2019-20 Game 26: Oilers at Coyotes

Two first period passes by Leon Draisaitl set the Edmonton Oilers in a great direction and aided in the team’s win over the VGK. The first required creativity from Leon and anticipation from Connor McDavid, and was one of the sweetest goals of the year. They really are the Glimmer Twins. The second assist is what puts Leon on a trajectory that involves season ending awards and great fame. Backhand, on the tape, from about 10 miles. Oh my.

At The Athletic get together last night, several of us agreed the Mike Smith start in Vegas was important. The veteran goalie has been outplayed by Mikko Koskinen so far this season, while also getting more playing time. A big win in Vegas for Smith. A nice recovery game by the top line, too.

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 Daniel Nugent-Bowman: A superstar shines, a goaltender stands tall and a ‘road hockey’ power play helps the Oilers return to form
  • New Lowetide: Why Dave Tippett’s deployment is a sign the Oilers need a No. 3 centre
  • New Jonathan Willis: A Jesse Puljujarvi trade is an opportunity of which only one NHL team gets to take advantage
  • New Daniel Nugent-BowmanLeon Draisaitl takes the blame as the Oilers’ struggles against lowly foes continues
  • Jonathan Willis: A list of which Oilers are most likely to be traded in 2019-20
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Q&A: Woodcroft on Benson’s ‘gift,’ the next step for Bouchard and acting like a proud parent watching the Oilers
  • Lowetide: Oilers’ No. 2 prospect winter 2019: Philip Broberg
  • Lowetide: Joel Persson’s demotion highlights difficult adjustment for Oilers’ ‘European showtime’ trio
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis: Evaluating the Oilers’ readiness for the 2021 Seattle expansion draft
  • Lowetide: Oilers’ No. 1 prospect winter 2019: Evan Bouchard
  • Lowetide: Oilers’ college procurement could increase under Ken Holland
  • Jonathan Willis: A shift-by-shift analysis of Caleb Jones in his Oilers season debut
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘Sometimes it’s just unstoppable’: How McDavid and the Oilers’ power play dominated the Avalanche
  • Jonathan Willis: Darnell Nurse, Caleb Jones and the crisis that’s looming in the Oilers’ middle distance
  • Jonathan Willis: Basically, yes, the Oilers should keep Ryan Nugent-Hopkins ‘forever’

OILERS AFTER 26 GAMES

  • Oilers in 20159-15-2, 20 points; goal differential -14
  • Oilers in 2016: 14-10-2, 30 points; goal differential +8
  • Oilers in 2017: 10-14-2, 22 points; goal differential -14
  • Oilers in 2018: 13-11-2, 28 points; goal differential -4
  • Oilers in 2019: 15-7-3, 33 points; goal differential +13

Big win. I mean a big one. Defeating Vegas after the LAK stumble represents a solid recovery. The No. 1 line was absolute fire, and I thought all four lines contributed. Defensively, Edmonton worked hard and smart against a strong Golden Knights squad. Tabernac Saturday worked out just fine.

OILERS IN NOVEMBER

  • Oilers in November 2015: 4-6-2, 10 points; goal differential -6
  • Oilers in November 2016: 5-6-1, 11 points; goal differential 0
  • Oilers in November 2017: 5-6-1, 11 points; goal differential -1
  • Oilers in November 2018: 4-7-1, nine points; goal differential -10
  • Oilers in November 2019: 6-3-2, 14 points, goal differential +8

This November stands out from the crowd. It’s the only season of McDavid’s career that has a positive goal differential through 11 (12) games.

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 1-1-0)
  • At home to: COL, DAL (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 1-0-1)
  • On the road to: SJS, LAK, VEG, ARI, COL (Expected 2-3-0) (Actual 2-1-0)
  • At home to: VAN (Expected 1-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 7-6-1, 15 points in 14 games
  • Current results: 6-3-2, 14 points in 11 games

There are three games left and a win tonight guarantees another month of more than a point per game pace. The Coyotes play Edmonton tough, but this Oilers team is no easy out for the other side, either. Getting a lead is important against Scottsdale.

OILERS 2019-20

The top line is incredible, we are watching something special in real time. I’ve mentioned the Cashman-Esposito-Hodge ’70-71 line before, that trio scored 140 goals. The Leon-McD-Kassian line has scored 42 goals in 24 games. That’s a pace that would land them at 144 over 82 games in a more defensive era. Incredible. All numbers NST and five-on-five unless noted.

