2019-20 Game 34: Oilers at Wild

Zack Kassian is exactly the kind of player who is better in his 30’s than his 20’s. He had maturity issues, he ran through a couple careers and arrived in YEG as his last chance Texaco. Anyone breathing should wish they took advantage of an opportunity as well as Kassian, who is one of the true feel good stories on this Oilers team. His career high in goals is 15, he has 11 today. Zack Kassian is on his way to 20+ goals. Amazing.

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: Five loud noises Ken Holland could make to help the Oilers immediately
  • Lowetide: Complete Oilers top 20 prospects list, winter 2019
  • Jonathan Willis: Oilers recall Caleb Jones, one of their most plausible trade chips
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘These games are not coming back’: Oilers lament frustrating week at home
  • Jonathan Willis: Dave Tippett rewarded for his bets on the resilience of Mikko Koskinen, Oilers
  • 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: Eight assets the Oilers could use to acquire Taylor Hall
  • Lowetide: Oilers’ No. 5 prospect, Winter 2019 — Raphael Lavoie
  • Lowetide: Oilers’ No. 4 prospect winter 2019: Tyler Benson
  • 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 34 GAMES

  • Oilers in 2015: 14-18-2, 30 points; goal differential -17
  • Oilers in 2016: 17-12-5, 39 points; goal differential +5
  • Oilers in 2017: 15-17-2, 32 points; goal differential -8
  • Oilers in 2018: 18-13-3, 39 points; goal differential +3
  • Oilers in 2019: 18-11-4, 40 points; goal differential +2

Edmonton remains in a good spot, as it has been since the opening night of the season. I haven’t written about the Donner party, Long Decembers, Nadir’s Raiders and haven’t written melancholy about Bonnie Raitt, Gordon Lightfoot or told stories about the brilliance of Cindy Walker or Jackie DeShannon. It’s been a very good year. So far.

OILERS IN DECEMBER

  • Oilers in December 2015: 6-0-0, 12 points; goal differential +7
  • Oilers in December 2016: 2-1-3, seven points; goal differential +1
  • Oilers in December 2017: 3-3-0, six points; goal differential +4
  • Oilers in December 2018: 5-1-0, 10 points; goal differential +7
  • Oilers in December 2019: 2-2-1, five points; goal differential -5

Last year, after the team won to run their December record to 5-1-0, I wrote “Nothing to criticize this December, the record is outstanding. Hitchcock is pulling out all of the stops (he ran with 10 forwards and 5 defensemen last night, that’s 1971-style) and still won the two points.” Things were going well.  

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 1-2-1)
  • 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: 2-2-1, 5 points in 5 games

I have tonight as a win, although Minnesota has been fire recently and this will be a difficult game for Edmonton. The next several games are tough, Edmonton looks out of time and out of touch. They have looked this way before and found a way to tighten up. Tonight will be a big test.

OILERS 2019-20

Oscar Klefbom is bleeding five on five since getting hurt and I’m not certain Dave Tippett has the option of resting him. One thing to watch for tonight is usage, and I do think we might be reaching the point where Edmonton dresses seven defensemen in a game.

CONDORS 2019-20

Kailer Yamamoto had a strong game last night, going 1-1-2 and looking dangerous all night long. Wilde’s and OP’s updates in the comments section of last night’s post are most worthwhile.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN1260, it’s a rocking show. At 10:20, Simon Boisvert, our prospect insider, tells us who is NHL-ready among the Bakersfield Condors. We’ll also talk 2020 draft. Frank Seravalli from TSN will pop in after 11 with the latest news, heaving on coaching changes and maybe a couple of trade rumors as well. Sarah McLellan from Star Trib in Minneapolis will preview the Wild at 11:25. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!

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364 Responses to "2019-20 Game 34: Oilers at Wild"

« Older Comments
  1. OriginalPouzar says:

    Now, no shots against…..

  2. Lowetide says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Not like I’m one to talk but, LT, didn’t you offer a kind warning not two days agao about the all but cut and paste repeat posting that we are currently seeing?

    Can you be specific?

  3. Paulie says:

    Well, Drai looked good there!

  4. OriginalPouzar says:

    Smith just can’t make a save, even on a grade B chance.

  5. jp says:

    Oooh, that was ugly. Time for Koskinen I’d say. Not sure Tippett agrees…

  6. leadfarmer says:

    How is Smith still in net

  7. OriginalPouzar says:

    I guess that was a grade A chance, but, still, make a save.

  8. Ryan says:

    Smith beat like a rented mule.

  9. Harpers Hair says:

    McDavid floating in the D zone…now -2

  10. geowal says:

    Nice shot. But I’m on board the Smith is terrible train.

  11. jp says:

    geowal:
    Out of curiosity, how come the team canada cuts are coming in dribs and drabs?

    It’s like a beauty pageant… 26th runner up: Dylan Holloway

  12. Durag says:

    Um, is the Mike Smith experiment over?

