Heartbreak Pass

by Lowetide

Today we’re going to talk about passing, and the importance of consistent passing and accepting a pass. Most every player in the NHL can send the puck tape to tape when there’s no pressure. The degree of difficulty increases with forechecking pressure, and that’s when the fun starts.

In two of the first three games this season, the Oilers haven’t been sharp at passing or taking a pass, and they haven’t dealt well with forechecking. That has to change. They’ll be better Monday, a rested Oilers team should have faster boots and problem solve more easily. If we see a repeat of Saturday night, we can assume at least one team in the Canadian division is better than Edmonton by some margin.


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.


  • Oilers in October 20150-3-0, goal differential -6
  • Oilers in October 2016: 2-1-0, goal differential +1
  • Oilers in October 2017: 1-2-0, goal differential -1
  • Oilers in October 2018: 1-2-0, goal differential -5
  • Oilers in October 2019: 3-0-0, goal differential +5
  • Oilers in Month 1 2021: 1-2-0, goal differential -3

Through three games, the Oilers look like a club on the outside looking in. That’s a concern but not enough for high anxiety. The opener and last night felt like preseason, and the middle game looked like fire, so one hopes for the next game to resemble the Thursday edition of the Oilers. They’ll become more consistent, we know this. What we don’t know is if that will be good enough for the second season.


  • At home to: Vancouver, Vancouver (Expected: 1-1-0) (Actual 1-1-0)
  • At home to: Montreal, Montreal (Expected: 1-1-0) (Actual 0-1-0)
  • 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: 1-2-0, 2 points after 3 games

Things are going about as expected, you’d like to see Edmonton win two in a row here some time during the month of January. There are some good signs, we’ll talk about them below. More urgency would be good.


  • Kahun-Draisaitl-Yamamoto played 12:27 and was the best line for Edmonton. 8-6 shots, no goals, 2-1 HDSC, 14-7 Corsi for five on five. Draisaitl damn near scored on the power play, he was the one Oilers player who was making sharp passes. Yamamoto has been consistent at a high level all three games.
  • Nuge-McDavid-Archibald posted better totals than the visual implied. Trio played 7:18 together, won the shot share 6-3, no goals, 2-1 HDSC and 10-6 Corsi for five on five. McDavid picked up an assist on the only goal, Nuge was effective (at times spectacular) defensively all night. Archibald looked quiet but had two HDCS’s on the night. All numbers Natural Stat Trick.
  • Ennis-Turris-Puljujarvi played 6:43, 3-5 shots, 0-1 goals and 1-1 HDSC. Corsi five on five 6-8. I thought the line showed well, especially when Turris had one dynamite chance early. JP to Ennis to Turris for a nice ripper, looked good. I’d like to see this line again.
  • Nygard-Shore-Chiasson played 3:57, going 1-2 shots, no goals and 2-3 Corsi for five on five. It was a better trio than the previous fourth line.
  • McDavid played with JP and Nuge for 3:07, 1-1 shots, 0-1 goals and 1-1 HDSC. 5-2 Corsi, and I saw them good but who knows if we’ll see them again.


  • Nurse-Bear played 11:16 together, 7-7 shots, 0-1 goals, 2-2 HDSC and 11-11 Corsi five on five. Bear was late to the show on the Tatar (second) goal, he didn’t see the ice after that puck went in. Tippett: “The fifth one (goal against) is a poor, poor read by Ethan Bear.” The young blue was slow to recognize, but a pair of two minute shifts in the first period may have contributed to an “also in photo” moment. Bear’s read was not sharp, but his wheels weren’t turning at his usual pace on that play.
  • For me, Nurse’s decision to go for the hit on what turned into the first Tatar goal is the kind of break down that is easily avoided by a disciplined approach to defense.
  • Both men will be needed, both men are over 50 percent in five on five shot and goal differential after three games, so there are good things happening despite some moments in last night’s game.
  • Jones-Larsson played 11:40 together, going 5-4 shots, no goals, 0-1 HDSC and 10-9 Corsi for five on five. People are getting on Jones now, but his on ice shooting percentage is less than five percent and his on ice save percentage is .762. Those numbers will regress to the meat over time. I’d stay with him. Larsson had calm feet and defended well. Played a disciplined game.
  • Koekkoek-Barrie played 10:01, going 7-5 shots, 1-0 goals, 4-1 HDSC and 16-10 Corsi for five on five. I’m liking this duo more and more, although am pleased to see Tippett using them as one of the bottom pairings. Played over five minutes scoreless against the Tatar-Danault-Gallagher line as a pairing, that trio sliced Edmonton 3-0 goals at five on five (although Barrie was on the ice for one of the goals against).
  • Mikko Koskinen stopped 31 of 36, .861 save percentage. I think he can be faulted a little for the Petry badminton goal and the Petry seeing eye single goal. Gave up a leaky rebound on the Evans goal but there was a lot going on there, too. Either way, he was not good enough to steal the game, and Price was better but so was his team.


  • Connor McDavid 4-3
  • Leon Draisaitl 3-1
  • Kyle Turris 0-4
  • Jujhar Khaira 0-2
  • Devin Shore 0-0

Draisaitl is actually 5-1 but two of his five on five on ice goals came on the McDavid line. Either way, the goal of the offseason, making sure the third and fourth lines contributed more, isn’t working through three games. Top two lines are working, need to get the Turris line going. Ennis looked good there.


  • Darnell Nurse 5-3
  • Ethan Bear 5-3
  • Slater Koekkoek 1-2
  • Tyson Barrie 1-3
  • Adam Larsson 1-4
  • Caleb Jones 1-5

I’d stay the course with Jones. I’d stay the course with Nurse-Bear. I might play the Koekkoek-Barrie pairing a little more.

Oilers fans may not want to hear this, but that Anderson line, combined with a fine coach and a more substantial NHL defense, plus Carey Price, may mean the Habs are going to be well clear of the Oilers this season. That was an outstanding performance last night. Full stop.


