The Mickey Mouse game was November 19, 1983. In a rare moment of controversy, 99 said “well, it’s time they got their act together. They’re ruining the whole league. They had better stop running a Mickey Mouse organization and put somebody on the ice.”
The game that inspired the quote earned it. Gretzky took a penalty early, and the Devils scored, then scored again. That was followed by four first-period goals by Edmonton, Wayne 1-1=2 in the first 20. The captain had a goal and two assists in the second, Edmonton outscoring the home team 4-1.
In the final frame, it was 5-1 Edmonton, a period that included Jari Kurri’s third, fourth and fifth goals of the game. Final tally: Gretzky (3-5-8, first of his career), Kurri (5-1-6) led Edmonton to a 13-4 victory. Ron Low, former Oiler (and perhaps the reason for the outburst), got caved (stopped 14 of 22) and Chico Resch (stopped 10 of 15) got the same treatment. A fascinating piece of hockey history.
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 Lowetide: How the Oilers can build a contender during Connor McDavid’s prime.
- Lowetide: How the emergence of William Lagesson in Bakersfield complicates Edmonton’s 2019-20 depth chart.
- Jonathan Willis: The Oilers aren’t good, but this group has more potential than teams from the decade of darkness
- Lowetide: Bob Nicholson’s search continues for the Oilers new tomorrow, but at a leisurely pace.
- Jonathan Willis: Potential GM candidates and why Edmonton needs to consider those with varied experiences.
- Lowetide: Identifying Oilers roster needs reveals a familiar list
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: How Leon Draisaitl has found ‘another level’ by matching offensive wizardry with sound positioning.
- Lowetide: How many future NHL goal scorers are playing for the Bakersfield Condors this season?
- Lowetide: The career destination for Oilers phenom Jesse Puljujarvi remains unknown.
- Jonathan Willis: Learning from a flawed argument I made about Leon Draisaitl in 2016.
- Black Dog Pat: How the Oilers can emerge from the Bob Pulford-like era they’re stuck in.
- Lowetide: The Oilers’ deadline decisions inform what may come in spring and summer
- Jonathan Willis: From Mikko Koskinen to Bakersfield, the next two months will reveal a lot about the Oilers
- Lowetide: The Edmonton Oilers and the OHL.
- Lowetide: Complete Oilers top 20 prospects, Winter 2018
OILERS AFTER 70
- Oilers in 2015: 27-36-7, 61 points; goal differential -32
- Oilers in 2016: 37-24-9, 103 points; goal differential +19
- Oilers in 2017: 30-35-5, 65 points; goal differential -37
- Oilers in 2018: 31-31-7, 69 points; goal differential -20
If the Oilers win by two or more goals tonight, the team will have cut its goal differential in half season over season. Small victories are big steps. Note: I exclude EN goals.
OILERS IN MARCH
- Oilers in March 2016: 4-2-0, seven points; goal differential +1
- Oilers in March 2017: 3-2-1, seven points; goal differential +7
- Oilers in March 2018: 3-3-0, four points; goal differential -1
- Oilers in March 2019: 4-1-0, eight points; goal differential +6
WHAT TO EXPECT IN MARCH
- On the road to: Columbus, Buffalo (Expected 0-1-1) (Actual 2-0-0)
- At home to: Vancouver, Toronto, NY Rangers, NJD (Expected 2-1-1) (Actual 2-1-0)
- On the road to: Arizona, Vegas, St. Louis (Expected: 0-2-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
- At home to: Columbus, Ottawa, Los Angeles, Dallas, Anaheim (Expected: 3-1-1) (Actual)
- Overall expected result: 5-5-4, 14 points in 14 games
- Current results: 4-1-0, eight points in five games
- Oilers missed on the first group of college free agents, but there’ll be a bunch along shortly. Luke Philp, righty center with the Alberta Golden Bears, may not be headed Edmonton’s way.
- In his last 10 games with the Guelph Storm, Dmitri Samorukov is 5-11-16.
- In his last 10 games with the London Knights, Evan Bouchard is 4-7-11.
- In his last 10 games with the Niagara IceDogs, Kirill Maksimov is 8-4-12.
- In his last 10 games with the Saginaw Spirit, Ryan McLeod is 2-6-8.
- Harvard should get into the playoffs (plus Cornell and Providence) so John Marino’s season is ongoing. He’s a junior, so can return for a final year. However, he may want to turn pro, but will it be with Edmonton?
Early days and the numbers are going to vary wildly, but we can have a peak at usage. Hitch has Sam playing AT center in some games, and he also deployed him as a winger with Nuge, Leon, McDavid and Cave. Jack of all parades. I wonder if the new GM will see him as a useful piece for next season? He’s done well.
EVEN STRENGTH 5-ON-5 PER 60 (F)
Edmonton scores a lot of goals at even strength outside 5-on-5 situations. For instance, Connor McDavid’s 2.75 per 60 at 5-on-5 sees about half a goal added to his total when looking even strength. Here’s the complete list.
- Connor McDavid 3.29
- Leon Draisaitl 2.89
- Josh Currie 2.30
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 1.89
- Sam Gagner 1.89
- Zack Kassian 1.44
- Jujhar Khaira 1.37
- Ty Rattie 1.29
- Alex Chiasson 1.24
- Milan Lucic 0.98
- Tobias Rieder 0.89
- Kyle Brodziak 0.67
- Colby Cave 0.59
- Brad Malone 0.00
I think the Oilers will run 97, 29, 93 and 89 next year, not sure if Gagner gets top-six minutes on the regular. Kailer Yamamoto will get a look, Jesse Puljujarvi (or possibly his return) will certainly be in the mix and I do wonder about Tyler Benson (possibly later in 2019-20). I think Gagner makes it to the fall.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10, we hit the ground running on a busy sports day, TSN1260. NFL Free Agency, Oilers game and more! Scheduled to appear:
- Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal. We’ll chat about a nice run by Edmonton and tonight’s game against the Hall-less Devils.
- Jon Campbell, OddsShark. We’ll continue our chat about the gift that is the Chicago Blackhawks and maybe discuss some college hoops.
Plus NFL, 10-260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!