2019-20 Game 57: Oilers at Lightning

Through 56 games this season at five on five, the Edmonton Oilers are 111-128 (-17) in goal differential. Through 57 games this season, the Tampa Bay Lightning are 135-97 (+38). That’s before we factor in McDavid’s absence. This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco, this ain’t no foolin’ around.

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: 10 overlooked trade targets for the Oilers before the 2020 deadline
  • New Jonathan Willis: Meet Bob Stauffer, the Oilers insider who balances two roles: team employee and team critic
  • Lowetide: Why Connor McDavid’s injury is unlikely to alter Ken Holland’s trade deadline plan for the Oilers
  • 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 57 GAMES

  • Oilers in 2015-16: 22-29-6, 50 points; goal differential -27
  • Oilers in 2016-17: 30-19-8, 68 points; goal differential +10
  • Oilers in 2017-18: 23-30-4, 50 points; goal differential -34
  • Oilers in 2018-19: 24-28-5, 53 points; goal differential -23
  • Oilers in 2019-20: 30-20-6, 66 points; goal differential +4

This is a monster road trip, but I think reasonable expectations (considering McDavid is hurt) should be something like 1-2-0. If Edmonton hits Monday at 31-22-6, 68 points after 59 games, no one should complain. Need a goalie to steal one of those weekend games.

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

The next four games are against Tampa Bay, Florida, Carolina and Boston. This 10-game stanza may end up being something like 5-5-0.

OILERS IN FEBRUARY

  • Oilers in February 2016: 2-4-0, four points; goal differential -14
  • Oilers in February 2017: 3-3-0, six points; goal differential -1
  • Oilers in February 2018: 1-4-1, three points; goal differential -1
  • Oilers in February 2019: 1-3-2, four points; goal differential -8
  • Oilers in February 2020: 3-2-0, six points; goal differential +2

So far this month, the Oilers have delivered solid play and beaten some impressive teams. This road trip, the one that starts tonight, is another issue altogether. If we’re honest, even three points grabbed in any fashion over the weekend would be impressive.

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

Oilers will be in California at the deadline, having played the LA Kings on February 23 with Anaheim the opposition two days later. The deadline this year is February 24, the Monday. The Oilers have six games between now and that date, and they are tough ones. I think Edmonton will go 3-3-0 in those games, meaning the deadline record would be 33-23-6, 72 points in 62 games. Does that put the team close enough to the playoffs to be a buyer? I think it does.

OILERS 2019-20

Where does Tyler Benson play? First, he might not get into tonight’s game, Edmonton won against Chicago and that usually means same lineup in the next game.

Given the choice, and with the understanding the No. 1 line of Nuge-Leon-KY probably stays together, I’d go Benson-Haas-Gagner. You can say ‘that’s the fourth line’ but they’re all fourth lines after Leon. I think coach Dave Tippett will rely on the Sheahan line for checking on the road, and the Cave trio suppressed shots impressively the other night. Benson with Gagner means some real skill and Haas has speed and can disrupt damn near anything headed the other way.

THE CONDORS

Bakersfield is a melluva hess currently and there’s nothing really that can be done. Condors lost last night had a lead going into the third but couldn’t hold it.

Even with that as a backdrop, there’s real talent down there. Evan Bouchard and Dmitri Samorukov are on a track that lands them in the NHL, Ryan McLeod and Kirill Maksimov showing good signs in the first year of entry deals. Stuart Skinner has impressed me. Since January 1, in front of a dwindling roster, he has stopped 400 of 440 shots (.909). Take out the last three games, when a skeleton staff was showing up for work and he’s stopped 373 of 401 shots, .930. There’s a player there. Pretty sure.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN1260, we’ll hit the ground running and talk the wide world of sports. Sean Woodley from Raptors HQ, Locked on Raptors and TSN1150 will talk about the end of a fantastic winning streak for the Raptors. Frank Seravalli from TSN will chat Jay Boumeester, Oilers road trip and the trade deadline. Erik Erlendsson of Lightning Insider talks about tonight’s home team, injuries and why the regular season is just a dress rehearsal in Tampa Bay. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Steady talking starts at 10!

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356 Responses to "2019-20 Game 57: Oilers at Lightning"

« Older Comments
  1. Scungilli Slushy says:

    hunter1909: Neal earned his trade value when he scored all those early goals that propelled the Oilers into 2nd place in the West. Streaky scorer. He’s worth keeping on the team, he is really good when he’s scoring.

    He’s never really good, he’s just not Lucic if he’s scoring, which he hasn’t in a while.

    You trade that contract whenever it’s possible IMO.

    • BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

      Totally agree.

      Either for a role player who can PK and not get scored on but pop in a few, or a contract that’s more favourable to buy out in a year or two from now.

