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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Clarkenstein

Everybody sleep a little better last night?

Brantford Boy

The power and the glory, McDavid… amen.

Great effort from the entire team last night… that parade to the penalty box had me having flashbacks to the Anaheim series.

AA was a force all night, might not be long until he gets a push in the top 6. With that said, Tippett really put the boots to the blender and it appears that these are some fantastic lines he’s put together, especially the bottom 6.

tileguy

“ I would play him again on Wednesday.”
Kiss of death.

meanashell11

So where are the loud mouths this morning about McDavid isn’t a leader.

Elgin R

The zone exit data is not a good look for KRussel. However, his good work on the PK was a big contributor to CBH going 0-4. No reason to try to block a shot right in front of the goalie with no CBH player in the way – let the goalie see the shot!

What is with the penalty calls (or lack thereof)? If you cut a player in the face with your stick it is a double minor.

Rule 60
‘A penalty is assessed if a player strikes another player with a high stick. The player is given a minor penalty unless his high stick caused an injury, in which case the referee has the option to assess a double-minor, major, game misconduct or match penalty. It is the referee’s discretion which penalty to assess: the rule calls for a double minor for an accidental injury,’

It does not say it has to be the players own stick. Strome had control of Sheahan’s stick with his left hand and forced the stick into Kass’s face.

Keith cut Yamamoto with the blade of his stick up under the visor – automatic double minor.

Can we start the conspiracy theories now? Evidence: 3rd round pick to Calgary, cutting Oiler players without appropriate, or any, penalties.

LadiesloveSmid

I swear if Athanasiou wasn’t hooked on that one play (drawn PP), he would have buried. Guy was buzzing! I like that line because he doesn’t trust his blackhole teammates so he does it all alone.

Would love for Klefbom & Larsson to be a lot better still. Koskinen wants that 2nd goal back but otherwise fine game. Neal deserved 2 assists on the 6th goal, and got none! I’d play Jones over Russell, though #4 hasn’t actually been too bad.

hunter1909

Hunter1909 2020 Playoff Death March™

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

who

The effort was better but they still look pretty scrambly to me. Especially the defense. The Hawks have a very good group of forwards. Maybe that’s the problem. Kirby Dach looks like he’s going to be a dominant player in this league.
The line shuffling seemed to give us a little more juice. Loved AA’s game. That’s the guy I thought we were getting. He really doesn’t need linemates, at least not through the neutral zone. Cause most of the time it’s a solo mission. He definitely has tunnel vision with the puck. But he also looks like he can skate through an entire defense.
Still not a big fan of Archibald with McDavid. I see the hustle and physical play, but he just doesn’t have the hands or patience of a good offensive player. Too many Oiler possessions end on his stick.
Better effort, but unless the defense gets a lot sharper, we’re not going very far.

who

LadiesloveSmid:
I swear if Athanasiou wasn’t hooked on that one play (drawn PP), he would have buried. Guy was buzzing! I like that line because he doesn’t trust his blackhole teammates so he does it all alone.

Would love for Klefbom & Larsson to be a lot better still. Koskinen wants that 2nd goal back but otherwise fine game. Neal deserved 2 assists on the 6th goal, and got none! I’d play Jones over Russell, though #4 hasn’t actually been too bad.

I think Russell has been Edmonton’s best dman. Why on earth would you replace him?

dustrock

Wonder if Drai got hurt on the Connor Murphy hack attack. He was very quiet for most of the game afterwards and looked a step slow.

Also, it would be nice if one of the several dozen penalties on him would be called. Chicago has nobody that can physically stop Drai, so they’re using a tried-and-true clutch-n-grab style.

Just like McDavid, Drai is going to have to fight through it. Yamamotor is such a water bug out there, a pleasure to watch.

Justin Bourne mentioned the coach can do less at 5v5 as it’s far more unstructured, and you can see the value in Yamamoto because he makes unpredictable cuts and he’s quick enough to suddenly be in the way.

AA best game as an Oilers AINEC. Kassian looked like he got the message but I wouldn’t move him from this line. Sheahan was fine, although I might prefer Haas as a center there.

dustrock

Elgin R,

Obvious conspiracy theory is that Bettman wants the Chicago TV market. They’re going to get the calls. It’s long, long been the same way for the Lakers in LA, for example.

