Slip Kid

by Lowetide

It’s never a good thing when news arrives half an hour before game time that pertains to your best shutdown defenseman. No matter what you think of Adam Larsson, there was no dispute about his ranking before last night’s game and there sure as hell isn’t any debate after that game.

Oilers missed an opportunity last night. A big one. Tipped pucks, bad luck and a parade to the penalty box. Bitter pill. How will this team perform on Friday? Perhaps we’ll see 60 minutes of complete hockey.

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.

TIME ON ICE

Always listen to the coach after a game like this one, you’re going to get some raw emotion. However, another thing to observe is time on ice. Here are the forwards five on five, I’ve placed in bold the lead stories:

  1. Kailer Yamamoto 15:39
  2. Leon Draisaitl 15:28
  3. Connor McDavid 13:36
  4. Andreas Athanasiou 11:28
  5. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 10:58
  6. Josh Archibald 10:07
  7. Jujhar Khaira 9:58
  8. James Neal 9:34
  9. Alex Chiasson 9:25
  10. Zack Kassian 6:19
  11. Tyler Ennis 6:12 (injured)
  12. Riley Sheahan 5:42

When a coach faces an injury, he can double shift one of his best players or drop two forwards (usually penalty killers in my opinion) and run three lines. Tippett, who needed that win, ran three lines and benched two veterans. There’s no way to mistake what happened here.

THE GOALS AGAINST

Olli Maatta’s first period goal began with Patrick Kane retrieving the puck from behind the net, Kris Russell and James Neal having won the battle but losing the war. Kane sends a pass right to left and Maatta grabs it at the blue line. Maatta’s shot finds the net, with Dach, Highmore and Russell all providing a screen for the goaltender.

The first Jonathan Toews goal was a fluke but still counted. Darnell Nurse couldn’t stop the pass nor the shot (it wasn’t really a shot) with Koskinen and Draisaitl also in photo. A damnable goal, the Gods must like Jim Cornelisonson.

The Matthew Highmore goal saw Nurse poke the puck to Bear who sent it along its merry way to Riley Sheahan. Sheahan not only didn’t get the puck out, he booted it to Hawks’ forward Ryan Carpenter. Carpenter to the point, Maatta across the ice to Koekkoek, who hammered it (fly-by from Kassian was disappointing), nice tip, Koskinen had no chance.

The second Jonathan Toews goal, Toews wins faceoff, nice little move from Kubalik to get the puck back to Duncan Keith, over to Connor Murphy and a perfect tip by Ethan Bear for the GWG. Credited to Toews, no idea why.

MAKING SENSE OF IT

The Oilers took too many penalties. You can blame the ref and there were some ghastly calls for sure, but the lack of discipline (Yamamoto, Archibald, Athanasiou) was incredible. The call against Russell was silly, especially when the team was already down a man. The non-call on Dach versus Ennis was ridiculous. None of it matters today. The game is in the history books, the Oilers lack of discipline derailed any chances of the team rolling four lines and three pairings.

THE LINES (Numbers five on five)

Athanasiou-Draisaitl-Yamamoto: 7:37, 3-4 Corsi, 2-0 shots, 1-0 HDSC. The line cycled well on a couple of shifts and had two good looks. I expect we’ll see this trio on Friday afternoon. Athanasiou gives this line a completely different look.

Nuge-McDavid-Archibald: 7:25, 7-3 Corsi, 5-1 shots, 1-0 HDSC. I liked this line but would have loved it if there was a five on five goal. Nuge played a strong game, he’s a different player this year. He could always be counted on to be in the right place and right time, but now he’s impacted the plays more and it’s more obvious how smart he is. McDavid is such a talented player, his goal showing off superhero hands. Archibald was a little filthy on the night, took a penalty and gave Kirby Dach the scare of his life.

