G76 2017-18: Ducks at Oilers

by Lowetide

The formula from a year ago, the one that sees Connor McDavid win the scoring title and Cam Talbot stop a lot of pucks, appears to be back in business. Of course it’s too late, and absolutely it could result in yet another false sense of security, but it’s here all the same. How frustrating is this season? How much time do you have?

THE ATHLETIC!

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  • New Lowetide: Linemates (will post link)
  • Jonathan Willis: An 8-point plan for the Oilers’ offseason.
  • Lowetide: Ethan Bear’s first 10 games.
  • Lowetide: What are the Oilers getting in Cooper Marody?
  • Lowetide: Cam Talbot and the Oilers are headed to a second contract.
  • Lowetide: Ty Rattie gets a chance.
  • Lowetide: How the Oilers can win summer without breaking the bank.
  • Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and the Republic of Finland
  • Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and Sweden.
  • Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and the QMJHL.
  • Lowetide: Draft 2018Oilers and the WHL.
  • Lowetide: Draft 2018: Oilers draft history and the OHL
  • Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and the NCAA.

SURF CITY, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • March 2016: 6-6-0, goal differential -3 (12 points)
  • March 2017: 9-2-1, goal differential +20 (19 points)
  • March 2018: 7-4-1, goal differential +7 (15 points)
  • March 24, 2016: Edmonton 6, San Jose 3 (Source)
  • March 30, 2017: Edmonton 3, San Jose 2 (Source)

I didn’t expect Edmonton to have this kind of success in March, many will say the pressure is off and that’s why things are going better. I’ll buy that, but the template is there, if the club can improve in a couple of areas. I’m not saying this is a Stanley team but the playoffs are possible next season in my opinion, with some small changes and better health. Some of those changes involve special teams.

AFTER 75, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers 15-16: 29-39-7, goal differential -46 (65 points)
  • Oilers 16-17: 41-25-9, goal differential +37 (91 points)
  • Oilers 17-18: 34-36-5, goal differential -24 (73 points)
  • March 22, 2016: Arizona 4, Edmonton 2 (Source)
  • March 28, 2017: Edmonton 2, Los Angeles 1 (Source)

It’s going to be an easy to look back on this season as a massive disappointment, and no winning streak in March will change it. Still, the McDavid scoring race, the Talbot recovery and a few more roster curios make this a more interesting month than I thought it might be.

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 0-0-1)
  • On the road to: Florida, Tampa Bay, Carolina, Ottawa (Expected 1-2-1) (Actual 3-1-0)
  • At home to: Los Angeles, Anaheim, Columbus (Expected 2-1-0) (Actual 1-0-0)
  • 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: 7-4-1, 15 points in 12 games

Oilers have reached my expectation with four games to spare. It sounds incredible, and I didn’t think we’d even talk about it again, but fake .500 is on the horizon.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Sekera-Benning went 18-12 in 12:00, 1-1 GF. The goal against came on a stealth backcheck by the Kings, a healthy Sekera never lets it come to that. OZone starts in 5 of 7 occasions. Went 8-2 against Kempe-Thompson-Toffoli. I don’t think this pairing cost the Oilers much, you’d like to see Sekera good for a few games by the end of the season.
  • Russell-Bear went 8-18 in 16:10, 1-0 GF. I would play the third pairing more. Two of 10 Zone starts in the offensive zone, three in the defensive. Russell’s signature is a better Fenwick (44.44) and that was the case last night. He saved his young partner’s bacon at least twice, a big deal in a one-goal game. Went 4-12 against Pearson-Carter-Rieder, that’s a damned good line.
  • Nurse-Larsson were 10-26 in 18:28, 1-1 GF. Two of 15 zone starts in the offensive zone, six in the defensive. McLellan don’t match but he does use his shutdown pairing in a traditional manner. Went 6-7 in nine minutes against Iafallo-Kopitar-Brown, that’s the heart of the order. I really liked both defenders, Larsson was rugged and he took a beating without making a sound. Meted out a few friend-getters, too. Nurse was chasing a lot but he showed calm feet several times. I’m not saying he is or he isn’t, because for me there’s more miles to know, but Nurse can play the game.
  • Cam Talbot stopped 27 of 29, .931. He made some huge saves.
  • NaturalStatTrick and NHL.com.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

