Legend

Last night’s game is the stuff of legends, real Paul Bunyan stuff. Leon Draisaitl’s after practice yesterday verbal talked about checking close and being precise on defensive details. 2-1 final, exhausted post-game.

The big man then proceeded to go out and post three assists and an EN goal to help the Oilers to an impressive win. Kailer Yamamoto, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Mike Smith also had starring roles in one of the most exhilarating wins of the season. A day that began with shocking news about Connor McDavid ended with two points and a win.

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: Why Connor McDavid’s injury is unlikely to alter Ken Holland’s trade deadline plan for the Oilers
  • New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘We want to take it as a challenge’: Oilers survive first game without McDavid as room for improvement remains
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Trying to make sense of Connor McDavid’s injury and Darnell Nurse’s new contract with Oilers
  • Jonathan Willis: Faced with uncertainty, Oilers hedge their bet on Darnell Nurse
  • Lowetide: Oilers sign Darnell Nurse
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Oilers Observations: A Connor McDavid scare, Leon Draisaitl’s back, boosting the top line and helping Zack Kassian
  • Lowetide: The Oilers trading their first-round pick is a bad idea
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: After a ‘long road’ to the NHL, Tyler Benson’s Oilers debut holds extra meaning
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘Emotionless’ Oilers fail yet again to match passion from a week ago
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: 15 potential trade targets for the Oilers before the 2020 deadline
  • Lowetide: Drilling down on right-handed centres for the Oilers to target before the trade deadline
  • 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
  • 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?
  • 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

OILERS AFTER 56 GAMES

  • Oilers in 2015-16: 22-29-5, 49 points; goal differential -27
  • Oilers in 2016-17: 29-19-8, 66 points; goal differential +7
  • Oilers in 2017-18: 23-29-4, 50 points; goal differential -33
  • Oilers in 2018-19: 24-27-5, 53 points; goal differential -21
  • Oilers in 2019-20: 30-20-6, 66 points; goal differential +4

The numbers don’t lie, this is just the second Oilers team in the 97 era to grab 66 points from the first 56 games of a season. The first team in the cluster to 30 wins. Positive goal differential for just the second time. Never thought this season would roll out in such a way.

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: 4-2-0

Oilers seem destined to post another solid run on the tens. There’s a tough road trip ahead, but the final two games of the home stand set up the rest of the month well.

OILERS IN FEBRUARY

  • Oilers in February 2016: 1-4-0, two points; goal differential -16
  • Oilers in February 2017: 2-3-0, four points; goal differential -4
  • Oilers in February 2018: 1-3-1, three points; goal differential 0
  • Oilers in February 2019: 1-2-2, four points; goal differential -7
  • Oilers in February 2020: 3-2-0, six points; goal differential +2

It isn’t a major hurdle, but this year’s group is having the best run to Valentine’s compared to the previous four teams. Notice the handsome goal differential relative to the past.

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) (Actual 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: 3-2-0, six points in five games

The next four games are absolute killers, and the Wild usually make the Oilers and fans numb, too. Some tough matchups ahead. Those tough games seem to bring out the best in this team.

OILERS 2019-20

The top line had a massive night, Mike Smith was outstanding and the team tightened up defensively after a Fillmore East first 25 minutes. All numbers five on five unless noted, and all via NST.

LINE 1 Nuge-Leon Draisaitl-Kailer Yamamoto played 13:45, going 14-13 Corsi, 10-8 shots, 1-1 goals and 1-2 HDSC. Not certain this line stays together on the road but keeping them together was a key to victory.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had an assist (plus a power-play goal) along with three shots, GV, TK and some great decisions at both ends of the ice. Leon Draisaitl had an EN goal, an assist, two power-play assists, one shot, won 10 of 17 on the dot. He’s Paul Bunyan. Kailer Yamamoto had a goal (plus a PP marker), three shots, one HDSC, one giveaway and two takeaways. This may one day be a famous line. Nuge is in a good spot.

LINE 2 Zack Kassian-Riley Sheahan-Josh Archibald played 11:16 together, 9-8 Corsi, 5-3 shots and 1-0 goals, 3-1 HDSC.

Zack Kassian had an assist, two HDSC, created some good looks. I thought he lost his man on the first goal (Saad beat him to the net) but seemed strong after. Riley Sheahan scored a goal, two shots, two penalties and won 9 of 19 in the dot. Josh Archibald had an assist, a takeaway and five hits. He worked hard and took some hits to make plays.

