2019-20 Game 58: Oilers at Panthers

This blog is about a lot of things, but at its heart, everything is driven by hyperbole. I won’t say this is the biggest game of the year, but you should know I want to say it. That’s the spirit of the Lowetide blog. From Donner Party to ‘giants walk among us’ it’s always been my way. I thought you should know.

The first time these two teams met in Florida, it was a 4-4 tie. The big story for Edmonton was Brent Grieve, who scored twice. You may not remember Grieve, he was a big winger who could win puck battles and score some. Grieve’s career was shorted by injury but he had 13 goals in his first NHL shot with Edmonton (acquired by Slats in December 1993). Boxscore is here.

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 Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Despite ‘transformation’ with Oilers, Zack Kassian’s on-ice actions come under scrutiny again
  • New Jonathan Willis: Why the Oilers are playing their best 5-on-5 hockey of the season
  • Lowetide: Making sense of the Oilers defensive depth chart for the stretch run and the summer
  • 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 58 GAMES

  • Oilers in 2015-16: 22-30-6, 50 points; goal differential -28
  • Oilers in 2016-17: 31-19-8, 70 points; goal differential +13
  • Oilers in 2017-18: 24-30-4, 52 points; goal differential -33
  • Oilers in 2018-19: 24-29-5, 53 points; goal differential -25
  • Oilers in 2019-20: 30-21-6, 66 points; goal differential +3

I’m fascinated by the goal differentials, all teams but the current group are stretching toward agony or ecstasy. My goodness three of these teams were bad.

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: 2-5-0, four points; goal differential -16
  • Oilers in February 2017: 4-3-0, eight points; goal differential +1
  • Oilers in February 2018: 1-5-1, three points; goal differential -4
  • Oilers in February 2019: 1-4-2, four points; goal differential -10
  • Oilers in February 2020: 3-3-0, six points; goal differential +1

It’s a big game tonight and we don’t know what the second line looks like, so you know the goalie will be important in this one. A bit of concern about the power-play entries as well.

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

I see this as being the key contest this weekend, because the Carolina game tomorrow is the definition of a schedule loss. Today’s game is the one. Win it and the week is a success (2-1-0 going into Sunday).

OILERS 2019-20

I’m guessing Granlund (the veteran) draws in for Kassian on the No. 2 line, but suspect we’ll also see Tyler Benson this afternoon. Edmonton needs more skill, need some goals. Benson can’t be expected to have a major impact but his numbers suggest he can help.

NHL EQUIVALENCY

The NHLE took some hits in yesterday’s comments, I’ll remind you that Kailer Yamamoto’s draft day NHLE (37.7) told us he had a real chance, while Jesse Puljujarvi’s (20.8) was a red sky in the morning. Anything over 30 NHLE for a forward is excellent, anything over 20 for a defenseman is too. If a player is beyond the age of the entry deal (20-22 for entry) then these numbers are probably embellishing a little. Here we go.

Now it’s easy to poke holes in the NHLE but math can be creative as well as precise. Kailer Yamamoto is more efficient in the NHL than he was in the AHL, but his numbers in the minors indicated he was a skill player. NHLE can’t tell us everything because we don’t have time on ice. NHLE never did betray John Marino as an example, because he didn’t play a feature role in college. It has value.

I will tell you that, in looking at these numbers, all of Benson, Puljujarvi, Lavoie, Jones, Persson and Bouchard are bona fide and can be expected to carry enough of the load to be projected as NHL players when their time arrives. McLeod and Maksimov will get a TOI push a year from now, their story has yet to be written. Based on their usage, these are solid numbers.

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348 Responses to "2019-20 Game 58: Oilers at Panthers"

« Older Comments
  1. Reja says:

    This was the one we needed from the lunch bucket brigade. Connor has to be chomping at the bit to return for the match up with the Big Bad Bruins.

  2. OriginalPouzar says:

    8 more points for the big line tonight – just damn.

  3. hunter1909 says:

    Hunter1909’s 10 game mini season Oilers need 12 points to keep pace for when McDavid returns…

    Today W

    2 – 1 record so far

    7 games remaining need 4 W’s to keep pace when McDavid returns

  4. hunter1909 says:

    Draisaitl is turning out to be some player…

    Jean Beliveau lite.

  5. OriginalPouzar says:

    Ryan: If you thought it was impossible to win with two fourth lines, the Oilers are doing it with three!

    2 fourth lines and a 5th line (Cave, Russell, XXX).

  6. Bling says:

    Yamamoto was excellent. He was just getting in the way — in a good way — all night. An absolute hound on those loose pucks. He is excellent at keeping plays alive. Leon’s goal happens only because KY gets that off-balance shot on net.

    Nuge is tremendously effective as a winger. His ability to lift sticks and win battles along the boards is better suited to the wing. LW should be his home. 46 points in 53 games. Datsyuk went 68 points in 75 games at age 26 before going super nova. Nuge is no Datsyuk, but I see him going off next season.

  7. Bling says:

    I liked Benson’s game. Some smart passes, and he had a nice little give and go sequence with Sheahan that led to a nice scoring chance.

