THRASHER

by Lowetide

The Edmonton Oilers had issues early, got down by three, and then found a way to come all the way back. Then the young team continued to make poor decisions and gave up another field goal. The club’s goalie, brilliant all season, with rare wobble, perhaps delivered less than his best. Oh, Sunday night, why have you forsaken us? It wasn’t all bad, the McDavid goal might be the best all playoffs, but it was a disappointing result all the same.

  • “Not enough.” -Todd McLellan’s response to Ryan Rishaug’s question about Jordan Eberle and what he was bringing. Source

THE WHO, BY NUMBERS

  • First 20: 3-1 ANA, 10-9 ANA shots, 15-12 EDM Corgi 5×5.
  • Second 20: 2-1 EDM, 15-6 EDM shots, 17-10 EDM Corgi 5×5.
  • Final 30: 2-0 ANA, 11-5 ANAshots, 15-12 Corsi for EDM.
  • Final 6-3 ANA, 28-27 ANA shots, Corsi for 5×5 edge overall 47-34 EDM.

The numbers suggest an even game, but we know from experience that single moments can have enormous importance while also being single moments. Sekera doing a poor job of playing safety, Larsson losing a goalmouth battle, Nurse’s poor set-play pass, it’s 3-0 and you knew that was all she wrote.

You know what? It wasn’t over, and this resilient team came all the way back. That’s a fantastic moment for the team. Very disappointing to see it go away in the back half of the game, but this team comes to work and that’s a good sign. Now, about that execution.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Sekera-Russell went 20-13 in 14:55 together, including 15-2 with the Nuge. Lordy. Russell had two assists, and the pairing did have some good moments. However, ghastly coverage in the game’s first minutes started the giant ball of ugly rolling. This is a veteran pairing, have to be better. Went 13-7 against Rakell-Getzlaf-Eaves. Russell have three giveaways, a number that stands out even on a porous evening for the blue.
  • Nurse-Benning went 9-8 in 11:09 together, including 5-5 with Connor McDavid. Went 3-4 against Cogliano-Kesler-Silfverberg. The big item for this pairing came from Nurse’s poor decision, and poor pass, that was intercepted and cashed by Getzlaf. That was a painful goal in the scheme of things.
  • Klefbom-Larsson went 11-10 in 14:54 and to my eye were the top pairing. Not to say they were perfect, as Larsson couldn’t get the puck out of the slot on the third GA and Klefbom was in no-man’s land on the fifth goal against. Pairing went 3-8 with Connor McDavid and 3-8 against Cogliano-Kesler-Silfverberg.
  • Cam Talbot stopped 22 of 28, .786. Not good. However, first Oilers fan to complain has to drive the No. 43 bus (milk run) for the rest of the week without taking breaks. Talbot has been golden this year, save for a few performances.

MCDAVID LINE

  • Connor McDavid scored a brilliant goal and had plenty of other chances too. He played a solid game offensively, Edmonton could have had a couple more goals from this line. Played a responsible defensive game until later on, when two GA came against his line. He missed Leon more than we might have expected.
  • Milan Lucic had a tough night, got some looks but didn’t accomplish much. He also sent those errant passes wayward a few times, that isn’t like him. Received a nice pass from 97, many feel McDavid should have shot. If you look at the video, Anaheim’s defender is closing the gap and I believe he made the right call.
  • Jordan Eberle played so well the coach couldn’t contain himself in the post-game. Many people are saying he may get demoted before Wednesday. I think Eberle would not be my primary goat, but he has a one-dimensional game despite plenty of effort this spring. Many people are ripping Eberle this morning, and the coach clearly has frustration. I will tell you the Oilers need him if they are going to get past the Ducks and into the final four.
  • Line went 7-15 against Cogliano-Kesler-Silfverberg, 3-8 against Lindholm.

