Adam Larsson is an important player for the Edmonton Oilers in the upcoming 2020 playoffs. Larsson, along with Oscar Klefbom, Darnell Nurse and Ethan Bear, is going to spend 10 days with his head on a swivel trying to (borrowing a phrase from Craig MacTavish) take a drink from a firehose. Patrick Kane is coming to town, and that my friends is an assignment.
Great perspective from a ridiculous group of writers and analysts. I am proud to be part of The Athletic. Here are the most recent Oilers stories.
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: A look at 5 questions facing the Oilers midway through their first week of camp
- New Lowetide: Zack Kassian’s role on Oilers top line must include responsible play
- Lowetide: What should Oilers fans expect from Connor McDavid in the playoffs?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Oilers observations: Connor McDavid shines, Caleb Jones MIA and more
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers get good cap news: Long-term outlook is tight but workable
- Lowetide: The Oilers’ approach to Russians at the draft? Trust but verify
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Mike Green’s opt-out isn’t ideal, but Oilers defence should manage without him
- Lowetide: Joakim Nygard’s Oilers season reveals speedster with range of skills
- Lowetide: Dave Tippett’s postseason strategy against the Blackhawks
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Oilers notebook: Bear’s contract quandary, Broberg’s mini camp, bubble goalies
- Lowetide: Jesse Puljujarvi’s comparables suggest a possible future with Oilers
- Jonathan Willis: Every Oilers AHL prospect rated by how close they are to the NHL
- Lowetide: Setting the record straight on Oilers prospect Cooper Marody’s future
- Lowetide: Tough decisions face Oilers’ Ken Holland as cap forces painful choices
- Lowetide: How Oilers winger Kailer Yamamoto can increase his value
- Lowetide: Everything you forgot (but need to know) about Oilers’ 2019-20 season
- Lowetide: Injury is biggest factor in the Oilers’ hopes for extended playoff run
- Lowetide: Tyler Benson’s struggle to score might affect future role with Oilers
- Lowetide: Ken Holland’s second Oilers draft should deliver high-octane offence
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘It’s all surreal’: Kevin Lowe’s Hall of Fame nod nets surprise and satisfaction
- Lowetide: 10 things to look for at Oilers training camp and the 2020 playoffs
Daniel Nugent-Bowman is doing great work for The Athletic covering the Oilers training camp. Among his tweets yesterday was a passage involving the math of the roster. Quoting DNB: “If Broberg leaves, Oilers plan to take 9 D, 18 F, 3 G (30 total) into bubble.”
Although Caleb Jones hasn’t yet played, there’s a sense from reporting that he will in fact join the group in the coming days. A depth chart that includes the current top four and Russell-Benning-Jones for the third pairing is solid. Bouchard and Lagesson would stand at the ready. Sounds like Broberg is adjusting well and maybe we see him in the bubble. The lines have a logic and reason to them, the lack of a second or third pre-tournament game is annoying as hell but compromises were necessary.
I like the lines, well, that’s not true, I like the lines except Nuge had such a good thing going with LD and KY. Why does Nuge have to be the responsible one all the damned time?
I wrote about Zack Kassian today at The Athletic, looking at his strengths and what he needs to improve upon in order to hang on that top line. Kassian’s 2019-20 season is an amazing snapshot of a player whose considerable skills got him drafted in the first round back in 2009. He’s one of Edmonton’s top right wingers over a decade later. Interesting story and a season we need to talk about because it’s such an outlier.
Larsson is a key player for Edmonton, zero doubt in my mind. His calm feet during the stretch run contributed a great deal to Edmonton’s success. His five on five on ice goal differential in the final 10 games of the season was 11-5. Music!
Interesting evaluation tweak from the Holland regime may point to a different philosophy being implemented in the Oilers development template. Samorukov ended his junior career in fine fashion:
- Brock Otten, OHL Prospects: The Samorukov that we saw in the second half really didn’t have much in terms of a weakness. He had cleaned up his play with the puck, establishing himself as a premier puck rusher and play creator. He was aggressive in jumping up looking to get himself shooting chances, but he did so intelligently. He continued to be a physical force in his own end, but exhibited way more patience defensively. It all came together and it was damn exciting to watch.
His AHL adjustment was slow, and his mid-season/end of season splits suggest he wasn’t playing a feature role:
- First 25 games: 15-16 even strength goal differential, five points, 12:51 estimated time on ice in all situations.
- Final 22 games: 13-18 even strength goal differential, five points, 14:14 estimated time on ice in all situations.
The expected ‘next step’ would be a move up in Bakersfield, but the Holland Oilers have made this move in an effort to improve the player in a different way. Innovative? Will we see Samorukov again? Was that incredible back half of his final junior season real? Stay turned. Sincere thanks to Eric Rodgers for stats and estimates.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A big day on TSN1260, we start at 10 this morning. Geoff Ullrich from Draft Kings will pop by to talk golf, and that includes Tiger Woods at the Memorial this weekend. Kristen Anderson from the Calgary Sun and Herald will join us to give us the state of the Flames as they get ready for the playoffs. We’ll also devote a large portion of the show to the Daniel Snyder news this morning. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!