Bizarre Love Triangle

The confusion of youth is something we all experience, all young people fumble their way to success in one way or another. From the activities enjoyed in a used 1965 Chevy Bel Air Super Sport to that first big job interview, it’s desire over a pile of nerves on the way to maturation.

Related: Young NHL defensemen will break your heart, they just will. It’s been going on since Jim Dorey, I saw it happen. Based on my Dad’s description of Kent Douglas, it had been going on quite some time before Dorey, too.

Some of you are mad at Ethan Bear this morning, I’d suggest that’s a waste of time. By any measure, Bear’s adjustment to the NHL has been splendid. Last night’s third goal was a mistake. It happens. We move on, secure in the knowledge Bear will take that lesson and apply it to future tests. That’s how this works.

While Bear’s sins can be filed under ‘learning curve’, I’m less inclined to overlook Zack Kassian’s actions that led to a four-minute Calgary power play, or to Mikko Koskinen’s slow reaction at the net on the 3-3 goal (that was a big play). More in a minute.

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: Zack Kassian calls Matthew Tkachuk a ‘p****,’ says he’d go after him again despite Oilers’ loss
  • Lowetide: Projecting William Lagesson’s future with the Edmonton Oilers
  • Jonathan Willis: Kailer Yamamoto has impressed the Oilers and especially star linemate Leon Draisaitl
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: 10 bold predictions for the Edmonton Oilers in 2020
  • Jonathan Willis: Mike Smith stars in Oilers victory, but others’ struggles could prompt changes
  • Jonathan Willis: Inside a coach’s impact: How Dave Tippett gets the most out of the Oilers’ players
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Deciding what to do with Darnell Nurse, Mike Smith, Tyler Benson and Evan Bouchard
  • LowetideKen Holland’s targets for his first trade deadline with the Oilers.
  • Minnia Feng: Zamboni Ursula: What if Oilers fans could change something in the team’s past?
  • Lowetide: Ken Holland’s trade deadline options for the Oilers
  • Jonathan Willis: ‘That’s the nicest goal I’ve ever seen’: Connor McDavid’s teammates amazed by his latest effort
  • Jonathan Willis: Oilers notebook: James Neal’s resurgence, Matt Benning’s injury and the Tyler Benson recall temptation
  • Lowetide: Oilers farmhands are pushing hard for NHL jobs
  • 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
  • Lowetide: Complete Oilers top 20 prospects list, winter 2019

OILERS AFTER 47 GAMES

  • Oilers in 2015-16: 19-23-5, 43 points; goal differential -22
  • Oilers in 2016-17: 25-15-7, 57 points; goal differential +7
  • Oilers in 2017-18: 21-23-3, 45 points; goal differential -24
  • Oilers in 2018-19: 23-21-3, 49 points; goal differential -7
  • Oilers in 2019-20: 24-18-5, 53 points; goal differential -3

A point or two last night would have been outstanding, but the club is over 50 points and the goal differential is improved coming off the road trip. Two big games before the break, need points in both.

ON THE TENS

  • First 10 games: 7-2-1
  • Second 10 games: 5-4-1
  • Third 10 games: 5-4-1
  • Fourth 10 games: 3-6-1
  • Current 10 games: 4-2-1. 

OILERS IN JANUARY

  • Oilers in January 2016: 2-2-1, five points; goal differential -2
  • Oilers in January 2017: 2-3-0, four points; goal differential -3
  • Oilers in January 2018: 1-4-0, two points; goal differential -12
  • Oilers in January 2019: 3-2-0, six points; goal differential -4
  • Oilers in January 2020: 3-1-1, seven points; goal differential +3

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM JANUARY

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

The Oilers remain ahead of my projection, and now enter an extended home stand that will carry them through the end of the month. Two games in the coming week, both (as always) vital.

OILERS 2019-20

THE GOALS AGAINST

All numbers five on five via NST unless noted. I want to begin with the goals against today.

