A five-game series is like having a job evaluation every day for a week. Even if you do well Tuesday, there’s another big test tomorrow.
Imagine a batter versus a pitcher. The count is 1-1. Strike two gives enormous advantage to the pitcher, 2-1 is a hitter’s count. That’s tonight for the Oilers and the ‘Hawks. This is fun, right? RIGHT?
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.
- New Jonathan Willis: Through 2 playoff games, here’s what we know about the post-pause Oilers
- New Lowetide: How Dave Tippett’s lineup tweaks propelled Oilers to Game 2 win
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: If Game 2 wasn’t Connor McDavid at his best, it was damn near close
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘Just not good enough’: The Oilers have a lot to fix after disastrous Game 1
- Lowetide: Homegrown Oilers players will again take a featured playoff role
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Bang for your buck: Ranking the Oilers based on contract expectations
- Lowetide: Could Oilers’ lack of centre depth mean postseason roster shuffle?
- Daniel Nugent Bowman: What the Oilers should be thinking after watching Chicago in exhibition
- Lowetide: Splitting the Draisaitl line may create hot August nights in Edmonton
- Jonathan Willis: Is Philip Broberg on track to be a top-pairing defenceman?
- Lowetide: Oilers’ productive prospect pipeline a welcome change for playoffs
- New Mark Lazerus and Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Breaking down storylines, scouting reports and X-factors for Blackhawks-Oilers
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Oilers scrimmage: Colby Cave gets Maurice Richard treatment in fitting tribute
- Lowetide: Imagining the city of Edmonton with the Oilers in a deep playoff run
- Lowetide: Ken Holland’s roster construction options over the next five months
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Inside the bubble: Details on where and how NHL players will live in Edmonton
- Lowetide: What should Oilers fans expect from Connor McDavid in the playoffs?
- Lowetide: Dave Tippett’s postseason strategy against the Blackhawks
OILERS 2019-20 PLAYOFF SCORING
The top two lines have produced points, with McDavid leading the way in brilliant fashion. I’m a fan of Leon Draisaitl and believe he can create offense with any number of the available wingers. In the spring of 2017, he was a hammer with Milan Lucic and Anton Slepyshev (the line scored while getting caved in possession). James Neal has two goals, Chiasson another, the bottom-six forwards are doing good things.
Defensemen haven’t had much of an offensive impact but the second pairing has been good, the top pair was better in Game 2 and the third pair has been exactly as you would expect (dependable).
Goalie Mikko Koskinen has the edge on getting tonight’s start, it’s uncertain he’ll get the next three starts.
OILERS PLAYOFFS CORSI FIVE ON FIVE
Oilers so far this series are 51.5 Corsi (No. 9 in the NHL) and 45.45 goal differential (No. 14). Both numbers five on five.
Possession numbers are not the almighty but do tell us what the puck is doing with specific players on the ice. Edmonton’s bottom-six forwards are routinely in the 40’s in this metric, nice to see some real results from the Khaira and Sheahan lines.
Out clause will of course be part of this and I do believe Puljujarvi could be with the Oilers in 2020-21. That’s a big step from where this landed and spent last winter, seems a spring thaw has resulted in real progress. It’s easy to see how much value he would bring, with cap savings being a massive item. If Ken Holland can offload Alex Chiasson (Puljujarvi), Kris Russell (Caleb Jones) and Matt Benning (Evan Bouchard) it’ll represent $5 million or more shaved off the cap in 2020-21. Massive.
Plenty of room for Holland to wheel, he could add a more substantial goalie or perhaps an upgrade on Riley Sheahan in the middle. I have Bouchard, Lagesson and Gambardella making the team from Bakersfield, and suspect Tyler Benson, Cooper Marody, Ryan McLeod and Theodor Lennstrom may also be in play.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10 this morning, we hit the airwaves on TSN1260 with Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal. We’ll chat about tonight’s big game and moments in Oilers history when intelligent men had to contemplate the evening game as historic and possibly damaging. Joe Osborne from OddsShark pops by at 11 to talk NHL and NBA odds. 10-1260 text @Lowetide on twitter. We have live sports to talk about and we’re all very excited!