First Blush

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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132 Responses to "First Blush"

  1. Brantford Boy says:

    Words can’t describe how good that felt… Soulshine
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDIQ7Otf1mw

    Bear was the best player on the ice for the full game – sign this player now!
    Broberg needs to go even with the save – enjoy your coffee kid, you just had a shift with McDavid
    Thought Benning secured his spot – we’ll see
    Mikko – gotta be the guy right? Then Smith makes that save… boom controversy
    Haas looked great – need more faceoff wins

    Watched the Leafs-Habs game, and it was no where near as quick and intense as the BOA, great sign, I think the boys are ready. Just need some more work in a few areas after the break.

    Bring on the Hawks!

  2. smellyglove says:

    Also this is very cool about Bear: Bear honouring Ochapowace roots with Cree jersey nameplate

    https://regina.ctvnews.ca/sask-nhler-honouring-ochapowace-roots-with-cree-jersey-nameplate-1.5042780

    Ethan’s name plate looks badass, wore it through the game.

  3. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Broberg looked lost, as one would expect. I don’t know why he’s gotten such a media push. Would have preferred Bouchard play, he’s 2 years closer.

  4. N64 says:

    Coach says he put Bro in ahead of Bouch because Bro needed an NHL game. Being an exhibition gane TOI was shared widely. That gave Bro lots of time after those lost looking first few shifts to start adjusting. Will help a bit in case we have to break glass

  5. defmn says:

    It was good to see Smith demonstrate why he deserves to be in the conversation for starting goalie but I still go with Koskinen if nothing changes before Saturday. The big man looked calm and in control through his half. He got lucky on the one sequence when Broberg had to play goal and Smith got a bit unlucky on the one he let in but both looked sharp imo.

    I thought the team let Calgary get too much momentum through the 2nd period. It seems to me that whenever Edmonton beats Calgary it’s because they out skill them but when Calgary wins it is because they outwork the Oilers. Edmonton let Calgary outwork them through the 2nd period and until about half way through the third before they responded.

    I know, just an exhibition game, but the lull went on for too long for Tippett to be happy I would think.

    A bit sloppy, a bit chippy but was it ever nice to see a game after all these months.

  6. ArmchairGM says:

    So… if you keep Chiasson in the lineup because veteran, who comes out for Sheahan? Do you keep the 3rd line intact and run Neal – Sheahan – Chiasson on the 4th and sit Khaira?

  7. jtblack says:

    Crawford is going to have to stand on his head if Chi is going to take down Edmonton. I like this team. Can’t wait for Saturday.

  8. TheOrangeDesk says:

    ArmchairGM,

    has to be Khaira. that guy cannot play hockey at 5v5.

  9. OriginalPouzar says:

    I’ve been thinking that Coach Tip would start “his guy” in Mike Smith unless there was pure separation in camp.

    Even though Smith got lit up in the scrimmages (he did face the tougher team and chances), I was surprised to see him get “the start” last night. He then let in zero goals and made a couple plus saves.

    Mike Smith was also very good last night, with a couple of 5-bell saves, however, Koski was the better goalie down the stretch, the better goalie through camp and didn’t let in a goal last night. Unless Tippett’s decision was made the day the RTP format was announced, I would think its got to be Mikko.

    It’ll probably be Smith.

  10. OriginalPouzar says:

    Solid preparation game for the Oilers:

    – dominated early and took the lead

    – not surprisingly, seemed to let up a bit after the initial intesnity wayned and the flames took over the puck a bit.

    – decided to play for a few shifts in the third and McDavid put the game away.

    – both tenders solid-great

    – no apparent injuries

    – PP looks great

    – PK did give up a goal……

    – 2nd and 4th lines did get caved in possession but I think that’s a function of the early lead and kind of playing out the rest of the game.

  11. JOFA says:

    Ennis and Nuge need to switch ahora mismo!

  12. Eh Team says:

    OriginalPouzar: 2nd and 4th lines did get caved in possession but I think that’s a function of the early lead and kind of playing out the rest of the game.

    I don’t worry about the second line, but the Neal-Khaira-Chiasson line is so slow. I don’t think you can play that line together. And Haas on the PK probably means Sheehan is not getting in the lineup.

