First Blush

by Lowetide

The Edmonton Oilers played the only tuneup game on the schedule last night and will now prepare for the first game of the series against Chicago. It was an interesting game. I took notes.

THE ATHLETIC!

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.

THE LINEUP

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Connor McDavid – Zack Kassian
Tyler Ennis – Leon Draisaitl – Kailer Yamamoto
Andreas Athanasiou – Gaetan Haas – Josh Archibald
James Neal – Jujhar Khaira – Alex Chiasson
Patrick Russell

Oscar Klefbom – Adam Larsson
Darnell Nurse – Ethan Bear
Kris Russell – Matt Benning
Philip Broberg

Mikko Koskinen
Mike Smith

FIRST PERIOD NOTES

The goals were typical high-flying Oilers, Draisaitl gains the zone, Ennis pass to Klefbom for the hammer, Yamamoto cleans up on the rebound. The McDavid goal came on the usual insane power-play movement, the Oilers move the puck so quickly it’s dizzying to watch let alone defend. I liked Bear’s first period, solid in his own zone and moving the puck smartly. Jujhar Khaira had a great look, Koskinen stopped all eight shots. PK was solid, noticed Haas did good work there as did Archibald. It was 12-5 Edmonton five on five shots.

SECOND PERIOD THOUGHTS

A much better second period by the Flames, a better test for Edmonton’s goalies. Koskinen played the first half of the second period and was quality, Mike Smith was very active (too active?) but I wouldn’t blame him for the goal (Tkachuk interfered, Nurse took Tkachuk off the hook by cross-checking him). Very physical period, I really liked the Athanasiou-Haas-Archibald line. Klefbom-Larsson are ready. Broberg looked a little unready at times but also played 2:28 against Tkachuk-Backlund-Mangiapane. Shots 9-4 Calgary.

THIRD PERIOD THOUGHTS

Mike Smith made the stop of the game against Sam Bennett early in the third period and was very busy in his 30 minutes. Haas earned a spot in the starting lineup, don’t know if he’ll get it, Archibald and Athanasiou had moments but AA has to get to more plays. Connor McDavid scored twice, I’m sure the Flames felt they had him for most of the night. Them’s the breaks.

TOTALS

  • Shots five on five: 24-22 Calgary (52 percent)
  • Corsi five on five: 40-37 Calgary (52 percent)
  • Power play: One goal each
  • Oilers five on five save percentage: .1000 (24 of 24)
  • Flames five on five save percentage: .864 (19 of 22)

LINES

  • Nuge-McDavid-Kassian: 9:37, 9-5 Corsi, 6-3 shots, no goals
  • Ennis-Draisaitl-Yamamoto: 8:37, 4-11 Corsi, 2-9 shots, 1-0 goals
  • Neal-Khaira-Chiasson: 6:19, 1-7 Corsi, 0-3 shots, no goals
  • Athanasiou-Haas-Archibald: 4:51, 8-3 Corsi, 3-2 shots, no goals

I liked the McDavid line and the Haas line, the Draisaitl line struck early but didn’t dominate. Give the Flames credit and it was clearly not a night to push the impact players for results. I’d love to see two more games before the playoffs. Bet Dave Tippett would agree. Nice to see Patrick Russell score. Chiasson was probably the least effective forward, looked slow, but I’d keep him in the lineup. Veterans be veterans.

PAIRINGS

  • Klefbom-Larsson: 9:06, 8-7 Corsi, 4-5 shots, 1-0 goals
  • Nurse-Bear: 11:34, 10-10 Corsi, 9-7 shots, no goals
  • Russell-Benning: 7:42, 10-8 Corsi, 5-4 shots, 1-0 goals
  • Broberg-Larsson: 3:04, 0-4 Corsi, 0-2 shots, no goals

I think Tippett genuinely wanted to see Broberg, and the young man played a lot against good Calgary opposition. Saved a goal, I think Jones is No. 7 and after that we’ll see among Broberg, Bouchard and Lagesson. The Swedish tandem is ready, Bear is exceptional, Nurse had that one play but was solid otherwise. Bear got time in all three disciplines, playing 19:33 and finishing third behind Nurse and Klebom.

