Game 54 2018-19: Oilers at Wild

The Edmonton Oilers remain three points out of a playoff spot, tied with 15 other teams for No. 11 in the Western Conference. Oilers fans are basically prepared for anything—10 goals against in the third period, malaria, love in the time of cholera, plus all the awful things mentioned in Leviticus. A regulation win? Now that would be surprising.

THE ATHLETIC!

The Athletic Edmonton brought it yesterday, there’s a fabulous cluster of stories (some linked below, some on the site). Great perspective from a ridiculous group of writers and analysts. Proud to be part of the group. Outstanding offer is here.

  • New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: What Connor McDavid’s evolving leadership qualities mean to the Oilers.
  • New Lowetide: It’s time for Oilers owner Daryl Katz to stand and deliver a winning organization.
  • Lowetide: Setting the Oilers’ expected keeper list for the next GM
  • Lowetide: Entry deal AHL forwards give the Oilers an excellent trade pool.
  • Lowetide: If fast is the new big, how do the Edmonton Oilers get there in a hurry?
  • Jonathan Willis: Analyzing how well Peter Chiarelli and Keith Gretzky restocked the Oilers with their draft work
  • Lowetide: Finding a path to the playoffs may involve reckless use of future assets by the Oilers
  • Jonathan Willis: An Oilers blueprint for the 2019 NHL free agency period
  • Tyler Dellow: A deeper look at Connor McDavid and the Oilers’ 5-on-5 offensive changes under Ken Hitchcock
  • Corey Pronman: 2019 NHL Draft midseason rankings
  • Jonathan Willis: An Oilers blueprint for the 2019 NHL trade deadline.
  • Lowetide: Edmonton’s 2019 entry draft plans may change with new GM but needs are clear
  • Lowetide: Caleb Jones has impressive first showing in the NHL with Oilers.
  • Tyler Dellow: Four questions that the Oilers should be asking candidates for the GM job
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: New Oilers caretaker Keith Gretzky caught between earning playoff berth and keeping future assets
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Goalless Tobias Rieder hopes to follow Zack Kassian and Milan Lucic and end his offensive funk.
  • Lowetide: Complete Oilers top 20 prospects, Winter 2018

OILERS AFTER 54

  • Oilers in 2015: 21-28-5, 47 points; goal differential -28
  • Oilers in 2016: 28-18-8, 64 points; goal differential +11
  • Oilers in 2017: 23-27-4, 50 points; goal differential -29
  • Oilers in 2018: 23-25-5, 51 points; goal differential -19

The 2018-19 Oilers are the second best McDavid Oilers, and my goodness they are still a wild ride. If you look at this year’s Oilers, and compare them to other clubs in this race for the final playoff spot, there is an incredible looseness on and off the ice. Oilers can give up five in a period tonight and find themselves in a cap crunch before midnight Tuesday. Does anyone know how to drive this thing?

OILERS IN FEBRUARY

  • Oilers in February 2016: 1-3-0, two points; goal differential -15
  • Oilers in February 2017: 1-3-0, two points; goal differential -7
  • Oilers in February 2018: 1-2-1, three points; goal differential +1
  • Oilers in February 2019: 0-1-2, two points; goal differential -6
  • The 2016 club was off the rails after four games, the playoff team struggling too. We’ll see about this bunch, seems there’s a lot of soap opera around the team currently.

WHAT TO EXPECT IN FEBRUARY

  • On the road to: Philadelphia, Montreal (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 0-0-2)
  • At home to: Chicago (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 0-1-0)
  • On the road to: Minnesota (Expected 0-0-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: San Jose (Expected 0-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Pittsburgh, Carolina, NY Islanders (Expected 2-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Arizona, NY Islanders, Anaheim (Expected 2-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Nashville, Toronto, Ottawa (Expected 1-2-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 7-6-1, 15 points in 14 games
  • Current results: 0-1-2, two points in three games

Ottawa will want a first-round pick in the 2019 draft, Edmonton could be shopping for any number of pieces. I’ll name Ryan Dzingel, Cody Ceci, Craig Anderson but it could be Zack Smith.

I have no way of best available but my goodness there are a lot of candidates. Bill Zito of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Laurence Gilman of the Toronto Maple Leafs get mentioned, but they come from the agent/numbers side. Edmonton is looking for a talent evaluator based on early names (the Hunters, Kelly McCrimmon). Mike Futa of the Los Angeles Kings might be a solid candidate.

