2019-20 Game 65: Jets at Oilers

The Winnipeg Jets are hard to cheer against, especially when Dustin “he didn’t mean to, but your guy is still dead” Byfuglien isn’t on the road trip. At this point in the season, even cousins are enemies. Both teams badly need two points and preferably in regulation. In the words of the great hockey coach Bugs Bunny “of course you know, this means war.”

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: The Oilers’ 2017 draft and the value of waiting five years
  • New Jonathan Willis: Oilers’ AHL factory has produced three NHL defencemen, with more on the way
  • Jonathan Willis: Andreas Athanasiou injured, Mike Green elevated in Oilers’ loss to Vegas
  • Lowetide: Andreas Athanasiou acquisition might give the Oilers a scoring winger for McDavid cluster.
  • Jonathan Willis: Oilers salvage a point as newcomers settle in (and produce) with Connor McDavid
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Are Oilers poised for a long playoff run after Ken Holland’s deadline moves?
  • Lowetide: Ken Holland’s Oilers trade deadline active, targeted and predictable
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Andreas Athanasiou acquisition the most intriguing deadline move for Oilers
  • Jonathan Willis: Shrewd addition of Tyler Ennis gives the Oilers insurance, options up front
  • Jonathan Willis: Connor McDavid returns to the Oilers; now the task is to get him linemates
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Oilers bolster blue line by acquiring Mike Green; Is a scoring winger next?
  • Lowetide: Oilers’ European prospects offer interesting options for the future
  • 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: Stepping out and up, Leon Draisaitl puts himself in the Hart Trophy mix in Connor McDavid’s absence
  • Lowetide: Making sense of the Oilers defensive depth chart for the stretch run and the summer

OILERS AFTER 65 GAMES

  • Oilers in 2015-16: 24-34-7, 55 points; goal differential -32
  • Oilers in 2016-17: 35-22-8, 78 points; goal differential +13
  • Oilers in 2017-18: 27-34-4, 58 points; goal differential -38
  • Oilers in 2018-19: 28-30-7, 63 points; goal differential -22
  • Oilers in 2019-20: 33-23-8, 74 points; goal differential 0

The 2016-17 team is starting to roll and will post 25 more points in the final 17 games. This year’s team doesn’t need to manage that pace but a win tonight is a big deal.

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: 1-2-1

OILERS IN FEBRUARY

  • Oilers in February 2016: 4-9-1, nine points; goal differential -10
  • Oilers in February 2017: 6-6-0, 12 points; goal differential -1
  • Oilers in February 2018: 5-8-1, 11 points; goal differential -7
  • Oilers in February 2019: 4-6-4, 12 points; goal differential -13
  • Oilers in February 2020: 6-5-2, 14 points; goal differential -2

If the Oilers can win tonight, I’ll call this the best February of the McDavid era. The competition isn’t strong.

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) (Actual 1-1-1)
  • At home to: WPG (Expected 1-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 8-5-1, 17 points in 14 games
  • Current results: 6-5-2, 14 points in 13 games

The Oilers will finish shy of my predicted totals, but I didn’t factor in McDavid’s injury and several other issues. This is a good team. Are they a playoff team? I think they are but the race is a fierce one this year. Including tonight.

OILERS 2019-20

I’m excited about the top two lines and the third line could terrorize opponents if they get rolling. Losing Mike Green after two games sucks, Oscar and Russell still matriculating and it sounds like Russell is close.

Looking at this roster for next season, we could see three (Bear, Jones, Lagesson) sophomores along with Klefbom and Nurse, who I see as roster staples. Where does that put Larsson, Russell, Benning and now Green? Suspect that’s the conversation we’re having all summer long.

Up front, if Athanasiou and Ennis work out, could see both men sign? That would leave goaltending (which is going to be an issue) and the bottom-six as summer moves.

Among goalies who have played in 30 or more games this season, Mikko Koskinen ranks No. 24 in even strength save percentage (.911), Mike Smith No. 38 (.903). Last among the 49 goalies who qualified? Devan Dubnyk and Jimmy Howard, .892. Oilers need an upgrade, not sure what they’ll do.

