Game 20 2018-19: Golden Knights at Oilers

by Lowetide

As I watched the sun sink on the Edmonton Oilers in Calgary last night, it occurred to me that losses like Saturday can be good for an organization. Watching the Flames break on through for the win in the final period of a game the visitors once led by two, gives one a chance to review what went wrong.

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. Best available offer is here!

  • New Tyler Dellow: Ryan Strome for Ryan Spooner looks like a change for change sake
  • New Lowetide: Oilers No. 1 Prospect winter 2018: Evan Bouchard.
  • Jonathan Willis: Tobias Rieder will miss a critical month, creating problems for Edmonton but opportunities for its players.
  • Tyler Dellow: If nothing changes, Oilers should buy out Milan Lucic next summer.
  • Lowetide: The past, present and future of the Andrej Sekera contract.
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Elmer Benning on his 47 years as a scout (excellent article).
  • Jonathan Willis: After several failed attempts to fix their issues on the wings, it’s time for the Oilers to explore the trade market.
  • Lowetide: Connor McDavid, a 50-goal season and chasing Phil Esposito’s magical 1970-71.
  • Lowetide: Oilers send Puljujarvi and Yamamoto to Bakersfield; recall Marody
  • Lowetide: Oilers trade options: Dealing from strength is finally a possibility.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Gravel-Russell were 13-9 in 9:27, 6-4 shots, no goals, 2-1 HDSC and seven defensive zone faceoffs. Some of those were icing no doubt but it does appear trust and rapport are growing in good old our town. I like Gravel’s game and Russell on third pair has less chaos. Were 2-9 against Frolik-Ryan-Hathaway/Neal.
  • Klefbom-Larsson went 12-21 in 17:58 (6-8 with McDavid, 6-13 without), 8-11 shots, 0-2 goals (tying and winning), 1-3 HDSC. I thought both men played the situation well enough, newcomer Ryan Spooner was my culprit both times. Your mileage may vary. Went 2-14 in eight minutes against Gaudreau-Monahan-Lindholm, 0-2 goals. That’s a can of whoopass right there. I’m going to suggest the forwards should also be charged in the crime.
  • Nurse-Benning were 5-15 in 12:46, 2-9 with McDavid and 3-6 without. Went 2-7 in 5:49 against Bennett-Backlund-Tkachuk, a most effective line. Nurse got into a fight, neither man spent a lot of time passing tape to tape to linemates.
  • Mikko Koskinen stopped 33 of 36, .917, and would have been the story of the game if Edmonton won the damned thing. Still should be, he was outstanding.
  • NaturalStatTrick and NHL.com.

FORWARDS LAST NIGHT

  • Lucic-McDavid-Draisaitl went 15-17 (Draisaitl) and 10-12 (Lucic), 4-4 (Caggiula). The entire team, including the coach, bought into the ‘Tkachuk is a puke’ mentality and lost the script. The NHL keeps score via wins and losses, and Milan Lucic playing 12 minutes with Connor McDavid at 5-on-5 does not contribute to winning games. Marc Savard. Even more alarming, all the rough stuff appeared to take McDavid and Draisaitl from their game and that cannot happen. Need to come up with a better game plan than having Zack Kassian skull Tkachuk for a triple minor. I have some time for those who point to the officiating, but my response is this: Do you think the refereeing will be better in the next game against Calgary?
  • Spooner-Nuge-Kassian were 8-10 (Spooner, also 0-2 goals), 3-8 Kassian (0-1) and 5-5 Rattie (0-1) in a hugely disappointing game. Remember yesterday I wrote “would have liked to see this Oilers team arrive at these next games set in their roles.” Yeah. That isn’t on Spooner, who was in no man’s land on the tying goal and at the swim-up bar on the winning goal, I blame the general manager. Timing of that trade was weird weird.
  • Caggiula-Khaira-Chiasson were 3-9, no goals. The line struggled to get the puck but Chiasson scored a SH goal and Khaira almost duplicated it with a PK breakaway of his own. Patrick Russell went 2-5 with Khaira. I like him.
  • Lucic-Marody-Chiasson were 0-4 in 2:43, the line lasted like a snow flake in a hot place.