Cam Talbot is No. 11, starting tonight and that probably means more showcase games. Jesse Puljujarvi is No. 35, seems his chances of staying have increased (music!) and Tobias Rieder is No. 46.

CONDORS STATS

Eric Rodgers has been delivering quality AHL stats since the Oklahoma City days, and he continues to do it several times a season for the Bakersfield Condors. It’s a unique look inside the team and gives us a strong idea about who is pushing results (scoring and outscoring) in the AHL. Here’s the latest:

Eric has been doing this for a long time and the estimates ring true. Anything over 2.50 is ‘in the range’ of NHL calibre, meaning Puljujarvi, Marody, Gambardella and Benson quality. Yamamoto? Not there yet. I’ll have the defense for you tomorrow.

Benson’s season at 20 shines like a diamond compared to other Oilers prospects who played in the AHL at the same age in recent seasons. Here’s a look at the 2014-15 campaign:

Also fascinating in looking back? The two NHL players from this roster (Pitlick and Khaira) are well down the list. The lessons? Twofold. First, scoring stars don’t play in the AHL much, and there’s plenty of room to grow when you’re in the AHL at age 20.

What does this say about Yamamoto? Well he is posting strong numbers at 20 but it’s also true skill forwards don’t spend much time in the minors. A very important finish to the season for the youngster.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A fun morning with lots shaking, we get started at 10, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Sarah McLellan, Star Tribune Sports. Wild have a six-point cushion over the Oilers but tonight is a big game. Also, Mikko Koivu’s injury.
  • Frank Seravalli, TSN. The trade board needs updating every hour on the hour!

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

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276 Responses to "Game 54 2018-19: Oilers at Wild"

« Older Comments
  1. ArmchairGM says:

    Beautiful!

  2. Gerta Rauss says:

    Now if we can just get to the next TV timeout without giving up a goal

  3. Ice Sage says:

    That was pretty.

  4. jp says:

    What is Kassian doing? Why?

  5. Ice Sage says:

    And there’s the even-up. More grind, please

  6. ArmchairGM says:

    jp:
    What is Kassian doing? Why?

    Parise stepped into his path, he couldn’t avoid it! Honest!

  7. drglen says:

    enough’s enough. Cmon Minn It’s the oilers. float a couple easy ones on net. 4 goals no problem.

  8. Munny says:

    Remember the mugging Rattie got in front of the net in the 1st period? Compare it to what Darnell did there.

  9. flyfish1168 says:

    Nuge having a 1st star type of game

  10. jp says:

    ArmchairGM: Parise stepped into his path, he couldn’t avoid it! Honest!

    In hindsight yes, he was going to make contact. But Kass added something to the incidental contact.

    Lucky it wasn’t called, though the Nurse call was a clear makeup.

  11. Ben says:

    Man, Chiasson’s Selivanovian streak is but a distant memory…

  12. flyfish1168 says:

    If the Ref had any balls he would have called one on suter too

  13. ArmchairGM says:

    Nice kill – never even let them get set up

  14. Ice Sage says:

    hilarious sequence, coulda been 3 penalties on wilders

  15. Professor Q says:

    “Zucker didn’t expect Russell to go flying. Unfortunately for Mr. Russell he goes flying face-first into that post.”

    Bullshyte. He knew exactly where he was and what he was doing.

  16. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    Good to have a right shot down low on that side of the PP

  17. Rebillled says:

    jp,

    What is Kassian doing?

    Does Kassian even know what he’s doing? Don’t think so.

  18. Professor Q says:

    Man the Wild are flopping and wailing all over. Especially odd as they’re the ones taking cheap shots.

  19. treevojo says:

    Zack attack with mcd points

  20. Munny says:

    jp:
    What is Kassian doing? Why?

    Scoring. Because. lol

  21. Professor Q says:

    The Oilers must be at a record of never scoring ENGs?

  22. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    I’m still waiting for the refs to call back that goal by Zack.

  23. Gerta Rauss says:

    I don’t know how Granlund gets a free look from 10 feet out but Kassian with the empty netter and all if forgiven

    jeepers

  24. Munny says:

    Well they checked. And they won. Archetypal road game.

  25. Gerta Rauss says:

    The losing streak is snapped and playoffs here we come lol

  26. Professor Q says:

    So, I know it was in the neutral zone, but the Oilers player pretty much had a breakaway and the Wild player grabbed his stick and arm.

