Pick up the Pieces

Playing the Minnesota Wild is kind of what I imagine it’s like to sail into the Bermuda triangle: You’re a little nervous because of all the stories, but it’ll be fun to tell your friends about when you get home safely. Jacques Lemaire pulled some kind of voodoo at the turn of the century and the Oilers have been chasing ever since.

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 Trade Deadline: Oilers countdown to trade deadline involves age old dilemma
  • New Jonathan Willis: They shoot, they don’t score: NHLers who just can’t find the back of the net
  • New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Why cap issues mean McDavid’s return could be Oilers’ only pre-deadline move
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Oilers lack deadline flexibility due to injuries, few assets and bonuses
  • Lowetide: Making sense of the Oilers forward depth chart for the summer
  • Lowetide: For Oilers’ Kailer Yamamoto and Leon Draisaitl, first impressions are long forgotten. Why not for Jesse Puljujarvi?
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Next-night masters: How the Oilers beat the Hurricanes and improved to 6-0 in the 2nd half of back-to-backs
  • Lowetide: Oilers reap benefits of Bakersfield Condors’ strong development process, even in a losing season
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Stepping out and up, Leon Draisaitl puts himself in the Hart Trophy mix in Connor McDavid’s absence
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Despite ‘transformation’ with Oilers, Zack Kassian’s on-ice actions come under scrutiny again
  • 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
  • Jonathan Willis: 10 overlooked trade targets for the Oilers before the 2020 deadline
  • 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 61 GAMES

  • Oilers in 2015-16: 22-33-6, 50 points; goal differential -33
  • Oilers in 2016-17: 33-20-8, 74 points; goal differential +13
  • Oilers in 2017-18: 26-31-4, 56 points; goal differential -33
  • Oilers in 2018-19: 26-29-6, 58 points; goal differential -23
  • Oilers in 2019-20: 32-22-7, 71 points; goal differential +3

Oilers lost, so did Calgary and now the division looks like Vegas has found the rhythm and the rest of the group is keepin’ time while the Golden Knights climb up the ladder to the roof (where they can see heaven much better). Still, who can be truly upset with this Oilers record?

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
  • Sixth 10 games: 6-3-1
  • Current 10 games: 0-1-0

OILERS IN FEBRUARY

  • Oilers in February 2016: 2-8-0, four points; goal differential -19
  • Oilers in February 2017: 5-5-0, 10 points; goal differential -1
  • Oilers in February 2018: 2-7-1, five points; goal differential -5
  • Oilers in February 2019: 2-5-3, seven points; goal differential -11
  • Oilers in February 2020: 5-4-1, 11 points; goal differential +1

It’s still the best February during McDavid’s time, and there’s some distance to go. If we’re honest, 3-2-1 without the captain is still a solid result.

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 2-1-0)
  • At home to: BOS, MIN (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 0-1-1)
  • 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: 5-4-1, 11 points in 10 games

I projected Edmonton to go 3-1-0 from here until the end of the month, meaning the team would finish 8-5-1 for February (as predicted). We don’t know if McDavid will play on Sunday but he’s close.

OILERS 2019-20

The top line is flying but the other three units were sucking air and chasing all night long. Rookie mistakes on blue, bad luck too, it’s all part of the Lemaire hate stew we’ve been watching for 20 years. Wild doesn’t play exactly like Lemaire taught them, the club no longer chokes the life out of the game with the trap. Now, the team merely plays whack-a-mole with opponents. Refs liked it, I’ll say that much. Nice to see Nuge approaching 50 points in a season for the first time in his career. All numbers five on five and via Natural Stat Trick.

LINE 1 Nuge-Leon Draisaitl-Kailer Yamamoto played 16:55, going 24-18 Corsi, 11-12 shots, 3-0 goals, 3-4 HDSC.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored two goals and one assist, four shots, one HDSC, won four of five on the dot. Could have had two more goals, best chances that didn’t go in happened early second period. Leon Draisaitl scored what might have been the flukiest goal of his career, bounced off a the south end of a Minnesota skate going north and went back and to the right. Real Zapruder film stuff. Had a goal, an assist, two giveaways, won 12 of 17 in the circle. He’s pretty impressive as a faceoff man now, has been for three years. Kailer Yamamoto landed with two assists, a shot, two HDSC, GV, TK. Ranks No. 6 in points among Oilers forwards, despite giving the field a 41 game head start. He could finish as high as fourth. Backchecked like a demon later in the game to save the day.

LINE 2 Sam Gagner-Gaetan Haas-Alex Chiasson played 9:52, going 10-10 Corsi, 3-7 shots, no goals and 0-2 HDSC.

