Blue, Red and Grey

One of the things a 5-game series does is make every game vital. So, down 4-1 you’re still pushing. I’m a believer in Dave Tippett, but keeping Smith in net after the third goal, and certainly after the fourth one, is a major story in this series. No matter what happens.

One more item before we review the game together: Credit to Chicago. They are a team in transition but they have enough impact players to be a major concern, a bigger concern than most observers (myself included) thought before Saturday.

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.

NUMBER ONE LINE

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins-Connor McDavid-Zack Kassian played 11:48 (all numbers five on five), losing the Corsi battle 18-7, getting outshot 10-4 and outscored 3-0. McDavid faced DeHaan-Murphy for 8:15, getting outshot 4-3 and outscored 1-0. David Kampf was the most prominent center to face 97 in five on five minutes (6-3 shots for Chicago, no goals), but the real damage for the big line came in about two minutes against Saad-Toews-Kubalik. Edmonton outshot 5-1 and outscored 2-0 in about 115 seconds. The five on five issues were a concern, that’s why Nuge was moved there. Need to tighten bigly for Game 2.

The goals for: McDavid scored the first goal of the game (PP), a terrific shot and further evidence he is more comfortable as the shooter. McDavid and Nuge assisted on another power-play goal by Leon Draisaitl, Chiasson had a great chance, then Nuge throws it behind the net to 97, slot to Leon and cash. McDavid and Nuge assisted on James Neal’s power-play goal, nice pass by 97 to Neal who jams it but it hits the post. McDavid throws it in the crease, Nuge gets a piece, Neal hammers it home. Nuge scored the final goal of the game with the Edmonton net empty, Draisaitl faceoff, Klefbom shot and Nuge tip. Nice goal.

The goals against at five on five: The Strome goal is on goalie Mike Smith, there can be no doubt. Oscar Klefbom gave the puck away for a point-blank save by Smith (a dandy), but had won the puck before Smith gave it away. The Saad goal was a nice tip in front, you could fault Kassian for not getting out to the point but there was a pick, or you could fault McDavid for not winning the faceoff but that’s not his strength. I generally hammer Kassian when he’s not where he should be, but in this case the big winger was delayed by a ‘Hawk. No penalty. Smith had no chance on that goal, great tip. The Toews goal started on a McDavid turnover behind the net, he made a quick pass that usually gets through but Saad slowed it, Kubalik corralled and passed it and Toews scored, Klefbom in no man’s land. Point blank shot, I don’t fault the goalie on that one your mileage may vary. Three goals against and I think you can fault one member of the line on one of the goals and he’s the best player on the planet. Sometimes hockey bites you in the ass.

Bottom line on the first line: Four points for McDavid, three points for Nuge but the five on five numbers are an issue and coach Tippett needs to find an answer. Nuge made a gorgeous defensive play early, deflecting the puck, but there were too many sorties to defend because Edmonton wasn’t taking care of the puck. If Nuge isn’t the answer to this line’s problems, there isn’t one on the roster.

McDavid’s Corsi against Chicago’s centers: Kampf (6-10 in 8:04), Strome (3-6 in 3:46), Toews (0-5 in 2:13), Dach (2-4 in 2:48). With respect to those four men, this cannot stand, man. Even understanding many of McDavid’s sorties are one and done with the possibility of the puck heading the other way, the Oilers have to figure this out.

Line 2 five on five: Tyler Ennis-Leon Draisaitl-Kailer Yamamoto: 10:37, 10-11 Corsi for, 5-7 shots, no goals. The line had a couple of great looks, Yamamoto had an easy chance on a Draisaitl bullet pass but couldn’t catch up to it. Ennis took a nasty looking hit from Drake Cagguila and took a couple of penalties. I like the line, the fact they didn’t score in this game shouldn’t discourage Tippett from rolling them out again. Need more good looks at five on five but they’re in the game.

Line 3 five on five: James Neal-Jujhar Khaira-Alex Chiasson. Played 7:04, 7-3 Corsi, 3-2 shots and no goals. They’re challenged in foot speed but they were moving as a line. Chiasson had a great chance, Neal scored a goal, both on the power play. Khaira made some good passes and played a physical game.

Line 4 five on five: Andreas Athanasiou-Riley Sheahan-Josh Archibald played 5:22, going 4-4 Corsi, 3-3 shots and 0-1 goals. Athanasiou had a goal post and another nice look, for me he had a good game. Archibald had a great chance to score after McDavid’s opener, if wishes were horses beggars would ride.

OILERS BLUE

Oscar Klefbom and Adam Larsson played 12:00 five on five, 5-14 Corsi, 1-11 shots and 0-2 goals. Absolutely hammered by Chicago and were equally lost on the penalty kill. I expect much better, this was a baffling performance by the duo. If Tippett does change something up, a shuffle of the top two pairs might be it. Even giving Chicago credit, Klefbom and Larsson have to be more decisive with the puck and defend better.

Darnell Nurse and Ethan Bear played 16:40 five on five 12-17 Corsi, 7-9 shots and 0-1 goals. Normally a strong pairing for the McDavid trio, these two struggled. I wonder if we see a shuffle. Like the top pair, need to be quicker.

Kris Russell and Matt Benning played 9:34 five on five, going 12-9 Corsi, 6-5 shots and 0-0 goals. I thought the duo played well, Russell even had a good look via a Leon touch pass. Benning is skating very well.

GOALIES

Mike Smith had a bad game. He stopped 18 of 23 (.783) and according to NST allowed two High Danger, two Middle Danger and one Low Danger goal. That’s about right, meaning the goalie would like three of those goal back (I counted two but am notoriously easy on goaltenders). I don’t blame Smith. He was the second best option available.

Mikko Koskinen stopped 17 of 18 (.944) with the one goal against judged a High Danger chance. He may not win Game 2, the Oilers are not playing well, but Koskinen gives Edmonton its best chance to win on Monday.

DRAKE CAGGIULA

Caggiula will have a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety on Sunday for an illegal check to the head of Oilers forward Tyler Ennis that occurred in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Qualifiers. I thought it was over the line at the time and it could have had an impact on the game (Ennis was penalized). That said, I’ve learned long ago not to make predictions about fines or suspensions from the NHL. I’ll hope Ennis doesn’t get five games and brace myself for the actual decision.

MONDAY GAME

We don’t know about injuries, so the only obvious change from Game 1 will be Mikko Koskinen as starter. I doubt Jones will draw in over Russell, and it feels early for Haas or Nygard although I’m onboard for either getting a shot. I expect these Oilers to be far better on Monday.

written by

The author didn‘t add any Information to his profile yet.
Related Posts

219 Responses to "Blue, Red and Grey"

Newer Comments »
  1. Clarkenstein says:

    Tip outthunk himself on the starting goalie. Smith has a good series for him against CHI many years ago and he let that cloud his thinking. He doesn’t usually do things like that. I doubt Scotty Bowman ever allowed something like that to happen and he has more rings than fingers. Losing Game 1 now means having to win 3 out of 4… against a team you’ve only won 1 of 4 against this year. This might slow down many local commentators (and fans) who bristled at the suggestion the Hawks would win even one game in this series. One person who should know better said the Oil were better in every department. Wow. Remember the Oil won 36 games this year, the Hawks 30. This just got interesting.

  2. oilersjo says:

    Way to much time to read their press clippings,blogs and podcasts. They better be a little bit more nasty. Tell Kassien he does not suit a tutu.

  3. ashley says:

    This is great analysis. I think you see the game well and avoid the simplistic analysis of many fans “Oilers sucked, didn’t put in enough effort”

    There were major structural problems with the team in that game that need to be corrected.

    The Hawks scored 6, but could have had 12 without some nice saves. Very few teams win games with 6 goals against. That has to be the focus. This team doesn’t struggle with scoring.

    Klefbom is always a bit of an adventure in his own end. He seems to struggle reading the play and where the open man is going to get the puck. Larsson usually has his back which is why they make such a nice pair, but Larsson was having the same problems yesterday which made for ghastly opportunities for the Hawks. The forwards were no help, particularly McDavid’s line. This is not unuusal, but I think in the playoffs Tippett has to ask these guys to have a more defensive mindset: Get back…all the way back not just the blue line. And it’s not enough to just get back. Look around, read the play, cover your man.

    The easy blame is the goalie and has been since the dawn of hockey. This is part on goaltending, but this game was winnable even with a leaky goal if they had come out to play with proper defensive structure.

    Stanley Cup teams don’t play loose. Stanley cup winning teams don’t allow 6 goals against.

  4. dustrock says:

    I said enough last night but that was worse than I was expecting. As soon as I saw Smith feeling I had the old Star Wars bad feeling.

    Think Chicago watched a lot of video against our D. I’d have to stomach watching it again to be sure but looked to me like they were targeting Larsson and Nurse on dump-ins and forechecking like demons.

    Felt like we were playing against Vegas there.

  5. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    Great synopsis LT. Your calmness in these situations helps me with the emotional roller coaster this team continuously puts me on!

    I really hope we can look back at this game and chalk it up to nerves and inexperience.
    BUT I wonder why and how there could be such chaos and lack of intensity for this game???
    ALL these players have played BIG games in their careers; they should know by now what it takes to be ready. It baffles my mind that they can be hoping their entire playing lives to get a chance to the be in the Stanley Cup playoffs and then play so poorly. I can understand a few players having an off game, but that was about 80% of the players on the Oilers yesterday.

    Credit to the Hawks. They played a good team game. I hope the Oilers can re-group and play solid, hard working (if not desperate) hockey on Monday.

  6. dustrock says:

    ashley,

    Yeah I mean Chicago had a chance like 10 seconds into the game. So much time in the slot for them, so many easy looks. So much Kubalik.

  7. Bryan says:

    It’s almost comical to read the reviews of the Oilers after that game. Obviously they were a mess and played a stinker at the worst possible time but it’s still one game. Internet experts are back to calling them a two player team with a beer league defence and no goaltending. Apparently McDavid has no personality and is a bad leader. The truth is that no matter how disappointing it was it was still one game. There is plenty of time to make people forget about that performance if they play the way they are capable of doing. Surely Tippett is done with his Smith crush now as starting him was a head scratcher and leaving him as long as he did was the first time I have had serious issues with the coach. The other part of it is that Chicago is a pretty good club with Captain Serious leading the way. I have heard him be accused of being bland as well but the truth is that he is a many time champion and wonderful captain. The Blackhawks are deeper on forward talent but their defence looks quite vulnerable if they get much pressure. Crawford certainly didn’t look unbeatable. The next game will be a big test for the Oilers. My hope is that with Koskinen in net everyone will calm down and play like they can.

  8. Woogie63 says:

    Chicago played well, I trust the Oiler’s better understand the standard to win in August :).

  9. dustrock says:

    I believe there is a decent chance Smith starts Game 2.

  10. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    On another note: Someone in the NHL has to end Matthew Tkachuck’s career before he ruins several others.

  11. Bryan says:

    dustrock:
    I believe there is a decent chance Smith starts Game 2.

    I would be beyond shocked if that were to happen.

  12. dustrock says:

    Has Kassian shown up for a single game since he signed his extension? Help us, Jesse Puljujarvi. You’re our only hope.

  13. Material Elvis says:

    ashley:
    This is great analysis.I think you see the game well and avoid the simplistic analysis of many fans “Oilers sucked, didn’t put in enough effort”

    There were major structural problems with the team in that game that need to be corrected.

    The Hawks scored 6, but could have had 12 without some nice saves.Very few teams win games with 6 goals against.That has to be the focus.This team doesn’t struggle with scoring.

