If you read the msm, this series is already over. I get that, the Anaheim Ducks looked strong in their two games at Rogers. However, momentum has no church home of its own this spring, not in this series, and the Oilers have a story to tell. Yesterday’s papers don’t mean jack today.
All aboard the pain train, this weekend is going to be memorable. Tonight in Anaheim, Sunday in Edmonton, this series could be over by work on Monday. No team in this series has been able to win a home game, so don’t be surprised if the Ducks try to move the game to Phoenix.
I will tell you the Oilers are going to need superhero performances from Connor McDavid and Cam Talbot tonight, and a strong effort from all three pairings. Lots of talk about Ryan Getzlaf and coverage in the last 30 hours, I think Edmonton can solve that issue just by taking better care of the puck. Crisp passes, support, no cheating, nothing across the middle. Giddyup.
OILERS SCORING AND DEPTH CHART VS. ANAHEIM
- The series is even and the GF-GA is very close as well, the difference coming in overtime on Wednesday.
- I think we’re seeing Connor McDavid get more open looks now, that’s a good thing. Can he outscore Ryan Getzlaf tonight?
- Will Todd McLellan move Leon Draisaitl to center tonight? Speeds suggested a lineup that featured MacDavid (wingers Pouliot & Slepyshev), Nugent-Hopkins (Lucic & Kassian) and Draisaitl (Maroon & Eberle). Are you onside with that line? Fascinating idea.
- If the hockey Gods are listening, a big night for the Nuge line and a strong showing by the top two pairings would be nice. Oh, and a win!
- As mentioned above, superlative performances from Connor McDavid and Cam Talbot absolutely has to happen. No pressure!
Click on the ad to register, Ilya tells me there is a spring fling tournament coming up at Callingwood (still time to register!).
The difficult draft+1 season for Edmonton’s top choice in the 2016 draft continues this weekend, with JP apparently on the bench for the first game at WHC’s. Puljujarvi is the second youngest player in the tournament, so perhaps that is less of a surprise than it should be for Oilers fans. He is easily the top prospect in the system, but may require more seasoning based on how his season rolled out. Is he better off playing in Europe, or spending another season in the AHL where he may not receive a feature role? Playing time is always a concern for Oilers prospects. If only the club had an AHL team under their control. Hockey30 has JP being shopped, I am dubious about the accuracy of that rumor. You can view the boxscores from games at the WHC’s here.
Ethan Bear is the No. 2 prospect in the system, and this week was named the WHL Defenseman of the Year. His progress since draft day 2015 has been very impressive, and he addresses an area of extreme need (RHD) in the organization. His offense in junior suggests he is one of the most promising players in the system, no matter the position. Here are the top 10 NHLE’s in the organization for 2016-17:
- Anton Slepyshev 14-34-48
- Jujhar Khaira 13-19-32
- Jesse Puljujarvi 13-18-31
- Joe Gambardella 13-18-31
- Tyler Vesel 12-18-30
- Joey Laleggia 17-11-28
- Tyler Benson 7-21-28
- Ethan Bear 9-14-23 (leading defenseman)
- Ryan Mantha 7-16-23
- Caleb Jones 3-19-22
- Stan Weir doesn’t wash his clothes, he disembowels them.
When Stan Weir was born he drove his mom home from the hospital.
Stan Weir can kill two stones with one bird.
There once was a street called Stan Weir, but the name was changed for public safety because nobody crosses Stan Weir and lives.
Big Foot claims he saw Stan Weir.
- Stan Weir can strangle you with a cordless phone.
- Stan Weir makes onions cry.
- Stan Weir once bowled a perfect game. With a marble.
- Cars look both ways before Stan Weir crosses the street.
- Death once had a near-Stan-Weir experience.
- Stan Weir can follow you into a revolving door and come out ahead of you.
- Stan Weir will bring us winning, riches untold and shapely women prone to making terrible decisions.
- Ladies and gentlemen, Stan Weir!
#OILERS GAME DAY REMINDERS
1. Have faith in this team
2. Expect the reffing to suck, & don't bitch
3. Ebs isn't the only one that screws up
— JD McPlayoffs? (@JackieDee16) May 5, 2017
PDO in the playoffs
This stat doesn't really work right when you've only played one or two teams. But the SH% vs SV% breakdown is neat. pic.twitter.com/wohXAR4va0
— Sean Tierney (@ChartingHockey) May 5, 2017
Perhaps an uptick of luck will be in the cards for Edmonton. Cam Talbot needs to stop 30 before he lets in one, and Connor McDavid is going to need to be brilliant for three periods. Todd McLellan needs to push that 97 line past 20 minutes on the night and fresh troops fresh troops fresh troops. Stay out of the penalty box, no half-assing, bear down on the special teams.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) May 5, 2017
Interesting article from Frank Seravalli. I had him on the Lowdown yesterday, we spoke at length on several subject (Leon to center, Eberle leaving) and his article from last night has some interesting quotes and takeaways. I’m uncertain we can take anything from game to game, this series seems to have momentum shifts in 15-minutes increments. However, it is true that Edmonton’s play after the no-call goalie interference was poor. This is the kind of thing that playoff experience should solve, but this spring may end up being a lot about lessons learned and not about Oilers hockey deep into May. Important to remember though, even with these lessons being learned, the Oilers are tied 2-2 in the Pacific Division Finals. Don’t count out any possibility now, it might make you look foolish.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A complete show and lots of fun on the way. TSN1260, 10 this morning. Scheduled to appear:
- Steve Lansky, Big Mouth Sports. Oilers, Sens, Caps, Jays.
- Matt Iwanyk, TSN1260. Point Counterpoint today involves moving Leon to center this evening.
- Marshall Ferguson, TSN1150 Hamilton. CFL draft this weekend!
- Paul Almeida, SSE. Paul will trade the entire Oilers team at 11:25.
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!