If you’re not going to call a 100% obvious double-minor on Yamamoto’s fractured nose….

ArmchairGM

Loved that 3rd period by the Oilers. In 15:05 at 5v5, they were

22-10 corsi
15-5 fenwick
9-4 shots
13-4 scoring chances
8-1 high danger
2-0 goals

THAT’S how you close out a game with a 1-goal lead – not by sitting back and defending.

dustrock

I think Willis made the point last night (twitter is quick and I had some pops, so I might be wrong) that it’s difficult to keep pushing after you’re up.

Didn’t bite the Hawks in the ass in Game 1 but the Oilers closed the gap more than they should.

What impressed me most about the team was other than McDavid, they still looked jittery to me in the first, but slowly through the 2nd and definitely in the 3rd, they began to look more confident and they didn’t back down from Chicago.

I don’t know if it was yelling from Tipp or they just figured it out, but suddenly guys like Nurse and Larsson were bodying guys and they looked more like the team we had watched all year.

dustrock

ArmchairGM,

ha ha great minds, just said the same thing.

I said after Game 1 I don’t think Chicago could possibly play better, but we all knew the OIlers could step up and I think by the 3rd, they got there.

Profit

I know it was talked about in the GDT but the lack of consistency with the refs is a huge issue.

As Elgin pointed out above we had two *unusual* situations happen last night, both of which went against the Oilers. Is there any recourse on this? Does Tippett just lose his cool to get his point across? Can the organization reach out? To me these are just wrong calls and need to be corrected.

There is no judgment here. I understand getting the “call right” on the Kassian one even though I’m unclear on using someone else’s stick against the opposing player seems like a penalty. But then specifically not reviewing the Yamamoto high stick, and not even accepting the evidence of him bleeding. He was visually bleeding on the ice before he made it to the bench. How is this not a 4 minute?

Oh it didn’t matter, late in the game, score wasn’t in doubt. I don’t care. This sets an uncomfortable precedence which the NHL needs to understand.

Durag

I saw all 4 lines good last night and that is incredibly encouraging. Kassian has always looked good with Sheahan and AA was a buzzsaw. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an NHL player bail out quite as hard as Boqvist did on that hit by Kassian. Smart move, the kid would have got his clock cleaned.

The only time I want to see Mike Smith start a game is if we’re up 3-0 in the second (3rd?) round and Koskinen is starting to look gassed.

Kert

Profit,

The NHL doesn’t want the Ref’s deciding the games, so they let the Ref’s decide the game. I hate it.

OilClog

All I know for certain is the Oilers as a lot are Stone Cold Killers.

And that’s the bottom line because Nuge has many many points.

Durag

Profit,

At the end of these playoffs, it would be interesting to see the stats on how many penalties are called against the “home” team versus the average. I don’t think you would get that stretch of 4 quick penalties against the Oilers in the 2nd period under normal circumstances. None of them seemed like a blatant wrong call, but they were all fairly ticky-tack stuff you don’t see called with that kind of frequency in the playoffs. I’ll bet with 20,000 fans in the building baying for blood a few of those calls don’t get made.

Rich M

Would also add last night that the penalty kill was massive.

When the Oilers took one penalty after another in the 2nd, it could have gotten out of hand, but the work of Archie/Sheahan/Nuge/Khaira and I’m sure I’m missing someone else from the forwards was huge. And the blocked shots by Bear, Nurse, etc. was what you expect in playoff hockey.

Elgin R

Durag:
I saw all 4 lines good last night and that is incredibly encouraging. Kassian has always looked good with Sheahan and AA was a buzzsaw. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an NHL player bail out quite as hard as Boqvist did on that hit by Kassian. Smart move, the kid would have got his clock cleaned.

High, high self preservation IQ. The Oilers have the big bodies and need to hit more, especially early in a game. Get the opponents looking around and playing the puck quicker to avoid getting crushed.

