2019-20 Game 45: Oilers at Maple Leafs

The Toronto Maple Leafs are a little like the “Air Coryell” San Diego Chargers: High octane both ways. The Edmonton Oilers enter Don Mills with a pretty good game, some structure and a few hands they can rely on. It’s going to be a major test, just like Saturday afternoon. Tabernac Monday?

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 Jonathan Willis: Oilers notebook: James Neal’s resurgence, Matt Benning’s injury and the Tyler Benson recall temptation
  • New Lowetide: Oilers farmhands are pushing hard for NHL jobs
  • New Scott Burnside: Grading all 31 NHL teams at the midpoint of the season
  • Jonathan Willis: Zack Kassian’s breakout performance presents Oilers GM Ken Holland with a familiar dilemma
  • Lowetide: Ken Holland, the Oilers amateur procurement department and the 2020 draft
  • Jonathan Willis: It would be a mistake to write off the Oilers after their December slump
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: From Leon Draisaitl to the penalty kill, the things the Oilers need to improve to get back to the playoffs
  • Lowetide: A shift-by-shift analysis of Kailer Yamamoto’s 2019-20 debut in the Oilers’ New Year’s Eve game.
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: James Neal puts on New Year’s Eve show to remember in Oilers’ thriller
  • Lowetide: Midseason review of ‘reasonable expectations’ shows Oilers are on track with preseason targets
  • Jonathan Willis and Daniel Nugent-Bowman: How are our Oilers predictions holding up at the midseason mark? We decided to find out
  • Jonathan Willis: Oilers midseason report card shows an unbalanced team with a lot of replaceable parts
  • Lowetide: Complete Oilers top 20 prospects list, winter 2019

OILERS AFTER 45 GAMES

  • Oilers in 2015-16: 17-23-5, 39 points; goal differential -24
  • Oilers in 2016-17: 23-15-7, 53 points; goal differential +4
  • Oilers in 2017-18: 19-23-3, 41 points; goal differential -26
  • Oilers in 2018-19: 21-21-3, 45 points; goal differential -12
  • Oilers in 2019-20: 22-17-5, 49 points; goal differential -5

The current Oilers have a chance to clear 50 points tonight, and continue cleaning up that goal differential. As we continue toward March, the 2016-17 team is going to get so far ahead we’ll lose sight of their taillights. A win tonight and both teams are at the same intersection.

OILERS IN JANUARY

  • Oilers in January 2016: 2-1-0, four points; goal differential 0
  • Oilers in January 2017: 2-1-0, four points; goal differential 0
  • Oilers in January 2018: 1-2-0, two points; goal differential -8
  • Oilers in January 2019: 2-1-0, two points; goal differential +1
  • Oilers in January 2020: 1-0-1, three points; goal differential +1

The bonus double u in Boston gives us a chance to dream a little about the possibilities this month. Another October (or mini-October) would basically guarantee a playoff berth. Too much to dream.

WHAT TO EXPECT IN JANUARY

  • On the road to: BUF, BOS, TOR, MTL, CAL (Expected 2-2-1) (Actual 1-0-1)
  • At home to: NAS, ARI, CAL, STL (Expected 1-2-1)
  • Overall expected result: 3-4-2, eight points in nine games
  • Current results: 1-0-1three points in two games

I have tonight as a loss, but the game against the Bruins featured a tight team (in a good way) with more than one option for any challenge. No idea if we’ll see them again, but the Maple Leafs have holes and if this group can offer something close to balance, well, I’m getting ahead of myself.

OILERS 2019-20

Puck IQ suggests Dave Tippett will be running the McDavid and Draisaitl lines against Toronto’s elites, with Klefbom-Larsson and Nurse-Bear getting the heart of the order from the defensive side. Patrick Russell hasn’t played since the Calgary game just after Christmas. I think we’re heading for a transaction.

MAPLE LEAFS 2019-20

Puck IQ suggests the Rielly and Marincin pairings will see the tougher chores, but Ceci has faced tough competition (Dermott not much). I think Rielly and Barrie are absolute dynamite, great players. Coaching changes mean shuffle and I expect Marincin is getting a slight push. Thrilled, gotta say. Up front, Tavares and Matthews lines get the hose from the forward group.

GRANDMA

My Grandma was a Maple Leafs fan. She would yell at the goalies (famously Gary Smith, later famously Mike Palmateer) to get back in their nets. She was a fan, which is to say I didn’t notice any give in her devotion between 1967 (SC winners) and after the trade of Palmateer (in 1980).

In many ways, she’s responsible for me remembering all these Maple Leafs stories, like their young defensemen (she used to gauge them based on the Tim Horton-Allan Stanley-Bob Baun blue and they all got stern lectures) and the two brave young Swedes (Borje Salming, Inge Hammarstrom) who overcame bias, bigotry and in the case of Hammarstrom his own team owner.

THE 2014 DRAFT

I always wait five years for a draft to call it, although it is often decided long before. The 2012 draft was basically a fail the second time Dallas Eakins healthy scratched Nail Yakupov. The 2015 draft is in its final year but is already a smashing success. There are exceptions, though. If William Lagesson emerges as a legit NHL player, he should help the 2014 draft over the finish line. Leon Draisaitl alone might cover the bet (his next goal will be No. 150) but a 500-game career from Lagesson would put it to rest. The young Swede made his NHL debut in draft +6, so the five-year rule does have exceptions. I’m starting work on my 2020 draft coverage today, you should see a top 30 later this week.

That’s a long time, to be honest, luck is such a big damned factor one would think there’s a win on the other end this streak. Maybe Taylor Hall will watch tonight’s game, see the Oilers win, and decide in his mind to join the band on July 1. Then again, maybe Nik Khabibulin is thinking the same thing.

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412 Responses to "2019-20 Game 45: Oilers at Maple Leafs"

« Older Comments
  1. Gerta Rauss says:

    steelymac17:
    Games blacked out on the west coast ): Subscribed to nhl network for 3 years and figure Bettman will never get another dime as long he and his corrupt officials continue to conspire.Its pretty obvious is it not?