FIVE ON FIVE POINTS PER 60

Among players who have over 200 minutes in the discipline, Edmonton boasts five men at 2.00/60 or better. That’s generally the line in the sand I use for “productive top-six forward” each season. I’m not going to include Athanasiou (4.9) or Ennis (3.88) due to small sample size.

  1. Kailer Yamamoto 3.21
  2. Leon Draisaitl 2.83
  3. Connor McDavid 2.76
  4. Zack Kassian 2.17
  5. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 2.00
  6. Joakim Nygard 1.27
  7. Josh Archibald 1.05
  8. Riley Sheahan 1.00
  9. Gaetan Haas 0.86
  10. James Neal 0.84
  11. Jujhar Khaira 0.79
  12. Markus Granlund 0.75
  13. Alex Chiasson 0.68
  14. Patrick Russell 0.66

It’s been a tough year for some of these men, then again Ken Holland shouldn’t have a difficult time identifying who to replace. Cruel summer ahead.

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648 Responses to "2019-20 Game 65: Jets at Oilers"

« Older Comments
  1. Bank Shot says:

    StixMalone:
    Smith played like a goalie possessed yet deep inside I still have no confidence in our goalies. Am I paranoid?????

    It’s a fair statement. Smith is still like 50th in save percentage despite playing well for a good month now. Hopefully he keeps filling up that bag of pixie dust.

  2. hunter1909 says:

    OilClog:
    Oilers won a game of mostly goalie tonight, everyone should light a candle.

    I’ll sacrifice a chicken.

  3. N64 says:

    Seismic Source:
    We might have just knocked Winnipeg our of the playoffs there.

    Knocked GN68, KNIGHTTOWN, HUGTHEPOST and COWBOY out.

  4. OilClog says:

    It better be done in candle light!

  5. OilClog says:

    Somehow without cracking 50pts he’s passed Horvat in scoring ?‍♂️ magic man

  6. teddyturnbuckle says:

    Great game by Smith tonight. How many two on ones and breakaways did Winnipeg have tonight? I don’t normally crap on Nurse but holy crap was he bad in the first half. Bad pinches and what the hell is he doing backing into his goalie trying to block a shot on a 2 on 2! Smith saved him and Bear tonight or it could have been worse.

  7. geowal says:

    Exposure to eastern media is stupidly important. Highlight like that on HNIC can’t hurt

  8. OilClog says:

    Smith is refusing to get beat clean, the hockey Gords are loving it. Just a matter of time before his hair lights on fire and he turns to dust.

  9. OilClog says:

    I would of traded for Tippett in NHL94 if I known he was so chill.

  10. geowal says:

    Couldn’t watch tonight, sounds like it was a huge win reading above…

    Tippett’s thumb is rather gross ?

  11. N64 says:

    Mad soccer skillz

  12. OilClog says:

    Harpers out in the rain sacrificing goal posts and signed 2014 Minnesota Wild roster sheets. The Hockey Gords enjoy watching this too, they’ve rewarded Badminton Ragdolly another 21yr old season if he so chooses.

  13. Reja says:

    N64: Knocked GN68, KNIGHTTOWN, HUGTHEPOST and COWBOY out.

    Those negative nancies should have to sit in the corner by themselves for 1 hour.

  14. OilClog says:

    Is 1 playoff series too harsh?

  15. N64 says:

    OilClog: Harpers out in the rain sacrificing goal posts

    No matter how many he sacrifices he’s not getting Ayres to save his team.

  16. Bulging Twine says:

    I think we are seeing that Nurse makes mental errors when he plays too many minutes

    Or maybe he’s just in a mental funk a little right now, a bad stretch

    His speed and reach don’t slump though

    Let’s see how he is in the playoffs

  17. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    At the points rate the west conference is at, should take 92-93 points to get in the playoffs.
    So if oilers go 500 from here on out, there in. (93 points)

    I’ve been counting the “lost games cushion”. Oilers currently at 8.5 remaining lost games. They lose more than that, their probably out.
    Here are the pacific and wildcard teams “available losing games cushion” and (Remaining games):

    VGK – 9.5, (16 games remaining) <<< pretty much a lock for playoffs
    EDM – 8.5, (17) <<< looking real good! ??
    VAN – 8.5, (18) <<< unfortunately, looking even better

    CGY – 6, (16) <<< not looking very playoff like ??
    NSH – 7.5, (18) <<< looking good right now
    WPG – 4.5, (15) <<< really not looking good
    ARI – 4.5, (15) <<< also looking pretty bad
    MIN – 7, (18) <<< looking pretty good

    At these rates, Pacific Division will only have 3 teams in.

