2019-20 Game 31: Kings at Oilers

by Lowetide

The Edmonton Oilers continue a home stand this evening with the Los Angeles Kings in town. The teams have played twice previously this season, a 6-5 win for Edmonton in early October and a 5-1 hammering by Los Angeles November 21 in what was one of the more disappointing games by the Oilers so far this season.

I didn’t like the Klefbom-Larsson pairing in the game against Ottawa, it will be interesting to see if coach Dave Tippett flips the second and third pairings or backs off the workload for the Swedish pairing while keeping them together. Edmonton needs two reliable pairs. One of this year’s story lines so far surrounds Oscar Klefbom and a partner he can rhyme with every night. Klefbom is a helluva player, important to get that pairing set.

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. There is also a Christmas gift offer here.

  • New Lowetide: How many value contracts do the Oilers have and are any more on the way?
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Ken Holland responds to allegations that Mike Babcock mistreated players in Detroit
  • Jonathan Willis: How will Hart voters choose between Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl?
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: How the Oilers turned team defence from a weakness into a strength
  • Lowetide: Analyzing the Oilers’ latest roster shuffle and the defencemen involved
  • Lowetide: Oilers’ No. 4 prospect winter 2019: Tyler Benson
  • Minnia Feng: Unsolicited advice for the Oilers: Chinese proverbs edition
  • Jonathan Willis: Are the Oilers good now? Subtle changes add up to sustainable gain
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: How Mikko Koskinen is seizing his opportunity to take over the Oilers’ crease
  • Lowetide: Eight assets the Oilers could use to acquire Taylor Hall
  • Lowetide: Oilers No. 3 prospect winter 2019: Ethan Bear
  • Lowetide: Oilers’ No. 2 prospect winter 2019: Philip Broberg
  • Lowetide: Oilers’ No. 1 prospect winter 2019: Evan Bouchard

OILERS AFTER 31

  • Oilers in 201514-15-2, 30 points; goal differential -7
  • Oilers in 2016: 15-11-5, 35 points; goal differential +6
  • Oilers in 2017: 13-16-2, 28 points; goal differential -6
  • Oilers in 2018: 17-12-2, 36 points; goal differential +2
  • Oilers in 2019: 17-10-3, 37 points; goal differential +5

This year’s Oilers began the season 7-2-1, and are 10-8-2 since then. The team’s record is a little better than the goal differential suggests and that could be the current correction we’re seeing. A lot of people, including me, think this current home stand should see some wins.

OILERS IN DECEMBER

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

Oilers five on five goal differential (59-65) is 47.58, ranks them No. 23 overall. Overall the team is 91-88 (50.84), good for No. 14 according to NST after last night’s games. The win by the Arizona Coyotes puts Edmonton in second place in the Pacific Division, credit to the team for holding off the oncoming posse for several weeks.

WHAT TO EXPECT IN DECEMBER

  • On the road to: VAN (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 1-0-0)
  • At home to: OTT, LAK, BUF, CAR (Expected 2-1-1) (Actual 0-1-0)
  • On the road to: MIN (Expected 1-0-0)
  • At home to: TOR (Expected 0-1-0)
  • On the road to: DAL, STL (Expected 0-2-0)
  • At home to: PIT, MTL (Expected 1-1-0)
  • On the road to: VAN (Expected 0-0-1)
  • At home to: CAL, NYR (Expected 1-1-0)
  • Overall expected result: 6-6-2, 14 points in 14 games
  • Current results: 1-1-0, 2 points in 2 games

Oilers had an optional skate yesterday, so we won’t know about any changes in lines and pairings until this morning at practice. I think they’ll run Klefbom-Larsson again, the road game in Vancouver was a good one.

2019-20 OILERS

Today I want to look at pairings, via NST’s line tool. We have been talking about Oscar Klefbom this week, as he still doesn’t have a partner who rhymes. Here are the most used pairings this season and the five on five numbers:

  1. Nurse-Bear: 466 minutes, 50.98 Corsi; 50.30 Shots; 26-30 goals
  2. Klefbom-Russell: 145 minutes, 40.00 Corsi; 41.73 Shots; 3-3 goals
  3. Klefbom-Persson: 137 minutes, 46.64 Corsi; 42.55 Shots; 7-7 goals
  4. Klefbom-Jones: 93 minutes, 49.43 Corsi; 47.37 Shots; 4-7 goals.
  5. Klefbom-Larsson: 52 minutes, 45.71 Corsi; 48.00 Shots; 1-6 goals.
  6. Russell-Larsson: 47 minutes, 49.38 Corsi; 44.74 shots; 0-0 goals.

