I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone

The Edmonton Oilers went into a tough building without Connor McDavid and played a strong game last night. Mistakes cost them and there wasn’t enough talent to outscore the errors. It’s no fun to lose, but there were encouraging signs. Things to work on, there’s plenty the coach can point to as positives as the team winds towards Sunrise.

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: Making sense of the Oilers defensive depth chart for the stretch run and the summer
  • New Daniel Nugent-Bowman:It was reactionary’: Oilers’ Zack Kassian addresses alleged kick; Lightning depth strikes; and Kailer Yamamoto’s big game
  • Jonathan Willis: 10 overlooked trade targets for the Oilers before the 2020 deadline
  • 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
  • Lowetide: The Oilers trading their first-round pick is a bad idea
  • 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
  • Lowetide: If fast is the new big, the Oilers are trending in a very good direction
  • 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

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: 30-21-6, 66 points; goal differential +3

A good road game keeps the goal differential in the black and we’re next up at Sunrise for the Florida Panthers Saturday afternoon. Oilers current pace would land them 82gp, 43-30-9, 95 points. That should be a playoff number.

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: 4-3-0

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: 3-3-0, six points; goal differential +1

The two playoff teams are now in a flat tie. As I recall, Edmonton had a welcoming schedule after the deadline as several opponents were sellers. One hopes that remains true.

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) (Actual 0-1-0)
  • 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: 3-3-0, six points in six games

In truth, with the McDavid injury added to the degree of difficulty, a point per game this month would be a victory. Stay in the race, that’s the key, until the captain returns around the deadline. Oilers 1-1 without 97.

OILERS 2019-20

Caleb Jones scored the only goal, Mike Smith had a fine evening and there were some star-crossed moments for Jean Beliveau. All numbers NST and everything is five on five.

LINE 1 Nuge-Leon Draisaitl-Kailer Yamamoto played 18:25, going 11-19 Corsi, 7-14 shots, 1-0 goals and 1-3 HDSC. It was easily Edmonton’s best line.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins picked up another assist, three shots on goal, two takeaways and a mostly strong performance without the puck. Got beat a couple of times by talented Lightning forwards but no harm and solid otherwise. Leon Draisaitl had an assist, three takeaways, two costly giveaways (one on the PP, the other with the net empty). Won eight of 17 on the dot. A tough game from a great player who also contributed in a big way. Single events can have major impact while also being single events. Kailer Yamamoto skated miles, worked hard, didn’t get the results. He’s so smart. Don’t change a thing, young man.

LINE 2 Zack Kassian-Riley Sheahan-Josh Archibald played 11:21, going 10-12 Corsi, 6-8 shots, no goals and 2-4 HDSC.

Zack Kassian is going to be hearing from player safety again, and Tyler Benson should get a good night’s sleep in Florida. Kassian had three shots, two HDSC and can help a team when he isn’t suspended. Riley Sheahan had one shot (HDSC) and won six of 14 faceoffs. Josh Archibald played a rambunctious game.

LINE 3 Sam Gagner-Gaetan Haas-Alex Chiasson played 9:36, going 11-7 Corsi, 6-5 shots, no goals and 4-1 HDSC.

Sam Gagner had three shots, a takeaway and gave his line some good looks in the offensive zone. Gaetan Haas had two shots, two HDSC and won three of eight in the faceoff circle. Alex Chiasson had two shots, two HDSC, and a takeaway. He had a couple of good looks on the power play as well. One of those cashes, Oilers get a point.

LINE 4 Jujhar Khaira-Colby Cave-Patrick Russell played 7:55, going 4-9 Corsi, 4-5 shots, 0-1 goals and 2-2 HDSC.

Jujhar Khaira had a giveaway and transported the puck a couple of times, but was not a major factor. Colby Cave had two shots, HDSC, drew a penalty and won two of nine on the dot. He didn’t do anything to sway Patrick Maroon from knocking Mike Smith’s stick out of his hand and scoring from behind the net. Patrick Russell worked like a demon again, had one shot and one HDSC. Russell’s inability to get the puck out under control started the sequence that ended in the 1-0 goal.