    Is that not technically a goal?

  27. Ice Sage says:

    Munny:
    Well they checked.And they won.Archetypal road game.

    Well said. Hockey is a simple game. Goalering helps.
    Regulation win over a playoff rival. maybe…?

  28. ArmchairGM says:

    McDavid 1 point out of the NHL lead.

    I said during the all-star break that I would put money on McDavid scoring 2 points-per-game through the end of the season, and so far he hasn’t disappointed.

  29. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    ArmchairGM,

    Connor never disappoints.

  30. Dicky94 says:

    There’s still a chance!!

  31. Rebillled says:

    ‘Show up every game.’

    – some guy on a winning team.

    Timely win.

    Goilers

  32. Rebillled says:

    Go Chicago go

  33. Munny says:

    All we had to do was go .500 over that six game losing streak and we’d actually be laughing right now.

  34. OriginalPouzar says:

    Was able to watch most of the third waiting for the connection – boys played well. Huge two points.

  35. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Also,

    I have a weird feeling that Talbot stands on his head and EDM wins 3-2 or 4-2 with a EN.

    GOILERS!!!

    *clapclap*

    Missed it by *that much*

  36. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    That was the best game I’ve seen EDM play without the puck since December.

    I guess they just had to find the right motivation.

    “Hey guys, if you play like Hitch wants you to we’ll make him watch practice from the stands.”

  37. ArmchairGM says:

    Canucks are taking a pounding. If they’re in a playoff position at the deadline and we aren’t, I bet they’d pay good money for a guy like Kassian.

  38. jp says:

    Dicky94:
    There’s still a chance!!

    There kinda is.

    Oilers 4-1 over Wild
    Blues 1-0 OT over Lightning
    Ducks 0-4 to Sens
    Avs 3-4 OTL to Caps
    Coyotes down 2-3 (through 2) vs Jackets
    Canucks down 2-3 (in third) to Hawks

    Wild Card race – games over fake .500
    Wild +3
    Blues +3
    ——————
    Canucks 0 (down in 3rd)
    Avs 0
    Oilers -1
    Coyotes -2 (down in 3rd)
    Hawks -3 (leading in 3rd)
    Ducks -4
    Kings -4

    Lose for Hughes bonus:
    Wings -5
    Devils -5
    Sens -9

  39. Westchester Oil says:

    Johnny Toews with the winner in OT. “Nucks lose.

  40. Westchester Oil says:

    Only 240 posts on a game night, and the Oilers won. Lowetide Nation must be a seriously depressed lot.

    Or maybe it’s just because OP is prancing around in Disneyland and too busy to do his regular # of posts. 🙂

  41. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Westchester Oil:
    Only 240 posts on a game night, and the Oilers won. Lowetide Nation must be a seriously depressed lot.

    Or maybe it’s just because OP is prancing around in Disneyland and too busy to do his regular # of posts.

    Hopefully Katz hears about it. Canary in the coalmine.

    Although he thinks playoffs is the fix, it’s just a band-aid.

  42. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Well played game. Minny has issues, but the net protection was a relief to see. Almost normal NHL play tonight! Love it.

    Although now that the season is at least stylistically spoiled, I’m heavily leaning to a nice juicy first round addition to the fold. Clean the storage room and restock.

  43. buck yoakam says:

    first off I must apologize….I was working out back and noticed my oilers hat from 2016….have not worn this in a long time….put it on tonight and bam!!!…shit…sorry…can’t believe i have caused all this grief…I think its time for a tune…its alright ….curtis mayfield…….

  44. tileguy says:

    Who starts in net Saturday against the sharkies?

  45. Dicky94 says:

    tileguy,

    I think you roll with Talbot. No?

  46. Gerta Rauss says:

    Talbot for me-he’s had 5 good periods of the last 6 played

    I’m reaching but it’s all I got

  47. northerndancer says:

    Oscar was a difference maker tonight. Quick to respond, quick to retrieve, quick decisions and he gets the puck up the ice in a hurry. And he battled in his own zone, cutting off players from the net and separating them from pucks. Calm and solid. What a difference. And he punts the pretenders back down a notch. Great game by him.

  48. oilersfan says:

    Did anybody hear Craig Simpson on Stauffers show say there is “no way” Hitchcock is back next season?

    Considering he is close friends with both mcTavish and Lowe is that not evidence right there that the OBC are still running things and making decisions even before the next gm was hired?

