2019-20 Game 66: Oilers at Predators

by Lowetide

The Edmonton Oilers have employed some small players in the past. Bobby Sheehan was a favourite of mine in the 1970s (former California Golden Seals burner), Risto Siltanen was well shy of six feet. I remember meeting Andy Moog for the first time, I was shocked he wasn’t taller (he looked like a giant on television). In the history of the organization, very few players have had a mid-season impact similar to that of Kailer Yamamoto.

In that way, the young man stands tall. His return is the topic of conversation all over Edmonton. Every day. As it turns out, Yamamoto’s return isn’t the only imminent addition. Looks like they’re getting the band back together.

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: Is the OHL still the Oilers’ primary resource at the draft?
  • Lowetide: The Oilers’ 2017 draft and the value of waiting five years
  • 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 66 GAMES

  • Oilers in 2015-16: 25-34-7, 57 points; goal differential -28
  • Oilers in 2016-17: 35-23-8, 78 points; goal differential +11
  • Oilers in 2017-18: 28-34-4, 60 points; goal differential -37
  • Oilers in 2018-19: 29-30-7, 65 points; goal differential -21
  • Oilers in 2019-20: 34-23-8, 76 points; goal differential +1

This is going to be a difficult week, starting with games tonight and tomorrow against teams who are a combined 12-5-3 in the last 10 games. A split in the first two games would be a victory.

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: 2-2-1

OILERS IN MARCH

  • Oilers in March 2016: 1-0-0, two points; goal differential +1
  • Oilers in March 2017: 1-0-0, two points; goal differential +1
  • Oilers in March 2018: 0-1-0, zero points; goal differential -2
  • Oilers in March 2019: 1-0-0, two points; goal differential +4
  • Oilers in March 2020: 0-0-0, no points

WHAT TO EXPECT IN MARCH

  • On the road to: NAS, DAL, CHI (Expected 1-1-1)
  • At home to: CBJ, WPG, VEG, NYI (Expected 2-2-0)
  • On the road to: PHI, WAS, OTT (Expected 1-1-1)
  • At home to: TBY, ANA, COL, SJS, ANA, VEG (Expected: 3-2-1)
  • Overall expected result: 7-6-3, 17 points in 16 games
  • Current results: None

If the Oilers match my predictions, the team will reach the end of March with a record of 41-29-11, 93 points. The club will have one game left in the schedule, against Calgary, and that game has the potential to be a king maker in terms of playoffs.

OILERS 2019-20

Oscar Klefbom, James Neal and Yamamoto are apparently on the trip and that means we could see some fascinating roster and lineup decisions. Will Dave Tippett HS Kris Russell and play Caleb Jones on the third pairing? Where will James Neal play? Would Tippett play Patrick Russell over any of Yamamoto, Kassian, Ennis, Neal, Chiasson? Would he?

It was a good weekend for the Oilers, everyone around them had some troubles. Vancouver’s third period against Columbus came out of the sky, as did Vegas losing to the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday night. A win tonight gets Edmonton a little clearance on Arizona: Ahead by six points, with a game in hand and the Coyotes with only 15 games left on the schedule.

BAKERSFIELD CONDORS 2019-20

I wonder how many Oilers kids will be recalled for the playoffs, should the Oilers make it. In Game 1 of the 2006 playoffs, Edmonton had nine men scratched. The hope at the time, and I remember this era very well, was the Marc Pouliot, Matt Greene, Ty Conklin and the other young players would absorb the playoff experience and help propel the team to great heights in the future.

Among current Condors, who would you suggest the team recall for playoff experiences after the season? Evan Bouchard for sure, but Colby Cave played for the Oilers this season, should he get the call over someone like Ryan McLeod? Or Tyler Benson, who played but just a few games?

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy morning, I’ll be on the roundtable with Dusty and Eric at 9. Lowdown begins at 10, TSN1260. We’ll talk Predators with Kristopher Martel from Neutral Zone 1045 at 10:20. The Predators are running hot currently and have been a tough out for the Oilers since forever. We’ll touch base on the current state of the home team. Jason Gregor from TSN1260’s Jason Gregor Show will talk Oilers at 11, including the return of Yamamoto and others this week. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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leadfarmer

Ok fire up the chartered jet

unca miltie

I imagine LT will remind us not to get to high after wins and not too low after losses.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

I think the Oilers are the one team that no one wants to face in the playoffs.