LINE 3 Jujhar Khaira-Colby Cave-Patrick Russell played 7:57, going 3-5 Corsi, 2-3 shots, no goals and no HDSC. It was the nothing happened line and that’s a good thing.

Jujhar Khaira had a shot on net, a giveaway, and 2:19 successful on the PK. Colby Cave had a shot, a takeaway and won four of six in the dot. Patrick Russell had a takeaway and won some battles along the wall.

LINE 4 Sam Gagner-Gaetan Haas-Alex Chiasson played 7:27, going 5-10 Corsi, 4-7 shots, no goals and 0-1 HDSC. Far higher event than the Cave line in about the same minutes.

Sam Gagner had two shots on goal and had 54 seconds on the power play. Gaetan Haas drew a penalty and won two of five faceoffs. Alex Chiasson had a shot on goal and a PP assist.

PAIRING ONE Darnell Nurse and Ethan Bear played 17:04 together, going 19-12 Corsi, 12-9 shots, 0-1 goals, 1-3 HDSC.

Darnell Nurse had three shots on goal, played a little on the PP and skated miles. It was his shot that was tipped then turned over in the opposition zone, and was the genesis of the play that would result in the 1-0 goal. Pairing handled it well, needed the trailing forward to cover Brandon Saad. Played 8:48 against Patrick Kane (10-7 Corsi and 0-1 goals. Ethan Bear had one shot and three giveaways on the night, made lots of good plays and solid outlet passes. Bear played Kane well on the first goal against.

PAIRING TWO Oscar Klefbom and Adam Larsson played 17:16, going 11-19 Corsi, 8-9 shots, 2-0 goals and 3-0 HDSC.

Oscar Klefbom took a penalty, played a strong physical game and kept the puck heading in a good direction. Made good decisions all over the ice. Adam Larsson had two shots, a giveaway, and at least a couple of sorties into the offensive zone.

PAIRING THREE Caleb Jones and Matt Benning played 9:01 together, going 3-4 Corsi, 1-3 shots, no goals and 0-1 HDSC. Benning was paired with Klefbom on the GA, he didn’t play the two-on-one well.

Caleb Jones had a takeaway and played a relatively quiet game, third pair playing just 21 percent of the five on five minutes. Benning didn’t play the pass on the two on one, will say that was a perfect pass from Patrick Kane. Had one shot on goal, GV, TK.

GOALIE Mike Smith stopped 38 of 41, .938. Stopped all five HDSC. Since January 1, he is 8-0-2, has a .917 save percentage and a goals against average of 2.67. That’s fantastic stuff, and exactly what Catherine Silverman told me back on July 1 about him. He can carry a team for long stretches. The second GA featured keystone cops PP entry for Edmonton and then a jailbreak two-on-one with Nuge defending, Toews got all of it and Smith almost stopped that one, too.

THE RECALL

I expect it’ll be Tyler Benson and that he’ll get a longer look on the road trip, but we’ll have to wait and see. Should hear this morning.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy morning, TSN1260, but it should go as planned unless Ken Holland has another media avail. Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal will put last night’s game in perspective (suspect we’ll be hearing about Pat Hughes), and Joe Osborne from OddsShark will talk MLB odds (are the LA Dodgers a favourite after the big trade?) and NHL (are the Oilers are road bet worth making this week?). 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

written by

The author didn‘t add any Information to his profile yet.
Related Posts

264 Responses to "Legend"

« Older Comments
  1. JimmyV1965 says:

    Harpers Hair: the puck as much. He darts into spots and he’s suddenly there, causing turnovers and forcing opponents to make quick

    Is there something wrong with Yama being a complementary player? You need those guys as well. We already have two of the best drivers in the league. We’ve got that covered. We need complementary players.

  2. defmn says:

    JimmyV1965: With McDavid and Drai, and the pieces we have on defence, it would take material incompetence by the GM not to create a contender. He’s had a Cup contender handed to him on a silver platter. We wait.

    One more top six winger, a goalie upgrade and some forward depth?

  3. JimmyV1965 says:

    defmn: One more top six winger, a goalie upgrade and some forward depth?

    That’s what I would say. A couple forwards, not necessarily superstars, but legit guys who can score maybe 15-20 with an average centre, and McDavid and Drai will make them better. I’m intrigued by a guy like Lehkonen. How much better would he be with McDavid or Drai?

  4. Munny says:

    The smoke around Slepyshev today makes me happy. I was disappointed that he left as he looked like he could turn into a very good bottom sixer.