Sam Gagner had one shot, a good chance, TK, GV, had some looks but couldn’t cash. He does have good offensive tools, needs a little more skill on his line. Gaetan Haas had a shot, GV, TK and won three of seven faceoffs. He worked hard, but the Wild block everything. Alex Chiasson took a penalty when a Wild player grabbed on to his stick, very weak call.

LINE 3 Tyler Benson-Riley Sheahan-Josh Archibald played 7:25, going 5-11 Corsi, 3-6 shots, 0-2 goals and 1-0 HDSC.

Benson had a giveaway and two takeaways, most noticeable passing the puck. Set up Archibald for a brilliant chance. Won some puck battles. Riley Sheahan had a shot and went 4-4 in the faceoff circle. Josh Archibald had one incredible chance, a takeaway and three blocked shots. Took a vicious elbow that saw him miss a few shifts. Blocked Koskinen on the Soucy shot.

LINE 4 Jujhar Khaira-Colby Cave-Patrick Russell played 5:16, going 5-2 Corsi, 2-1 shots, no goals or any danger.

Jujhar Khaira had two shots, a giveaway (there were more) and a takeaway. He coughed up the puck twice in the same shift and spent just 22 seconds on the PK (which is his strength). Was it his last game as an Oiler? Colby Cave won four of seven in the circle, and (I think) deflected the shot from the high slot on the first goal against. Koskinen adjusted but could not control the rebound. Patrick Russell had a quiet evening.

Oilers loss is notable but doesn’t sink them. Arizona, Vancouver and Vegas play tonight, so Edmonton could be No. 2 through No. 3 tomorrow morning.

PAIRING ONE Darnell Nurse and Ethan Bear played 18:58, going 21-14 Corsi, 7-9 shots, no goals and 1-3 HDSC.

Darnell Nurse had four shots and a takeaway, skated miles. He used his wingspan effectively on defense, on a night when he needed it against some big, tough Wild forwards. Had a couple of wonderful chances at net later in the third but couldn’t find the range. Ethan Bear had an assist, a shot, two giveaways and battled hard all night. Wild forwards are a fearsome crew, that was a hard day’s night. Bear has developed this very cool move where he presents as it to pass and then resets. Very effective. He’s about two sleeps from taking Nurse’s job on the 1PP.

PAIRING TWO Caleb Jones and Adam Larsson played 15:46, going 15-21 Corsi, 8-13 shots, 2-2 goals, 2-3 HDSC.

Caleb Jones had two shots, drew a penalty, three shot blocks. He had some rookie moments. His outlet passes are coming into view as he gets more comfortable. Adam Larsson had two shots, took a penalty, had two giveaways and a takeaway. On the first Spurgeon goal, he had the puck under control but didn’t get it out. Major issue there. Winning goal bounced off his stick and into the net.

PAIRING THREE William Lagesson and Matt Benning played 10:51, going 15-11 Corsi, 7-9 shots, 1-1 goals, 1-2 HDSC.

William Lagesson had a tough night, although he was credited with just one giveaway. Was beaten by Fiala on the first goal, he needed to intercept the puck or park Fiala on his ass, but did neither. Rookie blue do this, there’s nothing to do but endure, secure in the knowledge he’ll learn. Matt Benning had an assist, two shots and a goal post. I think he’s a very good NHL defenseman.

GOALIE Mikko Koskinen stopped 34 of 38, .895. Stopped seven of eight HDSC. Made some big stops, including a breakaway on Parise at the end of the second. The third goal against was a major game moment, would have liked him to be aggressive on the shot and earlier in maybe freezing the puck. The fourth goal was unfortunate and a killer, I saw it as Larsson tipping it past his goalie but you could argue Koskinen wasn’t facing the original shot in a good way.

Man this is a hurting team. Among my top 20 prospects in December, only Samorukov, McLeod, Maksimov, Persson and Skinner (in goal) played for Bakersfield. All of Yamamoto, Benson, Jones, Lagesson and Bouchard are in Edmonton on recall, with Bear and Patrick Russell having made the big club out of camp in October. Condors need some help. It won’t come until fall.

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285 Responses to "Pick up the Pieces"

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  1. duct tape and foil says:

    Had to watch the 3rd of that Leafs-Canes game for shytes and giggles. So so DoD in character and the kind of game that makes a GM do something stupid on deadline day. Help him out Kenny 🙂

  2. Reja says:

    Holy smokes is Red Buttons trying to be the next Don Cherry with his ranting and raving about the Leafs losing. Bouchard is going to make the Flames Shrill eat his lunch soon enough.