  13. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lowetide: Can you be specific?

    Verad

  14. Oil2Oilers says:

    Smith has a past, a long long past. It tells us he is no longer an NHL 1B goalie and is suspect as a a competent back up.

  15. Lowetide says:

    OriginalPouzar: Verad

    I deleted one, let the other one stand.

  16. jp says:

    Refs letting the Wild hold sticks. 2X on that shift.

  17. OriginalPouzar says:

    Ya, Smith is unplayable right now.

    Just can’t make any save right now.

  18. geowal says:

    geowal:
    Nice shot. But I’m on board the Smith is terrible train.

    Next stop, Bakersfield.

  19. Ryan says:

    4 goals 11 shots.

  20. leadfarmer says:

    Damn Smith
    I’ll take Talbot back

  21. gogliano says:

    That was some lazy ass shit.

  22. Harpers Hair says:

    Harpers Hair:
    McDavid floating in the D zone…now -2

    -3

  23. jp says:

    Smith’s a battler though.

    I don’t understand why Tippett doesn’t pull him at this point (not that the goal was on him, but most of these were saveable shots).

  24. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lowetide: I deleted one, let the other one stand.

    Fair enough – I think we both know what’s going to come.

  25. StixMalone says:

    Pull Smith now Tippett…..

  26. Scungilli Slushy says:

    What was the expression, fire into sun? Should be added to the lexicon.

  27. teddyturnbuckle says:

    Soon as Tippet put that top line together again they have been scored on every shift

  28. steelymac17 says:

    Tippet will only stay loyal so long.At some point he will have too cut bait.Time to go 4 koski 1 Smith

  29. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    So oilers are back to having no goalies that can stop pucks. The winning formula is indeed broken.

  30. Harpers Hair says:

    teddyturnbuckle:
    Soon as Tippet put that top line together again they have been scored on every shift

    Cheating for offence and zero back check.

  31. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    jp,

    Entirely possible. He’s been playing the rocking chair pass or off the glass and out for so long it may be a hard habit to break. I’ve seen him headman the puck effectively, and wonder why he’s not making those passes more often under Playfair’s system that emphasizes up the middle breakouts.

  32. jtblack says:

    Tippett sigh.

    Now I know what TMac and Hitch were dealing with.

  33. Sierra says:

    Just got home from the office. 4 goals against already, on 13 shots. Doesn’t look good again.

  34. OriginalPouzar says:

    Great job Darnell – all period.

  35. Paulie says:

    You do not want to tussle with Nurse.

  36. Sierra says:

    Harpers Hair: Cheating for offence and zero back check.

    Spot on.

  37. nelson88 says:

    Love that response by Darnell.

  38. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Time for a backup bcs the farm doesn’t have someone.

    Smith seems on last year’s roll, tres horrible reg season and perhaps hot in playoffs.

    But if they keep playing him now he may not get the chance.

    Sometimes I feel bad for players, I think now do your freaking job or go.

    At the moment only Connor and Leo are safe for me. Too much inconsistency from too many. Not having help is a thing, but being a part of the solution is also a thing.

    Time for some big boy drive to kick in for a few of these fellows.

    Holland intimated he saw this coming when responding to questions about trades.

    I’d gut the thing if possible ASAP. Clean all marginal players out for others or prospects, as much as the system can handle.

  39. OriginalPouzar says:

    geowal: Next stop, Bakersfield.

    Unfortunately, Starrett has played 3 games this year – all well but he has been hurt.

    Could be back (again) this weekend though.

  40. leadfarmer says:

    Sierra: Spot on.

    Why you don’t play a forward 25 min a game.

  41. nelson88 says:

    Greenway should be in concussion protocol

  42. OriginalPouzar says:

    jp:
    Smith’s a battler though.

    I don’t understand why Tippett doesn’t pull him at this point (not that the goal was on him, but most of these were saveable shots).

    Clearly trying to ensure Koskinen is rested for Saturday as he’s going to be playing at least the next two, potentially a run of a few more.

  43. jtblack says:

    Paulie:
    At the game tonight. Here’s what I’ve seen.

    1. McDavid nice play to set up Kass early in period. Quiet otherwise.

    2. Neal really, really lumbers around out there.

    3. Smith doesn’t inspire much coincidence.

    4. Drai looks off. Slower than I’d expected. Tired? Injured?

    5. Nurse does a good job catching guys who get a step on him. Wish it didn’t happen quite so often.

    6. Bear struggling on some reads.

    7. On the bright side, didn’t see Haas get knocked over.

    What else you seeing?
    Hows the rink in Minny?

  44. Sierra says:

    leadfarmer: Why you don’t play a forward 25 min a game.

    What does that have to do with choosing not to backcheck hard consistently or flying the zone too early?

  45. OriginalPouzar says:

    A late PP goal would be nice.

  46. who says:

    godot10: His is going to be 30 and is still unreliable as evidenced by him grabbing the goaltender’s mask in the last game.

