2019-20 Game 54: Sharks at Oilers

My favourite game between the San Jose Sharks and Edmonton Oilers took place on May 10, 2006. I remember it as the ‘Shawn Horcoff scores in overtime’ game but the rest of the world remembers Dwayne Roloson’s theft of Jonathan Cheechoo. It’s all here.

I grew up outside of wealth, which in Canada is very much like growing up with wealth. Or at least it used to be. Because my family didn’t roll down to Disneyland, or fly to Nova Scotia to see a total eclipse of the sun, God gave me an active imagination. If you give me the boxscore of that game, I can recreate it for you, even down to the strange hug Matt Greene gave Horcoff (strange because the names seemed to spell “Brewer” and I was confused for a moment, 14 years ago) in the seconds after he scored the overtime winner.

There’s a lot of imagination in being a hockey fan. No promises, but it’s beginning to look like a playoff party could be coming to town in April. Music!

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: Drilling down on right-handed centres for the Oilers to target before the trade deadline
  • New Jonathan Willis: Oilers trade suggestions: 50 proposals from readers, with our verdict
  • Lowetide: If fast is the new big, the Oilers are trending in a very good direction
  • Lowetide: Oilers’ 2016 draft and the value of waiting five years
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘I got a text from Wayne Gretzky that I’ve still got saved’: 8 years later, Sam Gagner reflects on his 8-point night.
  • Lowetide: What’s next for Tyler Benson and William Lagesson after being called up by the Oilers?
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘Now it’s over’: With a new contract in hand, Zack Kassian ready to move on after Matthew Tkachuk fight
  • Lowetide: Why the Oilers are more likely to trade Adam Larsson than Kris Russell
  • Lowetide: Oilers prospects Evan Bouchard and Tyler Benson deliver best minor league performances in 20 years
  • Jonathan Willis: An updated list of which Oilers are most likely to be traded in 2019-20
  • Lowetide: Kailer Yamamoto gives Oilers a midseason spark, one of the best in team history
  • Jonathan Willis: The Oilers’ road forward — and perhaps to a Stanley Cup — requires trusting the kids on defence
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Deciding what to do with Darnell Nurse, Mike Smith, Tyler Benson and Evan Bouchard

OILERS AFTER 54 GAMES

  • Oilers in 2015-16: 21-28-5, 47 points; goal differential -28
  • Oilers in 2016-17: 28-18-8, 64 points; goal differential +11
  • Oilers in 2017-18: 23-27-4, 50 points; goal differential -29
  • Oilers in 2018-19: 24-25-5, 53 points; goal differential -17
  • Oilers in 2019-20: 28-19-6, 62 points; goal differential +5

The playoff team of 2016-17 had a tough start to February before hammering everything that moved like the lead singers of the 1964 British invasion. This year’s team is in an excellent spot this morning.

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
  • Fifth 10 games: 6-2-2
  • Current 10 games: 2-1-0

We’re reaching the point now where only a truly bad 10-game run could derail the playoff train. I don’t see it, to be honest. The Oilers have cracks and holes, but the roster has found a way to survive with McDavid off. In fact, the recent trends in this area are impressive.

OILERS IN FEBRUARY

  • Oilers in February 2016: 1-2-0, two points; goal differential -8
  • Oilers in February 2017: 1-2-0, two points; goal differential -3
  • Oilers in February 2018: 1-1-1, three points; goal differential +2
  • Oilers in February 2019: 0-1-2, two points; goal differential -6
  • Oilers in February 2020: 1-1-0, two points; goal differential +3

Since January 1, at five on five, the Oilers are 9-8. With McDavid off the ice at five on five, the answer is 21-14. Music! Now, about 97’s linemates.

WHAT TO EXPECT IN FEBRUARY

  • On the road to: CAL, ARI (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 1-1-0)
  • At home to: SJS, NAS, CHI (Expected 2-1-0)
  • On the road to: TBY, FLA, CAR (Expected 1-1-1)
  • At home to: BOS, MIN (Expected 1-1-0)
  • On the road to: LAK, ANA, VEG (Expected 2-1-0)
  • At home to: WPG (Expected 1-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 8-5-1, 17 points in 14 games
  • Current results: 1-1-0, two points in two games

Since January 1 the Oilers (30-22) have outscored San Jose (22-23) at five on five, on the power play (7-1 Edmonton, 6-2 San Jose) and penalty kill (2-5 Oilers and 1-6 San Jose). Aaron Dell’s save percentage (.943) since January 1 (in 10 games) is better than Mikko Koskinen (.925 in four games) or Mike Smith (.915 in eight games).

