HARD NOSE THE HIGHWAY

by Lowetide

There are some results you can see coming from a mile away, and last night we saw exactly that play out at Rogers Place. After a stunning opening (which featured the crowd singing the anthem in full voice), the town team played a tentative six minutes before settling in. Oscar Klefbom scored the opening goal, and Milan Lucic added a power-play marker later in the period. Almost from that point on, Edmonton was either chasing the puck or playing with one man in the penalty box.

I saw a lot of complaining in the comments section and elsewhere online about the officials, and that may be something you want to discuss. For me, a more mature team figures out a way to stay out of the box. By the time the parade of penalties was complete, all of the air had been let out of the Oilers’ tires. Much of the roster had been sitting so long the speed and feel of the game was beyond them. I will say Edmonton’s skaters left their thinking caps at home from the second period on.

The Edmonton Oilers can win this series. They have the best player, they have the best goalie and the Sharks are not healthy. However, the first thing the Oilers have to do in order to win this series, is not beat themselves. I think it’s fair to suggest learning that lesson may cost them this playoff spring, unless they can learn it in a quick hurry.

  • Todd McLellan on the penalties: “It takes a lot of players out of the rhythm of the game.”

MATCHUPS

One of the things I wanted to see in this game surrounded the matchups facing Connor McDavid, and the matchups doled out to Darnell Nurse-Eric Gryba.

PATRICK MAROON-CONNOR MCDAVID-LEON DRAISAITL

  • Corsi for 5×5: Patrick Maroon (11-15), Connor McDavid (14-14), Leon Draisaitl (15-14).
  • Points: One assist, by McDavid, on the power play.
  • Shots: Two, both by McDavid. He had five shot attempts, Leon two, Maroon one.
  • TOI: McDavid played 16:14 at evens, 3:39 on the PP, 1:29 on the PK.
  • HDSC: Natural Stat Trick has McDavid at two high-danger SC’s for and four against, I didn’t count but it sounds about right.
  • Oddities: McDavid spent a shift with Mark Letestu, not sure why. Louie DeBrusk picked up on it and identified Maroon as the winger dropped, I don’t know what happened there. If you do, chime in!
  • Sharks defensive matchups: San Jose ran (as we expected) Vlasic-Braun against McDavid for 10:37 (Braun) and Vlasic (9:37). CMD won both Corsi battles (14-6 and 10-7) but there were precious few really good looks I can recall. San Jose’s plan (rob McDavid of clean air) worked, simple as that.
  • Sharks forward matchups: With Logan Couture back, SJS ran the Karlsson-Couture-Pavelski unit most often, and with good success. Although McDavid was 4-5 against Pavelski, it’s also true this was one of the few games any opponent got under 97’s skin. Credit to Pavelski, he did his job and McDavid was not the difference in the game. For any player up against McDavid, that’s a win.
  • What about Game 2? I talked to Woodguy about matching last week, and he mentioned that Todd McLellan may like the matchup (power v. power) because it gives clean air to the Nuge line. I think that’s dandy, but wonder if it might be an idea to get 97 loose when Vlasic Pickles is on the bench. A McDavid versus Brent Burns shift holds real promise.
  • Anything else? If Maroon is hurting (he was not his best), it might be an idea to throw Caggiula up there for Game 2, or at least a portion. Friday is a must win, so the absence of alternatives clears the brain.
  • Anything else else? We know Connor McDavid can’t be contained for long, so Game 2 should be a wild time. Leon played a heavy straight-arm game early, but seemed to fade later in the game and needs to bring it for 60 minutes.

