Game 71 2018-19: Oilers at Coyotes

Finding six wingers from the current roster to play with centers Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins isn’t as difficult as calculating 31 trillion digits of pi—it just seems that way.

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. INSANE NEW OFFER IS HERE!

  • New Lowetide: The Edmonton Oilers draft early, the WHL is loaded and there’s a lot of history.
  • New Jonathan Willis: Analyzing how much the Oilers should be willing to spend on pending free agent Alex Chiasson.
  • Lowetide: Leon Draisaitl and the Oilers’ history of 50-goal seasons
  • Jonathan Willis: Keith Gretzky is a legitimate Oilers GM candidate, but would be a hard sell in Edmonton
  • 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.

OILERS AT 71 GAMES

  • Oilers in 2015: 27-37-7, 61 points; goal differential -36
  • Oilers in 2016: 38-24-9, 85 points; goal differential +21
  • Oilers in 2017: 31-35-5, 67 points; goal differential -36
  • Oilers in 2018: 31-32-7, 69 points; goal differential -23

OILERS IN MARCH

  • Oilers in March 2016: 4-3-0, eight points; goal differential -3
  • Oilers in March 2017: 4-2-1, nine points; goal differential +9
  • Oilers in March 2018: 3-3-1, seven points; goal differential 0
  • Oilers in March 2019: 4-2-0, eight points; goal differential +3

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 2-2-0)
  • 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: 4-2-0, eight points in six games

TONIGHT’S ROSTER

  • Milan Lucic [5-12-17] — Connor McDavid [34-66-100] — Zack Kassian [12-9-21]
  • Tobias Rieder [0-11-11] — Leon Draisaitl [42-47-89] — Alex Chiasson [20-12-32]
  • Jujhar Khaira [3-14-17] — Nuge [22-36-58] — Sam Gagner [4-2-6]
  • Josh Currie [2-2-4] — Colby Cave [1-1-2] — Ty Rattie [4-7-11]

I wanted to list this today, because honestly we may not see this in my lifetime. The Oilers top three centers have scored 98 goals, their wingers have scored 44. The Oilers have recalled Joe Gambardella, so maybe he slides in somewhere. Also, Hitch’s lines in practice sometimes don’t see the light of day, but my goodness that’s an unusual set of stats.

Here’s my RE back in August and what I projected things to look like:

  • Nuge [26-41-67]—Connor McDavid [50-70-120]—Ty Rattie [9-18-27]
  • Milan Lucic [14-20-34]—Leon Draisaitl [25-43-68]—Jesse Puljujarvi [18-18-36]
  • Tobias Rieder [15-16-31]—Ryan Strome [15-20-35]—Kailer Yamamoto [10-19-29]
  • Jujhar Khaira [7-10-17]—Kyle Brodziak [7-11-18]—Zack Kassian [7-8-15]
  • Pontus Aberg [7-10-17]—Drake Caggiula [5-6-11]

The big three, who have scored 98 goals this season, were projected in my RE to score 101 goals. Those three men will exceed my estimates. Those players didn’t get much help at all, that’s roster construction.

MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE

The Oilers recalled Joe Gambardella from Bakersfield last night, once again passing on Tyler Benson, Cooper Marody and Kailer Yamamoto. I can say with absolute confidence things would have been handled differently in the past, and that includes the recent past.

Bringing along the entry deals aged 20-22 is a good idea, and now I wonder if the plan is to see the trio back in Bakersfield next year. That’s approaching Ken Holland patience.

KEN HOLLAND?

I’ve written about this chapter and verse over at The Athletic, but this is the most predictable hiring process since Willie joined Waylon. Ken Holland as POHO and Keith Gretzky as GM would fit with everything we know about Bob Nicholson.

HOW TO FINISH THE SEASON

At some point, teams are going to pull the chute on their injured veterans and settle in for lottery position. I don’t believe the Oilers will sit anyone, even if they lose tonight (and contact with that No. 8 slot). A season ago, Edmonton finished with 78 points. If the team can grab a point per game this season down the final stretch, the total will be 81 points. I think they’ll run it past last year if they can. Any progress, any thread of hope, will probably be pursued.

