The Edmonton Oilers used the Arizona Coyotes as slump busters last night, Milan Lucic and Oscar Klefbom ending long goal-scoring droughts. The club reached 60 points and Connor McDavid in 66gp, 30-50-80 and on pace 99. It was a nice rebound from Saturday’s effort and (once again) the club looks to gain traction during a very difficult season.


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  • March 2016: 2-1-0, goal differential +2 (4 points)
  • March 2017: 2-0-1, goal differential +4 (4 points)
  • March 2018: 1-2-0, goal differential -2 (2 points)

A much needed victory last night and perhaps the team can cobble together a more complete game against their next opponent. I’ve always felt this Oilers team plays a little harder against Hall’s Devils, that may just be my bias. I’m looking forward to seeing Jordan Eberle playing back in Edmonton, he gave this organization hope in the dark days of 2009-10 before we knew Taylor Hall was heading to the land of the ice and snow.


  • Oilers 15-16: 25-34-7, goal differential -40 (57 points)
  • Oilers 16-17: 36-22-8, goal differential +21 (80 points)
  • Oilers 17-18: 28-34-4, goal differential -34 (60 points)

I don’t think this team wins 10 of their final 16 games, so 80 points has slipped away. Can they make 75? I am interested in seeing how much Adam Larsson can bring on Thursday, this team missed his veteran play badly.


  • At home to: Nashville, NY Rangers, Arizona, NY Islanders, Minnesota (Expected 2-3-0) (Actual 1-2-0)
  • On the road to: Calgary (Expected 0-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: San Jose (Expected 0-0-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Florida, Tampa Bay, Carolina, Ottawa (Expected 1-2-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Los Angeles, Anaheim, Columbus (Expected 2-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Vancouver, Calgary (Expected 1-0-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 6-7-3, 15 points in 16 games
  • Current results: 1-2-0, 2 points in three games


  • Sekera-Benning were 6-8 in 9:37 (1-0 GF), Benning had a 6-0 kicker with Nurse in 1:31. Sekera did some moonlighting of his own, going 2-0 in 1:13. Pairing went 7-6 in 6:58 against Domi-Dvorak-Fischer, and were 3-1 in 3:52 against the demon trio of Martinook-Richardson-Cousins. Oh my gentle lord those three men were pains in the collective ass for the Oilers.
  • Nurse-Russell had a tough night, 11-25 in 15:37, 0-2 GF. The scoring chances were 2-10 and HDSC’s 1-5. Kris Russell had a tough night, first GA went in off his foot in front of the net and the tying goal involved one of those shifts that will live on youtube for a long while. Went 9-8 against Perlini-Stepan-Keller but 4-8 in three minutes against the Richardson unit. Went 0-6 against Archibald-Panik-Freddie Hamilton, too.
  • Klefbom-Bear were 4-22 in 12:09, that’s hard to do. Seriously. If you assume a couple of shifts where the pairing just gets the puck out and then it charges back in, a bad half period might get you down 10 points Corsi. However, sooner or later the puck is going to spend 30 seconds in the other end. The amazing thing? Half of the time was with the McDavid line (6-11)!! Went 2-13 in 5:28 against the Richardson line, it was exhausting just watching them.
  • Cam Talbot stopped 33 of 36, .917. He played well, first goal syndrome but zero blame to the goalie.
  • NaturalStatTrick and NHL.com.