LINE 1 Leon Draisaitl-Connor McDavid-Zack Kassian had their best game of the season, playing 14:25, going 19-12 Corsi, 9-6 shots, 2-0 goals and 2-2 HDSC.

Leon Draisaitl had two assists (third on the PP), a shot, HDSC, drew a penalty, had a takeaway and won eight of 12 in the circle. Honestly, watch that pass to McDavid, 97 isn’t even looking that way when 29 sends it. McDavid was flying all night, the man is a national treasure. His foot speed tracking Karlsson on the breakaway was incredible. Kassian was a bull in a china shop, key on both goals just by being a load.

LINE 2 James Neal-Nuge-Alex Chiasson played 11:13, going 12-12 Corsi, 7-7 shots, 0-1 goals and 1-2 HDSC.

James Neal made two impressive defensive plays in the game’s first 10 minutes, showing he was engaged. Had one great chance and was very physical. Nuge scored but the ref blew the whistle before it went in. Even with the goal not counting, I saw him very good on the night. He was 67 percent on the dot and had a 10-bell chance on the PP. Alex Chiasson had four shots, a takeaway and worked like a demon. Nothing is going in for him but he’s trying for sure.

LINE 3 Markus Granlund-Gaetan Haas-Patrick Russell played 10:06, going 10-8 Corsi, 5-4 shots, 1-0 goals and 4-0 HDSC.

Markus Granlund scored a huge goal, lots of hard work for the entire line but he cashed. If he can contribute more consistently, that’s a big deal. Gaetan Haas worked hard on the goal, also had a couple of great chances on his own. He is always noticeable. Patrick Russell had an assist, a shot on goal and a takeaway. This line earned its keep on this evening.

LINE 4 Joakim Nygard-Riley Sheahan-Josh Archibald played 9:52, going 2-9 Corsi, 1-5 shots, 0-1 goals and 0-1 HDSC. Saw a steady diet of the Cody Glass and Paul Stastny lines.

Joakim Nygard used his speed to great advantage, had a takeaway and is surprisingly effective along the wall. Riley Sheahan worked hard and against quality opposition, Josh Archibald had a helluva chance. This line got caved in possession but I don’t think they were to blame for the GA (luck came to town).

PAIRING ONE Darnell Nurse and Ethan Bear played 18:03, going 20-15 Corsi, 11-8 shots, 2-0 goals and 3-2 HDSC.

Darnell Nurse had four shots, carried the puck well and played a rugged game against a team that won’t quit. Ethan Bear scored a lovely goal, outlet passed effectively and won more battles than you might expect from a rookie. What a pleasure to watch him emerge in real time. Bear’s goal was a lot about instinct. Any defenseman can sneak down the slot, but Bear’s timing and offering Draisaitl a target were key. The shot was low and landed where Fleury exited as he got set. Lovely.

PAIRING TWO Oscar Klefbom and Adam Larsson played 11:03, going 7-13 Corsi, 3-6 shots, 1-1 goals and 2-2 HDSC.

Oscar Klefbom looked great as always save for the Shea Theodore goal where he got beaten. Effective otherwise. Adam Larsson was the main issue on the Theodore goal, giving up possession, the line and the lane. That’s about everything. Still working on getting up to pace, Edmonton needs Larsson.

PAIRING THREE Kris Russell and Caleb Jones played 11:30, going 16-5 Corsi, 8-3 shots, no goals and 2-1 HDSC.

Kris Russell played his normal game, blocking shots and defending. Caleb Jones was effective across the board, defended well and moved the puck effectively. If they make the decision on merit, he’s here to stay.

GOALIE Mike Smith stopped 24 of 26, .923. He was excellent all night, a terrific bounceback game from the big man.

THANKS!

I’ve worked in radio since 1980 and can tell you with complete confidence that live events have a life of their own.

Last night, at the wonderful Rec Room WEM, I had a chance to meet many of you at this year’s The Athletic get-together. It was a brilliant success, owing mostly to two things: The people who attended (fabulous!) and to Katie Caldwell. I was proud to represent The Athletic in that room and very much enjoyed the evening. Thanks so much for attending.

CONDORS 2019-20

Condors play Iowa again today.

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451 Responses to "2019-20 Game 26: Oilers at Coyotes"

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  1. flyfish1168 says:

    When was the last time you saw a forward play 29 minutes. No wonder why Leon was gassed

  2. striatic says:

    What is Koskinen’s shootout save percentage? By memory he’s been an outstanding shootout goalie over time.