    In the Chicago series, lines 1 and 2 will get an extra three minutes each anyway.

  13. Harpers Hair says:

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  14. Melman says:

    Tippett has said both goalies will continue to play – and why not it’s worked all season. Be wise of his history with Smith, does that make it easier to give the net to Koskinen first as Smith May take the news better?

    Ennis and Yamo are too much the same on that line – need someone else to step up into 1L or 2L and then it could be a long summer run. Clap clap

  15. dustrock says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    Broberg looked lost, as one would expect. I don’t know why he’s gotten such a media push. Would have preferred Bouchard play, he’s 2 years closer.

    Yes, what N64 said. Once you’re in the bubble, there is a small chance you might be playing.

    Better to get your first taste of NHL hockey in an exhibition game than being thrown to the wolves in a playoff game where every mistake is illuminated.

  16. godot10 says:

    ArmchairGM:
    So… if you keep Chiasson in the lineup because veteran, who comes out for Sheahan? Do you keep the 3rd line intact and run Neal – Sheahan – Chiasson on the 4th and sit Khaira?

    You keep Chiasson in because of the PP. You keep Khaira in because of the PK.

    Special teams are a key component of the Oilers winning formula. NOT the 4th line outperforming the other teams 4th line.

  17. rocket says:

    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.

  18. flyfish1168 says:

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

  19. godot10 says:

    Play Koskinen in game 1. Play Smith in game 2.

    Koskinen going first focuses Smith. If Koskinen plays well, Smith has to match it. If the Oilers lose, than Smith is facing a must win.

    If the Oilers win both, continue alternating.

    Smith was more focused yesterday, because Koskinen was very good.

  20. godot10 says:

    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.

    Score effects.

  21. Durag says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    Broberg looked lost, as one would expect. I don’t know why he’s gotten such a media push. Would have preferred Bouchard play, he’s 2 years closer.

    From Daniel Nugent-Bowman’s piece on the Athletic

    “Broberg got the nod over William Lagesson and Evan Bouchard on Tuesday, Tippett said, because the latter two players have NHL experience. He wanted Broberg to have an NHL game – albeit an exhibition one – under his belt in the event the Oilers need his services in the postseason.”
    :

  22. JOFA says:

    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.

    Yes Sir

  23. ArmchairGM says:

    godot10: You keep Chiasson in because of the PP.You keep Khaira in because of the PK.

    Special teams are a key component of the Oilers winning formula.NOT the 4th line outperforming the other teams 4th line.

    So you leave Sheahan out? Or sit Haas?

  24. hunter1909 says:

    Hunter1909 2020 Playoff Death March™

    Enter Now!

    https://oilersdeathmarch.com/playoffs-2020/

    Returning Players: Use your original names for continuity purposes.

  25. godot10 says:

    ArmchairGM: So you leave Sheahan out? Or sit Haas?

    If Sheahan is healthy, I think Tippett will give him the start.

    But Haas is putting a lot of people on notice.

  26. Elgin R says:

    Oilers played ok in the first, got the lead and then played to not get hurt. Should players battle really hard in a preseason game against an enemy that you will not play in the playoffs?

    Nurse: The crosscheck on Turtle reminded me of the crosscheck on Kesler in 2017. Nurse has to stop doing this and start using his head.

  27. JimmyV1965 says:

    I was certainly concerned about their play following the first period, but it seemed to me they took their foot off the gas pedal. But this can be an issue as well. You have to bring it for 60 minutes per game. I’m just happy no one got hurt and the Oil looked good when it mattered.

  28. deardylan says:

    “Mike Smith was very active (too active?)” LOL

    Its like we spot the other team a gimmee goal when Mike Smith starts. Luckily we can spot our team 2 points when McDavid starts. Bring on the Smith and McDavid. #PourSomeOffenceOnMe

  29. RumBurgundy says:

    Elgin R:
    Oilers played ok in the first, got the lead and then played to not get hurt.Should players battle really hard in a preseason game against an enemy that you will not play in the playoffs?

    Nurse:The crosscheck on Turtle reminded me of the crosscheck on Kesler in 2017.Nurse has to stop doing this and start using his head.

    Agreed. Defense is for the Byrds.

