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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Scungilli Slushy

JimmyV1965: This may be sacrilegious, but I think McDavid had a completely meh game today. He certainly didn’t impose his will and he needs to do that. This game or series certainly won’t define his career, and a winger not named Kassian might help as well, but I hope to see more from him next game. He shouldn’t be facing Toews either, at least not in the face off circle. Toews won 16 today. McDavid won 4.

If JPs agent was smrt he’d be telling his client to work on his skating, his structural understanding of NHL play, and to learn how to be good at faceoffs. A career made.

London Jon

Jaxon:
Athanasiou / McDavid / Neal
Nugent-Hopkins / Draisaitl / Yamamoto
Ennis / Khaira / Kassian
Nygard / Haas / Archibald

Or

Ennis / McDavid / Kassian
Athanasiou / Draisaitl / Yamamoto
Benson / Nugent-Hopkins / Neal
Nygard / Haas / Archibald

Nurse / Bear
Klefbom / Larsson
Jones / Benning

Koskinen

I think Neal looks sharp, hungry and a step quicker

I would also play him with McDavid until he starts running out of gas. Also stops Kassian from dragging down the McD line until he gets his shit together

London Jon

17-8 on Giveaways last night. Yikes

The two teams 6-10 on the PP

Winnipeg 0/7 on the PP and 18 shots all game. Also yikes

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Jaxon,

I like both options, in theory, but if have a hard time playing Kassian over Chiasson considering the gulf between their performances. So for the next game I’d say option one with Chaisson as 3R and 44 in the PB for a game to see what shakes loose.

Also, KRusty wasn’t the problem on defense, so I’d be remiss to have him sit. That’s not the message I’d be looking to send even if I agree with your deployment.

Jaxon

Athanasiou / McDavid / Neal
Nugent-Hopkins / Draisaitl / Yamamoto
Ennis / Khaira / Kassian
Nygard / Haas / Archibald

Or

Ennis / McDavid / Kassian
Athanasiou / Draisaitl / Yamamoto
Benson / Nugent-Hopkins / Neal
Nygard / Haas / Archibald

Nurse / Bear
Klefbom / Larsson
Jones / Benning

Koskinen

Munny

flea:
I think the results today for all the games prove these series may evolve as time goes on. The lower seeds all come in with a chip on their shoulders, but can they sustain.

Oilers need to bring more emotion – maybe they feed more off the crowd than they thought – use the crowd to build momentum. They need to find a way to do it without the crowd.

Well, I think we knew going in that home ice advantage would be greatly diminished. That won’t play a role for the underseeds till it “goes back to their barn”. We’ll see, but it is unlikely the prior stretch of 5 game series from the early 1980s is predictive of this set. Way too many differences. We’ll see though. The team that can play 20 straight road games probably wins this thing.

JimmyV1965

dustrock: Well they were comparing McDavid to Jordan with his competitiveness prior to the game. Shame he doesn’t show up like playoff Jordan.

McDavid was invisible against the Ducks in 2017 and invisible tonight outside of 1 minute in and the last 2 minutes.

I realize it’s an old Edmonton tradition to blame the stars but I haven’t seen many games this poor from McDavid in his entire Oilers career.

Actually didn’t realize he was on the ice for 75% of his shifts and that’s the biggest insult I can give him.

This may be sacrilegious, but I think McDavid had a completely meh game today. He certainly didn’t impose his will and he needs to do that. This game or series certainly won’t define his career, and a winger not named Kassian might help as well, but I hope to see more from him next game. He shouldn’t be facing Toews either, at least not in the face off circle. Toews won 16 today. McDavid won 4.

flea

I think the results today for all the games prove these series may evolve as time goes on. The lower seeds all come in with a chip on their shoulders, but can they sustain.

Oilers need to bring more emotion – maybe they feed more off the crowd than they thought – use the crowd to build momentum. They need to find a way to do it without the crowd.

dustrock

Harpers Hair:
Colorado Avalanche writer Adrian Dater has kicked a hornets nest on Twitter.

Adrian Dater (@adater) Tweeted:
Regretting my Oilers pick over Chicago. Connor McDavid a brilliant talent but a personality-deficient guy. I think his blandness rubs off too much on teammates. Happy to hear opinions to the contrary but fact is he doesn’t inspire others

Well they were comparing McDavid to Jordan with his competitiveness prior to the game. Shame he doesn’t show up like playoff Jordan.

McDavid was invisible against the Ducks in 2017 and invisible tonight outside of 1 minute in and the last 2 minutes.

I realize it’s an old Edmonton tradition to blame the stars but I haven’t seen many games this poor from McDavid in his entire Oilers career.

Actually didn’t realize he was on the ice for 75% of his shifts and that’s the biggest insult I can give him.

jp

I’m really surprised Tippett started Smith. Koskinen clearly outplayed him in the later scrimmages and didn’t give up a goal against Calgary.

Sounds like the team was putrid in front of the goalies too. Ugly combo. And it looks like the score flattered the team with 2 goals in the last 4 minutes.