PAIRING ONE Darnell Nurse-Ethan Bear played 18:09, 15-22 Corsi, 10-17 shots, no goals, 1-4 HDSC. Spent 9:58 with Draisaitl.

Darnell Nurse had four shots, blocked a shot and played a physical game. He was loose on coverage a couple of times but also suppressed danger. It was one of those games, you could see good and bad in most every Oilers player last night. Ethan Bear had a takeaway and several solid outlet passes. He also hammered a shot late that I thought tied the game (absolutely drilled it).

PAIRING TWO Oscar Klefbom-Adam Larsson played 15:34, going 12-12 Corsi, 7-8 shots, 0-1 goals and 5-3 HDSC.

Oscar Klefbom had two shots, a giveaway, one impressive rush and a curious decision on the SH goal (he needed to be the trailer until the zone was won). Also made a strange play on the puck with an empty net (leading to the third goal against) when the puck came back to the point (used his rump instead of his hand/shoulder and made an awkward attempt at the puck). Adam Larsson had one shot, created some havoc and make a couple of nice defensive plays. Maroon was his man on the first goal, Larsson going walkabout.

PAIRING THREE Caleb Jones and Matt Benning played 10:13, going 6-9 Corsi, 4-6 shots, no goals, 3-2 HDSC. Jones scored his goal while paired with Bear.

Caleb Jones scored a goal, two shots, blocked a shot, settled the play a few times. Good game. Matt Benning chased the play quite a bit, that was the theme for much of the evening for all three pairs.

GOALIE Mike Smith stopped 34 of 36, .944. He been quality since January 1. He got caught up with Maroon, lost his stick and his post on what was a weak goal (no help from Cave or Larsson, though).

KASSIAN

Zack Kassian hurts the team when he is suspended and word today that it’s an in person meeting means a longer suspension is likely. This puts the organization in a tough spot, but I don’t think Ken Holland makes a trade today.

Tyler Benson is the obvious replacement and I think getting him into games on the road is a good idea. A guess at the lines would be Nuge-Leon-KY, Chiasson-Sheahan-Archibald, Benson-Haas-Gagner and Khaira-Cave-Russell. We wait.

BAKERSFIELD 2019-20

Condors season is bleeding out, troops sent to Edmonton (in yellow) represent the best of the best. It’s a cruel reality for minor league teams. Bakersfield plays at home tomorrow night against the Colorado Eagles.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy fun Friday show to wrap up the week, TSN 1260 beginning at 10 this morning. Steve Lansky from Big Mouth Sports joins me to talk Zack Kassian suspension and how to make a mega-project like the NHL trade deadline work. Ryan Holt, PBP broadcaster from the Bakersfield Condors talks about a trying stretch run and Murat Ates from The Athletic will discuss the new Paul Maurice contract. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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225 Responses to "I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone"

« Older Comments
  1. Harpers Hair says:

    jp: It was pretty remarkable to get Lavoie in the 2nd.

    Comparing Lavoie to the top picks based on NHLE (using the Hockey Abstract factors):
    Turcotte (5th)—– 29
    Cozens (7th)—— 41
    Zegras (9th)——- 36
    Podkolzin (10th)- 13
    Boldy (12th)——- 17
    Caufield (15th)— 41
    Newhook (16th)- 32
    Krebs (17th)—— 40
    ——————————–
    Lavoie (38th)—– 33

    He wouldn’t look a bit out of place in the top half of the 1st round.

    Quality of competiton?

    How many of the players you listed are playing against 16 year olds in junior?

  2. jp says:

    Harpers Hair: Quality of competiton?

    How many of the players youlisted are playing against 16 year olds in junior?

    Huh, I wonder what NHLE is based on…

  3. jp says:

    hunter1909: Are you kidding? This is Lowetide, where rational opinions can be and are often checked at the entrance.

    Well we certainly do have a diversity of opinions here.

    Just wondering if there was a rationale behind this one. It’s not immediately obvious to me. I don’t particularly disagree or anything, just not seeing it.