  18. Reja says:

    OilClog:
    I would of traded for Tippett in NHL94 if I known he was so chill.

    How could you not want to win for a down to earth guy like Dave. Sounded like he had some really neat stories but Oake kept jumping in and interrupting him.

  19. DBO says:

    It’s early returns, but with the increased speed and skill. And knowing our cap crunch next year. Is it a forgone conclusion that we buy out Neal? Cap hit would be just over $1.9 million for 6 years. Saves us over 3 million. Replace him with Benson and that’s $2 million to spend elsewhere.

    Realistically. Where will he play? Especially if you re-sign Ennis (who looks real good and would be a bargain around $1 million).

    Ennis. McDavid. Kassian
    Nuge. Draisatl. Yamamoto
    Benson. Sheahan. Archibald.
    Nygard. Haas. Chiasson

    Not to mention Athanasiou at around $3 million. Essentially same cost for him along with Neal’s buyout. So same cost cap wise, who would you rather have?

  20. Rebillled says:

    Like that Tipp says ‘that’s what we liked about him’ about Green.

    GM and coach working together. Weird.

  21. N64 says:

    There were some minutes in the 2nd no one could watch.

  22. OilClog says:

    Holland is going to trade Neal, his contract, the word real and it seems there’s going to be a large crowd shocked by this.

  23. OilClog says:

    Well supposedly they’re all going to give up when the powerplay is eliminated from the game and they can no longer compete against the powerhouse canucks.

  24. Rebillled says:

    OilClog,

    Someone is going to take his contract?

    Guess we could trade him back to Cowgary for Talbot.

  25. OilClog says:

    If Florida per say is in a fire sale and they can sell off, absorbed contracts like Neal’s, buy him out, carry the hit and sign guys at minimums if they are actually slicing their internal cap.. Things happen. Bad contracts move every year to people’s dismay.

  26. Bank Shot says:

    I’ll buy the bronze for the statue if Holland can unload the Neal contract this summer.

  27. OilClog says:

    All Neal has to do is score a couple tips in the playoffs and multiple GMs will be sniffing that 20 goal a season glue, didn’t Buffalo just trade for Simmonds.. Don’t tell me there isn’t crazy GMS out there, one guy traded for Lucic. Another Guy traded Hall to sign Lucic. There’s a bunch of crazed sobs that Yzerman and Sakic robbed left and right and Neal’s contract isn’t going to move? Lol.

  28. who says:

    OilClog:
    All Neal has to do is score a couple tips in the playoffs and multiple GMs will be sniffing that 20 goal a season glue, didn’t Buffalo just trade for Simmonds.. Don’t tell me there isn’t crazy GMS out there, one guy traded for Lucic. Another Guy traded Hall to sign Lucic. There’s a bunch of crazed sobs that Yzerman and Sakic robbed left and right and Neal’s contract isn’t going to move? Lol.

    Simmonds contract expires this summer. Do you think the Sabres will sign him for 3×5.75?
    Cause that’s what a team is doing if they trade for Neal.

  29. Bank Shot says:

    28 teams currently have less than $6 million in cap space.

    I don’t think Neal is going anywhere. I’d have more confidence if his contract was back diving.

    3 years left is just to much to move IMO, and I’m not sure his value is ever as high again as right now.

    Seems like he’ll be out of the top six next year.

  30. megahurts says:

    If the Oil make the playoffs this year, James Neal will have made the playoffs 10 times in the last 10 years on 5 different teams

    Are we sure we want to give up this kind of playoff voodoo?