    Klefbom is always a bit of an adventure in his own end.He seems to struggle reading the play and where the open man is going to get the puck.Larsson usually has his back which is why they make such a nice pair, but Larsson was having the same problems yesterday which made for ghastly opportunities for the Hawks.The forwards were no help, particularly McDavid’s line.This is not unuusal, but I think in the playoffs Tippett has to ask these guys to have a more defensive mindset:Get back…all the way back not just the blue line.And it’s not enough to just get back.Look around, read the play, cover your man.

    The easy blame is the goalie and has been since the dawn of hockey.This is part on goaltending, but this game was winnable even with a leaky goal if they had come out to play with proper defensive structure.

    Stanley Cup teams don’t play loose.Stanley cup winning teams don’t allow 6 goals against.

    Actually, St.Louis lost 6-3 in round one to the Jets, lost 6-3 in round three to the Sharks, and lost 7-2 in the Cup final to the Bruins.

  14. Material Elvis says:

    dustrock:
    I believe there is a decent chance Smith starts Game 2.

    That’s a bet that even HH would take.

  15. innercitysmytty says:

    ashley,

    All true but there have been many Stanley winners that have had a stinker at some point during their run. Problem here is with a 5 game series there is little room for error. I have to say, in a lot of ways I’d rather lose like this than play a perfect game and still lose. This team can and will be much better, combined with better tending it’s not a stretch to say we can win 3 out of 4. Win the next one and it’s back to being a blank slate.

  16. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    dustrock:
    I believe there is a decent chance Smith starts Game 2.

    What Tippett was looking for (hoping for) in playing Smith (NHL play-off experience, veteran calmness), did not materialize. In fact, things worked out the opposite. He took the higher risk option of the two.
    I am not a Smith (or Tipp!) hater, but “you can’t be fond of living the past, cause if you are then there’s no way that you’re going to last” (Thanks Gord!). All eye and numerical data this past year show who the better goalie is. All year Smith has been slower and deeper in his net. His big performances came from hail-Mary type saves, not from sound positioning. Goalies in their prime make tough save look easy, Smiths’ saves mostly look like he is flailing because he is not in the best position to make the saves. Unfortunately Father Time spares no one. I am pretty sure this will be his last year playing in the NHL.
    I am going to give Tipp a mulligan here because he is a good coach, but he has to think with his brain, not his heart or gut. I hope he has learned this lesson.

  17. tileguy says:

    Smith gaff instantly killed the momentum.

  18. cowboy bill says:

    Chicago owned the puck the whole game . If Edmonton doesn’t have the puck they can’t score . I saw it in the Calgary game too . But the Smith & Koskinen tandem were solid . Right after the first goal scored on Smith I was thinking he had to be pulled . But Tip left him in for 5 more goals against . Now the stage is set for the big Finn .

    Oilers are going to lose this series if they allow the Hawks to control the puck they have to take the puck from them and go on the offensive . Give the Hawks some of their own medicine . The best defense is a great offense and the Oilers have that in spades .

  19. norm_klassen says:

    need to get rnh back with drai.
    they need that line going McDavid will get his PP points!

  20. SkatinginSand says:

    dustrock,

    I am hoping that Tippett’s post game comments on Smith were simply not throwing him under the bus, but I am concerned that they were not.
    I am not excusing the team’s putrid play, but Smith was one of the worst. Excepting for Toews second, where he had no chance, and the first against, on every goal he was deep in his crease. He could probably be forgiven the deflection goal, but that leaves three goals, that if he were 2 feet further out, the puck would have hit him in the shoulder, even in a butterfly. Positioning is a thing, and it is vital for a goaltender to make a save. Smith simply does not have the ability any more to get into position to make life easy for himself. A prominent goalie coach once said that a perfect goalie game is when every puck hits him squarely in the chest.
    edit-What Gordie said.

  21. flea says:

    Oilers sure know how to crush a fan base, no hockey in months, first meaningful game in Edmonton and they shit the bed. Games over at the 10 min mark of the first.

    I’m not sure what’s worse – losing a close game that the team is in the whole way or losing like this.

    My only thought is – can Chicago sustain? Or was this a one off performance? They were uneven in the final frame, even though they were up big.

    I’ve thought all year Tipp has done a good job getting an even, sustainable performance out of the team, but they were prone to the odd stinker. No time to slump here, they need to be a different team tomorrow.

    If they can break Chicago’s forecheck, they will create chances and create doubt in Chicago’s mind. I thought the defence wasn’t patient enough with the puck yesterday – throwing it away when there is pressure. Read the forecheck and load the weak side, start breaking out clean and the worm will turn.

  22. leadfarmer says:

    Looks like TkaCooke single handedly won the series very early on.
    Hope Scheiffele can recover by next season

  23. hunter1909 says:

    Fortunate to miss the 1st period and nearly broke my ankle jumping off the Oilers bandwagon.

  24. hunter1909 says:

    Toews + Kane and their 3 Cups team smell blood of the press clippings err Oilers.

    McDavids getting roasted LOL only a 4 point night he obviously fell short by 3 points.

    Caggiula’s revenge is expected. At least he had the decency to attack a lower status opponent to make his statement.

  25. The Trade Guy says:

    hunter1909:
    Fortunate to miss the 1st period and nearly broke my ankle jumping off the Oilers bandwagon.

    I already broke my foot irl, so i just sorta gingerly rolled off the wagon, into the ditch

  26. tileguy says:

    hunter1909,

    I imagine the ol death march has a lot of new entrants predicting one or two Oiler wins. Should of left the cutoff where it was.

  27. Brantford Boy says:

    LT: “Credit to Chicago. They are a team in transition but they have enough impact players to be a major concern, a bigger concern than most observers (myself included) thought before Saturday.”

    As I said a few days ago, this team should not be taken lightly, but I still believe we will all sigh a big relief next Saturday (same prediction).

    The league needs to address Tkachuk, not leave it in the players or referees hands any longer… professional hockey players DO NOT stop while raising their skate blade into the boards. Scheifele achilles is done, possibly ending a great players career, absolutely disgusting… even for a filthy Fk’er like him.

  28. OriginalPouzar says:

    Home from the gym at 10 am on a Sunday morning and already over 30 comments – Oilers must have had a tough day yesterday……..

    Oh well, its just one game – yup, its a best of 5 so game 2 is clearly magnified and raised in importance but the series is far from over and I anticipate and expect a much better effort and performance tomorrow night.

    Mikko has looked good since camp started and he should inspire confidence.

    The top two lines were terrible at evens and the Oilers scored 4 goals – a positive.

    The PK has to, and will be, better.

    Coach T has to, and will be, better.

    Lets do This!

  29. Kraz says:

    leadfarmer:
    Looks like TkaCooke single handedly won the series very early on.
    HopeScheiffele can recover by next season

    One of the most frustrating parts of all this was how the refs could of easily prevented this. From the first shift it was obvious Tkachuk was out there to target Scheifele. He blatantly hit Scheifele from behind when he was nowhere near the puck. How the refs didn’t call that was baffling.

    Anyways Tkachuk is a POS and how anyone can give him the benefit of the doubt is beyond me. He is slowly losing respect from everyone in the league especially the stars. He is playing a dangerous game and I can’t wait for the day when he finally gets what he deserves.

  30. Silver Streak says:

    GordieHoweHatTrick:
    On another note: Someone in the NHL has to end Matthew Tkachuck’s career before he ruins several others.

    Tkachuk has zero respect for the opposition….ZERO. Maurice`s Post game comments where right on the mark…Tkachuk lifted his right skate off the ice and aimed it at Scheifele`s left leg….with speed added this has the same effect as a kick. Throughout his entire career he has shown no regard for his deliberate intent to injure actions…..Caguila will meet the sheriff today, and they let this guy off again ??
    I continue to wait for someone to extract retribution…

  31. Ryan says:

    flea,

    It’s tough. That first goal was an absolute back breaker that shifted momentum.

    I didn’t read any game previews and started watching a minute into the game.

    My first reaction was “Oh shit, he actually started Smith in net.”

    Smith was predictably a poor decision as he even looked shaky against Calgary.

    I was never headed to the NHL, but I played on rep teams growing up. I can recall teams wilting under a bad goal against with a poor goalie in net. There’s some psychology with that.

    I became more disappointed with Tippett when he did the old timey, “I’m keeping Smith in because, I’m blaming the team and not hanging these four goals against on my guy Smith.”

    That was a curious, stubborn, and unfortunate decision.

    Smith played deep in his net, didn’t read plays and his lateral movement is worse than I remember.

    Truly baffling decision…

    I’m a Tippett guy, buy the Smith decision(s) as well as not getting clean air for the McDavid line were unfortunate decisions.

    Tippett was badly out coached.

    Kassian has always been poor defensively. I’ve already spent hours arguing others here on his value on the line.

    I was optimistic about AA when we acquired him. So far, he’s like a Hall-esque blue line turnover machine without the offensive upside which is why he played the least minutes on the team.

    Two second rounders for him looks like a bad trade at this point.

    Watching AA, it’s hard to believe he’s ever scored 15 NHL goals in a season let alone 30.

    Larson and Klefbomb were garbage.

    Other than the obvious with starting Koskinen, it’s hard to know where to go from here.

    I would put Nuge back on the Draisatl line as he’s sort of wasted with 97 at 5v5.

    I would possibly try Ennis if he’s healthy or even AA at this point with 97 and Kassian and make it a soft minutes line looking for clean air and little defensive responsibility.

    Then you need to cobble together a shut down line to play against one of Chicago’s top two lines when the Drai line is on the bench.

    The Khaira line is way too slow.

    Maybe Haas – Sheahan – Archibald

  32. TL1977 says:

    Thanks LT. Look forward to your words Afters game like that to help frame and inform my thinking on the situation. There were many things that didn’t go well but biggest concern for me was how poorly Klefbom and Larson played there role. Can’t have not of your top pairing be that ineffective. Hoping for a much better game 2.

  33. Ryan says:

    leadfarmer:
    Looks like TkaCooke single handedly won the series very early on.
    HopeScheiffele can recover by next season

    Tkachuk really does seem to be a psychopath.

    Like Matt Cooke, there’s really no solution with him other than getting him out of the game.

    It’s unfortunate that with his history that he always gets the benefit of the doubt with these incidents.

  34. Harpers Hair says:

    Ryan:
    flea,

    It’s tough. That first goal was an absolute back breaker that shifted momentum.

    I didn’t read any game previews and started watching a minute into the game.

    My first reaction was “Oh shit, he actually started Smith in net.”

    Smith was predictably a poor decision as he even looked shaky against Calgary.

    I was never headed to the NHL, but I played on rep teams growing up. I can recall teams wilting under a bad goal against with a poor goalie in net. There’s some psychology with that.

    I became more disappointed with Tippett when he did the old timey, “I’m keeping Smith in because, I’m blaming the team and not hanging these four goals against on my guy Smith.”

    That was a curious, stubborn, and unfortunate decision.

    Smith played deep in his net, didn’t read plays and his lateral movement is worse than I remember.

    Truly baffling decision…

    I’m a Tippett guy, buy the Smith decision(s) as well as not getting clean air for the McDavid line were unfortunate decisions.

    Tippett was badly out coached.

    Kassian has always been poor defensively. I’ve already spent hours arguing others here on his value on the line.

    I was optimistic about AA when we acquired him. So far, he’s like a Hall-esque blue line turnover machine without the offensive upside which is why he played the least minutes on the team.