James Neal-Jujhar Khaira-Alex Chiasson: Played 6:28, 9-6 Corsi, 3-4 shots, 0-1 goals and 1-1 HDSC. I’m so happy with this line I hope to see it in December. Khaira’s faster, Neal’s healthy and Chiasson knows how to work. Khaira found iron, Neal had a couple of fine chances and Chiasson had a couple of lesser opportunities.

Ennis-Draisaitl-Yamamoto: 3:58, 4-3 Corsi, 3-0 shots, 1-0 goals, 1-1 HDSC. This line scored at five on five and I wonder if we’d be having a different conversation if Ennis had played all three periods. Draisaitl had a fine game, scored twice and had an assist. The success was tempered by a lost faceoff to Toews and the emerging pain in the ass that is Kirby Dach. Yamamoto is one of my favourite players, love his buzzing around but he can’t take penalties 10 miles from his net.

Athanasiou-Sheahan-Kassian: Played 2:40, 2-0 Corsi, 1-0 shots, 1-0 HDSC. Sheahan-Athanasiou had a nice look early, could have been a difference maker. Kassian was physical and didn’t take any penalties, but he didn’t accomplish much. His ole on the Koekkoek shot that resulted in the Highmore goal was poor form.

DEFENSE (Numbers five on five)

Darnell Nurse-Ethan Bear: 14:13, 13-12 Corsi, 6-8 shots, 0-2 goals, 3-5 HDSC. Definitely too high event, and the duo played in some bad luck. Nurse was part of the slow-mo first Toews goal, Bear tipped in the winner. Nurse had a tough night. He had three giveaways and seemed out of sync. Bear, despite doing many good things, was a major factor in the winning goal. I stan both of these players (my kids say stan means good) but they struggled on the night.

Oscar Klefbom-Kris Russell played 13:55, 7-14 Corsi, 5-4 shots, 1-0 goals and 1-0 HDSC. Klefbom played well, lacking only his usual offensive flair. Russell won the battle behind the net that preceded the first goal against, but he and Neal couldn’t secure the puck. Russell did have enough time to screen his goaltender. Made a fantastic block on a Dach point-blank chance later in the game. The penalty against Russell isn’t called by a referee familiar with hockey.

Caleb Jones-Matt Benning: Played 8:16, 10-2 Corsi, 5-1 shots, 1-0 goals and 2-0 HDSC. I thought this pair should have played more. Jones played a safe game and I thought he did well. Benning picked up and assist on Draisaitl’s second goal by coming off the bench and sending an excellent shot on goal.

GOALIE

Mikko Koskinen stopped just 21 of 25 (.840) but the only goal he played poorly was the Toews power-play marker (he was out of position). I have no quarrel with his game beyond that play.

THE FUTURE

I wanted to give you a head’s up on the next few days. I’ll have GDT’s up each morning the Oilers play, followed by a postmortem the following day. After that, I’ll be spending time on the offseason shuffles and the draft. Do you have a preference? Let me know.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, we have a great lineup loaded with hockey talk on TSN1260. Daniel Nugent-Bowman from The Athletic joins us to talk about last night’s game, including penalties and the injury to Tyler Ennis. Frank Seravalli from TSN will pop in at 11 to give us a world view of the playoffs and a big weekend for the seven remaining play-in series. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter.

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Ben

#TipByBearForLafreniere

JJS

The games still feel like early season tune-ups. Loose and easy.

I wonder if the Oil would be playing better against a more structured team?

They look a bit casual.

This is where a guy like Lowe, Jason Smith or Pronger would make all the difference. A d-man leader who can galvanize the team and crack the whip.

I can’t think of anyone on the current team who fits that bill

Darth Tu

I’ve awakened this morning still as grumpy as I was last night when I went to bed.

There were silly penalties taken, but to my (biased) eye the refs were also calling everything they could against the Oil. How in hell is the Dach hit not boarding? If that was Kassian hitting Kane behind the Chicago net (if only Kassian would wake up) 100% it’s called as a penalty, injury or no injury.

