Game Seven 2018-19: Penguins at Oilers

The Pittsburgh Penguins are fun to watch play hockey, and the franchise has delivered strong offensive teams for much of its history. Although expansion saw them struggle, by 1974-75 Pittsburgh delivered the No. 4 offense in the league (led by nine 20-goal scorers). Then came Mario and Jaromir and the Penguins became a famous team for the first time really, and for a good decade (1990’s) the team was among the most interesting in the NHL. Followed by a down time, a series of bad finishes and impact drafts, and the team arrived at the most productive period in its history (2006-today). Pittsburgh is bringing an All-Star cast to Rogers tonight.

All of that matters, but for Oilers’ fans the main attraction is the Thrill from Richmond Hill. Be it ever so boring, this is Edmonton—where Oilers hockey is the game in town. They’re playing in Connor McDavid’s house tonight. Expect the incredible.

THE ATHLETIC!

The Athletic Edmonton is going to bring it all season long. Proud to be part of a lineup that is ready to cover the coming year. Outstanding coverage from a large group, including Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis, Lowetide, Minnia Feng and Pat McLean. If you haven’t subscribed yet, now’s your chance. Special offer is here, less than $3.50 a month!

  • New Lowetide: Drake Caggiula might be hearing footsteps as the Oilers look for offence to replace injured Ty Rattie.
  • Lowetide: Kirill Maksimov is tearing up the OHL, three Condors fly high.
  • Lowetide: Peter Chiarelli’s race against time.
  • Daniel Nugent-HopkinsAsking McDavid to take on Bergeron line at home shows what Oilers are missing.
  • New Daniel Nugent-Hopkins: Remembering Ron Chipperfield’s brief and hellish time as captain of the Edmonton Oilers.
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Q&A: Grant Fuhr talks about his journey, drug use and the state of goaltending.
  • Lowetide: Math offers a surprising option for Leon Draisaitl’s struggling No. 2 line
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Patience preached as Jesse Puljujarvi attempts to carve out his spot in the Oilers lineup.
  • Lowetide: Panic storm on the horizon as Oilers remain a one-man show

OILERS IN OCTOBER

  • Oilers in October 2015: 3-4-0, goal differential -2
  • Oilers in October 2016: 6-1-0, goal differential +10
  • Oilers in October 2017: 2-5-0, goal differential -8
  • Oilers in October 2018: 3-3-0, goal differential -6

The 2016-17 train left the station by Game No. 7 of the season, reaching +10 in goals and five games over true .500. That’s a nice area of town. The 2015-16 team is the closest comp for this year, that team had some promise but injuries derailed. Edmonton’s goal differential this season is the worry and it’s too close for comfort as a comp for one year ago.

PROJECTED LINES

  • Nugent-Hopkins [6, 2-5-7]—McDavid [6, 4-7-11]—Yamamoto [6, 1-0-1]
  • Tobias Rieder [6, 0-0-0]—Draisaitl [6, 2-4-6]—Puljujarvi [6, 1-0-1]
  • Lucic [6, 1-1-2]—Strome [6, 0-0-0]—Cooper Marody [0, 0-0-0]
  • Khaira [6, 0-0-0]—Brodziak [5, 0-0-0]—Kassian [4, 0-0-0]
  • Klefbom [6, 0-2-2]—Larsson [6, 0-1-1]
  • Nurse [6, 1-2-3]—Russell [6, 0-1-1]
  • Kevin Gravel [0. 0-0-0]—Bouchard [5, 0-0-0]
  • Talbot [6, 3-3-0, 2.69 .906]

Edmonton’s offense is pretty much McDavid, especially at 5-on-5. In that discipline, McDavid’s lines are 5-2, the rest of the team 1-9 (via NaturalStatTrick). This team is 3-3-0 with the non-McDavid units going 1-9, imagine if those lines were 9-9? What would the team record be with those numbers?

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM OCTOBER

  • On the road to: Sweden to play NJD (Expected: 0-0-1) (Actual: 0-1-0)
  • On the road to: Boston, NYR, Winnipeg (Expected 1-2-0) (Actual 2-1-0)
  • At home to: Boston, Nashville, Pittsburgh, Washington (Expected 1-3-0) (Actual 1-1-0)
  • On the road to: Nashville, Chicago (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Minnesota (Expected 0-0-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 3-6-2, 8 points in 11 games 
  • Current results: 3-3-0, 6 points after six games

I had eight points as “reasonable”, Edmonton can reach that number tonight (with four games left). The key for me involves the Oilers remaining in this game, Penguins have the ability to blow out opponents every night. Edmonton’s three wins have come by a sliver, and their losses are three goal editions. There’s a large gap there, and the only team that ever won anything doing it that way was the 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates (and they won the NL pennant before the WS).