    Two years max at $3 million per season max. Otherwise pass.

    His goals, like Maroon’s, are not his own.

    I would give Kassian a 3 year contract for 3 million.
    Of course he’s getting the McDavid bump. Who wouldn’t.
    But I think he’s proven he can play with skill.
    Yeah he took a meathead penalty last game, but he has cut way down on those.
    And let’s stop comparing him to Maroon or Lucic. If people can’t see the huge difference in skating ability then they really shouldn’t be commenting on a hockey blog.
    The difference is real. And it’s spectacular.

  47. godot10 says:

    Harpers Hair:
    McDavid floating in the D zone…now -2

    Kassian doesn’t feel the need to backcheck, which is a job requirement for playing with McDavid. Kurri backchecked for Wayne. And yet people want to pay this unreliable player for goals he gets as a placeholder. He’s 30 about to cliff dive, and is unreliable and not devoted to all the responsibilities of the position.

  48. jtblack says:

    Larsson to Russell. possession lost

    shocker

  49. StixMalone says:

    Why is Neal out there 4 on 4?????

  50. leadfarmer says:

    Sierra: What does that have to do with choosing not to backcheck hard consistently or flying the zone too early?

    You can’t give 100% on every shift and in every section of the ice when you play that much

  51. geowal says:

    OriginalPouzar: Unfortunately, Starrett has played 3 games this year – all well but he has been hurt.

    Could be back (again) this weekend though.

    I’ll give Garrett Sparks a spin at this point.

  52. Sierra says:

    godot10: Kassian doesn’t feel the need to backcheck, which is a job requirement for playing with McDavid.

    Funny, this is what you wrote yesterday

    godot10: Most of Draisaitl’s minues are Klefbom’s, McDavid’s, or Kassian’s fault.

  53. jtblack says:

    StixMalone:
    Why is Neal out there 4 on 4?????

    Speed

  54. Lowetide says:

    After Two:

    4-2 Minnesota (2-1 Wild in the second)
    19-17 Edmonton shots
    35-32 Edmonton Corsi five on five (17-14 in the second)

    ==

    Goalie. two-on-one breaks. There ARE good things here but the Oilers are making so many mistakes even if they get it back to 4-4 you can’t trust them.

  55. Ryan says:

    godot10: Kassian doesn’t feel the need to backcheck, which is a job requirement for playing with McDavid.Kurri backchecked for Wayne.And yet people want to pay this unreliable player for goals he gets as a placeholder.He’s 30 about to cliff dive, and is unreliable and not devoted to all the responsibilities of the position.

    As far as we know, the Oilers don’t have an analytics team let alone a Tulsky or DTMAboutheart guy to provide advice.

    Frak, I’m a guy blogging at Lowetide,ca on an Ipad on my couch, and even I knew the Chaser contract was a fail when they signed it.

    The fact that Holland signed the Chaser contract suggests we should be terrified of the next a Kassian contract.

  56. jp says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    jp,

    Entirely possible.He’s been playing the rocking chair pass or off the glass and out for so long it may be a hard habit to break.I’ve seen him headman the puck effectively, and wonder why he’s not making those passes more often under Playfair’s system that emphasizes up the middle breakouts.

    We know he can do it, yeah. Maybe doing it consistently isn’t trivial though (we’ve seen Cave make sick breakaway moves too, but..). Skillset aside I guess adjusting to the new system is basically changing his internal go/no-go risk setting. Doubly difficult when he’s chasing the game after missing the first quarter of the season. Hope it all comes together, we sure could use him at the top of his game (and even with a new dimension).

  57. godot10 says:

    Sierra: Funny, this is what you wrote yesterday

    Draisaitl does more backchecking than the other two.

    Kassian job is to backcheck for two, but he doesn’t even backcheck for one/himself. He doesn’t PK.

    So he really is an aging bottom six winger who doesn’t PK, and is barely mediocre defensively.

    Why would one pay him?

  58. SVR says:

    Sierra: Spot on.

    Don’t get why he put them back together. We tie up the game on the power play and are at least competitive, if not carrying the play mostly. No need to change the line imo. Of course, if your goalie can’t stop a beach ball, it doesn’t much matter how you set your lines

  59. jtblack says:

    jp: We know he can do it, yeah. Maybe doing it consistently isn’t trivial though (we’ve seen Cave make sick breakaway moves too, but..). Skillset aside I guess adjusting to the new system is basically changing his internal go/no-go risk setting. Doubly difficult when he’s chasing the game after missing the first quarter of the season. Hope it all comes together, we sure could use him at the top of his game (and even with a new dimension).

    “We know he can do it, ”

    What can he do ?

  60. Paulie says:

    jtblack,

    Decent ice. Puck not jumping around too much.

    Smith can’t make a save to save his life.

    Nurse looked pissed throughout the second. He had words with Greenway in the first. Greenway should avoid 25 in 3rd.

