Game 46 2018-19: Sabres at Oilers

by Lowetide

This is Ty Rattie sending an area pass that will eventually end up in the back of the Coyotes’ net. It’s a skill play, but doesn’t have a massive degree of difficulty for an NHL veteran. Everything Connor McDavid did in the sequence after the pass was more difficult. Fair? Now. How many forwards on the current roster can make that Rattie pass?

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.

OILERS AFTER 46

  • Oilers in 2015: 18-23-5, 41 points; goal differential -24
  • Oilers in 2016: 24-15-7, 55 points; goal differential +6
  • Oilers in 2017: 19-23-3, 41 points; goal differential -26
  • Oilers in 2018: 21-21-3, 45 points; goal differential -12

The current group is probably getting squeezed by the hockey Gods compared to the non-playoff teams (they should have more points) but there’s not really an argument about things being fair. The Oilers are closer to the playoffs than they should be based on all evidence available.

OILERS IN JANUARY

  • Oilers in January 2016: 3-2-2, eight points; goal differential -2
  • Oilers in January 2017: 4-3-0, eight points; goal differential -2
  • Oilers in January 2018: 3-4-0, six points; goal differential -10
  • Oilers in January 2019: 3-3-0, six points; goal differential -5

We talked about surviving until Klefbom returned, this week is a big one. The January goal differential is sliding up and there are tough teams on the schedule.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM JANUARY

  • On the road to: Arizona, Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Jose (Expected 2-2-0) (Actual 2-2-0)
  • At home to: Florida, Arizona, Buffalo (Expected 1-1-1) (Actual 1-1-0)
  • On the road to: Vancouver (Expected 0-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Calgary, Carolina, Detroit (Expected 1-1-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 4-5-2, 10 points in 11 games
  • Current results: 3-3-0, six points in six games

Buffalo, Vancouver, Calgary. I have this week 0-3-0. Seriously. I did predicted before McDavid was unable to appear at the skills event. This could get ugly in a hurry, or this team could show us something we may not be able to see. It is time to stand and deliver.

MCDAVID

Connor McDavid took a stick to the jaw on Saturday, and had the flu yesterday. One hopes (well, prays) he’s playing tonight, but part of me wonders if the best thing for this time might be playing and winning a game without him. One problem with that idea: I don’t think they can.

THE 20 BEST PLAYERS IN THE 2019 DRAFT

  1. (1) LC Jack Hughes, U.S. National Development Team (USHL)A brilliant offensive player, cerebral, quick and highly skilled. Some in the scouting industry believe he is so far above anyone there’s not a conversation about No. 1 this year.
  2. (2) R Kaapo Kakko, Turkku (Sm-Liiga)A big power forward with tons of talent who is emerging in real time. He’s 6.02, 190 already, quick hands and creative. Also protects the puck well.
  3. (5) R Vasili Podkolzin, St. Petersburg (MHL). Smart player with tons of offensive ability, but also possesses good two-way instinct and plays with an edge.
  4. (3) R Dylan Cozens, Lethbridge (WHL)Size, skill and he can skate. Range of skills, accurate shooter. He’s being undervalued on some lists.
  5. (4) RC Kirby Dach, Saskatoon (WHL).A dynamic player with size and tremendous skill, has speed, wingspan and an excellent release. Injuries have him falling a little but there’s a lot to like.
  6. (6) L Arthur Kaliyev, Hamilton (OHL)He’s a fantastic scoring prospect. Good not great skater.
  7. (7) LC Trevor Zegras, U.S. National Development Team (USHL)Undersized and highly skilled, elusive and aggressive with very good speed.
  8. (8) L Jakob Pelletier, Moncton (QMJHL). Undersized skill winger with two-way ability.
  9. (9) LC Peyton Krebs, Kootenay (WHL).Skill forward who can score, he has quick feet and good hands. Simon Boisvert likes him for the Oilers.
  10. (10) LC Ryan Suzuki, Barrie (OHL)Great vision, skill, tremendous passer. If he were faster, he’d be top five.
  11. (11) R Cole Caufield, U.S. National Development Team (USHL). He’s small, fast and a ridiculous scorer. Quick release, accurate.
  12. (12) LD Bowen Byram, Vancouver (WHL). Explosive speed is his top attribute but he’s also excellent with the puck and owns a heavy shot. Likely the first defenseman off the draft board.
  13. (13) LC Alex Turcotte, U.S. National Development Team (USHL). A strong two-way reputation, he is skilled and an excellent skater. Injuries a worry.
  14. (14) LD Cam York, U.S. National Development Team (USHL). The latest impact puck mover out of the USHL, great speed, passing and creativity.
  15. (15) L Matthew Boldy, U.S. National Development Team (USHL). Bigger winger with skill, he’s strong on the puck and can score goals.
  16. (16) RC Raphael Lavoie, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL). Big center with a long reach, and a plus shot. He’s also an excellent skater.
  17. (17) LD Thomas Harley, Mississauga (OHL). Good size, speed and he’s posting impressive numbers. Spiking as we speak.
  18. (18) LC Alex Newhook, Victoria (BCHL).Terrific scorer with playmaking skilled and dogged determination on the backcheck. High end potential.
  19. (19) LD Matthew Robertson, Edmonton (WHL). Big two-way defenseman with good speed and some offense. He’s an excellent passer.
  20. (NR) LC Connor McMichael, London Knights (OHL). Interesting player, he seems to have come out of nowhere a little. He’s an intelligent two-way center who has spiked offensively this year. Speed described as lacking a quick first step.
  21. (NR) LW Nils Hoglander, Rogle (SHL). He’s an undersized skill winger, good skater, December 2000. 30, 5-3-8 in the SHL.
  22. (NR) RD Victor Soderstrom, Brynas (SHL). Impressive offensive defenseman with speed and skill. He isn’t a trainwreck defensively either.