  8. tcho says:

    67% winning percentage w/o 97. He’s clearly holding this team back.

  9. Munny says:

    This was exactly the style of game Tippet said they would need to play while 97 is McMIA.

  10. OriginalPouzar says:

    Bling:
    Yamamoto was excellent. He was just getting in the way — in a good way — all night. An absolute hound on those loose pucks. He is excellent at keeping plays alive. Leon’s goal happens only because KY gets that off-balance shot on net.

    Nuge is tremendously effective as a winger. His ability to lift sticks and win battles along the boards is better suited to the wing. LW should be his home. 46 points in 53 games. Datsyuk went 68 points in 75 games at age 26 before going super nova. Nuge is no Datsyuk, but I see him going off next season.

    Those point totals for Nuge include the horrendous offensive start including battling the hand injury.

    He may actually be higher now but last week he was 4th in league scoring in 2020.

    His offence is in a new level now.

  11. Todd Macallan says:

    Score not 1 but 2 EN goals. The end is nigh.

  12. jonrmcleod says:

    Tippett singles out “young Benson” as someone who impressed him today.

  13. JimmyV1965 says:

    Big win!!! Didn’t think Florida was very good that game. Gave our dmen way too much time and space. But hey, it’s a great win.

  14. Munny says:

    Drai has 10 game-winning goals on the season… most since Kurri in 86-87.

    Edit: Most by an Oiler, if that wasn’t clear.

  15. VanIsleOil says:

    jonrmcleod,

    Tip has done an excellent job at reading his players. He makes really good decisions and the boys are following the leader. Nice to have excellent coaching.

  16. Bling says:

    OriginalPouzar: Those point totals for Nuge include the horrendous offensive start including battling the hand injury.

    He may actually be higher now but last week he was 4th in league scoring in 2020.

    His offence is in a new level now.

    That’s a good point, OP. Baby Nuge has arrived!

    • N64 says:

      Knew if they put him with Drai he’d have a great chance to finally zero in on 50 pts.

      (that gag is going to be old enough to shave before Nuge is)

      • OriginalPouzar says:

        tileguy: If Puljujarvi comes back we know it was coach/management he did not like, if he refuses to return it was the players.

        He has reiterated his non desire to come back on multiple occasions after new management and coaching were in place.

        As far as the posts about adding, I agree, 100%, we are likely looking at a depth add like Grant. I would be looking at Tierney as well.

        Tufolio would be the most expensive pure rental I could see.

        AA in a hockey trade a possibility.

  17. Bling says:

    What a colossal blunder the Puljujarvi camp made. Look at all the opportunity that Tippett is giving to the youngsters — Bear, Persson (while he was here), Yamamoto, and now Benson.

    Even if he gets traded, how likely is it that he will get a coach as good as Tipp and the quality of linemates on offer in Edmonton?

  18. Bling says:

    Munny,

    Forgot about Jones. He has been excellent.

    That is a lot of players to break in. Credit to the players, but credit to the coaching staff for giving them the opportunity and encouraging them to make plays.

  19. Ryan says:

    OriginalPouzar: 2 fourth lines and a 5th line (Cave, Russell, XXX).

    To be precise, yes.

    We’ll take it!

    Now for uncle Kenny to deliver us something!

  20. hunter1909 says:

    JimmyV1965:
    Big win!!! Didn’t think Florida was very good that game. Gave our dmen way too much time and space. But hey, it’s a great win.

    Oilers burned down the Florida village today and there wasn’t a thing they could do about it. The mark of an up and coming playoff success team if you ask me in the case of the Edmonton Oilers

  21. Munny says:

    Rant by Evander Kane against the Department of Player Safety getting a lot of love on twitter right now.

  22. Side says:

    Draisaitl is on pace for… 130 points?

    That’s okay I guess.

  23. Reja says:

    Munny:
    Drai has 10 game-winning goals on the season… most since Kurri in 86-87.

    If it’s and but’s were candy and nuts oh what what a wonderful life this would be. If the Oilers make the playoffs and if Leon wins the scoring title Leon wins the MVP award hands down no questions asked. I don’t think he gives a shit about the award he wants Stanley.

  24. Dr. Taboggan says:

    Tip seems to know how to make chicken soup with chicken shit.

  25. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Great win, wobbly for sure, but points in the bank as Leo said!

    Koski looking solid with structure in front of him.

    As mentioned we are very lucky that mature experienced and balanced people are running the show. Finally the lens is on the ice, completely, and the issues are coming into focus with the players. Without any confounding factors.

    If you can’t do the job on these Oilers the mirror provides the answer you’re looking for. Perfect.

    It will trickle down even more.

  26. hunter1909 says:

    Side:
    Draisaitl is on pace for… 130 points?

    That’s okay I guess.

    Draisaitl’s a product of sponging for points off his team mates.

    Draisaitl sometimes reverses this and still is a product of his team mates.