OILERS 2019-20

Tyler Benson could make his NHL debut tonight, the Oilers lost the last game and it isn’t difficult to identify candidates who earned a healthy scratch in Phoenix.

At the same time, Connor McDavid’s line has been a little stale of late, so there’s a natural thought that puts the rookie on 97’s line tonight (maybe with James Neal on the right side).

In the Arizona game, McDavid played most of the first period with Zack Kassian and Josh Archibald, but did run with Sam Gagner and Alex Chiasson for a time.

In the middle of the second period he threw Leon Draisaitl and Kailer Yamamoto out there with the captain. Later Alex Chiasson and Josh Archibald drew in.

I’m not really going anywhere with this, beyond the fact that Dave Tippett is making these conversations fun again. It’s been some time. I mean, it’s a genuine curio for me to see the lines in practice today. There’s going to be a surprise I bet, some wrinkle or tweak that offers insight into what he’s looking for. Benson-McDavid-Neal? Neal-McDavid-Yamamoto? Don’t know. Am intrigued.

CONDORS 2019-20

Evan Bouchard is taking over this team now, he’s involved in every game. His turnaround took place around Christmas. On December 22, he was 27, 3-12-15 with an on-ice goal differential of -10 (21-31).

Since Christmas, he’s 18, 4-11-15 with an on-ice goal differential of +4 (15-11).

Stuart Skinner has been a different goaltender since January 1. In 12 games, he has a goals against average of 2.39 and a save percentage of .925. This is a strong surge and has been going on for some time. Edmonton develops NHL goalies at the rate of one per decade, and the 2010’s are waiting for an answer. Maybe it’s Skinner.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN1260, we have a big show for a massive day. Eric Fawcett (North Pole Hoops, NBA Canada, Gator Country) will guide us through the final moments of the NBA trade deadline. Frank Seravalli from TSN will give us an update on the NHL trade bait list, Alex Ovechkin’s phenomenal goal-scoring week and we’ll chat about the Pacific Division and Edmonton’s place in the standings. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. We hit the air at 10!

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302 Responses to "2019-20 Game 54: Sharks at Oilers"

« Older Comments
  1. Scungilli Slushy says:

    fishman:
    Ugly game. Would be unhappy to be a paying fan tonight. I think the “Try” is there but the completion isn”t. Tough for 97 to save us given he doesn’t have a lot of winger support. Sigh!

    Connor is too good and needs a challenge. Dragging Chaser Gagner and Archie around is a challenge.

  2. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey,

    Honestly HH would be banned from any other fan website for trolling.

  3. Sierra says:

    Feeling like they think beating Calgary was a wrap on the season.

  4. fishman says:

    Lakers and Rockets tied at the half. Good game. NBA caters to their stars. All fouls against Harden and LeBron are called.

  5. Ribs says:

    How big is Koskinen, again? Sheesh

    Hey! Bear!

  6. Munny says:

    Baby Bear

  7. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Best thing about that beauty was he knocked the bottle lid into the stands . Now that’s roofing it with authority!

  8. Bulging Twine says:

    What a snipe! Broke the water bottle too

  9. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Good to see Ethan, Bear down.

  10. Munny says:

    Flames lost.

  11. Munny says:

    Would’ve liked to have seen KBomb bury that just to be a perma-fixture on the highlight reels.

  12. Ribs says:

    Bah, trying to scroll with left hand on my phone and keep hitting the gaddamned new Reply buttons! I will have to switch my drinking hand I guess!

  13. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Klef with a dreamy backhand chance there. Would have been nice to see it cash.

  14. Side says:

    Bear’s shot was nice.

    Good thing it wasn’t Broggart Raftripy shooting it though, or else it would have punched a hole in the roof of Rogers Place.