Jones has more speed than the other options for Klefbom’s partner, but he’s a lefty. I think they’ll go with Larsson in hopes the two men can find the chemistry we’ve seen in the past. The Nurse-Bear duo has been stellar, perhaps Tippett will need to rely on that pairing even more.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning we have a busy docket on TSN1260. Steve Lansky is batting leadoff and we’ll chat about the Oilers, Leafs and television production on location (and difficulties/hilarious moments). Matthew Iwanyk returns from his unnecessary time off to talk about the Oil and Jason Maas accepting a job in enemy territory. Daniel Nugent-Bowman from The Athletic will pop in at 11:25 to talk about the Oilers this week and the Ken Holland avail a couple of days ago. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!

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hunter1909

Munny: You would’ve hated Fuhr. (Bad goal a game)
Then again. many did.

Oilers were a 5+ goal a game team. They were the NHL equivalent of facing a tornado for the opposition.

Holland will get the team up and running big time by next season but this year we need to be patient lol as if that’s ever going to happen.

godot10

Munny: I feel like Godot probably has a theory…

#TMacAttack

1) Play Rickibox defense against the volume shooting Corsi gamer. (Russell Larsson) Rope-a-dope.

2) The Oilers almost never lose when Persson is in the lineup. I think he brings out the good Klefbom. And even though Persson is meh. Good Klefbom floats the Oilers boat. Klefbom doesn’t have the opportunity to make bad decisions when he is taking care of his partner. Klefbom is a soft to middle minute killer and difference maker.

Munny

OriginalPouzar: because you aren’t paying attention?

I’ve done nothing but commend him all season long except for last game. In fact, I was one of the more optimistic on Koski since mid-July.

He was fantastic for the most part tonight and I gave him Kudos like 6 times in this very thread.

At the same time, he failed to catch a grade B shot off his glove on the called back goal and was directly culpable if it would have counted. Almost identical situation on the goal that did count.

He was very important in the win tonight and I give him kudos for that.

At the same time, he made the same big mistake three times and twice the puck ended up in his net – I’m sure him and Dusty will work on that tomorrow.

You would’ve hated Fuhr. (Bad goal a game)

Then again. many did.

The Fuhr/Moog controversy was a thing once.

Kind of like arguments over which was the best Beatle. (Although that was a far more serious argument, in the day)

Munny

v4ance: may cost us a game one day.

Goaltending will certainly cost us a game this year. It already has. Will again. But it does to all teams. The question is how few and how far between?

They’re key to the game plan no doubt. Many a team has made it to the playoffs on special teams and goalies that kept them in the game at 5v5. But need to get that goaltending.

v4ance

I was wondering why Gene wasn’t on the broadcast but apparently his mom passed. I doubt he posts here under a nom de guerre but if he does, my deepest condolences.

leadfarmer

OriginalPouzar,

Called back goals, posts, and across the crease pucks don’t count
The one goal that went in he was moving his glove to get the puck and bounced of his glove
Many goalies that people have thought were awesome like Vasilevskyi Murray Bob
Are absolutely shitting the bed right night
We shouldn’t expect him to be perfect. He just needs to be good enough

Munny

Pouzar:
Kings are 4th in Corgis and xGF%.
They looked it tonight.

I feel like Godot probably has a theory…

#TMacAttack

Johnny skid

v4ance: Despite the win, i prefer to be realistic about my team’s performance.

Koskinen was barely good enough tonight.If the first goal wasn’t offside by a few inches, then we’re staring at an OT point and possible loss instead of the 2 pt regulation win.

We’re extremely lucky that Koskinen is currently covering the foolish contract that Chiarelli gifted him.

i’m thankful the coach doesn’t feel the same way you do.

v4ance

Johnny skid: this team is incredibly lucky to havegoaltenders likekoskinen and smith, who are abig part of the reason why this team iswhere they are in the standing even with theperceived weakness that you mentioned.

