Stanley Cup 2020 Playoffs: Oilers vs. Chicago Game 2

In the words of the great philosopher Izzy Mandelbaum, “it’s go time” for the Edmonton Oilers tonight. In a best of five series, each game is double and double again. Expect a fantastic effort. Expecting a win? I can’t go that far.

This Oilers team is good enough to run the table, but have to get out of their own way. All facets of the game need to improve, beginning with attention to detail. It’s a tall order, friends.


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.


There isn’t much to say about this game. The Oilers had the better season, finished in the top two in the Pacific and if the season had been allowed to finish we’d be having a different conversation. However, no one can or will use that as an excuse on the Edmonton side and I expect we’ll see a strong performance tonight.

The problem, as I see it, is that this club has rarely played a full 60 minutes and that might be required against Chicago this evening. I expect Edmonton arrives at this game with horses at full gallop ala the chariot race scene in Ben-Hur.

LINES (Five on Five)

Nuge-McDavid-Kassian: 11:48, 7-18 Corsi (28 percent); 4-10 shots (29 percent); 0-3 goals 2-4 HDSC.

Ennis-Draisaitl-Yamamoto: 10:28, 10-11 Corsi (43 percent); 5-7- shots (42 percent); no goals 2-2 HDSC.

The Oilers have to get more than four HDSC from these two lines and can’t get outscored 3-0 when they’re on the ice. Even if Tippett moves Nuge back to the Draisaitl line (he won’t, at least to start the game) to get the magic going, Edmonton cannot let this five on five badness stand. Man.

Athanasiou-Sheahan-Archibald: 5:30, 4-3 Corsi (57 percent); 3-2 shots (60 percent); no goals or high dangers.

Neal-Khaira-Chiasson: 7:04, 7-3 Corsi (70 percent); 3-2 shots (60 percent); no goals or high dangers.

The bottom two lines did exactly what is expected: Low event minutes and no goals against. Tippett will take these numbers all day. A goal for would be nice, Athanasiou and Neal have that ability.

Oscar Klefbom-Adam Larsson: 12:00, 5-14 Corsi (26 percent); 1-11 shots (8 percent); 0-2 goals and 0-3 HDSC. Oilers were 26-29 Corsi, 14-15 shots, 0-1 goals and 4-3 HDSC with the Swedish duo off the ice.

Darnell Nurse-Ethan Bear: 17:16, 12-17 Corsi (41 percent); 7-9 shots (44 percent); 0-1 goals and 3-3 HDSC.

Kris Russell-Matt Benning: 9:42, 12-8 Corsi (60 percent); 6-4 shots (60 percent); no goals and 1-0 HDSC.

I don’t think Klefbom-Larsson will have a game like that one again, if they struggle early tonight Tippett will pull the plug and we could see Klefbom-Bear. That’s the story morning glory.

Mike Smith: 21 minutes five on five; 14 saves on 17 shots (.824); Mikko Koskinen: 27 minutes five on five; 10 saves on 10 shots (1.000).


Look, I wish we weren’t talking about it either, but we’re here bitches. The Oilers could draft No. 1 overall, and that’s beyond incredible. IF Edmonton wins the lottery in 2020, my prediction is that the next lottery will not be a lottery at all. It will be a horse race, with all of the teams eligible represented by a specific horse. The race will start the moment Gary Bettman cocks his gun and shoots Edmonton’s horse. Here’s my top 20 for 2020:

1 L Alexis Lafreniere, QMJHL. NHL ready, fleet scorer who plays with an edge.
2 LC Quinton Byfield, OHL. August 2002, 6.04, 215. Big, powerful winger, excellent speed.
3 LC Tim Stutzle, DEL. Dynamic player, highlight reel offense. Tremendous skater.
4 LC Marco Rossi, OHL. Good speed, exciting, range of skills. Exceptional talent.
5 RHD Jamie Drysdale, OHL. Great speed, passing and instincts, instant offense from the blue.
6 LC Cole Perfetti, OHL. Outstanding talent, not as fast as top forwards, has tremendous skill.
7 RW Alexander Holtz, SHL. First-shot scorer with a range of skills, he’s an electric player.
8 LW Lucas Raymond, SHL. Smart player who has ridiculous skill. March 2002. Fine skater.
9 RW Jack Quinn OHL. Impressive offensive winger was a late breaker. Pure goal scorer.
10 RW Dawson Mercer, QMJHL. Impressive player who is both scorer and playmaker.
11 RC Mavrik Bourque, QMJHL. Creative center, great passer, great shot. Plays in tough areas.
12 LC Connor Zary, WHL. Quick, smart two-way center effective across 200 feet.
13 LD Jake Sanderson, USHL. Smart, fast two-way defenseman has complete skill set.
14 LC Anton Lundell, Liiga. Complete skill set, average speed but improving.
15 RC Seth Jarvis, WHL. Jarvis is a fantastic player, undersized and skilled. Big second half.
16 RW Noel Gunler, SHL. Has a great release and an impressive resume. Attractive option.
17 G Yaroslav Askarov, VHL. He plays an unusual style. June 2002, .923 VHL SP.
18 RC Jacob Perreault, OHL. Skates well, great shot, great numbers, excellent passer.
19 LC Jan Mysak, OHL. Skilled and is effective in all areas. Major move in second half.
20 LD Kaiden Guhle, WHL. Big defenseman has good foot speed and full skill set.

