2019-20 Game 20: Oilers at Sharks

The first time San Jose and the Oilers played an NHL regular season game it was November 1991 and the expansion Sharks hammered the Damphouse-Manson-Mellanby Oilers. Since then, I never count on a win against the Oakland Seals 2.0. Call it the curse of Gilles Meloche.

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, less than two coffees a month offer here.

  • New Lowetide: Analyzing Dave Tippett’s defensive usage and what the Oilers will do when Adam Larsson returns
  • Lowetide: What’s going on with the Bakersfield Condors?
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins shines, mad props for Leon Draisaitl and more to like as the Oilers beat the Devils
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: What inexperienced defencemen like the Oilers’ Joel Persson must do to gain their coach’s confidence
  • Lowetide: Oilers are closer to having an effective second line than a year ago, but few have noticed
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: The beauty of a good night’s sleep can be elusive for many NHL players
  • Jonathan Willis: Why the Oilers were wise to gamble on Tomas Jurco, even though it didn’t pan out
  • Jonathan Willis: The unlikely goalie performances underpinning the Oilers’ hot start
  • Lowetide: How far away is Evan Bouchard and what role will he play with the Oilers?
  • Scott Wheeler: Analyzing Jesse Puljujarvi’s play in Finland to see what he could offer as an NHLer
  • Jonathan Willis: Oilers right to wait until they’re sure before recalling Kailer Yamamoto, Tyler Benson
  • Lowetide:  Can Leon Draisaitl score more than 50 goals this season?
  • Lowetide: Bakersfield Condors coaching staff continues to mold unheralded players into legit NHL prospects.
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Oilers Mailbag: Fixing the forward depth, slotting the big three, a Puljujarvi trade and more
  • Minnia Feng: The 2019-20 Oilers fan guide to emotions and stressful circumstances
  • Jonathan Willis: How much will the Oilers have to pay to keep pending free agent Zack Kassian?
  • Lowetide: Oilers top 20 prospects summer 2019.

OILERS AFTER 20 GAMES

  • Oilers in 2015: 7-12-1, 15 points; goal differential -8
  • Oilers in 2016: 11-8-1, 23 points; goal differential +7
  • Oilers in 2017: 7-11-2, 16 points; goal differential -13
  • Oilers in 2018: 9-10-1, 19 points; goal differential -9
  • Oilers in 2019: 12-5-2, 26 points; goal differential +12

The Oilers are in a great spot now but the season is long and slumps will occur. The 7-1-0 start is the key to this record, if the Oilers can play November a little above Bettman .500 the U.S. Thanksgiving standings rule (75 percent chance of making the playoffs if you are in position) should favor Edmonton.

OILERS IN NOVEMBER

  • Oilers in November 2015: 2-4-0, four points; goal differential -4
  • Oilers in November 2016: 2-3-1, five points; goal differential -4
  • Oilers in November 2017: 3-3-0, six points; goal differential -2
  • Oilers in November 2018: 2-4-0, four points; goal differential -6
  • Oilers in November 2019: 3-1-1, seven points; goal differential +7

The goal differential is stunning compared to the previous four seasons. Lots of good defense and goaltending in those numbers. The next two weeks are massive. If Edmonton can avoid a slump, December will arrive with everyone in good spirits. No Donner party, no sad Bonnie Raitt songs, no “Nadir’s Raiders” posts from this blog. Music!

WHAT TO EXPECT IN NOVEMBER?

  • On the road to: PIT (Expected 0-1-0) (Actual 1-0-0)
  • At home to: ARI, STL, NJD (Expected 2-1-0) (Actual 1-1-1)
  • On the road to: ANA, SJS (Expected 1-0-1) (Actual 1-0-0)
  • At home to: COL, DAL (Expected 1-1-0)
  • On the road to: SJS, LAK, VEG, ARI, COL (Expected 2-3-0)
  • At home to: VAN (Expected 1-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 7-6-1, 15 points in 14 games
  • Current results: 3-1-1, 7 points after five games

A win tonight and the Oilers are over halfway to my predicted point total with eight games to find six points. In fact, with the 12-5-2 start Edmonton could go 30-30-3 from this point to the end of the season and finish 42-35-5, 89 points. It’s a good spot.

TOP 20 PROSPECTS

I’m preparing this winter’s top 20 prospects and have been struck by the fact all of last year’s top 20 returns. There will be some movement as three or four new arrivals from the 2019 draft will push a few players out. Looking at the top five and I think that might remain the same (although in a different order).