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Bulging Twine

You’d have to think that LA would put in a waiver claim on Dell, no? After losing Grosenick.
The goalie on their taxi squad is 20 year old Jacob Ingham who played in the OHL last season.
They only have one other goalie in the minors, 21 year old Matt Villalta who has one year AHL experience with a .899 after playing in the OHL the season before that.


How dare you ruin my anticipation for 10 am this morning.

LA would have to keep Dell on their active roster or lose him to waivers and they would know if the Oilers claim Dell then Gresenick would go back on waivers.

Last edited 9 months ago by OriginalPouzar

I think the Blackhawks tenatious checking in the playin showed other teams how to stifle the Oilers. It’s almost like deja vu of that series.


I don’t entirely disagree, but the Oilers carried the play after game 1 of that series.

Montreal looked much more dominant last night IMO.


Vancouver did the same thing in the first game.


Isn’t tenacious checking part of pretty much every team’s game plan?


Maybe Edmonton should try it too.

Harpers Hair

I would be remiss not to wish Betty White a Happy 99th Birthday.

The person in the world I would most like to share a cocktail with.


After his ES assist last night Holloway has two primary PP assists tonight as Wisconsin is up 4-1.

Setting up Caufield:



When will we know more about waiver wire pickups tomorrow? 10 AM local time?


Yes, we will know right at 10 am – Young Tyler can break it for anyone not constantly refreshing twitter.

Bulging Twine

A little more on those 3 games in 4 nights for teams in the division.
Check this out, you won’t like it.

Total times playing 3 games in 4 nights:

Edmonton 17
Montreal 16
Winnipeg 16
Toronto 15
Calgary 15
Ottawa 14
Vancouver 11

but, let’s subtract the times when the opponent is also playing 3 in 4 to leave us with the amount of games where a team is playing 3 in 4 and the other is NOT:

Edmonton 12
Ottawa 10
Montreal 9
Toronto 8
Calgary 8
Winnipeg 7
Vancouver 4

8 game difference between Edmonton and Vancouver (16 possible points)

What about times when a team is not playing 3 in 4 but their opponent IS. Maybe the league makes it up to Edmonton here.

Ottawa 12
Montreal 9
Calgary 9
Toronto 8
Vancouver 7
Winnipeg 7
Edmonton 6

we get the shaft here too!

Times a team is not playing 3 in 4 but their opponent IS less times a team is playing 3 in 4 when their opponent is not:

Vancouver +3
Ottawa +2
Calgary +1
Montreal 0
Toronto 0
Winnipeg 0
Edmonton -6

That is quite the disadvantage!
6 game disadvantage to the next team and a 9 game difference between Edmonton and Vancouver!

I watched a bit of the VCR-Cgy game last night as well and VCR looked dead (3rd game in 4 nights)

Last edited 9 months ago by Bulging Twine
Harpers Hair

Nice work.
Complicating things even further is if there is travel involved the day before the first game an potentially with the 3 games in 4 nights.

Harpers Hair

The Oilers have just such a situation coming up at the end of the month. After a 2 game set in Winnipeg, they fly home and play 3 games in 4 nights against Toronto-Toronto-Ottawa.

i guess they can charter out right after the Winnipeg game but they would arrive home very late.

Bulging Twine

btw The Battle of Alberta?

The Oilers play the Flames 4 times on a 3 in 4 while the Flames aren’t on one
and the Flames play the Oilers zero times on a 3 in 4 when the Oilers aren’t also on one.


Well done, and good idea.

I understand scheduling is a complicated endeavour, but JFC it almost seems like the league does shit like this intentionally.

Last edited 9 months ago by BornInAGretzkyJersey

And the Oilers have no say? Or are they unaware?

buck yoakam

great work man!..


Great work, but WTF…


Halfway through the first period, and Holloway already has two helpers.

EDIT: Link is to the game summary, not actual video of said assists.

Last edited 9 months ago by Tarkus

Denver back in action tonight (finally – games postponed due to Covid matters).

First game since Brink returned from the World Juniors and its great to see that Savoie is going to keep his spot as 1LW – playing with Guttman and Brink.

Before Brink left for Edmonton, Savoie was 3LW and PP1 and moved up to 1LW when Brink left.

He’s earned his spot now!

Harpers Hair

Interesting that 5 members of that team are from BC and 4 from Alberta.

I wonder who is doing the recruiting there?


Matt Blumel continues his course to earning an ELC with a pop-season in the Czech leage – another goal today on his 3 shots. Plus 1 in a 2-1 win.


I do wonder how long Bouchard can stay out of the lineup given the (sad) state of the transition game.

Poor outlet passing simply emboldens aggressive forechecking.

It also means more chasing and more skating without the puck.

I think Tipp should at least consider dressing 7 D on back to backs and/or three in fours.


A dominant line hides a lot of weaknesses. Because it can create and maintain momentum and disrupt the momentum of the other team.

The Draisaitl line with Nugent-Hopkins and Yamamoto should be driving the bus, and this helps everyone else on the team be better, because there is less pressure on everybody else, because the other team won’t be able to sustain momemtum.

Taking Nugent-Hopkins away from Draisaitl, takes about 50% of the even strength offense of Nugent-Hopkins, 50% of the even strength offense of Draisaitl, and 50% of the even strength offense of Yamamoto.

And because of the inability to disrupt the momentum of the other team, puts our 3rd and 4th lines and D at a disadvantage, because they are always facing a team with momemtum. So arguably one loses what 3rd and 4th line offense one has, because they are always coming on with the ice tilted against them. Ditto for the defence.

The inability to disrupt the momentum of the other team also makes it harder for McDavid to play his game.

#LetLeonCook #LetNugeCook


Another reason to go back to DRY is that Kahun is a reasonable player to play in a support role with 97.

That also splits Kahun and KY, who may be too small to play on the same line against a team with size.

That being said, I do think you need to give the lines some time.