    That combo of speed, size and a hard shot is tough to find.

    I am totally okay with Holland bringing him back if he can.

    I don’t know if we have any Lowetidians watching the K (seems to me there was one in Moscow… Bohologo?), and considering CSKA has Kaprizov who is going to be a star for the Wild, they’re definitely worth watching… but if so, does Sleppy play the off-wing there?

    With the signings this week and the rumours that Archie and Sheahan are next, if you add Sleppy and whatever 3C they unearth, it’s not looking like a lot of room for players like Haas, Khaira, PRusty, Gagner… and you have to wonder how a guy like Chiasson fits in.

    One would think Benson is in the bottom 6 of the NHL roster next year too…

    If they get Slepyshev back, really the only work Holly has to do in the bottom 6 is dig up that 3C.

  5. Munny says:

    knighttown: Are these two items related? When you add in Leon’s skating improvements is it time to start talking about David Pelletier?

    Yamamoto came to the Oil with those boots. He was taught how to skate proper by his best friend’s mom, who was a figure skating coach herself.

    Those boots are the reason he and Makar were the only skaters ranked Elite in their draft year. And for Yammer it wasn’t because of straight ahead speed (obviously). It was because of his edges and agility. They were already lights-out good on draft day. You can’t spend a 1st rounder on an under-sized guy unless they have something elite about their skating.

    But your barking up the right tree with Pelletier… find your boy a good figure skating coach, I’d say.

  6. Hemskyish says:

    Long time lurker alert!! This may be an odd comment, I like this team!! They are finding ways, that is through belief with each other. Leon’s interview showed a lot. They are ready, Tippet leads the way and buy in is high. It’s amazing when you have the right thing going (it may be lighting in a bottle) however I believe this team is moving in the right direction. Don’t have any stats, but Yamamoto is a demon.

  7. Hemskyish says:

    Not sure if wood guy will read this, I have used is lines with a little of my knowledge and made some lowetide bucks. Do not drink whiskey, but I think I owe him a delicious beer of choice.

  8. Hemskyish says:

    Thank you LT for this site, I found it 3 years ago and I have read everyday since. Still don’t get the math, but love the game and the way you musically muse about it makes me happy. Cheers.

  9. OriginalPouzar says:

    Too bad the Nucks won but waking up to see the flames lose to the Kings is fantastic.

    Great to see Cal Petterson with the win – he has be a thorn in the side of the Condors for a few years now.

  10. OriginalPouzar says:

    I mentioned earlier that I wasn’t sure if Slepy had interest in coming back to the NHL – no inside info or anything, clearly, just that he’s having success back in his home country and he posts quite a bit on IG and I see him enjoying himself with has lady and his kid – just looks happy.

    Listening to the Gregor show from yesterday and Jason mentioned that he knows that Slep is definitely interested in giving the NHL another shot.

    I would definitely be interested in Slepy signing his QO or any contract in the $900K range – I think he’d make the team out of camp and provide some nice size, speed and skill in the lineup. May just be a bottom six guy that can chip in but we need those guys and, yup, I’ll take him over the likes of P. Russell, Granlund, etc.

    We talk about re-signing Gagner for cheap for that utility role and, while that is an OK option, Slepy has more upside and the speed/size/shot would be nice.

  11. OriginalPouzar says:

    Anxious for info on the availability of Stamkos, Kucherov, Ciareli.

    Also, curious if Benson draws in – Tippett likely sticks with the lineup that won – don’t think anyone was egregiously bad. Khaira at LW is an option to sit but PK. Don’t see Benson coming in for Russell given RW/LW.

    With an early start, we should know a few hours earlier than normal.

  12. jp says:

    Harpers Hair: Thousands of players have never won a cup.
    McDavid is one of them.

    Yes.

    This is true of all the core players on each of the teams in question.

  13. jp says:

    Harpers Hair: Depending on the rest of the season, he may be the league MVP.

    This is quite funny.

    I’m guessing Markstrom as MVP is not a bet-able intimation.

  14. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar:

    Listening to the Gregor show from yesterday and Jason mentioned that he knows that Slep is definitely interested in giving the NHL another shot.

    Great to hear he’s interested. It would definitely be cool to see him back in Edmonton.

    Munny: With the signings this week and the rumours that Archie and Sheahan are next, if you add Sleppy and whatever 3C they unearth, it’s not looking like a lot of room for players like Haas, Khaira, PRusty, Gagner… and you have to wonder how a guy like Chiasson fits in.