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274 Responses to "Game 71 2018-19: Oilers at Coyotes"

« Older Comments
  1. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    Getting flashbacks to the NJ game…

  2. Professor Q says:

    Oilers are playing a bit tougher and rougher, seemingly in response to a rambunctious Coyotes team.

    Somehow working for them, despite the penalties. You don’t even get to attempt to board battle with McDavid. You don’t get to talk to him. You don’t get to look at him.

  3. Professor Q says:

    Well, okay. I guess I typed too soon.

    I always did like Galchenyuk, however.

  4. godot10 says:

    Kassian is an unreliable hockey player. It it his defining characteristic.

  5. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    4 shots on net, give up one late, reputation for absolutely horrible second periods…

  6. jp says:

    Bakersfield up 5-0 now, after 1.

    Benson and Bear with PP goals.

    Callahan 3A, Bear and Benson both 1G,2A.

  7. flyfish1168 says:

    godot10:
    One year for Chiasson.One year only.

    No reason to give two years to anyone in the the bottom six of this Oilers team.Run out the contracts next year.

    Agree. I can’t see him duplicating this season. 1 year and hope to trade him next trade deadline. I think most teams knew he can’t duplicate and didn’t offer much this past deadline

  8. leadfarmer says:

    This place is crawling with Pouzars

  9. Oil2Oilers says:

    Did Hitchcock just Malhotra Nuge at the start of the second on an own zone draw?

    Except instead of a a Sedin hoping on the ice as they fled the zone it was Lucic.

  10. Oil2Oilers says:

    leadfarmer:
    This place is crawling with Pouzars

    This is un-Original

  11. Gerta Rauss says:

    First shot on net by the Oilers since Tuesday

  12. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    Classic

  13. hunter1909 says:

    Strange watching the game with zero interest in the score.

    Liking Benning after that goal. Keep the player he might have a bright future.

  14. Gerta Rauss says:

    young Mathew

  15. little.fiery.one says:

    I haven’t seen two D take themselves out of the play like that since playing my brother in NHL 94.

  16. Gerta Rauss says:

    oh dear

  17. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    hunter1909:
    Strange watching the game with zero interest in the score.

    Liking Benning after that goal. Keep the player he might have a bright future.

    How’d you like him sliding into the corner on his belly on the goal 12 seconds later?

  18. hunter1909 says:

    Réal Goudenyéu: How’d you like him sliding into the corner on his belly on the goal 12 seconds later?

    I’ll wait for the post game presser which should spin everything away.

  19. Reja says:

    I would like to meet thatl robot ref in a dark alley in Detroit

  20. Professor Q says:

    I don’t know why the Oilers never seem to realise how boring, ineffective, and predictable their weird multi-pass-to-the-outside-or-D Power Play is.

    Teams expect this, and intercept often. The Oilers never correct for these adjustments.

  21. Gerta Rauss says:

    Currie with a cross bar

    Not an attractive hockey game at this point

  22. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    Professor Q:
    I don’t know why the Oilers never seem to realise how boring, ineffective, and predictable their weird multi-pass-to-the-outside-or-D Power Play is.

    Teams expect this, and intercept often. The Oilers never correct for these adjustments.

    I thought Manny was supposed to be some kind of pp whisperer?

  23. godot10 says:

    Réal Goudenyéu: How’d you like him sliding into the corner on his belly on the goal 12 seconds later?

    “Being Kris Russell”…the story of the Edmonton OIlers defense.

  24. godot10 says:

    Réal Goudenyéu: I thought Manny was supposed to be some kind of pp whisperer?

    I don’t think he is allowed to coach the power play.

  25. hunter1909 says:

    Réal Goudenyéu: I thought Manny was supposed to be some kind of pp whisperer?

    Whatever happened to new coach Paul Coffey?

  26. Pescador says:

    godot10:
    Kassian is an unreliable hockey player.It it his defining characteristic.

    Unpredictable is the word you’re looking for

  27. Gerta Rauss says:

    2 pucks past Koskinen in the last 2 minutes-post(s) and out

  28. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    Man the oilers are bad. Like again they are being out worked. This game looks exactly like the NJ game the only difference being goal posts.