GOALIES

  • Mikko Koskinen stopped 17 of 17
  • Mike Smith stopped 18 of 19

I would start Koskinen. He has better numbers, he played well and his game looks repeatable. That said, Dave Tippett has been to war with Smith, so maybe that wins the day. We wait.

PHILIP BROBERG

Dave Tippett played him and the young man was out against Calgary’s top line for five minutes, outshot 5-0 and chasing all night. Tippett said he played Broberg because he’s the only man on defense who hadn’t before last night. I believe him. Broberg showed some good things (speed, recovery, blocked a sure goal) but I think Jones is No. 7 if healthy.

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VanIsleOil

Ice Sage:
OilClog,

Bahh HH will not write about the Dy’s until there’s good news, he prefers to needle.

Speaking of, is there a DSF-HH vaccine yet?

Yes, it’s called ignore…

Ice Sage

OilClog,

Bahh HH will not write about the Dy’s until there’s good news, he prefers to needle.

Speaking of, is there a DSF-HH vaccine yet?

OilClog

Harpers Hair: If Kubalik/Dach/Caggulia go up against the McDavid or Drai lines and Toews/Saad go up against the other, that would allow Kane to run amok against the Oilers third line.

Oh the humanity.

If the Blackhawks are running their birdie line against either 97 or 29, they’re going to be embarrassed compared to whatever damage Kane may do against either the Archi know your role line, or the dirty, get it from the mud, old tall tree line that are both sprinkled with the leagues 2nd overall penalty kill pieces deployed.

Pretty sure they’ll be better equipped then some rookies will be trying to out talent 97 or 29 lol. How about them Jets! How come the Canucks and Beebop Rocksteady didn’t easily defeat the frozen Atlanta Thrashers? 1 Goal!? What sort of hopes and dreams can truly ever be reached when you can only produce 1 goal in 60 minutes against the frozen Atlanta Thrashers?

These kinda results, Quinn is going to be jumping ship as soon as he sees Elias blink twice.

pts2pndr

Harpers Hair:
Kubalik moved up to Toews line and it pays off.

https://theathletic.com/1961759/2020/07/29/observations-from-the-blackhawks-exhibition-win-over-the-blues/

You should rebrand yourself Harper seal. You squeal a lot without saying anything worthwhile like your Brag that the Canucks have caught the Oilers and how great Bragun Fartree is, a whole lot of nothing but wasted hot air! Have a nice night!

pts2pndr

OriginalPouzar: Really?

I’d prefer Nygard, AA or Benson personally.

Have we seen Chiasson play the left wing?

He plays the boards harder. He has the experience. He goes to the net hard and will make space for Yamamoto and Draisaitl. Nygard and Benson lack the experience and AA doesn’t seem to be be wiling to do what it takes. Just my opinion. AA has the requisite skills but for some reason seems to lack the desire.

N64

Harpers Hair:
Kubalik with 2 goals 1 assist.

Stone cold killer.

Who knows who’s gonna win these shortened series after months off.

But we all know Broken Recordey and you sir are a Broken Record.

who

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual:
Hypothetically, if Dallas wanted AA in return for Faksa in a trade, would you make the trade?

Depends on a lot of things.
Will AA struggle to score in the playoffs?
Will Faksa want a raise?
Are the Oilers going to pursue another scoring winger before next summer?
Faksa is big, fast, and wins a lot of puck battles. He’s also a center.
I don’t think he ever scores 30 goals, but I also wonder if AA will ever do it again.
I’d certainly consider the deal.

defmn

With Broberg getting so much attention the last couple of weeks Bouchard’s star seems to have flickered a little but I caught a few minutes of Stauffer’s show this afternoon with Brian Lawton and he made a few comments about Bouchard including that he we was really high on him even using the word ‘elite’ to describe his upside.