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM KEVIN GRAVEL

I like to get scouting reports on players, usually from their draft day but couldn’t find one on Gravel. When he was called to the NHL the first time, Jon Rosen from LAK Insider had a chance to chat with Ontario Reign coach Mike Stothers about Gravel.

  • Stothers: He plays a quiet, efficient, reliable game. His positioning and mobility are good, and he has a great stick. He makes plays, and the bigger the game, the better he plays. [He’s a] very coachable individual.” (Source)

If you don’t notice him, that’s probably a good thing. I thought he outplayed Garrison during preseason, and this start is overdue. No idea how well he’ll play but I do like this player type and absolutely value defending in today’s NHL.

In his one (fairly) complete NHL season, Gravel had a 55 percent Corsi for 5-on-5 and a rel percentage of +1.51 (ranking him No. 3 on the LAK). He could be here for a day or a year or many. I do like this bet.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM COOPER MARODY

I’m not sure he’ll play, although the lines at practice yesterday suggest it is probable. Marody’s offense so far in the AHL is evenly split:

  • Marody at even strength: 5, 2-1-3
  • Marody on the power play: 5, 0-3-3
  • Marody on the penalty kill: 5, 0-0-0

It’s unlikely he sees a lot of the 5-on-4, but if the plan is to get him a regular shift at evens it’s reasonable to expect a shot on goal and some nifty passes. You never know, some players adjust to the NHL quickly. It’s going to be a fun debut, one of a few we’re anticipating (Caleb Jones, Tyler Benson) this year.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A fun morning begins at 10, TSN1260. It’s a big sports night and we’ll touch base in several areas. Scheduled to appear:

  • Jonathan Willis, The Athletic. Evan Bouchard will play his sixth game tonight, has he earned more than nine?
  • Seth Rorabaugh, The Athletic Pittsburgh. Sidney Crosby hasn’t scored yet, the Penguins aren’t firing on all pistons but no one is really worried. Do they break out tonight?
  • Jonah Birenbaum, The Score. The World Series begins tonight, with two storied franchises going head to head. We’ll preview tonight’s game.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!

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509 Responses to "Game Seven 2018-19: Penguins at Oilers"

« Older Comments
  1. Richard Roma says:

    Jeeze Murray again

    I didn’t think goalies were allowed to make saves.

  2. Professor Q says:

    How was that not a penalty shot?!

    I am not sure if McDavid was shaking his head in disappointment with the refs there or disbelief that Murray saved it.

  3. OriginalPouzar says:

    I knew the faceoff violation rule – not sure i can recall it every been called before.

  4. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    SWEET! When was the last time we saw that go FOR the Oilers??

  5. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Was just going to say penguins cheating on the draw lots. Wingers jumping in early

  6. flyfish1168 says:

    Sierra: Why would Jesse get blamed for Kassian not picking up his man?

    sarcasm.

  7. npanciroli says:

    Finally a call goes against the Pens.

  8. v4ance says:

    I think they should put Chaisson on the PP…. just sayin… go with the hot hand.

    Whoo! He’s out there!

  9. Masamax says:

    Drai needs to be smarter. He has made tons of garbage passes to no where and has been making lazy plays all game.

  10. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Hagland been best Pen tonight

  11. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    PP = crap

  12. npanciroli says:

    Garbage. More chances for Pens.

  13. Sierra says:

    Scoring chances 2 – 1 for the Pens on the Oilers PP. Have to be better.

  14. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    Oilers blow the game in 10…9…8…

  15. dustrock says:

    Woof that PP

  16. dustrock says:

    Love Klefbom but not on the PP

  17. leadfarmer says:

    You know those times a linemen picks up a fumble and starts running with it. That was one of those times

  18. digger50 says:

    Awesome game

    Guesses for OT winner?

    Yamamoto

  19. Derek says:

    I’m reasonably certain Jesse shot JFK.

  20. v4ance says:

    Liking the fact the Oilers generated 40+ shots. The more time Crosby, etc are playing defence, the better our chances of winning

    Happy for the Bettman point, now go for the bonus!

  21. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    I like Drai in OT?

  22. npanciroli says:

    1 point!

  23. Sierra says:

    flyfish1168: sarcasm.

    Was that Jesse who swatted at the rebound in the high slot and missed it allowing the Pen to blast it home? I didn’t see that at first as I was watching Kassian watch his man score.

  24. Sierra says:

    Talbot with a huge save

  25. npanciroli says:

    PICK

  26. fishman says:

    Wow what a goal by Sid

  27. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    Shit. Crosby against not McDavid line…

  28. jp says:

    I didn’t like that. But one hell of a goal by Sid there. Gheez.

