Sunday Morning Notes

by Lowetide

I was impressed by James Neal, who had some jump and seemed faster than during the regular season. Ethan Bear has maintained his level of play and that’s important. Connor McDavid is beyond this earth and Leon Draisaitl is a finesse center inside a locomotive. A fun scrimmage in honour of Colby Cave.

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NOTES ON A SCANDAL

Josh Archibald gets a shot from distance, he’s skating well but not getting looks. His center is in the room. Archibald gets another chance from closer seconds later.

Andreas Athanasiou sends a nice pass to Gaetan Haas for a chance. Backhand chance early second, he’s skating well. A nice goalmouth tip for a chance in the middle of the second. Set up Haas with a deft pass net front but the Swiss center couldn’t cash.

Tyler Benson hammers a shot from inside the blue line, that’s the best I’ve seen him from that range. Scored a nifty late goal driving to the net. If he does that often, he’ll score enough to stay in the league.

Alex Chiasson drives to the net for a chance five minutes into the second. Another chance on the same shift was the better one. Picked up an assist somewhere don’t remember.

Leon Draisaitl buries a shot past Mikko Koskinen, Adam Larsson with the pass and Joakim Nygard a nifty dish to the defenseman to set up the play. The key was the shot. Later: Insane pass to Nygard, holy hell. Second period breakaway the puck bounced last minute. The big man looks ready.

Tyler Ennis very active, he’s holding on to the puck a long time. Score late second by Ennis, who was buzzing in the minutes leading up to this goal. He’s small but gritty, stay healthy young man! Sent Draisaitl a lovely pass but just missed clicking.

Gaetan Haas tries to shoot the gap late first period, he made a nifty entry and touch pass earlier in the period. Lots of aggressive forechecking.

Zack Kassian has his legs. A good sign. Apple on the James Neal goal. Tough game for him to play his style in, crunching teammates isn’t cool.

Jujhar Khaira with a good stick on the PK, effective. Hit the post late in the game.

Cooper Marody on a promising sortie but the play is broken at the blue line. Had a good look late but couldn’t catch the goal mouth pass. He was flying during the recent scrimmage.

Connor McDavid intercepts a Draisaitl pass and on a two-on-one shorthanded feathered a nice pass to Jujhar Khaira who was unable to control. Breakaway early second just missed, goalie no chance. Middle of the second 97 is taking over. Chances every shift now. Defense are backing down because he’s so damn fast. Sets up Matt Benning late second for a goal. Hammers a shot a little later, there’s some more torque on that release. Sets up Neal with three minutes left in the second. My goodness. Set up Nuge late.

Ryan McLeod to Benson to Cooper Marody just misses. Lots of brilliant skating but did not impact the game.

James Neal gets a fine look on a nice feed from McDavid. Scores on a goal from McDavid and Kassian. Hmmm. Nice look later in the third.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins impressive pass from blue line to McDavid in the slot, dangerous chance. Great shot on a McDavid pass to score in the third period.

Joakim Nygard was fast, played mostly on the outside but for me he’s on of the 12 best forwards on the roster.

Riley Sheahan with an early look coming from below the goal line right side, Koskinen with the save. Sheahan injured later in the first period and gone for the game.

Patrick Russell made good plays but for me got lost in the shuffle once Sheahan was injured.

Kailer Yamamoto gets a step and Nuge brings him down. Sets up Draisaitl, so close. Bear caught him in the neutral zone and KY looked injured for a moment.

Ethan Bear impressive against Andreas Athanasiou on a sortie that took at least three Mississippis to solve. Great passing in the first and the second and he’s getting in passing lanes, too. A nice player. Hard to believe speed was an issue at one point. Smooth and effective. Great pass to Benson for the final goal.

Matt Benning, very active, gets a good look. Scores late second from McDavid. Nice. Mobile, headman passes are solid, jumped into play well. It wasn’t a game for rugged defending, but he did defend well.