I hope Ennis is ok, but that didn’t look good at all. Who’s up next, Nygard?

Eh Team

JJS: This is where a guy like Lowe, Jason Smith or Pronger would make all the difference. A d-man leader who can galvanize the team and crack the whip.

Oilers deserve to be up in the series (so do Nashville and Pittsburgh) but you can see their weaknesses being exposed. They need another top 4 d’man and they need more skilled forwards so that someone else can pop the odd goal. Yeah, and Jones and Benning need to play more to keep the other two pairings from being overextended.

Bag of Pucks

I suspect Tippett will go back to Smith in Game 4. Koskinen didn’t lose the game alone, but he didn’t win it either.

However it turns out, this will be a defining decision for the HC. Hope he gets it right.

Whoever the tender is, Nurse needs to play much much better.

meanashell11

I can not believe how bad the reffing has been the last two games.

Jordan

The Edmonton Oilers are a team in the National Hockey League.

The Edmonton Oilers are team with two of the best players on the planet and can’t seem to find a way to win games in the National Hockey League.

The Edmonton Oilers are team playing two rookie defencemen in the playoffs and trying to find wins in the National Hockey League.

The Edmonton Oilers are a team that’s having great difficulty scoring 5-on-5 goals in the National Hockey League.

The Edmonton Oilers are a team that are on the bubble of being a good team in the National Hockey League.

dustrock

I posted hella lot on twitter last night so I’ll get this one long rant off my chest and then I should be done for day.

Lots of thoughts:

(1) This team truly isn’t great on 5v5, and Drai’s even strength goals came off broken plays from some fine forechecking. When they get in the “halfcourt” offence, they don’t score. If hockey, and playoff hockey in particular is a pinball game from the point, the Oilers are not equipped to win like that. You can see some good cycles by the Drai and Khaira lines in particular, but the forwards end up trying cutesy passes with each other. I don’t think there’s any trust in the D delivering shots from the point, and as much as I like Klefbom as a retriever on the PP, he must only get 1/6 shots through for a tip. I realize it’s boring hockey to blast from the point and have a guy screen Crawford, but too bad, it works. Our best screener through 3 games has been….Kailer Yamamoto, who might be the only hockey player shorter than me. Not ideal.

(2) Someone posted that Keith, Maata and Koekoek for Cocoa Puffs are #1-3 in d-man scoring for the playoffs. The Chicago D, even if they are getting torched sometime on D, are definitely contributing on offence. We have no D who can contribute offensively, and I wonder if someone like Bear, who has the best shot from the point and is a good distributor, is being shut down a bit by Chicago’s speed (and maybe playing too cautious).

(3) I’ve criticized Larsson many, many times, but if he excels at 1 thing, it’s clearing out the blue paint. I’m too angry/lazy to watch video from Games 2 and 3, but the amount of real estate that the Hawks were squatting on last night was outstanding. The overall hustle was fine, but it’s like all the other d-men are incapable of bodying the Hawks forwards. If he’s not back the Oilers lose this series.

(4) I’ve criticized Nurse many, many times, and I’m still not sure what he’s good at. His coverage shouldn’t be this poor and I agree with EH TEAM that the solution is to play Jones/Benning more, not less.

(5) Not sure why Kassian is playing at this point. I’ve been vocal about the extension since before it was signed and every week it seems more and more like a mistake. For a guy that was a pretty great playoff guy in 2017, he looks like he’s going through the motions.

(6) You’re telling me Haas and Nygard couldn’t put on as good a performance as Sheahan and Kassian?

(7) Beautiful hands on the PP otherwise, and lord knows McDavid can’t be blamed for last night, but Chicago was shutting him down pretty good. Not a lot of clean air. We haven’t had a game yet where both 97 & 29 are on fire, and it’s pretty much up to them, so here’s hoping for tomorrow.