Tesla's Hair

“Stone Cold Killer”

1. A person you don’t wanna f**k around with.
2. a ruthless hitman
3. an implied hex on the Oilers playoff run
4. a PizzaPizza customer after hearing Smith was starting G1 https://www.blogto.com/eat_drink/2020/07/pizza-pizza-customer-toronto-face-mask/

Proper Usage: “the bastard that I hired was a stone cold killer”

FROM: The Urban Dictionary https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=stone%20cold%20killer

flyfish1168

Leon took to many hawk cross checks to the back in game 2. NHL needs to protect their stars and make these calls. It’s ridiculous that penalty calls are different during regular season and playoffs. It’s just as ridiculous that a rookie doesn’t get the benefit of a call versus a vet.

dustrock

Durag:
Profit,

At the end of these playoffs, it would be interesting to see the stats on how many penalties are called against the “home” team versus the average. I don’t think you would get that stretch of 4 quick penalties against the Oilers in the 2nd period under normal circumstances. None of them seemed like a blatant wrong call, but they were all fairly ticky-tack stuff you don’t see called with that kind of frequency in the playoffs. I’ll bet with 20,000 fans in the building baying for blood a few of those calls don’t get made.

Not only 4 quick penalties, it was in the 2nd period when the Oilers had the long change.

Don’t think we don’t notice, NHL.

Profit

Durag,

Yeah I agree. Fans would have made a big impact I think.

who

Durag:
Profit,

At the end of these playoffs, it would be interesting to see the stats on how many penalties are called against the “home” team versus the average. I don’t think you would get that stretch of 4 quick penalties against the Oilers in the 2nd period under normal circumstances. None of them seemed like a blatant wrong call, but they were all fairly ticky-tack stuff you don’t see called with that kind of frequency in the playoffs. I’ll bet with 20,000 fans in the building baying for blood a few of those calls don’t get made.

Regarding the ticky tack calls, here’s the way I saw it.
1st penalty. Keith gets his stick into Kassians waist, Kassian clamps down and gets the penalty. Reputation call. Should have been Keiths penalty originally, or offsetting minors at the worst.
2nd penalty. Sheehan slashes Kane while he’s shooting. I didn’t see it but I guess he got him in the hands. That one gets called 90 percent of the time.
3rd penalty. It was a crosscheck to the face! How is that a ticky tack penalty?
4th penalty. Khaira reached around and gave the Hawks shoulder a tug with his free hand. Again, that one gets called 90 percent of the time.
So in summary, 1 out of 4 was actually ticky tack. I know this is an Oilers blog, but the hometown bias is a bit much sometimes.
Also, for all you conspiracy theorists out there, I seriously doubt that Gary Bettman sits in his office, rubbing his hands together, dreaming up ways he can screw the Oilers. In fact, I doubt he spends any time thinking of Edmonton at all.

jake70

dustrock,

You mean NBC wants Chicago market. 😉

GordieHoweHatTrick

The most unfortunate thing about the victory last night was that there were not 18,000 people going insane inside Rogers Place last night to set of some Richter scale measurements on Connor’s breakaway goal and hattie…

Nice to see Jekyll show up (or is it Hyde???).

If AA can drive the third line consistently, there is a place in the line-up for him. I am in no rush to push him up the lineup if he can be effective on the 3rd and the top two lines can continue to be productive. We need 3 lines that can be an offensive threat with minimal D liabilities. 4th line chipping in for goals = bonus!

Woogie63

McDavid was a force.

A really important part of the win last night was the cycle and aggressive forecheck of the bottom six. Squishing the CHB defense every chance the Oilers get, has to be part of a winning game plan.

Fuge Udvar

I wonder if we see Crawford next game. A quiet 10GA in 2 games

greenshifter

who,

Well said, thank you.

Darth Tu

LadiesloveSmid:
I swear if Athanasiou wasn’t hooked on that one play (drawn PP), he would have buried. Guy was buzzing! I like that line because he doesn’t trust his blackhole teammates so he does it all alone.

Would love for Klefbom & Larsson to be a lot better still. Koskinen wants that 2nd goal back but otherwise fine game. Neal deserved 2 assists on the 6th goal, and got none! I’d play Jones over Russell, though #4 hasn’t actually been too bad.