Despite the win, i prefer to be realistic about my team’s performance.

Koskinen was barely good enough tonight. If the first goal wasn’t offside by a few inches, then we’re staring at an OT point and possible loss instead of the 2 pt regulation win.

We’re extremely lucky that Koskinen is currently covering the foolish contract that Chiarelli gifted him.

Johnny skid

v4ance: No but as Original Pouzar and I have pointed out, those whiffs with the glove hand are mistakes that are being repeated.That should be correctable but it’s a flaw in his game right now that is causing unnecessary chances against.

It only cost one goal against tonight but it may cost us a game one day.

this team is incredibly lucky to have goaltenders like koskinen and smith, who are a big part of the reason why this team is where they are in the standing even with the perceived weakness that you mentioned.

v4ance

Johnny skid: do you know of any goaltenders that never make mistakes?

No but as Original Pouzar and I have pointed out, those whiffs with the glove hand are mistakes that are being repeated. That should be correctable but it’s a flaw in his game right now that is causing unnecessary chances against.

It only cost one goal against tonight but it may cost us a game one day.

OriginalPouzar

vance:
Also, even though he got the win, Koskinen is scaring me with his glove hand. He’s just not catching the puck cleanly.That led directly to the lone goal since he thought he had it but it dribbled free.

It also let to the called-back goal – easy catch that he couldn’t and batted it with his glove right in to the slot for the King. There was also a third that he couldn’t catch but it didn’t end up behind him.

Other than those near identical mistakes, he was sensational tonight and i’m sure he and Schwartz will talk about why it happened three times tonight.

Pescador

Pouzar: I missed the entire 1st period. Doing some stuff around the house thinking it was a later start. Sigh.

There’s this new techmology thing called pvr, perfect for fathers of young children,changed my life.
Hope that helps

Rich M

Ryan,

Makes sense. Probably having another round with his brother, Peter Chiarelli.

Sierra

Pouzar:
Kings No Name guys are a lot faster than ours.

Yes they are. We say this a lot.

Johnny skid

v4ance:
Also, even though he got the win, Koskinen is scaring me with his glove hand. He’s just not catching the puck cleanly.That led directly to the lone goal since he thought he had it but it dribbled free.

do you know of any goaltenders that never make mistakes?

v4ance

Also, even though he got the win, Koskinen is scaring me with his glove hand. He’s just not catching the puck cleanly. That led directly to the lone goal since he thought he had it but it dribbled free.

gogliano

This team is paper thin when healthy, losing Kass & RNH is killing them.

OriginalPouzar

leadfarmer: I don’t know why your so hard on the guy.

because you aren’t paying attention?

I’ve done nothing but commend him all season long except for last game. In fact, I was one of the more optimistic on Koski since mid-July.

He was fantastic for the most part tonight and I gave him Kudos like 6 times in this very thread.

At the same time, he failed to catch a grade B shot off his glove on the called back goal and was directly culpable if it would have counted. Almost identical situation on the goal that did count.

He was very important in the win tonight and I give him kudos for that.

At the same time, he made the same big mistake three times and twice the puck ended up in his net – I’m sure him and Dusty will work on that tomorrow.

Ryan

Rich M:
Am I missing something?

Oilers win!

Where’s Verdad?

Maybe Verdad is getting reloaded or just loaded, perhaps.

v4ance

We rode the early season formula to the win.

Step 1) Win Special teams battle: 2 PP goals, clean sheet on PK
Step 2) Get above average goaltending: Kosikinen 35 saves on 36 shots
Step 3) Defend; bend don’t break: Done

By the way, I think that’s the 4th game in a row we had a chance to score an empty net goal and whiffed.

We will never score on an empty net ever again. The opposing team should just pull their goalie all game and we might never score!

Pouzar

Kings are 4th in Corgis and xGF%.
They looked it tonight.

flyfish1168

Sheahan not very good on the dot tonight

tcho

Rich M,

Oilers are terrible. Holland does nothing. The entire staff should be fired. Trade McDavid for OEL yesterday. Etc.

Rich M

Am I missing something?

Oilers win!

Where’s Verdad?

Fuhr and Lowething in Vegreville

Weird observation for the night….4 out of 5 NHL games tonight the winning team scored two goals, and as of the writing of this post the Caps are up 2-1 at the end of the second. Keep it so Caps, keep it so!