Archibald is a hefty downgrade from Kassian at evens, so let’s give the 97 line a pass on last game.


I completely agree that Tippett must reunite this trio. It made zero sense to break-up such a dominant line, last season and this still holds true today. Why not have a line that gets the toughest match-ups, that will also still produce, while opening up more opportunities for 97?

I like the Yamamoto-Nuge pairing, much better than Kahun-Draisaitl. We’ve already seen how well Y-N work together in very limited sample sizes this season. I had felt that Kahun would be a great fit with McDavid, I really think they would work well together.

Just do it Dave!

Last edited 9 months ago by €√¥£€^$
Scungilli Slushy

I think another good reason to reunite the NDY is that until CMD has a winger that can do enough to support a down low game, he will continue to play a rush game.

He will continue to live on the edge with goal share. IF Kahun who has the creativity and speed to perhaps keep up, and the coaches can coax Kass into playing the role he needs to, forecheck, backcheck, and get in defensive lanes and get pucks out, then the strategy is this.

With Nuge Drai Yama wreaking havoc and possessing the puck O zone, the opposing coaches have a decision to make they aren’t being pressed to do now. Who do you put your best resources against?

McDavid personally is dangerous, but his line isn’t. Drai’s line is pure havoc.

This may also open up breathing room for Turris.

By making lines that look balanced on paper it may be taking breathing room on the ice for every line because the bad guys can be more comfortable rolling 4 lines because they can get away with it.

If The Drai line can draw the most heat, McDavid’s line is more of a threat, etc etc. Which is probably what was happening last half last season. Like the Sid Geno thing. Teams can shut Connor down or really limit him at times because he doesn’t have his Kurri, yet. Nuge is awesome, but it’s not him.


You really think they’d score like, 140 points apiece if they were together this year?


Nurse getting lots of grief for going for that big hit. Yes, I get that, he did go for a big hit, took himself out of position and helped the Habs get an odd-man break which they scored on.

At the same time, Nurse was doing so in response to Joel Edbumdson trying to lay out Connor McDavid.

Guys like Nurse, Kassian, Khaira, etc. get criticized all the time for not overtly protecting McDavid in these types of situations.

I get it, maybe Nurse should have “taken a number” and found a better opportunity but, at the same time, in other situations, the player is criticized for not sending a message in the moment.

Foege Foegele Torpe

I hear what you’re saying,
Oilers were down 1-0 & still in the game despite being badly outplayed.
Nurse got neither the man nor the puck, D-fence 101
Bang, 2-0
He absolutely should have taken the number or better yet target one of the other teams best players


Interesting – most seemed just fine when Kassian didn’t take a number on Tkachuk and rag-dolled him taking penalties that directly hurt the team and led to a loss – he wasn’t even protecting McDavid but protecting himself.

If it was Tkachuk or Gio that took that same run at McDavid would the consensus be OK with Nurse’s immediate reaction?


Moral of this story is: if you go for the big hit, don’t miss! Make sure that you separate the man from the puck.


Don’t look now by AA has two even strength goals on a $1.2M contract


I Haven’t posted much in the last while, but I thought I would give my two cents worth.
One of the biggest issues that I have noticed is the way the team starts games. They seem tentative and look like they are waiting to see how the other team comes out. In my opinion they need to set the tone right from the opening face off. Let the other team adjust to how we are playing. Good teams play “their” game…let the opponent do the chasing.


Nugent-Hopkins / McDavid / Puljujarvi
Kahun / Draisaitl / Yamamoto
Ennis / Turris / Neal
Nygard / Haas / Kassian

I hope this is where things are headed when they’re healthy.


Flip Kahun for RNH and swap Neal and Ennis side to side and I think you’re on to something. I’d think Neal would be more potent as LW with a right shot centre.

Or swap Neal and Ennis, then flip JP and KY. I’d have time for that too.


I believe Neal’s best seasons were as a RW on his offwing, ready for one-timers. That said, if it’s the same linemates, I’d be fine with either way. I’m still a believer in Nuge-McDavid, Kahun-Draisaitl-Yamamoto. Don’t feel a need to abandon that yet. Also, I think Nuge is needed as the defensive conscience with McDavid and Puljujarvi. In the end, any combo of those top 6 followed by the 3rd line, I’m okay with. Follow that with a speedy 4th line of Nygard-Haas- and either Kassian or Archibald. If they ever need Benson to cover for injuries I’d like to see him in the top 9, not on the 4th line.


Neal has indeed expressed he prefers the right side.


The distinction that Neal himself has made when expressing a preference of playing RW is when he’s paired with a left shot centre.


Maybe it has, but the main advantage is still in how you receive the pass, not in who is passing it. A left handed shot playing on the right can one-time so much easier regardless of whether it is a forehand or backhand pass.


There is no way that Chiasson is in the lineup tomorrow, is there?


GOOD CALLL. He’s been Baaaaaad


If the guys are tired because of games then we really have to rotate players in and out of the lineup on 3rd game in 4nights
Kookoo Barrie you’re up for 22 min
Russell Bouchard you’re up for 20 min

don’t know why Nuge played 21 min or Mcdavid 19. Cap their minutes at 15 especially if game doesn’t look like you have a reasonable shot


In the first period, you could see Montreal just hammering point shots, and they were getting through consistently. Same with the 1st Vancouver game. The success of Chicago in the play in certainly exposed our lack of clearing the front of the net for those bad deflections and rebounds. Part of this may be due to size of the D, but we succeeded in game 2 this year when we blocked those shots with consistency.

I’d start there if I was Playfair.

Scungilli Slushy

To me the key to point shots lies with forwards. If point shots are being teed up consistently it means forwards aren’t in the lane. The point isn’t being pressured properly.

D men playing goalie or getting hit a lot with point shots leads to more injuries as we have seen, especially if they are instinctively turning sideways meaning getting hit on skate sides or unpadded areas. Or if you’re Hendricks right in the junk.