NURSE-GRYBA PAIRING

  • Corsi for 5×5: Darnell Nurse (10-17); Eric Gryba (8-11).
  • Points: Nurse was -1, and both men were on the ice for a PP GA(Ward) and the overtime goal. I think it is fair to note that Nurse was slow to shut the back door on the Ward goal, and that Gryba was in no man’s land on the OT winner. If you disagree, please let me know.
  • Shots: No shots, but Nurse had five shot attempts. Nurse was 3-9 in 5×5 shots for-against, and Gryba was 3-5.
  • TOI: Nurse played 16:23 and 1:53 on PK.
  • HDSC: Natural Stat Trick Nurse at 0-4 and Gryba at 1-3.
  • Oddities: None.
  • Oilers defensive matchups: Todd McLellan had Nurse on the ice most often (5×5) against Justin Braun (9-3) and Brent Burns (1-7) pairings.
  • Sharks forward matchups: Nurse saw Jannik Hansen (5-6) for over five minutes, Chris Tierney and Tomas Hertl too. Pretty much the same for Gryba, although his numbers are slightly different (partly due to time with Oscar Klefbom). Nurse spent some time with Adam Larsson (3-8) but it didn’t go well. The ‘shift’ for Nurse-Larsson lasted an eternity and reminded all of the dark days of Oilers defense. When Nurse finally got the puck out, he was caved. Credit where due, he knew the hit was coming and hung in there.
  • What about Game 2? Matt Benning (for me) is a better match for the Sharks forwards, but that isn’t ideal either. Two players as young as Nurse-Benning are will get targeted by the Sharks, especially in their home barn.
  • Anything else? Mark Fayne is in Bakersfield.

NOTES

  • Oscar Klefbom had a fantastic playoff debut to my eye, if I they ask me he would have been first star on the night. Scored a goal, transported and passed the puck well, he was splendid.
  • Cam Talbot had a strong game, I’ve seen comments about the winning goal but that’s a terrible defensive breakdown and a bang-bang play. You hope your goaler stops it, but Talbot made some fantastic saves early. I would note the early leg kick save and the round-the-world beauty against Brent Burns.
  • Milan Lucic had a strong game, grabbing 1-1-2 early and helping the break out with good speed and passing. I really like his game right now.
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a fine game by my eye, although 6+ minutes on the PK meant he was not as available for even-strength matchups.
  • Adam Larsson played a good game, strong down low and had good wheels. In a difficult game for the defense, I liked this pairing. I did not like the Nurse-Larsson shift, however.
  • Mark Letestu made a terrible back pass in his own zone that led to the tying goal, just a terrible piece of work. Single plays can have great importance while also being single plays. It was not a good night for him despite the apple.
  • Drake Caggiula is an emerging player but he can’t take two penalties. No sir. Todd McLellan may not feel he has the horses to sit him after that game, and for me I like Caggiula as an option on the 97 line, but he needs to stay out of the box.

CLEAN AIR

There are several reasons for Edmonton’s loss (SJS were outstanding on the forecheck, and knew the breakout patterns—often arriving at the designated puck destination before the designated Oiler) but I would rank penalties as the top item. Let’s have a look.

Connor McDavid played 65 percent of his 5×5 time against Justin Braun, and 59 percent against Marc-Edouard Vlasic. That’s lower (in terms of percentage) than we saw in the road game against the Sharks recently (G80). Here’s what I wrote about that matchup at the time:

  • Line went 12-14 against Vlasic-Braun in 13:46. That represents 79 percent of McDavid’s 5×5 icetime, that (imo) is a hard match. Despite the negative Corsi, I felt the line had several promising sorties and 97 alone had what seemed like a dozen handsome chances. Source

So, what changed? Well, it was the the first playoff game for the heart of the order, and that probably impacted things. Also, the breakouts were not quality (mostly), and a lot of that (to my eye) was about good scouting and aggressive play (leading to McDavid lacking clean air). In order, these are the issues:

  • Penalties
  • Predictable breakouts and poor execution on them (and SJS anticipation/good scouting)
  • Slow reaction in defensive zone