Evan Bouchard with a nice outlet early, and then a clumsy sortie into the offensive zone where he missed his winger by a mile. He then made a nice interception of the ensuing outlet pass. Took a good shot off a Patrick Russell pass. Nice sequence in the third period where he protected the puck in his own zone while waiting for a good outlet.

Philip Broberg with a nice sequence early, confident puck mover and he can fly. He has another sortie later in the first that looked good. Scored late in the first, Chiasson getting the puck to Bear who sent it across to Broberg. Great shot.

Caleb Jones slides into the slot, Leon feeds him a cherry pass and it’s a good chance but Koskinen stops him. If Jones is behind Russell it can’t be by much.

Oscar Klefbom with a nice look, the veteran is skating well. Koskinen good stop. Great chance early second driving down from the blue line.

William Lagesson was involved, good on coverage and engaged offensively but lacking creativity

Adam Larsson had a nice assist, blocked some shots, pinched well. As with Kassian, not a game where he’ll be able to use the full arsenal.

Darnell Nurse did not play.

Kris Russell’s first pass doesn’t make it through but he sends a good pass on the re-try. Nice interference on a pass along the boards in neutral zone that could have been dangerous. Terrible pass along the opposition blue line sent Leon the other way all alone. Defended Nygard on a jailbreak well in the third.

Mikko Koskinen played well, he looks sharp and ready.

Mike Smith looked a little ragged.

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP OPENING NIGHT V. CHICAGO

  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins—Connor McDavid—Zack Kassian
  • Tyler Ennis—Leon Draisaitl—Kailer Yamamoto
  • Andreas Athanasiou—Riley Sheahan—Josh Archibald
  • James Neal—Jujhar Khaira—Alex Chiasson
  • Oscar Klefbom—Adam Larsson
  • Darnell Nurse—Ethan Bear
  • Kris Russell—Matt Benning
  • Mike Smith (Mikko Koskinen)

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stevebergeron97

I can’t help but wonder where Broberg will be after another season of SHL action. So far Holland looks like a genius with that pick. Now let’s hope he can grab Reichel or Mysak with the 31st pick 😉

hunter1909

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Kinger_Oil.redux

– That’s a not bad looking line-up you have their LT

– Put Nuge as C on the 3rd line and find a winger for CMD and that’s an elite lineup, best in league

– RUSSEL amd Benning as a third paring is tremendous development progress for this organization: and both have emerging Ds internally trying to supplant them.

tileguy

A good read for our community that makes you proud to be a Canadian.
https://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/vahe-gregorian/article244491457.html

BONE207

Riley Sheahan with an early look coming from below the goal line right side, Markkanen with the save. Sheahan injured later in the first period and gone for the game.

That Markkanen would be a good backup. He just didn’t have a good defense in front of him.

I like your lineup. Can’t wait till Saturday. Preparation for putting the tv on the deck already in motion. I may not mow the grass all August or if I do, it’ll be haphazard lines all over…😜

BONE207

tileguy:
A good read for our community that makes you proud to be a Canadian.
https://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/vahe-gregorian/article244491457.html

He’s a good kid. I hope karma treats him well.

Harpers Hair

Eddie Shack has passed away.

OilClog

Putting Nuge at 3C needs to be put to rest for about 10 years, if not longer.

oilersjo

Clear the track Here comes Shack. St Peter is going get face snowed at the Pearly Gates. RIP

€√¥£€^$

oilersjo:
Clear the trackHere comes Shack.St Peter is going getface snowed at the Pearly Gates.RIP

Eddie Shack, brings back memories long-forgotten. I never paid much attention to the Leafs, the Hand were my team, so I never saw Eddie Shack play, but when I was 6 in the early 70’s in B.C. my first lunch box had Eddie Shack on it clearing the tracks….. RIP Eddie, even though I never knew you, you were a big part of my early life.

I think it was my first lunch box, quickly followed by Bobby Orr in grade 2 or 3.

€√¥£€^$

Broberg and Bear were noticeable right away yesterday, all in good ways. Broberg is buttery smooth, what a skater!

The only other noticeable Dman for me was Russell, but that isn’t necessarily a good thing.

