by Lowetide

The Edmonton Oilers defensive coverage brought back memories of the bubble series against the Chicago Blackhawks, and that my friends is very bad. There were some good things, but miles and miles of coverages blown is the main theme from last night’s game. The Oilers have room to grow.


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.


  • Nuge-McDavid-Kassian played 13:07 five on five, 7-10 shots, 1-2 goals, 10-15 Corsi for, 5-4 HDSC (all numbers Natural Stat Trick). I thought McDavid was quality, could have scored a few and set up others, and Nuge made some nice plays. Kassian got an assist on a wonderful pass to Nurse. This line has to outscore five on five. I believe they will but Tippett has options for right wing that we could see later in the season.
  • Kahun-Draisaitl-Yamamoto was a delight, playing 12:03, 11-11 shots, 2-1 goals, 14-13 Corsi for, 3-2 HDSC. Maybe playing left wing is easier with Draisaitl than it is with McDavid. I’ll tell you one thing: If Kailer Yamamoto keeps playing like a freaking genius, he’s going to move to the McDavid line. The young man is a human cheat code. Kahun was the best of the newcomers by a country mile. Smart smart smart player, great skill, crazy passing and speed. Oh my. This is a line you can go to war with and gives the Oilers a promising No. 2 line without the Nuge on it.
  • Archibald-Turris-Puljujarvi played 7:39, going 2-2 shots, 0-1 goals, 2-7 Corsi for, 1-2 HDSC. I thought the line had moments, Jesse gave the puck away in a bad spot and Turris was slow to the slot on the goals against, but the line earned more time together.
  • Ennis-Khaira-Chiasson played 6:03, 0-4 shots, 0-1 goals, 1-3 HDSC and 1-7 Corsi for. Yeesh. Not good. Khaira was photographed chasing a goal scorer to the slot, and people may not remember the turnover by his linemate Ennis at the blue line. I think this line should rent.


  • Nurse-Bear five on five played 19:10, went 10-11 shots, 2-1 goals, 4-5 HDSC and 14-17 Corsi for. They got caught on the Hoglander goal but Turris has to make sure the puck gets out. Played 9:37 with McDavid, 1-0 goals and 5-2 shots, suspect they’ll get that assignment a lot this season. Nice goal by Nurse, Bear was the team’s best defenseman to my eye.
  • Jones-Larsson were 5-6 shots and 1-3 goals in 12:27, 9-12 Corsi, 2-3 HDSC. Larsson was unaware of Horvat on the first goal and a day late and a dollar short on two more. Jones was late to interfere with a pass into the slot and up too high on another. No blame on the pinch though, there were three Oilers back on that play. Nice goal by Larsson.
  • Koekkoek-Barrie played 13:07 at five on five, 9-13 shots, 0-1 goals, 5-3 HDSC and 12-22 Corsi for. Barrie played five minutes each with the 97 and 29 lines, we’re going to have to see how this turns out. I thought he looked more comfortable after the first period. Koekkoek was noticeable and mostly in a good way.
  • Mikko Koskinen had some good moments and was left alone more than any early season goalie since Devan Dubnyk against Toronto on October 12, 2013. He’ll need to be better next game, probably on the weekend.


  • Oilers in October 2015: 0-2-0, goal differential -4
  • Oilers in October 2016: 2-0-0, goal differential +5
  • Oilers in October 2017: 1-1-0, goal differential +2
  • Oilers in October 2018: 0-2-0, goal differential -6
  • Oilers in October 2019: 2-0-0, goal differential +2
  • Oilers in Month 1 2021: 0-1-0, goal differential -2

This is the McDavid era, the club has started 0-2-0 twice, missing the playoffs both times. This year (2020-21) is a weird one, so we’re not going to be able to make sweeping statements after five games, let alone one or two. I would expect a better effort tonight, but even if Edmonton loses there should be no panic in Dovercourt.


  • At home to: Vancouver, Vancouver (Expected: 1-1-0) (Actual 0-1-0)
  • At home to: Montreal, Montreal (Expected: 1-1-0)
  • On the road to: Toronto, Toronto, Winnipeg, Winnipeg (Expected 1-2-1)
  • At home to: Toronto, Toronto, Ottawa (Expected 2-1-0)
  • Overall expected result: 5-5-1, 11 points in 11 games
  • Current results: 0-1-0, 0 points after 1 game

I think the Oilers will make the playoffs but the start of the season could be a little rocky. Missing Oscar Klefbom, asking Caleb Jones to step up and finding a good spot in the order for Tyson Barrie are all going to take time. On the other hand, the top two lines are humming and I saw some good things from the No. 3 line. Fourth line and goaltending are not trending well but it’s one game.