  3. Material Elvis says:

    Rich M: I’m sure your next syllable will be equally profound.

    Verdad only has one paragraph of text on his computer/phone. He can copy and paste but that’s all. He might even be an Ai that’s glitching. I don’t think he would pass a Touring test.

  4. Reja says:

    Why even interview Mcdavid he’s on to them.

  5. norm_klassen says:

    So the Colorado game is the bonus game of the trip now

  6. JonyPro says:

    leadfarmer:
    Bear and Klef or Nurse is really an option Tippett should have used

    I mean TMac rose them hard
    Hitch came in and rode em harder
    Tippett came in to ride them even harder

    Thank you for this 🤣

  7. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    I post before the LAK game that EDM has the best PP and LAK has the worst PK.

    Result – EDM PP 0, LAK PP 1

    I post before this game that ARI’s top line is getting caved by the opposition’s best.

    Result – McDavid -1

    I gotta stop doing that.

  8. Material Elvis says:

    flyfish1168:
    When was the last time you saw a forward play 29 minutes. No wonder why Leon was gassed

    Nobody can play a 2+ minute shift and be effective….at any level of hockey.

  9. Material Elvis says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    I post before the LAK game that EDM has the best PP and LAK has the worst PK.

    Result – EDM PP 0, LAK PP 1

    I post before this game that ARI’s top line is getting caved by the opposition’s best.

    Result – McDavid -1

    I gotta stop doing that.

    Just blame it on your phone.

  10. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Harpers Hair: Hey… this is clearly baiting.
    I INVENTED goal post moving..

    I love that you own it.

  11. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Fuhr and Lowething in Vegreville: I hear Woodguy is a master baiter.

    Guilty

  12. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Professor Q,

    Reiders on the Storm.

  13. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Not sure if this is in the thread already:


    🏒
    @EricJFriesen

    James Neal has more goals than any player on the Calgary Flames this season.

  14. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Material Elvis: Just blame it on your phone.

    Fucking thing

  15. Reja says:

    norm_klassen:
    So the Colorado game is the bonus game of the trip now

    This is not your Aunty Mae’s team.

  16. Todd Macallan says:

    Dman for Arizona with a name like Babushka. Hope he gets traded to Vegreville soon

  17. Reja says:

    Looking for the percentage update.

  18. hunter1909 says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    I post before the LAK game that EDM has the best PP and LAK has the worst PK.

    Result – EDM PP 0, LAK PP 1

    I post before this game that ARI’s top line is getting caved by the opposition’s best.

    Result – McDavid -1

    I gotta stop doing that.

    It’s hard to overcome years of NHL franchise abuse.

  19. godot10 says:

    Arizona went down for the count. Got up off of the mat. Edmonton went down for the count. Got up off of the mat.

    Both teams want to be real.

  20. theDjdj says:

    tell ya what, were watching Bear emerge in real time. Still some rook in his game but his activation decisions and O Zone puck handling is showing why he absolutely dominated minor with Seattle TBirds. 2015 could be our biggest draft since the Boys on the Bus.

  21. Material Elvis says:

    theDjdj:
    tell ya what, were watching Bear emerge in real time. Still some rook in his game but his activation decisions and O Zone puck handling is showing why he absolutely dominated minor with Seattle TBirds. 2015 could be our biggest draft since the Boys on the Bus.

    Bear and possibly Jones, too.

  22. Reja says:

    That was a confidence shootout win for Kosh. He was pretty fired up after the last save and I know Smith is rubbing off on him. Come on Holland go get a 3rd line Centre or a Josh Anderson, Miles Wood etc.

  23. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Reja:
    Looking for the percentage update.

    This one?

    19/20
    EDM Goal Share after 26 games (16-7-3)

    Even strength (5v5,4v4,3v3)
    McDavid On Ice 32-22 (59%)
    McDavid Off Ice 25-32 (44%)
    Net EV = +3

    Sp. Teams (PP+SH For–PK+SH Against)
    24-13
    Net ST +11

    Empty Net
    2-5
    Net EN = -3

    SO & PS
    2-1
    SO & PS = +1

    Net Goal Differential +12

  24. theDjdj says:

    Material Elvis: Bear and possibly Jones, too.

    Definitely Jones too. See his confidence rising as well.

  25. tileguy says:

    If you are still in a giddy mood read how this fella beleives Edmonton won the Larson Hall trade.
    https://thehockeywriters.com/devils-lost-larsson-hall-trade/

  26. OriginalPouzar says:

    Tippett says the Nuge injury is not expected to be serious but he will miss the game on Wed.