He just thought that his game needed some patience and that Holland was bringing him along exactly as he should.

Anyway, just one guy’s opinion but thought it was worth mentioning.

Scungilli Slushy

John Chambers:
Durag,

Exposing Broberg to this level of competition is a nice ingredient for his development.

Best thing for him would be to practice with the Oilers during their playoff run, then go back to Sweden in October to play a big role on his club.

He might need a half-year in the AHL, but by the time the calendar flips to 2022 this guy is an NHL defenseman.

If you want a triple crown winner, you buy the colt that is faster and bigger and chomping at the bit.

Then you train it.

Broberg isn’t NHL ready but every attempt should be given to him to develop ASAP. And they are doing that.

He’s not playing for Nurse’s job. But if any LD can develop some crust and be able to skate they will be.

OriginalPouzar

Munny:
OriginalPouzar,

He has six minutes this season, ie still six more minutes than Koski’s playoff experience in the NHL.

And out of the four forwards most used on the Oilers PK, despite being the most available of the four, Khaira has the lowest PK TOI.Clearly Tipp doesn’t think Khaira is as elite as you do, otherwise he’d be top of that table.

If Haas could win a faceoff, he might have already supplanted Khaira in the line-up.Either way, Khaira is in tough next season.

And by the way, I remember the Oilers PK the prior season, with the “elite for a while now” Khaira…It was abysmal.

You are correct – Haas had 6 minutes on the PK this year – thank you.

Of course, that’s a few less than the 5088 minutes Koskinen has played in the NHL.

You know you are stretching with that TOI/G argument – Nuge/Khaira were clearly PK2 all year long and the difference between Nuge and Khaira is negligible. They were used as a pair when both healthy.

Feel free to believe that Haas can simply step in to Khaira’s role on the PK and be just as effective – that’s totally your right, you can have any opinion that you choose. I am of the opinion that Khaira has a skill level developed in the area and has developed a chemistry with Nuge on the PK and having another person, who hasn’t killed penalties all year long, step in to that role in the playoffs is not a great idea.

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

OriginalPouzar,

I looked into it again and it was the Kubalik-Toews duo that had the look of an outscoring line. When Saad has also been on that line, they were a rather bad line, in fact. mid-to-low 40s across the board. Further, all of that Kubalik-Toews duo success was driven by a 97min sample alongside Kane where they went 15-5. The remaining 364mins saw that duo go 22-28 (44% GF).

flyfish1168

GordieHoweHatTrick: Sheahan

My Bad

Munny

OriginalPouzar,

He has six minutes this season, ie still six more minutes than Koski’s playoff experience in the NHL.

And out of the four forwards most used on the Oilers PK, despite being the most available of the four, Khaira has the lowest PK TOI. Clearly Tipp doesn’t think Khaira is as elite as you do, otherwise he’d be top of that table.

If Haas could win a faceoff, he might have already supplanted Khaira in the line-up. Either way, Khaira is in tough next season.

And by the way, I remember the Oilers PK the prior season, with the “elite for a while now” Khaira… It was abysmal.

Harpers Hair
OriginalPouzar

Munny: Don’t tell me what I can possibly think.

Khaira needs a fire lit under his ass.If that means sitting for a game, I’m willing to see what happens.

And considering Haas was an elite PKer in Europe, it really isn’t a small sample size.

For a guy who was more than willing to leverage Koski’s European experience to make a point you seem pretty willing to discard evidence when it is convenient to you.

I use Koskinen’s playoff performance in the KHL as a reason to believe that he won’t succumb to additional pressure during the playoffs.

I know what Koskinen can do in net in the NHL and I don’t think the pressure of the playoffs will negatively effect his abilities given playoff performances.

I don’t know what Haas can do on the PK in North America because he has apx 3 minutes of experience. I know he was a top PK in the Swiss league (I would stop short of calling him an elite PK guy in Europe unless there is some evidence of the same) and I am confident he will be beneficial to the PK. I just don’t think its reasonable to think that he will be as effective on the PK in the NHL, in the post-season, as one of the incumbent elite PK guys in the NHL – not just this year but for a while now.