  4. Harpers Hair says:

    jp: Huh, I wonder what NHLE is based on…

    A very flawed process that doesn’t take into account useage, line mates, quality of competition, etc.

    How do you think Lavoie would be doing if he was playing in the KHL and being slammed between that league and the Russian second and third tier teams?

    I expect he would be totally off the radar.

  5. leadfarmer says:

    I don’t think I’ve met anyone that cheers against young men trying to make their dreams come true like our resident troll
    Just an angry old troll whose kids got him a computer for Xmas one year

  6. Harpers Hair says:

    leadfarmer:
    I don’t think I’ve met anyone that cheers against young men trying to make their dreams come true like our resident troll
    Just an angry old troll whose kids got him a computer for Xmas one year

    Hi Zack!

  7. Twinkle Mo' Fo' Toes says:

    Twinkle Mo' Fo' Toes:
    Kassian has been all kinds of bad since he signed that contract, last night he was brutal.Aside from the horrible plays in his own zone, I was most upset by his decision to stay on the ice for close to 90 seconds to selfishly spend 40 or so seconds with Nuge and Leon, where he was barely in the play.

    I figure Kassian will get 5 games, but wouldn’t be surprised if it was 7 or 8.So dumb.

    I thought Haas was great last night, he needs more speed on wings.

    Finally, I don’t know who else feels the same way, but Leon drives me crazy with his extra-long shifts, especially during the PP (but also 5v5) I see him more than anyone getting in trouble at the end of his frequent “double shifts”.This played a huge part in the shorty. Klef had also been out for 90+ seconds.I think the PP would be more effective and less leaky if the Oil would switch everyone out after 1 minute (how often have they actually scored after being out there for 60 seconds or more, I doubt it is more than 10% and I bet they’ve given up more goals than scored on the PP after 50 seconds).

    Called it!

  8. Twinkle Mo' Fo' Toes says:

    leadfarmer:
    I don’t think I’ve met anyone that cheers against young men trying to make their dreams come true like our resident troll
    Just an angry old troll whose kids got him a computer for Xmas one year

    Why let HH control this blog?

  9. jp says:

    Harpers Hair: A very flawed process that doesn’t take into account useage, line mates, quality of competition, etc.

    How do you think Lavoie would be doing if he was playing in the KHL and being slammed between that league and the Russian second and third tier teams?

    I expect he would be totally off the radar.

    Those things are all baked into NHLE. You know that.

    That Podkolzin has been “slammed” between 3 leagues says more about the player than his handlers. When has he ever actually put up points?

    NHLE is impartial, and the best available tool to compare between leagues. It says #38 pick Lavoie is producing basically 3X what #10 pick Podkolzin is. It ain’t pretty. The only reason Podkolzin is on the radar is because of where the Canucks picked him.

  10. N64 says:

    The Hairworm isn’t deserving of anyone’s unhappiness:

    “After developing for several months, the worms mind-control their hosts to make a kamikaze dive into water, then escape through holes bored in the insect’s exoskeleton”.

  11. v4ance says:

    jp: Those things are all baked into NHLE. You know that.

    That Podkolzin has been “slammed” between 3 leagues says more about the player than his handlers. When has he ever actually put up points?

    NHLE is impartial, and the best available tool to compare between leagues. It says #38 pick Lavoie is producing basically 3X what #10 pick Podkolzin is. It ain’t pretty. The only reason Podkolzin is on the radar is because of where the Canucks picked him.

    I keep hearing a “beep beep beep..” in here.

    I suspect it’s the sound of the backhoe digging more holes for a troll to keep moving his goalposts…

  12. pts2pndr says:

    Quick make friends with the one with no brain. You would have so much in common.

  13. Lowetide says:

    Podkolzin’s biggest issue is playing time, he’s getting just 8:12 a night in the KHL. He’s 25 games, 2-3-5 but he’s just not playing much. The Canucks should be worried about a wasted season of development.

