G78 2017-18: Oilers at Canucks

by Lowetide

In the last 10 games, Edmonton has a record of 5-3-2. The Vancouver Canucks, who have won two in a row, are 3-7-0 in their last 10 games. Tonight, Edmonton can move into No. 22 in the overall standings, ahead of the Manhattan Rangers. That would mean the Oilers would be scheduled to pick No. 10 before winning the lottery. This winning streak isn’t as bad as the “Patrick Kane victory” but has robbed the organization of an elite talent. Unless……the lottery offers salvation. Again.

THE ATHLETIC!

Great offer! Includes a free 7-day trial so you can try The Athletic on for size free and see if they enjoy the in-depth, ad-free coverage on the site. Offer is here.

HAMMER ON A DRUM, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • March 2016: 7-7-0, goal differential -2 (14 points)
  • March 2017: 10-2-1, goal differential +21 (21 points)
  • March 2018: 7-5-2, goal differential +3 (16 points)
  • March 28, 2016: Anaheim 2, Edmonton 1 (Source)
  • March 2017 schedule complete

There are two more games to go and both would appear to be winnable (Vancouver and Calgary). A 20-point month would be an insane end to a pretty queer season. The goal differential has taken a major kick in the ass over the last four periods, perhaps the team can get some of it back by Sunday and turkey time.

AFTER 77, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers 15-16: 30-40-7, goal differential -45 (67 points)
  • Oilers 16-17: 43-25-9, goal differential +39 (95 points)
  • Oilers 17-18: 34-37-6, goal differential -29 (74 points)
  • March 26, 2016: Los Angeles 6, Edmonton 4 (Source)
  • April 1, 2017: Edmonton 3, Anaheim 2 (OT) (Source)

There are 10 points still on the table and if you’re Todd McLellan every damned one of them means something. Now, he doesn’t have his complete roster and running the table is impossible, but driving up to 80 points should be the goal.

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 1-1-1)
  • 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: 7-5-2, 16 points in 14 games

JOE GAMBARDELLA, BAKERSFIELD

  • October-February: 32gp, 5-5-10
  • March: 10gp, 7-0-7
  • Source

I’m preparing an article about Bakersfield’s season for The Athletic, looking at statistical curios and indications that youngsters progressed during the campaign. Joe Gambardella has been on fire in March, scoring seven times in 10 games. Does this indicate a step forward? In my opinion, it’s more likely he is receiving more playing time and with better linemates. You can’t really tell much from a season of fourth-line minutes.

I’m not sure about the criteria (99, Messier, Anderson all scored over 100 in 1982-83 at 21) but McDavid’s presence on this list is incredible. You have to remember the era and just how much adjusting there is to do. The 1981-82 Oilers scored 417 goals, fully 96 more than the league average of 321. This year’s Oilers have scored 220 in a league that is averaging 227. Yeah. The era-adjustment is a monster. If I had a vote, McDavid would be No. 1 on my ballot for the Hart.

Those early Expos teams were part baseball, part carnival. The PA man was a big star (“Johhhn BOCCCCCC-A-BELLLLLLLAAAAAA”) and Claude Raymond (a Canadian) received a hero’s welcome each time he came in from the bullpen. Rusty Staub came to the Expos in a strange trade that almost got reversed (slugger Donn Clendenon wouldn’t report to Houston) but eventually got worked out (cost the Expos a great arm, Jack Billingham). He averaged 27 home runs, 92 rbi’s and 95 runs scored in his three seasons in Canada, Staub was the heart of the order. When they traded him to the Mets, I was spitting nails. The return was handsome (Ken Singleton was a more productive player, Tim Foli an everyday shortstop and Mike Jorgensen possibly the best fielding first baseman in team history), but my hero had been traded. I followed him in New York (he tore the cover off the ball in the 1973 World Series) and to Detroit where he spent some time as an early DH. When he returned to Montreal in 1979, I was thrilled to have him for the pennant race. Rusty Staub died today, and took some of me with him. RIP.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN1260. It’s our final show of the week and the guests are outstanding:

  • Steve Lansky, BigMouthSports. Opening day baseball! Plus Easter and family, goodbye Mr. Staub.
  • Andrew Stoeten, The Athletic. Opening day! Jays are going to win 90!
  • Rob Vollman, NHL.com and ESPN. Who deserves the Hart, plus late additions who are helping.
  • Frank Seravalli, TSN. Deadline deals that have worked, and those that haven’t.

