Game 22 2018-19: Oilers at Ducks

by Lowetide

Sometimes you stare at a problem so long it’s impossible to see the forest for the trees. Sometimes a fresh set of eyes can solve the puzzle. That’s the task for Ken Hitchcock over the next 60 games of this NHL season. Find a way to win enough games to make the second season. He has some advantages: A lifetime of hockey knowledge dancing around in his brain, a Pacific Division that gets rickrolled routinely by the other, better divisions, and the best player in the game. Hitchcock’s challenge, McLellan’s challenge, Chiarelli’s challenge: How to outscore opponents when Connor McDavid is at rest, or at least play those opponents to a draw. We begin.

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. Black Friday offer is here!

  • New Lowetide: A shot in the dark: What are the Oilers getting in Chris Wideman?
  • New Justin Bourne: Why switching coaches provides short-term benefits for an NHL team.
  • Lowetide: With not enough talent, and outside the playoffs, Todd McLellan’s Oilers career ends where it began.
  • Jonathan Willis: The Edmonton Oilers get their 2018-19 quarter pole report cards.
  • Black Dog Pat: It’s going to be a long winter.
  • Pierre Lebrun: The chance to coach his hometown Oilers was an offer Ken Hitchcock couldn’t refuse.
  • Jonathan Willis: Hiring Ken Hitchcock is Peter Chiarelli’s final chance to make his Oilers vision work.
  • Eric Duhatschek: Ken Hitchcock will be motivated by move to Oilers, now what can he get out of flawed roster?
  • Lowetide: Oilers No. 2 Prospect winter 2018: Kailer Yamamoto.
  • Lowetide: Oilers No. 1 Prospect winter 2018: Evan Bouchard.

OILERS AFTER 22

  • Oilers in 20157-14-1, 15 points; goal differential -12
  • Oilers in 2016: 12-8-2, 26 points; goal differential +10
  • Oilers in 2017: 8-12-2, 18 points; goal differential -14
  • Oilers in 2018: 10-10-1, 21 points; goal differential -8

The McDavid Years are shown here, the one playoff team jumps off the page. Edmonton 2018 is the second best team among the four but the goal differential is a concern. A win today by two or more goals would help the cause.

OILERS IN NOVEMBER

  • Oilers in November 2015: 3-6-2, eight points; goal differential -6
  • Oilers in November 2016: 4-6-1, nine points; goal differential -3
  • Oilers in November 2017: 4-6-1, nine points; goal differential -5
  • Oilers in November 2018: 4-6-0, eight points; goal differential -6

Not one of these November teams has a positive goal differential after 11 games (10 for the 2018 club) and none of them is/was on a point-per-game pace. November’s story remains a downer but it’s not over yet.

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 0-1-0)
  • On the road to: San Jose, Anaheim, Los Angeles (Expected 2-1-0) (Actual 1-0-0)
  • 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: 4-6-0, 8 points in 10 games

I have today as a win, followed by a win over the Kings. If Hitchcock’s troops win the day in those two California games, that’s 12 points in 12 November games and that’s a positive result based on what’s happened since the game against Detroit so very long ago. Have to win those games!

HITCHCOCK’S TWEAKS

The final Todd McLellan lineup looked like this:

  • Caggiula—McDavid—Draisaitl
  • Spooner—Nuge—Chiasson
  • Khaira—Brodziak—Kassian
  • Lucic—Marody—Patrick Russell
  • Klefbom—Larsson
  • Nurse—Benning
  • Garrison—Russell
  • Talbot (Koskinen)

The first Hitchcock lineup made some subtle changes:

  • Caggiula—McDavid—DraisaitlHitchcock kept the top line intact and the Oilers were rewarded handsomely. He mentioned trying to keep 97-29 together, he ran Tyler Seguin with Jamie Benn and Alexander Radulov (Stars best players) heavily a year ago. The trio posted 103 goals for the year.
  • Spooner—Nuge—ChiassonOne of the major problems on this roster is a second scoring line. Hitchcock had the same issue in Dallas, as his No. 2 line (Janmark-Shore-Spezza) managed only 38 goals. Nuge (5) and Chiasson (8) have posted solid numbers so far, should be able to post something close to 50 if Spooner (or other) chimes in. Pressure is on Hitchcock to find a solution, it’ll be interesting to see what happens here.
  • Lucic—Brodziak—KassianHitchcock moved Lucic onto the ‘grumpy old men’ line and their debut has them likely to make a second appearance. There aren’t enough goals here, and that’s going to mean a shuffle (either a scorer added, or this line will become the No. 4 line). In Dallas, his third line (Roussel-Faksa-Pitlick) scored 36 goals. It was a good line.
  • Khaira—Marody—RattieI think Hitchcock is casting about for offense, and may have struck on something with these two wingers and double shifting McDavid. Poor Marody didn’t get much playing time in the first game, perhaps he’ll get more today. Hitchcock’s fourth line was Elie-Gemel Smith-Brett Ritchie, scored 19 goals.
  • Hitchcock’s forwards scored 201 goals last season. His top line scored 103.
  • Edmonton’s forwards are on pace to score to score 215 goals. The top line is on pace for 129.
  • Klefbom—LarssonBoth men played 23 minutes in Hitch’s debut, that’s an increase of a minute+ for Larsson and a decrease of 2.5 minutes for Oscar. There were no power plays, so that’s going to account for the loss. Most interesting thing is the increase for Larsson, I expect the coach will love him.
  • Nurse—RussellNurse played three more minutes than normal, Russell one. There were five penalties, so lots of PK time, but I do think the coach is going to run his top two pairs heavily
  • Gravel—BenningBoth men played the types of minutes McLellan assigned no real change in playing time. Pairing got 36 seconds PK time, rest at evens. I hope they keep Gravel in the lineup, wonder about Benning’s spot in the lineup with the acquisition of Wideman.
  • KoskinenAlthough he won the No. 1 job with McLellan as coach, Hitchcock will run the hot hand and the big Finn is it.

WIDEMAN AND SPOONER

Ryan Spooner (he is the cover photo) is due, having played three games (11:41 a night) without getting much done (two giveaways, three shots, nothing dangerous). Chris Wideman might be (as I mentioned in The Athletic article) a harbinger of things to come for Matt Benning, although the lefty-righty setup can be completed if everyone remains.

Spooner and Wideman are auditioning for jobs this and next season, and they (along with Drake Caggiula) may get early opportunities under Ken Hitchcock. Sometimes it works like a charm, other times it doesn’t at all.

I’m not here to bury Todd McLellan, but the auditions (old and young) during his time in Edmonton were brief and often doomed by linemates. I’d list Pontus Aberg there, Anton Slepyshev, Jesse Puljujarvi. The retort is often “well they didn’t show a lot either” and that’s true. However, a real chance means 20 games in a specific spot, to allow the player to find his way.

Take Spooner. He’s played three games in Edmonton. That’s nothing. Moving him off that line now is like the boss coming to you at quarter after 10 this morning and saying ‘pack your bags, you’re over’ on your first day on the job. It takes time. It takes 20 games.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN1260, I’ll be live for Day 2 from the Shaw Conference Centre for Grey Cup 2018. It was a blast yesterday, enjoyed meeting you if you came out (Hi, Jerry!) and sorry I missed you if I was on the air when you dropped by (Hi Colin!). Scheduled to appear:

  • Steve Lansky, BigMouthSports. We’ll chat Grey Cup, Hitchcock hiring, McLellan firing.
  • Marshall Ferguson, TSN Hamilton. Grey Cup preview, Ti-Cats heartbreak.
  • Matt Iwanyk, TSN1260. Young Iwanyk is taking in his first Grey Cup, but his sense of responsibility is so great he’s the one Grey Cup guest I know will be on time and ready.

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

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Dustylegnd

Glovjuice: Benning is maybe a 6 D in this quicker by the month league- how many times do I have to state it till you all say, “yes, you are right Glovjuice”?

