Edmonton won the game, but the Coyotes grabbed a Bettman and that’s the sound of jail guitar doors. Never no never mind, it’s still a wonderful run and a reminder of just how incredible the top end looks with a sliver of daylight. If comparing Connor McDavid to a deity is bad form, and it is, what then are we to do? Last night 97 brought all the gears, abandon, and ample desperation. What a performance.
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: Oilers’ prospect Tyler Benson’s rookie AHL season a revelation.
- Lowetide: The Edmonton Oilers draft early, the WHL is loaded and there’s a lot of history.
- 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 AFTER 72 GAMES
- Oilers in 2015: 27-38-7, 61 points; goal differential -37
- Oilers in 2016: 39-24-9, 87 points; goal differential +23
- Oilers in 2017: 31-36-5, 67 points; goal differential -38
- Oilers in 2018: 32-32-7, 71 points; goal differential -22
When we tear this engine down, one of the things we’ll be looking for is areas of year-over-year improvement. The goal differential is one possible item.
OILERS IN MARCH
- Oilers in March 2016: 4-4-0, eight points; goal differential -4
- Oilers in March 2017: 5-2-1, 11 points; goal differential +11
- Oilers in March 2018: 4-3-1, nine points; goal differential +1
- Oilers in March 2019: 5-2-0, 10 points; goal differential +4
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM 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 1-0-0)
- 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: 5-2-0, 10 points in seven games
DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT
- Sekera-Benning went 9-7 in 9:24, 4-2 shots, 1-1 goals and 2-1 HDSC. Good work by both men through much of the game but it was beauty and the beast in the big moments. Benning’s rocket gave Edmonton a lead, but Sekera looked as bad as bad can be 10 seconds later.
- Klefbom-Larsson went 12-15 in 14:15, 5-10 shots, no goals and 2-3 HDSC. Mostly solid pairing, Klefbom’s pass in overtime was quality. Had an especially tough time against the Dvorak-Keller-Panik line (0-2 HDSC in two minutes).
- Nurse-Russell went 12-13 in 16:37, 6-5 shots, no goals and 3-0 HDSC. It’s interesting the high dangers were spread over three lines, and that Hitch trusted this pair more than any other.
- Mikko Koskinen stopped 28 of 30, .933.
- NaturalStatTrick and NHL.com.
FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT
- Rieder-Draisaitl-Chiasson were 6-8 in 9:27, 3-1 shots and 1-0 HDSC. They were the top unit in terms of 5-on-5 time on ice.
- Khaira-Nuge-Gagner went 4-8 in 8:16, 1-4 shots, 0-1 goals and 1-1 HDSC. Nuge looks tentative with the puck lately, had some looks and made a pass. I like all three of these players, this line should work. Last night wasn’t splendid.
- Lucic-McDavid-Kassian were 7-7 in 8:00, 3-4 shots, no goals and 2-1 HDSC. Lucic had a monster chance, McDavid was absolute fire and Kassian took an untimely penalty.
- Gambardella-Cave-Currie went 6-5 in 5:40, 4-4 shots, no goals, 2-0 HDSC. The trio played more (but not deep into the game) and may have good legs tonight.
- Draisaitl-McDavid-Kassian were 4-4 in 4:28, 2-3 shots, 1-0 goals and 0-1 HDSC. This is the No. 1 line.
As luck would have it I was writing a Tyler Benson story for today over at The Athletic. Benson’s big night means a re-write but it’s a terrific story worth following.
We can argue about how much tonight’s game means, but the team obviously feels they are still in it. That alone means tonight is a must watch, and my goodness Connor McDavid (now 36-67-103 in 67 games, second in league scoring) is showing that he is in fact the NHL’s most valuable and best player.