    Two second rounders for him looks like a bad trade at this point.

    Watching AA, it’s hard to believe he’s ever scored 15 NHL goals in a season let alone 30.

    Larson and Klefbomb were garbage.

    Other than the obvious with starting Koskinen, it’s hard to know where to go from here.

    I would put Nuge back on the Draisatl line as he’s sort of wasted with 97 at 5v5.

    I would possibly try Ennis if he’s healthy or even AA at this point with 97 and Kassian and make it a soft minutes line looking for clean air and little defensive responsibility.

    Then you need to cobble together a shut down line to play against one of Chicago’stop two lines when the Drai line is on the bench.

    The Khaira line is way too slow.

    Maybe Haas – Sheahan – Archibald

    Not sure why you think McDavid didn’t have “clean air”.

    As you can see from LTs summary above, McDavid spent the most time going up against Kamphs line.

  35. Lowetide says:

    Harpers Hair: Not sure why you think McDavid didn’t have “clean air”.

    As you can see from LTs summary above, McDavid spent the most time going up against Kamphs line.

    I’ve written about this before, but Kampf is a fine defensive center. He was used heavily and effectively against McDavid during the season.

  36. Alpine says:

    We can say what we want about Chicago being secretly good or whatever but the reality is that they have finished behind us twice in the last three years and were not gonna make the playoffs this year.

    They are one of two or three worst teams involved in the qualifying rounds and they made us look like mugs. They shouldn’t even be involved and Oilers v Stars should be a locked in 4v5 seed matchup but that’s a whole other thing.

    Winning three of four is a tall ask and I worry that the pressure of winning game 2 is too much for this team after how they deflated yesterday. We don’t have the forward depth to go far anyways.

  37. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – I’m willing to give Tipp and Holland a bogey on the Smith start

    – We have two of the best players In the league

    – Starring Smith is one of those tells that management though isn’t amongst the best in the league

    – Holland is the best GM weve had in a long time: but he’s not great: hired a bunch guys from his old team, picked up a bunch of guys from his old team. Not innovative

    – Tipp: old school coach trust his guy despite all the math and evidence. His reasoning was : well smith started season hot and team won 5 in a row” what old school nonesense that ignores data and facts.

    – Organization is now meh which is an improvement, and GM in charge. They just aren’t as good at their jobs as the best players on the team are at theirs.

  38. murphy says:

    Time for Tipp to stop overthinking it and go with what worked this year, he tracks shot metrics.

    Ennis-Mcdavid-Neal (looks revived)
    Nuge-Leon-Yamo (don’t mess with perfect)
    Arch-Sheahan-Kassian (worked well together)
    AA-Haas-Chiasson (double shift Mcdavid here throughout)

    Klefbom-Larsson
    Nurse-Bear
    Jones(if healthy)-Benning

    Koskinen

  39. Bondo11 says:

    Brantford Boy:
    LT: “Credit to Chicago. They are a team in transition but they have enough impact players to be a major concern, a bigger concern than most observers (myself included) thought before Saturday.”

    As I said a few days ago, this team should not be taken lightly, but I still believe we will all sigh a big relief next Saturday (same prediction).

    The league needs to address Tkachuk, not leave it in the players or referees hands any longer… professional hockey players DO NOT stop while raising their skate blade into the boards.Scheifele achilles is done, possibly ending a great players career, absolutely disgusting… even for a filthy Fk’er like him.

    Louie said on the broadcast last night that it appeared that Scheifele’s toe of his skate hit the boards first, which caused his leg to torque and knee to hyperextend sideways. When I watched the replay few times, that how it looked to me as well. Hopefully it’s just the knee and no damage to his ankle/achilles.

    Tkachuk is still a POS for lifting his skate at the last second. Looked to me that he knew exactly what he was trying to accomplish.

  40. Harpers Hair says:

    Lowetide: I’ve written about this before, but Kampf is a fine defensive center. He was used heavily and effectively against McDavid during the season.

    So, what option would create clean air?

    Toews, Strome or Dach?

    Seems to me the most optimal match up might be Dach but he’s no slouch.

  41. Dee Dee says:

    Oilers would have lost the last game with either Goalie in net, they didn’t show up to play.
    The Blackhawks kicked sand in their faces and stole their girlfriends. I don’t think I saw an Oiler hit a Hawk until the 3rd period.

    When Drake Caggiula is mugging your team you know you have a problem.

    Bandwagon jumpers exit out the left in an orderly fashion please. The team will show up for game 2.

  42. Bondo11 says:

    murphy:
    Time for Tipp to stop overthinking it and go with what worked this year, he tracks shot metrics.

    Ennis-Mcdavid-Neal (looks revived)
    Nuge-Leon-Yamo (don’t mess with perfect)
    Arch-Sheahan-Kassian (worked well together)
    AA-Haas-Chiasson (double shift Mcdavid here throughout)

    Klefbom-Larsson
    Nurse-Bear
    Jones(if healthy)-Benning

    Koskinen

    I’d go with your lineup. The Oilers need to forecheck the way Chicago has, to create turnovers and pressure their D.

    If Kassian shits the bed again, I’d replace him with Russell for gm 3.

  43. Lowetide says:

    Harpers Hair: So, what option would create clean air?

    Toews, Strome or Dach?

    Seems to me the most optimal match up might be Dach but he’s no slouch.

    In yesterday’s game, I think it was as much about what Edmonton’s top line wasn’t doing as anything. If McDavid is defending and not transporting, it’s not going to work.

  44. flyfish1168 says:

    Kraz: One of the most frustrating parts of all this was how the refs could of easily prevented this. From the first shift it was obvious Tkachuk was out there to target Scheifele. He blatantly hit Scheifele from behind when he was nowhere near the puck. How the refs didn’t call that was baffling.

    Anyways Tkachuk is a POS and how anyone can give him the benefit of the doubt is beyond me. He is slowly losing respect from everyone in the league especially the stars. He is playing a dangerous game and I can’t wait for the day when he finally gets what he deserves.

    I hate to see any players get hurt. But he has done enough dangerous plays that I wouldn’t blink and eye when someone takes him out. Bottom line NHL doesn’t punish slew footing and its time someone does it back to him and more.

  45. flyfish1168 says:

    Adrian Dater memory is short or maybe he has never met Steve Yzerman. One of the most quiet unassuming players you can meet or see in an interview. I was told you wouldn’t know he was in the dressing room until after looking at the game sheets and highlight reels. Many ways to lead and inspire your team.

  46. buck yoakam says:

    I have a feeling that we will see the turtle doing his best to avoid retribution and if yyc wins another his head is on a spit for any jet willing to have some fun…I don’t think its right to wish ill of anyone but someone somewhere somehow is going to make him pay for his absolute recklessness and lack of respect and I personally will applaud. I still have faith in our lads and we hopefully will see a 100% effort from all the oilers monday…thats truly all we can ask. Shake it off dudes!

  47. deardylan says:

    Tkachuk repeated dangerous antics reminds me of the Scorpion and Frog fable.

    The scorpion asks a frog to take him across the pond.

    Never! You will sting me and I will die.

    I promise I won’t. I also do not want to die.

    Frog feels he is sincere and takes him.

    Halfway across pond, the scorpion stings the frog unleashing all its venom into the frog. As the frog starts to lose consciousness the frog asks “why did you doom both of us?”

    Scorpion says… Its my nature.

    Everytime Tkachuk plays against Oilers, I am worried about McDavids career. Now I am worried about every other superstars safety.

  48. leadfarmer says:

    The character assassinations against McDavid are truly something.
    Because hockey players are so well known for their outspoken personality and outspoken personalities are so well liked in the NHL
    If only Crosby and Gretzky could have Jordaned himself a championship

  49. dustrock says:

    Harpers Hair: So, what option would create clean air?

    Toews, Strome or Dach?

    Seems to me the most optimal match up might be Dach but he’s no slouch.

    If McDavid is the best player in the world, it shouldn’t matter.

  50. dustrock says:

    Feel for Jets fans. The NHL hasn’t ever cared about protecting its star players and they sure aren’t going to start now.

    They should suspend Tkachuk for an entire year but I doubt they’ll even review it

  51. leadfarmer says:

    dustrock: If McDavid is the best player in the world, it shouldn’t matter.

    The team just didn’t show up from the first whistle
    It was one team that was clearly ready to play vs a team that was in preseason mode
    Hope they wake up quickly
    Both 12 seeds are up 1-0. By letting teams in that they shouldn’t the league created a no pressure situation which allowed them to play freely

  52. ashley says:

    SkatinginSand,

    I think both goalies are good and bad in their own way. Both are above average and we can be comfortable with either in net.

    The problem with the giveaway goal is that there is so much work that goes into scoring and preventing goals. To just give one away takes all the wind out of a team’s sails. And it affects everyone’s confidence. Teams need to play with an edge. That edge comes from knowing the GK is there to make the easy saves and right plays. When he doesn’t, it makes everyone nervous. It can’t happen in the playoffs.

    The only other goal I thought he had a chance on was the shot under the bar that he seemed to struggle with how to handle. He sort of flailed at it as it went over his shoulder. It was close in, but we’ve seen him make that save. Credit for a nice shot.

    The other ones were defensive breakdowns or tips that can’t possibly be laid entirely at the feet of the GK’s.

    Smith plays unconventional but is quick, athletic, and has great anticipation and can scramble. He tracks the puck really well.

    Koskinen doesn’t track the puck well which is his major weakness. He squares himself and when he loses it, he hopes it hits him and reacts after which is why we see some weird ones go in on him. “Why didn’t he move or react to that one that went straight in?” He’s quick when he sees the puck and pretty athletic though doesn’t have the rapid side push that Smith has. He’s bigger from his knees that helps a lot with the high shots.

    I like them both, but in different ways. I’m comfortable with either as the starter, but if I were coach, I would bet on Smith having a much better game on Monday. If they are going to make a run, they are going to need him and putting him right back in there after an egregious error/giveaway goal would be my call rather than letting him ice up on the bench.

  53. Brantford Boy says:

    Bondo11,

    I hear you, and I heard what Louie was saying while watching the replay repeatedly. I see it another way. Since my earlier post I’ve watched Maurice’s post game comments. I’ll simply say the coach used the exact words I did without having seen or read anything (filthy/disgusting) previously and he specifically mentioned the achilles while adding the blue line camera that we can’t see shows this more accurately. Either way the end result is probably a achilles, fibula or tibia injury or some combination to a great player from some guy who ‘plays on the edge’, way to go NHL.

  54. ashley says:

    Material Elvis: Actually, St.Louis lost 6-3 in round one to the Jets, lost 6-3 in round three to the Sharks, and lost 7-2 in the Cup final to the Bruins.

    Come on, you know what I mean. Do we really have to write our comments knowing that someone is going to take any little sentence out of context, do some google searching so they can delight in saying “you’re wrong” to someone on the internet?

    Stanley cup teams don’t regularly allow 6 goals against. The playoffs are a defensive grind for the successful teams. Edmonton needs to change their mindset for game 2.

  55. JimmyV1965 says:

    Seems like the knives are out for Holland and Tipp – after one stinker of a game. Weird.

  56. ashley says:

    Dee Dee:
    Oilers would have lost the last game with either Goalie in net, they didn’t show up to play.
    The Blackhawks kicked sand in their faces and stole their girlfriends. I don’t think I saw an Oiler hit a Hawk until the 3rd period.

    When Drake Caggiula is mugging your team you know you have a problem.

    Bandwagon jumpers exit out the left in an orderly fashion please. The team will show up for game 2.