    It’s nice to see Holland seemingly taking care of business early. And yeah, not a lot of room for some of the incumbents, which is a good thing.

    Seems like Slepyshev has taken some strides since we saw him last (scoring wise at least).

    I agree that Slepyshev *should be just a bottom 6 option, but FWIW…

    McDavid and Slepyshev together, 128 minutes
    SF% – 52.3
    GF% – 52.9
    Slepyshev P/60 – 2.34
    McDavid P/60 – 4.21

    He could be useful higher up, at least until those lineup slots are filled with some sort of more permanent solution.

  15. OriginalPouzar says:

    I think Gagner is a serviceable option at the bottom of the roster as a cheap utility guy but I think a Slepy signing would close the door on bringing Gagner back. As much as I like Sam, I’d prefer the younger, bigger and faster Slep with more upside.

  16. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Reja: Cam Neely.

    /thread

  17. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Hemskyish:
    Not sure if wood guy will read this, I have used is lines with a little of my knowledge and made some lowetide bucks. Do not drink whiskey, but I think I owe him a delicious beer of choice.

    Disclaimer: All suggestions on which team is value are made by a person who knows beating bookies on individual NHL games is tough.

    Had a great run earlier this year, but have given some back over the past week.

    Also,

    I like beer.

    Gluck!!

  18. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    JimmyV1965:
    Pettersson and Yama are different players, from what I can see so far. Pettersson is more like McDavid and Hall. He drives play and is on top of the opposition, forcing them to make mistakes and often iniating contact, thereby causing opponents to scramble, resulting in holds and hookings and sometimes very bad and dirty hits. Yama doesn’t hold the puck as much. He darts into spots and he’s suddenly there, causing turnovers and forcing opponents to make quick decisions. It results in penalties, but I don’t think he has as much prolonged contact with the opposition. He doesn’t hold the puck as much as guys like pettersson and McDavid, or Drai or Hall. Maybe I’m wrong about this. It’s only been a few games I guess.

    Very good insight. I can agree with this and i think it is important when making these comparisons.

  19. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    Munny:
    The smoke around Slepyshev today makes me happy.I was disappointed that he left as he looked like he could turn into a very good bottom sixer.

    That combo of speed, size and a hard shot is tough to find.

    I am totally okay with Holland bringing him back if he can.

    I don’t know if we have any Lowetidians watching the K (seems to me there was one in Moscow… Bohologo?), and considering CSKA has Kaprizov who is going to be a star for the Wild, they’re definitely worth watching… but if so, does Sleppy play the off-wing there?

    With the signings this week and the rumours that Archie and Sheahan are next, if you add Sleppy and whatever 3C they unearth, it’s not looking like a lot of room for players like Haas, Khaira, PRusty, Gagner… and you have to wonder how a guy like Chiasson fits in.

    One would think Benson is in the bottom 6 of the NHL roster next year too…

    If they get Slepyshev back, really the only work Holly has to do in the bottom 6 is dig up that 3C.

    The next year is setting up nicely. I think Khaira could be traded as he is a PK witch on a good contract. But I still hope for a bit more of a bounce back the rest of this year so we can keep him. Gags could come back on a bury able contract. – he would be a good mentor in Bake and cover for injuries. I like Haas, but he has to be on the bubble, particularly if a more complete 3C can be found by October, and doesn’t seem keen to take significant time in the A, as we would also make for nice cover and “vet”/mentor role.

    In short, Slepy would be nice to have back.

  20. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    Hemskyish:
    Long time lurker alert!! This may be an odd comment, I like this team!! They are finding ways, that is through belief with each other. Leon’s interview showed a lot. They are ready, Tippet leads the way and buy in is high. It’s amazing when you have the right thing going (it may be lighting in a bottle) however I believe this team is moving in the right direction. Don’t have any stats, but Yamamoto is a demon.

    Yes! Let’s rock the Casbah!

  21. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    jp: Great to hear he’s interested. It would definitely be cool to see him back in Edmonton.

    It’s nice to see Holland seemingly taking care of business early. And yeah, not a lot of room for some of the incumbents, which is a good thing.

    Seems like Slepyshev has taken some strides since we saw him last (scoring wise at least).

    I agree that Slepyshev *should be just a bottom 6 option, but FWIW…

    McDavid and Slepyshev together, 128 minutes
    SF% – 52.3
    GF% – 52.9
    Slepyshev P/60 – 2.34
    McDavid P/60 – 4.21

    He could be useful higher up, at least until those lineup slots are filled with some sort of more permanent solution.