  29. Glovjuice says:

    Pescador: Unpredictable is the word you’re looking for

    Overall, shitty is the operative word ya looking for. Has he really ever been good? Ya, ya 2016. So, what 13 games. Fuck. Whatever.

  30. hunter1909 says:

    Magnus Pajaarvi-Svenson Update:

    2 goals tonight.

  31. hunter1909 says:

    Réal Goudenyéu:
    Man the oilers are bad. Like again they are being out worked. This game looks exactly like the NJ game the only difference being goal posts.

    The good news is, they’re already as good as out of the playoffs whereas the NJ game still offered a faint glimmer of hope.

  32. Glovjuice says:

    godot10: “Being Kris Russell”…the story of the Edmonton OIlers defense.

    4.5 feet though.

  33. digger50 says:

    Glovjuice: Overall, shitty is the operative word ya looking for.Has he really ever been good? Ya, ya 2016. So, what 13 games. Fuck. Whatever.

    Christ, put your headphones back on

  34. hunter1909 says:

    Glovjuice: Overall, shitty is the operative word ya looking for.Has he really ever been good? Ya, ya 2016. So, what 13 games. Fuck. Whatever.

    Oilers have a collective hard on for offering contracts based on small sample sizes – Horcoff’s $6 million albatross contract comes to mind.

  35. fishman says:

    Wow this is a gloomy forum tonight! OP where are you? Could use at least one or two positive comments!!! (yea I know Oilers suck, they are not making the playoffs, roster atrocious, in cap hell!) Did I miss anything? O yea prices are too high!

  36. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Tuned in late, blast from the past seeing Gagner puck watching on Galch’s goal,Nuge busting his ass and almost getting there. Oh the good old days, here again. Sun, launch,something.

  37. Scungilli Slushy says:

    hunter1909: Oilers have a collective hard on for offering contracts based on small sample sizes – Horcoff’s $6 million albatross contract comes to mind.

    So many to choose from, not his. The difference with Horc is he was an effective player that shouldered a huge load for the team. He was a very good player until not healthy enough.

  38. hunter1909 says:

    Scungilli Slushy: He was a very good player until not healthy enough.

    He was a third line player who MacT fantasized could captain the team to the Stanley Cup in the same way that a delusional parent goes to pee wee hockey games to scream at the refs.

  39. Craig Zonit says:

    Lucic.

  40. Glovjuice says:

    fishman:
    Wow this is a gloomy forum tonight! OP where are you? Could use at least one or two positive comments!!! (yea I know Oilers suck, they are not making the playoffs, roster atrocious, in cap hell!) Did I miss anything? O yea prices are too high!

    Rogers is awful architecture that panders to the obliviousness of the Edmonton population. Much like the utterly wrong choice made in the architect competition for the art gallery. Now, the new bridge; that’s a different story – stunning.

  41. hunter1909 says:

    Oilers now playing “Route One” hockey lol

  42. hags9k says:

    Ok Hitch let’s move Currie up and Lucic down for a couple shifts.

    Season on the line you’d think 6M would at least get you some hustle.

  43. Gerta Rauss says:

    Panik with a little -ahem- panic in his game and trips Nurse in the o-zone

    Oilers PP

  44. Primetime says:

    Craig Zonit:
    Lucic.

    We are seeing the difference between a “generational” player like Connor and the “Greatest to ever play” Gretz.

    Connor simply cannot make Lucic look like a player in the way Wayne helped Semenko.

    Now that probably says more about Looch than it does about Connor, but nonetheless…

  45. hunter1909 says:

    Zero stress re the outcome. That Zen feeling of enlightenment.

  46. fishman says:

    Glovjuice: Rogers is awful architecture that panders to the obliviousness of the Edmonton population. Much like the utterly wrong choice made in the architect competition for the art gallery. Now, the new bridge; that’s a different story – stunning.

    Have to agree with you on Rogers. Cavernous box, bare bones finishing to meet budget and lousy amenities. Like the big screen though!

  47. Gerta Rauss says:

    hunter1909:
    Zero stress re the outcome. That Zen feeling of enlightenment.

    …so you’ve got that going for you…

  48. hunter1909 says:

    Gerta Rauss: …so you’ve got that going for you…

    Yeah, it’s great. I can watch the rest of the season in a state of semi-nirvana.

