Game 30 2018-19: Flames at Oilers

by Lowetide

The first game between the Oilers and Calgary Flames came on October 22, 1980. Dave Semenko scored the first goal in what would become the most heated rivalry of the decade, Edmonton eventually winning 5-2 on two goals from Sammy, one from Kevin Lowe, another from Donny Murdoch. Paul Coffey chimed in as well. Ron Low outdueled Daniel Bouchard and the Oilers moved their record to 2-3-1, Calgary sat 3-2-2.

The Flames lead the regular-season series 118-99-18, with Edmonton leading the playoffs 19-11. The two teams have been getting in each other’s way since 1980, although this century’s rivalry has suffered from Edmonton’s setting up shop in the second division. Perhaps this season will see a change in the weather. 

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. Outstanding offer is here.

  • New Lowetide: I have seen the future of Edmonton’s power play, and its quarterback is Evan Bouchard. Or Joel Persson. Or both! 
  • Lowetide: Oilers No. 6 Prospect winter 2018: Cooper Marody
  • Jonathan Willis: Ken Hitchcock’s turnaround of the Oilers takes another positive step as they climb back to a playoff pace. 
  • Lowetide: Oilers No. 5 Prospect winter 2018: Ethan Bear.
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis: An early look at Edmonton’s readiness for the 2021 expansion draft.
  • Jonathan Willis: An $83 million salary cap opens up possibilities for the Oilers.
  • Lowetide: Ken Hitchcock’s ‘to-do’ list of miracles a long one, involving 30 percent of the Oilers roster.
  • Jonathan Willis: Leon Draisaitl needs his own line and other lessons from a McDavid-less Oilers loss
  • Lowetide: Oilers No. 4 Prospect winter 2018: Ryan McLeod.
  • Lowetide: Oilers No. 3 Prospect winter 2018: Tyler Benson.
  • Lowetide: Oilers No. 2 Prospect winter 2018: Kailer Yamamoto.
  • Lowetide: Oilers No. 1 Prospect winter 2018: Evan Bouchard.

THE HITCHCOCK ZONE

“If you want to win, you’re going to have to plow through distractions. If the distractions lead to frustration or lack of focus, they don’t do any good.”

I don’t have Hitch’s gift for communication, but that is exactly my thinking about running around trying to get even with Matt Tkachuk. Worry about the two points, then engage in the silliness. Better yet, wait until preseason next fall, like Gordie Howe. 

Hitch was in glorious form during a media scrum yesterday, his answers to questions here. His comments on Jujhar Khaira, Jesse Puljujarvi and Kevin Gravel are must see. 

Suggested Lines

I asked you for your lines and pairings in 2019-20 and received many suggestions. Through today’s post, I’m going to sprinkle your ideas. Here’s Blackadder, who is in a hurry to get the department of youth going:

Spooner – MacDavid – Yamamoto
Reider – Draisatl – Puljujarvi
Benson – Nuge – Marody
Khaira – MacLeod – Chiasson
Brodziak – Caggiula

Desert1111 is also on the Benson train and loves unicorns, and like Blackadder the McDavid-Yamamoto pairing:

Benson – McDavid – Yamamoto
Rieder – Draisalt – Marody/Cagguila
Zykov – RNH – Puljujarvi
Lucic – Spooner – Chiasson
Brodziak, Khaira

OILERS AFTER 30

  • Oilers in 201513-15-2, 28 points; goal differential -8
  • Oilers in 2016: 14-11-5, 33 points; goal differential +5
  • Oilers in 2017: 12-16-2, 26 points; goal differential -11
  • Oilers in 2018: 15-12-2, 32 points; goal differential -1

This year’s team has a chance to move ahead of the 2016 playoff group with a win tonight, that’s some rare air. Of course, that 2016-17 team would go 33-15-4 from this point through the end of the schedule. I think that’s a little rich for this year’s model. Edmonton’s current pace would see them finish 42-34-6, 90 points. That’s just outside the second season. 

OILERS IN DECEMBER

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

Oilers should just skip November next season, December carries them home. The schedule this week (as we’ll see in a minute) is a bear, but tonight’s game is the major item. Win, and this Oilers team is officially a pain in the ass for the Pacific Division. A win against Calgary signals this team might be something else again under Hitch. However, don’t count your chickens….