It’ll be wall to wall Oilers today, a review of last night and a preview of tonight. Guests include Frank Seravalli from TSN at 11, we’ll talk about the Nuge’s future and opening night across the league. We’ll also be letting you vent at 10-1260 via text, @Lowetide on twitter. Make sure to send in your thoughts on last night’s game between 10 and noon this morning.


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I don’t want to complain too much about a win, but geez our dmen struggle so much moving the puck out of the dzone. Nurse gave away the puck repeatedly down low. We managed to recover the puck so it didn’t hurt us, but this is our best dman. The bottom six is barely treading water, with the exception of JP, who looked good. I wonder if our poor transition game makes the bottom six look worse than they are.  Without a magician like McDavid or Drai moving the puck north, it’s hard to make anything happen. 


I am glad that the team found some mojo last night. Clearly, they are trying to fit in some new pieces and need some time to get all of the “stars” aligned. But last night was a positive step forward. All of the best players were marvelous, but the supporting cast was strong and structured, for the most part, enabling the stars to shine. You have to love Yamamoto’s persistence, and one can see Jesse’s confidence growing. KK is a steading influence on the back end. Caleb Jones is a fancy car that needs more runway before it gets going. Give him 2 or 3 weeks. It is so nice to have a coaching staff that can work with young players, bringing them along incrementally rather than playing with their minds. The best teams create/produce their own players internally. Very few come fully formed out of the NHL draft.


[…] 2020-21 GAME 2: CANUCKS AT OILERS (Lowetide) […]

Bulging Twine

Nurse and Bear with the +3


By eye, they have both been very good through the two games. Nurse was great last night and I thought he was one of the few reasonable players in game 1.


I think Nurse has been good but what bothers me about his play that he often show a lack of urgency when retrieving a puck which allows the attacker time to get closer and forces Nurse to make faster decisions resulting in sub-optimal plays. If he hustled a bit more he’d have more time to make better plays.


Frank Mahovlich illusion. Big players look slow. Small players look fast. It is you eyes playing tricks on you.


I saw two things tonight that I’ve never seen before in the 2000+ hockey games I’ve watched….I challenge anyone on this blog to tell me they’ve witnessed the following things prior to tonight.

A forward gave his stick to his dman who had lost his stick Drai to Koekkoek, I’ve seen this a thousand times…but then the forward reclaimed his stick in the same sequence of play.

Secondly, A player, McDavid, holding possession and ushering one of his teammates off the ice in search of his Power-play replacement….

Both events, while not captured by advanced statistics, speak to the leadership and renown that McDavid and Draisaitl command…..

I would love to hear competing arguments but I don’t think they exist….

66 hertz rental

I had chirped yesterday that I couldn’t follow the game day thread easily, well this was much better today. Thank you Ryan.

The Oil were much better today as well. We are blessed to have the best player in the world. Food for thought though. Oilers still struggle mightily at transition. Yes it was better today but it has not been fixed and that’s why it’s easy to game plan/scheme against us. The weak point is obvious.

Fewer breakdowns though, much much better puck pursuit and some smart (defensive) play. Still impressed by Koekkoek and it was nice to pump 5 past HH’s ace starter. I mean what are the Oilers gonna do when the whales start Demko?

Crazy Pedestrian

I agree about following the thread. It definitely was better with newest post setup. Much easier to follow.


I wonder if 97’s first marker was some kind of record. Scoring with the least amount of time remaining from a whistle.


Could be.

I **think** this is the (previous) record:


McDavid tonight looked to be in that range.


If it’s time after a whistle, Gretzky (I think a couple of others have done it) with the one-timer off the face-off would hold it. Like if Drai’s initial shot had scored.

Crazy Pedestrian

It was actually Yamamoto that took the shot off the faceoff, and McDavid batted home the rebound.


Yeah I didn’t think of that when I posted the link. Turns out the link I posted shows tying the record for fastest consecutive goals.


I vaguely recall maybe Gretzky scored right off the puck drop – like a face off shot. Maybe I dreamt it.