  27. Bling says:

    Props to Caleb Jones for that insane breakout pass through the legs of a Panther forechecker. Saucered and on the tape to Draisaitl.

    This guy belongs.

  28. hunter1909 says:

    Dr. Taboggan:
    Tip seems to know how to make chicken soup with chicken shit.

    Calgary Puck says it’s “boring” hockey Oilers are winning with

  29. Reja says:

    hunter1909: Calgary Puck says it’s “boring” hockey Oilers are winning with

    Tkachuk needs a knuckle sandwich their fans are getting cocky.

  30. Halfwise says:

    hunter1909: Calgary Puck says it’s “boring” hockey Oilers are winning with

    Those pesky regulation wins just can’t compete with OT and SO wins.

    Oh wait.

  31. Scungilli Slushy says:

    So I’d like to express how unimpressed I am with P Kane (should be called Pane) getting 3.

    But I suppose if the refs don’t call a penalty there is no way for the Moustache to look at a history of injuring people, right?

    From what we’ve seen.

    Somebody get the NHL YouTube or something. Maybe they’re still trying to use Vine.

  32. Scungilli Slushy says:

    hunter1909: Calgary Puck says it’s “boring” hockey Oilers are winning with

    Being second best in an intercity rivalry leads to psychosis.

    The place south of the right place knows winning, just not ultimate success as much as ultimate disappointment.

    As it should be. And Gord willing will remain. And more heaping on by the good guys.

  33. hunter1909 says:

    Nurse better to watch now he’s signed for awhile. Bear playing excellent defence for a rookie. The forwards played great with only Draisaitl so when McDavid returns start him on line 4 then let him work his way back up lmao

    Kassian reminds me of those old time plastic monster models they sold in pipe shops. Comic book player but we can happily forget him for another 6 games, thanks Paros!

    lol

  34. hunter1909 says:

    Scungilli Slushy: The place south of the right place knows winning, just not ultimate success

    For me it’s the cup or bust; so Calgary are solid losers. At least you know when Oilers reach playoffs they never humiliate themselves unless you count McLellans pathetic coaching vs the Ducks in 2016

  35. hunter1909 says:

    Tippett only develops Ethan Bear plus Yamamoto in a single season. And those late pre season additions from Holland are doing better and better

    He’s also managing the goalies well right now.

    Tippett’s a great coach for the players.

  36. Munny says:

    Ryan: To be precise, yes.

    We’ll take it!

    Now for uncle Kenny to deliver us something!

    Whatever is coming won’t be a lot. I’ve been letting myself dream a bit this past week, but realistically if anything is added it will be a depth piece.

  37. tcho says:

    Do you think Vancouver might be willing to trade us Quinn Hughes for McDavid? I know, I know… it’s a little lopsided. Maybe if we threw in Klefbom and two 1sts?

    • Side says:

      They don’t need McDavid.

      A poster has already pointed out to us that the Canucks have Brogan Rafferty in their system. He will blot out the sun once he shows up in the NHL and the rest of the league will live in his shadow.

  38. tileguy says:

    Bling:
    What a colossal blunder the Puljujarvi camp made. Look at all the opportunity that Tippett is giving to the youngsters — Bear, Persson (while he was here), Yamamoto, and now Benson.

    Even if he gets traded, how likely is it that he will get a coach as good as Tipp and the quality of linemates on offer in Edmonton?

    If Puljujarvi comes back we know it was coach/management he did not like, if he refuses to return it was the players.

  39. hunter1909 says:

    Reja: Tkachuk needs a knuckle sandwich their fans are getting cocky.

    I can see your point.

    To me Tkachuk is like the heel from a Stu Hart Wrestling promotion. He’s not particularly dirty, just a showboat kind of annoying compared to real animals like Mark Messier or Glenn Anderson either who would have ripped out the throat of the opposition to win and the opposition knew it and gave them more room lol

    Draisaitl on the other hand plays with more finesse and is more cerebral than Messier ever was.

  40. Munny says:

    Chris Johnston‏Verified account @reporterchris

    As a repeat offender, Zack Kassian’s seven-game suspension will cost him $166,463.41 in salary.

    The reply:

    Rob Tychkowski‏Verified account @Rob_Tychkowski

    He could have saved $161,463.41 if he would have just cross checked him on the throat.

  41. hunter1909 says:

    Bling:
    What a colossal blunder the Puljujarvi camp made. Look at all the opportunity that Tippett is giving to the youngsters — Bear, Persson (while he was here), Yamamoto, and now Benson.

    Even if he gets traded, how likely is it that he will get a coach as good as Tipp and the quality of linemates on offer in Edmonton?

    It might be other issues but I still agree with you 100%.

    Yamamoto so far is making JP a dead duck lol

  42. hunter1909 says:

    Am I the only one who noticed how Draisaitl’s emerging as a total leader without McDavid around? The team follow him like they’re his Afrika Corps.

  43. Scungilli Slushy says:

    tileguy: If Puljujarvi comes back we know it was coach/management he did not like, if he refuses to return it was the players.

    It’s on him. Who decides their fellow colleagues at entry level?