    Thanks for digging those numbers up. My recall was that he did well with McD. If he is here next year, make Kass work a little harder for 1 Line action.
    Depth is nice. We are getting there…Still need one more legit top 6, 3C and a goalie upgrade.
    I like that KH is getting contracts done now because it puts a little extra pressure for high performance to the likes of the unsigned…Haas, PRusty, etc. Also for playing time to the signed (e.g., Khaira, Chia), which could up their trade value a bit…
    I would have waited to see if Nygard can still shoot the puck tho after having the bones in his lower hand broken….

  22. jp says:

    GordieHoweHatTrick: Thanks for digging those numbers up. My recall was that he did well with McD. If he is here next year, make Kass work a little harder for 1 Line action.
    Depth is nice. We are getting there…Still need one more legit top 6, 3C and a goalie upgrade.
    I like that KH is getting contracts done now because it puts a little extra pressure for high performance to the likes of the unsigned…Haas, PRusty, etc. Also for playing time to the signed (e.g., Khaira, Chia), which could up their trade value a bit…
    I would have waited to see if Nygard can still shoot the puck tho after having the bones in his lower hand broken….

    The biggest (hardest) question for me is the goalie.

    I think Holland will find a way to clear enough $$ to add at least one forward this off season (~$4M). Maybe another then next (~$3M). But the goalie could break the bank.

    Holland does have a long history of running with non-elite tenders (one of Chris Osgood or Jimmy Howard has pretty much been the Red Wings starter for the last 25 yrs!). Maybe Koskinen and a relatively cheap 1B partner are enough? (for Holland and for some success?).

    For next season at least my gut tells me that Koskinen and Smith will probably both be back though (I’d say it’s close to certain they are if the Oilers make the playoffs this spring).

  23. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    jp: The biggest (hardest) question for me is the goalie.

    I think Holland will find a way to clear enough $$ to add at least one forward this off season (~$4M). Maybe another then next (~$3M). But the goalie could break the bank.

    Holland does have a long history of running with non-elite tenders (one of Chris Osgood or Jimmy Howard has pretty much been the Red Wings starter for the last 25 yrs!). Maybe Koskinen and a relatively cheap 1B partner are enough? (for Holland and for some success?).

    For next season at least my gut tells me that Koskinen and Smith will probably both be back though (I’d say it’s close to certain they are if the Oilers make the playoffs this spring).

    Good Team D structure can go a long way to making below average goalies get above average performance numbers….
    Smith is doing fine in recent stretches, but I would like to see an upgrade.
    Really too bad Starett and injury and other issues this year as he was tracking nicely as a back up for next year.
    Konovalov is my hope for the Cup Contending, but that is at least 18 months away unless they can fast track him…

  24. godot10 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Too bad the Nucks won but waking up to see the flames lose to the Kings is fantastic.

    Great to see Cal Petterson with the win – he has be a thorn in the side of the Condors for a few years now.

    I prefer the teams ahead of the Oilers win two point games, rather than three point games, or the teams behind the Oilers winning games. Finishing 2nd is probably better than finishing 1st in the Pacific.

    It is better for the OIlers for the teams behind us to slip out of the race for the playoffs, and to go into selling mode, particulary since Arizona has already made their move for Hall, and cannot really be a buyer.

  25. Bling says:

    jp: Great to hear he’s interested. It would definitely be cool to see him back in Edmonton.

    It’s nice to see Holland seemingly taking care of business early. And yeah, not a lot of room for some of the incumbents, which is a good thing.

    Seems like Slepyshev has taken some strides since we saw him last (scoring wise at least).

    I agree that Slepyshev *should be just a bottom 6 option, but FWIW…

    McDavid and Slepyshev together, 128 minutes
    SF% – 52.3
    GF% – 52.9
    Slepyshev P/60 – 2.34
    McDavid P/60 – 4.21

    He could be useful higher up, at least until those lineup slots are filled with some sort of more permanent solution.

    I don’t mean to demean Slepyshev, but a McDavid led line really ought to be going at 60% GF, and probably even a bit north of that.

    Any less, and we know he is being asked to carry tweeners and/or there is confusion about d-zone responsibilities (ie with Drai earlier this season).

    Panarin was up around 70 percent with Ryan Strome as his linemate this year.

    Finding an impact forward for 97 has to be a priority.

« Older Comments

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

© Copyright - Lowetide.ca