Agreed, feelings count for nothing, but I felt like he was going to storm in there and bury it on that chance. Great effort holding the stick in there to get the call though – smarts.

That 3rd line was good, if Kassian had landed that shot on Boqvist he’d have been knocked into next week.

If AA can drive it we’re looking decent. Once your past the top 2 lines for Chicago they really don’t have all that much down there.

Similar effort in the next two games please.

quade

who,

That’s all fine and dandy, but do you truly think there weren’t calls that could have been made against Chicago in that time frame? And how do you explain the lack of double minor call on Yamamoto? Compounded with the strange (yet debatably accurate) calling back of the double minor for the high stick on Kassian? I don’t know if it is a fix, but the reffing was pretty hawks biased if you ask me. Blind trust in massive corporations to play fair shows a higher level of unreasonable thinking than allowing for the chance that they might not. In general large corporations with money at stake don’t play fair: So don’t act like it’s unreasonable to consider that.

cowboy bill

A huge difference last night was the Oilers PK . The Hawks were 0 for 4 , while the first game they were 3 for 6 . Maybe Kosky deserves some credit but the PK definitely made some adjustments .

tileguy

The lack of a double minor on Yams might be because his face shield cut him, not the stick.

Durag

cowboy bill:
A huge difference last night was the Oilers PK . The Hawks were 0 for 4 , while the first game they were 3 for 6 . Maybe Kosky deserves some credit but the PK definitely made some adjustments .

They must have blocked 10 shots on the PK in the second period alone. Great work, but I’m concerned about the long term consequences of clenching my sphincter that hard for that long.

OilClog

The refs have a 3 ft splinter in their ass when it comes to their jealousy of McDavid. I do think the refs association has a huge beef with him ever since he pointed and told them to check upstairs.

Side

tileguy:
The lack of a double minor on Yams might be because his face shield cut him, not the stick.

I think that kind of observation and ruling would require much more competence than the refs have demonstrated to date.

OriginalPouzar

Something that gives me higher confidence from last night is that they won, and really were the better team on the night and there are so many players that could play so much better:

– Mikko was good, not great – he did what he needed to do but we know that he can be even better

– Drai had a nice game – that line gave up nothing against but, at the same time, we know that the Drai/Kailer duo can be much more dominant

– Nurse was much better, one of the better players but he did make a couple mistakes and can be better – same with Bear – he got better as the game went on but he wasn’t near the top of his game

– Larsson and Klef were much better than game 1 but still FAR from the tops of their games.

It was a heartening performance for a team that can play so much better – that is a good thing.

Reja

who: Regarding the ticky tack calls, here’s the way I saw it.
1st penalty. Keith gets his stick into Kassians waist, Kassian clamps down and gets the penalty. Reputation call. Should have been Keiths penalty originally, or offsetting minors at the worst.
2nd penalty. Sheehan slashes Kane while he’s shooting. I didn’t see it but I guess he got him in the hands. That one gets called 90 percent of the time.
3rd penalty. It was a crosscheck to the face! How is that a ticky tack penalty?
4th penalty. Khaira reached around and gave the Hawks shoulder a tug with his free hand. Again, that one gets called 90 percent of the time.
So in summary, 1 out of 4 was actually ticky tack. I know this is an Oilers blog, but the hometown bias is a bit much sometimes.
Also, for all you conspiracy theorists out there,I seriously doubt that Gary Bettman sits in his office,rubbing his hands together, dreaming up ways he can screw the Oilers. In fact, I doubt he spends any time thinking of Edmonton at all.

What about Mcdavid and Leon getting held and chopped at all game?

OriginalPouzar

I had mentioned before the series started that the “4th line” could be a real plus for the team. Yup, they are slow and none of them were good 5 on 5 players this year. At the same time, the two wingers have goal scoring pedigree and experience and, if that line can generally saw off, create some zone time momentum and score the odd goal, well, that would be huge for the team.

We saw how beneficial that line was last night.