McDavid and Drai dominating on separate lines is filthy.

They have also been mugged all season so the playoffs will not be a big change.

LMHF#1

v4ance:
https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/spittin-chiclets/id1112425552?mt=2&app=podcasts&ign-itsct=pod_barstool_spittinchiclets&ign-itscg=80085&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Chris Pronger interview posted yesterday…. Edmonton almost traded him to Toronto for Kaberle, Steen and 2x1st rounders but Toronto didn’t want to give up Steen and only offered Stajan.

Pronger repeating “sold a bill of goods” was interesting…

I wonder what Lowe, MacTavish and the EIG were misleading him on. I can guess given some of the BS that came over the years, but wish he would have elaborated.

jimmers2

I half-listened to the interview and so might be mistaken but it wasn’t too clear. I had the impression he was talking about how he ended up leaving STL or (mad at his agent) signing the long term deal and missing on free agency. I’m not sure he was sore at Lowe there.

He also insists that his Oilers team was an excellent team and that they would have without doubt beat the Canes except for the Roloson injury.

LMHF#1

Two separate points – you’re right about the Blues/contract issue but he then transitions into the issue I’m highlighting.

One thing I really enjoyed was him highlighting that they knew how good they were even before the additions – which is something several of us had highlighted. This was not a traditional ‘sneak in’ team. They knew they could beat Detroit as many of us who’d watched that season closely did. As soon as Legace put all that pressure on himself – she was over.

Fuhr and Lowething in Vegreville

OilClog:
Nashville has been by a Tornado, hopefully the Oilers were long gone and everyone is OK as can be in Predator land.

Yeah, sounds bad, already 10 reported fatalities. It’s crazy, my wife and I were going to drive up for the game, but something else came up and were couldn’t make it. Scary stuff.

As far as I can tell, the worst of it hit around 2am, so the Oilers should have been well on their way to Dallas by then.

My heart is heavy for Nashville though. #thoughtsandprayersfornashville

OriginalPouzar

frjohnk: Draisaitl leading the league with 14 times hitting the iron.

I think that’s just cross-bars too.

OriginalPouzar

OilClog:
Nashville has been by a Tornado, hopefully the Oilers were long gone and everyone is OK as can be in Predator land.

They did indeed get out and safely to Dallas.

OriginalPouzar

v4ance:
I just hope we saved some energy for tomorrow’s game against Dallas!

Oh and that goal differential got some help tonight!Keep adding to those tiebreakers!

First tie break is regulation wins and the Oilers have the advantage on all of the relevant teams.

Second tie break is regulation and OT wins.

Goal differential isn’t going to be a factor in the standings.

v4ance

So you’re saying there’s a chance? 😉

I’m not actually worried about the goal differential. It’s just more fun blowing out teams and scaring the crap out of the rest of the league!

Ryan

Woodguy v2.0: As far as I can tell the big thing pushing Drai down is their model is his 5v5 Goal Share (GF%), esp. Away from 97 over the past 3 years.

29 is at 52% GF now, but due to his horrid December (where he was 11% GF) he was at 43% Goal Share as recently as January 1st.

If their model weighted shots heavier it would rank Drai higher.

The other thing that affects his rating are the minutes he plays.

He averages the most minutes in the league. What’s more are the spikes in minutes when he approaches 30 minute games some nights.

His average minutes per game are misleading because Tippett appropriately cuts his minutes like last night when they have a lead etc.

Also, his minutes without McDavid are poor because Tippett uses him for things like d zone face offs.

Ryan

Draisatl 1161 Faceoffs. 356 dzone Faceoffs. 22:37 Toi/g

MacKinnon 803 Faceoffs. 247 dzone Faceoffs. 21:20 Toi/g

MacKinnon doesn’t PK. Draisatl gets about 48 seconds per game.

OriginalPouzar

SwedishPoster:
Has Connor ever scored a non-ENG from further out? I can barely remember him shooting from that distance.

Ya, I posted after the goal last night that was the further from the net he’s ever scored a goal as a pro.