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM DECEMBER

  • At home to: Vegas (Expected 0-1-0) Actual (1-0-0)
  • On the road to: Dallas, St. Louis (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 1-1-0)
  • At home to: Minnesota, Calgary (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 1-0-0)
  • On the road to: Colorado, Winnipeg (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Philadelphia (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Vancouver (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Vancouver, San Jose, Winnipeg (Expected 2-2-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 7-6-1, 15 points in 14 games 
  • Current results: 3-1-0, six points in four games

I have tonight as a loss, predicted a 2-2-0 week so the Oilers are playing with house money this evening. I obviously didn’t know that Calgary would be coming to town sans a couple of its major players, so this should be closer than previously thought. The Flames are absolute fire currently, mind. 

Suggested Lines

Kinger suggests grabbing Teravainen (fine player) and then running the two young RW’s on the skill lines, plus placing Nuge on a third line that should be able to play opponents at par and outscore softer opposition. 

Teravainen-McD-Kailer
Reider-Drai-Pool
Kharia-RNH-Chiasson
Lucic-Marody-Kassian/Benson/Rattie/Caggs

Caribbeerman also wants an additional scoring winger but appears to have found a cap loophole:

Jeff Skinner – CMD – Drai
Rieder – RNH – Puljujarvi
Kharia – Marody – Yamamoto
Lucic – Brodziak – Kassian
* Spooner * Zykov

WHY IS COOPER MARODY HERE?

In the Hitchcock quotes above, he talks about Jujhar Khaira, seeing him do things in practice that suggested the big man could be of more use than generally believed. 

Edmonton is enjoying a nice run here, so Marody is unlikely to get into the lineup. Still, I think it’s worth the investment to give Hitch a look. A righty passer like Marody, inserted on to the power play, may pay dividends and help the young man’s career. At some point, they’ll have to send him down, but there may be some benefit in this recall. 

TESTING, TESTING

Hitch mentioned a big test this week, as Calgary today, Colorado and Winnipeg are on the schedule. I see this (attached to the coach’s comments) as a time for the entire organization to take stock, to have a long look at areas of weakness. Scoring wingers and the second pairing are the specific items that worry, along with special teams. Could we see a pre-Christmas trade? Don’t count it out. 

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Fuhr and Lowething in Vegreville

maudite: I’m late but this right here wins the thread imo

???

godot10

Melvis: I checked out the HFBoards for shits and giggles the other day. They were reasonable and responsible compared to this thread – which is kinda bad, but mostly just weird –like acidic ‘shroom hangover.

I turned to Whole Lotta Love for succour. Originally, Led Zep penned it Whole Lotta Hitch, but he had them change it.

Whole Lotta Love wasn’t a Led Zep original. It was an interpretation of the original, a collaboration between Muddy Waters, Earl Hooker, and Willie Dixon.

maudite

Jethro Tull: Beyond limited? So like, unlimited?

I’m late but this right here wins the thread imo

Wilde

Melvis: I checked out the HFBoards for shits and giggles the other day. They were reasonable and responsible compared to this thread – which is kinda bad, but mostly just weird –like acidic ‘shroom hangover.

I turned to Whole Lotta Love for succour. Originally, Led Zep penned it Whole Lotta Hitch, but he had them change it.

Observing foreign internet spaces is my guiltiest pleasure.

Melvis

Wilde:
despite critical acclaim, this thread was in fact bad

I checked out the HFBoards for shits and giggles the other day. They were reasonable and responsible compared to this thread – which is kinda bad, but mostly just weird – like acidic ‘shroom hangover.

I turned to Whole Lotta Love for succour. Originally, Led Zep penned it Whole Lotta Hitch, but he had them change it.

Wilde

Crazy Pedestrian: I am… #600!!!

god bless you

Wilde

The Barracuda are actually nuts, though.

Every line outscores, significant positive special teams goal share, good goaltending,

76-46 in goals and 15 and 3.

Crazy Pedestrian

Fuhr and Lowething.: We need 600!

I am… #600!!!
But seriously, what was with this thread?? WE BEAT THE FRIGGIN FLAMES WITHOUT GIVING THEM A GOAL PEOPLE!!!

BE HAPPY!!!