ArmchairGM

Eh Team: Oilers deserve to be up in the series (so do Nashville and Pittsburgh) but you can see their weaknesses being exposed.They need another top 4 d’man and they need more skilled forwards so that someone else can pop the odd goal. Yeah, and Jones and Benning need to play more to keep the other two pairings from being overextended.

Or go

Klefbom – Benning
Russell – Jones

if Larsson isn’t ready on Friday. I like the balance with this better… Klefbom really hasn’t been playing well this series, and Larsson’s been even worse. I know they get something like 30% OZS, but still.

ArmchairGM

Bag of Pucks: I suspect Tippett will go back to Smith in Game 4. Koskinen didn’t lose the game alone, but he didn’t win it either.

I agree that’s likely. It’ll probably be fatal, but I can see Tippett going with Smith anyhow.

RT26

Holland added Mike Green for just this reason, shame COVID-19 robbed us of that depth when we really needed it.

I hated the penalties, but they were deserved (except for Athanasiou on Kane, that was weak) for the most part.

And while we deserve to be winning, we have not been the demonstrably superior team. Chicago has done a decent job at times of dropping their D back faster to limit the effectiveness of our rush game.

I would put Nuge back with Draisaitl and Yamamoto and then try Haas or Nygard with McDavid. Both can skate and have some defensive conscience. Not sure what has happened to Kassian

godot10

Pittsburgh can’t survive Jack Johnson. The Oilers can’t survive Zack Kassian.

When McDavid notices and comments Zack’s lack of effort and commitment on national TV….

The two games lost by the Oilers could have been victories in Kassian had been interested in the game. Three non-efforts by him at critical moments.

Fuge Udvar

They seem to get stuck in these ruts where they try to make perfect plays and set up their exact structure in the offensive zone. Instead of using their team quickness to get pucks on net, create chaos, win the races and create gaps. Lots of deferring to McDavid and Draisaitl even when they are covered. Their wingers need to play with more confidence instead of expecting McDavid and Draisaitl to go supernova.

They need to run it between the tackles more to give McDavid and Draisaitl the room to wheel later.

dustrock

In the cold light of the morning, I also came to the following conclusion that the Oilers lost for one of 2 reasons:

(1) Someone from Edmonton, and not one of the outlying places (Bon Accord, Leduc, Ardrossan, etc) won the 50/50;

(2) The 50/50 was closed prior to the game being on.

Woogie63

Can you win with Russell, Larsson, Benning basically contributing no offense?

Nurse and Klefbom are solid and additive.

Bear and Jones are early but do we have a 50 point defensemen other than Bouchard?

Darth Tu

Woogie63:
Can you win with Russell, Larsson, Benning basically contributing no offense?

Nurse and Klefbom are solid and additive.

Bear and Jones are early but do we have a 50 point defensemen other than Bouchard?

The Bro. But not for years.

GordieHoweHatTrick

RE: “The second Jonathan Toews goal, Toews wins faceoff, nice little move from Kubalik to get the puck back to Duncan Keith, over to Connor Murphy and a perfect tip by Ethan Bear for the GWG. Credited to Toews, no idea why.”

It is hard to see but after deflecting off of Bear’s stick the puck is actually heading wide of the net, it glances off of Toews knee and goes back towards the net in behind Koskinen. No chance for Koski on this one. Way to much blame in the MSM on Bear for this as well. HE did his job, bad luck (good positioning by Toews).

EDIT: In reading the rest of the blog now, I guess Bear is getting dumped on here as well as MSM for his tip. IT was going wide before it re-directed again off of Toews.

Spartacus

JJS:
The games still feel like early season tune-ups.Loose and easy.

I wonder if the Oil would be playing better against a more structured team?

They look a bit casual.

This is where a guy like Lowe, Jason Smith or Pronger would make all the difference.A d-man leader who can galvanize the team and crack the whip.