    Yes exactly right. Blaming the goalie is superficial and only excuses the team and makes it difficult to address the deeper problems. I’ve always thought save percentage should be a team stat. Of all fans, Oilers should know this having seen many “bad” goalies leave our team to become “good” goalies on a another.

    This was a team loss.

  57. godot10 says:

    Lowetide: In yesterday’s game, I think it was as much about what Edmonton’s top line wasn’t doing as anything. If McDavid is defending and not transporting, it’s not going to work.

    McDavid was defending because Kassian was doing eff all.

  58. deardylan says:

    “On February 9, 2011, Cooke was given a four-game suspension for a hit from behind on Columbus Blue Jackets’ defenceman Fedor Tyutin Cooke apologized for the hit. “I realize and understand, more so now than ever, that I need to change.”

    “In February 2013, Cooke was involved in an incident with the Ottawa Senators in which Erik Karlsson’s achilles tendon was cut by Cooke’s skate as the two made contact along the boards.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matt_Cooke

    Hope Flames, NHL and Tkachuk admit and then DO something so it actually changes.

  59. digger50 says:

    Smith is a big, surly sob and a leader in the room. It’s not all Tippit. Smith had support despite the math. That has changed now.

    Here’s a tip for Oilers “pick up your man”. Chicago open all night at will. Oilers covered.

    A lower caliber player can beat a higher caliber player if he plays with enough intensity. We had one player who brought intensity to match Chicago’s and that was Archibald.

    Kassian “I’m here to score “. “No Zack, you are here to run over players, particularly rookies and terrify the defence” “ then Conner will bank it off you for the good – roger?”

    The way to beat that speed is quick zone exit’s, crisp passes and trap those firche nerds.

    Edit: I guess forecheckers auto corrects to firche nerds. That’s okay to.

  60. ashley says:

    Ryan:
    flea,

    It’s tough. That first goal was an absolute back breaker that shifted momentum.

    I didn’t read any game previews and started watching a minute into the game.

    My first reaction was “Oh shit, he actually started Smith in net.”

    Smith was predictably a poor decision as he even looked shaky against Calgary.

    I was never headed to the NHL, but I played on rep teams growing up. I can recall teams wilting under a bad goal against with a poor goalie in net. There’s some psychology with that.

    I became more disappointed with Tippett when he did the old timey, “I’m keeping Smith in because, I’m blaming the team and not hanging these four goals against on my guy Smith.”

    That was a curious, stubborn, and unfortunate decision.

    Smith played deep in his net, didn’t read plays and his lateral movement is worse than I remember.

    Truly baffling decision…

    I’m a Tippett guy, buy the Smith decision(s) as well as not getting clean air for the McDavid line were unfortunate decisions.

    Tippett was badly out coached.

    Kassian has always been poor defensively. I’ve already spent hours arguing others here on his value on the line.

    I was optimistic about AA when we acquired him. So far, he’s like a Hall-esque blue line turnover machine without the offensive upside which is why he played the least minutes on the team.

    Two second rounders for him looks like a bad trade at this point.

    Watching AA, it’s hard to believe he’s ever scored 15 NHL goals in a season let alone 30.

    Larson and Klefbomb were garbage.

    Other than the obvious with starting Koskinen, it’s hard to know where to go from here.

    I would put Nuge back on the Draisatl line as he’s sort of wasted with 97 at 5v5.

    I would possibly try Ennis if he’s healthy or even AA at this point with 97 and Kassian and make it a soft minutes line looking for clean air and little defensive responsibility.

    Then you need to cobble together a shut down line to play against one of Chicago’stop two lines when the Drai line is on the bench.

    The Khaira line is way too slow.

    Maybe Haas – Sheahan – Archibald

    Not baffling at all. Tippett is a great coach and I’m surprised to see so many throw him under the bus after this game. I don’t think we will win many games during this playoff run by blaming the goalies. He knows that. Every player must reflect, learn and be better. Blaming the goalie excuses them from this exercise.

  61. godot10 says:

    Jean Beliveau, Gordie Howe, Bobby Orr were all extremely soft spoken guys.

    Even Gretzky, Lemieux, and Crosby.

  62. ashley says:

    We are still the better team of these two, but we have our work cut out for us.

    The danger at this point is that the defensively addled Chicago team sees a window to an upset and tries to stifle their way through this series with Jacques Lemaire trap hockey. Then the outcome is 1-0 or 2-1 games that are left more to chance than skill and structure.

    To prevent this from sinking us, we badly need the refs to call all penalties, especially interference away from the puck. If they swallow their whistles, we could be in trouble having spotted CHI the first game.

  63. digger50 says:

    Actually I didn’t think much of the Calgary game. Oilers also outworked a large portion of the game. But we hurried the puck, won the chances and won the same so not much was said.

    It’s worrisome.

    But not insurmountable.

  64. hunter1909 says:

    godot10: Gordie Howe

    Howe had the opposition so scared they would have to ask permission just to skate next to him.

  65. hunter1909 says:

    ashley: The danger at this point is that the defensively addled Chicago team sees a window to an upset and tries to stifle their way through this series with Jacques Lemaire trap hockey.

    In that case we can expect them to do just that.

    Hawks aren’t in Edmonton to collect flowers, and participation medals.

  66. Buddy says:

    Not a great game, for sure, but a good effort and a win tomorrow and we’ll forget about it.

    Definite causes for hope for next game:

    1. PP picked up right where it left off
    2. McDavid didn’t play remotely up to his own standard, despite the points. He will be flying tomorrow.

    Possible causes for hope

    3. Klefbom should be better. One should hope the same about Nurse and Larson, though I say that with less confidence.
    4. I’d really like to think Tippett got his Smith thing out of his system. On the other hand, he might go back to him for the same reason he played him yesterday: coach plays a hunch that his veteran goalie will have a massive bounce-back game, because competitive fire, success against the Hawks ten years ago, battler, fighter … (losing will to type more)

    Not a ton of cause for hope:

    5. I’d like to think Kassian will be better, because he couldn’t possibly play any worse, but we all know that’s not true.
    6. I’m not sure why Athanasiou wasn’t in the line-up yesterday. Oh wait…

  67. leadfarmer says:

    That’s why I hated the plan to play both goalies in this series
    Pick your guy and go with him
    Now I think Tipp picked wrong
    but you need to pick a guy and show faith in him

  68. leadfarmer says:

    ashley:
    We are still the better team of these two, but we have our work cut out for us.

    The danger at this point is that the defensively addled Chicago team sees a window to an upset and tries to stifle their way through this series with Jacques Lemaire trap hockey.Then the outcome is 1-0 or 2-1 games that are left more to chance than skill and structure.

    To prevent this from sinking us, we badly need the refs to call all penalties, especially interference away from the puck.If they swallow their whistles, we could be in trouble having spotted CHI the first game.

    I would actually prefer they did that
    Other than a handful of players we can’t play fast enough
    We are still built for the old slow game

  69. godot10 says:

    hunter1909: Howe had the opposition so scared they would have to ask permission just to skate next to him.

    But he was a soft-spoken guy, polite to a fault.

  70. leadfarmer says:

    Oh look
    Coyotes are schooling Nashville

  71. OriginalPouzar says:

    Bryan:
    It’s almost comical to read the reviews of the Oilers after that game.Obviously they were a mess and played a stinker at the worst possible time but it’s still one game.Internet experts are back to calling them a two player team with a beer league defence and no goaltending.Apparently McDavid has no personality and is a bad leader.The truth is that no matter how disappointingit was it was still one game.There is plenty of time to make people forget about that performance if they play the way they are capable of doing.Surely Tippett is done with his Smith crush now as starting him was a head scratcher and leaving him as long as he did was the first time I have had serious issues with the coach.The other part of it is that Chicago is a pretty good club with Captain Serious leading the way.I have heard him be accused of being bland as well but the truth is that he is a many time champion and wonderful captain.The Blackhawks are deeper on forward talent but their defence looks quite vulnerable if they get much pressure.Crawford certainly didn’t look unbeatable.The next game will be a big test for the Oilers.My hope is that with Koskinen in net everyone will calm down and play like they can.

    I understand why some (many) are over-reacting (at least in my opinion) – that was a truly terrible performance by, not only the team but (a) the starting goalie, (b) the top 6 forwards (generally), (c) the top 4 d-men (generally) and (d) the coach.

    WIth that said, we know Tip is a good coach, we know the better tender will play next game and we know the top 6/top 4 can (and will) be better.

    It was only one game, its magnified because its a short series and we’ve read the stats.

    In 34 hours I expect the series will be tied.

  72. OriginalPouzar says:

    dustrock:
    I believe there is a decent chance Smith starts Game 2.

    I do believe there is a chance, but a small chance, a very small chance.

    I wouldn’t be “shocked” if it happened but certainly would be surprised, disappointed and demoralized.

  73. Munny says:

    leadfarmer: Both 12 seeds are up 1-0. By letting teams in that they shouldn’t the league created a no pressure situation which allowed them to play freely

    With no true home ice advantage for the higher seeds.

  74. OriginalPouzar says:

    dustrock:
    Has Kassian shown up for a single game since he signed his extension? Help us, Jesse Puljujarvi. You’re our only hope.

    I’ve mentioned both of these things, in this context, in another forum.

    Kass’ play last night is really a continuation of his 2020. He has not been good at all in 2020, both pre and post suspensions – and that’s not even taking in to account him costing that game against the flames with his “beat down” penalty.

    He was very good for most of 2019 (this season), not only producing but adding to the line – digging out pucks, making plays, finding Connor with space, etc.

    Thing is, Kass is extremely inconsistent, has been through his Oiler tenure, and, when he’s not playing well but getting top 6 ice time, he’s not only “not helping” but he’s hurting the team as he makes bad mistakes that lead to goals against.

    I’m starting to think its not a great coincidence that his best two stretches as an Oiler have been in contract years, right before an extension is signed…….. his play has dropped off post-signing both times.

    ——————

    Jesse will need to earn the opportunity with his play but hopefully he is an option next year as he is one player in the organization that has top 6RW pedigree – and he’s got some development under his belt.

  75. leadfarmer says:

    hunter1909: Howe had the opposition so scared they would have to ask permission just to skate next to him.

    Hockey players are dull as dishwater
    There’s been a handful that haven’t

  76. leadfarmer says:

    Looks like the predators spent the break drinking at Larson’s house too
    3-0 Bettmans

  77. Munny says:

    ashley: Not baffling at all.Tippett is a great coach and I’m surprised to see so many throw him under the bus after this game.I don’t think we will win many games during this playoff run by blaming the goalies.He knows that.Every player must reflect, learn and be better.Blaming the goalie excuses them from this exercise.

    Agreed. That would have been the equivalent of unnecessarily burning bridges.

    And that first goal was equal parts Smith, Larsson, and Klefbom. They all played it poorly. You expect your team to bail the goalie out when they all have their heads up their asses. Instead give up a powerplay and another goal against.

    Very poor effort by the team all around this game. Plenty of blame for everyone.

  78. leadfarmer says:

    U can’t even pull your starter because they need reps.

  79. leadfarmer says:

    OriginalPouzar: I do believe there is a chance, but a small chance, a very small chance.

    I wouldn’t be “shocked” if it happened but certainly would be surprised, disappointed and demoralized.

    Smith is very competitive
    Tippett probably goes back to him again
    Smith sucks again

  80. Munny says:

    leadfarmer:
    U can’t even pull your starter because they need reps.