Being late to the party also leads to another personal non favourite of mine, lunging the stick in front of the shot when too far away, putting the perfect angle on the blade for a nice deflection.

Let the goalie take the shot if you aren’t in front of and facing it,focus on stopping cross seam passes and getting to rebounds first.


I wouldn’t fault Tippet with going with a whatever works approach this year . its a short season why not?
Mcdavid – Draisaitl or RNH -Draisaitl -Yam
for even a stretch of games until other players get chemistry


The approach for this season should be the trap please and thank you.


They typically do when they have a big early lead.


Either way, the goal of the offseason, making sure the third and fourth lines contributed more, isn’t working through three games. Top two lines are working, need to get the Turris line going. Ennis looked good there.

Healthy up Gaetan Haas (or hello Jason Spezza…..).


I agree that they need to stay with Jones, however, at the same time, Kris Russell does need to get in some games and the one thing that happens consistently with him on the ice is low goals against. Given the Oilers are giving up many goals per game, mainly due to mistakes and issues defending, I would think Coach T and P think about getting Russell in. They may give Koekkoek some extra at bats with Larsson and pair Russell with Barrie.

On the other note,Jesse played 3:24 with McDavid last night and the shots of 5-2 meet the eye test. Yes, they were 0-1 in HDSC and goals which was due to a breakdown in the defence after an impressive offensive zone pressure shift.

I wonder if coach will go to this to start next game or back to Jesse with Turris – which isn’t working as well as anticipated, early.


Regarding Turris at 3C, how long should we give him?

I arbitrarily put the line in the sand at 12 games…fully admitting i don’t know the answer.

Just curious on your thoughts.


Longer than 3 games I would think.

Lets not forget that two of those games had a 4th line winger on his left and his right winger is still getting used to being back in North America.

In any event, there are zero other options for 3C that could conceivably be better (except Nugent-Hopkins).

No, McLeod would not conceivably be better at 3C in the NHL. He’d be faster but lets not forget, he wasn’t even a full time 3C in the AHL last year. He’d likely bring speed and energy but not legit NHL 3C ability at this point.


Blah, blah blah, blah blah.
Still waiting for you to show me what positive hockey plays JP made on the McDavid line.
According to your eye test he was good there?
Show me one plus play he made.


What does this have to do with Turris? Nothing, so its just blah, blah, blah.

I simply said that the line had offensive zone possession time multiple shifts in a row. That was my eye test and the numbers back it up.

One of those shifts led to the goal they scored (it was scored right after a long offensive zone possession shit and while the Oilers were changing and before the Habs were able to get a chance – tired defenders).

Bulging Twine

Connor in the post game was mentioning that it was their 3rd game in 4 nights and that the other team seemed fresher.

Coach Julien mentioned that the Canadiens looked fresher as the other team was playing their 3rd game in 4 nights.

The Oilers seem to be okay, good even, on back to backs. May be a different story with the 3rd in 4’s.

How many 3 in 4’s are left in the season?


Bulging Twine

Flames also have 14

Bulging Twine

MTL has 15

Bulging Twine

VCR has 9

Bulging Twine

WPG 14

Bulging Twine

TOR 10

Bulging Twine

my apologies, screwed up on my counting. dang it. Tor has 15 total

Bulging Twine

correction on the Oilers, they have 16 more.
17 in total


Many an NHLer has talked about 3 in 4 (and 4 in 6) being more taxing then simple back to backs. I know Struds has mentioned in many times over the years.


It’s amazing the Canucks haven’t done better considering the league gives them all the PPs plus half as many 3 in 4s as other teams. Man.

Last edited 9 months ago by jp

To my eye the Oiler’s look out worked in two of three games.

I wonder if inserting Bouchard and Benson who both have played in Europe and might be the most hunger to stay in the NHL, might add something to the line up?

Foege Foegele Torpe

Problem is Tyson Barrie is already playing 3rd RD.
Kokkoek is treading water in the spot where Jones should be.
This team is desperate for healthy Klefbom,
feels like we’ve been saying that for 5+ years now


Larsson and Barrie have essentially the same TOI per game. By usage, they are deploying a top pairing and two subsequent pairings. A case could be made for Bouchard to spell Larsson for a game and/or Russell to spell Koekkoek for a game.

Yes, they are missing Klefbom big time. We talked for months about a key being Jones being able to handle those 2LD minutes at evens and, well, so far, he hasn’t performed very well – hence issues.


Sean Patrick Ryan 

He scored the winner, he saved a goal to tie the game late, and threw a couple big hits in between. It was a good game for (@EdmontonOilers) 5th round pick – Ty Tullio (#74).



Pasquale gave up four goals on 17 shots in a 4-0 loss.

One would think Konovalov, who continues to play well in his one start every 8 games, would get the net next game but, of course, Russia…..


Well at least the rodeo isn’t at Roger’s next month.

Bulging Twine

Shore looked like he’s still working on getting his sea legs a little bit.
Hey there’s probably a pun in there somewhere, Shore, sea, ah never mind


He guys!
Just thought you should know
Championship def is sub 2Ga.
Def wins championships.
The earth is not flat!
Offence Dmen! = Flat earth analytics


Is flat earthing good or bad in your mind, I forget?


What are defensive d-men near 2GA that also inhibit offense to a level of 1.75GF?


Spiderman says: This is definitely a part of the problem. I have a hard time grasping why puck support seems so difficult for the Oilers.

Rahrah aside, I have always thought that sometimes hard work will beat skill. If we believe this team to be the most skilled of the past few, then perhaps their give a shit level is too low. A little more desperation early in a game might save having to use it late in a game. I always looked at Kassian (sorry Godot) & Chiasson to provide that. Maybe it’s time for everyone to accept that they must. After all, CERB just doesn’t cut it…🤯


They are really struggling with the forecheck. They seem to get into battles at their blue line consistently and lose.