I can’t think of anyone on the current team who fits that bill

Haha… how does Pronger fit in the same sentence as Lowe and Gator?

Pronger was absolutely dominant at everything. Lowe and Smith were shutdown defensemen who seldom saw the net, never mind threw a shot in that direction.

I’d say we could use a Pronger, but an Adam Larsson would have been helpful.

godot10

The Oilers can bring Nygard and Haas in for an injured Ennis and a disinterested lazy Kassian.

Koskinen is the right choice for Friday.

hunter1909

Bad luck with the team in 4th place then the points always loving NHL decides to screw Oilers on percentages.

Bad luck drawing the recent 3X champion fucking Blackhawks who despite arrogant thoughts prior to the reality we all now share…

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

Eh Team

Spartacus: I’d say we could use a Pronger, but an Adam Larsson would have been helpful.

Yeah, Petry would look good too. Hard to overcome Oiler management over the years.

hunter1909

The Atlanta Thrashers north.

ArmchairGM

Woogie63: Can you win with Russell, Larsson, Benning basically contributing no offense?

In this series, Russell and Benning are #1 and #2 in shots/60 among Oilers defensemen that have played at least 10 minutes. And Benning has a history of scoring well in limited minutes, which you’ll see in this chart of 5v5 P/60 for the past 3 years:

Nurse: 1.03 P/60 (4476:33 TOI)
Jones: 0.89 P/60 (876:25)
Benning: 0.87 P/60 (2561:58)
Bear: 0.79 P/60 (1601:07)
Russell: 0.70 P/60 (3335:37)
Klefbom: 0.68 P/60 (3361:10)
Larsson: 0.57 P/60 (3590:54)

Klefbom is a prime trade target prior to the expansion draft IMO. Should be able to get a pretty nice young forward for him (a Max Domi type), then go 7-3-1 and protect Caleb Jones.

GordieHoweHatTrick

dustrock:
I posted hella lot on twitter last night so I’ll get this one long rant off my chest and then I should be done for day.

Lots of thoughts:

(1) This team truly isn’t great on 5v5, and Drai’s even strength goals came off broken plays from some fine forechecking.When they get in the “halfcourt” offence, they don’t score.If hockey, and playoff hockey in particular is a pinball game from the point, the Oilers are not equipped to win like that.You can see some good cycles by the Drai and Khaira lines in particular, but the forwards end up trying cutesy passes with each other.I don’t think there’s any trust in the D delivering shots from the point, and as much as I like Klefbom as a retriever on the PP, he must only get 1/6 shots through for a tip.I realize it’s boring hockey to blast from the point and have a guy screen Crawford, but too bad, it works.Our best screener through 3 games has been….Kailer Yamamoto, who might be the only hockey player shorter than me.Not ideal.

(2) Someone posted that Keith, Maata and Koekoek for Cocoa Puffs are #1-3 in d-man scoring for the playoffs.The Chicago D, even if they are getting torched sometime on D, are definitely contributing on offence.We have no D who can contribute offensively, and I wonder if someone like Bear, who has the best shot from the point and is a good distributor, is being shut down a bit by Chicago’s speed (and maybe playing too cautious).

(3) I’ve criticized Larsson many, many times, but if he excels at 1 thing, it’s clearing out the blue paint.I’m too angry/lazy to watch video from Games 2 and 3, but the amount of real estate that the Hawks were squatting on last night was outstanding.The overall hustle was fine, but it’s like all the other d-men are incapable of bodying the Hawks forwards.If he’s not back the Oilers lose this series.

(4) I’ve criticized Nurse many, many times, and I’m still not sure what he’s good at.His coverage shouldn’t be this poor and I agree with EH TEAM that the solution is to play Jones/Benning more, not less.

(5) Not sure why Kassian is playing at this point.I’ve been vocal about the extension since before it was signed and every week it seems more and more like a mistake.For a guy that was a pretty great playoff guy in 2017, he looks like he’s going through the motions.

