Picking a favourite Connor McDavid goal from last night would be difficult. The goal with half a tick on the clock before the end of the period was fantastic, but the super nova nuclear snipe working against Edler was breathtaking. What. a. player.
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: First impressions of Oilers after opener against the Canucks
- New Jonathan Willis: Oilers opening night roster: A player-by-player breakdown
- Lowetide: Oilers risers and fallers and how they impact the opening night roster
- Lowetide: Will Ken Holland let it ride in goal for the Oilers this season?
- Lowetide: Oilers rookies with a chance to stick after one week of training camp
- Lowetide: 9 bold predictions for the Oilers’ season
- Lowetide: Early roster rumblings as Oilers open training camp
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers training camp: Forecasting the big roster battles
- Lowetide: Dylan Holloway’s world juniors work offers clues about Oilers future
- Lowetide: The Bakersfield Condors will be competitive in the coming AHL season
- Jonathan Willis: After a brilliant rookie Oilers season, how high is Ethan Bear’s ceiling?
- Lowetide: How secure is Zack Kassian’s role on Oilers’ top line?
- Lowetide: Why fans should expect an Oilers playoff berth in Canadian division
- Jonathan Willis: Dave Tippett has more options now thanks to versatile Oilers forwards
- Lowetide: What if Ryan Nugent-Hopkins doesn’t sign with the Oilers?
- Lowetide: Seattle Kraken expansion mock draft 5.0: Who could the Oilers lose?
- Lowetide: Why McDavid and Nuge together could be key to Oilers’ playoff success
OILERS IN MONTH NO. 1
- 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: 1-1-0, goal differential +1
Oilers are clear of the 2015 and 2018 teams, and tied with the 2017 club. The two games played so far offer such dissimilar clues. Edmonton won the shot share and had the more dangerous chances on Thursday night. The club also won the five on five goal share, 3-2.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM MONTH NO. 1
- At home to: Vancouver, Vancouver (Expected: 1-1-0) (Actual 1-1-0)
- 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: 1-1-0, 2 points after 2 games
This edition of the Oilers has just one pairing intact from a year ago, so it might take a couple of weeks to get things optimal. The team is currently on track with the predicted results.
LINES FROM LAST NIGHT
- Nuge-McDavid-Kassian played 9:28 at five on five, 10-6 shots, no goals, 5-2 HDSC and 15-6 Corsi for five on five. This trio didn’t score but won the possession battle and had several 10-bell chances. 20 shots in total for these three men, all five goals between McDavid (3) and Nuge (2). The five on five goals (two) on-ice for McDavid came with Draisaitl (2), Nuge (1), Yamamoto (1).
- Kahun-Draisaitl-Yamamoto played 8:07, and got fed! Shots 3-7, no goals, 0-2 HDSC and 5-16 Corsi for (all at five on five). Draisaitl played just over 7 minutes against the Horvat line (9-8 shots), he was 4-1 the rest of the way. At some point, Tippett ran four men for a short period (faceoff at the end of the period on the 97 goal=97, 29, 56; five minutes to go in the second, Nuge to 97 backdoor play, 29 also got an assist) of line shuffling and found two five on five goals. Impressive all around.
- Archibald-Turris-Puljujarvi played 5:34, 4-3 shots, 0-1 goals (dammit!), 1-3 HDSC and 6-9 Corsi. Puljujarvi had a great night, he’s really showing up in good spots. Seven shots, takeaway, skated miles, got in the way, it’s wonderful! People are talking new attitude, forgetting he was a teenager last time we saw him and that he had hip issues as well. I love him on the forecheck, he’s a difficult player to avoid for opponents (wingspan and speed). The goal against for this line (Motte) involved mostly good work, JP engaged the winger, Canucks got the puck, sent it to the blue line and Motte got position on Tyson Barrie. No grievous errors, Vancouver made a couple of good plays. This line is 0-2 five on five goal differential, but I’d keep with them. A goal is coming.
- Shore-Khaira-Chiasson played 2:51, 0-2 shots, 0-1 goals (dammit again!) and 0-1 HDSC. 1-8 Corsi for five on five. The goal against wasn’t much (again) Schmidt from the point but Koskinen was blocked by Sutter (who seems healthy again) and Jones trying to move him. This line isn’t working.
LAST NIGHT’S PAIRINGS, GOALIE
- Nurse-Bear played 14:10, going 17-11 shots, 3-0 goals, 9-2 HDSC and 23-14 Corsi for five on five. Outstanding game by the top pair. Spent 11:22 with 97, 4:28 with 29 and there was overlap.
- Koekkoek-Barrie played 8:37, going 6-8 shots, 0-1 goals, 1-2 HDSC and 9-17 Corsi for on the night. Koekkoek blocked five shots, Barrie picked up an assist and had four shots. This pairing is coming along nicely.
- Jones-Larsson played 8:36, going 5-5 shots, 0-1 goals, 1-4 HDSC, 6-16 Corsi for five on five. They were on for the Schmidt goal, Jones couldn’t move Sutter. I thought this pairing played much better, they played mostly with the third and fourth lines and against the third and fourth Canucks lines.
- Mikko Koskinen was rock solid, 33 of 35, .943. He played well, although he was also fine in the first game.
- All numbers via Natural Stat Trick.
- At five on five after two games, Edmonton’s shot share is 50 percent (61-61).
- Goal share five on five (6-7) is minus 1.
- Centers are enjoying different results, and of course not all stats are while these men play center. The current five on five goal differentials: Draisaitl 5-1; McDavid 3-2; Turris 0-2; Khaira 0-2. Room to grow in the bottom six.
- Center five on five minutes: McDavid 16:49; Draisaitl 14:13; Turris 10:04; Khaira 5:42.
- Pairings five on five goal differentials: Nurse and Bear 5-1; Jones and Larsson 1-4; Koekkoek-Barrie 0-2.
- Defensive five on five minutes: Nurse 19:59; Bear 19:11; Jones 13:40, Larsson 13:35; Barrie 13:05; Koekkoek 12:46.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10 this morning, TSN1260, we kick into weekend mode. Steve Lansky from Inside the Truck podcast will talk about the Oilers start to the season and about the broadcasting tweaks we’ve seen at the start of the year. Matthew Iwanyk will drop by, he was at Rogers last night, I’ll ask if McDavid is in fact faster this year. We’ll also talk NFL weekend. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!