FIRST GOAL Matt Tkachuk carries the puck into Edmonton’s zone and goes wide along the right wall, Klefbom marking him. Adam Larsson also has his man (Mangiapane). Tkachuk sends the puck through the slot, but Mangiapane can’t get it. Lindholm does secure the puck with McDavid, Neal and Kassian all around. Puck goes up in the air, mad scramble, Lindholm turns and fires. Some fluke to the goal, but there were chances to clear. Koskinen did not play the shot well, seemed a little unprepared for it. That’s my opinion.

SECOND GOAL Flames win a battle in the neutral zone, Gaudreau carries the puck in to the Edmonton zone. Looks for a quiet spot, passes Joakim Nygard and says hello, then sends a shot from distance to the net. It goes off Adam Larsson, and into the net. For me, it was soft play in the neutral zone combined with bad luck, but it’s close to the end of a period, Nygard needed to be a little more difficult to get around in my opinion.

THIRD GOAL Bear has the puck behind the Edmonton net, Oilers forwards are zipping around like mosquitoes at the picnic. Bear sends a dart to Gaetan Haas, puck goes off his foot and straight back toward the Edmonton net. Derek Ryan creates havoc, Koskinen doesn’t secure the puck, and Dillon Dube marches in and buries it. Bear gets two down arrows here, one for having too much pace on the pass, another for hesitating with the puck so close to danger. I love this kid’s game, and personally it’s forgotten. I hope fans feel the same way. He’s such a revelation.

FOURTH GOAL Lindholm gets the puck on the right side with plenty of ice to drive toward the Edmonton net (this is on the PP). Kris Russell stops, drops and rolls, leaving Matt Tkachuk to screen Koskinen and score the winning goal. Lots of teachable moments in that goal, beginning with what Russell was trying to accomplish on the goal.

ZACK KASSIAN

Kids, that’s why Gordie Howe would famously take a number. Kassian’s response to Matt Tkachuk’s dangerous hit (not that one, the other one, although the second one was charging in the old days) was in some ways understandable. If the refs aren’t going to call the penalties (the first one was a head hit) then Tkachuk has special license and someone has to respond. I get that, makes sense to me and Kassian didn’t let up once he committed so message sent.

Here’s the thing: You can’t do it. You can’t put your team down for four minutes in an important game like that one. You can’t. Coach Dave Tippett said (via Jermain Franklin TSN) “it was a hit and a reaction and we had to kill the penalty and we didn’t; Kas, I would like to see him get a number. It’s a tight game, 3-3, get a number and deal with it later.”

That’s exactly how I feel. I get it, understand it. Bad timing.

LINE 1 Ryan Nugent Hopkins-Leon Draisaitl-Kailer Yamamoto played 15:04, going 19-16 Corsi, 11-8 shots, 2-0 goals and 2-5 HDSC.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored twice, four shots, three takeaways. He was splendid and reaches game 41 with some handsome boxcars. Leon Draisaitl had an assist and two shots, he was credited with one HDSC but I thought he was more dynamic. Kailer Yamamoto had two assists, one high danger scoring chance and drew a penalty. The young man has exceeded expectations through five games.

LINE 2 James Neal-Connor McDavid-Zack Kassian played 10:55, going 7-9 Corsi, 5-4 shots, 1-1 goals and 3-1 HDSC.

James Neal had a stunning chance that was turned away by Cam Talbot, that goal goes in Edmonton wins the game. Connor McDavid scored another incredible goal, we’ve used up all the words under heaven and he isn’t yet five years in. He also had two more terrific chances and passed out several more. Zack Kassian had a HDSC and played well imo save for the item above.

LINE 3 Joakim Nygard-Riley Sheahan-Josh Archibald played 8:49, going 4-6 Corsi, 0-3 shots, no goals and 0-1 HDSC. Low event, that’s what this line is supposed to do.

