Squeeze Box

by Lowetide

The Edmonton Oilers were under the gun, and (led by Connor McDavid) delivered a strong effort against the Chicago Blackhawks last night. The series is tied 1-1, we can discuss a new No. 1 line, a massive goal by James Neal, fine goaltending (especially in the first period) by Mikko Koskinen and some solid defensive play. What won’t we discuss? The draft.

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.

THE LINES

Line 1 five on five: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins-Connor McDavid-Josh Archibald played 9:28, going 15-5 Corsi five on five, 6-4 shots, 2-1 goals and 5-1 HDSC.

McDavid was fantastic from the start of the game, giving Edmonton a 2-0 lead before the couch seats were warm and playing a strong game overall. His second goal was impossible. If attention to detail was an issue for the Oilers in game one, 97’s precision and excellence early set the tone for the rest of the game. I know math and stats and analytics don’t value ‘rising to the moment’ but in the lore of McDavid this game is a building block for the story we’ll write in our mind’s eye. Incredible talent. Nuge had three assists, Archibald is a game rooster, 97 is a superhero.

Line 2 five on five: Tyler Ennis-Leon Draisaitl-Kailer Yamamoto: played 9:31, going 13-7 Corsi, 6-5 shots, 1-2 goals and 5-1 HDSC.

Ennis scored a big goal and had four shots on net. He also had three high-danger chances. Yamamoto had two high-danger chances and made a key play on the Ennis goal (should have gotten an assist). A rare quiet game for Draisaitl offensively, but he was effective, skated miles and had several good chances.

Line 3 five on five: Andreas Athanasiou-Riley Sheahan-Zack Kassian played 7:19, 9-6 Corsi, 5-3 shots, no goals and 1-0 HDSC.

Athanasiou was impressive, I honestly had to check myself to identify who was doing these great things on the Sheahan line. Kassian’s presence may have made a difference, but AA had a HDSC and drew a penalty. If this line gets rolling, the Oilers have a story to tell.

Line 4 five on five: James Neal-Jujhar Khaira-Alex Chiasson. The line played 7:13, 5-7 Corsi, 5-2 shots, 1-0 goals and 2-3 HDSC.

The James Neal goal was massive. Khaira was a wrecking ball, three HDSC on the night and four shots on goal. Chiasson’s goal came when the game was secure but offered more insurance and in 2020 more insurance is a great idea.

THE PAIRINGS

Oscar Klefbom-Adam Larsson played 15:33, going 11-11 Corsi, 4-6 shots, 1-0 goals and 5-4 HDSC.

The outlet usage above might be an anomaly, but we should follow it this series. I haven’t seen any indication Klefbom is less than 100 percent, so it might be planned or a reaction to Chicago’s forecheck. This pairing was on the good side of the puck often, recovering from a tough outing in Game 1.

Darnell Nurse-Ethan Bear played 15:12, going 21-13 Corsi, 13-7 shots, 2-2 goals and 8-2 HDSC.

Nurse had an assist, a takeaway, two blocked shots and some good work along the wall. He wasn’t able to stop the pass net front to Kane on the first goal, Bear had defended the original sortie and didn’t recognize danger (nor did McDavid) on time. Bear drew a penalty and his fabulous outlet passing (found AA from two towns away) was on display.

Kris Russell-Matt Benning played 8:55, going 12-9 Corsi, 7-3 shots, 1-1 goals, 3-2 HDSC.

Russell tipped a shot that meandered into the Edmonton net, fans online hammered him senseless but the puck was heading in a good direction for the most part with him on the ice. Had a nice look, blocked a shot. Benning had a shot, blocked four shots, was credited with a big hit and took a penalty the Oilers could ill afford to take.

Mikko Koskinen stopped 23 of 26, .895. That doesn’t really tell the story, Koskinen faced half a dozen 10-bell chances in the first period and gave up just one goal. I would play him again on Wednesday.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, we’re back! At 10:20, Joaquin Gage from 2-guys and a goalie podcast will join us to talk Koskinen and Smith performances early in the Chicago series. At 11, Murat Ates from The Athletic will talk about the compelling Jets-Flames series. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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Chris

Nice to see Puluarvi is at least keeping the door open to a return by signing a contract with an NHL out. Given that next season isn’t scheduled to start until December given that the playoffs just started in August I can’t say that doesn’t make sense if the Finnish League is going to start back up in October. You’d have to think he’d be encouraged by how Yammamoto seems to have overcome being yoyoed around and become a regular.

