Stanley Cup 2020 Playoffs: Oilers vs Chicago Game 1

by Lowetide

It’s going to be a scorcher in Edmonton today, hot sun bearing down and not a cloud to hide behind. Dogs barking, kids laughing, sprinklers keeping time with staccato percussion and lawn mowers humming a familiar tune.

Around 1pm today, the Oilers will hit the ice to play a game that means more to this city than anything that’s happened since spring 2017. Don’t you dare mention August unless it’s in a sentence that includes “Oilers” “in” “August” and “company.” By 4pm, barbecues, beers and adult cheers should echo down the subdivisions. It’s hockey Saturday in Edmonton, and this city doesn’t give a rat’s ass what month it is. Are you all ready for this?

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.

KEYS TO THE GAME

For the Oilers, outscoring Chicago five on five is important, marking Patrick Kane imperative. Kane’s the one player on the ‘Hawks roster who will give Edmonton fits. He’s dangerous always with the puck, and if he’s covered then sure as hell the puck is headed to a dangerous place with a linemate in mind. Corey Crawford is also a concern.

Connor McDavid is going to be too much for Chicago’s defense, with Leon Draisaitl on deck. Game 1 is the most important in a five game series, just like strike one is the most important pitch in baseball. Dave Tippett is going to let his horses run free offensively, short leash for support players.

Defensively, the Oilers have a mobile top-4D who can move the puck, defend and outlet well by pass or carry. The Edmonton blue will make mistakes, but laser focus against Kane is vital. Chicago’s defense comes in with a bigger job while carrying less quality and depth.

THE NEAL-LUCIC TRADE

I said all along the Oilers would not get a good result but it’s far less harmful than it could have been. The NHL gives the pick to Calgary but gives Ken Holland a year to trade for a replacement. It’s extremely likely Edmonton uses the 2020 pick. Here’s a mock just for fun, I’ll put the Oilers at No. 20 overall. This mock assumes JP is signed.

No. 20 overall: RC Mavrik Bourque, Shawinigan (QMJHL). I keep coming back to this player because he’s skilled, smart, has great anticipation and a quick release. There are no negatives beyond size (5.10, 176) and his stock is rising due to complete skill set.

No. 82 overall: LW Roby Jarventie, Ilves (Liiga). A bigger winger (6.01, 180) who is an August 2002, he scored a goal in five Liiga games and 23 goals in 36 Mestis games. His skating is average but he’s one of the youngest players in the draft so there is room to grow. His photo reminded me of Lennart Petrell.

No. 144 overall: LW Maxim Groshev, Nizhnekamsk (KHL). He’s 6.01, 195 and an older prospect (December 2001) for this draft. Groshev is a two-way winger with a good shot and can skate. Oilers might take a higher risk player here but lack of picks inside the top 100 could see Holland go the safe route.

No. 175 overall: LC Dmitry Zlodeyev, Dynamo (MHL). His scouting report reads like a Ken Holland player and the Oilers appear to be back on the Russian radar. I do think the Oilers will take more chances and the Denezhkin pick looks strong one year gone.

No. 206 overall: LC Daniel Ljungman, Linkoping (SuperElite). His draft year reflects Philip Broberg’s in that he performed very well and put himself on the prospect map at the Hlinka-Gretzky tournament. Another two-way center who is more shooter than playmaker and could move to wing in pro hockey.

NOTE TO A FRIEND

I’ve been writing this blog for 15 years now, and in my mind’s eye have been talking to one person that whole time: You. That’s the idea of the blog, from the grumpy old guy to photos of the dog.

So, on this special day, a reminder you may remember: Enjoy this.

I used to watch television shows that had scenes where old people cry at graduations, or weddings, or birth announcements or funerals. I enjoyed the laughter but didn’t get the point, but as one ages, and there’s more past than future, things come into view.

I’ve never suggested or anticipated multiple Stanleys for this era of the Oilers, the league is far better now with more teams. It’s also true, without rambling on too much about it, that the support group for McDavid and Draisaitl is a little shy of the men who played alongside 99 and 11.

You only get so many bullets in life, a finite number of lovers and soulmates and children and even sorties for Stanley. You hold on to this, you enjoy every minute, because it’s your experience and your life and your time.

God bless you boys, glory awaits.

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Brantford Boy

Bummer about the conditional pick, move on, it’s playoff time…

I would argue with anyone saying it’s too early to drink on this day after the sun is 97 degrees on the horizon wherever you are…

Thanks LT again for getting us through with our daily hockey fix… Let’s do this… Let’s Go Oilers!

Shane

Thanks LT for everything you do!

Enjoy the game everyone.

Go Oilers!

flea

Game 1 is critical. Light em up Oilers! Crawford will be rusty, take advantage before he finds his game!