    Drai sagged visibly on bench after 4th goal.

    They haven’t really tested Wild goalie tonight.

    McDavid has cheated for offense. Drai has been forcing passes. Easy to fault them but at same time they must feel enormous pressure for providing ofense.

    Klefbom has done a good job activating at several points.

    I’m thinking that early season Smith heater + Neal heater + unsustainable special teams covered up a lot. PP is very good, but I doubt they score at 32% rest of year. PK will regress as well, esp. with goalies coming back to earth.

  61. jtblack says:

    Paulie:
    jtblack,

    Decent ice. Puck not jumping around too much.

    Smith can’t make a save to save his life.

    Nurse looked pissed throughout the second. He had words with Greenway in the first. Greenway should avoid 25 in 3rd.

    Drai sagged visibly on bench after 4th goal.

    They haven’t really tested Wild goalie tonight.

    McDavid has cheated for offense. Drai has been forcing passes. Easy to fault them but at same time they must feel enormous pressure for providing ofense.

    Klefbom has done a good job activating at several points.

    I’m thinking that early season Smith heater + Neal heater + unsustainable special teams covered up a lot. PP is very good, but I doubt they score at 32% rest of year. PK will regress as well, esp. with goalies coming back to earth.

    Thx for the Update !

  62. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    The best part about this descent is that it’s just in time for this team to get destroyed by the leafs on national television on Saturday.

  63. Paulie says:

    More team speed this yr with 10 15 91 but not more talented

  64. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar: Clearly trying to ensure Koskinen is rested for Saturday as he’s going to be playing at least the next two, potentially a run of a few more.

    Fair enough.

    It’s a damn shame Starrett hasn’t been healthy this year. Would be good to at least have an internal option available.

  65. Paulie says:

    Greenway with a death wish.

  66. jp says:

    jtblack: “We know he can do it, ”

    What can he do ?

    Make decent headman passes.

  67. flyfish1168 says:

    Paulie:
    Greenway with a death wish.

    He didn’t want to go a 2nd round

  68. BONE207 says:

    CONNOR doing some high intensity back checking. Good to see

  69. Paulie says:

    flyfish1168,

    Not at all.

  70. jp says:

    European showtime!!!

    And depth scoring!

    And Larsson!

    Edit: Beauty tip

  71. OriginalPouzar says:

    Nice deflection goal by Haas (after he won the faceoff and the line did a good job on puck retrieval).

    Damn – Neal misses a clear breakaway seconds later.

  72. BONE207 says:

    Woohoo…burning down the Haas

  73. teddyturnbuckle says:

    That the first time I’ve seen Larsson put the puck on net all year!

  74. flyfish1168 says:

    I can’t believe I’m actually cheering for the leafs

  75. StixMalone says:

    Avacado gets a goal!!!

  76. Paulie says:

    I insult Drai, he scores. I insult Haas, he scores. McDavid’s a bum, I tell ya.

  77. jtblack says:

    jp: Make decent headman passes.

    After 8 NHL seasons Larsson has never scored more than 4 Goals or 25 points.

    As LT has said. You develope a past

  78. OriginalPouzar says:

    That was a hell of a stretch pass by Klef to send Neal in all alone.

  79. geowal says:

    Changed channel: goal. You’re welcome.

  80. BONE207 says:

    Paulie:
    I insult Drai, he scores. I insult Haas, he scores. McDavid’s a bum, I tell ya.

    Tear Smith a new one!!!

  81. nelson88 says:

    Too bad about the goalering tonight as the oilers haven’t played badly. Love how the D are not only activating but shooting from the point rather than looking for a perfect play

  82. Sierra says:

    What a pass by Bear. Beauty goal

  83. Paulie says:

    Called it.

  84. jp says:

    McDavid!!

    Edit: gorgeous pass by Bear

  85. geowal says:

    Paulie:
    I insult Drai, he scores. I insult Haas, he scores. McDavid’s a bum, I tell ya.

    Getting spooky. Who’s next?

  86. OriginalPouzar says:

    Great shift – great play by Drai on the wall, great play by Nurse, unreal pass by Bear and super quick release by McDavid.

  87. BONE207 says:

    CONNOR

  88. leadfarmer says:

    McCheats for offense!!!!

  89. Sierra says:

    Paulie:
    I insult Drai, he scores. I insult Haas, he scores. McDavid’s a bum, I tell ya.

    You win the Internet today!

  90. teddyturnbuckle says:

    Ok Smith you better get us to overtime

  91. Paulie says:

    geowal,

    Nuge hasn’t shown much tonight.

  92. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    leadfarmer:
    McCheats for offense!!!!

    LoL

  93. BONE207 says:

    Paulie:
    geowal,

    Nuge hasn’t shown much tonight.

    Hey…stick to Smith

  94. Paulie says:

    BONE207,

    Got it covered. Insulted him twice already in 1st and 2nd period recaps.