Now it comes down to whether or not the Oilers can dial up the intensity like they did last time. I’m rather hoping the plan is to continue to ride Koskinen as I really wouldn’t disrupt the line up for the last game aside from swapping Haas in for Khaira.

hunter1909

Todd Macallan:
I’m going to go ahead and assume that the irony of someone choosing to stop supporting a team due to a history of mediocrity and then choosing to cheer for the Canucks is lost on no one in this community.Well, almost no one.

“I’m a hockey fan”.

Ice Sage

jp: The expansion rules remain favourable, so they surely won’t be a weakling. Seattle will be hard pressed to repeat what Vegas has done though I think. JMO, but I feel like teams have learned not to give up too much to protect the assets they do have (like a number did with Vegas).

I agree with this – everything went well for Vegas. I envision Seattle being decent, though – it’s a long-neglected strong hockey market.

OriginalPouzar

As anticipated, as their camp is starting, Puljujarvi signs a one-year deal with Karpat.

Of course, this does not preclude signing in the NHL and coming over when NHL camps start up which very well may still be the plan.

OriginalPouzar

Harpers Hair: I am thinking they may go with the minimum number (or close) of 20 players in the expansion draft and then harvest free agents the rest of the league can’t afford in cap or real dollars to sign.

RNH might be a prime target.

Its unlikely that Nugent-Hopkins will be available to the franchise except via trade.

wolf8888

Todd Macallan:
I’m going to go ahead and assume that the irony of someone choosing to stop supporting a team due to a history of mediocrity and then choosing to cheer for the Canucks is lost on no one in this community.Well, almost no one.

HAHAHAH

Harpers Hair

jp:
Congratulations to Pettersson, Boeser and Hughes for their first career playoff points. Markstrom looks like he might get his first career W too. Big day for the franchise.

Kevin Fiala is also really good at hockey.

Harpers Hair

Fuge Udvar:
I love all the bold predictions on Seattle before they have even signed a player. There are still so many decisions they will make that will be influenced by completely unpredictable factors.

I find it interesting that the seemingly overwhelming consensus is that Seattle will be good because Vegas was good. But when Vegas was announced as an expansion the overwhelming consensus was that they would suck….. Because Columbus sucked when they came in to the league.

I put the odds of Seattle being good or bad at 50/50

The terms of the expansion draft have changed dramatically since Columbus joined the league.

Not only does Seattle get to feast on the other teams, they are also guaranteed the third best odds to win the draft lottery.

It would take a Kevin Lowe or Peter Chiarelli to screw that up.

Fuge Udvar

I love all the bold predictions on Seattle before they have even signed a player. There are still so many decisions they will make that will be influenced by completely unpredictable factors.

I find it interesting that the seemingly overwhelming consensus is that Seattle will be good because Vegas was good. But when Vegas was announced as an expansion the overwhelming consensus was that they would suck….. Because Columbus sucked when they came in to the league.

I put the odds of Seattle being good or bad at 50/50

Harpers Hair

Munny:
No team will benefit more from Covid and what it has done to the League than the Kraken.

I am thinking they may go with the minimum number (or close) of 20 players in the expansion draft and then harvest free agents the rest of the league can’t afford in cap or real dollars to sign.

RNH might be a prime target.

jp

Congratulations to Pettersson, Boeser and Hughes for their first career playoff points. Markstrom looks like he might get his first career W too. Big day for the franchise.

Munny

No team will benefit more from Covid and what it has done to the League than the Kraken.

Harpers Hair

Paul Almeida (@AzorcanGlobal) Tweeted:
The #Oilers Eberle trade chain

Eberle to #NYI for Ryan Strome
Strome to #NYR for Ryan Spooner
Spooner to #YVR for Sam Gagner

Gagner & two 2nd round picks to #DET for Andreas Athanasiou & Ryan Kuffner

Harpers Hair

OriginalPouzar: Its it plausible to suggest that the Oilers could win their sixth before Seattle even has rights to a player?