Joakim Nygard had two takeaways and used his speed to advantage, the only down arrow was his fly by on Gaudreau with the clock running down. A little interference there would have been timely. Riley Sheahan won five of 10 faceoffs and worked hard but nothing to show for it. Josh Archibald had one good look and a takeaway, plus 1:51 at five on five with 97.

LINE 4 Sam Gagner-Gaetan Haas-Alex Chiasson played 5:33, going 7-9 Corsi, 4-3 shots, 0-1 goals and 1-3 HDSC.

Sam Gagner had one shot (another nice pass from 97) and a takeaway, he didn’t get to enough plays. Gaetan Haas had two shots, won four of six on the dot. Alex Chiasson had two shots, both HDSC’s and was the most noticeable of the trio (partly because he spent 1:10 with McDavid).

PAIRING ONE Darnell Nurse and Ethan Bear played 20:18, going 18-28 Corsi, 12-12 shots, 1-1 goals and 2-6 HDSC.

Darnell Nurse had one shot on goal and was defending most of the time. The Flames are a combination of quick and heavy, Nurse had a tough time (and was not alone). Ethan Bear had an assist, two shots, but also a giveaway and some vapor lock. This pairing needed to be better.

PAIRING TWO Oscar Klefbom and Adam Larsson played 18:43, going 19-20 Corsi, 10-12 shots, 1-2 goals and 4-5 HDSC.

Oscar Klefbom had two shots, a giveaway and a takeaway. I thought he was Edmonton’s best defenseman on the night, if only because he could both keep pace with Calgary’s forwards and win battles. Adam Larsson got hit early and often, that seemed to get him off his game a little. He was barely in photo early on a breakaway, that’s not Larsson when he’s on.

PAIRING THREE Kris Russell and Caleb Jones played 9:45, going 2-7 Corsi, 2-4 shots, no goals and 0-1 HDSC. Those are the kind of low event numbers Dave Tippett would be looking for from this pairing.

Kris Russell had an unusual approach to the fourth goal, he must have believed it was the right play but it effectively took him out of the biggest play of the night. Caleb Jones had a takeaway and played well to my eye against a talented group of Calgary forwards.

GOALIE Mikko Koskinen was not sharp at all. Stopped 28 of 32, .875. First goal and third goal he needed to be sharper.

LISTEN

That was a terrific road trip. I know Oilers fans will be unhappy but the Flames were the better team, had the better goalie and kept their heads far better in an important game. It’s one game, there are more to follow. Need more discipline, from the goalie out.

CONDORS 2019-20

Tyler Benson and Evan Bouchard continue to punish AHL goaltenders in recent days. In Benson’s most recent nine games, he is 1-12-13. For Bouchard, No. 2 two in rookie scoring by a defenceman, he is 1-4-5 in his last three games.

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268 Responses to "Bizarre Love Triangle"

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  1. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – I remember when Shero was touted as being the right kind of GM doing all the smart stuff

    – I never got this and wondered what he was doing that was so great or innovative. (Except hiring Dellow a beloved guy who parlayed a law degree and interest in numbers into positions with 2 organizations)

    – Just like Chia : 1 playoffs in 4 or 5 seasons doesn’t cut it. And he was supposed to be way better than our GM. Both had Hall and Dellow and neither group could find a pot to piss in.

  2. Lowetide says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    – I remember when Shero was touted as being the right kind of GM doing all the smart stuff

    – I never got this and wondered what he was doing that was so great or innovative. (Except hiring Dellow a beloved guy who parlayed a law degree and interest in numbers into positions with 2 organizations)

    – Just like Chia : 1 playoffs in 4 or 5 seasons doesn’t cut it. And he was supposed to be way better than our GM. Both had Hall and Dellow and neither group could find a pot to piss in.

    Both should have listened to Dellow, maybe they would still have their jobs. As for Hall, I think we’ve been down this road before but he can play on my team any day.