    “A time to box out, a time to tie up
    A time to tie hook, a time to slash
    A time to cross check in the back,
    A time to refrain from crosschecking.”

    MA Bergeron should have also listened to the radio.

  30. Munny says:

    RumBurgundy,

    That part is actually Ecclesiastes. The rest was written by Pete Seeger, not The Byrds. They merely covered the song.

    /musicalpedantry

  31. John Chambers says:

    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.

  32. RumBurgundy says:

    Munny:
    RumBurgundy,

    That part is actually Ecclesiastes.The rest was written by Pete Seeger, not The Byrds.They merely covered the song.

    /musicalpredantry

    Thanks for the info (sincerely). The Byrds still sounds more quippy. 🙂

  33. pts2pndr says:

    Elgin R:
    Oilers played ok in the first, got the lead and then played to not get hurt.Should players battle really hard in a preseason game against an enemy that you will not play in the playoffs?

    Nurse:The crosscheck on Turtle reminded me of the crosscheck on Kesler in 2017.Nurse has to stop doing this and start using his head.

    Head butting isn’t allowed either.😇

  34. Munny says:

    Poor Connor. I fear he’s going to be seeing a turnstile at LW through the playoffs.

    Ennis is not the ideal Third Man for the Dry Line.

    And if AA can’t get un-tangled, the bottom 6 is going to struggle to score at EVs… again… still.

    Sheahan is probable for Saturday. I expect he draws in. If only to get him to game speed.

    I’d be tempted to switch Haas and Khaira though.

    In fact my L4 would be Nygard, Haas, Neal.

    That said, I’m okay if Tipp wants to sit most of the NHL Playoff noobs for Gm1 to give them a feel for it before throwing them into the breach: Koski, Nygard, Haas, Jones, Broberg etc.

    Just not Mr. Bear.

  35. Munny says:

    RumBurgundy: The Byrds still sounds more quippy

    No, it doesn’t seem to work with the other names, does it lol.

    It’s just one of those songs where one rendition became so dominant that no one realizes it was a cover…

    Like This Flight Tonight (orig Joni), or Black Magic Woman (orig Fleetwood Mac)…

  36. Oilman99 says:

    flyfish1168Sheahan’s ability on face offs is the over riding factor, specially when killing penalty’s.

  37. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    N64:
    Coach says he put Bro in ahead of Bouchbecause Bro needed an NHL game. Being an exhibition gane TOI was shared widely. That gave Bro lots of time after those lost looking first few shifts to start adjusting. Will help a bit in case we have to break glass

    Totally. If for some crazy reason they need to call on Broberg in the weeks (months!! :)) ahead, they do not want that first game to his first ever NHL game. Right call to get him out there in the exhibition game. Had Green stayed he would already be back in Sweden. This is us. Expectations in the long run have to remain reasonable…

    All things considered – The Oilers look ready (as ready as they can be). I was pleased with individual and team performance last night. When necessary they raised their level (5th gear), but also kept for the most part in 4th gear…

  38. Oilman99 says:

    John Chambers,

    If he gets big minutes on his team this year, he could possibly jump straight up to the big club.

  39. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    godot10:
    Play Koskinen in game 1.Play Smith in game 2.

    Koskinen going first focuses Smith.If Koskinen plays well, Smith has to match it.If the Oilers lose, than Smith is facing a must win.

    If the Oilers win both, continue alternating.

    Smith was more focused yesterday, because Koskinen was very good.

    Yes. This is my vote too

  40. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    godot10: If Sheahan is healthy, I think Tippett will give him the start.

    But Haas is putting a lot of people on notice.

    Isn’t some depth nice!?!

    EDIT: It is nice to have depth in the line up…finally.

  41. Oilman99 says:

    godot10,

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

  42. Oilman99 says:

    Munny,

    The playoffs are a different style of hockey, Khaira’s size is valuable as the play is mich more physical.

  43. defmn says:

    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.

  44. Munny says:

    defmn,

    Huge step.

  45. defmn says:

    Oilman99:
    Munny,

    The playoffs are a different style of hockey, Khaira’s size is valuable as the play is mich more physical.

    And it is a credit to Holland that Tippett has choices depending on the opposition they encounter through the playoffs.