The only reason you aren’t right is because his a 7 D or a good AHL D man….he wasn’t even a “Great” College D man in Hockey East….he is a sad representation of the “oilers” managerial incompetence

Ryan

Sierra: None of your options have anything to do with the coaches decision to put 2 poor defensive players with one slow as molasses player on the ice with a minute left to defend an one goal lead. The coach had better options and didn’t use them, regardless of who should or shouldn’t be on the roster

OriginalPouzar: I’m talking about the game tonight – you said that coaching isn’t the problem and then admit that a different coaching decision likely leads to two points.

Perhaps you are moving the goal posts.

The correct answer is (D) Play the rested Nugent-Hopkins, the best defensive center on the team who was also the team’s best skater on the night.

Do that and we are talking about being in a playoff spot.

Yea, I get it. Frustrating decision to watch.

We have lost to Anaheim in a similar manner how many times before?

Go back to the playoffs and didn’t we have the same rumblings about Nurse being played un that situation (for different reasons)?

treevojo

As pissed as I am for losing my proline in the last 30 seconds.

I will take 3 out of 4 points in Cali every day of the week.

If anybody wants to wager a $100 donation to Lowetide on the Oilers making the playoffs let me know.

First come first serve.

Suntory Hanzo

Brodziak scores we win. He didn’t.

Often a single moment can cost a game.

We played, for the most part, a structured game. I saw more controlled breakouts that I have in a long time.

Sierra

who:
God that was a painful game to watch. I REALLY hope that’s not the kind of hockey we are going to play for the rest of the year.
Don’t know about the last minute deployment and Drai was not good today, even before overtime.
But none of this matters if Brodziak hits the wide open net. How in the hell does an NHL player miss that tap in? Great play by Kassian though.

Midway through the third and the Oilers had 1 HDSC. Tough way to win.

Sierra

Ryan: No doubt but that’s not the point.

The correct answer is the roster is the problem.

Magic wand time, do you:

A. Draft Tkachuk and Debrincat instead of PJ Masks and Benson.

B. Draft Barzal and Carlo instead of Reinhart trade.

C, cancel the Hall for Larsson trade and don’t sign Looch?

Which is the best choice?

None of your options have anything to do with the coaches decision to put 2 poor defensive players with one slow as molasses player on the ice with a minute left to defend an one goal lead. The coach had better options and didn’t use them, regardless of who should or shouldn’t be on the roster

Rich M

Puljujarvi with a goal and Hebig adds another, 3-1 Condors in the 3rd.

digger50

For the tying goal

McDavid has to come off.

Choice was Brodziak or Nuge line.

Brodziak line had a very effective game, playing in offensive zone often. They were solid. Nuge was good but his line was not. Coach had to go with Brodziak, it was the right call. They just finished theee strong shifts in a row.

I can’t remember, was there a whistle? A time out would be an option but I don’t remember a whistle.

digger50

Ducks flat out cheated.

The rule book states you cannot utilize a bench change to gain advantage on opponent. It cannot be a strategy.

Silfverberg comes off the ice into the close door, and Rakell jumps out behind Draisaitl. He gets behind Drai and has the jump on him, cuts across the blue line for a pass.

It’s a set play again, and it is designed to gain advantage on opponent. Flat out cheating.

drglen

The replay shows 4 oilers basically in front and beside the net. Probably we needed more pressure on the puck carrier and cover the point shot.

I think theyll review the tape and hell figure it out next time

Rakell was offbench way too early. That should have been called 2 many men. That may have contributed to leon behind 2 steps behind. Ducks cheated there actually

OriginalPouzar

McDavid did just come off. Of course, the coach has a TO so any player deployment was available.

Pescador

OriginalPouzar: I’m talking about the game tonight – you said that coaching isn’t the problem and then admit that a different coaching decision likely leads to two points.

Perhaps you are moving the goal posts.

The correct answer is (D) Play the rested Nugent-Hopkins, the best defensive center on the team who was also the team’s best skater on the night.

Do that and we are talking about being in a playoff spot.