  3. duct tape and foil says:

    Well the optics and verbal are clear. Tkachuk ‘s game is to play with intent to injure and he will not fight to back up his actions. It’s crazy because the guy has actual talent and does not need to play like an ECHL scrub. This is a dangerous player who is going to end someone’s career. What is the appropriate response? Unfortunately with the NHL letting this stuff go on this player in particular, the only thing you can do is regularly play Tkachuk with with a similar intent to injure. Lose one game 12-4, it doesn’t matter, the message must be sent that any further attempts to injure will be met with severe and immediate retaliation of a dangerous but non-fighting type. It’s pathetic that the NHL is actually promoting this type of response.

  4. Ryan says:

    Lowetide: Both should have listened to Dellow, maybe they would still have their jobs. As for Hall, I think we’ve been down this road before but he can play on my team any day.

    You sound like you know something we don’t?

    I’m sure you do, but probably can’t say…

  5. Bling says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    – I remember when Shero was touted as being the right kind of GM doing all the smart stuff

    – I never got this and wondered what he was doing that was so great or innovative. (Except hiring Dellow a beloved guy who parlayed a law degree and interest in numbers into positions with 2 organizations)

    – Just like Chia : 1 playoffs in 4 or 5 seasons doesn’t cut it. And he was supposed to be way better than our GM. Both had Hall and Dellow and neither group could find a pot to piss in.

    Their offseason moves looked good, but the whispers about PK Subban having lost a step last season were proven to be true. He’s not a dynamic top pairing D this season. Will he be able to recover? Maybe, but injuries can hobble elite players in a big way, even as early as their age 30 season. We saw that with Hemsky.

    I also think they were expecting Hughes to come in and dominate, and that hasn’t happened.

  6. Harpers Hair says:

    Not a good day for the Oilers on the out of town scoreboard.

    Nashville and Vancouver win while Arizona loses in a shootout.

    Calgary plays Montreal tomorrow so will likely get a win there.

    Tuesday should be huge…

    VGK @ BUF
    VAN @ WPG
    SJS@ ARZ
    NSH@EDM

    Oilers can’t really afford to lose or they could fall out of a playoff spot.

  7. OriginalPouzar says:

    Not great but now awful

    Winnipeg losing to Nashville in regulation was the preferred result.

    ARI didn’t get a win, let along a regulation win – one point isn’t the end of the world.

    We are all Habs fans tomorrow!

    • Harpers Hair says:

      OriginalPouzar:
      Not great but now awful

      Winnipeg losing to Nashville in regulation was the preferred result.

      ARI didn’t get a win, let along a regulation win – one point isn’t the end of the world.

      We are all Habs fans tomorrow!

      I would be much more worried about Nashville than Winnipeg.

      4 points behind with 3 games in hand..a new coach and better defensive structure.

      Pekka Rinne won’t be a dog forever.

      Montreal is playing like dirt so it would take an absolute miracle for them to beat the Flames although Carey Price can always win a game on his own.

  8. Genjutsu says:

    Bling,

    Especially smaller physical players that rely heavily on skating.

    Everyone thought Bergevin was out to lunch with Webber, however, trade things look very different now.

  9. OriginalPouzar says:

    Harpers Hair: I would be much more worried about Nashville than Winnipeg.

    4 points behind with 3 games in hand..a new coach and better defensive structure.

    Pekka Rinne won’t be a dog forever.

    Montreal is playing like dirt so it would take an absolute miracle for them to beat the Flames although Carey Price can always win a game on his own.

    I’ll take the Winnipeg regulation loss – that was my preferred result.

    Oilers can take care of Nashville themselves this coming Tuesday.

    Habs just won – they aren’t great but weren’t as bad as they seemed on their most recent streak.

    I’m not counting on a Habs regulation win but its not out of the realm – NJ just beat TBL.

