after that first period,

  13. Pajamah says:

    The only thing better than a 2-0 Oiler team is that, plus an 0-2 Calgary team.

    AND the only thing better than that, is the Oilers doing it to them.

    Now, where’s that little Tkachuk fucker?

  14. Frank the dog says:

    First time I took a chance on watching this game live, and was glad I did.

  15. sliderule says:

    I don’t know what the corgis are for Nurse but if he can keep playing like that the oil are going to have a number one D

  16. "Steve Smith" says:

    Frank the dog:
    First time I took a chance on watching this game live, and was glad I did.

    How many times was it 3-2 Oilers?

  17. square_wheels says:

    Evanka ! Where’s my Carly Shoulder Press ?!?!?

  18. jzed says:

    Kelly Rudeboy is funny when he pauses mid sentence as he realizes the Oil are winning…

  19. Rocknrolla says:

    That 8 point swing may come in handy come March boys! Great start for the team and very happy they improved the PP and the PK this game…pretty good follow up game.

  20. Ice Sage says:

    I’ll take 2 by Drai
    over Pou and a fly

    another memorable night

  21. "Steve Smith" says:

    Ice Sage:
    I’ll take 2 by Drai
    over Pou and a fly

    Lie-la-lie!

  22. khildahl says:

    This team is capitalizing on chances. I’m not used to this.

  23. Oilspill says:

    And neither was responsibe.

    square_wheels:
    BONE207,

    But Nurse/Gryba take the minus.

    Ricky – where are you to pin that on a forward ?

  24. square_wheels says:

    sliderule,

    I wouldn’t go that far. Serviceable 3/4 for now would be fine. Someday an anchor to our Zubov, whoever that is going to be.

    We need a Zubov.

  25. Ice Sage says:

    khildahl:
    This team is capitalizing on chances.I’m not used to this.

    And winning some important 1 on 1 battles… it’s like wearing the cool kid’s clothes; feels good but somehow not real

  26. Skeeziks says:

    It was very interesting to see McDavid, Lucic and Draisaitl on the ice for the Oilers near the end of the game. Lucic made a very smart and strong play along the boards to get the puck to Draisiatl for the empty netter.

    Could be a very effective line against some of the big, heavy teams in the Pacific Division.

    Overall, pleased with tonight’s result.

  27. "Steve Smith" says:

    I didn’t like the Russell signing. I’m considering re-evaluating that position, I admit.

  28. square_wheels says:

    Oilspill,

    Agreed

  29. Oilanderp says:

    I just went back in time and saw a man holding 3 baseballs in one hand. He said it was 2008. It happened when I tried to load this site.

    Oh, and GOILERS!

  30. Frank the dog says:

    “Steve Smith”: How many times was it 3-2 Oilers?

    They never won a game I watched live. They may heve led 3-2 at some points but always folded like a cheap sheet.

  31. Ryan says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    I didn’t like the Russell signing.I’m considering re-evaluating that position, I admit.

    Same here. Russell has lots of ‘saw him good’ moments.

    How about Draisatl with McDavid on the PP?

  32. Centre of attention says:

    Interesting fact regarding Connors scoring: Not even Gretzky has opened a season with back-to-back 3 point games.

    Not bad, kid. Not bad. First player in franchise history to record consecutive 3 point nights to start a season.

  33. delooper says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    I didn’t like the Russell signing.I’m considering re-evaluating that position, I admit.

    Didn’t see him at all. Invisible.

    Taylor Hall sure has improved, though.

  34. admiralmark says:

    Skeeziks:
    It was very interesting to see McDavid, Lucic and Draisaitl on the ice for the Oilers near the end of the game. Lucic made a very smart and strong play along the boards to get the puck to Draisiatl for the empty netter.

    Could be a very effective line against some of the big, heavy teams in the Pacific Division.

    Overall, pleased with tonight’s result.

    The other + to this working is RNH/Eberle back together.. Might spark some offence out of RNH.

  35. Pouzar says:

    I love me some Drai but he got killed on the Corgis and certainly was not first star.