  15. Munny says:

    I think that’s the first time I’ve seen Drai in the slot tonight

  16. hags9k says:

    Tough to believe the Sharks are doing so poorly, they are always a huge challenge for us.

  17. hags9k says:

    Mix in a save.

  18. Bulging Twine says:

    I liked the Calgary game better

  19. Sierra says:

    hags9k:
    Tough to believe the Sharks are doing so poorly, they are always a huge challenge for us.

    It’s amazing how many teams people make this comment about.

  20. oilersfan says:

    Am I off or has Koskinen been bad tonight?

    I think he let in a poor goal on the last 3.

    McDavid ans Draisaitl play very poorly together in the defensive zone

  21. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    hags9k:
    Mix in a save.

    The d zone coverage to a man is horrible.

  22. Sierra says:

    oilersfan,

    Yes
    And
    Yes

  23. CrazyCoach says:

    Wow, I’m glad I have to teach on Thursday nights. Does the score match the game? Just watching now.

    After spending the last three hours lecturing on deviance in sports and violence in sports, I want to commit some violence on inanimate objects right now.

  24. Johnny skid says:

    Réal Goudenyéu: The d zone coverage to a man is horrible.

    yep.

  25. Ice Sage says:

    Oilers seem to be slumping

  26. Gerta Rauss says:

    CrazyCoach:
    Wow, I’m glad I have to teach on Thursday nights. Does the score match the game?Just watching now.

    After spending the last three hours lecturing on deviance in sports and violence in sports, I want to commit some violence on inanimate objects right now.

    Watch the first 10 mins then turn the game off

    You’ll be fine

  27. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    4-6 game skid incoming and possibly out of a wildcard spot inside of 2 weeks

    Does this team realize they can’t coast to the playoffs with 30 games left?

  28. Ribs says:

    oilersfan:
    Am I off or has Koskinen been bad tonight?

    I think he let in a poor goal on the last 3.

    McDavid ans Draisaitl play very poorly together in the defensive zone

    Last two he was out of position for. It sort of sucks the life out of the team when they are down already.

  29. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Réal Goudenyéu: The d zone coverage to a man is horrible.

    Wrong side all the time and a step behind players going to the net. They have no flow and the decisions are a second too slow making the Sharks look like a team of Bogart McRippetys, unbeatable!!

  30. Ribs says:

    CrazyCoach:
    Wow, I’m glad I have to teach on Thursday nights. Does the score match the game?Just watching now.

    After spending the last three hours lecturing on deviance in sports and violence in sports, I want to commit some violence on inanimate objects right now.

    They started the game off well (2-0). Then garbage. Then Bear snipe. Then blegh. Then game over.

  31. CrazyCoach says:

    Gerta Rauss,

    I’ve decided to watch the last 8 minutes. I’m marking assignments, and I see a few blown ones. Not my students. Oilers defensive assignments. If this game was a college class, this team would be on academic probation.

  32. Ribs says:

    Sooooo many passes to no one. Oof.

  33. Bulging Twine says:

    San Jose incredible with their sticks tonight.
    So frustrating for the offensive team. and fans

  34. Johnny skid says:

    Scungilli Slushy: Wrong side all the time and a step behind players going to the net. They have no flow and the decisions are a second too slow making the Sharks look like a team of Bogart McRippetys, unbeatable!!

    that about sums up the game from what i saw, and lol at Bogart McRippetys.

  35. Harpers Hair says:

    Ribs: They started the game off well (2-0). Then garbage. Then Bear snipe. Then blegh. Then game over.

    Didn’t see the whole game but Bear looked like the best Oilers on the ice in the second half.

    Impressive.

  36. Old Timer says:

    Didn’t seem that Draisaitl had much energy tonight. Is he getting tired from the constant attention of checkers

  37. Scungilli Slushy says:

    This is a perfect cap to a great day! Stuck in the evil empire’s airport (nice little place though). White cowboy hats on seniors everywhere.

    I don’t fly a lot, or take airplanes. Apparently at Pearson Airport if winter unexpectedly happens and something completely unpredictable happens like it snows an inch, it adds an hour and a half to a take off. Snow in Canada, outrageous.

    I’m in the home stretch of 9.5 hours of waiting for the next flight. I asked if they would let me in their lounge because the wait was so long, but no dice, the unforeseen and unexpected de icing was an act of God, not a lack of planning.