    Precisely. If this was a regular playoffs, Smith would’ve been pulled earlier. Certainly wouldn’t have started the 2nd.

  81. OriginalPouzar says:

    Drake suspended for game 2.

    If only there was an Oiler PP on the play (instead of going on the PK, which got scored on).

  82. leadfarmer says:

    I like the 85% or whatever game 1 winners win the best of 5 series stat
    As if this situation has any comparables

  83. Munny says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Drake suspended for game 2.

    If only there was an Oiler PP on the play (instead of going on the PK, which got scored on).

    ,

    You hoped they would also waive the delay-of-game penalty?

  84. Ryan says:

    Stolen quote from the Athletic…

    “There wasn’t any type of matchup, it seemed,” McDavid said, “but we were out there a lot against him, and it wasn’t good enough.”

    Not sure if that’s an inadvertent knock on Tippett or not.

    To my recollection, Tippett likes to use McDavid on drone draws because he’s a rush player and it often leads to scoring chances off the rush.

    Obviously this doesn’t mesh well vs Taves owning the face offs and hemming him in his zone with a defensive liability like Kassian.

    I can’t remember when I read it or where…

    Somewhere over the years, I thought that I came across some sort of analytics piece suggesting that bottom of the roster players are typically as efficient defensively than top six players, but they’re obviously far inferior at producing offense.

    When did we make the jump from d zone shut down lines like Letestube, Kruger or Malhotra to using McDavid’s line to defend against Toews?

  85. Ranford.85 says:

    Munny,

    Haha they wouldn’t waive the delay of game, but a hit to the head should have been 5min penalty and a game misconduct.

  86. Munny says:

    Yotes add a shortie in the 2nd. 4-1. Preds in tough to rescue a win out of this mess.

  87. Munny says:

    Ranford.85:
    Munny,

    Haha they wouldn’t waive the delay of game, but a hit to the head should have been 5min penalty and a game misconduct.

    Oh there’s no doubt Caggiula should’ve been in the box too. But considering there was no penalty on him at all, it’s a bit of leap to think the next step is 5min and a misconduct.

  88. Harpers Hair says:

    Interesting.

    Kevin Kurz (@KKurzNHL) Tweeted:
    Regarding @FriedgeHNIC report yesterday that Joe Thornton could play some games in Switzerland in fall — not that Elliotte needs confirming, but my understanding is that’s true. Joe in Switzerland now with family and plans to start skating again soon. No concrete plans yet, tho

  89. Ryan says:

    leadfarmer:
    I like the 85% or whatever game 1 winners win the best of 5 series stat
    As if this situation has any comparables

    Well, I’m working on being more positive like Original Pouzar.

    At least our odds of drafting Lafreniere (12.5%) are only slightly worse than our odds of winning this series.

  90. OriginalPouzar says:

    leadfarmer: Smith is very competitive
    Tippett probably goes back to him again
    Smith sucks again

    This is the concern – I think its a small concern but I’m not 100% convinced Mikko starts – about 90% though.

  91. Ranford.85 says:

    Munny,

    Definitely a leap from no call to a 5min and game…. but his one game suspension looks like the league stepped in after a missed call by the refs.

  92. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lets not forget, the Oilers played awful at 5 on 5, including (and in particular) the top forwards and d-men and they still scored 4 goals and hit 2 (if not 3) bars.

    The Oilers can, and will, score goals on this Hawks team.

    Presumably they don’t continue to get dominated at evens, give pucks away repeatedly and make consistent positional mistakes in the defensive zone…….

    Go Oilers!

  93. OriginalPouzar says:

    Ryan:
    flea,

    It’s tough. That first goal was an absolute back breaker that shifted momentum.

    I didn’t read any game previews and started watching a minute into the game.

    My first reaction was “Oh shit, he actually started Smith in net.”

    Smith was predictably a poor decision as he even looked shaky against Calgary.

    I was never headed to the NHL, but I played on rep teams growing up. I can recall teams wilting under a bad goal against with a poor goalie in net. There’s some psychology with that.

    I became more disappointed with Tippett when he did the old timey, “I’m keeping Smith in because, I’m blaming the team and not hanging these four goals against on my guy Smith.”

    That was a curious, stubborn, and unfortunate decision.

    Smith played deep in his net, didn’t read plays and his lateral movement is worse than I remember.

    Truly baffling decision…

    I’m a Tippett guy, buy the Smith decision(s) as well as not getting clean air for the McDavid line were unfortunate decisions.

    Tippett was badly out coached.

    Kassian has always been poor defensively. I’ve already spent hours arguing others here on his value on the line.

    I was optimistic about AA when we acquired him. So far, he’s like a Hall-esque blue line turnover machine without the offensive upside which is why he played the least minutes on the team.

    Two second rounders for him looks like a bad trade at this point.

    Watching AA, it’s hard to believe he’s ever scored 15 NHL goals in a season let alone 30.

    Larson and Klefbomb were garbage.

    Other than the obvious with starting Koskinen, it’s hard to know where to go from here.

    I would put Nuge back on the Draisatl line as he’s sort of wasted with 97 at 5v5.

    I would possibly try Ennis if he’s healthy or even AA at this point with 97 and Kassian and make it a soft minutes line looking for clean air and little defensive responsibility.

    Then you need to cobble together a shut down line to play against one of Chicago’stop two lines when the Drai line is on the bench.

    The Khaira line is way too slow.

    Maybe Haas – Sheahan – Archibald

    I agree with lots of this.

    Of course, the team was garbage in front of Smith all game long but that first massive mistake did indeed shift momentum. Don’t get me wrong, the Oilers were already playing poorly at the time (giveaways, bad pinches, etc.) but they were up 1-0 and had just hit the post and the Hawks were likely reeling.

    That first goal did indeed change the momentum.

    ————-

    With respect to that heavy line being too slow – yes, absolutely, they are not a burner line but, at the end of the day, they were the best 5 on 5 line yesterday afternoon – the only line that spent a decent amount of time in the offensive zone and they also hit a post and came close. I can’t say who they were matched up against.

    As far as Haas as 3LW – I would think about Nygard there as he some success with those two during the regular season. With that said, if you are looking for a “shut down line”, Haas is the better defensive player.

    One wild card, which won’t happen I’m sure, is Nygard at 1LW – he had fantastic numbers with McDavid this year – only 53 minutes but positive possession and 6-2 in goals. Take away the 3 minutes with Drai and they were 50 minutes and 6-1 in goals.

    Can’t see that happening though.

  94. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    ashley:
    SkatinginSand,

    I think both goalies are good and bad in their own way.Both are above average and we can be comfortable with either in net.

    The problem with the giveaway goal is that there is so much work that goes into scoring and preventing goals.To just give one away takes all the wind out of a team’s sails.And it affects everyone’s confidence.Teams need to play with an edge.That edge comes from knowing the GK is there to make the easy saves and right plays.When he doesn’t, it makes everyone nervous.It can’t happen in the playoffs.

    The only other goal I thought he had a chance on was the shot under the bar that he seemed to struggle with how to handle.He sort of flailed at it as it went over his shoulder.It was close in, but we’ve seen him make that save.Credit for a nice shot.

    The other ones were defensive breakdowns or tips that can’t possibly be laid entirely at the feet of the GK’s.

    Smith plays unconventional but is quick, athletic, and has great anticipation and can scramble.He tracks the puck really well.

    Koskinen doesn’t track the puck well which is his major weakness.He squares himself and when he loses it, he hopes it hits him and reacts after which is why we see some weird ones go in on him.“Why didn’t he move or react to that one that went straight in?”He’s quick when he sees the puck and pretty athletic though doesn’t have the rapid side push that Smith has.He’s bigger from his knees that helps a lot with the high shots.

    I like them both, but in different ways.I’m comfortable with either as the starter, but if I were coach, I would bet on Smith having a much better game on Monday.If they are going to make a run, they are going to need him and putting him right back in there after an egregious error/giveaway goal would be my call rather than letting him ice up on the bench.

    Sorry, but no. Smith had his chance.
    Now MK gets his.

  95. Munny says:

    There are momentum changes all game every game.

    We are not seriously putting this loss on a momentum change? Especially one so early?

    If anything this should be an indicator of how poor the Oilers mental state was going into the game. A priori, not a posteriori. Jesus if you can’t handle an early setback, you probably shouldn’t be in the playoffs.

    Even Connor remarked in the post game that it was the penalty and the goal that made it 5-2 that was the bigger event.

  96. leadfarmer says:

    If I’m a round robin team I don’t want to win in 3 games.
    Would definitely take the extra game time instead of sitting for a week

  97. who says:

    I don’t see a bunch of changes being necessary for game 2. These are the players that got you here, and I really don’t see a saviour on the taxi squad.
    Start Koskinen in net. Maybe flip Ennis and Nuge, but if you do, you have to hard match Drai against Toews.
    That’s about all I’d do.

  98. Munny says:

    Under 4 to play, Yotes clinging to a one goal lead.

  99. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    leadfarmer:
    If I’m a round robin team I don’t want to win in 3 games.
    Would definitely take the extra game time instead of sitting for a week

    Hopefully it is all part of the plan.
    Lose the first one, then win three straight!
    Go Oilers!

  100. Munny says:

    Desert Dogs pull it off. Upsets every which way but loose.

  101. Munny says:

    NHL play-by-play has the last stoppage in the Flyers – Bruins game listed as “puck in crowd”. lol.

  102. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    Munny:
    Desert Dogs pull it off.Upsets every which way but loose.

    Wouldn’t it be great if the bottom 4 teams from each conference made it in to the playoffs!?!
    It would then provide more reason to shorten the regular season as it apparently doesn’t mean anything.
    (Slight sarcastic/frustration tone implied)

  103. Munny says:

    leadfarmer: If I’m a round robin team I don’t want to win in 3 games.

    I’m guessing you meant the play-in round teams?

  104. ashley says:

    Munny:
    There are momentum changes all game every game.

    We are not seriously putting this loss on a momentum change?Especially one so early?

    If anything this should be an indicator of how poor the Oilers mental state was going into the game.A priori, not a posteriori.Jesus if you can’t handle an early setback, you probably shouldn’t be in the playoffs.

    Even Connor remarked in the post game that it was the penalty and the goal that made it 5-2 that was the bigger event.

    Great point. Composed professionals should be able to recover and put the bad play behind them. It does have a short term effect though and one GA can make the difference in any game.
    Unfortunately, the Oilers took 7 minutes to settle and by then it was 4-1. The rest of the game was more composed, but still some poor defensive plays. Overall, much better in the third and that provides something to build around, hopefully.

  105. Munny says:

    I’m okay with these upsets as long as the Leafs and the Canucks also lose.

  106. leadfarmer says:

    Munny: I’m guessing you meant the play-in round teams?

    It seems they are calling them Stanley cup qualifiers for lower seeds and round robin for the teams that advance no matter outcome.
    Don’t know why they call round robin when you play one opponent

  107. Munny says:

    ashley,

    I’m kind of stunned actually by how they came out for the opening of the game. Completely hopped up on emotion, and no composure.

    That’s what makes Dater’s comments so comical. The Oilers were guilty of the exact opposite of what he was claiming.

  108. OriginalPouzar says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    – I’m willing to give Tipp and Holland a bogey on the Smith start

    – We have two of the best players In the league

    – Starring Smith is one of those tells that management though isn’t amongst the best in the league

    – Holland is the best GM weve had in a long time: but he’s not great: hired a bunch guys from his old team, picked up a bunch of guys from his old team. Not innovative

    – Tipp: old school coach trust his guy despite all the math and evidence. His reasoning was : well smith started season hot and team won 5 in a row” what old school nonesense that ignores data and facts.