    JPs issue is he doesn’t want to play NHL winger hockey.

    He doesn’t want to do grunt work and prove himself. He did have a serious hip issue that probably should have been addressed ASAP and for sure was known if they did a medical and due diligence.

    I am not convinced he will integrate into an NHL environment as a winger. He wants to roam the ice, he hopefully has his boots still, he back checks as a rover and breaks up plays.

    He’s big and I remain convinced he might be better in the middle .

    3C RH solves. McLeod replaces Sheahan in his timeline.

  44. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    tileguy: If Puljujarvi comes back we know it was coach/management he did not like, if he refuses to return it was the players.

    – meh. Put him with RNH and Drai he’d be fine.

    – If they won’t play him with elite linemates it doesn’t matter.

    – They weren’t going to do that this year so he said fu IMO.

    – unless they wamt to set him up for success it’s best to move on.

  45. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Munny:
    Chris Johnston‏Verified account @reporterchris


    As a repeat offender, Zack Kassian’s seven-game suspension will cost him $166,463.41 in salary.

    The reply:

    Rob Tychkowski‏Verified account @Rob_Tychkowski


    He could have saved $161,463.41 if he would have just cross checked him on the throat.

    Or elbowed him in the head.

  46. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Munny:
    Chris Johnston‏Verified account @reporterchris


    As a repeat offender, Zack Kassian’s seven-game suspension will cost him $166,463.41 in salary.

    The reply:

    Rob Tychkowski‏Verified account @Rob_Tychkowski


    He could have saved $161,463.41 if he would have just cross checked him on the throat.

    Or slewfooted him

  47. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Munny:
    Chris Johnston‏Verified account @reporterchris


    As a repeat offender, Zack Kassian’s seven-game suspension will cost him $166,463.41 in salary.

    The reply:

    Rob Tychkowski‏Verified account @Rob_Tychkowski


    He could have saved $161,463.41 if he would have just cross checked him on the throat.

    Or kneed him

  48. tileguy says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – meh. Put him with RNH and Drai he’d be fine.

    – If they won’t play him with elite linemates it doesn’t matter.

    – They weren’t going to do that this year so he said fu IMO.

    – unless they wamt to set him up for success it’s best to move on.

    How do you know they weren’t going to do that?

  49. OriginalPouzar says:

    tileguy: If Puljujarvi comes back we know it was coach/management he did not like, if he refuses to return it was the players.

    He has reiterated his non desire to come back on multiple occasions after new management and coaching were in place.
    As far as the posts about adding, I agree, 100%, we are likely looking at a depth add like Grant. I would be looking at Tierney as well.
    Tufolio would be the most expensive pure rental I could see.
    AA in a hockey trade a possibility.

  50. teddyturnbuckle says:

    Yahoo! Great win, this playoff drive is turning out to be epic. Guys getting called up from Bakersfield chipping in!

  51. dustrock says:

    Gotta admit Larsson has looked better by eye the last couple of games.

    Maybe the fancies are poor but he at least had some composure in terms of getting rid of the puck and not just dumping it.

    Nice game to get off the schneid too.

  52. flyfish1168 says:

    ” The fact the NHL Department of Player Safety headed by George Parros continue to pick and choose, who and what they suspend is ridiculous! There have been countless incidents of the same nature through this season and past seasons that have gone unsuspended or fined. No one person can tell you what is or isn’t a suspension in today’s game, it’s become a complete guess. There is a major lack of consistency with NHL Department of Player Safety. A completely FLAWED system in so many ways. From the suspensions to appeal rights, it’s baffling to me how we as players agreed to this. You can’t continue to give some players a pass and throw the book at others. There has to be a outside third party making these decisions to remove the bias that transpires in this department headed by George Parros. None of it makes any sense. ”
    – Evander Kane on Twitter

    I’m glad someone else feels the same as i do. parros needs to go

  53. flyfish1168 says:

    tileguy: If Puljujarvi comes back we know it was coach/management he did not like, if he refuses to return it was the players.

    Was it reported that certain players asked not to play with him?

  54. Lowetide says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – meh. Put him with RNH and Drai he’d be fine.

    – If they won’t play him with elite linemates it doesn’t matter.

    – They weren’t going to do that this year so he said fu IMO.

    – unless they wamt to set him up for success it’s best to move on.

    I’m not sure how Puljujarvi would know about his usage, as the Oilers had a new general manager and coach. Observing Tippett it seems pretty much everyone has experienced a spike in perfrmance this year. Tippett’s potential usage of JP isn’t at all clear, don’t know how we could draw that conclusion.

  55. Reja says:

    Scungilli Slushy: Being second best in an intercity rivalry leads to psychosis.

    The place south of the right place knows winning, just not ultimate success as much as ultimate disappointment.

    As it should be. And Gord willing will remain. And more heaping on by the good guys.

    On that after hours segment on the BOA was Bullshit we had no real representation against jaw flapping used car salesman Peplinski wouldn’t even give credit to Dave Semenko. He just kept going on and on what a wonderful human being Tim Hunter was, well so was Dave one of the nicest persons you’ll ever meet.