    I noticed that as well (game blacked out on the coast)

  2. jp says:

    leadfarmer: It’s a national game in the US
    I can’t remember the last time two Canadian teams were on a national telecast in regular season
    It’s on NBCSN

    McDavid/Matthews (and Matthews being American) helps. But yeah, not normal!

  3. nelson88 says:

    They had better give Bear the 2nd apple on the nurse goal. That was a nice little play to get it to 97

  4. russ99 says:

    Gerta Rauss,

    Thats odd. Im watching the Oilers feed on Gamecenter in Chicago, usually national games force me to watch the US channel.

    • Gerta Rauss says:

      I’m watching in my Pay per view channels because I subscribe to the NHL package with Shaw cable so I’m good

      I expected to see this game broadcast in the lower channels where any number of games are broadcast nightly(without a subscription)

      The league obviously sees some value with this game (and they’re not wrong)

  5. OriginalPouzar says:

    Hmmmm, Smith didn’t look great on that breakaway goal…

    Klef slow to recognize, first at the offensive blue I think.

  6. leadfarmer says:

    Seriously. You have a 3 goal lead.
    How do you give up a breakaway

  7. drglen says:

    damn.. I wish we didn’t give up that goal. Larrson commits, Klef can’t get back. Forwards headhunting caught out of position. Hang on .

  8. OriginalPouzar says:

    Its going to be a fun and wild third period coming up.

  9. Gerta Rauss says:

    shit…wanted to get out of this period with at least a 2 goal lead

    game’s not over yet

  10. John Chambers says:

    This will be the sixth out of the last seven where the Oilers lead after 2.

  11. drglen says:

    4-3 now.

    Our 4th and 3rd lines are getting caved right now.

    Tough deflection off nurse’s skate.

  12. flyfish1168 says:

    Dam hate those late period goals against

  13. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    Leafs taking over now

  14. leadfarmer says:

    Between the Vikings trying to squander a lead and the next day the Oil trying to do the same I don’t know if my heart can handle it

  15. Gerta Rauss says:

    Well it’s a lead anyway

  16. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    Oilers…
    #1 team in giving up multi-goal leads… (not official but probably right)

  17. drglen says:

    got to play to win the game now. tough test. Got to meet their energy. Who can answer the bell.

  18. russ99 says:

    Such a flukey goal too. That sucks,

    Need to get back to our game, we let the Leafs have the run of play most of the period,

  19. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Just need to stop running around. A lack of structure is what teams with talent and holes thrive on.

    Like the Oilers.

  20. OriginalPouzar says:

    nelson88:
    They had better give Bear the 2nd apple on the nurse goal. That was a nice little play to get it to 97

    It was a great transition play by Bear from the defensive circles….

  21. Reja says:

    Mike Bossy would have been proud of that shot Chase let’s get one more in the third and really get your haters in a tizzy.

  22. Lowetide says:

    After Two:

    4-3 Edmonton (3-3 in the second)
    29-26 Toronto shots (18-9 Toronto in the second)
    37-35 Edmonton Corsi five on five (21-13 Toronto in the second)
    ==

    Wildly entertaining second period, Oilers stopped doing what they’d been doing so well. Credit to the Leafs of course, and some bad luck for Bear on the third goal. He lifted Gauthier’s stick and the puck went off the Toronto player’s skate. Shiza happens.

    Third period ahead, and as I said after the second in the Buffalo game, this is a good test for a team that is shy in talent but has a fine head coach who has given them a lot of structure.

  23. Scungilli Slushy says:

    russ99:
    Such a flukey goal too. That sucks,

    Need to get back to our game, we let the Leafs have the run of play most of the period,

    Flukey he’s but Nurse needs to play that better.

    I feel it’s still a hangover from Todd McBlockshot.

    Blocking shots is good, but not if you’re screening the goalie and falling over. Get in lanes on time and less injuries and ‘bad luck’ because the shots don’t happen, or hit pads.

  24. GMB3 says:

    Reja:
    Mike Bossy would have been proud of that shot Chase let’s get one more in the third and really get your haters in a tizzy.

    Would Bossy have been proud of him losing that battle on the wall that lead to the third Toronto goal?

  25. GMB3 says:

    drglen:
    4-3 now.

    Our 4th and 3rd lines are getting caved right now.

    Tough deflection off nurse’s skate.

    The second line is getting absolutely crushed. Third and fourth lines have been okay

  26. Ryan says:

    GMB3: The second line is getting absolutely crushed. Third and fourth lines have been okay

    They’re playing with Russell and Jones.

  27. who says:

    Oilers playing well but Leafs are a dangerous team. Fortunately they seem to give up as many chances as they get. Oilers just need to capitalize on a few chances.
    Liking the Haas line the last few games. Haas and Nygaard may not be great finishers but their speed is really disruptive in the ozone and neutral zone.
    Caleb Jones is earning himself a job. Great pass on the 3rd goal but I was even more impressed by the good read and stick to break up the cross ice pass on a Leaf 3 on 2.

  28. hunter1909 says:

    Crazy Pedestrian:
    Oilers…
    #1 team in giving up multi-goal leads… (not official but probably right)

    With the number 1 power play it’s great to be a fan of a team with so many leading qualities.

  29. OriginalPouzar says:

    Capitalizing on this PP would be large.

  30. Gerta Rauss says:

    Oilers PP- we’re due

  31. jp says:

    Big chance to take the most dangerous lead in hockey.

  32. godot10 says:

    leadfarmer:
    Seriously.You have a 3 goal lead.
    How do you give up a breakaway

    Klef is dreamy, but he has occasional “brain” spasms. It is what keeps him just below the top tier of D.

  33. leadfarmer says:

    Really need to coach those blind passes out of the Drais game

  34. hunter1909 says:

    I might bravely retire to watch the scoreline unfold on the ESPN scoreboard – I can’t take another blown lead its bad for my health.