    • Harpers Hair says:

      I always bet on the hot hand.

      VCR 8-2-0
      CAL 7-3-0
      NSH 5-4-1
      EDM 5-4-1
      VGK 5-5-0
      ARZ 4-5-1
      WPG 3-5-2

      After the Nashville game, the Oilers play three teams ahead of them in the standings.

      Vancouver, for example, plays four teams behind them in the standings with one game at home against the Blues.

  10. Genjutsu says:

    OriginalPouzar: I’ll take the Winnipeg regulation loss – that was my preferred result.

    Oilers can take care of Nashville themselves this coming Tuesday.

    Habs just won – they aren’t great but weren’t as bad as they seemed on their most recent streak.

    I’m not counting on a Habs regulation win but its not out of the realm – NJ just beat TBL.

    The Habs streak was all one goal losses, excluding empty net goals. Injuries and back luck did in a pretty good team.

  11. knighttown says:

    The challenge with a guy like Tkachuk is that he doesn’t play by the code. This is almost unique in today’s NHL where the guys have been trained to respect their fellow players safety. He will head into the grey areas and loopholes with the dual intent of injuring you and/or having you retaliate. Either outcome is just fine with him because he technically isn’t breaking any rules. “If you don’t like me running at you (while you’re already engaged) stay off the tracks.

    So what do you do?

    Ignoring him is extremely tough as we’ve seen these last couple times.

    Targeting him cleanly likely won’t do anything. He’s pretty aware.

    Targeting him with dirty plays will result in massive punishments especially if he does get injured.

    Targeting Johnny or Gio May make sense to us but blind siding a clean hockey player you respect I’d bet would be way less appetizing for other clean players.

    I think if it’s was me I’d try to find other loopholes and grey areas to hurt him. I’m a pacifist but I think this guy needs to be stopped.

    What rule is stopping you from skating up the ice and shooting the puck at his face? What about oops falling at his knees when you’re coming from the blind side.

    How about the old move where one guy ducks down and the other shoves him over his back. Could make that look accidental.

    Shooting. Ducking. Stumbling into him from behind. Get into the muck with this fucker.

    • Halfwise says:

      I watch less Oiler hockey these days because I hate the officiating.

      I’m in favour of cross checking Tkachuk right in his smirking mouth during the national anthem and at every other opportunity for the full duration of the game.

      People who treat the game with no respect deserve no respect.

      That includes the brain trust behind the officiating.

      Other than that, I feel pretty good about this team this season.

  12. Harpers Hair says:

    Genjutsu: The Habs streak was all one goal losses, excluding empty net goals. Injuries and back luck did in a pretty good team.

    2-7-1 in their last 10 games and 9 points out of the playoffs is not a “pretty good team”.

    They’re 8-11-4 at home.

    That’s a really shitty hockey team.

    • Genjutsu says:

      Well they have had a terrible run of injuries and some nice fancies. Inna parity league injuries and bad luck is all it takes.

      Detroit is terrible.

      Are you sure you know what that word means?

  13. JimmyV1965 says:

    The Habs could certainly solve a lot of our problems on the wing. Domi, Tatar and even Lehkonen would have a big impact on our roster.

  14. Melman says:

    Game was decided between the pipes. That’s really the full story

  15. Genjutsu says:

    Melman:
    Game was decided between the pipes. That’s really the full story

    It usually is isn’t it. That’s why Woodguy calls it mostly goalie.

    He’s right too.

    Mostly goalie.

  16. Genjutsu says:

    JimmyV1965,

    Danault and Tatar would be more likely targets IMO.

    Pretty much would fix all our problems depending on your opinion on backup goalie and Benning’s health.

  17. Reja says:

    Harpers Hair:
    Not a good day for the Oilers on the out of town scoreboard.

    Nashville and Vancouver win while Arizona loses in a shootout.

    Calgary plays Montreal tomorrow so will likely get a win there.