Unless he just came off, I put McDavid out as well
He is excellent at separating player from puck in scramble situations & speed is an excellent defender
Covering his man 5v5 in the D-zone in structured play?
Needs a little work

Pescador

Jethro Tull: No it isn’t.

I hope you’re all ready for chip n’ chase McDavid.

McDavid is the best in the world (galaxy) at controlled zone entries & creating offense off the rush.
There is no way in hell Hitchcock is going to try and get him to change that. I don’t buy that

OriginalPouzar

Ryan: No doubt but that’s not the point.

The correct answer is the roster is the problem.

Magic wand time, do you:

A. Draft Tkachuk and Debrincat instead of PJ Masks and Benson.

B. Draft Barzal and Carlo instead of Reinhart trade.

C, cancel the Hall for Larsson trade and don’t sign Looch?

Which is the best choice?

I’m talking about the game tonight – you said that coaching isn’t the problem and then admit that a different coaching decision likely leads to two points.

Perhaps you are moving the goal posts.

The correct answer is (D) Play the rested Nugent-Hopkins, the best defensive center on the team who was also the team’s best skater on the night.

Do that and we are talking about being in a playoff spot.

OriginalPouzar

Hebig with his 6th PP goal of the year – assist to Yamamoto who is having his best game.

Pescador

who,

Kassian was decent today

who

God that was a painful game to watch. I REALLY hope that’s not the kind of hockey we are going to play for the rest of the year.
Don’t know about the last minute deployment and Drai was not good today, even before overtime.
But none of this matters if Brodziak hits the wide open net. How in the hell does an NHL player miss that tap in? Great play by Kassian though.

Pescador

Ryan,

Unwritten blog rule:
You need to wait at least 11 mins before replying to your own post

Pescador

Ryan: No doubt but that’s not the point.

The correct answer is the roster is the problem.

Magic wand time, do you:

A. Draft Tkachuk and Debrincat instead of PJ Masks and Benson.

B. Draft Barzal and Carlo instead of Reinhart trade.

C, cancel the Hall for Larsson trade and don’t sign Looch?

Which is the best choice?

D. Hire a savvy GM & collect all of A,B & C.
Only problem being who on the current roster plays 1RD?

Ryan

Ryan: No doubt but that’s not the point.

The correct answer is the roster is the problem.

Magic wand time, do you:

A. Draft Tkachuk and Debrincat instead of PJ Masks and Benson.

B. Draft Barzal and Carlo instead of Reinhart trade.

C, cancel the Hall for Larsson trade and don’t sign Looch?

Which is the best choice?

Any one of the scenarios would have prevented our current predicament.

All three and we’d be a lock for cup favorites.

Pescador

Sierra: An empty net goal is not going to get Lucic “going”

Mr DeBakey: Lucic is gone
Gone, daddy, gone

His game is gone, yes
$6 Mil for a 4th line banger
The Chia special.

If you want to try to get 27 a cheap goal
wait for the empty net with a 2 goal lead

Ryan

OriginalPouzar: Yes, you mentioned you didn’t watch the game and I find it odd to have a strong opinion on what “wasn’t the problem” in the game you didn’t watch.

In any event, he had all the options.Nuge was rested, he had his TO so had the ability to have full deployment of his roster.It was his choice to go with a line the included two poor defensive players and two slow players and it proved to be a mistake.

Hopefully its a lesson learned but the Oilers likely win that game in regulation with a different coaching decision.

No doubt but that’s not the point.

The correct answer is the roster is the problem.

Magic wand time, do you:

A. Draft Tkachuk and Debrincat instead of PJ Masks and Benson.

B. Draft Barzal and Carlo instead of Reinhart trade.

C, cancel the Hall for Larsson trade and don’t sign Looch?

Which is the best choice?

leadfarmer

Ryan: Hey. Worst case scenario, it’s a second opinion on a roster that’s an abject disaster.

We have three each of top six forwards and defenseman.

That and five dollars gets you a cup of coffee at Starbucks.

Mclellan was on pace for last year’s result before he was let go.

What are your expectations for this roster?

My preseason prediction was 87 points. I don’t see any reason to revise that prediction

Jethro Tull

Ryan:
I didn’t watch the game.