No.

Harpers Hair

Todd Macallan:
I’m going to go ahead and assume that the irony of someone choosing to stop supporting a team due to a history of mediocrity and then choosing to cheer for the Canucks is lost on no one in this community.Well, almost no one.

The only issue with your conclusion is that I’m not actually a Canucks supporter but merely talk about them here because I live in the market and hear a lot about them.

Comparing their rebuild to the Oilers infinibuild is interesting to me since I have knowledge of both unlike many here who believe the Oilers can do no wrong despite ample evidence they screw up all the time and continue to do so.

If there is a current team that really attracts my attention it is the Colorado Avalanche.

Given how Sakic has built that roster while maintaining oodles of cap space and an incredible prospect pool should be an object lesson for all of us.

Seattle also is a team that I will watch closely since early indications are the management of the team really seems to know what they’re doing.

For example, they already have a cutting edge analytics team in place while the Oilers are still old schooling it with hockey men.

Based on Seattle’s branding launch, social media which is already schooling more established teams and innovative ownership group, I expect they will be a force to reckon with in the Pacific Division right out if the gate.

We’ll see.

leadfarmer

ArmchairGM:
Rangers are going home.

Panarin really does not want to play in Canada

Pescador

OilClog:
Being on the coast for 15 years I’ve not come across one fan that’s changed their team to cheer for Vancouver. Shitting on the Canucks is a great uniter out here.

I have met several Canuck fans who have relocated to Alberta, all decent human beings, they pay their taxes and eat with a fork And a knife.
Not a one of them would consider switching to becoming an Oiler fan, I’ve asked.
They have my respect

OriginalPouzar

Anyone hear Duncan Keith’s comments today?

Coliton mentioned that the first goal was a lack of communication – when Keith was asked about it, he sounded surprised that the coach would say that and mentioned that he and Boquist communicate great and talk alot and that it’s easy to 2nd guess.

Didn’t sound like a 1D that was on the same page with his coach right now….

Todd Macallan

I’m going to go ahead and assume that the irony of someone choosing to stop supporting a team due to a history of mediocrity and then choosing to cheer for the Canucks is lost on no one in this community. Well, almost no one.

jp

Lowetide: I think that Seattle franchise is going to be very strong. One of the things we don’t talk about often is the impact of Vegas and soon Seattle on the early years of McDavid. The expansion draft reset the division in a big way.

I think it’s plausible to suggest Vegas and or the new Seattle franchise could win their Stanley before Edmonton wins its sixth, Calgary its second and Vancouver its first in the modern era.

The expansion rules remain favourable, so they surely won’t be a weakling. Seattle will be hard pressed to repeat what Vegas has done though I think. JMO, but I feel like teams have learned not to give up too much to protect the assets they do have (like a number did with Vegas).

GordieHoweHatTrick

ArmchairGM:
Rangers are going home.

First to enter the Lafreniere sweepstakes

ArmchairGM

Rangers are going home.

Durag

Harpers Hair: Nah.

I was an Oiler season ticket holder for many years but the 20 years of mediocrity which has now stretched into 30 years and the ridiculous cost of tickets soured me.

I now attend select games in Vancouver and will certainly will fly to Seattle occasionally to take in a game.

Based on early indications, I expect the team will be competitive and it appears they will produce an in game experience that will far surpass Cotton Eyed Joe, Smooch Cam and beef jerky giveaways that are prevalent in North Bay of the Prairies.

The backstory does make you a more compelling villain, I approve.

Durag

Lowetide: I think that Seattle franchise is going to be very strong. One of the things we don’t talk about often is the impact of Vegas and soon Seattle on the early years of McDavid. The expansion draft reset the division in a big way.

I think it’s plausible to suggest Vegas and or the new Seattle franchise could win their Stanley before Edmonton wins its sixth, Calgary its second and Vancouver its first in the modern era.

God we would destroy the Pacific over the next few years if it wasn’t for Vegas, and now probably Seattle.

Reja

OriginalPouzar: Its it plausible to suggest that the Oilers could win their sixth before Seattle even has rights to a player?