OILERS AFTER 20

  • Oilers in October 20157-12-1, 15 points; goal differential -8
  • Oilers in October 2016: 11-8-1, 23 points; goal differential +7
  • Oilers in October 2017: 7-11-2, 16 points; goal differential -13
  • Oilers in October 2018: 9-9-1, 19 points; goal differential -6

Edmonton had an impressive October but November is proving difficult. A win last night would have been splendid, a loss isn’t the end of the world. The way the team lost, coach shuffling the lines to address things other than winning, manager upsetting roster just hours before the game itself, players forgetting structure on breakouts (Calgary’s men were fantastic on breakouts, my goodness it was nice to see it done well) and on it went. Loved the goalie.

OILERS IN NOVEMBER

  • Oilers in November 2015: 3-5-1, seven points; goal differential -2
  • Oilers in November 2016: 2-6-1, five points; goal differential -11
  • Oilers in November 2017: 4-4-1, nine points; goal differential +3
  • Oilers in November 2018: 3-5-0, six points; goal differential -4

Officially an issue, but still a chance to salvage something close to a point per game. The goal differential keeps sending semaphore signals to my brain, this team isn’t able to go from out of the blue and into the black.

WHAT TO EXPECT IN NOVEMBER

  • At home to: Chicago (Expected 1-0-0) Actual (1-0-0)
  • On the road to: Detroit, Washington, Tampa Bay, Florida  (Expected 2-2-0) (Actual 1-3-0)
  • At home to: Colorado, Montreal (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 1-1-0)
  • On the road to: Calgary (Expected 0-1-0) (Actual 0-1-0)
  • At home to: Vegas (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: San Jose, Anaheim, Los Angeles (Expected 2-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Dallas, Los Angeles  (Expected 1-0-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 8-5-1, 17 points in 14 games 
  • Current results: 3-5-0, 6 points in 8 games

Edmonton would need to go 5-0-1 to match my prediction, meaning two months in a row that I’ll be out of time. This team is difficult to read and maddeningly inconsistent. We could be talking about playoff additions, draft lottery, new coach or new general manager by this time next month. It’s all in the conversation, in my opinion.

At some point it’s going to be impossible to keep Benson on the farm if the NHL portsiders continue to struggle, but it’s the right thing to do. He has 14 points in 13 games, age 20, well inside the AHL top 10 in rookie points.

THE TKACHUK PROBLEM

Meeting Tkachuk’s tomfoolery with Zack Kassian’s fists isn’t going to win hockey games. A strong power play that punishes opponents severely is the way to beat that kind of stupid. Also, when a team goes after McDavid, then the equal and appropriate return volley is a quick hello to Johnny Gaudreau. The Oilers lost the game after losing something else last night. Two points and an opportunity last, but well worth it if lessons were learned.

JESSE’S GAME

Young Pulju had quite the game for the Condors last night, he’s 1-1-2 in two games and played very well in both. Coach McLellan sent the big Finn to the farm in an effort to get his confidence back, but the absence may also allow the players on the team to assess the alternatives. From where I’m standing, Puljujarvi’s big body and skill are a far better bet than some of the men who played on the important lines last night.

I don’t know that this team makes the playoffs, preseason prediction from this blog had them finishing 90-94 points. I do know that missing the playoffs, while seeing Puljujarvi and other young pieces emerge as productive everyday players would be a tremendous boost to this organization’s future. Perhaps the world is turning as it should after all.

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godot10

Ben: K but there’s a full .40 difference between Talbot and Koskinen this season. TMac coaching differently in 19’s games?

Once Koskinen starts playing the better teams, and not just the weaker teams, his save percentage will approach Talbot’s. Other team will get a book on Koskinen also. Take away the first game shutout when he was an unknown quantity, and the convergence of the goaltenders to each other is well under way.

Jethro Tull

Ben: K but there’s a full .40 difference between Talbot and Koskinen this season. TMac coaching differently in 19’s games?

Yep. He’s starting Talbot as a roster decision!

This is only by eye, but corroborated by my also drunk friends: Talbot looks to be playing deep in his net again. The team also seem to be playing without confidence in him, sinking further toward him. They should be forcing wide trusting Talbot has the angles.

Ben

Jethro Tull: I think you’re putting the cart before the horse. One reason Talbot is bad is that the team are allowing too many HDSC against. That’s coaching.

But since Talbot can’t be fired and TMac decides if he plays and TMac keeps playing him….

Also, this team seems to look the same no matter who’s in goal – LB, Montoya, Koski…..

K but there’s a full .40 difference between Talbot and Koskinen this season. TMac coaching differently in 19’s games?

Jethro Tull

Ben: Out of genuine curiosity, what role do you think TM has played in Talbot’s fall-off since 16/17?