Did I ever tell you about my idea to go all the way back to 1979 and do a top 20 prospects for each season? I abandoned it because it’s doubtful anyone cares, but as a curio I’ll drop one of them here. The idea is to rank these players where they would have been slotted at the time, not where they would be ranked after their careers. Here’s 1980 summer:

Coffey was the big pick in summer ’80, Anderson played for the Canadian Olympic Team and Seattle Breakers of the WHL (7, 5-5-10). Jari Kurri was playing well in a pro league (Liiga) in Europe, Poddubny caught fire after a mid-season OHL trade and Tom Roulston one of two quality players on the farm team in Houston.

JESSE

Young Puljujarvi stated yesterday (if google translate is correct) that the plan is to stay in Finland and play in the Liiga all year. I’m pleased he made the decision and it is my belief this increases the chances he returns to Edmonton next fall. JP is playing a more confident game and having success, so whatever else happens he is increasing his own value. For Ken Holland, there’s no hurry and if the offers don’t get better there’s a very good chance we are at the same spot next November. I think there’s a sliver of a chance the player side realizes the situation next August and signs a deal with the Oilers. Nothing is working, Holland won’t budge. Stubborn mule! Sometimes a stubborn mule wins the day. Just saying.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning TSN1260 it’s been an eventful 24 hours. Jonathan Willis from The Athletic will join us at 10:20 to talk Oilers in San Jose, Jesse Puljujarvi, fall trades and the return of Adam Larsson. A special appearance from Steve Lansky of BigMouthSports follows, we’ll talk about the Don Cherry firing and what’s next for HNIC. At 11:05, Corey Graham joins us to talk about the Oil Kings loss to Tri-City Americans and the brilliance of Beck Warm.

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442 Responses to "2019-20 Game 20: Oilers at Sharks"

« Older Comments
  1. Gerta Rauss says:

    Samuel

  2. jp says:

    That was fun.

    Good on Gagner for sneaking that in. Nygard recovered the puck from the Sharks 4 times or something. A well deserved assist.

  3. OriginalPouzar says:

    Tough game for Bear tonight (not that he has been the only one).

  4. drglen says:

    YES GANGER SCORES>… Nyggard finding some mojo on that shift

  5. OriginalPouzar says:

    Gagner comes alive offensively in the 2nd half of the game…..

  6. drglen says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Gagner comes alive offensively in the 2nd half of the game…..

    that was a great shift overall.

  7. drglen says:

    Nurse moving up there… .. some bad blood may see something involving nurse yet tonight..

  8. jp says:

    Oil2Oilers: Thanks for the work, it is appreciated

    +1

  9. drglen says:

    another good 4th line shift!!!!! something to prove.

  10. Munny says:

    Need to see more direct go-to-the-net plays next game like the Gagner line did again there.

  11. v4ance says:

    I’ve had the sound off since the 3-0 goal. Did any of the announcers mention that Manning hasn’t played in the 3rd? Or did they report he was injured?

  12. drglen says:

    4th line out again… good call coach.

  13. Munny says:

    Russell plays Couture perfectly, including a most satisfying crunch into the corner boards.

  14. OriginalPouzar says:

    Tough game – oh well.

    Too bad – a win would have capped up the best 20 game start in 34 years.

    4 tipped goals, almost everyone off in one-way or another, poor lineup choices by the coaching staff.

    Tip and Playfair will, presumably go back to a similar lineup from last game (maybe keep Gagner in) and start Koskinen and it should be a great game at home versus that Avs.

    Great bonce-back opportunity coming up.

  15. drglen says:

    well as LT says, .. doesn’t matter if you lose by 1 or 3, or 5, .. worth the same. I hope Tipp learned some valuable lessons… ( if not we will fill him in)

  16. Zelepukin says:

    here for the Drai Pts. He is gonna pot 30 before xmas.

  17. OriginalPouzar says:

    vance:
    I’ve had the sound off since the3-0 goal.Did any of the announcers mention that Manning hasn’t played in the 3rd?Or did they report he was injured?

    Game misconduct – presumably for his jersey coming off in the fight.

  18. drglen says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Tough game – oh well.

    Too bad – a win would have capped up the best 20 game start in 34 years.

    4 tipped goals, almost everyone off in one-way or another, poor lineup choices by the coaching staff.

    Tip and Playfair will, presumably go back to a similar lineup from last game (maybe keep Gagner in) and start Koskinen and it should be a great game at home versus that Avs.

    Great bonce-back opportunity coming up.

    Gagner came on really strong at the end.. up to that point I would have said put Haas back… now I’m not sure.

    Can you put Haas and Gagner , with say Nyggard, on the same line? Potential is there for a fast sort of skilled 4th line.

  19. drglen says:

    Watch our for San Jose now.. older veteran team but if they can avoid injury, they will be tough. Martin Jones was solid, you must have at least equivalent goaltending. ( though in fairness, 4 deflection goals and others were basically wide open… smith had no support tonight.

    I do think sharks can be rattled with an up tempo, skating, physical (call it playoff style) game.. The only time we saw that intensity tonight from the oilers was the 4th line at the end.