NUGE LINE

  • Big night for this trio, they owned possession. I swear Nuge has a hatty in his future.
  • Todd McLellan switched up lines (Maroon and Leon moving to the 2line) and it worked very well. RNH was 18-4 against Getzlaf. Music!
  • I thought for sure 93 would get an assist on the Maroon goal.
  • Leon had an assist and damned near a goal on the power play, I liked his game.
  • Maroon scored another Maroon goal, the man has the touch this season. Less impressive was his costly penalty.
  • I would like to see this line again.

DESHARNAIS LINE

  • This line did well last night, although you are going to hear about a dumb penalty by Pouliot. It was dumb, but had no impact on the final result. He was solid otherwise, and the line overall did well. If you’re going to rail on Pouliot, please be smart about it and bring up his poor bat this season.
  • Slepyshev continues to make himself offensively useful. He is pushing for a regular job in the fall, bet he gets it. Could he be on McDavid’s line Wednesday?
  • Desharnais went 6-4 against Perry’s line. I think people are underrating this line.

LETESTU LINE

  • Letestu was solid in the faceoff circle and had some looks, but it was not worth of a bullet point on the resume.
  • Caggiula played the kind of game that can be expected from rookies, good moments followed by moments where awareness is not what it will be. Edmonton has a pile of these guys in the lineup, I would encourage patience for anyone under 22 and playing in their first playoff spring.
  • Kassian couldn’t find a dance partner, and the hockey didn’t break his way. Quiet evening, but he didn’t make any massive errors that I saw either.
  • Trio went 3-1 against Shaw-Thompson-Wagner.

LET’S REVIEW

One of the surprises for me last night was the amount of upset from Oilers fans. It tells me that we may be getting ahead of ourselves a little here. So, allow me to make a statement and get your reaction to it.

  • The Edmonton Oilers could lose the next three games by shutout and it would still represent a mammoth season in franchise history.

Let’s review. Before the beginning of the season, we knew Connor McDavid was special, but the actual season he delivered was truly awesome. Leon Draisaitl blossomed alongside, the right side of the defense was improved and Cam Talbot established himself as one of the 10 best goalies in the NHL. Youngsters pushing included Matt Benning, Drake Caggiula and Anton Slepyshev, plus the team passed 100 points for the season. Connor McDavid won the first major award for this franchise since 1990. Oh, and by the way, they won their first playoff series since 2006 and have a 2-1 lead in the quarter-finals. Take a breath, erase last night from the etch-a-sketch in your mind, and have a good long look at what this organization has accomplished in one season.

MCLELLAN’S EXPERIENCE

When I was 7, I was badly injured playing in our back yard. I was running and jumping to catch a ball and my head hit a trailer hitch. Blood everywhere (only time I was a redhead) and my brother’s reaction (genuine concern) frightened me more than the blood. I probably would have panicked or passed out, but my Dad slowly walked over, calmly told me to sit down, and took my mind off of things. He examined the wound (to this day, do not touch the top of my head, I will go a little mad), told my brother to tell Mom to bring the car around to the front. He helped me to the car (I got to ride in the front seat!) and he made sure I was calm the whole way to the hospital. My Mom never did see me, or she would have cried, and then I would have cried. My Dad knew all that from the second he started walking slowly toward me. Experience, reading the moment, addressing it using all of the tools available. (Note: He caught 10 kinds of hell for not telling Mom, just so you know).

Todd McLellan has experience in playoff series and so far has been able to correct issues quickly, allowing this team to recover by next game, by keeping everyone focused on the process. McLellan’s experience. It happened after the 7-0 loss, the Sharks didn’t win a game after that one. Will it happen Wednesday? We wait.

Seattle is on to the WHL Finals, Bear a massive part of the team’s success this season. Can he return in time for the Memorial Cup? I hope so, playing in that tournament is a dream for these young men. Pro hockey awaits Bear in the fall. I have been cheering for him since he was drafted, I had  him as a second-round pick based on numbers and scouting reports. I imagine a re-draft would have him higher, but the key is that he worked hard and has himself in a very good spot entering his entry-level deal.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A fun, busy morning starts at 10, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Scott Burnside, ESPN. The elite eight are figuring it out, right now a Pittsburgh-Ottawa and Nashville-Edmonton final four is the most likely scenario.
  • Andy McNamara, TSN. NFL draft!
  • Jason Gregor, TSN1260. Oilers lose Game 3, will there be lineup changes?
  • Sunil Agnihotri, Copper & Blue/The SuperFan. What kind of changes should Todd McLellan be contemplating.
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MrEd

Nuge is wicked. That’s all.