  29. Munny says:

    Heartbreaker. Full value for the point though and a great game to watch,.

  30. Ben says:

    Somehow easier to lose on a play like that. Beautiful.

  31. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Horrible coverage by strome. He was just fine until he turned the wrong way. It’s man in man ffs

  32. Richard Roma says:

    Game woulda been 7-2 oilers if we could have traded bot for Murray.

  33. Gerta Rauss says:

    That’s too bad

    fun game

  34. Sierra says:

    Crosby beats a tired Strome. Nurse with a stick wave. Damn.

    One point is better than zero.

  35. npanciroli says:

    I think we should normally win that easily with some tending.

  36. Younger Oil says:

    There were 3 clear as day uncalled penalties that OT. Hook on Klef, Strome tackled, Brassard pick.

    Not happy.

  37. Bling says:

    That’s a pretty dangle by Crosby.

    I don’t think you can blame Strome on that one, just a wicked move.

    Very entertaining game, lots of positives.

  38. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    Well, oilers were in control for most of that game. Talbot was losing factor. At least they got a point

  39. npanciroli says:

    Younger Oil,

    Brutal stuff.

  40. Derek says:

    Yea that’s not the most fun end result for an Oilers fan, but that’s one of the best players in the history of the game willing his team to victory. Hard to be mad.

    Edit: Oh ok, I guess everyone else seems quite upset. Fuck the Oilers.

    Edit#2: I seem to be mistaken again, the Oilers are actually ok. Fuck Talbot?

  41. steelymac17 says:

    That games on Talbot!!!

  42. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Also, Talbot had it all covered fine then kind of gave up on sliding all the way accross. Not a bad goal but he was there for the save

  43. npanciroli says:

    3-3-1 is much better off than I expected and Oilers continually improving.

  44. Professor Q says:

    I wasn’t a fan of the slow play and resetting via taking it back out of the OZ all the time by Edmonton. I know they were trying to balance shifts and rests, but it just opened it up for the Penguins to get into the Oilers’ zone too much, and they let Crosby walk all over them (and Talbot should have known better).

    Also, Oilers had Too Many Men On The Ice right before the Crosby goal. It wasn’t called but didn’t matter anyway.

  45. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    Looking again at the ot goal, talbot glove didn’t even move

  46. Pretendergast says:

    One part of me wants to tell Cam to bring the waterwings if he wants to go swimming all night.

    Another part wants me to lock Cam in his room so the coach is forced to give him a game off once this season.

    Sick move by Cros tho, god i dont want to hear Toronto sports network for the next 4 days.

  47. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    Professor Q:
    I wasn’t a fan of the slow play and resetting via taking it back out of the OZ all the time by Edmonton. I know they were trying to balance shifts and rests, but it just opened it up for the Penguins to get into the Oilers’ zone too much, and they let Crosby walk all over them (and Talbot should have known better).

    Also, Oilers has Too Many Men On The Ice, wasn’t called but didn’t matter anyway.

    Every team does the outside the zone reset in OT

  48. flyfish1168 says:

    Sierra: Was that Jesse who swatted at the rebound in the high slot and missed it allowing the Pen to blast it home? I didn’t see that at first as I was watching Kassian watch his man score.

    At 1st glance, I thought Jesse didn’t get out to his man. But there where small breakdowns all around. Talbot not at his best tonight. But Jesse needs to be given time on the 2nd line to develop chemistry and confidence. If he loses his confidence this early in the season that is not good for anybody.

  49. Richard Roma says:

    npanciroli:
    3-3-1 is much better off than I expected and Oilers continually improving.

    Murray owned Sievebot

  50. Paulie says:

    Crazy Pedestrian,

    Musta drank too much cough syrup.

  51. Bos8 says:

    It was a great game to watch but this nit, nit, nitpicking on here is just brutal. A little class.

  52. npanciroli says:

    Richard Roma,

    100%

  53. Professor Q says:

    Crazy Pedestrian: Every team does the outside the zone reset in OT

    Does every team do it right after they just got in?

  54. frjohnk says:

    28 minutes for both Klefbom and McDavid.

  55. OriginalPouzar says:

    The goalie had a really really tough game and the Oilers still got a point against the Penguins. I’ll take it.

  56. Halfwise says:

    Entertaining game, far from perfect by either team. Happy to watch that brand of hockey featuring the Oilers any time.

    Why you heff to be mad?

  57. Tye says:

    What a game!
    Both teams are full marks for this one.

  58. Richard S.S. says:

    Over the four Home Games, Lowetide suggested 1-3-0 as reasonable. With one Game to play the Oilers are 1-1-1. Successful again.

