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!

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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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DenverOilFan

I’m sure there are good reasons, but could we please put the Drai, Nuge, Yamo line back together. Just as a starting point.

dustrock

Wonder if there will be any changes to the forwards. I doubt it.

Tesla's Hair

“Look, I wish we weren’t talking about it either, but we’re here bitches.” #WTF+LOL

OriginalPouzar

DenverOilFan:
I’m sure there are good reasons, but could we please put the Drai, Nuge, Yamo line back together. Just as a starting point.

I read a tweet from a solid account this morning that Ennis was with Drail and Yamamoto at practice yesterday. Then again, no media is at the practice and Tippett didn’t disclose any line info yesterday so I’m not sure where this person would get this from (unless he has direct contact with a player or staff, for example, which i don’t think he does).

Anyways, at this point, for the skaters, I’m not actually anticipating a change. I think it will be the same lines and pairings as game 1.

PeOiler

Izzy is the best in the world. That means he’s better than just #1.

OriginalPouzar

When the return to play and schedule were being finalized, I was just so happy that a plan was in place and the arrows were pointing towards a return of Oiler hockey, I forgot how egregious it was to have to wait until 8:30 (i.e. 8:40) for the game to start – totally effs with my food schedule.

Oh well.

—————–

I watched good portions of all the qualifying games (except ARI/NSH) and the out of the 13 teams I saw, the Oilers were the only team, as a group, that didn’t show up at all – weren’t ready to play, etc.

I expect a much different team tonight!

OriginalPouzar

McDavid to Toews: “You think you’re better than me????????”.

DenverOilFan

OriginalPouzar,

If it’s broke, don’t fix it

OriginalPouzar

I think Klefbom/Bear will be a phenomenal pairing in the coming years – I really hope I don’t see it tonight.

Coach T. didn’t pull any punches with the Klefbom/Larsson pairing – saying they weren’t good enough and they are relied on for big minutes and need to be better.

Tippett was correct!

Clarkenstein

I’ve watched a lot of hockey over the weekend. The speed and pace of play has been nothing short of phenomenal. Every team except one. No idea why.

Bryan

“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.”

That’s gold, Jerry! Gold!

DenverOilFan

OriginalPouzar:
When the return to play and schedule were being finalized, I was just so happy that a plan was in place and the arrows were pointing towards a return of Oiler hockey, I forgot how egregious it was to have to wait until 8:30 (i.e. 8:40) for the game to start – totally effs with my food schedule.

Oh well.

—————–

I watched good portions of all the qualifying games (except ARI/NSH) and the out of the 13 teams I saw, the Oilers were the only team, as a group, that didn’t show up at all – weren’t ready to play, etc.

I expect a much different team tonight!

NSH didn’t show up. Started strong and finished strong (score effects, AZ sitting on lead) but that 40 to 50 mins in between, eesh. I didn’t think WPG was all that great but give them a pass due to Scheiffle effect.

Younger Oil

Not to be a defeatist, but just trying to look at who our first round pick a bit better: If we lose the play-in series, are we either drafting 1st (if we win the lottery), or 14th/15th (because we have the 2nd highest points percentage of any play in team)? From how I interpreted the draft lottery rules there’s no opportunity to draft at anything other than that in the event that we lose the play-in round, right?

OriginalPouzar

Karpat’s training camp starts today. No Jesse – not a surprise as he hasn’t signed but I think it’s notable.

I sense an Oiler signing and loan in the next bit.

GordieHoweHatTrick

Clarkenstein:
I’ve watched a lot of hockey over the weekend. The speed and pace of play has been nothing short of phenomenal.Every team except one.No idea why.

Yup. It’s a real head scratcher. There may be a sports psychology PhD thesis in there somewhere…

GordieHoweHatTrick

Thanks for the laughs LT! I appreciate your levity while I am gnawing at my fingertips…

OriginalPouzar

I asked and Nugent-Bowman was nice enough to respond – Media avail at 11:30 this morning – not that Tip will let us know anything about the tenders or potential lineup or lines/pairings changes.