RYAN SPOONER

I don’t think there’s any doubt he gets bought out this summer, but it’s vital he delivers something this winter. Seriously. Spooner was a reasonably competent complementary winger at one time. Oilers need that. RFN.

Both Khaira and McDavid (along with Klefbom, Petrovic, Sekera and Yamamoto) have to be considered at least questionable. Stay close to your information today, we should know by noon who can play.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

We are back! At 10 this morning the hiatus ends and I’ll return to my important work of breaking down the English language into mush. We have guests! Scheduled to appear:

  • John Kryk, NFL columnist, Postmedia & Toronto Sun. A big weekend in the NFL and the final four (Rams, Saints, Patriots, Chiefs) is set. Is this the Patriots year again?
  • John Horn, Commentator, Reporter, Producer with ESPN, WTA, MLB Network, TSN. Australian Open is underway, a boatload of Canadians play tomorrow.
  • Jason Gregor, TSN1260. Oilers v. Sabres and what the trade deadline might look like.

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

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Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

Maybe Lucic did ask for a trade and he realizes the only way that is going to happen is if other teams don’t think he is totally useless.

#Motivation

Side

drglen:
missed the whole game in a rehearsal!!! sounds like we won!and Lucic scored!!!

So, this means we are good.. right?

Twice.

And Kassian.

Basically, the Oilers are never going to lose again and all is forgiven.

Pescador

jp: Yeah. It sure would be helpful if he can continue to be something more than dead weight going forward.

A new low for low bars everywhere

Genjutsu

Glovjuice: Ah, hold on. Spooner ? I knew.

Well you did manage to be humble enough to not break your arm jerking yourself off about it too.

Ah, hold on. 😉

Kinger_Oil.redux

– How much would a 20 goal 50 point pace Lucic help for rest of year?

– I know the consensus is he’s “done”, but what if he’s figured something out?

“The year I played in L.A. Dustin Brown was struggling. Last year he put up a career-high in points (61), and what did he have? Twenty-eight goals?

“Even Kopy (Anze Kopitar). Two seasons ago he had 12 goals, and then last year he was up for MVP.”

– “I have full confidence in myself,” Lucic said after the game. “I can get it back. I WILL get it back.”

– What if he does? Asking for a friend?

Pescador

Material Elvis:
I thought that ‘Ryan’ was a physician in Calgary.But that doesn’t jive with the whole “negative business impact” statement he made.Katz’s limo driver?

You know who else was a doctor?
Jack the Ripper
Just sayin

DBO

Glovjuice: Ah, hold on. Spooner ? I knew.

Was my sarcasm not apparent? We all knew. Except the smartest men in the room……

OriginalPouzar

As an aside, I didn’t hate Manning last night – didn’t really notice him much in those 16 minutes which I believe is a good thing.

OriginalPouzar

A great thing about a 5 goal vicotry is the ability to lower some minutes. Whether they were “full credit” for a 5-goal victory or not, the outcome was solidified early in the 3rd and the coach was able to roll four lines and 3 pairings.

I believe McDavid only played around 17 minutes which is awesome and I think Drai was only around 21 (pretty low for him these days).

I haven’t looked at the TOI for the d-man yet (and will wait for LT’s morning post) but I know Manning played around 16 minutes which is high for our 3rd pairing – I assume the top 4 were closer to 20 which is nice.

jp

OriginalPouzar: In all seriousness, Lucic has also made 2-3 other plays that were material in goals scored where he didn’t hit the scoresheet – he has been OK in 2019 – no, not $6M worth of OK but not a total dead weight.

Yeah. It sure would be helpful if he can continue to be something more than dead weight going forward.