  59. OriginalPouzar says:

    Professor Q: Does every team do it right after they just got in?

    The chances of the Oilers scoring in OT coming in off the rush are far far greater than off zone possession.

  60. Sierra says:

    Professor Q: Does every team do it right after they just got in?

    I don’t think it matters that the Oilers has just got into the end when the player (Strome I think) was in no position to make a play and was up tight against the blue line. It was either take it out or dump the puck away.

  61. Paulie says:

    frjohnk,

    9 for JP and EB.

  62. Sierra says:

    Tye:
    What a game!
    Both teams are full marks for this one.

    Agreed

  63. steelymac17 says:

    .806 save percentage.Not the guy that will get us to the playoffs.

  64. Tye says:

    Bos8,

    Bos8:
    It was a great game to watch but this nit, nit, nitpicking on here is just brutal.A little class.

    Quoted for truth…
    I thought I had mistakenly stumbled into the comment section at ON or CnB… 😕

  65. fishman says:

    Entertaining game! Was Sid’s night to break out. Too bad on a night when he gets run support Talbot has a shaky game. To be fair he has been pretty solid this year up until tonight.

  66. OriginalPouzar says:

    I blame the puck to Chiasson’s face for the Oilers not winning in reg.

  67. Professor Q says:

    Sierra: I don’t think it matters that the Oilers has just got into the end when the player (Strome I think) was in no position to make a play and was up tight against the blue line. It was either take it out or dump the puck away.

    That’s not necessarily the one I was talking about.

    I think it was Bouchard with McDavid and Draisaitl, and Bouchard just slowly backed out as soon as he got it (almost immediately after McDavid got it into the OZ) instead of either attempting a shot or a pass to keep the drive going.

    This could still be a rush, and in order to score off the rush you’d have to have offensive zone possession anyway so the two are not exclusive.

    Both teams looked tired and slow in OT, though. Except for when McDavid tripped up Kessel behind Talbot and got onto a great rush where they almost scored.

  68. Bos8 says:

    Tye:
    Bos8,

    Quoted for truth…
    I thought I had mistakenly stumbled into the comment section at ON or CnB…

    I thought one out of six goals where the goalie had a shot to make a save.

    This mob evisceration of Talbot is just wrong. Undeserved.

  69. JimmyV1965 says:

    Crazy Pedestrian:
    Looking again at the ot goal, talbot glove didn’t even move

    Talbot committed too early. He should have waited a fraction longer. Nice move by Crosby though.

  70. commonfan29 says:

    Todd yanking PP1 so quick at the end there really bothers me. Huge break and a chance to go for the win, but hold on – page 74 in the NHL coaching handbook says you have to change if it’s around a minute gone and there’s a stopage.

    I just get the impression he doesn’t even think when it comes to that stuff – just runs the program.

  71. Tye says:

    Bos8,

    I Just think the vitriol, while somewhat understandable… Is getting to be a bit much. (& for the record, I’m a lifelong fan, & have been lurking here since 2006)

  72. Sierra says:

    Professor Q: That’s not necessarily the one I was talking about.

    I think it was Bouchard with McDavid and Draisaitl, and Bouchard just slowly backed out as soon as he got it (almost immediately after McDavid got it into the OZ) instead of either attempting a shot or a pass to keep the drive going.

    This could still be a rush, and in order to score off the rush you’d have to have offensive zone possession anyway so the two are not exclusive.

    Both teams looked tired and slow in OT, though. Except for when McDavid tripped up Kessel behind Talbot and got onto a great rush where they almost scored..

    my bad for assuming it was the Strome play

  73. JimmyV1965 says:

    And the coach never plays the back up. So the back up will come in without playing in a month and everyone will wonder why the back up sucks.

  74. innercitysmytty says:

    commonfan29,

    Exactly – that was an obvious time for a time out and then right back to PP1. But for some reason he was saving the timeout for some other purpose.

  75. Bos8 says:

    Tye:
    Bos8,

    I Just think the vitriol, while somewhat understandable… Is getting to be a bit much. (& for the record, I’m a lifelong fan, & have been lurking here since 2006)

    Just a little calming oil on the troubled waters.

    As Satchel said “Them comments were disputin”

  76. Tye says:

    Bos8,

    I guess I just miss the unbridled enthisiasm, thorough analysis of the team play on all levels, the spirited debate based on facts & numbers peppered with inside jokes, short stories, & toilet humor…

    In my opinion. From ’06 til now, we have a fk of a lot more reasons to be enthusiastic now then we have ever since 100.3 TheBear was playing corny songs about H.O.P.E. *extra points for knowing the song*

  77. Bos8 says:

    Tye:
    Bos8,

    I guess I just miss the unbridled enthisiasm, thorough analysis of the team play on all levels, the spirited debate based on facts & numbers peppered with inside jokes, short stories, & toilet humor…

    In my opinion. From ’06 til now, we have a fk of a lot more reasons to be enthusiastic now then we have ever since 100.3 TheBear was playing corny songs about H.O.P.E. *extra points for knowing the song*

    Nope, flunked the quiz.