  49. Craig Zonit says:

    Primetime,

    Hey, that’s an interesting point. I’m not of an age to have watched Semenko so I can’t comment on his skill relative to his knuckle chucking, but boy, the touch for Lucic is gone and he’s always a day late and a dollar short. Weirdly it bought him a great chance earlier as he turned and lumbered out in front of the net, and the Coyote defenders both overskated him. He can hardly catch anyone to hit them, we’re exiting the era of knuckle chucking, and everyone takes liberties on McDavid anyways.
    edit: nothing that hasn’t been said before. Can anyone comment on McDavid-Lucic vis a vis Gretzky-Semenko?

  50. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    Going to OT is basically the same as losing for the oilers.

  51. hunter1909 says:

    Craig Zonit: Can anyone comment on McDavid-Lucic vis a vis Gretzky-Semenko?

    Semenko’s eyes were all he needed.

  52. hunter1909 says:

    The old timey hockey they’re playing at the end of this game is fun to see.

  53. digger50 says:

    Gerta Rauss: …so you’ve got that going for you…

    Lol

    Cinderella story

  54. Primetime says:

    Craig Zonit,

    Not sure if you’re able to go back and watch that chance from its origin again, but McDavid stole the puck near the corner and passed it to Looch behind the net. He was standing alone and almost fell over his own 2 feet, just as the pass came and almost lost it. Comical. For some reason everyone else stopped and he was able to come out in front and flip a weak shot…

    My comment was more on Looch vs Sammy, but clearly McJesus doesn’t have full deity powers yet…

  55. Primetime says:

    Overtime as good as a loss.

    Fake playoff chase over. I can have my life back….

  56. Gerta Rauss says:

    McD with the OT winner from Klefbom

  57. OmJo says:

    Literally turned the game on and McDavid scores.

  58. Bulging Twine says:

    noooo

  59. striatic says:

    Primetime: Comical.

    Hilarious. I practically coughed up a lung laughing, much to my wife’s confusion.

  60. Craig Zonit says:

    hunter1909: Semenko’s eyes were all he needed.

    Damn.

  61. YKOil says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – Grew up there as a kid in the 80’s: went to Mildred Hall, then JH Sissions, then Franklin.I’m sure its still a wonderful place to raise kids: it’s a dynamic people up there…When you mentioned your son, playing hockey there, brought back some nostalgia: my son of roughly same age plays in big bad Toronto.Good times

    Nice, my boy is a Sissons kid, great school. Moved here at 28 and fell in love with the place. This October is 22 years. Crazy.

  62. Gerta Rauss says:

    The Oilers are 1-0 with Alice Cooper in the pre game ceremonies

  63. JJS says:

    You really can’t compare Gretz/Semenko to McDavid/Lucic.

    The pace of the game has increased 50%, everyone can skate, and there are 3 aggressive back checkers on every play.

    I am a tremendous Gretz fan but it would be interesting to compare his advanced stats with McDavid. Gretz always had a good supporting cast around him. If teams tried too hard to shut his line down, we’d send Messier and Anderson over the boards. With Coffey. Crazy.

    McDavid is literally playing with one of the worst NHL rosters in modern history.

    And let’s not forget McDavid got Maroon 27!!

  64. godot10 says:

    Craig Zonit:
    Primetime,

    Hey, that’s an interesting point. I’m not of an age to have watched Semenko so I can’t comment on his skill relative to his knuckle chucking, but boy, the touch for Lucic is gone and he’s always a day late and a dollar short. Weirdly it bought him a great chance earlier as he turned and lumbered out in front of the net, and the Coyote defenders both overskated him. He can hardly catch anyone to hit them, we’re exiting the era of knuckle chucking, and everyone takes liberties on McDavid anyways.
    edit: nothing that hasn’t been said before. Can anyone comment on McDavid-Lucic vis a vis Gretzky-Semenko?

    Sather traded Semenko when he was 29. He managed 1.5 seasons after the trade.

    The Oilers acquired Lucic at 28. Had one mediocre season after and then was basically done.

  65. jp says:

    Primetime: We are seeing the difference between a “generational” player like Connor and the “Greatest to ever play” Gretz.