I think you’re putting the cart before the horse. One reason Talbot is bad is that the team are allowing too many HDSC against. That’s coaching.

But since Talbot can’t be fired and TMac decides if he plays and TMac keeps playing him….

Also, this team seems to look the same no matter who’s in goal – LB, Montoya, Koski…..

Ben

texmex:
Ben,

They are not mutually exclusive IMO

Out of genuine curiosity, what role do you think TM has played in Talbot’s fall-off since 16/17?

texmex

Ben,

They are not mutually exclusive IMO

ArmchairGM

Ben:
I’m all for a coaching (and more importantly a GM) change, but firing a coach whose starting goalie is 49th in SP doesn’t exactly solve your most pressing issue.

My impression is that confidence is a big part of this team’s problem, and getting rid of Todd could well be a positive development. It can’t get worse, can it?

Ben

I’m all for a coaching (and more importantly a GM) change, but firing a coach whose starting goalie is 49th in SP doesn’t exactly solve your most pressing issue.

russ99

Chelios is a Dinosaur:
Coach or GM?

Both is called for and justified. They came in together and were somehow never on the same page. Time for them to leave together.

Problem is that I can cut and paste from years ago: There is rot in the foundation and before you bring inQuennville and Yzerman get rid of Lowe MacT and Bob. One of the reasons neither coach or GM will actually get fired tomorrow is that there are too many chairs at the table. Clean house. Then restart.

The rot is at the very top.

Katz’s lifer hires are rooted in each area of hockey ops. Chia may have pulled the trigger, but there’s bad scouting behind every move from Reinhart to Spooner.

Maybe next time the new GM won’t have to keep his predecessor as an asssitant.

If the reins are handed to these boobs I’m done.

Dustylegnd

How in the name of Jobe are you going to attract any competent GM to this disfunctional mess. people dreaming of Stevie Y coming here are dillusional. A savie individual like Stevie Y wouldn’t take this job at any price

The rott and incompetence within this organization is glaring yet Nickle Bob does not have the courage to yell “The Emporer has no cloths”

We are an embarrassment to professional hockey…… a generational talent is being squandered right before our eyes….. if this spirals and we win the lottery…. we can’t even afford to have the 1 st overall pick hit all his insentives without another salary dump….. good god this last trade needs to be Pete’s last….. it won’t be

v4ance

On the PP, I’m glad they finally had Chiasson as the net front presence. I like the wrinkle of Nuge and Drai and McDavid all swapping spots as the middle 3 in the 1-3-1. Gave McDavid the option of taking more shots from the left half wall with a one time option across the ice to Drai. Of course the PP goal was via Chiasson in the “Letestu” spot, which I predicted (a month ago) would be good for a big bodied right-hand shot, like HEY Chiasson!

On the PK, they’ve gone back to the triangle +1 that was so successful in the first half of the last season. You know, the worst ranked PK in all recorded NHL history?

McDavid plus Drai is loading one line in hopes that their line can outscore the other teams… but it’s not like we’ve tried this before right? It’s like the coach has forgotten the secret to success where we stretch other teams defensively by running two good scoring lines.

One step forward, two steps back. Same as it ever was.

SwedishPoster

Well that was terrible. Has to be the last nail in Todd’s coffin right? And if early returns on Chia’s latest trade are an indicator the GM should follow quickly. Spooner looks like an absolute disaster defensively, just no awareness at all. Hopefully just confusion from being on a new team but from what I’ve gathered he was bad defensively in NY as well.

€√¥£€^$

BONE207:
So what was the main story tonight? Talbot, defence, offence or misalignment of the planets?

Piss-poor defending and piss-poor luck at both ends of the rink.

The team seemed to give up in the second period, kind of like they did in the 3rd in Calgary.

€√¥£€^$

itsaleaf:
The Oilers second best line is in Bakersfield.

+1000

€√¥£€^$

Glovjuice: He’s gonna have to get way quicker on his skates as well. Didn’t have to take a risk at 10 overall but we did. marody is sharp as a tack but can’t skate – he wont make the NHL. the league is faster than even 2-3 years ago. Benning is done. Benson, not sure yet but not a good skater. The DOD nay be 2DsOD. Save this post. I called Yak a bust in his second year.Oh, and Spooner is not any faster than Strome – holy Fak: what are the pro scouts looking at.

I wouldn’t write off a 19 year old Dman who lead the OHL in scoring in his Draft year.

Marody is 21 and excling in the AHL, he looked better in his first call-up. He has more to show.

Benning hasn’t looked this bad in a few games, he is far from finished.