This team needs to stop looking for premium plays all the time. They always are going for slam dunk, empty net goals. With a good goalie like price in there, get some shots at the net and create havoc.

They are skilled but need to establish the grind game to open up the skill opportunities. Kind of akin to a football team needing to get its run game going to get the passing game to open up.

Material Elvis

The team looked at its best at the beginning of last season when Tippett had them focusing on full team puck support in the defensive end with the defensemen looking for the center outlet as the first option. That doesn’t appear to be available for them, although it is sometimes difficult to tell on TV. I’ve seen a lot of up-the-boards play in the first three games and it is really stifling the offensive transition. Maybe it’s because they had hardly any training camp but Tippett needs to get them back to playing up the middle. The defense pinching has to start coming with consequences. Bench the guys who keep taking themselves out of position to make a nothing play. How about a rule? If the pinch is going to prevent a scoring chance then it’s acceptable. If not, that play will cost you ice time. Something has to motivate them to stop making those crucial mistakes.


The team isn’t good enough 5 on 5. They need to implement the trap like Ottawa.Connor and Leon can be Connor and Leon. The rest need to commit to defence.


Only 18 teams ahead of the Oilers eligible to claim Dell. 5 of them being the rest of the North division.

Eh Team

I’m sure they will try to claim Dell, but he may not make it to them. They should have just gave Toronto a late draft pick for him before he went on waivers.


One would think, but Kenny seems to be struggling with his goaltending decisions.

Harpers Hair

Can’t imagine any of the North Division teams would put in a claim since they all have solid backups in place. Unless Winnipeg wants to fuck with the Oilers again.


If Winnipeg wants to screw the Oilers by picking him, then I would think they would have to waive Forsberg. Cant keep 4 goalies on the 23 man


Of note, the only teams to put in a claim for Forsberg were the Oilers and Jets (confirmed by Gregor).

All teams ahead of the Oilers in waiver wire priority, but the jets, passed on Fosberg.

Do we think they will be clamoring for Dell a few days later?


The fact just was Montreal was fantastic last night. Credit where credit is due. Price was dialed in completely.


True dat.


With no gate receipts how and how much are the players getting paid?

Asking for a friend.


80% of the nominal value of their contract, 10% of that defered to sometime in the future.

Owners are probably at about 50% of normal revenue.


How many times have we read “Nurse went for the big hit!”??? I wish he would just play defense and play his position properly. The hits will come. I wonder about Playfair also. Is he a poor teacher or do the students (D) refuse to listen? Bottom line is this: Coming into the season everybody knew they had poor/inconsistent goaltending and D. As well, only the names change on the bottom two lines but the results are always the same. Before the season is over they will win more than they lose but this is not a team built for Championships by any stretch of the imagination.

Material Elvis

I have a hard time believing the coaches are telling them to do that. The players are making those poor reads in real time.


“My hopes exceed my expectations”
-Sarah Harmer (Weeping Tile, Westray)

Given that there was no pre-season and there are some new faces and young players, we knew there would be wobble (inconsistency). Injuries and other factors have also contributed to some chaos. But at the end of the day, we keep seeing the same basic problems that have faced this team seemingly in one forever (or at least a dark decade). They have major defensive breakdowns at bad times, and no Price or Vasilevskiy in net to bail them out when they have these massive failures. Their high danger chances against are more often than not EXTREMELY HDCAs. I lost count of the odd man rushes last night.

To me the big question is: how much time and rope will Tippett give to players, pairings and lines before he makes course corrections and try different options?

The top six can arguably be mixed around a bit around the core 4, but they are not really the problem.

The bottom six continues to be a problem. We need some patience with the 3rd line given they are all new to playing together and they haven’t had a consistent LW. Maybe Nygaard would be a good candidate to try there as well as giving Ennis a few more reps. JP2.0 is skating miles but he needs to pick his spots a little better and avoid flying the D-zone.

I think Tipp should have a relatively short leash for the first month and let players get some reps, otherwise the advantage of having guys playing in Europe this fall will be lost. I don’t think it would be a good idea to leave guys in the PB and taxi squad for extended periods of time without any game action, except for maybe the bottom end of the taxi squad, i.e., PRusty, Quine. It is a bit of a balancing act between letting players on the fringe get some time to play and work the kinks out vs. having guys that should get some looks sitting for several weeks before trying them or requiring them to come in because of injuries. Get guys comfortable in game situations and then try to keep them fresh with some modest rotations to the line up over the last 3 months of the season.

Bouch could draw in for Bear (not playing terribly, but struggling a bit and late to camp), e.g., tomorrow night.
KRusty or Lags could draw in for a beleaguered Jones, e.g., tomorrow night.

JJ should continue his time on the pine. Should MacLeod maybe get a game or two on the 4th line sometime this month? Better to take a peek at him sooner, than later in my opinion, particularly since Haas should be a strong candidate for 4C when he is ready. Maybe MacLeod against the leafs for 2 games?

Harpers Hair

Worth noting that Montreal has 6 new players in its lineup with nary a sign of wobble.

I know it is blasphemy here to question Tippet but I think it’s worth discussing that the team was absolutely unprepared for the play in series and was the same in the first game against Vancouver.

Why was that?


Because this team has played whack a puck 5v5 for years
blaming the coach when the same issue has been there for multiple predecessors is folly

Harpers Hair

Isn’t it precisely his job to fix that?

You can keep changing out the players over and over but at some point, you have to at least consider the solution lies elsewhere.


Because this off-season will be first time he has cap space to actually do anything other than digging through the scrap piles

Harpers Hair

That has nothing to do with a coach getting his players prepared to play from the opening whistle.



Because this off-season will be first time he has cap space to actually do anything other than digging through the scrap piles

There should be some cap room but I don’t think the Oilers will be rolling in cap space.

Lets not forget, either $6M-$7M of the cap space is going to Nuge or to replace him in the top 6. Maybe a PPG winger can be acquired for less than that amount but probably not one that also PKs, can play center if there is an injury, etc.