OriginalPouzar

Harpers Hair: If Kubalik/Dach/Caggulia go up against the McDavid or Drai lines and Toews/Saad go up against the other, that would allow Kane to run amok against the Oilers third line.

Oh the humanity.

I’ll take the amok running performed by Drai or McDavid against the rookie center and poor defensive winger.

Of course, having home ice advantage in the first two games, if Tippett really wants to, he can generally get both the top two lines away from Toews.

Now, do we want to get in to the match-ups against defensive pairings……?

Jaxon

defmn: If AA had seized the opportunity he was given in the first couple of days of TC I would be more open to trying it but now I think we wait for next season before seeing anything like this.

More of a ‘first 10 games of the season’ experiment than a 5 game playoff imo.

If Jesse does sign for next year that also adds some potential on the wings but a lot can happen between now and then and I still worry that Nuge will not see 3C as something he is willing to accept regardless of PP time or all the other reasons that explain why it is good for the team.

Yeah, I can definitely agree with you on AA and the risk of trying things that don’t immediately click in the playoffs. Jesse on RW next season is a big deal. I could see Kassian losing his grip on a to 6 spot eventually. Although he brings a combination of speed and sandpaper that nobody else does.

Munny

OriginalPouzar: We can’t possibly be thinking that Haas can just replace Khaira on the PK without a drop in effectiveness.

Don’t tell me what I can possibly think.

Khaira needs a fire lit under his ass. If that means sitting for a game, I’m willing to see what happens.

And considering Haas was an elite PKer in Europe, it really isn’t a small sample size.

For a guy who was more than willing to leverage Koski’s European experience to make a point, you seem pretty willing to discard the same evidence when it is convenient for you.

OriginalPouzar

Patrick Russell with a goal and an assist in like 5 minutes of ice.

Stone cold assassin.

GordieHoweHatTrick

flyfish1168: I agree, Sheahan being the only RH centerman and better than Haas on the dot. If Haas and the Oilers can survive the possible 3 minutes I would rather have Hass for a more full court and hard forecheck. He draws more penalizes than another Oilers. Being playoff hockey and Hawks being playoff experience i can see them getting away with more than we will

Sheahan is a left shot

leadfarmer

Harpers Hair:
Kubalik with 2 goals 1 assist.

Stone cold killer.

Biggest killer since Brogan Rafferty

leadfarmer

Harpers Hair: If Kubalik/Dach/Caggulia go up against the McDavid or Drai lines and Toews/Saad go up against the other, that would allow Kane to run amok against the Oilers third line.

Oh the humanity.

If Caggula and Dach go up against either Mcdavid or Drai lines I agree, Oh the humanity!!

Harpers Hair

OriginalPouzar: Of course it won’t be easy – its the NHL where there isn’t all that much to choose between 5th and 12th.Of course, the Oilers proved over the course of 70 games to be the better team and, while Kane and Toews are old-school dynamic, McDavid only tried for a shift and a half last night and scored twice….

That Kubalik/Dach/Caggiula line is likely to pop a few goals but I would expect them to give that all back and much more lined up against the McDavid or Drai lines. We know Drake’s defensive deficiencies and Dach is a 19 year old rookie……

If Kubalik/Dach/Caggulia go up against the McDavid or Drai lines and Toews/Saad go up against the other, that would allow Kane to run amok against the Oilers third line.

Oh the humanity.

Harpers Hair

Kubalik with 2 goals 1 assist.

Stone cold killer.

OriginalPouzar

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual:
hunter1909,

Agreed. It won’t be easy by any stretch. That 3rd line of Debrincat, Dach, and Caggiula poses a threat to our depth. Kane is carrying two defensive liabilities but he can outscore just about anything and that top line was a strong outscoring line iirc.