How about 7 before the dispersal draft.

jp

Harpers Hair: Nah.
I was an Oiler season ticket holder for many years but the 20 years of mediocrity which has now stretched into 30 years and the ridiculous cost of tickets soured me.
I now attend select games in Vancouver and will certainly will fly to Seattle occasionally to take in a game.
Based on early indications, I expect the team will be competitive and it appears they will produce an in game experience that will far surpass Cotton Eyed Joe, Smooch Cam and beef jerky giveaways that are prevalent in North Bay of the Prairies.

Could be mistaken but I thought you said at some point you’ve been on the island for 15 or 20 years already..

Durag

godot10:
Jordan Eberle in the playoffs for the New York Islanders.
10 games 6 goals 5 assists 11 points.

Hey Petey and Flattop…It was YOU, not him.

The funny thing is…I’d be perfectly fine with having current Ryan Strome

OriginalPouzar

Lowetide: I think that Seattle franchise is going to be very strong. One of the things we don’t talk about often is the impact of Vegas and soon Seattle on the early years of McDavid. The expansion draft reset the division in a big way.

I think it’s plausible to suggest Vegas and or the new Seattle franchise could win their Stanley before Edmonton wins its sixth, Calgary its second and Vancouver its first in the modern era.

Its it plausible to suggest that the Oilers could win their sixth before Seattle even has rights to a player?

Reja

Harpers Hair:
Emily Kaplan (@emilymkaplan) Tweeted:
The Seattle Kraken have the NHL’s biggest identity launch ever, outselling the Vegas Golden Knights by 4x, per Fanatics.

The Kraken’s season ticket waitlist is now at 51,000. That’s in addition to the 32,000 fans who have already put down deposits.
https://t.co/ZyV9GK1hyJ

Scalping tickets has gotten a lot easier and become more profitable with the age of the Internet.

jm363561

tileguy:
Kinda wish our host would step in and quell all these tedious comments regarding the refs, Bettman and conspiracies. Isn’t there another sites where homers Can gather and commiserate with each other?

If you can stand it go to Twitter. Unfortunately the insanity Increasingly leaks into planet normality.

OilClog

Harpers Hair: Nah.

I was an Oiler season ticket holder for many years but the 20 years of mediocrity which has now stretched into 30 years and the ridiculous cost of tickets soured me.

I now attend select games in Vancouver and will certainly will fly to Seattle occasionally to take in a game.

Based on early indications, I expect the team will be competitive and it appears they will produce an in game experience that will far surpass Cotton Eyed Joe, Smooch Cam and beef jerky giveaways that are prevalent in North Bay of the Prairies.

That’s nice.

OilClog

Being on the coast for 15 years I’ve not come across one fan that’s changed their team to cheer for Vancouver. Shitting on the Canucks is a great uniter out here.

Harpers Hair

pts2pndr: The Canucks are so hard up for fans they block the Valley from Viewing other teams on Sportsnet. Hence I have Center ice and have since I moved out of Alberta 15 years ago. I never was the bandwagon type. Loyalty is a value I learned as a boy in Alberta. I am very proud of my Alberta heritage. I will always be an Oiler fan.

That’s nice.

Harpers Hair

jp: You’re saying you are one of those on the wait list?

Nah.

I was an Oiler season ticket holder for many years but the 20 years of mediocrity which has now stretched into 30 years and the ridiculous cost of tickets soured me.

I now attend select games in Vancouver and will certainly will fly to Seattle occasionally to take in a game.

Based on early indications, I expect the team will be competitive and it appears they will produce an in game experience that will far surpass Cotton Eyed Joe, Smooch Cam and beef jerky giveaways that are prevalent in North Bay of the Prairies.

OriginalPouzar

Sounds like the OHL is planning:

– Dec 1 start
-64 games
– 16 team playoffs with first two rounds best of 3.
– potential for Ontario to host the US teams

Sounds like the Q will be voting on:

– Oct 1 regular season start (Aug 27th camp)
– 60 game schedule
– 3 divisions (a maritimes division and two Quebec divisions)

WHL likely to “take AHL’s lead” and “not before December 4 and they would require at least 50% fan capacity.