The Sharks were there to catch the Letestu back pass and arrived early and often for the dump outs and area passes. Good scouting. Todd McLellan and his staff need to devise ways to counter it (a check down option surely was there but for the most part went unused), but I think much of last night (after the first period) was about Edmonton not playing their game. That’s my opinion. I don’t think expert line juggling was the issue, especially considering Connor McDavid had flourished previously in a similar situation (sans Couture). If Nuge hadn’t been on the PK for six minutes and if all of the forwards had been in a rotation, perhaps the game wouldn’t have gotten away from them. I think Connor McDavid could play the exact opponent he did last night and post three points on Friday. He’s done it before, he will do it again. Get him the puck with a foot of clean air. That’s the job. I think this was a failure of on-ice execution, not off-ice management. Connor McDavid can win going power v. power. We’ve seen it. And if the plan is to find him the softer minutes (versus Brent Burns), then the players have to stay out of the penalty box. The Edmonton Oilers lost their first playoff game in eleven years last night. Friday we find out what they learned. One area Todd McLellan might consider: Sitting some veterans, specifically David Desharnais and Eric Gryba. The Sharks are perhaps less than ideal in terms of a matchup for these men.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy morning. TSN1260 at 10, scheduled to appear:

  • Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey. We’ll break down the first playoff game since 2006, and Bruce will tell us what that playoff atmosphere felt like in the new building.
  • Jared Book, Bluebird Nation and Habs Eyes on the Prize. Jays slow start and Habs can’t contain Tanner Glass.
  • Frank Seravalli, TSN. The playoffs are underway, and the off-ice stories are in full bloom. We’ll have a lively discussion on all of it.

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

 

 

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Centre of attention

Flames just blew a lead late in the second

Turns out having an entire 5 man change while the opposition have possession is never a good idea. Also, penalty trouble.

Woodguy v2.0

GriffCity,

stush18,

Just watched the replay on NHL dot com.

Doesn’t show enough leading up to the goal. I watched it too many times last night and they showed the top angle:

https://twitter.com/Woodguy55/status/852385173836582912

62 didn’t play it like a 3 on 2, but a 2 on 2 and when 25 stepped up to play the puck 62 came over to cover his check.

Until pass went to Karlsson, 62 had no idea he was there.

GMB3

Jordan Eberle was pretty solid last night to my eye. Saw some serious effort.

who

digger50:
who,

I think we see Hendricks.

Few good wingers to chose from to make up a third line and make do with Letestu. Shame I say ” make do” because he has done so much this year, however he does fit so well into a fourth line utility role.

Then band aid a fourth line together and that will likely be determined by penalty killers.

You know, Hendricks has lost a step but he still manages to have an impact and create some chances.

Here is another thought, if Connor is being shut down then why waste Drai as well. Put Kassian up there to make some space and Drai on third to try and pick up a goal from the third line.

I agree with you about Kassian and Drai but I very much doubt the coach does it. I would go
cags mcdavid kassian
lucic nuge eberle
maroon drai slep
poo letestu pak
Think that would give us three potential offensive lines and a solid fourth.

CrazyCoach

That was an incredibly hard game to watch past period 1, but the slide started near the end of period one.

Yeah the penalties sucked, but it happens to teams when they come out and play a high tempo based on nerves. It’s bound to happen to a team with no playoff experience. As much as you may prepare a team for playoffs/ play-downs/provincials/regionals, etc. the reality is that until you get there, you have no idea how it feels. Playoffs are w hole new game and if you’ve never been there, how do you react?

The early penalties were a concern to me. Not because of the nature of them, but because it turned a confident flying team into one that looked tentative and scared to play out of a fear that they would get a penalty. Once that apprehension sets in with a team, it’s hard for them to get out a funk. That and the fact that consistent PK’s mean some players sit on the bench for extended periods of time.

San Jose took advantage of that and turned up the intensity and voila, made the Oilers chase the puck the rest of the game.

What would I do as a coach?

Well, take out the little distractions and let the players focus. I’m not saying kids shouldn’t be allowed near a dressing room, but if you haven’t done it consistently throughout the regular season, then it becomes a distraction.

Really watch the shift lengths and control them. One assistant should take care of this. There were too many long shifts out there for some players and TMac needs to dial that down, and remind players that they take shorter shifts, or tell Talbot to cover it when he notices long shifts.

Better defensive support for the D-men. Part of the reason Nurse and Gryba looked lost out there was because they were caught in an out-numbered situation too many times. F1 has to be back into the D zone quicker and providing support, and F2 and F3 need to guard that slot area from the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Offensive option for the Sharks. All three goals were outnumber situations. Nurse of Gryba should have already been feeding Ward a composite sandwich, Cags was on the wrong end defensively on Martin, and Desharnais needs to be quicker on pressuring that initial puck carrier. Yes, 67’s stick breaking was the catalyst for that goal, but DD has to be stronger there.