  46. Oil2Oilers says:

    godot10:
    Play Koskinen in game 1.Play Smith in game 2.

    Koskinen going first focuses Smith.If Koskinen plays well, Smith has to match it.If the Oilers lose, than Smith is facing a must win.

    If the Oilers win both, continue alternating.

    Smith was more focused yesterday, because Koskinen was very good.

    This seems the wisest course of action.

  47. defmn says:

    Munny:
    defmn,

    Huge.

    Google translation is always an adventure but, yeah.

  48. cowboy bill says:

    It appeared the Oilers could score at will . They popped two quickies in the first , to put the Flames behind he eight ball , then coasted to victory behind stellar goaltending . Even with a raw rookie defenseman in the lineup , the defense was sound enough to handle the Flames even while they were forced to play catch up all night . Only when they scored a PP goal , with Tkachuk ‘s interference on Smith , did the Oilers decide it was time to score again . If that’s the script the Oilers follow through the playoffs , so be it . But I suspect it won’t be that easy . Interesting tune up for sure .

  49. Elgin R says:

    RumBurgundy,

    Very, very funny. Needed the laugh this morning as it is going to feel like a long 3 days until real hockey.

  50. Munny says:

    Oilman99:

    The playoffs are a different style of hockey, Khaira’s size is valuable as the play is mich more physical.

    I’ve been watching them since 1972. Moving one’s feet is also important. He isn’t Phil Esposito.

  51. Jaxon says:

    I’d like to see this happen:

    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

    Darnell Nurse/Ethan Bear
    Oscar Klefbom/Adam Larsson
    Caleb Jones/Matt Benning

    Mikko Koskinen

  52. Durag says:

    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.

  53. defmn says:

    Jaxon:
    I’d like to see this happen:

    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

    Darnell Nurse/Ethan Bear
    Oscar Klefbom/Adam Larsson
    Caleb Jones/Matt Benning

    Mikko Koskinen

    More balanced. Less explosive, no?

  54. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Oilman99:
    godot10,

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

    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.

  55. Bruce McCurdy says:

    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.

  56. Durag says:

    Bruce McCurdy:

    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.

    Absolutely. It would be nice to be a dominant team 5v5, but that’s a roster construction issue for Holland to address over the next couple of off-seasons. Right now Tippet needs to play the hand he’s been dealt.

  57. Darth Tu says:

    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.

    This is great news. I’m more than happy to see him comeback and try again with the Oilers.

  58. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    Durag: Absolutely. It would be nice to be a dominant team 5v5, but that’s a roster construction issue for Holland to address over the next couple of off-seasons. Right now Tippet needs to play the hand he’s been dealt.

    The hand he has been dealt may be the envy of the league 😉

  59. Munny says:

    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.

  60. OriginalPouzar says:

    Brantford Boy:
    Words can’t describe how good that felt… Soulshine
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDIQ7Otf1mw

    Bear was the best player on the ice for the full game – sign this player now!
    Broberg needs to go even with the save – enjoy your coffee kid, you just had a shift with McDavid
    Thought Benning secured his spot – we’ll see
    Mikko – gotta be the guy right? Then Smith makes that save… boom controversy
    Haas looked great – need more faceoff wins

    Watched the Leafs-Habs game, and it was no where near as quick and intense as the BOA, great sign, I think the boys are ready.Just need some more work in a few areas after the break.

    Bring on the Hawks!

    On Bear – agree, and he’s looked good all camp and looked very engaged and wanting to continue to learn and develop (talking with coaches, etc.).

    On contract, Holland re-confirmed early in the week he won’t talk contract with players while they are gearing up for or in the playoffs so we won’t hear anything on this for a while.

    I’m sure they’d like to go long but don’t have the room for $4M (apx) and I think we are looking at a huge one year value deal under $2M. Can Holland get a 2nd year at that price?

  61. John Chambers says:

    Oilman99:
    John Chambers,

    If he gets big minutes on his team this year, he could possibly jump straight up to the big club.

    He could.

    But the Left side is all signed for 2+ more years and already features:
    Klefbom
    Nurse
    Jones

    Lagesson and Samorukov also stand in Broberg’s way to be broken in for bottom-pair minutes.

    The Oilers can afford to be patient with Broberg, but they should also be looking at using their surplus at LD to address another hole on the roster.