  56. Reja says:

    OriginalPouzar: He has reiterated his non desire to come back on multiple occasions after new management and coaching were in place.
    As far as the posts about adding, I agree, 100%, we are likely looking at a depth add like Grant. I would be looking at Tierney as well.
    Tufolio would be the most expensive pure rental I could see.
    AA in a hockey trade a possibility.

    He’s been spooked there’s no coming back from being spooked.

  57. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    tileguy: How do you know they weren’t going to do that?

    – The vernal was clear. So was the press. So was management. So were the players. So was Neal trade.

    – You just had to read through the lines and know stuff to understand that Pool wasn’t going to get the opportunity he believed he ought to have as a a 4th overall pick playing on a gong show rotation

    – Hollland has his plate full when he was hired. Unless we hear about Drai amd Pool training together or Conner taking him under his wing and management applauding his great season and looking forward to him being a meaningful part of the team he’s done here.

    – And maybe they are right. Yak had a few 2nd opinions but he seemed never to be able to play long term with skill. Maybe Pool isn’t good.

  58. leadfarmer says:

    dustrock:
    15

    Well this game was really played around his strengths. Lots of whackapuck

  59. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    delooper:
    I think Benson is going to have a slow transition to the NHL. I was skeptical of him when he was in the minors but he appears to continue to improve.The worst thing that could happen to him is if people get their expectations too high, too quickly.

    Getting games in this year is going to be huge for him to fine tune a few things over the summer.
    He is starting to look a little more comfortable out there…

  60. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Lowetide: I’m not sure how Puljujarvi would know about his usage, as the Oilers had a new general manager and coach. Observing Tippett it seems pretty much everyone has experienced a spike in perfrmance this year. Tippett’s potential usage of JP isn’t at all clear, don’t know how we could draw that conclusion.

    – hey everyone can have their take. Based on this quote from Holland I think Pool said F?ck that, theve already made up their minds. He wasn’t going to play with skill with Neal Kassian Drai RNH CMD guaranteed to play with each other: Pool was going to be 4rth liner: same as always. The Oil didn’t rate him maybe they are right. I respect Pools fire to say I’m better and I won’t come back for more of this:

    “ You have to come to the rink every day and know your jersey is hanging,” he said. “You’re in the lineup. That’s step one. What you do to be in the lineup, then you start to find chemistry with some players whether you’re on the third line or fourth line, and you slowly work your way up the ladder to being more important.

  61. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    tileguy: How do you know they weren’t going to do that?

    – This: I mean we can debate whether Pool is a bust or not but there is no debate that as a 4rth liner he’d fail. This quote from Holland is old school. Amd it’s not what happens to wingers who are viewed as skillful. Kailer is case in point They did the opposite of what Holland says Pool has to do. They put Kailer with skilled forwards. None of this 4th line work your way up kid. :

    You have to come to the rink every day and know your jersey is hanging,” he said. “You’re in the lineup. That’s step one. What you do to be in the lineup, then you start to find chemistry with some players whether you’re on the third line or fourth line, and you slowly work your way up the ladder to being more important.

  62. Bling says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – The vernal was clear. So was the press. So was management. So were the players. So was Neal trade.

    – You just had to read through the lines and know stuff to understand that Pool wasn’t going to get the opportunity he believed he ought to have as a a 4th overall pick playing on a gong show rotation

    – Hollland has his plate full when he was hired. Unless we hear about Drai amd Pool training together or Conner taking him under his wing and management applauding his great season and looking forward to him being a meaningful part of the team he’s done here.

    – And maybe they are right.Yak had a few 2nd opinions but he seemed never to be able to play long term with skill. Maybe Pool isn’t good.

    There were whispers that Drai/97 were not particularly enamored, but RNH was on record as saying he liked JP as a player and playing with him.

    Success begets success and opinions change. Nuge is a top 5 NHL scorer in 2020. Will JP get an opportunity to play with someone like that? Kassian just parlayed playing okay with the best player on the planet into 12 million.

    The real miscalculation that the Lehto/JP camp made was Tippett.

    Tippett elevated Bear and Yamamoto in a hurry. He was also very aggressive with Persson. Jones he brought along slower, but one could argue that was depth related, and now Jones is thriving. Now Benson is gaining a little traction.

    I think the year in Finland was good for JP’s mental well-being and confidence. He needed a reset.

    But the reset could easily have been here.

    I did not fathom Tippett being such an excellent developer of talent, but Lehto gets paid a lot to know the industry, and maybe he should have.

  63. Lowetide says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – hey everyone can have their take. Based on this quote from Holland I think Pool said F?ck that, theve already made up their minds. He wasn’t going to play with skill with Neal Kassian Drai RNH CMD guaranteed to play with each other:Pool was going to be 4rth liner: same as always.The Oil didn’t rate him maybe they are right. I respect Pools fire to say I’m better and I won’t come back for more of this:

    “ You have to come to the rink every day and know your jersey is hanging,” he said. “You’re in the lineup. That’s step one. What you do to be in the lineup, then you start to find chemistry with some players whether you’re on the third line or fourth line, and you slowly work your way up the ladder to being more important.