  • Natural Stat Trick won’t load for me this morning, so I’m going to go all Bruce McCurdy with individual notes.
  • Iiro Pakarinen’s value is heavily weighted towards the PK, because he’s good and the team is bad. At 5×5, he doesn’t spend a lot of time with the puck but has a fine shot. He wasn’t much of an offensive factor on the night.
  • Jujhar Khaira scored shorthanded and played well 5×5, for me this is a guy who should be playing more 5×5 as well. Big, tough and skilled, he appears to be next year’s 4C based on usage.
  • Milan Lucic finally scored, it was a Frank Mahovlich goal to boot! A personal favorite of mine, glad to see him get it and hopefully the floodgates open. This will be just the second time in his career the big man will miss the playoffs.
  • Pontus Aberg got some power-play time and had the puck on his stick in the offensive zone a few times. I think it will come down to training camp in the fall for him, suspect the Oilers run him on the third line this fall.
  • Mike Cammalleri didn’t get as many looks as usual but is one of the team’s better players when he has the puck in the offensive zone. He can still play with skill, wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him back.
  • Leon Draisaitl had a fabulous game, you can usually judge his performance by giveaway-takeaway ratios (no giveaways, two takeaways on the night). Wonderful passer, he reminds me of the stories my Dad told me about Beliveau.
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a few brilliant defensive moments, a couple of poor plays and a point on the night. Probably par for the course coming off injury, nice to see him in the lineup again.
  • Connor McDavid is fun to watch when others are gathering points and he’s still at zero. I imagine his competitive clock is on tilt all the time (this is a very good thing) and really he plays the entire game (no matter the situation) with a combination of blinding speed, insane skill and maximum urgency. I honestly have no idea why anyone would say a negative word to the guy, my goodness his parents did a masterful job raising a son.
  • Drake Caggiula had some impact in the game, including an unusual push-pull with Max Domi. They reminded me of kids on the school ground where they were just mad enough to get everyone’s attention. Caggiula has had a tough season, Bob Stauffer mentions the cage and range of vision quite often. He’s in a tough spot for next year now, in my opinion.
  • If Anton Slepyshev is back in the KHL this fall, it’s a game like this one that will contribute a lot. My Dad (don’t know why I keep thinking of him this morning) used to say “he’s neither fish nor fowl” which meant a person (or thing) had no real application. Slepyshev does, he is a shooter, but he’s too quiet by too many.
  • Jesse Puljujarvi is the one I worry about, all the time. I’m writing my umpteenth article on him at The Athletic today, it’s my way of working through my worry. I think it comes down to do you trust Todd McLellan. I’m more a McLellan guy than most any of you but do know veteran coaches like players who are predictable and can repeat their role consistently. JP is from a different part of the brain and any coach is going to have to make allowances. He is 49gp, 11-7-18 now, I projected him 65gp, 14-14-28. He’s not quite on par but in the range. I believe he is somewhat vulnerable as an Oiler, maybe it’s the Dad in me.
  • Ryan Strome had a good night, seems strange to say on an evening where his possession was 20 percent. He played the PK two-on-one very well, had some other looks and played in all three disciplines. He’s not Todd Marchant, but if you look at his boxscore last night, that’s a solid 3C (next year’s C depth chart looks like McDavid-Draisaitl-Strome-Khaira).

Oilers on the ultimate road trip, the nation travels like bandits so I imagine these sets will resemble a home game, especially in Cologne. I think this is pretty cool.


Many miles to go and he probably gets sent down in the next 24 hours, but this has been a pretty nice debut for the young man. Possession stats are poor and he’s a mark five plus minus after three games, but you can see what he brings and it’s a lot. Put him with a healthy Sekera in the fall and see how he shines.


A busy show, 10 this morning on TSN1260. We will have a lot of laughs! Scheduled to appear:

  • Jonathan Willis, The Athletic. What do the Oilers need before fall? How many solutions can come internally?
  • Andy McNamara, TSN. NFL combine is over, we are straight ahead with draft and free agency.
  • Scott Cullen, TSN. Hall for Hart? Barzal for Calder? Eberle for Byng?

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

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205 Responses to "Overdrive"

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  1. Pouzar says:

    Andy Dufresne: Why is it always about regression to the mean and not “progression” to the mean.

    Ha ha Perfect!
    The one question I’ve been dying to ask for months but too embarrassed to.

  2. Pouzar says:

    Andy Dufresne: Serious question for you. Maybe you can help me. I golfed for years and got pretty good at. Avg for 18 holes was around 90.Low score ever was 81.But had too many high 90s rounds for my liking.

    The kicker is….I golfed backhanded.I stood in a right handed stance but my right hand was the lower of the two in my grip. Wierd I know…..

    My question is….Due to a Frozen Shoulder (among other things) I havent golfed for 6 years now.

    Now my shoulder is unlocked and Im eagre to get back it. BUT Im considering starting from scratch using a normal right handed grip and getting some lessons.Do you think my brain is now hardwired from 15 years of backhanded golf?Is it worth it to take advantage of this layoff to correct my grip? I know you cant diagnose this…but whats your best guess.

    Can you skip a rock? As a right handed golfer who is actually right handed you are in a good spot. Just skip those rocks.

    I am a left handed golfer who is right handed. Not optimal(Yes…I know…Phil Mickelson before all you smart asses pipe up). Learning to use my left hand in the swing has been tough but I have excellent dexterity in that hand now after years of training it. For 25 years that bottom hand was just along for the ride. Not anymore and I am better for it.

    Yer way ahead of the game. Welcome back!

  3. frjohnk says:

    Our annual “best day of the year” is next month

    Pierre LeBrun
    ‏Verified account @PierreVLeBrun

    Nothing decided yet, nothing official yet, but April 28 is being looked at by the NHL as a potential date for the Draft Lottery.

  4. VOR says:


    It would in fact fly in the face of what we know about psychological testing.

    But thinking the game is about neuro anatomy and neuro biology as well as decision making and psychology and of course the recruitment and reinforcement of neural nets. And these are complex processes with their own time lines. They are trainable and they rely on experience. We simply can’t predict who will learn what from experience nor how fast they can grow and recruit neurons or how fast they will lose them.

    Thanks for the link.

  5. VOR says:


    I feel I was flippant in my response to you so later today I am going to post a detailed response. It will be in the next thread.

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