      Neal has peaked. And I don’t dislike him but time to move on.

  2. flyfish1168 says:

    Did Kass look like he intentionally kick the TBL player? I see there was no penalty called and no one is talking about it on this board

    • BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

      Saw the highlight.

      Looked to me like he was defending the Oiler that was being accosted whom he was beneath. The puck was a country mile away by that point.

      • Scungilli Slushy says:

        That’s the point of his NHL career. Do not let the other team goon it up with no response.

      • flyfish1168 says:

        Seeing what Chara did last evening with his stick to Gallahers throat Kass situation looked like an innocent accident.

        If NHL is thinking of doing something they better see if there is another camera angle. TBL player skated away as if nothing happened

  3. drglen says:

    seems like a very long intermission to me

  4. Harpers Hair says:

    flyfish1168:
    Did Kass look like he intentionally kick the TBL player? I see there was no penalty called and no one is talking about it on this board

    Lots of outrage on Twitter.

    https://twitter.com/cmancuso9797/status/1228123575065960448?s=20

    • flyfish1168 says:

      Seeing what Chara did last evening with his stick to Gallahers throat Kass situation looked like an innocent accident.

      • Professor Q says:

        And to think that Khaira got suspended for a lesser version of the Chara action, as a first offender.

  5. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Nice NZ takeaway by Drai on Point there, leading to zone time.

  6. flyfish1168 says:

    Gagner skating and hands have slowed down

  7. drglen says:

    vasilevsky stones us there.. good pressure.

  8. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Incredible how the tenor changes as soon as 44 comes off in favour of 56 even though the other 2/3 of the line was dog tired.

    He’s electric.

  9. Durag says:

    We’re playing like a Tippet Coyotes team. Out skilled but tenacious and irritating. Come on Bettman point!

  10. drglen says:

    I can’t fault the work ethic here.. the boys have picked it up .. trying really hard. In tough, need a break.

  11. drglen says:

    TB defenders have made 2 or 3 absolutely outstanding stops this period. full credit if they win.

  12. Rebillled says:

    Wow, was that a missed 4 minute from that Benning punch?

  13. Harpers Hair says:

    flyfish1168,

    dom luszczyszyn
    @domluszczyszyn
    ·
    1h
    wow RT
    @NHLPlayerSafety
    : Edmonton’s Zack Kassian has been fined $5,000, the maximum allowable under the CBA, for literally kicking someone in the chest with his fucking skate. As always, we have no idea what we are doing.

  14. Seismic Source says:

    He’s going to get suspended. Refs missed it. DPS won’t.

  15. Harpers Hair says:

    #Kassian now #1 trending in Canada.

  16. drglen says:

    kassian pulled up… obviously still a penalty, fine, even suspension, but that was not a full force kick.

  17. Johnny skid says:

    Harpers Hair:
    #Kassian now #1 trending in Canada.

    You seem excited.

  18. hunter1909 says:

    Moral victory upcoming . A for real Moral victory.

  19. drglen says:

    guys are really trying hard. I like what I see.

  20. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Some solid fourth line play here.

  21. drglen says:

    kkaira out benson in please though..

  22. Seismic Source says:

    A good defence attorney would say the weight of the other player on his pinned leg was causing so much pain that the kicking motion was simply to un-jar him.

  23. drglen says:

    worst goalie pull play in the history of the league.

  24. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    When we score EN goals like that you know it’s for real.

  25. Durag says:

    3 times we gained the zone on the 6 on 5 and 3 times Kassian gives it away. Well he can’t be put in the press box if he’s suspended!

  26. Dr. Taboggan says:

    Jones was getting time with Klef at the end of the 3rd. Injury to Benning or Larsson? Or the coach just happy with his game?

  27. Ice Sage says:

    Durag,

    Yeah, he’s ‘not making good decisions’

  28. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    I will say.

    I like how nasty PRusty plays the game.

    I might have time for him next year.

  29. drglen says:

    who was it on our team that had possession there with the goalie pull, and dumped it into an empty corner with no oilers around? easy grab by TB … goal the other way. Terrible.

    Ok it seems that this player was Kassian. Very bad play. But, he’s not used to being ‘the guy’ in that situation.

  30. Dr. Taboggan says:

    Agree with the crowed, Kassian was brutal in the 3rd period. Absolutely no awareness sometimes.

  31. Harpers Hair says:

    Better call Saul.

  32. Faustkarz says:

    Not to lay it on Kassian but jeez that was a horrible play on the 6-5 rush leading to that goal

  33. drglen says:

    Otherwise .. good effort. Not enough skill ultimately, and superb goaltending and defensive play by TB. We needed to play error free and almost did ( no penalties?)… except for that terrible giveaway by Leon, which basically cost us the game.