    Well one thing we can agree on, Puljujarvi had been jacked around enough by previous management that it wasn’t a massive surprise the young man decided had enough. Damn shame all around. I think these things tend to punish all involved and we’ll see if the Oilers suffer via poor trade return. They really needed to get extreme value with that pick.

  64. hunter1909 says:

    Reja: He’s been spooked there’s no coming back from being spooked.

    His nightmares are our nightmares.

  65. hunter1909 says:

    Lowetide: we’ll see if the Oilers suffer via poor trade return.

    Not sure how Ken Holland is other than he traded Lucic away for a quarter season of Mike Bossy lol

  66. Darth Tu says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – The vernal was clear. So was the press. So was management. So were the players. So was Neal trade.

    – You just had to read through the lines and know stuff to understand that Pool wasn’t going to get the opportunity he believed he ought to have as a a 4th overall pick playing on a gong show rotation

    – Hollland has his plate full when he was hired. Unless we hear about Drai amd Pool training together or Conner taking him under his wing and management applauding his great season and looking forward to him being a meaningful part of the team he’s done here.

    – And maybe they are right.Yak had a few 2nd opinions but he seemed never to be able to play long term with skill. Maybe Pool isn’t good.

    Whether he’s good or not, if he’d stick around he’d definitely have had McDavid minutes by now. Kassian’s obsession with suspensions and Neal’s injury would have given him that chance.

    I was hoping for a change of heart by Christmas (or whenever it was he was last able to come back to the NHL), and we could have put it down as some sort of wily Ken Holland/Jessie secret play to get him tonnes of game time and properly up to speed before coming back to the Oilers. I mean without the whole potential losing him to waivers if he was to be sent down to the AHL to rehab the hip. But alas, turns out my conspiracy theory was completely wrong.

  67. flyfish1168 says:

    all star dave pulled again in favour of 1st shot goal talbot

  68. hunter1909 says:

    TROLL ALERT

    Calgary Flames down 4-2 vs a decent kind of Hawks team heartbreaking if they lose tonight and drop down even farther in the hunt for the Pacific crown lol

  69. flyfish1168 says:

    Lowetide: Well one thing we can agree on, Puljujarvi had been jacked around enough by previous management that it wasn’t a massive surprise the young man decided had enough. Damn shame all around. I think these things tend to punish all involved and we’ll see if the Oilers suffer via poor trade return. They really needed to get extreme value with that pick.

    LT do you see another player like JP on a different team that needs a change ? Or who would be a candidate if there was one?

  70. Gerta Rauss says:

    I could see a situation where we get to August and JP is still an Oiler- the other teams aren’t going to be doing Kenny any favors

    “look kid, we’ve been trying to find you a place to continue your NHL career since last summer, but we’re not going to give you away just because that’s what you want. You’re an important part of our organization, and if you want to come to camp you’d be welcomed with open arms and given every chance to succeed. If you’re not comfortable with that, you can play in Finland for another year and we’ll do everything we can to move you along to Seattle in June of ’21”

    It’s a long shot sure, but stranger things have happened

  71. lenko says:

    Ice Sage:
    I get the germanic reference – how about ‘”follow him like he’s Angela Merkel”?

    You gotta be kidding!

  72. Lowetide says:

    flyfish1168: LT do you see another player like JP on a different team that needs a change ? Or who would be a candidate if there was one?

    I can see plenty but they’re flawed too. Lias Andersson, Julien Gauthier, Dominik Bokk (who has already been traded). Puljujarvi seems like the most attractive of the bunch.

  73. Reja says:

    Hrudey and Rittich are going to have a good cry later tonight maybe Burke, Button and Cassie will join in on the lovefest.

  74. Ice Sage says:

    lenko,

    Jawohl!

  75. OriginalPouzar says:

    Condors up 3-2 – Currie with two and Malone with the other.

    One goal was a one-time bomb on the PP by Currie – PP ran through Bouch who showed solid poise, patience and touch running point.

  76. Decidedly Skeptical Fan says:

    flyfish1168: LT do you see another player like JP on a different team that needs a change ? Or who would be a candidate if there was one?

    The problem is that no one seems to know what JP is “like”. I’m sure some of our players have opinions, but the people who matter (just about every NHL GM other than one) doesn’t know what JP is “like”. So the acquisition risk is high and the reward uncertain at best, which means you get a very poor return on a trade. A guy with a little talent but character issues or a high character guy with little talent or maybe, if you are lucky, a 3rd round pick in the upcoming draft. If JP doesn’t come back to the Oil AND perform something semi-close to a 4OV pick, it’s a bust. That’s where we are. Waiting on Jessie is probably the best option at the moment

  77. jm363561 says:

    I did not see today’s game but I am both impressed and amazed we can pick up wins with all of McD, Neal, Russell, Nygard and now Kassian all missing. Who new we had this kind of depth or, possibly more accurately, a coach who can get a serviceable performance with so many fourth liners / 3D?