  95. geowal says:

    BONE207: Hey…stick to Smith

    Play for the win, not the tie!

  96. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    Total fucking laziness in their own end.

  97. StixMalone says:

    Great……

  98. flyfish1168 says:

    Talbot > Smith

  99. jp says:

    That hurts bad. Damn.

    I think this has taken a lot of Smith’s remaining rope.

  100. geowal says:

    Sigh

  101. Sierra says:

    Poor turnover in the neutral zone, puck back into D zone, shitty zone coverage. So many mistakes.

  102. leadfarmer says:

    I would really like to here from Tippett why he didn’t pull Smith after 3 goals

  103. theDjdj says:

    Smith has just not been good enough. Neal needs to tell him to make a fucking save again

  104. Paulie says:

    Sorry.

  105. jtblack says:

    Smith rocking a .775 SV%

    DAMMIT

  106. StixMalone says:

    Pathetic….

  107. theDjdj says:

    you cant win games when goalies give up two goals like that. Team has been poor but your goalie has to stop those.

  108. BONE207 says:

    geowal: Play for the win, not the tie!

    I would be happy with a bettman. No chance now

  109. leadfarmer says:

    jp:
    That hurts bad. Damn.

    I think this has taken a lot of Smith’s remaining rope.

    Nah him and Tip are buddies
    It’s been clear he should have been sat for a while a few games ago

  110. Sierra says:

    Sierra:
    Poor turnover in the neutral zone, puck back into D zone, shitty zone coverage.So many mistakes.

    And again.

  111. teddyturnbuckle says:

    Time for a new goalie Holland.

  112. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    Twice in a row, the oilers battle back to tie, and proceed to shit the bed.

  113. Sierra says:

    theDjdj:
    you cant win games when goalies give up two goals like that. Team has been poor but your goalie has to stop those.

    You can’t win games when continually turning the puck over just outside your blue line and when your coverage in your own zone is shit.

  114. Durag says:

    I’m not going to say we won’t be in a playoff spot in 2020, but it might be in October.

  115. BONE207 says:

    Crazy Pedestrian:
    Twice in a row, the oilers battle back to tie, and proceed to shit the bed.

    They should watch the fLames videos.

  116. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    jtblack:
    Smith rocking a .775 SV%

    DAMMIT

    Yep… absolutely no confidence in this team to make the playoffs anymore.

  117. BONE207 says:

    Durag:
    I’m not going to say we won’t be in a playoff spot in 2020, but it might be in October.

    Astute observation my man.

  118. StixMalone says:

    Skid row…..

  119. hags9k says:

    Some good urgency in some of those shifts in the 3rd. Too bad they don’t play like that until they are down a pair.

  120. oilersfan says:

    Awful performance by smith

    Goalies have cost us a few of these losses lately

  121. verdad2.0 says:

    Do both
    Smith tonight
    No rational argument Against it

  122. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    Not many games where you score 5 and still lose in reg.

    Arizona takes over first tonight barring an epic collapse of oilers proportions. Veg. Lost and flames losing 2-1 right now. Best we can hope for is the rest of the pacific teams lose

  123. Ryan says:

    The price just went up.

    Now we have to trade for Pageau and Nilsson in a package with Gagner and Manning going the other way to make the cap work.

  124. hags9k says:

    How many games have we won when our goalie isn’t one of the 3 stars?

  125. JimmyV1965 says:

    Well. We won’t win many games with that kinda goaltending. Koskinen allowed six the other night and played well. Not so much with Smith tonight.

  126. geowal says:

    Oilers PK was great tonight.

  127. steelymac17 says:

    I have watched every Tippet post game and admire his honesty.He better call a spade a spade on this one and accept he fucked up mot pulling Smith.The team fights back multiple times.Thats what destroys chemistry.

  128. Bling says:

    Lowetide:
    After Two:

    4-2 Minnesota (2-1 Wild in the second)
    19-17 Edmonton shots
    35-32 Edmonton Corsi five on five (17-14 in the second)

    ==

    Goalie. two-on-one breaks. There ARE good things here but the Oilers are making so many mistakes even if they get it back to 4-4 you can’t trust them.

    That was prescient.

  129. BONE207 says:

    Ok then…so much for miracles.

  130. Ryan says:

    steelymac17:
    I have watched every Tippet post game and admire his honesty.He better call a spade a spade on this oneand accept he fucked up mot pulling Smith.The team fights back multiple times.Thats what destroys chemistry.

    Yeah, it was a mistake.

    The first mistake was Holland signing Smith.

    I’m a Tippet fan, but other than trying to get Smith to hit his games played bonuses what on earth is he doing playing him so much?

  131. StixMalone says:

    Calgary up by 2 now….

  132. BONE207 says:

    Ryan: Yeah, it was a mistake.

    The first mistake was Holland signing Smith.

    I’m a Tippet fan, but other than trying to get Smith to hit his games played bonuses what on earth is he doing playing him so much?