    Connor simply cannot make Lucic look like a player in the way Wayne helped Semenko.

    Now that probably says more about Looch than it does about Connor, but nonetheless…

    Semenko’s career highs were 12 goals and 27 points. On a team with 4 100+ point scorers and another with 96. He only managed 20 points twice in his career.

    I think Gretzky’s magic with Semenko may be overstated.

  66. jp says:

    JJS:
    You really can’t compare Gretz/Semenko to McDavid/Lucic.

    The pace of the game has increased 50%, everyone can skate, and there are 3 aggressive back checkers on every play.

    I am a tremendous Gretz fan but it would be interesting to compare his advanced stats with McDavid.Gretz always had a good supporting cast around him.If teams tried too hard to shut his line down, we’d send Messier and Anderson over the boards.With Coffey.Crazy.

    McDavid is literally playing with one of the worst NHL rosters in modern history.

    And let’s not forget McDavid got Maroon 27!!

    It would be interesting to compare them for sure. But Gretzky was outscoring the rest of the league by a crazy margin.

    81-82
    1) Gretzky 212
    2) Bossy 147
    Oilers #2 Anderson 105

    82-83
    1) Gretzky 196
    2) Stastny 124
    Oilers #2 Messier 106

    83-84
    1) Gretzky 205
    2) Coffey 126

    84-85
    1) Gretzky 208
    2) Kurri 135

    85-86
    1) Gretzky 215
    2) Lemieux 141
    Oilers #2 Coffey 138

    86-87
    1) Gretzky 183
    2) Kurri 108

    No one else in hockey history has been consistently that far ahead of their peers. It’s not even close.

  67. OriginalPouzar says:

    Condors win 7-0 – Starrett with a 23 save shutout – Bear with 2G and 2A. Benson with 1G and 3A. Yamamoto didn’t play again.

    Bouchard with 1G and 1A and 7 shots on net as London clinches the conference championship.

    Samorukov was a healthy scratch resting for the playoffs. Maksimov also didn’t play – I’m assuming the same reason but not sure on that one.

    Dudek with a goal as Boston College beats Providence 4-3 to force a game 3. Hawkeye with 23 saves on 27 shots in the loss.

  68. Reja says:

    godot10: Sather traded Semenko when he was 29. He managed 1.5 seasons after the trade.

    The Oilers acquired Lucic at 28.Had one mediocre season after and then was basically done.

    Sather didn’t trade Mr.Semenko to the whalers he gifted him so he could cash in at the end of his career.Sather did that for all the Veterans that went to war for him.

  69. OriginalPouzar says:

    My goodness its freezing cold in Gila River Arena – or perhaps I need more body fat….

  70. Reja says:

    jp: Semenko’s career highs were 12 goals and 27 points. On a team with 4 100+ point scorers and another with 96. He only managed 20 points twice in his career.

    I think Gretzky’s magic with Semenko may be overstated.

    Spend a couple of hours watching Dave’s Oiler highlights on utube you’ll come away proud to be a Oiler fan. He was heart and soul and bled for the oilers. Those were the days my friend we thought they’d never end we’d sing and dance forever and a day la la la

  71. Professor Q says:

    I did watch the Gretzky to Kurri highlights that someone posted in honour of Draisaitl.

    Not only extremely similar to McDavid to Draisaitl plays, but the guy skating up from behind the play a lot of the time seemed to be Semenko. He wasn’t even near Gretzky or Kurri during these plays!

  72. jp says:

    Reja: Spend a couple of hours watching Dave’sOiler highlights on utube you’ll come away proud to be a Oiler fan. He was heart and soul and bled for the oilers. Those were the days my friend we thought they’d never endwe’d sing and dance forever and a day la la la

    I missed all but the very tail of the glory years unfortunately. So yeah, I should check out some more Semenko footage.

  73. slopitch says:

    Lots of positive news on the farm. The real way out of this is draft and develop and it might actually be possible. Many of these players are developing quickly at the same time. Banking on some magic trade when they lack cap space seems like an improbable event.

    And good win last night! I will cheer for lottery balls. Not for loses 🙂

  74. docweb says:

    5 weeks later…same old. Depressing. Frustrating. Etc. Etc.

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