Game 64 2018-19: Oilers at Senators

by Lowetide

After playing an excellent first period last night in Toronto, the Edmonton Oilers were badly outclassed by a superior team. Nuge scored No. 20 on the season, and for the third time in his career reached 56 points in a campaign. Connor McDavid looked a little flat in his return, Leon Draisaitl scored a wonderful goal. Edmonton isn’t in the same league as Toronto, and we saw it last night. No sin there, roster construction is a key element to success. Perhaps the Oilers will have a better game against the Leafs in March. We’re on to Ottawa.

THE ATHLETIC

The Athletic Edmonton features 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 Black Dog Pat: How the Oilers can emerge from the Bob Pulford-like era they’re stuck in.
  • New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Oilers given harsh lesson by Leafs as playoff hopes on life support.
  • Lowetide: The Oilers’ deadline decisions inform what may come in spring and summer
  • James Mirtle: Five lessons the Oilers can learn from the Maple Leafs’ successful rebuild
  • Jonathan Willis: From Mikko Koskinen to Bakersfield, the next two months will reveal a lot about the Oilers
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: After bringing in Sam Gagner and shipping out Cam Talbot, Oilers stand pat on deadline day.
  • Lowetide: Edmonton Oilers at the deadline: Buy, sell or both?
  • Jonathan Willis: Jesse Puljujarvi needs a fresh start, but there’s no reason it can’t be in Edmonton
  • Lowetide: The Edmonton Oilers and the OHL.
  • Lowetide: Are the 2018-19 Bakersfield Condors the best Edmonton Oilers affiliate ever?
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘One of the best hockey games ever’: An oral history of the 2014 women’s Olympic gold-medal game.
  • Lowetide: How can the Oilers successfully sell the new regime to a fan base that is openly angry?
  • Jonathan Willis: Edmonton’s trade for Sam Gagner is a gamble well worth making.
  • Jonathan Willis: Inside the success of the Bakersfield Condors, and what it means for Edmonton
  • Lowetide: The Oilers sure have a lot of problems, but there is a simple solution.
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Q&A: Keith Gretzky on the Oilers trade deadline plan, Andrej Sekera’s return and Jesse Puljujarvi’s season
  • Lowetide: Oilers’ potential roster upheaval might set a record for summer activity
  • Lowetide: It’s time for Oilers owner Daryl Katz to stand and deliver a winning organization.
  • Jonathan Willis: An Oilers blueprint for the 2019 NHL free agency period
  • Corey Pronman: 2019 NHL Draft midseason rankings
  • Lowetide: Edmonton’s 2019 entry draft plans may change with new GM but needs are clear
  • Lowetide: Complete Oilers top 20 prospects, Winter 2018

OILERS AFTER 63

  • Oilers in 2015: 22-34-7, 51 points; goal differential -35
  • Oilers in 2016: 33-22-8, 74 points; goal differential +11
  • Oilers in 2017: 27-32-4, 58 points; goal differential -35
  • Oilers in 2018: 26-30-7, 59 points; goal differential -27

OILERS IN FEBRUARY

  • Oilers in February 2016: 2-10-1, five points; goal differential -23
  • Oilers in February 2017: 6-6-0, 12 points; goal differential -1
  • Oilers in February 2018: 5-7-1, 11 points; goal differential -4
  • Oilers in February 2019: 3-6-4, 10 points; goal differential -14

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 1-0-0)
  • At home to: San Jose (Expected 0-1-0) (Actual 0-1-0)
  • On the road to: Pittsburgh, Carolina, NY Islanders (Expected 2-1-0) (Actual 0-3-0)
  • At home to: Arizona, NY Islanders, Anaheim (Expected 2-1-0) (Actual 2-0-1)
  • On the road to: Nashville, Toronto, Ottawa (Expected 1-2-0) (Actual 0-0-1)
  • Overall expected result: 7-6-1, 15 points in 14 games
  • Current results: 3-6-4, 10 points in 13 games