    An then the Oilers spit in my 400th beer. Sheesh.

  38. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Old Timer:
    Didn’t seem that Draisaitl had much energy tonight. Is he getting tired from the constant attention of checkers

    I think they haven’t learned to playa long game yet. Connor and Leon force things and Leon often runs out of gas IMO.

    Admittedly Connor is playing with players that are marginally NHLers, but Leon has good line mates, he just needs to play with them every game no matter the situation, can’t do it alone on demand every time you want to.

    Connor in games like this doesn’t have a choice really cause his line mates we’re having trouble even handling the puck let alone making plays.

  39. CrazyCoach says:

    Just seen the replay of Bear’s goal.

    That boy can shoot a puck. I’ve seen that since watching him with Seattle.

  40. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Johnny skid: that about sums up the game from what i saw, and lol at Bogart McRippetys.

    401st beer as per airport rant.

  41. Scungilli Slushy says:

    CrazyCoach:
    Just seen the replay of Bear’s goal.

    That boy can shoot a puck.I’ve seen that since watching him with Seattle.

    I hope he keeps that going. He has the goods to.

  42. Munny says:

    Oilers struggled with how SJ defended zone entries and filled lanes with bodies (technically interference); it was almost like a modern-day version of clutch and grab hockey. They completely took away our speed at every opportunity.

    When we did get looks we couldn’t finish and the guy defending our net was not having his best start.

    But there were also some passengers tonight. I can’t see Tipp being as ambivalent about this loss as he was about the last one.

  43. CrazyCoach says:

    Scungilli Slushy: I hope he keeps that going. He has the goods to.

    I do to.

    I think I’m his biggest fan.

    Positives.

  44. Munny says:

    CrazyCoach:
    Just seen the replay of Bear’s goal.

    That boy can shoot a puck.I’ve seen that since watching him with Seattle.

    You should back up to the live occurrence. They give a few more angles. Sure was a beauty snipe.

  45. Munny says:

    With all the losses that have happened around us, this week has been a real missed opportunity to climb up to some clean air.

  46. Scungilli Slushy says:

    CrazyCoach: I do to.

    I think I’m his biggest fan.

    Positives.

    No I am.

  47. jp says:

    I wasn’t able to watch.

    Anyone have thoughts on Benson and/or Lagesson’s games tonight?

  48. Scungilli Slushy says:

    jp:
    I wasn’t able to watch.

    Anyone have thoughts on Benson and/or Lagesson’s games tonight?

    Pretty hard to tell to me being first for Benson and maybe 2nd for Willy?

    To me both seemed aware of what to be doing. Lagesson reminded me of Larsson in style, he seemed a bit slow but part of that would be feeling tentative and the team was playing like crap so that wasn’t helping him.

    Same for Benson, tentative but aware, also not naturally a fast skater.

    I think they are both NHL quality players though. At what level we’ll see. They aren’t pushing the needle this year though. Maybe Benson.

  49. jp says:

    Thanks.

    We’ll get a chance to see them again presumably.

  50. v4ance says:

    I heard something about a Bromance Lafferty…

    6 foot 4 and full of muscle..

    I asked if he speaka my language..

    He just smiled and gave me a knuckle sandwich!

    • Professor Q says:

      I would much prefer a Vegemite Sandwich.

      Also, was this because dear Rafferty is from West Dundee?

  51. drglen says:

    dogs breakfast game.

    I noticed all night our guys were moving slow in the neutral zone , bodies and sticks everywhere, and they were basically checked with no offensive zone time.

    so unless you are an expert stick handler, you’re going to lose us the puck, and probably even if you are an excellent stick handler. This game was like the old oilers… no clean break outs, no rush goals ( except connors ).. and not enough dump and get.

    I’m blaming Kassian. He sets the tone, and he’s been invisible (since he signed) ..

    Some blatant missed slashing calls on eric karlsson tonight. Refs have to stop giving him free passes.

    Lagesson looked pretty good. Give him a few more games.. I’d be interested to see if he can be (replace) Larsson. Larsson has a great game where you think, keep this guy hes essential to playoff success, and then 6 games where he is easily and consistently beaten for pucks and in coverage.

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