And lastly, remind the team of blind passes. There were a multitude of blind passes that went directly to the Sharks. That has to stop.

All in all, it was one game.

I was jealous of all you who got to be there live, but when I saw the long lineups for the bathrooms, my jealousy turned to smugness as I made that 10 step trek to my loo.

Go OIlers Go!

JD_Wry

Here’s hoping some folicide on CBC can take our minds off of last night’s loss.

digger50

who,

I think we see Hendricks.

Few good wingers to chose from to make up a third line and make do with Letestu. Shame I say ” make do” because he has done so much this year, however he does fit so well into a fourth line utility role.

Then band aid a fourth line together and that will likely be determined by penalty killers.

You know, Hendricks has lost a step but he still manages to have an impact and create some chances.

Here is another thought, if Connor is being shut down then why waste Drai as well. Put Kassian up there to make some space and Drai on third to try and pick up a goal from the third line.

Spengler

stencil: I hope we can have a more satisfying catharsis by series’ end: the pity and fear is only building at this point. Perhaps better if we avoid Aristotle’s tragic structure altogether, to be honest.

I love moments like the build to yesterday’s game, because they are an opportunity to write a story fully completely. They let you look back and see something finished, look forward and imagine the drama exactly as it must unfold. Days like today are tough because they are a waypoint, a kind of in-between. We’re left parsing the details and crafting explanations that require more input before the story can really make sense.

That’s what I’ve been saying today. There’s too much of a sense that yesterday was the end. Both prior to the game, we’ve made it to the top of the hill, and after, we’ve lost its over.

Neither is really true. This is the beginning. Of this series. Of what the team does in the off season. Of next year.

stencil

Spengler: Now that the catharsis has happened, let’s have some real hockey!

I hope we can have a more satisfying catharsis by series’ end: the pity and fear is only building at this point. Perhaps better if we avoid Aristotle’s tragic structure altogether, to be honest.

Georges: Subtle change of tone in the comments from yesterday to today.

I love moments like the build to yesterday’s game, because they are an opportunity to write a story fully completely. They let you look back and see something finished, look forward and imagine the drama exactly as it must unfold. Days like today are tough because they are a waypoint, a kind of in-between. We’re left parsing the details and crafting explanations that require more input before the story can really make sense.

who

digger50:
Gryba and Nurse did a lot of good work on the penalties. The final goal was confusion as they both came off the bench and picked up a man. Karlsson came full speed from cross ice blue line. But hard to lay too much blame without passing the hat to the other d who were also less than spectacular .

The reason Nurse Gryba were in the line up was too play heavy playoff hockey, and once the retting started they had to be reined in, effectively reducing thier value.

The past 7 games have shown a weakness in the third pair, regardless of rotation. No help in sight that I can see. Davidson? Nope.

Knowing this I thought Tmac would give them more shelter. I thought they went out with Connor several times on purpose. Poor matchup in overtime.

But not being able to get off the Ice for a change made everyone look bad.

I had no problems with Gryba’s game until the overtime goal. I have seen nothing from Benning in the last month that would suggest he is a better option.
Did not like the Davidson trade when it was announced. DD contributes nothing to this team right now. The best thing I can say about him is you don’t have to teach him how to play center on the fly. He provides no offense, no hitting, no speed and is not a good defensive player period. It would be nice to have the option of plugging in Davidson on the third pairing instead of wondering what to do with DD.
The only solution I see to fill the 3c hole is to move Drai away from Mcdavid and that ain’t going to happen. This means we are going to continue to see Letestu get too many even strength minutes and we are going to continue to wonder why DD is in the lineup.

JD_Wry

Rishaug’s teeth are going to be Eakin if they keep this up:

https://twitter.com/TSNRyanRishaug/status/852339043576692736/photo/1

kinger_OIL

– Great post LT! The 800m track fly and die is a good analogy.