Yamamoto will also need his next contract and it looks like he is going to prove to be a legit top 6 winger that, if he’s not PPG won’t be that far off. If he has a healthy season, he’ll need a sizeable contract (and probably won’t get squeezed like Bear)..

Part of the cap space needs to be sued for a top 4 RD (whether that’s Barrie, Larsson or an external acquisition).


everything being said about the Oilers can easily be said about their competition. Other teams have new players, other teams didn’t have a training camp….



No pre seasons games played for Montreal either.

We are, seemingly, icing a much quicker/faster lineup than any recent iteration of our team, and yet, for 2 games now, we have looked very slow compared to our competition.

I don’t have an answer but I noted 4C Hab Josh Evans is real fast.

Now, it is early, but I think Turris, JJ and Chaser ( 3 of 6) are 1 step and 2 steps behind the current NHL standards.

If things don’t improve – and way too early to make any claim right now, I would like to try an ice an ice the fastest bottom 6 possible.

Indeed, I can see why Corey Perry could not make the Habs lineup.

Material Elvis

Absolutely give other players a chance. Sub Bouchard in for Bear; Lagesson or Russell in for Jones. Why not try McLeod for a game at 3C? He couldn’t be much worse than Turris but there is a chance that he provides some spark. Keeping the lineup unchanged is rewarding poor play.


In order to activate Bouchard and McLeod off the taxi squad, two players on the existing active roster need to be assigned off the roster. Shore and ?

Without anyone on waivers today, the only other option would be Nygard.


Why isn’t Haas on LTIR?


What’s the point unless we are looking to use his LTIR reserves (which would disappear when activated).

If he was put on LTIR, he’d need to be out for 10 games/24 days from the regular season start date.

He’ll probably still be a bit getting up to speed but there isn’t really any benefit..

Smith was put on LTIR as the LTIR reserves were needed to add another galie to the roster.


Yes, the point would be to use his LTIR reserves to prevent Shore/Nygard/Khaira from being removed from the roster for the time being.

It only kicks the can down the road, but gives Tippett et al about 2 weeks to see those guys (if he wanted) before deciding who to re-assign once Haas is fully ready.

Just saying it’s an option for the short term if it were deemed useful.


Sure, fair enough – I’m not sure its needed though. Any of those guys can be shipped off the roster to make room for any of the others. Heck, they (and Bouchard, Quine, Russell, etc. can be assigned to the AHL and off the taxi squad too freely. The implications of that are nominal as no one has to leave town yet. They could assign Khaira to the AHL tomorrow and then recall him or recall him to the taxi squad the next day, for example.

Once the AHL is happening, then there would be issues with that.

I’m guessing that they think (or hope) Haas will be ready prior to the time he’d be able to be activated from LTIR.


My original comment was a reply to your statement that in order to activate Bouchard and McLeod, two active roster players would need to be removed.

Haas to LTIR is a way that only 1 active roster player would need to go in order to accommodate Bouchard+McLeod.

I don’t think any of this is particularly likely, just suggesting another way the team could activate 2 (or 1, if they wished) taxi squad player.


My point on McLeod/Bouchard wasn’t cap space, it was roster space on the active 23. Two players would need to be re-assigned in order to make room. Its not about cap space in that regard. Haas is already on IR, he’s not taking up a roster spot.


Fair enough.

Harpers Hair

Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) Tweeted:
I am curious to see if EDM claims Dell and tells him to wait for them in Toronto. Oilers are there this week. That opens some options



Friedman was reading my posts I guess.


Dell on waivers?

Amazing – that was one of my primary tending targets in the off-season once it was established that the market for the upper middle tier was $3M-$4M with term.

This is a no-brainer claim.

If they get him, new guy gets waived and is either gone or can be taxi squad goalie allowing Skinner to play games in AHL.

Also, with Dell, I wonder if they can get around the quarantine protocol if he simply stays in Toronto and joins the team there and travels to Winnipeg and back home with team, not commercial?


Oilers are at or near the bottom of the claim list due to the recent claim. One could speculate that Carolina makes a claim on Dell ahead of the Oilers as they wanted Forsberg to upgrade their current 3rd goalie.


They were worried that Ned would get claimed. When he didn’t they waived Forsberg again


here’s the waiver order:
det ott sj la ana buf nj mtl chi arz min wpg nyr cgy fla nsh van cbj edm nyi dal car vgk pit phi wsh col tb stl bos

hoping we grab him, but more likely it’s LA/BUFF/NJ/CHI


I could see Chi grabbing him
but he does kind of suck


No, the waiver claim order does not change during the first month of the season.

It is still determined by last year’s final standings.


Unless they’ve changed or pro-rated this rule for the shortened season, OP is correct. And I haven’t heard of any changes… but sadly the NHL likes to conduct business by secret memoranda.


I agree. This is a no-brainer. It sucks for Grosenik, but if he clears he can be very helpful in Bakersfield with Skinner and a young Rodrigue.

Next time Kenny sees his old buddy Waddell I hope he throws him a headbutt.


I think if Grosenik clears, he goes to to the taxi squad while Skinner goes to the AHL – at least until Smith is activated. I don’t know what they would do then – I would hope they would not risk losing Dell on waivers at that point (assuming he has not crapped the bed in the starts he gets in the interim).


I worry about Turris. He has to pick it up.

I have yet to see a high end offensive play from him at evens. I may have missed one, and I will admit did not see a large portion of the last game.


Same. By my rough count, that 3rd line has had 1 really good shift in 3 games.

Further, and few seemingly want to admit this, Kyle Turris is not very quick or fast. Lethal in today’s NHL.

Material Elvis

It’s early so we shouldn’t make any firm decisions on him but right now he looks like another 4C option. Woodguy’s phone did place him in a comparable group with Riley Sheahan so I don’t think his early performance is a complete shock.



lets hope Woodguy is wrong…for the first time!