  31. Wilde says:

    AHLTV player was absolute trash while the game was live tonight – took like 90 minutes of on-and-off fiddling to track 15 minutes of game-time. looks like the VOD is fine though, which is usually the case no matter how bad the stream is

    Bakersfield Condors vs. Ontario Reign; February 29th, 2020; after 20

    14CF-15CA
    8FF-9FA
    0GF-0GA

    Top F: Maksimov (0.31 Game Score)
    2 shot attempts, 0 shot assist
    4CF-0CA
    3FF-0FA
    0GF-0GA

    Top D: Manning (0.26 Game Score)
    1 shot attempt, 1 shot assist
    5CF-2CA
    4FF-0FA
    0GF-0GA

    ,,,

    first run of lines&pairings, in case my post of them is on one of the older pages:

    Gambardella – Esposito – Kuffner
    Benson – McLeod – Currie
    Stukel – Cave – Maksimov
    Vesey – Starrett – Hebig

    Manning – Day
    Lowe – Bouchard
    Samorukov – Kulevich

    [ Kuffner’s a Grand Rapids guy, so Holland/Wright ]

  32. Wilde says:

    Bakersfield Condors vs. Ontario Reign; February 29th, 2020; after 40

    23CF-31CA
    11FF-17FA
    1GF-0GA

    Top F: Maksimov (0.31 Game Score)
    2 shot attempts, 0 shot assist
    5CF-1CA
    4FF-1FA
    0GF-0GA

    Top D: Kulevich (1.27 Game Score)
    4 shot attempts, 0 shot assist
    8CF-5CA
    4FF-4FA
    1GF-0GA

  33. v4ance says:

    who: Love Jones with the puck on his stick, but he’s got some work to do as a defender.
    The Jets first goal was a good example. You can’t get sucked over to the boards, and leave the middle ice wide open,when you are the last man back.
    Oilers dmen, in general, seem to have a problem with this and Jones is one of the worst offenders.

    For a guy who thinks he’s an Oiler fan, you don’t seem to recognize the Oilers system.

    To start the play, F1 was PRussell on the forecheck chasing Pionk around the net. F2 was Archibald chasing the first pass to the boards to Poolman. F3 was Sheahan covering the middle ice. Poolman passes it up to Bourque at center ice while Archibald finishes the hit on Poolman.

    The play coming back through the neutral zone was a 3 on 3. Larsson wiped out Bourque at the Red line but not before he could stop the pass to Shore at the blue line.

    At this point it’s still a 2 on 2 with the play coming down the boards and Jones steps up to take Shore as he and all the other defenders are coached to do ALL SEASON. The expectation is that he has back support from the F3, Sheahan to cover anyone coming up the middle or the far side, in this case, Shaw.

    If you watch the replay, which the HNIC panel covered in depth during the intermission, you see Sheahan curl towards Shore instead of making a beeline down the middle. Shore makes a great backhand pass to Shaw. Sheahan is “also in picture” instead of cutting off the pass like he was supposed to do. If Sheahan had played the system properly, at worst he would have been beside Shaw and moving to angle him off or contesting the shot.

    You really should re-watch video of Oilers entry defence. EVERY SINGLE TIME, the closest D to the wall attempts to force the entry to the boards and the backside D or backchecking forward covers the middle. The backside defender tries to get to a dumped in puck while the wall defender runs interference. It’s the system the coaches preach and Jones did his job.

    Sheahan had a momentary lapse and that’s all it took.

  34. Munny says:

    What a game. What a win.

    And Wow, Smith.

  35. Wilde says:

    Bakersfield Condors vs. Ontario Reign; February 29th, 2020; game totals

    36CF-50CA
    19FF-26FA
    1GF-1GA

    Top F: Stukel ( 0.63 Game Score)
    3 shot attempts, 1 shot assist
    9CF-3CA
    7FF-3FA
    0GF-0GA

    Top D: Kulevich (1.28 Game Score)
    5 shot attempts, 1 shot assist
    12CF-11CA
    6FF-7FA
    1GF-0GA

  36. v4ance says:

    There was actually a video posted early in the season where Tippett was explaining his PK coaching strategy at a Saskatchewan coaching conference back in 2015? In it he basically describes his philosophy as trying to establish an inside-out defensive posture both 5 on 4 and 5v5.

    The defenders should be in the middle ice, attacking, pressuring and pushing the puck outside to the walls. On an even strength rush If there’s a dump in, as the puck rims around the back boards, if you’re playing inside out, inside position gives you a shorter path to a slowly dumped in puck than the forecheckers. If it’s a hard rim around, the formation shifts to the other side while still covering the middle “Ricki-box” area.