This no media at morning skates or practices (which I get, they aren’t at the main arena) is making game day info all but nil when you have a secretive coach.

hunter1909

Hunter1909 2020 Playoff Death March™ POSSIBLE FINAL WEEK

Enter Now!

https://oilersdeathmarch.com/playoffs-2020/

So much excitement You don’t want to miss

jtblack

Nwver a good sign when CHI trounces you and Patty Kane only had 1 A.

OP, this is the most honest commentary I have heard from you.

ALL that I know is it will be 33 degrees and I will be watching playoff hockey. SIGN ME UP.!!!

PREDICTION: EDM 4 – CHI 3 1ST STAR – MIKKO

Hitman77

Byfield is a winger?

godot10

OriginalPouzar:
When the return to play and schedule were being finalized, I was just so happy that a plan was in place and the arrows were pointing towards a return of Oiler hockey, I forgot how egregious it was to have to wait until 8:30 (i.e. 8:40) for the game to start – totally effs with my food schedule.

Oh well.

—————–

I watched good portions of all the qualifying games (except ARI/NSH) and the out of the 13 teams I saw, the Oilers were the only team, as a group, that didn’t show up at all – weren’t ready to play, etc.

I expect a much different team tonight!

The Oilers were up 1-0 when their goaltender shat the bed. Smith didn’t give them a chance to settle down when he left the puck for Dylan Strome.

That was as big a blunder as the Steve Smith pass.

OriginalPouzar

Surprised that Ferland was merely fined and not suspended for his spear….

godot10

OriginalPouzar:
McDavid to Toews: “You think you’re better than me????????”.

Toews: “No, but I have Kubalik, and you have effing do-nothing lazy a$$ Kassian”.

jake70

Bryan:
“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.”

That’s gold, Jerry!Gold!

Hard for LT to outdo himself but here it is….thought that was great too. Haha.

innercitysmytty

godot10: The Oilers were up 1-0 when their goaltender shat the bed.Smith didn’t give them a chance to settle down when he left the puck for Dylan Strome.

That was as big a blunder as the Steve Smith pass.

I’m with you on this line of thinking. Weak goals like can deflate a team and I think the Oilers lost the game at that point. It’s easy to spread the blame and surely the rest of the team never played well after that, but hard for the players to not play tight when they are worried that the tender can let in another weak one at any time.

Ryan

OriginalPouzar: I read a tweet from a solid account this morning that Ennis was with Drail and Yamamoto at practice yesterday.Then again, no media is at the practice and Tippett didn’t disclose any line info yesterday so I’m not sure where this person would get this from (unless he has direct contact with a player or staff, for example, which i don’t think he does).

Anyways, at this point, for the skaters, I’m not actually anticipating a change.I think it will be the same lines and pairings as game 1.

Tippett didn’t make many in game adjustments last game.

I am not sure about the lines.

Chicago’s not a big heavy team, but those are two very small wingers for one line…

Kassian had a poor effort and wasn’t shuffled.

The bottom two lines were low-event which was good, but there’s an odd mix there.

Obviously, the Khaira line is big and slow and you can try to use that line for o-zone face offs, but not really a good checking line.

The Sheahan line is sort of a checking line, but AA doesn’t fit on that type of line since he’s a defensive liability.

The 97 line should have been much better, but they don’t mach up well starting d-zone draws against Toews.

Overall, I find the lines sort of perplexing.

1. I’d want a better defensive winger on the Sheahan line to use it for checking purposes. Subtract AA from that line.

2. The Draisaitl line could use a bigger winger to play with Yamamoto.

godot10

The Nugent-Hopkins Draisaitl Yamamoto line HAS to be put back together, at least for this series, and immediately.

It is a matchup series. Chicago has no match for that line. Give them something to worry about.