Turris looks like he’s destined for pk and 4th line duty


My impression thus far aligns with that of Godot and others, in that Nuge is being “wasted” playing with 97.

Nuge is at his slippery best when he darts in and out, playing the give and go, and then firing his laser wrist shot from medium range to keep the D honest.

That style of play is ideally suited to Drai, not to 97.

Drai’s exceptional ability to pass on his backhand is also favourable for Nuge as a LW.

The beauty of the DRY line was that they could kill you in so many different ways — off the cycle, off the rush, garbage goals in front of the net.

It is early, but I do not yet see that level play from either top 6 line.


I’m not sure the Oilers need more size, guess it’s never a bad thing if the players are actually skilled, but I would like to note the best forechecker on our team is one if the smallest players in the league. We don’t have enough forwards who can effectively disrupt the defensive game of the opposing team. 

It’s not about hammering them into the boards. It’s all about putting pressure on their dmen to make quick decisions. Lucic is one of the biggest, toughest players in the league, but he’s an awful forechecker and loses board battles all the time because his stick sucks. Kassian is almost as bad, but he’s a lot faster so it gives him a bit of an edge. Yamamoto is a much more effective forechecker because he anticipates better and uses his stick better, even though it’s much smaller.

cowboy bill

I think they could have used Kassian last night . Hopefully he’ll be in the line up Monday .
The lines I would like to see would be .

No Chiasson let Jesse play his role on the first PP and see how it goes . Let him in on the PK too .
Unfortunately they seem to have lost some size in their forwards . But they can make that up with speed and a strong forecheck .

Last edited 9 months ago by cowboy bill
Scungilli Slushy

To me it’s about puck support.

Watch the opponents, usually a player has an outlet, somebody within a reasonable distance to move the puck to.

The Oilers D often don’t have that. Because it’s inconsistent, they are that half second slow moving the puck which compounds the issue because they don’t know if an outlet is in position, have to look or think.

It’s the same in the O zone. Drai is basically the only one good at playing a cycle game, where he reads the flow and can go to the net or hit someone open with the timing.

Look at the Bergeron line, doing the same play low high to the bottom of the circle, player with time to shoot. A million times and they still execute it despite getting old and battered when everyone is healthy.

The Oilers have to learn how to consistently set up cross seam chances and low high plays to be able to play in mud, especially playoff mud. They are deadly if given space, but of course that isn’t always going to be the case. Opponents kill them doing this when they are running around and out of position, not supporting each other, as we have seen.

Although size helps, it’s more about learning how to be consistent in puck battles and how to create space along the boards to move the puck to someone hopefully with sapce supporting the puck carrier, keep moving it until a breakdown occurs or a clean shot or play to the net.

Tampa has a bigger D, but smaller up front. The perfection line is not big. Crosby is 5′ 11 200 and MacKinnon 6′ 200. Crosby is the best cycle player in the game IMO.

The Oiler D aren’t that small when Russell isn’t in. Bear and Barrie have some weight even if a bit shorter than most, they shouldn’t get pushed around if they don’t want to be.

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

This is definitely a part of the problem. I have a hard time grasping why puck support seems so difficult for the Oilers.


They all wanna be Maverick from Top Gun.


Absolutely. Recall the beginning of last season when they got off to a supernova start and they were playing consistently shift after shift as a 5 man unit with puck support.
I don’t understand where the problem is with this team doing what works.


Chris Johnston

Aaron Dell (TOR) and Jason Spezza (TOR) are among those on NHL waivers today.


I don’t get why Toronto wouldn’t have traded Dell to Edmonton for a late round pick. It would seem like a no brainer for Holland to flip a 7th or a 6th for him.


Perhaps Holland is quite confident he is going to get the goalie on waivers?

Only the Oilers and Jets put in a claim for Fosberg. Do we imagine teams that passed up Forsberg are clamoring for Dell a couple days later?

Holland also has great relationships across the league and could probably put in calls and get a sense if any team that might reasonably claim him is indeed going to do so.


Although the goalie situation changed in LA when Edmonton claimed Grosenick. So there may be a good chance that LA claims him now. So Edmonton may have screwed themselves out of Dell by grabbing Grosenick.


Fair, but LA would know that the Oilers would be waiving Grosenick if they get Dell.


Is it too early to shake up the lines? What about


Turris would be the only non-fast forward.

As for the D, I’m less convinced what I’d do, but I would bring in a couple or Russell, Lagesson or Bouchard for a look.


flip Ennis and Kahun and let’s go!


I haven’t seen Shore as fast so far. Maybe not slow? Does anyone else consider him fast?


Can Shore be considered anything based on his two games.

One shot on net (the same amount as Khaira in 5 more minutes of 5 on 5 ice time).

One minute on the PK and scored on (Khaira with over 6 minutes and not scored on).


I was more referring to whether anyone has watched him in previous years or knows if he has a reputation for speed.


Ya, I get that – I was just saying that, through 2 games, he doesn’t seem any more impactful than Khaira and I certainly didn’t notice him being speedy out there.


I don’t have a great handle on his speed, but I imagine he’s faster than Khaira.


One thing that can always be counted on after games like last night is over reaction. There’s no doubt the Oilers were outclassed and looked slow but that is how teams look when they have a bad night. If, after being embarrassed, they don’t come back with a much stronger effort on Monday then there some real problems. Montreal is certainly good but last night it looked like we should just skip the formalities and hand them the the cup. Bergeron deserves credit for transforming that team when not long ago they seemed to be floundering in mediocrity.

Bear and Nurse had some struggles last night. They’ll be better on Monday without a doubt. It sounds simple but the whole team needs to emphasize spending less time in their own end. I think LTs comments about passing are spot on. One quick little pass can make all the difference and that is something Bear is usually very good at.