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

 

 

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Professor Q

OriginalPouzar,

Indeed. I was mis-reading it.

OriginalPouzar

Professor Q: It could in fact be ended up to 2 years earlier (September 2019 or September 2020 instead of September 2021) by either/both of the owners and/or players.

Can’t be ended in 2019 – the option to terminate early must be exercised in 2019 but, whether its by the league or the players, if exercised, the termination is effective September 15, 2020.

OriginalPouzar

Ribs: Current CBA expires after 2021–22 season. Could Lucic survive that long?

JimmyV1965: Ouch. I thought it was a year earlier.

Both the NHL and the NHLPA have the option to opt out early effective September 15, 2020 (the option must be exercised by the fall of 2019).

Wilde,

I feel like I am culpable when all I said was he does not belong out on the 6 on 5.

McLellan keeps going there and he keeps JP and Slepyshev down.

Getting to the point where I think a fresh mind behind the bench is needed. Talk continuity all you want., but one possible result of continuity is insanity (doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results).

Professor Q

Doug McLachlan: I am ok with #Faux500 as a target.Would also like to win the Gold race, currently trailing Arizona.Worked in the McDavid draft so, you know, why not?

Wasn’t Edmonton like 3rd last in that draft and leap frogged to get the pick? They are way ahead this year at 7th/8th. Hopefully good things happen in the lottery, though.

Professor Q

JimmyV1965: Ouch. I thought it was a year earlier.

It could in fact be ended up to 2 years earlier (September 2019 or September 2020 instead of September 2021) by either/both of the owners and/or players.

Wilde

godot10:
Pierre-Luc Dubois with the hattrick against the Flames tonight.

With PLD’s hattrick, he climbs up to 0.84 goals per hour in all situations.

He has played 1061 minutes at 5v5, and 146 minutes on John Tortorella’s first unit powerplay.

He has played 739 minutes 5v5 with the Jacket’s best player, Artemi Panarin. That’s roughly 70% of his ice time.

Jesse Puljujarvi has 0.80 goals per hour at 5v5 alone.

With a lower shooting percentage.

With half of the share of ice-time (35% ish) with the best player that Dubois has.

Scungilli Slushy

I wish I still lived in Edmonton so I could see Connor 41 a year. You lucky folks that have seasons tickets.

The surprising things for me watching the game live was first that Lucic isn’t that slow. Much quicker than Drai. Looks lighter on his skates. I think he’ll regress to the meat.

Drai is a really talented player, he seems to be focusing too much on a power game. He has too much talent for that. I hope it’s not coaching. Or if so coaches change. He can pull that out of his bag when he needs to. It’s a shame Leon isn’t quicker, he’d be chasing Connor I think.

JP is the 4th best forward, for now. He could pass Drai because he has at least the talent and better natural athleticism. He is a smart player, really impressive. He does need mentoring. Mentor him!

Cags isn’t an NHL player IMO.

Aberg is a keeper. Not necessarily a top 6 forward unless he can find better finishing, but clearly better than many others.

Nurse isn’t a first pair D. I’m not sure he will be. Larsson is. Too bad he doesn’t have more O. Definitely the best D on the night. Head and shoulders.

OV2 was the second best. No problem worse defensively and far more offensive and a good puck mover. They really need to keep him. At 800k. Trading Klefbom would be extremely foolish without a King’s ransom. More foolish than Nuge IMO.

Rattie is not the answer. Connor needs wingers that can do the dirty work and support him based on how he plays now. I wouldn’t sign Rattie for the Oilers, If he wants to play in the A and fill in fine. If I were his agent I’d send him overseas. Better money and I cannot see him sticking in the NHL.

The lad is crashing goodnight all.

Wilde

JimmyV1965: I thought Lucic had a good game tonight. The entire third line did. I just don’t get why they keep trotting him out on the PP and when we pull the goalie.He’s one of the last players that should be out there. Equally mystifying is the treatment of JP. He had a good game too. Why is he automatically demoted when they juggle the lines and why does he get zero time on the PP? The kid basically didn’t play the third period in a nothing game.

Yep, no problem with Lucic’s play tonight. He was certainly passable and facilitated the other two, but 98 was absolutely the driver of that line and Strome did well to find finishing areas, somewhat snakebitten, though.

It’s just, given that quality of first 40 from Jesse, I’m not sure what more is needed to at least get a shot on the first powerplay. Or even just play his line more and not less! Anything, anything but what I’m seeing on the shift chart right now.