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613 Responses to "Stanley Cup 2020 Playoffs: Oilers vs. Chicago Game 2"

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  1. Suntory Hanzo says:

    A very telling Oilers Perspective

    After the game o decided to fire up NHL Slapshot for the Wii. You know the one with the famous commercial with 99 wrecking his mansion using the stick.

    My last file was 2017. With a user made Connor leading the OKC Barons to a 30-1 record.

    His line mates: Zorg and Teddy Peckman

    Two games later I get called up. Big up and coming central to play against the Capitals.

    The line mates: Ryan Jones and Patio Lanterns.

    If this doesn’t tell you how Ultimately shitty development was during the beginning of the decade of darkness…

  2. Fuge Udvar says:

    Tippett said post game that the coaches all felt that was AA best game as an Oiler. 3rd line has some balance. Sheahan needs the speed, AA and Kassian need a defence first center.

    Holland is looking like a genius with his deadline moves. Shades of ’06

  3. Lucic n Chong says:

    Meat’s back on the menu boys. GOILERS.

  4. Lowetide says:

    New for The Athletic: How Dave Tippett’s lineup tweaks propelled Oilers to Game 2 win

  5. Lucic n Chong says:

    28 AA plays his best game as an Oiler

  6. jake70 says:

    Finished watching this am. Great result. Last time I went to bed due to late start and finished watching in the am was the disaster vs Ducks with the 3-0 lead….much much better mood here at work today. 28 had his legs going – he can motor.

  7. drglen says:

    so nice to have hockey back, this blog, and the cult of hockey guys.

    coach responds with good tactics.

    AA is looking good now…. and its the size that is helping.

    Khaira is looking good. Neal is looking good.. Chaisson is looking good.

    Yamamoto yet to find the space.

    Nurse looks awesome, with Bear as well. K russel, saved the day a few times. value on PK.

    Larsson better, battled, but seems 1/2 step behind.

    Koski steady..

  8. drglen says:


    yes, agreed. I/we were critical,… completely tactically out coached last game… good adjustments… and actually the size/possession game, which ‘seemed’ to be the most effective shifts in game 1, were the bread and butter in game 2. The right lines and the right useage.

  9. OriginalPouzar says:

    JimmyV1965: I think Larsson has had serious issues transitioning the puck out of the dzone.

    Ya but that’s never his strong point – I’m more concerned with some defensive positioning mistakes and walk-abouts.

    It’ll come for Adam.

  10. OriginalPouzar says:

    SwedishPoster: Yeah, you’re probably correct,haven’t really noticed it myself but I’ve been pretty zoomed in on Klefbom not offering much in transition, with or without the puck, that I’ve sort of lost track what Larsson has done with it, I remember him rimming it quite a few times but can’t recall if it was from lack of options or not having his head up.
    I think overall the team has struggled with their passing game, tonight they compensated by skating the puck out and through the neutral zone and having a strong forecheck. But not a lot of quick passes to move up ice. And skating the puck out is not something Larsson does well at all. He’s better when getting short quick options from his D partner or center as he doesn’t notice passing lanes that quickly nor can skate himself out of trouble.

    The short pass from the side-boards to the middle for the transition break out has been few and far between. I’ve seen it attempted and failed a few times. This could be a function of good pre-scouting by Chicago knowing the preferred break out strategy. They did have a wee bit of time to pre-scout…

  11. OriginalPouzar says:

    Fuge Udvar:
    Tippett said post game that the coaches all felt that was AA best game as an Oiler. 3rd line has some balance. Sheahan needs the speed, AA and Kassian need a defence first center.

    Holland is looking like a genius with his deadline moves. Shades of ’06

    My wife knows that was AA’s best game as an Oiler and she didn’t even watch……

    One game sample but I think there might be something to AA being the driver and puck transporter on a 3rd line….

  12. tavvey tune says:

    Rock Me Andreas
    Dubs looked like a threat all night, and in a good way.
    My fears are starting to subside, replaced by concerns about fitting him under the cap. But he looked good! More, please.

  13. Suntory Hanzo says:

    What’s the oiler record in elimination games? They keep talking about the Hawks.

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