    It’s just I wrenched my back, helping Talbot out and was a bit defensive.

    Enjoyed the game, immensely.

  78. tileguy says:

    Oleksiak With the Gordie Howe hat trick.

  79. drglen says:

    Ok my pro kassian rant has ended

  80. tcho says:

    Not a very popular opinion around these parts, but I thought Lucic played a really good game. Stats seem to back me up: 64% CF.

    That was a pretty meh performance from Talbot. Time for hugefinishgoalermachine next game, methinks.

  81. Lowetide says:

    tcho:
    Not a very popular opinion around these parts, but I thought Lucic played a really good game. Stats seem to back me up: 64% CF.

    That was a pretty meh performance from Talbot. Time for hugefinishgoalermachine next game, methinks.

    He also had 5 HDSC’s at 5-on-5. He played well.

  82. northerndancer says:

    Bos8: Nope, flunked the quiz.

    It’s just I wrenched my back, helping Talbot out and was a bit defensive.

    Enjoyed the game, immensely.

    Agree with both of you on this. Sitting in a bar in Canmore, cheering each oiler goal and then found myself cheering Sid’s last goal. If you didn’t enjoy this game you are not a fan of hockey as it can be played. Great game, mistakes and all. oops. I outed myself.

  83. Oz says:

    Gravel’s play tonight and in pre season should make him third line with Benning when Bouchard is sent down after 9
    Enjoyed tonight’s game a solid effort by all players. Talbot was unfortunate to have the goal awarded that I viewed as being kicked in.
    My only criticism is of the coaching staff …. JP 9.0 min for God’ sake let the horse run!!
    And what scares me more is that GG is the obvious replacement in mid season, a HC with the same tendencies to repeat failed player selection over and over eg T Brouwer
    One more thing why hire Manny V to run the power play if you do not hand him the reins….. still learning the ropes, I’m not buying what your selling, sounds more like “these are the plays/play(ers) we won’t you to work with”

  84. GMB3 says:

    northerndancer: Agree with both of you on this.Sitting in a bar in Canmore, cheering each oiler goal and then found myself cheering Sid’s last goal.If you didn’t enjoy this game you are not a fan of hockey as it can be played.Great game, mistakes and all.oops.I outed myself.

    I thought it was a great game too. You would like to see one or two more saves from Talbot but that’s hockey.

  85. flea says:

    commonfan29,

    To be fair that PP1 almost always gets 1:30. Late in a game, players are tired, you don’t want to give up the SHG.

    Talbot needs to stop min 2 of those goals and really had a chance on 4 of them. Ok, Oilers, you paid a backup $2.5M – time to play the guy.

    If he doesn’t play Thursday it’s time for #FreeKoski

  86. Chelios is a Dinosaur says:

    Woke up at 6 to watch the game on replay mode (Rogers game centre screwed me, set the scores to “off” but when refreshed the page to get from preview to replay it booted up the scores so I knew the outcome going in. Will need a better strategy.)

    Reading this thread now I’m surprised at the mood in general- the Oilers have been keeping with the best teams in the entire NHL, and a record of 3-3-1 both reflects that, and is better than most had anticipated through now. It bodes well, especially as we can see improvement in areas through each game recently.

    I may have missed some but I see very few comments on the encouraging fact that secondary scoring showed up against Pittsburgh.

    Remember how long last season was? This season is the same amount of games. Pulling down points against the best teams in the league over the hardest stretch of the season while improving in bits and spurts is a good thing.

  87. Revolved says:

    Well that was fun! Something needs to be done about the fourth line, though. At least one of Brodziak or Kassian has to sit next game. Marody or Khaira could play fourth line center, though Marody looked great up the line up.

  88. OriginalPouzar says:

    Talbot wasn’t awful awful but Murray, who was just OK himself, out-deuled Talbot last night and was the difference in the game.

    The Oilers had more high danger scoring chances and lost – tending was a part of that.

    Absolutely, the defence (and the forwards) made some tough mistakes last night – part of that is not being able to play the 3rd pairing enough meaning guys like Klef (who I thought was very good again last night) and Nurse (who, while his metrics look good, got lost on a few goals against) have to play over 25 minutes.

    Drai’s best game – clearly.

    Marody looked very good for his NHL debut.