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Sekera-Benning were 17-7 in 12:15, 7-2 shots, no goals and 2-1 HDSC. This pairing is increasing their time on ice and that’s a very good sign. Sekera opens up all kinds of possibilities.
  • Nurse-Russell went 14-16 in 15:49, 8-7 shots, 1-1 goals and 2-2 HDSC. Decent in pssession, didn’t react quickly on the tipped shot that became the first goal against. Nurse had two assists, now at 31 points.
  • Klefbom-Larsson were 20-19 in 14:39, 15-11 shots, 0-1 goals and 4-3 HDSC. Puck seemed to flutter a lot, Larsson especially couldn’t get it to settle (he hit the post with a rocket late at the other end). Oscar needs to have the puck often, he was chasing last night. Both of these players are quality.
  • Mikko Koskinen stopped 12 of 16, .750. Anthony Stolarz made his Oilers debut in relief, stopping 18 of 20, .900.
  • Natural Stat Trick and NHL.com.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

  • Rieder-Draisaitl-Chiasson were 8-14 in 11:21, 5-6 shots, no goals and 1-3 HDSC.
  • Lucic-Cave-Currie went 12-11 in 10:13, 6-3 shots, no goals and 3-0 HDSC. I like this line a lot, the two kids are especially interesting.
  • Nuge-McDavid-Gagner went 10-10 in 9:22, 7-7 shots, 0-2 goals and 0-3 HDSC. This line had a poor night.
  • Nuge-McDavid-Kassian were 10-4 in 5:01, 5-3 shots, 1-0 goals and 1-1 HDSC. This line had some real jump, 44 has helped the unit several times recently.
  • Malone-Brodziak-Kassian were 1-6 in 3:37, 1-1 shots, no goals and no HDSC.
  • Rieder-Draisaitl-Gagner went 8-1 in 2:07, 3-0 shots, no goals and 2-0 HDSC. Perhaps we’ll see them again.

The Oilers attention to defense 2015+ at the draft is paying off all over, but the Samorukov spike is one of the best stories in the entire piece. If he continues progress, we might be looking at a player who passes a lot of the depth chart in just a few months.

THE TIMELINE

Oilers fans are apparently feeling low after last night (no idea why, Toronto is a far superior club) and it appears some in the eastern media are settling the timeline at something approaching 5-30 years.

Here’s the truth: A new general manager and staff who can evaluate talent well should have this team in a playoff position next season. The decisions made by the current group, especially the Lucic signing, Manning acquisition and the Koskinen signing, are things to overcome.

That said, cap room can be created (trading Kris Russell and or Andrej Sekera) and an astute judge of hockey talent will be able to find a capable 1A goalie and some scoring wingers.

There is much work to do, but there are also players on the way and the work left to do doesn’t represent an impossible task. Edmonton has the difficult things in place: McDavid and Draisaitl long term, the foundation of a defense that can thrive, a minor league team that should come with gifts for the NHL team this fall.

This is an attractive situation for a general manager who can win the job and the right to put his entire team in place. If that GM also hires an analytics department and begins the hard work of sports science (nutrition, sleep patterns, dealing with travel) then we can begin to believe Edmonton’s NHL team is really in the game.

It isn’t hopeless. It only appears so because the Oilers appear to be looking for someone who fits the culture established decades ago when one man could run an NHL team. That was yesterday, and yesterday’s gone.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, we hit the ground running. Scheduled to appear:

  • Andy McNamara, TSN. We’ll talk NFL combine and Johnny Football.
  • Frank Seravalli, TSN. Trade deadline winners and losers, plus what the Oilers should be doing with these final 20 games.

Also casting about for a Senators guest, we’ll chat about the game tonight.

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DasBavaria

flea,

But Hall got traded (he sounded like he didn’t want to leave even). The Tavares situation is so different because it sounded like he led the team to believe he still wanted to sign wit NYI and then he signed with TO.

flea

OmJo,

Hall got booed during his first game back to Edmonton (Turtled against Kassian too after butt ending him) but the arena applauded him during his tribute.