    As for Podkolzin and Lavoie, I had one at No. 17 and the other at No. 26. There wasn’t a great deal of distance between them on draft day.

    https://lowetide.ca/2019/06/01/here-comes-the-sun-2019/

  14. BONE207 says:

    Fucking awesome

  15. Bulging Twine says:

    Arizona’s schedule to the trade deadline

    vs WSH
    vs NYI
    @ Dal
    @ Stl
    vs TBL

  16. Munny says:

    James Neal straight across for Jeff Carter.

    Don’t think there’s any way Blake would do it, but I’d give him a dingle.

    3C solved.

    Still has good WoodMoneys, and still over 50 percent on the dot, taking the second most FOs after Kopitar. 17-9-26 on the year. RHS. Older than Neal, but his contract has one less year to run and costs 500k less a year.

    The contract is the main reason why I think Blake won’t do it.

    Would Holland? They know the effect Neal and Smith have had in the dressing room, I don’t know he trades him, especially since in this case he’d likely have to add a draft pick… not a big one, but it’s one too many.

  17. Munny says:

    Bulging Twine:
    Arizona’s schedule to the trade deadline

    vs WSH
    vs NYI
    @ Dal
    @ Stl
    vs TBL

    Hall is going to spring free. Wonder how much less than what they paid ARI would accept? What they get will depend on the number of bidders, but I’d imagine the number would be greater than one.

    Can’t blame Chayka, he didn’t know his goalie was going to get hurt. It was a smart move, a smart use of cap space, and he has the opportunity to recoup some of his losses, whereas most deadline dealers don’t.

  18. v4ance says:

    Bulging Twine:
    Arizona’s schedule to the trade deadline

    vs WSH
    vs NYI
    @ Dal
    @ Stl
    vs TBL

    Calgary’s looks relatively easy:
    Home CHI ANA BOS then one away @DET.

    After the TD, it gets ugly though… Away @BOS NAS TB FLA then back home to CBJ ARI VEG

    March-April: 7 of 16 games against Division

    ***

    Van’s:
    Home to ANA MIN BOS

    After TD, they go on road trip to Eastern Canada then it gets tougher early March

    March-April: 10 of 18 games against Division

    ***

    Vegreville has to grind through the most games in the next 10 days:
    Home to NYI WAS TB FLA then @ANA

    Right after TD their sked gets much easier home to EDM, BUF LA NJ

    March-April: 9 of 16 games against Division

    ***

    EDM

    March-April 6 of 17 games against Division

  19. Munny says:

    Wow… 8 out of 9 home games for the Holupche. Could make a move.

  20. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    Bank Shot: An in person hearing usually means 6+ games.

    Can’t really defend Kassian’s actions here. You can’t kick someone. I think everyone agrees on that.

    Wasn’t defending him

  21. meanashell11 says:

    Cancer Man

  22. Ryan says:

    jp: It was pretty remarkable to get Lavoie in the 2nd.

    Comparing Lavoie to the top picks based on NHLE (using the Hockey Abstract factors):
    Turcotte (5th)—– 29
    Cozens (7th)—— 41
    Zegras (9th)——- 36
    Podkolzin (10th)- 13
    Boldy (12th)——- 17
    Caufield (15th)— 41
    Newhook (16th)- 32
    Krebs (17th)—— 40
    ——————————–
    Lavoie (38th)—– 33

    He wouldn’t look a bit out of place in the top half of the 1st round.

    Edit: Or what HH said.
    That Dys 1st is looking generational.

    Nice pick by Vegas with the draft year injury discount.

    I wasn’t sure what to make of the Catcher in the Rye’s weird goal to assist ratio, but it looks like Caulfield’s offense is Holden up.

  23. Ryan says:

    Munny: Hall is going to spring free.Wonder how much less than what they paid ARI would accept?What they get will depend on the number of bidders, but I’d imagine the number would be greater than one.

    Can’t blame Chayka, he didn’t know his goalie was going to get hurt. It was a smart move, a smart use of cap space, and he has the opportunity to recoup some of his losses, whereas most deadline dealers don’t.

    I keep reading that Chayka isn’t trading Hall.

    You’d have to think Hall at $3m cap hit would have considerable value at the deadline.

  24. Ryan says:

    GordieHoweHatTrick: Wasn’t defending him

    That contract extension already looks like a beauty.

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