StixMalone

OilClog:
Nashville has been by a Tornado, hopefully the Oilers were long gone and everyone is OK as can be in Predator land.

Yeah that’s awful! Hope they were outta there in time. Hearing of fatalities is gut wrenching. Our hearts go out to the people of Nashville.

Woodguy v2.0

Fuge Udvar:
Maybe their model is weighted too heavily for shots, looking at the comment above on how many less shots Draisaitl has taken. Or maybe their model includes all of shot, corsi and Fenwick essentially dinging Draisaitl at a 3x weighting for having less shots.

As far as I can tell the big thing pushing Drai down is their model is his 5v5 Goal Share (GF%), esp. Away from 97 over the past 3 years.

29 is at 52% GF now, but due to his horrid December (where he was 11% GF) he was at 43% Goal Share as recently as January 1st.

If their model weighted shots heavier it would rank Drai higher.

frjohnk

Munny:
Lifted from HF Boards:

Draisaitl is 55 shots behind Pasta, 68 shots behind Matthews and 96 shots behind OV.

Draisaitl leading the league with 14 times hitting the iron.

ArmchairGM

Zelepukin:
Oh, he’ll hit it. Just like last year, he can taste it and you can see how much extra he is gunning for it.

Draisaitl is gunning for the Richard, not for 50. Fifty is a given.

Munny

Are people sure we don’t want to finish first and face Nashville?

That is, if the Preds don’t give up on Hynes after tonight.

v4ance

EvolvingWild @EvolvingWild
Basically what we’re trying to say is

Panarin
Marchand
Pettersson

Eichel
Pastrnak

For Hart.

Their model doesn’t even have Draisaitl in the top 5. They’ve been blocking left and right for at least 3 days after they posted that Drai ranked lower than Nichushkin in their model.

Fuge Udvar

Maybe their model is weighted too heavily for shots, looking at the comment above on how many less shots Draisaitl has taken. Or maybe their model includes all of shot, corsi and Fenwick essentially dinging Draisaitl at a 3x weighting for having less shots.

Munny

People that are not unpossible for Draisaitl to meet this off-season:

Art Ross
Maurice Richard
Ted Lindsay
Dr. David Hart

Munny

OilClog:
Nashville has been by a Tornado, hopefully the Oilers were long gone and everyone is OK as can be in Predator land.

Wow, hopefully they got to take off and aren’t stuck in an airport… waiting to travel, check in, and sleep.

Stauffer and Michaels are travelling with the team… neither have tweeted anything, so I’m assuming they’ve left without incident.

Munny

The backhand pass from Drai to Nuge, followed by a no look backhand from Nugget to Yams was pretty highlight reel.

DevilsLettuce

Nashville has been by a Tornado, hopefully the Oilers were long gone and everyone is OK as can be in Predator land.

defmn

Munny:
Lifted from HF Boards:

Draisaitl is 55 shots behind Pasta, 68 shots behind Matthews and 96 shots behind OV.

I presume that is mostly due to how good a passer Leon is. 😉

Munny

Such low shot totals are a clear indication of laziness.

kgo

Rinne’s save % dropped from 900 to 895 tonight….

Munny

Lifted from HF Boards:

Draisaitl is 55 shots behind Pasta, 68 shots behind Matthews and 96 shots behind OV.

Munny

defmn: It’s important to get Koskinen feeling that confidence that comes from winning along with everybody else. They are going to need both goalies playing well down the stretch.

I agree. Also, it’s better for my heart condition. Although there has been less flutter to Smith’s play these past two games. I was nearly calm for stretches.

v4ance

https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/spittin-chiclets/id1112425552?mt=2&app=podcasts&ign-itsct=pod_barstool_spittinchiclets&ign-itscg=80085&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Chris Pronger interview posted yesterday…. Edmonton almost traded him to Toronto for Kaberle, Steen and 2x1st rounders but Toronto didn’t want to give up Steen and only offered Stajan.

defmn

Munny: Ground and Pound.

Stars are a very good defensive team.Very structured, very systems.

Koski in net.Neal in for Chiasson hopefully.Team belief maybe at its highest point of the season…

Going to be an interesting match.