OriginalPouzar

Rattie did not have a good game yesterday – while I don’t agree with such an early change in the lines – he did end up making a number of defensive mistakes and didn’t create that much after moved off the first line. On the assumption that Yamamoto is activated for Thursday (with Joe G. being re-assigned), I’m going to assume Kailer is inserted in to the lineup for Rattie.

Of course, they could send Kailer down to the AHL – in general or to get back in to game shape but, of course, we know that won’t happen and his next game action will be in the NHL.

OriginalPouzar

As shitty as the Oilers are, they are tied in points with MIN for the 2nd wild card.

MIN, DAL, ANA, VAN – same tier I’d shitty as the Oilers.

ANA has got their top injured guys back, have received elite tending all year and remain shitty. Oil should be getting some reinforcements back I. The next few weeks – hopefully there is a bit of a spike in overall play with Klef back (bumping Jones and others down a ring on the depth chart).

OriginalPouzar

jp: He just had an off year.

2017: 82 22 28 50 6 81 159 (last one is shots)

2018: 81 2 14 16 -29 68 109

2019: 7 3 0 3 3 18 7 On pace for 35 goals

Thank goodness that’s over.

In all seriousness, Lucic has also made 2-3 other plays that were material in goals scored where he didn’t hit the scoresheet – he has been OK in 2019 – no, not $6M worth of OK but not a total dead weight.

Wilde

If only there was some way to increase Puljujärvi’s trade value between now and the deadline…

Gerta Rauss

Injury updates from Hitch via Matheson’s latest-a couple of quotes from Manning as well

https://edmontonsun.com/sports/hockey/nhl/edmonton-oilers/brandon-manning-is-trying-to-find-some-traction-on-oilers-blueline

Klefbom
“We’re hoping the pins come out. He’s scheduled to see the doctors in the next 48 hours. Then he can participate in some form of on-ice activities before joining us. I hope he’s a full-time practice participant before the (all-star) break (Jan. 23),” said Hitchcock, who nevertheless doesn’t expect him to play until early February

Petrovic
“This is the final stage for him. He’ll be evaluated tonight. He’s gone through the (on-ice observation) skate. He’ll participate Tuesday if green-lighted and, if so, he could be part of our group Wednesday (Vancouver),” said Hitchcock.

Yamamoto
“Today was assessment day and if he’s green-lighted, he’s a full-go Tuesday. We did the on-ice evaluation after our skate Monday,” Hitchcock said.

If Yamamoto is ready, he’ll play right-wing somewhere in the top nine at practice Tuesday.

Material Elvis

I thought that ‘Ryan’ was a physician in Calgary. But that doesn’t jive with the whole “negative business impact” statement he made. Katz’s limo driver?

HT Joe

Drew: batman?

Oh man, I’d feel pretty sheepish if “Ryan” we’re actually Katz. I like Ryan’s posts!

Drew

Ryan: Ha, I’m assuming I can rely on his discretion about my identity.

batman?

Zelepukin

drglen: In spite of everything.. I would take that trade.

lol, same. The internet’s trade was JP & Talbot for Simmonds. But we all know Chia would also throw in Yammer. #becauseoilers

drglen

tileguy:
Talbot anf JP for Tarasenko.

In spite of everything.. I would take that trade.

tileguy

Talbot anf JP for Tarasenko.

drglen

so… to summarize, .. are we trading JP, Kailer, a goalie, and a first round pick for veteran 20 goals scorer tonight?

drglen

Pretendergast:
The rink organ playing Ocarina of Time music, the video games are infiltrating the youths!

some of that stuff is pretty good though… very simple, but nice melodies. All things considered i’m more for it than agin it.

JimmyV1965

If we can get a 5-2 flukey lead every night, I really like our chances of making the playoffs. Nice.

drglen

missed the whole game in a rehearsal!!! sounds like we won! and Lucic scored!!!

So, this means we are good.. right?

jp

texmex:
St. Louis is 3 points of the playoffs with 2 games at hand. Of all the teams chasing, they could make the most noise, particularly if they get a goalie. Can’t see how they have a fire sale given this. I think the tarasenko rumors can be put to bed.

Should we give them a goalie?

Rube Foster

Quick, send a video clip of Hitch’s post game Lucic comments to Botterill!

Lucic 2019 for the All-Star game!

jp

719:
Lucic 2018 – 2 goals

Lucic 2019 – 3 goals

New year new lucic?

He just had an off year.

2017: 82 22 28 50 6 81 159 (last one is shots)

2018: 81 2 14 16 -29 68 109

2019: 7 3 0 3 3 18 7 On pace for 35 goals 😉

Thank goodness that’s over.

Glovjuice

DBO:
Wow. Fun night. Caught the 3rd. Lucky I suppose with shots and possession being ugly. But I’ll take it.

