G18 2017-18: Golden Knights at Oilers

It’s a distant memory now, but I can still remember the excitement when one of the “second six” appeared on national television. You rarely saw any of them (for some reason I remember Minnesota a lot) but every once in a long while the Flyers, Penguins, Blues, North Stars, Kings and even Seals would make the broadcasts. In 1970, Vancouver made the NHL and we saw them out west quite a bit, leading to a change in viewing habits at my house (Dad didn’t have much use for the Canucks).  Bottom line: I never missed an expansion game, not ever. It was an education, from “how not to play defense, kids!” to Bobby Sheehan’s amazing sideburns. You can never be a fan of anything like you were a fan of that one thing as a kid.

THE ATHLETIC!

The special Lowetide offer is here. I sincerely hope you can join me and thanks to all who have ventured forth to say kinds things and disagree with me at an astonishing clip! Nice to see you not holding back!

Great feedback so far, very much appreciated. I’ll have an item on Oscar Klefbom in the next day or so.

PIKES PEAK, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers in November 2015: 2-4-1, goal differential -5
  • Oilers in November 2016: 2-4-1, goal differential -6
  • Oilers in November 2017: 3-3-1, goal differential -2

G8 in November 15-16 was a 5-1 win over the NJ Devils, last year a 4-1 loss to the Anaheim Ducks. If the Oilers win or tie this evening, the club will remain the most successful Todd McLellan November team, Oilers edition.

AFTER 17, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers 15-16: 6-11-0, goal differential -10
  • Oilers 16-17: 9-7-1, goal differential +1
  • Oilers 17-18: 6-9-2, goal differential -13

Whenever I see this line it amazes me how closely this year is marching along with 2015-16. Is there a magnificent plot twist to come? Hurry! G18 in 2015-16 was a 4-3 loss to Los Angeles. G18 in 2016-17 was a 4-2 loss to Los Angeles, as the Oilers continued to bleed. A win tonight gets Edmonton within three points of last year’s Oilers and that would be a fairly heartening piece of news.

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: 2-1-1)
  • 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: 3-3-1, seven points in seven games

I have tonight as a win for Edmonton, no guarantees but the Golden Knights have injury issues and are struggling. The home team has a hurting PDO, maybe it gets healthy in a quick hurry.

OILERS CURRENT ROSTER

  • This is the Oilers current roster, I have the forwards by 5×5/60, the blue by Corsi for 5×5, and the goalies by 5×5 save percentage.
  • The McDavid line looks good to me despite recent struggles as a trio. Maroon should have cashed in both weekend games and both 97 and 29 had successful road trips overall. A lot of business gets done at four-on-four by the dynamic duo, seems we forget about that or make it out to be less important. Game state is interesting but goals have equal value no matter the circumstance.
  • The Nuge line looks grand, a real positive during a year when we could use a little good news. Lucic and Nuge are forming an effective duo and if the friendly giant can join in this could be a fantastic second line.
  • The Strome line is Strome and a couple of guys trying to survive in the NHL. Probably one of the weakest fourth lines in the business. Drake Caggiula drawing back in would be a positive.
  • The Letestu line wishes it was the Strome line. The trio barely sees the ice 5×5.
  • Nurse-Larsson are running the possession racket very well, this is a nice chapter for Nurse five years in. You need him to play like this all season long but a very nice start. Larsson is consistent and quality.
  • Klefbom-Benning is above water and can wheel. Tough single moments but the overall has some positives. It got a little crazy (verbal around Klef) on the weekend, people need to remember what he can bring.
  • Russell-Gryba-Auvitu isn’t the sexy but the numbers I value have them in the black.
  • Cam Talbot and Laurent Brossoit are both posting solid 5×5 save percentages. The Oilers PK has been the world’s biggest elevator shaft this season.

NHLE

It’s early but I thought it would be interesting to see who is posting strong numbers early. I included Kailer Yamamoto here even though he’s played just a few games, Tyler Benson is also just getting started. Forwards who are impressing include Graham McPhee, Aapeli Rasanen, Kirill Maksimov and Ostap Safin. Defenders of note are Ethan Bear, Caleb Jones and Filip Berglund.Nick Ellis is the king of the goalies.

My personal Josh Leivo watch continues, Leafs sending down Gauthier allows the team to hold on to the skill winger for now.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, we’re a full boat and we are locked and loaded. TSN1260, scheduled to appear:

  • Pierre Lebrun, TSN & The Athletic. Oilers as we near US Thanksgiving and what a HHOF cast.
  • Jonathan Willis, The Athletic. Is Todd McLellan wrong to keep McDavid and Draisaitl together?
  • Scott Cullen, TSN. A fabulous weekend of CFL playoffs with another on the way.
  • Andy McNamara, TSN. NFL teams still trying to sort themselves out in the playoff race.