Of course it won’t be easy – its the NHL where there isn’t all that much to choose between 5th and 12th. Of course, the Oilers proved over the course of 70 games to be the better team and, while Kane and Toews are old-school dynamic, McDavid only tried for a shift and a half last night and scored twice….

That Kubalik/Dach/Caggiula line is likely to pop a few goals but I would expect them to give that all back and much more lined up against the McDavid or Drai lines. We know Drake’s defensive deficiencies and Dach is a 19 year old rookie……

OriginalPouzar

John Chambers:
So Puljujarvi now “sees things differently”. Just in time.

Tippett doesn’t seem to enjoy playing players on their off-wing, but you’d have to think the spot for him to get an opportunity is in the one currently occupied by Ennis.

I would expect him to compete for the 3RW spot currently occupied by Archibald who would best be suited to the 4RW spot – Chiasson can be moved and $1M saved in the switch.

The potential is for Jesse to earn a top 6 RW spot (with Yama) at some point and Kassian moving down to 3RW – that is championship level depth.

Harpers Hair

OriginalPouzar,

Neither would Dallas.

OriginalPouzar

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual:
Hypothetically, if Dallas wanted AA in return for Faksa in a trade, would you make the trade?

Not even a little bit.

OriginalPouzar

Munny:
Bruce McCurdy,

That’s why Khaira for Haas would probably be the first move I make.Haas looked like a pretty damn good PKer to me last night* and with his vision might be able to give Chiasser and Neal some looks when they get the puck deep.

*small sample I know

It’s not just a small sample, its an exhibition game sample and being compared to an elite PK guy – year after year after year.

We can’t possibly be thinking that Haas can just replace Khaira on the PK without a drop in effectiveness.

Poor Nuge, can’t even keep his PK partner that he’s developed chemistry with.

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

hunter1909,

Agreed. It won’t be easy by any stretch. That 3rd line of Debrincat, Dach, and Caggiula poses a threat to our depth. Kane is carrying two defensive liabilities but he can outscore just about anything and that top line was a strong outscoring line iirc.

hunter1909

Hate to say this but the Hawks just went up 2-0 on a fantastic pass by Kane to Strome.

Oilers can lose this play in series. Many of the Hawks players have won 3 cups including their top duo.

John Chambers

So Puljujarvi now “sees things differently”. Just in time.

Tippett doesn’t seem to enjoy playing players on their off-wing, but you’d have to think the spot for him to get an opportunity is in the one currently occupied by Ennis.

OriginalPouzar

godot10: The power play is better with Chiasson on it rather than Neil.Chiasson would have to be absolutely horrible 5×5 to be pressboxed, or Neil would have to be playing and producing at even strength, and providing pop from the bottom six.

The PP and the PK are the Oilers bread and butter.Chiasson and Khaira will have to be putrid to be pressboxed.

Yes, the PP was better with Chiasson on it than Neal but, from listening to the coaches, I think part of that is the ability to switch the two net front presences (including during a PP1) that creates different look, options and match-up issues.

OriginalPouzar

pts2pndr: Chaisson would be my choice to replace Ennis if they want to keep Nuge with Connor.

Really?

I’d prefer Nygard, AA or Benson personally.

Have we seen Chiasson play the left wing?

OriginalPouzar

Munny:
Bruce McCurdy,

1. A lot of minutes of which Neal wasn’t healthy
2. The chart shows that with more PP TOI, the expectation is that Chiasson’s number would drop, ie some of the results are driven by sample size
3. Because Chiasson made that play last night doesn’t mean Neal doesn’t.You seem to be saying such, since this is a comparison of the two players
4.Also doesn’t mean Neal wouldn’t also open that passing lane.

The only real argument I can see is workload…I’m not sure I buy that when we’re talking 4th liners who also don’t PK.That said, I like Chiasson and value his experience at a time like this.Something needs to be done about bottom 6 EV possession and scoring though.