Benson will be an NHLer, he’s got the drive and the skill. 0 doubt in my mind if he stays healthy.

Spooner is much quicker and faster than Strome, but he appears to be butter soft and loses more battles and makes more soft plays than Strome ever did. Kind of reminds me of POS….

HT Joe

Glovjuice: And Tchachuk

Yeah! Hey, we’re good at this. Why does Chia find it so hard? 😉

drglen

Bob has to fire both guys.

Not a bad time for a new gm. Draft is months away

Todd did bring structure and purpose to the team. Hell get another gig

Guys were saying if you pay drai and connor you cant afford the rest. And it has come to pass.

Its more on the gm than the coach. Todd failed to inspire in the end but this is not a competitive roster

Pete overpaid and overextended guys he did not have to. He should have let them walk.

Get a new gm and start SELLING.

Elevate the farm kids and see what happens. Do it now. This current crew is not making playoffs. And is probably finishing last. There is a chance the kids could make playoffs but it doesnt matter. The fan base would get behind a freshstart team

hags9k

This team plays hard but fear and frustration continue to dominate. Need a coach who can replace with joy.

GOILERS!!

Glovjuice

HT Joe: And Debrincat?:\

And Tchachuk

HT Joe

innercitysmytty: And Barzal

And Debrincat? :\

HT Joe

Glovjuice: Agreed, very good. The best under the radar movie in a similar vain is Love Actually – killer good movie.

Haha. My wife and I once turned on Love Actually to watch as a “good Christmas film” with her parents. We had forgotten about the porn-star sub-story that included full frontal. Haha. Festive awkwardness abound.

Glovjuice

innercitysmytty:
HT Joe,

And Barzal

And ’33’ ?

Alpine

I knew we wouldn’t reach the highs of 2017 after we got knocked out by Anaheim. It felt like our last chance for a while because you knew Sekera was gone for a while, and that Todd could be outcoached by anyone and that Pete couldn’t make a trade.

I could tell at the time based on the MSM tea leaves that they would make the wrong moves in reaction to whatever they thought were the issues with the team. It happened a month later. Eberle out for a third liner. Russell signed to a contract that was too much for his role. Mistakes, not disastrous ones but mistakes nonetheless.

No top four D has been acquired since last summer. No top 6 forward acquired since then either (could be Spooner). Just guesses that haven’t worked out or that are too early to call a success. Talbot fell apart and the D still isn’t quite good enough to help offset it.

Keep on truckin’ I guess.

fifthcartel

Woodguy v2.0,

Damn.

They just give back everything 97 creates. I get switching to McDavid-Draisaitl mid-game and wouldn’t mind the odd game but this seems like a clear argument against playing them together,

innercitysmytty

HT Joe,

And Barzal 🙂

HT Joe

Ryan: GCW
@GCW_69
It’s amazing to me that the Oilers had a legitimate top six line with Hall – Nuge – Eberle, then added McDavid and Leon and now can barely scrape together one top six line.

And as a bonus, they still haven’t fixed the defence.

200
10:10 AM – Nov 18, 2018

Don’t forget the top-5 2016 draft pick used on a winger.

Bank Shot

OriginalPouzar:
http://ontariohockeyleague.com/video/nov…ldn-6-er-3

Bouchard’s goal is at about the 1:40 minute mark.

A “bomb” from the point.

He seems to do this alot in junior where he gets the puck at the point and has time to stop it and take a stationary shot with full wind-up.

Its not really translatable to pro as there is very very rarely that type of time.

He scored in the NHL with a shot from the point.

I think he’ll be alright offensively because his shot is accurate.

Psyche

Jethro Tull,

This made me smile…and giggle lots. Thank you.

It’s a terrific comparison. And vivid. Would love to see a cartoon sketch of that.

JimmyV1965

I would trade Talbot ASAP. He still has some value because Oiler goalies have history of turning their game around when they leave. The cap value we save would have much more value then the goalie. And at tthis point I’d rather have Montoya in the net than Talbot.

drglen
Jethro Tull

Currently watching a documentary about Tanks on Netflix. The French designed one with a nose that overhung the tracks by 2.5m. This meant it got wedged in trenches. Tje French still ordered 400.

Cheered me up a bit imagining TMac driving the tank telling the General Chia that it won’t work and General Pete nodding and writing 400 on an order form.

Jethro Tull

Glovjuice: Agreed, very good. The best under the radar movie in a similar vain is Love Actually – killer good movie.