    – Organization is now meh which is an improvement, and GM in charge. They just aren’t as good at their jobs as the best players on the team are at theirs.

    May I ask what Holland has to do with Tippett deciding to start Mike Smith yesterday afternoon (except for signing him a year ago)?

  109. leadfarmer says:

    Munny:
    I’m okay with these upsets as long as the Leafs and the Canucks also lose.

    Unfortunately the league decided that they will help the Canucks by not letting Kaprizov play.

  110. Ryan says:

    ashley: Great point.Composed professionals should be able to recover and put the bad play behind them.It does have a short term effect though and one GA can make the difference in any game.Unfortunately, the Oilers took 7 minutes to settle and by then it was 4-1.The rest of the game was more composed, but still some poor defensive plays.Overall, much better in the third and that provides something to build around, hopefully.

    None of this absolves Tippett for starting his second best goalie.

    He was quoted as saying his rationale was that Smith started in the season opener and the Oilers won the first five games.

    I hope that was more the sort of thing you tell the media than actually believe.

    In the alternative universe in which Tippett started Koskinen and still loses 6-4, I’d imagine there’s fewer fans haranguing Tippett for the decision.

  111. Nix says:

    Its funny how winning smoothes everything over. After Smith biblically shat the bed yesterday, now im all like ‘put on a regular post game shirt and cut your damn hair you overly-cocky mook no one wants to see your old man guns’.

  112. Lowetide says:

    OriginalPouzar: May I ask what Holland has to do with Tippett deciding to start Mike Smith yesterday afternoon (except for signing him a year ago)?

    Smith can’t start if Holland doesn’t sign him. Smith wasn’t a strong free-agent option.

  113. dustrock says:

    The Hawks can be a tiré fire. AA or Archibald or whoever hits the bar, Yamamoto misses a gimme from Draisaitl, different game.

  114. dustrock says:

    Harpers Hair:
    Interesting.

    Kevin Kurz (@KKurzNHL) Tweeted:
    Regarding @FriedgeHNIC report yesterday that Joe Thornton could play some games in Switzerland in fall — not that Elliotte needs confirming, but my understanding is that’s true. Joe in Switzerland now with family and plans to start skating again soon. No concrete plans yet, tho

    Can we sign Thornton right now?

  115. Munny says:

    Lowetide: Smith can’t start if Holland doesn’t sign him. Smith wasn’t a strong free-agent option.

    And one of his reasons was Tippett’s trust/knowledge of Smith. Another was probably Smith’s play in the last playoffs.

    That said, Koski was a much more unknown quantity coming into the season. Even moreso for Holland and Tipp.

  116. Harpers Hair says:

    Lowetide: Smith can’t start if Holland doesn’t sign him. Smith wasn’t a strong free-agent option.

    That new Kassian contract is not looking very wise either.

  117. Lowetide says:

    NEW for The Athletic: Ethan Bear’s playoff baptism produces uneven effort. Here’s a shift-by-shift look at a quality rookie playing an inspired opponent and what happened.

    https://theathletic.com/1968967/2020/08/02/lowetide-ethan-bears-playoff-baptism-produces-uneven-effort/

  118. leadfarmer says:

    leadfarmer: It seems they are calling them Stanley cup qualifiers for lower seeds and round robin for the teams that advance no matter outcome.
    Don’t know why they call round robin when you play one opponent

    Nvmd I’m clearly confused by the whole thing

  119. leadfarmer says:

    Harpers Hair: That new Kassian contract is not looking very wise either.

    Well the covid shutdown and flat cap is going to make most signings in last year before the shutdown even more regrettable

  120. leadfarmer says:

    Harpers Hair: That new Kassian contract is not looking very wise either.

    I’m sure they will provide some buyout cap relief
    There’s no way the league is going to let their big market US teams like Chicago Kings and Rags be middling their way through cap hell so marketable players can go play in Columbus
    There’s a reason they cut teams off at 12 per conference and not 10
    A competitive Chicago team is huge for the us market

  121. OriginalPouzar says:

    dustrock: If McDavid is the best player in the world, it shouldn’t matter.

    Correct (in my opinion)!

    Kamph is a fine defensive center but, if the Oilers are going to have any success in the next decade, McDavid needs to be able to, not only not get caved but outscore and impose his will on the game – even against top defensive players.

  122. pts2pndr says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Drake suspended for game 2.

    If only there was an Oiler PP on the play (instead of going on the PK, which got scored on).

    Correct it should have been a five minute major and a game misconduct. This could quite easily have changed the entire game.

  123. pts2pndr says:

    leadfarmer:
    If I’m a round robin team I don’t want to win in 3 games.
    Would definitely take the extra game time instead of sitting for a week

    You always want to win in fewest number of games to preclude possible injuries! It also give you more prep time for your next opponent!

  124. OriginalPouzar says:

    ashley: Yes exactly right.Blaming the goalie is superficial and only excuses the team and makes it difficult to address the deeper problems.I’ve always thought save percentage should be a team stat.Of all fans, Oilers should know this having seen many “bad” goalies leave our team to become “good” goalies on a another.

    This was a team loss.

    I count 1 – Devan Dubnyk (who was also a bad goalie in Nashville and Hamilton before partially recovering in Arizona and then becoming good in Minnesota.

  125. OriginalPouzar says:

    godot10: McDavid was defending because Kassian was doing eff all.

    McDavid was also doing eff all, including in the defensive zone.

  126. Harpers Hair says:

    leadfarmer: I’m sure they will provide some buyout cap relief
    There’s no way the league is going to let their big market US teams like Chicago Kings and Rags be middling their way through cap hell so marketable players can go play in Columbus
    There’s a reason they cut teams off at 12 per conference and not 10
    A competitive Chicago team is huge for the us market

    There are no compliance buyouts in the new CBA.

  127. pts2pndr says:

    Harpers Hair: That new Kassian contract is not looking very wise either.

    Only an ass like you or a Vulture would somethIng like that.
    Ike

  128. Harpers Hair says:

    OriginalPouzar: Correct (in my opinion)!

    Kamph is a fine defensive center but, if the Oilers are going to have any success in the next decade, McDavid needs to be able to, not only not get caved but outscore and impose his will on the game – even against top defensive players.

    But he generally doesn’t at evens.

  129. OriginalPouzar says:

    Per: Daniel Nugent-Bowman

    Tippett said goaltending wasn’t the issue yesterday. Said Smith made a couple big saves before the giveaway goal. Felt both goalies were fine. No decision yet about Game 2 starter.

    On Tyler Ennis’s status and if he expects any lineup changes: “No. We had everybody on the ice.”
    Daniel Nugent-Bowman

    “Both of them need to be better.” — Dave Tippett on the Klefbom-Larsson pair. He added they were both “poor” in Game 1.

  130. tileguy says:

    ashley,

    Please, nobody wants to throw Tip under the bus, ie kill him off. He made a mistake starting Smith and compounded it by not pulling him sooner.

  131. leadfarmer says:

    tileguy:
    ashley,

    Please, nobody wants to throw Tip under the bus, ie kill him off. He made a mistake starting Smith and compounded it by not pulling him sooner.

    I’m surprised how many teams have been trying to give both goalies ice time.
    There’s no time for a goalie controversy or try to get both goalies going.
    You pick a guy and live with your decision

  132. godot10 says:

    OriginalPouzar: McDavid was also doing eff all, including in the defensive zone.

    Gretzky did eff all in the defensive zone, but Tikkanen and Kurri did their jobs and Gretzky’s. Kassian didn’t even do his own job.

  133. godot10 says:

    leadfarmer: I’m surprised how many teams have been trying to give both goalies ice time.
    There’s no time for a goalie controversy or try to get both goalies going.
    You pick a guy and live with your decision

    There are some back to back games in the play-in round. Goaltenders are not particularly in game shape. So you need both goaltenders.

  134. OriginalPouzar says:

    Buddy:
    Not a great game, for sure, but a good effort and a win tomorrow and we’ll forget about it.

    Definite causes for hope for next game:

    1. PP picked up right where it left off
    2. McDavid didn’t play remotely up to his own standard, despite the points. He will be flying tomorrow.

    Possible causes for hope

    3. Klefbom should be better. One should hope the same about Nurse and Larson, though I say that with less confidence.
    4. I’d really like to think Tippett got his Smith thing out of his system. On the other hand, he might go back to him for the same reason he played him yesterday: coach plays a hunch that his veteran goalie will have a massive bounce-back game, because competitive fire, success against the Hawks ten years ago, battler, fighter … (losing will to type more)

    Not a ton of cause for hope:

    5. I’d like to think Kassian will be better, because he couldn’t possibly play any worse, but we all know that’s not true.
    6. I’m not sure why Athanasiou wasn’t in the line-up yesterday. Oh wait…

    1. Yup, agreed. I’m worried about the PK and the CHI PP – it was terrible during the season but had almost no issues last night and the PK was not good.

    2. One would think. There have been a few games over his career where I assumed he’d come out as great as ever and was disappointed. Of course, there have been more times when I’m not disappointed…

    3. Agreed – That’s one of the worst games I’ve seen Klef play in a long time. Hopefully Larsson gets up to speed because, as I stated before the series, he’s my dark-horse for important player if they are going to make a run.

    4. I’m 90% confidence Mikko starts but that 10% haunts me – wouldn’t put it beyond Tip but I sure hope it doesn’t happen.

    5. He was the worst skater on the ice last night – did NOTHING positive and much negative. How is that player not skating and banging, if nothing else?

    6. I didn’t see anything from AA (except for one rush early) but I’ve read some reports that others saw him not too bad.

  135. OriginalPouzar says:

    leadfarmer: Hockey players are dull as dishwater
    There’s been a handful that haven’t

    Bryzgalov, Reaves, PK, Ovie, Luongo, Hall

  136. OriginalPouzar says:

    leadfarmer: It seems they are calling them Stanley cup qualifiers for lower seeds and round robin for the teams that advance no matter outcome.
    Don’t know why they call round robin when you play one opponent

    They aren’t only playing one opponent.

    The round robin does not consist of series – each of the the 4 teams play the other 3 teams once and then get seeded 1-4 based on results.

  137. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lowetide: Smith can’t start if Holland doesn’t sign him. Smith wasn’t a strong free-agent option.

    Yes, I get that but the post I was responding to implied Holland’s direct culpability in last night’s decision.

  138. OriginalPouzar says:

    leadfarmer: Well the covid shutdown and flat cap is going to make most signings in last year before the shutdown even more regrettable

    Likely true but Kassian has been poor since even before he signed the extension – in 2020, he’s barely been worth his existing AAV let alone the one that kicks in next season. The contract was potentially regrettable even in a non-Covid world.

    With that said, I’m rooting for Zach – he’s an Oiler and they need him to be a positive contributor for success.

  139. OriginalPouzar says:

    leadfarmer: I’m sure they will provide some buyout cap relief
    There’s no way the league is going to let their big market US teams like Chicago Kings and Rags be middling their way through cap hell so marketable players can go play in Columbus
    There’s a reason they cut teams off at 12 per conference and not 10
    A competitive Chicago team is huge for the us market

    There is no free buyout cap relief coming – that ship has sailed and, as some predicted, was never really on the table in any event.

  140. Ryan says:

    leadfarmer: Smith is very competitive
    Tippett probably goes back to him again
    Smith sucks again

    I have limited abilities in regards to precognition.