    Maybe he knows something about Koski not able to go. At the risk of sounding ageist, this goalie tandem is a risk from the start. I hope we can jettison them cleanly when the hulk of these 2 goalies rusts out.

  133. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    jp,

    Reminds me of when Yawney took over the D-corps as the latest D-Whisperer. Initially, we saw material improvements in KRusty’s game which then reverted back to the same ol’, same ol’. (To be fair to Kris, his puck movement has been better this year than previous years.)

    Hopefully Adam is still young enough to learn some new tricks, and before his contract year. Whether he’s a long term part of the core or not. He’s valuable here, but if he’s destined elsewhere we need value in any return.

  134. jp says:

    jtblack: After 8 NHL seasons Larsson has never scored more than 4 Goals or 25 points.

    As LT has said.You develope a past

    We were discussing Larsson appearing to take more offensive risks lately, and whether a concerted effort to change the way he plays could be part of him struggling.

    No one’s suggested he could score 40 points or anything. At times he’s shown flashes of ability we don’t usually see. Sometimes with the Oilers, but in particular when he’s played for Team Sweden.

    I (and I think some others) feel that he plays a conservative, risk averse game. If he re-calibrates his risk-meter I think he has the skill to do something with those extra puck moving opportunities.

    If nothing else I think he can be an effective player in Tippett’s system rather than what we’ve seen from him since his return.

  135. Ryan says:

    As for Smith, as bad as he’s been teams do need a backup goalie. Starett has been perpetually injured, unfortunately.

    Wells and Skinner are worse than Smith, so unless a Domingue is on waivers again or we trade for a backup,

    Until then, it’s Smith, but we should play him less and pull him when he’s not playing well.

    Omg. That reminded me of a lexicon item… hind banana…

  136. JimmyV1965 says:

    When we tied it up, I said to myself we can’t let them get a shot on net. Smith won’t make the save. Next two shots find the twine. I can’t imagine the pressure the players feel.

  137. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    jtblack,

    x2

    Always love the in person accounts.

  138. Ryan says:

    BONE207: Maybe he knows something about Koski not able to go. At the risk of sounding ageist, this goalie tandem is a risk from the start. I hope we can jettison them cleanly when the hulk of these 2 goalies rusts out.

    Holland hiring Smith was based upon ‘old timey decision making / gut instinct’ not math nor analytics nor sound thinking.

    As for what Chiarelli did.. it was a crime against hockey.

    We’re left with the tandem produced by both.

  139. Bling says:

    That 5th Wild goal was interesting.

    I encourage everyone to watch the replay.

    Nygard-Nuge-Chiasson
    Larsson-Klef

    Failure to advance the puck past our side of the neutral zone by Nuge. Then Larsson breaks up a play along the right boards, there is another Oiler there (I think Nuge), but somehow the puck doesn’t get cleared. From there it goes to the left corner. A 2v2 puck battle is lost by Klef and Nygard.

    This is when chaos unfolds.

    Chiasson is covering the RHD (to Smith’s left), but he rotates to the other side of the ice to thwart what would have been a one-timer by Zucker. This would have been okay, but Nygard was late on rotating to Staal, who unfurled a wicked one-timer. Amazing play by Zucker to not force what would have been a shot block by Chiasson.

    Here’s the funny thing.

    I watched this play a few times. How long do you think Staal was open?

    3 seconds!

    It’s a hard game. Rare goal where (I think) everyone on the ice is to blame.

  140. jp says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    jp,

    Reminds me of when Yawney took over the D-corps as the latest D-Whisperer.Initially, we saw material improvements in KRusty’s game which then reverted back to the same ol’, same ol’.(To be fair to Kris, his puck movement has been better this year than previous years.)

    Hopefully Adam is still young enough to learn some new tricks, and before his contract year. Whether he’s a long term part of the core or not.He’s valuable here, but if he’s destined elsewhere we need value in any return.

    Yup, he’s looked expendable thus far. We know he can be more. Hopefully he gets comfortable soon, maybe even makes his game a little more current.

  141. Harpers Hair says:

    Crazy Pedestrian:
    Not many games where you score 5 and still lose in reg.

    Arizona takes over first tonight barring an epic collapse of oilers proportions. Veg. Lost and flames losing 2-1 right now. Best we can hope for is the rest of the pacific teams lose

    Flames win again.

  142. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    Is it true that we had the same record last year at this same date?

  143. Harpers Hair says:

    Ryan: Hypothetically, if one were to move to BC and you didn’t happen to have $5m in cash lying around to buy an actual house…but you wanted to buy an actual house… and you’re not retired… and you have a family… where would you suggest?

    Guyabitos

  144. jp says:

    leadfarmer:
    I would really like to here from Tippett why he didn’t pull Smith after 3 goals

    leadfarmer: Nah him and Tip are buddies
    It’s been clear he should have been sat for a while a few games ago

    I don’t think you need to frame it as Tippett is playing him because they’re buddies. They clearly have a history, based on how Smith responded in these situations in the past. That was years ago though and Smith has to perform a little bit to maintain whatever trust there was.