    Personally I think the move is to sign Nurse long-term and trade Klefbom at max value in summer of ‘22 with a year left on his contract. But we have to be certain of Broberg or Jones of their top-4 readiness before that happens.

  62. OriginalPouzar says:

    ArmchairGM:
    So… if you keep Chiasson in the lineup because veteran, who comes out for Sheahan? Do you keep the 3rd line intact and run Neal – Sheahan – Chiasson on the 4th and sit Khaira?

    If Sheahan is ready (as expected), I think Tip goes with the lineup he’s run all of camp and Haas waits for his opportunity.

    I think Tip (and maybe Gully) really like the Neal/Chiasson duo on PP1 and the different looks they give. I think it keeps both of them in the lineup…… for now.

  63. cowboy bill says:

    Tippett also explained that Chiasson is a righthanded net presence and Neal is a lefthanded net presence . Which may be more significant than most of us would think .

  64. defmn says:

    Munny:
    Bruce McCurdy,

    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.

    Yup. Totally agree on both these points. I suspect the second part is a problem waiting for next season to be solved though.

  65. OriginalPouzar says:

    Eh Team: I don’t worry about the second line, but the Neal-Khaira-Chiasson line is so slow.I don’t think you can play that line together.And Haas on the PK probably means Sheehan is not getting in the lineup.

    In the Chicago series, lines 1 and 2 will get an extra three minutes each anyway.

    I was hoping that Haas would get PK time in Sheahan’s absence – from accounts, he was a plus PK in Europe and I think that will be a material part of his game next year – in replacement of Sheahan who I don’t see being re-signed at this point.

    With that said, for Saturday, if Sheahan is ready to go, I’m very confidant that he is back in – I don’t think the exhibition game performance by Haas will change Tippett’s starting lineup but its good for Haas to get a little more PK experience in case on Nuge/Khaira/Sheahan/Archie go down and they don’t want to put too many minutes on Drai.

  66. Darth Tu says:

    cowboy bill:
    Tippett also explained that Chiasson is a righthanded net presence and Neal is a lefthanded net presence . Which may be more significant than most of us would think .

    Aye, I guess you could try and set things up based on whatever handedness the opposition are likely to have sitting as their netfront D sweeper person.

  67. pts2pndr says:

    Melman:
    Tippett has said both goalies will continue to play – and why not it’s worked all season. Be wise of his history with Smith, does that make it easier to give the net to Koskinen first as Smith May take the news better?

    Ennis and Yamo are too much the same on that line – need someone else to step up into 1L or 2L and then it could be a long summer run. Clap clap

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

  68. godot10 says:

    Oilman99:
    godot10,

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

    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.

  69. flyfish1168 says:

    Oilman99:
    flyfish1168Sheahan’s ability on face offs is the over riding factor, specially when killing penalty’s.

    I did think about that. It is unfortunate that he is our only right handed centerman. I can’t see the Hawks being called for to many penalties. I would take the chance just to pressure the Hawks Dmen with Hass
    Riley Numbers

    Shorthanded 41.0 % 210
    Even Strength 51.7% 615
    LH versus LH 45.5 563
    LH Versus RH 56.5 271

  70. Bruce McCurdy says:

    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.

    When Tippett had both guys available he used both guys in a shared role.

    I’m saying that Chiasson is very good at the net front role, not that Neal isn’t. Neal is a shooter first & foremost, whereas Chiasson is a blocking tight end. With their opposite handedness they each provide a different look to the PP.

    None of the three guys even reached the Mendoza line of 1.0 EVP /60. I’m not sure that changing out one of the three would change much. So Plan A seems to be, go out there and bang some bodies, get the cycle going on occasion, and keep the puck out of your own net.

    Footnote: Chiasson had the best 5v5 GA /60 rate of any Oilers forward, at 1.65. In eleven hours he was on the ice for 21 GF, 19 GA. Low event, but small positive (52.5 GF%). I get that lots of folks hate his contract but in my view he came a lot closer to covering that bet than he is generally credited.

  71. Durag says:

    GordieHoweHatTrick: The hand he has been dealt may be the envy of the league 😉

    It may be indeed. I have no problem with going -1 at EV and +2 on special teams every night!