  35. leadfarmer says:

    Hope that hit knocked some sense into Nurse for being that deep while protecting a lead

  36. godot10 says:

    Khaira may not be able to risk being waived because of the requirements of the expansion draft where there are conditions for the experience of players that must be made available.

  37. Gerta Rauss says:

    Leon..!!!

  38. jp says:

    Great goal Leon!!

    Nice call earlier Reja!

  39. OriginalPouzar says:

    Atta boy Drai – that’s a massive goal.

    Good power skate of the puck, dish to Chiasson and finish (after Chiasson win a perfect pass back).

  40. OriginalPouzar says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Capitalizing on this PP would be large.

    Well, that one, or the next one……..

    The PK will be put to work shortly I would think.

  41. russ99 says:

    Heck of a goal Drai, Klef screened the goalie a bit too.

    Keep at em, no let up.

  42. OriginalPouzar says:

    Aghhh, Bear, fans on the dagger goal – damn!

  43. russ99 says:

    How in the heck did McDavid do that? Jeez.

    Gotta cash those.

  44. OriginalPouzar says:

    Yamamoto playing exactly how he had been in the AHL all year – tenacious, causing turnovers, drawing penalties, plus plays in the offensive zone.

    Amazing that, so far, his game has translated almost 100%.

    Development works!

  45. rickithebear says:

    2 nd GA
    Klefbom provides free path to HD open shot
    3rd ga
    Bear subjects nurse to 1D -1Goutman in homeplate

    FO rovers

  46. OriginalPouzar says:

    I’m happy that Tip kept McDavid and Leon split for the 4 on 4.

    I think that’s the “right move” in this game.

  47. jp says:

    Oh my goodness!! Hahaha, wow McDavid!

  48. OriginalPouzar says:

    That may have been the goal of the year by McDavid.

  49. Gerta Rauss says:

    McDavid magic

    *edit-pure genius with the off speed pitch to get around the defender

  50. jp says:

    Poor Rielly

  51. SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo! says:

    Holy shit

    Holy shit wow

  52. flyfish1168 says:

    I got deked out of my seat

  53. russ99 says:

    Unreal.

    We’re so lucky to have Connor.

  54. nelson88 says:

    Hahahahahahahaha!

  55. OilClog says:

    Goal of the century

  56. Material Elvis says:

    That might have been McDavid’s best goal ever. Ridiculous. I think it moved…

  57. tcho says:

    That 97 kid’s pretty good.

  58. LMHF#1 says:

    The audible gasps coming from the stands were the best part of that.

    Wow.

  59. Younger Oil says:

    That ref should never ref again if he didn’t think that was a hook on McDavid, holy fuck.

    Dude dug in for literally four seconds.

  60. Gerta Rauss says:

    6-3 with 7 min to go and a Leaf PP coming up

  61. Chelios is a Dinosaur says:

    Sublime

  62. Halfwise says:

    I saw that. But I don’t actually believe what I just saw.

    The best part might have been the eyeball fake before he went outside.

  63. russ99 says:

    You sore Reilly?

  64. flyfish1168 says:

    zack might have to visit reilly

  65. Pechetr says:

    Reilly still looking for his jock. Just wow!

  66. John Chambers says:

    If after the Rangers game you said Mike Smith would start the next three on account of Koskinen being sick, how many of you would’ve taken the over on 1.5 points?

  67. OriginalPouzar says:

    What a shot by Matthews to give the Leafs a bit of life.

  68. OilClog says:

    Dude literally hooked Jones into that errant clearing ffs

  69. Gerta Rauss says:

    Yeah OK..you can only hope to contain the Leafs

    6-4

    6 should be enough

    I think

  70. jp says:

    Lovely skilled blueline exit by Yamamoto there.

  71. digger50 says:

    Should have called hooking on Jones. He was hooked. No hook, it doesn’t end up over glass!!

  72. OriginalPouzar says:

    A 2 minute penalty vs. a penalty shot is beneficial to the Oilers right now, in my opinion.

  73. leadfarmer says:

    These leafs are fun offensively
    But man they are a mess in their own end

  74. Gerta Rauss says:

    McD draws another penalty-let’s put this thing to bed now

  75. russ99 says:

    Penalty shot you dipshit refs. Although 2 minutes reprieve from their attack and a few more chances to score wont hurt.

  76. geowal says:

    What a statement game by McDavid

  77. Ice Sage says:

    Nice to hear fans cheering an Oiler goal in the Leaf’s barn

  78. OriginalPouzar says:

    russ99:
    Penalty shot you dipshit refs.

    I’m glad it wasn’t – lets take 2 minutes off the clock with a severely limited chance of giving up a goal against and a solid chance of getting number 7.

  79. jp says:

    leadfarmer:
    These leafs are fun offensively
    But man they are a mess in their own end

    Holl and Marincin have been scored on at this point I guess.

  80. leadfarmer says:

    Wow the refs really trying to even this game up

  81. flyfish1168 says:

    Leaf player interfered with oiler player trying to get off.

  82. Ice Sage says:

    flyfish1168,

    Probably didn’t even get consent – stupid leaves

  83. jp says:

    Great game Oilers!! Wow.

    Not the road trip anyone expected so far!

  84. Gerta Rauss says:

    That’s a sweet, sweet victory

    Delicious

  85. russ99 says:

    Suck it Leafs.

  86. OriginalPouzar says:

    Well, well, well – I sure had fun watching that one. What a game.

    If it wasn’t for the 4-5 forced passes by McDavid in the middle of the game (mostly on the PP), I may say that was McDavid’s best game of his career. SuperNova from the opening faceoff.

    Mike Smith played fine, in my opinion and actually made some massive save but didn’t steal the game (obviously) so Tippett won’t feel “obligated” to start him next game and we should get to see Mikko which I like.

    Some huge PK work in this game.

    All lines with contributions.

    We won’t talk about Leons’ back pass with 25 seconds to go (why Leon).

    Nurse has found his game again and Klef remains a warrior.