Additional note: Dammit Vegas… Stupid ducks…

Wilde

despite critical acclaim, this thread was in fact bad

Glovjuice

Pescador: You’re posts are pretty cool when you’re not trashing current Oilers and prospects,
Not saying there isn’t a place for it but everything in moderation as the kids like to say.

Yup. Will make an effort.

Fuhr and Lowething in Vegreville

Wilde:
Someone post five more comments after this one.

We need 600!

Yeti

Drew: gentlemen, best thread in a long time lol! and women and others and I don’t want to hurt feelings.

On behalf of yetikind, our feelings were not hurt.

Wilde

Someone post five more comments after this one.

ArmchairGM

Zelepukin:
Koski, 2nd in the league in shutouts.

Very impressive considering he only has 13 starts. Fleury (5) has had 28 starts while Kinkaid (3) has 22 starts. Also:

– 2nd in the league in GAA (to Rinne)
– 3rd in the league in SV% (0.001 behind Rinne and Halak)

… among goaltenders with 10 or more GP.

Oilers_RWS

Vatrano – McDavid – Draisaitl
Rieder – Nuge – Puljujarvi
Caggiula – Marody – Yamamoto
Khaira – Brodziak – Kassian
Lucic

I’d like Drai at C, but it seems like he is destined to ride shotgun with McDavid forever. Vatrano could be the high volume shooter we’ve been looking for. Bottom 6 would still be up in the air in this scenario, but I have my doubts Eberle *Spooner* will be here next year. Lucic has been playing better lately, but the lack of scoring is still a problem.

Soup Fascist

striatic: It was more than Kassian and Lucic being bigger than Gaudreau and threatening fresh hell. They are much slower than he is but consistently kept the correct gap so that he couldn’t squeak through. They played a physical game to be sure but did so in a very defensibly responsible manner given their speed deficit. Very impressive.

In the past when we’ve seen the Oilers send a checking line to go up against a guy like Gaudreau they would use some defensively minded players with some pursuit speed to do the job. Using size and positioning in the neutral zone was something I thought unlikely to work but at least tonight it seemed to work pretty well.

I used to think Gaudreau was less effective in physical games (playoffs) because he didn’t like the rough going. The reality is he is reluctant to dump in a puck or even move it backward. Makes for some stunning plays when it works. But sometimes when he over handles it he is just a turnover machine.

striatic

Professor Q: So was Gaudreau, by the looks of his facial expressions all night.

It was more than Kassian and Lucic being bigger than Gaudreau and threatening fresh hell. They are much slower than he is but consistently kept the correct gap so that he couldn’t squeak through. They played a physical game to be sure but did so in a very defensibly responsible manner given their speed deficit. Very impressive.

In the past when we’ve seen the Oilers send a checking line to go up against a guy like Gaudreau they would use some defensively minded players with some pursuit speed to do the job. Using size and positioning in the neutral zone was something I thought unlikely to work but at least tonight it seemed to work pretty well.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

Drew:
gentlemen, best thread in a long time lol! and women and others and I don’t want to hurt feelings.

I would have to agree. I wanted to say it was “beyond” entertaining but I’m not sure what that word means anymore.

flea

The Oilers bobbled a lot of opportunities tonight. Connor had some great chances and one hard off the cross bar. I thought they limited the Flames all night, no room to breathe. In most runs, this game ends 3-1 or something like that and no one talks about the scoring.

Great call by Cole too throughout.

Professor Q

striatic: I kept waiting for Gaudreau to turn Lucic and/or Kassian inside out, and to the big guys’ credit they never let him do it.

Very impressed with what they did, even if I was terrified every time I saw Gaudreau challenge them.

So was Gaudreau, by the looks of his facial expressions all night.

striatic

Sierra:
striatic,

It seems Hitch is a master of taking the spotlight off of the “struggling” players.

I kept waiting for Gaudreau to turn Lucic and/or Kassian inside out, and to the big guys’ credit they never let him do it.

Very impressed with what they did, even if I was terrified every time I saw Gaudreau challenge them.

Material Elvis

Side: Flames only had 4 shots in the third…

Yeah, well it could have been zero. They’ll need to allow less shots and goals next game.