  49. tileguy says:

    Dicky94:
    tileguy,

    I think you roll with Talbot. No?

    Talbot my lose any perceived value he gained tonight playing against the sharks. Mikos turn to play with 77 in the lineup and perhaps we will have a goalie conundrum on our hands.

  50. northerndancer says:

    tileguy,

    My naive prediction is that Talbot plays well for the rest of the season and then signs with …….Edmonton at a around 2 million per year for 2 years….

  51. oilersfan says:

    Oilers now 10-3 with Hitch as coach and Klefbom in the lineup

  52. northerndancer says:

    oilersfan:
    Oilers now 10-3 with Hitch as coach and Klefbom in the lineup

    They say Klef is a hitch-whisperer.

  53. GMB3 says:

    oilersfan:
    Did anybody hear Craig Simpson on Stauffers show say there is “no way” Hitchcock is back next season?

    Considering he is close friends with both mcTavish and Lowe is that not evidence right there that the OBC are still running things and making decisions even before the next gm was hired?

    Seems like a bit of a reach to me.

    New GM will want his own guy.

  54. OriginalPouzar says:

    tileguy: Talbot my lose any perceived value he gained tonight playing against the sharks. Mikos turn to play with 77 in the lineup and perhaps we will have a goalie conundrum on our hands.

    Coach has expressly mentioned a few times that he’s looking for one of the goalies to “grab it” and “run with it”. I imagine Talbot will start almost for sure.

  55. HT Joe says:

    GMB3: Seems like a bit of a reach to me.
    New GM will want his own guy

    And if the new GM fits into the Oilers culture, it’s a foregone conclusion that Hitch won’t be back?

  56. leadfarmer says:

    tileguy: Talbot my lose any perceived value he gained tonight playing against the sharks. Mikos turn to play with 77 in the lineup and perhaps we will have a goalie conundrum on our hands.

    Talbot doesn’t have much value. I don’t think we have to worry about him losing it.

  57. leadfarmer says:

    HT Joe: And if the new GM fits into the Oilers culture, it’s a foregone conclusion that Hitch won’t be back?

    I hope so. Name of the game is now speed. Hitch is a dinosaur

  58. GMB3 says:

    HT Joe: And if the new GM fits into the Oilers culture, it’s a foregone conclusion that Hitch won’t be back?

    To this point of the season, if a new GM was coming into Edmonton they would have plenty of evidence that Hitchcock is not the answer to this teams problems.

    So yes. I’d say it’s a foregone conclusion.

    Despite “Oilers Culture”, a new GM will still come in wanting to succeed. Even Chiarelli was quick to move on from former managements players.

  59. tileguy says:

    OriginalPouzar: Coach has expressly mentioned a few times that he’s looking for one of the goalies to “grab it” and “run with it”. I imagine Talbot will start almost for sure.

    Carpe diem

  60. Zelepukin says:

    northerndancer:
    oilersfan:
    Oilers now 10-3 with Hitch as coach and Klefbom in the lineup

    They say Klef is a hitch-whisperer.

    Which shows that even though we all say, this is a gong-show, blow it all up, a couple players can make a huge difference. Not just making better plays, but also keeping really shitty players out of the lineup.

  61. GMB3 says:

    leadfarmer: I hope so.Name of the game is now speed.Hitch is a dinosaur

    I think Hitch can be effective with the right roster, age be damned. Square peg round hole coach though. That is not what this team needs this next go around.

    I also truly believe that other organizations are getter better at both evaluating talent and taking the steps to develop it, as well as having nearly a decade and a half of evidence of how a capped league works.

  62. hags9k says:

    They played well. Great to see them still pulling hard for each other even though the fans and media have for the most part abandoned them.

    What do they do with Talbot if he stays hot and gets them back into a playoff spot? Does Koskinen’s deal mean we HAVE to send out Cam?

    Time for me to crawl back up onto the bandwagon. Again. What a crazy season.

  63. Bank Shot says:

    Zelepukin: Which shows that even though we all say, this is a gong-show, blow it all up, a couple players can make a huge difference. Not just making better plays, but also keeping really shitty players out of the lineup.

    Yeah. Look at Calgary. They are basically a 7 player team.

    Just 2-3 more good players on the Oilers and they are an entirely different team.

    The problem is that good players can’t be had for cheap unless you draft them.

    The Oilers struggle in that area.

  64. Ribs says:

    Exciting Motivation Induced Hockey!