  • Nuge-McDavid-Rattie were 17-11 in 17:37, 2-0 in GF. Could have had more but the puck wouldn’t settle for Nuge and Rattie missed an empty net. Line had 7 HD scoring chances, gave up zero. Went 12-9 against Iafallo-Kopitar-Brown, 17-8 against Doughty in a very hard match (97 vs. Doughty for 13:30). McDavid broke the hearts of LAK last night, is what he did. Amazing talent. For the RE series, I suggested McDavid would run 80gp, 37-73-110 (1.375). At this point in the season, he is 75gp, 38-58-96 (1.28). Incredible. The man closes like no player I’ve ever seen before, it seems the end of the regular schedule forces him onto a higher plateau. We are witnessing true greatness, the kind that gets passed down from generation to generation, in real time.
  • Lucic-Strome-Puljujarvi were 10-8 in 12 minutes, 0-1. Shots at 5×5 were 5-3, HDSC 1-2 also at 5×5. Puljujarvi had the best chance for the line, who held their own on the night in possession. Went 5-3 against the Kempe-Thompson-Toffoli trio, had four of six zone starts begin in the offensive end.
  • Slepyshev-Khaira-Pakarinen were a curious line, going 6-14 in 7:14. The trio had success in HDSC (2-1) and it was Pakarinen who was the most dangerous on the night. Slepyshev feathered a nice pass to McDavid for the winning goal.
  • Caggiula-Draisaitl-Aberg had a strange night, going 6-17 in 11:49. Went 1-1 in GF, 2-0 in HDSC and had five of nine zone starts in the defensive end. Went 2-10 against Pearson-Carter-Rieder, had a tough time and Leon gave away the puck three times. Not close to normal, this line might need some help.

DRAFT PICK WORRY

The Oilers current run has them passing other teams in the standings. They are No. 23 overall this morning (draft pick: No. 9) and could pass the Rangers and possibly Carolina. A fantasy thought? Catching the Flames. Wildly unlikely, Calgary will recover here soon and start winning half of their games. Still, the Oilers have gained eight points on the Flames in the last 10 games.

ERIC ROBINSON

Elliotte Friedman mentioned Edmonton’s interest in Robinson during last night’s broadcast. Not much on him, he went 36gp, 17-14-31 (NHLE: 16) with Princeton of the ECAC.

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Surly

BONE207: …and what criteria would you have at 30 seconds? A shot or an attempted shot or loss of possesion? How about a stoppage in play? Would the refs make the call, go to slow mo replay or take it up to the situation room? While yesterday was a bit weird it wasn’t illegal. Creative if anything.

Just an idea. They have some NHL employee counting SOG so if there were a will there would be a way. Only implement if this never give up possession in OT keeps becoming more and more of a thing.

DevilsLettuce

Is there a veteran coach that Todd doesn’t make look good?

Foege Foegele Torpe

commonfan29:
Just about every Oilers-Ducks game leaves me convinced that Carlyle is a much better coach than McLellan.

He toys with him a bit.

Carlyle had McLellan chasing his lines, which is backwards because the Oilers had the lead all game.
No attempt to switch the line matches with the last change is just unreal

russ99

Pescador:
I watched the Kesler line own the Caggiula line all night,
McLellan kept going back to it time & time again
McDavid was hard matched against Kessler
Todd had last change, WTF?
The only time Draisaitl’s line looked effective was when Khaira took Caggiula’s pot for 2 shifts
Can’t wait for more of this shit next season
Why would anyone want continuity of shit?

This is a good criticism of McLellan.

He believes each line should be able to perform to a certain level and doesn’t believe in line matching. Maybe for a quality team this is true, but we have lots of holes.

Two things we need to improve in coaching next year are: stop the constant line blending and position shifting, players need cohesion; and it doesn’t hurt to line match sometimes when it gives you an advantage.

jake70

97 now up by 4 in the points race. Crazy how fast he climbed and pulled ahead.

BONE207

Surly:
Add a 30 second shot clock to OT and I bet far fewer games would get to SO.

…and what criteria would you have at 30 seconds? A shot or an attempted shot or loss of possesion? How about a stoppage in play? Would the refs make the call, go to slow mo replay or take it up to the situation room? While yesterday was a bit weird it wasn’t illegal. Creative if anything.

Bank Shot

SwedishPoster:
Anyone else getting goosebumps when Bear scored his goal?Nice moment.