Both Gully and Tippett have talked about the different PP looks, options and strategies employed when Chiasson vs. Neal are out three. From the accounts of the coaches, both players bring different things to the PP and the ability to switch them (including within PP1 while the other four stay) creates issues for the PK.

Harpers Hair

Some notes from the Coast.

20 players on CKSA Moscow have tested positive for Covid.

9 players on another team.

The Canucks have laid off 25% of their business operations staff.

Vancouver Giants owner Ron Toigo who also owns White Spot restaurants says many team owners have suffered massive losses in their core businesses and will be unable or unwilling to cover any increased expenditures on their hockey ventures. Also says these owners are expecting losses in the millions for years ahead.

Dr. Bonnie Henry says there wii be no games with spectators for at leas the rest of 2020 and perhaps longer.

Olli Juolevi is in the lineup for tonight’s game against the Jets. Travis Greensays he has earned it and been one if the most improved players in camp.

Jordie Benn remains in Texas awaiting the birth of his child opening up a bottom pairing opportunity for Juolevi.

flyfish1168

OriginalPouzar: I like Haas and its great depth that he can be added to the lineup for an injury or a struggling player but I don’t think he’s stolen Sheahan’s lineup spot.

Sheahan is one of the better faceoff guys and Haas is awful

Just getting 3 minutes of PK time (equal to what was received all season) does not mean that Haas can replace Sheahan (or Khaira) on the PK. He will be a PK guy but lets not get ahead of ourselves.

I agree, Sheahan being the only RH centerman and better than Haas on the dot. If Haas and the Oilers can survive the possible 3 minutes I would rather have Hass for a more full court and hard forecheck. He draws more penalizes than another Oilers. Being playoff hockey and Hawks being playoff experience i can see them getting away with more than we will

defmn

Jaxon:
Tyler Ennis/Connor McDavid/Zack Kassian
Andreas Athanasiou/Leon Draisaitl/Kailer Yamamoto
Tyler Benson/Ryan Nugent-Hopkins/James Neal
Jujhar Khaira/Gaetan Haas/Josh Archibald

Possibly, but I wouldn’t be so sure.

I think giving Athanasiou a real chance with one of the top lines is where real explosiveness might show up. He’s got the speed and he scored 30 goals just last season with way lesser linemates. Ennis is a decent scorer and Draisaitl and Yamamoto have some real chemistry together. Draisaitl speaks very highly of Yamamoto. Ennis is a smart enough veteran that he may be able to get where he needs to be to support McDavid. On the third line, if Benson is the playmaker and responsible player they all say he is, then he might be perfect with Nugent-Hopkins and Neal, both of who have had 3 recent seasons between 28 to 32 goals per 82. Neal had a terrible season in Calgary but I think he can pot close to 30 again. I think that lineup is worth exploring. I’d be fine with swapping Ennis and Athanasiou, as someone mentioned in this comments section, Ennis and Yamamoto may be too much of the same player type on one line. The 4th line has 2 speedy checkers and some size in Khaira who is great on the PK.

If AA had seized the opportunity he was given in the first couple of days of TC I would be more open to trying it but now I think we wait for next season before seeing anything like this.

More of a ‘first 10 games of the season’ experiment than a 5 game playoff imo.

If Jesse does sign for next year that also adds some potential on the wings but a lot can happen between now and then and I still worry that Nuge will not see 3C as something he is willing to accept regardless of PP time or all the other reasons that explain why it is good for the team.

hunter1909

Hint for Enjoying the playoffs: Oilers win more games than they lose.

Jaxon

Tyler Ennis/Connor McDavid/Zack Kassian
Andreas Athanasiou/Leon Draisaitl/Kailer Yamamoto
Tyler Benson/Ryan Nugent-Hopkins/James Neal
Jujhar Khaira/Gaetan Haas/Josh Archibald

defmn: More balanced. Less explosive, no?

Possibly, but I wouldn’t be so sure.