  78. Reja says:

    jm363561:
    I did not see today’s game but I am both impressed and amazed we can pick up wins with all of McD, Neal, Russell, Nygard and now Kassian all missing. Who new we had this kind of depth or, possibly more accurately, a coach who can get a serviceable performance with so many fourth liners / 3D?

    All it took was for the black cloud to be shifted.

  79. Cassandra says:

    jm363561:
    I did not see today’s game but I am both impressed and amazed we can pick up wins with all of McD, Neal, Russell, Nygard and now Kassian all missing. Who new we had this kind of depth or, possibly more accurately, a coach who can get a serviceable performance with so many fourth liners / 3D?

    Well the players who replace Russell and Neal are better than Russell and Neal, so that’s a plus. Nygaard probably too, so another plus. And we all know that Kassian has a garbage contract. He is playable but not that big a loss.

    But McDavid hurts, that is true.

  80. N64 says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    I could see a situation where we get to August and JP is still an Oiler- the other teams aren’t going to be doing Kenny any favors

    “look kid, we’ve been trying to find you a place to continue your NHL career since last summer, but we’re not going to give you away just because that’s what you want. You’re an important part of our organization, and if you want to come to camp you’d be welcomed with open arms and given every chance to succeed. If you’re not comfortable with that, you can play in Finland for another year and we’ll do everything we can to move you along to Seattle in June of ’21”

    It’s a long shot sure, but stranger things have happened

    The road to any NHL team other than Seattle probably lies though the Oilers training camp. Wishing this young man well whatever road he takes.

  81. Decidedly Skeptical Fan says:

    jm363561:
    I did not see today’s game but I am both impressed and amazed we can pick up wins with all of McD, Neal, Russell, Nygard and now Kassian all missing. Who new we had this kind of depth or, possibly more accurately, a coach who can get a serviceable performance with so many fourth liners / 3D?

    Very good coaching will do that. Knew very little about Tip before he got here, but wow. The best recent examples I can think of are Popovich in San Antonio and Belichick in New England. A player goes down and they pop some no-name in place and the machine just runs like nothing happened. You have to have a well defined system that allows for non-optimal pieces and the players have to commit to it and yes, a minimum level of talent has to be maintained. If Drai were to go down, for example, we would be screwed.

  82. Cassandra says:

    Kane is right (about Parros–who is a gutless piece of garbage. Suspensions have always been arbitrary but somehow he has made it much worse). Also Colin Campbell is the worst thing to ever happen to the NHL.

    Kinger is right (about Puljujarvi).

    I can’t believe I am on their side. But I am.

  83. flyfish1168 says:

    Decidedly Skeptical Fan: The problem is that no one seems to know what JP is “like”. I’m sure some of our players have opinions, but the people who matter (just about every NHL GM other than one) doesn’t know what JP is “like”. So the acquisition risk is high and the reward uncertain at best, which means you get a very poor return on a trade. A guy with a little talent but character issues or a high character guy with little talent or maybe, if you are lucky, a 3rd round pick in the upcoming draft. If JP doesn’t come back to the Oil AND perform something semi-close to a 4OV pick, it’s a bust. That’s where we are. Waiting on Jessie is probably the best option at the moment

    I feel the uncertainty is his hockey IQ and his will to want it in the NHL. He reminds me of bigger players in junior hockey where their strength is what makes them good. But when you move to a higher level stuff like this starts to even out and your IQ and will power to compete needs to help you elevate your game. Back in junior you didn’t need it.

  84. leadfarmer says:

    Nice of Talbot and Rittich to let in 4 a piece
    I don’t know why they have that much faith in Rittich

  85. Victoria Oil says:

    hunter1909: Not sure how Ken Holland is other than he traded Lucic away for a quarter season of Mike Bossy lol

    Speaking of Neal, with him being injured and not scoring when he was healthy recently, combined with a bit of an increase in Lucic scoring, it no longer is a slam dunk that we will give up that third rounder to Cowtown.

  86. Side says:

    hunter1909: Calgary Puck says it’s “boring” hockey Oilers are winning with

    Will gladly take the Oilers playing a “boring” brand of hockey for a 4-1 victory than playing an “exciting” brand of hockey which earns them an 8-4 loss.

  87. Decidedly Skeptical Fan says:

    leadfarmer:
    Nice of Talbot and Rittich to let in 4 a piece
    I don’t know why they have that much faith in Rittich

    David Rittich 0.733 SV%
    Cam Talbot 0.692 SV%

    At home. Must have been an entertaining game for Flames fans.

  88. Bank Shot says:

    Nice to see the Flames lose but the Oilers didn’t get any other help on the OOT scoreboard tonight with both the Desert Dogs and Knights winning.

    A win tomorrow would be huge.

  89. v4ance says:

    Just finished watching game on PVR. Excellent technically sound game by Koskinen. The one shot that beat him was a perfect shot where Huberdeau had tons of time to pick the top corner. One other great save on Huberdeau where he butterflied the bottom of the net as he moved right then left while still maintaining an upright stance to block most of the upper part of the net too. It was nice to watch a game where we had the better goaltending with no chaos involved at all.