  36. hunter1909 says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    I didn’t like the Russell signing.I’m considering re-evaluating that position, I admit.

    Thank goodness.

  37. Zelepukin says:

    Rocknrolla:
    That 8 point swing may come in handy come March boys! Great start for the team and very happy they improved the PP and the PK this game…pretty good follow up game.

    This. 4 pts on a division rival is huge.

    Still a somewhat sloppy mess in our own zone at times. Lots of random giveaways and we gave them a lot of space to cycle.

    Overall, this was a special teams game. Not many 5v5 lines were getting into a groove other than McDs.

  38. Admiral Ackbar says:

    Great to win. Better to beat the Flames. Brilliant to do it in a home-and-home. F YOU CALGREEEE!!!

    Drai is looking good early on. Strong board play, better in the dot (to the eye?). Pou needs to get his timing going and those offensive zone penalties need to stop. Nuge deserves some love. He worked that game in the trenches.

    Oh, and,
    McDavid is my new God.

  39. hunter1909 says:

    As of right now, my 102 point prediction looks pretty good.

  40. Centre of attention says:

    Ryan: Same here.Russell has lots of ‘saw him good’ moments.

    How about Draisatl with McDavid on the PP?

    If the Oil could find another useful top 9 center, I would like to see Drai on McDavids wing for a shift or two. Just to see. Nothing against Ebs or anything.

  41. Ice Sage says:

    delooper: Didn’t see him at all.Invisible.

    Taylor Hall sure has improved, though.

    Agreed, he’s barely blowing the zone now

  42. Henry says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    I didn’t like the Russell signing.I’m considering re-evaluating that position, I admit.

    I have time for Russell as well. He is playing like the undersized big heart dman MacT was planning for Ference to be. Just too many years on that fellow. Russell skates well.

  43. "Steve Smith" says:

    hunter1909:
    As of right now, my 102 point prediction looks pretty good.

    Are you kidding? You’re on pace to be off by more than sixty!

  44. LMHF#1 says:

    Pouzar:
    I love me some Drai but he got killed on the Corgis and certainly was not first star.

    Execution for the win.

    I’d have still picked McDavid though.

  45. russ99 says:

    Ryan: Same here.Russell has lots of ‘saw him good’ moments.

    How about Draisatl with McDavid on the PP?

    He seems to make a lot of smart plays. Not a bad passer either.

    We could do a lot worse, and have.

  46. hunter1909 says:

    “Steve Smith”: Are you kidding?You’re on pace to be off by more than sixty!

    I’m considering asking the Death March™ to let me reset my prediction, but the guy who runs it is such a jerk that I might as well be talking to a mirror.

  47. Frank the dog says:

    Ice Sage: Agreed, he’s barely blowing the zone now

    Falls down at the right time too.

  48. Zelepukin says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    I didn’t like the Russell signing.I’m considering re-evaluating that position, I admit.

    As mentioned in the broadcast, he is quick at retrieveing the puck and moving it smartly to the forwards. This is the type of D we need when McD is on the ice. You’re screwed if our wingers have time along the boards to hit McD cleanly with a pass.

  49. dangilitis says:

    Pajamah:
    The only thing better than a 2-0 Oiler team is that, plus an 0-2 Calgary team.

    AND the only thing better than that, is the Oilers doing it to them.

    Now, where’s that little Tkachuk fucker?

    Back to back tomorrow night against Vancouver. It’s win win for me, either Vancouver is going to be so bad this year that they lose game 1, or Calgary starts 0-3. As long as no Bettman points

  50. BONE207 says:

    hunter1909:
    As of right now, my 102 point prediction looks pretty good.

    And may you win the Death March™

    We’ll all be winner by extension.

  51. Pouzar says:

    WheatNOil ‏@WheatNOil 3m3 minutes ago
    Zone Defence
    Times Targeted / % Controlled Entry
    Klef 4 / 50%
    Larsson 9 / 67%
    Russell 14 / 79%
    Sekera 8 / 38%
    Nurse 9 / 44%
    Gryba 5 / 40%

  52. blainer says:

    hunter1909:
    As of right now, my 102 point prediction looks pretty good.