    After a few weeks of high event bobble by Bear, he’s settled back down and is playing great again.

    Yamamoto was fantastic tonight.

    Neal is looking like he can play 5 on 5 in the top 6 – some great possession plays in the offensive zone.

  87. SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo! says:

    Remember that time McDavid scored the goal of the year?

    Ya that was a fun time

  88. Munny says:

    Munny:
    Dear Mike Smith,

    Let’s be honest and get this out of the way up front… we’ve never really liked each other.Not when you were a Star, a Bolt, a Dog, and definitely not as a Flame.There’s a certain asshole-ish arrogance to your A-game that is less than endearing to opposition fans.

    But you’re an Oiler now and they say that means we have to let bygones be bygones.C’est la guerre, et c’est la vie.

    But you’re also an Ancient, some say older than a wooden Koho, and your A-game is getting washed away by that other big A… Age.Your reflexes are slower than parliamentary procedure, your eyesight dimmer than a candlelit dinner, and your decision-making process appears to be third-partied to the Boeing executive suite.

    But we know you can dig down deep and get your A-game together for short stretches, even now in your dotage.So dig like you’ve never dug before.Carve a strip mine right into your soul if need be.Do whatever it takes to stab a dagger into that bloated bubble we derisively call the center of the universe.I will put aside all the malignant memories and exalt your name to the heavens and the hills, if you can get it together for just one night.

    You’re a Kingston boy and this season is your last hurrah…I hope all your family is present and you make both them and us proud that you now wear our Slick Silks.

    In other words…Just win, baby.

    Signed,

    A Reluctant but Hopeful Fan

    PS… If you won’t do it for me, at least do it for KT and his family.

    Dear Mr. Smith,

    Kindly disregard the above missive.

    Any extra effort on your part was not required.

    Re: Connor McStudley

    Regards,

    Still Reluctant.

  89. Paulie says:

    I Can’t Quit You Babe – Leon’s love song to the drop pass…

  90. Derek says:

    Legend has it that Morgan Rielllys jockstrap still hasn’t landed.

  91. Paulie says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Yamamoto playing exactly how he had been in the AHL all year – tenacious, causing turnovers, drawing penalties, plus plays in the offensive zone.

    Amazing that, so far, his game has translated almost 100%.

    Development works!

    He’s like a buzz saw out there. Creates endless havoc on the forecheck

  92. Ivan says:

    Just watching the Connor goal a few more times..Oh my.
    Actually a really heady play by Nuge to intercept that pas in his own zone and set up CmD.

  93. nelson88 says:

    Paulie: He’s like a buzz saw out there. Creates endless havoc on the forecheck

    Water Bug. If he can learn how to finish consistently and trash talk he could be our Marchand. Love it

  94. Paulie says:

    nelson88,

    Agreed. Needs to stay healthy too as LT often says. Heady player too.

  95. JimmyV1965 says:

    What a game!!! Entertaining and we looked good winning it. Yama has made a huge difference. One rookie changes the entire dynamic of the top six. Imagine what impact two forwards would have in this team.

  96. Bling says:

    That’s the best game I’ve ever seen from McDavid. Unreal.

    Loved Yamamoto tonight as well. He is very reliable along the wall and has a sense of where to be in the offensive zone. Him and Nuge together were excellent on the forecheck all night.

    • Professor Q says:

      Even better than his 5 point night against the Leafs or the Columbus return?

      Or many other examples!

      But yes, he keeps improving.

  97. hunter1909 says:

    @Lowetide:

    Yamamoto’s made a believer out of me, but it’s still that rookie bounce unless he stays healthy we might as well enjoy it while it lasts but he’s really going well for the past few games.

  98. who says:

    rickithebear:
    2 nd GA
    Klefbom provides free path to HD open shot
    3rd ga
    Bear subjects nurse to 1D -1Goutman in homeplate

    FO rovers

    2nd goal was Klefbom getting caught pinching with guys slipping in behind him. This still happens too often.
    3rd goal was a point shot off a skate. Bear had the stick lifted. Do you want him to tie up Engvalls skates as well? Bear made some mistakes tonight. That was NOT one of them.

  99. OriginalPouzar says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!:
    Remember that time McDavid scored the goal of the year?

    Ya that was a fun time

    Please be more specific.

    • geowal says:

      I described this game to a friend as “one of his best this season”. A 4 pt game. Crazy. We are blessed.

  100. Reja says:

    Holland get a 3C and and a top 6 forward since you don’t want to bring up Benson, just look at no finish yamo how he has changed the dynamic of the top 9. Oh by the way nice shot Chase the peanut gallery won’t even acknowledge it.

  101. jp says:

    Derek:
    Legend has it that Morgan Rielllys jockstrap still hasn’t landed.

    “It” definitely moved in Rielly’s case.

  102. russ99 says:

    Connor said “It’s always fun to play here and its always fun to leave here.” In the postgame presser.

    Damn.

    Approaching Jordan levels of competitiveness.

  103. Rebillled says:

    Goal of the Decade.

    The Roaring* 20’s for McDavid.

    *Scoring

  104. Reja says:

    Smith has saved the season or not lost it the last three games in my opinion. We officially have our mojo back now it’s kosh’s turn to win 2 in a row.

  105. Lowetide says:

    knighttown:
    Kids Christmas present was 4 tickets to tonight’s game, 11 rows up.Missus KT and I dug deep.

    Flights from Halifax, Hall of Fame, Aquarium etc. Flight supposed to leave at 730am. AC cancelled the morning flight and booked us to arrive at 11pm which isn’t much use so we all trundled off to the airport and got it changed to the 1pm flight.

    Went home and then back for 1130. Waited to board and were told at the last second at boarding that the earlier agent hadn’t actually booked us on the flight even though we had boarding passes and our bags were checked through. At this point my 13 year old openly cried for the first time in years. We weren’t let on.

    Now booked for 3pm which is already delayed to 330 and this is last chance Texaco.

    Praying to McJesus and anyone else that is holy.

