On March 4, 2012, the Edmonton Oilers owned a record of 25-33-6, sat in last place and were playing out the string.
On this blog that morning, I wrote “The Edmonton Oilers often talk about “3 scoring lines” but they clearly have no plans to follow through. The Oilers selection process under Tom Renney suggests they think of a 3rd scoring line the way the rest of us think about funeral pre-planning or booking passage to a Turkish prison. It is not, despite miles of verbal that’s been written, a priority for the organization. The Oilers are old school. They voted against the designated hitter, remember the 80s Oilers as the “team Dave Hunter put over the top” and secretly despise the forward pass.”
I think Dave Tippett and Ken Holland are headed in that direction.
I’m proud to be writing for The Athletic, and pleased to be part of a great team with Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis. Here is our recent work.
- New Lowetide: The Oilers and the Calder Trophy: 5 rookies, 1 strong contender
- Lowetide: Oilers’ reasonable expectations for 2020-21: The results
- Lowetide: Oilers’ reasonable expectations for 2020-21: Goals against
- Lowetide: Oilers’ reasonable expectations for 2020-21: The Goals
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers defensive prospects are impressive overseas, but what comes next?
- Lowetide: Oilers pick up an intriguing addition in free agent Dominik Kahun
- Lowetide: How close is Ryan McLeod to an Oilers roster spot?
- Lowetide: Jay Woodcroft oversees a spike in Oilers prospect development
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers’ organizational depth chart: Where does Edmonton stand today?
- Lowetide: Dmitri Samorukov’s KHL impact and what it means to the Oilers
- Lowetide: Oilers extend Kris Russell, solve expansion issue
- Lowetide: Can Kyle Turris centre an outscoring No. 3 line in Edmonton?
- Lowetide: Tyson Barrie’s skills and how Oilers coach Dave Tippett will deploy him
- Jonathan Willis: Can Oilers unlock James Neal’s scoring potential at five on five?
- Lowetide: Why is Ilya Konovalov no longer starting in the KHL?
- Lowetide: Oilers Top 20 prospects, post-draft edition.
I would like to thank our Canadian military past and present for the great sacrifices made on our behalf. My family enjoys great freedom and opportunity because of you and the brave men and women of our military.
All families have stories similar to my uncle Roy Babcook who died at age 27. That’s about my son’s age. What a tremendous loss, both World Wars and everything after.
Today is the one day we set aside time to honour, remember and reflect. If you are or have been military, God bless you and your families. You are the best of us.
FIVE ON FIVE PTS-60
Three scoring lines means nine forwards who can score enough to move the needle offensively. A player who can consistently deliver offense at five on five is a blessing. Here are the scoring totals for Edmonton’s prominent forwards over the last three seasons.
- Connor McDavid 75-110-185 in 3761:47 minutes (2.95)
- Leon Draisaitl 63-95-158 in 3668:30 minutes (2.58)
- Dominik Kahun 21-39-60 in 1707:09 minutes (2.11)
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 41-55-96 in 2933:41 minutes (1.96)
- Kailer Yamamoto 8-16-24 in 734:39 minutes (1.96)
- Tyler Ennis 27-31-58 in 2101:36 minutes (1.66)
- Zack Kassian 34-37-71 in 2662:09 minutes (1.60)
- James Neal 27-26-53 in 2479:52 minutes (1.28)
- Kyle Turris 18-43-51 in 2448:45 minutes (1.25)
- Jesse Puljujarvi 14-17-31 in 1627:12 minutes (1.14)
In 2019-20, 372 forwards played 385 or more minutes. Using that as our pool of talent, the players and their numbers break down like this:
- First Line (1.99 to 3.43): McDavid, Draisaitl, Kahun
- Second Line (1.62 to 1.98): Nuge, Yamamoto, Ennis
- Third Line (1.26 to 1.61): Kassian, Neal
- Fourth Line (0.34 to 1.25): Turris, Puljujarvi
The next substantial offensive addition through the system (among forwards) will be Raphael Lavoie, and we’ll see about Dylan Holloway. Some will mention Kirill Maksimov as an option, but for me both Tyler Tullio and Carter Savoie are more promising prospects while also being a little farther away from NHL-ready. If there’s a hidden gem in the system, now would be the time to bust a move.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10 this morning, we hit the ground running on TSN1260 with the Lowdown. Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal will join us to talk about Howie Meeker and Joe Benoit, two veterans who had fascinating lives. Joe Osborne will pop by at 11 from OddsShark and discuss betting units on inconsistent NFL teams and the possible effect of Covid-19 on results.