  72. Munny says:

    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

  73. dustrock says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Good stuff, Bruce, thanks.

  74. Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual says:

    Been looking into Sheahan replacements under the conditions of comparable zone start % (sub-40%), not getting completely shit-caved (above 43% GF), and being capable faceoff men. So far, the list has yielded the names of the following players- most of whom are up for new contracts this summer:

    Johan Larsson (UFA coming off a 1.55mil cap hit)
    215 game sample
    28.19% zone start %
    39.67% GF* (44.95% xGF)
    48.2, 50.1% and 54.5% faceoffs

    *Included as his GF% was skewed by the horrendous, outlier of a 2017-18 season where he posted a 24.3% GF (17-53). 49.1% GF from the two most recent seasons.

    Radek Faksa (RFA w/ arb coming off a 2.2mil cap hit)
    226 game sample
    30.66% zone start %
    51.52% GF (49.98% xGF)
    49.9, 50.4% and 51.6% faceoffs

    Brad Richardson (UFA coming off a 1.25mil cap hit)
    201 game sample
    31.97% zone start %
    43.21% GF* (50.19% xGF)*
    53.9, 54.9% and 52.1% faceoffs

    *Skewed by a 33.3% GF (21-42) 2017-18. 49.5% GF the other two seasons.

    Brandon Sutter (we all know this one)
    131 game sample
    27.46% zone start %
    45.22% GF (42.72% xGF)
    51.7, 48.5% and 48.9% faceoffs

    I don’t think enough is said about Larsson, Faksa seems more and more like an ideal fit, and Richardson and Sutter look like plausible short-term bandaid fixes. Also, this one doesn’t fit the exact criteria but, since he’s a popular suggestion, I wanted to check his stuff as a fit for the Sheahan role and… not too shabby.

    Carl Soderberg (coming off a 4.75mil cap hit)
    229 game sample
    42.59% zone start %
    51.92% GF* (47.29% xGF)
    45.3, 49.4% and 45.2% faceoffs

  75. Harlekiini says:

    defmn: Google translation is always an adventure but, yeah.

    It’s fun reading those translations, because you can usually figure out both the original message and the reason the translation souds so weird.

  76. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    One other minor caveat to Broberg’s NHL audition last night…

    In camp, at least in the Cave Game Scrimmage, in Nurse’s absence, he was paired exclusively with Bear and on his natural side. And looked good in the context of the scrimmage.

    By vague memory last night the way they were rolling D pairings it seemed to be full on blender mode for the most part. He seemed to be paired with someone different and on various sides most shifts, that is going to add some chaos to the jitters as well…

    Also nice to see him willing to take one in the teeth for an exhibition game. Looking forward to seeing his continued development over the next year or so…

  77. Reja says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    I’ve been thinking that Coach Tip would start “his guy” in Mike Smith unless there was pure separation in camp.

    Even though Smith got lit up in the scrimmages (he did face the tougher team and chances), I was surprised to see him get “the start” last night. He then let in zero goals and made a couple plus saves.

    Mike Smith was also very good last night, with a couple of 5-bell saves, however, Koski was the better goalie down the stretch, the better goalie through camp and didn’t let in a goal last night.Unless Tippett’s decision was made the day the RTP format was announced, I would think its got to be Mikko.

    It’ll probably be Smith.

    I thought all along Tippett would go with Smith unless he told Tippett he’s not feeling it. When Tippett started Kosh I thought it was a tell tale that he was starting game 1 against Chi-Town. When Big mouth Dave came in at the 10 minute mark to replace Talbot Smith was still relaxing on the bench. It almost seemed like it was a spur of the moment decision to throw Smith in to take over for Kosh.

  78. Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual says:

    Hypothetically, if Dallas wanted AA in return for Faksa in a trade, would you make the trade?

  79. OriginalPouzar says:

    Melman:
    Tippett has said both goalies will continue to play – and why not it’s worked all season. Be wise of his history with Smith, does that make it easier to give the net to Koskinen first as Smith May take the news better?

    Ennis and Yamo are too much the same on that line – need someone else to step up into 1L or 2L and then it could be a long summer run. Clap clap

    I think its small nuance but a material one – I think what Tipp has said is that they/he is likely to need both goalies. He’s never actually said both are going to play or that both will play in the Chicago series or that they will split the first two games.

