2019-20 Game 11: Capitals at Oilers

I remember the 1974 expansion draft like it was yesterday. The Washington Capitals drafted the best goalie available (Ron Low) and then tried to grab as many young players as possible (Yvon Labre, Denis Dupere, Mike Bloom, Gord Smith, Dave Kryskow). The NHL wasn’t giving up anything, and the WHA would raid the Capitals and Kansas City Scouts after the draft, but they did their best. Washington would win 8 games that first season. Eight games.

The first game between the Capitals and Oilers took place five years later, in late October 1979. Bill Flett would score his third goal of the season, he would get two more before his career came to a close one month later. Ironically, his final goal would come in late November in a win over the Capitals in Landover, Maryland. Bill Flett, from Ron Chipperfield and Mark Messier. He died July 1999, in Edmonton. Helene Elliott wrote an article for the Los Angeles Times.

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 Athletic, there is a Puck Drop Special offer here.

  • New Lowetide: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and James Neal are leading a quality Oilers second line
  • Lowetide: Assessing the early season progress of Oilers’ defence and goaltending
  • Jonathan Willis: A rare success during Edmonton’s long rebuild, why Oscar Klefbom is the model for finishing Oilers’ blue line
  • Lowetide: Jesse Puljujarvi’s impressive Liiga performance headlines Oilers prospects this week
  • Lowetide:  Oilers recall Sam Gagner to bolster offensive depth, option Gaetan Haas
  • Jonathan Willis: Can the Oilers afford to pursue Taylor Hall in free agency?
  • Lowetide: There are many similarities between this year’s Oilers team after seven and the 2016-17 team that made the playoffs. Similarities, differences and the work that needs to be done.
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: That was pretty sick’: What teammates and opponents are saying about Connor McDavid’s latest goal
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘I’m gonna bring a bigger bag with me’: Oilers rookies learn about life on the road in the NHL
  • Jonathan Willis: A deep dive on the Oilers’ bottom six, which needs to produce more offence
  • Lowetide: Ethan Bear’s early success with the Oilers and what it might mean at the trade deadline
  • Jonathan Willis: How well are the solutions to key Oilers weaknesses working?
  • Lowetide: Oilers’ Oscar Klefbom playing tough minutes with inexperienced partners — and looking good doing it
  • Corey Pronman: Oilers No. 9 farm system.
  • Lowetide: Oilers top 20 prospects summer 2019.

OILERS IN OCTOBER

  • Oilers in October 20154-7-0, eight points; goal differential -6
  • Oilers in October 2016: 7-3-1, 15 points; goal differential +7
  • Oilers in October 2017: 3-7-1, seven points; goal differential -12
  • Oilers in October 2018: 6-4-1, 13 points; goal differential -2
  • Oilers in October 2019: 7-2-1, 15 points, goal differential +7

The key to making playoffs is to shorten those losing streaks and lengthen the good times. Even a Bettman point tonight would help the Oilers edge closer to the goal. I expect we’ll see a far better effort, but the opponent is also more formidable.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM OCTOBER

  • At home to: Vancouver, Los Angeles (Expected: 1-1-0) (Actual 2-0-0)
  • On the road to: NYI, NJD, NYR, CHI (Expected 2-1-1) Actual (3-1-0)
  • At home to: Philadelphia, Detroit (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 2-0-0)
  • On the road to: Winnipeg, Minnesota (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 0-1-1)
  • At home to: Washington, Florida (Expected 1-1-0)
  • On the road to: Detroit, Columbus (Expected 1-1-0)
  • Overall expected result: 7-6-1, 15 points in 14 games
  • Current results: 7-2-1, 15 points after 10 games

Washington has four forwards over 2.00 per 60 at five-on-five (Alex Ovechkin, Lars Eller, Garnet Hathaway and TJ Oshie) plus a couple more hovering (Evgeny Kuznetsov, Nic Dowd). They’re a weird team in that the possession numbers are all over 50 percent, but they’re 21-23 goal differential after 11 games. In 10 games, Edmonton has a possession number of 46.9 but an 18-17 goal differential (this is all five-on-five).