– I saw a team that looked awesome, was up two goals then realized: “holy f$ck, look at how far ahead we are, in our first game in the playoffs”. Teams up 2 early always protect the lead, and the team behind fights like heck. Especially so in the playoffs.

– They got outplayed once ahead, but I’d attribute most of that to inexperience, and scoring effects

– They were up 2-0 and were the better team: they can win this.

digger50

What I witnessed was a lot of fears come to light. First line stymied as we expected. Second line okay as expected. Bottom two lines both outclassed. Same situation for d men.

I think we still have a shot of winning.

However, The roster holes are well known. We had chances to fix them but chose not to and that’s what will cost us.

Spengler

Georges:
LT:

My opinion too. Sharks had jam, Oilers didn’t.

Subtle change of tone in the comments from yesterday to today.

Did the Oilers lose 4 games last night? I thought they lost 1.

Hey, look, it’s the playoffs that everyone’s been waiting forever for.

Let’s go Oilers! …

Cosign

Now that the catharsis has happened, let’s have some real hockey!

digger50

Gryba and Nurse did a lot of good work on the penalties. The final goal was confusion as they both came off the bench and picked up a man. Karlsson came full speed from cross ice blue line. But hard to lay too much blame without passing the hat to the other d who were also less than spectacular .

The reason Nurse Gryba were in the line up was too play heavy playoff hockey, and once the retting started they had to be reined in, effectively reducing thier value.

The past 7 games have shown a weakness in the third pair, regardless of rotation. No help in sight that I can see. Davidson? Nope.

Knowing this I thought Tmac would give them more shelter. I thought they went out with Connor several times on purpose. Poor matchup in overtime.

But not being able to get off the Ice for a change made everyone look bad.

Georges

LT:

The Sharks were there to catch the Letestu back pass and arrived early and often for the dump outs and area passes. Good scouting. Todd McLellan and his staff need to devise ways to counter it (a check down option surely was there but for the most part went unused), but I think much of last night (after the first period) was about Edmonton not playing their game. That’s my opinion.

My opinion too. Sharks had jam, Oilers didn’t.

Subtle change of tone in the comments from yesterday to today.

Did the Oilers lose 4 games last night? I thought they lost 1.

Hey, look, it’s the playoffs that everyone’s been waiting forever for.

Let’s go Oilers! …

trencan

Probably off topic but info about some interesting players for late 1st round pick on WC U-18.
Comtois played 1st line 1+0
Vesalainen 1st line, PP, 2+0 good shot
Brannstrom 2nd defense 1+0
Keith Gretzky is on this tourament to scout players.

delooper

Oilers were just outplayed last night. Oilers had a few solid performances by Klefbom, Larsson, Talbot, Kassian. Most of the other players seemed off. They had that just-happy-to-be-in-the-playoffs vibe. A bit too content.

Jon K

Younger Oil:
Ryan Rishaug‏Verified account @TSNRyanRishaug

No Adam Larsson for Oilers. Gryba filling in, Benning taking reps with Nurse.

4th line looks the same for these drills so far.

Sounds like Gryba will be the odd man out, then.

sliderule

The folks that say that the oilers burned out by starting at sprinting speed for a mile race are spot on.

The only thing is that Sharks were back checking like crazy and they didn’t burn out.

The Sharks pre scouting was pretty good as they looked for Leon to make a blind backhand pass to the point when cornered along the wall and they were able to get good rushes off of it.

Pouzar

Scungilli: the wingers speed makes up for the centres lack of

No. No they don’t.

Pouzar

Same lines as yesterday in rushes.
Godspeed boys.

Generational Poster

Edmonton Oilers‏Verified account @EdmontonOilers 3m3 minutes ago

Maintenance day for @AdamLarsson3 (absent from practice today) says Coach McLellan. “You’ll see number six in the lineup tomorrow.”

Kaptain Vikarious

Professor Q,

Maintenance Day as per Stauffer.

Scungilli Slushy

Rookies are not the answer especially in key positions in the playoffs. Khaira will get his lunch money stolen at centre. Lander is the best option.

Pouliot Lander Slepyshev

Caggiula Letestu Kassian

One rookie per line, the wingers speed makes up for the centres lack of, Letestu plays better with Kassian. The team needs the 4th line and third pair to play or they will start to tire out if they get by the Sharks.

