Stanley Cup 2020 Playoffs: Oilers vs. Chicago Game 2

by Lowetide

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.

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.

TONIGHT

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).

THE DRAFT

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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Suntory Hanzo

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

tavvey tune

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.

OriginalPouzar

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….

OriginalPouzar

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…

OriginalPouzar

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.

drglen

Lowetide,

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.

drglen

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..

jake70

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.

Lucic n Chong

28 AA plays his best game as an Oiler

Lucic n Chong

Meat’s back on the menu boys. GOILERS.

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

Suntory Hanzo

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…

SwedishPoster

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

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.

Lucinius

Damn.

Didn’t win the 50/50. Didn’t even get the first letter!

Hilarious to see how high it got, though. Curious what the next one will hit.

JimmyV1965

SwedishPoster: I honestly think he was fine the first game, scrambling a lot because Klef was a disaster but at least trying, and pretty damn good today keeping his pairing defensively in check despite Klefbom again being way off. He got walked by Toews but for the most part he held the fort despite a messy Klefbom.

Oscar however needs to get his head in the game. He’s a crucial player to say the least. Both him and Nurse seem off to me. Nurse better tonight but still not at a good level.

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

Munny

Ranford.85: You fool,

Is there any particular reason why we are calling other commenters names?

Ranford.85

godot10,

You fool, the refs making a penalty call doesn’t mean blowing the whistle once possession has changed. The refs make a call by raising their arm upon seeing a penalty.

Munny

striatic,

Again, I would surmise that under Covid the hats are going nowhere for the time being.

After this is all done they will be donated… or returned to the display case they were stolen from, since judging from the arms of the girls this looked like an “Oilers ball-caps through the Ages” rendition of hat-throwing.

GordieHoweHatTrick

Nix:
If AA lost a top line look in training camp then fair is fair and hes earned another shot with tonight’s effort. However its entirely possible he does work better driving the play against soft parades. Looks like hes starting to unlock at least and thats huge.

After getting a chance to watch him play a bit more, this is where I think he could really fit on this team. If the top two lines can be productive without him, he can push the creek a bit. He seems to want to carry the puck through the neutral zone (transporter?). I think next year if he is on the team, it would be interesting to try him with Haas (or maybe Marody) at 3C. JP on RW? Of course Elder Strome back at 3C would be nice too.

striatic

Suntory Hanzo,

Looks like they are in Edmonton anyway. Donated to Bissel Centre. If that the case here I don’t mind them throwing a few over the glass.

https://www.foxsports.com/nhl/gallery/hat-trick-what-happens-to-the-hats-nashville-predators-colton-sissons-052317

SwedishPoster

Lucic n Chong:
Adam Larsson. Guy looks dead. That top pairing is ….

I honestly think he was fine the first game, scrambling a lot because Klef was a disaster but at least trying, and pretty damn good today keeping his pairing defensively in check despite Klefbom again being way off. He got walked by Toews but for the most part he held the fort despite a messy Klefbom.

Oscar however needs to get his head in the game. He’s a crucial player to say the least. Both him and Nurse seem off to me. Nurse better tonight but still not at a good level.

Foege Foegele Torpe

SwedishPoster:
That’s much better. Much sharper overall and that level of physicality is great to see, you could see it started to wear on the Chicago D as the game went on. Don’t mind the big slow & burly line at all, I can see them getting caught in their own zone if mismatched but they are a handful on the cycle. Neal looks rejuvenated. He’s always been a playoff perfomer ofc.

McDavid was obviously flying, AA had his best game as an Oiler, Archibald had his second straight quality game. Kass ramped up his physical game a lotKlef-Larsson got their coverage issues under control. Still think Nurse-Bear had some wobble. Mikko was ok, not brilliant but solid and had some timely saves, an adventure whenever he leaves his net to play the puck though.

Drai-Yamamoto has more in them but not too worried about that.

Good game outside of some sloppy penalties, if they xan play this physical and stay focused defensively the Chicago D is far too weak to not get lit up.

Coach Tippett did a great job with the lines,
I believe he will help the boys find the discipline they need for the next game.
Koskinen has another level and he may need to find it,
Same goes for Leon & Yam,
All were decent tonight but have more game to give

hunter1909

striatic:
Are the hat trick hats being raffled or given to kids or something? Seems silly to throw them on the ice otherwise.

I can watch attractive women do a lot less than that.

Suntory Hanzo

striatic,

They are always donated, no?

Lucic n Chong

Adam Larsson. Guy looks dead. That top pairing is ….