    This is what the future will feel like for Tippett if he starts Smith again.

    https://youtu.be/pFmtmO2cnlg

    Hint. Searing pain.

  141. OriginalPouzar says:

    Harpers Hair: But he generally doesn’t at evens.

    2nd in the NHL in P/60 at 5 on 5 over the last 3 years……

  142. OriginalPouzar says:

    godot10: Gretzky did eff all in the defensive zone, but Tikkanen and Kurri did their jobs and Gretzky’s.Kassian didn’t even do his own job.

    Its not 1985 and these aren’t the glory-day Oilers.

    Kassian didn’t do his job.

    McDavid didn’t do his job.

  143. Ryan says:

    OriginalPouzar: Likely true but Kassian has been poor since even before he signed the extension – in 2020, he’s barely been worth his existing AAV let alone the one that kicks in next season. The contract was potentially regrettable even in a non-Covid world.

    With that said, I’m rooting for Zach – he’s an Oiler and they need him to be a positive contributor for success.

    Letting Zach walk was the right play.

    He’s not worth his current cap hit playing without 97.

    Signing 44 on this albatross contract was a harbinger that the Oilers hadn’t sorted the GM position let alone found an analytics department.

  144. OriginalPouzar says:

    godot10: There are some back to back games in the play-in round.Goaltenders are not particularly in game shape.So you need both goaltenders.

    Ya, every one of the 8 qualifying series has one scheduled back-to-back.

    The Oilers/Hawks is scheduled for games 4 and 5 if it gets there.

    That would likely bode well for the Oilers given the Hawks would go with Crawford in both, I’m sure. Back to backs aren’t kind for starting the same tender but, with zero travel, it’s probably not as big of an issue.

  145. Justthestatsman says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Drake suspended for game 2.

    If only there was an Oiler PP on the play (instead of going on the PK, which got scored on).

    It is too bad the refs missed the head shot. Should have been a major, which the league is kind of confirming with the suspension today. We’ll never know of course, but it could have been a real momentum changer. That being said, as bad as the PK was yesterday, they actually killed that particular penalty to Ennis. It was the penalty to Ennis later in the period they couldn’t kill.

  146. Lowetide says:

    OriginalPouzar: Yes, I get that but the post I was responding to implied Holland’s direct culpability in last night’s decision.

    Ah. I see.

  147. Harpers Hair says:

    OriginalPouzar: 2nd in the NHL in P/60 at 5 on 5 over the last 3 years……

    And how many PA/60 did he give up?

    What matters is how many you score MINUS what you give up.

  148. godot10 says:

    Ryan: I have limited abilities in regards to precognition.

    This is what the future will feel like for Tippett if he starts Smith again.

    https://youtu.be/pFmtmO2cnlg

    Hint. Searing pain.

    Hey Davey. Don’t do it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11Y987Uf1wY

  149. SkatinginSand says:

    ashley,

    Nope sorry, playing so far back in his net was basically giving them 4 goals. Even on the deflection goal, the proper play is to get as close to the point of possible deflection and get big, not play on the goal line and hope to react in time. Smith at one time had good lateral movement, but it is gone.

  150. ashley says:

    SkatinginSand:
    ashley,

    Nope sorry, playing so far back in his net was basically giving them 4 goals. Even on the deflection goal, the proper play is to get as close to the point of possible deflection and get big, not play on the goal line and hope to react in time. Smith at one time had good lateral movement, but it is gone.

    Oh gosh, no need to aplogize. You are welcome to your opinion. While I don’t agree with you in this circumstance, the many intelligent opinions are what make this a great place to come and discuss the Oilers.

  151. OriginalPouzar says:

    Harpers Hair: And how many PA/60 did he give up?

    What matters is how many you score MINUS what you give up.

    As you do, move the goalposts.

    We were speaking about imposing his will offensively, you said he doesn’t do that at evens, I showed he does.

  152. leadfarmer says:

    OriginalPouzar: As you do, move the goalposts.

    We were speaking about imposing his will offensively, you said he doesn’t do that at evens, I showed he does.

    Don’t feed the troll

  153. dustrock says:

    We batted the pickleball back and forth debating whether or not older teams or younger teams would have an easier time getting going.

    The Hawks are ready but frankly I don’t think it’s possible for them to play any better.

    Are their legs as fresh tomorrow? How fresh in Game 5?

  154. Reja says:

    Cassie, Button, Hrudey and Burke would all suck a golf ball through a garden hose for their darling Flames. Bieksa seems like a stand up guy maybe he can keep the posse honest.

  155. Harpers Hair says:

    OriginalPouzar: As you do, move the goalposts.

    We were speaking about imposing his will offensively, you said he doesn’t do that at evens, I showed he does.

    No one is “imposing their will” if they get outscored at even strength.

  156. Ryan says:

    ashley:
    SkatinginSand,

    I think both goalies are good and bad in their own way.Both are above average and we can be comfortable with either in net.

    The problem with the giveaway goal is that there is so much work that goes into scoring and preventing goals.To just give one away takes all the wind out of a team’s sails.And it affects everyone’s confidence.Teams need to play with an edge.That edge comes from knowing the GK is there to make the easy saves and right plays.When he doesn’t, it makes everyone nervous.It can’t happen in the playoffs.

    The only other goal I thought he had a chance on was the shot under the bar that he seemed to struggle with how to handle.He sort of flailed at it as it went over his shoulder.It was close in, but we’ve seen him make that save.Credit for a nice shot.

    The other ones were defensive breakdowns or tips that can’t possibly be laid entirely at the feet of the GK’s.

    Smith plays unconventional but is quick, athletic, and has great anticipation and can scramble.He tracks the puck really well.

    Koskinen doesn’t track the puck well which is his major weakness.He squares himself and when he loses it, he hopes it hits him and reacts after which is why we see some weird ones go in on him.“Why didn’t he move or react to that one that went straight in?”He’s quick when he sees the puck and pretty athletic though doesn’t have the rapid side push that Smith has.He’s bigger from his knees that helps a lot with the high shots.

    I like them both, but in different ways.I’m comfortable with either as the starter, but if I were coach, I would bet on Smith having a much better game on Monday.If they are going to make a run, they are going to need him and putting him right back in there after an egregious error/giveaway goal would be my call rather than letting him ice up on the bench.

    While I respect your opinion, I don’t agree with it in this instance.

    Which area is the Oilers greatest weakness?

    Aside from, but inclusive of last game, I’d go with 5v5 scoring rates.

    Indeed, Mike Smith was 52nd for goalies who played over 1000 minutes at 5v5 last season.

    .900, 52nd in the league.

    That’s in the bottom end of backup goalie range.

    Koskinen was 22nd at .924.

    That’s not far off from a middle of the road starting goalie.

    The gap between .924 and .900 at 5v5 is cataclysmic even allowing for the possibility that Smith can be effective against dump and chase teams.

    Smith occasionally runs hot, but his brain farts/60 playing the puck is pretty high.

    Lately, as many have observed, he doesn’t read the play to get square to the shooter, he’s deep in his net, and he’s very poor with lateral movement.

    Really though, his lack of lateral movement is on full display during shoot outs during the season.

    During the season, Smith was the better goalie in the 4v5 pk, but the sample size is pretty small.

    Koskinen is not without his faults. He’s not an elite goalie…

    He’s had to work on the famous glove hand.

    While he’s good at reading the play to get square to the shooter, he doesn’t always track the puck well as you’ve suggested.

    Obviously, you’d rather a Tuka Rask or even Hellebuyck, but Koskinen is the best goalie available to Tippett at the moment.

    Let’s hope he realizes it.

  157. Ryan says:

    Harpers Hair: No one is “imposing their will” if they get outscored at even strength.

    That’s always been the knock on both Draisatl or McDavid at 5v5.

    Either they’ve played together and torched the opposition for which they don’t get much credit or they’ve played apart mostly with dregs (aside from Leon this season with Nuge and Yamomoto) and had suboptimal results.

  158. Side says:

    Harpers Hair: No one is “imposing their will” if they get outscored at even strength.

    Messier must have given you one hell of a wedgie at that bar almost.. 40 years ago.

  159. meanashell11 says:

    Harpers Hair: No one is “imposing their will” if they get outscored at even strength.

    Again. Why are you here. GFY Nobody cares about what you have to say.

  160. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Watched the Turtle replay. He is clearly not a well human being.

    That he’s allowed to play in the NHL is a deep disgrace on the league.

    All other major sports in NA have chosen to be better.

    It is completely obvious, particularly now, but from day one with him, he wants to hurt people.

    I think he’s trying to sleeze in under the old school ‘hard player’ BS. That lust the BoB was engorged with.

    Which is now dead in the water.

    Nobody but Don Cherry cares.

    Put those types of people out of our view please.

  161. OriginalPouzar says:

    Watching the Leafs/Jackets and I’ve seen good portions of all the qualifying games that have been played and, damn, the Oilers played, by far, the worst out of any of the teams – like not even close.

    Its humbling watching all these other games and remembering what I saw yesterday.

    At the same time, I saw the Oilers play some terrible games this year and then play some epic games.

    Go Oilers!

  162. ArmchairGM says:

    Harpers Hair: And how many PA/60 did he give up?

    What matters is how many you score MINUS what you give up.

    McDavid has never had a 5v5 GF% of below 50%.

  163. Munny says:

    dustrock:
    We batted the pickleball back and forth debating whether or not older teams or younger teams would have an easier time getting going.

    The Hawks are ready but frankly I don’t think it’s possible for them to play any better.

    Are their legs as fresh tomorrow? How fresh in Game 5?

    How is Crawford going to be as the series progresses, with the shorter training camp and a possible back-to-back ahead?

    I’ve been dreaming about this for days now, lol.

  164. Munny says:

    The panel has it right. Caleb’s brother is a helluva defenseman. He’s been a Dawg tonight.

  165. flyfish1168 says:

    Lowetide: Smith can’t start if Holland doesn’t sign him. Smith wasn’t a strong free-agent option.

    Tippet being loyal to a friend

  166. Reja says:

    Scungilli Slushy:
    Watched the Turtle replay. He is clearly not a well human being.

    That he’s allowed to play in the NHL is a deep disgrace on the league.

    All other major sports in NA have chosen to be better.

    It is completely obvious, particularly now, but from day one with him, he wants to hurt people.

    I think he’s trying to sleeze in under the old school ‘hard player’ BS. That lust the BoB was engorged with.

    Which is now dead in the water.

    Nobody but Don Cherry cares.

    Put those types of people out of our view please.

    So you wouldn’t want Tkachuk on your team if you were a GM or Coach?

  167. flyfish1168 says:

    OriginalPouzar: 2nd in the NHL in P/60 at 5 on 5 over the last 3 years……

    Every coach in the league is finding ways to stop Connor. Its Connors turn to find ways to win the battle through the middle. Maybe a little more short passes with a give and go.

  168. Munny says:

    Good. Thank you, Atkinson.

  169. OilClog says:

    Harpers Hair:
    Predicted this weeks ago.

    They’re coming for the Flames.

    https://news.yahoo.com/amphtml/why-canadian-hockey-teams-name-122232847.html?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly90LmNvL0VtWVBDOHd0cFU_YW1wPTE&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAM-ZBGpDYR8jM3O5wHcOWDTRPl0c7i4mXWxpquMINremLemCHMo3CNqdWL9POtO4KVkuq1Fz9W2dcckrthr320NhhrXrmDN-hKZL0oovHq6FUh8Dgm2Su-fFA4LkJoPzn4m4FW-a3zfkL5sZGXdUL9osMp6TFQ-J72YZuPXOLq7P#click=https://t.co/EmYPC8wtpU

    This the type of dude that congratulates himself for not shitting his pants over a 4 hour time span. Rides the short bus with a bag full of goal posts and a constant look out for Messier, his crack still burns from the bullying.

