There are moments in life that are so good they hit you like a full force gale, carry you, stay with you forever. My wife and I used to have dinner Sunday nights in the dining room of the Hotel Saskatchewan when we could afford it. We would get our special table (it was over by the far wall and had a window with a view) and we would order wine, an appetizer, a meal and dessert. Probably did that one dozen times in my life, and collectively they form a wonderful memory. Beautiful woman, nice setting, good food, conversation and maybe a reminder of rewards available for hard work and blind luck. My hope for all of us tonight, is that we collectively enjoy something worth remembering forever. Bless you boys, one more win in California. Tonight.
OILERS ROSTER AND SCORING, THIS SERIES
- The series has had many twists and turns, none bigger than Leon Draisaitl’s move to center.
- Connor McDavid has been quiet in this series compared to his own established levels, but clean air has been hard to find. It is wildly unfair to expect him to deliver an epic performance in Game 7, but the spotlight waits for greatness.
- Patrick Maroon and Milan Lucic have been inconsistent in this series, but have been able to cobble together some offense. Both men need to stay out of the penalty box, but have contributed in my opinion.
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is snake bit for sure, but has been productive in this series with and without the puck. His 2017 spring is the single biggest reason I believe he’ll be here in the fall as an Edmonton Oiler. No guarantees though, have to give in order to get.
- Mark Letestu is having the playoff of his life. I hope he gets at least one more series.
- The right-wing position is suddenly different at the top. Big performances in this series by Drake Caggiula and Anton Slepyshev are developing stories.
- Zack Kassian and Jordan Eberle are the mirror men to Maroon and Lucic on the other side, but have had less impact (partly due to usage). Big games tonight from both veterans would be massive.
- Oscar Klefbom is going to play Game 7! Music! He and Adam Larsson may play close to half of the game depending on how things roll.
- Kris Russell, Matt Benning and Darnell Nurse played very well in Game 6 and a repeat on the road would be ideal for Edmonton.
- Eric Gryba likely stays in the lineup while Griffin Reinhart sits, we’ll get confirmation later today. Possible 7D?
- Cam Talbot will play in game No. 86 tonight, Edmonton is here because of him.
GAME SEVEN’S, HELL AND HEAVEN
The Edmonton Oilers have been involved in many Game 7’s (Down Goes Brown has a wonderful trip through time out currently) and tonight will be sheer heart attack. Win and it’s music! Lose, and it’s a sock to the jaw and a kick in the nuts. Good Day Sunshine or King of Pain! Which will it be? My favorites include Anderson in over the line 1987, Esa 1991 dagger, Joseph save-Marchant gone. The daggers? 1986 and 2006, with a couple more quoted by Down that still linger. It can be a nasty evening, but the rewards are as good as it gets for hockey fans. I wouldn’t miss this for the world. The girl I took to the Hotel Saskatchewan dining room? She’ll watch until it gets too intense, and then call down from upstairs for updates. She’s missed/watched all the Stanley’s and all the playoff runs exactly this way. Incredible.
LAST NIGHT’S POST
Lots of feedback on last night’s post, in the comments and dm’s, twitter, et cetera. Here are a few things mentioned:
- A few passed along the idea that Connor McDavid will take less cap in order to win. That’s a grand idea, but it implies something we cannot know. McDavid’s second contract is going to be eight years times a massive number. Whatever that number, he is worth it.
- A couple of comments suggesting Nuge makes too much to be a 3C. I would frame it another way: Nuge has the utility to move up and down the depth chart and to play on both special teams. Usage is going to have many dimensions.
- Several felt that bringing back Kris Russell was a bad idea. My post yesterday was an attempt to reflect the team’s plan, and I think Russell may have earned another contract in their estimation. The alternatives are men like Cody Franson, so we’ll see. I suspect Russell has plenty of value on the open market, he may price himself out of Edmonton’s cap availability.
- Lots of love and hate for Jordan Eberle, and I come down on the ‘he has real value’ side of the conversation. The only reason Eberle is on my trade list? Cap. Cap. Cap. Get used to that word.
WHAT WE DO HERE
One of the things I have to do every once in a while is re-state how this blog works. The purpose of this blog is to have an open discussion and to exchange ideas while learning about this beautiful game. I have been, and will be, on the other side of countless discussions we have in the coming months. That is fine. If you want to convince me, do what Leon Draisaitl did: Show me convincing evidence that something I am suggesting (Leon as RW) isn’t the only idea worth pursuing.
Issue framing, name calling, general asshattery, that doesn’t move the conversation forward. Want to convince me that Mark Fayne is inferior to Eric Gryba? Show me the numbers, and “Todd McLellan doesn’t agree with you” isn’t going to get it done. I can show you just how harmful Gryba’s penalties are, and Fayne’s issues (foot speed, no offense) do less damage.
When you comment on this blog, I love it, but you have to bring something in order for us to value your presence. If you are here to waste time while at work, fill your hat. If you want to make a point, to be a part of the group, use the big part of your brain. Please and thanks.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A fun show today, TSN1260 starting at 10. Scheduled to appear:
- Darcy McLeod, Because Oilers. Game 7! Who wins?
- Keegan Matheson, MLB. Are the Jays on the comeback road?
- Frank Seravalli, TSN. Game 7! Live report from Frank!
- Tentative guest, very cool guy we’ll see.
- Update: Cool guy got back to me. Travis Yost, TSN, 11:25.
10-1260 text, @Lowetide twitter. See you on the radio!