I like Haas’s game, especially when he Centered AA and Ennis. That could be a really effective line in a 3rd line deployment IMO.

I had a hard time tracking players with the netting obscuring names, so other than the top players no one else was noticeable, although McLeod stood with his wheels and I noticed Benson, Nygard, Neal and AA had 2-3 really good (non-scoring) moments as well.

defmn

I know they were just TC scrimmages but one of the knocks I keep reading on this blog on Benson (I think it is Godot that keeps mentioning it) is that Benson needs to score more – that his passing skills are not enough. I haven’t seen all of them but from various reports I believe his goal last night was his 5th in three scrimmages.

€√¥£€^$

defmn:
I know they were just TC scrimmages but one of the knocks I keep reading on this blog on Benson (I think it is Godot that keeps mentioning it) is that Benson needs to score more – that his passing skills are not enough. I haven’t seen all of them but from various reports I believe his goal last night was his 5th in three scrimmages.

I was thinking about this yesterday. It would be interesting to see what the scoring stats for the scrimmages are. To see who isn’t scoring and who has had success.

Woodguy v2.0

Why does all the hubbub have Smith starting game 1 vs. CHI when by all accounts he has not played well at all in camp.

Pescador

Woodguy v2.0:
Why does all the hubbub have Smith starting game 1 vs. CHI when by all accounts he has not played well at all in camp.

Hubbub going to hubbub

OriginalPouzar

Woodguy v2.0:
Why does all the hubbub have Smith starting game 1 vs. CHI when by all accounts he has not played well at all in camp.

Because of Coach T’s tendencies towards his guy, Mike Smith.

OriginalPouzar

Ethan Bear sure did stand out to me and, from all accounts, he’s been staying on the ice late and talking to coaches and looking at white-boards – the dedication from this player seems to be paying off in spades.

Tyler Ennis looks great – he’s like a “poor-man’s Yamamoto”.

Neal is indeed skating much better – I think he was skating better when he came back from his time during the season as well. If that fourth line can maintain positive possession and pot the odd goal, that would be amazing for the special team’s line. Khaira looked good yesterday as well from what I was able to see.

OriginalPouzar

Breaking LT Blog News: Rafferty heading to Edmonton with the Canucks – he has made the phase 4 roster.

OriginalPouzar

The projected lineup listed above is indeed what we should expect for game 1 Saturday afternoon (injuries aside). Aside from the Ennis/AA switch, it has been together all camp.

Jones’ late arrival essentially took away the one skater battle (3LD).

The only real question, in my opinion, is in net.

defmn

Woodguy v2.0:
Why does all the hubbub have Smith starting game 1 vs. CHI when by all accounts he has not played well at all in camp.

Mind reading skills have determined that Tippett likes him better than Koskinen. 😉

defmn

I think Jones lost the starting 3LD spot when Green decided to stay home. Without that vet on the right side Tippet went with the vet on the left side.

Material Elvis

Woodguy v2.0:
Why does all the hubbub have Smith starting game 1 vs. CHI when by all accounts he has not played well at all in camp.

He wants Chicago to win game one, thereby motivating the team to go on a long winning streak.

Reja

Material Elvis: He wants Chicago to win game one, thereby motivating the team to go on a long winning streak.

Why no love for Smith the Oilers were in a fragile mode in late dec he stole a few games and put us back on the right track. Smith has more than paid his dues in this league and deserves to start the series against Chi-Town. Smith as also been a great mentor for Kosh who’s puck handling skills were way more noticeable on the good side this year. I’m going all in on Smith if he craps the bed Kosh will be there to bail him and the team out.

Harpers Hair

Kent Somers (@kentsomers) Tweeted:
Latest on GM John Chayka’s status with Coyotes, per NHL source:
“John Chayka terminated his contract 48 hours ago. I have no idea what the team is doing at this point.”

flyfish1168

stevebergeron97:
I can’t help but wonder where Broberg will be after another season of SHL action. So far Holland looks like a genius with that pick. Now let’s hope he can grab Reichel or Mysak with the 31st pick 😉

I agree I see Broberg good too. But i like to see him in real action against another team where there’s a lot of hitting and offensive pressure down low. So i’m going to be a little reserved with my excitement on the player

Munny

Woodguy v2.0:
Why does all the hubbub have Smith starting game 1 vs. CHI when by all accounts he has not played well at all in camp.