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

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456 Responses to "G18 2017-18: Golden Knights at Oilers"

« Older Comments
  1. Gret99zky says:

    Odd McSmellin:
    I predict Lowetide uses ‘When The Levee Breaks’ for tomorrow’s song.

    LT hates Zeppelin. A Laddy Smid kind of hate. #NoQuarter

  2. thehop says:

    Nice win!

    Happy to not be bitching about Letestu in the shootout or Klefboms defensive lapses!
    A good day to be an Oilers fan!

  3. Munny says:

    Ooh, OEL did not look good on that highlight.

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

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!:

    Cold streaks are a thing. Missing tap ins, open nets and flubbing shots are things.

    Pat Maroon was case and point last night and his very nice $300 stick ended up as kindling as a result.

    In the very near future the top line will score a 5v5 goal.

    In very short order after that the top line will score 10 5v5 goals.

    I hope Vegas and their 18th string goaltender is where the levee breaks

    Close enough, gonna say that I called it.

    Y’all are welcome

    Go Oilers!

  5. Todd Macallan says:

    Great game and all, but the real question that should be on everyone’s mind is who was that Willie Nelson looking gentleman drinking beer SN kept showing after every goal?

    His thumbs up made my heart soar.

  6. Munny says:

    Apparently Cammalleri trains with Nurse in the summer. Probably taught him everything he knows about deadlifting, lol.

  7. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    Pouzar:
    Nuge on pace for 36 goals.

    For realzees?!?! Will he Finally get 50 points???

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

    Todd Macallan,

    This +1

    Powerplay went 3/3 tonight.

    PK went 4/4

    Third line posts offense

    Leon up to a PPG pace now

  9. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – I love that I called this earlier in the thread!

    -Now I won’t have to read horsesh%t about our PP/PK as if there is something fundamentally wrong because of personel, or how they are coached or or secondary scoring, all based on inferences on small samples, or how bad McL is. At least not for a game or 2…

    – we are now 1 goal less than Washington on the PP, 4 penalties killed tonight, 3 goals scored less than Pitts with a game in hand…

    – This team is only luck away from being awesome….

    – Did the goalie suck tonight, or did we play better?

  10. Suntory Hanzo says:

    Remember when the Blazers were the Jr Oilers? Would still love to have one of those being a Kamloops lad. (until I moved to the Park)

  11. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    Wow, we were the first western conference team to beat the knights??? That’s kinda cool…

  12. Rebilled says:

    Todd Macallan,

    That was Nillie Wilson and he’s good luck apparently.

  13. slopitch says:

    Guess I should eat some crow RE Nuge. The player I saw last year had no offensive instinct and this year is a revelation. He’s a different player. Credit to Nuge, TMac and I’ll give some to Lucic too. Team is looking good!

  14. Suntory Hanzo says:

    Seemed like the Oiler shots were really picking the corners. Combo those with the grubby goals and you get all inds that you need.

  15. Pouzar says:

    Crazy Pedestrian: For realzees?!?! Will he Finally get 50 points???

    Nope…we just gonna go straight to 60+!!!!

  16. geowal says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    First few goals were not on the goalie

  17. GMB3 says:

    russ99:
    Ok guys, 8 is enough, ease off.

    Hope this is a joke

  18. GMB3 says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    – I love that I called this earlier in the thread!

    -Now I won’t have to read horsesh%t about our PP/PK as if there is something fundamentally wrong because of personel, or how they are coached or or secondary scoring, all based on inferences on small samples, or how bad McL is.At least not for a game or 2…

    – we are now 1 goal less than Washington on the PP, 4 penalties killed tonight,3 goals scored less than Pitts with a game in hand…

    – Thisteam is only luck away from being awesome….

    – Did the goalie suck tonight, or did we play better?

    So our PP and PK are good because of one game? That doesn’t make a lot of sense

  19. GMB3 says:

    slopitch:
    Guess I should eat some crow RE Nuge. The player I saw last year had no offensive instinct and this year is a revelation. He’s a different player. Credit to Nuge, TMac and I’ll give some to Lucic too. Team is looking good!

    No offensive instinct? Played a lot with two struggling wingers and didn’t get gravy 1PP time. I’d say that’s got more to do with it

  20. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    geowal:
    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    First few goals were not on the goalie

    – When it was pointed out that goalies aren’t going to have .952 save percentage against us, forever , there was nonesense about our system made it so that goalies made saves, the way we were shooting, coaching systems, etc.