And Spooner and Manning. Painful. Not NHL regular players. Who knew…..wait. their old teams did since they had been healthy scratched. Well at least they are UFAs. Wait… wtf

The GM and Oil decision makers are suffering from Smartest Guys in the Room syndrome. And that may be the scariest thing right now.

Ah, hold on. Spooner ? I knew.

Dicky94

texmex,

I agree. St. Louis won’t be doing nothing until the deadline to see where they are at. They are in the race too as of now. I honestly can’t see Chia being able to make a trade right now. This is a good thing.

OriginalPouzar

Ryan: Ha, I’m assuming I can rely on his discretion about my identity.

Of course.

OriginalPouzar

Zelepukin:
Who do we play next? Cause we’re gonna lose that game like 6-1 guaranteed.

The tires are going to be pumped so high from now til then.

Even when he have Gudas and Simmonds in the lineup (at the expense of our 1st rounder, Puljujarvi and Benson)?

OriginalPouzar

Ryan: Okay thanks! I’ll send you an email tomorrow.

Sure, I love talking about fitness/nutrition.

Rube Foster

719:
Lucic 2018 – 2 goals

Lucic 2019 – 3 goals

New year new lucic?

Lets get Keith Gretzky on the line to Botterill ASAP!

Lucic 2019 for Okposo straight up. Sell high.

texmex

St. Louis is 3 points of the playoffs with 2 games at hand. Of all the teams chasing, they could make the most noise, particularly if they get a goalie. Can’t see how they have a fire sale given this. I think the tarasenko rumors can be put to bed.

hunter1909

With tonight’s win, everyone’s hopes are up and now Oilers can resume breaking our hearts.

DBO

Wow. Fun night. Caught the 3rd. Lucky I suppose with shots and possession being ugly. But I’ll take it.

And Spooner and Manning. Painful. Not NHL regular players. Who knew…..wait. their old teams did since they had been healthy scratched. Well at least they are UFAs. Wait… wtf

The GM and Oil decision makers are suffering from Smartest Guys in the Room syndrome. And that may be the scariest thing right now.

Pescador

Ryan: No. My real name is not ‘Ryan.’

My handle here once was ‘Ryan from the Oilers’ back when there were several Ryan’s on the roster.

I’m not hiding much, but like many including yourself, I do post here anonymously.

If the veil of anonymity were lifted, there’s a non-zero chance this would have a negative business impact on me. I post critical diatribes at times here of Oilers management.

No worries, as always I was just fooling around.
You’re secrets are safe, unless you feel like telling us where the bodies are

tileguy

I’m not giving Hitchcock credit for winning this game, 42 shots against.

Ryan

Ryan,

Regardless, I am a loyal tier two fan and anything I do post is in the sincere interest of improving the Oilers.

who

Dominating win my ass!
They were lucky to have a lead after 2. Sabres quit at that point.

Gerta Rauss

Koskinen looked shaky the first 2 periods but maybe found his mojo a bit as the game wore on

It’s nice to be on the right end of one of these goalie shit shows for once

Ryan

Pescador: I only have 2 questions:
Is Ryan’s name actually Ryan?
What is he hiding

No. My real name is not ‘Ryan.’

My handle here once was ‘Ryan from the Oilers’ back when there were several Ryan’s on the roster.

I’m not hiding much, but like many including yourself, I do post here anonymously.

If the veil of anonymity were lifted, there’s a non-zero chance this would have a negative business impact on me. I post critical diatribes at times here of Oilers management.

Pescador

Ryan: Ha, I’m assuming I can rely on his discretion about my identity.

I only have 2 questions:
Is Ryan’s name actually Ryan?
What is he hiding?

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

Sell high on Lucic!

Pescador

Benning trying to get himself HS’d

who

leadfarmer: He should have been in the Ahl.
Probably would get much better offer for a 20 year old ppg Ahl player than a 15 point Nhler
Hitch going yeah I can fix him when guys that have been working with him for years decided that he needed Ahl time was a piece of stupidity that is well So Oilers

They should have left him in the AHL but I don’t think they can send him down again. At some point you have to stop the yo yo.
JP will be fine. His harshest critics call him Yakapov. Others say he doesn’t think the game at an NHL level. I see a big, gangly kid who sees the ice well and thinks the game just fine.
His offense will be determined by his hands and his feet. He still bobbles the puck too much, and trips over his own feet, but he has the brain and raw tools to develop into a difference maker.

npanciroli

How many goals does Hall have in 2019 compared to Lucic?

Ryan

Pescador: So will I

Ha, I’m assuming I can rely on his discretion about my identity.

npanciroli

Use the first and Puljujärvi to get Lucic some winger help.