I think Connor has a 2 ppg season in his future. He’s still on a very clear upwards trajectory.

If you look at a chart of his goal scoring this season and extrapolate it into next season, he probably scores 97 goals. 🙂

That’s a nice looking record.

SwedishPoster

Anyone else getting goosebumps when Bear scored his goal?Nice moment.

I think Connor has a 2 ppg season in his future. He’s still on a very clear upwards trajectory.

Chelios is a Dinosaur

Bling,

Fast feet, smart hands. Good point re Penalties. These small changes are having spillover effects through the lineup, Lucic on 3 is better for the team and better for him. Incredible it took this long, and probably sunk the season. This summer the Oilers need a Manhattan Project for their PP, and assuming they get back to mediocre, playoffs should follow. McDavid ought to have 50-80-130.

Unimportantly, in what year does McDavid get to 1000pts? His play has been incredible since the all star break. Gretzky hit it in season 7, Crosby just this season (12). I see CMD’s ceiling as somewhere between the two. I think he can his 1000pts in season 9.

Surly

Add a 30 second shot clock to OT and I bet far fewer games would get to SO.

godot10

commonfan29:
Just about every Oilers-Ducks game leaves me convinced that Carlyle is a much better coach than McLellan.

He toys with him a bit.

+100

McLellan and company behind the bench looked entirely befuddled when Carlyle began throwing out Getzlaf’s line every 2nd shift for awhile in the 3rd.

godot10

Admiral Ackbar:
That was an absolutely disgusting display in OT. How can a team just not attack? They’re delaying the game. How different is that from freezing the puck along the boards?

Hockey is mostly about possession. 3×3 hockey is essentially all about possession. The Ducks were possessing the puck. Red Army did this all the time, five on five. They would keep on circling back until an opportunity presented itself. It is really dumb to give up the puck 3×3.

Why give up the puck if you don’t have too?

McDavid and Draisaitl and whomever are pretty good at this. Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle, and Sekera were pretty good at it also.

Bling

SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!:
who,

Ya it was a back and forth game. Oil had lots of regulars out, Ducks fighting for the playoffs, it was a tough slog.

Should have pulled it out but just not quite enough focus at the end

Darnell Nurse won’t be a happy camper tonigh. Silverberg got him with a cross check and it stung in the 2nd. Was the source of the bad bounce on the tying goal and was partially at fault (along with the McDavid poke) at the end.

This late season push by all of Aberg, Rattie and Bear makes things interesting.

Those two forwards have managed to do what the other gifted ones could. Score with Leon and McDavid.

Never want to jump to conclusions on such a small sample size with unproven but it does leave open some options this off season.

Another nice thing about having Aberg and Rattie in the top six is that they go to hard areas and do so without taking minor penalties. At least from a penalty differential point of view, those two in the top six would be quite a change of pace from Lucic and Maroon. This could, in an indirect way, improve the special teams differential.

By eye, Aberg also looks like he has the wheels and puck handling ability to be a controlled zone entry option.

If you look at minor league numbers, there isn’t much separating Rattie/Aberg from Guentzel/Sheary in Pittsburgh. I think going with those two guys until Yamamoto is ready is not a bad option at all.

SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo!

who,

Ya it was a back and forth game. Oil had lots of regulars out, Ducks fighting for the playoffs, it was a tough slog.

Should have pulled it out but just not quite enough focus at the end

Darnell Nurse won’t be a happy camper tonigh. Silverberg got him with a cross check and it stung in the 2nd. Was the source of the bad bounce on the tying goal and was partially at fault (along with the McDavid poke) at the end.

This late season push by all of Aberg, Rattie and Bear makes things interesting.

Those two forwards have managed to do what the other gifted ones could. Score with Leon and McDavid.

Never want to jump to conclusions on such a small sample size with unproven but it does leave open some options this off season.

BONE207

Cowboys & Aliens…what an imagination. Just like Oilers vs Ducks. Sci-fi beyond compare.

Foege Foegele Torpe

npanciroli:
Last two games were a huge success.

You are running:
Sekera Benning and
Russell Bear

Im amazed we got 3 pts.