BONE207

Great night Gang…if we get this amped up for flames, I can’t wait to see how we fraternize during an avalanche on Tuesday. Downhill all the way…woohoo

Pescador

Watching the highlights & Bob Cole’s call on McDavid’s goal was just fantastic!

Pescador

BONE207: Are you GMB?

I wish

Soup Fascist

Bag of Pucks: Any time. Any place.

Maui – during the dog days of the season.

Beer is on me and we will laugh at how the Flames – for a brief moment thought they were a contender.

smellyglove

Wow, grown adults arrange an amateur boxing match after disagreeing about an ice hockey game in an anonymous online chat.

And here I am anxious about my own life’s issues.

—–

Great game!

My attitude about the Oilers is changing. Up one goal for ever, who here didn’t think this team would fold like a cheap tent?

I have to admit, I was nervous, but I’m actually starting to believe in Hutch’s defensive structure. Like, the team would bend but not break. Koskinen was light’s out, but most of the third he’s not really tested with HDSCs, at least as far as I remember.

Larsson, gold. Lucic good. Chiasson, Spooner good. Nuge, huge. Connor off.

Koskinen, super Nova. Top 3 save percentage. Could top the NHL with another great game.

Ps; to the poster who explained to me RNH’s off kilter icetime the other day, as related in Hitch presser: thank you.

Drew

gentlemen, best thread in a long time lol! and women and others and I don’t want to hurt feelings.

Side

who: Boy I sure didn’t see that performance as dominant.
Maybe the 1st period. After that,not so much.

Flames only had 4 shots in the third…

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

BONE207,

Sounds charming!

BONE207

Monday’s article: Lake Sylvan … BofA Battleground

who

Side: I am truly baffled by this post.

Oilers dominated by my eye for most of the game.

And they could have won 4-0.

PP could have been better but, the Oilers played a sound game.

Boy I sure didn’t see that performance as dominant.
Maybe the 1st period. After that, not so much.

BONE207

Dr. Taboggan:
It’s so hot in here.

I know, right? Like a dressing room after the game & equipment strewn about, blood on the walls & crushed beer cans. Wait…that’s my place…

Side

Lowetide:
Those of you who are being dinks need to stop being dinks. Seriously.

Oh yah? Meet me in Sy-

*gets banned*

Gerta Rauss

BONE207:
Suggestion for Monday’s article: B of A…Takin’ it to the Streets

Street Fightin’ Man

TeeVee

Dr. Taboggan:
Hitch is so hot right now.

Gross.

BONE207

Suggestion for Monday’s article: B of A…Takin’ it to the Streets

Ford Prefect

Lowetide,

Dink Alert!

treevojo

Melvis:
Frankly, I don’t get it with the ‘shrooms. Tried them on three different occasions. Never cared for them. On the plus side, I twigged to the definition of insanity.

Agreed.

Between them and lsd pretty sure they ruined weed for me.

Can you say paranoia?

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

It’s so hot in here.

Melvis

Feck. I missed Ray Donovan.

Gerta Rauss

We traveled with a trailer club in the 70s and 80s and Sylvan Lake was one of the weekends

I remember there being a roller rink and a carnival like strip on the main drag-games and bowling etc

anyway, back to the barnfight

Melvis

Frankly, I don’t get it with the ‘shrooms. Tried them on three different occasions. Never cared for them. On the plus side, I twigged to the definition of insanity.

BONE207

Somehow I’m not in rhe mood to watch a Christmas movie. You guys ruined it!!!

treevojo

Pescador: Meet me in Sylvan Lake after this thread

My barn

Exclusive rights.

For all things ppv worthy.

Gerta Rauss

Pescador: Meet me in Sylvan Lake after this thread

lol

BONE207

Pescador: Meet me in Sylvan Lake after this thread

Are you GMB?

BONE207

Lowetide:
Those of you who are being dinks need to stop being dinks. Seriously.

LT…you have to admit. The Boys were pretty hot tonght…uhhhh…let me rephrase. Pretty funny???

Pescador

BONE207: I could use some tension easing…just saying

Meet me in Sylvan Lake after this thread

Pescador

Bulging Twine:
The Peluso call up didn’t do too good.Ha.Gets rocked by Benning, loses a fight and takes an unsportsmanlike penalty!

Fark that was a tasty check!
Benning Gravel Hitch is a thing