    – The math is catching up, so those silly narratives will be gone for a bit

    – IS there a team in this league more likely to go on a heater I ask again!

  21. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    GMB3: So our PP and PK are good because of one game? That doesn’t make a lot of sense

    – Yeah the PP goals today were luck, our PP is likely to be as it was before: we are going to not score anymore. And we aren’t going to have anymore games where we don’t let in a PP goal: that was luck as well, we will have the worst PK in the history of the league based on the results from the small sample size, excluding today.

  22. GMB3 says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – Yeah the PP goals today were luck, our PP is likely to be as it was before: we are going to not score anymore.And we aren’t going to have anymore games where we don’t let in a PP goal: that was luck as well, we will have the worst PK in the history of the league based on the results from the small sample size, excluding today.

    20% of the season. Super small sample size. You’re one ornery kool-aid guzzler. Does context matter?

  23. hal5001 says:

    deardylan,

    Hey Deardylan, sounds like you understand the Asian secret. Just back from Nepal myself, travelling out of KL (where I live) on the discount airlines. I’ve been all over Asia thanks to them. Are you in KL? Great base in Asia. Guess it’s Dhaka next, then maybe Bhutan….anyway, if yr in KL, get in touch. I live right close to the Kuantan turnoff in Ampang . Bp59e2004@yahoo.ca

    But wherever I go, always following the Oilers. And of course Lowetide. Great game tonight, that Cammalleri trade is a clear upgrade. Go Oilers! !!

  24. OmJo says:

    OmJo: Won’t lie, I feel like this game will be a blowout for the Oilers.

    Ahem.

    Sure I was wrong about everything else in that post besides Nuge getting 2pts but hey, I’m not complaining.

  25. TheVengeFulOne says:

    We lit up a shitty AHL goalie, and a 4gaa chl goalie. I still think our bottom six sucks. Enjoy the night though.

  26. Ryan says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    – I love that I called this earlier in the thread!

    -Now I won’t have to read horsesh%t about our PP/PK as if there is something fundamentally wrong because of personel, or how they are coached or or secondary scoring, all based on inferences on small samples, or how bad McL is.At least not for a game or 2…

    – we are now 1 goal less than Washington on the PP, 4 penalties killed tonight,3 goals scored less than Pitts with a game in hand…

    – Thisteam is only luck away from being awesome….

    – Did the goalie suck tonight, or did we play better?

    It turns out that Jokinen was the problem.

    I think he has bad juju.

  27. Ryan says:

    TheVengeFulOne:
    We lit up a shitty AHL goalie, and a 4gaa chl goalie. I still think our bottom six sucks. Enjoy the night though.

    All part of the plan baby.

    We’ll trade Broissoit and Pakarinen for Marchessault and Neal or Theodore.

  28. VOR says:

    Munny,

    Mike Cammalleri is the modern Martin Gelinas, in other words arguably the fittest player in the NHL. He spotted Matt Nichol (super star athletic trainer) before anyone in hockey knew Matt’s name. The two have been a team ever since. But Cammalleri brings his own ideas to that relationship. He is one of the few NHL players who is a devoted fan of pylometrics for example. If Nurse is training with Cammalleri you can be pretty sure he is actually learning a great deal.

  29. Lowetide says:

    A good game for the home team. Very pleased with Khaira’s performance.

  30. kgo says:

    I just heard the Coyotes AKA team moneyball just set the NHL record for bed shitting…which also reminded me of a “clear victory” stat I used to love over at CNB back when they had page views…it was awesome, they divided team’s records up games decided in OT vs games decided by 1-2 goals in reg vs blowouts…provided much clarity in the bettman point era

  31. Munny says:

    VOR,

    I don’t doubt it, although my own personal Gord is Martin St. Louis when it comes to fitness. Good for Darnell!

  32. Premonitorial JDî says:

    I love the smell of a good drubbing in the morning. Smells like victory… wait… wut?

  33. OriginalPouzar says:

    Is there an Oiler fan out there not so happy for Nuge?

    8G and 14P in 18G.

    On pace for 36 goals and 64 points (and he’s had to carry Lucic until Milan started to play decent hockey 4-5 games ago – and he’s had 7 different right wingers).

    Interesting that he’s got more goals than assists right now but he is playing some great hockey.

  34. OriginalPouzar says:

    TheVengeFulOne:
    We lit up a shitty AHL goalie, and a 4gaa chl goalie. I still think our bottom six sucks. Enjoy the night though.