    Chiasson – too bad for that post and the puck in the face – do we have a value contract here? He’s not old and he’s got pedigree.

    Lucic was very good.

    Yamamoto keeps drawing penalties and he doesn’t look out of place on the first line but note that both games he’s been on McDavid’s wing, they’ve yet to score (and I think that is a continuation of what we saw at the beginning of last year).

    Thought Gravel was solid – I’d be comfortable with bumping his minutes up a bit.

    Larsson was bumbling with the puck on his stick but make a couple talented passes again – hit and miss with his puck moving – if only he could find some consistency in that regard.

  89. OriginalPouzar says:

    commonfan29:
    Todd yanking PP1 so quick at the end there really bothers me. Huge break and a chance to go for the win, but hold on – page 74 in the NHL coaching handbook says you have to change if it’s around a minute gone and there’s a stopage.

    I just get the impression he doesn’t even think when it comes to that stuff – just runs the program.

    McDavid played over 28 minutes.

    He’s playing more than any forward in the modern era.

    Perhaps he was getting a bit fatigued by that point in the game?

  90. OriginalPouzar says:

    Oz:
    Gravel’s play tonight and in pre season should make him third line with Benning when Bouchard is sent down after 9
    Enjoyed tonight’s game a solid effort by all players. Talbot was unfortunate to have the goal awarded that I viewed as being kicked in.
    My only criticism is of the coaching staff …. JP 9.0 min for God’ sake let the horse run!!
    And what scares me more is that GG is the obvious replacement in mid season, a HC with the same tendencies to repeat failed player selection over and over eg T Brouwer
    One more thing why hire Manny V to run the power play if you do not hand him the reins….. still learning the ropes, I’m not buying what your selling, sounds more like “these are the plays/play(ers) we won’t you to work with”

    I agree – Gravel looked pretty solid in his 10 minutes (just under) of play. I think he could be trusted with a few more minutes and the top 4 reduced a bit. When Benning is ready, hopefully soon, that could be an effective 3rd pairing. For all the vitriol Benning gets on here, he’s proven to be good in 3rd pairing minutes and loses his effectiveness up the lineup. Gravel/Benning should be nice at 5 on 5.

    Jesse seemed to be skating well last night but he’s not winning battles. Chiasson got a bump up on merit.

    I do not think its a foregone conclusion that McLellan is replaced. The Oilers are almost through the toughest stretch of the year and have their head above water. 2 points out of the next two games and they will have set themselves up for a nice shot at the playoffs. I’ve found, while i still disagree with many of McLellan’s deployment decisions, the team systems are better this year, the in-game adjustments are better this year, he’s doing a good job at find ways to give McDavid some extra ice and special teams are much better. Perhaps the coach isn’t doing so bad this year.

  91. Professor Q says:

    OriginalPouzar: McDavid played over 28 minutes.

    He’s playing more than any forward in the modern era.

    Perhaps he was getting a bit fatigued by that point in the game?

    Yeah, when they showed the forwards with the highest TOI (McDavid and Crosby) at the end of regulation, I was surprised.

    Crosby with 19 minutes and McDavid with 24 and a bit. I mean, if he has the stamina and heart and leg power to handle it, by all means. But obviously taking it easy here and there might do wonders come Game 82 and beyond.

    Also helps that they actually had a few PPs in the game.

  92. drglen says:

    I think there is now a ‘book’ on Talbot. Made some great stops but let in some soft backbreakers. Feeling like Devon Dubnyk era.

    Ty Rattie must have given some intangibles to the McD line, because whatever he gave, is missing now and the line is basically shut down.

    4th line officially a gift to the other team now, an invitation to score.

    Todd clearly does not trust Bouchard. Bring up Bear.

    Look this was a winnable game, entertaining for those who went for sure but let’s not make excuses. We should be not be satisfied with this game at all. It was there. what do the facts say? Look at save percentage and plus minus.

  93. Caribbeerman says:

    Very entertaining game but one that was carelessly lost because of a couple mistakes and some shoddy goal-tending. My thoughts on the team thus far on the season are:

    * We have 4 actual NHL Defensemen that are being counted on to heavily and playing too many minutes. Gravel might be an answer, Benning has the potential to be, Bouchard should be returned to Jr, Garrison should be waved or emergency D, and Bear should be recalled.
    * Brodziak and Kassian are a mess this year – Marody might be an answer to the question in terms of balancing some lines and getting some depth scoring. Overall, we are short a scoring winger as we wait for Yamamoto and Jesse to arrive.
    * Talbot has been better than last year overall but you gotta have a decent backup to offer some relief and rest and at this point we can’t tell if that is available.

    Overall there is potential there if the ends of the roster can be addressed.