(6) You’re telling me Haas and Nygard couldn’t put on as good a performance as Sheahan and Kassian?

(7) Beautiful hands on the PP otherwise, and lord knows McDavid can’t be blamed for last night, but Chicago was shutting him down pretty good.Not a lot of clean air.We haven’t had a game yet where both 97 & 29 are on fire, and it’s pretty much up to them, so here’s hoping for tomorrow.

Very nice. Agree on all of the above

flea

Tough game but they aren’t dead yet. Look at Pittsburg in the same position.

Only difference is Pittsburg is playing well and dealing with a hot goalie in Price (haven’t watched much of that series but that seems to be the verbal)

Agree with the Oilers cycle game – they can whip it around the boards but never seem to get out of simple, telegraphed plays. Where the Hwaks are more dynamic and take advantage of breakdowns.

Hawks have been the better team, stats aside.

Again – my only glimmer of hope is the Oilers haven’t really found their game yet – but now they are out of time to keep searching. Back to Back wins or yer done boys!

tileguy

Well Mike Smith, the stage is set for you to be the hero. If he wins Friday my gut instincts tell me Tip will play him Saturday as well.

GordieHoweHatTrick

The bad habits of the Oilers for the past several years are biting them in the ass here. They cannot play consistent hockey games (in a row, or for 60 minutes).

The teams that have played the best games have won those games in the series so far.

GordieHoweHatTrick

Shots from the point are causing problems for Crawford. need MANY more shots from the point with traffic in front.

Eh Team

tileguy: Well Mike Smith, the stage is set for you to be the hero. If he wins Friday my gut instincts tell me Tip will play him Saturday as well.

If Smith plays, it probably is the end of Koskinen in Edmonton. Much like Ridditch is done in Calgary.

GordieHoweHatTrick

The new Kassian contract caused me some indigestion when it was announced (4y @ 3.2M for those of you that need a reminder). The caveats were “good in the playoffs”, & “a tradeable contract”.

Now post-COVID and flat cap for AT LEAST the next 2 years and a truly APATHETIC play-in performance and this contract is a true detriment to the next 4 years of Cap Space.

GordieHoweHatTrick

Eh Team: If Smith plays, it probably is the end of Koskinen in Edmonton.Much like Ridditch is done in Calgary.

Koskinen is the better goalie of the two and it isn’t close.
He has fault on the 2nd goal last night, but none other so far this play-in series.

tileguy

When the Oil lost game 1 it meant they had to win 3 of the next 4 games meaning they had to win 2 in a row. I guess that time is upon us. Not impossible. (Am I doing this right OP?)

GordieHoweHatTrick

I really feel for Tyler Ennis. If that knee injury is what it looks (ligaments), that may have been his last NHL game. Coming off surgery and rehab he will be 31+ yrs old. Damn Damn Damn. I liked him for this team for the playoffs (picked him as my “Pisani”) and for next year on a decent contract. I really hope the knee injury is not as bad as it looks for the player and the team.

GordieHoweHatTrick

With the injuries and apathy, here is a suggestion for Friday (Tipp, if you are reading):

RNH-McD-Archi
Nyg-Drai-KY
AA-Shea-Haas
Neal-JJ-Chia

I contemplated Haas in for Shea, but Shea PK work is excellent. Having Haas on the line provides a RHC for the line and other instances when a RHC is needed, i.e., DZone right side face-off losses are killing the Oilers.
The 4th line is working well.
AA can drive the 3rd line and provide depth to the line-up (don’t move him up to the top 6).
Consider switching Haas and Archie for a few shifts
Consder switching Nyg and RNH.

Eh Team

GordieHoweHatTrick: Koskinen is the better goalie of the two and it isn’t close.

No question he is better. But Smith is going to play game 4 based on Tippett’s past decisions.