JimmyV1965

Ribs: Current CBA expires after 2021–22 season. Could Lucic survive that long?

Ouch. I thought it was a year earlier.

Ribs

JimmyV1965:
There will almost certainly be a compliance buyout during the next CBA negotiations. GMs just can’t resist it. Until then we play Lucic on the third line and cross our fingers.

Current CBA expires after 2021–22 season. Could Lucic survive that long?

JimmyV1965

There will almost certainly be a compliance buyout during the next CBA negotiations. GMs just can’t resist it. Until then we play Lucic on the third line and cross our fingers.

JimmyV1965

Wilde: I love how 98 and 18 drove that line’s success for two periods and Lucic is the one who had the ‘strong game’.

Plus the 6th man promotion and powerplay time.

This team is speeding in the wrong lane.

I thought Lucic had a good game tonight. The entire third line did. I just don’t get why they keep trotting him out on the PP and when we pull the goalie. He’s one of the last players that should be out there. Equally mystifying is the treatment of JP. He had a good game too. Why is he automatically demoted when they juggle the lines and why does he get zero time on the PP? The kid basically didn’t play the third period in a nothing game.

Ribs

russ99:
Nothing wrong with Lucic that a summer in Edmonton with a nutritionist, kinesiologist and skating coach can’t fix.

Can’t tell if you are trolling, serious, sarcastic, or just deluded, lol.

russ99

Nothing wrong with Lucic that a summer in Edmonton with a nutritionist, kinesiologist and skating coach can’t fix.

Ribs

Wilde: The only situation we can rule out is a buyout, actually.

The cap-hit structure for that is terrifying. Seriously. Don’t look it up.

Oh, I know. It’s hideous. It may be the most realistic/smartest option, though! Yikes!

I just want to hear the year end presser where they tell us he’s been playing with some sort of ridiculous injury. Then he makes up for it next year.

If there is nothing physically wrong with the guy, then you have to eat it. The Oilers can’t afford to give him another year to see what happens unless there is a clear problem with him. The McDavid window is short. Don’t mess around.

I can’t believe they lost this game. Wow.

Tesla's Hair

Sam the Man!

Watched oilers from a bar in Hawaii enjoying a spicy Ahi Poke, Happy for Sam Gagne to score goal from the Hall of Fame Twins which helped Oilers to move into 7 spot in the draft.

When I played tankathon.com Oilers dropped 1 place in the lottery and ended up with Evan Bouchard, Noah Dobson and Ty Smith as options to pick. Vancouver moved up 2 spots and got Svechnikov

#GagneLottery #RenameItArtMcDavid

who

I guess everyone sees the game different but man this coach seems like he’s watching a different game than me.
Best line tonight was Stromes. Easily. And then when he needs a goal in the third period that’s the line he breaks up?
And putting Lucic out there with the goalie pulled is no longer even defensible. Couldn’t get to the spot on time to tip in cross ice pass and then fumbled away to zone entry passes. What am I missing here?
Maybe Tmac has finally embraced the tank.

godot10

Ribs: Lead team in hits! C’mon guys, if we pretend that means something…!

Clutterbuck traded for Nino Niederreiter!

Maybe we should just accept that the buyout is coming. Or would anyone stand for a 3rd line 6M guy(It might be okay, honest!).

The contract is buyout proof. There are almost no cap savings at all because of the front loading and the signing bonuses.

The Oilers effectively lose a roster spot and 7.5% of the cap for the next five years. There is no escape.

Wilde

Ribs: Led team in hits! C’mon guys, if we pretend that means something…!

Clutterbuck traded for Nino Niederreiter!

Maybe we should just accept that the buyout is coming. Or would anyone stand for a 3rd line 6M guy(It might be okay, honest!).

The only situation we can rule out is a buyout, actually.

The cap-hit structure for that is terrifying. Seriously. Don’t look it up.

Ribs

Confused:
Bob with the killer tweet, Lucic with a strong game

Led team in hits! C’mon guys, if we pretend that means something…!

Clutterbuck traded for Nino Niederreiter!

Maybe we should just accept that the buyout is coming. Or would anyone stand for a 3rd line 6M guy (It might be okay, honest!).

HT Joe

Wilde: This team is speeding in the wrong lane.

This team seems much more like that driver who is in the left lane, travelling at the same speed as (or slower than) the cars in the middle and slow lanes. That more closely matches the frustration they invoke in me.