BONE207

Admiral Ackbar:
Keep calm,
& Currie on

He’s a Dallas Eakins guy…

Chop wood & Currie water

ArmchairGM

OmJo: Now I don’t know what went on behind closed doors, or what his intentions were, but Tavares made it at least seem that there was a chance of NYI retaining him. If he wanted to play for the Leafs, and let the Islanders try to get something back for him at the trade deadline, I don’t think the fans would have been so unwelcoming. But that teasing the idea of him remaining a Islander probably left some sour tastes in peoples mouthes, understandably so.

Didn’t Gagner make it clear that Tavares didn’t make his decision until the last minute though? He WAS considering re-signing with the Islanders, I don’t believe that he was intentionally leading them on at all.

OriginalPouzar

Condors take on Iowa tonight going for 18 straight and sole possession of the second longest winning streak.

Big game tonight as the next two are against SJ who are right there with the Condors for first in the division and 2nd overall in the AHL (points percentage).

Will be interested to see if Bear is back in the lineup – he’s missed the last few weeks, again, and its tough to get much info.

OmJo

Bank Shot: He handled it very poorly. Led the Islanders on and then posted a pic of himself wearing Leafs pajamas the day after signing.

A guy like Panarin is handling things better. He’s made it clear that he will test the market.

Exactly. I mean allegedly he even requested to not be traded that season.

The chants in that game were pretty awesome though.

It’s your bedtime and where’s your jammies are my favourites.

Bank Shot

OmJo: Ehh, have to agree with Andy here. Wanting to play for his hometown team is fine.

Now I don’t know what went on behind closed doors, or what his intentions were, but Tavares made it at least seem that there was a chance of NYI retaining him. If he wanted to play for the Leafs, and let the Islanders try to get something back for him at the trade deadline, I don’t think the fans would have been so unwelcoming. But that teasing the idea of him remaining a Islander probably left some sour tastes in peoples mouthes, understandably so.

Now, whether Tavares owed NYI that is another story. Since 09-10 the Islander made the playoffs 3 times, making past the first round only once. So the team didn’t really do much to give him a reason to stay, IMO. But telling that to Islander fans – ie emotional people – is like talking to a wall.

If Hall or McDavid did something similar, Oilers fans probably wouldn’t blame them but still be hurt in their first game back. Not saying we would boo them during their tribute.

He handled it very poorly. Led the Islanders on and then posted a pic of himself wearing Leafs pajamas the day after signing.

A guy like Panarin is handling things better. He’s made it clear that he will test the market.

OmJo

Bag of Pucks: Wanted to play for his hometown team and realize a childhood dream. What an asshole.

Ehh, have to agree with Andy here. Wanting to play for his hometown team is fine.

Now I don’t know what went on behind closed doors, or what his intentions were, but Tavares made it at least seem that there was a chance of NYI retaining him. If he wanted to play for the Leafs, and let the Islanders try to get something back for him at the trade deadline, I don’t think the fans would have been so unwelcoming. But that teasing the idea of him remaining a Islander probably left some sour tastes in peoples mouthes, understandably so.

Now, whether Tavares owed NYI that is another story. Since 09-10 the Islander made the playoffs 3 times, making past the first round only once. So the team didn’t really do much to give him a reason to stay, IMO. But telling that to Islander fans – ie emotional people – is like talking to a wall.

If Hall or McDavid did something similar, Oilers fans probably wouldn’t blame them but still be hurt in their first game back. Not saying we would boo them during their tribute.

Pescador

Bag of Pucks: Wanted to play for his hometown team. What an asshole.

Exactly, fuck that guy!
Pajama boy lol,
Can’t wait till the the leafs get bounced in the 1st round

godot10

Bag of Pucks:
I know he’s in the Hall but I still think Kurri is one of the most underrated NHL players ever. Criminal that he never won the Selke. People forget what an unabashed goal suck Gretz was.