Jordan

You know, I’m kinda curious who’s draft lottery luck would prevail…

Hall & the Coyotes

vs

Katz and the Oilers

Very curious about this… but would rather the Oilers just win…

godot10

dustrock:
I posted hella lot on twitter last night so I’ll get this one long rant off my chest and then I should be done for day.

Lots of thoughts:

(1) This team truly isn’t great on 5v5, and Drai’s even strength goals came off broken plays from some fine forechecking.When they get in the “halfcourt” offence, they don’t score.If hockey, and playoff hockey in particular is a pinball game from the point, the Oilers are not equipped to win like that.You can see some good cycles by the Drai and Khaira lines in particular, but the forwards end up trying cutesy passes with each other.I don’t think there’s any trust in the D delivering shots from the point, and as much as I like Klefbom as a retriever on the PP, he must only get 1/6 shots through for a tip.I realize it’s boring hockey to blast from the point and have a guy screen Crawford, but too bad, it works.Our best screener through 3 games has been….Kailer Yamamoto, who might be the only hockey player shorter than me.Not ideal.

(2) Someone posted that Keith, Maata and Koekoek for Cocoa Puffs are #1-3 in d-man scoring for the playoffs.The Chicago D, even if they are getting torched sometime on D, are definitely contributing on offence.We have no D who can contribute offensively, and I wonder if someone like Bear, who has the best shot from the point and is a good distributor, is being shut down a bit by Chicago’s speed (and maybe playing too cautious).

(3) I’ve criticized Larsson many, many times, but if he excels at 1 thing, it’s clearing out the blue paint.I’m too angry/lazy to watch video from Games 2 and 3, but the amount of real estate that the Hawks were squatting on last night was outstanding.The overall hustle was fine, but it’s like all the other d-men are incapable of bodying the Hawks forwards.If he’s not back the Oilers lose this series.

(4) I’ve criticized Nurse many, many times, and I’m still not sure what he’s good at.His coverage shouldn’t be this poor and I agree with EH TEAM that the solution is to play Jones/Benning more, not less.

Shots from the point are a poor strategy in general.

Kassian made pitiful efforts of two of Chicago’s goals from the point in this series. And on two of them, Kane and Debrincat (I think) made passes across the ice to the far point. On Debrincat’s pass, Ennis went to cover the wrong point. A poor decision on his part.

I think Chicago scouted and decided that the Oilers are do not cover the points well, and with their superior faceoff ability could exploit this. With Kassian, Neal, Chiasson, and Ennis…those are the guys who have been exploited for poor point coverage.

Brantford Boy

LT: “The penalty against Russell isn’t called by a referee familiar with hockey.”

#4… 2 minutes for pushing… wtf?

My heart sank when they said Larsson was out and showed the replays from game 2. He probably played through the game with a broken foot… again! Really hope he’s back Friday.

Still believe we’ll be sleeping well on Saturday night.

Connor is mad, that’s a good thing!

Rondo

If Oilers lose they could pick 1,13, 14, or 15 ?

My understanding it’s point % so if NYI ,Pitt and Oilers lose. Oilers pick #13 or #1

Melman

GordieHoweHatTrick,

I think that’s the lineup, but they start AA with 29 but at some point Nygard moves up.

Watching AA, he’s fast gets to the right spots but has brutal hands. 3 times in a row on a late shift in Chicago’s end the puck goes to his stick and he loses it.

Why on earth was Nurse not in front of the net on the last goal leaving Bear alone with 2 Hawks??? Bear has to reach to tip the shot because he can’t box out 2 guys.