Munny

striatic,

Probably will be re-used for the next Oiler hat trick.

striatic

Are the hat trick hats being raffled or given to kids or something? Seems silly to throw them on the ice otherwise.

jp

OriginalPouzar:
Dominik Kubalik – Stone Cold!

I’m sure HH will be by soon…

Ryan

OriginalPouzar: I think we are seeing that AA is most effective when he’s carrying the puck through the neutral zone.

Yet, he wasn’t doing much until tonight.

Confidence? Fitting in on the team better?

Playing with 44?

Injury resolved?

Kassian is great on the cycle when he wants to be. It’s the combination of strong at fishing out pucks with the looming threat of a big hit.

Certainly this is more the AA we expected from scouting his highlight reels.

jp

hunter1909:
LOL they hate Neal for some weird reason, anyone know why Calgary fans hate James Neal tonight?

Remember all those nights we hated Milan Lucic this year?

Ahh.. never mind.

Side

I am glad Mikko played well.

I don’t know if I could handle him having a meh performance and wondering if Tippett would play Smith again…

Crazy Pedestrian

hunter1909:
LOL they hate Neal for some weird reason, anyone know why Calgary fans hate James Neal tonight?

I know right? I mean, he did get them the most controversial 3rd round pick ever.

OriginalPouzar

Dominik Kubalik – Stone Cold!

jp

Klima’s_Bucket:
Patti Kane is crying.

Suntory Hanzo:
Kane looked like he just had to put his dog down.

He just knows he can’t go out after the game. He’ll get over it.

SwedishPoster

That’s much better. Much sharper overall and that level of physicality is great to see, you could see it started to wear on the Chicago D as the game went on. Don’t mind the big slow & burly line at all, I can see them getting caught in their own zone if mismatched but they are a handful on the cycle. Neal looks rejuvenated. He’s always been a playoff perfomer ofc.

McDavid was obviously flying, AA had his best game as an Oiler, Archibald had his second straight quality game. Kass ramped up his physical game a lot Klef-Larsson got their coverage issues under control. Still think Nurse-Bear had some wobble. Mikko was ok, not brilliant but solid and had some timely saves, an adventure whenever he leaves his net to play the puck though.

Drai-Yamamoto has more in them but not too worried about that.

Good game outside of some sloppy penalties, if they xan play this physical and stay focused defensively the Chicago D is far too weak to not get lit up.

Zelepukin

OriginalPouzar: I think we are seeing that AA is most effective when he’s carrying the puck through the neutral zone.

Or anyone on a 3rd line with that much speed and control of the puck. All agreed, our bottom 6 need to keep playing like that.

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

OriginalPouzar: I think we are seeing that AA is most effective when he’s carrying the puck through the neutral zone.

Now if Tipp can make him an effective PKer, we might have a Grabner!

OriginalPouzar

Nix:
If AA lost a top line look in training camp then fair is fair and hes earned another shot with tonight’s effort. However its entirely possible he does work better driving the play against soft parades. Looks like hes starting to unlock at least and thats huge.

I think we are seeing that AA is most effective when he’s carrying the puck through the neutral zone.

BONE207

Gerta Rauss: LoL…their coach looks like theguest star on Melrose Place

YOU WATCH MELROSE??? You have reached the end of the internet…🤣

Klima's_Bucket

hunter1909,

Are they wrong?

hunter1909

McDavid does all the work the rest of the Oilers just pad their stats lol

Foege Foegele Torpe

delooper:
Australian victory music. Hmm.

Ha,
At least it wasn’t Men without Jimmy hats.
“I come from a land down under”
Ya know what, I don’t give a fuck

hunter1909

LOL they hate Neal for some weird reason, anyone know why Calgary fans hate James Neal tonight?

hunter1909

Now Flames fans whining that without McDavid Oilers would be a terrible team LMAO

Nix

If AA keeps up this play on a top line Ryan Strome is just going to have to use his balance bringing right handedness to spring McLeod down the left wall next year.

Gerta Rauss

hunter1909:
Chicago’s coaching staff look like poets, not NHL grizzled coaches like Tippett etc

LoL…their coach looks like the guest star on Melrose Place

Munny

Gerta Rauss:
That’s a big win

It wasn’t pretty and this series is going to be hard, a lot harder than anyone thought

Lots of room for improvement but that’s a strong win

Agree with all of that. Chicago matches us up well and Dach is even better than I thought. Plus they’re not playing Seabrook.

prefonmich

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual,

Thanks. Then I dont mind. Get it right!

hunter1909

A Flames fan on Calgary Puck hates Kassian’s Sideburns with a white hot fury lol

I’m reading their miserable final game posts currently its 4-3 Oilers lol