  27. Yegfoundation says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Is this baiting? No, the DSF one where he shows us the Oilers aren’t as good as whatever team is convenient at the moment.

  28. JimmyV1965 says:

    Hey HH. If I win the bet, you can make a donation to the Cross Cancer Institute. The Yotes are down, but they’re not out. Let me know who I should donate to if they pull it off.

  29. Reja says:

    Woodguy v2.0: This one?

    19/20
    EDM Goal Share after 26 games (16-7-3)

    Even strength (5v5,4v4,3v3)
    McDavid On Ice 32-22 (59%)
    McDavid Off Ice 25-32 (44%)
    Net EV = +3

    Sp. Teams (PP+SH For–PK+SH Against)
    24-13
    Net ST +11

    Empty Net
    2-5
    Net EN = -3

    SO & PS
    2-1
    SO & PS = +1

    Net Goal Differential +12

    Thank you. A top 10 PP and PK has to get us in the playoffs. I really believe with point magnet Bouchard QBing our PP that it’ll be even more deadlier if in fact that’s possible.

  30. Reja says:

    That was the most boring Grey Cup in years Hamilton shit the bed badly.

  31. geowal says:

    And still, Holland does nothing.
    Lol

  32. oilersfan says:

    James Neal has the same amount of goals as Gaudreau, Monahan, Lucic, Giordano and Jankowski put together. And for those of you who remember , Jankowski would be the best player in the 2012 draft.

    Turns out he has lasted a bit longer than Nail but it makes me feel better that he is pretty much a bust, too…

  33. oilersfan says:

    Does anybody know what is the injury to Yamamoto?

  34. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    oilersfan,

    Baertschi was mouthing off about how he’d be a better player than Yakupov. He might be right, but not by much.

    Jankowski has been an epic fail by the fLames from start to finish.

  35. flea says:

    Reja: Thank you. A top 10 PP and PK has to get us in the playoffs. I really believe with pointmagnet Bouchard QBing our PP that it’ll be even more deadlier if in fact that’s possible.

    Klefbom is underrated on that top unit. He’s an excellent passer, and he is so good at zone keeps. His positional play on the PP is sublime. He isn’t trying to rack up points, or score goals, which is why I think a lot of people want to see Bear or Bouchard back there. But how many scorers do you need when you have 29/97/18 down low? His role on that powerplay is important, and I don’t think an offensively minded D man back there necessarily makes things better.

  36. Reja says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    oilersfan,

    Baertschi was mouthing off about how he’d be a better player than Yakupov.He might be right, but not by much.

    Jankowski has been an epic fail by the fLames from start to finish.

    I betcha Tippett could utilize Jankowski after the deal for Kadri fell through the team chemistry went to shit. You think Brodie or Jankowski have been given a fair shake by Peters think again look how he wrote off Neal. Calgary’s stuck with Lucic sulking at the end of the bench for 3 1/2 more years.

  37. Munny says:

    Material Elvis: He and Verdad can both take a long walk and recalibrate. You watching the 9ers game?

    Just finished. Was avoiding here just in case.

  38. Suntory Hanzo says:

    Just watched the hilights as I was away all evening.

    Gags looks heavily involved. Still warms my heart he is back. Always cheered for the guy.

    Neal seemed much more involved. Love his scoring, but a lot of the time he looks like One Punch Mickey and is invisibvle save for a tasty snipe.

    Drai’s shootout reminded me of Steve Larmer from years past.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQnP2l3Jyhw

  39. Admiral Ackbar says:

    Two certain somebodies have gotten pretty quiet. Looks like their narratives don’t fit reality and their dissonance machines are working overtime to make sense of it all.

    Oilers got bottom 6 scoring this past weekend. Music!

  40. jp says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    oilersfan,

    Baertschi was mouthing off about how he’d be a better player than Yakupov.He might be right, but not by much.

    So did Daniil Zharkov..

  41. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    leadfarmer:
    Woodguy

    I assume you think the Neal contract was a big win for Calgary because how he’s playing for another team

    I showed you how every player that played a lot of minutes with him did better without him
    I showed you how he should have been 2nd or 3rd in time on ice and obviously the coach did not trust him with those minutes

    Good for Chayka for thinking he may get his game back in another situation

    You showed how his results were very similar to the rest of FLA’s dcorps as did I.

    No where did you show anything that supported your “his disaster season” posit.

    It wasn’t a disaster.