  20. OriginalPouzar says:

    drglen: Gagner came on really strong at the end.. up to that point I would have said put Haas back… now I’m not sure.

    Can you put Haas and Gagner , with say Nyggard, on the same line?Potential is there for a fast sort of skilled 4th line.

    Gagner came on strong in garbage time, agreed, but what has the main key to the season been? Cutting down the goals against and Haas + Granlund >>>> Nygard + Gagner in that regard.

    OK, fine, keep Gagner in for Granlund, I guess – but Haas needs to be back in.

  21. Ari says:

    Wilde,

    Yeah, great stuff!

    Wilde, is there any indication that the coaches know that Jones and Yamamoto are exceptional? I mean do they praise them during interviews?

  22. OriginalPouzar says:

    Ari:
    Wilde,

    Yeah, great stuff!

    Wilde, is there any indication that the coaches know that Jones and Yamamoto are exceptional?I mean do they praise them during interviews?

    Woodcroft praises everyone but, yes, they both do get extra praise.

    Jones is playing 25 plus minutes/game and Yamamoto is PK1, PP, all-situations so, yes, it appears the coaching staff know what they have – they are doing a wondeful job developing Kailer’s all-situations game – which will be his key to the NHL.

  23. Munny says:

    P-Rust is starting to get looks.

    Got his second point tonight. Nygard with his first. Bottom 6 scoring.

    The Bottom 6 gaveth away though more than they gotteth.

    Night where nothing much rhymed,.

    I blame the Moms.

  24. Harpers Hair says:

    OriginalPouzar: Gagner came on strong in garbage time, agreed, but what has the main key to the season been?Cutting down the goals against and Haas + Granlund >>>> Nygard + Gagner in that regard.

    OK, fine, keep Gagner in for Granlund, I guess – but Haas needs to be back in.

    Gagner on pace for a 4 goal season at $3.5 million.

    Good grief.

  25. OriginalPouzar says:

    HarpersHair: Gagner on pace for a 4 goal season at $3.5 million.

    Good grief.

    $3.15M.

    Sven Baertschi on pace for a zero goal season at $3.37M

    Good Grief.

  26. Harpers Hair says:

    OriginalPouzar: $3.15M.

    Sven Baertschi on pace for a zero goal season at $3.37M

    Good Grief.

    Both are an emabarrassment

    What’s your point?.

  27. Admiral Ackbar says:

    Harpers Hair,

    You make me want to not tune in to this site.

  28. SwedishPoster says:

    Watching the Oil tonight was like watching someone trying to start an old Honda Civic in -30 degrees. You turn the key and there’s nothing but a coughing engine.

  29. drglen says:

    SwedishPoster:
    Watching the Oil tonight was like watching someone trying to start an old Honda Civic in -30 degrees. You turn the key and there’s nothing but a coughing engine.

    nice

  30. drglen says:

    well, win the next one.

    James Neal -3? this is a concern.

  31. oilersfan says:

    Neal has 12 goals and is -10 for the season

    On pace for 48 goals and -40

    He is a natural goal scorer but does lack defensive awareness

    Almost like a bigger form of Gagner

    Gagner has only played 8 games so is actually on pace for 10 goals and 30 points per 82

  32. Wilde says:

    Ari:
    Wilde,

    Yeah, great stuff!

    Wilde, is there any indication that the coaches know that Jones and Yamamoto are exceptional?I mean do they praise them during interviews?

    What OP said is correct

  33. Wilde says:

    I’m compiling stats about how much teams in the NHL have their shots taken by their defensemen and how much their goals come from defenseman (as part of a critique of the Condors) and it turns out San Jose is an even more unique situation than I thought.

    Here’s the numbers from the top five 5v5 GF/60 teams in 2018-19:

    Tampa: 36.33% of team CF from D / / 16.02% of team GF from D

    Toronto: 34.69% of team CF from D / / 17.96% of team GF from D

    Washington: 33.10% of team CF from D / / 14.21% of team GF from D

    Calgary: 36.62% of team CF from D / / 15.51% of team GF from D

    (get ready for it)

    San Jose: 39.57% of team CF from D / / 7.29% of team GF from D

    WTF?

    This is nuts. I’ve always been of the mind that you shouldn’t try to copy San Jose’s puck-tipping OZ strategy because I knew they were something of an outlier, but this is much more extreme that I thought.

  34. ArmchairGM says:

    McDavid has scored 403 career points, one of just 8 players to reach the 400 point plateau prior to his 23rd birthday. He’s on pace to hit 476 points by his January 13th birthday – I wonder where that puts him among the 8? Anybody know where I can find career stats sorted by age?