Last edited 3 months ago by GordieHoweHatTrick

https://youtu.be/tclRGeOUALk It’s going to be hard to beat that.


Pronger scored against Phoenix to tie it up late in the season it was almost a must game. Can’t remember how much time was on the clock when the face-off occurred but I’m pretty sure it was less than 3 seconds.


I remember that game, you’re right. I think this might beat it for a period. That was at the end of the game though, far more spectacular.



January 14, 2021 8:35 am

Nuge and Mcdavid just doesn’t work. Why are we forcing this

Well this didn’t age well. 🙂

I am curious though, how are you feeling about the 1st line after tonights game?


I’m waiting for Godot…



My point is that Nugent-Hopkins and Draisaitl work better.

And I have never complained about Nugent-Hopkins being on the #1 PP with McDavid and Draisaitl.

Nugent-Hopkins first goal was on the PP. And his 2nd, it was during a line change and Yamamoto passed him the puck. Q.E.D.


Anyone who doesn’t think McDavid is the best player in the world isn’t paying attention. He carried the team on his back tonight. Thought the top two lines were really good. The defence is just so bad moving the puck out of the dzone. I thought Nurse had a poor game. Thought he really struggled moving the puck out of the dzone.


Draisaitl had 4 assists.


Quanthockey lists CMD as 23 years old on their page of the league’s stats leaders, yet has his DOB listed correctly on his player profile.

Odd quirk.

Last edited 3 months ago by BornInAGretzkyJersey

the answer is simple. McDavid years are not the same as human years.


– The implications of Koski getting the start was huge, the cascading effect significant. Smith likely would have won the game had he started, as the team played much better. This way, Koski gets the win and credit. Had Smith started, he would have been getting way more starts going forward, based soley on the win. Bet the analysis is that the goalie played good this game. Same goalie: better team behind him.


or in front of him as the case may be. 🙂



How so?

Smith had a family emergency, otherwise he was likely to play.

Koskinen played a mostly sold game last night and improved tonight, not many people with eyes doubt that.

Last edited 3 months ago by BornInAGretzkyJersey

New formula for success:

McDavid line 60% GF
Draisaitl line 80% GF
Turris+Khaira 0% GF (but it doesn’t matter)


I can make that even easier:

Play McDavid lots.

Fuhr and Lowething in Vegreville

Not a lot of ice time, but I saw Shore good too, for the limited time he was out there, he seemed noticeable in a good way.


His first shift lol…

Blocks a shot like 10 seconds into being an Oiler, than tips a pass wide to create a turnover and get the puck going the other way.

The line had come on with the puck heading the wrong way, got hemmed in and ate some Corsi against yet Shore makes two great plays.

Corsi tells you where the puck was. It doesn’t tell you what happened.

Last edited 3 months ago by Munny

Bob and Burke were railing on about this exact scenario today concerning fancy stats.

Last edited 3 months ago by BornInAGretzkyJersey

I’ve been railing off and on about it for twenty years lol. They can get the fuck off my lawn.


Last edited 3 months ago by Munny

You cannot go wrong with a player named Shore playing for Edmonton.


lol. Just add a Johnny Bucyk.


Quick look!!…4 out of top 7 scorers are Oilers!


Is everybody happy?


97 was ridiculous, Nuge and Drai were only spectacular in comparison.

Yamamoto is so effective at winning pucks. That’s two EV goals that he has created pretty much out of nothing.

I really like Kahun’s game despite the lack of points thus far. He is smart and seems to always be in the right spots. I think he breaks out soon.

JP created a lot of offense tonight from the third line. Lots of good looks, and has that beauty pass to Archibald.

The 4th line is a huge liability. It seemed as though they were the only ones to get hemmed in.

D was much better today. Jones a little shaky but I think they should stick with him in that spot for now.


Agree with all this. I do wonder if Ennis or Nygard would be an improvement at 3L. Archibald has always looked like a guy with 4th line hands and offense to me. Brings some energy and he can kill penalties, but that’s about it.
I would also caution against moving JP up in the lineup anytime soon. Let him be the primary puck carrier on the 3rd line and gain some confidence. If you put him with McDavid or Draisaitl he’ll never get to carry the puck through the neutral ice. I think in time, that is going to be a plus skill for him.


I’d add too that you’d want the lad demonstrating some finish before pushing him up the roster. We should probably let him score a couple first lol.