How on earth did Sheahan leave Highmore wide open on the 3rd goal, you know the one where Kassian didn’t really feel like it was important to make sure the point was covered.

who

Team really hasn’t looked sharp yet. They look like they’re still in preseason mode.
I thought the Russell and AA penalties were really weak. The rest were deserved. Oilers PP looked totally out of sync.
For all the Kris Russell haters, and Matt Benning lovers, out there; pretty obvious that Tippett is more comfortable with Russell in the top 4, even on his offside. I know he’s everybodies favorite whipping boy, but Russell continues to play well.
Blaming Bear for the last goal seems a bit ridiculous. He was trying to cover 2 guys in front of the net. Where was Nurse? And a better question, that no one is asking, is where is the Oilers centerman? Toews won the draw and ended up alone at the side of the crease. Hockey 101; you lose the draw, you stay with the opposing center.

greenshifter

I’d like to have words with whoever is telling Nurse to kill penalties on his knees. That only works playing mini stix!

Nurse and Koskinen were both on their knees, ass2ass, at one point during that second Blackhawk goal.

dustrock

As soon as I heard Joanette in, Larsson out, had a bad feeling.

ashley

LT, the winning goal was tipped away from the net by Bear. It then went off Toews and changed direction to the post and in. That is why Toews is credited with the goal.

Bear was in the right place doing the right thing. Good kid, great player. Everyone beating him up including himself doesn’t help get this team where it needs to be.

We want him to be in the same spot doing the same thing every game. However, I suspect he will be tentative on Friday with the reaction this is getting.

Only in Edmonton do we crucify players for doing good things. Petry 2.0.

BONE207

GordieHoweHatTrick:
RE: “The second Jonathan Toews goal, Toews wins faceoff, nice little move from Kubalik to get the puck back to Duncan Keith, over to Connor Murphy and a perfect tip by Ethan Bear for the GWG. Credited to Toews, no idea why.”

It is hard to see but after deflecting off of Bear’s stick the puck is actually heading wide of the net, it glances off of Toews knee and goes back towards the net in behind Koskinen. No chance for Koski on this one. Way to much blame in the MSM on Bear for this as well. HE did his job, bad luck (good positioning by Toews).

EDIT: In reading the rest of the blog now, I guess Bear is getting dumped on here as well as MSM for his tip. IT was going wide before it re-directed again off of Toews.

I wish that defenseman would worry less about stopping/deflecting shots & deal with tying up sticks/players instead. Allow the goalie to see & make a save.

fries n gravy

So… Oil vs Pens for 1st overall?

Spartacus

ashley:
LT, the winning goal was tipped away from the net by Bear.It then went off Toews and changed direction to the post and in.That is why Toews is credited with the goal.

Bear was in the right place doing the right thing.Good kid, great player.Everyone beating him up including himself doesn’t help get this team where it needs to be.

We want him to be in the same spot doing the same thing every game.However, I suspect he will be tentative on Friday with the reaction this is getting.

Only in Edmonton do we crucify players for doing good things.Petry 2.0.

There’s not a post to be found blaming Bear for the winning goal.

Quit making up problems that don’t exist.

LMHF#1

Tippett and his blind spots cost this team.

First starting Smith – and likely back to him (wrongly) on Friday.

Russell playing at all – then being placed top 4 and double-shifted last night.

Can’t get out of his own way with the top 2 lines.

Can’t crank Kassian up.

He’s a net positive of course – but that doesn’t mean the mistakes get a free pass. This series should be over 3-0.

OriginalPouzar

The thing with Larsson not playing last night is that, in addition to losing Larsson himself, there is a pinball effect. Rusty has to move up to 2RD which makes him and the pairing less effective. Russell defended well last night but he had trouble moving the puck, as he does when put in that position.

I love me some Caleb Jones but the coach doesn’t trust him as much and it reduces the effectiveness of the 3rd pairing – Russell/Benning were the most consistent pairing through the first two games and Playfair lost the comfort of putting them out there.

The third pairing played less than 10 minutes (each) and that puts more pressure on those top two pairings.

Part of me thinks this was a “coach’s decision” but we’ll never know for sure.

Here is hoping Larsson is back for tomorrow – we need Larsson – we need the “good Larsson”.