  37. v4ance says:

    I’ve been Smith’s biggest critic but Smith was finally the better goalie while also getting the win. In most of his victories since Dec, he’s been the 2nd best netminder in most games but he had lots of run support from the red-hot Drai line.

    He’s actually had 3 good to excellent games in his last 3 outings. One big factor is how many saves he’s made on plays that cross the Royal road during those games. When he’s struggled, he’s let in goals when the action moves laterally and he does his standard bellyflop. Recently, he’s delayed the bellyflop a fraction of a second so that he’s been (more) upright and making saves with his blocker or glove instead of relying (mostly) on his pads and covering the lower part of the net.

    ***

    Ennis looks like he’s fitting in well with McDavid both defensively and offensively. I think I remember two backchecks tonight by Ennis where he got his stick on dangerous passes crossing the front of the slot to deny the shot. On the offensive side, he’s like Yamamoto and tenacious on the forecheck. He’s not as good as Yama with stick lifts and steals but he seems to have good success at batting down and intercepting passes.

    On the other hand AA has been almost invisible with McD. He was rightly demoted to Sheahan’s line in the 3rd period while Arch took the wing with McHeyhey.

    **

    Bear attempted another shot pass that Nuge tipped out of play. I think I like that strategy better than Nurse’s low percentage point shots on PP1

  38. Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual says:

    Broberg with his first goal, an assist and 4 shots in 12:48 TOI in Skelleftea’s 8-2 victory last night. Brings his totals up to 1-7 in 40 games; not too far removed from now-elite offensive SHL producer Nils Lundkvist’s post-draft year and well ahead of Klefbom’s post-draft seasons. Tracking his offense will remain a matter of serious intrigue for me.

  39. Rebillled says:

    Do you think Neal scores 4 more goals this year?

  40. Todd Macallan says:

    For comparison, Erik Karlsson in draft + 1 in the SHL had 10 pts in 45 gp.

    Really curious to see how his offense translates in NA.

  41. OriginalPouzar says:

    OilClog:
    All Neal has to do is score a couple tips in the playoffs and multiple GMs will be sniffing that 20 goal a season glue, didn’t Buffalo just trade for Simmonds.. Don’t tell me there isn’t crazy GMS out there, one guy traded for Lucic. Another Guy traded Hall to sign Lucic. There’s a bunch of crazed sobs that Yzerman and Sakic robbed left and right and Neal’s contract isn’t going to move? Lol.

    I agree that GMs make terrible decisions all the time and, on that premise, maybe the Neal contract is tradeable in some respect but I don’t imagine its any sort of “clean disposition” that doesn’t require a combination of (a) material retainment, (b) bad contract bad and/or (c) sweetener out added.

    With respect, your examples above don’t jive. Simmonds is on an expiring contract – that’s much different than trading for a player with a bloated cap hit for 3 more years. Lucic got traded, yes, a terrible trade by Treliving but he did force Holland to take a bloated cap anchor contract with term back – the very contract we are discussing.

    I can’t get on board with taking a dead cap hit of $2M for 6 years for a buyout – I hate dead cap hits.

    I do wonder, with 50% retained, if the contract could be moved – it would essentially be 3 X $2.8M for the acquiring team. I hate the dead cap for the Oilers but its 3 years, not 6.

  42. OriginalPouzar says:

    While I would agree that Smith did indeed steal that game last night, at the same time, the Oilers had lots of great chances as well and Connor H. at the other end was high end. Cult of Hockey, who are very fair, had the Grade A scoring chances at 17-16.

    Winnipeg dominated the possession time, often getting a high danger chance as a result but the Oilers had many “quick strike” high dangers chances as well.

  43. OriginalPouzar says:

    Todd Macallan:
    For comparison, Erik Karlsson in draft + 1 in the SHL had 10 pts in 45 gp.

    Really curious to see how his offense translates in NA.

    Ya, we talked about this a little bit yesterday – there should be zero concern over his offensive box-cars as an 18 year old in the SHL – at least in my opinion.