Good point

BONE207

Pescador: these broken knuckles say I found the stud

Well…it could have worse if you used your head.

who

Pescador: You must have missed the part where Nurse lost his mark in favour of puck watching

Actually if you watch the replay Nurse was about to pick up the loose puck and Mcdavid tipped it past him. Just a bad break.
The Ducks got a few breaks tonight but they create a lot of them with their relentless forecheck and ozone possession. They basically just wear you down. Not pretty to watch, but effective.

Foege Foegele Torpe

BONE207: Gets out stud finder…

these broken knuckles say I found the stud

AshetonisGod

Pescador,

I agree. Nurse too slow to react on that one.

BONE207

While I think TMac gets the hook for his stubbornness & use of players like Caggs & Looch, I believe Hitchcock gets shit canned first. Dallas should have made a wild card easily. Perhaps that Seguin guy is a cancer after all.

Foege Foegele Torpe

Admiral Ackbar: You’d be hard pressed to see a team that doesn’t play that type of game: where they don’t forecheck so not to get caught out of position. I saw no issue with the way they played OT. Nothing happened besides the Ducks skating around in circles in their own zone save a broken mess of a play in the Oilers’ zone. That goal is on Talbot.

You must have missed the part where Nurse lost his mark in favour of puck watching

Foege Foegele Torpe

I watched the Kesler line own the Caggiula line all night,
McLellan kept going back to it time & time again
McDavid was hard matched against Kessler
Todd had last change, WTF?
The only time Draisaitl’s line looked effective was when Khaira took Caggiula’s pot for 2 shifts
Can’t wait for more of this shit next season
Why would anyone want continuity of shit?

Admiral Ackbar

Réal Goudenyéu: The oilers have no one to blame but themselves for that shit overtime.

You’d be hard pressed to see a team that doesn’t play that type of game: where they don’t forecheck so not to get caught out of position. I saw no issue with the way they played OT. Nothing happened besides the Ducks skating around in circles in their own zone save a broken mess of a play in the Oilers’ zone. That goal is on Talbot.

thelongdark

Admiral Ackbar:
That was an absolutely disgusting display in OT. How can a team just not attack? They’re delaying the game. How different is that from freezing the puck along the boards?

The oilers have no one to blame but themselves for that shit overtime.

commonfan29

Just about every Oilers-Ducks game leaves me convinced that Carlyle is a much better coach than McLellan.

He toys with him a bit.

who

Man did they get schooled in the 3rd. Maybe the back to back caught up with them?
Puck possession is everything in overtime. Drai won the draw but Getzlaff stole it from Mcdavid.

Admiral Ackbar

AshetonisGod:
I hate those fucking Ducks. How can they always manage to score shit goals with the goalie pulled?

Because our team is king at letting in shit goals.

Pretendergast

Admiral Ackbar,

its a joke, were not gonna do anything until your ot line leaves and we get the matchup we want, delay of game indeed

AshetonisGod

I hate those fucking Ducks. How can they always manage to score shit goals with the goalie pulled?

Munny

npanciroli:
Last two games were a huge success.

You are running:
Sekera Benning and
Russell Bear

Im amazed we got 3 pts.

Without that lucky-ducky bounce at the end of the 3rd it would’ve been 4.

BONE207

Darrell needs more focus…

Admiral Ackbar

That was an absolutely disgusting display in OT. How can a team just not attack? They’re delaying the game. How different is that from freezing the puck along the boards?

npanciroli

Last two games were a huge success.

You are running:
Sekera Benning and
Russell Bear

Im amazed we got 3 pts.

thelongdark

HOW TO LOSE 101

npanciroli

3 McPoints pleases me. Ducks slowly fading into mediocrity is great also.

Dicky94

Poor Talbot

SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo!

Meh team has some growing up to do.

They got schooled in the 3rd.

Good time to learn, nobody should be happy about pissing that away.

BONE207

Munny:
*eyes structural integrity of the drywall*

Gets out stud finder…

Pretendergast

mickey mouse organization with that horse shit

StixMalone

Did I mention I hate these Ducks…..

jp

Sigh.

Fuck those guys.

thelongdark

Fucking brutal.

Munny

*eyes structural integrity of the drywall*

Gerta Rauss

What a horseshit display that was

Munny

hunter1909:
Do OT points count for the Art Ross?

Double.

hunter1909

Do OT points count for the Art Ross?

Gerta Rauss

Crazy Pedestrian:
We like drai in OT?

We do

Crazy Pedestrian

We like drai in OT?

StixMalone

Connor needs to win this in OT !!