Esa Tikkanen is even more underrated.

OmJo

How about we take a TV timeout yeah?

Glovjuice

I mean, I’m having fun with this – which is really the point of sports; and sports blogs; but is this really fun for all participants?

Glovjuice

In fact, I’m having a hard time deciphering whether the blog community is giving a fellow contributor a hard time or we are bullying.

OriginalPouzar

That has nothing to do with the post I made that was being responded to.

Glovjuice

OriginalPouzar: Excuse me but you are so far off base.

My post was in response to Godot’s comment that Lucic’s good game against the Leafs was because everyone was watching and its easy to have a good game in that scenario and that what matters is how he plays when noone is waching i.e an Oilers/Sens game.

You are inferring something that is simply not implied.

The culture of this blog is the OP. Fascinating. Someone smarter than I could write a paper on what’s happening here. The paper’s premise would be the incredible juxtaposition of a sports franchise’s incompetence with the unwavering persistence of a die hard fan’s determination to relentlessly espouse their fandom to the the ludicrous degree; with all this enabled by the genius Lowetide via the Al Gore. Glorious.

Rich M

Andy Dufresne: Agreed!

Just kidding you……….Youre right of course ……..but it doesnt make what happened any less funny to me…..NY is like a second home to me, and things like this are part of the sports culture there.

I know its like laughing at an “inappropriate joke” but i just cant help myself….Its the degree to which they take this shit……they had souvenier towels with the word TR91TOR…..they were chanting en masse “we dont need you!”……they booed him during his tribute video….WHILE THE SCREEN SHOWED HIM AT THE SICK KIDS HOSPITAL!………that’s fucked up man……which makes it funny….only in NY. (and maybe Boston and Phillidelphia) Must be something in the water.

I was once at a NYG game at the Meadowlands…..and I was cheering (meekly) for the Visiting Team…..I literally recieved death threats from random fans sitting behind me with VERY serious tone (that was the guys) ….the women were more polite…. just offers to kick the shit out of me…. You dont have to like it….but it is NY for better or for worse.

Having grown up in NY, the one thing I remember is the relentless passion the fans have for their teams. If you won/did well, you were loved. You screwed up? Oh, you caught crap. But, the next game was always a chance for redemption (unless you were Joe Pisarcik).

Wasn’t always fair, wasn’t always pretty, but you could never question the passion of NY fans. And that’s why I watched the reaction tonight and did a slow clap to how they handled the return of Tavares. You turned your back on us. I know, it’s your hometown. I get it. But you were one of us and today, you wear a different jersey.

I’ll never forget sitting in the upper deck of Giants Stadium in 1976 when the Giants after another brutal season were losing to the Cards, and there were still 70,000 fans (including me) yelling “Defense”, imploring a bad team to give their best. I was still young and foolish, but that was my team.

Call me a fool or a romantic, but for whatever strange reason, it’s why after becoming an Oiler fan in the mid-90’s, I’ve stuck with this team thru the decade of darkness and Chiarelli’s Folly. Yeah, I live in Nashville now and have adopted the team of my new home town (Preds, can’t stand the Titan’s), but I’ll always be a NY’er at heart. And I’ll pull for the Oilers in the hope that we will one day stop wandering in the wilderness, just as my Giants did after 17 years of ineptitude (1964-1980).

Admiral Ackbar

Keep calm,
& Currie on

OriginalPouzar

Sierra: So you equate posting on here during the game with watching the game?Those who don’t post during the game must not be watching the game?Seems like an odd conclusion.

Excuse me but you are so far off base.

My post was in response to Godot’s comment that Lucic’s good game against the Leafs was because everyone was watching and its easy to have a good game in that scenario and that what matters is how he plays when noone is waching i.e an Oilers/Sens game.

You are inferring something that is simply not implied.