Seismic Source

Wow Crosby just got knocked out with a hockey play.

misfit

He’s a witch! Burn him!

Scungilli Slushy

Admiral Ackbar:
The Oilers are quickly discovering how hard it gets in the playoffs when there’s no space to do anything. The Ducks close the gap so early in the neutral zone and their mobile dmen grab pucks shot in long before the forechecker is arriving. Makes me think they should be modifying their gameplan. Ring the shootin and run a guy in hard on the weakside.

I get worried at times that TMac doesn’t see the game within the game – that may have been an issue with his previous employment. Daryl Sutter ate his lunch on many occasion. The Oilers are getting hammered, getting pouty and taking stupid penalties. Penalties are inevitable against a team playing like the Ducks. The refereeing consistently endeavours to have a relative amount of calls go against either team. The Oilers are getting weak calls – I’d say make those calls count.

The coaches aren’t on the ice. If the players are playing the systems then sure it’s on the coach but a fair few guys aren’t. Coach says they are freelancing which is an effort to get it done with personal effort which is admirable but doesn’t work in hockey or most team sports

treevojo

Professor Q: Nuge weighs as much as a Duck. Now, what does that mean?

Oh nuge you dog.

http://i.imgur.com/hWOqb5f.jpg

Professor Q

treevojo:
Pretty hard for the Oilers to win in 5 if they didn’t lose a game.

Fuck a duck.

Nuge weighs as much as a Duck. Now, what does that mean?

treevojo

Pretty hard for the Oilers to win in 5 if they didn’t lose a game.

Fuck a duck.

Admiral Ackbar

SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!:
Hey all lets play a game

Here are some stats for a player from last nights game plus the cap hit and term remaining after the comma

0 0 0 -1 2 21 12:28 9:13, $8.625 x 4

With all the teeth gnashing about our man Eberle, his borderline uselessness and his brutal contract, I’d hate to be the greasy bum who’s stats line is above

Corey Perry?!

Admiral Ackbar

Jethro Tull: Eberle changed his stick size this year….

I wish I could change my ‘stick size’.

Admiral Ackbar

DBO:

One game. They will adjust. Still think this heads to 7. Playoffs! Enjoy it.

Brilliant words. As a friend texts me continuously during the game:

“Breathe…….”

Admiral Ackbar

The Oilers are quickly discovering how hard it gets in the playoffs when there’s no space to do anything. The Ducks close the gap so early in the neutral zone and their mobile dmen grab pucks shot in long before the forechecker is arriving. Makes me think they should be modifying their gameplan. Ring the shootin and run a guy in hard on the weakside.

I get worried at times that TMac doesn’t see the game within the game – that may have been an issue with his previous employment. Daryl Sutter ate his lunch on many occasion. The Oilers are getting hammered, getting pouty and taking stupid penalties. Penalties are inevitable against a team playing like the Ducks. The refereeing consistently endeavours to have a relative amount of calls go against either team. The Oilers are getting weak calls – I’d say make those calls count.

DBO

Found myself looking up the world championship team and being annoyed at no oilers being picked….. then remembered we are in the playoffs. Coffee was needed, but reading many posts seemed like we had been eliminated and our guys would be heading overseas. Everyone take a breath.

One game. They will adjust. Still think this heads to 7. Playoffs! Enjoy it.

theres oil in virginia

porknuts:
I am posting for the first time ever because I know why the Oilers lost. I was told by a friend that the fans cursed the game by singing the American anthem. I said that I thought that this was a ridiculous statement and he said ‘final score as 6-3, that’s all the proof I need.’