All hands on deck for Monday.

Munny

Flames lock it up.

Knocking out the other team’s best skater proved effective.

jp

Ryan:
It’s almost unbelievable.
It doesn’t matter who the coach or GM is for the Oilers.
The addled thinking perseveres regardless.

Puljujarvi was/is right to be sceptical.

jp

fries n gravy: This young dad spent real domestic capital to watch today’s game live as a bachelor. So far this looks like a Chiarellian overpay.

My daughter’s 4th birthday party (scheduled for this afternoon well before the Oilers were) saved me from watching today. I feel for you.

Munny

Harpers Hair,

Dater probably had trouble navigating his way to the post-game.

Munny

Today’s game was eerily similar to the Calgary exhibition game. Although they looked even more jacked with emotion at the beginning of this one. Anyways, early lead, suck, come back late, this time fall short because it’s a bridge too far. I know it’s human nature to find patterns but that’s been the template.

Harpers Hair

Colorado Avalanche writer Adrian Dater has kicked a hornets nest on Twitter.

Adrian Dater (@adater) Tweeted:
Regretting my Oilers pick over Chicago. Connor McDavid a brilliant talent but a personality-deficient guy. I think his blandness rubs off too much on teammates. Happy to hear opinions to the contrary but fact is he doesn’t inspire others

who

JimmyV1965: No offence, but a 15 minute feel good presentation does absolutely nothing to alleviate racism. In fact, it’s just another corporate marketing exercise to prove how wonderful and woke they are.

The corporate sports industry can do many, many things to make this world a better place. Another marketing presentation doesn’t even feel sincere anymore. It just something they feel they have to do.

If the NHL wants to step up to the plate, they should boycott the Chinese Olympics until that country stops persecuting more than one million Muslim’s.If Nike honestly wants to make this world a better place, it should start by cleaning up its supply chain.

The corporate hypocrisy running rampant right now is embarrassing.

You’ve articulated my feelings much better than I was able to do in my post.
Thank you.

Gerta Rauss

Tippett post game

https://www.nhl.com/oilers/video/post-raw–coach-tippett/t-281751750/c-5392903

I didn’t think we played well enough…we made far too many mistakes and lost too many battles..it’s as simple as that

Gregor asked specifically about his decision to go with Smith but you’ll have to listen to the presser ’cause I’m not transcribing the whole thing LoL

Reja

JOFA: But it could be science of the rocket😉

Just what the world needs another Reverse Engineer.

Reja

godot10:
Tkachuk looked at the official after he cut Schieflle with his skate blade.Only conclusion possible is that it was NOT accidental, and intentional.

It looks intentional.Schieffle had turned away, and Tkachuk lifted his skate blade to insure he got a piece of Schieffle.

Whine all you want about him he’s winning the game and probably the series for them.

rickithebear

Cup finalists:
1. Strong HD/ 0% Corsi defensive coach.
2. String open shot save % goalie
3. 3-4 strong HD/Closed shot Dmen
4. Deep top 125 overall & even FWd team.
5. Strong PK fwd & Dmen.

Vegas copied it 100% and got to the final!
The only championship roster theory proof in all world spirts analytics!

6-4!
Oh shit!

GordieHoweHatTrick

Reider with his first playoff goal!

Shortie too.

Enough joy for one day…

PokeCheck

Tobias Rieder just… scored a goal. What a time to be alive!

JOFA

Reja: If the Oilers finish every check (no cheating)and maybe a few open ice hits theywin this series it’s not rocket science.

But it could be science of the rocket😉

Younger Oil

Just saw what Tkachuk did and I am also of the mind that it was intentional (especially with his history). There is no reason to go into the boards with your skate lifted off the ground, with the blade pointed at the opponents leg.

That was a red card tackle in a soccer game, and he did it with a fucking knife strapped to his foot.

Yet another career derailed by a spineless piece of shit that the league will do nothing about. Disgusting.

GordieHoweHatTrick

godot10: Oldie but “goodie”

“At the end of last year I felt strongly that we had to challenge Jeff on a one-year deal. I didn’t like where his game was going. I didn’t like the urgency in his game and the decisiveness in his game and I thought it was important that we challenge him on a one-year deal.”

Yeah it’s tough watching Petry Schultz and Marino playing while hoping the oilers should finally have sufficient depth at RD next year; 5 years later…

flyfish1168

godot10:
Tkachuk looked at the official after he cut Schieflle with his skate blade.Only conclusion possible is that it was NOT accidental, and intentional.

It looks intentional.Schieffle had turned away, and Tkachuk lifted his skate blade to insure he got a piece of Schieffle.

I just wish refs would see him for what he is. I have yet to see him get caught on a slew foot. Oppositions teams should complain to officials and lobby the league to look into this. It is a dangerous play.

Buddy

OriginalPouzar:
There is a bearing for Caggiula for his hit on Ennis.