  3. Gerta Rauss says:

    VAN up 5-1 now over BOS late in the 2nd

  4. Munny says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    VAN up 5-1 now over BOS late in the 2nd

    They need to send the schedule-makers a gift basket after this one.

  5. OriginalPouzar says:

    Persson makes in 4-0 in the PP – takes a pass from Granny across the blueline, walks in to the circles and snaps it home.

  6. Munny says:

    Keep in mind the source. Still no one likes a good self-immolation more than I.

    Damien Cox‏Verified account @DamoSpin


    All of the advanced hockey theories of Kyle Dubas have blown up in his face tonight. He built this team in a specific way, put a specific coach in place to coach the team the way he wanted. He should’ve more embarrassed than any member of the Leaf organization tonight.

    Damien Cox‏Verified account @DamoSpin

    Again, that picture of the Leaf bench with every single player ignoring Keefe as he screamed at them during a TV timeout sure was telling.

  7. Munny says:

    Carolina Hurricanes have already made a David Ayres T-shirt available in their shop.

  8. Munny says:

    Michael Farber‏Verified account @MichaelFarber3

    David Ayres is now No. 23 on @TSN_TradeCentre trade bait board.

  9. Harpers Hair says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    VAN up 5-1 now over BOS late in the 2nd

    Bruins now trying to goon it up.

  10. Pescador says:

    Munny:
    Keep in mind the source.Still no one likes a good self-immolation more than I.

    Damien Cox‏Verified account @DamoSpin


    All of the advanced hockey theories of Kyle Dubas have blown up in his face tonight. He built this team in a specific way, put a specific coach in place to coach the team the way he wanted. He should’ve more embarrassed than any member of the Leaf organization tonight.

    Damien Cox‏Verified account @DamoSpin

    Again, that picture of the Leaf bench with every single player ignoring Keefe as he screamed at them during a TV timeout sure was telling.

    Wonder if the pressure is starting to get to Keefer?
    I thought Millenials didn’t respond to negative energy,
    Sheldon Keefe the Dementor 2.0

  11. Reja says:

    Harpers Hair: Bruins now tryingto goon it up.

    Ooh what will the poor helpless kanuckles do without their prizefighter Ferland. This is eff all wait till the big boys put on their pants in the real season,

  12. Munny says:

    Another funny thing about that Leafs 3rd period Caning?

    Canes were on a back to back with travel…

    #theballwasteedup

  13. Harpers Hair says:

    Reja: Ooh what will the poor helpless kanuckles do without their prizefighter Ferland. This is eff all wait till the big boys put on their pants in the real season,

    6-1 Canucks.
    That’s how you beat gooning it up.

  14. Johnny skid says:

    Reja: Ooh what will the poor helpless kanuckles do without their prizefighter Ferland. This is eff all wait till the big boys put on their pants in the real season,

    not to worry Elias Pettersson take care of all the ruffians.

  15. Harpers Hair says:

    Johnny skid: not to worryElias Pettersson take care of all the ruffians.

    And so he just did..

  16. Johnny skid says:

    Harpers Hair: And so he just did..

    damn i missed it. Was it better than the one when Myers got rag-dolled by Manson the other night?

  17. Harpers Hair says:

    Johnny skid: damn i missed it. Was it better than the one when Myers got rag-dolled by Manson the other night?

    Yeah it was.

    A laser beam shot.

  18. Johnny skid says:

    Harpers Hair: Yeah it was.

    A laser beam shot.

    i’m sorry i missed it. He must be fully recovered from that beating he took from Grzelcyk a week or so ago then.

  19. Harpers Hair says:

    Johnny skid: i’m sorry i missed it. He must be fully recovered from that beating he took from Grzelcyk a week or so ago then.

    When you’re In a hole it’s a very good idea to stop digging.

    In other news, Tyler Toffoli with 2 goals and one assist.

    Now scoring at a 2 PPG pace since coming to the Canucks.

    • Slocanoil says:

      Talking up toffoli after not having the guts to back up your verbal the other night is so you.

  20. Johnny skid says:

    Harpers Hair: When you’re In a hole it’s a very good idea to stop digging.

    In other news, TylerToffoli with 2 goals and one assist.

    Now scoring at a 2 PPG pace since coming to the Canucks.

    tell me more about this hole you want me stop digging.

  21. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Kemp and Kesselring are two darkhorse prospects I have my eye on. Nice to see Kemp continue to improve.

  22. Harpers Hair says:

    Canucks best the Bruins 9-3.

  23. Harpers Hair says:

    Vegas wins 5-3.

  24. Our Edmonton Operation says:

    Unfortunately for the Oilers, the Pacific teams flexed their muscles tonight and told the league, “Our division ain’t so bad!” Man, they put up crooked numbers against good but tired Eastern teams.