Can someone please run that stat through the statmoney machine? Get me a wrong anthem/60?

Thanks.

Just take the money:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fm2W0sq9ddU

Admiral Ackbar

SOO much wobble in that game! Even McDavid had a weak defensive game (pointed out in detail by McCurdy and Staples on Cult of Hockey podcast). To they eye, there were quite a few culprits in the defensive zone (Nurse, Russel, McDavid, etc.).

Eberle certainly doesn’t deserve all of the blame but the Ducks are continually relying on him to kill offensive plays as soon as it hits his stick. It’s like he hasn’t figured out that he’s not fast nor strong enough to carry the puck over the offensive blueline. On top of it, he’s shooting the puck into areas where his teammates aren’t expecting him to send it.

Credit the ducks for throwing a wrench in the Oilers motor. Still, smart players adapt. Eberle hasn’t done that.

delooper

Doug McLachlan:
So another Oiler dealing with the flu?

Maybe, but he wasn’t sniffly. Flu + decongestants, perhaps.

Bulging Twine

Patrick Eaves left arena with walking boot on right foot. Carlyle said he’s day to day.
-Helene Elliot

RC said he isn’t ruled out for Game 4
-Eric Stephens

Doug McLachlan

delooper,

So another Oiler dealing with the flu?

Bulging Twine

Jethro Tull: Eberle changed his stick size this year….

Different reasons

delooper

I imagine we’ll never know what’s up but Maroon in his interview today looked decimated. His brain was slow — his was dragging words out. Red splotches on his face. He looked shaken-up.

CrazyCoach

porknuts: I was told by a friend that the fans cursed the game by singing the American anthem. I said that I thought that this was a ridiculous statement and he said ‘final score as 6-3, that’s all the proof I need.’

You need to friend smarter friends. No need to dig out the stats here.

Jethro Tull

Bulging Twine:
Scungilli Slushy,

and just to be clear, I am not in any way slamming the player.And i know you aren’t either.Just seeing that he may be hampered by too short of a stick.

Eberle changed his stick size this year….

Chachi

Jethro Tull: Best players on the Oilers, as voted by Eastern MSM:

Connor McDavid
Alex Ovechkin
Alex Ovechkin
Draisaitl
Talbot
Nuge

LOL

Bulging Twine

Scungilli Slushy,

and just to be clear, I am not in any way slamming the player. And i know you aren’t either. Just seeing that he may be hampered by too short of a stick.

Doug McLachlan

LT, thanks again for reminding everyone to take a stress pill and think things over.

We are in Round 2 of the playoffs and up a game. We still hold home-ice and played an awful game (which we managed to tie up after a dreadful start). Back away from the edge people. It’s all good.

It is a sign of how well this team has performed of late that we are so expectant of success. Turning north doesn’t always mean that the road is straight.

The Eberle criticism comes with the territory. He’s a goal scorer and even in a down year (20 goals being a down year is telling here) the expectation is that he would have a goal or two. Hell swap Kassian’s 2 g for Eberle’s 2 a and it’s not really even a discussion.

RNH 24 shots – 0 goals, Ebs 17 shots – 0 goals, Lucic 13 shots – 1 goal. As a line they have a 1.85 shooting %. I think they are better than that. Regular season Lucic had a 13.1% rate, RNH a 9.0% rate and Eberle 9.6% rate – the lowest of his career and almost 4% below his career average.

Patience people. I know it’s hard in the playoffs where the sample size is both so small and yet so big but patience.

Jethro Tull

npanciroli:
Best players on Oilers for me:

McDavid
Talbot
Larsson
Klefbom
Draisaitl
Nuge

in that order.

Best players on the Oilers, as voted by Eastern MSM:

Connor McDavid
Alex Ovechkin
Alex Ovechkin
Draisaitl
Talbot
Nuge

Bulging Twine

LMHF#1: They also had a bunch of sound problems period. During warmup the music stopped. It was in and out during the game. Very very weird.