Munny

Game Day, Bitchez!!

dustrock

I’ve cried at sporting events but don’t usually tear up just reading about them. Thanks for everything, LT.

Enjoy, everyone. Hope you find a way to watch with some friends or family safely.

LET’S GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Munny

Highlights of Oilers last playoff victory:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpU_IVfH3zo

Reinhart played, Test Tube with 4 pts and Leon, well…

Game Day article and comment thread:

https://lowetide.ca/2017/05/07/2017-playoffs-g12-g6-ducks-at-oilers/comment-page-2/#comments

Spector’s playoff eve article from last night:
https://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/oilers-young-leaders-veteran-depth-hungry-write-new-playoff-narrative/

Hopefully that helps get through the hours till puck drop.

Tesla's Hair

I will be downing a homemade kombucha shot everytime 97 scores, assists and smiles.

Especially look fwd to Woodguy, Sheps, Kinger and OPs analysis. Also cannot wait to read HH realtime posts as he emerges out of his BC island locker room wearing a dark blue and orange 29 jersey. Deep in his heart, we suspect he is the biggest Oiler fan of all and that is why he brings day in and day out in oilers land!

GO OILERS GO!

leadfarmer

You know the world is desperate for live sports when NBC shows a afternoon hockey game with the Oilers playing

OriginalPouzar

As hoped, Markus Niemelainen has been assigned to Assat in Liiga.

Great for all these D prospects to have a place to play this coming season.

Presumably, he comes back when camp starts up over here.

geowal

Hoping to get a poolside projection setup, here in Salmon Arm till Tuesday. Hockey from the pool! Go Oilers!

Profit

Thanks to you too LT. I haven’t lived in Edmonton since 03. The best advice my cousin gave me in 06 was fly back to Edmonton for a game in the run. I’m a big believer in “you only get so many chances”.

Exciting to start another one.

Let’s Go Oilers clap clap clapclapclap

godot10
Profit

EA Sports announced the Oilers won the cup over Pittsburgh in 6 games in their official simulation. Too bad that’s never come true, but there’s a first time for everything!

Cowboy

I very rarely comment but follow along most days.

Today is a special day. The NHL has done something pretty special keeping the cases at 0 and the players have sacrificed seeing loved ones, unlike baseball. All this so there can be a once in a lifetime tournament, a true battle of attrition, for the Stanley cup and to bring hockey back to fans.

This will be the hardest cup to win and we are very lucky to have the pleasure of cheering for a team with 2 breathtaking talents that are well suited for this.

Enjoy Oilers fans. Today is a good day and mught be the most unique day of Hockey in our lives.

As our host might say have a drink, then have another.

Munny

Cowboy,

Nice! And…

#WeplayforColby

Oil2Oilers

Hockey’s back!!!

GD predictions;

4-3 Oilers with a late Chicago goal to make it interesting.

50/50 well North of $100,000

Wonder Llama

Hi LT and Lowetidians everywhere. Apocalypse Hockey is surreal and hopefully spectacular.

Mrs. Llama and I both suffered through My Corona after taking an “80’s Cruise” in March (but at least I got to hang out with surviving members of Big Country and Spandau Ballet).

I know you’ve kept the hockey home fires burning, LT; it’s just been hard to really engage over this historically bizarre and frightening summer.

I think the Oilers must draft Mavrik Bourque just for his name. He can be our wingman any day.

Derek

Munny:
Highlights of Oilers last playoff victory:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpU_IVfH3zo

Reinhart played, Test Tube with 4 pts and Leon, well…

Game Day article and comment thread:

https://lowetide.ca/2017/05/07/2017-playoffs-g12-g6-ducks-at-oilers/comment-page-2/#comments

Spector’s playoff eve article from last night:
https://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/oilers-young-leaders-veteran-depth-hungry-write-new-playoff-narrative/

Hopefully that helps get through the hours till puck drop.

Lovely post, those highlights seems 10 years old rather than 3.

Bohologo

I haven’t lived in Edmonton since 1994, and until three weeks ago had not lived in Canada since 1998. A perfect time to return to the north. The longer the time and the distance, the closer I have held onto this city and this team. I’ll cheer for this club until I’m pushing daisies, even if and probably because the NHL will always find a reason to give us the shiv. They have always been thus, and always will be; they hate us because we are beautiful.

Go Oilers!