    Good hard grinding game by the rest of the skaters. Not many giveaways or odd man breaks. On the other hand, it was a good simulation of a playoff style game. Lots of board work, lots of traffic to the net to defend and box out. Lots of good backchecking and solid defensive positioning all game.

    Jujhar had the one fight but he looked weakened. We’ve seen him ragdoll other fighters before so i think he must be nursing a nagging injury. He’s trying to play through it but he’s definitely not at his best right now.

    I really like Bear’s shot selection. He almost never gets his point shot blocked. It feels like he’s been coached to never throw muffins at the net (Nurse!!!) for the sake of any shot and instead look to put quality drives on net. If anything, he’s too conservative with his cannon shot. He almost caught Montembeault by surprise with that hard slapper from center ice.

    Oh and Mackenzie Weegar was making good plays all over the ice. Broke up more than a few plays with his active stick. Be a nice pickup for the Oilers…

  90. OriginalPouzar says:

    Landing in TO at 5am and then Calgary at 10 – groceries and 2 hours of food prep prioritized and I should be able to get all that done for game time at 2pm. Stoked for my first game in a regular TV since January. I am quite happy that I was able to watch about 65% of game action while away. Four hour time change isn’t a big change but games started at 11-12 generally and the gym time was 5-6.

    Anyways, scheduled loss my ass. They can pry at least a point out of this game – it won’t be easy but at least they’ll have got in to Carolina early enough yesterday to get a normal sleep.

    smith will start, I’m sure but a great performance by Mikko last night was huge for that game and huge going forward. We need him playing well.

    Granny should play – Russell or Hass to take a seat.

  91. Ribs says:

    Lucic on After Hours.. https://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/hours-milan-lucic/

    Louie asks him the most interesting question of the entire interview near the end and Oake cuts him off, lol. Classic Oake.

  92. v4ance says:

    https://www.tvasports.ca/2020/02/15/brendan-gallagher-completement-de-lui

    You can hear the referee say some bad bad words. If you read lips, your eyes will burn as much as your ears!

    I do have to say, we did get generous calls in our favor when we played Montreal. Ref bias worked for us for once!

  93. Munny says:

    I can’t imagine the belief-in-themselves this team must be feeling right now.

    Can you imagine? This depleted roster going into FLA, after playing a tough game against the best team in the League (right now), and pretty much DOMINATING the Cats. Sure Koski had to be good when necessary but even better was that he was good even though the play was coming at him in fits and spurts… a long string of nothing-burgers and then an OMIGAAAAAAWD, phew. Deserved 1st star.

    And those nothing-burgers were cooked in a display of lockdown hockey we haven’t seen on a regular basis since the Finals team.

    Those guys can all look at each other, in the visiting dressing room after the game, knowing which faces are missing, and say, “Look at what we just did.”

    And belief is a powerful thing. They might suffer a little letdown in Raleigh, but would anyone count this team out of any game, right now?

    And Draisaitl. Gortt im Himmel.

    I wasn’t convinced before Saturday in Sunrise, but I’m now a 100 percent believer in this roster, given we also have the first coaching staff in exactly one forever that has been able to get buy-in from the team, with a structure that works.*

    That game yesterday was epic. It should go down in The Annals of Glory.

    Believe.

    _______________

    [*Not to mention a strategy that leverages the players they have, ie reliance on special teams and the stars]
    [*Coaching is one thing that’s not baked into the stats we have]

  94. OriginalPouzar says:

    With some good fortune and another full team effort, the Oilers could be in first in the division by sun down!

  95. Adam Wu says:

    Side: Will gladly take the Oilers playing a “boring” brand of hockey for a 4-1 victory than playing an “exciting” brand of hockey which earns them an 8-4 loss.

    And if we really wanted to watch that brand of “exciting” hockey, we have like 10 years worth of tape to rewatch.

    Unless you’ve already burned them….

  96. New Improved Darkness says:

    hunter1909: Not sure how Ken Holland is other than he traded Lucic away for a quarter season of Mike Bossy lol

    Coming when it did, it gave Tippet time to unpack his moving van before real adversity struck, and the players enough time to buy into a system with a success horizon longer than their next shift.

    Hawkeye Pierce would take that outcome any day of the week.

    ———

    Radar: It’s Monday, Sirs.

    Hawkeye: Say, is that a fresh unit of oh negative? Where in hell’s back 40,000 did you find that?

    Radar: You know that three-legged Clydesdale we picked up in the covered wagon era?

    Hawkeye: This conflict had a covered wagon era?

    Radar: Well, we finally—

    Hawkeye: —uh uh uh, stop right there. I’m extremely squeamish about gore, in case you haven’t noticed.

    Radar: I’ll tell you right after you finish infusing that fresh oh negative into the guy who desperately needs it.

    Hawkeye: I’ll be all ears back at the Swamp.

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