Black or Grizzly?

godot10

GordieHoweHatTrick:
Petry in OT

Oldie but “goodie”

“At the end of last year I felt strongly that we had to challenge Jeff on a one-year deal. I didn’t like where his game was going. I didn’t like the urgency in his game and the decisiveness in his game and I thought it was important that we challenge him on a one-year deal.”

OriginalPouzar

There is a bearing for Caggiula for his hit on Ennis.

GordieHoweHatTrick

Petry in OT

godot10

godot10:
Tkachuk looked at the official after he cut Schieflle with his skate blade.Only conclusion possible is that it was NOT accidental, and intentional.

It looks intentional.Schieffle had turned away, and Tkachuk lifted his skate blade to insure he got a piece of Schieffle.

#MattCookeSpecial

godot10

Tkachuk looked at the official after he cut Schieflle with his skate blade. Only conclusion possible is that it was NOT accidental, and intentional.

It looks intentional. Schieffle had turned away, and Tkachuk lifted his skate blade to insure he got a piece of Schieffle.

gwdsfo
leadfarmer

Mtl is giving the Pens a handful
There’s something about being able to play with no pressure on you

Scungilli Slushy

Sadly I couldn’t watch the game so not commenting on it yet.

But a sadly familiar tone to it from reading the comments.

Make or break time Tipp.

Not forever but for playoffs. Nobody knows where the tie is.

Scungilli Slushy

Harpers Hair: Kubalik has good games all the time.

He’s a stone cold killer.

Good young player

Where do you hide, when your bluster proves wrong, and your community here is asking about it?

I feel that cycle tourqing up again.

flyfish1168

frjohnk:
Oilers get bounced in 3.

Flames win the Cup in Edmonton.

Tkachuk Conn Smyth winner.

You heard it here first.

Wake me up. I’m having a bad dream

flyfish1168

Copp scores Jets ahead

frjohnk

Oilers get bounced in 3.

Flames win the Cup in Edmonton.

Tkachuk Conn Smyth winner.

You heard it here first.

flyfish1168

Harpers Hair: Kubalik has good games all the time.

He’s a stone cold killer.

He does and more people are seeing this now. Today Zack didn’t mark his man. Dominik didn’t break much of a sweat or was scared to go into the scoring areas.

Reja

We could of had Tkachuk.

GordieHoweHatTrick

Tchachuck just stuck his blade into the back of Scheiffeles leg

What a dirty bag of shit. I can’t wait for him to get fully paid back

Harpers Hair

flyfish1168:
Kubalik had a good game because Zack had a bad game.Zack need to paint him into the boards and own his space.

Kubalik has good games all the time.

He’s a stone cold killer.

Tesla's Hair

That NHL opening piece might mean much more for at least 1 kid who will remember that moment and go on to affect the lives of all future generations. It might matter to someone who arrived in this country and just saw their first hockey game. It might matter to the Dumba and his family watching him give that speech to a circle of his colleagues. It might matter to our own Darnell Nurse. It might be uncomfortable to me but that is exactly the point. I hope it repeats until it doesnt have to.

Munny

Look guys. LT has it right. It’s a really bad idea to go down that road. Politics, hot button issues, etc.

I don’t want to judge what others say about hockey because of what I know and think about their politics. I try not to. But I also don’t want people to judge what I write about hockey because of what they think about my politics.

This place is supposed to bring us together.

Outside issues would divide us. Is this what we want?

And no one is going to be convinced one way or the other by what is said in the comment section of a hockey blog, so it’s bloody pointless anyways. We’re all just masturbating… and showing off while doing it.

Hey, I’ve been one of the more guilty ones over the history of this wonderful site. But things are different today, and I don’t want this place to become as polarized as the real world. It would end Lowetide, or at least the comment section. We will have killed the goose that has laid so many golden eggs for us over the past 15 years.

I ask again… is that the outcome we want?

At this point in his life, LT has his radio show and his gig at The Athletic demanding a lot of his time. And yet we ask him to moderate our asses constantly in what is largely a volunteer enterprise? This might be the oldest of his intellectual properties, but it is also the least vital to his family’s survival. Please keep that in mind. He can walk away from here and still write, still talk, still provide.

Most of all, please keep LT in mind. Take off your shoes at the door and don’t make a goddamn mess.

--hudson--

Mark Lewis out of retirement and doing the PA for the Flames-Jets game. Haven’t heard him since the last game at Rexall.

Talbot starts

flyfish1168

Kubalik had a good game because Zack had a bad game. Zack need to paint him into the boards and own his space.

Munny

Faustkarz:
Harpers Hair,

Wait, so the NHL should not show signs of solidarity because joe sixpack at home will get bored?

Brilliant take, congrats.

That’s a vast over-simplification of what he said… and this is one of the reasons why we need to avoid hot button topics here.

Please stick to hockey, guys. This is the playoffs. Actual serious stuff, lol.

Lucic n Chong

Must really hurt coach Tippett to get totally RAM-RANCHED by Jeremy (Ron) Collinton
Oilers should cut a cheque to the Hawks, That rube showed Uncle Dave and his staff a full coaching clinic for free. In one period.