Ryan

who: Regarding the ticky tack calls, here’s the way I saw it.
1st penalty. Keith gets his stick into Kassians waist, Kassian clamps down and gets the penalty. Reputation call. Should have been Keiths penalty originally, or offsetting minors at the worst.
2nd penalty. Sheehan slashes Kane while he’s shooting. I didn’t see it but I guess he got him in the hands. That one gets called 90 percent of the time.
3rd penalty. It was a crosscheck to the face! How is that a ticky tack penalty?
4th penalty. Khaira reached around and gave the Hawks shoulder a tug with his free hand. Again, that one gets called 90 percent of the time.
So in summary, 1 out of 4 was actually ticky tack. I know this is an Oilers blog, but the hometown bias is a bit much sometimes.
Also, for all you conspiracy theorists out there,I seriously doubt that Gary Bettman sits in his office,rubbing his hands together, dreaming up ways he can screw the Oilers. In fact, I doubt he spends any time thinking of Edmonton at all.

1. agreed

2. I actually thought Kane was near the inside of the Oilers blue line and he had passed the puck towards the net. I didn’t recall that he was shooting the puck, but I could be wrong because I didn’t watch a replay. These slashes usually get called though, agreed.

3. Didn’t see that well, but I think the Hawk had his stick up as he approached Benning.. Was more of a 50-50 call for Benning.IMO.

4. Khaira reach was a little soft since Khaira had the puck. The Hawks were getting away with a lot of these calls (grabs) earlier. Also Klefbomb drove the net on one play and the Hawk was lauded for “tying him up” or tackling him before he touched the puck on a scoring chance.

Leon was obstructed a fair amount with reaches and grabs and none of it was called to my recollection.

I also think you have to look at these calls in the context of 4-in-a-row. Usually refs will factor that into calls in a tight game and let some things slide.

pts2pndr

who: Regarding the ticky tack calls, here’s the way I saw it.
1st penalty. Keith gets his stick into Kassians waist, Kassian clamps down and gets the penalty. Reputation call. Should have been Keiths penalty originally, or offsetting minors at the worst.
2nd penalty. Sheehan slashes Kane while he’s shooting. I didn’t see it but I guess he got him in the hands. That one gets called 90 percent of the time.
3rd penalty. It was a crosscheck to the face! How is that a ticky tack penalty?
4th penalty. Khaira reached around and gave the Hawks shoulder a tug with his free hand. Again, that one gets called 90 percent of the time.
So in summary, 1 out of 4 was actually ticky tack. I know this is an Oilers blog, but the hometown bias is a bit much sometimes.
Also, for all you conspiracy theorists out there,I seriously doubt that Gary Bettman sits in his office,rubbing his hands together, dreaming up ways he can screw the Oilers. In fact, I doubt he spends any time thinking of Edmonton at all.

The Refs get a briefing sheet before each game. Included are players to watch and other miscellaneous things that you might be most surprised about. The pairing that made the egregious miss on the hit to the head In game one of the series, should in my opinion, not ref for the balance of the playoffs. Not only did they miss the call they penalized the victim.

Lucinius

who,

The problem with the reffing is endemic. Oilers got screwed a bit by the refs last night. A lot of teams routinely get screwed by the refs. This isn’t an Oiler issue. I literally cannot recall the last game I watched that was ‘well officiated’, meaning penalties that were penalties got called and there were minimal (you can’t expect perfection) non-penalties getting called as penalties.

Why cannot remember it? It hasn’t happened, except maybe as a happy accident in a game sometime and I just never saw the game. Regardless of who plays I see the officials being horrendously bad at their job. It stems from three things;

1) They treat the rule book as a guide book. What is or is not a penalty depends on bias, mood, reputation, score, time.

2) They cannot be held accountable internally. At worst, if things get bad, they are simply not given playoff games.

3) No organisation or media holds them publicly accountable. Fans only gnash their teeth and refuse to actually protest (i.e.; boycotting games, merchandise, etc.).

These three things combined guarantee that it will never change. The NHL, Refs, Players, Media and Fans seem to think that the status quo is fine, expected and there is no need for change. Sure, fans complain.. but only when it impacts their team and they don’t do anything about it (which makes them just as culpable, imo).