  25. v4ance says:

    Re-watched the HNIC broadcast on the PVR.

    I just listened to Kelly Hrudey between periods say, “I bet the Leafs will win this game, like 12-4” and “He’s (Ayers) hopeless”

    hahahaha….. Hrudey will always find a way to say the stupidest things

  26. Reja says:

    Harpers Hair: 6-1 Canucks.
    That’s how you beat gooning it up.

    Best case scenario for me as a Oiler fan, Flames miss the playoffs on a tiebreaker in the last game of the year. Oilers end up playing the Canucks in the 2-3 game doesn’t matter if they have home ice they walk it in 5. That’s my early bird prediction for Bruno and the rest of the Sunshine Coast

  27. Reja says:

    Just watched 4-20 1986 where Anderson scored in OT to tie the series at one. It’s one nasty mother effing game give it a watch it’s worth it.

  28. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    godot10: Alex Pieterangelo “refuses’ to sign a contract in St. Louis.Doing the “Johnny Taveres”.

    I’m shocked.Shocked that there is “tampering” going on here.

    I never even thought of PIetrangelo.

    I’ve been wondering why Armstrong traded for Faulk and went long on him. (both not good moves imo)

    Maybe Armstrong knows?

    Will be interesting to watch.

    STL’s turn around last year started with they put Parayko with JBo vs the toughs and moved Pietrangelo to 2nd toughs.

    Not that Pietrangelo can’t handle those minutes, he can, its that STL got more value from him GF% wise on the 2nd pair and Parayko did a great shut down job.

    A Rielly-Pietrangelo pairing would be a very good 1st pair and each guy would probably be the best partner the other one ever had

  29. v4ance says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    I know they picked up Scandella at 50% salary retained but I wonder if they like or want Russell as further depth? The Blues might be one of the 10 teams on his allowable trade list.

    They’ve used their 2nd, 6th and 7th rounders this year and their 2nd rounder next year. Russell for their 3rd this year? Both his and Scandella’s contracts would expire at the end of 2012.

  30. Psyche says:

    Elliotte Friedman mentioned Mike Green as a potential target for the Oilers:

    https://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/headlines-tyson-barrie-storyline-watch-deadline-approaches/

  31. Psyche says:

    Where there’s smoke…

    Kurt Leavins has this to say about Mike Green this morning:

    https://edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/nhl/cult-of-hockey/will-oilers-general-manager-ken-holland-be-quiet-at-the-trade-deadline-dont-be-so-sure-9-things

    “Enter Pending Detroit Red Wings UFA Mike Green who had his No Trade Clause switch automatically to a Modified clause on February 1st. I am made to understand that the Calgary native has submitted his required 10-team no-trade list to the Red Wings. And I believe that the Oilers are NOT on it. Mike Green and Ken Holland have a history. That should be blindingly obvious. And Detroit is more than willing to retain up to 50% of Green’s $5.375m annual cap hit.”

    • v4ance says:

      Haha… super easy then. Trade Russell to STL for their 2020 3rd and then send that 3rd with something else to DET for Green

  32. OriginalPouzar says:

    Harpers Hair: When you’re In a hole it’s a very good idea to stop digging.

    In other news, TylerToffoli with 2 goals and one assist.

    Now scoring at a 2 PPG pace since coming to the Canucks.

    He will fit in nicely for 30 games.

  33. OriginalPouzar says:

    Psyche:
    Where there’s smoke…

    Kurt Leavins has this to say about Mike Green this morning:

    https://edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/nhl/cult-of-hockey/will-oilers-general-manager-ken-holland-be-quiet-at-the-trade-deadline-dont-be-so-sure-9-things

    “Enter Pending Detroit Red Wings UFA Mike Green who had his No Trade Clause switch automatically to a Modified clause on February 1st. I am made to understand that the Calgary native has submitted his required 10-team no-trade list to the Red Wings. And I believe that the Oilers are NOT on it. Mike Green and Ken Holland have a history. That should be blindingly obvious. And Detroit is more than willing to retain up to 50% of Green’s $5.375m annual cap hit.”

    I don’t understand the Mike Green rumors from last night – ELC slide opportunity aside, I would be surprised if Bouchard couldn’t produce as much offence and be as good defensively as the aging Green – for cheaper and no acquisition cost. Don’t get me wrong, Evan should spend the rest of the year in the AHL but why Green?

    • Jethro Tull says:

      Now you see the other side of Kenny’s prospect development. He may well expend assets to protect a protect a prospect he deems unready.

  34. Psyche says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Makes me wonder if that’s what they were assessing with Bouchard the past few days in Edmonton.

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