  170. godot10 says:

    Reja: So you wouldn’t want Tkachuk on your team if you were a GM or Coach?

    No. Said so before the draft #TeamDubois. I dislike sociopaths.

  171. godot10 says:

    flyfish1168: Every coach in the league is finding ways to stop Connor. Its Connors turn to find ways to win the battle through the middle. Maybe a little more short passes with agive and go.

    Tippett stopped Connor last night by putting Kassian on the ice with him.

  172. OriginalPouzar says:

    Damn, this Leaf/Jackets game is good. I knew this was going to be a good series – with the Jackets getting so many players back from IR, they are a solid, fast, feisty and well-coached team.

    I’ve watch most of all the qualifying games and they’ve been great and competitie games – all teams showing the intensity we are used to in the playoffs – all teams except the Oilers.

  173. Munny says:

    CBJ score into an empty net, rake up the Leafs.

  174. OriginalPouzar says:

    Wow, Ferland drops the gloves with Foligno less than 90 seconds in.

    So, out of 8 qualifying round series, 16 teams playing, the Oilers were the only team not ready to play…..

  175. leadfarmer says:

    And the Fiala show has begun

  176. Munny says:

    In my opinion that’s more worrisome than the Smith goal when it comes to the netminder’s start.

  177. leadfarmer says:

    And Fiala almost finished the game in the 4th minute

  178. Munny says:

    leadfarmer:
    And the Fiala show has begun

    And then creates another great chance. Hasn’t skipped a beat.

  179. flyfish1168 says:

    Markstrom makes saves on 2 grade A scoring chances to keep Nucks in this game. Something Smith wasn’t able to do

  180. Munny says:

    Sixteen shot attempts in one game? That is sick.

  181. OriginalPouzar says:

    Munny: The panel has it right. Caleb’s brother is a helluva defenseman. He’s been a Dawg tonight.

    I’ve been saying for a few years that he would have one of the highest acquisition values in the league. Young, elite, right shot D on a long term value contract. Now he’s down to only two years left until he’s in for a big raise.

  182. Jaxon says:

    Keep the hottest line in hockey before the break together:
    #1 – Nugent-Hopkins / Draisaitl / Yamamoto

    McDavid isn’t doing well 5-on-5? Well, he has 2 players whose goal-scoring highs are 21 goals (6 years ago by Ennis) and 15 goals (Kassian with McDavid as his C!) on his wings. But there are 2 players on the roster who have scored at an 82 game pace of 30 goals 1 year ago (Athanasiou), and 29 goals 2 years ago (Neal) with lesser linemates than McDavid or Draisaitl. One of them is nearly as fast as McDavid (Athanasiou) and one seems to have found a bit more jump in his game since the break (Neal). Also, Neal has mentioned he has a preference for RW and had his best seasons on RW, so why not play him there?

    #2 – Athanasiou / McDavid / Neal

    Who is going to saw off the rest of the competition? I might try going with speed on one of the lines and have them crash and bang and wear the opposition down:

    #3 – Nygard / Haas / Archibald (or Kassian as I think Kassian can still be useful to a playoff team in a different role)

    And with a veteran presence on the other.

    #4 – Ennis / Khaira (or Sheahan) / Chiasson (or Kassian, see above)

    Press Box: Sheahan (or Khaira), & Chiasson (or Archibald, or Kassian)

    __________________________________________________________
    OR

    If things get desperate I’d bring up Benson and put him with 2 goal scorers like Nugent-Hopkins and Neal. We might find that Benson really is the playmaker we hope for. Tell me when he has been paired with a real sniper in his pro career. They haven’t given him a shoot first sniper yet and he still was one of the best draft +3 players i his rookie season. Marody is a playmaker as well. He turned Gambardella, Currie and Russell in goal scorers and they hadn’t really shown that they were snipers prior to that. Currie had some goal scoring history in the Q, but not much since that.

    #3 – Benson / Nugent-Hopkins / Neal

    Draisaitl and Yamamoto have great chemistry together and while I like Ennis, I think he’s just too much of the same player (but not as good) as Yamamoto. Who does that leave for LW? I’d try Athanasiou there. Maybe Draisaitl and Yamamoto can unlock his 30 goal form.

    #2 – Athanasiou / Draisaitl / Yamamoto

    I’d put the best skill left with McDavid and hope they find some chemistry:
    #1 – Ennis / McDavid / Kassian

    Once again I’d go for speed on one line that might give the other team fits:
    #4 – Nygard / Haas / Archibald

    That would leave Chiasson (who, I know, doesn’t deserve to be benched as he had one fo the better games), Khaira, and Sheahan in the press box.

  183. leadfarmer says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Wow, Ferland drops the gloves with Foligno less than 90 seconds in.

    So, out of 8 qualifying round series, 16 teams playing, the Oilers were the only team not ready to play…..

    Umm if it wasn’t for Markstrom standing on his head it should be 3-0 5 min in

  184. Material Elvis says:

    ashley: Come on, you know what I mean.Do we really have to write our comments knowing that someone is going to take any little sentence out of context, do some google searching so they can delight in saying “you’re wrong” to someone on the internet?

    Stanley cup teams don’t regularly allow 6 goals against.The playoffs are a defensive grind for the successful teams.Edmonton needs to change their mindset for game 2.

    But they do give up six goals, though. Your not liking my comment doesn’t make it untrue. Championship teams indeed give up six goals in a game, but rebound and win the next game. A single game is exactly that.

  185. Munny says:

    “There’s no doubt the games have been more intense than people thought they would be…”

    –Debrusk

    Well, everyone except the Oilers.

  186. OriginalPouzar says:

    godot10: Tippett stopped Connor last night by putting Kassian on the ice with him.

    Kassian was indeed bad last night but, of course, he was 59th in the NHL in P/60 at 5 on 5, ahead of guys like Forsberg, Marner, Connor, etc.

    Also, McDavid was 3.8 GF/60 with Zack and 3.1 GF/60 w/o Zack….

  187. OriginalPouzar says:

    Confirmed after watching the 1st period of tonight’s game: 16 teams in the qualifying round – 15 showed up for game 1 and 15 named starting goalies showed up for game 1.

  188. leadfarmer says:

    You’d think with Benn not available Brogan Rafferty would be playing
    I’m starting to think he’s not as good as the shrine created for him

  189. Harpers Hair says:

    leadfarmer:
    You’d think with Benn not available Brogan Rafferty would be playing
    I’m starting to think he’s not as good as the shrine created for him

    You would think that a LHD like Benn would be replaced by a LHD….maybe like Fantenburg.

  190. jp says:

    Jaxon: But there are 2 players on the roster who have scored at an 82 game pace of 30 goals 1 year ago (Athanasiou), and 29 goals 2 years ago (Neal) with lesser linemates than McDavid or Draisaitl.

    You don’t need to go back in time. Neal scored at a 28G per 82 pace this season.

    And if you’re doing the pace thing Kassian was 21G/82GP this year.

  191. jp says:

    godot10: Tippett stopped Connor last night by putting Kassian on the ice with him.

    OriginalPouzar: Kassian was indeed bad last night but, of course, he was 59th in the NHL in P/60 at 5 on 5, ahead of guys like Forsberg, Marner, Connor, etc.
    Also, McDavid was 3.8 GF/60 with Zack and 3.1 GF/60 w/o Zack….

    Sounds like Kassian was terrible yesterday.

    But also, also.

    McDavid’s SA and GA/60 were better this year with Kassian (as well as SF% and GF%). Including after Xmas when Leon wasn’t part of the McDavid/Kassian equation.

  192. SwedishPoster says:

    Wild is not an easy matchup, lot of defensively strong players in their lineup, if their goaltending holds up that’s a stingy team. Lacking high end offense but with Fiala’s second half breakout this season they have some gamebreaking skill as well. Outside of Pettersson I’m not sure the Canucks have the gamebreaking skill to score much if Minnesota plays this tight and gets ok goaltending. Their top 4 looks excellent, don’t think I’ve seen Brodin look better, great fit with Dumba.

  193. €√¥£€^$ says:

    Coaches have their biases, we saw Tippett’s bias regarding Smith all season, even when Koskinen was running hot, he still went with
    “his guy” Smith. If anything he is predictable. Hopefully, he doesn’t go with his guy in Game 2 and goes with cold hard facts, rather than “his gut”.

    Contrast Tippett’s decision in Cowtown where every pundit expected Rittich to get the start over the reportedly better Talbot. In this case an interim coach fighting for his career decided to go with cold hard facts rather than because Rittich has “2 years left on his contract” and other such irrelevant things that media had spouted.

    Regarding the line-up, I would make big changes based on cold hard facts. Like past results and recent trends. For me Kassian & AA would sit and my line up would look like this:

    Ennis – MvDavid – Haas
    RNH- Draisaitl – Yamamoto
    Nygard – Sheahan – Archibald
    Neal – Khaira – Chiasson

    Haas has shown flashes when playing with skill. He would be the defensive conscience on that line.

    Put the top line from 2020 back together

    Nygard on that 3rd line was fire, reunite them

    That 4th line was effective, keep them together

    Kassian has not played well in 2020, someone posted about this in depth awhile ago on this blog, game 1 revealed the same

    AA, despite his tools is an extremely passive player, but I concede that he is a proficient crossbar shooter; I think he’s hit 3 in his 10 Oiler games, but he simply hasn’t done anything to move the needle since his first Oilers game.

    I was truly excited by his acquisition, but I simply am not a fan of his game based on everything I’ve seen from him. He’s like a 25% 3-point shooter who doesn’t play defense. I’d rather dress Benson or McLeod to be honest. If I am Holland I trade him at the Draft, if I can get a 2nd Rounder for him.

    I would not make changes on D. The 3rd Pair was fine. The other 4 were the actual problem and I expect they’ll all show up tomorrow.

  194. Material Elvis says:

    SwedishPoster:
    Wild is not an easy matchup, lot of defensively strong players in their lineup, if their goaltending holds up that’s a stingy team. Lacking high end offense but with Fiala’s second half breakout this season they have some gamebreaking skill as well. Outside of Pettersson I’m not sure the Canucks have the gamebreaking skill to score much if Minnesota plays this tight and gets ok goaltending. Their top 4 looks excellent, don’t think I’ve seen Brodin look better, great fit with Dumba.

    This is what playoff hockey should look like. The intensity is high and execution pretty good. Jared Spurgeon is so good; top notch skating and passing ability. Vancouver is in a bit of trouble now.

  195. Munny says:

    SwedishPoster,

    This has been the best defensive performance I’ve seen by any team thus far.

  196. €√¥£€^$ says:

    jp: You don’t need to go back in time. Neal scored at a 28G per 82 pace this season.

    And if you’re doing the pace thing Kassian was 21G/82GP this year.

    Do the same calculations for both players, but separate the results by calendar year.

  197. SwedishPoster says:

    Material Elvis: This is what playoff hockey should look like.The intensity is high and execution pretty good.Jared Spurgeon is so good; top notch skating and passing ability.Vancouver is in a bit of trouble now.

    Yeah that Suter-Spurgeon pairing is a joy to watch, Suter plays the role of quiet but clinical veteran brilliantly to Spurgeon star quality performance.

Newer Comments »

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!
© Copyright - Lowetide.ca