Per Marek and Shannon

jp

Harpers Hair: Probably thousands who moved to BC from Edmonton who can’t get tickets in Vancouver.

You’re saying you are one of those on the wait list?

pts2pndr

Harpers Hair: Probably thousands who moved to BC from Edmonton who can’t get tickets in Vancouver.

The Canucks are so hard up for fans they block the Valley from Viewing other teams on Sportsnet. Hence I have Center ice and have since I moved out of Alberta 15 years ago. I never was the bandwagon type. Loyalty is a value I learned as a boy in Alberta. I am very proud of my Alberta heritage. I will always be an Oiler fan.

Nix

wolf8888:
OriginalPouzar,

That’s a good point. Anyone remember The Peter Principle? Promote people to their level of incompetence. Maybe Tippet should run with the same group that was so effective last night.

It does seem like certain organizations are more willing to play to a players strengths, warts aside, and give them a productive role instead of shoehorning them into a all encompassing system. I think Tippett actually did this pretty well here with a bottom six full of specialists.
Sorry I cant remember who but someone posted last night that essentially AA plays like a poor mans Hall. That kind of stuck with me. Let him run free and cannonball if thats what the man is, checking line be damned, and I wish him godspeed.

Pescador

Munny:
Tucker “Two-Face” is one tough bugger.

Darcy?

Pescador

Harpers Hair: Probably thousands who moved to BC from Edmonton who can’t get tickets in Vancouver.

Nah,
It would take someone with a truly bitter personality to jump ship like that.
I suppose there would be the odd ex-Oiler fan that would feel desperate to fit in with all the other whining Canuck fans they live amongst.

Munny

Tucker “Two-Face” is one tough bugger.

Harpers Hair

pts2pndr: Probably a large number of people from Vancouver that want to watch and cheer for a real NHL team.

Probably thousands who moved to BC from Edmonton who can’t get tickets in Vancouver.

Munny

pts2pndr: Probably a large number of people from Vancouver that want to watch and cheer for a real NHL team.

Sheer poetry…

pts2pndr

Harpers Hair:
Emily Kaplan (@emilymkaplan) Tweeted:
The Seattle Kraken have the NHL’s biggest identity launch ever, outselling the Vegas Golden Knights by 4x, per Fanatics.

The Kraken’s season ticket waitlist is now at 51,000. That’s in addition to the 32,000 fans who have already put down deposits.
https://t.co/ZyV9GK1hyJ

Probably a large number of people from Vancouver that want to watch and cheer for a real NHL team.

Lucinius

Bleh. Jets continue to struggle in 2nd periods. Now out-scored 8-2 in 2nd period play in the series.

Lucinius

Munny,

Good to know he’s okay, but his loss will hurt the Leafs. He should be out for at least 4 days due to quarantine rules.

Don’t think it was suspendable on the hit, though, unlike what a lot of Leaf fans are calling for. It was likely something that warranted 2 minutes for cross-checking, but the injury came post-hit, after he tried to get up and just face planted forwards.

Lucinius

Younger Oil,

Agreed. You might have been able to call Harkin for something; though I’m not entirely sure what. It wasn’t roughing. It wasn’t a hook (the call they made). It wasn’t boarding. It wasn’t charging. Not sure it is an actual penalty, to be honest. I firmly believe that is a call made because of the result rather than the action, as I said.

And yeah, Lucic comes through again. Horrible PK there by the Flames, though. Waaaay too much space for the Jets, especially Copp.

Surprised the Jets are doing as well as they are, considering the injuries and Hallebuyck looking mortal this series rather than the norm for the season.

Munny

leadfarmer:
Dang hope Muzzin is ok

Apparently able to talk and move about in the hospital.

Younger Oil

Lucinius:
Lucic goal disallowed due to Dube and goalie interference. Right call.

Not sold on the Harkin penalty, either. Looked more like a call from the result more than the action.

Then Lucic takes a dumb penalty to allow the Jets to get back in the game, music.

The Harkin penalty was bullshit. It was called a hook, but his stick didn’t touch Monohan. Probably could have been a penalty for the push, but it was clear the ref didn’t actually see anything.