    We sure did light up an AHL goalie – at the same time, I don’t think that any person that watched the game would say their goalie cost them the game. The Oilers dominated play, essentially throughout the entire game. This looked like a contending team vs. an AHL team – yes, its an expansion team but they were 2nd in the division and undefeated against the West. Full value to the Oilers for the win against this team.

  35. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lowetide:
    A good game for the home team. Very pleased with Khaira’s performance.

    Yes, another solid game from the big guy.

    Showed some nice offensive flair on the SH 2 on 1 – didn’t think he had that play in him.

    Hopefully he isn’t hurt too badly – didn’t look good at the end of the game.

  36. frjohnk says:

    OriginalPouzar: Is there an Oiler fan out there not so happy for Nuge?

    Depends if you would call Spector an Oiler fan? 🙂

    Ive been saying for awhile that Nuge is driving the 2nd line and driving it well.
    Still taking on tough matchups ( but not as extreme as last year)
    Doing very well in the dot.
    Made many key backchecks.
    He is an all situation center.

    3rd best forward this year and the gap between him and our 4th best forward is not even close.
    Some might put him as our 2nd best forward.

  37. frjohnk says:

    OriginalPouzar: Yes, another solid game from the big guy.

    Showed some nice offensive flair on the SH 2 on 1 – didn’t think he had that play in him.

    Hopefully he isn’t hurt too badly – didn’t look good at the end of the game.

    Khaira played very well.

    Took the puck hard to the net a few times. Rarely has anybody in the bottom 6 done that consistently this year. Pouzar has believed in this kid for quite some time and I dont think he is wrong. I wonder what will happen once Cammy comes here as it seemed like when Jokinen played Khaira didnt and Cammy took Jokinens spot. I dont see them taking Drake out. Maybe Pak sits.

  38. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Maxime Legace is a ECHL/AHL tweener.

    AHL career SV% .898

    ECHL career SV% is sub .900 as well.

    Hanging 7 on him doesn’t prove anything other than your NHLers are NHLers

    I bet last night’s game was good for their mindset/souls though.

    I was really surprised how far back VGK’s Dmen backed in and conceded the zone entries.

    From what I’ve read that’s one of the reasons FLA canned Gallant last year.

    Was a feature of Roy’s team in COL too.

    It works when you have Vezina level goalering until it doesn’t.

  39. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    3 of Jake Allen’s last 4 games are sub .900 (one was sub .800)

    I hope can step on his confidence early tomorrow and make some hay.

  40. frjohnk says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Maxime Legace is a ECHL/AHL tweener.

    AHL career SV% .898

    ECHL career SV% is sub .900 as well.

    Hanging 7 on him doesn’t prove anything other than your NHLers are NHLers

    I bet last night’s game was good for their mindset/souls though.

    I was really surprised how far back VGK’s Dmenbacked in and conceded the zone entries.

    From what I’ve read that’s one of the reasons FLA canned him last year.

    Was a feature of Roy’s team in COL too.

    It works when you have Vezina level goalering until it doesn’t.

    I agree about their goaltending, but Oilers played well. Outshot and outchanced them.

    PP looked better. They were not so stationary like they have been for most of the year.

    Vegas had a few looks, but didnt have much going on. Did notice they did play just once in the past week ( Friday)

  41. frjohnk says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    3 of Jake Allen’s last 4 games are sub .900 (one was sub .800)

    I hope can step on his confidence early tomorrow and make some hay.

    Tomorrow will be a good test for the OIlers.

    The Blues have the best record in the West and also one of the best first lines in the league.

  42. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    frjohnk: Tomorrow will be a good test for the OIlers.

    The Blues have the best record in the West and also one of the best first lines in the league.

    Yup.

    I think EDM can beat anyone and if they take that one it will bode well for the upcoming 5 game roadie.

    WSH was their best played game since game 1 and last night the back pressure and defensive coverage of the forwards was excellent again (4th line notwithstanding)

    They could go on a tear here if they pick up the win tomorrow.

    They play 4 very beatable teams on the roadie (DAL, DET, BUF, BOS), they just need to stick with what they’ve been doing 5v5 while the PP and PK hold serve or +1 per game.

  43. OriginalPouzar says:

    It was nice to have a blowout win where we could reduce the ice time of some of the more material players.

    Connor only played 17 minutes (after 26 the game before).

  44. OriginalPouzar says:

    frjohnk: Khaira played very well.

    Took the puck hard to the net a few times.Rarely has anybody in the bottom 6 done that consistently this year.Pouzar has believed in this kid for quite some time and I dont think he is wrong.I wonder what will happen once Cammy comes here as it seemed like when Jokinen played Khaira didnt and Cammy took Jokinens spot.I dont see them taking Drake out.Maybe Pak sits.