  94. J-Bo says:

    Caribbeerman:
    Very entertaining game but one that was carelessly lost because of a couple mistakes and some shoddy goal-tending.My thoughts on the team thus far on the season are:

    * We have 4 actual NHL Defensemen that are being counted on to heavily and playing too many minutes. Gravel might be an answer, Benning has the potential to be, Bouchard should be returned to Jr, Garrison should be waved or emergency D, and Bear should be recalled.
    * Brodziak and Kassian are a mess this year – Marody might be an answer to the question in terms of balancing some lines and getting some depth scoring. Overall, we are short a scoring winger as we wait for Yamamoto and Jesse to arrive.
    * Talbot has been better than last year overall but you gotta have a decent backup to offer some relief and rest and at this point we can’t tell if that is available.

    Overall there is potential there if the ends of the roster can be addressed.

    Based on performance, a 4th line of Chiasson – Khaira – Caggiula would be best right now (once Cags is healthy) and Brodziak and Kassian in the press box.

  95. russ99 says:

    Caribbeerman,

    Can’t blame the goalie too much when opponents are given space and easy looks.

    Is it too much to ask for our forwards to be more defensively responsible?

  96. Dicky94 says:

    Revolved,

    I agree. That should be Kassian’s last game as an Oiler. Time to ship him out.

  97. dustrock says:

    The thing about Talbot is that you can accept 1 bad goal per game but not 3. He’s playing small in the net and gives up the top half of the net every single time. Even the goal by Crosby, which was amazing, if Talbot is confident and staying on his feet, there’s no angle.

    Sorry, just reminds me of the end for Scrivens. Body language is poor.

    Brodziak and Kassian are garbage.

    Bouchard can’t contribute right now and shouldn’t be playing at all. Nurse-Russell is an adventure every time in the DZ. I honestly have no idea what reads Russell is making at times.

    We can look at HDSC and shot shares and think “yeah, this team could make the playoffs”, but that’s a lotta minutes for McDavid, Larsson & Klefbom.

  98. Derek says:

    The biggest story for me was the Oilers team we saw from the second period on was unlike any we’ve seen in recent history. They certainly had breakdowns but there was a structure to their game that we never saw last year.

    Perhaps it was a one off but they were able to dominate a legitimate cup contender for long stretches and not only when 97 was on the ice.

    How much of this is from the new coaching personnel? Has McLellan made significant changes to his game plan?

    I agree the defense made some strange errors last night but you may take into account they were playing against Crosby, Malkin and Kessel and the top 4 is being overwhelmed with minutes because the coach doesn’t trust the third pair.

    I feel the game offered far more positives than negatives.

    Free Jesse.

  99. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – It’s nice to see some more positive tones from many here: I guess that is what winning does

    – Cam Talbot: he’s been fairly poor this year though. Of goalies that have more than 4 starts (so starters), he’s 29th in SV%. If he was even .915, that’s 5 less goals. He’s had 2 really bad starts, and is amongst the worst in Saves above average – he bleeds goals that average goaltenders don’t let in statistically

    – Talbot has let this team down a lot more than he has helped. This is by far more significant than the coaching, where Jessie plays, lack of secondary scoring, etc IMO:

    – If we had better goaltending, I think we are 2 points better at least

    – The opportunity though is if he gets better (or they actually use the back-up, and give him the chance to succeed)

    – Talbot seems to get a free pass, or certainly not held to the same standard that vitriol is pointed towards other aspects of the team that many chose to focus on: that said, some seem to be catching on to this, which is also encouraging

  100. Lowetide says:

    For The Athletic: Todd McLellan finds a suitable spot in the order for Milan Lucic

    https://theathletic.com/606342/2018/10/24/lowetide-todd-mclellan-finds-a-suitable-spot-in-the-order-for-milan-lucic/

  101. godot10 says:

    OriginalPouzar:

    Yamamoto keeps drawing penalties and he doesn’t look out of place on the first line but note that both games he’s been on McDavid’s wing, they’ve yet to score (and I think that is a continuation of what we saw at the beginning of last year).

    Clearly, it’s Draisaitl’s fault that McDavid is scoring as many goals with Yamamoto as Draisaitl did…i.e. none. McDavid can’t drive his own line.

    It is good that Yamamoto is drawing as many penalties, but perhaps he should play on the 3rd line.

  102. godot10 says:

    Lowetide:
    For The Athletic: Todd McLellan finds a suitable spot in the order for Milan Lucic

    https://theathletic.com/606342/2018/10/24/lowetide-todd-mclellan-finds-a-suitable-spot-in-the-order-for-milan-lucic/

    …10 games too late. He still has only one even strength point. So 3rd line is NOT a sure thing, but in this case it may be that he is in heaven, which is playing with Ryan Strome, where nothing ever happens.