Give McDavid two reliable checkers and reliable in the d-zone. It is okay to try Neil on RW here

Something like Nygard McDavid Ennis/Russell/Neil
Nygard/McDavid/Neil

Lots of guys work well with Sheahan and Archibald (Ennis, Athanasiou, Nygard, Kassian)
Athanasiou Sheahan Archibald

Put the leftover left wing with Khaira and Chiasson.
Ennis Khaira Chiasson

Bryan

The way I look at it is the team can’t play worse than they did on Saturday.. I’d have Kassian on an extremely short leash and if he is performing like last game then staple him to the bench. Putting Koskinen in should help to calm everyone down. If they aren’t rolling by the end of the first put Nuge back with Leon and figure something else out for Connor. Ennis and AA would be a lot more help than what Kassian was giving him. Klefbom and Larson simply need to play better. Bear wasn’t his usual steady self last game but he didn’t have many bad games this season. Crawford didn’t remind me of Bernie Parent in net. Chicago doesn’t have the 76 Canadiens lineup on defence either. No reason to panic yet. They just need to play the way that they can.

GordieHoweHatTrick

I don’t expect a significant change to the starting line-up other than G.

I expect the leash will be short. If the team shows poor performance in the top 6 in the first period expect to see Kass moved and perhaps RNH back to Leon-KY…add a little more adversity to McD having to play with two “new” wingers, but maybe that would be a good thing (extra attention to DZone details…)

I am interested to see Haas and Nygard inserted at some point. I would really like to see if signed Nygard can out perform or equally peform compared to unsigned AA. Likewise, Haas vs Sheahan.

The lack of a RHC was obvious on the lost draws last game (and in previous games!!). Oh Strome, how I miss thee…

Yesterday, Claude Giroux showed a fancy “reverse hand” draw technique that was successful against Bergeron (if memory serves). Based on results, the LHC on the Oilers have not seemed to put much effort to improving face-off percentages. Giroux is very good at draws, maybe his prototype “reverse hand” method could be adopted in the off-season by a few Oil LHC so we have higher percentages on the dot and increase the likelihood to start shifts with puck possession….just a thought.

hunter1909

Oilers are the OnalDay UmpTray of these NHL playoff/ins… No respect from anyone else in the league pissing away all of that drafted talent has Edmonton thought of like another incarnation of the 2000’s playoff bust Ottawa Senators. Lose to the Hawks and this team will have earned the distinction all by themselves.

jp

OriginalPouzar:
When the return to play and schedule were being finalized, I was just so happy that a plan was in place and the arrows were pointing towards a return of Oiler hockey, I forgot how egregious it was to have to wait until 8:30 (i.e. 8:40) for the game to start – totally effs with my food schedule.

Oh well.

At least you’re not on the east coast…

hunter1909

When you have two relatively equal goalies the one you stick in first isn’t the one you think might win its the goalie you feel best about pulling out and replacing.

Tippett probably didn’t do that kind of thinking at all and now his team is behind the 8 ball. One thing is for certain, this season it’s going to be hard for Kevin Lowe to blame the fans LOL

JOFA

Let’s hope the horse decides to leave the barn tonight.

Prediction: The Oilers will give a much better effort tonight and may even win. That will be followed-up with being complacent the next game. If they happen to win the series, they will be quickly disposed of in the “1st round”. Still not good enough. The balance photo will have to wait AL.

hunter1909

“At least we’re not Buffalo” Oilers internal memo

hunter1909

JOFA: If they happen to win the series, they will be quickly disposed of in the “1st round”. Still not good enough.

I dunno, I had them down to win 14 games before this disaster of an opening night massacre.

JOFA

What we saw against Calgary is who they are. Play well for part of the game, and get outplayed the rest. Pray for good goaltending and special teams to pull off a win. Rinse and repeat.

Reja

Tippett has to go with Kosh that being said no way Smith is solely to blame. They had zero emotion like OP keeps saying . Chicago was skating all over the ice like it was the woman’s free skate at the world championships That was one of the lamest efforts a Oiler team has ever produced I expect life for Kane and Toews will be much different tonight.