    MAN I hope he and his family made it.

    • T0ML says:

      Same! That game would have made up for all the nonsense he dealt with!

      Heck of a game by our boys, INSANE goal by McDavid that had Leafs fans standing up and applauding, insanity! MUSIC EVEN!!

      • geowal says:

        I’ve been looking back all day waiting to see if he got there. Suspense is killing me!

        • knighttown says:

          Gents (and lady?) we did make it. Recommendation to grab the UP train was stellar. We landed at Union station. Kids got into their Oilers gear on the train and I sent them and the missus straight on to the rink to catch the warmup at 6pm. I’m typical dad style, I trundled across Toronto with all the luggage and dropped everything off at the hotel. Slipped the concierge a 20 to run the bags up after checking in and showed the wheels with the sprint down Bay Street to the ACC (err Scotiabank Centre).

          I think based on the pics on my phone from warmup, my daughter may have a crush on McDavid. Or maybe it’s my wife. Regardless, kids got the full warmup and I had a lovely IPA (Woodguy thinks their moose piss) in my hands and was there for puck drop.

  106. Ben says:

    Spec: “Are Draisaitl and McDavid accepting of playing apart?”

    Tippett: “Draisaitl and McDavid are accepting of winning.”

    Liked Tippett when they hired him, like him even more now.

  107. flyfish1168 says:

    5 teams behind us have games in hand. If they were to win them all we could drop down to 11th place. Scary tight conference

  108. Reja says:

    Dave Tippett. Sitting on a park bench snot is running down your nose.

  109. SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo! says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    It was the one that you’d sometimes maybe see in basketball, not really a hockey thing. Involves acceleration that no one else possess and the skill to pull it off in a phone booth. Nevermind the bravado to give it a go in the first place. Oh and he did it against the Leafs #1 dman, made him look foolish he did.

    I had the same feeling when he scored between his legs against Dallas last year off that give and go. Or that goal in his first game back rookie year against Columbus.

    Chills down the back, witnessing pure beauty kinda thing, man what a player.

  110. Fuge Udvar says:

    Put me in the camp that thinks Yamamoto’s skating is a big plus. He closes the gap so fast and he creates so many puck battles that most players never get there to create the puck battle in the first place. I haven’t seen much evidence of a 6th or 7th gear but he never seems to leave 5th gear.

  111. godot10 says:

    Ben:
    Spec: “Are Draisaitl and McDavid accepting of playing apart?”

    Tippett: “Draisaitl and McDavid are accepting of winning.”

    Liked Tippett when they hired him, like him even more now.

    Spector is a ________!

  112. flyfish1168 says:

    jp: “It” definitely moved in Rielly’s case.

    Yes he also $hit in his pants

  113. digger50 says:

    Ice Sage:
    flyfish1168,

    Probably didn’t even get consent – stupid leaves

    Well I thought it was funny

  114. OilClog says:

    Reja:
    Holland get a 3C and and a top 6 forward since you don’t want to bring up Benson, just look at no finish yamo how he has changed thedynamic of the top 9. Oh by the way nice shotChase the peanut gallery won’t even acknowledge it.

    Because Chase fucking sucks lol

  115. Professor Q says:

    Reja:
    Holland get a 3C and and a top 6 forward since you don’t want to bring up Benson, just look at no finish yamo how he has changed thedynamic of the top 9. Oh by the way nice shotChase the peanut gallery won’t even acknowledge it.

    Benson needs to save those 25 games so he can win the Calder next season.

  116. Reja says:

    Great goal by Connor caught him flat footed with his eyes. Gretz used to do that once or twice himself. Where’s HH tonight it sure would be fun to tease him or is that no longer allowed in today’s hurt feelings society.

  117. v4ance says:

    I think I’ve rewatched the McDavid goal like 8 times already and I can’t stop giggling. It’s just ridiculous. We don’t deserve McDavid but we have him on the team so i’ll just savour every amazing moment.

  118. Reja says:

    OilClog: Because Chase fucking sucks lol

    If Chase was on the top PP he would have 10-12 Goals in my opinion.

  119. Professor Q says:

    Oh, man.

    Just found out about the Mooseheads trading Lavoie to Chicoutimi.

    While I love the Mooseheads and their logo, the Saguenéens are also up there, particularly for uniqueness. He’ll wear it well and hopefully go far through the playoffs and Memorial Cup.

  120. Bling says:

    97 didn’t just fool Rielly, he also fooled me.

    I’m thinking to myself, why are you slowing down and curling? Then BAM. And then I’m like, well that was nice, but now you don’t have enough time or space to get a good shot off. Then 97 gets the shot off AND scores.

    Dead wrong thrice in about 3 seconds.

    He did that 3 or 4 times tonight, that quick little juke to get a better angle on his shot. Complete witchcraft.

  121. Todd Macallan says:

    knighttown,

    That’s great you made it! What a game to see, I’m curious as to Leafs fans reaction to the McDavid goal in house, looked on TV liked many were standing for it.

  122. knighttown says:

    Some summaries from row 11…

    First period was real treat. The Leafs were dangerous but you could tell McDavid was feeling it. That Klefbom goal shift was 20 feet in front of my and there were so many good touches. Reminded me of the way the Sedins used to you with us. The goal was…inevitable.

    Couldn’t really see what went wrong but later in the first Johnny Tavares got free for a laser from the kill zone and Smith fought it off. That was a big moment.

  123. v4ance says:

    Todd Macallan:
    knighttown,

    That’s great you made it! What a game to see, I’m curious as to Leafs fans reaction to the McDavid goal in house, looked on TV liked many were standing for it.

    I think many were standing and walking out of the building. McDavid doesn’t just score, he rips out your spirit and stomps on it.

  124. knighttown says:

    In the second Cam and I continued to focus on the game but Gabby’s focus turned to getting on camera. There were lots of dances but they weren’t letting a cutie in a McDavid jersey and Oilers toque get screen time.