It’s important to get Koskinen feeling that confidence that comes from winning along with everybody else. They are going to need both goalies playing well down the stretch.

Munny

v4ance: I just hope we saved some energy for tomorrow’s game against Dallas!

Ground and Pound.

Stars are a very good defensive team. Very structured, very systems.

Koski in net. Neal in for Chiasson hopefully. Team belief maybe at its highest point of the season…

Going to be an interesting match.

v4ance

More like Shock and Awe… Edmonton was like the Globetrotters at times in the Preds zone skating round and round before sticking the dagger in…

v4ance

At the start of the 3rd period:
Preds were +15 goal differential in 3rd periods this year before this game
Edm was -3

Glad they got that fixed!

Fuge Udvar

Boil-in-the-Oil,

McDavid was second in points in Midget in 2011-12 to no other than.. Josh Ho Sang!

https://www.eliteprospects.com/team/8178/toronto-marlboros-mn-mdgt-aaa/2011-2012?tab=stats#players

Munny

Good dig!

Boil-in-the-Oil

Wow 2012! Thanks for the reply, well done. What a dominant player. I had a feeling his record was tops, but Ho Sang was the lone disruptor. Amazing.

v4ance

I just hope we saved some energy for tomorrow’s game against Dallas!

Oh and that goal differential got some help tonight! Keep adding to those tiebreakers!

SwedishPoster

Has Connor ever scored a non-ENG from further out? I can barely remember him shooting from that distance.

SwedishPoster

Yeah yeah great game and all but are we sure about that Drai line? Leon can’t drive his own line. Nuge will NEVER hit 50. And Yamamoto is too tiny to play. Will never work.

hags9k

Nuge is on fire. There’s so much talent. I’m liking the Oilers at 25:1 cup. GOILERS!!!

Munny

As much pleasure as it was watching Drai go SUPERNOVA, and as sweet as it was to see Kailer return and score a goal and make one of the sickest passes of the year, the goal of the game for me was McDavid’s…

Game-winner, yeah… but it was his level of determination which did it for me. From the moment he stepped on the ice he seemed determined to score and was absolutely all over hell and yonder. Connor wasn’t coming off the ice till the tie was broken. And break it he did.

So goal of the game… not so much for the seeing eye shot but for brilliance of the entire shift, and the ability to seize a deadlocked game and make a difference.

That there was a Captain captaining.

And look at how the team followed.

v4ance

Going into the Third period tied 3-3, I was just thinking we just need to win one period to win the game.

*
*
*
*

I think they cleared that bar =D

***

I was hoping during the start of the rebuild in 2010 that we would sign Jagr for a year or two to show the younger players how to train and play like superstars. It never happened but I think Drai plays a lot like Jagr did at his peak. He sticks his big German butt out and shields the puck so well on the wall or really anywhere on the ice.

***

I know Kris Russell has his defenders here but I didn’t see him great. OP made the argument that he’s a good PKer but I really didn’t notice much of a drop off in the PK effectiveness with Lagesson or Jones while Russell was out. In terms of the depth chart, I’d rank him behind Klef, Nurse, and Jones already. Especially with Russell struggling to make clean outlet passes or puck recoveries or holding the blue line…. he did make one big block tonight tho!

***

Happy the refs finally gave the Oilers a PP late in the game. The result wasn’t in doubt anymore but it’s nice the refs got a participation award.

Congrats to the Preds for playing such a clean error free game. They didn’t trip (Kassian or McDavid), interfere (McDavid or Smith), hold (Kassian) slash (Nuge) elbow (Ennis or Bear) or high stick (Ennis) at all tonight til late in the game (sarcasm alert)!

If they had made any of these infractions, the game could have gotten out of hand!

OriginalPouzar

jp:
OriginalPouzar,

You asked earlier if AA-Sheahan (back in Detroit) were getting zoomed. Fair question since Sheahan-Jurco were.

They didn’t play lots of minutes. Mostly dribs and drabs it looks like.

The only guys they played more than 30 minutes with (that I found) were Larkin and Helm.

Athanasiou-Sheahan
150min 52.7% 36.4% (4-7)

With Helm:
37min 52.8% 25% (1-3)

With Larkin:
34min 63.3%SF 0%GF (0-1)

Edit: AA-Sheahan were 50.0% without Larkin.