    OP made a good point about not pulling Smith tonight to make sure Koskinen is rested, so that likely explains this evening.

    I really feel like this game could be a turning point for Smith though. He was poor and was an important part of the team being down 4-2. They managed to battle back and then he promptly let in another goal that could have been stopped. The way he lost was almost worse than just being crappy from the start and the team being behind for the whole game.

    We’ll see but I don’t think Smith has an indefinite leash with Tippett (or Holland). IMO moves will be made if he can’t stop a puck.

  145. dmjkrash says:

    Is there a third string goalie out there who just just hasn’t been given the opportunity because of who is ahead of him? Anyone need a Manning because of a rash of d-man injuries? Man do the Oilers sure affect my mood. When they are winning life is so much better. I sure hope I’m not at my family’s throats on Sunday…

  146. Oilin4 says:

    Haas missed his guy on that 5th goal, but that shot was off a slow pass from the high slot. A 27 year old goalie gets across his crease to cover that shot. Haas was helping to recover the puck assuming a shot that high would be saved.

    Would a 2020 4th + a 2021 2nd round pick + Kris Russel net Anders Nilsson. 2.6M this year and next?

    Or Craig Anderson?

    Robin Lehner is having a hell of a year for nearly out of it Chicago….

    We need a goalie. Think of something!

  147. Scungilli Slushy says:

    jp:
    I don’t think you need to frame it as Tippett is playing him because they’re buddies. They clearly have a history, based on how Smith responded in these situations in the past. That was years ago though and Smith has to perform a little bit to maintain whatever trust there was.

    OP made a good point about not pulling Smith tonight to make sure Koskinen is rested, so that likely explains this evening.

    I really feel like this game could be a turning point for Smith though. He was poor and was an important part of the team being down 4-2. They managed to battle back and then he promptly let in another goal that could have been stopped. The way he lost was almost worse than just being crappy from the start and the team being behind for the whole game.

    We’ll see but I don’t think Smith has an indefinite leash with Tippett (or Holland). IMO moves will be made if he can’t stop a puck.

    I believe they are giving everyone enough rope.

    The org behaves like a normal team so far this season. Those without public speaking filters aren’t speaking publicly anymore.

    So, it’s show time.

    Holland said ‘we’ll see what happens’ regarding the team in the standings and basically buy or sell mode.

    I’m quite sure that Holland and Tippett know what they are looking at. They aren’t behind the times as we have been subjected to.

    So it will be interesting to see what happens and when. Clearly the slow boats need to go, and others that can’t win their role on a given night.

    For sure once the season is done (or before) I hope every reasonable effort is made to remove older placeholders, and no obvious bad contracts are signed.

    Ditch salary, and try someone else. Stability doesn’t mean much to your best players when that stability is icing too many replacement level players and not remaining competitve, as I see it.

  148. Oilin4 says:

    Also, Jones is no good on his off side. Send him down. Never thought I’d say this: This team really misses Matt Benning.

  149. godot10 says:

    Oilin4:
    Also, Jones is no good on his off side. Send him down. Never thought I’d say this: This team really misses Matt Benning.

    And the good luck charm in Joel Persson.

  150. Buddy says:

    Busy tonight, just finished watching. Ouch. I’m probably exaggerating, but it felt like Minnesota had 6 goals on 5 total scoring chances.

    And I’m sorry, but Remenda is making me nostalgic for Dornhoefer’s final season as colour commentator, when he was completely mailing it in. Good lord I’d rather have that than Remenda.

  151. BONE207 says:

    Buddy:
    Busy tonight, just finished watching. Ouch. I’m probably exaggerating, but it felt like Minnesota had 6 goals on 5 total scoring chances.

    And I’m sorry, but Remenda is making me nostalgic for Dornhoefer’s final season as colour commentator, when he was completely mailing it in. Good lord I’d rather have that than Remenda.

    Gary Dornhoefer…I thought he was so bad, we nicknamed him Doorknobber. Remenda wasn’t all that bad tonight. Of course I turned off the volume.

  152. Pescador says:

    Harpers Hair: Guyabitos

    Ryan:
    The price just went up.

    Now we have to trade for Pageau and Nilsson in a package with Gagner and Manning going the other way to make the cap work.

    Yep Ottawa would need Broberg and a third round pick in addition.
    Not really worried about any trades, at this rate the Oil will be sellers by the trade deadline

  153. Munny says:

    Buddy: Dornhoefer

    Worst. Ever

    BONE207: Doorknobber

    A polite version, lol.