Brantford Boy

Bryan:
“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.”

That’s gold, Jerry!Gold!

I think that would be very ethical of Bettman… I envision the horses head in bed with Holland ala The Godfather…

meanashell11

Here’s what I saw last game. It was very similar to last season where the team did not have confidence in the goalie, played tentatively and when they got behind, tried to do too much. Perfect example, two Hawks behind our net, four Oilers go after them leaving a wide open Hawk in the slot. Happened at least 3-4 times.

I think as soon as Smith was announced as tender they tightened right up and never recovered.

Munny

Hitman77:
Byfield is a winger?

Right wing… judging by his publishing history.

Munny

hunter1909: I dunno, I had them down to win 14 games before this disaster of an opening night massacre.

You have us losing in Gm 7 of the SCF?!

Tesla's Hair

Imagine if…Hall, Petry, Maroon, Strome, Puljujarvi and Talbot (backup) were still on our team in these playoffs. Would we have balance?

PS. Where is Kinger by the way?! He called it that the hot/cold goalie player determines cup fate.

Waiting for some of his…





GO OILERS GO!

dustrock

Munny: Right wing… judging by his publishing history.

Ha ha ha nice one. Ted was probably elbows up as a player.

dustrock

Every time Strome does something great for the Rags, I grind my teeth.

Ryan

godot10:
The Nugent-Hopkins Draisaitl Yamamoto line HAS to be put back together, at least for this series, and immediately.

It is a matchup series.Chicago has no match for that line.Give them something to worry about.

Give McDavid two reliable checkers and reliable in the d-zone.It is okay to try Neil on RW here

Something like Nygard McDavid Ennis/Russell/Neil
Nygard/McDavid/Neil

Lots of guys work well with Sheahan and Archibald(Ennis, Athanasiou, Nygard, Kassian)
Athanasiou Sheahan Archibald

Put the leftover left wing with Khaira and Chiasson.
Ennis Khaira Chiasson

I’m on board with the reunited the Drai line, but not sure about your other suggestions.

– I wouldn’t use Russell (forward) unless we were really hit hard with the injury bug. Even still I couldn’t imagine a guy with that poor of offensive production ever playing with McDavid.

– Neal and McDavid have not been good at 5v5 (42% GF) nor is Neal a particularly savvy defensive player.

– AA is not great for a checking line.

You wonder what else Holland could have picked up for 2 second rounders that would have been a better fit.

Ennis was good with McDavid at producing offense in a small sample, but not a great defensive contributor for the line.

Nygard and McDavid have played well in a small sample size. 53 min, GF 6, GA 2

Nygard – McDavid – Kassian
Nuge – Draisaitl – Yamomoto
Ennis – Sheahan – Archibald
AA / Neal – Khaira – Chiasson

You could also put Ennis in the Nygard slot.

Really we don’t have an idea fit for that line except Nuge, in theory, but then the second line doesn’t work well.

Pescador

JOFA:
What we saw against Calgary is who they are. Play well for part of the game, and get outplayed the rest. Pray for good goaltending and special teams to pull off a win. Rinse and repeat.

Ouch,
hard look in the mirror and not a pretty reflection

Munny

If things are going badly half way through this game and they need a couple or more to equalize, it is far more likely they move 29 up with 97 and 93, than move Nuge down.

Munny

Tipp’s pre-game media avail is at 11:25 here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sKKlz5Nx_g

Kinger_Oil.redux

– In these 3 of 5’s any team that won the first game, is a solid period or two away from it being over.

– Lets say CHI gets a 2-0 lead half way into the 2nd: Most teams be like: ” F$ck it: 4 periods away from this being over, and going home….

– That’s not specific to the Oil, but all the teams down 1-0 and behind a few

– Not letting in a soft goal early to kill their will is critical today.

Munny

Koskinen starts.