    You can say “not his best results”

    “The same and a bit better than Ekblad”

    “Wasn’t the best on the team”

    You can’t say “disaster” as it wasn’t close.

    A disaster season is one like Larsson had last year.

    I know I posted th results here, but it’s easier to find and link to this on Twitter:

    https://twitter.com/Woodguy55/status/1176667308053299200?s=09

  42. OriginalPouzar says:

    Reja: Thank you. A top 10 PP and PK has to get us in the playoffs. I really believe with pointmagnet Bouchard QBing our PP that it’ll be even more deadlier if in fact that’s possible.

    Bouchard currently struggling on the Condors PP – yesterday afternoon both Day and even Laggeson received PP1 time (in addition to Bouchard receiving some PP1 time).

    He’ll indeed be an NHL PP1 guy, of that I’m confident – it also seems like its a couple years away.

  43. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Last post on this subject.

    FLA’s Dmen TOI% vs Elites in 16/17
    Jason Demers 31.8
    Aaron Ekblad 31.7
    Alex Petrovic 31.7
    Michael Matheson 31.5
    Mark Pysyk 30.8
    Keith Yandle 30.7
    Jakub Kindl 26.2

    FLA’s Dmen Relative Team mate 5v5 Goals +/- per 60
    Player RelTM G±/60
    Keith Yandle 0.29
    Mark Pysyk 0.25
    Alex Petrovic 0.16
    Mike Matheson 0.1
    Jason Demers -0.15
    Aaron Ekblad -0.48
    Jakub Kindl -0.59

    FLA’s Dmen Relative Teammate 5v5 Expected Goals +/- per 60
    Mark Pysyk 0.15
    Jason Demers 0.03
    Alex Petrovic -0.02
    Mike Matheson -0.04
    Aaron Ekblad -0.04
    Keith Yandle -0.05
    Jakub Kindl -0.33

    There is simply no evidence of a “disaster season”

    My argument with you is your characterization of Demers’ 16/17 season.

    It wasn’t good, but it wasn’t even bad, just meh and not near a disaster.

    A disaster was Kindl’s -0.59 goals influence per 60 on his team mates.

    It looks like this one from last year:

    Player RelTM G±/60
    Matt Benning 1.02
    Kris Russell 0.51
    Andrej Sekera 0.19
    Darnell Nurse -0.01
    Oscar Klefbom -0.17
    Adam Larsson -0.74

  44. leadfarmer says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Ekblad had a disaster season as well, but he was 20 so that happens to young D.

    So no issues with Demers being lumped with Alex Petrovic
    Got it

    Saying hes not as bad as Kindl isnt a glowing endorsement

  45. oilersfan says:

    OP

    Any word on what is yamamoto’s injury and how long is he out

  46. hunter1909 says:

    Suntory Hanzo: Neal seemed much more involved. Love his scoring, but a lot of the time he looks like One Punch Mickey and is invisible save for a tasty snipe.

    You would have loved Todd Marchant.

  47. hunter1909 says:

    On the topic of ex-Oilers, does anyone else remember watching Laraque cycle the puck and think it was theoretically possible for him to be a top player?

  48. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    leadfarmer:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    Ekblad had a disaster season as well, but he was 20 so that happens to young D.

    So no issues with Demers being lumped with Alex Petrovic
    Got it

    Saying hes not as bad as Kindl isnt a glowing endorsement

    Both Pysyk and Petrovic had good seasons that year.

    You can’t use what a player is today to characterize their play 3 seasons ago.

    You’ll be happier if you just typed “yeah, I guess “disaster” was a bit strong” instead of digging deeper and deeper.

  49. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    hunter1909:
    On the topic of ex-Oilers, does anyone else remember watching Laraque cycle the puck and think it was theoretically possible for him to be a top player?

    No hands and not good enough on his edges for quick turns.

    Great in straight lines and beating the puck, boards and opponents square.

  50. leadfarmer says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    If your a vet and are brought in to be a stabilizing force for the young guys and you see your minutes being taken away and are given away very quickly is a sure sign of a disaster season
    James Neal is having a lot of success with the Oilers this year.
    Does not mean he did not have a disastrous season last year

    You cant use what a player is today?
    Arent you doing that with Demers

  51. OriginalPouzar says:

    oilersfan:
    OP

    Any word on what is yamamoto’s injury and how long is he out

    Nope, haven’t heard anything formal from Woody or Ryan Holt.

    Woodcroft will be on with Stauf early this week (well, he usually is), so hopefully we get an update.

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