Bag of Pucks

Andy Dufresne,

Absolutely NY is one of the great cities in the world but I am a little prouder to be an Edmontonian knowing we’d never do that. Booing during the sick kids tribute. Brutal.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Sierra,

Personally speaking, I live in a rural area with gord awful Internet. Tonight, the game feed was 20 minutes behind due to lag (depends on the network load that specific day). On those days, I don’t comment/refresh the blog to avoid spoilers.

Andy Dufresne

Bag of Pucks: Wanted to play for his hometown team and realize a childhood dream. What an asshole.

Agreed!

Just kidding you……….Youre right of course ……..but it doesnt make what happened any less funny to me…..NY is like a second home to me, and things like this are part of the sports culture there.

I know its like laughing at an “inappropriate joke” but i just cant help myself….Its the degree to which they take this shit……they had souvenier towels with the word TR91TOR…..they were chanting en masse “we dont need you!”……they booed him during his tribute video….WHILE THE SCREEN SHOWED HIM AT THE SICK KIDS HOSPITAL!………that’s fucked up man……which makes it funny….only in NY. (and maybe Boston and Phillidelphia) Must be something in the water.

I was once at a NYG game at the Meadowlands…..and I was cheering (meekly) for the Visiting Team…..I literally recieved death threats from random fans sitting behind me with VERY serious tone (that was the guys) ….the women were more polite…. just offers to kick the shit out of me…. You dont have to like it….but it is NY for better or for worse.

Sierra

OriginalPouzar:
Clearly “noone is watching” this one so I’m curious how Godot will figure out a way to take away any credit to the player…..

So you equate posting on here during the game with watching the game? Those who don’t post during the game must not be watching the game? Seems like an odd conclusion.

Bag of Pucks

Andy Dufresne:
LOVE LOVE LOVE the NYI Fans tonight.

May have been the best game of the year to be a home fan at.

#wedontneedyou!

#TR91TOR

They were booing him relentlessly while the tribute video was playing of him “at the hospital with sick kids”

I heart NY!

Wanted to play for his hometown team and realize a childhood dream. What an asshole.

Oilpower

I’m not to confident but I’m pretty sure the oilers will get a solid 70 points this year!

Andy Dufresne

Andy Dufresne:
Wouldnt mind seeing the Leafs play the NYI in the playoffs.

Toronto record at Barclays/Nassau Collesium this year
0 and 2
1 GF
10 GA

texmex

“Sidney Crosby. The golden goal. And Canada has once in a lifetime gold”.

9 years ago today. Wow, where does time go

Andy Dufresne

LOVE LOVE LOVE the NYI Fans tonight.

May have been the best game of the year to be a home fan at.

#wedontneedyou!

#TR91TOR

They were booing him relentlessly while the tribute video was playing of him “at the hospital with sick kids”

I heart NY !

Andy Dufresne

OriginalPouzar: Atta boy Mikko – a solid game tonight and bounce-back performance. That’s huge to me!

Massive save on the breakaway in the dying seconds of the 2nd period – that goal would have totally changed the game.

Good job Mikko!

Thank you for this as well.

Andy Dufresne

OriginalPouzar: The Oilers didn’t make him play through it, as far as I know – Jesse sought the second opinion because the Oilers’ doctors recommended surgery and Jesse wanted a second opinion prior to going under the knife (which players often do get).

I am VERY glad to hear that. Thank you.

snfu

Admiral Ackbar,

Admiral Ackbar: I wonder how much strength it takes to thai Currie up…… ?

Glad he Curried it in, I thought he was going to Cave at the blue line..

Rebillled

Kind of a tie game and outshot by a Clearance Warehouse.

Housewares, Health & Beauty, Chocolate, Books, and Much, Much, More!*

A win though.

*actual slogan

Admiral Ackbar

Professor Q: Do we know if he can Currie a line by himself yet?

I wonder how much strength it takes to thai Currie up…… ?