I think giving Athanasiou a real chance with one of the top lines is where real explosiveness might show up. He’s got the speed and he scored 30 goals just last season with way lesser linemates. Ennis is a decent scorer and Draisaitl and Yamamoto have some real chemistry together. Draisaitl speaks very highly of Yamamoto. Ennis is a smart enough veteran that he may be able to get where he needs to be to support McDavid. On the third line, if Benson is the playmaker and responsible player they all say he is, then he might be perfect with Nugent-Hopkins and Neal, both of who have had 3 recent seasons between 28 to 32 goals per 82. Neal had a terrible season in Calgary but I think he can pot close to 30 again. I think that lineup is worth exploring. I’d be fine with swapping Ennis and Athanasiou, as someone mentioned in this comments section, Ennis and Yamamoto may be too much of the same player type on one line. The 4th line has 2 speedy checkers and some size in Khaira who is great on the PK.

N64

OriginalPouzar: 1) The Oilers have had success using two different net front guys for a minute each, even as the other four guys typically play all or most of the powerplay. The net front role is a lot more physical than anywhere else on the PP, moreover Neal & Chiasson are by far the two oldest guys on the unit.

Nice Ditka worthy takedown on the raging Neal Chai debate. #GreatTasteLessFilling

OriginalPouzar

Bruce McCurdy:
As for Khaira, he has the bookend stat to Chiasson in that of the 219 NHL skaters with 90+ minutes on the penalty kill, JJK had the best goal suppression rate in the entire league at just 2.39 PPGA /60. Nice bonus to have the league leaders in the two opposing categories, both on the fourth line!

It is surely their special teams prowess that has 18-16-39 in Tippett’s line-up. Nygard, Haas & P.Russell bring some nice things and are excellent reserves, but none of them were able to carve out a significant role on special teams the way all three of Neal-Khaira-Chiasson did.

Another fantastic post.

I do think that part of Haas’ skill-set is killing penalties and he was a plus PK guy in Europe.

Of course, he received 3 minutes last night on the PK which was essentially the amount of time he received all year.

I think he gets a PK bump next year as they will let Sheahan go, however, for now, playing 3 minutes on the PK in an exhibition game does not mean he can simply replace Khaira (or Sheahan) in that role for the post-season.

A VERY nice depth player to insert in to the lineup when required – which I anticipate does indeed happen.

OriginalPouzar

Bruce McCurdy: A couple of points:

1) The Oilers have had success using two different net front guys for a minute each, even as the other four guys typically play all or most of the powerplay. The net front role is a lot more physical than anywhere else on the PP, moreover Neal & Chiasson are by far the two oldest guys on the unit.

2) As I recently wrote for the Cult of Hockey, the PP had more success with Chiasson on the ice (13.82 PPGF /60) than with Neal (10.99). In fact, Chiasson had the top such rate of any player in the league who had 90+ minutes on the PP (273 players). Oilers dominate the top of the charts with McDavid (12.78), Klefbom (12.46), Draisaitl (12.36), & Nuge (12.32) filling out the top five! Neal is “way” down in the #8 spot. Obviously the guys with the bigger minutes deserve the lion’s share of the credit, but the net front guys have been getting it done. Case in point: Chiasson crashing the boards hard on the first PP of the night, helping the Oilers recover a loose puck & start the cycle that led to McDavid’s first goal = the game winner. Just a small thing, but without that play the Oil are restarting 200 feet away.

3) For his part Neal ranked 6th in the league in powerplay goals with 12 and added 3 more in 6-attacker situations. Chiasson is less of a shooter but very strong at taking up residence at the edge of the blue paint, screening the goalie, occupying at least one defender, and opening up passing lanes (such as the one through which Draisaitl found McDavid for that goal last night).

I’m happy having both guys available for that killer powerplay, able to switch things up partway through with a different look and fresher legs in the battle zone.

At even strength if the fourth line breaks even, we’re golden. Then there’s the expectation that when McDavid or Draisaitl gets an occasional extra shift, they will frequently take Khaira’s spot between the two big wingers, both of whom have some history of putting the puck in the net.