Wilde

Confused:
Bob with the killer tweet, Lucic with a strong game

I love how 98 and 18 drove that line’s success for two periods and Lucic is the one who had the ‘strong game’.

Plus the 6th man promotion and powerplay time.

This team is speeding in the wrong lane.

Ribs

Dayammmm…Jujhar lost one draw tonight, and no, it wasn’t to Sam Gagner (0-3).

Confused

Bob with the killer tweet, Lucic with a strong game

HT Joe

Harper’s Hair:
Adam Gaudette making his debut for the Canucks tonight…might be worth keeping an eye on.

Professor Q:
Knowing the Oilers, that’s a recipe for a first goal.

Moral victory…

Zelepukin

I liked Strome and Aberg tonight. Both worked hard and tried to make things happen.

Cags is still useless.

Drai was Drai-from-far tonight. Those games where is floating on the outskirts a little too often and doing one to many overly confident, softy passes.

Not as much Nuge-McD magic tonight either.

Ribs

Zelepukin: I think he is legitimately scared of Lucic. Milan looks up and stares at him until he puts him on the ice.

Lucic looks like he hasn’t moved his bowels in four months every time the camera pans to him. Maybe the concern is there.

Ribs

NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker):
Lucic is too slow for 6 v 5.

Think we’ve had just about enough of McLellan.

Making Lucic a tradeable asset is a priority! Haven’t you been paying attention!?

Pretendergast

even pouliot cant believe they let him walk down the slot untouched, comical

Zelepukin

Bling:
McLellan must just close his eyes when he sends Lucic out there in the final minute with the goalie pulled.

Can’t connect on a beauty pass, can’t control the puck along the boards for a zone entry TWICE.

I think he is legitimately scared of Lucic. Milan looks up and stares at him until he puts him on the ice.

Wilde

Yamamoto did indeed end up with the assist on that JAD goal, 2A in 4GP in the series

Ribs

Melvis:
Tonight I find myself missing The Edmonton Trappers and triple A ball on the the prairies. Nolan Ryan, that bastard.

Summer, she is ah-calling….

Ribs

Lowetide:
Strome is a frustrating player but he has talent.

The Pretender

*sigh*

Bling

McLellan must just close his eyes when he sends Lucic out there in the final minute with the goalie pulled.

Can’t connect on a beauty pass, can’t control the puck along the boards for a zone entry TWICE.

Lowetide:
Strome is a frustrating player but he has talent.

Islanders fans were saying that exact thing for years.

He is what he is, folks.

A replaceable part who never has put his talent together into a bigger role.

Melvis

Tonight I find myself missing The Edmonton Trappers and triple A ball on the the prairies. Nolan Ryan, that bastard.

Hockey Project

Yeah… I get having confidence in a veteran player, but if I were scratching for a goal in the last minute, with an empty net, I probably wouldn’t put a man on the ice who has scored only once in his previous 41 games.

godot10

Munny: This better mean a 3-0 victory against the Flames and CMD hattrick ahead.

The Flames are as devastated by injury as the Canucks. It should be as easy a win for the Oilers as this game was.

Lucic is too slow for 6 v 5.

Think we’ve had just about enough of McLellan.

Munny

Lowetide:
If the score remains the same, the game will feel like a bookend for Game 2 of the season. Edmonton got behind on a soft goal against and could never catch up. The Canucks are making things difficult and the Oilers are making things easy.

This better mean a 3-0 victory against the Flames and CMD hattrick ahead.

Pretendergast

looch, woof

Wilde

JimmyV1965,

Same one as he sent Brossoit.

You are not a part of the team and I do not trust you.

Ribs

Munny: Some damn nice arrows this year, but I have no problem taking time with his development.

Thumbs Up!

Ribs

I don’t know what to tell you guys. It’s always been this way. You have to earn the trust of your coach. You could argue the need to swap out the coach, but 98 still does things that any NHL coach is going to sit him for.

He’s still so young. Wait it out a bit. If it’s there, it will emerge.

Munny

Oh Strome alone.

Pretendergast

spokane give up 2 goals in 7 seconds with 7 minutes left to lose 4-3

Munny

Big Three time.

Munny

Ribs:
After a hard battle along the boards in the offensive zone earlier in the game, we saw “The Guys in White” finally win the puck. Puljujarvi gets it. Passes it directly to the other team. Pucks goes the other way.

Hard for a coach to trust someone that does that. Still a kid. But these are the things he needs to fix.

Some damn nice arrows this year, but I have no problem taking time with his development.