OILERS 2019-20

I would like to see Lagesson inserted into the lineup, but Manning is playing well and it seems unlikely. Joel Persson should be getting close; they said 7-10 days on October 16, that puts us in the window now. For those who really really want to know, here are the lines and pairings after the Tippett shuffle on Tuesday night:

  • James Neal-Connor McDavid-Patrick Russell
  • Nuge-Leon Draisaitl-Josh Archibald
  • Tomas Jurco-Markus Granlund-Alex Chiasson
  • Jujhar Khaira-Riley Sheahan-Zack Kassian
  • Oscar Klefbom-Ethan Bear
  • Darnell Nurse-Kris Russell
  • Brandon Manning-Matt Benning

If the lack of goals bleeds into this game (say it’s 2-0 Washington after two) expect MacT level spin cycles on the lines and pairings. I am generally not in favor of it.

CONDORS 2019-20

Kailer Yamamoto is moving past some prominent prospects from a year ago (Cooper Marody, Tyler Benson) in terms of recall buzz. I would encourage you to pay attention, absorb, and then disregard. If the Condors reach 25 games and Yamamoto is setting the woods on fire, then a recall is possible. That said, there’s a long way to go. Bakersfield plays a lot in the coming days, we’ll spend extra time there over the next two weeks. There’s basically nothing you can take from the boxcars and performances early in the season and bank it, beyond health good (Yamamoto) and bad (Starrett).

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN1260, we have a cool show with lots of great chatter. Jason Rogers from NBC Sports Washington and Japers Rink will pop in at 10:20, while Frank Seravalli from TSN joins the party a little later on to talk Oilers funk and John Carlson. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!

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414 Responses to "2019-20 Game 11: Capitals at Oilers"

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  1. GMB3 says:

    oilersfan:
    Have to pay nurse
    Have to pay Kassian
    Have to pay Bear

    Where will we find the money for Pageaut?

    Especially when the leafs miss the playoffs and HRR goes down 10%!!

    We really, really don’t have to pay Kassian. I would recommend against it

  2. Admiral Ackbar says:

    Munny:
    Sportsnet Stats‏Verified account @SNstats · 3h3 hours ago

    Most OT Goals in #Oilers History

    Leon Draisaitl 8
    Connor McDavid 7
    Jari Kurri 7
    Taylor Hall 5
    Ryan Smyth 5

    Clearly, that’s not a fair stat with the others scoring their goals at 5×5.

  3. Admiral Ackbar says:

    Goodness that was a character building win. Caps have incredible structure and familiarity in their lineup and really took it to the Oil in the 2nd. Thought the 3rd would be more of the same but the top line found that extra gear (the other lines, not so much). They played and beat a solid team. For that, we can be happy.

    Still, aside from Gags’ chance in the 1st, bottom 6 was nowhere to be heard. Secondary scoring is nonexistent.

  4. who says:

    drglen:
    I don’t think anyone expected KAssian to be this good either.

    I did. Just saying.
    Having said that it’s important not to fall in love with this guy and overpay him as a UFA.
    He’s a nice complimentary player and can play with skill. A year ago everyone here had him pegged as a 4th liner. Now they want to pay him 3 million per year?

  5. Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual says:

    GMB3: We really, really don’t have to pay Kassian. I would recommend against it

    Agreed. That’s not to say he doesn’t have value and wouldn’t be a boon to a playoff run but paying him for his “fit” on that top line isn’t something that brings value. Use Maroon and Kassian as a framework for identifying the kinds of players that could be found for cheaper in the bargain bin. Heavy players with the hands to keep up a bit and the mind that knows where to go. Maybe it’s a guy like Curtis McKenzie or Peter Cehlarik or Zack MacEwen; I don’t know, but that’s the path I think they ought to go down.

    Unless Kassian is willing to take around the same as he’s getting now at which point I could be amenable to that.

  6. GMB3 says:

    Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual: Agreed. That’s not to say he doesn’t have value and wouldn’t be a boon to a playoff run but paying him for his “fit” on that top line isn’t something that brings value. Use Maroon and Kassian as a framework for identifying the kinds of players that could be found for cheaper in the bargain bin. Heavy players with the hands to keep up a bit and the mind that knows where to go. Maybe it’s a guy like Curtis McKenzie or Peter Cehlarik or Zack MacEwen; I don’t know, but that’s the path I think they ought to go down.