    I predicted 109.. Now that is optimistic.. we are on pace for 164 tho..

  53. Spengler says:

    russ99,

    I’m feeling and seeing the same but I’m cautious that he merely looks good compared to the tire fire of years past.

    Like that great girl you start dating when you finally decided to rid yourself of the one who drove all your friends away, locked your dog out of the house in the dead of winter and took you to raves.

  54. commonfan14 says:

    Man, just imagine the lineup if Nuge and Yak had ever been able to develop chemistry.

  55. Pouzar says:

    WheatNOil ‏@WheatNOil 4m4 minutes ago
    Zone Exits
    Total / % Controlled
    Klefbom 5 / 40%
    Larsson 4 / 75%
    Russell 8 / 38%
    Sekera 8 / 75%
    Nurse 4 / 75%
    Gryba 6 / 50%

    WheatNOil ‏@WheatNOil 31s32 seconds ago
    D-zone passes
    Total / % Successful
    Klefbom 8 / 75%
    Larsson 7 / 71%
    Russell 6 / 50%
    Sekera 8 / 88%
    Nurse 4 / 50%
    Gryba 10 / 70%

  56. jonrmcleod says:

    Craig Button
    @CraigJButton
    Hey @EdmontonOilers fans. In @TheWHL action @WHLGiants @TylerBenson_17 with 🎩🎩🎩🏒 including OT winner. Healthy & is a force.

  57. Ryan says:

    Boys, look quick. I am not certain how long it will last.

    https://www.nhl.com/standings

  58. jonrmcleod says:

    Bob Stauffer
    @Bob_Stauffer
    Oilers pick Tyler Benson snipes hat-trick including OT Winner in 4-3 win Lethbridge. 5-3-8 last 3 GP

  59. Hilmar says:

    Ryan,

    It will last until tomorrow at the very least, Kings are getting killed tonight.

    Optimal start of the season?

    Except for that awful first period maybe.

  60. hunter1909 says:

    blainer: I predicted 109.. Now that is optimistic.. we are on pace for 164 tho..

    Blainer you are the highest points estimate contestant.

    As of right now, You are the leader of the Death March™

  61. khildahl says:

    Courtesy of reddit:
    http://i.imgur.com/d8PIhSP.jpg

    He looks like someone stole his candy.

  62. "Steve Smith" says:

    hunter1909: Blainer you are the highest points estimate contestant.

    As of right now, You are the leader of the Death March™

    Screw that – whose pick was closest to 4 points?

  63. stush18 says:

    I’d bet caramel/Bruce or Verite wrote that 900 word email… lol

    Seriously though this is my favourite. The oilers win some games and the trolls disappear

    Move ebs to nuges line. Drai to mcdavids. Cagguilla to centre the third

    Edit* wow does autocorrect hate “nuge”

  64. Little Poteet says:

    LT will be loving that Dave Keon was voted best Leaf of all time. Unfortunately our Keon will never get that kind of recognition, but I love our Nuge

  65. flyfish1168 says:

    khildahl:
    Courtesy of reddit:
    http://i.imgur.com/d8PIhSP.jpg

    He looks like someone stole his candy.

    big baby

  66. "Steve Smith" says:

    Of the Oilers skaters to play both games, only Nugent-Hopkins and Pouliot still pointless. Who saw that coming?

  67. Frank the dog says:

    commonfan14:
    Man, just imagine the lineup if Nuge and Yak had ever been able to develop chemistry.

    No. With all due respect this team is better than the team that had Yak and Hall on it. #Because chemistry

  68. BONE207 says:

    Ryan:
    Boys, look quick. I am not certain how long it will last.

    https://www.nhl.com/standings

    Perfect. Oilers leading the league. fLames following the elephants.

  69. Stelio Kontos says:

    Scoring depth and a player on pace to score 246. Never thought I would see the day.

