2017 PLAYOFFS GAME 6: OILERS AT SHARKS

I decided late in the regular season to let the playoffs wash over me. It’s been a long time, I was a man in my 40s in 2006, the grey on my temples barely noticeable (but working hard). Now? Grey has taken both temples and moved troops to every quadrant, to the point where grey hair (which is akin to copper wire) is there to greet me morning, noon and night. I don’t give a damn about grey hair, or aging really (although it would be nice to hang around to see how the kids turn out, and to spend more time with Mrs. Lowetide). I do care about the things I love, and one of them is the grace, length and beauty of a hockey season. I am enjoying the spring like a long lost friend, and in many ways that’s how it feels.

PLAYOFF NUMBERS

  • There are some strong performances listed above, I’d point out Cam Talbot, Oscar Klefbom, Zack Kassian plus centers Connor McDavid and Mark Letestu as posting worthy series.
  • Funnily enough, my nominees for player of the series are Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. It’s been a funny series.
  • Why RNH?  In the words of Craig MacTavish, it’s not just about what you deliver, it’s also about what you leave.
  • The second line has been outstanding for the Oilers. NaturalStatTrick has RNH at 56 percent Corsi for 5×5 against Joe Thornton.
  • McDavid’s Corsi against Vlasic ( 56.39) and that matchup is stapled into this series. McDavid has played against Vlasic for 61 5×5 minutes and 14 minutes away from him. McDavid’s Fenwick for in those 14 minutes away from Vlasic is 57 percent. Too small a sample size, but McDavid against Burns should be a goal for the coach (70.59 for McDavid).
  • Source

1991-92, PLUS 1992 PLAYOFFS

The 1991-92 season was rife with pain and disappointment.

  • Charlie Huddy was lost in the expansion draft in May.
  • Jari Kurri was dealt in May, to Philadelphia. Philadelphia traded him to Los Angeles, same day.
  • Glenn Anderson and Grant Fuhr went in September.
  • Then came Mark Messier’s trade, something we knew was coming (there had been some contract haggling the summer before). In August 1991 Messier went public with a trade request and after that you’re never going to get full value. Messier said he was not convinced the Oilers were committed to winning, and he wanted out. Source

Opening night, you needed a damned program and that’s for sure. Edmonton had good forwards (Vincent Damphousse, Joe Murphy, Craig Simpson, Esa Tikkanen) but no one to push the river, not like Messier. Defensively, the Oilers were a rugged bunch bordering on filthy. Dave Manson and Luke Richardson played major roles, with Kevin Lowe still hanging around to provide veteran leadership. Billy Ranford was the goalie. We traveled to Mexico that winter, I didn’t check the scores for any of the 14 days we were there. I remember thinking they might as well trade Esa, Lowe, Ranford and Simpson, and they basically did over the coming months. It was a mess.

The Oilers did win some playoff games with this congregation, and I liked Joe Murphy and Martin Gelinas (and others) among the youths. Edmonton beat LAK in six games, then Vancouver in six (Ranford was stellar in that series iirc) before losing to the Chicago Blackhawks in a Campbell Conference sweep. Source

TONIGHT

The Oilers are 1-1-0 on the road during this series, winning a tight-checking affair and getting blown out 7-0. I think the Oilers win tonight if the two teams are tied after two, and the biggest test is likely to be in the first 10 minutes of the game. Stay out of the penalty box!!!!

ETHAN BEAR

Scored a great goal (it was the winner) last night. Highlights are here.

COMPLETE NHLE

  • There’s a lot here and we will drill down over the coming weeks. As is the case with the parent team, you can see Peter Chiarelli building up the middle (G, D, C).
  • I think we’ll see four graduates (Jesse Puljujarvi, Jujhar Khaira, Anton Slepyshev, Griffin Reinhart) to the 2017-18 club.
  • Joey Laleggia and Joe Gambardella are the most interesting forwards behind the three mentioned above (JP, JJ, Slepy), at least in the short term.
  • The best long-term forward prospect? Tyler Benson, but injuries are a concern. I’m also intrigued by Graham McPhee and Aapeli Rasanen.
  • The Oilers have been spending a lot of time, money and draft picks on defensemen and it is reflected here. I think Caleb Jones, Ethan Bear and Ziyat Paigin are legit NHL prospects and Ryan Mantha could join them as a bona fide future option.
  • Filip Berglund had a fine season on less than 10 minutes a night. I pumped his number here, as he was the only player in this group who played low minutes (Paigin was around 14).
  • Who is the best goalie prospect in the system? The fact we have more than one candidate is breaking news. I am intrigued by all of them.

SPENCER FOO

Spencer Foo may announce his decision this weekend, if he selects the Oilers his placement on the depth chart will be interesting. For next season, I think Leon Draisaitl stays at RW, meaning Jordan Eberle and Jesse Puljujarvi are the top candidates for 2R. After that, Zack Kassian would grab a spot and then it’s wide open for Anton Slepyshev, Iiro Pakarinen, Tyler Pitlick and others. I think Foo is a solid prospect, but would guess he would have a chance to make the Oilers opening night lineup. His NHLE (31) is shy of Drake Caggiula’s (44) when he graduated, but Foo could surprise and of course it depends on who he plays with when Foo gets here.

ARE YOU EXPERIENCED?

One of the things we are seeing this spring is young men getting NHL playoff experience. It will pay off next year and in the years to come. The three young defensemen are learning on the job and if the team can use them while winning a series or two, bodes well for the future.