Pouzar

Munny: Well its kind of what they did, isn’t it?

The first half of the game is a bit of a blur for me because I got talked into playing the Shaw Fireplace Drinking Game (note to self: never do this again)

But I didn’t hate what I saw.

I missed the entire 1st period. Doing some stuff around the house thinking it was a later start. Sigh.

Munny

Pouzar:
What an ugly frickin game.

First Place. Just win.

Well its kind of what they did, isn’t it?

The first half of the game is a bit of a blur for me because I got talked into playing the Shaw Fireplace Drinking Game (note to self: never do this again)

But I didn’t hate what I saw thereafter.

I think the coach asked them to “show me a game with safe puck management.”

who

Woodguy v2.0: Re-read the game thread and thread the day after the OTT game.

Lots of people didn’t like Klef’s game.

Your characterization is incorrect if you’re referring to the posters in the comment section, which is my assumption.

I dunno.
Seems to me the thread we are on started with lots of talk about trading Larsson or moving him to 3rd pair based on his performance with Klefbom in the last few games.
Larsson hasn’t been blameless either, but I think the majority of the big mistakes have been Klefboms.

drglen:
It did seem that larsoon russel got lot s of ice that period.interesting.

That’s because Klefbom and Persson are now the 3rd pairing. And they scare the hell out of me.
Everybodys blaming Koskinen and Gagner for that goal that was called back but rewind it a little.
That was a 2 on 2 at the blueline. Klefbom got beat so bad to the middle he couldn’t even get a stick on the shooter. Persson didn’t know who to cover so he covered no one. But let’s blame the backchecker and the goalie?
If I’m backchecking on a 2 on 2 I’m looking for the trailer.
Kinda funny actually. Cause Gagner followed the forward right to the net and left his point wide open on the actual Kings goal.

Reja

Pouzar:
What an ugly frickin game.

First Place. Just win.

Winning ugly just like the 1983 White Sox.

Ryan

Pouzar:
wut

Mark Spector
@SportsnetSpec
·
2m
When the team hunting you down is the Arizona Coyotes, you’d better learn how to win tight, dull games.
Oilers do just that with a 2-1 win over Kings, while ‘Yotes lose 1-0 at PIT.

I’m pretty sure that the universe is trolling DSF.

Johnny skid

hunter1909: Actually when they’re down by 2 or 3 goals in the 1st period there is a case that they need more.

yep, more goals.

Younger Oil

Kind of funny how the one Oil King we didn’t draft (Jarry) is looking to be the best one so far.

hunter1909

tileguy:
Is there any doubt that the Oil have a #1 goalie and a backup?

Actually when they’re down by 2 or 3 goals in the 1st period there is a case that they need more.

hunter1909

As soon as ESPN replaces Oilers atop the Pacific I’ll bravely head over there to see if it makes me feel any better about this fragile team.

Pouzar

wut

Mark Spector
@SportsnetSpec
·
2m
When the team hunting you down is the Arizona Coyotes, you’d better learn how to win tight, dull games.
Oilers do just that with a 2-1 win over Kings, while ‘Yotes lose 1-0 at PIT.

tileguy

Is there any doubt that the Oil have a #1 goalie and a backup?

tcho

Pouzar,

Tried to lose to the 29th place team in the league (for the second time this year), just couldn’t quite pull it off.

Munny

flyfish1168:
We will never be able to score on an open net

Damn good try, sir.

Pouzar

What an ugly frickin game.

First Place. Just win.

Munny

SK Oiler Fan:
Have lost every face off this period then chase the rest of the shift

They won the only two face offs after the last commercial break

leadfarmer

OriginalPouzar:
Damn, Mikko has been so good but that’s the third shot that’s popped out of his glove and two of them have ended up in the net.

That cannot continue….

I don’t know why your so hard on the guy.

OriginalPouzar

Oiler first in the Pacific Division – even games played.

drglen

Jeeses nurse the game was on your stick? !!1

Munny

OHHHHHH KOSKI!!

flyfish1168

We will never be able to score on an open net

SK Oiler Fan

Have lost every face off this period then chase the rest of the shift

Munny

Oh Darnell

Munny

Oh Archie

Munny

Oh PRusty