Bryan

I’m not a whiny or negative type of person but have the Oilers ever won one of these contentious type of rulings? This one makes no sense to me all since the parameters of the agreement weren’t met. The compensatory picks for Chiarelli and Mclelland were outrageous as well but at least they have scuttled that ridiculous rule now. There have been rulings in the past like Gustafson and Graves that still rankle too. But today is the start of what will hopefully be a long and exciting run for the local crew. Winning the golden ticket definitely offsets the disappointment from any strange dealings with the league. Connor and Leon and company will need to start fast and keep their foot on the throttle for sixty minutes. There are many time champions in the other dressing room and those type of athletes can never be taken lightly.

OilSafety

Game day baby! Finally some legit Oiler hockey in my life!
I think we all need some hope and positivity these days.

Tuesday I’m back in the office trying to make things safe for 7000 staff and students returning in September but for now I’m putting that all aside for a welcome distraction.

Gotta go out and grab some beverages for game time. I’m thinking Erdingher or honey brown.

Thank you Al for your contributions here and elsewhere. You’re a legend, as are many of the regular posters here.

Let’s Go Oilers!

Harpers Hair

NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) Tweeted:
Teams that win Game 1 in a best-of-five series own an all-time series record of 68-15 (.819).

More #NHLStats ahead of the first best-of-five series in more than 34 years: https://t.co/n5OwMPxUMT #StanleyCup https://t.co/25Y4N73ZES

RISTOOOOO SILTANEN!!!!

Lowetide:
“Defensively, the Oilers have a mobile top-4D who can move the puck, defend and outlet well by pass or carry.”

How long has it been since we could read that sentence, smile, and nod in agreement.

Music.

JOFA

You’re a good man Al. Your family must be extremely proud of you. Enjoy the day😊

This brought a tear to my eye:

“but as one ages, and there’s more past than future, things come into view.”

N64

Harpers Hair:
NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) Tweeted:
Teams that win Game 1 in a best-of-five series own an all-time series record of 68-15 (.819).

More #NHLStats ahead of the first best-of-five series in more than 34 years: https://t.co/n5OwMPxUMT #StanleyCup https://t.co/25Y4N73ZES

Yep. There’s a reason the NHL eliminated 5 games series. As noted in 1 game a goaler with a bad HAIR day can virtually eliminate his team in 60 minutes.

Meanwhile a team with 1 less pt in the standings has the Pacific’s 2nd bye. At worst the teams with 1 pt more and .001 more should have played a game for that spot.

Everyone enjoy coin flip Saturday.

OriginalPouzar

First goal of the 2020 post-season – Slavin, a minute in.

Lundquist starting, Shestyorkin, “unfit to play”.

buck yoakam

Thanks LT for this safe haven all year long!…you might not realize the impact and medicinal value you have on all of us daily! Beyond excited today…Lets Go Oilers!! Would love it if Rod Phillips could call this one!…Enjoy the next 65 days everyone

PREDICKTER

OriginalPouzar,

and the first fight, 3 minutes in

PREDICKTER

Fuck the 3rd pick given up. Neal will score more goals in this playoff run to the Cup than the player selected with the pick will in his entire career.
Let’s Go Oilers.

Reja

I can remember where I was and with whom for every hoisting of the Stanley Cup, great times. Oilers need to jump on Crawford early and fast don’t over pass shoot from everywhere. We need to take this series in 3 or 4 and be healthy for the big boys on the block.

tcho

Thanks LT for everything. Your radio show and this blog have been a welcome respite in these challenging times.

Any recommendations for watching sans TV?

(Oh – and: Goilers!!! *clapclap*)

OriginalPouzar

2 hours until game time – wow.

Get a choice between the top two play by play guys in the game – Cuthbert on the SN/Rogers feed or Doc Emerick on the NBC feed…..

Tesla's Hair

Game 1 ODDS from. https://www.actionnetwork.com/nhl/nhl-odds-picks-predictions-chicago-blackhawks-vs-edmonton-oilers-game-1

When you convert the listed odds (-162/+135) to implied probability, you get:
Edmonton: 59.2% win probability Chicago: 40.8% win probability.

Bonus: Home ice advantage for every game. Doesn’t get much better than this!?

Marc

Morning all.

If you search ‘hit the dfif’ in Youtube the top result is song of that name by Marty Mone.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1JIgtX5pCk

The video is a just collage of farm vehicles that the artist has driven over the years and if you say something nice in the comments Marty will thank you, even though the song was released more than five years ago.

The amazing thing about Hit the Diff (other than the fact it’s so catchy that it stays in your head for days after you hear it) is that the video has more than 10.5 million views. The song is virtually unknown outside of Ireland, so almost all of those views are in Ireland, which has a population of 6.5 million people. By way of comparison, the most popular Tragically Hip video I found on Youtube is Ahead by a Centruy, which has 7.4 million views.

Hit the Diff is one of the most popular Irish songs, in Ireland itself, written in the last 50 years. And if a song like this can become monster hit, then anything is possible.