  154. rickithebear says:

    (31 x 6 or =186) (85 min) (189 Pr)
    #1PR Russell – Benning 0.37 evga;60
    #19 Pr Russell – Klefbom 1.19 evga/60
    —————————————————-

    3rd worst #187 Klefbom – Larsson 5.59 evga/60
    7th worst #183 Klefbom – Jones 4.63 evga/60
    24 th worst #166 Nurse – bear 3.64 evga/60
    64th worst #122 Klefbom – Person 2.94 evga/60

    The sooner we get back Benning the better.
    The sooner Klefbom is off this team the better.
    He is making the same stupid plays that dragged down.
    #2 open HD def dman Fayne s evga/60.
    Yes the dman who called out Eakins abandon of HD area and 2-3 player press of Ozone fucking stupid.

    But hey you guys are getting the offence you want from Dmen.
    And
    I am no longer getting strong HD area def from Dpairs.

    How is that going the last 10 games?

    Strong HD def pairs deep teams win championships.
    The history is there.
    No matter how much non open/ closed shot analytic ( poor analytic) group affirmation/confirmation goes on.

    3-1-1-1 is great!
    Group hug everyone!
    Let’s all validate our feelings!

  155. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    Oilin4:
    Also, Jones is no good on his off side. Send him down. Never thought I’d say this: This team really misses Matt Benning.

    Oilers record is shit when Benning isn’t in the lineup. I agree that Jones doesn’t work well on the right side. Plus, Larsson seems to change the complexity of the 2nd Dpair, and seemingly not in a good way. They need to go back to the lineup that was winning games in October/November. And as for the goaltending, This is getting ridiculous. Cursed. Oilers seem cursed right now to fold back into mediocrity. Just as the fLames go on there annual winning streak. Terrible timing. We will be out of a playoff spot come Saturday just you see.

  156. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    rickithebear,

    I miss Benning too. He’s a valuable contributor to a strong third pairing.

    By your metrics, how do Russell and Benning’s WOWYs stack up against elite competition?

  157. jp says:

    godot10: And the good luck charm in Joel Persson.

    His numbers in his recent short stint were also excellent (in contrast to Oct/Nov). His rabbit paw quality may have worn off though – the Oilers were a bit of a mess during that last recall.

  158. jp says:

    rickithebear:

    But hey you guys are getting the offence you want from Dmen.
    And
    I am no longer getting strong HD area def from Dpairs.

    How is that going the last 10 games?

    The Oilers results in the last 10 games are at least as much about goaltending as D pairs.

    rickithebear:

    Strong HD def pairs deep teams win championships.
    The history is there.
    No matter how much non open/ closed shot analytic ( poor analytic) group affirmation/confirmation goes on.

    3-1-1-1 is great!
    Group hug everyone!
    Let’s all validate our feelings!

    You’re the only one who even claims to have open/closed shot data… Yet every number you post is from Natural Stat Trick.

    Hugs are good though.

  159. ArmchairGM says:

    dmjkrash:
    Is there a third string goalie out there who just just hasn’t been given the opportunity because of who is ahead of him? Anyone need a Manning because of a rash of d-man injuries? Man do the Oilers sure affect my mood. When they are winning life is so much better. I sure hope I’m not at my family’s throats on Sunday…

    Florida’s Chris Driedger currently leads the AHL in Sv% (.938) and is 2nd behind Shesterkin with 2.09 GAA. He’s 25, posted decent numbers last year (18-10-2-1, 2.45 GAA, .924 Sv%) and is certainly behind Spencer Knight on their future depth chart. Trouble is, he’s earned himself a call-up and has performed admirably for a team desperate for quality goaltending: in 2 starts he has allowed just 3 goals for a 1.53 GAA and .942 Sv%. He now occupies the backup position in Florida as Bob is suddenly hot, going 1.52 GAA and .958 through 4 games in December.

    It’s worth noting that Starrett’s numbers last year weren’t much different, having posted 2.33 GAA and .918 Sv%. His 2.03 GAA and .923 Sv% this year are too small a sample to prove anything, but if he could only get healthy I think the answer might well be in our own backyard.

  160. OriginalPouzar says:

    On Monday, Woody said that there was a chance Starrett could play this week – he didn’t play on Wed (and the tenders were the main reason for the big loss) – here is hoping we see him in net on the weekend.

  161. Ryan says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    On Monday, Woody said that there was a chance Starrett could play this week – he didn’t play on Wed (and the tenders were the main reason for the big loss) – here is hoping we see him in net on the weekend.

    Did he clarify if that meant vs the Leafs tomorrow?

  162. jp says:

    Ryan: Did he clarify if that meant vs the Leafs tomorrow?

    🙂

  163. Ryan says:

    jp:

    Dom has our projected point total at 87.7.

    Iirc, I had 86.

    Playoff probability 33%.

    Does a Chris Tierney move the needle for 3c?

    Rumored to available and cheap, but his cap is nearly $3m.

    Smith has been in free fall mode.

  164. godot10 says:

    jp: His numbers in his recent short stint were also excellent (in contrast to Oct/Nov). His rabbit paw quality may have worn off though – the Oilers were a bit of a mess during that last recall.

    I think they still got points in every game.

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