I myself wouldn’t have thrown Looch over the boards with a few minutes left in a tight game.

With this roster and no Strome, there are limited options. I am sympathetic to Hitch for that.

As for what Tmac would have done, it’s irrelevant.

No it isn’t. Not just because you say so.

You said Hitch isn’t the problem.

All I’m saying is that we should stop making Hitch into something he isn’t, anymore we shouldn’t do that to TMac.

There has been an absolute demonizing of TMac and reification of Hitch. Somewhere in between is the truth.

A poster said Hitch had a higher IQ. Well, Hitch professed to watching our games and knowing the roster. He still put Lucic out there. You know who would have been better than him? Anyone. Literally and figuratively anyone.

You don’t get a free pass just because you’re new. In fact, he shouldn’t because of the aforementioned knowledge of our team and because he’s the third most winning coach in NHL history. He has set a higher standard and he has said some things. Things inferring he ‘knows what’s wrong’. Chop wood and carry water.

I so want him to succeed. But i fear a lot of fans do not have realistic expectations when it comes to Hitchcock and I believe as long as Todd was fired, short of bringing back Eakins, any coach would have been better.

I hope you’re all ready for chip n’ chase McDavid.

drglen

Ryan,

You’d basically put your penalty killers out. Btodz to win the faceoff. Kind of a lucky bounce off a guys back. Looch to knock people off pucks

Im ok with deployment. Just need to teach better clearing decisions

Brodz missed open net. Montour pass and a good goal.

A contested game where neither team had skill to beat good goaltending.

I think we are overanalyzing this one. Roster loss via lack of scorers. Looks were there

OriginalPouzar

Ryan:
I didn’t watch the game.

I myself wouldn’t have thrown Looch over the boards with a few minutes left in a tight game.

With this roster and no Strome, there are limited options. I am sympathetic to Hitch for that.

As for what Tmac would have done, it’s irrelevant.

Yes, you mentioned you didn’t watch the game and I find it odd to have a strong opinion on what “wasn’t the problem” in the game you didn’t watch.

In any event, he had all the options. Nuge was rested, he had his TO so had the ability to have full deployment of his roster. It was his choice to go with a line the included two poor defensive players and two slow players and it proved to be a mistake.

Hopefully its a lesson learned but the Oilers likely win that game in regulation with a different coaching decision.

Professor Q

OriginalPouzar:
Whoa, camera work in Ontario is like from a blimp – this is almost unwatchable.

Yeah, and sometimes the Knights’ camera blimp gets caught in the southeast side rafters (just the way the arena is constructed and how the breeze works in that area). I’ve seen it occur twice while at a game, once right underneath it and had a chat with the operator.

A bit funny but also a bit odd.

Ryan

Ryan:
I didn’t watch the game.

I myself wouldn’t have thrown Looch over the boards with a few minutes left in a tight game.

With this roster and no Strome, there are limited options. I am sympathetic to Hitch for that.

As for what Tmac would have done, it’s irrelevant.

If we had Taylor Hall, Mathew Barzal, and Brandon Carlo would we be discussing this?

Ryan

OriginalPouzar: I am not at all saying the “mundane” style of play cost the game – it very well could be the style the team needs to play.It doesn’t match Hitch’s verbal over the last few day though – it was the opposite of playing “quick” and I thought I’d post my thoughts.

I can also say with 100% certainty that the vast majority of this community are against a dump and chase style for success and my eye tells me that team is dumping materially more over the last 6 period.Again, if it lead to success that I”m all for it but its not what most have expressed they want.

Further, there was a major deployment decision that was highly questionable and back-fired – the coach is not immune to criticism just because he’s new.

Do you agree that Lucic/Brodz/Kass should be put out with 1:10 left and a one-goal lead with Nugent-Hopkins being rested (and the team’s best forward all night long)?

Jethro Tull: To male this fair, would would/has been said on here when TMac had Lucic on for the last shift defending a lead?

I didn’t watch the game.

I myself wouldn’t have thrown Looch over the boards with a few minutes left in a tight game.