    Nurse, who was terrific by the way, scored another lucky one. I remember the pass from McDavid. The missus said to me…”he sees everything”… and I think that’s right. Then we got the Yammer goal which I’m hearing was on a feed by Jones. If so, that was a beauty pass.

    I felt borderline cocky at 4-1 and may have mentioned to a few local seat mates that it was about time to head home to avoid traffic like typical Leafs fans.

    Then Engvall set up…someone…for a gorgeous goal and you just knew it was about the get interesting. Then the GOAT had his breakaway. I’m still not sure where Oscar was and why Smith went full Johnny Bower.

    A nervous second intermission.

    • geowal says:

      “I felt borderline cocky at 4-1 and may have mentioned to a few local seat mates that it was about time to head home to avoid traffic like typical Leafs fans.”

      Beautiful, albeit foolish knowing who you cheer for

  125. JimmyV1965 says:

    Material Elvis:
    That might have been McDavid’s best goal ever.Ridiculous.I think it moved…

    Excellent, very subtle Seinfeld reference. Nicely done.

  126. jimmers2 says:

    Knightown – Very happy you made it. Pearson airport has been a highly unreliable if not an outright nightmare in my own recent experience. I was recently stuck there with a couple from New Brunswick who were on their way to Edmonton for the Leafs game and then a romantic weekend at the Banff Springs. They arrived in time to have a Sat night and Sunday in Banff. A very expensive heartbreak for them.

  127. knighttown says:

    Then the third.

    We got a couple quick PPs. It seemed like the Leafs were jumping the McDavid zone entry so Leon and Chaser took the ice given to them and had a nice two man rush. Leon’s shot was a laser. Just inside the far side post about 2 feet off the ice if I’m not mistaken.

    And then it happened. The seas parted. The heavens opened. The virgins did virgin-like dances.

    Nuge picked off a pass in Nuge-fashion and sent 97 off on a classic 1-on-1. I actually said “look out Morgan”. He appeared to try and by time for Nuge to join but 93 was picked. In that split instance he executed a linear crossover touched by God. I’m amazed Rielly didn’t fall. After he finished I was up yelling “oh my God” like some blabbering fool but to my amazement Leafs jerseys were literally bowing.

    They were bowing down and seemed to be sharing in the moment as much as I was. The muttering (not grumbling) continued on for minutes.

    On the same shift 97 danced through the befuddled Leafs again and it appeared he was blatantly hooked. This was the beginning of “mail it in Monday” for the refs. After the missed hook Nygard took off in chase of maybe Holl and received a blatant elbow in the chops that went uncalled. The Jones was executing a basic breakout pass, was hooked badly and panicked by trying to get the puck off his stick and it went over the glass. He was called and none of the other three were. Of course Matthews scores.

    The last 3 minutes were picture perfect except for our complete inability to hit an open net.

  128. knighttown says:

    I’m now at the hotel bar enjoying a couple of whisky sours while Mrs KT tucks the kiddos in. The stresses of the day are long gone.

    • Sanderson says:

      Knighttown, the man who crawled through 500 yards of shit and came out clean on the other side.

    • Kinger_Oil.redux says:

      – Nice glad your family got here… What a story. How long in T-Dot you guys staying here? Do you have your plans set for rest of trip?

    • Wonder Llama says:

      So glad you made it!

      I’ll bet those sours are tasting mighty sweet!

  129. OriginalPouzar says:

    Reja:
    Holland get a 3C and and a top 6 forward since you don’t want to bring up Benson, just look at no finish yamo how he has changed thedynamic of the top 9. Oh by the way nice shotChase the peanut gallery won’t even acknowledge it.

    I (and others) acknowledged Chiasson’s nice shot. Third line played a solid game.

    Benson will, likely, get his call-up in the next 1-6 weeks but there is no rush. This team has been scoring lots of goals lately and lots of goals at 5 on .

    I’m sure Holland is looking for a 3C and a scoring winger but, as we’ve discussed, in my opinion, he is very unlikely to pay for a “material rental” – he will either find a depth option in that regard or consummate a hockey trade for acquire a player that will help past this year – that type of hockey trade is rarely made in-season though.

  130. northerndancer says:

    knighttown:
    I’m now at the hotel bar enjoying a couple of whisky sours while Mrs KT tucks the kiddos in. The stresses of the day are long gone.

    Enjoy the drinks. I certainly enjoyed your report. Thanks. I could hear the crowd cheer and rumble after THE GOAL and the sound on my computer was off. It was truly amazing.

  131. knighttown says:

    Victoria Oil,

    Literal bowing in the aisles, we’re not worthy style.

  132. knighttown says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    Had 2 days originally so had planned HOF, CN Tower and aquarium. We’ll probably have to narrow it down. Leave tomorrow evening.

  133. OilClog says:

    Reja: If Chase was on the top PP he would have 10-12 Goals in my opinion.

    Opinion<Facts

    Play dies on his stick, go watch the last powerplay. Play=Dead when Chase gets involved. He makes Neal look like a v6 in a rsx instead of a v6 in a Ford econoline.

    There's plenty of better options then the guy battling for 13th forward. If he's the powerplay specialist, whoever is making that decision needs assistance immediately imo. Which I conclude is not fact but Chase still sucks.

  134. knighttown says:

    Wonder Llama:
    So glad you made it!

    I’ll bet those sours are tasting mighty sweet!

    When you live in an NHL town you take for granted how easy it is to see a game. For those of us 1000 miles away from the nearest NHL town, you run the risk of shooting your wad to see a 3-1 snooze fest loss to the Wild. But you take that shot in case you see a 6-4 magic show on a crisp January evening.

    If you able, go see him. Do it often.

    • Wonder Llama says:

      I’m in Evansville, IN which makes Nashville the closest NHL city and it is a GREAT place to see a game.

      Went to Rogers Place for the first time home for the holidays and spent a lot of money on that disappointing loss to the Penguins (should’ve gone to see the Habs game the next night).

      It’s hard and it’s weird being a sports fan.