So hit the diff and pray, that she goes all the way

Go Oilers!

hunter1909

EMERGENCY /UPDATE HUNTER DEATH MARCH ™

CONTINUE TO MAKE NORMAL PREDICTIONS AS THE CONTEST HAS MOVED THE GOALPOSTS TO THE START OF THE NEXT ROUND IF OILERS GO THROUGH THAT IS

GO TO:

Find previous announcements – most contain links to the site

Rocknrolla

tcho:
Thanks LT for everything. Your radio show and this blog have been a welcome respite in these challenging times.

Any recommendations for watching sans TV?

(Oh – and: Goilers!!! *clapclap*)

Bilasport.net has been great

hunter1909

OriginalPouzar:
2 hours until game time – wow.

Get a choice between the top two play by play guys in the game – Cuthbert on the SN/Rogers feed or Doc Emerick on the NBC feed…..

To quote my Toronto Leafs fanatic friend when he used to describe what was going to happen when the Chuck Norris Division Red Wings were in Town that night

“They’re going to Die!”

Oilers back then were en route to their final and 5th cup with the dynamite Kid Line

Oil2Oilers

Mr. Mitchell I read your opening soliloquy to my family out load this morning. I speaks to the soul of this Northern town.

Reja

OriginalPouzar:
2 hours until game time – wow.

Get a choice between the top two play by play guys in the game – Cuthbert on the SN/Rogers feed or Doc Emerick on the NBC feed…..

Any word on starting Goaltenders?

prairieschooner

So we have to give a pick to Boston because they fired Chiarelli and we hired him even though the NHL scrubbed that rule and now we have to give up a pick because Covid , player slump,injury etc etc happened ?
Thats twice rules have been changed
Have player performance bonuses been prorated as well or is it just some things ?

Life is good
Go Oilers !

Reja

I don’t give a shit how they do it, off a skate or a triple deflection but the 4th line is scoring a 5 on 5 goal today.

Younger Oil

13 minor penalties called in the first two periods of the CAR-NYR game is really great news for the Oilers.

I’ve honestly been quite impressed with the refereeing over the exhibition games and this first playoff game. Seems like the lack of a crowd is allowing refs to call the game properly while keeping the game in control.

McNuge93

I was looking at the Canes Rangers game. I see they have nice tarps covering the seats in the lower bowl. It looks good, and takes your mind off the fact that there should be fans sitting there.

But I was wondering why the NHL wouldnt sell advertising on the tarps similar to the board advertising. Might be a way of recouping a little bit of revenue.

Munny

Younger Oil,

They’ve been calling penalties heavy at the beginning of the playoffs for about 15 yrs now. Sadly the Hawks are probably watching that game and taking note.

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

Younger Oil:
13 minor penalties called in the first two periods of the CAR-NYR game is really great news for the Oilers.

I’ve honestly been quite impressed with the refereeing over the exhibition games and this first playoff game. Seems like the lack of a crowd is allowing refs to call the game properly while keeping the game in control.

Knowing the NHL, that’s the Eastern treatment; the West will still be “let em play”.

oilersfan

So Carolina scores and the horn goes off and crowd noise is simulated… nakes sense , the Canes are the home team for the first two games since they were higher up in the standings…

Then the rangers score and the horn goes off and the simulated crowd celebrates… how does that make sense? The rangers are the road team where when they score there is no horn and the crowd is quiet.

I want the nhl to simulate as best they can real nhl playoff situations. The crowd should not make moderate noise for a home game they should go ballistic. The home team goal should be followed by chants and noise for some time. Missed chances should be oohed and aahed. Then when the visitor scores it should be crickets. No horn. Quiet the home fans down… then the home fans should make some noise to cheer on their team when there is no goal for inspiration.

This isn’t rocket science, it’s basic fan reality. How can the nhl not have properly simulated this with months to prepare?

Reja

Anybody know who’s starting between the pipes for both teams?

OriginalPouzar

Reja: Any word on starting Goaltenders?

We won’t know until warm-ups and someone like Gregor, Nugent-Bowman advise…. should be fairly soon.

jm363561

I am not sure if “Good morning” is appropriate at 2.00 a.m. Anyway, good morning from Bacolod, the Philippines Most Liveable City 2019. Aubameyang has just scored a brilliant goal to put Arsenal 2-1 up in the FA Cup Final which, conveniently, finishes about the time the puck drops.

I only lived in Edmonton for about nine months; have only seen the Oilers play live twice; and 20 years later I am sitting alone in the middle of the night, as nervous as hell, waiting for the start. Strange thing supporting a sports team.

Go Oilerzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

fries n gravy

The Power and the Glory.

My pregame warmup album: https://youtu.be/ZgoKwMbPSO8