Minister D-

Awful.

Younger Oil:
Ryan Rishaug‏Verified account @TSNRyanRishaug

No Adam Larsson for Oilers. Gryba filling in, Benning taking reps with Nurse.

4th line looks the same for these drills so far.

Professor Q

Younger Oil:
Ryan Rishaug‏Verified account @TSNRyanRishaug

No Adam Larsson for Oilers. Gryba filling in, Benning taking reps with Nurse.

4th line looks the same for these drills so far.

Well this is disconcerting.

Younger Oil

Ryan Rishaug‏Verified account @TSNRyanRishaug

No Adam Larsson for Oilers. Gryba filling in, Benning taking reps with Nurse.

4th line looks the same for these drills so far.

Material Elvis

From my perspective, the Oilers came out too jacked up and blew their load in that first period. After that, they could not recover. Similar to an 800m race where some runners sprint out of the gate then have nothing at the end — the better strategy is to pace yourself. SJ did this and schooled the Oil. They need to refocus and calm the fuck down in the first period. Need better performances from Maroon and Draisaitl and, hopefully, get Desharnais out of the lineup (does he do anything out there?).

Bob Arctor

rickithebear,

Maybe we can see if Ference is good to go as well.

OF17

Regardless of what happens this series, I think it bodes well for the team’s future. Big wake up call with regards for the level of detail required to win in the playoffs. I’m sure McLellan entered this season hoping to establish a game plan that could get them to the postseason. Next year, he’s going to have a room full of students eager to learn multiple systems and breakout plans to have different looks come playoffs. That’s part of the reason why the San Joses of the world are so successful. They know the importance of having a truly detailed arsenal, and they’re experienced enough to be able to pull it off. Next year, the Oilers should be the same way, or at least significantly better in that regard. I’m not waiving the white flag – any team with McDavid is never out until it’s over – but regardless of how it turns out, this series is crucial for the team’s development. It’s why I’m feeling good in spite of the ass beating.

npanciroli

Really want to see McDavid, Drai, RNH down the middle.

rickithebear

LMHF#1: Their bottom 3D simply aren’t good enough. Eric Gryba fans will hopefully finally get why him playing without a rash of injuries fills me with doubt about a given game’s result.

Top 60 HD Dmen in Conf Finals:
2016:
PIT: Lovejoy; Doumulin; Cole; Matta
SJS Vlasic; Braun; Martin
TMP Stralman; Hedman; Sustr
STL Parayko; Gunnarsson; Bortuzzo

2015
CHI Hjarlmasson; Keith; Timonen
TMP Stralman; Hedman; Sustr;
ANA Vatanen; Stoner; Beauchemin; Lindholm
NYR Girardi; Mcdounagh; Klien

2014
LAK Doughty; Muzzin; Martinez; Greene
NYR Mcdonnagh; Stralman; Klien; Diaz
CHI Hjarlmasson; Oduya; Rozival
MTL Weaver; Gorges; Beaulieu

2013
CHI Hjarlmasson; Oduya; Rozsival
BOS Chara; Ference; Boychuk; Mcquaid
PIT Martin; Orpik; Eaton
LAK Doughty; Muzzin; Martinez; Greene

2012
LAK Doughty; Scuderi; Mitchell; Martinez;Greene; Voyonov
NJD Fayne; Greene; Larsson; Volchenkov; Salvador
NYR Girardi; Mcdonnagh; Stralman
ARZ Aucoin; Klesla; Schlemko; Stone

2011
BOS Chara; Seidenberg; Ference; Boychuk
VCR Bieksa; Mamhuis; Ehrhoff
SJS Vlasic; White; Wallin
TMP Ohland; Lundin

2010
CHI Hjarlmasson; Campbell; Sopel; Seabrook
PHI Pronger; Timonen; Carle
SJS Blake; Boyle; Vlasic; Murray
MTL Markov; Spacek; Gorges