When Pittsburgh won their cups they did not have an especially strong defence but had Crosby, Malkin and Kessel on separate lines lugging the puck. The defence would get back quickly and move it as fast as possible to one of those high skill forwards. It was fun to watch and very effective. It’s a system that should work well for that Oilers as well.

i woukd leave the lines as is for now. Asking Connor to play without at least one high skill line mate is too much. Any good team has two elite scoring lines and usually a good third one as well. Execution and energy looked to be the biggest issues last night. If Monday night is another stinker then perhaps the finger will edge a little closer to fhe panic button.


When I think of Croz, Malkin & Kessell – I do not think of “Lugging” the puck


1st year Pitt won the Cup (2009) their D had


I thought it was obvious that I was referring to the 2016 and 2017 cups when Kessel was there. Letang was the only elite dman on the roster for those and he missed most or all of the one run with injury. You can use a different word besides lugging if you like but all three of Crosby, Malkin and Kessel were excellent at transporting the puck down the ice. Of course all three were also very dangerous once they got there.


Maybe their D didnt have the name recognition. But they did win the Cup, so were probably better than most “thought”.

But point taken


Draisaitl has zero goals. Yamamoto is fine. But there is no one on his line to pass Leon the puck when he is in shooting position, and neither of his current wingers are a threat to shoot the puck from distance, like Nugent-Hopkins is..

The Oilers are NOT a playoff team without Nugent-Hopkins and Draisaitl together. Nugent-Hopkins is wasted and neutered on McDavid’s line.

The road to Tippettary will be through hell if it stays this way for much longer.

During Tippett’s tenure, with Nugent-Hopkins and Draisaitl together, they are a playoff team. Apart, they are not really close.


I tend to agree …..however, and stop me if you are shocked or surprised,there is a massive, massive raging FIRE on lines 3 and 4.

Lets fix the big hole on the side of the boat first, then we can discuss lines 1 and 2


Yes, of course, it is early…..

Re: Oilers Centers 5 on 5 Coring:

Welcome to the Edmonton Oilers Kyle Turris.

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

I’ve felt this for a while but have been reluctant to share as it’s largely speculation. However, that performance last night reminded me of the thought: I think the team lacks in tone-setting, high-energy intensity within the team’s leadership group.

As much as I like the top guys we have, none of them are particularly vocal and (speculation incoming) I don’t see them as the sorts to inspire the sort of commitment I’m thinking about. There’s a certain demure sort of approach that pervades the whole leadership class of the team: McDavid, Drai, Nuge, Larsson, and even Nurse strikes me as a more relaxed/quiet guy based on his interviews/behind-the-scenes stuff. Bear and Bouchard also appear more in this mold. Klefbom seemed the closest to this type with his infectious positivity, though I think even he falls short of what I mean.

I’m not suggesting every guy has to be the “rah rah” type of leader. In fact, you almost certainly need a solid balance between the two. I look at guys like Mark Stone and Shea Weber as good examples of what I mean. They’re the kinds of guys I would love to play with (Stone’s high energy) or respect (Weber) so much that they’d draw the best out of me.

In essence, my hypothesis for a major reason why the team often seems “not ready for puck drop” is oriented around that. Something lacking in the social dynamic of the team; not something in the water. Yamamoto straight up brings it and Smith- love him or hate him- certainly does, so I believe we’ve got two, but I strongly believe that another one in the form of a more established skater (ideally a Dman) would go a long way.

EDIT: Of note for this hypothetical player, my belief is he needs to be the type that plays hard both ways in order to inspire his fellow players.

Last edited 9 months ago by Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

Are Point & Kucherov rah rah guys? Hedman? Maybe Stammer?

I think the myth of needing a rah rah guys stems from the 70’s / 80’s folklore of guys like Messier

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

Fair counter. Can’t say I’ve watched enough interviews out of Tampa to get even a cursory feel for all of their players, but no. However, it doesn’t strictly speaking have to be the team’s best players (though I think Point is much like Yamamoto in this sense). I’m not sure where Killorn or McDonagh fall on this spectrum but they’re of the appropriate role and experience to fulfill this suggested need. Further, I don’t think it’s entirely a coincidence that their Cup win came after adding two guys who are more of this sort in Coleman and Maroon.

Say what you will about ‘old school’ thinking but I strongly believe there are kernels of truth in many old hockey parables that we’d be unwise to ignore.

Last edited 9 months ago by Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual
buck yoakam

remember hendricks?….

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

Yup, and if he wasn’t at the bottom of the roster and rarely scored, he’d be a prime example of what I’m referring to.

buck yoakam

I loved what he represented. he wasn’t the most skilled player but he would at least try to put the team on his back when he felt it was needed. Kassian is being paid very well to be that type (albeit with more skill and speed)…I would pickup both Dell and Spezza and talk to the troops about second guessing themselves and play with pride


cap space.


They’re only making $800 and $700k respectively. I’m a bit surprised the Leafs exposed Dell, it seems roughly 100% certain he’ll be claimed by someone…

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

He certainly did bring value to the room. If only that value wasn’t lessened by the lack of value he brought to the ice.

Bulging Twine

I get what you are saying, and I think that Kassian did provide just what you are saying at the beginning of last season. He came in to camp fired up. Both Tippett and Holland talked about how important he was to this group. Then something(s) happened in January and … hopefully he can provide it again.


Of note, the two most “ra ra” guys in the Oilers’ dressing room, James Neal and Mike Smith – both not currently in the room.

Woodguy v2.0

North Division standings Jan 17 using points percentage shown as points over/under fake Bettman .500

WPG +1
MTL +1
CGY +1
TOR +1
VAN -1
EDM -1

Woodguy v2.0

EDM Goal Share after 3 games (1-2-0)

Even strength (5v5,4v4,3v3)
97 On: (2-3)- 40%
29 On: (3-1)- 75%
97 & 29 On: (2-0)- 100%
Turris: (0-4)- 0%
Other: (0-2)- 0%
Net EV: -3

Special Teams: 2-2
Net ST: 0

Empty Net: 0-0
Net EN: 0

SO & PS: 0-0
Net SO & PS: 0

Net Goal Diff: -3