  35. frjohnk says:

    ArmchairGM:
    McDavid has scored 403 career points, one of just 8 players to reach the 400 point plateau prior to his 23rd birthday. He’s on pace to hit 476 points by his January 13th birthday – I wonder where that puts him among the 8? Anybody know where I can find career stats sorted by age?

    Quant hockey

  36. ArmchairGM says:

    frjohnk: Quant hockey

    Thanks. I’ve tried there before but found their user interface rather clunky. Looks like they’ve cleaned it up significantly… McDavid should have no problem coming in 5th on the list:

    1. Gretzky: 914 (2.32 P/GP)
    2. Hawerchuk: 531 (1.33)
    3. Lemieux: 516 (1.76)
    4. Crosby: 506 (1.36)
    5. McDavid: 445 (1.33) [projected]
    6. Trottier: 424 (1.37)
    7. Yzerman: 410 (1.15)
    8. Turgeon: 410 (1.04)
    9. Savard: 409 (1.32)

    What an incredible talent!

  37. jp says:

    ArmchairGM: Thanks. I’ve tried there before but found their user interface rather clunky. Looks like they’ve cleaned it up significantly… McDavid should have no problem coming in 5th on the list:

    1. Gretzky: 914 (2.32 P/GP)
    2. Hawerchuk: 531 (1.33)
    3. Lemieux: 516 (1.76)
    4. Crosby: 506 (1.36)
    5. McDavid: 445 (1.33) [projected]
    6. Trottier: 424 (1.37)
    7. Yzerman: 410 (1.15)
    8. Turgeon: 410 (1.04)
    9. Savard: 409 (1.32)

    What an incredible talent!

    That’s quite something. Most (all?) of those guys played in higher scoring eras.

    With the team winning more it’s easier to feel lucky to have Connor!

  38. OriginalPouzar says:

    HarpersHair: Both are an emabarrassment

    What’s your point?.

    My point? I was just responding in kind to your random out of nowhere point.

    What was your point?

    Of note:

    – The Oilers didn’t sign Gagner but the Canucks did sign Sven

    – The Oilers acquired Gagner in connection with getting rid of the Spooner contract – a contract for which the Canucks have a $1M cap hit this year and next year

  39. OriginalPouzar says:

    oilersfan:
    Neal has 12 goals and is -10 for the season

    On pace for 48 goals and -40

    He is a natural goal scorer but does lack defensive awareness

    Almost like a bigger form of Gagner

    Gagner has only played 8 games so is actually on pace for 10 goalsand 30 points per 82

    The point is valid that Neal is not good defensively and we need him to be better but this is one of those cases were plus/minus is not a great stat given 5 empty net goals against he was on the ice for (and one SH goal for which he had nothing to do with the goal against).

  40. Lowetide says:

    oilersfan:
    Neal has 12 goals and is -10 for the season

    On pace for 48 goals and -40

    He is a natural goal scorer but does lack defensive awareness

    Almost like a bigger form of Gagner

    Gagner has only played 8 games so is actually on pace for 10 goalsand 30 points per 82

    I looked at Neal’s GA last week, at that time iirc there were four or five EN goals against.

  41. Mr DeBakey says:

    oilersfan:
    Neal has 12 goals and is -10 for the season

    On pace for 48 goals and -40

    He is a natural goal scorer but does lack defensive awareness

    Almost like a bigger form of Gagner

    Gagner has only played 8 games so is actually on pace for 10 goalsand 30 points per 82

    Its not that tricky to look this stuff up,
    GFON – GAON At 5v5:

    Zack Kassian ** 24 – 10 –> 14
    Leon Draisaitl ** 25 – 12 –> 13
    Connor McDavid ** 22 – 12 –> 10
    Ryan Nuge-Hopkins ** 11 – 7 –> 4
    Tomas Jurco ** 4 – 3 –> 1
    Alex Chiasson ** 7 – 7 –> 0
    Markus Granlund ** 4 – 5 –> -1
    Sam Gagner ** 3 – 4 –> -1
    Gaetan Haas ** 3 – 4 –> -1
    Colby Cave ** 1 – 2 –> -1
    Patrick Russell ** 4 – 6 –> -2
    James Neal ** 7 – 10 –> -3
    Joakim Nygard ** 1 – 4 –> -3
    Josh Archibald ** 0 – 5 –> -5
    Jujhar Khaira ** 2 – 8 –> -6
    Riley Sheahan ** 0 – 9 –> -9

  42. ArmchairGM says:

    Lowetide: I looked at Neal’s GA last week, at that time iirc there were four or five EN goals against.

    He’s 3-5 in EN situations. Neal is now 7-10 on the season at 5v5 after having gone 0-3 last night. It’s not as bad as his +/- indicates, although he is 8-14 for even strength goals… Tippett has GOT to stop putting him out in 4v4 and 3v3 situations.

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