2009
PIT Scuderi; Gill; Eaton
DET Lidstrom; Rafalski; Lebda
CHI Hjarlmasson; Campbell; Seabrook
CAR Pikanen; Gleason

2008
DET Kronwall; B. Stuart; Lidstrom
PIT Whiney; Scuderi; Gill
DAL Niskanen; Grossman; Zubov; Fistric
PHI Coburn; Timonen; Hatcher

2007
ANA Pronger; Odonnell; Beauchemin; Niedermeyer
OTT Volchenkov; Phillips; Mezaros
BUF Campbell; Spacek; Tallinder; Kallinen
DET Lidstrom; Markov; Lebda; Schnieder

2006
CAR Hedican; Wesley; Wallin
EDM Pronger; Spacek; Smith; Staios; MAB
BUF tallinder; Lydman; Kalinin; Numenin
ANA Salei; Beauchemin; Vishnevski; Niedermeyer

Hmm
Fayne 1st comp HD Dman that got to Cup final

Russell – Larson
Klefbom -Fayne
Sekera – Benning

Bad Seed

GriffCity,

Longer lines for bathrooms means less money spent on beer. Poor planning on Katz’ part! Thought he was a smart businessman?

Btrain

Nurse and Gryba did have a tough time out there but so did Sekera/Russell and most forwards. I disagree that Benning should come in for Gryba. The Oilers let their nerves get to them and they essentially beat themselves in this one. Focusing in on the individuals who made mistakes that led to goals, as the problem, masks the dozens of other mistakes made by other men that Talbot or the cross bar bailed out. Anyway, give Gryba another game with a more relaxed and focused team effort and he will do just fine. Gryba’s physicality is essential in a playoff series and many of his 8 hits were of the crushing variety. I also just don’t like the idea of having a second year guy and a rookie paired together which is what Nurse and Benning would represent.

GriffCity

fishman,

YES! Completely agree, what is with the mens washrooms? There is no way it should take so long to get in and have a leak. It’s actually pretty upsetting when you cant even get into the washroom and back to your seat during a full intermission +. Causing the fans to miss actual game time which they pay GOOD money to see is pretty shameful.

JD_Wry

fishman,

Have you heard of Katz’ new business venture?

https://www.biorelief.com/product/stadium-pal-kit

Visually better

I’m biased because I was a Davidson fan boy but you don’t get rid of defensive depth on a playoff run for a guy who like David desharnais. A guy in an out of the line up who Has no defensive acumen and very little to show offensively. Hated the trade then, despise it now. #ripdavey #freetonylander

russ99

I’m not a fan of Caggiula on the first line since we’ll need sustained offensive pressure to win this series, and Connor/Leon needs a net crasher.

Caggiula left it all out on the ice when other Oilers didn’t, but I’m not sure he’s effective once the rush is stopped and we need to retain the puck and cycle to get chances, keep the Sharks off the puck and make Jones work.

If we move Maroon, which may be a knee-jerk idea based on one game, Lucic is my pick to move up and put Pouliot back with RHN and Ebs.

McSorley33

Tip of the cap to the Cult of Hockey Grades on David Desharnais…..I have not seem them throw around a grade of “1” very often….but David earned it.

fishman

Was a nice surprise when my son came home after work and said he had a couple of tickets to the game and asked if I wanted to go! Good seats lower bowl section 130. Arrived early and the atmosphere at the start of the game was incredible and after scoring two first period goals the place was rocking. First intermission went to use the facilities on main concourse. The line up was 250′ down the concourse ! By the time I got back to my seat I missed 7 minutes of the 2 nd period! Second intermission stayed in my seat to avoid the line up. End of the third back in the long line up. Was waiting in the entrance to get back to my seat when OT goal scored! How in the hell can you build a state of the art rink and fail to put in adequate number of washrooms???? I can tell you there were a lot of very disgruntled fans in that line. Sorry for the rant but needed to vent!!!!!

commonfan29

There was a closeup shot of Pavelski laughing it up with a line-mate after an offside or lost puck – I think while it was still 2-0.

I remember thinking he was disturbingly loose considering the situation and that it was a bad omen.

rickithebear

LT:
When I break down players:
I look at how a player is treated on other teams by refs.