    Reading between the lines, I think, whoever he choses for Saturday, he will indeed “run with” to the extent that goalie is playing well and the team is winning. At the same time, he knows that, unlike many other teams, the guy on the bench is likely just as good, and maybe even better, so, if the first guy has a struggle game, he’ll be comfortable making a switch.

  80. OriginalPouzar says:

    dustrock: Yes, what N64 said.Once you’re in the bubble, there is a small chance you might be playing.

    Better to get your first taste of NHL hockey in an exhibition game than being thrown to the wolves in a playoff game where every mistake is illuminated.

    Ya, Tippett’s post-game was pretty clear to me – he’s not close to being inserted in the lineup but “if they need him”, they wanted him to have the one “NHL game” under his belt.

  81. OriginalPouzar says:

    godot10: You keep Chiasson in because of the PP.You keep Khaira in because of the PK.

    Special teams are a key component of the Oilers winning formula.NOT the 4th line outperforming the other teams 4th line.

    I think Haas has a future as a PK guy on this team, replacing Sheahan in that role as soon as next season.

    With that said, just because he got 3 minutes of practice on the PK last night doesn’t mean he’s ready to replace Khaira on the PK in the post-season. Khaira is one of the elite PK guys in the league – its year after year after year.

  82. SwedishPoster says:

    I actually think Koskinen gets the first nod, Smith will play for sure and I could see the setup described above with them getting every other game until one G goes either hot or cold, but my spidey senses tells me Tippett lets Koskinen start saturday. It makes the most sense and Tippett is usually pretty logical in his choices.

  83. OriginalPouzar says:

    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?

  84. OriginalPouzar says:

    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.

  85. OriginalPouzar says:

    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).

  86. OriginalPouzar says:

    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.

  87. OriginalPouzar says:

    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.

  88. OriginalPouzar says:

    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.

  89. OriginalPouzar says:

    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!

  90. OriginalPouzar says:

    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.

  91. N64 says:

    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

  92. Jaxon says:

    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.

  93. hunter1909 says:

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

  94. defmn says:

    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.

  95. flyfish1168 says:

    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

  96. Harpers Hair says:

    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.

  97. OriginalPouzar says:

    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.

  98. OriginalPouzar says:

    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?

  99. OriginalPouzar says:

    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.

  100. John Chambers says:

    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.

  101. hunter1909 says:

    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.

  102. Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual says:

    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.

  103. OriginalPouzar says:

    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.

  104. OriginalPouzar says:

    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.

  105. Harpers Hair says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Neither would Dallas.

  106. OriginalPouzar says:

    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.

  107. OriginalPouzar says:

    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……

  108. Harpers Hair says:

    Kubalik with 2 goals 1 assist.

    Stone cold killer.

  109. Harpers Hair says:

    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.

  110. leadfarmer says:

    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!!

  111. leadfarmer says:

    Harpers Hair:
    Kubalik with 2 goals 1 assist.

    Stone cold killer.

    Biggest killer since Brogan Rafferty

  112. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    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

  113. OriginalPouzar says:

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

    Stone cold assassin.

  114. Munny says:

    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.

  115. Jaxon says:

    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.

  116. OriginalPouzar says:

    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……?

  117. OriginalPouzar says:

    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.

  118. Munny says:

    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.

  119. flyfish1168 says:

    GordieHoweHatTrick: Sheahan

    My Bad

  120. Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual says:

    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).

  121. OriginalPouzar says:

    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.

  122. Scungilli Slushy says:

    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.

  123. defmn says:

    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.

  124. who says:

    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.

  125. N64 says:

    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.

  126. pts2pndr says:

    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.

  127. pts2pndr says:

    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!

  128. OilClog says:

    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.

  129. Lowetide says:

    For The Athletic: Could Oilers’ lack of centre depth mean postseason roster shuffle? Dave Tippett can’t afford to be patient and there are options available.

    https://theathletic.com/1958332/2020/07/30/lowetide-could-oilers-lack-of-centre-depth-mean-postseason-roster-shuffle/

  130. Ice Sage says:

    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?

  131. VanIsleOil says:

    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…

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