    Unless Kassian is willing to take around the same as he’s getting now at which point I could be amenable to that.

    I think the ideal scenario is finding two decent complementary players to play with McDavid and run a second line of Drai-Nuge-Neal/KY.
    That’s probably our best bet at two outscoring lines.

    By January I wouldn’t be surprised to see

    Drai-McD-Kassian/KY
    Nygard-RNH-Neal
    Benson-Sheahan-KY/Kassian/Chiasson
    Khaira-Marody-Chiasson.

    Maybe run the kids on a soft minutes line, put Sheahan with the two vets. I wouldn’t be against trying Gambardell in Khaira’s spot, I thought he looked good last year. Adds a bit more speed.

    It’s imperative for Tippett to construct a bottom six than can ease some of the burden off McDavid and Drai’s shoulders

  7. ArmchairGM says:

    GMB3: We really, really don’t have to pay Kassian. I would recommend against it

    I agree. Maroon scored 27 next to McDavid, and the next year was on pace for 20. He got a 1 x $1.75M deal from St. Louis.

    I like Kassian, but I wouldn’t give him a large contract. Will Holland? I don’t know. Maybe he sees Kassian as a placeholder for Yamamoto or Lavoie.

  8. ArmchairGM says:

    who: drglen:
    I don’t think anyone expected KAssian to be this good either.

    I did. Just saying.
    Having said that it’s important not to fall in love with this guy and overpay him as a UFA.
    He’s a nice complimentary player and can play with skill. A year ago everyone here had him pegged as a 4th liner. Now they want to pay him 3 million per year?

    I did as well. Several years ago Lowetide was talking about the need for the Oilers to find a right-shot Pat Maroon, and I suggested – on several occasions – that Zack could be that guy.

  9. jp says:

    GMB3: We really, really don’t have to pay Kassian. I would recommend against it

    We definitely don’t. But at always it depends on the price point. I wouldn’t pay him like a 60 point UFA, but if he wants to stick around for $3M x 3 I’d definitely do that.

  10. OriginalPouzar says:

    MaterialElvis: Lol.

    So, I take it you didn’t watch the actual game?

    Oilers are 1st in the NHL which is the statement you responded to.

    Oilers were the better team last night for almost the entire game – for half the second they weren’t – other than that they were better in all metrics, possession metrics, scoring changes, high danger scoring changes, expected goal differential, etc.

    Not sure what your issue is but you “lol” response indicates that you’ve actually got nothing of substance.

  11. ArmchairGM says:

    Did everyone notice Klefbom-Benning was a thing all 3rd period?

    Finally Tip listened!

  12. jp says:

    What a great game and start to the season!

    What’s been happening?

    1) the bottom 6 is no better at 5v5 (worse even). But the PK is much better.

    2) we have a real 2nd line

    3) the PP is all world

    4) the McDavid line is actually outscoring again (only +2 at 5v5 last year)

    5) goaltending has been excellent

    6) Bear. Wow. Persson seems useful too.

    I don’t think they’ll finish top of the league, but the PDO has corrected to almost reasonable and the team is 8-2-1. Good times, and it seems like there’s more to come.

  13. Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual says:

    jp: We definitely don’t. But at always it depends on the price point. I wouldn’t pay him like a 60 point UFA, but if he wants to stick around for $3M x 3 I’d definitely do that.

    I don’t think I’d do that. Once again, I like what Kassian brings and think he has the assets to play up there for a while. However, I’m convinced the difference in results between him and an 800k isn’t enough to justify the 2.2mil that could be used elsewhere. The extra 2.2mil we might spend on a compliment to what’ll still be the world’s best scoring duo could be the difference between a Zucker/Kreider and a Coyle or a Pageau and a Girgensons.

  14. OriginalPouzar says:

    ArmchairGM:
    Did everyone notice Klefbom-Benning was a thing all 3rd period?

    Finally Tip listened!

    Both Manning and Russell played 2:40 in the third period.

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