I usually watch them when I haven’t heard an accent from home in a while.

Glovjuice

Jethro Tull: I thought The Holiday wasn’t that bad for that type of movie. Was no Die Hard though.

Agreed, very good. The best under the radar movie in a similar vain is Love Actually – killer good movie.

jtblack

Remember in 2016/17 , 2nd round … when we cheered proudly, but also cheered Freely … Because WE KNEW we had turned the corner. We knew ….. DoD was behind us … A once proud Franchise was back

Remember,?

……………

itsaleaf

No one should be advocating for TMac to keep his job. No one. It’s clear they need a different voice.

That said, the roster is dogshit and it’s hardly his fault

Jethro Tull

Glovjuice: The Family Man with Tea Leoni ? Luv that movie. Have to get myself a room during her shower scene every dam time ♥️

I thought The Holiday wasn’t that bad for that type of movie. Was no Die Hard though.

jtblack

Woodguy v2.0:
Oiler Goal Share after 20 games (9-10-1)

Even strength (5v5, 4v4, 3v3):
McDavid On Ice 20-14 (59%)
McDavid Off Ice 18-28 (39%)
Net EV -4

Special Teams (PP+shorties for – PK + shorties against):
17-19
Net ST -2

Empty Net: 2-5
Net EN -3

Net Goal Differential -9

THIS IS US …… Sadly

Hockey Project

drglen: I know.They actually are pretty good.Filmed in canada so i like to guess the locations. Throw in some icjiban soup and youre good to go

I live in Victoria. My wife watches those, so we play the game of “Where did they film THAT scene?”

Glovjuice

drglen:
Dear oilers and rogers.Just letting you know ive been watchng the romantic chtistmas movie on the womens network since the start of period three

The Family Man with Tea Leoni ? Luv that movie. Have to get myself a room during her shower scene every dam time ♥️

JOFA

Press conference just announced. Ticket prices going up ?

Woodguy v2.0

Oiler Goal Share after 20 games (9-10-1)

Even strength (5v5, 4v4, 3v3):
McDavid On Ice 20-14 (59%)
McDavid Off Ice 18-28 (39%)
Net EV -4

Special Teams (PP+shorties for – PK + shorties against):
17-19
Net ST -2

Empty Net: 2-5
Net EN -3

Net Goal Differential -9

Dicky94

drglen,

You need to lay off the Christmas specials. Lol. As hard as that can be.

docweb

By the way…gave up two of my four season tickets this year and not sure about the remaining two for next year. Watching one line out of four perform NHL hockey does not seem to be good value

Chelios is a Dinosaur

Coach or GM?

Both is called for and justified. They came in together and were somehow never on the same page. Time for them to leave together.

Problem is that I can cut and paste from years ago: There is rot in the foundation and before you bring in Quennville and Yzerman get rid of Lowe MacT and Bob. One of the reasons neither coach or GM will actually get fired tomorrow is that there are too many chairs at the table. Clean house. Then restart.

drglen

Tonight has that “wake” vibe

As we gather among friends and family. We support each other as yes we grieve what is lost. But also reflect on the fellowship we shared. And to remember the job of the living is to live.

Friends. A toast ! A toast to the edmonton oilers ! Here here

God im crying. Im such a suck

BONE207

So what was the main story tonight? Talbot, defence, offence or misalignment of the planets?

Glovjuice

OriginalPouzar:
http://ontariohockeyleague.com/video/nov…ldn-6-er-3

Bouchard’s goal is at about the 1:40 minute mark.

A “bomb” from the point.

He seems to do this alot in junior where he gets the puck at the point and has time to stop it and take a stationary shot with full wind-up.

Its not really translatable to pro as there is very very rarely that type of time.

He’s gonna have to get way quicker on his skates as well. Didn’t have to take a risk at 10 overall but we did. marody is sharp as a tack but can’t skate – he wont make the NHL. the league is faster than even 2-3 years ago. Benning is done. Benson, not sure yet but not a good skater. The DOD nay be 2DsOD. Save this post. I called Yak a bust in his second year. Oh, and Spooner is not any faster than Strome – holy Fak: what are the pro scouts looking at.

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

Seeya Todd. The guy has not had anything to offer this team since the end of 2016-17 season. Miles away and way too late making any sensible moves and stuff like his PK system and 5LS PP are laughable. Fire him now and you still might save the season.

Reja

Decidedly Skeptical Fan,

It’s better to be passed off then pissed on.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

Ryan,

I just threw up in my mouth.