  70. flyfish1168 says:

    Ryan:
    Boys, look quick. I am not certain how long it will last.

    https://www.nhl.com/standings

    Whats just as good is look who’s on the bottom. HAHAHAHAHa

  71. "Steve Smith" says:

    Frank the dog: #Because chemistry

    You spelled “McDavid” wrong.

    (I’m actually far from convinced that the healthy 2016-2017 lineup is superior to the healthy 2015-2016 one, but for tonight I’m willing to pretend.)

  72. Frank the dog says:

    “Steve Smith”: You spelled “McDavid” wrong.

    (I’m actually far from convinced that the healthy 2016-2017 lineup is superior to the healthy 2015-2016 one, but for tonight I’m willing to pretend.)

    I’ve long said injuries and reffing were the difference. But this years team has lost the quit in them.
    We’ll see which team is better, injuries included, as he season progresses. But it sure is nice watching the Oilers play games like tonight’s and the opener at Rogers.

  73. treevojo says:

    The most shocking thing is that somehow Russell has blocked 3 shots from the bench resulting in goals for the oilers.

    I had no idea you get credit for assists while on the bench.

    What’s that bastard thinking wearing number 4.

    You know what’s better then winning with new toys. Winning with your old toys.

    Give me my old toys back!

  74. Zelepukin says:

    Might not have been mentioned but Lander held his own this game too. Looks to be a good 13th forward option.

    It would be great to see Drake play Sunday and add some speed to that 3rd line, with Drai potentially up on the 2nd.
    Kassian had some good opportunities but he also bumbled a lot of breakout passes. Not necessarily resulting in giveaways but there were times where he could assessed his options a little better and hit a that breaking center (Nuge?) instead of dumping the puck in.

  75. treevojo says:

    I also heard lucic is soft and a turnover machine.

    Somebody needs to tell that ogre to stop turning the puck over to draisaitl.

    He keeps this shit up and we will have to trade him and a 7th rounder just to get a 7th rounder.

  76. Pouzar says:

    Zelepukin: Might not have been mentioned but Lander held his own this game too. Looks to be a good 13th forward option.

    Played just over 9 min…over half of those Short handed.

  77. Melvis says:

    Soemwhat belated, but It just occurred to me. It was a Shawshank fly escaping the Phlegm burger.

    Actually, Ii missed the moment. Taking the piss, as it were. Was it wearing copper and blue?

  78. Centre of attention says:

    So how big of a slam dunk is Connor McDavid for the Hart trophy Oil Country?

  79. OF17 says:

    Zack Kassian looks like a different player. He was always smart and tough, but now he has the speed to back it up, and the results have been fabulous two games in. Fast, skilled, tough, defensively responsible, versatile. If he keeps this up, which is of course a sizable if, he could be Pisani 2.0.

  80. OF17 says:

    Centre of attention:
    So how big of a slam dunk is Connor McDavid for the Hart trophy Oil Country?

    I’m not expecting it by any means, but McDavid scoring 120 points wouldn’t shock me, and if he does that and the Oilers make the playoffs, I think the Hart would be his.

  81. Centre of attention says:

    OF17:
    Zack Kassian looks like a different player. He was always smart and tough, but now he has the speed to back it up, and the results have been fabulous two games in. Fast, skilled, tough, defensively responsible, versatile. If he keeps this up, which is of course a sizable if, he could be Pisani 2.0.

    Disagree that he is anything resembling a “pisani” as LT describes one but he is definitely playing hockey much better, while maintaining his edge. He’s kept out of the box somewhat better than in the past as well.

  82. Pouzar says:

    Jesse Puljujarvi played 7:26

    SIGH

    Send him out.

  83. Centre of attention says:

    OF17: I’m not expecting it by any means, but McDavid scoring 120 points wouldn’t shock me, and if he does that and the Oilers make the playoffs, I think the Hart would be his.

    They define the Hart winner as “The player being most important to his team league wide”

    So like the player who if his team was missing him, they would be completely lost.