Epic Post!

OriginalPouzar

Durag:
John Chambers,

I think it’s also just a nice little carrot for having a great camp. Realistically he is the #10 defenceman on this roster and we pray he doesn’t see any action, but you have to reward him for outplaying the #8 & 9 guy in camp.

100% and I think I posted pretty much the same last night.

Part of his insertion in to the lineup last night was likely a reward for (a) coming over on the premise that he wasn’t even going to be with the team for phase 4, coming over for two weeks plus a quarantine and (b) for excelling in a camp and scrimmage situation.

I don’t imagine he plays before either of Lagesson or Bouchard but I guess you never know – Tippett’s comments last night about him playing were “if we need him” – which, to me, means injuries piling up.

OriginalPouzar

defmn:
This in from Jesse Puljujarvi talked to Tampere Iltalehti, his strongest statement yet that he’s backed off the notion he’ll never again play for the Edmonton Oilers and is thinking of coming back: “You can never say no. I have grown and I see things a little differently. There’s now a different GM and head coach out there. Build a winning team in Edmonton. It may be possible that I will still be playing there.”

The time for solutions is in the coming days. Or in the coming weeks, Puljujärvi says mysteriously.

Ya, I saw this earlier and it put a big smile on my face.

I anticipate Jesse signs with Karpat shortly (or maybe another European team) but signs with the Oilers some time later this summer and comes over when NHL training camps start up.

That, in my opinion, is also the best scenario for the Oilers.

He will be a cheap option that will battle for a spot in the middle six and could very reasonably end up as a legit top 6 option – on a value contract.

Of course, he may fail as well but I think the potential outweighs the risks.

OriginalPouzar

Oilman99:
godot10,

Not so sure you keep Chiasson in because of the power play, Neal is just as physical, and has softer hands.

Neal produced at higher rates than Chiasson on the PP this year but the PP itself was better when Chiasson was out there – 14G/60 – that’s like close a goal every second PP……..

I think Chiasson keeps his spot almost exclusively for the PP – both Tip and Gully have spoken about the different options the two present and the different plays they have when each are out there. I think part of the reason for PP1s success was the different looks they can present.

OriginalPouzar

John Chambers:
Durag,

Exposing Broberg to this level of competition is a nice ingredient for his development.

Best thing for him would be to practice with the Oilers during their playoff run, then go back to Sweden in October to play a big role on his club.

He might need a half-year in the AHL, but by the time the calendar flips to 2022 this guy is an NHL defenseman.

As per Holland earlier this week, Broberg will indeed be heading back to Skeleftea once the Oilers are done in this post-season (hopefully October).

They are not changing plans with him to keep him in North America (not that N. America will have hockey in the fall).

Holland expressly mentioned the option to bring him over when Skeleftea’s season is done (which will be before the NHL) and have him play for the Condors (or perhaps Oilers).

OriginalPouzar

flyfish1168:
Haas in for Sheahan. Haas faster on forecheck and is a menace who can draw penalties.

I like Haas and its great depth that he can be added to the lineup for an injury or a struggling player but I don’t think he’s stolen Sheahan’s lineup spot.

Sheahan is one of the better faceoff guys and Haas is awful

Just getting 3 minutes of PK time (equal to what was received all season) does not mean that Haas can replace Sheahan (or Khaira) on the PK. He will be a PK guy but lets not get ahead of ourselves.

OriginalPouzar

rocket:
Honestly, the first period looked sloppy for both teams.Oilers get two quick goals.2nd period and halfway through 3rd the Flames got plenty of scoring changes, outshot Oilers during one stretch 22-2 and only the Oiler goalies prevented the Flames from taking the lead.Lucky bounce and Russell scores and game over with McDavid goal.Oilers have to play much better if they want to defeat the Hawks imho.

Of course the Oilers have to play better to beat the Hawks – I don’t think anyone reasonably expected “playoff intensity hockey” last night, did they?