Because OP keeps telling us that performance in camps is meaningless…

Seriously though, I think it’s a coin flip in Tipp’s head right now. I have it as 50-50. Smith might well have played himself out of starting Gm 1.

ArmchairGM

“Riley Sheahan with an early look coming from below the goal line right side, Markkanen with the save.”

Time warp.

digger50

The question for this playoff roster is the same question as the first game of the season.

Is it enough?

Have the Oilers gathered enough talent to ice a winning team?

There is some good depth available.
There are some inexpensive contributors coming on forward
There are some difference makers coming on defence

There are questions around goalies

But with excellent special teams and two absolute top players pulling everyone along, I think it’s finally enough.

Munny

Cooper Marody on a promising sortie but the play is broken at the blue line. Had a good look late but couldn’t catch the goal mouth pass.

Yes, he was a half step late getting there. But is on record stating that his footspeed has never held him back.

Harpers Hair

Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) Tweeted:
Steve Sullivan will be GM of ARIZ. Likely on an interim basis, but I could see the Coyotes giving him a long look.

godot10

Reja: Why no love for Smith the Oilers were in a fragile mode in late dec he stole a few games and put us back on the right track. Smith has more than paid his dues in this league and deserves to start the series against Chi-Town. Smith as also been a great mentor for Kosh who’s puck handling skills were way more noticeable on the good side this year. I’m going all in on Smith if he craps the bed Kosh will be there to bail him and the team out.

I would split the Calgary game, and alternate the goaltenders in the first two games regardless. Game 3 pick the guy playing better.

Unless one of the goaltenders can’t stop a beach ball against Calgary.

Munny

That Draisaitl flip pass to Nygard was unconscious.

From goal line to blue line, travelling by Air mail and landing perfectly on Nygard’s doorstep like it had drone delivery. Just sick with skill.

That said I wasn’t impressed with Drai’s game yesterday. Too many giveaways, lacked intensity, and his goal was a gift from the defense (well-recognized by Nygard who saw the seam immediately).

I think he might need to be involved physically to play at his best.

Material Elvis

Reja: Why no love for Smith the Oilers were in a fragile mode in late dec he stole a few games and put us back on the right track. Smith has more than paid his dues in this league and deserves to start the series against Chi-Town. Smith as also been a great mentor for Kosh who’s puck handling skills were way more noticeable on the good side this year. I’m going all in on Smith if he craps the bed Kosh will be there to bail him and the team out.

I prefer the less risky option and that is Koskinen. Smith is hot or cold. When he’s on a heater, I agree that he is very effective, especially with his puck moving abilities. His sub .850 streak in December almost cost them the playoffs. Which one is he going to be in a five game series?

Material Elvis

godot10: I would split the Calgary game, and alternate the goaltenders inthe first two games regardless.Game 3 pick the guy playing better.

Unless one of the goaltenders can’t stop a beach ball against Calgary.

Makes sense.

OriginalPouzar

stevebergeron97:
I can’t help but wonder where Broberg will be after another season of SHL action. So far Holland looks like a genius with that pick. Now let’s hope he can grab Reichel or Mysak with the 31st pick

Agreed. Pudas and Berglund have moved on from Skelfeeta and Broberg should be able to earn top 4 minutes and maybe some PP2 time (I assume he’ll be on the PK). Maybe 18-20 minutes.

Combine that with a major role for Team Sweden at the World Juniors (fingers crossed it happens).

I’d love me some Jan Mysak – in particular at 31.

OriginalPouzar

Kinger_Oil.redux:
– That’s a not bad looking line-up you have their LT

– Put Nuge as C on the 3rd line and find a winger for CMD and that’s an elite lineup, best in league

– RUSSEL amd Benning as a third paring is tremendous development progress for this organization: and both have emerging Ds internally trying to supplant them.