  65. ArmchairGM says:

    northerndancer:
    oilersfan:
    Oilers now 10-3 with Hitch as coach and Klefbom in the lineup

    They say Klef is a hitch-whisperer.

    Nicely played!

  66. ArmchairGM says:

    tileguy: Carpe diem

    Is that your mea culpa?

  67. ArmchairGM says:

    oilersfan:
    Did anybody hear Craig Simpson on Stauffers show say there is “no way” Hitchcock is back next season?

    Considering he is close friends with both mcTavish and Lowe is that not evidence right there that the OBC are still running things and making decisions even before the next gm was hired?

    What GMB3 said. And, it could be that Hitchcock himself has expressed to management that he isn’t interested in staying as HC beyond this season. Maybe he’s looking for a management or consulting job?

  68. Tapdog says:

    hags9k:
    They played well.Great to see them still pulling hard for each other even though the fans and media have for the most part abandoned them.

    What do they do with Talbot if he stays hot and gets them back into a playoff spot? Does Koskinen’s deal mean we HAVE to send out Cam?

    Time for me to crawl back up onto the bandwagon.Again.What a crazy season.

    Well you covered your question from the start. Dispite our frustrations with this not so merry band of misfits, they squeeze out a win like last night and we all come running back faster with an all is forgiven attitude.
    Then we bide our time until LT bestows the next words of wisdom for the group to banter back and forth.

    Step lively into that bandwagon my friend, there is a long long up behind you 😉

    LT, thank you for this site and the gathering of the followers.

  69. GMB3 says:

    Bank Shot: Yeah. Look at Calgary. They are basically a 7 player team.

    Just 2-3 more good players on the Oilers and they are an entirely different team.

    The problem is that good players can’t be had for cheap unless you draft them.

    The Oilers struggle in that area.

    It’s precisely why I’m hesitant to trade someone like JP despite all his warts. I think at a bare minimum he could be an outscorer on line 3 or 4 with a bit of skill. I watched parts of the Calgary game and one thing that separates them from the Oilers is having depth pieces who make more of a positive impact. Their bottom of the roster players are guys with some ability. It would be nice to have a guy like Mark Jankowski, developed in the system, to play in our bottom 6. 24 years old and making an impact for the first time in his career. I don’t see any reason why we there shouldn’t at least a reasonable chance that Benson or Marody turn out to be similar players.

  70. OriginalPouzar says:

    Maksimov with the loan goal for Niagara last night – 5 shots on net and second star.

    Condors finally back in action tonight – going for their 11th straight win.

    There is going to be a Reggie sighting tonight – playing with Lagesson.

    Bummed I”m going to miss this game of all games (unless we are back from the park early – I mean we are heading there at 7am after 3.5 hours of sleep (well, wife got more, i hit the hotel gym this morning).

  71. Lowetide says:

    For The Athletic: Is Ken Hitchcock helping Jesse Puljujarvi find his way as an NHL player?

    https://theathletic.com/802206/2019/02/08/lowetide-is-ken-hitchcock-helping-jesse-puljujarvi-find-his-way-as-an-nhl-player/

  72. Jethro Tull says:

    Lowetide:
    For The Athletic: Is Ken Hitchcock helping Jesse Puljujarvi find his way as an NHL player?

    https://theathletic.com/802206/2019/02/08/lowetide-is-ken-hitchcock-helping-jesse-puljujarvi-find-his-way-as-an-nhl-player/

    I think Ken is helping Jesse to fit into Ken’s vision of Jesse as an NHL player.

  73. Jethro Tull says:

    tileguy: Carpe diem

    Carpe jugulum.

  74. Professor Q says:

    ArmchairGM: What GMB3 said. And, it could be that Hitchcock himself has expressed to management that he isn’t interested in staying as HC beyond this season. Maybe he’s looking for a management or consulting job?

    And even Bob Nicholson has alluded to that being the case.

  75. flea says:

    GMB3,

    And look at their own 4th overall bust, Sam Bennett,

    He’s come around and is a very useful player for him.

    We complain about a lack of depth but Jesse could be that depth player for us for years, a 2/3 line winger with skill and defensive responsibility.

  76. Seismic Source says:

    When a top ten pick doesn’t turn into a a top 6 forward but remains an NHL player really isn’t a bust. I’d love to have Magnus on our 3rd or 4th line right now. If Jesse is a bottom sixer hooray, we have another NHL’er

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