  103. OriginalPouzar says:

    drglen:
    I think there is now a ‘book’ on Talbot.Made some great stops but let in some soft backbreakers.Feeling like Devon Dubnyk era.

    Ty Rattie must have given some intangibles to the McD line, because whatever he gave, is missing now and the line is basically shut down.

    4th line officially a gift to the other team now, an invitation to score.

    Todd clearly does not trust Bouchard.Bring up Bear.

    Look this was a winnable game, entertaining for those who went for sure but let’s not make excuses. We should be not be satisfied with this game at all.It was there. what do the facts say?Look at savepercentage and plus minus.

    Its noteworthy, to me at least, that the top line has zero even strength goals in the 2 games that Yamamoto has played there. Don’t get me wrong, I think he’s looked fine – he’s been solid on the forecheck, he’s drawing penalties and he just missed on point blank chance last night, however, they have yet to produce – I think that is a continuation of the beginning of last year.

    The fact that Bouchard was under 7 minutes at evens and a minute against Crosby and less against Malkin (or the other way around), heavily sheltered is a clear sign that its going to be time for him to go soon. He’s simply not moving the needle, which is to be expected as a 19 year old, and he needs to go to the CHL.

    I would like to keep Bear in the AHL as long as possible and the replacement, for now, should be Benning when he’s ready – hopefully that’s not too long. Benning struggles as 2RD but has been just fine as 3RD in his career and he and Gravel could/should make a solid 3rd pairing.

  104. OriginalPouzar says:

    godot10: Clearly, it’s Draisaitl’s fault that McDavid is scoring as many goals with Yamamoto as Draisaitl did…i.e. none.McDavid can’t drive his own line.

    It is good that Yamamoto is drawing as many penalties, but perhaps he should play on the 3rd line.

    Yes, Yamamoto should be on the third line – that is where he’s had success during the regular season (and during exhibition, for what that’s worth). Who plays on the top line though – don’t say Rieder, he’s not a top six player let alone a top line player – he helps the team win when in the bottom of the lineup.

  105. stephen sheps says:

    godot10: So 3rd line is NOT a sure thing, but in this case it may be that he is in heaven, which is playing with Ryan Strome, where nothing ever happens.

    Are we watching the same games? Yes I agree Strome hasn’t scored any goals yet (though he had an assist last night, which is a positive), but until last night none of the other lines had produced at 5v5. On the other hand, Strome’s line, regardless of who has played on it, has looked engaged, generated scoring chances and OZone pressure throughout the season. This team has a lot of issues to work through (Goaler, defending, over-playing 97 & 77, over-reliance on 97 for all things, a few curious lineup decisions and generally not great coaching), but thus far Strome has not been the problem. He’s hitting his stride as 3C and the scoring will come.

  106. godot10 says:

    stephen sheps: Are we watching the same games? Yes I agree Strome hasn’t scored any goals yet (though he had an assist last night, which is a positive), but until last night none of the other lines had produced at 5v5. On the other hand, Strome’s line, regardless of who has played on it, has looked engaged, generated scoring chances and OZone pressure throughout the season. This team has a lot of issues to work through (Goaler, defending, over-playing 97 & 77, over-reliance on 97 for all things, a few curious lineup decisions and generally not great coaching), but thus far Strome has not been the problem. He’s hitting his stride as 3C and the scoring will come.

    Where was this phantom Strome assist? “Nothing ever happening” is not necessarily a bad thing. Low event hockey from the 3rd line can be considered a good thing, you know. It shortens the game,

  107. Bank Shot says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:

    – Talbot seems to get a free pass, or certainly not held to the same standard that vitriol is pointed towards other aspects of the team that many chose to focus on: that said, some seem to be catching on to this, which is also encouraging

    When has Talbot gotten a free pass?

    There were a lot of complaints about him in 15/16 and last year.

    He did stop two breakaways last night and made a few other nice saves.

    This team hands out glorious chances by the dozen nearly every game.

    If the team plays a solid button down game and loses becauseof bad goaltending I think you’d have more of a point.

    What some fans are expecting of Talbot exceeds average goaltending imo.

  108. Bank Shot says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:

    – Talbot seems to get a free pass, or certainly not held to the same standard that vitriol is pointed towards other aspects of the team that many chose to focus on: that said, some seem to be catching on to this, which is also encouraging

    When has Talbot gotten a free pass?

    There were a lot of complaints about him in 15/16 and last year.

    He did stop two breakaways last night and made a few other nice saves.

    This team hands out glorious chances by the dozen nearly every game.

    If the team plays a solid button down game and loses becauseof bad goaltending I think you’d have more of a point.

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