  135. drglen says:

    Leaf TSN crew is too hard on their players.

  136. CMcD4PM says:

    knighttown:
    Victoria Oil,

    Literal bowing in the aisles, we’re not worthy style.

    I was at the game too, can confirm that there were numerous Leaf fan’s applauding Connor’s goal.

  137. OriginalPouzar says:

    knighttown:
    Gents (and lady?) we did make it. Recommendation to grab the UP train was stellar. We landed at Union station. Kids got into their Oilers gear on the train and I sent them and the missus straight on to the rink to catch the warmup at 6pm. I’m typical dad style, I trundled across Toronto with all the luggage and dropped everything off at the hotel. Slipped the concierge a 20 to run the bags up after checking in and showed the wheels with the sprint down Bay Street to the ACC (err Scotiabank Centre).

    I think based on the pics on my phone from warmup, my daughter may have a crush on McDavid. Or maybe it’s my wife. Regardless, kids got the full warmup and I had a lovely IPA (Woodguy thinks their moose piss) in my hands and was there for puck drop.

    My goodness that makes me happy – oh, yes, the Union Station train from the airport would be a no-brainer – 2 blocks from the rink.

  138. OriginalPouzar says:

    Ben:
    Spec: “Are Draisaitl and McDavid accepting of playing apart?”

    Tippett: “Draisaitl and McDavid are accepting of winning.”

    Liked Tippett when they hired him, like him even more now.

    Great answer!

    Of course, in my opinion, the theory/verbal/premise that Drai “pouts” when not with McDavid is complete gibberish – just my opinion though.

  139. drglen says:

    just watched Sheldon Keefe’s presser…. very articulate straight forward guy, that I think players would like to play for. He strikes me as a very likeable person and a good motivator. He said they lost their structure and opened up the ice for macdavid.

    I think that when both teams are fast, their are more spaces. One moves through and clear, faster, creating lanes. That’s why this game was so good. Lots of lanes and lots of speed.

  140. OriginalPouzar says:

    Fuge Udvar:
    Put me in the camp that thinks Yamamoto’s skating is a big plus. He closes the gap so fast and he creates so many puck battles that most players never get there to create the puck battle in the first place. I haven’t seen much evidence of a 6th or 7th gear but he never seems to leave 5th gear.

    Agree with the assesment – watched him a lot last year and this year in the Bake and he doesn’t have the next level pull-away speed but damn is he quick and he gets on players very fast – part of it I think is plus edge ability – to turn and change skating angles without loss of speed – I think – I might be making that up.

  141. OriginalPouzar says:

    That may be the first time we’ve (I’ve) seen McDavid use a flat out change of speed/pace to beat the d-man – its almost always high speed dangles or straight out speed.

    He may still have another offensive gear (he has more “gears” to his game as he matures as an overall player but, as far as offence, he’s near his prime).

    Overall prime is still 3-4 years away.

  142. Glovjuice says:

    That goal was pure Michael Jordan.

  143. northerndancer says:

    Glovjuice:
    That goal was pure Michael Jordan.

    No need to cheapen it. When Jordan did things like that he didn’t have to beat a goalie after the initial blow-by.

  144. northerndancer says:

    Glovjuice,

    But I agree that it was brilliant!

  145. JimmyV1965 says:

    OriginalPouzar: Agree with the assesment – watched him a lot last year and this year in the Bake and he doesn’t have the next level pull-away speed but damn is he quick and he gets on players very fast – part of it I think is plus edge ability – to turn and change skating angles without loss of speed – I think – I might be making that up.

    His edge work is amazing. Straight speed is only one part of playing fast.

  146. Wilde says:

    Apologies if anyone mentioned this already, but a Finn on Twitter appears to have the Game Score numbers for the SM-Liiga and posted the top 15 forwards and top 10 defensemen – Jesse Puljujärvi is at 4.20/GP, with the next highest 3.44; which is astonishing. The 15th highest number is 2.41!

    e: If anyone is wondering, the reason the numbers are so much higher than my AHL data is because I only use 5-on-5 numbers (and some stuff like blocked shots is taken out of my version of the formula) which makes something like 1.00 very high

  147. Bling says:

    Wilde,

    Wowza

  148. slopitch says:

    Wilde:
    Apologies if anyone mentioned this already, but a Finn on Twitter appears to have the Game Score numbers for the SM-Liiga and posted the top 15 forwards and top 10 defensemen – Jesse Puljujärvi is at 4.20/GP, with the next highest 3.44; which is astonishing. The 15th highest number is 2.41!

    I saw this as well. Not familiar with game score…

  149. slopitch says:

    Knighttown loved the play by play. Glad you made it. Thats gonna be a story to tell your grandkids

  150. JimmyV1965 says:

    Rewatched the game because it was so damn entertaining. Yamamoto is a great addition to 2L. For a short guy, he has an amazing stick. Thought Nurse had a great game too. All the dmen looked good really. The bottom six really contributed in a meaningful way too. Nygaard, Sheahan and Archibald really stood out to me; fast and tenacious.

    I’m worried about JJ though. He’s maybe the only player tonight who really didn’t contribute in a meaningful way. He was just there. He didn’t even play on the PK. I wouldn’t be surprised if Yama takes his spot there soon. Not sure what the hell you do with JJ. I think his future here will soon be done.

  151. flea says:

    Thought Keefe’s 5 on 3 timeout was a misstep. The players must know what to do in that situation. How does a timeout change the plan? Weird one.

    I also thought Larsson had one of the most active games I’ve ever seen him play. Walking the line, carrying the puck, setting up for off wing shots.

    Yamamoto was credited with one takeaway but he created so many turnovers throughout the game.

    And McDavid – wow.

  152. godot10 says:

    Glovjuice:
    That goal was pure Michael Jordan.

    Lamar Jackson

  153. Bag of Pucks says:

    Watched the game on PVR about 15 mins behind (hate commercials) and then raced to the curling club to play a late draw. The whole club was buzzing about the goal. Dozens of grown men in their 30s, 40s and 50s marveling at the artistry of this amazing athlete.