VALUE

In dealing Brandon Davidson for a rental, the Oilers reduced their 50-man list for summer by one and guaranteed another name will be lost in the expansion draft. Because Oilers fans (like me) are still working in the small market world or pre-cap and pre-Katz, that runs counter to team building. However, the Desharnais overtime goal also represents another important area of team building: Success. We may see the fruits of that success this weekend, should Spencer Foo decide it’s Edmonton. Connor McDavid changed everything, but having playoff success will go a long way to turning around the Oilers reputation and making Edmonton an attractive destination.

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1,018 Responses to "2017 PLAYOFFS GAME 6: OILERS AT SHARKS"

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  1. Hilmar says:

    Great night not only for the Oilers but also for my playoff bracket. Full points on the Western Conference so far, I have Nashville and Edmonton in the Conference finals, the brain says Preds, but heart says Oilers, I hope we see that series.

    Only dud so far is betting against Pittsburg because Letang went down, why can’t Tortorella be reasonable?!

    Looking good for the remaining series too, just need Sens and Caps not to lose two in a row, I’m feeling confident. 🙂

    I hedged my bets by going Edmonton to win against Washington in the finals in the bracket and had them lose in the same matchup on Hunter’s second season death march, I’m reasonable that way. 😉

    edit: Yay on over 1k!

  2. anonymous says:

    Great to see. I wonder if RNH can secure his place on the team while going pointless for the playoffs?

  3. spoiler says:

    And If The Cloud Bursts…Thunder In You Ear

    You Shout And No One Seems To Hear

    And If The Band You’re In Starts Playing Different Tunes

    I’ll See You On The Dark Side Of The Moon

    We are there.

  4. judgedrude says:

    khildahl:
    I have a duck in my freezer that I’ve been wondering when to cook.

    Next week seems like a good time.

    In the event we play the Blues next round, any Smurfs in you freezer, Gargamel?

  5. Zelepukin says:

    Some random and IDGAF thoughts as I cap this long night off of celebratory drinks:

    We won the Hall trade. Ya I said it and you all know it. We do not get where we are now without Larsson.

    The only thing better than winning a playoff series is knowing that we’re winning it with guys who Chia has brought in. It’s like a giant FU to all the naysayers who continued to armchair GM the conversation that he is an idiot, all season long.

    No Hendricks this whole series! McL was trolling us this whole time with the, I love playing my rugged vets who only have dressing room value.

    suck it Remenda. Suck it, long and hard.

  6. Dixs35 says:

    Unreal night. Just wanted to give a tire pump to Magnus for his or goal. Wish we picked him up on waivers this year. So happy for him

  7. blainer says:

    hunter1909:
    NOW can we discuss the Taylor Hall trade?

    LOL.. was thinking the same thing.

    No way I’m trading Larsson period.

    He is now in the no trade department for me. Players like Lars earn their respect at this time of year. Man have to give Chia and Tmc the due.

    They have made some real smart moves and to me I really think the trade is already even and will be a steal by this time next year.

  8. JDI Хоккей says:

    doritogrande: Fiancee is livid. Wedding’s coming up on May 20th and I’ve been advised that in no uncertain terms can I have this patchy piece of crap in her wedding pictures. What do I do?

    If only there was some way to digitally alter photographs after the fact.

    Oh well.

  9. oilswell says:

    Happy I made the trek down to SJ to see them close out the Sharks. Saw business from the stands.

    Great crowd. Not as loud sustained as Roger’s place but wow are they congenial. Exactly one “fu Oilers” and that was at the bar after.

    Could taste the dread flooding the stands when McDavid wound up and skated up ice BTW. Yum!

  10. StixMalone says:

    Larsson is a beast. I’ll say it again just like I said when we traded for him, “Larsson is a #1 defenceman. You will see.” Now can we all get over the price paid to get him and enjoy what he brought to the table. We wouldn’t be all warm and fuzzy today if he wasn’t part of the formula. This is a new improved tougher Oiler team. We still have a few bent spokes but the wheel is still kinda round…..

  11. N64 says:

    anonymous:
    Great to see. I wonder if RNH can secure his place on the team while going pointless for the playoffs?

    Coach name dropped Nuge as the key delivered piece of his game plan. If his line was pointless in EV it won’t be Nuge that is moved.

  12. slopitch says:

    1000+ posts! Oilers in round 2! It snowed!

  13. Surly says:

    I bet Stan Weir has already read today’s edition of Lowetide.

  14. jake70 says:

    Hmmm….just watching CBC news network……….they went to their sports report, started off with a clip of the Oilers win…ok. Then went almost immediately to the Habs loss. I decided to rewind and break down the time for each topic in the segment.

    1st – Oilers advance (that’s right …MOVING ON to the NEXT round) – 23 seconds
    2nd – Canadiens lose to NYR — 2 minutes and 10 seconds
    3rd – Raptors win in Milwaukee (RIP Joannie Cunningham) – 1 minute
    4th – World series of diving in Windsor Ont – 34 seconds
    5th – Road to Olympics promotion – 10 seconds

    And remember, the CBC is not showing the Oiler games on their main network like they are the early game, it’s the regional Sportsnet channels so not everyone in Canada may be able to watch a Canadian team play….CBC schedule at 1030pm eastern last night says The Passionate Eye – The Queen at 90…..umm ok.

    This shouldn’t bother me but it does…..grrr…need my Sunday am coffee…

  15. jake70 says:

    Oh and another note on Happy Days…..the Oilers “jumped the Shark”… 😉

  16. Professor Q says:

    Surly:
    I bet Stan Weir has already read today’s edition of Lowetide.

    I bet Stan Weir is Lowetide.

  17. OilSafety says:

    What a series.

    If some of the boys were sick that means with rest we could see an even better Oilers team moving forward.

    So happy for this team, this city, this blog and these fans.

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