    If this roster was minus McDavid we would be 0 and 2 with a no hope at all of gaining momentum.

  84. Stanley 2018 says:

    I like how good this team is at creating grade A scoring chances, more so when you factor in the Defense isn’t strong in that area. Gotta be honest I’m not missing Hall but that may change if Lucic doesn’t get his motor running. Gonna need his 20 Goals if this is going to work over 82. Give these guys 8 more games to Gel.

  85. Centre of attention says:

    Pouzar:
    Jesse Puljujarvi played 7:26

    SIGH

    Send him out.

    ’bout that time

  86. CrazyCoach says:

    Wow!

    And I thought my oldtimers game the other night was exciting.

    My only thought was if they could survive the initial onslaught, then all will be fine. Unlike past years, this team responded with an incredible pushback and did not fold the tent.

    Love it!

  87. Centre of attention says:

    Adrian Dater ‏@adater 3h3 hours ago
    Text from Scotty Bowman to me just now: “I have not seen a player accelerate like McDavid since Bobby Orr.” #nowthatspraise

    You tell em’ Scotty.

  88. Aron_S says:

    That game was a roller coaster, but wow, that was fun.

    McDavid’s eyeglow/60 is out of this world at the moment. He looks stronger, possibly faster and the kid does not quit. I have to say, he’s an incredible leader at 19. Just sick.

    Also why wasn’t Cameron trolling tonight?

    Talbot is still making me nervous, but I know the D coverage is spotty at times too. What the hell was that 24 shots against first period about?

    Comments were awesome tonight folks and “Steve Smith” is first star. Well played.

  89. OmJo says:

    Missed the game because work, ironic because 90% of our potential customers were probably watching the game.

    I still want to proceed with caution but it’s hard not to be excited. The team will only get better, barring injuries, as the season goes on. I predicted 84 points, but looks like I might be eating some crow come April. Hey, if I can eat it while watching the Oilers in the playoffs I won’t mind.

  90. JDï™ says:

    3.5 GA per game in two games against the fLames. Sounds about right.

    3 PPG for McDavid. Lordy.

    And I swear I heard HaRudey say, “Eberle so strong on the stick”, and “when Letestu uses that speed.”

    Was it Grant Fuhr refreshment night?

  91. Rocknrolla says:

    khildahl: Reply)

    khildahl:
    Courtesy of reddit:
    http://i.imgur.com/d8PIhSP.jpg

    He looks like someone stole his candy.

    “Johnny Hobbit”

  92. BONVIE says:

    Here is a surprise stat!!! Zach Kassian with 5 Takeaways and 0 Giveaways that’s a pretty sweet stat for your first two games, really shows his effectiveness on the forecheck and the PK.

  93. Centre of attention says:

    If anyone is interested, G has his numbers up over at his blog: https://oilersnerdalert.wordpress.com/2016/10/14/g2-2016-10-14-its-clobberin-time/

    The game flow is interesting

  94. hags9k says:

    Drai and 97 on the PP, you could suddenly hear a giant CLICK.
    If I was TMac I’d try moving Ebs with Nuge and see if 97 and 29 maybe go nuclear.

    Also, what was with that giant fly on the ice and the terrible penalty box strobe lights? Pouliot is lucky not to have had a seizure…Fuck the flames!

  95. serum114 says:

    Just back from the game, a few more pops than would allow me to be eloquent but two things:

    1 – McDavid is sublime. An absolute joy to witness.

    2 – I could watch Adam-Bom all night. They are the embodiment of calm, controlled defense as it was meant to be played.

    Wonderful game to be at.

  96. CrazyCoach says:

    BONVIE: Here is a surprise stat!!! Zach Kassian with 5 Takeaways and 0 Giveaways that’s a pretty sweet stat for your first two games, really shows his effectiveness on the forecheck and the PK.

    I’m a “saw him good” type guy, but even I understand that stat.

    It is pleasing to see. He obviously came to camp in great shape and ready to go.