It is not the penalty calls!
It is are the things they are letting get away affecting our teams strength!
Are they calling penalties on the other teams strength?

Will a player moving to us lose a lot of there play strengths cause the refs will call the things they get away with.

I like to break down the linesmen and refs based on there smoochy smooch!
Player love!

-Skating and laughing with burns after a whistle!
-Turning there head to Mcdavid; Avoiding eye contact, after he has been hooked.
-who do the linsmen physical engage in the scrums. Attacker or victim. We have seen it. 2 players on an oiler and linesmen grabbing the lone oiler.
-My favorite kadri working Mcdavid in overtime in TO and early on in game in EDM.
Lucic goes to give Kadri the same medicine and linsman grabs lucic and physical gets between him and kadri!

It is the calls affecting system play that affects games.

I have loked at the repetitive formula of
1. HD coach
2. Top 10 HD goalie.
3. 3+ top 60 HD Dmen
4. 135G-135P fwd depth (usually 5+)
5. 3rd line +ve goal dif.
6. +ve Special teams diff.

3 times in last 25 years a team has won without a goalie getting .910+ save% (ie top 10 HD goalie)
In all 3 cases a Significant affect in refing influenced the Championship!
my favourite BUF-DAL.

The subconciuos of linsmen and refs is visible thru the who game.

I have a solution:
A reverse jock Strap with a a long round vibrating lollipop player love team logo on it.
The refs and Linsmen can
1. Turn on
2. pull-on
3. insert rectaly
4. were it for the whole game.
they will get the constant team player love they need.
Thereby eliminating the subconcios need to protect there man/ player love!

linkfromhyrule

leadfarmer: Desharnais was the solution.

Curious to know if Oil targeted Desharnais or if that was all MTL was willing to give up. He has been negative value since about the 4th game here. That pro scout should be questioned big time.

leadfarmer

Staying put at the trade deadline saying these guys have to earn it themselves would probably be a better way to go than determine there is a problem with bottom 6 C and think Desharnais was the solution. Terrible player.

Either way. We knew this team had issues. This is a good time for these guys to get some experience. Hope they learned their lessons.

LMHF#1

Still bitter about last night. Regular season they win that game all day every day.

My hope if they cannot win something this spring is that the playoffs expose in the brightest light the weaknesses of this team, and not only remove any doubt for Chiarelli, but focus the attention and pressure he’ll receive.

They needed a 3C and didn’t get one. They still need a 3C.

Their bottom 3D simply aren’t good enough. Eric Gryba fans will hopefully finally get why him playing without a rash of injuries fills me with doubt about a given game’s result.

Fix these two and you’re laughing.

Pouzar

stush18: I’m sure he’s well aware. What do you do, not play them? Slide in Hendricks?

Speed. Khaira line 3 and Letestu line 4.

stush18

As many of you are well aware, that many penalties can absolutely kill a teams legs and momentum.

If the oilers don’t spend so much time killing penalties, they might get some flow and maintain there legs in the game.

The game wasn’t really surprising. Huge crowd, full of emotion, you knew the oilers were going to be amped up. The lack of experience took them over the edge, and the PK bailed us out for most of the game.

Also the oilers were determined to finish every hit. But running guys can mess with your forecheck.

Play with emotion, don’t play emotional.

fifthcartel

5-on-5 TOI for defense last night.

Larsson – 17.27
Nurse – 15.69
Klefbom – 15.45
Gryba – 14.12
Sekera – 13.57
Russell – 13.53

There was a lot of penalties, so my first thought was Sekera-Russell were PKing so much that he leaned on Nurse-Gryba more at even strength. This seems to be the case. Sekera-Russel led the SH TOI by almost 2 full minutes, and Nurse-Gryba were the least used pairing.

I’d still almost rather run Klefbom-Larsson even harder at 5-on-5 and Nurse-Gryba less, even if that means them getting into the 25-26 minute territory.

Even with penalties, and that horrible shift withstanding, I don’t think you can win with the TOI spread out like that. Nurse isn’t good enough for that and Gryba will never be.

Professor Q

They’ll reset for the next game and will absolutely play differently.

Might be interesting to see whom they might call up…