  34. drglen says:

    Let’s admit though, hell of a third period as a hockey fan. Good hockey.

  35. Bulging Twine says:

    Dr. Taboggan:
    Jones was getting time with Klef at the end of the 3rd. Injury to Benning or Larsson? Or the coach just happy with his game?

    I think probably because they were down a goal and he liked Jones over Larsson for offense.

    Jones bobbled the puck twice on pass receptions though

  36. Bulging Twine says:

    That is a good team – Tampa
    still we had lot’s of chances

  37. Johnny skid says:

    Harpers Hair,

    That’s funny you remind me of Saul Goodman.

  38. fishman says:

    Oil played hard tonight against a very, very good Tampa team. It is pretty obvious we are lacking skilled offensive players. We also don’t have a Hedman or a Josi ( no disrespect to Oscar but he is not in that class) Oh ya Tampa’s tender not bad either! Encouraging that we could hang around in this game. The shorty was a killer. Kenny will have to make some astute moves to get us to the next level.

  39. Bulging Twine says:

    Kassian could use a mental reset
    Hasn’t been the same player since
    a) the break
    b) the contract
    c) the shenanigans
    d) all of the above

  40. JimmyV1965 says:

    Hedman is a beast. Spit!!! He’s gotta be the best defensive dman in the league. Such an amazing stick. Having a stud like that on defence makes a big difference. I don’t think I’ve seen a dman play Drai so well.

  41. Old Timer says:

    Bulging Twine,

    Bulging Twine,

    Agree one hundred per cent. He has gone to sleep. Was the renewal a mistake?

  42. JimmyV1965 says:

    Vas is a beast too. Spit!! At least he didn’t stop an open net with his head tonight.

  43. JimmyV1965 says:

    drglen:
    kassian pulled up… obviously still a penalty, fine, even suspension, but that was not a full force kick.

    In the scope of dangerous plays we see in the NHL each and every week, that was pretty low in the Richter scale.

  44. Old Timer says:

    Thought Yamamoto was the best Oiler on the ice tonight. He brings a lot of variety to the table – good fore checker, good back checker, good passer, has some finish and constantly shows hockey smarts. He was worth waiting for.

    Hope that Bouchard can bring the same level of smarts next year along with Samarukov shortly thereafter

  45. JimmyV1965 says:

    drglen:
    who was it on our team that had possession there with the goalie pull, and dumped it into an empty corner with no oilers around? easy grab by TB … goal the other way.Terrible.

    Ok it seems that this player was Kassian. Very bad play. But, he’s not used to being ‘the guy’ in that situation.

    Ya. That was an incredibly bad play. Wow!!

  46. Bulging Twine says:

    Lightning sure went to the net well

    also

    Their D are pretty physical

  47. godot10 says:

    Do I even have to post tonight? I think I mentioned once or twice that I like intelligent and reliable hockey players of good character. Man, and that putrid play with the extra man. I guess with Kassian, it is difficult to call it an extra man.

    At least Benson will get a good long trial of probably five games or so.

  48. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Bulging Twine:
    Lightning sure went to the net well

    Their D are pretty physical

    For a long time the Oilers have not been good at generating quality chances off the cycle. Zone time is not the same as scoring chances.

    It is most likely a roster issue. Tippet talks about making plays and that is what it is. Supporting the puck, recognizing the time to break to the net, playing the offensive tactics.

    For me a lot of the players have lousy sticks, can’t get the puck in traffic enough. Yama is a prime example of how, he’s very good at keeping possession as has been mentioned by Drai and Tip.

    Most good NHLers can do this. I hope Grinder Sunderlands the roster in the off season for better players at NHL essential skill sets.

  49. Munny says:

    Rob Brown thinks that Hall is in play if the Coyote tail spin continues.

  50. flyfish1168 says:

    Zack mental lapse with the skate is dangerous and does deserve a suspension. My question is how can a stick to the throat not dangerous and also deserves a suspension. Parros is more than just a JOKE of a player safety. Get him out of there.

    • Munny says:

      Could’ve crushed his windpipe. Maybe Dave Manson should give Parros a call.

      The League handles incidents on a no harm no foul basis. And as corollary, they determine severity of suspensions by the severity of the damage done. Legally they’re pretty safe from lawsuit (unless there’s another class action and these policies come under scrutiny).

      But doing things this way provides little deterrence to bad acting.

  51. Buddy says:

    Bit of a reality check tonight. Even with McDavid we’re probably more than a top 6 W and a 3C from being at that level.

  52. Munny says:

    Buddy,

    Depends on the winger and the center I suppose. I mean if it’s Hall and Pageau (it won’t be), then giddyup.