Helene Elliott says, “Oh my…the music stopped at Rogers Place. Great fans fill in the silence with chants.”

Chachi

godot10: The story is:

Sound to TV was working.Sound to Kissel’s monitors/arena was not.

i.e. We could hear him on TV.He could not hear himself.The crowd could not hear him.

Ralph Krueger would have had a re-animated Whitney Houston and a spare karaoke machine ready to go in the same situation.

Chachi

SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!:
Hey all lets play a game

Here are some stats for a player from last nights game plus the cap hit and term remaining after the comma

0 0 0 -1 2 21 12:28 9:13, $8.625 x 4

With all the teeth gnashing about our man Eberle, his borderline uselessness and his brutal contract, I’d hate to be the greasy bum who’s stats line is above

During the National Anthems he was vibrating like a jack hammer. It was like a whole body version of Barry Trotz’s eyebrows. Almost like he was on something.

LMHF#1

godot10: The story is:

Sound to TV was working.Sound to Kissel’s monitors/arena was not.

i.e. We could hear him on TV.He could not hear himself.The crowd could not hear him.

They also had a bunch of sound problems period. During warmup the music stopped. It was in and out during the game. Very very weird.

godot10

northof51:
RE The American National Anthem

Nothing I have seen indicates the mic wasn’t working. It appeared that Kissel was trying to entice the fans into singing, which they did (and admirably, I might add).

Now everyone, including Oilers twitter, is running with the technical difficulties thing. Am I way off or what the H-E-double hockey sticks is going here?

The story is:

Sound to TV was working. Sound to Kissel’s monitors/arena was not.

i.e. We could hear him on TV. He could not hear himself. The crowd could not hear him.

SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo!

Hey all lets play a game

Here are some stats for a player from last nights game plus the cap hit and term remaining after the comma

0 0 0 -1 2 21 12:28 9:13, $8.625 x 4

With all the teeth gnashing about our man Eberle, his borderline uselessness and his brutal contract, I’d hate to be the greasy bum who’s stats line is above

Bank Shot

northof51:
RE The American National Anthem

Nothing I have seen indicates the mic wasn’t working. It appeared that Kissel was trying to entice the fans into singing, which they did (and admirably, I might add).

Now everyone, including Oilers twitter, is running with the technical difficulties thing. Am I way off or what the H-E-double hockey sticks is going here?

I was there and you couldn’t hear Kissel or the Canadian anthem singer.

The technical difficulties answer is the right one.

Chachi

LMHF#1: We’ve sung both anthems at essentially every playoff game in the ’06 run and this year. Just not at the volume yesterday required.

It gets people fired up.

Yup.

LMHF#1

Chachi: All you have to do is go back “a few” years ago to 2006 in game 3 against the San Jose Sharks in Edmonton. Fans sang the U.S. anthem, the Oilers won the game.

We’ve sung both anthems at essentially every playoff game in the ’06 run and this year. Just not at the volume yesterday required.

It gets people fired up.

Chachi

porknuts:
I am posting for the first time ever because I know why the Oilers lost. I was told by a friend that the fans cursed the game by singing the American anthem. I said that I though that this was a ridiculous statement and he said ‘final score as 6-3, that’s all the proof I need.’

Can someone please run that stat through the statmoney machine? Get me a wrong anthem/60?

Thanks.

All you have to do is go back “a few” years ago to 2006 in game 3 against the San Jose Sharks in Edmonton. Fans sang the U.S. anthem, the Oilers won the game.

porknuts

I am posting for the first time ever because I know why the Oilers lost. I was told by a friend that the fans cursed the game by singing the American anthem. I said that I thought that this was a ridiculous statement and he said ‘final score as 6-3, that’s all the proof I need.’

Can someone please run that stat through the statmoney machine? Get me a wrong anthem/60?

Thanks.

--hudson--

npanciroli:
Maroon McDavid Slepyshev
Lucic RNH Draisaitl
Pouliot DD Eberle
Cagguila Letestu Kassian

I would roll this next game.