JimmyV1965

I think the Sens might be the only team we could best based on the way they played tonight. Bad hockeying.

Paulie

OriginalPouzar,

Think it was Drai backhand

OriginalPouzar

OriginalPouzar:
Looking forward to the game tonight – the main thing I am looking for is how Koskinen bounces back – this is very important. So far this season Koskinen has either been super hot or super cold – he has not provided any sort of consistent tending over the stretch of the season and that’s what the team needs.

The team needs a goaltender that they can rely on to consistently give them a chance to win each and every night – Of course there will be some stinkers but there will also be some steals. What the team cannot have is a tender that runs on streaks.

Since his 2 month cold streak, Mikko has had a stretch of 4 real nice games before last night. He is allowed a stinker but he NEEDS to bounce back with a solid performance in his next game.If the bad outing last night parlays in to another and a cold streak, there are big big problems in the crease.

Here is hoping Hitch goes back to Koskinen tonight.

Atta boy Mikko – a solid game tonight and bounce-back performance. That’s huge to me!

Massive save on the breakaway in the dying seconds of the 2nd period – that goal would have totally changed the game.

Good job Mikko!

Admiral Ackbar

Professor Q: Do we know if he can Currie a line by himself yet?

**slow clap**

OriginalPouzar

As of now, Nurse with the only assist but I don’t see why McDavid wouldn’t get the second – didn’t he pass it to Nurse?

Chief Inspector

Bag of Pucks:
I know he’s in the Hall but I still think Kurri is one of the most underrated NHL players ever. Criminal that he never won the Selke. People forget what an unabashed goal suck Gretz was.

Agreed. He didn’t win it because he scored too much.

OriginalPouzar

OTT pullls “an Oilers” and give up the empty net goal seconds after the goalie leaves the crease.

Nurse and McDavid with assists on the Kass goal – looks like offside to me mind you.

Nurse is continuing to rack up points, he had two last night.

OriginalPouzar

Zelepukin: I get the stats of it but given how little actions/role he contributes on the PP, the eye test becomes important because how much BETTER would the PP be if you had someone who can actually generate opportunities with better passing.

He doesn’t have a threatening shot and he isn’t a great passer. Right now he is just a coach in a practice drill that you pass to relieve pressure.

Fair but I’m not so sure that Sekera or Klef have proven to be better passers on the PP over time. Klef has a “better” shot but I don’t think he’s quite “bombs away” right now. I’m not sure how Sekera did on the PP prior to his Oiler career but he wasn’t very good a few years ago.

At the end of the day, none of the three are typical or plus PP guys and, as of now, Nurse is the one actually having success out there.

I’m not against giving Sekera some more reps though.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

OriginalPouzar:
That must have been Klef’s plan – make a weak clearing attempt that the Sens keep in so that they have a chance to take an O-zone PIM by triping him.

Klef should keep running that play until the Sens figure it out.

Younger Oil

Get Chiasson the hell off the PP.

OriginalPouzar

That must have been Klef’s plan – make a weak clearing attempt that the Sens keep in so that they have a chance to take an O-zone PIM by triping him.

Andy Dufresne

Wouldnt mind seeing the Leafs play the NYI in the playoffs.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

OriginalPouzar:
Hayden Haweye let in an early goal but then shut the door and stopped 19 of 20 in a 1-1 tie.

You spelled Hockey incorrectly.

Younger Oil

These referees are absolutely ridiculous in their choices of penalty calls.

OriginalPouzar

Going to need to need one more plus Koskinen save on this PK – lets do this!

LMHF#1

OriginalPouzar: Yes, but its not ALWAYS a bad play, is it? He did stop the pass across – it was somewhat bad luck where it ended up, no?

Nope.

That was scramble D at its worst. You can’t do what he tried and have success.

Bag of Pucks

I know he’s in the Hall but I still think Kurri is one of the most underrated NHL players ever. Criminal that he never won the Selke. People forget what an unabashed goal suck Gretz was.