The Edmonton Oilers played a solid game in Calgary last night but fell short in a tight 1-0 affair. The Zack Kassian goal looked like it should have counted but in a season where the hockey Gods have given so little it’s hardly worth noting. Connor McDavid and Cam Talbot were this team’s best players and the wingers might want to wake the hell up because opportunities may not extend into the fall.
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- New Lowetide: Tracking Andrej Sekera.
- Lowetide: Jujhar Khaira, Ethan Bear and why prospects fail.
- Lowetide: How the Oilers can win summer without breaking the bank.
- Lowetide: Hard Target Search for power-play quarterback
- Lowetide: Bob Nicholson speaks, Oilers’ fans burn.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and Sweden.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and the QMJHL.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: Oilers and the WHL.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: Oilers draft history and the OHL
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and the NCAA.
HELPLESS, YEAR OVER YEAR
- March 2016: 4-2-0, goal differential +1 (8 points)
- March 2017: 4-1-1, goal differential +10 (9 points)
- March 2018: 3-3-0, goal differential 0 (6 points)
- March 12, 2016: Arizona 4, Edmonton 0 (Source)
- March 18, 2017: Edmonton 2, Vancouver 0 (Source)
The Oilers get back at it against the Sharks tonight, a chance to grab another victory against a Pacific Division rival. My main thought on last night? This team needs wingers. Schnell!
AFTER 69, YEAR OVER YEAR
- Oilers 15-16: 26-36-7, goal differential -45 (59 points)
- Oilers 16-17: 36-24-9, goal differential +24 (81 points)
- Oilers 17-18: 30-35-4, goal differential -32 (64 points)
- March 10, 2016: Edmonton 2, Minnesota 1 (Source)
- March 16, 2017: Edmonton 7, Boston 4 (Source)
When Connor McDavid is on the ice this team can look so very good, but it’s the rest of the group that gives it all back and more. Last night at 5×5, the team was 23-15 (60.53) Corsi for, without him on the ice Edmonton went 22-38, 36.7 percent. These numbers are seared into the minds of ownership, fans and coaching staff. We may never pass this way again, the club should be better next year. That said, Peter Chiarelli has boxed himself in something fierce.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM MARCH
- At home to: Nashville, NY Rangers, Arizona, NY Islanders, Minnesota (Expected 2-3-0) (Actual 3-2-0)
- On the road to: Calgary (Expected 0-1-0) (Actual 0-1-0)
- 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: 3-3-0, 6 points in six games
My tracking of the Oilers is on pace for the month, I have a rough 10 days ahead before things get a little better toward month’s end. I thought the club played well last night and exposed the weaknesses of the team. Interested in your take.
Ethan Bear finished with the highest CF% of all Oilers defensemen tonight (54.3%) 🐻
— Minnia Feng (@minniafeng) March 14, 2018
DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT
- Russell-Bear went 19-15 in 17:25 (that’s a lot of playing time), 11-2 with McDavid and 8-13 without him. Were 2-4 in HDSC’s, went 12-2 against Bennett-Backlund-Frolik (again, because of McDavid and some hard matching by Calgary). It was a tight game, this pairing played a lot and survived. Continue to be impressed by Bear, although he got walked by Backlund early.
- Sekera-Benning were 10-14 in 10:36, this is a very small time on ice total for Sekera. He’s working his way back but lacks the consistency and flair we’ve come to know. Hopefully he has it back in the fall. Were 8-3 against Brouwer-Shore-Hathaway.
- Nurse-Larsson forgot about the back door and that was enough in a one-goal game. Went 11-17 in 14:39, just 7-9 with McDavid. Went 6-7 against the Bennett-Backlund-Frolik trio.
- Cam Talbot stopped 31 of 32, .969. He is showing very well down the stretch.
- Natural Stat Trick and NHL.com.
FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT
- Nuge-McDavid-Aberg went 18-10 (RNH) and 11-7 (Aberg). HDSC’s were 5-1 and it’s a crying shame the line didn’t cash because it was earned. My goodness McDavid is fabulous. The Aberg experiment may not lost much longer. Just saying. McDavid was 17-10 against the Bennett-Backlund-Frolik line, who were key on the evening.
- Lucic-Draisaitl-Cammalleri were 9-13 (Lucic) and 4-11 (Cammalleri). This line was the culprit on the GA, but were also not terribly inspired throughout the game. Leon is a wonderful player, that wasn’t a strong game from him (faceoffs aside). He didn’t have a separation gear. Line went 6-13 against the Gaudreau-Monahan-Ferland line, had no answer.
- Caggiula-Khaira-Kassian went 6-12 (Caggiula) and 4-10 (Kassian). Kassian scored, that should have been a counter, Caggiula took a silly penalty and was generally unimpressive.
- Slepyshev-Strome-Puljujarvi were 7-10 in 5:49, this line got the shiv when it came time to tighten the bench. I don’t agree with that call, like at all. JP played pretty well by my eye, Slepys was quieter but had one great look. Oilers need to play these kids.
Milan Lucic doesn't have a PP point since December 23rd, that's 33 games without a power play point, but was out for 4:19 on the PP tonight and out for the final 2 minutes. Your thoughts? #Oilers. Post game show on @TSN1260 https://t.co/AuRgK8jii5
— Dean Millard (@DuckMillard) March 14, 2018
Lucic was never a strong 5×4 player, although last year he spiked to 7.15 5×4 per 60 scoring. Lucic, at his best, was over 2.00/60 at 5×5 and he managed it six times before arriving in Edmonton. People talk about the fact his wheels won’t turn but the big concern for me is the number of passes he doesn’t grab, or possibly see. What the hell is going on here?
Reminder: Pontus Aberg just needs to become a competent fourth line regular and the Oilers win that trade.
And that should be the expectation. Given his history, higher than that is mostly pipe dream.
— Oilers Nerd Alert (@OilersNerdAlert) March 14, 2018
The move with Aberg is as 4R, allowing Edmonton to trade Zack Kassian and save $1.3 million toward the cap. It’s time to remove him from the McDavid line and run Puljujarvi or Slepyshev.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A busy show, with a fluid guest list. Scheduled to appear, TSN1260 beginning at 10:
- Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey. McCurdy’s take on last night’s game and looking forward to his evening.
- Andy McNamara, TSN4Downs. Eagles are signing people but have no money, what gives? Plus, Patrioits are bleeding! Huzzah!
- Dan Rusanowsky, Sharks play-by-play. San Jose is in a good spot but have to keep on winning. We’ll talk about the key players for the Sharks stretch run.
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!