    Tuesday should be huge…

    VGK @ BUF
    VAN @ WPG
    SJS@ ARZ
    NSH@EDM

    Oilers can’t really afford to lose or they couldfall out of a playoff spot.

    Isn’t there some rule that you can’t cheer for more than 12 teams in the west.

  18. godot10 says:

    knighttown:
    The challenge with a guy like Tkachuk is that he doesn’t play by the code.

    Targeting Johnny or Gio May make sense to us but blind siding a clean hockey player you respect I’d bet would be way less appetizing for other clean players.

    There is no code. There never was. They weren’t called the Big Bad Bruins and the Broadstreet Bullies because they followed any kind of a code. The Habs dynasty could beat any team on the ice and they could beat them in the alley also if the other team chose to go that way.

    And Gio, like Pronger, is no angel, or have you forgotton already.

  19. Harpers Hair says:

    Reja: Isn’t there some rule that you can’t cheer for more than 12 teams in the west.

    No.

    You can comment on all of them without being a simpering fan.

  20. GMB3 says:

    Bag of Pucks: Keyboard warrior.

    Have you ever considered just canning that response? Not everyone is out on the blog to challenge people to fights.

  21. duct tape and foil says:

    If he doesn’t stop, and he’s been warned plenty, then I’d simply eat a single loss and go at him every shift in an overtly vicious manner. It’s all he understands. Let’s be honest. The guy is a classic socio-path. He sees absolutely nothing wrong in what he’s doing in try to hurt players and end careers. The only way he will clue in is if he understands that the oilers are absolutely willing to seriously injure him if he doesn’t stop. Clean hits mean nothing to him, he refuses to fight, so only the potential for a career threatening injury may register on this guy. It’s bloody obvious folks, he’s a socio-path, and he’s not following the usual social norms (aka “the code”).

    knighttown:
    The challenge with a guy like Tkachuk is that he doesn’t play by the code. This is almost unique in today’s NHL where the guys have been trained to respect their fellow players safety. He will head into the grey areas and loopholes with the dual intent of injuring you and/or having you retaliate. Either outcome is just fine with him because he technically isn’t breaking any rules. “If you don’t like me running at you (while you’re already engaged) stay off the tracks.

    So what do you do?

    Ignoring him is extremely tough as we’ve seen these last couple times.

    Targeting him cleanly likely won’t do anything. He’s pretty aware.

    Targeting him with dirty plays will result in massive punishments especially if he does get injured.

    Targeting Johnny or Gio May make sense to us but blind siding a clean hockey player you respect I’d bet would be way less appetizing for other clean players.

    I think if it’s was me I’d try to find other loopholes and grey areas to hurt him. I’m a pacifist but I think this guy needs to be stopped.

    What rule is stopping you from skating up the ice and shooting the puck at his face? What about oops falling at his knees when you’re coming from the blind side.

    How about the old move where one guy ducks down and the other shoves him over his back. Could make that look accidental.

    Shooting. Ducking. Stumbling into him from behind. Get into the muck with this fucker.

  22. Rugbypig says:

    Paulie,

    You are making a straw-man argument, you cannot offer two options and then remove one to ensure your narrative makes a “dubious” point.
    I offer the following from the same game “If Ethan Bear had played the puck instead of staring at it the score would have stayed 3-2”

  23. Wilde says:

    Bakersfield Condors vs. Iowa Wild; January 11th, 2020; deployment:

    Benson – Granlund – Currie
    Esposito – Cave – Maksimov
    Gambardella – Malone – Koules
    Stukel – McLeod – Hebig
    [ McLeod – Malone – Gambardella ]
    [ Esposito – Cave – Hebig ]

    Manning-Persson
    Lowe-Bouchard
    Kulevich-Day

    After 20:

    16CF-9CA
    8FF-7FA
    0GF-0GA

    Top F: Malone (0.26 Game Score)
    1 shot attempt, 1 shot assist
    4CF-1CA
    0GF-0GA

    Top D: Kulevich (0.51 Game Score)
    2 shot attempts, 2 shot assists
    6CF-0CA
    0GF-0GA

    ….