    One of many great stories this season, so far!

  97. Pescador says:

    JDï™:
    3.5 GA per game in two games against the fLames. Sounds about right.

    3 PPG for McDavid. Lordy.

    And I swear I heard HaRudey say, “Eberle so strong on the stick”, and “when Letestu uses that speed.”

    Was it Grant Fuhr refreshment night?

    </
    No way Fuhr lets a buzzkill like Hrudey into his party.
    Kelly has 1 glass of wine from a box & then packs it in.

  98. Pescador says:

    serum114,

    Adam-Bom,
    Love it

  99. serum114 says:

    Pescador,

    It seemed a natural fit somewhere around beer four. My brother and I ran with it.

  100. OF17 says:

    Centre of attention: Disagree that he is anything resembling a “pisani” as LT describes one but he is definitely playing hockey much better, while maintaining his edge.He’s kept out of the box somewhat better than in the past as well.

    I don’t know about that. I wouldn’t call him one today, but he shows the versatility and attention to detail to become one in the future. He definitely has the skill to score 15 goals a year. He’s looked good on the PK, he thinks the game well enough to be a good two-way player, he has good speed, he can play up and down the lineup. He’s far from established as a Pisani type, but based on what he’s shown so far this year, I’d say it’s a real possibility he becomes one.

  101. TeeVee says:

    hunter1909:
    As of right now, my 102 point prediction looks pretty good.

    My 103 looks better :-p

  102. Clay says:

    Centre of attention:
    So how big of a slam dunk is Connor McDavid for the Hart trophy Oil Country?

    Every point that Matthews gets this year will be worth 4 for Connor, in the eyes of the Maple Leafs Bootlicking Club, er, the PWHA. So if he gets 40 points this year, he’s pretty much guaranteed the Hart (not to mention the Calder, Lady Bing, Norris, Canadian Male Athlete of the Year (even though he’s American), and maybe Female Athlete of the Year too.)

  103. OF17 says:

    Centre of attention: They define the Hart winner as “The player being most important to his team league wide”

    So like the player who if his team was missing him, they would be completely lost.

    If this roster was minus McDavid we would be 0 and 2 with a no hope at all of gaining momentum.

    Sure, but when was the last time the NHL gave out awards based on their own definitions? The Selke is supposedly for the best defensive forward, but we all know it’s given to the star forward that’s best at defense. Similarly, no way the Hart goes to a player from a non-playoff team. I got bored looking through past winners, but as of the 94/95 season, I had yet to find a Hart winner that came from a non-playoff team. And for good reason IMO. Going by strict most valuable to the team metrics, bottom feeders with one great player would account for the Hart every year.

  104. Centre of attention says:

    OF17: Sure, but when was the last time the NHL gave out awards based on their own definitions? The Selke is supposedly for the best defensive forward, but we all know it’s given to the star forward that’s best at defense. Similarly, no way the Hart goes to a player from a non-playoff team. I got bored looking through past winners, but as of the 94/95 season, I had yet to find a Hart winner that came from a non-playoff team. And for good reason IMO. Going by strict most valuable to the team metrics, bottom feeders with one great player would account for the Hart every year.

    agree, the Oilers would have to actually make the playoffs for McDavid to actually win the thing.

    But he should be on some ballots regardless just based on pure merit

  105. Rocknrolla says:

    Love that your pickled, but still chose to use the word eloquent! A true Lowetidian!

  106. serum114 says:

    Rocknrolla:
    Love that your pickled, but still chose to use the word eloquent!A true Lowetidian!

    Hahaha, I suppose I have my moments.

  107. Frank the dog says:

    The only major trophy CMD will win on this team will be the Stanley. He will not win any subjective awards. That’s the cost of being started by a small market team.

  108. Ice Sage says:

    Frank the dog:
    The only major trophy CMD will win on this team will be the Stanley. He will not win any subjective awards. That’s the cost of being started by a small market team.