Thank you for your work.

Nix

The Oilers have both the best player in the league and the best player in the world.

jp

OriginalPouzar,

You asked earlier if AA-Sheahan (back in Detroit) were getting zoomed. Fair question since Sheahan-Jurco were.

They didn’t play lots of minutes. Mostly dribs and drabs it looks like.

The only guys they played more than 30 minutes with (that I found) were Larkin and Helm.

Athanasiou-Sheahan
150min 52.7% 36.4% (4-7)

With Helm:
37min 52.8% 25% (1-3)

With Larkin:
34min 63.3%SF 0%GF (0-1)

Edit: AA-Sheahan were 50.0% without Larkin.

TeeVee

Fav part of this game was Rinne being yanked after the 8th goal lol.

duct tape and foil

Well the boys are playing this road trip like they see 10 out of the next 13 at home when it’s done. Will also probably have a lot of fun on the last roadie to PHI/WAS/OTT. Confidence is a thing at this time of the year and just wait until we have a full lineup including Klef.

AA is going to take time and we need to be patient. He gone from a zero motivation death march to full on playoff push and there is catching up to do. His game is also harder to integrate than Enis who I’m not surprised is fitting right in. Tip is going to need to do a bit of fiddling to see where he clicks. My hunch is it’s on Leon’s wing but you can’t break up his line now, no way no how. At some point I could see trying this for a while:

RNH McDavid Kass
AA Drai Yamo

On to Dallas…..

OriginalPouzar

Mark Spector
@SportsnetSpec
Oscar Klefbom won’t play Tuesday in Dallas, but perhaps Thursday in Chicago. James Neal cold return tmw — he’s ready.
And right now, the best player in the world is the second best player on the Oilers.
EDM is better than we thought. Maybe way better than we thought.

OriginalPouzar

Remember when Arizona wouldn’t qualify Archibald at $735K this off-season…..

jp

Munny: Well thank you for leaving us without a jinx this time, lol.

Well, there was a scare, but the Oilers actually won. Maybe it was the opposite of a jinx?

Munny

This time his exeunt was sans a published guarantee. In the world of spells, that makes all the difference.

#hexfree

jp

Sure. But last time the spell didn’t take. So maybe the anti-spell?? nm

Munny

lol… well one of us had to work really hard to reverse hex his reverse hex.

DrGlen has never been wrong ever in his life or something to that effect.

Munny

Tragic that Rinne’s best save of the night was on AA. Kid could use a bit of a boost.

jp

N64:
Latest 2020 Hart Trophy Odds at BetOnline

McDavid /Draisaitl +200
MacKinnon +300
Pastrnak +400

Can you share?

OriginalPouzar

flea:
Is 5 goals in 5:13 an Oilers record? Gotta be up there.

5th fastest…. ya….

OriginalPouzar

Bank Shot: Imagine if the Oilers had a dynamic offensive defenseman. I think Draisaitl and McDavid would just go completely bananas.

A rapidly developing Evan Bouchard says “see you in 2020/21….”.

flea

Is 5 goals in 5:13 an Oilers record? Gotta be up there.

Edit – Nope – in 2012/13 they did it in 3:35 against the Dys.

https://records.nhl.com/records/team-records/fastest-goals/fastest-5-goals-one-team

jp

Woodguy v2.0: AA might find himself lower down the line up.
That 2nd goal is all due to fancy play syndrom in the dzone with all kinds of help and Bear waiting for the reverse pass.

McSorley33: You can hear Detroit management nodding from here….

He very well may find himself lower.

I take some comfort in knowing Holland was part of that management up until 10 months ago. He’s not going into this blind.

But it is looking like Tippett might need some time with this player (like the duration of 2020, seriously) to get him up to speed.

OriginalPouzar

JimmyV1965: I thought that was a great game by Jones, one of his best. Nothing spectacular, but always moving the puck forward.

I generally agree – as I was raving earlier, he was the team’s best d-man tonight.

I would “argue” with “nothing spectacular”. Maybe its an aggressive use the word “spectacular” but he made some plus plus plays.