    After 40:

    29CF-22CA
    18FF-11FA
    0GF-1GA

    Top F: Malone (0.41 Game Score)
    2 shot attempts, 1 shot assist
    8CF-3CA
    7FF-1FA
    0GF-0GA

    Top D: Kulevich (0.52 Game Score)
    3 shot attempts, 2 shot assists
    8CF-3CA
    5FF-2FA
    0GF-0GA

    Game Totals

    41CF-32CA
    27FF-13FA
    3GF-2GA

    Top F: Granlund (1.14 Game Score)
    7 shot attempts, 1 shot assists
    1 goal
    14CF-12CA
    11FF-8FA
    1GF-1GA

    Top D: Kulevich (2.57 Game Score)
    4 shot attempts, 3 shot assists
    1 goal, 1 assist
    12CF-3CA
    9FF-2FA
    2GF-0GA

  24. ArmchairGM says:

    Harpers Hair: I would be much more worried about Nashville than Winnipeg.

    4 points behind with 3 games in hand..a new coach and better defensive structure.

    Pekka Rinne won’t be a dog forever.

    Montreal is playing like dirt so it would take an absolute miracle for them to beat the Flames although Carey Price can always win a game on his own.

    We need MTL to channel their inner NJ Devils for this one game…

  25. ArmchairGM says:

    4-2-1 in their last seven… there are 35 games left – 5 sets of 7 games – if the Oilers can take 9 points out of each “series” they’ll make the playoffs comfortably. That would put them at 98 points. As it is they’re on pace for 92.5, so this isn’t out of reach.

  26. season not played says:

    Ray Shero out in New Jersey. Wonder if it has to do with Adam Larsson still patrolling the Oiler D in a top four role and Taylor Hall gone to Arizona in a trade, IMO, in which Shero got less for Hall than the Oilers did.

    There has to be a lesson in there somewhere.

  27. flyfish1168 says:

    season not played:
    Ray Shero out in New Jersey.Wonder if it has to do with Adam Larsson still patrolling the Oiler D in a top four role and Taylor Hall gone to Arizona in a trade, IMO, in which Shero got less for Hall than the Oilers did.

    There has to be a lesson in there somewhere.

    +1

    I feel for Hall. The way he dominated the Memorial cup I really felt he would be a winner wherever he goes. I just didn’t think he would be constantly winning the 1st overall pick.

  28. LMHF#1 says:

    Is everyone mentally preparing for how this will seemingly play out?

    They suspend Kassian today, despite him not being the dangerous player in this situation.

    Kassian decks someone in the next Calgary game and they not only give him 5+ for a similar or lesser hit, but suspend him afterward.

    Both the media and many around here justify both actions and simply ignore the fact that you’ve allowed a class of players to play the game with intent to injure and no ramifications for quite some time in the NHL.

    It’s nuts you can’t defend yourself with your elbows up anymore. It’s nuts that linesmen defend the cheap shot artists from getting what they deserve. It’s nuts that because someone isn’t large they get to hit people in a way a big player doesn’t.

    And keep in mind – I say this all as someone who believes someone should have whacked Kassian in the head for what he did to Gagner way back when. This isn’t about him. This is about how the game has become utterly stupid in several areas.

  29. OriginalPouzar says:

    seasonnotplayed:
    Ray Shero out in New Jersey.Wonder if it has to do with Adam Larsson still patrolling the Oiler D in a top four role and Taylor Hall gone to Arizona in a trade, IMO, in which Shero got less for Hall than the Oilers did.

    There has to be a lesson in there somewhere.

    I would hope that Shero got less for Hall than the Oilers did, he was trading a pending UFA, not a player under contract for 3 years.

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