The NHL is embarrassing. Which sucks. Because it is a great game ruined by stuff like this. And yes, I do mean ruined. I watch a small fraction of the hockey I used to because I cannot stand it. Even watching two teams I don’t really care about.. I end up frustrated (at best) by the officiating. Sometimes the games are good enough to be worth it in spite of the comedy show that is officiating.. but less and less can I say that is the case.

JimmyV1965

quade:
who,

That’s all fine and dandy, but do you truly think there weren’t calls that could have been made against Chicago in that time frame? And how do you explain the lack of double minor call on Yamamoto? Compounded with the strange (yet debatably accurate) calling back of the double minor for the high stick on Kassian? I don’t know if it is a fix, but the reffing was pretty hawks biased if you ask me. Blind trust in massive corporations to play fair shows a higher level of unreasonable thinking than allowing for the chance that they might not. In general large corporations with money at stake don’t play fair: So don’t act like it’s unreasonable to consider that.

Do you seriously think Bettman has instructed refs to call individual games or series’ in a certain way? That’s a moon landing level conspiracy theory.

I thought it was yet another poorly reffed game, but vets like Keith, Kane and Toews will get the benefit of the doubt everytime.

JimmyV1965

Lucinius:
who,

The problem with the reffing is endemic. Oilers got screwed a bit by the refs last night. A lot of teams routinely get screwed by the refs. This isn’t an Oiler issue. I literally cannot recall the last game I watched that was ‘well officiated’, meaning penalties that were penalties got called and there were minimal (you can’t expect perfection) non-penalties getting called as penalties.

Why cannot remember it? It hasn’t happened, except maybe as a happy accident in a game sometime and I just never saw the game. Regardless of who plays I see the officials being horrendously bad at their job. It stems from three things;

1) They treat the rule book as a guide book. What is or is not a penalty depends on bias, mood, reputation, score, time.

2) They cannot be held accountable internally. At worst, if things get bad, they are simply not given playoff games.

3) No organisation or media holds them publicly accountable. Fans only gnash their teeth and refuse to actually protest (i.e.; boycotting games, merchandise, etc.).

These three things combined guarantee that it will never change. The NHL, Refs, Players, Media and Fans seem to think that the status quo is fine, expected and there is no need for change. Sure, fans complain.. but only when it impacts their team and they don’t do anything about it (which makes them just as culpable, imo).

The NHL is embarrassing. Which sucks. Because it is a great game ruined by stuff like this. And yes, I do mean ruined. I watch a small fraction of the hockey I used to because I cannot stand it. Even watching two teams I don’t really care about.. I end up frustrated (at best) by the officiating. Sometimes the games are good enough to be worth it in spite of the comedy show that is officiating.. but less and less can I say that is the case.

Excellent, excellent post. I would put the blame 99% on the league though. Only the NHL has the power to make changes and create accountability.

quade

JimmyV1965,

I’m not saying I believe that, I’m just saying blind faith in large business to be fair is strange in my eyes in 2020. Wasn’t the World Series decided by cheating last year? Isn’t it unfair that if players in the nhl complain about the refs they get fined and if the refs mess up a game there is no system of appeal or review…I’m not saying it’s a fix, I’m just saying that blindly trusting them and accusing people of being homers if they point out the unfair bias of calls is really small minded. There have historically been fixes in professional sport that have been exposed. Why is it insane to say it is a possibility?

Reja

JimmyV1965: Do you seriously think Bettman has instructed refs to call individual games or series’ in a certain way? That’s a moon landing level conspiracy theory.

I thought it was yet another poorly reffed game, but vets like Keith, Kane and Toews will get the benefit of the doubt everytime.

Your telling me if Mcdavid and Leon were playing in LA or NY that they wouldn’t get the benefit of the doubt.

dustrock

Once we heard “what am I supposed to tell Corey?”, that told the entire story, forever.

dustrock

Oh hey did anyone rewatch when Nuge shot in the first period? I swear it went in and one of the Oilers (McDavid?) put up his arm but there was no replay.

Someone on Twitter didn’t post proof but said he frame-by-framed and Nuge’s shot went in.

Just wondering if anyone had seen where it did deflect because the whole thing was odd and they never showed a replay, never mentioned it again.