With this roster and no Strome, there are limited options. I am sympathetic to Hitch for that.

As for what Tmac would have done, it’s irrelevant.

Bondo11

OriginalPouzar: I am not at all saying the “mundane” style of play cost the game – it very well could be the style the team needs to play.It doesn’t match Hitch’s verbal over the last few day though – it was the opposite of playing “quick” and I thought I’d post my thoughts.

I can also say with 100% certainty that the vast majority of this community are against a dump and chase style for success and my eye tells me that team is dumping materially more over the last 6 period.Again, if it lead to success that I”m all for it but its not what most have expressed they want.

Further, there was a major deployment decision that was highly questionable and back-fired – the coach is not immune to criticism just because he’s new.

Do you agree that Lucic/Brodz/Kass should be put out with 1:10 left and a one-goal lead with Nugent-Hopkins being rested (and the team’s best forward all night long)?

Hitch should have used his timeout, then put out Nuge, McDavid, Drai, Klef, & Larsson to lock it down.

More speed was needed to pressure the Ducks and not give them any time or space. Hopefully lessened learned for Hitch.

Scungilli Slushy

OriginalPouzar: I am not at all saying the “mundane” style of play cost the game – it very well could be the style the team needs to play.It doesn’t match Hitch’s verbal over the last few day though – it was the opposite of playing “quick” and I thought I’d post my thoughts.

I can also say with 100% certainty that the vast majority of this community are against a dump and chase style for success and my eye tells me that team is dumping materially more over the last 6 period.Again, if it lead to success that I”m all for it but its not what most have expressed they want.

Further, there was a major deployment decision that was highly questionable and back-fired – the coach is not immune to criticism just because he’s new.

Do you agree that Lucic/Brodz/Kass should be put out with 1:10 left and a one-goal lead with Nugent-Hopkins being rested (and the team’s best forward all night long)?

I think he’s team building. Very positive and complimenting. We’ve all said one line isn’t enough.KH is trying to get the others engaged.

I doubt he’ll go down stubbornly sticking to a failing proposition. But they get the chance to contribute where they can

OriginalPouzar

Puljujarvi deflects a Currie shot off the post – heading to the front of the net.

Jethro Tull

Ryan: Missed the game due to work.

Hitch beats the Sharks and comes within 16 seconds of beating the inimical Ducks, and we have a problem with coaching?

Listen boys, look at our roster. Our GM has done an ignominious job procuring talent.

Hitch is not the problem.

To male this fair, would would/has been said on here when TMac had Lucic on for the last shift defending a lead?

drglen

OriginalPouzar,

Did he? I missed much of tbe game. Mudt have been good early

Ryan

leadfarmer: That was how the game used to be played.Now it’s all about speed.TMac realized we need to play faster this last offseason.Now our roster is prohibitive to playing faster, but at least he hoped that with the “d whisperer” he could maybe get by.Now we almost won against a team with an AHL d corp + Manson and Montour, who does not scare anyone defensively by going slow. We all knew dump and chase hockey was back when Hitch was hired
Now i don’t see how the you don’t need to score mentality of Hitch meshes with the you have to be a threat to score on the ice.
At least the goalies will make extra money by the increase in their Sp% by playing all out D on 3 lines and dumping pucks in corners

Hey. Worst case scenario, it’s a second opinion on a roster that’s an abject disaster.

We have three each of top six forwards and defenseman.

That and five dollars gets you a cup of coffee at Starbucks.

Mclellan was on pace for last year’s result before he was let go.

What are your expectations for this roster?

OriginalPouzar

Ryan: Missed the game due to work.

Hitch beats the Sharks and comes within 16 seconds of beating the inimical Ducks, and we have a problem with coaching?

Listen boys, look at our roster. Our GM has done an ignominious job procuring talent.

Hitch is not the problem.

I am not at all saying the “mundane” style of play cost the game – it very well could be the style the team needs to play. It doesn’t match Hitch’s verbal over the last few day though – it was the opposite of playing “quick” and I thought I’d post my thoughts.