    Well, after tonights dive-fest* the Lady Byng is out…

    *most ridonkulous diving penalty ever when the player actually gets up in stride

  109. OF17 says:

    I have no idea why Russell has such bad advanced stats. He’s looked very good by eye these first two games in a lot of different ways. I’ve been looking for that Aha! That’s what drags him down realization, but I honestly can’t find it. Will be interesting to see if the poor fancies follow him to Edmonton.

  110. geowal says:

    It’s game 2. Talking about end of season awards is plain silly. I expect that from leaf fans planning parades. Let it build naturally.

  111. treevojo says:

    Aron_S:
    That game was a roller coaster, but wow, that was fun.

    McDavid’s eyeglow/60 is out of this world at the moment. He looks stronger, possibly faster and the kid does not quit. I have to say, he’s an incredible leader at 19. Just sick.

    Also why wasn’t Cameron trolling tonight?

    Talbot is still making me nervous, but I know the D coverage is spotty at times too. What the hell was that 24 shots against first period about?

    Comments were awesome tonight folks and “Steve Smith” is first star. Well played.

    I have it on good authority that Cameron does not troll around these parts.

    Expect a visit from officer 17 scolding you for such outlandish accusations.

  112. Ryan says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    Of the Oilers skaters to play both games, only Nugent-Hopkins and Pouliot still pointless.Who saw that coming?

    Look at the 5-year wowy data for RNH.

    Historically, he has not been effective at evens playing without either one of Hall or Eberle, now he’s playing without both of them.

    http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/showplayer.php?pid=1535&withagainst=true&season=2011-16&sit=5v5

    To be fair, the Oilers have not had an NHL blue line once ever during Nuge’s tenure as an Oiler.

    He’s also generally played the toughest comp and the drop off in linemates after Hall and Eberle is Huge.

    His Yakupov wowy data is also just awesome. Just over 400 minutes of awesomeness…

    Gf: 1.53
    Ga: 4.17
    Cf: 40%

    Anyway, Nuge never really produced well outside of his rookie season at 5v5 even playing with Hall.

    The Oilers went all in on JP who doesn’t look ready (they also didn’t really obtain a 3c), so unless Draisatl spends a lot of time on his RW, this could be a tough year for Nuge’s value at his $6m cap hit.

  113. kinger_OIL says:

    – Putting Nurse on PK appears smart: He can use use what he’s good at: speed and strength.

    – He gets to learn about positioning, getting the puck out of the front of net, and has far less of an opportunity to “develop” his weaknesses: i.e. skating the puck up ice and doing nothing, etc

  114. Pouzar says:

    hags9k: Drai and 97 on the PP, you could suddenly hear a giant CLICK.

    Gee I wonder who advocated for that duo.

    Nuge needs Ebs.

  115. Frank the dog says:

    We need a moniker to differentiate this team from teams prior. Maybe the Rexall teams vs the Rogers team? It does reflect the period in which the teams sucked vs. When the team will perhaps, just maybe, do better.

    The Rexall teams would typically follow two performaces like this with a string of gutless, brainless, chaotic losses. For that reason I’ll be in wait and see mode until this team a worthwhile string of games like this, where we also go free of anything other than minor injuries.

  116. theres oil in virginia says:

    JDï™: And I swear I heard HaRudey say, “Eberle so strong on the stick”

    It’s really a shame he doesn’t go to those “tough areas”. I don’t know how he keeps scoring so many goals from in close when he doesn’t go to those “tough areas”.

  117. Pouzar says:

    kinger_OIL: skating the puck up ice and doing nothing

    Guess you missed the rush up the ice where he dished, drove the net and had a point blank scoring chance. Your mileage may vary on Dave Staples scoring chance data but Nurse was tops for D-men in creating scoring chances (3).

  118. Pouzar says:

    theres oil in virginia: It’s really a shame he doesn’t go to those “tough areas”.I don’t know how he keeps scoring so many goals from in close when he doesn’t go to those “tough areas”.

    So he back checked, was heavy on stick, and went to tough areas…if he had scored on a one-timer the haters heads would have exploded.

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