This 14-year project hatched in my brain seconds after my daughter came downstairs and asked “Dad, can I start a blog?” and I answered no. I didn’t know what a blog was, but was pretty sure it cost too much. That was 2004, and I’ve been writing pretty much every day since. I am blessed to have you read these words and to have met you in these years.
I have accepted an offer from The Athletic. It is a lucrative deal, far more than I deserve and extremely generous. I am beyond thrilled to be joining such an incredible group. My pieces at The Athletic are more thorough and drill deeper than what you see on this blog. My first effort under the new arrangement appeared minutes ago and is here. If you want to read it, and the other stories I and other great writers will provide, it is about $4 a month if you take advantage of an introductory offer which is here.
Many of you reached out to me when I started the Sunday column at The Athletic to say you’ve already subscribed and I thank you. For those who haven’t joined, I hope you consider it and take advantage of the offer. I will have a post each morning here at Lowetide (as always) as we begin our day and tell you what’s coming up on the Lowdown, et cetera. Some of the feature items are heading to The Athletic, although I’ll update the feel of each series.
I know you’ll want to express yourself in the comments section and you can reach out and email me directly (just hit “contact” above). All comments and concerns welcome.
I have made the right decision for my family, sincerely hope you understand. I want to thank each and every one of you for participating over the years. I hope you stay with me here and join me at The Athletic. It is extremely important for me to maintain this spot on the Al Gore, that’s something we own together.
PIKES PEAK, YEAR OVER YEAR
- Oilers in November 2015: 2-2-0, goal differential 0
- Oilers in November 2016: 2-1-1, goal differential -2
- Oilers in November 2017: 2-2-0, goal differential -1
November a year ago went south from here in a hurry, important for this year’s model to break on through to the other side. As bad as this season’s start has been, if the Oilers can have a strong road trip and win against Vegas upon return, we may have a story to tell a week from now.
AFTER 14, YEAR OVER YEAR
- Oilers 15-16: 5-9-0, goal differential -6
- Oilers 16-17: 9-4-1, goal differential +7
- Oilers 17-18: 5-8-1, goal differential -12
A massive win, setting up a hopeful road trip and dreams of returning level for the season or close enough for jazz. However, as the young captain said last night, they started strong with a win in Chicago on the last trip, and things ended poorly. This fall has a ‘just out of reach of my two empty arms’ sadness to it, not sure it gets turned around.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM NOVEMBER
- At home to:
Pittsburgh, New Jersey, Detroit (Expected: 2-1-0) (Actual 1-2-0)
- On the road to:
NYI, New Jersey, NYR, Washington (Expected: 1-2-1) (Actual: 1-0-0)
- At home to: Vegas, St. Louis (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual: 0-0-0)
- On the road to: Dallas, St. Louis, Detroit, Buffalo, Boston (Expected 2-2-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
- At home to: Arizona, Toronto (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
- Overall expected result: 7-7-2, 16 points in 16 games
- Current results: 2-2-0, four points in four games
Important victory and signs of hope and perhaps this edition of the Edmonton Oilers can win two games in a row. That will be the test for tomorrow night in NJ. The Rangers appear to have righted the ship, because of course they have.
DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT
- Nurse-Larsson were 10-9 together, including 7-3 with McDavid. This pairing had 11 defensive zone starts, four neutral and five offensive zone starts. Were 4-8 against Lee-Tavares-Bailey, lordy that’s a line.
- Klefbom-Benning were 10-17 together, disappointing night for the pairing to my eye. Oscar made a poor decision on the GA, trying to thread the needle to Nuge (who had no play even if he’d grabbed the puck) instead of the rocking chair pass to his partner. Went 5-12 with the Strome line, 7-11 against Ladd-Barzal-Eberle and that’s another strong line.
- Russell-Gryba went 4-14, including 2-12 with the Nuge line and 2-8 against the Barzal line. Gryba got passed a lot (wasn’t the only one) on a night when the speedway was well lit and every Islander had a full tank of gas.
- Cam Talbot stole the game. Stopped 36 of 37, .973.
- Natural Stat Trick and NHL.com.
- Maroon-McDavid-Draisaitl went 10-12 and scored both goals. Had five DZ starts and 2 OZ starts on the night. Went 4-8 against the Tavares line, 10-9 against Leddy-Boychuk. Interesting matchup.
- Lucic-Nuge went 10-19 with Caggiula (5-7) and Kassian (3-7). I liked the line, only issue was the grenade Klefbom sent to Nuge. Kassian had a great chance to score but assaulted a wall instead. Lucic made a real nice play on the first goal, credit where due. Caggiula got hurt, didn’t return, we could see a recall today. JP?
- Jokinen-Strome-Pakarinen went 6-13, really liked Jokinen’s cerebral style. Strome was not effective against Tavares and I’m surprised coach Weight didn’t pursue that matchup more often.
- Malone-Letestu-Kassian went 3-3 together and they didn’t play much at all. Letestu’s 5:40 5×5 minutes are a genuine curio, while Malone was effective on the PK and hit a post.
- Elliotte Friedman: I still think Edmonton may be the next team to try something, but not as earth shattering as we just saw. Source
I think we might see something while the team is out east, lots of history to support roster tweaks miles from the madding crowd. Drake Caggiula got hurt last night, he might be replaced by Anton Slepyshev or perhaps we see Jesse Puljujarvi recalled. I could see a trade too, a smaller deal for a fleet scoring winger. I mentioned Michael Grabner a little while ago, he’s now filling the net so maybe not. Frank Seravalli has his latest Trade List here.
I plan on providing links each morning to things I believe you may have interest in. I will tell you the range and quality on the site is insane, for me there isn’t enough time in the day to read it all. So, consider this a sample of what you’ll find:
- Lowetide: Oilers No. 1 Prospect Kailer Yamamoto. (Link)
- Craig Custance: The life philosophy of Clare Drake (Link)
- Jonathan Willis: It’s time for Todd McLellan to adjust (Link)
- Black Dog Pat: Remembering the Good, dealing with the Bad (Link)
- Tyler Dellow: NHL Power Plays one month in (Link)
That’s all on the front page of The Athletic-Edmonton, read mine first you bastards. 🙂 If you’re going to subscribe, please take advantage of the Lowetide intro offer it’ll save you some coin.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A busy morning on the show, a little bit fluid so stay tuned during the show. At 10 this morning, TSN1260, scheduled to appear:
- Darcy McLeod, Because Oilers. If the McDavid/Talbot template is back, is there enough time to climb back into the playoff hunt?
- Keegan Matheson, Blue Jays Reporter. Devastating news about Roy Halladay, I don’t know what to say. Keegan will.
- Derek Taylor, TSN. It’s been a mad, mad CFL season and the playoffs are probably going to be just as crazy.
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!