Benson as the LW…….

Munny

godot10: I would split the Calgary game, and alternate the goaltenders inthe first two games regardless.Game 3 pick the guy playing better.

Unless one of the goaltenders can’t stop a beach ball against Calgary.

I have iterated the exact same philosophy here.

leadfarmer

godot10: I would split the Calgary game, and alternate the goaltenders inthe first two games regardless.Game 3 pick the guy playing better.

Unless one of the goaltenders can’t stop a beach ball against Calgary.

What if the first goalie stands on his head in the first game? You gonna bench him?

Material Elvis

digger50:
The question for this playoff roster is the same question as the first game of the season.

Is it enough?

Have the Oilers gathered enough talent to ice a winning team?

There is some good depth available.
There are some inexpensive contributors coming on forward
There are some difference makers coming on defence

There are questions around goalies

But with excellent special teams and two absolute top players pulling everyone along, I think it’s finally enough.

Yes they have what it takes. Taking the top players from the orange and white team yesterday makes a very competitive team. If the goalies hold, McDavid and Draisaitl can carry the team to the top.

Munny

leadfarmer: What if the first goalie stands on his head in the first game?You gonna bench him?

Yes. For one game.

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

stevebergeron97:
Now let’s hope he can grab Reichel or Mysak with the 31st pick 😉

I 100% approve of this message! Reichel’s skillset seems like a it’d make for a good fit for either Drai or McDavid’s LW.

Material Elvis

leadfarmer: What if the first goalie stands on his head in the first game?You gonna bench him?

You could. It motivates goalie B to match that performance. If goalie B has a bad game, the team is confident that goalie A can do the job.

OriginalPouzar

defmn:
I think Jones lost the starting 3LD spot when Green decided to stay home. Without that vet on the right side Tippet went with the vet on the left side.

For me there were two ways to think about it:

1) Russell given the loss of experience with no Green
2) Jones given the loss of puck moving with no Green.

Option 1 was probably more likely but Jones unable to participate in the first week of camp and having to get back up to speed with two weeks off seems to have solidified the matter.

OriginalPouzar

Reja: Why no love for Smith the Oilers were in a fragile mode in late dec he stole a few games and put us back on the right track. Smith has more than paid his dues in this league and deserves to start the series against Chi-Town. Smith as also been a great mentor for Kosh who’s puck handling skills were way more noticeable on the good side this year. I’m going all in on Smith if he craps the bed Kosh will be there to bail him and the team out.

Smith was a main reason for the “fragile mode” – he was absolutely awful in December – like almost out of the league awful.

He did recover in January to help the team win some games.

He the came off his heater and Koskinen was the hotter goalie down the stretch.

OriginalPouzar

Munny: Because OP keeps telling us that performance in camps is meaningless…

Seriously though, I think it’s a coin flip in Tipp’s head right now.I have it as 50-50.Smith might well have played himself out of starting Gm 1.

Not meaningless but its needs to be kept in proper perspective, no?

OriginalPouzar

Material Elvis: I prefer the less risky option and that is Koskinen.Smith is hot or cold.When he’s on a heater, I agree that he is very effective, especially with his puck moving abilities.His sub .850 streak in December almost cost them the playoffs.Which one is he going to be in a five game series?

Agreed that Smith is streakier and, while both goalies can throw out some stinkers, I think Smith is more likely to “lose the team a game”. Sure, Smith can get hot and win games, but so can Mikko.

Not to discount Chicago, but in this series, the Oilers shouldn’t need their goalies to steal games or the series then just can’t have them lose games.

Oh, Smith’s December may have cost Leon the Hart as well……

godot10

leadfarmer: What if the first goalie stands on his head in the first game?You gonna bench him?

Yes. You need two goaltenders in this tournament. And one wants to ease the goaltenders in in terms of workload to prevent pulled muscles.

Remember, if the playin round for the OIlers goes five. Games 4 and 5 are back to back.

If the goaltender is lights out game one, then he probably knows he has game 3 the game three start.

This is a two month marathon.