I can also say with 100% certainty that the vast majority of this community are against a dump and chase style for success and my eye tells me that team is dumping materially more over the last 6 period. Again, if it lead to success that I”m all for it but its not what most have expressed they want.

Further, there was a major deployment decision that was highly questionable and back-fired – the coach is not immune to criticism just because he’s new.

Do you agree that Lucic/Brodz/Kass should be put out with 1:10 left and a one-goal lead with Nugent-Hopkins being rested (and the team’s best forward all night long)?

Glovjuice

OriginalPouzar:
Whoa, camera work in Ontario is like from a blimp – this is almost unwatchable.

Haha, you said “blimp”. Funny sounding word.

leadfarmer

Lowetide: Hitchcock coached the Dallas Stars to hundreds of mundane wins over the Oilers over the years. They all counted in the standings. I agree completely Hitchcock doesn’t have enough speed, but as was the case with McLellan, that’s not on the coach.

That was how the game used to be played. Now it’s all about speed. TMac realized we need to play faster this last offseason. Now our roster is prohibitive to playing faster, but at least he hoped that with the “d whisperer” he could maybe get by. Now we almost won against a team with an AHL d corp + Manson and Montour, who does not scare anyone defensively by going slow. We all knew dump and chase hockey was back when Hitch was hired
Now i don’t see how the you don’t need to score mentality of Hitch meshes with the you have to be a threat to score on the ice.
At least the goalies will make extra money by the increase in their Sp% by playing all out D on 3 lines and dumping pucks in corners

OriginalPouzar

Hebig starting on a line with Vesel and Polei – I think that’s a move up for Polei – someone must be out I would think.

OriginalPouzar

Whoa, camera work in Ontario is like from a blimp – this is almost unwatchable.

npanciroli

Ryan,

Agree 100%. Need to also give Hitch some time to get the roster going.

Ryan

Lowetide: Hitchcock coached the Dallas Stars to hundreds of mundane wins over the Oilers over the years. They all counted in the standings. I agree completely Hitchcock doesn’t have enough speed, but as was the case with McLellan, that’s not on the coach.

Missed the game due to work.

Hitch beats the Sharks and comes within 16 seconds of beating the inimical Ducks, and we have a problem with coaching?

Listen boys, look at our roster. Our GM has done an ignominious job procuring talent.

Hitch is not the problem.

OriginalPouzar

Lowetide: Hitchcock coached the Dallas Stars to hundreds of mundane wins over the Oilers over the years. They all counted in the standings. I agree completely Hitchcock doesn’t have enough speed, but as was the case with McLellan, that’s not on the coach.

The sheer number of dump-ins (I swear quadruple what he normally see), including by the likes of McDavid, didn’t really jive with the “when they have the puck, that’s for us but when we have the puck, that’s for you” (paraphrasing) verbal.

If that type of game is what it takes to get us in to the playoffs and succeed than, so be it, however, the first 6 periods under the coach are not what i was expecting giving his verbals.

OriginalPouzar

drglen:
McSorley33,

How was spooners game ?Not much i thnk.

His best as an Oiler – he’s settling in – had a number of solid shifts in the 2nd half of the game I thought.

OriginalPouzar

Maksimov finishes with the two goals and 7 shots on net.

Bouchard grabs an assist as London is about to win their 11th straight, 4-0. 8 shots on net for Evan – geez.

Richard S.S.

Weren’t the Ducks missing their top two D? I’d expect them to play a type of game that didn’t expose their D needlessly. Unfortunately Draisaitl was at his worst the last 20 seconds of regulation. That’s not normal for him. What happened to the Offense? They are not this ineffective usually.

OriginalPouzar

Although Khaira did have a very poor game tonight and he’s lucky to stay on the lineup – let alone shift to the middle.

OriginalPouzar

Yes, Marody back to AHL and he is already in Cali for their game tomorrow night.

Hopefully they don’t call up another forward and go with Russell for Sunday.

Let the wingers have some skilled centres and run with it for a bit unless forced to call someone up.

Khaira, Drai or Spooner will need to play center.