    Who do you think Pouz prefers in the lineup more, Khaira or Pak?

  45. OriginalPouzar says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Maxime Legace is a ECHL/AHL tweener.

    AHL career SV% .898

    ECHL career SV% is sub .900 as well.

    Hanging 7 on him doesn’t prove anything other than your NHLers are NHLers

    I bet last night’s game was good for their mindset/souls though.

    I was really surprised how far back VGK’s Dmenbacked in and conceded the zone entries.

    From what I’ve read that’s one of the reasons FLA canned Gallant last year.

    Was a feature of Roy’s team in COL too.

    It works when you have Vezina level goalering until it doesn’t.

    Sure, fair enough – I don’t think any Oiler fans think that we lit up a Vezina candidate.

    At the same time, I don’t think the goalie was at fault for any of the early goals and those could easily have been scored on MAF.

    It wasn’t just the goals scored, it was the fact that the ice was titled towards the Vegas zone for almost the entire game – sure, it turned in to a blowout which contributed to that but the Oilers made Vegas look like a true expansion team not a team that was 7-0 against the West and in a playoff position (albeit falling).

    Lets us feel good, please?

  46. OriginalPouzar says:

    frjohnk: Tomorrow will be a good test for the OIlers.

    The Blues have the best record in the West and also one of the best first lines in the league.

    Schwartz, Tarasenko and Schenn are all in the top 10 in the NHL in scoring – wow!

    Lets ensure the top 4D is always out against them – McLellan isn’t a huge line matcher but he needs to instruct the staff to not allow the 3rd pairing ice against that line.

  47. frjohnk says:

    OriginalPouzar: Who do you think Pouz prefers in the lineup more, Khaira or Pak?

    we will find out next game.
    but i think Pak sits

  48. frjohnk says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Yup.

    I think EDM can beat anyone and if they take that one it will bode well for the upcoming 5 game roadie.

    WSH was their best played game since game 1 and last night the back pressure and defensive coverage of the forwards was excellent again (4th line notwithstanding)

    They could go on a tear here if they pick up the win tomorrow.

    They play 4 very beatable teams on the roadie (DAL, DET, BUF, BOS), they just need to stick with what they’ve been doing 5v5 while the PP and PK hold serve or +1 per game.

    Just noticed only bottom 6 forward to have 1 GF at 5 on5 was Strome who stayed out late on a shift on the Draisaitl to Maroon goal.

    Nice to have a game like last night but bottom 6 has to get some goals at 5 on 5.

  49. Pouzar says:

    TheVengeFulOne: a shitty AHL goalie

    Someone forgot to tell the Jets that.

    Sorry Padre!

  50. Pescador says:

    frjohnk: we will find out next game.
    but i think Pak sits

    Hot hand plays, always

  51. Pouzar says:

    frjohnk: Pouzar has believed in this kid for quite some time and I dont think he is wrong. I

    I have a distinct bias for players that can actually skate, and skate WITH the puck(i.e. Sleppy, Khaira, Kass). If we want to have a bottom 6 that is effective we need guys that can actually possess the puck long enough to make a play or an intelligent pass on a cycle. Let me ask you, do you ever see guys like Pak, Letestu, Jokinen, even Strome to a certain extent have the puck on their sticks longer than a couple seconds? Ever? I see the play dying on those guys sticks more often than not.

  52. who says:

    Pescador: Hot hand plays, always

    So does that mean Cammelari sits. Cause I am having a hard time figuring who should come out after last night’s game.

  53. who says:

    Pouzar: I have a distinct bias for players that can actually skate, and skate WITH the puck(i.e. Sleppy, Khaira, Kass). If we want to have a bottom 6 that is effective we need guys that can actually possess the puck long enough to make a play or an intelligent pass on a cycle. Let me ask you, do you ever see guys like Pak, Letestu, Jokinen, even Strome to a certain extent have the puck on their sticks longer than a couple seconds?Ever? I see the play dying on those guys sticks more often than not.

    Agreed. That is a very good bias you have there.

  54. Pouzar says:

    I will say this about Pak…he seems to be the guy getting the praise for the PK turn around, that is a big deal. Would like to see the Mathy Guys take on this.

  55. Pouzar says:

    And look out if we get last night’s Klefbom from here on in.
    That was some dreamy sh!t again!

  56. OriginalPouzar says:

    Pouzar:
    I will say this about Pak…he seems to be the guy getting the praise for the PK turn around, that is a big deal. Would like to see the Mathy Guys take on this.

    I think the Cult looked in to this the other day.

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