    I’m extremely intrigued to see where he plays next year and how he earns top 4 5 on 5 minutes, be it the AHL or SHL.

  44. Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    I’ve said it before for the Lucic situation and will advocate for it once again: shared buyouts through cap retention. Let’s say Holland retains 50% sending him to a team that then buys him out. All he needs is to find a team that’s cool with a 900k cap penalty for 6 years. I can’t imagine it costs nearly as much as it would to get someone to take on his contract.

    Or, you can take it a step further and pull this between three teams where the Oilers retain 33%, an intermediary team retains 33% and then the final team buys him out spreading the cap hit at 600k each for the three teams.

    Evidence for this being legal can be seen in the Hagelin trade two years ago and now Lehner’s trade this deadline.

  45. Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual says:

    NST had the HD chances at 15-9 in favour of the Oil, too.

  46. Bobcaygeon says:

    OriginalPouzar: I agree that GMs make terrible decisions all the time and, on that premise, maybe the Neal contract is tradeable in some respect but I don’t imagine its any sort of “clean disposition” that doesn’t require a combination of (a) material retainment, (b) bad contract bad and/or (c) sweetener out added.

    With respect, your examples above don’t jive.Simmonds is on an expiring contract – that’s much different than trading for a player with a bloated cap hit for 3 more years. Lucic got traded, yes, a terrible trade by Treliving but he did force Holland to take a bloated cap anchor contract with term back – the very contract we are discussing.

    I can’t get on board with taking a dead cap hit of $2M for 6 years for a buyout – I hate dead cap hits.

    I do wonder, with 50% retained, if the contract could be moved – it would essentially be 3 X $2.8M for the acquiring team. I hate the dead cap for the Oilers but its 3 years, not 6.

    But….The Oilers are going to try and move Neal this summer IMHO, if that doesn’t work, don’t be surprised if the Oilers buy him out at a savings of 3.0M per year for 3 years.

    The Oilers have CAP space they can or need to clear from players that are being pushed out or non-factors.

    Neal
    Larsson
    K.Russell
    Chiasson
    Kahaira
    Koskinen

    I’m not saying all these players move, but the potential to move out high contracts while not upsetting the team is there and that constitutes significant savings for Holland.

  47. geowal says:

    Turn a paper clip into a pencil. Find someone who values Neal more than their own bloated contract. If that player/contract combo is better than Neal, you’ve improved the team. Rinse, repeat. Minimal sweeteners, aka the Lucic trade, which had 2 small sweeteners.

  48. who says:

    v4ance: For a guy who thinks he’s an Oiler fan, you don’t seem to recognize the Oilers system.

    To start the play, F1 was PRussell on the forecheck chasing Pionk around the net. F2 was Archibald chasing the first pass to the boards to Poolman.F3 was Sheahan covering the middle ice.Poolman passes it up to Bourque at center ice while Archibald finishes the hit on Poolman.

    The play coming back through the neutral zone was a 3 on 3.Larsson wiped out Bourque at the Red line but not before he could stop the pass to Shore at the blue line.

    At this point it’s still a 2 on 2 with the play coming down the boards and Jones steps up to take Shore as he and all the other defenders are coached to do ALL SEASON.The expectation is that he has back support from the F3, Sheahan to cover anyone coming up the middle or the far side, in this case, Shaw.

    If you watch the replay, which the HNIC panel covered in depth during the intermission, you see Sheahan curl towards Shore instead of making a beeline down the middle.Shore makes a great backhand pass to Shaw.Sheahan is “also in picture” instead of cutting off the pass like he was supposed to do.If Sheahan had played the system properly, at worst he would have been beside Shaw and moving to angle him off or contesting the shot.

    You really should re-watch video of Oilers entry defence.EVERY SINGLE TIME, the closest D to the wall attempts to force the entry to the boards and the backside D or backchecking forward covers the middle.The backside defender tries to get to a dumped in puck while the wall defender runs interference.It’s the system the coaches preach and Jones did his job.

    Sheahan had a momentary lapse and that’s all it took.

    You’re probably right. It must be a systems thing, because I’ve seen almost every Oiler dman do it.
    I’m going to assume they are also coached NOT to abandon middle ice if the high forward doesn’t have it covered.

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