The TV crew stated tonight that the plan was to go slow with Pujo, let him force his way up at his pace.


Maybe by the end of the season…


Nice to see jack Michaels going with the Jon Lovitz look


Better effort tonite, good to see.


Nice game.

The big guns were full value.

Koskinen was solid.

Puljujarvi has grown into a horse, and Turris did a bunch of useful things including showing some flashes of skill. That 3rd line worked.

The 4th line… well they only played 6-7 minutes. And Chiasson looked useful on the PP, Khaira was part of a 5 for 5 PK.

Koekkoek is an interesting player, in a good way.

Barrie showed some things.

Nurse-Bear were a quality 1st pair.

I hoped Tippett would run the same lineup back out there to redeem themselves. Definitely some good steps in that direction.

Last edited 3 months ago by jp

Turris has been plus on the PK so far – that’s huge if he can keep that up.


Yup he really has.


I really liked Turris on the PK. Not sure of what to make of his game at evens yet.

Nurse looks improved this year. Defending and transporting the puck.

Bear makes so many nice little plays out there. Smart.


Nurse has looked great through two games – he was one of the few that I thought was reasonably good last night.


Good bounce back game
solid goalering and good effort
the left forward group after Nuge needs someone to push Kahun to 3rd line and Archie to 4th


I thought Kahun was great in the first game
They need to get Neal or Ennis on that 3rd line


Do that every time you play these Nuckleheads.

I have spoken.

Last edited 3 months ago by Munny

That’s the team I prefer


Full value for the 5-2 win.


Someone tell Jack nobody cares about eastern time


Jesse had a great game. Happy for him😊


Jesus Turris unleash one of those every day.

Make a point of it.


Last edited 3 months ago by Munny

Koski has looked real calm amidst turmoil tonight.


Looking calm is kinda what he does.

Tippett would probably have made him the starter long ago if he threw his stick once in a while.




Turris looks just okay out there. When Ennis and Neal get healthy I’d like to see them together on the 3rd. 3rd line of vets with something to prove.


You wash your mouth out!


Compare “just ok” with our 3rd line last year…


Low bar.


Continuous improvement!


I can see that having potential.

Where would you move JP?


Jack has been good tonight.


Good on Khaira there.



Material Elvis

Larsson is filthy.


He’s a bad bad man


Oilers cresting 40 shots. Impressive, even accounting for the 5v4 play.


Jesse looking good defensively.

Fuhr and Lowething in Vegreville

KY Celly should be a thing.

Material Elvis

Man, Nuge and Yamamoto have some chemistry together.


How Tipps resists putting the band back together is beyond my comprehension.


Let’s go boys run it up on these punks.


What a damn play by Yamamoto.

Thought he was going to fall back a little this year but he looks even better. Really impressive.

Last edited 3 months ago by jp

He’s really picked up right where he left off last (regular) season.

Last edited 3 months ago by BornInAGretzkyJersey

He’s got what all undersized players need an extra helping of – spirit.


Oh My KY!

A little taste of the future: RNH-McD-KY?

Lordy Lordy Lorde

This is what I want to see. Then you move JP to the Drai line.

Gerta Rauss

That’s the dagger to the heart

Material Elvis

Great forecheck on that goal.


Yamamoto – great effing play.

Three 5 on 5 points in 2 games for Kailer – he’s a 5 on 5 savant….


Yam Nuggets

Last edited 3 months ago by Munny

Nuge is a bully tonight

Last edited 3 months ago by Oil2Oilers

They really should have gotten rid of 3 point games this year


Agreed, or make them all 3 points.

Last edited 3 months ago by Kert

Top 3 lines for the Oilers are having great games. Can’t say the same for the 4th line. They are looking too slow to the punch and chasing the play. Shore looks pretty unremarkable. I would try to get more speed on that line. Nygard?


Haas is quick too. Either or both of those guys.


Haas won’t be available for a while – he hasn’t even joined the team yet.


I think its time for Jesse to get rewarded for his excellent play on the scoresheet!

Tip sees the work, using his at 4 on 4 and real PP time on that last shift.

Now lets see it hit the scoresheet please


Too bad PP wasn’t rewarded, they were doing fantastic work again.


PJ getting some PP time with 97!


Yup, Jesse looked just fine, actually, good, in that 45 seconds of PP1.5 time.