    Some have said a true #1 netminder is needed too. We sure don’t have anyone as good as Vasilevsky, but how many teams do? Still a League top 10 guy would help this team a great deal. They tend to be very expensive too… and one thing I do like about our goaltending is that we have depth. We haven’t thus far had to deal with it and hopefully won’t have to—knock on wood—but we’ve seen what losing your starter can do to other teams.

    Making the playoffs should help us during free agent frenzy as a place to play. A year of Holland, and the League witnessing the change in the organization, are also helpful. Making tweaks to the bottom 6 shouldn’t be too hard.

  53. Munny says:

    Munny:
    Rob Brown thinks that Hall is in play if the Coyote tail spin continues.

    The thing about acquiring Hall is you could put 97 on LTIR and have him take his time to get back. Hall can handle PP zone entry and half wall duties till then.

    I’m not sayin’ I’d pay the price, I’m just sayin’.

    • Munny says:

      And if there’s any complications or extensions with his injury, the team has a player who can actually pick up the slack.

      I was not an advocate of trading for Hall before. The injury has me contemplating whether I should change my mind.

  54. teddyturnbuckle says:

    Thoughts on the game: Hung in there except for the power play. Not a good entry by Draisaitl on power play but what was Klefbom doing not covering for him. Does Klefbom have a concussion because he has made a handful of terrible reads the past two games. 1/2 second delay before he started skating back to stop break away. Kassian made several terrible plays tonight. He has not been good since signing big contract. Yamo was good again tonight, Nuge and Draisaitl not so much.

  55. Munny says:

    teddyturnbuckle: Not a good entry by Draisaitl on power play but what was Klefbom doing not covering for him

    That’s what I saw too. Klef should’ve been somewhere behind the puck at that point.

  56. who says:

    teddyturnbuckle:
    Thoughts on the game: Hung in there except for the power play.Not a good entry by Draisaitl on power play but what was Klefbom doing not covering for him.Does Klefbom have a concussion because he has made a handful of terrible reads the past two games.1/2 second delay before he started skating back to stop break away.Kassian made several terrible plays tonight.He has not been good since signing big contract. Yamo was good again tonight,Nuge and Draisaitl not so much.

    Actually I thought Nuge and Drai were good tonight. Other than Drais turnover on the powerplay.
    I thought some of the slower Oilers were exposed, particularly Chiasson.

  57. who says:

    Munny: That’s what I saw too.Klef should’ve been somewhere behind the puck at that point.

    I really can’t fault Klefbom on that play.
    When the puck is swung back to the trailer on the powerplay Klefbom is supposed to keep skating to the blueline, while trying to pick an opposition player
    It’s all on the puck carrier at that point. Mcdavid excels at this. And Drai does too. But sometimes they try to do too much, and force plays that aren’t there.

    • Munny says:

      Because the Bolts are standing up at the blue line he’s reading a shoot in. Otherwise pretty sure he’s supposed to be support in case of a turnover at the blue line. It’s a poor play by Drai regardless. I’ll let him have it, he’s earned it.

  58. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Scungilli Slushy: I’m curious about your take on the Blues. They have some nice players, but for me only Tarasenko and Pietrangelo are high skill.

    They have been a grinding type of team forever. Thomas is a guy I like, but dripping in skill I’m not sure. Very good team for sure, high talent?

    If you feel like it please give me your take.

    Taraskeno
    Schenn
    O’Reilly
    Schwatrz
    Perron
    Barbaschev
    Steen

    All those players are at least above average in skill.

    They are also many good 2 way players who can play in tougher games.

    Add to that:

    Blais
    Thomas

    Both skilled young players on the rise who can play in tough games.

    Add to that:

    Sunqvist
    Maroon (was on team for the Cup run)

    Both aren’t relied on for skill, but have it.

    They have skill down to their 4th line.

    That they are also able to play tough is the bonus, not the feature.

  59. Pescador says:

    drglen:
    kassian pulled up… obviously still a penalty, fine, even suspension, but that was not a full force kick.

    We’ll say he “directed the foot into the chest”
    Not a distinct kicking motion
    5 games

  60. Pescador says:

    Buddy:
    Bit of a reality check tonight. Even with McDavid we’re probably more than a top 6 W and a 3C from being at that level.

    Nailed it, good news is the Pacific division is awful so we look like contenders 65% of the time.
    Kinda like the Canucks

  61. Reja says:

    Pescador: We’ll say he “directed the foot into the chest”
    Not a distinct kicking motion
    5 games

    Reactionary-reflexes-zero intent -zero games

  62. Jethro Tull says:

    Parros: Hey Zach, that picture of you kicking someone in the chest would look great on one of my T-shirts!

  63. godot10 says:

    Reja: Reactionary-reflexes-zero intent -zero games

    Kassian verbal does not match the video. His legs were completely free when he kicked Cernak.

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