The Edmonton Oilers win in Game 1 (on the road) changes the storyline in the early days of this series. I felt Edmonton needed to win one of the first two games in Anaheim in order to make this a full series. Winning the first game allows us to dream big, to at least contemplate a 2-0 series lead coming home. Don’t count on it, ladies and men. Tonight is war.
OILERS PLAYOFF SCORING
Edmonton has played 7 games now, so are averaging 2.71 goals for and allowing 2.14 against per game. That’s a nice gap. Leon is leading the offense, I think McDavid is probably suffering from the flu and we may see him set sail soon. Also possible the Nuge line erupts. Oscar Klefbom and Adam Larsson have the same boxcars, that’s not going to happen many times during their work together. Benning looked a little gaunt the other night might be a flu victim too. I love his game and future.
- Todd McLellan on Anton Slepyshev: “He is looking comfortable he is making plays and he is taking advantage of 10 minutes a night.”
I wrote an item over at Oilers Nation last night about the extra men available to the Oilers. Anton Slepyshev is parking Iiro Pakarinen, Matt Hendricks, Anton Lander, Jujhar Khaira and others with his fine play, and I think it is a tell. When we discuss the fall roster in July and August, my bet is that Slepyshev will be on it. That crazy trade. Huh.
There are over 600 EMHL members, 250 of whom are involved in co-ed. Ilya Ostrovsky estimates Edmonton has the most devoted players, proven by the unusual start times for games. Ice is a rare item in this city, more on that in a moment. I asked Ilya to pass along what you get when joining EMHL:
- “We provide the most on ice playing time per game and per season. Our 22 minute clock maximizes ice time over the 30 game winter season prior to playoffs. Each individual registration receives a brand new team uniform (made in Canada) each season they play. We guarantee singles or small groups a team regardless of skill set and place them on a league-made individual team.”
- “The EMHL offers players up to the minute stats which are updated immediately after the game online. Players get seasonal awards for top points and top Goalies in each division. Winning players receive a limited edition Division leader ring for winning the Division leader award. Our teams that win the Division receive a set of team rings (21) to commemorate the win along with a Team trophy to keep. This is done during a team party the league throws for each winning squad post win.”
Ilya told me if he gets enough registrations for summer league, he will put a Lowetide team in the league. I told him anyone who registers from this blog is cool, except for my friend Dean who skates on his ankles and cries about playing time. As I mentioned, the future for rec hockey (and EMHL) involves more ice. I’ll talk about that tomorrow. Click on the ad to register if you are interested!
BOB MCKENZIE’S TOP 15 FOR 2017
There is lots of disagreement between Bob McKenzie’s lottery list and the Lowetide list, but that isn’t exactly news. There does seem to be a lot of disagreement among scouts after Vilardi at No. 3 based on what McKenzie wrote about his Top 15. Men on my top 15 not listed here are Eeli Tolvanen (No. 10), Kailer Yamamoto (No. 11), Juuso Valimaki (No. 12), Nick Suzuki (No. 13), Robert Thomas (No. 14). To give you an idea about how much disagreement that represents at the top, here is last year’s top 15 from BM and my rankings:
McKenzie’s list is here, mine here. The only players on my list that appear later on BM’s list? Dante Fabbro (No. 11) and Alex DeBrincat (No. 15). This draft is wide open folks, scouts are going to earn their money this year.
Puckalytics and Stats.HockeyAnalysis.com are the gold standard for advanced stats (although I do believe WoodMoney is going to be a fantastic addition) at this time. The genius who runs those sites has delivered playoff numbers to our doorstep and I thank him a lot. Here is the site, and here are some numbers:
- Connor McDavid played 8:47 against Ryan Kesler at 5×5 in Game 1. Corsi events 9-9, 50 percent.
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins played 5:50 against Ryan Getzlaf at 5×5 in Game 1. Corsi events 3-5, 37.5 percent.
- Adam Larsson played 6:19 against Ryan Getzlaf at 5×5 in Game 1. Corsi events 6-6, 50 percent.
This is TOO EARLY TO DRAW ANY CONCLUSIONS DO NOT DRAW ANY CONCLUSIONS!!! It does inform us about deployment and we can track any changes in line matching over the piece. We will find this invaluable, monitoring and letting the days go by (water flowing underground), and the real value will come at the end of the series. Example? Connor McDavid spent 70 minutes against Marc-Edouard Vlasic 5×5 in Round 1, representing 68 percent of total icetime. McDavid had the edge in Corsi events 82-78, 51.3 percent. Good information.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A fun show! 10 this morning, TSN 1260 and scheduled to appear:
- Steve Lansky, BigMouthSports. A look at each of the four remaining series, and which Canadian team has the best chance at the final four?
- Andy McNamara, TSN4Downs. What a crazy first round!
- Matt Iwanyk, TSN1260. Will the Oilers win tonight? Who is your first option on defense and at forward among the extra forwards?
- Paul Almeida, SSE. Oilers have increased depth, how close are they to a strong Stanley run?
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Friday on my mind! Playoff game tonight! Where am I?