    Like Gretzky before him, Connor simply changes the physics of the game and makes the improbable probable.

    The one trait Wayne and Connor share? They never look down at the puck!!! They were/are an absolute blessing to this cold northern town.

  154. v4ance says:

    Mike Smith won but that’s a far cry from saying he played well. We outscored his mistakes because normally a goalie who gives up 4 goals and has a save% under 0.900 will lose. He played the first and second goals badly even though he was excellent in the first period. He’s just off balance way too often and guessing where the shots are coming from rather than reading and reacting.

    The first was a partial 3 on 2 with Khaira late on the backcheck. There wasn’t good communication on the play as Jones should have asked Khaira to take Spezza wide. Maybe a little too puck focused by all the defenders. Smith leaned way too far to his glove side and I felt he was guessing that Engvall was taking the shot rather than reacting to the play.

    On the second, I felt he was way too far in his net. Marchment made a perfect area pass to Gauthier into the center slot that Smith could have taken a strong step to the middle to cut the angle before sliding back to his stick side. Instead, he leaned waaay to far too his glove side again and his momentum was going the wrong way when Gauthier cut left. He was horribly off balance so felt his only way to make the save was to try the leg flail windmill in the air and to cut off the bottom of the net… which totally didn’t work.

    Honestly if you look at Smiths last 10 starts, he only deserved to win 2 games with save percentages under 0.900 in 8 of 10. His record is 3-5-2 in those 10 but only because the team in front of him piled 6 goals on the opponents tonight. If we objectively look at how he’s playing right now he’s just flailing at shots or guessing or lunging off balance way too often to be successful. Also, he’s been beaten so many times cleanly on his glove side lately, I think he’s overreacting that direction to try put more of his body in the path of glove side shots and exposing his stick side or being off balance when the play goes to his stick side.

    https://www.hockey-reference.com/players/s/smithmi01/gamelog/2020/

    Chiasson’s goal was the only real weak goal on the Leaf goalies. The first by Klef was a screen shot past Nygard, the second was Nurse with a floating screen by Kassian to pick a corner, and the 3rd was Yamamoto getting lost in coverage. When Drai threw the cross ice backhand to Jones, Nuge was standing right in front of the net so Andersen had to respect both a shot from Jones and a possible tip/shot pass to Nuge leaving Yama totally open as the defence shifted right. Chiasson’s goal was a shot that goalies save 95-98 times out of a 100. Andersen was in position but the shot handcuffed him and snuck in. The fifth was Drai picking a post and in with Klef driving to the net and providing a screen. The sixth was McMagic.

  155. ArmchairGM says:

    flyfish1168:
    5 teams behind us have games in hand. If they were to win them all we could drop down to 11th place. Scary tight conference

    Vancouver is 1 point back and has 3 games in hand.

    BUT: they play the next 5 games on the road – TBY, FLA, BUF, MIN AND WPG – and they have a losing record (9-10-1) in away games. So which will carry over, their Away record or their 7-game winning streak?

  156. hunter1909 says:

    mmmmKay so which are the real 2019-20 Oilers? That team who stormed out of the gates with a 2 person forward corps(literally) dominating until their collective wheels fell off and then they declined and the rest of the schmucks came down to earth as few were contributing for shite?

    Or are they these new improved Oilers with Nurse, Yamamoto to name 2 players who have both elevated the team’s fortunes by auspicious play?

    Am particularly happy to eat my words about Yamamoto, who is still too small and I still expect him to get flattened sometime between now and March, but he’s seriously developed himself down in the AHL the way players are always supposed to unless its a Lowe/MacT desperate to fool the suckers ahem fans with strategy of personal failings and selfishness.

    Ever since Katz came clean the team’s fortunes have started looking up. Of course I too thought the season was over about 4 games ago, but they’re beating top eastern teams away which schmucks rarely can do consistently.

    And so, does anyone know what the rest of the season is likely to bring? So far, even if they’re skating on thin ice they’re in playoff position in January.

  157. ArmchairGM says:

    Wilde:
    Apologies if anyone mentioned this already, but a Finn on Twitter appears to have the Game Score numbers for the SM-Liiga and posted the top 15 forwards and top 10 defensemen – Jesse Puljujärvi is at 4.20/GP, with the next highest 3.44; which is astonishing. The 15th highest number is 2.41!

    e: If anyone is wondering, the reason the numbers are so much higher than my AHL data is because I only use 5-on-5 numbers (and some stuff like blocked shots is taken out of my version of the formula) which makes something like 1.00 very high

    Do you have a link?

  158. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    OriginalPouzar: Great answer!

    Of course, in my opinion, the theory/verbal/premise that Drai “pouts” when not with McDavid is complete gibberish – just my opinion though.

    I think it was real (the pout) for both players.

    After their disastrous December together and their amazing run since being split up I think Tippett has them on side with it.

  159. frjohnk says:

    PVRd the game and just read the comments

    Im happy that KT not only made it to the game, but a game that his family will never forget.

    Oilers beating the Leafs in Toronto was beautiful.

    Just when a person thinks they have seen everything that is amazing by the best player in the league, McDavid gets us to hold his beer.Wow.

  160. Coiler says:

    frjohnk:
    PVRd the game and just read the comments

    Im happy that KT not only made it to the game, but a game that his family will never forget.

    Oilers beating the Leafs in Toronto was beautiful.

    Just when a person thinks they have seen everything that is amazing by the best player in the league, McDavid gets us to hold his beer.Wow.

    Well put. I couldn’t have said it better myself. I can tell you from my own vantage point at the game, there was stunned silence from the Leaf’s fans after he scored that absolutely sublime goal. What a masterful display of skill and talent. His speed…just incredible.

    Edmonton finally got that monkey off their back in what was a really entertaining game. Best Oiler game I’ve seen in a long time.

  161. kooler says:

    Btw. Kudos to RNH for that back check / no look backhand pass to McDavid.

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