An interesting approach, the first line played together on the road in SJ and RNH-Drai have a history. It would be the Corey Perry treatment for Ebs but maybe he can produce in that role.

The move RNH made on Getzlaf to break in on Gibson was vintage Sakic. Too bad Gibson made a brilliant save

Chachi

northof51:
RE The American National Anthem

Nothing I have seen indicates the mic wasn’t working. It appeared that Kissel was trying to entice the fans into singing, which they did (and admirably, I might add).

Now everyone, including Oilers twitter, is running with the technical difficulties thing. Am I way off or what the H-E-double hockey sticks is going here?

He was probably mic’d up for t.v. and for the arena. Arena mic wasn’t working, but you could hear him on t.v.

Scungilli Slushy

Bulging Twine:
Scungilli Slushy,

It appears he has to bend a fair bit to get his stick down.I think a longer stick with perhaps a slightly different lie would help his stick be in place sooner.It wouldn’t have to travel as far to respond to his brain.

Especially for a guy with a back issue. He doesn’t turn his shoulders nearly as much as regular players. It looks difficult for him to skate at times.

northof51

RE The American National Anthem

Nothing I have seen indicates the mic wasn’t working. It appeared that Kissel was trying to entice the fans into singing, which they did (and admirably, I might add).

Now everyone, including Oilers twitter, is running with the technical difficulties thing. Am I way off or what the H-E-double hockey sticks is going here?

Bulging Twine

Scungilli Slushy,

It appears he has to bend a fair bit to get his stick down. I think a longer stick with perhaps a slightly different lie would help his stick be in place sooner. It wouldn’t have to travel as far to respond to his brain.

Bulging Twine

This team is so resilient. Lose 7-0 –> win the next game, even going down 3-1 in that game.
Losing 3-0 last night, tie it up.
I am confident this team will show up Wednesday.
Talbot also bounces back well

Oilin4

So after Larsson failed to clear that puck do we say the Oilers lost the Hall trade? Of course not. But if that’s ridiculous so is saying his goals justify the trade.

Oilin4

Frank the dog: Ralph Krueger coached Stan Weir.

Nobody coaches Stan Weir. Coaches Stan Weir other players.

Clarkenstein

First off Talbot gets a complete pass. Not even close to being in Round 2, Game 4 without him. Having said that I hope he’s able to get a good nights sleep for home games with 2 babies in the house. Road games not a problem. I hope he has in mother in law in town for the playoffs. If you’ve had babies in the house you know the challenges of getting a good sleep.
Eberle is Eberle. He looks at his worst against teams like San Jose and Anaheim. No point in sitting him now. My prediction is that in two years he’ll be the playing coach of the Lisbon Lions in the European League. He’ll score 100 goals and be -25.
I expect to see more of a road game style on Wednesday. They might have got caught up in the hoopla last night and it did them more harm than good. Once they settled down they completely outplayed the Ducks. The whiff by Talbot was more than a young team could overcome.
Winner of game 4 wins the series.

Scungilli Slushy

Bulging Twine:
I wonder if Lucic should try a longer stick or a different lie.
He often loses control of the puck or misses passes and interceptions.

Something, it’s been pretty noticeable. Pouliot as well.

Bulging Twine

I wonder if Lucic should try a longer stick or a different lie.
He often loses control of the puck or misses passes and interceptions.

npanciroli

Maroon McDavid Slepyshev
Lucic RNH Draisaitl
Pouliot DD Eberle
Cagguila Letestu Kassian

I would roll this next game.

Chachi

godot10: I wonder if Ralph will apply for the POHO job (Chiarelli-equivalent position) with the Sabres.It is a step down from the Nicholson-equivalent job he has with Southampton, but he now has management experience to run an entire hockey operation.

I expect he would hire a GM and wouldn’t have the duel title.

I expect he would win as much with the Sabres as he has everywhere else.

npanciroli

Best players on Oilers for me:

McDavid
Talbot
Larsson
Klefbom
Draisaitl
Nuge

in that order.